Climate, the science, politics, economics and anything else


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  • #79155 Reply
    michael norton

    Russia is going to step up Natural Gas exports to Europe.
    https://www.rt.com/business/536951-gazprom-raises-forecast-for-gas-price/

    “Russia’s state energy giant Gazprom has raised its forecast for gas export prices in 2021 and called for changes to the gas pricing mechanism in Europe to avoid further crises.”

    #79172 Reply
    Clark

    Electricity went off all over Lebanon yesterday. All I have heard is that this is due to a shortage of fuel oil. Rolling electricity blackouts on the Indian subcontinent are being caused by a shortage of coal.

    “Maybe if covid calms down, fracking will be kick-started in the U.S.A. […] Things should shake down, in a year or two.”

    But we don’t have “a year or two”. All of humanity desperately need to reduce burning of all fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas. We need to at least halve emissions in the next ten years; we daren’t try to get back to “normal” in the next year or two, or we’ll have only eight years left. We have to transition to a post-combustion industrial strategy, or nature will collapse our civilisation in the hardest way imaginable:

    IPCC report 2021Code Red for Humanity

    We have to find ways to make less go further, by cutting back on everything unnecessary, and fairly sharing necessities. Why, in a fuel shortage, has a formation of four US fighter jets started circling my house once a week, sweeping the land as they work their way north? I hear and see them pass three times before their sweep pattern takes them too far away. This lunacy is new, and obviously counter-productive.

    #79219 Reply
    michael norton

    Climate cutting up rough in China.

    “Shanxi is a major coal producing province and the Chinese government was forced to halt operations at mines and chemical factories as a result of the rain.

    China is already facing an energy shortage which has caused power cuts. The government has been limiting electricity usage at ports and factories.

    The local government said it has suspended output at 60 coal mines, 372 non-coal mines and 14 dangerous chemical factories in the province.

    Operations had already been stopped at 27 other coal mines on October 4th.”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-58866854

    Millions displaced because of massive rains and floods. Rainfall seven times higher than normal.

    #79474 Reply
    Clark

    Here’s a very detailed article I find convincing, and it helps explain a lot. It’s by Vitaly Yermakov, Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, though it is his personal ‘comment’ and not necessarily the position of the Institute as a whole:

    https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Russian-gas-amid-market-tightness.pdf

    The main points as I see them are that the major ‘supergiant’ Russian gas fields first tapped in the Soviet era are in terminal decline due to depletion; their output has fallen and cannot be increased. Other supergiant fields in Russia have started to be tapped, but they are further north and more remote, in colder, more challenging conditions. This means that the gas has to be pumped further, and the infrastructure to link into existing southern pipelines to Europe is still being expanded. From the conclusion:

    – The big bounce in Russian gas production in 2021 has proven to be insufficient to meet the simultaneous spikes in demand at home and abroad. Russian gas output has risen robustly and has been close to its maximum productive capacities but the necessity to fill the depleted domestic gas storage facilities in [the third quarter of] 2021 limited the availability of Russian gas for Europe when it was most needed. The market tightness in Europe stems from a combination of demand-side factors such as weather and economic recovery, alongside supply-side factors including declining indigenous European gas production and reduced supply from other exporters of gas to Europe (except for Algeria), including [liquefied natural gas].

    – Russia is not running out gas and its prolific gas reserves allow Russia to meet much higher overall demand, but this requires time, money, and contractual assurances of offtake. In addition, the geography of Russia’s future spare productive capacity has changed: a lot of new reserves are available and ready for development on the Yamal peninsula, whereas legacy production in the NPT (the old Soviet-era fields) is declining. This tectonic shift in Russia’s production base has been accompanied by a change in the configuration of the gas transportation system and gas flows within Russia and abroad. And given the regulatory uncertainty around utilization rates on Nord Stream 2, Gazprom seems to be reluctant to add new productive capacities on the Yamal Peninsula proactively for fear of idling the investments.
    […]
    – Will 2021 with its energy insecurity and record gas prices in Europe be a harbinger of things to come? Will higher gas prices lead European power plants to switch back to coal, resulting in a setback for European climate policies? Or will 2021 have been a perfect storm that will not be repeated? To be sure, the start-up of Nord Stream 2 could lead to higher Russian gas flows into Europe if the regulatory hurdles are overcome, but the ramp up of flows along this line is going to take time and the initial volumes this year, as Gazprom indicated, cannot exceed around 5 Bcm, even if Gazprom receives all necessary regulatory approvals in record time. This is not sufficient to turn the tide, and the fundamentals indicate extremely tight gas markets in Europe this winter.

    #79485 Reply
    Pigeon English

    Clark

    I would like to add few more things

    Russia wanted to have long time contracts but Eu forced them to provide part of gas supply on short term/Spot market (more competitive). Gazprom is honouring it’s contracts but will not provide extra gas to Spot market until they fill up their own reserves.

