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Upper Limit On Emissions Likely To Be Exceeded Within Decades 324

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-taco-bell-keeps-growing dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A panel of expert climate scientists appointed by the United Nations has come to a consensus on an upper limit for greenhouse gases. The panel says we will blow past this limit in just a few decades if emissions continue at their current pace. 'To stand the best chance of keeping the planetary warming below an internationally agreed target of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels and thus avoiding the most dangerous effects of climate change, the panel found, only about 1 trillion tons of carbon can be burned and the resulting gas spewed into the atmosphere. Just over half that amount has already been emitted since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and at current rates of energy consumption, the trillionth ton will be released around 2040, according to calculations by Myles R. Allen, a scientist at the University of Oxford and one of the authors of the new report. More than 3 trillion tons of carbon are still left in the ground as fossil fuels.' You can read a summary of the report's findings online (PDF). It says plainly, 'It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming (PDF) since the mid-20th century.'"

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Upper Limit On Emissions Likely To Be Exceeded Within Decades

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  • Meh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I will be dead by then. Good luck to the rest of you.

    • by gmuslera (3436)
      Hope that you never have anyone to care about. Children, grandchildrens, you would be dead by then, but they won't. And if there are no future, why worry about the present? No single water drop feels responsible for the flood.
  • Um what TF? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gr8_phk (621180)

    only about 1 trillion tons of carbon can be burned and the resulting gas spewed into the atmosphere. Just over half that amount has already been emitted since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and at current rates of energy consumption, the trillionth ton will be released around 2040

    Do they honestly believe there is some total quantity of emissions that can be tolerated? I mean as opposed to a rate of emissions - like annually. We know that the system recycles carbon taking it out of the atmosphe

    • Re:Um what TF? (Score:5, Informative)

      by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday September 27, 2013 @09:51AM (#44970147) Journal

      The rate of natural sequestration is so slow that for the purposes of planning within the next century, we can use a fixed amount. Technically you're correct but natural sequestration is hardly fast enough to be relevant to our civilization.

      • Re:Um what TF? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by taiwanjohn (103839) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:22AM (#44970525)

        Expect to see more and more "un-natural" sequestration soon, as knowledge of manage intensive rotational grazing [wikipedia.org] spreads among the peoples who inhabit damaged range lands. Allan Savory describes the process (along with some pretty amazing before & after photos) in this TED Talk: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change. [youtube.com]

        Definitely an "idea worth spreading."

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nhojovadle.> on Friday September 27, 2013 @09:59AM (#44970255) Journal

      only about 1 trillion tons of carbon can be burned and the resulting gas spewed into the atmosphere. Just over half that amount has already been emitted since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and at current rates of energy consumption, the trillionth ton will be released around 2040

      Do they honestly believe there is some total quantity of emissions that can be tolerated? I mean as opposed to a rate of emissions - like annually. We know that the system recycles carbon taking it out of the atmosphere, and we know that the rate it's removed increases as the concentration increases. So if we assume there is a limit, it should be on the rate of carbon emissions and not the total emitted over time.

      If you read the "Summary for Policymakers" PDF document linked in the summary, there is no talk of "total quantity of emissions tolerated" or any of this trillionth ton idea. Instead it appears to be talking about . In fact, it appears to reside solely in that New York Times article that very clearly says:

      To stand the best chance of keeping the planetary warming below an internationally agreed target of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels and thus avoiding the most dangerous effects of climate change, the panel found, only about 1 trillion tons of carbon can be burned and the resulting gas spewed into the atmosphere.

      Just over half that amount has already been emitted since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and at current rates of energy consumption, the trillionth ton will be released around 2040, according to calculations by Myles R. Allen, a scientist at the University of Oxford and one of the authors of the new report.

      (emphasis mine) So to answer your question: The trillion tons is an estimate of what we would need to burn in order to hit an internationally agreed limit that would likely produce the worst effects of climate change. The number of tons we burn is even an estimate. It's all estimates because we don't have parallel Earths where we can keep controls and change one variable to see what happens. If you don't accept the ability of making estimates with levels of certainty, there is no way to make any statements about the effects of putting carbon into our atmosphere on a global scale.

      These guys are looking dumber all the time.

      I suppose it would appear that way if you only get your information from The New York Times and throw away everything they're actually saying.

