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China Builds 24 Billion Watts of Solar in Just Two Months as Trump Attacks Renewables and Defends Coal

Between the present U.S. Executive Branch and China, we can really tell which government is serious about being a moral leader on the critical issue of climate change and which government continues to wallow in the land of backwards thinking and heartless denial. For as the Trump Administration is doing everything it can to defend the coal-fired ‘Satanic mills’ that are so radically transforming the world for the worst while attacking renewable energy, China is continuing to build the solar farms that are capable of replacing them like gangbusters.

More than 10 Billion Watts Per Month

In June, China added a staggering 13.5 billion watts (gigawatts) of solar panels to its present large and growing solar fleet. In July, the country added another 10.5 gigawatts of solar. The two month total of 24 gigawatts is more than half the size of the total U.S. solar fleet of 44.4 gigawatts. In other words, China just added more solar capacity in two months than the U.S. added in all of the past two years.

(New solar market guidance for China shows an expected 180 to 230 GW of solar capacity by 2020. The present build rate indicates that even this range may be conservative. Image source: Renew Economy.)

As a result of this amazing build pace, China has already smashed through its 2020 solar goal of 105 gigawatts. The country now boasts a solar fleet of 112.3 billion watts. Long range forecasters now expect China to approach or exceed 200 gigawatts of solar by 2020 — or more than 20 percent the size of China’s present (and shrinking) coal fleet. And if China somehow maintained its amazing rate of solar installation during June and July, the country would exceed 200 gigawatts of national solar capacity by May of 2018.

No one presently expects that to happen. But China has surprised the world before. This is exactly the kind of surprise that a world wallowing in the ever-worsening impacts of climate change so desperately needs.  And the irony is that this new hope for rapid carbon emissions reductions is coming from China. Not the supposedly enlightened and progressive United States which is presently afflicted by the absolute worst form of backward-looking executive leadership imaginable.

Moral Leadership on Climate Change or Loss Thereof

I’m betting the people of the U.S. don’t want to be led down the path toward a new dark age of every worsening climate change and a fossil fuel resource curse write large by Trump. That we would much rather do our part to save the world from ramping climate destruction while taking leadership roles in the very new industries that U.S. innovation helped to create.

(Whether you’re optimistic or pessimistic about Earth’s climate sensitivity, the pathway toward worst case climate change [otherwise known as business as usual] lies in a world that continues to burn coal. So Trump’s defense of coal and attacks on renewables are, in essence, a defense of the worst case when it comes to climate change related disasters. Image source: The Brookings Institute.)

So what do we do?

We let the world know that Trump’s brand of leadership is not acceptable to Americans. That the true government leaders in the U.S. are those like California and Vermont and New York. That we support the future industries like those being pioneered by Musk and so many others. That we do not fear the future so much as recognize and embrace its mighty and admittedly difficult challenges. That we rise to the occasion by fighting for carbon emissions reductions and we do not falter.

Links:

China Added 10.5 Gigawatts of Solar in July

Trump’s Attack on Renewable Energy

Scott Pruitt’s Big Coal Lie

Renew Economy

The Brookings Institute

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63 Comments

  1. Robert in New Orleans

     /  August 23, 2017

    Off Topic But Good Video:

    Reply
    • Not at all off topic for the rest of the blog.

      Reply
    • Jacque

       /  August 23, 2017

      Translation help: a landslide, due to the melting of permafrost on the north side of the 3396-meter mountain, in Switzerland, on the border with Lombardy, Italy and close to the well-known Pizzo Badile.

      Reply
      • Thanks for this, Jacque. The geophysical changes ongoing due to loss of permafrost are now pretty universal, it seems.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  August 24, 2017

        “There has also been a similar increase in landslides in the Alps, the Caucuses and in New Zealand. ”

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/hay-festival/9312347/Hay-Festival-2012-Government-adviser-Bill-McGuire-says-global-warming-is-causing-earthquakes-and-landslides.html

        ‘(UK) Government adviser Bill McGuire says global warming is causing earthquakes and landslides:
        Bill McGuire, a member of the Government’s Natural Hazard Working Group, warns the Telegraph Hay Festival of an age of “geological havoc”.’

        “Global warming is causing earthquakes and giant landslides, and could bring about an age of “geological havoc” including “volcano storms” and tsunamis, a top academic told the Telegraph Hay Festival today. ..

