TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

What's your take on the COP21 agreement?

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by nwdiver, Dec 13, 2015.

?

What's your opinion of the COP21 agreement?

  1. It's all hype :(

    10 vote(s)
    29.4%
  2. Eh... it's about the best we could expect...

    23 vote(s)
    67.6%
  3. We're saved! Goodbye fool fuels! :)

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  1. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,402
    Location:
    United States
    #1 nwdiver, Dec 13, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
    I'm disappointed that the parts of the agreement that really matter like emissions goals and funding for renewables aren't legally binding... but I never thought that was really possible anyway. Setting a more ambitious goal of 1.5C seems significant but a goal is meaningless unless you actually meet it...

    Thoughts?

    Obama discusses COP21.

    Final draft of COP21


    Hmmm... there were supposed to be 5 options to the poll... 2 more intermediate between the 3... apparently if there's no text entered there's no option on the poll.... crap.
     
  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    10,365
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    The reason they are not legally binding is in large part because having the US as part of the agreement is critical, and if it was legally binding the US Senate would be required to ratify or reject it. The current Senate would reject it and the agreement would then have far less impact. Other nations would then put less effort into complying with the agreement.
    COP21 is a step forward and the best we can do for now.
    But I'm with Bill Gates: we need technological solutions that will be adopted because they are better than our current energy production methods, as government action will be inadequate.
    Elon is correct that a revenue neutral carbon tax is a solution, but the current US Congress will not enact such a tax because the Republicans do not accept the reality of climate science. I think they are at least a decade away from acknowledging human-caused global warming. It will take a younger generation to understand the issue.
     
  3. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,007
    Location:
    Grimsby, Canada
    Not legally binding = relying on good will by the polluters...no "teeth" might just = lip service...hope I'm wrong.
     
  4. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Messages:
    3,715
    Location:
    So Cal
    #4 apacheguy, Dec 13, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
    Existing science tells us it is not attainable. 2 C is barely achievable and would require major reductions over the next 5 years or so from all of the big players. Is that going to happen? Of course not. But it's great that everyone agreed to below 2 C and that way when we actually get there folks will really start to pay attention.

    For those interested in more:

    The magic number: Holding warming under two degrees Celsius is the goal. But is it still attainable? | The Washington Post
     
  5. tigerade

    tigerade Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Messages:
    674
    Location:
    Georgia
    My view is somewhere in between "This is the best we could expect" and "We're saved!".

    Firstly, this is the best we could expect. I want to re-emphasize the fact that there is no way that COP21 would have resulted in a legally binding treaty.

    John Kerry made this clear to the delegates:
    The one word that almost sank the climate talks - POLITICO
    In fact, not even 24 hours after the agreement was adopted, the Republicans already have brought out the axes and knives:
    Obama optimism over climate pact tempered by GOP opposition - Yahoo News
    This is not an empty threat. If the Republicans win the White House next year and keep control of both house of the U.S. Congress, there is no doubt in anyone's mind that they will shred up the Paris Agreement, abolish the Clean Power Plan, undo probably every pro-climate initiative that the WH put in place in the past 8 years and probably even bring back the Keystone XL pipeline and probably also pass their own laws for agressive "drill baby drill" style pro-fossil fuel initiatives. This is not unexpected.

    But let's say that does happen and we play out the worst case scenario here. The other 195 countries that adopted the Paris Agreement will still probably march forward with it. Europe definitely, China probably and India more than likely. From the tea leaves I've read, it seems like India has seen the light and know that they only benefit from clean energy and would suffer unnecessarily if they stuck with coal. China doesn't have much of a choice, they are already suffocating in their own smog, so they will reduce emissions for that reason if no other. Europe doesn't have climate change deniers like we do, and is generally pro-environment across the board. The Paris talks took place in Paris for a reason.

    So, even if the worse case scenario plays out, I am still confident the world will generally march away from fossil fuels. We are also forgetting the important market signal being given here. If you are heavy into fossil fuels, are you buying on Monday or selling? Maybe just holding, but many investors will now be a little more skittish when investing in fossil fuels. And likewise, investments in clean energy just became that much more attractive. That's great news for TSLA and SCTY by the way, as well as pretty much every other clean energy company.

    So, while a good future is not guaranteed, a guaranteed good future needed the Paris Agreement, and it now has it.
     
    • Like x 1
  6. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,372
    Location:
    Kamloops BC Canada
    I'm happily surprised that the agreement went as far as it did. Had we not had a federal election with the resulting change of government, Canada would never have signed on to anything close to this... heck, we might even have boycotted it. That election happened just in time, believe me. Our representatives started working out our position on the plane over, I'm sure.

