The context of the "argument" about climate warming is important: it is highly emotionally charged and it is based on general impressions.
So we need to defuse the emotions and fill in the facts, so that we can make a good decision. By "defuse the emotions", I don't mean to take away anybody's values around this issue - instead I want them to use that value in a way that works for them, and which is reasoned and fact-based. Please take this as my sincere best effort to identify the relevant facts and reasoning - and let me know any other facts that could be added - please, as this is of vital interest to the world and to its people, for their well-being - so the right decisions need to be made.
This quote is a good one: When a controversial issue in science is politicized and seems to become a fad, does an ordinary person have the tools to judge whether it is likely to be good science, or junk science carried along by scare headlines and politically-correct institutional group think?
And we need to decide if it is a coming catastrophe, end of the world or a disaster for our children.
Making a wise decision, asking the right questions:
Identifying the actual causes of global warming is the first task, for without that our "solutions" will not work.
There is variation among the experts and model simulations vary and are very inexact.
We are left with having to do something, just in case they are right, but that is unknowable (until it is too late).
Therefore, we should do something. But what?
Unless the world participates fully, we will have little effect, and the global warming will continue until it is seen as a big enough problem to deal with it (i.e. until the world, and us, are "motivated").
What is climate warming and why does it occur?
Our climate has a "blanket" around it, which holds in heat, otherwise the temperature would be 100 degrees Fahrenheit below zero.
The "blanket" is called "greenhouse gases", which have existed for 100,000's of years.
95+% of the greenhouse gases consists of "water vapor". Water vapor is at least 100 times as effective in holding in the heat as carbon dioxide, so small variations in water vapor are more important than large changes in carbon dioxide
The factors in greenhouse gases:
Water vapors: 95%, the ocean, and chemical balance causing emissions of CO2 from the ocean
Carbon Dioxide: We put about 5% of the total carbon dioxide into the air, nature does the rest.
Plants use CO2 to grow.
Methane (Often naturally occurring, such as in cow dung):
Nitrous oxide (not a factor)
Ozone (not a factor)
The causes and the solutions
CO2 appears to have some effect, from negligible to a mild effect.
Fuel efficiency, alternative fuels
Land use changes and deforestation, causing the decrease in CO2 "sinks" (that use up CO2)
Can't stop foreign clearers of land, so use massive tree (and foliage) planting
And city greenery, where cities generate twice as much warming
Research and development and experimentation, massively but economically done, to develop clean energy
technology to where it is feasible, funded by royalties from massive drilling in US with reasonable safety
precautions. (Helps jobs, trade deficit, economy, and lowers debt.)
Americans can immediately lower the use of energy, just by choice right now. (See Personal Solutions.)
See the other solutions section
The timing and effectiveness issues
China, developing countries and the contest between sources and "sinks"
The causes of global warming (we must deal with the right causes or we won't cure the problem!)
Relative sizing of the causes and their effects
Errors in logic (that are influencing our views and decisions toward less effectiveness)
What part of global warming are we responsible for?
The reality of economic (and human) costs
The effects of global warming
The science of warming
What is the greenhouse effect?
How much is the increase?
Is the warming of the earth harmful?
How to stop global warming
Reducing carbon emissions
The Hartwell Papers - Practical solutions and analysis
The net computed effect of increasing fuel economy
The clean sources of energy
Solutions and actions to take; decision-making
Consider the trade-offs
Does U.S. drilling for oil hurt the climate?
The carbon tax
Relative effectiveness - this should determine our priorities
The water cycle: significant!
THE TIMING AND EFFECTIVENESS ISSUES
It is naive to believe that we will make even a slight dent in global warming in the next ten years, but it is reasonable to set up an achievable trajectory that will work.
We must recognize and acknowledg that forcing people to dispense with carbon emitting fuels is a difficult and costly, often non-effective way of creating the results we want.
We must recognize that we won’t make any real progress in cutting carbon-dioxide emissions until we can provide developing economies (and any person) with affordable alternatives to the fossil fuels on which they currently depend - for doing the wrong thing will hurt the overall progress of mankind, a tradeoff no one is willing to make, though in our moments of idealism and impracticality we get stuck in wishing that it were otherwise. We will, unless you can provide me with information otherwise, have no good fairy come to rescue us.
