Climate, the science, politics, economics and anything else

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  • #81071 Reply


    20 years ago in my garden there were lots of greenfinches. Chaffinches were common and there was always a hedgehog around rummaging in the garden at night, I have not seen a single greenfinch or chaffinch in years and no hedgehogs either. Mayflies are much reduced in numbers. I also used to see many stag horn beetles but none in the last few years. Apart from global warming of course there is all the pollution and insecticides and herbicides used. Garden centre shelves are stocked full of glyphosate and a neighboring farm regularly sprays next to the allotment.

    #81110 Reply

    Cop26 will never halt climate change. Nor will ER or any other pressure group. Climate change and its inexorable advance will never be slowed let alone reversed until capitalism is reversed. Capitalism works on growth and profit and all of these are dependent on consumption. It is a bit starry eyed to think that we can achieve this reversal just by changing how we generate energy but not asking, why we need to generate so much energy and try to curb this. The growth model of capitalism is alien to continued co-existence in this planet for us and all the other species sharing the planet. In fact even within mankind there are those who will loose in this race of accumulation.

    Tinkering here and there whilst not addressing the basic fault in the system will never achieve the goal of saving the planet. There is no capitalist solution to global warming and also to controlling pandemics.

    #81112 Reply
    michael norton

    “There is more than enough Natural Gas in the World, for several hundred years.
    This immense increase in Natural Gas prices is partially a response to the pandemic but there must also be more beneath the surface?”

    The trigger for the unprecedented skyrocketing price of Natural Gas was the improved World Economies recovering from Covid pandemic.
    But the glee some have taken from this is almost unreal.
    It has been a great boon to the Nuclear Reactor Lobby, who are non-stop promoting new nuclear as the only way the planet can be saved, which is of course horse shit.
    It is said that Rolls will this week lay out their plan for installing Nuclear Submarine Reactors up and down the U.K.

    Anyone else feel this COP”^ is a way of getting money out of the easily duped?

    #81126 Reply

    Up to the recent hike in gas prices gas heating would have been a good deaL cheaper than other systems to heat your house. There is an argument that in order to get people to move to heat pumps and other lower emitting heating systems in their homes the cost would have to be more or less equivalent to the cheapest systems. One way to make that happen is to increase gas pricing to “encourage” take up of the other systems. I am not saying I concur but I have seen the argument made. I am more inclined to agree with Putin who blames the move to a spot pricing market setup rather than agreeing long term pricing and supply contracts. Spot prices are great when everything is cheap but not so great when there is a supply shortage. That and poor contingency planning.

    #81127 Reply

    COP26 is done within the framework of capitalism and is therefore bound to be about how to get quick money but dress at in a green dress in order to sell it to the young. You can’t get a tiger to change its spots. All the big carbon producing companies and producers are pretending to now believe in ‘net zero’ whatever that means.

    #81131 Reply
    michael norton

    It is about to get Cold on the North Atlantic.
    I do not want to get too cold as I have recently injured my chest and am told by A&E that I have to take it very easy.
    I heat my home with Natural Gas, I cook with Natural Gas, If I need hot water that is by using Natural Gas.
    I do not have any other method.
    It has served well for thirty years.
    Am I now, in my seventies, expected to feel guilty, that living on the North West of Europe, I still keep warm using Natural Gas?
    We were encouraged with “The Dash for Gas” to heat our homes with British Gas from the North Sea, they even privatised it and encouraged us to buy shares to help fund the transition.
    Any change to Hydrogen is a short term pipe dream for Charlatans.
    They want us to not burn wood, to not burn coal, to not burn heating oil, now we are supposed to stop burning gas.
    Do they expect each town to have a Nuclear Submarine Reactor to power our homes with steam?

    #81270 Reply
    michael norton

    The Belarus Regime are now suggesting they may stop the flow of pipeline Natural Gas to Poland.
    The price of gas is now about three times what the peak was before the pandemic.

