Pilot LTE: Reducing Emissions

https://pilotonline.com/opinion/letters/article_b71dd72e-1b79-11e9-952b-6b2eb49a7e84.html

Basically the same letter, from the same guy, over and over and over.

21 thoughts on “Pilot LTE: Reducing Emissions

  1. The United States is the only country currently reducing emissions over the last decade, largely due to our switch to natural gas from coal and from market driven improvements in efficiency. Going forward, we are not the problem.

    The IPCC scenarios that result in model projections of dangerous warming are all driven by rapid population growth and energy use in the developing world, with little increase in efficiency, in particular scenario RCP8.5, on which the National Climate Assessment is based.

    https://judithcurry.com/2015/12/13/a-closer-look-at-scenario-rcp8-5/

    This assumes population growth at the upper limits of UN estimates, mostly in Africa, with population densities in Africa equal to that of China today(Africa can barely support its current population) and an 8 fold increase in coal use, even though that much coal is not available.

    Of course that’s not going to happen. Nigeria cannot support a population of 1.5billion.

    But the important thing ot note is that all of the dangerous scenarios are based on increases in emissions in the developing world. What the US does is largely irrelevant. There is nothing to be gained by greatly diminishing our standard of living, other than to satisfy the liberal’s desperate need for penance.

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  2. Remember the no smoking section on airplanes? Made no difference so long as there was a smoking section.

    We can toss up our hands and blame the third world but we all breathe the same air and drink the same water.

    At some point it may come to the industrial powers that we should invest some of our massive GDP’s into bringing technology to the developing nations even at our expense.

    Or we can just continue to fly first class in the no smoking section while breathing the same foul air.

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    1. That makes no sense.

      The scenarios are based on expectations of population growth and energy use that haven’t happened yet and are very likely impossible.

      Do you really think Africa can support the population density of China, considering it is beset with periodic famine already?

      Do you think they can raise the capital for that kind of economic development with their political situation?

      We can accomplish more by educating people in developing nations (education lowers birth rate) than we can by trying to reduce emissions here more than we already are.

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      1. RE: “Do you think they can raise the capital for that kind of economic development with their political situation?”

        How to Raise the capital is an interesting question.

        Theoretically, funding the creation of productive assets is as simple as creating the money out of thin air. Banks do it all the time, but they create new money by issuing debt. Governments can do the same thing without creating debt; governments can simply issue new money.

        There is a danger, of course. Issuing freely-created money has to be done in a virtuous way, or else the new money will be worthless either in whole or in part. Virtue in this context means that the productive asset must be created, and it must be productive. Otherwise, again, the new money created to fund it will be worthless either in whole or in part.

        In other words — as you point out — the political situation is key. International banks control development in the developing world by controlling developing countries’ money supplies. There’s something to be said for this arrangement, since many emerging nations are incapable of the virtuous management control of their own monetary systems would require. Nevertheless, the arrangement is not the only feasible one.

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      2. We just said the same thing.

        Me:

        “At some point it may come to the industrial powers that we should INVEST SOME OF MASSIVE GDP’S into bringing technology to the developing nations even at our expense.”

        You:

        “We can accomplish more by educating people in developing nations…”.

        I wasn’t trying to put all the burden on just us reducing our pollution, although per capita we are one of the highest in the world, but rather realizing that what we do by ourselves, or nothing at all, is kind of moot since the earth is environmentally without borders. (All the walls Trump could possibly erect won’t protect us from that.)

        True, lowering the birth rates are very important to a degree. And, of course, that will reduce demand as well as contamination of the only accessible place in the universe we can survive on.

        But it is time to stop this inane “they won’t do anything so why should we” and replace it with “we’ll do more and we will help the developing world to do the same, even if it costs Westerners money”.

        Again just because we can afford to sit in the non-smoking section does not make our air any cleaner.

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      3. You two are talking past one another.

        Rothman: There has to be a transfer of wealth from the rich countries to the poor, because we all breathe the same air.

