Saturday, November 15, 2014
Climate Round-up: This US/China Deal is A Big Thing!
This supercut of politicians using China as a boogeyman to chase away the specter of doing something about cutting GHG emissions is something to keep in mind as Republicans are spoiling for a fight against the recent US/China deal to cut emissions. One important thing to know about the deal, though, is that China has pledged a greater curtailment in their activities than we have. There may be some room to be skeptical of their ability to see it through, but coal is unsustainable for them, and the effects of pollution in China are readily apparent in the sightings of people wearing air quality masks on the street. The effects of the kind of air quality seen in congested areas of China are an obvious health hazard that nation has every reason to find concerning.
In other news, the Obama Administration is coming to the G20 in Brisbane with a pledge of $3 billion to assist developing nations with adapting to climate change and transitioning to renewable energy. There's a terrible inequality to the issue--the countries most responsible for carbon outputs aren't the ones who will experience the worst of it. This will be the most any developed nation has put in the kitty to help equalize things.
As Congress continues to discuss the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline (the House has already voted to authorize it, the current whip count looks like it might fall short in the Senate), here's a useful backgrounder on what the pipeline is and the arguments for and against. It is true that most Americans kinda-sorta support it, but here's one neat thing--
Public support is dropping for fracking. I'm kind of very anti "shit where one eats", so I look at people being utter NIMBY's over fracking as a terrifically sensible thing. It's good to know that spoiled groundwater and the possibility of earthquakes and sinkholes are enough to make people have second thoughts. So maybe showing people what happens when a dilbit pipeline goes pear-shaped can be useful for people who want to know whether this thing could be very bad for the groundwater in just the area it is very needed.
On the tech horizon, solar cells are getting mighty flexible and car companies are trying to get mileage out of frankenfuels.
I'll probably actually even have more for a Climate Sunday post. We will see.