The Pronk Pops Show 584, December 1, 2014, Story 1: Part 2 World Wide Watermelon Wacko Wealth Wringers — aka Lying Lunatic Left — Protocol Predators Prowl Paris — Climate Changes Cooling Continues — The Ultimate Resource The Human Mind Will Innovate, Invent, and Invest Toward World Peace and Prosperity — Bill Gates Right On Research and Development and Wrong on Warming — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 584: December 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 583: November 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 582: November 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 581: November 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 580: November 23, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 579: November 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 578: November 19, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 577: November 18, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 576: November 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 575: November 16, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 574: November 13, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 573: November 12, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 572: November 11, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 571: November 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 570: November 6, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 569: November 5, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 568: November 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 567: November 3, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 566: November 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 565: October 30, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 564: October 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 563: October 28, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 562: October 27, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 561: October 26, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 560: October 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 559: October 22, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 558: October 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 557: October 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 556: October 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 555: October 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 554: October 15, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 553: October 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 552: October 13, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 551: October 12, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 550: October 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 549: October 8, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 548: October 7, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 547: October 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 546: October 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 545: October 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 544: September 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 543: September 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 542: September 28, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 541: September 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 540: September 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 539: September 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 538: September 22, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 537: September 21, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 536: September 18, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 535: September 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 534: September 16, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 533: September 15, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 532: September 14, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 531: September 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 530: September 10, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 529: September 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 528: September 8, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 527: September 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 526: September 3, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 525: September 2, 2015 

Story 1: Part 2 World Wide Watermelon Wacko Wealth Wringers — aka Lying Lunatic Left — Protocol Predators Prowl Paris — Climate Changes Cooling Continues — The Ultimate Resource The Human Mind Will Innovate, Invent, and Invest Toward World Peace and Prosperity — Bill Gates Right On Research and Development and Wrong on Warming —  Videos

watermelonsDelingpoleHeritage

climate_summit_paris3.jpgparis climate changebill gatesbaliemissions

Obama’s Plan to Avoid Senate Review of the Paris Protocol

The Paris Protocol climate change agreement—to be negotiated between November 30 and December 11, 2015—should be submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent. President Obama seems poised to circumvent Congress and prevent the Senate from having any input on the agreement. That is alarming behavior on the President’s part, since international commitments made by the executive branch often have significant domestic implications. Such a circumvention, if undertaken by the Administration, would evince an unprecedented level of executive unilateralism, and should be opposed by Congress by any and all means.

~Steven Groves

Obama: My Plan Makes Electricity Rates Skyrocket

World leaders as never before kick-start climate talks at Paris COP21

Paris Climate Conference: The Big Picture

[youtubbe=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7jSX4pAcUc]

What to expect from the COP21 climate talks in Paris

Climate Scientist Professor John Christy speaks

Global Warming / Climate Change Hoax – Dr. Roy Spencer (1)

The Global Warming Hoax Explained for Dummies

US billionaire Soros comment on climate change funding

“The proposal is that the developed countries, in addition to establishing a fast start fund of ten (b) billion (US dollars) a year, should band together and lend a hundred billion (b) dollars worth of these SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) for 25 years to a special green fund serving the developing world. The fund would jump-start forestry, land use and agricultural projects, because these are the areas that offer the greater scope for reducing carbon emissions and could produce substantial returns from carbon savings.”

Delingpole: Greed and Control Behind the Climate Change Agenda?

James Delingpole: Great Britain, the Green Movement, and the End of the World

James Delingpole floored by climategate question

The hockey stick is wrong and result of bad science

Book TV: James Delingpole “Welcome to Obamaland”

Just Right 241 – Lord Christopher Monckton – Christopher Essex, March 15, 2012

The Climate Change Con

Roy Spencer, Climate Skeptic, wants RICO Investigation of Environmentalists

How Marxist watermelons took over GreenPeace

Obama: My Plan Makes Electricity Rates Skyrocket

Girls Don’t Poop – PooPourri.com

Imagine Where You Can GO – PooPourri.com

MAJOR REDUCTIONS IN CARBON EMISSIONS ARE NOT

WORTH THE MONEY 4 /14- Intelligence Squared U.S.

Climate Scientist: Global Warming for Dummies and Activists

The Dangerous Green Agenda & How You Can Fight Back

George Soros Climate Change Hypocrisy – Lou Dobbs – O’Reilly

The Hard Line | Larry Bell discusses Donald Trump’s view on climate change

Michael Crichton – Unpopular Truth

Michael Crichton on DDT

Global Warming – Michael Crichton

The Politics of Global Warming and Science: Michael Crichton on State of Fear (2005)

James Delingpole: Great Britain, the Green Movement, and the End of the World

Police Clash With Protesters in Paris: COP21 – Climate Emergency (Dispatch 1)

10:10 Climate Change Film – Banned

EPIC CLIMATE CHANGE RANT!

Obama Addresses COP21 Climate Conference

McConnell Slams Obama’s Climate Plan as Paris Conference Begins

Malzberg | Marc Morano discusses the climate summit in Paris he is attending

Bill Gates launches environment plan | CNBC International

Why are you at COP? – Bill Gates

Bill Gates To Announce Multi-Billion Dollar Clean Energy Fund

Bill Gates explains Terrapower And The Traveling Wave Reactor

Bill gates on Terrapower – Innovating to zero-02

ManBearPig, Climategate and Watermelons: A conversation with author James Delingpole

Delingpole: Greed and Control Behind the Climate Change Agenda?

Carbon Footprint: Perverts Importance of CO2 (long version)

Princeton’s William Happer explains why CO2 is no pollutant

The Myth of Carbon Pollution

A Preview of the Paris Climate Change Conference

The Company Determined to Fix Nuclear Energy

Meet the leaders of TerraPower, a new company that hopes to solve some of nuclear energy’s biggest challenges. TerraPower is one of Bill Gates’s biggest bets in the search for an energy miracle—and their strategy is to tackle the issues that surround nuclear energy head on in order to mitigate its problems. Gates looked at solar and wind energies, but according to John Gilleland, CTO of TerraPower, “Nuclear is the only source of energy which could provide the necessary huge quantities that we need on a global basis.” Read more about Gates’s commitment to moving the world beyond fossil fuels in the November 2015 issue of The Atlantic.

Obama counters Putin’s leadership in Mideast: I’m leading on Paris climate change accords

Climate Change Treaty Would Make Obama a Virtual Dictator! Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

Climate-Model-Comparison Climate-Model-Predictions warmingpredictions1990-prediction-v-satellite-ipcchot-spot-1979-1999-600ipcc_greenhouseGreenhouseEffectcarbon-cycle-1cycle4slide_25waterDiagramco2_temperature_historical1-3-temp-CO2climate-models-feedbacks-Geocarb III-Mine-03

climatefactors

 Obama, Bill Gates Set to Announce Historic Clean Energy Investment

World Top Industrialists join hand to push ‘Solar’ energy

Bill Gates, Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani And Others To Push Clean Energy Throuhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HxI3-DzPWUgh Innovations

Bill Gates: Clean energy is the future

Bill Gates and the Quest for Sustainable Energy

Bill Gates Sees Future in Nuclear Energy

Bill Gates Talks About the Future of Energy

Bill Gates on energy: Innovating to zero!

