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Earth The Almighty Buck

The Shale Boom Won't Stop Climate Change; It Could Make It Worse 401

Lasrick writes Energy expert H-Holger Rogner walks through the realities of the shale-gas boom, the 'game-changer' that has brought about a drop in energy prices and greatly reduced carbon emissions. But despite the positive impact on carbon emissions, Rogner points out that the cheap gas brought about by fracking shale may already be affecting investments into renewable energy, nuclear energy, and energy efficiency by offering more attractive investment opportunities: 'At today's prices of $4 to $5 per million British thermal units, gas-fired electricity holds a definite competitive advantage over new nuclear construction and unsubsidized renewables.' But natural gas is still a fossil fuel that emits carbon dioxide. 'A much higher share of natural gas in the energy mix would eventually raise emissions again, especially if gas not only displaces coal but also non-fossil energy sources. Moreover, methane, the chief component of natural gas, is itself a heat-trapping greenhouse gas with 25 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide. If total methane leakage—from drilling through end use—is greater than about 4 percent, that could negate any climate benefits of switching from coal and oil to gas.'
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The Shale Boom Won't Stop Climate Change; It Could Make It Worse

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  • "Could", (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2016q1@virtual-estates.net> on Saturday December 13, 2014 @11:29PM (#48591971) Homepage Journal

    The Shale Boom Won't Stop Climate Change; It Could Make It Worse

    On the basis of a could, we are supposed to drop everything and choose the most expensive options. No, thanks.

    Unless one's goal is to diminish the Western society, only a fool would fall for the "global warming" rhetoric these many years after none of the dire predictions materialized.

    Troll my behind — respond giving examples to the contrary: a link to a dire prediction made 10-15-20 years ago, and a link showing it materializing within 10% of the predicted "bad"...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by phantomfive ( 622387 )

      Troll my behind — respond giving examples to the contrary: a link to a dire prediction made 10-15-20 years ago, and a link showing it materializing within 10% of the predicted "bad"...

      You really ought to include links when you say that kind of thing. Like this one, which quotes James Hansen in 1988, [salon.com] saying the West Side Highway in New York would be underwater. And " there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds." And " the droughts can get more severe and you’ll have signs in restaurants saying 'Water by request only.”

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by russotto ( 537200 )

        Oh, that's beautiful

        âoeThe West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water. And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds wonâ(TM)t be there. The trees in the median strip will change.â Then he said, âoeThere will be more police cars.â Why? âoeWell, you know what happens to crime when the heat goes up.â

        The West Side Highway of course still carries traffic. Broadway through Midtown, where he

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Except it has been underwater recently: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n... [theepochtimes.com]

        (during Sandy)

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by phantomfive ( 622387 )

          Except it has been underwater recently: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n [theepochtimes.com]... [theepochtimes.com] (during Sandy)

          TBH, if that's what you think he meant, you have the reading comprehension of a sixth grader. Or worse.

          • Re:"Could", (Score:5, Interesting)

            by El_Oscuro ( 1022477 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @12:51AM (#48592187) Homepage
            The funny thing about Sandy, is that the Capitol Weather Gang correctly predicted it about a week in advance, based on a very similar storm in 1878. We didn't quite as many SUVs nor coal plants back then.
            • It only takes a microsecond for a claim to be generated, and another microsecond of the ideologue to convince themselves it is true based on its pleasant chime. It takes forever to disprove the claim because, as the Japanese say, he who doesn't listen cannot hear. Thus it is, has been, and always will be. I'm convinced that the name "homo sapian" is a failed attempt at irony.
          • by Layzej ( 1976930 )
            Show me the quote of what he said so that we can judge. No quote? strange...
            • Re:"Could", (Score:4, Informative)

              by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @01:36AM (#48592303) Journal
              Seriously bro, does it bother you so much that a scientist made a prediction that didn't come true? Because if it does, you're in for a world of disappointment when you learn the truth....

              It really doesn't matter. Scientists make predictions that don't come true, learn from them, and move on. That's how science works.
            • by haruchai ( 17472 )

              The info from that article is wrong as the interviewed author later admitted.
              Hansen's prediction was based on a worst-case scenario of CO2 doubling by 2030 but his paper from that year or previous one said that a doubling by 2060 (Scenario B) was more likely.

