Thursday, November 20, 2014

On the downside

What It Would Really Take to Reverse Climate Change - IEEE Spectrum

What did I just write the other day about the wild swings from optimism to pessimism you tend to see in prognostications about the future of energy?

Here we have a somewhat interesting, if not particularly well written, article by a couple of Google engineers who explain why Google pulled the plug in 2011 on trying to come up with an entire clean energy solution.  (I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one who didn't even realise Google had such a broad program in the first place.)

The argument they use seems flawed in a couple of respects:  an apparent insistence that a 350 ppm level of CO2 is key (when it has already been well exceeded), and a large downplaying of any possibility of future international co-operation for pricing carbon.

It's ridiculously easy, I'm sure, to find any number of other engineers/economists/scientists who will strongly disagree with these two.

But such widespread diversity of opinion certainly doesn't help guide politicians.


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