Guest satire by David Middleton
Protesters Jeer as Trump Team Promotes Coal at U.N. Climate Talks
By Lisa Friedman and Brad Plumer
Nov. 13, 2017
BONN, Germany — The Trump administration made its debut at a United Nations conference on climate change on Monday by giving a full-throated defense of fossil fuels and nuclear energy as answers to driving down global greenhouse gas emissions.
The forum — the only official appearance by the United States delegation during the annual two-week climate gathering of nearly 200 nations — illustrated how sharply the administration’s views are at odds with those of many key participants in the climate negotiations.
George D. Banks, special adviser to President Trump on international energy issues, led a panel with top American energy executives. “Without question, fossil fuels will continue to be used, and we would argue that it’s in the global interest to make sure when fossil fuels are used that they be as clean and efficient as possible,” Mr. Banks said. “This panel is controversial only if we chose to bury our heads in the sand.”
But even before the Trump team could make its case, the panel was disrupted for more than 10 minutes by scores of chanting and singing demonstrators. The protesters then walked out, leaving the room half empty. Throughout the remainder of the presentation, audience members shouted down and mocked White House officials who attempted to explain away President Trump’s stated view that global warming is a hoax.
The American presentation came the same day that a new study showed that emissions were rising worldwide after three years on a plateau. Researchers said the emissions growth was driven largely by increased burning of coal in China and India.
“Nuclear and carbon capture are critical to reducing CO2 emissions, but going to Bonn to promote the technologies without admitting climate change is a crisis is a logical absurdity,” said Josh Freed, director of the clean energy program at the centrist think tank Third Way.
Still, [Andrew Steer, president of the World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank based in Washington] acknowledged, countries throughout Asia and Africa are continuing to build coal plants in their quest to provide energy access for millions living without electricity. “This is not wickedness on the part of these countries that want to get cheaper energy,” he said.
Trump administration officials made a similar point. “We need to lift one billion plus people out of energy poverty,” Mr. Banks said. He argued that while renewable energy has a “bright future,” only fossil fuels at the moment can deliver enough energy to allow people to rise out of poverty.
Officials from Bangladesh, which still gets most of its electricity from natural gas and has plans to build 25 new coal-fired plants by 2022, said they would welcome the use of technology to improve the efficiency of their coal plants as a steppingstone toward renewable energy.
Mr. Banuri said that Pakistan’s emissions were likely to grow in the coming decades as it lifts itself out of poverty, though the country is also making a big push on renewable energy and could do more if wealthier nations provided more aid to help drive down the cost of wind and solar even further.
But any nuanced discussions of energy policy were overshadowed by anger at the Trump administration for disengaging from the global community on climate change.
During a question-and-answer session, audience members pressed American officials to clarify the White House’s stance on climate change.
Let’s see… There appears to be a general consensus (among those referenced in the article) that:
- Coal will be the second or third largest energy source through at least the mid-21st century.
- Carbon capture and storage is “critical to reducing CO2 emissions”… (Even if it never really works, the U.S. is in an excellent position to profit from CCS).
- Nuclear power is the only carbon-free energy source that can actually replace coal and eventually natural gas.
- Lifting more than a billion people out of energy poverty is a “good thing.”
The U.S. delegation is in Bonn promoting nuclear power and clean coal technology… Yet they are shouted down by a bunch of “long-haired hippie type pinko [censored]”… because they won’t *admit* that “climate change is a crisis.”(Yes… I know most of these clowns don’t look like Long-haired hippie-type pinko ****… But, I just really like the old Charlie Daniels song, Uneasy Rider.)
With these zealots, the acknowledgement that human activities have contributed to the recent modest warming of the Earth’s average surface temperature, is insufficient. We must *admit* that “climate change is a crisis.” And our penance is to fork over as much of our money as they demand; so that they can redistribute it to Third World tin-horn dictators.
Clearly COP23 and the entire UNFCCC is not about finding solutions to what is, at worst, a minor problem. Their purpose is to exaggerate the problem in order to extort cash out of prosperous western democracies (very small-d), primarily from these tangentially United States of America. And this is all it has ever been… Just ask The Talking Heads of the IPCC and UNFCCC.
Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.
Same as it ever was…
“This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history.”
If climate change was actually a “crisis,” the solution is trivial: N2N – Natural gas to nuclear. Since it isn’t a crisis and coal will remain one of the top three sources of energy well-into the mid-21st century, it’s time to drop the renewables fantasy and focus on the energy sources that can actually power the world and lift a billion people out of enrgy poverty.
There has been a lot of idiotic babble about President Trump “paving the way for Chinese dominance in clean energy” by ditching Paris… When the real story is that Red China seems to be the only nation on Earth seriously pursuing nuclear power.
Nuclear Power in China
(Updated October 2017)
- Mainland China has 37 nuclear power reactors in operation, about 20 under construction, and more about to start construction.
- The reactors under construction include some of the world’s most advanced, to give a 70% increase of nuclear capacity to 58 GWe by 2020-21. Plans are for up to 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050.
- The impetus for nuclear power in China is increasingly due to air pollution from coal-fired plants.
- China’s policy is to have a closed nuclear fuel cycle.
- China has become largely self-sufficient in reactor design and construction, as well as other aspects of the fuel cycle, but is making full use of western technology while adapting and improving it.
- Relative to the rest of the world, a major strength is the nuclear supply chain.
- China’s policy is to ‘go global’ with exporting nuclear technology including heavy components in the supply chain.
Pertinent coal and nuclear data from my previous post on COP23…
Chapter 4. Coal
In the IEO2016 Reference case, coal remains the second-largest energy source worldwide—behind petroleum and other liquids—until 2030. From 2030 through 2040, it is the third-largest energy source, behind both liquid fuels and natural gas. World coal consumption increases from 2012 to 2040 at an average rate of 0.6%/year, from 153 quadrillion Btu in 2012 to 169 quadrillion Btu in 2020 and to 180 quadrillion Btu in 2040.
Figuring out ways to generate electricity from coal in a manner less impactful on the environment is a far more productive exercise than pretending that it will be replaced with solar panels, wind turbines, fairy dust and unicorn farts.
If there actually was an urgent need to tackle climate change, the only player on the field large enough to do the tackling is N2N – natural gas to nuclear.