Robert Bryce writes as an energy expert for a number of different outlets: National Review, Wall Street Journal, Washington Examiner. His general view is that alternative forms of energy production are currently too technologically weak to be taken seriously as replacements for coal burning.
That’s not a trivial opinion. It’s true in the short term: we’re not likely to replace burning fossil fuels as a robust solution to our energy needs in the next quarter century. Anyone who believes that somehow, before 2030, some technological tour de force will save us from firing fossil fuels and releasing jillions of tons of carbon dioxide is naive.
But that’s not any reason to trivialize the new energy effort. Climate change is an historically serious challenge to human adaptability and survival. Previous crises, like the Bubonic Plague, killed as many as 100 million people. The European Continent remains inhabited, but half of it may have died before the threat abated.
Global warming will not be as intense as an epidemic, but it could be far longer-lasting: a century? Two centuries? And the solution to it won’t just pop up in our brilliant immune systems. Our savvy and innovation are all that can beat it. We should get serious about the work, right?
But back to Robert Bryce — Al Gore tanked, coal is cheap, Science is a bumbling thing. What can he tell you? Some problems have no solutions worth the bother:
Five Truths About Climate Change
1) The carbon taxers/limiters have lost. [blah blah blah]
Here’s a reality check: During the same decade that Mr. Gore and the IPCC dominated the environmental debate, global carbon-dioxide emissions rose by 28.5%.
I first thought Bryce was alerting us to the exploding threat even in the face of Al Gore’s media campaign. No: Bryce wants you to realize how Al Gore “dominated the environmental debate” yet didn’t dispatch the crisis. For 10 years, we patiently listened to his bitching and crying, but global warming is still around. Obviously, Al didn’t know what he was talking about.
2) Regardless of whether it’s getting hotter or colder—or both—we are going to need to produce a lot more energy in order to remain productive and comfortable.
Thank god someone pointed that out.
3) The carbon-dioxide issue is not about the United States anymore. [...] . . over the past decade, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions—about 6.1 billion tons per year—could have gone to zero and yet global emissions still would have gone up.
Whew, another great argument. I’ve been looking at an Escalade.
4) We have to get better—and we are—at turning energy into useful power. In 1882, Thomas Edison’s first central power station on Pearl Street in lower Manhattan converted less than 3% of the heat energy of the coal being burned into electricity. Today’s best natural-gas-fired turbines have thermal efficiencies of 60%. Nearly all of the things we use on a daily basis—light bulbs, computers, automobiles—are vastly more efficient than they were just a few years ago. And over the coming years those devices will get even better at turning energy into useful lighting, computing and motive power.
Point number 4: save energy? Suck whale cock, Bob. Idiot.
5) The science is not settled, not by a long shot. Last month, scientists at CERN, the prestigious high-energy physics lab in Switzerland, reported that neutrinos might—repeat, might—travel faster than the speed of light. If serious scientists can question Einstein’s theory of relativity, then there must be room for debate about the workings and complexities of the Earth’s atmosphere.
HA HA. Argumenta ad ignorantium, logicam, absurdum, chortlensis, flimflammae, palmjobbum. One part of a single field of science broke new ground with heretofore impossible observations. As a result, for the first time in history, I think it’s safe to say: something’s gone wrong with science. Hate to break it to you, but the past couple comfortable centuries have all been for nothing, sadly. Science is no way to elect reality, vote for Robert Bryce.
Wall Street Journal op/eds have become hard news. Gay soldiers weaken our defenses — ad fay mortis — ICBMs inbound over the poles, off the equator.