Saturday, September 29, 2007

Climate change and technology

Joseph Romm over at Climate Progress makes fun of President Bush for stressing technology as a solution to climate change. Now I don't for a minute think Bush is serious about climate change, or technology -- Bush is now irrelevant, frankly -- but that aside, I'd like to know what Romm thinks is going to solve the climate change problem. We are never -- never -- going to regulate greenhouse gas cutbacks of 75% with today's technology, what's needed to stabilize the climate. Never. People just can't afford that and they'll never stand for it. People want to drive, and they want to fly, and they want to heat and air-condition their homes at a reasonable price. They want food at today's prices, not 30% higher. They just are not willing to significantly cut back their standard of living, even a little.

So it's only going to be technology, in my opinion, that makes the difference. We are going to use all the oil there is, and then we are going to use coal, and we will only use alternative technologies if they are cheaper and more readily available. So the best thing Bush could do -- although of course he will not -- is to establish a massive program that develops these alternative technologies. Yes, regulating greenhouse gases will put a price on them that will promote the development of greenhouse gases. But that's a kind of secondary effect. If you want to regulate greenhouse gases in order to promote the develoment of new, greener technologies, OK, but to dismiss the role of technology and expect greenhouse gas regulation to solve the global warming problem is just silly.


Anonymous said...

I'm agree. Technology has important role in reducing GHG emission, especially in energy sector, the no.1 sector emitted CO2. Btw, why people of US did not push their Govt to involve in Kyoto Protocol mechanism?

Dano said...

Joe is in violent disagreement with me over S&N, to the point of ululation. He's unhinged on this topic, in my view.