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SexyOldHobo t1_j7gr857 wrote

I blame voters for constantly electing fossil fuel executives into our government, who then nominate more people with fossil fuel ties to the judiciary.

Not only are current policies inadequate, at least in America, I bet it will be illegal to attempt to close power plants by 2050, and we will most certainly be using our military and international presence to keep the world using our products.

Pretty much the same situation we have now, just with more judicial precedent preventing any civil or public action against the fossil industry.

Voters have shown they do not want change, so there will be none


grundar t1_j7hsi7v wrote

> Voters have shown they do not want change, so there will be none

Voters are not the only source of change -- change is happening because it's cheaper.

That's why the USA is closing fossil fuel power plants twice as fast as it's building them (7.5GW added vs. 16GW retired in 2023).

That's why Texas went from 6% wind+solar in 2012 to 17% in 2017 to 31% in 2022.

And that's also why the International Energy Agency projects carbon emissions will fall 15-20% by 2030.

Is that a morally satisfying reason for change to occur? No, not really -- it feels weird to have the right thing happen for the wrong reason. Climate change is important enough that we don't really get to be choosy about why the needed change is happening, only that the needed change is happening.

And, make no mistake, as the above data shows change is indeed happening. It may not be the kind of sweeping environmental awakening one might have hoped for, but it replaced coal and gas with wind+solar+storage, so for now that'll have to do.


ludwigvanboltzmann t1_j7k1kbk wrote

I don't care why it's happening, I do care that it's not happening anywhere near fast enough...


grundar t1_j7o8ly9 wrote

> > the International Energy Agency projects carbon emissions will fall 15-20% by 2030.
> I don't care why it's happening, I do care that it's not happening anywhere near fast enough... enough for what, exactly?

A 15-20% emissions reduction by 2030 puts us on the second-lowest IPCC pathway which is estimated to result in 1.8C of warming by 2100 (+0.6C above today), in line with Climate Action Tracker's estimate.

So we're certainly not on track for holding warming to 1.5C; however, we are on track for holding warming below 2C, which is a better outcome than I expected even just 5 years ago, and is far better than Climate Action Tracker's most optimistic projection from 5 years ago.

It's not perfect, but it's substantial progress, so I'll take that as a good starting point.


SolarStarVanity t1_j7jp8b6 wrote

That's like saying "You have a bleeding gunshot wound, and you are going to die from it pretty soon, but here is an Advil! It might not be the first aid you were hoping for, but it's what I got, so for now that'll have to do."


OrangeHatsnFeralCats t1_j7h4wwb wrote

I blame fossil fuel execs buying our politicians no matter who we vote for.


SexyOldHobo t1_j7hosyu wrote

Actually most candidates are pretty open about their energy policies.

You can’t vote for Biden then complain he’s not Bernie


Natho74 t1_j7ixetj wrote

The problem is you vote for Bernie but then he can't win so you're forced to vote for Biden because at least his policies are better than the other side's.


kenlubin t1_j7jjd57 wrote

Biden has produced some fantastic results for us on policy to address climate change.


Sanpaku t1_j7hc4ju wrote

To be in such a fate of blissful ignorance. Of how the climate crisis will affect food security and civil conflict (bigger problems than sea-side real estate, IMO) over the next human lifetime. How these changes are likely to persist for the next several hundred generations after that.

And should the realization dawn that they've chosen an immiserated future for their children, grandchildren and further descendants, I expect they'll blame the climate scientists for not warning them urgently enough.


fatamSC2 t1_j7ifq6h wrote

Has nothing to do with it. You could be as green as humanly possible and the poorer countries will still use coal because they're trying to catch up and green just isn't feasible in those countries for the most part. Or at least not on any grand scale. So coal usage will continue on until green becomes VERY affordable


reddituser567853 t1_j7j7quh wrote

Which will indeed be the case. Coal will be phased out economically, no matter how much you don't care about the environment

Solar also allows micro grids, a huge plus for the underdeveloped world.


thomasrat1 t1_j7j325j wrote

That or global governments start to pay for poorer countries to switch to green energy.


lowcrawler t1_j7jkjf2 wrote

Green energy is generally cheaper and more easily distributed and crowd sourced.

The argument that first world countries shouldn't pave the way because poor countries will choose coal is faulty.


El_Grappadura t1_j7jvalk wrote

The big problem is that the western nations are overconsuming by a lot. The current state is basically: "We cannot allow those poor countries to raise their standard of living", because nobody wants to talk about the necessity of scaling down.

