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Forced responses: Feb 2020

Filed under: — group @ 8 February 2020

This month’s open thread on climate solutions.

527 Responses to “Forced responses: Feb 2020”

  1. 1
    patrick027 says:

    This was interesting

    full article here

    supplemental info

    But I wasn’t clear on one point: it it assumed that both solar and wind capacity are installed with constant spatial density (no concentration into regions where the resource is more abundant), and since it affects temporal distribution, are the solar panels all fixed orientation, or single-axis tracking, etc.?

    It looks … I’ll finish later…

  2. 2
    patrick027 says:

    should I assume that both solar and wind capacity …

  3. 3
    Killian says:

    Re we darn sure know all about tipping points! Don’t worry, be happy!

    Do bear in mind complexity and chaos playing patty fingers:

  4. 4

    #1, Patrick–

    Thanks for the link, Patrick!

    From the conclusion:

    Our study, using very simple models and a very transparent approach, is broadly consistent the findings of the NREL, NOAA, and Jacobson et al. (2015) studies, which were done using much more comprehensive, but less transparent, models. Our results also suggest that a main difference in conclusions between the NREL and NOAA studies and the Jacobson et al. (2015) study is that Jacobson et al. (2015) assume the availability of large amounts of energy storage, and that this is a primary factor differentiating these works. (The NOAA study showed that one could reduce emissions from the electric sector by 80% with wind and solar and without storage if sufficient back-up power was available from natural gas or some other dispatchable electricity generator.)

    All of these studies share common ground. They all indicate that lots more wind and solar power could be deployed today and this would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Controversies about how to handle the end game should not overly influence our opening moves.

    There are still questions regarding whether future near-zero emission energy systems will be based on centralized dispatchable (e.g., nuclear and fossil with CCS) or distributed intermittent (e.g., wind and solar) electricity generation. Nevertheless, the climate problem is serious enough that for now we might want to consider an ‘all of the above’ strategy, and deploy as fast as we can the most economically efficient and environmentally acceptable energy generation technologies that are available today.


  5. 5
  6. 6
    nigelj says:

    Some challenging numbers in this report. “Analysis: Why coal use must plummet this decade to keep global warming below 1.5C.”

  7. 7
    Mr. Know It All says:

    The 45th President of the United States of America, The Most Honorable Donald John Trump, has pledged to help in the trillion tree initiative, using mitigation to combat climate change!

    This is progress, and it is of the agriculture kind, which some on this website say is the best kind of mitigation. Let us celebrate:

    For he’s a jolly good fellow, for he’s a jolly good fellow…..

    For those who are serious about man-caused climate change, I recommend you write President Trump a letter offering suggested policies he might authorize in an Executive Order. If you can come up with free-market policies that empower property owners and citizens to use less FF power he might go for it.

    I’m going to suggest allowing building owners to bypass zoning and HOA rules, streamlining or elimination of red tape, allowing owners to make property modifications that will save energy without using taxpayer dollars. You might also send the suggestions to Kevin McCarthy and Bruce Westerman – mentioned in the article linked above.

    Just takes a couple of minutes to write 45 here:

  8. 8
    Mr. Know It All says:

    Scroll to 1:14:48 to listen as President Trump announces the trillion trees initiative in the SOTU speech:

    Here’s a 15 second clip of it, but the quality is poor:

    Three minute TED talk on what those trees might do for Mother Earth:

    By the end of President Trump’s 2nd term, I expect we will be on the way to finding reasonable solutions to AGW. He’s a man of action, he’s not a politician, and is probably the only President that could get something done that will actually achieve significant progress in combatting AGW. He’s not a bureaucrat like these folks:

    And he will likely achieve significant progress on AGW without taking away all our options by using government force, which is what leftists want to do. He understands that the government does not know what is best for each individual – options allow people to chose what is best:

  9. 9
    Russell says:

    Could someone please help me understand whey only the past ~150 years are used to explain climate change? I have looked at trends of varying lengths and consider the trend covering the last ~5,000 years to closely represent Earth’s current climate. Could you please explain the causes of the previous cycles in temperature over that period and how the recent temperature increase is different from the previous four peaks? Also, what cause each of these cycles to transition from cooling to heating and vise versa?

