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Where We’ll End Up Living as the Planet Burns

While nations rally to reduce their carbon emissions, and try to adapt at-risk places to hotter conditions, there is an elephant in the room: for large portions of the world, local conditions are becoming too extreme and there is no way to adapt. People will have to move to survive.

Over the next fifty years, hotter temperatures combined with more intense humidity are set to make large swathes of the globe lethal to live in. Fleeing the tropics, the coasts, and formerly arable lands, huge populations will need to seek new homes; you will be among them, or you will be receiving them. This migration has already begun—we have all seen the streams of people fleeing drought-hit areas in Latin America, Africa, and Asia where farming and other rural livelihoods have become impossible.

The number of migrants has doubled globally over the past decade, and the issue of what to do about rapidly increasing populations of displaced people will only become greater and more urgent as the planet heats.

We can—and we must—prepare. Developing a radical plan for humanity to survive a far hotter world includes building vast new cities in the more tolerable far north while abandoning huge areas of the unendurable tropics. It involves adapting our food, energy, and infrastructure to a changed environment and demography as billions of people are displaced and seek new homes.

Our best hope lies in cooperating as never before: decoupling the political map from geography. However unrealistic it sounds, we need to look at the world afresh and develop new plans based on geology, geography, and ecology. In other words, identify where the freshwater resources are, where the safe temperatures are, where gets the most solar or wind energy, and then plan population, food and energy production around that…

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Imperialism in bright green

Imperialism in bright green

Voiced by Amazon Polly

The human ability to disconnect from and deny geopolitical reality lies at the heart of the “green” net-zero project.  Most obviously, those – like the current UK Prime Minister – who claim victories along the road to the Nirvana of net-zero must maintain blindness to the way in which the UK economy is integrated into a global industrial civilisation.  As a result, such measures as closing British coal mines and coal-fired power stations can be translated into lower national carbon emissions figures, even though all that is achieved is the outsourcing of UK emissions to other, less developed states elsewhere on the planet.  Aiding this sleight of hand is the international convention that we do not include emissions from shipping in anyone’s national data, giving the appearance that there is no difference between goods moved tens of miles by truck or train, and goods transported by ship from the other side of the Earth.

Nor is it only governments and politicians that get away with this dubious accounting trick.  Activists simultaneously demand the construction of thousands of wind turbines – manufactured on the other side of the planet – while denying the need for the materials from which wind turbines are made, deployed, and maintained.  Consider, for example, the recent outrage over the decision to extend the Aberpergwm anthracite mine in South Wales and the proposal for a new mine in Cumbria.  Both are intended to supply UK steelworks which, among other things, will produce the steel which is essential to the construction and deployment of thousands of wind turbines.  Activists have reacted as if wind turbines might otherwise magically construct and deploy themselves with the aid of the net-zero fairy, or – even less plausibly…

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Oilfield Approval Off Newfoundland Coast Would Undercut Climate Commitments, Harm Biodiversity, Experts Warn

Anxiety is running high in Newfoundland and Labrador as the province waits on a federal decision about a proposed offshore oil project about 500 kilometres east of St. John’s.

Equinor’s Bay du Nord project would open a fifth oilfield for the cash-strapped province, whose oil sector was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and crashing global prices, The Canadian Press reports. But there is mounting concern an approval from Ottawa would undermine federal climate commitments and send a message to other provinces that oil and gas is a viable industry on which they can hook their financial hopes.

“If we’re going to be serious about our net-zero commitment and our international commitments, then we cannot approve any new oil and gas projects,” said Debora VanNijnatten, a public policy expert and associate political science professor at Wilfrid Laurier University.

“And we have to have a plan to help those regions that we say ‘no’ to,” she added in a recent interview.

Oil accounted for nearly 21% of Newfoundland and Labrador’s GDP in 2019, according to its latest budget, which also forecasted a deficit of C$826 million and a net debt of $17.2 billion. With an estimated 800 million recoverable barrels of oil in the proposed Bay du Nord site, the project is “critical to the Newfoundland and Labrador economy,” said a statement Thursday from Energy Minister Andrew Parsons.

Meanwhile, Canada has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and to doing its part to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Bay du Nord is also among the first oil and gas projects to be considered for approval by the federal government since the International Energy Agency declared in May there can be no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects if the world is going to hit net-zero targets by 2050.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

West accused of ‘climate hypocrisy’ as emissions dwarf those of poor countries

Average Briton produces more carbon in two days than Congolese person does in entire year, study finds

The Democratic Republic of Congo and London, UK.
The Democratic Republic of Congo and London, UK. The Center for Global Development study highlights the energy inequality between rich and poor countries. Photograph: Getty/AFP

In the first two days of January, the average Briton was already responsible for more carbon dioxide emissions than someone from the Democratic Republic of the Congo would produce in an entire year, according to analysis by the Center for Global Development (CGD).

