Friday, December 14, 2007

Balinese Treat

The news from the Bali conference on climate has been unsurprising to me. I generally shy away from hippie, evil corporations and Bush being a corporate pawn clich├ęs, but it's like he wants us to think in those terms. Like always, Bush's administration moderates its tone when its critics are proven right, but it remains as unwilling to adress the problem. This time the US is unwilling to bind itself to an international agreement (again) that obliges it to interfere with domestic economy and CO2 output. Yeah, it is supported by Japan and Canada in this stance, but when you get down to it, you can scrap those of the list just as soon again since a) Japan has in the past already made such large contributions to cutting CO2 that it's really difficult for them to find anything else that could be cleaner without conflicting with a core value of Japanese: consumerism. And b) Canada is held hostage by a conservative government, so I do what I do best and blame those rather than Blame Canada.

Bush's logic is always free market oriented when it's not really such a strong arguement. He wants to protect the market from cheap Chinese cars so he wouldn't be caught dead telling the auto industry how to make cars. I heard somewhere a Ford cars wouldn't pass even China's enviromental standards. Or he says the US cannot make the change without incredible effort. If so, I'd like to hear him explain why Putin had Russia sign Kyoto. You'd think the older Russian industry would have an even harder time than a country much richer than itself. Of course that is if Putin wasn't just out to score brownie points with left wing critics who care about enviroment and human rights in equal measure.

What truly made Bush the laughing stock was his own little conference in Washington half a year ago. No bald faced liar could have humiliated himself more than that. His administration claimed it was leading on enviromental protection and Europe should follow their example. Sorry, but if the Netherlands followed that example I'd be typing this blog from a refugee camp in the German Alps now since our dykes would have broken like the levees of New Orleans. They then had the arrogance to expect other nations to contribute financial and scientific resources to improve the world. A cynic would say Bush wanted to rummage through the donations bin, pick out contributions he liked, and then throw in a half burned cigar and call it 'his contribution'. The rancid cream on top was a press statement by his lackeys, so they could cart the news teams off to somewhere so nobody would see the insulted and gravely disappointed delegation as it left.

I figure there may be a few climate change sceptics reading who will say "why waste money on something that hasn't been proven?". Okay, so if a 100+ reports on climate change are not proof, let's take a hypothetical situation, hmm? Ask yourself what the enviromentalists (mostly scientists, greens and left wingers) stand to gain from being right, then ask what the critics (corporations, free market proponents and right wingers) stand to gain from being right. I can see no benefit for enviromentalists that are material, and they cannot be driven to press for such sacrifices if there wasn't anything wrong to begin with. The critics however, if right, won't have to make expensive changes to increase their efficiency and cut their polution, so for them it's about the money.
Still nor convinced? Well, let's say the enviromentalists get their way and we make all those suggested changes, but climate change isn't just avoided, but it turns out to have never been a threat. Then we will have invested huge sums of money in biofuels, renewable energy, hydrogen fuel and even fusion power, while water and air pollution is brought back considerably, increasing the health and welbeing of people living in industrialized regions, and forfeited any tiffs over oil trade while economically strangling a few brutal regimes that are only tolerated and sucked-up to because of their fossil fuel reserves. Not a bad way to be proven wrong, is it?
And what about if we do things the way Global Warming sceptics want it and they are proven wrong? Well, I'd hate to see what the world will be like then. I'd also hate to be in any redneck's shoes when he has to explain to refugees from Shanghai, New York or Amsterdam why he didn't want to make a little effort to prevent pollution before it led to global floods and other disasters.

Ironically, Bali is an island in the Indonesian archipelago that is rather small and will probably lose significant amounts of land to the sea if it does not disappear entirely in the event of global flooding. My mom used to buy Balinese Treats at a baker but nowadays it's impossible to get those even at a specialized sweets baker. I estimate that if Bali is all washed up, they'll be even harder to get. We may as well call them sea snacks then, and I reckon if Bali is gone, we'll be having plenty of those here.


nicole said...

I thought this ubiquitous carbon sink might interest you. Here's the current news and links on Terra Preta (TP)soils and closed-loop pyrolysis of Biomass, this integrated virtuous cycle could sequester 100s of Billions of tons of carbon to the soils.

