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Climate Commission Issues Blueprint for Low-Carbon Economy


#1

Climate Commission Issues Blueprint for Low-Carbon Economy

Kitty Stapp

Up to 96 percent of the emissions reductions needed by 2030 to keep global warming below a critical threshold of two degrees C could be achieved through a series of 10 steps, says a new report released by the Global Commission on the Economy and the Climate.

“The low carbon economy is already emerging,” said former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, Chair of the Commission.


#2

Here in New Mexico, our politicians are totally bought off by fossil-fuel interests. PNM is still producing electricity, mostly from burning coal... 'cause they own a coal mine! My wife and I had to take out a loan to put solar panels on our roof. Eventually, we will be disconnected from PNM and its pollution.


#3

Okay, it all sounds really great.... but, a couple of things to consider... first of all... Jovan''s Paradox.... (think I spelled it right).... so that means, if we have "growth" does that mean even more "new products?" or growth over the amount of products, services and activities that we all ready have.... so, efficiency would mean what then?.... then, we will have over time, a hell of a lot more people, so, saving means what then?. And, since the earth is already spewing out her own methane, co 2 and nitrous oxide, even more than she has in the past....and we have now lost major carbon sinks, like the Amazon, then, saving and efficiency means what then?.....
I don't buy it... too bad they didn't all get together and try this like 50 years ago...maybe then we'd have had a chance .....


#4

That's the problem with collective intelligence; it ain't collective and it ain't intelligent.


#5

I was surprised to learn that some countries with the most climate deniers were Norway, Sweden, Finland, New Zealand, Australia and America. The polls showed that white conservative males were the greatest deniers. No surprise there....


#6

So it ain't democratic.


#7

It's Jevon's paradox.

If the energy source does not produce CO2 then his paradox about fuel efficiency improvements does not apply.


#8

You are wrong... It's, the more you save the more you use.... like, say, a more efficient refrigerator... saves a customer money.... who then goes out and buys something that does produce co2 OR just creates greater demand for that product... which is causing more co2....especially if that thing is something frivolous...

In order for Jevon's Paradox to not be in effect... then we would have to change what we make, how we make it and decide that some things are just not necessary.... like, Professional sports... multiple multiple laundry detergent containers.... oh, and green houses selling pretty flowers, in which they grew so well, because, hey, it was heated in winder with coal stove... Casinos are not necessary either .....
Now, don't get me wrong... people can pull their neighborhood together play a game of foot ball in the park or they can just wait till spring for flowers...


#9

Jevons has turned out to be wrong, in fact was always wrong, and blatantly, obviously so. It assumes that all of the money saved will be returned to high energy investments. Nonsense. Some can be and often is invested in further energy efficiency and renewable energy. Some can be and usually is invested in low energy applications of other kinds. So any increase in efficiency leads to more efficiency and more renewables. Both save money over fossil fuel investments and investments that encourage fossil fuel use, so are attractive to people investing in efficiency, and increasingly so, as renewables drop precipitously in price and people and organizations divest from fossil fuel and fossil fuel-intensive uses.

We're not going to have a "hell of a lot more people". Population growth rates have declined by half since they peaked in the 1960s. They continue to. Almost all the projections by reputable population organizations say they expect 9-11 billion by 2050 and then stabilization followed by decline. Climate catastrophe will make all those projections too high. Death rates are already increasing. We could and should reduce population faster but it's irrelevant to our current crisis. Almost all the population growth is taking place among the very poor, who have almost no effect on climate catastrophe. (The poorest half of humanity emits only 7% of greenhouse gases and most of that is either because the rich have them make products for them or because the poor are forced onto degraded land, into using inefficient cars, houses and other machines...)

