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Global warming

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  • miltont@...
    To the EPG list: High prices of energy have not caused greenhouse gas emissions to reach a level that prevents the planet from going over the climate cliff.
    Message 1 of 25 , Jun 27 3:22 PM
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      To the EPG list:

      High prices of energy have not caused greenhouse gas emissions to
      reach a level that prevents the planet from going over the climate
      cliff. We need international governmental action on global warming;
      we can't just hope that energy price increases or a lack of economic
      activity will do the trick.
      --Milton


      On Jun 25, 2013, at 8:02 PM Jun 25, miltont@... wrote:
      >
      >
      > Global warming is a huge challenge. We can't just hope that supply and
      > demand will cause prices to go up, nor can we rely on a possible decline
      > in economic activity. Those people who think that Congress will not act


      That has already happened.

      Peak Electricity, Peak Energy and Peak Traffic in the US were all in 2007,
      due to depletion and economics, not concern about climate.

      I hope I'm wrong and some in the climate movement will think about the
      implications of this fact before gasoline rationing starts.

      www.oilempire.us/peak-energy.html

      www.oilempire.us/peak-electricity.html

      www.peaktraffic.org/vmt.html
    • Mark Robinowitz
      http://www.resilience.org/stories/2011-12-18/climate-change-vs-peak-oil Climate change vs. peak oil by Barath Raghavan, originally published by contraposition
      Message 2 of 25 , Jun 28 4:09 PM
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        Climate change vs. peak oil

        by Barath Raghavan, originally published by contraposition  | DEC 18, 2011
        I've been wondering for the past year about the interactions between climate change and peak oil. They're twin problems, rooted in our dependence upon fossil fuels (and oil in particular).
        But there's a lot of misunderstanding out there. Many people who know about climate change know little about peak oil. Many who know about peak oil dismiss climate change. Why? How can two problems have roughly the same cause, potentially major global consequences, and be understood so poorly? Why do some people dismiss one and not the other? Is one group right and the other wrong? I'd like to take a shot at explaining this mystery from a few angles.

        [note: resilience.org is a new project of Post Carbon Institute, it's the successor site to energybulletin.net, which some in EPG have appreciated.]



        On Jun 27, 2013, at 3:22 PM Jun 27, miltont@... wrote:

        To the EPG list:

        High prices of energy have not caused greenhouse gas emissions to
        reach a level that prevents the planet from going over the climate
        cliff. We need international governmental action on global warming;
        we can't just hope that energy price increases or a lack of economic
        activity will do the trick.
        --Milton



        Physical limits are not changed by any flavor of politics.

        There used to be gold mining east of Cottage Grove.   It wasn't the price, or environmental groups, or any other concern that stopped this practice -- the easily accessed ore was depleted and the mining shut down.

        Oil, natural gas and coal can only be mined once.

        I'm not __hoping__ for energy price increases to shift energy consumption.  Energy price increases did lower, slightly, energy consumption.  Unfortunately, the climate only groups prefer not to discuss this since the shift was largely not due to their lobbying and propaganda.

        Energy consumption peaked in the US in 2007 at just over 100 quads (a quadrillion BTUs) for all energy sources, according to the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

        Traffic, electricity, all energy consumption all peaked simultaneously as prices increased.
         

        Coal peaked in the US in 1999 because of physical limits, not because of renewable energy (which hasn't even come close to replacing the decline of coal), government policies, concerns about climate, etc.  There was only so much coal and we've past the ability to dig it out any faster.  There's still a lot left, and it should stay in the ground, but we'll probably dig up as much as we can until we can't any more.   

        Oil prices have also gone up about three fold in the past decade yet oil production has stayed on a plateau -- for physical reasons, not political ones.   We're just past global Peak Oil, although it's not popular to admit that.     The only question about Peak is how long the fracking and tar sands bubble will keep the illusion of plenty going, but the claims that fracking can give us a century of natural gas (something nearly all of the environmental groups privately hope for, since most want natural gas to replace coal) are as phony as earlier claims that nuclear power would be too cheap to meter.

        The 1972 Limits to Growth study predicted Peak Pollution would come after Peak Resource Consumption, which is exactly what is happening.

