Only WWII effort starting immediately may fight Global Warming effectively

by Ginosar  

Global Warming (or its milder term: Climate Change) is so overwhelming and the worse emergency that humanity has faced in modern times, that we are unable to fully grasp it. Global CO2 emission is still increasing instead of dropping dramatically, that only a global effort larger and more intense than WWII may be able to save the Earth's environment from destruction, and thus its' ability to sustain life as we know it. And we have been doing nothing significant to date, compared to the magnitude and time-urgency of this problem.

We have an optimistic picture of the danger of Global Warming because most scientists do not tell us the full facts since they fear being seen as "advocates." Finally several courageous scientists are openly stating the gravity and time-criticality of global warming. See 4 abbreviated articles below.

We have ample evidence that GW is much worse than we expected and were comfortable with. And it is very hard for most of us who already believe GW is a serious problem, to accept: our human activities have been rapidly destroying our only home, Earth, approaching the point of no return! No national or international leadership of importance wants to respond to this immense danger to human survival. We are standing still while the problem is getting much worse and may no longer be controllable.

Here is the essence of the GW situation as I understand it:

1. For the last ten thousand years, the Earth's average air temperature has been fairly stable thus allowing civilizations to develop and prosper. Industrial CO2 emissions in the last century broke this stable natural feedback system that kept the Earth a benevolent habitat for vegetation, agriculture, and thus human and other organism.

2. Global warming has the ability to destroy the stable Earth environment thus Earth's ability to sustain current forms of life, including human beings.

3. The
2007 projection of the global lead agency on CC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change, IPCC,  was the base line for action: If we reduce global emissions moderately, we could have a small increase in temperature of 2 degrees Celsius. Conclusion: low urgency, we have time.

4. Global emissions of CO2 have increased substantially above IPCC projection and did not go down. China and India are increasing their already massive Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions and are projected to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

5. Our Earth can not survive as habitat for humanity if the average air temperature increases by more than 2 to 3 C degrees C because the temperature will be going into an unstable territory. It is now projected that we are already on a path towards unstable temperature range: 4 Degree C, and that the Earth temperatures will continue to increase towards 6 degrees C by the end of this century or so, IF THERE IS NO UNFORESEEN CATASTROPHIC EVENT.

6. This is not an isolated prediction. Several scientists have come forth, starting 2 years ago, to point out that we will soon be passing the hoped for 2 degrees and are on a path to 4 degrees and beyond.

7. As the temperature increases several known "positive-feedback" effects are expected to bring us to an unstable region where the temperatures will increase without any human ability to control them.

8. In addition, "We do not know what we do not know." It is reasonably clear that we do not know a lot of the environmental interactions and potential catastrophic events from increases of several degrees.
The larger the temperature increase, the larger is the probability of massive catastrophic environmental events that will increase our temperature beyond the Earth's ability to provide acceptable human habitat. See attachment 3.

9. In 2009 after studying CC literature full time for several years, it became obvious to me that only a global dedicated effort, even larger than WWII scale, was the only way global temperature may be able to remain within tolerable levels:
We must turn upside down our approach to fighting CC.

10. Globally we have been doing nothing of significance to reduce GHG. The US and California (despite its pioneering AB 32 program) have done very little of significance to reduce CCgases. All the appealing US environmental programs have been and will be insufficient compare to the increased emissions from China and India.

11. The most important thing to grasp is that there is a high likelihood that as the air temperature passes some 4 degrees C, the Earth's benevolent environment of the last ten thousand years will be on an irreversible path to destruction, and life on Earth would be so harsh that human civilization would be essentially unsustainable.

That means immense human suffering on a scale beyond our imagination: warming oceans with reduced CO2 absorption, higher acidity and inferior ocean productivity; melting ice coverage, sea level rise and flooding cities; widening state-size desertification; irregular extreme weather patterns; diminishing food supplies; mass forced migration; reduced river water supplies; rapidly melting snow and flooding; war; and tens of millions dead from starvation and disease yearly. To name just a few.


When will we take Climate Change seriousely?

Dr. Matania Ginosar
Environmental Scientist & Electrical Engineer
Prev. Mgr. Solar Office, Calif. Energy Comm.

