Net Zero

User avatar
spot
Posts: 39277
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: Brigstowe

Net Zero

Post by spot »

This five-year successor conference to the Paris Climate Accord, coming up next month in Glasgow of all places. COP26.

Everyone is talking about "Net Zero" as the ultimate goal, possibly suffixed by "2050".

Net Zero, as far as I can see, involves driving atmospheric carbon dioxide levels higher and higher until they reach a maximum plateau, after which the level reached will be maintained indefinitely.

I don't see any ambition to then reduce the maximum plateau level. That would be called Net Negative.

Google search shows 6 million hits for Net Zero, and 75,000 hits for Net Negative. That's a ratio of 80:1

I don't see how Net Zero is capable of reversing the climate change anticipated by 2050, or that the result of climate change by 2050 is at all desirable.

Why has Net Zero been chosen as a target?

If anyone thinks I'm posting Fake News, please inform the thread by saying so.
Nullius in verba|||||||||||
Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!
User avatar
LarsMac
Posts: 12540
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:11 pm
Location: Far Out, Man

Re: Net Zero

Post by LarsMac »

spot wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 5:07 pm This five-year successor conference to the Paris Climate Accord, coming up next month in Glasgow of all places. COP26.

Everyone is talking about "Net Zero" as the ultimate goal, possibly suffixed by "2050".

Net Zero, as far as I can see, involves driving atmospheric carbon dioxide levels higher and higher until they reach a maximum plateau, after which the level reached will be maintained indefinitely.

I don't see any ambition to then reduce the maximum plateau level. That would be called Net Negative.

Google search shows 6 million hits for Net Zero, and 75,000 hits for Net Negative. That's a ratio of 80:1

I don't see how Net Zero is capable of reversing the climate change anticipated by 2050, or that the result of climate change by 2050 is at all desirable.

Why has Net Zero been chosen as a target?

If anyone thinks I'm posting Fake News, please inform the thread by saying so.
I have not been following much of the global discussion, lately, but from where I am sitting, Net Zero would be a vast improvement to where we now find ourselves.
Once There, we can begin to work on reducing the CO2 and Methane emissions further. Assuming we survive that long.
Control is an illusion. The Chaos is all part of the fun.
-Susan Hattie Steinsapir
User avatar
spot
Posts: 39277
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: Brigstowe

Re: Net Zero

Post by spot »

LarsMac wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 8:24 pm I have not been following much of the global discussion, lately, but from where I am sitting, Net Zero would be a vast improvement to where we now find ourselves.
Once There, we can begin to work on reducing the CO2 and Methane emissions further. Assuming we survive that long.
Will you be content to have today's weather patterns or would you prefer to go back to the state of, say, 1980?

Today's are far more mild than you'll see when Net Zero arrives. Weather conditions under Net Zero will be wild, sea levels will continue to rise, long-term migrant refugees will be counted in hundreds of millions. It would take at least as long again under Net Negative to bring atmospheric carbon back to today's concentrations, and longer still to get back to your preferred baseline, 1980 or otherwise. You're talking about a century at least to get back there with the most optimistic assumptions.

I do not like or trust what we have now. I will like even less what we'll have under Net Zero. I think Net Zero, or stabilized peak carbon as a better term, will be far worse than today. I don't believe Net Zero should be a target. It's a complacent target. So far it's the only target on offer by the world's government agencies or the pressure groups.

I'm not sure a world consensus will even want to reduce below stabilized peak carbon. Imagine, for example, the whole of Siberia becoming the most fertile crop growing region on the planet, or most of Greenland. Would you expect Russia or the European Union to give up an advantage like that? Any country can maintain Net Zero indefinitely once it's reached, if everyone else is trying to bring atmospheric carbon concentrations down - all the rogue country needs to do is start burning enough coal again. And nobody today is committing to ever reduce from that stable Net Zero peak, or even thinking of doing so. Nobody, in short, is saying that Net Zero is actually an undesirable state to aim for.
Nullius in verba|||||||||||
Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!
User avatar
LarsMac
Posts: 12540
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:11 pm
Location: Far Out, Man

Re: Net Zero

Post by LarsMac »

Well, unless I'm missing something, "Net Zero" means a no increase in the Carbon Dioxide and Methane emissions, year over year.
While, given the enormous amount of those gases being dumped into the atmosphere now, it is going to be a significant problem, it is a step in the right direction.
The goal still must move along, and and once we can claim that we have stemmed the increases in emissions, then we must immediately raise the bar to go for a net reduction in gas emissions immediately.
Even if we were to completely halt emissions of those gases, we are pretty much screwed for a number of decades before we can see a real benefit to reducing "Greenhouse gas" emissions.
The damage has been done. It is going to be a lot worse before it gets better. We old farts will likely not live to see the benefits of any reductions that world accomplishes.
Control is an illusion. The Chaos is all part of the fun.
-Susan Hattie Steinsapir
User avatar
FourPart
Posts: 6476
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:12 am

Re: Net Zero

Post by FourPart »

As I see it, nder the current plan Net Zero is not only unachieveable, but will make matters worse.

