Saturday, 26 May 2012

A trillion tonnes to destiny.

Scientists generally agree about the fact that man made climate change is taking place, but they they don't always agree over their models on how much and how quickly, or which is the best way to limit both the risk and potential impacts.

My gut feeling is that the models are generally behind the actual, or real time rate because of the nature of data collection and processing. The political perception lags behind that and always represented as a moderated scenario, so as to gain the widest possible acceptance. If this is the case, then we should expect to see acceleration in the drivers for climate change as we release more of these cumulative gases into the atmosphere (biosphere).

We should be really concerned about this, because waiting around for political solutions or market solutions will most likely take too long to stave off the worst effects by keeping the change to below 2 degrees.

Some scientists are saying that we can keep on using carbon so long as we sequester an appropriate amount to offset the difference between where we are now and two degrees. Not impossible by all accounts, it would though, require a different approach; including global regulation of energy and fuel producers. We wouldn't actually notice that much difference, because taxation regimes could also be changed to reflect the costs of sequestering carbon as opposed to just raising revenue.

The weird thing about this is that all the angst over personal footprints and carbon budgets is really supporting the business as usual mode, which wont produce the required level of change and may see us all in for some serious climate change. Check the figures at this site to see the scale of what we need to do.

Personally I still think we need to feel good about doing something to reduce our impacts and being energy efficient is probably the best way. In fact reducing overall consumption may buy us valuable time, but you still can't get away from the fact that we need to move a lot of carbon from the atmosphere to back in the ground with possibly the worst economic and political model with which to do it!

No comments:

Post a Comment