The one hundred best solutions to global warming?

by on June 10, 2017 at 12:52 am in Books, Food and Drink, Science | Permalink

Jason Kottke reports:

On the website for the book, you can browse the solutions in a ranked list. Here are the 10 best solutions (with the total atmospheric reduction in CO2-equivalent emissions in gigatons in parentheses):

1. Refrigerant Management (89.74)
2. Wind Turbines, Onshore (84.60)
3. Reduced Food Waste (70.53)
4. Plant-Rich Diet (66.11)
5. Tropical Forests (61.23)
6. Educating Girls (59.60)
7. Family Planning (59.60)
8. Solar Farms (36.90)
9. Silvopasture (31.19)
10. Rooftop Solar (24.60)

Refrigerant management is about replacing hydro-fluorocarbon coolants with alternatives because HFCs have “1,000 to 9,000 times greater capacity to warm the atmosphere than carbon dioxide”. As a planet, we should be hitting those top 7 solutions hard, particularly when it comes to food. If you look at the top 30 items on the list, 40% of them are related to food.

Here is the background context:

Environmentalist and entrepreneur Paul Hawken has edited a book called Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming which lists “the 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world”.

I will however order the book.

1 Dan Lavatan-Jeltz June 10, 2017 at 1:10 am

Propane makes a great refrigerant, but the government insists on trying to prohibit it because they don’t care about warming (even with Democrats in office) and as usually they like to do things the most inefficient way possible.

Still, they haven’t banned it outright, so they can’t really stop you from sticking it in there. 30 SEER here we come.

2 prior_test2 June 10, 2017 at 6:18 am

Seriously? The EU has been using such for at least 2 decades, and Germany longer than that.

Here is one link -http://www.emersonclimate.com/en-us/About_Us/industry_stewardship/E360/Documents/E360-Outlook-Vol2-Issue3/europes-propane-refrigeration-proliferation.pdf

Here is a link from 1993 – ‘Well, we found a company here in Saxony, east Germany, which was willing to produce prototypes for us and we commissioned ten prototypes to be built. And during the course of this period, the Treuhand which is the big State-owned company who tries to privatize all the assets of the former GDR, and decided to close down this very company. And so we stepped in, we make a big press conference, we said this is not possible, you cannot kill a company that is trying to save the world, right? But they said well, but the consumers won’t like it, and there is no chance for it and so on. So in order to prove that the consumers are much better educated than the Treuhand and the industry, we started a big campaign to pre-order such CFC-free fridges, and we managed to get 70,000 orders within more or less eight weeks. Now these days we have won this campaign and we have succeeded in getting all major German fridge manufacturers to switch to this hydrocarbon technology.’ (Treuhand spelling corrected) http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=93-P13-00046&segmentID=2

3 Saint-Frusquin June 11, 2017 at 12:14 am

Well there are some reasons for that : the most prominent being that even applying the whole solutions list would have curbed the tendancy before the non-return point without having everyone doing it.

Now the no-return point is long gone, maybe will come the time to focus on the only real problem which is not trying to prevent global climate change to happen, but handling the consequencies of that inevitable trend.

Which implies something : everything that has been done until now is just wasted time, energy, and goodwill.

4 Boonton June 10, 2017 at 6:36 am

Please cite the law or regulation that explicitly prohibits propane based A/C’s, freezers, refrigerators etc?

5 prior_test2 June 10, 2017 at 6:46 am

From the PDF I linked to – ‘The combination of these two regulations is motivating OEMs and the entire refrigeration supply chain to try and meet both objectives in a single design cycle. While R-290 is one of the few approved refrigerants capable of satisfying both regulatory actions,
the lack of a national safety standard is still a barrier toward wider U.S. adoption.’

The ‘safety’ object was also tried in Germany more than 25 years ago, however pointing out that your new propane/butane refrigerator would have as much ‘explosive gas’ as the cigarette lighter in your pocket tended to make such concerns obvious for what they were – an attempt to keep selling the same product, to the exclusion of any competing technologies. As noted in the second link – ‘CURWOOD: What about safety? These refrigerators can blow up. Why are they safer now?

HÄRLIN: Well, they can blow up, as too cigarette lighters can blow up. Still you have a lot of cigarette lighters around. Everybody who cooks or heats with gas handles much much bigger amounts of these so terribly dangerous gases. It is not a real threat. Nobody claims that it is a real and significant threat. It is indeed a question that fridge makers are not used to handle any risk, right?’

6 Boonton June 10, 2017 at 9:52 am

Reading thru the pdf it does appear it is legal in the US but being adopted slowly….however it seems to me if a large retailer decided to push for it (Walmart, Target?) it would move faster.

In terms of regulation many here have a ‘pull’ view of things epitomized by the silly ‘tacocoper’ post from a year or two ago. In that view regulation comes first then innovation follows. So the fact that you can’t order a taco and have a drone copter bring it to your smartphone is because the FAA hasn’t yet written regulations specifically authorizing ‘tacocopters’. In reality regulation is ‘pushed’ by innovations and change. People will do tacocopters and then regulation will follow as people start complaining about competitors fighting each other for ‘airspace’ or one crashes into someone walking on a sidewalk. If retailers push for propone, the regulation will then become more specific to facilitate that but you’re not going to make it happen by trying to get easier regulation in place first.

7 chuck martel June 10, 2017 at 11:35 am

Servel refrigerators, practically indestructible with no moving parts, were quite common before the REA distributed electricity everywhere. They must still be legal, I had two of them not long ago. https://www.thenaturalhome.com/servel400.php

8 Excursive June 10, 2017 at 6:39 pm

All RV refrigerators are dual propane and electric. They work great.

9 Thomas June 10, 2017 at 8:50 pm

The dishonest argument here is that a avenge of explicit prohibition is evidence of support. This from a member of the team that argues that exiting the Paris deal equals supporting apocalypse.

10 Thomas June 10, 2017 at 8:50 pm

Absence

11 Jan June 10, 2017 at 12:11 pm

This is incorrect.

12 Daniel Burfoot June 10, 2017 at 1:54 am

Here’s an idea: heat economics. This refers to strategies for moving heat around cleverly to improve human welfare. There are a couple variants:

– Heat Trading: heat is unlike almost any other commodity, in that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. If it’s 10 degrees in Boston and 95 degrees in Rio, sending heat from Rio to Boston makes people in both cities better off. And the Second Law actually encourages this to happen; it’s just a matter of thermally connecting the cities.

– Heat Sequestration: the deep ocean contains vast amounts of extremely cold water. If the atmosphere starts warming up too much, we should be able to send the excess heat into the deep ocean.

– Heat Banking: Boston is too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. If Boston could store excess heat from the summer and release it in the winter, both seasons would be far more pleasant. This is a matter of finding or constructing some sort of heat storage system, which might just be a big reservoir of water, and then making sure it exchanges enough heat with the atmosphere at the appropriate time.

