The Earth keeps turning, the Sun keeps burning, and the future will look a lot different than today as we drag down Carbon Dioxide emissions “by hook or by crook”.
We have to be wary of possible “crooks”. There are still technology “snake oil salesmen” out there, trying to impose Genetically Modified crops on us, or Nuclear Power, or Carbon Capture and Storage (to justify the continued use of Coal), and using the vehicle of science to push their wares :-
“Climate change threatens UK harvest : Climate change could push up food prices by causing large-scale crop failures in Britain, the Met Office has warned. : By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent : Published: 08 Oct 2010 : Rising temperatures could mean events such as the drought in Russia this summer, which pushed up grain prices, hit countries like the UK. But they said the worst effects of climate change could be limited by investment in better farming and the development of new drought resistant or heat tolerant crops. This could be done by aid money, breeding and new technologies like genetic modification (GM)…”
Look out for terms like “new crops”, “crop development” or “modified crops” :-
See the use of the word “biotechnology” in the actual research paper :-
But, as everybody can probably guess, most farmers in the world will not be able to afford Genetically Modified crops, and anyway, nobody really yet knows if GM crops confer the benefits claimed – there is some evidence that “life scientists” don’t know the full range of effects on organisms from gene splicing.
Nuclear Power ? The promotion of new Nuclear Power has, to my mind, been a massive propaganda exercise on behalf of the world’s mining companies that want to stay in business digging up Uranium, even as wind turbines will be built from scrap steel, not new iron ore; and new cars will be built from recycled aluminium. Interestingly, the belief in the “bright future” offered by an undoubtedly costly, unreliable new fleet of Nuclear plant is waning, according to a “Crooks” who is actually quite reliable (note : search the headline in Go Ogle to read the article in full) :-
“Nuclear: New dawn now seems limited to the east : By Ed Crooks : Published: September 12 2010 : The renaissance of nuclear power is a much fabled beast that is often talked about but rarely seen. A new wave of construction of nuclear power stations, bringing to an end the lull in the industry since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986, has been widely predicted for much of the past decade. Growing concerns about energy security and dependence on fossil fuels, combined with the fight against climate change, have prompted a resurgence of interest in nuclear power. In terms of intentions, at least, there is plenty of evidence of a revival. Worldwide, there are plans to build 149 reactors, and proposals for 344 more, according to the World Nuclear Association (WNA), the industry group. If all those projects went ahead, they would more than double the number of reactors in operation, which is about 440. However, many of the hopes and claims made for the nuclear renaissance have been excessive. Industry executives and analysts suggest most of those new reactors are unlikely to be built on their proposed schedules, if at all. The pace of development of reactor projects is slow in Europe, and even slower in the US. Any upturn in construction is happening in emerging economies, above all in China…”
“(1) Nuclear power isn’t going away any time soon. Nuclear plants generate a lot of power and most of them seem likely to outlive their originally planned operational lifetime. So, there doesn’t seem to be much point in being “anti-nuclear” in the sense of hoping for a world without nuclear energy – that horse bolted decades ago.”
“(2) Except in China (and maybe India) nuclear power isn’t getting bigger any time soon. Following the failure of Obama’s energy bill and the GFC, the US “nuclear renaissance” is dead in the water, and the same is true in Europe. While residual anti-nuclear sentiment plays a role here, the big problem is economics.”
But it is in the field of mobility that we are most prone to being duped. The Tesla has just been subject to a product recall – can we rely on the promise of electricity-powered racing cars for everyone ?
Considering the real difficulties in replacing the vehicle fleet, either with lightweight, super-fuel-efficient one-person buggies, or with new electric roadsters, we should all consider our private transport of the future to be an (electricity-assisted) bicycle or moped.
For public transport, for long journeys, we could be reduced to expensive trains, or BioGas-driven coaches, operating in a huge new network. And for local hops in urban settings ? Biogas-powered tuk-tuks – powered by the fermented output from public toilets ?