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I am basing my critique of Michael Klare's article on what is freely
available on the IEA website. The full report costs 130 euros for a pdf
(the cheapest format), so perhaps Michael will consider making this
available to interested readers, assuming he has the full report. First,
Michael does not comment on the challenge I made to his claim that fracked
gas substituted for coal use would seem to be an obvious environmental plus.

Here is what the *Executive Summary* says on the issue of inevitability of
catastrophic climate change (C3):

 *"Energy efficiency can keep the door to 2 °C open for just a bit
longer  Successive
editions of this report have shown that the climate goal of limiting warming to
2 °C is becoming more difficult and more costly with each year that passes.
*Our

450 Scenario examines the actions necessary to achieve this goal and finds
that almost four-fifths of the CO2 emissions allowable by 2035 are already
locked-in by existing power plants, factories, buildings, etc. If action to
reduce CO2 emissions is not taken before 2017, all the allowable CO2 emissions
would be locked-in by energy infrastructure existing at that time. Rapid
deployment of energy-efficient technologies – as in our Efficient
World Scenario
– would postpone this complete lock-in to 2022, buying time to secure a
much needed global agreement to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.

*No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed
prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2 °C goal, unless carbon
capture and storage (CCS) technology is widely deployed. *This finding is
based on our assessment of global “carbon

reserves”, measured as the potential CO2 emissions from proven fossil-fuel
reserves. Almost two-thirds of these carbon reserves are related to coal,
22% to oil and 15% to gas. Geographically, two-thirds are held by North
America, the Middle East, China and Russia.

These findings underline the importance of CCS as a key option to mitigate
CO2 emissions, but its pace of deployment remains highly uncertain, with
only a handful of commercial scale projects currently in operation."


I stand by the accuracy of my comments (see below). In particular, I said:
*"In other words, ** if there is any chance left to avoid catastrophic
climate change C3) reduction in global carbon emissions must start very
soon, with robust substitution of fossil fuels, starting with coal (and
non-conventional petroleum such as tar sands and fracked gas*) by wind and
solar energy as well as carbon sequestration from the atmosphere to the
soil and crust**.  Thus, while C3 looms ever closer, it is not inevitable
as Klare claims it is, based on this report."
*Readers can find more detail, including quantification of the carbon
sequestration technologies mentioned (not so-called 'clean coal') at
www.solarUtopia.org (homepage). A rapid phaseout of coal and
non-conventional petroleum, with a maximum of 40% of conventional petroleum
being consumed in a full wind/solar transition (taking 20-30 years) will be
compatible with what the IEA says above, namely "*No more than one-third of
proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world
is to achieve the 2 °C goal, unless carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology
is widely deployed. *"

