Global Warming: Who’s the Real Enemy
– SOCIAL REPORT –
Political strategy is a moving target in any debate, but can we at least be sure that our Leaders have selected the right objectives in their bid to win the battle against Global Warming?
In the ongoing heavy-weight bout against Global Warming, the tag-team proposals for pricing CO2 emissions (primarily either via Taxes or Carbon Cap and Trade) both took serious blows to the head at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference and were allowed to drop to the mat. Rather than standing back up in desperation, and vowing to take the fight into the streets, the proponents of these (so-called) “solutions” seemed content to just hang onto the ropes and wait for the bell to end the Copenhagen round. This event has now fallen apart with little to show for it than promises that things will be settled at the next U.N. Climate Change Conference, that nobody can even be bothered to set their forward sites upon at this point. Hell…Even the Copenhagen Conference website was dismantled less than a month after things wrapped up in Denmark, with little of value being forwarded from the defunct address. Luckily there are still lots of excellent resources out there to explain the functions and perceived benefits of such complex concepts as Carbon Cap and Trade, for example…
One can’t help feel as though the Post-Copenhagen letdown has left us to either take this fight to a more personal level as the Media moves on to it’s next ‘cause celebre’, or otherwise just allow Human Nature to overtake us, and simply focus on our more immediate needs as we sub-consciously recoil from the unknowns of an uncertain Future.
Of course, we’re all still quite concerned about who will successfully champion the fight against Global Warming (at least the Anthropogenic kind), since the outcome will inevitably have serious economic and social impact no matter which way this long-delayed main event winds up tilting itself.
So far the main contenders in this championship have been the top-seeded, but now badly battered “CO2 Reductions” team. The always contentious, but still grossly underweight challengers who fight under the banner of Renewable or “Green Energy” are still training and developing for their shot at the title sometime in the Future, and in the meantime the scrappy but only marginally effective efforts of “Energy Conservation” are still making a very small, but marked difference in the total points score. While all these contenders have very wide public support, they are not as yet making any measurable dint in the powerful foe of Global Warming. Meanwhile, the high-rolling Players are still backing the biggest challenger in hopes of realizing the big payoffs (dividends, margins, derivatives, etc..) as promised by the regulation of CO2 that will keep investments swinging through various carbon capping and trading schemes. What hasn’t really being getting much publicity and promotion though is that there are still many Dark Horses in the race, and many great hopes being developed outside the spotlight of the main event, which the average spectator would do very well in paying some attention to as we inevitably move forward.
While Politicians, Financiers, and Industrial lobbyists trudge through their political pantomimes in an effort to demonstrate progress on the subject of Global Warming, the Press would have us believe that this issue centers primarily around Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emitted by Industrial polluters, emissions from Transportation, and of course all the money making alternatives that can be realized from “greening” our Energy production methods.
Unfortunately, Conservation is right down there with Recycling when it comes high-profile methods of reducing our carbon-footprint on the planet, and it’s hard for people to remain excited about something so subtlety beneficial for this long, unless it really starts to hit them in the pocketbook. For now, we’ve done about all the reducing and recycling that we can without there being an added economic incentive for us to do even more. Which means, that (for example) we’ll still leave our cars running in the cold, because the cost of fuel is still much lower than the obvious cost to the environment, and no politicians are ready to trash entire economies by destroying the current cost structures for energy production, without having a solid alternative route already mapped out and ready to roll.
CO2 Regulations are NOT the final solution…
If we can first agree that the search for solutions needs to continue (rather than await political resolution) then let’s add some clear outlook on CO2 emissions controls as our reigning contender in the fight against Global Warming. As discussed in a previous overview of the future prospects for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) initiatives, the European Union (EU) is sticking with it’s current attempts to trade carbon credits, despite some rather discouraging (discrediting?) net results as evidenced in this article, which demonstrate how trading carbon credits has not reduced carbon emissions by a single gra. This does not bode well for the Chicago-based carbon credit market (or Climate Exchange) that’s still awaiting it’s own regulatory motivators to succeed in a commercial (if not environmental) sense! Meanwhile in Washington, the EPA is still trying to do an end-run around Congress in an attempt to regulate CO2 as a newly declared “pollutant”. One that would supposedly be controlled within the EPA’s mandate (in tandem with the Department of Transport) at the level of vehicular tailpipe emissions, and possibly even jet-exhaust controls. That is if in fact the EPA were to be so bold as to proceed unilaterally with its efforts to radically alter the US economy, and to be so equally daring with it’s own Congressionaly approved funding. A risky gambit to say the very least.