  10. 10
    patrick027 says:

    One point made in the paper (see 1st comment) is that the solar resource is constrained by the limited E-W extent of the U.S. (contiguous). Adding Mexico and Canada into it wouldn’t help much, except for the eastern and western ends of Canada in the late-spring/early summer months, but those are not places where one would otherwise want to put a lot of solar power capacity, I suspect. E-W tracking can’t keep solar power available past sunrise-sunset – however, note that any fixed orientation panel that is tilted will impose it’s own sunrise-sunset – e.g. a southward facing panel with latitude tilt will never experience any direct sunlight beyond the 12-hour window centered around solar noon (allowing solar noon to be different from the mean solar noon due to the analemma…)…

    However, in addition to seasonal advantages, I wonder if including both Mexican solar and Canadian wind, variability might be reduced eg. the N-S shifts in the storm track. (to be clear, this would include Canadian and Mexican electric power demand as well).

  11. 11
    Dan Miller says:

    I recently wrote a white paper in collaboration with climate scientist James Hansen on why Fee and Dividend is the best carbon pricing policy. We wrote the paper in response to a request for information from the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. The paper can be downloaded via this link:

    You can also view the TEDx talk I gave on Fee and Dividend at this link:

    Political and business leaders appear to be paying more attention to climate change due to increase climate impacts, such as the mega fires (and now floods) in Australia, and well as increasing public demand for action. While so much needs to be done, a fundamental step forward is to put a price on carbon. It is hard to imagine seriously addressing the climate crisis without aligning financial incentives with climate realities. A steadily rising price on carbon will speed the transition to a clean energy economy while creating millions of jobs.

    There are many ways to price carbon but most of them lead to a carbon fee that is too low and/or volatile. By steadily increasing the carbon fee every year and returning 100% of the money collected to every legal resident on an equal basis, the Fee and Dividend policy will send a clear signal to markets that the days of fossil fuel emissions are numbered.

  12. 12
    Guest (O.) says:

    “This month’s open thread on climate solutions.”

    OK, solutions are solutions to problems.
    There are problems regarding the “better graphs”:

    But on the way to find a solution to make better graphs, there is another problem popping up: there first must be data available – and available easily -, so that more people could give a try on making the better graphs.

    It was annoying to get data for those graphs. This is a mess. Sorry, dear science experts, this could be done better.
    So I ask: why is there no R-data-package for this data? Or why is that data not available via a git repository (github or other)?

    I was astouned that I found an article on climate data and availability within python (posted it here some days ago).
    But AFAIK it does not cover these paleo-data-sets.

    So: will the experts of the field make it available in an easy accessible way?
    A R-package would be nice, for example. Or other ways, but open formats, please.

    If it takes too long to get the data, I doubt there will be many attempts to make the better graphs.

    What is needed?
    Maybe look here: Frictionless Data

    Also FAIR:

  13. 13
    patrick027 says:

    … so I was thinking there may be 3 or 4 phases/parts to the intermittent (solar and wind, mainly) clean energy portion (not trying to push nuclear, hydro, biofuel, OTEC/etc.; CO2 sequestration; efficiency and lifestyle etc., parts out) of the solution:

    1. the fastest way to decrease CO2 (with the portion I’m considering) is to get a lot of capacity installed where the resource is good, as much as, or assuming (or making it so) electrical transmission allows.

    2. then, broaden the installations out geographically, and 3. install more high-efficiency (batteries and flywheels, pumped hydro, AA-CAES??) storage (or more capacity to large hydro to allow greater flexibility… as allowed by river flow concerns) to increase reliability.

    4. keep installing where the resource is good, adding more transmission, and develop infrastructure for lower-efficiency storage (electricity to fuels – a portion of which may be converted back via back-up generation eg. existing natural gas plants and CSP back-up fuel)

    This last part implies a lack of efficiency, but if that’s only for the remaining 10-20% of energy, then it’s not that big a loss. I realize they’ll be O&M costs for the peaking plants, though.

    The phases will overlap in time because we haven’t deveped the HVDC grid yet…

  14. 14
    patrick027 says:

    We already have 470 (net summer) – 506 (net winter) GW capacity of natural gas plants installed. This appears to (more than) cover the max unmet power for at least some if not most (I haven’t gone through all the scenarios; I focused on the 1.5x, 12 hr storage, 75% solar) of the scenarios in the paper I link to in comment 1; noting that I only eyeballed the graphs.

  15. 15
    Killian says:

    Go ahead, say something stupid and petty about this wnderful *sustainable* production.

  16. 16
    William B Jackson says:

    #7 #8….????? Get help!

  17. 17
    David B. Benson says:

    If you wish to wear a climate stripes badge:

    I ordered one and intend to wear it every day.

