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2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #30

Posted on 29 July 2017 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. 

Editor's Pick

Energy poverty is a real problem. Coal is a bogus solution

Coal only makes global poverty worse.

 Scavening coal from an open-cast coal mine in Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India

Villagers carry illegally scavenged coal from an open-cast coal mine in Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India, on December 6, 2014. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak /Getty Images) 

recent paper from 12 international poverty and development organizations (led by the Overseas Development Institute) argues the negative. In fact, the opposite is true: Not only will more coal plants do nothing for energy access, they will impose unnecessary suffering on the poor.

Energy poverty is a real problem. Coal is a bogus solution. by David Roberts, Energy & Environment, Vox, July 24, 2017

Links posted on Facebook

Sun July 23 2017

Mon July 24 2017

Tue July 25 2017

Wed July 26 2017

Thu July 27 2017

Fri July 28 2017

Sat July 29 2017

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Comments 1 to 5:

  1. Africa has a lot of poor people,  but has great solar and wind power potential. Both are cost competitive with coal, or very close to it, so to claim renewable energy would hurt the poor is just misleading right wing concern trolling nonsense. 

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  2. Not like right-wing policy makers to be terribly interested in the poor. 

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  3. The New York Times has a Sunday editorial 'When Life on Earth Was Nearly Extinguished', which ends with a quote from paleoclimatologist Lee Kump: "The rate at which we’re injecting CO2 into the atmosphere today, according to our best estimates, is 10 times faster than it was during the End-Permian.  And rates matter. So today we’re creating a very difficult environment for life to adapt, and we’re imposing that change maybe 10 times faster than the worst events in earth’s history."

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  4. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) all need to be the measures of acceptability of actions by every leader (in government or business) everywhere on this planet.

    Any "Winner/Leader" in the games people play who tries to implement action plans contrary to achieving any of those goals needs to deliver the substantive rational evidence justifying the 'improvement of the existing very substantially justified goal(s)' as the Good Reason for what they want to do. If they simply pursue creating perceptions of popular support for what they want to get away with through misleading marketing Poor Excuses or appeals to greed, selfishness and tribal superiority and related intolerance of "Others not like the Tribe", they need to be internationally declared to be people who are well aware that they are acting in ways that are a threat to others, particularly to the future of humanity (they need to be grouped in with the likes of Assad in Syria and Kim in N. Korea and treated similarly)

    That said, there is going to be a global curtailing of fossil fuel burning, meaning there will still be some burning done. So, globally there should be the understanding, and the will, among the majority of the "Winners" to ensure that benefits obtained from future burning of fossil fuels benefits the least fortunate in ways that sustainably improve their lives in the direction of the SDGs. Another way to say that is that already more fortunate people who "want" to continue to do things that require the burning of fossil fuels get no personal net-benefit from that activity, fees for doing it cost them and are used to help the least fortunate (this already is established and is complained about by people ranting that the Kyoto and Paris deals are wealth grabs from the more fortunate without admitting that the wealth transfer should come more from the more fortunate who want to continue doing things associated with burning fossil fuels).

    That means the admission by the majority of the "Winners" that the way the games have been played must be changed dramatically, that some of them deserve to be "Losers". There is more than enough wealth in the world to ensure that nobody suffers a brutal short existence. Corrections that deliver wealth transfer from the "Winners" who deserve to be "Losers" are part of the required change.

    The belief that the current "winners" deserve what they have gotten away with developing to date is a 'false idol' piece of dogma that has to fall. Perceptions of prosperity, superiority or opportunity that are inconsistent with achieving the SDGs are the result of development in the wrong direction and clearly should not be protected or maintained as things get corrected.

    Another dogma that clearly needs to be curtailed is the belief that 'more freedom for people to believe whatever they want and do whatever they please will develop a decent result' (and that includes people giving up on demands of certainty since certainty is only available through Dogmatic belief).

    Increased awareness and better understanding has to rule the actions of the competitors in the games people play. And the rules of the games should only be changed by independently verifiable New Awareness and Improved Understanding, not by temporary regional popularity or profitability (those preceptions of "winning" clearly can be created unjustifiably to the detriment of the future of humanity).

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  5. Here is an article from that week, 28 July, that was missed:

    The Climate Lab That Sits Empty

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