        The geological disasters are caused by melting ice cover and rising sea levels, Prof McGuire explained. Ice sheets weigh down the ground beneath them, which rises as they disappear, causing geological stresses: the meltwater runs into the oceans, which then become heavier an depress the seabed, with similar results.

        Research shows that this happened at the end of the last ice-age, when Scandinavia, for example, “bounced back up by 300 metres”, suffering earthquakes that measured 8 on the Richter scale. In all, 52 million cubic kilometers of water poured into the oceans, raising sea levels by 130 metres, and causing more quakes. One caused a huge submarine landslide of sediment off Norway’s West coast, which triggered a tsunami that hit Scotland and the Shetlands.

        At much the same time Iceland suffered a 1,500 year long “volcano storm”, with the number of eruptions increasing more than thirty fold, when its 1 km thick icesheet thinned. The weight of the ice had prevented active volcanos underneath it from releasing magma: they blew when the pressure was released.

        Prof McGuire – who was also a member of the Science Advisory Group in Emergencies that addressed the chaos caused by Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010 – said that the speed of today’s climate change was unprecedented in the Earth’s history. There was already more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than at any time in the last 15 million years and melting of the Greenland ice sheet would become irreversible in ten to thirty years if present trends continued.

        He said: “We are going to get climate chaos. Are we going to have geological havoc added to it? Climate change is already driving more earthquakes and giant landslides in some parts of the world.”

        He described Alaska, where average winter temperatures have already risen by three degrees centigrade in the last half century,as “the canary in the cage”. Earthquakes and seismic shocks have increased there over recent decades as ice sheets have thinned,and landslides have become more frequent as permafrost biding rock to mountainsides has thawed. There has also been a similar increase in landslides in the Alps, the Caucuses and in New Zealand.

        Reply
        • You definitely get more geophysical changes overall. And as with weather, ice sheet loss does tend to load the dice for earthquakes and eruptions in geologically active regions (resulting in increased frequency). Unlike weather, it will be less easy to predict when such events may occur. But if you’re removing the under-girding permafrost, removing billions of tons and hundreds and thousands of square kilometers of ice, the land and the various geological dynamics are going to change.

        • eleggua

           /  August 25, 2017

          “But if you’re removing the under-girding permafrost, removing billions of tons and hundreds and thousands of square kilometers of ice, the land and the various geological dynamics are going to change.”

          Intensely accelerating positive feedback loop.

        • Spike

           /  August 25, 2017

          IPCC quoted by Stefan on Twitter saying that there is high confidence that changes in heat waves, glacial retreat, and/or permafrost degradation will affect high mountain phenomena such as slope instabilities, mass movements, and glacial lake outburst floods. Also referred to here:

          https://www.climatechangepost.com/spain/avalanches-and-landslides/

          Currently re-reading McGuire’s book. Despite the vitriol directed at him I find it well argued with plenty of examples and interesting research cited. I think we ignore him at our peril.

        • eleggua

           /  August 25, 2017

          “I think we ignore him at our peril.”

          Agree.

          Anomalous earthquake activity in April, 2016: major earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador; ramping up (foreshocks) rather than ramping down (aftershocks).
          Nepal ‘quakes of 2015: a 7.8 and a 7.3 less than three weeks apart.
          Interesting and possibly ominous.

      • eleggua

         /  August 24, 2017

        Trailer for the 2015 Norwegian film, ‘The Wave’.
        Intense, well done CGI of massive landslide and landslide-induced tsunami, up close, personal and awe-inducing.

        “Although anticipated, no one is really ready when the mountain pass above the scenic, narrow Norwegian fjord Geiranger collapses and creates an 85-meter high violent tsunami. A geologist is one of those caught in the middle of it. ”

        “Based on the fact that mountain pass Åkneset, located in the Geiranger fjord in Norway, one day will fall out and create a violent tsunami of over 80 meters that will crush everything in its path before it hits land in Greenland. A geologist gets caught in the middle of it and a race against time begins.”

        Reply
        • Shawn Redmond

           /  August 24, 2017

          The following is an eye witness account of a tsunami in 1958 Alaska caused by an earthquake. Landslides due to permafrost loss on steep terrains are likely to be just as devastating without the warning that an earthquake gives. Not that that is a lot. The link has some interesting photographs of the aftermath as well. Everything old is new again!