  18. 18
    Jim Eaton says:

    Can Mr. Know It All explain to me how Mr. Trump, who has removed portions of National Monuments to open them to oil and gas drilling, weakened or destroyed every environmental law and regulation, and wants to pull our Nation out of the Paris Accords, is going to be our climate savior?

  19. 19

    KIA 7: I recommend you write President Trump a letter offering suggested policies he might authorize in an Executive Order. If you can come up with free-market policies that empower property owners and citizens to use less FF power he might go for it.

    BPL: And pigs might take wing.

  20. 20

    R 9: Could someone please help me understand whey only the past ~150 years are used to explain climate change?

    BPL: They aren’t. That’s just the instrumental temperature record. We have tree rings that go back 11,000 years, ice cores that go back 800,000 years, lake and ocean bed sediments that go back millions of years, and for that matter, zircons that go back 4.4 billion years. Google “paleoclimatology.”

  21. 21

    Russell, #9:

    Sorry, but you’ll have to be more specific concerning your sources of information. If I look, eg., at one of the more readily accessible Holocene temperature reconstructions, I don’t see anything much resembling “cycles” or “peaks” over the last 5,000 years.

    And if you look at the temperature for 2016–indicated with an arrow at the right edge of the graph–the question about ‘why is this warming different from all other warmings’ pretty much answers itself. So, what source are you drawing on?

  22. 22
    Joseph Zorzin says:

    Reply to #8- regarding a trillion trees.
    Good idea- trees are great- the more the better. But it needs to be done right. Too often planted trees don’t survive. But, in existing forests there are many trillion trees- and unfortunately, many forests are poorly managed and abused. So, in addition to planting trees, there is a need to improve forest management. But I haven’t seen a call for that, so far. Instead, I do see a call by some extremists to lock up forests. The movement to lock up trees is very strong here in Massachusetts where a bill has been filed in the legislature to lock up almost a million acres of state forest land. The problem with locking up forests is that it won’t reduce the demand for wood products- so wood will have to be imported from other areas where there likely is little concern for the long term health of the forests. Most forests in the American northeast were brutally high graded in the past (where they cut the best and left the rest). Such forests are degraded with diseased and damaged trees and trees of short lived species and species which can never have economic value benefiting the owner of the land which will encourage the owner to retain the forest as forest rather than converting it to another Walmart- or, as is now common in Massachusetts, to huge, hideous solar “farms”. So far, about 3,000 acres of forest in this state have been converted to solar- with the ecological damage totally ignored by those who think such “clean and green” energy is pure and innocent. Yes, plant a trillion trees and also raise the standards of forest management on all existing forests and encourage efforts to retain forests as forests. Also, poorly managed forests cannot sequester carbon at the rate of healthy forests.
    Joe Zorzin
    MA Forester License #261

  23. 23
    John Pollack says:

    Joseph @ 22. Thanks for your perspective on Northeast U.S. forests. I am wondering how a forest can remain healthy when exposed to the mounting effects of rapid climate change, invasive species, and introduced pests and diseases. While a changing climate may still support a forest, the individual large trees that could potentially live for centuries will be pushed out of their adaptive range. So we are looking at a forest with a lot of younger trees or old dying trees, more diseases and fires, I would think. We have essentially lost major species such as American chestnut and elm. Now, ash, hemlock, and maybe beech are on their way out. What effectively replaces these for a healthy , climate-resilient forest?

  24. 24
    Andrew says:

    #11 Dan Miller

    Two words: thank you!

    Great paper and I fully agree that a Fee and Dividend Scheme (of the form you and Dr. Hansen describe) is one of the best public policy tools to curb fossil fuel consumption.

  25. 25
    jef says:

    Great article that cuts to the chase of mitigation;

    “The Earth is Dying, But Not Fast Enough”

    “Evolution favors efficient energy dissipators not conservers.”

  26. 26
    Russell says:

    #21 Kevin

    By your own chart we are 0.2°C below the base temperature over this period. One year, 2016, is weather not climate. I am seeking serious answers not looking for the same b.s. I can find that anywhere. Please respond with real evidence of how our current climate is different than previous times in that recent era.

  27. 27
    Russell says:

    #21 – Kevin,

    The data from your own chart shows current temperatures are 0.2°C below normal during the Holocene. 2016 is only one year. That is temperature, not climate. Please explain the obvious changes in temperature during this period and what make our current climate different. I am seeking a serious answer. Please respond.

