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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

CARBON EMISSIONS STOP RISING FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 40 YEARS

That was the headline article from Renewable Energy World yesterday.  Well,  maybe not the first time, for from the last paragraph:

In the past 40 years, there have only been three times when emissions stood still or fell compared with the previous year, and all were associated with global economic weakness, the agency said. They were in the early 1980s, 1992 and 2009. The IEA has been tracking emissions data for four decades.

The IEA is the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based organization that was created by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 1974, just after the First Energy Crisis.  The OECD formed in 1961 and consists of 33 European nations (including Turkey), plus the USA.

What was particularly noteworthy about 2014 was that carbon emissions remained stable even though the global economy advanced by 3%.  This especially surprising achievement occurred even though coal prices fell last.  The biggest polluter of all, China actually reduced emissions by 2% last year, mostly because they are swiftly converting to renewable energy from coal.  The primary motivation for this dramatic shift, of course, is to reduce the  horrendous air pollution killing their city dwellers.  Global warming remediation is a resultant by-product.  That is not San Francisco, and not fog above.

You would think that the world will now relax a bit for no one is doing much about controlling carbon emissions anyway, and climate change seems to be in check.  But how's this for cheerleading the effort, a quote from Fatih Birol, who becomes executive director of the IEA next year.  Last year's stagnation...

     ...provides much-needed momentum to negotiators preparing to forge a global climate deal in Paris in December--for the first time, greenhouse gas emissions are decoupling from economic growth.

With oil prices predicted to remain way below $100 for the next decade or so, and carbon emissions now stabilized, the hammer of a carbon tax will quickly disappear.  Renewable energy will have a tough time competing until the next energy crisis.

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If you regularly read this blog site, I last week said that Tropical Cyclone Nathan was heading for Vanuatu from the West, with Super Tropical Cyclone Pam bearing down from the North.  Well, something unusual happened, for Nathan made a 180 degree turn, and came back towards Australia, where it is now a Category 3 and striking Cape Melville National Park.  


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