I am personally not d'accord with a policy that involves an abandonment of billions of people because the global elite doesn't want to scale down their obscene lifestyles. We are basically condemning them to die..


chesterbennediction t1_j7i7o19 wrote

It's almost like we need fossil fuels to continue our way of life and it's isn't feasible to shut them all down.


jeffwulf t1_j7lmuvs wrote

Isn't feasible to shut them all down yet. We've set the base for doing it, we just need to keep building on it.


Splenda t1_j7o8tmw wrote

Not most voters. Just most voters in fossil fueled states, many of them rural, who get unfair extra votes due to an antique Constitution that has become the fossil fuel industry's primary weapon against climate solutions.


KetaCuck t1_j7hyc27 wrote

I don't think most people understand how much power coal produces and how long it would take us to catch up with "green energy." It would be literally impossible to produce an equivalent amount of energy with wind and solar in that time frame. We'd basically have to build one nuclear power plant a week for the next 25 years.


danielravennest t1_j7mdwc5 wrote

> We'd basically have to build one nuclear power plant a week for the next 25 years.

The world installed an estimated 268 GW of solar in 2022. Assuming a 20% "capacity factor" (actual average output accounting for night and weather) that comes to 53.6 GW average power. Note: US average capacity factor for solar is 24.4%, but not everywhere is so sunny.

A typical size for a new nuclear plant is 1 GW, so that is 53.6 nuclear plants, slightly more than one a week. It is just solar uses a fusion plant that is safely located 149.6 million km away.


jeffwulf t1_j7lo4bb wrote

In the US we've been rapidly phasing out coal already with most of the decline being replaced by renewables.


danielravennest t1_j7me7ig wrote

Natural gas started replacing coal due to fracking making it cheaper. This started several years before wind and solar were competitive. Now all three are killing coal, but as wind and solar keep getting cheaper, less of it will be natural gas (14% this year for new NG in the US).


SomeRandomIdi0t t1_j7j78sa wrote

Fun fact: you will be exposed to more radiation living 50 miles from a coal power plant than you would living 50 miles from a nuclear power plant


mdh431 t1_j7j9dul wrote

More than if you worked in the nuclear plant.


ansraliant t1_j7jqwzo wrote

if those anti-nuclear environmentalist could read they would be very angry


strokes_your_nose t1_j7kv3hz wrote

Could you share more on this? Interested to learn.


WeAreAllFooked t1_j7mfysr wrote

Basically coal contains trace amounts of radioactive elements and those radioactive particles are spread when the coal is burned and the waste gases are dumped in to the air.

1993 article mentioning it:

2007 article mentioning it:

A Canadian company wanted to buy up all the coal that was sitting around to extract radioactive isotopes from it and turn it in to nuclear fuel, when the coal companies found out about it, they immediately squashed the sale because of potential optics surrounding coal-fired power plants and the release of radioactive material. I'm trying to find the article that talks about it, but it's been a while since I read it


Splenda t1_j7o7ssf wrote

Not only that, but the coal plant will poison fish with mercury, making them inedible, for a thousand miles downwind.


Ksradrik t1_j7jrg00 wrote

Another fun fact: A Nuclear power plant mishap is also substantially more likely to kill anyone near it than a coal power plant mishap.

Its still a worthy risk, but pretending this is the issue most people are concerned about is just disingenuous, and therefore unlikely to actually reach a solution, its just venting.


helm t1_j7jvggx wrote

It's almost impossible to google now due to Fukushima daiichi dominating everything, but there was a fossil power plant that blew up because of the tsunami in 2011 and it immediately killed more people than were directly killed at Fukushima.

The whole disaster killed some 20k people, and the nuclear accident was a huge headache on top of that, but in the end, the earthquake and tsunami were by far the worst causes of damage.


WeAreAllFooked t1_j7mhxze wrote

This is patently false. Name me one nuclear accident not named Chernobyl or Fukushima where the reactor failed and lead to widespread contamination or verifiable health issues in the surrounding areas.

Chernobyl was a perfect storm of corruption, extremely poor reactor and containment design, and lax safety standards. Fukushima was caused by collusion, corruption, and inept management between the government of Japan, the regulator, and TEPCO.

