Monday, November 10, 2014

The Montreal Solution

There has been an ethically lacking attempt by the usual suspects, Lomborg, Pielke, the Breakthrough folk and now Matt Ridley to claim that coal is necessary for the developing world to prosper and we will all be so rich in the future that doing nothing now about climate change does not matter.  It is interesting that those who care not a fig for the poor spend so much time arguing for their right to burn coal, but, quite obviously this is merely a ruse to allow some world class greenie bashing.

It is a mistake to allow this to go unchallenged and indeed it is easy to show how threadbare it is.  Even Twitter has enough characters to call it out.

First, climate change underway today mostly hurts the poor. It is clear that any assessment shows that the countries that are going to be most hurt by climate change are the poorest countries. Every attempt at an integrated assessment model, the IPCC reports and more shows this.  By opposing immediate action on climate change Lomborg, Pileke and Ridley are hurting the poorest.

Second, fossil fuel as an energy source is characterized by relatively low capital costs and high operational costs. Wind, solar, hydro and nuclear the reverse. If fools like Lomborg and Ridley really wanted to help the poors they would be advocating for donation by the developed world to carry those initial capital costs and increased energy efficiency so the poors were not subject to eternal thralldom under the coal and oil industry.

Third, a point made by Stephan Gardiner that the claims about the sweet bye and bye are merely pious hopes that larger economy will allow future generations to deal with an exacerbated climate problem.  If climate change limits economic growth, there is no larger economy, and even if there is a larger economy, it may not be enough to deal with the chaos associated with climate disruption. The Dark Ages in Europe were not nearly as pleasant as Roman times.

But Eli is a generous bunny so consider, if you will, their argument that coal is necessary for development and it would be unethical to oppose development of the poorest nations. Well, if this were 1800 perhaps, but let us concede it just to be nice. The Montreal Protocols under which freons were phased out provide a fine solution, the developed world goes first, drops coal like a hot rock right now and the underdeveloped and developing world follow on at a later time.

Now some, not Eli to be sure, might suspect that the tears being whined for the poor developing countries not being able to use coal are a beard but that would not be nice, would it.

As to the costs of coal, consider China which is moving as fast as it can away from coal because of the half MILLION deaths each year from air pollution and here are some picture postcards .

36 comments:

KR said...

I would be far more impressed by the crocodile tears if these folks had been pushing for increased aid to the poor; supplying monies for improved Third World cookstoves, water purification, vaccines, or for actual power generation, _before and separate from_ finding it a convenient distraction in climate discussions.

But no - the poor get invoked as a red herring to avoid mitigation policies they are ideologically opposed to. It's a false black/white dichotomy of choices, made worse by the apparent lack of _actual_ intentions of aiding the poor. I cannot express my disgust for these tactics strongly enough without vulgarity.

Lars Karlsson said...

I would go even further and say that the more coal we in wealthy countries burn, the less will there be for people in poor countries to burn.
People like Lomborg, if they really cared about the poor, ought to argue that us rich people should stop burning poor people's coal. But they are essentially arguing for the opposite of that.

And of course, the rest of the biosphere will not get any protection out of our future larger economy.

Bob Loblaw-mouse. said...

In looking at the arguments from Lomborg and Pielke, I'm reminded of the many years of arguing about trade sanctions for South Africa, and how it would hurt the oppressed majority more than anyone else.

It's also reminiscent of standard marketing techniques where you sell the magic mop or ink-jet printer or whatever at a loss, and make profit on the locked-in consumables. "Here, kid. Take a few hits of heroin for free. It's on the house - let me know if you want more."

Anonymous said...

Eli is stealing bandwidth every time he hot links an image like the crocodile tears one above.

John Mashey said...

Sayeth The Economist:
Grid unlocked
American utilities mimic the tech industry to make systems more resilient
.

Fernando Leanme said...

I take it you support my proposal to build 60 nuclear plants in Africa?

Russell Seitz said...

To anonymous , wasting our bandwidth is a way of life.

Why can't he get a gravatar like a good reptile?
Even gekkos have them nowadays.

Shub said...

Russell, did you even understand the 'wasting bandwidth' question?

adelady said...

Bob Loblaw-mouse
"It's also reminiscent of standard marketing techniques where you sell the magic mop or ink-jet printer or whatever at a loss, and make profit on the locked-in consumables."

That's how I see the usual model of housing developments and the dwellings within them. Build cheap, build quick, pay no attention to energy or water use-conservation-retention-production.