        Considering we passed 350 parts per million of CO2 many years ago, and that the most any climate proposal would do is to reduce the rate of increase of CO2 levels, it's pretty clear (although politically unpopular) thtat we passed the ecological tipping points decades ago.   It doesn't mean it's over, but it does mean that preventing the problem is not a practical focus any more, now the task is to mitigate what we have all done.

        I've never seen the voices that say "we should DO SOMETHING about climate get specific about what it is that we should supposedly do.   Here in Oregon, I don't see the "climate groups" doing anything to call attention to the twenty billion dollar highway expansion plan of Dr. Kitzhaber nor do I see them making much fuss about the timber barons liquidating forests.  A few groups suggest that logging on public lands is a bad idea for the climate but most of those groups are hesitant to point out that the Democrats and Republicans are united in their support for deforestation, although the D's and R's have different propaganda about this.  The D's say they want "wilderness" while increasing cuts elsewhere, most R's are not fans of designating anything as "wilderness."   Meanwhile, both parties are pushing privatization of the BLM forests all around Eugene and I'll be pleasantly surprised if the "climate" groups take a strong stand to suggest that politicians pushing this are not friends of the climate.

        When Congress refuses to fund military budget increases and votes to cut the highway expansion budget or requires solar energy design for new buildings, then I'll believe they might actually take climate change seriously.   So far, they're just trying to figure out how to appease constituents (those who accept it's real and those who don't) and how to profit from the disaster via carbon trading credits and other scams.

        Obama just announced continued support for fracking and the foundation funded environmental groups are cheering his speech.  I hope future generations are able to understand what happened to us.

        Obama is the first President in 35 years to get new nuclear power reactor construction started.  How many "climate" groups are objecting to this?  Sierra Club, to their credit, has revived its anti-nuclear campaign but most of the climate groups continue to idolize James Hansen, who says that people who don't want to make more nuclear waste are supposedly a threat to the planet.   Meanwhile, Rep. Peter DeFazio is promoting nuclear reactors in Oregon but I don't know of any foundation funded environmental group that dares object to this.

        Obama's crocodile tears for climate change are a cover for promoting natural gas fracking, nuclear power, burning forests for electricity and carbon trading schemes that transfer digital wealth but do not lower CO2 levels in the atmosphere.


        -------


        note:  The "NuScale" corporation plans to build smaller nuclear power stations that can be proliferated much faster than the large thousand megawatt designs.   Sure glad it's a Democrat championing this, if a Republican was promoting it then the environmental community might object.

        'The investment announced today will help rebuild the US manufacturing base,' said Congressman Peter DeFazio, (D-OR). 'Most importantly, this investment will create high paying, high tech Oregon jobs that can't be exported and help keep the US competitive in international markets. This is good news for Corvallis, Oregon State University, and the state of Oregon.'

        www.nuscalepower.com/nr-News-Press_20111013.php


        -------


        "The most intolerable reactor of all may be one which comes successfully to the end of its planned life having produced mountains of radioactive waste for which there is no disposal safe from earthquake damage or sabotage." 
        -- A. Stanley Thompson (1914 - 2005), scientist, citizen of Eugene for many years




        On Jun 25, 2013, at 8:02 PM Jun 25, miltont@... wrote:
        >
        >
        > Global warming is a huge challenge. We can't just hope that supply and
        > demand will cause prices to go up, nor can we rely on a possible decline
        > in economic activity. Those people who think that Congress will not act

        That has already happened.

        Peak Electricity, Peak Energy and Peak Traffic in the US were all in 2007,
        due to depletion and economics, not concern about climate.

        I hope I'm wrong and some in the climate movement will think about the
        implications of this fact before gasoline rationing starts.

