- Jun 2007
1- I didn't call CO2 a pollutant, but too much of anything becomes one if you can't manage the excess. You need vitamins, but if you take too many of one kind, they can kill you. As development increases with population, the forests that turn it into oxygen are being depleted. The challenges of an ever more populated planet lean towards less oxygen and more CO2 in many ways so regardless of whether you think it's a problem now, it's bound to be in the future just because of more people.Arguments made:
1 CO2 is a pollution
2 Ignoring CO2 means ignoring other pollution
3 renewable energy is cleaner
4 CFL and LED lights are not the same (agreed)
5 All environmental issues are interchangeable or connected
6 Pointing out the limits of technologies stifles progress
- and concluding with a personal attack
1 - No, it's a nutrient that's critical to the life cycle.
2 - It's not ignoring, it's about mitigating things while better options are figured out.
3 - No; it's a cost-benefit. The cleanest is nuclear power, but when it goes wrong it goes horribly wrong. Solar and wind are simply not viable for grid scale production (geographical exceptions exist)
2 - Rather than deal with the myriad of ways coal pollutes the environment, why not just continue to replace coal with other fuel sources?
3 - Renewable energy is renewable. Most of the time it's cleaner. Everything has a down side, and as you said we should aim to mitigate by slowly replacing that which causes more pollution with that which causes less. Energy efficiency can always be improved. Look at the changes in engineering to make cars more aerodynamic, we now have appliances that use much less electricity than in the past. That's a good thing.
I think phasing out incandescent lights sped up the development of LED technology by creating a need for it. And once people realized they only had to change a light bulb once every 5 or more years, they were fine with it. Now Trump is trying to bring back incandescent light bulbs, which no one is going to want because why would you want a light bulb that uses more electricity and has to be changed every couple of months?4 - I can see why you saw that as conflating the two... the twisty bulbs do contain mercury, same as the office style tube lights. LED's do not.
I believe the earth is warming, but my opinion doesn't really matter. Are humans responsible - case in point, again, the Dust Bowl - man causes all sorts of environmental problems, always has. Proof of that is if all of mankind dropped dead tomorrow, the entire earth would be cleaner due to our loss. Hell, the concept of cleanliness only exists because humans exist. We are literally the only creature on earth with the capacity to permanently destroy the environment.5 - No; they are not. Even if we stick with just AGW. There's the questions of:
- is the earth warming
- are humans responsible
- is that good or bad
Those questions get tied in to
- pollution in general
- energy efficiency
- environmental toxicity
I suppose there are benefits to more CO2 but not nearly enough to deliberately increase our output of it. A more appropriate question would be is our dependence on fossil fuels sustainable either way? All fossil fuels create other problems besides global climate change, so it doesn't matter what you believe about AGW, an ever larger human population is going to create an increasing demand on fossil fuels, multiplying ALL the problems it causes in "regular" pollution so we'll have to address that sooner or later anyway.
It isn't going to happen in one day, it's a transition. And lots of countries already don't have money to import fossil fuels or even worse there are plenty countries that have them and who's governments allow them to be exploited to the detriment of other things like farming & fishing. What good is it to have oil and coal in abundance if the trade off is your drinking water and there's no fish to eat? This is happening right now in Africa if you care to read about it. People in the oil producing countries there aren't benefiting whatsoever from having Exxon come in there and build wells and pipelines except in negative ways.Ex: We can stop CO2 production with solar plants, but the cost of energy would increase so much that the poorest people would convert from subsistence levels to starvation levels (like with ethanol, the extra demand on food increased prices and the starvation deaths that year increased 800k over the year before, ending a downward trend in starvation deaths).
Do you know when Amazon first started and it almost went bankrupt? Now look at it. There's no such thing as guaranteed success on the first try and the development and better use of new technology is an ongoing process. You keep acting like this all has to be draconian and absolute. I don't agree. We just can't quit trying. Which is what most of the right seems to want and I don't understand the can't do attitude at all. They believe in missile defense and going to Mars, but not phasing out fossil fuels. It's myopic and not the America I've been raised to believe in.6 - Research and progress is important, but implementing technologies for tasks they are not designed to accomodate is going to create more problems then they solve. Look at the cautionary tale of German investment in solar.