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Old 08-10-2019, 04:40 PM   #6447 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sendler View Post
Unfortunately this is commonly repeated but doesn't tell the whole story. Green advocates constantly state that we have the technology to just totally replace all of the carbon energy to get all we need using solar and wind. They have been repeatedly and erroneously told that all we would have to do is to choose. And that it is the continued profit interests of fossil energy corporations that hold it back. But there is a complete lack of understanding by pretty much everyone of the scale of what we are using. If we were to scrap or retrofit and perform a perfect electrification of all of the $100's of trillions of built out machines, processes, buildings, ect, that run on and were built by the current carbon energy bolus we have been accessing for the last 70 years, The efficiency gains would still leave us needing 9TW average. Lack of understanding of this scale leads to unjustified animosity toward "the evil white men" who are said to refuse to leave carbon in the ground.
Civilization has undergone a "Great Acceleration" for 70 years building to 17.5 TW and 100 million barrels a day and cannot undergo any diminished access to energy without a complete crash of the world economic system and large scale human misery. There is no feasible wind and solar build out that can take us to 9TW average and the complete electrification that is need to go with it will take decades and still not do as much as we are doing now due to storability and intermittency constraints. Just leave it in the ground is not so easy. People need to learn about the entire system of energy, economy, human behavior, resource depletion., and start informing others so that we can take the heartfelt energy from the climate protests and add real, pragmatic solutions.
Which will involve human activity eventually getting much smaller to fit with the real time solar flows that we can access.
Stating that we have 12 years to reach net 0 carbon or we will go "extinct" is just on the face of it obviously not possible. On either count. And just fosters denial and push back.
I would say that,it all depends.
If we were to mobilize as a nation,as we've done in world wars,I don't see any reason we couldn't get to carbon-neutral,and then start removing existing atmospheric CO2.
And we've been given 30-years,so why don't we use that value instead.
Hansen's Institute on Climate and Planets did a thought experiment over two consecutive summers.They came up with a template for carbon mitigation:
*get rid of coal unless we can capture and sequester 100% of stack products.
*get rid of SUVs
*get rid of Pickup trucks
*Tighten National/ISO Building Codes for all residential construction
*Tighten National/ISO Building Codes for all commercial construction
*Get the most efficient home appliances into the hands of all Americans
*Get the most efficient lighting into the hands of all Americans
There are entire segments of the economy which were never needed in the first place,and we could get along fine without them.
Shed load wherever possible.
We use twice the energy of Europe,with no improvement in standard of living.It follows that,we can dispense with 50% of current power/energy production and do just fine.
Dubai already has a zero-carbon 'Sustainability City'.Are Americans as smart as rag-heads?
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Last edited by aerohead; 08-10-2019 at 04:46 PM.. Reason: correct
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