The best science says we have to reduce ghg emissions by at least 90% in the next 5-15 years to avoid conditions that will destroy civilization in the next century or so and cause millions of species to be wiped out. We do that by reducing the consumption, and the effects of consumption by the rich. They are not increasing by birth rates. In any case, the only way to avoid climate catastrophe is to replace essentially all fossil fuel use with efficiency and renewables, reforest the planet, and transform chemical industrial agriculture, geared toward monoculture commodities and livestock feed, to low-meat, perennial plant-based organic permaculture. All those are affected and controlled by the very rich. both the problems and solutions are clear and they have to do entirely with reducing the harm that the rich do.


#10

K... so, you say population is not going to grow so much... so, an extra 2-3 billion won't make a difference...
You say that
"Some can be and often is invested in further energy efficiency and renewable energy. Some can be and usually is invested in low energy applications of other kinds. So any increase in efficiency leads to more efficiency and more renewables. Both save money over fossil fuel investments and investments that encourage fossil fuel use, so are attractive to people investing in efficiency, and increasingly so, as renewables drop precipitously in price and people and organizations divest from fossil fuel and fossil fuel-intensive uses".
...mmmm I think that initially, most people will just go out and buy more groceries... more trips to movies, more going out to dinner.... or, more sports equipment... or going to games... more clothes... more STUFF.... MAYBE, later... as the "weather" gets even more weird than it is now.... some, who do "invest"... will go ahead and begin to purchase renewable equipment... so, everyone who now has an oil furnace... will go out and purchase some other type which will heat their home electrically through their solar panels... or they'll buy a new Prius...or other electric car... .How many extra "products" will be MANUFACTURED?... then, you have some of those newly made "middle class".... all over the world, also purchasing.... in other words... BILLIONS of purchases of equipment...
....AND ALL THIS TIME THE EARTH IS SPEWING OUT HER OWN GREENHOUSE GAS ALREADY... ssssooooo where's the reduction in co2....

Hey, we try it...I want to fight... but, I'll believe it will work, when I see co2 emissions, going down... I
AND ACTUALLY, I CANNOT SEE MUCH CHANCE THAT MANY PEOPLE WILL EVEN HAVE THE FINANCES to purchase any new technologies.... MAYBE THE RICH.... for a while.... if they give sh*t.... will be able to .... but I cannot buy a new refrigerator... mine is 25 years old.... can't buy a new car and never would... and do not buy a used car through a dealer with a loan either... cause I cannot afford a payment... I buy out right with my tax return.... so far so good, been doing it for years... however, as my 10th grader graduates, I won't be getting back as much.... my two kids had provided me with that option.... so, eventually I'll just have to make what ever I have work.... 5 years I get to retire....
so, I can hear you now... probably upset about that tax credit i was getting for the two kids... well, I'll tell ya... when I had my first.. at 39 ....didn't have any real thought about tax credits and kids.... made sure I had only two AND I HAD NO IDEA HOW BAD THINGS WERE IN THE WORLD.... NOT REALLY, I WAS ASLEEP, I''LL ADMIT....
I think that as we HURL FORWARD.... we will be experiencing more financial uncertainty...
so, people will be LESS LIKELY TO GO OUT AND "INVEST" in a large purchase, such as a new car or new electric system.... or new appliances....
I'd love a new refrigerator... I hate mine... I also get upset when the cost of say, solar panels are discussed in terms of how it will "pay for itself"... when many people like myself... cannot even put out the money up front in the first place... when people say they cannot afford it ...that is what they are talking about.... you also have to have the CONFIDENCE that you can pay that off with a job....in the future....
So after all this... I will say... I would like to purchase, those single little solar panels.... one, then maybe I could add one or two...more... AND SO, I'll be one of those poor old people, that has very little electricity.... and will be living close to the land... if I can finish paying off my home.... I have huge gardens and fruit trees... etc.... I AM NOT INTERESTED IN BATTERY STORAGE.... I DO NOT BELIEVE IN THAT.... the rape of the earth has been bad enough.... I can just see the ripping up of the earth for the supply of Lithium for billions of batteries.... I barely believe in using solar panels.... the production of which is still negative for the earth......
I'll leave you with this.... please realize that most of what people are getting at when they make arguments against revamping our whole energy system with renewables.... IS THAT WE ARE STATING WE SHOULD GO WITH OUT INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY.... wE DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR EVERY ONE AND HIS BROTHER TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD NEW STUFF... how in the world are we going to reduce emissions in 5-15 years... by producing all that "stuff"..... If people have to continue using electricity .... why can't we cut out the frivolous..... to me... now that is cutting consumption... that is efficiency... it's not efficiency to manufacture new refrigerators... and new pretty cars.... it's efficiency to go with out... THAT IS WHERE WE HAVE PUT OURSELVES... WE MADE OUR BED, WE SHOULD SLEEP IN IT...