      • Re:"Could", (Score:4, Informative)

        by Layzej ( 1976930 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @01:16AM (#48592253)
        There is no quote in that article, just recollections of a conversation that had occurred 30 years earlier, so it's not clear exactly what was said - but here is a picture of the highway in question, underwater in 2012 as predicted: http://news.yahoo.com/photos/p... [yahoo.com]
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by phantomfive ( 622387 )
          If you read his quote and interpret it to mean he was talking about a hurricane, you lack reading comprehension.
      • Re:"Could", (Score:5, Interesting)

        by haruchai ( 17472 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @04:14AM (#48592561)

        The Salon article is wrong although the fault may be that of the interviewee. Bob Reiss asked Hansen what the view from his office would look like if his worst-case scenario from the paper he'd published not long before the interview were to come to pass.
        That would have been the Scenario A from the 1988 "Global Climate Change as Forecast by GISS 3D Model" - http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs... [nasa.gov]

        That scenario as described in the paper, assumes a CO2 doubling by 2030 but states that Scenario B's assumption of said doubling by 2060 is more likely.

        Reiss details the conversation in a couple of his books but only named 2001's The Coming Storm when he corrected what he'd told to Salon, who never updated the online article.
        Either way, there's still quite some time before Hansen's prediction can be definitively shown to have been wrong

      • Re:"Could", (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@NOSPAM.world3.net> on Sunday December 14, 2014 @06:26AM (#48592825) Homepage Journal

        Classic Slashdot logical fallacy. One person makes a mistake, therefore all the other evidence and accurate predictions about climate change must also be wrong.

        By that logic gravity must be wrong, because Whitehead's theory of gravitation turned out to be incorrect. Clearly airlines are just ripping us off because gravity isn't real. Just look up in the sky, there are clouds up there, they don't come crashing down to earth, right?

        • Re:"Could", (Score:4, Insightful)

          by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @02:12PM (#48594691)

          I don't think they're entirely wrong about global warming, but I am certain they aren't entirely right. Their evangelism on the subject rivals that of any Pentecostal Evangelist raving about sin. It's so much fun to pick at someone who is so certain of their rightness that it is irresistible.

    • Re:"Could", (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 14, 2014 @12:21AM (#48592115)

      Don't worry. You are safe. Unless someone make time machines and travel back in time from 2350 to shoot you in the head for being stupid, you are just fine.

      1. Tragedy of the commons
      2. Short term gain, pain, not in our lifetimes!

      So yes, New York WILL BE under water, in 2500. Not in 2050. Yes, Bangladesh, Neatherlands, Florida, and other places where BILLIONS of people live, WILL BE under water, in 2500, not in 2050.

      In 2050, some islands will be dead. Some coastal marshes will be saturated with salt, and dead, despite what North Carolina laws says.

      Anyway, you are *prime example* of why many people ignore Global Warming. It will not affect them drastically in their lifetimes. It will not even matter much in their children's lifetimes. Their grand kids? Well, who knows. But their grand-grand-grand-grand kids will probably start to curse 1900-2200 era.

      And you are fucking lucky that people took proactive measure to curb ozone depletion. But that only had 40 year lead time, not 400+ year lead time. And no, in 200 years you will not be able to just turn on magic reverse global warming. Even if people in 100 years stop ALL CO2 emissions, the earth will just get warmer and warmer and warmer until new equilibrium is reached.

      +12C global average means ice age

      +14.5C global average means 1950s type environment

      +15C is about current temperature.

      with current emissions, we are aiming at +20C average? +25C? If 2C is different between ice age or not, the current *at least* +5C swing is going to be very significant. But not for a few centuries. So you can rest east and call it "bullshit"

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... [wikipedia.org]

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I have an idea. In this day and age when everyone likes to keep records of every person's data, let's keep track of every person's carbon footprint. Make that number inheritable, so that when someone dies, it gets passed on to the children, much like wealth. Then, if the point comes when it is evident that the disaster is here and we need to pay up, the payment can be distributed using the personal carbon footprint. I'm sure the deniers will have no problem with this, since they will not have to pay anythin

    • Re:"Could", (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@NOSPAM.world3.net> on Sunday December 14, 2014 @06:34AM (#48592833) Homepage Journal

      This is why America has no friends. It's like you think polluting is your god given birthright and will continue to argue about it long after everyone else has accepted that it's a problem.

