Apocalyptic versus post-apocalyptic climate politics

by Judith Curry

The Inflation Reduction Act that has passed in the US Senate contains a healthy dose of funding for energy and climate initiatives.  There is much discussion as to why this bill looks like it will pass, when previous climate bills (carbon tax, carbon cap and trade) failed.

The Senate bill includes billions of dollars in tax credits and subsidies for clean energy and electric vehicles. In addition to renewable-energy funding, there is also commitment to federal oil and gas expansion, albeit with fines for excessive methane leakage. The bill includes climate resiliency funding for tribal governments and Native Hawaiians and other disadvantaged areas disproportionately impacted by pollution and climate warming. Funds are also allocated to tackle drought remediation in the West.

I’ve received requests to write on this topic, here are some bits and pieces that I’ve pulled together.  My main points:

  • Post-apocalyptic climate politics have a much better chance of succeeding than fear-driven apocalyptic climate politics
  • Energy policy should be detached from climate policy to make a robust transition to a 21st century energy system that emphasizes abundant, cheap, reliable and secure power with minimal impact on the environment (including land use).

Apocalyptic climate politics

Motivated by international treaties and the UNFCCC Paris Agreement, countries and municipalities are declaring a “climate emergency” or “crisis” that requires urgent and strong climate policies to avoid both local and global catastrophe.

Business-as-usual climate policy is based on what has been referred to as the politics of “climate scarcity” (Asayama), whereby there is an upper limit to the level of warming (and thereby CO2 emissions) that must not be exceeded to avoid dangerous climate change.  The politics of climate scarcity is associated with the politics of energy and material scarcity, blaming climate change on extravagant lifestyles and requiring a long period of belt-tightening if we are to survive the crisis.

The failure of the world’s governments to make much headway in reducing emissions is blamed on several factors.  The main impediment to progress is blamed on fossil fuel companies, who wield power through political influence via financial contributions and propaganda. Capitalism is being blamed because manufacturers, farmers and others need fossil fuels to produce food and equipment needed by the economy and general population. Democracy is being blamed, since democratic decision making is too slow and sometimes people don’t make the “right” decision.  Arguments are being made for degrowth, which is the idea that economic growth is environmentally unsustainable and should be halted, at least in wealthy countries.

With the failure of most countries to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, activists and governments are using “random gambits to kneecap fossil fuel production.”  These include restricting permits to for fossil fuel production, cancelling oil and gas pipelines, getting organizations to divest their funds from fossil fuel companies, and restricting access to loans and other financial resources for fossil fuel companies.

Attempts to limit CO2 emissions from the demand side by imposing carbon taxes have been politically very unpopular. Even among people who are supportive of addressing the climate change problem, they are unwilling to pay higher energy prices. The politics of scarcity is not an easy sell, particularly when framed in terms of anti-democracy, anti-capitalism and degrowth.  The politics of alarm and fear and scarcity haven’t worked. However, letting go of the apocalyptic rhetoric is difficult for those who have built careers based on climate catastrophism.

Climate politics business-as-usual (the apocalyptic version) expects people in developed countries to exercise energy and material restraint for the altruistic motives of “saving the climate”, while at the same time slowing down development in Africa by not supporting access to their own energy resources.  While the vast majority of people believe that climate change is a real problem, they fear a future without cheap and abundant fuel and continued economic expansion much more than they fear climate change. Making people’s energy less abundant and/or increasing its price is politically toxic unless there is an urgent, short-term need for austerity.

Framework for a post-apocalyptic politics

Lets face it — the climate “crisis” isn’t what it used to be. Circa 2013 with publication of the IPCC AR5, RCP8.5 was regarded as the business-as-usual emissions scenario, with expected warming of 4 to 5oC.  Now there is growing acceptance that RCP8.5 is implausible, and RCP4.5 is arguably the current business-as-usual emissions scenario. Only a few years ago, an emissions trajectory that followed RCP4.5 with 2 to 3oC warming was regarded as climate policy success.  Now that limiting warming to 2oC seems to be in reach (now deemed to be the “threshold of catastrophe”), the goal posts were moved in 2018 to reduce the target to 1.5oC. A few weeks ago, in defending its decision to issue fossil fuel prospecting permits in spite of declaring a climate emergency, the New Zealand government stated that the climate crisis was “insufficient” to halt oil and gas exploration. Climate change is indeed an “insufficient” crisis.

Adam Smith in the Wealth of Nations (1776) points the way towards a post-apocalyptic climate politics.

“We address ourselves not to their humanity but to their self-love and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages”.

There is growing support for a climate politics that harnesses enlightened self-interest, rather than focusing on austerity.  In other words: carrots, not sticks.

There are three major political issues that fall under the climate umbrella:

  1. The desire for clean, abundant and cheap energy for the global population
  2. The desire to reduce vulnerability to extreme weather and climate events
  3. Concerns about rising atmospheric concentrations on CO2 and its impact on the climate

Issues #1 and #2 are primarily dealt with by national and subnational entities, and receive widespread political and economic support if they support local self-interests.  Issue #3 is politically controversial since international policies have attempted a top-down approach that controls  #1 and #2 by the emphasis on rapid reduction of fossil fuel emissions, with the specter of energy scarcity and a redirection of international funds away from development and adaptation.

Focusing on issues #1 and #2 is a quieter kind of climate politics (“don’t mention the climate”, an adaptation of a Fawlty Towers skit “don’t mention the war”), which doesn’t require the apocalyptic rhetoric but rather addresses concerns and opportunities that people are enthusiastic about addressing.  Actions taken willingly and enthusiastically are more effective politically and have higher moral legitimacy because of the absence of coercion.  A focus on issues #1 and #2 supports the flourishing and thriving of the global population, which should act to de-escalate the political controversies associated with the climate change issue.

Further splitting off issues like water resources and food security from the climate issue allows for addressing real problems at a more local level, without expecting a reduction in atmospheric CO2 concentrations to actually ameliorate anything on decadal time scales.

Once we acknowledge that we don’t currently know how to fully address the challenge of stabilizing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at a low level on the timescale of decades, we can search for new and more effective approaches for issues #1 and #2 and other ancillary issues that currently live under the climate umbrella, all the while focusing on supporting human flourishing and thriving in the 21st century.

If we deal with all of these other issues, human-caused climate change becomes something we don’t even need to talk about – we will be prospering because of abundant and inexpensive energy and can afford to reduce our vulnerability to climate change (both natural and human-caused).

And incidentally, CO2 emissions will be reduced.  Matt Taibbi’s “green vortex” shows how the learning curve for new green technologies will continue to accelerate.

US Senate IRA bill

Why did the Senate IRA bill succeed where other US attempts at climate legislation failed?

One narrative is that the adverse impacts from recent extreme weather events has finally overwhelmed the “evil” strategy of oil, gas and coal companies of sowing doubt about the severity of climate change.

The other, more convincing narrative is that this bill offered monetary incentives to industries and consumers to switch to clean energy, with no mention of energy- or CO2– related taxes. Essentially, lawmakers replaced the sticks with carrots.  Time for the environmental economists to eat humble pie.

A further reason for the success was labelling this as Inflation Reduction Act.  This (mostly) misnomer is politically very useful in avoiding the reflexive association of this bill with often nutty climate policies driven by the apocalyptic version of climate politics.

The bill also includes provisions for gas and oil exploration.  While the apocalyptites regard this as a deep flaw, it is actually an important feature.  Any efforts to reduce to reduce CO2 emissions needs to acknowledge that fossil fuels are needed to fuel the 21st century energy transition.

Attempts to speed up the transition away from fossil fuels by restricting the production of fossil fuels and new generating plants has backfired by making many countries reliant on Russia’s fossil fuels.  The geopolitical instability associated with Russia’s war against Ukraine highlights the importance of having multiple options and safety margins – key characteristics of robustness.  Safety margin strategies in electric power systems include redundancy, a range of different power sources, and reserve power.  Overcapacity should be a feature of future energy systems, not a bug.  And for now, this needs to include fossil fuels.

So while this bill was a political win, I have to say if I was in charge of $400B to support the energy transition I would have focused on R&D for advanced nuclear and geothermal plus smart microgrids.

21st century energy transition

Everyone wants cheap, abundant, reliable, secure and clean energy.

While fossil fuels have fueled human progress in the 20th and early 21st centuries, there is a strong rationale for reducing our reliance on fossil fuels for energy – independent of their impact on atmospheric CO2 concentrations and air and water quality.  Mining for fossil fuels has large, continuing economic and environmental costs.  Fossil fuels will become increasingly expensive to extract by the 22nd century.  The Russian war on Ukraine highlights the vulnerability of fossil fuel supply chains and price spikes to geopolitical instability.

There are many reasons to support a new energy system (independent of CO2 emissions) that will set the stage for global human progress in the 21st century.  Here are some considerations for the 21st century energy systems, outlined in terms of values and risks/dangers

The 21st century energy transition can be facilitated with minimal regrets by:

  • Accepting that the world will continue to need and desire much more energy – energy austerity such as during the 1970s is off the table.
  • Accepting that we will need more fossil fuels in the near term to maintain energy security and reliability and to facilitate the transition in terms of developing and implementing new, cleaner technologies.
  • Continuing to develop and test a range of options for energy production, transmission and other technologies that address goals of lessening the environmental impact of energy production, CO2 emissions and other societal values
  • Using the next two to three decades as a learning period with new technologies, experimentation and intelligent trial and error (let the “green vortex” work), without the restrictions of near-term targets for CO2

In the near term, laying the foundation for zero-carbon electricity is substantially more important than trying to immediately stamp out fossil fuel use. Africa should be allowed to develop its own natural gas resources. The transition should focus on developing and deploying new sources of clean energy.  The transition should not focus on eliminating electricity from fossil fuels, since we will need much more energy to support the materials required for renewable energy and battery storage and building nuclear power plants, as well as to support growing numbers of electric vehicles and heat pumps.

The build out of wind, solar and natural gas can fuel the transition, but this combination probably will not survive competition from new and better technologies that become available in the coming decades.  The push for weather-based renewable energy – wind, solar, hydro – seems somewhat ironic to me.  One of the main motivations for transitioning away from fossil fuels is to avoid the extreme weather that is alleged to be associated with increasing COlevels.  So why subject our energy supply to the vagaries of water droughts, wind droughts, icing and forest fires?  In any event, the growth of renewable energy has been a substantial boon to private sector weather forecasting companies that support the electric utilities sector.

Transmission upgrades needs to play a key role in the transition.  Modernization of the transition grid is needed to enhance reliability and resiliency, improve cybersecurity and prevent outages due to extreme weather. Smart grids can allow advanced control of load supply and demand.  Developing and evaluating microgrids would substantially support the learning curve for incorporating distributed energy resources to improve transmission and make it more flexible.

Transformation of the electric power sector will require considerable inputs of raw materials, including rare earth and semi-/precious metals and structural materials such as cement steel, and fiberglass. Apart from the amount of energy required to mine, process and refine these materials, some critical materials are concentrated in a few countries, which will change the geopolitical dynamics.  Building stable supply chains for critical materials is critical for the growth of wind, solar and battery storage.  A circular economy with reuse and recycling will help minimize environmental impacts and supply chain shocks.  Technologies that use low cost, readily available materials will have an advantage in being adopted.

How fast can the transition occur?  China has developed its energy systems at an astonishing speed. An autocratic government with a top-down energy strategy can rapidly implement changes.  However, there are disadvantages to such an autocratic approach relative to the more chaotic, bottom-up approach of developing energy systems in the U.S.  Yes, making changes to an electric utility system in the U.S. must confront permitting, regulations, public approval, litigation, delays, cost overruns and an archaic financial model for electric utilities.  However, the more bottom-up approach (individual states and electric utility companies) provides many different opportunities to experiment and learn, thus producing in the end an evolution of electric power systems that may be more anti-fragile with a broader array of options.

Bottom line:  Focus on the energy transition, not near-term CO2 emissions.  Clean is one of the major values, and the CO2 emissions will eventually reduce.  Overall a more rapid transition will be facilitated if we don’t unduly focus on COemissions and meeting near term emissions targets.

227 responses to “Apocalyptic versus post-apocalyptic climate politics

  1. Pingback: Apocalyptic versus post-apocalyptic climate politics - Climate- Science.press

  2. As to the Values, look at Secure / Risk/Danger – Subject to supply shocks, etc.

    There is no way to protect wind and solar energy production from WAR.

    There is no way to protect long distance pipelines and transmission lines from WAR.

    There is no way to protect wide spread, complicated power grids from WAR.

    We need regional, independent, reliable, abundant, power grids that can be reasonably protected.

    To keep whole states or regions, such as the Texas State Grid and/or the Great Northeast Grid, which includes many states and parts of Canada, protected in a war, even with minor enemies who now have missiles that are getting more advanced every year is not possible.

    • archibaldtuttle

      try sub-regional. If storage improves and solar is widespread and we are actually post-apocalyptic on climate so fossil fuel is available for directed backup or bidirectional hybrids, conservatively a third of the country should get off the grid altogether. Dense urban and industrial settings becoming subregionalgrids maybe tied together but maybe backed up at the building or neighborhood level.

      The apocalyptic concern at that point is not climate change, but how to harden localized infrastructure again EMP . . .

  3. Bruce Anderson

    Unfortunately, your analysis seems to have omitted a few key points.

    1. This legislation is purely political. The process isn’t rational. Few legislators even read the document before voting. Votes were purchased with pork in the bill. Political calculations were made. Please don’t pretend that there is some sort of regime change taking place with regard to policy.
    2. The majority of those publicly claiming to be advocates for lower CO2 emissions are not truly interested in lowering CO2 emissions. They just want fewer people. You see this in the way that many in the environmental community vilify nuclear energy. If the partisans truly were concerned about:

    “1. The desire for clean, abundant and cheap energy for the global population
    2. The desire to reduce vulnerability to extreme weather and climate events
    3. Concerns about rising atmospheric concentrations on CO2 and its impact on the climate”

    They would be outspoken advocates for nuclear power. For most, they haven’t (although some are grudgingly moving towards acceptance that SOME nuclear may be needed).

    3. This legislation will create inflationary pressures in an already inflation-rich environment while doing nothing to address long term CO2 emissions or on global temperatures.

    Bruce

    • archibaldtuttle

      one can agree with your analysis and still see the legislation as a metaphor for post apocalyptic thought. no the EPA won’t takes it bat and ball and ‘clean energy plan’ and go home. the bureaucratic battle continues, the obstruction of fossil fuels will continue. the apocalyptic crowd will still gather for die-ins and the like.

      but the apocalyptic crowd could have stopped this bill and didn’t, so that is fairly seen as a nod to post apocalyptic thinking–if not a locked in sea change. i’ll take a glass half full reading.

  4. Bottom line: Focus on the energy transition, not near-term CO2 emissions. Clean is one of the major values, the CO2 emissions will eventually reduce. Overall a more rapid transition will be facilitated if we don’t unduly focus on CO2 emissions.

    Focus on Honest, Accurate, Climate Research!

    Good from CO2 has been well proven, more CO2 grows more food, timber, feeds more animals, more fish, things we need more of with a world growing population, which has not stopped.

    Harm from CO2 has never been proven! This is still the coldest warm period during the most recent ten thousand years. If we have dangerous warming, rather than being the warmest time in the last 4 or 5 hundred years, it should be the warmest time in the last ten thousand years.

    Billions, now Trillions have been spent to confirm the harm from CO2 and now Methane, but not even millions are spent to conduct climate study of any factor other than greenhouse gas.

    Do not focus on energy transition, focus on honest study of the past and present climate system and learn more about natural factors that always worked in the past, they have not been properly identified, but they have not stopped. This warm time will stay warm a few hundred years, as did ten, more or less warm times in the recent ten thousand years and then the temperature will drop into a colder period, similar to the little ice age, a little warmer or colder, and it will stay cold for several hundred years.

    Humans cannot cause or prevent anything that is not better understood.

    Humans can use energy from Fossil and Nuclear Fuels to adapt to whatever does happen inside the bounds of the most recent ten thousand years and even outside those bounds.

    With abundant energy, the people in Greenland will not die or be pushed out by a next little ice age, if they choose to stay as it naturally gets cold in a few hundred years.

    With abundant energy, the people in India and other warm places will not die or be pushed out continued warming or by a next little ice age, if they choose to stay as it naturally gets a little warmer then colder in a few hundred years.

    Study, understand better and teach, honest, accurate, climate science, that is the best path forward, then adapt to what actually happens, that is what we must do anyway, or perish.

  5. “The 21st century energy transition can be facilitated with minimal regrets by:
    – Accepting that the world will continue to need and desire much more energy”

    Accepting that the world will not have it. That would really easy the transition.

    The world is changing rapidly before our eyes. The COVID pandemic and the Russo-Ukrainian war are just accelerating the change. A flock of black swans is coming to roost as we hit resource limits under energy constraints. More countries will follow the path of Lebanon and Sri Lanka, shrinking the global market.

  6. Larry Wilhelmsen

    Great job telling what needs to be said. Forget the carbon dioxide fear story and just follow what China is doing.
    Like the comments about Africa. Ten years ago I saw that China was helping them improve their life.
    Larry

  7. How fast can the transition occur? China has developed its energy systems at an astonishing speed.

    China has developed with astonishing speed, stealing the intellectual knowledge, nd mining and manufacturing capabilities from western countries.

    China has developed more coal power, five or so new coal plants for each the west shut down, and developed more green power capability to sell the the western countries. What they did at home was to test what they were selling to western countries and to “look sincere about their own transition” while having no plan to slow down building new coal plants or transition China to the Green Junk they are selling us.

  8. “Why did the Senate IRA bill succeed where other US attempts at climate legislation failed?”

    The bill is not a “Climate Change” bill and is not a “Inflation Reduction” bill. It will not change the course of either of these trajectories.

    Some ’experts’ have weighed-in that relative to Inflation Reduction, the bill has got it upside down and backwards.

    Full-time reliable Alternative/Clean/Green/Sustainable energy sources are not yet available, and will not be available until long after the adverse effects of the bill have been realized.

    Passage of the bill was due to a single factor: A united effort by half of the members of the Senate to appear to being responsive to a minority of its Political Party. Politics pure and simple. And they know that the deceitful purposeful and despicable misnomer assigned to the bill will also be soon forgotten.

    Bruce Anderson said it better.

  9. Very rational. Very Curry. Thank you, Judith.

  10. Ultimately, nuclear fusion needs to be rebranded as the consensus energy of the future, despite its not operating now and uncertainty of success. It’s one of those things we have no choice but to figure out.

    The USA committed to put a man on the moon before they knew how and accomplished it by, a) setting a deadline, and b) having leaders with enough respect for national goals to put politics aside.

    The only question is whether it would be more effective to have the technology built in an international “space race”, or in friendly, passive cooperation through the IPCC or the UN.

    • Personally I like oil, gas, fission and coal for the foreseeable future.

      I think we pretty much knew how to put a man on the moon when we started. It just took a really big rocket.

      • “Personally I like oil, gas, fission and coal for the foreseeable future.”

        Do you really believe that fossil fuel can be mined and burned indefinitely? How far ahead do you define foreseeable? I agree that we should have no regrets for using fossil fuel or fission and that we can safely proceed in a transition, but we need acknowledge a need for transition.

        I like fission except for the fact that even if it can be made safe for responsible countries this overlooks the problem of irresponsible countries, like the Soviet Union, (that did not think they needed containment buildings around reactors). Also, we can look at the radiation fallout threat to Europe currently by the war in Ukraine.

        Fusion does not carry fission’s dangers. And its fuel is inexhaustible.

    • Peter Z. Grossman

      “The USA committed to put a man on the moon before they knew how and accomplished it by, a) setting a deadline, and b) having leaders with enough respect for national goals to put politics aside.”

      Just about every president since Nixon has proposed national energy goals with a specific deadline, a la the Apollo Program. Jimmy Carter sought $88 billion to substitute 2.5 million barrels per day of oil with synfuels by 1992; 20% of our energy would be solar by 2000; and he also signed a bill generated by Congress to have a commercially viable demonstration fusion plant by 2001. More recently Bill Clinton launched the 80 miles per gallon “super-car” to be commercial by 2004, and George W. Bush promised commercially viable cellulosic ethanol by 2012.

      Just about everybody–congresspersons, president, bureaucrats–has called for “Apollo” programs for energy. None has ever succeeded.

      As my 2013 book, U.S. Energy Policy and Pursuit of Failure, showed congressional or presidential actions and rhetoric cannot produce technological (or in the case of fusion, scientific) breakthroughs simply by making inapt references to major engineering feats of the past. Billions of dollars have been wasted on the next Apollo. It’s long since time to stop thinking in those terms, and stop believing that if leaders make commitments to an Apollo-like energy program, the technology will be miraculously transformed.

  11. Given that the Tick Apocalypse already commands the attention of The Nation,

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2022/07/bloomberg-climate-creatives-take-page.html

    Judith and her colleagues should surely steer the climate policy conversation to the abundant, reliable supply and secure supply of clean insect biofuel as an energy security workaround.

    Given that they require neither human food or water inputs, and present minimal materials or dedicated land use needs the future looks bright for alternative insect fuels.

    It is scandalous that so little industrial or academic research has been conducted on reserves of fossil insect fuels, and we look to Dr. Curry to direct the attention of the C02 Coalition and the Heartland Institute to this under-exploited resource for the future.

