Carbon Emission Quotes

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If the average American were confined by the carbon footprint of her European counterpart, U.S. carbon emissions would fall by more than half. If the world’s richest 10 percent were limited to that same footprint, global emissions would fall by a third. And why shouldn’t they be?
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
With a decrease in the number of pirates, there has been an increase in global warming over the same period. Therefore, global warming is caused by a lack of pirates. Even more compelling: Somalia has the highest number of Pirates AND the lowest Carbon emissions of any country. Coincidence?
Timothy Ferriss (The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman)
A photograph of a disposable diaper floating in the arctic miles away from human habitat fueled my daily determination to save at least one disposable diaper from being used and created. One cloth diaper after another, days accumulated into years and now our next child is using the cloth diapers we bought for our firstborn.
Gloria Ng (Cloth Diapering Made Easy)
Just like how most if not all poor boys look up to and aspire to someday be rich men, most if not all underdeveloped and developing countries look up to and aspire to someday be developed countries.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana (The Use and Misuse of Children)
When Al Gore urges the citizenry to sacrifice their plastic shopping bags, their air-conditioning, their extraneous travel, the agnostics grumble that human activity accounts for just 2 percent of global carbon-dioxide emissions, with the remainder generated by natural processes like plant decay.
Steven D. Levitt (SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance)
Driving a hybrid car could save about one ton of carbon-dioxide emissions per year but adopting a plant-based diet would save nearly one and a half tons over a comparable period." "If every American reduced chicken consumption by one meal per week, the carbon-dioxide savings would be equivalent to removing 500,000 cars form the road." In a given year, "the number of animals killed to satisfy American palates is 8.6 billion, or 29 animals per average American meat eater. The total number of animals killed on land and sea was approximately 80 billion, or 270 per American meat and fish eater - making the average number of animals consumed in one American lifetime 21,000.
Gene Stone (Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health)
If food was no longer obliged to make intercontinental journeys, but stayed part of a system in which it can be consumed over short distances, we would save a lot of energy and carbon dioxide emissions. And just think of what we would save in ecological terms without long-distance transportation, refrigeration, and packaging--which ends up on the garbage dump anyway--and storage, which steals time, space, and vast portions of nature and beauty.
Carlo Petrini (Terra Madre: Forging a New Global Network of Sustainable Food Communities)
What could an energy storage world look like? No carbon emissions. Clean skies. Breathable air. Stable oceans. Whole new industries.
David Gottstein (A More Perfect Union: Unifying Ideas for a Divided America)
According to Stephen Pacala, director of the Princeton Environmental Institute and codirector of Princeton’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative, the roughly 500 million richest of us on the planet are responsible for about half of all global emissions. That would include the rich in every country in the world, notably in countries like China and India, as well significant parts of the middle classes in North America and Europe.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
Eighty percent of global carbon emissions come from only 10 countries. Their leaders, along with the executives of the world’s most powerful corporations, have disproportionate influence on the decisions that affect emissions
Dale Jamieson (Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed -- and What It Means for Our Future)
He shrugged. “Yeah, but I like riding my bike. It helps with the ozone… and stuff.” “You’re trying to avoid leaving a carbon footprint? And here I thoughtbicycles were just for tree-hugging hippie heterosexuals.” He eyed me seriously. “We all have to do our part to help avoid nocturnal emissions. The planet needs us.” I stared at him. “The planet needs us to avoid nocturnal emissions?” He nodded. “Nocturnal emissions are the number one cause for the hole in the ozone.
T.J. Klune
Currently, up to 20 percent of human greenhouse gas emissions are being caused by deforestation in tropical Brazil and Indonesia, making those countries two of the highest carbon emitters in the world. It is estimated that halting forest destruction would save the same amount of carbon over the next century as stopping all fossil-fuel emissions for ten years.
Sylvia A. Earle (The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One)
Putin, the commandant of a petro-state that also happens to be, given its geography, one of the few nations on Earth likely to benefit from continued warming, sees basically no benefit to constraining carbon emissions or greening the economy—Russia’s or the world’s.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
The enlightened response to climate change is to figure out how to get the most energy with the least emission of greenhouse gases. There is, to be sure, a tragic view of modernity in which this is impossible: industrial society, powered by flaming carbon, contains the fuel of its own destruction. But the tragic view is incorrect. Ausubel notes that the modern world has been progressively decarbonizing.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead, but let me be clear: I will be putting a price on carbon and I will move to an emissions trading scheme.’ This is what she announced, but not as far as those in the Opposition and hysterical commentariat were concerned.
Kerry-Anne Walsh (The Stalking of Julia Gillard: How the media and Team Rudd brought down the prime minister)
Over the past fifteen years, the iconoclastic mathematician Irakli Loladze has isolated a dramatic effect of carbon dioxide on human nutrition unanticipated by plant physiologists: it can make plants bigger, but those bigger plants are less nutritious. “Every leaf and every grass blade on earth makes more and more sugars as CO2 levels keep rising,” Loladze told Politico, in a story about his work headlined “The Great Nutrient Collapse.” “We are witnessing the greatest injection of carbohydrates into the biosphere in human history—[an] injection that dilutes other nutrients in our food supply.” Since 1950, much of the good stuff in the plants we grow—protein, calcium, iron, vitamin C, to name just four—has declined by as much as one-third, a landmark 2004 study showed. Everything is becoming more like junk food. Even the protein content of bee pollen has dropped by a third. The problem has gotten worse as carbon concentrations have gotten worse. Recently, researchers estimated that by 2050 as many as 150 million people in the developing world will be at risk of protein deficiency as the result of nutrient collapse, since so many of the world’s poor depend on crops, rather than animal meat, for protein; 138 million could suffer from a deficiency of zinc, essential to healthy pregnancies; and 1.4 billion could face a dramatic decline in dietary iron—pointing to a possible epidemic of anemia. In 2018, a team led by Chunwu Zhu looked at the protein content of eighteen different strains of rice, the staple crop for more than 2 billion people, and found that more carbon dioxide in the air produced nutritional declines across the board—drops in protein content, as well as in iron, zinc, and vitamins B1, B2, B5, and B9. Really everything but vitamin E. Overall, the researchers found that, acting just through that single crop, rice, carbon emissions could imperil the health of 600 million people. In previous centuries, empires were built on that crop. Climate change promises another, an empire of hunger, erected among the world’s poor.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
Another common recommendation is to turn lights off when you leave a room, but lighting accounts for only 3% of household energy use, so even if you used no lighting at all in your house you would save only a fraction of a metric ton of carbon emissions. Plastic bags have also been a major focus of concern, but even on very generous estimates, if you stopped using plastic bags entirely you'd cut out 10kg CO2eq per year, which is only 0.4% of your total emissions. Similarly, the focus on buying locally produced goods is overhyped: only 10% of the carbon footprint of food comes from transportation whereas 80% comes from production, so what type of food you buy is much more important than whether that food is produced locally or internationally. Cutting out red meat and dairy for one day a week achieves a greater reduction in your carbon footprint than buying entirely locally produced food. In fact, exactly the same food can sometimes have higher carbon footprint if it's locally grown than if it's imported: one study found that the carbon footprint from locally grown tomatoes in northern Europe was five times as great as the carbon footprint from tomatoes grown in Spain because the emissions generated by heating and lighting greenhouses dwarfed the emissions generated by transportation.
William MacAskill (Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference)
If all other emissions stopped immediately, it would take converting about 50 per cent of all the world’s croplands to forest to reduce carbon dioxide levels to 350 ppm by 2100.
Simon L. Lewis (Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene)
The press has given up saying so but these two men are denouncing what they once supported: a price on carbon and an emissions trading scheme.
David Marr (Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott [Quarterly Essay 47])
In 2018, a paper by David Keith demonstrated a method for removing carbon at a cost perhaps as low as $ 94 per ton—which would make the cost of neutralizing our 32 gigatons of annual global emissions about $ 3 trillion. If that sounds intimidating, keep in mind, estimates for the total global fossil fuel subsidies paid out each year run as high as $ 5 trillion. In 2017, the same year the United States pulled out of the Paris Agreement, the country also approved a $ 2.3 trillion tax cut—primarily for the country’s richest, who demanded relief.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
Today it takes the average citizen of Tanzania almost a year to produce the same volume of carbon emissions as is effortlessly generated every two and a half days by a European, or every twenty-eight hours by an American. We are, in short, able to live as we do because we use resources at hundreds of times the rate of most of the planet's other citizens. Once day - and don't expect it to be a distant day - many of those six billion or so less well-off people are bound to demand to have what we have, and to get it as effortlessly as we got it, and that will require more resources than this planet can easily, or even conceivably, yield. The greatest possible irony would be if in our endless quest to fill our lives with comfort and happiness we created a world that had neither.
Bill Bryson (At Home: A Short History of Private Life)
Two economists recently concluded, after studying the issue, that the entire concept of food miles is ‘a profoundly flawed sustainability indicator’. Getting food from the farmer to the shop causes just 4 per cent of all its lifetime emissions. Ten times as much carbon is emitted in refrigerating British food as in air-freighting it from abroad, and fifty times as much is emitted by the customer travelling to the shops.
Matt Ridley (The Rational Optimist (P.S.))
the fashion industry has an enormous carbon footprint. Textile production is second only to the oil industry for pollution. It adds more greenhouse gases to our atmosphere than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. Estimates suggest that the fashion industry is responsible for a whopping 10 percent of global CO2 emissions,26 and as we increase our consumption of fast fashion, the related emissions are set to grow rapidly.
Christiana Figueres (The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis)
Declining emissions and rising atmospheric concentrations point to a stubborn fact about carbon dioxide: once it’s in the air, it stays there. How long, exactly, is a complicated question; for all intents and purposes, though, CO2 emissions are cumulative. The comparison that’s often made is to a bathtub. So long as the tap is running, a stoppered tub will continue to fill. Turn the tap down, and the tub will still keep filling, just more slowly. To
Elizabeth Kolbert (Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future)
If, to cut carbon emissions, we need to limit economic growth severely in the rich countries, then it is important to know that this does not mean sacrificing improvements in the real quality of life – in the quality of life as measured by health, happiness, friendship and community life, which really matters. However, rather than simply having fewer of all the luxuries which substitute for and prevent us recognizing our more fundamental needs, inequality has to be reduced simultaneously.
Richard G. Wilkinson (The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone)
think of climate change as slow, but it is unnervingly fast. We think of the technological change necessary to avert it as fast-arriving, but unfortunately it is deceptively slow—especially judged by just how soon we need it. This is what Bill McKibben means when he says that winning slowly is the same as losing: “If we don’t act quickly, and on a global scale, then the problem will literally become insoluble,” he writes. “The decisions we make in 2075 won’t matter.” Innovation, in many cases, is the easy part. This is what the novelist William Gibson meant when he said, “The future is already here, it just isn’t evenly distributed.” Gadgets like the iPhone, talismanic for technologists, give a false picture of the pace of adaptation. To a wealthy American or Swede or Japanese, the market penetration may seem total, but more than a decade after its introduction, the device is used by less than 10 percent of the world; for all smartphones, even the “cheap” ones, the number is somewhere between a quarter and a third. Define the technology in even more basic terms, as “cell phones” or “the internet,” and you get a timeline to global saturation of at least decades—of which we have two or three, in which to completely eliminate carbon emissions, planetwide. According to the IPCC, we have just twelve years to cut them in half. The longer we wait, the harder it will be. If we had started global decarbonization in 2000, when Al Gore narrowly lost election to the American presidency, we would have had to cut emissions by only about 3 percent per year to stay safely under two degrees of warming. If we start today, when global emissions are still growing, the necessary rate is 10 percent. If we delay another decade, it will require us to cut emissions by 30 percent each year. This is why U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres believes we have only one year to change course and get started. The scale of the technological transformation required dwarfs any achievement that has emerged from Silicon Valley—in fact dwarfs every technological revolution ever engineered in human history, including electricity and telecommunications and even the invention of agriculture ten thousand years ago. It dwarfs them by definition, because it contains all of them—every single one needs to be replaced at the root, since every single one breathes on carbon, like a ventilator.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
The net result is a deadlocked public sphere, with the actual exercise of power being relegated to the interlocking complex of corporations and institutions of governance that has come to be known as the “deep state.” From the point of view of corporations and other establishment entities, a deadlocked public is, of course, the best possible outcome, which, no doubt, is why they frequently strive to produce it: the funding of climate change “denial” in the United States and elsewhere, by corporations like Exxon—which have long known about the consequences of carbon emissions—is a perfect example of this.
Amitav Ghosh (The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable)
Crutzen wrote up his idea in a short essay, “Geology of Mankind,” that ran in Nature. “It seems appropriate to assign the term ‘Anthropocene’ to the present, in many ways human-dominated, geological epoch,” he observed. Among the many geologic-scale changes people have effected, Crutzen cited the following: • Human activity has transformed between a third and a half of the land surface of the planet. • Most of the world’s major rivers have been dammed or diverted. • Fertilizer plants produce more nitrogen than is fixed naturally by all terrestrial ecosystems. • Fisheries remove more than a third of the primary production of the oceans’ coastal waters. • Humans use more than half of the world’s readily accessible fresh water runoff. Most significantly, Crutzen said, people have altered the composition of the atmosphere. Owing to a combination of fossil fuel combustion and deforestation, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air has risen by forty percent over the last two centuries, while the concentration of methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas, has more than doubled. “Because of these anthropogenic emissions,” Crutzen wrote, the global climate is likely to “depart significantly from natural behavior for many millennia to come.
Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History)
The principle of fair reduction is based on the concept of historic responsibility. Developed countries finished industrialising first. Thus, over the last 60 years, the developed countries, which represent 17 percent of the world's population, have been responsible for 70 percent of carbon emissions. The developed countries should adjust for this disparity accordingly. In contrast, developing countries, which represent 83 percent of the world's population, have contributed only 30 percent of total carbon emissions over the past 60 years. It is therefore fair to give developing countries more leeway to produce carbon emissions.