Modern reactor and containment design are miles ahead of Chernobyl and Fukushima, and all reactors are designed around negative coefficients to prevent a possible catastrophic failure


El_Grappadura t1_j7jurl4 wrote

Fun fact: Nuclear power is ~3 times as expensive as renewables

And it takes a lot longer to build, in fact decades which we don't have time for.


mistressbitcoin t1_j7k1y5a wrote

The chart on that Wikipedia page does NOT support your first conclusion.


tfks t1_j7klmtk wrote

Rosatom has been pumping out reactors, taking about six years each consistently for a couple of decades. It's not that nuclear reactors take that long to build. It's that our nuclear construction expertise in the West is trash because we've preferred to burn fossil fuels for the past 40 years.

When stating that nuclear costs more than renewables, you'll have to state what metric you're using. Most likely, you're using levelized cost of energy, which is a flawed metric for measuring the economics of power generation of renewables. For dispatchable sources, LCOE is fine. But renewables are not dispatchable (excluding hydro and geothermal, which are dispatchable), so LCOE is not an appropriate measure. You might ask why. Well, the reason is that it doesn't matter if the energy is cheap if it's being produced when you don't need it, which happens pretty frequently with renewables. To make this clear, if you lived in a place where it did not snow and someone came to you saying "hey, I'll clear snow from your property for $10 a year" you would be stupid to take that deal not because the price is high, but because you don't need that service. That company could advertise itself as being the lowest cost snow removal company in the world, and they would be right, but that isn't relevant to whether or not it makes sense to purchase the service. So sure, advocates of renewable energy can say that the cost of the energy they produce is very low, but the conversation doesn't end there. The analysis to determine how cost-effective renewable sources are depends heavily on the climate of a region and the existing grid infrastructure. For example, every degree of latitude you move from the equator reduces the value of solar.


El_Grappadura t1_j7kms3i wrote

All of your statements need sources.

Olkiluoto 3 was built by Framatom and Siemens, who consistently built new fission reactors in the last decades. You can't say there is no expertise.. Maybe some russian company can pump out reactors which then don't comply with EU or US safety regulations, so that doesn't help anyone..

Also the cost of energy storage is included, so your whole point about energy not being available is wrong.


tfks t1_j7kyk1n wrote

>Maybe some russian company can pump out reactors which then don't comply with EU or US safety regulations, so that doesn't help anyone..

Prior to war breaking out, Rosatom was building reactors for countries all over the world. This is public information. If you want a source, you can check wikipedia. Providing sources is more important for information that is niche, newer, or isn't readily available on google, none of which is true here.

But if you want a source that actually is news and makes sense to provide a source for, how about the SMR being build in Ontario. It's slated for completion in 2028, just five years from now.

>Also the cost of energy storage is included, so your whole point about energy not being available is wrong.

No, it isn't wrong. Your own source provided above, the wiki article, mentions this:

>Levelized avoided cost of electricity
>The metric levelized avoided cost of energy (LACE) addresses some of the shortcomings of LCOE by considering the economic value that the source provides to the grid. The economic value takes into account the dispatchability of a resource, as well as the existing energy mix in a region.

Which is literally what I just tried to explain to you. So you can ask for sources, but if you aren't even reading your own, is there any point? I'm really not trying to be a jerk here... that's an honest question. If someone was standing in front of you with a Harry Potter book in their hand and you said "Harry Potter has a lightning bolt scar" and someone said they didn't believe you and to prove it, how would you react?

Additionally, even if I did provide other sources, the degree to which they would be useful to this conversation depends on your familiarity with electrical engineering. I think a lot of people take electricity for granted because you stick a cable with metal prongs into the wall and stuff automagically starts happening. But the system behind all that is hugely complex. One challenge that isn't addressed at all by levelized cost studies is the reduction of inertia that is associated with replacing conventional generation sources with things connected through inverters like solar panels and wind turbines. Conventional generation sources don't have inverters and their inertial mass is coupled directly with the grid. That has a number of advantages that aren't accounted for at all in LCOE. I mean this with no disrespect, but if you don't understand the significance of what I just said, how is it that you think providing sources is going to help? Unless I can find a Veritasium video or something like that that takes the time to explain concepts like that in a way that is easily digestible, which I doubt exists, then no source I can provide will be helpful.


Bullstryk t1_j7otafr wrote

Hallo, ich wünsche mir ein paar Quellen und eine konkretere als den Wikipedia-Eintrag, die kann man verschiedene interpretieren


Tearakan t1_j7gpfls wrote

Even phasing out all coal by 2050 is far far too late.

