29 May 2014

The integrity of the NZETS lies somewhere in an unmarked grave

According to Brian Fallow writing in the NZ Herald its a bit too late for Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser to be trying to save the integrity of the NZETS because it lies somewhere in an unmarked grave.

23 May 2014

Bill McKibben - opening up space for change on the scale that physics requires

Bill McKibben has followed up his Maths of global warming with a great new article in Rolling Stone titled  A Call to Arms: An Invitation to Demand Action on Climate Change.

McKibben and 350.org.nz are planning a huge demonstration in New York to coincide with the September meeting of the United Nations.

McKibben on Barack Obama.

Sure, he's imposed new mileage standards for cars, but he's also opened vast swaths of territory to oil drilling and coal mining, which will take us past Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world's biggest petro producer.

McKibben on deniers and delayers.

In a rational world, no one would need to march. In a rational world, policymakers would have heeded scientists when they first sounded the alarm 25 years ago. But in this world, reason, having won the argument, has so far lost the fight. The fossil-fuel industry, by virtue of being perhaps the richest enterprise in human history, has been able to delay effective action, almost to the point where it's too late.

McKibben on the message from the scientists

"What exactly don't you understand about what we've been telling you for a quarter-century?"

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".