Did We Find Too Much Natural Gas?

Global Warming; 31,487 Scientists say NO to Alarm

What the media isn’t telling you about Climate Change

Failure of Climate Models

How the Global Warming Scare Began

IQ2US Debate: Global Warming Is Not A Crisis

Climate Change in 12 Minutes – The Skeptic’s Case

Dr David Evans: Global Warming is Manmade? (1 of 2)

Dr David Evans: Global Warming is Manmade? (2 of 2)

Richard Lindzen Pans Global Warming Hysteria at Schools

Freeman Dyson on the Global Warming Hysteria April, 2015

Freeman Dyson on Global Warming 1 of 2 Bogus Climate Models

Freeman Dyson on Global Warming 2 of 2 Bogus Climate Models

Freeman Dyson: Heretical Thoughts About Science and Society

Freeman Dyson: A Global Warming Heretic

The PRC Forum – Julian Simon (1 of 6)

The PRC Forum – Julian Simon (2 of 6)

The PRC Forum – Julian Simon (3 of 6)

The PRC Forum – Julian Simon (4 of 6)

The PRC Forum – Julian Simon (5 of 6)

The PRC Forum – Julian Simon (6 of 6)

Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. “Is There an Answer to Malthus?”

Julian Simon: The Ultimate Resource 2

Mar 27, 1997; lecture covered by C-SPAN, entitled Material Welfare and Standard of Living. Mr. Simon talked about his book, The Ultimate Resource 2. In it he cites many scientific studies which are counter to popular wisdom; for example, that the environment is cleaner, that people eat better than ever, that natural resources are more available and that life expectancy is greatly increased.

Why Bill Gates Is Wrong About Capitalism

Big Think Interview With Freeman Dyson

Freeman Dyson’s Interview

Climate I: Is The Debate Over?

Climate II: The Media, the Scientists and the Planet

Climate III: “Political” Science

Climate IV: What to Do? Geoengineering!

Climate Modeling

The 97% Consensus? Global Warming Unmasked!

Global Warming or Global Governance? (Full Length)

The Great Global Warming Swindle Full Movie

OPINION

Why the Paris climate deal is meaningless

The more seriously you take the need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, the angrier you should be.

By

11/29/15, 5:22 PM CET

Updated 11/30/15, 6:45 AM CET

Negotiators from around the world gather in Paris this week to finalize an international climate change agreement, capping a years-long process on which hopes have been riding for global action to limit greenhouse-gas emissions. When those demanding U.S. action speak of the need to show “leadership” and foster international progress, they speak of building momentum toward Paris.

“This year, in Paris, has to be the year that the world finally reaches an agreement to protect the one planet that we’ve got while we still can,” said U.S. President Barack Obama on his recent trip to Alaska. Miguel Cañete, the EU’s chief negotiator, has warned there is “no Plan B — nothing to follow. This is not just ongoing UN discussions. Paris is final.”

But the more seriously you take the need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, the angrier you should be about the plan for Paris. With so much political capital and so many legacies staked to achieving an “agreement” — any agreement — negotiators have opted to pursue one worth less than…well, certainly less than the cost of a two-week summit in a glamorous European capital.

* * *

Climate talks are complex and opaque, operating with their own language and process, so it’s important to cut through the terminology and look at what is actually under discussion. Conventional wisdom holds that negotiators are hashing out a fair allocation of the deep emissions cuts all countries would need to make to limit warming. That image bears little resemblance to reality.

In fact, emissions reductions are barely on the table at all. Instead, the talks are rigged to ensure an agreement is reached regardless of how little action countries plan to take. The developing world, projected to account for four-fifths of all carbon-dioxide emissions this century, will earn applause for what amounts to a promise to stay on their pre-existing trajectory of emissions-intensive growth.

Here’s how the game works: The negotiating framework established at a 2014 conference in Lima, Peru, requires each country to submit a plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, called an “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution” (INDC). Each submission is at the discretion of the individual country; there is no objective standard it must meet or emissions reduction it must achieve.

Beyond that, it’s nearly impossible even to evaluate or compare them. Developing countries actually blocked a requirement that the plans use a common format and metrics, so an INDC need not even mention emissions levels. Or a country can propose to reduce emissions off a self-defined “business-as-usual” trajectory, essentially deciding how much it wants to emit and then declaring it an “improvement” from the alternative. To prevent such submissions from being challenged, a group of developing countries led by China and India has rejected“any obligatory review mechanism for increasing individual efforts of developing countries.” And lest pressure nevertheless build on the intransigent, no developing country except Mexico submitted an INDC by the initial deadline of March 31 — and most either submitted no plan or submitted one only as the final September 30 cut-off approached.

After all this, the final submissions are not enforceable, and carry no consequences beyond “shame” for noncompliance — a fact bizarrely taken for granted by all involved.

* * *

Perhaps not surprisingly, the submitted plans are even less impressive than the process that produced them. In aggregate, the promised emissions reductions will barely affect anticipated warming. A variety of inaccurate, apples-to-orangescomparisons have strained to show significant progress. But MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change calculates the improvement by century’s end to be only 0.2 degrees Celsius. Comparing projected emissions to the baseline established by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change back in 2000 shows no improvement at all.

The lack of progress becomes even more apparent at the country level. China, for its part, offered to reach peak carbon-dioxide emissions “around 2030” while reducing emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65 percent by that time from its 2005 level. But the U.S. government’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory had already predicted China’s emissions would peak around 2030 even without the climate plan. And a Bloomberg analysis found that China’s 60-65 percent target isless ambitious than the level it would reach by continuing with business as usual. All this came before the country admitted it was burning 17 percent more coalthan previously estimated—an entire Germany worth of extra emissions each year.

India, meanwhile, managed to lower the bar even further, submitting a report with no promise of emissions ever peaking or declining and only a 33-35 percent reduction in emissions per unit of GDP over the 2005-2030 period. Given India’s recent rate of improving energy efficiency, this actually implies a slower rate of improvement over the next 15 years. In its INDC, India nevertheless estimates it will need $2.5 trillion in support to implement its unserious plan.

* * *

And therein lies the sticking point on which negotiations actually center: “climate finance.” Climate finance is the term for wealth transferred from developed to developing nations based on a vague and shifting set of rationales including repayment of the “ecological debt” created by past emissions, “reparations” for natural disasters, and funding of renewable energy initiatives.

The issue will dominate the Paris talks. The INDCs covering actual emissions reductions are subjective, discretionary, and thus essentially unnegotiable. Not so the cash. Developing countries are expecting more than $100 billion in annual funds from this agreement or they will walk away. (For scale, that’s roughly equivalent to the entire OECD budget for foreign development assistance.)

