Three thoughts, one of them supremely depressing

So here are three things that have been on my mind and are, most likely, directly related to the road trip I'm on through the US southwest.

1. Shouldn't the additional carbon dioxide emitted along highways assist plant growth? Why doesn't there seem to be an appreciable difference? How many factors do we have to take into account?

2. Since solar PV power is almost as effective distributed as concentrated (in other words, it doesn't benefit a whole lot from an economy of scale in terms of placement and utilization; put another way, it doesn't help a lot to clump panels together) then wouldn't it make sense to have a small solar panel mounted on the long expanses of telephone poles that run across the country? I mean, there's infrastructure - especially to get the panels off the ground and away from people/animals - access roads, and distribution built right in. I think I'm gonna send a letter to McCain about this (or just tweet him?).

3. If there's a miracle and we - that is, the US - found a way to stop imported Middle Eastern oil tomorrow, would that even help the situation? Basic economics would say that OPEC would then (maybe) lower the price a little and when industry picks up elsewhere, there'd be more oil available to people like China and India and bam, suddenly those industries start using more of it. I guess what I'm wondering about is whether or not we'll ever be able to leave any oil in the ground, or whether the existing infrastructure will just be used and used and used until it's all done and all the damage has been done any way. What's the way out? Is there one, short of global revolution? Or will we someday start economic sanctions and threaten to invade if a country starts putting out too much CO2? If I could create that world tomorrow, would I? Man.

(Hint: #3 is the depressing one.)

I sure have been asking a lot of hypothetical questions lately, haven't I?

Also: Southwest Wind Power!

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