@CC VanDorne...agreed. Understandably, the public are nervous about nuclear power because of the consequences when things go wrong (Fukushima etc). But it should be easy enough to analyse all the previous "Accidents" and come up with sites, policies and procedures which won't allow similar failures. Nuclear is high risk and minimising the risk to the point of near-impossibility needs to be the goal. And that's not cheap, as this post points out. But that said, nuclear is a great base-load technology.
Nukes? Now you are talking, brother. I've been singing the praises of nuclear power plants since before I worked in one. Summer job - 1988, beleive it or not. This entire discussion becomes moot if we were to invest more in that technology.
And how highly ironic is it that the same people who decry the "deniers" as being "anti-science" are the same ones who act like cats in a room full of rocking chairs when it comes to nuclear power? That's one of the first things that convinced me that this is all political, and not about science.
Many don't trust technology and place their trust elsewhere. However, if we truly want to reduce emissions then we have a mature technology available that reduces emissions and provides efficient high density energy. We have contributed to this technology in countries like Iran but not as much to solve our own problems. If nuclear plants are good enough for Iran I don't know why we aren't investing as much in our energy infrastructure.
Bert, you seem slow to get it. If we all planted a tree and solved the problem then there wouldn't be any need for all the Henny Penny hysteria. Oh, and grant money. Never forget the money trail on the other side of the argument. Warmists are so quick to mention oil money (Dirty!) but seem blind to the massive flow of taxpayer dollars going to study, yet again, why we should all seek absolution from our sins again Gaia.
Koch brother's billions...BAD! Grrr! Tom Styer's billions good.... <sighing> ahhh.
Conveniently this absolution comes by being seen in a go-kart sized "smart" car, or buying compulory, non-long lasting light bulbs and frail "Energy Star" appliances and, of course, paying more taxes. Always with the taxes. More taxes = more grant money = more university studies = more subsities for the politically connected "capitalists" = more contributions to the "enlightened" party = more taxes = more grant money and so an.
The history of scientific discovery is littered with examples of "pathological science." Just because we want something doesn't make it so.
The history of scientific discovery is littered with examples of "pathological science" -- an area of research where experimenters are tricked into accepting false results by a combination of subjective effects, unrecognized experimental errors, and wishful thinking.
The term was first used by Nobel-winning chemist Irving Langmuir in 1953. Langmuir described pathological science as an area of research that simply refuses to die long after it was given up on as false by the majority of scientists in the field. He called pathological science "the science of things that aren't so."
Enter Cold Fusion. From the initial spectacular announcement by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons (at a press conference, no less), to its equally spectacular flameout under the weight of irreproducible results, the lack of a theoretical framework, and scathing accusations of "incompetence and delusion" on the part of Fleischmann and Pons, cold fusion appears to have been consigned to the scientific landfill along with perpetual motion, polywater, and the canals on Mars.
Or perhaps not. Although mainstream science has long since turned its attentions elsewhere, Cold Fusion, these days known as Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR), has been kept alive by a small but dedicated band of mostly fringe researchers, publishing in their own set of publications.
We of course need to preserve and enhance the forests but there is absolutely no way that forests can make sufficient difference quickly enough
As we know by now, we are on opposite sides on this point. I think there is no way we can reduce CO2 emissions, in the coming few decades. When an enormous fraction of the population is getting into car, refrigerator, and home air conditioning ownership, I think it is simply not in the cards that the whole world can reduce CO2 output. The developed world can, but its efforts will be more than swamped.
So I see it the other way. We should of course conserve non-renewable resources, i.e. oil, but let's not live in make-believe land. We need to rebuild forests to fix the problem. Instead, globally, we are still depleting forests. Why does the popular press not jump all over that first and foremost? Makes no sense to me.
The EU set vehicle emission standards to try to drive down the average emissions per new vehicle. This has had dramatic results and they neither set as tough a target as they should, nor have the pushed as hard as they could for compliance.
And also here, we see things differently. The EU regs are nothing new. In the US, we have had the CAFE limits for many years, decades actually, which do presisely the same thing. Vehicles emit CO2 in exact proportion to how much fuel they burn. So a fuel economy mandate has the same effect. All we need to do in the US is to enforce the same stringent CAFE requirements on SUVs and other obesities like that, that we do in cars. The CAFE limits are being strengthened in recent years, but pigs like SUVs have more lenient standards. So there's no sense pretending the EU has done something revolutionary. Not in the least.
And once again, the effect of these rules is swamped, when car ownership in tremendously populous countries is rising dramatically, even if they implemented similar rules (which they don't).
I see most of these efforts bandied about by the press as being one of those "keep them busy doing something, so it makes them feel good." The actual numbers are never mentioned, and most people haven't a clue.
