I actually cringe.
When I entered highschool, our science book was all about "the coming of the next ice age". Our science teacher was so whipped up about it she actually got our class to sign a petition to president Reagan pleading with him to do what a consensus of scientists wanted to do. . . and that was to spread black soot all over the north pole in an effort to melt it so we could avert the new ice age that was "Just a decade away" and we had to act NOW because we were months away from "The tipping point."
For thirty years I had to listen to "if we don't close all power-plants and stop fishing, our oceans would be dead in five years."
For me, this is too much crying wolf.
As an author, global warming is the goldmine that never stops giving, like 'the triad', or any of a dozen other conspiracy theories.
It's sad, though, because it's such a serious issue that should never have been politicized like it has. But sadly it has been politicized all my life.
What makes me cringe the most is when 'consensus' is invariably used in the same sentence as 'scientific'.
Science has never -- EVER -- been decided by consensus. The ONLY thing consensus -- by definition -- ever decides is politics. Consensus requires the taking of a vote. Votes are NEVER the way you prove or disprove a theory. And history proves that almost every theory that has ever been disproved had once enjoyed a 'consensus'. The coming ice-age was consensus, and it was so highly politicized back then that it has obliterated any good will it could have earned today.
And that's a shame.
Because we have a real opportunity to control the weather in a meaningful way.
No, I'm not talking about CO2. CO2 is the most over-hyped gas ever discovered, and its effects on the weather are at the center of a political divide far more contentious than abortion.
But banning or taxing CO2 is not the only way to change the weather. Irregardless of what its effects on the globe really is, the world simply is never going to stop burning fuels.
So employing other options for effecting the desired change is the right path to follow. And controlling the weather IS of global importance, for agriculture if for nothing else.
But there are ways, and very inexpensive ones too, to change the weather on a global scale.
Most power-plants are thermal and use steam turbines, all of which employ cooling systems. And the choices these companies make on their cooling systems are capable of affecting the weather.
First, let me take a sidetrack for a moment and say that every power-plant that uses or could use ocean water as their coolant is wasting a huge opportunity to make millions of gallons of distilled water a day. The typical cooling system is just a few tweaks away from a distillery. In fact, all closed loop systems first boil the water, pipe the steam through the turbines, then condense them back to distilled water before piping it back into the boiler again.
One of the biggest complaints about power-plants is that the cooling towers waste a lot of 'municipal' water, usually vented to the environment as steam. With a condenser on the top of any such towers, you can capture most of that steam as distilled water, an expensive addition ONLY IF you're not allowed to sell that distilled water (which is currently the LAW in most states).
Atmospheric water content controls both the amount of rain and the number of reflective clouds in the sky. Reflective clouds have 1,000 times more control over the greenhouse effect than CO2, and we can, and should, control clouds.
Increasing the rain over Texas could be easily accomplished by increasing the amount of humidity put into the air over California. Decreasing the amount of floods along the Mississippi could be done by ending the added humidity over California... in California's perpetual-drought case, this should be done by condensing that steam and selling the added water to farmers if needed (the price would be low).
All power-plants, with the exception of windmills and solar, can be used in such a way. Additionally, sea water can be piped to any power-plant for use as a coolant, with distilled water piped away or vented as humidity to the atmosphere, whichever is needed most.
Adding to cloud cover at night, as anyone knows, traps the heat in. Adding to clouds during the day, increases the shade and keeps the heat down.
We can control the weather, to some degree. We can add fuel for the rain several states away, or distill millions of gallons of sea water (essentially for free) for use locally.
But what the politicians do, instead, is talk about CO2, banning coal, and banning oil, none of which will ever happen in my lifetime, all because the same 'consensus' that wanted to spread soot all over the poles now wants to limit CO2.
Maybe they have it right this time.
For 30,000 years man burned wood and plants for fuel. Then, for a few hundred years, we burned coal. For a little over 100 years, we've burned oil and natural gas.
A school near my house still has a basement for COAL DEPOSITS that they burned to heat the place every year. When was the last time you heard of someone burning coal for winter heat?
We didn't need laws or a CO2 tax to stop burning coal, we found something better, and, more importantly, CHEAPER, like gas and oil.
Uranium, thorium, and deuterium will easily be able to meet all the world's energy needs within the next 150 years. They will all be cheaper and CO2 free, and every one of them will come with cooling systems capable of controlling the weather as I've described. We will, without any prodding from the government, eventually drop oil just as we stopped burning coal in our home stoves for heat, not because it was environmentally right but because it was cheaper and easier to do it with something else. Uranium, thorium, and deuterium are all cheaper than dirt, and in a sane political/regulatory world, we'll naturally be using them long before any 'theoretical' CO2 damage can really occur.
The 'looming catastrophe' was never real, except as a political weapon. The way you can tell it was political is by the repeated misuse of the word 'scientific' with 'consensus'... as if science had ever been subject to a vote.