Guest Opinion by Kip Hansen — 26 November 2023
The inimitable NY Times graphics department produced a useful and informative graphic about “the top 60 power-producing countries” (meaning electrical production) and what power source — renewable or fossil fuels (by type) — they have been using to make that electricity. The purpose of the graphic was apparently to show how well some countries are doing in ramping down fossil fuels and ramping up renewables.
[Note: If the page appears pay-walled, use your Private Browser function and should be able to see the story and graphics.]
The whole chart is shown natively using different scale for each country, as the authors wish to accentuate the trends.
Here is one example: (fair use…)
The UK is doing great, huh? Almost totally eliminated their local coal and ramped up renewables. Looking at the NY Times graphic with “See Trends” selected in the upper right corner, you can find lots of countries really on the bandwagon saving the Earth from fossil fuel pollution. Take a look at the chart online — can’t reproduce too much of their piece without running afoul of copyright, but this is an opinion piece and fair use allows some reasonable reproduction.
The point of this OpEd is to point out what happens to the graphic when one switches the view to : Compare Totals .
This next image is long and tall, intentionally small, and at this reduced size you will be only able to see the point I wish to make, scroll down through it:
In the Compare Totals view it is obvious that only five or six (maybe eight) of those Top 60 Countries actually matter as far as use of fossil fuels to produce electricity:
One might add a couple more of EU nations and maybe South Korea and Indonesia, France, Brazil, maybe Canada: those with more than a thin line at the bottom of their charts.
But as far as fossil fuel burning to produce electricity, ONLY those nations above really matter in the present. And, if one wants to be more precise, only China, the United States, and India matter.
All the hoopla about COP28, all the travel, the extravagance, the pontification, speeches, grandstanding, handshaking and general pretense that they are “doing something” will amount to nothing.
Nothing if those “those countries that matter” do not agree to make the huge, economy-crushing, socioeconomically-harmful, nation-destroying decisions that are being demanded of them by “The Climate Crazies” (remember the declaration of the “era of global boiling”).
I doubt that they will agree – these countries will do what they have been doing the last 25 years: making promises and keeping only those that are convenient and profitable.
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“I could be wrong now, but I don’t think so.” (h/t Randy Newman)
I guess we’ll see, won’t we?
Thanks for reading.
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