As part of our crowdfunding campaign, AREVA had bought a presentation from me and Janne, and that was to be held today. It went well, and we had a lovely lunch there, met some Areva’s key people and they seemed to feel very happy about our presentation. With all the problems and bad blood with the French and Finland about Olkiluoto 3, we were certainly doing our part to havae a fresh, good start between the Finnish and French people in general. I would even go as far as to say that we kicked ass as far as any ”TeamFinland” effort is considered. At least considering that nobody is paying us anything for this.
But that’s just me being my modest self 😉
After that we hurried to the Gallery of solutions, where we had another presentation and a signing of our books (both English and French version). It is amazing how many interesting, fun and genuine people we got to meet here, and in general on the whole trip. All the way from US Department of Energy-people to independent Dutch ecomodernists to Australian environmental superheroes to French Molten salt reactor bloggers to ex-greenpeace, current advanced nuclear advocates. Simply amazing. And you can believe me that that is just a narrow description of all the people we met and talked with.
In the evening we had a small and lovely get-together and celebrated Ben’s birthday as well.
It was then that one of the (many) amazing bombs hit us. A couple days ago we had handed Jim Hnsen the copy of our book, the Climate Gamble. And now he sent Kirsty (from Energy for Humanity who was also at our get-together) and email, asking if she knew about this book, its authors, and if it would be possible to send some copies to his office and some 30 copies to China, where he was going to be attending a conference on advanced nuclear for the next two weeks or so.
Our quick assesment of the situation was that maybe Dr. Hansen had enjoyed our book. At least a bit.
Needless to say, this was simply amazing news.
Eric was leaving us today, and Ariane left already early in the morning, so we decided to make a final trip of singing and handing out books in the morning. We took the train to the conference centre, he sang in the train (to a Monday-morning audience which was not the most receptive one), and at the conference centre we handed out our bags full of books in no time, to a very receptive audience.
Eric joined us for the bus trip back to the train station, and decided to sing one last song for us in the bus, which was almost empty.
It has been a very strong and heartfelt experience with Eric and Ariane, as they have been so much help for us all the way. I feel privileged to have met such people, and to have such people offer their help to us with such enthusiasm and unconditional support is just amazing. It is something one gets to experience very rarely. As Eric started that song, which was a different one that he usually sang, and which he dedicated to us, I managed to keep my shit together for maybe three seconds.
Then the tears of gratitude, happiness and perhaps even longing, started rolling, uncontrolled, unstoppable, washing my face and forcing me to enjoy and just feel the feeling of relief, sadness, and ultimately, happiness that they released from all the stress and tiredness I had been feeling for the last days. Sadness for what was to be missed, happiness for what had already been accomplished. So much had happened in the last ten days or so. So much friendship and trust had been built in just a few days that it felt almost unnatural. At least for a Finn it did, and I dare to say many of us here in the north, living in the state of constant flux between darkness and light as the seasons go by, value such things above most other things.
When the song was over, I told Eric that he would be one of the few people ever to see a Finn cry and live to tell about it. But I’d say he had deserved it. Here is a recording of his performance, which does no justice to the live experience.
So after making a second run in the afternoon, distributing a total of over 500 books today, we, me and Janne, raise a toast to our new friends from across the world.
Eric, Ariane, here is one for you.
Have a safe trip home, and we hope very much to see you in the future. This whole journey of saving the planet, following the evidence, and experiencing the amazing thing we call life, with the people you love there to share it with you, is only beginning. Thank you.
Ahhh… A day off. Rest. Sleep. Sanity, slowly gathering around me again. I really, really needed this day.
Me, Janne, Eric and Ariane ended up touring Paris for the magnificient sights it had to offer us. We saw Notre-Dame, Louvre (or at least part of it, like Mona Lisa), The Petit Palace and the Grand Palace. Eiffel Tower, at least from a distance.
And a normal dinner at this nice restaurant. Well, let’s call it our Independence-day dinner, as it was the independence day of Finland. Go Finland! We also had the Finnish flag with us.
It was a wonderful, touristic day in Paris, with good friends for company, and a lot to see (and with actually some time to see it).
Eric had been doing his art for us for so many times, I decided I would show him what makes me tick. Capoeira. And while there was no point in doing capoeira there alone, I could always stand on my hands. In weird places. On one hand. Just for the sake of it.
God I had missed being upside down.
The lack of proper sleep and constant stress is starting to get to me. I woke up before six again (after maybe 4-5 hours of rest) and couldn’t sleep any more. I start to get this feeling the walls are coming down on me, and I’m finding totally new measures for how much I can miss my family. There is a constant feeling of losing the last shred of control of pretty much anything, and I feel constantly just seconds away from crying. It’s worst in the morning, but gets better as the day goes by. Anyway, I need to get my shit together and stop worrying about how many books we can give out and what we will do with the rest and so forth. We’ll work it out.
David and Derek came for one last interview in the morning before they were off to Senegal. Me and Janne chatted up what has been happening; the teargas, police, getting lost with the wrong address, meeting all these famous climate scientists and the whole project.
Apparently there is a new friend following us with a camera. Frankie is finishing up his documentary “The Good Reactor” and wanted to get some more material. After some coffee and planning, we started off to our next location.
