Dec 16, 2019 at 3:04 pm #3623066
“Capitalism is not willing to take responsibility for the effects of its single-minded pursuit of wealth.”
Or, it’s that capitalism internalizes profits and externalizes losses. You need government to put those external losses back on the companies rather than just covering those external costs
Global warming is the biggest example of externalized lossesDec 16, 2019 at 8:07 pm #3623106
Ah, but the politicians are big beneficiaries of that capitalism. Fox and hen house.Dec 18, 2019 at 10:50 am #3623281
A natural solution to the climate disaster
Climate and ecological crises can be tackled by restoring forests and other valuable ecosystems, say scientists and activists
Letters : The Guardian : Wed 3 Apr 2019
The world faces two existential crises, developing with terrifying speed: climate breakdown and ecological breakdown. Neither is being addressed with the urgency needed to prevent our life-support systems from spiralling into collapse. We are writing to champion a thrilling but neglected approach to averting climate chaos while defending the living world: natural climate solutions. This means drawing carbon dioxide out of the air by protecting and restoring ecosystems.
By defending, restoring and re-establishing forests, peatlands, mangroves, salt marshes, natural seabeds and other crucial ecosystems, large amounts of carbon can be removed from the air and stored. At the same time, the protection and restoration of these ecosystems can help minimise a sixth great extinction, while enhancing local people’s resilience against climate disaster. Defending the living world and defending the climate are, in many cases, one and the same. This potential has so far been largely overlooked.
We call on governments to support natural climate solutions with an urgent programme of research, funding and political commitment. It is essential that they work with the guidance and free, prior and informed consent of indigenous people and other local communities.
This approach should not be used as a substitute for the rapid and comprehensive decarbonisation of industrial economies. A committed and well-funded programme to address all the causes of climate chaos, including natural climate solutions, could help us hold the heating of the planet below 1.5C. We ask that they are deployed with the urgency these crises demand.
Greta Thunberg Activist
Margaret Atwood Author
Michael Mann Distinguished professor of atmospheric science
Naomi Klein Author and campaigner
Mohamed Nasheed Former president, the Maldives
Rowan Williams former Archbishop of Canterbury
Dia Mirza Actor and UN environment goodwill ambassador
Brian Eno Musician and artist
Philip Pullman Author
Bill McKibben Author and campaigner
Simon Lewis Professor of global change science
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall Presenter and author
Charlotte Wheeler Forest restoration scientist
David Suzuki Scientist and author
Anohni Musician and artist
Asha de Vos Marine biologist
Yeb Saño Activist
Bittu Sahgal Founder, Sanctuary Nature Foundation
John Sauven Executive director, Greenpeace UK
Craig Bennett CEO, Friends of the Earth
Ruth Davis Deputy director of global programmes, RSPB
Rebecca Wrigley Chief executive, Rewilding Britain
George Monbiot Journalist CEO, Friends of the Earth
Ruth Davis Deputy director of global programmes, RSPB
Rebecca Wrigley Chief executive, Rewilding Britain
George Monbiot JournalistDec 18, 2019 at 8:36 pm #3623323
Ah, don’t worry about the Earth: it will survive.
Species go extinct after every global catastrophe, and this case will be no different. Earth will just get rid of the problem in its usual dispassionate manner. A few humans may survive, or they may not. Gaia will continue.
CheersDec 18, 2019 at 8:58 pm #3623327
exactly – the earth will be just fine. There have been far worse catastrophes in the past. This is the engine that drives evolution. Maybe dinosaurs (birds) will become the dominant species again.
In the mean time, it will be chaotic for humans. They will be cursing us for not doing something about this earlier.Dec 18, 2019 at 9:27 pm #3623335
What about cockroaches?Dec 18, 2019 at 11:26 pm #3623344
But in this time, in this place, the radical loss of biodiversity as a consequence of human influence is catastrophic and criminal.Dec 19, 2019 at 12:05 am #3623355
The only thing which concerns me is that the pollies who are failing us will live for some years yet in blissful affluence, while my great-grandchildren and their descendants are the ones who will suffer.
That really p1$$es me off. REALLY!
Science, 365/6449, 12-July-2019, p105:
10 C increase in average temperature in parts of Europe during late June. Hottest June on record in Europe and worldwide, driven by climate change.
Forget those little 1.5 C predicted global rises: this is what is really happening in some places.
