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Climate Change if True, Can We Stop You

August 15, 2010

A paper published by Timothy J. Garrett, University of Utah, November 21, 2009, takes a thermodynamic approach to economics and energy modeling. The paper provides projections for future climate warming using a wide variety of highly sophisticated CO2 emissions scenarios as input, each based on four emissions “drivers”: population, standard of living, energy productivity of efficiency, and energy carbonization.

ScienceDaily, issued a press release of the paper, which concluded:

“…RISING CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS — THE MAJOR CAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING — CANNOT BE STABILIZED UNLESS THE WORLD’S ECONOMY COLLAPSES OR SOCIETY BUILDS THE EQUIVALENT OF ONE NEW NUCLEAR POWER PLANT EACH DAY.”

Though controversial in terms of current economic theory, Garrett indicates “I end up with a global economic growth model different than they have.” While there is a lot of criticism of Garrett’s paper, readers can make up their own mind.

Other key points stated in the press release include:

1. “Energy conservation or efficiency doesn’t really save energy, but instead spurs economic growth and accelerated energy consumption.”

2. “Throughout history, a simple physical “constant” — an unchanging mathematical value — links global energy use to the world’s accumulated economic productivity, adjusted for inflation. So it isn’t necessary to consider population growth and standard of living in predicting society’s future energy consumption and resulting carbon dioxide emissions.”

3. “Stabilization of carbon dioxide emissions at current rates will require approximately 300 gigawatts of new non-carbon-dioxide-emitting power production capacity annually — approximately one new nuclear
power plant (or equivalent) per day,” Garrett says. “Physically, there are no other options without killing the economy.”

4. “…conserving energy doesn’t reduce energy use, but spurs economic growth and more energy use.”

5. “If society invests sufficient resources into alternative and new, non-carbon energy supplies, then perhaps it can continue growing without increasing global warming, ….”

So, what do you think? Is global warming unstoppable?

To read Timothy’s article go to:  http://tinyurl.com/barry-stevens7                                                       To read the article in ScienceDaily go to: http://tinyurl.com/barry-stevens9

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