Trump's Climate Policies May Work Out in the Planet's Favor

Trump's Climate Policies May Work Out in the Planet's Favor

At least according to the New York Times:

The basic idea is that natural gas production might increase, and thus reduce the use of coal and oil, with the end result of generating less CO2. Quoting from the article:

"...real progress on reducing carbon in the atmosphere has been driven so far by specific domestic energy, industrial and innovation policies, not emissions targets and timetables or international agreements intended to legally constrain national emissions.”

Here's an interesting little factoid: the original title of this article was:

"Trump's Climate Policies May Work Out in the Planet's Favor"

Someone at the NYT apparently decided that made Trump look too good. Now the headline reads:

"Earth Isn't Doomed Yet: The Climate Could Survive Trump Policies". (you can still see the original title in the URL)

Gotta love the way the NYT sticks to the narrative. And you wonder why so many of us wingnuts distrust the MSM.

carlk | 29/11/2016

Give it up. Natural gas has pretty much killed coal already with or without Trump. He's the only leader in the world still says he wants to bring back coal miner's job. No matter which way he goes natural gas is not that innocent either. The only small consolation is he can only influence a small fraction of world's economy and he won't be there too long to create enduring damages. Bad news nonetheless.

SCCRENDO | 29/11/2016

Now that we are all returning to reality thought leaders are suggesting a rational approach. Trump will do what he is going to do. There are over 200 countries in the world who signed the Paris accords and they will move forward. The only hinderance may be those that were promised money by the US to help them. Trump and his Republican cronies can pull that. States like California need to double down on their climate change efforts and set more stringent standards than the Federal ones. In Jerry Brown I believe we have a good leader. At a personal level we need to do as much as we can. Move to EVs as most of us have done, encourage others, move to solar, promote climate change discussion, change to LED lights and solar lights, switch to energy saving appliance etc. Public pressure will win in the end.

lilbean | 29/11/2016

Can someone please help me understand why Obama is not doing anything about the atrocities at the pipeline? I can't find an answer. Thank you. Peace.

SCCRENDO | 29/11/2016

@lilbean. Good point and although I am a strong Obama supporter I do not believe it is his finest moment.

codyb12889 | 29/11/2016

Natural Gas is okay as renewable energy grows.

Natural Gas is good for filling in the gaps in large cities where renewable being able to sustain them is still very far away from being able to fill their consumption.

Natural Gas as a singular policy is a band aid. Swapping out one addiction for another does not help anyone.

P.S. The "MSM" only cares about ratings and view counts. When you scream they are terrible and tell everyone to go look you are only supporting their narrative. The Times stick to talking down on the president-elect because by his own hand they have become one of the first places that people who are against him go. Why would they go directly against their base at this point and lose money?

grega | 29/11/2016

Natural gas can ramp up or down quite well right? If so then I assume it's mainly coal stations that provide excess overnight, giving very cheap off peak power, and as they close down some of that will disappear and the cheapest power will be during the middle of the day.

Meaning we'll transition towards
1) Wind providing a base load (+ gas)
2) solar adding in the daylight (+ gas)
3) hydro & natural gas being used for peak evenings (and when #1 or #2 are low), and
4) batteries handling short term fluctuations (and increasingly #3 by load shifting renewables)

Is that right?

SCCRENDO | 29/11/2016

This article would tend to refute the speculation about Jerry Brown in the link posted

dave.m.mcdonough | 30/11/2016

Bring back telephone switchboard operators! Thousands have lost jobs.
Er I mean coal. Yep that was it..

RedShift | 30/11/2016

Just get our fatass Americans to pedal on exercise bikes for 8$ an hour. Hook up generators to those bikes and generate cheap electricity. :-)

SCCRENDO | 30/11/2016

@Redshift. LOL

brando | 30/11/2016

Why Solar PV Power Plants Will Fundamentally Change the Way We Power the Planet

Clean Disruption: Why Current Energy and Transportation Systems Will Be Obsolete by 2030

Remnant | 01/12/2016

@dave.m.mcdonough (November 30, 2016)

<< Bring back telephone switchboard operators! Thousands have lost jobs. >>

Both science fiction and common sense illustrate our awareness that old technologies must, eventually, yield to the new ones. But, as your uncle Horace was saying, "est modus in rebus", it matters how you do it. The Luddite fallacy calls for the condemnation and destruction of the new technology, while socialism calls on the government to speed up the process and bring about the change to come sooner, because both look just at the end points of the change.

The issue is that forcible change of capital and labor distribution (the government way) always leads to misallocations of both and truckloads of human suffering and capital waste as well (check your Economics 101). Conversely, the MARKET competition allows for a natural redistribution of technology, capital, and labor (including skills), which cannot be reproduced by the social engineers, who advocate for interventions (unless these are of the corrective kind), even though this takes a bit longer (measurable, not critical).

There you have it: advocating for change through the market does not signify advocating against change. People who are against Trump, based on the spurious argument that he fights our wished-for change to a carbon-free technology, are not fair. Trump's policies are not ideological, but practical, For very good reasons, he wants to allow for the free competition of the market to play out on its own.