If we can figure out how to manage the heat supply at a global level, we should be able to prevent the worst consequences of global warming. And global heat management has lots of additional benefits.

13 daguix June 10, 2017 at 2:00 am

Unfortunately, heat under 100-120°C cannot be transformed into electricity or something else. Unless you can heat hot water for domestic use nearby, it is just waste.

14 ChrisA June 10, 2017 at 3:58 am

Low grade can indeed be transformed into electricity, it just tends not to be done because it is expensive and not economic. You need something like reverse refrigeration, basically boil a low vapor pressure fluid (say ammonia) using the low grade heat and run it through some kind of turbine driving a generator condensing the ammonia on outlet with ambient air. If you had a very large source of low grade heat it might even be economic.

15 Boonton June 10, 2017 at 6:39 am

Something like this does exist except it isn’t banking heat but cold. You can build a huge pile of ice in the winter and then draw off of it in the summer. If its big enough it won’t melt thru the whole season. But global warming is about an increase in the average temp of the earth so heat trading isn’t going to address that unless you think heat trading can offset the need to release greenhouse gasses (i.e. less air conditioning or less heating needed)….

16 Sandia June 10, 2017 at 10:16 am

Until heat gets above the boiling point of water it is not really very useful for anything but buiding heating and washing people and clothes. There is a good thermodynamic term called exergy that allows you to compute the value of different forms of energy. Low temperature heat has a very low exergy. Electricity has a relatively high exergy. It is a much more useful form of energy.

17 Ann Ominous June 10, 2017 at 2:01 am

That ranking is useless. Solutions should be ranked by CO2-equivalent emissions per gross cost.

18 Dzhaughn June 10, 2017 at 2:14 am

Amen. Advocate’s suggestion that we reform the the eating habits and food supply chain before focusing on on solar electricity, nuclear power, and better cookstoves is the best evidence against the seriousness of global warming.

19 Leo June 10, 2017 at 4:34 am

“That ranking is useless.”

Correct. Non-existent problems do not have solutions, much less ranked solutions.

20 Dude June 10, 2017 at 9:03 am

If we determine it is a problem (in the future) should we do something about it then? At what point, from a risk mitigation standpoint, should we spend effort to reduce potential negative outcomes if we do find it to be a problem?

21 jim June 10, 2017 at 10:30 pm

If we knew the risk of (????) or even had a reasonable idea of the risk of (????) or even knew what (????) was and/or how fast it was going to happen, then we might wisely implement a mitigation strategy.

So what’s (????)? Is it sea level rise? Storms? Heat? Impacts on crops? What is it? No one knows, everyone speculates wildly in an utter freak-out, the result is garbage and we’re more likely to waste our resources mitigating the wrong (????) than we are to do anything productive.

22 rluser June 11, 2017 at 4:41 am

When we discover an actual problem we should take action. An actual problem would be your home or other facility under water or on fire, your cropland uncompetitive for the crops you would like to grow, or your local climate intolerable for your own constitution.

23 Cooper June 12, 2017 at 1:29 pm

But by then it is too late!

The whole point of climate change is that it takes many decades to change our economies and emissions stay in the air for centuries.

If we wait until global temperatures have already increased 2 degrees centigrade and then try to cut our emissions to zero, we risk pushing the Earth into a self-sustaining warming cycle as permafrost melts and methane escapes on its own.

It’s just an extremely risky proposition to pretend that all the climate models are wrong and that we shouldn’t worry about climate change. You’re gambling with the lives of tens of millions of people.

24 Zach June 11, 2017 at 8:37 am

The RAND emissions reduction study did just this ($/reduction greenhouse gas). The take-home message is that there’s A LOT of things that can be done, especially in America, that are better than a free lunch economically (though obviously even there you have winners and losers on different timescales). For the most part these are increasing efficiency by replacing old things and can be accomplished by regulation or taxing greenhouse emissions; few of them make a huge dent on their own (other than increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, power generation/transmission IIRC) but collectively it adds up to nearly half of American emissions reductions being cheap, free, or having negative cost. BUT that’s an old study, I’m sure you can question its assumptions, and a lot of the low hanging fruit is unique to the states.

25 Nathaniel Nifong June 11, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Or ranked by CO2-equivalent emissions per gross cost, times their probability of achieving the promised reduction.

26 Alvin June 10, 2017 at 2:08 am

How about a recall on volcanoes, the prime source of CO2 emissions? Human created emissions pales in comparison, if it exists at all. There are no serious scientists believing in man-made warming.

27 J June 10, 2017 at 2:27 am
28 Leo June 10, 2017 at 4:59 am

…still trotting out the well worn myths of “AGW scientific consensus” — those sloppy propaganda surveys have long been debunked. Plus, ‘science’ ain’t done by polling.

Most infamous of these bogus AGW “consensus” surveys appeared In 2013: Australian blogger John Cook looked at abstracts of peer-reviewed climate papers published from 1991 to 2011.
Mr. Cook reported that 97% of those who stated a position explicitly or implicitly … suggest that human activity is responsible for some warming. Cook’s findings were widely published & trumpeted by environmentalists (including President Obama).

Cook’s work was quickly debunked. In Science and Education in August 2013, for example, David R. Legates (a professor of geography at the University of Delaware and former director of its Center for Climatic Research) and three coauthors… reviewed the same papers as did Mr. Cook and found “only 41 papers—0.3 percent of all 11,944 abstracts (or only 1.0 percent of the 4,014 scientists expressing an opinion– NOT 97.1 %) —had been found to ‘endorse’ the claim that human activity is causing most of the current global warming.

29 Crikey June 10, 2017 at 3:46 am

So forces we have no control over have increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere by 40% since the start of the industrial revolution? That’s a scary world you live in, Alvin.

Fortunately, we are actually in control of the large majority of net CO2 emissions and so can do something about them. Volcanoes release about 1% the CO2 that humans burning fossil fuels does:

https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/gas_climate.html

30 neuhart June 10, 2017 at 12:36 pm

The obsession with carbon-dioxide is grossly misleading, junk science.

*** The majority of atmospheric warming is due to water vapor IR absorptions, that occur at both ends of the thermal IR region.

Global average concentration of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere is about 0.04%.
CO2 is not a uniform blanket over the earth– there are huge variations and gaps in CO2 atmospheric distribution, letting heat escape into space. It is physically impossible for CO2 to be controlling Earth’s temperature.

If one believes the fragile “theory” of atmospheric global warming– Water-Vapor is by far the dominant “Greenhouse Gas”, dwarfing any possible effects from CO2.

GW Alarmists just ignore water– claiming it is too variable to model (and because it is not man-made… and doesn’t fit their ideological agenda).