Somehow, the international process for addressing climate change has become one where addressing climate change is optional and apparently beside the point. Rich countries are bidding against themselves to purchase the developing world’s signature on an agreement so they can declare victory — even though the agreement itself will be the only progress achieved.

An echo chamber of activist groups and media outlets stands ready to rubber-stamp the final agreement as “historic,” validating the vast reservoirs of political capital spent on the exercise. Already, the Chinese and Indian non-plans have been lauded as proof that the developing world is acting and the United States stands as the true obstacle. India won the remarkably inapt New York Times headline: “India Announces Plan to Lower Rate of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” A formal agreement, notwithstanding its actual contents, will only amplify the demands that we do more ourselves—and, of course, that we contribute hundreds of billions of dollars along the way.

From a political perspective, perhaps this outcome represents “victory” for environmental activists launching their next fundraising campaign or for a president building his “legacy.” But it comes at the environment’s expense. A system of voluntary, unenforceable pledges relies on peer pressure for ambitious commitments and the “naming and shaming” of countries that drag their feet. In this context, true U.S. leadership and environmental activism require the condemnation of countries manipulating the process. Instead, the desperation to sign a piece of paper in Paris has taken precedence over an honest accounting. And once the paper is signed, any leverage or standing to demand actual change in the developing world will be weakened further.

Congressional Republicans, signaling they will not appropriate the taxpayer funds that a climate-finance deal might require, stand accused of trying to “derail” the talks. But opposing such a transfer of wealth to developing countries would seem a rather uncontroversial position. One can imagine how the polling might look on: “Should the United States fight climate change by giving billions of dollars per year to countries that make no binding commitments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions?” Certainly, President Obama has made no effort to even inform his constituents that such an arrangement is central to his climate agenda, let alone argue forcefully in favor of it.

The climate negotiators have no clothes. If making that observation and refusing to go along causes some embarrassment, those parading around naked have only themselves to blame.

Oren Cass is a Manhattan Institute senior fellow.

http://www.politico.eu/article/paris-climate-deal-is-meaningless-cop21-emissions-china-obama/https://cm.g.doubleclick.net/push?client=ca-pub-8006908682726742

COP21 Paris climate talks: World leaders pledge billions

The Paris climate change talks opened with a flurry of pledges worth billions of dollars from dozens of heavily guarded world leaders on Monday.

But the outpouring of promises to tackle a problem that US President, Barack Obama, said could “define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other” was tinged by anxiety about whether the two-week meeting would strike a robust deal — the first global climate accord in 18 years

The memory of the attacks that killed 130 people in Paris on November 13 lent a sombre tone to the opening of the talks at the Le Bourget‎ airfield, north of the city.

In his opening address François Hollande, French president, appealed to world leaders to curb global warming, warning of famine, mass migrations and wars if they fail.

Mr Hollande told more than 20,000 attendees that climate change would bring conflict, “the risk of famine, a massive exodus from rural areas and conflicts over access to water”.

He said any deal needed to be “universal, binding and differentiated”.

Negotiators from nearly 200 countries have converged on Paris to reach an agreement to cut emissions of the greenhouse gases that scientists say are on track to warm the planet to risky levels. Any deal will be based on voluntary action plans that more than 180 nations have tabled pledges since March.

Key developments

  • India and France unveiled a plan to mobilise more than $1tn over the next 15 years to make solar energy affordable in sun-rich developing countries.
  • A group of 20 countries including the US, China and India vowed to ‎double their existing combined $10bn of spending on clean energy research over the next five years.
  • Norway, Germany and the UK said they would deliver more than $5bn over the next five years to support countries committed to reducing deforestation, a significant contributor to global warming.
  • Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland unveiled a $500m plan to make large scale cuts in greenhouse gases in developing countries, in league with the World Bank.
  • Sweden, New Zealand and more than 30 other countries called for an end to subsidies for fossil fuels, which Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven said history would prove were a “dead end”.

However, scientists fear that these commitments are not sufficient to prevent global temperatures warming more than 2C from pre-industrial levels, a level they deem risky for the planet. With a 1C increase nearly reached, they say evidence of a changing climate is already widespread, ranging from rising sea levels to melting ice caps.

The talks are expected to be complicated by disagreements between rich and poor nations over who should lead the fight against global warming.

Highlighting these divisions, Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, wrote in Monday’s Financial Times that advanced countries that “powered their way to prosperity on fossil fuel” must continue to shoulder the greatest burden. “Anything else would be morally wrong,” he says.

That point was echoed by Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, who told delegates in Le Bourget that any deal would have to be comprehensive and fair. “By comprehensive . . . we mean a profound transformation of the way we do business,” she said. “By fair, we mean that industrialised countries will have to take the lead. Emissions of the past have been caused by us.”

However, other wealthy countries say the threat of global warming cannot be addressed solely by the pool of older industrialised countries that account for a dwindling share of global emissions and that big emerging economies such as China and India must play their part.

Mr Hollande said that in order to achieve a deal that would limit the rise in global temperatures to 2C from pre-industrial times, nations would have to agree on a mechanism to review their commitments to reducing greenhouse gases every five years.

He also said that the accord must be implemented by every country and that all parts of civil society must join in.

President Obama addressed delegates, saying: “We are the first generation to feel climate change and the last that can do something about it.”

He backed Mr Hollande’s call for a “revision mechanism” so that pledges made by countries to reduce their carbon emissions could be reviewed and increased in the future. The world needed “not a stopgap solution but a long-term strategy”, he said.

Paris climate talks: a beginner’s guide

The key issues in a summit that aims to finalise deal to cut global emissions

Read more

Mr Hollande hinted that one of the roadblocks in the negotiations would be the $100bn in annual financing by 2020 that developed economies had committed to channel to poorer countries to help their transition to a lower carbon development model.

Mr Hollande said delegates had to agree on the rules for the 2020 goal, which was set in Copenhagen in 2009. Nations needed to define the “guarantees” on the “origins and accessibility” of the funds, Mr Hollande said.

The OECD recently reported that at least $62bn was provided in 2014, but India and other countries have questioned that figure and say the Paris accord must require wealthy countries to deliver more than $100bn a year after 2020.

In depth

Paris climate talks

Latest coverage of all news from climate talks in Paris, plus comment and analysis of the issues as negotiators work to strike an accord

Developed countries have balked at the idea of including a specific figure in the agreement, arguing that today’s governments cannot be responsible for setting budgets so far ahead.

Poorer countries might say they cannot sign up to a global deal requiring five-year review periods and other measures sought by richer nations.

Separately, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates announced he had joined forces with a group of wealthy individuals, including the founders of Amazon and Facebook, to create a multibillion-dollar coalition to boost clean energy research and development.

Security was tight at Le Bourget, with 6,300 police officers and gendarmes deployed around the site. Several hundred special UN security forces guarded the so-called UN “blue zone” where UN offices are located.