Meanwhile, visibility here in Sydney is only a couple of km through the smoke. Best estimate to end of fires is 2 – 3 months.
Cheers (or otherwise)Dec 19, 2019 at 1:01 am #3623366Dec 19, 2019 at 12:21 pm #3623460
Animation : How temperature has changed in each country since 1900
Carbon Brief : Aug. 2 2017
Visualization by Antti Lipponen of the Finnish Meteorological Institute based on the GISTEMP data
Dec 22, 2019 at 12:40 am #3623788
I’ve always figured biodegradable plastic was the solution. But when it degrades it releases CO2
Another idea is to make plastic from plants – so that will take CO2 out of the atmosphere. Then, take advantage of the fact it takes forever to degrade – put it in landfill and it will act as a carbon sink.
I’m not totally convinced but it’s an idea.
They pointed out that when you make reusable cloth bags, it actually produces a lot of CO2 so maybe they’re not so greatDec 22, 2019 at 4:29 pm #3623832
maybe plastic should be made from plants so it removes CO2 from atmosphere, then biodegrades so it releases that CO2 back to atmosphere – that’s a long term sustainable cycle
it’s too difficult to capture all the used plastic and get it into a landfill so the idea that you can use it as a carbon sink doesn’t make so much sense
that article said that currently, plastic is deemed biodegradeable if it can be composted at high temperature. That’s a bad definition. It needs to be biodegraded if it gets loose into the environment, like the ocean, by micro organisms that are common
Currently, plastic gets broken up into small bits and then accumulates in animals where it might be unhealthful. Plastic needs to be redesigned so this won’t happen – biodegrade before animals eat it or biodegrade inside animals that eat it
The concept that you can capture CO2 from the atmosphere and then sink it somewhere doesn’t make sense. The CO2 is already “sunk” as fossil fuel in the ground. Just leave it there. It will be too inefficient to pull the fossil fuel out of the ground, produce CO2 into the atmosphere, then pull it back out and sink it.
I’m not saying ban fossil fuels. More like natural gas is cheaper than coal so coal is obsolete. You don’t really need to ban coal. Solar panels and windmills are becoming cheaper than natural gas so that will become obsolete.Dec 23, 2019 at 12:53 am #3623889Franco DarioliBPL Member
@francoLocale: Gauche, CU.
I don’t know if this has been mentioned but there are about 200 shy resorts that have closed down in the recent years on the Italian Alps.
There is an article about that in one Italian paper today, this is the English version :Dec 23, 2019 at 12:56 am #3623893
resorts for shy people?
oh, you meant ski resorts… : )Dec 23, 2019 at 4:12 am #3623903Franco DarioliBPL Member
@francoLocale: Gauche, CU.
They closed down because not wanting to be known nobody could find them .Dec 23, 2019 at 4:33 am #3623907jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
global extroversion is ruining shy resorts.Dec 23, 2019 at 5:52 am #3623914
The profound sophistication of capitalism:Dec 23, 2019 at 2:28 pm #3623926
That’s like GE noticing they can import cheap stuff from China and make more profits
But then when all companies did it too, a significant number of workers lost good jobs and were then unable to buy stuff which depressed all the companies profits, U.S. GDP growth,…Dec 24, 2019 at 1:13 pm #3624028
100% Wind, Water, & Solar Energy Can & Should Be The Goal, Costs Less
Steve Hanley : Clean Technica : December 22nd, 2019
The message from the COP 25 conference in Spain is that the world must rapidly decarbonize or face an existential crisis. No fooling. We have to slash carbon emissions by 55% over the next 10 years or we are all dead ducks. That includes the billionaires who frolic in Davos as well as the migrants who congregate at national borders.
The problem is, everyone talks about climate change but few are doing anything significant about it. Most have absolutely no idea what to do or how to do it. But Mark Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program at Stanford University, and his research colleagues say they have the answers, not just for the United States or China or Germany but for 143 countries around the world.
“There are a lot of countries that have committed to doing something to counteract the growing impacts of global warming, but they still don’t know exactly what to do,” says Jacobson. “How it would work? How it would keep the lights on? To be honest, many of the policymakers and advocates supporting and promoting the Green New Deal don’t have a good idea of the details of what the actual system looks like or what the impact of a transition is. It’s more an abstract concept. So, we’re trying to quantify it and to pin down what one possible system might look like. This work can help fill that void and give countries guidance.”