#11

It amazes me that while our government throws billions around as if a billion $$$ was insignificant that we do not take advantage of most abundant energy resource in the southwest - the sunny southwest! How much would it cost to put solar on every rooftop in NM or ARIZ. or SoCal etc? This is where capitalism becomes moribund as an economic system. Rather than respond to a glaring need to mitigate global warming, capitalism instead tries to maintain the status quo and the generation of profits for those who then will influence legislators to stall or detour necessary change. Like with monopolies, capitalism has flaws. Theoretically competition assures progress and invention in capitalism but in reality there is a tendency to seek a monopolized and limited competition in practice.

Why in the face of near catastrophic hardship the world faces in a few decades does the technological giant (America) not take advantage of the technology available? The corrupting influence of profits now at all costs and a general tendency towards inertia rather than innovation inherent in competition free capitalism shows its limitations.

Capitalists do not choose to compete or innovate unless forced to. When dealing with public utilities (state approved monopolies) the state effectively discourages competition by permitting the power companies a free hand (sans competition).

How much would America save with a Solar Southwest? Considering how much rainy and cold Germany has saved by investing in alternatives, it is inexplicable that the sunny southwest does not do the same.

It is because of this kind of thing that free market unrestricted capitalism shows that it is not truly viable by itself for the future.

Not surprisingly Capitalism inherently seeks monopoly or near monopoly (too big to fail for example) and attempts to avoid competition whenever possible. Not surprisingly, at this point in time Capitalism as an economic system has monopolized the way we think a world economy should be run.

What we need is a more enlightened capitalism... like maybe one with real competition?

New Mexico needs energy competition - Here comes the Sun


#12

We have to solve this problem by reducing ghgs by at least 90% in about the next 15 years. While in the long run we need to both reduce population growth asap, and population itself slowly after, and heal the psychological condition that is at the root of all our problems, no population solution can possibly have any significant effect in that time; only massive transformation of our energy system to clean renewables can accomplish it (along with reforestation of Earth and transformation of agriculture to low-meat organic permaculture.) Obviously, the only way it will happen fast enough is for the rich to fund it, however that needs to be accomplished. And reduction in consumption by the rich, while helping the poor to improve their lives and yet decrease even their already tiny harm, must be part of it, obviously. Few people want to face that or think about it but there's no way to avoid it.

We've waited far too long to make these changes, because of the intransigence of the right and the designed, studied ignorance of the majority, well beyond the climate crisis alone (I've been pushing for solar, wind and efficiency development and wiser, more ecological lives for more than 30 years, always against the same insane and ridiculous arguments and apathy.) We'll all suffer because of that delay, some much more than we will. So what? We play the hand we're dealt, and to give up now because people won't do it exactly the way we'd like them to is childish and what's worse, guarantees failure. I understand the feelings, theinitiate, but come on. You "don't believe in battery storage"? What does that even mean? We need you as an ally; don't give up and don't wig out, please.


#13

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#14

Hey, thanks for the team support rally... but, what I am saying is... say for example... How will we supply all those batteries for storage... when we would have to rip up the earth for the lithium for billions... and I mean billions of sets of batteries?... It isn't possible.... tell me what you think of that?.... and who lives in that place where lithium exists...