The French authorities had banned protests in Paris as part of a state of emergency following the November 13 terror attacks.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/69eaa1f0-9754-11e5-95c7-d47aa298f769.html#slide0

 

As world leaders meet to hammer out climate change deal, Beijing chokes under cloud of poisonous smog

  • Pollution in Beijing soared to 22 times healthy limits as the United Nations climate change talks began in Paris 
  • Meanwhile, in New Delhi, India, air pollution was into ‘hazardous’ territory and visibility was down to 200 yards
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are among some 150 leaders at COP21

Beijing’s pollution soared to 22 times healthy limits with a blanket of hazardous, choking smog covering the city as climate change talks began in Paris today.

The second-highest air alert was triggered in Beijing where a concentration of PM2.5, tiny airborne particles which embed deeply in the lungs, reached more than 560 micrograms per cubic metre, according to the US embassy – well over the recommended maximum of 25 micrograms.

In New Delhi, India, air pollution levels were well into ‘hazardous’ territory and visibility was down to about 200 yards. The leaders of both countries will be among some 150 from around the world attending the opening day of the two-week United Nations summit in Paris, known as COP21.

Smog: Pedestrians and a policeman cross the street in Tiananmen Square, in Beijing, China, as pollution soared above healthy limits

Smog: Pedestrians and a policeman cross the street in Tiananmen Square, in Beijing, China, as pollution soared above healthy limits

Soldiers walk past Zhengyangmen Gate as they patrol in Tiananmen Square during a heavily polluted day in Beijing, China today

Soldiers walk past Zhengyangmen Gate as they patrol in Tiananmen Square during a heavily polluted day in Beijing, China today

Protection: A man wearing a mask walks through China's capital, Beijing, as a blanket of hazardous, choking smog covering the city

Protection: A man wearing a mask walks through China’s capital, Beijing, as a blanket of hazardous, choking smog covering the city

A haze blanketed cities across China as President Xi Jinping arrived for the opening day of the two-week United Nations summit in Paris

A haze blanketed cities across China as President Xi Jinping arrived for the opening day of the two-week United Nations summit in Paris

A thick haze covered areas across China – the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases – and levels in several cities in neighbouring Hebei province were more than 20 times the World Health Organization’s advised limit for daily exposure.

American Spencer Musick, who lives in Beijing – which suffered its worst air pollution of the year today – told MailOnline: ‘The air is absolutely foul. We are used to days when the air quality is not great, but for most of us we can go about our business and not be too affected.

‘Today the air is so toxic you can taste it. But I still plan to go out on the town tonight armed with my mask. Nothing like some drinks to distract one from the taste and smell of death in the air.’

British expat Alison Mercer, who also lives in Beijing, added: ‘The smog has been pretty bad recently, but today it’s really horrible.

‘You can’t see the next building over from yours. Because the air category has gone up to ‘hazardous’, everyone is advised to minimise their outdoor activities and I definitely intend to stay inside as much as possible.’

Visibility: Buildings in Beijing are barely visible through the smog in the city this morning.  The second-highest air alert has been triggered

Visibility: Buildings in Beijing are barely visible through the smog in the city this morning.  The second-highest air alert has been triggered

A man rides through the smog in Fuyang, China. Emissions in northern China soar over winter as urban heating systems are switched on

A man rides through the smog in Fuyang, China. Emissions in northern China soar over winter as urban heating systems are switched on

Levels in cities in Beijing's (pictured) neighbouring Hebei province were more than 20 times the World Health Organization's advised limit for daily exposure

Levels in cities in Beijing’s (pictured) neighbouring Hebei province were more than 20 times the World Health Organization’s advised limit for daily exposure

Cyclists wearing face masks ride through heavy smog in Beijing. Chinese President Xi Jinping is among some 150 leaders at COP21 today

Cyclists wearing face masks ride through heavy smog in Beijing. Chinese President Xi Jinping is among some 150 leaders at COP21 today

Several hundred freeway toll gates were forced to close in nearby Shandong province as visibility fell to less than 200 metres, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Beijing issued an orange-level pollution alert over the weekend, the highest of the year, with residents advised to stay indoors and some industrial plants ordered shut. China has a four-tier warning system. Red, indicating the most severe pollution, is almost never used.

Many pedestrians chose to forgo masks, even though PM2.5 can play a role in heart disease and lung ailments such as emphysema and cancer.

The pollution has been linked to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths, becoming a major source of popular discontent with the government.

Beijing’s severe pollution follows a bout of record-breaking smog in north-eastern China last month, when PM2.5 levels reached 1,400 micrograms per cubic metre in the city of Shenyang – the highest ever registered.

Tourists take photos on the Bund in Shanghai, China. Greenpeace found nearly 80 per cent of cities in the country have had pollution levels that 'greatly exceeded' national standards over the first nine months of this year

Tourists take photos on the Bund in Shanghai, China. Greenpeace found nearly 80 per cent of cities in the country have had pollution levels that ‘greatly exceeded’ national standards over the first nine months of this year

People wearing masks walk past the giant portrait of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Gate in Beijing today

People wearing masks walk past the giant portrait of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Gate in Beijing today

Beijing issued an orange-level pollution alert over the weekend, the highest of the year, with residents advised to stay indoors

Beijing issued an orange-level pollution alert over the weekend, the highest of the year, with residents advised to stay indoors

The pollution has been linked to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths, becoming a major source of discontent with the government

The pollution has been linked to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths, becoming a major source of discontent with the government

Such outbreaks are common across China, where Greenpeace in a recent study found nearly 80 per cent of cities to have had pollution levels that ‘greatly exceeded’ national standards over the first nine months of this year.

China is estimated to have released between nine and 10 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2013, nearly twice as much as the US and around two and a half times the European Union.

It pledged last year to peak carbon dioxide output by ‘around 2030’ – suggesting at least another decade of growing emissions.

Most of the country’s carbon emissions come from coal burning in power factories and homes – which spikes in winter along with demand for heating, which also causes smog.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are both in Paris where world leaders will launch an ambitious attempt to hold back the earth’s rising temperatures, urging each other to find common cause in two weeks of bargaining meant to steer the global economy away from dependence on fossil fuels.

 

Skeptical Climate Documentary Set to Rock UN Climate Summit – ‘Climate Hustle’ To Have Red Carpet Premiere in Paris

By: Climate DepotNovember 29, 2015 8:36 PM with 1236 

Skeptical Climate Documentary Set to Rock Climate Debate

President Obama & World Leaders to Be Greeted By New Film Debuting in Paris

Gala Paris red carpet premiere for new “Climate Hustle” skeptical documentary

Cinéma du Panthéon, December 7, 7:30 PM

(Sorbonne, Paris) CFACT will hold the world premiere of its long-awaited Climate Hustle skeptical documentary film at an invitation-only red carpet event in Paris during the UN’s COP 21 international summit on climate change.