Yan Xuetong
New Rule: If you're going to have a rally where hundreds of thousands of people show up, you may as well go ahead and make it about something. With all due respect to my friends Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, it seems that if you truly wanted to come down on the side of restoring sanity and reason, you'd side with the sane and the reasonable--and not try to pretend the insanity is equally distributed in both parties. Keith Olbermann is right when he says he's not the equivalent of Glenn Beck. One reports facts; the other one is very close to playing with his poop. And the big mistake of modern media has been this notion of balance for balance's sake, that the left is just as violent and cruel as the right, that unions are just as powerful as corporations, that reverse racism is just as damaging as racism. There's a difference between a mad man and a madman. Now, getting more than two hundred thousand people to come to a liberal rally is a great achievement that gave me hope, and what I really loved about it was that it was twice the size of the Glenn Beck crowd on the Mall in August--although it weight the same. But the message of the rally as I heard it was that if the media would just top giving voice to the crazies on both sides, then maybe we could restore sanity. It was all nonpartisan, and urged cooperation with the moderates on the other side. Forgetting that Obama tried that, and found our there are no moderates on the other side. When Jon announced his rally, he said that the national conversation is "dominated" by people on the right who believe Obama's a socialist, and by people on the left who believe 9/11 was an inside job. But I can't name any Democratic leaders who think 9/11 was an inside job. But Republican leaders who think Obama's socialist? All of them. McCain, Boehner, Cantor, Palin...all of them. It's now official Republican dogma, like "Tax cuts pay for themselves" and "Gay men just haven't met the right woman." As another example of both sides using overheated rhetoric, Jon cited the right equating Obama with Hitler, and the left calling Bush a war criminal. Except thinking Obama is like Hitler is utterly unfounded--but thinking Bush is a war criminal? That's the opinion of Major General Anthony Taguba, who headed the Army's investigation into Abu Ghraib. Republicans keep staking out a position that is farther and farther right, and then demand Democrats meet them in the middle. Which now is not the middle anymore. That's the reason health-care reform is so watered down--it's Bob Dole's old plan from 1994. Same thing with cap and trade--it was the first President Bush's plan to deal with carbon emissions. Now the Republican plan for climate change is to claim it's a hoax. But it's not--I know because I've lived in L.A. since '83, and there's been a change in the city: I can see it now. All of us who live out here have had that experience: "Oh, look, there's a mountain there." Governments, led my liberal Democrats, passed laws that changed the air I breathe. For the better. I'm for them, and not the party that is plotting to abolish the EPA. I don't need to pretend both sides have a point here, and I don't care what left or right commentators say about it, I can only what climate scientists say about it. Two opposing sides don't necessarily have two compelling arguments. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke on that mall in the capital, and he didn't say, "Remember, folks, those southern sheriffs with the fire hoses and the German shepherds, they have a point, too." No, he said, "I have a dream. They have a nightmare. This isn't Team Edward and Team Jacob." Liberals, like the ones on that field, must stand up and be counted, and not pretend we're as mean or greedy or shortsighted or just plain batshit at them. And if that's too polarizing for you, and you still want to reach across the aisle and hold hands and sing with someone on the right, try church.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
When Europe launched its emissions-trading scheme, doling out carbon permits to coal plants and power utilities, the same banker had helped them “massively overrepresent” their emissions, then helped them sell the excess for hundreds of millions of dollars. “I was actually doing the carbon deals,” he said. “All that kind of shit. That was a big scam, too.
McKenzie Funk (Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming)
We had been growing sweet potatoes under the greenhouse gas levels predicted for the next several hundred years, the levels that we’re likely to see if we, as a society, do nothing about carbon emissions. The potatoes grew bigger as carbon dioxide increased. This was not a surprise. We also saw that these big potatoes were less nutritious, much lower in protein content, no matter how much fertilizer we gave them. This was a bit of a surprise. It is also bad news, because the poorest and hungriest nations of the world rely on sweet potatoes for a significant amount of dietary protein. It looks as if the bigger potatoes of the future might feed more people while nourishing them less. I don’t have an answer for that one. The
Hope Jahren (Lab Girl)
The fate of India showcased the moral logic of climate change at its most grotesque: expected to be, by far, the world’s most hard-hit country, shouldering nearly twice as much of the burden as the next nation, India’s share of climate burden was four times as high as its share of climate guilt. China is in the opposite situation, its share of guilt four times as high as its share of the burden. Which, unfortunately, means it may be tempted to slow-walk its green energy revolution. The United States, the study found, presented a case of eerie karmic balance: its expected climate damages matching almost precisely its share of global carbon emissions. Not to say either share is small; in fact, of all the nations in the world, the U.S. was predicted to be hit second hardest.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
Biologists have always known that CO2 is essential for plant growth, and of course without plants there would be very little animal life, and no human life, on the planet. The climate alarmists have done their best to obscure this basic scientific truth by insisting on describing carbon emissions as ‘pollution’—which, whether or not they warm the planet, they most certainly are not—and deliberately mislabelling forms of energy which produce these emissions as ‘dirty’. In the same way, they like to label renewable energy as ‘clean’, seemingly oblivious to the fact that by far the largest source of renewable energy in the world today is biomass, and in particular the burning of dung, which is the major source of indoor pollution in the developing world and is reckoned to cause at least a million deaths a year.
Alan Moran (Climate Change: The Facts)
The best that we can hope for now is holding increases globally to around 1.75°C. This could be achieved if the world moves decisively towards zero net emissions by 2050. But temperatures over land will increase by more than the average over land and sea. An increase of 1.75°C for the whole world would mean more than 2°C for Australia – twice the increase that this year helped to bring bushfires in August to New South Wales and Queensland.
Ross Garnaut (Superpower: Australia's Low-Carbon Opportunity)
There’s one last way we can cut down on emissions from the food we eat: by wasting less of it. In Europe, industrialized parts of Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa, more than 20 percent of food is simply thrown away, allowed to rot, or otherwise wasted. In the United States, it’s 40 percent. That’s bad for people who don’t have enough to eat, bad for the economy, and bad for the climate. When wasted food rots, it produces enough methane to cause as much warming as 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year.
Bill Gates (How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need)
Since 2005, it has been the law in California that flat roofs, which cover mainly industrial and commercial buildings, have to be white. And, since the summer of 2009, even sloping roofs put on new residential buildings have had to be “light-colored cool-roof colors, if not white.” Such mandates were motivated by the fact that “a 1,000 square foot area of rooftop painted white has about the same one-time impact on global warming as cutting 10 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.” This is so because of the amount of sunlight reflected back
Henry Petroski (The Essential Engineer)
By planting rye I am creating carbon sinks in my backyard, expanding my role in the carbon cycle, launching my own backyard campaign to offset global warming. My emissions, after all, reflect a rural but very comfortable life in which I enjoy goods that travel great distances - clementines from Spain, wine from California - and on the occasional holiday I fly south, seeking warmer places. Will planting rye in the shoulder seasons be enough to make a difference? Certainly not, but it is a gesture, a way to frame the question and provide a benchmark to judge the extent of my complicity.
Amy Seidl (Early Spring: An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World)
Finally, is it fair that the pollution caused, in China for example, by the production of goods exported to the United States and Europe be counted as Chinese pollution, and be covered by the system of permits to which all countries, including China, would be subject? The answer is that Chinese firms that emit GHGs when they produce exported goods will pass the price of carbon through to American and European importers so that rich country consumers will pay for the pollution their consumption induces. International trade does not alter the principle that payment should be collected where emissions are produced.
Jean Tirole (Economics for the Common Good)
We have less than a decade to switch from fossil fuels to clean energy. We have already increased global temperature by 1oC from pre-industrial levels. If we are to halt its increase at 1.5oC, there is a limit to the amount of carbon we can yet add to the atmosphere–our carbon budget–and, at current emissions rates, we will add this amount before the end of the decade.6 Our careless use of fossil fuels has set us the greatest and most urgent challenge we have ever faced. If we do make the transition to renewables at the lightning speed required, humankind will forever look back on this generation with gratitude, for we are indeed the first to truly understand the problem–and the last with a chance to do anything about it.
David Attenborough (A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future)
With China and Russia, the ideological contrast is clearer. Putin, the commandant of a petro-state that also happens to be, given its geography, one of the few nations on Earth likely to benefit from continued warming, sees basically no benefit to constraining carbon emissions or greening the economy—Russia’s or the world’s. Xi, now the leader-for-life of the planet’s rising superpower, seems to feel mutual obligations to the country’s growing prosperity and to the health and security of its people—of whom, it’s worth remembering, it has so many. In the wake of Trump, China has become a much more emphatic—or at least louder—green energy leader. But the incentives do not necessarily suggest it will make good on that rhetoric. In 2018, an illuminating study was published comparing how much a country was likely to be burdened by the economic impacts of climate change to its responsibility for global warming, measured by carbon emissions. The fate of India showcased the moral logic of climate change at its most grotesque: expected to be, by far, the world’s most hard-hit country, shouldering nearly twice as much of the burden as the next nation, India’s share of climate burden was four times as high as its share of climate guilt. China is in the opposite situation, its share of guilt four times as high as its share of the burden. Which, unfortunately, means it may be tempted to slow-walk its green energy revolution. The United States, the study found, presented a case of eerie karmic balance: its expected climate damages matching almost precisely its share of global carbon emissions. Not to say either share is small; in fact, of all the nations in the world, the U.S. was predicted to be hit second hardest.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
We have dangerously warmed our world already, and our governments still refuse to take the actions necessary to halt the trend. There was a time when many had the right to claim ignorance. But for the past three decades, since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was created and climate negotiations began, this refusal to lower emissions has been accompanied with full awareness of the dangers. And this kind of recklessness would have been functionally impossible without institutional racism, even if only latent. It would have been impossible without Orientalism, without all the potent tools on offer that allow the powerful to discount the lives of the less powerful. These tools - of ranking the relative value of humans - are what allow the writing off of entire nations and ancient cultures. And they are what allowed for the digging up of all that carbon to begin with.
Naomi Klein (On Fire: The Case for the Green New Deal)
The carbon fee would raise the cost of the things you buy (since right now there is some carbon emitted in the production and distribution of pretty much everything). That’s a little less money in your pocket. But at the end of the year, the government would take all of the money collected by the carbon fee, divide it up, and give it back to you as a dividend check. By you, of course, I mean all of you. The government wouldn’t keep any of the money. All the fee would do is put a realistic price on the carbon we dump into the environment. Every factory, every company would have an incentive to reduce emissions, because then they could sell things at a lower price. Consumers, given a choice between a low-carbon pair of jeans and a high-carbon pair of jeans, would see a cost advantage in choosing the former. If you live a low-carbon lifestyle all year, when your dividend check arrives you will find that you came out ahead.
Bill Nye (Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World)
Prisoners drank water piped in from the river, the same river that other convicts located upstream used as a toilet. “[I]t is a water that no population of human creatures inside or outside of the prison walls should be condemned to drink,” the inspector wrote. Rows of coke ovens outside their barracks turned the coal into the carbon-rich fuel coal companies used to produce the steel for the railroad tracks it was laying throughout the South. Convicts breathed gas, carbon, and soot from the stoves every night. The emissions killed the trees for hundreds of yards around. Yet according to a report by Alabama’s inspector of convicts, the high mortality rates were based not on the conditions of their incarceration but on the “debased moral condition of the negro . . . whose systems are poisoned beyond medical aid by the loathsome diseases incident to the unrestrained indulgence of lust . . . now that they are deprived of the control and care of a master.
Shane Bauer (American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment)
Even the most recent IPCC report, dire as it is, spells out solutions of a sort. There are ways to mitigate things, there are ways to fix them. Ban fossil fuels. Stop eating meat and dairy; according to an IPCC report from 2014, animal agriculture contributes at least as much to global greenhouse gas emissions as the combined exhaust of all the world’s vehicles. What’s that you say? Too difficult? Can’t switch to an oil-free economy overnight? Okay, here’s something that’s effective, simple, and as convenient as a visit to the nearest outpatient clinic: stop breeding. Every child you squeeze out is a Godzilla-sized carbon bootprint stretching into the future—and after all, isn’t 7.6 billion of us enough? Are your genes really that special? If even half the men on the planet got vasectomies, I bet we could buy ourselves a century—and as an added bonus, child-free people not only tend to have higher disposable income than the sprogged, they’re also statistically happier.
Peter Watts (Peter Watts Is An Angry Sentient Tumor: Revenge Fantasies and Essays)
The fact that Costa Rica comes top of the HPI is both surprising and interesting. The data tells us just how well they are doing. Average life expectancy is 78.5 years; this is higher than the US, where it is only 77.9 years. Its ecological footprint is only 2.3 gHa, less than half that of the UK and a quarter that of the US, and only just over its global fair share which would be 2.1gHa. Meanwhile, largely unnoticed, Costa Ricans actually have the highest life satisfaction score globally, according to the 2008 Gallup World Poll, at 8.5 out of 10.0. What are they doing right in Costa Rica? Why are they so satisfied with life? A full answer is worth a book of its own, but here some clues: – They have one of the most developed welfare systems outside of Scandinavia, with clean water and adult literacy almost universal. – The army was abolished in 1949 and the monies freed up are spent on social programs. – There is a strong “core economy” of social networks of family, friends, and neighborhoods made possible by a sensible work/life balance and equal treatment of women. – It is a beautiful country with rich, protected, natural capital. There is clearly much we can learn from Costa Rica, and that is before we consider its environmental credentials: 99% of electricity is from renewable resources (mainly hydro); there is a carbon tax on emissions; and deforestation has been dramatically reversed in the last 20 years.
Nic Marks (The Happiness Manifesto)
so much carbon has been allowed to accumulate in the atmosphere over the past two decades that now our only hope of keeping warming below the internationally agreed-upon target of 2 degrees Celsius is for wealthy countries to cut their emissions by somewhere in the neighborhood of 8–10 percent a year.27 The “free” market simply cannot accomplish this task. Indeed, this level of emission reduction has happened only in the context of economic collapse or deep depressions. I’ll be delving deeper into those numbers in Chapter 2, but the bottom line is what matters here: our economic system and our planetary system are now at war. Or, more accurately, our economy is at war with many forms of life on earth, including human life. What the climate needs to avoid collapse is a contraction in humanity’s use of resources; what our economic model demands to avoid collapse is unfettered expansion. Only one of these sets of rules can be changed, and it’s not the laws of nature.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
a study by the National Audubon Society revealed Tuesday. The seven-year study of North American birds found that more than 300 avian species - nearly half the birds on the continent - will be in dire straits by 2080 unless something is done to reduce carbon emissions.