      Remember that it's only cheap for you because you are pushing the cost on to other people.

  • A Bridge Fuel... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bird ( 12361 ) on Saturday December 13, 2014 @11:30PM (#48591977) Homepage

    ... to the abyss. I emit personal methane in the general direction of anybody that didn't recognize this many moons ago. The solution to climate change isn't finding ever-more-exotic carbon to extact and burn - it's to stop burning carbon as soon as possible.

    • Re: A Bridge Fuel... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You mean the solution to pollution is no longer dilution?

      It sure seems to be working for the oil industry. They are diluting the per barrel price of oil in order to stem the transitional tide of investment in alternatives. Shale oil and gas at lower prices will perpetuate GHG emissions and restore growth in general consumption warding off deflation and generating another boom cycle as long as food production keeps up with population growth.

      Wall Street's bakers were given a pass on their global fraud, and th

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        There's a war on, if you didn't know. It's not about alternatives.

        The old-fashioned oil cartel powers lowered traditionally-sourced oil prices for two reasons: first, to fuck over Russia (likely at US bidding, since Saudi Arabia started this increase in production) and second, to suppress investment in shale and fracking. The shale and fracking oil companies are now fighting for survival, because no one's giving them money for capex. The shale/fracking companies can't support themselves when oil is under

        • ... first, to fuck over Russia (likely at US bidding, since Saudi Arabia started this increase in production) ...

          That's a bit too simple. Saudi Arabia decided years ago to increase its production capacity. It then started an official project to get an increase of 10%. Given the existing production capacity at the time, that was an enormous project that took many years. They made that investment to use it, not just so that they could open the oil tap a little more one day to give Putin a black eye. Was that extra capacity intended to fight wars? Who knows. But if so, it was to fight all competitors from non-OPEC oil pr

      • Wall Street's bakers were given a pass on their global fraud

        Are they putting sawdust in the muffins again?

        • Fiber. You should give it a try. It's also helpful if you are pursuing a strategy of dinner cost averaging.

    • Re:A Bridge Fuel... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Saturday December 13, 2014 @11:56PM (#48592025)

      The solution to climate change isn't finding ever-more-exotic carbon to extact and burn - it's to stop burning carbon as soon as possible.

      Agreed. TFS has got to be one of the most "duh"-provoking things I've seen posted here (and that's saying something). What kind of idiot thought we'd reduce climate change (which most scientists agree has something to do with carbon released from fossil fuel production) by switching to another fossil fuel that still emits carbon when burned? Unless we stop dumping carbon into the atmosphere, we'll still be dumping carbon into the atmosphere. We need an article to tell us this? What we need are other reasonable ways to harness and use energy and/or radically cut energy consumption until we only need renewables; until we have that, gas isn't solving our problem of using coal and oil: it's merely postponing our usage of that coal and oil.

      • Re:A Bridge Fuel... (Score:5, Informative)

        by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @12:10AM (#48592081) Journal

        What kind of idiot thought we'd reduce climate change (which most scientists agree has something to do with carbon released from fossil fuel production) by switching to another fossil fuel that still emits carbon when burned?

        The reasoning is that natural gas releases less carbon than coal, so if we switch from coal to natural gas, then we'll reduce climate change. I do not have the information necessary to determine if that is a correct line of reasoning or not.

        • by haruchai ( 17472 )

          A flaw in that reasoning is that bad drilling practices cause a significant release of methane into the atmosphere which has a much higher warming effect in the near term than CO2.

        • Switching from coal to natural gas doesn't stop the CO2 levels from rising, it just slows it down by around 30%.

        • Re:A Bridge Fuel... (Score:5, Informative)

          by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot AT worf DOT net> on Sunday December 14, 2014 @05:00AM (#48592669)

          The reasoning is that natural gas releases less carbon than coal, so if we switch from coal to natural gas, then we'll reduce climate change. I do not have the information necessary to determine if that is a correct line of reasoning or not.

          Well, natural gas/methane is CH4 - there are 4 hydrogens per carbon. As you start going to longer chained hydrocarbons, the ratio between hydrogen to carbon goes from 4:1 to 2:1 because adding another carbon adds only 2 more hydrogens. Octane, in gasoline, comprises of 8 carbon atoms and 18 hydrogen atoms - 2 per carbon plus 2 more at the ends.

    • " The solution to climate change isn't finding ever-more-exotic carbon to extact and burn - it's to kill off 2/3 or more of the human population, and convince the rest that living in a subsistence-level squalor is worth it, in hopes that we are able to fix global climate into a steady state of conditions that it's never done on an epochal scale anyway.."

      Fixed that for you.

  • It's time to do the Chicken Little Dance

    Bwak bwak

    The sky is falling.

    Bwak bwak

    The ground is burning.

    Bwak bwak

    The North Pole is melting.

    Bwak bwak

    Al Gore is coming.

    Bwak bwak

    ( OK the last one is really scary. )

  • "Breaking news: An oil glut won't make fossil fuel consumption go down - it might even increase."

  • No matter what they do, they won't do anything that will save us anyhow. Our generation will be Ok, but the upcoming generations will have a challenge. Coastal areas as they are now will be uninhabitable, and a lot of people will suffer from a wide variety of things like droughts and inundations and cold or hot. A lot of people will suffer, because we won't do anything to change the situation, but they will get over it eventually. One door closes and another door opens. Places that are considered too cold

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      Well if SanFran get's the big one, most of the world would rejoice. It would remove most of the hipster blight in one swift stroke.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @01:37AM (#48592305) Homepage

      I hear what you're saying but here in Norway we have stone age settlements that are 100-200 meters above the current sea level - glaciers depressed the whole country. Current coastal settlements may suffer, but even if you assume 100% of the ice melting it's not 2012 and we don't need a new Noah's ark. People live in temperatures from Sahara to Siberia and in weather patterns from rain forest to to desert. "Save us" makes it sound like we're heading towards some kind of extinction level event and clearly we're not.

      The real threat to our environment is not our lifestyle, it's that we've been multiplying like rabbits. In 1900 the world population was 1650 million, they could all be polluting like Americans of 2014 and they'd still emit less CO2 in total than the world does today. If we double the population we need to cut the pollution in half to stay constant, it's not higher math. That's a very touch subject of personal freedom, but condoms, birth control and China's one child policy is probably the best long term action for the environment.

      • Re:We are doomed... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @02:27AM (#48592397)

        and China's one child policy is probably the best long term action for the environment.

        And yet, in most developed first world countries, birth rates have pretty much plateaued, or are on the way there. The US, China, Japan, Singapore, Russia, most of Europe - all currently below population sustaining birth rates at the moment. Check out this chart [worldbank.org], sorted by fertility rates from lowest to highest. You can likely notice a clear trend between the upper portions of the chart and the lower regions.

        Economics and education (especially of women) is the key, not police state policies that encroach on more of our personal liberties. We need to get everyone to first-world economic status as fast as we can, because then:

        1) People will stop pumping out kids en mass, since at that point they're an economic liability, not an advantage, and
        2) People will start caring more about the environment when they're not trying to figure out where they'll get they're next meal, or if they will have a roof over their heads tomorrow.

        Seriously, exploding population was the boogieman twenty or thirty years ago. If we forecast using today's trends, it seems pretty likely that the world's population will most likely peak and then decline [slate.com]. Take a look at the actual data trends (the recent ones - and don't extrapolate linearly [xkcd.com]), then draw your own conclusions.

      • by unimacs ( 597299 )

        If we double the population we need to cut the pollution in half to stay constant, it's not higher math. That's a very touch subject of personal freedom, but condoms, birth control and China's one child policy is probably the best long term action for the environment.

        It's not higher math, but it's also not correct. ;-)

        There is not a fixed amount of CO2 produced per person so doubling the population doesn't necessarily double the pollution. Further there are often serious issues that result from population decline. Just look at Japan. Besides, most of the Western world has near zero population growth and that trend is moving into Asia. My guess Africa won't be THAT far behind. Yes, birth control should be provided and encouraged in developing countries but I don't thi

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        People live in temperatures from Sahara to Siberia and in weather patterns from rain forest to to desert.

        Sure, but how much do you think it will cost you to adapt? Do you think that if much of our ability to grow certain crops goes away we will still have cheap food and easily feed everyone?

