Monday, May 06, 2013

Carbon Bubbles -- Who's Kidding Who?

This talk going around about carbon bubbles and overpriced assets -- come one, who's kidding who??

Do you live in the real world, or not?

In the real world, assets worth (at least) hundreds of trillions of dollars don't get held out of the market just because it makes Bill McKibben happy.

The left is living in a dream world if they think so.

The world is going to burn its oil and gas and a fair piece of its coal. Granted, it's going to cause a lot of climate change, but we're going to burn it anyway.

Because you and me don't want to ride our bikes to the store under the hot sun, and we want to fly to Albuquerque when we want to, on the exact day we want to.

No renewables are anywhere near providing the lifestyle we want, and it's far from clear than any can.

The world has done nothing to eliminate fossil fuels, not even the US (we're only moving towards natural gas because it's cheaper, not because it's better for the environment).

And we won't -- serious climate change is always too far away, too expensive to stop, too easy to ignore.

Like every other problem humans have ever dealth with, we will get serious about it only when it is too late.

In the real world, people with lots of money get their way. That means the oil companies and gas companies and coal companies will get their way, and you and I will let them, because the stakes aren't high enough, for us, to do otherwise.

So Bill McKibben can organize all he wants -- while, of course, flying anywhere he needs to fly to at a moment's notice -- and there's no point pretending otherwise.

4°C here we come.

In fact, we'll be lucky to stop there.

The only salvation I can see is sucking CO2 out of the air and burying it somewhere. Let's fund R&D into that, and get the price down to maybe $100/tonne, and pay a couple three percent of our income to keep living like we do now.


MikeH said...

Here is a more optimistic take on it.

Ross Garnaut (former Ambassador to China and the designer of the Australian ETS) agrees.

Mark B. said...

"That means the oil companies and gas companies and coal companies will get their way, "

No,that means we, the consumers will get our way. Whoever you are, you and all like you are welcome to live off-grid and churn your own butter. And maybe you can post your articles during the day time, when your solar panels are producing electricity. The rest of us want reliable power, on demand, 24/7/365. Until you're ready to lead by example and turn off your grid connection, you have nothing to say to the rest of us.

David Appell said...

Mark: If you want power, then pay for the costs of its damages.

Polluter pays -- that's the free market, libertarian way.

Jay Alt said...

Most government & business experts blithely dismissed the campus-led boycotts of South Africa. Remind yourself, how'd that work out?

Those that can, do. Those who won't can get the hell out of the way.

Shadow carbon tracking. What is it? What does it do? Why is it killing innocent coal plants in North America? Details at 6.