RE: Kyoto, Driving our car (composite reply)

Greg Butler (
Tue, 9 Dec 1997 13:50:46 -0500

> Please state _one_ scientist whose work has been under the same scrutiny
> peer-review as IPCC publications that dares to stake his reputation on
> theorie that the CO2-increase of the last 200 years is preventing another
> ice-age.

I think the point is that there are many theories that come into fashion,
and decompose with time. They usually say we need to use big government to
force everybody to do this or stop doing that. A couple of decades ago,
the fashion was overpopulation. People (still touted as experts) would
claim mass starvation, disease and a lack of fresh water were just around
the corner. Once again, we have people saying that, in spite of the lack
of evidence, we need governments to limit freedom.

> And the fact that this argument is never heard in discussions at policy
> level might be an indication that it is not taken seriously by the broad
> community of scientists (even PR-people of big oil companies _never_ use
> this argument!).

I don't see how the purposes of "the big oil companies" (why does
big=bad?) would be served by stating that burning oil changes the climate.
Seems like a mighty silly thing to do.

> No, there's no certainty yet. I do not think we can afford to wait for
> absolute, 100% certainty.

Of course not. That's a very important part of these things. Time to
limit freedom now, before we can find out.

>Current extinction rate is anywhere from 10 to 40 species per
> _day_.

Where did you obtain this info?

> Exacly, if the current trend does not change we'll have burned 300
> years of solar energy in about three centuries. It's been a nice
> for out technical civilisation but we have to find better alternatives

And we will. If 90% of our oil reserves were to be suddenly gone, I
suspect we would rapidly make adjustments.

> Yes, better to use them for plastics and composite materials.
> So how are electric cars doing? I understand Ford has a model that is
> to be _used_.

I've always wondered if people that favored electric cars so much realize
how toxic batteries are, and that the electric plant burns coal to generate
the electricity to power them.

Being in tune with the auto industry (here in Detroit, it's tough to avoid
it), Ford has a car. It carries a boatload of batteries (toxic waste). It
hits a top speed of 10 miles an hour, and needs to be recharged every 30
minutes. Or something, I must admit I cannot recall the exact details.
Generally speaking, it couldn't replace the average gas-guzzling,
smoke-belching, rust-bucket of doom.

> Live as though you will die tomorrow.

This would almost contradict your concerns :).