* A carbon tax would be nice to incentivize accountability around net- greenhouse gas contributions.
* This paper does quite a bit of probabilistic inference here. They conclude, for example, that the ~two orders of magnitude difference in emissions implies the model is working. ( https://www.elementascience.org/article/10.1525/elementa.358... ) This isn't super surprising since they're trying to measure methane emissions ~a km away from the source, but should measure our expectations.
Also, the whole dataset is available here (https://oneshare.cdlib.org/stash/dataset/doi:10.15146/R3WT2N) if anyone is interested. Props to the authors for including it.
(Disclosure: My company buys quite a bit of inorganic fertilizer every year. None of it is US sourced though as we're operating in subsaharan Africa.)
https://www.drawdown.org/ has a big list of things that can be done, with the benefits of each in terms of cost and carbon reduction. It would make most sense to work through the list. If you guessed what number 1 is, you're a smarter human than I am!
I feel differently. We should do everything. All at the same time. We don't have the luxury of time to pick and choose anymore.
Good that you brought up the drawdown project. Even the number 1 on their list is "only" like about 5% of total ghg.
No single solution will be enough. So we need to try to do as much in as many sectors as possible. Including fracking.
As much as it would incredibly suck (for convenience and variety in life) I think we, as a species, need to completely abandon fossil fuels in the next 10 years. Sadly it'll never happen, we will be burning fossil fuels well past seeing massive deaths from starvation/drought/unpredictable weather/food wars.
Gentlemen, it has been a privilege playing with you tonight.
The good news is that it wouldn't even suck. I don't think so. We are being brainwashed (sorry, being informed about products and services via advertisement) that car ownership is the best thing since the pill, and that flying to a tech conference is a great experience. There are better (and much less polluting) ways to have fun. I believe without the fossil industry we will flourish and our quality of life will skyrocket.
It would for me. I work in international freight, I'd be unemployed. It looks like my employer may have used 1.2 billion gallons of jet fuel alone last year, if these figures are accurate https://www.statista.com/statistics/878539/fedex-express-tot... -- at 9.57kg of carbon per gallon that is 11,640,000 metric tons of carbon (again if the numbers are accurate) just from our planes last year :(
We'd also be forced back to a (largely) pre 1950s-1960sish era level of tech as devices started to die off simply because we currently don't have the means of mining and moving goods globally on renewable energy at anywhere near current levels. I'm mostly fine with this though, if I woke up tomorrow and magic had made the computers/the internet/smartphones/e-readers disappear I'd have a really rough few days then I'd be like "oh well, let's go outside or down to the library, let me show these kids how a card catalog works".
Which is also the lever to go to net zero, make emissions of CO2 and such expensive enough and the world will change.
That being said, done well a global supply chain can very well be more efficient from a emissions perspective than a non-global one. The optimization knowledge needed to achieve that is already there. So, all in all I guess transportation of goods will even be more important going forward.
What is your profession? If it has anything to do with software you will EASILY find a job in ANY industry.
> means of mining and moving goods globally
Electronics are perfectly recyclable.
> let's go outside or down to the library
By cultivating dissatisfaction and greed in the populace, it encourages net overconsumption and unnecessary waste.
clean energy will free more people to choose to live how they want to live rather than live how others tell them too.
Doesn't have to be run on fossil fuels, though.
You don't need to force anyone. It's happening by itself https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbanization
Bring farming machinery into the equation and replacing fossil fuels suddenly becomes far more important than reducing car ownership.
This is the one mechanism that actually has the potential to turn the entire economy around without directly making politicians look bad, so it has a nonzero chance of passing.
The best thing you can do for the climate today is to call your representatives about this bill, or better, send handwritten letters or letters to the editor.
Without fracking were we closing this many coal plants?
Would other nations close this many coal plants?
Not sure when zero coal is going to happen in Germany...
