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.
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
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.
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
Methane may be a bigger issue than CO2 for global warming.