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Climate Concerns Are Pushing Oil Majors to Look Beyond Fossil Fuels (scientificamerican.com)
92 points by oblib 32 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 85 comments



I recall 10 years ago when an oil & gas company was in the process of re-branding themselves and wants to call them "The Energy Company" given that the thrust for organizations and governments were geared towards reduction of greenhouse emissions caused by fossil fuels. This was also promoted heavily by environmentalists and climate change advocates who have added to the mounting pressure that these companies have to tackle. Not to discount as well the heavy tax burdens for these companies to operate.

But the sheer reality is that whilst there is technology available to harness these clean sources (solar, wind, wave, etc.), these companies cannot easily abandon the investment that they already have in terms of infrastructure, process and technology in the extraction of current sources. It goes alongside that the demand for fuel fossils is in essence a never-ending demand that needs to be supplied, for which supplying them makes a lot of business sense.

Look around the street corner and count the number of vehicles that rely on traditional energy source (gas, diesel) as opposed to the vehicles that require other form of energy (electric). The ratio is probably 100:1. Even with the advancements in the field of being able to fully harness the energy provided by fossil fuels (and thereby minimizing consumption), it is still a stark reality that the demand for it is there.

Oil companies are certainly looking beyond fossil fuels, but until there is an actual business incentive to go full thrust on renewable energy vs gas/diesel/fossil fuels, then the latter is here to stay in the long run.


>Look around the street corner and count the number of vehicles that rely on traditional energy source (gas, diesel) as opposed to the vehicles that require other form of energy (electric). The ratio is probably 100:1

The experts say that around 2012-2025 EV's are going to become cheaper than ICE's, and the market is going to shift radically. The oil companies are looking to the future.


Yes, I do agree that the shift will happen soon. Radical? Maybe, depends on the technology and progress made towards it.

But you can never discount as well that vehicle manufacturers are also researching / innovating on ways to make their ICE's more efficient. Again, you cannot simply throw away the investments that car manufacturers have thrown into making their gas (or diesel) dependent vehicles.


Again, you cannot simply throw away the investments that car manufacturers have thrown into making their gas (or diesel) dependent vehicles.

The market could do exactly that, just as it decided to throw away investments in film cameras, vacuum tubes, CRT monitors, steam engines, etc.


oops, that should be 2023-2025


For reference, ExxonMobile controls 70 BILLION barrels of oil. That's 70 billion * $70 ~= $5 trillion at current prices. On top of this, most years, their reserves increase, not decrease.

No company is going to walk away from $5,000,000,000,000 in potential revenue unless the margins are very negative.


Reserves Vs reserves recoverable are different in addition it's boe ie gas reserves also converted to oil. So N* 70 won't work. Wall Street ain't dumb when it comes to estimating stock prices. ExxonMobil RRR has been struggling for a while


1)Your wrong, they have 28billion barrels equivalent in proven reserves

2)they make more than that because they're vertically integrated


I don't want to be "that guy", but if you're both going to disagree over the figures maybe some citations would be helpful.

i.e.

http://www.petroleum.co.uk/exxon-mobil

> ExxonMobil has oil reserves equivalent to 72 billion barrels. It also owns 37 refineries in 21 countries, making it the largest refiner of crude in the world with a capacity of 6.3 million barrels per day.


I work at KOC (Kuwait Oil Company) which is like one of the biggest producers of oil second to Saudi aramco in the region! Recently the whole oil sector in Kuwait is pushing an strategy where most of the electricity consumed by all the oil companies in the country is going to come from solar. But the cynic in me thinks that it has more to do with cost and adhering to worldwide standards than environmental reasons

Please note that this is personal opinion


The solar resources in Kuwait are exceptional--this may be more about pragmatic cost optimization than anything else. With the falling cost of solar, if they can save the oil that would otherwise be used for operations and then sell it, I imagine they come out ahead.

The irony is that the same forces creating this profit opportunity for them will eventually lead their customers to seek new energy sources as well, and shrink their market.


