Thursday, July 06, 2006

It Is Too Freaking Hot

It is stupidly hot in my apartment right now. This might be due to the general heat wave, or I may have a fever. Regardless, it has me thinking about global warming. Again. Following is my lengthy explanation of why I don't like the Kyoto Protocol.

The international effort to clamp down on CFC emissions and "save the ozone" provides a sterling example of how the global community can cooperate to protect our one common resource - the planet itself. However, compelling industry to be more careful with CFC's or replace them with alternative coolants is not the same as mandating that industry can't burn things any more. Virtually every viable process that produces commercially-usable energy also produces greenhouse gases. Eliminating or even reducing these energy sources will cause considerable disruption. The economic impact of sudden, sharp increases in the price of energy is well-established. Alternate energy sources are not yet on-line, and research into them is proceeding appallingly slowly. I tend more and more to agree with estimates that it will be easier, cheaper, and generally more worthwhile to pursue technology and policy to deal with the fact of global warming than it will be to stop it from happening. In fact, it's becoming increasingly obvious that we can't stop it, no matter how stringent our energy policy might be. We need to get ready for the inevitable shift in coastlines, water supplies and arable land belts.


I want to make very clear that I'm in favour of alternate and especially zero-emission energy. Solar and wind power are not taken nearly seriously enough, especially for things like home heating and such. Reducing consumption is also an important factor, and again, one that isn't pursued with nearly enough vigour. What I'm opposed to is an arbitrary cap on global carbon emissions. Or rather, on Western carbon emissions. Africa, India and China have no incentive to reduce emissions, and every incentive to increase them. Kyoto isn't a climate treaty. It's a scam. Surprise! The Protocol, as established by the United Nations, is designed to funnel Western money to the Third World through carbon credit purchases. It's a sure bet that the money those carbon credit sales generate isn't going to get used to develop environmentally sustainable infrastructure in the Third World. It's going to get used to buy solid gold toilets. You may have noticed that the people who are most gung-ho for Kyoto are also the people who are most gung-ho for sending string-free aid packages to the Third world. Shocking, I know.

So, to sum up: energy conservation good; energy research good; steeling ourselves for the consequences of warming, good; paying African kleptocrats for the privilege of lighting our cities, bad.


At 1:47 AM, Blogger Siochain said...

Plus, I hate polar bears. (I... Hate them... So... Much...) So it's good. I'm burning stuff right now, just to speed up the ice cap melting rate.


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