Wednesday 21st of February 2024

the global warming dilemma: whatever we do will cost us more or less......











green scam or ....

The green scam: How electric vehicles harm the environment that they’re supposed to save

In 2032, India will need a billion tonnes of coal, partly to charge EVs in urban areas via power generated by thermal plants


Five Indian cities, including the capital, New Delhi, consistently rank in the world's top ten worst air-polluted cities. Vehicular emissions are significant contributors; Delhi alone has around four million cars – no wonder the government of India is promoting electric vehicles (EVs) on a large scale. While India's target is a 30% market share of EVs by 2030, the share is currently only 1.1%. Moreover, concerns exist about whether EVs are a green option if pollution is transferred from the cities to the countryside.

Around 27.4 million EVs were running on Indian roads as of July 2023, according to the 'Vahan4' portal of the Ministry of Road, Transport, and Highways. To achieve its goal of net zero by 2070 to cut down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, India is expanding its EV market. The hope in New Delhi, for example, is that a rise in the number of green-number plate vehicles will herald a day when its air will become breathable again. 

However, India's EVs depend on just the 8,738 Public Charging Stations (PCS) that are operational as of June 2023, as per the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power data. The number of PCS needs to increase to a minimum of 1.32 million, states the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on 'Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles,' to support the 30% market share target. 

But will EVs really be emission-free?

For an EV to achieve maximum environmental benefit, the electricity used for charging must be generated from green or renewable sources. 

However, much of India's electricity is still dependent on coal-based thermal power plants, and the government is on a spree to auction more mines and make non-operational mines functional again. India's total thermal installed capacity is 238.1 Gigawatts, and over 48.67% of thermal power (around 116 GW) is obtained from coal, and electricity demand is increasing by 4.7% annually. As per the National Electricity Plan (2022-32), the projected peak electricity demand for 2026-27 will be 277.2 GW, and for 2031-32, it will be 366.4 GW. 

Despite efforts to generate electricity from renewable sources, according to NEP 2022-23, much of India's electricity will still be derived from thermal plants running on coal by the early 2030s. The share of coal-based capacity in the total installed capacity for the year 2026-27 is likely to be 38.57% and 28.83% for the year 2031-32, which will be around 107 GW and 106 GW respectively, by 2026-27 and 2031-32 – little difference from the present scenario. 






The universe is big. BIG. Many-much of space is irrelevantly infinitisimal in modifying local events. Recently a burst of spacial energy puzzled scientific observers with a particle that “was far heavier than we could conceived” coming from “an empty corner of space”. Yet the signal was unimportant compared to the constant bombardment of the surface or the ionosphere of the earth, by the sun.


the LOCAL EVENT that we call the earth isn’t static. Since humans developed a brain beyond that necessary for survival, we have spent time trying to understand the dynamic of this LOCAL EVENT. The easy answer was concocted with the Adam and Even-Steven story. We know it’s bullshit. The earth isn’t flat and we have learnt to study the changes of global stuff, such as history of the human species as it has been seeking improvements. We have invented money, machines and matrices to give us something to do. We’re busy improving. 


Since the planet was formed by the  congealing solar system, things have been dynamic. The earth has has a general tendency to cool.

BUT, the LOCAL EVENT has had fluctuations due to sub-local events.


One of these sub-local events is the CARBON CYCLE. One of these sub-local events is LIFE. The two are interconnected though they do have to be exclusively. Meanwhile, LIFE IS CARBON BASED… 




As humans, we need energy. More and more as we “improve”: our lifestyle, in general, demands an increase in energy consumption. though there are various ways to deal with this — from becoming a hippy or running the seven seas on our 175 foot motor yacht — there are many steps and levels of production from making carrot candles to pumping the good oil and digging coal. Lacking energy, we could become depressed or regress into the “dark ages”.


At this stage it’s a question of accounting numbers while we can become depressed misers, happy hippy, enjoyable capitalists or enthusiastic economicals (savers). 


Consuming energy and accumulating gold, changes the CARBON EQUATION no matter what. It is an “indisputable” fact that our major energy sources rely on fossil fuels which are CARBON PRODUCTS from past era. This is why they are called FOSSIL FUELS. These are the decay of past life. Animals and plants have died and the burning of this accumulation of the carbon decay provides our comfort…





If things were so simple….

Scientifically we know that burning things produce CO2. Plants absorb CO2, animals release CO2. The sea absorb some CO2 and some oxygen. this is the CARBON EQUATION in a nutshell. 


WHAT processes led to the burial of the carbon products that we now extract for energy?


THE SCIENCE IS COMPLEX, BUT the balance of the carbon equation changed in an increasing warming/cooling world. warming led to rising sea levels and to the death of living things then. Geological processes buried the dead.