Right. Their margins on oil are far better than most anyone down the supply chain. If people couldn't get enough of my banana art, I'd stop eating them as a snack and go for an apple instead.

Full disclosure, I don't like bananas, and no one is buying my banana art.


I have noticed it does not take long for solar panels in Kuwait to be coated in layers of dust. Does this reduce efficiency by any measurable amount?


Yes, the loss is quite significant, and of course dependent on how much dust has accumulated. The effect is worse in countries near the equator, as the panels are installed with a lesser tilt. 70% losses have been reported in some studies.

See eg; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S136403211...


Yes, the effect is significant. But there are robots specifically designed for frequent, water-free cleanings in dusty regions:

https://www.ecoppia.com/


These companies are responsible for creating a catastrophe on a global scale. We might literally go extinct because of them. All their assets should be seized to repair the damage, and people responsible should be tried for crimes against humanity.


If you seriously believe that, then you are equally guilty of crimes against humanity for being an accomplice to these acts with your consumption of their products. After all, they haven't forced you to buy their goods.


You're right to an extent. We're all complicit in how our society functions. However, we also have limited options to change things as individuals. I do what I can to minimize my environmental footprint, I walk to work, I don't buy things I don't need, I vote, and I try to educate people. At the end of the day it's like blaming the hostage though, because I don't get to choose how the society functions.

Meanwhile, the idea that this problem can be solved by individual efforts is laughable. To address these issues we need to fundamentally restructure our society. The idea of constant growth and consumerism is incompatible with our long term survival.


Many can agree that society needs to change. The important questions are how does it need to change, and what is a viable path of creating such change? Politically, we can't do something that would lower our quality of life en masse, which limits our options with regards to this issue.


And this is why we're likely going to go extinct. We consistently choose short term comfort over our long term viability as a species. The climate catastrophe is a perfect example of this. Nowadays, most people recognize that it's a problem and that it will likely impact them in significant ways in the future, but they are unwilling to sacrifice anything in the short term to tackle it. Perhaps it's time to consider the fact that humans are just not viable long term. Most species that ever existed went extinct, and it looks like we're not going to be an exception. The only difference is that we're going to go extinct knowingly.


Oil industries have the financial resources to influence policy, public opinion, economics and business practices. Individuals do not.

Blaming the consumer for buying bad shit when there is not only no equivalent on the market, but an active campaign to supress any alternatives is simply being dishonest.

And I am forced to buy their products. I need my car to get to work. I can't afford an electric vehicle. If I don't work, I can't have a home or eat. Thus my choice becomes: consume oil or die.


> I need my car to get to work.

For the past 7 years, I've been able to walk/bike/take the bus to work instead of the car. And this isn't even in a walkable urbanist utopia.

You chose to live and work in places that require a car to get to work. You probably eliminated all the options that would have enabled you to not use a car, and society does not make it easy to make that choice. But that choice still does exist.

This is the problem with the rhetoric that seeks to place the entire blame for our fossil-fuel dependence on Big Oil: it ignores the fact that most of those lifestyle decisions were made without the influence of the oil industry, and often in pursuit of other goals. It wasn't Standard Oil who said "gee, let's decamp people from the inner cities into these large sprawls of white-picket-fence housing tracts"--that was real estate developers who pushed for that. Nor did Standard Oil cause the decline of streetcars, commuter rail, and interurban rail service: that was a vicious ridership/profit death spiral, somewhat helped by GM specifically but more heavily caused by an overregulated rail industry in comparison to the underregulated private automotive transit.

There's a lot of blame to go around. Don't pretend that we, as a general society, deserve none of it.


Individual actions like driving or biking to work are drops in the bucket, basically insignificant. We know that 100 companies cause 70% of the pollution on this planet. We know their names, and the names of those who decide their strategies and policies. There's no need for this amorphous "its all of society" crap.


You being able to take a bus to work does not mean that the majority of people in America can as well. A large number of jobs are filled by people who cannot afford to live anywhere but in a different city than where their employer is located. This was not their choice, because they didn't choose to layout housing and real estate markets in a way that causes this.