  12. IMO this bill is the beginning of a “declare victory and move on” approach to climate driven by the failed climate policies of the last 30 years. Europe is experiencing a renewable energy disaster activists won’t be able to paper over or arm wave away. It’s one that will be even worse and more obvious this winter.
    Anyone who thinks this isn’t a significant policy pivot by the Democrats needs to remember that their entire schtick just two years ago was that they were going to abolish fossil fuels and they would start by eliminating “fossil fuel subsidies.” Yet here they are celebrating handing out new, growing fossil fuel subsidies in their “climate bill.” Those were not buyoffs for Joe Manchin- his is a coal state, gas wins in this bill. Manchin will come out okay because WV coal is going to be exported to Europe to keep the lights on.
    The IPCC is a political institution. It will give its members what they want. They want the lights to stay on without bankrupting their citizens. They no longer want an excuse for unlimited spending on renewable boondoggles, they can no longer promise with a straight face that wind/solar works, and need a pathway to climb out from under the radicals who hijacked climate. They will get these things.

  13. Despite constant reports to the contrary there is almost no climate spending in the Inflation Act. It is almost all tax credits, which just reduce income, and the realized amount of which is completely unpredictable. They may amount to very little.

    • The renewables tax credits have a big two step wrinkle. The credit is first cut by 80%. But that is restored if all contractors and subcontractors on the project pay “prevailing wage” which is time worn code for union wage. Bit of an audit challenge, plus prices going up either way.

    • A good example is the tax credit for EVs. As written there are NO EVs that meet the criteria, and unlikely to be any that qualify in the next few years. To paraphrase Tacitus, “They have created a devastation and called it a victory.”

      • David Wojick

        If the credit is unusable there is no devistation. There is nothing.

        On the energy side, production tax credits require production, which may be hard to come by.

    • What better way to resist the inflationary pressure of immigration than tax credits for investment in new energy technologies based on invasive species.
      The Cato Institute should take the lead in fire ant combustion research.

    • Joe - the non climate scientist & part time economist

      The conventional wisdom/common belief is that tax credits benefit the buyer in the form of reduction of the buyers income tax.
      However it important to understand the supply and demand curves from micro economics ( entry level freshman business course).

      Tax credits artificially shift the demand curve resulting in the higher prices for the product whereby the majority of tax credit benefits the seller.

      for illustration.
      Assume the market price of the product is $8,000 – which is where the supply curve and the demand curve cross.

      If there is a 20% tax credit, the demand curve is artificially shifted whereby the supply curve and the demand curve intersects in now somewhere between $9,000 to $10,000. The buyer is still payer around $8k for the product (net of the tax credit) with the benefit of the increased price going mostly to the seller.

  14. My thought is a real Inflation Reduction Act would be half the size, primarily focus on Nuclear, gas pipelines & storage, & petroleum refining. It would massively reduce nuclear regulation. #AntiFragileEnergy #GreenNUCLEARDeal #HighlyFlexibleNaturalGas #IncineratePlasticPollution #WasteToEnergy #FissionFuture
    https://mobile.twitter.com/aaronshem/status/1557033866019446784

  15. At least a small but substantial section of the bill should have been reserved for something that actually is an environmental issue (in contrast to catastrophic man-made climate change) – ecological restoration, wildlife conservation, biodiversity conservation, and the like.

  16. One of the biggest problem today is the lack of understanding the paradoxical nature of climate policy, how it hurts the poor most and prevents them from being able to deal with climate.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/aaronshem/status/1553395227850952705

  17. Leadership in this case needs to come from the climate science establishment. They could gain much credibility by simply admitting there are many uncertainties about the trajectory of future temperatures and that past climates suggest caution in developing energy and climate policies for the future.

    Each decade of the recent past has proven the most catastrophic predictions were completely unwarranted. It’s time for them to get real and admit their mistakes.

    • The catastrophic predictions were made by individuals, not some mythical establishment. That they were wrong does not make all the other scientists wrong.

      • They have had ample opportunity to speak out against those in the mythical establishment. They all share responsibility by their silence.
        Catch up.

  18. Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and cement production – from 1750 to 2011 – was about 365 billion metric tonnes as carbon (GtC), with another 180 GtC from deforestation and agriculture. Of this 545 GtC, about 240 GtC (44%) had accumulated in the atmosphere, 155 GtC (28%) had been taken up in the oceans with slight consequent acidification, and 150 GtC (28%) had accumulated in terrestrial ecosystems.

    CAGW can’t be addressed without the land sector. There is some money for farmers in this bill – paying farmers to sequester carbon while we can. Carbon dioxide won’t hang around in the atmosphere forever.

    https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/key-provisions-us-senate-climate-deal-2022-07-28/

    And because I have zilch patience for the greening planet meme – and that there are better ways to green the planet than burning fossil fuels. Climate and ecologies are chaotic – and this implies that these systems are both unpredictable and vulnerable to small changes. Small changes initiate large and rapid changes in internal dynamics. It is the key reason why caution is warranted when changing such a fundamental system as the atmosphere. An example – carbon dioxide increase allows plants to reduce the size and number of stomata. Plants can access the same amount of carbon dioxide for growth and lose less water resulting in a change in terrestrial hydrology. It is impossible to foresee the ramifications of this. But it is possible to return most of the atmospheric carbon increase to vegetation and soils in ways that improve agricultural productivity, enhance food security, conserve biodiversity and create more flood and drought tolerant food production systems. While buying time for the development of 21st century energy systems to supply cheap and abundant energy for the essential needs of humanity.

    • And because one needs farm level carbon accounting to keep it on the up and up.

      http://comet-farm.com/

    • Being chaotic does not mean being vulnerable to small changes. That is a common fallacy. The extreme sensitivity to initial conditions is sensitive to infinitesimal differences. It is a mathematical property.

      In fact chaos is a powerful form of feedback driven stability, the price of which is unpredictable oscillation. But in no case is there sensitivity to discernible small changes, no matter how small.

      • David’s magical thinking creating a new and wondrous reality. Some geophysicists might disagree.

        ‘Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small.’
        National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2002. Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/10136.

    • Geoff Sherrington

      RIE,
      Think of CO2 as yet another nutrient in demand for better yields. Farmers know that if a nutrient is limiting supply, you buy more of it if you are able,
      What concerns me is the huge and so far little understood loss of productive land cow windmills and solar panels.
      The “transition” being forced upon us scientifically and economically bizarre, It is a product of dishonest, dangerous minds on a mission.
      Some days I am glad I have lived past 80 and will not live to see the coming carnage and warfare. Geoff S

  19. An interesting article as always from Judith. I summarise it as follows.:

    – The rhetoric about the transition has changed from emphasising the need for transition to beng about the nature of the transition.
    – The nature of the transition has changed from “renewables now” to “keep fossil fuels going until we are ready to move off them”.

    My expectation is that this will eventually lead to no transition at all. The main outcome will be that the people in power for the start of the transition campaign will retain their position of power even though there will be no transition, just a whole load of dead windmills and solar panels to clean up. In the meantime, a phenomenal amount of damage will have been done, (a) because of the destructive insanity of the transition idea in the first place, and (b) because “climate change” has been the universal excuse for politicians to avoid addressing any important issue properly.

    The sooner we get rid of these charlatans the better, but it’s going to be harder now that they have moved the goalposts to protect themselves.

  20. The Left’s apocalyptic vison of modernity has been dashed. Rational people are prepared to address the reality that the future is always uncertain. What is the fix for the rest of the population? The closest thing we have to a savior is a 250 year old contract we call the Constitution that gave power in the last election to disenfranchised voters in fly-over America. The politics of the electoral college trumped the hoax and scare tactics of global warming alarmism and the illusion of certainty about climate change. With that, everything else came tumbling down like a house of cards.

  21. Seems here in the west, the expectation is or is wanting, to rely on electricity for all our power needs, heating, cooling, entertaining, internet(ing), manufacturing, cooking, lighting, transportation, etc…. That is an unrealistic expectation with solar, wind or other limited ability to produce electricity… With all these electrons moving around, what other “man-made” imbalance are we creating? I also wonder how expensive/feasible repairs to power grids will be when all electric production/distribution is lost due to catastrophic weather events. And when all vehicles are electric to include maintenance trucks…. fossil fuel generation would be rare at such point.

  22. It’s appears from comments that we are all going to hell in a hand. It’s about as apocalyptic as it gets but in the real world we will probably muddle through. Even in Europe through the coming winter. The irony there is that Putin’s criminal actions will accelerate the energy transition.

    https://www.iea.org/news/how-europe-can-cut-natural-gas-imports-from-russia-significantly-within-a-year

    • how will it “accelerate the energy transition”? it’s a 10-step plan that literally consists of: step 1, stop buying Russian gas, step 2, buy gas from everyone else. Step 3, build gas storage.
      It’s not until step 4 that they suggest more wind and solar- the two “alternatives” that got the EU into this mess to begin with even after billions in “investments.”

      I think we underestimate the impact from this new reality re energy and the lessons from Covid on trust in expertise. The first three suggestions from the experts at the IEA contradict years of their advice and are so blindly obvious you have to wonder why they bothered to put them on paper.

      Let me try an analogy: Expert Consultant tells you that you don’t need to stop at this gas station because your car doesn’t need it- it has “transitioned.”
      You run out of gas and roll to a stop in the middle of nowhere, and call Expert Consultant.
      After much thought and careful study, expert consultant advises you that it would be a good idea to walk around until you find a gas station, purchase gasoline at it, and store it in the tank built for the purpose in the rear of the vehicle. And… viola, the “transition” away from fossil fuels shall continue.

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  24. Bjorn Lomborg says the bill will reduce global temperatures 0.0009F to 0.028F by 2100.

    What is the over/under on how many reporters will ask the White House for their reaction to his analysis?

    But who cares about the substance or changes. The self congratulations are what count. And the votes in the mid terms.

    But the lack of accountability isn’t that unusual. How many analyses are made decades hence of improvements on any spending initiatives.

    • “Bjorn Lomborg says the bill will reduce global temperatures 0.0009F to 0.028F by 2100.”

      That definitely seems to small to measure.
      What about all laws passed in the world for last few decades, have reduced
      it more?
      Or has it increase the global temperatures?

    • While I was interested in the estimate of T reduction, the thrust of my comment was that for the politicians it was more about optics, press releases and mid terms. Further, how many in the MSM will ask for their reaction to analyses like this one. Who knows what it will actually turn out to be. Even if it’s 10 times more, that doesn’t seem like much.

      We as consumers of news and political speak are at the mercy of those who want us to know what they want us to know. I see it every day on budget and taxes. I happen to be a nerd on both. I know what the data say, current and past.

