It seems contradictory to say that one of the biggest threats to dealing with global warming is the green movement. it is certainly ironic. But the green movement has a pathological aversion to nuclear power, and to climate intervention engineering. Both will be essential to save us - this is obvious from basic trends in population.
More broadly, the green movement spreads the myth that by all doing our little bit we can reverse anthropogenic global warming, that many tiny drops make an ocean. They witter on about food miles and urban honey and bicycling. This is rubbish: the "little drops" are pissing in the ocean. 2 to 4 billion people will add to the world's middle classes in the next couple of decades. Nothing you personally do will make the slightest difference to the environmental impact of that.
I notice that the city car parks are crowded on rainy days. The "fair weather greenies" are a perfect metaphor for how our environmental efforts have a lot to do with appeasing middle class guilt and very little to do with genuine change. As i said above, it's all pointless anyway, but it is also fake. The carbon footprint of a Prius is truly awful but it makes people feel smug. And domestic solar power is pure scam.
The green movement is all excited about some academics who recently claimed 100% of power could come from renewables. But this is mere computer models and a forecast of the future. This stuff is decades away from actually happening. Even the authors admit that. And they gloss over the whole issue of keeping such a grid stable. We can't power the world on computer models of what is possible "in a few decades". Fusion power has been two decades away for about five decades. I can give you good computer models for why nuclear fusion should work too. All they've provided is academic fairy stories and hypothetical technologies like biofuel turbines and thermal storage to plug the gaps in that story.
They need to let go of their ideologies and technical fantasies and look at the realities of the situation we are in for the next two decades. Don't get me wrong: I'm a conservationist from a family of conservationists. I'm focused on what we need to do to save the planet from a climate catastrophe. Green agendas and obsessions with alternate tech are actually a threat to us achieving that.
You can't offer the world fairies. The only non-fossil baseload technology available today that can be scaled up to meet the demands of 2 billion new consumers is nuclear. And that won't be enough to prevent the massive increase in fossil fuel consumption for transport.
From the US Energy Information Administation:
In the IEO2014 Reference case, world liquid fuels consumption increases by more than one-third (33 MMbbl/d), from 87 MMbbl/d in 2010 to 119 MMbbl/d in 2040. Rising prices for liquid fuels improve the cost competitiveness of other fuels, leading many users of liquid fuels outside the transportation and industrial sectors to switch to other sources of energy when possible. The transportation and industrial sectors account for 92% of global liquid fuels demand in 2040, whereas in every other end-use sector the consumption of liquid fuels decreases on a worldwide basis over the projection period.
Economic growth is among the most important factors to be considered in projecting changes in world energy consumption. In IEO2014, assumptions about regional economic growth—measured in terms of real GDP in 2005 U.S. dollars at purchasing power parity rates—underlie the projections of regional energy demand. World economic growth averaged less than 3% in both 2012 and 2013. In the IEO2014 Reference case, global GDP is expected to rise at an average annual rate of 3.5% from 2010 to 2040. The fastest economic growth is projected for the non-OECD region, with GDP increasing by an average of 4.6% per year from 2010 to 2040. In contrast, GDP in the OECD region rises by only 2.1% per year over the same period
Solutions? There are many. I'm neither engineer not inventor, but the ones I know about include:
And of course nuclear power.
Now, granted many of the technologies to save us are untested too. All geo-engineering technologies are unproven because the myth that we can not only reduce but reverse CO2 emissions has prevented research. Prefered nuclear technologies such as thorium reactors aren't ready. They would have been if we hadn't had three decades of anti nuclear hysteria. And any chance of accelerating their development is still retarded by green politics and the obsession with renewables.
We don't have a choice but to build large scale nuclear generation now, in preparation for the onslaught of rising prosperity in India, China, Middle East, Africa...
Of course nukes present an issue with disposal. I'm trying to explain how we don't have options. The trouble with green advocates is they're unable to see past their own prejudices ("ooh nuclear! Boogie man") to make a rational decision about what is the least worst outcome. If we have to choose between nuclear waste containment and accelerating global warming I'll take the waste thanks.
I haven't given up on "stewarding our beautiful planet". I still believe in conservation and environmentalism. I'm trying to tell you we don't have time for starry eyed idealism, and in fact it stands in the way of effective solutions to AGW. I find this debate distressing because it seems to me the conclusions are obvious. We won't have the luxury of stewarding anything with our economies in collapse and ecosystems crumbling due to climate change.
One more time: twice as many people possibly three times as many as the entire population of the US and Europe, will achieve a "western" lifestyle in the next two decades , not to mention the actual world population increase. All the wind turbines in paddocks and urban heat islands are not going to prevent them from consuming more fossil fuels than we do now. No force on earth will prevent a couple billion humans from claiming their right to live as comfortably as we have done.
Therefore the carbon release isn't going to reduce for at least 50 years until the population peaks.
We can only slow down the growth with large scale nuclear power, the only massively scalable baseload alternative to fossil fuels.
Therefore we must remove carbon or increase atmospheric reflectivity.
This is obvious and inevitable. Modern anti-science ideology is going to have to be broken, and reason and science reassert themselves.