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Sigmetnow

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Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« on: September 30, 2014, 06:08:45 PM »
Given the increased activity in investing in clean energy, divesting from fossil fuels, and legislation supporting (or hindering) the switch to renewables, perhaps a thread devoted to the "Money and Politics" of addressing climate change is apropos.

Recent divestitures:

Rockefellers, Heirs to an Oil Fortune, Will Divest Charity of Fossil Fuels
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/22/us/heirs-to-an-oil-fortune-join-the-divestment-drive.html


Separately, almost 350 global institutional investors representing more than $24 trillion in assets have called on governments to put a price on carbon dioxide emissions and phase out subsidies to fossil-fuel industries. The signatories to the carbon-price statement include the California Public Employees' Retirement System, or CalPERS, BlackRock and major investors from Europe, Asia and Australia.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-climate-investors-20140921-story.html

 - - - -

ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, has been pushing anti-renewables legislation in the States, with a few successes out of their many attempts.  But recently they have fallen out of favor with numerous large companies, due to that stance -- or, granted, perhaps purely due to the companies' public image concerns.  But less money and support for ALEC means less anti-climate-change legislation making the rounds.

Tech Companies Are Dropping ALEC En Masse
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/09/25/3572195/companies-dropping-alec/

Occidental Petroleum is cutting ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council amid backlash against the organization’s stance on climate change.
http://www.nationaljournal.com/energy/large-oil-company-bolts-from-alec-20140929

 - - - -

The new, clearer approach of talking about "Zero Net Carbon in 2050" rather than "limit warming to 2°C" is a genius kind of (political) marketing.  Similarly, the idea of ditching a "carbon tax" and instead calling for "major support for renewables and renewable product development" (partially funded by carbon emitters and consumers???) just seems so much more palatable.  "Support more jobs and keep ahead in the global tech race!"  Rather than "let's punish you and those nasty fossil fuel companies who made your life so comfortable."

The UNFCCC recently introduced the idea of ‘carbon neutrality’, which the Marshall Island’s Foreign Minister representative who was also speaking on the panel said engages more people than the “2 degrees” conversation, and should therefore be the “guiding light” for global talks in Paris. Carbon neutrality means reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero and then ‘offsetting’ an equal amount of any remaining emissons.

www.theclimategroup.org/what-we-do/news-and-blogs/net-zero-should-be-north-star-of-our-sky-track-0-launched-at-climate-week-nyc

 - - - -
A couple cross-posts:

Steven Cohen argues in the Huffington Post that a carbon tax is not needed; we should instead fight for the funding of the basic research required to make the transition to a fossil fuel-free economy.

...The fact that the U.S. has not signed onto a meaningless non-binding resolution on the way to another round of meaningless climate talks in Paris next year is a non-issue.

Instead of wasting time and effort on a futile attempt to tax carbon, we should be gearing up our national laboratories, research universities and high-tech sector on a massive effort to invent new forms of renewable energy. New battery technology, carbon capture and storage, new energy efficiency technologies and smart energy transmission technologies should be part of the mix....

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-cohen/its-time-to-abandon-the-d_b_5899448.html


Big businesses climate momentum increased during Climate Week NYC:
"There were a lot of heads of state leading up to this [summit] that were very curious about what companies were going to say because they needed talking points for their speeches...so they could say, look, this isn't going to kill jobs, this is something that a lot of companies are behind, and this is, in a lot of cases, good for the economy," Metzger said.

He paraphrased comments from Ikea CEO Peter Agnefjall, who urged an audience of government leaders to act boldly on climate change, reassuring them, "You take that ambitious step, and we'll be there to support you. We'll be there behind you."

That kind of message, Metzger said, "helps a lot for those heads of state who feel like they're putting their neck out there with industry if they're going to regulate carbon or put a price on carbon."

http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140929/big-business-climate-change-movement-grows-size-and-heft
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2014, 08:21:48 PM »
Attempts to regulate residential solar power face difficulty balancing the energy companies' costs to maintain the grid versus consumer pricing for solar energy supplied to the grid.

Some good links at the bottom of the article, also.

http://www.vox.com/2014/9/29/6849723/solar-power-net-metering-utilities-fight-states
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2014, 08:54:43 PM »
The old pricing model is broken.  Large thermal plants operated under a system in which they sold their off peak output for little or nothing.  Then made their profits off of the much higher price of peak demand.

