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Global Warming: Make me an offer...

The theory of man made global climate change says that human co2 emissions, in fact, are a massive and immediate threat to the earth. This theory has been taken as token fact even though temperature models that formed the theory are now almost two decades into inaccurate projections of temperatures thought to have rapidly risen by now, but have actually been stable since the year 2000.

Pretend I'm a high ranking government official and answer this for me as though you were a policy analyst:

Is it logical for governments to enact policy that is detrimental to fossil fuel industries, global economies, and the families of those workers who are literally put out of work by the government based off of the increasingly unfounded and hotly scientifically contested theory of man-made global climate change?

Keep in mind these factors:
Renewable energy does not have a cheap and efficient answer currently.

As we've seen with the Stimulus Package- government subsidized "green" start-ups end in bankruptcy.

The country is in the midst of an economic crisis.

Fossil fuel is the most cost effective and profitable energy source.

Fear is a powerful tool for politicians and businessmen alike.

Have fun kiddos!

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    Aug 9 2013: Yes it is logical as the much bigger issue it causes us to deal with is what are we going to do for energy when oil gets too hard to find. Even if we do nothing that affects the climate we might just avoid WW 3 by looking into energy alternatives much earlier than would otherwise have happened.
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      Aug 9 2013: .

      Can we be most happy with about 1/10 energy we spend today?
      I think we can!

      The reason:
      Happiness is merely the feeling of a-step-better than the “immediate” step before.
    • Aug 9 2013: Peter,

      I agree that it would be prudent for individuals to create renewable energy sources that can rival fossil in both efficiency and cost effectiveness. The concept of oil declining off the back end of the bell curve is economically terrifying. But, there is not reason to derail the current economy in order to force the market to consume those products until the private sector feels that those renewable energy sources are up to par with traditional energy- that type of non-capitalistic approach is equally as detrimental to the global economy.
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        Aug 11 2013: The problem with a purely capitalist approach is that you never know how long the science is going to take. Look at fusion. We've been working on that for 50 years and we're no closer to achieving it. Sometimes waiting for market forces to push technological advancement just means you left it too late.
        • Aug 16 2013: That's not a limitation of capitalism, that's just nuclear fusion being difficult (read: nigh impossible)

          Its not that market forces haven't been pushing for its development, because they have (there's a crazy amount of money in it). The technology just isn't mature enough, and it wouldn't have been mature enough with or without market forces.
          Also, by the way, we are closer to it than we were in the past. Still so far that there is no practical nuclear fusion on the horizon, so its hard to see the difference unless you're up to date on research papers, but we are closer.

          The real problem with renewable technology is simply the physics of the matter. The theoretical limits are quite low--sun light and wind only have so much energy output in them to exploit, and they're simply not very good power generating sources.

          If you want a practical "green" solution, its either hydroelectric (if you strike lucky on a river), geothermal (if you strike lucky on a volcanic hot spot), or nuclear (if you strike lucky on a country that can invest in that sort of thing without being blamed for developing a weapons program).
          If you haven't struck lucky, than, what can I tell you, back to burning oil...
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        Aug 18 2013: We're closer to fusion in the same way we're closer to hover cars.☺ It's easy for the market to make bad calls when it comes to science and technology as alot of new discoveries are unexpected or considered not useful at the time. eg superconducters. Nuclear is a good example. aside from the political hurdles the one you hear most is that the set-up costs make it uncompetative, which is true in the short term. It's hard to get investors interested in a technology that won't make profit for ten years even if the long term outlook is very good. I think in the future we will end up using nuclear and geo-thermal but it might take government subsidies to get the ball rolling as they both have massive set-up costs but low longterm running costs.

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