Saturday, July 08, 2017

Sounding very sensible

John Quiggin's article in The Guardian this week sounded very sensible to me, in a "big picture" kind of way.


Anonymous said...

The renewball quota is working a treat.

Australia is entering the “realm of third world countries” with residential power disconnections rising by as much as 140 per cent in six years and the average household paying more than double what it did a decade ago to keep the lights on.

Australian Energy Regulator figures reveal almost 60,000 households are on electricity hardship payments and another 151,862 customers are on electricity payment plans.

Escalating consumers’ pain, electricity prices increased up to 20 per cent last weekend and Victoria yesterday introduced emissions restrictions that would prevent even the cleanest coal-fired power.

Meanwhile 1600 new coal plants are slate to be built over the next decade.

Steve said...

I always take those figures with more than a grain of salt. There is much talk from the same organisation that complies those figures about how China and India in particular are holding back on previously planned coal power plants - and especially in a country like China, the tap can be turned off very quickly indeed.

But, as usual, you would have read one article by a denialist/lukewarmer source about how it's all hopeless to do anything about coal or CO2, and you'll believe it.

Anonymous said...

More Ad hom without a shed of evidence.

Steve said...

JC, to be honest, you aren't really worth arguing with, because you present claims as if they are self evidently true and show not a hint of skepticism towards them.

The power station claim came from a climate change denialism group, GWPF, using figures from a group that does want coal to stop being used, and which actually reads the situation in an optimistic way. As I said, it's clear that in many countries, they can put a rapid stop to plans for power stations, so talking about how many may come in the next decade is not a reliable sign of how many will eventuate and become operational.

You also have no concept of why richer countries should lead by example, if they have the ability to do so. Because the libertarian impulse has too much selfishness built into it.

Anonymous said...

So the NYTimes is now a denialist organization? Really?

When China halted plans for more than 100 new coal-fired power plants this year, even as President Trump vowed to “bring back coal” in America, the contrast seemed to confirm Beijing’s new role as a leader in the fight against climate change.

But new data on the world’s biggest developers of coal-fired power plants paints a very different picture: China’s energy companies will make up nearly half of the new coal generation expected to go online in the next decade.

These Chinese corporations are building or planning to build more than 700 new coal plants at home and around the world, some in countries that today burn little or no coal, according to tallies compiled by Urgewald, an environmental group based in Berlin. Many of the plants are in China, but by capacity, roughly a fifth of these new coal power stations are in other countries.

Over all, 1,600 coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries, according to Urgewald’s tally, which uses data from the Global Coal Plant Tracker portal. The new plants would expand the world’s coal-fired power capacity by 43 percent.

The fleet of new coal plants would make it virtually impossible to meet the goals set in the Paris climate accord, which aims to keep the increase in global temperatures from preindustrial levels below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Electricity generated from fossil fuels like coal is the biggest single contributor globally to the rise in carbon emissions, which scientists agree is causing the Earth’s temperatures to rise.

Steve said...

Meh - some environmentalists are pointing this out so as to encourage political and investment action to push pressure on companies and governments to cut back on the planned builds. (And I would like to know whether the estimate of the expansion of coal generated power includes the retirement of old plants. See what I am doing there - being a bit skeptical of how some environmentalists are painting this.)

People like you are arguing that there is no hope and we should get on board too and build our own coal.

It's very kind of you to emphasize where political and investment campaigns should concentrate to reduce CO2.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, so we're going from ad hom to a backed handed acknowledgement.That's progress I guess.

Steve said...

Nothing changes from what I first wrote - I am skeptical of arguments about the number of planned new coal power plants, because planning doesn't necessarily mean finishing.

Denialist groups like GWPF use it as an argument against doing anything; some environmental activists use the same numbers to try to ensure something is done. They both have motivation to take the top number as if it is concrete, but, despite what the NYT reporter said, and some of the people he quoted, other environmental activists are optimistic that coal reductions can continue.

It would take some effort, and the opposite of your attitude, though.