It's no secret that the world is warming, but a new report published by the World Wildlife Fund suggests we may not have as much time to mull solutions as we think. If the world doesn't commit to green technologies by 2014, the report says, runaway global warming and economic meltdown are all but unstoppable.
Written by a group at the experts at Australian insurance consultancy Climate Risk, the transformation to a low-carbon world requires an effort "greater than any other industrial transformation witnessed in our history." At minimum, the world needs to embrace – and by embrace, they mean to the absolute maximum – low-carbon technologies by 2014. A minimum growth in all green industries of 22% a year is necessary to achieve that goal, according to their research, and that's just to cut emissions to 63% of 1990 levels by 2020.
But the WWF has more ambitious plans: a reduction to 80% of 1990 levels by 2050, an industrial revolution that would require growths between 24% and 29% every year. This is the best way to stave off the doomsday scenario of 2 degree Celsius (about 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warming across the board, according to the report. Unfortunately, we have a long way to go.
The research relied on complex Monte Carlo models of industrial growth, resource allocation, and technological advance, but the basic reasoning is thus: total greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere are estimated 463 parts per million. Scientific research shows that a good comfortable spot for our atmosphere is about 400 ppm. But at around 475 ppm, a threshold that we are dangerously close to crossing, runaway climate change becomes increasingly more likely, at which point it will be difficult if not impossible to put the brakes on global warming.
Now, having said all that, it's important to note that this isn't the first doomsday climate change scenario to emerge, especially recently. Just today, two British Cabinet ministers showed off their own doomsday map, detailing rising sea levels and submerged cities that would result from a 4 degree Celsius (7.2 degree Fahrenheit) rise in global temps. President Obama has pledged a greenhouse gas reduction of 80 percent by 2050 (an easy promise to make with a two term limit), while the EU has stated that it will match those efforts if a deal is sealed at December's UN climate change conference in Copenhagen.
But the WWF report, if taken seriously, places a new urgency on the issue. For one, most climate strategies rely upon an incremental ratcheting down of emissions while slowly transitioning to low-carbon sources of energy all the way up to 2050. According to WWF, this schedule simply won't hack it. Further, WWF points out that only three of the 20 green technologies they've reviewed are moving forward fast enough to hit the 2014 deadline: wind, solar, and biodiesel. Other technological initiatives like low-carbon agriculture, sustainable forestry, and other forms of green energy generation are sorely lacking. The outlook, it seems, is dim.
What happens if we miss the deadline? According to the WWF report, from there things become increasingly difficult. Post-2014, low-carbon industries will need to grow at a minimum of 29% per year, and that's just to have a better than 50% chance of staving off that nearly 4-degree Fahrenheit spike in global temperatures. But the news isn't all bad: while the transition will be tough, long term investment in green energies should pay off, with renewable energy savings alone in the period between 2013 and 2050 expected to hit $47 trillion if we cut by 80 percent, a positive number among many grim figures.
Naturally, models are models and scenarios are but scenarios. The most important takeaway is this: no matter whether you believe in runaway warming or not, technology is the way forward in our warming world, and right now we are woefully under-prepared for the transition to a low-carbon future.
World Wrestling Federation? I kid... I kid.
No doubt there will be skeptics of global warming that will try to debunk this report. But you know what? There are plenty of other valid reasons to switch to renewables. After the initial investment, renewables are just that - renewable, meaning that's that much cost you can save (just need to cover the costs of maintenance), and saving the electricity consumer and the automobile owner money will increase people's disposable income and help the economy. Furthermore, that can save us the need to get embroiled in geopolitical turmoil with petroleum producing nations, which can allow us to spend less money on the defense establishment and more money on things like universal health care, education, and scientific research. Never mind about renewable energy combatting climate change - renewable energy is simply the key to a saner society.
Universal Health Care is for socialists, other then that, I'm wondering what it is they're planning on doing about that burning coal mine thats meant to burn for the next 250 years out in Centralia, Pennsylvania. If coal is so bad for the environment, isn't that thing dominating it right now? Not to mention the occasional volcano eruption which tends to wreck just as much up as we do.
Really, if we stop being loafs and start getting some Helium-3 off the moon to research nuclear fusion, power will cease to be a problem. Also i've noticed that China and India have appeared to give a damn about that report, so good luck world!
Here's the global warming hoax again. On schedule and towing the propaganda party line like true brown shirts.
