It is telling that the only notable news to come out of the latest UN “Climate Summit” (COP 26) is that (P)resident Joe Biden fell asleep. The only real question is why everyone else didn’t fall asleep along with him.
At this point in the climate circus I’m tempted to say that when it comes to actual energy, the whole thing now resembles St. Augustine’s famous prayer: “Lord, make me chaste—but not yet!” The typical climate speech at Glasgow more or less runs as follow:
“The time for words is over! So here are some more words about the action that we must take . . . but won’t just now. In fact—Russia and OPEC, could you please pump out more oil and natural gas right away? And can coal mines please add an extra shift? The price of coal has skyrocketed because of soaring demand.”
If you do pay attention to this whole dreary business, you’ll know that virtually all of the doomsday predictions about climate change are based on emissions forecasts (in particular the one known as RCP 8.5) that the climate community no longer believes are plausible. This means that both the magnitude of prospective damages are likely less, and over a longer time horizon. In fact, the latest IPCC report admits this, not that the media or the climatistas would notice. They’d have to come up with new talking points, and the current ones are working so well.
The folks at Carbon Brief—a conventional or “consensus” climate change outfit—has noticed:
While fossil emissions are expected to return to near-record levels, the study also reassesses historical emissions from land-use change, revealing that global CO2 output overall may have been effectively flat over the past decade.
The 2021 GCP almost halves the estimate of net emissions from land-use change over the past two years – and by an average of 25% over the past decade.
These changes come from an update to underlying land-use datasets that lower estimates of cropland expansion, particularly in tropical regions. Emissions from land-use change in the new GCP dataset have been decreasing by around 4% per year over the past decade, compared to an increase of 1.8% per year in the prior version.
The report has a whole bunch of interactive charts, but this summary chart is enough for now:
And who might we have to thank for this good news?
Now back to Glasgow, where everyone will keep saying, “Lord, make me green—but not yet.”
Critically low wind power, for nearly the whole of yesterday, resulted in extremely high prices, with the two remaining coal units at Drax offering to saving the day at £4,000/MWh, nearly 100 times the wholesale price normal before the current crisis started, with many other fossil fuel generators also riding to the rescue at staggering prices.
Meanwhile, good to see the folks at COP 26 are focusing on the important things:
Defund the COPs!