The greatest contributor to Global Emissions is with the generation of Electricity, closely followed by Road Haulage.
If everything moves over to Electricity usage then the demand for Electrical Generation increases & accordingly, so do Emissions.
Having worked in the Domestic Energy industry, I know for certain how expensive these Heat Pumps are to operate. Economy 7 Storage Heaters are bad enough, but Heat Pumps are far worse - typically about 30% more expensive to run.
Most Electricity is still generated by the use of Fossil Fuels. This works by the heating of water into Steam to power the Turbines. The amount of of Electricity is based on projected usage on a Stand-By basis. It is then transported along the Power Cables, where it loses about 10% of output from Electrical Resistance. It then reaches the Substation to be stepped down, where it loses about another 20% of remaining output. It is then converted back into Heat Energy by the end user.
On the other hand, if the end user had a Gas Boiler they would only be using the amount of Gas required On Demand at the point of use, thus gaining maximum efficiency.

The point is that the Government is projecting the Emissions savings onto the point of usage when that is not the problem. The REAL way to look at things would be to look at the amount of Emissions created in order to generate sufficient Power for a set number of users who are all Electric & then compare that with the amount of Emissions created to provide power for the same number of users who are using Gas directly to heat their homes at the point of use.

Furthermore, on the environmental point of view one also has to consider the damge done to the environment with the mining of the ores required for the manufacture of batteries. This is already proving to be unsustainable in the manufacture of Phone Batteries. The ores are strip mined & the toxic runoffs then find their way into the Water Table & consequently into the Rivers & Oceans, thus killing off Flora & Fauna along the way, to say nothing about the carcinogenic effects it can have on humans who come into contact with the toxins.
User avatar
LarsMac
Posts: 12540
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:11 pm
Location: Far Out, Man

Re: Net Zero

Post by LarsMac »

Well, I've been looking for, and failing to find a clear definition of "Net Zero" in the context of emission of "Greenhouse Gases" for a while now.
I find a lot of wild ideas, that seem to focus on carbon emissions by various industry sectors.
It seems unclear what they actually mean by the notion.

But, with a deadline for beginning this "Net Zero" being 2050, it seems like expecting an Alcoholic to pledge to stop Drinking when he is placed on Dialysis.

By 2050, I suspect the Ice caps will have melted and most of our forests will have burned away.

I guess it might still be better than going on the way we are doing things today, but I fear we have already crossed that line.

Just the average exhalation of the human population now dumps nearly 8 Billion Kg of CO2 into the Atmosphere in a day.
and millions of vehicles dumping billions of Kg every hour
And that is not even in the top ten of CO2 producers.
We're basically fucked.
Control is an illusion. The Chaos is all part of the fun.
-Susan Hattie Steinsapir
User avatar
LarsMac
Posts: 12540
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:11 pm
Location: Far Out, Man

Re: Net Zero

Post by LarsMac »

OK, reading more, and think i've got it.
So, they somehow think that they can actually reach a zero output of carbon emission, at some point. They plan to be able to absorb Carbon gasses back from the atmosphere and find a way of storing it. ???
Interesting. I guess that we can pack away frozen CO2, somewhere. Perhaps we can capture Methane and re-freeze it?
Eject the stuff into Space? Probably not.

Spot is right. at the rate we are currently increasing CO2 output, in 30 years we will have reached a far too high level of CO2 in the atmosphere, and will likely not bae able to sustain a living environment.

And I don't see the population of the planet suddenly agreeing on anything that will simply halt such emissions in the next few years.

Maybe we should have colonized Venus, after all. It may soon have a much nicer atmosphere than Earth.
Control is an illusion. The Chaos is all part of the fun.
-Susan Hattie Steinsapir
User avatar
spot
Posts: 39277
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: Brigstowe

Re: Net Zero

Post by spot »

I'm not convinced that "reach a zero output of carbon emission" is as clear as it needs to be. There will still be carbon emissions. To get to Net Zero, the removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere has to balance the emissions, so that the concentration neither increases nor decreases. It's the refusal to start decreasing that I find shocking.
Nullius in verba|||||||||||
Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!
User avatar
LarsMac
Posts: 12540
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:11 pm
Location: Far Out, Man

Re: Net Zero

Post by LarsMac »

spot wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:31 am I'm not convinced that "reach a zero output of carbon emission" is as clear as it needs to be. There will still be carbon emissions. To get to Net Zero, the removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere has to balance the emissions, so that the concentration neither increases nor decreases. It's the refusal to start decreasing that I find shocking.
Well, what I found is, it seems that corporate entities could simply put up money to somehow offset their overages in emissions, and somehow that money could be applied to various schemes to help offset the extra Carbon that finds its way into the atmosphere.

It seems to me we are just creating yet another bureaucratic money hole.
Control is an illusion. The Chaos is all part of the fun.
-Susan Hattie Steinsapir
User avatar
Bryn Mawr
Posts: 15944
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:54 pm

Re: Net Zero

Post by Bryn Mawr »

spot wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:31 am I'm not convinced that "reach a zero output of carbon emission" is as clear as it needs to be. There will still be carbon emissions. To get to Net Zero, the removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere has to balance the emissions, so that the concentration neither increases nor decreases. It's the refusal to start decreasing that I find shocking.
Is it a refusal to start decreasing or an admission that we will not be in a position to start decreasing for a long time an setting an achievable intermediate target?

Absolute minimum requirement is to stop the increase, then look at undoing the damage and starting to decrease.

Return to “Earth Changes”