Posted on 01 September 2007.
Many influential and principled, well-meaning elites have decided the science behind CO2 policies are too much for them, since even if CO2 alarmism is ultimately unfounded, anything to convince people to reduce CO2 is a good and noble lie, anyway. Many conscientious people have decided whatever we do while trumpeting anti-CO2 motives must be good. Debate is supposedly over on the topic of CO2 emissions. If you don’t agree with the CO2 alarmists, but feel the end justifies the means, at worst you’re a noble liar. If you don’t agree, and stick to your guns, you’re the moral equivalent of a holocaust denier. Meanwhile, while we perseverate over CO2 emissions, genuine, immediate, epic environmental disasters are ongoing, visible and obvious. In some cases, actions motivated by global warming alarm has actually worsened these disasters. In other cases, they get scant attention, now that CO2 is the demon that overshadows all others.
How can global greens ignore the destruction of Orangutan and Tiger habitat in Indonesia, in order to grow biofuel? How can they ignore the rainforests on fire from Sumatra to Mato Grosso, from Malaya to Malawi? European carbon offset payments created a global biofuels market. And as a direct consequence, today we have rainforests burning for biofuel from America to Africa to Asia. Earth’s tropical rainforests are reduced from 8.0 million square miles historically to under 3.0 million today, and what is left is rapidly being turned into biofuel feedlots, effectively using money from well-intentioned global greens.
How can global greens ignore the immediate imminent collapse of several ocean fisheries? How can global greens ignore the need for more energy and water, not less? How can they ignore the compelling benefits to the global climate of a $25B gravity-fed diversion canal moving 20 km3 H2O/yr from the Volga to the Aral Sea? How can they deny the need for more infrastructure? Where will the steel and cement come from, to hold up the sod roofs on our new green buildings?
How can global greens profess to be in favor of more government, when government itself must first be reformed? Elected officials and judges need to take government back from government, through enacting reform – the most central of which is that all tax payment funded worker benefits should be the same for all workers, public and private. Before we contemplate increasing taxes, we need to merge all public employee disability and retirement benefit funds with social security, medicare, and workman’s compensation funds under one federal administrative agency. Supplemental private sector plans could complement this safety net, but everyone would get the same basic taxpayer funded deal.
So if we’re ready, let’s go ahead and tax CO2 emissions, or create a trading market for them, or both. Let’s create a windfall that will finance huge projects. How will we spend this money?
Take CO2 emissions offset payments and use them to fund nuclear power stations at $1.0 billion per gigawatt output. Use them to fund desalination plants in Southern California at $2.0 billion per cubic kilometer output of fresh water. Use them to buy out the rice and alfalfa farmers in the Aral Basin, adding 3.0 cubic kilometers of water per year back into the Aral Sea, for $3.0 billion.
Take CO2 emissions offest payments and use them to fund smart freeways, with intercity high speed rail (120 mph), and smart lanes for cars with autopilot, and commuter lanes, and additional lanes, and greenbelts laced with bike and LEV paths. Accept EIAs that demonstrate global cooling is best served through developing sprawling, ultra low-density suburbs filled with big yards and big lawns or wild areas and trees.
Take CO2 emissions offset payments and buy back all the biofuel plantations in Asia, America and Africa, and put the tropical forests back. Start with Indonesia, where the Orangutan and Tigers are almost gone, and the fires rage unchecked. Stop thinking by burning crops and forests instead of fossil fuel we are somehow saving the earth.
Global climate change has three distinct and not necessarily related or correlated manifestations: Drought, extreme weather, and global warming. The thermostatic effect of trees vs. plantations, cooling island vs. heat island effects, watered vs. dry, may have more to do with climate change than industrial CO2 emissions. Use CO2 emissions offset payments to finance installation of high-tech scrubbers that remove actual pollution, letting some CO2 through, but nonetheless purifying the air of places like Beijing. That would be feasible.
Is all CO2 emissions offset payments going to accomplish is giant CO2 ground-injection units at every power station, and cluster homes to make room for irrigated fields of corn ethanol farms? Rationing and restrictions, and regulations so complex that anyone who so much as scratches in the earth must apply for permission? Global greens need to thoughtfully assess and approve of where all this money is going to go, whether they speak the truth, or the noble lie.