There was a really interesting article about fossil fuel in The Guardian recently.
The author points out that in spite of everything we’re doing (renewable energy, emissions trading, etc.), CO? emissions are still rising at the same rate as before — have a look at the graph on the right. As it says in the article: “For whatever reason, cutting carbon has so far been like squeezing a balloon: gains made in one place have been cancelled out by increases elsewhere.” The dotted line shows what the world needs to be doing to limit temperature rises to 2°C — there’s just no way the red line (the actual emissions) are going to fall like this over the next couple of decades.
The article doesn’t offer many concrete solutions, but I think it’s very important to realise that we aren’t currently actually doing anything to limit the rise in CO? emissions.
It’s depressing innit
Worth noticing: emission is decreasing compared to energy production. Emerging markets like China are undergoing immense growth, and we barely see that on growing emissions. Any attempt at using energy with less emission in Europe is wasted as all significant growth happens in China and India (and China on its own is about to be responsible for more than 50% of emissions within a few years).
Things are being done, but windmills and solar energy are not the answer. Reducing emissions where they are worst are. For example, the US has reduced emissions immensely in the last 5-10 years due to the use of fracking. Fracking is different because it is economical and good for the environment. Sure, it’s not as good as windmills seen in isolation, but it works.
The nuclear scare is one of the worst things happening to the environment in recent times, because now Germany switched a lot of their energy production from clean nuclear to coal, and other countries want to follow.
To do list:
1. Lock scientists in a room until they develop a reactor type that can in no way be used to manufacture materials for nuclear weapons.
2. Get everyone to start using said reactor type.
3. Lock scientists in a room until they develop batteries that have 5-10 times the capacity of lithium-ion cells and excellent cold weather performance.
4. Get everyone to buy an electric car.
The only reason this hasn’t been done, that I can think of, is that noone was able to capture some scientists and lock them in a room. They must all be damned good runners.
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