Thursday, September 2, 2010

Climate Math - 80% cut in emissions far too low

(Energy use per capita: Click this link for ginormous diagram)

You don't have to be a genius or climate researcher to figure out that the widely targeted 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (of 1990 levels), proposed to be reached by 2050, isn't going to cut it.

Here's my math - about one-fifth of the planet has been the heavily-industrialized leading edge for let's say 100 years and contributes about 60-80% of total emissions. Assuming that the rest of the planet aspires to energy use and the wealth of that one-fifth (in other words, eventually adding another four-fifths at similar greenhouse gas emissions), then pealing back everybody to one-fifth of what effectively amounted to almost all the energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, means that the total emissions in 2050 will about equal all the emissions in 1990.

So, what are collective political global "leadership" is effectively proposing, is to continue 1990 level emissions. And as we are just beginning the earliest phases of really experiencing that reality, via Russian heat wave and forest fires, Canadian and Californian forests on fire, Pakistani floods, early signs of potentially runaway food inflation, etc. does anybody really think the global ecology can handle that kind of continued annual load?

No? Me neither.

For one creditable plan to reduce the load far, far, more, please read Mr. Monbiot's book, Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning.

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