Modern economics, by which I mean the style of economics taught and practised in today's leading universities, likes to start the enquiries from the ground up: from individuals, through the household, village, district, state, country, to the whole world. In various degrees, the millions of individual decisions shape the eventualities people face; as both theory, common sense, and evidence tell us that there are enormous numbers of consequences of what we all do. Some of these consequences have been intended, but many are unintended. There is, however, a feedback, in that those consequences in turn go to shape what people subsequently can do and choose to do. When Becky's family drive their cars or use electricity, or when Desta's family create compost or burn wood for cooking, they add to global carbon emissions. Their contributions are no doubt negligible, but the millions of such tiny contributions sum to a sizeable amount, having consequences that people everywhere are likely to experience in different ways. It can be that the feedbacks are positive, so that the whole contribution is greater than the sum of the parts. Strikingly, unintended consequences can include emergent features, such as market prices, at which the demand for goods more or less equals their supply. Earlier, I gave a description of Becky's and Desta's lives. Understanding their lives involves a lot more; it requires analysis, which usually calls for further description. To conduct an analysis, we need first of all to identify the material prospects the girls' households face - now and in the future, under uncertain contingencies. Second, we need to uncover the character of their choices and the pathways by which the choices made by millions of households like Becky's and Desta's go to produce the prospects they all face. Third, and relatedly, we need to uncover the pathways by which the families came to inherit their current circumstances. These amount to a tall, even forbidding, order. Moreover, there is a thought that can haunt us: since everything probably affects everything else, how can we ever make sense of the social world? If we are weighed down by that worry, though, we won't ever make progress. Every discipline that I am familiar with draws caricatures of the world in order to make sense of it. The modern economist does this by building models, which are deliberately stripped down representations of the phenomena out there. When I say 'stripped down', I really mean stripped down. It isn't uncommon among us economists to focus on one or two causal factors, exclude everything else, hoping that this will enable us to understand how just those aspects of reality work and interact. The economist John Maynard Keynes described our subject thus: 'Economics is a science of thinking in terms of models joined to the art of choosing models which are relevant to the contemporary world.
Partha Dasgupta (Economics: A Very Short Introduction)
I don't fear fracking. I fear carbon
Russell Gold (The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World)
it turns out, is the natural and the most cost-effective carbon sink. According to Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor at the Ohio State University, soil carbon restoration can potentially store about one billion tons of atmospheric carbon per year. This would offset around 8 to 10 percent of total annual carbon dioxide emissions and one-third of annual enrichment of atmospheric carbon that would otherwise be left in the air.
Judith D. Schwartz (Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth)
By itself, stopping emissions is insufficient. That carbon has to go someplace. As the Soil Carbon Coalition argues, it might as well go into the soil, where it can do some good.
Judith D. Schwartz (Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth)
There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead, but let me be clear: I will be putting a price on carbon and I will move to an emissions trading scheme.’ This is exactly what she announced in February, when she laid out a path to an emissions trading scheme via a fixed carbon price. It was Abbott who labelled it a ‘tax’, and it stuck.
Kerry-Anne Walsh (The Stalking of Julia Gillard: How the media and Team Rudd brought down the prime minister)
There are three things we know about man-made global warming. First, the consequences will be terrible if we don’t take quick action to limit carbon emissions. Second, in pure economic terms the required action shouldn’t be hard to take: emission controls, done right, would probably slow economic growth, but not by much. Third, the politics of action are nonetheless very difficult.
The announcement yesterday follows Obama’s 2011 agreement with automakers to build cars that average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. But as important as fuel efficiency in automobiles may be, power plants are the largest concentrated source of carbon dioxide emissions. The EPA’s new power-plant rules will reduce overall emissions by at least 80 times more metric tons of carbon than the regulations for cars. Almost all credible reports suggest the world is passing the point where it can reverse, or eliminate, global warming. But that only means it’s more urgent than ever to push for historic carbon reductions. Nonetheless, many politicians — including the usual global-warming deniers and those from both parties in fossil-fuel-producing states — rushed to claim the new rules would cause steep economic damage.
They emit too many greenhouse gases. Well-managed cattle can be a net carbon sink, but even in a system where there are slight emissions, the nutritional gains and the added environmental benefits of cattle (increased biodiversity, better water-holding capacity, breaking down nonnutritive foods and converting them into a nutrient-rich source of protein and fats) far outweigh the 2 percent global emissions, especially compared to other less nutritious yet higher-emission-producing foods like rice.
Diana Rodgers (Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat: Why Well-Raised Meat Is Good for You and Good for the Planet)
No wonder Martin Wolf, one of the UK’s most respected financial journalists, wrote with palpable unease in 2007 when he took the rare step of leaning across the debating aisle to agree with the prepare-for-landing crowd about the economic implications of cutting global carbon emissions. ‘If there are limits to emissions, there may also be limits to growth,’ he acknowledged in his Financial Times column. ‘But if there are indeed limits to growth, the political underpinnings of our world fall apart. Intense distributional conflicts must then re-emerge—indeed, they are already emerging—within and among countries.
Kate Raworth (Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist)
Governments can tax carbon emissions, add the cost of externalities to the price of oil and gas, adopt stronger environmental regulations, cut subsidies to polluting industries, and incentivize the switch to renewable energy.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
I avoid large groupings of people due to the high carbon dioxide environments they cause and the unnatural electromagnetic radiation emissions from their cell phones.
Steven Magee
But we have to be honest that autocratic industrial socialism has been a disaster for the environment, as evidenced most dramatically by the fact that carbon emissions briefly plummeted when the economies of the former Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s. And Venezuela's petro-populism is a reminder that there is nothing inherently green about self-defined socialism. Let's acknowledge this fact, while also pointing out that countries with strong democratic-socialist traditions (like Denmark, Sweden, and Uruguay) have some of the most visionary environmental policies in the world. From this we can conclude that socialism isn't necessarily ecological, but that a new form of democratic eco-socialism, with the humility to learn from Indigenous teachings about the duties to future generations and the Interconnection of all life, appears to be humanity's best shot at collective survival.
Naomi Klein (On Fire: The Case for the Green New Deal)
Neither negative-emissions method—“natural” approaches involving revitalized forests and new agricultural practices, technological ones that would deploy machines to remove carbon from the atmosphere—requires wholesale transformation of the global economy as it is presently constituted. Which is perhaps why negative emissions, once a last-ditch, if-all-else-fails strategy, have recently been built into all conventional climate-action goals. Of 400 IPCC emissions models that land us below two degrees Celsius, 344 feature negative emissions, most of them significantly. Unfortunately, negative emissions are also, at this point, almost entirely theoretical.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
The Paris Climate Accord in 2015 was nothing more than an international ruling class trade deal committing to crimes against humanity.[28] In principle, it agreed to aim to limit warming to 1.5ºC, but none of the commitments were legally binding and the IPCC said that the actual commitments made still amounted to 3.2ºC by 2100. Even if they were honoured, annual carbon emissions would rise from 50 billion tonnes to 55-60 billion tonnes by 2030 when they need to be cut by at least 36 billion tonnes just for a 50/50 chance of avoiding the 2ºC tipping point. Even the expense of these minimal commitments proved too much for the US, which pulled out of the Accord in 2017, having never ratified the Kyoto Protocol that it signed up to in 1998 either. In July 2019 it was revealed that only 20 of 160 of the biggest emitting companies had been meeting the targets agreed in Paris.[29
Ted Reese (Socialism or Extinction: Climate, Automation and War in the Final Capitalist Breakdown)
The vague contention that the economy must be decarbonised via the replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy is inadequate when building the new infrastructure required currently relies on continued and expanded environmental plunder, such as the mining of cobalt and lithium for batteries. Resource extraction is responsible for 50% of global emissions, with minerals and metal mining responsible for 20% of emissions even before the manufacturing stage.[36] The ‘green’ industrial revolution proposed by social democrats may end up with a carbon neutral system of production by the time it is finished, but in the meantime it would be anything but. That mankind and nature have been so profoundly alienated from each other under capitalism requires that they be reunited if the planet is to remain habitable.[37] One of the ways that this alienation has been most concretely institutionalised has been through the international prohibition and under-utilisation of the hemp and cannabis plants, the most prolific and versatile crops on Earth that were used for thousands of years before capitalism for food, fuel, medicine, clothing and construction. As we shall see, not only does hemp remain capable of providing for most of humanity’s needs, it is the key not only to reversing desertification and stabilising the climate, but also furthering technological and industrial progress. We therefore argue that saving the planet is bound up with ending this alienation and completing the transition from a labour-intensive extraction-based economy to a hemp-based fully automated system of production. A green industrial revolution must be precisely that – green.
Ted Reese (Socialism or Extinction: Climate, Automation and War in the Final Capitalist Breakdown)
Inextricably linked to the climate emergency is a broader environmental crisis. A third of the Earth’s land is now acutely degraded, with fertile soil being lost at a rate of 24 billion tonnes a year through intensive farming.[19] Generating three centimetres of top soil takes 1,000 years, and, the UN said in 2014, if current rates of degradation continue all of the world's top soil could be gone within 60 years.[20] 95% of our food presently comes from the soil. Unless new approaches are adopted, the global amount of arable and productive land per person in 2050 will be only a quarter of the level in 1960. The equivalent of 30 football pitches of soil are being lost every minute. Heavy tilling, monocropping multiple harvests and abundant use of agrochemicals have increased yields at the expense of long-term sustainability. Agriculture is actually the number one reason for deforestation. In the past 20 years, agricultural production has increased threefold and the amount of irrigated land has doubled, often leading to land abandonment and desertification. Decreasing productivity has been observed, due to diminished fertility, on 20% of the world’s cropland, 16% of forest land, 19% of grassland, and 27% of rangeland. Furthermore, tropical forests have become a source rather than a sink of carbon.[21] Forest areas in South America, Africa and Asia – which have until recently played a crucial role in absorbing GHG – are now releasing 425 teragrams of carbon annually, more than all the traffic in the US. This is due to the thinning of tree density and culling of biodiversity, reducing biomass by up to 75%. Scientists combined 12 years of satellite data with field studies. They found a net carbon loss on every continent. Latin America – home to the world’s biggest forest, the Amazon, which is responsible for 20% of its oxygen – accounted for nearly 60% of the emissions, while 24% came from Africa and 16% from Asia. Every year about 18 million hectares of forest – an area the size of England and Wales – is felled. In just 40 years, possibly one billion hectares, the equivalent of Europe, has been torn down. Half the world’s rainforests have been razed in a century and they will vanish altogether at current rates within another. Earth’s “sixth mass extinction”[22] is well underway: up to 50% of all individual animals have been lost in recent decades and almost half of land mammals have lost 80% of their range in the last century. Vertebrate populations have fallen by an average of 60% since the 1970s, and in some countries there has been an even faster decline of insects – vital, of course, for aerating the soil, pollinating blossoms, and controlling insect and plant pests.
Ted Reese (Socialism or Extinction: Climate, Automation and War in the Final Capitalist Breakdown)
This terrifying experiment has already been set in motion. Unlike nuclear war—which is a future potential—climate change is a present reality. There is a scientific consensus that human activities, in particular the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, are causing the earth’s climate to change at a frightening rate.7 Nobody knows exactly how much carbon dioxide we can continue to pump into the atmosphere without triggering an irreversible cataclysm. But our best scientific estimates indicate that unless we dramatically cut the emission of greenhouse gases in the next twenty years, average global temperatures will increase by more than 3.6ºF, resulting in expanding deserts, disappearing ice caps, rising oceans and more frequent extreme weather events such as hurricanes and typhoons.8 These changes in turn will disrupt agricultural production, inundate cities, make much of the world uninhabitable, and send hundreds of millions of refugees in search of new homes.9 Moreover, we are rapidly approaching a number of tipping points, beyond which even a dramatic drop in greenhouse gas emissions will not be enough to reverse the trend and avoid a worldwide tragedy. For example, as global warming melts the polar ice sheets, less sunlight is reflected back from planet Earth to outer space. This means that the planet absorbs more heat, temperatures rise even higher, and the ice melts even faster. Once this feedback loop crosses a critical threshold it will gather an unstoppable momentum, and all the ice in the polar regions will melt even if humans stop burning coal, oil, and gas. Therefore it is not enough that we recognize the danger we face. It is critical that we actually do something about it now. Unfortunately, as of 2018, instead of a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the global emission rate is still increasing. Humanity has very little time left to wean itself from fossil fuels. We need to enter rehab today. Not next year or next month, but today. “Hello, I am Homo sapiens, and I am a fossil-fuel addict.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Environmental pollution is a regressive phenomenon, since the rich can find ways of insulating themselves from bad air, dirty water, loss of green spaces and so on. Moreover, much pollution results from production and activities that benefit the more affluent – air transport, car ownership, air conditioning, consumer goods of all kinds, to take some obvious examples. A basic income could be construed, in part, as partial compensation for pollution costs imposed on us, as a matter of social justice. Conversely, a basic income could be seen as compensation for those adversely affected by environmental protection measures. A basic income would make it easier for governments to impose taxes on polluting activities that might affect livelihoods or have a regressive impact by raising prices for goods bought by low-income households. For instance, hefty carbon taxes would deter fossil fuel use and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change as well as reduce air pollution. Introducing a carbon tax would surely be easier politically if the tax take went towards providing a basic income that would compensate those on low incomes, miners and others who would lose income-earning opportunities. The basic income case is especially strong in relation to the removal of fossil fuel subsidies. Across the world, in rich countries and in poor, governments have long used subsidies as a way of reducing poverty, by keeping down the price of fuel. This has encouraged more consumption, and more wasteful use, of fossil fuels. Moreover, fuel subsidies are regressive, since the rich consume more and thus gain more from the subsidies. But governments have been reluctant to reduce or eliminate the subsidies for fear of alienating voters. Indeed, a number of countries that have tried to reduce fuel subsidies have backed down in the face of angry popular demonstrations.