Featuring interviews and comments from more than 30 renowned scientists and climate experts, Climate Hustle lays out compelling evidence that devastates the global warming scare.  Film host Marc Morano, founder and publisher of CFACT’s award-winning Climate Depot news and information service, leads viewers on a fact-finding and often times hilarious journey through the propaganda-laced world of “climate change” claims.

The film is the first climate documentary to profile scientists who have reversed their views from supporting the so-called “consensus” position to a conversion to skepticism. The film also profiles politically left scientists who have now declared themselves skeptics of man-made global warming and United Nations scientists who have now turned against the UN for “distorting” climate science.

David Rothbard, CFACT president and executive producer of the film says, “Climate Hustle is the most important climate documentary since Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.  Gore’s film kicked off a decade of scaremongering junk science.  CFACT’s film debunks the scare and clears the way for a return to sound science and rational debate.”

Nationally syndicated columnist Cal Thomas calls Climate Hustle “tremendous” and says “anyone who still believes in ‘climate change’ after watching this film needs the type of reprogramming given to cult members.”

Noted climatologist Dr. Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology, who is featured in the film, adds “Climate Hustle is a refreshing and entertaining antidote to the sillier and alarming claims about climate change and its impacts that people regularly hear from politicians and the media.”

“Climate Hustle” will premiere at the Cinéma du Panthéon, beside the Sorbonne, on Monday, December 7. A red-carpet ceremony and champagne reception will take place at 7:30 p.m. prior to the screening. The film is planned for theatrical and home video release in 2016.

Because of very limited space, credentialed media that wish to attend the event should RSVP in advance to Christina Norman of CFACT (cwilson@cfact.org or phone (651) 724-4228).   Climate Hustle’s host, Marc Morano, along with key scientists from the film, will be available for a short time on the red carpet prior to the event at 7 p.m. and are also available for interviews and comments upon request.

Climate Hustle, a production of CFACT, was fully funded by the support of roughly 1,500 citizen supporters.   More information is available at http://www.ClimateHustle.com/press

Read more: http://www.climatedepot.com/2015/11/29/skeptical-climate-documentary-set-to-rock-un-climate-summit-film-to-have-red-carpet-premiere-in-paris/#ixzz3t11ADrmF
http://www.climatedepot.com/2015/11/29/skeptical-climate-documentary-set-to-rock-un-climate-summit-film-to-have-red-carpet-premiere-in-paris/#ixzz3t10VCuPx

‘We Need an Energy Miracle’

Bill Gates has committed his fortune to moving the world beyond fossil fuels and mitigating climate change.

By JAMES BENNET

In his offices overlooking Lake Washington, just east of Seattle, Bill Gates grabbed a legal pad recently and began covering it in his left-handed scrawl. He scribbled arrows by each margin of the pad, both pointing inward. The arrow near the left margin, he said, represented how governments worldwide could stimulate ingenuity to combat climate change by dramatically increasing spending on research and development. “The push is the R&D,” he said, before indicating the arrow on the right. “The pull is the carbon tax.” Between the arrows he sketched boxes to represent areas, such as deployment of new technology, where, he argued, private investors should foot the bill. He has pledged to commit $2 billion himself.

“Yes, the government will be somewhat inept,” he said brusquely, swatting aside one objection as a trivial statement of the obvious. “But the private sector is in general inept. How many companies do venture capitalists invest in that go poorly? By far most of them.”

Gates is on a solo global lobbying campaign to press his species to accomplish something on a scale it has never attempted before. He wants human beings to invent their way out of the coming collision with planetary climate change, accelerating a transition to new forms of energy that might normally take a century or more. To head off a rise in average global temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels—the goal set by international agreement—Gates believes that by 2050, wealthy nations like China and the United States, the most prodigious belchers of greenhouse gases, must be adding no more carbon to the skies.

Those who study energy patterns say we are in a gradual transition from oil and coal to natural gas, a fuel that emits far less carbon but still contributes to global warming. Gates thinks that we can’t accept this outcome, and that our best chance to vault over natural gas to a globally applicable, carbon-free source of energy is to drive innovation “at an unnaturally high pace.”

When I sat down to hear his case a few weeks ago, he didn’t evince much patience for the argument that American politicians couldn’t agree even on whether climate change is real, much less on how to combat it. “If you’re not bringing math skills to the problem,” he said with a sort of amused asperity, “then representative democracy is a problem.” What follows is a condensed transcript of his remarks, lightly edited for clarity.

On whether new commitments to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions expected at the United Nations climate-change conference in Paris in December mean the world is now serious about the problem:

It’s good to have people making commitments. It’s really good. But if you really look at those commitments—which are not binding, but even if you say they will all be achieved—they fall dramatically short of the reductions required to reduce CO2 emissions enough to prevent a scenario where global temperatures rise 2 degrees Celsius. I mean, these commitments won’t even be a third of what you need.

And one of the interesting things about this problem is, if you have a country that says, “Okay, we’re going to get on a pathway for an 80 percent reduction in CO2 by 2050,” it might make a commitment that “Hey, by 2030, we’ll be at 30 percent reduction.” But that first 30 percent is dramatically, dramatically easier than getting to 80 percent. So everything that’s hard has been saved for post-2030—and even these 2030 commitments aren’t enough. And many of them won’t be achieved.

On why the free market won’t develop new forms of energy fast enough:

Well, there’s no fortune to be made. Even if you have a new energy source that costs the same as today’s and emits no CO2, it will be uncertain compared with what’s tried-and-true and already operating at unbelievable scale and has gotten through all the regulatory problems, like “Okay, what do you do with coal ash?” and “How do you guarantee something is safe?” Without a substantial carbon tax, there’s no incentive for innovators or plant buyers to switch.

And for energy as a whole, the incentive to invest is quite limited, because unlike digital products—where you get very rapid adoption and so, within the period that your trade secret stays secret or your patent gives you a 20-year exclusive, you can reap incredible returns—almost everything that’s been invented in energy was invented more than 20 years before it got scaled usage. So if you go back to various energy innovators, actually, they didn’t do that well financially. The rewards to society of these energy advances—not much of that is captured by the individual innovator, because it’s a very conservative market. So the R&D amount in energy is surprisingly low compared with medicine or digital stuff, where both the government spending and the private-sector spending is huge.

On the pace of energy transitions historically:

What’s amazing is how our intense energy usage is one and the same as modern civilization. That is, for all the great things that happened in terms of human lifestyle, life span, and growing food before 1800, civilization didn’t change dramatically until we started using coal in the U.K. in the 1800s. Coal replaced wood. But the wave of wood to coal is about a 50- or 60-year wave.

If it was just about economics, if we had no global warming to think about, the slowly-but-surely pace of these transitions would be okay. If you look at one of these forecasts, they all say about the same thing: What you look at is a picture that’s pretty gradual, with natural gas continuing to gain at the expense of both coal and oil. But, you know, 1-percent-a year-type change. If you look at that from a greenhouse-gas point of view—if you look at forecasts—every single year we’ll be emitting more greenhouse gases than the previous year.