      I just sit here daily and roll my eyes and laugh when I hear the half truths, omissions, lack of context and outright lies. The latest lie is about no one making under $400,000 having to pay taxes. It’s not much, but their own analysis falsifies their press releases. The other one is how they are making the rich pay their fair share. The millionaires pay a little more at the beginning but by 2027 it’s about 0.2% more than current law. Big deal. But they have millions on the left believing that they stuck it to the evil rich. That is always worth a few million votes. I would love to see a poll to see what % increase in taxes the public thinks the millionaires will now be paying. My instincts tell me what they believe they will be paying is way beyond what they will actually be paying.

      Corporations are already working on strategies to avoid paying taxes on buy backs of their stock. The economic geniuses passed a law in 1993 that corporations could not deduct salaries of of over $1 Million for CEOs, etc. They thought they would reduce income inequality. The unintended consequence was that corporations changed their compensation plans to stock options, etc and one could argue that it partially fueled the Internet stock market bubble and helped millionaires incomes go from $176 Billion in 1992 to $817 Billion in 2000.

      There is nothing we can do, I guess. We just have to sit here and take it.

  25. In a nutshell,let the market decide as it always does.

  26. Here’s US emissions. Did Lomberg really aggregate that into global emissions and declare that nothing you did mattered?

    https://rhg.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Figure-1-3.png

    What really matters are the technologies being developed that create economic efficiency and productivity. But if that is not what you want – by all don’t go for it.

  27. Gautam Kalghatgi

    People on this thread might find the articles in the following links of interest –

    https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2021/10/Kalghatgi-Net-Zero-Challenges.pdf

    https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2020/07/The-Battery-Car-Delusion.pdf

    The scale of the energy transition needed to meet net zero targets is immense and so are the environmental and other implications. There is no silver bullet. All technologies which impact energy, including fossil fuels, wind, hydro electric, solar, nuclear, BEVs, fuel cells, hydrogen, geothermal, wave, energy storage technologies.., have to be developed, deployed sensibly and continuously improved. Fossil fuels will continue to be the primary supplier of global energy for decades to come.

    • Thank you for your post. In The Battery Car Delusion, I found this passage quite humorous and believable: “In fact, in some
      polluted cities, such as Delhi or Los Angeles, the exhausts of
      modern ICEVs may have lower pollutant levels than the in-
      takes.14,16” I haven’t been to Delhi, although I hope to someday. I have been to LA, many times.

      • Michael Cunningham aka Faustino aka Genghis Cunn

        Almost all of the world’s cities with highest air pollution are in North India. When I was last there in Oct-Nov 2017, there was no air movement and a constant low cloud of pollution. Those who could wore protective masks. More generally, having spent nearly two years in India in the early ’70s with several visits since, my summary is that India is a wonderful country in which terrible things happen.

  28. Most important factor in energy ‘transition’ is the massive transfer of western currencies to China for purchase of solar panels, wind turbines, electronics, copper wire, etc. oh.. and LITHIUM BATTERIES.

    Every Chinese EV sold today, will be built and recharged with COAL FIRED ELECTRICITY for decades to come as will EVs in Africa and other places where China continues to build and finance coal fired electricity infrastructure.

    • It requires subscription. The bit I read tells me the author forgets that subsidies tend to be inefficient because government bureaucrats decide which technology deserves the subsidy, and quite often they happen to be wrong.

    • Joe - the non climate scientist & part time economist

      Judith – unfortunately it is behind a paywall , so I am not able to follow any analysis / logic of the economic argument.

      That being said, the analysis is likely ignoring basic concepts in micro economics. Tax credits / subsidies for the benefit of the manufacturers / seller artificially shift the supply curve which effectively raise the prices received by the manufacturer with those costs borne by the taxpayer or the consumer.

      Somewhat similar to tax credits for the purchase of “energy saving” autos, hvac systems etc. It is commonly believed that tax credits to the buyer reducing their income tax benefit the buyer. The reality is that those tax credits artificially shift the demand curve with the result of higher prices for those energy saving autos and hvac’s. A reasonable estimate is that 70%-90% of those tax credits go to the seller in the form of higher prices.

  29. Remember oil resources are going to be scarce because, on top of the previous depletion trend, we will have to discount Venezuelan heavy oil reserves by ~60 to 70%, and Russian reserves will probably be produced at a lower rate as exports are shifted to the Asian markets.

    I expect the Ukrainian war to last 10 to 30 years, this means oil production won’t be able to satisfy demand unless prices rise, which in turn will encourage use of more efficient engines. But the new equilibrium point I estimate exceeds $100 per barrel and could go as high as $150 per barrel within a few years.

    Natural gas is more plentiful, but it’s not endless, and Russian gas reserves will probably be strangled by European (suicidal) moves. The Russians seem comfortable cutting gas production as they shift sales to the Far East, so I wouldn’t expect gas prices to drop, and this in turn will have a serious impact on fertilizer prices. I would expect more hunger in third world countries.

    Hope this comment helps.

  30. Joe - The non climate scientist

    This is one of the best source demonstrating the impossibility of Wind ever being a viable solution

    https://www.eia.gov/electricity/gridmonitor/dashboard/electric_overview/US48/US48

    Go to the 4th chart “US Energy Generation by Source”

    Pick any time period
    Pick any US grid

    First thing to notice is the electricity generated from Wind fluctuates wildly based on the Wind. During the months of June, July and the first 9 days in august, the lowest production from wind was usually during the day/mid to late afternoon which demand is high. Second thing to notice is fossil fuels take up the slack when wind is low. On the flip side, Wind does not take up the slack when fossils fuels underproduce.

    The leverage cost of energy (LCOE) always shows that wind and solar are massively less expensive. However, since electricity is one of the most perishable commodities on the planet, what good is the lowest LCOE when wind produces too much or when wind produces too little.

  31. Thanks for posting this Dr. Curry, excellent work as always, very thought provoking.

    I wanted to draw other readers attention to the first reference you included (Asayama), I’m assuming it’s their Aug 2021 paper “Threshold, budget and deadline: beyond the discourse of climate scarcity and control”

    Excellent read for those who might like further on the concept.

    Open access here:
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-021-03185-y

    • Thank you, MJB. Interesting paper. His analysis is spot on with the discursive limits/scarcity mindsets. But I found his examples of ‘language of emancipation’ a bit of a let down, as they aren’t actually emancipated from the mindset he so skillfully sketches. Even Franzen’s. But I did enjoy it and it certainly represents movement in what I would call a positive direction.

    • Thanks for providing the link, this is a very good paper

    • Remember, then, that scientific thought is the guide to action; that the truth at which it arrives is not that which we can ideally contemplate without error, but that which we can act upon without fear; and you cannot fail to see that scientific thought is not an accompaniment or condition of human progress, but human progress itself.

      William Kingdon Clifford, The Common Sense of the Exact Sciences (1885)

      The 1.5 degree C limit is a bit arbitrary – it is meant I suppose as a red flag that our spatiotemporal chaotic planet is in new territory with unknown consequences. You may wave it away – but that is far from the best science guiding human destiny.

      My world view places increasing faith in competitive markets, innovation and participatory societies to produce rapid technological progress and development of human capital as the path to sustainable development. Global markets are increasingly integrated. There are also strong investments in health, education, and institutions to enhance human and social capital. At the same time, the push for economic and social development is coupled with the exploitation of abundant fossil fuel resources and the adoption of resource and energy intensive lifestyles around the world. All these factors lead to rapid growth of the global economy, while global population peaks and declines in the 21st century. Local environmental problems like air pollution are successfully managed. There is faith in the ability to effectively manage social and ecological systems, including by geo-engineering if necessary.

      Oh wait – that’s SSP5.

      Technical innovation and geoengineering land and water resources to better effect are snowballing global projects. Big picture and not down in the weeds. With economic growth we can ultimately paper over the cracks.

      https://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1-s2.0-S0959378016300711-gr1.jpg

  32. Climate science has been assigned a central role in a culture war that has been going on for a very long time between those who want a social and economic reset and those who instinctively resist change. Both sides feel empowered to tell themselves and others tales superficially in the dispassionate idiom of science. Both sides marshalling arguments that support the cause – certain of their moral and intellectual superiority and in arrogance, ignorance and conceit condemning the enemy in bitter animosity. It is socially corrosive and perhaps more worryingly undermines foundations of the scientific enlightenment.

    Climate models have done one great thing – they introduced the world in the 1960’s to the third great idea of twentieth century physics – an idea that may still bring balance to the force. The best science is always a bit bonkers.

    https://watertechbyrie.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/laws-of-physics.png
    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YglT09Korr0

    • Climate model computer programs are not in any way, shape, or form; physics. There may be bits and pieces of physics cobbled together with spit and mud, but to call an entire computer model “physics” is both inaccurate and misleading.

      • Jim,
        I model complex thermodynamic systems for a living and i suspect climate models model physics. The modelling of that physics is not terribly complicated. There are typically only three equations modelled in multiple fields…mass, energy, and momentum…because these quantities are conserved.

        The problem is what people are trying to do with those models. A model of even moderate complexity is useless for precise prediction because the system is inevitably multivariate and non-linear. We use models in the nuclear industry to create inequalities, e.g. fuel temperature will be no greater than X degrees. Even if the modeller makes reasonable assumptions the output is almost certainly going to be wrong, and I suspect climate modellers are not always making reasonable assumptions.

      • “With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.“ – John Von Neumann.

        It’s not difficult but as an engineer/scientist I had a higher responsibility to provide safe, conservative designs.

        Climate models are very different.

        ‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Godel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the
        calculation (see ref. 26).’ Irreducible imprecision in atmospheric and oceanic simulations – https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.0702971104

        I suspect model results were hijacked by people with little understanding of their limitations.

      • The Navier-Stokes equation unpacks into uncountable vector equations at many scales.

        https://www.thermal-engineering.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Navier-Stokes-Equations-definition.webp

        ‘Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change…

        Finally, Lorenz’s theory of the atmosphere (and ocean) as a chaotic system raises fundamental, but unanswered questions about how much the uncertainties in climate-change projections can be reduced. In 1969, Lorenz [30] wrote: ‘Perhaps we can visualize the day when all of the relevant physical principles will be perfectly known. It may then still not be possible to express these principles as mathematical equations which can be solved by digital computers. We may believe, for example, that the motion of the unsaturated portion of the atmosphere is governed by the Navier–Stokes equations, but to use these equations properly we should have to describe each turbulent eddy—a task far beyond the capacity of the largest computer. We must therefore express the pertinent statistical properties of turbulent eddies as functions of the larger-scale motions. We do not yet know how to do this, nor have we proven that the desired functions exist’. Uncertainty in weather and climate prediction – https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsta.2011.0161

        50 years later – the required functions still don’t exist.