It was this event hosted by the Island Nations. They are a group of small nations whose very existence is at stake, and for them, the current target of +2 C is just too much. That much warming will condemn their countries to a watery grave. So they are pushing for 1.5 degrees target, which would get them at least a chance. They simply do not have anything to lose, because with current target of +2 C they have already lost everything.
So we went there with lots of books, expecting a fresh air of discussion and new people to meet.
There was nobody there
There was an installation of pictures from the Island Nations. And nobody. No visitors, just the security guy and the info-booth, explaining to us that yes, this IS the event we are looking for. Even though there was nobody there, except us.
Why? Why was nobody there, why there was only a standing installation in the hallway. Why there was no debates, discussions and even demands. Then it hit me with a wave of almost sickening sadness. Nobody cared.
Next door, there were young girls doing a photoshoot, in the hopes of getting to be models. And in the hallway next to them, the hopes and futures of the Island Nations were being slowly ignored to death.
The Two Pathways
The ironies still keep popping to my mind. Modeling, of the many, many professions we have in our current society, could be described as something totally dependable on someone else providing the basic necessities in our lives – and then some. People can be professional models because we are so productive. And we are so productive, because we use so much external energy, with machines, chemicals, factories and advanced materials.
And that external energy is over 80 percent fossil fuels. And as we use fossil fuels, we are sinking the Island Nations.
We have two basic pathways if we even think about saving the islanders. Either we suddenly start producing and consuming much, much less energy, and make the “photo-models” of the world unemployed, with the possibility of a life in subsistence farming without modern health care, education, security, energy services and such. Or we clean up our energy production on a scale and speed unimaginable to most of us right now.
I know this is a radical simplification, but the basic premise is undeniable (which we will go into in much more depth in our upcoming book I am currently working on). Only high productivity on agriculture and industry enables those beloved things we call the service-industry or non-material economy to exist, and even grow their share of the economic pie. This premise is true in our current system of financial capitalism. And it is true in any other way we can organize our society.
After the sad episode in the Island Nations site we got into a train and headed to the Gallery. We found a good place to give out books in the shuttle-busses that brought people to the conference. They were mostly English speaking, they were interested in the subject, and last but not least, they had nowhere to run. Eric pulled his amazing performance for us several times, and everyone just loved it.
A glimmer of hope
In that bus, we ran into what can only be called a very bright glimmer of hope. We met with some young activists from a Scottish NGO called 2050 Scottish Youth Climate Group. We chatted a bit with them, and they were totally on the same track of thought we have. We have to use everything we have, and more, to solve this climate-crisis. It was so nice to meet young, smart people who have refused to dig themselves into these decades old positions on various environmental matters that the major environmental groups have prepared for them. And neither are they accepting the current dogma of forced economical growth at all costs and the growing gap between those who own it all and those who do not.
In the Gallery, we got to follow a great presentation from Ben Heard. That guy is so effortless, pleasant and no-nonsense while speaking it boggles my mind. Three points struck my eye on the presentation more than others, given that they seemed to be in such a big contradiction (we also touch them briefly in our book Climate Gamble).
Ben presented a slide of various future energy scenarios. WWF had by far the lowest estimate for our future energy use. While it is another discussion how they have come up with so low numbers, they still envision the equivalent of 250 million more hectares of land more or less devoted to energy crops. This is equivalent to the current amount of land we have for farming wheat (240 Mha), our biggest agricultural crop. These are the guys who should be – as The World Wide Fund for Nature – most worried about biodiversity loss, which results from humans increasing their direct use of our planets ecosystems for their own benefit.
The contradiction is so immense that it is actually hard to grasp. And as I have pointed this out to some WWF employees in the past, it seems most of them have no idea these kinds of policies are being suggested by their employer. Could someone there slap the left hand and tell it what the right hand was doing?
Anyway, Ben’s presentation was splendid, and it got even more so, as the bunch of us (me, Janne, Eric, Ariane, Robert, Ben, Tom, Frankie and Urs) went for a lovely dinner, chatting it away like the oldest of friends, even though many of us had just met a few days ago. It is hard to put words on how pleasant, encouraging and simply nice it all was.
Still not sleeping that much. The rest of the books, all 2,800 of them, arrived around midday, so we went to pick some of them at a friend’s garage. We got 800 of them in an Uber, and headed again for the Gallery of Solutions -area.
The plan was this. Since the Gallery was basically off-limits to us for giving out books (see previous day why), we planned to go to the public area of Climate Generations. Given that it is open to the public (while Gallery needs accreditation) we thought that we would have more success there – more people at least. So we left Janne with two boxes at the closest possible place (which was still quite far away) to walk there and check out the grounds.
Of course nothing worked out the way we planned. Janne went through the security, got his backpack and box scanned. The security got interested in the books – and again, since it says the words “anti-nuclear” in the cover, and since the security did not have their English-skills upgraded during the night, they were not very friendly. Janne got pulled aside, and had a very one-sided conversation with the police – mainly in French, so he did not get that much of it. In the end, he had to leave all the boxes there. So we, or at least our book, got banned from the public are as well.
The thing is, I thought we could get some hard times from anti-nuclear people here, as some of them do not want to have any relevant discussion on the subject. But that has so far not been the case. The atmosphere has been mainly positive, interested and open-minded. This has been great. Instead, it has been the (supposedly pro-nuclear) establishment; security, police, organizers, who have been blocking us and giving us problems. I smell a hint of irony here.
