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2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38

Posted on 19 September 2020 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020

Editor's Choice

Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done

A report by a think tank whose members include the oil giants BP and Shell, as well as some environmental groups, suggests how it could be done and at what cost.

Renewable Energy Compex in China

Aerial view of a wind-solar hybrid photovoltaic power station on September 12, 2020 in Zaozhuang, Shandong Province of China. Credit: Li Zongxian/VCG via Getty Images

The world must get to net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century, and can make it happen for a cost that is relatively small in global terms, $1 trillion to $2 trillion per year, a new report has concluded.

The report was released this week by the Energy Transitions Commission, a think tank whose members include global industry giants like BP.

The report said that electricity should replace fossil fuels across the economy, rather than setting up systems that allow for some emissions that would need to be offset by carbon-removal technologies. Researchers and environmental groups have been saying similar things for years, but the message may be more influential coming from an organization tied to big businesses.

"An exercise like this, done with this group of people, has more political heft than if it was a bunch of academics in the basement," said David Victor, an international relations professor at the University of California San Diego and co-chair of the Brookings Institution's energy and climate initiative.

Click here to access the entire article originally publshed on the InsideClimate News website.

Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done by Dan Gearino, InsideClimate News, Sep 17, 2020


Articles Linked to on Facebook

Sun, Sep 13, 2020

Mon, Sep 14, 2020

Tue, Sep 15, 2020

Wed, Sep 16, 2020

Thu, Sep 17, 2020

Fri, Sep 18, 2020

Sat, Sep 19, 2020

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Comments

Comments 1 to 12:

  1. The editors choice article is really good but one nit pick. It starts out by saying "The world must get to net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century, and can make it happen for a cost that is relatively small in global terms, $1 trillion to $2 trillion per year, a new report has concluded."

    Most people will go WTF $1 trillion is not small. And we know many people only read the title and first couple of paragraphs in articles.
    It would have been better to include the text from further into the article that this is only 1.5% - 2% of gdp. Get this right at the top of the article.
    Think of your audience!

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  2. Nigelj:

    Keep in mind that even if we continmued using fossil fuels energy would not be free.  It would cost about the same to keep using fossil fuels except there would be all the health and environmental damage from fossil fuels.  In addition, fossil fuels are starting to run short and prices would increase by 2050.

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  3. Michael Sweet @2, what possible relationship does that have to anything I wrote? Where did I imply continuing fossil fuel use is free?

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  4. Nigelj:

    In your comment you suggest people will think that 1-2 trillion dollars per year is expensive for a renewable energy system.  You do not consider what fossil energy would cost.  If fossil energy costs 3 trillion dollars per year and renewable energy costs 2 trillion dollars per year than the renewable energy is a bargain.  In the report cited they say that a renewable energy system will cost less than a fossil fuel system.  In addition, the reduction in pollution from using renewable energy will save trillions of dollars in costs, especially health costs and climate costs.

    You cannot look at just the cost of renewable energy.  You have to compare the cost of renewable energy to the cost of fossil energy.  This is a common mistake people make when looking at energy systems.

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  5. michael sweet @4

    "In your comment you suggest people will think that 1-2 trillion dollars per year is expensive for a renewable energy system."

    I did. Its obvious because $ 1 trillion dollars sounds a lot to the average person. It needed to be put in context that it is only 1.5% of gdp, and right at the top of the article. However those people who read the whole article would see that it isn't such a large sum, so your comments are not really connected to the point I was making.

    "You do not consider what fossil energy would cost....."

    Where do I not consider that? I know perfectly well what a fossil fuel system would cost, a great deal as you correctly point out.

    Please stop telling me things I already know. Please stop implying Im not aware these things, or that I disagree with these things. 

    It might help if you had said "people should consider...." Is that what you meant?

    "In the report cited they say that a renewable energy system will cost less than a fossil fuel system. "

    I have read the report. I said its "a good report". So obviously I agree with the report.

    I mean with all due respect, what the hell are you going on about?

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  6. Michael Sweet & nigelj: Your recent exchanges remind me of the old-time radio show of my youth, The Bickersons

    Per Wikipedia:

    The Bickersons was a radio comedy sketch series that began September 8, 1946, on NBC, moving the following year to CBS where it continued until August 28, 1951. The show's married protagonists, portrayed by Don Ameche (later by Lew Parker) and Frances Langford, spent nearly all their time together in relentless verbal war.  

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bickersons

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  7. John Hartz  ha ha yes perhaps. However M Sweet started the bickering. I am normally a very easy going person and very forgiving, but I dont respond well when people deliberately put words in my mouth or repeatedly accuse me of doing or saying things Im not doing or saying. How about you John?

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  8. nigelj: I respectfully choose not to answer a hypothetical question. :)

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  9. Nigelj, are you the only person in the universe who doesn't respond well to having other people's words put in your mouth?

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    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Off-topic snipped.

    You have been warned several times. Stick to a topic. avoid throw-away snipes, and at least try to engage in some constructive dialog.

    Once again: Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can and will be rescinded if the posting individual continues to treat adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

  10. So, what is net zero emissions?

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  11. Keithy @10,

    Luckily there are many folk who consider it useful to provide an answer for such a basic question. And if you were to search the wonderous world-wide internet you would quickly encounter the results of their considerations.

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  12. This Guardian news article describes a poll where 70% of voters were  in favor of climate action.  The article claims that this result indicates that in the upcoming election politicians who are climate deniers will suffer from voters who want climate action.  

    I hope that is true.  Even if it is not true this election, this is a much stronger result than polls in the past about climate action.  More politicians are discussing renewable energy and other climate actions.  Hopefully we will start to see real action with the next presiident.

    Vote Climate!

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