Solar whacks that peak and causes prices to fall.  Look at what happens to the price of midday electricity in Germany on a sunny day.



And that's will only a small percentage of electricity coming from solar.

We're going to need a new model. 

Net metering is also not workable.  It takes only a modest amount of solar before the value of solar to the utility drops quite low.  Then they are being asked to pay back with more expensive power.  Look at the bottom of the Germany graph.  3.5 Euro cent electricity in.  More than 4.5 Euro cent electricity out.  And no recovery for distribution costs.


Sigmetnow

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2014, 03:16:26 AM »
Wow. 
Henry Paulson, Treasury Secretary during President George W. Bush’s administration, says the stresses that nearly brought down the U.S. financial sector in 2008 are now playing out in climate.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kitconews/2014/09/22/climate-change-is-single-biggest-risk-to-global-economy-paulson-at-cgi2014
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2014, 06:05:45 PM »
Today's edition of the prestigious scientific journal Nature calls for the "tenuous 2C warming target" to be ditched and replaced with other indicators of planetary health.

Commentary:
http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/ditch-2c-warming-goal-says-nature.html

The Nature article:
http://www.nature.com/news/climate-policy-ditch-the-2-c-warming-goal-1.16018
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2014, 02:40:23 AM »
No longer government-contracted only:  Private sector money is starting to fund huge clean energy projects.  This article describes one.

Until recently—i.e., pre-2008—renewable energy projects of great size and scope simply didn’t happen in [the US]. Solar and wind were essentially cottage industries. Since 2008, we’ve seen several large projects appear on the landscape: 250-megawatt solar plants, 400-megawatt wind farms. But many of them were only initiated because the government was willing to provide the capital or to guarantee loans. We’ve witnessed a sea change in just a few years. It is now routine for the private sector to back large-scale renewable energy plans. And companies are now offering to fund truly massive, ambitious, experimental plans on their own.
Ten years ago, the prospect of private companies creating electricity from a 2.1-gigawatt wind farm in Wyoming and storing it for a period in underground caves in Utah before sending it to Los Angeles would have seemed an insane proposition. Now, it’s just another press release.

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2014/10/renewable_energy_projects_the_private_sector_not_the_government_is_funding.html
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2014, 10:08:03 PM »
It's not looking too promising for a global climate treaty in Paris.  But I'm seeing more and more articles that downplay the importance that agreement.  The feeling is, regions and countries will turn to renewables because it simply makes economic sense.  And, GDP growth no longer depends on fossil fuel growth.

As negotiators look to next year’s UN climate conference in Paris, there is increasing discussion of a new way forward that does not depend on sweeping international agreements. Some analysts are pointing to Plan B — recasting the climate issue as one of national self-interest rather than global treaties.
...
[T]he global explosion in solar power is a major reason why almost half of all new electricity generating capacity coming on stream last year was from renewables. And that trend helps explain why there has been at least a partial break in the previously lockstep rise of global GDP and CO2 emissions, which historically have increased at about the same levels.

http://e360.yale.edu/feature/beyond_treaties_a_new_way_of_framing_global_climate_action/2809/
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2014, 10:21:36 PM »
I think climate change is becoming less and less something we have to address via governments.  Market forces are starting to take over that role.

Efficiency and renewable energy improve the bottom line.  Ford just decided to invest $25 million in LED lighting for its buildings.  That will pay back in about 3.6 years.  A 20% return on investment or more.  The calculation doesn't include lower maintenance costs.

http://cleantechnica.com/2014/10/03/70-reduction-energy-bills-ford-due-25-million-led-investment/

I think the most important thing that could come of the Paris talks would be some rogue national governments like Australia and Canada finding themselves receiving some massive disapproval.


SATire

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2014, 10:38:18 PM »
The old pricing model is broken.  Large thermal plants operated under a system in which they sold their off peak output for little or nothing.  Then made their profits off of the much higher price of peak demand.
[...]
And that's will only a small percentage of electricity coming from solar.

We're going to need a new model. 

Bob, you are right we need a new pricing model. Currently they work on a new pricing model - e.g. to pay for also for back-up capacity and not only kWh - to save the big utility a bit longer.

And it is not a small percentage of solar causing that low prices at noon: We have 30% solar in the grid on a sunny summer day at noon...

lot of data here:
http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/de/downloads/pdf-files/data-nivc-/stromproduktion-aus-solar-und-windenergie-2014.pdf

SATire

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2014, 10:53:59 PM »
I think climate change is becoming less and less something we have to address via governments.  Market forces are starting to take over that role.
Sorry Bob - market "forces" will not save us, just because that "forces" ignore everything, that must be paid by someone else - e.g. children or poeple abroad or just someone else but not me...

If CO2 is not prohibited emission will never stopp - that is life under "market forces" which today is not much different from life under "politics forces" or "poeples forces" just because politics and poeple believe in markets these days.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2014, 11:20:43 PM »
I disagree. 

Let's look at personal transportation.  Within two years both GM and Tesla are expected to start selling EVs with 200 mile ranges for about $30,000.  The average selling price of a car in the US is a bit over $31,000 so that makes these EVs affordable for many buyers.

Then when you calculate in the annual fuel and maintenance savings these EVs become a lot more attractive. 

As prices continue to drop people are going to pay a little more for an EV that will save them major dollars of their ownership of the vehicle.

And electricity. 

The installed cost for onshore wind is $1.63/W.  For PV solar it's $1.81/W.  For CCNG it's $1.09/W.  For Nuclear it's $6.94/W.  Then add in fuel costs for CCNG which makes it more expensive than wind and solar.

Between now and 2050 we will need to replace almost every single thermal plant now operating in the US.  Coal simply won't be licensed and would be even more expensive than nuclear.  Wind and solar will be the dominate energy sources.  We'll see storage eat away more and more of NG's role as a wind/solar fill-in.





AbruptSLR

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2014, 12:02:26 AM »
Bob,

Your schedule for the implementation of climate change solutions is frighteningly slow considering that the mean global surface temperature rise will like exceed 2oC by (or before) 2035.  Furthermore, having EVs on the market before the power plants are converted/replaced will not help climate change by 2035.

By 2050 there will likely be over 10 Billion people on the planet, so even if US market capitalism somehow converts 40% if its power generation to renewables by 2050, mean global temperatures will still be increasing rapidly, unless carbon capture and sequesterization (or geo-engineering) is implemented.

Best,
ASLR
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2014, 01:48:13 AM »
Which scientific body (bodies) are predicting a 2C increase by 2030?
--

EVs and renewables feed off each other.  It's a symbiotic relationship which aides both.

EVs are a great dispatchable load.  The average EV needs about three hours of charging per day on a regular 240 vac outlet.  Cars spend about 90% of their time parked.  EVs are great ways to cut the top off wind and solar supply peaks and can drop out when supply is taxed,  some cars will be able to skip charging for multiple days.

With EVs taking the spikes that means that more wind and solar can be brought on line without adding storage.  And that makes the math better for investing in wind and solar.

EVs will create a market for late night generation by onshore wind.  Revenue increases will mean more investment and more wind on line for peak hour needs.

In exchange for being dispatchable loads (letting the utility determine time of charging) EV drivers will get better charging rates which makes the economics of driving with electricity even better.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2014, 02:08:36 AM »
Also, increasing amounts of EV charging will be done by off-grid solar, at residential or business locations.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2014, 02:08:48 AM »
Which scientific body (bodies) are predicting a 2C increase by 2030?


In the following links Michael Mann projects a 2C increase by 2036 using a middle of the road assumption that ECS = 3.0C (see also attached image):

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-will-cross-the-climate-danger-threshold-by-2036/

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mann-why-global-warming-will-cross-a-dangerous-threshold-in-2036/

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Bruce Steele

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2014, 02:37:33 AM »
Bob Wallace, BAU till 2035 will damn sure commit the planet to the 2 degree temperature threshold. You can argue all you want about solar/wind being a panacea but if we continue BAU to build and implement this revolution and we use fossil fuels until we have renewables generating enough power to manufacture themselves and displace rather than augment f/f well that 2035 timeline becomes rather pressing.  A lot of sea level rise is already locked in and a lot more heating will ensue if we breach the 2 degree mark . I and many others argue this will require a large austerity commitment both individually and nationally and without evidence of that commitment I have very little confidence that timeline can/will be met.
 I have spent a lot of effort over the last ten years trying to rise the flag on ocean acidification risks. It is barely on the view screen of most people . I just don't see how we can get this train turned around in twenty years and acidification, heating and sea level rise will continue apace for a long time after we finally begin our carbon descent.
 So if the U.S. public bought small or small electric cars, used much smaller electric appliances , traveled less , demanded LESS from government I would be all optimistic with you but sorry I just do not see it ... Canada either. Frugal is part of this deal or current gluttony will push us past timeline. 