Cheers,
David Schwartzman
www.solarUtopia.org
www.redandgreen.org

On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 10:52 PM, Michael Klare <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Dear David and other readers of my column:
>
> I am sorry that you did not like my interpretation of the IEA report.  But
> it was not I who was making these ominous judgments, it was the IEA.  I was
> merely summarizing their conclusions.  They indicated very clearly that on
> our present path - EVEN WITH significant efforts to reduce carbon emissions
> - we are headed toward catastrophic climate change.  Yes, they did say that
> with an all-out drive to promote efficiency and renewable, we can still
> avert the worst, but the thrust of their report was that we are heading in
> the opposite direction. In fact, the essence of my argument was that by
> leading with the prediction that the USA is destined to overtake Saudi
> Arabia to be the world's top oil producer, the IEA actually bolstered the
> pro-oil forces in this country and undermined the drive for renewables.
>  Why you found it necessary to take issue with this critique I cannot
> imagine, but it seems lame to me.
>
> Yours truly, Michael Klare
>
>
>
>
>
> Quoting David Schwartzman <[log in to unmask]>:
>
>  Michael Klare claims in his TomDispatch article that there is "* No Hope
>>
>> for Averting Catastrophic Climate Change".   I disagree with this claim
>> which is not even consistent with what the 2012 World Energy Outlook
>> report
>> says.
>> *
>>
>> Klare goes on to say "Of all the findings in the 2012 edition of the World
>> Energy Outlook, the one that merits the greatest international attention
>> is
>> the one that received the least.  Even if governments take vigorous steps
>> to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the report concluded, *the continuing
>>
>> increase in fossil fuel consumption will result in “a long-term average
>> global temperature increase of 3.6 degrees C. [bold added]*”
>>
>> The key section in the above quotation is in* bold*.  I don't have the
>> full
>>
>> report yet, but this is what the online available FactSheet of the report
>> says:
>>
>> *" In the Efficient World Scenario, energy‐related CO2 emissions peak
>>
>> before 2020 and decline to 30.5 Gt in 2035, pointing to a long‐term
>> average
>> temperature increase of 3 °C. The rapid*
>>
>> *deployment of energy‐efficient technologies can delay the complete
>>
>> “lock‐in” of CO2 emissions permitted for a 2 °C trajectory – which is set
>> to happen in 2017 in the New Policies Scenario –** until 2022, buying five
>>
>> extra years to reach a global climate agreement. In addition to energy
>> efficiency, however, low‐carbon technologies will be needed to achieve the
>> 2 °C goal. In the Efficient World Scenario, emissions of local pollutants
>> are also cut sharply, bringing environmental and health benefits to China
>> and India in particular."*
>>
>>
>> *In other words, ** if there is any chance left to avoid catastrophic
>>
>> climate change C3) reduction in global carbon emissions must start very
>> soon, with robust substitution of fossil fuels, starting with coal (and
>> non-conventional petroleum such as tar sands and fracked gas*) by wind and
>> solar energy as well as carbon sequestration from the atmosphere to the
>> soil and crust**.  Thus, while C3 looms ever closer, it is not inevitable
>>
>> as Klare claims it is, based on this report.
>> *
>>
>> *
>> *
>>
>> *What is most problematic about Klare's pronouncement of inevitability is
>>
>> that it is disempowering to say the least.  It is a huge disservice to our
>> children and grandchildren to give up now, accepting the inevitability of
>> C3.  Our global challenge is to mount the necessary transnational
>> political
>> power while there is still time to act, even if our chances of success are
>> rapidly diminishing.  More on this at www.solarUtopia.org.
>> <http://www.solarUtopia.org>*
>>
>>
>> **Note that fracked gas may well have a similar carbon footprint to coal,
>>
>> because of leakage of methane to the atmosphere, so the substitution of
>> fracked gas for coal will not likely result in a reduction in greenhouse
>> gas warming impacts. This critical point is not mentioned in Klare's
>> otherwise informative piece, aside from his claim for the inevitability of
>> C3. Rather Klare states inaccurately "*One aspect of this energy
>>
>> “revolution” deserves special attention. The growing availability of cheap
>> natural gas, thanks to hydro-fracking, has already reduced the use of coal
>> as a fuel for electrical power plants in the United States.  This would
>> seem to be an obvious environmental plus, since gas produces less
>> climate-altering carbon dioxide than does coal."
>>
>>
>> David Schwartzman*
>>
>> *
>>
>>
>>
>> On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 2:19 PM, Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>
>>  **
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> http://www.tomdispatch.com/**post/175621/tomgram%3A_**
>>> michael_klare%2C_a_**thermonuclear_energy_bomb_in_**christmas_wrappings/<http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175621/tomgram%3A_michael_klare%2C_a_thermonuclear_energy_bomb_in_christmas_wrappings/>
>>>
>>> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>>>
>>>  __._,_.___
>>>
>>>
>
>
> Michael Klare
> Five College Professor of Peace & World Security Studies
> Hampshire College, Amherst, MA 01002 USA
> Phone 413-559-5563 Web: pawss.hampshire.edu
> Follow me on Facebook at:
> https://www.facebook.com/**pages/Michael-Klare/**316344375093469<https://www.facebook.com/pages/Michael-Klare/316344375093469>
>
>