Reclaiming the global warming issue

The Earth is warming.  It’s warming due to all the carbon dioxide our society is pumping into the atmosphere.  There is no serious way to deny this.  I see the effects personally, in Los Angeles, where for the first time in my life I had to buy two air conditioners to make my coastal apartment bearable during the summer.

The real question is, what do we do about it?

The Democrats have wasted no time making a tremendous amount of political hay out of this issue.  And Silicon Valley is certainly rallying to their cause.  Crowdpac, the site I’m fundraising on, has already almost raised the goal of $75,000 for a complete unknown for California’s 25th congressional district – and that’s as of writing this post.  I’m sure they’ll make their goal by the new year.

Never mind that this is yet another case of Silicon Valley displaying flagrant partisan politics.  The fact is global warming is not an issue to make hay on.

If we are to halt and reverse the emission of carbon dioxide, we are talking about a total revolution in how we do everything.  As someone with a scientific background, I take an engineer’s approach – we need to look at the total system and see how each action affects it.  Meaning change isn’t gonna happen by putting out some hybrid cars and making a few bike lanes.

Neither is passing the Paris Climate Accord.  I saw no “step back” by backing out of that agreement, and I commend Trump for that reality check.  The first thing we need to do is get away from feel good window dressing solutions.  And that’s what that Paris Accord was.

So, let’s bring up some inconvenient truths about this inconvenient truth:

  • How are we planning on reducing pollution with a policy of unchecked immigration? How many people do we plan on having in this country with an industrial standard of living and survive this issue?  I’ve heard environmentalists say the issue is moot with any population over 1 billion.  Meanwhile it looks like the Democrats have no problems planning for a worldwide population of 30 billion.
  • According to popular climate predictions half our cities should have been underwater years ago. Could we get an apology about such apocalyptic predictions?  Could we not use this issue to fearmonger please?
  • What’s the point of all our regulations on pollution if we just allow China to pump out all our industrial goods with coal powered factories? It’s worth repeating here.  Either we relax regulations at home or we tighten regulations on imports from abroad.  Or all our regulatory posturing is just posturing, with no real effect.
  • And on that note, are we really looking at the cost of mining all that lithium just to make electric cars? From what I’ve seen, the CO2 footprint of producing such cars does not even make the efficiency standards worthwhile.  And that’s assuming you’re recharging your car from a renewable energy source, and not your typical fossil fuel powered electricity plant.
  • And if Democrats are so against tax breaks to the wealthy, why did they just pass a massive gas tax increase in California? Isn’t this the most regressive of taxes?   Because from here, it sounds like they’re just using global warming as a pretext to squeeze working people.
  • In fact, why does every Democrat solution seem to be on the backs of working people?

Now I am about concrete solutions.  To start with, let’s take a look at the EPA’s analysis on CO2 output.

Only 32% of our CO2 output comes from transportation.  This is the most difficult one to combat.  Gasoline is unmatched as a portable power source, and we may just have to surrender to that.  And on that note, I am all about eliminating the ethanol subsidy.  Farm produce should not be used for fossil fuel.  End of story.  I’m not even gonna get into how ridiculous the math is on this.  In fact let’s eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies.

And on that note, remember how Democrats made fun of George W. Bush for mentioning switchgrass in his 2006 SOTU?   He brought it up as an alternative to corn for biofuel.  Which makes great sense, but liberals laughed that comment right out of the discussion – only to resurface when Obama came into office and could get credit for it.  That was one of my earlier inclinations that the left was only about partisan victories and not bipartisan solutions.

But 35% of our CO2 emissions come from electricity production.  This should be easy to combat.  The Southwestern USA is home to vast swaths of empty, sun drenched land.  I would enthusiastically support doing whatever it takes to make us the new Energy Belt – Sun Belt if you will.  I see vast swathes of solar power plants carpeting the landscape, providing all the electricity we would ever need as a planet.

And actually, it’s not so vast – you know (setting aside other limitations) a 30 mile by 30 mile grid of solar collectors can provide all our electricity needs as a country?  If the USA were the size of a car, the collector would be the size of a postage stamp.

Some get worried that we’ll displace some pristine environment.  And to that I answer – we need to make some hard decisions here.  Do you prefer to lose some relatively sparse landscape to be covered with panels?  Or do you prefer a warming planet to ruin all your favorite landscapes?  Given our addiction to urban sprawl, I would assume we wouldn’t mind a few panel farms.

If we set our imagination to work we can find all sorts of simple solutions.  For one, if our goal is to put carbon back in the ground, what’s the point of recycling paper or plastic?  Shouldn’t we just bury all that?  Carbon dioxide is source irrelevant.  If we burn a fossil fuel and bury a few newspapers, so long as the net output is zero or negative we should be fine.

We could even explore some more radical measures.  Ironically, making hay could be an answer.  We can grow some simple inedible crops that suck up a lot of carbon dioxide quickly (switchgrass?), and then bury them.  Something like hay takes only a few weeks to grow.  We’re not looking at something we can refine, just something that can suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

I could go on but I think I’ve revealed enough to show my stance on this issue.  So I’ll end on this note – just how did the Democrats get the issue of environmentalism?  I learned about conservation from the Boy Scouts.  All the people I know who live close to nature are Republicans – ranchers, farmers, hunters, fishermen.  They understand how nature works and how to keep things sustainable.  Heck, even oilmen have an understanding of nature that seems to evade Democrats.

Meanwhile, Jess Phoenix, the congressional candidate Crowdpac is sponsoring, is using a three year old tweet Trump made to make her criticism of Trump.

I think that’s the heart of disingenuousness, and another reason I think the Democrats aren’t for any real change on the topic.  Personally, I think the Trump Administration would be open to real solutions.  Trump is an infrastructure kind of guy, would be open to some bold proposals for an updated power grid or more efficient transportation.  That’s what could get us the real solutions we need to bring our climate back to the levels we’re historically used to.

You know, instead of a $100 billion train to nowhere?