        I'm sure we can survive no matter what happens, it's a question of a little pain now or massive pain in the future.

    • I agree. There is no-one thinking 50 to 100, or even 200 years ahead. Short term is the order of the day. It will be the future generations that suffer.

      I don't have children, but if I did I would be intensely concerned with the environment I would be leaving them - and their children in turn. Yet as far as I can tell, those I know who do have children seem unconcerned. It is the immediate future that interests them ("new shiny") rather than the long term.

      It didn't used to be like this. The old Europea
  • ...not just problem avoidance" — David Deutsch

    Legendary scientist David Deutsch puts theoretical physics on the back burner to discuss a more urgent matter: the survival of our species. The first step toward solving global warming, he says, is to admit that we have a problem.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/david... [ted.com]

  • Glass half empty (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @12:23AM (#48592117)

    Switching from oil and coal to natural gas is a positive step in reducing both carbon emissions and other pollutants. We should celebrate progress rather than grumbling that it doesn't solve humanity's problems forever and ever, because nothing ever will. If carbon tax is implemented, natural gas will be more economical than oil and eventually other technologies will be more economical than natural gas.

    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @12:40AM (#48592161) Journal

      Heretic! Only solar-electric is good. Only solar-electric can be praised. To get hot water, we must build huge solar-electric panels and use them to charge big banks of batteries made from toxic chemicals, then electrically heat the water! Simply the water through a black pipe outdoors and allowing the sun to heat it naturally will not do.

      Nuclear may be a thousand times safer than any currently available alternative, but it's not solar-electric, so we'll just have to stick with coal until we can figure out which combination of noxious chemicals will make a magic battery for solar-electric. We've only been seriously investing in solar-electric for 60 years - any day now that magic battery will appear, and with it magic components like 100% efficient inverters. Until then, we must burn coal.

    • >> Switching from oil and coal to natural gas is a positive step in reducing both carbon emissions and other pollutants.

      That's the thing though, we don't actually know if this is true. Methane leakage can easily invalidate that argument and studies have shown we are leaking more than anyone wants to admit

      • by iamacat ( 583406 )

        Methane only stays in the atmosphere for 14 years, carbon dioxide lasts for thousands of years and we don't have practical ways to remove it quickly. How about concentrating on the big problem?

        • And? You think the gas extraction will stop or scale down? So what if it lasts 14 years if we are dependent on continuing to scale up gas extraction

    • Not quite, but pretty close to accurate.
  • Nukes Now (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jdgoulden ( 1575977 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @12:56AM (#48592203)
    What really killed nuclear power wasn't "The China Syndrome" or Greenpeace - it was that the price of fossil fuels didn't continue to increase as expected. That's unfortunate, as while I like inexpensive energy I also believe that we should make ALL of our electricity with nukes (or hydro) and save fossil fuels for applications where nothing else will do (e.g. aircraft). And here's a litmus test: if you're serious about global warming, you've pretty much got to be pro-nuke. No other technology - not solar, not wind, not whatever green scheme you dream up - can produce electricity on a large scale. Wanna save the planet? Push for nukes and plug-in electric cars.
    • The US nuclear lobby ate it's own children. Pushing to scrap the Clinton era thorium project because success would conflict with existing investment in Uranium is one of many examples. Lobbying to halt research into waste management because that reflected poorly on the fantasy that it's "clean" is another. Putting trust fund children and horse judges into management positions and just using nuclear energy as a vector to milk the taxpayer and electricity consumers, without having to deal with any competit
  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @01:11AM (#48592241)

    ... some idiot try to grab water like he's picking up a ball or something. Every time they squeeze, it just shoots through their fingers and they get nothing.

    Capitalist economies are dynamic. They respond. Squeeze in one place and you create pressure that causes the system to adapt to restore equilibrium.

    Listen to Bruce Lee... Understand what it is to be water. To flow.

    The issue with trying to control fossil fuel consumption is that it fills a need. That need exists. It is a sucking vacuum that will draw solutions to it and will do so in the most cost efficient manner it can find.

    For example... that might mean off shoring all production to Asia if you make it too expensive to make things in the West. Very simple to do that. Totally bypasses all the environmental laws instantly. Anything that makes production in the US more expensive then somewhere else will just result in off shoring.