  28. 28
    nigelj says:

    “Go ahead, say something stupid and petty about this wnderful *sustainable* (traditional woven rug) production.”

    These rugs are nice but they are very expensive. Even if you subtracted all the middle man price gouging, they would still be very expensive, because they are so slow to make, (12 months for one of them). Only the rich people can afford them. Not sure how its stupid or petty to point all that out.

  29. 29
    nigelj says:

    William B Jackson @16, KIA is beyond help.

  30. 30
    nigelj says:

    Joseph Zorzin @22, agree forests need to be well managed and the right species grown, but if we dont “lock up” forests they don’t sequester carbon usefully. So they have to be locked up for as long as possible. It doesn’t mean we cant import wood or use some forests for timber for houses, provided we are creating more forests as a whole.

  31. 31
    Killian says:

    Re #11 Dan Miller said I recently wrote a white paper in collaboration with climate scientist James Hansen on why Fee and Dividend is the best carbon pricing policy.

    …a fundamental step forward is to put a price on carbon. It is hard to imagine seriously addressing the climate crisis without aligning financial incentives with climate realities…

    Error: The solutions to climate can be via economics. Fallacy: Resources are not limited; consumption is not important.

    As is always the case, you and Hansen do not begin with the fundamental – Nature – but with the abstract, economics. This allows you to imagine what is can and will always be because, well, why not? Yet, Piketty and others have shown the current economic system is incompatible with the continuation of civilization in anything like its current form, and maybe not with the existence of humanity. This presupposes, whether explicitly or implicitly, Earth is infinite and infinitely malleable, which is bonkers.

    Further, economically, C&D will encourage further consumption which will negate any gains made via increased emissions and/or environmental degradation, etc. It’s simple: The poor, lower middle class and middle class will spend that dividend. I was excited about F&D years ago until that little fact popped into my head. Jevons’ Paradox.

    F&D would be a Pyrrhic victory.

    …By steadily increasing the carbon fee every year and returning 100% of the money collected to every legal resident on an equal basis…

    Why in the name of god does anyone under the top 75% ($113k household income) need that dividend? Real wages have been stagnant for over 40 years while productivity is up significantly. All but the top 5% are working harder for the same money as in 1973! 70% of legislation affecting income, quality of life, has benefitted the 1% for over 30 years!

    Your version of F&D is deeply flawed and its utility misunderstood. I long ago made the following suggestions:

    1. Distributed only to the lower 1~75%. The emissions of the upper economic classes is far and away out of whack on a per capita basis, though for political expediency I would not argue with a cut off at 95%.

    1b. Small business owners excepted.

    2. Dividend mandatorily targeted at massive build out of home and community microenergy, energy efficiency retrofits, community localization. A split of funds to discretionary use and climate response may be appropriate for the lower economic levels, and maybe totally for the lowest who almost all rent, thus the greater burden for their climate response actually lies with the owner, not tenants.

    Whereas the claim is made F&D will drop emissions 50% that is almost certainly false for reasons already noted. Localization, home efficiency and localized energy would be able to bring about massive reductions in emissions, particularly WRT community food and food miles.

    3. Once targets in #2 are met, people may use the money as they wish.


  32. 32
    Russell says:

    #11 Dan, #24 Andrew

    I agree that reduction should be encouraged, but I have yet to see a solution that is not heavily regressive, i.e. paid for on the backs of the poor. Any ideas on how to get around that issue; especially since politicians from both parties are at the opposite extreme of the wealth curve?

  33. 33
    Killian says:

    Re Dan Miller and F&D:

    Dan, here’s my original paper from 2008. It was framed as a response to microgrids as the better option vs nuclear, but the program outlined above was given far more detail, including:

    * DIY microgrids strongly encouraged, thus improving localization, localized economies, community-building.

    * Puts much more of the dividend back inpeople’s pockets by reducing the costs of enrgy installations by a factor of 5 or 6 or more.

    * Encourages strong reductions in energy consumption, thus consumption overall, by using less efficient DIY approaches that are yet reliable, easy to maintain and easy to expand.

    * Massive, needed skill building.

    * Includes water catchment and storage.

    * Originally was based on about $500 billion in grants to households which could achieve the buildout in anywhere from 5 to 1 years.

    * I considered F&D as the natural successor to the grant program when that was first proposed.

    * Gets us off most fossil fuels in under ten years.