You guys never learn.
Get rid of pollution just to clean things up. Find alternate energies to get rid of reliance on oil.
But stop giving us these totally unscientific, fear mongering reports from those who have a vested interest in making big bucks off the AGW scam!
The world is now cooling as you would know if you actually paid attention to the data and stopped playing the politically correct dupes.
Here's the deal. The warming that occurred had practically nothing to do with human input. The cooling that is occurring is the same.
The bozos who think we should try to cool the world down - for all the wrong reasons - would start a new ice age if allowed!
Get real. Your journalism is all one-sided and its getting pathetically old and moldy.
Do us all a favor and go watch "Not Evil, Just Wrong".
The "consensus science", that you ALWAYS adhere to, is not science.
Vigier- Explain to the rest of the board why you think Global Warming is a hoax? I am intrigued to hear your explaination lol
World temps have gone down since 1998. We're at the same temps at the beginning of the 20th Century. Even NASA agrees that the warmest decade was the 1930's and the warmest year was 1934, not 1998.
The Antarctic ice cap has grown 4%/decade for the past 30 years and recently had the smallest melt season on record. The Arctic ice cap has grown for the past 2 years after 4 years of shrinking.
Dr. Michael Mann cherry picked his tree-ring data in constructing the Mann Hockey Stick such that even the IPCC has removed it from their official reports. Using the complete tree ring sample showed it was warmer during the Medieval Warm Period than today.
Atlantic hurricane seasons have been the mildest in the four years after Katrina and 2009 has been one of the mildest on record.
Nice try WWF.
Wow... Vigier, I too am curious to hear all about the actual science behind your thoughts. If we are, as you say, in a cooling period... then where is the evidence of that? A piece of ice the size of CT recently broke apart and was claimed by the sea. You do understand that cooling means the temperature is falling, right? And that falling temperatures would lead to more ice, right?
Further more, what is the more likely scenario:
a) A bunch of scientists got together to formulate a hoax in order to secure funding for science that isn't actually science at all.
b) That a group of multi-billion dollar companies (Oil, coal, etc.) came to the realization that it would be cheaper to to falsify information and mislead the public than it would be to actually do what is necessary to change.
I haven't watched "Not Evil, Just Wrong", but here's a quote from the synopsis:
"Not Evil Just Wrong warns Americans that their jobs, modest lifestyles and dreams for their children are at stake."
Do you live in America? Have you ever been outside the country? MODEST LIFESTYLES? American's as a whole live a lifestyle that is anything BUT modest.
It's not propaganda Vigier... it is science.
Here is an example of the well funded Big Oil friendly so called "Green" organizations that dis the nuclear option and push solar and wind energy. Big Oil/Coal knows that only the nukes will put them out of business - and they make ten's of trillions of dollars annually. They fight back dumping millions of dollars into organizations like the WWF who spew the renewable nonsense. Big Oil loves wind and solar - they know none of it will make a dint in their profits.
The WWF's report actually works to destroy the environment and make sure nothing happens until it's too late . We saw Greenies like these out in 2000 supporting Ralph Nader, defeating Nobel prize winning environmentalist Al Gore, and giving us George Bush. The consequences - a million dead Iraqi's, a ten year setback in the worlds climate change battle, the first depression in almost a hundred years and the some of the worst environmental devastation the US has seen.
WWF promoted wind, solar, geothermal, carbon capture and most of all cap n'trade are simply fiddling while Rome burns.
Germany has already wasted 10 years and $100 billion dollars in treasure on the above technologies and has not reduced its greenhouse emmission one iota. In fact it is planning a massive build of dirty coal plants to meet its baseload power requirements. The WWF wants us to do the same.
Fossil fuel use has brought us to the brink - we are a little as ten years away from a civilization destroying climate/peak oil crisis making solution urgent. These fuels cost the United States $800 billion directly and an estimated $120 billion or so in environmental damage (dirt,soot,engine damage,paint, health care). Even global warming deniers could see the benefit of eliminating their use.
A world war scale effort converting from fossil fuels to mass produced nuclear power could paid for by very quickly ending domestic use of fossil fuels. Depending on the amount of nuclear steam heating (small towns, tar sands, cogen), we would need to build as many as 2500 gigawatts of mass produced nuclear power at $1000 a gigawatt with payback periods as little as three years for the average plant converted. All that is required is the political will.