As long as there's power and water connected in one form or another, expect the occupier to pay avoidable expenses of a habitable dwelling - forever. As long as you can pave a road, no need to think about the time, effort and resources needed for people to travel for work or any other purpose - forever.

The fact that better design, even without additional expense, would reduce or eliminate those costs is not a consideration.

MinniesMum

Everett F Sargent said...

So, err, who pays to build all those power plants in all those eternally poor nations?

So, err, who pays all those subsequent utility bills, because the eternally poor will be eternally unable to pay said bills?

http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/powerless/

Russell Seitz said...

Shub, your authority figure put forth the best summary of the contrarian position on climate science in 1928 :

WE LIVE ON A PLACID ISLAND OF IGNORANCE IN THE MIDST OF THE BLACK SEAS OF INFINITY, AND IT WAS NOT MEANT THAT WE SHOULD VOYAGE FAR<

He also gave fiar warning of the fate that awaits them in the light of further research:
The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality...that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."

H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu

Bryson said...

Where does this fantasy of economics uber alles come from? Economic growth forever, no worries mate, growth through drought and sea level rise, growth through heat wave and crop failure and ocean acidification, growth through worst-case scenarios as well as best, growth inevitable and undeniable even as critical resources are exhausted and destroyed... Somehow I think this could only be true in fever dreams of greed and self-regard.

Anonymous said...

"wasting bandwidth" is not the same as "stealing it"

If I pay for the bandwidth for access to my website, then I am entitled to waste it as I please (have others use it when they visit my site)

But when someone hot links to images on my site, they are stealing the bandwidth, not merely wasting it.

But stealing bandwidth aside, what is most lame about what Eli is doing is that he is quite purposefully circumventing the legalities of copyright in order to use someone else's image(s) without their permission and/or without compensating them for it.

It doesn't violate the letter of copyright law, but it violates the spirit.

If I put my photos (or cartoons, or other images) online on my website, I don't think it is too much to expect that people won't hotlink them to their own sites.

When people do that, it's just plain low.

Pathetic, really.

Russell Seitz said...

Anon, I''ve heard better arguments from gekkos:

if you don't want people to access the images you volunteer on your website, it too much to expect you to use the public access preferences pane of your browser ?

Hank Roberts said...

> 60 nuclear plants in Africa

That fits the plan -- roads and transmission line rights of way are what's needed to break up the forest and expose the continent to the macerating effects of market pricing and the bush meat trade. And of course you'll need the roads to haul waste to the dumps.

That path will avoid the risk of development of small local renewable power systems, village by village, with, oh, maybe a heli pad and aerostat mooring to serve long distance transport, leaving jungle and forest all around in all directions to go on making new wildlife endlessly, as it has the habit of doing when not stripmined.

We can't hardly have that. Nature's not worth anything until it's cut down to size and haulable.

Anonymous said...

A Seitz with no compunctions? What a surprise.

But I would think better of Eli.

Anonymous said...

Russell says: "if you don't want people to access the images you volunteer on your website, it too much to expect you to use the public access preferences pane of your browser ?"

My browser??

Really Russell?

ha ha ha ha ha


Next time, think a little before you write it down (but only if you don't want to appear to be a total idiot).

There are indeed ways of preventing hot-linking (hint: it has to do with the server), but you, my dear Russell, have no effing clue what you are talking about.

And why should I or anyone else have to act to prevent Eli from doing something that he should not be doing (even according to Blogger's own policy)

Russell Seitz said...

Anon, making your blog inaccessable would be a win-win outcome any way you don't look at it !

BBD said...

Dear Anon.

If you want to defend the vile hypocrisy of mitigation sceptics, then do so.

Show some backbone.

Trolling simply underscores that you are a coward as well as an apologist for sickening behaviour.

Pekka Pirilä said...

IEA has just released it World Energy Outlook 2014. One of the three main parts of this years report is Africa Energy Outlook. I picked from there IEA's estimates on levelised costs of electricity in sub-Saharan Africa:

http://pirila.fi/energy/kuvat/AfricaEleCosts.png

and

http://pirila.fi/energy/kuvat/AfricaEleCosts2.png

Under some conditions solar PV is already the lowest cost of solution, and IEA expects that its potential for cost reduction is better than for the alternatives. The costs of all solutions vary, however, strongly depending on the local conditions and on the nature of the use of electricity.

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous BBD

My comments about about stealing bandwidth" have nothing to do with climate change, on which I happen to accept the scientific consensus.

