The Global Warming Solution

This entry is part 44 of 47 in the series Blog1

Global Warming, Part 2

Thinker: Let’s give you the benefit of the doubt and say you are correct – that increasing levels of CO2 is very destructive and will cause the earth to warm at a dangerous rate. What should we do about it?

True Believer: We need to switch to energy sources that have a low carbon footprint like wind and solar. In addition we need to switch over to electric vehicles.

Thinker: And how’s that working out for us so far?

True Believer: Well, we’re making progress, but we need to do more.

Thinker: Unfortunately progress is pretty slow.  According to the latest figures available wind only supplies 2.9% of our energy.  Do you know how much we received from solar?

True Believer: probably a similar amount.

Thinker: Not really. It was far less than 1% – only .04%

True Believer: It seems that I read somewhere that we receive around 12% of our energy from renewables.

Thinker: That is correct but most of that comes from hydropower, which generates 7.7% of our power. Then there is wood which generates over twice as much as solar, or .9%. Unfortunately, burning wood releases a lot of CO2 so that is not a renewable on which you want to rely. Biomass also generates more power than solar but releases CO2 comparable to oil. Do you know the problem we have with the most productive renewable which is hydropower?

True Believer: What?

Thinker: The problem lies with the global warming alarmists. A large percentage of them do not like hydropower and they constantly fight to breach dams all across the country. Once a dam is torn down then the best renewable we have is destroyed and can no longer produce clean power. Does that makes sense to you?

True Believer: I understand that dams interfere with wild salmon reproduction as well as other fish.

Thinker: But scientists, who you claim to accept, are developing alternative methods of saving the fish and increasing their yield.

True Believer: But that’s an artificial way to do it.  If we breach the dams and restore native habitat to the way it was then we could have an abundance of wild salmon the way it used to be.

Thinker: Let me get this straight.  You think that climate change is a crisis for the whole planet caused by too much CO2, but you want to destroy by far the best renewable clean energy we have to save wild fish?

True Believer: Well, it’s important that we save the fish and restore our lands to a pristine condition.

Thinker: But we already have the technology to save the fish using hatcheries and planting the fish. With a little help from us we can have an abundance of fish and keep the hydro energy.

True Believer: But fish produced in entirely natural conditions are more self reliant and better.

Thinker: Let me get this straight. You think earth is in danger because of too much CO2, but you are willing to destroy the best renewable source of energy, not to save the fish, but to make sure we have natural fish. Is having natural made fish more important than saving the planet?

True Believer: I think we can do both.

Thinker: That’s not happening so far. Hydropower produces more power than all other renewables combined. Now preserving natural habitat is not the only reason many alarmists want to destroy hydropower.  Many see the building of dams as an alteration of the original landscape and want to restore the land to the way it used to be.  Are you in this camp?

True Believer: I must admit that I am an environmentalist and like to see the natural beauty restored when possible.

Thinker: Then are you willing to release millions of tons of CO2 just so you can restore the land to the way it was?

True Believer: That wouldn’t be necessary because I support an increase in wind and solar to offset it.

Thinker: And that offset will happen when?

True Believer: Soon.

Thinker: But you don’t know when.

True Believer: We are making progress.

Thinker: By the way, I had wild salmon for dinner last night so we still have enough sources of them to make them readily available in the grocery stores.

True Believer: He has no comment.

Thinker: So, how much money should we spend to prevent global warming?

True Believer: Whatever it takes to save the planet.

Thinker: I don’t think saving the planet is the issue. For instance, during the times of the dinosaurs our CO2 levels were 5-10 times higher than they are now and the planet got along fine.  It was a lush and greener planet than it is now. Do you know of any scientists predicting an increase of over 10 times as it was in the past?

True Believer: No, but they are predicting disaster if we double the amount.

Thinker: So in the past we had a very green and fertile planet with ten times the current CO2 but this time we’ll be destroyed if we double the amount?

True Believer: That’s what the scientists say.

Thinker: Actually, that’s what some bureaucrats say. Scientists do the research but people with a political agenda usually write the reports for the IPCC.  The actual scientists are often in disagreement with the write up.

True Believer: I don’t believe it.

Thinker: Then how do you explain the prediction of disaster in this age when we did not have disaster before?

True Believer: We’re in a different time.

Thinker: That’s for sure, but that doesn’t change the principles that effect climate.

Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski wrote this: “In the Eocene period (50 million years ago), this concentration was 6 times larger than now, but the temperature was only 1.5°C higher. In the Cretaceous period (90 million years ago), the CO2 concentration was 7 times higher than today, and in the Carboniferous period (340 million years ago), the CO2 concentration was nearly 12 times higher.30 When the CO2 concentration was 18 times higher, 440 million years ago (during the Ordovician period), glaciers existed on the continents of both hemispheres.” (We actually had an ice age during this period.)

Paper by Zbigniew Jaworowski, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., chairman of the Scientific Council of the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection in Warsaw

So if we had up to 18 times the CO2 as we have today without a warming disaster, and even had an ice age, why then are we so worried about a much smaller increase in this age?

True Believer: I’m not a scientist.  I’m sure they can explain it.

Thinker: I’ve already said that most skeptics such as myself acknowledge that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and does have a warming effect.  We just don’t see the evidence that there will be enough warming to create an apocalypse. But let us suppose the alarmists are right – that it will warm up an unprecedented six extra degrees by the end of the century.  What should we do about it?

True Believer: Everything we can, of course.

Thinker: Like what?

True Believer: Governments should invest in alternative energy and we should have a carbon tax or a carbon credit system to force a reduction in CO2.

Thinker: Bjorn Lomborg is kind of an anomaly among global warming researchers. He accepts the orthodox view that most global warming is man made but he has a business degree and has calculated that we are wasting our money in our approach to preventing it.  For instance, he notes that Germany has spent $110 billion on subsidies for solar panels. How long do you suppose that has delayed global warming that is predicted for the year 2100?

True Believer: I’m sure you’ll tell me.

Thinker: Using accepted data he calculates that by the end of the century warming will be delayed a mere 37 hours. Then if some skeptics are correct that the effect of CO2 is overblown the amount could be just a couple hours. Link Sounds like $110 billion doesn’t buy much time for us, does it?

True Believer: It’s better than not trying.

Thinker: The United States has spent a similar amount, $106.7 billion, directly fighting climate change between 2003-2010 but any correlation of reduction of CO2 to that spending cannot be proven.  What is astonishing though is that it has been calculated that regulations to stabilize our climate and environment have cost the U.S. economy $1.75 trillion a year. Link That’s around $20,000 of wealth that is taken away from each family in the country. Doesn’t sound like we are being very efficient does it?

True Believer: It’s better than what your kind would do which is nothing.

Thinker: Unlike your kind, Lomborg believes that CO2 will increase for some time to come no matter what we do and spending the proposed trillions would be a waste of money, much better spent in other areas. For instance, he believes the money would be much better spent in preparing for global warming than preventing it. He points out that we could exhaust our resources in trying to prevent it and then when it comes anyway we will have no preparations in place to deal with it.  Does that make sense?

True Believer: (He resists seeing the logic.)

Copyright 2013 by J J Dewey

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