Re: Kyoto, Driving our car

John Dickson (
Mon, 8 Dec 1997 19:53:25 +0000

> >
> > (the problem in a nutshell - IMHO)
> >
> > We're driving on a misty night at full speed along a road we don't
> > know. Brakingdistance is about 100 meters, visibility about the
> > same. Someone on the backseat claims that there is an obstacle ahead
> > but can't tell whether it's something solid or just a slight
> > thickening of the fog.
> >

I don't think wondering what we're doing to our atmosphere is the
truly relevant question here -- it is probably either no big deal or
way too late. The important thing that no one is addressing is that
the fossil fuels we are burning represent the end result of millions
of years of solar energy concentrated into these highly energetic
substances. I don't think anyone will argue that we are burning this
stuff at an extremely accelerated rate, and the fact is, when
they are gone, that is it. I happen to believe they might be
important, and I would rather not run out of them any time soon.
It's not so much about the atmosphere, but rather how limited a
resource they represent. I think fossil fuels have better uses than
being inefficiently combusted when I commute to work.

John Dickson
University of Texas at Austin