Basically this means that we will not be able to hand out nearly all the books. We have been blocked from two of the main venues we were planning to use. There is no way we can find enough other places in time, and we still have more than 3,000 books left. I know it was a long shot anyway, but now it is pretty certain we will have a lot of books left in the end. Well, we will figure something out.
I did get to hear James Hansen, Sir David King and others on a panel at the Gallery, and handed out books to most of the people in the audience. Eric and Ariane were chatting up with Tom Blees of The Science Council, and he apparently ended up recommending they should start a chapter of Energy4Humanity in the U.S. That should be exciting. The movement for clean energy for humanity is growing!
There was one last surprise for us. We went to eat at a place Urs Bolt had booked a table at (founder/director of the Switzerland chapter of Energy4Humanity). We ended up eating a seven meal dinner there – the first I have ever had, anywhere. It was not the cheapest meal I have had, but it was one of the best. So many new and interesting tastes that I did not know existed.
After a reasonable 7 hours of sleep, it was time to start what would likely be a very busy and long day. Early in the morning I got a notice that the next 1,000 books were arriving at our friend Julie’s place in one hour. So we grabbed our stuff and headed there. All went well, and we got the books packed to another Uber, and decided to take all of them straight to the Le Galerie.
When we got there, a small disaster decided to enter my life once again. Due to an unfortunate typo, TNT had a wrong phone number for the friend that was supposed to receive the rest – 3,000 or so – Climate Gamble books. So she never got any calls. When she tried to call TNT to inform them of this, she got stuck with some computer problems at TNT France and could not get through. Of course.
Meanwhile I was standing in the middle of a huge parking lot, trying to message back and forth to Finland on my smartphone, so someone there could help us. I even tried to call TNT France, and got as far as an automatic response which I did not understand, and decided it was not a good idea to start randomly pressing numbers for the automated system. Oh well, TNT Finland has now apparently emailed TNT France the new phone number, so hopefully we will get them tomorrow.
Gallery of solutions
In we went, and after security checks got to the booth of Nuclear for Climate.
After unpacking we thought it would be a good idea to hand out our books to the visitors at the Gallery of Solutions (which was basically like any other trade fair). That went well, we were handing out a lot of books, and eventually James Hansen, Tom Wigley, Robert Stone and the rest got there as well.
I have to say it is a very nice feeling to be signing one’s own book for some of these people who have affected one’s thinking and perspectives so much. Something to feel very grateful.
We were soon following what was the most straightforward debates on nuclear and climate change that I have ever witnessed, handing out more books to the audience.
Clouds started gathering
Then another thing which started to look like a disaster entered the picture. Suddenly there was lots of security guys eyeballing us, and a guy the size of large wardrobe promptly told us to stop giving out our books to the visitors in the general area. Or they would presumably remove our behinds from the premises.
So what to do but carry our books back to the booth, and to lay low (read: go for a beer) for a while.
A couple of hours later, we heard what had actually happened.
Apparently, the people in charge of the security and the gallery of solutions had somewhat limited English skills (and a lot in their minds). Some of them had checked our book, and had seen that it says “Anti-Nuclear” in the cover. So they thought we were anti-nuclear activists from this or that well-known environmental NGO. After they had had a chat with the people at the Nuclear4Climate booth, and had seen the cover of the French translation, it had dawned to them that we were not anti-nuclear activists trying maybe to stir trouble (the security with various environmental NGO’s and people is very strict I hear). Oh well.
There is a slight problem here for us. I will try to explain why. For me and Janne, it is not OK to ban or throw out (peaceful) activists who are against the “establishment”, and yet allow similar activists who are NOT against the establishment to stay. And in France, where the nuclear companies are practically owned by the government, nuclear power represents the establishment. This kind of cherry-picking is to be expected, but we would like to think it should not be supported. Therefore we won’t be handing out any more books at the event.
There are other sides to this as well. Environmental organizations and anti-nuclear protesters have – with their own behaviour – burned a lot of bridges on this as well.
Lastly, my personal view on this is that anti-nuclear activists move the goal posts on the public discussion to suit their agenda as well.
Nuclear power companies owned by government? That’s bad, they say, government should not support nuclear.
Nuclear power companies owned by private utilities? That’s maybe even worse, just capitalists ripping the people off and leaving them with all the risks implied (never mind the toughest regulatory environment of practically any industry…).
Nuclear power plants owned by part government, part municipalities and their energy companies, part private businesses? This is the situation in Finland pretty much, and so the anti-nuclear people pick any of these to suit their needs. They often argue that they hope public and private money to invest in their own favourites, but would like to ban anyone from investing in something they dislike.
We still got our ID’s checked and written down by the police while we were helping an old man hold a banner of Citizens climate lobby (this sounds naïve, but we were really just helping him).
We also met Ben Heard, signed a book for him (of course) and even took a selfie. I am a big fan of his work. I will be speaking at a panel with him next week at the Galerie (I know: awesome).
Later that day, we gathered to hear James Hansen give a bit more private presentation on his upcoming research on ice sheets and sea level rise. The message was clear: we need to find a way to leave most fossil fuels in the ground. The new, improved model they had in their study showed that it will be possible we will see multi-meter sea-level rise this century (might be even during my assumed lifetime).