    Were gas providers speculating on Spot market and not getting long term(safer but more expensive) deals?

    #79491 Reply
    Clark

    Pigeon English #79485:

    “Russia wanted to have long time contracts…”

    Yes, from the article: [Russia’s] prolific gas reserves allow Russia to meet much higher overall demand, but this requires time, money, and contractual assurances of offtake. […] Gazprom seems to be reluctant to add new productive capacities on the Yamal Peninsula proactively for fear of idling the investments.”

    “…but Eu forced them to provide part of gas supply on short term/Spot market (more competitive).”

    Yes, the EU’s reserves are depleted so the EU can no longer produce fast enough to meet its own peak demand in winter. But the EU wants to have its cake and eat it – it wants to be able to rely on gas from Russia, but also buy from elsewhere if that’s cheaper.

    That’s not fair, because to supply the EU Russian suppliers need to drill more wells and construct more pipelines. The EU should recognise this and either negotiate a contract that’s long enough to cover construction of the new infrastructure, or offer to help construct it.

    “Gazprom is honouring it’s contracts but will not provide extra gas to Spot market until they fill up their own reserves”

    I absolutely don’t blame them; it gets bloody cold in Russia! And Gazprom is Russia’s state gas company; its first responsibility is to Russians.

    “Were gas providers speculating on Spot market and not getting long term (safer but more expensive) deals?”

    I would have thought so, but I know nothing about markets. But try the hashtag #ONGT on Twitter; I think that stands for “Organisation of Natural Gas Tweeters”. A lot of them seem very excited about making lots of money. I find that very distasteful because people’s lives depend upon gas to keep warm, to generate electricity, and to make fertiliser – and to avoid burning more coal with its higher emissions.

    #79496 Reply
    Clark

    ET, and everyone – but especially ET,

    here’s a pre-print I think you should look at. From the Global Oceanic Environmental Survey Team (GOES), Roslin Innovation Centre, The University of Edinburgh:

    Climate regulating ocean plants and animals are being destroyed by toxic chemicals and plastics, accelerating our path towards ocean pH 7.95 in 25 years which will devastate humanity.

    Abstract etc:

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3860950

    Full article

    #79536 Reply
    michael norton

    Hello Clark, I can not see China turning up at Glasgow for them to be told stop burning ever more coal.
    Australia Prime minister is not likely to show as Australia mines coal to sell to India and China.
    Mr. Putin said a long time ago, the Future is Methane, he is laughing at Europe as there has been almost record low wind, this year. He thinks Europe should be burning Russian Methane.
    The new Prime minister of Norway, is going to go flat out in the Arctic to exploit Natural Gas fields. Melkøya Island, near Hammerfest, Finnmark, is going to be the LNG teminal/processing island for the Northern Norway Gas Fields, it is ready to go flat out.

    #79538 Reply
    michael norton

    I am not actually sure if Europe’s most Northerly LNG plant is in operation or not, in Two Thousand and Twenty there was a big fire on the island and they had to shut the gas processing down. This was the most expensive project of any kind undertaken by the Nation of Norway, the gas pipeline and the processing plant on the island and the tunnel to Hammerfest.

    “The LNG plant was shut down in accordance with emergency routines, the company informs.

    Fire crew spray water on the plant from boats on the water and from shore. Also, other parts of the plant, not visibly harmed by the fire, is sprayed with water, likely to avoid overheating at other vital parts containing highly flammable natural gas.

    The police first said there is a risk of the fire being spread, but wrote in an update tweet early evening that the danger of fire spreading is reduced.

    Hammerfest LNG started production in 2007 and process gas from the Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea. The LNG is then shipped to markets in Europe and Asia.”

    https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/industry-and-energy/2020/09/fire-break-out-hammerfest-liquid-natural-gas-plant

    Snøhvit, Albatross and Askeladden are a few miles North of Hammerfest, in what is known as the Norwegian Barents Sea.

    The other country sharing this sea is Russia.
    The New Prime minister of Norway, took on the job, today.

    #79544 Reply
    Clark

    Michael norton

    “Mr. Putin said a long time ago, the Future is Methane, he is laughing at Europe as there has been almost record low wind, this year. He thinks Europe should be burning Russian Methane.”

    That matter is addressed in considerable detail above. It’s as if you’re not reading other people’s comments. “Mr. Putin”, or rather the Russian government and Gazprom, are reluctant to sell more gas to the EU until Russian storage is full. Beyond that, they want firm contracts to fund long-term infrastructure expansion because their old gas fields are in terminal decline and their new fields in the north will need extra pipelines southwards in order to meet European demand.

    I fully expect China to be represented at COP26 in Glasgow. China leads the world in renewable energy, and I expect they will negotiate hard for other countries especially the US to match their investment. If you read (or even just skim, as I did) the article I linked above, by a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, you’ll see that Russia is looking to supply China with natural gas, so I expect that China is planning to phase out its coal generation like almost everywhere else has been doing.