But a good effective plan and excellent decisionmaking will get us there in plenty of time to leave a great world for our children. And it is not an emergency or an immediate crisis worthy of the panic and fear that some seem to have conjured up. Yes, it is an awesome prospect, but even the predictions for this century, if we got no better than we are now shows that there will be a net gain for humanity, not a loss, if one considers all the trade-offs. I'd recommend watching the movie Cool It!, which you can stream from Netflix, and also the 20 minute presentation at Ted.com by Bjorn Lomborg, who is attempting to bring more reason and more thinking to the problem.
CHINA, DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND THE CONTEST BETWEEN SOURCES AND "SINKS"
There is a contest going on between sources of greenhouse gases and "sinks" where they are removed.
the major atmospheric constituents, nitrogen (N2), oxygen (O2), and argon (Ar), are not greenhouse gases
Land use change (mainly deforestation in the tropics) account for up to one third of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions.[Note that ozone depletion has only a minor role in greenhouse warming though the two processes often are confused in the media. Today, the stock of carbon in the atmosphere increases by more than 3 million tonnes per annum (0.04%) compared with the existing stock.[ China was responsible for most of global growth in emissions during this period. in 2009 China was responsible for 23.6% o global total emissions (vs. US of 17.9%, but the tonnes per capita were respectively 5.13 and 16.9, which doesn't reflect "badness" but a higher socio-economic well-off-ness). Emissions effect per amount of energy vary across the energy sources, with natural gas at the bottom and coal at about twice as much as natural gas. Aoutomobile gasoline is 34% higher than natural gas.
bio-energy with carbon capture and storage and carbon dioxide air capture, or to the soil as in the case with biochar. It has been pointed out by the IPCC, that many long-term climate scenario models require large scale manmade negative emissions in order to avoid serious climate change
THE TIMING OF THE PROBLEM OF PRODUCING ENERGY HERE IN THE US
"There may be a grace period in the next three to four years before oil reaches $200 a barrel. This may be due to worldwide slowdown and the realization by Americans that they have to cut back on the driving and start using smaller and more efficient vehicles."
CAUSES OF GLOBAL WARMING
“Most large U.S. cities, including Atlanta, are warming at more than twice the rate of the planet as a whole – a rate that is mostly attributable to land use change. As a result, emissions reduction programs – like the cap and trade program under consideration by the U.S. Congress – may not sufficiently slow climate change in large cities where most people live and where land use change is the dominant driver of warming.”
"According to Stone’s research, slowing the rate of forest loss around the world, and regenerating forests where lost, could significantly slow the pace of global warming."
“Treaty negotiators should formally recognize land use change as a key driver of warming,” [Though I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for other countries to respond responsibly.]
Solution: The planting of millions of trees in urbanized areas and through the protection and regeneration of global forests outside of urbanized regions.
RELATIVE SIZING OF THE CAUSES AND THEIR EFFECTS
Global warming is real and will have a serious effect on the environment towards the end of the century or sooner. However, all our efforts to reduce carbon emissions will be dwarfed by China and India. China is building 400 coal-fired power plants every year.
Chinese manufacturing is much less efficient than in the industrialized countries. Most of all their energy is derived from the use of coal, which produces more carbon than any other type of fossil fuel.
Just how much of the "Greenhouse Effect" is caused by human activity?
"It is about 0.28%, if water vapor is taken into account-- about 5.53%, if not.
This point is so crucial to the debate over global warming that how water vapor is or isn't factored into an analysis of Earth's greenhouse gases makes the difference between describing a significant human contribution to the greenhouse effect, or a negligible one.
Water vapor constitutes Earth's most significant greenhouse gas, accounting for about 95% of Earth's greenhouse effect (5). Interestingly, many "facts and figures' regarding global warming completely ignore the powerful effects of water vapor in the greenhouse system, carelessly (perhaps, deliberately) overstating human impacts as much as 20-fold."
Later: "Of course, even among the remaining 5% of non-water vapor greenhouse gases, humans contribute only a very small part (and human contributions to water vapor are negligible)."
And: The Kyoto Protocol calls for mandatory carbon dioxide reductions of 30% from developed countries like the U.S. Reducing man-made CO2 emissions this much would have an undetectable effect on climate while having a devastating effect on the U.S. economy. Can you drive your car 30% less, reduce your winter heating 30%? Pay 20-50% more for everything from automobiles to zippers? And that is just a down payment, with more sacrifices to come later.