          Ulrich continued to watch the progress of the wave until it reached his boat about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes after it was first sighted. Being unable to get the anchor loose, he let out all of the chain (about 40 fathoms) and started the engine. Midway between the head of the bay and Cenotaph Island the wave appeared to be a straight wall of water possibly 100 feet high, extending from shore to shore. The wave was breaking as it came around the north side of the island, but on the south side it had a smooth, even crest. As it approached the Edrie the wave front appeared very steep, and 50 to 75 feet high. No lowering or other disturbance of the water around the boat, other than vibration due to the earthquake, was noticed before the wave arrived. The anchor chain snapped as the boat rose with the wave. The boat was carried toward and probably over the south shore, and then, in the backwash, toward the center of the bay. The wave crest seemed to be only 25 to 50 feet wide, and the back slope less steep than the front.

          After the giant wave passed the water surface returned to about normal level, but was very turbulent, with much sloshing back and forth from shore to shore and with steep, sharp waves up to 20 feet high. These waves, however, did not show any definite movement either toward the head or the mouth of the bay. After 25 to 30 minutes the bay became calm, although floating logs covered the water near the shores and were moving out toward the center and the entrance. After the first giant wave passed Ulrich managed to keep the boat under control, and went out the entrance at 11:00 p.m. on what seemed to be a normal ebb flow.
          http://geology.com/records/biggest-tsunami.shtml

        • wpNSAlito

           /  August 24, 2017

          Reminds me of the last words of volcanologist David Johnston, who was taking someone else’s shift monitoring the then-bulging Mt. St. Helens:
          “Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!”
          😦

        • eleggua

           /  August 25, 2017

          Alaskan Super Wave – Mega Tsunami – BBC
          “Two survivors (Howard and Sonny Ulrich) of a Mega Tsunami tell their stories of the day the 1/2km high wave hit Lituya Bay.”

        • eleggua

           /  August 25, 2017

          Another eyewitness/survivor account from that same page Shawn linked above.

          “Mr. and Mrs. Swanson on the Badger entered Lituya Bay about 9:00 p.m., first going in as far as Cenotaph Island and then returning to Anchorage Cove on the north shore near the entrance, to anchor in about 4 fathoms of water. Mr. Swanson was wakened by violent vibration of the boat, and noted the time on the clock in the pilot house. A little more than a minute after the shaking was first felt, but probably before the end of the earthquake, Swanson looked toward the head of the bay, past the north end of Cenotaph Island and saw what he thought to be the Lituya Glacier, which had “risen in the air and moved forward so it was in sight. * * * It seemed to be solid, but was jumping and shaking * * * Big cakes of ice were falling off the face of it and down into the water.” After a little while “the glacier dropped back out of sight and there was a big wall of water going over the point” (the spur southwest of Gilbert Inlet). Swanson next noticed the wave climb up on the south shore near Mudslide Creek. As the wave passed Cenotaph Island it seemed to be about 50 feet high near the center of the bay and to slope up toward the sides. It passed the island about 2 1/2 minutes after it was first sighted, and reached the Badger about 1 1/2 minutes later. No lowering or other disturbance of the water around the boat was noticed before the wave arrived.

          The Badger, still at anchor, was lifted up by the wave and carried across La Chaussee Spit, riding stern first just below the crest of the wave, like a surfboard. Swanson looked down on the trees growing on the spit, and believes that he was about 2 boat lengths (more than 80 feet) above their tops. The wave crest broke just outside the spit and the boat hit bottom and foundered some distance from the shore. Looking back 3 to 4 minutes after the boat hit bottom Swanson saw water pouring over the spit, carrying logs and other debris. He does not know whether this was a continuation of the wave that carried the boat over the spit or a second wave. Mr. and Mrs. Swanson abandoned their boat in a small skiff, and were picked up by another fishing boat about 2 hours later. “

  2. PlazaRed

     /  August 23, 2017

    Thank you for the update on the Chinese advancement with renewable’s.
    Interesting to postulate that if the whole rest of the world, non USA, or at least most of it converts to renewable’s then the USA with its fossil fuel pollution will actually be only a small percentage of what once was a massive global problem. Maybe this is the ultimate aim of the refusal to compile policy?
    Summing up, if everybody else toes the renewable line! Then we don’t have too, as we have become insignificant.
    Sort of reminds me of the Ram Type, 7 litre pick ups in front of the bar with the 300+ pound plus, sweating, drivers swilling beers inside and shouting their mouths off about how all this global warming, climate change is all just another communist plot to take over the world, and of course screw the liberals?
    While the lean energetic Chinese on their bicycles are working flat out day and night to ensure that not only do they have a clean future but they also don’t have to rely on imports, as sunshine and wind are not yet controlled by capitalism!
    I sure cant wait to get over to the north American west coast next week, to hear the next few lines of the consumerism and advancement policies and how wildfires don’t affect us, as it rains too much on the west coast in the winter!