After the talk and Q&A, in which Janne made some good comments and got an ovation from the people there (here is a link to the video of that), we also got to hand James our book, dedicated to him of course.
As the clock closed in on 19:00, I realised I had had nothing to eat that day after a light breakfast. So we (Janne, David, Derek…) joined the others (Robert Stone, Tom Wigley, Kirsty Gogan and several other people) for a dinner. There was a screening of Robert’s documentary Pandora’s Promise going on, but we simply did not have time to get there. Or we might have, but then we would have had nothing to eat the whole day. We went for the debate that happened afterwards. You can read more about it on Janne’s blog.
After the debate, when people started to leave, there was a final surprise for the audience. Eric fired up his Bluetooth-orchestra and sand his climate change / thorium –aria for them, and got a cheering ovation. He is great. We, of course, handed our book to everyone there.
Any sensible person would have called it a day and go to sleep. But I guess sensible was not an adjective available for us at that time. So off we went for a beer (and ice cream) with the gang (Robert, Tom, Kirsty, Eric and few others). It was so much fun, and even at those hours, I managed to learn a lot, this time about fusion.
It was a hell of a day, of which I managed to catch just some highlights. In addition, we chatted up with people from American Nuclear Society, got our books displayed at the Blue Zone as well (where we do not have accreditation), met people from Terrestial Energy and the Department Of Energy, being very interested in our book… You get the picture.
I woke early, with my mind running circles, worrying if the rest of the books are going to get here on time (meaning on Friday 4th at the latest), because if they don’t get here until monday, we will be in a world of problems, trying to give 4,000 books out to people in like 4 days. Impossible, pretty much. There is only so much minutes in a day…
Anyway, morning arrived and off we went (with Janne, Eric, David and Derek with their cameras following) to a small seminar run by HealthyClimateProject.org. They seemed to have an excellent thing going, pretty much in line with what we write in our book: we need to keep our eye on the goal (a healthy climate in their case, and interestingly they do seem to include the possibility of geoengineering in the mix as well). We need to support all action to get to that goal. We shared a few dozen books there, made some nice contacts, got coffee.
After that we decided to go see Notre Dame and took the subway. Eric was singing his climate change / torium opera at every change, in the metro, the subway tunnels, the train, and me and Janne were handing our books to people who were listening (we did some smartphone-filming as well, see the video-links below). Eric has a really nice and powerful voice and a good eye for performance. I found myself constantly humming the melody of his chosen piece for the rest of the evening.
I also got a very relieving message from Finland on the way; the rest 4,000 or so copies of our book had been sent out, with tracking codes, and they will likely get here by Thursday 3rd. Excellent. My brain would have to come up with some other excuse to bug me with at 6 o’clock in the morning…
After Notre Dame, we dropped some books at Shakespeare and Company’s bookstore, which might just be one of the most famous single bookstores in the world. We made our case (thanks Janne for that), and they were glad to take a score or so of our books and give them to their customers as part of our campaign. They even asked us to get back there in a few days with a refill. We might just do that.
But we do have some other stuff on our mind for the next couple of days. So stay tuned.
Here are two short clips I got from the train of Eric doing his amazing performance. I hope you enjoy, at least I did!
Tuesday 1st Dec. started with an email from our friend Julie, who told us that 13 boxes (1,000 copies) of books had just been dopped to her doorstep! Finally, we could get down to business! So off we went to get them.
But, as often is the case, all did not go according to plan. The address was at Rue Voltaire. I had googled it and marked it on my map beforehand (back in Finland). I got instructions for the public transit from google maps, and we hit the subway (eith Eric giving a small opera performance on the way). Half an hour later, we were standing where google maps told us where we needed to be. The thing was, there was no such address there.
Apparently, there are multiple Rue Voltaire’s in the wider Paris area. And we had the wrong one. My bad. Of course the guys with the cameras were there, mercilessly recording my failure…
Anyway, we got an Uber, and 50 minutes later were got to the actual place with the books. Another Uber (there were no taxis available nearby) with luckily a big trunk, and we were heading back to our place. That blew the midday for us, but at least the deed was done – we had the books. When we got to our place, Janne, my co-author, had arrived as well, so things were starting to pick up nicely.
During that first evening, we managed to give out 200+ books at Place2B, where a lot of activists and COP21 –visitors are staying. We had some nice discussions about the subject with people, and a handful of not so nice ones. That is understandable. If the book would not be controversial to some people, I dare to say there would not have been much point in writing it at all.
Later in the evening, there was a presentation and Q&A session with Naomi Klein. She had some good points that I agreed with, but when it came to solutions she was a disappointment. Not because she doesn’t like nuclear. It was because she had just 5 minutes ago repeatedly told the audience that we need to follow the best science on the climate change matter. And when it came to the solutions she recommended, she dug out one of the most fringe climat/energy scientists there is, Mark Jacobson, and gave him as an example of a scientist who we should be listening. The thing is, we should not cherry pick the scientist whose message rubs us in the best way and declare his science to be the right and correct one. I mean, we could perhaps also follow what mainstream science, the reports from IPCC for example, have to say about the matter.
We also got to hear a presentation live from James Hansen, perhaps the most famous climate scientist in the world. We hope to meet him later. The presentation was another wakeup-call. James kept it rather polite to the audience perhaps, and concentrated more on his carbon Fee And Divident -scheme instead of talking about nuclear as a solution (which he could have done as well).