31 Dallas Weaver Ph.D. June 10, 2017 at 1:03 pm

Far more complex of an issue than you understand. Water vapor concentration depends upon temperature that decreases with altitude. With the surface air temperatures related to the earth surface temperatures, if the lower altitude high concentration water vapor absorbs IR radiation, it re-radiates that same energy at a similar temperature (a T^4 process) providing no real block to radiant heat flow. If the radiation is absorbed by high altitude CO2 (uniform concentration independent of local temperature), it will re-radiate zip energy at its much lower temperature.

32 rluser June 11, 2017 at 5:02 am

To claim or imply that low water vapor has no heat trapping effect suggests you have never experienced the outdoors or are extremely unobservant while out of doors. The contrast between an overcast and clear night is substantial and particularly obvious in an arid clime where the surface humidity is likely to be unchanged.

33 Boonton June 10, 2017 at 6:42 am

https://www.skepticalscience.com/volcanoes-and-global-warming.htm
Volcanoes emit 65-319M tons of CO2 per year. Human activity about 34 BILLION. Volcanoes are essentially a rounding factor when it comes to CO2.

34 Ricardo June 10, 2017 at 6:44 am

This claim is not only false but obviously so with a minimal amount of work. The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo was enormous by any standard. Now, go look up the chart of CO2 levels in the atmosphere over time and see if you can spot the effect of the eruption on measured CO2 levels. Hint: you can’t.

35 Cooper June 12, 2017 at 1:32 pm

>How about a recall on volcanoes, the prime source of CO2 emissions? Human created emissions pales in comparison, if it exists at all. There are no serious scientists believing in man-made warming.

This is false. Humans emit 100X more CO2 than volcanoes in a typical year. https://skepticalscience.com/volcanic_emissions_update.html

Human emissions exist simply as a matter of simple physics. When you burn gasoline, CO2 is produced. To argue that human emissions don’t exist is to suggest that combustion is a myth.

In short, Alvin is an idiot troll.

36 Todd Kreider June 10, 2017 at 2:23 am

I think I might shed a tear here. Tyler reads 100 history books a year and zero science books. Now he passes along an insane “10 best solutions” list covering 2020-2050.

37 kgus June 10, 2017 at 5:45 am

Still don’t get the Bayes thing, do you?

38 Philip Crawford June 10, 2017 at 9:05 am

Perfect response.

39 Todd Kreider June 10, 2017 at 11:38 am

Bayes got his own theorem wrong and yet it was still written into law!

40 Art Deco June 10, 2017 at 2:51 am

Seems like I’ve been cucked again!

41 Aaron W June 10, 2017 at 3:41 am

Can I please be on the record for the following?

I don’t care how you solve the problem of climate change.

If it meets the standards of right wing versus left wing economic philosophy, I don’t care.

Just solve it.

42 Leo June 10, 2017 at 5:06 am

…. great news for you — it’s totally solved already !

(because AGW problem never existed)

43 prior_test2 June 10, 2017 at 6:31 am

This is ongoing though – https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

As is the steady rise in CO2 – https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/history.html

In both cases based on empirical data of (near) real time data.

But if it makes you happier, it is completely true that current climate models are seriously flawed, as none of them, even using their most pessimistic assumptions, have come close to predicting what is actually being observed in the Arctic.

44 TMC June 10, 2017 at 11:31 am

If you define ‘pessimistic ‘ as the climate alarmists being sad it’s not happening at nearly as fast they had hoped for, then +1 prior.

45 ChrisA June 10, 2017 at 4:09 am

What about alternative uses of the money used to solve global warming, like alleviating poverty in Africa, or perhaps lowering taxes in the modern world and having people adapt by themselves?

Probably the biggest win if you were really interested solving global warming would be to build a fleet of floating nuclear power stations and put them off the coast of India and Africa, and plug them into their grids. This is probably the cheapest way to scale up nuclear power quickly, since all the plants can be built to the same specifications. The Korean and Chinese shipyards would compete heavily for this work, and over time as more and more were built they would drop significantly in price.

India and soon Africa will account for most of the growth in coal fired power over the next few decades. US and China are rapidly heading towards an all gas fired fleet so their emissions are going to plummet.

Having the plants floating solves a number of issues; no nimby land access issues which delay projects for many years, more easily financed, can be operated by international crews, no cooling water, completely protected against earthquakes and tsunamis, and in a disaster scenario will simply sink into the ocean ensuring fail safe cooling.

46 Crikey June 10, 2017 at 4:28 am

The lowest cost Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in India for solar are now lower than 92% of the PPAs paid for coal power. This is bad for coal power in India and Africa.

47 ChrisA June 10, 2017 at 6:17 am

If that is so, then no need for any action. Problem solved. Everyone stop discussing global warming, it’s no longer an issue.

48 Crikey June 10, 2017 at 7:02 am

DOCTOR LIVINGSTONE: Be as right as rain in a couple of days.

PERKINS: Oh. Thanks for the reassurance, doc.

DOCTOR LIVINGSTONE: Not at all. That’s what I’m here for. Any other problems I can reassure you about?

PERKINS: No, I’m fine.

DOCTOR LIVINGSTONE: Jolly good. Well, must be off. M-hmm.

PERKINS: So, it’ll, ehh,– it’ll just grow back again, then, will it?

DOCTOR LIVINGSTONE: Uhh,… I think I’d better come clean with you about this. It’s, um,– it’s not a virus, I’m afraid. You see, a virus is what we doctors call very, very small. So small, it could not possibly have damaged the world’s ecosystems on a global scale. What we’re looking for here is, I think,– And this is no more than an educated guess, I’d like to make that clear. …Is some anthropogenic, fossil fuel and land use changes based increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases, raising the radiative forcing from sunlight. What we doctors, in fact, call ‘global warming’.

49 ChrisA June 10, 2017 at 7:23 am

So you don’t think the problem is solved then? Sorry I am having a hard time understanding your point.

50 Crikey June 10, 2017 at 7:35 am

Sorry, I thought we were doing comedy now, since, by itself, a reduction or an end to new coal power plant construction will only slow the rate at which global warming occurs, not cause the problem to disappear.

51 ChrisA June 10, 2017 at 8:13 am

If it is true that solar power is now cheaper than coal, then won’t all power generation move to solar power, sooner or later? Isn’t power generation thought to be the main generator of CO2 emissions? This is what I don’t get about the solar enthusiasts, they are continually arguing solar power is so cheap now that it can replace one of the cheapest forms of power generation, coal and that electric cars are about to take over the world. But then they argue that we need to keep “fighting global climate change”. Why if the problem is solved? If solar power is not a complete solution, then why oppose nuclear power?

