NWR Climate change

Looks like we might be OK....

Except we won't be able to eat or heat, implies the report, unless we:
- switch completely to renewables so that we're not reliant on imported energy which will be unavailable once supply chains disintegrate
- massively switch land use to agriculture so we can feed ourselves rather than depend on imports, which is tricky I suspect if there are more citizens than current agricultural methods can support
 
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They could and should take a moral lead but if the 2 countries above don’t follow it will have been for nothing and the resources may have better been used for preparation/ mitigation.
 
That logic doesn’t really work for state actors. It doesn’t really work at the individual level either IMHO and the environmental benefits of new electric vs getting more years out of your existing car and driving a bit less are dubious. Other than that I agree :)
 
There are also ethical & environmental issues with the mining for metals used in electric cars.

With technology advancing on fuel efficiency & emission reduction, there are debates to be had on ‘green credentials’.
 
Could I respectfully ask that you provide examples of this 'extreme scaremongering'.


I think you'll find that it would be significantly cheaper to cut carbon emissions than try to 'adapt'. Renewables are now the cheapest form of energy available to us and adaptation/mitigation would involve some pretty significant infrastructure to deal with sea-level rise. And how exactly do you 'adapt' to the loss of vast swathes of farming land to extreme heat and drought?
Don't bother, Geordie.
 
The frightening thing is that global warming is an escalating thing. Every change that happens increases the rate of warming. That's where the "cyclical" theory falls down. It makes the incorrect assumption that somehow temperatures will level off and fall like they did in the past. They will only level off if we do something. So the Apocalypse theory is not ridiculous.

The argument that we should learn to adapt instead / as well as make changes to slow the rate of warming is really just kicking the can down the road. We know that people over 50 won't have to adapt that much to deal with the climate change they face in their lifetime. However their children most definitely will.

I'm not convinced at all by the argument that the best thing we can do is not to have children. That sounds like Harry and Meghan winning applause for limiting their family to 2 while flying all over the place in private jets and consuming 100 times more resources than the average third-world family of 8.

Offsetting carbon is a ruse. I met a couple of young carbon credit traders who had made a ton of money helping companies that contribute the most to global warming greenwash themselves by investing in projects like buying paraffin lamps for poor African households because they produce less CO2 than some other forms of lighting available to them. The net result isn't zero carbon emissions but the oil, gas and airline companies can pretend it is.

I'm afraid that I don't see us diverting the disaster. I hear far too many older people say that they cannot possibly change their lifestyle and won't be prevented from "living life to the fullest" or enjoying their hard-earned retirement by travelling the world, using their combustion cars for daily jaunts, spending time in two properties etc. They are burying their heads in the sand and pointing fingers at China.

Our democratic system is not geared up to prevent climate change either. Our politicians are funded by companies and individuals who want to make money, despite their effect on the environment. When they get into government they make bold statements about changes way off into the future, well beyond their time in power. At the same time they keep funding or subsidising oil. gas, air transport, roads, inefficient food production and distribution, use of land for housing, etc. etc. I can;t see how any organisation powerful enough to make a change to the way the climate is going could emerge.

Humanity won't become extinct in the next 50 years but our new global society is actually very fragile. It isn't able to adapt to big changes in migration, geo-economic shifts, moves to new energy sources, changes in the desirability of habitation or even relatively small political swings. What seem like minor issues result in massive effects on the economy. Sub-prime debt hardly affected anyone but when it broke, hundreds of millions of people were made poorer.

Basically we are all living on borrowed time. Not just environmentally but financially, economically and socially. We live in a world propped up by finite fossil fuels, vast levels of government debt, the virtual wealth of property, Bitcoin and speculative funds.

The planet is going to forces to change our ways and when that happens, it will not be organised and it won't be gentle.
 
They could and should take a moral lead but if the 2 countries above don’t follow it will have been for nothing and the resources may have better been used for preparation/ mitigation.
I don't think it need be a choice between adaptation and emission reduction. Some changes do both e.g. switching to renewables.

Renewables are a form of national self-defence. I don't want to be spending all day in a sleeping bag in London in December because fuel from elsewhere wasn't available.
 
The frightening thing.... it won't be gentle.
Very well said. I do feel that we're like the proverbial frog being boiled alive. If there were some massive fireball in space hurtling towards us that was due to arrive in 20 years time, we'd probably get our act together and do something, but the insidious nature of climate change weakens and dilutes any efforts. Plenty of time to fiddle while Rome burns.

I guess the downside of pessimism is that it tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Now we need "Mr Optimist", Leon, to come along and refute it all!
 
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I'm afraid that I don't see us diverting the disaster. I hear far too many older people say that they cannot possibly change their lifestyle and won't be prevented from "living life to the fullest" or enjoying their hard-earned retirement by travelling the world, using their combustion cars for daily jaunts, spending time in two properties etc. They are burying their heads in the sand and pointing fingers at China.

1) Stop subsiding fossil fuels
2) agree a global carbon tax.

I agree you won't change anything by gently encouraging people on an individual level to make changes, but big changes can be made and it seems quite straight forward to do so (that doesn't mean it will happen).
 
The difficulty is that measures like that disproportionately hurt the poorest, whilst the wealthy can continue as normal.

