The Right To Evolve

Image Credit : Oil Change International

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101028/sc_afp/franceenvironmentclimatewarming

“Global warming ‘unquestionably’ due to humans: France : Global warming exists and is unquestionably due to human activity, France’s Academy of Science said in a report published Thursday and written by 120 scientists from France and abroad. “Several independent indicators show an increase in global warming from 1975 to 2003. This increase is mainly due to the increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide,” the academy said in conclusion to the report. “The increase in carbon dioxide, and to a lesser degree other greenhouse gases, is unquestionably due to human activity,” said the report, adopted unanimously by academy members. The report contradicts France’s former education minister Claude Allegre, a geochemist, who published a book called “The Climatic Deception” which claimed that carbon dioxide was not linked to climate change. The report was commissioned in April by Minister for Research Valerie Pecresse in response to hundreds of environmental scientists who complained that Allegre in particular was disparaging their work. Allegre is a member of the Academy of Sciences and also signed off on the report. “He has the right to evolve,” the academy’s president Jean Salencon said. Pecresse said: “The debate is over.”…”

To my Climate Change sceptical readers, you, too have the “right to evolve”.

Come on over from the dark side to the side of light, life and understanding.

Stop the blame game, the game of suspicion, nitpicking, paranoia and irrationality, and reflect on the path of right dealing, factual research, and true and cooperative human endeavour.

Human beings are genetically encoded for pragmatic policies and practical decisionmaking; yet sometimes the fastest route to a solution is the least successful in the longer term.

Digging high calorie substances out of the ground and burning them in very large quantities is having a negative effect on the ability of the Earth to sustain Life. Ponder that for a while.

Eventually virtually all mining activities will be curtailed. As an elderly relative commented to me when discussing recycling – if we recycled all materials then people wouldn’t have to risk their lives going deep underground for new resources – like those poor miners in Chile and China.

The mines are getting deeper and more dangerous – something the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem encountered to its irrecoverable loss earlier this year.

We can live without mining. We can garner energy without mining. We can live having all our wants and needs provided for by the power of sunlight and the winds and waves it drives, and by the gravitational pull of the Moon turning the tides restlessly.

That kind of productivity will keep us in industrial development for as long as we survive as a species, whilst preventing destruction of our habitat, which would finish us off as a species altogether, along with millions of others.

That’s the kind of evolution we need.

Michaelmas Gracie

Welcome to little Gracie, born at Michaelmas.

By the time this child is five years old, the world should have agreed to control Carbon Dioxide emissions.

Net greenhouse gas emissions to air should have peaked, and be on the decline by the time this child starts school.

It’s up to us to care for our children.

If we don’t take steps to stop the ocean becoming increasingly acidic, we will have destroyed part of the food chain, and people will go hungry in greater numbers than they do now :-

http://www.sciamdigital.com/index.cfm?fa=Products.ViewIssuePreview&ARTICLEID_CHAR=F50CF08B-237D-9F22-E86BA2E071920760

“August 2010 : Scientific American Magazine : Threatening Ocean Life from the Inside Out; August 2010; Scientific American Magazine; by Marah J. Hardt and Carl Safina : …As researchers, we were concerned about the underappreciated effects of changing ocean chemistry on the cells, tissues and organs of marine species. In laboratory experiments at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, Havenhand had demonstrated that such changes could seriously impede the most fundamental strategy of survival: sex. Ocean acidification—a result of too much carbon dioxide reacting with seawater to form carbonic acid—has been dubbed “the other CO2 problem.” As the water becomes more acidic, corals and animals such as clams and mussels have trouble building their skeletons and shells. But even more sinister, the acidity can interfere with basic bodily functions for all marine animals, shelled or not. By disrupting processes as fundamental as growth and reproduction, ocean acidification threatens the animals’ health and even the survival of species. Time is running out to limit acidification before it irreparably harms the food chain on which the world’s oceans—and people—depend.”