52 Crikey June 10, 2017 at 9:14 am

I’m a pretty optimistic person, but I’m not satisfied with relying on technological improvements to eliminate global warming. I want policy in place that will give us that result even if we’re not so lucky. If we’re fortunate then technological advances will make it even cheaper than it already is to eliminate emissions and it will be done at almost no cost. If we’re not so lucky then we pay what we now know will be a low price and prevent the world’s climate becoming very destabilized. Something that is very worth the cost.

If we do nothing, maybe we push the world past a point where the costs of global warming become extremely high. I wouldn’t want to take that sort of risk.

53 Boonton June 10, 2017 at 6:44 am

Why would you need nuclear power plants floating off the coast? Why not just put them on the ground?

54 ChrisA June 10, 2017 at 7:22 am

@Boonton
Because of reduced Nimbism and ability to factory build instead of bespoke. Cost becomes much more predictable, plus the shipyards can learn by doing, design once and then re-use the design all the while finding ways to optimise, quality control can also be better in a factory. It’s why we build cars and refrigerators in factories instead of building them in our garages and kitchens. Also immune to tsunami’s and earthquakes.

55 Philip Crawford June 10, 2017 at 9:13 am

This is roughly the plan with micro nukes. All eyes on China….

56 Boonton June 10, 2017 at 10:04 am

Yea costs will be predictable and stable….predictably high. It costs a lot more to build a plant and ‘float’ it in the open sea. Nimbism isn’t really a factor for Africa’s development. Do you think Nigerian oil fields are squeaky clean because they fear neighbors complaining about the slightest bit of pollution?

Nukes suffer from the mirror side issue that wind/solar has. The most efficient nuclear is very large but the most efficient way to run a large plant is ‘always on’. But once you serve baseline demand a lot of power demand is intermittent. Wind/solar is intermittent and that works well when it lines up with demand which it often but not always does.

At the end of the day this sounds like a Soviet styled ‘solution’. If you put a price on carbon either through a tax or cap-n-trade the market would find efficient ways to achieve a reduction. That probably WOULD NOT be a single magic bullet method like lots of nukes but a diverse combination of things including demand reduction (your Amazon echo turns off the lights you left on when you walked out of the room), boosting the grid, more efficient appliances, and different sources of supply including nuclear or micro-nuclear. It would also induce changes that would happen totally outside the electric market. For example, if you worked from home 1 out of 5 days, you’d burn 20% less gas commuting without buying a different car or joining a carpool.

57 Philip Crawford June 10, 2017 at 10:43 am

Your knolwedge about nuclear power generation is outdated.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_modular_reactor

58 Boonton June 10, 2017 at 3:14 pm

The article does say you pay a price in terms of cost per unit of power generated. Economies of scale hold. Larger nuclear plants produce at the lowest cost per unit. Giving that up is a cost just as much as any other decision that is made.

59 Steven June 10, 2017 at 4:28 am

How large are these reductions compared with conventional proposals such as using solar or wind power rather than fossil fuels?

60 Thanatos Savehn June 10, 2017 at 4:48 am

Dear God, please don’t put Tyler in charge of fiddling with our communal thermostat while he’s happily satiated and flatulently situated – lest we all be laid low; and the dogs, and the cats, living together – emerge to tinkle upon our chagrin everlastingly.

61 thfmr June 11, 2017 at 4:47 pm

File to: very good sentences

62 Handle June 10, 2017 at 6:28 am

6 and 7 are about soft population control in high tfr countries, relying on the logic that emissions=(emissions per capita)*(population). By that logic, preventing people in low per capita emissions counties from migrating to high countries would also save many gigatons, definitely in the top 100. But Control-F for “migra” and nothing, naturally.

63 psmith June 10, 2017 at 9:20 am

Hell, nothing explicitly about population control either. Because dass raycis.

64 Edward Burke June 10, 2017 at 6:40 am

Proposal #6 stands far underrated: how else do we propose to head off pop diva catfights between the likes of Taylor Perry and Katy Swift?

65 BJ dubbS June 10, 2017 at 6:54 am

Some solutions not on the list:

a) reducing cow methane emissions via food additives (eg seaweed)
b) reducing immigration to high carbon societies from low carbon
c) putting out coal seam fires in China and Pennsylvania
d) eliminating bunker fuel in shipping (shift them to diesel fuel)
e) form based zoning regulation (OK this one probably won’t have much effect)

66 rluser June 11, 2017 at 5:10 am

At least putting out coal seam fires fits the bill of “big government project that politicians can grandstand about in order to obtain sufficient quantities of graft.”

67 BJ dubbS June 11, 2017 at 5:23 am

I was thinking something more like a $100M prize for anybody who can figure out a cheap way to put out coal seam fires, but your way works too.

68 Anoni June 12, 2017 at 4:59 pm

if reducing immigration from low to high carbon societies is not on the list then it is not a serious list. I’ve run the numbers and it’s a big contributor.

69 BJ dubbS June 10, 2017 at 7:08 am

For all those true believers out there, I will make you this deal: If you own an oceanside property that you believe will be inundated by rising sea levels, pay me a deposit of $100,000 and I will promise to buy your house at it’s current value in twenty years (and you also sell me an option to buy it at the current price in 20 years). For the low, low price of $5000/year, you get to live in your current home for the next 20 years and realize no loss of equity when the home is underwater (literally) in 20 years. This is an incredible deal, but no bitcoin please, cash wire transfers only.

70 Boonton June 10, 2017 at 10:11 am

You will, of course, be willing to put the $100K deposit plus an amount of cash equal to the current value of the house into an escrow account of a law firm of my choosing and keep it there for 20+ years?

71 BJ dubbS June 10, 2017 at 1:33 pm

No, that would be the same as buying the house and then renting it back to you for 20 years at $100,000, which is not the market rent for oceanside property. But here’s what I will do, I’ll sell you the put option for $100,000 and you get to keep the house in 20 years, if you so choose, plus the put premium will be held in escrow. That is a very cheap put.

72 Boonton June 10, 2017 at 3:10 pm

See there’s a reason a casino is not going to let you stroll in step up to the high roller’s table and place million dollar bets with your foodstamp card. You can’t play put option without establishing you have the liquidity to cover your position. But you do raise an interesting question. If you really think global warming is not an issue why don’t you form a REIT that specializes in investing in property thought to be endangered by warming? Certainly the widespread belief in warming should allow you to get in at below market prices and earn above market returns.

73 Potato June 10, 2017 at 5:10 pm

Boonton,

Let me play devil’s advocate here. You’re making an assumption that the market prices in global warming and the destruction of waterfront properties.

The most expensive real estate in the world is often waterfront property.

Global warming will render this property worthless in some X years, according to “scientific consensus.”

However, if all players are rational in this game, the only value in this property is the discounted rental rate to year N , where N is the year the property becomes flooded and thus worthless, plus the insurance payout.

