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  • The Right Answer to Global Warming

    The Bush Administration may have struck out on their decision to list the polar bear as “threatened” pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. But they hit a home run with their promise to veto what ever carbon cap bill comes out of the Senate’s debate on the Lieberman-Warner legislation. Heritage scholar Ben Lieberman summarizes the White House’s statement:

    Not only did the White House threaten to veto this economy-damaging bill, but it spelled out all the right considerations that should remain central to any future debate over climate change.

    1. Economic pain must be avoided – The last thing people struggling with $4.00 a gallon gasoline need is a new law like S. 3036 that would raise pump prices even further in the years ahead. Ditto electricity and natural gas prices, both of which would also be sharply impacted by the bill. And any measure that kills jobs, especially good paying manufacturing jobs, out to be a dealbreaker. The SAP states this in no uncertain terms.
    2. The answer is technology not mandates – we need further research into means of producing the affordable energy the nation needs in ways that emit less carbon. S. 3036 puts the cart before the horse in that it demands emissions reductions before that technology is available. The administration’s technology-first approach is a good one.
    3. The current hodgepodge of provisions potentially applicable to global warming needs to be rectified before a major bill is added – The President is right to mention the use (some might say misuse) of existing statutes like the Endangered Species Act and Clean Air Act as a way of regulating greenhouse gas emission. This should be dealt with before more climate measures are added.
    4. The focus should be global not unilateral – Given sharp increases in emissions from China and other fast developing nations, the unilateral measures in S. 3036 would do little. Even assuming the worst of global warming, emissions would still go up, and the impact on the earth’s future temperature would likely be too small to even verify – quite remarkable given the multi-trillion dollar price tag.
    5. The bill should not grossly expand the federal government – S. 3036 would create a new bureaucracy with the power to raise and distribute literally trillions of dollars in the revenues raised from energy users. It is as if global warming is being used as an excuse for a new round of big government.
    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to The Right Answer to Global Warming

    1. miggs, illinois says:

      I agree that Lieberman-Warner is a bad bill. However, we don't need more research to come up with a way to emit less carbon in a cost-effective way. That technology is already here, and has been for over 100 years. It's called energy recycling, forms of which include cogeneration and waste heat recovery. I'm associated with Recycled Energy Development (recycled-energy.com), a company that takes waste heat, which manufacturers and power plants normally vent into the air, and convert it into electricity and steam. That can double the energy efficiency of an institution, cutting costs and pollution at the same time. The only reason more of this isn't going on is that regulations give monopoly protections to utilities, making it hard for more efficient options to emerge. Open the market, and we'll have lower costs AND lower emissions. But first, we need conservative organizations like this one to get in the game and be unafraid to promote free markets — even if one outcome just so happens to be lower greenhouse gas emissions.

    2. Ted Mooney, Toms Riv says:

      There are things for the free market and there are things for government. A real 10-year plan for energy independence, because it is a national defense imperative, and the present system isn't working, is the job of government. And it can simultaneously fix the man-made component in global warming; I'd rather the temperature rise by 2 degrees due to natural causes than by 3 degrees due to natural & man-made cause. A NASA-sized, moonshot-type national effort to finalize the technology and build two dozen airport-sized solar energy installations in the Southwest, Texas, and Florida could be the government's part.

    3. Tom Kaighin, Corpus says:

      This is in response to Ted. I'm with you on your reasoning for finding less polluting energy sources, but your logic in thinking the government can or should do anything but get out of the way of free enterprise is naive and your concept is outside ecconomic or logistic feasability (at present). If it was economically viable with current state technology, then it would already be implemented. Nothing like a capitalist to invest money to make money.

      But it's not, yet. And you expecting the government to just do it shows a lack of understanding as to what the role of our government should be. If you want those solar plants, then form a company, write the business plan, get the funding and make it happen. Just quit whining like a spoiled child.

      The real issue is not the production of energy. There are hundreds of ways to do so. The problem is in the storage of energy. Fossil and nuclear fuels are just storage mediums that we know how to harness. That's the biggest problem with all of the alternative energies. Storage.

      Hydrogen is a battery, NiCad LiOin batteries are just batteries. They store energy. Both have some serious limitations. Standard electric batteries are extremely expensive and highly toxic. They also have limited life spans. Hydrogen is vertually limitless but extremely dangerous to store in quantity. That can be mitigated.

      But here's one for you. It's limitless (on earth), it's non-toxic, it's been used for over 150 years, it's well understood and it's not explosive.

      Have you guessed yet?

      It can run your car (different engine but still wankle engine design).

      No more hints…Compressed Air. The engine designs and manufacturing are already a reality and production is commencing. It's a French design but India has the manufacturing rights and the vehicles will be here some time in 2010. Now all those alternative energy sources have a storage medium…a battery.

      Welcome to the new world…and no government subsities were required

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