2017-01-17. On Climate Change, Even States in Forefront Are Falling Short.

posted Jan 18, 2017, 1:39 PM by Alan Gould

By Eduardo Porter, The New York Times. For GSS Climate Change chapter 10 and Energy Use chapter 4. Excerpt: ...for all the pluck of the Golden State’s politicians, California is far from providing the leadership needed in the battle against climate change. Distracted by the competing objective of shuttering nuclear plants that still produce over a fifth of its zero-carbon power, the state risks failing the main environmental challenge of our time. ...even a state like New York still has work to do. An analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers argued that to ensure that the global temperature does not rise more than 3.6 degrees above its preindustrial average, which world leaders have agreed is the tolerable limit, the carbon intensity of the global economy must decline 6.3 percent per year between now and 2030. The United States must decarbonize at an annual rate of 4.3 percent under that timetable. But over the last decade and a half, only North Dakota and the District of Columbia have achieved this pace. New York is decarbonizing at about 3 percent per year, California at barely above 2 percent. ...Nuclear energy cannot compete with natural gas at current prices, of course. But its woes aren’t just about economics. Incorporating the climate costs imposed by fossil fuels would sharply increase the cost of gas generation. But rather than level the playing field, policy makers mostly squeeze nuclear generation further. There’s a reason for that: Alarmed by the prospect of nuclear meltdowns and the potential damage to ecosystems and human health, voters remain decidedly against nuclear reactors. Still, if combating climate change is an imperative, nuclear power and its risks must get a more careful assessment. Climate change will be hard to stop without it....  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/business/economy/climate-change-california-new-york.html