Forced Responses: May 2018 4 May 2018 by group The bimonthly open thread focused on climate solutions, mitigation and adaptation. Please keep this focused.
301 Responses to "Forced Responses: May 2018"
John Holdren’s brief acknowledgement of the importance of adaptation on NOVA makes one wonder about his priorities in that field. Are there videos in which he adresses the issue at greater length ?
Dominik Lenné says
You might have realized how small the aspect of CO2 emission is in advertizing generally and advertizing for cars especially.
To change this, I got up a petition for the German Bundestag. Feel free to do the same in your country. It might sound a bit weird, but maybe it will have at least a small effect. A new law according to this petition will (an optimistic wording) enforce the declaration of the co2 emission of the car in t / 10.000 km. Ideally, also the emissions for making it will have to be presented, because they are about the same.
A modern car is emitting 1,5 t/10.000km and its manufacturing is causing another 10 – 15 t.
There is currently a public discussion made possible on the Bundestag-Petition-Website (in German, sorry), the URL is:
In case you are interested, you also find the text of the petition there. Google translate is delivering pretty good translations as of lately.
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Fascinating study recently published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that climate change skeptics behaved in more environmentally friendly ways than climate change believers. So, famous activists like Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio are not the only ones whose actions do no align with their stated beliefs. Interestingly, the authors posit that a psychological phenomenon called “moral licensing” is the likely culprit. Ironically, the best thing climate change scientists could advise climate change believers to do is to act like climate change skeptics.
Hank Roberts says
MudPhud, you’re channeling from Watts’s WTF site, not from the original source.
You should read the original
and see how it’s being spun.
It’s reporting polarization on the axis from “regulation needed” to “individual personal responsibility” — a split that’s quite typical.
You’ll find the same polarity on other public health issues; those from the ‘conservative’ side more often report taking personal action.
Larry Gilman says
I’ve read the article, and it has some interesting problems — or what I, as a layman, see as possible problems:
1) The sample consisted of 600 MTurk workers, not a random sample from the general population. A sign that this may be a weird sample is that the authors found no correlation between political ideology or political party and whether a person’s beliefs about climate change were “Skeptical,” “Cautiously Worried,” or “Highly Concerned” — apparently contradicting many other studies finding strong correlation between ideology/party and climate beliefs.
2) The study doesn’t find that disbelievers in climate change “behave in more environmentally friendly ways” _overall_: it only compares self-reporting of four behaviors arbitrarily chosen by the authors, i.e., recycling, using public transport, using re-usable shopping bags, and buying “eco-friendly” products. I find this odd, since two of the behaviors — re-using shopping bags and buying products marketed as eco-friendly — surely have relatively little to do with personal _climate_ impact. (And how many products marketed as “eco-friendly” are any such thing? Ford markets a “small SUV” called the Ecosport.) Recycling, too, I would guess, is likely a small climate impactor compared to other behaviors of choice, e.g., amount of jet travel, size of house owned, number and size of cars owned, amount of meat eaten, amount of electricity consumed. In short, the study does not look at per capita climate impact, but a small handful of arbitrarily chosen behavioral markers.
3) The authors do not actually put forth “moral licensing” as their favored explanation of the non-eco behaviors of the climate-believing subsample: they give equal weight, at least rhetorically, to the possibility that the “Highly Concerned” “felt that federal policies were the more effective means of addressing climate change (vs. individual pro-environmental behaviors).” In any case, the study did not collect data on motivation or decision process and the authors admit they “cannot explain” the main counterintuitive observation.
4) The study seems not to be designed to assess the possibility that wealth is the primary determinant of ecological impact: i.e., that people with more money burn more world on average regardless of their beliefs. A closely related question, also not answered here I think, is whether people with comparable incomes but different beliefs behave distinguishably. Here I would prefer “behave” to mean quantitatively assessed net personal impact, not a tiny handful of arbitrarily chosen markers.