    China is huge and its internal politics are complicated. The provincial governments don’t always enforce the policies of the national government. It is some of the provincial governments that are continuing to increase coal consumption, in opposition to the national government’s policy.

    #79570 Reply
    michael norton

    Clark, I am not sure why you have taken that dismissive tone with me. I have been following this for a decade, I think I understand, quite a bit.
    They just said on Radio Four that China will not be coming to Glasgow. China is deploying renewables, such as the dams but the Chinese Communist Party has issued orders for all coal producers in China to quickly ramp up coal production. China is the most prolific user of coal. The most important idea for the Chinese Communist Party is to stay in power, in control of China. For them, this means as close as possible to full employment, for while the peasants toil, they have much less time to think. If they are layed off, they will have time to think and may come to understand they are part of an experiment, like Brave New World, their individualism does not matter to the Party, only their compliance.

    I fully understand the dilema that Mr. Putin finds himself in, Russia is, these days, mostly a producer of basic materials but that is largely because Russia has thirty percent of raw materials.
    Russia is keen to supply Natural Gas to Europe and also China but Natural Gas has to be moved, only two real options gas pipelines or LNG.
    When the gas is removed from the ground it has to be sold and shifted, it is quite difficult to store, so Mr. Putin has made no bones, he wants people to sign up for long term contracts, then he can finance and build the infrastructure, what he does not want, is what happened in the U.S.A. with Fracking, a yoyo effect with idle plant and the laying off of workers, in short, he wants continuity of business.

    #79578 Reply
    michael norton

    “World Coal consumption is projected to rise by almost 5% in 2021, with this growth driven by China (accounting for 61% of the growth), the USA (18%) and India (17%)”

    The U.K. excavates and consumes little coal these days. Yes I understand that the Industrial Revolution was kick-started in the United Kingdom, the main energy came from Coal. We shut down Longannet in 2016, the largest power station in Scotland and one of the largest coal fired plants in Europe. We have done more than our bit in the U.K. Now is the time for the U.S.A., Australia, Poland, India and China to get realistic, if they do not want to drown or fry.

    #79591 Reply
    Clark

    “They just said on Radio Four that China will not be coming to Glasgow.”

    Look a little deeper, beyond the propaganda intended to make us peasants demonise the Chinese government:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=china+cop26

    Reuters“China’s Xi will not attend COP26 in person, UK PM Johnson told”, according to The Times, a Murdoch rag, quoting an unnamed source. Further down it notes: “Xi, China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, has not left the People’s Republic since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic. He has joined video calls with global leaders.”

    You have equated the leader with the government, and with the geography, and with the people that happen to have been born there, as you always seem to. If you have freed your mind of this hateful propaganda ploy, now please free your language of it too, so that you stop unwittingly spreading it. The BBC is rife with it, and thereby indoctrinates it.

    And why is it Johnson, in particular, has been told this? More propaganda – next paragraph:

    “China is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter so Xi’s absence from discussions – either in person or via video calls – would mark a setback for Johnson’s hopes of getting world leaders to agree a significant climate deal.”

    “Johnson’s hopes”? As if the whole COP26 conference were Johnson’s personal project to save humanity! Johnson does little but lie, fornicate and burnish his own macho image by deploying aircraft carriers towards China. “Let the bodies pile high” said Johnson recently. “Take control of our borders” said Johnson, who refused to keep out SARS-CoV-2. His only plan for British emissions is a fat contract to Rolls Royce to re-purpose submarine nuclear reactors, which though it makes some sense is not nearly enough. These reactors are one twentieth the power of a normal power station; scores of them would be needed. That would be popular, wouldn’t it? And with so many reactors needed, Britain would use up its uranium stockpile in a decade or two and we’d be back to where we are now, but with a hundred more tonnes of radioactive waste and a load of obsolete reactors.

    So what’s the Chinese government’s real objection, if they even have any and Xi isn’t just sensibly avoiding Plague Island Britain by using a video link?

    https://inews.co.uk/news/environment/cop-26-china-and-saudi-arabia-miss-deadline-to-submit-climate-change-plans-in-blow-to-uk-ambitions-1248872

    China and Saudi Arabia have failed to make written UN climate commitments ahead of COP26, iNews can reveal, punching a major hole in the UK’s ambitions to reduce global carbon emissions. Both countries, which are among the world’s biggest polluters, declined to submit updated pledges in time for the UN’s deadline this week to further reduce emissions ahead of the climate summit in Glasgow next month.

    Ah, our allies the al Saud family, what a surprise! Maybe the Chinese government would feel more reassured if Western governments pressured the al Sauds for a change, instead of gifting them huge quantities of very advanced military hardware and the training to use it.

