Everything You Need to Know About Global Warming in 5 Minutes - Why are we arguing the issue? Challenging vested interests as powerful as the oil and coal lobbies was never going to be easy. Scientists are not naturally aggressive defenders of arguments. In short, they are conservatives by training: never, ever risk overstating your ideas. The skeptics are far, far more determined and expert propagandists to boot. They are also well funded. That smoking caused cancer was obfuscated deliberately and effectively for 20 years at a cost of hundreds of thousands of extra deaths. We know that for certain now, yet those who caused this fatal delay have never been held accountable. The profits of the oil and coal industry make tobacco's resources look like a rounding error.
On global warming and techno-optimism - Sure, the argument goes, global warming is real. But it's a long-term problem. By the time it becomes a serious threat, we'll have more money, and more technology, to deal with it.
Armageddon Wars: Overpopulation Vs. Global Warming - But global warming is different. The fact that carbon emissions are warming the planet doesn’t make it more expensive to produce those emissions. So companies do not have an ever-increasing incentive to emit less — the way they would if the problem were, say, a lack of oil. Global warming doesn’t solve itself the way that resource scarcity does.
Ideas - A petroleum tax of $5 per barrel on every barrel of petroleum produced in America or imported, which would be put into place next year and increased by (my preference) $5 per barrel every year.
Energy Transitions, Then and Now - From a new-ish paper on energy transitions, some fascinating data on the share of primary energy consumption by technology in the U.K. from 1500-2000. You can see the slow transition from biomass/food to coal, and then the faster one from coal to oil/natgas, etc. The other thing that struck me was that wind was a larger percentage of primary energy generation in 1700 than it is today.
The Decarbonization Macro-Trend - As motors and power-plants of one sort or another have become more and more efficient, and as more carbon-dense fuels are replaced with less carbon-dense successors, the result has been the slow, 200-year 'decarbonization' of the world's fuel supply. The shift has been from wood to coal, coal to oil, oil to methane and, inevitably, methane to hydrogen.