« Superpacs? If You Don't Like It, Turn Off The TV | Main | Been There, Done That, What's Next? »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Don Bowen

Yes, there will be technical strides from group one though not enough to make the specter of Peak Oil slide back into its grave. We have seen that with the recent advances in horizontal drilling and fracking. But the down side of that should be appreciated by group two, the cost of the outputs of those technical strides will increase. Bakkan oil is only possible when oil is over $80, that oil that washed up on Gulf shore was $100+ oil. We will be getting the lower energy life that group one threatens us without the planning that group two wants us to do now to prepare for lower and much more expensive energy.


Agreed long ago. The proverbial "painted ourselves into a corner".
We're a good ways from abandoning our fantasies including the we'll return to local production of all our needs. As an aging pessimist, I figure it is going to get very ugly.

Mr. Blookus

Concise! One of your bests posts yet!

It all exists in the grey, fuzzy middle ground.


Bill Hicks

This kind of sounds like the whole political system actually...the extremes on both sides are crazy and the center is clueless.


I'll echo mr. Blookus. You've boiled it all down to the essence. Thank you.


Spot on. Thanks.

I have been trying to bring the work of Timothy Garrett to the attention of James Hansen in the hope that one respected voice might get it. Perhaps some of you could also poke him.


Hi, Dave. This is a great post. I've had the same feeling of "not explaining myself fully" when talking to "environmentalists" about climate change. I get blank looks of confusion or even looks of anger when I tell someone that I do not want to discuss the issue of climate change as a stand alone issue. The problem of reductionist thinking and single issue problem-solving is described at the link below. Geoengineering is such a spectacularly bad solution to the wrong problem that it the issue is worth highlighting. If we think we've got problems now, why don't we try adding some iron filings to the ocean to mix it up a bit more?!?


Environmentalists can be just as guilty as everyone else of failing to see the big picture.

Dave Cohen


I seriously doubt James Hansen would be interested in my views. Who am I? A nobody as far as he's concerned. Just another blogger. No credentials. Nothing.

And another thought.

People become very attached to crazy views. After a while, they are making a living by representing those views. Once committed, they can not (and will not) turn around in mid-stream and swim the other way.

I am trying to write sensible stuff for sensible people. None of this is rocket science, yet most people, including me once upon a time, become easily confused when dealing with it. The emotional attachments are very strong, and it's easy to see why.

-- Dave


I understand. Thought Hansen might be a promising target because he almost gets it. He knows we cannot live without oil or electrcity so he proposes to replace coal with nuclear and to stop deforestation by transferring some wealth from developed to underdeveloped countries. It's a reasonable plan if the goal is BAU and one ignores the $ and scale. In short, he seems more rational than most climate scientists.

Mike Roberts

I can't fault your argument, Dave. I get frustrated by the blinkered view of those that exist in the environmentalist camp, also, and have had long arguments with them. However, I prefer the environmental crazies to the energy crazies, because, ultimately, the environment underpins everything.

Dave Cohen

@Mike Roberts

Re: "ultimately, the environment underpins everything"

Sure it does. But we must deal with the world as it is, not as we want it to be. Stop burning carbon? That would reduce the world's population by some billions within a few years.

That's not gonna happen. Period. No chance. Zero. Hell, the humans can't even bring themselves create a plan (and follow it) to phase out coal over the next few decades. And they can't bring themselves to take a look-see to find out how much economic coal they've actually got.

Abstract arguments sound great until they run afoul of human realities. So my "argument" is not even an argument. It's just a description of the way it is. I'm not referring to you, of course, but if a person is living in a fantasy world, they're pretty much crazy in my book. And crazy doesn't help with anything.

-- Dave


BAU or stop burning - either way the world's population will reduce by some billions within a few years.
There's no getting around that. What we need is practical solutions/advice on how to cope with what's coming. There are a few things we can do.
Do you have any essays planned in this vein?

Alexander Ač

And, what is worse, BOTH groups largely ignore finances, which will determine the nearest future trends (credit crunch)....


Mike Roberts

Hi Dave. Absolutely right. That's my thinking entirely. I guess that as I would like to have a habitable planet that can provide for us, for the rest of my life and my kids' lives (and their children if they ever get round to it), then the environmentalists' aims are better, in my view, than those of the energy addicts. But, you're right, they don't see reality any better than the other side.

The comments to this entry are closed.