Panda Meet Graph

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

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August 1, 2017 6:04 pm

excellent post David…thank you!

george e. smith
Reply to  Latitude
August 2, 2017 10:12 am

David, are you including in your discussion of the dirty USA “gross carbon emitting habit” the matter of the following well known authoritative (SCIENCE no less) assertion ???
“””””….. A Large Terrestrial Carbon Sink in North America … – Science
Atmospheric carbon dioxide increased at a rate of 2.8 petagrams of carbon per year (Pg C year−1) during 1988 to 1992 (1 Pg = 1015 grams). Given estimates of fossil … …..”””””
Now I’m just asking; not trying to stir up any trouble or cause any ruckus.
I just wonder if you included that.

george e. smith
Reply to  Latitude
August 2, 2017 2:35 pm

I posted a query about USA carbon emissions and carbon sinking, from SCIENCE, and it seems to have got disappeared.
It posted ok, but is now vanished.

george e. smith
Reply to  george e. smith
August 3, 2017 3:30 pm

Thanx Chasmod; I thought I was persona non gratuitous there for a while.
See the USA because of our massive agriculture including “tree farming”, is the only large land based net carbon SINK.
So WE are NOT the CO2 problem despite world opinions.

Tom Halla
August 1, 2017 6:12 pm

As solar panels are for virtue signalling more than power generation, why not make them a pretty image too?

Reply to  Tom Halla
August 1, 2017 6:40 pm

the decision to dominate solar panel production was made long ago.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
August 2, 2017 11:48 am

I guess only a skeptic could understand
behavior showing high moral standards.
“paragons of virtue”
synonyms: goodness, virtuousness, righteousness, morality, integrity, dignity, rectitude, honor, decency, respectability, nobility, worthiness, purity; More

Reply to  Steven Mosher
August 3, 2017 10:04 am

Steve has a point. It’s not virtue signaling here. This is closer to bragging about their production than anything else.

Neil Jordan
August 1, 2017 6:15 pm

Do you have a reference for CDIAC using ozone to skew their CO2 research results?

Reply to  Neil Jordan
August 1, 2017 7:21 pm

They started NARSTO to study tropospheric ozone, “a dangerous pollutant”. It’s not quite the smoking gun but it does raise serious concerns. Why are these nuclear energy folks researching CO2 and ozone? It looks like they are trying to cook up evidence that fossil fuels, which create both, are evil and we should switch to nuclear.
The most generous explanation is that they are perpetrating propaganda. A less generous interpretation is that they are engaged in scientific fraud.
When scientists work to bolster a particular position they become advocates and activists or perhaps fraudsters and they cease to be scientists.
Even when scientists are being honest they are fallible. Most of their published work is wrong. In light of that I was dismayed to find this little gem.

Yes, sometimes experts are wrong, and you hear about it because it’s rare. link

Some experts, operating within the realm of their expertise, are almost always right. Because of that we have our great works of architecture and civil engineering. It goes downhill in all directions from there though. The prognosticating, prescribing, proscribing talking heads (many of whom have PhDs) we see on TV are right no more than by chance. A dart-throwing monkey is more successful. link
The nuclear folks, the climate alarmists, and all the other assorted experts imagine that they alone see the truth and they alone can lead us to our bright future. They are delusional. The fact that the public no longer trusts experts is because those experts are wrong time after time. They have deservedly lost our trust.

August 1, 2017 6:15 pm

Climate science is drenched in politics.

Barbara Skolaut
Reply to  BallBounces
August 2, 2017 10:33 am

Shouldn’t that be “climate science”? It’s not like it’s actual science the way these clowns run it.

August 1, 2017 6:31 pm

projection wasnt so bad?too funny. if it were a gcm projection you would call it horrible.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
August 2, 2017 1:25 am

Errr, no. Unlike gcm, the projection was entirely reasonable, with China going from approx parity in 2006 to approx double US emissions in 2015, which is the key point.

Reply to  DaveS
August 2, 2017 2:53 am

too funny the gcm was more than reasonable, it was within 10%.
davids projcetion is way off

Tsk Tsk
Reply to  DaveS
August 2, 2017 4:06 pm

Now a factor of 2 is within 10%? I begin to understand why you have such confidence in the models.