As electric car usage slowly builds, vehicles could be fueled by abundant supplies of cheap natural gas. Using Utah's example, natural gas as a vehicle fuel could be made available as of yesterday at less than $1 a gallon equivalent. As fossil fuel conversion advances more and more natural gas for use vehicle fuel would become available.
With mass production of reactors an enormous job boosting domestic and export market would be created.
New Gen IV Integrated Fast Reactors like the Russian, Indian, Westinghouse and Chinese are operating and being built for service within the next three to four years. New designs like Sandias Right Reactor, Bill Gates Terrapower and the ultimate LFTR will be ready within the five to ten year framework. These reactors run for 30 years at a very low cost using current nuclear waste as fuel reducing it to a tiny amount of low level waste.
Ten years from now extremely low cost fusion technologies like the Polywell, Focus and TriAlpha designs and well as the large scale ITR will be coming into service at a tiny fraction of todays electricity costs.
India has already committed to 450 gigawatts and China to 120 of nukes. Some senators are proposing a miniscule 100 gigawatts in the climate bill - its nowhere near enough.
The WWF needs to cut with the claptrap and get on board with the nuclear program. Members need to read world famous environmentalist Steward "Whole Earth Catalog" Brand's new book Whole Earth Discipline or James "Gaia" Lovelock' s The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning. to understand that nuclear power is our only way out. They need to stop funding astroturfers like the WWF and Greenpeace.
America itself needs to stop being a millstone dragging down China and India's global warming efforts, show some pride in something other than its war machine, and get on track.
"..if the US government could mobilize their entire industrial capacity in 6 months in facing the reality of WWII, they (and the world) can easily do the same for the imminent threat of global warming.." Leonardo DiCaprio
I think I wouldn't mind it a bit warmer. I'll help by not using as much fuel to heat my house once it starts warming up.
Did someone just quote Leonardo DeCaprio? "Big Oil" spends just a fraction of what Al Gore and Kleiner Perkins have spent promoting the scam of man-made global warming. Plus, throw in the millions spent by GE and the biofuel interests, the oil companies are pikers. Heck, even Jim Hansen gets money from the left-wing foundation run by Teresa Heinz-Kerry.
Al Gore invested a boatload of money into renewables like biofuel, wind and solar. He put another chunk of money into electric cars and batteries. None of those investments make sense if coal and oil are better options, and they are. The only way to make those investments work is to convince everyone that coal and oil are bad. Hence global warming.
If they really believed man-made CO2 was causing global warming, they would've supported nuclear, which emits no CO2 and is more viable than renewables. But, you can't invest VC money into nuclear and get the returns VC's want. Plus, Al needed to get the environmental extremists on board and they detest nuclear power.
Last time I heard, Leonardo DiCaprio was an actor, not a scientist. Global Warming is unstoppable. Humans put such a minor amount of CO2 into the atmosphere when compared to algae that it is almost laughable. And why all the worry about CO2 anyways? Co2 does rise when the temperatures rise, but it always rises after the temperature rises. If our CO2 emissions are large enough that if they are lowered, it would stop global warming, then if we did lower them alot, it would probably kill off all the plants.
Unfortunately for some,The grid scientist with different news,and definitely different views,and a completely different degree than you does not stop giving out bits of Earth Science to be causal in the re-formation of the opposing science thinkers who do not have the same training as a grid scientist.
The grid system in the air above our surface is hyperdimensional and the grounding grid system of the planet is physical to transmit the field energy to the magma and run the motor of the planet.
Energy must come in from the sun and gases must come in from the gas frequency producing planets,and all of our eco-system depends on the processes enginered into our galaxy.
Those energies that come into our planets grid can increase and decrease depending on many factors,and we have been in a period of increased activity that also ebbs and flows.
The carbons explanations that have been borne out of the tier 3 Universities have created untold damage to our system and it ,of course has been the specific mission of certain factions to keep Grid Science men from engaging in public.
The facts of life are that we are being mined for our underground grounding and motor stripe metal and that WILL cool our planet as the magma must have ability to receive the suns energy.
This planet has been mined for centuries and there are no natural mountains at all here,and if you have an instant thought that this Grid Science man is some sort of mentard,please task me to a thorough explanation in person or just stay in your looped paradigm and watch the planet get much,much cooler and our spin speed decline until there is no eco system for the inhabitants here.