    Meanwhile back in Iberia, along with several large wild fires, the water levels in some dams are now lower than they have been since 1995 with some areas down to not much more than 10% of capacity.
    Heat rages on with the official data for Cordoba Spain, now being 37 days over +40/c the old record was 25 days. Needless to say 41/C tomorrow.

    I have yet to see an electric car here but maybe next year we will be in luck?
    Ford are apparently offering £2000 discount for anybody handing in their old vehicle and buying a new less polluting new one!

    Reply
    • When it comes to renewables, as with so many other things, we are presently a country divided. Many states and cities in the U.S. are surging ahead with development even as the Trump Administration is throwing wrenches into practically every positive thing the Obama Administration did in this regard. Places like Reno Nevada are realizing that economies based on renewables are far better off than those based on gambling and fossil fuels. IF the U.S. woke up to the new reality, together we could become a serious renewable energy and technology based powerhouse. As it stands, we have a few people defending a few fossil fuel ‘fortunes’ and a bunch of people who are mislead by them leading a little less than half the country down the wrong path. That said, places like California will continue to be leaders in the new global renewable economy.

      Reply
  3. Total coal capacity in China is 900 GW. So at 100 GW per annum, cumulative solar PV capacity will have reached coal’s in another 7 years. OK, so solar’s capacity factor is 25% or so, but coal in China (and India) is down to 50 or 60% because of previous expansion in the renewables fleet. So we’ll need twice as much *capacity* in solar as we do for coal to get the same *output*. To replace coal just from solar would therefore take only 14 years. But of course, China is also building out CSP, wind, hydro and nuclear.

    The decline in China’s coal consumption will continue, and may accelerate (after this year, which is as usual a year of economic stimulus because of the quinquennial CP national conference)

    Reply
    • wpNSAlito

       /  August 24, 2017

      They’ll have to build even more grid electricity as China’s drivers make the transition from combustion vehicles to EVs.

      They’ll cut down on the environmental causes of disease (e.g. PM2.5), but I expect a large pulse of lung diseases from the current air quality as the population ages.

      Reply
    • At this rate, yes. That’s good news for getting the world off the BAU path. Also, at that build rate, the cost of solar is about to hit another economy of scale and drop still further. Worth noting that the global solar market is at 32 cents per watt now.

      Reply
  4. climatehawk1

     /  August 23, 2017

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  5. Syd Bridges

     /  August 24, 2017

    The US is rapidly ceding both economic and moral world leadership to China. It is largely done to satiate the greed of the one percent.

    When I was growing up in England in the ’50s and ’60s, my parents, grandparents, and many other adults regarded America as both the country that had made the difference in defeating Fascism, and the natural moral and scientific leader of the world. My father urged my twin brother and myself to seek employment in the US, where brains were wanted, rather than being despised. Now I wonder what he would make of the US today, where brains and learning, and even the most rudimentary scientific knowledge, are despised. He would call “alternative facts” downright lies.

    There will, I suspect, be other consequences for the US. America’s status in the world actually lies more with her “soft power” than her military might. Trump is busy annihilating this asset, and it may be hard to win it back. Even if Trump is ousted quickly, the damage is done, and other countries will be less willing to go along with the US in future.

    However, China has faced reality and is now really pulling her weight in the battle to save the world from disaster. I expect more countries to look to China for world leadership as the vacuous President has created a vacuum in that leadership. China has also made solar power much more affordable for the rest of the world. This is likely to enhance China’s position in one of the fastest growing industries in the world. That is a market that the US once dominated but is now losing, thanks to anti-solar policies in many of the states and the Trump Maladministration. May China continue to lead, and reap the rewards of doing so.

    Reply
    • An unmitigated disaster for the U.S. that would have never happened if we had elected Hillary. It’s worth noting that the forces of ignorance were certainly with us in the 50s and 60s. It’s just that our political leaders realized the value of enlightenment and progress. That those who held those values high tended to win out politically. Now we are at a point where the darker political forces have become more organized and empowered by those seeking to preserve wrongfully earned wealth. It’s the very story of corruption that has so harmed so many other countries and now we see it writ large here in the U.S. for the first time since the gilded age. But the gilded age abuses weren’t world-wrecking ones. Not yet at least.

