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Climate Change

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by ItsMyFault, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Trust the process
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    no worries here. good luck finishing up
     
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  2. txtony

    txtony Member

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  3. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Trust the process
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    here's a piece from the Sierra Club (hard to ad hominem that source) that addresses the ambiguity of China's progress toward net zero:

    Is China Ready to Commit to a Green Energy Future?
    The economic behemoth brings a mix of strengths and weaknesses to COP26

    https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/china-ready-commit-green-energy-future

    excerpt:

    So, going into COP26, it is essential to understand what cards China will bring to the table. What are the country’s goals at this critically important gathering?

    The answer, it turns out, is complicated.

    China has spent the better part of the past decade galloping ahead of the rest of the world in its efforts to green its economy. The results are stunning. In 2020, China brought online more new wind power than the rest of the world combined. The country is the leader in solar energy production, generating three times more power from the sun than the next closest nation. China already generates double the hydropower of Brazil, the country in second place. And the country leads the world in EV battery technology and vehicle sales; 50 percent of all EVs are bought and sold in China.

    There is a simple reason why China continues to successfully scale up its energy transition: The ruling party is convinced that building the "Chinese Dream" is based on green development that will give China a 21st-century economic edge and increase the country’s global position and power.

    However, despite the progress that has been made, China’s transition is rife with tensions, and several huge challenges could force it off the rails.

    First, the country currently depends on coal for about 58 percent of its total energy needs (compared with the US, at 19 percent). China already runs half of all coal power plants in the world, and many more are on the domestic drawing board. This deep dependence on coal is China’s Achilles' heel, and the question everyone is going to ask at COP26 will be, How soon can China draw this dependence down?

    Second, China’s demand for power is great, and will become greater. China surpassed the US in electricity production in 2010 and today produces two times more electric power than we do. Much of this is used for building the infrastructural core of the country—roads, subways, airports, and apartments. The rest feeds into factories that make many of the goods that our globalized world has come to depend on. When we purchase a plastic toy for a child’s birthday or upgrade to the latest iPhone, China’s greenhouse gas emissions come along for the ride.

    In other words, when it comes to transitioning to the clean energy future, China is somehow both well ahead and far behind the rest of the world. The sheer scale of the country is at the root of this paradox. Most Americans know that China has the largest human population on the planet, but it can be hard to wrap your brain around what that means. Here’s an exercise I like to recommend: Multiply your town’s current population size by four, which is the ratio differential between the two countries’ populations. This provides "China-scale" to your home ground. When I do this math, my small city in Washington State becomes bigger than New Orleans, Seattle dwarfs Chicago, and the population of New York City surpasses the entire state of Texas.

    Despite being an economic behemoth, China remains a middle-income country with per-capita earnings on par with Panama and Bulgaria. Like any other growing nation, China cannot simply cease to develop; "de-growth"’ is not on the table.

    Furthermore, social inequities abound in China. Personal income is dramatically skewed toward the 60 percent of people living in cities; rural folks make about US$3,000 a year, only a third as much as urban dwellers and 20 times less than the American average. And there are 540 million Chinese people who are aiming for a middle-class life. Meanwhile, China lacks a strong social safety net. Right now, Beijing is grappling with how to manage losing 3 million jobs in the fossil fuels industry given the push toward a greener future. Retraining? 60 percent of these workers have no high school education, and more than half are over 50 years old.

    Despite these many challenges, the Chinese government does have a plan to get to a net-zero future. Back in 2019, to navigate its energy transformation, the government enlisted climate researchers from Tsinghua University, MIT, and the top state planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission. The question for these experts was straightforward: “What will it take for China to reach net-zero by 2060?”

    Despite some differences, the scientists agreed on an “all of the above” approach. This means dramatically ramping up all forms of non-fossil-fuel energy—solar, wind, and hydropower. More record-shattering rates of green energy growth are in the pipeline. China is also betting on a huge increase in nuclear power. Eighty new plants are due to be up and running by 2025.

    Even with this “all of the above” strategy, the research groups agree that China will likely still be burning enough coal in 2050 to account for 12 to 18 percent of its power demand. This means that China (like most countries) is hedging its net-zero future on expensive, unproven technologies (see carbon capture and storage) that will allow ongoing burning of fossil fuels and yet somehow keep carbon out of the atmosphere.​
    more at the link

     
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  4. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    It is a mixed bag - a really big one when it comes to China. The most neutral take I could find (not pro-China or anti-China or some other agenda) was this from the BBC

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-57483492

    So one can take either stance when it comes to China. But I think, getting back to the op-ed piece - his dismissal of China probably isn't realistic given the progress they have made, even though they have a lot more to do. It sounds like they are trying to make the conversion without hurting economic growth.

