Nat Geo: Signaling an end to global warming’s politicization? 

Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought:
I stay too long by thee, I weary thee. - William Shakespeare (from Henry IV)

People like me see cap and trade as a corporate-welfare scheme for less competitive energy companies. Such a scheme will only hurt consumers and slow the already retarded economy--all while making us more dependent on government. In our more cynical moments, we wonder if this is an example of the wish fathering the thought, i.e. that using political means to address a “crisis” has always been a stratagem born of anti-capitalism.

Most of the media have been eager to embrace both global warming alarmism and the most unscientific suggestion that “we” (read: politicians) can and must “do something” (read: political control of the economy). But with everyone saying that Harry Reid has killed Cap and Trade bill by default in tabling it, some media outlets are actually starting to talk some sense.

In this National Geographic piece by Robert Kunzig - for a magazine that has been particularly alarmist on this issue -  the author makes two admissions that have rarely been made in the pages of an MSM piece on climate change and mitigation: first, that technology - some form of geo-engineering - may suffice in lieu of draconian policies; and second, that our way of life and our economy would be significantly threatened by said policies.

Here’s the first:


Physicist Klaus Lackner thinks he has a better idea: Suck CO2 out of the air with “artificial trees” that operate a thousand times faster than real ones.

They don’t exist yet, and when they do, they probably won’t look like real trees. But in Lackner’s lab at Columbia University he and colleague Allen Wright are experimenting with bits of whitish-beige plastic that you might call artificial leaves. The plastic is a resin of the kind used to pull calcium out of water in a water softener. When Lackner and Wright impregnate that resin with sodium carbonate, it pulls carbon dioxide out of the air. The extra carbon converts the sodium carbonate to bicarbonate, or baking soda.

Here’s the second:

Jet travel would become guilt free again. We could keep our cars and gas stations—no need for a whole new hydrogen- or electric-powered infrastructure. Subversive thought: We could keep our lifestyles. “That’s historically what we’ve done,” Lackner says. “We’ve run into environmental issues that seemed insurmountable— and we’ve found a solution.” ... (Emphasis mine.)

However practical the technology the author describes, a leading outlet of the MSM is saying we don't need to destroy our economy and our infrastructure to save the planet.

Of course, a politician might read this article and think they have to mandate carbon dioxide scrubbers! We do, after all, still have mandated pollution scrubbers from 1970s environmental legislation. So please - special interests - don’t get any ideas. The point is that it’s plausible that technology will advance such that solving any problem that might be caused by man can also be fixed by man.

However, if the sun is responsible for the moderate warming we’ve recently enjoyed - and radiates more in the future -  there is little scrubbers or geo-engineering can do.

We will just have to adapt locally as we always have.

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Max Borders

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