Introduced by Professor James Woudhuysen, Professor of Forecasting and Innovation, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK and coauthor of Energise! A Future for Energy Innovation
Rather than disputing the nature and extent of climate change Professor Woudhuysen will analyze humankind’s response to it. Why have we so far failed to deliver an intelligent response to the problem?
Statement from Professor Woudhuysen:
“In L’Aquila, Italy, China’s Hu Jintao had to leave the G8 summit to try to fix unrest back home. But the Summit’s commitment to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 would have been unconvincing even if Hu had stayed the course. Nobody has yet found computer models that can correctly predict the world economy for next week, let alone 41 years away.
“Obama’s recent Bill to deal with climate change, running to 1300 pages and passed by the slenderest of majorities, is equally unconvincing. His central, market-based ‘cap and trade’ mechanism, designed to penalize emissions, will be regulated by no fewer than three different federal authorities. Based,
bizarrely, on the European Union’s torrid experience with its Emissions Trading System, Obama predicates his scheme on a price per ton of CO2 of $13 in 2012 – a triumph of capitalist ‘hope’ over sober rationality. Likewise, his plans for one million plug-in hybrid vehicles will do little for America’s fleet of 240 million cars, minivans and pick-up trucks.
“In March, Obama proposed that the US become the world’s leading exporter of renewable energy. Again he lacks realism. With the Pickens Plan for wind turbines cancelled for Texas, leadership in wind and solar power has already been ceded to Beijing – quite decisively, and despite the suits heading the Chinese Communist Party.
“Unlike China, Obama is ambivalent about nuclear power and indecisive about cleaning up coal – not least, with Carbon Capture and Storage. Similarly, the G8′s refusal to believe that human societies can adapt to temperature rises higher than 2 degrees reveals a fashionable alarmism and, just as zeitgeisty, an underestimation of mankind’s capabilities. But one can be both hopeful and realistic in forecasting that, by 2050, millions of Chinese and Indian engineers will have developed technologies to bring cheap, forget-about-it energy to billions – and, in the process, technologies both to check and adapt to global warming.”
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