  34. 34
    Joseph Zorzin says:

    John @23

    It’s a long term battle. What’s needed is to do the opposite of the past high grading. Remove the least healthy trees and retain the best- and hopefully the best will be more resilient. Research is being done to deal with insect problems. As for climate change- that’s a wild card. While marking a stand for a thinning- I look for trees that look vigorous and retain those – why one tree is vigorous and another is not isn’t always obvious- but it’s the best we can do. It might have more to do with local conditions than climate change- but if foresters and loggers keep retaining the healthiest trees- over time, the forests will be far better than if we don’t. I have some rank amateur videos of 3 of my forestry harvests in Massachusetts and another of the construction of a solar “farm” directly behind my home in north central Mass. :

    I haven’t mentioned yet the tremendous political battles now being fought here in Mass. over forestry. This is the state that produced the Manomet Report which was all about woody biomass. And now there is a movement to stop all forestry. The battle here rages every day. I can elaborate if anyone is interested but I suspect the topic isn’t relevant to this site.

  35. 35
    Al Bundy says:

    EP: Oh, and Al Bundy: I was once interested in what you were doing. No longer. I have my own irons in the fire. And yes, if I succeed the results will be world-changing.

    AB: You’re hearing a different flavor than I’m speaking. Your statement implies that you aren’t certain that you’ll succeed. Given that diversity of skills multiplies leverage (inexact visualization), is your choice to refuse my offer to help you with your irons wise?

    EP: “Your obsession with me is creepy, deranged, and stupid.” You’re like a crash scene on the freeway. You know you won’t see anything good, but you look at it anyway.

    AB: Damn it, EP. You broke your own rule. Who thinks you are obsessed with them? Expiring minds want to know. And if you are inclined to say, “Look it up”, Real Climate’s search function is hopelessly broken (or so horribly designed as to prevent easy usage) and scroll-worthy this ain’t

    nigelj: Al Bundy @824 “as addicted to playing in the mud….” False equivalence. And your comment will be ‘wasted’ on Killian!

    AB: Yeah, it ain’t equal. Killian slings. You re-sling. But I note that you have chastised yourself, you have promised yourself, you have failed dismally in your desire to stop re-slinging.

    Apparently you have a different definition than I do for “addiction”. Visualize that “Submit Comment” button as physically picking up a pile of feces that was slung at you. Before pressing ask, “Do I really want to stick my hands in shit? Will I feel good when I think about where my hands were ‘yesterday’?”.

    And it ain’t just me saying this…

    Thoams: RC Presents The Nigel and Killian Show – with a full ensemble cast.

    AB: Dude, you got top billing.

    Killian: Ironic, is it not, that the only ones who have ever said it was a rigid goal and/or religion were you two idiots?

    AB: Nope, I’ve questioned and asked (and fought via ridicule, insults, and whatnot). But that’s ancient history. I’ve gathered about as much knowledge about your precious baby as you’re likely to ever share here. Thus, your use to me is degraded to social interaction (and some grand links; thanks). Like I have been saying repeatedly for week(s?), “I’m not talking about your precious baby.” I was talking to NIGEL, not you, about NIGEL’S problem.

    Sod off, but only when you’re on your “period”. Must suck to have a 3-weeks-per-month putrid mouth-flow. Buy some Listerine, dude.


    Ray L,
    Where have you traveled in EP’s “nightmare” (the developing world)?

    zebra: A lot of resentment towards all the people who have better skills

    AB: Don’t be daft. EP’s way smart and has mad skills. I choose to disagree with him on the bigotry stuff, but I understand the data. We KNOW that conservatives are almost a standard deviation stupider but it would be wrong to label all conservatives “morons” because some, such as EP, are smart. I wonder if he is ashamed of the fact that he’s in an inferior group. Perhaps that’s why he disparages other groups who, like his, score about a standard deviation stupider.

    EP: No PRINCIPLED person can be pro-environment and not be anti-immigration.

    AB: My definition of “environment” includes the whole planet. So, immigration into my environment would require actual aliens.

    Your solution, “Separate and unequal” fails because we can’t separate the ocean and atmosphere. If you’re right “they’d” end up exploiting fossils and “our” clean little nuclear minority would accomplish essentially zero climate-wise. IF a majority of humanity burns fossils and reproduces like rabbits THEN the thrift of a low-reproduction nuclear minority means squat.

