Deadly Climate Change Now Inevitable

Deadly climate changeUPDATE: RealClimate is at odds with Flannery's findings that in terms of carbon equivalency we are past 450ppm. The main thrust of my comments stand: we are perilously close if not past dangerous levels of emissions now, and clearly warming is occurring more rapidly than generally predicted.
“Strong worldwide economic growth has accelerated the level of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere to a dangerous threshold [ark] scientists had not expected for another decade… the level of climate-changing gases in the atmosphere has already reached critical levels.” I would like to formally congratulate the fossil fuel industries, their “skeptic” apologists, President Bush and the rest of the ruling oil oligarchy, and every opulent consumer gorging themselves upon natural resources accessed by liquidating the habitat they depend upon for life. Because of our unfailing defense of wasteful, excessive energy use; and refusal to change personally and societally, the Earth is now guaranteed to undergo deadly climate change [ark | more/ark].
By the reckoning of acclaimed author and scientist Tim Flannery, human greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have now passed 455 parts per million in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent [search] (based upon warming potential of 30 greenhouse gases). This exceeds the generally accepted level of GHGs where deadly climate change [search] is assured. The resulting two degrees celsius of warming is widely considered the point where ecosystem collapse, agricultural failure and extreme weather become inevitable, permanent and deadly.


Anyone with ecological intuition knows this to be true As I sit here in Northern Wisconsin, the last few days have been nearly 90 degrees F (32 C) — some 30 degrees F above average. There has been much coverage today regarding how climate change induced lack of seasonality will result in changes in clothing fashion [ark]. Perhaps we should also think how an absence of seasonal regularity will impact our ability to grow food, have dependable but not excessive water supplies, and impact other aspects of ecosystem functionality.
Humanity is in for a nasty ride as the ecological fabric of being is deeply frayed. Yet the Earth and her humanity possess amazing regenerative and adaptive capabilities. We must trust in our ability to define and implement sufficient policies to pull back from the brink of destruction; starting with rigorous policies to reduce human population, end use of coal and other fossil fuels, preserve and restore ancient terrestrial ecosystems, and return to the land for a life of rich voluntary simplicity.
Yes, deadly climate change is now inevitable. No, we must not give up. There is still hope however slim that complex life and society can survive. Good luck weathering the storm.

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35 Responses

  1. zephyr says:

    AIRMAP New England
    Air Quality Data Plots
    Air Monitoring Station
    University of New Hampshire
    http://soot.sr.unh.edu/airmap/archive/
    Click on any month under “Thompson Farm”.
    Then click on “CO2” in the top center column on the next page for that month's CO2 data from readings taken every 15 minutes around the clock, 365 days a year.
    For CURRENT CO2 reading at the Thompson Farm, NH station, click here:
    http://airmap.unh.edu/data/data.html'site=AIRMAPTF
    I have been following these readings for over five years now. The archived plots speak for themselves.
    “Deadly climate change” has been underway for awhile now. People are already losing their homes, their livelihoods and their lives to extreme weather events driven by humanity's insistence on pumping the global atmosphere full of heat-trapping emissions.
    We are chronically overheating our atmosphere and our fresh water resources. Our acidifying oceans are saturated with carbon dioxide and have reached the limit of their capacity for further CO2 uptake. Unlimited growth of the aviation sector is interfering with the recovery of the ozone layer. Aviation cirrus is trapping heat in the troposphere. Alpine ice pack is melting more rapidly than the science community can keep up with. Many countries in the southern hemisphere are now facing famine as either prolonged severe drought or excessive precipitation events ruin an entire season's harvest this year.
    What more needs to happen before people decide to stop waiting around for politicians to “do something” and simply take matters into their own hands by working with EACH OTHER to initiate the transition to a more moderate and respectful use of Earth's resources?
    In my humble opinion, we could have (and should have) started 30 years ago to make this transition.
    Can we start now?

