Wednesday, May 21, 2008

More Inconvenient Truths

Wired has one of the best articles I've seen about how to actually reduce CO2, which, if we listen to Al Gore, is the biggest threat to humanity since the saber-toothed tiger. The counterpoint displays the typical tree-hugger debating tool chest:

Insult those that disagree: "No one with any scientific sense now disagrees about the severity of the climate crisis." Actually, no two climate scientists seem to agree on anything, and none of their computer models can "predict" the current climate from conditions 100 years ago. None of them predicted the coldest winter in decades, nor the near-complete lack of hurricanes last season, and in fact predicted the exact opposite. Of course, it's all so obvious that these, too, are indications of global warming... er... sorry; make that "climate change" caused by CO2.

Straw man arguments: "Chopping down forests causes massive soil erosion and leads to desertification, making repeated tree plantings a dodgy prospect. As monocultures, tree farms are far more vulnerable to pest infestations." That is not what the original article said. It's what is being done now on public lands because that's what our Washington brain-trust requires the loggers to do. As far as "monocultures," most natural stands of trees are just that. Sounds like at least one tree-hugger needs to, ya know, go hug some trees?

Creating facts through assertion: "I don't buy the carbon accounting presented to advance this procrustean plan: Older trees can absorb CO2 for centuries after reaching maturity, while replanted forests can emit more CO2 than they sequester until the new trees are as much as 20 years old." Really? The original article sited actual research done on this question. Your source, Mr. Steffen, is....

Wishful thinking: "Another example of how carbon blindness leads to counterproductive policies: embracing nuclear power as a clean energy source. This argument assumes that other clean alternatives will not improve in efficiency or affordability during the 10 years it would take to implement a nuclear program." I've been hearing this same crap for twenty years, yet efficiency and affordability have barely changed. And as I previously blogged here and here, the greenies seem to have no sense of the scale of the project they are suggesting.

Anyway, the antibodies seem to be kicking in, but the amount of money invested in the "consensus" means that full recovery will be a long and difficult process.

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