        Tabor: The economies of the poor countries are not productive enough to clean the air we all breathe.

        To get on the same page you need to jettison the socialism vs. capitalism framework. A good place to come together outside of that framework is in the realization that capital formation is essentially free, as long as the capital itself is used wisely.

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        1. “There has to be a transfer of wealth from the rich countries to the poor, because we all breathe the same air.”

          I think paying for externalities is more like it, rather a transfer of wealth. Industrial nations use Third World manufacturing because it is cheaper. Dirtier energy, lots of cheap labor and less fussy environmental considerations.

          Out of sight out of mind meant the external costs companies had to include as part of expenses here were sidestepped in Bangladesh for example. But the fouling of air and water with industrial waste there is going to effect us here.

          So in fact our wealth may have been artificially high by ignoring environmental issues at Third World working for us.

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          1. RE: “I think paying for externalities is more like it.”

            Paying more for the same thing is still a transfer of “wealth.” You need to get past the idea that money has intrinsic value to escape the economic model that is trapping your thinking.

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  3. I think of fear of global warming/climate change as largely a Baby Boomer preoccupation. As the youngest generation coming of age today assimilates the science made available to them they will notice it is full of unanswered questions to which the answers, as they come along, change everything.

    I expect today’s children will reject the fears today’s oldsters taught them to have. They will see the fear mongering as the last remnant of a pathological civilization. They will see the Boomers as unintelligent ancestors.

    Consider this. The entire present population of the planet could stand shoulder to shoulder, front to back in a space the size of Rhode Island. It is thus conceivable to move the whole human race underground should the surface of the Earth become too warm or cold. Survival, in other words, is an engineering puzzle, not an existential one as the dreary Beats and Hippies frame it.

    And similarly with other matters. Boomers’ preoccupation with old controversies long settled, and better, before their own time will become a common target of contempt. The children, after they come of age, will wonder, Why did our fathers and mothers waste their time so?

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    1. Well, if it is an engineering puzzle, wouldn’t it be much nicer to solve how we can live on the surface?

      I know this is fanciful, but have you ever wondered what life might be like with only 10% of the world’s population? And the having little growth in the populations, just replacement numbers.

      US: 32 million
      China: 140 million
      India: 120 million
      and so on across the globe.

      Fisheries would return to great abundance. Forests would reclaim millions of square miles. Commuting would be a breeze. TSA lines insignificant. No lift lines at ski resorts.

      Yes, some of my examples of benefits are a bit whimsical and pointless, but the idea of a much less crowded planet is not.

      Just because we can live underground, why would we?

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      1. RE: ” the idea of a much less crowded planet is not [whimisical and pointless].”

        Should we kill people on purpose to sustain a given population size?

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        1. I didn’t say that. It was just a thought experiment.

          However, it is entirely possible that a pathogen driven mass extinction may just create a population reduction. Tropical diseases are migrating and pharmaceutical companies are more focused on chronic diseases for profitability. More and more antibiotics are becoming less effective against “superbugs”. But the money in antibiotics is not nearly as good as pills patients have to take for a lifetime.

          Put another way, nature has ways of solving overpopulation in animal populations. So far we think we are smarter.

          We’ll see.

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        2. _RE: “I didn’t say that. It was just a thought experiment.”

          Of course you didn’t. But killing people on purpose is a necessary consideration, once we propose to maintain a specific population level.

          I tend to think there’s no natural limit on the size of the human population the planet can support.

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          1. Why not? There a natural limit to the size of the planet.

            Besides killing people on purpose is not the only way to limit population. Most of the top wealthy nations are losing population if not counting immigration.

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          2. RE: “There a natural limit to the size of the planet.”

            That’s true, but the size of the planet and the number of people and other living things it can support are two very different things. It’s a long-established fallacy to assume that one is dependent on the other.

            Besides, there’s no good reason at present to suspect that the size of the human population on Earth is anywhere close to approaching some independent, impassable limit. We could double the surface area available for human habitation just by moving underground, for example.

