As you highlighted, there are no penalties for doing nothing. Hence, nothing will be done outside of the general drive to make fossil-fuel consuming devices more efficient. Fuel is not free. Therefore, using less is better than using more. Aircraft manufacturers understand this. As do builders of locomotives and ships and pretty much every device running on oil, coal or natural gas.
According to the article “China vowed…”. In other words, China will do whatever it feels is best for itself. Due to the accruing internal impact of pollution, China will modify its consumption of fossil fuels. Most likely it will take advantage of natural gas, which we are now exporting in liquefied form. That market will grow. China will expand its own internal gas production.
But no nation will imperil its economy to meet some arbitrary goal set by boondoggling opportunists in settings such as the Paris COP21 festival.
As far as Harvey goes, there’s no evidence climate change had any impact. Claims to the contrary, especially coming from the NY Times, means data has been tortured and analysis has been ignored.
As with all damage reports, the total losses are growing because the number of people and number of structures built near the water has grown. More money is spent to build more and bigger structures closer to the water. Thus, more damage results when a storm hits. What else would anyone expect? And now, we have insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding.
Of course, only the government could bungle the provision of flood insurance with such magnitude — as Hurricane Sandy proved. Of course Hurricanes Katrina and Rita proved the inadequacy too, but for politically correct reasons, there wasn’t much discussion of how and why it was bungled.
Houston is a city built on clay. It doesn’t drain well. Houston is also a city with no zoning regulations. For that reason, the rebuilding will occur with astounding speed.
Regarding the cost of rebuilding in Houston and nearby, well, the estimates are already closer to $200 billion. Future storms will cause more damage because the cost of building the next generation of buildings will be higher and, for that reason, the insurance coverage will increase to meet the reality.
So now it appears the death toll from Harvey has reached 50. Yes, there were a few tragic deaths in the mix. But, from a purely objective standpoint, 50 deaths in the US, a nation of 325 million — is nothing. In the US, over 40 people are murdered every day. For a grand total of more than 15,000 per year. In other words, storms take few lives.
Highway deaths total around 34,000 a year. Car makers have learned from their experience how to make safer cars. In the early 1960s, when the population was only 200 million, the annual highway death toll was closer to 60,000.
Anyway, the idea of donating $3 billion to help poor countries with their environmental problems is too silly for words. Nations are poor because they are under the control of governments that are criminal, corrupt, inept, or simply delusional.
Most of Africa is desperately poor because black thugs rip off everything possible. The leaders laugh at the naive foreigners who come to their godforsaken nightmare countries to perform good works. Those volunteers do the work a responsible government should perform. Those leaders have learned they can abuse their countries and suckers will line up to help the oppressed.
The best bet would involve the sudden removal of the thugs and efforts to move those poor nations toward democracy and capitalism. As a catalyst for the process, I’d be more than happy to see China insert itself into the African mess and bring some order to it. However, there are so many obstacles in the cultures of Africa that we’re probably another century away from seeing widespread prosperity on that continent.
However, if all Africans had more access to fossil fuels, they could stop tearing up all the flora to use as fuel to cook food.
As I’ve said, about 99.999 percent of the world’s population could not care less about climate issues. That percentage is unlikely to change. Most of the world’s population is focused on the immediate issues of food and shelter. Therefore, if a few local governments impose restrictions on fossil fuels, the people living in those jurisdictions will soon enough feel the pain of artificially increased prices for everything.
California may bankrupt itself. NY is almost as foolish. Both states are headed by governors who want to pretend solar and wind power can replace coal and natural gas for electricity production. Of course neither state will go over the edge because they will skirt their own crazy rules to remain solvent.
And none of the world’s oil producers will stop producing oil and none of the world’s oil consumers will stop consuming. Same for coal and natural gas. That’s the reality. We’ll deal with whatever reality delivers.