On whether we’ve ever done anything as big, as a species, as what he’s asking for now:

Well, sort of no. Because the scale of it is very big. People can talk about the Manhattan Project during World War II—the challenge of “Hey, should we get a nuclear weapon before, potentially, the Japanese or Germans do?” The speed of innovation there really was mind-blowing. And they had to find two paths to get there. One was enriching uranium; the other was breeding plutonium. And, in fact, the first bomb was a uranium bomb; the second bomb was plutonium. Both paths gave them what they’d hoped for. So there’s some amazing things—people look at the digital realm and see the pace of innovation. And that does kind of spoil you, because you can just put something up on the Web, and a hundred million people can download it.

But what we’re asking ourselves to do here is change energy—and that includes all of transport, all of electricity, all of household usage, and all of industrial usage. And those are all huge areas of usage. And somebody’ll say to you, “Well, hey, lighting, LED technology, is going to reduce energy consumption from lighting by over half.” That’s true; it’s a miracle, it’s fantastic. But unfortunately, there’s no equivalent in many of these other things, like making fertilizer or making electricity in a general sense. There’s opportunities to conserve that are really good. But the world is going to consume much more energy 30 years from now than it does today.

The Company Determined to Fix Nuclear Energy

On whether we should all be driving electric cars:

People think, Oh, well, I’ll just get an electric car. There are places where if you buy an electric car, you’re actually increasing CO2 emissions, because the electricity infrastructure is emitting more CO2 than you would have if you’d had a gasoline-powered car.

On what it will take to accelerate the transition from carbon-emitting energy:

When people viewed cancer as a problem, the U.S. government—and it’s a huge favor to the world—declared a war on cancer, and now we fund all health research at about $30 billion a year, of which about $5 billion goes to cancer. We got serious and did a lot of R&D, and then we got the private sector involved in taking that R&D and building breakthrough drugs.

In energy, no government—including the U.S., which is in almost every category the big R&D funder—has really made a dramatic increase. It was increased somewhat under Carter and then cut back under Reagan, and it’s now about $6 billion a year—that’s the U.S. piece, which, compared with the importance to our economy in general, is too low.

Realistically, we may not get more than a doubling in government funding of energy R&D—but I would love to see a tripling, to $18 billion a year from the U.S. government to fund basic research alone. Now, as a percentage of the government budget, that’s not gigantic. But we are at a time when the flexibility—because of health costs and other things, but primarily health costs—of the budget is very, very squeezed. But you could do a few-percent tax on all of energy consumption, or you could use the general revenue. This is not an unachievable amount of money.

On why, considering the level of debate in the presidential campaign, he thinks this kind of investment is imaginable:

Well, the success of the United States in medical research is really incredible. I mean, it’s phenomenal. We spend $30 billion a year of government money, and the private sector goes out and comes up with new drugs. It’s an industry that the U.S. is by far the leader in—creating wonderful jobs, great miracle cures—and that is working super, super well, but we spend more than all other countries put together. And the U.S. lead in health technologies, including drugs, is gigantic, just like the U.S. lead in digital technologies is gigantic.

In the case of the digital technologies, the path back to government R&D is a bit more complex, because nowadays most of the R&D has moved to the private sector. But the original Internet comes from the government, the original chip-foundry stuff comes from the government—and even today there’s some government money taking on some of the more advanced things and making sure the universities have the knowledge base that maintains that lead. So I’d say the overall record for the United States on government R&D is very, very good.

Now, in the case of climate change, because there’s so many possible solutions, it’s not like the Manhattan Project. I don’t think anyone’s saying, “Hey, pick just one approach, and pick some ranch in New Mexico, and just have those guys kind of hang out there.” Here, we want to give a little bit of money to the guy who thinks that high wind will work; we want to give a little bit of money to the guy who thinks that taking sunlight and making oil directly out of sunlight will work. So there’s dozens of those ideas, and there’s enabling technologies for those ideas. That’s the kind of thing that we should be funding more of.

On the limits of wind power and solar photovoltaic cells:

Wind has grown super-fast, on a very subsidized basis. Solar, off a smaller base, has been growing even faster—again on a highly subsidized basis. But it’s absolutely fair to say that even the modest R&D that’s been done, and the various deployment incentives that are there, have worked well. Now, unfortunately, solar photovoltaic is still not economical, but the biggest problem of all is this intermittency. That is, we need energy 24 hours a day. So, putting aside hydro—which unfortunately can’t grow much—the primary new zero-CO2 sources are intermittent. Now, nuclear is a non-CO2 source, but it’s had its own problems in terms of costs, big safety problems, making sure you can deal with the waste, making sure the plutonium isn’t used to make weapons. So my view is that the biggest problem for the two lead candidates is that storage looks to be so difficult. It’s kind of ironic: Germany, by installing so much rooftop solar, has it that both their coal plants and their rooftop solar are available in the summer, and the price of power during the day actually goes negative—they pay people to take it. Then at night the only source is the coal, and because the energy companies have to recover their capital costs, they either raise the price because they’re not getting any return for the day, or they slowly go bankrupt.

There are many people working on storage—batteries are a form of storage, and there’s a few others, like compressed air, hot metals. But it’s not at all clear that we will get grid-scale economic storage. We’re more than a factor of 10 away from the economics to get that.

On the self-defeating claims of some clean-energy enthusiasts:

They have this statement that the cost of solar photovoltaic is the same as hydrocarbon’s. And that’s one of those misleadingly meaningless statements. What they mean is that at noon in Arizona, the cost of that kilowatt-hour is the same as a hydrocarbon kilowatt-hour. But it doesn’t come at night, it doesn’t come after the sun hasn’t shone, so the fact that in that one moment you reach parity, so what? The reading public, when they see things like that, they underestimate how hard this thing is. So false solutions like divestment or “Oh, it’s easy to do” hurt our ability to fix the problems. Distinguishing a real solution from a false solution is actually very complicated.

On the role of private investors:

I think dozens and dozens of approaches should be funded at the R&D level, and then people like myself, who can afford to take big risks with start-up companies, should—because of climate change—be willing to put some number of billions into the spin-offs that will come out of that government-funded activity.

You can’t expect that it will be like a digital thing. So you do have to bring a more patient investor, and even a lower return threshold, to this than to other things. People often talk about, “Well, the solution that gets us beyond the CO2-based energy economy will be a mix of things.” And it will be a mix—but a few will be very big. And so the companies that find whatever turns out to be the mainstream, they will do super, super well. But there won’t be as many successes here as there are in an area like software, where there’s a lot more variety.

On why energy is a global challenge:

People can always say, “Well, my country is such a small part of it—why should I make the sacrifice? Because I don’t know for sure that the other countries are going to do their part of it.” We don’t have a world government. Fortunately, we don’t have that many world problems—most problems can be solved locally—but this one is a world problem. Carbon is not a local pollutant. It mixes in the global atmosphere in a matter of days. So it doesn’t really matter whether it’s a coal plant in China or a coal plant in the U.S.—the heating effect for the entire globe is the same.

