Showing posts with label Climate Action Plan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Climate Action Plan. Show all posts

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Obama Climate Plan: Disappointing and Hopeless

by Peter Carter

The Obama plan is a phony fossil fuel PR plan to keep increasing American fossil fuel production, which, under Obama, has reached an all-time high. We have to get atmospheric CO2 down below 350ppm fast – with a planetary emergency climate action plan. Today it is 400ppm. Under the Obama plan, it will only keep going up fast.

It is easy to rate a climate plan, but it seems America doesn’t know the climate science basics. Basic climate science fact number one is “zero carbon” (see If we don’t stop emitting carbon, we can’t stop, or even slow down, global warming.

It is definite that the global temperature and ocean acidification cannot stop increasing unless industrial carbon emissions get to zero. You probably haven’t heard this fact because it means the end of the fossil fuel industry.

It simply means all fossil fuel energy must be replaced by clean, zero-carbon energy. It means that although some fossil fuels are worse polluters than others, any fossil fuel energy (including natural gas) production has to stop and be replaced by real, clean, zero-carbon energy. It means that any climate action plan that does not drop carbon emissions is a deadly dirty lie.

US Fossil Fuel Production under Obama

Some quotes:

Below from: US to become world leader in oil and gas thanks to fracking — The UK Independent, 13 November 2012.

The United States will leapfrog Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s biggest producer of oil and gas in the next five years as the controversial practice of ‘fracking’ for hydrocarbons contained in shale rocks has enabled the country to increase production massively.

US oil and gas production is set to leap by about a quarter by 2020 as the rapid growth of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, propels the country towards providing all its own energy by 2035, according to the World Energy Outlook report from the International Energy Agency.

The fracking boom will push US oil production up from 8.1 million barrels a day last year to 11.1 million in 2020 while gas extraction will jump from 604 billion cubic metres a day to 747 billion (International Energy Agency).

Maria van der Hoeven, the IEA executive director, said: “North America is at the forefront of a sweeping transformation in oil and gas production that will affect all regions of the world.”

Below from: US may soon become world’s top oil producer — Associated Press, 19 February 2013.

Driven by high prices and new drilling methods, U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day. This will be the fourth straight year of crude increases and the biggest single-year gain since 1951.

Planetary-scale climate change murder

Obama is getting away with planetary-scale climate change murder. His actions as the most influential leader on the planet will affect the entire planet forever.

Obama is proud of his record American oil production: “Now, we absolutely need safe, responsible oil production here in America. That’s why under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years.” (February 2012)

With atmospheric carbon at the highest level it’s been in 15 million years and ocean acidification occurring faster than in the past 300 million years, there’s no such thing as safe oil production any more.

Check the Obama climate action plan for any evidence of a decrease in fossil fuel production any time in the future. It is all continued increase, and it is locking America and the world into another 50 years of fossil fuel energy dependency. Only by then, civilization will have collapsed.

Cover up

Quotes from: The President's Climate Action Plan
Unlocking Long-Term Investment in Clean Energy Innovation.
The Fiscal Year 2014 Budget continues the President’s commitment to keeping the United States at the forefront of clean energy research, development, and deployment.  … This includes investment in a range of energy technologies, from advanced biofuels and emerging nuclear technologies – including small modular reactors – to clean coal.
Spurring Investment in Advanced Fossil Energy Projects: In the coming weeks, the Department of Energy will issue a Federal Register Notice announcing a draft of a solicitation that would make up to $8 billion in (self-pay) loan guarantee authority available for a wide array of advanced fossil energy projects under its Section 1703 loan guarantee program.

Clean Coal? Only the coal industry talks the “clean coal” oxymoron, which makes Obama a coal man in the White House, as well as an oil man. There is no such thing as clean coal or oil, and, in any case, the cleanest fossil fuels would be far from zero-carbon.

Biofuels? Burning food is an obvious obscenity. Burning biofuels emits CO2 and incurs a carbon debt from the land being used to produce biofuels – it is nowhere near a zero-carbon energy.

