COP 24…a waste of energy?

 

It has been a long time since my last post. This statement reminds me of the old Catholic confession days:”It’s been __days since my last confession”…..

I offer no excuses because a Marine never makes excuses, paraphrasing what  colonel pappy used to say. My “explanation” is that we have been very busy here on our sprawling Rendezvous Mountain Farm trying to grow fodder, irrigate, harvest hay, feed the livestock and keep the elk and moose from destroying our fences. But the current state of affairs in the world does demand a brief return to blogsville, perhaps a post on the Year in Review or some such. Indeed it has been a helluva year for the planet. I’m sorry to report that it has been all bad. Those of you who want happyspeak putting lipstick on one of my Kunekune pigs had best now move your mouse to the “X” and surf elsewhere.

What kind of year has our planetary goddess  Gaea endured? Well, she (Gaea) is hotter than ever and more turbulent. She is too wet in some places and too dry in others.  She is losing insect and animal and bird species at a rate not seen since some of the great species extinctions of the past 500 million years. The insect extinctions have been helped along by the likes of the globalized chemical companies like the vaporous shell of IG Farben and its bastard children:  Bayer, Heochst, BASF and of course mow “roundup ready”  Monsanto and Dow. No surprise that this year the Monsanto slut has climbed into bed with Bayer in Germany.  You might recall that it was IG Farben’s brats that brought you those great Nazi products so beloved by goose steppers as Zyclon B which they piped into summer camp showers in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Amazingly these chemical assassins live on, pumping out herbicides and pesticides wiping out species after species under the umbrella of industrial agriculture making money hand over fist. So if a few bees die, what of it? It’s business.

And the markets have been  volatile of late, now in “correction” territory.  Calling them markets is a misnomer. There is no market and I don’t mean just the stock and bond and housing markets. There hasn’t been any market in a decade because the various central banks have killed them. The US markets are dead because the Fed  killed price discovery  with misguided purchases of bank garbage and QE . There is no way to know what anything is worth and if you can’t accurately price what an asset is worth, you have no market. Throw in stock and bond trading based upon algorithms which dominate 70-90% of stock trades and what do you get? No market. The Fed printed trillions of money and gave it to the criminal banksters to “save” the economy(aka:the banks) who then gave the nearly free money to the global corporations and foreign banks bailing them out at the expense of middle classes in the developed world who became poorer. Zero sum game and as a result the wealthier got wealthier at the expense of the 99% who loaded up on debt to sit in stalled traffic with their financed  400 hp Cummins crew cabs and  SUVs . This printed money sloshed everywhere as corporations and countries and citizens loaded up on this cheap debt(money). Where is this all headed? What happens when your dope peddler cuts you off? Right. You guessed it. Does this mean the end of growth?  We can only hope so for the sake of our dear third rock from the sun. The “growth” meme will be hard to kill because economic growth is the Siamese Twin with  energy growth. You can’t have one without the other. And energy growth means more emissions. CO2 emissions went up 1.3% in 1016 and 1.6% in 2017 and 2018 looks to bump up as well. So what is  poor Gaea  to do? The enviro lefties say we can have our cake and cram it down our pie hole too! All we have to do is swap all those stinky coal plants burning Wyoming coal for windmills and solar farms. We can still have growth but it will be clean growth using “Clean” energy instead of dirty energy. And it’s not just our dewy eyed environmentalists mouthing this nonsense. Over there in Katowice, Poland, representatives to the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 24 from a few hundred countries have tried to nail down an agreement to monitor emissions and somehow try to implement the limited targets of the Paris Accord.  The conference didn’t fool a 15 year old Swedish girl who grabbed the mic:https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/17/teen-tells-climate-negotiators-they-arent-mature-enough.html                                                        The problem is that the COP 24 targets were feeble and enforcement nonexistent not to mention that President  Trump pulled out of the previous Paris Accords ages ago. I am not denigrating these well meaning people who think they can save the world by trying to implement sustainable economic strategies switching to “renewable” energy sources. The fact is: we CAN’T. Their assumption is: we CAN. All the world has to do is stop using fossil fuel energy and embark upon a crash program of getting our “renewable” energy from windmills and solar farms. tides etc. Where there is a will, there is a way says COP24. Si se puede. No puedo. To understand why I am shouting No Puedo you need only look at the breakdown of world energy consumption by source in 2015; (from BP):oil 33%, coal 30%,NG 24%,hydro 7%, nuke 4% and others 2%.” Others” includes renewables like ethanol, biomass,wind and solar geothermal and tides.. Renewables and hydro total about 9%. Hydro is nearly maxed out worldwide. Other organizations like the EIA and the IEA give  renewables 12-13% .  No matter who you source, solar and wind renewables were a tiny fraction in 2015 . They have increased slightly in the past few years but they remain  minute.  In fact in some countries the energy contribution of wind and solar has not played out as hoped despite gerous subsidies. The PV boom in Spain resulted in impressive nameplate capacity far above delivered real world capacity. IN Germany the first gen windmills are being torn down and shipped to the third world as the subsidies expire. And here is my considered opinion: they will always be a tiny fraction of the primary energy output and can never replace fossil fuels not the least because they are constructed assembled and transported  using fossil fuels. Renewables only make electricity.  Renewables cannot substitute for oil no matter what Elon Musk tells you. Renewables can’t move plastic salad spinners from China to Walmart!   I do pity the poor reader trying to sort out  all the conflicting opinions in the media concerning a switch to renewable energy.

