Wednesday, October 04, 2006

‘The most important issue we face’

‘The issue is urgent. If there is one message I would leave with you ..... it is one of urgency.’ PM Tony Blair.*

A while ago I did work experience at BP(Alternative Energy)
I was asked what could stop Global Warming. I went through the list: solar, wind, wave, tidal, geothermal, heat pump, random kinetic, biomass, hydrogen, carbon sequestration, ENERGY EFFICIENCY.
I ran out, many of these technologies are in early stages and cannot be used on large enough scales quickly enough. 300km2 of today’s solar panels could power the world if they were in the Sahara desert – but we don’t need power in the Sahara desert and who would foot the huge bill? It would not be enough anyway of the resistance in wires.
If we really tried, an Apollo program sized push, war production levels, we could do much, enough? No.
That is my conclusion – we cannot save the whole world. Hundreds, perhaps hundreds of thousands of species will be wiped out.
We will get 3 degrees more – even if we stopped now – and we can’t. 1degree is too much for the permafrost, bye bye permafrost. Catastrophic comes to mind, Positive Feedback Loops!
Millions of people will die, for all the efforts of humanity. The whole world will suffer for our folly. All we have left to decide is whether millions die or hundreds of millions. The difference between a major catastrophe and an absolutely massive humongous catastrophe. It will be bad. Do you want your World horribly over cooked or burnt? That is the decision You must make.

*I do not often preface my work with a quote from a fool but here at least he is saying the right thing – even if he does not act upon it.

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