NWR Climate change

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The FT article isn't as doom-laden as either of you are suggesting - 300tn of additional investment requires raising the investment budget by 50%, and in due course (although this is only pointed out in the comments) some of that capital investment will be offset by revenue savings (see the Tesla thread for examples). Global GDP is set to be 29tn pa larger in 2026 than this year - let's not be defeatist. On the other hand, the article is right to flag that getting people to pay for the changes is likely a bigger challenge than establishing the technology itself.
 
And perhaps we could just stop building on floodplains. But how long will those flood defences remain effective? They might work against the 1 in 100 year floods that are now coming every ten years, but what about the 1 in 1,000 year floods that are coming every 50 years? And how exactly do you mitigate against temperatures that make it impossible to grow crops? Don't most of the economic analyses that compare the cost of doing nothing to stop warming with the costs associated with the consequences warming always show that the latter is considerably more expensive?
Geordie I did not advocate doing nothing to alleviate climate change as I clearly say in my post. Please don't misquote me for your own purpose of making a binary where there isn't one. I merely said that we should invest significant funds into protecting against the effects of climate change in the UK.

As a tiny nation we are completely beholden to other nations taking drastic action at enormous expense to reduce the effects of climate change and potentially stop at a 1.5C rise. What if they do not? We need to prepare for that reality as much as we do to reduce and contain the changes.

I am not sure where you are getting your figures for the 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 scenarios but if true then yes we should be building defences that could withstand those events.

Is anyone seriously suggesting the UK could be barren re crop growing? Sorry but no idea what you're talking about there unless you are talking about other parts of the world. I was only talking about a UK context.
 
Wow, what a tissue-thin "argument". "In total we think as much as $300tn in extra investments could be needed to re-tool the global economy with assets that can be fabricated, distributed, operated and eventually recycled using clean energy sources alone." (My bold.) Yep, I'm totally sold. Let's totally change direction on the basis that this guy and his mates think that maybe it'll cost more than we can afford. I'm not saying he's wrong, but I would like to see a slightly more detailed analysis before I jump on board that particular boat. He uses the market for fridges as the example for his argument - we need to make lots of fridges because people are always replacing them and that means lots of carbon being released. Well, yeah, okay, but rather than just saying we need more money to pay for de-carbonising the supply chains, perhaps we could start doing more to stop people replacing their fridges every five years. I would love to see more about ways we can change the way our economic system works, rather than using that economic system as an excuse for not tackling climate change.
Hard to assess how thin the argument is when you haven’t seen any of the analysis behind it. However, the analysis would need to be extraordinarily thin to the point of being completely wrong to invalidate the conclusion that the cost of retooling is vastly too high to be acceptable ie the potential cost would need to be less than a tenth of that 300 tn figure even to begin to think about it being possible.

Taking his specific example re fridges. He specifically refers to when you NEED to replace it because it has broken down ie it’s not a voluntary/unnecessary purchase per se. He quotes 1.5bn fridges today and 200m sold pa. If there’s nothing but replacing existing fridges that’s still 1 every 7.5 years (rather than 5). Of course, that 1.5bn is surely growing as millions of new people each year become able to afford them so I would estimate we typically keep fridges for a lot longer than even 7.5 years. Of course, the key part of your argument is really that the world should consume far less ie you‘re arguing that instead of selling 200m fridges pa we should produce/sell far fewer. That is the very essence of economic collapse when applied to everything in the global economy.
 
The FT article isn't as doom-laden as either of you are suggesting - 300tn of additional investment requires raising the investment budget by 50%, and in due course (although this is only pointed out in the comments) some of that capital investment will be offset by revenue savings (see the Tesla thread for examples). Global GDP is set to be 29tn pa larger in 2026 than this year - let's not be defeatist. On the other hand, the article is right to flag that getting people to pay for the changes is likely a bigger challenge than establishing the technology itself.
You’re assuming that all of that, now 30bn pa, would go exclusively to building this new carbon zero supply chain and that it still taking 10 years at that rate would be fine. That former clearly can’t be the case. If one assumes that no more than half that 20bn could be applied to the new supply chain then it’s 15 years to do it. That global gdp being 29tn by 2026 also means the 300bn needed will be that much bigger too! Meanwhile, temps have continued to rise and will continue to do so for decades thereafter and you haven’t spent anything on dealing with that. Regardless, the 50% increase in global investment is so vast as to be completely beyond the scope of what the global economy could hope to sustain and certainly wouldn't result in the 29tn higher global gdp you referred to.

