Wednesday, October 14, 2015

bullshit emissions targets and carbon pricing

Distinguishing a real solution from a false solution is actually very complicated

There are a couple of superb articles out involving the challenges, and economics, of addressing greenhouse gas emissions.

Some quotes from We Need an Energy Miracle in the Atlantic (an interview with Bill Gates):
  • Distinguishing a real solution from a false solution is actually very complicated.
  • ...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.
  • People think energy is more of a private-sector thing than it is.
  • ... 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...
  • 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.
Graphic from Nature

The second article is from Nature, written by David J. C. MacKay (writer of the highly regarded Climate Change Without the Hot Air).

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

ON bees and IWTs

Two things from the web - one sort of about bees, and one sort of about the financial benefits of Ontario's industrial wind turbine policies.

The National Post has an article by Mark Brock, Chairman of the Grain Farmers of Ontario, on the implication for his group of the MPP from Toronto Centre having studied up on the threat to bees from neonics by watching one entire TED talk.

Ontario’s neonics nightmare:
Following months of building anger, confusion and uncertainty in rural Ontario, farmers are now getting ready to place their initial seed orders for the 2016 planting season, without knowing what they will be able to plant. This is because of the Wynne government’s decision to side with special interest groups, who have a deeper issue with modern agriculture, by heavily restricting access to a critical crop management tool for corn and soybean farmers. 
Environment Minister Glen Murray has defended a truly unworkable regulation and provided a series of unhelpful and inflammatory comments to the debate, before punting the issue back to Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal, who responds to questions about corn and soybean seeds by discussing the importance of supply management for dairy and poultry products.