Sunday, December 2, 2012

Coal Boom Unabated in Asia

Greetings Peaksters

    It seems that 1200 coal plants are in the planning stages to be built.  Not sure how that's going to help us get to 2 degrees.

       If you can , take a look a Prof George Mobius's blog    He's a professor of system science and biophysical economics:

    He tries to figure out how such a "clever" species, could be unable to recognize a dead end.
"So here we are, a species that is just smart enough to reshape our physical world to our desires as we see fit, used to getting the hedonic things we want, and stuck with the certain belief that what we are doing is right and good. We came to grasp the need for a growing economy as a result of our population growth (right and good) our desires for creature comforts and entertainments (right and good) and, having gotten energy driven machines to do the really hard work for us, a desire to not strain ourselves (right and good).
But we're a species not wise enough to realize that all of this has gone way too far. A little creature comfort is not bad. A little machine assist is not bad, as long as you have a sustainable source of energy to run it. Even pleasures and entertainments are not bad in proper measure. But our brains are not, on average, really geared to make these judgments. We still seek surpluses." 


"We now come to the third major factor in producing the human predicament. As a species we have a great deal of trouble offloading non-working beliefs. It is in our nature. You might say we, as a species, stubbornly hold onto old beliefs even in the face of contrary evidence that we are wrong! There is a reason for this.
Our brains evolved to receive a set of beliefs (concepts about how the world works) from our elders and an ability to plug our on-going life experiences into those beliefs as we mature (see: constructivist theory). In our natural environment (in the late Pleistocene era on the African savannah), as long as that environment was relatively stable, this system of intelligence for guiding our ordinary behaviors worked very well. Our beliefs were built from correlations we noted in our environments, both causal and casual. Our brains are able to modify beliefs to some extent when the correlations no longer hold or new correlations are found to be operative and stable over time. We are capable of learning but not necessarily able to change our beliefs outright unless the evidence is overwhelming or cannot be reconciled with those existing beliefs."

Coal Boom Unabated in Asia

The Green Blog news roundup included this graph and summary today:
The lion's share of new coal plants planned worldwide would be built in China and India.World Resources InstituteThe lion’s share of new coal plants planned worldwide would be built in China and India.
Some 1,200 new coal-fired power plants are being planned across the globe despite concerns about greenhouse gas emissions from such generating stations, the most polluting type, the World Resources Institute estimates. Two-thirds of them would operate in China and India, it says. [World Resources Institute] [Read on...]
Two related reports have come out in recent days.
One, the United Nations Environment Program Emissions Gap Report 2012, concludes:
Action on climate change needs to be scaled up and accelerated without delay if the world is to have a running chance of keeping a global average temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius this century.
The other was a new climate assessment produced for the World Bank. Here’s the summary: “Climate Change Report Warns of Dramatically Warmer World This Century.”
After I read it the other day, I sent this question to the bank’s press office:
I disagree with Climate Progress blogger Joe Romm on quite a few fronts, but he’s raised a very important point….  I’d greatly appreciate an answer from the bank on how it can put out such an urgent message on decarbonization while continuing to support coal-generated electricity (even if more efficient)?
Here’s the reply, attributed to a World Bank spokesman:
The World Bank Group only invests in coal in very rare circumstances. We have moved away from funding coal and have moved toward the funding of renewable energy. The Bank Group scaled up lending commitments for renewable energy from 22% of its energy projects in 2007 to 44% in 2012. When you talk about coal projects in the developing world, I think you need to put this in perspective. The problem with coal emissions rests squarely in the most highly industrialized nations. If you took all the developing countries in the world and added up all their emissions together, it still would be one-third of the emissions of the United States, European Union, and China combined – just one-third. We cannot deny developing countries their basic energy needs. We invest in coal only when poor countries have no other realistic options, including no short-term options to rapidly ramp up renewable energy alternatives.


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