David Fickling's April 28 column “Climate targets must be realistic and demand the impossible” appears to be well grounded to support his agenda for a beautiful and sustaining planet. However, I cannot support his thesis that a minuscule increase in carbon dioxide and warmer planet are bad things, just ask a farmer.

Our economy is robust and energy dependent; solar cells and windmills, even with subsidies, will not fulfill our barest needs.

Taxing the use of fossil fuels to promote electric vehicles and then not having sufficient power generation to run them without rationing is foolish.

Look at what havoc is being wracked upon our Earth in the headlong search for materials to make batteries to run the electric vehicles; and store power from solar and wind to use it off hours when it is needed. As well as when after 10 or 20 years when the useful life of batteries or windmills ends, will we be able to recycle the materials or just junk them?

As an engineer and physicist, my science does not agree with your claims. I suggest you take off your rose-colored glasses and think things through anew.

(7) comments

Greg F

It is not a matter of if we will run out of oil, it is when. Big oil wants to keep pumping, and when gas is used less in cars due to electric, they boost production by ramping up plastic sales efforts that further damage the environment. We see plastic microbeads in everything that end up in the oceans and pretty much everywhere that we end up ingesting to cause all manner of harm. Enough is enough. Time to start flipping the switches off on the oil rigs and on with other renewable sources. I honestly don't give a rats patoot if you think windmills are ugly. Dead animals from plastic, oil spills in the gulf and elsewhere and cancer wards full of people harmed by plastics is a lot more ugly.


Agreed GregF. Your first statement is an absolute fact, The oil supply is not infinite. However, can you imagine what our lives would be like without plastics? All food containers would need to be made of glass or metal, and the safety issues that entails. Same for other containers holding liquids. Look around your home environment to see all the plastic that has been incorporated. Same goes for automobiles for strength and weight savings, leading to better performing cars. The biomedical industry has shifted to single-use plastics to prevent cross-contamination of batches. The very keyboards used to type messages in this forum? All plastic.


Latex paint... plastic!


Every innovation throughout history has been initially met with doubt and even ridicule by people including "experts" before ever being adopted. Par for the course.


I am also an engineer specializing in energy and while we certainly are not ready to shut off all natural gas, coal and oil tomorrow, neither is the way forward particularly difficult to achieve. It takes time, but there are not major scientific or technical barriers to achieving this. Maybe you need to run the numbers again. Oh, and I can assure you that the damage to the land because of mining for batteries is far less than the damage from the production, transportation and use of oil, natural gas and coal. Plus batteries are recyclable; the material is not used up by the operation of the battery.


I did the research, and currently made solar panels - which are improving all the time - last about 25 years - about the same as a roof - and systems are currently widely available that can provide over 90% of most people's electricity and pay for themselves in ten years or so. Make all the excuses you want, but the way is available. Somehow I doubt disposal of used solar panels is as big an issue as climate change.


Because solar panels are improving all the time, I keep wondering how that should be factored into the time line of when to get them. Might the panels that will be available in 5 years be enough better that the opportunity cost of getting them now would be too high?

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