Omega Centauri says
4 MudPhud. Interesting, if not exactly encouraging. Although the activities in question are mostly not the important ones wrt climate change. Did you
(a) change out your lightbulbs?
(b) purchase or lease solar?
(c) ensure your house is well insulated and energy efficient?
(d) use a clothesline rather than an automatic dryer on sunny days?
(e) Opt for greenpower if it is offered in your area?
(f) Participate in green impact investing?
(g) Buy/lease a highly efficient car or electric vehicle?
Now, any of these will have a significant impact, whereas, avoiding plastic bags won’t. But even here, I wouldn’t be surprised if the skeptics might still outperform the believers.
Re #4: One of the ironies of climate, social justice, economic justice and resource limits activism is it requires one to be active. The internet is a huge CO2 source, but gotta use it. Want to talk to people face-to-face? Gotta go. If busy doing, is there time for perfection in action? No. Even today being “green” takes time, effort, and extra money.
Demonizing “greens” makes little sense overall, but addressing what they call moral licensing and what I call “enoughism,” is useful to break down some laziness and create self-awareness.
More on why soil can and will be largely responsible for “saving us.” It’s not just carbon, it’s ecosystem management, preventative and restorative health, etc., not least of which is Regenerative management requires non-mechanized interactions, thus the restructuring of society.
From Nature News Feature 25 April 2018
Can the world kick its fossil-fuel addiction fast enough? Clean energy is growing quickly. But time is running out to rein in carbon emissions.
Climate change and the need to change behaviour in the West
Video lecture April 2018 Kevin Anderson (same ol’ same ol’)
on youtube @ https://youtu.be/dPEbIEc1n0s
May 1, 2018
Twenty eight years since the first IPCC report – this a sad indictment of our collective failure to give a damn for anything other than our own short-term self interest. Are these scenarios really the pinnacle of our climate change community’s ingenuity & analysis?
As a body expected to be vociferously independent we’ve done little more than tickle our funders when we should be holding them to account. We’ve substituted rigour for eloquence & and pursued ruse after ruse to avoid difficult questions.
Certainly in the US(& Australia) it’s more challenging to pursue the scale of change needed. However Sanders demonstrated a strong appetite for new visions that, thanks to the Democrat’s long-term failure to represent a wider constituency, has been filled by the present incumbent.
Stephen Barlow @SteB777 May 1
Yes, that’s the problem. Back in the 1990s, I argued that you could only trust politicians when they were prepared to take significant action in their term of political office, and stopped passing the buck onto future generations of politicians. I still think that is the case.
Sadder still, in my view, is how those of us who should have been holding policy makers feet to the flames have been co-opted into offering incremental tweaks to ‘business as usual’ for fear of being politically marginalised & ridiculed by our other already co-opted colleagues.
The “our” is those of us engaged directly in climate change, from policy-makers & think-tanks, thro’ business leaders & journalists, to ngos & academics. We’ve run scared of what our own analysis tells us, at best staying quiet, but often colluding in “our” mitigation fairy tale.
Our mitigation community, from academics to NGOs, are now little more than well-meaning angels inventing elaborate new dances to perform on the head of a pin.
Verified account @KHayhoe
As a scientist, what concerns me the most is what this continued rise actually means: that we are continuing full speed ahead with an unprecedented experiment with our planet, the only home we have.
Regarding comments at 11#, Kevin Anderson appears to suggesting the IPCC be far more passionate about the climate problem and its dangers, and get involved in mitigation strategies and advocacy in general. Its hard to say because like so many people he is not specific, so I have to guess at what he means.
The man is well intended on one level, but is an energy consultant so has vested interests.
The trouble with Anderson’s preferred IPCC approach is it mixes science with technology and advocacy. I think this breaks every rule of science communication, and would make the IPCC a huge target for criticism that they are essentially promoting an ideological or business agenda. This would in turn reduce their scientific credibility. They already get a lot of unjust criticism, and such an approach would surely magnify this.
Keep the IPCC largely separate from mitigation, advocacy, technology and politics.
