Tag Archives: USA

Climate clippings 117

On Monday and Tuesday this week we are going to have the AFR national Energy Summit in Sydney with everyone there, including Josh, Jay, Bill, Andrew Vesey and a different Malcolm Roberts (Chief Executive, APPEA). Should be fun.

The Weekend AFR had about half a dozen articles, led off by an article by Ben Potter, Angela Macdonald-Smith and Mark Ludlow (no doubt pay-walled) which said our energy has become dirty, expensive and annoyingly unreliable. They reckon something has to be done, it’s just that:

the causes identified by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – or unofficial backbench energy spokesman Tony Abbott – are not the same as the causes power industry experts and regulators highlight. Continue reading Climate clippings 117

Poll stuff: New Hampshire edition

New Hampshire told the political establishment they need to change or die.

American voters are grumpy, even angry with the politics that has been served up to them in recent years. Trump and Sanders prospered over the rest, who are seen as representing politics as they know it. Here are the results: Continue reading Poll stuff: New Hampshire edition

Climate clippings 62

Energy savings work!

It had passed me by, but an outfit called the Breakthrough Institute (BTI) has been suggesting that energy savings don’t work, according to a guest post at Climate Progress. They say there is a “rebound effect” which causes 60 to 100% or more of energy savings to be lost. For example, if you save on your power bill you will spend that money on a thing or activity that uses energy. The contention has been amplified in the MSM in the US.

A thorough examination of this theory has found that the rebound effect exists, but it’s 10 to 30%. So 70 to 90% of savings are permanent. This is important because, they say, 25-40% of GHG abatement could be achieved through energy savings. Continue reading Climate clippings 62

Climate clippings 59

Tokelau leads the world!

I’ve been looking for some positive stories for Christmas. What can be more positive than Tokelau going almost completely to renewables?

I guess it helps if you’ve got only 1,500 people and three cars.

Harnessing desert sun power

We’ve posted before on Desertec, the plan to generate solar power in North Africa and pipe it to Europe, to supply up to 15% of its energy by 2050. They expect to see the first solar electricity flowing from Morocco to Spain as early as 2014.

This report tells us that Morrocco itself “wants to produce 42% of its electricity from renewable sources – solar, wind and hydro-electric – by 2020.” That’s got to be good.

There are critics, however:

Valentin Hollain of Eurosolar, a German non-profit organisation that promotes renewable energy, queries the entire concept of Desertec.

He argues that big corporations are using large-scale projects like Desertec and Medgrid to retain their position into the next generation, and that a mix of renewable power supplied locally can meet demand while keeping prices down for consumers.

Continue reading Climate clippings 59

Climate clippings 28

Joplin tornado

Link between tornadoes and climate change

Recent bad weather in the US, for example the tornado which mashed Joplin, Missouri, has led to many many stories speculating about the link between the intense tornado season and climate change. Joe Romm at Climate Progress takes a measured view:

1. When discussing extreme weather and climate, tornadoes should not be conflated with the other extreme weather events for which the connection is considerably more straightforward and better documented, including deluges, droughts, and heat waves.

2. Just because the tornado-warming link is more tenuous doesn’t mean that the subject of global warming should be avoided entirely when talking about tornadoes.

Joe Romm’s substantive post Tornadoes, extreme weather, and climate change is well worth a read and has lots of comments and links about extreme weather in general as well as tornadoes. Continue reading Climate clippings 28

Climate clippings 25

Sea level risk worsens: Need for greater urgency as Arctic ice melting faster

The ice of Greenland and the rest of the Arctic is melting faster than expected and could help raise global sea levels by as much as one and half metres this century, dramatically higher than earlier projections, an authoritative international assessment says.

The findings ’emphasise the need for greater urgency’ in combating global warming, says the report of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the scientific arm of the eight-nation Arctic Council.

The melting of Arctic glaciers and ice caps, including Greenland’s massive ice sheet, is projected to help raise global sea levels by 90 to 160 centimeters by 2100, AMAP said, although it noted that estimate was highly uncertain.

Now the AMAP assessment finds that Greenland was losing ice in the 2004-2009 period four times faster than in 1995-2000.

The last bit is interesting, the rest is not news, except that the article appeared in the Courier Mail. Probably just a page-filler grabbed off the wires. Turn over a few pages and there was a column by Jennifer Marohasy. Normal service restored. Continue reading Climate clippings 25

Climate clippings 17

These posts include a brief mention of a number of news items relating to climate change. They don’t preclude treating any of these topics at more length in a separate post.

They can also serve as an open thread so that we can keep each other informed on important climate news.

The permafrost giant is stirring

We predict that the PCF [permafrost carbon flux] will change the Arctic from a carbon sink to a source after the mid-2020s and is strong enough to cancel 42–88% of the total global land sink. The thaw and decay of permafrost carbon is irreversible…

Continue reading Climate clippings 17

Climate clippings 9

These posts include a brief mention of a number of news items relating to climate change. They don’t preclude treating any of these topics at more length in a separate post.

They can also serve as an open thread so that we can keep each other informed on important climate news.

The disconnect between climate policy and scientific reality

There is a dangerous disconnect between climate policy and scientific reality, according to Ian Dunlop of the Policy Development Centre.

Climate change is not just another policy item on the normal agenda, it is a transformative issue which has life-and-death consequences. This is not a time to follow Bismarck’s advice that“politics is the art of the possible”, as Combet suggested. Quite the reverse; we need leaders who can see that what was politically impossible will shortly become politically inevitable.

The continual emphasis on the economy as the main game, with climate change grudgingly considered as an optional extra, ignores the fact that unless we address climate change fast, the economy will be in tatters err long.

The government and the opposition are both missing the boat, according to Dunlop, and the NGOs are no better, settling into going with the flow in order to get something started. Continue reading Climate clippings 9