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Climate Change Won’t Wait for Political Change


Climate Change Won’t Wait for Political Change

Linda McQuaig

With opposing factions deeply entrenched on either side of the climate change divide, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems to think he’s found the sweet spot of Canadian politics dithering in the middle.

But trying to find some happy middle ground doesn’t work when the force to be reckoned with is nature. You can’t cut a deal with her on climate any more than you can barter with her about the laws of gravity.


So much of the mind fuck that our culture is experiencing is based upon the need for the carbon cowboys to bamboozle the population to prevent change. Know that when an oilman speaks, his lies ooze with his precious oil. It is in that culture–until they’re cooked off of the planet with the rest of us.


Probably the best way to understand how difficult it is to address climate change is look at one’s own local government is doing. It is when you get into the actual details at the local level where many problems become evident. Just doing a greenhouse gas inventory to determine where the emissions are coming from is a very arduous task. In most urban and suburban communities the biggest sources are commercial and residential heating and electricity and transportation. None of those sources are easy to address. Electricity usually comes from utilities unless it is a city which owns its own sources of electricity. To reduce emissions from heating generally requires an electric heat pump and to really reduce emissions, geothermal energy. Transportation depends on vehicle efficiency standards set by the federal government or the states and the sales of electric cars and hybrid vehicles. Without any way to rapidly reduce emissions there is no way to rapidly reduce fossil fuel production.


The problem also lies with the culture…“the people” …in general… I understand that Many people do not understand the science…and therefore continue on in their lifestyle expectations…in mindless conformity… However…since this is the case … ND NO ONE will give up the excessive lifestyle that has become the norm in the 20 the and now 21st century…we are NOT going to fix this. As I have stated here many times. When we have football obsession …rich people flying (and everyone else)…and more and more entrepreneurs developing such wonderfully un necessary products for us to buy…we can bet that in the not too distant future … our lives will be changing … whether we want them to or not… The use of fossil fuels. …and the splitting of the atom . Sealed our fate long ago …Our species was NOT equiped to understand the ramifications s of either. instead we WORSHIPPED those that became rich and powerful from these two developments … And any other paradigm was viewed as regressive and blasphemous against the religion of "human progress…


“Climate Change Won’t Wait for Political Change”

Nothing but an utter revolution of our government combined with an enlightenment of thought can save this society from total destruction. As much as I would love to see it, I’m not very optimistic.

Children’s bodies stacked like cordwood, their life’s blown out of them by a 7.62 mm full metal jackets every other day just so some psychopaths can make a few bucks is not the sign of a society edging toward enlightenment is it.


Heard on NPR Sunday, Amazon boasting about the largest ‘solar farm’ in the nation meant to serve their warehouse and server operations. Solar farms do not offer as much potential to reduce energy consumption as does rooftop solar to directly incentivize energy conservation in many ways. Rooftop solar matched to household EVs (both BEVs & PHEVs) creates: a backup power supply especially important in grid failure; a vast power supply system that complements regional utility grids to reduce the need for grid expansion including with solar farms; the means to more closely monitor and reduce energy consumption overall; the choice whether electricity for household use or for driving whereby more trips become possible without having to drive, whereby walking and mass transit and bicycling, all more energy efficient and no less a fundamental travel mode than driving, serve to build local economic structure that undermines the dominant corporate culture of ignorant consumerism. IMO, this is our leading technological breakthrough; NOT self-driving cars.


Rooftop solar is quite limited in many parts of the country. I live in the northeast and it is not feasible for most existing houses. I just look at it comprehensively. We need everything, rooftop solar, solar farms, wind farms, geothermal, and maybe even tide and wave energy. I think utility scale solar farms are becoming more important, as is offshore wind. The smart grid could play a big role although there are privacy concerns that I think need to be addressed. A big problem is that it difficult to get homeowners and owners of businesses to make the initial investment in energy efficiency measures and rooftop solar. That is why incentive programs are needed to speed things up.


Big Oil is “not” hiding behind the curtain,

BIG OIL “is” the DIRTY BLACK CURTAIN blocking any corrective action.


Big Oil is only part of the problem, as is climate change.

There is Big Finance & the federal reserve - the debt ‘economy’ (?) {does that sound like a “real economy”?}

There is overpopulation and Big Religion(s).

There is No Real Democracy and its absolutely necessary prerequisite - a well informed and engaged electorate.

Hence no real politicians - just front men and women - and a few (very few) voices crying in the wilderness.

But this is all well known by a significant fraction of the world population.

I am wondering if looking for individual solutions is effective?

Perhaps what is required as well is a project bigger than ourselves, something to talk about and get behind.

Our true brilliance is technological - but it must be aimed in the right direction - not towards war.

The IceCube neutrino observatory is embedded below the south pole - we are observing and tracking Earth-threatening asteroids, comets and now an extra-solar system visitor - we have landed on a comet - Huygens landed on Titan and profiled its atmosphere of methane and nitrogen clouds, photographed its surface - Europa and Enceladus have water oceans below their icy crusts in all probability - Proxima Centauri b is a super-Earth possibly in the habitable zone.

Why not create jobs and enterprise and enthusiasm where it will do some good - instead of turning in fury and rage upon ourselves?

PS: Carl Sagan asserted in his book “Pale Blue Dot” that we can get to Mars in two days (I think it was), if we can maintain an acceleration of one g for half the way there and decelerate at 1 g until rendezvous.

Now there’s a challenge worthy of a nomadic people !


Electric cars may be reducing pollution in Los Angeles, but if the electricity being used to charge them is com­ing from the coal-fired plant at Lake Powell then they are increasing pollution at the Grand Canyon and in the Four Corners area.

