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'No Time to Lose for Climate Action': Atmospheric CO2 Continued to Rise in 2020 Despite Covid-19 Lockdowns

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/11/23/no-time-lose-climate-action-atmospheric-co2-continued-rise-2020-despite-covid-19

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Very good article - I have found Naomi Orestes to be always right on point.

“In her new book Why Trust Science? Naomi Oreskes, professor of the history of science at Harvard University, argues that if more people heard scientists talk personally about their values, it would help turn back the creeping tide of anti-science sentiment.”


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I’m sure you already know this:



And Biden is on top of this putting John Kerry in charge?

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I see lots of articles saying that we need to do something. Sometimes they add, “quickly”. We need to move on to “how”.

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“[T]he bulk of emissions are generated by the industrial sector operated by very large and profitable corporations.”

It has been said that climate change is not caused by people but by capital. Strikes me that this is only partly true even if the people behind the greed and selfishness of capital is a minority. All of us have been trapped in this and the bold actions might be to walk away from this capitalist, extractive technological “civilization”.

Western humankind has been over rating itself as it proudly proclaims: “I think, therefore I am”, Descartes, when the opposite need to be seen as true: “I AM, therefore, I think”. From an indigenous perspective: “We thank, therefore we are…becoming”, Tioxasin Ghosthorse, Lakota Elder.

Rings true and I suspect it is because no one is exhibiting vision, imagination, for how we are to organize ourselves into livable societies. An idea that has been circulating is that we come together virtually to discuss what this vision might look like so that we can actually build foundation under it.

The equation for zero net cost climate mitigation is very simple. US Americans spend one trillion dollars per year on fossil fuels. Ten percent return on investment (average) would amortize a $10 trillion investment.

One square meter (about 10.7 sq ft) Colorado sunlight is worth one barrel of oil per year.

I trust John Kerry all the way.
And he is at NSC table.
He will help bring back Iran nuclear treaty quickly.
Pls note: Saudi, Netenhiyu, and Pompeo meeting may be to create muddle east havoc before January 20, 2021 that pre-empts reasonable relations with Iran and others.

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The only - only - only way to stop the dreaded CO2 is NO MORE gasoline or diesel CARS !!
Electric cars, charged over night are the answer because the juice is now made and not used.

Not one CDer comments that we are adding millions of cars inside every country every year.
And that is the highest causal of climate damage.

Not industry, agriculture, power generations.

Also, in the equations for wind generated and solar generating electric power = these watts do add to the temperature. They just don’t magically disappear!! If we create megawatts, they heat a house or run a 40 horsepower motor. That wormth exits by heat transfer, delta “T” is the driving force.

Co-generation provides a 6 to 12% increase in power for a power plant, diesel engine.

Actually the only way to “stop the dreaded CO2” is a massive many-faceted global mobilization, as I pointed out in the forum on the article just above this one (“To Prevent ‘Active Sabotage’ . . .”).

The sources of the greenhouse gasses that are the primary drivers of global warming are similarly many. Yes, transportation of all forms, including private automobiles, is a major factor, and electrics certainly do have a smaller total carbon footprint than carbon burners, but the ranking depends on how the drivers and factors are categorized. And yes, co-generation is great where it is feasible, but its cost at the micro level of individual vehicles might exceed the value of the small amount of energy reclaimed.

Banking on private “cars” is probably not a wise choice for the long run. If a genuinely sustainable economy becomes a reality in a century or so, it will likely entail a lot less travel and a lot more communication, with most urban travel being by some version of mass transit. In that event, our descendants might rue all of the non-renewable resources expended to shift first to small privately owned electric vehicles.

The first task of Joe Biden’s two trillion dollar climate plan (don’t hold your breath) will have to be to prioritize the many overlapping steps to cut NEW CO2 by half in ten years. That may require a lot of electric cars, many if not most of which government will have to provide. But it is doubtful that they will be the ultimate mode.

The heat trapped by CO2 is 100,000 times the heat generated by burning carbon.

electric vehicles:
start with post office delivery vans in suburbs and cities.
Cities can legally limit the number of city stickers released each year and raise the cost too.
Cities can also have window stickers that allow owner to drive three days each week. Prescription pick up, grocery, medical allowed when emergency.

Yes, my empty potato chip bag at home and harsh hershey need is an emergency, officer.

