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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 19 2013: In reply to Nadav Tropp it is hard to respond since you don't provide any links to your references.

    Now it is true that Europe has invested heavily into wind energy, is that what you are referring to?

    1. Global investment in Green energy increased 17% in 2011.
    2. The US increased 57% and India increased 62%
    3. Photo voltaics dropped 50% in price and onshore wind dropped 5-10%
    4. New electric power generation was 44% renewable in 2011, up from 34% in 2010
    5. Total investment in solar power jumped 52%

    http://fs-unep-centre.org/sites/default/files/publications/globaltrendsreport2012.pdf

    There is some dispute over how much power would have been produced using fossil fuel, but absolutely no one, other than your post, is asserting it would have been 100 times more. However, how much energy is produced per dollar is only part of the equation and is not looking at the total economic picture.

    I am providing this link to help you see the full picture:

    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02470/china-smog_2470002b.jpg

    Also, please note, the European countries are avoiding the bulk of the Trillion+ price tag for the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. They can do this because they are much less dependent on the Middle East Oil.

    Now unless you think that the banks, financiers (including $850 million bond by Warren Buffet), companies and countries are all idiots, perhaps you need to redo the math.
    • Aug 19 2013: While I can't exactly provide links blaming the media and politicians for hitching a ride on the global warming bandwagon, or the climatologists and renewable energy industry for milking it for funding, I did manage to scrounge this up on the economics of energy production in developed countries.

      http://www.oecd-nea.org/ndd/reports/2012/system-effects-exec-sum.pdf

      While it varies from country to country, you'll find that all in all, coal and gas are dirt cheap compared to the renewable stuff (from times 30 to times 200 cheaper, depending on where you look; even a 100% improvement won't save you from those numbers), and nuclear somewhere in between at 4 to 10 times the cost of the fossil fuels.

      Essentially, what you earn in fuel costs for renewable energy, you loose on in maintenance, low power output, and an infuriating inability to control the on-off switch.

      While I agree that coal has no shortage of environmental problems even without global warming factored in, natural gas is a lot friendlier in that regard. A properly built nuclear power plant also has minimal environmental impact, if your countries' politics allow you to build one.

      Its not that everyone is idiots, its just the general apathy towards the big picture you see in big corporations and government management.
      This sort of thing can very easily escape a politician or civil servant that doesn't understand how to/doesn't care for reading scientific data or cost/benefit analysis. Worse still, a lot of them just don't care--its not coming out of their own pocket after all, the treasury's footing the bill.

      A lot of them are in fact blinded by ideology, and many bought into the scare campaign by the aforementioned "global warming bandwagon" folk, which are making a killing out of the whole story. What's bad for the fossil fuel industry's bottom line is great for the wind turbine folk, or the climatologists that would only have a fraction of their funding otherwise.
      • Aug 19 2013: According to the article you provided "System costs in electricity markets are a major issue. While all technologies have system costs, those generated by variable renewables are of at least an order of magnitude larger than those of dispatchable technologies."

        1. An order of magnitude is 10x larger, not 100x.
        2. "System costs" are not all of the costs. Yes, if this is your only concern coal will look better than wind and solar, but soon the air will be like China, acid rain, etc. I have said repeatedly that destroying the air and water is a cost that must be factored in. Asthma and lung cancer are very real costs.
        3. System cost refers to implementing solar similar to coal as part of a large power company. I have already said that this doesn't make sense at present for solar power. It is much more cost effective to implement it at the retail level, on the end users roof. I have also noted that solar produces energy during peak hours, so it should be compared with the peak retail cost.

        So this study doesn't address the points I have made and I have already ceded everything it says.
        • Aug 19 2013: 1. I know what an order of magnitude is, don't catch me on the rough estimate I gave before the article.

          2. While that is a major issue with coal, its also very hard to quantify. Similar problems don't exist with natural gas (actually the cheapest option in many cases) and nuclear.
          Also, factor into account that in a developing country, a more expensive solution often means more people go without power entirely. In such a case, the human damage of coal may be a lesser evil if its less expensive than gas in that country (nuclear power is beyond the reach of most nations).

          3. I agree that solar is useful for user end power generation needs, like heating water for showers or producing small amounts of power for a home or small business (though for the latter, I believe it takes a few years to pay for itself--not a major enough point to be worth looking up an article though).
          The problem is, I've seen people trying to pitch it as a practical form of mass energy production, for which it is completely unsuitable, and occasionally even swindling a gullible government for money.

          Also, be careful which wars you're taking into account of your calculations.
          Ignoring for a second the cost in human misery, war has other benefits, such as showing off the strength of one's military, and its innumerable effects on foreign relations. It is not merely waged over economical matters.

          Finally, there is one point of mine you completely failed to address. Were I a policy maker looking to switch over my country to renewable technology at huge economic cost (as the price of energy affects everyone and everything), what guarantee do I have the other leaders will do the same?
          I could be crippling my own nation without making a dent on a global trend, while the other nations don't do the same, screwing over everyone, but putting my nation at an even worse position.
          The prisoner's dilemma, I believe its called. Only there are more than two prisoners.

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