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Copenhagen sham?

Response to the growing anti Copenhagen movement such as exemplified in this blog:

Energy is but one component of our problem.

The suggestion of almost boundless energy has some merit but energy capture has efficiency losses and we can, in any case, only use a limited area of landmass to capture that energy. Of course way can go out to sea to harvest solar, wind and wave energy but there are resource limitations to be considered, too. It's not just the energy it's the materials that we used to perform that harvest.

We live on a finite planet and have limited access only to those minerals that are relatively close to the surface. Geochemical and biological processes have separated many useful elements into comparatively rich strata but we have been mining these and redistributing scarce materials into
landfill and into the oceans. Now, many are becoming scarce.

Then there is the environmental cost of extraction; it's not just fossil fuel production that causes great environmental damage. If we want to provide battery powered cars equally for all the world's population, can we find sufficient lithium to build the batteries? The political answer has so often been that we will make some technological breakthrough that provides new kinds of energy storage but that thinking owes more to Harry Potter than to science.

The Earth is finite.

Let us not forget biodiversity, either. We out-compete most other life on this planet and the way in which we have continued to increase in number has impacted on other species. Evolution has established a web of life that has been remarkably robust, until, that is, humans got technology and started to use it without consideration for the other inhabitants of this planet. Now we are driving many species to extinction and many if not most or even all of them are important parts of this web of life: the honey bee is one fairly simple example.

There are powerful lobbies trying to derail negotiation but they do not consist simply of big corporates but also the workers, coal miners for example, who stand to lose their livelihood. And, at the bottom of it all, is the failure to understand that, until we can get off this planet, the resources that are found in the thin skin of its biosphere are all that we have. It's not just economics and politics, though they are important, it's also the natural sciences, they are just about immutable.

So calling it all a great sham is an unfair and, I would suggest, facile denial of the honest intent that many have taken to Copenhagen. There is ignorance, of course, that is part of being human. There is also a lot of powerful lobbying. However, your quick denial of peak oil as 'another false
theory' does rather suggest that you are the one guilty of unclear thinking.