The study, which highlights the “vast energy inequality” between rich and poor countries, found that each Briton produces 200 times the climate emissions of the average Congolese person, with people in the US producing 585 times as much. By the end of January, the carbon emitted by someone living in the UK will surpass the annual emissions of citizens of 30 low- and middle-income countries, it found.

Euan Ritchie, a policy analyst at CGD Europe, said his work was prompted by the “climate hypocrisy” of western countries, including the UK and the US, that have pledged to stop aid funding to fossil fuel projects in developing states.

“At Cop26 there was lots of hand-wringing by rich countries about the extent to which aid and other development finance should finance fossil fuels in poorer countries,” said Ritchie. “The hypocrisy of this caught my attention.”

“Our analysis shows that in just a few days, the average person in the UK produces more climate emissions than people in many low-income countries do in an entire year. It would be a cruel irony if the countries that have least contributed to this problem won’t be able to have access to energy infrastructure.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Shell’s Massive Carbon Capture Plant Is Emitting More Than It’s Capturing

Shell’s Massive Carbon Capture Plant Is Emitting More Than It’s Capturing

A new Global Witness report found that it has the same carbon footprint per year as 1.2 million gas-powered cars.
Shell's Quest carbon capture and storage facility in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.
SHELL’S QUEST CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE FACILITY IN FORT SASKATCHEWAN, ALBERTA. THE CANADIAN PRESS/JASON FRANSON

A first-of-its-kind “green” Shell facility in Alberta is emitting more greenhouse gases than it’s capturing, throwing into question whether taxpayers should be funding it, a new report has found.

Shell’s Quest carbon capture and storage facility captured 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the hydrogen produced at its Scotford complex between 2015 and 2019. Scotford refines oil from the Alberta tar sands.

But a new report from human rights organization Global Witness found the hydrogen plant emitted 7.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in the same timeframe—including methane, which has 80 times the warming power of carbon during its first 20 years in the atmosphere, and accounts for about a quarter of man-made warming today.

To put that in perspective, the “climate-forward” part of the Scotford plant alone has the same carbon footprint per year as 1.2 million fuel-powered cars, Global Witness said.

“We do think Shell is misleading the public in that sense and only giving us one side of the story,” said Dominic Eagleton, who wrote the report. He said industry’s been pushing for governments to subsidize the production of fossil hydrogen (hydrogen produced from natural gas) that’s supplemented with carbon capture technology as a “climate-friendly” way forward, but the new report shows that’s not the case.

In an email, Shell said the facility was introduced to display the merits of carbon capture technology, but didn’t directly respond to the allegation that its hydrogen component emitted 7.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

To keep fossil carbon out of the air, just stop pulling it out of the Earth

To keep fossil carbon out of the air, just stop pulling it out of the Earth

Expectations for the COP26 climate summit were always low. They had dimmed even further by the time the prominent climate activist Vanessa Nakate of Uganda spoke from the main stage on the Glasgow conference’s next-to-last day.

Nakate chided her audience for sleepwalking toward catastrophe: “We see business leaders and investors flying into COP on private jets. We see them making fancy speeches. We hear about new pledges and promises. … I have come here to tell you that we don’t believe you.” She added, “I am here to say, prove us wrong.”

Throughout the summit, people of all ages and backgrounds had rallied in the streets outside to demand effective climate action, climate justice, an end to exploitation and other policies through which the world’s governments might prove Nakate wrong.

On Nov. 5, more than 8,000 children, teenagers, parents and teachers marched through the city, calling on the generation now in power not to ruin the future for generations who follow. The next day, a surge of more than 100,000 climate marchers demanded an end to fossil fuel investments, a global conversion to renewable energy financed by wealthy countries and reparations for Indigenous communities.

Tuntiak Katan, a member of the Shuar nation in Ecuador, reminded reporters that “Indigenous peoples already protect 950 million hectares of land worldwide.” Affluent nations, he said, must “abandon extractivism and get the oil, mining and agribusiness companies out of our territories, and apply a holistic vision, combined with the vision of the Indigenous peoples.”

