Urgency is the main issue
That was my introduction to my talk a few days ago:
If you are driving your car alone in a flat city like Sacramento and you heard strange noises from your breaks, you would think: I better check the breaks some time.
However, if you are driving down a steep mountain road with your kids in the back seat and the road is twisting endlessly, the brakes sound funny, and may not slow you down too well, you will do your utmost to stop and repair the brakes ASAP. The time to think about the breaks is over and you need fast and decisive action at almost any cost. Why, because losing your breaks would be a catastrophic event that could cost the lives of every one who is dear to you, including yourself.
The same holds now for global warming: the time for wishing for perfect solutions, for worrying what the public may think, or how much it may cost is over. All because global warming is both a potential catastrophic event and also highly time -critical.
In all our dealing with global warming we must grasp that humanity does not have any more spare time to argue about it, we have no time and no need to convince skeptics. We do have to start curtailing the continuously growing emission of Greenhouse Gases, GHG, on a massive scale now. That means cut it any place we can across the globe, since we are all in a single boat, and we must cut GHG in a very large quantity since the fast accumulation of GHG is moving us rapidly into a point of no return.
Dr. John Holdren, Director of the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy, one of the most aware and solid scientists about GW said to Congress Dec. 2, 09:
"...the current state of knowledge of global warming is sufficiently clear to state that failure to act promptly to reduce global emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases is overwhelmly likely to lead to changes in climate too extreme and too damaging to be adequately addressed by any adaptation measure that can be foreseen.... "
Every issue we deal with regarding GW must be viewed from this crucial angle: we are moving very fast into a catastrophic stage. We need to take now the most practical approaches that would have the most pronounced reductions in both the speed and the magnitude of GHG
And that is the way we should view every aspect of GW:
WILL IT CUT A LOT OF GHG FAST ENOUGH TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE,
OR IS IT ESSENTIALLY WINDOW DRESSING?
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