Co2 Emission Quotes

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I particularly dislike the high-profile switch-off campaigns where whole cities are plunged into darkness for an hour as a supposedly symbolic gesture about energy use. So is the implication that we all need to live in constant gloom to reduce CO2 emissions?
Mark Lynas (The God Species)
Why do we focus on certain things at the expense of others? We will risk our lives to save a person from drowning, yet not make a donation that could save dozens of children from starvation. We install solar panels when their impact on CO2 emissions is minimal - and indeed may have a net negative effect if manufacturing and installation are taken into account - rather than contributing to more efficient infrastructure projects.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1))
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)
We can think of our atmosphere as a budget and our emissions as expenses: because methane and nitrous oxide are significantly larger greenhouse expenses than CO2 in the short term, they are the most urgent to cut. Because they are primarily created by our food choices, they are also easier to cut.
Jonathan Safran Foer (We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast)
It is clear that for Gore, global warming agitation is not really about climate change at all. Put simply, it’s not about weather, it’s about power. The movement is everything, the goal is nothing. It’s not about curbing CO2 emissions; it’s about creating a mob – a mass cult whose legions empower its shamans, and whose systematic anti-human ideology serves as a basis for reorganizing society along totalitarian lines.
Robert Zubrin (Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism)
Why do we focus on certain things at the expense of others? We will risk our lives to save a person from drowning, yet not make a donation that could save dozens of children from starvation. We install solar panels when their impact on CO2 emissions is minimal – and indeed may have a net negative effect if manufacturing and installation are taken into account – rather than contributing to more efficient infrastructure projects. ==========
Anonymous
NASA scientists calculated in 2013 that nuclear power has actually prevented an average of 1.84 million air pollution-related deaths and 64 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions that would have resulted from fossil fuel burning between 1971 and 2009.68
Andrew Leatherbarrow (Chernobyl 01:23:40: The Incredible True Story of the World's Worst Nuclear Disaster)
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)
In one sense, the answer to “Why do we believe the wrong thing about fossil fuels?” is simple. Lack of education. We haven’t been taught all the right facts. We aren’t taught in school how energy makes our climate safer, only how CO2 emissions supposedly make it more dangerous. We aren’t taught in school how energy makes our environment better, only ways (usually exaggerated) in which fossil fuels make it dirtier. We aren’t taught in school how the fossil fuel industry is a resource-creating industry; we are taught that it is shamelessly exploiting dwindling natural resources. If only the truth were taught, the world would be a different place, right?
Alex Epstein (The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels)
Organic farming is environmentally friendlier to every acre of land. But it requires _more_ acres. The trade-off is a harsh one. Would we rather have pesticides on farmland and nitrogen runoffs from them? Or would we rather chop down more forest? How much more forest would we have to chop down? If we wanted to reduce pesticide use and nitrogen runoff by turning all of the world’s farmland to organic farming, we’d need about 50 percent more farmland than we have today. Nobel Prize winner Norman Borlaug, whose work helped triple crop yields over the last fifty years and arguably saved billions from starvation, estimates that the world would need an _additional_ 5 to 6 billion head of cattle to produce enough manure to fertilize that farmland. There are only an estimated 1.3 billion cattle on the planet today. Combined, we’d need to chop down roughly half of the world’s remaining forest to grow crops and to graze cattle that produce enough manure to fertilize those crops. Clearing that much land would produce around 500 billion tons of CO2, or almost as much as the total cumulative CO2 emissions of the world thus far. And the cattle needed to fertilize that land would produce far _more_ greenhouse gases, in the form of methane, than all of agriculture does today, possibly enough to equal all human greenhouse gases emitted from all sources today. That’s not a viable path.
Ramez Naam (The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet)
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)
Whenever there’s a problem B, we assume that event A caused it. The financial crisis is caused by bankers; the loss of jobs is caused by immigrants; the bad atmosphere at work is caused by the manager; the melting polar ice is caused by CO2 emissions; and the team didn’t make the deadline because someone screwed things up. Our linear thinking minds see the world as a place full of easily explainable events with simple causes and simple effects. Gerald Weinberg called it the Causation Fallacy [Weinberg 1992:90]. Our
Jurgen Appelo (Management 3.0: Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders)
(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)
This point deserves repetition because it is so critical: The most cost-effective way to reduce CO2 emissions is to reduce the use of coal first and most sharply.
