First, the nutters: it's the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. They've decided that use of natural gas must be phased out by 2035.
there is “categorically no role” for new gas production ... "Considering both carbon dioxide and methane emissions, an urgent programme to phase out existing natural gas and other fossil fuel use across the EU is an imperative of any scientifically informed and equity-based policies designed to deliver on the Paris agreement”They note with horror that:
Far from phasing out natural gas ventures, the EU appears to be accelerating them in a new “projects of common interest” list for gas infrastructure. After 77 gas projects were approved in the last PCI round, the latest slate could potentially approve more than 100 gas ventures for public funding and fast-tracked planning approval, according to analysis by Friends of the Earth Europe ... Antoine Simon, an FoEE spokesman said: “It is intolerable to see the European commission and its members giving support to an increasing number of gas projects that will lock us in to decades of fossil fuel addiction"Intolerable, eh? Well sorry, Antoine, but the rest of us want to stay warm in winter etc etc, so you are banging your head against a well-constructed brick wall there. If there's a real point, it is that methane leakage should be actively minimised - obviously (because it's a waste of energy!) - and it is certainly true that the gas networks particularly of eastern Europe and Russia (not to mention some states of the USA) still leave a huge amount to be desired in that regard. Incidentally, you can get EU and World Bank money for sorting this out, it's a well-known issue. So let's crack on.
Because much more enlightening is this scathing and long-overdue critique from the green-left itself - one Jonathan Franzen, who appears to have retained some brain cells.
The left, having excoriated the right for its intellectual dishonesty and turned climate denialism into a political rallying cry, was now in an impossible position. It had to keep insisting on the truth of climate science while persisting in the fiction that collective world action could stave off the worst of it: that universal acceptance of the facts, which really might have changed everything in 1995, could still change everything ... Denying the dark reality, pretending that the Paris accord could avert catastrophe, was understandable as a tactic to keep people motivated to reduce emissions; to keep hope alive. As a strategy, though, it did more harm than good. It ceded the ethical high ground, insulted the intelligence of unpersuaded voters (“Really? We still have 10 years?”), and precluded frank discussion of how the global community should prepare for drastic changesYes, some of them are slowly waking up to the consequences of refusing to discuss the necessary measures for adaptation to climate change (including, IMHO, geo-egineering) in favour atavistic anti-industrialism. This latter stance has done them no good because, of course (a) in the industrialised world we have grown quite fond of electricity & want to remain warm in winter etc etc; and (b) the rest of the world wants to join us as fast as it can. There's another piece on the unpicking of their lunacy here, embedded in some of the more traditional waffle if you can bear to wade through it.
Adaptation was long a dirty word at climate change conferences. Civil society groups feared that espousing, and devoting money to, the means of staving off the worst effects of warming – walls against sea level rises, dykes and floating houses, changes to agriculture to grow heat-adapted crops – would distract attention from the urgent business of reducing emissionsLet's see what COP23 brings. There's scope for plenty more nonsense yet.