    Michael – “the Chinese Communist Party has issued orders for all coal producers in China to quickly ramp up coal production.”

    Yes, of course they have, or the country’s electricity will fail and masses will freeze, water supply and sewage pumps will stop and disease will break out:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-30/china-orders-top-energy-firms-to-secure-supplies-at-all-costs

    The emergency meeting underscores the critical situation in China. A severe energy crisis has gripped the country, and several regions have had to curtail power to the industrial sector, while some residential areas have even faced sudden blackouts. China’s power crunch is unleashing turmoil in the global commodities markets, fueling [shortages] in everything from fertilizer to silicon.

    By far the highest emitting major country per head of population, and the country that has used the most of the total carbon that humanity can get away with burning, is the USA. The USA also repeatedly destroys other countries or subverts their democracy to control hydrocarbon reserves. To achieve this it runs the most invasive secret service and the biggest military on Earth, accounting for half of all military expenditure globally. That military is the biggest burner of fossil fuels and the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases of any single organisation in the world. The USA is also the biggest importer of stuff manufactured in China – yet China is blamed for the emissions produced in its production. Yet somehow the USA’s emissions barely ever get a mention in our corporate media – except when Trump was president.

    “Putin is laughing”, “China is wrecking the planet” – if you sounded a bit less like a propaganda victim, I’d be less inclined to dismiss. Maybe your style is parody of the corporate media, but that’s impossible to tell without intonation; you do seem to link almost exclusively to corporate “news”, and you seem repeatedly to fall for their tricks, eg. “Chinese military aircraft invading Taiwan’s airspace”.

    All humanity is thirty years up shit creek together, we’re short of fuel and our boat is leaking faster every day. We either stop squabbling and cooperate, or we drown in shit. Together. So please stop seeming to cheer on the squabbling.

    #79601 Reply
    Pigeon English

    Clark

    you made my day. What a good rant.

    I was just checking and it looks like that

    Eu 450 mill population + USA 330 mill population produce about 7.6 Billion metric tons of CO2
    1.4 Billion people produces about 10 Billion metric tons.
    MN is right Chines should go back on their bikes and bowl of rice a day while we reduce 250g steak to 225g.
    MN this is great animation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx85qK1ztAc

    #79606 Reply
    Clark

    Michael, another example of you apparently not reading others’ comments:

    “When the gas is removed from the ground it has to be sold and shifted, it is quite difficult to store…”

    I have repeatedly referred to the UK gas storage facility at Rough in the North Sea, that Blair’s government sold off, and Centrica ran into the ground, which is why UK gas prices have gone up more than in the EU. Try this search:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=european+and+UK+gas+storage

    Or there are articles like this:

    https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/mounting-fears-1970s-style-three-092842868.html

    The UK has slashed its strategic gas storage to barely 1.7% of annual demand by closing the Rough facility off the Yorkshire coast, subcontracting the costly task of storage to Germany and the Netherlands. Clive Moffatt, a gas consultant and former adviser to the Government on energy security, said: “It should be nearer 25%.”

    – Data from Gas Infrastructure Europe show that the UK has less than nine terawatt hours of storage compared to 75 terawatt hours in the Netherlands (with a quarter of the population).

    October 15, 09:26, #79578:

    “We have done more than our bit in the U.K…”

    No, our government has plucked the low hanging fruit, they’ve done the easiest thing, converting from coal to gas. But burning natural gas still releases greenhouse gases. Some 15% of the gas simply escapes, releasing methane, which is several times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. And methane is CH4 – one carbon atom bonded to four hydrogen atoms. So when it is burned, some of the heat comes from the hydrogen, releasing water vapour, but the rest comes from the carbon, releasing carbon dioxide.

    Converting from coal to gas was only ever intended as the first step, a stop-gap while enough renewables infrastructure was built. Yes, other countries have to do more, all countries have to do more, and countries that industrialised earlier, notably the USA and Europe owe a debt to more recently industrialised countries like China because we already burned loads of carbon over previous decades and centuries, and it’s still in the atmosphere. Look at the graph linked below – each person in the UK still burns more fossil fuel than each person in China:

    https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/fossil-fuels-per-capita

    No country is exempt. This is an emergency because it has been left too long. Global emissions have to be halved emissions in ten years, and have to get to zero by mid century.

    #79608 Reply
    michael norton

    But China keep opening Coal fired power stations, U.K. is expected to open one new coal mine for steel making, as we want to hang on to steel making and ship building. U.K. is shutting Coal fired power stations.
    The enormous expansion of the Chinese Economy, its death grip on manufacturing in most of the rest of the World, do you think this has happened by accident? No it is a plan by the Chinese Communist Party.
    They want dominion over all of us. Fancy being controlled by the Chinese Communist party, fancy writing something bad about them, after they have control of you. They are consuming the World.