To end the day in a awesome and positive note, we went out to eat to an amazing restaurant. I don’t have the words to describe it. Simply amazing.
I heard this morning that due to the French officials closing some incoming roads to Paris, it might be that the books won’t get here until Tuesday. Oh well, this is something I cannot do anything about, so I guess there is no sense to get stressed about it. The books will come when they come.
On a much more positive note, I met personally with Tom Wigley, who is a pretty famous climate scientist (<- that’s a classic Finnish understatement right there for those who did not get it). I would even go on to say one of the most famous ones there is. He has been researching the subject for 40 years or so.
Me and him and Eric had a really nice discussion about climate change, energy, nuclear power and plenty of other stuff. Turns out he became a supporter of nuclear power as one of climate solutions pretty much the same way I did; doing the math, seeing the evidence, and learning a bit more about nuclear power than we are normally fed through mass media and the anti-nuclear propaganda-machine.
Too bad I couldn’t hand him our book yet, but I got a picture of him checking out the one copy I had with me (I brought it from Finland, anticipating it could be needed). I will hopefully have the chance to sign a copy for him later this week with my co-author Janne, who is arriving on Tuesday.
Oh, and our aforementioned discussion was shot on video as well (by David and Derek). So I have proof, hah!
After that we all went for lunch. What a day. I’m constantly pinching myself to see if I’m awake or dreaming.
And it doesn’t end there. After that we went to check out the French translation of Climate Gamble that had a special printing of 1000 copies done just for COP21. I got a few copies with me, and talked with Isabelle who helped a lot with the French translation about the negotiations, nuclear as part of the solution to climate change and more (we got this on tape as well). It’s all pretty amazing really. Starting with a self-published pamphlet in Finnish like nine months ago, ending up getting published by EDP Sciences in French.
I hope the books will finally arrive tomorrow (Tuesday 1st Dec). At least the tracking id from TNT shows they should be getting near. Janne will certainly arrive tomorrow, and James Hansen will be having a panel discussion with none other than Naomi Klein, amongst some other celebrities. That should be interesting.
Our books had not arrived on Friday, so I had a free day on Sunday. It turned out to be one of the busiest and most exciting free Sundays I’ve had for years.
I decided to hook up with the people I knew here, meaning Eric, David and Derek. We went to see some of the climate marches that were supposed to happen, and to do some interviews with anti-nuclear people.
The morning was quite uneventful. Someone handed me a A4 paper saying don’t fund fossil fuels with a cool dinosaur (the nerd in me wanted to point out that oil and other fossil fuels don’t have that much of actual dinosaur in them, but I guess a picture of algae and plankton would not be that interesting).
We ended up taking a subway to this bigger climate event, with the possibility to shoot some more documentary footage and maybe do some interviews. It all started pretty normal, with lots of people in relatively good spirits.
After a while, things started to go south. The mood in the crowd started changing. Why would someone wear a mask into a peaceful climate march? Why were people shouting angry chants that had nothing to do with climate change? It turns out this really was no climate march after all – or at least not anymore. It was something that could perhaps be described as anti-capitalism, anti-establishment protest. And it was not going to be a non-violent one.
I don’t pretend to know who started doing what and provoking whom. After the terrible events just a few weeks back, any larger demonstrations were apparently banned from COP21. So the officials probably were not very happy about the march that took place. They certainly were not happy about it ending up being something totally different from a climate march.
The marchers proceeded by the plaza, singing and chanting. We took some pictures and shot some video. It seemed quite harmless, until after the marchers reached the other end of the road and were apparently stopped by the police. There was more chanting, and it started to sound a bit more aggressive.
Then I heard a few loud bangs, and a bit later some more, and I saw smoke spreading on the plaza. As I soon found out, the smoke was teargas, fired by the police to disperse the protesters who were apparently getting even more aggressive. And disperse they did, along with us “normal people”. In a couple of minutes, the gas had dispersed, and the protesters were at it again; throwing rocks and bottles and whatever they found towards the riot police. More bangs, more gas, more people running away, getting nowhere. More protesters throwing stuff at the police. More gas.
No way out
After a while of documenting the events unfolding, we decided it was time we left.
As we were planning our getaway, we were lucky to bump into a woman, Nardine, who was a reporter from Australia. She was having difficulties (along with everyone else) getting out from the public square. The riot police were not letting anyone out – at least not without some credentials proving that they were not part of the violent protesters. We had none.
But Nardine had credentials for the blue zone, given she was a real, accredited journalist and not just a bunch of independent people doing their thing like us. Being apparently intimidated and confused, she asked for our help. It remains a mystery why she came to us. Maybe we seemed like we knew what we were doing (not the greatest judgement from her there I would dare to say…).
So off we went to the riot police, asking to be let out. No luck. We moved to another street and another line of police, explaining we needed to get out. They were sceptic, but somehow we managed to make it seem like all five of us should go with Nardine, even though we did not have any such credentials. After some explaining and not-so-friendly finger-pointing, we got through.
Meanwhile in the plaza, things were heating up even more. But we were out, and thankful for it.
Day 0 – Preparing for Paris
Part 1 of my COP21 journal. I will write and post my experiences if and when I have time.