        Contrarians are not saying anything not in the literature – always with considerably less sophistication.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        RIE wrote “Contrarians are not saying anything not in the literature – always with considerably less sophistication.”
        As a scientist with a verifiable track record of achievement, I really resent those words. They are insulting, they are not backed by quoted research, they are not consistent with past observation and measurement.
        Why is such anti-science drivel appearing on a blog like this?
        Geoff S

      • I see where he went wrong – the thread was on models and not on the broader considerations. Although in general I don’t take Geoff at his own estimation.

        Thanks for the ASM tip btw – mostly for the metals end of their mine to metals strategy.

        https://asm-au.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/ASM-Investor-Presentation_052022.pdf

    • Models as we all should know are elaborate hypotheses. That’s not the third great idea of 20th century physics.

      • If a climate model is a hypothesis, then so also is a Magic 8 Ball. Remember, it’s a “projection,” not a prediction.

      • I have been modelling hydrodynamics for decades. I have never used a magic 8 ball. But I will take on board your tangential little objections that have nothing to do with anything I have ever said. You are still in the last millennium Jim.

        The new generation of Earth system models is initialised, takes in big data, uses machine learning and AI and constantly updates and projects.

        https://watertechbyrie.files.wordpress.com/2020/11/big-data.png

    • Gautam Kalghatgi

      Robert, apologies if you see this twice but my earlier reply seems to have gone astray. If you are interested, my detailed arguments and data about the challenges of meeting net-zero targets and battery electric vehicles are in these articles in the open literature – https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2021/10/Kalghatgi-Net-Zero-Challenges.pdf and https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2020/07/The-Battery-Car-Delusion.pdf

  33. I only wish the climate related parts of the bill were the worst parts. The addition of 80,000 IRS agents is very disturbing. The bill does add some tax law adjustments, but tax law already is so complex and ambiguous that it has been known for two different IRS employees to give two different answers to the same tax question. In addition to that, the IRS in the past has explicitly gone after conservative groups, leaving leftist groups untouched. The tax law ambiguity and outright inequity of application will leave us all open to abuse. This will be just one more nail in the coffin of our Democratic Republic.

    • Yeah – we are all going to hell in a hand basket. 🤣 Stick to your knitting – democracy, the rule of law, sensible macroeconomic policy and vibrant economies. Mistakes have been made – but if history says one thing – we will persist.

  34. ‘Transformation of the electric power sector will require considerable inputs of raw materials, including rare earth and semi-/precious metals and structural materials such as cement steel, and fiberglass. Apart from the amount of energy required to mine, process and refine these materials, some critical materials are concentrated in a few countries, which will change the geopolitical dynamics. Building stable supply chains for critical materials is critical for the growth of wind, solar and battery storage. A circular economy with reuse and recycling will help minimize environmental impacts and supply chain shocks. Technologies that use low cost, readily available materials will have an advantage in being adopted.’

    There are critical resources for a technological and prosperous future – not just EV’s and windmills Supply bottlenecks are not the mines but the processors. Low cost miners and efficient and environmentally friendly processing. QPM in Townsville tick all the boxes. They are not alone in this but it is interesting to drill down (hmmm) into details. Their resource is nickel laterite from New Caledonia. Nickel laterite is the weathered and leached surface layer of nickel ore. It is commonly pushed aside to access richer strata. QPM have a new low temperature and pressure process for efficiently extracting high purity metals from the low grade ore. Here’s the latest quarterly report. It ticks all my boxes.

    https://wcsecure.weblink.com.au/pdf/QPM/02546972.pdf

    Entrepreneurs will constantly improve methods and processes that drive economic growth. They will supply what’s needed at a price. The best take it on themselves to do it responsibly.

    • Unfortunately, change in energy, agriculture, and many other areas is driven by wild-eyed zealots; not free market forces.

    • Gautam Kalghatgi

      The scale of the challenge is immense. To replace ALL light duty vehicles (LDV), including big cars with big batteries and enable longer ranges, with battery electric vehicles (BEVs), the required battery capacity and hence the mining required to support that change will need to increase by more than a hundred fold because BEVs constitute just around 1% of the current LDV numbers. This still leaves out heavy duty transport and aviation which account for another 45% or so of fossil fuel use in transport. Also, from the BP statistical survey, in 2021, fossil fuels provided 75.7 EJ (81% of primary energy) in the U.S. and wind and solar together, 1.97 EJ. So to replace 50% of current fossil fuel use with wind and solar (rest from energy efficiency etc) they have to increase by about a factor of 20. This will also require an additional unsustainable increase in mining for materials etc especially since the inflation reduction act wants all this to happen within the U.S. It will not be possible to export the very substantial health impacts of mining for materials required for batteries, solar cells and wind turbines to other countries as it currently happens. At the same time huge changes in energy infrastructure, provisions for safe disposal of old batteries and solar cells etc have to be built. Cement, steel, aviation industries and livestock farming has to be essentially dismantled ……

    • The IEA ‘Global EV Outlook 2022’ said there were c. 16m EVs worldwide at the end of 2021. They estimated that this figure would rise to 200 -250m by 2030.

      To reach this target would require up to 127 new mines for lithium. nickel and cobalt. The IEA itself has previously said a new mine typically takes about 16 years to reach full production.

      A recent report for the European Commission, ‘Critical Raw Materials in Technologies and Sectors in the EU. A Foresight Study’ estimated that by 2050 there might be 140 – 220m EVs in Europe’

      There are currently over 1.4 billion ICEVs worldwide. The idea that these will all be electric by 2050 is a pipe dream.

  35. Anybody know if there are carve outs for the 15% minimum corporate tax for renewablw tax credits? If there are not that would be a serious own goal. Of course, if there are that’s just more hypocrisy. I suspect there are since I haven’t heard a high pitched whine from that political direction.

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  41. The IRS deleted a job posting Wednesday seeking a Special Agent “willing to use deadly force” for its law enforcement division, Criminal Investigation (CI). The deletion came amid renewed scrutiny of the IRS in response to a Democrat-backed spending bill that would double the size of the agency.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/news/irs-deletes-job-posting-seeking-applicants-willing-to-use-deadly-force/

  42. @ jim2 | August 11, 2022 at 6:30 am | Reply trapped in moderation.

  43. Europe’s fertilizer plants, steel mills, and chemical manufacturers were the first to succumb. Massive paper mills, soybean processors, and electronics factories in Asia went dark.
    Now soaring natural gas and electricity prices are starting to hit the US industrial complex.
    On June 22, 600 workers at the second-largest aluminum mill in America, accounting for 20% of US supply, learned they were losing their jobs because the plant can’t afford an electricity tab that’s tripled in a matter of months.

    https://archive.ph/3B2Po#selection-3701.0-3723.1

  44. “When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – When you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – You may know that your society is doomed.”
    ― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

  45. A journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step. The pace of technological progress is astonishing and I don’t have a crystal ball.

  46. Is the “energy transition” the same thing as Energiewende, so successful in Germany?

  47. We’re running out of new tropes, from Global Warming and Climate Change to Climate Weirding and Hot-World-Hot-Seas-Rising but… predicting a looming doomsday merely 12 years off as a result of a humanity’s CO2 relies more on an ignorant, superstitious and gullible audience than ever.

  48. I have just added a couple more Peter. Every one of them on topic and the product of extensive and intensive study over decades. Do you have a specific point you would like to object to?

  49. Australian Strategic Materials (ASX:ASM) has an approved mine near Dubbo – it’s a massive reserve with a planned initial mine life of 20 years. Those are a dime a dozen. But ASM have just commissioned a factory in Korea that will process oxides from global sources. They are considering building facilities in Australia, Europe, Japan and the USA. If it isn’t obvious I have just double downed. Putting up and not shutting up.

    https://asm-au.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/ASM-Investor-Presentation_052022.pdf

    It’s a bit short short sighted to let China dominate that market.

  50. UK-Weather Lass

    “However, letting go of the apocalyptic rhetoric is difficult for those who have built careers based on climate catastrophism.”

    It’s so hard to give up easy money isn;t it? Or, as Socrates put it, “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”

  51. ‘It is a product of dishonest, dangerous minds on a mission. Some days I am glad I have lived past 80 and will not live to see the coming carnage and warfare.’ Geoff S

    It’s not true Geoff. I have a relentlessly honest if dangerous mind. There is a theme running through the comments as I noted earlier. We are all going to hell in a hand basket. I find it very puzzling. My inclination is to do what should be done. Grow economies, innovate on energy and technology (or you will be left in the dust) – build resilient infrastructure and better manage land and water resources. These are not controversial propositions – but I get the sense that some people would rather throw themselves under the wheels of progress than concede that they are not necessarily smarter than everyone else. I’ve thought about this – well – a little bit. I think narcissism is the core of the dynamic.

    But if you have a problem with the bill – and frankly it’s your problem and not mine – then the way to change it is to win elections or otherwise bring the legislature with you. ConservAmerica – conservation is conservative as they say – are far from dishonest and dangerous minds – and I feel that they are much closer to the community than the doomsayers here. Their proposals are well worth careful consideration.

    https://www.conservamerica.org/

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  53. Reality is not biased. It is the global warming research that is biased. Hot world ideation is a serious disorder found only in the West. It is in part driven by the global warming apocalyptic content of mass media which imbues viewers with the notion that the world is a hotter and more intimidating place to live than it actually is and prompts a desire for more protection than is warranted by any actual threat. Hot world ideation is one of the main conclusions of what essentially amounts to the anti-humanism movement.

  54. To Western academia who has sacrificed the scientific method to the woke state altar of global warming alarmism and unamericanism… sometimes, someone–maybe someone like Salman Rushdie for example who is not an American–just may have to say to others on our behalf, “Hey, your good ideas suck. Take’m someplace else if you don’t like the way we do things here.”

  55. “Conservatives have real solutions to solve the climate challenge and make energy more affordable,” said ClearPath Action CEO Rich Powell. “Here’s a comprehensive plan that works –- it reduces carbon emissions, creates jobs, eliminates dependence on foreign adversaries resources, and will be well-received in every single Congressional district in America according to our research.” https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/house-republicans-launch-6-part-121500547.html

    A six part plan from conservatives acknowledging realities.

    https://clearpathaction.org/

  56. Judith: I think you have done a wonderful job of describing the two positions of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic approaches to dealing with the impending significant-but-uncertain future warming as greenhouse gas emissions continue. In either case, warming is inevitable. In the apocalyptic approach, the belief is in imminent disaster, calling for extreme measures including lack of adequate power. In the post-apocalyptic approach, the highest priority is to provide people with power as we provide incentives to reduce emissions. Meanwhile, many denizens of your blog will continue to argue that CO2 has no warming effect at all, which is contrary to both the apocalyptic and the post-apocalyptic viewpoints. They continue to repeat this prattle and clog up the blog, diluting its value and making it a chore to find the relatively few nuggets.

    • Donald
      The real argument is regarding the long term rate of warming associated with the higher CO2 percentage, how long that will last and how the climate wiĺl change as a result.

