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Has changed a lot during the last year or so when I started putting climate change together with peak oil. I might get flamed a bit, but here goes:

We know temperatures and CO2 levels are correlated. But we don't know if CO2 changes temperature, or if temperature changes CO2 levels.

But the current dogma has weaknesses. For example, historically CO2 levels started rising on average 800 years after temperature levels began rising.

This could either mean

a) temperatures increase CO2 levels, not the way around

or

b) while CO2 increases have not historically initiated temperature increases, they might well have strengthened or sustained temperature increases that were initiated by other things.

Not that it matters much though. There aren't enough cheap fossil fuels on the planet to cause dangerous climate change even if the theories are correct. And even if there were enough cheap fossil fuels (mainly coal) we could solve the problem just by legislating that no new coal power plants were allowed to be built, and all new power, heating and industry energy demand could instead be filled by wind and nuclear.

By the way, I wouldn't trust the IPCC for a second. It is a political, not scientific organization. They have ignored science before (visavi the resource base*) so they might ignore it when it comes to other things too (like the climate feedback mechanisms).

* Even their lowest emissions scenario requires us to burn more fossil fuels than even the BP or the IEA thinks exists...

So, what does this really mean? It means that peak oil is a huge problem, and that we should not work against alternative fossil fuels (like GTL, CTL, CNG, tar sands etc) to bridge the gap. It also means we have to look at the efforts done to fight climate change and stop spending resources on the things that just works against climate change but does not work against peak oil. Things like CCS, planting forests and so on, while still pressing on even harder on efficiency, nuclear, wind etc.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 11:52:51 AM EST
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