Nice discussion, lots of thoughtful and insightful ideas. In some ways, I think the reason for the human mind not to give top priority to global warming could be as a result of the “selfish gene” syndrome, which argues that human beings have evolved to respond to stimuli that affect them and affect them now. I mean, we might not be as bothered about what our next generation and the generation after that will suffer anywhere near as much as about what we and people close to us right now will. Just my thoughts…
One reason why newspapers and media try to strike an overly balanced tone on global warming might also be because there are a lot of scamsters around, making tons of money using the climate change or global warming fear. But is that a reason for us not to be worried about it? I am sure all of you would say No.
The point is, we can go on debating who’s right. There is no end to it. Rather, why don’t we consider what we can do about global warming.
Well, I share the concern of the members in this forum. It is true that there is a lot of hype and illiterate chatter online and offline about global warming, but all the readings I have done so far, it appears that global warming might be more real than we think, and it could affect us sooner. All right, the climate deniers would say that there is a chance that the data are insufficient. But even a small chance that the global warming threat is for real means that we are in real trouble!
The question is, what should we do about this? Also, a related question is: “should as individuals we should do something about this, or is this something for our governments and powers-that-be?”.
Let’s look at facts in order to answer this question. The key culprit being named in the greenhouse gases context is CO2. A section from the PowerPlantCCS site (http://www.powerplantccs.com/ccs/abo/abo.html ) says, “Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas after water vapor. Burning fossil fuels, land clearing and other activities of modern industrial society have caused the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to climb from about 280 parts per million to 380 parts per million, causing warming and other climate changes.
From 1991 to 2000, CO2 accounted for 82% of total U.S. GHG emissions in terms of its global warming potential. About 96% of these carbon emissions resulted from the combustion of fossil fuels for energy”
I guess the data above could apply equally well for most countries worldwide.
If indeed CO2 is the main culprit in the global warming equation, it is imperative that we undertake practical measures to contain the amount of CO2 emitted. And I suggest we start with the huge power plants that each emits over a million T of CO2 into the atmosphere (the power plants alone contribute about 30% of all fossil fuel emissions, at 10 billion T per annum out of the total 30 billion T of fossil fuel emissions!).
The point to note about these power plants is that each is a concentrated source of CO2 emissions. Thus, by attaching a few thousand such concentrated emitters, we might be able to gain significantly. I guess we will have to do far more than just capturing the storing the CO2 from power plants, for long term viability of the planet, but this is a good start.
And I really wish that the media will focus on more on actionable such as these than debating whether global warming is a reality or not. Well, it might be good for them to know that if we wait for too long to get a confirmation, it might be too late to do anything.