The futility of emission control in the west.

Not a big wind day at present (1pm Monday) especially in the west. The west of Australia that is. And Queensland as well, but who cares about the cane toads?

Jamal has explained that the best efforts of virtue signalling emission controls in the developed world will not reduce global emissions because that will make the most virtuous nations less competitive in international trade and hand over a cost advantage to nations such as China that do not have a national climate action plan.

The cost advantage of non-climate-action takers will cause their production and exports to rise by virtue of demand from climate action taking nations. The net result will be that economic activity and fossil fuel emissions will decline in climate action taking nations but with a corresponding rise in economic activity and fossil fuel emissions in non-climate-action taking nations.

QED

In case you want the full story.

This will also delay the emission transition in the developing world. The emission transition is the downward turn in emissions that we have seen in the developed world. They did that in Europe by going into recession and in the US by using more gas.

My conjecture is that the developing world will increase their emissions to some point, then taper off for a combination of reasons – new coal stations replacing old, more nuclear power, major national infrastructure project completed etc. China might have been approaching the turning point a couple of years ago. The transition will take longer if the suicidal western nations transfer-power intensive industries to the developing world. They will do well out of the transfer but we will not.

 

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9 Responses to The futility of emission control in the west.

  1. Tom

    Rafe, I’m sure you’ve noticed that the objective of “action” on “climate change” is not to improve the environment, but to satisfy the demand of people with the undeveloped intellect of infant children to “do something” that will make them feel good about themselves to try to fill the black hole of their self-hatred with palliative candy.

    Just coincidently, what they’re proposing would destroy the West’s wealth and way of life and empower the totalitarian monsters of communist China.

    If you wonder why climate hysteria has suddenly gone quiet, it’s because Kung Flu is brilliantly achieving their original objectives, which were consuming them in 2019.

    They imagine Kung Flu is their ticket to Marxist utopia, but it will be enough to satisfy them if it succeeds only in destroying their civilisation.

  2. Karabar

    Just as it is sheer folly to raise the roof over “cases” instead of fatalities, it is sheer folly to be concerned in any way shape or form about “emissions”.
    CO2 simply does not have a single solitary thing to do with the weather.
    While it seems to be interesting to consider the possibility that CO2 molecules can experience heat transfer from the surroundings, the fact of the matter is that this radiative heat transfer takes place at minus 80 C, if at all. While the theory might hold true for extyremely low CO2 concentrations, at 400 ppm it is entirely overwhelmed by the effect of water vapour.
    This constant hand wringing about “emissions” is intended only to confuse the public. Setting “objectives” for “emissions” and calling CO2 “pollution” only serves to satiate the bastards appetite for nonsense.

  3. Karabar

    “Co2 as sole driver is pathetic unscientific nonsense
    Taking it a step further: suggesting that these powerful natural cyclesstopped driving climate some 100 years ago and claiming a few extra
    molecules of CO2 have since taken over the climate driver’s seat is pathetic
    nonsense, one that could only be sustained by a government-funded mega- billion-dollar disinformation/scare campaign.”
    https://climatechangedispatch.com/n-hemisphere-record-cold-snowstorms/

  4. Ben

    Rafe, it’s a very good point, underlined by the fact that emissions are driven by consumption.

    While the wind/solar lobby protest that the developed west can have their cake and eat it too (high consumption and zero emissions), the wind /solar lobby’s Trojan horse is ‘demand management’.

    ‘Demand management’ is coming in as a tool to manage peak demand. In its simplest form, the strategy makes sense because a large power consumer can make a material difference to grid load, without affecting much else except limiting some price spikes or preventing a blackout.

    But the wind / solar lobby want this ‘demand management’ strategy extrapolated to everybody. If wide-scale demand management becomes the norm, consumers will be paid not to use power.

    That’s great for those people and businesses able to access the demand-side market. If they are able to sell the service of reducing consumption, that income will offset some of the regular electricity bill plus any reduced income due to lower productivity.

    Now consider this in context with a much larger wind /solar fleet. Power fluctuations increase in magnitude in direct proportion to wind strength and number of wind farms.

    Solar is a relatively predictable source. Night shuts it down, clouds and smoke slow it down. So the vast majority of demand management will sit waiting for periods of low wind. But in a traditional market, generation shortages cause high prices that are a signal to invest in new generation. This in turn removes the shortages, lowers prices by adding competition, and the cycle repeats.

    With a market rewarding large-scale demand turn down instead of generation ramp-up, the market has less capacity to fund new generation. So only low-cost generation (wind /solar) gets built. As a result the power system becomes more dependent on weather, and demand management becomes more critical and used more often – more common.

    Now imagine a country where it is common place to see industry and businesses and other consumers regularly wind back their power consumption to suit the wind.

    This is not a picture of a country maintaining consumption ie lifestyle / industry / jobs.

    I guess this is another long way of saying wind / solar are a handbrake on an economy. No good can come of it.

  5. Nob

    As Ben says, “demand management” means a transition from (as per Barry Humphries joke) individual-driven “I want what I want when I want it” to authority-driven “you’ll get what you get when you get it”

    A market economy cannot work the latter way.
    You can’t build a power grid, or even a single modern wind turbine that way.

    But you can see why it appeals to so many otherwise useless nincompoops.

  6. Rafe Champion

    I don’t see how demand management can make very much difference to demand without massive costs for compensation to major users like smelters if they have to wind back the furnaces when it suits the demand managers. Off-peak prices for things like hot water should have already moved us a good way in the “demand management” direction and surely the best approach is incentives to go off-peak, not penalties or Soviet style central planning directions.

    The whole point of living on a continent that is practically made out of coal, uranium and other valuable minerals is to use generate the cheapest power in the world and use it to good effect but I suppose that is another story.

  7. Astatine Jones

    CO2 simply does not have a single solitary thing to do with the weather.
    While it seems to be interesting to consider the possibility that CO2 molecules can experience heat transfer from the surroundings, the fact of the matter is that this radiative heat transfer takes place at minus 80 C, if at all. While the theory might hold true for extyremely low CO2 concentrations, at 400 ppm it is entirely overwhelmed by the effect of water vapour.

    This is incorrect – there is plenty of empirical evidence that increasing the concentration of CO2 (along with other greenhouse gases) in the atmosphere enhances the ‘greenhouse effect’ first described by Arrhenius in the 19th century, following the work by Fourier and Tyndall. For example, Harries et al. (2001):
    https://www.nature.com/articles/35066553
    But trying to point this out is probably an act of futility on my part…

  8. It has a short term effect which is not persistent in cointegrated models.

  9. Eyrie

    But trying to point this out is probably an act of futility on my part…

    Not just futile but WRONG.

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