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Three Ways the UK Can Be Part of the COP26 Solution Instead of Part of the (CO2) Problem

First, we need to decide if we’re actually going to do something about rising CO2 levels, increased air pollution and rising sea-levels, or whether we’re on another junket to a UN Climate Change Conference.

See: UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021, October 31 through November 1, 2021.

Once we’ve decided that, we’re in a better position to decide if this conference is the one that will save humanity (from itself) or whether we must wait for a future COP summit to make concrete progress toward clean air in cities, lower pollution levels generally, and decreased sea-level rise.


At Present, We’re On Track to Lose This Fight

It’s being widely reported by major media outlets that even if every government on Earth kept it’s best CO2 reduction promises, we’d still be far below meeting our CO2 reduction targets… by such a large margin that instead of limiting global warming to +1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels, we’d actually experience a global warming of +3ºC by 2050.

That is not acceptable.

Widespread crop failures due to agricultural drought (in some areas) massive flooding (in other areas) a huge uptick in wildlife die-offs, millions of square miles of low-lying land lost to the sea forever, and catastrophic consequences for human life would be the result of missing our 2015 Paris Agreement targets.

And if we end up in such a situation, we’ll have no one to blame except the politicians of today… for it is their job to create legislation and regulation, have them passed into law, and see that those regulations are enforced.

It isn’t the responsibility of hockey players, nor is it the responsibility of bus drivers, waitresses, fast food workers, airline pilots or English literature professors to do this — it’s the responsibility of politicians to protect us from the poor policies of previous politicians.


Is Climate Change ‘Too Big’ a File to Leave to Politicians?

Well, don’t look now, but yes, it is ‘too big a problem’ to leave to politicians if past experience is to guide us.

Yet, there have been signs of excellence in some jurisdictions.

California, for one, which used to have the worst air pollution in the United States along with astronomical respiratory related healthcare costs, is now among the best in the world in advanced clean air policy.

The beautiful country of Norway is another shining example that sources almost 100% of its electrical power from renewable energy and is a place where 40% of new cars sold are electric vehicles, and by 2025, petrol-engined cars won’t be available for sale. Existing petrol and diesel-engined cars will still be legal to own and drive in Norway, but you won’t be able to buy or import a new diesel or petrol-engined car in Norway. And the sky didn’t fall, Norway’s economy didn’t crumble, and life continues a.

There are other stellar examples in the world of farsighted environmental policy by governments, but not enough.

But California, Norway and others have proven that it is possible to reduce vehicle emissions and switch to renewable energy at the same time — and both enjoy robust economies — so don’t even try that argument.

Switching to a green economy does cost money, but saves more money than it costs over the medium and long term.


Three Concrete Ways the UK Could Take Real Action Against Climate Change:

  1. END ALL ENERGY SUBSIDIES. People who receive subsidized energy use more energy. Obviously. Lowering energy wastage is the best way to lower consumption. Whether petrol or diesel motor fuel subsidies, utility company subsidies, or other energy subsidies — ALL SUBSIDIES = MORE ENERGY USAGE/WASTAGE/CONSUMPTION/DEMAND. Therefore, even renewable energy subsidies, yes, even renewable energy subsidies, must be discontinued in order to lessen total demand. When you lessen demand, you meet your clean air and CO2 targets.
  2. SWITCH ALL MOTOR AND AIRCRAFT FUELS TO BIOFUEL BY 2025. Biofuel burns 80 per cent cleaner than conventional petroleum fuel in cars, light trucks and semi-trailer transport trucks. Even moreso in jet aircraft engines, as Boeing, Etihad Airlines, Virgin Air, Alaska Air and the US Navy have proven beyond any doubt. Those jets burn 94 per cent cleaner compared to conventional kerosene fuel and they have a lighter maintenance schedule because they don’t produce as much soot in the combustion process. When you burn clean biofuel, you meet your clean air and CO2 targets.
  3. LEGISLATE THAT ALL CARS, TRUCKS AND SEMI TRUCKS BE POWERED BY ELECTRICITY BY 2025, AS NORWAY HAS DONE. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV’s) are wildly popular with those who own them, they require far less maintenance, they’re more reliable, they don’t pollute, and batteries will become about as recyclable as petrol engines are at the moment. And you can charge BEV’s at home from an ordinary wall socket. Plus, they have astounding acceleration from a standing start. And no noise. If you like peace and quiet, you’ll love electric vehicles. When you drive EV’s, you meet your clean air and CO2 targets.