August 1, 2017 6:37 pm

So what is going to happen from here? Chinese emissions growth has stalled which means that basic industry in China has stopped growing”
err. no. they are merely following p
our path. growth with falling emissions.
more clear sky in Beijing today. killing coal slowly but surely.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
August 1, 2017 10:32 pm

I think you are muddling up CO2 with soot . Co2 never ever caused any sky to be less clear .
Typical Greeny trick – but a slick drive by .

Reply to  Realismatwork
August 2, 2017 2:55 am

Err Nope. Coal fired plants … especially dirty here.
Come on over, I’ll stick your head in a smokestack so you can see

David A
Reply to  Realismatwork
August 2, 2017 4:45 am

Mosher, what are you smoking? The pollution in your ” smoke stacks” is not CO2. Realsmatwork is exactly correct. Particulates are the visible pollution you see in China. CO2 is feeding them, an invisible odorless gas of life.
And China is building more coal fired plants. Your other comments are quite cryptic as well. Exactly what did GCM get correct within 10 percent?

Reply to  Steven Mosher
August 1, 2017 11:23 pm

China’s efforts are impressive. Their coal industry is rapidly modernizing. In some ways they make our coal industry look antiquated. Their plans for renewables are also impressive. I’m curious to see how much renewable energy they can bring onto the grid before they realize they’ve hit the limit. In any event it would be foolish to underestimate the Chinese.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
August 1, 2017 11:35 pm

“…In any event it would be foolish to underestimate the Chinese.”
I bet that China continues to use even more of their cheap, domestic soft coal, despite their “5 year plan.”

Larry Wirth
Reply to  Steven Mosher
August 3, 2017 12:52 am

They’re killing coal alright, by burning it all.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
August 1, 2017 6:38 pm

The money could have been spent on thorium research instead which was killed off by Nixon in favor of the plutonium fast breeder reactor.

… which was later killed off by Carter, so we’ve gotten zero benefit from expenditures for those two technologies. Meanwhile, we’re still funding plasma fusion research which has also produced zero benefit. Do I detect a pattern here?

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
August 1, 2017 7:40 pm

I don’t have a problem with a research. As oil people say, you have to drill 9 dry wells to get one producing. Maybe with today’s geological technology the ratio is better. With basic research it is difficult to tell. How much money would you have sunk in a theory of relativity?

george e. smith
Reply to  Curious George
August 2, 2017 10:19 am

Actually zero. It was thought up mostly by one guy, all made up in his head.
I might go into Fry’s this afternoon and see if I can buy some product from the theory of relativity.
That could turn out to be useful, if they ever stop digging up Highway 101 so the traffic can flow at reasonable speeds.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
August 1, 2017 6:46 pm

I haven’t seen that panda from the air but it is certainly worth looking for. Cute!
I am not sure it is useful to characterise emissions on a total per country basis. It looks too much like there is something. Global metrics are perhaps more revealing.
There are 800m people dependent on coal for heating and in many cases cooking in the world, nearly all in Asia and E Europe plus the former USSR. They are not in a position to stop using coal because they are poor.
There are probably another 2.0 billion dependent on coal-fired electricity generation for a total of 2.8 billion. Ditto about cutting back. Nix in my lifetime barring a ‘wonderful invention’.
Emissions per person are meaningful in a global context and that is how pollutants should be regulated, with the addendum that CO2 is not a pollutant.

george e. smith
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
August 2, 2017 10:25 am

What wonderful invention did you have in mind.
How about a version of Elon Musk’s evacuated tunnels that you just drop a train full of people and cars into and you get to the other end in just 42 minutes, no matter where it is that you are going; well where the tunnel is going; and for good measure it doesn’t require any motors or engines or energy other than gravity which is all over the place; the universe is just full of gravity waiting for us to pick it up whenever we like.

Reply to  george e. smith
August 2, 2017 12:36 pm

I am confused?
No energy to move just gravity, are they always going downhill?
Don’t get me wrong, I like out of the box thinking and believe it is essential for our future especially in cities in California.
Can you provide a link to clarify, it seems like some energy is required to accelerate the sleds, raise them from underground, maintain a vacuum, and to overcome the much reduced friction of the step out system.
How does gravity provide all this energy?
Also a lot of energy is required to construct the system.