    Will it solve the problem? Of course, not by itself it won't. The work involved, starting now, is obviously immense and the real whining and scrapping is yet to come. However, the significance of so many governments publicly recognizing the problem... and actually confirming that it's a big deal... is huge. I think many people simply believed (or wanted to believe) that since governments weren't doing anything, the Climate Change 'thing' couldn't be that bad. Now they know. That realization needs to stay in everyones awareness... and pushing for a little panic to speed things up wouldn't be a bad thing either...

    This was, I think, the most important step in addressing the problem. Probably like starting with a 12 step group... admitting there's a problem. Where it all goes now, is up to everyone, everywhere.

    I don't feel any less concerned today than I did last week, but today I have more hope.
     
  7. voyager

    voyager Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    405
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    1. Without any agreement (minimum token of goodwill) it would have culminated in "each country thinking only of its own interests".
    2. The issue now is to keep the momentum going - for the good of the planet, but there's also money to be made from greening the economy.

    So, I'm 70% positive with regard to COP21.
     
  8. RichardC

    RichardC Cdn Sig & Solar Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    Messages:
    597
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    The virtuous cycle of continually falling costs and increasing volumes of renewables and electric vehicles are the principal source of hope for the future.

    Encourage your friends and neighbors to go electric and to go solar! Every additional installation and vehicle makes the next one a little bit cheaper.
     
  9. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    7,842
    Location:
    Portland, Maine, USA
    The big win of COP21, to my mind, is to have created not only a scientific consensus that climate change is a serious problem, but also a political consensus among world leaders. The next POTUS may be willing to dismiss the scientific community, but it's much costlier to brush off commitments made at COP21.
     
  10. MitchJi

    MitchJi Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2015
    Messages:
    1,927
    Location:
    Marin County, CA
    #10 MitchJi, Dec 28, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
    I think you are probably overestimating the intelligence of our politicians, and our electorate.

    I think that compared to what it could have been it isn't that bad, but compared to what it should have been it's awful.

    We already have technological solutions that should be adopted because they are better than our current energy production methods. The role of governments should be to tilt the playing field towards the solutions that the best solutions for all of us instead of solutions that are the best (or at least they are foolish enough to believe they are the best), for wealthy individual's who are bribing (aka wealthy campaign donors) and corrupt politicians.

    IMO the fact that better technologies are continuing to fall in price, is the only reason to be optimistic. Eventually the advantages will be too obvious to ignore. The question is will that happen soon enough? Unfortunately for a lot of the most vulnerable inhabitants of this planet the answer is already no. Doesn't mean it's hopeless for all of us.
     
  11. RobertF

    RobertF Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2016
    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    The other side of being green

    To show you how much this Tesla thing has affected me, I was enjoying the Tour de France on TV. Not actually, instead I was wondering how much C02, methane, urine, food bags, food wrappers, bottle containers, etc are expelled in a stage. Maybe there is a new “phobia” they will come up with that identifies my problem.

    It’s gotten so bad we do the wash and dishes during the reduced EV charging cost time. We even called in Solar City to give us an estimate. We said no because we get such a great late night rate from our electric company. What are we going to do about the loss in gas taxes to fix our roads, etc, etc? You see where I am going and how seriously I am affected.
     
  12. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2016
    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Well, our governor and the liberals up in Sacramento have got that pretty well figured out. They're going to dig into everyone's pockets again and replace the gas taxes (yea, I bet) with a new tax based on the mileage you drive each year. See here:

    California Road Charge Pilot Program - Legislation

    Glad I'm retired and not driving so much these days. Many Californians have long commutes. This will not be a good day for them I'm sure. Naturally, all the other States are watching this with interest. Get ready to permanently attach some sort of transponder on your car that will report to Sacramento.
     
  13. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,402
    Location:
    United States
    ??? So... what's your suggestion? We keep our petroleum addiction because finding a way to replace a per gallon tax on petrol would be too hard? Really? There's probably a other dozen alternatives... WA added a $150/yr fee to EV registration and OR has a per mile fee.

    Use Solar... drive electric... vote for people that at least accept climate science. Just like any terrible addiction we can't stop using fossil fuels overnight but we need to stop screwing around and have an adult conversation.
     
  14. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2016
    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Well, I'm not particularly addicted to petroleum. My current ride is a Prius hybrid and I also have an old Lexus, <60,000 miles in over 10 years and still in excellent condition. My residential solar system currently generates more power than I can use, but hopefully my M3 on order will take care of that after it arrives and the Lexus will go. I live in the high desert in place you probably never heard of and my entire acre of garden, front and back, is watered off a drip system. I'm trying my best to save the world, but I detest being constantly taxed and fee'd to death for doing so.

