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Energy Revolution Is Possible... And It Would Only Take 782 Rich People To Pay For It


Energy Revolution Is Possible... And It Would Only Take 782 Rich People To Pay For It

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

The personal fortunes of just 782 of the world's wealthiest people could power half the world—Africa, Latin America, and "most of Asia"—with 100 percent renewable energy within 15 years, according to a new report to be published Monday.

Broken down by continent, it would take the wealth of just 53 rich people to power all of Africa, and a mere 32 prosperous people could plug in the vast majority of Latin America.


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The 2C goal probably makes some sense as a framework for international climate agreements but probably not something climate activists should be advocating. Well known British climate scientist Kevin Anderson recently questioned the UN calculations and suggested that more than double the emissions reductions would be needed than what the US says to stay below 2C. He figures that developed countries would have to reduce emissions by more than 10% per year to have a chance. And the 2C calculations omit positive feedbacks. Climate scientist James Hansen believes the feedbacks such as thawing permafrost will really kick in soon after we reach 1C which is just about where we are. And the UN calculations also omit what would happen if atmospheric levels of aerosols that reflect sunlight are reduced due to less coal burning. Climate scientist Michael Mann has pondered that question and calculated that means it would take less emissions to reach 2C than the UN says. The bottom line seems to be that going beyond 2C is now inevitable even if the countries pledges added up to staying up to 2C. The only goal that really seems to make any sense is the general goal of reducing emissions as quickly as possible. The math of Bill McKibben is probably all wrong. Nobody seems to know the correct math. What they do know is that emissions much be reduced drastically.


People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. John Galbraith


Of course, like with everything else everyone is on board as long as the are not the ones paying for it.

Ask people if they believe AGW is true, 75% of them will tell you it is and they'll do anything to fight it. Except carpool. or ride a bile to work, or pay more for energy...

But back to the article, what are we gonna do after 15 years? Or what about the other half?


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Even though any tax on consumption is regressive, a tax on greenhouse gas emissions with revenue devoted to buying fossil fuel reserves as mineral rights would have such delightful prohibitive tariff effect (reducing greenhouse gas emissions to slow climate change) that I favor it. It is a question of phasing it in slowly enough to avoid knocking whole economy for a loop but fast enough to have noticeable effect in slowing climate change. Energy has 0.37 coefficient of demand (10% increase in price causes 3.7% decrease in amount of sales). That works out to 85% being maximum revenue tax rate, with increase past 70% being hardly worth bothering with. Want only 10% increase in price each year to avoid shocking economy. Once tax rate hits 40%, probably need to hold emissions tax there and instead add tax on energy regardless of carbon footprint, and raise slowly until emissions tax gives only prohibitive tariff effect and revenue from energy tax is 70% of pretax $ sales of energy. By then you will have net zero emissions, and need tax revenue mainly to follow through on buying fossil fuel as mineral rights until all fossil fuel reserves belong to government.


For what year did coal account for almost 75% of Walmart's US operations electric use emissions for US electricity us?. Last I heard, in 2014 coal accounted for 50% US emissions from electric power regardless of identity of customers.


Just how sensitive is the climate to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere?

Have you heard the phrase 'too little, too late'?


How much wealth would it take if the rest of us 7 billion chipped in?


Well the BBC story is 4 years old, the climatecrocks story reports a new finding. In the world of science newer is usually better.


I thought it was less than 50%. A big part of Wal Marts carbon footprint is its reliance on long-haul trucking. I've never seen a Wal Mart warehouse with railroad service.


Yes, tax policy is a big part of getting to a low-carbon economy - and can be more more effective than hard to enforce regulations in a lot of ways. Fuel tax evasion does exist though. Among truckers in the Midwest, there is a fairly lively black market in untaxed agricultural or lower-taxed river-navigation diesel fuel for highway trucks.


Cookies thanks for detailing how much money these greedy jerks have made in just one year.

To grasp just how greedy, it is necessary to break it down. Let's assume that it is just 3 billion among them, and that they will spend this money as a group. Let's see how much they can spend per hour…this will be so much fun.


One billion USD in one year comes out to per hour 115,144 USD 24/7 for an entire year, so the three spending as one could spend 3 times that much per hour for an entire year on just that years earnings.

So that comes out to per hour 345,432 USD 24/7 for an entire year.

The starkness of the greed becomes even more clear.


Absolutely! I was about to say the same! Mentality of someone else paying for your projects is bound to produce a failure, be it a global warming project or war in Iraq.



Let's just take it from them!

Outlaw being a billionaire or a millionaire.


Yep, I included the bbc story before I listened to it. My bad.


Part of the Waltons' and Kochs' thwarting includes 1) investing in large scale solar products and production while 2) lobbying state governments to charge small scale solar producers exhorbitant fees in order to kill that industry, and 3) coaching electric utility companies to implement fees and other means of discouraging small scale solar.


The wealthy achieve their status by creating and maintaining market dependencies; essentially a modern form of colonialism - harvesting natural resources for export while leaving colonists dependent upon goods produced elsewhere. In regard to global warming, fuel/energy production and consumption maintains a dependency of long-distance travel and transport. Sprawling suburban subdivision housing creates a car-dependency whereby most trips are only possible by driving. The morose urban environs and chaotic traffic of car-dependency create a market for exotic air travel as temporary getaways complete with rental car and pricey hotel accommodations staffed by minimum wage locals living hand to mouth.

The premise - We drive too much, too far, for too many purposes, fly too much, truck and ship goods around the world too much - is a good basic starting point to perceive economic structures that may achieve a sustainable future. The global economy heralded by the elite, undermines more sustainable basic economies - local, regional, state, national - AND any lesser level of global trade deemed desirable and sustainable. Globalization is the end game, Genocide by disrupting the global supply of basic goods and colonists left unable to provide.


Um, I just wanted to point out that the interpretation of the 2014 IEA report doesn't match what the report itself seems to say. Half of the new power generation coming online in 2014 was renewable, not half of world generation. Their projections for the year 2040 show solar PV at 4% and wind at 9% of global electricity supply.