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climate_change [2019/04/17 19:26]
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climate_change [2019/04/23 14:23] (current)
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 ==== Climate change is real ==== ==== Climate change is real ====
   * https://​climate.nasa.gov/​evidence   * https://​climate.nasa.gov/​evidence
 +  * https://​www.bbc.co.uk/​programmes/​articles/​5STsK03qtJ30tH41vsSNp5y/​climate-change-the-facts
 +
 +==== Why do we have a problem? ====
 +
 +  * There are now about [[http://​www.worldometers.info/​world-population|7.7 billion people]] (predictions are for [[https://​ourworldindata.org/​world-population-growth|11 billion in 2100]] but we need to act way before that).
 +  * On average we consume a lot more year-on-year
 +  * The earth has a finite carrying capacity
 +
 +It's like being in a car driving towards a brick wall.  We haven'​t hit it yet so it seems fine to accelerate.
 +
 +We all love the [[https://​en.m.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​The_Lorax|Thneeds from the Truffala trees]].
  
 ==== Our economic system is broken w.r.t. Climate Change ==== ==== Our economic system is broken w.r.t. Climate Change ====
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   * [[https://​www.ipcc.ch/​sr15|Why is it necessary and even vital to maintain the global temperature increase below 1.5°C]]   * [[https://​www.ipcc.ch/​sr15|Why is it necessary and even vital to maintain the global temperature increase below 1.5°C]]
   * https://​www.theguardian.com/​environment/​2018/​dec/​10/​tackle-climate-or-face-financial-crash-say-worlds-biggest-investors   * https://​www.theguardian.com/​environment/​2018/​dec/​10/​tackle-climate-or-face-financial-crash-say-worlds-biggest-investors
-  * [[wp>​History_of_climate_change_science|We'​ve known about the problem since the 1970'​s]] ​and [[https://​www.carbonbrief.org/​analysis-fossil-fuel-emissions-in-2018-increasing-at-fastest-rate-for-seven-years|emissions are still increasing]]+  * [[wp>​History_of_climate_change_science|We'​ve known about the problem since the 1970'​s]] 
 +  * [[https://​www.carbonbrief.org/​analysis-fossil-fuel-emissions-in-2018-increasing-at-fastest-rate-for-seven-years|emissions are still increasing]] 
 +  * https://​www.theguardian.com/​environment/​2019/​apr/​21/​long-road-to-zero-emissions-uk UK emissions are starting to decrease , but that's because we've gone for the low hanging fruit first (coal fired power stations), there'​s a long way to go and the rest isn't as easy.
  
-It is likely that global dimming has happened, that is the pollution ​wr have teased into the air has reflected more sunlight than is natural. ​ When we clean up our pollution, as we must, then we get more sun and so more warming without releasing more CO2.  Roughly our warming would and will be twice as much without the associated pollution https://​www.scientificamerican.com/​article/​cleaning-up-air-pollution-may-strengthen-global-warming/​+It is likely that global dimming has happened, that is the pollution ​we have teased into the air has reflected more sunlight than is natural. ​ When we clean up our pollution, as we must, then we get more sun and so more warming without releasing more CO2.  Roughly our warming would and will be twice as much without the associated pollution https://​www.scientificamerican.com/​article/​cleaning-up-air-pollution-may-strengthen-global-warming/​
  
 ==== Personal expenditure is a reasonable proxy for damage done ==== ==== Personal expenditure is a reasonable proxy for damage done ====
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   * Eliminate personal food waste - if you've chosen to spend the CO<​sub>​2</​sub>​ to get it to your house then eat it   * Eliminate personal food waste - if you've chosen to spend the CO<​sub>​2</​sub>​ to get it to your house then eat it
   * Turn down the thermostat. ​ There'​s nothing wrong in wearing warm clothes (including thermals) in winter.   * Turn down the thermostat. ​ There'​s nothing wrong in wearing warm clothes (including thermals) in winter.
 +  * Avoid food that needed aeroplanes to get it to you (stuff that's come from a long way away with a short expiry date - if anyone has a list let me know)
   * Eat near-[[wp>​vegan]] or [[wp>​semi-vegetarian]]. This is not about being kind to animals, so kill them in moderation if that makes you feel good, it's about our survival. ​ Watch [[wp>​Cowspiracy]]   * Eat near-[[wp>​vegan]] or [[wp>​semi-vegetarian]]. This is not about being kind to animals, so kill them in moderation if that makes you feel good, it's about our survival. ​ Watch [[wp>​Cowspiracy]]
   * Reduce fuel usage - e.g. car and especially non-essential plane flights, such as holidays   * Reduce fuel usage - e.g. car and especially non-essential plane flights, such as holidays
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 If you think I've been overly pessimistic,​ remember that halting global warming is the easy problem. ​ Getting to carbon neutrality does nothing about the poisons we've already released. ​  The warming that has already happened could release a lot more greenhouse gasses from melting tundra, the loss of the Arctic ice cap will result in more warming because snow reflects sunlight well, and the carbon dioxide that has entered our oceans is causing acidification and killing coral reefs. ​  Even if we could go way beyond carbon neutrality to a magical zero emissions we have to tackle the significant problems we've already created. ​ These could easily add as much global warming as we've already seen (e.g https://​www.scientificamerican.com/​article/​cleaning-up-air-pollution-may-strengthen-global-warming/​) so it could well be too late to avoid catastrophe - that doesn'​t mean we shouldn'​t act now. If you think I've been overly pessimistic,​ remember that halting global warming is the easy problem. ​ Getting to carbon neutrality does nothing about the poisons we've already released. ​  The warming that has already happened could release a lot more greenhouse gasses from melting tundra, the loss of the Arctic ice cap will result in more warming because snow reflects sunlight well, and the carbon dioxide that has entered our oceans is causing acidification and killing coral reefs. ​  Even if we could go way beyond carbon neutrality to a magical zero emissions we have to tackle the significant problems we've already created. ​ These could easily add as much global warming as we've already seen (e.g https://​www.scientificamerican.com/​article/​cleaning-up-air-pollution-may-strengthen-global-warming/​) so it could well be too late to avoid catastrophe - that doesn'​t mean we shouldn'​t act now.
 +
 +The popular message is that climate change is a very serious threat, but there are easy things we can do now to avoid the terrible consequences (e.g. we'd all be okay if we stopped eating meat). ​  I don't think that that the easy things are enough, we can't expect to maintain our standard of living as the risk of hitting an unforseen tipping point is so high we need drastic action now.
  
 To end, here is a big question: ​ Is global warming and individual or institutional responsibility?​ To end, here is a big question: ​ Is global warming and individual or institutional responsibility?​
   * Individual: It's up to every individual to consume very much less and eat a near-vegan diet - we can do this now and so we only have ourselves to blame.   * Individual: It's up to every individual to consume very much less and eat a near-vegan diet - we can do this now and so we only have ourselves to blame.
   * Institutional:​ We'd be fine consuming at the level we do if only our governments invested in green energy, our companies worked on the tech fixes and capitalism wasn't broken.   * Institutional:​ We'd be fine consuming at the level we do if only our governments invested in green energy, our companies worked on the tech fixes and capitalism wasn't broken.
 +
 +To do - add in a section on tipping points
 +
 +  * https://​www.theguardian.com/​environment/​2019/​apr/​23/​melting-permafrost-in-arctic-will-have-70tn-climate-impact-study
climate_change.1555525596.txt.gz · Last modified: 2019/04/17 19:26 by admin