If anything, the article is far too positive in its conclusion in that it hypothesises about potentially funding this from raising debt, higher taxes and/or adopting a wartime mentality re accepting lower living standards. Again, the sums involved mean that there is no solution that could practically be implemented. You might as well say we’ll move the earth’s population to Mars as it’s literally that preposterous.

There’s no question that we are going to spend vast sums over the next 50 years trying to slow down, stop and ultimately reverse climate change. However, people need to recognise that we aren’t going to be able to achieve even part 2 (ie stopping it), let alone part 3, until the second half of this century, at the earliest/if at all. Adaptation is the only realistic option for the developed world as we know it.
 
I think working out the split between mitigation and adaptation expenditures is as much a technical as a political issue.

A complexity is that mitigation has global benefits while adaptation is more local.

Governments will do both. How they divide the spend will vary by country and politics.

The main thing is for the spend to be as large as each population can bear, and the regulatory incentives for citizens and businesses to be clear, effective and enforced.

Righ now what we see from Government is mostly puffery and dalliance.
 
Hard to assess how thin the argument is when you haven’t seen any of the analysis behind it.
My point exactly.

If he can't bring himself to say, we've crunched the numbers and the results tell us that it's going to cost X amount - but instead says that we think it could cost this much, then that strikes me as pretty thin.
 
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Geordie I did not advocate doing nothing to alleviate climate change as I clearly say in my post. Please don't misquote me for your own purpose of making a binary where there isn't one.
I'm very sorry Gareth, I didn't mean to offend, nor to suggest that that was what you were saying.

The flood scenarios are just plucked from the air - the point being that we don't really know what's coming and so whatever preparations we make now will more than likely be inadequate in a few decades' time. And no, I wasn't talking about it becoming impossible to grow crops here, although there are plenty of possible scenarios involving changes to rainfall and pest distributions that could make that a possibility for some crops.

But I do worry that if we spend too much money and effort on adaptation, then we are certainly going to fall short when it comes to keeping temperatures at a liveable level. Is it really worth spending billions on saving houses that have been built in places where they really should never have been built? And then watching those defences fail? It's true that we could spend a huge amount of money trying to keep the temperature rise below 1.5C and fail, but those efforts might make the difference between 2.5C and 2.6C, which could have a significant benefit.
 
I'm very sorry Gareth, I didn't mean to offend, nor to suggest that that was what you were saying.

The flood scenarios are just plucked from the air - the point being that we don't really know what's coming and so whatever preparations we make now will more than likely be inadequate in a few decades' time. And no, I wasn't talking about it becoming impossible to grow crops here, although there are plenty of possible scenarios involving changes to rainfall and pest distributions that could make that a possibility for some crops.

But I do worry that if we spend too much money and effort on adaptation, then we are certainly going to fall short when it comes to keeping temperatures at a liveable level. Is it really worth spending billions on saving houses that have been built in places where they really should never have been built? And then watching those defences fail? It's true that we could spend a huge amount of money trying to keep the temperature rise below 1.5C and fail, but those efforts might make the difference between 2.5C and 2.6C, which could have a significant benefit.
Thanks Geordie I think we’re broadly on the same page. Though I think we need to mitigate the risk if other nations do not join us in the reduction programme.
 
My point exactly.

If he can't bring himself to say, we've crunched the numbers and the results tell us that it's going to cost X amount - but instead says that we think it could cost this much, then that strikes me as pretty thin.
I still don't get how you can pronounce it "tissue thin" when we haven't seen any of the analysis he's done! All you're doing is picking at his choice of words - he's saying exactly what you state he needs to (ie basd on our analysis we think it costs X) just not in the exact words or order you wanted him to use.
 
Ha - as we've discussed @Alex Lake , likely in this thread, catastrophe is of course unavoidable and in the end we are *all* going to die.

I can imagine that the discussion has moved on a little perhaps - having a "climate change" thread is maybe a bit like having an "economy" thread, or indeed a "wine" thread. It's not specific enough.