If a carbon tax is so high that fertiliser becomes uneconomic to use (which is sorta the goal of a carbon tax at some point, to squeeze people who emit so they behave differently) that is maybe going to start impacting food prices. Somebody is going to feel that. As a political topic fertiliser needs careful handling.
If only we could "incentivize accountability" the way we do it for poor people...
Since there is the utterly fucked norm of "should have done X" victim blaming without regards to viability to the poor and sympathy for rich criminals or harsh condemnation followed by a lenient sentence less than far more petty crimes like having three marajuana plants in pots.
I've never quite understood how it works with evolution, a la Stephen Jay Gould.
But with politics, it's basically memetics and attention economy. First, correctly identify the problem. Second, divine some useful plan of action. Third, crisis triggers massive response. All done in the opposition to the ever present status quo. And there's A LOT of incrementalism (experimentation).
Oregon just adopted (joined) California's carbon strategy. It's basically a complete retool of the Oregon economy. If that goes well, I expect all the other western states will rapidly join in.
FWIW, I try to study policy work, after my own efforts led to very modest results. People I know have been far more successful (marriage equality, marijuana, human trafficking, family leave, and much else).
FWIW: Vox's David Roberts is now my primary climate & carbon pundit. He's just crushing it. And I've become a big fan of "explainer journalism".
2) The current carbon pricing bill in the House of Representatives (HR 763 ) includes border adjustments based on the carbon footprint of imported goods, which will incentivize our trading partners to implement similar policies or reduce their carbon footprints by other means.
And what about China? Well, if US introduces carbon tax, demanding the same from China would a fair move in the current trade negotiations.
I'm not too versed in that domain but I'm curious!
If solar power gets cheap enough maybe it'll make sense to use the excess power at noon for electrolysis, though I don't have a good sense of the capital costs for that.
Instead of trying to compete one-to-one against natural gas for thermal applications or battery-electric for electric ones, you can compete on turf that requires hydrogen fundamentally, saving the investment in a steam reformer. So if you have hydrogen already, instead of needing an extra capital investment (like a fuel cell in a fuel cell car), you actually can reduce capital investment (the steam reformer).
Also, it's large and centralized (large, centralized hydrogen plants have a cheaper relative capital cost and tend to be more efficient) and there are even ammonia pipelines carrying the ammonia to the Midwest from Texas (with world-class wind AND solar potential and plenty of land), so you don't have to deal with hydrogen storage and distribution issues.
It's a way better spot for wind and solar produced hydrogen to compete than in mobile fuel cell applications where you have to solve a bunch of other problems (fuel cells, distribution, hydrogen storage cost and safety to the uninvolved public, small electrolysis facilities with requisite lower efficiency and higher specific capital cost) while simultaneously having to compete with the low price of electricity and natural gas.
I know that at least on Orkney Island they have surplus energy that they use to produce hydrogen
Though I'm sure we're talking about completely different orders of magnitude
The brain is funny sometimes and so is this title.
Similarly to how our own phones transmit data back to Waze for traffic info, are there any other things that could be useful for us to attach to our vehicles to record?
This methane discovery was a result of this project
Most of the global warming work is based off the amount of methane estimated to be in the atmosphere, which can be determined with sampling and spectroscopy. This particular piece of research tells us where some of that is coming from, and fortunately it's from a few concentrated sites that are under human control. We could lean on them to fix it. Chemical processing sites already try to control methane leakage because it's explosive in air.
The bad news is that we probably won't. We have enough trouble with flaring: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-4... (my pet complaint, not only because it's a nuisance but because they've wasted in a year as much gas as I personally will use in 50,000 years, which makes reducing my personal consumption seem a bit pointless)
( https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=((38747+tonnes+*+50MJ%...) )
>... makes reducing my personal consumption seem a bit pointless
Although I try to not to be wasteful also I get this feeling a lot that in climate change matters the actions that individuals can set are far outweighed by consistently applied systemic changes. Makes it kind of frustrating to try to save the earth :)