Stop whining about e-cars (and veganism)

The ‘rolling coal’ clowns. Because there’s no climate emergency on earth right now that can’t be made worse by rednecks with money….

Okay. I’m writing this to get caring people who don’t understand our coming rendezvous with the SIXTH MASS EXTINCTION to realize that McKibben and Gore and all the other ‘folk heroes’ of climate activism don’t have a clue. short story (and I’m tired of being vilified for this):

Switching to E cars won’t help;

ending use of Fossil fuels won’t help;

Recycling won’t help;

controlling population growth won’t help;

giving up a diet around animal protein won’t help.

The problem with ending use of fossil fuels is twofold: First, there’s an issue named after Dr. McPherson called the McPherson Paradox–once you stop creating particulate by burning fossil fuels, you’ll have more sunlight hitting the planet. It’s explained here. Second, the Fossil Fuels creating the CO2 we burn today won’t be part of the problem for a long time. This doesn’t mean we should burn it, but preventing its emissions won’t change things for a decade. We’re already at the point of CO2 being more prevalent than it was in the Pliocene epoch over three million years ago. Switching to Teslas won’t have enough effect on the climate to do a lot about it, especially since the climatic impact of cars (building roads of asphalt, the oil used in manufacture and components, plus shipping of components, etc) doesn’t go away when you ask Mister Tesla to do it. As for population growth, We’re already in multi-billion person overshoot. As for eating animals, we didn’t get to extinction level global warming from eating animals–we got here thanks to the industrial revolution, and though a vegan diet would be easier on the planet, we also suffer from the industrial problem called out by James Howard Kunstlerthe 3,000 mile Caesar salad. IOW, we’re having to use lots of fossil fuel to ship food around because of our mismanagement of agriculture.

Recycling won’t save us (once you figure out shipping, it’s a net loser). Going to electric cars won’t save us. The damage from Fossil Fuel Use was done a long time ago. If you have a way to go back in time and convince our great grandparents to not buy themselves a Flivver (I wish I got a nickel for every google search on ‘flivver’), then hit up the billionaire class for money. But THE DAMAGE IS DONE. Clever apes started pouring extra CO2 into the atmosphere when we came up with the Industrial Revolution in 1750. CO2 takes centuries to break down and stop heating the world through Greenhouse Effect. As long as we haven’t sequestered it, it sits in the atmosphere and drives Greenhouse effect. It could take a thousand years to break down into its component chemicals. I found the articles that explained all this four years ago.

Sorry to be late with this nugget of information, but it’s critical to understanding the problem. One of the first lectures of Dr. Guy McPherson’s I ever saw explained all this. it was 2014 and he was explaining the issues with global warming at a place named BolingBroke.. And the part I missed was that the Industrial Revolution had put an extra Three Trillion Tons of CO2 into the atmosphere and because nobody knew how to sequester it, it would be heating the planet for over a thousand years.

What does that mean to us now? All those items bullet marked are useless. This also should mean that it’s the end of virtue shaming. I gave up my car for a decade and was an off and on vegan. None of that could save us even if universally adopted. And as a climate activist pointed out, my decade of personal sacrifice is wiped out by the first F16 taxiing on a runway. The big uncontrollable contributors to Global Warming are industry and military.

There are a couple solutions. The one getting pushed at the moment is THE MEER REFLECTION PROJECT, a brainchild of Dr. Ye Tao of Harvard. Basically it’s about replacing albedo effect with mirrors and reflecting heat back into the atmosphere. I’m explaining this badly, so you should go check out the Meer Site, which explains how it works. It’s not a panacea but it would slow down warming and give us time to figure out other solutions.

There’s also the Climeworks initiative, which sequesters Carbon through a factory system. I wrote about it several years ago here. My understanding is that they need a market for the carbon, and nobody wants to buy it at present.

The problem with ending use of fossil fuels is twofold: First, there’s an issue named after Dr. McPherson called the McPherson Paradox–once you stop creating particulate by burning fossil fuels, you’ll have more sunlight hitting the planet. It’s explained here. Second, the CO2 we burn today won’t be part of the problem for a long time. This doesn’t mean we should burn it, but preventing its emissions won’t change things for a decade. We’re already at the point of CO2 being more prevalent than it was in the Pliocene effort. Switching to Teslas won’t have enough effect on the climate to do a lot about it, especially since the climatic impact of cars (building roads of asphalt, the oil used in manufacture and components, plus shipping of components, etc) doesn’t go away when you ask Mister Tesla to do it. As for population growth, We’re already in multi-billion person overshoot. As for eating animals, we didn’t get to extinction level global warming from eating animals–we got here thanks to the industrial revolution, and though a vegan diet would be easier on the planet, we also suffer from the industrial problem called out by James Howard Kunstler–the 3,000 mile Caesar salad. IOW, we’re having to use lots of fossil fuel to ship food around because of our mismanagement of agriculture. This is also true of shipping meat, but per calorie, we probably spend more fossil fuel shipping every calorie of kale or spinach than we expend shipping every calorie of meat (which is more calorie dense).

TAKEAWAY. The present political thinking around ‘fixing’ climate change and global warming is out of touch. If we can’t do something about the trillions of tons of industrial CO2 that’s already in the atmosphere, it doesn’t matter if we recycle or drive a PRIUS or become Vegan.

PS: people should not assume I approve of ‘running coal’. It’s environmentally destructive no matter how you look at it. It just isn’t as deadly as what’s already happened.

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