07 April 2008

Finally, some goddamn sense

It seems the world is slowly starting to develop the attitude to global warming that I've had since the beginning of this spectacle: it's there but trying to stop it by taxing carbon emissions, shutting down factories and changing lightbulbs will cause much more harm than good.

Writes Pielke et al in Nature: "Enormous advances in energy technology will be needed to stabilize atmospheric carbon-dioxide concentrations at acceptable levels... The question is, to what degree should policy focus directly on motivating such innovation?"

Writes economist Jeoffry D Schas: “Even with a cutback in wasteful energy spending, our current technologies cannot support both a decline in carbon dioxide emissions and an expanding global economy.”

Writes Andrew C Revkin in the New York Times: "What is needed, Mr. Sachs and others say, is the development of radically advanced low-carbon technologies, which they say will only come about with greatly increased spending by determined governments on what has so far been an anemic commitment to research and development. A Manhattan-like Project, so to speak."

What should be the focus of this Manhattan project? Carbon capture and storage, electric cars and airplanes, and solar power are the usual suspects, but what this really translates into is accelerated scientific progress.

iPlant, anyone?

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