    #79612 Reply
    ET

    What is your argument MN? Is it that China should just accept they will not be allowed to have the same expectations of energy use as USA/Europe/Japan? Do you think they will accept that? If you were them, would you?

    “The enormous expansion of the Chinese Economy, its death grip on manufacturing in most of the rest of the World, do you think this has happened by accident?”

    Chinese economic expansion was always going to happen, they have a population of 1.2 billion people, smart industrious people. Its grip on manufacturing is because WESTERN companies wanted to make more profit by abusing cheap chinese workers. When chinese wages catch up to western wages where will they exploit next? You praise the British efforts during the industrial evolution but see something sinister in China doing something similar in the modern era? Has China not a right to uplift its citizens?
    Chinese government definitely has its problems but don’t you think the west’s government problems are just as grave?

    #79622 Reply
    Pigeon English

    M N
    those bloody Communist have a plan!

    Good to know you are resisting to best of your abilities but you will be swallowed!
    Mr Trump was last hope! Start learning the Chinese national anthem!

    #79624 Reply
    Clark

    Michael, another thing I have mentioned that you forgot or didn’t read. The City of London is responsible for 15% of all fossil fuel investment globally. That’s between one sixth and one seventh – little 67 million population Britain funding fossil fuel equivalent to 1.2 billion people – hey, almost the population of… China!

    ET is right; Chinese industrial expansion is caused by Western corporate outsourcing. Our computers, cellphones, voluminous plastics – you name it, we buy it from China, because it’s cheaper. Yet all those emissions are blamed on China, letting us off the hook.

    Yes, China needs to reduce its emissions, everywhere needs to reduce emissions, but in total since the industrial revolution China has released just over half the emissions that the USA has, which is probably also about half the cumulative emissions of Europe – yet with more people than the USA and Europe put together.

    So let’s sail some aircraft carriers at them, and supply Australia with nuclear submarines – that’ll show China that we want to cooperate, won’t it? And it’ll show that we’re not wastefully burning fuel too. Let’s accuse China of invading Taiwan’s airspace when they have done no such thing; that’s sure to get’em to trust us in negotiations!

    #79629 Reply
    Clark

    “Our” news repeatedly tells us that China has the greatest emissions – which is true, so far as it goes. But how often does “our” news tell us that on average, each UK resident still emits more than each resident of China? Or that each US citizen emits nearly three times as much? Or that in total, the USA has emitted nearly twice as much as China?

    Hardly ever – and never as a headline.

    And that’s because it isn’t our news at all – it’s the news as the corporate system wants us to hear it.

    The corporate system exploits the people of China, to manufacture the stuff to sell to exploit us. Then it blames China for the emissions. And where does it advertise all that junk? In the corporate media of course. It can’t depict things truthfully, ‘cos on one page the news would say “for your children’s sake buy less stuff” and on the facing page would be an advert saying “buy more stuff”.

    The “news” is just bait, to get us to see the advertising. That’s the corporate media’s business model – selling audiences (us) to advertisers (corporations).

    And don’t imagine the BBC gets off because of the license fee. It’s only in the UK that BBC programmes come without advertising. There’s a whole department called “BBC Advertising”. And all the journalists, editors and managers are recruited from media outlets that do carry advertising. The same is all true for the Guardian.

    And look what happens to those who step outside this system, like Craig, and Julian Assange.

    I am the Slime – Frank Zappa, YouTube, 3 min 34 sec.

    #79646 Reply
    glenn_nl

    It looks like Biden’s climate proposals are sunk, thanks to a corrupt Senator called Joe Manchin, Democrat, plus every single Republican.

    Not particularly good news, I’d say. It’s come out relatively recently that Manchin has substantial interests in coal. He had offered various ‘concerns’ with the size of the bill – $3.5T over 10 years, despite having no problems at all with, say, the Pentagon budget ($7T over 10 years). He also expressed concern over inflationary effects. But the chief concern was always the effects on his own wealth, should coal be entirely phased out.

    Rotten, miserable, traitorous SOAB. How much money is enough for these people?

    #79653 Reply
    Clark

    Glenn_nl, politics is fucked; time to rebel before our world is irretrievably fucked too.

    It is ridiculous that such a matter comes down to the balance of one single vote; if politics and the media were remotely functional it would be an overwhelming majority.

    https://rebellion.global/

    It’s the same as the Trump issue. Why all the agonising about “Russian meddling”? Even if it were true, it would only have tipped the balance. The question isn’t “why did a minority swing their votes?”, it’s “why do nearly half of voters routinely vote for braggarts and charlatans? Could it be because their opposition are corrupt war criminals?”

    #79656 Reply
    ET

    “Why all the agonising about “Russian meddling”? “

    You might be interested to read this article the story of the mastermind behind one of the largest pro Trump “fake news” operations in the US. It details how it was set up, organised and how easily it became effective strategy. I don’t know about the guys motivations in revealing it now. We have become too easily manipulated.

