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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 10:22 PM   #71
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If

Quote:
From what you’ve read and heard, is there solid evidence that the average
temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past four decades?
was the question in the survey - the results are meaningless - for greenies anyways. Old timers at my work for example swear all the seasons are warmer; but conservative and set in their ways that they are, don't believe for a second that it's caused through human industry. Nature, of which climate is a part, changes - it would be far more shocking if climate were proven to be static.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 10:26 PM   #72
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The psychology of memory will allow current fads and media hype to colour our perceptions of what is warm and what is cold. You're right--the question as asked is meaningless.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 11:37 PM   #73
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80% is good enough for me. I already believe the consensus of the majority of climate scientists, and am happy to see that most others do as well. Climate-change is happening at an accelerated rate, Mankind has something to do with it, and there may still be something we can do about it. World governments acknowledge this (except Canada) and are developing some policy accordingly. The policy is weak, but it's a start.

If I have to be a vocal minority, I can pick another subject. Maybe "The first official thread on MD's are self-serving Quacks?" or "PCs have always been better than Macs" - yah... =)

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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 12:01 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by vancouverdave View Post
80% is good enough for me. I already believe the consensus of the majority of climate scientists, and am happy to see that most others do as well. Climate-change is happening at an accelerated rate, Mankind has something to do with it, and there may still be something we can do about it. World governments acknowledge this (except Canada) and are developing some policy accordingly. The policy is weak, but it's a start.

If I have to be a vocal minority, I can pick another subject. Maybe "The first official thread on MD's are self-serving Quacks?" or "PCs have always been better than Macs" - yah... =)

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I guess you are right. Last year was one of the coldest on record for Alberta and this year is already that much colder again.

'Course NASA interpolated our temps from somewhere in Florida rather than just looking at the weather station data. Only way they could possibly claim that last year was slightly warmer than normal for Alberta.
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 12:07 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by vancouverdave View Post
80% is good enough for me. I already believe the consensus of the majority of climate scientists, and am happy to see that most others do as well. Climate-change is happening at an accelerated rate, Mankind has something to do with it, and there may still be something we can do about it.

World governments acknowledge this (except Canada) and are developing some policy accordingly. The policy is weak, but it's a start.

If I have to be a vocal minority, I can pick another subject. Maybe "The first official thread on MD's are self-serving Quacks?" or "PCs have always been better than Macs" - yah... =)

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This is just a huge statement of faith. There is no consensus, nor even a consensus of the majority. Mankind has something to do with it--and it is negligible. I would not be surprised to see that mankind's net effect is a minuscule cooling. Climate change is not happening at an accelerated rate--even the greenhouse gassers accept this.

World governments have developed some policies and they are falling like dominoes. The carbon trading exchanges are going belly up. The green folly of countries like Germany, England and Spain are becoming more and more apparent.

Even by the most optimistic scenario of the IPCC, even if all of their suggestions were adopted by world governments, it would buy the world a couple of weeks of delaying a tiny increase in temperature. Not that their models have proved capable of predicting anything, but you get my drift.

If you care to spend all of your children's money tilting at carbon windmills, be my guest. They will be poor and the climate will continue along its natural path.They can be hewer of wood and bearers of water for China or India, who will not follow along with such inanities.

The policies are as weak as the research and reasoning behind them.
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 01:38 AM   #76
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the right wing mantra - hook line and sinker.....

•••

Meanwhile in the real world the cranks are being ignored and carbon neutral is becoming a reality.

Quote:
Highlights from Speaker Presentations

The basic energy management approach used by the Nordic countries is to reduce our current use of energy, reuse the energy we’ve already generated (through combined heat and power/district energy systems), and replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.
A revolution in the research and development of clean energy and energy efficient technologies is needed for a transition to a low carbon economy.
Norway has conducted extensive research and development on offshore wind, solar photovoltaic technologies, and carbon capture and storage (CCS).
The Norwegian hydropower system can serve as a “battery” for Europe, by releasing water from reservoirs when electric demand is high or when power production from other sources wanes.
In most of the Nordic countries, district energy systems play an essential role in increasing energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources.
Forty-six percent of Danish homes are heated with waste heat or renewable energy, displacing the need for foreign oil.
Ninety-three percent of buildings in Helsinki, Finland are heated by district heating, and the city’s district cooling system is the third largest in Europe. The district heat produced by the new data center in Helsinki is enough to heat up to 500 single family houses. If all data centers in Finland operated on the same principle, enough energy would be saved to heat a medium-sized town in Finland.
Ninety percent of Icelandic households are heated with geothermal heat distributed by district energy systems.
Sweden’s large scale investments in district heating have resulted in lower energy costs for industry and created new income sources for industrial facilities that sell residual heat to local district energy systems.
Since 1990, Sweden has reduced emissions by 12 percent, while its GDP has risen 48 percent.
Danish consumption of energy has remained flat over the last 28 years, while the economy has grown by 78 percent. In 2009, Denmark exported energy technologies and equipment at a value of 11 billion U.S. dollars, corresponding to 11.6 percent of total Danish goods exports.
An international treaty would be beneficial for a global fight against climate change, but the Nordic countries already have the political will to reduce energy use and transition to low carbon energy sources.

