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Dutch government ordered to cut carbon emissions in landmark ruling

Posted on 17 July 2015 by Guest Author

A court in The Hague has ordered the Dutch government to cut its emissions by at least 25% within five years, in a landmark ruling expected to cause ripples around the world.

To cheers and hoots from climate campaigners in court, three judges ruled that government plans to cut emissions by just 14-17% compared to 1990 levels by 2020 were unlawful, given the scale of the threat posed by climate change.

Jubilant campaigners said that governments preparing for the Paris climate summit later this year would now need to look over their shoulders for civil rights era-style legal challenges where emissions-cutting pledges are inadequate.

“Before this judgement, the only legal obligations on states were those they agreed among themselves in international treaties,” said Dennis van Berkel, legal counsel for Urgenda, the group that brought the suit.

“This is the first a time a court has determined that states have an independent legal obligation towards their citizens. That must inform the reduction commitments in Paris because if it doesn’t, they can expect pressure from courts in their own jurisdictions.”

In what was the first climate liability suit brought under human rights and tort law, Judge Hans Hofhuis told the court that the threat posed by global warming was severe and acknowledged by the Dutch government in international pacts.

“The state should not hide behind the argument that the solution to the global climate problem does not depend solely on Dutch efforts,” the judges’ ruling said. “Any reduction of emissions contributes to the prevention of dangerous climate change and as a developed country the Netherlands should take the lead in this.”

After a legal campaign that took two and a half years to get to its first hearing in April, normally dispassionate lawyers were visibly moved by the judge’s words. “As the verdict was being read out, I actually had tears in my eyes,” Roger Cox, Urgenda’s lead advocate, told the Guardian. “It was an emotional moment.”

Young activists in court said that the ruling had gone some way to restoring Dutch national pride, which has been dented as Denmark, Germany and even the UK overtook the Netherlands, once seen as a European climate leader, in the green economy race.

The Dutch Socialist party MP Eric Smaling cautioned though that “some people will feel proud but others are more unhappy about the influx of refugees. So far climate action has too much been the last baby of a relatively leftist elite.” He called for a wide coalition to spread the climate action message before elections in early 2017.

The Dutch government has not decided whether to appeal the court’s decision yet, but opposition politicians are steeling themselves for the prospect.

Stientje Van Veldhoven, an MP and spokesperson for the D66 Liberal opposition in parliament noted that the government had yielded to a comparable, if more limited, ruling ending gas extraction in part of the giant Groningen gas fieldsearlier this year.

“The government has never ignored a court ruling like this one before, but there has never been a ruling like this before either,” she said. “Everybody has a right to appeal.” Veldhoven has requested a parliamentary debate on Wednesday’s court ruling.

In a statement on behalf of prime minister Mark Rutte’s cabinet, the Dutch environment minister Wilma Mansfeld said that the government’s strategy was to implement EU-wide and international agreements.

“We and Urgenda share the same goal,” Mansfeld said. “We just hold different opinions regarding the manner in which to attain this goal. We will now examine what this ruling means for the Dutch state.”

Their legal arguments rested on axioms forbidding states from polluting to the extent that they damage other states, and the EU’s ‘precautionary principle’ which prohibits actions that carry unknown but potentially severe risks.

A UN climate secretariat article obliging states to do whatever is necessary to prevent dangerous climate change was also cited. So was the UN climate science panel’s 2007 assessment of the reductions in carbon dioxide needed to have a 50% chance of containing global warming to 2C.

Several legal sources said that ideas outlined in the Oslo principles for climate change obligations, launched in the Guardian in March, appeared to have been influential in the judge’s reasoning.

James Thornton, the chief executive of the environmental law group ClientEarth, hailed what he said had been a “courageous and visionary” ruling, that would shape the playing field for future suits.

“There are moments in history when only courts can address overwhelming problems. In the past it has been issues like discrimination. Climate change is our overwhelming problem and this court has addressed it. The Dutch court’s ruling should encourage courts around the world to tackle climate change now.”

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Comments 1 to 18:

  1. (My previous comment was copy-pasted from a word file, but I forgot to insert the links).

    It is important to note that the Dutch ruling requires action relative to 1990 levels, and requires 25% reduction by 2020 rather than the EU commitment of a 17% reduction by 2020. A presentation of National reduction commitments can be seen here.

