Delaware’s number one lobbyist, Charlie Copeland, does not believe in Global Warming. To him it is just some mumbo jumbo pattering designed to steal profits from his number one client, Delmarva Power. Since Charlie believes it, it must be so. Since when has a Dupont ever been wrong in Delaware?

Let us look at what little we know of Global warming. Let us see if those liberal detractors of Delmarva Power have any evidence supporting their lovely wind farm?

Today there are 8 billion metric tons of carbon spewed into our atmosphere per year. That means nothing to me. What’s a metric ton? How much is too much? It would be relevant to note, that in Ike’s years, 1957, the world put out 2 billion metric tons of carbon. Ok….so we are producing carbon at a rate four times more per year, just 50 years later? What does that mean in terms I can understand?

Good question. Let’s go small.

Throughout most of the history of man, carbon in the air, hung at 280 parts per million. When we started burning coal, gas, and oil for our energy it started to rise. In 1957 it hung around the 315 level. It is now at 380 and is increasing by 2ppm annually. Now if you think of a million then an additional 65 ppm doesn’t sound like much…….. but it turns out that the watt of heat that that subtle change traps per square meter of the earth’s surface, times the immense number of square meters covering the planet, creates a big number…… enough to raise the temperature 1 degree already.

One degree! Is that all? With all that liberal talk and Gore(y) movies of rising oceans, you would have thought the world was ending…..One degree, There is no way I am changing my energy habits for one measly degree, no way, no how……..

But that one degree over fifty years so far has set everything frozen to start melting. It has changed seasons, and growing patterns, it has set the sea to rising…… all that from one degree?

Alas, the genie is out of the bag. No matter what we do, global warming will increase for now. The question is how much, by our actions, will it increase before it levels off and starts to drop? Apparently our task is rather boring; it is to contain the damage and keep thing from getting out of control. But exactly where, at what point, does it suddenly go out of control? Until recently we had no way of guessing where global warming would reach a critical point.

The standard consensus is that around 450 ppm is where things heat up real quick. That is 70 more ppm and is a goal we are estimated to hit around thirty years from now……. At 450 ppm, Greenland and Antarctica’s icecaps melt and seas swell catastrophically. So we got some time left…..so what do we do with it?

So far only the Europeans and Japanese have tried to trim their carbon emissions and it looks like that they will not even meet their own modest targets. The genie is definitely out of the bottle. So dependent on Carbon are we, that weaning ourselves from its mixture, seems now only a remote possibility. The US, China, and India, will all be producing much more carbon in ten years, than they currently do today……….

The one answer, the only way for the oceans to stay level, is for the technologically superior nations to cut back drastically, then transfer their technology to developing countries as soon as possible. But are they even capable of such sacrifices?

Every clarion call rolls out a new technology. Hydrogen is the savior; no it is nuclear; no it is ethanol; no it is solar; no it wind………In essence not one of these technologies can single handedly make the dents in carbon usage we need……

Three years ago a Princeton team, just up the road, consisting of Stephan Pacala and Robert Socolow published in Science a paper that gave us 15 wedges which we could choose to minimize carbon warming. Sort of a smörgåsbord of ideas from which we could mix and match and reach partial, if not all reduction to our global warming. Here they are:

1) Improve fuel economy in all cars on the road to 60 mph.

2) Reduce miles traveled by car per year from 10,000 to 5,000.

3) Increase electrical effieicncy in heating, cooling, lighting, appliances by 25% .

4) Raise coal power plant efficiency to 80% up from 40 %.

5) Sequester carbon from coal fired and gas fired power plants.

6) Use capture systems at coal power plants to capture hydrogen to be used in electric fuel cells cars.

7) Use capture systems at coal plants to make diesel fuel from coal residue.

8. Replace 1400 coal fired power plants with natural gas fired ones.

9) Displace coal by increasing nuclear power generation to three times its current rate.

10) Increase wind power to 25 times its current capacity.

11) Increase solar power to 700 times current capacity.

12) Increase wind power to 50 times its current capacity to generate hydrogen for fuel celled cars.

13) Increase ethanol production 50 times its current capacity, requiring 1/6 of the worlds cropland.

14) Stop all deforestation

15) Expand conservation tillage to all cropland. Normal plowing releases carbon by speeding decomposition of organic matter.

We are currently at 380 ppm. Hell begins to be real at 450 ppm. We have fifteen options before us….What do we do?

Obviously we have three pursuits. We can do nothing and let ppm climb. We can employ Draconian measures and try to hold the line steady at 8 metric tons a year, or we can use worse than Draconian measures and try reducing the the amount of carbon we are exhaling.

If we do nothing, then by 2057 we will stand at 800 ppm and witness a global temperature 9 degree F higher than what we experience now. If we implement 8 of the wedges mentioned above, and we hold emissions at todays rate, then over the next fifty years we will sit at 525 ppm and have a temperature increase of a quaint 5.4 degrees F. But if we chose to reduce emissions by half over the next 50 years and cutting 4 more wedges, then in 50 years we will sit at the 450 ppm threshold with only a 3.6 degree increase in global temperature. Remember, we said the 450 level was the edge where the big “things” started to happen.

So here is the scary truth. Even if we cut our emissions in half during the next 50 years, and produce only 4 billion metric tons of carbon a year by 2057, instead of today’s 8, we will still sit on the 450 ppm threshold and be sweating under climatic changes of 3.5 degrees F. Remember all the changes we have experienced so far, have come from a measly one degree increase of global temperature.

So our children will never see the snows of Kilimanjaro. They will wonder how Glacier National Park ever got its name…….But if we try absolutely everything possibly to stem the rise of carbon into the air, it is just possible that our children may still get to know Rehoboth Beach, which without our help, is due to submerge under 20 feet of seawater.

Therefore it stands that anyone who stands in the way of moving Delaware forwards to a less carbon energy diet, is putting our state’s physical geography in danger. The sooner Blue Water Wind goes on line, the less carbon our electrical usage puts into the air. We apparently do not have time to lose.

If the delaying tactics of Gary Stockbridge and his chief lobbyist Charlie Copeland, set back Blue Water Wind of one or two years, than the whole planet hangs in balance…..literally.

Perhaps it is time for a new personification of evil in this post modern world………… If we do, then it is a good bet that anyone who blocks wind power from coming to Delaware, would certainly be a good candidate for taking that position on………….

And as future waves come crashing through Mike Castle’s Rehoboth residence, one can almost hear his ghostly murmur, in that special tone of his……………….”Thanks Charlie…….”

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