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Smarter Not Harder
A Smarter Approach to the Climate Change Problem

We’re just seven months away from a historic climate conference and already top officials are working to lower expectations, downplaying the 2 degrees Celsius objective and suggesting that delegates won’t work to craft hard targets. But the summit may have the wrong goals in the first place, as Robert Atkinson writes for the Hill:

We need breakthrough technological progress if we are to get the world to zero carbon. When technological innovation makes clean energy cheaper than dirty energy, the world will adopt it en masse. […]

If the Paris negotiations are going to be more than symbolic, negotiators need to focus on how such an agreement can embrace a global clean energy innovation strategy. In particular, high-income and emerging economies should commit to investing at least 0.15 percent of national gross domestic product in clean energy research, development and demonstration. Doing so would provide a $75 billion boost to clean energy innovation, an Apollo-like investment on a global scale that could quickly advance technology development in areas such as energy storage, solar, wind and nuclear.

Go ahead and read the whole thing. It’s a compelling case for a radically different approach to one of the largest problems of our time, and it’s the kind of argument we hope makes it across the desks of delegates preparing for the summit in Paris this December.

Global greens seem determined to wrangle some kind of binding international treaty on climate change, but the diffuse responsibilities for and vulnerabilities to global warming, along with the leeching effect many of the preferred green policies seem to have on economies, make it very difficult to see how the world’s leaders would sign on to such a deal. If Paris does produce a document, it will be little more than an eco-twist on the Kellogg-Briand Pact, lacking the teeth to realistically enforce any of its aims.

But just because the environmental movement is pursuing a fruitless solution doesn’t mean the problem isn’t there, or that it isn’t worth addressing. Humanity’s capacity to innovate is one of our greatest resources, and as the pace of technological change accelerates our future looks bright, despite the looming threat of climate change. A solar panel efficiency breakthrough or a cost-effective and scalable energy storage system would give us the tools necessary to meet the challenges greens like to paint as insurmountable.

We’d be much better served pouring our time, energy, and dollars into the research and development of next-generation technologies than into the doomed quest for a global climate treaty.

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  • FriendlyGoat

    A guy named Ronald Ace once claimed he had a revolutionary heat-trap solar idea which would generate so much heat that it could be stored in sand and used to generate electricity 24/7. I don’t know what happened to his plans.

  • stanbrown

    Still waiting for someone to make a rational, logical case that there is a problem.

    • Zak Thomas-Akoo

      I was skeptical too of climate change until I understood the sheer volume of evidence from respected peer reviewed journal’s that supported the case.

      This youtuber summerises the actual evidence and opposing theories in a relatively neutral and comprehensive way. Every claim he makes is supported with links to the journals and studies in the comments. Every rational person owes it to himself to at least hear the other side out, even if you don’t agree.

      • stanbrown

        You obviously have no clue how ridiculously bad the published studies are. Do some research, learn some statistics, and contemplate that grant funding for global alarmist science is 1000 to 10,000 times greater than that available to skeptics.

  • Fat_Man

    Oh my LORD. I just feel like I am banging my head against the wall. Spending money on research does not create results. No amount of research is going to stop the sun from setting every night. No amount of money spent on research will cause the winds to blow on a regular schedule. Research is not magic and it does not have to answer your prayers.

    The good news is that we don’t need to spend money on this insane research because there is no global warming.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “But just because the environmental movement is pursuing a fruitless solution doesn’t mean the problem isn’t there, or that it isn’t worth addressing.”

    Let’s consider the Facts:
    Fact: The Global Temperatures have not risen in 19 years.
    Fact: Polar Ice is growing and scientists have been getting trapped in the ice on the way to Antarctica.
    Fact: Carbon Dioxide is plant food.
    Fact: Experiments have proven that the increase in CO2 over recent decades has plants producing 15% more bio-matter.
    Fact: During the medieval warm period, temperatures were warmer than they are today and nothing bad happened.
    Fact: A warmer climate would extend growing areas and seasons thereby creating more life.
    Fact: The so called Scientists that have promoted “Global Warming” are guilty of not releasing their data, incestuous peer reviews, data manipulation, etc…

    So, Where’s the Problem? None of the Environmentalists predicted disasters have been coming to pass. So why is any action needed? Where’s the disaster in more food? I wish the Globe was Warming, extended growing seasons and areas would be a good thing. I certainly don’t want to stop it.

    • iconoclast

      The problem is that people refuse to hand over their economic future to a bunch of wanna-be totalitarians.

  • iconoclast

    “It’s a compelling case for a radically different approach to one of the largest problems of our time”
    Only if the approach including doing real science instead of the metaphysics of the global warming fundamentalists.

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