A reader on my site asked (in bold type) "Exactly what is your plan for reducing CO2 further ..." Here's my answer. You probably won't like it.
The reader's post suggests that he and I are about the same age. He talked a lot about all the coal generated soot that used to be in the air. I can remember soot from coal burning stoves collecting on the windshield of my car so thick that I had to turn on the windshield wipers to see.
He did ask a bunch of good questions. Here's the answer to the one in bold type.
"Exactly what is your plan ..."
I never said I had one. In fact, I'm very doubtful that one exists. I did write an article about a "wild idea" I had. (http://porterrockwell.newsvine.com/_news/2012/07/09/12642478-my-wild-and-crazy-idea-to-reverse-global-warming) But I have no real idea whether something like that would work or not. It was just something that occurred to me one day ....
My main points can be boiled (pun ... well ... accidental, but I like it) down to these:
* We're in really, really, deep, deep doodoo and humans really, really are going to go extinct if something very dramatic isn't done really fast. Mother nature doesn't mess around. She'll just wipe us out. And it might not take that much longer to happen. A little discomfort is going to seem really mild before too much longer.
* We did it to ourselves. All this equivocation about sunspots, climate cycles, and volcanoes is just excuses. As Pogo said forty years ago, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
Now ... for the details.
About that soot. That's particulate pollution. That's not related to our problem. Our problem is the greenhouse effect.
Think about a real greenhouse. The glass can be crystal clear but it gets hot inside anyway. Why? because the energy that comes in as visible light is converted to infrared (heat) as soon as it hits something. The glass traps that energy so it can't escape again and the greenhouse heats up.
Back when my reader and I were snot nosed kids, there weren't millions ... actually billions now ... of cars on freeways ten lanes wide. People tended to sweat out the summer instead of turning on the air conditioning. Stuff you bought at the store came in a paper bag, or cellophane at the most, if it came in anything at all. And there were a fraction of the people there are now driving those cars, turning on that air conditioning, and buying stuff in plastic bottles and styrofoam boxes (often both together). Did you know that after 9/11 when airlines stopped flying for four days, scientists were able to clearly measure the difference? Only four days! And only America stopped flying!
Creating all this stuff and moving all those metal monsters around creates greenhouse gases ... lots of it ... more than this poor old Earth has seen in millions of years. (There were epochs when there was as much greenhouse gas ... and things died.)
Reader: "The only ones I hear of are those which are going to tax the snot out of individuals and industry ..."
Yeah ... That's a good start. It won't be enough, but it's a place to begin.
Reader: "The focus seems to be a new money scam, feeding dollars to our government ..."
Hardly. The government isn't where the big money is.
I have to stand in awe and amazement at how skillfully this myth has been sold to the masses by the people who do have the big money: corporations and business owners. Nobody gets filthy, stinking rich in government. (Prosperous, yes, but not the kind of rich like bankers, oil men, technology tychoons, etc.) The richest man in Congress is John Kerry. He actually married his money. (As did John McCain. As Kissinger once said, "Power is the ultimate aphrodesiac." He said that at about the same time he married a rich heiress eleven years younger than he was. But I digress ...) Kerry's net worth is $186 million. The Koch brothers, who are in the oil business, have a net worth of around $50 billion. So John Kerry is worth less than one half of one percent of what the Koch brothers are worth.
It's like "Deep Throat" said during Watergate, "Follow the money!" The money leads straight back to people like Koch.
Besides, I have never seen a clear path showing where cleaning up carbon producers means any more money for anybody in government. Kerry's money came from ketchup. (Specifically, Heinz ketchup.) But there IS a clear path that could reduce the fabulous wealth of the Koch brothers. (They're going to lose it anyway, but it's hard for them to see that because they have piles of money as big as mountains in the way.)
Why do people believe this crap about government doing it for the money? I can't figure it out.
The reader then veered off into a whole bunch of conspiracy theory about "law of the sea" and "arms control" and other stuff. Hey! There are seven billion of us now. Everybody's elbow is in everybody else's face. You need to read Garrett Hardin's essay, "The Tragedy of the Commons". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons). The old days is gone, gone, gone. The frontier doesn't exist anymore. It's time to get with "today", not yesterday.
I know that it galls the hell out of us old codgers who are used to being able to stake our tent anywhere. But "anywhere" belongs to someone else now and the sooner we adjust to that reality, the better off we'll be.
Or maybe ... in the current context ... maybe we might luck out and just continue to "be".