"We see very clearly that chlorine from CFCs is going down in the ozone hole, and that less ozone depletion is occurring because of it."
How we handled CFCs is nothing like how you can handle CO2 emissions. Suggesting that the Montreal Protocol be a model for Climate Change has long been disproven by environmental economic policy. Just as a comparison as to why the Montreal Protocol was so successful:
There were existing substitutes for products that did not have CFCs at a reasonable cost.
Compare this with the fact that we do not have substitutes for petrochemicals at all, nor is the EV market cheaper than current vehicles, nor do we have cheap substitutes for other fossil fuel products like coal slag aggregate in concrete or methane for hydrogen production in steam reformation.
Very few countries had companies that actually made products that had CFCs.
Compare this with CO2, where literally every country on earth produces CO2.
The USA made very strong commitments to solve the issue of Ozone depletion.
As evident by current events, the USA is not only against making strong commitments, but the USA is against making any commitments.
CFCs have a relatively medium persistence rate, as mentioned in the article they last 50-100 years.
Compare this with CO2 that has a persistence rate of 200 years.
People who are in fact very stable geniuses will make sure that the following critical problems get studied:
Can we transform certain less-stable greenhouse gases in the atmosphere such as methane and nitrogen oxides? Do certain elements act as catalysts for methane?
Can we stabilize the Arctic permafrost with artificial snow making machines that change the Arctic albedo? Can snow making machines be effective if they’re wind-powered and web-controlled?
Can we make it illegal for a corporation to put out false corporate political propaganda concerning a noxious by-product such as greenhouse gases? Can states, national governments or classes of harmed people collect damages?
Are we rapidly researching the replacement of the old wasteful technology of natural gas burners with solar storage /geothermal pump hybrid systems?
Remember: stupid is as stupid does, or in this case as stupid doesn’t do if nobody on earth is doing this work. Trump didn’t tell you personally not to do this research. You told yourself not to do this world-critical research, because somebody else will save the lives of your grandkids from mass starvation. Yeah, somebody else’s problem. That’s the ticket.
In any case, if your government is France, you just put out a handful of research grants sought after by thousands of researchers. Good start. Otherwise, your national government is most likely a piece of trash floating in a mid-ocean gyre.
The article referenced the Montreal Protocol as a model to address the ‘climate crisis’, which includes a much broader scope than just referring to CO2. Some obvious examples as with feedback systems, such as the loss of Arctic sea ice to reflect solar radiation; warmer temperatures permitting greater water vapor in the atmosphere, itself a greenhouse component; the releasing of trapped methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas, due to thawing of permafrost from both terrestrial and marine sources.
You start off with a tantalizing comment: “How we handled CFCs is nothing like how you can handle CO2 emissions.” This hints that you may have some thoughts on how to handle CO2 emissions. Have anything more to add to that?
Consider such comments as:
__we do not have substitutes for petrochemicals at all
__nor is the EV market cheaper than current vehicles
__nor do we have cheap substitutes for other fossil fuel products
__or in general that attempts have failed by the standards of environmental economic policies.
These kind of remarks, whether by intent on your part or not, are a red herring to deflect on what has been accomplished by alternate means along with their present and future growth. And critically, it defends the status quo by avoiding the center of the bulls-eye. Namely, that growth and consumption for profit by the elite investor and owner class, is the very problem which created this crisis. Maintaining that growth and consumption cult will only exacerbate conditions. Will the public object to the lowering of their living standards? What the public objects to is screwing them on healthcare and having to carry the burden of the wealthy not paying their fair share on taxes.
It’s pure propaganda to create a reality having just the two choices of matching ‘environmental economic policy’ or to do nothing. Suicidal propaganda. The US, more than anywhere in the world, has the resources, the wealth and the global influence to address the climate crisis. That more than half of the discretionary spending in the US goes to the military gives more than a small hint as to the degree of corrupting power and an almost total lack of rationality that has infected decision making.
Loss and destruction of food producing habitat is a major reason for the global refugee and immigration situations that we’ve been seeing for years now. These and other crisis issues are just the beginning. Including crisis in ‘economic policies’ to be sure. Rigid orthodoxy is a virtual suicide note. It’s not complicated.
The article’s main point is that the CFC campaign (Montreal Protocol) is a model for solving climate change. No matter how you want to tackle climate change issues, your solution will not be like the Montreal Protocol. It doesn’t matter if you want to attack CO2, H2O, CH4, NF3, agriculture, deforestation etc. All of these campaigns need to be handled differently than the ozone problem, because the scenario is completely different.
To elaborate on my initial comment, "“How we handled CFCs is nothing like how you can handle CO2 emissions”, lets go over what the Montreal Protocol’s criteria included:
- It was a legally binding international agreement
- Developed nations were required to reduce production and consumption of CFCs by 1/2 their 1986 levels (Montreal Protocol was made in 1987)
- These levels were supposed to be decreased by 1/2 by the year 2000
- In 1990 and 1992 amendments developing nations were also included on longer timescales
Just with that information it is impossible to make a plan for CO2 with that criteria. Why? Because CO2 is produced by every industry on the planet and every single country and you have just 13 years. It has historically taken over 13 years to transition the US car industry to next generation vehicles. Furthermore, we were able to undergo this transition, because we banned CFCs. It is not possible to ban CO2. Every energy source that exists produces CO2 in some amount, even if its just concrete. Speaking of concrete is chemically impossible to create concrete and not emit CO2. If you didn’t emit CO2, then what you just made isn’t concrete.
