Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bali: the lose of the losers

Today, the Bali meeting to combat global warming is still not over, but however the ultimate outcome, one thing is to be said for sure: Because they focus on emission reductions only, they will not offset global warming.
Naturally (sad to say) the statesmen will not be able to agree. Vested interests prevail.
Assume, quite hypothetically of course, that they concur of the utmost severeness of the problem and agree on, and stick to, a 90% decrease of the emissions of carbon dioxide during the nearest 15 years, starting today.
Even such an effort would give the atmosphere an additional amount of 20 Gt carbon dioxide, assuming the annual emissions of today is 7 Gt.
Even this amount might lead to abrupt climate changes. And we must do everything possible to avoid that. (Read Mark Lynas 'Six degrees')

So, even if the politicians stand together and make bold decisions, we all will probably lose.

So what to do? Pray the last prayer, take farewell of our closest, let the musicians play "Nearer, My God, to Thee" ?

No. There is a further possibility. If we combine a radical reduction of emissions with a strenuous effort in carbon sequestration with charcoal, say of 2 Gt annually (see below), then the actual amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide will start to diminish within 7-10 years, and we might get off with nothing more than the fright (and more fertile soils).

Otherwise, we might all loose.