Renewable energy is becoming so cheap the US will meet Paris commitments even if Trump withdraws

Renewable energy is becoming so cheap the US will meet Paris commitments even if Trump withdraws

Even Texas is eagerly moving towards clean energy. It just makes too much sense.

Exactly. This is economics, not politics.

The US's place in the Paris agreement had nothing to do about reaching a CO2 emission reduction. We were set to reach that goal anyways because it's a cheaper source for us. The US and other big countries were supposed to dish out money to the smaller countries who couldn't afford the technology jump.

Ehh... not really. If public policy hadn't pushed so hard to get renewables off the ground, we definitely wouldn't have gotten this far. There was a lot of money sunk into R&D and a lot of it was actually public grant money.

Sure, if the fruit hangs low enough the free market will take it and run with it, but without those early investments in the technology the market wouldn't be doing shit to help us.

Yup, they're particular killer for wind. I saw a documentary about it, they've got their big open fields for farming and whatnot, might as well throw a bunch of wind turbines out there.

So then Trump was right, it doesn't matter.

Specifically it was to basically "pay back" for the damage we had caused while taking advantage of fossil fuels, whereas countries that were newer to industrialization were now being pushed to go green, and thus cost more money for them.

Basically, we exploited fossil fuels, they didn't, now everyone is going green but the west already got their advantage out of it.

Yea, they are kicking ass in Texas. But it's also 110 in the summer already.

They aren't looking to move to clean energy. They're looking for MORE energy. Need more energy to power those air conditioners after all.

Which is great, this way we aren't shoveling billions to corrupt third world nations to "help" them become green. There was no accountability for those billions and the worst polluters weren't asked to clean up for decades under the Paris Accord. America can still be a leader without being ripped off by big global agreements.

We do have quite a few. Oil rigs in one field, wind turbines in the next, cows in the other.

You're gonna have the rest of reddit falling over itself with that comment.

There was a post yesterday about how Brasil is allocating a new 800,000 acres for mining and logging, even though they signed the Paris accord. The whole agreement was just feelgood bullshit.

Air conditioners are at a point where people die of heatstroke during power outages, so yeah.

And people are not that keen on the cave dwellings either.

Social investments and risk, private profits! Hydro, nuclear, integrated chips, GPS, so on and so forth. But we're really strictly free market, right?!

You guys are like the Alberta of the USA!

well i dont like the guy but sometimes he's right. like when he called terrorists losers

Just to be clear: Reddit is upvoting a post espousing the merits of free market capitalism as an alternative to the subjugation of one's national sovereignty?

sheds tear

17 dimensional Uno!

Ah that makes sense, so pretty much a late carbon tax for the US?

Edit: according to /u/balornia Europe would be gaining money from the deal. Is this what Trump meant when he said the deal was unfair to us in particular?

Imagine a "Dallas" reboot called "Edmonton". All the intrigue, plus hockey and wheat!

It was not about us switching to clean energy, it was about you and me paying for other countries to switch.

heck, throw in the Internet while you're at it.

The whole agreement was just feelgood bullshit.

Turkey straight up admitted that they only agreed to be in the Paris Accord because of the free money. Now that the U.S. is not going to be helping out with the bill, Turkey said that it does not expect the Paris Accord to be ratified.

Reuter's story about this

I think Balornia was exaggerating a bit. Europe was going to be putting in money themselves. He basically claimed that some organizations are getting, and then loaning out, the money, and somehow that means it all goes to Europe (it doesn't).

I mean, who the hell would sign onto it if it was just going to Europe? Nobody except for Europe, but almost every country signed on.

Trump called it unfair because, to him, any deal is unfair unless the US comes out on top. I wouldn't really put any worth into his words when he's calling something bad or unfair.

Coal being out competed by market forces and not by punitive regulation is something pretty much any Republican or libertarian would be for at least philosophically.

If by "polar bears" you actually mean "uneducated fat chicks, well you will not be disappointed!

Yep. There was a map on /sub/mapporn recently that showed which states have had the biggest population changes over time. Pretty much all the hottest states have boomed since A/C became widespread and affordable. Air conditioning has made otherwise miserable places livable. But at incredible energy costs.

Seems like a win-win to me, we meet the emissions targets, and don't have to pledge billions of dollars each year to distribute wealth to developing nations (China, really?!) Sounds exactly like what Trump wanted.

