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Forced Responses: Dec 2018

Filed under: — group @ 2 December 2018

A bimonthly thread for discussions on solutions and responses to climate change. For climate science topics, please comment on the Unforced Variations thread.

697 Responses to “Forced Responses: Dec 2018”

  1. 501
    nigelj says:

    mike @492

    ” Some will say that the cost of decarbonizing global economies is going to be huge, gobsmackingly huge.”

    You are getting close to shoving words in my mouth, and you would also be wrong. See my comments as 478 above, I clearly do not say the costs are gobsmackingly huge, and it was YOU who made a comment that they would be “very expensive” so much the same as “gobsmackinly huge”! :)

    Please read what people say, especially when I go to the trouble of clarifying things explicitly. I only ever said that deficit financing was not a great mechanism. We should do whatever it takes to mitigate climate change, whatever it costs. Now please don’t misrepresent me again, either directly or by infereence using words I tend to use.

  2. 502
    nigelj says:

    Keven McKinney @491, those are interesting numbers on direct air capture. Not as bad as I thought either. Your maths looks right.

    I would assume their estimate of how much they capture are over optimistic by 50%, maybe more, but the numbers are still not bad.

    The big problem is who pays? It would require huge government subsidies, and I think this is the only realistic mechanism, so I would say its not going to be feasible to put total reliance on this technology as a stand alone solution to climate change. I would see renewable energy as the number one priority and direct air capture applicable to mopping up about 20% of emissions, as a rough stab at it.

    Direct air capture that just buries the carbon underground also uses a lot of metals and resources that are not unlimited. However it does dispose of the CO2 completely and total reliance on renewable energy also uses resources.

    The scheme you outlined appears to change the CO2 into usable products that are burned, but this only achieves carbon neutrality, not net draw down of emissions. Hope I read your comments right.

    I know this will sound wishy washy, but the most plausible scheme looks to me like it would combine renewable energy, direct air capture, re forestation, and enhanced soil sinks. We just have to throw everything at the problem.

  3. 503

    zebra, #487–

    Kevin, alan got my point about China and the growing total vehicle fleet; you seem to have interpreted what I said backwards…

    Perhaps you’d better elaborate or restate, then, as upon re-examination it doesn’t grok differently for me than it did the first time. (Nor does my logic–that a smaller vehicle fleet but comparable absolute BEV sales numbers would tend toward a shorter ‘ICE displacement horizon’–seem to be incorrect.)

    However, it may be rather moot, since I thought I might run the same model for the Chinese case as I previously did for the American one. The first step was to check the size of the Chinese fleet, and whaddaya know, sez here it was 217 million, as of 2017. That’s reasonably close to the US number, so the assumption that the Chinese fleet is significantly smaller than the American one goes away. On the BEV share, China has the world’s largest electric fleet and moreover sold 600,000 units in the first 8 months of 2018. So my point about absolute numbers of Chinese BEVs would seem to hold.

    Overall, it would seem to me, once again, that China is apt to be well ahead of the US in achieving the total electrification of its fleet. If that isn’t responsive to your point, again, feel free to elaborate.

    Much as I love the Musk and Tesla dynamic, I don’t see tent-factories driven by an obsessive genius springing up throughout the land.

    Why would GM (for instance) need to do that? They already have the factories; they would need to retool, but don’t need new buildings or new lines, for the most part. (They do need battery manufacturing capacity, though, either in-house or by contract. Most auto companies seem to be going the latter route.) You yourself are the one arguing that BEVs are ‘just cars’; why would you then argue that their production is so different that it would force legacy car firms to go to the heroic lengths that Tesla, a start-up, had to go?

    alan2012, #460–

    alan, I think if you compare the curve you linked to to the numbers in my table at #453 you’ll find that they aren’t so very far apart after all. (Allowing, of course, for the fact that I was following zebra in considering the US case, whereas you are looking at global numbers.)

    I note that the ICE fleet growth which the Bloomberg graph projects is linear, which means it’s not going to be that big a deal even if it happens that way–concerning which, I’m skeptical. For instance, VW has already announced it will not develop any new ICE vehicles after the generation currently in the works, and for multiple reasons, I think that’s an eminently rational business decision. Hence, I expect that will be the case for other firms as well. I’m being a bit daring here, perhaps, in disagreeing with the pros, but FWIW I expect more decline, and sooner, than that curve reflects.

    And thanks for the links. About to check out that second one now.

  4. 504
    nigelj says:

    I have noticed quite a few people here and elsewhere using the term magical thinking when normally we would use the term wishfull thinking. Does it all really matter in this instance?

    Language evolves a bit over time. Try reading Shakespeare to see how much. Not saying definitions aren’t very important, but things do evolve

  5. 505

    mike, #492–

    If the Heartland Institute were to be right about anything, I’d be shocked.

    Reading the linked article, I came upon this:

    Middleton determined decarbonizing over the short-term, described by IEA as “deep decarbonization,” would cost the United States $7.5 trillion now to prevent $161 trillion in damages by 2100. Middleton asks, “Would it make sense to spend $7.5 trillion now (or in the near future) if it averted $161 trillion worth of damages over the next 83 years?”

    OK, so far, so good. Traditionally, the future benefit is ‘discounted’ because money is supposed to be not just fungible but perfectly representative of all forms of utility. (That’s wrong, of course, but it has nevertheless been the conventional wisdom.) So the debate becomes, what is the appropriate discount rate to represent the declining value of money, either becuase of actual inflation or because of opportunity costs? Very often the ‘environmentally sensitive’ economist will choose a lower one, and the ‘profit hawk’ will choose a higher one, and that choice will determine their respective conclusions.

    But that’s not good enough for Middleton. No, he has to bring in another metric, NPV. The author of the piece, H. Sterling Burnett, doesn’t even tell us what that stands for. All he says in explanation is this:

    NPV is “the difference between the present value of cash inflows and the present value of cash outflows,” writes Middleton. An investment with a positive NPV will be a profitable one, and an investment with a negative NPV will result in a net loss.

    By Middleton’s calculations and regardless of the discount rate chosen, the NPV of ending or sharply restricting the use of fossil fuels in the near term is a negative, meaning it would amount to a loss in value for the United States.

    As it stands, that’s gobbledygook, because the future has now been completely dropped from consideration. No wonder it’s “regardless of the discount rate chosen!” I’m presuming that’s not actually what Middleton did, but it’s what Burnett *says* he did.

    However, Investopedia has the actual formula for NPV–which, by the way, stands for “Net Present Value”. There are numerous problems with this. First is the contrafactual assumption made above. Second, there is a dubious presumption involved in modeled the value of *avoided costs* as a stream of positive payments. Third is the assumption that better alternate investment actually exists; in real-world use, this assumption is supposed to be examined and tailored appropriately, but in this case it appears to be left ‘tactfully’ unexamined.

    I tried to reproduce Middleton’s results, but I couldn’t make it work. I got (slightly) positive returns even at discount rates of 25%! Running the periodic (monthly) rate for 8% straight out of the Investopedia article, and plugging in the monthly return value ($161 tn, divided by (83 yr. x 12 mo.) and initial investment ($7.5 tn) gave, at the end of year 10, cumulative returns of over $19 tn, for a net of nearly $12 tn. So I’d be darn curious to see how Middleton set up the calculation to arrive at such a different result.

