China

China Burns Much More Coal Than Reported: Unsettles Upcoming U.N. Climate Negotiations

Increase equal to about 70 percent of total U.S. annual coal consumption

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ChinaCoalSteel
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China's statistical agency has dramatically revised upward the amount of coal that the country burns, according to a front page New York Times article. From the Times:

Illustrating the scale of the revision, the new figures add about 600 million tons to China's coal consumption in 2012 — an amount equivalent to more than 70 percent of the total coal used annually by the United States.

That's a lot of missing coal. For the upcoming U.N. climate change conference in Paris, the Chinese have submitted their intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) to the goal of limiting future climate change. Announced with President Obama, the Chinese promised in their INDC that their greenhouse gas emissions will peak before 2030. The Times further reports:

ChinaCoalNYT
NYT

"It's created a lot of bewilderment," said [Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research]. "Our basic data will have to be adjusted, and the international agencies will also have to adjust their databases. This is troublesome because many forecasts and commitments were based on the previous data." …

Jan Ivar Korsbakken, a senior researcher at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo, said that based on his preliminary analysis, the new data implied that China had released about 900 million metric tons more carbon dioxide from 2011 to 2013.

That would be an 11 percent increase in emissions, he said. For comparison, the International Energy Agency estimated before the revision that China had emitted 8.25 billion tons of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels in 2012. Dr. Korsbakken, a physicist, emphasized that deeper analysis of the new data was needed before firm conclusions could be drawn.

This revised reporting highlights how hard it will be to monitor and audit emissions levels and cuts that 196 countries are promising to execute as part of the universal climate treaty that is supposed to be finalized in Paris this December.

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  1. It’s funny how countries that are already rich expect countries that are poor to remain poor, and do so based on religious dogma instead of actual science.

    1. I made a similar comment yesterday at a Church meeting on climate change. “Isn’t it immoral for Christians to push policies that will cause 5 billion people to remain trapped in poverty?” Several people did come up to me afterwards and say it was about time someone spoke out along these lines,

      1. I bring this up to global warming alarmists all the time. They are willing to “sacrifice” by doing things that they already to and feeling good about themselves, but the policies they advocate will keep literally billions of people in China, India, Brazil, and Russia in abject poverty.

        I asked one of the regular progtards on this site about that recently. I don’t remember his response, but it was probably just a deflection.

        1. How do you feel about Dusty Baker?

          1. Aside from the shitshow involved with the hire/non-hire of Bud Black, I don’t really have a strong opinion at this point. He’s more competent than Matt Williams, so I doubt the team will lose games because of him next year, but it’s not like he’ll magically make the bullpen stop sucking so hard. He has a reputation for not caring about modern advanced statistics, but I don’t think that will make much of a difference.

            1. Yeah the whole process was a complete and utter disaster, but i wanted Dusty to begin with. I love sabermetrics but there are so many things involved in Baseball that can’t be accounted for, Dusty has won pretty much everywhere he’s ever been I don’t really think that is an accident or can be wholly attributed to luck.

              1. Prepare for exhausted and ruined pitchers!

                /Cubs

  2. “Dr. Korsbakken, a physicist, emphasized that deeper analysis of the new data was needed before firm conclusions could be drawn.”

    To what extent does this impact the consensus?

    Shouldn’t this mean the standard model has been overestimating the amount of climate change we’ve been getting because the amount of climate change we’ve been getting, we’ve been getting for burning more coal than the standard model realized?

    1. The temperatures will be adjusted as necessary.

    2. KS: The atmospheric CO2 measurements are accurate, but it does mean that the extra missing CO2 has been absorbed elsewhere. Another climate mystery.

      1. It’s hidden in the growing Antarctic ice

        1. Perhaps they pumped it into the spaceships occupied by The Marching Morons.

      2. The missing CO2 is shacked up in a deep ocean motel with its inamorata the heat missing from the climate models.

    3. To what extent does this impact the consensus?

      Is China a part of ‘the consensus’ if not the majority of ‘the consensus’?

      Either way, the idea of foreign statist trolling white American progressives and/or taking full advantage of useful idiots certainly gives me some schadenfreude.

      1. If anything, the incentive should be to make claims about using more coal than they actually are. That way, when they make concessions to slash the use of coal by, say, 10%, they can meet that without really making any cuts at all.

  3. If Freeman Dyson isn’t worried, neither am I. He’s right – India and China need to burn coal to get richer, then hopefully they will get cleaner.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2…..interview/

    1. The problem, for lots of us, was never the science/CO2. Even if we believed it, the narrative, at several points is that we’ve already crossed the tipping point.

      IMO, the bigger concern is like I said above, useful idiots with a running narrative who willingly transfer more power, more quickly, to a socialist regime. A socialist regime that pretty willfully implements and maintains city-sized (and larger) ecological disasters.