  2. Almuth Ernsting says:

    According to figures used by James Hansen, total radiative forcings linked to human activities are actually now 560 ppm CO2 equivalent – far worse than even Flannery suggests. That higher figure would include black soot and tropospheric ozone. It is clear that we need to significanty reduce radiative forcings if we want to have any hope for the future. There is no credible way of reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere (though there are some disastrous proposals for trying to turn our planet into a vast monoculture for biofuels, capturing the carbon from burning them and burying that until, presumably, the world's ecosystems have collapsed completely to put an end to that scheme). The only way of reducing radiative forcings is to drastically curb the emissions of short-life greenhouse gases like methane and of black soot and ozone precursors – which James Hansen has been saying for some time. And, of course, drastically curbing CO2. Cearly, long-term plans for gradually reducing CO2 emissions in future are quite meaningless.

  3. Pamela McLean says:

    I am dismayed to read that we've exceeded 455ppmv. I want to use this info to spur some people here in the UK into action. I've had a trawl around the net, but can't find where/when Tim Flannery has documented this measurement, please can you let me know where you found it? thanks, Pam

  4. Pamela McLean says:

    oops – sorry found it! thanks anyway

  5. gtw says:

    Dear Glen,
    Ouch! It's pretty damn hard to be hopeful when I woke up this morning in New York City and it was 76 degrees.
    That was the overnight LOW temperature! 12 degrees or so above the normal avg. HIGH temperature. It's been in the 80s for 2 weeks. I switched on a network morning show to see what the weather folks would say about the ridiculously abnormal temps. and guess what, they're singing and smiling about the glorious summer-like weather we're still having in October.
    But you're right, we must not give up hope. I'm trying to spread the word as much as possible about STEP IT UP on Nov. 3.
    Thanks again for this great site!
    gtw

  6. Juola (Joe) A. Haga says:

    From the information one must conclude the best hope and not the grimmest will be realized when a few enough of our kind survive to reproduce and to have learned from our experience.

  7. R. Gates says:

    Into the Abyss
    If deadly and irreversable climate change is indeed inevitable and upon us(and I suspect that conclusion is correct)then it is certainly hard not to want to “give up” and simply accept whatever calamity is in store. I think however, it is important to begin to think a different way about this and to look at it from a chaotic systems approach and try to plant the “seeds” for tomorrow, today. Yes there may be a storm ahead, and there will be turbulant and chaotic time, but what will the result be?
    We can all know this for certain: The world we know today, with the economic paradigms and technologies that have got us into this mess, will be gone. Nature will see to that, for it is inevitable result of the earth returning once more to balance.
    Moving foward with green technologies, and zero-carbon footprint lifestyles will be the seeds of tomorrows world. Perhaps, in the most pessimistic viewpoints, there simply will be no more humanity at all to have a society or use technology. That's a possibility…but that's not what's in our human nature to plan for. We must plan for change…big changes…a world turned upside down…pain…suffering…
    and a complete washing away of the way humans live. If there is to be a new human world it will be, by natural imperative, a greener and more holistic civilization.
    What else can we do but plant the seeds now and how there is a world ahead where those seeds can grow?

  8. Ray Hume says:

    I do hope we won't survive. We have been ravaging this planet systematically for decades. There is absolutely no world authority able to take charge of the situation and do anything about it. It is entirely obvious to anyone with any sense at all that we have already pushed things well beyond the limit. Look around: it's easy to see. So let's hope the changes we've made do put an end to the human race once and for all. And damn good riddance. Maybe the Garden of Eden can evolve again in due course. So be it, and let's hope no malevolent god decides to create Man ever again.

  9. R. Gates says:

    Just to respond to Rays comment…
    I can understand and appreciate such sentiments, but from at least my perspective, there is still much noble in humanity. I look at all the people the world over who are trying to come to a green lifestyle. I look into the eyes of young people and I see hope. Perhaps that is the optimist in me, and perhaps it is time for humans to leave the stage of earth, or perhaps, the best is still yet to come, and the after the “fall” of the current civilization, something new can rise from the ashes, built on a green ecology and green economy.
    Yes, it will be a different world, and yes it will take centuries for the climate to stablize after the last bit of excess CO2 is pumped out by the current civilization, but I think that nature has given us this large brain for ADAPTING and LEARNING from our mistakes, and there still is hope…in a new and vastly changed world.

