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After Paris, Fossil Fuels Flail While Solar Stocks Soar


#1

After Paris, Fossil Fuels Flail While Solar Stocks Soar

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Fossil fuel stocks tumbled while renewable energy soared on Monday, the first day of trading after global leaders cemented their landmark climate pact in Paris.

Under the agreement, countries have pledged to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to keep global warming beneath 1.5°C. And it is clear the fossil fuel industry is feeling the heat.


#2

This is certainly good news. It now seems that rising seas, desertification and so on are not the only bad events caused by global warming. Please read this article.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/phytoplankton-population/
And plankton produce half of all the oxygen we breathe.
http://earthsky.org/earth/how-much-do-oceans-add-to-worlds-oxygen
Obviously, if present trends continue, we will have to evolve quickly so that we can survive on half the oxygen we have now.


#3

Anyone who thinks the fossil fuel age is coming to an end is kidding themselves. They should take a trip a to India, a country which announced after the Paris agreement that it plans to go ahead and double its coal burning capacity by 2020 (this is equivalent to the total coal-burning capacity of the US) and continue to burn coal for decades to come. It remains unclear whether fossil fuel use will decline in the coming decades as developing countries turn to plentiful and cheap coal to catch up to the West. The fact they are also turning to solar and wind does not mean that coal isn't a central part of their strategy.


#4

We have to figure out how to stop burning coal if we want our grandchildren to have a chance. It's hard to do because our governMENTAL entities are totally bought off by the fossil-fuel corpse.

Here in New Mexico, PNM (Power New Mexico) is determined to burn coal for at least another 50 years. Might the fact that they pretty-much own a coal mine have anything to do with it? My wife and I recently had solar panels installed on our roof. For a couple of months now we have produced more power than what we have used. Yes, there are days, like today when the panels are under 6 inches of snow, when we are dependent on PNM. And there is the little fact of the winter solstice coming up... less light. But, wait to June. The whole idea is to burn less coal and produce more electricity by solar. Individuals organized into cooperatives can make a big difference.


#5

Market capitalism and stock exchanges, I fear, are not the place to look for promising signs of reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Renewables would be fine in the context of a general recognition that fossil fuels can no longer be extracted, and that energy consumption must drop to a fraction of current use (particularly in industrialized countries). Without that context, all you get from renewables is additional energy capacity fueling more cancerous economic growth. Until the faith in endless growth is extinguished, renewables do absolutely nothing to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

There's a tragic techno-hubris at the heart of "green growth" renewable advocates. Earth happened to devise a means of storing hundreds of thousands of years of solar energy in a compact, convenient (if ultimately disastrous) form, namely: fossil fuels. The solartopians would have us believe that human engineers can improve on that by many orders of magnitude, devising energy collection and storage mechanisms which, even without considering the externalized cost of GHG emissions, are cheaper. I don't buy it.


#7

That was George Monbiot. He also wrote an article about it on his web site.

Cop-Out

#9

Solar screws up the business model for outfits like PNM who are addicted to fossil-fuels to maximize profit.

There is SO much more profit in war. The MIC is drooling all over itself at the prospect of another big one in the Middle East, maybe WWIII. And then we have the obscene spectacle of the F35. No one dares compare the cost efficiency of that fiasco to solar technology.


#10

Why is nobody talking about geothermal when there is not enough sun or wind?


#11

The point of using solar and wind is so you can phase out fossil fuels. Otherwise you can't phase them out. You can't separate these two things. Since it is unlikely that solar and wind could ever replace fossil fuels fast enough without doing anything else there is also a need for increased energy efficiency, improved battery technology, and probably other measures as well.


#12

So I guess we will be seeing solar panels made by Mobile-Exxon soon?


#13

Why is no one talking reduction of meat consumption when the industry that contributes most greenhouse gases is the animal slaughter industry?