My office had the update for the power paradigm forcibly removed that brought simple hydrogen production to this planet for the re-mediation of the power plants and many other products as we are the folks who try and keep the planetary systems whole.
Very few proper government officials are aware of the underground cutting,but the out-port at Kokomo ,Indiana should give citizens a starting point of fucus.
The average person contributes about 4 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere annually (this average includes the 20 tonnes created annually by each American). Quick math tells us that the human population, through all its industry, is producing about 28 billion tonnes of CO2 per year.
Well, that's a big number, but certainly not enough to effect the atmosphere, right? Well, consider that the Earth's atmosphere has a mass of about 5.1 x10^18 tonnes. The 28 billion tonnes we're putting up there each year amount to about .00056% of the total atmosphere. That's nothing, right? Wrong.
The atmosphere currently contains about 383 parts per million CO2. That's only .038% of the total atmosphere. That means that even if we maintain our current level of CO2 production (rather than increasing it, as we currently are), in 50 years the total CO2 levels will reach ~ .052% (taking into account the fact that the oceans and plant life absorb roughly 50% of the CO2 produced). That's a 37% increase in total atmospheric CO2 FROM HUMANS ALONE. Still don't think we can have an effect on the atmosphere?
Think about the oceans. We've been able to fish entire species to near extinction levels (in some cases, we've finished the job). Think about that for a minute. The oceans! 70% of the Earths surface is covered in Ocean... humans don't live in the ocean... it is with a relative handful of boats that we've been able to do such damage to fish populations... if we can do that to the vastness of the oceans, why is it so difficult to believe that we might have a similar effect on the atmosphere?
Finnaly a deadline!!! (Somewhat real in this case)
Global warming is a simple problem. the only thing everyone has to do is put some panels on their roof and thats it. everybody is procrastinating or too poor to purchase them. (With bills that need to be paid and such)
At least people that see this will think on it more. Besides it is a good investment. It keeps your pockets filled after all. And with new technologies in solar and wind it's actually BETTER than oil and gas and coal.
Maybe instead trying to discount new discoverys as perpetual motion, we should slow down and look around.
Much of your assertion is correct, but your figures do not account for carbon uptake by natural mechanisms nor do they (or can computer models in fact) properly calculate the effects of water vapor, cloud formation and radiation of energy from earth to space. In short, your figures fall well short of explaining how our climate works.
This is the real problem with global warming science. All of the models and research are only small parts of a much larger picture. Can we affect our atmosphere's composition? Absolutely! Is the recent warming caused by that? We don't know. That's all theory. You can crow about a perceived consensus, but the fact remains that there is no observable evidence that the CO2 emitted from fossil fuels, cows or other natural sources is contributing to a significant warming. It's just theory.
This is supported by the fact that the earth's mean temperature today is cooler than it was in the Medieval Warm Period and that there has been an 11 year trend since 1998 of flat or gradually declining global temperature, DESPITE AN INCREASE IN CO2. The theory's predictions are failing to materialize, and trusting the WWF to tell us how things will work is like asking Exxon if we'll run out of oil any time soon.
Your analogy of science vs. corporate greed is also short-sighted. Scientists are human; they are not necessarily noble or objective. They have very real needs for money to continue their research, and with this particular field, billions are at stake. This is not to say that they are outright lying, but research scientists tend to perpetuate their research by performing more research that is likely to support their theory. It's human nature, and they're human.
I think you're correct in calling out the green movement's ignorance of nuclear, but I hardly think we're anywhere near a peak of oil/coal/gas. There's centuries worth of these resources available. Recently discovered gas reserves alone are over 50 years. Coal is on the order of 200 years, and as was noted, new oil reserves are constantly found.
These facts are widely known to politicians; they know we have a significant remaining supply of cheap energy. So that leaves the fearsome global warming paranoia as the only means to combat the oil/coal/gas industries, all long time antagonists of environmentalists. Global warming, which is largely a discredited theory at this point, has been hijacked by environmentalists and the useful idiots in academia to combat an old political foe. Since nuclear is also a foe, you'll notice it gets very little mention when it comes to technologies to reduce that ever so dangerous CO2 gas.
The entire topic is now being used to find a new way to tax and control the economy (ie, Cap and Tax). It's a lie of trillion dollar proportions, and I hope you'll see through the scheme and call your Senators and Representative to urge them not to pass it.
A mass produced conversion to nuclear is so much cheaper than continuing with fossil fuel use that whether you believe in global warming or not it is still a great idea.