  10. David B. Benson says:

    This is rather overstated. Dr. James Hansen and other climatologists believe that “dangerous” global warming can be averted by prompt action:
    http://www.columbia.edu/%7Ejeh1/
    and under the heading Files of interest pick up the first .pdf file entitled The Treat to the Planet: Dark & Bright Sides of GLobal Warming.

  11. zephyr says:

    Ray Hume wrote:
    …..There is absolutely no world authority able to take charge of the situation and do anything about it. It is entirely obvious to anyone with any sense at all that we have already pushed things well beyond the limit. Look around: it's easy to see…..
    Sadly, I happen to agree with you, Ray.
    Two things, though:
    1) We honestly don't know to what degree our life support systems could actually recover given half a chance. All things considered, my guess would still tend to be on the optimistic end of the scale *if* we don't wait around any longer for a supposed “world authority” to “do something.”
    Which brings us to:
    2) Why don't we try something completely different and just start quietly HELPING EACH OTHER to make the necessary changes and adjustments toward a better way of being on this earth.
    I mean it.
    Where is it written that WE CAN'T JUST GO AHEAD and do what we know is right?
    I simply cannot imagine that there is anything *real* stopping us.

  12. ewoc says:

    David (and others),
    Thanks for the reference to Hansen's lecture. Having just read it, I agree that he says we still have time to act and avoid a “different planet,” itself a euphemism for a world none of us will enjoy living in.
    However, Dr. Barry's statement is only a bit of an overstatement, since Hansen says we have at most a decade to take rather significant steps to avoid catastrophe. As Hansen put it, we need a Winston Churchill, and we have……well………you know the rest. Without leadership at the national and international level we will not have even the slightest chance of taking the necessary steps. I suggest all who are interested actually read Hansen's notes from his lecture. The audio version will be available soon – see Augustus Gustave College, where Hansen gave the lecture. Their bookstore will sell copies soon.

  13. Delphiseus says:

    OK, so many of us have expected this for a long time. But the real
    question is not “How do we prevent the catastrophic tomorrow?” but
    rather “How do we prepare for the day after?” We have now passed the
    point of science-fiction and entered the incredibly scary realm of
    science-fact.
    As I see it, tomorrow looks bad…really bad…unimaginably bad. I fully
    expect that our leaders worldwide will fail miserably to prepare for the
    upcoming changes and will keep their collective heads in the sand until
    the sand itself has buried them and their societies along with them.
    Our current and ridiculous bickering and bloodshed over outdated
    mythology and oil in the Middle East is nothing more than a rearranging
    of the deck chairs on the Titanic and in reality serves no other purpose
    than to distract our resources from addressing the true great problems
    of our time.
    And frankly, I am convinced that the leadership, at least in the US,
    welcomes such a future because they believe, as an evidence of the
    extreme height of their hubris, that in such an apocalyptic scenario
    their god will come down from heaven to rescue the pious. In fact, it is
    my belief that President Bush has as a primary goal a US invasion of
    Iran before he leaves office in an effort to ensure our distraction and
    ultimate destruction. He believes he is a (no, THE) messenger of God
    single-handedly bringing the Second Coming to bear on the Earth. I think
    he is a fool.
    All of that said, and it pains me greatly to say this, evolution is
    about to take hold of our little species and we are about to become
    embattled beyond our wildest dreams. If we thought that the bloodshed in
    Europe during WWII was bad we are in for some seriously rude awakenings.
    I fully expect a decline in human populations by an order of magnitude,
    if not several. That means billions of people dead. BILLIONS. And this
    death shall come not just in the form of famine and flood and pestilence
    and disease, but most brutally by our own hands as we turn against each
    other in the battle for increasingly scarce resources. I do not hope for
    this future; however, at this point I see little hope in avoiding it.
    On the other hand, we now have an opportunity of epic proportions to
    fashion a new society which hearkens back to a day when we lived in a
    respectful manner in relation to our environment. The evils of
    pollution, overpopulation, deforestation, Religion, nationalism, racism
    and capitalism can and should be vanquished from the face of the Earth
    as we go through the next paradigm shift.
    This is the vision of the future which we must pursue. I, for one, am
    now convinced that fighting inertia is pointless. I am finished trying to
    convince the “powers that be” to act. Tomorrow looks bleak indeed, but
    the day after could be the resurgence of our species and our world…and
    that is up to us to realize.

