An analysis in Nature has confirmed what we already knew: politicians need to hurry up if we're going to stop climate change. What's more, the longer they wait, the more it'll cost them--and taxpayers--to fight the problem. (Good thing everything has been going swimmingly in Congress as of late.)
The researchers behind the study knock down the excuse that waiting until scientific and technological "uncertainties" are cleared up is worth delaying action. For example, one common goal is to keep global temperature at no more than two degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels. The analysis calculates the odds of staying below that two-degree line if countries work to meet target emissions by a certain year:
- If the 195 countries that plan to start cutting off emissions by 2020 meet that goal, it gives the planet a 56 percent chance of staying within that goal.
- But if those countries delay action until 2025, it drops the odds to 34 percent.
- And if that goal was pushed forward to 2015, it would raise our chances to 60 percent.
As for cost: if action started in 2015, the analysis states, it would cost 60 dollars to get rid of each metric ton of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent of another greenhouse gas. But waiting until 2020 would raise the cost to $150 per metric ton.
No one ever went broke betting against politicians taking swift action, but we can at least hope it makes financial sense for our leaders in this case.
UNLESS someone like you cares a whole aweful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
~ Dr. Seuss
Random jumble of words.
With a World War II effort, in ten years 10000 mass produced nukes could easily with a fraction of our industrial capacity, with the costs covered at a 40% ROR by replacing fossil expensive fuels, head off the fast approaching the global warming precipice and peak oil crisis.
Westinghouse is predicting 2 cents a kwh costs and 3 year build times for factory produced nukes. China is now building reactors for $1.5B/Gw and that is dropping fast towards the $1B/Gw predicted.
2500 new mass produced nukes scattered around the US at $2500B financed by the $700B paid every year into the coffers of Big Oil/Coal for their deadly products and $100B in pollution related health costs, would carry all US energy needs.
At a minimum fifty times the cost wind and solar alternatives are simply impossible industrially, politically, and financially.
The process begins with Obama setting us out on the needed course with a new 80% clean energy electricity mandate by 2035. A massive nuclear build is a certainty as no other clean energy alternative is competitive.
Eliminate the current absurd 6 years process to get a site permit to add an approved nuke identical to many other operating units to an existing nuke plant or replace a filthy coal plant with an already approved nuke, cutting US nuke costs to Asian levels.
Like FDR with 1930's TVA and Bonneville hydro projects, Obama needs to start a giant public power nuke corporation with a single national license - no lawyers allowed - charged with replacing all the nations coal plants efficiently on budget and on time just like Asian countries are doing.
There is a lot of unemployed autoworkers and mothballed auto factories just waiting for orders.
As we convert to nukes, NG electricity and heating applications would immediately convert to nuclear electricity, nuclear produced synfuels and electric vehicles.
Green people need to understand that the biggest roadblock ending the imminent threat of a peak oil GHG holocaust is the Green movement's ill conceived, opposition to nuclear power At the very least their stupid stubborn opposition kills a several million folks annually.
Feeding the green nitwit are the scum at Big Oil/Coal paying off our politicians and media keeping the public in the dark.
What a waste of money fighting CO2 production. About the same as wasting money on NASA. Get a life people and go with the flow. That's what NATURE has done for billions of years. The nature of the Universe is CHANGE. Got that? CHANGE!
Quit trying to play god and keep things the same!
Agreed, Change is inevitable. But how soon do we want this change to happen? From an outsiders point of view it would appear we want change yesterday. I don't think we should spend money on trying to fix our mistakes, but we should attempt to stop repeating them. Let things naturally change with minimal human influence.
It's just great that money is more important to some people than trying to head off a global catastrophe. 'murica!
I love that there's a Robot troll, by the way...
Ha ha ha HA HA HA HAAAAA! Sure, politics is the biggest factor in our climate future! Ha ha haAAAAA!
Thank you for the funniest thing I've read in a long time, Colin. You and Nature deserve an Ig Nobel prize for that beauty.
You think maybe that water vapor, or solar or cosmic radiation, Milankovitch cycles or sulfur aerosols from volcanoes have something to do with global warming and cooling? No? Didn't think so. Keep drinking the Kool-Aid and bliss out. Have some hash brownies for dessert:-)
So long as the petroleum industry can (via campaign contribution dependence) both determine which politicians are elected and set the agenda (where else are they going to raise the $4 million--sometimes even $40 million--it costs to get into office?), there will be little movement on the issue of climate change. And it doesn't help that propaganda groups such as Americans For Prosperity or The Heritage Foundation can spread misinformation denying the existence of manmade global warming due to their funding from the petroleum industry (and they no longer disclose their donors due to the public lashback). See the Frontline documentary "Climate of Doubt"
Here's an example:
"On the very day debate began on a bill to repeal subsidies to Big Oil, an astonishing $131,500 in campaign contributions passed from the hands of oil donors in Midland, Texas into Mitch McConnell’s re-election war chest. Three days later the bill failed by filibuster."
Make congress dependent on the people via publicly funded campaigns (e.g. a tax rebate that can be allocated to federal candidates) instead of the large donors--whether it's Big Oil, Wall Street, telecom, insurance industry, big pharma, or whoever else.
