|Prof Stephan Harrison|
Is it too late?
Some scientists believe it is too late for us to stop global warming now, in any case:
"At present, governments' attempts to limit greenhouse-gas emissions through carbon cap-and-trade schemes and to promote renewable and sustainable energy sources are probably too late to arrest the inevitable trend of global warming," Jasper Knight of Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Stephan Harrison of the University of Exeter in England argue in their study. Those efforts, they continue, "have little relationship to the real world."
|Prof Jasper Knight|
So much for my hero's attempts to Fight Back! And for his valiant fight to spread the gospel of emissions trading as a cure for the ills of climate change.
Move over America: It's China's turn now
In our global warming thriller, Obelisk Seven, our hero is an emissions trading expert, who runs an international television show on global warming. In one exchange on the show, they discuss China and India and the morality of global warming by developing countries:
"What about the moral rights of China and India to grow their economies?" Mike demanded.
He had not bought into the rapid conversion of some of the Greenies.
"India refuses to cut its emissions as long as the West treats it as a second class global citizen with less right to pollute than developed countries have."
"Good framing, isn't it?" Nick said. "That framing transforms the polluting nation from a sinner into a victim.
"And notice that India's solution to global warming is that we all have equal polluting rights, based on the number of people in each country.
"India wants everyone to agree how much pollution is permissible each year for the earth and then divide it up amongst all the people on the planet.
"One person, one pollution right."
"What's more," Stefan said triumphantly, sensing another winning argument for the Brownie viewpoint, "India demands that the developed countries have to agree to a substantial reduction in their lifestyle for this basic premise to work. How likely is that?"
"Not very likely," Nick agreed, "but inevitable."
Physicist Richard A. Muller in his atest book, "Energy for Future Presidents," says that China's insatiable appetite for energy derived from dirty coal is killing the earth:
|Professor Richard A. Muller|
Those of us who live in the "developed" world initiated it. Those who live in the "developing" world will sustain it as they strive for a standard of living equal to ours.
"As far as global warming is concerned, the developed world is becoming irrelevant," Muller insists in his book. We could set an example by curbing our emissions, and thus claim in the future that "it wasn't our fault," but about the only thing that could stop it would be a complete economic collapse in China and the rest of the world's developing countries.
As they race forward, their industrial growth -- and their greenhouse gas emissions -- will outpace any efforts by the West to reduce their carbon footprints, Muller contends.
"China has been installing a new gigawatt of coal power each week," he says in his Times piece, and each plant pumps an additional ton of gases into the atmosphere "every second."
"By the time you read this, China's yearly greenhouse gas emissions will be double those of the United States, perhaps higher," he contends. And that's not likely to change.
The way to reason with China
Muller says that simply browbeating China will get no where – what the West has to do is convert it:
Muller suggests a better course for the West to take than condemning China for trying to be like the rest of us. Instead, we should encourage China to switch from coal to natural gas for its power plants, which would cut those emissions in half.
"Coal," he writes, "is the filthiest fuel we have."
I guess Muller does not agree with Mitt Romney on the merits of coal as a fuel.