The big Arctic 2007 meltdown and carbon caps

I have SUV’ed

The Arctic sea ice is disintegrating “100 years ahead of schedule“, having dropped 22% this year below the previous minimum low, and it may completely disappear as early as the northern summer of 2013. This is far beyond the predictions of the International Panel on Climate Change and is an example of global warming impacts happening at lower temperature increases and more quickly than projected.

Have we already arrived at the tipping point?

The much-discussed “solutions” of carbon cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, and the like seem destined to be ineffective at best, as After Gutenberg explains.

Bottom Line: Carbon cap-and-trade is predicated upon a false assumption: that the Planet can withstand continued production of green house gas emissions at levels that previously have seem acceptable. Handing out huge blocks of emissions rights for trading by polluters seemingly allows them to continue to profit from business as usual.

Also, such plans need to be universal, enforceable, and verifiable, something which isn’t even close to happening.

Will massive government investment help develop new sources of low-cost non-polluting power? Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger think so.

Today we launch a new campaign called “American Power,” one aimed at persuading Congress to generate the $30 billion annual investment we need to make clean energy as cheap as possible, as quickly as possible. American Power will provide a vital peacetime role for the military. Just as the Department of Defense guaranteed the nascent market for silicon microchips in the 1960s, bringing the price down from $1,000 to $20 per chip in just a few years, the Pentagon must today do the same with silicon solar panels.

Their plan has met with furious opposition from some enviros who say we can do everything with existing technology and energy reduction. But hey, why not at least try to find better, cheaper, cleaner energy and also work to reduce consumption. The approaches are not mutually exclusive.

As the melting Arctic shows, time is not on our side. We need massive action on multiple levels now.

  • DJ

    New tech is essential. And so is reduction. And so are carbon taxes. And so are offsets. Once again, our real enemy is black and white thinking. We need ALL solutions, and we need them ASAP.

    BTW carbon taxes cannot be said to have failed, since they have not been tried. Raising the cost of fuel to account for its impact on the environment is one of the critical things government CAN do– and will make investments in alternative fuels that much more attractive.

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