However there’s nothing to stop having a separate international body of some sort devoted to mitigation and advocacy of some sort.
Humanity is obviously slow to deal with the climate problem. Science and communication of the science is not really to blame although obviously it can always be fine tuned and improved. It would be good to see more speeches by James Hansen and even more support from people like David Attenborough, but I feel effects will be limited and saturation might set in.
The problems are peoples vested interests in fossil fuels, the denialist campaign, politicians captured by lobby groups, campaign funding, libertarian style anti regulation economic ideology, and lack of motivation and commitment by individuals to make voluntary change. These are the dials we must turn in a more favourable direction.
One planet people, and the changes required to keep environment hospitable and stable are not huge sacrifices, and have wide ranging advantages that can enhance many aspects of our lives. Don’t be fooled by denialist BS.
All Bundy says
Nigel claims that the sacrifices “we” need to make are not large.
That depends on your definition of “we”. If “we” are the wealthy folks who are focused on winning the game of putting the most zeros on the computers that keep score (so the folks in the future who share your mitochondrial DNA or y-chromosome – but you’ll never meet can live like royalty and be nonproductive leeches) then the erasure of all those zeros that represent fossil “reserves” represents a sacrifice of damn near everything “we” value. Dynasty building is the entire point of life after all. Taking action on climate is like “you” tossing a game board on the floor when “we” are trouncing you. You ask far too much.
Al Bundy says
Nigelj: The problems are people vested in fossil fuels…
Al: Dang this phone. Typoes are often uncorrrctable…
One could say that but one could alternatively say the problem is climate fanatics who refuse to compensate wealthy fossil interests for the proposed theft of their property. So, pay up (through government debt to be repaid via taxes on the poor and middle class?) or accept full responsibility for the results
Kevin McKinney says
Sorry, what was that? I was sharpening my pitchfork…
The role of overconsumption and overproduction in climate change cannot be overstated. We live in a world of excess, with our gas-guzzling SUV’s to the virtually disposable cheap clothing shipped in from China. We just can’t stop consuming, it would seem. But with this knowledge that our overconsumption is destroying our planet, there is a distinct lack of personal immediate reactionary response.
Global climate change appears to be an example where a dissociation between the output of the analytic and the affective system results in less concern than is advisable, with analytic consideration suggesting to most people that global warming is a serious concern, but the affective system failing to send an early warning signal (Weber, 2006).
Understanding human behaviour is crucial to being able to change it. If we can understand what people core values and concerns are, this info can inform environmental campaigns, public policy and education. Social psychology can effectively help alleviate human’s destructive behavioural tendencies in favour of some more environmentally friendly behaviours.
Interesting head stuff. Unlikely to make any head way though.
Barton Paul Levenson says
AB 14: the problem is climate fanatics who refuse to compensate wealthy fossil interests for the proposed theft of their property.
BPL: Refusing to buy your property is not the same as stealing it from you.
Al Bundy @13, reminds me of that entertaining television series Dallas with all its dynasty building. What would JR and Bobby say about climate change I wonder?
Al Bundy @14, vested interests do actually appear to be the key aspect to climate science denialism, with political and psychological issues as secondary factors (big secondary factors). Have a read of this latest fascinating myth busting research on the issue.
However I get your point.
I can just see the world stumbling towards needed an expensive geotechnical solution to climate change, and the government paying by taxing the lower and middle classes most, cutting entitlement programmes, and borrowing to dump the financial burden on future generations.
12 nigelj says: “Its hard to say because like so many people he is not specific, so I have to guess at what he means.”
Kevin is one the clearest most specific most prolific public outreach communicators in the arena talking about the seriousness and the lack of action to make evidence based changes to address the climate change energy use problems. So it’s really surprising to hear someone say they can only guess what he means. The opportunity exists to go read and listen to what he says on this subject to know what he means.
“but is an energy consultant so has vested interests.” What are they?