Such drastic measures, even if imposed equally on all countries around the world, would reduce total human greenhouse contributions from CO2 by about 0.035%.
This is much less than the natural variability of Earth's climate system!
While the greenhouse reductions would exact a high human price, in terms of sacrifices to our standard of living, they would yield statistically negligible results in terms of measurable impacts to climate change. There is no expectation that any statistically significant global warming reductions would come from the Kyoto Protocol.
ERRORS IN LOGIC
As warming occurs release of more CO2 from the oceans occurs. As CO2 increases, warming occurs. These are "co-related" (correlated) and affect one another; the relationship is not one way, as they occur together and affect each other at the same time. Obviously, other things could cause the warming or cause the CO2 increase, also.
Trying to get people to reason and use facts to make their decisions is difficult. As one scientist says: "I do it because, as one who has spent many decades studying the subject professionally, I find that there are enormous gaps in the understanding of those making the most strident claims about climatic change. "
In deciding whether to believe in God, a famous philosopher weighed the trade-offs. If God didn't exist, then no problem. If God did exist and he didn't do what would get him to eternal life, then the cost would be immense. So it is smarter to believe in God. The same goes for doing something about global warming (though with some prudence of course) as if we didn't do anything we might not know we were right until it is too late.
WHAT PART OF GLOBAL WARMING ARE WE RESPONSIBLE FOR?
"At 6 billion tons, humans are then responsible for a comparatively small amount - less than 5 percent - of atmospheric carbon dioxide," he said. "And if nature is the source of the rest of the carbon dioxide, then it is difficult to see that man-made carbon dioxide can be driving the rising temperatures. In fact, I don't believe it does."
1995 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a panel formed by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme in 1988 to assess the risk of human-induced climate change. In the report, the IPCC wrote that some 90 billion tons of carbon as carbon dioxide annually circulate between the earth's ocean and the atmosphere, and another 60 billion tons exchange between the vegetation and the atmosphere.
Compared to man-made sources' emission of about 5 to 6 billion tons per year, the natural sources would then account for more than 95 percent of all atmospheric carbon dioxide, Essenhigh said.
Some scientists believe that the human contribution to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, however small, is of a critical amount that could nonetheless upset Earth's environmental balance. But Essenhigh feels that, mathematically, that hypothesis hasn't been adequately substantiated."
Essenhigh attributes the current reported rise in global temperatures to a natural cycle of warming and cooling.
THE SCIENCE OF WARMING
As temperatures rise, the carbon dioxide equilibrium in the water changes, and this releases more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. According to this scenario, atmospheric carbon dioxide is then an indicator of rising temperatures -- not the driving force behind it.
Cambridge University geologists Nicholas Shackleton and Neil Opdyke reported in the journal Quaternary Research in 1973, which found that global temperatures have been oscillating steadily, with an average rising gradually, over the last one million years -- long before human industry began to release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
According to Shackleton and Opdyke's data, average global temperatures have risen less than one degree in the last million years, though the amplitude of the periodic oscillation has now risen in that time from about 5 degrees to about 10 degrees, with a period of about 100,000 years.
"Today, we are simply near a peak in the current cycle that started about 25,000 years ago," Essenhigh explained.
When there is less snow to replenish the Arctic ice cap, the cap may start to shrink. That could be the cause behind the retreat of the Arctic ice cap that scientists are documenting today, Essenhigh said.
The group’s report, titled “The Hartwell Paper,” outlines a new direction for climate policy after the collapse of the attempts made last year in Copenhagen to negotiate a global climate deal. The authors note that 18 years of the “Kyoto Protocol approach” to international climate policy have failed to produce any discernable real-world reductions in the emissions of greenhouse gases.
WAYS TO STOP GLOBAL WARMING
Plant more trees and stop contributing to deforestatio
Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (save possibly up to 60% of energy bill)
Reuse and recycle products
Avoid keeping electrical appliances on standby (computers, etc.)
Use a programmable thermostat (Lowering the thermostat by 2 degrees in winter and increasing it by 2 degrees in summer can help in keeping 2,000 lbs of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.)
Promote the use of organic products:
Use vehicles efficiently
Resort to alternative sources of energy
Become a responsible citizen (Including "If we sacrifice the unnecessary luxuries in our life, we can contribute in saving the tremendous amount of energy which goes in their production.")