    The US is less dependent on fossil fuels for growth, but we still use a heck of a lot of coal.

    Still, I think pushing for policies in the US and abroad to reduce CO2 without any significant detriment to growth is key, and part of that is investment in carbon reducing technologies, and cleaner energy. US needs to get to the table with China, India, and Japan (Russia is a mess) and figure out how they can work together to develop and test these technologies.

    My opinion from what I have read and picked up over the years is that nearly all the actions we take to reduce CO2 also have other benefits beyond reducing global warming and climate change, and don't have a negative impact on economic growth nor need hit the poor (or anyone) in a regressive way. We just need to get serious about taking positive actions where we can agree the benefit is there even if modest, and the cost is very low.
     
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  5. dmoneybangbang

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    It's a "weird" argument by @Os Trigonum and mostly relies on using other people's Op-ed pieces instead of forming an actual opinion.

    China isn't very complicated, it needs cheap energy now and cleaner energy in the future. The world's green energy supply chain is still overwhelming in China because they invested in it.
     
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  6. Buck Turgidson

    Buck Turgidson Mineshaft Enthusiast

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    I love that it went from 70 to 99 to 45 within 48+ hours in the Hill Country, in April
     
  7. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Contributing Member
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    I don't expect much from China. Maybe a historian can chime in, but I don't think the global community expected much from the US during their ascent into its Golden Age (few decades after the Civil War).

    I guess if China wants to talk big, then they have to act big. We're doing both, and we're also dictating terms for the rest of the world.

    The World signed Kyoto, we didn't, so it was DOA.

    The World signed Rio, we didn't, so...

    Pointing fingers and sandbagging is b**** work to avoid real work. Yes, there will be free riders. The Fossil Barons have been the free riders by pumping out market externalities governments/taxpayers pay out of their own pockets.

    To claim China and other rising nations are not doing their share is disingenuous by the powers that fund these skeptics.

    It's a red herring by the author with an excuse to whine and make readers think it's "too hard". When copper prices increase from demand, EV prices will surge higher (and reduce demand)...until manufacturers find a way to replace materials like they did in the 70s when people then were reporting shortages in resources like copper. "Wasting government handouts" won't eliminate that critical market issue, nor is it a dead end he's playing it to be. This 2 decade old argument had stronger legs early on. Now...it just sounds like a broken record. A ****ing lazy throw away argument.

    Half of the op/ed wants people to bow and pay respects (and prayer) to the energy revolution coal started, and in a different era, we could still live in blind faith to it.

    During the horse drawn carriage era, cities and large towns would have large hill sized piles of **** because of the sheer amount of traffic it had.

    It's not that horses were evil nor the fact that everyone had the right to a horse should be shamed, but rather it became a problem of numbers and would've proved unsustainable if that era attempted to house millions of people inside a single city.

    The scale of fossil fuel consumption has grown beyond our control, and the simple premise that we can individually curtail carbon emissions while waiting for foreign bodies to "also play nice" doesn't fit the responsibility 7-8 billion people have to maintain/sustain a quality of life that we all assume will improve on average.
     
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  8. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Contributing Member
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  9. txtony

    txtony Member

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    China is the largest investor in fossil fuels (funding projects for other countries that buy china made goods for those projects). They are also the largest investors in green energy infrastructure, production, supply chain, raw materials... everything. The US used to be the lead but we have lost major ground due to the political hangover to oil and gas.

    We could also fund green projects for other countries that need energy to take that pie away from China while pushing for a better tomorrow for everyone. But that's not happening and we are simply ceding ground to China.

    The Biden admin has made some headway with the infrastructure bill but that's peanut compared to what China is doing. Our best hope is not the gov anymore - they have been influenced too much by big fossil fuels $. It's up to the US private sector. They aren't tied down to old slow dying stuff and do see the future is green energy. They are investing there as long as it has the free environment to do so. Might still not be enough for the US to become the leader of green energy. If we corrupt that environment (which we are trying), we have little hope.
     
  10. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    This is a pretty good piece and sums up what I've read and seen firsthand about the situation in the PRC. The leadership clearly wants the PRC to be the leader in Green Technology both as they see it as an economic and geopolitical advantage for them to dominate that market. They also are very aware of the toll on their environment that continued use of coal is doing. Unlike in the US where Climate Change is still debated they know it's happening and frequently discuss it's impacts on things like flooding, coastal erosion and droughts. There is also pressure among the population to address the environmental degradation and while much of the PRC is very polluted they are realizing that not only is this taking a toll on the health of their population but could hamper economic development.