Nah, its political economics. By remaining in the paris agreement they would have a voice, possibly the stongest voice, in following years to push certain standards, coordination, and agreements which would improve the position of their companies. There is no reason to not believe that the paris agreement is the soft sell/ buy in for more signficant negotiations and agreements later on. Being in the room is always better. The US has been using their soft power for more than half a century though international agreements, institutions to benefit their economy and corporations - coming to effect market rules not only between countries but within them as well. It is one of the most critical factors for US economic supremacy. The true reality of international economics is not only about market forces, but also about creating oppurtunities by steering negotiation to your meet your near-term and long term goals - which depends heavily on your political leaders. This is a negative for the US even if renewables will be cheap and crowd out other energy sources.

There was a study posted that stated the density of ac units in Tokyo raised the night time temperature by 2-3 degrees on average. Just an FYI.

Edit: because people keep asking:

is it really free market capitalism when the renewables sector has received shit tons of government money for research and subsidies? i mean yeah it's great that the technology has come this far but don't suck capitalism's dick too much

You mean the heat emitted as waste from the AC raised the outdoor temperature by 2-3 degrees? That's crazy!

Yeah - I'll give him that one. "Monsters" are scary, and calling them that would imply that we, as people, are afraid of them. Calling them losers was actually kind of great, and hilarious. The only thing that could have been better would have been if he had called them "assholes".

No, coal isn't coming back.

It's so funny to see this turnaround as education spreads. In the week after the Paris Accords bonanza went down, you'd have been downvoted to shit for this comment.

Don't get me wrong though, I'm happy.

No, there is a massive difference.

The US and western countries were supposed to give $100 billion to Deustche Bank and UBS via the UN Green Climate Fund who would LOAN the money to third world countries w/ interest.

Is it any wonder EU countries are upset we aren't giving them free money to loan out?

I thought I was living in the Twilight zone seeing supposedly rational people claim that America not signing a completely unenforceable international "pinky swear" meant it was the end of the fucken world.

Isn't this good? Meet the commitments while not getting ripped off in sending cash to India and China? So bravo to Trump?

It's unbelievable how anyone can think Trump pulling out was a bad move for the US.

Huh? Most climate progress is made by individual countries, not by treaty. We didn't sign on to Kyoto, either.

Wasnt this part of the justification for pulling out? Or did everybody miss that in the Elon Musk and anti-trump circlejerk?

So, you are saying that the US is going to meet the commitments without needing to be a part of a treaty where we give billions of dollars to countries like Turkey, and they don't actually have any oversight if they use it on clean energy or not?

So Trump pulling out turns out to be good for American taxpayers then?

It was one big extortion racket.

89D Hungry Hungry Hippos

How is this the only comment I've seen that actually understands Trump's issue with the Paris Agreement

I wish the internet wasn't a commodity. But then I remember I live in the US where just until 3 months ago i was on a bridge that was overdue for replacing 15 years ago.

But everyone will still hate Trump for backing out of it ....

Down voted to the bottom.

Reddit was against the Paris Agreement when Obama was going for it.

Reddit started praising it and the TPP after November.

It's extremely obvious that this is what it's about.

That's where the "omg i love [x] now" meme comes from.

I don't care much about her reading level but unless she goes by "ursus maritimus", weighs 500kg, and has an awesome white fur coat I'm not going to watch the show.

Which means that the accord and all of the money spent and national level red tape it represents was meaningless and there was no need to spend it or waste time on it.

They also were (and still are) subsidized like crazy. While their nuclear plants are not and are suffering for it.

Where the fuck were these comments when he pulled out of the deal?

I'm not sure you've noticed, but there may be a smidge of anti-Trump sentiment on Reddit.

Barely noticeable, but it's there.

For real. Lots of people claiming we were screwed and massive global warming was now unavoidable. It was just absurd.

If true, I imagine this is a good example of the truth being smothered by Trump hate.

Edit: many new comments now show it is likely /u/balorina's comment is a bit exaggerated. Even though this didn't turn out to be true, let's try to keep the Trump hate to a minimum.

Part of the reason wind took off in Texas is because there was no permitting process and no regulations. Not sure if that is the "free market" libertarians like to talk about or not.

This is not what CNN told me to think.

Living in Texas is less energy intensive than living in Michigan. Turns out heating your house to 65 degrees to combat 12 degree outdoor temps takes more energy than bringing it to 75 degrees to combat 100 degree outdoor temps.

Signed, a Michigander who currently lives in Texas.


the whole agreement was just a way to rob tax payers to fill the pockets of politicians and third world dictators.

Edit: and the bank that would have received the billions to loan out.

It's almost like heavily regulating dumb, toxic, harmful things; and not heavily regulating safe, beneficial, wholesome things, is good for the country. Whodathunkit?

Cult of outrage is real.

And polar bears! I'm not watching unless there are actual polar bears

Why can't they just run the extra energy back into the windmills to make them spin faster so then they can act like giant fans and cool the whole region?

Wait until you hear how much asphalt raises temperatures!

Yeah. Remember last year when prices went negative? You can't compete with that.

Basically the wind producers had to pay the electric delivery company to take the energy produced, it happened in the middle of the night when demand for electricity is at its lowest.

Yea I long for the day every parking lot in Arizona and every building roof is covered in solar panels.

Because as it stands basically none of them are, there's 0 covering for parking in Arizona and tons of empty space.

His reasoning was quite logical. Whether he believes in man made global warming or not, he said it was a bad deal for America, and we would remain or rejoin if other nations balanced the scales.

America would be paying in and other nations would reap the benefits. We are already matching or ahead in many, many places when it comes to energy. People got so wrapped up in the idea of the accord they didn't really bother to think about what it really means to us as a people, now.

Cheaper to produce, but you still got to pay to build and maintain the facilities. Those aren't cheap and are more expensive than coal. Not to mention the infrastructure needs to be built.

178D Cards Against Humanity

At the top when you would sort the comments by "controversial".

Driving from the DFW metroplex to Lubbock, you see what seems like near endless fields of wind turbines. It really is a neat thing to see.

10% year after year, starting now, until they reach zero carbon emissions by 2035

That is great, but unfortunately we're not out of the woods yet- we need to go way beyond the Paris Agreement if we are going to have a good chance of avoiding dangerous global warming. It is estimated that even with the pledges to cut emissions made at the Paris Agreement, we are still on track for nearly 3 to 3.5C of warming. This is a very dangerous scenario and treads uncomfortably close to 4C- a level of global warming which has been described by scientists as "beyond the limits of adaptation" and "incompatible with organized global society".

The last few years have seen a relative stabilization of reported industrial CO2 emissions, but it appears that the actual increase in concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has continued to accelerate- not good at all.

We need much stronger action to curb CO2, much faster, starting yesterday- something resembling a full on mobilization for war such as the country went through during WWII. Many people, including policy makers, are complacent- counting on future technology to remove 100s of gigatons of carbon from the atmosphere- such technology has never been demonstrated at close to the scale needed, and it is questionable whether it will be practical. If we discount this undeveloped future tech, we need to reduce our emissions to give the world a fair opportunity of avoiding dangerous global warming (+2 C). China, India and the developing world should have a bit longer to reach zero carbon emissions since they are still undergoing basic development. The more we miss this target by, the greater our chance of locking in catastrophic warming.

*Thanks for the gold, kind stranger!

The only thing you're not going to see from a Republican or Libertarian is an education program to help those coal miners find another job. But helping people in a hard-hit economy would be too close to socialism and that would be philosophically unpure.

I think we could just mine some ice from a comet and drop it in the ocean to solve global warming once and for all.

For sure. I actually read a really great thing about life before electricity in rural Texas. Life sounded absolutely brutal. Especially because most of the farm work had to be done during the hottest part of the year. And then the house would provide little relief.

Also, apparently before AC, people in Manhattan used to go sleep in the grass of Central Park on really hot nights. Henry Miller (I think) wrote a piece about it for The New Yorker. Just imagine thousands of families just sleeping out in the great fields of Central Park just to beat the heat.

They still get a shit ton of subsidies. Wind power in Texas (on top of forcing the grid to buy all available wind power) is subisidized at $23/MWh. The average wholesale price of power in Texas in 2016 was ~$24/MWh. They are literally subsidized the entire cost of electrciity. They could bid onto the market at NEGATIVE dollars (and often do) and still outprice all other energy sources.

And have you tried installing solar panels on your house? I have, quoted $35,000. But of course, after state and federal subsidies, it was only $10,000. That's a LOT of subsidies.

A couple years Ohio tried to massively increase the regulations for wind energy. By law the farthest point on the blade can't be within 550 feet of property lines or roads for safety concerns however Republicans from coal country tried to change it to 1,125 feet from property lines. A plot of land which used to be able to support 50 turbines would only be able to support 7 turbines thus making them uncompetitive. Fortunately this never went into effect but the GOP never seems to mind additional regulations if it's on renewables.


The money was to help other countries afford building green technologies. We need to help other countries go green because climate change doesn't give a fuck about discriminating nations. We all go down.

in Michigan we have a facility where they pump water uphill at night when energy demand is low, then let it flow downhill during the day through generators. granted, that may be a challenge in flat as hell Texas...

and capitalism wins again!


Assholes are still better than losers.

"You are an asshole to infidels" vs losers. With assholes, you can be seen as taking it up to the infidels.

Losers cannot be menacing, no matter how you twist it. You can be evil but with loser, it implies that you can fail at evil.

Interesting. So it's a good thing trump denied it?

This is what infuriates me. Being told it's not binding when I know damn well that the USA doesn't cheat on its international treaty commitments. The Arab countries cheat even on their self-interested oil production quotas.

Also people don't know that countries can pool their credits. Guess who is part of a regional organization? Almost every country on Earth. Guess who is going to give the Germans their extra carbon so they can make things? Poor eastern Europe. Guess who is going to give their extra carbon to China? Kenya, Tanzania, any country that has gotten huge infrastructure bribes from China. Everyone is better placed to operate within the deal than the USA, who already have solved the problem of growth with less consumption per capita of energy. People kept mentioning that all the countries of the world got together and agreed to this... it should make them more skeptical that Uruguay, Germany, Romania, Tanzania, China, and DPRK agreed to something. Guess what? It is either worthless or directed against one country that is the only way you get unanimity like that. And there is only one country dumb enough to throw away its national interest because it feels guilty.

This is misleading. Only 3.7% is in the form of loans with the rest being grants. These grants offer special extremely low rates to vulnerable countries with generous grace periods for that payment, should it be the type that needs to be related. Each is done on a case by case basis. I see an interest rate of .25%, that is insanely low.

There was too much hot air coming out of State Capital to make a difference.

Whatever Trump does will be seen as wrong by those folks. They hate him more than they love anything else.

Yes, but on top of Mt. Realtallpeak there is snow so global warming is fake news.

Reddit was against the Paris Agreement when Obama was going for it.

Can you link to an example? I don't remember reddit having a consensus on that one, and the search feature isn't helping.

Yeah, but if all the bridges collapse, people have no choice but to spend more time on the internet.

Because it's not. If developing nation create no environmental standard (think the USA in the 50's and 60's) coal and NG would be cheaper than green energies. The point of the funds is to ensure the transition will use clean energies instead of fossil fuels.

It has it's pros and cons. From a strictly "America First" policy, it's good because we no longer giving other countries money for free. From a climate change policy, it's not good, because the lack of these funds will encourage developing nations to use fossil fuels instead of clean energies.

The advances that the West made in the last few hundred years more than make up for it. It would be far more expensive for the developing countries to develop technologies from scratch the way we did and to progress through each painstaking stage of industrialization instead of taking huge shortcuts by taking advantage of the things we made and freely shared with them, computers, internet, cellphones, modern air and other transportation, medicine, television etc etc etc. Now the guys who developed the modern world have to "pay back" to the guys who went along for the ride?

It's mostly the decline of the incandescent lightbulb. Flatscreen TVs play thier part as well.

okay Ken M

Shouldn't we just put a big AC outside to keep the temperatures down? /s

But I thought renewables was so cheap right now? They can't make good environmental choices without billions of American dollars?

No shit, that's what we've been saying from the beginning of this mess. Now not only do we still meet the goals of the agreement, we don't fork over billions to counties who are increasing emissions.

That isn't how the Green Climate Fund works.

Just like promoting all the green energy initiatives that have made this outcome possible even when people like you said the same thing about that.

Nationalize that shit.

Let's ignore the decades of advocacy and government funded research and chalk this one up to the invisible hand!

Well, to play devil's advocate, if the world ends up experiencing catastrophic climate change because of $100 billion pricetag from a country that can afford it was deemed too steep, do you really gain anything by keeping that money?

There was no accountability for those billions

[Citation needed]

Happens literally all the time in west Texas. Wind farms get paid around $20/MW or +/- a few dollars by the tax credit. This is on energy you don't lose money until prices go to -$20/MW...been happening for years and years since farms started going in about a decade ago. It was much much worse when there were no transmission'd have days on end where prices in west texas were negative. But end customers still get charged $80-160/MW regardless of generator price...shit doesn't trickle down to the consumer.

Overall in the US electricity consumption peaked in 2008, per capita use peaked in 2000.

I would think that would be due to modern appliances and electronics using far less power than their older counterparts.

username checks out

you do realize that government funded initiatives are the reason renewable energy has spread so rapidly

note: initial funding kickstarted renewable energy industry and then capitalism is responsible for the rest, yes I know It would have happened anyways but for certain it would not experience the same amount of growth in a small amount of

All international aid is basically taking from poor people in rich countries to give to rich people in poor countries.

What do you mean "even Texas?" stop getting your news from Reddit and Twitter comments. Red states have absolutely no problem with renewable energy. Just because they want to do it with minimal bureaucracy, unnecessary risk, and vast corruption opportunities doesn't mean it's not moving forward.

it has a high front end investment. it's cheaper over time but you need the initial capital to get started.