WHAT PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS CAN DO
According to the EPA, if every American household made the switch to Energy Star light bulbs, the equivalent of emissions of 10 million cars would be prevented. Likewise, simple steps such as reducing the amount you drive, recycling and using energy-efficient appliances in your home can also reduce your carbon footprint.
What you can do if you are actually committed to lessening global warming, acti consistentwith your stated values.. a few people with eelectirci cars
REDUCING CARBON EMISSIONS
Climate economists widely acknowledge that there are only four policy levers that can be used in an attempt to lower carbon emissions and rein in changes in climate:
1. Reducing the world’s population (not likely!)
2. Shrinking the global economy (not beneficial)
3 Increasing the efficiency of energy consumption
4. Decreasing carbon intensity (which means that we create less carbon for each unit of energy that we produce).
THE HARTWELL PAPERS:
In February, 2012, 14 distinguished climate scientists, economists, and policy experts came together to discuss how to tackle global warming. They wrote the Hartwell Papers.
The Hartwell group proposes that we adopt three basic climate-related goals:
1. Ensuring secure, affordable energy supplies for everyone (which means developing alternatives to fossil fuels)
2. Ensuring that economic development doesn’t wreak environmental havoc (which means not just reducing carbon-dioxide emissions, but also cutting indoor pollution from burning biomass, reducing ozone, and protecting tropical forests);
3. Making sure that we are prepared to cope with whatever climate changes may occur, whether these are man-made or natural (which means recognizing, at long last, the importance of adapting to climate change).
In order to be successful, the global approach to climate policy should offer obvious advantages (what they refer to as “rapid and demonstrable pay-back”), appeal to a wide variety of people, and produce measurable results.
Instead of single-mindedly trying to force people to dispense with carbon-emitting fuels, the Hartwell group suggests that we pursue a number of other worthy goals – for example
3. Encouraging biodiversity, and
4. Improving air quality
We must recognize that we won’t make any real progress in cutting carbon-dioxide emissions until we can provide developing economies (and any person) with affordable alternatives to the fossil fuels on which they currently depend.
mass improvements are needed across many technologies. This requires the determined participation of governments. The group suggests partially funding the required research and development with a “slowly rising but initially low carbon tax” that would avoid undermining economic growth.
As the saying goes, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
With respect to global warming, it’s high time we came to our senses.
THE NET COMPUTED EFFECT OF RAISING FUEL ECONOMY
transportation accounts for nearly 30 percent of U.S. annual CO2 emissions, raising fuel economy is one of the most important things we can do to slow climate change. If we instantly doubled fuel economy we would save 15 percent of US annual CO2 emission. Since % of that may affect the greenhouse gas effect we would lower warming by ... if we took the assumptions....
REALITY OF ECONOMIC COSTS
The dependence on fossil fuels for energy complicates a solution. The reality is that a solution must take into account the immediate economic costs. About one-half of U.S. energy comes from coal. Yet, coal-burning power plants release carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide among other chemicals that further pollute the air, worsening the greenhouse effects. Use of scrubbers on power plant smoke stacks can reduce sulfur emissions by over 30 percent. Use of low-sulfur coal is another alternative.
THE EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING
The ocean has risen up to 6 inches in the 20th century, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The melting of the icecaps is the cause of that.
The temperature has risen 0.8 degrees Fahrenheit from 1905-2005.
THE CLEAN SOURCES OF ENERGY
Solar and wind energy, for example, show great promise as means to dramatically reduce emissions. Each one produces no emissions, making them a clean form of energy. Biomass and landfill waste offer other options. Biomass uses materials such as agricultural wastes and sewer sludge as fuel to generate steam for electricity. However, both sources emit some toxic emissions, which can reduce their feasibility. Likewise, while hydroelectricity is clean, it has great environmental costs.
According to the Pacific Northwest Laboratory, wind energy could potentially power up to 20 percent of the United States' energy needs. Solar power does not yet contribute significantly to the nation's power needs
HOW MUCH IS THE INCREASE?
Since the early 20th century, Earth's average surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F), with about two thirds of the increase occurring since 1980
The Earth's average surface temperature, expressed as a linear trend, rose by 0.74±0.18 °C over the period 1906–2005
Naturally occurring amounts of greenhouse gases have a mean warming effect of about 33 °C (59 °F).[C] The major greenhouse gases are water vapor, which causes about 36–70% of the greenhouse effect; carbon dioxide (CO2), which causes 9–26%; methane (CH4), which causes 4–9%; and ozone (O3), which causes 3–7%. Clouds also affect the radiation balance through cloud forcings similar to greenhouse gases.