And global warming will only make the problem worse :-

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v2/n2/full/ngeo420.html

Letter : Nature Geoscience 2, 105 – 109 (2009)
Published online: 25 January 2009 : doi:10.1038/ngeo420

“Long-term ocean oxygen depletion in response to carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels”

Gary Shaffer, Steffen Malskær Olsen & Jens Olaf Pepke Pedersen

“Abstract : Ongoing global warming could persist far into the future, because natural processes require decades to hundreds of thousands of years to remove carbon dioxide from fossil-fuel burning from the atmosphere. Future warming may have large global impacts including ocean oxygen depletion and associated adverse effects on marine life, such as more frequent mortality events, but long, comprehensive simulations of these impacts are currently not available. Here we project global change over the next 100,000 years using a low-resolution Earth system model, and find severe, long-term ocean oxygen depletion, as well as a great expansion of ocean oxygen-minimum zones for scenarios with high emissions or high climate sensitivity. We find that climate feedbacks within the Earth system amplify the strength and duration of global warming, ocean heating and oxygen depletion. Decreased oxygen solubility from surface-layer warming accounts for most of the enhanced oxygen depletion in the upper 500 m of the ocean. Possible weakening of ocean overturning and convection lead to further oxygen depletion, also in the deep ocean. We conclude that substantial reductions in fossil-fuel use over the next few generations are needed if extensive ocean oxygen depletion for thousands of years is to be avoided.”

Climate Weak

An e-mail trail with a certain amount of political content…


from: Kate Shepherd
date: Tue, Aug 10, 2010
subject: Climate Week

Hello Jo

It was lovely to speak with you today about Climate Week and I’d be grateful if you could pass on the information to the rest of your team.

Climate Week, 21st – 27th March 2011, is a new national occasion on climate change, backed by the Prime Minister, Al Gore and Kofi Annan. During Climate Week, thousands of events will be run by organisations from every part of society to highlight the positive steps being taken to help prevent climate change.

I have attached a document for further information, the document includes a list of supporters of Climate Week, which range from every part of society: from the Chief Fire Officers Association to the Women’s Institute, the Girl Guiding UK to several Regional Development Agencies.

Continue reading Climate Weak

The Independent “in association with Shell”

I rubbed my eyes, but the logo didn’t disappear. The Independent newspaper article had a graphic explaining that the article was “in association with Shell” :-

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/newenergyfuture/a-climate-for-european-action-2068570.html

Further clue : the author was Tom Burke, “Mr Clean Coal” to those of us that know of him.

The article was great, up until the paragraph :-

“Without deploying carbon capture and storage technologies for coal and gas, Europe has no workable climate policy…”

Well, we knew Tom Burke was going to say that, didn’t we ?

But why was the article “in association with Shell” ? Is this the start of advertising masquerading as opinion articles ?

What could possibly link Royal Dutch Shell to Carbon Capture and Storage ? The “Enhanced Oil Recovery” (EOR) angle, possibly – Shell offering to pump Carbon Dioxide down into its depleting oil and gas wells in an attempt to raise the pressure on the remaining hydrocarbon, to squeeze it out.

Continue reading The Independent “in association with Shell”

Christopher Booker : For Once, I Agree

Even only semi-regular perusers of this little web log will be astonished, galled and maybe even venomously upset to discover that for once, and probably only the once going on past evidence, I actually agree with Christopher Booker :-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7969102/The-Clean-Development-Mechanism-delivers-the-greatest-green-scam-of-all.html

“The Clean Development Mechanism delivers the greatest green scam of all : Even the UN and the EU are wising up to the greenhouse gas scam, “the biggest environmental scandal in history”, says Christopher Booker. : By Christopher Booker : Published: 28 Aug 2010 : …The way the racket works is that Chinese and Indian firms are permitted to carry on producing a refrigerant gas known as HCF-22 until 2030. But a by-product of this process is HCF-23, which is supposed to be 11,700 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. By destroying the HCF-23, the firms can claim Certified Emission Reduction credits worth billions of dollars when sold to the West (while much of the useful HCF-22 is sold onto the international black market). Last year, destruction of CFCs accounted for more than half the CDM credits issued, in a market that will eventually, it is estimated, be worth $17 billion. Of the 1,390 CDM projects so far approved, less than 1 per cent accounts for 36 per cent of the total value. Even greenies have become so outraged by this ridiculous racket that the Environmental Investigation Agency has described it as the “biggest environment scandal in history”…”

I would commend Mr Booker to get his chemical acronyms sorted out, by substituting “HCF” with “HFC”, or “HCFC”, but apart from that, which was fairly easy to unpick, it is quite an honourable description of the problem.

None of the money-based “flexible mechanisms” sewn into the Kyoto Protocol appear to be working, and that’s because they are (a) money-based and (b) not economy-wide.

