Climate Change Disagreements

I think the real debate about climate change isn’t whether it is happening and the degree to which humans are causing it — most reasonable people agree about both — but rather what measures should be implemented to address it. There is intense disagreement about these measures.

The most divisive issue has to do with restricting our use of fossil fuels. Radicals would have us do this to a large degree, but conservatives protest this would undermine our economies and lead to hardship and poverty.

Thoughtful conservatives now have the counter argument that the real remedy here has to do with more efficient ways to extract carbon from the atmosphere — through improved soil management on a large scale, planting trees and reforestation, new carbon extraction technologies, etc., i.e., use of fossil fuels becomes a non-issue if you can extract enough carbon from the atmosphere to achieve net equilibrium.

“Our Planet”

Climate Change Tradition

Something you can actually do about the climate change crisis. Instead of buying a tree with clipped roots to put in your house for Xmas and then throw away, buy one with full roots to plant it somewhere on your property or in some other protected location. If you do that for 30 years, you will extract a lot of carbon from the atmosphere, and will have done something about the problem, instead of just talking about it. Talk is cheap.

Make planting one tree — not destroying one — the new Xmas tradition.

Wandering

Climate Change Fools

According to the radicals rattling their cages about the dire consequences of CO2 buildup in the atmosphere, we should all vastly reduce our use of oil, natural gas and coal as the main culprits in this buildup. The radicals make the point that those individuals and corporations that are in favor of the continued use of these fossil fuels are science-deniers and don’t admit the inevitable dire consequences of their actions. The radicals think if only everyone was onboard with swopping out the use of fossil fuels for alterative energy sources, such as wind, solar, etc., then the issue of climate change would be successfully addressed, and we would avoid those dire consequences they foresee. In my opinion, this makes these radicals no better than climate change fools, with very simplistic, even childlike, notions concerning the nature of this problem.

The core issue the radicals are want to admit is that the use of these fossil fuels — oil, natural gas and coal — are at the very heart of our economic system. And it’s not as if they only benefit corporations involved in their exploitation. In fact, the very prosperity of everyone, including all of these radicals, is intimately connected with the use of these fossils fuels. Take them away and the standard of living of everyone, including the radicals, collapses to a level the world has never experienced. That’s the harsh reality of this problem.

I would even go so far as to say that the majority of individuals and corporations that advocate the continued use of fossil fuels are probably in agreement with the radicals and the science that says that the earth is warming at an alarming rate and there will be dire consequences. A majority of them are not science-deniers at all — they are simply people who realize that our very way of life and prosperity are hopelessly enmeshed with the use of fossil fuels.

Then there’s the argument that we should simply swop the more recent “clean” sources of energy for the devilish fossil fuels, but even a cursory review of the statistics shows how naive and simple-minded a notion this is. Wind, solar, etc. don’t produce anything like the quantity of energy required by the modern world economy, and based on the current statistics, never will, even with the most optimistic projections.

So the real problem with climate change is this: how do we mitigate the damage (excessive production of greenhouse gases) of fossil fuels without eliminating the use of fossil fuels (because our economy needs them, our prosperity and way of life depend upon them). No one has come up with the solution to this vexing conundrum — least of all the simple-minded but oh so self-righteous radicals.

Kiss the Ground

Doing Something About Our Cities

Xmas and Climate Change

This coming Christmas, we should start a new Xmas tradition. Buy a tree like last year, but with the roots intact, and when Christmas is finished, take it outside and plant it on your property (dig the hole in October when the ground is still unfrozen). Every Xmas could produce millions of new trees to inhale carbon — instead of just throwing them away.

Wandering

Climate Change and Extinction

Climate change isn’t new. The earth’s climate has always been changing. For instance, they think at one point the earth was an icy ball. At one point, Africa was connected to Latin America — those plates keep moving. I do think mankind has contributed to the recent global warming significantly, but there have been such warming trends in the past — when mankind didn’t exist.

Extinction for species on earth is also not new. At some point, mankind will go extinct, just as the dinosaurs eventually met their fate, which was also caused by a radical and sudden change in their climate. For us, it will be a disruption of the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. Our current atmosphere is 4 parts nitrogen to 1 part oxygen. At what point does a change in that ratio mean extinction for mankind? Let’s say 9 parts everything else to only 1 part oxygen. Bye bye mankind.

Freedom of Speech

Intractable Problem

The problem with climate change is that it is not such an easy fix. Fossil fuels now and for the foreseeable future are the basis of our economy and way of life. Even with overwhelming support and development of alternative energy sources, these alternatives collectively will never make more than a small percentage of the total need. And the public won’t accept further development of nuclear. So even if you had the entire country on the same page relative to the urgency of the climate change issue, there still is no real viable solution in sight. An emotional speech by a teenage at the UN doesn’t change that predicament one iota.

But on a positive note, I’d like to see the federal government jack up the tax credit for installing solar panels. Ridiculous how low a percentage of houses have solar panels. All these discussions about climate change, one thing that is never mentioned are trees. Guess what? Trees take in carbon. So plant a tree. Something everyone could do. But it’s never mentioned.

Now they have developed technology for extracting carbon (and methane?) out of the atmosphere — will they figure out a way to do this on a large enough scale so that it would matter? That’s a very important question.

And would a carbon tax make companies look into technologies for trapping all those greenhouse gases instead of releasing them into the air? Perhaps.

As for the methane released by all those factory-farmed cows for beef — I don’t see anyone willing to give up their Big Mac. If anything, the developing parts of the world are just now demanding the same kind of meat-oriented diet the West has been gorging on for years. So that particular source for the release of methane is  likely to get worse, not better.

Do you think they are going to put a stop to burning down the forests in Indonesia or the Amazon any time soon?  Sorry, but that’s probably another dead end.  Too much profit in what they are doing.

So, in a 100 years from now, maybe sooner, when the planet gets significantly warmer, there will be zones which are uninhabitable because of their heat, and the coastlines will have be moved.

I wouldn’t be a big buyer of beach-front properties, like what you see all along the Florida coastlines.

My Story

Solar Panels and Taxes

The Federal Government should boost the tax credit homeowners get for installing solar panels — a large enough tax break so that no one would dispute the benefit of installing them.  The entire cost of installing the solar panel system should be deductible, in my opinion, because the percentage of houses with solar panels is still nowhere near where it should be.

Federal Tax Credit for Solar Panels

My Story