Global warming mania in Britain

The Brits are out to show the world just how green they can be, by proposing a law that would mandate a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. Of course, whatever you think about global warming, a move like this is pure political strategery (a fave word of mine–thanks W!). If the law passes, those who passed it will be long dead by 2050, but they’ll enjoy kudos for their “forward thinking” in the here and now.

There was one piece of common sense, buried way at the end of the article:

Still, there were dissenting voices. In Tuesday’s Evening Standard, the columnist Nirpal Dhaliwal said there was “more than a whiff of colonial condescension about British politicians’ attitudes to developing world industrialization.”

True dat. Western fixation on CO2 emissions is one of the things helping to keep Africa grovelling in abject poverty. It’s probably also hindering our potential in the USA, considering the 4 billion dollars or so spent per year on global warming studies could be used much more profitably in fixing our education system. Or something useful.

But Nirpal Dhaliwal had more to say:

Not only that, he said, Britain’s share of global carbon emissions was already relatively small — around two percent of the world total — while China has been building new coal-burning power stations at a rate of one every two weeks. “We could decide to live in the Stone Age, burning nothing, and it would have virtually no impact on the overall problem of global warming,” Mr. Dhaliwal wrote.

And if the BBC’s recent documentary is correct, even China going stone-age wouldn’t make any difference, since humans produce only a tiny fraction of the CO2 in the atmosphere. Volcanos, decaying vegetation, and the ocean dwarf us in CO2 production. The documentary is called “The Great Global Warming Swindle” and is must-see TV (find it on Google Video or YouTube). IF what they say is accurate, then the whole global warming panic is revealed as pitifully bad science and motivated almost entirely by politics.

6 Responses to “Global warming mania in Britain”

  1. s Says:

    Really, you need to think this one through.Most of you are not old enough to remember the hysteria in the 1970’s over the ‘impending ice age’&’global cooling’.One of the proposed solutions was to build many nuclear generating stations so that inexpensive electrical power would be available.The same folks who screamed about freezing protested nuclear energy as unsafe. When global cooling, complete oil depletion and over-population to the point of starvation did not occur, these people scurried into their dark corners to await the next “crisis of captialism’ that they could champion.Today warming is the danger and CO2 the enemy.Same hystrionics.Same slogans.Now let’s say CO2 is the enemy and MUST be reduced, dramatically as Kyoto says.Logic demands that we switch to nuclear power generation saving oodles of CO2. Yet no one offers that solution.Next is ‘carbon credits’.Without accurate measurements/controls,firms buy this ‘paper’ from traders CCX)who buy credits from corrupt 3rd world (transfer of wealth to poor nations) then invest in green stocks w/trading profits (free money is fun to invest). Firms then justify the same or greater production levels of CO2.Net result, no change in emmissions,warming continues. Traders get rich. That is why Barclay’s is lobbying to be the world source of ‘carbon credit’ trading. Big players from Goldman-Sachs started CCX & ECX (both funded in part by Generation Investment LLP Al Gore et al). Duke Energy supports carbon credit trading…why? Because in the areas they operate, they are a monopoly. If they bare forced to implement better technology they can pass the cost onto their captured customer base. A lot of money stands to be made from this without any verifiable value. Imagine, trading pieces of paper that have zero value and represent no increase in the GDP and that cannot be measured, monitored or controlled. It is a license to steal…. a 1920’s banker’s dream come true. It’s like permissioning them to print their own money. No wonder the financiers are all over this like cops at a donut shop. And I have not yet even begun to address the science..the enormity and scale of mathematical calculations, assumptions, error factors, forced vs non-force radiative corallaries along with non-constant patterns of absorbtion & dissipation. It is overwhelming. And computer models….not super models, perhaps super computer models! As a scientist and especially one involved in climatology, you must know that climatology computer modelling can be used for diagnostics but never, ever, for prognostics. As far as climate change, I would find, given the laws of thermodynamics, that it will actually be far more likely that we enter a dramatic cooling period at some time in the next 100 years. That is historic and a pattern most certain to repeat. If it does not happen, perhaps we will have CO2 emmissions to thank for it. This is not scientific, it is socio-political and should be labeled as such.

  2. Curly Says:

    Dear S, it looks like you and I are on the same page here.


  3. Marieke Says:

    Hearing never ending apocalyptic stories of how global warming will affect the world I tend to switch off when I hear the words ‘global warming’. Its not really news any more. I am concerned about how we are wasting electricity and resources however; not really because it may contribute to global warming, but because there really is no need to waste so much.

    We heard on the news last year that recycling of paper and plastic has helped to reduce the environmental impact of land fill sites, and that made me feel good. Why? Because it was easy to do. And so is switching off unused lights, swapping ordinary light bulbs for energy saving ones; and above all, helping our employers realise that there really is a lot of money to be saved by switching off the Aircon in the middle of the winter, and shutting down our PC’s when we leave work. At the place where I work we have made small steps like recycling waste paper and empty milk bottles, but we still have far to go.

    Doing these things is not just about global warming for me, its about the environment as well. This law they are bringing in is a bold statement, and it can be achieved if everybody works together. Big business need to realise that they have a part to play as well. They are the key to making this work.

    If we can show the world that it can be done then I am all for it.

  4. Mark Says:

    Well Curly, there is unfortunately some very good science behind the concern over global climate change. There really isn’t much that we can do about it, however, and I agree that most of the current fixation is politically charged and empty headed. Most likely an altered climate is simply something that we will need to find ways to deal with. Maybe we will have a string of major disasters or maybe not.

    It may end up being an “oops” kind of situation, which your side should be getting used to by now… I’m sure you will find some way to blame it on the liberals, though, so you have that to look forward to!

    I think Marieke has a good attitude. That is pretty much where I am as far as my personal feelings on the matter.

    The West came up with an excessively wasteful but comfortable way to live, how can we expect the rest of the world to resist the irresitable? So I guess I agree with Curly again! Maybe it is the end of the world…

  5. Curly Says:

    To Mark: I did say that IF the BBC documentary is accurate, then the science used to blame CO2 for global warming is shoddy. But I don’t have the expertise to say for sure.

    In short, the documentary showed that CO2 and temperature were related, but that CO2 increase follows temperature increase, at a lag distance of a few hundred years. If that is the case, then CO2 can’t be a cause of the warming. It suggests that the sun is responsible for warming, and that when the oceans heat up, they release more CO2. Interesting theory, no, that the sun makes the temperature rise?

    I’d like to hear more about this.

  6. Mark Says:

    Another interesting idea that has some good science behind it is that high level particulate “pollution” can offset the effects of the sun (yes, the sun tends to warm things up, weird concept). This phenomenon has been observed following large volcanic eruptions, where the massive amounts of CO2 released didn’t cause warming but rather the particles caused noticible cooling. Some renegade scientists suggest shooting particles into the stratosphere to enhance the “shade” effect. I remember reading an article about one guy in particular that the magazine nicknamed “Dr. Evil”. Anyway, there are lots of potentially workable theories out there, unfortunately they will all be stonewalled by government inefficiency and political squabbling.

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