In today’s National Post, and elsewhere around the net, there is much commentary about the upcoming Copenhagen Conference where the UN and the Climate Change Priesthood will try to guilt the western world into signing on to a treaty that will cripple their economies and transfer wealth to the developing world.
- Peter Foster does a good job of explaining why the TD / Suzuki / Pembina report likely underestimates the economic consequences of trying to reduce carbon emissions.
- Kevin Libin and John Ivison do a good job of pointing out that Canadians need to wake up to the economic cost we will all be asked to bear. Ivison also makes it clear that the government needs to provide clearer leadership on this subject and be more honest with the people.
- But the best is from Jack Mintz, who lays out the truth – not every nation is going to agree to curtail economic growth in the name of maybe reducing climate impacts a century or more in the future. And the ones that do will suffer economic pain as industry moves to places that don’t restrict economic performance. For any western country to sign on to this is economic suicide.
- The worst is Jim Harris, who claims that technological innovation is going to magically solve our problems. He incorrectly compares the improvements in productivity created by the industrial revolution to the hoped for improvements in energy efficiency. The fact is, a lot of energy use is extremely efficient. Household furnaces are now available with >90% efficiency. You can’t get to 100%. The laws of thermodynamics say so. You can’t insulate buildings to lose or gain no heat from their surroundings. There is a limit to energy efficiency because delta S (entropy) must rise. Coal or gas fired power plants can be up to 60% efficient – more requires circulating low grade hot water to heat buildings. But that means moving the power plants to where the people are, which costs money because we already have 100 years of infrastructure built up. It’s not going to change overnight.
Canada should skip the Copenhagen conference altogether. The draft text of the treaty tells us enough that we don’t want to go near it. We don’t want UN bureaucrats in Geneva or New York imposing sanctions or demanding tribute to the green gods because we don’t want to impoverish ourselves by shrinking the economy.