Guest essay by Larry Hamlin
Gov. Brown’s “Global Climate Action Summit” held in San Francisco during the week of September 10, 2018 should really have been labeled the “Global Climate Hype Summit”.
California government is totally lost in a make believe world of scientifically unsupported climate alarmism propaganda coupled with costly unreliable renewable energy advocacy.
Gov. Brown’s climate confab amounted to nothing but a bunch of hype, smoke and mirror schemes devoid of any semblance of actionable data, defined plan of action or measurable goals or targets.
The climate confab ignored the overwhelming fact that the world has embraced increased use of fossil fuels including coal, natural gas and oil as clearly demonstrated by global energy data.
Also ignored was the fact that the world is increasingly ignoring and abandoning costly unreliable renewable energy mandates and subsidizes as well as meaningless emissions reduction targets which have no measurable impact on global temperatures.
Additionally attendees at the confab pretended that global climate models can define global climate outcomes when the UN IPCC itself acknowledges that these models are incapable of projecting global climate and therefore completely inadequate for use in defining global climate policy.
The clumsy and poorly defined schemes addressed at the “summit” will only drive up energy costs dramatically and penalize lower income populations of California and elsewhere and end up doing absolutely nothing that has any global energy or climate consequence whatsoever.
Media like the L. A. Times wrote numerous fawning articles reflecting the propaganda and hype spouted at the “summit” with these articles representing further proof of how out of touch with reality the media is regarding global climate and energy issues.
Gov. Brown huffed and puffed that his confab was “global” noting that:
“Governor Brown stressed that the San Francisco conference was meant to be a global summit, and he is leading it with foreign representatives like Xie Zhenhua, China’s chief climate negotiator, and Anand Mahindra, a prominent Indian industrialist.”
The confab however never addressed any energy use data for either China or India reflecting their energy use growth over the last 15 years or their future projected energy use with energy use in both these periods demonstrating these countries commitments to growing use of fossil fuels and particularly coal fuel as highlighted in the energy data shown below.
Additionally huge increases in the use of coal fuel for electricity production by Asia Pacific countries in the period of the last decade were ignored and hidden from view at Gov. Brown’s climate confab.
Also ignored at Brown’s climate hype propaganda “summit” was the fact that the largest future global energy growth will occur in the Asia Pacific region and that fossil fuels not renewables will provide the great majority of this increased energy demand including coal fuel.
The failure to address well documented and available global energy use data at the Brown confab was clearly indicative of its purely political propaganda role devoid of any relevance or intention to address meaningful action steps or plans that would have any global consequence. These failures were papered over with ridiculous media hype in articles about the confab including such illuminating statements as:
“This is a very odd challenge we have,” Brown said in an interview in his office. “It is coming at us from all over the planet. Everyone is contributing and everyone has got to do something to combat it. It is a totally unique world challenge, never before faced. There is nothing like this.”
“This is like rolling a gigantic boulder up Mt. Everest,” Brown said. “And we are at the bottom.”
“If you have any kind of a meeting that is big enough to create a social and political splash, you end up with the question of did it accomplish enough,” said Jonathan Pershing, who was U.S. special climate envoy during the Obama administration. The myriad incremental measures put on the table in San Francisco, he said, will add up.”
“Signs of climate action are sprouting at the municipal level, too. More than 70 cities including Atlanta, Denver and Orlando have signed onto a goal of buying enough renewable power to offset all of their electricity consumption, though many mayors are now pondering how to pull that off.”
Also unaddressed at Brown’s confab were recent moves by China to reduce solar and wind subsidizes which have created chaos in trying to address any reliable future planning for these resources as reflected in the comments of a recent article:
“The new policy brings the industry to a crossroads. During the 12th Five Year Plan period (2011-2015) subsidies were paid late and there was significant wastage of both solar and wind power. Those lessons should have been learned by now, says Meng Xiangan, deputy director of the China Renewable Energy Society. To avoid a repeat, the sector can either lobby for an extension of subsidies and continue its rapid and unsustainable expansion, or accept that new capacity will face a tougher challenge on costs.”
“Without subsidies there’s no return on investment for over a decade, so investors and property owners aren’t interested in distributed solar.” China’s Photovoltaic Industry Association expects to see 30-35 gigawatts of new solar capacity in 2018, a drop of 43% on last year.”
This retrenchment in moving away from government mandates for renewables comes at the same time as China is once again increasing its use of coal fuel as noted in another recent article:
“The finding this month by the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) came as an international group of climate scientists blamed an increase in China’s coal consumption for the first big rise in global greenhouse gas emissions since 2013.
The warning from the Global Carbon Project of a two-percent jump in 2017 emissions coincided with the IEA’s release of its long-range energy forecast and its first in-depth China analysis in the past 10 years.
In its 2017 Global Carbon Budget, the scientists’ group cited a projected three-percent rise in China’s coal use this year and a 3.5-percent increase in emissions as causes of the climate setback after three years of relative stability.”
These circumstances clearly demonstrates how idiotic Brown’s claims are regarding his often hyped claim that his global partner China is leading the world in “fighting climate change”.
The confab talked often about how EV’s were so important in meeting future emissions reduction in the global transportation sector but once again failed to provide any data whatsoever regarding this pipe dream. The global transportation energy use data below shows how unimportant EV’s are to the future energy needs of the global transportation sector.
At the confab Brown once again highlighted his new bill pushing a globally meaningless and completely unachievable pipe dream of 100% clean energy by 2045 for California with more nonsense about huge unrealistic numbers of EV’s for the state. An L. A. Times article noted:
“On Monday, Governor Brown signed a bill that would require California’s utilities to get 100 percent of their electricity from zero-carbon sources by 2045. He has also set a goal of putting 5 million electric cars on the road by 2030 while dedicating $2.5 billion to vehicle rebates and charging infrastructure.”
“Electric vehicles account for 5% of cars sold in California and 1% nationwide.”
“But it is a much tougher sell in America, even in California. A state legislative proposal this year to ban the sale of new gas powered cars and trucks by 2040 went nowhere.
“You want me to issue a press release saying, ‘No more combustion engines’?” Brown said in an interview Monday. “There are 32 million in California. It doesn’t work that way. We have to provide an alternative…. We have to get that in place.”
A New York Times article exposed how globally insignificant Brown’s climate alarmist audience really is when it noted:
“Only 16 states and Puerto Rico have actually promised to uphold the Paris agreement. Most of those states are led by Democrats, and efforts to persuade Republican-‐‑led states like Ohio or Texas to join have been largely unsuccessful”.
Gov. Brown ended his little climate soiree by announcing that the state will launch its own satellite to investigate climate change but as was everything else in this “summit” this scheme was just more hype without any specifics as noted in a Times article.
“The state will develop the satellite with the San Francisco-based Earth imaging firm Planet Labs, a company founded by ex-NASA scientists in 2010. California may ultimately launch multiple satellites into space, according to the governor’s office. The California Air Resources Board is in the process of developing the monitoring technology used by the satellite. No date has been set for the launch, but it will probably be several years away.”
The Brown “summit” was nothing but a bunch of climate alarmist and renewable energy propaganda hype of no practical global significance whatsoever other than to demonstrate how much news print can be wasted on such a bunch of complete drivel. Any pretense that a relationship existed between this “summit” and global energy and climate reality was clearly demonstrated to be nonexistent.