Where is the long-term investment in real, clean, zero-carbon, everlasting energy? Yet this is a fossil-fuel-promoting climate action plan.

All this money is being used as fossil-fuel cover-up, to deceive Americans into thinking there is such a thing as “clean coal” and “ethical oil.” All government money should be going to true clean, zero-carbon energy development if we are to survive. Obama has no intention of replacing or displacing fossil fuel energy from its longstanding energy dominance.

This climate “action” plan is designed to maintain American and world fossil fuel dominance of the energy market. Now that Obama has got US fossil fuel production up to all time record levels, he placates his environmental supporters with the clean-fossil-fuel energy big lie, and they fall for it. It is, of course, too good to be true.

The Real Obama Plan
  • Obama’s advanced fossil fuel energy projects are backward, retrogressive, and impel us faster to global climate catastrophe. These Advanced Fossil Energy Projects (Department of Energy) are designed to advance the insane planet-destroying agenda of the fossil fuel corporations. The future he has planned for American and world energy is a future that won’t last long.
  • Novel oil and gas drilling, stimulation, and completion technologies, including dry fracking, that avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants or anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases
  • Coal-bed methane recovery CO2 capture from synthesis gases in fuel reforming or gasification processes
  • CO2 capture from flue gases in traditional coal or natural gas electricity generation
  • CO2 capture from effluent streams of industrial processing facilities
  • Coal or natural gas oxycombustion
DOE notes that the scope of this solicitation is intended to be broad. DOE will consider both electrical and non-electrical fossil energy use. All fossil fuels, including, without limitation:
  • Coal
  • natural gas
  • oil
  • shale gas
  • oil shale
  • coal bed methane
  • methane hydrates
These are all projects to support the big clean-energy lie. The fossil fuel industry is not wasting money on research into “clean” fossil fuels, which are bogus. The industry knows that feigning “clean” would add huge costs to fossil fuel energy in the attempt. But these US government projects permit the fossil fuel industry to keep up the clean fossil fuel myth. It is fossil fuel PR. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) language is now being used to make fossil fuel energy projects appear to be zero-carbon.

The US oil and gas fracking technology has fast become the end-of-the-world model for the rest of the world to follow. So much for President Obama and the great climate change hope for greenhouse-gas-polluting energy change.

When President Obama talks about American leadership, he means leadership in shale oil, shale gas and methane hydrate gas. He is leading America and the world to Climate Hell.

[ Above post is an extract of the posts that appeared earlier at Uprage and at Boomerwarrior ]

Peter Carter is a retired family MD. Peter has spent many years working with environmental health development policy.
Peter has been a blogger since 2008. You can reach him at Uprage, the Climate Emergency Institute and on Facebook.
“I now focus on global climate change, because if we fail to fix this, we fail on everything,” says Peter.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Threat of Wildfires in the North

NASA/NOAA image based on Suomi NPP satellite data from April 2012 to April 2013, with grid added
A new map has been issued by NOAA/NASA. The map shows that most vegetation grows in two bands, i.e. the Tropical Band (between latitudes 15°N and 15°S) and the Northern Band in between 45°N and 75°N, i.e. in North America, Europe and Siberia. On above image, the map is roughly overlayed with a grid to indicate latitude and longitude co-ordinates.

Vegetation in the Northern Band extends beyond the Arctic Circle (latitude 66° 33′ 44″ or 66.5622°, in blue on above image from into the Arctic, covering sparsely-populated areas such in Siberia, Alaska and the northern parts of Canada and Scandinavia. Further into the Arctic, there are huge areas with bush and shrubland that have taken thousands of years to develop, and once burnt, it can take a long time for vegetation to return, due to the short growing season and harsh conditions in the Arctic.

Above map with soil carbon content further shows that the top 100 cm of soil in the northern circumpolar region furthermore contains huge amounts of carbon.