“The problems are peoples vested interests in fossil fuels,” it’s one small part of the problem in some nations that does spill over into others but it is not the driving force behind greater inaction, which is apathy mostly added to a high degree of urgency not being communicated to the public across the world.
“The trouble with Anderson’s preferred IPCC approach ” Huh? I have never heard him talk about such a thing.
“However there’s nothing to stop having a separate international body of some sort devoted to mitigation and advocacy of some sort.” That’s what the Kyoto protocol and Paris Treay is all about. It’s called the UNFCCC. And it’s not working out real well.
“Humanity is obviously slow to deal with the climate problem.” Understatement.
“Science and communication of the science is not really to blame” Denying the obvious.
“It would be good to see more speeches by James Hansen” Despite the climate scientists here and their core resident hanger ons here relegating Hansen to the extreme outlier ends of a Waddhamslike Skyrockety looney in the field? Like a weirdo great uncle the extended family has to humor and put up with at Xmas gatherings.
” and lack of motivation and commitment by individuals to make voluntary change.” a worn out myth that reached saturation on the first day of the Rio summit. Individuals do not get to decide what kind of electric power station gets built tomorrow nor what the range of choices are transport where they live or the fuel economy of cars they can afford to buy.
Only a few privileged people in this world hold that kind of power in their hands.
“These are the dials we must turn in a more favourable direction.”
Well we as individuals have no access to and no power individually to get our hands on the Dials let alone turn them. 95% of people don’t even know there are dials able to be turned and that it’s quite easy to do. 40% of people on earth don’t even know climate change is a problem let alone how to repair it. Most people who know it exists have no idea how serious and urgent the problem is. Let alone that next to nothing is being done about it.
When the genuine people and some scientists, the Kevin Anderson and James Hansen’s of this world do speak up to sound the alarm scientists like those on RC and their supporters continually minimize that and endlessly ridicule shout down insult block their comments or borehole the people ringing the bells for nigh on 15 years now.
There are lots of ongoing discussions about ECS. Is the magnitude of ECS important in terms of mitigation strategies? Specifically, is there a category of interventions to slow climate change the reasonableness of which depends on the ECS?
I’m thinking about Africa, for example. Many of those countries are looking at coal as the obvious way to expeditiously electrify (the usual pattern of development since the industrial revolution). There are dozens of coal projects in planning stages in Africa, often funded by China. If the ECS is at the lower side of the range does that argue for allowing these countries to electrify using cheap coal initially, while the richer countries continue to move to cleaner energy sources? Or are the risks of climate change so great that environmental activists rightly fight against new coal power plants, as they are in developing Asia and Africa?
I agree to some extent, but The Paris accord and Kyoto is not really quite the same as an international body that assesses and publishes an assessment of the best mitigation options for the world, as far as Im aware. This is more what I was driving at.
Vested intrests is a huge part of the problem with climate denialism. Read this:
And many people have vested interests even if its just owning a car.
But yes apathy is a factor. I feel would really help if politicans and scientists gave a more blunt, forceful and urgent assessment of the risks, but without stepping over into hysteria about the earth becoming like venus.
You are also contradicting yourself a bit, for example:
I said “lack of motivation and commitment by individuals to make voluntary change.” You replied “a worn out myth that reached saturation on the first day of the Rio summit”. Then you said “the role of overconsumption and overproduction in climate change cannot be overstated. We live in a world of excess, with our gas-guzzling SUV’s to the virtually disposable cheap clothing shipped in from China”
I have never minimised or boreholed anything Anderson or Hansen said. I think they need to be heard more. My criticism of Anderson was entirely that I gained the impression he was implying the IPCC take more of an advocacy position and impassioned position on the dangers of climate change which might be unwise for reasons stated. The point remains valid, even if he wasn’t implying that.
But I think theres no reason why individual scientists can’t express their concern at the dangers more. The difference is subtle but important.
Hank Roberts says
> coal as the obvious way to expeditiously electrify
Which means lots of clearcutting for power lines, associated roads, and better access for poaching wildlife and timber.
