Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Posts Tagged ‘renewable energy’

After Copenhagen: Climate action we can agree on

Posted by sanityinjection on December 17, 2009

In the wake of what is shaping up to be the spectacular failure of the Copenhagen conference on climate change, it may be that this presents an opportunity for a new look at the issue. I refer you to this piece by Bjorn Lomborg in the WSJ arguing that the current strategy being demanded by the global warming hysteria lobby – stringent worldwide emissions restrictions – fails not only because it is not achievable, but because even if it were achievable it would fail to benefit the people of the world’s underdeveloped countries. Because of poverty and disease, many people in these countries will not live long enough to suffer from rampant global warming. Emissions reductions, Lomborg points out, are incredibly costly and yet relatively ineffective in reducing global temperatures. For a fraction of the cost we could be wiping out malaria, for example, and save many more lives.

The irony of the global warming hysteria industry is that they have actually eroded support for moving away from fossil fuels by blotting out everything else and insisting on making global warming the defining issue. In fact, there are plenty of good reasons to support reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and expanding our use of alternative and renewable energy, while conserving energy through hyper-efficient “green” technology. You don’t have to be a faithful worshipper at the Church of ManBearPig, er, I mean man-made global warming, to support these things. Lomborg points out that even a major increase in funding for these initiatives would be vastly cheaper than what is being discussed in Copenhagen:

“Specifically, we should radically increase spending on R&D for green energy—to 0.2% of global GDP, or $100 billion. That’s 50 times more than the world spends now—but still twice as cheap as Kyoto. Not only would this be both affordable and politically achievable, but it would also have a real chance of working.”

Even the Obama Administration is taking a break from cheerleading for Al Gore to propose tax breaks for clean energy technologies – which in addition to helping the environment, also benefits the economy, unlike Copenhagen-style emissions restrictions which hurt the economy. To use a metaphor that carbon-haters can understand – the difference between promoting clean energy and mandating emissions caps is like the difference between walking and driving. Walking may be slower but it’s reliable, healthy and doesn’t cause collateral damage. Driving will get you where you want to go in a hurry, but at what cost?


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Energy reforms being held hostage by global warming lobby?

Posted by sanityinjection on August 14, 2009

There’s been an interesting development in the debate over carbon emissions “cap-and-trade” legislation, passed by the House and awaiting action by the Senate. Four Democrat Senators are asking that the cap-and-trade bill be dropped in favor of advancing as a stand-alone bill items related to energy efficiency and sufficiency.

The Senators are concerned that the larger bill will not be able to gain enough votes to pass, and that the energy provisions are important and should be done now. They include new mandates for energy efficiency and renewable energy, coupled with an extension of offshore oil and gas drilling. Such a combination of items favored by Democrats and Republicans stands a much better chance of passage.

Of course, the global warming zealots are not giving up so easily. “I don’t think we are going to take to the Senate floor a bill stripped of climate provisions,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). In other words, the Democrat leadership would rather see reasonable energy reform fail rather than abandon their hysterical push to destroy the American economy in service of their pseudo-scientific god.

I commend the four Senators for their prgamatism and hope that their request is heeded. Although I haven’t read the bill and am not sure what the implications of the new laws would be, I would rather see the energy provisions debated than cap-and-trade. If the larger bill is defeated, the Democrat leaders will be in no mood to talk about extending offshore drilling, which is something I definitely support. Both sides would be better off spending their time on a bill that might achieve bipartisan support and allow both parties to demonstrate that they are interested in real progress rather than scoring political points.

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