How Can We Stop Global Warming?

 

Strange Facts and Questions about Global Warming ACADEMIA and the CLIMATE EMERGENCY ITS THE LIFESTYLE, NOT THE SCIENCE Sceptics and Deniers Contact the Author, Michael Tuckson References and Acknowledgements Short CV For Beginners and the Bewildered COPENHAGEN and  AFTER BLOG WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW My Sitemap
 

 

stopglobalwarming-newstrategies.net

An Independent, Global and Flexible Approach: This site has no national, political or scientific sub-theory bias. It is regularly Updated and Improved.

 

 

Summary www.stopglobalwarming-newstrategies.net

Dr. Michael Tuckson

This web site is making eight main points.

Firstly, I believe that many of our power holders, and a large part of the population as a whole, do not sufficiently understand the science of climate change, particularly the latest research results, and thus the seriousness of our predicament. Some perhaps do not understand that, although the poor will die first, say over the next 50 years, the threat to the livelihoods and lives of most of the rich could be significant, acting through both ‘economic’ and ‘political’ processes.The consensus of scientists, far from being alarmist, are basing their fears on the best contemporary, ever developing , continually reassessed, science, not on short-term self-interest.  Understanding up-to-date research and feedback, together with the consequences for biota and humans,are the main clues. Heat in the ocean and GHGs in teh atmosphere now imply that even though we could cease emissions ‘tomorrow’ the world could continue to warm, and possibly thorugh surface earth system feedbacks to five or six degrees above pre-industrial levels, conditions that gave rise to massive biological wipeouts at several stages of geological history.

Spratt and Sutton (2007) have put the case for reducing mean global temperatures to no more than 0.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, based on the temperature that the arctic ice started to melt and other system degradation. Spratt (2009) quoting Hansen, puts the case for returning to a greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide equivalent) concentration of 300 ppm. Carbon dioxide equivalent is the measure of the six main greenhouse gases as if they were all carbon dioxide. We are now at 0.8 degrees above and most are proposing a 2 degree rise as acceptable. On contrary, 2 degrees and even 1.0 degree will create huge environmental degradation and human death. Andrew Glikson (2008) has noted that, in the past, a one degree rise in temperature has caused a 4-18 metre rise in sea level. This implies that without any further emissions we will certainly be faced with at least a 4 metre rise.  It must be noted that ice melting lags atmospheric and oceanic temperature rise, so  it is only several decades after critical temperature rises that the sea level will rise by metres. Also we should be aware that the unseen, unfelt rise in acidity of the oceans due to increased carbon dioxide dissolved is threatening many oceanic species. Ultimately it is not merely a question of increased taxes or the loss of our beaches and port cities, or even the spreading long-term drought and famine in some regions, as dreadful as all that is, but that through feedback and further temperature rise, the strong possibility of the decimation of almost all of humankind within a century or so.

Recent analysis (Mohr, and Goodland and Anhang) has postulated that the short-term influence of methane, derived notably from livestock, is making as great a contribution to global warming as carbon dioxide. The stabilization of, but still high, methane emissions (see curve below) thus probably also helps to explain the slight levelling off in the 2000s. Research published in Nature suggests that the methane plateau is due to the drying of wetlands due to landuse changes and climate change, and leakage reduction, even though sources of methane due to "economic growth' are still growing. Furthermore, Molina and others (2009) suggest that cutting back on other climate changing emissions such as black carbon soot, trophospheric ozone and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) can make a major rapid contribution to solving climate change that is being overlooked  by the media and politicians who are focussing too much on carbon dioxide. A partial solution to livestock methane emissions is a switch to Kangaroo meat as proposed by Wilson and Edwards (2008). Kangaroos emit miniscule amounts of methane but are hard to herd, and their killing faces massive opposition in Australia. Many are proposing that forest conservation, tree planting and biochar burial as critical methods of reducing carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere. Biochar is a form of charcoal made under low temperatures and oxygenation. 

Methane Concentration
Figure 1. Global monthly methane concentration in parts per billion (ppb).

Khalil, M.A.K., C.L. Butenhoff, and R.A. Rasmussen, 2007. Atmospheric Methane: Trends and Cycles of Sources and Sinks. Environmental Science and Technology, available on-line (10.1021/es061791t). 

In this website I outline several topics that will hopefully help to raise understanding, or at least prompt further information and idea seeking. Suitable references are given. I believe if they understand sufficiently most leaders or power holders will act more decisively. This assumes of course that they have some concern for their children, grandchildren, other descendants, their community, culture and nation. To the extent that they do not show concern, even for their own narrow community, we must consider other strategies which involve greater educational focus on the less powerful. Raising understanding and ensuring action must be coordinated globally, between at least the modern sectors in all countries, hence the use of a web site. Bilingual people are very important to facilitate this communication.

