This post is a three-in-one. We thought the three stories just belonged together, like Leonardo's perpetual motion wheel sketches (shown above). First off; we have a report that a planned climate impact assessment field trip to the arctic by an international team of scientists will be joined by oil prospectors (we wish it were via The Onion; but it's not). In a second item, it was "quietly reported" this Easter that the US set a new annual CO2 emissions record, for the reporting year 2004 (translation; "quietly reported" = ignored by US media). Let the show begin. Ladies and Gentlement, in the first ring, from The Guardian: "British scientists are at loggerheads with US colleagues over a controversial plan to work alongside oil companies to hunt for fossil fuel reserves in the Arctic. The US Geological Survey is lining up a project with BP and Statoil to find oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean, under the auspices of a flagship scientific initiative intended to tackle global warming". What happens if you accidentally find a sign of oil? It might not really be oil so it's OK. "BP said it was not using the research to prospect in the Arctic and that geological surveys could be misleading: "Very often it's intended to get you an indication, not necessarily of oil in a particular place, but what there might be in adjacent areas. You only find oil and gas if you actually drill." " And in the second ring..which is 'beyond petroleum'...we learn from The Independent: that "The United States emitted more greenhouse gases in 2004 than at any time in history, confirming its status as the world's biggest polluter. Latest figures on the US contribution to global warming show that its carbon emissions have risen sharply despite international concerns over climate change. The figures, which were quietly released on Easter Monday, reveal that net greenhouse gas emissions during 2004 increased by 1.7 per cent on the previous year, equivalent to a rise of 110 million tons of carbon dioxide".
And what of that third story? LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - "The world's first offshore gas field powered entirely by renewable energy has started up in the UK North Sea, project owners Shell...and ExxonMobil ... said on Wednesday. The Cutter project in the southern North Sea uses a platform powered by wind and solar energy that produce zero carbon dioxide emissions, the firms said in a statement". We'll spare you the rest..
But we do have some innovative ideas along these lines. First is wind powered oil drills in the arctic. Of course when the wind goes down you're stuck.
So maybe the polar bears, which soon will be lacking sufficient ice to stand on, can be put to work making electricity for the drills.
Round and round we go...where we stop nobody knows.