Saturday, December 25, 2004

Global warming

Even if no one ever takes another plane ride again or never drives a car again (and there is zero chance of this being achieved) you are still up the river without a paddle. Partly as a result of the free rider effect and partly because "sustainability" is nobody burning ANY fossil fuels.

Almost every product you buy probably required fossil fuels to make it in some way.
So what can you do?

Sadly, I have not seen anyone else proposing a real workable solution except in as far as they bet that there will be a miraculous invention of free energy in the next few decades (dreamers).

The best they can do is suggest we reduce global warming from 3.6 deg /100 yrs to 3.5/100 years via kyoto OR some fairy strategy that obviously wont work regarding everybody just "deciding" that they wont fly planes anymore.

It is time for hard choices - are we willing to do what it takes to solve the problem or not. If not we better prepare for quite a bit of change - if so then there are some REAL hard choices to make choices that will be even harder for the left than the right.

3 Comments:

Blogger Greyshade said...

I agree global warming is a serious problem but I still believe we should focus on reducing current demand for fossil fuels. This will almost certainly require Carbon Taxes and increased energy prices but neither of these things are the end of the world. Kyoto is, at least, a start.

There are some grounds for optimisim with new alternative energy n the medium term. Wind energy is growing rapidly in NZ for instance even in the absence of carbon-taxing (or real natural gas prices). Potentially more importantly CO2 extraction and sequestration (see www.doe.fossil.energy.gov/programs/sequestration/geologic/) are also looking technically viable. Given a high enough Carbon tax these technologies will cut in within the next 20-100 years. The trick is to avoid irreparable damage before that.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Genius said...

My position is that if one honestly wants to stop global warming the kyoto system is a waste of time.

Even supporters of kyoto admit it makes almost no difference. similarly the reduction of fossil fuel usage by lest say america will ALSO make no diference.

I have no problem with carbon taxes for the same reason they are irrelevant. we will run out of oil ANYWAY and so we can have a price rise in oil now or in a few years - so? I dont really care about that. you are just rearanging the deck chairs. the only signfiicant effect is how you are taking a bit from the US and giving it to various developing countries.

> There are some grounds for optimisim with new alternative energy in the medium term.

your problem is far more fatal than you think.
1) Fossil fuel extraction will get cheeper - and it will do so probably FASTER than the wind power gets cheeper - it will also transport better.
2)Even if wind power was cheeper - countries wil sue wind power and then use fossil fuels. to a large extent your wind power will jsut raise the level of energy consumption as oppsoed to reducing oil consumption.

> Wind energy is growing rapidly in NZ for instance even in the absence of carbon-taxing (or real natural gas prices).

hope in vain.

> Potentially more importantly CO2 extraction and sequestration (see www.doe.fossil.energy.gov/programs/sequestration/geologic/) are also looking technically viable. Given a high enough Carbon tax these technologies will cut in within the next 20-100 years. The trick is to avoid irreparable damage before that.

kyoto protocol will avoid about 1/20 of that irrepairable damage (optimistically). you are never going to get anywhere near 1/2 with this system.

4:21 PM  
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11:28 PM  

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