    In other words, your solution requires extermination based on geography. Perhaps you should consider repeatedly euthanizing everyone with a sub-100 IQ worldwide instead. Killing off the huge percentage of conservatives who are stupid, along with the few liberals who are intellectually inferior, is a much better plan. Mass murder should be done efficiently and for the highest good. Do the adults once and do an initial cull of kids at 88 in kindergarten and then continue culling Inferiors each year of school. Gives kids an incentive to excel. Humanity’s intelligence would rapidly rise and population would plummet. Plus, folks like us, the RealClimate crowd, wouldn’t get bullied in school. QED.


    patrick027: I know it’s O/T, but one more thing – I would think artificially maintaining a magnetic field would be a cakewalk compared to nearly everything else, even compared to climate change mitigation (because we have plenty of time to take care of the geodynamo problem).

    AB: loss of our geodynamo is a symptom of cooling. The other symptom is the end of plate tectonics. Once that stops mountains stop. Resource replenishment stops. Heck, above-water living stops, resulting in Water World (a flatter version of the movie’s premise). But the whole cooling thing is way slow. The Earth is heavy, the atmosphere insulates, and the interior’s heat is replaced via spontaneous atomic fission. IIRC from a PBS Youtube the core’s temperature drop is 200C/billion years.
    From the NYTimes:
    “In one of their four experiments, the authors went to an unidentified bar in New England and persuaded 85 drinkers to take the test and have their alcohol levels measured. The results:
    Bar patrons reported more conservative attitudes as their level of alcohol intoxication increased. Because alcohol limits cognitive capacity and disrupts controlled responding, while leaving automatic thinking largely intact, these data are consistent with our claim that low-effort thinking promotes political conservatism”
    Hmmm, this explains that “Conservatives are, on average, seriously below average” truth. It also explains brilliant conservatives. They’re diving deeply into other stuff and have chosen to take the shallower path (a local minimum) with regard to human interaction. I did the same, and I derived identical conclusions. Then I dated a short little spunky liberal…

    Given that human interaction is ever so deep a rabbit hole (but of a productive variety), conservatives’ choice to not bother exploring said hole’s deeper minimums frees up valuable neurons for other explorations. So, obviously, EP has tons of freed-up neurons. Are you guys jealous?

  36. 36
    Al Bundy says:


    You appear to have provided a template for the life you wish us all to accept:

    “Handwoven by Haja Touda in the Todgha Gorge village, this specific rug—priced at $3,450— took 12 months to make”

    Perhaps $150/month income in a world where a nice rug costs $3,450? Is Haja’s the life you want everyone to aspire to?

    (That’s a real, honest, non-denigrating question.)

  37. 37

    Mitigation in Vietnam:

    In 2017, the government of Vietnam decided to offer solar energy developers an incentive to build more solar power plants. Vietnam Electricity (EVN) agreed to pay 9 cents per kilowatt-hour of renewable energy. The hitch was, it would only pay for electricity when it needed it. It expected to get about 850 MW but the offer was so attractive to developers, by the end of 2019 it had a whopping 5 gigawatts (GW), which is more than Australia has with an economy 6 times larger that Vietnam’s, according to The Economist.

    EVN has since adjusted its feed in tariff downward to about 7 cents per kwh, but the surge in solar power has caused it to rethink its coal generation plans. It still needs lots of new electricity — Fitch Solutions projects its economy is on pace go grow by nearly 7% a year for the foreseeable future — but more of it will come from solar and less of it from coal. It’s a “half a loaf is better than none” situation but still good news. The country expects to add another 4 GW of solar power by 2025 and a total of 12 GW by 2030. By the end of this decade, solar may have largely supplanted coal as the primary source of the country’s electricity as the cost of renewable energy continues to decline.

    To be clear, this is mitigation compared with a really bad alternate history. Per Coal Tracker, Vietnam is currently operating ~18.4 GW of coal-powered generation capacity, and they still ‘plan’–there’s always a considerable attrition rate in new projects–to more than double that, with ~22 GW of capacity at least announced and another 8 GW under construction. However, cancelled or shelved projects now amount to ~47.4 GW:

    Oh, for a scenario that leads to an actual *reduction* in emissions!

  38. 38

    …And policy confusion and uncertainty around American ag and climate change:

    Greenwashing, perhaps?

  39. 39
    nigelj says:

    New open access research: “Climate policy co-benefits: a review”

  40. 40

    Semi-on-topic:  The sort of idiocy “understood” by the public.  Note the mis-labelling of graphs in kW per m&su2p;, the conflation of solar radiation with cosmic rays, and the jaw-dropping stupidity in the comments.