William D. Nordhaus (The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World)
Canada’s per capita CO2 emissions are still twice as high as China’s and eight times as high as India’s.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
International cooperation on environmental protection is like the Roommate Game writ large. Each country prefers to remain passive while the others adopt costly abatement technologies to reduce CO2 emissions. A way out of this free-rider problem is to sign an international treaty
Ivan Pastine (Introducing Game Theory: A Graphic Guide (Introducing...))
Why do we focus on certain things at the expense of others? We will risk our lives to save a person from drowning, yet not make a donation that could save dozens of children from starvation. We install solar panels when their impact on CO2 emissions is minimal - and indeed may have a net negative effect if manufacturing and installation are taken into account - rather than contributing to more efficient infrastructure projects. I consider my own decision-making in these areas to be more rational than that of most people but I also make errors of the same kind. We are genetically programmed to react to stimuli in our immediate vicinity. Responding to complex issues that we can not perceive directly requires the application of reasoning, which is less powerful than instinct.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1))
In the 1950s, the Canadian physicist Gilbert Plass used new, detailed measurements of the infrared absorption bands and created an early computerized model of infrared radiative transfer. He calculated that a CO2 doubling would increase temperature by 3.6°C. Assuming that CO2 emissions would continue at their current rate, he expected that human activity would raise the average global temperature “at the rate of 1.1°C per century.”23 He warned that “temperature rise from this cause may be so large in several centuries that it will present a serious problem to future generations.”24
Dale Jamieson (Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed -- and What It Means for Our Future)
Past, present and future CO2 emissions will have a cumulative impact on both global warming and ocean acidification. The laws of physics are non-negotiable.
Anonymous
The fires that medieval peasants huddled around in order to keep warm affect our climate today. Our CO2 emissions, caused by such apparently innocent actions as driving to the farmer’s market or the recycling center, will affect the lives of people in the next millennium.
Dale Jamieson (Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed -- and What It Means for Our Future)
The room was large and airy. Shelves lined the walls on three sides, shelves that stretched way above his head, bending under the weight of the hundreds of books stored there. The fourth wall was covered in old newspaper, yellowed and faded but still readable. The room had become a shrine of sorts, he supposed. The books he had saved before the last days. He ran his finger along the spines: Shakespeare, Dickens, Keats, the ancients, all there alongside books from the last century. Nothing wasted, nothing lost. His private collection. He would find it difficult to let them go when the time came, but he would let them go. He couldn’t risk them being found at a later date. There were few incidents where people managed to decode words after Nicene, very few. Nonetheless, he wouldn’t take that chance. They would be destroyed along with everything the wordsmith had managed to salvage. For a second, images of the wordsmith filled his head, but he pushed them away. He turned his back on the books and walked across to the wall of newsprint. Here was a potted history of the past hundred years. The warnings. The signs. Global warming. Water levels rising. It was incomprehensible even now that man had just ignored it all. Young people talked about the Melting as if it were a single event, but it hadn’t been like that. The earth had been heating up for years. His finger touched one of the news sheets. Scientists were warning of an alarming acceleration in the melting of the polar ice caps. They predicted a dramatic rise in sea levels. That was back in the twenty-first century! He shook his head. He chose another article from around the same time. The writer was warning about the disappearing ice caps. “Until recently, the Arctic ice cap covered two percent of the earth’s surface. Enormous amounts of solar energy are bounced back into space from those luminous white ice fields. Replacing that mass of ice with dark open ocean will induce a catastrophic tipping point in the balance of planetary energy.” Torrents of words had followed. Words from politicians assuring people there was no such thing as global warming. Words from industrialists who justified their emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere. Words to hide behind. Words to deceive. Useless, dangerous, destructive words… He drew back his hand and punched the wall, hurting his knuckles and leaving a trail of blood on the yellowing paper.
