Ever Wonder Who's Financing the Skeptics' Resurgence?

OPEC said oil was not to blame for climate change and consuming countries should pay to fight the threat.

“Oil is not responsible,” the producer group’s Secretary General, Abdullah al-Badri, told reporters on Thursday on the sidelines of the International Oil Summit in Paris. “It is the industrialised countries which are making all this pollution in the world”. 


WE *will* burn all the conventional  oil & gas we can get, it’s the coal (& unconventionals) we have to watch out for.

<a href=”http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0704/0704.2782.pdf”>Kharecha & Hansen</a> (that is James Hansen) have a well-known paper that models the effectrs  of various fossil fuel peaks, and in general, coal is a much bigger CO2 source, especially since it delivers less usable energy per amount of CO2.

They say:

“we show that it is feasible to keep atmospheric CO2 from exceeding about 450
ppm by 2100, provided that emissions from coal, unconventional fossil fuels, and land use are
constrained. Coal-fired power plants without sequestration must be phased out before midcentury
to achieve this CO2 limit. It is also important to ‘stretch’ conventional oil reserves via
energy conservation and efficiency, thus averting strong pressures to extract liquid fuels from
coal or unconventional fossil fuels while clean technologies are being developed for the era
‘beyond fossil fuels’.”

See especially Figure 3(a) for BAU.

This is *not*to defend ExxonMobil, etc, but that we need to careflly understand the magnitudes of the various problems.  Actually, given that we already be ~Peak Oil (conventional), that makes caol a bigger part of the problem.

I’d be perectly happy if we:

a) Did all we could on efficiency.

b) Stretched oil& gas  as far as  we can, especially to avoid coal-to-liquid.

c) Brought down coal as fast as possible.

We all know how hard it is to figure out who’s funding what, but I’d speculate that more of it is from the family foundations and coal folks.

The lack of hinderence on the whitehouse to distinguish the problem of climate caimate change and energy dependence is going to bring denyers out of the woodwork. Its the expected reaction when you dont have an oilman in the whitehouse.Belford University

Reach out and touch something – in any direction. Likely it is made of oil, at least in part. The rug beneath your feet, the paint on the wall, the clothes you’re wearing,  your hair shampoo, even the medicines you take. 

If we burn oil all up, where we will find the materials of tomorrow?

Yes, sorry; that was written in a  hurry, and I should have just said “use” rather than burn.  The  usual quote is “too valuable to burn”.

In any case, we will use the oil, whether by burning or by embedding.

The best analyses I’ve seen think that world oil production will be down to about 50% of current by 2050, and 10% by 2100, with a long tail of course.

See TheOilDrum, for example, or David Strahan’s “the Last Oil Shock”.

Hence, one can think of it as the “petroleum piggy-bank”, and the real issue is whether one uses it as  fast as possible, or leaves much for the grand-children and great-grand-children.

Fortunately, in the long term,  feedstock (bio) replacements are at least possible for many uses, and when not, or not economic, people  will just have to do without.

BUT, the discussion is really: who’s paying for the current noise?  I just keep saying one has to look beyond oil companies and identify the other participants.  It *helps* the deniers when someone says “the oil companies pay you” and they can plausbily say “no, they don’t”.  Of  course, between:

a) Family foundations.

b) Other think-tanks

c) Companies of various kinds

There is a regular money-laundering maze and it is very hard to tell.

The resurgece of skepticism isnt something to be feared.  Lets the nay-sayers rise and let them be disproven in debate.  We haqve an administration that is not blinded by overzealous energy lobbiests.  The lack of hinderence on the whitehouse to distinguish the problem of climate caimate change and energy dependence is going to bring denyers out of the woodwork.  Its the expected reaction when you dont have an oilman in the whitehouse.

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The award for this week’s most understated headline goes to Politico’s Lisa Lerer for this little doozy: “GOP grapples with climate confusion.” Though little of her article actually breaks new ground, it perfectly encapsulates the Republicans’ current predicament – that of being stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to taking action on climate change.

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