Author Topic: Faster, More Drastic Cuts To Fossil Fuel Extraction Needed  (Read 725 times)

rcjordan

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ergophobe

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Re: Faster, More Drastic Cuts To Fossil Fuel Extraction Needed
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2021, 06:56:47 PM »
Sadly, I think Debbie is right.

Quote
gas production will fall annually by 8.1% before the fossil fuel is completely phased out by the power sector in 2040

The group I'm most active with is focused on a price on carbon. That is essential, but I'd say that last date it which that was sufficient was in the 1990s.

It's all about the brutal math of the S-curve. At first, it takes a while to really hit your stride. Then you start decarbonizing fast and hit the steep part of the S-curve. Then things get hard (air travel, rocket ships, legacy industry) and the S-curve flattens. The longer you wait to start, the steeper the steep part of the S-curve has to get.

If we had started decarbonization on 1992, I think the peak of the bell curve would have been less than 5% in peak reduction years with most years more like 2-3%. We could have done that while expanding the global economy.

Now the peak year in order to stay below 1.5 degree C rise is probably closer to 20%. The Australian govt did a study on this around 2011 showing what the impacts of each year of delay are on how much harder it gets and how steep the curve gets in the middle of the process. My faulty memory tells me that if we didn't start serious reduction until 2021 it would go to 17%. I would need to check that though.

Every year that we make little or not progress, the steep part of that curve gets steeper for two reasons. First, the carbon budget is smaller. Second, the timeframe is compressed. So the steepness increases faster than you might think. It's very similar to bankruptcy. Every year you spend down your account, you have less money to work with and your budget reductions have to happen even faster. It's a double-bind.

So 8% seems like a reach, but 8% implies a steep part of the curve where reductions are 2-3X that amount. There is no way we'll see a 20% reduction in a single year by our own volition (asteroid strike will do it, but not a mere pandemic lockdown).

My sense is that by the time people truly cotton on to the fact that the *cost* (setting aside any moral/ethical issues) of global warming is very high, they will be surprised by the brutal and fundamental math of the S-curve.

rcjordan

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Re: Faster, More Drastic Cuts To Fossil Fuel Extraction Needed
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2021, 02:06:30 PM »
>parboiled

Surprise, surprise!!

Climate change: Not a single G20 country is in line with the Paris Agreement, analysis shows - CNN
https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/15/world/climate-pledges-insufficient-cat-intl/index.html

ergophobe

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Re: Faster, More Drastic Cuts To Fossil Fuel Extraction Needed
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2021, 02:18:11 PM »
We've known that for years. Nobody has ever been in-line with Paris. That's the problem with promises with no consequences. The great achievement of Paris was to extract promises though. At least now countries can be embarrassed by not achieving anything. With prior agreements, you didn't even have that.

rcjordan

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Re: Faster, More Drastic Cuts To Fossil Fuel Extraction Needed
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2021, 01:17:15 AM »
Well, sh##.

Sen. Joe Manchin, who has major links to fossil fuel industry, will craft U.S. climate plan

https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-nation/2021/09/20/manchin-climate-plan-biden-west-virginia-senator-fossil-fuel-industry/stories/202109200046

ergophobe

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Re: Faster, More Drastic Cuts To Fossil Fuel Extraction Needed
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2021, 07:40:05 PM »
Almost 1/3 (29%) of all energy goes into heating things up for industrial processes. That is a tough problem to fix, especially at the higher temperatures
https://about.bnef.com/blog/the-best-g-20-markets-for-decarbonizing-industrial-low-to-medium-temperature-heat/

In other news, one scenario that would meet the US's Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement, would be:
 - tax incentives for generation, storage, conversion of cars and light-duty trucks similar to the incentives under the Clean Energy for America Act
 - clean electric targets similar to under the Clean Electricity Performance Program
 - carbon tax starting at $15/ton in 2023, rising to $30/ton in 2028 and then going up $10/ton/year through 2040 (so by 2040 you would be at $150/ton in 2040).

I don't see Joe Manchin signing on nor do I see it surviving the 2022 midterms. In short: parboiled.

I do always remember something Howard Zinn once said in a lecture I attended. He said that in 1960 the famous Princeton philosophy professor Walter Kaufman wrote that "today's generation" was apathetic, directionless and unengaged. Kaufman's diatribe came out just before a wave of student sit-ins across the south and just before the fr## sp##ch movement launched in Berkeley.

So things can change quickly. Of course, they can change very quickly in a direction you don't like just as easily as in a direction your do like.