As these political postures evolve and adapt in their interminable dances through in the lobbies of government, and boardrooms of corporate power, we’re all left to wonder what if anything we can do as Consumers, once we’ve already donned our winter sweaters, let our lawns dry up, and bought all our fluorescent bulbs from China. We the People, as Consumers at the bottom of this great pyramid scheme continue to seek clear leadership despite the Media-vacuum that has started to form around the seemingly side-lined subject of CO2 reductions. Who is the clear contender in this championship bout against Global Warming? Are we to believe that the failures of Copenhagen, are an implicit admission, that the ruling elites and governing bodies in this greatest of all fights are too corrupt or self-interested to do what’s best for all? Or have we simply been driven to a media-induced fatigue, and are simply being lulled into a reflexive complacency by issues that we apparently are powerless to change. Perhaps there are agendas at play that would serve an even higher ruling class that as yet have not fully maximised their yields and profits from the old economic models, and therefore cannot support the introduction of disruptive technologies, and ideologies into the general public consciousness. Perhaps.
Leaving aside the fringe conspiracy theories that are too easily supported by a tacit and enabling Mainstream Media, we (The People) should instead look to ourselves, and our remarkably potent and relatively new abilities to communicate directly with one another as Peers via our (still free and open) electronic social networks. Although it might not have been clear to everyone at the outset of the recent economic downturn, Consumers cannot be allowed to forget that we were VERY heavily depended upon to lift the Economy away from the brink of Depression. Once the financial systems had been properly hooked up to their expensive Public life-support (whose value was then converted and consolidated into private profit margins!), we were then allowed to easily forget that it has been Consumer spending that was so anxiously depended upon to refloat the sinking economy, and that much like the Gulf War was sold to the world through media driven propaganda (ie. rationale), the “recovering economy” has also been an enormous exercise in mass-communication that was required to keep the whole system rolling…Lest it stall, and sink into fiscal disaster without the crucial forward momentum of renewed Consumer spending. The lesson that Consumers need to take from recent economic events, is that we collectively posses an ENORMOUS (yet only subtlely expressed) power to entirely change the engines that drive our Economies, and therefore alter our Ecological circumstances, our Environmental impact, and thus change the course of resulting Climate changes as well.
CO2 Might not be our greatest Foe !
In this seemingly isolated contest against Climate Change we need to first consider and accept where things have stalled with the politically driven fight against CO2 emissions (via carbon-trade/tax mechanisms), and then look for the next best arena that we (The People) can enter as an under-card, and start making some serious impact by punching well above our weight, until we get the attention off a wider audience and thus grow ourselves in collective stature, strength, and potential impact.
One of the largest and most overlooked set of factors in this battle against Global Warming, is that there are other greenhouse gases (GHG’s) that are actually FAR more potent absorbers of infrared (IR heat) energy!
Methane and Nitrous Oxide have been largely overlooked by the Media (thus also in Public Perceptions) because not only do they represent a much smaller percentage of total greenhouse gases…but they are also MUCH harder to monetize through any credit schemes, and they are deeply imbedded in the Agriculteral Industry which is integral to life as we know it. Perhaps the so called ‘lessor” GHG’s have also been overlooked because the science of Climate Change has also been far too immersed in the politics of proving CO2 as the primary culprit in global warming. If Consumers can make an immediate change to Climate Change, it might not necessarily be through our pocketbooks, but rather through our diner tables!
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Although many of these future environmental opportunities could be considered highly disruptive to current economic pillars and structures, there are many VERY powerful options that exist right in front of us, and within our homes and daily habits that can lay foundations for Future Change. One huge factor for change exists right in our freezers, fridges and at our diner tables, and we hope that you’ll accept our invitation to sit and discuss things further at our next engagement!
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