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View Diary: Are you ready for this? A multi-dimensional tipping point (59 comments)

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  •  I have been focusing on three particular (4+ / 0-)
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    kbman, Unduna, don mikulecky, Larsstephens

    tipping points: Grid Parity, Peak Carbon, and Democrats taking the House.

    We are at Grid Parity, where renewables cost less than coal and oil, and can compete with gas at the system level. Deployment of renewables is accelerating, now that it means real money to utilities. Politics can speed that up or slow it down around the margins, but it can no longer prevent a ramp-up to all renewables for electricity, electric cars, electrified trains, and at some point biofuels for trucks and aircraft.

    That means that Peak Carbon is now inevitable, as will be the decline to Zero Carbon and beyond. Researchers are working on how to go as strongly carbon negative as we have been positive. That means that we will have to generate some extra electricity to use in whatever process we work out.

    One of the candidate processes is to mine and crush olivine, a mineral that naturally absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over a few years and changes into another mineral, without any heat or chemicals added. So the cost is just for digging, transportation, crushing, room to let it do its thing, and disposal.

    We do not expect to take the House this year, but we should capture it easily in 2016. We will then have the opportunity to put through a new Voting Rights Act to outlaw gerrymanders and voter suppression, and create a new, SCOTUS-proof preclearance list. Then we should be able to pass all of the Progressive measures that the public already approves of, and discuss what comes after.

    I don't think you can model any of these.

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 09:20:42 PM PDT

    •  I hope you are right about grid parity and peak (0+ / 0-)

      carbon.  I hope peak carbon comes soon enough to save us from tipping into a climate like dinosaurs had.  I also hope that the renewable replacements for petroleum products involve capturing CO2 and getting carbon from the captured CO2 to sustainable hydrocarbon fuels.  Global Thermostat claims they will be able to capture CO2 for $25/metric ton 2007 looking at 2004 price levels.  <"">

      •  Renewables, specifically wind and solar (0+ / 0-)

        inherently do not produce CO2 in operation. If we use renewable power in their manufacturing, they are entirely carbon-neutral.

        The olivine process is being proposed for CO2 capture on the same scale that we have been producing it, in order to bring the atmosphere and oceans back to their pre-industrial levels. There are also proposals for geoengineering on that scale. We have obviously not worked out the engineering and environmental details of any such proposal.

        The Global Thermostat process involves injecting the CO2 into subsurface rock formations. It would thus be at least as much subject to producing earthquakes as fracking for natural gas.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 05:50:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have been focusing on three particular (0+ / 0-)
      We do not expect to take the House this year, but we should capture it easily in 2016.
      Suppose we don't?  You are expecting a whole lot of change by 2016 in voter attitudes on the numerically dominant red side.  That or some miraculous get out the vote success on the blue side.  And I use the word "miraculous" advisedly.
      This tipping point idea certainly applies to American politics.  If the mathematicians among us choose to model this aspect of the whole they will be doing a fine act of patriotism at a time when we need it more than usual.

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