SCCRENDO | 01/12/2016

@Remnant. Most of us would like the free market to play out. Certainly where we may differ is that we do believe government intervention is important at times. many of us believe that climate change is a critical issue and government intervention is necessary to promote the use of alternate fuels. However Republicans dont let the free market play out either. They support oil companies, traditional car companies and the fossil fuel industry. Donald Trump trying to reopen coal mines, running pipelines across national parks and drilling in national parks is not the free market playing out.

carlk | 01/12/2016

Free market AND government oversight are checks and balances that we absolutely need both. A true free market is everyone on his/her own and survival of the fittest for which the fittest usually is the one who can lie and cheat the best and most willing to harm others to make personal gains. No that's not what we want.

grega | 01/12/2016

The government has a role to play in ensuring short term interests aren't harming long term. It's obvious that there are long term issues and far reaching side effects that people have great trouble evaluating. Smoking, cancer, food quality, environmental issues etc.

If short term profit was all that mattered we'd be in big trouble. We can't allow free competition to just play short term games.

SCCRENDO | 01/12/2016

I have begun to realize the big philosophical difference between conservatives and liberals. I am now excluding the less well informed conservatives with limited logic who regurgitate from Foxnews and Breitbart. I think both conservatives and liberals believe in the free market. The conservatives particularly libertarians believe that if the free market is left to it's own devices it will do the right thing and everyone will be successful. They often miss the point that under conservative governments Companies are still granted government favors be it in the form of tax breaks or legislation that prevents review of business practices that may be harmful to the public. Liberals are all about public safety and well-being, preventing worker abuse and encouraging a living wage for all. As is well noted big companies cannot be trusted to do the right thing hence the need for legislation. As regards issues such as climate change it has always perplexed me how intelligent people can be climate change deniers. My opinion is that even if they understand it by denying it they stave off any legislation that would regulate company's polluting and environmentally unfriendly practices. They are even against EV subsidies because they come from tax money.

Remnant | 02/12/2016

@grega (December 1, 2016)

<< We can't allow free competition to just play short term games. >>

Of course not ... !

The short-term blindness applies to the impatient, who want to speed up the process of change by barging into it with inappropriate and wasteful interventions of the arrogant, holier-than-thee crowd of social engineers.

These narcissists cannot conceive of a natural process (the MARKET competition) being more optimal and more sparing of resources than their short-sighted and idiotic pontifications.

PrimeTime | 02/12/2016

Dramsey: Wasn't it you you said

It would be nice to think so, and is doubtless true for many. But our own country's experience with the growth of welfare and ancillary programs like AFDC seem to indicate otherwise.

Wasn't it you who did not reply when I pointed out that AFDC ended about twenty years ago?

carlk | 02/12/2016

I still can not fathom how absolute free market without government oversight works. Are we going to be able to sell any food we want without needing to label ingredients? Are we going to be able to sell financial products without having to disclose how much profit the seller will reap? Are we going to be able to sell cars with low mpg and thousands times pollutant long as people in the free market are willing to buy? Are we going to be able to advertise anything we want about a product even there is not a slightest truth in it? OK I'm a pretty smart and savvy person I wish this will come true one day. That will make me a very rich man.

codyb12889 | 02/12/2016


There is one word that describes the outcome of a free market with no government oversight. "MONOPOLY".

Cable companies and their soon to be growing monopoly is a perfect example of this. The US claims to be the most or one of the most developed countries in the world yet we rank roughly 17th in the world for average internet speed and only about 88% of the US population even has internet. Even Google has found it difficult and restrictively expensive just to fight to have a chance to deliver internet to people.

Good thing the president-elect has currently put the FCC transition in the hands of 3 people who strongly oppose net neutrality. This means we will get to see what happens when you take even more restrictions away from an existing monopoly. My guess is that Netflix, Google, Amazon, and others that deliver streaming content are gearing up to spend 10s of millions in court to attempt to stop cable companies from being able to throttle streaming speeds based on whether a person pays for cable along with their internet or not.

carlk | 02/12/2016


You're absolutely right. Monopoly is one of the biggest fallout of unchecked free market. Ironically instead of promoting economic progress it will just kill it other than creating wealth for a very few.

flight505 | 02/12/2016

Methane, the principal component of natural gas traps 100 times more heat in the atmosphere than C02 (measured over the first 5 years in the atmosphere).

In production and distribution, gas leakage estimates range from 2.4% to 3.2% worldwide.

SCCRENDO | 02/12/2016

It is absolutely true also if we cut our red meat consumption we could also make some contribution to decreasing greenhouse gases by decreasing methane but cows are not our biggest problem

RedShift | 02/12/2016


I've previously read somewhere between 1.5% and 2% for leakage. Regardless, is that enough to make a huge impact? I am in favor of renewables as much as you, but have previously argued that natural gas can be a bridge fuel until renewables scale. (Have also argued for newer, safer nuclear)

grega | 03/12/2016

The companies don't really report leakage.

And there leakage from well to refinery as well as refinery to home. Plus leakage due to fracking damage.

The 2-3% estimate was well-refinery I believe.

Just having a regulator control leakage with fines imposed would be a good start. I guess some countries have that?