$2500 billion in nuclear purchases saves almost $1000 billion in fossil fuel annually. You find a better deal than that I want to know!!!
What about the 3rd world countries? I always see those pictures of the oil fields in the mideast burning. I'm sure that isnt helping out on global warming. Question. Is the USA in the top five countries the produce the most greenhouse gasses? And what are we doing to help other countries that produce more then we do?
Those of you who believe in man-made global warming should watch "Unstoppable Solar Cycles" on youtube.
Comments from a Bible-thumping fundamentalist.
I can't call reduced hurricane activity climate change that helps disprove global warming. What you are experiencing with fewer hurricanes is not climate change, it is what is known as WEATHER, which is SHORT TERM changes in an area. CLIMATE is long term changes, which takes years to change. I wouldn't call recent hurricane seasons climate change (or proof of a lack of climate change), I would call it weather patterns.
And even if all this global warming stuff is a hoax, why doesn't it make more sense to switch over to renewable energy sources? It may not be any time soon, but oil and natural gas WILL run out. We might as well be prepared and using renewable resources now, so that we don't have to worry about running out of fossil fuels. And whether you believe in global warming or not, why not leave the earth better than it was when you got here for future generations?
So if we haven't got it fixed by 2014, we haven't got to worry about it any more then. That's a relief.
Those who think that atomic energy is the solution forget that there is only so much U235/U238 out there to be mined. 50% of US U235/U238 reserves are under ground on the US east coast. Under the homes businesses and roads the fill up the US east coast. The idea of displacing 100,000,000+ americans to dig up the east coast is nuts. Solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass energy sourses do not require displacing 1/3 of the US population. While building reactors designed to use "Spent" fuel rods is a good idea, no one wants a atomic reactor in their back yards. Three Mile Island is a good example why not to make more atomic power plants.
Putting solar panels on every roof in the US would generate large amounts of electrical power. Covering places like Death Valley with solar power plants designed to store the heat of the sun during the day to generate power at night could help end US used of non-renewable carbon fuel sources. Building a million new micro hydro electric power plants makes more sense than building a 100 new atomic power plants and a 100 new coal powered power plants to meet rising electrical power demand. Ellen
Yea...like within that time we can just stop what we are doing.
when politics and science meet it glitters to create the Gore-desease, a new psico pathology with one leg in the paranoid corner of histeria and the other leg in a bank account. I am fighting for 30 years in environment and human aid but never ever I have seen that much hoax, myths, bs and open lies than in these matters of climate changes.
may everybody whom wishes to talk about first learn the cicles of earth climate during the last 250.000 years and we can proceed with cientific conclusions. actually we are leaving a curve of cool temperature.
non of the self declared experts ever considered impact on bacteriological ambience if temp keeps raising above 2degree C. Bacteries, yes, the carpet of all live existing but somehow human seems to be that dump........
Politics became business many years ago, so dont expect Obama saving anything nor any of the iluminated polititians world wide. They even dont know who is making the currencies, why and under which conditions.
Jesus is coming.
Ya sure, in 1993 we had until the year 2000 or else it would be too late. Then in 2000 we had until 2010 or it would be too late. Now yet another prophecy when much of the world is in a deep freeze. Man made global warming has been proven a myth and instead solar activity (without any complex computer models full of bias assumptions) have been shown to move in lock step with the ups and downs of our weather system.
All these wild and erratic claims are from an organization(s) who directly benefit from the continuation of the myth, much like the government funded climategate/activist scientists.
The truth is out now and the climate fraudsters are getting more and more desperate as the math stacks up against them. Sure we can be more environmentally friendly, but that doesn't mean we have to follow eco-extremists into fanciful/bankrupting schemes that only funnel money away from our countries to corrupt regimes in Africa and Asia or with new socialist taxes on everything we consume.
^^you guys are all referring to the well known 11 year cycle of solar irradiance that poduces .08% difference in the emission of energy from the sun, aren't you... which by the way has increased very little since 1750s and has increased no near enough to cause the warming that is happening...and guys just because 1 year is colder doesn't disprove it. there is still something called weather... and solar irradiance even though it is not the main cause of the climate changing does still play a part in the tempatures on earth.
and just because the "deadline" is bogus which i believe it is doesn't prove the global warming is...
thats like saying since one person is incorrect about something everyone is.