There is general consensus in the scientific community that global climate change is largely man caused. CO2 emissions is a form of pollution just like the plastics flowing into our oceans. The problem I see with these conferences presented by the scientific community is that they assume that educating the public about the causes and implications of climate change will lead the public to conclude that something needs to be done and that they will get on board.  These writers and speakers tiptoe around what exactly needs to be done to bring down emissions. What needs to be done to bring down emissions is to EMIT LESS! That means using less energy from fossil fuels but as I have pointed out, fossil fuels represent roughly 87% of all primary energy sources. The world has been using less coal of late but more NG has replaced it so emissions have even grown. Those politicians and corporate bigwigs in positions of power know the direct correlation of energy to economic growth and a sudden decrease in energy use will decrease economic growth and generate a recession. Their power  and wealth is dependent upon economic growth. That is why they have fought the idea of using less energy. The greatest polluters are the Industrialized countries. That is where any meaningful reductions of CO2 would have to occur. What’s the chance of that happening?  The COP24 conference recommended that the wealthy industrialized countries would need to help the newly industrializing ones preferably by encouraging them to adopt renewable energy sources and helping them pay for the adoption. Gaea will not be saved by well meaning pie in the sky ideas like these strategies.  Even if some of these ideas could be implemented,  the amount of energy switching is just too little to make a difference. The World Energy Outlook for 2018 is just out and it acknowledges that emissions are continuing to rise and will continue to rise up to 2040. The Paris accords mention reducing emissions by 80% by 2033 and 100% by 2060. What is the chance of that happening especially in view of steady INCREASE in emissions for the past 3 years?!!! This is devastating news for Goddess Gaea. In a future blogs I would like to show scenarios of what it would be like if we actually had to meet the CO2 reductions of the Paris Accords . At some point this century the world will almost certainly make drastic reductions in emissions of CO2. Can we do it voluntarily or will it be forced upon us?

About cal48koho

I was born in Montana and raised in a dozen Air Force SAC bases. I attended Holy Cross,West Point and UNC in Chapel Hill(MD"71). Army doc in the last years of the Viet Nam fiasco. My wife and I live in a log cabin I built in Jackson Hole in 1975 when we aren't on our Cal 48 yawl. I've done a dozen different jobs and retired from ER and Anesthesia in 2004. I've written magazine articles and am writing a Kunstleresque novel about life in a past Peak Oil world. We are living in a beautiful alpine setting where we hike and ski when we're not thinking about economics and spreading the implications of PO to anyone who will listen.
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