The Glasgow marchers’ goals were both necessary and achievable, but they knew all too well that fossilized COP summits have failed the world 25 times since 1995, and COP26 would be no different.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Cop-26–Caught in a Net: Agriculture, Climate Change, and the Decarbonisation Agenda

COP26 – Caught in a Net: Agriculture, Climate Change, and the Decarbonisation Agenda

 

CopOut26, B Grade Cabaret Not Science

CopOut26, B Grade Cabaret Not Science

Mercifully, the charade known as Cop 26 has drawn to it’s ignominious end.

Almost all commentators are describing this latest Cop as a near total failure. As I have mentioned previously in this space it’s a near total success. The USA created the IPCC to prevent activists scientists from holding Capitalism’s feet to the abrupt climate change fire. It’s Time to Acknowledge the Spectacular Success of the IPCC.

In our video critique of the charade below I quoted the hyperlinked article from Democracy Now;
“Critiques of COP26 from activists both inside and outside its walls range from business as usual to abject failure. The United Kingdom’s shambolic management of the event, its strict visa requirements and its failure to deliver on its promised, pre-COP vaccination plan for attendees from nations with low vaccine availability have made this summit the whitest, most privileged COP in its 30-year history.” “While widespread access challenges have prevented thousands from participating, over 500 oil, gas and coal lobbyists have been given the red carpet treatment. If they were a nation, according to a new Global Witness report, they would be the largest delegation at COP26.”
Like Locusts, Lobbyists Swarm COP26 in Glasgow

“And here is the most impressive bluff: Just like in Kyoto and Paris, in Glasgow too, emissions of hothouse gases by all the world’s militaries are outside the game. Even though armies are some of the worst polluters on the face of the earth, no one is discussing them, no one is counting then, no one is proposing that their swelling ranks be cut. And not one single government is reporting honestly about the amount of garbage its army spews into the air.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

To Keep Fossil Carbon Out of the Air, Just Stop Pulling It Out of the Earth

To Keep Fossil Carbon Out of the Air, Just Stop Pulling It Out of the Earth

Expectations for the 2021 COP26 climate summit were always low. They had dimmed even further by the time the prominent climate activist Vanessa Nakate of Uganda spoke from the main stage on the Glasgow conference’s next-to-last day.

Nakate chided her audience for sleepwalking toward catastrophe: “We see business leaders and investors flying into COP on private jets. We see them making fancy speeches. We hear about new pledges and promises. … I have come here to tell you that we don’t believe you.” She added, “I am here to say, prove us wrong.”

Throughout the summit, people of all ages and backgrounds had rallied in the streets outside to demand effective climate action, climate justice, an end to exploitation, and other policies through which the world’s governments might prove Nakate wrong.

On November 5, more than 8,000 children, teenagers, parents, and teachers marched through the city, calling on the generation now in power not to ruin the future for generations who follow. The next day, a surge of more than 100,000 climate marchers demanded an end to fossil fuel investments, a global conversion to renewable energy financed by wealthy countries, and reparations for Indigenous communities.

Tuntiak Katan, a member of the Shuar nation in Ecuador, reminded reporters that “Indigenous peoples already protect 950 million hectares of land worldwide.” Affluent nations, he said, must “abandon extractivism and get the oil, mining and agribusiness companies out of our territories, and apply a holistic vision, combined with the vision of the indigenous peoples.”

The Glasgow marchers’ goals were both necessary and achievable, but they knew all too well that fossilized COP summits have failed the world twenty-five times since 1995, and COP26 would be no different.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Net-Zero Policies: Taking From the Poor and Giving to the Rich

Net-Zero Policies: Taking From the Poor and Giving to the Rich

It is too often overlooked in all the discussions about the “transition” to a net-zero emissions economy that the most consequential transition is that from democratic capitalism to feudal serfdom.

This is the conclusion of American demographer and “blue-collar Democrat” Joel Kotkin, who has highlighted that the supposedly well-intentioned green policies being adopted across the West come at enormous expense to the working- and middle-classes.

As Kotkin wrote in ‘Spiked’ earlier this year, “extreme climate measures have driven the loss of traditional blue-collar jobs in manufacturing, construction and energy, while other environmental regulations have boosted housing prices.”

Kotkin’s thesis is that the West is on the road to serfdom. Rather than maintaining our capitalist societies where a large, asset-owning middle-class underpin a stable democratic system, we are becoming stratified feudal societies.

Home and small business ownership are declining, especially among the young and the less well-off, a group of technocratic elites are establishing themselves as permanent rulers in the apparatus of the administrative state, and corporate oligarchs are coming to dominate both the economy and broader society.

