The official position of the Sparta Report is that man-made climate change is real.
There. Done. The Sparta Report believes all of it is true. All of it. Every last little bit of it. True!
Let’s move along to what we’re going to do about it. Let’s review the “it.”
Before everyone gets all huffy, this is a pie chart published by the United States government! Pie charts are to be believed because there’s probably a really complicated Excel spreadsheet that created it. Or maybe someone just did it with four numbers — it’s hard to tell. But it is definitely a pie chart.
Since Bill Gates got us into this mess by nominally having something to do with Microsoft Office and the creation of Excel [Note 1], let’s see what he thinks we need to be doing. To Mr. Gates credit, he takes an entrepreneurial approach that addresses the largest problems first: steel, cement, and plastic. You thought it would be something like cars or the deforestation of the Amazon!
Actually, what Mr. Gates says is that these three things account for 20% of the overall emissions. Why focus here? Because he’s identified some areas that will make money!
- Carbon capture
- Fuel switching
There are a few issues that need sorting out such as we don’t exactly know how to do carbon capture and so Mr. Gates suggests government subsidies. Sure, why not?
Electrification makes a lot of sense since burning stuff creates smoke and using electricity doesn’t. Except for the fact that we burn coal to produce electricity and then delivery in over long transmission lines.
Which is why we need fuel switching. Once we have new Gen IV nuclear reactors, that will solve that problem except we don’t exactly know how to do that yet. But there’s a lot of promise.
And finally, recycling. Mr. Gates’ recommendation is that we go read Sustainable Materials With Both Eyes Open.
I’ll keep my mind open on recycling from the standpoint that it seems reasonable that it should be more cost effective to reuse steel and similar items than mining for additional ore. Of course, we’ve tried a lot of this in a “woke” way which hasn’t worked at all.
Twin Falls, Idaho shows the dilemma of recycling. You see, it’s costing them $175 per ton to recycle single stream waste. Single stream means that everything goes in the same can and someone has to separate it at the other end.
And now Twin Falls is faced with increasing costs to recycle. The options they have to modify pricing for trash pickup are:
1 — Continue the current recycling program – 4.90% rate increase (from $18.44/month to $19.34/month per household)
2 — Modify the program to accept only cardboard, tin and aluminum –
3.25% rate increase (from $18.44/month to $19.04/month per household)
3 — Shelve the recycling program 3.36% rate decrease (from$18.44/month to $17.82/month per household)
What the city voted to do was only accept cardboard, tin and aluminum.
The bottom line is that recycling these items simply is not cost effective. It’s also not at all clear that it saves any energy or reduces any greenhouse gasses. We’re primarily doing it because it “feels” right.
There you go. The Sparta Report is the first major conservative think tank to go all in for the existence of man-made climate change. Now I just wish that someone would come up with something we can actually do that makes reasonable financial sense, [Note 2], that we actually really know how to do, and will create measurable results that demonstrates progress against the goal.
By the way, an actual goal that is more than a number pulled out of someone’s —- would be nice as well.
[Note 1] And PowerPoint — probably the most evil piece of software ever written.
[Note 2] That does not require nuking India.