Wednesday, 29 April 2009

“No Coal” Goal

Written by  Ann Shibler

The road to Copenhagen in December 2009, where the United Nations will attempt to come up with a successor to the Kyoto (global warming) Protocol, is already before us. The signs along the road indicate the global-warming alarmists are already blitzing the general public and the media about the supposed need to severely limit fossil-fuel usage, particularly coal.
Nature, a weekly science journal, has dedicated a part of its April 30 issue to the task of convincing the media, scientists, and educators, and ultimately the public at large, that allowing any burning of fossil fuels is not safe and will lead to an increase in temperature of 2 degrees Centigrade. The BBC online carried news of the journal's contents.

The journal’s feature article, “Climate Crunch: A burden beyond bearing,” claims that reducing global emissions of carbon dioxide in half by 2050 will do little to ameliorate man-made global warming. Malte Mainschausen from the Postsdam Institute for Climate Change Impact Research said, "Only a fast switch away from fossil fuels will give us a reasonable chance to avoid considerable warming. If we continue burning fossil fuels as we do, we will have exhausted the carbon budget in merely 20 years, and global warming will go well beyond 2°C."

Nature seems to view Mainschausen’s claims as a given, even though they are based on computer modeling, which has admitted inherent uncertainties.

In order to achieve the policy goal of phasing out net carbon emissions, Mainschausen wants to limit humanity’s total output of CO2 by only allowing the burning of one-quarter of the world's fossil fuel reserves — oil and gas — but not coal unless its emissions can be captured.

This suggestion has been seconded by Myles Allen from the University Oxford Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics Department. Allen believes that setting overall limits as opposed to yearly limits makes better economic and political sense.

Another essay in the journal delves into the “worst-case” scenarios of a 2°C rise in temperature, while a book review on Nicholas Stern’s (former chief economist of both the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank) A Blueprint for a Safer Planet: How to Manage Climate Change and Create a New Era of Progress and Prosperity, suspends common sense by claiming that limiting the use of fossil fuels would actually benefit capitalism and economic development.

The global-warming alarmists will most likely continue their media blitz, with a significant increase in activity as December approaches.

Photo: AP Images


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