"Best Answer: Lithium is widely distributed on Earth and is the 33rd most abundant element;however, it does not naturally occur in elemental form due to its high reactivity. Estimates for crustal content range from 20 to 70 ppm by weight. In keeping with its name, lithium forms a minor part of igneous rocks, with the largest concentrations in granites. Granitic pegmatites also provide the greatest abundance of lithium-containing minerals, with spodumene and petalite being the most commercially-viable mineral sources for the element.

Lithium metal, due to its alkaline tarnish, is corrosive and requires special handling to avoid skin contact. Breathing lithium dust or lithium compounds (which are often alkaline) can irritate the nose and throat; higher exposure to lithium can cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs, leading to pulmonary edema. The metal itself is usually a handling hazard because of the caustic hydroxide produced when it is in contact with moisture causing an explosion. Lithium should be stored in a non-reactive compound such as naphtha or a hydrocarbon

Most lithium comes from South America, where the cheapest extraction method evaporates salty brine in ponds lined with toxic PVC, Erceg said. And in lithium-rich regions of Chile, mining the material uses two-thirds of the area's drinking water.

Erceg described another exploratory method--of piping in ocean water to mine minerals--as inefficient because it requires treating the saline water first".


#15

I don't think you're usually like this, the, but right now you're cherry picking and nit-picking problems with the most benign energy technologies humans have ever invented. It's an attack technique used by right wing anti-environmental anti-renewable Koch-Exxon-ALEC talking points-using people, and I don't believe you're one of them so I'm curious about why you're doing this. If it's out of despair, that's not an accurate diagnosis of society but is a personal psychological response to your own history. That's fixable, but not in the political or technological realm.

There are batteries that contain no lithium; battery technology is advancing at an incredible rate as prices fall equally rapidly. The same is true of solar and wind technologies. We almost certainly won't need "billions" of batteries unless you mean AA or AAA batteries and even that seems unlikely given the rapid advance.

We can use distributed generation, and mixes of different renewables. Solar and wind peak at different times in different places that generally meet the peak requirements of those places, so by the time we reach a level of renewables penetration of the grid that requires storage at all, of any kind, we can use a combination of reliable plains, ridgetop and offshore wind, 24/7 solar thermal, existing hydro and micro-hydro, geothermal and ACES, waste biomass, and locally important tidal, wave, river and ocean current, OTEC and other renewables before we even need to think about storage, and then we have pumped storage, EVs as mobile batteries including public vehicles and trains, and so on. At least one study has said we can reach 90% renewables in many if not most places before we need any storage at all. You're focusing on immaterial, irrelevant and imaginary problems that can be either avoided or fixed, and you're acting as if they negate the incredible advantages of renewables, including human survival and that of millions of other species. Why?


#16

Here in Virginia as well. The US, beyond rhetoric and shallow photo-op achievements, is a corporate oligarchy largely owned by the fossil fuel industry. We the People may have to shut it down from below but that requires building energy self-sufficiency, community an organized, sustainable and growing movement. The response and support for the Sanders campaign is symptomatic of a growing awareness and radicalism that we saw awaken with Occupy. This is a vital time for us to come together. The window of opportunity for preserving any future is closing fast.


#17

Lithium? Who says that batteries in the future will have to be lithium batteries? One particular favorite of mine for the future is a combination thin skin solar cell that incorporates its own battery (also thin skin). It already exists but needs to improve efficiency so as to be more commercial. There are even paper batteries (which seems somewhat amazing). The state of science/engineering is such that no predictions based on current technology are trustworthy. The only thing faster than the rate of global climate change is technological development.