        www.oilempire.us/peak-energy.html

        www.oilempire.us/peak-electricity.html

        www.peaktraffic.org/vmt.html



        The groups cited in this post as praising the fracking expansion announcement (ie. a pledge to use more natural gas) are NRDC, Climate Solutions, Sierra Club, EDF and National Wildlife Federation.   NRDC, EDF and NWF all endorsed the NAFTA treaty and got nothing but embarrassment for their capitulation to corporations.  None of these groups have a holistic approach to looking at Peak and Climate together (ie. the permaculture perspective that David Holmgren describes), none that I know of are using their "membership" to teach Transition Town type strategies.  NRDC a few months ago made a very fancy (and expensive) graphic to promote the claim that Obama had resulted in an increase in US oil production / extraction, but conveniently left out the fact that the modest increase was through fracking and that this fracking still didn't come even close to meeting the all time high of 10 million barrels a day reached in 1970 / 1971.   -- Mark




        http://daily.sightline.org/2013/06/26/the-failure-of-obamas-climate-address/

        Obama’s Climate Failure

        Boldest step is lengthy regulatory proceeding, and he's building Keystone.
        Eric de Place on June 26, 2013 at 8:19 am 

        When it comes to climate policy, I’m with country music singer Toby Keith: we need a little less talk and a lot more action.

        So I didn’t listen to Obama’s big climate address yesterday because I already know that the president is a brilliant orator. I’m sure it was a great speech. Unfortunately, the speech didn’t say what many think it said. And it most definitely does not deserve the praise heaped upon it (herehereherehere, and here among others) by what seems like practically every environmental group.

        Sweeping rhetoric isn’t going to convince me the Obama administration is serious about tackling climate change. We need to see a coherent plan, and what we got instead was… sweeping rhetoric.

        He said he’s going to allow EPA to do, slowly, what it’s been under Supreme Court order to do for years, and what he promised it would do in speech after speech in 2008. Then he said he’s going to build the Keystone XL Pipeline to move Canadian tar sands oil to market. And that’s it.

        If you want proof that Obama’s announcements were mostly hot air, you need look no further than the stock market. For maybe the first time ever, I had something in common with coal company investors: we were wholly unfazed. Coal stocks had dipped a bit in anticipation of the president’s speech, but after it they were steady. In fact, most of the big coal mining firms actually saw nice price bumps in afternoon trading. [Update 6/25: Coal stocks are seeing some fall off today.]


        Investors saw what I saw. That the centerpiece of his announcement was this: letting a regulatory agency use its authority—authority that was upheld by the courts, again, more than a year ago—to begin an elaborate rulemaking process that will set greenhouse gas standards for power plants that, even if they avoid delay from appeals and litigation, won’t be finalized until 2015 at the earliest. It’s hard to imagine the new rules implemented before the late-20-teens. (Over at Grist, David Roberts has excellent analysis of this.)

        That’s an awfully long time before using executive branch authority to press down on coal-fired power—the single biggest contributor to US carbon emissions—especially at a time when the nation is veritably awash in cleaner and cheaper alternatives.



        [note:  he's refering to fracked natural gas as the alleged cleaner alternatives.   Wind power has had a ten fold increase in the past decade but it is still just only above one percent of all US energy usage and solar is around one tenth of one percent.]


        I’ll admit that the president does deserve a little credit for his decision to let the EPA regulate carbon from coal power. Candidate Obama seemed to support the idea, but once in office he found himself faced with intransigent congressional Republicans who vowed they would respond by gutting the Clean Air Act. So yesterday’s announcement was something of a political step forward, even though it doesn’t really count as a big policy win.



        Fourth Amendment, United States Constitution
        The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. 














      • Elaine Zablocki
        The article by Raghavan is one of the best things I ve read in the past two years. I ll be sharing it with other people, and also following up on the links he
        Message 3 of 25 , Jun 28 8:17 PM
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          The article by Raghavan is one of the best things I've read in the past two years.  I'll be sharing it with other people, and also following up on the links he mentions. Thanks for posting it!

          At 03:09 PM 6/28/2013, Mark Robinowitz wrote:



          http://www.resilience.org/stories/2011-12-18/climate-change-vs-peak-oil


          Climate change vs. peak oil



          by Barath Raghavan, originally published by contraposition  | DEC 18, 2011
          I've been wondering for the past year about the interactions between climate change and peak oil. They're twin problems, rooted in our dependence upon fossil fuels (and oil in particular).
          But there's a lot of misunderstanding out there. Many people who know about climate change know little about peak oil. Many who know about peak oil dismiss climate change. Why? How can two problems have roughly the same cause, potentially major global consequences, and be understood so poorly? Why do some people dismiss one and not the other? Is one group right and the other wrong? I'd like to take a shot at explaining this mystery from a few angles.