AbruptSLR

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2014, 03:52:56 AM »
Bruce,

That was extremely well said, and I couldn't agree with you more; however, I concerned that it will prove very difficult to get our world market place to buy into austerity until we are well past a 2C temperature rise and a large amount of bad consequences are locked into the climate system.

All the Best,
ASLR
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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2014, 05:12:10 AM »
That was extremely well said, and I couldn't agree with you more; however, I concerned that it will prove very difficult to get our world market place to buy into austerity until we are well past a 2C temperature rise and a large amount of bad consequences are locked into the climate system.

Bad consequences? Or potentially utterly catastrophic? The more warming, the greater the risks of natural feedbacks keeping things moving along. We don't really know for sure they can't dominate even now (once committed warming from existing emissions is expressed), let alone however many decades into the future of a misguided 2C goal failure you look.

In fact, nothing to me suggests people will make a concerned effort to tackle this - I predict people will move almost seamlessly from consumption and growth fixation to competition and survival mode. When you're fighting to survive, you usually shorten your time horizons and use all the tools you've got - long term consequences be damned.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2014, 05:26:29 AM »
Say, Bruce.  Would you please point out where I recommended BAU until 2035?

I'm having trouble remembering anytime I've ever said anything like that.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2014, 06:18:46 AM »
Bob Wallace, ASLR suggested 2035 . Whether that is a Co2 temperature commitment that results in the 2 degree threshold or actually pushing the thermometer there by 2035 is splitting hairs. BAU is and has been all I have seen for my short ten years of obsessively watching.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2014, 06:59:11 AM »
What are you watching, Bruce?

Are you watching the price drops for wind and solar?  Are you  watching the accelerating installation rates for wind and solar?  Are you watching the accelerating sales rates for EVs and PHEVs? 

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2014, 07:09:11 AM »
Are you watching the price drops for wind and solar?  Are you  watching the accelerating installation rates for wind and solar?  Are you watching the accelerating sales rates for EVs and PHEVs?

He might be watching the rising atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide? No signs whatsoever of a slow down in that yet. Doesn't matter how you rearrange the deckchairs if the ship is still sinking, and just stopping emissions is not necessarily enough anyway.

SATire

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2014, 03:57:56 PM »
What are you watching, Bruce?

Are you watching the price drops for wind and solar?  Are you  watching the accelerating installation rates for wind and solar?  Are you watching the accelerating sales rates for EVs and PHEVs?
Bob, what you are watching is happening. But those increasing installations of solar and wind will just result in an increased consumption of electricity, if you let the market forces do their work allone. Cheaper energy available allways results in more energy used. Look back - that happened with adding coal and then with oil, gas, nuclear to the mnix and now with solar & wind.

The "market forces" will not result in less CO2 emissions because those forces have no idea about CO2. CO2 emission has zero cost. Once we cap CO2 - like only 5 Gt left to emitt - and make the markets believe, that we will force that by all means, then the market forces may do their work to get the most efficient transition. But as long as nobody believes that we will go for a 2°C goal as long the market forces are of no use for the transition. We have to teach the markets very well before we may benefit. E.g. would you think that market forces would have put an end to slavery? No - that was done by brute force. We have to know what to do and then we have to act. Market forces are only a tool which may be efficient, if you set-up some proper rules for to achieve your goals by market forces.

Thus politics have to set-up that rules now, that may drive climate change actions in future. But that rules are not present today and no climate change action is seriously taken. We just have started some first sand-box games in preparation of the possible future rules.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2014, 05:13:30 PM »
Per the following linked article, the US military is not assuming that market place solutions are going to provide some kind of easy fix to our current situation.  The US military (and any military worth its salt) is making preparations for the real world consequences of climate change, that are happening right now, and that are going to get worse more rapidly than 51% of voters current realize.

http://www.businessinsider.com/climate-change-military-2014-7

That said, until 51% of voters decide that a serious effort (such as pointed out by SATire & Bruce) needs to be made by politician (there currently aren't any statesmen) to discipline the market place to address fossil fuel use, then it is the job of worldwide military organizations to keep their eyes wide open to the reality of our current rush to climate consequences.  Unfortunately, spending more money on the military will mean less money for addressing climate change; which is yet another positive feedback factor.

