Hope or hopelessness?

James Lovelock, a highly respected scientist, thinks that saving the planet from climate change is ‘beyond our ability’ , and we should stop wasting time trying to tackle global warming.  In his view  “. . . saving the planet is a foolish, romantic extravagance.” He reconciles this conclusion with his belief in the capacity of humans …

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Fracking=Nerve Wracking

There are divisions within the renewable energy camp that may prove to be irreconcilable.  The best known is the disagreement over the role of nuclear energy. There are effective advocates for continued use of nuclear energy, such as George Monbiot and James Lovelock. Critics of nuclear energy are just as effective, referring to issues such as the large costs of instalation, collateral security risks and problems of disposal of spent uranium.

So it is with fracking, a process that extracts natural gas from reserves that cannot be exploited by conventional drilling methods.

Environmentalists in favour of fracking, such as Lovelock, refer to the world’s continuing need for fossil fuels to generate electricity.  GHG emissions from natural gas are well below emissions from coal and conventional oil.  So fracking, which has greatly increased the supply of natural gas, enables the US to reduce its GHG emissions by phasing out use of coal in the production of electricity.

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There is still hope!

James Lovelock was very pessimistic regarding the ability of human societies to mitigate the effect of climate change.  Yet other environmentalist authors, such as Paul Giddings, were more hopeful, a fact noted in other  ForourGrandchildren comments.  In the opinion of these other authors, the effects of global warming could be mitigated given human ingenuity and commitment. …

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