Is it gonna be costly? Oh, yeah. The team figures about $73 trillion will be needed to get it done worldwide. But that’s hardly the end of the financial discussion. They say the world can get to 80% renewable energy by 2030 and complete the transition by 2050. And doing so will pay some pretty hefty dividends — money that can be used to offset the cost. Global energy needs would be reduced by 57%. That in turn would reduce the amount of money the world spends on energy each year from $17.7 trillion to $6.6 trillion, a savings of $12.1 trillion a year. But it’s the social cost savings that are truly staggering — you know, things like death and disease caused by pollution from burning fossil fuels. The team pegs those costs at $76 trillion a year now but claims they will be reduced to $6.8 trillion annually by transitioning to 100% clean energy.
Add those two together and you get $80 trillion a year in benefits. Multiply that by the 10 years between now and 2030 and the transition to clean energy could save the world $800 trillion in avoidable costs. And, of course, all the energy generated by renewables won’t be given away. It will be sold at market prices, bringing in trillions more dollars…
Dec 24, 2019 at 1:27 pm #3624029
Impacts of Green New Deal Energy Plans on Grid Stability, Costs, Jobs, Health, and Climate in 143 Countries
Mark Z. Jacobson, Mark A. Delucchi, Mary A. Cameron, Stephen J. Coughlin, Catherine A. Hay, Indu Priya Manogaran, Yanbo Shu, Anna-Katharina von Krauland : One Earth : 2019.12.003
- Green New Deal all-sector energy roadmaps are developed for 143 countries
- WWS grid stability is analyzed, and cost metrics are developed for BAU versus WWS energy
- WWS energy reduces energy needs by 57.1%, energy costs by 61%, and social costs by 91%
- WWS energy costs $73 trillion upfront and creates 28.6 million more jobs than BAU energy
Science for Society
The Earth is approaching 1.5°C global warming, air pollution kills over 7 million people yearly, and limited fossil fuel resources portend social instability. Rapid solutions are needed. We provide Green New Deal roadmaps for all three problems for 143 countries, representing 99.7% of world’s CO2 emissions. The roadmaps call for countries to move all energy to 100% clean, renewable wind-water-solar (WWS) energy, efficiency, and storage no later than 2050 with at least 80% by 2030. We find that countries and regions avoid blackouts despite WWS variability. Worldwide, WWS reduces energy needs by 57.1%, energy costs from $17.7 to $6.8 trillion/year (61%), and social (private plus health plus climate) costs from $76.1 to $6.8 trillion/year (91%) at a capital cost of ∼$73 trillion. WWS creates 28.6 million more long-term, full-time jobs than are lost and needs only 0.17% and 0.48% of land for footprint and space, respectively. Thus, WWS needs less energy, costs less, and creates more jobs than current energy.
Global warming, air pollution, and energy insecurity are three of the greatest problems facing humanity. To address these problems, we develop Green New Deal energy roadmaps for 143 countries. The roadmaps call for a 100% transition of all-purpose business-as-usual (BAU) energy to wind-water-solar (WWS) energy, efficiency, and storage by 2050 with at least 80% by 2030. Our studies on grid stability find that the countries, grouped into 24 regions, can match demand exactly from 2050 to 2052 with 100% WWS supply and storage. We also derive new cost metrics. Worldwide, WWS energy reduces end-use energy by 57.1%, aggregate private energy costs from $17.7 to $6.8 trillion/year (61%), and aggregate social (private plus health plus climate) costs from $76.1 to $6.8 trillion/year (91%) at a present value capital cost of ∼$73 trillion. WWS energy creates 28.6 million more long-term, full-time jobs than BAU energy and needs only ∼0.17% and ∼0.48% of land for new footprint and spacing, respectively. Thus, WWS requires less energy, costs less, and creates more jobs than does BAU.
Graphical AbstractDec 24, 2019 at 8:27 pm #3624100
Yes, but the coal and oil barons would lose their power, and they can’t accept that.
The religious extremists don’t think it matters because they are going to heaven.
And next weeks football matches are far more important.
CheersDec 24, 2019 at 11:42 pm #3624107
Oh yes, I noticed that according to some US evangelicals, Christ is due to return by 2050, so we don’t need to concern ourselves with environmental degradation in the meantime, or for that matter, empirical reality. What a relief.