Guy Standing (Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen)
by 2008 the arithmetic of climate change presented an almost unimaginable challenge. If the world were to stay within the range of carbon emissions that scientists deemed reasonable in order for atmospheric temperatures to remain tolerable through the mid-century, 80 percent of the fossil fuel industry’s reserves would have to stay unused in the ground. In other words, scientists estimated that the fossil fuel industry owned roughly five times more oil, gas, and coal than the planet could safely burn.
Jane Mayer (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right)
A “tax or emission trading scheme on livestock,” they argued, “could be an economically sound policy that would modify consumer prices and affect consumption patterns.” In the end, as climate impacts increase, the web of costs associated with cultivating plants and animals for food grows ever more complex—
Mark Schapiro (Carbon Shock: A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front Lines of the Disrupted Global Economy)
(This of course would be laughable were it not for the fact that the country’s largest timber company, Sierra Pacific Industries, successfully demanded that the CO2 sequestered in its “wood products” be counted by the state of California as saved carbon when tallying up the company’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Mark Schapiro (Carbon Shock: A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front Lines of the Disrupted Global Economy)
If we can imagine something, there is a good chance that it will happen. If we don’t imagine it, there is almost no chance of it happening.
Muhammad Yunus (A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions)
If the world were to stay within the range of carbon emissions that scientists deemed reasonable in order for atmospheric temperatures to remain tolerable through the mid-century, 80 percent of the fossil fuel industry’s reserves would have to stay unused in the ground. In other words, scientists estimated that the fossil fuel industry owned roughly five times more oil, gas, and coal than the planet could safely burn. If the government interfered with the “free market” in order to protect the planet, the potential losses for these companies were catastrophic.
Jane Mayer (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right)
It magnifies your carbon footprint. If you cut back your animal food intake, you can make a big impact on planet Earth. Each year we eat billions of pounds of meat and drink billions of gallons of dairy products from billions of animals. In doing so, we not only contribute to inhumane animal practices, but we are responsible for the use of large amounts of chemical pesticides and fertilizers to produce animal feed, as well as large volumes of water and fuel to take animals to market. Byproducts of animal food production include greenhouse gas emissions, toxic manure lagoons, deforestation, and pollution of groundwater, rivers, streams, and oceans. According to a recent analysis conducted by CleanMetrics for the Environmental Working Group, greenhouse gas emissions generated by conventionally raising lamb, beef, cheese, pork, and farmed salmon—from growing the animals’ food to disposing of the unused food—far exceed those from other food choices like lentils and beans.26
Sharon Palmer (The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health, Beginning Today)
The post-2020 fiscal reckoning does not require higher payroll taxes or lower retirement benefits, as new sources of fiscal revenue are available from drug legalization, increased tax progressivity, tax reform that eliminates most tax deductions, and a carbon tax that provides incentives to reduce emissions.
Robert J. Gordon (The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World))
About 85 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions come from fossil fuels, and about 80 percent of those come from just two sources: coal (46 percent) in its various forms, including anthracite and lignite; and petroleum (33 percent) in its various forms, including oil, gasoline, and propane. Coal and petroleum are used differently. Most petroleum is consumed by individuals and small businesses as they heat their homes and offices and drive their cars. By contrast, coal is mainly burned by heavy industry: coal produces the great majority of the world’s steel and cement and 40 percent of its electricity. The percentages vary from place to place, but the pattern remains. Coal provides about two-thirds of China’s energy, but almost all of it is used by big industries. Coal provides less than a fifth of U.S. energy, but again almost all of it is for industry. In both places petroleum consumption is on a smaller, more individual scale.
Charles C. Mann (The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World)
Cement is made in at least 150 countries, and produces between 5 and 10 percent of the total carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.
Vince Beiser (The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization)
Neither of the two biggest causes he has invested in over the years—reducing tobacco use and improving traffic safety—register much in the glittery precincts of philanthropy, but Bloomberg has picked two real winners. Smoking kills six million people worldwide every year, which is far more than AIDS and malaria put together. That number is projected to rise to eight million by 2030. A funder who bends this curve even slightly can save untold lives, which is why Bloomberg has so far poured at least $600 million into the cause. The same goes for road safety, where the body count is also huge: 1.25 million people die annually from accidents and tens of millions are injured. His foundation estimates that some 125,000 lives will be saved as a result of Bloomberg’s investment of more than a quarter of a billion dollars in road safety activities across the world. Sounds like a bargain, right? Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s quest to shut down coal-fired power plants—a cause to which he’s now given over $130 million—is a twofer: shuttering such plants reduces carbon dioxide emissions but also lowers old-fashioned air pollution, saving lives. In early 2015, Bloomberg estimated that 5,500 lives annually were already being saved because of coal plant shutdowns in recent years.
David Callahan (The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age)
But for 30 years the way this has all come about has given expert observers cause for increasing puzzlement. In particular they have questioned: the speed with which the belief that human carbon dioxide emissions were causing the world dangerously to warm came to be proclaimed as being shared by a ‘consensus’ of the world’s climate scientists; the nature and reliability of much of the evidence being cited to support that belief; the failure of global temperatures to rise in accordance with the predictions of the computer models on which the ‘consensus’ ultimately rested. But there was also the peculiarly hostile and dismissive nature of the response by supporters of the ‘consensus’ to those who questioned all this, a group that included many eminent scientists and other experts.
Christopher Booker (Global Warming: A Case Study in Groupthink: How science can shed new light on the most important "non-debate" of our time (GWPF Report Book 28))
Between 45 and 75 per cent of worldwide carbon emissions are controlled by or attributed to urban areas.7,
Stephen R.J. Sheppard (Visualizing Climate Change: A Guide to Visual Communication of Climate Change and Developing Local Solutions)
Werner was right to point out that mass resistance movements have grabbed the wheel before and could very well do so again. At the same time, we must reckon with the fact that lowering global emissions in line with climate scientists’ urgent warnings demands changes of a truly daunting speed and scale. Meeting science-based targets will mean forcing some of the most profitable companies on the planet to forfeit trillions of dollars of future earnings by leaving the vast majority of proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground.7 It will also require coming up with trillions more to pay for zero-carbon, disaster-ready societal transformations. And let’s take for granted that we want to do these radical things democratically and without a bloodbath, so violent, vanguardist revolutions don’t have much to offer in the way of road maps.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
by 2008 the arithmetic of climate change presented an almost unimaginable challenge. If the world were to stay within the range of carbon emissions that scientists deemed reasonable in order for atmospheric temperatures to remain tolerable through the mid-century, 80 percent of the fossil fuel industry’s reserves would have to stay unused in the ground. In other words, scientists estimated that the fossil fuel industry owned roughly five times more oil, gas, and coal than the planet could safely burn. If the government interfered with the “free market” in order to protect the planet, the potential losses for these companies were catastrophic. If, however, the carbon from these reserves were burned wantonly without the government applying any brakes, scientists predicted an intolerable rise in atmospheric temperatures, triggering potentially irreversible global damage to life on earth.
Jane Mayer (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right)
On the night that Obama clinched the Democratic nomination, he spoke passionately about climate change, vowing that Americans would look back knowing that “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Once in office, he pledged to pass a “cap and trade” bill forcing the fossil fuel industry to pay for its pollution, as other industries did, rather than treating it as someone else’s problem. Cap and trade was a market-based solution, originally backed by Republicans, requiring permits for carbon emissions. The theory was that it would give the industry a financial incentive to stop polluting. It had worked surprisingly well in previous years to reduce industrial emissions that caused acid rain. By choosing a tested, moderate, bipartisan approach, the Obama administration and many environmentalists assumed a deal would be winnable.
Jane Mayer (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right)
Carlton Church Warning - Nuclear Fraud Scheme North Korea has been producing different nuclear weapons since last year. They have sent warning on the neighboring countries about their plan for a nuclear test. Not just South Korea, but other countries like China, U.S., and Japan have stated their complaints. Even the United Nations has been alarmed by North Korea’s move. During the last period of World War, a bomb has been used to attack Japan. Happened on 6th of August 1945, Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb just 10 kilometers away from Tokyo. This is why people and organizations like Carlton Church who’s against the use of nuclear power for production of armory in war. Many protested that it is a threat to mankind and environment. Groups who are in favor of the nuclear use explained its advantage. They say it can be helpful in generating electricity that can be used for residential and commercial purposes. They also expound how it is better to use than coal mining as it is “less harmful to the environment.” Nuclear Use: Good or Bad? Groups who are against the use of nuclear reactor and weapons try to persuade people about its catastrophic result to the environment and humankind. If such facility will be used to create weapons, there is a possibility for another world war. But the pro-nuclear groups discuss the good effects that can be gained from it. They give details on how greenhouse gas effect of coal-burning can emit huge amounts of greenhouse gases and other pollutants such as sulfur dioxide nitrogen oxide, and toxic compounds of mercury to the atmosphere every year. Burning coal can produce a kilowatt-hour of electricity but it also amounts to over two pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. They also added that the amount of carbon dioxide it produces contributes to climate change. Sulfur dioxide may cause the formation of acid rain and nitrogen oxide, if combined with VOCs, will form smog. Nuclear power plants do not emit harmful pollutants or other toxic gases. Generating energy from nuclear involves intricate process, but as a result, it produces heat. These plants have cooling towers that release water vapor. If the facility has been properly managed it may not contribute disturbance in the atmosphere. It may sound better to use compared to coal. But studies have shown that the vapor that came from nuclear plants have an effect to some coastal plants. The heated water that was released goes back to lakes and seas, and then the heat will eventually diffuse into surface warming. As a result of the increased water temperature on the ocean bodies, it changes the way carbon dioxide is transferred within the air. In effect, major shifts in weather patterns such as hurricanes may occur. It does not stop there. The nuclear power plant produces radioactive waste, which amounts to 20 metric tons yearly. Exposure to high-level radiation is extremely harmful and fatal to human and animals. The waste material must be stored carefully in remote locations for many years. Carlton Church and other anti-nuclear groups persuade the public to initiate banning of the manufacturing of nuclear products and give warnings about its health hazards and environmental effects.
The carbon cycle has grabbed the headlines, but we’ve also seized hold of many other major geochemical cycles. Through production of fertilizers, we’ve radically altered Earth’s nitrogen cycle. The sulfur cycle has become dominated by industrial emissions. We’ve dammed rivers so thoroughly that there is now more than five times as much fresh water captured in reservoirs as there is remaining in all the wild rivers and streams of Earth! That is not a minor change. It’s fair to say that we’ve domesticated a major part of the water cycle of this planet. Earth’s vibrant hydrosphere, arguably our planet’s most distinctive feature, has to some degree become an artifact of human civilization. Every year now, humans constructing roads, buildings, and farms displace ten times more dirt than the combined erosive forces of wind, rain, earthquakes, and tides. Simply measured by the amount of stuff we move around, we have become the undisputed world heavyweight champions
David Grinspoon (Earth in Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet's Future)
Welcome, in other words, to the Land of Plenty. To the good life, where almost everyone is rich, safe, and healthy. Where there’s only one thing we lack: a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Because, after all, you can’t really improve on paradise. Back in 1989, the American philosopher Francis Fukuyama already noted that we had arrived in an era where life has been reduced to “economic calculation, the endless solving of technical problems, environmental concerns, and the satisfaction of sophisticated consumer demands.”18 Notching up our purchasing power another percentage point, or shaving a couple off our carbon emissions; perhaps a new gadget – that’s about the extent of our vision. We live in an era of wealth and overabundance, but how bleak it is. There is “neither art nor philosophy,” Fukuyama says. All that’s left is the “perpetual caretaking of the museum of human history.” According to Oscar Wilde, upon reaching the Land of Plenty, we should once more fix our gaze on the farthest horizon and rehoist the sails. “Progress is the realization of Utopias,” he wrote. But
Rutger Bregman (Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There)
The idea that capitalism and only capitalism can save the world from a crisis created by capitalism is no longer an abstract theory; it’s a hypothesis that has been tested and retested in the real world. We are now able to set theory aside conglomerates that were supposed to model chic green lifestyles who have long since moved on to the next fad; at the green products that were shunted to the back of the supermarket shelves at the first signs of recession; at the venture capitalists who were supposed to bankroll a parade of innovation but have come up far short; at the fraud-infested, boom-and-bust carbon market that has failed miserably to lower emissions; at the natural gas sector that was supposed to be our bridge to renewables but ended up devouring much of their market instead. And most of all, at the parade of billionaires who were going to invent a new form of enlightened capitalism but decided that, on second thought, the old one was just too profitable to surrender.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
In 2017, carbon emissions grew by 1.4 percent, according to the International Energy Agency, after an ambiguous couple of years optimists had hoped represented a leveling-off, or peak; instead, we’re climbing again.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
Probably even that amount of warming would require significant negative-emissions use, given that our use of carbon is still growing. And there is also some risk from scientific uncertainty, the possibility that we are underestimating
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
Probably even that amount of warming would require significant negative-emissions use, given that our use of carbon is still growing. And there is also some risk from scientific uncertainty, the possibility that we are underestimating the effects of those feedback loops in natural systems we only poorly understand. Conceivably, if those processes are triggered, we could hit 4 degrees of warming by 2100, even with a meaningful reduction in emissions over the coming decades.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
Over a 20-year period, methane is estimated to have a warming effect on Earth’s atmosphere 84 times that of carbon dioxide. By that metric, the Aliso Canyon leak produced the same amount of global warming as 1,735,404 cars in a full year. During the four months the leak lasted—25 days longer than the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico—the leak contributed roughly the same amount of warming as the greenhouse-gas emissions produced by the entire country of Lebanon.
Hope Jahren (The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2017 (The Best American Series ®))
What the critics don’t seem to recognize is that the Paris agreement itself was a huge failure. It contained no uniform commitments and no enforcement provisions. Sure, the whole world signed. But onto what? A voluntary set of vaporous promises. China pledged to ‘achieve the peaking of [carbon dioxide] emissions around 2030.’ Meaning that they rise for another 13 years.
