PBS on China Carbon Deal

November 13, 2014


The world’s two biggest economies and carbon polluters made an unprecedented announcement on climate change. President Obama promised that by 2025, the U.S. will cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than a quarter and China agreed to cap emissions by 2030. But the head of the UN’s climate science panel said the deal alone won’t avert the effects of global warming. Judy Woodruff reports.

Joint Press appearance above made me think of this line from Jeff Goodell’s pre-agreement article in Rolling Stone:

The next morning, Chinese President Xi Jinping opens the talks at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, an elegant retreat in western Beijing. His address to 500 or so American and Chinese dignitaries isn’t exactly a rousing call to action on climate change. Instead, he talks about the importance of keeping the Chinese economy humming, declaring that China needs a peaceful and stable environment “more than ever.” Xi is a tough-looking guy with a Tony Soprano vibe, and his speech leaves no doubt that he sees China as the rising power. “It is natural that China and the U.S. may have different views, and even frictions, on certain issues,” he says. Then he adds, “Confrontation between China and the United States would definitely spell disaster for the two countries and for the wider world.” Xi only mentions climate change once, in a passing reference to it as a significant challenge that both nations face.

Below, discussion with Michael Oppenheimer, others.

18 Responses to “PBS on China Carbon Deal”

  1. renewableguy Says:

    It appears that the economy comes first and then emissions will come 2nd. China isn’t quite willing to give up coal expansion for awhile. It appears we are on the RCP 4.5 path. Assuming other countries will peak before 2040 and then start to draw down their emissions.

    From this we will increase temperature approximately 1.4*C by 2050 and 1.8*C by 2100. The lesser increase by 2100 is because of the world wide draw down of co2 emissions in the latter half of the century.


    The RCPs are consistent with a wide range of possible changes in future anthropogenic (i.e., human) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.[3] RCP 2.6 assumes that global annual GHG emissions (measured in CO
    2-equivalents) peak between 2010-2020, with emissions declining substantially thereafter.[4] Emissions in RCP 4.5 peak around 2040, then decline.[4] In RCP 6, emissions peak around 2080, then decline.[4] In RCP 8.5, emissions continue to rise throughout the 21st century.[4]

  2. renewableguy Says:

    The idea that we have no impact on the climate is ludicrous. What we do effects what the future generations will live in and what we are doing to ourselves now.



    average days above temperature of 100*F

    at present ………………………1 day above 100*F
    2050……………………………..8 days
    2100……………………………..24 days

    If we are on RCP4.5

    at present………………………1 day above 100*F
    2050…………………………….4 days above
    2100…………………………….8 days

    should the world change to RCP2.6

    2050…………………………….2 days above
    2100…………………………….1 day above

    • andrewfez Says:

      I’m in Los Angeles and the excessive length of summer conditions this year was subjectively very apparent, and by that I mean the heat was annoying and there were acute moments when all you wanted was a break from the heat.

      Lower middle class folks don’t use A/C because they can’t afford it. When the entire week is 105F (I’m in the valley), blood pressures go up, people can’t sleep at night and call in sick for work, everybody is in a bad mood, worker productivity goes down, etc. Those that do use A/C end up losing part of their disposable income that would normally flow to other sectors of the economy.

      So there is an emotional price to pay for excessive heat days that translates to economic productivity costs….

  3. It’s easy to make armchair predictions for events 10 years down the road. The fact is, we don’t know if this so-called “agreement” amounts to anything more than smoke and mirrors.

    But what the heck, my speculation is as good as anybody’s, so I’ll have a go. Obama may or may not be sincere in his pledge to reduce emissions, but he’ll probably get no joy from a hostile congress. And he’s only got two years in office remaining anyway. The next president could disown this agreement with a wave of his/her hand. It doesn’t help that half the American public thinks that AGW is a hoax. We’ve got Fox News and AM talk radio to thank for that. Of course, the right-wing media is only a mouthpiece for the fossil fuel industry, which (along with Wall Street) owns congress.

    I actually have a little more confidence that China will take a stab at trying to reduce emissions. Unlike the USA, China does not suffer from a fossil fuel industry buying off their politicians with campaign contributions and cushy jobs for government regulators via the “revolving door.”