You are saying a definitive thing: the discounted rental (or imputed rent) plus salvage value through insurance is greater than X, where X is whatever the other dude offers as a differential.

If you believe in global warming causing flooding then your price should be salvage value plus imputed rent, and letting him get a put option for millions will be a huge “boon” to you.

Your valuation of beachfront property should be imputed rent plus insurance payout, based on your year estimate of global flooding.

The market says no one believes in global warming. However, the market has been wrong before, so here’s your chance to make a quick buck.

74 chuck martel June 10, 2017 at 7:47 pm

Apparently the people that own and buy seaside property aren’t too concerned. They aren’t giving it away.

75 Crikey June 12, 2017 at 4:31 am

We already know what happens when sea level rises threaten the real estate of rich people. Public works are done to protect it.

Look at the effort that was put into keeping New Orleans out of the Atlantic, until it all fell apart.

Fortunately sea levels aren’t rising as fast as New Orleans was and is sinking.

Current sea level rise about 3.2 mm a year. If it keeps up at that rate it’s about 6.4 cm in 20 years. It is a definite problem, but the threat depends on location and land valuation will also depend on how much the people who own it expect to have to contribute themselves to engineering to protect it.

76 Evans_KY June 10, 2017 at 7:18 am

“If, somehow, we could get to a place where we are talking about dealing with climate change not as “saving the planet” (which it isn’t) but as “improving humanity” (which it is), we might actually be able to accomplish something.”

I completely agree. Just this week, a friend said ” a volcano or asteroid could….in response to pulling out of the Paris accord.” He has wrapped himself in the Christian narrative that only God can save the planet and we are cocky for believing we can make any impact. Frankly he is kind of right. We are barreling towards a very uncertain climate with volatile weather patterns. Another argument I hear is well China or India won’t….. My best response is to focus on making America a better society. Farmers, homeowners, families, children. That is what convinces the average person.

77 anon June 10, 2017 at 8:14 pm

Volatile weather patterns?

78 Alex June 10, 2017 at 9:25 pm

+1 for pointing out that quote

79 Ted Craig June 10, 2017 at 7:28 am

I prefer the engineering solutions offered here to the social engineering ones, which seem harder to implement and measure.

80 dearieme June 10, 2017 at 9:11 am

Mr Cowen’s expertise on climate seems to rival his expertise on wine and beer.

81 Philip Crawford June 10, 2017 at 9:19 am

Seems like everyone is ignoring the question mark in the post title as well as “however” in the last line. Might be important.

82 rluser June 11, 2017 at 5:22 am

Good point. Professor Cowen must certainly be aware of geoengineering possibilities even if he does not personally prefer them or think them sufficiently developed.

83 Amanda Furiosa June 10, 2017 at 9:44 am

I note that #6 and #7, while directed toward the object of slowing population growth, don’t really address the issue of incentivizing less procreation: they assume that if people are educated and given access to contraception, then the fertility rate will fall.

This seems to apply chiefly in less-developed countries, where population growth is high but per-capital CO2 production is low. Reducing the birth rate in the developed countries would yield more CO2 reduction per birth prevented. Moreover, we have more tools for disincentivizing reproduction at home, where we can readily enact and tweak our own laws.

Unfortunately, our present policies have the opposite effect. Tax credits for dependent children, government-subsidized prenatal care, mandates that health insurance cover the costs of parturition, demands that employers provide leave for childbirth, calls for taxpayer-funded child care… all of these tend to promote reproduction rather than to deter it. Moreover, many of them have their strongest effect on low-income people; who, if there’s any heritable component to success in life, are precisely the people whose procreation we’d most like to minimize.

This is where we see who’s serious about slowing environmental degradation, and who’s merely adopted environmentalism as one more piece of the Blue Team platform. Much of the progressive agenda is directed, however unintentionally, toward encouraging reproduction, and it’s difficult to reconcile this with a genuine desire to check population growth.

84 Ricardo June 10, 2017 at 10:29 am

Huh? TFR is at about replacement rate in the U.S. and the much more common refrain from conservatives is that the left is actively opposed to reproduction through promotion of contraceptives, abortion and other aspects of modern culture. None of America’s welfare state policies seem to be leading to a baby boom.

85 John Thacker June 10, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Yes, on the whole, the existence of Social Security and other welfare state policies decrease population growth more than the pro-natal welfare state policies increase it in the US as well as other developed countries.

The alt-right, being socialists in disguise, do tend to join with the environmentalists and the family planners, but you’re correct that most traditional conservatives and libertarians have disagreed. If the alt-right gets stronger, they will push the balance of politics in the socialist and globalist direction, in favor of these sorts of world government solutions. Ironic, really, given all their protestations, but they’re really big government folks underneath, just annoyed that they temporarily had no real party to call home.

86 chuck martel June 10, 2017 at 10:31 am

Those who are concerned with excess population growth should, if they have any integrity, take it upon themselves to lead by example and jump from an eighth story window, step in front of a bus or gobble a bottle of demerol washed down with a pint of Wild Turkey. Instead, while they complain about too many brown people in distant locales, they use air conditioners and refrigerators, zoom around in jet planes and leave their cars idling while they bop into the C-store for a can of Red Bull.

87 Patrick Laske June 10, 2017 at 9:50 am

Hydrofluorocarbons breakdown several times faster then normal carbon, and are much better for the ozone layer than CFCs they replaced. Putting them at the top of any list is a sign of unseriousness.

88 Patrick Laske June 10, 2017 at 9:51 am

normal carbon dioxide*.

89 Blue Toque June 10, 2017 at 9:51 am

Ever notice how when it gets warm out people tend to stink? Fighting AGW is all about making interpersonal relationships smell better. In fact, that’s really all it’s about.

90 rluser June 11, 2017 at 5:26 am

They also tend to remove clothing. I find this enhances interpersonal experiences. YMMV

91 GoneWithTheWind June 10, 2017 at 10:10 am

The period from the 1940’s thru the end of the 60’s was quite cold. Why? CO2 was still rising. Then it began to warm up, more a return to “normal” but warmer than the 50’s until 1999 when it stopped. That is over all global temperature has plateaued and CO2 kept rising. Why?

In the 11th century we had a major global warming. It created deserts and displaced humans and animals. CO2 was much lower then. Why? This medieval warming period was followed by an unusually cold period known as the little ice age. Cold is much less friendly to humans and animals and during this period disease flourished and life expectancy plummeted. But yet the CO2 level was much lower than it is today. Why? Around 1850 the earth began to warm, clearly before humans began to use massive amounts of fossil fuels. Why?

Milankovitch cycles. Not human activity. Not CO2. Not inadequate taxation. Not inadequate government regulation. Not inadequate wealth redistribution. Naturally occurring cycles based on planetary movement and solar activity. We can’t fix this with a CO2 tax. We can make some people and nations very rich with a CO2 tax but we cannot change the environment with it.