  14. anonymous says:

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  15. Bicycles, Not Hybrids says:

    'Delphiniseus,' are you exhorting the young to muddle through so they can survive, and then fight tomorrow's inertia

  16. David B. Benson says:

    I agree. We need a climate Winnie.
    “Blood, sweat and tears”.
    Yes, but mostly we need your $$.
    About 300 billion a year ought to do it?

  17. Arcticfire says:

    I would love to try and be optimistic regarding this but the reality is logic dictates we will not react globally until hundreds of millions of people are dead.
    With regards to climate change by the time that happens it will be way to late.
    Our governments and the will of the mass is simply not built around the idea of self sacrifice. Large or small in order to actually combat this would require us to engage in a little self sacrifice be it our personal life style or big business's persuit of the dollar.
    We do not live in the utopian world of Star Trek where all humanity is united in a common goal. Nor are we even capable of reaching it never mind fast enough to combat severe climate change.
    Mankind will only react when it is to late. I doubt mankind as a whole will be wiped out. Whatever survives the next 200 years will continue to adapt and change just as we always have. Millions , billions will die but that is the cost for all of us living by idea that ,
    It is the responsibility of the whole to provide for the individual, rather then it being the responsibility of the individual to provide for the whole.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Global warming is fake. The 1930s were warmer then now. Us here in Ohio(Go Bucks!) had a really cold winter. Thanks for listening.

  19. Gene says:

    My take on IT!
    No doubt that the greenhouse effect is adding fuel to the earths natural trend to slowly change it's climate profiles every 25,000 to 100,000 years. However, I think the scientists with their deep core samples will find it's happened many times before, with or without fossil fuel. History will repeat itself and we will all be gone, the ocean will rise, the shoreline erodes, New York City, and others, becomes a coral reef, and another civilization 25-50,000 years from now, will be finding our fossils along with more dinosaur's remains and flying saucers in New Mexico.
    More glory hounds and do-gooders like Al Gore and Michael Moore will come along and take credit for trying to save the Earth again.
    Don't sell your ocean front property, yet. It ain't gonna happen in our lifetime!
    That's my take on it, and the following explains why:
    To read a quick synopsis, go to:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/mhieb/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html
    Towards the end you will read:
    The Kyoto Protocol calls for mandatory carbon dioxide reductions of 30% from developed countries like the U.S. Reducing man-made CO2 emissions this much would have an undetectable effect on climate while having a devastating effect on the U.S. economy. Can you drive your car 30% less, reduce your winter heating 30%? Pay 20-50% more for everything from automobiles to zippers? And that is just a down payment, with more sacrifices to come later.
    Such drastic measures, even if imposed equally on all countries around the world, would reduce total human greenhouse contributions from CO2 by about 0.035%.
    This is much less than the natural variability of Earth's climate system!
    While the greenhouse reductions would exact a high human price, in terms of sacrifices to our standard of living, they would yield statistically negligible results in terms of measurable impacts to climate change. There is no expectation that any statistically significant global warming reductions would come from the Kyoto Protocol.
    ________________________________________
    ” There is no dispute at all about the fact that even if punctiliously observed, (the Kyoto Protocol) would have an imperceptible effect on future temperatures — one-twentieth of a degree by 2050. ”
    Dr. S. Fred Singer, atmospheric physicist
    Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia,
    and former director of the US Weather Satellite Service;
    in a Sept. 10, 2001 Letter to Editor, Wall Street Journal
    ________________________________________
    Research to Watch
    Scientists are increasingly recognizing the importance of water vapor in the climate system. Some, like Wallace Broecker, a geochemist at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, suggest that it is such an important factor that much of the global warming in the last 10,000 years may be due to the increasing water vapor concentrations in Earth's atmosphere.
    His research indicates that air reaching glaciers during the last Ice Age had less than half the water vapor content of today. Such increases in atmospheric moisture during our current interglacial period would have played a far greater role in global warming than carbon dioxide or other minor gases.