It’s getting more and more exciting as the flight to Paris gets closer. Everyone there seems to want yet another form filled because of increased security. Packing for two weeks is something I have not done in years, so I hope I got most of the essential stuff with me.
For those who don’t know, me and Janne M. Korhonen are going to Paris to distribute around 5000 Climate Gamble
books to other participants at the COP21 climate negotiations. The books were funded by our non-profit crowdfunding campaign.
The first 1000 books should get to Paris on Friday or by Monday. Because of the added security, it might well be Monday. Oh well, I guess I will find something to do for the weekend, it being Paris after all…
The not-so-good news just arrived. Janne, my co-author and co-activist, has to postpone his arrival by a few days due to personal reasons. I hope to see him arrive on Tuesday, 1st Dec, but anyway I will have to fly solo for a few days. Luckily there are some great people arriving (and living) in Paris who can keep me company.
The much better news is that we just got ourselves VIP-passes to La Galerie, where a lot of the interesting action is happening. Yay! Thanks for the people who made it happen (I will give you a free book when I get there! 😉 ).
Now I’m off to airport. See you in Paris.
Lyhyesti Suomeksi / Briefly in Finnish
Istun juuri bussissa kohti lentokenttää, matkalla Pariisin ilmastoneuvotteluihin jakamaan 5000 joukkorahoitettua Climate Gamble –kirjaa neuvotteluihin osallistuville. Jannelle (kanssakirjoittajani) tuli pieni este, joten hän saapunee Pariisiin vasta tiistaina – mutta onneksi paikan päällä on paljon tuttuja.
Saatiin myös hommattua VIP-passit La Galerieen, jossa tapahtuu paljon kaikenlaista ilmastokokoukseen liittyvää. Tämä oli hieno käänne, uskoisin että se on oiva paikka jakaa kirjoja ihmisille, jos vaan turvamiehet päästävät meidät sisään laatikoinemme.
Here is a press release on what me and my co-author have been up to lately. Very exciting 🙂
You can see the Finnish version at:
About five thousand free copies of Climate Gamble will be handed out to negotiators and activists gathering in Paris for the COP21 climate negotiations. The authors behind this independent book phenomenon on climate gamble and its solutions, Rauli Partanen and Janne M. Korhonen, collected funds for this unprecedented print run through non-profit crowdfunding campaign. The essential facts are as follows:
- The book lays out the scale of climate challenge, as understood by most recent scientific studies, and the scope of solutions proposed to mitigate the dangers. Through IPCC and other studies, the book shows that mitigation plans that rely on renewable energy and energy efficiency alone are highly unlikely to succeed in time: we now need all the options, including nuclear power.
- The book also shows how the global anti-nuclear movement has consistently twisted and misrepresented the facts and even resorted to fabricated statistics as it continues its 1980-era battle against nuclear energy…
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Ohessa tuoreessa Kanava-lehdessä (7/2015) julkaistu artikkelini öljyvarantojen kehitykseen ja eritoten niiden kirjanpitoon liittyvästä ongelmasta.
Maapallon öljyvaroista on annettu liian ruusuinen kuva
Uutta öljyä on löydetty viime vuosikymmeninä huomattavasti vähemmän kuin tilastoista voi päätellä.
Suomi kuluttaa ja jalostaa vientiin muualta tuotua öljyä miljardien eurojen arvosta joka vuosi. Niinpä globaalien öljyvarantojen ja tuotannon kehitys koskettaa meitäkin.
Tuoreessa BP:n Maailman Tilastollisessa Energiakatsauksessa (2015) öljyn globaalit, todennetut varannot pienenivät ensi kertaa vuosikymmeniin. Edellisen kymmenen vuoden aikana (2004–2013) varannot olivat kasvaneet noin neljänneksellä – tai 2,5 prosenttia vuodessa – mutta viime vuonna varannot pienenivät 0,1 prosenttia.
Trendi ei yhdessä vuodessa muutu mihinkään, mutta varantokirjanpidon numeroiden taustalta on löydettävissä huomattavasti huolestuttavampia trendejä.
Tavanomaisen öljyn kohdalla varannot eivät ole kasvaneet enää vuosiin. Kokonaisvarantojen kasvu on tullut lisäämällä öljyvarantoihin erilaisia epätavanomaisen öljyn eriä, kuten Venezuelan erittäin raskas öljy (vuosina 2008–2010, yhteensä noin 200 miljardia barrelia) ja Kanadan öljyhiekka (vuonna 1999, noin 130 miljardia barrelia).
Sekä öljyhiekka että Venezuelan Orinocoalueen raskas öljy ovat öljylaatuja, joita ei pystytä tuottamaan tavanomaisin menetelmin tai hinnoin. Niiden tuotannon kasvattaminen vaatii vuosikymmenten isoja investointeja ja korkeita öljyn hintoja.
Viimeisen vuosikymmenen aikana varantoihin lisätty öljy tulee lähes kokonaan näistä eristä. Uusien öljylöydösten trendi on laskenut rajusti, mikä ei näy varantokirjanpitoa pintapuolisesti tarkasteltaessa.