    Fundamentally, though, I think the use of NPV here is conceptually pretty slippery. In its normal usage, it’s supposed to compare the benefits of a given investment with those of an alternate possibility, and typically it’s applied over just a few years, usually with time periods of a month. But there’s no justification for any particular alternate, so what is it supposed to represent?

    My guess is, it’s a device to avoid considering most future benefits at all. What the math does is to progressively and non-linearly extinguish value. Just to illustrate what happens in the 25% discount case:

    Year 1 returns: $1.72 tn
    Year 2 returns:
    Year 3 returns:
    Year 4 returns:
    Year 5 returns:
    Year 6 returns:
    Year 7 returns:
    Year 8 returns:
    Year 9 returns:
    Year 10 returns:

  6. 506

    Mike, #492–

    Well, I wouldn’t give Heartland credit for being “right”, as the most they do is (grudgingly) accept for argument’s sake a GAO estimate, which they then attempt to make disappear by sleight of math.

    There are at least three problems with their framing, IMO. First is the economic ‘conventional wisdom’ which posits the infinite substitutability of man-made capital for ‘natural capital’. It’s conventional acceptance does not, however, render it correct. Second is the notion of modeling avoided losses as equivalent income: if you have $100,000 in the bank, presumably the loss of that sum would have far greater impact than would the receipt of a second #100,000 (however welcome the latter case). Third is the assumption that there is always a superior investment, which is what the NPV metric they cite posits in order to set its discount rate.

    I went so far as to look up NPV (since it was not explained meaningfully in the Heartland article) and try to reproduce the results they cited. I couldn’t make it work; whereas the article claimed that no value of discount rate, down to 0.25%, produced a positive net return, I found a positive net even at 25%. So I’d be very curious to “see the work.”

    But the mathematical wheeze they’re trying is still clear enough; the math of the discounting, if the problem is set up just so, can be made to reduce the value of future benefits to zero (or at least, negligible values) after just a few years. For example, in the 25% case, $161 trillion of avoided costs on an investment of $7.5 trillion became something like $8 trillion over 83 years. (I didn’t run the numbers fully out.) Most of that return is in just the first few years.

    And of course, the Heartland article includes numerous other false and misleading points, which most here would have no trouble identifying, I think.

  7. 507

    nigel, #502–

    I wouldn’t be so pessimistic about Carbon Engineering’s estimates of possible CO2 capture rates; after all, they’ve been running the pilot plant for going on 4 years. Scaling up can have surprises, I know, but I’d still expect that with the amount of experience they have by now they wouldn’t likely be off by a factor of 2.

    To clarify their setup in response to a couple of your points, let me explain that they have two separate processes. First is the Direct Air Capture (DAC). Its inputs are air and energy; its output is pure CO2, pressurized to 150 bar. The CO2 can be disposed of in various ways: sold to other parties for industrial use; or it can be sequestered underground or otherwise; or it can be used as the input to the second process CE has got going.

    That process is what they call A2F–“Air To Fuel”. And yes, this returns the CO2 to the atmosphere once again, and so is carbon neutral over its life cycle. But obviously that is a gain as against using fossil fuels. The idea is that it would be a viable way to decarbonize applications (such as long-haul aviation) that are less easily electrified.

    One point of that is to avoid the need for subsidies to build out capacity. Since CE has a product to sell–apparently one now viable in markets that have carbon taxes–they can finance development via private investment.

    On the other hand, the DAC can concentrate CO2 for sequestration. But sufficient market forces for that don’t exist yet, AFAIK; if carbon credits were expensive enough, CE could presumably earn them by doing sequestration, then sell the credits at a profit to emitters who haven’t yet got their acts together. But I don’t think the numbers for that work anywhere in the world just yet.

    I agree with you that even if this is really as affordable as my BOTE calculations above suggest, there will still need to be quite a few complementary measures taken. For one thing, in any scenario except Killian’s ‘simplicity’ one, we’ll still need to add electrical capacity anyway, given that there are large numbers of people still without access to it.

  8. 508
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @507, good points. However my point as even if the estimates are over optimistic, the economics would still look quite good.

    The scheme you outline appears to change CO2 into jet fuel and sell it. A great idea, and its probably saner than growing maize and converting that to biofuels, however IPCC planning assumes net draw down of about 30% of emissions to close the gap with deployment of renewable energy. This will require some sort of scheme whether direct air capture or forestry etc, and so probably a government subsidy. But that is ok such things can operate in parallel obviously.

    All this shows the importance of putting good numbers on things, not trusting instincts too much, and this includes worries about depletion of resources etc.

    Regarding climate change and general environmental problems, I’m reminded of a famous quote “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong” Might be by Menken, I’m not sure.

  9. 509

    Just a straw in the wind anent BEVs in the US:

    https://cleantechnica.com/2019/01/15/volkswagen-chooses-chattanooga-for-ev-manufacturing-looks-to-ford-for-light-medium-duty-trucks/

    Note the sidebar mention of the $5 billion SK Innovation battery plant going up in Atlanta, too.

  10. 510
    Al Bundy says:

    BPL: No, still wrong. Try getting off your lazy ass and LOOKING IT UP. Don’t come up with your own personal definition, LOOK. IT. UP.

    AB: Interesting that you think that being brain-dead is more difficult than being creative. By the way, the definition you quoted was a version of what I said. “They” used the word “external”. I used the word “macroscopic”. But is it abundantly clear that in the macroscopic world quantum-style effects would have to be magic. I even gave two examples, the first was about adjusting probability in groups of individuals: “if everybody” and the other was about adjusting probability in atoms: thinking one would be able to levitate if one could think correctly. Frankly, I can’t think of better examples than the ones I gave — for YOUR definition. So, nuh-uh with the “crack a book”. I gave the CORRECT answer AND gave a potential mechanism AND was entertaining at the same time. :-)

  11. 511
    Al Bundy says:

    Nigel,

    ManyAndVaried@hotmail.com

    Future Nukes are about “feeling lucky”. 99.9% of the time you’re sitting pretty. 1% of the time you glow. Or is it 99.999999% and 0.000001%?

    But when it comes to already-built nukes I compare the 99.9+% lucky to the 0% lucky of the coal plant. Yeah, different magnitudes of disaster, and gee, it would be grand if energy was risk free….

    Get rid of coal, THEN discuss getting rid of nukes. But we’re way deep into the “we’re taking chances” game and existing nukes are not our biggest fear. Look at Germany. Spending their treasure trying to do the right thing and their emissions are rising. “Lets kill ourselves so as to eliminate a potential danger”.

  12. 512
    Al Bundy says:

    Nigel: For instance, VW has already announced it will not develop any new ICE vehicles after the generation currently in the works, and for multiple reasons, I think that’s an eminently rational business decision.

    AB: Cutting edge is only a portion of the market. Even ignoring paradigm changes such as the one I’m trying to bring about somebody somewhere will build VW’s (or whomever’s) design far into the future. Patents last less than 20 years.

    Nigel: I would assume their estimate of how much they capture are over optimistic by 50%,

    AB: GMTA! I have the Rule of 2 or 1/2, which says that an honorable investigator will usually be off by a factor of two in the direction favoring their assumptions. Thus, if conservatives shout, “FOUR!” and liberals scream, “One!!!” then both sides are actually agreeing that the answer is likely two.

