Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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Monday, February 28, 2011

Black Rain

See, now this is the sort of thing that environments should be focused on:

A new United Nations Environment Program report [PDF] focuses on measures that would dramatically the emissions of black carbon and methane gas by 2030. The report finds:

Full implementation of the identified measures would reduce future global warming by 0.5 ̊C (within a range of 0.2–0.7 C, Figure 1). If the measures were to be implemented by 2030, they could halve the potential increase in global temperature projected for 2050 compared to the Assessment’s reference scenario based on current policies and energy and fuel projections. The rate of regional temperature increase would also be reduced.

I’ve blogged about methane emissions before.

We leak some three trillion cubic feet of gas into the atmosphere every year.  Eliminating these leaks would not cripple our economy—it would save money.  And it would reduce global warming by about a third within ten years.  That’s a bigger impact than all the hybrid vehicles, dim CFC bulbs and outlawed TVs combined.  And it would happen now, not in 2050.  This is such a good idea that even the Bush Administration was quietly pushing it.  Obama is hesitating a bit but looks like he’ll move forward on it.

Why are the environmentalists not all over this?  This would potentially delay any global warming harm for decades.  At the very least, it would buy time for more technological breakthroughs.  They’re ignoring it precisely because it doesn’t cripple economies or leave us in dimly let rooms or force us to drive crappy cars.  Saving the environment is supposed to involve a return to nature not saving money.  Industry is something to be feared, not something to be helped.

Black carbon falls into the same category—it’s mostly a product of inefficient combustion.  The US has cut emission of particulates by 40% in just the last two decades—two decades of strong economic growth.  Moreover, black carbon is the sort of lung-choking stuff that people usually think about when it comes to pollution.  Reducing black carbon uses existing technology and would improve air quality.

Of course, cutting black carbon and methane emissions have a lot of problems.  For one, they don’t involve massive corrupt collectivist government cap and trade schemes.  They don’t put us back into a near stone age, relying on hamster wheels to power our civilization.  You wouldn’t have to crush capitalism and the encouragement of “green industry” would be minimal.  In fact, it might stimulate even more industry and economic development.

So, we can’t have that.  Better to force everyone to CFC bulbs that cut global temperatures by an amount too low to be measured.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 02/28/11 at 07:05 AM in Science and Technology  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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