to variations of a factor five in C0 contents at the end of the Carbon Burning, the Greenhouse next century. Effect, and Public Policy Second, conservation is strongly indicated because pres- The greenhouse effect has been discussed by Betts, Lindzen, ently identified reserves of carbon in coal, oil, and natural and Schneider (all 1990)1; it is important to have strong gas are about 1000 gigatons and unproved reserves are op- research, but pursuit of meteorological truths may lead to timistically estimated at 4000 to 5000 gigatons more (Mar- land and Rotty 1984; Rotty and Masters 1985; U.S. Dept. of neglect of other important matters. Here we expand on Energy 1990; Hammond 1990). Traditional coupling of policy implications. economic growth with physical growth has us within dec- First, we can do little about carbon dioxide in the atmos- ades of running out of inexpensive carbon fuels. New energy phere in the short term — however, we can have an technologies will probably be expensive to implement, and enormous effect a century hence, if we start now to reduce increase in cost and difficulty of maintenance of energy pro- our consumption of fossil fuels. This is illustrated by the ducing systems
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Apr 1, 1991
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