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Rodney's Ramblings: Cool It

Musing on the big issue of global warming, Rodney Gascoyne writes "There is also now almost no agreement or action by most major nations, as the debate continues as to which nations should be answerable for making achievable targets, to reduce future deadly or harmful emissions. We need to do far more.''

A film I encountered a year ago is a great addition to the Global Warming debate, and one worth seeing. I have explored various aspects to the hysteria and failed international agreements about this topic, but this one takes a new approach – is what we are doing in any way helping the problems? It does not argue anew the merits or likely impacts, but does question the best methods of dealing with the outcomes. Many contributors did criticize the excess 'fear mongering' employed by many environmentalists, together with their vested interests for certain solutions, for turning off public support.

The film’s website explains it as follows: Cool It is based upon the book of the same name and lectures by Bjorn Lomborg, the controversial author of The Skeptical Environmentalist. Award-winning filmmaker Ondi Timoner travels the world with Lomborg, exploring the real facts and true science of global warming and its impact. Lomborg is the founder and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, a globally respected think tank that brings together the world’s leading economists, to prioritize major global problems – among them malaria, the lack of potable water and HIV/AIDS – based upon a cost/benefit analysis of available solutions. Amidst the strong and polarized opinions within the global warming debate, Cool It follows Lomborg on his mission to bring the smartest solutions to climate change, environmental pollution, and other major problems in the world.

The film explores the scientific evidence of the achievements from many of the current popular proposals, and then shows they are contributing little to the necessary reductions in factors adding to global warming, with stark measurements of how ineffective most of those measures are. For instance, one is that if we all changed and started to drive hybrid cars, this would only reduce harmful emissions by 0.5%. Others highlight the infinitesimal savings in emissions by everyone using the new low impact light bulbs, or showing that energy efficiencies from wind or solar power projects are presently many times more expensive than the coal based power sources they hope to replace.

The Consensus Centre’s studies look at the economic effects of various solutions and are proposing using those that contribute the most to controlling emissions, while being achieved at the lowest overall costs. They argue that changing our energy sources will best be achieved by making it cost less than the older methods, such as carbon based fuels, not by making us all pay more. They show how Cap and Trade and Emissions Taxation offer no benefits but do make money and huge profits for energy businesses.

The Centre gathered together a wide group of scientists and economists, many of them Nobel Prize winners, to seek consensus on the most effective ideas and cost efficient projects to make sure that the world as a whole could address not only the warming problems, but co-ordinate this with reducing or eliminating our major health and environmental problems faced by us all now, as suggested above.

Much of their current thinking is advocating new sources for replacing old energy resources. This includes more research into wave based generation, or using environmental engineering ideas such as increasing cloud formations or increasing their density, to help reflect more heat back into space. Other proposals showed how painting roofs white in urban areas, or using semi-waste lands to grow algae based resources, often from using waste water sources that can itself be purified, could contribute significantly as an effective and efficient biomass source of new energy. Interestingly, they then allocated about a fifth of proposed global, annual contributions — meant to address all the issues — to be used to extend Research and Development to reduce emissions.

The Centre gathered together these scientists and economists, and they demonstrated that most of the actions taken so far by nations or world bodies, have achieved almost nothing in solving our problems or meeting promised target reductions, and that new co-operation in these areas has almost dried up since the failure of the UN’s Copenhagen conference back in late 2009. There is also now almost no agreement or action by most major nations, as the debate continues as to which nations should be answerable for making achievable targets, to reduce future deadly or harmful emissions. We need to do far more.

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