UPDATE: A complete list of climate series pieces is available here:
The Climate series: a reference post.
While I’m working on the climate catastrophe “solutions” posts, I want to offer this. Many believe that we can “tech our way out” of global warming. That somehow technology is the answer.
And just as soon as we (people of earth) decide to actually make a change, voilà — our smarts will give us the equivalent of google glasses. Call it, “google instant carbon scrubber.” Aren’t Our Betters wonderful? They’ll show up with a pony, just when we need one.
Seriously, counting on Daddy (Mr. Koch and his well-meaning friends) to save us is why we’re in this mess.
In fact, relying on Daddy is the route to catastrophe — extinction. According to the director of the IEA (International Energy Agency), no pony for us (my emphases and paragraphing):
No magic bullet will solve all of today’s energy challenges, IEA Director says
During an interview with the makers of Switch, a documentary which explores what role energy will play in the future, Ambassador Richard H. Jones warned that if energy policies do not adapt, enough carbon dioxide will be being emitted to reach 1,000 parts per million in the atmosphere.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC, which we've quoted extensively] that equates to 6º Celsius [11°F] increase in temperature by the end of this century. “That’s basically Miami Beach in Boston,” he said.
The IEA’s Deputy Executive Director stressed that there is no single solution that will combat climate change and address all of today’s other energy challenges.
“There is no one magic bullet. There is no one technology you need, because the world is different in different places. In some places solar is great because the sun shines all the time … In some places it’s really windy all the time, and that’s great for wind [power]. In other places the wind is too variable or the winds aren’t strong enough. You’ve got to do a real cradle to grave analysis,” he said.
So to recap (again):
- If we STOP NOW, we still get 1.5°C (3°F) global warming. Half has already occurred; half is in the pipeline. (Had enough? More on the way.)
- Elite consensus says warming above 2°C (3½°F) is a problem we can’t afford (James Hansen: “a prescription for long-term disaster”).
- At 3°C (5½°F) there’s a mass extinction scenario for 20–50% of species living today.
- We’re on track for up to 7°C (12½°F). That’s what delay — serving the rich — will get us. My prediction — life on earth retreats to the sea.
One more county heard from — 1000 ppm CO2 in the air; 6°C warming by 2100.
Here’s what 1000 ppm looks like in 2100. This is weeks per year above 100°F.
Translate that to months, starting in the south and moving through the growing regions of the Midwest:
- Phoenix — 5 months per year above 100°F.
- California central valley — 4–5 months per year.
- All of the south, including Texas except near the Atlantic — 3–5 months per year.
- Nebraska — 3 months per year.
- South Dakota — 2 months per year.
- North Dakota & Minnesota — 1 month per year above 100°F.
How do you grow anything in that heat? If we don’t stop putting carbon into the air, this is our future and that of our grandchildren.
Quoting Mr. Jones:
No magic bullet.
We have to take this on ourselves. More soon.
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