    • Re:Um what TF? (Score:4, Informative)

      by IWannaBeAnAC (653701) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:08AM (#44970357)
      No, the rate at which it's removed doesn't increase with increasing CO2, at least not enough to make a difference. Some additional carbon is stored in the oceans, possibly some increased biomass (but probably outweighed by deforestation?), but its pretty small in comparison to the amount of carbon stored in fossil fuels. And the amount is limited - the oceans are already turning slightly acidic.
  • High Certainty. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pino Grigio (2232472) on Friday September 27, 2013 @09:47AM (#44970117)
    Funny. The IPCC puts its certainty at 95%, which is somewhat confusing as it's unable to show any accounting for that figure. According to Professor Judith Curry [judithcurry.com], the figure is arrived at by getting a load of climate scientists into a room and asking them what their certainty is!

    What did my physics professor always say? If you don't know how accurate your measurement is, you haven't made a measurement.

    It gets worse. The discrepancy between models and actual reality continues to grow [climateaudit.org]. Surely this makes the science more uncertain, not less. Yet somehow the IPCC find themselves increasingly confident that they're right, even as everybody else becomes increasingly confident that the models they use are wrong. The whole thing is an absolute farce.
    • Re:High Certainty. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by xtal (49134) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:09AM (#44970375) Homepage

      This is something, but it isn't science.

      Science has data and experiments. There's data to demonstrate there may be changes occurring, but there's no model backed by experimental results to explain why that may be. The earth's climate system is very complex, and it may be impossible to model in any sort of long term fashion.

      The inability to model drives the risk. We don't know. The prudent thing is to reduce impact; sure. How do we best do that? More policy.

      It is reasonable to hypothesize that human activity is causing the changes. Based on those assumptions it may be even be reasonable to implement policy to mitigate risks.

      Don't front it as science, though. It's not.

      • Re:High Certainty. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Pino Grigio (2232472) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:26AM (#44970581)

        The prudent thing is to reduce impact

        I think the law of unintended consequences might trip you over there. For example, "we need energy security" became "we need ethanol" which became "we've reduced global grain supply by 5% and forced up food prices". What an absolutely terrible policy. The best thing for government to do is almost always absolutely nothing.

        • by xtal (49134)

          Perhaps, but policy impacts are things politicians can debate until they're blue in the face.

          My problem is all this is being presented as science. It's not science. Worse, it is impacting what laypeople think science is!

    • Re:High Certainty. (Score:5, Informative)

      by IWannaBeAnAC (653701) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:17AM (#44970459)
      That's a load of nonsense - the problem is that 10-15 years is too short a time-scale to make a reliable judgment. Since 1975, global average surface air temperature has increased at a rate of 0.17 deg.C/decade. But it isn't a steady increase. If you look at the 15-year period up to 2006, the warming trend was almost twice as high as normal (namely 0.3 C per decade) but nobody cared much (except climate scientists and environmentalists). The 15-year period from 1998 to now has been slower than the trend, and that's got hugely more attention. The reason is that interest groups strongly push the latter, and want to ignore anything that doesn't fit their agenda. See here for details [thinkprogress.org]
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by geek (5680)

      Funny. The IPCC puts its certainty at 95%, which is somewhat confusing as it's unable to show any accounting for that figure. According to Professor Judith Curry [judithcurry.com], the figure is arrived at by getting a load of climate scientists into a room and asking them what their certainty is!

      What did my physics professor always say? If you don't know how accurate your measurement is, you haven't made a measurement.

      It gets worse. The discrepancy between models and actual reality continues to grow [climateaudit.org]. Surely this makes the science more uncertain, not less. Yet somehow the IPCC find themselves increasingly confident that they're right, even as everybody else becomes increasingly confident that the models they use are wrong. The whole thing is an absolute farce.

      I stopped reading or listening to the bastards years ago. It's a religion to people at this point. I've never seen a Christian or Muslim fundamentalist get as foaming at the mouth rabid as some of the climate fundamentalists do. It's shocking to see how the discussion as devolved into what it is now.

      I literally have friends that think the world is going to end within the next 5-10 years thanks to Al Gore and Prince Charles running around the world screaming that the sky is falling.

