Why China is having a difficulty weaning itself from its dependency on coal

Nearly 60 per cent of China’s energy-hungry economy is fuelled by coal. China is struggling to kick its coal habit. What happens if it cannot?

A story published in the Singapore Straits Times on the 3rd of September 2021

Quote:

“BEIJING (AFP) – US climate envoy John Kerry is in Beijing this week to urge the world’s biggest polluter to reduce its reliance on coal.

But China is building more coal-fired power plants than the rest of the world combined, a plan that is threatening to derail its decarbonisation plans and global efforts to tackle climate change.

Here are five reasons why Beijing is struggling to kick its coal habit.

Nearly 60 per cent of China’s energy-hungry economy is fuelled by coal.

Despite pledges to peak coal consumption before 2030, China brought 38.4 gigawatts of new coal-fired power into operation last year – more than three times what was brought on line globally.

“In the Chinese context coal is synonymous with energy security,” Mr Li Shuo, a climate policy adviser at Greenpeace China, said.

“Plans announced so far don’t give a clear answer on how China can ensure a steady energy supply without relying on the dirty fossil fuel.” Economic planners are also nervous about slashing coal too quickly as it could cripple growth.

Over the past six months, several industrial hubs across the world’s second largest economy have been hit by the worst blackouts seen in a decade as coal imports were disrupted due to the pandemic.

China’s top decision-making body in late July said it was “playing a national game of chess” that balances the needs of the economy with Beijing’s climate goals.

Greenpeace’s Li warned this indicated a “push-back on the climate momentum generated by last year’s carbon neutrality announcement”, referring to a promise by President Xi Jinping to make China carbon neutral by 2060.

Over a third of China’s six million coal miners lost their jobs between 2013 and 2020 as old mines shuttered, a recent survey by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences found.

Fear of mass unemployment leading to social unrest has forced the top economic planner to slam the breaks on local government plans to cut emissions.

Earlier this month, the central government warned provinces to ditch “campaign-style carbon reductions measures” and do more to cushion the impact on businesses forced to cut pollution.

Most of China’s wind, solar and hydro power is generated in the country’s far western regions.

The lack of power lines that can transmit this energy to factories on the east coast has forced renewable power producers to stop production for months at times.

State Grid – the country’s main utility provider – said it has invested over $45 billion dollars over the past five years to connect renewable power sources to the national grid and build energy storage facilities to ensure clean power isn’t wasted.

But there is still a mismatch between supply and demand.

China launched its long-awaited emissions trading system in July, but the price of a metric tonne of carbon is still less than US$7 (S$9.40) – far below the US$70 per metric tonne in the European scheme in late August.

Analysts have warned this price is not high enough to force big polluters to clean up their act.

The market currently covers 2,162 big power producers that generate about a seventh of global carbon emissions from burning fossil-fuels.

But regulators have given out too many free permits to pollute pushing down the price of carbon, Ms Yan Qin, an analyst at Refinitiv, said in a research note.

Soviet-style energy quotas are forcing utility companies to buy more electricity generated using coal, even though renewables are now cheaper.

Efforts to change or abolish this quota system have stalled for nearly a decade due to pushback from coal-heavy provinces.

“The quota system has meant that the coal power generation business in China is almost risk-free,” said Dr Yuan Jiahai, a professor at North China Electric Power University in Beijing.

“So local governments and industries are rushing to build new coal capacity before the deadline to peak emissions.”…”

Source

This video presentation further supports the above story

Understanding 5G. Unraveling some mysteries

I present an article written by Anthony Rutkowski. Rutkowski’s credentials are cited further down. I believe that very few of us are aware of the greater story quietly lurking behind the contemporary international 5G debate.  It seems to me that the author has done a sound job in composing this article. I have emboldened text that I feel that might most interest my readers

Quote:

“The initial, essential step toward understanding 5G is to perform an intellectual body purge of the endless disgorging of cluelessness and disinformation that emerges from the Washington White House and radiates out around that city and then to the outside world that it infects. The institutes, pundits, self-professed experts, summits, and even the U.S. press all pretty much feed out of the same trough of 5G political slop that gets passed around as incantations of ignorance, spin, and K-street lobbying.