As opposed to cheap solar that doesn’t provide those ancillary “benefits”
MPassey @21, your point us somewhat moot. There’s no reason for Africa to use coal or a need to consider ECS in this context, because wind power is now cheaper than coal and small scale PV solar is very close or cheaper in some cases (Refer Lazard analysis).
Ray Ladbury says
A 20th century electric grid makes no sense for 21st century Africa. Local solar grids supplemented with some sort of storage is a lot more appropriate. If they go for a conventional grid, all I can say is they’ll spend many times their GDP on copper. Coal is dead. It just doesn’t know it yet.
Al Bundy says
Kevin: Sorry, what was that? I was sharpening my pitchfork…
AB: I was supporting Nigel’s point with sarcasm/humor. (And your pitchfork and his Dallas comment gave me a chuckle. Thanks.)
Folks who have invested in fossils have known for decades that their purchase was at risk from action to make climate change somewhat less catastrophic. “Buyer beware” and all that. But mark my words, right-wingers will start screaming about compensation when all those shiny new gas-fired power plants they’re building are threatened with closure when we start thinking seriously about building a modern grid that can shuttle electricity instead of curtailing renewable generation in one area while simultaneously turning on fossils in another. How many Republican legislators will vote for a modern grid if compensation isn’t included in the plan?
BPL: Refusing to buy your property is not the same as stealing it from you.
AB: True, but this is more about legislating whether a third party can choose to buy your property. What do you think will happen when, say, banning the export of coal is proposed? “We’ll agree to stop digging up dinosaurs if, and only if we get paid to stop.”
Tax the bejesus out of huge incomes, especially inheritances, to prevent genetic dynasties. We need to get the rich to think of “legacy” more socially. Folks would build a few libraries, schools, or publicly-owned wind farms to avoid paying a 90% tax.
The following is a truly excellent article on solar geoengineering options by Carbon Brief. I’m personally sceptical about this technology in principle, because of the risks, but I thought it was worth mentioning because of the quality and comprehensiveness of the article.
Scott E Strough says
If we are able to actually get into a drawdown scenario, then TCR will be much more important than ECS. A high TCR could trigger certain feedbacks that sabotage the rapid sequestration of carbon in soils worldwide due to increased weather variability effecting agriculture.
Of course carbon in the soil not only mitigates AGW, it also adapts to the harsher climates and weather events too. So assuming a high TCR only means we have even more reason to enact the BCCS mitigation strategy. It would be needed both short term and long term.
On average worldwide we need approximately 8+ tonnes CO2e/ha/yr sequestered in agricultural soils to reach a drawdown scenario based on current worldwide fossil fuel emissions. BCCS has been shown in multiple case studies from around the world to sequester between 5-20 tonnes CO2e/ha/yr.
So we are already so high in emissions we have passed the lower range where BCCS can offset emissions if ALL agriculture worldwide were converted to regenerative methods and 100% compliant! Considering the huge hurdle to teaching and converting all this area’s management worldwide if even to a willing and motivated sector of society, this I see as very critical already. Adding new emissions in say Africa and Asia would likely turn “incredibly difficult” into “impossible”.
A high TCR would mean we are approaching a point where this type of solution is no longer even feasible, but it would still take many years to know this for sure.
Since BCCS is the only known strategy that when combined with reductions in emissions has any hope in hell of actually reversing AGW, then I would say it is very critical we in the Western developed world do our best to help our African neighbors obtain more modern electrical systems rather than antiquated and obsolete already coal technology. The coal “buggy whip” needs put to rest in a museum! It’s our last best chance at actually fixing this.
Kevin McKinney says
Glad my quip worked for you.
I think that your expectation about demands for compensation for ‘premature’ retirements of fossil-fueled generation capacity is probably correct. In fact, in a way, it’s already happening:
As wind and solar continue to fall in price, principled free marketeers will, one hopefully presumes, cheer. Fossil fuel rentiers, not so much.
