The recent European parliamentary election had increased support for green parties and other parties that highlight environmental awareness. This would be a great thing if all the policies promoted by these parties were beneficial to the environment. However, one of the biggest green policy platforms which is also promoted by mainstream political parties, a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions to combat climate change, is harmful. Reducing your carbon footprint is harmful to the environment.
Windmills are built to generate electricity. They are built on scenic hillsides or coastal areas spoiling the view. They have huge concrete foundations and often harm the sensitive ground on which they are built. Their rotating blades kill numerous birds and bats. They require long powerlines to be built in lowly populated scenic areas further despoiling the landscape. Building windfarms to generate electricity is harmful to the environment.
Solar power generation covers large areas of otherwise useful land with panels that affect wildlife and nearby residents. Solar thermal farms such as the Ivanpah solar power facility focus sunlight from multiple parabolic mirrors onto a steam generation tower. Birds that flies in the heat beam are incinerated in mid-air. Building large scale solar power generators is harmful to the environment.
Biofuels such as wood pellets are used to replace coal in power stations in the UK to supposedly reduce carbon emissions. This assumes the trees are a renewable resource. However, most of the timber cut for the Drax power station is from old growth forests in the south eastern United States. Cutting old forests to feed power stations is harmful to the environment.
Battery powered cars are promoted to reduce carbon emissions. But when you count transmission losses from powerplants and losses from charging and discharging the batteries they use as much energy as cars with internal combustion engines. Lithium ion batteries use large amounts of nickel and cobalt. There are environmental issues with nickel mines in Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Russia and the Philippines. There are environmental problems and extensive use of child labour in cobalt mines in the Congo. Choosing an electric car instead of an internal combustion engine car is harmful to the environment.
Carbon dioxide helps plants to grow. Greenhouse farmers often add extra CO2 to the atmosphere in their greenhouses to boost growth rates. The photosynthesis pathway evolved when the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was much higher than it is today. Plants have been starved of CO2 as the concentration of CO2 has fallen over the last few million years. The recent increase of CO2 in the atmosphere has made semi-desert area such as the Sahal on the edge of the Sahara green. Reducing CO2 emissions by taxing carbon is harmful to the environment.
But you have been told that if you do not reduce CO2 emissions the Earth will warm catastrophically. But will it? How strong is the evidence? Based on scientific analysis a doubling of CO2 from 300 to 600 ppm will directly warm the Earth by 0.2-0.8°C. This is much less that the 1.5°C or 2.0°C limit set by global warming conferences in Paris and Kyoto. So why do anything harmful to the environment to prevent this small increase that is more beneficial than harmful? The catastrophic predictions are based on suspect computer models presented by researchers with a vested interest in hyping the issue.
If you want to protect the environment recycle, save energy by insulation, reduce waste and do not pollute the atmosphere or waterways. And especially, do not support windfarms, solar power stations, biofuels, or electric cars as these are harmful to the environment. Reducing your carbon footprint is harmful to the environment.