on December 24, 2014
There is a need to create revolutionary mitigation of carbon emissions, and this well-meaning report misses two strong areas: deforestation and nuclear power.
As it turns out, Germany is not actually decreasing carbon emissions. In Paul Younger's book, "Energy: All that Matters" he quotes carbon figures from the past three years: German carbon emissions are up, substantially, and the country is using more lignite coal.
Significantly, France has low per-capita emissions for a European country, in accordance with James Lovelock's vision of a low-carbon future, and REDD (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation), that is, saving rain forests is growing in actual positive results and global importance.
Why isn't nuclear energy and saving rain forests a top priority of this IPCC book? Wikipedia's listing below helps to explain why archaic and now obsolete thinking still holds sway (but may be changing with the impressive work cited in the film "Pandora's Promise" and "Burning Season"):
From Wikipedia's "Clean Development Mechanism" entry (Dec. 2014), related to the Kyoto Protocol:
"There were two main concerns about the CDM (Carbon Trust, 2009, pp. 14-15). One was over the additionality of emission reductions produced by the CDM (see the section on additionality). The other was whether it would allow rich, northern countries, and in particular, companies, to impose projects that were contrary to the development interests of host countries. To alleviate this concern, the CDM requires host countries to confirm that CDM projects contribute to their own sustainable development. International rules also prohibit credits for some kind of activities, notably from nuclear power and avoided deforestation."
In conclusion, to exclude the energy and safety track-record of France and use only renewables, and then to ignore the over-sized carbon emissions from Indonesia's forest and swamp peat burning -- essentially, to exclude nuclear energy and rain forest preservation -- is to provide not only a partial solution and one which cannot be scaled-up in the industrial temperate, colder, and cloudier regions of the world.
The IPCC Climate Change reports once every five years are the absolute definitive resource for understanding global warming and climate change. Anybody wishing to understand climate change in a neutral atmosphere (the reports are amazingly free of politics) can do no better than to read all three volumes of the latest IPCC climate change report. This third volume focuses on ways to prevent or reduce harmful climate change (mitigation of climate change).
Just four caveats:
1) It helps to have a solid understanding of basic science terms and principles before reading this;
2) The text can be a little dry at times (after all, it is a scientific report);
3) The report was a little out-of-date by the time it was printed, because our understanding of climate change impacts have increased greatly since the basic research was conducted that was synthesized and placed into this report; and
4) If you are new to reading about climate change, this should probably not be your introduction to the subject (see caveats 1 and 2 above). You can buy four or five terrific climate change books for the price of this one volume alone - for example, Hell and High Water by Joseph Romm, Heat by George Monbiot, Boiling Point by Ross Gelbspan, The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery, and With Speed and Violence by Fred Pearce.
Until the next IPCC report is released in 2013, this third volume on Mitigation of Climate Change is worthy of reading if you want to get to the basic science of climate change.