Monday, March 16, 2009

Global Warming and Peak Oil/Coal

A while back, I posted about a lengthy essay from the head of CalTech's Engineering department, in which he argued that the amount of coal and oil left in the ground for humans to burn is actually several times lower than is assumed in the IPCC's predictions as to global warming. Since then, I've often looked for a direct refutation, i.e., either a proof that oil and coal reserves are several times higher than what the CalTech scientist estimated, or a proof that dramatic global warming would still occur even if carbon emissions from coal and oil are several times lower.

So far, I haven't found such a refutation, but this recent article summarizes the (apparently very few) academic articles that analyze global warming while taking into account the limited supplies of fossil fuels. It reaches the not-very-comforting conclusion that "we might well suffer for both effects: lack of fuels and global warming."


Blogger Bhuvan Chand said...

Combating climate change may not be a question of who will carry the burden but could instead be a rush for the benefits, according to new economic modeling presented at “Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges & Decisions” hosted by the University of Copenhagen.

Contrary to current cost models for lowering greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change, a group of researchers from the University of Cambridge conclude that even very stringent reductions of can create a macroeconomic benefit, if governments go about it the right way.

“Where many current calculations get it wrong is in the assumption that more stringent measures will necessarily raise the overall cost, especially when there is substantial unemployment and underuse of capacity as there is today”, explains Terry Barker, Director of Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research (4CMR), Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge and a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Congress.

6:02 AM  

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