Climate Alarmists turn back the Clock
Three centuries ago, the world ran on green power. Wood was used for heating and cooking, charcoal for smelting and smithing, wind or water-power for pumps mills and ships, and whale oil or tallow for lamps. People and soldiers walked or rode horses, and millions of horses and oxen pulled ploughs, wagons, coaches and artillery.
But smoke from open fires choked cities, forests were stripped of trees, most of the crops went to feed draft animals, and streets were littered with horse manure. For many people, life was “nasty, brutish and short”.
Then the steam engine was developed, and later the internal combustion engine, electricity and refrigeration came along. Green power was replaced by coal and oil. Carbon energy powered factories, mills, pumps, ships, trains, and smelters; and cars, trucks and tractors replaced the work-horses. The result was a green revolution – forests began to regrow and vast areas of crop-land used for horse feed were released to produce food for humans. Poverty declined and population soared.
But new environmental problems emerged. Smoke pollution from burning cheap dirty coal in millions of open fires, old boilers and smelters produced massive smog problems in cities like London and Pittsburgh.
The solution was improved technology, sensible pollution-control laws and the supply of coal gas and coal-powered electricity to the cities. The air was cleared by “Clean Coal by Wire” at the flick of a switch and “Piped Coal Energy” at the click of a gas-lighter. In some places use of hydro, geothermal and nuclear power also helped.
In recent years, however, affluent urban alarmists have declared war on the carbon dioxide produced by burning coal, oil and gas. They claim it is a pollutant and it causes dangerous global warming.