    #79678 Reply
    michael norton

    It would seem at present that there is a World supply side problem with Hydrocarbon fuels. Iran is a big producer of Coal, Oil and Natural Gas. Iran could make a BIG effort to supply the World but they are not allowed by the U.S.A.

    #79681 Reply
    michael norton

    “France is the European Union’s largest grain grower and exporter.”
    https://www.france24.com/en/france/20211014-rising-fertiliser-prices-may-prompt-french-farmers-to-switch-grain-crops

    And there you have it, almost nothing to do with Brexit. Almost everything to do with World wide demand for Hydrocarbon fuels. If France, the largest agricultural producer in the E.U. is concerned by lack of fuel and fertilizers, then it is more pandemic than Brexit.

    #79687 Reply
    michael norton

    The U.S.A. has a lot to answer for.

    They have been fucking economies and countries, at least, since the Second World War. They have been doing a lot of interfering in countries and those countries economies, perhaps if they desisted, things for the rest of us might ease, at least for a while. It would seem that the World desperately needs Hydrocarbons.

    #79698 Reply
    Clark

    The USA is in the grip of mega corporations – as are most governments. It is true that governments need liquid fuel for their militaries, but the corporate system need all hydrocarbons for everything. It is those corporations that send the US government to war.

    Humanity does desperately need hydrocarbons – but it also desperately needs to stop burning hydrocarbons. It is an addiction. The world should have started weaning off hydrocarbons in the 1980s when the scientific case became indisputable. But we didn’t; the corporate media lulled us into denial, just like a drug addict. So now we need to go cold turkey.

    We need the remaining greenhouse gas budget to build the new energy infrastructure required for our future. If we waste it on fripperies, our addiction will cause us to wreck our only home. And then the hydrocarbons will run out anyway.

    ACT NOW!

    #79719 Reply
    michael norton

    Sunday Express Quote

    “The German government made the decision, not just to reduce their consumption of Coal to meet European climate change objective, but they also took the decision after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, to reduce their reliance upon nuclear power as well.
    So they only were given gas and wind to produce their energy, and the one thing that Northern Europe has suffered from recently is a lack of wind.
    That has magnified the problem and that bit is outside of the control of man.
    We can’t control when the wind blows.”

    That is all correct. Fancy a newspaper telling the truth?

    I do not like Nuclear Power, I like Hydro, I like Wind Power and sort of like Solar, not many other options left. Hydrogen currently seems a non-starter.

    So, if we ditch Hydrocarbons, what in the short term will fill the gap?
    It will not be Hydrogen. It will not be Nuclear. It’s not likely to be Hydro, large or small scale.
    Does that only leave Wind or Solar?

    #79733 Reply
    SA

    Clark

    One can be a missionary and be idealistic and see with great clarity the solutions that have defied major think tanks, politicians, organizations and so on. But to change the world is not simple. The basic problem is that the dominant economic system is a capitalist one that is now on hyperdrive because the elite have discovered that you can run the world without producing anything worthwhile, but by just being rich. This renteer capitalism is now the predominant world system and there is no amount of tweaking that will change the impending car crash but by realizing that we just can’t continue to consume for the sake of consumption. Climate action and so on are all doomed because none of these actions will change the underlying power structure. I am not sure what will but it seems it will be nature that will solve this particular problems because intrinsic human greed will not allow any other solution.

    #79736 Reply
    michael norton

    SA, I completely agree, with that which you just typed. Upsetting, is it not? It does not matter what Boris Johnson or his latest bird want or think. The Chinese are hellbent on destruction, they are addicted to Coal, they are addicted to growth, they are addicted to control, including thought control.

    #79744 Reply
    michael norton

    We have invented and perfected Wind turbines.
    We have invented and perfected Solar panels.
    We have invented and perfected Hydroelectricity.

    If you combine all these three it amounts to about ten percent or less of the Worlds Electricity surply.

    Come on Clark, how are we to make the 90 %?

    #79750 Reply
    Clark

    Michael, we simply can’t ditch hydrocarbons yet. The transition to renewables has been left too late.

    Natural gas is the best stop-gap, because (1) a lot of the energy comes from methane’s four hydrogen atoms rather than its one carbon atom, and (2) gas power stations can be started and stopped within hours – they can “follow demand”, and thus fill in when the wind stops blowing. Conversely, coal power stations take days to reach full efficiency, and a lot of heat is wasted when they shut down. Same goes for nuclear, as it goes; it just responds too slowly.

    But Europe failed to ensure a reliable supply of gas. A better contract with Russia is needed, and more storage. Large storage facilities can be made from depleted gas fields, of which Europe has plenty – I don’t know how many of them are geologically suitable, but I expect enough of them are. This is all lack of planning and under-investment; the neoliberal dogma of “governments shouldn’t interfere – leave it to the market”. Doing essential things that markets don’t do is the purpose of governments, I’d say. A neoliberal government is like a chocolate teapot.