      Climate science right now

      • by riverat1 (1048260)

        Your friends who think the world is going to end aren't listening to science any more than you are. The report says that at current rates of CO2 emissions we will reach the agreed on limit of 1 trillion tons in 2040 but if we were to get serious about reducing the carbon intensity of our civilization we move that date out further into the future easing the rate of change somewhat. On the other hand If we do nothing but keep increasing CO2 emissions we move the date sooner in our future.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Funny. The IPCC puts its certainty at 95%, which is somewhat confusing as it's unable to show any accounting for that figure.
      It gets worse. The discrepancy between models and actual reality continues to grow [climateaudit.org]. Surely this makes the science more uncertain, not less. Yet somehow the IPCC find themselves increasingly confident that they're right, even as everybody else becomes increasingly confident that the models they use are wrong. The whole thing is an absolute farce.

      Your post is misleading: the 95% is the certainty that climate change is man-made. That has exactly fuck-all to do with how accurately can previously created models predict the rate of said climate change.

      Those models, by the way, are being updated constantly, as we learn more about climate's behavior. Science isn't un-changing - quite the opposite! Science changes according to what is learned and what experiments show. Unlike religion, for instance.

    • Re:High Certainty. (Score:4, Informative)

      by Daishiman (698845) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:26AM (#44970573)
      This is retarded, there are no other places where those temperature graphs appear, and you want to turn a 5-year local trend into a failing for the large predictive models, which are successfull. You know, the very same Guardian newspaper which she links to admits that she exaggerates (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/sep/27/global-warming-ipcc-report-humans) (http://www.skepticalscience.com/certainty-monster-vs-uncertainty-ewok.html) the level of uncertainty. In essence, what you say is totally irrelevant to the larger trend.
    • by Merk42 (1906718)
      Other than creating a parallel universe where we say to one Earth "pollute all you want" and the other Earth "don't pollute" and then check on them in 50 years, what sort of model would be satisfactory? I'm not saying I do(not) believe in Climate Change, just wondering what everyone would agree on for a method.
  • Honestly (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Friday September 27, 2013 @09:47AM (#44970125)

    I'm no global warming denier, but at this point I think there's a simple harsh reality to accept: it doesn't matter how efficient we make things that run on fossil fuels, we're going to burn them all. At best with all of our "green initiatives" we might spread out burning those fuels over an extra few decades - a century at best, but over geologic timescales any delay we induce is pretty meaningless. Every bit of it is going to be burnt and released into the atmosphere.

    Once they're all gone, THEN we'll be forced to adopt new more clean sources of energy. We just have to pray that by the time all the fossil fuels are burnt the planet isn't screwed up beyond any hope of recovery (ie, still habitable).

    • Yep we are absolutely going to burn them all, hopefully not before humans start colonizing space...but it will all be used. Renewable-powered artificial carbon sequestration may have to be used to compensate.

    • by Kardos (1348077)

      Quite right, Jevon's paradox is a harsh mistress.

      However, slowing it down is a Good Thing. If we slow down the rate of generating carbon dioxide, there may be hope that we can match or exceed that rate of removing it - through some combination of natural elimination (plants? oceans? or some sort of clever geoengineering. Something along the lines of a solar powered CO2 remover would be most excellent.

      • Why have a solar powered CO2 remover when we could use solar (or wind, or tidal, or geothermal) energy and never release the CO2 in the first place? Continuing to burn fossil fuels is unbelievably stupid.

        • Re:Honestly (Score:4, Interesting)

          by SJHillman (1966756) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:21AM (#44970517)

          Because there's still many situations in which fossil fuels are a much better power source than solar/wind/hydro/etc. So it may be more practical to use fossil fuels in northern and cloudy climes and run solar powered CO2 scrubbers in sunnier climes to counterbalance it.

          • Northern climes - thermo
            Cloudy climes - hydro
            Sunny climes - solar
            Windy climes - wind

            Combine as local weather patterns dictate.

    • Re:Honestly (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:13AM (#44970415) Homepage Journal

      Only if you keep your current governments that are causing this (apparently on purpose to gather power).

      We have guys like Branson who say, "I'm going to fund the development of a planet full of integral fast reactors that will safely clean up all of your existing nuclear waste while providing all the carbon-free power we need as a planet for the next century," and the nuclear regulatory agencies (and politicians) won't even talk to him.

      And he's only picking up up the ball that Clinton/Kerry/Gore/O'Leary intentionally fumbled ... we should be well on our way out of this hole by now, not still slipping into it. Cui bono?

      We have a technological fix in hand, but technology can't fix a problem while politics is stopping it. I guess it's like Vietnam - you've got to destroy the planet in order to save it. As long as the psychopaths are in charge, there's little to be hopeful about. As long as we have a psychopath's wet dream of a mechanism in place to regulate society, we have little hope of getting rid of those psychopaths.

    • by Ken_g6 (775014)

      But clean technologies are taking off quickly. [greentechmedia.com]

      Like they say, the stone age didn't end because we ran out of stones. We just have to get to a point where fossil fuel recovery is more expensive than solar and wind (and solar and wind power stored in batteries.)

  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Friday September 27, 2013 @09:48AM (#44970127)
    Well that's ok then. A panel has decided on an arbitrary "upper limit", and of course the planet will obey the panel. At one point, when everything you do to stop global warming fails, you'll come to realize that perhaps there are forces far greater than man at work. Failure to recognize this is sheer arrogance.
    • by SJHillman (1966756) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:27AM (#44970589)

      The panel only determined an upper limit for avoiding the worst of global warming... they never said anything about it being some kind of physical limit. How about a bad car analogy? If you're driving down the highway in an area with a lot of speed traps, 60mph might be the upper limit to avoiding speeding tickets. There's nothing preventing you from doing 80mph, but 60mph is roughly what you can expect to get away without any major consequences (IE: getting pulled over and ticketed). Now you can argue that we're more in control of a car than we are of global warming, but the truth is that we still have a fair bit of control over how much carbon is tossed into the atmosphere.

    • by xtal (49134)

      At one point, when everything you do to stop global warming fails, you'll come to realize that perhaps there are forces far greater than man at work.

      That's loser talk. Your brain is the most complicated, organized structure in the known universe.

      Properly realized there is potentially no greater force in the entire universe than sentient, self-learning brains. We have several billion of them on this planet and I have zero doubt that properly motivated, planet scale engineering and far beyond are well within

  • by xtal (49134) on Friday September 27, 2013 @09:51AM (#44970159) Homepage

    Mass adoption of nuclear energy is the only option.

    The green crowd have fantasies of state taxation and control; the problem is enterprises see through this immediately and apply their financial resources to make sure it doesn't happen.

    Brass tacks; modern civilization and economic growth needs high quality energy sources and has an accelerating demand for energy. The only fuel that provides thermodynamic high-quality energy for base load that we have available is carbon and nuclear. The energy requirements of our society are epic. They will become more epic in the future!

    The green movement needs to realize that the driver for economic activity trumps everything. Period. The energy is required to sustain the society we live in. If there isn't a rapid move to nuclear, we are going to burn every drop of oil, every ton of coal, and every liter of natural gas. That's the path we're on now.

    I have hopes that we'll be able to fix the mess later - with technology being driven by clean energy sources. We need a push to get fusion reactors figured out. We know how fusion works; it powers those bombs everyone forgets don't exist. If people are so in arms about nuclear energy, why are they not freaking out about the pre-packaged critical nuclear reactions sitting on top of fueled missiles, only under control of a computer to avert disaster?

    The lack of understanding of thermodynamics and energy is really epic; people advocating for restricting co2 production just don't understand how much energy is required.

    Eventually the planet is going to suffer a catastrophe. A caldera volcano will explode; an asteroid will strike. The climate will change in a catastrophic means, just as it has done over and over again in the geologic record.

    The sooner we have unlimited amounts of clean energy on tap to fix things, the better. The answer is staring at us in the widespread adoption of nuclear energy.

    Until then.. go away, get off my lawn, and I'll continue to vote for people with energy polices grounded in reality.

    • It's not ready yet. Thorium perhaps in time.
      • by xtal (49134)

        Sure looks ready to me.

        Work on modern fission designs should be happening now, and in sane countries, like China - it is, as fast as is possible.

        That should be used to buy time to advance thorium and hopefully, fusion designs.

        Shutting off Japan's nuclear industry so they can run the country off natural gas and diesel and coal - brilliant stuff. I will have to calculate what the total tonnage of co2 (and natural source radiation from coal burning) released is from those decisions.

        I'll take a small risk of a

        • by tmosley (996283)
          China is not sane. That is not to say that Thorium isn't the future, and needs to be brought into the present as quickly as possible, but China as a nation is as certifiable as Japan was 30 years ago.
        • by Bucc5062 (856482)

          China is not sane. I just heard this week on npr

          "What is certain, say Yang and his colleagues, is that synthetic gas production will be carbon intensive relative to conventional gas. Burning conventional natural gas to produce power releases two to three times less carbon into the atmosphere than when burning coal, but burning synthetic gas will be 36 to 82 percent dirtier than coal-fired plants." Quoted from this article [carbonnation.info]

          So while other countries even attempt to limit fossil fuel emissions, China is hell be

      • by Eunuchswear (210685) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:05AM (#44970319) Journal

        Fuck that,

        It was ready in the '80s when France did it.

        Why isn't it ready now?

      • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:10AM (#44970393) Journal

        Thorium lacks weapon applications. The emperor is not interested.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by FirstOne (193462)

        It's not ready yet. Thorium perhaps in time.

        Nuclear power is a dead end, Thorium-232 is not fissile, it must be first breed into U-233 (which is fissile), that process takes an enormous flux of of free neutrons(U-235, Pu-239). It's a chicken verses the egg problem.

        Note: Breeder reactors are far more dangerous and operate much closer to the edge. They incorporate fewer safety features, (metallic fuel instead of ceramic oxides, etc), in order to maximize neutron flux.

    • pre-packaged critical nuclear reactions sitting on top of fueled missiles

      Note, for the ignorant, that "critical nuclear reaction" means "neutrons are being produced as fast as they are being consumed".

      Which is more or less equivalent to "turned on" for a nuclear power plant.

      Alas, it is nearly completely meaningless when talking nuclear weapons, since the design goal is to produce a "super-critical" situation (more neutrons are being produced than being consumed).

      • by xtal (49134)

        I guess it's OK, so long as we only put thousands of potential super-critical reactions on top of missiles, then. My bad. :-)

    • by SirGarlon (845873) on Friday September 27, 2013 @11:00AM (#44970955)

      The green movement needs to realize that the driver for economic activity trumps everything.

      Economic progress *is* social progress. It allows people to allocate labor and resources to educating their children (and themselves), feeding the hungry, curing disease and curbing pollution.

      There is a reason why developing nations are focused on development: it brings a better life to their people. And it's finally paying off in several regions of the world.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Economic progress *is* social progress.

        No. It is enabled by social progess.

        It allows people to allocate labor and resources to educating their children (and themselves), feeding the hungry, curing disease and curbing pollution.

        Theoretically, sure. In practice, it does none of those things. Let's go from the bottom. Curbing pollution is achieved not solely through technical progress, but also through social progress. In general we have technologies to avoid pollution long before they are used, and only when people wake the fuck up and demand them are they in fact implemented. For example, particulate and carbon filters to trap small particulates and volatile organic compounds. We knew about them

    • If people are so in arms about nuclear energy, why are they not freaking out about the pre-packaged critical nuclear reactions sitting on top of fueled missiles, only under control of a computer to avert disaster?

      Who said they aren't?

  • If one unit of carbon is burned, how many units of co2 is created?

    I recall reading somewhere that it would be > 1 unit of co2 due to the binding with a pair of oxygen atoms / molecules, but I'm not up on chemistry.

    I guess if there are 3,000,000,000,000 tonnes of carbon left in the ground and we were to burn a total post-industrial-revolution quantity of 1,000,000,000,000 tonnes, that should be more than a trillion tonnes of co2 release?

    • by tmosley (996283)
      If your units are moles, then it is 1:1. If you are using weight, then yes, the CO2 weighs much more than the carbon burned, as O2 is quite heavy, and you get two of them added on. The ratio would be 1:3.7 in that case.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Eunuchswear (210685)

      The formula tells you.

      CO2 = 1 atom of carbon, two atoms of oxygen.

      Carbon has atomic mass 12 (well, most of it). Oxygen has atomic mass 16.

      If you burn 12 tonnes of carbon you'll take 32 tonnes of oxygen and produce 44 tonnes of CO2.

    • If one unit of carbon is burned, how many units of co2 is created?

      One, but you're thinking of tons, not units.

      If you take a pure carbon from the ground, that carbon is going to be 12 grams per mole. If you combine it with two oxygens, that's 12+16+16 = 44 grams per mole. So, one ton of C will produce (44/12) = 3.66 tons of CO2.

      Not everything that's burned is pure carbon, but if you can figure out the relative atomic weight of the molecules you can get pretty close. And there are very complex functions (s

  • We will consume less heating oil.

  • All the people will die - The planet will get better and keep on going. Problem over.
    • by geek (5680)

      All the people will die - The planet will get better and keep on going. Problem over.

      Why wait when you can take the first step and off yourself. We'll all follow your lead, I promise. Go ahead, we're right behind you.

    • by stenvar (2789879) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:39AM (#44970725)

      Under no plausible scenario will greenhouse gas emissions cause humans to die out. At worst, rising temperatures will cause some short-term disruptions, migration, inconveniences, and costs.

      Long term, even a complete melting of all ice caps (which would take a couple of thousand years), and global warming of several degrees Celsius, would result in a climate that's significant'y different from ours but is still quite nice (if not arguably nicer) for humans and mammals.

      • Well yes, humans will survive, or at least a fair chunk of them. But the geopoltiical ramifications will be enormous. If previous climate shifts are any indication, we will see massive migrations as people try to get from where they're starving to where they think there is food. You will have wars and all the economic, political and social volatility that goes along with that. You will have nations that were previously capable of producing sufficient food to feed their population suddenly have to import, as

  • Just drop a giant ice cube in the ocean and the problem will be solved, once and for all!

  • by VernonNemitz (581327) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:23AM (#44970545) Journal
    Overpopulation might lead to a Malthusian Catastrophe well before 2040. In the animal kingdom such an event ("MC") is usually associated with a 99% population drop. Among humans, mostly smarter than the average dumb animal (except when it comes to breeding, apparently), it might be different; the last known MC experienced by humans who used their resources up faster than they could be replaced, happened on Easter Island, and the before-and-after population figures are not well known. Estimates range the population drop from 80% to, yes, 99%. For us today, we are at or past "peak oil", which means we can't use more oil to make more synthetic fertilizer for a growing global population. Fresh water is becoming a problem, two, as many important aquifers continue to be drained faster than they get replenished. The writing is basically on the wall --we can't keep growing the global population, and we can't even sustain the current population for much longer. So, an MC seems more inevitable than not. After which the rate we burn carbon is going to go down a whole lot....
    • by xtal (49134)

      Nuclear technologies can keep the party going indefinitely.

      The more human genetic capital we have, the better, particularly if we can get education and literacy rates up. We need engineers and scientists to figure out fusion and other advanced energy sources.

      We've already thrown the dice; the easy energy is gone; might as well see it through. Just need to start... now.

  • And yet ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PPH (736903) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:24AM (#44970553)

    ... the wealthy countries are expected to all the work to mitigate the problem. Sorry, I don't buy it. If it was really that bad, we'd be asking China and India to do their parts to clean up as well. Its not like every country has an inalienable right to drive Buicks with tail fins as they industrialize just because we did that once.

    Until it gets bad enough so everyone has to participate in the solutions, its just a poorly hidden wealth transfer scheme.

  • by BMOC (2478408)

    The whole website 350.org was created what now... 6 years ago? Because Bill McKibben said that 350 ppm CO2 was a "safe upper limit" for CO2 in the atmosphere in 2007.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/350.org [wikipedia.org]
    http://350.org/ [350.org]

    Since we are now well past 350ppm CO2 in the atmosphere: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/ [noaa.gov]

    The IP-Cry-Wolf organization has to create a "new" upper limit. It's just more bullshit. They have no idea what any "safe upper limit" for CO2 is, they guess and publicize scary numbers ev

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:33AM (#44970663)

    Yes, it's getting warmer. But there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that we are going to do anything about it through emissions limits.

    What we should do is to avoid interfering with rapid economic development because developed nations can actually easily deal with climate change and rising sea levels (just look at the Dutch, a large part of their country is below sea level).

    We should also stop subsidizing (implicitly and explicitly) fossil fuel extraction. Right now, many nations are adopting policies that, on the one hand use tax dollars to subsidize fossil fuels, then on the other hand use more tax dollars to support alternative energies; the entire scheme is a gigantic give-away to industry.

    In addition, we should give up our silly opposition to nuclear. The best way of reducing carbon emissions is to make it easy to deploy efficient, modern nuclear plants, the kind that actually burns almost all the fuel.

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