Share of Fuels in the Global Energy Mix Across Modern History

share by power source

On the dangerous certainty of environmentalists:

The heating levels have not tracked the climate models exactly, and the skeptics have had a heyday with that. It’s all within the error-bar range. To me, it’s pretty clear that there’s nothing that relieves this as a big problem. But when people act like we have this great certainty, they somewhat undermine the credibility. There’s a lot of uncertainty in this, but on both the good and the bad side.

By overclaiming, or even trying to ascribe current things more to climate change than to other effects, environmentalists lend weight to the skeptics. Like, in the near term, the Pacific oscillation, this El Niño thing, has a much bigger impact on current weather than climate change has had so far. Now, climate change keepsclimbing all the time—it just keeps summing, summing, summing, and adding up. So, as you get up to 2050, 2080, 2100, its effect overwhelms the Pacific oscillation.

So we have to have dramatic change here. It’s unprecedented to move this quickly, to change an infrastructure of this scale—it’s really unprecedented. And, when you turn to India and say, “Please cut your carbon emissions, and do it with energy that’s really expensive, subsidized energy,” that’s really putting them in a tough position, because energy for them means a kid can read at night, or having an air conditioner or a refrigerator, or being able to eat fresh foods, or get to your job, or buy fertilizer.

That’s why we really need to solve that dilemma, we need innovation that gives us energy that’s cheaper than today’s hydrocarbon energy, that has zero CO2 emissions, and that’s as reliable as today’s overall energy system. And when you put all those requirements together, we need an energy miracle. That may make it seem too daunting to people, but in science, miracles are happening all the time.

On the central role of rich countries:

I’m a big believer in foreign aid, but the climate problem has to be solved in the rich countries. China and the U.S. and Europe have to solve CO2 emissions, and when they do, hopefully they’ll make it cheap enough for everyone else. But the big numbers are all in the developed economies, where China’s defined into that term.

On whether he’s really read all 36 books by Vaclav Smil, his favorite author and a leading scholar of the history of energy use:

I have read all of Smil. There’s a book about the transition of the Japanese diet. I don’t recommend it.

On the limitations of a campaign to force university endowments and other funds to divest from fossil-fuel companies:

If you think divestment alone is a solution, I worry you’re taking whatever desire people have to solve this problem and kind of using up their idealism and energy on something that won’t emit less carbon—because only a few people in society are the owners of the equity of coal or oil companies. As long as there’s no carbon tax and that stuff is legal, everybody should be able to drive around. So I’ve been saying, “Hey, come on—broaden your message to be pro–R&D.” And even the same people who are divesting those stocks of energy companies, ideally some of that money would come into this pool that is funding these high-risk innovations. And so that’s a message that I’ve started to get out. I don’t know if that will be successful.

On the surprising wisdom of government R&D:

When I first got into this I thought, How well does the Department of Energy spend its R&D budget? And I was worried: Gosh, if I’m going to be saying it should double its budget, if it turns out it’s not very well spent, how am I going to feel about that? But as I’ve really dug into it, the DARPA money is very well spent, and the basic-science money is very well spent. The government has these “Centers of Excellence.” They should have twice as many of those things, and those things should get about four times as much money as they do.

Yes, the government will be somewhat inept—but the private sector is in general inept. How many companies do venture capitalists invest in that go poorly? By far most of them. And it’s just that every once in a while a Google or a Microsoft comes out, and some medium-scale successes too, and so the overall return is there, and so people keep giving them money.

On why he thinks Congress may not be hopeless:

The U.S. Congress does support solar and wind subsidies, which have been quite generous. So Congress isn’t completely absent on this. The House actually passed a climate-change bill [in 2009], when it was a Democratic Congress. There’s a class of voters who care about this, that I think both parties should want to compete for. So I don’t think it’s hopeless, because it’s about American innovation, American jobs, American leadership, and there are examples where this has gone very, very well.

On the centrality of government to progress on energy, historically:

Everyone likes to argue about how much the shale-gas boom was driven by the private sector versus government; there was some of both. Nuclear: huge amount of government. Hydropower: mind-blowingly government—because permitting those things, those big reservoirs and everything, you can’t be a private-sector guy betting that you’re going to get permitted. People think energy is more of a private-sector thing than it is. If you go back to Edison’s time, there wasn’t much government funding. There were rich people funding him. Since World War II, U.S.-government R&D has defined the state of the art in almost every area.

But energy moves really slowly. There’s this thing Vaclav Smil says: If Edison were reborn today, he would find our batteries completely understandable, because it’s just chemistry. He would say, “Oh, cool, you found lithium, that was nice.” Nuclear-power plants, he would go, “What the hell is that?” That, he would be impressed with. And chips, which we can use for managing data and stuff, he’d be impressed with. But he could visit a coal plant and say, “Okay, you scaled it up.” He would visit a natural-gas plant and that would look pretty normal to him; he would look at an internal-combustion engine and he wouldn’t be that surprised.

On his faith in human ingenuity:

If you told me that innovation had been frozen and we just have today’s technologies, will the world run the climate-change experiment? You bet we will. We will not deny India coal plants; we will run the scary experiment of heating up the atmosphere and see what happens.

The only reason I’m optimistic about this problem is because of innovation. And innovation is a very uncertain process. For all I know, even if we don’t up the R&D, 10 years from now some guy will invent something and it’ll take care of this thing. I don’t think that’s very likely, but nobody has a predictor function of innovation—which is weird, because the whole modern economy and our lifestyles are an accumulation of innovations. So I want to tilt the odds in our favor by driving innovation at an unnaturally high pace, or more than its current business-as-usual course. I see that as the only thing. I want to call up India someday and say, “Here’s a source of energy that is cheaper than your coal plants, and by the way, from a global-pollution and local-pollution point of view, it’s also better.”

I think if we don’t get that in the next 15 years, then as much as people care about this thing, we will at least run the 2-degree experiment. Then there’s the question of “Okay, do we run the 3-degree experiment? Do we run the 4-degree experiment?”

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/11/we-need-an-energy-miracle/407881/

 

OPINION

Why the Paris climate deal is meaningless

The more seriously you take the need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, the angrier you should be.

By

11/29/15, 5:22 PM CET

Updated 11/30/15, 6:45 AM CET

Negotiators from around the world gather in Paris this week to finalize an international climate change agreement, capping a years-long process on which hopes have been riding for global action to limit greenhouse-gas emissions. When those demanding U.S. action speak of the need to show “leadership” and foster international progress, they speak of building momentum toward Paris.

“This year, in Paris, has to be the year that the world finally reaches an agreement to protect the one planet that we’ve got while we still can,” said U.S. President Barack Obama on his recent trip to Alaska. Miguel Cañete, the EU’s chief negotiator, has warned there is “no Plan B — nothing to follow. This is not just ongoing UN discussions. Paris is final.”

But the more seriously you take the need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, the angrier you should be about the plan for Paris. With so much political capital and so many legacies staked to achieving an “agreement” — any agreement — negotiators have opted to pursue one worth less than…well, certainly less than the cost of a two-week summit in a glamorous European capital.