  13. 513
    nigelj says:

    Regarding the potential production of electric cars:

    https://www.ft.com/content/25f947da-1718-11e8-9e9c-25c814761640

    “Instead of coming out with an array of unprofitable electric cars today, the incumbents are putting the bulk of resources into production facilities that will mass-produce models from 2020, once battery costs fall and economies of scale kick in. Analysts suggest this approach leaves the impression the incumbents are lagging far behind Tesla. But once the game actually starts, say experts, the carmakers will be in a strong position to dominate the market.”

    “None of the traditional car manufacturers will have problems scaling up electric vehicle production,” says Klaus Stricker, co-head of the global automotive practice at Bain & Company. “That’s exactly what they do best.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-ev-oil-crisis/

    More positivity….

    https://advancedmanufacturing.org/supply-and-uncertain-demand-for-electric-vehicles/

    The sceptical view…..

    As I already stated its all about price and functionality, and this is evident in these articles. Once you get a good balance of price and functionality growth is projected to take off. Like smartphones. This isn’t quite there yet in America, and given petrol is so low cost compared to other countries this doesn’t help either.

    The first article seem to suggest retooling can be fast, and production can adjust pretty fast. I mean these guys are the experts, and I see no obvious reason to think it would be painfully slow. Perhaps the one impediment that could slow things down is whether the car companies are really willing to ride the wave in America. Maybe they just aren’t.

  14. 514
    zebra says:

    Kevin McKinney and alan2102.

    1. Kevin, I said that it would be easier for China to make EV the norm because of the low per capita vehicle fleet. Someone who is used to riding a bicycle to work, or taking a bus, is not going to be put off by range anxiety, for example, on their first car.

    2. But that leads us to the problem that you can’t use a global “model” to make predictions locally. If China increases its fleet by 100 million vehicles, and all 100 million are EV, we haven’t cut back on CO2.

    3. So, we look at the Bloomberg plot. They are making a projection for the next 20 years; unless alan can provide more of the details on their report, I don’t see that this tells us about what follows.

    The case I’ve been making is that we should expect the beginning of the curve to show rapid increase, but then it will become linear, and then the slope will decrease, approaching some final value in an asymptotic fashion. That’s based on the fact that there are physical, economic, and geopolitical factors determining it, as I have described.

    In the US, most vehicles are actually classified as light trucks– SUV and pickups. Could we match the initial rate shown on the graph for the “car” sector? I doubt it, but maybe… but that leaves an awful lot of ICE on the road. And then there are all those other countries I have mentioned and you have chosen to ignore, whose economy is very dependent on oil production. What are they going to do, buy electric pickup trucks from China, while leaving their main money-maker in the ground? Will they sell China vodka, or dates, or what?

    4. For the major manufacturers, the problem is simple. They know how to make engines and transmissions, and they have lots of sunk costs and value in their designs. EV need electric motors and batteries. It isn’t the assembly buildings that are the problem; it’s doing something with which you have very little experience or expertise, and building the supply chains and infrastructure for what gets assembled.

    Look at the curve again. If there are a billion ICE vehicles on the road in 2040, that means the production capacity to build them still exists.

  15. 515

    a 495: China is not a particularly dictatorial, racist, or repressive regime.

    BPL: Tell it to the Uighurs now being herded into concentration camps.

  16. 516

    nigel, #500–

    Despite some nasty nuclear accidents, nuclear power is safest. I would still not want to see millions of reactors around the world, but nuclear power seems a viable option for certain specific applications.

    It’s safest in terms of human mortality, I believe. But the financial risks are high, because as currently practiced there’s a lot of site-specific work which militates against modularizing design and hence against rapid (i.e., financially reasonable) build times–even though Gen III reactors were supposed to be better in this regard. The failure of the Summer expansion here in South Carolina was a case in point; that was a Gen III design, and its financial collapse left a $9 billion hole, taking down the utility SCANA, which has now been forced to sell itself to Dominion Energy to avoid bankruptcy.

    It’s an example that will linger long in investor minds, along with the worse one of Fukushima.

    I don’t mean to suggest that such financial risk is comparable in moral weight to direct human impacts like death or injury. But in terms of actually getting future reactors built, financial risk is a big deal, because those are the primary terms in which loans get made, or not. (I know–duh!)
    Perhaps eventually the SMR approach will eventually help reduce the financial risks for would-be nuclear financiers–certainly Bill Gates, for one, is working on that–but it remains to be seen.

    Ultimately the technology comes up against resource limits, I think uranium is in limited supply and hard to substitute for, but I’m not 100% sure.

    Yes, it’s limited, but the limits, according to the nuclear optimists, are not very stringent. They give estimates of ~230 years under a BAU scenarios, extendable to ~460 years by economizing measures technically feasible now, 30,000 years by going to breeder reactors (which are also technically feasible now, and have been for quite some time), 60,000 years by extracting uranium from seawater and using current reactor tech, and god-knows-how-long by combining the latter two options.

    All of which is nice from a technocopian point of view, if correct, but kind of moot if you can’t afford to build the reactors in numbers in the first place. The fans also say that breeder reactors ‘solve’ the nuclear waste issue, since the fuel cycle becomes close to a closed loop. But that would seem not to account all types of nuclear waste.

    All in all, I think it’s much less problematic to put primary reliance on renewable sources–though I feel pretty comfortable living 30 miles downwind of the original 2 Summer reactors, and wouldn’t advocate eliminating existing nuclear capacity at present, just when we need low-carbon energy. (I think it’s fair to say that Germany’s choice to eliminate nuclear power has complicated the energiewende considerably.) I’d also support continued nuclear research, and I expect there to be a nuclear component in the global energy mix for many decades to come, at least–hardly a daring prediction, given that reactors are coming online now in a few countries which will presumably have 60-year lifetimes or so.

  17. 517

    My #505–

    Apologies; that thing posted prematurely for some reason. I thought it had disappeared. Obviously, it was incomplete at the time.

    Yet another reason for writing comments in a word-processor, not in the comment box! But damn it, I’m a spontaneous kind of guy!

  18. 518
    mike says:

    To Kev: Yes, the heartland folks are not reliable. they create and repeat republican talking points.

    We are caught in this weird circle where we have an argument over whether the cost of decarbonizing the global economy is huge or small. I think what can be said with accuracy is that the cost is estimated to be about 2.5% of global GDP, so it is an amount of funding that is in the realm of the possible. The problem is whether any country will lead the way and then whether other countries will follow.

    It is a prisoner’s dilemma because as fossil fuels become stranded assets, their market value will fall and some nation states may decide to take advantage of the fall in price and restore the carbon loading that other countries have removed by committing to the cost of decarbonization.

    We are in a tough spot. I think the US will do nothing to help with global climate issues until after the next election cycle, at the very earliest. If things go badly in terms of climate disasters, the US voters may be ready to embrace some version of the Green New Deal in the next election cycle. We can depend on the republicans and the heartland-type folks to describe any version of the Green New Deal as huge, gobsmackingly huge or some variant of that kind of rhetoric.

