Friday, November 04, 2011

Lightbulbs not enough - Biggest Jump Ever in Global Warming Gases

(Update: and no, global warming hasn't stopped.)
Read Seth Borenstein's story - Biggest Jump Ever in Global Warming Gases from 2009 to 2010; we're speeding up in the wrong direction, dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere faster than ever. If we continue on this trajectory, we're aiming to cook your kids, metaphorically speaking.

Think, folks, please; that head on your shoulders isn't just decorative. Recognize that tending your own garden isn't enough - "Even with a 90% participation rate, the strategy of "living poor" isn't working."

Everyone who has a child has a stake in the future. If you care for yours, what should you do?
"You do:
everything you can to
increase public demand for
significant and immediate policy action to
combat global climate change." (*)

Update: more info, from RealClimate's Keystone XL: Game over?
"The kind of climate we wind up with is largely determined by the total amount of carbon we emit into the atmosphere as CO2 in the time before we finally kick the fossil fuel habit (by choice or by virtue of simply running out). The link between cumulative carbon and climate was discussed at RealClimate here when the papers on the subject first came out in Nature. A good introduction to the work can be found in this National Research Council report on Climate Stabilization targets, of which I [Pierrehumbert] was a co-author. Here’s all you ever really need to know about CO2 emissions and climate:
  • The peak warming is linearly proportional to the cumulative carbon emitted
  • It doesn’t matter much how rapidly the carbon is emitted
  • The warming you get when you stop emitting carbon is what you are stuck with for the next thousand years
  • The climate recovers only slightly over the next ten thousand years
  • At the mid-range of IPCC climate sensitivity, a trillion tonnes cumulative carbon gives you about 2C global mean warming above the pre-industrial temperature."

The "when the papers came out" RC post they linked, Hit the brakes hard, said:
"unless humankind puts on the brakes very quickly and aggressively (i.e. global reductions of 80% by 2050), we face a high probability of driving climate beyond a 2°C threshold taken by both studies as a “danger limit”.
We feel compelled to note that even a “moderate” warming of 2°C stands a strong chance of provoking drought and storm responses that could challenge civilized society, leading potentially to the conflict and suffering that go with failed states and mass migrations."


gzaller said...

I am outraged too, Anna. The problem of environmental destruction is even much worse than you describe. So what do we do??

Outrage is useless unless it is coupled with a realistic course of action.I don't accept that protests and telling people to stop this madness accomplishes anything except to dull our outrage. "They" want us protest and pretend we can order the world to stop and be wise because it harmlessly dissipates the energy.

WE need to get smart. It will take some time but education is the only answer that I can see. Those that care must learn to teach others and build a society level response from the ground up. They must have free access to a diverse education that includes the skills to communicate and motivate people to act collectively for the common good.

Do you have another suggestion?

Anna Haynes said...

Greg, I'm a big fan of (Nobel economist) Paul Krugman's NYTimes mag. "Enviro Econ 101" piece Building a green economy for giving the big picture; there's a link to it over on the sidebar. Everyone should read it.

"'... [In summary,] We know how to limit greenhouse-gas emissions. We have a good sense of the costs - and they’re manageable. All we need now is the political will."

We can't afford more delay in govt action; the last 7 years of it will give us an estimated additional 3/4 degree F of heat, which is *substantial*.

Please, don't ask me, go read Krugman.

"You do:
everything you can to
increase public demand for
significant and immediate policy action to
combat global climate change."

gzaller said...

I read Krugman's report the last time you suggested it to me. Now, what do you suggest we do?

Is your suggestion just that everyone read Krugman? If you have another suggestion to mine that we develop a means for people to become educated in the skills to make democracy work please do say.

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

gzaller, Anna Haynes:

Have you seen this yet? Eban Goodstein is trying to train young activists to run for Congress. It's a crazy idea, but it's also the most concrete action plan I've seen by far.

Also, I've re-opened my Decoding SwiftHack blog, but more later...

-- frank

gzaller said...

Anna, you should incorporate a means to alert someone that posts of additional posts. The greatest power of the internet is to facilitate asynchronous communications.

Frank, Thank you for that! I looked it over. It is a good idea. I believe that more importantly the world community needs a means of engaging virtually with information in small co-intelligent communities over time. It takes time to learn just like it takes time for plants to grow. Instant gratification is a media myth.

Anna Haynes said...

Greg, I guess this is another reason to blog with Wordpress instead of Blogger; Blogger's supposed to put an "email" option next to the "Subscribe to comments (Atom)" link at bottom of the post page ( e.g. ), but it seems to be missing. Grrr.

Anna Haynes said...

> Is your suggestion just that everyone read Krugman?

That'd be a fantastic step forward; please urge everyone you know to do so, it probably _is_ the most important thing you can do.
(Maybe make a sign for it, & attend the Occupy rallies?)

Anna Haynes said...

(and welcome back, Frank!)