Global Warming, CO2 and Energy Policy
A new study by Jasper Kok was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Kok is a climatology researcher with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). You can read the article about his study at the dailytech.com. In summary, the computer models used for calculating Global Warming are wrong. CO2 likely plays a much smaller role in any climate change verses the activity of dust in the atmosphere. Any recent warming has probably been due to the increased solar activity and interaction with air-borne dust. Newly determined models help calculate how varying sizes of dust are created by the wind. These new dust calculation models help to devalue CO2's role verses that of dust and sunlight. It states, "...they are an important reminder that climate models are only as good as their inputs, and in many cases those inputs are based on information that's lacking."
Carbon credits and other silly tax schemes are the boon of Liberal climate policy. In contrast, Conservatives want and support responsible drilling and additional energy options. We know there are risks in drilling and nuclear energy and often the key is sensible oversight and technology. None of us would have wanted to own beach front property on the gulf in 2010. Yet, the agencies responsible for oil platform oversight are equally to blame for what happened. Either the government does what we pay it to do, or we should take away the money from them and fire the folks in charge.
Energy Technology's Delay
Why are we still so dependent upon oil? The answer is that oil has impressive energy density. If you drove a car that gets 30 miles to the gallon down the highway at 60 mph for an hour, the amount of equivalent electricity using today's high efficiency solar cells would require full sunlight on a 90 foot by 60 foot solar grid. That grid weighs well over 6 tons, has 320 panels and costs $195,000. (Calculations are available upon request). That's why Chevy's Volt and Nissan's Leaf will still use good ol' electricity from coal burning power plants. Solar cell technology has many, many generations of improvement to go. Wind power is a little better, but not much. Nuclear is better, but my flux capacitor doesn't take U235. Hydrogen is not even an energy producer; it has less than a net zero energy production benefit and is just another battery replacement with its own issues.
The Left would tax us into oblivion to pay for research and development (R&D) for alternative energy. Hillary Clinton wanted to tax oil companies to pay for an "Apollo-like" program to research it. The irony of the Dems is that they don't trust the Free Market to provide the solution. As if the market doesn't respond quick enough! Huh?!? If anything it's the government's response that's never quick enough, take the oil spill for example. Has any consequence happened to any government agency employee for the failure of inspections at the failed rig?
Some Funding for Research, but Trust the Market
As oil prices move up, market motivation and company R&Ds will increase to fill the demand for energy. I know this will happen as long as the government stays out of the way. If they must meddle, then do so by removing red tape and lowering taxes on R&D projects. If national security is the motivation to reduce the available oil revenue to groups that do not share our values, then by all means, but don't raise taxes to do it. Fund those alternative energy efforts using the dead corpses of wasteful, unnecessary government programs and pet projects. Any alternative energy solution is only worth it if its ongoing existance is supported naturally by the free market.