Saturday, September 22, 2018

It is time to build a sustainable economy rather than a carbon-pipedream

 The only countries likely to meet their carbon-emission targets set in Paris are those not participating in the accord. That climate activists want to stop BCs LNG project because it impacts our commitment to the Paris Accord (which I opposed) and because it may contribute to climate change is utterly ludicrous.

First of all, as pointed out elsewhere, there is no way for the world to reduce hydrocarbon demand and there is no way renewables are even capable to substitute carbon energy unless we wish to return to the stone age. Furthermore, even if Canada, which produces about 2% of the world’s carbon emissions, would meet its Paris targets, we would not even know if it could stop climate change. Even if the world would meet the Paris carbon emission targets (at extreme high economic costs if not a return to aforementioned stone age), it is very uncertain whether it would reduce the rate of climate change, regardless of the believes of climate change fanatics.
The world changes every minute of the day, with or without climate change. Climates have changed continuously since the dawn of time, with or without our androgynous CO2. CO2 is the building block of all life on this planet and on a geologic time scale, today's CO2 levels are quite low. Some biologists postulate that our CO2 levels are currently so low, it may endanger life on this planet within 2 million years.  I don’t believe we can come even close to predicting or even less unlikely to controlling climate change. We'd better accept that we will have to learn to adopt to climate change and other planetary changes. Also, we better start thinking long term about the human race, and I mean in terms of millennia not decades.
The carbon hysteria is a way to provide a boogey man to the public and manipulate them for political goals. It is a favorite tool of the left to provide it with excuses to interfere in everybody’s life – something that is inherent in their ideology. But the right has also jumped on the band wagon of climate change because it allows for yet more taxes to be added to the coffers and there is nary a politician that wouldn’t want more power to govern the grey masses.

Whether real or not, change, especially something as elusive as climate change is a great crowd controller. It makes the masses aware of the environment and as such it may have contributed to a greater awareness of the need to live more environmentally sustainable, especially with another 4 billion people to be added to the lifestyle of the world’s middleclass.

People may tell you that our resources are endless. They may say hat there is no 'Peak Oil' but that oil supply, as an example, is just dependant on economics and technology.  Well, I have some news:  we are running out of oil!  Oil from reservoirs that are easy and cheap to produce. Yes, we went through a technological ‘revolution’ in the oil industry that now has provided us the capability to produce from the poorest reservoirs on this planet that are less (a lot less) porous and permeable than the concrete in your basement. The number of wells we have to drill to maintain production levels is enormous and so is the environmental impact of all those horizontal wells that have to be drilled 200m apart and 1 to 4 kilometers long. The easy stuff is gone, and we must find increasingly more difficult sources of carbon energy!
This is true for other resources as well. We have to cut down more and more wilderness to create agricultural lands meeting our ever-increasing food demands. By the way, already today, many consider agriculture an inefficient way to convert energy (human effort, fuel for equipment and ever-scarcer water) into human food. I wouldn’t be surprised that one day we will live of the yeast tanks in Trantor as foreshadowed by the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov in the classic Foundation Trilogy.

The world shouldn’t focus so much on a common gas in our atmosphere but rather on a sustainable world economy that helps distribute the means for all of us to live the life we want. Yes, it is so much more practical to aim for building such a sustainable economy and an appreciation for the beauty around us rather than being a fanatic trying irrationally to focus on controlling the climate by regulating some obnoxious gas that is in fact an important building block of life.

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