Clean is Cool, But is it Good?

Clean is Cool, But is it Good?

How can clean not be good?

No one wants dirty.

Yet, that is how an important argument, affecting everyone, everywhere has been framed.

A scientific issue has been wrapped in a mantle of clean, cloaking, or at least obscuring, two underlying issues.

One underlying issue is the scientific issue of climate change, or global warming.

The other underlying issue is an economic issue, how to use energy.

The scientific issue is complex and multifaceted, but, stated in simplest terms is:

  • Does CO2 cause global warming and climate change?

The economic issue stated in its simplest terms is:

  • How to provide energy with the most benefits at the lowest cost?

This is where the proponents of the CO2 hypothesis for global warming have reframed the issue by wrapping the scientific issue in the cloak of clean.

It’s now, clean energy, and not the lowest cost or most efficient use of energy.

And what does clean energy do?

It cuts CO2 emissions.

As a result, the economic issue is turned upside down.

No longer is it a question of using resources most efficiently and at lowest cost; now it’s to use clean energy no matter what the cost.

In effect, the proponents of the CO2 hypothesis have converted a scientific argument that is difficult to win, into an ethical argument that’s hard to lose.

Who wants dirty?

Photo by D. Dears

It’s never been clear that CO2 was the cause of global warming, and now there is strong evidence that CO2 is not the threat originally pictured by Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth.

Scientists such as Judith Curry, John Christy and hundreds of others are now showing that the effect of CO2 on warming is far less than originally thought. So low, that any warming caused by CO2 is easily manageable.

Other scientists such as Henrik Svensmark and Nir Shaviv have demonstrated that the sun is causing warming.

As a result, the supporters of the CO2 hypothesis are on the verge of losing their argument that CO2 is a threat.

Which will mean that the economic argument can be restored, i.e., to use energy in the most efficient way possible at the lowest possible cost, which will return wind and solar to a supporting role where their use is justified on cost and reliability.

While clean is good, but expensive: cheap energy benefitting all mankind, that poses little if any environmental risk, is better.

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