Patricia Forde (The List)
What is the Paris Climate Agreement? 195 countries signed a pledge to keep global temperature rise below 2°C (3.6°F), and, if possible, below 1.5°C (2.7°F). All countries agree to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to net zero as soon as possible in the second half of the century. The U.S. pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. India aims to install 175 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2022. China will peak its CO2 emissions by 2030. Developed countries will provide $100 billion in climate finance by 2020. Countries should raise the ambition of their initial commitments over time to make sure we meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016.
Al Gore (An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power: Your Action Handbook to Learn the Science, Find Your Voice, and Help Solve the Climate Crisis)
Clearly the doomsayers are not really focused on minimizing CO2 emissions. Clearly human life is not their operating standard of value; nonimpact is.
Alex Epstein (The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels)
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)
If any element of the greenhouse fear turns out to be false—if CO2 emissions don’t cause dramatic warming, if dramatic warming doesn’t cause harmful climate change, or if human beings can adapt well, then CO2 emissions are not catastrophic.
Alex Epstein (The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels)
OUR NATURALLY HAZARDOUS CLIMATE There is a widespread idea among climate commentators, including climate scientists, that the global climate system, absent human CO2 emissions, is safe. There is an unsophisticated and a sophisticated version of this argument. Unsophisticated: John Kerry, when speaking to Indonesia, a nation that has dramatically increased its well-being in recent years through the burning of coal, tells them to stop burning coal: “But, ultimately, every nation on Earth has a responsibility to do its part if we have any hope of leaving our future generations the safe and healthy planet that they deserve.”9 But that “safe and healthy” planet is incredibly precarious for anyone outside high-energy civilization.
Alex Epstein (The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels)
Our CO2 emissions, caused by such apparently innocent actions as driving to the farmer’s market or the recycling center, will affect the lives of people in the next millennium.
Dale Jamieson (Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed -- and What It Means for Our Future)
The most effective ways to cut down your emissions are to reduce your intake of meat (especially beef, which can cut out about a metric ton of CO2eq per year), to reduce the amount you travel (driving half as much would cut out two metric tons of CO2eq per year and one fewer round-trip flight from London to New York would eliminate a metric ton of CO2eq), and to use less electricity and gas in the home (especially by installing loft insulation, which would save a metric ton of CO2eq for a detached house).
William MacAskill (Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference)
According to the UN, the livestock sector is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, around 40 percent more than the entire transport sector — cars, trucks, planes, trains, and ships — combined. Animal agriculture is responsible for 37 percent of anthropogenic methane, which offers twenty-three times the global warming potential (GWP) of CO2, as well as 65 percent of anthropogenic nitrous oxide, which provides a staggering 296 times the GWP of CO2. The most current data even quantifies the role of diet: omnivores contribute seven times the volume of greenhouse gases that vegans do.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Eating Animals)
One of the central mysteries of the green faith is the simultaneous belief that the Earth’s climate is heading for a catastrophe of existential proportions, due entirely to human CO2 emissions, and yet that completely emission-free nuclear power must be avoided at all costs.
J Storrs Hall (Where Is My Flying Car?: A Memoir of Future Past)
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)
Cars generate about 6 percent of energy-related CO2 emissions.
Daniel Yergin (The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations)
That year, after years of discussion, the European Union adopted new standards that require a steep decline in CO2 emissions, averaged over the entire fleet, for cars sold in Europe. They were to go into effect in 2020 and 2021. “The only way to make this target is with zero emission vehicles” as a growing share of new car sales, said a senior executive at a major European company. Failure to meet these new standards could cost European automakers as much as $40 billion in fines. Given the half-decade lead time to bring on wholly new models, it meant starting to pivot to EVs right away.
Daniel Yergin (The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations)
Dieselgate fed into a 180-degree turn in thinking that was in process about diesel fuel and urban transportation in Europe, where diesel cars have been popular. But anti-diesel sentiment was a big threat to Germany’s auto industry, which looms large in the country’s economy. German chancellor Angela Merkel decried the “demonizing” of diesel cars. Diesel, she said, was essential for combating climate change, owing to its lower CO2 emissions and greater fuel efficiency. She convened “diesel summits” to try to head off urban bans on diesel cars. But it was all to little avail. European cities, concerned about the higher levels of nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel, began to introduce limits for diesels. The aim for many is an eventual ban.
