Thursday, March 28, 2013

Global Warming Sanity

What's wrong with this logic?:

  • We have already added some 250 gigatons of CO2 to the atmosphere.
  • It is estimated that the average global temperature has risen one degree because of this addition.
  • There are proven (ie extractable) oil reserves of some 2,500 gigatons equivalent of CO2, not including the dubious reserves of shale gas and oil, and lately even more dubious reserves of sea-bed methane.
  • When (not if) those reserves are burned, we will add that amount of CO2 to the atmosphere, and this will result in an 8 to 10 degree increase in average global temperatures.
  • That increase will make life impossible on the planet, not just for humans, but for all other species as well.  All the global warming predictions of sea-level rises, weather anomalies, drought leading to crop failure, insect population crashes and plagues that will cause crop failure, will come true in extreme.
  • Therefore the reserves must be left in the ground

Question the evidence if you like, but these numbers have been provided in the latest annual report from the International Energy Authority (IEA).  They have been made public by articles in the press -- mainstream, web and alternate, including a headline story in Rolling Stone.  Scientists may quibble with the exact numbers, but not the scale.  We are heading towards to annihilation.

The challenge of course, is that without consumption of those reserves, our existing lifestyle cannot continue.  The last 50 years have seen an incredible change in how we live.  50 years ago:

  • there were only 2 billion of us on the planet, whereas today there are over 7 billion
  • if we travelled anywhere, it was on the ground; we certainly travelled the world, but far fewer of us did it, and we didnt go annually to the subtropics tossing out a ton or two of CO2 exhaust every flight.
  • our food was not flown half way around the world
  • our flowers were all grown locally
  • we tended to live our lives where we were born

Our consumptive life style did not exist.  We were not encouraged to go out and buy, buy, buy, till we dropped, by every ad on the television.  Of course there has been advertising ever since time immemorial -- there were ads on the coliseum, but not with the intensity there is today, nor with the underlying assumption of built-in obsolescence encouraging the frequent and unnecessary replacement of perfectly good products, not to mention the immediate obsolescence of the packaging every supplier now uses.  I'm told that some 99% of the goods we buy are waste within six months of purchase!

If there is nothing wrong with the logic, then we need to change direction.  If we keep going the way we are going, we will end up where we are going.

If there is nothing wrong with the logic, why is it being so completely ignored?

Unless our lifestyle changes, we will have no life to style.

What are you (what am I) going to do about it today?