Saturday, December 19, 2009

Guess what - Copenhagen doesn't achieve much of anything, really.....

Basically it comes down to this:

"Well, here are some guidelines, if you feel like following pressure, really...."


What to do? Should we spend our resources on preparing for and adapting to the inevitable changes to come? Or should we spend that money on trying to prevent the inevitable or at least limit the damage? Can we do both? Is it even inevitable, can we stop it before it's too late? My tuppence worth:

  1. Develop alternative, sustainable techologies to generate energy.  Using energy efficient appliances and turning off your lights  won't help if the electric company still produces the same amount of electricity anyway. It's a business like any other, and they'll always find users for the excess power generated. We need to find smarter ways of producing electricity. We really ought to invest more heavily in nuclear fusion research to solve our energy problems. No radioactive waste, and an almost infinite fuel supply. Windfarms, solar energy, using waves in the sea are just some of the other ways we can move forward but storage is still a problem. Is anyone working on safe, reliable, efficient batteries that can store huge amounts of energy long term? If not, why not?
  2. We need to beware of the false dichotomy of "it's either the green extremist way or big business way" with nothing in between. There is a middle ground between heavy industry and its supporters on the one hand saying that humanity have nothing to do with any warming that might be happening, and the shrill eco-catastrophists predicting the extinction of every living thing on the planet if we don't all go back to the middle ages. Wherever there are extremists, the truth is usually found somewhere in the middle. 
  3. Prepare for the worst case scenario. While a system as complex as the global climate is not easily modelled, and projecting into the future is even more difficult, there are some things that we can say with reasonable certainty. We should be thinking about how to handle things like rising sea levels and potential changes in the way heat is distributed around the world via sea-borne and airborne currents.



Posted via web from John's posterous

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