The next essential step is the difficult one. Unfortunately, it requires the hard work and a knowledge base obtained from following and analyzing the only authoritative collective sources of 5G information — and that is the multiple global industry bodies where hundreds of technical experts constantly collaborate at diverse locations contributing thousands of input documents per month developing and specifying in great detail, the architectures, services, interfaces, radio links, and capabilities that constitute 5G. These bodies have been working on this effort for the past five years, and publish the resulting documents in a series of releases that resemble computer operating system versions. Release 16 — which is true 5G SA with network core virtualization (as opposed to transitional precursors) — is being accomplished this year. Subsequent releases promise ever more advanced applications and features. The bottom line: 5G is a constantly evolving continuum.

These bodies are usually layered and have endless strings of acronyms like the 3GPP (SA, CT, RAN) core, which is then surrounded by NFV ISG, MEC ISG, ETSI TCs, MEF, ITU-R, ITU-T, OASIS, TCG, IETF, OMA, GSMA, IEEE802. You can search on the acronyms for meanings, access portals, meetings, participants, and input and output materials. Additionally, large swaths of 5G work never make it into the global industry fora, and only appear in patent filings, research literature, and product announcements that require continuous monitoring and assessment. Given the enormous complexity and continuously evolving technical and institutional complexities spread across all these venues, anything approaching a complete understanding is not possible. All 5G knowledge is an approximation at a point in time.

Principal 5G features

A number of basic features can be distilled out of the enormous swirling 5G maelstrom that go far beyond the focus on political trivializations, lobbying, trolling for spectrum, and marketing in the popular press. These features represent a tectonic change far exceeding anything seen in the history of electronic communications – in the way networks and services are instantiated and provided.

  • Virtualization of everything from data centres and local Mobile Edge Computing facilities
  • Partitioned architectures & services on demand transparently across all media using network slicing
  • Shifting away from DARPA internet protocols to low-latency Virtual Carrier Ethernet
  • Prolific ephemeral encryption
  • High-speed mobility support combined with constant dynamic portability to mobile platforms and IOT
  • Commoditized hardware and orchestration of everything else
  • Ubiquitous, high bandwidth radio access capabilities
  • Shift to global “content distribution networks” on demand where discoverable endpoint and traffic intelligence become highly valuable
  • Intelligence shifts from endpoints to middleboxes and data centres
  • Trusted platforms, middlebox based traffic analysis, and auditing become security essentials

Explaining these features and conclusions are beyond the scope of a basic primer, but readers can do their own homework using authoritative source materials.

Threaded through this array of capabilities is a need for security that is best summed up as constant “cyber hygiene” representing a virtualization reapplication of today’s 20 CIS Critical Security Controls. Unilateral actions undermining public international law like banning a vendor’s hardware because of its place of incorporation are not only unlawful but utterly delusional and counterproductive toward addressing the necessary capabilities. The 5G security capabilities have for several years been developed and evolved continuously in global industry bodies.

The problem here is that understanding all of the above requires a comprehensive level of knowledge and available resources to distill from a broad array of activities — and those resources only exist in a few companies and institutions. As a result, the purveyors of jingoistic 5G snake oil political analysis are left to pursue their trade. Simplistic portrayals of 5G are low-hanging fruit for a world challenged by understanding even the basics of how a smartphone works.

Emerging 5G markets, strategies, and participants

There are arguably four classes of winners in the 5G world. In the near term, they include a few companies and their component suppliers who can exist in the global 5G mass commodity physical “box” game that has a finite market period and extends into developing countries. Their success is synergistic and important to the derivative markets. The three additional, larger, persistent, and even more lucrative market winners in this massive tectonic shift to a tailored, on-demand, content delivery global architecture, are: 1) those who provide the low latency, trusted network slice orchestrations out of cloud data centre/MEC facilities and middleboxes, 2) those who collect and maintain the mobile endpoint identifiers and intelligence to provide resolver services, and 3) those who can maintain and provide content for specific classes of customers.

The providers who fall into all of the above categories are very actively engaged in the real 5G/NFV work. They encompass product vendors and service providers at multiple levels across the globe — in many instances, orchestrating different subsidiaries across multiple countries. Some industry consortiums in the cable, railway, and automobile fields have become prominent. The metrics of the huge commitments of personnel and contributions of intellectual property in submissions are available in all the venues. In the 5G security arena, by any metric, there is only one clear global leader — the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre.

