Home Science Huzzah, So That's Climate Change Dealt With Then

Huzzah, So That’s Climate Change Dealt With Then

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One of the little things about climate change that we’re not told often enough is that beating it does not require the evisceration of every fossil fuel use. To avoid that terror of RCP 8.5 – oft known as business as usual, which it ain’t – we needed only to invent fracking. Which we did, so we’ve avoided it.

No, really, the model which has Flipper boiling in those fumes of the last ice floe requires that we run out of conventional oil and gas, don’t use unconventional and thus turn back to coal. Further, that we use energy with the inefficiency we did in the 1970s and 1980s. We have increased efficiency, we invented fracking so can and do use unconventional oil and gas and we’re not, not in the slightest, turning back to coal. The extreme predictions are known to be wrong that is.

To get us further away from that extreme we do need to go further, sure we do. Which is exactly what is happening:

Renewable sources such as wind and solar generated 38% percent of the 27-member state bloc’s electricity in 2020, with fossil fuels such as coal and gas contributing 37%, the report by think tanks Ember and Agora Energiewende showed.

That means we’re not on RCP 8.5, obviously, but it also means we’re not on RCP 6 either. We’re getting closer to RCP 4.5 in fact. Where climate change is a bit of a bore but not all that much of a problem.

But it gets better:

Electric vehicles are close to the “tipping point” of rapid mass adoption thanks to the plummeting cost of batteries, experts say.

Global sales rose 43% in 2020, but even faster growth is anticipated when continuing falls in battery prices bring the price of electric cars dipping below that of equivalent petrol and diesel models, even without subsidies. The latest analyses forecast that to happen some time between 2023 and 2025.

Once electric cars are cheaper then they will indeed be mass market. That’s just how we humans work. As with solar and coal of course, we buy more when the one becomes cheaper than the other.

That is, climate change is largely solved already. We’ve done what was needed, invented the new technologies, made them cheap enough that people will voluntarily use them and there we are, job done.

Sure, we can still insist that the entire climate change scare is the sort of jellied tripe that we’d not mush up for infant pap but the point here is that even if it isn’t it’s still something we’ve already solved.

Non-fossil is cheaper than fossil. We’re done, now we just wait the capital cycle out and as people replace what wears out we will be in that Greta approved future.

Good, eh?

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8 COMMENTS

  1. It works in theory. The slight fly in the ointment is that the folks promoting the green technologies have not been very thorough or perhaps honest with their analysis showing the green technologies to be cheaper. Odd that.

    • I’d agree with you.

      Of course if we really wanted to greenify our energy production, the French and indeed German examples show that we could nuclearise our power generation in less than 20 years. But the greenists have shut down nukes in Germany and now France, and they want to shut down the lot.

      The main green state at present is Russia. They made sure to subsidise their nuclear industry after the fall of the empire, and they’ve continued the USSR’s policy of generating all the power they can from nukes and selling the oil and gas abroad.

  2. I don’t think Norway is a particularly good example. From what I can tell by looking at the map, there’s 3 or 4 large population centres around the coast and when you get 20 miles out, it’s hamlets. Road journeys are long between them, not very fast and they seem to use internal flights. And it’s not like you’re going to drive from there to get some Mediterranean sun.

    1.3% extra isn’t the deal breaker. You’ll make that up on cheaper fuel, bragging rights and congestion charge. It’s range. And even on second cars because the wife wants to see her sister every few months and she’d rather not have to spend 30 minutes sat on a forecourt.

    • Exactly. A pushbike is cheaper than a car, but that doesn’t matter if it won’t do what you need the car to do. And that’s where EVs fall down.

  3. The UK is only using coal (and imported woodchips which are even worse from a CO2 point of view) because we have spent so much money building expensive and unreliable windfarms. A few percent of that on a couple more CCGT plants and we could close down our coal-fired generator for good.

  4. The problem is that we in the UK are supposed to cut our emissions by enough to compensate for the feckin’ Chinks burning all the coal in the Galaxy ….

    • And also the Injuns of course. The general idea is that the UK are the suckers who do without everything, pay for everything and take the blame for everything.

  5. ” And it’s not like you’re going to drive from there to get some Mediterranean sun.”
    No? From seeing the midnight sun on the North Norway coast to a Spanish beach just along from Gib. I can tell you it’s a bloody long way. And better to avoid Paris

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expunct

in British English
expunct (ɪkˈspʌŋkt)
VERB (transitive)
1. to delete or erase; blot out; obliterate
2. to wipe out or destroy

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