Daniel Yergin (The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations)
Anno Domini 2017 In the year 2017, 9 million people died from environmental pollution. Over 20,000 researchers and scientists issued a sharp warning to humanity and explained that we’re heading for a climate and sustainability catastrophe; time is running out. In the year 2017, German researchers determined that 75–80 per cent of insects had disappeared. Not much later came the report that the bird population in France has ‘collapsed’, and that certain bird species have been reduced by up to 70 per cent because they have no insects to eat. In the year 2017, forty-two individuals had more money than half the world’s population combined and 82 per cent of the world’s total increase in wealth went to the richest 1 per cent. Sea ice and glaciers were melting at a record rate. 65 million people were displaced. Hurricanes and torrential rain claimed thousands of victims, drowned cities and smashed whole nations to bits. It was also the year when the emissions curve again turned upwards, at the same time as the quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere increased at a velocity which, from a larger geologic perspective, can only be compared to pressing the warp button in a Star Trek movie.
Malena Ernman (Our House Is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis)
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)
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)
You guys know about climate change, right? How our CO2 emissions have caused a lot of problems in the environment?” “My dad says that’s not real,” said Tamora. “Well, it is,” I said. “Anyway.
Andy Weir (Project Hail Mary)
According to the IPCC, just stabilizing human influences on the climate would require global annual per capita emissions of CO2 to fall to less than one ton by 2075, a level comparable to today’s emissions from such countries as Haiti, Yemen, and Malawi. For comparison, 2015 annual per capita emissions from the United States, Europe, and China were, respectively, about 17, 7, and 6 tons. •​Energy demand increases strongly and universally with rising economic activity and quality of life; global demand is expected to grow by about 50 percent through midcentury as most of the world’s people improve their lot. •​Fossil fuels supply 80 percent of the world’s energy today and remain the most reliable and convenient means of meeting growing energy demand. •​The energy-supply infrastructure of electric generating plants, transmission lines, refineries, and pipelines changes slowly for unavoidable structural reasons. •​Developed countries would certainly have to reduce their emissions, but even if those were to halve, and per capita emissions of the developing world grew only to those of today’s lower-emitting developed countries, annual global emissions would still increase by midcentury. •​The tension between emissions reductions and economic development is complicated by uncertainties in how the climate will change under human and natural influences and how those changes will affect natural and human systems.
Steven E. Koonin (Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters)
I believe the socio-technical obstacles to reducing CO2 emissions make it likely that human influences on the climate will not be stabilized, let alone reduced, in this century. If the effects of those influences become more evident and more severe than they have been to date, of course, the balance of costs and benefits might shift, and society might well shift along with it. But I’d be surprised if this happened anytime soon.
Steven E. Koonin (Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters)
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)
The concept of climate refugees is mostly a deliberate exaggeration, designed to turn fear of refugees into fear of climate change, and so build a much wider base of public support for lowering CO2 emissions.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
We are defined by the causes we serve. Our identity is discovered in the challenges we embrace. However modest our means and finite our capabilities, we can gift ourselves the exhilaration of a noble quest. Thankfully, there are plenty of deserving problems to go around—like building machines that think, reducing CO2 emissions, overcoming racial disharmony, combating drug-resistant superbugs, ending human trafficking, and building habitats on other planets.
Gary Hamel (Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them)
pH range between 8.1 and 7.6. This last relatively “acidic” pH is related to upwelling in coastal Oregon (as the reader should
J.C. Mirre (Don't Stop CO2 Emissions! - Keep Burning Coal, Oil and Gas!: CO2 the Gas of Life)
Where capital goes, emissions will immediately follow…. The stronger global capital has become the more rampant the growth of CO2 emissions.
Ian Angus (Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism and the Crisis of the Earth System)
If SUV drivers were a nation, in 2018 they would have ranked seventh for CO2 emissions.
Andreas Malm (How to Blow Up a Pipeline)
The average estimate implies that when your income increases by 10 percent, your CO2 emissions increase by 9 percent.
Abhijit V. Banerjee (Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems)
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)