Principal 5G Challenges

Although the challenges are certain to evolve over time, those that are obvious at this point fall into three categories: 1) effective, inclusive global arrangements for extraterritorial orchestrations of 5G architectures and services including access to forensics, 2) concentration of 5G orchestration, resolver and end-point intelligence services in the hands of a few commercial providers, and 3) an inability of government institutions to understand the previous two challenges and their own strategic interests. The last challenge is largely resident in only one nation at the moment.

The first challenge can be potentially satisfied by further extending the many global intergovernmental arrangements developed a century ago for the first global radio-based networks and a quarter-century ago for public internets. To the extent solutions cannot be found, costs will simply be driven up and market access limited by building more national-based facilities that operate within a confined jurisdiction. The second challenge is similar to the first with complex antitrust, privacy, law enforcement, and national security overlays. Nations will similarly insist on geographic jurisdictional compartmentalization. The third challenge will hopefully be solved in the near future.

About the author:

Quote:

 “Principal, Netmagic Associates LLC
Joined on August 15, 2012 – United States
Total Post Views: 602,279

Tony Rutkowski is a Distinguished Senior Research Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy (CISTP) at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs.  As Executive Vice President for Yaana Technologies, he has served as rapporteur for cybersecurity in ITU-T since 2009 and served as the counselor for two ITU Secretaries-General between 1988 and 1992, co-authored a published ITU history, and led development and authored many regulatory provisions, laws, briefs, treaties, standards, books, and articles as an engineer-lawyer over many years in multiple positions in industry, government and academic institutions.  At one time, he did real engineering – being responsible for the communications and command & control systems as part of the Apollo Launch Teams at KSC Launch Complex 39″  http://www.circleid.com/members/6809/

Geo-political round up and akin

In this new blog I introduce you to important news stories that you may never have heard about or seriously considered before. You will notice that I put emphasis on subjects relating to international politics and the potential for war. This includes the politics behind the development of new highly destructive international weaponry. You will find a few of these links are a little dated but I do not feel that this is detracts from their potential reader interest. I intend to update this list from time to time.

Begin your reading experience here:

1] Does Australia need a nuclear arsenal? And what would be the cost?

2] Japan, India negotiating military logistics pact in tightening of ties Are Australia and The USA going to become part of this pact as well?

3] Trump is Forcing China to Reassess its Strategy

4] Trump spoils Xi’s Belt and Road Forum, without even attending

5] US Submarines to Field Hypersonic Weapons in 2025

6] How China fooled Donald Trump

7] South China Sea: Deterring a Fait Accompli

8] In Korean War Commemoration, Xi Warns That China Will ‘Use War to Prevent War’

9] Your 5G Phone Won’t Hurt You. But Russia Wants You to Think Otherwise

10] India’s First Indigenous Air-Launched Radar-Killing Missile Is Headed For Service

11] Blasting The Air In Front Of Hypersonic Vehicles With Lasers Could Unlock Unprecedented Speeds

12] The Real Strategic End Game in Decoupling From China

13] You Can’t Imagine World War III Between America and China

14] America’s Startling Short Range Air Defense Gap And How To Close It Fast

15] U.S. won’t ‘tiptoe’ around China with Asia stability at threat: defense chief

16] China and U.S. clash again on trade and regional security

17] Twitter-post garbage the clearest sign yet of desperation in Beijing

18] Just like Trump’s tariffs, China’s trade attack will backfire

19] Tightening the Chain: Implementing a Strategy of Maritime Pressure in the Western Pacific

20] An India-Australia-France Trilateral Dialogue Is Overdue

21] China’s Hong Kong security laws could lead to ‘complete decoupling’ from US

22] China and Iran: Joining Forces to Beat U.S. Stealth Fighters?

