Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pessimists In The News and Al Gore Fantasies

If you really want to be depressed you can read this report that claims all kinds of calamities befalling us in the next 20 or so years. Floods - drought - disease - ants - starvation - and even polar bears losing their homes.

As my grandma used to say, I think this is "bupkis".
First of all, we are a smart species and can use emerging technologies to deal with most of our problems. Second of all, scientists are already coming forward to debunk Al Gore and his brand of "science". The documentary coming out of the UK "The Great Global Warming Swindle" is a must see. It's on YouTube too.

Are we going through some climate changes? Well yeah probably, but not because people are driving SUV's, or because cows are passing gas. It's all about the sun and its cycles. It has nothing whatsoever to do with CO2. Scientists have already proved it.

The "Inconvenient Truth" fanatics claim that the culprit of our climate change is our industrial society and progress. Al Gore, et al., seek to dissuade developing countries from developing, and halt progress in countries like ours. Many "Eco-Activists" happen to be leftists as well, who only want to see big corporations broken up into publicly owned entities. One only has to realize that climate scientists (and people like Al Gore) need to say there is a problem so they can secure billions of dollars in funding for their research. Lots of jobs now hinge on the global warming frenzy! Carbon offset fund managers are making a fortune! Al Gore knows - he heads one of those companies called Generation Investment Management based in London!

We can be scared and we can believe Al Gore or the topographic changes predicted by futurist and medium Gordon Michael Scallion (whose famous futuristic map of the USA is above) or we can approach this sensibly.

Perhaps the good news is this is making us all think twice and giving us pause to develop new strategies and technologies. The thing is, I just hate to see American workers and business hurt by knee-jerk eco-legislation which imposes strict restrictions on business, especially those which create power. It can be argued that this is a good thing in the long run, but it will prove very costly to business in the short run, and perhaps drive more money and jobs to foreign business (new fluorescent spiral bulbs are made in China). Perhaps the plan is to force new technologies to be developed and marketed based on the fear generated by the Global Warming crowd. New technologies develop anyway if the market is allowed to work freely.

Conservation is a good idea, but I want to see us be able to produce as much power as we need and do it cheaply, not conserve so much that it chokes our ability to be productive. We are a country and society which runs on energy, so rationing is counter-productive for everyone. Renewables and natural resources like solar, wind, geothermal, wave, hybrids, fuel cells and biofuels are the way to go. I don't think we ought to toss out nuclear either - it's an option that has had new technologies added to it. Power plants built 25 years ago are far different than the ones that could be built today.

The bottom line is that we are on the cusp of entering a new technological phase, perhaps a hydrogen economy, with all kinds of new technologies emerging, with or without Al Gore and his hand wringing scary stories. I personally see a much brighter future than what some news articles want to paint for us, and I remind you that the doom and gloomers have always been around. The Persian prophet Zooraster, in 500 BC predicted the end of the world caused by 'a huge comet sent by Satan'. More recently, it was over 200 years ago that Thomas Malthus began ranting about how the world was going to collapse under a sea of people, with no food to eat and nowhere to go. Y2K was supposed to bring down every major financial system leading us to global poverty and ruination.

According to lots of similar pessimistic thinkers and "scientists", we should have been extinct by now. Last I checked, we aren't, and in fact we have a wonderfully bright future ahead as long as we allow ourselves to develop it.