    But the Chinese are not going to “go green” if it means damaging their economy. I expect them to take a multi-pronged approach to solving the problem. Some of that will involve energy conservation, and no doubt they’ll be serious investment in solar and wind. However, I believe that nuclear may well be their trump card. But we shall see.


    The USA will also likely be building a few new nuclear power plants, but I would guess that the USA’s main nuclear strategy will be extending licenses to existing reactors that are past their expiration date and probably better off being shut down. Running reactors with an estimated shelf life of 40 years beyond their expiration date has risks that I’d rather not think about.

    • jpcowdrey Says:

      “It doesn’t help that half the American public thinks that AGW is a hoax.”

      Actually about 7% of the US public. They are just very loud.

      • Andy Lee Robinson Says:

        Loud and wealthy, and invested.
        The average guy is more concerned about immediate survival and paying the bills, and can’t get worked up about an abstract future – however if more renewable jobs materialise then that will change.
        I’m sure miners would rather get paid the same amount of money to build wind turbines etc than breaking rocks all day!

  4. These announcements represent a significant admission by the two leaders that business as usual is not working and that a change is necessary. Political leadership does not initiate change, it follows it. Real leadership is elsewhere. The Climate Change March and China protests are more important. Progress made by grass roots and NGOs produces results.

  5. The IEA admonishes that “The global energy system is in danger of falling short of the hopes and expectations placed upon it,” Well… DUH!!! As long as the world holds on to fossil fuel for energy production the feared “short falls” will become the norm. The only way forward to create jobs, growth and energy security will be to make ALL global increases in power generation be renewables and end coal by 2040 instead of simply reaching use parity with coal.

    I realize that there are a whole host of problems integrating renewables into the grid but it can be accomplished. The grid needs upgrading anyway. It will take a change in the mindset of our priorities along with our financial and political goals. Maintaining business as it is now will only lead us all to grief. Obviously, one applauds every effort toward renewables but the pace has to quicken.

  6. In case you fellows aren’t keeping track, that was Michael Oppenheimer’s 11th appearance on the NewsHour where he was allowed to talk at length unopposed on the topic. Care to guess how many skeptic climate scientists were allowed that opportunity on the NewsHour, going back to 1996? Care to guess why the NewsHour personnel, when prodded multiple times, cannot explain what prompted their long-term decision making process on their treatment of skeptic climate scientists?

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Russell’s back—-whining, spouting conspiracy BS, and getting his Heartland time card punched. I have done some research on this, and have it on good authority from a source within Heartland that Russell will in fact NOT get “credit” for this comment unless someone responds. I will therefore help him earn his liar’s fee (in the hopes that my tax dollars will not end up in his pocket in the form of unemployment benefits or food stamp $$$).

      I hope Oppenheimer makes many more appearances on PBS NewsHour. He knows what he is talking about and speaks truth. Russell is put out because Oppenheimer is “allowed to speak unopposed”? LMAO! Russell doesn’t like the policy of the LA Times and other papers (and apparently NewsHour as well) that there is NO credible “opposition” to the science and arguments supporting global warming, and that they will therefore no longer give deniers a forum to spout lying BS. The proper “news” outlets are rightly concentrating on speaking truth, and sending the deniers like Russell off to talk to themselves in the dark corners of the denier blogosphere/echo chamber. This is as it should be in a sane world.

      “Care to guess why the NewsHour personnel, when prodded multiple times, cannot explain what prompted their long-term decision making process on their treatment of skeptic climate scientists?”, asks Russell? I have some “guesses” to offer to that:
      1) They are too busy doing their job and reporting FACT to respond to “prodding” from nutjobs who want them to broadcast propaganda?
      2) Since “skeptic climate scientists” are such a tiny minority and are for the most part known to be paid shills for the fossil fuel interests, that it would be dishonest to give them any air time to spout their lying BS?
      3) That this is not a “long term decision making process” but merely one wise and honest decision made long ago and being proven more correct all the time by the ever-more-obvious failings of the denier community?

      Go away, Russell.