See also:
http://www.cna.org/sites/default/files/MAB_2014.pdf
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 06:46:57 PM by AbruptSLR »
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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2014, 06:41:30 PM »
E.g. would you think that market forces would have put an end to slavery? No - that was done by brute force. We have to know what to do and then we have to act. Market forces are only a tool which may be efficient, if you set-up some proper rules for to achieve your goals by market forces.

Unfiortunately, slavery is a bad (or maybe good) example to quote - because it still happens in a very big way today. Therein, I submit, lies the hint as to the problem of controlling carbon emissions by any means at all - including force of legislation. For as long as anyone can make any money from it, given people are willing to engage in far more immediately obviously immoral activities for their selfish profit - how can one really be sure it can be ended at all, save by total collapse?
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 07:42:20 PM by ccgwebmaster »

viddaloo

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2014, 07:36:34 PM »
Keeping slaves and burning fossil fuel is evil, yet profitable. That means capitalism, the market, the invisible hand, whatever you want to call the dominant force of today, will promote evil. Plain and simple. Collapse adds a twist to the equation, however. The sooner we can accomplish a total collapse, the better for life on Earth. That may be counterintuitive to most people, yet most people are not excellent thinkers. Transfer to renewable energy may in fact prolong the Great Pain for Mother Earth.
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2014, 08:40:52 PM »
Bob, what you are watching is happening. But those increasing installations of solar and wind will just result in an increased consumption of electricity, if you let the market forces do their work allone. Cheaper energy available allways results in more energy used. Look back - that happened with adding coal and then with oil, gas, nuclear to the mnix and now with solar & wind.

Unlikely for a couple of reasons.

First, I doubt that a meaningful percent of the population does a lot to limit their electricity use because of the cost of electricity.  This is the old Jeavon's Paradox improperly applied.  If the average cost of electricity goes from 12c to 10c I really doubt people will go around their houses switching on more lights and powering up the TV in the guest room just because their electricity bill drops a few bucks.

Second, do remember that we are doing a lot to increase efficiency.  Incandescent light bulbs are going away.  And, without realizing it, when people replace their old refer, TV, computer, whatever they are likely buying something that uses less energy.

Now market forces are almost never the sole driver in change.  We simply don't have free markets, someone always has a thumb on the scale.  My point is that after political forces created an adequate market prices have fallen to the point at which basic economics are taking over.  With wind and solar becoming the cheapest ways to generate electricity investors are not going to put their money into more expensive, non-competitive technology.

Finally, if energy consumption increases on a global level, so what?  We have 1.4 to 1.6 billion people who have access to no electricity except for the batteries they may purchase.  We can give them electricity with wind and solar while risking no shortage of sunshine or wind.  We're moving away from fossil fuels and outdated concepts like EROEI.  We're turning extremely abundant energy into a usable form with the use of materials which are in very large supply and largely recyclable.

We can provide every single person on the globe with a few kWh of electricity and do it sustainably.




Bob Wallace

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2014, 08:49:37 PM »
The "market forces" will not result in less CO2 emissions because those forces have no idea about CO2. CO2 emission has zero cost. Once we cap CO2 - like only 5 Gt left to emitt - and make the markets believe, that we will force that by all means, then the market forces may do their work to get the most efficient transition.

I disagree.  Wind-electricity is cheaper than natural gas-electricity. (Solar is getting there.)  The market will pick cheaper wind rather than more expensive NG.  And that will result in less CO2.

This is the point I'm trying to get across.  Very low CO2 generation has become cheaper than high CO2 generation. 

That is not to say that market forces alone will get the job done quickly enough.  They may or may not.  (If the IPCC target of 40% to 70% reduction by 2050 is correct then I think market forces alone will get us above 40%.)