    Solar power is INCREASING air pollution (mostly NOx) in North Carolina, by forcing off-optimal operation of gas turbine plants:

    I keep saying that “renewables” are not the solution.  They’re not even A solution.  When they’re driving up criteria air pollution, they’re a problem.

  41. 41

    (mod, please remove previous and post this one, advTNXance)

    Semi-on-topic:  The sort of idiocy “understood” by the public.  Note the mis-labelling of graphs in kW per m², the conflation of solar radiation with cosmic rays, and the jaw-dropping stupidity in the comments.

    Solar power is INCREASING air pollution (mostly NOx) in North Carolina, by forcing off-optimal operation of gas turbine plants:

    I keep saying that “renewables” are not the solution.  They’re not even A solution.  When they’re driving up criteria air pollution, they’re a problem.

  42. 42
    William B Jackson says:

    I see no point in your desire to replace #40 with #41…nonsense is nonsense!

  43. 43
    Al Bundy says:

    Kevin’s link: The plan outlines five themes, including climate adaptation and “sustainable intensification”—a term that describes increasing productivity within the current agricultural system.

    AB: I agree, Kevin. BAU always carries lipstick. As the link noted, Big Ag is vehemently against paying farmers who preserve and improve the land for carbon storage. Perhaps because that would hurt Extractive Agrculture’s competitiveness.

  44. 44

    Russell, #27–

    I am seeking a serious answer. Please respond.

    If you are seeking a serious answer, why not respond to my request for clarification of the basis of your question? It would help in responding more usefully.

    The data from your own chart shows current temperatures are 0.2°C below normal during the Holocene.

    No, it doesn’t. The baseline value–0–appears to be set to a pre-Industrial mean. Thus, it’s *currently* roughly 0.8 C above that.

    2016 is only one year. That is temperature, not climate.

    Quite right (substitution of “temperature” for “weather” aside)–but 2016 is pretty representative of current norms. See this graph for the temperature history (per NOAA) over the instrumental record. (And note that the baseline is ca. 0.2 C ‘warmer’ than the other graph.) Note especially that year-to-year variability rarely approaches 0.3 C.

    Please explain the obvious changes in temperature during this period and what make our current climate different.

    Explaining the exact trajectory of temperature over the Holocene–or the last 5,000 years of it–is a much bigger ‘ask’ than anyone could possibly address in a blog comment. Suffice it to say that the last 5 millennia represent the cooling following the height of interglacial warming, which was sustained for more or less 3-4 millennia. That is presumably the result of the slow shifting of cyclical orbital parameters, assisted by the feedbacks that exist within the Earth system. (Cryosphere extent, for example, or atmospheric water vapor content, or the ability of the ocean to hold CO2 in solution.)

    Statistically, the difference between Holocene norms and the current warming is very easy to see: during the Holocene, temperatures stayed within 0.2 or 0.3 C of baseline for 10,000 years or so. During the current warming, temperatures increased by 0.8 C in a few decades.

  45. 45

    #40-1 (duplicates), E-P-

    The allegation is made that ‘solar energy increases pollution’.

    If you read the story, it’s pretty clear that it is poorly-designed regulation that is the real issue, not renewable energy.

  46. 46
    Killian says:

    Re #36 Al Bundy said (That’s a real, honest, non-denigrating question.)

    In what way? I made no point about pricing, markets, etc., only sustainability. Somehow that becomes “a template for a life you wish us all to accept..”

    There is nothing accurate nor germane in your response.

    Next time I’ll post on Three Sisters garden plots and you can respond with something about nebulae.

  47. 47
    sidd says:

    The study includes NOx data and speculates about CO2. Quotes shills from Heartland and Koch funded Institute for Energy research.


  48. 48
    Mr. Know It All says:

    11 – Dan Miller

    Instead of some complicated tax scam that no one can understand, which requires a huge bureaucracy, does not have transparency and therefore encourages corruption, and money laundering, why not just add a tax to each gallon of gasoline sold? The mechanism exists, will not cost an extra penny to implement, and they can give rebates to people who make less than say $30,000 for singles and $60,000 for families? Could take effect and be in place the day after a state passed it into law.

    45- Kevin
    “If you read the story, it’s pretty clear that it is poorly-designed regulation that is the real issue, not renewable energy.”

    Let Donald know – he will get rid of bad regulations. He’s a man of action.

