The 'Green New Deal' is Stupid, Grade-A Counterproductive Bullshit

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PhilRisk
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Re: The 'Green New Deal' is Stupid, Grade-A Counterproductive Bullshit

Post by PhilRisk » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:54 am

To the one's concerned. It may be hard to identify the Green New Deal. Here is some information about the discussion within the Democratic party:
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics ... er-carlson

And the green new deal resolution will likely not include any statement about dismissing nuclear. This is also true for the version from Data for Progress https://www.dataforprogress.org/green-new-deal/

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Post by Red » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:25 pm

PhilRisk wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:54 am
To the one's concerned. It may be hard to identify the Green New Deal. Here is some information about the discussion within the Democratic party:
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics ... er-carlson

And the green new deal resolution will likely not include any statement about dismissing nuclear. This is also true for the version from Data for Progress https://www.dataforprogress.org/green-new-deal/
I'm getting conflicting messages here. The first source says that it will not include nuclear, the other says it will.
VOX wrote:The fact sheet, on the other hand, clearly was picking sides. For instance, it made clear nuclear power would not be part of the climate solution, saying the Green New Deal plan “makes new fossil fuel infrastructure or nuclear plants unnecessary.” It panned carbon capture, utilization, and storage technology, and Markey’s 2009 cap-and-trade bill, framing cap and trade as a “tiny part” of the overall plan, and saying “cap and trade assumes the existing market will solve the problem for us, and that’s simply not true.”

That left Markey in a tough position on Thursday, trying to explain that the resolution was making no individual recommendations for how to get off fossil fuels as reporters lobbed questions about how the US could do this without nuclear power.
Other source wrote:All electricity consumed in America must be generated by renewable sources, including solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, sustainable biomass, and renewable natural gas, as well as clean sources such as nuclear and remaining fossil fuel with carbon capture.
Sure some Democrats want to include Nuclear, but I wonder how adamant they would be on such an issue.

Either way though, without a strong, direct focus on nuclear, it's a useless and possibly harmful plan. Never forget oppurtunity cost.
Learning never exhausts the mind.
-Leonardo da Vinci

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:33 pm

Hopefully feedback from the mainstream can edit some sanity into the thing.

Flue carbon capture might also be viable, but I doubt it could be cheaper than nuclear and we have both limited supply and more serious environmental issues with fossil fuels (like releasing methane). Also political/human rights issues.
Could be a lesser of evils stop-gap though. If it will get a few sensible Republicans to sign on I'm all for allowing it.

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Post by PhilRisk » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:14 am

The hole debate about the Green New Deal is somewhat skewed here. The main impetus of it is to entangle social measures with climate action and big government investments.
The economic mainstream alternative is basically something like a carbon tax. Which has been prominently demanded by economists:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... arbon-tax/

I revisited the IPCC report on climate mitigation costs and my interpretation is that Carbon Capture is essential for avoiding dangerous climate change. Nuclear and renewable energy are both a nice to have, even less important to have than bioenergy. See table SPM.2 (https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads ... makers.pdf)
However, these models include a discount rate of 5%, which favors fossil fuels over nuclear and renewables. The discount rate is something quite important in long term economic planning. Something nicely explained with Otters:
https://grist.org/article/discount-rate ... th-otters/

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:59 am

PhilRisk wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:14 am
The hole debate about the Green New Deal is somewhat skewed here. The main impetus of it is to entangle social measures with climate action and big government investments.
Of course, of course. And I've long argued that intersectional campaigns are less likely to be effective since you alienate people with every additional provision. Typically you want to go single issue with this stuff so you can push it through with as much support as possible.
PhilRisk wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:14 am
I revisited the IPCC report on climate mitigation costs and my interpretation is that Carbon Capture is essential for avoiding dangerous climate change.
How so?

The trouble with carbon capture is it works best at the flue, so at best you're basically bringing fossil fuels down in emissions closer to nuclear. Is it more realistic to advance adding carbon capture to fossil fuels? Sure. And I think we should do that, along with promoting nuclear power and use of solar etc. where it makes sense.

BUT if we straight out switched to nuclear and abandoned fossil fuels, carbon capture of that type would seem irrelevant.

