I think the answer to you question is that many fossil fuel energy suppliers, coal-fire power generators, investors and governments of countries that are rich in fossil fuels like Australia, Canada and Saudi Arabia simply assume that there is no alternative to the current reality where fossil fuels provide the bulk of energy supply. Even though they publicly accept climate science, this lets them feel safe that the current free pass they are getting will go on forever even if climate change causes serious impacts and carbon capture and storage (CCS) remains unviable.
My own belief is that as increasingly dire impacts of climate change are felt, the response to climate change will increase dramatically. It won’t be a smooth, gradual increase but a rapid, jumpy one in response to crisis after crisis.
Large fossil fuel projects are likely to be left as stranded assets with the rapid shift in policy that will occur.
That obviously means investing in a large, long-term fossil fuel project like a big coal mine or tar sands is very risky.]]>
Why would investors sink their money into something so risky, so certain to be curtailed and penalized?]]>
Now, I like using moles because when CO2 is produced by combining O2 with C, the total number of moles in the atmosphere is unchanged (see the spooky plots in TAR and AR4 of decreasing atmospheric oxygen).
Total atmosphere ~ 1.8 x10^20 moles. So, 20 Gt of CO2 is 4.5 x10^14 moles = 2.5 ppm of total atmosphere, if it all stayed in the atmosphere. It doesn’t and my point is that the addition to the atmosphere is only part of the damage.]]>