We are being fed a daily diet of pseudo-scientific garbage..
Lets take one of these.. Recycling.. I am surrounded by yoghurt pot collectors - these people collect waste plastic containers, wash them in hot water till you could use them in an operating theatre, and then proudly drive their cargo to a "recycling" centre - For Gods sake! Why "recycle" this rubbish - the energy (not to mention water) required to wash, transport, and recycle this CARBON BASED RUBBISH is absurdly counter-productive..
A recent article in New Scientist presented another "Planet saving" idea.. Plant fast growing trees - Young trees absorb large quantities of carbon - when the trees reach "adulthood" they become less efficient at carbon capture, so you chop these trees down, AND BURY THEM UNDERGROUND ! This way you end up keeping the carbon extracted by the trees, out of the atmosphere...
See where i'm going with this? Couldn't we rather take the Garbage (which is mostly carbon) we spend tons of CO2 trying to 'recycle', and bury this instead? Don’t recycle paper - squash it, cover it in compressed yoghurt pots, and bury it deep underground.. Well - If we can think about burying forests, why not start with burying waste carbon which is all around us - rather than producing more CO2 in "recycling" it ? - We can move on to "farming" forests for carbon later..
And what about light bulbs - Are we REALLY going to make the kind of CO2 reductions being touted, by switching to these 'eco' bulbs? .. I doubt it!
The estimates for the savings must be close to double what using a few of ones neurons tells one.. The "wasted" energy from incandescent bulbs is manifest as heat - so, if one is in a hot room with air conditioning on, then yes - this is absolutely wasted energy producing CO2. However - If the room is cold and requires heating, this thermal energy is NOT being wasted at all ... So, if one puts this fact into the equation, probably 50% of the claimed "planet saving" effect of using these bulbs is bogus. This also does not take into account the higher carbon cost of producing these "long Life Eco (LOL)" bulbs. The REAL reason for the push to adopt fluorescent bulbs probably has more to do with the depleting stocks of Tungsten, and its increasing cost.
But all the above is almost irrelevant..
What is the real truth about climate change, and what we can realistically do to limit its effects?
The truth is awful, stark, almost too frightening to "look in the eye" -
We have already gone well past the "tipping" point - Even if we could stop all CO2 from human activities, greenhouse gasses will continue to increase - Why? Because the level of these gasses in the atmosphere would not dissipate instantly (temperature would continue to rise for at least 10 years) - because this increase in temperature will cause more greenhouse gasses (particularly methane) to be released, therebye further increasing the temperature and concentration of greenhouse gasses - and this increase will dwarf all our present CO2 output within 10-20 years.. and there is no known "stop" mechanism we can rely on.
And nothing "passive" we can do will stop or seriously retard this process .. sure, we might buy a few extra years if we stopped all industry today, and we certainly should do all we can to avoid speeding the process up - BUT - The only REAL effect our "passive" action will have is to make us feel better about ourselves, and give us the delusion that we are doing something, and that there is hope for our children.
There is ONLY ONE HOPE -
We MUST engage globally in massive scientific and engineering action - It is only innovative radical Geo-Engineering which has ANY chance of giving today’s children a possibility of carrying human genes into the future earth.. Earth will continue (even if it looks more like Venus 100 years from now) but humanity will not, and life may not, unless we all really start using our highly evolved brains and start work NOW!