  20. ewoc says:

    Anonymous,
    Here we go again…….quoting that eminent expert, Dr. Fred Singer! Excellent………..he will be spouting denialist stuff from beyond the grave, of that I am certain. And his crap will be no more relevant to the discussion than are the rants of Limbaugh or Ann Coulter on this subject.
    As to the idea that we cannot possibly reduce carbon emissions 30%, or 50%, or more, what rock have you been living under? Low carbon technologies are in fact possible RIGHT NOW, and are receiving BILLIONS of dollars in investments globally from the venture cap community. Do you have ANY idea of what you are talking about? GET A CLUE and look online at any of the dozens of websites of the solar industry, wind, wave energy, efficient cars, etc, ad nauseum. Cars exist right now that can cut CO2 emissions by 50% over average emissions (just go to a Toyota dealer – remember them? as in the largest auto company in the world?)
    Just because you are too ignorant to know what is going on around you, and choose to quote some dinosaur (no pun intended!) who receives funding from the fossil fuel industry and has not published much of anything for years in peer-reviewed sources (that is how science works, remember?) doesn't mean you should be wasting our time with your posts.

  21. ewoc says:

    Glen et al,
    Just stopped in at RealClimate.org. They have recalculated Flannery's numbers and state that they are inaccurate – that we are actually at 375 ppm CO2 equivalent and that 450 ppm stabilization “is still within reach.” I would tend to trust these folks more than Flannery, though he is a good writer!
    Check it out – it's the headline piece today (10/13)

  22. g.b. says:

    Ewoc
    Thank you for pointing out the RealClimate rebuttal of Flannery. I have made note of it in the blog as an update. It is pretty esoteric stuff, the scientific arguments. But there is I believe generally consensus that the warming is progressing much more quickly than predicted, certainly on the outer range of the consensus conservative estimates of even a few years ago. As you know, my take on the matter is that global heating is occurring in an abrupt and potentially run-away manner. I am always quite pleased to find we have more time.
    Glen

  23. ewoc says:

    Glen
    thanks for your response.
    I, for one, am wary of declaring that things are so bleak as to warrant hopelessness or to allow onesself to be consumed by darkness. Although we agree on the basic point – that global warming is indeed progressing much more rapidly than the consensus forecast of the IPCC this year, we need to keep our “eyes on the prize.” Meaning that we must (all of us) work to move our species in another direction as quickly as possible, through individual action and choices, as well as pushing changes in national and transnational policies as well as in the private sector.
    The stirrings of change have begun – I believe it's a matter of whether we will be smart enough to act, and whether in doing so we will act with fairness and equity for those who will bear the brunt of the changes that are underway.
    RESPONSE: Very, very well said. I would NEVER suggest that we should move into hopelessness or that we should give up. I agree wholeheartedly that the key is to “keep our eye on the prize” and work for taking action as soon as possible. In my personal writings I have shared that sometimes I am saddened by the Earth's state. I intend to take measures to balance work and life better in order to not fall into despair ever again. Writing about it helps me alot, and I am told it helps my readers to be aware of this trap as well. I will never, never, never give up nor should any of us.