Continue reading Christopher Booker : For Once, I Agree

Come On Over For Lunch

Shock ! Horror ! Major Climate Change Scientist spotted at Climate Camp…ah, but which one… ? How to distinguish one dressed-down, unwashed individual with dishevelled locks from any another ?

Any sign of Climate Change sceptic-denier Andrew Montford, as affectionately known as “Bishop Hill” ? Can’t make him out, but he might have responded to the banner appeal to “Come On Over for Lunch”. You never know. That might be him chopping potatoes, right in the thick of it.

Continue reading Come On Over For Lunch

Judith Curry : Carbon Lockdown

Dr Judith Curry insists, quite correctly, that we should take uncertainties into account when deciding Climate Change policy.

Yet I think our respective positions probably strongly differ on which way we weight the uncertainties.

I strongly favour the Precautionary Principle, implemented Early, making it the “Early Precautionary Principle”.

One of the reasons I come down on this end of the spectrum of possible responses to uncertainties is that there are quite a spectrum of unknowns that form the pillars of those uncertainties.

After all, if we don’t know a term in an equation, how can we possibly calculate anything meaningful with any kind of confidence ?

How can anybody feel safe and secure not knowing for certain what the actual equilibrium Climate Sensitivity amounts to ? The response of the Earth’s Climate system to extra airborne Carbon Dioxide-forced temperature rise is a number that is becoming firmer, but there are error bars. Surely this points to conservatism in emissions ?

Moreover, we could be well advised to cut back on Fossil Fuel burning not just to protect the Climate, but to save the Economy. How can we pursue our normal everyday Carbon-emitting lives not knowing how much Fossil Fuel there is left in the ground that can be inexpensively mined ?

How can we know the order of magnitude of Fossil Fuels left to extract ? And how can we know what kind of impact this will have on the Climate ?

Continue reading Judith Curry : Carbon Lockdown

Oil Salesmen

Advertising imitating Life…but just which photograph is the fashion shoot ?

“Kill Kill Kill This”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TINzvWrtjYI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyutuErxPo8

Carol Browner, Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy in the United States of America, has been all over the Media, announcing the policy to “kill kill kill this” BP nightmare story, telling the world that a turning milestone point has been reached :-

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2010/PDFs/OilBudget_description_%2083final.pdf

Have they decided that BP have been punished enough now for the Gulf of Mexico oil gusher, and the reputation of the company needs to be rehabilitated sharply in order to protect the Economy ?

I made the mistake of taking in a BBC TV news bulletin on the matter. I heard several talking heads say it’s “good news” that roughly three quarters of the accountable oil from the spill has “disappeared” :-


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-10870159

Breaking this story is “good news” for the stability of pension funds, maybe. But what is the real extent of the real damage to the real world, the world of oceans and fish and plankton ? Will the world be watching as the researchers scavenge data and clues to the marine ecotastrophe that is still unfolding ?

Continue reading “Kill Kill Kill This”

Natural Gaza (3)

Video Credit : PressTV : January 2009

Timeline in the last week :-

1. Something happens to provoke some persons as yet unidentified in Gaza.
2. Some persons as yet unidentified may or may not have fired a Grad missile from the Gaza Strip towards the Israeli town of Sderot.
3. The Israeli Defense Force act “in retaliation” and bomb three locations in Gaza, killing at least one person and wounding eight.
4. Some persons as yet unidentified may or may not have fired a Qassam rocket from the Gaza Strip towards Ashkelon.

You may be forgiven for thinking this is all about simple tactical weaponry exchange, embedded cultural or religious hatred, or revenge attacks.

But you’d be wrong.

This escalation in violence is merely part of what looks very strongly like an ongoing strategy to keep Gaza from economic development, by preventing them from exploiting their largest natural resource – offshore sub-marine Natural Gas.

I am going to give you my first attempt at some history on this matter. I make any and every apology if I have got something wrong. Please correct me by comments below the post.

I have not even started to attempt to address the hypocrisy of the United Kingdom and the United States of America effectively giving weapons to Israel via a system of direct and indirect aid. All that is brilliantly covered by Robert Fisk, so I don’t need to :-

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-israel-has-crept-into-the-eu-without-anyone-noticing-2040066.html

Gaza is being locked down under a “resource curse” – the Gazans are being forcefully detained in an open air concentration camp with scant resources, when all the time, just off-shore are enough hydrocarbons to make them all very wealthy. Many Gazans are succumbing to starvation of the body and mind, and many are unwell and have to endure appalling deprivation.

