Probably the least reported climate story this year is the wonderful news that emissions of greenhouse gases did not rise in 2014, the first time that ever happened without an accompanying economic downturn. For the climate mainstream, good news is no news.
Instead, what we get is a steady diet of RCP 8.5, a set of inputs to climate models falsely labeled a ‘business as usual’ scenario. It isn’t a scenario, projection or prediction. They were told to generate inputs for climate models that topped out at 2100 with 8.5 watts per square meter forcing and that’s what they provided.
As far as business as usual, some say all that means is ‘no new policy’ on climate change. But the EPA has set new policy on emissions in the U.S. China has set new policy on emissions. Japan is restarting their nuclear power program. There is no ‘business as usual.’ What there is is governments taking action to forestall climate change.
As for business…
From the New York Times: “Nine major companies are expected on Wednesday to join a global coalition of firms intent on converting to renewable energy. The new members include Johnson & Johnson,Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Walmart andGoldman Sachs. A handful of the companies have already reached the 100 percent target; others do not expect to do so for several decades, but they are typically setting aggressive interim targets.
For example, Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest consumer-products company, said it would convert to 30 percent renewable energy by 2020, up from 7 percent today. The new target, a culmination of years of environmental efforts by the company, means that Bounty paper towels, Charmin toilet tissue, Tide detergent and many other goods commonly found in American pantries will increasingly be made with green energy.”
And as for the rest of us, “Shattering previous records, the United States residential solar market grew 76 percent over the first quarter of 2014, installing 437 megawatts of photovoltaics (PV) in the first three months of 2015. According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) Q1 U.S. Solar Market Insight report, released today, the U.S. installed 1.3 gigawatts of solar PV across all market segments.”‘
So while Konsensus activists continue to shout their lamentations from the rooftop, tear their hair and beat their chests, remember that business as usual is actually working.