"We irretrievably passed the 2 degrees mark and are well on our way to 4 degree by 2060, perhaps earlier."
Dr. Bowman Cutter, Board Chair, Resources For the Future, RFF, 12/13/2012

4 abbreviated attachments:

1. It's Already Too Late to Stop Climate Change
Even as climate policy is debated in Doha, it's becoming increasingly clear that the first devastating effects of global warming cannot be prevented.
by Coral Davenport; For the full report see:

...But no matter what the diplomats in Doha decide over the next week, it now appears inevitable that the world will indeed hit that 2-degree mark and could well shoot past it to average global increases of 4 degrees or 6 degrees-points at which scientists predict even worse catastrophes.
A scientific study published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change concluded that the world's rapid increase in fossil fuel emissions now makes a global average temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius all but inevitable.
"When it comes to the worst-case scenarios of sea-level rise, I'm not sure $100 billion will even scratch the surface," said Brian Murray, director of economic analysis at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Scientists say that once the world hits that 2-degree mark, the urgency of reducing carbon pollution to avoid a catastrophic tipping point becomes even greater.

Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University and a member of the Nobel Prize-winning U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says that a 2-degree rise is not itself that point, but rather the beginning of irreversible changes. "It starts to speed you toward a tipping point," he said. "It's driving toward a cliff at night with the headlights off. We don't know when we'll hit that cliff, but after 2 degrees, we're going faster, we have less control. After 3, 4, 5 degrees, you spiral out of control, you have even more irreversible change. At this point, with prompt action to reduce emissions, we can still keep it from getting totally out of control."

Attachment 2.

Study sees 5C warming
(AFP) - 1 day ago 12-3-12
PARIS - Levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) are rising annually by around three percent, placing Earth on track for warming that could breach five degrees Celsius (9.0 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100, a new study published on Sunday said.

The figure -- among the most alarming of the latest forecasts by climate scientists -- is at least double the 2C (3.6F) target set by UN members struggling for a global deal on climate change.
In 2011, global carbon emissions were 54 percent above 1990 levels, according to the research, published in the journal Nature Climate Change by the Global Carbon Project consortium.
" We are on track for the highest emissions projections, which point to a rise in temperature of between 4C (7.2F) and 6C (10.8F) by the end of the century," said Corinne le Quere, a carbon specialist at the University of East Anglia, eastern England.

In 1990, developing countries accounted for 35 percent of worldwide output of CO2, ...In 2011, this was 58 percent......

Last year, Chinese CO2 rose by 10 percent, or more than 800 million tonnes, equivalent to Germany's emissions in an entire year, said the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo (CICERO), whose scientists took part in the paper.
" China is emitting as much as the European Union on a per-capita basis, about 36 percent higher than the global average per-capita emissions," it said in a press release....

Attachment 3.

Dr. Paul Krugman on the criticality of uncertainties:
Dr. Martin Weitzman's work at Harvard

Final points from Krugman's 12 page article above:

"Finally and most important is the matter of uncertainty. We're uncertain about the magnitude of climate change, which is inevitable, because we're talking about reaching levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere not seen in millions of years. The recent doubling of many modelers' predictions for 2100 is itself an illustration of the scope of that uncertainty; who knows what revisions may occur in the years ahead.
Beyond that, nobody really knows how much damage would result from temperature rises of the kind now considered likely.

You might think that this uncertainty weakens the case for action, but it actually strengthens it. As Harvard's Martin Weitzman has argued in several influential papers, if there is a significant chance of utter catastrophe, that chance - rather than what is most likely to happen - should dominate cost-benefit calculations. And utter catastrophe does look like a realistic possibility, even if it is not the most likely

"Weitzman argues - and I agree - that this risk of catastrophe, rather than the details of cost-benefit calculations, makes the most powerful case for strong climate policy. Current projections of global warming in the absence of action are just too close to the kinds of numbers associated with doomsday scenarios. It would be irresponsible - it's tempting to say criminally irresponsible - not to step back from what could all too easily turn out to be the edge of a cliff."

Krugman's conclusions on GW actions:

"So what I end up with is basically Martin Weitzman's argument: it's the nonnegligible probability of utter disaster that should dominate our policy analysis. And that argues for aggressive moves to curb emissions, soon."

4. Beyond ‘dangerous' climatic change,

Anderson and Bows
Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society, January, 2011

* " 2 C stabilization is virtually impossible."

* "4 C by 2050-2070 look ‘likely' (could be earlier & on the way to 6c.)"

* ‘We are leading for the worst possible of all worlds."

"There is a wide held view that a 4C future is likely to be beyond organized global community, is likely to be beyond ‘adaptation', is devastating to the majority of eco-systems & has a high probability of not being stable (i.e. 4 C would be higher equilibrium level.)
Consequentially...4C should be avoided in ‘all' costs."
Anderson/Bows, The Tyndall Centre (1/2011)

Trackback address for this post

Trackback URL (right click and copy shortcut/link location)

No feedback yet

Form is loading...