You're making my point for me. The individual has little culpability in oil consumption when their homes are built far away from their jobs due to real estate developers. Nor are they culpable for not taking public transit when those systems are utterly eroded by private interests. It may not have been big oils direct actions that led to these conditions, but that doesn't change the fact that the individuals who live under them can be blamed for living under them. Sure, I guess we can give them some flak for not changing the conditions by rising up and seizing control of the resources that make their conditions so existentially dire, but then, that's exactly what the original op was saying.


I'm reminded of this interview with someone dealing with the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide: http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/179425163901/there-was-a...

When crimes are perpetrated by extremely large numbers of people, you can't punish them all. You have to limit yourself to punishing the organizers, and forgive the rest. In this case, the organizers are the leaders in the fossil fuel industry.

And it's not true that consumers are equally guilty as fossil fuel executives. More than 70% of global emissions come from just 100 companies: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/jul/10... The blame should be concentrated at the top, even if we are all somewhat guilty.


Fertilizer, medicine,. Roads, clothes are all made due to oil. Pretty much no substitute available at base feedstock level.


Should be possible to have crimes against life.


Humans will not go extinct even in the worst version of global warming. I really hate this hyperbole because it's easily disproven and simply gives fuel to deniers. Please don't use such hyperbole.


> Humans will not go extinct even in the worst version of global warming.

This is not true.

Here is a plausible scenario for complete human extinction due to excess CO2 in the atmosphere and oceans:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12576-016-0501-...


If it's easily disproven; please do so.

For me it's just a matter of time until the damage of our predatory overcultivation catches up with us in a systemic and global ecosystem collapse. There's only so much damage an ecosystem can absorb before it gives in and there are quite some indications (i.e. the "Insect Apocalypse") that we are reaching the tipping point. Just think about it; how can an ecosystem support humans, if it can't support insects anymore? And I'm not only talking about flying insects but everything in our agricultural support system; e.g. soil.

Again; please disprove the 'hyperbole', I'd be really glad.


How is this being downvoted? The "Chicken Little" sky is falling approach is beyond ridiculous. The atmosphere has had a lot more CO2 than current levels in previous eras, like 5 times as much in the Jurassic era, for example.

https://www.livescience.com/44330-jurassic-dinosaur-carbon-d...

In fact it's the plant matter from this very era that created oil in the first place...


We don't really know the conditions in which humanity would go extinct instead of just regressing to a mad max style remnant subsisting on edge of starvation. (Well, minus the cars obviously) Certainly the arrival of a jurassic style climate and quick disappearance of preconditions of agriculture, combined with quick extinction of human-huntable animals, cutting down forests for firewood, mixed in with wars (nuclear holocaust?) might trigger a very long period of civilization collapse. Why is not extinction a possibility?


Because we evolved intelligence and developed electricity, motors, greenhouses, etc. We have all the world's knowledge accessible from just a few clicks from anywhere on the planet. We have massive communication networks for coordinating efforts to stave off events.

I think shy of a meteor hitting the planet, we'll be fine. We still might suffer big consequences, if sea levels rise too much and whole cities get displaced, but extinction is not even within 1/10th of a percent of chance of happening.


I guess a lot depends on your outlook on how well organized society will hold up. It provides the platform by which specialization of experts and industrial production of your proffered items can be sustained. There's a lot of higher order effects that are not obvious when you consider just the immediate effects of scarcity, famines, wars etc. Remember that all the recent places in danger of local collapse have been propped back up by the rest of the world because the troubles have been local.

Hisory has many lessons of civilizations collapsing, you might read up on Jared Diamond's Collapse or Joseph Tainter's earlier work. A lot of these past civilizations had all the ingredients to make it, but ended up destroying themselves.


That sounds like a very reasonable scenario.

I'm going to cry in the darkness now.


We sure will when our food chain collapses.


Nuclear. It's the only thing beyond fossil fuels. If we want to somehow retain our standards of living.


Solar, wind, and storage can do the job, too. Storage is tricky, but it can surely be done with enough R&D.