    The cost of the Green New Deal is big for the US, probably coming in around half the cost of our wars, so if we funded the Green New Deal we might have to raise taxes or give up on some wars. Americans appear to hate taxes and love wars, so there is a lot of work to be done before any version of a Green New Deal can be passed and signed into law.

    I hope we do it. I am a big fan of the Green New Deal.

    ooooh, an aside: I am really loving my 2007 Zenn. I drive it all over town and leave my gas-guzzling prius parked. I am busy catching up on maintenance deferred by previous owners, but it’s a nice little vehicle even in neglected condition.

    Cheers,

    Mike

  19. 519

    zebra, #514–

    And then there are all those other countries I have mentioned and you have chosen to ignore, whose economy is very dependent on oil production. What are they going to do, buy electric pickup trucks from China, while leaving their main money-maker in the ground? Will they sell China vodka, or dates, or what?

    “Ignore?” Please! We’ve been talking about the leading automotive markets in the world, and I’ve gone into considerable depth. Now you want me to deal with members of Tiers 2-5?

    OK. While there are regional ‘cultures’ in the automotive world, all the major manufacturers are multinational. Let’s take the Russian case, for example, since you did mention them. Says here that about 50% of Russian car manufacture is assembly of foreign OEM vehicles, including familiar names such as BMW, Kia, GM, Renault, Volkswagen and Ford, while the other 50% are pretty much all Lada (Avotvaz). (Though other stats in the same article put the Lada share at 33%.)

    As those foreign majors come on board with BEV models, which they will, will they be forced to abandon the Russian market? Offer only ICE models? Of course not.

    And I expect that as ownership cost incentives continue to grow–as they will with (international) scale–and as Russian customers find what everyone else does–that BEVs are fundamentally a better product–the foreign and foreign-partnered firms will take market share. Lada will be forced to compete by introducing their own BEVs.

    The Kremlin may not like it, but they are reading from the same dictator’s playbook as most of the world’s authoritarians are, wherein it says “Don’t piss off the populace when it’s not necessary, especially in things peripheral to power structures.” Especially when ‘the populace’ also includes the elite, who are probably driving their share of Teslas already. In “Ludicrous mode.” So I doubt they will try to do more than discourage a bit at the edges.

    As to “what will they sell China?”, the scope of that question goes way beyond what we need to talk about here. But currently, Russia makes most–like 90%+–of their own cars domestically, so they don’t need to pay the Chinese–or, actually, the Koreans, Europeans, Japanese and Americans–much at all.

    But should that shift in the future, FWIW, I hear that a lot of Russian soybeans are going to China these days. ;-) Maybe there’s something there for the future, just in case.

    One final question: what is the point of this extended debate? Is it to develop ideas (which I think it actually has done)? Or are you looking for some sort of agreement/validation? Do you think that somehow convincing me of the error of my ways has utility for the world at large? (Seems unlikely to me, but…)

    I ask because my sense of it is that for most readers here it’s probably past the proverbial ‘sell-by’ date.

  20. 520

    zebra, #514–

    If there are a billion ICE vehicles on the road in 2040, that means the production capacity to build them still exists.

    A complete non sequitur, except insofar as we assume that the alternative use of that capacity is building BEVs.

    If there were–just to illustrate the logic–a billion ICE vehicles on the road on December 31st 2040, you could bomb all those factories on January 1st and you would have zero-first order ICE production capacity. The cars, of course, would still be on the roads. Same logic if you gradually convert the factories all to BEV plants, completing the process on January 1st.

    Hell, convert them to manufacture magic carpets or ice cream or saris; the point is that no, there is not a necessary connection between an arbitrary number of extant vehicles on the road and the capacity at the same point in time to produce future ones.

    Final example: There is a certain number of Model Ts still on the roads–obviously less than a billion, but then what justifies a billion as a threshold value? Yet there is zero first-order capacity today to produce them anew, AFAIK. (Though we could rebuild that capacity in principle, of course. And maybe there are even a few historic parts manufacturers at
    boutique prices? I dunno, but if there are, I suppose you could argue the Model T production capacity is low but not zero.)

    …the problem [is] doing something with which you have very little experience or expertise, and building the supply chains and infrastructure for what gets assembled.

    Which is why it matters that virtually every automaker today is now manufacturing or (in the case of minors like Subaru) *planning* to manufacture BEVs. That is how they gain the experience and build up the supply chains. Reluctant they may be–visibly are, for the most part–but as they keep investing large sums–which they also are doing–it becomes true of BEVs, also, that “they have lots of sunk costs and value in their designs.”

    It’s always a bad look for a manager to pour large sums into R & D for a product that never comes to market.

  21. 521

    #518, mike–

    Yeah, I know you know that. But they–Heartland–bring out a certain bitterness in me, which I then try to ‘talk out.’ Sorry.

    I think what can be said with accuracy is that the cost is estimated to be about 2.5% of global GDP…

    Sure, mabye 2%, maybe 4%, but unlikely anywhere close to 10%, as far as we can tell at this point.

    …some nation states may decide to take advantage of the fall in price and restore the carbon loading that other countries have removed by committing to the cost of decarbonization.

    That’s where Paris comes in, and really the UNFCCC process. The ongoing meassurement and reassessment, the ‘naming and shaming’, and the increasing willingness–at least, that’s what I *think* I see–to do so in a variety of contexts (G20, for instance) should help to keep everyone’s attention focused on the downsides that come with failure to mitigate.

    We can depend on the republicans and the heartland-type folks to describe any version of the Green New Deal as huge, gobsmackingly huge or some variant of that kind of rhetoric.

    Indeed we can. They will also claim that it is dangerous, threatening to impoverish us all tomorrow despite the wondrous magic powers of the free market working to Make Things Right Despite The Lib’ruls; and that the goals of the Green New Deal are impossible. (I’ve heard that argument more than once already.) And we both already know they won’t be meticulous about fact in so doing.

    Americans appear to hate taxes and love wars…

    Americans have been rather prone to throw our weight around militarily in the past–meaning mostly, “since entering WWII”–but I think I sense a certain reluctance about it these days. Obama clearly wanted to intervene in a bigger way in Syria, but decided it wouldn’t be politically tenable. Trump wants to pull the tiny force we do have there, in a typically unconsidered and abrupt manner. He’s gotten some pushback on both sides of the aisle for it, but also support for the idea, if not its execution. I may be wrong, but it feels a bit like America is going back to its isolationist stance in such things.

    And, if we don’t feel a need to defend oil supply lines? Who knows, maybe combining that with a real recognition of the security threat posed by climate change, we could see a more nearly commensurate funding response.

  22. 522
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @516, yes the economics of nuclear power is just not good anymore. In western countries overall lifetimes cost is more expensive than wind power, and construction times are painfully slow. I did some googling on this about a year ago and slow construction times appears to be a combination of poor project management and safety hurdles. Because its so slow to build, its not a great solution to climate change.

    Asia doesn’t quite have the same problems, but they are still not building much nuclear power. India has just cancelled all its nuclear projects due to trouble getting components.

    I see nuclear power as a ‘niche’ option for countries with no other realistic possibilities for generation, and had the passing thought of using it for container ships.

