450ppm, 2 Degrees,
Change Now Imperative
By Bill Henderson
30 April, 2007
than 450ppm; less than 2 degrees; CHANGE NOW, this decade.
This is the new bottom line
for everybody on the planet. In order to keep human induced climate
change below a precautionary level limiting the probability of
'runaway', 'abrupt' or 'dangerous' climate change we must
- keep greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions below at least 450ppm. We're at around 380ppm (up from pre-fossil
fuel era 280ppm) with an estimated 40ppm in the pipeline;
- so that global mean temperature
doesn't rise more than 2 degrees C above the pre-fossil fuel temperature
- which means we have to
do a very quick turnaround immediately beginning to reduce emissions
and then planning to reach 90%
emission reduction by around 2030.
450ppm; 2 degrees; CHANGE
NOW is as yet
a minority opinion amongst climate change specialists but
do the deep reading and thinking and you'll realize that there is nothing
more important and that this bottom line must now impact everything
Hansen is the main science advocate. George Monbiot's opening
chapter in HEAT is the best defining popularization at the moment.
Ken Ward's must read Bright Lines series at Grist takes
us to the next step:
- freeing up our governance
and management systems so that change of the scale needed is possible.
US first; then globally.
depends on bringing the U.S. to an early and sharp point of domestic
conflict, where the global stakes are put front and center and the political
power of pro-fossil fuel adversaries and the atavistic political impulses
of our domestic enemies are raised to full fury and overcome. Environmentalists
must foment and win a civic civil war, and do so in a way that mobilizes
the nation and moves the U.S. into global leadership with a mandate
to take necessary and appropriate action, without sacrificing our principles
in the process."
Because business and our governments are in second-stage, containment-strategy,
climate change denial. Because public perception of the severity of
danger from climate change as well as the possible toolkit of mitigating
options is being managed so as not to pose any challenge to the primacy
of business as usual.
we stay within business as usual we will fail and humanity
and all that we recognize as nature will be toast.
Carbon trading or carbon
taxing are useful economic instruments IF properly applied, but bet
on subversion. Lifestyle change, relocalization and other potential
reconfigurations of our present socio-economy aren't even considered
for the toolkit. We will waste yet another decade; emissions will continue
to rise, GHGs will accumulate in the atmosphere, and, carbon
bombs exploding, our fate will be out of our hands.
We have less than a decade to first clean house in government, especially
casting off the suffocating doctrines of the Church of Business, and
then to innovate governance so that emission reduction of a scale needed
is possible. Ev not rev. Forward not back. Goodbye to the cowboy economy;
acceptance of much more restricting but complexity sustaining astronaut
self-organization. Goodbye to the car-sprawl-growth-drawdown economy;
welcome the clean energy, small footprint, quality lifestyle, close
to weightless future economy. Or else we're toast.
450ppm, 2 degrees, CHANGE
bill (at) pacificfringe.net
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