Kun öljyvarantojen kirjanpitoa tarkastellaan lähemmin, käy ilmi että uusia öljylöytöjä on viime vuosina tehty paljon vähemmän kuin ensivaikutelma antaa ymmärtää. Tämä johtuu siitä miten vanhojen öljykenttien geologinen tuntemus, tuotantotapojen kehittyminen ja näiden myötä jo aiemmin löydetyistä öljykentistä lopulta tuotettavissa oleva öljyn määrä lasketaan varantokirjanpitoon.
Asia ei ole aivan yksinkertainen, mutta se on tärkeä. Tilastotieteilijät ja ekonomistit pohjaavat ennusteensa tulevan öljyntuotannon potentiaalista ja kehityksestä varantokirjanpitoon ja ennen kaikkea sen trendeihin.
Samat öljyvarat löydetään uudestaan ja uudestaan
Mistä sitten on kysymys? Asia aukeaa helpoiten yksinkertaistetulla esimerkillä.
Jos vuonna 1980 löydettiin öljykenttä, jossa tuolloin arvioitiin olevan 10 miljardia tynnyriä öljyvarantoja, ne kirjattiin löydetyksi vuonna 1980. Kun kenttä otetaan myöhemmin tuotantoon, tietämys sen rakenteesta ja laadusta paranee ja käyttöön otetaan parempia tuotantoteknologioita, tuotettavissa olevan öljyn kokonaismäärä yleensä kasvaa. Vuonna 2000 kyseisen kentän arvioitu varantojen kokonaismäärä voidaan nostaa vaikka 15 miljardiin tynnyriin.
Kysymys on siitä, löydettiinkö tuo +5 miljardia tynnyriä vuonna 1980, kun itse kenttä löydettiin, vai löydettiinkö se vuonna 2000 kun arvio kentän kokonaisvarannosta päivitettiin. Mikäli haluamme seurata uusien öljylöytöjen trendien kehittymistä, se löydettiin vuonna 1980, sillä kyseinen 5 miljardia tynnyriä ei ole uusi öljylöytö vaan vanhan kentän arvioudun öljyreservin päivitys. Lähes kaikki öljy-yhtiöt kuitenkin lisäävät kirjanpidossaan tämän öljyn vuonna 2000 tehtyihin löytöihin.
Öljyn määrä siis pysyy molemmissa tapauksissa samana. Ainoastaan se vaihtuu, milloin öljy on oikeasti löydetty. Tämä on yllättävän tärkeää. Kun siirrämme myöhemmin kirjatut kenttien varantojen lisäykset sille vuodelle, jona itse kenttä todellisuudessa löydettiin, öljylöytöjen trendi näyttää aivan erilaiselta verrattuna siihen, miltä se näyttää nyt (varantojen määrä on kasvanut viime vuotta lukuun ottamatta useita prosentteja joka vuosi). Tämä puolestaan vaikuttaa ratkaisevasti nyt tehtäviin tulevan öljyntuotannon ennusteisiin, jotka pohjautuvat lähes aina viime vuosien trendeihin.
Ennusteet arvioivat tulevan öljyntuotannon turhan optimistisesti
Miltä trendi sitten näyttää, mikäli ajoitamme (englanniksi ”backdating”) öljykenttien arvioiden päivitykset sille vuodelle, kun itse kenttä löydettiin? Ero on valtava varsinkin tavanomaisen öljyn kohdalla.
Tilastoista käy ilmi, että tavanomaisen öljyn varannot olivat huipussaan noin vuonna 1980. Kun öljykenttiin myöhemmin tehdyt varantopäivitykset lasketaan löytyneiksi silloin kun itse kenttä löytyi, olivat varannot vuonna 1980 liki kaksinkertaiset (noin 1150 miljardia tynnyriä) tuolloin arvioituihin (noin 650 miljardia tynnyriä) kokonaisvarantoihin nähden.
Tämän jälkeen varantotrendi on pääosin laskenut. 1980-luvun puolivälissä OPEC-maat taistelivat öljyntuotantokiintiöistään ja kasvattivat muutamassa vuodessa varantojaan 300 miljardilla tynnyrillä ilman mainittavia etsintöjä tai ilmoituksia uusista kentistä (näitä kutsutaan poliittisiksi tai spekulatiivisiksi varannoiksi). 2000-luvulla öljyvarantoihin lisättiin aiemmin mainitut erät erittäin raskasta öljyä ja öljyhiekkaa. Tuotannon hinnan, tuotannon lisäämisnopeuden ja lopputuotteesta yhteiskunnan käyttöön saatavan nettoenergian suhteen nämä ovat aivan erilaisia kuin tavanomainen öljy.
Mikäli spekulatiiviset OPEC-maiden ”öljylöydöt” ja erittäin raskas öljy jätetään pois kokonaisvarannoista, ne ovat nyt alle 1000 miljardia barrelia (verrattuna BP:n noin 1700 miljardiin tynnyriin). Kenties vielä olennaisempaa on huomioida uusien öljylöytöjen trendin raju muutos.
Olemme löytäneet uutta öljyä viime vuosikymmeninä huomattavasti vähemmän kuin nykyinen kirjanpito antaa ymmärtää. Tämän vääristyneen kirjanpidon perusteella syntyy aivan liian ruusuinen kuva tulevien tehtävät ennusteet arvioivat tulevien öljylöytöjen trendit aivan liian ruusuisiksi. Samalla ne todennäköisesti arvioivat myös tulevan öljyntuotannon turhan optimistisesti, sillä se perustuu pitkälti arvioihin öljylöydöistä, joita ei ole vielä tehty.