Kevin McKinney says
Further link on pitchforks, rentiers, and/or rentiers with pitchforks:
I’ve read a very enlightening article in the “Manager” magazine yesterday ( http://www.manager-magazin.de/finanzen/boerse/g20-und-boerse-3-gruende-warum-die-kapitalismus-gegner-recht-haben-a-1156190.html ). Growing social inequality, ever growing corruption, eco destruction, climate heating ect ect, it’s all in that article, the capitalists face the abyss easily just like I do :) BUT: The article closes with the statement, that there is no alternative to capitalism- surprise, surprise :) Humankind survived 100s of thousands of years without any private property, without capitalism, the forests, the water, the land was owned by nobody, all vital goods for survival had been shared within the community. But the capitalists say “there is no alternative to capitalism”. Well then:
Just move on, just move on… for a little while 8) You know, there’s just no alternative to the End of it all. Soon :)
nigelj, try this paper. It’s insightful and may help to loosen the straight jacket. Dig deep and think carefully about what it is saying.
Ideology, motivated reasoning, and cognitive reflection
Dan M. Kahan
There’s many more useful papers and ideas like it directly related to the ‘topic’. Yes I had already the guardian article and the paper/s it’s based on. When you understand those better I think you’ll come to see an individual cannot fix a damned thing. It’s a myth. Why do you think DDS has such fun playing that card trick? Only collective action will and that means whole of government action, whole nations action and everyone moving towards the same goals. Vested interests then become moot and powerless. Humanity has not even begun to scratch the surface while you and many others keep on preachin’ how solar and wind will turn Africa into an economic paradise as if by magic. If you and RC residents had an objective reality based clue what people like Anderson and Hansen are saying and knew how right they are you guys wouldn’t end up with your feet stuck in your mouths 27/7. Talkin’ about stuff that won;t work and that’s based on flawed data and mythical opinions while feelin’ oh so smart on real climate doesn’t fix a damned thing. I know this. But does anyone else? Nope. Will they one day? Maybe. Depends if they live long enough to work it out. I doubt it because all the evidence keeps pointing to they will not.
Hank Roberts says
Scott Strough — no worry, China’s taking care of Africa:
Of course, they are also taking care of the remaining rhinoceros population.
Scott E Strough
thanks very much for the breath of fresh air here.
nigel @24. Thanks for the link to Lazard. Very informative. I would point out that their “Analysis excludes integration (e.g., grid and conventional generation investment to overcome system intermittency) costs for intermittent technologies.” That is the pivotal issue, which is why they conclude:
“Although alternative energy is increasingly cost-competitive and storage technology holds great promise, alternative energy systems alone will not be capable of meeting the base-load generation needs of a developed economy for the foreseeable future.”
Renewables are not yet at point where they can work alone for a reliable electrical grid. Africans want a reliable electrical grid. They want their countries to “develop and industrialise.” Which is why my initial point remains: Many of those countries are actively looking at coal as the obvious way to expeditiously electrify. The issue is not moot, at least not on the ground in Africa among the primary stake holders. Here’s a link to a link to an article on how at least some Africans themselves view this.
A quote from that link: “Leaving 632 million Africans without power not only means that 2-4% of GDP growth is squandered annually, but it means that 255 million people are forced to seek healthcare in facilities with no electricity. It means that four million people (primarily women and children) die each year because they are forced to burn wood and dung for heating and as cooking fuel.”
It seems to me like a genuine quandary not so facilely answered by “let-them-use-solar-panels”. With some sort of storage.
The system was invented, very long ago. Egalitarianism, Commons.
Done. Simplicity is, after all, simple. Search for PermOccupy and study the graphic. That is your regenerative governance.
Dan DaSilva says
1) Does your position on AGW involve ideologically motivated reasoning?
2) Could you be basically wrong about your position on AGW?
Just wondering because you seem very positive in your statements.
My answer is both yes.
