Sale of extracted resources and manufactured products produce wealth. Renewable energy is manufactured so revenue comes from both streams.
Some reject climate action on the basis of cost to the existing economy.
The world’s wealthiest nations have built their fortunes based on either the sale of extracted resources or manufactured products.
Renewable energies require manufactured products to produce power from resources that are constantly replenished by Nature.
Economies of scale and technological change drive down the cost of renewable energy as production volumes increase whereas with extractive resources the situation is reversed.
The essence of global warming is the production and consumption of energy. The science of energy is thermodynamics. It is impossible to effectively address global warming within any framework other than the second law of thermodynamics.
About 93 percent of overall global warming goes into heating the oceans, mostly the upper 750 meters. Since heated water rises this creates thermal stratification, which is a necessity for creating work in a heat engine in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics.
Besides converting warming heat to work an ocean heat engine would move about 20 times more heat into the depths on account of the low thermodynamic efficiency of the process.
Since it is estimated the oceans have a capacity to produce at least as much energy as the world currently derives from fossil fuels, the conversion of 14 terrawatts of heat combined with the movement of 280 more terrawatts to the deep accounts for virtually all of the heat the oceans are currently accumulating.
As a Canadian I would like to see climate change addressed on a regional, North American, basis.
Both countries are currently heavily committed to extractive energies. The United States bills itself as the Saudi Arabia of coal and the Prime Minister has proclaimed Canada a clean energy superpower based principally on oil sands deposits in the province of Alberta.
Unfortunately however, as is apparent from the following graphic produced by the Carbon Brief, both countries will have to leave the majority of their reserves in the ground if the world is to keep to a 2C warming limit.
The United Nations Statistics Division figures for 2009 shows the United States remains the largest value-added manufacturer of goods with close to 21 percent of global output.
When the 2013 BP 2013 Statistical Review of Proven Fossil Fuel Reserves per the following table is overlain by the Carbon Brief figures it becomes clear North America is in a strong manufacturing position than in relation to its fossil fuel reserves. This continent would therefore be further ahead to focusing on our strength and this is especially when resource depletion is factored into the equation.