Two degrees C

What can I do?

Two degrees C is a somewhat arbitrary figure, chosen in the hope that the world’s eco-systems would be able to adapt if the temperature rise were limited to this amount.

Current consensus is that is now no way to achieve this, and the rise will be at minimum twice that.

I listen to politicians blither on about making 20% reductions by 2020 and 50% by 2050, and I wonder — do these people have any idea what they are talking about? In the 10 years from Kyoto, German was able to reduce emissions by 6%, and that was the best in the world. How can we reduce by 20% in 10 years?

The engineering society in the UK says that the UK’s plans to reduce output are “physically impossible“.

I think of myself. What can I do? I already ride a bike, so I can’t stop driving a car. I have no heat nor air-conditioning in my apartment, so I can’t turn down (up) the thermostat. I already use mini-flurescents, so I can’t switch there.

Once a year I fly to see my parents. I could stop doing that (but I won’t). I could stop buying running shoes every three months… I could turn off my computer (and do what with my life?).

I could commit suicide.

That seems the only way to make a significant reduction in my lifestyle, but I’m not going to do that either.

Of course, things are worse than they seem. If we want to reduce global carbon output by 50% in the next 40 years then we in the industrialized world will have to reduce by considerably more. The Malgasy peasant’s carbon output consists of his cooking fire and not much else. He can’t give that up and survive.

Population will increase, so the per-capita decrease must be even greater.

Oil is running out. This will cause more wars, which increase carbon output.

Coal has a higher carbon footprint than oil.

Food production will decrease. Wars will increase.

Who’s got the bomb?

The IPCC came out with its recommendations in 2007. An number of researchers within the IPCC have come out with an interim report saying that the 2007 report was far too cheerful, and things are much worse than we thought, and we are doing less about it than we expected.

Every new report says that the last report was too optimistic.

Obama says Copenhagen will decide nothing, and I expect he is right.

I’m worried.

I feel powerless.

Eli Eli lama sabachthani?

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