    That principle carries over to everything else. A major mistake environmental activists keep making is fucking with prices and expecting the system to not change the way it does things to reduce costs. They think the system will just choose the path they decide rather then keep looking.

    Listen to Jeff Goldblum from Jurassic Park:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    Life will find a way. It will not be contained.

    Your solutions must be cost neutral or very nearly cost neutral or must be cheaper then existing models.

    Or you will have set yourself up as an obstacle. And life will find a way.

    You might not like that anymore then the people liked getting eaten by dinosaurs in that movie. But the dinosaurs don't care what you want. They want what they want and you can't really stop them without destroying everything.

    If you want to keep the system active and you really have no choice here... then you're going to have to play the game. Learn the rules or lose.

    • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

      Anything that makes production in the US more expensive then somewhere else will just result in off shoring.

      And, conveniently, it also makes implementing the same production standards in those countries more cost-effective. You have to start somewhere.

      Tax carbon (make it revenue-neutral to be more palatable), and tariff exports from countries that don't, until they do. It's simple, effective, and transparent.

      • Not possible given the current trade treaties.

        At best, you'll tax carbon in the US, trigger massive off shoring, and accomplish a net negative impact as the production is moved farther from the product markets requiring at the very least additional transport. In reality, foreign production tends to also have far worse environmental impacts for many reasons. Which just adds to the carbon debt.

        You need to see the issues holistically rather then simply leaning on the crutch of coercive police power in a given

        • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

          So, we increase a tariff on the promise that if the country taxes carbon on the export, we'll lower the tariff by an equivalent amount. Why wouldn't the country simply tax carbon at the border so the USA doesn't get any of that money? Because they would be no worse off than today, a trade war is unwarranted. Meanwhile, the USA achieves its carbon reduction goals without triggering massive offshoring.

          • Because they would enjoy no market advantage if they had to follow the same rules.

            What is more, they don't have to comply with your rules under current trade law.

            What is more, they have more tools to resist your actions then you have to impose them unless you engage in and win a trade war.

            Look, bro... Asia has built its current economy on doing what we used to do in the west... cheaper. You take away their market advantage and their whole economy collapses. The jobs of literally billions of people are in th

            • This is the truth...

              The comment about the recent "deal" with China is so true... we agree to cut our emmissions sooner and they agree to slow down the increase of theirs, at a later date, when different people will be in power, and they self-certify to boot.

              This is just Obama pandering to the US public, no more or less, I would hope that even he knows it is complete BS.

              • Of course he does. The point is to placate the dupes and keep the gravy flowing.

                Think of all the money that has gone into AGW propoganda that could have instead been spent on funding research into superior solar power, biogas generators, superior supply chain systems, etc. You know... the stuff that will ACTUALLY make a difference.

                They spend the money talking about doing something instead of funding the people that will actually do it. Politicians are not those that "do" they are those that "TALK" about doi

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@NOSPAM.world3.net> on Sunday December 14, 2014 @06:41AM (#48592843) Homepage Journal

      The issue with trying to control fossil fuel consumption is that it fills a need. That need exists. It is a sucking vacuum that will draw solutions to it and will do so in the most cost efficient manner it can find.

      For example... that might mean off shoring all production to Asia if you make it too expensive to make things in the West. Very simple to do that. Totally bypasses all the environmental laws instantly. Anything that makes production in the US more expensive then somewhere else will just result in off shoring.

      Europe solved this ages ago. Firstly to make things more efficient, so that the demand goes down. If your house is well insulated you need less cooling and heating, simple as that. Doesn't matter how cheap it is, you don't need it. New buildings can be pretty much passive at fairly minimal cost these days.

      Secondly, you require imported goods to meet certain standards. The EU has things like RoHS that require goods not to use hazardous materials, but also requires companies offshoring manufacturing or importing to be environmentally responsible in the countries where their factories are. Companies will do it because they want to sell to the EU, which is a huge and very profitable market. In the EU corporations are our bitch and do what we tell them to, unlike in the US where you are the corporation's bitch and do what they tell you to.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @09:37AM (#48593151) Homepage

      The whole "if we offer better conditions than sweatshops, we will be run out of business by sweatshops" argument is bullshit. It's used by the economic elite to argue why you should slave all day for table scraps while they make millions and by "learning the rules" you mean "bend over and take it like a good boy". We can demand basic environmental conditions just like we demand worker health and safety, no child labor, minimum wage and a bunch of other conditions and a few might bugger off but you won't miss working there. If you squeeze too hard it will all go away though, it's not like grabbing water maybe more like pudding.

