Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Global Warming

Time again for another round of discussion on global warming and the Kyoto Protocol.

The linked article discusses some of the points on reducing green house gases and how Europe is trying to form some accords with the US on reducing our emissions. They get a couple facts wrong.

Bush withdrew from the Kyoto agreement in March 2001

Well that's interesting. Though only partially factual. Since Clinton put the US onto the accord, no sitting session of the senate has ever brought it to a vote and has stated that they never intend to bring it to a vote. So the statement makes it sound like Bush is doing this unilaterally. No bend at Bloomberg.

The U.S. is the world's largest producer of carbon dioxide emissions, and it needs to impose limits on pollution by factories and power plants to reach a goal of reducing greenhouse gases that cause floods, droughts and heat waves, German Environment Minister Jurgen Trittin said.

Again, not quite right. Green house gases don't cause floods, droughts or heat waves. All of this weather occurred prior to the industrial revolution, so why state it as though its a fact? There is no doubt that the elevated levels of green house gases in the atmosphere has aggravated the weather effects named and many other.

Global warming with out a doubt is effecting the environment. If you deny this you just are clueless. There is also data that shows that the environment for quite a long period has been below the mean normal of earth history. Some arguments say that it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing for temperatures to go up .

I've also seen analysis of the errors in the weather models that are used to predict where global warming will lead. This is from Technical Review by MIT Enterprise.
With all of this debate I think we should come to one conclusion. If we don't do something soon to reduce greenhouse gas the harder it will be to do something later. It will also be more likely that changes later may have to be more drastic and less effective.
The USA is the largest creator of greenhouse gas per capita. Not a good thing. I blame the environmentalists. Yes, that's right. Not any single group, but a combination of extremists that in combination are making it impossible to do anything. Greenhouse gas nuts say we can't burn fossil fuels. Tree huggers say we can't use biomass, since we'd have to cut trees to get it. The anti-nukes say we can't use nuclear power because it's worse than global warming. The end result is that we have to cut back our energy uses, and to hell with things like an economy or people's lives.
We as a nation must start doing something.
First, cars need to get better fuel mileage. There is no excuses at all for technology not moving ahead here.
Second, Nuclear power has to be brought back. It needs to be used responsibly and we have to stop the lawsuits that delay and drive the costs up continuously. With more use, the overall costs should come down and the reductions of greenhouse gas will be substantial. This must include research in proper processing and disposal of wastes. You want to argue about this one, bring it on. I've worked in the nuclear industry for more than a decade and I know it very well.
Third, incentives and funding for technological development of alternative energy sources. Stop funding oil companies to find oil. Put that cash in the fields that show promise to get somewhere soon. Solar, wind, superconduction, etc.
Fourth, the American public must want to save and start to participate in reduction of use. If you hate the Iraq war, then you should be willing to push for us not to have any interests in that area of the world. We may not have gone to war about oil this last time, but the original Iraq war was very much about our oil supply stability. There is nothing like the power of the market to force changes in an economic sector.
Fifth, the government must start regulations to reduce emissions in all sectors. I'm not saying the close to draconian requirements of the Kyoto CF. If there is a progressive cut back, it should be less debilitating to the economy. There should be NO shifting of the reductions either. If a company has a Nuke plant they shouldn't be allowed to have higher emissions from their coal plants. And there shouldn't be any way to shift the savings to some other emitter.

Of course, there are many more, but these are some of the more muscular ones that the USA can do without having to be part of some debilitating "protocol."

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