  23. 523
    nigelj says:

    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/05/which-economies-are-most-reliant-on-oil/

    The world has twenty countries where more than 50% of their exports are oil. The world has 12 countries where more than 80% of their exports are oil. There are approximately 200 countries on planet earth so although the big oil exporters are significant, they are 20% of the total number, so even if they do not purchase electric cars, it is not the end of the world for the climate.

    However it would be very pessimistic to assume they didn’t import any electric cars and equally pessimistic to assume none of them will try to reduce their dependence on oil. While they might equivocate on climate change, they know oil is running out and probably near or past “peak oil”.

    Countries like Iran are at high risk of killer heatwaves with unmitigated climate change. The leaders might be self interested and reluctant to give up on oil, but they are not stupid either.

  24. 524
    Killian says:

    Re #457 Hank Roberts said Be nice to Killian. Realclimate is the only place on the Internet where he’s able to go on posting with this attitude, near as I can find.

    I am banned from no site other than WUWT (which I am quite pleased with), but congrats on keeping things in the gutter. Hopefully, you will come to understand the pointlessness of it, and the harm.

    We’ll see.

    “…this attitude?”

    Projection.

    I come here with no attitude, only to learn/educate.

  25. 525
    Killian says:

    Re #491 Kevin McKinney said Please critique!

    Okie-dokie.

    As far as costs go, if we’re going to assume 40,000 of these puppies, we should assume at least the low end cost of $100/ton. So, $100 x 1 million tons x 40,000 plants = $4 trillion.

    In today’s dollars, but you’re talking about decades, likely a bunch of decades, to do this. How much in tomorrow’s dollars? And, as the world becomes less stable economics will become more problematic and resources will be needed for more and more emergencies and we are not handling the ones we have now. New Orleans rebuilt yet…?

    all that would be required to be carbon neutral by, say, 2045 would be the recognition of climate change as a security threat equal to or greater than ‘traditional’ enemies.

    Is that all? Well, then…!

    Seriously, though, shifting… slowly…

    My real comment is this: Continuing to frame responses to climate without the context of attendant resource requirements, enviro effects of the issue being considered, serious analysis time frames vs R(apid)C(climate)C(change), is a huge problem.

    How does that come out?

  26. 526
    Killian says:

    Re #511 Al Bundy said Look at Germany. Spending their treasure trying to do the right thing and their emissions are rising.

    Why? Trying to keep BAU alive with non-FF energy rather than systemic change.

    Oops.

  27. 527
    Al Bundy says:

    Mike: I am really loving my 2007 Zenn. I drive it all over town and leave my gas-guzzling prius parked.

    AB: Great! But as an iconoclastic wrench-thrower I’ve got to note that you could further reduce humanity’s carbon footprint by selling the Prius and buying a used Real American Gas Guzzler. That would take the RAGG out of its current daily use and get that Prius on the road every day. You, of course, will Zenn out.

    —–

    Kevin: As those foreign majors come on board with BEV models, which they will, will they be forced to abandon the Russian market? Offer only ICE models? Of course not.

    AB: So, pretty soon automakers (and others) are going to have all these wonderful machines that can produce ICEs just taking up space. They’ve got to be removed. Do they melt them down? Or do they sell them to Capitalists in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria?, and lots of other countries that have all this liquid fuel just sloshing around looking for a market. Russia et al will be highly motivated to increase internal consumption of fossil fuels and will have access to almost unlimited production machinery at fire sale prices.

    Gee… I think the outcome is guaranteed, if left to the perfect and infallible Invisible Hand.

  28. 528
    Al Bundy says:

    Mike: the heartland folks are not reliable. they create and repeat republican talking points.

    AB: We’re back to definitions. I think the HeartOfDirt folks are completely reliable. Simply invert their words and you end up with a grand plan.

    ——–

    BPL: Tell it to the Uighurs now being herded into concentration camps.

    AB: Or the Central American children being tossed into cells, some of whom have died. Any country can be lambasted. Heck, I still don’t know what happened in Tieniman (sic) Square, except that the Chinese military is composed of honorable folks. When a tank is flummoxed by an unarmed person and NOBODY even considered that the guy could be in actual danger. No sniper shot, no run-him-over, no fear. When I grew up comparing China’s human rights current reality to the USA’s was ludicrous. But in the last month two or three commenters have been pondering which of the two is the worst influence on the world.

  29. 529
    John Kelly says:

    I don’t think it actually costs anything to decarbonize the economy. It moves value around between companies and sectors, and it similarly changes the jobs workers do. Consider a few recent examples (of course nothing is directly comparable). Newspaper and magazine companies used to be valuable entities and big employers until the internet wiped them out, with many bankruptcies. Had a pre-internet analysis been done on the benefits of the internet, it would have considered the print business value destruction and job losses as future costs. Ultimately, while it was incredibly disruptive to investors and employees, it wasn’t to the economy. Job losses were offset by new jobs in a new industry, and likewise, investors in the right companies enjoyed value creation to offset their total losses on the print companies.

    A bigger, and therefore more relevant, comparison, is the collapse of brick-and-mortar retail. In 1990, it would have been hard to imagine Sears, K-Mart, JC Penney and generally the entire industry being officially or effectively out of business. Again, it has hurt many investors and employees, but there are new companies with giant market capitalizations and many employees.

    Further proof is a lot closer to home, and that’s the progress already made in renewable energy. Jobs have already shifted from coal to renewable companies, and while it’s been disruptive to regions, overall it hasn’t been felt at all. I realize we’re talking about orders of magnitude of change still required, but it’s going to look the same, more and more jobs in the renewable business, fewer in fossils. Some, perhaps many, fossil fuel companies will be bankrupt, and the billions of dollars of market capitalization for those companies will go to zero. Guess what? That’s what happened to retail, and markets assigned that value to the companies that pushed them aside. Just don’t be one of the shareholders. Royalty payments to fossil fuel landowners in Texas and North Dakota will go to zero, but other landowners will receive lease payments for renewable installations on their land.

    Assets get stranded all the time. New ones replace them and make them obsolete. It may represent a cost of decarbonization to whoever happens to own them, but not to society.

  30. 530
    Al Bundy says:

    Mike: the heartland folks are not reliable. they create and repeat republican talking points.

    AB: We’re back to definitions. I think the HeartOfDirt folks are completely reliable. Simply invert their words and you end up with a grand plan.

    ——–

    BPL: Tell it to the Uighurs now being herded into concentration camps.

    AB: Or the Central American children being tossed into cells, some of whom have died. Any country can be lambasted. Heck, I still don’t know what happened in Tieniman (sic) Square, except that the Chinese military is composed of honorable folks. When a tank is flummoxed by an unarmed person and NOBODY even considered that the guy could be in actual danger. No sniper shot, no run-him-over, no fear. When I grew up comparing China’s human rights current reality to the USA’s was ludicrous. But in the last month two or three commenters have been pondering which of the two is the worse influence on the world.

    Yeah, the USA gets its “leaders” from dynastic capitalism and the Chinese surely have their way of warping meritocracy. But to claim that the USA is a democracy instead of a potential democracy is farsighted. Note that being farsighted is a bummer when you’re trying to see something up close. The USA’s founding FATHERS debated stuff like whether voting should be limited to Rich White Males.

    The Electoral College and the Senate were installed precisely to prevent democracy and instead give power to plantation owners. You know, the guys who enslaved folks for their own good. Why, they even voted for them! That 3/5ths rule was a bummer, though. The House of Representatives? Well, we’ll let the states decide who should vote *wink wink*.