Epoch Times Photo
People view artist Luke Jerram’s new ‘Floating Earth’ Debuts In Wigan, England, on Nov. 18, 2021. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

This transition has been occurring for some time, but it has been accelerated by the COVID-19-inspired lockdowns and the zeal with which Western governments have thoughtlessly adopted net-zero emissions targets.

Both play out as an aggressive form of reverse Robin Hood asset stripping, taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

Australia is now officially committed to a net-zero emissions by 2050 target.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Satirical video slices and dices deceit of governments’ “Net-Zero by 2050” COP-26 pledges

Satirical video slices and dices deceit of governments’ “Net-Zero by 2050” COP-26 pledges

Fact is, say scientists, that “Net-Zero by 2050” really means we’re “net-fucked by 2050.” —

CAUTION: Readers may find the word “fucked” in this piece offensive. Personally, I find the reference to “government deceit” far more disturbing.

“The latest satirical video from The Juice Media takes aim at humanity’s inadequate response to the climate emergency. Humanity is on a catastrophic global heating trajectory that will pass what scientists call the ‘net fucked by 2050’ point and is risking ‘irreversible chain reactions beyond our control’ just so billionaires can grow even richer. ‘Being honest isn’t an option for us. Which is why we’ve come up with the next best alternative: net-zero by 2050.’ No, that’s not today’s report out of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. It’s the latest Honest Government Ads satire video from the Juice Media. The Australian company has been producing boat-rocking political and social satire videos since 2008, and now they’ve got humanity’s woefully inadequate response to a potentially existential planetary emergency in their sardonic crosshairs; specifically, insidious ‘net-zero’ pledges that dangerously delay the immediate carbon emission reductions needed to avert a worst-case climate scenario.” —Common Dreams / The Juice Media

The Juice Media is an Australian company that produces contemporary political and social satire. The video series Honest Government Ads is a satirical take on Australian Government advertising. Each video targets a current social or political issue and highlights potential consequences of the Government’s position and policy on that issue.

My repost is presented in three segments:

  • First: Common Dreams’ abridged introduction to the video with my added subheadings and text highlighting. Excluded from my repost are copies of three tweets.
  • Second: my embedded 3:45-minute You Tube video of Australia’s Juice Media’s blistering satirical attack on governments’ “Net Zero by 2050” pledges pedalled at COP-26.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Video: Al Gore’s Latest ‘Solution’ To Climate Change Is Mass Surveillance

Video: Al Gore’s Latest ‘Solution’ To Climate Change Is Mass Surveillance

Meanwhile, new research finds that the carbon footprints of the wealthiest 1% are on track to be 30 times larger than the size compatible with limiting global warming to 1.5°C

Speaking from the private jet and super yacht owners gathering, otherwise known as the COP 26 summit, Al Gore touted his latest solution to curb carbon emissions, mass surveillance via satellites, sensors and artificial intelligence.

In the interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Gore declared that technology created by the so called Climate TRACE coalition will monitor greenhouse gas emissions and root out the culprits.

“We get data consistently from 300 existing satellites, more than 11,000 ground-based, air-based, sea-based sensors, multiple internet data streams and using artificial intelligence,” Gore explained, adding “All that information is combined, visible light, infrared, all of the other information that is brought in, and we can now accurately determine where the greenhouse gas emissions are coming from.”

Insert Man Bear Pig gif here.

Gore, who in 2008 said there would be no polar ice caps left within five years, continued, “And next year we’ll have it down to the level of every single power plant, refinery, every large ship, every plane, every waste dump, and we’ll have the identities of the people who are responsible for each of those greenhouse gas emission streams.”

And what, pray tell will happen to these climate criminals Al?

“If investors or governments, or civil society activists want to hold them responsible, they will have the information upon which to base their action and holding them responsible,” Gore proclaimed.

Watch:

What Gore and his 300 satellites will find is that it is the elite super rich luxury class who are the world’s largest polluters.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

If all 2030 climate targets are met, the planet will heat by 2.7 C this century

If all 2030 climate targets are met, the planet will heat by 2.7 C this century

If all 2030 climate targets are met, the planet will heat by 2.7℃ this century
Corals will not likely survive more than 2℃ global warming. Credit: Shutterstock

If nations make good on their latest promises to reduce emissions by 2030, the planet will warm by at least 2.7℃ this century, a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has found. This overshoots the crucial internationally agreed temperature rise of 1.5℃.

Released today, just days before the international climate change summit in Glasgow begins, UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report works out the difference between where  are projected to be in 2030 and where they should be to avoid the worst climate change impacts.