And nuclear isn't a magic wand. We either need to suck it up and use plants that can fully burn the fuel (by reprocessing or otherwise) to eliminate long-term waste or we need to come up with something useful to do with the long-term waste. The USA has failed pretty badly on the latter, and the former needs engineering and, as I understand it, some degree of willingness to accept increased proliferation risks.


We either need to suck it up and use plants that can fully burn the fuel (by reprocessing or otherwise) to eliminate long-term waste or we need to come up with something useful to do with the long-term waste.

This is what I always thought, but... is that really necessary for nuclear power to play a valuable role in minimizing global warming? Ruining a few places on the planet (even the occasional large area such as Chernobyl) seems far preferable to global warming with the attendant disruptions to agriculture and political and economic stability.

There are better choices than nuclear power, but if we can reduce carbon emissions faster by augmenting them with nuclear power for the next century or so (preferring cleaner choices when we can, but preferring nuclear over fossil fuels) then I don't see why it isn't worth the downsides many times over.


I mean sure, if you were King of the world, you could just decide that it's worth the risk...

The problem is not what, the problem is how.

We already have plenty imaginary solutions, if we spend enough money, we can do the nuclear, do the wind, solar, water. We have the resources, and I believe we have the knowledge and r&d capacity to make up for any gaps.

I don't have anything else to add, I don't know what else I can do, I get that the technology is not impossible nor utopic... But the sudden switch required by our civilizations and societies surely does look utopic...

...


Nuclear is not imaginary. And waste is not the horror it’s made out to be. Radiation intensity drops off quickly. Nuclear is a realistic, short term turn around from oil.

We could quickly replace the worlds largest, dirtiest shipping container ships with nuclear vessels and make a significant cut in emissions.


Is there any hope beyond developing nuclear (fission / fusion) tech for this world to sustain 10 billion humans consuming as much energy as an average Californian?[0]

As the gp said, the objective is maintaining and improving our quality of life. I don't know if solar/wind + storage can do that[1].

[0] Ok, "maybe" this is a high bar, but the point is: unless it gets too cheap to measure, energy will be scarce for large swathes of the world population [1] I honestly don't know. Any pointers to how much energy per capita would be produced in peak renewable?


In a world where everyone consumes as much energy as the average Californian, the average wealth everywhere will be decently high.


https://www.eia.gov/state/rankings/

California: 199 million BTU per capita per year [0] -- 210 gigajoules. Multiplied by 10 billion, that's 2100 exajoules per year (2.1 * 10^21 joules). That's equivalent to steady yearlong consumption of 67 terawatts.

This was the first open-access article I found about global solar generation potential:

https://journals.aau.dk/index.php/sepm/article/view/1218/115...

It states "The current global solar potential technically available was estimated at about 613 PWh/y." That's 70 terawatts. So there is technically enough potential from solar alone, but it would be a tight squeeze. There are also some countries that cannot meet even annualized needs this way because they are densely populated and located in areas with relatively poor solar resources. Belgium and the Netherlands, for example.

Note also that the article says nothing about storage. Storage is the biggest question mark hanging over proposals to fully decarbonize without using nuclear technology. Early news from utility-scale storage implementations is encouraging but there is still a very long way to go.

Finally, note that commercial nuclear power too would have to undergo radical transformations to deliver a steady 67 terawatts of electricity. Breeder reactors would be necessary. Currently there is 1 breeder reactor in the world large enough for commercial electricity production [1]. The proposed follow-up design to this reactor is now on indefinite hold [2]. It would take a bit over 76,000 BN-800 reactors to generate 67 terawatts. The world currently has fewer than 500 operating power reactors.

As a general principle, you should treat any proposed miracle-solution that "just needs a few years of engineering work" with extreme skepticism, whether the claimed miracle is a much better battery or a much better reactor. Most of them die between the press release and the factory floor.