I must say conditions in Sydney look bad from the forest fires, terrible. That is the problem – what we bequeath to future generations.
More humor like that, please jscott, if you’ve a mind to!
Merry Christmas to all, Roger, Dean, Jerry, Jeffrey, Franco, Rog et al. Here we await Kim Jong-Un’s Christmas gift to the US with interest, and considerable concern.Dec 26, 2019 at 10:01 am #3624177
We Finally Know How Much Energy Humans Actually Need to Live a Decent Life
Mike McRae : Science Alert : 25 Dec 2019
The climate crisis is inherently a debate over what we feel entitled to have in order to live a decent life, and how we generate the energy we need to get all humans there.
There’s no doubt we’re cooking our planet out of a desire to live our best lives, and most of us living in western countries need to cut back on our usage. But what’s less clear is exactly how much wiggle room there is for reductions in poorer regions of the world.
For example, are ‘developing’ regions able to cut their energy production and therefore carbon emissions, while still improving access to basic human rights such as healthcare and education? Or do they need to actually make more energy, as some have argued?
A new study by a small group of researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria has some good news – we’re already making more than enough energy for all humans on the planet to have a decent life.
Their calculations show that very little energy is needed to provide the basics of good health and nutrition, and a sound education, meaning there’s no need for anyone to live in poverty as we struggle to balance our global carbon budget…Dec 26, 2019 at 10:08 am #3624178
Energy requirements for decent living in India, Brazil and South Africa
Narasimha D. Rao, Jihoon Min & Alessio Mastrucci
Nature Energy, 4 1025–1032(2019) : 18 Nov 2019
For over 30 years, researchers have tried to estimate how much energy societies require to provide for everyone’s basic needs. This question gains importance with climate change, because global scenarios of climate stabilization assume strong reductions in energy demand growth in developing countries. Here, we estimate bottom-up the energy embodied in the material underpinnings of decent living standards for India, Brazil and South Africa. We find that our estimates fall within these countries’ energy demand projections in global scenarios of climate stabilization at 2 °C, but to different extents. Further, national policies that encourage public transportation and sustainable housing construction will be critical to reduce these energy needs. The results of this study offer a benchmark to compare countries’ mitigation efforts and technology transfer arrangements to assess the extent to which they address development priorities in an equitable manner.
The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. Publicly available data used in the analysis include nationally representative household consumption expenditure surveys in India50, Brazil51 and South Africa52, and the Ecoinvent 3 (ref. 53) and EXIOBASE 3 (ref. 40) databases. Further details available in Supplementary Note 4.
The code used to manipulate the data and generate the results is available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.Jan 1, 2020 at 10:56 pm #3625164
Simulations show thousands of lakes in Himalaya Mountains at risk of flooding due to global warming
Bob Yirka : Phys.org : Dec. 31, 2019
Three researchers with the University of Potsdam report that thousands of natural lakes in the Himalayas are at risk of bursting their moraines due to global warming and causing flooding downriver. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Georg Veh, Oliver Korup and Ariane Walz describe simulations they ran on lake models and what they showed.
As climate change continues unabated, scientists are trying to predict what might happen around the world. The region of the Himalayas has already seen some dramatic changes—as glaciers melt, natural lakes have formed—85 of them in the Sikkim Himalaya between 2003 and 2010. Such lakes form naturally as water makes its way down the mountains, pooling in crevasses—they can present a danger to those living downstream when one of their borders is a natural levee called a moraine. These barriers are made of loose rock and dirt held together by ice. If the ice melts, the moraine gives way, resulting in what the researchers describe as glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs), several of which have already occurred in recent decades. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn more about what might happen in coming decades as the glaciers continue to melt, putting ever more pressure on moraines.
To see what might happen as higher temperatures melt Himalaya glaciers, the researchers carried out 5.4 billion simulations based on lake models developed with topographic and satellite data. After running the simulations, they report that they found approximately 5,000 lakes in the Himalayas are likely unstable due to moraine weaknesses. They also noted that those lakes with the highest risk of a GLOF were the ones with the largest volume of water. And they found that risks from flooding due to GLOFs in the near future were three times higher in the eastern parts of the Himalayas. They note that prior research has shown that up to two-thirds of Himalayan glaciers are going to disappear in the next decade, indicating that a lot of water buildup in lakes is going to pose a serious threat to those living downstream.
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