Saturday, July 13, 2019

Neo-Climate-Denialism 2

Okay so we have, albeit half a century too late, seen off the climate deniers. There may still be a few who claim that the planet is not heating because humans have changed the composition of the atmosphere but these charlatans or fools can be safely ignored.

We now have a new threat, insidious and dangerous. It is the enormous number of people who say they accept the consensus view of climate scientists and yet do not act as if there is an emergency. They talk about net-zero carbon emissions by various future dates, they talk of carbon taxes, they talk of frequent flyer levies, they talk and they talk.

2019 will see the highest amount of greenhouse gas emissions in any year. 2020 will almost certainly see that increased. 2019 has recorded the highest level of CO2 in the atmosphere since Homo not-so-very-sapiens walked out of Africa. 2019 has seen about 1°C of heating since pre-industrial times, averaged across the globe, more over land, much more in the Arctic. 1.5° and 2° are for the birds. We will need to adapt to a 3° world and beyond.

These realities do not match the talk.  The urgent task is not to slow down and eventually reach zero emissions but to drive emissions negative and fast. We have to get the CO2 content of the atmosphere back down from 415 ppm to below 350 ppm. Next year it will be above 417. We actually have to stop burning pretty much all fossil carbon and sequester what we have already burnt. It means changing everything, fast. To deny this urgent need can only be regarded as the neo-climate-denialism.


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