  4. China Burns Much More Coal Than Reported: Unsettles Upcoming U.N. Climate Negotiations

    Those willy Chinese! Why, we must put a stop to this outrage, through economic sanctions, stern warnings and condemnations and…

    … WHAT ARE YOU GUYS LAUGHING AT???

  5. That is also a lot of missing CO2. Which leaves me wondering, if there is a lot of missing CO2 and the models are still running hot, how off will the models be with new CO2 data?

    it has to increase the amount of warming in the models.

    I wonder if this good news or bad news. maybe the earth is even less sensitive to CO2 then was previously thought.

    1. Hmmm… I remember in school there was some kind of organism that actually absorbs CO2…

      1. Hitler?

  6. Jan Ivar Korsbakken, a senior researcher at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo[…]

    Why not simply say “Moocher” in an effort to be more succinct?

  7. Why is China burning more coal than America? Do they think they’re better than us? No, we’re better. We’re the best country. We should be burning more coal than all the countries. Than all the other countries in the world put together. That’s why I’m going to build more coal plants. Lots more. like maybe fifty. Or two hundred. However many we need to be the best. And they will be the highest quality and the Best. And I will make China pay for them when we build them. I will negotiate a tough deal and it will be great. I will Make America Great Again.

    1. You don’t build coal plants. You grow them.

      1. +1 bottle of Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing

    2. 9th fairway at Trump National would be a great location to build one, too.

  8. I am calling for a global ban on burning.

    1. Crusty, I think you ought to un-invent fire! That’ll do it.

      1. I am calling for science to get together to un-invent fire. Do it, science, to save our children.

        1. Also, un-invent my extra comma.

            1. …Jamaican aroma.

              1. Bahama Mama

    2. Even in States where cannabis is legal? You will have a real fight on your hands.

  9. FWIW, given that burning a KwH’s worth of natural gas gives off about 40% less CO2 than coal, China asserting itself in the South China Sea might be a good thing–strictly from a climate change perspective.

    1. I really can’t see how China lawlessly infringing on the sovereignty of its neighbors and stealing natural resources would be a good thing because it achieved some meaningless reduction in CO2 emissions.

      1. You’re a reasonable person with clearly commendable interests, but not everyone else has the same interests.

        Do you see why letting Iran off the hook and letting them enrich their own uranium was a good thing for American security? I don’t, but here we are…

        Obama is going to obligate us to a non-binding climate change treaty (that he says doesn’t require Congressional approval) come December in Paris. If China persuaded Obama’s team that letting China have its way in the South China Sea would help them meet China’s Paris 2015 Climate Change Treaty obligations, I have little doubt that Obama would do everything he could to get their claim in the South China Sea.

        He would do it evasively but proudly, thinking all the while about his longed for legacy as the Green Messiah.

        1. I hadn’t thought of that Ken, but it makes sense. Obama and his people really are that stupid and that is scary.

          And as far as that treaty being “binding”, nothing in international law is “binding” beyond the ability and willingness of some other nation to use force to make it so. The next administration will renounce that treaty and there will be no consequences for doing so other than the usual whining and gnashing of teeth about the lawless America. So, I wouldn’t worry about Obama signing any “binding treaties”.

    2. Despite the caveats mentioned by John below I should also point out that it would be a good thing if China switched to natural gas for another reason. Have you ever been there? I’ve been to Shanghai and Xi’an, and I’ve never seen the sky any other color but yellow. Not the sun, the sky. I remember my astonishment when I flew from Xi’an to Osaka, and was amazed at how blue the sky was in Japan. And this was less than four years ago.

      The amount of coal combustion crap that ended up in my lungs (and those of the billion other people in the area) is in itself reason to switch, regardless of CO2 emissions or whatever.

      1. I’ve heard it’s really bad.

        Personally, I don’t think China’s problems with that are simply the dirty fuel they’re using. They have corruption problems with their environmental enforcement, I’m sure, and the other problem is that the courts won’t protect private citizens or their rights against pollution by politically connected companies.

        In the U.S., if a company damages people’s health or property, the EPA is the least of that company’s worries. Isn’t RJR Reynolds owned by plaintiff’s attorneys? I believe Dow Corning (after emerging from bankruptcy) is controlled by the plaintiffs of silicon breast implant cases.

        If I can prove beyond a preponderance of the evidence that emissions from the bakery down the street make me and my kid cough, they’re aren’t even going to fight it. They’ll just capitulate and make me an offer.

        China’s pollution problems won’t go away until the courts start effectively protecting the rights of individuals against politically connected companies. And the CCP is going to have a hard time doing that without capitulating to the idea that individuals have rights. And if the Chinese people start to imagine that they have individuals have rights, they’re going to start imagining they have the right to speak and vote and criticize the CCP.