    At the same time though the CCP's legitimacy is based on their history of lifting the PRC out of poverty and improving the standard of living for their population. As such they can't afford to risk slowing down development to retool to get more green. In the meantime they have to keep on burning coal to keep those rapidly growing cities lit and warm. To power those high speed trains and all the rest of their new technology. Like a lot of things in the PRC they hope that eventually they'll get enough green technology that they can transition of of coal but that is still a ways away.
     
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  11. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Trust the process
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    I don't disagree with anything you say except this . . . I just don't understand blanket statements like this.

    why is discussion in the U.S. "debate" whereas "discuss" in China is open-ended discussion about impacts? how can one generalize about "debate" in the U.S. (population 330 million) and then also generalize about knowledge "they know it's happening" in China (population 1.4 billion)? is China somehow the Uni-mind whereas the U.S. loses points for democratic debate?

    I don't get the word "unlike."
     
  12. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    For one because the PRC is much more of a uni-mind than the US. If the leadership of the CCP decides on something most people agree with it and if you don't there are consequences. Also passing policy in the PRC is much easier as there really isn't a system of checks and balances.

    Besides that though for the last 40 years the CCP has been fairly pragmatic on issues regarding science and technology. As such they have much more faith in prevailing scientific views than the US or other countries. In the case of Climate Change they've been noticing that things have been changing not just around the World but within the PRC itself. They are very aware of increasing floods among the major river basins. Desertification from the Gobi Desert is literally visible from Beijing. As such they are less willing to consider for policy purposes debate among scientist about the extents of Climate Change or the causes but more willing to address policy on it.

    In the US even in this very thread we see a debate regarding the extents and causes of Climate Change and not just by randos on the Internet but by political leaders and scientists. That plays out in policy debates and why we see at best very uneven addressing of the affects of climate change.
     
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  13. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Trust the process
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    Perhaps generally speaking there is some truth to this but from the Chinese graduate students I've known (actually I think this goes for Chinese undergraduates as well) I get the sense is that there is a robust scientific discussion both in China and among Chinese scientists in the U.S. I take it this is one reason why China generally favors sending students to the U.S. for graduate education, if the Chinese government was simply interested in indoctrination to the party line, why would it bother?

    again from the sense I get from Chinese students (and this admittedly may be a small and unrepresentative sample] I think there is a surprising amount of doubt about "official" lines of reasoning. I think for example the one-child policy is widely believed among Chinese students to have been mistaken on many levels, and at least the students who make it to U.S. universities seem pretty aware that governments and science as an institution can get things quite wrong when it comes (a) to science as a body of knowledge but also (b) policy outcomes that result from "science."

    but your mileage may vary I suppose.

    I think robust debate is crucial for doing good science and even more crucial for weighing policy alternatives when money doesn't grow on trees. But again your mileage may vary.
     
  14. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    True there is a debate in the PRC especially among the academic community. That doesn't mean that policy wise the government doesn't follow what the rather small cadre of leadership dictates. The PRC routinely sanctions including jails people who speak out against many of their policies. In fact with the new security law it is getting worse.
    Sure there is doubt about official policies of the PRC government and students and academics from the PRC are more likely to speak more freely when outside of the PRC. I doubt though that they are discussing such things on social media including on Twitter or Facebook even when outside of the PRC. And of course the CCP has made many mistakes in policy. While I might agree with them regarding Climate Change that doesn't mean I think they're right on most things. I'm merely explaining why the PRC has the policy that they do regarding Climate Change and why it is more robust than the US'.

    The CCP method of operation is that policy debate is limited to higher leadership. Primarily the Politburo but under Xi even that is getting more narrow. Regarding issues of scientific debate while they allow such things at an academic level they've generally followed the prevailing view of things. In the case of Climate Change the official position is that it is happening. It is caused by humans burning fossil fuels and other activities that add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
     
  15. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    The pace of technology is rapidly improving regarding green energy and many of the problems with it, such as storage are being solved.
    https://www.euronews.com/green/2022...mBKGgUSaiN_7nKzgdAcDmMJj3JKtKL-xwxe4ZwenhH5Qc

    Solar energy can now be stored for up to 18 years, say scientists

    Solar-powered electronics are one step closer to becoming an everyday part of our lives thanks to a “radical” new scientific breakthrough.

    In 2017, scientists at a Swedish university created an energy system that makes it possible to capture and store solar energy for up to 18 years, releasing it as heat when needed.

    Now the researchers have succeeded in getting the system to produce electricity by connecting it to a thermoelectric generator. Though still in its early stages, the concept developed at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenberg could pave the way for self-charging electronics that use stored solar energy on demand.

    “This is a radically new way of generating electricity from solar energy. It means that we can use solar energy to produce electricity regardless of weather, time of day, season, or geographical location,” explains research leader Kasper Moth-Poulsen, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers.

    “I’m very excited about this work,” he adds. “We hope with future development this will be an important part in the future energy system.”