Charles Krauthammer (The Point of It All: A Lifetime of Great Loves and Endeavors) might behoove us to reduce our production of carbon dioxide. Hacking away our forests to plant huge expanses of lawn is a poor way to go about it, however. Trees are carbon sinks. That is, they use carbon from the atmosphere to build their tissues and they keep that carbon locked up and out of trouble until they did two, three, or even four hundred years later... just think how much of the carbon emissions in the United States we could offset (and money we could save) if we reversed our course and started to replace some of our 40 million acres of lawn with trees.
Douglas W. Tallamy
If you are concerned about the human impact on our plant's climate, reducing the amount of lawn you mow each week is one of the best things you can do to reduce your family's carbon dioxide emissions. On average, mowing your lawn for one hour produces as much pollution as driving 650 miles. Moreover, we now burn 800 million gallons of gas each year in our dirty little lawnmower engines to keep our lawns at bay.
Douglas W. Tallamy
To make matters even worse, Texas is also the leading producer of cattle in the country. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions, or carbon dioxide, released during the agriculture process is higher in Texas than any other state. Research has also found that the methane released from cow belches is another factor that’s contributing to global warming.
Bill O'Neill (The Great Book of Texas: The Crazy History of Texas with Amazing Random Facts & Trivia (A Trivia Nerds Guide to the History of the United States 1))
timeline to global saturation of at least decades—of which we have two or three, in which to completely eliminate carbon emissions, planetwide.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
By the 1960s scientists had expressed concerns about the possibility of an anthropogenic climate change to presidents of both parties. At the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 the industrialized countries seemed to agree that by 2000 they would stabilize their GHG emissions at 1990 levels. Yet global emissions are still increasing, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is now almost 10% greater than it was in 1992, we have already experienced a warming of .8°C,
Dale Jamieson (Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed -- and What It Means for Our Future)
Imagine that after reaching an atmospheric concentration of 450 ppm sometime in the next decade, we immediately stop all carbon dioxide emissions. By the year 3000, neither atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide nor global mean surface temperature would have returned to their pre-industrial baselines, and sea levels would still be rising.
Dale Jamieson (Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed -- and What It Means for Our Future)
It is usually assumed (in the United States anyway) that China is responsible for these emissions, but everyone has an argument for off-loading responsibility to someone else. It is Australia that extracts the coal, it is China where the emissions occur, and it is the United States and Europe that consume the products with the embedded carbon.69 One could argue that China’s current “bad boy” image as the world’s largest carbon emitter is simply a consequence of Europe and the United States outsourcing manufacturing to China.
Dale Jamieson (Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed -- and What It Means for Our Future)
The nature of the moment is familiar but bears repeating: whether or not industrialized countries begin deeply cutting our emissions this decade will determine whether we can expect the same from rapidly developing nations like China and India next decade. That, in turn, will determine whether or not humanity can stay within a collective carbon budget that will give us a decent chance of keeping warming below levels that our own governments have agreed are unacceptably dangerous. In other words, we don’t have another couple of decades to talk about the changes we want while being satisfied with the occasional incremental victory. This set of hard facts calls for strategy, clear deadlines, dogged focus—all of which are sorely missing from most progressive movements at the moment. Even more importantly, the climate moment offers an overarching narrative in which everything from the fight for good jobs to justice for migrants to reparations for historical wrongs like slavery and colonialism can all become part of the grand project of building a nontoxic, shockproof economy before it’s too late.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
The technology has unlocked huge natural gas reserves across much of the country — creating thousands of jobs, fueling a manufacturing revival and reducing dependence on foreign oil. By encouraging power plants to switch from coal to cleaner-burning gas, fracking has also contributed to a historic decline in the nation’s emissions of planet-warming carbon dioxide.
nuclear power, with zero carbon emissions, is a much better answer than expensive, unreliable boutique methods such as wind and solar;
Of the world’s top ten per capita carbon dioxide emitters in 2000, six are outside Annex I, including the top three, Qatar (with per capita emissions three times those of the US and nearly six times the average of the developed world), the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.[25] Neither is per capita GDP a criterion for inclusion. By 2009 for example, non-Annex I South Korea had per capita GDP of $23,407, just $278 less than the EU’s at $23,685.[26]
Rupert Darwall (The Age of Global Warming: A History)
wide. In Korea, carbon emissions are monitored and managed under the ‘Framework Act on Low-Carbon, Green Growth’, and
But all the facts were not yet in when Watt was being memorialized in marble in 1825. Because it is the cumulative impact of the carbon emissions that began in those early mills and mines that has already engraved itself in the geologic record—in the levels of the oceans, in their chemical composition, in the slow erasure of islands like Nauru; in the retreat of glaciers, the collapse of ice shelves, the thawing of permafrost; in the disturbed soil cycles and in the charred forests.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
On July 28 Senator Tim Wirth of Colorado, along with 18 co-sponsors from both political parties, introduced the National Energy Policy Act of 1988, calling for a 20% reduction in US carbon dioxide emissions from 1988 levels by the year 2000.
Dale Jamieson (Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed -- and What It Means for Our Future)
Germany’s environment agency reported that the country’s carbon emissions went up again, rising by 1.2% in 2013. The environment minister said that Germany may miss its target of reducing carbon emissions by 40% in 2020, compared with 1990 levels, an astonishing admission from a country that spent €16 billion subsidising renewable energy last year.
analysis for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline downplays the significance the pipeline would have for development of the Canadian tar sands, according to a new analysis from a United Kingdom-based group. The analysis also argues that the State Department underestimated the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that would come with that development. The Carbon Tracker Initiative, a
GDP does not and cannot tell the whole story. Activities that do not require money changing hands are not counted as part of GDP—which means that, in effect, many of the things real human beings cherish most are treated as having no value. By contrast, money spent on weapons of
Muhammad Yunus (A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions)
The Republican position is now to oppose even studying climate change as well as any and all proposals to reduce carbon emissions. Rational people may disagree about how governments might minimize or prepare for the effects of global warming. You are entitled to your own opinion. But refusing to accept its reality is a new and unacceptable posture. You are not entitled to your own facts.
Kurt Andersen (Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History)
Economic growth is a rising tide that lifts all boats.
Global warming is a warning......... Mother earth is faltering due to global warming Today man –made chemicals causing ozone depletion Thousands of species becoming extinct due clearing of rain forest Poisonous gases and spillage emitted daily from factories and Mills Receding of Coral reefs due to global warming threat to marine life The mess created by our own hands, threatening the very existence of human race Man has woken up is it too late, and still no answers. Man’s threat to nature has dire consequences by Mother nature With the earths volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and earth slips Mother nature is angered With the interference from Man with Mother nature, can the world survive? Global warming and chemicals has taken its toll on Mother Nature, and scarcity of Water. Can the world be saved against this wanton destruction by Man? Humanity should band together and curb violence against mother nature Allow mother nature to recuperate and heal by growing more trees Respect God’s gift of nature without causing further damages Educate people to save the world from utter destruction Advise people to use alternate source of energy to bring change to the environment Energy efficiency could also be obtained by educating people to create awareness Fossil fuel from gasses should be done away with due to carbon emissions Let Mother nature take care of waste products by re-using it to grow. Let all the people of the world band together to heal mother nature for the future generation Ravi Sathasivam / Sri Lanka All rights are reserved @ 2017 - Ravi Sathasivam
Ravi Sathasivam / Sri Lanka
I find it curious that even though US carbon emissions fell 12% between 2005 and 2012 and were at their lowest level since 1994,228 the CIC continues to advocate still more reductions despite no real evidence that the 12% has had any observable effects.
Alan Carlin (Environmentalism Gone Mad: How a Sierra Club Activist and Senior EPA Analyst Discovered a Radical Green Energy Fantasy)
The upshot is the following: Perhaps 4 percent of extra GDP could be collected as of 2015 mainly by taxing the rich (2 percent), tightening corporate taxation (1 percent), strengthening tax enforcement (0.5 to 1 percent), taxing financial transactions, and taxing carbon emissions (0.5 percent). Introducing a VAT would raise even more revenues and could be phased in over several years. The point is that there are lots of options, and most of them could be concentrated near the top of the income distribution, where they belong. How
Jeffrey D. Sachs (The Price Of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue And Prosperity)
Ben West, one of the effective altruists mentioned in chapter 4, has shown that even if your goal were solely to slow down climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, you could do that more effectively by donating to organizations that are encouraging people to go vegetarian or vegan than by donating to leading carbon-offsetting organizations.
Peter Singer (The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically)
Such creativity with statistics is by no means an isolated incident, as revealed by The Climate Change Performance Index[20] published by Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe in 2014. Again, the wrong countries were at risk of becoming the top performers, and again, the situation was fixed with creative carbon accounting for nuclear. This particular index went even further than WWF did and declared nuclear electricity to have the same emissions as the dirtiest mainstream electricity, coal power. Given that this was an especially climate oriented index, it is interesting to note that a country could improve its score by replacing nearly emission-free nuclear with practically any mix of fossil fuels. One really cannot make this stuff up. We are sure that similar creative ”indices” are already in preparation somewhere. Using deliberately falsified indices and reports for actual, sensible real world policy is of course impossible, as they simply seek to distort the reality to conform to an ideologically preconceived position. We believe that environmental organizations are in fact never going to tell
Rauli Partanen (Climate Gamble: Is Anti-Nuclear Activism Endangering Our Future? (2017 edition))
Such creativity with statistics is by no means an isolated incident, as revealed by The Climate Change Performance Index[20] published by Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe in 2014. Again, the wrong countries were at risk of becoming the top performers, and again, the situation was fixed with creative carbon accounting for nuclear. This particular index went even further than WWF did and declared nuclear electricity to have the same emissions as the dirtiest mainstream electricity, coal power. Given that this was an especially climate oriented index, it is interesting to note that a country could improve its score by replacing nearly emission-free nuclear with practically any mix of fossil fuels. One really cannot make this stuff up. We are sure that similar creative ”indices” are already in preparation somewhere. Using deliberately falsified indices and reports for actual, sensible real world policy is of course impossible, as they simply seek to distort the reality to conform to an ideologically preconceived position. We believe that environmental organizations are in fact never going to tell us which countries have historically cut their carbon emissions the fastest and the most. The leaders in this game are those countries that built a lot of nuclear in the 1980s, like France and Sweden. It is worth noting that these cuts were accomplished with technology from the 1970s, and were achieved completely by accident, as a by-product of energy policy enacted for completely different reasons. There was no active climate policy, but the results were many times better than what Germany has managed with its Energiewende since the early 2000s. It is worth imagining what an active and evidence-based climate policy that pushed aggressively for renewables, energy savings and nuclear could therefore achieve. Image 10 - The best ten years of emissions reductions in four countries. A major part of Germany’s reductions, called “Wallfall”, are due to the country’s unification and the following closure of many of ineffective power plants and industry in eastern Germany. In addition to these countries, also Belgium and Finland have cut their emissions markedly with nuclear power.
Rauli Partanen (Climate Gamble: Is Anti-Nuclear Activism Endangering Our Future? (2017 edition))
There is no credible path to reducing global carbon emissions without an enormous expansion of nuclear power.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
With this advance, it is easier to imagine, in the not-too-distant future, a colony of specially designed microbes living within the emission-control system of a coal-fired plant, consuming its pollution and its carbon dioxide, or employing microbes to radically reduce water pollution, or to reduce the toxic effects of radioactive waste.
John D. Gartner (The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (A Little) Craziness and (A Lot of) Success in America)
Energy efficiency is universally viewed as the best and cheapest means of reducing carbon emissions. But the power industry was designed to make and sell as much power as possible as cheaply as possible. Repurposing the industry to both sell and save electricity raises extremely difficult financial, regulatory, and managerial questions.
Peter Fox-Penner (Smart Power Anniversary Edition: Climate Change, the Smart Grid, and the Future of Electric Utilities)
Carlton Church: Australia in Doubt on Building Nuclear Plant With the continuous trend of nuclear proliferation, the nuclear-free Australia is in critical dilemma on whether to start the industry in the country or not. On one end of the coin, the negative effects of nuclear generation will surely cause skepticisms and complaints. On the other side, nuclear fuel industry is worth exploring. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been reserved when it comes to nuclear talks but he did admit that “Australia should ‘look closely’ at expanding its role in the global nuclear energy industry, including leasing fuel rods to other countries and then storing the waste afterwards”. South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill set up a royal commission in March to undertake an independent investigation into the state’s participation in the nuclear fuel cycle. Carlton Church International, non-profit organization campaigning against nuclear use, says there is no need for Australia to venture into nuclear turmoil as they already have an extensive, low cost coal and natural gas reserves. Other critics has also seconded this motion as it is known that even Turnbull has pointed out that the country has plentiful access to coal, gas, wind and solar sources. During an interview, he also stated, “I’m not talking about the politics. We’ve got so much other affordable sources of energy, not just fossil fuel like coal and gas but also wind, solar. The ability to store energy is getting better all the time, and that’s very important for intermittent sources of energy, particularly wind and solar. But playing that part in the nuclear fuel cycle I think is something that is worth looking at closely”. A survey was also conducted among random people and a lot of them have been reluctant about the nuclear issue. Some fear that the Fukushima Daichii Incident would happen, knowing the extent of the damage it has caused even to those living in Tokyo, Japan. Another review also stated, “We only have to look at the Fukushima disaster in Japan to be reminded of the health, social and economic impacts of a nuclear accident, and to see that this is not a safe option for Australians.” According to further studies by analysts, 25 nuclear reactors can be built around Australia producing a third of the country’s electricity by 2050. But it also found nuclear power would be much more expensive to produce than coal-fired power if a price was not put on carbon dioxide emissions. Greenpeace dismissed nuclear power as “an expensive distraction from the real solutions to climate change, like solar and wind power”. - See more at: carltonchurchreview.blogspot
Sabrina Carlton
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You could offset the carbon emissions of your entire life by planting trees.
Tushar Shinde (Your Own Carbon Emission)
Whereas CO2 is the dominant greenhouse gas overall, it accounts for only 11 percent of agricultural emissions.2 The rest is nitrous oxide (53 percent) and methane (36 percent). Nitrous oxide is 296 times more potent per pound than CO2 as a climate-change gas, and on farms it results mainly from the use of fertilizer but also from cattle pee, especially if there is excessive protein in their diet, and from the burning of biomass and fuel.3 Methane, which is 25 times more potent than CO2, is mainly emitted by cows and sheep when they belch. Some is also emitted from silage. The CO2 comes from machinery but also from the heating of greenhouses to grow crops out of season or in countries that just don’t have the right climate.
