May I ask for a heading every 6 to 10 paragraphs to articulate the text? I pay for this newsletter but I am busy. You don't have to take only my opinion, ask other people as well.

Since we don't have an executive summary to this flow of consciousness narrative, I would attempt one:

- Duck joke

- COP26 is global effort,

- JET-P about lower financing for south africa/indo

- Rockfeller and ODI review it, say it does not do anything

- JET-P is actually a trojan of G7 against China

- JET-P is not funded, and does not do anything

- it seems to be policy for the sake of policy, so it is just performative

- Duck joke

Did I miss something?

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Thanks for holding the West to account on climate change. As I think you once commented, Western liberalism is beset by hypocrisy.

And the Potemkin duck isn’t just found on sustainable development. Where are the people who pontificate about “responsibility to protect”? There is a genocide happening in full view. Why not declare a no fly zone” over Palestine? Where is the responsibility to protect? It seems the Potemkin duck has stopped quacking over the genocide happening in Gaza.

The question I have is this: why has the Munich Security Conference and all such other “security conferences” ignored the genocide? All the IR experts that pontificate about China should hang their head in shame. China is doing more to uphold international law than anything the IR advisers have managed to accomplish. Shame on you hypocrites.

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Yet another excellent example of the matrix. Unfortunate the impact of not realizing this will have on humanity.

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It is not a duck but a frog in a pot of water that is heating up.

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For a left wing scholar this analysis misses the benefits of a century and a half of critical analysis of the capitalist system. The reason none of this works is because it is antithetical to the capitalist system on which it is founded. The profit motive is missing. If we want to do something different you have to effectively tame and subvert capitalism, which all of these facile schemes spectacularly fail to do.

What will change things are state driven schemes to invest actual money in real schemes.

The rest is just a pony show for corporations and NGOs. It won't make a difference. Look at China's record. It blows everyone else out of the water, and not an NGO or JET-P in sight.

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Sad to see another detailed analysis which ignores basic principles of electricity supply that any half competent engineer knows. This is sadly what happens when economists read articles by advocate of the energy transition and ignore basic technical facts. You cannot replace firm generation capacity like coal, gas and nuclear with intermittent renewables like solar and wind. No country has done this in history. What solar and wind can do is allow you to run firm generation at low levels for a lot of the time. But there are long period when firm generation are essential.

South Africa needs fix firm generation to end load shedding. Adding solar and wind will simply make the problem worse. Solar plus batteries and diesel generator backup can help some people and businesses move off grid but the cost will be far beyond what ordinary South Africans can afford.

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JETP is supported on the technical side by the DOE Labs (and comparable in IPG countries). The roadblocks Professor Tooze describes are not technical. RECAI by EY, for example, ranks countries on competitiveness of their RE markets. Ideally programs like JETP (and GFANZ) provide funding and expertise to get its countries moving up the list. But Indonesia, for example, remains outside the 40 markets EY ranked late last year…dissappointment for JETP along the lines of Adam Tooze' comments. Arguably > JETP resources + capital = < coal. But it is a "show me" story for now.

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The rational approach in South Africa is to first fix existing coal plants (there is 18 GW of broken capacity) to end load shedding and restore economic growth. Then move to replace coal with gas and nuclear. Installing solar and wind can help reduce coal and gas consumption. Only nuclear or some yet-to-be developed storage technology (possibly hydrogen) can eliminate fossil fuels. The west needs to focus on getting nuclear power cheaper and developing the storage technology. Nuclear could be made far cheaper by valuing a life lost to radioactivity the same as a life lost to air pollution from burning fossil fuels and biofuels. Current regulations value them at least 100 times more. https://www.ft.com/content/e76cd8f6-f4bb-498f-bb22-8e692d1a6133

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The rational approach is to ignore molecular immunologist’s opinions about electricity supply and energy transition

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Sadly there is appalling ignorance about the risks of different forms of energy, which is manifest in completely bizarre regulations.

I am competent to comment on this as I lecture and do research on disease pathogenesis and risk.