92 Crikey June 10, 2017 at 10:30 am

Here’s a link to NASA and a graph of global temperature anomalies:

https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/

You may want to change what you wrote. Or you could instead tell us how NASA can’t be trusted but apparently you have sources of information that you can trust, somehow.

93 TMC June 10, 2017 at 11:47 am

Then link you provide shows a downtrend going into 1880, an uptrend which rival recent increase from 1910 to 1940 when there was no human influence, then a down trend to 1975 when there was human influence, leading to today’s uptrend. A lot of contradictory evidence there. Let’s just call it a rorschach test.

Also, this does not show the past periods which were, as poster says, warmer than today while co2 was lesser. Very long term charts show CO2 as a lagging indicator.

Honest answer is we don’t understand climate. CO2 we know will warm, but how no clue to what degree, and it’s likely to be a minor player. I am for a CO2 tax, that offsets other taxes, in an effort to reduce actual pollution though.

94 The Anti-Gnostic June 10, 2017 at 12:14 pm

A CO2 tax will be seamlessly passed on to consumers and lead to all sorts of rent-seeking and special-interest lobbying. It’s as bad an idea as the income tax.

95 byomtov June 10, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Not a Rorsschach test, really, but a test nonetheless, and I don’t think you did well.

In about 1980 the graph hits its previous high, at least back to 1880, and then it continues to rise. There are lots of other things that couild be said about the graph, but “It’s full of contradictory evidence” is not one of them.

96 Potato June 10, 2017 at 5:22 pm

Shorting REITs that own properties in Florida, San Francisco, Manhattan = get rich quick scheme!!!

You’ll be a billionaire in 20 years.

Let me know how it works out.

97 GoneWithTheWind June 10, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Ahh! NASA&HR (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration & History Rewriter).

NASA&HR has been busy changing historical data to make it appear that there is actual global warming. Citing NASA&HR is a mistake they are more guilty of AGW fraud then Michael E. Mann with his fake hockey stick. If AGW was true why the fake data???

98 Ricardo June 10, 2017 at 2:21 pm

There are several different surface temperature series and they are all consistent with warming over the past century. See http://berkeleyearth.org/summary-of-findings/

99 GoneWithTheWind June 10, 2017 at 10:51 pm

Fake data. The usual trick (before NASA and others began to reconstruct historical data) was to pick the coorrect starting point. Sine the earth temperature cycles between warmer and cooler over time just pick a cool period to start the graph and voila you have a warming trend. It works just as well the other way. If you chart temperature beginning in 1934 it is considerably cooler today so that is absolute proof of global cooling. This scam was working OK until 1999 when the damned weather quit cooperating. The Warmies luck ran out. But scammers are sneaky so the NASA “scientists” began changing past temperature and smoothed them to make a more or less warming trend since 1850 when of course the mini ice age ended and of course it warmed up (duh! it has to warm up when the mini ice age ends, right?). Nut in fact the warmest period in the last 100 years is the years around 1934. Not today, not 1998, not 2016 but 1934. Right now it is a toss up whether it will begin to cool or maybe warm up. But no matter; NASA is there to rewrite the historical record and fools believe it.

100 Ricardo June 11, 2017 at 12:23 am

Again, I provided you a link that shows four different sources — including a recent independently constructed temperature series that received funding from one of the Koch brothers — and all contradict your claim that 1934 was the warmest year on record. You are just reiterating your talking points instead of actually putting the work in to see if they are actually true.

101 GoneWithTheWind June 11, 2017 at 11:45 am

Ricardo, if you seek the truth than you must accept the premise that there is a conspiracy to misinform with the intent of securing jobs and grant money by the scientists, never ending taxes by the politicians and a massive transfer of wealth by the rent seekers. Once you accept that is the driving force in this it is actually easy to see the perpetrators of the scam and understand how it all ties together. If however you blindly choose to assume that scientists never stretch the facts to justify their position and politicians do not want more power and money and that the rent seekers don’t want “free stuff” then you cannot see the forest for the trees.

As for the Koch brothers or anyone who does not “seem” to personally gain by this great fraud just understand that good people can be wrong or swayed or convinced against even their otherwise good common sense. I don’t blame DiCaprio or the many Hollywood and other famous people touting this meme. They simply aren’t deep thinkers or perhaps not skeptical enough.

Just for one week choose to be a denier of AGW and put in the effort to discover the arguments against AGW and more importantly discover the many false “facts” and stories created to support AGW. Act as a skeptic and honestly dig into the issue and you cannot help but come out of this exercise with grave doubts about AGW. If you are not open to the possibility that a theory can be wrong you will naturally continue to blindly support your preconceived beliefs. You need to expand your mind not close it. This isn’t about wining an argument or having the last word on a blog post, it is about fairly and honestly looking at the data.

Let me give you a starting point that should make you wonder what’s going on: NASA has revised almost every historical temperature record AND has discarded almost half of the temperature data. 100% of the changes they have made support or prop up the AGW meme. Not a single temperature was altered that would question the meme but rather to support it. How could that be? Were those temperature collecting sites or the people running them back in 1934 or 1954 etc. all planning way back then to be “deniers” and intentionally submitted false data that needed to be “adjusted” to support AGW theory? How could that be true???

One additional question. A lot of the planet does NOT have temperature collecting stations and certainly did not in the past. Most of Africa falls into this category so in their computations NASA had to “make up” temperature data out of thin air (or CO2 perhaps). Without exception this made up data was warmer than the rest of the globe, without exception the data pushed the AGW meme over the top. What are the odds that this made up data is accurate???

Be skeptical about everything. Question everything.

102 Crikey June 10, 2017 at 10:49 pm

So NASA is not to be trusted, along with every national meteorological organization in the world because their temperature records, with local variation, support their results. That’s an amazing act of deception spanning multiple decades and multiple countries and multiple people in those countries. If only they had devoted their talents to something a bit more mundane like fixing football games. Imagine the pay off from that.

103 GoneWithTheWind June 10, 2017 at 10:55 pm

Yes! If only. But like so many warmies you reitierate that claim that all the scientists and experts are on the Warmie band wagan. They are not. It’s pretty much split 50:50 with the dishonest Warmies making up data and getting the honest scientists fired for daring to disagree. It isn’t settled, it is a fraud. As for the payoff. This has already been the biggest/richest fraud in history. Billions/trillions changing hands. Makes the Piltdown Man fraud look like a Sunday school joke.