Mike Berners-Lee (How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything)
Nitrogen fertilizer is a significant contributor to the world’s carbon footprint. Its production is energy intensive because the chemical process involved requires both heat and pressure. Depending on the efficiency of the factory, making 1 ton of fertilizer creates between 1 and 4 tons CO2e. When the fertilizer is actually applied, between 1 and 5 percent of the nitrogen it contains is released as nitrous oxide, which is around 300 times more potent than CO2. This adds between 1.7 and 8.3 tons CO2e to the total footprint,11 depending on a variety of factors.12 Here’s how the science of it goes. All plants contain nitrogen, so if you’re growing a crop, it has to be replaced into the soil somehow or it will eventually run out. Nitrogen fertilizer is one way of doing this. Manure is another. Up to a point there can be big benefits. For some crops in some situations, the amount of produce can even be proportional to the amount of nitrogen that is used. However, there is a cut-off point after which applying more does nothing at all to the yield, or even decreases it. Timing matters, too. It is inefficient to apply fertilizer before a seed has had a chance to develop into a rapidly growing plant. Currently these messages are frequently not understood by small farmers in rural China, especially, where fertilizer is as cheap as chips and the farmers believe that the more they put on the bigger and better the crop will be. Many have a visceral understanding of the needs for high yields, having experienced hunger in their own lifetime, so it is easy to understand the instinct to spread a bit more fertilizer. After all, China has 22 percent of the world’s population to feed from 9 percent of the world’s arable land. There are other countries in which the same issues apply, although typically the developed world is more careful. Meanwhile in parts of Africa there is a scarcity of nitrogen in the soil and there would be real benefits in applying a bit more fertilizer to increase the yield and get people properly fed. One-third of all nitrogen fertilizer is applied to fields in China—about 26 million tons per year. The Chinese government believes there is scope for a 30 to 60 percent reduction without any decrease in yields. In other words, emissions savings on the order of 100 million tons are possible just by cutting out stuff that does nothing whatsoever to help the yield. There are other benefits, too. It’s much better for the environment generally, and it’s cheaper and easier for the farmers. It boils down to an education exercise... and perhaps dealing with the interests of a fertilizer industry.
Mike Berners-Lee (How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything)
It is true that China is planning to reduce its so-called ‘carbon intensity’ quite substantially by 2020. But there is a world of difference between the sensible objective of using fossil fuels more efficiently, which is what this means, and the foolish policy of abandoning fossil fuels, which it has no intention of doing. China’s total carbon emissions are projected to carry on rising—and rising substantially—as its economy grows. This puts into perspective the UK’s commitment, under the Climate Change Act, to near-total decarbonisation. The UK accounts for less than two per cent of global CO2 emissions: indeed, its total CO2 emissions are less than the annual increase in China’s. Never mind, says Lord Deben, chairman of the government-appointed Climate Change Committee, we are in the business of setting an example to the world.
Alan Moran (Climate Change: The Facts)
According to the temperature records kept by the UK Met Office (and other series are much the same), over the past 150 years (that is, from the very beginnings of the Industrial Revolution), mean global temperature has increased by a little under a degree centigrade—according to the Met Office, 0.8°C. This has happened in fits and starts, which are not fully understood. To begin with, to the extent that anyone noticed it, it was seen as a welcome and natural recovery from the rigours of the Little Ice Age. But the great bulk of it—0.5°C out of the 0.8°C—occurred during the last quarter of the twentieth century. It was then that global warming alarmism was born. But since then, and wholly contrary to the expectations of the overwhelming majority of climate scientists, who confidently predicted that global warming would not merely continue but would accelerate, given the unprecedented growth of global carbon dioxide emissions, as China’s coalbased economy has grown by leaps and bounds, there has been no further warming at all. To be precise, the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a deeply flawed body whose nonscientist chairman is a committed climate alarmist, reckons that global warming has latterly been occurring at the rate of—wait for it—0.05°Cs per decade, plus or minus 0.1°C. Their figures, not mine. In other words, the observed rate of warming is less than the margin of error. And that margin of error, it must be said, is implausibly small. After all, calculating mean global temperature from the records of weather stations and maritime observations around the world, of varying quality, is a pretty heroic task in the first place. Not to mention the fact that there is a considerable difference between daytime and night-time temperatures. In any event, to produce a figure accurate to hundredths of a degree is palpably absurd.
Alan Moran (Climate Change: The Facts)
Corporations have a unique role to play in creating a cleaner environment, and they also have economic incentives to use energy more efficiently as demand and costs rise globally. If every company in the S&P 500 voluntarily reported and disclosed its energy costs, clearly and explicitly as a line item on the balance sheet, there would be pressure to reduce that cost, just as there is for every other expense item. This would result in analyst and investor pressure on corporate executives to be more efficient with their energy output and to source cheaper and alternative sources, which would have a far greater impact on carbon emissions and pollution than any political treaty in history. As an added advantage, reducing costs increases profitability, which provides the appropriate incentives for corporate executives to act in their shareholders’ best interests and effect positive social change. According to PwC, 98 percent of the S&P 500 companies surveyed can link investments in emissions reduction to value creation.55 As a result, these corporations are discovering new ways to enhance efficiencies, create new markets, and build a competitive advantage.
Jeremy Balkin (Investing with Impact: Why Finance Is a Force for Good)
As countries move from fossil fuel power generation to cut carbon dioxide emissions, solar power is gaining market share around the world. Germany, thanks to a decade of generous subsidies, has more installed solar power capacity than any other country. But large coal- and gas-fired plants still have at least one big advantage over solar panels — they cannot be uprooted and carted away. As German solar supply has increased, so has the theft of panels, cables and inverters. “Solar theft continues to increase, despite the measures taken to prevent it,” says Frank Fiedler, chief executive of SecondSol, an online trading platform for solar products that has documented scores of such cases on a website. “Thieves are able to escape with thousands of euros worth of equipment.” Although panels sometimes disappear from residential rooftops, large solar parks are the main target. These tend to be situated outside built-up areas where organised gangs can pull up in lorries, work unobserved overnight and then make their escape. Losses sometimes reach as much as €500,000, Germany’s federal criminal police office says. It warns that solar panels are “often insufficiently [protected] or not secured at all”.
Is it more comforting to think that the Permian catastrophe was caused by the unlikely convergence of a series of events or by a single nefarious villain? In a time when anthropogenic emissions of sulfur and chlorine match or exceed volcanic releases, when human carbon dioxide production outstrips natural rates by a factor of ten, and when growing areas of the world's oceans are becoming dead zones as a result of sewage and fertilizer runoff, I'm not sure. More recent records of climate instability are equally sobering.
Marcia Bjornerud (Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth)
Every facet of Amarillo a testament to a nation of bad-ass firsts: first in prison population, first in meat consumption, first in operational strategic warheads, first in per-capita carbon emissions, first in line for the Rapture. Whether American liberals liked it or not, Amarillo was how the rest of the world saw their country.
Jonathan Franzen (Purity)
I am aware that for decades there has been exploration of options and concrete plans and investments being made to look at life on another planet. We must not stop exploring. At the same time let’s preserve and enhance the life we already have on earth. Join the green revolution, plant trees, stop soil erosion, reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere and promote recycling of waste. Become aware, create awareness, act responsibly and lead by example.
Archibald Marwizi (Making Success Deliberate)
In the rearview mirror were the evangelical churches, the Tea Party precincts, the Whataburgers. Ahead, the gas and oil wells, the fracking rigs, the overgrazed ranges, the feedlots, the depleted aquifer. Every facet of Amarillo a testament to a nation of bad-ass firsts: first in prison population, first in meat consumption, first in operational strategic warheads, first in per-capita carbon emissions, first in line for the Rapture. Whether American liberals liked it or not, Amarillo was how the rest of the world saw their country.
Jonathan Franzen (Purity)
In geoengineering, ‘moral hazard’ has been used to describe the expectation that if cooling technologies seem a real possibility, people will put less effort into reducing carbon-dioxide emissions.
Oliver Morton (The Planet Remade: The Challenge of Imagining Deliberate Climate Change)
But consider how desperately we need this discipline right now. For a supposed Information Age, we drown in fact-twisting theory, misbegotten conclusions, and self-serving “analysis.” Spend five minutes on any newspaper’s online comment section and you will find a sterling example of anti-Sherlockian thinking. Whenever an eminent figure denies that carbon dioxide emissions disrupt the atmosphere; whenever someone says biological evolution is “just a theory”; whenever an all-caps email foists elaborate conspiracies orchestrated by mundane federal government departments—such assertions constitute metaphorical slaps to the face of Sherlock Holmes.
Zach Dundas (The Great Detective: The Amazing Rise and Immortal Life of Sherlock Holmes)
The powerful community model of local libraries deserves to be both cherished and developed. Yet we can also move beyond books, to develop more 'libraries of things' and other forms of reuse and recirculation. In an era of imminent climate catastrophe, it is obscenely wasteful for people to buy hardware they might use only a few times a year, whether we are talking about power drills, expensive children's toys or waffle makers. It's possible to refuse the disastrous capitalist system of planned obsolescence and share objects within communities. As a result we would limit carbon emissions, save money, and develop our capacities to care not only for animate but also inanimate things.
The Care Collective (The Care Manifesto: The Politics of Interdependence)
It seems appropriate to assign the term ‘Anthropocene’ to the present, in many ways human-dominated, geological epoch,” he observed. Among the many geologic-scale changes people have effected, Crutzen cited the following: • Human activity has transformed between a third and a half of the land surface of the planet. • Most of the world’s major rivers have been dammed or diverted. • Fertilizer plants produce more nitrogen than is fixed naturally by all terrestrial ecosystems. • Fisheries remove more than a third of the primary production of the oceans’ coastal waters. • Humans use more than half of the world’s readily accessible fresh water runoff. Most significantly, Crutzen said, people have altered the composition of the atmosphere. Owing to a combination of fossil fuel combustion and deforestation, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air has risen by forty percent over the last two centuries, while the concentration of methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas, has more than doubled. “Because of these anthropogenic emissions,” Crutzen wrote, the global climate is likely to “depart significantly from natural behavior for many millennia to come.
Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History)
We are now burning 80 percent more coal than we were just in the year 2000.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
If you’re angry, channel that energy into change. Can you stop China from pumping so many carbon emissions into the atmosphere? Directly? By yourself? Today? No. But you can make a point to buy American products. You can adopt a small portion of highway and orchestrate the cleanup efforts. You can start a recycling program in your office. You can begin to chip away; you can control what you do.
Jen Lancaster (Welcome to the United States of Anxiety: Observations from a Reforming Neurotic)
On average, Americans consume more than three times the amount of food they need to survive and about 250 times as much water.14 In return, they produce 4.4 pounds of trash each day, recycling or composting only about of a third of it.15 Thanks to things such as cars, planes, big homes, and power-hungry clothes dryers,16 the annual carbon dioxide emissions of an average American are five times as high as the global average. Even the “floor”—below which even monks living in American monasteries typically do not go—is twice the global average.17 It
David A. Sinclair (Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don't Have To)
Instead, in all likelihood, in a zero-carbon future we will still be producing some emissions, but we’ll have ways to remove the carbon they emit.
Bill Gates (How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need)
In the 1990s, before shale, gas never accounted for more than 17 percent of generation. But, with the arrival of shale, gas was highly competitive on price, and environmental opposition had made it virtually impossible to build a new coal-fired plant in the United States. As late as 2007, coal generated half of U.S. electricity. By 2019, it was down to 24 percent, and natural gas had risen to 38 percent. That was the main reason why U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions dropped down to the levels of the early 1990s, despite a doubling in the U.S. economy.
Daniel Yergin (The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations)
Yet a third of the food raised or prepared does not make it from farm or factory to fork. That number is startling, especially when paired with this one: Hunger is a condition of life for nearly 800 million people worldwide. And this one: The food we waste contributes 4.4 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere each year—roughly 8 percent of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.
Paul Hawken (Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming)
If only more people lived in cities with decent public transportation and intrinsically low carbon emissions per capita. If only more people were more civilized.
A.D. Aliwat (In Limbo)
The World Resources Institute explains, “Net zero carbon” is not the same as “zero carbon.” “Net” means minimizing “human-caused emissions” to “as close to zero as possible,” with “any remaining” emissions balanced out by the “equivalent amount of carbon removal”—for instance, by “restoring forests” or with carbon capture. In other words, carbon can be released, but in some way an equal amount of carbon must be captured.
Daniel Yergin (The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations)
The overall objective—net zero carbon by 2050—is a daunting ambition. How daunting is underscored by the estimate that, for Europe to achieve its target, per capita emissions will have to decline to the level of India, where the per capita income is about $2,000 a year, compared to Europe’s $38,000.
Daniel Yergin (The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations)
There is a chasm between a world that quickly breaks the link between modern economic growth and carbon emissions, and a world that fails to do so. The side of the chasm we are now on is a dangerous place. It would be reckless beyond the normal human irrationality for us to stay where we are.
Ross Garnaut (Superpower: Australia's Low-Carbon Opportunity)
You don’t have the right to reproduce, unless you are doing your part to reduce carbon emission. Reproduction is an animal tenet but for it to be a human right, the human must carry out the duties that go along with reproduction, that is to make sure the newborns actually have a healthy world to live in, not one infested with disease and geopolitical conflicts.
Abhijit Naskar (Neden Türk: The Gospel of Secularism)
if only 11 percent of the world’s cropland—land that is typically not in use—improved its community of soil microorganisms as much as Johnson and his colleagues did in their test plots, the amount of carbon sequestered in the soil would offset all our current emissions of carbon dioxide.