23] Pentagon secretly struck back against Iranian cyberspies targeting U.S. ships

24] Russia and China Go War Against America. Here’s What Could Happen Next

25] Australia may need to consider nuclear weapons to counter China’s dominance, defence analyst says

26] ‘They beat our a–es’: Russian mercenaries talk about humiliating defeat by US in reportedly leaked audio

27] Chinese Nuclear Armed Submarines in Russian Arctic Ports? It Could Happen

28] Sanctions: the new economic battlefield

29] America vs. Russia and China: Welcome to Cold War II

30] The Army’s ‘Big Six’: America Plan to Wipe Out Russia or China In a War

31] The Ultimate Way to Deter China: Why Island-Chain Defense Can Work

32] China vs. Japan: Is the East China Sea Showdown Back on?

33] Is Russia Having Second Thoughts About Integration With China?

34] Why the China-Russia Alliance Won’t Last

35] Baoshang Bank collapse threatens China’s economy and may trigger central bank response

36] Nuclear Holocaust: If an Israel vs. Russia War Broke Out in the Middle East

37] As China and the United States fight for global dominance, is Australia’s safety at risk?

38] The Limits of the Alliance Between China and Russia

39] NATO needs to address China’s rise, says Stoltenberg

40] Indo-Pacific security should also be a European affair

41] Is America still the world’s only superpower or is China a real rival? Experts aren’t so sure any more

42] The bitter reality is the Morrison Government doesn’t know how to deal with China

43] Why China’s Premature Bid for Hegemony Is More Fragile Than You Imagine

44] The Kremlin Hierarchy Is Fast Decaying

45] So Much for Suez: What Britain’s Tanker Crisis with Iran in the Gulf Really Means

46] Chinese construction boom in Cambodian town raises fears of secret military pact

We are all interested in the devastating Australian fires but how about us also seriously thinking about the massive melting of harmful permafrost in Canada and Russia too?

I hope that you do not mind me sharing this issue with you at this time. Even if you disagree with my position I think that we all should at least be seriously thinking and talking about it and certainly not play politics with the subject.

If you read the literature carefully you will find that this melting permafrost in Canada [also including Russia and elsewhere] is far more likely to adversely impact on the planet than widespread forest fires in various nations as has been happening in recent times. With global warming both disasters go hand in hand! Also see my blog Omnicide who is responsible for the greatest of all crimes generally relating to this same subject.

I will leave it to the following story about this subject to talk for itself:

Quote:

‘It scares me’: Permafrost thaw in Canadian Arctic sign of global trend

…”It scares me,” said Kumari Karunaratne, a permafrost expert who works for the Northwest Territories Geological Survey. “This methane that’s being released is being released over huge areas across the north. And it’s continually seeping out.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. So, as climate change speeds up the permafrost melt, the permafrost melt will exacerbate climate change. By exactly how much, it’s impossible to say. Karunaratne won’t even try to guess, because measuring it is difficult and imprecise. The area where it’s happening is vast and much of it remains uninhabited and unexplored. But there are dramatic examples that show just how much methane is bubbling up from underground. Some lakes in the Arctic are so full of it, if you punch a hole in the ice you can light the escaping gas on fire. YouTube has videos of researchers and others doing it in Alaska and Siberia. But the same thing is happening in the Northwest Territories.

There are other problems, too.

Last summer in Siberia, the unusually intense summer heat melted the permafrost, exposing a reindeer carcass that had been embedded in it. That carcass was infected with anthrax, a deadly bacteria that had been locked in the ice. A 12-year-old boy died after being infected and at least eight others were sickened. It opens up the possibility that other dangers could be unleashed. Siberian researchers say a gravesite in one town contains bodies of people who died of smallpox in the 1890s. They were buried in the soil just above the permafrost, which is now melting. That’s raising fears that smallpox, which was eradicated globally in 1977, could make a comeback. A woman stands with reindeer in the Yamal-Nenets region of Siberia, Russia, where a 12-year-old boy died and 20 people were infected in 2016 after an anthrax outbreak. An unusually intense summer had melted the permafrost, exposing a reindeer carcass containing anthrax.

Sergey Netesov, chief of the virology laboratory at Novosibirsk State University, told the Siberian Times newspaper that there are thousands of graves in the region — some human, some cattle. The recent anthrax outbreak, he said, is “reason enough to finance research into the diagnostics and prevention of exceptionally dangerous infections.” Whether that happens or not, people in the Northwest Territories know they have no power to stop climate change. Global temperatures are already at record levels and the polar regions are feeling the effects more dramatically than anywhere else. “There are really remarkable changes that are happening in a short amount of time,” said Karunaratne.
And there’s likely more to come.”…”

The link to this story

Also see the story that respected Skeptic allowed to be published in it magazine in 2008 entitled How We Know Global Warming is Real. The Science Behind Human-induced Climate Change”

(In this instance I do not see that the  age of this document is relevant)

Important update from The Diplomat August 1st 2020

…as well as this BBC Science article and this one too.

…as well as this one too

Omnicide as it might relate to the 2020 Australian bush fire devastation

I hope that you do not mind me sharing this environmental issue with you at this time. Even if you disagree with my position I think that we all should at least be seriously thinking and talking about it and certainly not play politics with the subject.

This is a blog about bush fires devastating Australia at the present time. Below is a quotation relating to this subject.  It was written by Professor Danielle Celermajer, who is Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney It is she who has contributed the word omnicide to the debate.

As part of the introduction to her presentation (accompanying a picture of forest devastation in the ABC article) the Professor says…

Quote:

All of us have conspired to create the conditions in which this mass killing of humans, animals, trees, insects, fungi, ecosystems, forests, rivers — this ‘omnicide’ — became inevitable…”

I am posting this blog as bush fires ravage many parts of our continent. Australians have mostly never witnessed nor experienced anything like this catastrophic behaviour from nature before.

Is this gross destruction and devastation of living things and property the new norm for Australians? Is this type and scale of fire destruction the new norm for all life forms on the planet?

It was as far back as 1986 that I first read about the potential climate change dangers to the earth if we did not do something about it very soon. I read this in a fringe journal or perhaps in NEXUS magazine. I certainly did not read about it in the mainstream media as then.

Over the years most of us (yes, I am guilty of this too) have elected to turn a blind eye to what global scientists have been consistently warning us might be the adverse consequences to the planet if we did not get off our butts and do something about reducing toxic air borne pollutants from factories, farms, mining activities and the like. These scientists also informed us about what the massive scale and ferocity of such fires might be. Floods, tornadoes and similar nature driven dangers came into their focus at the same time as well.

Have we all forgotten that there is such a things as a moral and social justice based ‘Precautionary Principle’ ? As a matter of convenience I quote the formal European Government policy that I feel ‘quietly’ (without us all specifically knowing about it or referring to it because I believe that it is an every day ‘moral’ issue applicable to all of us anyway) underpins our collective responsibility to take care of each other.

I am of the opinion that from a social and political perspective we should all now be taking a hard look at what these two words may mean with respect to the dangers these fires are now posing for all Australians and their living environment, now and in the future.

The European Environmental Precautionary Principle does not say that we should all suddenly drop all else and begin shutting down polluting factories, wider industry, farm activities and like. What this principle is telling us is that we should all be aware of this potential risk to the wider environment as well as ourselves and then openly and publicly talk about it. This is all without reservation of any kind. This conversation should evolve under its own weight and public opinion as did the asbestos, cigarette, ozone layer and acid rain debate that has occurred in earlier years.

The only difference today with such earlier cultural dilemmas is that it should proceed without any significant delay whatsoever!

In this blog I am calling for all Australians to keep the Uncertainty Principle firmly in mind (as it might also relate to the environment as cited further below) as it proceeds with the debate and for it also to be amongst the foremost placards leading public protests with respect to the climate change issue.

Unfortunately I am not capable of writing such an eloquent and well informed piece of work on this subject as Danielle Celermaher has in the quotation that I present to my readers below. I subscribe to Professor Celermaher’s general line of thinking (not necessarily her hard line ‘lefty’ political reasoning and style of written presentation) and I hope that you may consider doing so as well. This is behind the placard of the Environmental Uncertainty Principle as well as the general definition of the Precautionary Principle that I have linked on your behalf above ( have cited this link merely to provide an example of what I am calling for… not necessarily this specific organisation).

Quote:

… As the full extent of the devastation of the Holocaust became apparent, a Polish Jew whose entire family had been killed, Raphael Lemkin, came to realise that there was no word for the distinctive crime that had been committed: the murder of a people. His life work became finding a word to name the crime and then convincing the world to use it and condemn it: genocide. Today, not only has genocide become a dreadful part of our lexicon. We recognise it as perhaps the gravest of all crimes.

