|We are bombarded with global warming propaganda from the 'green' lobby and politicians on the make, but does it have anything useful, or even sensible, to say?|
Small changes make small differences and they get swamped by what the rest of the world is doing unfortunate, but true
If we all do a little, we can save the planet! Switch lights off, don't leave the TV on standby, swap the gas-guzzling car for a hybrid, don't buy vegetables grown abroad and flown to Britain, and put a windmill on your roof.
This is the feelgood message from the 'greens'; and also from a government which cynically labels anything it wants to tax as 'non-green' to justify another grab by Stealth. But doing a little isn't going to do any good, it's just 'greenwash' to borrow a term coined by Cambridge Professor David McKay.
The people making a living as self-styled climate-change gurus say that we need to make a huge difference in global carbon dioxide emissions to limit the likely rise in global temperatures to a 'safe' 2 deg.C.
To do this, they add, we need to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 which amounts to giving up using fossil fuels entirely. But are the Chinese willing to give up the coal-fired power stations, which they are building at the rate of one per fortnight?
If carbon dioxide is as dangerous as the alarmists make out, then we need a complete stop to using power-generation methods which release it into the atmosphere.
If Britain is to give up generating power using coal, oil and gas,
The country would need to build 50,000 large wind turbines. That means covering the uplands of England, Scotland and Wales with wind turbines and surrounding the coasts with them, too.
Electricity generated by wind turbines is at least twice as expensive as electricity from any other source so can we afford it?
The wind has to blow at the right speed. If it's not blowing, or if it's blowing too strongly, wind turbines cannot be operated.
There has to be a backup for when the wind doesn't blow. Leaving conventional coal- or gas-fired power stations on stand-by is a very inefficient way to run them and they do keep on dumping more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
One big problem: we don't have the technical capacity to build the required number of wind turbines in the time available.
Alternatively we could turn 100 major lakes into hydroelectricity generating plants and erect tidal barrages across all major river estuaries. Imagine what the professional environmentalists would have to say about that!
Forget about biofuels. Converting land to growing them would make a monumental cull of human beings necessary in order to feed a severely reduced world's population from the reduced area of farmland.
What the choice comes down to is adopting a mediaeval lifestyle or going nuclear in a big way, possibly coupled with using 'carbon capture' technology and 'clean' coal-fired power stations. But if you need to have conventional power stations to take up the slack when wind turbines aren't working, why bother with the wind turbines?
Generating electricity using gas or coal leaves us at the mercy of imports from Russia. It makes more economic and environmental senses to build nuclear power stations, for which there is plenty of fuel, to bridge the gap until fusion power generation is available.
Nuclear power stations don't dump vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
Nuclear power stations have a better safety record, per terawatt of power generated, than any other form of power generation; especially coal-fired power generation
Nuclear power stations are vastly cheaper to build and operate than monstrous wind turbine farms and their environmental impact is much, much less.
The greens hate nuclear power but it does solve carbon dioxide emissions problem and it is also safer in terms of deaths and, surprisingly, reducing overall human lifespan than its competitors.
The big problem facing us now is how to do something productive
In the end, the whole thing comes down to trust.
Can you trust the views of scientists who are making a good living out of being prophets of doom?
Can you trust politicians who will lie to the country to start a war and use any old excuse to separate people from their money with Green Stealth Taxes, which won't be directed at 'green' objectives or even planet-saving ones?
No trust and nothing happens which might not be a bad thing.