104 Sergey Kurdakov June 11, 2017 at 2:02 am

btw while Milankovitch cycle forcing is computed (by most existing models) per kiloyears (per thousand of years – so not so detailed, like per year trend), you might like to look at figure here https://www.researchgate.net/figure/307965120_fig2_Fig-4-Future-variation-of-solar-insolation-at-65-N-latitude-based-on-Berger-and-Loutre
what is interesting here – that insolation starts to go up just before current time ( 0 is 1950 in Berger and Loutre formulation of Milanlankovitch cycles).
also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunder_Minimum ended before any signs of warmer weather
( btw just after Maunder Minimum ended – there were several significant volcano eruptions which caused cooling for few years – little ice age also was started by series of volcano eruptions which together launched prolonged cooling)
so besides CO2 – there are other factors at play. Like more insolation at lower altitudes due to orbital position of Earth, sun activity and – some inertia in climate response to these factors due to volcanic activity.
the 20th century had much less powerful volcanic eruptions than in XIX century, no pronounced solar minima, had that increasing insolation.
So partly warming rebound might be attributed to factors beyond CO2.
This means, most probably ‘climate sensitivity’ is actually somewhat less, than it’s commonly accepted ( 1.7-3.4C per doubling co2 )
That means that even without any action – 2C and even 1.5C warming target will be met even if everything goes as ‘business as usual’ ( I mean -continued development of wind power, solar power and trend for reduction of emissions we observed in developed countries during past decades )

That is – it looks like best effort to stop global warming – is just better understand details.
I found explanations in series https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/09/06/feet-of-clay-the-official-errors-that-exaggerated-global-warming-part-3/ on how warming researches tend to use too broad simplifications which allows for quite substantial errors ( in the order of 40-50% of estimation of climate sensitivity ) to be somewhat convincing – really Boltzmann law is not linear at all – and it is better to use that fundamental law as is without broad simplifications which might produce significant errors.

And I hope – over time people will see that value of ~0.1C per decade warming is not accelerating and after that will be less worried to find solution for possibly non existent problem

105 Ricardo June 10, 2017 at 10:39 am

You implicitly concede that temperatures are persistently higher today than they were in previous decades which is, of course, true. The El Niño Southern Oscillation comes in cycles and affects shorter-term temperature trends.

106 rluser June 11, 2017 at 5:35 am

Milankovitch cycles are far longer than you suggest. AFAICT no one has a good model for them and in particular the apparent period shift about a million years ago.

107 GoneWithTheWind June 11, 2017 at 9:27 pm

rluser: “Milankovitch cycles are far longer than you suggest”

Some Milankovitch cycles are long, some not so long. Their effect is magnified when two or more coincide but each one alone has an effect. The medieval warming period was warmer than the warming that followed the mini ice age because of the way the cycles interact. Also there are climate oscillations in addition to the Milankovitch cycles most of which are measured in months to years. None of these are caused by SUVs.

108 Sandia June 10, 2017 at 10:18 am

1. Birth control at replacement levels – how could this not make the top ten list?

109 Sandia June 10, 2017 at 10:19 am

Whoops just saw number 7.

110 CMOT June 10, 2017 at 11:28 am

Just bring back Howard Scott and the ORIGINAL technocrats https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technocracy_movement#Technocrats_plan

They wanted to replace money accounting with energy accounting, with the BTU as the unit of currency.

“At the core of Scott’s vision was “an energy theory of value”. Since the basic measure common to the production of all goods and services was energy, he reasoned “that the sole scientific foundation for the monetary system was also energy”, and that by using an energy metric instead of a monetary metric (energy certificates or ‘energy accounting’) a more efficient design of society could be made.”

Divide by BTU’s by CO2, make a currency of that, and surrender control to the technocrats …

111 Mike June 10, 2017 at 11:30 am

The problem with focusing on food based solutions is that the CO2 reduction wouldn’t add up.

For example, if we focus on a plant rich diet, the costs of food waste would drop. The total amount of plant grown will drop, so the benefits of conservation agriculture will be minimized.

Of course, though, it would make land available for other uses, such as wind turbines and reforestation, so you could give the plant rich diet credit for that..

112 Thiago Ribeiro June 10, 2017 at 11:52 am

The 100 most substantive tricks to reverse global warming, based on meticulous research by leading moms and dads around the world Wall Street don’t want you to know about (you won’t believe number 28).”

113 The Engineer June 10, 2017 at 8:25 pm

Bravo!

114 Todd Kreider June 10, 2017 at 12:34 pm

These future projections lists that look “sciency” are bunk as they assume no technical changes over the next 30 years where everything points to great change in energy sources, food production, etc within just 5 to 15 years.

I guarantee that wind power will not be considered anywhere near the top 10, let alone #2 within a decade.

115 Alex June 10, 2017 at 9:30 pm

“Technical changes” such as ?
Do we understand the science behind them

116 rluser June 11, 2017 at 5:40 am

You might be pushing it with “decade.” Generation is more realistic.

117 AndrewL June 10, 2017 at 12:35 pm

I don’t get #6: “educating girls”. How is that supposed to work? The US is like a top 3 polluter, and the US has the most educated girls, (probably top 5). How is educating them further going to produce a top 10 CO2 reduction?

118 John Thacker June 10, 2017 at 12:50 pm

The belief, with some evidence, that girls that spend more time in education put off childbirth later, or not at all, reducing population growth. It works the same way as the next one. The alt-righters love 6 and 7 for that reason, other conservatives not so much.

119 AndrewL June 10, 2017 at 1:07 pm

That doesn’t really address the point. The US is a major CO2 contributor. The top 10 items should really have any impact on the US level of CO2 contribution. How will educating girls impact the US? For example US and the EU compined make up about 25% of the global Manmande emissions, and they represent the most educated girls in the world.

China makes up nearly 30% of the emissions, but China also had the 1 child policy which specifically address number 7, yet still more CO2 emissions than US and EU combined. How could 6 and 7 then, be a top 10 CO2 reduction solution?

More than 50% of the man made CO2 emissions cannot be curbed by 6 and 7, so how could they be so high on the list?

120 MaxUtil June 15, 2017 at 9:50 am

The fact that the US and China are the largest emitters does not mean that focusing just on their specific emissions is the best way to reduce overall emissions. The point is that reductions in worldwide population growth should help a large reduction in emissions going forward. And one of the best ways to reduce population growth is through the education and empowerment of women.

121 thfmr June 11, 2017 at 5:10 pm

According to IPCC and NASA, women writing gender-studies treatises is 72% lower in carbon emissions than the activity it displaces.

