February 29, 2008
Here Come the Green Car-Jackers
No amount of energy efficiency will ever do the trick -- the only way to save the planet is to surrender your car altogether. That's the conclusion reached by a group of Australian energy experts from last week's partial release of Professor Ross Garnaut's long-awaited climate change report.
You may recall that this was the very analysis Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told last year's Bali conference he must await before embracing specific targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Well, the wait is over, the cherry-picked facts are in and the hysteria is in full bloom. As reported by The Age:
"Based on the latest science, the report warns that the world is speeding towards more dangerous levels of climate change than previously thought, levels that are a byproduct of increasing carbon dioxide emissions that are a consequence of unexpectedly high growth in the world economy, particularly China. This, [Garnaut] suggests, renders the Bali framework for tackling climate change inadequate and means that emission cuts will have to be deeper, and sooner. If nothing is done, it will be to the greater cost to Australia, and the world." [my emphasis]
Deeper and sooner seem to be the trend of late, as does the magic number 450 as the threshold we dare not cross.
But, based on the latest science? And they refer to anthropogenic global warming skeptics as the deniers?
For the record, here's the latest science.
Following a rapid rise between 1978 and 1998 corresponding to exceptionally high solar activity, global temperatures were flat between 1998 and 2006 and the planet has just experienced its coldest January in 15 years. China is suffering through its coldest winter in 100 years, the same winter which saw the first snow ever recorded falling on Baghdad. Antarctic ice is currently at record levels. New Englanders are digging out nonstop from record snowfall. And similar signs of a cooling trend are being reported worldwide.
Adding empirical measurement to scientific observation, intrepid Meteorologist Anthony Watts recently compiled the results of four "major well respected indicators" to arrive at a global average temperature drop between January 2007 and January 2008 of 0.6405°C. That figure represents the single fastest temperature change ever recorded in either direction.
And even though all of these "cooling" indicators coincide quite neatly with recently diminished solar activity, the Big Green Scare Machine continues its mission to control world economies by fomenting blind hysteria about manmade atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Okay, that last part was part science, part analysis.
Nonetheless, Monash University Associate Professor Damon Honnery takes Garnaut's warning to limit carbon dioxide emissions to 450 parts per million (ppm) in order to achieve a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by mid century, very seriously. "The car is doomed," he explained to news.com.au:
"People are going to have to fundamentally change the way they think about travel and make much more use of non-motorised travel such as cycling and walking."
Really? But surely motoring around in one of those cute little politically-correct greenie-adored hybrid cars would still be eco-dandy, right? Not so fast, warns the professor:
"Our calculations show that not even the best combination of fuel efficiency, hybrid and electric cars, alternative fuels and car pooling could provide the reductions needed to meet the 2050 targets for avoiding dangerous climatic change." [my emphasis]
But what about all those smug faces I'd see leering up at me from the seats of their Prius's - weren't they already doing their part to save the world from me and my SUV? Are these selfless earth-savers to now be told that the sacrifices that the UN, Greenpeace and other fellow greenies worldwide insisted they accept were ultimately for eco-naught?
And what of us non-suckers? Granted, some of these initiatives may ultimately pay off in consumer savings and "energy independence" down the road, but surely these are matters best left to market forces, not group-think fiat.
And yet we all pay for the disastrously wasteful "carbon debt" consequences of ill-planned eco-schemes the likes of ethanol initiatives. Didn't recent studies predict that the release of carbon through conversion of forests, grasslands, and food cropland into biofuel cropland may take decades or, perhaps, centuries to offset through biofuel usage? What's the point if they'll soon want our keys, too? And then there's that little matter of food shortages in developing nations caused by governments coercing farmers to grow biofuel crops rather than food in the interest of greed and green geopolitics.
Of course, if they really want our hand before we've even offered a finger, even green believers should wonder when they might come for the arm. Might a similarly duplicitous incremental bait-and-switch be in play with regard to electric plants or other supposed GHG producers? After all, the report repeats the tired dogma of blaming global warming on "unexpectedly high growth in the world economy." Mightn't carbon taxes, cap-and-trade exchanges and forced investment in currently non-existent carbon capture-and-sequestration also be intentionally designed to fail, in favor of even harsher regulation and socialistic control?
Fear not, you say, for they're obviously targeting cars because citizens have a slew of alternate modes of transportation available - right?
Did I neglect to mention that Honnery's colleague, Dr Patrick Moriarty, asserts that even a "near-total shift from the private car to public transport" would still not represent sufficient sacrifice? No, says he, in order to meet the emission targets recommended by Garnaut, we'll also need to put the kibosh on air travel:
"An overseas trip might become a once-in-a-lifetime experience rather than an annual event."
So then, suppose in a media-induced effort to save the planet from the ravages of global warming, you dutifully went out and traded that old gas guzzler for a fuel efficient vehicle, then further lowered your all-important "carbon footprint" by joining a car pool. You then happily switched to energy-saving appliances and light bulbs and resigned yourself to leading a happy, responsible, green life. But now, despite continued data suggesting a sustained downward trend in global temperatures as atmospheric CO2 levels continue to rise, you learn that your efforts were simply not good enough. You need to do more. You need to give up your car and essentially forget about world travel.
And maybe that's enough - for now.
You still buying this?
Wake up, greenies -- you're being used as well-meaning pawns by those who have neither your's nor your planet's best interest at heart.
Marc Sheppard is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. He welcomes your feedback.