Terra Preta Soils Technology To Master the Carbon Cycle

This technology represents the most comprehensive, low cost, and productive approach to long term stewardship and sustainability.Terra Preta Soils a process for Carbon Negative Bio fuels, massive Carbon sequestration, 1/3 Lower CH4 & N2O soil emissions, and 3X Fertility Too.
UN Climate Change Conference: Biochar present at the Bali Conference

SCIAM Article May 15 07;

After many years of reviewing solutions to anthropogenic global warming (AGW) I believe this technology can manage Carbon for the greatest collective benefit at the lowest economic price, on vast scales. It just needs to be seen by ethical globally minded companies.

Could you please consider looking for a champion for this orphaned Terra Preta Carbon Soil Technology.

The main hurtle now is to change the current perspective held by the IPCC that the soil carbon cycle is a wash, to one in which soil can be used as a massive and ubiquitous Carbon sink via Charcoal. Below are the first concrete steps in that direction;

S.1884 – The Salazar Harvesting Energy Act of 2007

A Summary of Biochar Provisions in S.1884:

Carbon-Negative Biomass Energy and Soil Quality Initiative

for the 2007 Farm Bill

(...PLEASE!!..........Contact your Senators & Repps in Support of S.1884........NOW!!...)

M. Simon said...

Global Warming is a plot by the nuclear power companies.

They figure if they can get coal outlawed they will be on a gravy train.

GE is trying to get coal outlawed in order to make its business more profitable. They plan to make a bundle off carbon trading too if it can be made mandatory.

The best solution? Make the alternatives cheaper than fossil fuels. No mandates required.

In addition suppose the US joins some carbon reduction scheme and China and India do not? Where do you think energy intensive businesses will move to? Do you think they will install pollution control eqpt. as the US has?

Suppose we are headed for an ice age and we have banned coal without other cost effective alternatives? What then?

And you know we really don't need to ban coal for now. We could just plant more trees. Something not allowed in Kyoto to meet CO2 reduction goals. Why? It would be the cheapest way to solve the problem.

Maybe solving the problem is not the purpose of Kyoto. Maybe the purpose is just shutting down coal plants for fun and profit.

Putting a (government) gun to peoples heads is not the most efficient way to solve problems.

There are so many people who think that turning government guns on people is a good way to solve problems. Which accords well with fascism (after the Latin fasces - you can look it up).


And I haven't even gotten to the best point. The USA has a high quality measurement system for air temps. The rest of the world is much worse.

In all of Latin America there are 7 high quality temp measurement stations with 100 year or more records. One of them is about 200 mi off the coast on an island.

All of Europe, Russia, and China because of wars and internal political upheavals have very poor measurements and very few 100 year records. Out of this we are supposed to discern a signal that is on par with measurement accuracy at the best stations? I don't think so.

Another point. Global temperatures have been flat for about the last 9 or 10 years. Fluctuation in a rising trend or an inflection point?

Did I mention that the models do not do the biggest Green House gas - water vapor well - the modelers will tell you so. Real confidence builder there.

M. Simon said...

BTW the next solar cycle is late in coming.

Shorter cycles are an indication of lower solar output.

Right now the solar output is at an 1,000 year high (may even be an 8,000 year high).

Many solar scientists (there are none on the IPCC panel - solar output is assumed constant and water vapor is ASSUMED to be a reinforcer of CO2 heating. However, clouds are not well modeled and - even the warmists agree that it is possible that water vapor feedback could be negative i.e. they don't even know the sign let alone the magnitude) think we are headed for a little ice age. What if they are right? We will be spending a lot of money doing the wrong thing. That would be brilliant don't you think?


There is another way that those who are believers could head off disaster. Stop breathing. It emits CO2.

M. Simon said...

Kyoto Schmyoto

•Emissions worldwide increased 18.0 percent;
•Emissions from countries that signed the treaty increased 21.1 percent;
•Emissions from nonsigners increased 10.0 percent; and
•Emissions from the United States increased 6.6 percent.

I've heard the Euros are especially bad in this respect. Stop whining about Bush and get your house in order.

BTW we don't need to wait 50 year for the ITER boys to get their act together.

Bussard Reactor Funded

The above reactor can burn Deuterium which is very abundant and produces lots of neutrons or it can burn a mixture of Hydrogen and abundant Boron 11 which does not.

The implication of it is that we will know in 6 to 9 months if the small reactors of that design are feasible.

If they are we could have fusion plants generating electricity in 10 years or less depending on how much we want to spend to compress the time frame. A much better investment than the CO2 sequestration.

BTW Bussard is not the only thing going on in IEC. There are a few government programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory, MIT, the University of Wisconsin and at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana among others.

The Japanese and Australians also have programs.

Europeans have no such shortcut to Fusion. Wasamatter you? Global warming not serious enough?