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On Why Richard Tol is Wrong about the IPCC

Well put! You should be posting on this topic!

April 3, 2014    View Comment    

On Quantifying the Impact of Multiple Avenues of Methane's Underestimation

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Hi Bob, 

Thanks for your comments. Yes, I agree that our understanding of the way that carbon dioxide moves in underground reservoirs is not sufficiently developed to begin pumping 100% of our CO2 emissions underground. The solution should be on the front end, not a tailpipe solution. Unfortunately, this becomes a problem when one looks at countries like China which, unlike the U.S. are still building coal fired power plants. In order to meet any kind of reasonable target worldwide these plants will either have to be decommissioned, or use sequestration. The likelihood of decommissioning is low, though of course I wouldn’t want to give it up. But at the end of the day there’s a bit of a devil’s bargain in CO2 solutions when it comes to parts of the world that are still building coal.

 

Sieren

January 27, 2014    View Comment    

On Quantifying the Impact of Multiple Avenues of Methane's Underestimation

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Dear Erik, 

Thank you for your comments. I agree, the technology is inexpensive enough and the data on methane emissions already clear enough that we should proceed immediately with control technologies.

Unfortunately, despite the simplicity of the solution in many cases, it has yet to be implemented. This, I think, is a testament to social and political nature of blockages to pollution control vs. technical issues. But yes, those pushing for implementation of control technologies need not wait the release of more data. 

I think that quantification continues to be important not only because it gives even more authority to the argument for control, but also because the U.S. needs to have realistic records on what it is emitting and where. This is just a matter of needing to have transparent information on an issue critical to the health and safety of the country. At the moment we are falling well short of the mark.

 

S

January 27, 2014    View Comment    

On Quantifying the Impact of Multiple Avenues of Methane's Underestimation

Thank you everyone for your comments. Bobbi, Howarth included methane leakage from mines in his analysis. You can find the research here: http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/howarth/web/Marcellus.html

Joanne, thank you for your comments. I agree that methane is not just from gas pipelines, and other sources are important but the topic for a different article. Further completely agree that simply enforcing best practices for newly drilled wells will not address the problem as leaks are widespread on all manner of existing infastructure. 

Guy, thank you for pointing out the timeframe issue. I did not include any discussion of time scale of GWPs in the interest of keeping the post within a readable length. There is also some controversy around whether timescales for methane actually mean that we should be worrying about it less not more. I am of the school of thought that we are facing tipping points in the near term, and so we actually should be more concerned. But I didn't think that I could give that fair treatment within the scope of the post, so I simplified. I do have a seperate post that I did for my personal blog about a year ago that is here: http://theantediluvian.com/wordpress/?p=178 Anyway, thank you for raising the issue. I agree with you on its importance and that it actually makes the picture even worse. 

 

January 25, 2014    View Comment    

On Politics and the Language of REDD+

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Hi Steve, 

Thanks so much for taking the time to read, comment, and clarify your position, and also for your kind words on my article. I agree with you regarding Nilsson--it is a terrible example that has received disproportionate outside attention. At a very least, if a news outlet wanted to focus on this, there are other, better-run projects that should have been covered for the sake of balance and responsible journalism. 

 

Kind regards,

 

Sieren 

November 20, 2013    View Comment    

On Population Growth: Malthus Rolls Over

Thank you everyone for your comments. This is the most shared and responded to post that I have written, which leads me to believe that there is a strong appetite for more discussion on the issue. 

I agree that increases in wealth and empowerment of women are important in bringing about declining fertility. But there are certainly not the only issues. Some of the more profound and surprising findings of the European Fertility Project are that declines in fertility do not, as we had previously believed, naturally follow on increases in wealth. Correlation between wealth, industrialization, and fertility declines is loose at best. Sometimes fertility declines precede increases in wealth. This is, in fact, not surprising, given the costs to any family of a large number of children. It seems that education and communication may be the most important factor. 

 

July 9, 2013    View Comment    

On Climate Change and the Price of Carbon vs. a Price on Carbon [VIDEO]

Excellent educational video, thank you for sharing. 

May 25, 2013    View Comment    

On RGGI Still Falls Short of Real Carbon Pricing

Dear Willem, 

Thank you for your comments. I absolutely agree that low-cost efficiency projects should be implemented to deal with the demand side of emissions. I also agree that there is a political perception that carbon pricing cannot be put in place in the near term due to depressed economic conditions. However, there are several fallacies in seeing carbon pricing as expensive. 

First, short-term negative impacts on vulnerable populations can be dealt with through a partial refund of the tax. Second, economic calculations of the depressive effects of steep carbon pricing often entirely discount the negative impacts of fossil fuel extraction including the costs to the economy of immediate local health effects (see here for a report on the economic burden of asthma alone), tangible negative impacts of climate change, and stimulatory effects of the emergence of new industries investment needed for a clean energy transition.  

Kind regards, 

Sieren

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May 15, 2013    View Comment