LA Time editorial delusional about fossil fuels
Fossil fuels are the boogieman for many people. While they essentially power our entire way of life, they create pollution. We’ve mitigated a lot of that over the years, but now the problem are so-called greenhouse gases, and we need to put an end to those.
So, fuel sources like petroleum, coal, and natural gas are the enemy.
I get it. I don’t agree with it, mind you, but I comprehend how they reached this point. Where they lose me is in thinking we can just magically make it all disappear.
And the LA Time editorial board really does think we can do just that.
ow for some good news about our planet: The ozone layer is healing.
A recent United Nations-backed assessment found continued progress in the global effort to repair the shield-like layer high up in the stratosphere that protects Earth and its inhabitants from harmful ultraviolet radiation that causes skin cancer and hurts plants and animals. The ozone layer is now on track to be restored to 1980s levels over much of the world by 2040, over the Arctic by 2045 and the Antarctic by 2066.
The gradual recovery of the ozone layer has been held up as proof that humanity can succeed with sustained, collective action against a shared threat to our environment. So should it also give us hope for the climate crisis? Not if we ignore its example and continue with the same plodding rate of action.
The good news is we already know the solutions and have the technology needed to switch to renewable energy. But to succeed in curbing climate change, humanity will have to overcome powerful, entrenched fossil fuel interests and their beholden politicians. These industries have engaged in decades-long disinformation campaigns to delay climate action and try to cling to their profits for as long as possible.
We’ve certainly seen some progress, including the growth of solar, wind and other renewable energy, the rapid expansion of electric vehicles and the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. But overall, climate action has been slow, and still isn’t happening at anywhere near the scale or urgency needed.
Interestingly, do you want to know what word doesn’t show up in this whole editorial?
The word “nuclear.”
As things stand, nuclear power is pretty much the only game in town if you want to abandon fossil fuels. Hydroelectric is also an option, but only to a point. People need geography to work in their favor for that.
Which brings us back to nuclear power.
While the editorial board claims there’s been progress in solar, wind, and other “green” energy sources, they neglect to mention those only look viable due to government subsidies. Our tax dollars are going toward making these private enterprises profitable.
Ah, for the days of Occupy Wall Street, eh?
You cannot just wish for fossil fuel dependence to vanish. It’s simply not going to happen.
With the ozone layer response, there were viable alternatives available at the time or soon thereafter. We weren’t decades away from new technologies becoming viable enough to address the problem.
Besides, it didn’t require most Americans to change their lives. Our products changed, generally without most folks even noticing. Hair spray and other spray cans are still a thing, after all. The change happened behind the scenes.
What the editorial board wants to see, though, won’t work that way. We’d have to be required to all get new vehicles in due course, hurting the poor more than any other group of people in the process. We’d be forced to get new appliances so that the grid won’t shut down from too much demand.
It’ll require ordinary Americans to pony up billions just to be able to live their lives. Many simply won’t be able to do it.
So this idea that we can magically do the same thing and combat climate change is the epitome of pie-in-the-sky.
Then again, this is also a great example of why editorials are useless for policy recommendations. It’s clear no one there knows what they’re talking about in the first place.
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Hydro is fine, but almost all the good sites have already been taken. The ones remaining are quite marginal.
Unless, of course, you're in California or Washington, where they've been dismantling existing dams because environment.
Aside from that, it's nukes or nothing - and Our Superiors are quite clear it's going to be nothing.