[0] Primary energy, not energy available to do work. But to avoid nitpicking I'm just going to do it The Hard Way and assume 1:1 joule replacement with electricity from non-combustion sources.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BN-800_reactor

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BN-1200_reactor


> It states "The current global solar potential technically available was estimated at about 613 PWh/y." That's 70 terawatts. So there is technically enough potential from solar alone, but it would be a tight squeeze.

The study seems to be using very modest assumptions about how much area can be fitted with solar cells (0% in urban areas??), so I think the conclusion should be that there is enough technical potential from solar alone, and it is not a particularly tight squeeze.


I'd prefer to move to a world where fuel costs (extraction, refining, transportation, pollution, toxins, ...) move asymptotically toward zero. The sun generates the energy, with huge surpluses. Anyone who wishes to can just collect, store and distribute it. Until the sun goes red.

Where will all of that saved money go? These chaps see it going into the same old pockets, and so naturally they're racing to get their fingers in the pie. I'd prefer to see all that saved money invested in all life on our planet.


The problem is education. Most people are afraid of the word "nuclear," reacting with knee-jerk fear and dismissal. Most people don't understand how radiation works or the difference between different kinds of waste.

Even people who have a reputation for "knowing better" spread misinformation, like John Oliver, who did a video on nuclear power with a bit essentially saying, "Look at all this nuclear waste we have! It covers a whole football field to three stories!" Without any context of other waste from solar panel manufacturing, or even easy ones like the X billion tons of particulate matter we breathe out of the coal plants.

The other problem is humans are famously bad at estimating risk, combined with the "everything is a profit-investment" mindset we all have. When people say "nuclear is so expensive" what they really mean is "it's hard to turn a profit before twenty years, I want my money back sooner than that, lets build some more gas wells."

We need some kind of national organization, with lots of capital, to take on the initial financial risk and spread it around so no one person is left on the hook in a life-destroying way. Imagine if that organization had a department with decades nuclear operations experience.

(I'm talking about the government, and the Navy, btw)


I was hoping to dig up some stats that showed nuclear is more popular than you might think, but...yeah, no. Based on this poll, it looks as though the Fukushima incident knocked ~10% off of public support for nuclear energy.

I wonder what the best way to shift the conversation on nuclear would be. In particular, I wish that environmentalists (and I consider myself one) would adopt a proper risk-based view of nuclear power.

[0] http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/05/14/energy-climate-appendi...


I took a course on Rhetoric and Public Policy at CMU. The topic that year was Nuclear Energy, and we had a fantastic mix of engineers, nuclear scientist PhD candidates, and humanities students. This was during the actual Fukushima crisis, I believe that Fall Semester.

It was very sobering going through and comparing the Fukushima writing to writing from the 70s. It's been a long time since the course, but I'm not surprised by the results whatsoever.


Assigning credit where it's due--it looks like the Union of Concerned Scientists and Nature Conservancy have recently changed their position on this:

https://www.apnews.com/1af69ea110484f8f9fe26b79559e4d88


We should rebrand it- people forget that the original name for an MRI scanner was an NMR scanner- nuclear magnetic resonance. Of course nuclear scared people so in response to patient concerns nuclear was dropped from the name and now people line up to stick their appendages in them. Instead of nuclear we should be saying 'Molten Salt Reactors' and similar accurate (but less scary) names for what we want to have built.


It always boils down to rebranding, doesn't it.


Comparing nuclear waste with other waste like those from manufacturing solar panels does not help. You don't need to build the facilities like the Yucca Moutain Project to contain the waste from making silicon chips. (Yes, comparing the waste from making silicon chips to solar panels makes more sense)


The never ending irony is that many of the people scared of nuclear are hippies that talk about how concerned with the environment they are.

Edit: ha, don’t be mad at me! I want nuclear, I care about the environment.


I agree. Outside of energy, we'll still need oil for asphalt, plastics and other synthetic materials. It doesn't seem like those needs are going away anytime soon.


Some of that oil can at least be substituted with other sources of hydrocarbons, especially natural gas (just like coal->ng): https://www.bcg.com/en-au/publications/2017/energy-environme...


Reality, Portugal and basic logic all beg to disagree.


