What do DeSmogBlog and Senator Harry Reid have in common?

Thu, 2008-07-24 20:18Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

What do DeSmogBlog and Senator Harry Reid have in common?

Well, besides good looks and charm, both the Senate Majority House leader, Harry Reid and yours truly will be panel guests on a new show tomorrow called Meet the Bloggers.

The show is a production of the legendary onliner, Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films fame and the host is none other than the Young Turk, Cenk Uygur. (you ever notice how Cenk looks a lot like Marc Morano?)

Also on the show will be Nico Pitney, National Editor at the Huffington Post and Open-Left co-founder, Matt Stoller.

You can get a live streaming video feed right here on DeSmogBlog (see below). In the meantime though, send me anything you think would be good to bring up in the context of the US energy “crisis”. You can either leave your suggestions in the comment section below or email me at desmogblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

Previous Comments

People should understand that the IPCC left out the ice sheets at the poles from the sea level rise estimate. Hansen is saying the modellers can’t agree on anything so they know nothing about what is going to happen at the poles. So its historic data that can be read out like a riot act, the last time an ice sheet disintegrated was 14,000 years ago, the Laurentian, where the Great Lakes are now, and it was a global sea level rise, 1 meter every 20 years, that’s 5 meters in a century, for 400 years, thats 60 or more feet. (a geezer like me thinks in feet). Thats something like 10 times as much global sea level rise as the IPCC was saying, and it is the best science available at the moment, this is not alarmist bullshit, the IPCC contains nothing on this, so its historic data and alarming observations this is why Hansen is freaking out. This seems so stupid of a reason, i.e. the IPCC just left it out, why who cares, we only need to consider thermal expansion of the ocean as Earth warms, and a bit of meltwater from mountain glaciers, that’s all there could possibly be, why worry about the 260 foot global sea level rise worth of ice on the poles. What could possibly happen, eh, the planet is only warming up with most of the increase in temperature happening at the poles. This is the creepiest stuff I’ve ever heard…

So… You’re worried about peak oil? An energy crisis is giving you a headache? Come on over and dive into our pool, we’re the global warming people. We see things completely differently. We have horrified expressions on our faces, we call on university students at McGill to find a way to put the Prime Minister in jail. We see nothing but incredible quantities of fossil fuels. It’s all over the place. We’ve tried every means to stop it, but we’ve failed so far. We think the market is going to deliver fossil fuels to you at prices you can pay until the planet is killed.

Marc Jaccard’s thesis, which I agree with, is there is one hell of a lot of fossil fuels left. Hence an energy crisis is a political and economic problem having to do with availability rather than supply.

See: “Sustainable Fossil Fuels”, Marc Jaccard, professor, Resource and Environmental Management, S.F.U.

He’s not a Bjorn Lomborg. He has worked as a bureaucrat under the NDP government in BC, he was hailed by Harper’s planet killers as the smartest economist in Canada until Jaccard let it be known that their carbon “policies” had zero credibility, and he is now advising the BC Liberal government on carbon policy.

He makes a big distinction between fossil fuels and CO2 emissions. He says we haven’t sent in the engineers yet, i.e. he says there is a tech fix for carbon emissions, involving sequestration, alternate fuels and efficiency. His basic case is very sound, although he has not published a scenario for what to do about today’s situation where we are facing the problem of how to return the composition of the atmosphere to 350 ppm CO2.

Jaccard tends to accept that the big coal fired plants will not be dismantled if they can’t be retrofitted for carbon capture. They will be allowed to emit until they die. He also took it as possible that carbon capture might be found to be acceptable even if only 90% of the carbon was removed. And, his scenarios assume a transition to a very low carbon society could be achieved over a longer time period than we have available. But he has an open mind, and his work applies no matter what society would try to do. He has his personal opinion of course, and he has appeared standing on a stage side by side with David Suzuki calling to the population to support carbon taxes.

So, if catastrophe was confirmed in a way it hasn’t so far, say the IPCC signed off saying they had no doubt a 260 foot sea level rise was on the way by 2030 everything would hit the fan then. That’s what I refer to as the coal plants get dismantled scenario. So Jaccard doesn’t figure that once a coal plant is built that it would be allowed to be taken apart, and you’d phase things in while stuff wore out, and he also misses the 350 ppm, it was too late for his book, where you’d have to have zero emissions in the coal plants if they were to be allowed at all, if you happened to want a future of course. He’s thinking Carbon Capture might prove out at 90% capture and be accepted. I’m saying its got to be 100% or they don’t know what the problem is. But he’s very sound on analysis of how the market could work to provide fossil fuels for a very long time at a reasonable price. Much less of a price than todays.

Tar sand: 1400 square miles, 200 feet thick, 6% oil, 170 billion barrels, called proven reserves by the world’s financiers, second only to the Saudis, multiply by $100 a barrel and its $17 trillion dollars It sits in a resource, a reserve is what is economical to mine at a given price, a resource is what’s there if technology or higher prices cause development, the resource is 35 times as large, 50,000 square miles of this stuff, buried a bit deeper. Its enough to power North America for 40 years all by itself. Not the 50,000 square miles, that will still be there, just the tiny 170 billion barrels of proven reserves. Venezuela has something as big.

Coal dwarfs this. People say coal reserves can power the entire civilization for 400 more years, or they did 20 years ago at climate conferences. Gas hydrates dwarf coal. I’m starting to hear reports they are thinking up plausible ways to bring them to market. Jacard brings up ludicrous figures, except he’s pretty rigourous and convincing, for the resource now nothing has ever been produced or classed as reserves, I’m serious, he mentions 10,000 years. Remember this guy wants emissions controlled he seems very tuned into doing whatever can be done about global warming. He’s not your Bjorn Lomborg clone.

A market will bring you an energy crisis. Capitalism was once so chaotic you could sell people on fighting war for revolution, but the capitalists refined things as time went on. They call it a market signal, a dramatic price rise like oil has experienced, as big new demand shows up the market didn’t plan for, but consider, China doesn’t use one half of what the US does in the way of oil even now. They are the Saudi of coal so they use that. Its a piddly player, but it is where the new demand is coming from and if a market can’t provide everything everybody wants, it goes up in price until the “invisible hand” gets someone with a tar sand deposit for instance, thinking he’s going to finally tap into that $17 trillion dollar oil mine he’s had stashed away all these years. If enough people do that, throw more oil at the market and if enough others do something like tighten their belts, I mean how hard would it be for the US to dramatically cut out just on the efficiency side, these people are huge, they’ve got huge houses, huge cars, there’s room to cut. So, after reading jacard and thinking it over I thought, he’s right, there isn’t any energy crisis. The market may be chaotic. The Saudis still have reserve capacity and they’re putting more in. Their oil minister has threatened in the past he would try to put alternate production out of business if too much came on stream. It all seems out of his control now. But, just a thought.

We’ve got a global warming crisis though. The market will provide all this stuff but if the carbon in it hits the atmosphere we’re finished.

That’s the essence in my mind. Its the invisible hand that will find that last fish to sell in Tokyo for what $100,000 I would never have believed that but it did, it will cause us to root out that last bit of tar sand, all that coal, the gas hydrates, we will squeeze the planet until there is nothing left. Unless we realize the market will kill us and either artificially control the market with taxes on what we don’t want, or command and control regulations and inspectors checking out if you are watching a high wattage tv show that uses too much juice because it displays too many day scenes.

hey, wholesale climate change, with extra added flooding.

Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miXAZj-tcGI

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