Climate change is very dangerous and there is no rational argument for why we should risk it.  The wisest route, IMO, would be to add a carbon price to the mix and increase the market's decisions to become more efficient and switch to renewables faster.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2014, 08:56:09 PM »
E.g. would you think that market forces would have put an end to slavery? No - that was done by brute force. We have to know what to do and then we have to act. Market forces are only a tool which may be efficient, if you set-up some proper rules for to achieve your goals by market forces.


Market forces wouldn't have eliminated slavery in the 1800s because there was no cheaper option.

Now the least expensive choices for new electricity generation are wind and solar (natural gas is in there but moving out).

The highly conservative International Energy Agency predicts the cost of solar energy will fall to around 4c/kWh in coming decades as the sun becomes the dominant source of power generation across the world.

As we reported on Monday, the IEA now expects solar to become the biggest single source of energy by 2050 and has now doubled its forecast capacity for solar PV.

Rooftop solar, it says, will now account for one half of the world’s solar PV installations, because as a distributed energy source the technology is “unbeatable”.

On costs, it says all solar technologies will fall dramatically in coming decades, with solar PV falling to as low as 4c/kWh, utility-scale solar to around the same level, and solar thermal with storage will fall to as low as 6.4c/kWh.

http://cleantechnica.com/2014/10/03/solar-power-costs-headed-toward-4ckwh/#comment-1619237454


The IEA is wrong about "around 4c/kWh in coming decades".  Solar will almost certainly hit 4c/kWh this decade in sunny (high CF) locations.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2014, 08:59:06 PM »
The sooner we can accomplish a total collapse, the better for life on Earth.

That's one of the most f***ing idiotic statements I've ever read.


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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2014, 09:23:40 PM »
First, I doubt that a meaningful percent of the population does a lot to limit their electricity use because of the cost of electricity.  This is the old Jeavon's Paradox improperly applied.  If the average cost of electricity goes from 12c to 10c I really doubt people will go around their houses switching on more lights and powering up the TV in the guest room just because their electricity bill drops a few bucks.

Maybe you're comfortably affluent, but when 46 million Americans receive food stamps in a country not known for welfare generosity, do you really honestly believe the price of electricity doesn't affect behaviour? I mean, seriously?

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2014, 09:25:49 PM »
Market forces wouldn't have eliminated slavery in the 1800s because there was no cheaper option.

And they still haven't eliminated it today. That's rather important in this context. In the US, today - there are still slaves.

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2014, 09:32:01 PM »
The sooner we can accomplish a total collapse, the better for life on Earth.

That's one of the most f***ing idiotic statements I've ever read.

LOL  ;D

I did say it was counterintuitive.
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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2014, 09:35:25 PM »
No, it's stupid.  Stupid and evil.

What you are wishing for is a horrible death for billions of humans and the extinction of innumerable species of plants and animals.

It's not counter-intuitive.  It's beyond despicable.

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #34 on: October 04, 2014, 09:39:10 PM »
And they still haven't eliminated it today. That's rather important in this context. In the US, today - there are still slaves.

Why should we expect market forces to eliminate slavery? 

Market forces are neither inherently good or inherently evil.   Market forces will drive behavior to the extent that other forces allow them to freely operate.

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #35 on: October 04, 2014, 09:44:55 PM »
No, it's stupid.  Stupid and evil.

What you are wishing for is a horrible death for billions of humans and the extinction of innumerable species of plants and animals.

It's not counter-intuitive.  It's beyond despicable.

Actually what's beyond despicable is the way that the last few generations have consumed massive amounts of resources and grossly mismanaged the planet such that future generations are going to be cursed for potentially the indefinite future of our species. The victims have no redress and no voice in this to boot.

I'm pretty sure if the number of humans were substantially dropped, the extinction of other species would be much less than the reverse (particularly as most of the ongoing mass extinction has been driven by habitat loss - climate change is yet to be expressed fully there).

Given the failure of current civilisation to value their descendants at all, removing it arguably does more good than harm. An early crash could limit damage to both the ecosystem and reckless resource consumption. Besides, our current trajectory has collapse in our future almost regardless - the harm to humanity could also be reduced with a managed and early descent (or even retreat if it isn't much too late for something so orderly).

Our species doesn't seem ready to handle technologies that have negative impacts on a planetary scale, if we were, we wouldn't be destroying our own future, would we?