    And by golly, it’s been decades since the USA has put an entire ethnic group in concentration camps. Unless you consider refugees an ethnic group, that is. Seriously, the American people are having to fight their own government. Total standstill. Total deadlock. I’m going to quote a wise and farsighted man:

    BPL: Physician, heal thyself.

  31. 531
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy@530, I would say America has better human rights than China, but America has worse foreign affairs in recent decades. Whether Americas broken pseudo democracy is better than Chinas benevolent (so far) dictatorship is an interesting question! Maybe a draw?

    Scandinavia gets a lot of thing right. Good model to emulate.

  32. 532
    Al Bundy says:

    AB: Gee… I think the outcome is guaranteed, if left to the perfect and infallible Invisible Hand.

    AB: I just noticed that I said something chilling. “The Invisible Hand of” is a religious statement. We’re not fighting a logical disagreement, we’re fighting a religion.

  33. 533
    alan2102 says:

    #513 nigelj 17 Jan 2019: “Regarding the potential production of electric cars…. its all about price and functionality, and this is evident in these articles. Once you get a good balance of price and functionality growth is projected to take off. Like smartphones.”

    Yep. The tipping point draws nigh. It could be right about NOW. See #369, page 8: “the announced price of Tesla’s Model 3 at $35,000 is about the average price of a new car sold in the US in 2015 (NADA 2015). More important, it is at the threshold price, in terms of affordability, of the Ford Model T, at which motor vehicle adoption started accelerating rapidly in early 20th century (Figure 4).2”

    …………………..

    #514 zebra 17 Jan 2019: “If China increases its fleet by 100 million vehicles, and all 100 million are EV, we haven’t cut back on CO2.”

    1. Over time, they will replace their entire fleet of 235 million cars and 332 million motor vehicles (see post #450, page 9) as of today, and several hundred million more, tomorrow.

    2. No one expects (I don’t think; am I wrong?) that electrification of transport will do all, or even much, of the heavy lifting of CO2 REDUCTION. It is more about keeping a lid on it.

    Zebra: “Bloomberg [is] making a projection for the next 20 years; unless alan can provide more of the details on their report, I don’t see that this tells us about what follows.”

    1. Why don’t you read it for yourself? Why do I have to “provide more details”?

    2. Who knows “what follows”? No one can predict, with accuracy, that far out. But we can guess, with reasonable confidence, that with the tipping point soon coming, and with exploding production capacity in the near term as described by Bloomberg, and with self-fueling feed-forward momentum that will inevitably develop as things unfold (increasingly compelling economic case for EVs over ICEs in all sectors, consumer and industrial alike), the growth will be much faster than linear. The only question is HOW MUCH faster. And about that we can only speculate. I said 2060 for full electrification. Maybe I am off by 10 years. I’m SO sorry about that.

    Regarding “exploding production capacity”, see post #450, page 9 (did you read it?):
    according to Bloomberg, 11 million/year in 2025 and THIRTY million/year in 2030. Zebra, can you spell E-X-P-O-N-E-N-T-I-A-L?

    Zebra: “The case I’ve been making is that we should expect the beginning of the curve to show rapid increase, but then it will become linear, and then the slope will decrease, approaching some final value in an asymptotic fashion.”

    Did you think that that was a case that had to be made against resistance? You are obviously correct. As saturation is approached, exponential will go linear, then sub-linear. Yes. Right. What else is new?

    Zebra: “Look at the curve again. If there are a billion ICE vehicles on the road in 2040, that means the production capacity to build them still exists.”

    No, it means that the production capacity to build them EXISTED (past tense). Much of it may still exist at that time, but it will be the the process of conversion to EV production. We can only speculate, but perhaps only 25% of it will still exist at that time. We’ll find out, won’t we?

    Past a point (probably now reached), this discussion can’t go any farther until we wait for ~5 years to see how things develop.

  34. 534
    alan2102 says:

    #505 Kevin McKinney 16 Jan 2019: “If the Heartland Institute were to be right about anything, I’d be shocked.”

    They have been right about global greening, almost certainly due to CO2 fertilization. They have been right about the raw, decontextualized phenomenon, I should say, and they use that decontextualized version to portray it as an unalloyed good, i.e. they use it to bolster the denialist case, which is of course reprehensible, but the phenomenon itself is not debatable. The world is getting greener, for better AND for worse. The way it is getting greener is by supplementation with a single, naked plant nutrient, without any of the others; a mixed blessing, to be charitable.

    I note, tangentially, that the literature on agricultural productivity modeling (which I try to keep up with, kinda sorta) frequently mentions CO2 fertilization as a positive factor. Of course, it is a positive factor IN CONTEXT with numerous other factors, some not-so-positive. This is the kind of nuance that the Heartland Institute and their ilk are incapable of grasping.

  35. 535
    carrie can says:

    The €ost of $aving Ourselves UPFSI 25 Oct 2018

    As amazing as it seems, we seem to be a species that is unwilling to spend the money to save ourselves from extinction. Mind boggling realization.

    This is not just the rich, who are completely corrupted and dominated by Money. But even ordinary folks, who are unwilling to pay a bit more for their electricity or fuel to avoid the CO2 that is wreaking havoc with the climate system.

    What’s worse, money and the ideology it has bought, create trolls and deniers who are dead sure (emphasis on the ‘dead’ part) that these planetary changes are IN THEIR OPINION a hoax. In fact, the ‘hoax theory’ is the hoax.

    But Money is in control, and will have it’s way. Create more Money until the host (humanity) is gone. Sad way to end a beautiful species.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADB3n9S6gTY

  36. 536
    Al Bundy says:

    Killian and Zebra,

    This Guardian article talks about various guesstimates of the required meat reduction needed to, well, “prevent bad things” will do, eh?

    Getting a North American to reduce meat consumption by 90% at the same time as his mint-condition SUV is being towed to the crusher is gonna be hard. (it was his mechilove; washed and waxed and…) What might happen? (Entertaining silly example. Retrofitting will become an industry. But the point is salient.)

    Again, I think Scott is right. Grass and herd animals evolved together. Is the Guardian article making the error of assumed linearity? There were an awful lot of bison way back when.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/19/could-flexitarianism-save-the-planet

  37. 537

    AB 528: BPL: Tell it to the Uighurs now being herded into concentration camps.

    AB: Or the Central American children being tossed into cells, some of whom have died. Any country can be lambasted.

    BPL: Your fallacy is: TU QUOQUE.

    AB: Heck, I still don’t know what happened in Tieniman (sic) Square, except that the Chinese military is composed of honorable folks.

    BPL: Tell it to Tibet, you sad, dictator-excusing excuse for a human being.

  38. 538
    zebra says:

    Kevin McKinney,

    Kevin, I find it strange that you would ask what my purpose is, since I have stated it pretty explicitly.

    I do realize that my input style doesn’t conform to the norm for various comment groups; I don’t feel the need to fill up column inches, or respond to every new comment on every topic, and I don’t get much gratification at this point in demonstrating that I am smarter and more science-literate than Victor or Keith or whomever.