    #81280 Reply
    Pigeon English

    M N

    I would strongly suggest you read the MoA article with careful analysis of the gas market and Putin’s explanation what is going on. IMO it is embarrassing that the MSM are not able to provide balanced/objective analysis without political bias!

    Actually there is some irony/karma in it:

    Something similar happened to Moldova but to my understanding it’s been solved!

    #81467 Reply

    China manufactures all our stuff. Constantly moaning about China’s emissions is like criticising the carbon footprint of the bloke who gives you a lift to work.

    #81485 Reply

    ET, you started this thread with your question about all aspects of the climate crisis. Here is an introduction to a method of economic analysis to help humanity solve the problems we face – “Doughnut Economics”. My link leads to an archived copy in case the Leeds Uni Sustainability homepage changes:

    (It seems that Michael Norton has been banned for racism. Although I am saddened, it should help us discuss the topic of this thread by excluding his masked denial of global heating and his incessant advocation for natural gas. My link may seem somewhat cruel but the song was written as humour, and it’s so appropriate that I simply can’t resist. Gasbag Blues (3 minutes 11 sec, YouTube), performed by NYJO, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Great Britain – so I hope you’ll tolerate my British values, Michael ;D )

    #81510 Reply

    “it recognises that wellbeing depends on enabling every person to lead a life of dignity and opportunity, while safeguarding the integrity of Earth’s life-supporting systems.”

    A laudable goal. What I am finding difficult to establish is how they came to defining the boundaries they use though there is more detail in this .pdf appendix from The Lancet. The approach is sound as long as the boundary definitions stand up to scrutiny. For instance, they limit nitrogen and phosphorus loading to “at most 62 millions tons per year.” How did they come to that figure and on what facts does that figure depend?

    Nitrogen and phosphorus loading

    “Reactive nitrogen and phosphorus are widely used in agricultural fertilizers but only a small proportion of what is applied is actually taken up by crops. Most of the excess runs off into rivers, lakes, and oceans, where it causes algae blooms that turn the water green. These blooms can be toxic and they kill off other aquatic life by starving it of oxygen. The control variables are the amount of reactive nitrogen and phosphorus applied to land as fertilizer per year.”

    I’ll need more time to study this.

    #81511 Reply

    War makes global heating, and global heating makes war. The governments with the largest military expenditure keep their militaries’ emissions off the books:

    Military pollution is the skeleton in the West’s climate closet

    #81514 Reply

    ET, 16:52 – “I’ll need more time to study this.”

    Indeed, there is a huge amount to study, far more than any individual can hope to comprehend. What is needed are dedicated bodies of appropriate experts.

    A global overhaul of political structures is required. National-level governments have incrementally centralised power to themselves over the course of many decades, such that national-level politicians are now making decisions wildly beyond their fields of competence – this characteristic deficit of competence has been clearly revealed by most governments’ appalling mishandling of the pandemic.

    Democratic systems are incapable of generating scientific facts. Technical solutions must be formulated by relevant experts – voting on how to wire a plug or program a computer application is obviously nonsensical. Democratic systems may determine the style in which technical solutions are implemented – libertarian versus authoritarian, or the degree of economic equality aimed for – but they are wholly inappropriate for generating the actual solutions.

    #81613 Reply

    Capitalism is the main contributors to emissions and global warming. Capitalism made the pandemic spread quicker by not reducing air travel and by trying to protect profits more than people. Both these problems have no capitalist solution which is based on growth and consumption.

    This article discusses some aspects of possible solutions.

    #81647 Reply

    In the article you cited SA, the author quotes Julia Rosen, a journalist with a Ph.D. in geology. Her research involved studying ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica to understand past climate changes.

    “The U.S. response to climate change differentiates according to social class. Journalist and geologist Julia Rosen suggests that, “climate change could bring welcome warming and extended growing seasons to the upper Midwest, Canada, the Nordic countries and Russia.” Rosen adds that, “Even within wealthy countries, the poor and marginalized will suffer the most.”