      Reply
  6. Greg

     /  August 24, 2017

    Not all black and white in America. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the country’s only interstate cap-and-trade market, announced bold, new stricter targets for reducing climate-altering emissions from power plants that fly in the face of the Trump administration’s assault on climate policies.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/rggi-climate_us_599dd26be4b0d97c40010e8c?

    Reply
    • It’s certainly not. But the executive body of Trump is doing its best to wreck climate policies as much as possible. States and cities are stepping up to confront him. As should we all.

      Reply
  7. Spike

     /  August 24, 2017

    The UK’s Independent covers the prospects for renewable power “Our findings suggest that the benefits are so great that we should accelerate the transition to wind, water, and solar, as fast as possible, by retiring fossil-fuel systems early wherever we can’

    And the world would avoid dangerous global warming, but also prevent millions of premature deaths a year and create about 24 million more jobs than were lost.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/wind-solar-water-power-countries-entirely-powered-2050-renewable-energy-climate-change-fossil-fuels-a7908821.html

    Reply
  8. Henri

     /  August 24, 2017

    http://start.att.net/news/read/category/news/article/afp-arsenic_in_pakistan_groundwater_alarmingly_high_st-afp

    Groundwater in Pakistan is showing arsenic concentration up to 20 times over the maximum safe guideline. I vaguely remember reading here that in high aquifers all kinds of nasty stuff is enriched to the bottom. The article blames agriculture but could it be that the pakistani people are staring at the bottom of the barrel so to speak?

    Reply
  9. Greg

     /  August 24, 2017

    “They have nevertheless engaged in a coordinated, multi-front effort to conceal and deny their own knowledge of those threats, discredit the growing body of publicly available scientific evidence, and persistently create doubt in the minds of customers, consumers, regulators, the media, journalists, teachers, and the public about the reality and consequences of the impacts of their fossil fuel pollution.” This from a new study adding further evidence of Oil giants deliberate deception.
    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_599e8708e4b05710aa59c615?

    Reply
  10. Suzanne

     /  August 24, 2017

    On PBS NewsHour last night..”Exon Mobil Misled on Climate Change”.
    Nothing we all didn’t already know..but the fact that this is coming out in the media is important IMO. What bothers me is that thanks to the constant chaos and drama of Trump..all the rest of important news gets drowned out.

    Reply
    • I don’t know really. It’s an important backstop to all the Trump chaos.

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  August 25, 2017

      “…drama of Trump..all the rest of important news gets drowned out.”

      Likely deliberate and calculated.

      http://www.inquisitr.com/3935723/donald-trump-russia-golden-shower-pee-tape-vladimir-putin-rosneft-oil-steele-dossier-bribe/

      “Did Vladimir Putin try to bribe Donald Trump to lift sanctions on Russia with an $11 billion stake in Rosneft, the largely state-controlled Russian oil company giant? While no evidence directly links Trump to last month’s sale of a 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft to mysterious buyers whose identities have yet to be revealed, an allegation contained in the so-called “Steele Dossier” published earlier has thrust the question of the new U.S. president’s role into public scrutiny.

      …the Steele Dossier contained a far more important and potentially explosive allegation: that a secretive former top Trump confidant, Carter Page, received an offer from Rosneft CEO Igor Sachin to broker a sale of 19 percent of the massive oil firm, according to a report by Business Insider last week.

      According to the report, the offer of nearly 20 percent of the Russian oil megalith was tied to a promise that if elected president, Trump would lift economic sanctions against Russia…

      While Trump has not yet committed to lifting the sanctions, Russia sold a 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft last month for a price of 10.2 billion euros — approximately $11 billion — to a Singapore-based investment that supposedly was jointly owned by the government of Qatar and a Swiss oil trading company, Glencore, Reuters reported last week….”

      A bit on Glencore from Wikipedia:

      “Glencore plc (an acronym for Global Energy Commodity Resources) is an Anglo–Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company with headquarters in Baar, Switzerland, and a registered office in Saint Helier, Jersey.
      The current company was created through a merger of Glencore with Xstrata on 2 May 2013. As of 2015, it ranked tenth in the Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s largest companies. It is the world’s third-largest family business….

