Kudos to Myles Allen. He might think CO2 is a problem, but at least he is being honest and slightly practical about dealing with it. That’s a big step up from those who urge us to panic about CO2, but then choose the most useless and expensive options to reduce it. Allen effectively gives Abbott’s Direct Action plan a big tick. Finally (indirectly) Tony Abbott gets some credit for out-greening the EU, and offering a more effective and cheaper way to achieve what the Greens said they want. Like I said, Abbott got reductions for $14 a ton, the Greens should have loved him.
Anyway, Myles Allen’s done a study, published in Nature Climate Change, suggesting that there is no point in a few western nations driving in their economies into the dust to reduce their emissions when the rest of the world isn’t. So here’s one of the IPCC team repeating an argument that skeptics have said so many times: if we make ourselves a third world nation, we won’t be able to afford to look after the environment. Our children will have to burn the environment for breakfast.
In the end though Allen thinks the answer is to remove the CO2 from the sky. So we are still talking of stuffing a perfectly good fertilizer down a deep hole. As far as carbon capture at power plants goes, remember you can just throw away 40% of the electricity the plant makes… “like the GFC of Engineering”.
Despite the small sign of common sense, the cynic in me wonders if this is just Big-Renewables versus Big-Sequestration: a bun fight over the spoils.
But it’s a good sign. The litany is breaking up…
Wind farms blowing us off course, scientist says
Spending billions on new nuclear power stations and offshore wind farms could make it harder to prevent dangerous climate change, a study has claimed.
Such expensive ways of cutting emissions risk damaging economic growth and leaving future generations unable to pay for technology to capture and bury carbon dioxide, without which global warming will continue, the study from the University of Oxford says. It adds that the focus on cutting emissions in the short term is distracting attention and investment from carbon capture technologies.
Myles Allen, a climate physicist who has contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said that projects such as the £18bn Hinkley Point C nuclear power station could be counterproductive.
“If you spend stupidly now and reduce economic growth, you impair the ability of future generations to pay to get emissions to zero. They will they need to pay for carbon dioxide disposal,” Professor Allen said. “It is time to divert some of our less productive subsidies into CO2 disposal.”
Finally, a tiny bit of praise for the US, Canada and Australia
Professor Allen said that the United States, Canada and Australia, which are regularly criticised by green groups for failing to act on emissions, were in fact global leaders in tackling climate change because they were investing in CO2 disposal.
The Times, and The Australian
Some History: It appears Myles Allen has criticised the Greens for being unenvironmental, and talked about people wasting billions on global warming before. I sense honesty and consistency. I like that.