Change in Global CO2 Emissions (2000-2017)
With respect to CO2 emissions and climate change, the greatest concern is in the Asia-Pacific where economies have developed on fossil fuels for the past twenty years and coal plants remain in their forward planning. From 2000-2017, global CO2 emissions increased 9,821 mmtons, with 8,643 mmtons (88% of global total) derived from Asia-Pacific countries. Of this, China emitted 5,883 mmtons and India 1,381 mmtons. During this same period, U.S. CO2 emissions decreased 639 mmtons. The issue is global climate, yet the GND scope is limited to the U.S. This isn’t an issue of right vs. wrong or which country is to be blamed—it’s a pragmatic matter of policy focus.
A Call for Bipartisanship and Urgency in U.S. Nuclear Power Policy
(Full Op-ed in The Hill)
Recent developments around the death of Jamal Khashoggi have prompted a bipartisan response calling for President Trump to break off talks with Saudi Arabia over a potential US-Saudi civil nuclear agreement. The claim being that Saudi Arabia’s actions “raise serious concerns about the transparency, accountability, and judgment of current decision makers in
The U.S. is facing strong competition from China, Russia, South Korea and France for the engineering, procurement and construction of the first two of sixteen planned reactors in Saudi Arabia. Consequently, a disruption in negotiations could quell U.S. hopes of establishing a behind-the-fence presence in Saudi Arabia’s nuclear enterprise, thus limiting American influence in the development of Saudi Arabia’s overall nuclear culture.
There’s little argument that the issue of a nuclear program in Saudi Arabia is complex and that the death of Khashoggi presents the U.S. with a diplomatic challenge. But such has been the challenge to U.S. leaders from the beginning.
Link to full op-ed.
Renewable Energy in Perspective: The Carbon Gap
In the aftermath of yesterday’s announcement by EPA of its Affordable Clean Energy plan, which is proposed as a replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, it’s worth taking a look at the global carbon picture in order to maintain the appropriate perspective for global climate. The emphasis here being that it’s global climate, not just U.S. climate, and the deployment of renewable energy in the U.S. isn’t where our carbon-reduction focus should be confined. This brief analysis points to the need for large-scale deployments of nuclear power in order to offset the continued expansion of fossil fuel-fired power generation as renewable energy alone is not standing up to the challenge of carbon emissions at the global scale of billions of people and trillions of dollars in economic activity. The greatest impact the U.S. can have on reducing global carbon emissions is working with other countries in the deployment of nuclear power.
Continue reading “Renewable Energy in Perspective: The Carbon Gap”
THE OTHER FACE OF ENERGY
The face of climate change just got a lot cuter. It also got a name. Nora the polar bear was introduced a couple of weeks ago at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio and has been touching hearts ever since, particularly the hearts of global climate activists who see Nora as a way to draw attention to climate change. Continue reading “The Other Face of Energy”
ECONOMIC IMPERATIVES OF
THE PARIS CLIMATE TALKS
One analogy used in characterizing global climate change is: “Earth has a fever”. To extend the analogy a little further, when a body has a fever it’s expedient to provide a diagnosis, prognosis and, if possible, therapy. In this case, the diagnosis has been determined to be greenhouse gas emissions, particularly CO2, and the prognosis is that Earth’s climate system will change with consequences detrimental to human society. As for the therapy, that’s where the politics, rhetoric and posturing begin, with rationale, logic and common sense often being the first casualties. Continue reading “The Paris Climate Talks”