    So, I tend to focus on one topic, and use it, as I have said, to illustrate what real “design” or (societal) engineering would be like, and the pitfalls that arise for even educated and sincere participants in the “design group”.

    I’ll reply to your specifics in a subsequent comment.

  39. 539

    AB, #527–

    So, pretty soon automakers (and others) are going to have all these wonderful machines that can produce ICEs just taking up space.

    Yes, if by ICE you actually mean the engines themselves. The other parts are mostly similar–tires, suspensions, body, electrics (with an asterisk!), upholstery. Assembly presumably is similar. So essentially it’s a problem of shifting resources from engine manufacture to battery manufacture (and secondarily the electric motors). Given that such machinery is being replaced all the time anyway, and that we’re talking about a decades-long process, I doubt that there will be a massive additional surplus.

    …lots of other countries that have all this liquid fuel just sloshing around looking for a market.

    Well, the fall in demand for petro products is a negative feedback that’s inherent in kicking fossil as far as I can see, so it hardly counts as an objection to the scenario I suggested–it’s just a headwind that has to be dealt with, no matter the mechanism by which fossil gets kicked.

    A few observations–first, the price of oil is already very low on the scale of things–gasoline here is below price levels I saw 25 years ago, and while inflation has been relatively restrained here during that time, still that means the adjusted price would be lower still. So the downside potential is somewhat limited.

    Second, there are policy options, such as wider adoption of carbon taxes, which can compensate. (C.f., “Gee… I think the outcome is guaranteed, if left to the perfect and infallible Invisible Hand.”) IIRC, something like 50 jurisdictions have them in place, and more seem to be coming online.

    Third, there is a factor that compensates a bit–namely, the lower the price, the less affordable the extraction of marginal oil becomes (or rather, the larger the pool of uneconomical-to-extract oil becomes–tarsands, I’m looking at you!)–since the producers can’t charge enough to make a profit. That in turn limits or contracts supply, which tends to exert a compensatory upward pressure on price.

    Fourth, if I’m right that widespread adoption of BEVs turns out to be more economical, then countries who lag will be spending more on their transportation sector (not to mention enduring the considerable public health costs of air pollution, which has been shown to have a sizable impact on productivity even in countries in which such things are regulated reasonably well.) That in turn will impose drags on their economic performance as a whole, presumably putting on pressure to get with the program.

  40. 540
  41. 541

    John Kelly, #529–

    Good observations. The catch-phrase often used is ‘creative destruction.’

    The reservation I have about it is that the consequence of our dawdling on mitigation (to put it charitably) is that whereas there could have been more replacement-by-attrition/retirement, now a lot of assets have to be written down with good amounts of useful lifetime left. Correspondingly, lots of new non-emitting capacity has to be financed somehow, which has opportunity costs elsewhere.

    Presumably that equates to a real cost–though I must say that thinking about what ‘cost’ or ‘value’ or ‘utility’ really means can make my head hurt after a while. And I’m by no means sure that economists understand it all that much better than I do–from what I’ve read the literature seems usually to treat the matter behavioristically (ie., “value” is whatever people actually pay for, and “cost” is whatever they are willing to give up in doing so.)

  42. 542
    alan2102 says:

    #515 Barton Paul Levenson 17 Jan 2019:
    “495: China is not a particularly dictatorial, racist, or repressive regime.
    BPL: Tell it to the Uighurs now being herded into concentration camps.”

    Thanks for bringing that up.

    It is possible that China is guilty of human rights abuses against the Uighurs in Xinjiang. POSSIBLE. But unlikely. It is probably just another lie, one of many. If it is, we’ll know eventually; it might take years.

    You might ask yourself: if you were in Chinese leadership, how would you handle the U.S.-backed mass Uighur terrorism, violent criminality and insurrection which is aimed at destabilizing your country, sewing chaos, and cutting it off from an important part of its own resource-base, and furthering the Western encirclement and containment of China in a bid for continued global domination, as well as limitless militarization and further ensconcement of Western banks, TNCs and the wealthy class, all of which acting to perpetuate the global regime that is in the process of precipitating climate disaster if not catastrophe? And oh BTW, all of which ALSO acting to impel the movement, terrifyingly well-underway, toward global nuclear war, which would be an existential catastrophe even worse than most of the worst climate doom scenarios; see (just a quick reminder of what is going on):
    http://thesaker.is/war-essay-the-consequences-of-nuclear-war-on-us-society/#comment-603385

    Something for you to chew on, Barton. Actions have consequences, and that includes the action of buying-in to what is likely to be yet another fascist lie. If you buy-in to the lies, uncritically, never doing your homework, then you are effectively abetting trends that are a grave risk to civilization and life on earth. Surely you do not want to do that.

    But yes, it IS possible that China is guilty of human rights abuses against the Uighurs in Xinjiang. I accept that that is a possibility, even if there is no good evidence for it as yet.

    ………………….

    https://journal-neo.org/2018/10/05/china-s-uyghur-problem-the-unmentioned-part/
    5.10.2018
    F. William Engdahl
    China’s Uyghur Problem — The Unmentioned Part

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/no-the-un-did-not-report-china-has-massive-internment-camps-for-uighur-muslims/5652242
    No, the UN Did Not Report China Has ‘Massive Internment Camps’ for Uighur Muslims
    By Ben Norton and Ajit Singh
    Global Research, August 30, 2018

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/chinas-uyghur-problem-the-recruitment-of-uyghur-muslims-to-join-al-qaeda/5656293
    China’s Uyghur Problem: The Recruitment of Uyghur Muslims to Join Al Qaeda
    By F. William Engdahl
    Global Research, October 06, 2018

    http://www.unz.com/article/china-and-the-uyghurs/
    China and the Uyghurs
    GODFREE ROBERTS • JANUARY 10, 2019

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/24/xinjiang-the-new-great-game/
    SEPTEMBER 24, 2018
    Xinjiang: The New Great Game
    by THOMAS HON WING POLIN – GERRY BROWN

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-fueling-terrorism-china/5657922
    US Fueling Terrorism in China
    By Tony Cartalucci
    Global Research, October 25, 2018

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/asia-shutting-down-us-turkish-ugyhur-terror-pipeline/5638003
    Asia Shutting Down US-Turkish Ugyhur Terror Pipeline
    By Tony Cartalucci
    Global Research, April 27, 2018

    https://journal-neo.org/2018/01/20/continuity-of-agenda-us-encirclement-of-china-continues-under-trump/
    20.01.2018 Author: Ulson Gunnar
    Continuity of Agenda: US Encirclement of China Continues Under Trump

  43. 543

    Whaddaya know? The Wall Street Journal–frequently a host to climate-change denial–is now writing about how a huge utility is driven to bankruptcy by climate change. I don’t see anything about how the past WSJ efforts to obfuscate reality may have influenced the PG & E managements’ failure to recognize a looming threat.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/pg-e-wildfires-and-the-first-climate-change-bankruptcy-11547820006?fbclid=IwAR2IanbpDz5oHXRgJC_wkmLBktL2myfqp0Gbh9uPY5AVTPzft6SEQ80oTX4

  44. 544
    alan2102 says:

    #531 nigelj 18 Jan 2019: “I would say America has better human rights than China”

    China’s human rights record is quite spectacular. The Chinese Communist Party has lifted a billion people out of poverty since the revolution, while doubling life expectancy from ~35 to nearly 70. Before the revolution, China was an awful feudal backwater with a large population of desperately-poor peasants. The low life expectancy was a reflection of miserable living conditions: poverty, filth, malnourishment, no medical care, no public health infrastructure, illiteracy, etc., etc. After the revolution, dramatic changes were made over a few decades. Public health infrastructure was installed. Free medical care was provided. Malnourishment was wiped out or dramatically curtailed. Illiteracy was nearly wiped out. And so on. Most notably, the Party abolished famine. For 2,000 years, China averaged one devastating famine every year. Since the revolution: ONE famine, 60 years ago, and that one mainly due to extraordinarily bad weather.