Kristin Ohlson (The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Ranchers Are Tending the Soil to Reverse Global Warming)
In order to achieve the goals of the Paris Treaty – that global warming should not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius – CO2 emissions must be reduced to zero by 2050. In order to succeed, we will also need to invent technologies that remove CO2 from the atmosphere in quantities that are equal to all today’s emissions. This is one of the biggest challenges humankind has ever faced. What is being proposed is an unprecedented turnaround in the world’s energy mechanisms. And 2050 is exactly as far into the future as 1990 is in the past. Since 1990, emissions have increased from twenty-two gigatons to thirty-six gigatons. That’s a 60 per cent increase. To get emissions down to zero in thirty years sounds like an unmanageable task. Like constructing a time machine, thwarting gravity or inventing a pill for bringing someone back to life. No one knows whether it’s technically possible to capture thirty gigatons per year. The technology is at an early stage and no one has figured out buildings or infrastructure that could enable us to achieve our goals. Even if we reduce emissions by 50 per cent, our problems will still have increased if we do nothing to remove the carbon dioxide already in the air. If we don’t succeed in that project, the Earth will continue to warm, the glaciers will continue to melt and the sea levels will continue to rise, submerging cities and coastal areas. The market value of a 100 million barrels of oil is about $6 billion, assuming a $60/barrel price for oil. We therefore burn approximately $600 billion a day. If anyone thinks changing our sources of energy will
Andri Snær Magnason (On Time and Water)
Emissions of carbon dioxide are largely by-products of productivity-- of industry, governments, and individuals producing things that we want more of (including heating, cooling, food, transport, hospital care, and so much more)..When countries promise to reduce their emissions, they are effectively promising to make all these things a touch more expensive. That acts as a slight brake on the economy, leading to a small reduction in growth… “This cost is the relevant social cost of climate policies-- the reduction in welfare that comes from each nation insisting on using energy that is slightly more costly and less reliable than fossil fuels.” -p. 112
Bjorn Lomborg
Innovation has helped with problems in the past, e.g. whale oil use, horse manure in the streets, increasing grain yields. “When we innovate and find a cheap, technological solution, we solve major challenges and generate broadly shared benefits. We need to apply that lesson to the problem of climate change.” -p. 169 The fracking innovation was not intended as climate policy, but simply as a way to make the United States more energy independent and richer. But it also turned out to have a huge climate change benefit, because gas became cheaper than coal...This is the main reason why the United States has seen the largest reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of any nation over the past decade.” -pp. 170-1 Energy storage is one area where innovation could make a huge difference to human could deliver energy when we need it rather than when nature deigns to provide it. -p. 175 An “obvious area for R&D investment is nuclear energy. Nuclear energy doesn’t emit carbon dioxide (and) is also very safe… it kills about two thousand times fewer people than coal power, because of coal’s massive pollution.” -p. 177 Air capture (e.g. trees) “sucks carbon dioxide from the air and stores it safely.” -p. 178 More R&D could improve air capture. Through innovation, we could solve the problem of fossil fuels in the old-fashioned and proven way-- by making the alternatives cheaper and better. -p. 182
Bjorn Lomborg
A carbon tax forces you to take into account the climate disbenefits that your purchase is responsible for, so you can weigh these against the benefit… “It doesn’t just show consumers which products are carbon intensive and should be used more sparingly, but it helps energy producers move toward lower carbon dioxide emissions (perhaps through more reliance on solar and wind energy), and it encourages innovators to come up with new, lower-carbon processes and products.” -p. 153 “When politicians and campaigners talk about extremely drastic climate policies, they don’t acknowledge, and perhaps don’t even realize, that those policies have a cost to society vastly greater than the costs of the damage they are trying to avoid...Climate policies have a small upside (that we should exploit) and a potentially very large downside.” -p. 160, 162-3 “But what happens if we aim to enact much more ambitious climate targets, through much higher carbon taxes?...Compared to the 3 percent loss from doing nothing, doing too much is far worse. In an attempt to ameliorate climate change, we will end up avoiding more of the climate damage costs, but saddle the world with climate policies so expensive that the total costs almost triple. The cure is much worse than the disease.” -p. 165
Bjorn Lomborg
We must rein in temperature increases and help ensure that the most vulnerable can adapt. But today’s popular climate change policies of rolling out solar panels and wind turbines have insidious effects: they push up energy costs, hurt the poor, cut emissions ineffectively, and put us on an unsustainable pathway where taxpayers are eventually likely to revolt. Instead, we need to invest in innovation, smart carbon taxes, R&D into geoengineering, and adaptation...Making the world richer is also important...The richer people are, the more resilient they will be in the face of global warming. -p. 218
Bjorn Lomborg
Tip: Whenever you see some number of tons of greenhouse gases, convert it to a percentage of 51 billion, which is the world’s current yearly total emissions (in carbon dioxide equivalents).
Bill Gates (How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need)
For the same energy output as from coal or oil, methane combustion releases only half as much carbon dioxide. This implies that powering a nation entirely by gas reduces emissions of carbon dioxide by half.
James E. Lovelock (The Revenge of Gaia: Earth's Climate Crisis & the Fate of Humanity)
I once asked a CEO of an environmental equipment company what his goals were. I was expecting to hear some intent, like “Give people inexpensive tools to reduce carbon emissions” or “Help coal companies be better neighbors in their communities.” Instead, he replied that he wanted his company to make the Fortune 500. That might be a result of his success, but success doing what? Only intent points to clear action.
Steve Stockman (How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro)
Brain experts have recently found a way to capture 3-D images of a vision, like a hologram. The procedure, called PET (positron-emission tomography), is performed by injecting glucose into the bloodstream whose carbon molecules have been tagged with radioisotopes. Glucose is the only food in the brain that it uses much more quickly than ordinary tissues. Consequently, when the injected glucose reaches the brain, its carbon marker molecules can be picked out as the brain uses them, and thus pictured on a monitor in three dimensions, much the same way a CAT scan is made. Watching these marker molecules change as the brain thinks, scientists saw that each distinct experience in the mind universe — such as a sense of discomfort or a clear memory — triggers a new chemical pattern in the brain, not just at one location, but at many locations. For every thought, the image looks different, and if one could extend the portrait to be full-length, there's no doubt that the entire body changes at the same time, thanks to the cascades of neurotransmitters and related messenger molecules.
Adrian Satyam (Energy Healing: 6 in 1: Medicine for Body, Mind and Spirit. An extraordinary guide to Chakra and Quantum Healing, Kundalini and Third Eye Awakening, Reiki and Meditation and Mindfulness.)
The most significant human-caused greenhouse gases influencing the climate are carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Their concentrations in the atmosphere are increasing because we’re emitting them; that’s why efforts to reduce human influences on the climate focus on reducing emissions.
Steven E. Koonin (Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters)
Carbon dioxide is the single human-caused greenhouse gas with the largest influence on the climate. But it is of greatest concern also because it persists in the atmosphere/surface cycle for a very long time. About 60 percent of any CO2 emitted today will remain in the atmosphere twenty years from now, between 30 and 55 percent will still be there after a century, and between 15 and 30 percent will remain after one thousand years.7 The simple fact that carbon dioxide lasts a long time in the atmosphere is a fundamental impediment to reducing human influences on the climate. Any emission adds to the concentration, which keeps increasing as long as emissions continue. In other words, CO2 is not like smog, which disappears a few days after you stop emissions; it takes centuries for the excess carbon dioxide to vanish from the atmosphere. So modest reductions in CO2 emissions would only slow the increase in concentration but not prevent it. Just to stabilize the CO2 concentration, and hence its warming influence, global emissions would have to vanish.
Steven E. Koonin (Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters)
A common measure of how the climate system responds to human influences, and an important piece of information we hope to learn from models, is the equilibrium climate sensitivity, or ECS. That’s how much the average surface temperature anomaly (recall that the anomaly is the deviation from the expected average) would increase if the CO2 concentration were hypothetically doubled from its preindustrial value of 280 ppm. If emissions continue at their current pace and the carbon cycle doesn’t change much, that doubling would happen in the real world toward the end of this century. The higher the ECS (i.e., the larger the predicted temperature increase), the more sensitive the climate is to human influences (or at least to increased CO2
Steven E. Koonin (Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters)
Understanding how the climate system responds to human influences is, unfortunately, a lot like trying to understand the connection between human nutrition and weight loss, a subject famously unsettled to this day. Imagine an experiment where we fed someone an extra half cucumber each day. That would be about an extra twenty calories, a 1 percent increase to the average 2,000-calorie daily adult diet. We’d let that go on for a year and see how much weight they gained. Of course, we would need to know many other things to draw any meaningful conclusions from the results: What else did they eat? How much did they exercise? Were there any changes in health or hormones that affect the rate at which they burn calories? Many things would have to be measured precisely to understand the effect of the additional cucumbers, although we would expect that, all else being equal, the added calories would add some weight. The problem with human-caused carbon dioxide and the climate is that, as in the cucumber experiment, all else isn’t necessarily equal, as there are other influences (forcings) on the climate, both human and natural, that can confuse the picture. Among the other human influences on the climate are methane emissions into the atmosphere (from fossil fuels, but more importantly from agriculture) and other minor gases that together exert a warming influence almost as great as that of human-caused CO2.
Steven E. Koonin (Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters)
But there are several important differences between methane and carbon dioxide. One is that methane concentrations are much lower (2,000 parts per billion, which is about 1/200th that of CO2’s 400 parts per million). Another difference is that a methane molecule lasts in the atmosphere for only about twelve years—though after that, chemical reactions covert it to CO2. And a third difference is that, because of the peculiarities of how molecules interact with the different colors of infrared radiation, every additional methane molecule in the atmosphere is thirty times more potent in warming than a molecule of carbon dioxide. These differences—lower concentration and shorter lifetime, but greater warming potency—must be taken into account when comparing CH4 and CO2 emissions. For instance, the 300 million tons of methane humans emit each year is only 0.8 percent of the 36 gigatons of CO2 emitted by burning fossil fuels.
Steven E. Koonin (Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters)
The ominous realities of climate change forced a shift in my perspective. Each year, it seemed, the prognosis worsened, as an ever-increasing cloud of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases—from power plants, factories, cars, trucks, planes, industrial-scale livestock operations, deforestation, and all the other hallmarks of growth and modernization—contributed to record temperatures. By the time I was running for president, the clear consensus among scientists was that in the absence of bold, coordinated international action to reduce emissions, global temperatures were destined to climb another two degrees Celsius within a few decades. Past that point, the planet could experience an acceleration of melting ice caps, rising oceans, and extreme weather from which there was no return.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
the three major sectors (electricity, transportation, and industry) all produce comparable emissions. But they’d be affected very differently by an economy-wide carbon price. For example, coal fueled about one-quarter of US electricity in 2019, and each metric ton of that coal was sold for about $39.7 A carbon price of $40 for each ton of CO2 emitted would effectively double that cost to power plant operators and so be a strong inducement for them to forswear coal. In contrast, that same carbon price would increase the effective price of crude oil by only about 40 percent above $60 per barrel. And if that cost were passed through to the pump, gasoline would increase by only some $0.35 per gallon. Since that’s small compared to how much pump prices have varied historically, consumers wouldn’t have much incentive to move away from gasoline. So reductions in emissions from power (and, as it turns out, heat) are much easier to encourage than reductions from transportation, fundamentally because oil packs a lot more energy per carbon atom than does coal.
Steven E. Koonin (Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters)
Many other industries have their practice patterns measured. In 2009, the utility company Positive Energy (now Opower) was interested in reducing power use in neighborhoods. Their data showed that some households used far more electricity than their neighbors. After all, there are no standardized protocols on turning lights on or off when one vacates a room. Just ask anyone who’s argued with a spouse about this issue. The company decided to mail each household a regular feedback report that compared their electricity and natural gas usage to that of similarly sized households in their neighborhood. Playing on the benchmarking theme, the data feedback intervention resulted in an overall reduction in household energy use. When people saw they were outliers, they modified their habits so their usage fell more into line with that of their peers. In a year, this simple intervention reduced the total carbon emissions of the participating houses by the equivalent of 14.3 million gallons of gasoline, saving consumers more than $20 million.4 Lots of utility companies now take this approach—and it works.
Marty Makary (The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care--and How to Fix It)
We barely have a decade to reduce emission, after that all the prayers won't rescue humanity.
Abhijit Naskar (Gente Mente Adelante: Prejudice Conquered is World Conquered)
the consumer dilemma made piercingly clear: our economies are driven by consumption, yet consumption drives our carbon emissions.
J.B. MacKinnon (The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves)
Enviva used impact quantification in its introduction and later under its climate change theme. It makes the point that it has avoided the release of 31 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions since its inception and equates them to four equivalent metrics. 3.5 billion gallons of gasoline not consumed. 34.5 billion pounds of coal not burned. 72.4 million barrels of oil not consumed. 5.3 million homes not using electricity for one year. This use of impacts is part of the straight line it draws from the 16 million metric tons of coal displaced to the avoided emissions and the equivalent measures. All of this illustrates its role in providing biomass to help customers reduce their carbon footprint.
Paul Pierroz (The Purpose-Driven Marketing Handbook: How to Discover Your Impact and Communicate Your Business Sustainability Story to Grow Sales, Retain Talent, and Attract Investors)
For electric vehicles to make an impact on climate change, they must be powered by renewable energy sources, otherwise, the powerplants producing the electricity to power the vehicles would end up dumping more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere than we are able to reduce by replacing regular vehicles with electric ones.
Abhijit Naskar (Mucize Insan: When The World is Family)
If we are to make significant strides in climate action through electric vehicles, then producing them as a class statement for the rich won't do, they must be made affordable enough to be owned by the vast population of working classes.
Abhijit Naskar (Mucize Insan: When The World is Family)
The energy required to perform a hundred or so Google searches, a number I easily surpass in a working week, would heat the water needed to make a cup of tea. According to Google’s own data, their electricity consumption in 2018 was just over 10 million megawatt hours, which is about the same as a small country like Lithuania. Data centers worldwide use about 1 percent of global electricity. Information and communication technologies contribute to more than 2 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, which is roughly the same as that of the aviation industry. Some studies expect this sector to use 20 percent of the world’s electricity by 2030.
