Sunday, October 29, 2006

It's the OIL, Stupid.

Suppose that in your garden, you had built 5 huge bonfires; all the waste that you'd stored up for a year. And you were ready to set fire to one a day for the next five days. Then suppose a busybody from the Council came along and told you that you couldn't; because all that smoke and soot going into the atmosphere would be hazardous. And after you'd thought about it, you agreed with him.

Then, suppose he told you it would be OK if you made 6 piles instead and took 6 days over it. Because, by doing so, you would cut the pollution down by 20%. It's bollocks, isn't it? You'd still be burning the same overall amount, wouldn't you?

But that's the reasoning behind reducing carbon emissions to prevent 'Global Warming'. They say that, if we reduce usage of carbon-rich fuel (basically coal and oil), we'll prevent the planet from overheating and stop sea-level rises that will flood many areas that are currently inhabitable.

Now then, there are some who dispute: (a) that world temperatures are rising at all and (b) that, if they are, whether it's attributable to increased levels of greenhouse gases and (c) that the amount of polar ice that could be affected would be sufficient to significantly raise sea-levels even if it did melt.

But the point is, even if the Global Warming theorists are correct; how will reducing emissions back to 1980s levels (which is all that's being proposed) help matters in the long run? Britain, for instance, is trying to get emissions down by 20% (by 2010). Right. So it will now take us 120 years to emit the same amount we would otherwise have done in 100. Hardly allows enough time for the poor old Earth to get its breath back, does it?

Humans have only been using carbon fuels intensively since the Industrial Revolution of 1850. And in that short space of time, have already used approximately (some say) half of the earth's oil reserves. Even if more deposits are found and become viable, how much longer can they be burned - at the increasing rate with which countries' outputs are expanding? 100 years? 200? 500? I doubt it. So one way or another, all the carbon presently locked up under the earth is going to be released into the atmosphere - where it once was, anyway.

And then, 'Global Warming' will have happened and nobody will be in much of a position to care one way or the other unless they're all cycling around with windmills on their heads.

So what's the fuss about? Why are politicians telling us we've all got to be taxed to stop us taking an Easyjet to Prague or else we're all going to drown under the tide?

Same reason we invaded Iraq? Because the bloody stuff's running out? Surely not.

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