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The Climate Change Thread

Subsidies are horrendously expensive and ineffective. Pricing carbon and distributing the funds back to taxpayers provides the incentive to make investments to reduce emissions and doesn't waste money giving $10k to someone to buy an electric Porsche he would have bought anyway.

You'll note that I didn't say anything about subsidies for EVs. Paying people to buy cars is a terrible idea. The carbon tax will get them to switch the fuel their steel horses use.

I said building the infrastructure. And I mean that in the literal sense. EVs are getting cheaper. People will switch. We need to get on with building the infrastructure to reduce the friction in that switch. That is what we should subsidize. Give Loblaws, Sobeys and Metro a million per store to put up a fast charging station in every store parking lot and prep for expansion. Spend the $20-30 million to get rest centres ready to charge a hundred cars at a time. Give condos $1000 per spot they enable with a 3 kW outlet. Have the CIB give 20 yr low interest loans to condo corporations and rental building owners that want to enable charging at every resident spot in the building.

There is so much we can do. And so much that we need to do before we even scale. Getting the supply to a highway service centre to enable charging 100 cars is a $10M job we can and should do today. Even if all we need is 5-10 chargers there right now.

Imagine this. We spend about $8B building large charging stations over the next decade for that amount, 4000 malls and grocery stores will each have fast charging stations with at least 20-30 stalls by 2030. Every OnRoute will have 100 charge stalls and the wiring for 200 spots if necessary. At this point, home charging will be irrelevant. Your half hour grocery trip will fill up enough for your week of commuting. And every major service centre in the country will be have a large EV charge lots with charging enabled at rest stops across the TransCanada and every busy corridor in the country.
 
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You'll note that I didn't say anything about subsidies for EVs. Paying people to buy cars is a terrible idea. The carbon tax will get them to switch the fuel their steel horses use.

I said building the infrastructure. And I mean that in the literal sense. EVs are getting cheaper. People will switch. We need to get on with building the infrastructure to reduce the friction in that switch. That is what we should subsidize. Give Loblaws, Sobeys and Metro half a million to put up a fast charging station in every store parking lot. Spend the $20-30 million to get rest centres ready to charge a hundred cars at a time. Give condos $1000 per spot they enable with a 3 kW outlet. Have the CIB give 20 yr low interest loans to condo corporations and rental building owners that want to enable charging at every resident spot in the building.

There is so much we can do. And so much that we need to do before we even scale. Getting the supply to a highway service centre to enable charging 100 cars is a $10M job we can and should do today. Even if all we need is 5-10 chargers there right now.
Eh, I would only go as far as accelerated depreciation for charging stations. There are also silly rules around how they work, such as prohibiting them from charging by kWh vs time. I think charging stations will come as there is demand for them. I'm not convinced we need subsidies. Updating building codes to require rough ins for EV charging.
 
Eh, I would only go as far as accelerated depreciation for charging stations. There are also silly rules around how they work, such as prohibiting them from charging by kWh vs time. I think charging stations will come as there is demand for them. I'm not convinced we need subsidies. Updating building codes to require rough ins for EV charging.

Comes down to how fast and organized you want to see this done. Leave it to the vagaries of the market and the deployment will be slow, unfocused and not uniform. It's why we have Tesla and Electrify Canada building charging stations at Canadian Tires instead of grocery stores that every single family in the country uses once a week.

A lot of it is also very much an infrastructure issue when it comes to scaling. Putting up a handful of lower power stalls is no big deal. Want to enable a lifestyle where you can get your weeks worth of charging done in your half hour at the grocery store? Well somebody had to pay the utility to build a megawatt pipe to the grocery store you shop at. And if you want to achieve this uniformly across the country by 2030? That's going to take some subsidies. The added bonus of course is that this kind of work does make for good stimulus spending. It's what Biden is proposing in the US. My suggestion is less ambitious and more targeted.
 
I don't disagree that charging at grocery stores (or the mall, etc.) is a good idea, particularly the more moderate 45-60 minute charge that can be done with a ~75kw charger instead of 150-300kw. I think we'll see these retailers begin to host such services (maybe just provide free land to charging system operators). I just think if we're going to spend money on infrastructure, investments in transit should be a higher priority.
 
I don't disagree that charging at grocery stores (or the mall, etc.) is a good idea, particularly the more moderate 45-60 minute charge that can be done with a ~75kw charger instead of 150-300kw. I think we'll see these retailers begin to host such services (maybe just provide free land to charging system operators). I just think if we're going to spend money on infrastructure, investments in transit should be a higher priority.