The point here is we “need” to know. Was the CARBON EQUATION CHANGE leading to the increase temperature or did the increase temperature changed the carbon equation?..



DENIALISTS of global warming will indicate that 

  1. there is no warming and 
  2. b) if there was warming it would be independent of the carbon equation increasing in atmospheric CO2.


97 per cent of scientists studying the problem indicate that our burning of fossil fuels increase the temperature.

  1. CO2 is a warming gas
  2. There is enough extra CO2 in the atmosphere to disturb our comforts.


THE NEXT STEP is once the premise of EXTRA CO2 emissions being the culprit is accepted, WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT?

  1. Is the temperature increase going to be a nuisance?
  2. Can we do something about it?


The solutions are difficult because ALL our source of energies WILL EMIT SOME CO2 at some stage, from manufacture to usage… MOST OF OUR INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES will emit CO2 and some other warming gasses such as methane and NOx.





No… They’re not quite fully “carbon neutral” yet. But it’s a step in the right direction… There are plenty more steps, mountains and crevasses to do and cross… 







in china....

Editor's note: As the world is grappling with climate change effects and global rise in temperatures, China is acting as a responsible country by placing a high priority on shifting its requirements toward green energy resources. In fulfilling its responsibility, China is not only making good use of conventional and unconventional energy resources but also shifting toward green energy. Three experts offer their insights to China Daily.

At the front of world's energy transition

By Asit K. Biswas/Cecilia Tortajada

A vast number of people around the world are aware that China is among the world's largest energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases. However, an overwhelming majority of them are unaware that China is also the global leader in nearly all aspects of renewable energy generation, production, manufacturing and export. This has been possible because of the emphasis Chinese policymakers have consistently given to renewable energy in the post-2005 period. Appropriate and timely policies have enabled a thriving and dynamic environment within which all aspects of renewable energy production and use have flourished.

Renewable energy includes solar, wind and hydropower generation, and China has made more progress in these areas than any other country during the past two decades.

Primarily because of innovative and consistent policies over the past 15 years, China has been instrumental in reducing the costs of solar and wind energy generation across the world. As a direct result of these Chinese innovations, costs of generating per unit of solar and wind power have become competitive with fossil fuels; in many instances they have become even lower.

Not only China but the entire world has greatly benefited from the lower costs of renewable energy generation, which would not have happened within a short timeframe if the Chinese policies had not reduced generation costs. This has facilitated the steady global transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources for electricity generation.

China has benefited significantly from its investments in research to generate more energy from renewable sources than fossil fuels. According to estimates made by Bloomberg, global investment in renewable energy, in 2022, was nearly half a trillion dollars. China alone accounted for 55 percent of this. It invested $164 billion in new solar installations and another $109 billion in wind energy. It invested more in solar and wind energy generation compared to the United States and all of Europe combined.

China global champion of solar, wind energy

These huge investments over the past years have meant that China is now the global champion, by far, in the generation of both solar and wind energy. For example, by the end of 2022, China had installed 392 gigawatts of solar plants which were operational. This is more than the rest of the world combined.

In terms of installed onshore and offshore wind energy generation, China had more than 310 GW by the end of 2022, which was nearly double of what it had been in 2017. To put China's progress into global perspective, this means it had installed nearly the same amount of wind energy as the other top seven countries of the world combined. By any yardstick, these are remarkable achievements.

When President Xi Jinping announced in December 2020 that the country will triple its solar and wind generation capacity by 2030, very few people outside China thought this would be possible. Our estimates indicate that China would exceed this target handily well before 2024 is over, some six years before the target date.

Major solar installations are located in the northern provinces of Shanxi and Hebei and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in the northwest. The combined capacity of these three provinces in 2022 was 52 GW. This is higher than the total operating large utility-scale solar energy installations in the entire US for that year.

In terms of onshore wind energy, much of it comes from the Inner Mongolia autonomous region (41 GW), and from Hebei and Xinjiang (22.9 GW each). For offshore wind, nearly 75 percent of production comes from Jiangsu (12 GW), Guangdong (8.9 GW) and Fujian (3.5 GW).

In recent years, China has invested heavily in transmission lines to carry the electricity generated to other parts of the country, a practice that is not conducive for developing solar and wind power. In August 2023, 98.8 percent of solar energy and 97.8 percent of wind energy generated were used. This indicates China is using its solar and wind energy very efficiently.

The third leg of China's renewable energy generation has been hydropower. In 2020, by the end of its 13th Five-Year Plan, hydropower was the main source for renewable electricity generation, at 16 percent of total national electricity production. It was followed by wind (6 percent) and solar (4 percent) power. China has given hydropower significant national priority during the post-2002 period, more than any other country in the world.