With an increasing global population, and living standards in Asia & Africa improving, the reality is that the transition from fossil fuels to renewables (whilst desirable) will take decades.

In the meantime the world will need a balance between fossil fuels, nuclear & renewables. There has already been chronic underinvestment in the oil & gas industry over the past 7 years which could well result in a supply crunch in the not too distant future - that’s why Brent is trading at $70/bbl despite a global pandemic & the travel industry on its knees.

Norway have realised this and are currently offering a government tax rebate of 78% on O&G exploration costs.

I don’t think taxing our way out of it is the best solution. Living standards are always going to be an important consideration for countries and people so if you want collective buy-in and responsibility it needs to be a joined up, balanced & reasonable approach to transition as smoothly as possible within a realistic timeframe whilst retaining (and improving) living standards as much as possible. We do have to accept that fossil fuels are not going to be turned off immediately though.

Also, although I’m no expert - as far as I’m aware gas is going to be important for the hydrogen industry.
 
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It's some pretty scary shit. As I may have said before, I've spent decades reading reports and writing stories about climate change and the one recurring theme is that things are happening more quickly than scientists expected. There has been talk for ages about the possibility of the Gulf Stream shutting down, but it has always been a 'sometime after 2100' sort of thing, not a 'perhaps in a decade or two' sort of thing.
There's a few issues with that article though and the idea of the gulf stream collapsing in general. The referred study is talking about the AMOC - that makes up just a piece of the gulf stream. Of course the AMOC collapsing would be catastrophic, but the gulf stream collapsing is a very different thing.

For as long as the atlantic exists, the sun heats the earth and the Earth still rotates - the gulf stream will exist. I refer you to respected climate scientist and oceanographer Carl Wunsch in Nature: Gulf Stream safe if wind blows and Earth turns - Nature

This was also proved by Henry Stommel of Caltech quite a long time ago: http://web.gps.caltech.edu/~tsai/files/GreatPapers/Stommel_1948.pdf

This sort of journalism does annoy me. The real issue at heart is absolutely awful but its reporting is the sort of thing that deniers can latch on to and discredit.
 
It is worth noting that it is becoming increasingly difficult for fossil fuel based companies to obtain conventional financing for new projects such as oil exploration/drilling, mining and fossil fuel based power stations. Lenders are becoming extremely wary of anything that requires long term finance and this is having a very real effect on future growth of such assets.
Although the oil industry views peak fossil fuel demand occurring in the next decade, there is increasing thought that this is not accurate and that the peak will occur towards the end of the current decade. This will occur as a result of Governmental policy and increased competition from alternative energy sources . With this fossil fuel demand will enter into structural decline causing market derating and stranded assets.
 
The difficulty is that measures like that disproportionately hurt the poorest, whilst the wealthy can continue as normal.
Which is why you target the tax revenue generated carefully
With an increasing global population, and living standards in Asia & Africa improving, the reality is that the transition from fossil fuels to renewables (whilst desirable) will take decades.

In the meantime the world will need a balance between fossil fuels, nuclear & renewables. There has already been chronic underinvestment in the oil & gas industry over the past 7 years which could well result in a supply crunch in the not too distant future - that’s why Brent is trading at $70/bbl despite a global pandemic & the travel industry on its knees.

Norway have realised this and are currently offering a government tax rebate of 78% on O&G exploration costs.
Which is an awful decision by the Norwegian Government, the planet is burning to death, we don't need more oil and gas. But then, as a petrostate, I'm not surprised.
I don’t think taxing our way out of it is the best solution. Living standards are always going to be an important consideration for countries and people so if you want collective buy-in and responsibility it needs to be a joined up, balanced & reasonable approach to transition as smoothly as possible within a realistic timeframe whilst retaining (and improving) living standards as much as possible. We do have to accept that fossil fuels are not going to be turned off immediately though.

It's the only solution. Leaving it up to people to voluntarily choose to use less carbon is a complete non starter.
 
It is worth noting that it is becoming increasingly difficult for fossil fuel based companies to obtain conventional financing for new projects such as oil exploration/drilling, mining and fossil fuel based power stations. Lenders are becoming extremely wary of anything that requires long term finance and this is having a very real effect on future growth of such assets.
Meanwhile China are not only building hundreds of new coal power stations but exporting the technology and subsiding other countries to do so
 
Meanwhile China are not only building hundreds of new coal power stations but exporting the technology and subsiding other countries to do so
China is indeed in a league of it’s own and as in many other matters, it is not constrained by any of the factors that might influence other countries. The USA pays lip service to reducing carbon emissions but does very little at Governmental level.
Until Governments implement real decisions to reduce the use of fossil fuels, the reduction in finance for capital investment in new projects may somewhat slow down the growth in this sector.
 
China is indeed in a league of it’s own and as in many other matters, it is not constrained by any of the factors that might influence other countries. The USA pays lip service to reducing carbon emissions but does very little at Governmental level.
Until Governments implement real decisions to reduce the use of fossil fuels, the reduction in finance for capital investment in new projects may somewhat slow down the growth in this sector.
Guess there hasn't been enough flooding or sufficient wildfires in China for them to take it seriously. How long do we have to wait?
 
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