    I’m not quite sure the inference the author (Whitney) is trying to make in quoting that particular reference from a much longer piece Rosen did in the NYT here. Rosen’s piece is a pretty good synopsis of the whole question and towards the end she gives compelling reasons why capitalism ought to take it very seriously.

    “As a result, climate damages are hard to quantify. Moody’s Analytics estimates that even 2 degrees Celsius of warming will cost the world $69 trillion by 2100, and economists expect the toll to keep rising with the temperature. In a recent survey, economists estimated the cost would equal 5 percent of global G.D.P. at 3 degrees Celsius of warming (our trajectory under current policies) and 10 percent for 5 degrees Celsius. Other research indicates that, if current warming trends continue, global G.D.P. per capita will decrease between 7 percent and 23 percent by the end of the century — an economic blow equivalent to multiple coronavirus pandemics every year. And some fear these are vast underestimates.”

    Perhaps the argument might be that the fossil fuel industry is going to cause almost all others industry sectors to lose vast amounts of money in they are not curtailed.

    #81653 Reply

    COP26 has failed. The agreement reached (which is voluntary, not legally binding) commits us to 2.4 centigrade increase by 2100 – according to the IPCC’s figures, whose previous estimates have typically been exceeded in practice. And on the 2.4 path, temperature is still rising in 2100.

    But in practice we’re not on the 2.4 degree path anyway because the Paris Accords haven’t been kept; we’re on a 3 to 4 degree path, by 2100, at which time the temperature is projected to still be rising, not topping out until 2300 at between 5 and 7 degrees – that is, so long as no catastrophic tipping points are triggered.

    But these are global averages. For perspective, the global average during the last ice age was only 4 to 5 degrees colder. The ice came as far south as where New York now stands, and Boston’s location was buried nearly a mile deep.

    #81666 Reply

    Michael Norton, in the hope that you’re still reading, and in an attempt to balance my previous somewhat intemperate comment above, here is a link for you:

    Becoming more than an old gasbag: Climate chemistry on YouTube, cryogenic energy storage, and community renewable energy, November 22, 2018 — andyextance on Simple Climate.

    Michael, I did find discussion with you very frustrating. You clearly understand the dangers of destruction of the natural biosphere, yet discount, very specifically, greenhouse heating, and seem eager to absolve the UK government in particular while displacing blame onto, especially, China, and these seem political biases rather than practical physical considerations. But I am short of time again, so for now, a warning – promotion of certain flavours of doubt have been extremely well funded. From the Simple Climate site again:

    When the climate change fight got ugly: January 4, 2014 — andyextance:

    “Threatened by this growing momentum, oil companies, car makers, banks and others formed the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), which attacked scientists like Steve. The GCC also funded other scientists to put forward arguments like Douglas Pewitt had used in 1981 in the media and in government hearings. Before the campaign, Steve and five other leading climate scientists testified to congress four times more often than less expert witnesses. Afterwards, they were the witnesses only half the time, with non-experts whose politics agreed with the GCC making up the other half. In the face of the doubt they spread, hopes for US climate policy had faded by the early 1990s.

    – IPCC findings and the withdrawal of its backers would ultimately force the GCC to cease its work. Yet similar tactics are still used today, largely backed by individual billionaires rather than companies.”

    Michael, our governments are captured by lazy consumerism; humanity’s future is calling to you:

    #93429 Reply

    ere are a couple of really important articles about COP28 by Nafeez Ahmed, including the sections “Al Gore’s Deception” and “Climate Scientists don’t Actually have the Answers”.

    ‘Keeping Carbon in the Ground’ Missed the Point: How COP28 Signals End of Oil

    ‘We’re Crossing a Global Tipping Point on Fossil Fuels and There’s No Going Back’

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