Al Bundy says
Kevin: principled free marketeers
AB: lolol I’ve never met nor heard of su h a beast. My parents proudly display a couple of framed posters in their lake house. One is a guy with a drink posing with his foot on a Bentley, the other is a gal in a similar pose. Both are emblazoned with “poverty sucks” Seriously. Have you ever met a principled free marketeer? (My dad thinks minorities and liberals should be exterminated
My mom is more generous. She thinks they should live, but without voting privileges)
Hank Roberts says
But as has been observed, each time capitalism crashes and burns, what rises is a different form of capitalism.
Maybe after enough crashes it will get it right. Unless the world burns.
Al Bundy says
On second thought, since my dad would gleefully shoot his son and my mother has spent her life cheering on (with tears) the abuse/disenfranchisment of her son, I suppose that free marketeers do have “principles*
It’s like Clinton. What is the definition of “is”?
” Search for PermOccupy and study the graphic.”
Sure, that’d be the way to go. Love to see what’s happening in Detroit, I’ve seen some vids on youtube some time ago. But we’ll have to wait until the system broke down, before we’ll see Permacultural Occupation on a grand, on a global scale ;) But they (the governments, the banks, the corporations ect) will fight until the very last bullet, I got no illusions whatsoever about that.
Hank Roberts says
PS, the economists are already talking about how to manage the next crash “sustainably”
It’s like designing vehicles with “crush zones” that will take the impact of the crash sacrificially.
@Hank Roberts, #39
” But as has been observed, each time capitalism crashes and burns, what rises is a different form of capitalism.
Maybe after enough crashes it will get it right. Unless the world burns.”
Let me guess: The world will burn. Isn’t it burning already for too many people? Yes, it is. But it’s not hot enough yet by far, so it needs to get way hotter. It will get way hotter. Privileged people learn preferably through pain, as they are too far away from the bottom of Mother Nature yet, living in some childish, delusional, material paradise. Take away their privileges and they will realize real reality:
Hunger, thirst, heat, cold ect.
They think they are living in paradise, but they will wake up in real hell. We’ll just have to wait and see.
JRClark #32, you obviously don’t like renewable energy, and that’s your right of course, but please go away and stop spamming everyone with your repetitive views on the subject, and your endless patronising bullshit.
Yes right now centralised large scale electricity systems based around wind and solar power generally need some backup from baseload power if they are to be cost effective. But it doesn’t require much baseload power. Most analysis I have seen puts it at around 10 – 20% of the total grid. And it doesn’t have to be coal baseload, it could be gas fired, hydro power, geothermal power or nuclear power. The overall economics are still good, even with gas fired and transmission line upgrades.
Please note however that we are right on the cusp of cost effective battery storage meaning we don’t need baseload power at all. You are possibly aware of the tesla instillation in Australia, and solar / wind / battery combination packages being offered in America, with lower total costs than coal power as below.
Regarding Africa, yes if they want heavy industry it suggests some centralised power supply for a few selective cities, but as noted above it doesn’t need to be a conventional coal system. However I would note that currently coal fired power for their cities has been captured by the elite, and is not much used for industrial development and is of no use to rural communities because of the huge costs of transmission lines. Their vast rural populations have virtually no electricity, and as you note they burn wood or dung.
Africa are better to look at local roof top solar power, or small scale solar power for rural areas that can power a few basic home appliances, local health clinics, light manufacturing and so on. I think its going to be a long time before Africa urbanises like the west, if they ever do, so local solar makes plenty of sense.
So its also not an either / or thing. You have a combination of some centralised power (based around wind and solar with baseload or storage) in the main cities, and some local solar.
MPassey @35, regarding Africa and industrialisation. There’s no feasible way Africans are going to all have the same level of industrialisation and middle class lifestyles and material assets like America. The planet just doesn’t have enough resources.
So its absurd to plan on the basis of an impossible goal.The most viable path for Africa is to reduce rural and urban poverty as much as practically feasible, with better basics and health care as a key focus, because those are the most important things, and with more of a rural village based lifestyle, intermediate between their current situation and American suburbia.
