Sunday, February 25, 2007

Practical solutions for global warming

I have been emphasizing local actions regarding global warming, specifically in the building sector. It is not a new idea. David Cobb has a column in the current issue of the Eureka Times-Standard regarding Local ways to act on global warming. He defines the crux of the problem as ourselves.
Mark Twain once quipped, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it.” That's what many of us felt about the looming crisis that global climate change represents.
Cobb goes on to recommend that people adopt the Personal Global Warming Action Plan from the Redwood Alliance's Climate Actions Project. That is probably a good start.


Jason said...

Here's a thought experiment for you to try.

1. Make a complete list of all the ways of conserving energy that you can think of.

2. Calculate the CO2 emissions of the average American if we take every single one of these steps.

3. Multiply that by the number of people in the world to get global CO2 emissions.

4. Plug total CO2 emissions into any mainstream global warming model.

I guarantee you that your steps will not come even close to preventing global warming.

Even by the most optimistic estimates, cutting average gloabl CO2 emissions to 10% of the current American average will not be enough.

Addressing this problem with conservation is like trying to hold back a flood with a water pistol.

We can realistically address the problem in one of several ways:

1. We can convert all of our sources of power to nuclear and renewable. A 200% carbon tax would be sufficient to effect this conversion in the US in under 30 years. (It would also simultaneously address our budget deficit, and end our dependence on foreign oil).

2. We can hope that the current models projecting global warming are wrong. Since the models on which global warming is predicated have not yet stood up to empirical analysis, I think that there is an excellent chance of this.

3. We can hope that we develop new technologies in the future that either radically change our methods of energy production, or that remove green house gases from the air. Considering how far we came in the last 100 years, this seems highly probable.

4. We can get used to warmer temperatures. The Earth has previously been much warmer than it is now, with much more CO2 in the air, and life has prospered. Its the cold periods that have historically done the most damage to our biodiversity.

Wes said...

Here is another one for you. Read the previous post. You are basing your assumptions that demand is constant and you are only talking about the supply side. That is as wrong as David Stockman's economics.