In the scientific literature, there is a strong consensus that global surface temperatures have increased in recent decades and that the trend is caused mainly by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases. No scientific body of national or international standing disagrees with this view, though a few organisations hold non-committal positions.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the temperature has increased 1.2 to 1.4 degrees F over the last 100 years. Scientists predict that the temperature may rise 3.2 to 7.2 degrees F above 1990 levels by the century's end.
ss direct geological evidence indicates that CO2 values higher than this were last seen about 20 million years ago. Fossil fuel burning has produced about three-quarters of the increase in CO2 from human activity over the past 20 years. The rest of this increase is caused mostly by changes in land-use, particularly deforestation
The effects of the products of fossil fuel combustion – CO2 and aerosols – have largely offset one another in recent decades, so that net warming has been due to the increase in non-CO2 greenhouse gases such as methane.
The IPCC's overall conclusion was that geoengineering options remained "largely speculative and unproven, (...) with the risk of unknown side-effects.
IS THE WARMING OF THE EARTH HARMFUL?
The warming of the Earth’s surface is not necessarily harmful. This is overlooked by
many activists who preach the Gospel of CO2 reduction.
Generally warmer temperatures are beneficial, increasing bio-diversity.
Higher concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are beneficial to plant
life. High levels of CO2 in the air enable plants to grow bigger and
produce more branches and leaves.
However, the above minor benefits are no reason not to reduce greenhouse gases and
simultaneously reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
WHAT IS THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT?
In 1824, a French scientist, Jean Fourier, hypothesized that the average temperature of the planet is warmer because of the existence of the Earth’s atmosphere. He claimed that the warming effect of the atmosphere on the surface was similar to how a plant warms when it is encased in a house of glass.
Fourier called this phenomenon the greenhouse effect.
The composition of the Earth’s atmosphere governs the climate of the plant and establishes conditions vital for life. Although the atmosphere is primarily composed of nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%), these gases do not interact with the long thermal radiation emitted by the earth. This task is left to the greenhouse gases which account for less than 3% in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases include: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides and water vapor which are very effective at absorbing thermal radiation expelled from the Earth’s surface.
After greenhouse gases absorb thermal radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface, they re-radiate this energy back to the surface of the Earth, which warms the earth in the same way that a blanket traps body heat on a cold night.
THE WATER CYCLE: SIGNIFICANT!
Water cycle: Water exists in the atmosphere mainly in the form of water vapor and water mist. Water
droplets gather into mist and mass as clouds and fogs. Warm mist air rises to meet cool higher air and condenses as water droplets in clouds, which fall to earth as rain. Fresh water is essential for life, and most plants and animals consist of over 70% water. Water on the land runs into the oceans and the evaporation of ocean water replenishes water vapor in the atmosphere. Industrial processes and forest fires release water vapor, but not in amounts that are significant relative to ocean evaporation. Water vapor is a colorless, odorless gas and has no influence on the greenhouse effect.
However, water mist formed into cloud cover does retain some of the heat radiated from earth that is warmed by the sun, and does appear to produce a greenhouse effect. As we shall see in this analysis, most of the greenhouse effect comes from cloud cover. Increased cloud cover seems to produce mild cyclical warming spells on earth. Warming trends are reported by some historians to be times of good harvests, relative prosperity, and relatively-stable weather in the northern hemisphere — contrary to the warnings of the global warming Cassandras.
The seeding of clouds reduces atmospheric water vapor and thus reduces cloud cover, which in turn works against global warming.
There are many who believe that global warming is not due to man-made emissions, but is a natural phenomenon. This position is held by the Heartland Institute which supports a nongovernmental international panel on climate change. This panel is comprised of many rational and important scientists.
The man-made contribution to the current global warming is insignificant. The observed temperature trends disagree sharply with those calculated from existing greenhouse models. There are many short comings inherent
The scientists have traced changes in the climate since the last ice age ended about 10,000 years ago. These scientists found extensive periods that were warmer than today and colder than today, on a timescale of
decades and centuries.