Even this will require drastic reductions in rates of population growth, otherwise the ultimate prescription will be much harsher. Obviously western countries face many of the same challenges.
At current rates of use global coal reserves are estimated at 100 years. Thats “current rates”. So its absurd persisting with buidling coal fired power that may not even see the end of its life. Africa more or less has a clean slate, so is better to use renewable electricity.
As you know, Capetown is running out of water. In fact, entire South Africa is running out of water. Government officials recently said, that South Africa will have Quote “no water by 2030”. The question came up in some news forum here in Germany, if water should be a human right and someone said “no, water should not be a human right, water is a commodity, an article of commerce”. Hehe, sure, everything is a private commodity, there is nothing for free on planet earth:
Trees, soil, water, food, mountains, oceans, animals, plants and what have you- it’s all private commodity, there’s a pricetag on everything and human beings have to pay for it, if they can afford it. No animal, no lion, no wolf, no ant and no bacteria has to pay for vital things like food, water, shelter ect, they just take it. But humans have to pay for it, they have to “afford” it, they have to “earn” it.
Soon we will all live like real animals again, if we survive at all as a species. Money is a bad joke, a suicidal joke and Nature is a cooking pot, you don’t have to pay for ending up in that cooking pot, it’s free for everyone.
Al Bundy says
Nigel, I’m not sure I’m dead (test results, surgery, chemo), but the physical pain and the probability are both increasing. So I need to find someone to give my intellectual property to who will use it properly. Are you potentially interested? Once I get it filed (which is hard because of poverty and pain), I’m guessing it will be between a billion and a trillion dollars, so it would be quite a responsibility. There will be dozens of patents that make order of magnitude advances in internal combustion, refrigeration, forestry, and other stuff, even candles.
My life has been unmitigated Hell (which is why I’ve had to fight, mostly unsuccessfully,against being an ass – isolation and abuse screw up the mind) but if it can end with a positive note I’ll be grateful
44 and 45/46 nigelj, Mr. Pot-Kettle-Black?
It’s clear to me the things you continue to state are usually false and not based on any degree of reasonable evidence, personal knowledge, or qualified experience.
“JRClark #32, you obviously don’t like renewable energy”
Besides being wrong that’s one of the stupidest illogical fact free things ever written on RC. Where’s your supporting evidence for that claim?
Another example of making wild assertions is this about Africa. “I think its going to be a long time before Africa urbanises like the west, if they ever do”
Really? You think so?
Right now, three of them—Lagos, Cairo, and Kinshasa can be considered “megacities,” in that they have 10 million people or more. Within the next few decades, many other sub-Saharan and North African cities—for example, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam, Khartoum, Casablanca, and others—will reach that 10 million person threshold. Unsurprisingly, then, the total number of individuals living in Africa’s urban areas is expected to rise from 400 million in 2010 to 1.26 billion in 2050. This growth demonstrates a great need for better urban management and institution building, especially because over 60 percent of African urban residents live in slums. Thus, if managed properly, the megacity can engender several economic opportunities as cities offer economies of scale, which can be conducive to sustainable economic prosperity and improved human development.
I am happy to sit back and let the Africans decide for themselves what is and what is not in their own best interests.
37 Dan DaSilva
1) No. I am an Ideology Free-Zone. In others words I am a ‘Free Individual’ already.
2) Yes. And willing to admit it. When new more accurate information/evidence becomes available I have a lifelong proven record of adjusting my beliefs accordingly. I hold to my beliefs ‘lightly’. Please don’t confuse clarity in communicating what I really think with absolute certainty or arrogance or having a closed mind that has lost all curiosity and the ability to learn new things about life.
48 Al Bundy
I’ll take the package and will pass it on to my ethical sons with high values. Bummer your parents are nazis and narcissists. I hear what you’re saying and understand.
Peace! Let it go.