#17

AlephNull writes:

"Renewables would be fine in the context of a general recognition that fossil fuels can no longer be extracted, and that energy consumption must drop to a fraction of current use (particularly in industrialized countries). Without that context, all you get from renewables is additional energy capacity fueling more cancerous economic growth. Until the faith in endless growth is extinguished, renewables do absolutely nothing to reduce fossil fuel consumption."

These truths cannot be repeated too often. Far too many prefer to allow their minds to dwell ONLY on futures that include mass over-production, mass over-consumption, and mass profiteering, with no disruption to the flip-a-switch, jump-in-a-car "lifestyle" to which so many millions are accustomed; nor any disruption to the "free market" billionaires' banquet / licensed looting that a far smaller number of humans enjoy.

Humans initiated a mass extinction that was WELL UNDERWAY since BEFORE climate chaos kicked in. Populations of land animals on Earth have been CUT IN HALF, over just the past 45 years, caused by the massive human assault against the ecology.

The PRIMARY FOCUS of ALL human endeavors in this present mega-crisis needs to be thoroughly restructuring "the economy" on ecological principles, and ENDING the massive human assault against the ecology.

There's a lot of essentially magical thinking going on, like the famous cartoon: "Then, a miracle occurs." The human economy has dismembered the ecology, chopped it into millions of pieces BEFORE CLIMATE CHAOS, and caused the death of half the animal life on the planet (with similar impacts on sea animals).

Now that climate chaos has hit, the crisis is multiplied, but not to worry: "A miracle occurs!" Renewables heal the planet, while the economy CONTINUES TO ACCELERATE its extraction, production, consumption, and profiteering! No need for an "all hands on deck" society-wide emergency response. Want to fix the climate? Go shopping! Want to save the animals? Go shopping! No need to change your life, your work, your home; just change the energy grid and it's all good.

It is by no means all good. The omnicide is not simply caused by greenhouse gases, and it won't be stopped or even slowed by electric cars.

We need holistic, whole-systems thinking about the nature and causes of the metastasizing mega-crisis of ecological dis-integration. We need holistic, whole-systems assessments of what "the economy" needs to be going forward. And we need way more blunt honesty about what that means for all of us humans, in our varying relationships to "the economy."


#18

Beyond Solar and Wind is Plasma Reactors


#19

Because geo thermal cannot be a significant contributor as there are few reasonable locations.


#20

As 'renewables' use weak energy (winds and solar) they cannot replace more than a small proportion of the supplying of electricity by the concentrated energy of the fossil fuels. In addition, they cannot provide the liquid fuels required by most forms of land, sea and air transportation vehicles.


#21

All too true but there is hope. As yet India sees coal as cheap. A carbon tax could be supported internationally which might change their minds. Also sunlight is still free and free is a lot cheaper than coal and needs no transportation. India may be suffering from undue corruption by its own fossil fuel industry? In any case international pressure and simple economics may change their decision. Certainly an international boycott as climate change worsens will have an effect too. Same for any country that relies on coal.

Those fossil fuel days should be over and saying it is cheap makes no sense when you keep having to pay for massive storm damage and drought or floods etc.


#22

That is all old thinking and woefully out of date. A solar powered world is not scifi but achievable quickly. The Japanese went from the middle ages to modernity in fifty years so amazing things are possible when there is the will to do them. Imagine cars all being electric but also the streets and roads being 'electric' too. I mean an electric roadway could constantly power your car through induction as you drive on it. You would be charged for the electricity by it being metered as you rode - all automatically.

Fuel would only be necessary for airplanes but all terrestrial energy needs could be provided by electricity. Like trolleys, trains and street cars in San Franciso. No need for diesel buses or trains. In fact when electricity is virtually free (except for maintenance costs) everything would be electric from stoves to well everything. Maglev high speed trains would be more popular than airplanes and almost as fast.


#24

I understand that with deep drilling technology developed by the oil industry, geothermal energy is available from most anywhere


#25

"Weak energy"? Electric motors have more torque than comparable internal combustion engines