    Solar energy is a variable renewable because for the most part it, it only works when the sun shines. But technology to combat this much-discussed flaw is already being developed at a fast pace.

    Solar panels have been made from waste crops that absorb UV light even on cloudy days while ‘night solar panels’ have been created that work even once the sun has set.

    Long-term storage of the energy they generate is another matter. The solar energy system created at Chalmers back in 2017 is known as ‘MOST’: Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage Systems.

    The technology is based on a specially designed molecule of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen that changes shape when it comes into contact with sunlight.

    It shape-shifts into an ‘energy-rich isomer’ - a molecule made up of the same atoms but arranged together in a different way. The isomer can then be stored in liquid form for later use when needed, such as at night or in the depths of winter.

    A catalyst releases the saved energy as heat while returning the molecule to its original shape, ready to be used again.

    Over the years, researchers have refined the system to the point that it is now possible to store the energy for an incredible 18 years.

    An ‘ultra-thin’ chip turns the stored solar energy into electricity

    As detailed in a new study published in Cell Reports Physical Science last month, this model has now been taken a step further.

    The Swedish researchers sent their unique molecule, loaded with solar energy, to colleagues at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. There the energy was released and converted into electricity using the generator they had developed.

    Essentially, Swedish sunshine was sent to the other side of the world and converted into electricity in China.

    “The generator is an ultra-thin chip that could be integrated into electronics such as headphones, smart watches and telephones,” says researcher Zhihang Wang from Chalmers University of Technology.

    “So far, we have only generated small amounts of electricity, but the new results show that the concept really works. It looks very promising.”

    The device could potentially replace batteries and solar cells, fine-tuning the way we use the sun’s abundant energy.

    Stored solar: A fossil and emissions-free way of generating electricity
    The beauty of this closed, circular system is that it works without causing CO2 emissions, meaning it has great potential for use with renewable energy.

    The latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report makes it overwhelmingly clear that we need to ramp up renewables and switch away from fossil fuels much, much faster to secure a safe climate future.

    While significant advances in solar energy like this give cause for hope, the scientists caution it will take time for the technology to become integrated into our lives. A lot of research and development remains before we will be able to charge our technical gadgets or heat our homes with the system’s stored solar energy, they note.

    “Together with the various research groups included in the project, we are now working to streamline the system,” says Moth-Poulsen. “The amount of electricity or heat it can extract needs to be increased.”

    He adds that even though the system is based on simple materials, it needs to be adapted so it is cost-effective to produce before it can be launched more widely.
     
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  16. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    Amazing how European researchers are coming up with this stuff as the US still debates if the planet is actually warming.
     
  17. txtony

    txtony Member

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    Material science is so cool. Hope it pans out. Who are doing these R&D? China, Sweden, Spain. The US used to be #1 in new energy R&D. China is now #1 by far.

    ZhihangWang1ZhenhuaWu2ZhiyuHu2JessicaOrrego-Hernández1ErzhenMu3Zhao-YangZhang4MartynJevric1YangLiu2XuechengFu5FengdanWang5TaoLi4KasperMoth-Poulsen1678
    1
    Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, 41296 Gothenburg, Sweden
    2
    National Key Laboratory of Science and Technology on Micro-Nano Fabrication, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
    3
    School of Materials Science and Engineering, Henan Polytechnic University, Jiaozuo 454003, Henan, China
    4
    Shanghai Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and Thermal Aging, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
    5
    Center for Advanced Electronic, Materials and Devices (AEMD) of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
    6
    Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona, ICMAB-CSIC, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
    7
    Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies ICREA, Pg. Lluís Companys 23, Barcelona, Spain
     
  18. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Trust the process
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    Biden Administration Resumes Oil Leases on Federal Land
    Royalty rates on production to rise, acreage available for leasing to decrease

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-...-on-federal-land-11650053812?mod=hp_lead_pos3

    excerpt:

    Environmental groups said Mr. Biden is backing away from his campaign promise, and that the lease sale will hurt efforts to stem climate change by cutting greenhouse-gas emissions

    “This is pure climate denial,” Jeremy Nichols, climate and energy program director for the nonprofit environmental group WildEarth Guardians, said in a statement. “While the Biden administration talks a good talk on climate action, the reality is, they’re in bed with the oil and gas industry.”
    more at the link
     
  19. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Yet many still say Biden is doing nothing about high oil prices.
     
  20. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Trust the process
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    amazing how nothing is happening in the United States at all

    The Battery That Flies
    A new aircraft being built in Vermont has no need for jet fuel. It can take off and land without a runway. Amazon and the Air Force are both betting on it. So who will be in the cockpit?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/16/business/beta-electric-airplane.html
     
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