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That brings up another aspect of the transition, which is just now warming up, pun intended. Almost everything humankind is doing–especially in this country–is unsustainable, so will cease at some point. It is almost certain that in a best case scenario the personal motor car will be history, also most air travel. (I read recently that one percent of the population is responsible for 99 percent of all pollution due to air travel; domestically or globally not specified.) Total resource throughput, a basic measure of industrial activity, will be much lower. Energy consumption per capita will be smaller, and will decline further because the population will also be smaller.

Precisely how all this will come about is unknowable at this point. It could be anything from an engineered “soft landing” to the worst dystopian science fiction ever imagined.

Your point about high-mileage delivery vehicles are well taken. Converting them from carbon to electrons should be a very efficient priority in terms of reduction of GHG emission per buck. You are probably aware of the prototype semi-trailers now being tested.

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semi trucks in Arizona being driver less. The PR said their camera can see 2,500 feet ahead.
A driver headed west from Toledo on I80 can see all the way to the Indiana border. The camera
is not impressive and the software is likely faulty also. They are seeking state approval to put these on the highways.

A better fix is the 250 mile rule. Except for food.
If the load is going over 250 miles, it goes by railroad.
Less than 250 miles is ok on highways and sreets.

Round trip is about 10 hours long. So, human driver
is not overly fatigued, safer. At home every day, happier.

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Amen to all of that, but especially w/r/t rail freight. If you want it in less than 10 days you pay extra; less than 5 days you pay through the nose, both with exceptions for pharmaceuticals and a short list of other items for which time really is critical.

“Self-driving” vehicles–don’t even get me started. A solution in search of a profitable “problem.”

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C&O had 16% sales loss a few years ago due to coal shipments just about ceasing. Coal from Wyoming has less sulfur and is preferred now. We tried to sell this overseas but Minnesota would not allow a new dock be built. The MAYO Clinic complained that the noise might upset their customers.

Please note that america’s wealth is from sales overseas of agricultural, manufactured, and mining products. Oil is a liquid mining product and Obama had to open our spigot to earn enough money to feed our peoples. No wealth = no medical. chunk that Mayo!!

what feel-good nonsense that we can keep going on with our lifestyles, driving and flying everywhere, cranking up the AC, eating lots of meat, having lots of kids, and somehow renewable energy will save us. No way, even renewable energy has a lot of impacts and downsides as do EVs. This kind of post just keeps us heading for disaster


Thank you for your dose of much needed reality.

I am receiving happy talk emails from centrist (“everything will be ok with Biden now” bullshit) about his wonderful new website and how he is placing dealing with climate change front and center.

So, being a glutton for punishment, I visited his website titled “Build Back Better” where he "lays a new foundation for sustainable growth.” (my bold)

Top of the list of his priorities: infrastructure and auto industry growth where he would:

“Create 1 million new jobs in the American auto industry, domestic auto supply chains, and auto infrastructure”

Once again evidence of why WASF.

Headlines in Marketwatch today:

“There’s Not Enough Copper For a Green Wave, so Buy These Miners, Says Jefferies”


When people like Jeff Gibbs and Michael Moore tried to point out the problems with only pushing renewables there was an attempt to censor them.

Sustainable GROWTH???
We should be talking about de-growth on all levels.

We are utterly and completely screwed (repeating myself I know)

Few want to look at this:



The material that helps power the EV battery is produced from a number of different metals, things like nickel and cobalt and lithium.


I posted this on another thread----another example of why WASF:

FlightRadar24 reports heavy U.S. air travel ahead of Thanksgiving
More than 2 million Americans are projected to fly to a destination for Thanksgiving

(Better late than never.)

Adam Smith’s masterwork was titled *An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of “The Wealth Of Nations.” In his time and that of his friend and mentor David Hume that “nature” meant the gold in the king’s coffers. But it had already begun to shift toward gold or its surrogates in private hands, with its quantity constantly increasing (!?!) through trade (“comparative advantage,” David Ricardo). The paradigm of the past century and a half held that this increase in the quantity of money (by definition fixed except as additional gold was mined, despite the lack of correlation) was possible because the fiat money was conjured into existence as banks loaned it. Modern economics (Modern Monetary Theory or MMT) rejects the tenet that “money” is a concrete commodity and that its quantity is fixed.

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