May 16 2013 Drought 90 days Arctic
Global warming increases the risk of wildfires. This is especially applicable to the Arctic, where temperatures have been rising faster than anywhere else on Earth. Anomalies can be very high in specific cases, as illustrated by the temperature map below. High temperatures and drought combine to increase the threat of wildfires (see above image showing drought severity).

June 25, 2013 from - Moscow broke its more than 100-year-old record for the hottest June 27
Zyryanka, Siberia, recently recorded a high of 37.4°C (99.3°F), against normal high temperatures of 20°C to 21°C for this time of year. Heat wave conditions were also recorded in Alaska recently, with temperatures as high as 96°F (36°C).

On June 19, 2013, NASA captured this image of smoke from wildfires burning in western Alaska. The smoke was moving west over Norton Sound. (The center of the image is roughly 163° West and 62° North.) Red outlines indicate hot spots with unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fire. NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption by Adam Voiland. - also see this post with NASA satellite image of Alaska.
Siberian wildfires June 21, from RobertScribbler 

Wildfires raged in Russia in 2010. Flames ravaged 1.25 million hectares (4,826 mi²) of land including 2,092 hectares of peat moor.

Damage from the fires is estimated to be $15 billion, in a report in the Guardian.

Cost of fire-fighting efforts and agricultural losses alone are estimated at over $2bn, reports Munich Re, adding that Moscow's inhabitants suffered under a dense cloud of smoke which enveloped the city. In addition to toxic gases, it also contained considerable amounts of particulate matter. Mortality increased significantly: the number of deaths in July and August was 56,000 higher than in the same months in 2009. 

[From: Abrupt Local Warming, May 16, 2012]

Wildfires in the North threaten to cause large emissions of greenhouse gases and soot, which can settle on snow and ice in the Arctic and the Himalayan Plateau, with the resulting albedo changes causing a lot more sunlight to be absorbed, instead of reflected as was the case earlier. This in turn adds to the problem. Additionally, rising temperatures in the Arctic threaten to cause release of huge amounts of methane from sediments below the Arctic Ocean. This situation threatens to escalate into runway global warming in a matter of years, as illustrated by the image below.

How much will temperatures rise?
In conclusion, the risk is unacceptable and calls for a comprehensive and effective action plan that executes multiple lines of action in parallel, such as the 3-part Climate Action Plan below. Part 1 calls for a sustainable economy, i.e. dramatic reductions of pollutants on land, in oceans and in the atmosphere. Part 2 calls for heat management. Part 3 calls for methane management and further measures.

The Climate Action Plan set out in above diagram can be initiated immediately in any country, without the need for an international agreement to be reached first. This can avoid delays associated with complicated negotiations and on-going verification of implementation and progress in other nations.

In nations with both federal and state governments, such as the United States of America, the Climate Action Plan could be implemented as follows:
  • The President directs federal departments and agencies to reduce their emissions for each type of pollutant annually by a set percentage, say, CO2 and CH4 by 10%, and HFCs, N2O and soot by higher percentages.
  • The President demands states to each make the same cuts. 
  • The President directs the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to monitor implementation of states and to act step in where a state looks set to fail to miss one or more targets, by imposing (federal) fees on applicable polluting products sold in the respective state, with revenues used for federal benefits.
Such federal benefits could include building interstate High-Speed Rail tracks, adaptation and conservation measures, management of national parks, R&D into batteries, ways to vegetate deserts and other land use measurements, all at the discretion of the EPA. The fees can be roughly calculated as the average of fees that other states impose in successful efforts to meet their targets.

This way, the decision how to reduce targets is largely delegated to state level, while states can similarly delegate decisions to local communities. While feebates, preferably implemented locally, are recommended as the most effective way to reach targets, each state and even each local community can largely decide how to implement things, provided that each of the targets are reached.

Similar targets could be adopted elsewhere in the world, and each nation could similarly delegate responsibilities to local communities. Additionally, it makes sense to agree internationally to impose extra fees on international commercial aviation, with revenues used to develop ways to cool the Arctic.

- Climate Plan