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PostPosted: September 30th, 2021, 2:37 pm 
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Begins Oct 31 in Glasgow, Scotland... maybe some here remember all the hugging and self-congratulation after the votes to do something were in at the last one in Paris, to be followed by CO2 emissions rising even higher. Recent reports of an energy crisis in Europe and China (Europe needs more natural gas, China needs more coal) for electrical generation are not a good sign wrt to fossil fuel reductions anytime soon.

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The IPCC has been publishing science based climate warning assessments since 1990 and in those 30 odd years human beings have released more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than we did in the previous two centuries. That has to go down as a fail. This latest report contains the starkest and bluntest language so far. So will this one make any difference?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Zax9XTHUlo

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PostPosted: September 30th, 2021, 4:17 pm 
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I can't imagine it will make any difference at all.

On a national level, no nation is going to take any climate action unless the population supports it and/or it's in that countries best interests. If neither of those conditions are true, no UN conference is going to make them take action anyway. And if one or both of those conditions were true, then they would take those actions irregardless of any UN conference. So either way I cant see how it would make any difference in the actions of any nation.

On an individual level, I find there's very little middle ground when it comes to climate issues. Either you believe that it's a full blown crisis and you think there is nothing more important than taking urgent action now, or you dismiss the entire thing as a bunch of overblown hooey and think any action is just a waste of money and and injury to business. I havent met many moderates who would hold some middle position, and frankly i'm not even sure what the middle position would be? Would a moderate agree that there is a crisis but nevertheless think we should drag our heels a bit more on taking any action? Or would a moderate not believe there is any crisis but think we might as well spend a bunch of money anyway on climate action just for the heck of it? I dunno, if I ever meet a moderate on this issue, I will ask them. Till then, there's just the two extremes, and I cant see any of them being much influenced by a UN conference. Those in favour will agree with the conference and find their beliefs confirmed, while those not in favour will just dismiss it all as more balogna from the UN.

Bottom line, no, I cant see it making any difference at all.


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PostPosted: September 30th, 2021, 5:39 pm 
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Will it make a "difference"? - Yes
How much of a difference? - Some
When will we actually see the difference? - At some point down the road
Will the observable difference mean that the problem is resolved? Nope!

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PostPosted: October 2nd, 2021, 6:59 am 
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Callee,

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...no nation is going to take any climate action unless the population supports it and/or it's in that countries best interests.


Joe Biden's green initiative to reduce fossil fuel dependency is being set in motion and all we have to do is sit back to wait and watch what happens in the states. Besides governments, there are many businesses and institutions that are adopting decarbonization strategies so there's more momentum feeding the disruption there. Someone has to take the lead in creating change and it might turn out that the rest of the world follows.

So far it hasn't, as the vid above shows. In the news yesterday was the story that there is now another energy crisis in India, where there's a shortage of coal. Hard to see how there could be anything significant happening when there's still so much need for fossil fuel. But we'll see what happens in Glasgow.

Forest fires are going to be a big problem in Canada and that will affect paddlers. As well as more extreme storms, heat waves, floods and droughts. The heat wave that hit BC this summer is said to be the most destructive weather event in Canadian history, in terms of deaths.

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PostPosted: October 4th, 2021, 9:27 am 
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More pessimism on Glasgow for anybody interested, could make the proceedings there notable.... coal, "the dirtiest fossil fuel", is being phased out in Canada and America, but poorer nations still need it. From this morning's Globe and Mail.

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OPINION
Coal’s unwelcome revival is bad news for the UN’s crucial climate summit in Glasgow

Eric Reguly
EUROPEAN BUREAU CHIEF
ROME

PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 10, 2021


By now, coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, was supposed to be well on its way to the industrial graveyard. Thanks, you nasty old brute, you gave us a century and a half of cheap electric power; now your time is up, for the sake of the planet.

Yet like a senior citizen with a new heart transplant, coal is getting a second wind and refuses to die. Prices and demand are soaring and fleets of new coal plants are under construction in high-growth parts of the planet.

All this is distressing for the Greta Thunbergs of the world, the environmental groups, the few enlightened governments that are ridding their electricity grids of coal-fired power, climate scientists everywhere and the hosts of the upcoming COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow.

COP26 (the acronym stands for conference of the parties) is in trouble and shaping up to be a failure. The Climate Action Network, an umbrella environmental association with members in more than 130 countries, wants the event postponed, arguing the low COVID-19 vaccination rates in dozens of developing countries, as well as the high costs of travel and accommodation in Scotland, have made it impossible for the summit to be “safe, inclusive and just.”

The network has an absolutely valid point. Many of the poorest countries, such as sinking island states, are the biggest victims of global warming – a potential existential problem they did not create. Their voices need to be heard in Glasgow, but attending the summit may be health- and cost-prohibitive for them.

Coal’s refusal to die is the bigger issue, raising questions about the speed of the much-vaunted energy transition that was to see renewable energy greatly accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas – allowing most countries to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 or 2060.

A year ago, mining companies and investors who valued coal for electricity generation and steelmaking seemed willing to accept the grubby fuel’s fate. Coal prices crashed during the pandemic. As the product’s once lavish cash flows dried up, investors were happy to see it shunted out of mining company portfolios.