          [note: resilience.org is a new project of Post Carbon Institute, it's the successor site to energybulletin.net, which some in EPG have appreciated.]

        • miltont@...
          To the EPG list: In a recent article in the Guardian, George Monbiot says that what the new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report describes, in its
          Message 4 of 25 , Oct 8, 2013
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            To the EPG list:

            In a recent article in the Guardian, George Monbiot says that what the new
            Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report "describes, in its dry,
            meticulous language, is the collapse of the benign climate in which humans
            evolved and have prospered, and the loss of the conditions upon which many
            other lifeforms depend." To view the entire article, go to:

            http://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2013/sep/27/ipcc-climate-change-report-global-warming

            For many years, people warned about global warming, and sure enough, the
            world has come to feel the damaging consequences. The pessimists have
            proven to be generally correct. Bill McKibben says that the planet has
            changed so much because of global warming that it deserves to be called by
            a new name, so he entitles is book, _Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New
            Planet_ (2010). The genocide in Darfur was partly caused by global
            warming.

            The planet's climate could get worse and worse as time goes by. The world
            is headed for a climate cliff in the dark: we know the cliff is ahead of
            us, but we don't know the distance. To advocate a do-nothing approach is
            almost criminal. Predicting that peak oil will care of the global
            warming crisis is like saying that President Obama should fiddle while
            the world burns.
            --Milton Takei
          • Mark Robinowitz
            ... Monbiot used to be a good commentator, but after the multiple meltdowns at Fukushima he suddenly became pro-nuclear power. I hope he was well paid for
            Message 5 of 25 , Oct 8, 2013
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              On Oct 8, 2013, at 5:35 PM Oct 8, miltont@... wrote:

               

              To the EPG list:

              In a recent article in the Guardian, George Monbiot says that what the new



              Monbiot used to be a good commentator, but after the multiple meltdowns at Fukushima he suddenly became pro-nuclear power.  I hope he was well paid for that shift.  If he did the shift for free, he's missed a profitable opportunity.


              Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report "describes, in its dry,
              meticulous language, is the collapse of the benign climate in which humans
              evolved and have prospered, and the loss of the conditions upon which many
              other lifeforms depend." To view the entire article, go to:

              http://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2013/sep/27/ipcc-climate-change-report-global-warming

              For many years, people warned about global warming, and sure enough, the
              world has come to feel the damaging consequences. The pessimists have
              proven to be generally correct. Bill McKibben says that the planet has
              changed so much because of global warming that it deserves to be called by
              a new name, so he entitles is book, _Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New
              Planet_ (2010).



              I hope McKibben decides to divest 350.org from funding from the Rockefeller foundations.  Rockefeller, as in Standard Oil of New Jersey, also known as Exxon.  It's hard to take 350 seriously when they stage all those Obama campaign rallies despite Obama's support for "clean coal," "safe nuclear power," fracking, tar sands, massive highway expansions, more wars, etc.   It's sad that 350 says that personal responsibility and community response / resilience are mostly irrelevant, focusing instead on corporate decisions.  I don't want to Exxon-erate the corporate leaders, but it's also true that the demands of the so-called 99% for cheap energy, cheap meat, endless trinkets in the stores, etc. are also part of the problem.  I guess you can't get fossil fuel funded foundation money if you suggest people should cut their consumption and recognize that we've reached the limits to growth on a finite planet.


              The genocide in Darfur was partly caused by global
              warming.


              Control over Sudan's oil fields probably had more to do with the genocide.

              The liberals in the US have been mostly silent about the far worse genocides south of Sudan in Congo, where millions have been killed over control of mineral deposits (your cell phone and/or computer contain rare minerals from Congo).  The low estimate of murders is 4 to 5 million, which is far more than the maybe quarter million killed in Darfur.  But this violence benefits the "West," unlike the oil from Sudan, which mostly went to China (and therefore the US government and the US "non government" organizations were free to complain about the Darfur genocide).  Much of the oil in Sudan is now in the new country of South Sudan, which has a dispute about using Sudan's pipeline from the oil fields to the Red Sea (South Sudan is considering building a new pipeline south through Kenya to reach the sea).   This is fueling more war, so to speak.


