An Inconvenient Truth

February 16, 2007

I finally saw Al Gore’s slideshow documentary. The director’s deserve a lot of credit for making a dry science policy lecture interesting enough for average folks to stay awake. Also, the quality of slide show graphics and animations is amazingly great, but it looks like you need Apple engineers to help do it this well. More importantly, there’s an interesting slide where he shows that half of CO2 emissions can be reduced by a variety of small steps: higher MPGs for cars, carbon sequestration, etc. Since the technology exists, government merely needs to change the rules a bit to force companies to gradually adopt these methods. Whether it’s a carbon tax or cap&trade market or whatever, the problem can be managed. However, no matter what we do, worldwide CO2 emissions will continue to soar and all those problems will escalate for at least another 50 years. Why? China, India and other developing nations are finally industrializing like crazy and pumping huge amounts of CO2 into our atmosphere. What can the US and EU do to push these countries to reduce CO2? We should impose an import tax that scales roughly with the level of CO2 output from those countries. Developing countries need our markets and we need them to cooperate with global environmental problems. Apparently, Chirac has already proposed this idea. For once, I agree with those cheese-eating surrender monkeys. So the problem can be solved, now we just need the politicians to enact the solution. Well, I guess we’re all going to die.

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