Saturday, October 3, 2009

CLIMATE CHANGE: Why Kyoto and Copenhagen Are Duds

By Klaus H Hemsath

The Kyoto Protocol was signed in December 1997. As of mid 2009, there are still a few countries who have not signed the treaty. Among them are the two largest producers of carbon dioxide emissions; the USA and China.

Japan and many countries in Europe tried gallantly to meet their voluntary obligations. Early returns are in. Many countries did not meet their goals; some did not even begin to reduce greenhouse gas emissions despite expending efforts.

Now another major meeting is approaching. In December of 2009, representatives of most countries will congregate in Copenhagen. A lot of heated debates will be held. The concept for a stricter treaty will emerge but will not be ratified. Its objectives will be as inefficient and as ineffective as those of the Kyoto Protocol.

How will Copenhagen affect climate changes and global overheating? The sad answer is; it will not.

This is a scandalous outlook. There is a lot of good will in most nations for fighting climate changes. However, the fundamental underpinnings to stabilizing global temperatures are deeply flawed. None of the proposed counteractions will contribute significantly to stabilizing the Earth's atmosphere or will prevent world climates from changing.

Countermeasures like Cap and Trade and Energy Conservation will reduce some emissions. Unfortunately, neither one of these two most prominent approaches to climate change has the capability to reduce the world's annual carbon dioxide discharges. These measures can only slow the growth of annual greenhouse gas emissions.

Does this mean that the world is condemned to adapt to radical changes in climates and must prepare itself for the inundation of large coastal areas with their huge assets of precious infrastructures and fertile lands?

The answer is sobering. Future generations will have to suffer the consequences of present trends, if the world continues on the ways of the Kyoto Protocol. The solutions offered by Kyoto can only delay the days of reckoning by a few years. The offered solutions in the form of Cap and Trade and Conservation cannot halt global overheating and cannot stop ice melting!

It does not matter, if all nations will sign agreements similar to the Kyoto Protocol or a more restrictive Copenhagen Agreement. The world will continue to overheat and polar ice and glaciers will continue to melt. There are no merits or beneficial impacts when nations follow their commitments strictly.

Is there no hope left? Several confounding issues need successful resolution before our world can be saved for future generations. Above all, there needs to be a worldwide agreement that economies must continue their growth. At present, this is the only way to take care of compounding population increases.

Developing countries will demand to reach equality in individual energy consumption. For them this will be the only way of coming close in acquiring wealth, which is comparable to that of fully industrialized nations.

Both goals must be accomplished while halting carbon dioxide emissions simultaneously. Only one single option exists for this feat; the world must halt completely its burning of all fossil fuels. This means that the world must replace existing energy supply technologies with more advanced energy conversion processes before it dares to stop fossil fuel combustion.

What are these processes? What kind of scientifically supportable ideas are being proposed for development?

A new book, entitled "Clean Energy for Centuries", provides a few, novel concepts. It demands the end of fossil fuel combustion and suggests to replace coal based electric energy generation with emission free technologies. Electricity can be produced cleanly by using nuclear power, solar power, wind power, and must be buttressed by much needed energy storage technologies.

Fossil transportation fuels must be replaced by the one and only technological solution available; conversion of biomass into gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet fuel. Several, fundamentally new approaches to biomass production must be found to assure that inexpensive foods remain available for all the world's citizens.

Only the USA, the European Union, and China have the infrastructures and the means to develop these most urgently needed energy technologies.

It makes sense to conserve energy and reduce combustion generated greenhouse gases. However, there is one huge problem with this approach. Conservation and Cap and Trade will only slow emissions minutely during the next fifty years. During the same fifty years, Earth will continue to heat up at an accelerating rate. Therefore, this approach will leave a very hot globe to future generations unless we begin soon to not only reduce but begin to reverse atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide. Such a reversal seems technically possible.

Kyoto and Copenhagen are solutions by politicians for politicians and designed to protect existing power structures. World citizens will be asked to pay for ineffective countermeasures and will get little in return. Copenhagen needs a wake up call!

Dr. Hemsath's books, Climate Change-Gold Rush or Disaster? and Clean Energy For Centuries, offer a comprehensive plan for saving Earth from overheating. He is now writing a follow-on book, Petroleum Substitutes From Biomass. For fifty years he has worked on advanced energy technologies as scientist, engineer, inventor, Corporate R&D Executive, CEO, entrepreneur, and author. He holds more than 60 US Patents. Go to

Article Source:

No comments:

Post a Comment