So your comment is just dumb.

And if you wish to defend "stealing bandwidth", then you belong in the same category as Seitz.

Perhaps you even believe a browser setting can prevent it as he does.

Ha Ha has ha.



Anonymous said...

Russell says "Anon, making your blog inaccessable would be a win-win outcome any way you don't look at it !"

Dearest Russell

The mechanism I referred to above for dealing with hot-links does **not** make a blog or other website "inaccessible". If you visit the blog or website, it (inclding all its images) appear just as they would normally

Once again, you have shown your ignorance.

I suggested this above, but you really need to start thinking (and educate yourself a little) before you write anything more on a subject about which you are obviously completely clueless.

But maybe as a Harvard prof you don't need to worry about looking like an idiot, eh?

BBD said...

Dear troll

It's pseudonymous, cretin. You are anonymous.

My comments about about stealing bandwidth" have nothing to do with climate change, on which I happen to accept the scientific consensus.

I think you are a liar as well as an anonymous, trolling coward. But it's hard to tell, since you are an anon.

Anonymous said...

You identify yourself as "BBD" and don't consider yourself "anonymous"?

Ha Ha ha ha.

That must be because it is so easy to find BBD in the online phone listings

You can believe whatever you want to believe -- and apparently do.

That does not make it so.

And as a far as "trolling," I don't think the word means what you think it does.

I made a perfectly reasonable and justifiable comment about the FACT that Eli is "stealing bandwidth" and instead of addressing that Russell and then you attacked me for it (with the clear implication that you are defending what Eli is doing)

If you want to see a troll, you should really look in the mirror.

If I am an anonymous trolling coward, then you must be an "anonymous, trolling, cowardly bandwidth-stealer apologist"

BBD said...

I am identifiable to other commenters and blog owners alike because I use a consistent pseudonym. You are merely an anonymous cretin who doesn't understand basic English definitions.

Now, stop trolling this thread. Not another irrelevant word about bandwidth.

Comment substantively on the vile hypocrisy of the mitigation sceptics. Either you condemn their behaviour wrt claims of 'hurting the poor', or you condone it.

Which is it? Speak.

Magma said...

Trolling plays several roles. It amuses the troll, annoys readers, fills up space in a thread and breaks the continuity of discussion, and wastes the time and energy of those who respond to it.

Since there is no known "Please prove you're not a troll" captcha, it comes down to reader discipline (DNFTT) or site moderation.

Anonymous said...

Under some conditions solar PV is already the lowest cost of solution

At night, PV always has the highest unit costs.


Waldo

Anonymous said...

magma

I do not find Eli's bandwidth theft amusing in the least. It may not be illegal, but it is certainly unethical (something Eli likes to harp on others about)

And I certainly did not point that out so that I could be attacked by a couple of Eli's pathetic, rabid apologists.

BBD said...

This is where we find out how dishonest the AnonyTroll is. Strike one against the troll for dodging the question.

Repeat question:

Comment substantively on the vile hypocrisy of the mitigation sceptics. Either you condemn their behaviour wrt claims of 'hurting the poor', or you condone it.

Which is it?

Anonymous said...

BBD

I don't normally respond when monkeys like yourself make fascist "show of loyalty" demands, but for the record, I have always considered people like Pielke, Lomborg and Co to be liars who basically use the poor as an excuse to do nothing. Lomborg has been playing that game since Skeptical Environmentalist.

But of course, an ass like you will not accept that because, well you're ass.

C'est la vie

BBD said...

You get the treatment you deserve, Anon.

Suck it up.

Anonymous said...

yeh, I guess when one criticizes the rabbit Lord one should just expect to be attacked by one of the rabid rabbits who guard the hutch.

Makes perfect sense.

Thanks for explaining why you're such an ass, BBD

It's clearly the pheromones that Eli emits that make you do it.


Hank Roberts said...

If we had killfile installed here, would it help at all? (Is there anything unique that killfile could use?)

Anonymous said...

If you include in the killfile (which can be client-said, by the way) terms like "troll", "anonytroll", "coward", "liar", "cretin", "killfile" etc, you can probably screen out most of the vacuous comments on this blog.

Anonymous said...

irony intentional, by the way: :-)

neverendingaudit said...

> It doesn't violate the letter of copyright law, but it violates the spirit.

Are you a Supreme court anonymous rabbit, by any chance? Copyright issues have been solved a while ago:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inline_linking#Copyright_law_issues_that_inline_linking_raises