This slow change stuff would've worked fine in the 90s and 2000s.


screech_owl_kachina t1_j7gya7a wrote

Humans aren't going to even slow down emitting until so many of us die that isn't economical to do so. No treaty will ever be enforced.


jnelsoni t1_j7jlro9 wrote

Yep. I’m afraid you’re the winner of this exchange. Maybe if there’s a real “zen” virus that comes around and makes us all happy to sit around in the dark and cold, just enjoying each other’s company, and being happy with very little, we could slow the ascent into catastrophe, but I don’t see it coming. We’ll be burning each other before we give up combustion-derived energy, unfortunately.


9273629397759992 OP t1_j7gmbpj wrote

Plain language summary:

A new study shows that current policies are not enough to phase out coal and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The study suggests that additional strong policies such as carbon pricing and coal mining phase-outs are needed in order to achieve a global coal exit. It also shows that China has the opportunity to dominate the renewable energy market if it phases out coal soon, but if it doesn't, it could delay the renewable energy breakthrough worldwide. The scientists also find that the Powering Past Coal Alliance may lead to a rebound in coal use globally due to market effects, and that the greatest risk to the coal exit movement may be from free-riding sectors in member countries. Finally, the study suggests that the G20 phase-out of international public finance for coal projects may be able to provide some political momentum for the Alliance.


grundar t1_j7gvwks wrote

> A new study shows that current policies are not enough to phase out coal and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Note that this is not entirely surprising, as event the lowest-emission IPCC pathway does not reach net zero by 2050 (p.13) That scenario -- SSP1-1.9 -- has an expected max warming of 1.6C (p.14), falling to 1.4C by 2100.

So while it's certainly worth pushing for coal to be phased out earlier (the reduced carbon emissions and the reduced air pollution will each prevent enormous suffering) and for pushing for net zero ASAP, there is a large difference between "we will not meet a target that is more ambitious than even the most ambitious one considered by the IPCC" and "we're fucked".

In particular, the IEA expects CO2 emissions to fall 15-20% by 2030, putting the world roughly in line with the IPCC's SSP1-2.6 pathway which projects an estimated 1.8C of warming, in line with Climate Action Tracker's policy-based estimate.

Less warming would absolutely be better, of course, but it's worth recognizing there are more than just the two extremes in the space of possible futures.


Sol3dweller t1_j7jurx7 wrote

The study mainly points out that the coal-exit goal of the "Power Past Coal Alliance" isn't sufficient in itself. It needs to be accompanied by other policies:

>These odds would improve if norms around sustainable growth or carbon pricing prevail instead71,72. Additionally, PPCA members can still galvanize Paris-aligned coal-exit momentum by immediately confronting freeriding sectors and ramping-up VRE, electrification and technological (and financial) transfers to freerider nations. > >Recent literature highlights the importance of complementing demand-side antifossil initiatives with supply-side actions73,74,75, for example, mining or export restrictions. This counteracts price depression and leakage, increasing phase-out policies’ self-propagation potential. Given geographical variance in coal quality and trade, however, policy efficacy depends upon the specific adopters. Crucially, the largest anticipated coal consumers in 2045—China, India and ASEAN members (Fig. 2c)—can each sustain self-sufficient coal supplies.

>Those coal-rich developing nations also exhibit the highest path-dependence of accession probability to near-term decisions. Most glaringly, China falls below the 50% threshold and Indonesia below 5% in brown scenarios. Additionally, we observe that several highly probable OECD coalition members install new coal plants in brown and neutral COVID recoveries. PPCA accession then forces a sudden exodus of unamortized capital from 2025 to 2030. Thus, to preserve the health of their economy45, citizens46, grid81 and credibility, OECD governments must cancel all coal projects.


Discount_gentleman t1_j7hu29z wrote

It doesn't help that the US is increasingly militaristic toward China, and has an agressive policy of preventing Chinese technological and economic advancement, particularly by denying them advanced microchips.


kenlubin t1_j7jjmr1 wrote

Luckily for them, China is way ahead of us on renewable energy technologies.


[deleted] t1_j7go35i wrote



Tearakan t1_j7gpjnr wrote

Eh those people with money only have it as long a civilization is still around. Once that collapses all bets are off.

Hard to assert your authority over land you own vs a warlord who has way more guns and troops than you.


Shumina-Ghost t1_j7h8d53 wrote

Phasing out coal in 27 years??? That’s insanity if people that we can actually do that. I’d love for us to pivot to handle climate change in a drastic way, but I also know I’m generally just wishing at this point.

