Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | November 28, 2012

Start manning the pumps and pulling on the oars

Yesterday we wrote about Dystopia and the responsibility the upcoming UN talks already seen as “doomed to fail” scheduled to begin this December in Doha have for all this…

And many of you decided to object out of spirit of positivism or optimism or after reading the secret or who knows what…

But only few brought reason and science with their thoughtful comments and objections to looming Dystopia.

So to be fair I must state the obvious.

Failure with our Climate is not an option.

And it’s up to me and the Environmental Parliament to stop it we will do all we can and succeed in reversing this trend.

But you got to lend a hand too…

So stop bitching at me and instead start pummelling your politicians, choose righteous leaders, and demand action to stop Climate Change.

Because to have a fair chance of keeping global warming to even a 2 °C temperature rise, our total global emissions would have to peak by 2020 absolutely, before start falling rapidly.

Still there’s no sign of that. Global CO2 emissions are constantly increasing. The greenhouse gas emissions made their biggest-ever leap in 2010 and keep expanding. Many countries had promised to cut their emissions at the 2009 UN climate summit in Copenhagen, but modelling carried out by climate consultancy Ecofys, based in the Netherlands, shows that even if those cuts were implemented in full we would still see 3.5 °C of warming by 2100. Never mind that none of the countries managed to bring about these cuts yet.

To meet the 2 °C temperature rise target, even bigger cuts than those promised, are urgently needed. According to UNEP, nations must emit the equivalent of no more than 44 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide each year by 2020, but current pledges are 6 to 12 gigatonnes short. A UNEP report published last week says we can bridge this “emissions gap” by combining faster uptake of renewable energy, improved energy efficiency, and cuts to other greenhouse gases.

A second UNEP report points out that it is much easier to cut short-lived greenhouse gases like methane, and fine atmospheric particles like soot from inefficient stoves. Cutting these emissions could keep the thermostat from rising by 2 °C until the middle of the century, buying us time to deal with CO2.

It is the inertia in our society that is the problem, says the International Energy Agency in its 2011 World Energy Outlook report. The lifespan of existing power plants and factories commits us to 80 per cent of the total emissions that will take us to 2 °C. Construction over the next five years commits us to the rest, so unless we switch our investments from fossil fuels to low-carbon technologies within five years, 2 °C of warming is inevitable.

The reality is that the 2 °C target is technically and economically feasible, but politically impossible. Saleemul Huq of the International Institute for Environment and Development says that countries would have to go to a war footing to do it. He compares the situation to the second world war, when nations like the UK transformed their economies to deal with an overwhelming threat. This single-minded commitment can work miracles, but no country has any such plans.

The past UK secretary of state for energy and climate change, Chris Huhne, with good reason to back him up — had said that the deadline for an international Climate Change deal is 2015. Most other countries don’t even want a deal at all. Still some other countries, like the US, India and China, want to delay even discussing a deal until then, leaving scant time to the desired emissions peak of 2020.

Yours,

Pano

PS:

So you think we can achieve this admittedly failure of our Climate and limit the global warming to a 2 °C temperature rise target, or we will go for runaway warming and the resultant Dystopia that nobody likes very much ?

My take is this:

We might or we might not.

But either way we need YOU.

So start pulling on the oars and start manning the pumps because we cannot do it without You.

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