Investment in transit should be a higher priority. And we should be spending at least 5x what we do on automobile electrification. All I'm suggesting is that our efforts on electrification to date have been rather tepid and unfocused. And they'll be rendered mostly ineffective for that reason. What I've suggested above is what a serious infrastructure build-out would like. With coverage goals that ensure most of the country's major corridors and population has a path to EV conversion.

Speaking of transit, I want to see the feds spend $4-5B over the next 6-7 years helping every transit authority in the country upgrade their bus depots and get ready for electric and hydrogen buses. There should be no purchases of diesel buses beyond 2025.
 
I don't want to lean too much to the techno-optimist but the trends really show an economic and technological wave coming that will swamp the fossil fuel sector.

I love the analysis these guys did.

 
I had kind of reasoned myself into this same conclusion recently. Renewables will solve the intermittency problem by massively overproducing invariant demand, and creating markets for new 'dispatchable demand' in the form of low capital cost industrial processes such as hydrogen and ammonia synthesis, steel making, desalination, etc. Kind of interesting to consider what this might mean for some technologies I had become skeptical of, like "vertical" farming. Aside: vertical farm skyscrapers in cities are still a ludicrous idea, but indoor suburban/exurban warehouse style hydroponic agriculture may become practical for high value/calorie crops. Already there for leafy greens, might get into vegetables/fruits. Grains will be very challenging. It does somewhat amuse me that all the climate skeptics, particularly those who held that position because O&G pays their bills, are going to be swept away despite their obstructionism by sheer force of economics and technological disruption.
 
I think their learning curve assumptions are a bit optimistic. But there is a point at which we'll get there. It may not be 2030 or even 2040. But it's going to happen and oil will be screwed when it does. I'm betting this does happen by 2050 though.
 
I think their learning curve assumptions are a bit optimistic. But there is a point at which we'll get there. It may not be 2030 or even 2040. But it's going to happen and oil will be screwed when it does. I'm betting this does happen by 2050 though.
I think the cost reductions for batteries are oversold, particularly. I think they're approaching the raw material cost at that point. Of course, mining may become more efficient with renewable energy too, since fuel is a big expense in that industry.
 

O'Toole declares 'the debate is over' on climate change, but his party's grassroots disagree

From link.

Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole has made it clear he wants to move past debates about the existence of climate change, but the party’s national policy convention this weekend has shown it’s not so simple with his party’s base.

On Friday night, O’Toole gave a keynote speech to the convention promising his party will put forward a serious environment plan. “We cannot ignore the reality of climate change,” O’Toole said. “The debate is over.”

But the next day, it was announced that the 3,100 voting delegates at the convention had narrowly rejected a resolution to add language into the party’s policy book saying that: “We recognize that climate change is real. The Conservative Party is willing to act.”

The resolution would have also added in language calling on “highly polluting” businesses to do more to reduce their emissions and “be accountable for the results,” and said the Conservatives would support “innovation in green technologies.”

Fred DeLorey, who ran O’Toole’s leadership campaign and is now running the Conservative Party’s election effort, pointed out after the resolution failed that the party’s policy book already has language accepting climate change.

For example, the policy book says the Conservative Party believes “that an effective international emissions reduction regime on climate change must be truly global and must include binding targets for all the world’s major emitters, including China and the United States.”

But the rejection of the environment resolution shows the challenge O’Toole faces from within as he promises to change the party’s messaging and broaden its appeal beyond its power base in Western Canada and rural Ontario. O’Toole’s speech called on the party to have “the courage to change,” saying it can’t just rely on Liberal scandals to bring down Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The regional breakdown of the vote shows it was a majority of delegates in every province and territory west of Quebec who voted against the resolution, which was put forward by the Quebec riding association of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier. A majority of delegates in Quebec and every Atlantic province voted in favour of the resolution. Overall, the resolution failed with 54 per cent opposing it.

During a question-and-answer session with delegates on Saturday afternoon, O’Toole was asked to respond to the resolution failing.

“It’s an important question,” O’Toole said. “The debate is over, climate change is real. And the Conservatives, we will have a serious and comprehensive plan on climate change to reduce emissions in the next election. It’s important to me as a father of young children, as a Member of Parliament. Climate change and fighting it is important to the Conservative Party of Canada.”

O’Toole has not said what exactly his environmental plan will be, though he has promised to scrap the federal carbon tax put in place by Trudeau. In his leadership platform, O’Toole pledged to target large industrial emitters, saying he would make “industry pay rather than taxing ordinary Canadians by forging a national industrial regulatory and pricing regime across the country.”