We’re going down.


kenlubin t1_j7jjy1m wrote

> With the new solar and wind projects coming online this year, we forecast these two energy sources will account for 16% of total generation in 2023, up from 14% last year and 8% in 2018. In contrast, our forecast share of generation from coal falls from 20% in 2022 to 18% in 2023; the forecast share from natural gas declines from 39% to 38%.

EIA report from last month, writing about the US.


danielravennest t1_j7gzt2w wrote

Climate policies are not what drive change. The profit motive is. Now that renewables are the cheapest energy source, their use is growing exponentially. 2022 was the first year that world-wide investment in renewables matched those in fossil fuels. From here on it will be the dominant place money is going to, and will squeeze out fossil investment.


CarryNoWeight t1_j7gkqji wrote

It's not going away because they make money from it! And they disrupt the technology that can replace it.


lowcrawler t1_j7jkdm6 wrote

We don't need to get to zero. That measure isn't helpful.


Splenda t1_j8obt8a wrote

In other words, "current climate policies" are nearly useless. The worst crisis in human history is barreling down on us and we have taken only insufficient baby steps.

Do we want a brutal global police state? Because this is how one gets a brutal global police state.


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DaJebus77 t1_j7hy30l wrote

Not good, and yet not surprising at all.


Hexas87 t1_j7hvsz3 wrote

No policies will make that happen. Only new technology will, and even then, that tech would need to be available today.


ga-co t1_j7j98ux wrote

The planet is toast if we’re still talking about coal as a fuel source in 2050. There’s a reasonable chance I’ll live that long, but honestly it sounds like it’s going to be awful for the people still alive. We’re already starting to have climate refugees and at the same time people are still building on our coasts and thinking golf courses in the desert are sustainable.


FalseTebibyte t1_j7jub1d wrote

Progression for the sake of progression isn't progressive, Science.


DENelson83 t1_j7jil63 wrote

We will need to phase out capitalism first.


jeffwulf t1_j7lpowi wrote

Based on trends in the countries that are phasing out coal versus building it out rapidly, exactly the opposite.


DENelson83 t1_j7lwah4 wrote

But if we do not phase out capitalism, we are on the trolley track to human extinction.


jeffwulf t1_j7m0bac wrote

Evidence suggests exactly the opposite.


DENelson83 t1_j7m0l6b wrote

Yeah, what evidence?


jeffwulf t1_j7m10ud wrote

Carbon trends in different economies.


DENelson83 t1_j7m24ra wrote

So, you are saying that carbon emissions into the atmosphere are already slowing down? Last I checked, they were still accelerating.


jeffwulf t1_j7m4mn7 wrote

US carbon emissions, measured by both consumption and production, peaked in 2005 and have been trending downwards since and are 20% lower than their peak.


DENelson83 t1_j7mive5 wrote

Yeah, and what about the rest of the world, like, oh, I don't know, China?


jeffwulf t1_j7mrcvg wrote

Yeah, Communist China is heavily investing in coal and it's state owned coal company is the single largest producer of fossil fuel emissions and is a good foil to what's happening in capitalist countries.


jfuite t1_j7gwrm3 wrote

My coal stocks have been the best performers in my portfolio the last two years . . . .


AsphaltAdvertExec t1_j7h891h wrote

This comment highlights why Climate Change will in fact wipe us out.

Every individual trying to "Get theirs" and then we will see about doing something.


zenzukai t1_j7hnbld wrote

I wonder how you can assign a probability to an unprecedented situation. It's not like conditional probability can predict events that have no meaningful input data.


minotaur05 t1_j7hzl3t wrote

You can make predictions. Use existing laws and current rate of increase combined with trends of other issues changing across societies in the past. No it's not perfect, but it can give us a ballpark.


dresden_k t1_j7jbvnp wrote

Nobody wants a lower standard of living next year, so voluntarism is out.

Nobody wants a lower standard of living in their country, so asking individual countries to lower their footprint even within their country isn't going to happen either. We'll see a bunch of billionaires who have a larger footprint than towns of 10,000 keep on about our emissions though. Fly another jet around and tell us to eat ze bugs, please, kthx.

All we'll see is more holier-than-thou posturing and promises to FiNaLly Do mOrE gReEn PoWeR nExT yEaR. We have nothing that replaces 100,000,000 barrels of oil every day.

Solar panels won't push the semi trucks around. Wind turbines won't run agricultural equipment. Geothermal isn't going to push shipping ships across the oceans.


nclh77 t1_j7hzeza wrote

Clean coal is green energy - coal miners /users