Hydropower dams help water, food security

China has been active in not only constructing hydropower dams within the country but also in numerous other countries. Before 2000, Chinese enterprises had built only six hydropower dams outside the country. By 2020, the enterprises had built around 320 dams in 140 countries, with total generating capacities of 81 GW. Chinese enterprises are now responsible for 70 percent of the global market in dam construction and the manufacture of associated hydraulic machineries.

Hydropower dams have not only helped China's transition to renewable energy but also ensured its water and food security. Similarly, the dams China has constructed in 140 countries have contributed to enhancing their water, energy and food security, while helping in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. This has also contributed to their national development processes.

An important constraint with renewable energy generation is: what is to be done when the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow? As China's energy transition accelerates and exponential growth in solar and wind energy takes place during the next three decades, a major issue will be energy storage during the periods when solar and wind energy cannot be generated. Accordingly, China is now investing heavily in research and development so that battery storage becomes consistently more efficient and economic. Currently, China plans to have 100 GW of battery storage by 2030.

Another form of energy storage China is pursuing is pumped hydro schemes. This requires two reservoirs, one at a higher level and the other at a lower level. When solar and wind generation is low but energy demands are high, say during evenings, water is released from higher to lower reservoirs to generate electricity. During the days when solar and wind energy is generated, and thus higher levels of energy are available, water is pumped back from the lower to the higher reservoirs.

Currently, China has the largest operational pumped storage capacities in the world, at 50.7 GW. It is followed by Japan (23.7 GW) and the US (21.6 GW). The plan is to increase China's pumped storage capacities to at least 62 GW by 2025, 120 GW by 2030 and 305 GW by 2035.

Going forward, Global Energy Monitor, an independent think tank, estimates that China will account for 81 percent of all new pumped storage that would be constructed all over the world during the next three decades.

There are several important reasons as to why China has made unprecedented progress in developing solar and wind energy. First is the strong and consistent support from the highest levels of policymakers, including significant funding for research and development in all aspects of renewable energy, timely policy interventions, including providing good incentives and favourable zoning laws that allows for quick and objective approval of renewable energy projects. Second is strong public support for renewable energy, especially when people see the air quality in important urban centers has improved significantly during the last decade, and is still improving. The general public also realizes that carbon emissions in China have to be progressively reduced so that climate change impacts can be properly managed.

The commitments made by President Xi that China's carbon emissions will peak before 2030 are now almost guaranteed to be met. This leaves his second major commitment, that the country will become carbon neutral before 2060. While it is difficult to predict how things may develop during the next 30 years, on the basis of China meeting all its environmental targets before time and the current road map to carbon neutrality, it is highly likely that China will meet its carbon neutrality target before 2060. This will be good for China and the world, and for the global environment.

Asit K. Biswas is a distinguished visiting professor at the University of Glasgow in UK; director of Water Management International in Singapore.

Cecilia Tortajada is a professor of the School of Social and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Glasgow.





fighting secrecy.....


Facing climate catastrophe, secrecy is the last thing we need    By Richard Hil


Confronted by the horrors occurring in the Ukraine, Ethiopia, Sudan, Myanmar and now the Middle East, it’s hard to contemplate that an even more imposing global tragedy is already here – climate breakdown

Numerous reports indicate that we’re careering inexorably toward climate catastrophe, with the lives of billions of people and umpteen non-human species at great risk. According to UNHCR and other agencies, millions of people have already been internally displaced or have sought refuge in other countries as a result of changing climatic conditions. It’s a situation that’s set to get worse, and quickly. Predictive models can barely keep up with the pace of change. Climate records are being broken with alarming regularity and hopes of driving down global emissions have been dashed by weak or failed global agreements and increasing investments in fossil fuels by some of the world’s most powerful entities.

Climate activists, especially young people, remain acutely aware of the risks. On 17 November thousands of school kids marched through towns and cities across Australia calling, once again, for urgent climate action. This in the knowledge that their own national government, a supposedly enlightened administration dedicated to promoting clean energy, continues to subsidize fossil fuel industries while at the same time approving new and expanded coal mines and gas fields.

This schizophrenic approach to public policy would be laughable if it weren’t so deadly serious. For the kids who marched, the collective sense of frustration and cynicism is palpable – and entirely understandable. Since the school strike rallies in 2019 when over 300,000 Australians protested alongside millions of others across the globe, progress on emissions reduction has, at best, been woefully inadequate.

