Climate change has always been with us, and always will be with us, the only topic of debate being: is human carbon fuel use driving or derailing the present cycle in a way that’s going to make living difficult for ourselves and other plant and animal life on this planet?
All the research money poured into this topic over the past 25 years has a giant political tag attached to it: if your research doesn’t yield the answer the politicians and activists want, you don’t get the funding. I call this policy-based evidence-making: a self-reinforcing feedback loop of questionable data gained for the purpose of supporting questionable legislation.
Nobody has been able to explain how or why any developing nation (including China, or Russia) would agree to hamper or halt its carbon fuel use, much less a nation like America.
Hampering or halting our own carbon fuel use in no way guarantees anything will “go back to normal” because the climate doesn’t have a normal, and never did. And even if all global carbon fuel use reached zero in the morning, it might be decades or even centuries before the effects of this (positive, or negative, for however you care to define the two) can be known.
But we do know slashing carbon fuel use without a viable alternative will be disastrous for economies and communities. We cannot go back to horse-and-carriage. And there is nothing to replace natural gas, oil, and coal, for power generation, save nuclear fission. And we all know the green movement has no use whatsoever for nuclear plants, no not even modern designs which are vastly safer and more productive than the old 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s designs.
Solar, wind, and hydro will never replace carbon fuels, either. They simply don’t generate enough power. Not to run the grids of every country on the planet, all of which are always expanding and using more electricity per year, than the year before. Such is the nature of civilization. It gobbles power, and wants more. Especially in the digital age, and as the green movement pushes electric vehicles.
So, something’s gotta give.
1) The green folks have got to admit to themselves that slowing down or stopping carbon fuel is a project for the next 120 years, not the next 12. Until or unless something cheaper and more efficient than carbon fuel comes into widespread use, both the industrialized world and the developing world cannot “get off” carbon fuels.
2) Pursuant to this, green folks have got to admit that new nuclear fission plants must be built. We’ve got a dozen new types on the drawing board which will all be a lot safer and more efficient than the old plants, including designs which are essentially zero-meltdown reactors in case of emergency. A few of them even re-use spent fuel from the old reactors.
3) Cities, states, and nations ought to incentivize private solar installations with tax breaks. You pay to invest in expensive panels for your home or business roof? You get to write off every cent of the installation, and keep writing off the cost of maintenance and repair. This is far superior to tax punishments which drive up fossil costs so that soon only wealthy virtue-signalers can afford their private transportation.
4) All the research money pouring into climate science ought to be redirected to fusion research instead. Deuterium fusion could, if perfected, revolutionize the world in the same way the internal combustion engine revolutionized the world. Such fusion technology would also be cleaner and safer than anything yet devised, and if it could be made portable enough, allow distributed power generation unlike anything we’ve got today. (ergo, “Mr. Fusion” from Back To The Future.)
Now, #4 might be permanently beyond reach just because the physics might not permit us to build genuine fusion plants small enough, with self-sustaining reactors of the type we imagine.
But #1, #2, and #3 are all sensible approaches to the problem, and do not punish either first-world nations or developing nations which need to keep using fossil fuels of various sorts. Again, we can’t go back to horse-and-cart. It’s simply not possible. So as much as the green folk are zealous in their desire to change how our world literally runs, sooner or later reality is going to smack them. Because even if they force through draconian zero-carbon policy in the next dozen years in America, most of the rest of the world will choose to not cut off their carbon nose to spite their industrial faces.