Sustainable Earth



Sustainability Issue: Global Warming
Solution Suggested: Reduce carbon emissions
Short Explanation Attempt to reduce CO2 and methane (produced by burning fossil fuels) as these are considered gasses that stop heat from escaping from the earth and are therefore called greenhouse gasses.
Full reason for rating.
Fact
The climate is changing. That cannot be denied. However, whether this change is being accelerated by man is not so undeniable. The same climate scientists predicted a mini ice age for the late 1990s, which never materialised. There was a great rush to stop the use of CFCs to repair the hole in the ozone layer; now they say it will take another 100 years to repair itself. My concern is that these scientists all have a significant stake in ensuring the world implement strategies that reduce carbon emissions, for example; the IPCC (Inter Governmental Panel for Climate Change) the name says it all. In their reports/analysis they ignore water vapour and we all know that overcast nights are warmer than clear nights. While predicting global warming, the Antarctic has had its coldest winter on record(2020/2021) - to explain this it is called `weather` not `climate`.
Is this money well spent
There is no guarantee that, despite all the money spent to reduce carbon emissions, that it will achieve the goal of keeping temperature rises at desired levels. If it is the natural cycle of climate change, then all the dire predictions might still become a reality and all the money spent to elimnate fossil fuels would be in vain. It would seem prudent that, rather than control nature in this way, making preparations for such an outcome would be a much better approach. Combined with a reduction in world population, disaster can be avoided.

Who bears the cost
The cost for reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be borne by the consumer in higher energy costs, replacing heating systems and replacing cars. In many cases these cost increases will make these items unaffordable for lower income groups.
Who stands to gain financially.
These green initiatives are going to make some companies lots of money. Car manufacturers rub their hands as all petrol/diesel cars will have to be replaced with electric or hydrogen driven cars.They also have the benefit that when the batteries die (as they do in our phones/tablets), they get to sell the owner a new set of batteries that cost almost as much as the car did. Plumbers, electricians and manufacturers of heating systems stand to make a fortune as we change to `greener` alternatives. Subsidies by governments to do the switch will still be paid by us as it will come from taxes.
How `green` are these initiatives?
This a a serious flaw in the reasoning. Most battery powered devices (including cars) use some form of lithium based batteries. Currently (2021) there is no significant recycling of these batteries - they are just dumped. Wind and solar generation is unreliable, so now nuclear power stations have come back into the frame. Not so long ago these were deemed a threat to mankind and, as an example, Germany has shut down all its nuclear power stations. Nuclear waste disposal is still a serious problem that has not really been solved.
What about poor countries?
Most countries in Africa cannot generate enough electricity to power their homes and businesses as it stands right now. How are they going to generate enough electricity to power transport and heating as well? Development of economies require affordable energy, so these economies will never catch up to 1st world countries if they have to stop using fossil fuels.
The Politics
Most fossil fuels are abundant in countries that are not well liked by the West, e.g. Russia, Middle East, South America. So this might be another reason for trying to remove fossil fuels from the energy mix.
Conclusion
The motives behind the `green` initiative could be viewed as highly suspect. However, in the longer term better energy sources will have to be found, but in the meantime energy will have to be a mix of fossil fuels, renewables and nuclear to provide a stable supply of energy.
Lithium price already increasing (Novermber 2021)
Lithium prices are already increasing as the demand rises for car and electronic devices and the required battery increase.

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