122 Cjones1 June 10, 2017 at 2:59 pm

I am more concerned with particulate pollution than C02 levels. Those levels were 5 times higher during the Eocene and were higher throughout most of Earth’s history.
Scientists can’t agree on why and how the mile high glaciers in New York melted and sea levels rose 400 feet (120 meters) at the end of the last ice age. It was not caused by CO2 for sure.
Today was the 39th day this year without sunspots.
If the history of climate change is cyclical and we are doomed to repeat it, then we should prepare for a Little Ice Age on a scale similar to a Dalton or Maunder Minimum as the solar cycle continues a downward trend.
I have read of impacts, methane releases from hydrate formations, hydrothermal ocean currents, volcanic activity, and oscillating atmospheric currents being the cause of climate change in history. The dinosaurs weren’t killed by the Yucatan impact, but by the severe climate afterwards. Many don’t know that another impact site dated to roughly the same time lies off of India. Multiple impacts are dated just before Antarctica froze over about 35 mya…and impactsd occurred roughly before the arctic froze over and the start of the Pleistocene…although I prefer the Panama Hypothesis.
Many causes of climate change. The AGW proponents are absolutely certain – no debate a plowed – about uncontrolled global warming caused by current CO2 levels, but their models have been less accurate than as bone throwing shaman.

123 Eric Johnson June 10, 2017 at 3:04 pm

I’m all for educating girls, but I fail to see how this addresses global warming. I stopped reading the list once I saw that as it’s obvious the list is useless.

124 MaxUtil June 15, 2017 at 9:52 am

Education and empowerment of women is highly linked with reduced population growth which is highly linked with reduced future emissions. You might consider that you don’t know everything about every subject before you write off things as “obviously” useless.

125 Meets June 10, 2017 at 3:49 pm

No mention of fracking or nukes.

It’s more like a list of solutions that won’t trigger the left.

126 Dan Hanson June 10, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Exactly. Any list that doesn’t include nuclear power in the top 10 is not worth reading. Solar and wind together are never going to make up more than a small fraction of our energy needs.

We have climate alarmists telling us that we have at most a decade or two to fix the problem before we create major, permanent damage to the planet. And then those same alarmists propose solutions that would take many decades to have a substantial effect.

Germany has been building out wind and solar as rapidly as you could expect any country to attempt, and after 25 years of effort wind and solar combined produces less than 20% of the country’s energy – at the expense of the highest energy costs in Europe and a destabilized grid. On cloudy, calm days Germany has to import coal based energy, or pay factories to shut down. That’s why after all that money and effort their carbon reduction doesn’t come near that of the U.S. over the same period. Of course, the U.S. used relied on capitalism for innovation, resulting in the fracking revolution. So of course the alarmists have to be opposed to that…

Other states that have tried to use government to force adoption of wind and solar have had similar results. Ontario has crazy high energy prices and large debts due to its race for wind and solar power, and it has barely made a dent in their carbon output. South Australia also has high prices, an unstable grid, and very little to show for it.

Nuclear is the ONLY non-fossil energy source that could conceivably replace large percentages of our power. And yet, not only is it not being considered by the people telling us that climate change is an existential threat, they are actively working to shut down nuclear power in Sweden, Germany and France. These people are technological idiots.

I’m not sure how birth control is even a factor here since it wouldn’t even have an effect for a generation, and the countries that are likely to adopt it are the ones that are already facing major problems due to the demographic transition to low birth rates they already went through. Yet such measures are a large part of that top 10 list. It’s crazy.

127 Todd Kreider June 10, 2017 at 7:09 pm

“Solar and wind together are never going to make up more than a small fraction of our energy needs.”

Solar costs have been on an exponential downward curve for decades and has continued to the present. Storage will need to improve but there is no reason to think that solar won’t account for a large percentage of energy use by the late 2020s, early 2030s.

128 Potato June 10, 2017 at 8:47 pm

Yeah, it’s not like the world tilts on its axis or anything, causing entirely predictable and massive drops in collectible solar energy.

That’d, like, be crazy and stuff.

129 Todd Kreider June 10, 2017 at 10:18 pm

Somehow you missed this in my three sentence comment:

“Storage will need to improve…”

130 Crikey June 11, 2017 at 12:31 am

It’s not like the earth is round with the majority of people living within 35 degrees of the equator.

131 rluser June 11, 2017 at 5:58 am

But what latitudes account for the greatest energy consumption?

132 Crikey June 11, 2017 at 9:02 am

Well, 35 degrees north and south of the equator includes Sydney and Los Angeles, so I’d be quite confident most human energy consumption happens within that zone.

But even at higher latitudes solar could still end up providing a significant amount of energy provided the cost falls low enough.

133 Meets June 11, 2017 at 9:34 am

If storage improves, yes, but we have no idea if it will or if it’s even possible.

134 Crikey June 11, 2017 at 4:55 am

Dan, when it comes to what typical households pay per kilowatt-hour used, South Australia has the second lowest cost of electricity of all Australian states.

As for not much to show for it, over 40% of electricity consumed in the state is generated from wind and rooftop solar. Two coal power stations, which was all the states coal generating capacity, have shut down as a result and natural gas consumption is down. I would say that’s a significant result.

135 Scott M June 10, 2017 at 4:57 pm

The book Drawdown is a complete waste. I bought it based on the Sample Kindle’s TOC that had interesting topics, such as silvopasture. This is NOT a comprehensive book.
Each “solution” (e.g. Refrigerants, mass transit, living in cities) has less than 5 kindle “pages” of content and reads like a Time Magazine bulleted list.
Most have the format of “this is a good idea” or “someone is doing this” and then doesn’t give any detail. And most solutions are “the government should tax the externalities so it encourages x behavior”.
It includes eating a plant-only diet, and living in cities as being sustainable. Neither of which are sustainable. Anyone who has grown their own food knows that we eat plants that grow as annuals. If you eat plant-only you have to truck/ship the veggies for 8 months out of the year. And one power failure or loss of the food delivery infrastructure and the cities would be a death trap within one week.

136 MaxUtil June 15, 2017 at 9:58 am

I’m confused why you think that a plant only diet is “unsustainable” while a mixed plant/meat diet is not. Meat based diets use much more plants than plant based diets because feed animals use large amounts of feed plants. Reducing the amount of meat production requires less intensive agriculture, shipping, etc. to maintain our food delivery infrastructure.

137 Alex June 10, 2017 at 8:49 pm

This was the same book I heard about on Vox here
https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/5/10/15589038/top-100-solutions-climate-change-ranked
I just dismissed it because the “#1 solution” was held out to be “educating girls and family planning”, although in this list that’s split into two items. The mechanism behind that is population control. If your biggest solution is population control, that’s a bad sign. We can reduce population and it will reduce emissions, but we could also have a nuclear war and kill everyone to reduce them also. I would like to see less proffering of weird moral views as novel solutions.

given this list I am more likely to buy the book because the population control stuff is out of the top five.

138 Israel June 10, 2017 at 10:53 pm

Out of the top five because they split it into 2 parts

139 peri June 11, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Some good things, but the list should be titled “Top 10 things you can do for global warming without renouncing liberalism.”

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