    The pols in this State (and most others) are the ones that are addicted, addicted to more taxes and 'fees' as they now call them for 'programs'. Oh, and to top it off, the CPUC in Sacramento is in bed with the utility companies IMO. Edison gives me something like 3 cents/kW for over-generation and then sells it to my next door neighbor for 10 times that so he can run his pool pump for 10 hours/day. And since people like you and I are doing our fair share to save the world, perhaps they can fire a few people employed to worry about how much I'm polluting as we switch out oil and carbon for the sun. But you know that won't happen either.

    Sure, I'll vote for people that want to save the environment but not those that will turn around and stick it to me. Let them raise the gas tax another 50 cents a gallon. Apparently, it didn't didn't hurt tobacco sales when they taxed tobacco to death and a pack of cigarettes hit $5. And I don't smoke either. If you want to stimulate EV sales, make registration free - don't tax it! And no, I don't believe my EV brake dust will wear out the roads. Just make and deliver my GD M3. I'm cooked, done, and stick a fork in me!
     
  15. RobertF

    RobertF Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2016
    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Sure, I'll vote for people that want to save the environment but not those that will turn around and stick it to me. Let them raise the gas tax another 50 cents a gallon. Apparently, it didn't didn't hurt tobacco sales when they taxed tobacco to death and a pack of cigarettes hit $5. And I don't smoke either. If you want to stimulate EV sales, make registration free - don't tax it! And no, I don't believe my EV brake dust will wear out the roads. Just make and deliver my GD M3. I'm cooked, done, and stick a fork in me![/QUOTE]

    Great idea!
     
  16. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,402
    Location:
    United States
    There's no alternative to tobacco... only quiting. EVs are a better alternative to ICE but people are stubborn. We need to rapidly move away from our addiction to fossil fuels... that's going to 'stick it' to a lot of people but it has to happen.
     
  17. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,372
    Location:
    Kamloops BC Canada
    Roads wear out based on the ESAL (Equivalent Single Axle Loads) applied to it over its life. They'll also see damage from freeze/thaw cycles. Bottom line is, you contribute to the wear of a road every time you drive over it. The dollars to maintain and eventually rebuild have to come from somewhere... seems to me that the person actually using it should be up for a bigger piece of the cost than someone who stays home and never drives.
     
  18. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2016
    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Forget about brake dust. True, even EVs should pay their fair share. The last time I checked, California has more taxes and fees than any other state. We all pay more than our fair share in this state, including owners of ICE vehicles. Any government agency asking for more registration fees for an EV vehicle is an insult if not 'Ludicrous'. On a gallon of gasoline in California, we pay about $1/gallon (or more) in excise, sales taxes and 'fees' for cap and trade. The federal hit on a gallon is less than .20 cents/gallon the last time I checked that figure.

    As I believe the Interstate highway system is maintained by the federal government and not the state, I do see Caltrans (state) trucks alongside the roads maintaining the shrubs, trees and fixing broken sprinkler heads that waste water during our current drought. Shrubs, trees, and irrigation systems are not cement roads. Roads that are maintained mostly by the federal government should not be taxed to the same degree as those totally maintained by the state or municipal governments. I doubt Sacramento will care, nor will they differentiate between what roads we drive over when they attach the 'ankle bracelet' transponder and measure miles we drive in our EV vehicles.

    What about solar and EV carbon offset? That should also be factored into EV miles driven but I doubt it will be, or will I receive a monthly check for the carbon offset of my 6.6 kWh solar system along with the gasoline my M3 doesn't use? I doubt it. Ya, thinking about that more, where is my solar system credit and check for the carbon offset my solar produced these last two years, over 36,000 pounds of CO2 emission saved? Where is it governor Brown - more dinners, cocktail parties and junkets to Japan to assess high speed trains to nowhere in California?? Keep an eye on the pols in your state or country. They'll hang you upside down until every penny falls out of your pocket.
     
    • Dislike x 1
  19. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    456
    Location:
    Southern California
  20. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2016
    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Well, Wikipedia doesn't tell the entire story. All but three states higher on the list than California are in the northeast and the two outliers, Alaska and Hawaii. I would argue that per capita wages are higher in the states listed above California. The pols in this state are slowing moving away from using the word 'taxes'. A lot of things are fees, permits, etc., still taxes in my mind. Alas, the pols have implemented toll roads. Freeways are slowly becoming not free.
     

Share This Page