During the debate on the environment motion at the convention, there weren’t any delegates who declared climate change is false. Some, however, argued the Conservatives should be focused on other types of polluting than greenhouse gas emissions.

Not sure why the Conservative Party needs to specify the climate change is real

“Not sure why the Conservative Party needs to specify the climate change is real, or why that is necessary to mention when talking about pollution, since many types of pollution have nothing to do with any notion of climate change, like dumping raw sewage into the Saint Lawrence River,” said one delegate from the Toronto-area riding of Scarborough Centre.

“I’m opposed to this amendment because it unfairly centres greenhouse gases as the major pollutant that we have to be worried about, which is not true,” said a delegate from rural Ontario. “We can have clean air with carbon dioxide in the air. We should be focused on clean land, clean water.”

But a delegate from northern B.C. argued in favour of the motion, noting that he comes from an area dependent on the oil and gas industry.

“Canada is the best at resource extraction, but we still need to recognize that there is an impact on the environment,” the delegate said. “To say that we are in support of making technology better and recognizing that climate change is there is not to say we’re killing our industry, it’s to say that we are going to continue being the best at resource extraction.”

The policy convention wrapped up on Saturday afternoon. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was held virtually with all speeches and debates being conducting over video streaming.
The Conservatives will never get my vote federally (or provincially) by being against climate and the environment. It's either Green Party, (New) Democratic Party, or Liberals.
 

Climate Change: Global Sea Level

From link.

Global mean sea level has risen about 8–9 inches (21–24 centimeters) since 1880, with about a third of that coming in just the last two and a half decades. The rising water level is mostly due to a combination of meltwater from glaciers and ice sheets and thermal expansion of seawater as it warms. In 2019, global mean sea level was 3.4 inches (87.6 millimeters) above the 1993 average—the highest annual average in the satellite record (1993-present). From 2018 to 2019, global sea level rose 0.24 inches (6.1 millimeters).
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The global mean water level in the ocean rose by 0.14 inches (3.6 millimeters) per year from 2006–2015, which was 2.5 times the average rate of 0.06 inches (1.4 millimeters) per year throughout most of the twentieth century. By the end of the century, global mean sea level is likely to rise at least one foot (0.3 meters) above 2000 levels, even if greenhouse gas emissions follow a relatively low pathway in coming decades.

In some ocean basins, sea level has risen as much as 6-8 inches (15-20 centimeters) since the start of the satellite record. Regional differences exist because of natural variability in the strength of winds and ocean currents, which influence how much and where the deeper layers of the ocean store heat.
Past and future sea level rise at specific locations on land may be more or less than the global average due to local factors: ground settling, upstream flood control, erosion, regional ocean currents, and whether the land is still rebounding from the compressive weight of Ice Age glaciers. In the United States, the fastest rates of sea level rise are occurring in the Gulf of Mexico from the mouth of the Mississippi westward, followed by the mid-Atlantic. Only in Alaska and a few places in the Pacific Northwest are sea levels falling, though that trend will reverse under high greenhouse gas emission pathways.

Why sea level matters​

In the United States, almost 40 percent of the population lives in relatively high population-density coastal areas, where sea level plays a role in flooding, shoreline erosion, and hazards from storms. Globally, 8 of the world’s 10 largest cities are near a coast, according to the U.N. Atlas of the Oceans.
In urban settings along coastlines around the world, rising seas threaten infrastructure necessary for local jobs and regional industries. Roads, bridges, subways, water supplies, oil and gas wells, power plants, sewage treatment plants, landfills—the list is practically endless—are all at risk from sea level rise.

Higher background water levels mean that deadly and destructive storm surges, such as those associated with Hurricane Katrina, “Superstorm” Sandy, and Hurricane Michael—push farther inland than they once did. Higher sea level also means more frequent high-tide flooding, sometimes called “nuisance flooding” because it isn't generally deadly or dangerous, but it can be disruptive and expensive.
In the natural world, rising sea level creates stress on coastal ecosystems that provide recreation, protection from storms, and habitat for fish and wildlife, including commercially valuable fisheries. As seas rise, saltwater is also contaminating freshwater aquifers, many of which sustain municipal and agricultural water supplies and natural ecosystems.

What’s causing sea level to rise?​

Global warming is causing global mean sea level to rise in two ways. First, glaciers and ice sheets worldwide are melting and adding water to the ocean. Second, the volume of the ocean is expanding as the water warms. A third, much smaller contributor to sea level rise is a decline in the amount of liquid water on land—aquifers, lakes and reservoirs, rivers, soil moisture. This shift of liquid water from land to ocean is largely due to groundwater pumping.
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O&G - time to smell the roses:


AoD
 

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