It comes as the Morrison government yesterday officially committed to a target of net-zero emissions by 2050. The government made no changes to its paltry 2030 target to reduce emissions by between 26% and 28% below 2005 levels, but announced that Australia is set to beat this, and reduce emissions by up to 35%.

The UNEP report was conducted before Australia’s new 2050 target was announced, but even with this new pledge, global pledges will undoubtedly still be short of what’s needed.

The report found global targets for net-zero emissions by mid-century could cut another 0.5℃ off . While this is a big improvement, it will still see temperatures rise to 2.2℃ this century. If we don’t close the global emissions gap, what will Australia, and the rest of world, be forced to endure?

 

 

If all 2030 climate targets are met, the planet will heat by 2.7℃ this century
Credit: The Conversation

Pledges are falling short

As of August 30 (the date the UNEP report reviewed to), 120 countries had made new or updated pledges and announcements to cut emissions.

The US, for example, has set an ambitious new target of reducing emissions by 50–52% below 2005 levels in 2030. Similarly, the European Union will cut carbon emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Zero Carbon Sooner—Revised case for an early zero carbon target for the UK

Zero Carbon Sooner—Revised case for an early zero carbon target for the UK

Cover image: Anthony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ in Liverpool; photographed by Donald Judge / flickr.com (CC-BY 2.0); modified

Summary

This paper is an update of an earlier briefing note[1], revised to take account of new findings from the IPCC’s updated 6th Assessment Report (AR6). The broad aim of the paper is to establish how soon the UK should aim for (net) zero carbon emissions. The paper first derives a ‘fair remaining carbon budget’ for the UK. It then analyses a variety of emission pathways and target dates for their adequacy in terms of remaining within this budget.

A first key finding is that a target date for zero carbon is not sufficient in itself to determine whether the UK remains within its carbon budget. Policy must specify both a target date and an associated emissions pathway. A second key finding is that the sufficiency of these targets and pathways depends crucially on whether emissions are accounted for on a ‘territorial’ basis or on a ‘consumption’ basis.

For a linear reduction pathway not to exceed the remaining carbon budget the net zero target year would have to be between 2027 and 2032, depending on the accounting framework. For a target year of 2050, the average rate of emission reductions must lie in the range 17-27% if the UK’s fair budget is not to be exceeded. As measured on a consumption basis, these rates would require absolute reductions approaching 95% of current carbon emissions as early as 2030. Consequently, this paper argues in favour of setting a UK target for net zero carbon emissions no later than 2035, with a maximum of around 5% of the mitigation effort achieved through negative emission technologies.

Download

The full working paper is available for download in pdf (1.4MB). | Jackson T 2021. Zero Carbon Sooner…

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Permafrost: a ticking carbon time bomb

Permafrost: a ticking carbon time bomb

In Sweden's far north, permafrost beneath the Stordalen mire is up to thousands of years old
In Sweden’s far north, permafrost beneath the Stordalen mire is up to thousands of years old.

Sheltered by snow-spattered mountains, the Stordalen mire is a flat, marshy plateau, pockmarked with muddy puddles. A whiff of rotten eggs wafts through the fresh air.

Here in the Arctic in Sweden’s far north, about 10 kilometres (six miles) east of the tiny town of Abisko,  is happening three times faster than in the rest of the world.

On the peatland, covered in tufts of grass and shrubs dotted with blue and orange berries and little white flowers, looms a moonlander-like pod hinting at this far-flung site’s scientific significance.

Researchers are studying the frozen—now shapeshifting—earth below known as permafrost.

As Keith Larson walks between the experiments, the boardwalks purposefully set out in a grid across the peat sink into the puddles and ponds underneath and tiny bubbles appear.

The distinct odour it emits is from hydrogen sulfide, sometimes known as swamp gas. But what has scientists worried is another gas rising up with it: methane.

Carbon stores, long locked in the permafrost, are now seeping out.

Between carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane, permafrost contains some 1,700 billion tonnes of organic carbon, almost twice the amount of carbon already present in the atmosphere.

With average temperatures rising around the Arctic, the permafrost has started to thaw
With average temperatures rising around the Arctic, the permafrost has started to thaw.

Methane lingers in the atmosphere for only 12 years compared to centuries for CO2 but is about 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas over a 100-year period.

Thawing permafrost is a carbon “time bomb”, scientists have warned.

Vicious circle

In the 1970s, “when researchers first started showing up and investigating these habitats, these ponds didn’t exist”, says Larson, project coordinator for the Climate Impacts Research Centre at Umea University, based at the Abisko Scientific Research Station.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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