We can and indeed must cut emissions - that is the problem not some second order symptom. We of course need to preserve and enhance the forests but there is absolutely no way that forests can make sufficient difference quickly enough.
One last example to show we can make a difference. The EU set vehicle emission standards to try to drive down the average emissions per new vehicle. This has had dramatic results and they neither set as tough a target as they should, nor have the pushed as hard as they could for compliance.
"Average CO2 emissions from new cars have fallen by 27.3% in 10 years, and 2.9% since 2013 to 124.6g/km in 2014. This is 4.2% below the 130g/km 2015 pan-EU target"
so that is a cut in the emissions per (new) vehicle of 2.7% per year. The next target is 95% of vehicles below 95g/km (roughly the level of a first generation Prius, and 30% lower than current emissions) by 2020.
So much of what we do is carbon inefficient - with the right carrots and sticks we can massively cut emissions.
But if we did take your 7.7million figure over 20 years, to get back to pre-colonial numbers at that rate (which seems highly optimistic given the EPA numbers, financial constraints and lack of political will) it would take around 310 years.
First, we haven't even begun a global reforestation program. Second, we don't need to go all the way back to pre-industrial levels of forestation necessarily. But most importantly, what are the alternatives? None. There's no way humans will stop emitting CO2. At the very most optimistic, we can keep levels more or less constant, even as a gymongous huge number of people find their way into the industrial age.
It is far easier, and quicker, to find ways to cut emissions by 50% then it is to double the world's forests.
I find that to be pure fantasy. Even if the developed world could do so, and it shows no signs of having that will (just look at the grotesquely obese obscenities people choose to drive, given the choice), you seem to ignore the two mamoths, never mind all the other underdeveloped countries. What we can achieve in the US would be totally swamped by this.
The best cure for a disease is NOT to hide the symptoms. It is to encourage or assist the immune system to wipe it out and keep it wiped out. Conservation is fantastic - to conserve non-renewable energy sources. To cure global warming, you adjust or assist the natural CO2 sequestration mechanisms to take this extra human-generated CO2 into account. Still today, except perhaps within the US and a few other countries, we are STILL doing the opposite. And yet, reading the popular press, you'd never know it. All they dwell on is how much CO2 humans generate, as if in a vacuum.
From the EPA numbers - it is not at all clear where those extra 7.7 million hectares are in the total, it appears that no net reforestation has happened at all, or at least not more than 2 million hectares.
But if we did take your 7.7million figure over 20 years, to get back to pre-colonial numbers at that rate (which seems highly optimistic given the EPA numbers, financial constraints and lack of political will) it would take around 310 years. Yet we have a crisis that is playing out in the next 30 years, with long and far reaching consequences if CO2 concentrations go above 550ppm, and mean temperatures go above 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. Most importantly the positive feedback effects such as forest loss due to fires, pests, disease, drought and migration that such a temperature rise would cause.
So even if it took only 150 years to grow that forest, it would not make a big enough impact soon enough.
It is far easier, and quicker, to find ways to cut emissions by 50% then it is to double the world's forests. The barrier is the political will to actually do it, and to some great degree that political will is lacking because those whose fortunes rely on ownership of large amounts of carbon have the power and motivation to block it. And one way that blocking occurs is the perpetuation of the full spectrum of views opposed to cutting carbon, from the full-blown climate sceptic, to the apathetic, the fatalist, and those convinced that it will all work out in the end.
There is a future coming that will not be comfortable or survivable for many of the human race, one that will disrupt the world economy far worse than the banking crisis. It may be slow to arrive and undramaticm, but it will be equally deadly. But we can avoid the worst consequences of it by positively movign away from a high-carbon society to one that is carbon efficient, more energy and resource efficient, gets most if its energy from renewable sources, and balances profit against the viability of the ecosystem on which we all depend.
I'll grant you that it's just the beginning of the process. But the trend in the US is up now, and the trend in Brazil has been a reduction of the deforestation rate (sort of an apologetic form of good news).
"In the United States, deforestation has been more than offset by reforestation between 1990 and 2010. The nation added 7,687,000 hectares (18,995,000 acres) of forested land during that period. The trend in reforesting areas has been driven by organizations such as the U.S. Forest Service and the Arbor Day Foundation. Reforestation efforts were critical to maintain forest cover starting at the beginning of the 20th century, and they are the reason that there is a net positive trend in forest growth today."
And there's another interesting term, "afforestation." This is where you plant a forest where it did not previously exist.
So, this is the type of effort we need to see worldwide.
"It is estimated that prior to European settlement, the United States. was 46 percent forested. European settlers quickly harvested much of the available timber for housing, industry, the creation of railroads and to clear land for farming. By 1907, the U.S. forest cover was reduced to 33 percent."
The good news is that we don't necessarily have to get all the way back to the original coverage, to get CO2 levels back in equilibirum (to the extent that we understand the problem).