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Are emissions a problem or not? I bet you want know? Are the scientists sick bastards intend on taking over the world as we know it. Or are those involved in the fossil fuel industry sick bastards intent on taking over the world as we know it. Or is there no more world as we know it and its all a projected illusion? The sick bastards!

You hear the proponents meeting head to head in various forms of both virtual and live debates. People swagger to a microphone and entertain us all as we continue to not really learn much new. Others blog in anger or in Buddhist spiritual certainty or both.

Green house gases. Red house gases. Blue house gases. Plain old gases. CO2 emissions. Water vapour. Cosmic rays. The finger of god. Aliens. Dimensional leeching. Scientology super powers.

There are certainly a wide variety of causes and possible solutions. Passion rides high along side arrogance and its twin ignorance. Doubt has lost its benefits post the GFC and the tightening of monetary markets, but is still hanging on.

These four continue to ride the gravy train or the doom train depending on if you get paid or you will get paid or you don’t want to get paid.

In all this spectacular diversion, no one is mentioning one small aspect of the whole thing. One that there is no real argument. One that leaves an indelible image.

You see, it really all comes down to these.

The Population hockey stick

It’s not pretty when you get to understand it. And it’s a pity so few of us bother to do so.

It is quite clear where all this is heading. Since 1950, we have TREBLED the consumption of coal world wide. This should be no coincidence as it comes along with a trebling of population in the same period of time.

The amazing part is not shown on these charts. That is the emerging rise of the third world that has boomed in the last two decades. And there seems to be no stopping this.

As countries take themselves out poverty, they will do so with fossil fuels. Nations that 20 years ago had little to no energy production, now do. No where near the western world version of energy consumption, but they are getting there. And mining companies here and around the world want to help them get there.

Of course helping them get there will also help this shoot up it parabolic rise

This is not fantasy. It is obvious that the more fossil fuels we consume, the greater the emissions. Add to that the ever increasing population and you can also see a rise. But more importantly, only just under 2 billion people enjoy a western energy consumption lifestyle. As the  remaining 4 billion (and ever growing) also seek to have a taste of what we call the good life, then consumption of fossil fuels will increase proportionally as will the emissions.

That’s basically the current situation. And the problem. Now. What are the solutions in the cheapest forms first.

Well obviously it is population control. And I am not talking about teaching people to use condoms, I am talking about culling humans. This is probably the cheapest way to do it. It’s also the most disgusting. And it can cause economic problems. After all the reason the west enjoy their first world energy consumption is access to loads of cheap labour and trade.

Also if you cull, you have to do it quickly. Why? Because if you try and do it slowly, eventually the people you plan to cull cotton on to what you are doing and they may object. Not that it will matter all that much since you intend to cull them.

Okay, take a minute to spit out the bile in your mouth I placed there and lets look at a more palatable solutions.

We can try to increase productivity. I mean if you can get more energy from a piece of coal for less emissions produced then that is a good thing right! Unfortunately, physics has is barriers.

The sound barrier, the speed of light barrier, and the fact that to make things like steel, you need to use lots of fossil fuels. Seriously. It really is a small price to pay for a car right? This is actually were a lot of the world is looking at and have been doing so for a while. And while there have been great advances done, the limits have become blocks.

Another option is Nuclear.

In fact there are currently just over 440 operating plants in the world. The problem is the world only seem to remember three; Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. It is a low fault rate, but the fault tends to leave a glowing memory.

Get it? Glowing… never mind.

The current reactor design is old and messy compared to much safer designs, but of course safer designs mean less profits to the company running them. And we all remember how vital profits are! Without profits, we would not have flat screen TVs! Perish the thought!

Many of the dig it up till the hay shines brigade like to mention that there are many different designs of reactors with some being far safer then others. The Pebble Bed Reactor for example is supposed to be nuclear meltdown proof. It actually uses CO2 to cool the reaction! You hear the cries from many about this supposedly fantastic idea.

What they don’t mention is this is NOT a new idea. In fact, the design goes back to the late 1940s. So you have to ask yourself, if there is a nuclear meltdown proof reactor, why are they not being used. I did mention the profit thing right?

As it turns out, business has opted to make their reactors as cheap to make and run as they can so they can make that profit thing. It’s much cheaper to use then less safer designs. Also those in the nuclear industry will tell you to define the word safe.

The other little itsy bitsy problem with nuclear is the waste. Its nasty, dirty, dangerous, has an extremely long life, and there is a big push by the uranium miners in Australia to bury it here. Apparently one man’s waste is another man’s treasure. And the nuclear waste business has a strong projected growth market.

And finally there are the techs that are part the way there.

Wind, hydro, solar, geothermal: all the touchy feely ones that produce bugger all emissions… once they are built. However the dirty profit word is regurgitated a lot. It still needs a lot of R&D and a lot work and a lot of support to get going. Of course the fossil fuel industry HATE these options. Why? Well a coal fired plant constantly uses coal as its fuel. That means they can sell you as much coal as you need. Hell more then you need.

Which is a lot and on a weekly basis. Its like bread. Everyone eats it and that means sales are unlikely to drop, but grow. However if you go to these renewables, well… how is a fat mining magnate supposed to make a quid??

And that is why there is angst. Some people see these new industries as stealing their lively hood and their right to buy private jets. But that really is bullshit. Why? Cause of those 4 billion people I mentioned in countries with little to no energy supply and equally little to no money.

They cant afford high technology solutions and will buy fossil fuels by the cargo container ship load. And as a result, the world will continue to produce emissions. That is unless those new techs boom in the first world that is still heavily addicted to fossils but don’t need to be and then that technology is exported to those poorer countries.

Mind you this gets the rich fat private jet flying magnates just as pissed off.

So we are back to that culling option.

Pick a country. Any country. Hopefully one with lots of fossil fuels, and then bomb the shit out of it. But not the infrastructure and definitely not the oil wells. Just the people. It’s a double winner actually as you also manage to cull a full soldiers from the western countries too. And after the war is finished, think of all the money we can make by helping them rebuild!

We can end the debate! I think we have a winner!

A. Ghebranious  2011  (All Rights Reserved)

  1. Jennifer Baratta permalink

    We all lose. we have potential according to SYFY and Doctor Who to make ths world better or worse. Great post Ash.

  2. debbiep permalink

    Powerful insight ash, tho a little close in becoming reality.

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