The Times tells us that the planet can survive Trump but can we survive China?
On Trump, they note (following the model of blind squirrels and acorns) that US reductions in carbon emissions over the last few years have been driven primarily by frackers, not Obama-era initiatives. They also allude to the possibility that Trump might go nuclear, in a good way.
On China, they note that "peak coal" may not have occurred 2013, since coal output is rising again. Ooops.
A lack of stockpiles and worries about electricity blackouts are spurring Chinese officials to reverse curbs that once helped reduce coal production. Mines are reopening. Miners are being lured back with fatter paychecks.
Coal still produces almost three-quarters of China’s electricity, despite ambitious hydroelectric dam projects and the world’s largest program to install solar panels and build wind turbines. Coal use in China also produces more emissions than all the oil, coal and gas consumed in the United States.
“I get a kick out of people in the West who think China is decarbonizing, because I see no sign of it whatsoever,” said Brock Silvers, a Shanghai banker who has previously served on the boards of two Chinese coal companies.
Troubled by pollution and worries about rising sea levels, China moved in recent months to rein in coal. Coal production dropped 3 percent last year — a result of that effort, but also a sign of slowing economic growth as well as a gradual shift in the Chinese economy toward American-style consumer spending and away from exports and heavy manufacturing.
That prompted the International Energy Agency to offer an optimistic reassessment this autumn: Chinese coal use peaked in 2013 and would now decline.
China’s reversal now is prompting skepticism. “There is still a peak coming,” said Xizhou Zhou, the head of Asia and Pacific gas and power analysis at IHS Energy, a global consulting group. “It’s still going to increase.”
IHS Energy forecasts that Chinese coal demand will not peak until 2026.
Johannes Trüby, a senior coal and power analyst at the International Energy Agency, said that long-term trends in the Chinese economy meant that China’s coal use would decline over all. But with China stepping up production now, he said, “We cannot exclude the possibility of a transient spike in coal demand in the next couple years that might take demand above 2013.”
The Times is so rattled by this they forget to blame Trump.