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #36 on: October 04, 2014, 09:45:24 PM »
Maybe you're comfortably affluent, but when 46 million Americans receive food stamps in a country not known for welfare generosity, do you really honestly believe the price of electricity doesn't affect behaviour? I mean, seriously?

46 million out of 330 million.  That's 14% of the total population.  If electricity prices drop then a small portion of the population may increase their electricity use to some extent. 

Since many of these people are already receiving some sort of utility assistance they may not be curtailing their electricity use all that much now.  Remember, the average US electricity bill is $100/month.  If you're on a low rate assistance program you may be spending well less than $2 per day for electricity now. 


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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #37 on: October 04, 2014, 09:45:37 PM »
Why should we expect market forces to eliminate slavery? 

Same question for fossil fuel consumption, and yet you repeatedly insist market forces will solve our problems...

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #38 on: October 04, 2014, 09:48:04 PM »
Actually what's beyond despicable is the way that the last few generations have consumed massive amounts of resources and grossly mismanaged the planet such that future generations are going to be cursed for potentially the indefinite future of our species. The victims have no redress and no voice in this to boot.

Clearly we should have cut way back on fossil fuel use many years ago.  That is going to cause problems going forward.

But let's not damn past behavior and ignore the good that was done.  We pass on a planet with serious problems but also one with serious problems solved.


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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #39 on: October 04, 2014, 09:52:59 PM »
Same question for fossil fuel consumption, and yet you repeatedly insist market forces will solve our problems...

You are not correctly reading what I've written.

I have never insisted that market forces will solve our problems.  That is your creation.

I have reported how renewable energy prices have fallen enough for the market to start picking renewables over fossil fuels.  And how it is highly likely that within the next couple of years we will EVs that will start a mass movement away from the internal combustion engine and petroleum.

I have guessed that market forces alone might get us past the 40% by 2050 threshold, but not stated that it would certainly happen.  I have stated that the wise approach would be to add political/legislative pressure on top of market forces to speed the transition away from fossil fuels.

Please read what I write and don't attempt to put words in my mouth.

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #40 on: October 04, 2014, 09:57:43 PM »
I have never insisted that market forces will solve our problems.  That is your creation.

I have reported how renewable energy prices have fallen enough for the market to start picking renewables over fossil fuels.  And how it is highly likely that within the next couple of years we will EVs that will start a mass movement away from the internal combustion engine and petroleum.

I have guessed that market forces alone might get us past the 40% by 2050 threshold, but not stated that it would certainly happen.  I have stated that the wise approach would be to add political/legislative pressure on top of market forces to speed the transition away from fossil fuels.

Please read what I write and don't attempt to put words in my mouth.

Well, OK - fair enough - but basically it's all just speculation until it actually happens? Whereas carbon emissions and ongoing climate change (plus committed change) are already current reality. If it all played out as you say, great - I just don't see it happening yet. The potential is there, sure - but so is the potential for lots of things - that's why I don't rate it until it actually convincingly happens I guess.

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #41 on: October 04, 2014, 10:01:12 PM »
Most people don't distinguish between a civilization collapse and a full eco collapse. Removing civilization will be like removing a cancer, and actually good for the biosphere.
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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #42 on: October 04, 2014, 10:12:43 PM »
Most people don't distinguish between a civilization collapse and a full eco collapse. Removing civilization will be like removing a cancer, and actually good for the biosphere.

But previous civilisations have managed to exist much more sustainably and with much less long term harm than ours, so I think it's a mistake to say civilisation is at fault per se? We could surely do better, and indeed we must if we want any future (and a future necessarily entails some sort of civilisation, realistically, no?).

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #43 on: October 04, 2014, 10:38:24 PM »
Well, OK - fair enough - but basically it's all just speculation until it actually happens? Whereas carbon emissions and ongoing climate change (plus committed change) are already current reality. If it all played out as you say, great - I just don't see it happening yet.

It (the transition away from fossil fuels) is happening.  I'm trying to show you where and why.

That does not mean that the transition is guaranteed or will happen fast enough.  But we do seem to have succeeded in one part of what is necessary to move ourselves off fossil fuels.  We have created the needed technology and brought the price of that technology down to a point at which it is highly competitive with fossil fuels.