      An Australian Public Radio report said, “Glencore’s history reads like a spy novel”.
      The company was founded as Marc Rich & Co. AG in 1974 by billionaire commodity trader Marc Rich.
      Rich was charged in the US with tax evasion and illegal business dealings with Iran, but pardoned by President Bill Clinton in 2001.”

      Reply
  11. Suzanne

     /  August 24, 2017

    Images from Typhoon Hato hitting Hong Kong….also, updated images on the rains/floods in Nepal, Bangladesh and India where 24 million people have been affected.
    Also, in the beginning of the video..the the study published in Nature Communications that the “methane hydrate gun” hypothesis unlikely to happen in short term timescales.

    Reply
    • wpNSAlito

       /  August 24, 2017

      There’s a lot of intermediate damage, too. I mentioned the Harvey rain predictions to a man I know who works in a rice dryer in SW Louisiana. Local rice farmers are hurting:

      “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
      All day long farmers were coming in with samples of rice. The proper range is 21 to 18 percent of moisture to get the best yield. Too high and the grains are milky and squishy. These will mill to oblivion or chalk. So sad.
      Farmers who flooded last year at harvest were reading moistures of 23, 24, 25 percent and saying “Close enough” .

      A so called bad lick two years in a row will mean disaster. 7 guys went belly up last year. Many are on the bubble.

      The sense of panic was palpable today. Some took advantage of the offer for a break in the drying rate and will bring it to us to dry. Some didn’t. They will dry at their own bins. That’s fine as long as the electricity doesn’t go out for 3 days. After that the rice will stain to a pale orange and the value of chalky stained rice is one third that of better chalky rice.

      The next 5 days are gonna be wet and nasty.
      “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

      Reply
  12. Suzanne

     /  August 24, 2017

    At the Conversation…”As Climate Change warms the NE, some snowshoe hares stay brown all year”.
    https://theconversation.com/as-climate-change-warms-the-northeast-some-snowshoe-hares-stay-brown-all-year-82233

    For millennia snowshoe hares’ pure white coats have kept them warm and protected them from predators. But if snowshoe hares are going to make it in Pennsylvania, they will have to have to leave that balsam hiding spot and rethink their thick white winter coats. That appears to be what they are doing. In a recently published study, my colleagues and I found that snowshoe hares have adapted to the warmer winters of Pennsylvania – but it’s unclear whether they can continue to change as quickly as the climate.

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  August 24, 2017

      “Unfortunately, research in Wisconsin has concluded that the duration of snow cover is a bigger problem for snowshoe hares than the availability of forest cover. If this is true, based on projected climate change in Pennsylvania, we predict snowshoe hares’ range will continue to contract northward. We don’t have enough information to say whether snowshoe hares, even those of a different color, are adapting fast enough to persist in Pennsylvania.”

      Reply
  13. Xavier

     /  August 24, 2017

    I’ve been living in china since 2002 and witnessing all kind of transformations. You have to be here to understand what’s happening, the scale, the speed, the amount of energy, frenesy, and how to make sense of it. But if there is one place on earth where things can change massively in such short time, its definitively here in China. After adopting a cashless economy with wechat/alipay, EV and AV seem to be the next big thing. Polls suggest pretty high acceptance rate to the idea of Autonomous Vehicle. China gov set up very agressive time targets for EV deployment and local ecosystem set up and scaling up to gain an advantage in EV manufacturing they could not get for ICE vehicles ( won’t be that profitable to manufacture ICE in China from 2020 and loosing money from 2025 onwards. Big headaches for traditional car makers ) .

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  August 24, 2017

      ‘Chai Jing’s – Under the Dome – Air Pollution Smog in China 柴静雾霾调查:穹顶之下 ”

      “…a 143-minute documentary criticizing China’s environmental policy went viral in China, accumulating nearly 100 million views on popular Chinese video hosting sites (in three days) since its release online…

      In “Under the Dome,” former Chinese state TV broadcaster Chai Jing weaves together her concern for her infant daughter, who was born with a benign tumor that required surgery, with China’s reliance on fossil fuels.

