The Coal-Burning Net
Attention Conservation Notice: You'll be more confused after reading this than
you were when you started.
Entries in the Viridian Summer Health Warning Contest:
This contest expires on September 1, 01999.
From: Dick Bell (email@example.com*)
Here's a different take on the carbon issue from the Worldwatch Institute, where I work. Notice that one reason the Chinese consumption of coal is coming down is because they've been reducing subsidies. Does reducing subsidies for things we don't want qualify as a Viridian tactic?
(((Yes, absolutely. It's extremely Viridian to stop working so hard and paying so much to do things we don't want to do.)))
"WORLDWATCH NEWS BRIEF 99-5
"WORLD CARBON EMISSIONS FALL
"For the first time since 1993, global emissions of carbon from the combustion of fossil fuels declined last year, falling 0.5 percent to 6.32 billion tons, according to new estimates by the Worldwatch Institute. (See Figure 1.)
"This decline in emissions in the face of a world economy that expanded 2.5 percent in 1998 suggests an accelerated 'de-linking' of economic expansion from carbon emissions, undercutting arguments that reducing emissions will damage the economy. During the past two years, the global economy has grown by 6.8 percent, while carbon emissions held steady, leading to an impressive 6.4 percent decrease in the amount of carbon emissions required to produce $1,000 of income. (See Figure 2.)(((BP Amoco is definitely the cherished Viridian darling (when it comes to large creepy greasy oil companies, that is). And now for an even more striking assertion:)))
"Much of the economic growth of the last two years has come in information technologies and services, sectors that are not major energy users. Contrary to the implication of a recent Forbes article, operating the entire global Internet requires less electricity than New York City uses. Meanwhile, industries such as steel making and other resource-intensive sectors are growing more slowly." (...)Link:
"From the World Climate Report
"Pain in the Gas
"Much to some people's surprise, world carbon dioxide emissions declined last year, by 0.5 percent, at least according to Worldwatch Institute, quoting figures from oil giant BP Amoco. U.S. emissions rose a mere 0.4 percent, the same source said, while the nation's economy grew by 4 percent. Independently, the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Agency (EIA) calculated that U.S. industrial sector emissions fell by 1.2 percent in 1998.
"Worldwatch's Chris Flavin said these numbers portend an accelerated 'delinking' of economic growth and carbon dioxide emissions. Flavin also said slower growth will make it easier to meet the Kyoto Protocol. He forgot to mention U.S. emissions grew at unexpectedly high rates in 1990 == 1996."Worldwatch wants to credit the Internet. 'Much of the economic growth in the last two years has come in information technologies and services, sectors that are not major energy users.' We're not so sure the Internet is a major energy saver: Physicist Mark Mills has calculated that e-commerce will require a substantial increase in electricity, given the robust growth trends already in place."
(((I've never heard of "Mark Mills," but I'm sure that the physicists on Viridian List will be impressed to see that the guy Mills is a "Physicist" rather than a mere physicist. And if you think that the Greening Earth Society's Physicists are impressive, you ought to see their hand-picked Meteorologists!)))Worldwatch/BP found dramatically reduced emissions in China, Japan, and Russia, with a smaller reduction in the European Union. What did these nations have in common in 1998? How about lowered growth, recession, depression, and stagnation, respectively?
"And what did the United States have that none of the above experienced as much? Try a drastic reduction (15 percent) in the use of heating energy, which normally eats up $50 billion in fossil fuel. This was thanks to El Nino, which Vice President Al Gore & Co. would like to associate with global warming." (((Well, though I comprehend the terms "El Nino" and "global warming," I don't actually count myself as a member of the Gore Campaign. However, I could easily be pressed into the ranks through this kind of repellent spin-doctoring.)))(((Well, that's certainly an interesting wager. In fact, Greening Earth Society and their employers at the coal- mining Western Fuels Corp are pretty much wagering the future of civilization on that conviction of theirs. We are overdue for a cold winter, folks. Mighty overdue.
We're even more overdue for a cool, survivable summer.
Too bad that everybody in low-growth China, recessed Japan, depressed Russia and the many stagnant nations of stagnant Europe will have to pay for the outcome of Mr Paynter's wager without being able to pocket Western Fuel's profits.)))
(((So what is the real story here, do you suppose? Is our beloved Net costing us no more than one happy Big Apple? Or should we shovel coal to ship our Pokemons, while we patiently wait for the return of the Ice Age?Not only are these two Net estimates all over the map, they're not even in the same solar system. We Viridians need to know how much energy the Net is actually consuming in the actual world as that is actually understood by actual physicists and actual engineers. We would very much like some actual factual facts and figures on the subject, please. Do send some along if you have them.)) )
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YOU'LL COME CRAWLING BACK TO US FOR OUR COAL NEXT WINTER AFTER YOU FINISH BURYING GRANDMA THIS SUMMER
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