    Giving billions the chance to live full lives in reasonable health and security, wiping out illiteracy, and abolishing famine… “spectacular” is not too strong a word. I can’t imagine another place or time that remotely compares. The U.S.? Not even close. In fact, the U.S. is going the other direction rapidly, with poverty and precarity on a steep rise, suicide becoming epidemic, and so on. (And yes, those things reflect human rights: the right to live in decent security, free from poverty, and free from such dreadful conditions as to cause one to contemplate, or commit, suicide.)

    ………………

    in case you missed it:

    http://en.people.cn/n3/2018/0425/c90000-9453166.html
    China issues report on U.S. human rights
    April 25, 2018
    snip
    “A chronology of human rights violations by the United States in 2017 was released by the office Tuesday. China’s report said the United States posed once again as “the guardian of human rights” and a self-styled “human rights judge” while its own human rights record remained tarnished and showed continued deterioration. The report accused the United States of serious infringement on citizens’ civil rights, systematic racial discrimination, severe flaws in American-style democracy, widening rich-poor divide, and discrimination and assault against some specific groups such as women, children and people with disabilities, as well as its continued violations of human rights in other countries.”

    ………….

    BTW, I note that the U.S. has this very strange penchant for throwing masses of its people into prison, unlike China:

    prison population:
    U.S. 2,217,000 = 1.46% of total pop (of 325 million)
    China 1,649,000 = 0.12% of total pop (of 1.38 billion)

    My sniffer tells me this is a human rights issue, but I can’t say for sure.

  45. 545
    nigelj says:

    Alan2102 @533

    “Zebra: “The case I’ve been making is that we should expect the beginning of the curve to show rapid increase, but then it will become linear, and then the slope will decrease, approaching some final value in an asymptotic fashion.”

    “Did you think that that was a case that had to be made against resistance? You are obviously correct. As saturation is approached, exponential will go linear, then sub-linear. Yes. Right. What else is new?”

    I think Zebra is saying something slightly different, namely that we could have rapid short term exponential growth in BEV’s, that becomes linear due to production bottlenecks, well before market saturation has been reached.

    Is he right? Many experts don’t seem to think there will be production bottlenecks. I’m not expert but I read some, and I don’t think tooling up appears to be a big constraint, and manufactuers bring out new models of ICE cars quite frequently, but supply of lithium batteries might be an issue, for a period of time. I personally think its probable that about 25% of the population would be very resistant to BEVs regardless of price, for obvious politically motivated reasons, and others like just owning a really loved ICE.

    This would all conspire to slow down exponential growth, the question is how much? I would say not all that much. It could be a bumpy exponential curve, with fits and starts, or it could taper into a quadratic than ultimately go linear as we get near market saturation.

    I agree with you it looks to me like the bottom line is strong growth and majority of cars electric around 2050. Like you say whether its 2050 or 2060 misses the point.

  46. 546
    carrie says:

    537 Barton Paul Levenson

    To quote an expert: Physician heal thyself!

  47. 547
    alan2102 says:

    #528 Al Bundy 18 Jan 2019: “Heck, I still don’t know what happened in Tieniman (sic) Square”

    Welcome to the club, Al! Practically no one else in the West knows, either. And that is by design.

    Go here:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20120505102051/http://www.bearcanada.com/china/letstalkabouttam.html
    https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-1989-tiananmen-square-massacre-what-happened/5589231
    http://www.unz.com/article/tiananmen-square-1989-revisited/
    https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/06/13/tiananmen-square-guest-column-wei-ling-chua-limited-time-offer-free-book-really-happened/

    ………………………

    #537 Barton Paul Levenson 19 Jan 2019
    “AB: Heck, I still don’t know what happened in Tieniman (sic) Square, except that the Chinese military is composed of honorable folks.
    BPL: Tell it to Tibet, you sad, dictator-excusing excuse for a human being.”

    Wowee zowee. What a bizarrely hysterical response. Is that really who you are, BPL?

    Also, the *tu quoque* accusation is overused and used inappropriately, like *ad
    hominem*, very often in situations where there is no fallacy at all, but simply a statement of a relevant contrasting fact, perhaps pertaining to an individual involved in the debate. False logical fallacy charges are a common way to shut down useful and valid discussion. I will call this overuse and inappropriate use the *fallacious ad fallacy* fallacy.

  48. 548
    zebra says:

    alan2102 and Kevin McKinney,

    Alan, I went back and did get through a few pages of the Bloomberg thing before being asked to sign up, and the data I found illustrates the problem with both your and Kevin’s statements.

    First, Alan, there’s “exponential” as a mathematical term, and then there’s the colloquial usage to describe “look, curve goes up fast”. Just sayin’.

    But the Bloomberg curve for annual sales looks very much like what I have been proposing.

    Between 2030 and 2035, EV sales go from 30 to 45 million.
    Between 2035 and 2040, also an increase of 15, to 60.

    Which indicates that we are already in the linear part of a logistic curve at that point. If that were to continue, then we would get to 110 million vehicles somewhere in the time range you suggest.

    But that is an assumption that simply ignores the countervailing forces, which will bend the curve down.

    In 2030, ICE sales are about 75.
    In 2040, ICE sales are about 50.

    This means that ICE production capacity was only reduced by 33%, not 75% as you suggest.

    Which brings us to the point that I have been suggesting, and Al Bundy #527 made more explicitly, about resistance to the transition. For example, oil producers could very easily follow the model of vertical integration that Tesla used initially, which is providing ICE cars plus the fuel for them at a very low price. Consider the market available to Russia in countries formerly under the Soviet Union, several of which seem to be inclined that way rather than following EU political standards.

    The thing is, there’s a tendency for you guys to acknowledge the negative factors but downplay their significance, while assuming that all the “good stuff” will occur at the highest possible rate.

    What I see in the data, and the realities of economics and geopolitics, is more like 2100 as a point where ICE might really become a minimal source for CO2.

    Of course, if people run for President and a majority of the Senate…promising to ban ICE…and win consistently over the next 20 years…it will certainly happen sooner.

  49. 549
    zebra says:

    #536 Al Bundy,

    ???

    Al, my only mention of eating meat was when I asked, metaphorically and as an example, whether it would be “OK to eat meat if there was a stable global population of 300,000 million humans”.

    My point having been that there would be plenty of grasslands, which everyone thinks is very very good. It would sequester CO2, and there would be bison, and perhaps some wild genetically engineered cattle that would be nice and fatty, as if they had been fed corn while immobilized in pens. No methane burps.

    But nobody likes to think about the proposed population scenario because it takes away all the problems for which they have pet solutions.

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