Their most viable argument is that climate and solar warning models are not reliable and one cannot predict the effects of global warming on climate change. In the models that try to simulate what is happening in the real atmosphere and predict climate changes.
THE CARBON TAX
The big problem with carbon tax is that is has to be very high to decrease pollution
a carbon tax hurts poor people. In theory, it can be mitigated by funneling
rebates to the poor, but in practice, most tax breaks favor the rich.
And the higher costs will affect the economy negatively, so that there are substantial negative side effects.
Essentially, there is, undeniably a high cost to this. As Obama said "The price of electricity will skyrocket." He then talks about how effective this will be, but seems to underestimate the effect on the economy (employment and lower pay checks, fewer and/or smaller businesses) and the well-being of individuals. See video My Plan Makes Electicity Rates Skyrocket. A way of forcing change, but one needs to have a broader perspective. Are the people willing to suffer for this, for the prospective long term benefits? People are "for" this idea, until they realize the trade-offs - and a wise leader is a master of decision-making, balancing these in order to determine what has the greater benefit - kind of a Solomon-like decision. (Mitt Romney had to make the decision, finally choosing not to sign a cap and trade bill because of its bad economic factors and the effect on business.) "It would lower the standard of living for all but the rich."
CONSIDER THE TRADE-OFFS
The global warming debate has become so fixated on CO2 cuts that it neglects what presumably is our primary objective: to improve the quality of life and the environment.
In the battles over whether we should cut four percent or 96 percent, we might easily forget that in the short and medium term, we can help people much better through alternative policies. We can
1. Cut diseases, malnutrition and lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation while
2. Improving the economy with much cheaper policies that will have much greater impact.
In the long-term, our goal should be to make a transition to a low-carbon future so inexpensive that our children and grandchildren will want to do it and that China and India will want to as well.
I hope we will not have to tell our grandchildren that we went for a long series of essentially unsuccessful command-and-control Kyotos that had little or no effect on the climate but left them poorer and less able to deal with problems of the future. I also hope we will not have to say that we focused monomaniacally on global warming, neglecting most or all of our other challenges.
We should be able to look our grandchildren in the eyes and say we have managed the first part of the century-long effort to tackle climate change by making low-carbon energy technologies much cheaper and much more accessible. We should be able to tell our children that our decisions have left them a world better equipped to deal with the future: richer, better fed, healthier, and with a better environment.
Source, favoring dealing with global warming
Increasing the use of renewable energy requires basic changes to the infrastructure to bring the energy to the ultimate user. Connecting to the grid of power companies is a major obstacle.
There is a three-year wait for offshore drill rigs and at least a one-year wait for a land-based rig. Their
infrastructure problems, pipelines have to be built, and refineries have to be built and expanded.
"It is my belief that the quickest way to accomplish oil independence is by building new
atomic power plants." One expert.
DOES U.S. DRILLING FOR OIL HURT THE CLIMATE?
Some simple reasoning says "no, it won't harm the climate. Why? Because if we use the same amount of energy as we do now, we will simply be providing for the oil ourselves, instead of it being drilled elsewhere.
Oil drilled here minus oil saved and not drilled elsewhere = 0 change in oil use
And if we continue to import alot of our oil, we'll continue to have a balance of trade payments that is negative, which means we have to borrow more from China - and we exacerbate our problems - the American citizens pay big time, but they don't realize the cost and focus only on the idea of the cost to the environment of drilling - but that is minor, close to zero in certain areas. Advocating non-drilling is the equivalent of cutting off your nose to spite your face and/or to cutting off your hand to avoid it itching... Consider the trade-off.
See section: Drilling For Oil, The Tradeoffs And The Benefits. (Perfection is not an option....)
RELATIVE EFFECTIVENESS - THIS SHOULD DETERMINE OUR PRIORITIES
We have wasted much time by not properly assessing this. We can not go into this pell-mell, in frantic activity, if we want to be effective.
" There is no dispute at all about the fact that even if punctiliously observed, (the Kyoto Protocol) would have an imperceptible effect on future temperatures -- one-twentieth of a degree by 2050. "
Dr. S. Fred Singer, atmospheric physicist
" I can only see one element of the climate system capable of generating these fast, global changes, that is, changes in the tropical atmosphere leading to changes in the inventory of the earth's most powerful greenhouse gas-- water vapor. "
Dr. Wallace Broecker, a leading world authority on climate