Monday, February 9, 2009

Some basic considerations

I don't always lay out my assumptions. I accept the reality of Anthropogenic Global Warming, and have done so since I first heard Jerry Olsen talk about it in the spring of 1971. Jerry was articulate enough to have convinced Alvin Weinberg and just about everyone at ORNL during the 1970's. My father was writing about AGW by the late 1970's and of course you are never going to convince me that my father was a member of a fringe pseudo-scientific cult which the AGW skeptics would suggest.

A great majority of all scientists including climate scientists, are convinced by the evidence for AGW, The credentials of scientists who accept AGW are far more impressive than the credentials of the AGW skeptics. I also find the arguments of climate scientists who accept AGW persuasive, and the evidence for a scientific case against AGW to be weak.

I regard the notion that AGW is a hoax designed to advance a Liberal political agenda to be completely wrongheaded. Chinese scientists operate in a political environment in which state controls far in excess of those attributed to the so called liberal political agenda. They have no motive to want to increase state power beyond those already claimed by the Powerful Chinese Communist party. Yet Chinese scientists accept the reality of AGW, and have recommended that the Chines state integrate AGW as an assumption in areas of state planning, such as future agricultural output.

Chinese climate scientists believe that by 2019 the atmospheric CO2 level will reach between 440 and 429 PPM, and the average temperature in China will rise by 1 degree C. By 2080 chines scientists believe that atmospheric CO2 levels will rise to 721 PPM, without mitigation, with mitigation CO2 levels are still expected to rise to 561 PPM. the Chinese scientists expect 2080 temperature rises by 3.89 degrees C without mitigation and by 3.20 degrees C with mitigation.

What concerns me is the dogmatic certainty of AGW skeptics, that the future projected by the Chinese scientists, as part of Chines agricultural planning must be wrong despite the widespread agreement by climate scientists that it is very probable, and would have serious consequences not contemplated by Chinese agricultural planners.

My goal is to insure that even if the scientists are wrong about AGW, that society would benefit from mitigation efforts, that personal freedom would be enhanced, that the collective wealth would be greatly enhanced, and that the distribution of that wealth would be far more equitable than it is today. As I have said, these goals make me a Liberal, but are not antithetical to a conservative output. If the climate scientists are correct about AGW, my view is that mitigation efforts should be underway in ernest, by 2020, with a goal of transformation electrical production into a post carbon mode by 2020, and at least an 80% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2050. I actually believe that these goals are potentially attainable, provided the Aim High program is adopted. I must add that the Aim High plan is the only plan that would have a reasonable likely hood of complete and successful carbon mitigation by 2050. The Aim High program would also be compatible with my "Liberal" goals,and would contain nothing that reasonable conservatives would find objectionable.

Further by ending American reliance on imported oil, and lowering the price Americans pay for energy, the Aim high program would benefit American businesses. What's there for conservatives not to like?

Thus my assumptions are that the Aim High program would mitigate AGW, but would produce beneficial economic effects even if AGW mitigation were to prove unnecessary. I believe that conservatives out to admit to the possibility that they are wrong about AGW and to to back the AIM High program. The alternative would be that in 2050 Conservatives might discover that they are wrong about AGW, but by 2050 it will be far to late, and conservative will also discover that they and an unprepared society will be up shit creek without a paddle. (Pardon my French)

I believe that the Green program of AGW mitigation through efficiency and renerable energy sources will fail because it is far to expensive and accomplishes far to little. It is also exceptionally illiberal, because it would greatly decrease the amount of wealth producing energy available to society, and increase the cost of that diminished energy, This would create hardships for poor persons and people living on fixed incomes, and would most surly be oppressive to the poorest and most vulnerable members of society. Excuse me but the energy schemes of Amory Lovins and company would oppress the poor and the elderly. Lovins and Joe Romm are reactionaries not progressives. Lovins and Romm basically never take the interests of the poor or the elderly into account, in their energy schemes.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

charlesB

you said:

"I believe that conservatives out to ......... back the AIM High program."

Not to worry. Most conservatives/AGWCC skeptics will back LFTR for one or more of the following reasons.

a)energy security
b)low cost 24/7 energy to help the poor
c)much cleaner than coal (co2 aside)
d)it's the least damaging (to the economy) alternative to FF (compared to wind/solar) when AGWCC fears die out

You can expect some support for coal from Republicans (and Democrats) with coal resources in their states (check the positions of the senate energy committee).

charlesH

donb said...

charlesH said:
Most conservatives/AGWCC skeptics will back LFTR for one or more of the following reasons.

a)energy security
b)low cost 24/7 energy to help the poor
c)much cleaner than coal (co2 aside)
d)it's the least damaging (to the economy) alternative to FF (compared to wind/solar) when AGWCC fears die out


As a conservative, I can agree with all these points.

I think there is yet another aspect of advanced nuclear energy that both ends of the political spectrum (except for the Luddite crazies) can agree on -- the development of the LFTR and other advanced nuclear energy technologies has the potential to inspired an up and coming generation of engineers and scientists much like the landing on the moon did years ago.

I spent my grade school and high school years during the development of the space program. I watched just about every manned rocket launch on TV. I watched the first live trans-Atlantic TV broadcast via satellite. The culmination was when the first man set foot on the moon -- the day before college entrance exams on my way to an advanced engineering degree.

I don't see an equivalent inspirational program for up and coming technologists. I think advanced nuclear technologies can be that program, one that can benefit the general public even more than the space program.

In the end, I would like to a State of the Union message where the President says that little coal is being burned, the air is cleaner, oil imports are insignificant, and we are all living better because of safe, abundant, clean and economical nuclear energy.

George Carty said...

I wouldn't call the deep greens "Luddites". The original Luddites did not oppose technology per se, only the specific technologies which threatened their jobs.

More like the fossil-fuel industry (which nuclear threatens to put out of business) than the Green anti-nukes...

donb said...

George Carty wrote:
I wouldn't call the deep greens "Luddites". The original Luddites did not oppose technology per se, only the specific technologies which threatened their jobs.

Point well taken. The "Luddites" here are in the fossil fuel industries. The greens seem to gravitate towards "feel good" technologies like wind and solar, with a strong undercurrent of NIMBY and BANANA sentiments.

The irony is that the deep greens are in effect allied with the fossil fuel Luddites, even if this is not what the greens intend. But the result is to prolong the widespread use of fossil fuel.

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