  49. 49
    sidd says:

    Excluding herbivores increases sequestration in arid savanna in Kenya: doi: 10.1002/ecy.3008

    Grasses continue to do more than trees, even after herbivores are gone.

    ” Large herbivore exclusion, which included a diverse community of grazers, browsers, and mixed‐feeding ungulates, resulted in significant increases in grass cover (~22%), woody basal area (~8 m2 ha‐1) and woody canopy cover (31%), translating to a ~8.5 t ha‐1 increase in aboveground carbon over two decades. Herbivore exclusion also led to a 54% increase (20.5 t ha‐1) in total soil carbon to 30 cm depth, with ~71% of this derived from C4 grasses (vs. ~76% with herbivores present) despite substantial increases in woody cover.”

    “study was conducted from 1999-2017 at the Mpala Research Centre (MRC) and Mpala Ranch which together encompass 190 km 2 of semiarid savanna within the Laikipia County in central Kenya (37°53’ E, O°17’ N).”

    “The most common native ungulates include impala (Aepyceros melampus, c. 20 km -2 ), Günther’s dik-dik (Madoqua guentheri c. 140 km -2 ) and elephant (Loxodonta africana c. 1.7 km -2 ), while giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), zebra (Equus burchellii), waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus), buffalo (Syncerus caffer) and eland (Taurotragus oryx) occur at lower densities”

    “Two paired ~0.5 ha (70 x 70 m) plots were demarcated at three sites located on red sandy soils in central and southern MRC in 1999. For each pair of these plots, one was retained as a control while the other fenced to exclude herbivores. These were protected using a 3 m tall electrified fence, consisting of 11 wire strands with additional mesh and electrified wires from ground level to half a meter above ground level (Augustine and McNaughton 2004). The exclosures were designed to exclude all herbivores larger than 2 kg.”

    “herbivore exclusion increased soil carbon pools to at least 30 cm (~20 t ha -1 )”

    “exclusion resulted in much higher woody canopy cover compared to where herbivores were present (~70% at the end of the experiment inside exclosures vs. 27% where herbivores were present).”

    “we found herbivore exclusion to have no effect on soil carbon under bare soil patches. If the direct effects of herbivores (e.g., trampling, addition of carbon in dung) were strong, we would have expected these differences to be evident (i.e. higher soil C) in the bare patches where herbivores were present.”

    “grass cover significantly increased with herbivore exclusion, even below tree canopies, both soil carbon originating from grass litter as well as soil carbon inputs from grass roots likely increased with herbivore removal”

    “Our results also suggest a facilitative role of trees on grasses in this fine-leaved semi-arid savanna”

    “the fine-leaved woody species with ‘sparse open’ canopies (e.g. Acacia etbaica and A. mellifera) that dominate this semi-arid savanna did not suppress grass cover. Similar responses may not be expected in more dense, broad-leaved savannas where high woody canopy cover can result in canopy closure and the exclusion of grasses.”

    “While we see an overall decrease in soil and aboveground carbon with herbivory, this result may be specific to the combination of herbivore species, densities and soil nutrient status at our study site. We know from a range of other systems that herbivores can sometimes increase soil carbon because they stimulate grasses (and grass roots) to grow faster and therefore result in greater carbon sequestration (Frank et al. 1995, Derner et al. 2006). However, in this system, herbivore offtake of carbon appears to exceed any enhancement through increased herbaceous production (Sankaran & Augustine 2004; Augustine & McNaughton 2006). While our results suggest that herbivores reduce both above- and belowground carbon in this ecosystem, these carbon losses must be evaluated against the biodiversity and livelihood benefits”


  50. 50
    Dan Miller says:

    #31 Killian: The problem that Fee and Dividend addresses is greenhouse gas emissions. You seem focused on another problem, overall consumption. For emissions, it doesn’t matter how people spend their dividends… the fee is what makes fossil fuels expensive so people, companies, etc. will choose lower cost clean energy solutions. Jevons Paradox applies when technological advancements make a system more efficient and lowers the need for a commodity per use which paradoxically increases the overall demand for the commodity. But if you increase the cost of the commodity through a tax or fee, you will lower the demand for the commodity without Jevons kicking in. In this case, there are lower cost, cleaner alternatives available and F&D will accelerate the transition to those alternatives.

    #32 Russell: Under Fee and Dividend, the bottom 70% of households (all the poor and most of the middle class) make more on the dividend than they pay in higher prices due to the fee. That is anti-regressive! So you have your solution!