There are lots of threads with people talking about things like - heat pumps, fitting their own houses out with solar, environmental implications of wine making practices, wine making consequences of environmental changes.

It's also, imvnho, an area which rewards diving into the details. I was a huge fan of the Drawdown project for a while, which basically offers stack ranked solutions for reducing CO2 emissions (and indeed I still keep a pie chart of global CO2 emissions sources pinned to my office whiteboard, to remind me) but the more I've gotten into the detail, the more I find myself going down specific little rabbit holes. Again - I would highly recommend Chris Goodall's Carbon Commentary newsletter.

If i could summarise my position - it's probably that the time for handwavy big picture nonsense is gone. If you want to make a difference you need to get into the details and figure out where you want to drive change. More nukes more solar upgrade grid infra change building / planning regs to promote green housing change farming practices (and in particular stop subsidising bad farming practices through land tax systems and direct farming subsidies) all seem like no brainers for right now - plus there is a lot of interesting stuff happening in future clean tech stuff.

Then it's a case of thinking - what changes do I make by spending my own money differently, what changes do I make by applying political pressure. I've become a huge convert to writing to my MP of late for example...
 
All excellent points. A letter to the MP would seem timely, given Truss's apparent abandonment of even the pro-growth green initiatives. It seems obivous to me that far from being in opposition to eachother, growth and green could go hand in hand.
Maybe we just need green business leaders to donate to the Tories, abhorent though that idea may be to them!
 
I'm still reading and writing about climate change, but mostly from an engineering standpoint these days. Lots of really good and useful innovations are appearing regularly, but obviously they'll take time to scale up so that they can start making a difference, time that we don't really appear to have.

I particularly liked this idea - using micro-algae to grow limestone for use in cement-making - a very significant polluter. According to the inventor, it could be scaled up easily and put into practice right away, but of course it won't.

Algae-grown limestone could solve concrete’s carbon problem
 
Bit like planting trees surely? Best time to do it is 20 years ago. 2nd best time is now
agree 100% - one danger of the somewhat nihilistic alarmism is it tends to lead us to think that if we don't do *everything* now, we are so screwed that no future action will make any difference. The almost certain reality is that the next century will involve human society, to a greater or lesser extent, managing climate change. 2022 is no more a special turning point than was 2002 nor will be 2042. Doing something now that significantly reduces our CO2 emissions in 10 / 20 / 50 years is still worth doing.
 
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Is anyone aware of a ‘calculator’ site that one can use to input data to see where there biggest CO2 outputs are in our lifestyles?

Until then I’ll keep focussing on using paper not plastic straws.
 
Not sure resurrecting this is a good idea as it may depress people.
Whatever developments we will have in 20-30 years, the climate may have become divergent earlier meaning T increase will accelerate irrespective of CO2 emission reduction (long leadtime and anyway too late).
A bit like market crashes (system dynamics becoming divergent), these become unstoppable. There are more and more scientists who believe it is now too late anyway and we may just forget about fighting it and just enjoy the day... while our grand children are sure to cook alive/starve in a couple of decades. Mind you, a nuclear winter may reset the climate and then we (the survivors only) may decide to behave... Maybe this is what Putin, Biden, Xi... have in mind and why billionaires build concrete survival places to weather the Armaggedon.
This was my optimistic view of the day... specially cooked up for Dom the Shepherd...
 
Is anyone aware of a ‘calculator’ site that one can use to input data to see where there biggest CO2 outputs are in our lifestyles?

Until then I’ll keep focussing on using paper not plastic straws.
I was very much looking for one, and had even sketched out a kind of product design for how one might look, but the closest I've seen is Drawdown.

One danger of that approach is that it leads one to focusing too much on how ones own lifestyle impacts things - when political action is more important than where you do or don't shop.

Maybe one day after a couple of glasses of something nice I can see your "paper straws" and raise you "domestic recycling is a giant con and with the exception of aluminium we shouldn't bother".

Anyway - to the political action point - this is the chart I keep on my white board to remind me - I'm quite convinced that a single letter to my MP has more impact than a decade of mindful consumption would.

IMG_6042.JPG
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
All, just please avoid making this a political discussion rather than a science/engineering one. We've had mentions of Govt. Policy and individual politicians already, both of which I have advised should be avoided on the main forum.
 
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