    The longer-term, zero-carbon solution is continent-scale super electricity grids. The wind never stops everywhere at once.

    #79756 Reply
    Clark

    SA, the climate crisis is less like falling off a cliff and more like walking into a minefield.

    Extinction Rebellion has already had considerable success. It was after the April 2019 actions in London that the BBC stopped treating climate change as a debate – that’s big progress on XR’s Demand 1, Tell the Truth. XR rebels also glued themselves to Jeremy Corbyn’s front fence, prompting him to present his Climate and Ecological Emergency Declaration. It was passed by Parliament unchallenged. Since then, governments and local authorities all over the world have declared climate and ecological emergency. These declarations are more than empty words; they can and have been used successfully to challenge proposals such as new airport runways and road-building schemes.

    Demand 3, for a Citizens’ Assembly was also acted upon, but the government gave it advisory status only, not legal power, and its remit was decarbonisation by 2050, omitting the halving of emissions by 2030 as the IPCC tells us we must do.

    So, humanity is walking into the minefield slower than we were. That’s big progress, and XR are not about to give up.

    #79765 Reply
    Clark

    Michael norton – “how are we to make the 90 %?”

    Michael, I do not know. I think that for now, humanity will have to cut back on its energy usage. That is hard, because much of the world’s population uses far less energy than the nations that industrialised early.

    A few points:

    • The growth rate of solar photovoltaic generation capacity is phenomenal; it increased by a factor of over 900 from 2005 to 2018. But that shouldn’t be such a surprise because photovoltaics are semiconductors, and we’re in a semiconductor revolution. Photovoltaics have no moving parts and are the cheapest source of electricity, and the price is falling rapidly. Efficiency is still quite low, just over 20%, but a new photovoltaic technology made of perovskites could slash the price to one tenth while boosting efficiency to over 30%:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWU89g7sj7s – (14 minutes)
    • There are probably far better ways to do nuclear power, far safer, producing less than a twentieth as much waste, of a type that would decay to background levels in just 300 years rather than tens of thousands of years. However, very few such reactors have been prototyped, and none since 1970, so this would take decades to develop.
    • “Come on Clark…” – But how humanity should best address this predicament is up to everyone, not just me.

    Typically, representative democracy consists of people who chose a career of competing for power, so of course this system selects mostly competitive people. They stand little chance unless they join a major political party, and the parties oppose each other ideologically, so only two types of viewpoint are represented, only ideas acceptable within the party ideology are put forward, and at least half of these ideas go to waste, rejected by whichever side wins. The parties exist for decades, and the representative serve for most of their working lives, so both become targets for lobbying by vested interests. This is the system that has failed to address the problems for decades.

    This is why Extinction Rebellion are calling for Citizens’ Assemblies practising Deliberative Democracy. A Citizens’ Assembly is a body of people chosen at random, like jury service, to form a democratic body. This system is called “sortition”; it was the earliest form of democracy recorded in history, that of ancient Greece. It ensures that all types of people are represented, not just those who seek power. The Assembly is informed by experts in the relevant fields, and they deliberate upon solutions rather than competing on party ideology. Members are rotated and replaced by new members also chosen at random, to prevent the Assembly being captured by vested interests.

    This system has been tried and has proven remarkably successful. But the traditional parties won’t cede their power willingly, so we the people have to take action. If our current system is truly a democracy, then we have the right to do so. And if it is not, then it is imperative that we do so.

    #79806 Reply
    SA

    Clark

    I, in no way underestimate the importance of what the various pressure groups are doing and the small progress achieved, but am just pointing out that all this is too little too late. Those who rule give us morsels of appeasement and allow just so much dissent but no more. When the world’s greatest polluting corporations invest in green energy and in many cases infiltrate and divert various movements, and when they purport to have ethical and climate aware policies and officers, it is merely to protect earnings, not the planet. What we are being offered is a soft sop, when we need a radical rethink of how we do things for long term benefit of humans and of the planet, and not for corporate profits as the creator of prosperity and wealth for the few. Nevertheless, I admire you and people like you who are proactive.

    #79814 Reply
    michael norton

    Obomber coming to preach in Glasgow

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-58937970

    They are expecting more than twenty thousand people to so super spreading at COP26

    that’s like killing more than one bird with just one stone.
    If these people are such climate worriers, why are they using Carbon to go to Glasgow?
    It will prove nothing
    other than be a covid super spreading event.
    The Scottish Health System is already in collapse mode.

    #79842 Reply
    Clark

    SA, we are indeed awash with greenwash. And yes, too little, too late. But better late than never, I suppose. Even one less step into the minefield will reduce suffering and deaths.