    • Progressive’s claim a high rate of change that continues forever and only changes the climate for the worse.

    • Donald

      “ many denizens of your blog ”

      Some would be more accurate. There are a few but not a majority. Every year that goes by and the list of failed predictions going back decades gets longer, the case for no or little effect gets stronger. In the meantime, I’m keeping my powder dry. I suspect when I kick the bucket I still won’t be sure how much CO2 affects temperatures. By 2100 we should have a pretty good estimate.

    • The real problem is people – contrarians and alarmists – with unwavering belief that they know the truth. Sure if the experiment is done the answer will ultimately be known. Doing the experiment in ignorance – however – is recklessly irresponsible. True conservatives prefer to hedge their bets.

      https://www.conservamerica.org/latest-news/its-time-to-get-the-politics-out-of-energy-policy-as-new-polling-show-voters-overwhelmingly-support-all-of-the-above

    • All you have to do is look at the price of oil. That tells you how well wind and solar are working. Oil and natural gas are necessary to keep us alive.

      Wind and solar are not working. “All of the above” is a waste of resources and time.

      Instead, no wind. No solar. Consider any other solid idea that doesn’t involve Unicorns surfing on Sunbeams.

      • Yeah that’s not what the are saying.

      • There are fundamentals and day traders. Neither is caused by your wind and solar butt monkeys.

        https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/11/gas-prices-are-falling-heres-why-its-happening-and-whether-it-can-continue.html

      • Open your eyes and look at the dire straights Europe have found themselves. It’s because of wind and solar and a failure to develop and use local fossil fuels. Low supply and high demand for fossil fuels isn’t due to day traders, as any fuuueoool can see.

      • Fundamentals determine the price trend and day traders the volatility. Natural gas constraints, French nuclear plant maintenance and the weather has something to do with spot prices.

      • Jim

        Can you identify a grid in western Europe that has had to shut down due to switching from fossil fuel power plants to solar or wind generated power?

        Using wind and solar power makes economic sense over the long term if they are used wisely. Clearly it saves on the use of limited fossil fuels.

      • Rob – the grid shutdown is coming. Fossil fuels are in short supply because Europe chose to build wind and solar and stop developing fossil fuels. If they had continued to develop and use local fossil fuels, they wouldn’t be running short of them. It’s the whole policy that’s the problem. The shortage was caused purposefully. They didn’t expect it to shut down their grids, or parts of it. It will happen.

  57. Starkey and CKid: I hope you realize that you both think that Judith is wrong on both counts. Whether the approach is apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic, you believe that either approach is dealing with a phantom problem that doesn’t exist. Why don’t you just tell Judith that you think that she is misguided?

    • Well the whole point of post-apocalyptic is to do things that make sense, regardless of whether or not AGW turns out to be a problem.

    • Donald

      You have to explain how I think Judith is wrong. I don’t remember concluding that on any issue, much less this one.. Maybe you can enlighten me about what I am thinking..

      • Seems mostly about how newspaper accounts show that modern day extremes are not more extreme than past extremes. Not that I disagree. Extremes seem to grow with the length of the geophysical series. Inputs and outputs are highly nonlinear, state transitions are rapid and there are multiple equilibria.

        ‘By ‘Noah Effect’ we designate the observation that extreme precipitation can be very extreme indeed, and by ‘Joseph Effect’ the finding that a long period of unusual (high or low) precipitation can be extremely long. Current models of statistical hydrology cannot account for either effect and must be superseded.’ Benoit B. Mandelbrot,James R. Wallis (1968), Noah, Joseph, and Operational Hydrology

      • CKid: You can’t seem to understand. Judith is not wrong. You are wrong. If you were right that CO2 has no effect then any and all efforts to reduce emissions would be wasteful. The world is convinced that global warming is a problem and it is due to greenhouse emissions. Two approaches to cope were discussed by Judith; both assume there is a problem. You think there is no problem. The train left the station. You are standing alone on the platform watching it depart.

      • Donald

        When I was in the Army a sergeant told me
        Read with precision
        Write with precision
        Speak with precision
        Listen with precision

        I suggest you read with precision what I said.

        Which was “ Every year that goes by and the list of failed predictions going back decades gets longer, the case for no or little effect gets stronger.”

        I didn’t say there was no effect. I said the case for no or little effect gets stronger. That is not the same as saying there is no effect.

        In the 1980s I accepted the consensus view. As far as I knew 100% of warming was caused by CO2.

        That changed 12 years ago when I started extensive research. The evidence for less effect or no effect is stronger than it was 12 years ago. That is NOT the same as me saying I believe there is no effect. I’m not there yet.

        I also said when I kicked the bucket I wouldn’t be sure how much CO2 affects temperatures.

        I didn’t say it has no effect. Polish off your reading skills. Will keep you from these embarrassing moments.

      • The evidence is for a substantial effect. Big picture and not down in the weeds. There are spectacularly obvious examples here of Wily E. Coyote contrarian blogoscience. Geoff Sherrington’s thesis is that it isn’t happening because global warming zealots have fraudulently altered the data. Peter Land thinks that it’s 3 degrees C exactly and beneficial. Javier can predict the future with a harmony of the spheres and apparently it’s cooling. etc. etc.

      • “If you were right that CO2 has no effect then any and all efforts to reduce emissions would be wasteful.”

        Why do you believe this?

        They’re selling 6 million EVs a year globally right now- 630,000 a year in the US. Without a carbon tax. Because people like them and they have some models that work.
        If you charge them with nuclear power, that’s an annual reduction in gasoline demand of 252 million gallons in the US assuming the standard 12k miles a year driven and an MPG of 30.
        But if you listen to the catastrophists you’ll hear that nothing at all is happening because we aren’t trying to charge those cars at night with solar panels and we aren’t causing enough suffering for the people who can’t afford them yet.

    • Rapp

      How do YOU justify writing that you know my thoughts?

      As it happens, I largely agree with Judith on most points. What do you disagree with that I wrote?

      Is it that:
      1. Progressive’s claim that there is a high rate of temperature change associated with increased CO2?

      2. Progressives claim that a short-term increase in temperature means that the increased rate continues forever?

      3. Progressives claim the only changes of the climate associated with increasing temperature are for the worse.

  58. ‘Earth’s Energy Imbalance (EEI) is a relatively small (presently ∼0.3%) difference between global mean solar radiation absorbed and thermal infrared radiation emitted to space. EEI is set by natural and anthropogenic climate forcings and the climate system’s response to those forcings. It is also influenced by internal variations within the climate system. Most of EEI warms the ocean; the remainder heats the land, melts ice, and warms the atmosphere. We show that independent satellite and in situ observations each yield statistically indistinguishable decadal increases in EEI from mid-2005 to mid-2019 of 0.50 ± 0.47 W m/decade (5%–95% confidence interval). This trend is primarily due to an increase in absorbed solar radiation associated with decreased reflection by clouds and sea-ice and a decrease in outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) due to increases in trace gases and water vapor. These changes combined exceed a positive trend in OLR due to increasing global mean temperatures.’ https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2021GL093047

    https://images.remss.com/msu/msu_time_series.html

    A scientific top down view of climate. Despite Geoff’s umbrage there is nothing like it in contrarian blogoscience. The latter is objectively a tower of babel with many different and mutually exclusive claims. Javier in the last post is looking for a minute solar signal that amplifies internally through unspecified physical pathways – and still doesn’t connect the nonlinear dots. The cloud decrease BTW is a positive feedback to sea surface temperature.

  59. What took thousands of scientists and hundreds of billions of dollars to produce 0.0000168969 hp, perhaps enough to power an ant’s motorcycle?

    https://journals.aps.org/pre/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevE.106.025201

  60. Proof of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect

    Arthur P. Smith∗

    American Physical Society, 1 Research Road, Ridge NY, 11961

    https://arxiv.org/pdf/0802.4324.pdf

    “A recently advanced argument against the atmospheric greenhouse effect is refuted. A planet without an infrared absorbing atmosphere is mathematically constrained to have an average temperature
    less than or equal to the effective radiating temperature. Observed parameters for Earth prove that
    without infrared absorption by the atmosphere, the average temperature of Earth’s surface would
    be at least 33 K lower than what is observed.”

    “A planet without an infrared absorbing atmosphere is mathematically constrained to have an average temperature
    less than or equal to the effective radiating temperature.”

    “is mathematically constrained”

    Robert, what does it mean “is mathematically constrained”?

    https://www.cristos-vournas.com

  61. I went off topic somewhat just above to describe the overwhelmingly dominant climate science paradigm that is based on real data and real science. I am not going to pretend that there are not compelling reasons – beyond productivity and economic growth – for a transition to cheaper energy.

  62. The issue is NOT whether CO2 causes a great deal of warming. That is a topic to be repeated endlessly on this blog ad nausem. The issue is, the world believes that that it does, so how best to cope?

    • There is no debate. I quoted from scientific literature what is overwhelmingly the dominant climate science paradigm. Human capacities and resources have been mobilised all over the planet as a result. The diverse efforts are snowballing unstoppably. There are dozens of rational responses and the world will muddle through to more prosperous and resilient communities. But science is human progress and anti-science sentiment should be confronted on whatever the topic of the day is.

    • Rapp writes- “The issue is, the world believes that that it does, so how best to cope?”

      Do you always write inaccurate statements? You know how the entire world thinks/believes???

      An accurate statement would be some believe that CO2 is a cause for significant alarm.

      A reasonable response would be to educate those misguided individuals and try to convince them of the facts.

  63. Earth’s atmosphere has only traces of carbon dioxide CO₂ gas content

    CO₂ content in Earth’s atmosphere is measured to be some 400 ppm.

    400 parts per million is one part per 2.500 (1.000.000 /400 = 2.500)

    So we have one molecule of CO₂ for every 2.500 molecules of air.

    Or to make it even more clear: 1 /2.500 = 0,0004 or 0,04 %

    Now let’s compare the 0,04% CO₂ content in Earth’s atmosphere with the water vapor content of about 1% on average.

    0,04% CO₂ /1% H₂O = 0,04

    or one molecule of CO₂ for every 25 molecules of H₂O in Earth’s atmosphere.

    One may say there are still too many CO₂ molecules.

    But Earth’s atmosphere is very thin, it is an almost transparent atmosphere in both ways – in and out.

    It is not only the CO₂% content in the Earth’s atmosphere general content that matters, but we have also to consider how many CO₂ molecules are in Earth’s atmosphere in total.

    If Earth’s atmosphere was consisted from the actually existing CO₂ molecules only, the atmospheric pressure on the Earth’s surface would have been 0,0004 bar.

    https://www.cristos-vournas.com

  64. Even if there isn’t an overt grid failure in Europe due to Green Energy Extremist policies, the damage is there and very real.


    Key European Power Price Doubles in Two Months as Crisis Deepens

    European power prices jumped to a fresh record as natural gas extended gains, deepening the energy crunch that’s threatening to plunge the region into a recession.

