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Preventing Climate Change

  1. -01 Climate Change: The Delicate Balance (Awesome Library) star
      "Before 10,000 years ago, the climate was so unstable that agriculture was very difficult. Then a beautiful, delicate balance occurred: The polar caps, ocean currents, greenhouse gases, volcanic activity, and other factors became just right for stable temperatures. Agriculture flourished. The amount of carbon dioxide going into the air (over 300 gigatons per year) was countered by natural sinks that pulled an equal amount of carbon dioxide out of the air. The primary cause of carbon dioxide going into the air was decaying vegetation. The primary sinks pulling carbon dioxide out of the air were the oceans, growing vegetation, and the soil. All was well."

      "The industrial revolution has changed that balance. We now have over 40% more carbon dioxide in the air than we had just 150 years ago. The climate is changing. The primary human cause of the change is the use of fossil fuels. Burning fossil fuels puts carbon dioxide into the air and carbon dioxide can stay in the air for hundreds of years."

      "The most effective way we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air is to pyrolize decaying vegetation."02-14

  2. -Editorial: What Can We Really Do to Limit Climate Change? (New York Times) star
      "American companies can trade emission rights. By setting overall caps at levels designed to ensure that China sells us a substantial number of permits, we would in effect be paying China to cut its emissions. Since the evidence suggests that the cost of cutting emissions would be lower in China than in the United States, this could be a good deal for everyone."

      "But what if the Chinese (or the Indians or the Brazilians, etc.) do not want to participate in such a system? Then you need sticks as well as carrots. In particular, you need carbon tariffs."

      "A carbon tariff would be a tax levied on imported goods proportional to the carbon emitted in the manufacture of those goods. Suppose that China refuses to reduce emissions, while the United States adopts policies that set a price of $100 per ton of carbon emissions. If the United States were to impose such a carbon tariff, any shipment to America of Chinese goods whose production involved emitting a ton of carbon would result in a $100 tax over and above any other duties. Such tariffs, if levied by major players probably the United States and the European Union would give noncooperating countries a strong incentive to reconsider their positions." 04-10

  3. -Editorial: Why the Environmental Movement Has Failed (
      "Hurricanes may be stronger, summers hotter, and droughts longer than ever. But unless youre a climate scientist or follow their research closely, its difficult to know for sure whether these phenomena signal the beginning of a historic calamity or are merely events on a cyclical pattern. At any rate, supermarkets offer an ever increasing variety of foods at fairly stable prices, while Mardi Gras was celebrated on schedule in New Orleans not long after Katrina blew through. Most coverage of climate change traffics heavily in words like 'could' and 'potentially.' Its hard to build a world-saving movement on that." 04-13

  4. -Greenhouse Gases and Your Diet (
      Provides information on greenhouse gas emissions caused by typical foods. 02-14

  5. -Study: Global Warming Is Stuck on Fast Forward (
      "The widespread mainstream media focus on the slowed global surface warming has led some climate scientists like Trenberth and Fasullo to investigate its causes and how much various factors have contributed to the so-called 'pause' or 'hiatus.' However, the authors note that while the increase in global temperatures has slowed, the oceans have taken up heat at a faster rate since the turn of the century. Over 90 percent of the overall extra heat goes into the oceans, with only about 2 percent heating the Earth's atmosphere. The myth of the 'pause' is based on ignoring 98 percent of global warming and focusing exclusively on the one bit that's slowed.

      "Previous estimates put the amount of heat accumulated by the world's oceans over the past decade equivalent to about 4 Hiroshima atomic bomb detonations per second, on average, but Trenberth's research puts the estimate equivalent to more than 6 detonations per second." 12-13

  6. -Study: Globally, 90 Companies Responsible for Majority of Emissions (
      "Between them, the 90 companies on the list of top emitters produced 63% of the cumulative global emissions of industrial carbon dioxide and methane between 1751 to 2010, amounting to about 914 gigatonne CO2 emissions, according to the research. All but seven of the 90 were energy companies producing oil, gas and coal. The remaining seven were cement manufacturers.

      "The list of 90 companies included 50 investor-owned firms mainly oil companies with widely recognised names such as Chevron, Exxon, BP , and Royal Dutch Shell and coal producers such as British Coal Corp, Peabody Energy and BHP Billiton." 12-13

  7. Preventing Catastrophic Climate Change ( star
      "Why is it so urgent that we do all this at emergency, wartime speed? Why not a more leisurely, gradual transition? Very few people in the public, media, or politics understand two key points about how the Earth's temperature system operates: climate lags and feedbacks. Together, these two features of our planet's climate indicate that a wait-and-see approach on climate is likely an invitation to disaster." 04-14


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