The goal should be clean energy rather than global warming doom

WSJ is reaming a UN report on global warming for being overly pessimistic, extrapolating from flaky data, and in general being deliberately and misleadingly hysterical about the coming effects of global warming.

They have some valid points. The report does seem a bit one-sided and aimed at acheiving political goals. Even if everything the report says is true, wouldn’t a better approach be to emphasize how clean energy and cleantech will benefit us all, saving money and resources in the long run, rather than trying to scare people into action with proclamations of doom?

  • DJ

    It’s unfortunate that the U.N. found it necessary to exaggerate. The truth is frightening enough. Already sea levels have risen sufficient to cover lands in Bangladesh, India, and the Marshall Islands (among other places). The Republic of Kiribati has already lost two islands and is making plans to relocate all of its people because in a few years it will be completely under water. The report by those climate change radicals (not) at the Pentagon should have us quaking in our Birkenstocks.

    Scientists pretty much agree that there’s a lag effect from rising CO2 concentrations. In other words, even if stabilized at present levels, climate change effects would continue to get worse over the next 20 years. And we’re nowhere near stabilizing, so far we haven’t even slowed the rate of acceleration.

    What’s really sad is that it’s so unnecessary. The technology exists now to drastically reduce our GHG emissions. As you’ve posted here, 50% of the energy generated in the U.S. never leaves the plant. Another 40-50% of what does reach consumers gets wasted through inefficient use. How can we afford to waste up to 75% of our energy? Obviously it’s too cheap. One reason it’s so cheap is because our government subsidizes fossil fuel production with massive tax credits. You and I pay for that cheap energy with our taxes.

    I know: the price of gasoline hit an appalling $2.75 per gallon last week. But in Germany, it’s $6.89 for a gallon. Americans would squeal if gas prices got that high here– and politicians would react by taking “emergency” measures to lower the price.

    So, yeah, we all want clean energy. But we’re not willing to take even the most basic steps (like halting government subsidy of dirty energy) to get there. And our selfishness today will kill people tomorrow.

    The U.N. was wrong to exaggerate, but their heart is in the right place.

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