Will We Do Anything To Stop Global Warming?

There is an interesting review on climate change (Matthews & Wynes, 2022, Science 376: 1404 – 1409). One point that comes up early is how did this sneak up on us? If you look at the graph on global temperatures, you will see that the summers in the 1940s were unusually hot, and the winters in the 1960 – 1980 period were unusually cool, with the net result that people living between 1940 – 1985 could be excused for thinking in terms of extremes instead of averages that the climate was fairly stable. As you will recall, at 1990 there was a major conference on climate change, and by 1992 goals were set to reduce emissions. It is just after this that temperatures have really started rising. In other words, once we “promised” to do something about it, we didn’t. At 1960 the CO2 levels in the atmosphere were about 320 ppm; by 1990 the CO2 levels were about 365 ppm, and at 2022 they are about 420 ppm. The levels of CO2 emissions have accelerated following the treaty in which much of the world undertook to reduce them. Therein lies out first problem. We are not reducing emissions; we are increasing them, even though we promised to do the opposite. (There was a small reduction in 2019-2020 as a result of the Covid lockdowns, but that has passed.) In short, our political promises are also based on hot air.

The current warming rate is approximately a quarter of a degree Centigrade per decade, which means that since we are now about 1.25 degrees warmer than the set 1850 baseline, we shall hit the 1.5 degrees warming somewhere just after 2030. Since that was the 1990 target not to be exceeded, failure seems inevitable. According to the models, to hold the temperature to 1.5 degrees C above our baseline we must not emit more than 360 Gt (billion tonne) of CO2. The IPCC considers we shall emit somewhere between 400 -650 Gt of CO2 before we get carbon neutral (and that assumes all governments actually follow up on their stated plans.) What we see is that current national targets are simply inadequate, always assuming they are kept. Unfortunately, there is a second problem: there are other greenhouse gases and some are persistent. The agricultural sector emits nitrous oxide, while industry emits a range of materials like sulphur hexafluoride, which may not be there in great quantity but it is reputedly 22,800 times more effective at trapping infrared radiation than CO2, and it stays in the atmosphere for approximately 3,200 years. These minor components cannot be ignored, and annual production is estimated at about 10,000 t/a. It is mainly used in electrical equipment, from whence it leaks.

Current infrastructure, such as electricity generators, industrial plant, ships, aircraft and land transport vehicles all have predictable lifetimes and emissions. These exceed that required to pass the 1.5 degree C barrier already unless some other mitigation occurs. Thus, the power stations already built will emit 846 Gt CO2, which is over twice our allowance. People are not going to abandon their cars. Another very important form of inertia is socio-political. To achieve the target, most fossil fuel has to stay in the ground, but politicians keep encouraging the development of new extraction. The average voter is also unhappy to see major tax increases to fund things that will strongly and adversely affect his way of life.

One way out might be carbon capture. The idea of absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere and burying it may seem attractive, but how is it done, at what cost in terms of money and energy required to do it, and who pays for it? Planting trees is a more acceptable concept. In New Zealand there is quite a bit of land that was logged by the early settlers, but has turned out to be rather indifferent farm land. The problem with knowing whether this is a potential solution or not is that it is impossible to know how much of such land can be planted, given that a lot is privately owned. However, planting trees is realistically something that could help, even if it does not solve the problem.

The article seems to feel that the solution must include actions such as lifestyle changes (carless days, reduced speed limits, reduced travel, a reduction of meat eating). My feeling is this would be a very difficult sell in a democracy, and it is not exactly encouraging to persuade some to purchase electric vehicles then be told they cannot use them. The article cites the need for urgency, and ignores the fact that we have had thirty years where governments have essentially ignored the problem. Even worse, the general public will not be impressed to find they are required to do something that adversely affects their lifestyle, only to find that a number of other countries have no interest in subjecting their citizens to such restrictions. The problem is no country can stop this disaster from happening; we all have to participate. But that does not mean we all have to give up our lifestyles, just to ensure that politicians can get away with their inability to get things done. In my opinion, society has to make changes, but they do not have to give up a reasonable lifestyle. We merely need to use our heads for something better than holding up a hat. And to show that we probably won’t succeed, the US Supreme Court has made another 6:3 ruling that appears to inhibit the US Federal Government from forcing certain states to reduce emissions. We shall cook. Yes, this might be a constitutional technicality that Congress could clear up easily, but who expects the current Congress to do anything helpful for civilization?

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9 thoughts on “Will We Do Anything To Stop Global Warming?

  1. There is a vast plot, conscious or not, to keep on going with 84% of primary energy from fossil fuels. It rests on subtle lies, all over. For example emissions of CO2 are 50 gigatons a year, not 35. The CO2 ppm is 420… But the real CO2 equivalent ppm, including other man-made GHGs, is well above 600 ppm… And that’s interesting. There is absolutely zero chance to hold the heating below 2C… But all talk as if 1.5C could be held… With accelerating rising GHG emissions…. Nonlinear effects have also kicked in…

    Could CO2 Density Go Down Soon? No!

    • I don’t think it is a conspiracy in the usual sense of the word. I think it is a mix of greed and stupidity, and there has never been a shortage of either.

      • Con-spirare means to breathe together. World plutocrats sure breathe together. They also talk, plan, dine and sleep together. Last month, the world’s top plutocrats breathed together in Davos, where their employers Xi and Putin were also welcomed, for years. This week the world’s top plutocrats, hundreds, sometimes thousands, of private jets, are converging on Sun Valley, Idaho. The private jet traffic jam was the object of an article in the WSJ last week…

        It is clear that there are plots, not just conspiracies, around. Look at the French tax code: it punishes the middle and lower classes very strongly… But do not tax at all great wealth, especially when inherited (ZERO % tax). For a poor peasant, tax on inheritance can be more than 75%…. So one should see that the French economy is dominated by great family wealth… And this is exactly what one observes. But it doesn’t stop there: when one looks at the “left” opposition (“NUPES”), one realizes that it doesn’t mention what i just did. Obviously, they are part of the PLOT.

        The exact same thing happens in the USA, or UK, etc… The wife of Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer until a few days ago, earns, on one account alone, more than 16 million dollars… Each year. From her father. She has lived in Britain officially for a decade… However, she pays… NO TAX… Because, although she is a permanent UK citizen, and lives in the UK most of the time, she has the “Non-Dom” status. Now Sunak is trying to become UK Prime Minister, making even Boris Johnson seem highly ethical.

        Richard Branson got billions to save Virgin from bankruptcy… But he “lives” on an island he owns, and thus pays… no tax. And so on.

        This is all a plot. Guess what? If one talks of it in the way I just did, one will not be able to publish it as a comment in the New York Times, let alone publish a book, or teach it in an elite university, or get elected as a radical. So there is a meta-plot covering the plot. Example? Gates canceled me from all his systems and search engines (including Bing and DuckDuckGo)… Something to do with what I think, and wrote, about his “Foundation” trick.. Or how to buy friends, invest as an insider sure to prosper, and pay no taxes, while gathering ever more power in the guise of world charity.

        Plots covered by plots, and the climate disaster is one consequence. Potential nuclear war, another.

  2. Patrice, those that make the rules always favour themselves. It happens not only with taxation but in many parts of life. Think of science. You may recall Bohm’s pilot wave theory. Bohm’s doctoral supervisor was Oppenheimer, and what did Oppenheimer say about Bohm? Basically, because we can’t falsify him we must ignore him, refuse to cite him, and obstruct his publications. Those in authority do not consider ordinary people’s interests; merely their own.

    • Well, Bohm had the last laugh, as he co-discovered the Bohm-Aharonov effect. Oppenheimer’s name is associated to nuclear bombing, which he supervised, close and personal, and to no big scientific theory.

      I do agree with you, and reciprocally. What I am saying is that there are ACTIVE plots. An example is Electric Vehicles. EV are an OK tech, long term, if we find enough basic materials to make them. However right now they divert funds from more valuable arenas. The TOTAL nuclear research budget of Biden is $1.85 billion, fission plus fusion, a small fraction of the idiotic EV infrastructure project (which can’t work all over most of the US, West, 2/3 of the USA).

      Active plots abound. The whole support of US plutocracy for Hitler’s Third Reich wasa vast plot. When Dodd, friend of FDR, told him Hitler’s hellish regime had to go, in 1937, FDR replaced Dodd with a Hitler friendly ambassador.

      Same in the UK, where FDR installed the pro-Nazi Jo Kennedy (father of JFK). FDR would go with many plots, for example the one of militarily occupying France (French army and friendly to France US generals prevented this). Another example of FDR plot is the fossil fuels-Wall Street-Wahhabist plot:

      GREAT BITTER LAKE CONSPIRACY


      They don’t consider much ordinary people’s interests, merely their own… But they implement this through plots: contemplate central banks… Which are controlled by the wealthiest private banks… As the BOE was, at inception (1,700 financiers made to the king of England an offer he could not refuse…)

      • Politicians are keen on EVs because they gave Musk huge grants. There are insufficient raw materials to make EVs a total solution, and they are doing very little for the alternatives because, well, they backed Musk.

      • Well, Oppenheimer was himself canceled later, as deserved… David Bohm had the last laugh, as he co-discovered the Bohm-Aharonov effect. Oppenheimer’s name is associated to nuclear bombings, which he supervised, close and personal, and to no big scientific theory or discovery I know of.

        I do agree with you, and reciprocally. What I am saying is that there are ACTIVE plots. An example is Electric Vehicles. EV are an OK tech, long term, if we find enough basic materials to make them (and it’s not clear that EV from fuel cell are not better than ecologically dubious batteries). However right now they divert funds from more valuable arenas. The TOTAL nuclear research budget of Biden is $1.85 billion, fission plus fusion, a small fraction of the idiotic EV infrastructure project (which can’t work all over most of the US, West, 2/3 of the USA).

        Active plots abound. The whole support of US plutocracy for Hitler’s Third Reich wasa vast plot. When Dodd, friend of FDR, told him Hitler’s hellish regime had to go, in 1937, FDR replaced Dodd with a Hitler friendly ambassador.

        Same in the UK, where FDR installed the pro-Nazi Jo Kennedy (father of JFK). FDR would go with many plots, for example the one of militarily occupying France (French army and friendly to France US generals prevented this). Another example of FDR plot is the fossil fuels-Wall Street-Wahhabist plot:

        GREAT BITTER LAKE CONSPIRACY


        They don’t consider much ordinary people’s interests, merely their own… But they implement this through plots: contemplate central banks… Which are controlled by the wealthiest private banks… As the BOE was, at inception (1,700 financiers made to the king of England an offer he could not refuse…)
        To believe that our lords and masters are just self-interested, and not actively conspiring and plotting reflects a lack of knowledge of history… But a lack of historical sense which profits immensely, and renders possible the conspiracies and plots of our lords and masters. It’s a bit like the uncertainty principle: if you could observe the plots and conspiracies, you would disturb them, so they have to stay secret and denied… Thus proving, by the absence of their apparent presence, that they, indeed, exist.

  3. You say: Ian miller
    on July 8, 2022 at 2:02 am said:
    “Politicians are keen on EVs because they gave Musk huge grants. There are insufficient raw materials to make EVs a total solution, and they are doing very little for the alternatives because, well, they backed Musk.”

    My own interpretation is that any expert conversation shows that EVs can’t be a proximally optimal solution to the climate catastrophe… and suck up funding for real solutions. And THAT is the main reason why EVs are pushed: besides all the corruption, etc., EVs are pushed precisely because they solve nothing much in the dependance to fossil fuels but SUCK up the funds to implement real solutions…

    EVs are fossil fuels in disguise, a Machiavellian plot.
    One more plot… In plain sight, and the reason people do not see it, is that they have been told there are no plots. One can’t see what one has been brainwashed to believe does not exist. Manipulating people is about manipulating their minds. Advanced thinking is about proof of existence of concepts. Mathematicians spend a huge amount of time on existence proofs. If one is certain something does not exist, one can’t see it.

    Real Reason For Massive Electric Vehicles Push: Diverting Worthy Anti Fossil Fuels Efforts Down Rabbit Holes

    • Interesting thought. It is true that the alternative possibilities for transport fuels do not seem to get the same sort of funding, but I had thought that was because Musk was better connected politically.

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