              The planet's climate could get worse and worse as time goes by. The world
              is headed for a climate cliff in the dark: we know the cliff is ahead of
              us, but we don't know the distance. To advocate a do-nothing approach is
              almost criminal. Predicting that peak oil will care of the global
              warming crisis is like saying that President Obama should fiddle while
              the world burns.
              --Milton Takei




              I don't know of anyone who says Peak Oil will take care of the climate crisis, but it is true that Peak Oil has done more to reduce fossil fuel usage than the climate only movement.  Peak fossil fuel usage in the US is past.  Peak Energy, Peak Electricity, Peak Traffic and Peak Airplanes were all in 2007, due to rising energy prices, not due to concerns about climate chaos.  If the climate groups were thinking holistically they would be discussing the implications of this for environmental protection and climate chaos mitigation.

              I hope some day the climate groups will notice the trillion dollar highway expansion plans in the US and recognize that deforestation, including on corporate timberlands, disrupts rainfall patterns.   Perhaps the climate groups could advocate for demilitarization and conversion of the military industrial complex for peaceful purposes (a prerequisite for mitigating ecocide and resource depletion in a socially just way).  Perhaps if it was only Republicans perpetrating these policies the "climate" groups would mention these things.

              It's unfortunate the permaculture perspective on climate change is unpopular even on a email list ostensibly about permaculture.  

              -------------

              "Awareness of Climate Change by the media and general public is obviously running well ahead of awareness about Peak Oil, but there are interesting differences in this general pattern when we look more closely at those involved in the money and energy industries. Many of those involved in money and markets have begun to rally around Climate Change as an urgent problem that can be turned into another opportunity for economic growth (of a green economy). These same people have tended to resist even using the term Peak Oil, let alone acknowledging its imminent occurrence. Perhaps this denial comes from an intuitive understanding that once markets understand that future growth is not possible, then it’s game over for our fiat system of debt-based money."
              -- David Holmgren, co-originator of permaculture, "Money vs. Fossil energy: the battle to control the world,"

              David Holmgren, the co-orginator of permaculture, is author of Future Scenarios: How Communities can adapt to Peak Oil and Climate Change. 
              “Economic recession is the only proven mechanism for a rapid reduction of greenhouse gas emissions ... most of the proposals for mitigation from Kyoto to the feverish efforts to construct post Kyoto solutions have been framed in ignorance of Peak Oil. As Richard Heinberg has argued recently, proposals to cap carbon emissions annually, and allowing them to be traded, rely on the rights to pollute being scarce relative to the availability of the fuel. Actual scarcity of fuel may make such schemes irrelevant.” 

            • miltont@...
              To the EPG list: If you have not seen my January 2nd letter in the Register-Guard on the importance of the December, 2015 global warming conference in Paris,
              Message 6 of 25 , Jan 11
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                To the EPG list:

                If you have not seen my January 2nd letter in the Register-Guard on the
                importance of the December, 2015 global warming conference in Paris, go
                to:

                http://registerguard.com/rg/opinion/32599685-78/story.csp

                The world can only fight global warming internationally. The U.S.
                cannot force China to do what is necessary. China can defend its
                interests using means that could range from retaliatory tariffs to nuclear
                war. In theory, any country can prevent the Paris conference from
                reaching a new accord. If China and the U.S. can agree, India can still
                block an agreement from coming into being.

                Outgoing European Union climate chief Connie Hedegaard has said that the
                Paris conference will make or break the international negotiations
                process. Given that the global climate might go past tipping points soon,
                the world cannot afford for the Paris conference to fail, as happened in
                Copenhagen in 2009.

                The U.S. is the biggest barrier in the global warming fight. The
                challenge of getting the U.S. Congress to pass a carbon tax is greater due
                to the November, 2014 elections. But regardless, some Republicans support
                would have been necessary.

                Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) headquarters likes to put a positive spin on
                events, but they were being more objective in describing the good turnout
                for Congressional briefings on the Regional Economic Models (REMI) report
                that CCL commissioned to forecast the economic effects of CCL's fee and
                dividend (carbon tax) proposal. I think that they said that one-quarter of
                the audience was Republican staff members for one house of Congress and
                for the other house, one-third of the attendees were Republicans.

                --Milton Takei
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