Meanwhile, the profits of the fossil fuel sector have soared to new heights. “I’m here at parliament, lobbying the government to acknowledge a duty of care to young people that we have a right to a healthy future, a climate-safe future”, said one young protestor in what surely must feel like a déjà vu attempt to persuade corporate barons and policy makers about the dire necessity of bold, urgent action. For some, the modest emissions targets, and the vacuous promises aired at COP and other global forums are simply too little, too late. The question now is what capacity, if any, have nations got to withstand what’s at hand. Truth told, no-one knows the precise pace and scale of the unfolding catastrophe that will engulf the world, impacting mostly on the poorest and least polluting nations.

In Australia – one of the most vulnerable continents on the planet – governments have barely begun to comprehend let alone address the adaptive responses required. In fact, unlike many other nations, Australian civil society is being denied the very information it needs to calibrate its adaptive strategies. Political discourse is largely framed around vague promises that greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced to acceptable levels and that all will turn out well in the end. Despite prevailing trends, we’re told that there’s still hope of avoiding the worst. But that’s a cruel illusion. Even if Australia were overnight to rein in its emissions – which is unlikely given the revenue generated by fossil fuels – the climate emergency is a global problem. Various tipping points have already been reached and feedback loops and multiplier effects have kicked in. The fact is that globally, emissions are rising, and will continue to do so, according to recent reports, until 2030, if not beyond.

It’s in this troubling context that the government-commissioned Office of National Intelligence (ONI) report into national security threats posed by global heating takes on such enormous significance. The ONI, an independent statutory agency which reports directly to the prime minister. It plays a major role in identifying national security risks. Yet the secrecy surrounding the climate report means that its nigh impossible to know anything about its terms of reference, let alone the actual contents. Even the date of its completion has been kept under wraps. A search of the ONI’s website contains no mention of the report. The PM advised parliament in late August that the completed report will go to the national security committee and that he makes “no apologies for not releasing national security advice”. This is hardly reassuring.

The assessment was prompted by a government submission to the UN which stated its intention to undertake, “an urgent climate risk assessment of the implications of climate change for national security, which will be an enduring feature of Australia’s climate action”. Despite a number of parliamentary questions and promptings by former defence chiefs and security analysts, Albanese has taken to hiding behind the walls of state secrecy. In response to persistent questions from Greens defence spokesperson David Shoebridge, the prime minister said: “Along with the government’s climate statement, tabled in parliament on 1 December 2022, there is already considerable material available in the public domain discussing national security threats from climate change”. Which begs the question, if it’s more of the same then why not just release the findings? That said, there was in fact barely any mention of national security in the climate statement. Nonetheless, it’s clear that climate threats are pressing on the minds of senior government ministers. The deputy PM Richard Marles in a speech last year to the US Centre for Strategic and International Studies said: “no one and no country is immune” from the impacts of climate change which, he insisted, was a “national security issue”. Albanese has said much the same in the recent past.

If there’s one thing the Australian public is surely entitled to, it is to be treated as citizens who have the right to know the security risks posed by global heating. Shockingly, there remains an alarming absence of information on such matters. As noted earlier this year by Murdoch University’s international relations scholar Tobias Ide in the Australian Journal of International Affairs: “While scholars have explored the human security implications of climate change and climate security discourses in Australia, systematic scientific assessments of climate change and national security are scarce”. In seeking to fill this knowledge gap, Ide draws on numerous studies to map the likely impacts on Australia before 2050, concluding that, “climate change will very likely undermine Australia’s national security by disrupting critical infrastructure, by challenging the capacity of the defence force, by increasing the risk of domestic political instability in Australia’s immediate region, by reducing the capabilities of partner countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and by interrupting important supply chains. These impacts will matter most if several large-scale disasters co-occur or if Australia becomes involved in a major international conflict. By contrast, international wars, large-scale migration, and adverse impacts on key international partners are only minor climate-related risks”.

The consequences of all this for civil society are profound, resulting in increased conflict, resource depletion and the likelihood of societal breakdown. While considerable funding has gone into emergency management, community resilience projects and practical adaptation, it remains unclear as to how families, neighbourhoods and communities will respond to more frequent and extreme weather events. And even less is known about how governments plan to restructure economies so that communities can be offered some degree of protection. The record so far, especially following the 2022 floods, is that governments do not provide the sorts of financial and other help required by victims of such events.

The controversy over the ONI report boils down to how governments choose to respond to climate breakdown. The temptation to slide into authoritarian rule is real, especially if there are threats to civil order or where there are significant population movements. We’ve already seen the early signs of authoritarian reaction around the world in the form of ethno-nationalist fortress states, and in security regimes that obsess with secrecy and information control. It’s also reflected in Australia’s own policies on refugees and vacillations over whistle-blowers and the ongoing imprisonment of Julian Assange. But the suppression of information that might enable civil society to respond more effectively to climate breakdown renders communities even more vulnerable than they already are.

That is unacceptable. We need to know what’s in that report.