    An interesting point in the table of commitments is that most developed nations make their commitments relative to 1990. However, the the US and Canada present their 2020 reduction targets relative to 2005 levels. And Australia presents its targets relative to 2000 levels.

    The US 2005 levels were 17% higher than their 1990 levels. Canada's 2005 levels were 25% higher than in 1990. And Australia's 2000 levels were 15% higher than 1990.

    Therefore, the USA pledge to be 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 is rather weak. And Canada's 'matching 17%' is even weaker. And Australia's 5% commitment with a promise to do more if they believe everyone else does even more appears to be a deliberately convoluted attempt to obtain more competitive advantage by doing less than others.

    However, the real measure has to be per-capita with an accumulated debt owed by nations with a history of higher per-capita emissions. The current per-capita emissions are here, and an earlier history of per-capita emissions are here.

    Reviewing the per-capita emissions data and the reality of the promises being made, it is clear which nations are the biggest trouble-makers (not China or India or Brazil). However, the more important understanding is that the real trouble-makers are individuals, not nations. And some people in places like China and India are among the biggest trouble-makers, though many international investors benefiting from activity in those nations have a history that makes them bigger trouble-makers.

    The biggest trouble-makers are the wealthy people who attempt to control the activity in nations through any means available to them, including free-trade agreements and the development of regional popular opinion through misleading message dissemination and financial influence on elections and elected representatives.

    It would appear to be beneficial to have the developed best understanding of what is going on, primarily the investigation and evaluation to the impacts of human activity, be used to identify and penalize the most powerful and wealthy people who can be shown to have deliberately fought against the development of better understanding of what is going on and fought against having their opportunities to benefit be limited by that better understanding.

    The global community already has the information and research ability to identify these people. The will of global leadership to seek out and severely penalize the biggest trouble-making individuals, not generic political parties, nations or corporations, is an important part of the required change.

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  2. A correction to my post. The EU commitment is a 20% reduction from 1990 levels by 2020. This is still not as severe as the 25% reduction the court ruling supported. And it further highlights the weakness of the offerings of action (or perhaps more appropriately described as deliberately weaker action), by the likes of the US, Canada, and Australia.

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  3. I am confused then being old is a good excuse.

    Does each country use the same method of calculating co2 levels ??

    And have some countries changed the method since the first date, or planning to do so ??

    Is it all done by gestimates and what are the error bars +/-100% ??

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  4. OK this hopefully should start things up in the UK.

    The UK i believe is the only nation that has legally binding targets for reducing emissions, yet we now have a Chancellor of Exchequer (George Osborne) and a Conservative party that is reversing all  the good work done for a number of years now.

    They have:

    Reduced support for onshore wind farms.
    Reduced support for renewables in general.
    Reduced tax breaks for low carbon motor vehicles.
    Removed the regulations for low carbon housing.
    Approved fracking.
    I suspect there is more, so my list probably needs updating?

    George Osborne in 2011:

    “We are not going to save the planet by shutting down our steel mills, aluminum smelters, and paper manufacturers,”

    So IMO it's time for research into legal action being taken here in the UK, since it appears to be clear that the Conservatives intend to break British law by setting up policies that will result in failure to meet legally binding UK targets.

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  5. Peter Prewett:

    Countries calculate their annual CO2 emmissions in accordance with procedures set forth by the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change. For details, go to the National Reports webpage of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

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  6. Paul D @4 - You left out "imposed a climate levy on renewable generation". If you're a UK citizen and feel strongly about such matters you may wish to follow my example and give your Member of Parliament a piece of your mind? See for example:

    not to mention:

    et seq.

    As Lord Deben recently put it:

    If everybody here made sure that they went to their Member of Parliament between now and August 1st that would make a hugely important impact at this point.

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  7. @1 and 2 One Planet Only Forever

    When considering Australia, one needs to be careful when referring to the actual emission reduction commitments that the current Liberal National Party (LNP) controlled Australian Government makes.

    First, the LNP has quite a number of Climate Change deniers as sitting members.

    Second, the LNP gets a lot of its advice from people who are Climate Change deniers.

    Third, the current Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, became leader of the LNP because of his opposition to taking any effective action on Climate Change. He, along with the Greens, torpedeoed the proposed ETS scheme, which had previously been agreed upon by both sides, LNP and Labor.