Background

Denmark has a goal of becoming 100 percent free of fossil fuels by 2050. Renewable resources produce 43 percent of Sweden’s energy supply, and the nation has a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Iceland gets 82 percent of its primary energy from renewable resources and is actively working to decrease its use of carbon fuels even further. Sixty percent of Norway’s energy consumption comes from renewable resources. Norway’s strong carbon policies have reduced average carbon emissions per barrel of oil produced to less than half the global average, and the country aims to be carbon neutral in 2030. Finland has a goal of 60 percent renewable energy by 2050, and 80 percent reduction in emissions (compared to 1990 levels) by 2050.
Quote:
Evolving energy systems: The Swedish story
January 28, 2011


Guest blogger Evan Mills of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories explains why recent Swedish energy policy should give us hope.

Sweden is often held up as a harbinger of the kinds of sensible energy policies needed around the world. In practice, follow-through has been less than promised, although remarkable things continue to be achieved.

As a case in point, January 1st, 2011 was the deadline for shutting down all 10 of Sweden’s nuclear reactors. They quietly missed the deadline (where was the media?), but their story remains interesting.

Aside from a small amount of oil generation and CHP, the country’s power is derived in about equal proportions from nuclear and hydro. Although Sweden has one of the world’s most electricity-intensive economies, carbon emissions from the power sector are negligible. Concerns about nuclear safety and security, the environmental effects of large-scale hydro projects, and a will to cut CO2 even lower make for a compelling set of energy planning challenges.

The nuclear phase-out decision and ban on new construction traces back to a public referendum in 1980, fueled by the Three Mile Island disaster in 1979. This was only one of six such referenda in Sweden’s history along with things like prohibition, whether or not to join the EU and what side of the road to drive on. In light of this, TMI arguably had far more impact on Swedish energy policy than it did US energy policy.

The direct hit of radiation that Sweden took from Chernobyl back in 1986, added fuel to the fire. Sweden detected and publicly announced the event before Russia did. One reactor in the Barsebaeck complex was closed in 1999 and another in 2005, the same year as radioactive water was leaked from a Swedish nuclear waste storage site. Ten remain in service, but last year Parliament suspended the phase-out and even blessed unsubsidized replacement of existing reactors (although no capacity expansion), along with unlimited owner/operator liability for the costs of accidents. The ageing plants have become sufficiently flakey that the term “intermittent nuclear” is sometimes used to describe their role in the grid.

Well, it seems that energy policy is what happens while you’re making other plans … even in Sweden. Along with these developments, a meltdown in my admiration for legendary Swedish energy policy at the time thus ensued.

I was first entranced by the Swedish view of energy technology and policy in the early 1980s, when asked to do some computer simulation analysis of how super-efficient Swedish homes would perform in US climates. This was to provide background for an important book called “Coming in from the Cold: Energy-wise Housing in Sweden”, published for the German Marshall Fund and the Swedish Council for Building Research and written by international energy analysis guru Lee Schipper, along with Stephen Meyers and Henry Kelley (now Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the US Department of Energy). These homes were off the charts (or below the charts, as the case may be) in terms of their extraordinary energy efficiency – even by today’s U.S. standards.

After doing that analysis, I wanted to see Swedish energy up close. Inspired by Lee and Art Rosenfeld, my boss at the time, in 1988 I took a Visiting Scientist position at the University of Lund with Thomas B. Johansson, one of the first wave of wicked-smart retreaded physicists who had already been working on energy issues for well over a decade.

The referendum, along with seemingly colliding policies not to build out Sweden’s remaining wild rivers and not to increase CO2 emissions (yes, caps on CO2 in 1988!) set the stage for what ultimately became my dissertation work, and our study The Challenge of Choices.

In 1989, with study co-authors from the Swedish State Power Board, Thomas and I showed not only that these lofty goals could all be met, but that in doing so the cost of providing energy services in Sweden would be lower in 2010 with a mix of renewables (particularly in the form of cogen using biofuel waste from the paper and wood products sector) and high end-use efficiency than for a business-as-usual supply mix and demand scenario. The findings added a sense of do-ability to previously idealistic goals held by the Parliament. New programs in efficiency and renewable were launched in the wake of our report.

Since leaving Sweden I will admit to growing more than a little disillusioned by the reality versus the vision of energy policy there.

However, just this month a beefy annual review of the Swedish energy sector showed up in my mail, which I read with pleasure (mostly). The report contains some things that Sweden can be very proud of and an encouraging existence proof that energy futures can be chosen and a nation’s course strongly changed in very impressive timeframes. Here are some highlights of changes between the year I left Sweden (1991) and 2010:

Significant carbon-dioxide taxes (105 oere/kgCO2, or US$150/tonne!) have been introduced, generating about $4B/year in revenues, or $500/capita. This is almost as much as is generated by regular energy taxes.

National GHG emissions in 2009 were down about 18% (more than required under Kyoto – and 12% by 2008, when the world economy started to go south). Emissions of SOx are down 70% and NOx down 50%.
Total primary energy use has dropped slightly (rising steadily, in the case of transport). Even electricity demand use has remained constant despite 60% economic growth in this same period. It is not clear whether absolute reductions in national energy demand in recent years will be maintained.

In-country coal use for energy purposes has dropped by 50% (and by 70% outside the industrial sector). BUT, the Swedish State Power Board (Vattenfall) has made massive investments in coal-fired electricity outside of Sweden, with resulting emissions that are on a par with in-country emissions. Despite its low carbon footprint at home, Vattenfall seems enamored by this fuel, and sequesters most of its profits there.
Heating energy fuel choices in buildings have been managed very aggressively. Oil’s share has dropped from 25% to about less than 10%. Electric heating’s share of energy in the household sector has been trimmed by 30%. District heating, fueled primarily with biomass has picked up most of the slack. Between 1980 and 2010 district heating went from essentially 100% oil to essentially 0% oil.

Almost a quarter of Sweden’s primary national energy supply is today from biomass. By global standards, biomass has reached a startling scale, with more than half as much energy in Sweden as provided by fossil fuels. Biomass’ share of fuel-based electricity production went from about 20% to about 80%. Biomass’ share of district heating went from 20% to 75% while the overall production of district heat was boosted by about 50%.

Wind power went from nil to 1500 MW, but still makes a very small contribution to national electricity supply, in stark contrast to the success story of Denmark just across the water.
Including hydroelectric power, a whopping third of Sweden’s energy supply is today renewable, a higher share than any other EU country.

Thanks to these efforts, Sweden is proud to find itself with CO2 emissions per unit of GDP and per capita among the lowest for industrialized countries [see top figure].

Swedish energy policymakers remain ambitious about the future:

A moratorium on expansion of nuclear power remains (despite the stunning back-pedaling on their phase-out plan).
At least 50% of energy supply shall be from renewables by 2020 (including 10% within the transport sector, with vehicles free of fossil fuels by 2030).

Overall energy intensity (presumably energy per GDP) shall be reduced by 20% between 2008 and 2020.
GHG emissions shall be reduced by 40% by 2020, compared to 1990 levels, with no net emissions (nationally) by 2050. A carbon-neutral country – how about that?

Efforts on energy efficiency shall be redoubled, driven in part by efforts at the level of the EU (Wait! Why weren’t they redoubled 20 years ago, when even Sweden knew efficiency should come first in the carbon-abatement loading order??)
Evolving energy systems: The Swedish story « Climate Progress

Shows what CAN be done with sensible leadership and policies instead of corrupt ideologues with oil and gas industry calling the tunes.

Then there is us...poster child for idiocy



versus Sweden

Aside from a small amount of oil generation and CHP, the country’s power is derived in about equal proportions from nuclear and hydro. Although Sweden has one of the world’s most electricity-intensive economies, carbon emissions from the power sector are negligible

and they are thriving despite having carbon taxes going back to 1991

Quote:
Significant carbon-dioxide taxes (105 oere/kgCO2, or US$150/tonne!) have been introduced, generating about $4B/year in revenues, or $500/capita. This is almost as much as is generated by regular energy taxes.


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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 09:10 AM   #77
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Why, that's fabulous information, MacDoc!

Of course, as usual, there is far more to your story than meets the eye. However, as this thread is about AGW, not ad hominem attacks, alternative energy sources, socialism & extreme tax rates I'm going to relegate it to the trash heap where it will find a more suitable fit...

Have a day!
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 09:20 AM   #78
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MacDoc: You've been asked politely to make your own points instead of vomiting up these colossal time wasters without pointing to what makes them wonderful for you.

If you are saying that we could end our dependency on foreign oil without a carbon tax and by fully developing our oil sands, I agree with you 100%.
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 09:45 AM   #79
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I would love to see MacDoc take the time to write a thoughtful post. I've yet to see one in all my years on ehMac.

He's been asked (even well before even the first GHG thread), but It's never happened, and I highly doubt it ever will—it's either xeroxing articles that he's clearly not fully read; or of incomplete thoughts with the gratuitous (ab)use of ellipses.

And so it goes… I don't know if he's just too busy or what.

Last edited by MannyP Design; Feb 25th, 2011 at 09:59 AM.
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 10:23 AM   #80
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I like MacDoc... really! But I sense he's simply has no patience to explain himself to others. I don't know if it's sheer arrogance or indifference to fully explaining his thinking but it is unfortunate and his style does repeatedly belittle his own arguments. Plenty of us have attempted to pin him down and asked him to refrain from resorting to multiple links (with little else save a few cheap shots, a sprinkling of emoticons and, as Manny says, ellipses a'plenty (as if those make all the connections he needs).

In his mind, the connections and arguments are all self-evident. Those who disagree are branded as fools or lap puppies. He never deigns to respond to such criticisms, either. He has already moved on to wage fresh campaigns.
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