Climate change: thinking beyond carbon capture

I recently ended up exchanging a few twitters regarding the whole climate change debate and though more than enough has cluttered the e-waves about it already I had not yet seen my own take on it.

First of all my position is that:

1. There is incontrovertible evidence that climate change is real (the world is warming up).
2. It is obvious to anyone who lives on this planet and has a memory that things are different than they were a couple of decades ago (most ice forms have shrunk, weather is wonkier).
3. Carbon capture is a corporate scam.
4. We are past the point of no return (not that we are necessarily doomed).

Part of the reason that I even engaged in the tweeting was that I noticed from both the American and British quarters that the libertarian types seemed to be so antagonistic to the whole concept. (This probably as true in Canada but maybe we are just not as vocal about it). Now perhaps many of these are just lambasting the whole idea because they are so annoyed at the current and future policy impositions. I understand and sympathize wholeheartedly that the way this is being dealt is wrong. And I think that I have been at loggerheads with this faction (that I partly agree with) because I get the idea that they just don’t like any idea that interferes with making money.

And I have never really been able to get all that excited about arguing for the freedom to profit from others.

Some are getting excited about scientists pushing the debate but though I believe that science is about developing and testing theories, and about gather knowledge to determine the most likely shape of reality, I am not so sure, even if that science has uncertainty has one of its main pillars, that scientists should excuse themselves from the public sphere.

Why should the people who actually and methodically explore the world be asked to dispassionately excuse themselves from the discussion when our officials, rarely elected for being intelligent (though some of them are), are considered to have a special knowledge into these things.

But enough about that, let’s get to my suggestions (and bear in mind I am neither a politician, an economist nor a climate scientist). Just a fool with a keyboard.

My guiding principle is that while climate change is due to more than a single cause, there is little doubt that human presence is a major factor. Let’s face it; our numbers and activity are seriously fucking up this planet and recycling and being green are no more than bandages on the sucking chest wound. Its all about consumption. So here they are:

1. Create a serious disincentive for any company that makes a product that lasts less than five years.
2. Impose a serious disincentive for any consumer who replaces a product before five years are up. (Unless it is defective etc..)

And that is about it…but then maybe

3. Though it is admirable to keep emissions ozone friendly, I would lose the carbon trading schemes (a massive shell game as far as i can tell) and use the money earmarked to those sorts of things into developing better plans with how to cope with a warmer planet. We’re way past the tipping point and it might be better to stop beating ourselves up about this, about minimal reductions while worrying about whether it is fair to penalize the poorer countries, and think bigger.

We are speeding towards disaster and its better to steer to the side even while we are stomping on the brakes.

2 comments on “Climate change: thinking beyond carbon capture

  1. Actually, the IPCC has told us the best way to procede, with their SRES (Special Report on Emissions Scenarios) A1 family:

    “A1 storyline and scenario family: a future world of very rapid economic growth, global population that peaks in mid-century and declines thereafter, and rapid introduction of new and more efficient technologies.”


  2. I almost feel compelled to read all the attached at that page but not quite enough. Its another one of those issues where though I am driven to have an opinion and to scoff at most of what I read about it, I suspect that my feeble mumblings will have little influence on the future. Which undermines my reading those docs.

    I am not much of a believer in magic technology cures. Or put it this way, however amazing the new tech is, it still has to be applied and we have plenty of examples of great ideas that go nowhere.

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