        China’s pollution problems are much more fundamental than the kind of fuel they use. And I don’t think it’s a problem that the CCP can solve.

        1. Well said, and I don’t doubt you’re right. China’s a weird place at the moment, with remarkably free markets and a remarkably fascistic admixture that makes any kind of rational enterprise very difficult.

        2. “If I can prove beyond a preponderance of the evidence that emissions from the bakery down the street make me and my kid cough, they’re aren’t even going to fight it. They’ll just capitulate and make me an offer.”

          But proving anything in any court of law is extremely difficult. Asthma rates continue to rise, yet we don’t even know the cause, so the best court in the world (including US courts) is not going to relieve your kid.

          1. If I can prove beyond a preponderance of the evidence

            Conditionals, how do they work?

            1. “Conditionals, how do they work?”

              Something may be harmful even if we can’t prove it in a court of law. For example, we suspect that pollutants contribute to the rising incidence of asthma. The courts are not going to magic asthma away because we can’t prove a link. The courts will do their thing and both asthma and the pollutants will remain. That’s how it works in America, and it’s foolish to assume it’ll be any different in China.

  10. Let me get my surprised face. The rest of the world is not going to go back to the stone age to appease the flying climate monster. And there is no way the US or anyone else is going to make them. So regardless of your opinion about the truth of AGW, there is not now nor will there be in the foreseeable future any viable solution to the problem. All the US lowering its CO2 emissions will accomplish is to make us poorer. Any attempt on our part to reduce CO2 emissions would be an utterly pointless gesture.

    1. Re: John,

      Let me get my surprised face. The rest of the world is not going to go back to the stone age to appease the flying climate monster. […] Any attempt on our part to reduce CO2 emissions would be an utterly pointless gesture.

      The purpose of reducing the amount of CO2 produced by America is not to reduce Climate Change but to hobble the American economy. This is a completely ideological battle, John. This has NOTHING to do with science or the climate at all. There is NO compelling evidence that the climate is really that sensitive to CO2 emissions.

      1. See below. The US could produce zero industrial CO2 and not move the needle on human induced CO2 emission.

      2. I realize that. But these idiots will never admit the truth. So it is pointless to argue that they should. Instead, it is better to point out how irrational their proposals are even by their own assumptions.

  11. I’m wondering why the Chinese government decided to make this public at this point in time.

    1. Because fuck you, that’s why?

      1. Maybe. But I find it hard to believe the Party Central Committee’s only reason was FYTW.

  12. So China burns more coal than the US, the emissions from forest clearing in Indonesia are larger than the entire European continent, and somehow giving these fuckers more control over our economies is going to magically “fix” a problem they can’t control by messing with the NATO-Japanese economies. Sounds about right for political science.

  13. For pete’s sake, is it time to start planning for mitigation and amelioration yet? Prevention is great, and I’m not saying we give up, but getting realistic with the science increasingly appears to mean getting prepared for the worst.

    1. getting realistic with the science increasingly appears to mean getting prepared for the worst.

      No. Empirical observations, the so called “science”, says that there will be some benign warming, probably, and that there is no more than a microscopic chance that things will be on the net harmful to humanity.

      What you think is the science is the hysterical panic-mongering of a reality-denying apocalyptic cult with a massive PR budget.

      1. ” Empirical observations, the so called “science”, says that there will be some benign warming, probably, and that there is no more than a microscopic chance that things will be on the net harmful to humanity.”

        You got that from TV. Empirical observations tell you no such thing.

        1. Oh, Markie mark! Do you ever tire of being wrong?!? Or are you one of those people whose self respect is so low that being wrong is preferable to being invisible?

          1. Nobody has the ability to predict tomorrow’s weather with no more than a microscopic chance of error, let alone the global climate some 50 years hence. If you believe otherwise, you need to rethink.

            “Or are you one of those people…”

            Enough about this boring climate change stuff. Time to talk about me!

  14. No surprise at all.

    If you’re being asked to commit to reductions, then you would be wise to overstate your present consumption so you have less “reducing” to do in the future.

    I’ve never believed any figures issued by the Chinese.

    1. Heck, I don’t even believe their gymnasts are of age, never mind anything related to industry.

  15. I’m wondering why the Chinese government decided to make this public at this point in time.

    Let me guess:

    The old numbers were lies. These are numbers from a one party rule Communist dictatorship (OK, oligarchy or some such) with virtually no accountability.

    The new numbers are lies, too.

    The point of the new numbers is to set their current emissions high enough so that they can add more coal plants and say they have cut emissions.

    Too cynical?

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  17. They need to burn coal to make solar panels for Americans.

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