  24. Peter W says:

    Re:
    Glenn and ewoc, I wouldn't right Flannery off completely. If you read the comments after this RealClimate post, you will notice that the negative forcings of the CO2_e(Total) are not as long lasting as the positive forcings. In fact as we try to decrease our positive forcings we will more quickly decrease the negative forcings.
    Here's the 10th comment and the RealClimate response by
    David Archer (One of the Real Climate contributors).
    # Tom Fiddaman Says:
    11 October 2007 at 9:28 PM
    The low value of CO2eTotal is less comforting if the negative forcings arise from the same activities as the positive forcings (e.g. dirty coal combustion). Then measures that reduce CO2 emissions or clean up local air pollution reduce the masking effects on a short time scale, while long-lived gases remain in the atmosphere, so that CO2e would rise rapidly.
    This effect would seem to make the headroom between 375 and 450 somewhat illusory.
    [Response: You are absolutely correct. I was just about to enter my own comment to this effect, but you have done it for me. David]

  25. Tom Fiddaman says:

    While it's true, as I pointed out at RC, that the headroom between CO2eTotal and CO2eKyoto is illusory, it's also true that the 450 target can be safely overshot, as long as the concentration quickly returns to some lower level. It takes a long time to increase the stock of heat in the global system, so brief excursions of radiative forcing are not important. Naturally, though, the farther you overshoot, the faster you need to get back down.
    See Detlef van Vuuren's comment #72 on the RC CO2 Equivalents post.

  26. Dr. Glen Barry says:

    What past experience would lead you to believe that the 450 target could be overshot and that then concentrations would be quickly lowered?

  27. zephyr says:

    Tom Fiddaman wrote:
    …..While it's true, as I pointed out at RC, that the headroom between CO2eTotal and CO2eKyoto is illusory, it's also true that the 450 target can be safely overshot, as long as the concentration quickly returns to some lower level. It takes a long time to increase the stock of heat in the global system, so brief excursions of radiative forcing are not important. Naturally, though, the farther you overshoot, the faster you need to get back down…..
    Hello, Tom.
    By what mechanism(s) could global atmospheric CO2 concentration be “quickly lowered” once it surpasses the 450 target?
    Are such mechanism(s) being implemented currently?
    Thank you,
    zephyr

  28. av says:

    My opinion : from little old Africa.
    Heard on the news the other day – icebreaker ships trudging through the Northwest Passage. Scientists scurrying about on deck – very excited about the melting ice – for their research. Canada, the US, Russia – all now claiming the Northwest Passage belongs to them…. Interesting stuff. WHY the scuffle? OIL !!!!. The melting of the polar regions – north and south – gives access to vast oilfields under the ice and in the Siberian tundra. Govts and industry are salivating in anticipation. With the Passage now becoming ice-free, transportation of the oil will be so easy. I therefore believe they are encouraging global warming by not taking decisive and positive action. Because current oil reserves are running low, they actually want ice melt to happen – and fast – so they can get their greedy little paws on this supply. What happens to the earth and its creatures in the process; is immaterial to them…. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

  29. zephyr says:

    av wrote:
    …..Because current oil reserves are running low, they actually want ice melt to happen – and fast – so they can get their greedy little paws on this supply. What happens to the earth and its creatures in the process; is immaterial to them…. WHAT DO YOU THINK?…..
    While I wouldn't go quite so far as to say that “they 'want' ice melt to happen”, neither do I think it's unreasonable at this late date to seriously consider that possibility.
    In other words, av, I tend to agree with you.
    I guess I would say that the continued failure of decisive action in view of recent information from the climate research community is a pretty strong indication that those in oversight have “decided” for the rest of us that we are simply going to have to “adapt” to the regional impacts of a warming world. To be rather blunt about it I think they made THAT decision a long time ago.
    I find myself struggling daily with a cynicism I am not used to feeling. You know what I mean.
    I haven't given up. No sir.
    But I have no more illusions regarding the motives of, for example, those who stand to PROFIT from the accelerating deterioration of our planetary life-support systems.
    Incredible, isn't it.

  30. Tom Fiddaman says:

    CO2 concentrations aren't going anywhere quickly, due to the >100yr time constant for uptake. However, some of the current ~450 is non-CO2 gases, which would go down faster.
    Given the momentum of the economy, I don't think it's particularly likely, and certainly current implemented policies are far from achieving such an outcome. And it's quite possible that + feedbacks will take it from here.
    However, I think it's important to avoid thinking that we're screwed because we've passed some magic number. That fosters hopelessness; if the public gives up we really are screwed.