The consensus view of the International Committee for Radiation Protection (IRCP) is that increased risk of mortality from radioactivity is 5.5% per 1000 milliSievert (mSv). The ‘safe’ level set by all international regulators for public exposure to radioactivity from nuclear reactors is 1 mSv/year. For nuclear waste it is 0.04 mSv/year above background.

This exposure would increase mortality by 0.00022-0.0055% (at 0.04-1 mSv/year).

For comparison, the increased risk of mortality from exposure to the most dangerous air pollution (PM2.5 particles) is 0.68% per 10 ug/m^3. (see https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1817364). The level of PM2.5 particles recommended by the latest (2021) WHO air quality guidelines is 5-15 ug/m^3.

So the recommended level of PM2.5 air pollution would increase mortality over 120-3000 times more than the recommended level of radioactivity exposure (0.68% versus 0.0055%-0.00022%).

It follows that our regulations value a life lost to radioactivity AT LEAST 100 times more than a life lost to air pollution.

There is simply no justification for this irrational policy.

It is why we have been building more coal fired power stations than nuclear power stations since the 1980's.

It is why we have serious climate change.

It is responsible for millions of avoidable deaths each year.

It is why we are trying to replace fossil fuels with intermittent sources of energy, making our electricity more expensive and increasing the risk of blackouts.

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Great piece. My Substack—posted idea motivated by spending a year advising ANL/DOE on JETP Indonesia…not perfect but there's gotta be a better way:


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Thank you for this piece! As someone who recently left the philanthropy sector and moved to the international labour movement, it is so frustrating to see the JETPs touted as a good practice when there are so many issues with them, including the lack of real worker and union involvement beyond tokenistic ‘stakeholder engagement’ - making any claims that they are ‘just’ moot. ‘JETs’ (whether through ‘partnerships’ or not) are sucking up almost all the funding and crucially overlook the fact that the transition should happen in all sectors, not just energy (eg agriculture, which will still make us hit 2.8 degrees if unreformed).

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Wonderful work, Adam—thank you!

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Great Duck analysis, with regards to Luhmann

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amazing post. the leviathan is also a hydra!!

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Great, so we have already wasted tens of trillions of dollars on Green energy policies without lowering global carbon emissions, so they have promised to waste $100 trillion more in the future.

What they should be doing is admit failure and pivot to a better policy:


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If you think so, please read the linked article and explain why in the comments.

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I read the article. My take is that you’re in favor of gas, nuclear and hydroelectric power, against coal, and sort of ignoring oil for now as a bad fuel that will slowly wind down but should not be addressed with regulation or subsidies. How about removing current oil subsidies? The statement “most types of wind and solar are very bad about destroying habitats and wild animals due to their large geographic footprint” is very generic and out of context. My house solar panels provide 60% of my electricity needs, could be upgraded to 100% eventually and in my view do not destroy habitats or wild animals. Your statement “for developing nations industrializing without coal and oil, I admit that there are no examples”. Maybe not 100%, but 70% of Brazil’s energy needs are provided by hydroelectric power. You are basically a climate denialist-lite, which will be the fallback position for the fossil fuel industry as the urgency of the energy transition becomes more apparent.

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Since you do not have the courage to reply in the comments in my article, I will answer you here

1) I am in favor of eliminating oil subsidies, along with pretty much every other energy subsidy.

2) Yes, my quote that starts "most types of" is accurate. Roof-top photovoltaic is a relatively small percentage of the total electricity produced by renewable sources.

3) Unless your house is not connected to the grid, it is dependent on some blend of coal, natural gas, nuclear, and hydro. Plus electricity for houses is a tiny portion of carbon emissions.

4) Your data from Brazil is not accurate. Energy is not the same as electricity. And my article specifically mentions that I favor hydro. Nor is Brazil exactly a dynamo of economic growth.

5) Regarding, "you are basically a climate-denialist-lite." LOL. The name-calling starts.

6) If you care about the climate so much, what is your plan for reducing coal-burning plants in Asia which is by far the worst threat to future global carbon emissions?

My guess is that you have none, so who is the "denier?"

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I am happy to discuss my article, but out of respect to Tooze, please add your comments to my article instead.

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