Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Good piece from George Monboit

George Monboit writes in the Guardian and outlines the problem with climate change in this article.   We have to reduce the use of fossil fuels and the biggest replacement will have to come electricity, specifically electricity with low carbon emissions.   It is the need to replace the dirty the power with clean power that leads us to the problem.

Read his piece, he really does outline the dilemma well.   Here are some of my comments in relation to it.

  • Global energy use is going to rise for at least the next thirty to fifty years, likely for longer than that.  We have the majority of the global population going to go through the point in their economic development in which energy needs will be dramatically rising.
  • To reduce demand the price of energy will have to rise dramatically.   The one and only thing that has ever managed to reduce demand has been a rise in price.   If the goal is a net reduction of energy use over the next generation, there will have to be a 100% or more increase in all energy prices immediately and then a phase in over the next 30 years an annual increase several times that of inflation.
  • There are various green energy sources but as of yet many of them are not competitive with a coal fired power plant.   As we see here in BC, the subsidy of green power is seen as a bad thing - not that I would call the BC Hydro IPP contracts a subsidy as they will be hugely  financially beneficially in a few years.
  • No government has the tiniest ability to deal with the situation.  People have to accept that any serious solution is going to come from the private sector that sees a buck can be made.
  • Most of the public is in complete denial about what it will take to actually lower CO2 emissions.

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