  31. Dr. Glen Barry says:

    Thank you Tom for your astute observations. I would like to note however that before the public can give up it has to have tried in earnest first. This has not yet happened. And to admit despair is not the same thing as to foster hopelessness. We must never, never, never give up — and this includes being honest with our feelings. It is amazing how much this hurts for so many people, and talking about the despair helps to banish it.

  32. av says:

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/Nature-and-Environment/1990-03-01/Mothers-Trees.aspx
    ..”Since trees absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, they are essential for combating the global warming effect being created by excess carbon dioxide generation. Since they retain water in the soil and transpire moisture into the air, they are

  33. Viv. Rendall says:

    This planet is saying to us we have to produce base power without carbon and do it now!!! There is a way. Use natural flows. We have the know-how and technology to provide all our energy needs using solar and wind with integrated storage of the energy. In the case of solar using photo voltaic cells, storage can done by using flow batteries and in the case of solar thermal it can be done thermo chemically, and in the case of wind also flow battery storage can be used. Base power for industry can be achieved 24/7 this way. Wind and photo voltaic also have the advantage of distribution so distribution of these adds to the capacity factor and or can allow for less storage requirement. In some countries geothermal energy can provide large amounts of power 24/7 and tidal and wave flows are possible in many countries. Combinations of all of these could provide for an extremely reliable power supply. Doing anything else e.g. building nuclear power stations or developing "clean coal" or CO2 geosequestration is wasting time and will in the long run result in more CO2 in the atmosphere and in the case of nuclear, is only continuing what should be wound down as a dangerous technology, not only because of it's inherent safety requirements but because the world will never have a safe nuclear industry because the world is entrenched in crazy ideologies. And it can't provide power without carbon because of the progression of the fuel from mining through to refining transport and disposal. The biggest uranium mine in the world Olympic Dam will be expanded to become the deepest and largest hole in the world emitting carbon on a grand scale! And carbon will be produced in construction and decommissioning. There is only one way to go to satisfy zero carbon now; it's by using natural flows of renewable energy. For any success for renewable energy in the commercial world to happen it has to provide base power for industry 24/7. Storage of the sun's energy together with competitive prices to the consumer is the key to this. We are at the crossroads of this happening now with employment of cheap construction materials, zero input energy cost and the utilization of already mature technologies and large-scale setups enabling solar power to enter the commercialization stage. See http://www.ausra.com/ and http://www.trec-uk.org.uk/index.htm http://www.trec.net.au http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/renewable/aest/index.html http://www.solardesalination.com.au/ but no nuclear or fossil fuel power will be able to provide cheap clean and safe power in time to address the impending crisis in global warming caused by the human species. Only renewable energy from natural flows will do that. Lets get on with it!!

  34. Chessia says:

    It sounds like most of us concur that immediate action is necessary to stop global warming from having any more disastrous effects. Actually, the US is debating is first largescale environmental measures in Congress right now. After years of inaction, Congress finally has a chance to pass meaningful energy legislation. The bill they are about to pass includes the best fuel economy standards ever (35 mpg by 2020) and a renewable electricity standard (15% by 2020) that guarantees the growth of renewable, clean energy. But there is a chance these two key advances won't make it through to the final bill.
    I am working with a coalition to make sure Congress sends the president a strong energy bill with meaningful changes for our environment and planet. This legislation would be a monumental step toward stopping global warming. Go to http://www.energybill2007.us and sign the petition. This is our chance for real progress, don't let Congress back down!

  35. I think Global Warming refers to an average increase in the earth's temperature, which in turn causes changes in climate. This warming is caused by the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from human activities including industrial processes, fossil fuel combustion, and changes in land use, such as deforestation. The different disorders that a warm earth may guide are changes on rainfall patterns, rise in sea level, and a wide range of impacts on plants wildlife, and humans. Scientists give more emphasis and importance to harmful human acts in the discussions of the topic.

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