    Next-year electricity rates in Germany advanced as much as 3.2% to 475 euros ($485) a megawatt-hour on the European Energy Exchange AG. That’s almost six times as much as this time last year, with the price doubling in the past two months alone.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-15/german-power-prices-soar-to-record-as-energy-crisis-deepens

  65. @ jim2 | August 15, 2022 at 7:07 am trapped in moderation.

  66. Again, even if there isn’t an overt grid failure in Europe due to the Green Energy Extremist policy of building out wind and solar while failing to develop local sources of fossil fuels, there is damage in the form of plant closures. And these plants provide critical resources.

    In private, European executives say they’ll use the forthcoming quarterly reporting season in mid-July to announce more plant closures. The affected industries will be those with the most intensive energy use: fertilizer, base metals and steel, chemical, ceramic, glass and paper. But increasingly food production will be, too. Heated greenhouses and chicken farms face astronomical energy bills.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-06-27/factory-closures-from-aluminum-to-chicken-farming-are-going-to-become-common

    • With plant closures comes job loss, failure to pay debts, fuel poverty, food poverty, foreclosures, a deterioration of mental health, drug abuse, death by overdoses, and suicide. We are continually warned of putative damages by global warming, but the war against fossil fuels is causing direct damage right now, not 50 years from now.

  67. One would expect high gas prices to stimulate supply. The rational response to everything is to let the market work it’s magic. But Europe (and the free world) are now on a war footing.

    ‘Europe is now forced to operate in a constant state of uncertainty over Russian gas supplies, and we can’t rule out a complete cut-off. In my view, it is much better to take steps now to prepare for winter than to leave the well-being of hundreds of millions of people and European economies at the mercy of the weather or, even worse, to give unnecessary extra leverage to President Vladimir Putin of Russia.’ https://www.iea.org/commentaries/coordinated-actions-across-europe-are-essential-to-prevent-a-major-gas-crunch-here-are-5-immediate-measures

    • If governments hadn’t stymied fossil fuels, there most likely wouldn’t be an issue with supply. Natural gas and oil don’t come out of a tab like water in your home. Exploration, drilling, testing, infrastructure to deliver, and finally production have to occur. It takes years.

      • Governments didn’t stymie gas supplies – Vladimir Putin did.

      • There are so many factors playing into the rise in energy costs, but a major one, especially in Europe, is an overreliance on wind power, which underperformed this summer and winter along with decades of underinvestment in natural gas and oil. Consequently, European Union countries now depend on Russia for 40 percent of their natural gas (and 34 percent for oil), which clearly poses a threat to their security. Now that countries like Germany have shown support to the Ukrainian cause, they must find replacements for the bulk of the Russian gas capacity that they had been relying upon.

        The cancellation of the Keystone pipeline, the de facto lease suspension, the weaponization of financial regulators, the proposed tax increases on methane, market-distorting tax credits for unreliable energy sources, the recent FERC pipeline policy statements — and many more — are part of an effort to purposefully create an environment in which it is difficult to invest in domestic natural gas and oil. All of these policies have a chilling effect on production and new investment. You can’t disincentivize the production of energy at every turn and simultaneously expect for more of it to be produced.

        https://shalemag.com/its-your-policies-mr-president-that-are-driving-energy-prices-up/

  68. Peak oil raises its ugly head again. I thought we had gotten past that.

  69. ‘Ahead of the midterm elections and Republicans expected to retake the majority, the House GOP’s Energy, Climate, and Conservation (ECC) Task Force created a six-pillar policy agenda built on the proven success of conservative energy policies—much like those that made the United States the world leader in reducing carbon emissions while increasing productivity in the first place.’

    Surely it’s about winning elections and not endlessly repeating the same action and expecting a different result.

  70. However, the newest refinery with significant downstream unit capacity is Marathon’s facility in Garyville, Louisiana. That facility came online in 1977 with an initial atmospheric distillation unit capacity of 200,000 b/cd, and as of January 1, 2022, it had a capacity of 585,000 b/cd.

    https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=29&t=6

  71. Douglas Proctor

    Beneath, over and inside the Climate Change crisis in the public sphere is an antihumanist, anticapitalist and antidemocratic ideology: our current economic and political system is inherently destructive, unstable and unjust. This is not a bug but a feature of the Climate crisis activist cause.

    The “existential” threat “to the planet”, the naming of an activist group “Extinction Rebellion” are not simply antifossil fuel but antiWestern AND antiEastern civilization. The idea is that no current governing or economic system can do anything other than over consume, under protect and create social injustices due to its basis in an individual’s right to act in his self-interest with the profit incentive. Only a top down benevolent governing body can be expected to distribute the finite resources of the planet fairly and at a sustainable level.

    The apocalyptic crisis mentality is only focused on CO2 as the The Beast at the head of the fundamental problem facing the world. At this point no success in helping “the planet” without tearing down our governing and operating systems will suffice: this is an essential target of all the activist organizations that claim to be working to “save the planet”, “avoid a dead world”, “the Extinction of the human race/the global biota”. Half measures do nothing but delay the ruination and death of Mither Earth.

    On the technical, narrow view of fossil fuel usage going forward, what Curry says here is brilliant and achievable. But do not expect the firestorm and demand for disastrous policies to stop with good CO2 programs. CO2 is just the banner issue.

    The threat of the climate change activist is not met by CO2 reduction. The firces behind the political Democrat Biden ideologue is just getting traction.

  72. The Green Energy Extremists put another notch on their turbine blade.

    Zinc Surges as Trafigura-Owned Smelter to Halt Production

    Prices climb more than 7% on LME after announcement by Nyrstar
    Nyrstar’s Budel smelter is one of Europe’s biggest zinc plants

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-16/zinc-surges-as-trafigura-owned-smelter-to-halt-production

  73. Europe’s benchmark power price surged above 500 euros for the first time, ratcheting up pressure on households and businesses as the worst energy crisis in decades looks set to persist well into next year.

    German year-ahead electricity rose as much as 6.4% to 508 euros a megawatt-hour on the European Energy Exchange AG. That marks a gain of roughly 500% in the past year, driven predominantly by Russia’s moves to slash gas supply.

    As energy costs continue to soar, industries from glassmakers to metal producers are feeling the pinch. Nyrstar NV became the latest large firm to announce cutbacks on Tuesday, saying it will shut its Budel zinc smelter in the Netherlands — one of Europe’s biggest — early next month.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-16/german-power-prices-hit-fresh-record-as-gas-continues-to-surge

  74. Biden bill signed today includes EV tax credits.

    https://www.kiplinger.com/taxes/605081/ev-tax-credit-inflation-reduction-act-2022-changes

    Ford increases prices today on pickup EV.

    Can’t win ‘em’ all.

    https://www.axios.com/2022/08/09/ev-prices-ford-f-150-lightning-tesla

  75. The Inflation Reduction Act was just signed.

    It doesn’t reduce inflation.

    In spite of the endless promotion by talking heads about how it makes the rich pay their fair share, by 2027 the additional taxes paid by millionaires is microscopic.

    It’s billed as the biggest thing for climate ever, but no one who is patting themselves on their backs has said how much global temperatures will be reduced. The only analysis I have seen says less than 0.03C.

    But it did accomplish the most important thing, and the real reason for passage. It bought more Democratic votes.

  76. Super article, Judith!
    I particularly like this:
    “While fossil fuels have fueled human progress in the 20th and early 21st centuries, there is a strong rationale for reducing our reliance on fossil fuels for energy – independent of their impact on atmospheric CO2 concentrations and air and water quality. … Focus on the energy transition, not near-term CO2 emissions. Clean is one of the major values, and the CO2 emissions will eventually reduce. Overall a more rapid transition will be facilitated if we don’t unduly focus on CO2 emissions and meeting near term emissions targets.”

    CO2 of course is perfectly clean – odorless, colorless, tasteless (well, it does provide texture…). It makes plants grow bigger, faster, and resist drought, and it is responsible for more than 30% of the increase in agriculture since 1950. In the stratosphere, it is responsible for transport of IR to outer space. So it warms us and cools us and feeds us. And its GHG effect declines exponentially, so the nest coubling to 800 ppm will increase that effect by less than 2%, in theory.

    Natural gas is the cleanest source of energy in fossil fuels. Nuclear is clean except for all that radioactivity, and thre are several ways to deal with that.

    So we should by all means pursue other means of energy production that do not:
    -generate soot; kill bats or birds or fish; occupy useful land; create unsightly landscapes; require the mining, transport and refining of toxic minerals for batteries; fail in nighttime or winter or cold. Failing that, maybe the new nuclear modules…

  77. At cocktail parties across America the most verboten topic of conversation (other than admission of supporting Trump or being a bunk mate of Jeffrey Epstein) is the unknown amount of reduction in global temperatures due to passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. No one wants to admit to ignorance. No one wants to admit that victories in DC is just legislation rather than the more complex and intractable challenges of actually solving problems. A case could be made that in spite of spending $50 trillion on social programs over the last 50 years, devolution of American civilization is gaining momentum at unprecedented levels.

    • ” the unknown amount of reduction in global temperatures due to passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. ”

      The answer is less than .1C on a long term basis.

      The act as I understand it, did open up a huge volume of federal land to oil and gas exploration and bypassed EPA reviews. It has some good points.

  78. Green Energy Extremists prompted Europe to eschew the exploration and development of fossil fuels. Now Europe must pay the piper. We in the US need to vote out any politician of any stripe who wants to regulate or tax fossil fuels to death.

    Norsk Hydro Shuts Aluminum Plant as Europe’s Power Woes Deepen

    Company’s 175,000-ton Slovakian smelter will shut next month
    Soaring European electricity prices are hurting heavy industry

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-17/norsk-hydro-shuts-aluminum-plant-as-europe-s-power-woes-deepen

  79. The Green Energy Extremists are suffocating vital industries and the food supply by suffocating fossil fuel development around the world, including here in the US where, among many other things, Puddinhead shut down the XL Pipeline.

    Five Vital Commodity Industries Are Buckling Under Energy Crisis

    Metals, fertilizer sectors are struggling as energy costs soar
    Factory halts and higher goods costs further threatens economy

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-17/five-vital-commodity-industries-are-buckling-under-energy-crisis

  80. Green Energy Extremists fight against fossil fuels is causing job losses in the US. FedEx driver companies contract to FedEx, they are not part of the company. They are being bankrupted by fuel cost increases.

    “Not a single day passes without my phone ringing with the story of yet another contractor who is financially collapsing under the weight of these dramatic cost changes that have gone unaddressed by FedEx Ground in 2022,” Patton said.

    https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/fedex-ground-contractors-ally-higher-pay-Black-Friday/627747/

  81. jim2, There is too much fragmentation in the US trucking industry so they don’t have leverage. The top 10 ocean shippers control 90% of the international market. There is almost no competition in the US rail shippers so they are borderline monopolies. I just saw on Bloomberg the top 10 US trucking companies control about 12% of their market.

