Monday’s Climate Madness – Too Little, Too Late?
For two weeks in Scotland, world leaders will discuss climate change and what they intend to do about it, but what good is it, even what they SAY they will be doing is nowhere near enough ?
We need to REDUCE the carbon in the atmosphere, not keep it the same (which is the current path) or fix it a bit (that’s what they’re discussing this week) but we need to cut emissions significantly, soon – or things are going to get worse. Humans have so far warmed the planet by 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times, mainly by burning coal, oil and gas for energy, and cutting down forests, which help absorb global warming emissions created by the use of fossil fuels. Humanity is already paying a heavy price: this year alone, scorching heat waves have killed hundreds of people in the Pacific Northwest, floods have devastated Germany and China, and forest fires have left behind. rages uncontrollably in Siberia, Turkey and California.
In 2015, 195 nations signed the Paris climate agreement, which for the first time required every country to submit an emissions reduction plan. While the plans were voluntary, they helped spur further action: the European Union tightened caps on industrial emissions. China and India have stepped up renewable energies. Egypt has reduced its fossil fuel subsidies. Indonesia has started cracking down on illegal deforestation. Along the way, there have been some setbacks. The Trump administration rolled back some major climate policies and Bolsanaro allowed deforestation to continue in Brazil.
On the positive side, clean energy has progressed much faster than expected. Ten years ago, solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles were often seen as niche technologies, too expensive for widespread use. But the costs have fallen. Today, wind and solar power is the cheapest new source of electricity in most markets.
When the Paris Agreement was signed, countries agreed they should keep total global warming “well below” 2 degrees Celsius and make a good faith effort to stay at 1.5 degrees. But in the years since, many studies have shown that 2 degrees of warming is much more harmful than 1.5 degrees. 1.5 degrees is a much harder target to hit than 2 degrees or 3 degrees. It is far from sufficient for global emissions to peak over the next few years and then gradually decline. Instead, global fossil fuel emissions are expected to dip roughly in the middle of this decade and then reach net zero by around 2050..
The International Energy Agency estimates that current policies around the world will deliver only one-fifth of the emissions reductions needed this decade to stay on track at 1.5 degrees. Without immediate and rapid acceleration of action, this climate target could be out of reach within a few years. “The path is extremely narrow”Said Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency. “We really don’t have much time to change course. “
By 2030, electric vehicles will have to account for more than half of new car sales worldwide, compared to just 5% today. By 2035, rich countries are expected to shut down virtually all fossil-fueled power plants in favor of cleaner technologies like wind, solar or nuclear power. By 2040, ALL of the remaining coal-fired power plants in the world will need to be retired or upgraded with technology to capture their carbon emissions and bury them underground. New technology will be needed to clean up sectors like air travel or we just have to stop doing it – because it is destroying the planet.
See, we’ve lost most of you already? And what will it cost? Estimates are $ 131 trillion to clean up the mess we made OR – we could just keep partying like it’s 1999 and let our kids pay the Pied Piper – that’s what that our parents did to us, so it’s just that we pass the buck, right? Of course, the cost of NOT fixing the problem is also significant – like the loss of South Florida over the next 100 years and the loss of New York City and other coastal and river towns. Catastrophic crop failures, disease, famine – these things also cost money. You saw what a mess a bunch of Covid bodies made last summer – it’s nothing compared to mass starvation!
In 1959-1961, just before I was born, China experienced a famine and 30-40 million people died, China’s population then was only 667 million people – less than half of what she is today. You might think it couldn’t happen in modern times, but 5 million people just died in North Korea in the 90s in a famine there – and we were trying to help. Right now, you can’t even get a part to fix your car (or a new car) due to global traffic jams – do you really think we can send millions of tons of food fast in times of disaster?
“Humanity has long passed the time devoted to climate change,” said Boris Johnson, according to a draft copy of his remarks. “It is one to midnight, and we must act now.”
Sadly, this meeting is called COP26, which means this is the 26th time nations have come together to tackle climate change. They have been working there since 1992 and 20 years ago the G20 agreed to give $ 100 billion a year to developing countries to help fight climate change. The total given so far is actually $ 0. NO ONE did anything that they agreed to do.
We signed the Paris accords in 2015 and it looked serious, but Trump was elected and refused to ratify them, so 6 years lost now, but time is still running out. Now Joe Biden must convince world leaders that if America says it will do something, it really does… this time….
$ 131 billion is 1.5 times the world’s GDP, so every country on Earth must spend 7.5% of its production to tackle climate change over the next 20 years in order to save the planet. For the United States, that would be $ 1.5 billion – roughly what we spend on the military, less than what we spent on the stimulus this year, and 1/3 of what we spent on the year. last, so it’s not that we CANNOT do it – it’s just a matter of priorities. Perhaps we should not leave these decisions to a Congress where 312 out of 434 members have less than 20 years to live:
It’s our children’s future – we’re just making them pay the cost of our lives – anyway …
We have a Fed meeting this week and Powell is speaking Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. but not a peek out of the Fed otherwise. Some QE pullback is expected, but likely very little, if any, at this meeting following a disappointing GDP report last week. We’re starting some records this week so we’ll see if we can hold them. PMI, ISM and construction spending get us started today, motor vehicle sales tomorrow (we’re running out of cars, so it’s not good), PMI, factory orders and ISM services before the Fed on Wednesday. Thursday is productivity and Friday is non-farm payroll and consumer credit:
And, of course, we have lots and lots of gains: