Tom Dispatch explains why we're "losing ground in the epic struggle to slow global warming." Cheap, accessible carbon-based fuels are poisoning the fight to save a habitable planet.
In the past few years, the ever more widespread use of new extractive technologies -- notably hydraulic fracturing (to exploit shale deposits) and steam-assisted gravity drainage (for tar sands) -- has led to a significant increase in fossil fuel production, especially in North America. This has left in the dust the likelihood of an imminent “peak” in global oil and gas output and introduced an alternative narrative -- much promoted by the energy industry and its boosters -- of unlimited energy supplies that will last into the distant future. Barry Smitherman of the Texas Railroad Commission (which regulates that state’s oil industry) was typical in hailing a “relatively boundless supply” of oil and gas worldwide at a recent meeting of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.
As oil and gas have proven unexpectedly abundant and affordable, major energy consumers are planning to rely on them more -- and on renewable sources of energy less -- to meet their future requirements.
According to the most recent projections from the U.S. Department of Energy, global fossil fuel consumption is expected to grow by an astonishing 40% by 2035, jumping from 440 to 615 quadrillion British thermal units.
...there can be only one plausible outcome: vastly increased carbon emissions leading to rising temperatures and the sort of catastrophic climate change scenarios that now seem almost impossible to imagine. [emphasis mine]
Unless we add the cost of destroying the planet to fossil fuel costs, we'll certainly kill ourselves in the not to far future. This is actually worse than business as usual. We must stop externalizing the costs of acidic oceans, wild weather and resulting food supply collapse. We must stop fossil fuel subsidies. How could we be so mad?
This makes my stomach churn! All the information is available and people don't seem to care. Just stick our heads in the sand and everything will turn out the way we imagine it to be. So many people of the past have experienced this kind of thing ... just look at the long history of moving from Earth centered to Sun centered universe.
1543, Nicolas Copernicus died, after challenging the Earth-centered Universe of Aristotle and Ptolemy that existed for 2,000 years. His Sun-Centered Solar System was published just before he died.
February 17, 1600, Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for saying the Earth went round the Sun;
1642, Galileo Galilei died, after being charged with heresy for the same crime and spent his last years under house arrest.
31 October 1992, Pope John Paul II declaration acknowledgment of the errors committed by the Catholic Church against Galileo.
How long will it take for people to understand human activity threatens life on Earth as we know it?
"All great truths began as blasphemies"
- George Bernard Shaw
It makes me sick too, Joan.
Another reason CO2 is set to rise.
Coal-to-gas projects in rural areas could double carbon footprint of fuel burned in cities, spelling disaster for earth's climate, warn scientists.
China is erecting huge industrial complexes in remote areas to convert coal to synthetic fuel that could make the air in its megacities cleaner. But the complexes use so much energy that the carbon footprint of the fuel is almost double that of conventional coal and oil, spelling disaster for earth's climate, a growing chorus of scientists is warning.
Efforts by China to develop so-called "coal bases" in its far-flung regions have received scant attention ..., but scientists watching the effort say it could cause climate damage that eclipses worldwide climate protection efforts.