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          3. “We could double the surface area available for human habitation just by moving underground, for example.”

            Why? What is the point of trying to fill the world with people just because we can ensure their survival.

            Better to enjoy a beautiful world than try to fill it up to some capacity that equates to SRO and food chips.

            Our population is already endangering numerous species just by our expansion and exploitation.

            You want to wipe out everything but that which sustains us?

            We evolved in a literal Garden of Eden and it seems you are more that willing to turn it into a jam packed homeless shelter.

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          4. RE: “Why? What is the point of trying to fill the world with people just because we can ensure their survival.”

            It’s just a variable that we can control.

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      2. There is another factor here that none dare mention. Well, almost none.

        The primary problem is explosive population growth in Africa. The historic counter to that high fertility is the education of women. As soon as women become educated, and have hope for a better life, fertility plummets. But Africa is being swept by Wahhabi Islam, which forbids the education of women.

        That does not bode well for Africa.

        On top of that, the foreign investment Africa desperately needs to pull it out of poverty isn’t going to go there with governments nationalizing private property.

        So, it appears to me that Africa will remain fertile and desperately poor. The RCP8.5 scenario has Africa developing rapidly based on and 8 fold increase in the use of coal but that can’t happen in the face of Islam and socialism/populism.

        An explosive population growth coupled with economic stagnation portends a very grim, but low carbon, future for Africa.

        Good for the environment but though to be an African.

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        1. There are regions of Africa where extremists are creating chaos. But extremism rises from and thrives on poverty and ignorance.

          Western investment in education and technology would serve us all better.

          What is interesting and concerning is that we still regard Saudi Arabia as a great ally. Yet they continue to spread Islamic extremism.

          Iran, on the other hand, has much more freedom for women, better education across the board and more religious tolerance…just ask the Iranian Jews who feel very comfortable in Iran after millennia of persecution elsewhere in the world, including, of course, the West.

          Iran is a bigger country, lots of oil, a population that loves America despite our treatment of them over the last 60 years. And when did you ever hear of Shiites promoting religious extremism to terrorist groups in almost every corner of the Third World. Their “terrorism” is primarily about the Palestinian and Israeli problem.

          And Trump and the so called “freedom caucus” are bound and determined to suck up to Saudi princes and crush Iranian people economically.

          Obama and a coalition including both Russia and China struck a deal to bring Iran into the fold of the
          West and de-nuclearize them.

          Trump, in all his “genius”, trashed all that and sticks with the Saudis.

          IMHO, of course

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          1. If you’re expecting me to come out and defend the Saudis, you’re going to have along wait.

            But Iran as the lesser evil is a pretty low bar.

            We should not be involved in the centuries old Suni-Shia conflict.

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        2. _RE: “The primary problem is explosive population growth in Africa. The historic counter to that high fertility is the education of women. As soon as women become educated, and have hope for a better life, fertility plummets. But Africa is being swept by Wahhabi Islam, which forbids the education of women.”

          Makes sense to me. I think educating women in Africa, and elsewhere, for that matter, would be good thing to do in its own right. Same with educating men, or inducing Islam to reform itself.

          I can see the benefits, but it strikes me as odd to think of such projects as low-cost approaches to solving the problem of climate change. It strikes me as odd, in fact, to think of climate change itself as needing a solution that must emerge from a better allocation of resources in a world of scarcity.

          The challenge, instead, is to see resources as abundant. This goes against standard economic thinking, I know, since economics is sometimes defined as the study of the allocation of scarce resources. But to my mind the only scarcity science has ever found is the scarcity of usable energy. That is to say, if usable energy were abundant, no other resource need be scarce.

          I’m convinced that a better economics is one that begins with the assumption that resources are in fact abundant.

          There’s no shortage of feasible proposals and work-in-progress projects aimed at equipping humanity with unlimited energy supplies. Also, there’s no practical limit on the amount of money we can spend on such efforts, since we can make the money up as we go along. The only thing holding us back is analytical thinking which begins in assuming costs must be paid out of a finite pool of wealth.

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