Other kinds of carbon capture are natural, and may best be accomplished by just letting forests grow back (or even promoting regrowth). I'm not aware of any good, cost effective technology for just capturing ambient carbon at any reasonable efficiency that doesn't just rely on plants.
PhilRisk wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:14 am
Nuclear and renewable energy are both a nice to have, even less important to have than bioenergy. See table SPM.2 (https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads ... makers.pdf)
Are we talking about capturing methane from landfills, etc.?

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Post by PhilRisk » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:31 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:59 am

The trouble with carbon capture is it works best at the flue, so at best you're basically bringing fossil fuels down in emissions closer to nuclear. Is it more realistic to advance adding carbon capture to fossil fuels? Sure. And I think we should do that, along with promoting nuclear power and use of solar etc. where it makes sense.


Are we talking about capturing methane from landfills, etc.?
Methane from landfills is important but only of minor impact (14% of methane emissions in the US, EPA).
The IPCC assessment is about Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in coal and gas power plants. It includes your remarks on higher emissions by CCS, than nuclear. Beside CCS, BioEnergy CCS (BECCS) in bioenergy power plants might turn out to be import. As it is a technologically promising way to get CO2 out of the atmosphere. Actually, the latter plays a crucial role in all still possible scenarios staying below 2K, let alone 1,5K. This technology is way more effective than forestation, which does not have a substantial climate impact as it also changes the albedo, but this is a different story. I can provide further information if you are interested.

In the economic analysis, which is the basis of this IPCC assessment, a discount rate of 5% is used. This discount rate do a favor to fossil fuels with lower building cost and higher operation costs than nuclear. However, it represents well used discount rates in economic assessments considering opportunity costs. Furthermore, the cost estimates of the technologies are quite divergent. I am not aware of all assumptions made for these estimates. They are substantially based on expert assessment of costs of technologies. Here is the economic assessment:
Higher cost by excluding technologies (%):
No CCS: 138 (29-297)
Nuclear phase out: 7 (4-18)
Limited solar/wind: 6 (2-29)
Limited bioenergy: 64 (44-78)
PDF p.17 of https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads ... makers.pdf
(Another interesting information from the same table SPM.2 is the rise of costs by delaying mitigation.)

This does not imply, that one should advocate CCS over nuclear and renewables. The take home message would be to employ all technologies, because exclusion of any makes it more costly. Excluding CCS and/or BECCS might make emission targets even unachievable from an economic perspective.
Most economists favor a market approach, with either cap and trade or a carbon tax. This would be technologically neutral. However, in my opinion it might be worth considering to have some additional support for nuclear and renewables as they are considerable better regarding broader air pollutants.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:53 am

PhilRisk wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:31 am
Beside CCS, BioEnergy CCS (BECCS) in bioenergy power plants might turn out to be import. As it is a technologically promising way to get CO2 out of the atmosphere.
Interesting.
PhilRisk wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:31 am
This technology is way more effective than forestation, which does not have a substantial climate impact as it also changes the albedo, but this is a different story. I can provide further information if you are interested.
More information would be good.

Reforestation absorbs quite a bit of carbon while the trees are growing. I can see that bioenergy with carbon capture would be an *ongoing* carbon sink, so there's a good argument for that. I'd love to see some numbers on the viability and designs.

Not convinced that the albedo of a forest is that much lower than cropland. If we're talking vs. desert, sure.
But if we really want to raise albedo then we need to cover large swaths of unproductive land with mirrors and make an army of solar powered roombas to keep them shiny.

What I like about reforestation is it requires very little investment; we can mostly just let it happen. CCS+bioenergy is an interesting idea though, if it can be competitive. We could be talking about negative carbon energy.
PhilRisk wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:31 am
The take home message would be to employ all technologies, because exclusion of any makes it more costly.
Of course. I didn't think BECCS was even viable but I'd love to see more info on it.

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Post by Jamie in Chile » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:59 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:59 am
PhilRisk wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:14 am
The hole debate about the Green New Deal is somewhat skewed here. The main impetus of it is to entangle social measures with climate action and big government investments.
Of course, of course. And I've long argued that intersectional campaigns are less likely to be effective since you alienate people with every additional provision. Typically you want to go single issue with this stuff so you can push it through with as much support as possible.
I do partly agree. Where possible, I think it makes sense to keep issues apart but the problem is that they are genuinely connected, as well explained in the book Capitalism vs the Climate by Naomi Klein.