This means we have eliminated the "It would be too expensive" excuse.  We won't need to use political force and jam much higher energy prices down people's throats.  In fact, we'll save people money by quitting fossil fuels.

And we've started reducing CO2 outputs in some of the world's countries.  Not all, but a number of the higher per capita energy users are producing less CO2 per person and less CO2 per country.

It's time to quit wringing our hands in desperation(or enjoying the fantasy of a Waterworld world).  We've got solutions.  Time to put our individual efforts into speeding up the transition.

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #44 on: October 04, 2014, 10:41:17 PM »
Most people don't distinguish between a civilization collapse and a full eco collapse. Removing civilization will be like removing a cancer, and actually good for the biosphere.

That is a very naive statement.

Have you ever been somewhere where people were starving?  People will kill every edible plant and animal, and many non-edible, as they die in an attempt to stay alive for a few more hours.

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #45 on: October 04, 2014, 10:47:48 PM »
But previous civilisations have managed to exist much more sustainably and with much less long term harm than ours, so I think it's a mistake to say civilisation is at fault per se? We could surely do better, and indeed we must if we want any future (and a future necessarily entails some sort of civilisation, realistically, no?).

We have a romanticized view of the civilizations that preceded ours.  Many of those civilizations were incredibly destructive to the environment.  We know of several advanced civilizations that collapsed because they overran their environment.  Our romanticized 'first Americans' largely practiced a destroy, trash and move on existence.

Past civilizations were somewhat controlled by disease and climate variation.  We've greatly removed the chance of dying before reproduction which has allowed our population numbers to soar.  We've spread out across the planet in such numbers that there are very few places left for us to flee our dirtied nests.  Now we've got to put our energies into creating sustainable lifestyles rather than continuing to 'slash and burn'.

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #46 on: October 04, 2014, 10:59:42 PM »
If you've read Clive Ponting's "Green history of the world" and Jared Diamond's "Collapse", the past civilizations all depleted their resource base and destroyed local ecosystems. The only reason they didn't bring down the entire planet, was of course that they were small and local. Many collapsed because their elites were too far removed from the basics, from Earth, the Latin American pyramids with their priests on top of them as a visual allegory. Why would they care about what happened in the fields or in the rivers? Servants would bring them plenty of food anyway.

Yes, I believe we will have small communities of humans in, say, 20 years from now. But maybe not in 2100? It all depends on how much of the biosphere is destroyed along with civilization itself. Yet we need to remember humans survived enormous hardships before civilization before us, but then the forests were also full of game.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 11:09:11 PM by viddaloo »
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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #47 on: October 04, 2014, 11:12:40 PM »
Or we could implement the solutions we have, including a gradual population decrease, and get it right this time.

There's likely a sustainable future for humans if we want it.  We don't necessarily have to die back to levels at which we can't fuck stuff up faster than it regrows naturally.

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #48 on: October 05, 2014, 12:42:56 AM »
Obviously if people are going to work towards improving our climate change situation they will need to be motivated, therefore I provide the following link to the portion of the National Academy of Sciences website that addresses abrupt climate change.  The information presented there is in now way alarmist, but in my opinion is certainly alarming:

http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/other-reports-on-climate-change/2013-2/abrupt-impacts-of-climate-change/

However, in the way of action I do not think that we should use either the terms "carbon tax" nor "cap and trade" as they are too polarizing.  Instead I think that we should encourage officials of individual governments to enact a "carbon fee with a dividend" legislation, where the "carbon fee" is appropriate to wean society off of fossil fuels as fast as feasible, and where the "dividend" is rebated to the citizens of that country from the pool of "carbon fee" monies in order to make them willing to accept the "carbon fees".  Furthermore, I believe that individual countries who enact such a "carbon fee with a dividend" legislation should also enact legislation that would impose tariffs on goods with a carbon foot print from countries that do not also enact such "carbon fee with a dividend" system, and that further the funds from the tariffs such be used to provide funds to help achieve high priority goals like stopping and reversing deforestation.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 01:45:31 AM by AbruptSLR »
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

viddaloo

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Re: Money and Politics: The Drive for Climate Change Action
« Reply #49 on: October 05, 2014, 01:10:27 AM »
Thanks, ASLR.

In the same spirit, I would encourage everybody to read this important letter, from scientists to the US corporate elite (aka "government").
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