      Besides, what you're talking about is not really capitalism it's human nature, of course we adapt how we play to the rules of the games. That's what they're trying to do, give people the right incentives. And yes, that is hard in a dynamic system and if you don't have a good enough model what you do might end up being counterproductive. Some of it is just ridiculous, like here in Norway we export gas and import coal-based power, because then the emissions didn't happen here. That makes no sense at all. But just because some things environmentalists do is facepalm-worthy, doesn't mean that it all is.

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @01:47AM (#48592323) Journal
    The far right runs around screaming that there is no climate change, while ignoring the science (real bad).
    The far left runs around screaming that climate change is an issue due to science (good), but then ignores all of the solutions (just as bad).

    So, how can the far left take advantage of the shale boom? Well, right now, the far right wants keystone pipeline.
    If keystone goes in, will it lower or increase emission from tar sands? The answer is NO.
    If keystone is blocked, will it lower or increase emissions from tar sands? Again the answer is NO.
    Basically, keystone pipeline does not help nor hurt emissions.
    So, what CAN happen is that the far left can use it to trade to lower REAL emissions. Transportation accounts for a large chunk of the global emissions, esp. in North America. That is very true for commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks, that burn diesel fuel.
    BUT, by trading keystone for subsidies for commercial vehicles and large passenger vehicles (suburbans come to mind), that use nat gas at first, and then within 3 years, make it ONLY for Serial Hybrids that use Nat gas. With this trade, it will move large vehicles off diesel and over to nat gas. BUT, within 3 years, the move to serial hybrids allows makers to be using real electric vehicles and being able to switch to say hydrogen fuel cells, or perhaps wireless charging to run these vehicles. With this approach, then the far right gets their keystone, while the far left gets actual emission DOWNWARDS.
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      Actually the really far right wants to keep on buying oil from those Saudis since that boosts their personal profits. That makes local shale oil/gas just as bad in their eyes as windmills. Let's hope they keep on losing influence or at least invest in their own country.
      • yeah, the far right is not much better. However, the far left screams about Nat gas and says that it hurts things, when in reality, it is the smartest way to go.
    • There is no real left or right paradigm; it is an illusion, like in the book Flat Land or the film The Matrix. It's at least 2 dimensional: up/down and left/right. The "far left" today doesn't even get press coverage - the Democratic party doesn't represent them; just tries to sucker them for votes. see http://politicalcompass.org/ [politicalcompass.org]

      Characterizing the correct answer as left/right is ignoring the whole problem and debating empty propaganda.

      Keystone helps sell shale oil cheaper. You just buy into the defeatis

      • The "right" will fight all alternative power like they have ALWAYS DONE no matter what deals you give them today. Extremists don't give up.

        With a growing industry with more lobbyists the alternatives sway the "right" (and "left") a little bit. The entrenched powers DO NOT want there enemies empowered; the unequal footing they have must be maintained. The "right" in this case is not actually extreme they are just the most corrupt on this issue. I guarantee they will shift when the $ moves in the other direc

      • I did not characterize the best solution as right vs left. I said that both of you fools are just that: fools.
        You can NOT stall out anything. Economics forces the issues. Tar Sands are economical at 40 / bl. As such, they are viable RIGHT NOW.
        The right strategy is to move the west from oil to EVs, but use nat gas as the extender. Like H2, and electricity, Nat gas or Methane can be CARRIERS of energy.
  • Who thought it would?
    Come on guys, if you thought it would stop carbon dioxide emissions your life up until now has failed to give you a bullshit detector good enough to avoid getting scammed by the next used car salesman or similar you meet.
  • Burning methane has about half the CO2 emissions per unit energy as coal, basically all carbon. Add in the effect of 2% losses from drill to furnace, and you have the same greenhouse effect as using coal for the same job.
    For residential use, there's no question that many handling processes, storages, and miles of ever-smaller pipes has losses well above that.
    Even for heavy industrial consumers connected straight to major supply pipelines, it's surely over 2% loss; from leaks around the wellhead to every st

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