The BBC recently reported on a new technology that “creates” petrol from air and water. No, it was not an April fool’s hoax. The technology essentially removes CO2 from the atmosphere, combines it with hydrogen split from water vapour and turns it into methanol, which is then converted into a fuel that can go straight back into the petrol tank. Not only is it potentially a means by which the world can reduce its dependency on seemingly villainous oil producers but more importantly it is a means of turning carbon emissions into a valuable product – a solution to so-called catastrophic global warming!
The BBC report can be read and heard at http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9761000/9761570.stm
As reported, the technology is far from commercially viable so it will not change our fuel consumption habits any time soon. BUT it does serve to illustrate the very important point that technology is not static. That’s hardly a revelation to those who walk around with their senses attuned to the world we live in, but it seems there is a large an increasingly influential segment of our population that have yet to acknowledge advancing technology when advocating policy solutions to anthropogenic global warming . That segment is of course those doomsayers, like the Greens, and others of pessimistic persuasions who believe mankind must reverse evolution if the planet has any hope of being saved from mankind itself.
The merit of any kind of predictive modelling is of course inextricably dependant upon the validity of the assumptions upon which it is based. The well known failure of economic modelling to predict economic outcomes, or even explain them, is a case in point that to date has rendered them of no practical value. And so it is with the catastrophic modelling used by the environmental activists to lobby politicians, persuade the media, and convince the populations of the world that preservation is an imperative if the future is to have a future.
As the “petrol from air” technology demonstrates, when individuals are provided with the freedom and liberty to pursue their ideas and aspirations, mankind will address the needs of the day with solutions that unimaginative people and politicians could never even conceive. Unfortunately innovation seems to have no place in the pessimistic world of environmental activism.