26 March 2014

James Hansen at the US Building Solutions Conference

On 29 January 2014, James Hansen gave the John H. Chafee Memorial Lecture at the Building Climate Solutions Conference. His talk title was "Minimizing Irreversible Impacts of Human-Made Climate Change". 

Watch live streaming video from climatenexus at livestream.com

17 May 2013

A Northern Crossing of the Tararua Range with Robin in 1987

Last night I was sorting through some of Robin's many photographs. I found  some great photos of us tramping in the Tararua Range in 1987, 25 years ago. It was more or less on Robin's 60th birthday, which was 19 December 1987. We did a Northern Crossing, from the west or Otaki/Levin side out to the east or Masterton side of the range.

That is me and Robin outside Arete Biv. I guess we met some one who took this photo. I still have that fairydown jacket.

This is me outside Arete Hut on 20 December 1987. I have changed jacket. 

This is me approaching the old Tarn Ridge Hut on 20 December 1987.  
This is me outside the old Tarn Ridge Hut on 21 December 1987.  

This is a sequence of three photos that I took from Girdlestone Trig. They show Robin walking down the ridge towards Mitre Peak, with bright light shining off the wind-swept tussock grass, with Table Ridge in the mid background and the Bannister Waingawa ridge in the far background.

This is me at the old Mitre Flats Hut Hut on 21 December 1987.

01 March 2013

Germany's electricity - renewable vs thermal

Tom exclaimed to me the other day "Solar electricity generation has really taken off in Germany!"

I thought I would obtain the data from the US EIA international web page and see for myself.

So yes from that chart, I see that solar generation has gone from zero in the early 1990s to 20 billion kilowatt hours in 2011. And both wind and biomass generation contributed more than 40 billion kilowatt hours in 2011.

But, Germany's thermal generation (meaning fossil fuels, coal, gas and oil) has been consistently over 300 billion kilowatt hours for the lat 30 years. There was a slight dip in 2008 and 2009, which I would say reflects the Eurozone debt crisis rather than the European Emissions Trading Schme. Then an increase in 2010.

So Germany's thermal generation (read "coal") still dwarves (or is that "dwarfs"?) the renewables.

And German coal consumption seems pretty steady at over 200 million tonnes consumed annually since 2000.

02 February 2013

Friday night climate change and emissions trading reading

What do economists think is the best policy to adopt to respond to climate change? Hat-tip to the Environmental Economics blog.

The New York Times discusses energy taxes as tools to help tackle climate change. Hat tip again to the Environmental Economics blog.

The Davos World Economic Forum is not ignoring climate change. They have commissioned a report saying that curbing climate change will cost $700 billion a year.

Leo Hickman of the Guardian concludes you can't assume your flying emissions are 'offset' just because the EU has an ETS.

A UBS analyst concludes that the emission allowances (emission permits/units/credit) in the European Union emissions trading scheme are “worthless” without a change in the rules to tighten supply and curb the record glut of excess allowances.

According to UBS, the European Commission’s strategy for the glut is to reduce the supply of allowances into the market by postponing the sale of 900 million allowances from the 2013-2015 period to 2019-2020. This is being called "backloading".

However, "The European Commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm, will not get support from governments for its plan to temporarily cut oversupply by delaying auctions of some permits"

Consequently, the "EU nations and the region’s parliament have two options now: to “sit back and do nothing and see the market crash” or to support the short-term rescue plan to backload allowances".

31 January 2013

Kennedy Graham memo to John Key and Tim Groser - you are on the wrong side of history

Kennedy Graham gave a great speech in response to the annual Prime Minister's statement. This is the full speech

"Lord Nicholas Stern acknowledged just days ago that he had "got it wrong". Climate change is already far worse than he thought it would be only 6 years ago when he released his report."

"We are no longer likely to achieve the 2 degrees Celsius limit that the international community set for itself only 2 years ago. We are now on target for 3.5 degrees to 6 degrees. That takes us beyond the dangerous dimension of climate change, which the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change sought to prevent, and into what the World Bank calls "cataclysmic" climate change."

"What to say to a Government that in face of these developments guts its domestic climate legislation and refuses to enter a second binding international commitment period?"

"What to say to a Prime Minister who, in his annual statement to Parliament, omits climate change on the grounds that he touched on it last year?"

"What to say to a Minister for Climate Change Issues who says that New Zealand is ahead of the curve, that it is time to move beyond the Kyoto Protocol and join the largest polluters of the world, and who derides the global civil society when it criticises New Zealand for being one of the chief obstacles to progress at the UN conference in Doha?"

"We say this to John Key and Tim Groser. We say this: you are on the wrong side of history, both of you, in your respective ways."

Kia kaha, Kennedy!

Paul Krugman and the Japan worriers to apologise to the Emperor

Thursday evening and Friday early morning are not good times to have insomnia. National Radio has an unlistenable jazz programme before midnight, which is soon followed by a programme about differently-abled people.

Much better to watch and listen to Paul Krugman talk about the economy of the USA from the start of the GFC in 2008 being like Japan in the 1990s - except with more unemployment and suffering.

Krugman tells the joke that the US has so badly managed it's economic response to the GFC, that he and the other US-based 'Japan worriers' (the economists who criticised Japan's management of it's economy in the 1990s for its failure to stimulate growth in a period of near-zero interest rates) are planning to go to Japan to apologise to the Emperor, for the worse US management of the GFC