>>Shell also bought a Dutch company called NewMotion, which makes chargers for electric cars in Europe. They can recharge a battery in 30 minutes.

Problem of charging electric cars solved! Existing gas stations will add 1-2-3-4...-X charges as needed.


30 minutes to charge still reduces the throughput of the gas station (because filling up with gasoline only requires 10 minutes not 30), meaning that now they'd have 1/3 of customers, meaning that they'd need to make their charging prices really high to make up for the lost revenue.


This is why I think Tesla's prototyping with the supercharger is so important.

A non-Tesla charging station would probably better look like a mall - you have customer's location for 20-30m, why not shop or get food?

Alternatively, many places of interest would have larger charge points and treat them as a revenue stream.

So the timing incompatibility of gas stations may mean they end. I think this is why oil companies are so against EVs - they destabilize their existing decades-built-out delivery network of gas stations unless/until we get charges down to 5m - which isn't likely soon.

I can't wait for these localized environmental disasters waiting to become superfund sites to be disbanded entirely.


They'll actually have 5% of the customers, because the other 95% percent will live in the area and have been charging their car at home all night.


Which means they would go out of business. Gas stations make pennies per gallon of gas at most; the bulk of their profit comes frim in-store purchases.


Which is weird. I buy something in the store less than once per year.


A brief search shows between 3-5 cents average markup in the US, which lines up with what I've been told from first hand sources, which means somewhere between one and two hundred dollars per day from gas sales.

That's definitely not enough income to keep a gas station afloat.


Gas stations make very little money on gasoline sales. They make far more on snacks and drinks. Having a more captive audience could make that a lot more lucrative.

Throughout also depends on how many spots too have. Chargers are relatively cheap and take less space than gas pumps, so they could make up for it with more spots as well.


On that topic: so why don't gas stations have vending machines at the pumps? To catch some of those high-margin sales when people pay at the pump.


Interesting thought. Some places play video ads while you wait. Selling snacks seems like it would be more profitable than that. Build it into the gas pump so one swipe of your card pays for it all.


They'll find the sweet spot...add more chargers (they can squeeze them differently,) increase prices or what not. The important thing is to have charges along the way like gasoline cars do, prices may vary :)


Looking at it the wrong way. The companies that should be adding chargers are the fast food joints. Pull into a McDonalds to charge up... might as well go in and grab a meal for the whole family. Use it as a loss leader.


Ditto supermarkets / malls / etc


ExxonMobile has ads in my Instagram and Facebook feeds almost daily showing ads for how plastics make the world better (ehhhh) and showing green tubes trying to look like they're making algal oil fuel and saving the world.


Many of the prevailing climate advocacy groups are heavily influenced & financed by the hegemonic oil interests. The strategy is control over markets. With carbon credit, a global (trans-national) governance, legal, & financial framework can be placed over a large percentage of the economy. Select companies, that have access to enough capital to adhere to compliance, can be deemed "good corporations" & get preferential treatment in their respective markets, shutting out small entities that don't have access to large capital.

Notice that localized movements that focus on pollution prevention (e.g. reducing pollution in a watershed) are often de-emphasized, unless there is strategic value to large players. Instead, the call is always for more centralization, into the hands of large capital. Citizen led local efforts are allowed to grow & be taken over by agents of these large interests, who then redirect the efforts of the local entity toward the goals (e.g. carbon credits) of the environmental hegemon.

The transition from fossil fuels does not hurt the owners of the oil companies, because these same entities are leading the transition. Instead they seek to use different technology, legal frameworks, & economic frameworks to consolidate & prolong their positions in the global world order.


They are trying to squeeze every last ounce of profit they can out of the carbon economy with the full knowledge that it must be dismantled within the next few decades. It’s a cynical game, externalizing the catastrophic costs of climate change on to billions of current and future people for the benefit of shareholders and executives, a tiny minority.


They are actually in control over the movement to "end" the carbon economy. It's relatively easy to measure, quantify, & tax carbon dioxide emissions. It's more difficult to be concerned over the plethora of industrial environmental toxins that affect local areas & ecosystems, such as lead, methane, cadmium, etc; which cut into the profits of many industries.