    Here is some really good news!
    08/18/2022
    “Previously, the only operational way to break down PFAS was to expose the particles to extremely high temperatures — sometimes above 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit — in an incinerator. But that energy-intensive process can still release harmful chemicals into the environment.

    The new method appears to be safer and more energy-efficient. The Northwestern scientists added PFAS molecules to a solution of lye and dimethyl sulfoxide and exposed them to temperatures of up to 248 degrees Fahrenheit. The chemicals degraded into fluoride ions and other harmless byproducts.

    “One specific portion of these molecules falls off and sets off a cascade of reactions that ultimately breaks these PFAS compounds down to relatively benign products,” William Dichtel, a professor of chemistry at Northwestern University who co-authored the study, said on a call with reporters.

    PFAS are nearly impossible to destroy because of their strong carbon-fluorine bonds. Brittany Trang, another co-author, compared the process of breaking apart the molecules to smashing a Lego block to bits.

    Currently, PFAS can be filtered out of water but then need to be destroyed somehow. If the chemicals are dumped in a landfill or tossed in an incinerator, they can still pollute the environment.”

    • And yet, PFAS haven’t been shown to be harmful. Especially in the parts per TRILLION levels.

    • PFAS were used in asthma inhalers. Much, much, much bigger dose than the parts per TRILLION found in water.

      • Which PFAS was it? There are 9000 PFAS derivatives. Most haven’t been tested for environmental effects (good or bad). They get around this problem the same way drug companies get around patten laws by claiming they reformulated the original drug by tweaking the molecular structure, often skipping phase III trials.
        You think your local water supply is testing for all of them? LoL.
        I use reverse osmosis but honestly it really tastes flat. I actually prefer a few minerals in my water.

        Maybe we should worry more about the growing gap in Chinese intellectual leadership…
        “As for quality papers that outperformed 90 percent of their competitors, China contributed 46,352 of such studies, accounting for 26.6 percent of the world’s total. The US followed with 36,680 papers at 21.1 percent. It was the second consecutive year that China topped this category.”
        https://www.science.org/content/article/china-rises-first-place-most-cited-papers

      • EPA tested for them. Found parts per TRILLION!

      • @ jacksmith4tx
        RO water for drinking from large national plants is regularly dozed with minerals. Otherwise it is quite unhealthy. Home units lack such ‘chemical curing’. It is not just taste alone.

      • melitamegalithic,
        Despite the lack of those minerals filtered out by RO it’s worth the peace of mind knowing the water I cook and drink isn’t poisoning me. I do take supplements to compensate.

        Speaking of healthy eating, here is something that could help reduce our excessive use of sodium chloride (salt) in our food, Microsalt. A clever way to fool our tastebuds by exploiting the way our taste receptors bind to salt crystals.
        https://www.microsaltinc.com/

  82. “ Germany’s producer price inflation accelerated unexpectedly to a new record high in July, primarily driven by higher energy costs, data from Destatis showed on Friday.

    Producer prices grew 37.2 percent year-over-year in July, well above the 32.7 percent surge in June. Economists had forecast inflation to ease slightly to 32.0 percent.

    Further, this was the highest annual increase since the survey began in 1949”

    https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/interestrates/germany-ppi-inflation-at-record-high-1031694702

  83. Peak catastrophe in the 1990’s? Or were things as catastrophic in the early 1800’s?

    https://www.tandfonline.com/na101/home/literatum/publisher/tandf/journals/content/thsj20/2013/thsj20.v058.i06/02626667.2013.804626/20170411/images/medium/thsj_a_804626_f0004_c.jpg

    ‘Fig. 4 Evolution of the frequency per year of the indicated phrases related to pessimistic views, as found in several million books digitized by Google covering the period from the beginning of the 19th century to present (data and graphs by Google ngrams; books.google.com/ngrams).’

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02626667.2013.804626

    I’m having to log out and in to wordpress with every new comment. That’s one way of discouraging traffic.

  84. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #516 – Watts Up With That?

  85. The high cost of electricity caused by the Green Energy Extremists in Europe is UNPRECEDENTED!!!!

    European Power Prices Smash Records in Another Inflation Blow

    Record-breaking energy prices are adding pressure to inflation
    France is also struggling with low nuclear availability

    Power prices for Wednesday soared to records around Europe, heaping further pressure on governments to accelerate plans for how to shield households from devastating bills and rising inflation.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-23/european-power-prices-surge-to-records-yet-again-on-wind-dearth

  86. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #516 - Energy News Beat

  87. European leaders listened to Green Energy Extremists and failed to develop local fossil fuels. This article attempts to put lipstick on the pig, but reality will have the last laugh – and it won’t be pretty.

    Euro-Zone Is Already in Recession on Energy Squeeze, UBS Says

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-25/euro-zone-is-already-in-recession-on-energy-squeeze-ubs-says

  88. Pingback: Science and Politics News Roundup 2022 August | wryheat

  89. Germany listened to Green Energy Extremists and scared their population to death – maybe literally. Cause now, it appears Germans would rather freeze to death than frac.

    Energy crisis: What role can Germany’s oil and gas sector play?

    As Germany looks to ditch Russian oil and gas for good, its domestic energy industry is a key side actor — but can it step up to the plate? We search for clues in the village where Germany’s oil sector was born.

    https://www.dw.com/en/energy-crisis-what-role-can-germanys-oil-and-gas-sector-play/a-61545432

  90. John Doerr is a venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins. He has written a book that contains a “plan” to get to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. He is rich with a net worth of 12 billion dollars. Anything we do to “fight” climate change won’t affect his life one iota, but it will make our lives unrecognizable. The problem we have is the rich have taken up the “climate change” mantle. They have the money and influence to achive things like having California ban ICE vehicles. This short circuits both the quasi-democratic institutions in the US and also the “invisible hand” of free market forces. This is a huge problem for us in the US as well as in other countries around the world. If enough of us get smart enough, we might be able to vote out politicians who are trying to eliminate the fossil fuel industry, but this problem with the rich, like Doerr, won’t go away. As a venture captitalist, Doerr is in a prime position to make money. He influences policy, knows what is likely to change, then puts his money there to get even richer. It’s a huge “climate change” scam at our expense.

    The Speed & Scale plan shows how we can cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and get halfway there by 2030.

    Emissions
    1.Electrify Transportation
    Reduce 8 gigatons of transportation emissions to 2 gigatons by 2050.
    2. Decarbonize the Grid
    Reduce 24 gigatons of global electricity and heating emissions to 3 gigatons by 2050.
    3.Fix Food
    Reduce 9 gigatons of agricultural emissions to 2 gigatons by 2050.
    4. Protect Nature
    Go from 6 gigatons of emissions to -1 gigatons by 2050.
    5. Clean Up Industry
    Reduce 12 gigatons of industrial emissions to 4 gigatons by 2050.
    6. Remove Carbon
    Remove 10 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere.

    Accelerants
    7. Win Politics and Policy
    8. Turn Movements into Action
    9. Innovate!
    10. Invest!

    https://speedandscale.com/

  91. The Green Energy Extremists convinced Europe to throttle the fossil fuel industry and build out wind and solar. Now the common man there pays the price, and the price is dear. Also, wind and solar isn’t supplying the needed energy, obviously.

    The energy crisis that’s sent inflation soaring across the world is getting worse each week, leaving stock traders with a challenge to figure out where to put their money.

    The nightmare scenario that’s developed this year has already walloped equities, which suffered a bruising first half. A rally over the summer helped to reduce losses, but the worsening crisis, which appears nowhere near over, is putting up a huge hurdle to further gains.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-28/energy-crisis-tearing-through-markets-leaves-a-trail-of-losers

  92. @ jim2 | August 28, 2022 at 8:46 am | Reply in moderation

  93. Green Energy in Europe – the worst is yet to come.

    German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said the government needs to address soaring power prices “with the utmost urgency,” as a leading economist warned of a “gigantic shock” looming for Europe’s biggest economy.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-28/german-finance-chief-sounds-alarm-on-soaring-electricity-prices

  94. Green Energy in Europe – Apocalypse Now …

    Every week, the people who trade electricity in the UK get to quiz the managers of the national grid for an hour. The conference call, which anyone can monitor, offers an insight into what the men and women on the front line of the power market are worried about. Listening to them is getting scarier by the week — and suggests keeping the lights on this winter will be a lot more challenging than European governments are admitting.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-08-26/european-energy-crisis-listening-to-electricity-traders-is-very-very-scary

  95. jim2 | August 28, 2022 at 8:50 am trapped in moderation

  96. California instituted a new regulation on Thursday that will ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035; the rule, which was permitted by the Biden administration, could accelerate the nationwide transition to electric cars.

    “I don’t think Congress gave that authority to California, specifically to set their own standards for greenhouse gases,” former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

    https://dailycaller.com/2022/08/27/biden-admin-california-mandate-evs-nationwide/

  97. Fuel supplies are lower than normal across the country for a variety of reasons, including the war on fossil fuels!

    PORTLAND, Maine — Diesel and heating oil supplies in the Northeast are more than 50% below the recent average, raising concerns that an extreme weather event could cause supply disruptions, federal officials said.

    Fuel supplies are lower than normal across the country for a variety of reasons, including the war in Ukraine. But it’s the worst in the Northeast.

    Diesel fuel and heating oil, which comprise the distillate category, are 63% below the five-year average in New England and 58% below the same average from Maryland to New York, according to a survey by the Department of Energy. Gasoline inventories are not as bad, but are still at their lowest levels in nearly a decade along the entire East Coast, the agency said.

    https://www.stripes.com/theaters/us/2022-08-28/low-fuel-inventories-northeast-7132904.html

  98. Europe listened to the Green Energy Extremists and cut local fossil fuel production in favor of wind and solar. The price they are paying is painful, to say the least.

    August 31, 2022 at 6:55 AM EDT

    A group of French energy-intensive manufacturers urged the European Commission to urgently overhaul the continent’s electricity market and cap gas prices as surging costs threaten to force a growing number of plants to slow or halt production.

    European leaders are under increasing pressure to tame energy prices, which have skyrocketed in the past year as Russia limited gas supplies in retaliation for sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine. France faces the added problem of an unprecedented plunge in the availability of its aging nuclear plants.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-31/french-businesses-urge-eu-to-curb-energy-costs-as-stoppages-loom

    • We are being invaded by millions of illegal aliens!!
      We should follow Russia’s example and cut off Mexico from our cheap natural gas until they build a wall to keep illegal aliens from crossing our border. Mexico gets 70% of their natural gas from the US (1.6 billion cubic feet per day) and it would crush their economy.

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