    Fourth, the main reason that this anti-climate change rhetoric became accepted in the Australian electorate was that the Murdoch media, along with the right wing shock jocks, reaches about 83% of the Australian population to spread the usual denier disinformation, without any substantial penetration of the full scientific argument. Despite this, a substantial number of Australians do think climate change is a serious issue and action needs to be taken. As a consequence of this, there is now a Direct Action Policy that is a salve to the concerns of people looking for Climate Change action. The trouble with this is that the LNP Government can now spin that they think climate change is of concern and that they are now acting to reduce emissions by 5%; even though they have only allocated 2.25 billion dollars, less that half the cost of a decent oil platform, to pay emitters to reduce emissions, without any penalty if they don't, and something they should be doing anyway. The policy is a crock.

    Fifth, The target of reducing emissions by 5% is also a crock. When you read the LNP literature related to their commitments on Climate Change and listen to the LNP Party members commenting on what they are doing, you hear two phrases: "reducing emissions by 5%" and "reducing emissions intensity by 5%". In the Murdoch dominated Australian media, which is biased towards the LNP at the best of times, the terms get blurred depending upon the spin needed at the time. "Reducing emissions by 5%" is a pretty clear cut, though totally inadequate, benchmark. It means total emissions will be 5% less in 2020 than they were in the early 2000s. However, "a 5% reduction in emissions intensity" does not mean that. It means that the increase in emissions will be 5% less than the rate that emissions were increasing in the early 2000s. Which is a totally different thing. It means that in 2020, emissions in Australia will still be increasing but at 5% less than they were increasing in the early 2000s. It is not a 5% reduction in emissions. It means that emissions will still higher than they were in the early 2000s and will still increasing, only at a lesser rate.  It is double speak used to confuse, and due to the Murdoch dominated media, what the current Australian Government says is never put under scrutiny, so it can still say they are acting while doing nothing substantial. In Australia, there are too many vested interests so that no significant commitment will be made. If history is anything to go by, the then LNP Federal Government could not even sign the flawed but precedent achieving Kyoto Agreement in 1997, which actually allowed Australia to increase it's emissions by 8% over 1990 levels. If they had signed, then it would have sent a clear message to emitters and Australia would now be a different place with a more sustainable economy.

    So be very careful of any commitments that this current Australian Government makes. Don't expect anything significant and anything they agree to may well be based on it's usual double speak of apparently saying one thing while meaning another.

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  8. mancan18 @7, two quibbles, and a query:

    1)  You say:

    "However, "a 5% reduction in emissions intensity" does not mean that. It means that the increase in emissions will be 5% less than the rate that emissions were increasing in the early 2000s."

    Emmissions intensity can be defined various ways, but is most commonly defined in terms of GDP.  Thus, if you reduce your emissions per unit GDP by 5%, you have reduced your emissions intensity by 5%.  Given this, the only way to reduce emissions 5% of 2000 levels in 2020 if you do not reduce emissions intensity by more than 5% is to ensure the economy does not grow, or (as it has already grown from 2000 levels) to ensure that it shrinks back to 2000 levels - a very painful correction indeed.  However, the rate of increase in emissions will only be 5% less with a 5% reduction in emissions intensity if the rate of increase in GDP is constant.  Given the effect of the global financial crisis and it aftermath (still being felt in Greece, and hence the world), that would be a small ambition for government.

    2)  The LNP is the party unique to Queensland formed by the amalgamation of the Liberal Party and the National Party.  In the Northern Territory, a similar amalgamation is called the Country Liberal Party.  Federally, however, and in the rest of Australia, the two parties remain unamlgamated and in coallition.  The coalition might by reffered to as the L/NP coallition (or just "the coallition"), but internal politics play out quite differently between the amalgamated version in Qld, and the coalition version nationally, so the two should be distinguished.

    Final and most crucially, the query.  Do you have a source for the coallition's target being just a 5% reduction in emissions intensity?  The government documents I have seen have been quite explicit that it is a 5% reduction in emission levels.  Further, as the emissions intensity of the Australian economy has fallen by 50% from 1990 levels as of 2014, and about 28% of 2000 levels already, a 5% intensity target would amount to a policy of massively increasing emission intensity and levels from current levels.  I am sure that Labor and the Greens would be making considerable hay if such a target was mentioned in L/NP documents.