Here is one such movement that is trying to do just that--a movement to pass something called the American Anti-Corruption Act (AACA):
They already have ~310,000 co-sponsors.
jcaimbridge, so did Americans For Prosperity and the Heritage Foundation cause the recent demise of the Kyoto Protocol? The failure of climate talks at Doha? I didn't realize they had so much influence on China, Russia, and India. They certainly didn't have much influence on the outcome of the last presidential election. And those poor oil-and-gas-industry schlubs are spending their money on the groups because they haven't managed to prevent the re-election of the guy who has arguably done their industry the most harm of any president. Maybe you need to re-think that whole oil-and-gas-industry-influencing-politicians thesis.
The premise is true: politics in the central issue here.
But a few things that kind of blow a hole in this whole thing.
1. It is easier to adapt to Climate change than to prevent it. Looking at various goals and methods for reducing CO2 shows us doubling our energy costs, hampering our growth, with an overall effect of delaying global warming by ~4 years... 100 years from now.
Small returns. Leave industry unfettered for 30 years and it will be cleaner and 'greener', regardless of whether CO2 is actually a problem.
Note that the Kyoto Protocols, which everyone who signed on is pulling out of because of the impossibility of it, has failed. Note also that the United States did not sign it.
However, the US has made the most progress in reducing our emissions, not due to regulations, but simply due to the market driving efficiency, and the natural gas boom that is trying to develop.
Sethdayal is also right. Not about the "Big Oil" conspiracy thing, but simply that solar and wind are not economically viable. The wind stops. The sun goes out. Clouds are unpredictable. That type of energy is too inconsistent, especially for our energy storage capabilities. Nuclear is the only way to go. Cheap. Safe. No emissions. No downtime.
I see politics as the biggest hurdle to this "climate change" issue. Both in terms of reducing CO2, and hurting the impoverished, domestically and abroad, by destroying our energy production. If you want CO2 to go down, and you want the technology and economic strength that benefits the poor most of all, quit trying these draconian CO2 limitations and energy regulations that stem the very forces that will accomplish your goal.
*Sethdayal Big Oil does spend money lobbying. They spend it because they have to explain to congress what you just did to popsci. Solar & Wind won't work, and Americans/the World needs cheap reliable energy. Oil companies recieved ~2 Billion in government tax breaks. Solar & wind companies have received some $90 Billion in loans and grants. Many of those receiving loans have since gone bankrupt. And many, including those that went bankrupt, have contributed to political campaigns.
Follow the money.
The above quote was at the end of the cartoon movie "Dr. Suess - The Lorax". I thought the quote seemed relative the article and unless our government begins to care and start making decisions about anything, Balancing the Budget, Social Security, Medicare, Climate Change, Hurricane Cost Effects and the Deficit, etc.
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laurenra7: I have no idea why you interpreted my comment as stating campaign contribution dependence corruption is the *only* cause of the problem. What I'm referring to is the grossly corrupted political system of the US, and for there to be a meaningful response to global warming it is absolutely critical that the US takes part and drastically changes its behavior too; its participation is necessary. Any progress that has been made so far by the US is insignificant on the scale of what must be done. But the US will not achieve any sort of meaningful change when those entities that have a vested interest in not seeing any response to global warming can so thoroughly effect the agenda. The fact that a few people get elected that genuinely want to combat climate change (and who are generally beholden to other entities instead) does not change the fact that the petroleum industry has so much influence.
Man has failed miserably playing god. Thus better nature cleanses man than the other way around.
Yes, this is pessimistic of me, but my lifetime observation of politicians is they only think in in short terms and for their only personal gain.
The above article illustrates the long-term benefits of reducing CO2 and reducing global warming. Our politicians simply do not think this way and it pays in profitable terms to continue burning as fossil fuel as fast as possible for the politician’s perspective.
As individuals, we best learn to adapt to a changing warming world. No group is going to represent us and save us from the up and coming doom; it is just not their goal.
Actually Brian Big Oil loves wind and solar and dumps a lot of money into lobbying for that industry, supporting NGO's like Sierra with massive contributions, and pumping money to antinuclear media and politicians.
Real science has shown that wind and solar with inefficient gas backup run inefficiently actually uses more gas producing more GHG's at a higher cost then just skipping the wind/solar altogether and using efficient gas plant instead or best of all nuclear.
Since Big Oil knows nuclear can kill it, while renewables act like a soother to the voter making him think AGW help is on the go while in reality Big Oil rakes in more and more profit and nothing is being done.
jcaimbridge you are totally right. Get money out of politics. Big money has hopelessly corrupted our governments. All campaign contributions must be made illegal. 100% public funded. NO EXCEPTIONS.
And the second thing that needs to be done is to end the most IDIOTIC Voting system ever invented - which is First-Past-the-Post. The absolute WORST way to select our representatives. We need to change to Instant-Runoff-Voting so Third Parties can be given a chance to replace the current hopelessly corrupted two-party system:
til I looked at the draft four $9590, I didnt believe ...that...my cousin could realie earning money in there spare time on their laptop.. there neighbor had bean doing this for less than 23 months and resantly paid the mortgage on there place and purchased a brand new Lotus Esprit. we looked here, http://www.bit90.com
"Curbing climate change?"
Would that mean stopping global warming or global cooling?
The earth has a long history of climate change involving extended periods of both cooling and warming changes much more severe than what we have recently seen. And all of these extreme climate changes occurred before there was such a thing as "politicians".
Lastly, I would ask the "climate change" alarmists the following question: If a 2degC increase in mean global climate temps would be catastrophic for humanity, wouldn't a similar 2degC drop in mean global climate temps be equally as devastating? And given such a global cooling scenario, waht do you propose to do about it?
Politics is certainly the biggest factor in this whole debate.
In-fact, it's the whole reason the scare ever started.