August 1, 2017 7:17 pm

“China recently built a photovotaic farm in the shape of a panda”? No, it did not. Giant pandas, as far as my researches suggest, are rather lumpy, and three-dimensional, and not at all flat as the pictures of the photovotaic farm demonstrate it to be. A more accurate description would be something like “China recently built a photovotaic farm which, when seen from above, approximates the form of a large drawing of a giant panda cartoon”.

Reply to  Informal
August 1, 2017 7:44 pm

Accuracy. Like the guy who said “I see a herd of sheep sheared at least on one side”.

Reply to  Informal
August 2, 2017 2:59 am

your head is in the shape of a pin.
Tell me, you know the apple logo, what shape is it

Reply to  Steven Mosher
August 2, 2017 8:00 am

Ceci n’est pas une pipe. link The map is not the territory. etc. etc.

Reply to  Informal
August 2, 2017 10:54 am

How about “China recently built a photovoltaic farm in the shape of baby Po from Kung Fu Panda”. Would that be better?

August 1, 2017 7:18 pm

The simplest method of reducing global crisis is to pay those who wish to work for government departments for their personal enrichment or to “save” the world from a “crisis”, to do nothing. Its cheaper. A lot cheaper.

August 1, 2017 7:22 pm

China built a photovoltaic farm. Include the “L.”

Reply to  noaaprogrammer
August 2, 2017 6:42 am

Perhaps they were running low?

Steve Fraser
August 1, 2017 7:50 pm

The image looks like an ‘artist rendering’. Zoom in on it… heavily retouched, and no maintenance accesses. They got great media coverage cited on their website, though.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Steve Fraser
August 1, 2017 10:53 pm

Agree. I think there needs to be verification.
On the other hand, I don’t care. Maybe they will build one that looks like a white elephant. That would make more sense.

Reply to  Steve Fraser
August 2, 2017 4:41 am

yeah fuzzy edges left side ground areas look weird , and NO wires leading out and no buildings etc etc

August 1, 2017 7:51 pm

Chinese CO2 has topped out – isn’t that a good thing ?

Reply to  andy
August 2, 2017 3:04 am

Depends if you think CO2 is guilty of what it claimed for it.

David Thompson
August 1, 2017 7:59 pm

Nixon killed off thorium because it was work in TENNESSEE not California, No , he has not been forgiven for that here in oak ridge.

Reply to  David Thompson
August 2, 2017 6:43 am

And Johnson moved NASA’s mission control from Huntsville to Houston.

August 1, 2017 8:12 pm

Hummm, we probably should have contracted the Chinese contractor to build the system in Arcadia Florida that serves 3,000 people at a start up cost of a 150 million dollars in early Obama year dollars. We could have at least got some tourist dollars out of the deal instead of just employing six people for yard maintenance and one engineer. I wonder how that budget looks 8 years later? I also wonder how the ROI, and cost per kilowatt-hour is today? Just sayin…..

August 1, 2017 8:21 pm

Here is a stray thought. Does PV panel acreage add to Thermal lift for T storms and create more potential for hail? Would that not be ironically self defeating? I recall a recent paper on larger hail due to CC. Wonder if their algorithm took into consideration more acreage of black panel heat influence from solar installations?
Queue up Dr. Smith! 😉comment image

Keith J
Reply to  ossqss
August 1, 2017 8:47 pm

Thermal lift is second to lapse rate. Almost inconsequential compared to total enthalpy.
Lapse rate isn’t constant, it varies with pressure which is the integral of height and kinetics. Low pressure is higher lapse rate.
Urban heat island effect also has the loss of evapotranspiration from impervious cover.

Reply to  Keith J
August 1, 2017 9:03 pm

Ok, what the hail are you talking about? 😉 We have a moving convective system that will transgress areas in and out of a ~ evapotranspiration zone. Just sayin, what are you sayin?

Reply to  ossqss
August 1, 2017 11:12 pm

And just want effect do PV farms have on albedo? Someone needs to dig into that someday.

August 2, 2017 2:26 am

Finally, we have an explanation for the chalk figures in England.
Most of the current renditions may have originated in the 18th century but the originals could be as early as the Iron Age. Clearly, the photo cells have been lost over time but the basic layout can still be seen.comment image

August 2, 2017 5:55 am

Making a solar plant in the shape of a panda seems to shout “This solar is so unpopular and useless we need a fuzzy bear to sell the population on it. Any rational person would reject it, so if we appeal to those “fuzzy, cuddly bear” emotions, we can trick people into ignoring the waste.”
(It’s probably not connected to any grid anyway. I see no power lines or any sign there is anything but a pretty panda-shaped art project on what was once a scenic plateau.)