Glencore, one of the world’s biggest mining and commodity trading houses, vowed to deplete its coal reserves over time. Some of its competitors announced plans to sell or spin off their coal divisions as part of their net-zero carbon emissions campaigns. Coal was giving away fast for renewable energy and environmentalists cheered. “Coal will never recover after coronavirus pandemic, experts say,” read a May, 2020, headline in The Guardian.

Energy predictions are often laughably wrong, and so it was with coal. Today, coal is distressingly undead and mining companies can’t supply enough of it. The price of Australian thermal coal (burned to generate electricity) has climbed more than 100 per cent this year alone and is up about 300 per cent from its pandemic low. Unofficial reports from coal traders suggest China will import about 10 per cent more coal this year than last year, reaching 220 million to 230 million tonnes.

Some 200 coal plants worldwide are under construction or have building permits, about a quarter of them in China, in spite of the country’s pledge to peak its emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. In coal-loving southeast Asia, the average age of a coal plant is 12 years. Since the plants are typically decommissioned after 40 years, they have three decades to go, meaning their owners won’t let them die prematurely for the sake of a COP26 news release.

How to explain coal’s rally? The pandemic economic recovery certainly lifted prices, as did the demand for electricity for air conditioning in a sweltering year. Supply constraints helped. Some mining companies reduced coal production capacity during the pandemic, and China heightened the supply bottleneck by boosting safety measures in its mines.

At the same time, prices for liquefied natural gas have also soared, making coal more competitive in spite of its rapidly climbing prices. Investor relations managers at big mining companies say shareholders, dazzled by coal’s suddenly fat profit margins, are losing their enthusiasm to see coal operations unloaded.

All of this bodes poorly for COP26, whose organizers would love to deliver a deal to see the world’s biggest economies phase out coal by 2025. The July G20 summit of energy and environment ministers in Italy singularly failed to make any progress on that front. At minimum, the COP26 summit would like to see China end its financing of coal plants inside and outside its borders. But China is unlikely to end its role as lender of last resort for unrich countries that want a fast and cheap way to boost electricity production.

China would like recognition that, even though it is the world’s largest consumer of coal and producer of coal-fired electricity, its per capita emissions of greenhouse gases is still well less than half the average in America. China is also happy to point out the United States has more per capita installed coal generating capacity than it does.

The long-term trend for coal is still down, since renewables’ share of total energy production will climb over time as the technology costs fall. But in the near term, coal is here to stay, and that means COP26 will have to struggle hard to produce anything but a depressing final declaration. King Coal has yet to be dethroned.

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PostPosted: October 4th, 2021, 10:03 am 
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Might not make a noticeable difference in the short term, but if the alternative is not have such international discussions, I don't think that would be better!

Impossible to judge with any certainty because there is no control to compare against, but what would our policies, practices and buy-in be like if none of these studies had been published and none of these meetings held?

As much as we've had a horrible record over the past 30 years and will continue to struggle to reduce the use of fossil fuels at every scale (international, national, corporate, community, individual), these talks & commitments lay the ground work for ongoing change, and they are influencing policies, business decisions and personal ones.

Changes that need to be made 10 years from now will not be unrelated to meetings that were held 20 years ago.

Callee, I see it differently than just the 2 extremes...
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On an individual level, I find there's very little middle ground when it comes to climate issues. Either you believe that it's a full blown crisis and you think there is nothing more important than taking urgent action now, or you dismiss the entire thing as a bunch of overblown hooey and think any action is just a waste of money and and injury to business.


I see many, many "moderates", most people - yes they believe climate change is real; they see the urgency related to fires, storms, floods & droughts; yes they'll vote for climate policy; they may even attend rallies, support NGOs, and write policy makers and businesses, but they still can't get over the conveniences of our existing systems, and they still drive their SUVs to the corner store, buy homes in new suburbs, etc. People are selfish and lazy. Change is hard.

P.

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PostPosted: October 9th, 2021, 11:03 am 
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Yarnellboat,

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As much as we've had a horrible record over the past 30 years and will continue to struggle to reduce the use of fossil fuels at every scale (international, national, corporate, community, individual), these talks & commitments lay the ground work for ongoing change, and they are influencing policies, business decisions and personal ones.


Well, I agree that the climate conferences have had some influence on the energy shift to renewables, esp in Europe where coal and nuclear has been shut down and replaced with wind and solar. But what has happened there, on the ground, has been spectacularly bad planning... while the paper announcements looked great in the press.

Wind and solar didn't work when the sun didn't shine and when the wind didn't blow. The result now is a real energy crisis, sending electricity bills sky high, lowering household income, closing factories, causing inflation, lowering standards of living... in some places, the cost of electricity, something that is an absolutely critical need in every city which can't be done without, has risen 500%.

Winter's coming and there are predictions being made now on possible city blackouts and unheated houses. Europeans created their own energy crisis and it'll be very interesting to see this time around, how the next climate conference speakers will explain away the effects of their recommendations.

I could write more, gotta go.

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PostPosted: October 10th, 2021, 9:11 am 
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I hadn't checked back on fusion energy since the Pons and Fleischman bungle, but to my surprise there has been some interesting progress over the past few decades. It would have been foolish to make any policy based on fusion in the past, and still is. What I can say about nuclear physics though is that unlike politics, there is a clear path forward for intelligent and talented people to make a contribution.


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PostPosted: October 11th, 2021, 7:43 am 
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O&G prices making new highs this morning... energy crisis potential, according to the Washington Post below. There is some brief reference to the climate conference but the real news on evaluation and response still to come from Glasgow.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... is-global/

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