This has been well covered today, but one of the better summaries is here. In essence, scientists have discovered that the use of biofuels, which was to have helped in the global warming problem and has therefore been encouraged mandated by the government, is actually worse for the environment than what it’s replacing. The problem is that biofuels are derived from plants and other naturally growing materials, and harvesting those contributes far more to CO2 in the atmosphere than any study on the benefits of biofuels has previously taken into account.

So, can we please slow down just a little bit with our solutions to climate change? Even if there is “consensus” about the reality and causes of climate change, it appears we have rather further to go until there is consensus about which measures will help rather than hinder the cause.

This will also be an interesting test case of whether government can ever reverse itself and lift regulation it has imposed – it seems obvious at this point that it’s the right thing to do, but I have a sneaking suspicion it won’t happen…

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4 Responses to “Why we need to slow down on global warming”

  1. Manish Ghosh Says:

    Dear Miss [it’s Mr, actually] Dawson,

    I am visiting your blog for the first time.

    I am not quite clear why you wish to “slow down” on solutions to decrease CO2 emissions. It is true that there has been a problem identified with one solution but that does not, logically, mean that other solutions are necessarily either improbable or harmful. Some may, in fact, be better. Are you seriously proposing that alternative energy sources should not be looked for in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions? And, if such solutions are to be found and exploited, would you rather wish that these solutions are developed and exploited in Europe or Asia, from where the USA will have to purchase or licence them – would you not wish the USA to lead the development of technology in these fields?


    Dr M M Ghosh

  2. kim Says:

    The hibernating sun will awake a lot of skeptics.

  3. Jan Dawson Says:

    Dr Ghosh –

    Thanks for your comment. My point here is that everyone is in such a rush to solve these problems that haven’t been properly nailed down yet with solutions that haven’t been properly evaluated yet. Some of what Al Gore and others would have us do in the name of turning around climate change are so dramatic that they might well be devastating to our economies even if they are the right things to do, let alone if they are entirely misplaced.

    As for whether technology is developed in the US or elsewhere, well, that’s for individual businesspeople to decide, isn’t it? The government has no business mandating this stuff, especially when the solutions it endorses are off the mark as in this case.

    Thanks again and I look forward to more of your views


  4. rightsideup blog » Blog Archive » GM vice chairman on global warming Says:

    […] His own view on why we should do this, though, is to reduce dependence on imported oil, not out of any desire to save the planet. The upshot, though, is the same: reducing the amount of oil used by the automotive industry. This has been a theme throughout the presidential campaign so far too, although there hasn’t been anywhere near enough emphasis on the supply side of the equation, such as allowing more oil to be drilled and refined domestically – too much of the focus has been on the demand side: i.e. consuming less – including the misguided biofuels effort. […]