There are fundamental issues like roof solar being more expensive than coal, and petrol cars being slightly better for the environment than electric ones, and car travel being better than public transport that can be addressed by changing the subsidies and taxes. You really need left wing government intervention otherwise most people will continue to do the cheapest thing even though it's environmentally bad. A left wing system of subsidies and taxes is the only fair way to address climate change.

Carbon taxes have failed spectacularly to address the problem because they just let people shift things around without actually reducing. Carbon taxes will only work if they are much larger and actually cause reductions. Fundamentally you must tax the bad thing rather than pay money or otherwise reward for NOT doing something. That is why carbon taxes have failed.

The right wing part of the population need to understand that the longer the action on climate is delayed, the bigger the involvement of government will eventually have to be.

The left wingers need to explain to them that a system of taxes and subsidies is actually not all that un-libertarian. It's saying do what you want guilt free because an appropriate tax has been paid to reduce that action, and offsets its bad effects.

“We should always remember that free markets are a means to an end. They would defeat their object if by their output they did more damage to the quality of life through pollution than the wellbeing they achieve by the production of goods and services.” Margaret Thatcher - UN General Assembly Climate Change Speech (1989) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnAzoDtwCBg

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Post by PhilRisk » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:35 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:53 am
PhilRisk wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:31 am
This technology is way more effective than forestation, which does not have a substantial climate impact as it also changes the albedo, but this is a different story. I can provide further information if you are interested.
More information would be good.

Reforestation absorbs quite a bit of carbon while the trees are growing. I can see that bioenergy with carbon capture would be an *ongoing* carbon sink, so there's a good argument for that. I'd love to see some numbers on the viability and designs.

Not convinced that the albedo of a forest is that much lower than cropland. If we're talking vs. desert, sure.
But if we really want to raise albedo then we need to cover large swaths of unproductive land with mirrors and make an army of solar powered roombas to keep them shiny.

What I like about reforestation is it requires very little investment; we can mostly just let it happen. CCS+bioenergy is an interesting idea though, if it can be competitive. We could be talking about negative carbon energy.
I took your request as an opportunity to investigate a little deeper and think I should make some revision of my statement. My overall conclusion is, that afforestation can have limited mitigation impact at achievable scale now, while BECCS would become attractive, for rising prices of carbon, if the budget is getting lower, but not already. To finish the whole picture, other mitigation efforts are more effective in the short future (low energy use by efficiancy, nuclear & renewable energy). All mitigation efforts need some political incentives to put a price on carbon or other schemes. I only link single studies. But I think the are fairly mainstream in their results and published in respectable journals.

The results I meant refer to large scale forestation in the desert. In the linked study large scale forestation even has a positive effect on temperature. Permanent forests on cropland has other well known effects of lower food production, which might be balanced by a vegan diet ;-).

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms4304.pdf (Fig. 2 & 3 are of special interest)

By doing some searching I found a more recent study not placing the forests in deserts: they found a mitigation effect. But still the effect on temperature in the high emission scenario is fairly low (roughly 0.2K at 2100) in case of giving up roughly 17% of cropland. To be effective it needs land-use change. However, this is true for BECCS as well.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com ... 16GL068824
Fig. 1&2 are of special interest as they show the land-use and the effects respectively.

I found a further study comparing BECCS and afforestation. Its result is, that afforestation needs more land, while BECCS becomes only cost-effective if the price on carbon is higher than for afforestation.

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1 ... 64029/meta

Searching, I found some study on the exceptional idea of ocean afforestation, potentially in combination with BECCS. However, there is only limited assessment of this idea, but I was intrigued by the term "ocean afforestation":
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 2012001206
https://link.springer.com/article/10.10 ... 016-1022-1

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:01 pm

OK, thanks, that was my understanding.
I'm supportive of developing these technologies and policies, but swapping unnecessary cropland for forest seemed like the best bet currently (along with nuclear power, solar where it works, and reducing consumption where viable).
PhilRisk wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:35 am
The results I meant refer to large scale forestation in the desert.
Yeah, deserts are often pretty reflective, that's not surprising.
PhilRisk wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:35 am
Searching, I found some study on the exceptional idea of ocean afforestation, potentially in combination with BECCS. However, there is only limited assessment of this idea, but I was intrigued by the term "ocean afforestation":
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 2012001206
https://link.springer.com/article/10.10 ... 016-1022-1
Woah, not something I've heard of before. I'll have to look into it.

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