Global warming is an issue that plays out over many decades. The prospect for a large increase in green house concetrations in the 21st century are based on projections on the rate of use of fossil fuels and the rate of CO2 and other green house emissions that is made based on historical trends of fossil fuel use and historical trends of world economic growth rates. But are these projections reasonable?
One of the greatest problems with predictions about the future is that in order for them to have any chance of being accurate they have to include fairly accurate predictions of the rate of advance of a large assortment of technologies.
Papers to point to:
- Biomass U Minn or U Wisc catalyst work
- CO2 extraction LANL
- Previous photovoltaics work
- biotech to reduce methane emissions
- grass with compound to reduce emissions
- bacteria from kangaroos to reduce cow emissions
- methane collection from dairy for electricity generation
I have one comment to add about the Kyoto Agreement: The right way to prevent global warming (assuming it is as big of a problem as some claim) is to develop technologies for energy generation and storage that are cheaper than fossil fuels. Then those technologies will displace fossil fuels from the market. If governments wanted to accelerate this process then the best way to do that would be to fund basic and applied research in thin film photvoltaics, fuel cells, and other areas that it seems reasonable to expect will some day be cost competitive with fossil fuels.
The beauty of the science and technologyl development approach is that the outcome of such efforts would automatically displace fossil fuels without any government regulations, taxes, and treaties. The market would do the work. Plus, the environment would become cleaner, money would stop flowing to states that support terrorism, andBy Randall Parker at 2002 September 18 02:32 PM