Tag Archives: global warming

The real worst and best cases of climate change

What do you want? The planet Venus? The current degraded Earth? Or a better world we know how to create?

What if it's a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?
Joel Pett, Lexington Herald Leader, 18 March 2012, The cartoon seen ’round the world

Mostly I post about solar and wind power winning, which is what I think is happening. But sometimes it’s worth a reminder of what could happen if we do nothing about climate change, and I posted on my facebook page a story about that. Which actually didn’t go far enough to the real worst case. Nonetheless, that story has been attacked by numerous parties of all political and scientific and unscientific stripes for being too doom and gloom. Yet none of the attackers bothered to mention a best case beyond “the same world we have now”. I have news for you: the world we have now is an ecological catastrophe, and we can do a lot better. So here’s the real worst case, the current case, which is far from the best of all possible worlds, and the real best case, as I see it. Plus what we can do to head for the best case.

grinning fossilized skull

First, the story I posted: David Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine, 9 July 2017, The Uninhabitable Earth: Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think. Notice that word “could”, which a lot of his critics seem to have ignored. He didn’t say “will”, and he clearly labeled what he was presenting as worst case scenarios.

In case anybody thinks he was making any of that stuff up, Wallace-Wells has also linked to an annotated version with footnotes for every substantial assertion. The annotated version notes at the top: Continue reading

Georgia #1 in solar jobs and China beats its own emissions pledge

It’s great the three biggest climate change problem countries are finally 300x454 E2 Top 10 Q1 2015, in Clean Energy Works for US: Q1 2015 Jobs Report, by Environmental Entrepeneurs, 30 June 2015 committing to emissions reductions and other substantial changes, although not enough to, you know, stop global warming from getting even worse. Meanwhile, CO2 emissions did not increase from 2013 to 2014, even though the global economy grew, and this was largely because of renewable energy deployment in China. That’s right: China is actually leading the way faster on climate change than it is promising to do. And the old fake excuse that we need fossil fuels for economic growth is busted. Oh, and Georgia is leading the U.S.!

Chris Mooney and Steven Mufson, Washington Post, 30 June 2015, In a major moment for climate policy, China, Brazil, and the U.S. all announce new commitments, Continue reading

Longleaf Flood Prevention and Carbon Sequestration

dscn1384_candle_dead_leaves Instead of planting fast-growing slash or loblolly pines just to burn up in a biomass plant, how about plant the south’s iconic longleaf pine trees to capture and hold carbon from the atmosphere?
“Longleaf should be the centerpiece of land-based carbon sequestration efforts in the Southeast,” the report states, urging that national policymakers make the ecosystem as high a priority as the Everglades or Chesapeake Bay.
The report is Restoring the Longleaf Pine: Preparing the Southeast for Global Warming, Published December 10, 2009 by the National Wildlife Federation and two southeast forest conservation groups, America’s Longleaf, and The Longleaf Alliance.

People rightly worry about deforestation in the Amazon basin of Brazil, but forget or never knew that we already did that right here in the southeast: Continue reading