      Despite the buzz, the documentary comes as less of a surprise given China’s dramatic shift on pollution in recent years. As recently as 2011, state media still blamed “fog” rather than smog for poor visibility in China’s cities, and state meteorologists insisted “heavy fog” was “a normal climate condition in Beijing.” As denial became increasingly untenable, the Chinese government has taken action, signing a historic climate deal with the U.S. in November last year and cutting emissions at home. Since the government has taken action on pollution, it’s become an issue Chinese citizens are permitted to complain about. Chai herself is no dissident. A former state TV reporter, she likely cleared the documentary with important figures in the government before releasing it….”

      Reply
      • China is run by a quite efficient authoritarian state bureaucracy, once it decides to change direction it can move pretty quickly. The propaganda is reflecting that change.

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  August 25, 2017

          ~5,000 years of refining that efficiency.

          Initially, Chinese authorities were ok with that video – probably even pre-screened and approved its publication – however by the end of the week of its release, they recognized its potential to foment a People’s revolution and dimmed down the official approval.

  14. eleggua

     /  August 24, 2017

    “…Thanks to the work of scientists, people will know exactly what time to expect the eclipse. In less entertaining but more important ways, we respond to scientific predictions all the time, even though we have no independent capacity to verify the calculations. We tend to trust scientists.

    For years now, atmospheric scientists have been handing us a set of predictions about the likely consequences of our emissions of industrial gases. These forecasts are critically important, because this group of experts sees grave risks to our civilization. And yet, when it comes to reacting to the warnings of climate science, we have done little.

    If the science were brand new, that might make sense, but climate scientists have been making predictions since the end of the 19th century. This is the acid test of any scientific theory: Does it make predictions that ultimately come true?

    …Considering this most basic test of a scientific theory, the test of prediction, climate science has established its validity.

    That does not mean it is perfect, nor that every single prediction is correct. While climate scientists have forecast the long-term rise of global temperatures pretty accurately, they have not been as good — yet — about predicting the short-term jitters.
    In other fields, we do not demand absolute certainty from our scientists, because that is an impossible standard.

    …We trust scientific expertise on many issues; it is, after all, the best advice we can get. Yet on climate change, we have largely ignored the scientists’ work. While it is true that we have started to spend money to clean up our emissions, the global response is in no way commensurate with the risks outlined by the experts. Why?

    Sheer inertia is one of many reasons. The changes we need to make are hard, and they demand large-scale, collective action: to rebuild our energy system, to save our forests, to change our cars, to create radically better buildings.

    But a bigger reason is that these changes threaten vested economic interests. Commodity companies benefit from exploiting forests. Fossil-fuel companies, to protect their profits, spent decades throwing up a smoke screen about the risks of climate change.

    Most of them now say they have stopped funding climate denial, but they still finance the careers of politicians who say they are skeptical of climate science and who play down the risks….

    If you respect and honor the scientists who did this (eclipse) work, then spare another moment to think about the scientists whose work is under attack today, and why.”

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  August 24, 2017

      http://www.pantagraph.com/opinion/letters/climate-change-denial-hurts-humanity/article_f5eba790-2179-59c9-876a-ff24e7e1526d.html

      ‘Climate change denial hurts humanity ‘
      Aug. 24, 2017

      “In Bill Kemp’s Aug. 20 Pantagraph article on the 1869 total solar eclipse, he quotes an article from the contemporaneous Cairo (Ill.) Bulletin: “One old gentleman…insisted there would be no eclipse, because he said it was impossible for any person to foretell such things.” It would be fascinating to know if the occurrence of the eclipse changed his science denialism attitude, or if he went to his grave disputing the reality of celestial mechanics. My guess is the latter.

      The New York Times for the same date had an article “Should You Trust Climate Science? Maybe the Eclipse Is a Clue.” Starting with the successful prediction of physical chemist Arrhenius in 1897, the article recounts the many predictions that have come true, yet are still subject to science denialism of predictions made from well-established physics, chemistry and biology.

      I suspect that as even more predictions come true over the coming decades, there will still be plenty of people intransigent in their climate science denialism, providing a fresh source of anti-scientific opinions for future columnists to quote. Unlike with the solar eclipse, however, denialism of human-caused climate change and its now unfolding predictions will have severe consequences for current and subsequent generations, actually forcing many people around the world into premature graves.

      Angelo Capparella, Normal, Illinois

      Reply
  15. bostonblorp

     /  August 24, 2017

    OT: Wunderground’s Cat6 blog comments is blowing up regarding Harvey’s approach. Storm appears to be rapidly intensifying against prior models, now forecast to be a major hurricane. Lots of mention of “warm waters.” Up to 10′ storm surge.