REALLY??   With human population at 7.5 BILLION – and growing – even while more than a billion of those al­ready here are barely surviving and another billion or more are directly threatened by sea level rise, how many are even going to pay attention, much less be inspired by, an attempt to send half a dozen or maybe a full doz­en people to Mars?  A challenge worthy of a nomadic people is staring us in the face: how do we save a home that’s livable for the 7.5 Billion of us who will NOT be going to Mars (or any other planet in the known universe).


I wish this were true. In fact, the engineering and regulatory requirements of solar connected to the grid requires that it disconnect itself completely in the event of a grid failure, not that it become a backup power supply. Ostensibly, this is to protect utility linemen who are sent out to repair distribution lines that have gone down (the most common cause of a grid failure) from touching a “live” line fed by rooftop solar and there is some merit in this.

Granted, for some extra bucks, one could add a “manual” switch that could disconnect your home or building from the grid and then use the solar as backup, but this is not the typical installation. What we need is a “smart” installation that automatically isolates the location from the grid and acts as a backup system during the grid outage. That is coming, but it is not yet the standard.


Wrong place post


While there are profits, there will be fossil fuels

“We are increasingly confident that we can continue to deliver growth across our business, improving cash flows and returns for shareholders out to 2021 and beyond…The company’s ability to generate cash remains prodigious…”


Electric cars are for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. If the electricity comes from coal-burning then there will be little reduction of such emissions but if the electricity comes mainly from other sources then there will be a considerable reduction. It depends where the electric cars are charged on the amount of emissions that are reduced. The thing to do is get rid of coal burning for energy and then electric cars will be much more beneficial with regard to reducing carbon dioxide emissions.


Microgrids are being used more often to deal with grid failure.


The fossil fuel industry receives a lot of criticism these days, and rightfully so. But in the final analysis, we are the ones who support the energy industry and it is our standard of living that will need to change. So contemplate what you can do for the cause

Personal Actions
End our love affair with the automobile
Ride more trains and buses
Car pool
Walk and bike more
Turn off the air conditioner in the summer and dial the thermostat down in winter
Become vegetarians or vegans
Refill plastic bottles with tap water
Discontinue using aluminum cans with and without carbonation
Maximize use of reusable bags and products
Recycle junk mail
Forego fast junk food
Go to “slow food”;
Recycle maximally, especially aluminum cans
Drive and accelerate more slowly
Climb more stairs
Plant more trees
Forego use of spray cans
Ride more trains and buses
Repair, mend and alter as much as possible
Buy solar panels
Compost as much as possible
Last person out of the room turn off the lights
Eat and farm organic
Ride more trains and buses
Fly fewer planes
Promote conference calls and web cams, fewer meetings
Use manual tools instead of power tools
Share more
Use rakes rather than leaf blowers
Decrease use of bottled water and refill plastic bottles with tap water
Maximize reusable bags and products
Push rather than power small mowers
Replace lawns with vegetable gardens
Stop fertilizing and mowing lawns
Compost as much as possible
Minimize use of disposables (Pampers);
Maximize high efficiency LED and solar powered lighting;
Limit endless gadgets
Use motion lighting, where appropriate
Decrease consumption
Limit family size

Local Government Actions
Reorganize cities, building taller residences with a smaller footprint (the end of suburbia)
Institute a carbon tax
Promote car pooling subsidize and expand mass transit
Expand bike paths
Have shareable (zip) cars
Ban electric outdoor signs;
Eat and farm organic
Promote conference calls and web cams, fewer meetings
Eliminate approximately 50% of all street lighting and office lighting in unoccupied buildings
eliminate “fast junk food”; go to “slow food

Federal Government Actions
Ban gasohol
Rein in the militaries for defense only and outlaw war
Discontinue night baseball
Make electronics, house wares, furniture, etc to be as durable and long-lived as possible
Recycle maximally
Make appliances to be as energy efficient as possible
Discontinue aluminum cans
Ban electric outdoor signs
Maximize solar and wind power;
Change from petroleum based fertilizers to regenerative agriculture
Reverse deforestation, plant more trees
Restrict spray cans
Promote conference calls and web cams, fewer meetings
Promote zero population growth with free condoms and family planning world-wide
End yearly auto model changes;
Proscribe junk mail
Scrap the mission to Mars


There are enthusiasts for this concept. I’m unaware of any significant deployment of microgrids. If you know of examples, please share them. But even microgrids share the same solar interconnection limitations I already discussed. See the IEEE 1547 standard to understand more about this.


I’m late today but here goes. Nothing is going to change until the collapse has had its say. To avert the worst of the damage due to global poisoning of which climate change is one of the major symptoms, there needed to be actions starting in the 70’s when oil started getting expensive. Since that ship has sailed and nothing’s been done since, a collapse will happen. It’s not if anymore but when. Since big energy’s only concern has been profit and not the health of Earth and her inhabitants we will suffer the consequences of inaction from govenment’s as the only force strong enough to regulate and put a halt on energies rapid poisoning the planet. Well we see that energy controls government, not vice versa. So humans will suffer a collapse of magnitude unique in the annals of human history. How bad it will be is problematic on how much longer inaction is allowed to persist.


Luckily, the coal-fired plant in the Lake Powell area (the Navajo Generating Station) is closing in 2019 so this won’t be an issue there any longer.


Two microgrids that I know about that enabled continued electricity during long power outages are located at Stony Brook University on Long Island and Princeton University. There should not be any problem with solar during power outages since the microgrid is operating without the grid during outages.