I should expect that the “final solution”, whatever that will be, will be announced by Israel in the next few years, unless the international community wakes up to the obvious risks that Gaza faces, and does something decisive about it.

Continue reading Natural Gaza (3)

BP Tony Hayward’s Marching Orders

Did he jump, or was he swamped ?

And is he really leaving, or is he being hounded out by propaganda ?

The reports of his demise may be premature, but the clock is probably ticking on his tenure anyway.

You know as soon as the board of a company, or a central government expresses “full support” for an executive or a minister, their job is at risk.

At least BP didn’t have to invent a scandal about his private life to get shot of him, like the (I think, despicable) way they ousted John Browne, the “sun king”.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-10753573

“25 July 2010 : BP chief Tony Hayward ‘negotiating exit deal’ : Mr Hayward has been with the company for 28 years BP’s chief executive Tony Hayward has been negotiating the terms of his exit, with a formal announcement likely within 24 hours, the BBC has learned. Mr Hayward has been widely criticised over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. An official statement issued by BP in response said he had the “full support of the board and senior management”. BBC business editor Robert Peston says Mr Hayward is likely to be replaced by his American colleague, Bob Dudley, who is in charge of the clean-up operation…”

Is Bob Dudley a fan of solar and wind power ? Only asking…

And will a change of figurehead on the prow stop the BP vessel sinking ?

James Delingpole Has Kittens

Poor, dear James Delingpole has been passing kitten-sized anxieties and angry thoughts again; fear and accusations all completely unfounded :-

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100046150/how-come-we-now-have-to-go-to-the-chinese-for-the-truth-about-global-warming/

A number of indignant inaccuracies and strident claims I will pass over, but here are a few I think I shall contest. Just to show that I do bother to read his work (even if I smirk about it most of the time).

Continue reading James Delingpole Has Kittens

Climate Union : Sharing Principles

Image Credit : Gilbert & George, “Nettle Dance”, White Cube

I’m in the Climate Union. Are You ?

Soon we could all be, if the expansionist plans of a group of social campaigners come to fruition.

Taking in the unions, faith communities and the usual rag-tag bunch of issues activists, the Climate Union aims to establish itself as a political force for Low Carbon.

First of all, however, it has to tackle the uneasy and prickly problem of the exact name of the movement, and the principles under which it will operate.

The flag has been flown : a set of principles has been circulated for discussion amongst the “Climate Forum”. I cannot show you the finalised document yet, but I can offer you my comments (see below).

If you want to comment on the development of this emerging entity, please contact : Peter Robinson, Campaign against Climate Change, mobile/cell telephone in the UK : 07876595993.


Comments on the Climate Forum Principles
Jo Abbess
28 June 2010

I am aware that my comments are going to be a little challenging. I made similar comments during the review of the ClimateSafety briefing, which were highly criticised.

I expect you to be negative in response to what I say, but I think it is necessary to make sure the Climate Forum does not become watered-down, sectorally imprisoned and politically neutered, like so many other campaigns.

Continue reading Climate Union : Sharing Principles

Natural Gaza (1)

What’s wrong with this picture ? Although it has been amended in the online version (click the picture for the link), the latest United States Geological Survey of the Levant Basin in the East Mediterranean completely omitted to label Gaza :-

http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2010/3014/pdf/FS10-3014.pdf

The file is downloadable from here :-

http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2010/3014/

Why is this important ? The most significant Natural Gas finds in the Eastern Mediterranean are technically in Gazan maritime territory.

Continue reading Natural Gaza (1)

Bringing Perspective

Bringing Perspective

Is BP plc a Sustainable Business ?

An assessment of BP plc’s performance in relation to their climate change impact, and their approach towards ensuring both environmental sustainability and corporate survival.

by Jo Abbess
29 April 2010

INTRODUCTION

The Research Question

This piece of research seeks to assess how BP plc is making adaptations in its corporate strategy, in view of the risks to its operations posed by Climate Change policy, and in the context of Peak Oil production and the subsequent inevitable Peak in Natural Gas.

Theories and Propositions

The author of this research has the view that over the course of the next 50 years, due to limits on supplies of good quality fossil fuels, and to avoid the risks of dangerous climate change from global warming, the world economy must de-carbonise, and entirely replace its sources of energy and fuel with low carbon alternatives.