It is important to state that by utilizing any one of those above three choices, the UK
(or any country) would meet its Paris CO2 emission reduction targets.


The Time for ‘Kicking the Can Down the Road’ is Long Past

Now is the time for real and concrete action designed to meet all of our clean air and CO2 targets.

There can be no excuse at this late date for inaction or tepid moves toward clean air/CO2 emission reduction, or people (voters) will become convinced that climate change/clean air targets/CO2 emission targets/sea-level prevention problems are ‘too big’ for mere politicians to solve, and at that point, politicians will increasingly find themselves disrespected and marginalized in every future decision-making process!


Save Our Planet or Leave!

So, by not solving the climate crisis now, today’s political leaders will become even more irrelevant to their citizens than at present.

In contrast, by solving the climate crisis now when it matters, it means that policymakers will help to create a less toxic environment for people and wildlife, help to reduce the incidences of floods, droughts, pestilence, a loss of biodiversity, and will help to lower healthcare costs and taper the mind-blowing financial costs associated with countering sea-level rise… and for politicians, it means saving their profession from contempt and eventual marginalization.

by John Brian Shannon

The Shocking Truth: How Far We Are From Meeting Our Paris Agreement CO2 Reductions

Buckle-up everyone, because I’m about to destroy your perceptions about how far we are from meeting our Paris Agreement COP21 CO2 reduction commitments. Stand by to be amazed!

You might think that we’re doing well in regards to our clean air commitments, after all, there are more electric cars (EV’s) replacing internal combustion engine cars (ICE) and coal power plants in many countries are being shuttered and replaced with natural gas-fired power generation (much, much, cleaner!) and that renewable energy (RE) represents almost all of the new power plants built over the past 5-years. (True, by the way)

Not bad. But far from good, as you’ll soon see.

So, let’s take a look at how far we are from meeting our 2015 Paris Agreement COP21 clean air goals. Remember, I said to ‘Buckle-up’!


What’s it Going to Take?

The short answer, of course, is more than you’ve got, more than your city has got, more than your country has got, and (so far!) more than our world has got. For example…

Let’s say that global aviation (all aviation, all the time — whether commercial airlines or private aircraft, helicopters, drones, etc.) represent about 2.1% of global CO2 emissions (even the airlines agree with this metric) and that starting tomorrow, all airlines and private aircraft in the world would suddenly stop flying. Forever.

Would THAT be enough for us to meet our COP 21 carbon emission standards?

No it would not.

OK, so, that wouldn’t do it, so let’s add all global shipping in the world (all ships at sea and on lakes that deliver cargo to various ports around the world) which combined add about 2.2% of the annual global carbon dioxide additions to our atmosphere. (Nobody disputes this number either)

Would THAT be enough for us to meet our COP 21 carbon emission standards?

No it would not.

Wait a minute. If we ended all annual global aviation and all annual global shipping tomorrow and forever! — doesn’t that represent a total of 4.3% of all annual global CO2 emissions?

Why, yes it does.

But even that won’t allow us to meet our COP21 CO2 commitments? Shouldn’t that amount of CO2 reduction be enough to meet those targets?

Nope. Not even close.

No, the scale of the global warming problem is much worse than we are able to correct via a simple 4.3% reduction in the annual global CO2 output.


I Need to Get to The End of This! What’s it Going to Take to Meet Our COP21 Targets?

Let’s get a look at some other, larger numbers.

Global transportation (all kinds of transportation, everywhere, on land, sea, and in the air) account for 29% of all global CO2 emissions. What if we cut all of it, beginning tomorrow and forswear all kinds of motorized vehicles forever; Would that do it?

Yes, it would.