    But all maybe less hopeless than it appears. It only takes a small proportion to become actively involved, for a cause to gain mainstream support. Tipping points aren’t all unhelpful. Many, many people are utterly frustrated; they want change with the status quo – that was what got Trump elected and Brexit voted for. Those two have not paid off for their supporters, so hopefully the next reaction will blow the other way.

    Whatever, we cannot see the future. Giving up would be unconscionable.

    #79918 Reply
    Clark

    SA, the climate crisis is less like falling off a cliff and more like walking into a minefield.

    Extinction Rebellion has already had considerable success. It was after the April 2019 actions in London that the BBC stopped treating climate change as a debate – that’s big progress on XR’s Demand 1, Tell the Truth. XR rebels also glued themselves to Jeremy Corbyn’s front fence, prompting him to present his Climate and Ecological Emergency Declaration. It was passed by Parliament unchallenged. Since then, governments and local authorities all over the world have declared climate and ecological emergency. These declarations are more than empty words; they can and have been used successfully to challenge proposals such as new airport runways and road-building schemes.

    Demand 3, for a Citizens’ Assembly was also acted upon, but the government gave it advisory status only, not legal power, and its remit was decarbonisation by 2050, omitting the halving of emissions by 2030 as the IPCC tells us we must do.

    So, humanity is walking into the minefield slower than we were. That’s big progress, and XR are not about to give up.
    – – – – – – –
    SA, the rest of my reply to your October 17 18:15 comment #79733 (see subsequent comment):

    “Climate action and so on are all doomed because none of these actions will change the underlying power structure”

    The system cannot function without the majority’s cooperation. More and more must be persuaded to rebel! The Suffragettes won the vote despite a deeply patriarchal parliament, and India won independence despite trenchant British opposition. The more people who learn the truth of our dire predicament, the more that will be prepared to remove their cooperation. People do care for their kids, and their grandkids, far more than they care about plastic trinkets and their next holiday. But decades of appalling coverage by the corporate media has convinced people that there is no crisis, that climate change won’t affect anyone for centuries.

    Let me tell you a story. In Autumn 2020 I was in London with XR. I had been camping illegally in Brockwell Park for about a week; I was in a right state; unshaven, partially washed, two days into my last change of clothing; I looked a mess. It was the last day of actions. We assembled at the Bank of England for our finale procession to Parliament Square. The schools were just going back, covid case numbers were rising nationally; I had my mask but I wanted to socially distance, so I took my place near the back of the procession where the density was lowest.

    #79919 Reply
    Clark

    To one side I heard braying and I looked – two young men, City types in pinstripe suits were ridiculing my tatty cut-off jeans. “Oh well, at least they’re communicating” I thought, so grinning like a Cheshire Cat I wandered over to talk with them. “This is all bollocks” said the first. I listened respectfully and then asked them what climate facts they knew. They went on about all the investments they were pouring into electric cars. I told them it wasn’t enough, quoted the IPCC’s requirements to them, that emissions must halve in the next ten years. “Not going to happen” said one of them.

    #79928 Reply
    glenn_nl

    I heard a couple of women, they might have been XR – not sure, talking about meetings they had been holding recently, trying to educate the public on just how bad how rapidly things were becoming. One said she was interrupted by a gentleman in the audience who said, “What you’re saying simply cannot be true. People would be rioting in the street if it was true!”

    We’re talking about the 1.5 degrees that we feel comfortable about staying within, as if that were the entire rise caused by human activity. That 1.5C is only since the 1950-1980 average. Even talking about “pre-industrial” is highly misleading, as 1750 might have been the start of heavy industry, but was by no means the start of our impact on the planet.

    We have been cutting and burning huge tracts of forest for thousands of years. Britain and Ireland, not to mention the US, were entirely covered in forest, just for examples close to home. We now have patches of forest here and there, the effect of deforestation is simply massive. All this is supposedly granted for free, because we’re only counting our impact since 1750 at best, and much of the talk is of increases since the 1950-1980 average.

    The drop in the number of birds and insects is staggering. At my parents’ place 20 years ago, huge columns of crows used to fly at dusk, it was a daily marvel. There must have been many thousands of them, literally. I saw a handful of stragglers the other day. My motorcycle gear used to get covered in insect strikes – this summer, sometimes none at all, despite riding through countryside.

    I noticed some early paintings in museums – take a look next chance – in rural and farm settings. Birds are simply everywhere. The writings of Thomas Hardy and so on are full of descriptions of birds, how skilfully they dart beneath horses’ hooves and so on. Was this all just artistic licence? There are none today, or near it!

    I’m not ancient, and the change since I was young is drastic. Younger people now probably don’t notice, because the base-line has shifted so far. My old mother tells me one dared not open a window in summer if you had the lights on, the place would be swarming with moths. Today you’re lucky to see one.

    It’s really hard to find much optimism here.

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