Trendi näyttää osoittavan, että niitä ei kenties ikinä löydetäkään.
Oheisessa videossa Breakthrough Instituutin johtaja Michael Schellenberger kertoo TEDx puheessaan miten ihmiset pelastavat luontoa. Puheessa on paljon uuden ympäristöliike Ekomodernismin ydinajatuksia. Tämä ei sinällään ole ihme, sillä Mike on yksi ekomodernismin ajatuksen synnyttäjistä ja käynnistäjistä maailmassa.
Ohessa kirjoittamaani matkakertomusta Lontoon reissulta, jossa tapasimme muita ekomodernisteja.
The Ecomodernist Society of Finland just made its first trip to visit the other Ecomodernists “out there” in the wider world. More precisely, Rauli (who is writing this from his perspective), Vice-chair of the board and Lauri, the foreign relations specialist of the board, flew to London to participate in a few Ecomodernist events there. The speakers at those events were some of the authors of the Ecomodernist Manifesto, like Michael Schellenberger, (the President of the Breakthrough Institute, BTI), Ted Nordhaus (chairman of the board of BTI), and Mark Lynas, a well-known environmental activist and author. A big thank you for both the crew at BTI for inviting us, and for Kirsty from Energy for Humanity for hosting me at her home.
What would they say?
It was all a little bit exciting. The thing is, we had had no prior contact, or at least not outside some twitter-traffic…
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Tämä teksti syntyi eräänlaiseksi vastineeksi Tuomas Vanhasen kirjoittamaan antoisaan artikkeliin jossa kerrottiin esimerkiksi siitä, miten liikenteen sähköistäminen vaikuttaisi sähkönkulutukseen, olettaen että biopolttonesteille ei riitä raaka-aineita.
Sähkömoottori on rajusti polttomoottoria tehokkaampi, joten jos autot siirtyisivät sähköön, sähkön kokonaiskulutus kasvaisi vain noin 8 TWh (~10 % nykyisestä sähkönkulutuksesta, noin Fennovoiman Hanhikivi-1 ydinvoimalan tulevan tuotannon verran).
Liikenne tuskin tulee kovin nopeasti siirtymään akuille, ja henkilöautot syövät polttonesteistä vain osan. Tässä vastineessa pohdin (raakasti kirjekuoren takakanteen asioita ja niiden kokoluokkia laskemalla) skenaariota, jossa Suomen koko polttonesteiden kulutus, karkeasti arvioin sen tähän 60 TWh / vuosi, korvattaisiin siten, että yksi kolmannes siitä siirtyisi sähköön, yksi kolmannes biopolttoaineisiin (bionesteet ja biokaasu) ja yksi kolmannes sähköstä syntetisoituihin polttonesteisiin/kaasuihin (Power-to-Gas[oline]).
Jos mietitään käyttökohteita, niin skenaariossa kenties reilu puolet tai kaksi kolmasosaa henkilöautoista olisi joko sähkö tai plugin-hybridejä, loput polttomoottorilla. Raskas liikenne sekä maatalous, metsä ja rakennuskoneet sekä muut nestepolttoaineet jäisivät pääosin polttomoottorille (nesteita tai kaasua).
Eli lähdettiin korvaamaan 60 TWh fossiilista öljyä (tämä on primäärienergiaa). Siihen kului 5 twh sähköä + 50 TWh biomassaa + 60 TWh sähköä P2G-muunnokseen.
En laskenut sähköille primäärienergiavastaavuutta koska en oleta että tätä tehdään polttamalla (jos tuo sähkö tehdään puusta niin sitten voidaan kertoa se vielä karkeasti kolmella eli yhteensä reilu 200 TWh biomassaa – noin kaksinkertaisesti Suomen nykyinen puun energiakäyttö), ja muunnosten hyötysuhteet ovat karkeita arvioita.
As you may know, me and Janne M. Korhonen wrote a book called Climate Gamble.
Now we are launching a crowd-funding campaign to put the book to the hands of every, or at least thousands of, delegate of the COP21 climate negotiations, held in Paris this December.
From what we have learned, there are some big gaps in the knowledge of the negotiators on several issues regarding mitigating climate change. These include:
- The science on the realities of the needed decarbonization efforts; several percent each year for decades to come in most western nations.
- The consensus on the best, and the most likely, speed with which we could build renewable energy production and increase efficiency, and if this can be matched with the needed rate of decarbonization with any likelyhood of success (it cannot).
- The IPCC’s conclusion on the carbon balances of various energy sources, namely the fact that nuclear is very low carbon, and that biomass is not necessarily low carbon.
- The consensus of various organizations, IPCC and IEA included, on the absolute necessity that we use all available tools – including nuclear energy, renewables, efficiency, conservation and carbon capture and storage – to mitigate climate change if we are to have any practical chance to avert catastrophic consequences.
And much, much more.
We are also very, very sad about the fact that several groups that call themselves environmentalists, are actively, even forcefully campaigning against the scientific consensus on the matter. They would like to see nuclear excluded from our toolbox of mitigating climate change. According to scientific consensus, this is a certain road to disaster.
We need all the tools. Help us spread this message. Participate in our campaign, spread infromation about it.