But, we’d be forced to give up all cars, trucks, trains, ships, aircraft of all kinds, and any other kind of motorized vehicle, and we’d need to shop locally and travel on foot, bicycle or horseback. Forever.

OK, we can’t do that. Give me another option.

You got it!

So, primary power production (creating electricity from a combination of hydroelectric dams, thermal power plants that are coal, oil, or natural gas-fired, and nuclear power plants) that is consumed by residential users account for about 30% of annual global CO2 emissions.

Ready to cut the cord and live without electricity forever?

Probably not.

But, just for the sake of argument; If every residential user of electricity on Earth stopped using electricity tomorrow, would we meet our COP21 clean air commitments?

Yes, we would.

OK, we can’t do that. Give me another option.

Righto!

Industry (all industry, including all agriculture, everywhere on the Earth) create about 41% of annual global CO2 emissions — that’s everything from building ships, cars, aircraft, military equipment, paint, oil, diesel fuel and petrol production, beauty products, furniture, carpets, clothing, tires, shopping carts, all kinds of food and drink packaging, all food production, and farmers burning their fields to clear their fields for the next years’ crop.

Ready to give up on all that?

I didn’t think so.

But, just for the sake of argument; If every company and farm stopped producing tomorrow, would we meet our COP21 clean air commitments?

Yes, we would.

OK, we can’t do that. Give me another option.


What If We Shaved a Few Percentage Points From Each of Those CO2 Producers?

Would that work?

Maybe. But it would depend upon our level of commitment. It depends if we care about future generations of humans, of animals, and of the plant life on this planet enough to stick with it. But it wouldn’t be easy. In fact, life on Earth would change dramatically, in ways we can’t begin to imagine.

OK, we can’t do that. Give me another option.

I can’t, because there aren’t any.

It looks like we’re all out of options.


Throw Me A Bone, Here!

OK, there’s one chance in Hell (IMHO) for us to avoid a future global rapid warming scenario where the planet’s air temperature would become too hot to allow life to continue on the surface of our world.

And that is?

The BMW i3.

What?

The BMW i3 is a smallish SUV crossover that runs on battery power — not a large battery — that has a tiny one-cylinder onboard petrol engine to charge the battery when the vehicle is underway. The BMW i3 always travels on battery power (the petrol engine isn’t connected to the driveline, it exists only to keep the battery charged) and it has an onboard five-gallon petrol tank.

All of which means that the i3 takes you everywhere you want to go on battery power, and if the battery gets low, the tiny petrol engine automatically starts up to recharge the battery. You wouldn’t even notice it unless I told you it was on and charging the battery pack. It can even charge the battery when you park the car while you’re shopping if you choose that option setting via the onboard software.

How many cars and light trucks would need to be powered by such a system in order to meet our COP21 Paris Agreement clean air targets?

All new cars and light trucks would need to be powered by such a system for the world to meet its CO2 commitments, and we’d need to begin no later than 2022.

Could it be done?

Yes, of course.

Some larger trucks might need a tiny two-cylinder diesel engine to charge up their batteries (much larger batteries than the i3 uses) but that upgrade would prevent gazillions of gallons of diesel fuel being added to the Earth’s atmosphere annually.

The essence of this approach means that for millions of drivers, they’ll buy about five-gallons of petrol per month — instead of buying five-gallons of petrol per day for the average driver.

And when billions of people start using five gallons of petrol per month instead of five-gallons per day, that’s when annual global CO2 emissions will fall by approximately 14% — which is enough (barely) to meet our COP21 clean air commitments.

See the scale of the problem now?


Want to See the BMW i3 — and it’s Brother, the Mighty BMW i8 Supercar that Employs a Slightly Different Propulsion System?

Keep in mind, that in every way, the only difference between the BMW i3 and normal cars is the propulsion system. And similar applies to the BMW i8 supercar — although in that car, the system is geared to blazing acceleration and high speed performance.

Here are a couple of pictures of the future for you…

BMW i3 with range extender option

BMW i3 electric vehicle (EV) with one-cylinder petrol engine range extender option


BMW i8 Hybrid supercar

BMW i8 electric vehicle (EV Hybrid) supercar


Written by John Brian Shannon

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