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  9. mancan18,

    I am inclined to expect that Tom Curtis is correct about the emissions intensity being related to GDP.

    The same claim about emissions intensity being a 'legitimate' measure of action has been pushed by the current Conservative leaders of Canada.

    The Canadian Conservatives, like the Conservatives in the US and Australia and the UK, have a clear history of deliberately trying to beneft as much as possible from the burning of fossil fuels (and many other unacceptable popular and profitable activities), typically by preying on the easy popularity and profitability of the activities they understand are unacceptable.

    And the Conservative leaders of Canada also cannot be trusted to honour their claims. Their commitment to a 17% reduction from 2005 levels by 2020 was not only a weak commitment compared to other nations, the Conservatives have done nothing to meaningfully reduce Canada's emissions. And the projections are clear that Canada will not even meet the weak 17% reduction (actually a commitment to only be 8% above 1990 levels by 2020 - and above is not a typo) Globe and Mail report. In addition, Canada under Conservative leadership has reduced regulations and restrictions related to the pursuits of profit from exporting of fossil fuels for burning, an action that fuels the global problem without being accounted against Canada. And they did it with measures buried in Omnibus Budget Bills (one of many Reports here).

    And the unacceptable actors hiding behind the Conservative Movement label have been a global problem for a while now. This global group of 'pursuers of what they want any way they can get away with' have been conspiring together on a variety of action plans for a long time. In 2003, while leading the Opposition in Canada, Canada's current Conservative leader Harper gave a speech about Iraq that paraphrased Austarlia PM John Howard's speech (CBC report), and we all know how well that action plan turned out.

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  10. Tom Curtis and One Planet Only Forever

    I may have misrepresented the normal meaning of "emissions intensity" relating to its "emissions compared to GDP" meaning.

    However, I do not have faith that the current LNP Australian Government will necessarily interpret it in its normal context but more in a context related to the rate of increasing emissions. They, along with their usual spin in the Murdoch press, are just as likely to use this meaning to say they have reduced emissions by 5% by 2020, even though they may not have. Because of all their recent actions, like their attack on the various Climate Change Advisory bodies; their desire to reduce the Renewable Energy Target (RET) which is related to the mix between renewable versus fossil fuel power generation; their desire to nobble of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation whose task is to ensure that financing renewable eneregy projects is more doable and stable; there steadfast opposition to anything related to an ETS with their simplistic anti-Carbon Tax message in relation to it; their lack of any real financial commitment to their Direct Action Program to reduce emissions by 5%; and their keeness to approve huge coal export projects, some even threatening the Barrier Reef; all indicate that this Government is unlikely to meet even the insignificant 5% emissions reduction target that they have set. It will be interesting, but tragic, to see the spin surrounding their failure and what targets they will actually set post 2020. I will be very surprised if anything of substance actually happens. It will be more of the same "of them saying one thing but doing something else".

    Tom as for the meaning of LNP in Australia. It is true there is a combined LNP Party that has been in Government of Queensland and is now in Opposition. However, federally, LNP means the Liberal National Party Coalition. The Liberal and National Party are separate parties but they govern in Coalition. Traditionally when the LNP are in power federally, the Prime Minister comes from the Liberals (who are really conservatives/neocons) and the Deputy Prime Minister comes from the Nationals (who supposedly represent areas, mostly agricultural, outside the main metropolitan areas). Both Parties, Liberal and National, have a significant number of members who are Climate Change denier/skeptics and the advisory bodies that formulate their policy also have a significant denier/skeptical slant.

    I may be pessimistic, but I don't have any faith that the current Australia Government will contribute anything of substance in Paris. I also expect that the current Australia Government will try to run interference for achieving a substantial binding agreement. If the actions of the Australian Government are any indication, then all I am expecting is a break down of negotiations in Paris with no binding agreement, and then the Murdoch press madly spinning the outcome while ignoring the actual situation. However, I am prepared to be pleasantly surprised. Not likely though.

