Tuesday, May 26, 2009


The theory that Global Warming is man-made has both believers and skeptics. The extreme believers, like Al Gore, insist we take extreme and expensive measures NOW to insure the future of the Earth. While the skeptics insist that the man-made effect leaves little to worry about. There is probably not one person on Earth who doesn't fall somewhere on the sliding scale between the believers and the skeptics.

The believers claim that burning wood or fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) produces Carbon Dioxide (CO2) which is a Greenhouse Gas. They want everyone to stop producing CO2 by using renewable energy resources such as solar and wind as a replacement for primarily fossil fuels. To this end, the believers want to use the power of the Government to Legislate how our energy is produced. This is an expensive cure.

The skeptics maintain that CO2 is not a significant source of Global Warming. Therefore to the skeptic, the expensive retro fitting of Power Plants and Industry are not going to have a significant effect on Global Warming, but will add a very significant cost factor to almost everything we buy and/or manufacture. Because of this increased cost, industrialized nations of the world will suffer greatest. Greater because jobs will be outsourced and utility bills higher with unemployment very much higher.

To the believer it is simple. Renewable energy sources are free and therefore will be cheap and green. The truth is these renewable sources will be unbelievably expensive. Expensive because:
  1. they are not very efficient energy producers
  2. components are very expensive to manufacture and install
  3. the present electrical grid will be very expensive to expand and interconnect to the renewable sources
  4. they are not able to adjust to rapid changes in demand
  5. there is no efficient energy storage method
All of these things can be argued, but the one argument I have not heard discussed is conservation of energy. Remembering from College Physics that energy can neither be created nor destroyed leads to a question. To wit: if energy is taken from the Sun to produce Solar electricity or Solar heating, that energy is no longer available to heat the Earth. The same for Wind Energy. So if man removes that much energy formerly used to heat the Earth, will we actually cool the Earth's Temperature to the point Life is no longer viable?

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