According to this projection, any company that wishes to remain in business should begin their process of total decarbonisation immediately, and will be expected to show evidence for their intentions and procedures for change. This is likely to be particularly difficult for Oil and Gas companies, as their core business is based on energy and fuel resources that must be entirely replaced.

The 50 year timeframe may be beyond the thinking of most political analysts, but is relevant to pension funds, annuity providers and insurance companies. Investors are likely to become more interested in determining the carbon “liabilities” of fossil fuel stocks and shares, and take a risk-averse approach to future stakes in Oil, Gas, Coal and other high carbon fuels.

Continue reading Bringing Perspective

The Price of Carbon

The Price of Carbon

by Jo Abbess
20 April 2010

1.   Introduction

Policy strategy for controlling risky excess atmospheric greenhouse gas (Gowdy, 2008, Sect. 4; McKibben, 2007, Ch. 1, pp. 19-20; Solomon et al., 2009; Tickell, 2008, Ch. 6, pp. 205-208) mostly derives from the notion that carbon dioxide emissions should be charged for, in order to prevent future emissions; similar to treatment for environmental pollutants (Giddens, 2009, Ch. 6, pp. 149-155; Gore, 2009, Ch. 15 “The True Cost of Carbon”; Pigou, 1932; Tickell, 2008, Ch.4, Box 4.1, pp. 112-116). Underscoring this idea is the evidence that fines, taxes and fees modify behaviour, reigning in the marginal social cost of “externalities” through financial disincentive (Baumol, 1972; Sandmo, 2009; Tol, 2008). However this approach may not enable the high-value, long-term investment required for decarbonisation, which needs adjustments to the economy at scale (CAT, 2010; Hepburn and Stern, 2008, pp. 39-40, Sect. (ii) “The Consequences of Non-marginality”; MacKay, 2008, Ch. 19; Tickell, 2008, Ch. 2, pp. 40-41). Continue reading The Price of Carbon

Fossil Fuels Ruel, OK ?

http://www.polluterharmony.com/

It’s easy to stay on top of the heap – just throw rocks at everybody trying to climb The Hill.

Fossil Fuels are free when they come out of the ground, but exact a heavy price on the Environment – a cost that cannot be measured in Money – since wealth is made from Fossil Fuel Energy.

Unless we cut the thread – the causal relationship between Energy use and Carbon Dioxide emissions – then we will all lose wealth – from the destruction of the natural environment.

The only practical answer is to reduce the amount of Fossil Fuel that is burned. But that would impoverish us. So we need to have Zero Carbon Energy to replace Fossil Fuel Energy.

Renewable Energy is the only source of future wealth.

Continue reading Fossil Fuels Ruel, OK ?

The Future of Flight

For decades we have been spoonfed Science Fiction about the future of flight and space exploration as if it were fact.

Richard Branson (“Sir”, if you insist) has drawn us to his vision for commercial passenger space flight :-

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8400353.stm

Yet his participation in the Industry Taskforce for Peak Oil and Energy Security leads him back down to Earth :-

Continue reading The Future of Flight

Day of the Dead

There I was, meekly in line with the other London Underground commuters, learning to be a sheep on the Tube train escalator.

And then I saw it : a poster that said “Day of the Dead” with “Supported by BP” with a logo and everything.

I just couldn’t stop laughing.

http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/events_calendar/november/day_of_the_dead.aspx

Is this like some kind of anti-sense meme to attract interest in what BP is doing by adding a huge dose of irony, so much so that people report it virally ?

(Just to explain the mild hysterics : within the next 20 to 30 years, the Fossil Fuel companies will be pretty much history, I reckon. That’s why I found British Petroleum’s support of this event highly chortling. If they don’t get Beyond Petroleum, I project that BP’s business is doomed to failure in the coming era of Carbon constraint).

Carbon Rationing – A Chance Interview with Andrew Ross at the G20 Climate Camp

Down at the G20 Climate Camp today, I had the opportunity to meet up with people I know from Climate Change work all over the UK and beyond.

Don’t be tempted to dismiss the Campers as sensationalism-seeking wildcats : we’re talking about a collection of some of the finest Science, Policy and Society minds there are, with a bit of the Press mixed in for good voyeuristic effect.

Continue reading Carbon Rationing – A Chance Interview with Andrew Ross at the G20 Climate Camp