On Friday, the Paris-based IEA released its formal plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The cost? A mere 45 trillion dollars -- an amount some three times larger than the entire U.S. economy.
This isn't the amount needed to actually eliminate emissions, mind you, but simply to halve them. And because the plan grabs all the "low hanging fruit" in carbon reductions, the amount needed to complete the job wouldn't just be double that $45 trillion, but far higher.
Worse still, the report only covers emissions from energy production -- the much larger amount arising from agriculture, transportation, land-use changes, and other factors weren't included.
The plan includes a massive increase in wind power, with 17,000 new multi-megawatt units required each year until 2050. It also includes carbon sequestration devices installed on existing fossil-fuel plants, and an increasing reliance on nuclear energy. A wide scale campaign to dramatically increase energy efficiency would also be required.
Environmental ministers from all Group of Eight industrialized nations have already backed the 50 percent reduction goal, and are calling for it to be formally endorsed by member nations at the upcoming G8 summit in July.
The U.S. has so far been wise enough to avoid signing Kyoto -- a vastly costly measure that even its supporters admit won't measurably affect world temperatures. Let's hope it will likewise avoid this latest boondoggle from the IAE.
quote: Nonetheless, nuclear power is not smart - it's just a nasty accident waiting to happen.
quote: A coal power plant releases 100 times as much radiation as a nuclear power plant of the same wattage
quote: http://www.barackobama.com/issues/energy/ Nuclear used 0 times.
quote: I believe that was a coded message[...] I'm on this environmental bandwagon because I have to be, but I'm not a communist, I have sound policies.
quote: .... The presidential election of 2008 is a disaster waiting to happen.
quote: The Chernobyl incident was the result of poor design and maintenance.
quote: In the former Soviet Union at least 9 million people have been affected by the accident; 2.5 million in Belarus; 3.5 million in Ukraine; and 3 million in Russia. In total over 160 000 Km2 are contaminated in the three republics.
quote: Stop thinking like a child. Your fear-mongering has been echoed by many an ignorant person. Those who protest nuclear energy need to do some actual research instead of spouting this "nookular accident" bologna.
quote: Nuclear power is dangerous... Solar and wind are two excellent solutions to those problems.
quote: Nuclear power plants are not without their weaknesses. They require a lot of water. If you see a drought, you'll have to shut down the plant.
quote: Quiet hippy. I don't hear you bitching about the French being 90% nuclear.
quote: There isn't a single functioning commercial "maglev" windmill in existence....and I'd lay good money there never will be.
quote: But let's remove global warming from the debate for a second.
quote: Wind power sucks.
quote: What about these provisions is so bad? We ARE going to have to move to some sort of alternative energy based infrastructure sooner or later, be it in 20 years, 100 years, or 500 years. Fossil fuel resources will run out eventually at the current growing rate of consumption, no one can argue this point.
quote: What about these provisions is so bad? We ARE going to have to move to some sort of alternative energy based infrastructure sooner or later, be it in 20 years, 100 years, or 500 years.
quote: The U.S. has so far been wise enough to avoid signing Kyoto -- a vastly costly measure that even its supporters admit won't measurably affect world temperatures.
quote: It's called propoganda and was nearly perfected by Joseph Goebbels, a somewhat notorious figure, if you know a bit of history.
quote: Anyone for getting a massive movement going in the US to have tens of millions of people here write in Ron Paul or Mike Huckabee for president?
quote: Hopefully McCain only supports it to get more votes.
quote: some people are convinced he's a viable Presidential candidate in the future.
quote: The biggest one will be his brother.
quote: US + EU (who would combined be forced by the third world to shoulder the vast majority of costs) GDP = 28 trillion
quote: 45 trillion / 40 years = 1.125 trillion a year, or 4% off the top.
quote: Meanwhile, that's 45 trillion not available to future generations, plus 'interest.'
quote: Even by the time the investment is complete in 2050 or so, it would already represent 104 trillion in forgone alternative uses.
quote: by the year 2108 I calculate 949 in trillion of GW damage would have to of been averted.
quote: According to the IEA, about $27 trillion would be borne by developing countries.
quote: Could you explain please, or correct my interpretation if it's wrong?
quote: Accounting for inflation?
quote: Did you account for the reduced yearly investment required for extending the period up to 2108?
quote: You seem to be emphasizing how little it costs relative to global GDP
quote: The IEA can live in their own nice [...]
quote: We'll eat the full 45 trillion.
quote: I could be wrong, but my interpretation was that it was 45 trillion that would not have been spent otherwise, [...]
quote: Then again, I probably low-balled it with the 3.75%, those were the 10 year bond yields in the issue of The Economist next to me, but they're artificially low right now.[...] I used constant dollars, partly to be simple and partly because I have no idea at all what inflation will do moving forward and what number I should thus use as a deflator.
quote: I assumed 1.125 trillion per year for 40 years (to get to the 45t total), and only interest accumulation after that out to 2208 to try to represent total opportunity cost.
quote: thats not how business choices are made.
quote: Your point here is mostly personal opinion,
quote: The plan will just never happen in its form if developing country don't want to share the burden.
quote: Over 50 or 100 years, that's a very significant impact.
quote: beyond the sole problem of cost.
quote: Well, if we're talking about losses or gains to GDP, and real global GDP growth is going at +5% annually, then perhaps it doesn't matter much.
quote: No. When changes are made to the health care system, blablabla [...] To suggest global warming must be justified based on opinionated emotional reasons rather than the sort of cost-benefit analysis that takes place in every other mature public and private sector is to throw global warming to ideological dogs.
quote: Energy policies are definitely not 100% driven by market (or business). From the strategic interests to the safety and pollutions (that's probably what you labeled as 'emotional')issues, there are numerous important parameters that can influence political choices beyond the sole problem of cost. Combining all the advantages would be good, but I am afraid that here like everywhere else, it's all about compromises .
quote: the public accepts as fact that global warming will cause adverse environmental consequences