The carbon credit movement serves multiple purposes:

* to consolidate governance, legal, & market authority to a bureaucracy (which is controllable with capital)

* to create a carbon market that is exposed to financialization (derivative products)

* to distract attention of environmental activists away from environmental toxins (especially toxins that affect local areas which would affect profits)

* to create a barrier of entry for competing technologies, systems, & communities into the markets

* to create a movement of concerned people who believe in an ideology that they control

With the excessive fear re: CO2 emissions, the population is more willing to accept suggested measures (by these same hegemonic entities), to "solve" (via carbon markets) the "problem". Perception is reality...


While I agree that the fossil fuel industry is positioning itself to prosper in a post fossil fuel economy, I don’t believe that it is completely manufacturing the concern over climate change.


That's fine & I agree that the climate is changing. If you don't believe me re: the fossil fuel industry appropriating the "climate change" movement, look at who funds various studies & organizations that are major players in the dissemination of climate change science. There's a grain of truth, but these organizations seek to "get ahead of the story" so it can influence the population with a narrative of it's choosing.

Are you aware of the "grand solar minimum" which has recently begun? The sun will be emitting less heat, which will result in Earth having a lower temperature. Historically, this has led to significantly less crop yields, more ice, colder temperatures (especially is Europe and NE United States). Heightened warfare (due to resource limitation/competition) & Mass disease (e.g. the bubonic plague) are another consequence. Empires (e.g. Rome) have collapsed during periods of solar dimming, so be prepared; Winter is Coming!

While there may be some anthropomorphic global warming from CO2, it will not offset the reduction of heat from the Sun. Also note the plethora of other anthropomorphic effects which are not talked about as often, such as Atmospheric Aerosol Injection & weather modification technologies. Atmospheric Aerosol Injection uses sulfates, which increase the flammability of forests due to being highly flammable & killing/weakening vegetation. There's plenty of f*ckery that is not reported...


Here you are disproved: https://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=21

You're welcome.


Given the speculative, provincial, emerging, & cultural nature of scientific research, a scientific paper is not a proof. Given the aggressiveness & pervasiveness of the propaganda for certain teleological ideologies, I have my doubts as to the integrity of the processes & individuals involved. Time will tell what will happen. I'll place my bet & you can place your bet...

The record snowfall in Europe does not care about the scientific paper you posted; but I'm sure a scientist will write it off as the "wierding of weather", "obviously" based mainly on anthropomorphic carbon emissions. So you can still "debunk", via appeal to authority, anybody who doubts the scientific hegemony with another scientific paper.

An effective strategy, in the face of uncertainty & incomplete knowledge, is to track the possibility space & to keep optionality (and discussion) open.

Good luck...


So, if reality doesn't match my hypotesis I dissmiss reality?

By the way:

> The record snowfall in Europe does not care about the scientific paper you posted

Confussing climate with weather?


> You're still confussing weather with climate and an atmospheric phenomenon with global warming through CO2

I don't think I am. Let me clarify my position; I see CO2 as a potential factor in climate change, though it's not clear if reducing anthropomorphic CO2 levels will have a positive (or enough of a positive) impact to justify it's opportunity costs in economy, freedom, etc.

Another factor that is rarely discussed is plant growth. As CO2 increases, plant growth increases, which would sequester CO2. Less solar output would reduce plant growth, as would pollution, conventional monoculture till petro-chemical agriculture, habitat loss/ecosystem collapse, among other factors.

I think we would get more bang for the buck if we focus on local/distributed initiatives such as regenerative polyculture agriculture, localized permaculture solutions, water/ground/air pollution, & embrace the complexities of ecosystems. Pesticide usage should be reduced in favor of using natural solutions (such as predators). Putting on the blinders to only legislate CO2 levels is a mistake, rife with unintended consequences & opportunity costs.

