Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

The possibility of CO2 causing global warming isn't 100% but it isn't very low either. It is the risk we are talking about, the risk of doing nothing and let the man made green house (if there is one) turn earth into an irreversible disastrous environment. Most CO2 emitting energy sources are not sustainable anyway and many of them emit other proved pollution as well. There is really nothing lost to going green energy, other than the cost of having some CO2 emitting energy reserved there.

Without qualification, I'm afraid what you're saying is parlously close to mere verbiage. Even the most ardent climate sceptic does not object to solar, wind or water energy under certain conditions. What is 'Going Green' then? In the UK it currently means, for instance, paying wind farms a million pounds sterling a day to produce no energy at all. Meanwhile poor people die because they can't afford to keep themselves warm thanks to horrendous energy bills punped up by huge subsidies to the likes of windmill owners and owners of land, hosting windmills.

"Going Green" does not equal to switch to renewable energy at the cost of poor people's lives for gods sake. It simply means that recognizing the global warming and have a plan to switch to renewable energy, for example, take some of the hundreds of billions of dollars of the oil companies' profits to invest on renewable energy.

proposed cap and tax carbon regimes disagree.

First, thanks for trying to add to the discussion, I appreciate it. I disagree on two points:

1. I make no judgement about whether or not CO2 causes global warming. It may cause it, it may cause it but to a lesser (or greater) effect than sun cycles, cosmic radiation (and it's effect on cloud formation) or natural variation in the climate. I'm just asserting that my confidence in knowing one way or the other when you can't create control experiments is low. Ultimately proving causation instead of simple correlation is something that I believe is near impossible for something as large and complicated as the climate. Especially when the data being analysed for correlation relies hundreds of thousands of years of extrapolated proxy data (tree rings, ice cores, sediment, etc).

2. (this is tangential to the discussion of reproducibility in science) I think there is something lost to going to green energy - cost and power density. The unfortunate fact is that fossil fuels are incredibly cheap compared to green energy and they are more easily transportable. Carbon regimes threaten the ability of the third world to build itself out of poverty and threaten the global economy in general. I'm not saying we shouldn't invest in new forms of energy (especially wind and nuclear), in fact I think we certainly should. But I don't want to hamstring economic progress for some calamitous event with something I have low confidence will actually happen.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact