Saturday, December 01, 2007

Climate change solution from Congress: fire Robert Samuelson

Congress has agreed on legislation raising fuel standards by 40% by 2020.

Robert Samuelson, Feb. 7 2007, "Global Warming and Hot Air":

...Don't be fooled. The dirty secret about global warming is this: We have no solution.....Considering this reality, you should treat the pious exhortations to "do something" with skepticism, disbelief or contempt....Nor will existing technologies, aggressively deployed, rescue us. The IEA studied an "alternative scenario" that simulated the effect of 1,400 policies to reduce fossil fuel use. Fuel economy for new U.S. vehicles was assumed to increase 30 percent by 2030; the global share of energy from "renewables" (solar, wind, hydropower, biomass) would quadruple, to 8 percent. The result: by 2030, annual carbon dioxide emissions would rise 31 percent instead of 55 percent....So far, global warming has been a change, not a calamity....I do not say we should do nothing, but we should not delude ourselves....It's a debate we ought to have -- but probably won't. Any realistic response would be costly, uncertain and no doubt unpopular. That's one truth too inconvenient for almost anyone to admit.

Samuelson says even under best-case scenarios, we won't do enough to make a difference, and says maybe we'll luck out and not be badly harmed by climate change anyway.

I remember thinking that 30% by 2030 was ridiculously far from what's possible. Congress proved it. Wishing on the magic star of new technologies, especially without mandates, is what's most likely to keep us from taking effective action.

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