      • jimbills Says:

        It’s basically the difference between public media and corporate media, and one of the reasons why Republicans are desperate to cut PBS funding.

        Here’s an article about climate change coverage on NewsHour:

        I’ve mentioned this before here, but it’s not a coincidence that nations with a thriving public media also have more aggressive climate change policies:

      • “… I have done some research on this, and have it on good authority from a source within Heartland that Russell will in fact NOT get “credit” for this comment unless someone responds….”

        See if you can talk Peter Sinclair into devoting an entire blog to your “research”, I’d LOVE to see where you dredged up that bit of ChemTrail/911 Truther/Obama birther/creation science-style conspiracy theory. Meanwhile, I’ll have to screencapture your bit there for posterity, it looks like a gift that will keep on giving.

        “… “skeptic climate scientists” are such a tiny minority and are for the most part known to be paid shills for the fossil fuel interests …”

        Meanwhile, anybody notice a pattern here? I come in here from the outset challenging anyone to produce the physical evidence to prove that accusation, but commenter “dumboldguy” can only spout hate and bad attitude while never rising to the occasion to meet the challenge. Is this kind of widespread reaction really the face of the global warming movement the rest of you want the public to see?

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Unfortunately, my source within Heartland spoke to me on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to tell the truth about Heartland’s inner workings. He is willing to have any number of lies attributed to him however, but he says he will instead defer to Russell there since Russell needs the paycheck. He does not want Russell to have to go back to subsisting on handouts from his mother and what he can get by selling his possessions on ebay. (He also told me in confidence that it was quite a difficult time at Heartland when Russell was so down on his luck that he was reduced to stealing other people’s lunches from the break room refrigerator).

          And didn’t I manage to get the expected reaction from Russell? Russell’s mad gallop of “…..ChemTrail/911 Truther/Obama birther/creation science-style conspiracy theory….” only needs to have added to it “…and Heartland shill climate change denial BS….” to be a complete listing of all the sick and deluded thinking that so corrodes the country.

          Yes, all visitors to Crock should definitely notice a pattern here. Russell comes in here spouting inane and irrelevant BS and challenging us to waste our time treating that BS as if it was serious. Naturally, because we refuse to do so, we are guilty of “….hate and bad attitude….”. Oooooh! Harsh words!

          I will now tell Russell to “go away” and he will next do his “demented rooster strutting in the barnyard crowing about his imagined superiority” impersonation. Yes, Russell really is the face of the global warming denial movement that the public needs to see. With him on our side as a useful idiot, we can’t lose.

          Go away, Russell.

          • And the pattern continues unabated with “dumboldguy” calling ‘BS’ while still failing to produce the physical evidence to prove that ‘industry-corrupted skeptic scientists’ accusation. Of course I see the satire of his ‘source within Heartland’ schtick, but I wouldn’t recommend he quit his day job for a career in satire comedy.

            If anything, the bit about supposedly receiving credit/money when someone replies to my comments is just one more log to throw on the fire of AGWers seeming to project their own actions onto people they despise. Witness these words straight from the king or regurgitating talking points, Al Gore’s Reality Drop site:

            “The more reality you drop, the more doubt you destroy, and the more points and prestige you earn. … Drop reality in the comment threads where you can and earn bonus points whenever your comment gets a hit–when someone clicks on a link that brings them back to the science on Reality Drop.” http://realitydrop.org/#about

            As long as “dumboldguy” doesn’t actually believe Heartland has the budget, time, and resources to feed money / pre-processed comments to shills, he should be just fine. But beware if he starts chanting “They’re coming to take me away, ha-ha…”

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Nice try, Russell, and this reply from me will get you your bonus points for today. Actually, you DO deserve them for throwing out more obfuscatory, diversionary lying BS, and that’s just what Heartland pays you for.

            PS Who DOESN’T actually believe “Heartland has the budget, time, and resources to feed money / pre-processed comments to shills”? The Kochs, Exxon-Mobil, and other right wing and fossil fuel interests keep them well supplied with $$$$. You must believe it or you wouldn’t have gone to work for them. And Viola! Look! Your lying paid off—-they gave you a big raise from $12K to $18K per year (or have you forgotten you told the world about that?)

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