Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, used a graph 40 years ago to predict the rate of growth in IT capacity by stating his belief that the number of transistors that could be put onto a chip would double every two years.

He was talking about computing power, a long way from the environmental debates raging around us currently.

 On the radio a day or two ago, I heard a credible source observe that he was astonished to note the rate of carbon being released to the atmosphere was roughly double estimations made just a couple of years ago.

This comment brought to mind Moore’s law, and started me wondering if it perhaps applied to the climate change debate.   A recent Newsweek article also observed the rates of carbon emissions were well up on estimates, and that the rates were increasing, significantly because the rate of change was feeding on itself, creating a sort of multiplier effect, Moore’s law at work. 

The unedifying sight of Australia’s two political parties taking opposite sides of the debate, simply because that was their allocated role, and apparently refusing to allow the facts to get in the way of a good argument smacks of Monty Python, not the serious debate that is required to start to address the scientific, commercial and social issues surrounding reality, or otherwise, of human induced climate change. 

If Moore’s law holds true in the rate of release of carbon into the atmosphere, and the release of carbon is indeed a cause of global warming, we will need to move very quickly indeed to prevent, or perhaps at best mitigate, a catastrophe.