In the 1960’s we had a real problem with pollution of the soil and ground water. This is indeed a most insidious and difficult problem to deal with. Over used insecticides, heavy metals and just nasty stuff poisoned our soil and water. Uncontrolled air pollution over our cities was a problem too; but, unlike the pollution in the ground water and soil this was easy to deal with. By far the most dangerous pollution is ground water pollution. You can’t clean that up and it will take a hundred years for nature to flush it out.
All you hear about today is global warming. There is no nice way to put this, Global warming is a lie. The fact is the earths mean temperature would have to go up by 8 degrees Fahrenheit before the question even made sense. We’ve known for 70 years what direction the earth’s temperature is going and it isn’t up. Responsible scientists anticipate 2000 ft of ice in downtown Manhattan in the next few thousand years. The people who understand long term climate trends (Geologists) either work for the government or for oil companies. If some one works for an oil company CNN will say he’s a puppet of big oil. If some one works for the government CNN will forget to mention that people, who don’t carry the global warming line, will not work for the government very long.
The latter-day environmental movement has nothing to do with protecting the environment. Most of it has to do with rich people who are afraid that their day out on the yacht will be ruined by the sight of oil derricks or giant windmills. They worry that their property values will go down because of electrical lines. These people use much more gas and electricity than the rest of us. They remind me of the medieval lords who would not let the peasants hunt or have any kind of life. If they don’t want electric lines or oil derricks in their neighborhood that’s their right; but, they should not get gas or electricity. The latter-day environmental movement has made it clear that they want the rest of us to live like peasants while they live like kings.
Much has been said about the new electric cars that save gas. Batteries are the most inefficient devices known. To get 1 kilowatt hour out of a battery you have to put 2 kilowatt hours into the battery. What happens when we throw the battery away? I don’t know about the new batteries; but, the old ones were pretty toxic. It takes a very strong chemical reaction to produce even 1 volt. Here we are with the ground water pollution again and you can’t just plant a tree to fix that. On the other hand we could green up North Africa if we were serious about global warming. If there is anything to this global warming, which I doubt, North Africa will green up naturally. A 3 degree Fahrenheit increase in global temperatures will turn North Africa green and that will be a huge sink for carbon dioxide.
Fission based nuclear power has been proposed as an alternative. On the hole I’m in favor of exploiting everything we can. Fission based nuclear power has a serious waste problem. God help us if that gets into the ground water. Several countries have begun reprocessing the waste. By reprocessing the waste, waste can be reduced by 90%. Still we need to use caution and common sense so these rich people can enjoy their day on the family yacht.
People are comparing the slow release of carbon dioxide through automobiles to the sudden release of carbon dioxide from natural events like the cataclysmic volcanism in Siberia 300 million years ago. Then global temperatures went up 10 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of a decade. Furthermore this kind of event cause global zigzagging. In part 1 they block out the sun killing plants and causing global temperatures to drop precipitously. In part 2 the stuff that blocked out the sun drops out of the atmosphere and global temperatures rise 15 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of a few years with no plants to mitigate the effects. Then the ocean currents could not adjust to the climate change. This is totally different than the slow introduction of carbon dioxide from cars and there is little evidence of global warming man made or otherwise.
Personally I’m for exploiting all of the resources at our disposal. That has nothing to do with global warming, it’s just common sense. We need to stop thinking about 24 hour power. The sun provides power during the times of peek usage. Think about how much burden we could take off the grid if individual houses and businesses just slightly reduced their power consumption with a simplified solar power scheme designed to run one appliance (like the air conditioner) during peek hours. In America we tend to over complicate things.
Finally we need to address the possibility of nuclear fusion. My god we are using government resources everywhere but where they might do some good. We need to develop sustainable practical nuclear fusion now. Failure is not an option.
We also need to cut off all oil and gas going to Florida. We will see how well the tourist industry works when the jets and air conditioners stop running!