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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Warmer Climate Good For Singer

Debate Over Climate Science of Academic Interest Only -
Policy on Climate Change Resolved by Energy Technology

The debate that has raged for over a decade on climate science has turned out to be a fizzer.

The final answer to the question:
Do emissions from burning fossil fuels cause global warming?
turns out to be:
Apart from climate scientists publishing academic papers, no-one cares.
Where did we go wrong in elevating this unimportant question into a major political debate?
These two assumptions created the perception that climate science was important:
  1. That effects of climate change caused by human activity will be beneficial.
  2. That any efforts to limit climate change caused by human activity would have dire consequences.
We now know the second assumption was wrong. Academic climate scientists may continue to debate the first assumption for years to come, at their leisure.

Dr Fred Singer correctly describes policy formulation in circumstances where scientists disagree over important issues:
This is a problem that people will have to ask themselves. They'll have to say: What happens in the worst case?
The policy answer to this so-called "problem" is surprisingly simple:
  1. Energy generation with low emissions of carbon dioxide will NOT have a devastating effect on the economy and result in millions of people dying and millions more reduced to dire poverty. 
  2. Energy generation with low emissions of carbon dioxide will reduce the cost of energy, boost economic activity, create jobs growth and help to reduce poverty. This is THE RIGHT policy response. 

Interview, Dr. S. Fred Singer

If people can't rely on statements like "most scientists agree" and so forth, like that, with an issue of this complexity, how are they supposed to come to an opinion on it?

How should people come to some conclusion when scientists disagree? I think this is a problem that people will have to ask themselves. They'll have to say: What happens in the worst case? Supposing the scientists who say it will warm are correct, is that good or bad? And the answer is: If it warms, it will be good. So what is the concern, really? Even if the warming should take place, and the warming will be noticeable...if that should be the case, if it is measurable, that does not mean that it is economically damaging. In fact, the opposite is true.

But you might get, for instance, flooding in Bangladesh or in the [Maldive] Islands, or in southern United States. Those have to be scenarios. If you have a warming up,four or five degrees, those are possibilities, aren't they?

We have to ask, what is the impact of a warmer climate? It's not the warming itself that we should be concerned about. It is the impact. So we have to then ask: What is the impact on agriculture? The answer is: It's positive. It's good. What's the impact on forests of greater levels of CO2 and greater temperatures? It's good. What is the impact on water supplies? It's neutral. What is the impact on sea level? It will produce a reduction in sea-level rise. It will not raise sea levels. What is the impact on recreation? It's mixed. You get, on the one hand, perhaps less skiing; on the other hand, you get more sunshine and maybe better beach weather.

Let's face it. People like warmer climates. There's a good reason why much of the U.S. population is moving into the Sun Belt, and not just people who are retiring.

Moscow death toll soars as heat wave persists

"She could have been dead for two to three days, doctors suppose," said the psychologist, who had rushed back to Moscow from vacation in Croatia after she couldn't reach her mother by phone. "The windows in her apartment on the sixth floor were wide open and every piece of furniture in the apartment smelled of burning" from the thick white smoke hanging in the air outside.

Revich said the heat and smog were hardest on the elderly and those suffering from lung disorders. "Even after the heat is gone these people will be suffering from the consequences and we will see more and more deaths in the coming weeks," he said.

An Acceptable Solution for Fred Singer and his Antagonists 
(or, How we can have our cake and eat it too) 

If you want CHEAPER, RELIABLE energy the answer exists, and is repeatedly demonstrated on real projects:

Distributed energy generation produces energy at SUBSTANTIALLY lower costs than central power generation - either fossil-fueled or renewable.
BASIX Multi-Unit Residential Cogeneration Demonstration Project
Mirvac’s Cambridge Lane development is saving its occupants around $1,000 a month on power bills.
...cut its greenhouse emissions [at an annual rate of] 120 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to greenhouse emissions from around 35 cars.
Smart Energy Zones - Case Study: Glenfield, Australia
In most locations in Australia delivered grid power costs between 17 and 18 cents per kwh. ...It is projected that the GridX power system will cost less than 10 cents per kwh.
Immediate GHG reduction 33% - CO2 reduction per annum 250 tonnes.

If you want to reduce CO2 emissions:

Distributed energy generation cuts CO2 emissions at a LOWER COST than renewable energy.
Distributed Energy Delivers Big, Green Results in London
...distributed energy delivers greater carbon emissions cuts for every dollar spent than centralized renewable energy

Note that distributed energy generation can be fueled by fossil fuels, renewable fuels, or ANY COMBINATION of both.

Fred Singer and his supporters do not realise that cheap energy with low CO2 emissions is available -

Hot Topics, Cold Truth
The Kyoto Protocol, if implemented, reduces emissions by a mere five percent among industrialized nations only. But this would have a devastating effect on the economy of our nation. It’s part of the anti-technology, anti-energy, anti-growth philosophy of the extreme "greens."

Scientists Urge Rejection Of Kyoto Agreement
It is not possible to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, much less to stabilize or reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, without severe restrictions on the use of coal, oil, and natural gas. This means a global regime of severe energy rationing, because it is not possible to replace these essential fuel sources with technology that is currently available and affordable.

The use of coal and hydrocarbon fuel has another, more obvious effect: fueling the agriculture and industry that lifts billions of people from poverty and misery. Without abundant, economical sources of energy, millions of people would die and millions more would be reduced to dire poverty.