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  11. mancan18 @10, here is the chart showing the current emissions reduction target against projected BAU emissions from the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade, but first published by the Department of Environment (first link of my preceding post):

    "Abatement task is measured in million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e). Source: Department of the Environment (2014); Australia's Abatement Task and 2013 Emissions Projections, p.3"

    As you can see it shows a straight forward 5% reduction from 2000 levels as the target.  That in turn is approximately a 4% reduction from 1990 levels.  Given these very explicit, publicly available, and official commitments, the L/NP coallition cannot plausibly pretend their targets is only a reduction in emissions intensity (however defined).

    I agree that just because they promised to reach that target does not mean they intend to do so.  Since the election of John Howard in 1996, it has been standard tactics by the Liberal party to espouse a set of promises that, upon achieving government they discover a crisis that prevents them from doing so, and requires them to revert to what more cynical observers thought to be their intended policy all along.  In 1996 John Howard distinguished between those promises he intended to keep, and those he evidently never intended to keep as core and non-core promises (terms carefully not mentioned before the election).  The current L/NP policy is certainly consistent with their 5% target being a non-core promise, ie, a promise made solely for the purposes of election, and not with any intention of being kept.  But on paper, however, the policy is for a 5% reduction in emissions, not emissions intensity.

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  12. Tom Curtis

    Thanks for your responses and the links you have pointed me to. I do have a clearer understanding of what is supposed to be meant by "emissions intensity".

    However, I notice the first paper you pointed me to, "Australia's Abatement Task and 2013 Emissions Projection", was dated 2013. This means that it would have been likely to have been prepared on the basis of the policy stance of the previous Labor Government, as the LNP Government wasn't elected till the latter part of 2013. The Labor Goverenment did have an ETS policy, and acting on Climate Change is a central part of the party's platform. So that report is likely to been a hangover from Labor's time in power. The second paper, "Emission's Reduction Fund White Paper" was dated April 2014 and prepared by Greg Hunt, Australia's Minister for the Environment. Now, although Greg Hunt is a LNP Minister, he does understand that Climate Change and Global Warming is real, and in the past did advocate and support the idea of using an ETS to act on reducing emissions. However, he has since changed his tune to be more in line with the LNP's current token reduction Direct Action Policy because he has faced significant opposition from the Climate Change denier/skeptics and an anti-ETS members in his own party. This is the political reality he has to deal with. Also, from this second paper, the observed reductions in emissions from 1990 levels outlined, seem to have come mostly from using gas to replace coal for electricity power generation. While there is also a small percentage change to generating power power from renewables, and there has been a slight per capita reduction in demand, there does not appear to be any plans for retiring the dirty brown coal burning power plants in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria. Also, considering that the LNP have now appointed a Minister for Wind Turbines to investigate the health impact of wind turbines; that the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Treasurer, Joe Hockey,have both expressed their displeasure at seeing wind farms while having no problem with the great gouges out the landscape due to open cut coal mines; and the fact that the Clean Energy Finance Corporation has been given instructions by the LNP Government not to make further investments in wind turbine generation projects and household solar, while somehow doubling the Clean Energy Finance Corporation's profitability; I don't think their 5% reduction target is realistic. It may occur incidentally due to the same forces that saw the decrease in emissions from 1990 as outlined in Greg Hunt's Emission's Reduction Fund White Paper, but it is not likely to occur due to any positive action from the LNP Government. Since the abolition of the previous Government's Carbon Tax/ETS scheme by the LNP, emissions in Australia appear to be increasing again. Also, I'm not sure whether Australia's emissions measurements are all home grown or include the emissions that are created from the exports of Australian Coal.

    However, I'm only a lay observer of these political machinations which has made me rather cynical. I do hope the Dutch judicial decision does ultimately have an international impact because I don't see the current Australian Government changing its stance until there is a change in Government or a significant impact upon the Australian economy due to international boycotts and a significant reduction in the demand for Australian fossil fuel exports.

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  13. To clarify my comments regarding Global Conservatives. I am referring to the attitude and actions of the groups, not the label they hide behind. The Liberal Party of Australia is clearly the type of group I refer to as being part of the Global Conservative Movement.

    The actions and attitudes of this group are the desire to benefit from action plans that can be understaood to be unsustainable and unacceptable. This group cares about their benefit in their lifetime more than any other consideration. IN fact most of them focus on gather personal benefit as quickly as possible any way they can get away with. THey have no interest in participating in development toward a lasting better future for everyone. The requirements for that type of development would not provide them the freedom to benefit from knowingly behaving unacceptably.

