"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Friday, July 11, 2008

DOE EIA Projections Ever Upward

This is awfully cheerful or just awful, depending on your point of view I guess.
Report #:DOE/EIA-0484(2008)
Release Date: June 2008
Next Release Date: June 2009
(full report available July 2008)


World marketed energy consumption is projected to increase by 57 percent
from 2004 to 2030. Total energy demand in the non-OECD countries increases
by 95 percent, compared with an increase of 24 percent in the OECD countries.

I guess it's worth taking note of CO2, in a sort of passive way, now.

I'm confused. It's hard to know if this is wishful thinking or malice at this point.

Update: Phil Randal makes a similar point.


bernie said...

Figure 8 shows that the growth is in the developing economies. Growth in OECD economies is minimal. China and India cannot be given a free ride. The question is how do you help them improve their air quality?

Phil said...

Their oil price projections are way off the mark too. Almost as cheerful as the BERR's!

The EIA is not the only organisation with this huge disconnect between oil consumption and climate damage.

It's endemic in the BBC's reporting. There seems to be a total taboo against mentioning climate change in the same sentence as oil.

Steven said...


Don't help them. It's a known fact that people of Indian and Chinese ethnicities actually prefer horrible air quality. They thrive on it.

They will be sad if you clean up their air. As they increase their aggregate wealth, I can assure you the one thing they won't want to do with that wealth is to improve their environmental quality.

bernie said...

I have no idea what you are suggesting. Given the pattern of growth in energy consumption how do you mitigate its effects without limiting the needed economic development? Without answering this question, all we are doing is hand waving, aren't we?

Michael Tobis said...

Bernie, I believe Steven does not consider CO2 emissions to be a part of "air quality", and I believe you do, which is why you are talking past each other.

To be fair, leaving aside the context I wouldn't consider CO2 to be about air quality either, under present circumstances. That is, health effects of CO2 concentrations at the surface are not a first order issue.

Steven is obviously trying to be snarky here (though he missed a much better opportunity on another thread, I think). I don't know if his misinterpretation (if such it was) of your meaning was deliberate in launching his volley, but it's not impossible that you weren;t connecting to begin with.

John Mashey said...

Neither BERR nor the EIA seem to think Peak Oil (& Gas) are real, unlike several friends who have run major oil companies.

BTW, many climate-change economics projections assume happy 2-3% GDP growth indefinitely, ie.e., eitehr:
a) Peak Oil & Gas don't happen
b) or, if they do, they are irrelevant to GDP.

ex: Stern, Nordhaus, Garnaut, as far as I can tell.

bernie said...

Are you suggesting that if I had added CO2 emissions to the first statement, Steven would have said something different?
The data indicates that global economic growth absolutely and relatively together with their potential net adverse environmental effects are going to be driven largely by India and China. Therefore, it becomes important, I would think, that they grow with the least negative effects. What on earth is controversial about that? The problem comes in determining what they can do and how they can do it without dramatically reducing their growth rates. The flaws in the Kyoto Treaty were flaws.

Steven said...

Bernie: let me apologize for my sense of humor.

I maintain frequently that "All individuals inherently seek to better themselves". I assume that everyone prefers clean to dirty.

Some people temporarily accept dirty when other things are more imminent, like starvation. When people accumulate wealth, frequently one of their primary concerns is cleaning up their environment.

I can't think of many examples of people who have accumulated wealth and chose to stay in filth. I was being a bit sarcastic, suggesting that there's something particular about the Chinese and Indian people who make them different, in that they prefer filth.

As to whether CO2 is a pollutant... that not so easy. It's difficult to characterize a food as a pollutant, but you could be burried in a ton of pork chops. If in fact C02 presents an unavoidable thermal problem, then it must be weighed on balance for its good and bad effects.