The Empire Strikes Back

2 12 2007

Regular readers will know my view on global warming and for those who don’t here’s a quick refresher. Firstly I’ve consistently said that there is no consensus amongst the scientists. There isn’t, it’s simply that those who disagree with anthropogenic warming are discredited. Secondly I believe it’s mainly a natural cycle with us contributing a small amount, in line with estimations of 5-10%.

Yet despite both of those beliefs I’m still a strong believer in lessening our impact, if at all possible. Quite frankly I prefer the light from Compact Fluorescent Lamps, and they tend to outlast traditional bulbs. The energy savings not only save the environment but save on the power bills. We should all aim to be as energy efficient as possible because of the financial benefits. I recycle newspapers and glass bottles, it’s easy as I can recycle them round the corner. Yet the nearest place I can recycle cans is 2 miles away.

Where I choose not to recycle cans for that reason (I’m not walking 2 miles, sorry) I know many people who drive there to recycle their cans. Is it really that sensible to drive TWO miles for no other reason than to recycle, meaning any energy offset you’ve achieved has been negated and possibly even made things worse? In my view not at all but the fact people do just goes to show the problemt. The Climate Change movement is all about being seen to do the right thing, hence the Live Earth concerts.

Did we really need giant energy-burning concerts to remind us that we’re wasting energy? Does nobody else see the hypocrisy in that, not least of all when everyone knows about the problem. My issue with the “movement” comes from two groups, those who simply want to be seen to do something and those who are so extremist in their zeal that they left their common sense at home. The latter group seems quick to label the Industrial Revolution an event as terrible as the Holocaust.

For them there has been no benefit to society. At least that’s the only rational explanation I can see for why so many of them would like us to reverse all the advances we’ve gained in that time and go back to living in trees. They see big business as evil, let alone the billions of people who rely upon it for their daily income. Who needs to feed their family when they’ve got a planet to save?

It is actually this latter group that prompted this post. As the kind of person who likes to keep well-informed rather than just have soundbites delivered to me by a mainstream media with its own agenda, I thought I’d do a little research into Carbon Capture and Storage. It seems this revolutionary response to the challenge of keeping our industrial world intact whilst also trying to lessen our carbon footprint isn’t enough for the extreme environmentalists. I’m all for lessening our dependence on fossil fuels, oil especially, not least because of supply and demand issues but the fact is that’s still a pipe dream.

Hybrid cars actually require more fuel than conventional vehicles, in large part down to the issue of having two engines. It doesn’t take a genius to know that a large part of the car’s weight is the engine. Of course the body work can be made lighter, as it is with many hybrids, but there’s a feasible limit to this. Carbon fibre is simply too expensive and plastic is simply not safe enough. The impressive MPG figures we’re given by hybrid manufacturers only work if you drive like you’re back in the 1950s.

Nuclear fuel is criticised by the same groups because the waste produced is just as environmentally unsafe. I actually agree with these criticisms, nuclear energy is unsafe, prohibitively expensive and potentially open to the same supply and demand issues as fossil fuels if used on the same scale. We’re told to rely on solar power or wind power but these are decades away from producing power in sufficient amounts.

Carbon Storage provides a useful “bridge” whereby we can carry on using cheap and plentiful fossil fuels until such a time as renewable energy sources like solar power and wind power become feasible. Fundamentally it won’t require countries like India or China to change from using coal. Not only is this good economically (the rise of those two economies has been a boon) and socially (the examples of India and China encourage other developing countries) but it’s practical. Those two will simply refuse to do anything about global warming unless we compromise.

Yet, despite it being practical, sensible and most of all, having the support of even those who oppose the man-made theory of global warming (such as myself) I guarantee you the extreme environmentalists will never come to agree to it. For them this isn’t about the planet, this is about overthrowing the “evil” Industrial Revolution. Their enemy is not global warming but rather the empire that is big business.


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6 12 2007
Save The Planet: Have An Abortion! « Textual Relations

[…] children? Since the Industrial Revolution, the event that global warming activists consider to be as evil as the holocaust the world’s population has gone up from well under 2 billion to over 6 […]

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