Local solutions requires localities, individuals, & nature to be empowered, opposed to a reliance on centralized entities & technology. Local/distributed mindsets accounts for the qualitative complexities of nature whilst centralized entities seek simplistic quantitative one-size-fits-all metrics to drive bureaucratic policy; which explains why a simplistic measurement (CO2) is an attractive boogie man to our climate issues.

Even our discussions are dumbed down due to the obsession over CO2 (a singular quantifiable "cause"), because the possibility space of both causes & solutions are constrained...


There is scientific consensus that reducing antropogenic CO2 is /the/ mayor contributor to global climate change. There are other factors, but unless we tackle CO2, they don't really matter. Besides; there's very little we can do about volcanic forcing.

The 'obsession' with CO2 you identify is the 'obsession' of a brain surgeon with the aneurysm that's going to kill her patient.


The obsession I'm mentioning is based one's worldview & presuppositions...How we reify & approach the problems determine the solutions. Appeal to authority will ensure policies that enrich the authority, with the associated conflicts of interest, confirmation bias, & transfer of power from the population to the authority. Remember, that plant growth is promoted with Carbon Dioxide. A principle of Permaculture is turning the problem into the solution. Elevated CO2 is plant food, if we properly take advantage of the opportunity.

Here's an anology re: agriculture. Conventional monoculture petro-chemical till agriculture optimizes for yield & only yield. Unfortunately, there are pests, molds, blight, disease, weather issues, drought, soil conditions that reduce yield. In response, pesticides, herbicides, GMOs, mass irrigation (disrupting watersheds), petro-chemical fertilizers are all sold to the farmer. This leads to soil erosion, destruction of ecosystems, pollution, & lower quality (less nutrition) food.

Instead, one can practice regenerative agriculture, that optimizes the ecosystem & soil remediation. Earthworks, such as swales, terraces, & ponds are used to capture rainfall & cycle the water through the property for as long as possible. Polycultures of plants that compliment each other are planted together. Animals are allowed to graze, which brings in fertilizer. Predatory insects & birds are introduced into the habitat to control pests & molds. And you get a higher overall yield of various higher quality (nutrition) crops with a healthier ecosystem, which creates a healthier climate.

Entire ecosystems can be built, which has an affect on the climate in the local area by increasing rainfall, keeping water in the biosphere, increasing life in the system.

These practices can happen on a large scale with quick wins that lasts generations...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDgDWbQtlKI | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC_Y1ZTZXQ4

Even something as small as reintroducing wolves into Yellowstone have profound environmental impacts (trophic cascades)...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa5OBhXz-Q

There is even evidence that large portions (some estimate ~50%) of the Amazon Rain Forest were curated by previous indigenous civilizations. (See "1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus" by Charles Mann)


I don't know, but probably, since we interpret reality through the lens of our biases & models we are exposed to/believe in. There's unknown unknowns in a complex phenomena re: climate.

According to this video, a signature of CO2 warming is the surface & lower atmosphere warms while the upper atmosphere cools.

https://youtu.be/H5kejSYPD7U?t=90

Yet the current heavy snow storm in Europe is being caused by the splitting of the polar vortex, caused by warming in the stratosphere.

https://weather.com/forecast/national/news/2019-01-10-the-po...

There's speculation that the acceleration of movement of the magnetic poles may have a factor, but it's a complex system...

https://weather.com/forecast/national/news/2018-12-18-polar-...

Point is, there are many complex dynamics at play & it's tempting to many people to subscribe a single factor as the primary cause. The reality is far more complex than what many of us would prefer, so many of us view reality with a simpler lens that we wish to see things with...


> According to this video, a signature of CO2 warming is the surface & lower atmosphere warms while the upper atmosphere cools

> Yet the current heavy snow storm in Europe is being caused by the splitting of the polar vortex, caused by warming in the stratosphere

Split of polar vortex: https://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/facts/warming_NH.html

You're still confussing weather with climate and an atmospheric phenomenon with global warming through CO2


Why would the owners of oil companies be interested in shifting away from oil? Why give up a perfectly profitable oligopoly? That doesn't make sense.




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