    Their choice to prioritize maximizing their personal benefit leads them to willingly try to do things that can be clearly understood to be damaging. They willingly pursue control to ensure that a few like them get to benefit the most from getting away with unacceptable actions.

    That has been their fossil fuel gambit. Lots of people have developed a desire to support efforts to get away with the clearly unacceptable pursuits. And they will even support a group that offers an 'impression' of personal benefit even if the reality will be that only a few, excluding them, will significantly benefit from the unacceptable activity.

    And in addition to not caring about the life circumstances faced by others, none of that group care about the future. They do not even care that fewer and fewer of their type of people will be able to continue living the way they try to get away with.

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  14. @ Tom Curtis. Of course the BAU estimates almost certainly would have relied on dubious projections by AEMO on electrical demand and BREE on mining activity. AEMO continued to predict increased demand for years after 2011/12 when demand started falling main due to increased EE and addition of rooftopPV. BREE mining projections are ludicrious, see the BZE report key findings and DL it at bze website.

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  15. @peter prewett and John Hartz note that while all countries use the same methodology that doesn't ensure accuracy in and of itself. for instance the Zero Carbon Australia Land Use Report published by BZE and MSSI found that using 20 yr GWP GHG emissions accounting Australia's land use sector accounts for 55% of national emissions. Using 100 yr GWP is was in the 40-50% range (dont recall exactly but it will soon be 50% using 100 yr GWP) which obcures the impact of methane, the shortest of the IPCC 'long-term GHGs', because it's half-life in the atmosphere is only 6-7 years. 

    so Australia due mainly to enteric fermentation, savana burning and land clearing (including repeated landclearing) is under reporting it's land use emissions heavily. there are similarly unaccounted for emissions in the industrial sector like for eg. air transport. 

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  16. Offically the GHG emissions from the Land Use and Forestary sector in 2013 was 7,522.25 Gg in a total of 549,445.84 Gg or 1.4%. Compare that with BZE's 55% 20 yr GWP or ~45% 100 yr GWP and there is some serious under estimating going on. frankly I don't understand why it's not a national scandel — perhaps there's too many sacred cows lined up down that path of enquiry? 

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  17. wideEyedPupil: 

    If I interperet the National Reports webpage of the Framework Convention on Climate Change correctly, there are two sets of reporting requirements. One set, more sophisticated than the other, is for developed countries. The other set is for developing countries.  

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  18. As a retired engineer,  I find these discussions alarming on BOTH sides.  Trying to convince "deniers" is not worth the effort. Regardless of the GW question, I believe it to be beyond doubt that humans do poorly when breathing a lot of smoke, period. It is said that the average Chinese life span is 5 or so years shortened because of coal, but they STILL prefer that to Peasant Life. Our energies should be directed at eliminating fossil fuel use.  Carbon Caps are worse than useless; even if enforced draconically, they would not work, because the energy demands  (see "Energy Density") of a modern lifestyle are FAR too great for the usual "renewables" to provide that kind of power  in quantity, not even close.  Whatever power sources we choose must be Cheaper than Coal, which eliminates the whole carbon cap issue. Or at least defuses it.  There is such a power source available; the Thorium Liquid Fueled Reactor, (LFTR)  can provide unlimited power safely .  This was a secret Cold War  nuclear fission airplane engine project.  It was invented , demonstrated , and major issues solved, then cancelled 40 years ago, mainly because it couldn't be used to make bombs.   The "Green Parties" had better get used to this idea; the Chinese have taken the US idea and are working on it right now.  To describe the amount of misinformation and hysteria surrounding nuclear energy takes a lot of effort; there is a lot of pigheaded resistance.  I was against nuclear power for 60 years, because of the waste issue; then I heard about Thorium which ,practically ,eliminates this problem.  For a small example , people fear "Meltdowns".  But the Thorium plant has NO fuel rods, and no meltdowns.  There is plenty more.  It is not widely appreciated that the Health Radiation Damage (LNT)standard is simply medical quakery; actually , a small dose of radiation is good for you in the same way that smallpox vaccinations are.  It makes one wonder whether political solutions are even possible in our poorly educated world.

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