The latest buzz on Global Warming from USA Today:
The debate's over: Globe is warming
By Dan Vergano, USA TODAY Mon Jun 13, 6:56 AM ETWell, that settles it. USA Today has spoken.
Don't look now, but the ground has shifted on global warming. After decades of debate over whether the planet is heating and, if so, whose fault it is, divergent groups are joining hands with little fanfare to deal with a problem they say people can no longer avoid.
General Electric is the latest big corporate convert; politicians at the state and national level are looking for solutions; and religious groups are taking philosophical and financial stands to slow the progression of climate change.
They agree that the problem is real. A recent study led by James Hansen of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies confirms that, because of carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases, Earth is trapping more energy from the sun than it is releasing back into space.
An interesting side note. For awhile, I have stated that the only viable solution for both energy and environmental issues is the expansion of nuclear power. The same article above stated:
More people are advocating nuclear power. Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore told a congressional panel in April that "nuclear energy is the only non-greenhouse gas-emitting energy source that can effectively replace fossil fuels and satisfy global demand."Wait a minute! Greenpeace co-founder agrees with me? Well, why was this buried near the end of this long article?
Whether or not the prognosticators are correct that Michigan will become the great Sahara of the north, there is hope when someone from Greenpeace can actually see issues clearly enough to make such a statement.
There is one other front that is still a "frontier"... the application of available technology on a commercial and personal level that can reduce energy consumption. And why is that lagging? Because there is no energy policy or strategy that encourages... no, incentivizes... the use of such technology as:
- geothermal heating and cooling (effective as far north as Minnesota)
- diesel/electric hybrid vehicles (requires cleaner diesel fuel)
- new building codes for homes that take advantage of better insulation and lighting technologies
Just as the argument for building small, efficient natural gas power plants rather than investing in advanced nuclear power plants is spurious (it's cheaper, but the issue is a non-renewable resource that contributes to the dreaded "greenhouse" effect versus a reliable, non-polluting, non-greenhouse system)... so too is the "market driven" approach to energy conservation. Sometimes, better, more expensive technologies need to be PUSHED INTO USE.