During these first days of the third decade of the twenty-first century, as we watch humans, animals, trees, insects, fungi, ecosystems, forests, rivers (and on and on) being killed, we find ourselves without a word to name what is happening. True, in recent years, environmentalists have coined the term ecocide, the killing of ecosystems — but this is something more. This is the killing of everything. Omnicide.

Some will object, no doubt, that this does not count as a “cide” — a murder or killing — but is rather a natural phenomenon, albeit an unspeakably regrettable one. Where is the murderous intent? Difficult to locate, admittedly, but a new crime also requires a new understanding of culpability. Indeed, one of the most serious problems with the laws against genocide is that they were written in a way that requires that the specific intent to destroy a people can be shown to have existed. Even where it did exist, such intent most often remains hidden in people’s dark hearts.

This time, though, we need to go much further. We need to understand that the responsibility for omnicide is various and layered. The role that those responsible play this time is almost always less direct, but its effect no less devastating. We are unlikely to identify anyone actively scheming the death of the five-hundred million wild animals which we believe to have died in the first month of this summer’s Australian bushfires.

We can, however, identify the political representatives who refused to meet with fire chiefs who had been seeking to warn of, and act to mitigate, the impending disaster. The same political representatives who approved and continue to approve new coalmines in the face of scientific consensus on the effect that continuing to burn fossil fuels will have on climate in general, and drought and temperatures in particular. The same political representatives who approve water being diverted to support resource extraction, when living beings are dying for want of water and drying to the point of conflagration.

We can identify the media owners who sponsor mass denial of the scientific evidence of the effects of a fossil fuel addicted economy on the climate. The same media owners who deploy the tools of mass manipulation to stoke fear, seed confusion, breed ignorance and create and then fuel hostile divisions within communities.

We can identify the financial institutions that continue to invest in, and thereby prop up toxic industries, and who support the above mentioned media owners so as to protect themselves from accumulating stranded assets. We can identify the investors who use their financial and social capital to support politicians who will protect their financial interests. We can identify a corporate culture and a legal system, populated by lawyers, management consultants and financial analysts, that incentivise or even require companies to maximise short term shareholder profit and externalise costs to the future and the planet.

And then we can identify parties closer to home. Business owners and investors whose profits depend on systems of extraction and resource exploitation. Consumers addicted to lifestyles based on resource extraction and the exploitation of the natural world. Citizens who prioritise narrow short-term interests over the sustainability of the planet. Citizens who lack the courage or fortitude to take ourselves through the social and economic transformations required to give our children and the more-than-human-world a future. Citizens who do not bother to take the time or make the effort to develop well-informed opinions, but would rather run to the comfort of the truisms of their tribe.

We can also identify the humans and human cultures that have told ourselves that we are superior to, and thus have the right to dominate and exploit, other animals and the natural world. That we are the ones who get to flourish, and that everything else that is here, is here for our use. That other beings are not life but resource.

None on this long list developed a specific intent to kill everything. But all of us have created and are creating the conditions in which omnicide is inevitable.

When I was growing up, my parents used to play a Bob Dylan song called “Who Killed Davey Moore?” about a boxer who died in the ring when he was just 30 years old. Each verse begins with some party — the coach, the crowd, the manager, the gambling man, the boxing writer, the other fighter — answering the title’s question, “Who killed Davey Moore?” They each respond, “Not I …” and then explain that they were just doing what it is that they do: going to the fight, writing about the fight, throwing the punches and so on. And of course, they each told the truth.

We too are just doing what it is that we do: ensuring that the largest political donors support our political campaigns; maximising profits; ensuring a high share price; living a comfortable life style; avoiding change; lazily buying back in to the conceit that we humans are special. But sometimes, just doing what it is that we do is sufficient to kill, not just Davey Moore, but everything.

Omnicide, the gravest of all crimes. And as with all crimes, those responsible must be held accountable”

Also see this important complimentary blog.

If you can identify with the contents of this blog this Avazz link might be of interest to you as well. Also see this Skeptic Magazine article from 2008 (In this instance I do not see that its age as being relevant)

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