* * *

Climate talks are complex and opaque, operating with their own language and process, so it’s important to cut through the terminology and look at what is actually under discussion. Conventional wisdom holds that negotiators are hashing out a fair allocation of the deep emissions cuts all countries would need to make to limit warming. That image bears little resemblance to reality.

In fact, emissions reductions are barely on the table at all. Instead, the talks are rigged to ensure an agreement is reached regardless of how little action countries plan to take. The developing world, projected to account for four-fifths of all carbon-dioxide emissions this century, will earn applause for what amounts to a promise to stay on their pre-existing trajectory of emissions-intensive growth.

Here’s how the game works: The negotiating framework established at a 2014conference in Lima, Peru, requires each country to submit a plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, called an “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution” (INDC). Each submission is at the discretion of the individual country; there is no objective standard it must meet or emissions reduction it must achieve.

Beyond that, it’s nearly impossible even to evaluate or compare them. Developing countries actually blocked a requirement that the plans use a common format and metrics, so an INDC need not even mention emissions levels. Or a country can propose to reduce emissions off a self-defined “business-as-usual” trajectory, essentially deciding how much it wants to emit and then declaring it an “improvement” from the alternative. To prevent such submissions from being challenged, a group of developing countries led by China and India has rejected“any obligatory review mechanism for increasing individual efforts of developing countries.” And lest pressure nevertheless build on the intransigent, no developing country except Mexico submitted an INDC by the initial deadline of March 31 — and most either submitted no plan or submitted one only as the final September 30 cut-off approached.

After all this, the final submissions are not enforceable, and carry no consequences beyond “shame” for noncompliance — a fact bizarrely taken for granted by all involved.

* * *

Perhaps not surprisingly, the submitted plans are even less impressive than the process that produced them. In aggregate, the promised emissions reductions will barely affect anticipated warming. A variety of inaccurate, apples-to-orangescomparisons have strained to show significant progress. But MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change calculates the improvement by century’s end to be only 0.2 degrees Celsius. Comparing projected emissions to the baseline established by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change back in 2000 shows no improvement at all.

The lack of progress becomes even more apparent at the country level. China, for its part, offered to reach peak carbon-dioxide emissions “around 2030” while reducing emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65 percent by that time from its 2005 level. But the U.S. government’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory had already predicted China’s emissions would peak around 2030 even without the climate plan. And a Bloomberg analysis found that China’s 60-65 percent target isless ambitious than the level it would reach by continuing with business as usual. All this came before the country admitted it was burning 17 percent more coalthan previously estimated—an entire Germany worth of extra emissions each year.

India, meanwhile, managed to lower the bar even further, submitting a report with no promise of emissions ever peaking or declining and only a 33-35 percent reduction in emissions per unit of GDP over the 2005-2030 period. Given India’s recent rate of improving energy efficiency, this actually implies a slower rate of improvement over the next 15 years. In its INDC, India nevertheless estimates it will need $2.5 trillion in support to implement its unserious plan.

* * *

And therein lies the sticking point on which negotiations actually center: “climate finance.” Climate finance is the term for wealth transferred from developed to developing nations based on a vague and shifting set of rationales including repayment of the “ecological debt” created by past emissions, “reparations” for natural disasters, and funding of renewable energy initiatives.

The issue will dominate the Paris talks. The INDCs covering actual emissions reductions are subjective, discretionary, and thus essentially unnegotiable. Not so the cash. Developing countries are expecting more than $100 billion in annual funds from this agreement or they will walk away. (For scale, that’s roughly equivalent to the entire OECD budget for foreign development assistance.)

Somehow, the international process for addressing climate change has become one where addressing climate change is optional and apparently beside the point. Rich countries are bidding against themselves to purchase the developing world’s signature on an agreement so they can declare victory — even though the agreement itself will be the only progress achieved.

An echo chamber of activist groups and media outlets stands ready to rubber-stamp the final agreement as “historic,” validating the vast reservoirs of political capital spent on the exercise. Already, the Chinese and Indian non-plans have been lauded as proof that the developing world is acting and the United States stands as the true obstacle. India won the remarkably inapt New York Times headline: “India Announces Plan to Lower Rate of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” A formal agreement, notwithstanding its actual contents, will only amplify the demands that we do more ourselves—and, of course, that we contribute hundreds of billions of dollars along the way.

From a political perspective, perhaps this outcome represents “victory” for environmental activists launching their next fundraising campaign or for a president building his “legacy.” But it comes at the environment’s expense. A system of voluntary, unenforceable pledges relies on peer pressure for ambitious commitments and the “naming and shaming” of countries that drag their feet. In this context, true U.S. leadership and environmental activism require the condemnation of countries manipulating the process. Instead, the desperation to sign a piece of paper in Paris has taken precedence over an honest accounting. And once the paper is signed, any leverage or standing to demand actual change in the developing world will be weakened further.

Congressional Republicans, signaling they will not appropriate the taxpayer funds that a climate-finance deal might require, stand accused of trying to “derail” the talks. But opposing such a transfer of wealth to developing countries would seem a rather uncontroversial position. One can imagine how the polling might look on: “Should the United States fight climate change by giving billions of dollars per year to countries that make no binding commitments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions?” Certainly, President Obama has made no effort to even inform his constituents that such an arrangement is central to his climate agenda, let alone argue forcefully in favor of it.

The climate negotiators have no clothes. If making that observation and refusing to go along causes some embarrassment, those parading around naked have only themselves to blame.

Oren Cass is a Manhattan Institute senior fellow.

http://www.politico.eu/article/paris-climate-deal-is-meaningless-cop21-emissions-china-obama/

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 546-555

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 538-545

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 532-537

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 526-531

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 519-525

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 510-518

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 500-509

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 490-499

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 480-489

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 473-479

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 464-472

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 455-463

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 447-454

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 439-446

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 431-438

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 422-430

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 414-421

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 408-413

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 400-407

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 391-399

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 383-390

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 376-382

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 369-375

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 360-368

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 354-359

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 346-353

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 338-345

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 328-337

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 319-327

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 307-318

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 296-306

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 287-295

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 277-286

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 264-276

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 250-263

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 236-249

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 222-235

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 211-221

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 202-210

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 194-201

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 184-193

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 174-183

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 165-173

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 158-164

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 151-157

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 143-150

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 135-142

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 131-134

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 124-130

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 121-123

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 118-120

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 113 -117

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 112

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 108-111

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 106-108

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 104-105

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 101-103

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 98-100

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 94-97

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 93

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 92

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 91

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 88-90

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 84-87

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 79-83

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 74-78

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 71-73

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 68-70

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 65-67

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 62-64

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 58-61

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 55-57

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 52-54

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 49-51

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 45-48

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 41-44

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 38-40

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 34-37

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 30-33

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 27-29

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 17-26

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 16-22

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 10-15

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 01-09

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