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How to Sell ‘Carbon Neutral’ Fossil Fuel That Doesn’t Exist

edited August 2021 in Other Investing
The phrases carbon neutral, net zero and carbon offsets are used to market to the green investor. They can involve a shadow world where hype and reality are hard to distinguish. This article looks at this issue.

How to Sell ‘Carbon Neutral

Here is another somewhat related article that looks at this general topic as it relates to pellet fuel production in the rural American Southeast.

There’s a Booming Business in America’s Forests.


  • Sometimes I read articles like these and think, "Well, we had a good run."
  • edited August 2021
    I made a mid-career return to graduate school in the mid-1980's in applied economics. My focus was on public policy analysis related to non-renewable and very slowly renewable natural resources. My basic take-away from that experience was that discount rates (as they relate to the time value of money) and the more self-centered aspects of human nature present high hurtles to overcome. Fuller global acknowledgement that substantial disruption to life as we know it is likely to occur within a generation will be needed before it will become reasonable to hope for implementation of adequately focused global action regarding climate change. The significant global climatic disruptions the world is now experiencing are encouraging for that reason. They at least move forward the time at which that consensus can be obtained.

    This ending quote from a recent article comes to mind.....
    For some reason I can’t quite explain, when I first saw this woman’s suffering, I kept thinking: I hope she has children, and her children have children, and they are not only furious, but also smart, strategic and fearless. And young, unacquainted with des­pair and allergic to the idea that anything is too late.

    The photos of Greece on fire are shocking. But shock doesn’t always lead to change.

  • edited August 2021
    this is cool --- the UK's 1850 levels

  • this is cool --- the UK's 1850 levels


    Yes. That is encouraging. The image doesn't show up on my computer....just the word "image". But going to the link I sleuthed when previewing this reply provides the image. Weird....

    A brief explanation of their recent progress:
    The electricity sector is where the large majority of UK emissions cuts have occurred over the past decade, during which the country’s power supplies have been transformed.
    ‘net-zero emissions’ target is one source for more details.
  • There is some explaining I would like to see, e.g. the drop in the 1980s, when they reached levels from a century earlier --- was that all population ... decline ?
  • edited August 2021
    The population increased in the 1980's. My hunch is the 1980's drop was at least somewhat related to the continuing decline in coal consumption and the related 84/85 coal strike and its aftermath (Iron Lady time).
  • edited August 2021
    Any country that shifts from being an industrial nation that produces physical things to a more service oriented one will most likely see a drop off in carbon emissions. I would expect the U.K.'s decrease in emissions might in some ways mirror the increase in emissions from developing nations like China and India which manufacture many of the things the U.K. and other nations consume. This is worth looking at: image
  • edited August 2021
    That chart and the comment provide a useful big picture explanation for at least part of what has changed in the UK in recent decades. They also speak more generally to the potential staying power of the global climate change challenge.

    Here is another current example of how disruption is now impacting the US:

    EXPLAINER: Western states face first federal water cuts
  • edited August 2021
    Here is a Summary of a recently released Global Commons Survey. The Survey measures the level of responder awareness regarding changes deemed crucial by members of the scientific community to limit climate change. And it looks at barriers to taking rapid action regarding those changes (pages 15 - 16 of the Survey are one place to look). It appears there is only limited agreement it is necessary to take substantial and widespread rapid action involving the recommended changes. One comment from the Summary:
    ...although 59 percent of people surveyed said they believed in the need for a rapid transition away from fossil fuels, just eight percent acknowledged the need for large-scale economic shifts this decade.
  • There is some explaining I would like to see, e.g. the drop in the 1980s, when they reached levels from a century earlier --- was that all population ... decline ?

    yes, almost all coal, from what I read elsewhere
  • This might be worthwhile place to start...let's get methane release under control.

  • edited August 2021
    It makes sense to me to focus more on methane emissions.

    Here is a little more on a big picture problem created by the disconnect between the lack of widespread understanding and concern and the potential for long-term global necessity.:
    It’s precisely these costs of major planetary tipping points that I set out to calculate with three stellar colleagues....We find that the impact of these tipping points is itself highly uncertain....For example, we estimate a 10% chance that tipping points more than double the social cost of carbon.

    Our paper is clearly not the final word on this question, but it is the kind of enumeration that helps make the case for why it is precisely the risks, the uncertainties, the tail events, and, yes, the planetary-scale tipping points that should really drive climate action now.

    The Costs of Climate Tipping Points Add Up

    Also, here is a short discussion about another recent climate change event and why it matters.

    It Just Rained on Greenland's Summit For The First Time in Recorded History
  • edited August 2021
    A big part of the reason confronting the climate change challenge continues to be so difficult:

    A Texas Solution to Global Warming: Use More Air-Conditioning
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