#18

Hi, thanks for the consideration of my past posts.... (please read to the bottom of this post before you give up on me.) You and Wereflea both seem to not understand where I am coming from....however, ..... well, I guess that overall... I have am not a optimistic as you guys.... I have read on some other sites about the lithium battery thing..... and overall, my take is that... yes, renewables are GREAT... AND ...as I have stated in the past... we need to set in place enough of this type of energy to provide health care and some very basic necessities.... running water and lighting... but this is just an example.... so, I am very AFRAID .... that what is being pushed for is just a way to hang on to the incredibly wastefull and unequal society we already have.... we will keep on with a society that just doesn't make sense... like the one we have...flying all over the world at just because.... professional sports... NASCAR.... and I know I keep mentioning these things... but these are just samples of our waste of energy.... How could we continue on with CASINOS ... ETC.... So, IN SETTING UP ANY NEW ELECTRICAL SYSTEM.... WE NEED TO HURRY UP !!!! TIME IS CRITICAL.... I am really not confident we are going to put what we need in place... .because we will be trying to produce electricity for EVERYTHING... instead of what is really important..... YOu see....it's not the just the equipment I am worried about.... it is OUR PRIORITIES....
The amount of emissions reductions we need is monumental... and we need to do it in a short time span... at the same time, we have other "situations" that are developing.... such as financial crisis... and energy shortages which could put a big crimp in the production of renewables... IN THE INITIAL STAGES... of producing renewables... we will need fossil fuels.... WE NEED TO BALANCE OUR PRIORITIES.... ..as I stated earlier... we could have "a perfect storm"....of these issues.... which would put us further behind in transitioning..... IT'S NOT THAT I WOULD NOT WANT TO TRANSITION TO RENEWABLES.... I JUST THINK IT IS SO LATE IN THE GAME..... and there fore, we will not be able to turn the tide of peoples minds.... i know of people around me, who could give a crap about any of this... they are not even trying... a few are religious and are stuck on using coal... i talk to even young people on the street and they haven't got a clue.... they just do not understand..... the CRITICAL TIME FACTOR IN VOLVED..... so, when you hear me talk as I have been it's only me stating that maybe, just maybe, we won't make it by trying the techno fix...cause that much fix for all our energy uses is wastefull.... Okay so, yesterday I hear on NPR that you can not only SKI INDOORS... BUT they have now made an IN DOOR BEACH.... with water... sand ... thousands of plastic balls to jump in to.... yeah..... and it's always 75 and no humidity... Ha!!!! I think they said that was made in California.... they interviewed some people who were there... at the place..... and indoor beach so people do not have to be in the humid, hot air.... mmmmm and you wonder why I do not have much faith....
The little and yes... little amount of forward moving progress we have made in awareness.... is just a drop in the bucket.... THERE ARE 150 FEEDBACK LOOPS THAT CAN TRIGGER RUN AWAY CLIMATE CHANGE.... AND 52 HAVE NOT BEEN TRIGGERED....


#19

If you save ENERGY by using a more efficient air conditioner.... then when you spend you SAVED MONEY on another product when made produced co2....and that you probably wouldn't have bought.... how are you saving energy in the long run?.... my point is to CUT OUT PRODUCTS AND ACTIVITIES....AND THEN ,YES... RENEWABLES MAKE SENSE.... but only in that context... why make renewables just to INCREASE ENERGY USE.... if it doesn't reduce energy use... then we are chasing our tail.....yes, efficient refrigerators make sense, but only if we REDUCE FLYING, AND STUPID PLASTIC STUFF.... OH, AND GET RID OF CAPITALISM....
OH, and I hope you are not one of those people living in the more northern half of the country and using air conditioning.... to me, that is a total waste of energy.... I barely think people i the south should have it.... only elderly and sick people.... ya know... the way to deal with hot weather.....is to CUT DOWN ON ACTIVITY OR CHANGE ACTIVITY.... but of course ....in our PROTESTANT WORK ETHIC SOCIETY.... we would rather use AIR CONDITIONING SO WE COULD KEEP MAKING MONEY.... and use energy.... I am extremely for getting rid of fossil fuels... all kinds, including nuclear... but I AM ALSO FOR US CHANGING OUR BEHAVIORS, DRASTICALLY ........


#20

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