In regards to solving the issue of CO2 emissions there are five economic methods: Taxing, Coase Solution (where consumers pay), Coase Solution (where companies pay), Tradable Permits (with cost), Tradable Permits (w/o cost). You have most likely heard of at least two of these, as Taxing relates to a Carbon Tax, and Tradable Permitting (w/ cost) relates to Cap and Trade. These are the most common methods, but we have actually already tried Cap and Trade internationally with the Kyoto Protocol of 1992 (although Cap and Trade itself is largely not the reason why the Kyoto Protocol was unsuccessful).
In my opinion and most companies opinions, the best option is a carbon tax, but if you choose this option you are going to have to accomplish a few things:
- First of all you have to set a rate and a projected increase that will enable you to meet your atmospheric concentration goals, without diminishing economic activity to such a rate that it effects your country and the global market.
- Second of all you most likely will have to devise some type of dividend system for your citizens as many companies will likely try to pass the carbon tax onto consumers. This includes more than just gasoline, as carbon tax can influence costs for just about every industry on the planet.
- Third of all given that many of these companies are multinational you will have to devise some type of international strategy that discourages major companies from putting all their industrial production in developing countries, and also does not harm continental businesses by allowing foreign nations to be exempt from these strategies.
- Fourth of all if youre going to make an international agreement on this tax strategy, you have to make the criteria loose enough that every country can develop their on tax structure as it meets their country’s system, but you also have to make sure the agreement will enable you to meet your concentration goal and be a legally binding agreement.
If you think this is easy, I question your knowledge of international economics and politics.
The comments that you consider to be red-herrings are comparing products that produce CO2 to products that produce CFCs, as my comment is a literal comparison: “There were existing substitutes for products that did not have CFCs at a reasonable cost.Compare this with the fact that we do not have substitutes for petrochemicals at all”. I’m not quite sure how you think this is misleading. What is this market scale substitute for ethylene you known of? What is the substitute for poly-propylene? As for the EV market, you can look at current statistics of car prices and find that the median price for EVs is more expensive than ICVs in most countries including the USA. “Nor do we have cheap substitutes for other fossil fuel products like coal slag aggregate”- yes this is also correct. I literally gave you an example of what I was talking about, so I’m really not sure how that was confusing or misleading. The last supposed red-herring was made in correlation to CFC campaigns, which I address above in the section where I go into detail about the Montreal Protocol and the economic methods to solve the CO2 situation.
I’m not the poster person for answering emails right away, but I usually get around to it. Usually.
You are not the first person to describe the ‘economic’ realities of addressing the climate crisis. The rest of the world is quite aware of it. But with a difference. The rest of the planet is more than a little aware that the climate crisis is the greatest threat to human existence our species has faced for the past tens of thousands of years. The world may not have specific answers at present but it does understand that all societies have to collectively apply themselves into working for solutions. Yet the most powerful, influential and dominate nation in the world’s history is not just refusing to cooperate and participate but actively working to undermine and sabotage that effort.
When NASA officials spoke of the “… significance of the study and why the Montreal Protocol should be celebrated as a great success.”, that was a clear and obvious rebuke of not just the Trump administration but to all the powerful and wealthy sources in the US that wish to promote just the opposite. It was the statements by Greenpeace that the success of the Montreal Protocol could be applied to the climate crisis that you questioned. But can anyone doubt that Greenpeace was directing their remarks directly to the US. Whether any source is a global neoliberalist, a corporatist, a nationalist or an actual normal human being, most of the world agrees that climate change is an existential threat. With the obvious exception.
There’s some strange properties about the US. It has perhaps the greatest political freedom, if not social freedom, of any place on earth. Thus the need for such world class propaganda by those who think democracy is a dirty word. But, of course, not publicly. That is, until the Trump era. Maybe the only nation who started out with the goal of becoming an empire. The only nation who came out of WWII and the global depression which proceeded it with a four fold increase in its economy while the rest of the western nations struggled for decades. No more or less moral that other imperial powers. Just a lot better off. If decades ago, one had to pick a potential dissenting nation on climate change, it wouldn’t have been hard to find a consensus.
The point of the article was that for sane people to battle the climate crisis they also have to battle the saboteurs. Transparent yet often ignored. Since the ultimate adjudicator, nature, cares none about our economic realities. Eventually we will all be forced to realize that. If not too late.
“The point of the article was that for sane people to battle the climate crisis they also have to battle the saboteurs” I fail to see how this is the point of the article, when “saboteurs” are never discussed in this entire piece. Trump is going to hold back the USA and movements to prevent climate change, but the reality is he will only have a direct effect for 4-8 years due to his presidency. The timescale of plans to prevent climate change extend 50-80 years in the future. If we are going to make long term action plans to reduce the effects of atmospheric changes then we need to make plans that are practical, achievable and are based on calculated mathematics and science instead of political whims for the future. How FDR handled the great depression is nothing like how we are going to be able to handle this issue, as the criteria for the present scenario is extraordinarily different from that of the 1930s-1940s.
Trump didn’t create this crisis. It was in place long before his venture into the Oval Office. That Trump was a willing, a very willing facilitator is obvious. The nations of the world have their share of social and political divides. But why…why is the US virtually isolated on the issue of climate change? And the US has the most impact of any nation on the planet. The resistance and propaganda against combating climate change in the US are coming from some of the most powerful and wealthy sources in the country. That more than implies that those individuals, companies and institutions comprising those sources are, because of the serious nature of what’s at stake, the most dangerous persons in human history. And very worthy of the moniker ‘saboteurs’.
If one looks at the problem as finding alternate ways to match present fossil fuel energy levels, or feel compelled to work within any ’ environmental economic policy’ then the outcome is pretty grim. There is no plan B to fall back on. Add to that the resistance coming from the people now at the helm in the US to resist virtually all sane efforts. The article as I saw it was not conflating apples with pears but a broader recognition that cooperation is necessary. And the CFC picture was an exmple of that.