Acidic Oceans and Short Term Climate Goals

Ocean acidification and evident climate change impactIncreased atmospheric carbon dioxide is dissolving into the the world's oceans [ark], making them more acidic at great expense to marine wildlife, and happening earlier than expected [ark]. Anyone following climate science, policy and advocacy closely knows ocean acidification [search] is just the most recent news in a litany of evident climate change impacts [search] arriving strong and early. Meanwhile the best G8 leading polluters can do is a paltry 0.6% decline in emissions [ark]. To speak of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050 without more short-term climate goals [ark] is stupid and dangerous. A habitable Earth [search] depends upon urgent climate policy now [search].

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4 Responses

  1. R. Gates says:

    Dr. Barry,
    Urgent action is needed, yet what constellation of political and economic forces could possibly come togehter to turn this huge ship called “consumer/industrial” civilization around? The life blood and entire apparatus of industrial society is based on the presumption of cheap and readily available supplies of fossil fuels. Indeed, as we are all aware, it is the burning of these fossil fuels that have lead to the acidification of the oceans, and the polluting of our atmosphere with excess carbon dioxide.
    So, by some herculean act of will, perhaps humans will voluntarily choose to ween themselves from their fossil fuel addiction and consumeristic lifestyle– or, as I've stated before, Mother Nature will find a way to return balance to the ecosystem of Gaia.
    The best thing that can happen is that oil goes to $250 a barrel…this is painful for humans, as they dramatically reduce their use of this ancient sunlight, but it is the best medicine for the planet as a whole.

  2. More governments and multi-national companies are using emissions trading as a business weapon to fight climate change.
    The carbon market was worth $64 billion last year and is expected to double this year.
    Cap and trade schemes enable energy-intensive industries to buy permits to emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, which is produced from burning fossil fuels.
    The European Union launched its cap and trade scheme in 2005 while New Zealand will launch a similar initiative this year. Canada and Australia propose to launch schemes in 2010. And the US senate is scheduled next month to debate details of a proposed Federal US climate change bill that will include cap and trade.
    As well, countries and companies can trade carbon offsets under three, UN-led Kyoto Protocol schemes. Richer countries can earn emission permits by investing in cuts in greenhouse gases in less wealthy countries.
    The three sub-schemes of the Kyoto pact included the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) whereby rich countries can invest in clean energy projects in developing nations. Joint Implementation (JI) in which rich countries invest in clean energy projects in former communist countries, and Assigned Amount Units (AAU) that allows signatories to trade surplus emissions rights.
    For more information, please visit and

  3. The rich G8 countries and the World Bank are close to signing off on a US$5.5 billion fund to kick-start a new economic trading structure based on the price of carbon.
    World Bank President Robert Zoellick has been selling the value of the fund to the media and has reportedly told Japanese reporters that that the fund would be a main weapon in the fight against climate change.
    Close aids to Zoellick told Daily Planet Media that the fund – along with an emissions trading scheme jointly backed by the United Nations and the World Bank – would form the framework for the climate pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.
    The Japanese media had been leaked information from the World Bank that already 10 developed countries had set aside allocations for the US$5.5 billion for the fund.
    The G8 nations agreed on the weekend that the fund would be a vital step if developing countries were to adapt to climate change and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
    United States, Britain and Japan have reportedly committed to the fund and several EU countries, Canada and Australia had agreed to the World Bank's climate fund strategy.
    It's not known how India and China would participate, but the general understanding was that the new pact to replace the Kyoto Protocol in 2009 would have a significant cap trade financial structure to bind emission target cutbacks.
    For more information, please visit and

  4. letter to the editor
    Chapel Hill (NC) Newspaper
    June 11, 2008
    Solutions exist if we apply the science.
    Humankind is surely experiencing the fulfillment of a Chinese proverb: “We live in interesting times.” Many of our brilliant scientists report that God is a delusion. On the other hand, intuitive and gifted believers regularly tell us that these scientists themselves suffer from a form of delusional atheism. No one knows, I suppose, which of these groups is correct.
    I am one of those people who believes the family of humanity can use God's gift of science to take the measure of any global challenge and find solutions that are consonant with universal values. But, before we can move forward to reasonably address and sensibly overcome a challenge to human wellbeing and environmental health such as global warming, that challenge needs to be openly acknowledged and widely discussed. I suppose it is a function of my life experience to suggest that we accurately “diagnose” whatever the challenge is before proceeding to implement “treatment” options.
    If great spiritual and scientific leaders are somehow on the right track when realizing, “The Earth has a human-induced fever and could overheat,” then at least one available treatment option is to carefully and skillfully examine the extant scientific evidence related to global warming and to make necessary changes in human behavior, both individually and collectively.
    All of the above serves to set the stage for our consideration of a question. How can politicians and economic powerbrokers in the human community be empowered to muster the “political will” necessary for addressing human-driven climate change as well as for providing the substantial economic incentives and financial capital necessary to overcome this potential global threat to life as we know it and the integrity of Earth?
    — Steven Earl Salmony, Chapel Hill

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