    Reply
    • bostonblorp

       /  August 24, 2017

      and of course a new graphic gets posted right away showing peak of 21″ inland. Yikes.
      RS, please feel free to delete my other linked image

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  August 24, 2017

        “The rain forecasts are truly ominous. “Somebody is going to get a rainstorm to tell their grandkids about,” said Bill Read, a former director of the National Hurricane Center.”

        The “Storms of My Grandchildren” will likely be more on their minds by that time.

        Reply
      • Thanks for this.

        Reply
  16. eleggua

     /  August 24, 2017

    ‘Rapidly strengthening Harvey forecast to slam East Texas as major hurricane’
    August 24 at 11:57 AM EST

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/08/24/rapidly-strengthening-harvey-forecast-to-slam-east-texas-as-major-hurricane-and-stall/

    “…An incredible amount of rain, exceeding 20 inches in some areas, is likely as the storm is predicted to stall and unload torrential downpours for four straight days.

    “Trying not to be dramatic, but I fear epic flood catastrophe,” tweeted Marshall Shepherd, a former president of the American Meteorological Society….

    Because it is positioned over extremely warm waters and strengthening so fast, Harvey may become the first major hurricane landfall, rated Category 3 or higher (on the 1-5 Saffir-Simpson intensity scale) to strike U.S. soil in 12 years. This is now the official forecast of the National Hurricane Center, which predicts the storm to make landfall as a Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds….

    The five-day “cone of uncertainty,” an illustration of where the storm may track, is squashed down to a circle, indicating that after coming ashore, the storm may stall, unleashing its wrath over the same general area through at least Monday or Tuesday.

    The rain and wind from the storm could have profound effects on oil refineries near its path….”

    Reply
  17. eleggua

     /  August 24, 2017

    ‘Solar Power Dipped Along Great American Solar Eclipse Path (Video)’

    https://www.space.com/37923-great-american-solar-eclipse-power-dipped-video.html

    “…As the solar eclipse moved from coast to coast, solar-energy generation dropped. The map shows the hottest zones — in dark orange — fading to nothingness as the moon covers the sun overhead, and then slowly coming back as the eclipse concludes.

    The video was released by SolarEdge, a company that sells equipment that’s designed to work with solar photovoltaic (PV) cells. It has 300,000 systems across the country.

    “The solar eclipse reminded us all today of the importance of sunlight in our lives,” SolarEdge said in a statement. “With solar energy now having greater significance for national power generation, we were able to track the path of the eclipse by monitoring energy production from PV systems.”

    While SolarEdge did not reveal exactly how much solar power was lost from its systems during the event, Mark Chediak, Naureen Malik and Brian Eckhouse reported at Bloomberg that across the country, about 12,000 megawatts of electricity come from solar power. The eclipse was billed as a major test of solar-power generation in the United States — a test that the country passed, they wrote.

    In solar-heavy California, for example, the state reportedly used gas plants and hydropower generators, because these are systems that can be brought online quickly in the case of an outage. The state also urged users to conserve energy during the eclipse, to ease the burden on the grid.

    The next major test of the grid will come in 2024, when a total solar eclipse crosses the United States through a swath that includes the population-heavy Eastern Seaboard. The affected states will include Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.”

    Reply
  18. Jeremy in Wales

     /  August 24, 2017

    Thanks for these articles as they give me a lift, the possibility of avoiding the BAU outcome makes it slightly easier to cope with the bad news.
    This article from the Guardian shows a LNG tanker negotiating the Artic Ocean route to Korea – while that is depressing it seems that the ship itself is cleaner than most as it can be powered by LNG reducing Sulphur Dioxide emissions.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/24/russian-tanker-sails-arctic-without-icebreaker-first-time
    Meanwhile in Wales we seem to have hit our rubbish recycling target 4yrs early some 64% – makes the clearout of the garage worthwhile this weekend, all those bits of metal getting a new life –
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-41037531

    Reply
  19. Oops, no, that is totally untrue. The U.S. Department of Energy has done extensive studies of 20% wind (by 2030) and 35% wind (by 2050) and found that both are technically achievable. More at https://energy.gov/eere/wind/maps/wind-vision (where it hasn’t been taken down yet).

    Reply
  1. Energy World Rocked as China Cuts Coal Imports, Aims for Fossil Fuel Car Ban | robertscribbler

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