Paul Sen (Einstein's Fridge: How the Difference Between Hot and Cold Explains the Universe)
Recall that GDP, gross domestic product, the dominant metric in economics for the last century, consists of a combination of consumption, plus private investments, plus government spending, plus exports-minus-imports. Criticisms of GDP are many, as it includes destructive activities as positive economic numbers, and excludes many kinds of negative externalities, as well as issues of health, social reproduction, citizen satisfaction, and so on. Alternative measures that compensate for these deficiencies include: the Genuine Progress Indicator, which uses twenty-six different variables to determine its single index number; the UN’s Human Development Index, developed by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq in 1990, which combines life expectancy, education levels, and gross national income per capita (later the UN introduced the inequality-adjusted HDI); the UN’s Inclusive Wealth Report, which combines manufactured capital, human capital, natural capital, adjusted by factors including carbon emissions; the Happy Planet Index, created by the New Economic Forum, which combines well-being as reported by citizens, life expectancy, and inequality of outcomes, divided by ecological footprint (by this rubric the US scores 20.1 out of 100, and comes in 108th out of 140 countries rated); the Food Sustainability Index, formulated by Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition, which uses fifty-eight metrics to measure food security, welfare, and ecological sustainability; the Ecological Footprint, as developed by the Global Footprint Network, which estimates how much land it would take to sustainably support the lifestyle of a town or country, an amount always larger by considerable margins than the political entities being evaluated, except for Cuba and a few other countries; and Bhutan’s famous Gross National Happiness, which uses thirty-three metrics to measure the titular quality in quantitative terms.
Kim Stanley Robinson (The Ministry for the Future)
And yet the world’s greenhouse gas emissions probably dropped just 5 percent, and possibly less than that. What’s remarkable to me is not how much emissions went down because of the pandemic, but how little. This small decline in emissions is proof that we cannot get to zero emissions simply—or even mostly—by flying and driving less. Just as we needed new tests, treatments, and vaccines for the novel coronavirus, we need new tools for fighting climate change: zero-carbon ways to produce electricity, make things, grow food, keep our buildings cool and warm, and move people and goods around the world. And we need new seeds and other innovations to help the world’s poorest people—many of whom are smallholder farmers—adapt to a warmer climate.
Bill Gates (How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need)
In 1997, the International Monetary Fund bailed out South Korea’s crippling financial crisis with a $58 billion loan upon the agreement that the nation open up its markets to foreign investors and relax labor market reforms, making it easier to hire and fire workers and loosen carbon emission standards so that American cars can be imported.
Cathy Park Hong (Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning)
When trees die - by natural processes, by fire, at the hands of humans - they release into the atmosphere the carbon stored within them, sometimes for as long as centuries. In this way, they are like coal. Which is why the effect of wildfires on emissions is among the most feared climate feedback loops - that the world's forests, which have typically been carbon sinks, would become carbon sources, unleashing all that stored gas. The impact can be especially dramatic when the fires ravage forests arising out of peat. Peatland fires in Indonesia in 1997, for instance, released up to 2.6 billion tons of carbon - 40 percent of the average annual global emissions level.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
All matter is made of atoms. There are more than 100 types of atoms, corresponding to the same number of elements. Examples of elements are iron, oxygen, calcium, chlorine, carbon, sodium and hydrogen. Most matter consists not of pure elements but of compounds: two or more atoms of various elements bonded together, as in calcium carbonate, sodium chloride, carbon monoxide. The binding of atoms into compounds is mediated by electrons, which are tiny particles orbiting (a metaphor to help us understand their real behaviour, which is much stranger) the central nucleus of each atom. A nucleus is huge compared to an electron but tiny compared to an electron’s orbit. Your hand, consisting mostly of empty space, meets hard resistance when it strikes a block of iron, also consisting mostly of empty space, because forces associated with the atoms in the two solids interact in such a way as to prevent them passing through each other. Consequently iron and stone seem solid to us because our brains most usefully serve us by constructing an illusion of solidity. It has long been understood that a compound can be separated into its component parts, and recombined to make the same or a different compound with the emission or consumption of energy. Such easy-come easy-go interactions between atoms constitute chemistry. But, until the
Richard Dawkins (The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution)
We have increased our population to the level of 7 billion and beyond. We are well on our way toward 9 billion before our growth trend is likely to flatten. We live at high densities in many cities. We have penetrated, and we continue to penetrate, the last great forests and other wild ecosystems of the planet, disrupting the physical structures and the ecological communities of such places. We cut our way through the Congo. We cut our way through the Amazon. We cut our way through Borneo. We cut our way through Madagascar. We cut our way through New Guinea and northeastern Australia. We shake the trees, figuratively and literally, and things fall out. We kill and butcher and eat many of the wild animals found there. We settle in those places, creating villages, work camps, towns, extractive industries, new cities. We bring in our domesticated animals, replacing the wild herbivores with livestock. We multiply our livestock as we've multiplied ourselves, operating huge factory-scale operations involving thousands of cattle, pigs, chickens, ducks, sheep, and goats, not to mention hundreds of bamboo rats and palm civets, all confined en masse within pens and corrals, under conditions that allow those domestics and semidomestics to acquire infectious pathogens from external sources (such as bats roosting over the pig pens), to share those infections with one another, and to provide abundant opportunities for the pathogens to evolve new forms, some of which are capable of infecting a human as well as a cow or a duck. We treat many of those stock animals with prophylactic doses of antibiotics and other drugs, intended not to cure them but to foster their weight gain and maintain their health just sufficiently for profitable sale and slaughter, and in doing that we encourage the evolution of resistant bacteria. We export and import livestock across great distances and at high speeds. We export and import other live animals, especially primates, for medical research. We export and import wild animals as exotic pets. We export and import animal skins, contraband bushmeat, and plants, some of which carry secret microbial passengers. We travel, moving between cities and continents even more quickly than our transported livestock. We stay in hotels where strangers sneeze and vomit. We eat in restaurants where the cook may have butchered a porcupine before working on our scallops. We visit monkey temples in Asia, live markets in India, picturesque villages in South America, dusty archeological sites in New Mexico, dairy towns in the Netherlands, bat caves in East Africa, racetracks in Australia – breathing the air, feeding the animals, touching things, shaking hands with the friendly locals – and then we jump on our planes and fly home. We get bitten by mosquitoes and ticks. We alter the global climate with our carbon emissions, which may in turn alter the latitudinal ranges within which those mosquitoes and ticks live. We provide an irresistible opportunity for enterprising microbes by the ubiquity and abundance of our human bodies. Everything I’ve just mentioned is encompassed within this rubric: the ecology and evolutionary biology of zoonotic diseases. Ecological circumstance provides opportunity for spillover. Evolution seizes opportunity, explores possibilities, and helps convert spillovers to pandemics.
David Quammen (Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic)
We don’t need a ‘low carbon economy,’” she declared at the World Economic Forum in January 2020. “We don’t need to ‘lower emissions.’ Our emissions have to stop if we are to have a chance to stay below the 1.5-degree target …. Any plan or policy of yours that doesn’t include radical emission cuts at the source, starting today, is completely insufficient.
Niall Ferguson (Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe)
We have ten years to nearly halve global carbon emissions to stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming from preindustrial levels.
Ayana Elizabeth Johnson (All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis)
Evidence available from research to date from the Department’s activities, from that of many other agencies and from other nations is sufficient cause for serious concern, even at the most optimistic end of the range of predicted results. This is of particular interest to the Department of Energy because U.S. fossil fuel use accounts for approximately 23 percent of the global total emissions of CO2 resulting from combustion. . . . The prospects for future growth in the use of renewable technology appear especially promising as research continues to improve their efficiency, economics, and reliability. Renewable energy use can reduce carbon emissions and give developing countries attractive alternatives to the use of fossil fuels and further depletion of forests.
James Gustave Speth (They Knew: The US Federal Governments Fifty-Year Role in Causing the Climate Crisis)
To sum up, the path to zero emissions in manufacturing looks like this: Electrify every process possible. This is going to take a lot of innovation. Get that electricity from a power grid that’s been decarbonized. This also will take a lot of innovation. Use carbon capture to absorb the remaining emissions. And so will this. Use materials more efficiently. Same.
Bill Gates (How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need)
There's an old saying: if something's too cheap, somebody is paying. Maher's workers earn $120 to $140 per month to work six days a week-low wages not only globally, but by Bangladesh's standards-to do jobs that are made more stressful with each acceleration of the fast-fashion cycle. Outside of factory gates, those workers endure environmental consequences of a nation cutting corners to keep its industries competitive. The air in Narayanganj, once known as the 'Dandy of the East," is typically an odorous grey-brown and sometimes makes foreign visitors nauseous-the city is one of those where blue skies appeared like a miracle during the coronavirus lockdowns. Bangladesh is one of the nations hardest hit by climate change, although carbon emissions per person there are radically lower than in richer nations.
J.B. MacKinnon (The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves)
I’ve been arguing that the capitalist system as we know it is harmful without a new sector—the social business sector—that is dedicated to solving the problems we are piling up around us. It is driven by a largely overlooked factor in human behavior: the drive to solve human problems unselfishly for the simple joy and pride that it brings.
Muhammad Yunus (A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions)
In the meantime, we would wreck the US economy and actually do little to clean up the environment. The proposal calls for covering hundreds of thousands of acres of land with windmills and solar panels, which would do irreparable damage to land on which wildlife is protected by federal statutes. It also addresses only the United States’ carbon emissions and gives countries like China and India a pass for a decade. I’m no scientist, but I’m pretty sure we can’t keep China’s dirty air from sneaking into the atmosphere over the United States. I am pretty good at economics, though, and economists have a term for that type of thinking: freaking stupid. AOC once said that people her age should reconsider having children because of global warming. Can you imagine? I think the best answer to that ridiculous statement was by my friend, Jerry Falwell, Jr., “People her age should reconsider having children if people like AOC ever get to be in charge of this country.
Donald Trump Jr. (Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us)
There’s another challenge to building a climate consensus: Global cooperation is notoriously difficult. It’s hard to get every country in the world to agree on anything—especially when you’re asking them to incur some new cost, like the expense of curbing carbon emissions. No single country wants to pay to mitigate its emissions unless everyone else will too. That’s why the Paris Agreement, in which more than 190 countries signed up to eventually limit their emissions, was such an achievement. Not because the current commitments will make a huge dent in emissions—if everyone meets them, they’ll reduce annual emissions by 3 billion to 6 billion tons in 2030, less than 12 percent of total emissions today—but because it was a starting point that proved global cooperation is possible. The U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Agreement—a step that President-elect Joe Biden promised to reverse—only illustrates that it’s as hard to maintain global compacts as it is to create them in the first place.
Bill Gates (How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need)
We already know the emissions number; it’s 51 billion tons each year. As for the cost of removing a ton of carbon from the air, that figure hasn’t been firmly established, but it’s at least $200 per ton. With some innovation, I think we can realistically expect it to get down to $100 per ton, so that’s the number I’ll use. That gives us the following equation: 51 billion tons per year x $100 per ton = $5.1 trillion per year
Bill Gates (How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need)
MAPLE RIDGE CONCRETE AND PAVING Maple Ridge Concrete & Paving has spent many years refining our concrete and paving services, and we are now delighted to offer our services to residential properties. We have helped many clients in the installation of their brand new paved surfaces such as driveways, patios, and parking lots, as well as professionally restoring varying levels of damaged areas. We have worked with a broad range of customers and strive to provide the best quality services to each and every one of them. You can rely on us to provide you with stunning, durable, and well-fashioned paved areas- as a reputable paving company serving the Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley region. We value our clients above all else, so please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns, whether before, during, or after our service. Concrete Driveways A concrete driveway is one of the most cost-effective ways to restore or remodel your driveway. If installed by our concrete contractors, utilizing a range of texture, color, and artificial finish choices, a concrete patio or driveway can add beauty and elegance to your home. Asphalt Driveways Asphalt is the quickest material for paving your driveway since it dries quickly and can often be used the next day with the help of a professional paving contractor. It's also made up of recycled materials, thus, it's an eco - friendly option. Factors to Consider in a Driveway Choosing whether to use concrete or choosing an asphalt driveway is determined by your preferences and circumstances including: energy efficiency, cost savings, or avoiding costly maintenance. Examine these variables before planning a new driveway to decide which one is most suitable for you. Cost and Long-Term Investment Look at the long-term investment along with the installation price to know which one is suited to park your vehicles. Consider each material's long-term investment as well as the installation cost to determine which one can enhance the curb appeal of your property while also providing the additional space you require. You should work with a reputable concrete installer who knows how to professionally build a driveway if you want it to outlast. Aesthetic and Design A new driveway can improve your home's aesthetic appeal while also complementing your design options. The design of your driveway will be influenced by the color and architectural style of your property. Examine your house from the exterior to see which colors, styles, and features would best complement the overall concept of your living area. If you're planning to sell your property in the future, consider what prospective buyers want in a driveway and incorporate that into the design, and let concrete contractors like us handle all the work for you. Eco-Friendliness To feel confident in your investment, consider creating an eco-friendly driveway to encourage a healthier environment. Lower energy consumption, use of renewable resources, dedication to enhancing or sustaining the local water quality, and manufacturing that produces fewer carbon emissions are just some characteristics to look for when determining whether a material is environmentally friendly and sustainable. Our concrete and cement contractors at Maple Ridge Concrete and Paving can help you choose eco-friendly materials for your driveways.
Maple Ridge COncrete and Paving
I gave a magic wand to Amanda Rinderle of Tuckerman & Co., maker of probably the world's most sustainable dress shirts. If she could use it, I asked, to change one thing in order to help create an economy of better but less, what would that one thing be?...she would make prices tell the whole truth. Right now, prices reflect demand for goods and services and the costs of producing them: materials, energy, manufacturing, shipping. Mostly excluded are the consequences of production and consumption, from pollution to soil erosion to carbon emissions to habitat loss and onward to the human health effects of all these, the incredible destruction wrought by wildfires, floods and storms in the age of climate chaos, the burden of two billion tonnes of garbage each year, and the incalculable moral injury of driving million-year-old species into extinction.
J.B. MacKinnon (The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves)
Around the world, there are roughly a billion cattle raised for beef and dairy. The methane they burp and fart out every year has the same warming effect as 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide, accounting for about 4 percent of all global emissions.
Bill Gates (How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need)