We are approaching the point of no return
Dear Dr. Borenstein,
Again, you are one of the few who grasp the real Climate Change issue well. Concentrating on the essential aspects.
It is nice that California is aiming to reduce substantially its GHG, yes, we set an example, but as you said, the total we have is but one percent of global emissions.
If we drop it to zero in CA it would not matter at all.
As you said, what we must do to even minimally slow down the dangerous impact of CC is to develop advanced technologies to help China, India and emerging nations to cut their GHG emission as fast and as drastically as humanly possible.
My concern is that even if we did have those amazing new solutions soon, it takes decades to spread them in wide commercial quantities to make significant impacts. Global CO2 e is higher than 450 ppm already, and since we miscalculated downwards both the quantity of methane leaks and its environmental damages, we are probably way above 450 ppm of CO2 e already.
I wonder even if we find simpler, more reliable and lower cost nuclear power we can save our Earth in time.
Dr. Richard Muller pointed out years ago that we must concentrate on the rapidly escalating emissions of major emitters (China, India)and those in the process of becoming major emitters, and help them to cut down their GHG ASAP. Yet, we still are competing with them in these areas instead of fully cooperating with them, giving them all we have, to save our common home.
What is not understood even by many environmental scientists (possibly because it is so hard to accept it emotionally) is that we have essentially run out of time to influence the potential approach of a catastrophic collapse of our delicately balanced Earth.
See also Dr. Martin Weitzman work in this area. According to his current book, Climate Shock, at 550 ppm CO2 eq, the chances of eventual warming beyond the unsustainable 6 degree C is 3%. And at 600 ppm 5%, at 700, it is 11%.
Only drastic measures have some slight possibility to save us from a collapse of human civilization. But key forces in the global economy would not accept these changes and will fight them to their last dollar.
Despite all the promising words in the last few decades, we are still emitting the same or more damaging gases. It is hard for me to see the possibility that fundamental forces advancing CC, such as population explosion, sex drive, desire for material things, greed, and self deception would drop significantly and fast enough to help humanity reverse its march to extinction.
See AAAS statement below.
Dr. of Environmental Science & Engineering
BS, MS Electrical Engineering
Prev. manager of the solar office and wind energy program at the CA Energy Comm.
Report by the American Association for the Advancement of Science Society, 2014
"Most projections of climate change presume that future changes -greenhouse gas emissions, temperature increase and effects such as sea level rise - will happen incrementally. A given amount of emission will lead to a given amount of smooth incremental sea level rise. However, the geological record for the climate reflects instances where a relatively small change in one element of climate led to abrupt changes in the system as a whole. In other words, pushing global temperatures past a certain thresholds could trigger abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes that have massive disruptive and large-scale impacts. At that point, even if we do not add any additional CO2 to the atmosphere, potentially unstoppable processes are set in motion. We can think of this as sudden climate brake and steering failure where the problem and its consequences are no longer something we can control."
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