Thursday, May 24, 2018

Growing Up

From Grist magazine in Nov. 2014: We now know, with a pretty high degree of confidence, that we could tackle climate change if wanted to. All that remains is to decide if we want to.

The good news: There is no substantial technical or economic barrier that would prevent the U.S. from reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, a target that would help put the world on track to limit global average temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius. In fact, there are multiple pathways to that target, each involving a different mix of technologies. Achieving the goal would cost only around 1 percent of GDP a year out through 2050, and if we started now, we could allow infrastructure to turn over at its natural rate, avoiding stranded assets.

The bad news: Pulling it off would require immediate, intelligent, coordinated, vigorously executed policies that sustain themselves over decades.

A summary of strategies for implementation is listed here.

Another easily digested set of strategies are outlined in the Drawdown website that accompanies the companion published textbook. It's a New York Times bestseller.  More detail about the necessary steps are clearly outlined here, a result of Paul Hawken's environmental activism and implementation, released in April 2016.

Unlike most popular books on climate change, it is not a polemic or a collection of anecdotes and exhortations. In fact, with the exception of a few thoughtful essays scattered throughout, it’s basically a reference book: a list of solutions, ranked by potential carbon impact, each with cost estimates and a short description. A set of scenarios show the cumulative potential.

We're seemingly unable to let go of the glittery fossil fuel baubles, and as Grandpa put it: the only person that likes change is a baby with a wet diaper.

But it's not all that difficult. So simple, a child could do it. But we all can't seem to play together in the sandbox, so we march off into oblivion over a few shiny toys.

Update 6/5/18: Climate Change - Why we are heading for extinction and what to do about it.

Update 6/12/18: James Hansen debunks the carbon capture get-out-of-jail-free card

Update 6/13/18: Future Climate - Engineering Solutions, a global alliance of professional engineering associations

Update 6/27/18: Using aerial imagery to measure climate impacts of selective logging

Update 6/29/18:  Back of the Napkin, easy carbon reduction framework

Update 9/21/18:  Zero Carbon Britain toolbox on the other side of the pond.

Update 10/13/18: We are the adults in this room. We have to save ourselves.