Guest post by David Archibald
China recently built a photovotaic farm in the shape of a panda at a cost of some $40 million. To create the visual effect of darker and lighter solar panels, Panda Green Energy used both darker monocrystalline silicon and lighter thin film cells. No doubt the cost will come out of the country’s propaganda budget.
When I started in climate science in 2006, the United States was vilified as the largest polluter on the planet. The vilification was vehement. Somehow that has gone quiet recently. At the time I produced the following graph of what carbon emissions of three countries were projected to be:
That projection wasn’t so bad. The website Climate Home provides the following graph:
China now emits almost as much CO2, 10.4 billion tonnes per annum, as the US, EU and India combined at 11.1 billion tonnes per annum. During his time in office, President Obama had tried to get the US signed up to climate treaties but Republican senators pointed out that there was no point if China’s emissions weren’t similarly restricted. So Obama spent more time talking to the Chinese who were happy to oblige. As Napoleon observed, you don’t interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake. So China happily signed up to the Paris climate treaty which would have hobbled the US but not required China to do anything.
So what is going to happen from here? Chinese emissions growth has stalled which means that basic industry in China has stopped growing. In turn, the reason for that is that the China’s trading partners are saturated with the sort of stuff they can buy from China. Chinese export growth has stalled. Chinese coal production at near four billion tonnes per annum is four times the US rate and by 2025 they will have chewed through half their initial coal reserves. Their average production cost will rise after that. The Chinese authorities are well aware of that so they have an active nuclear reactor build program. They have also told their thorium research project to get it done by 2025.
Coal in the US has had many enemies. The Europeans came before the Chinese. The original climate treaties proposed were baselined in 1990 because that was the year that the Soviet Union collapsed and along with it East European coal production. So the Europeans were going to find compliance easy while the US was hobbled. And then note the faint letters CDIAC at the top of the last graph. That is short for the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This unit is alongside the Department of Energy’s nuclear labs at Oak Ridge. The DOE set up the CDIAC to hobble the US coal industry and thus sell more nuclear power plants. The CDIAC is ceasing operations on September 30.
If you don’t believe that the CDIAC had an anti-coal agenda, look at the field experiments they did on CO2-fertilisation of plants. They knew that the results were going to be positive, and thus problematic, so they dosed the atmospheres with plenty of ozone to damage the plants and get the results they needed. Good riddance to the CDIAC. The money could have been spent on thorium research instead which was killed off by Nixon in favor of the plutonium fast breeder reactor.
The panda above means that China, Europe and others have not yet given up on their dream of hobbling US industry with climate restrictions. Remain vigiliant.
David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare