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Rory
Post  Post subject: IPCC report  |  Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:43 pm
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So the IPCC have advised that the use of fossil fuels needs to be reduced pretty well to near zero by the year 2100 if the world is to avoid the catastrophic effects of a 5*C global temperature increase.

Is this goal realistic?

I wonder if there will come a point within the 21st century when people lose all interest in reproducing because the present and/or future conditions and prospects would inflict too much suffering on a potential child.

Also, Leicester was hit today by what may have been a tornado :shock:

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: IPCC report  |  Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:01 pm
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I think that's 2 deg C rather than 5.

I believe the goal is unrealistic, not because it's technically or economically impossible because it isn't, but because the fossil fuel industries won't allow it to happen. They own the US Senate, at least enough of it to stop any realistic action here.

There is so much coal, oil and gas under the ground that the profit incentive is just too strong to avoid mining it. And the environmental groups seem to fight on the wrong ground as well. The fracking issue in the US illustrates this. Environmentalists argue that fracking pollutes groundwater, so it should be stopped. The fossil fuel companies easily produce reports to show groundwater is unaffected (who can tell if that's true or not - these are studies paid for by the companies) and the fracking goes on. But the real argument should be on the basis of atmospheric CO2, which fracking exacerbates both by continuing to pour cheap hydrocarbons into the market and prolonging our dependence while making investment in alternatives less attractive, and by leaks of methane which are probably far greater than the companies acknowledge.

By the way, I lived in Barrow on Soar back in the 70's, not far from Leicester. back then we only had to worry about the River Soar flooding, not tornadoes. We used to call it the running Soar.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: IPCC report  |  Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 7:39 am
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Rory wrote:
Is this goal realistic?


tbh i've become more and more pessimistic about carbon reductions over the years, since there's absolutely no sign that we're moving away from business-as-usual : the graph below shows clearly how the CO2 increases exceed the worst case scenario of the IPCC

Image

btw the graph comes from Climate Discovery Chronicles Archive 100111, which is an interesting, if slightly horrifying read

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: IPCC report  |  Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:59 pm
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In reference to my post above, here's just one example of the corruption in the US Senate. In case you don't know Mitch McConnell is the Minority Leader and hopes to become the majority Leader after Tuesday's election.

Quote:
Some of the goods shipped by Foremost echo themes of the McConnell campaign. At a Young Professionals Association of Louisville event this month, McConnell stressed his opposition to carbon dioxide limits imposed by the federal government that would impact the domestic coal market. He argued that such efforts would be fruitless given the role of coal in developing countries and the rising coal trade. Foremost ships routinely transport coal from ports in Australia and Colombia, countries with cheap coal, for export to Asia and Europe.


Foremost happens to be a shipping company owned by McConnell's father in law, who is also the source of much of McConnell's personal wealth and of large donations to his political campaigns. It turns out that one of Foremost's ships was carrying several million dollars worth of cocaine in addition to coal.
http://www.thenation.com/article/186689/mitch-mcconnells-freighted-ties-shadowy-shipping-company#


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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: IPCC report  |  Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:26 pm
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Thanks for that exerpt bunbury although I'm sad to say that the case does not surprise me. Here too in the UK and, presumably, in every nation, elected representatives prioritise their own interests over those of their constituents or humanity in general. I think the majority of citizens received and accepted the message on climate change a long time ago and would be receptive to transferring onto greener energy supplies if they were available. The problem is availability at a price that is competitive. We are not going to get that situation so long as power structures in our legislatures indirectly encourage self-interested short-termist career politicians.

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: IPCC report  |  Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:38 am
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As it happens, I switched my electricity supply to 100% wind just the other day. This just involved ticking a box in my online account. I expect this will cost me an extra $4 a month, a fairly trivial amount. I can't think why I never did this before.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: IPCC report  |  Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:18 am
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Hmm. Now I'm curious if I can do that, too. Will have to check.

To the OP - Agree goal is totally achievable, but unless more folks like you and me stand up, I fear it's unlikely politically.


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