I am very much in favor of addressing our climate issues and it's one reason I do prefer Obama. We are moving toward unsustainable levels of growth that will devastate much of our environment. This issue never seems to receive enough attention though, despite how serious it really is. The US continues to lag behind much of Europe, Japan and others in cutting emissions, reducing waste and developing better sources of energy. It's almost embarrassing how ineffective we have been.
You do realize that a reduction of about 10% in the US is more than offset by a 5% increase out of China? Right now, the US has some very tight regulations. China has almost none. We are taking steps to reduce our emissions, while China is not. So while I agree that we should not be soiling our nest, how do we go about convincing China to do the same thing?
TheSpiderFromMarsFeatured By OwnerNov 8, 2012Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I said one of the biggest one, not the biggest, because I wasn't 100% sure whether the US was or not. How to convince the Chinese? Well, listen up all Chinese deviants who are reading this thread: you have to focus on the environment, because it's an extremely important topic, and crucial if we all want to go on living on this beautiful little planet of ours!!
One of the biggest reasons we are still releasing so much CO2 is simply because the die-hard environmentalists managed to scare the American public with dangers of nuclear power. If they had not done so much fear mongering, we could have replaced at least half of our current coal or natural gas plants with nuclear. Europe is doing all kinds of research into new nuclear reactors that will be able to use the spent fuel rods from older reactors, rendering them into near harmless lumps of metal. Yes, they will still have some radioactivity, but it will be measure in 50 years or less. Sounds pretty good doesn't it?
Go look here <[link]> and tell me it isn't viable right now. I'm not suggesting we should only rely on nuclear, but until we can produce enough electricity from wind, hydro, solar, or any other green source, we need something to tide us over. Nuclear fits that bill.
Good luck letting people like me that admit there is a danger, yet recognize that it is needed.
Now, if you want to talk about the pollution coming from cars, that is a different beast altogether. As large as our nation is, and given that culturally we tend to like having space between us and our neighbor, we have to deal with the problem of sprawl. Dense apartment complexes with lots of mass transit works great in countries like Japan where they don't have the cultural urge to put space between them. So since we spread out so much, it makes it a little bit harder to take full advantage of mass transits systems. Admittedly we could be doing much better than we are, but if rural states, they just never can pay for themselves. They only work very well in very densely populated areas.
Electrics cars will never take over unless or until they sell for the same price, have the same range, and are as reliable as gasoline powered vehicles. If a family can go purchase a Buick for about $25,000, and it will average 30mpg and are able to drive it hundreds of miles per tank they will gladly take that versus the electric car that has maybe half the range with no infrastructure to charge it. Especially when those electrics are smaller and cost nearly twice as much. Simple economics makes it unlikely we will see a switch to electrics anytime soon.
And again, in rural areas, electrics aren't that great. Right now, if I were driving, I would be going over a mountain pass twice a day just to get to college. Electrics don't do very well in areas like this. Also, farmers and ranchers often live miles out of town. So just to get groceries is a bit of trip.
Then there is the simple fact that simply plugging in that electric car raises how much a person pays in electricity. And given that Obama has already said that energy prices will skyrocket under his plan, how are people supposed to pay for simply lighting and heating/cooling their homes and buying food plus charging their cars?
There are many problems with doing many of the things that would help us. And those aren't even considering the way current companies would fight the changes. And while all these changes would be great and beneficial in the long run, as a species, we are very short term oriented.