Reply to  Sheri
August 2, 2017 9:45 am

Taking “Landscape Art” to new levels, as a soft..soap sell for Solar Ranches? “Look how beautiful we can make the Yorkshire Moors and Dales, Dartmoor, Lake District, Welsh Mountains, Cotswolds, etc.”

August 2, 2017 6:36 am

Looks like Po.

Irrational D
August 2, 2017 11:58 am

The Panda Picture is incomplete. A panda’s daily diet consists almost entirely of leaves, stems and shoots of bamboo, 12-38kg every day. Pretty sure it only smiles like that after it eats and drops a pile of panda poop, something it does up to 50 times a day. Just saying…..

M Courtney
August 2, 2017 12:28 pm

It may be a waste of money and quite uncompetitive with gas or coal…
But that panda is brilliant!

David Kleppinger
August 2, 2017 12:57 pm

It appears the image included with the article was an artist concept. Here’s a real photo from a drone:comment image

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  David Kleppinger
August 2, 2017 8:32 pm

No white in that photo.
All they did was use roads to make an outline within a larger installation.
I call foul.

Reply to  David Kleppinger
August 3, 2017 9:04 am

The air was even cleaner in the artist’s rendering!

August 2, 2017 7:48 pm

I’m so sorry … I have visions of thousands of Chinese operating a giant pandagraph to trace the pattern.

August 3, 2017 5:05 am

Pres. Trump has refused to participate in the nonsense invoked in the Paris Climate Accord, which exercise in world domination was hogwash to begin with.
Diesel-powered vehicles are popular in China and India. That’s part of the problem. Considering that modern coal-burning power plants in the USA are equipped with scrubbers to remove particulate matter from their emissions, if China isn’t doing this, you’d have to ask why.
London was famous for its pea-soup smogs, which were the result of polluted vapors from the Thames River mixing with gas emissions from homes in the 19th century. Natural gas, coke and coal became common in London starting in the early 19th century. Natural gas was used primarily for lighting, while coal was still used for heat. Look up antique parlor stoves: they were not linked to an exterior exhaust like a chimney, and they burned coal, which burns much more slowly than wood. And the house we lived in during the 1950s was heated by a coal-fired furnace. It was not considered a polluter then.
So then we move to the nuclear age, where everyone is using radioactive materials to produce electric power and that’s just wunnaful until the plant at Three Mile Island has an accident, and people go into screaming panic attacks. After that, we have Chernobyl, and the reactor 8 miles north of my house gets shut down, while the coal-fired plant to the east of me (which has a scrubber system installed) gets small groups of protesters picketing every now and then….
The Grenfell Tower fire was started when a refrigerator cooled with butane, which is flammable, exploded. The fire was made much worse by cladding (cover) that was also very flammable. 79 people died as the result of that fire, because poorly-informed quacks with an agenda want things done in what is always,in the long run, a more harmful way.
Everything in this asinine political agenda (yes, it is politics) seems aimed at destroying an entire world’s economy and sending us back to the Dark Ages.
So will someone please tell me what the real issue is? Thanks.

August 3, 2017 8:57 am

I would have done Alfred E. Newman.

August 3, 2017 10:36 am

“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.”
No wonder Jerry Brown and other warmists have now declared that China is the global leader in the fight against climate change. Their chosen leaders are always the biggest hypocrites when it comes to carbon footprints, e.g. Al Gore. So why not choose the country that burns more coal than all other countries combined to be your new leader in the fight against climate change?

August 6, 2017 8:38 pm

In re Catcracking 8/2/17 12:36 PM
I recall, ‘ back at the ranch’ in grad school, there was an idea of a system of train tunnels that would go
along the East Coast with legs between Boston to Providence, Providence to New York, and New York
to DC. The idea was that gravity would pull the train down, speed it up and give it a little Elon Musk
taxpayer juice on the way up, it would make it to the next stop. By doing this with tunnels, you wouldn’t
have to go through the lawsuits etc., etc., etc.
Anyway, that is what came to mind.

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