I want to examine two subjects:
1. Climate Change, and in particular, carbon credits
2. Peak OilClimate Change
There is still much debate over this. The unknowns are:
1. Is the climate warming ?
2. If there has been warming, by how much ?
3. Is it continuing to rise, or have we been experiencing the rising part of a cycle, and has the peak been reached, or even passed ?
4. If there is warming, has it been caused by, or has there been a major contribution from, Man's emissions of CO2 ?
Then there is the point often raised: "Isn't it better to do something, just in case, than do nothing ?".
My answer to that is: "Not if we end up doing the wrong thing, something that does not reverse an undesirable change, or worse means we do not do something that we should be doing
Let me emphasis this point.
If Man's emissions of CO2 is creating an undesirable and significant temperature rise, then it is probably sensible to:
a. Try and reduce those emissions
b. Take actions that counteract those emissions ie CO2 absorption
However, if CO2 is not responsible for an undesirable temperature increase, then both methods above will fail to have any effect.Peak Oil
The concept of peak oil is a simple one. The idea is that there is a finite amount of oil in the Earth, and that the extraction of that limited resource will rise to a peak, and then fall until eventually there is no more oil left.
Combined with the extraction time-line, is the idea that demand for oil is constantly increasing (ignoring short-term fluctuations).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil
Thus at some time, the increasing demand catches up with the extraction rate. Before that time extraction is ahead of demand, and oil is cheap. After that time, demand outstrips supply, and the price rises.Carbon Credits
Where does this discussion leave carbon credits ?
As I understand it, the idea of carbon credits is that they encourage the absorption of CO2 created, thus reducing the net amount of CO2 created by Man.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_credit
If peak oil is a valid idea, and if we are near to the peak, then the only solution is to reduce oil consumption.
Whether there is climate change caused by CO2 emissions or not, any action re climate change, should be an action that is sensible re peak oil.
Carbon Credits don't look like the right solution.The right solution is reducing the use of oil.