Secondly, in international negotiations we must balance the importance of leadership on a global level with the fear of being taken advantage of. Leadership on climate change implies public articulation of up-to-date scientific, technological and socio-economic understanding, not reliance on even two year old knowlege that is fatally inaccurate. Not one of the major nations is publicly referring to 350 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent as a policy aim, let alone 300 ppm. 350 ppm was the level proposed by James Hansen and the NASA team and widely accepted by other scientists, although more recently several scientists have recommended that we must return to nearly pre-industrial levels. Note that Hansen admitted relative weaknesses in his previous analyses, illustrating the logical and evidence based progress exhibited by science. Deniers are not interested in such changes as denial has no methodology for reassessment.

 

Thirdly, beyond this website and other independent attempts to raise understanding, the 'modern' sectors in all countries need crash courses in up-to-date climate change science and strategies, particularly for senior personnel in government, parties, unions and corporations. We can assume that a significant proportion of the powerful are lacking knowledge rather than lacking concern. Climate science and strategy analysis is not easy when you have been studying business management, carpentry or advertising for 30 years. All the best articles, books and videos must be translated into English, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, French, German, Russian and other major languages immediately.  

 

The weak capacity to keep up with and understand scientific research and the ill informed denial so common throughout the world is an indictment of not only our education system, including the weak contribution of the private mass media, but the negative influence of some other corporations on ideologies and truth. Our education systems, including high school and university curricula and teaching methods, are failing to educate whole people appropriately and sufficiently in social and environmental affairs. They offer instead, largely specialization, whether its electrical engineering, plumbing or accountancy. The media mainly offers celebrity, trivia, excitement, disaster without explanation, political squabbles for its theatre value and finally sport. The opposition to better legislation is not simply politics, but is primarily caused by an inadequate or inappropriate lifelong education.

 

Fourthly, it may now be too late to expect the spread of existing low-carbon technology to confidently solve the problem in time. It will be decades before we can all run an electric car and air conditioners on solar thermal. We do not know when the present trends of cooling in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, that is part of their ongoing oscillations, and may account partly for the global temperature plateau since about 2000, will end, as no regular cycle is clearly identifiable. Note that, although it is roughly stable now it is still very hot, 0.8 degrees above pre-industrial levels. The Arctic ice is already half gone. We do not know when the major land ice sheets will at least partially suddenly collapse. The Amazon rainforest is already showing signs of collapse.

 

We must make a greater coordinated effort to change our net carbon emitting behaviour, spreading appropriate technology as it is funded, manufactured and constructed, and introducing new technology, when it is developed. Behaviour change, that could be rapid, should very preferably be organized globally, coordinated by government,  using central bank operations if necessary, promoted by some combination of rationing, cap and trade, taxes, highway regulation, education and other means. Whatever combination of methods is used it must be sincere, and flexible enough to change when monitoring and evaluation reveals weaknesses. It must cover at least the major emitting nations. Widespread actions that reduce emissions, together with training, funding for relocation and job-time sharing will be needed. 

 

Examples of behaviour change to reduce especially carbon dioxide emissions include turning off the computer if away for an hour or more, sharing a car trip, and avoiding air conditioning in the morning and evening. Examples to reduce especially methane but also carbon dioxide include cutting much less forest, eating more cereals, beans and peas, fruit, nuts and vegetables rather than meat and dairy products, and periodically draining flooded rice fields. We can do all of this starting tomorrow without any technological knowledge. Because it has been pointed out that methane is an especially potent GHG in the short-term up to 20 years or so, we must try especially hard on the second group of actions.

 

The last world war showed that total employment is merely a matter of need, resolution, training and organization, so we should not be misled again by economic theory. Short work weeks that have been used by some companies in the 2009 recession must be used more widely, together with pay reductions for all, including management. Economic growth will have to be sacrificed at least temporarily, but can be handled if we share work. Foreign assistance will be needed in some cases and must be given generously and sensitively to, for example, help forest conservation. In the field of bean and other vegetable consumption the developing nations may be able to advise the ‘developed’. 

Fifthly, using lifetime emissions, rich and poor sectors and national history and geography as bases for assessing responsibility for emissions should make international negotiations more realistic. The rich certainly are largely responsible for our predicament, but it is the rich in all countries, using oil and coal and eating meat, depending on their lifetime emissions, that should take responsibility. One of the reasons for negotiation stalemates is the weak analysis of rich and poor sectors in developing countries, especially those that are large and fast growing. The poor sectors in every country across Africa, the Pacific, Asia and Latin America, if not in the richer nations,  will benefit more in the long-term if  the rich sectors throughout the world reduce emissions more than offering adaptation assistance.

Sixthly, population growth is contributing to carbon emissions, mainly among the rich, but also among the poor, even the poorest, where youth have a chance to migrate to developing towns and cities. Birth control must be promoted where populations are growing rapidly. This strategy may be a little slower to reduce emissions than technological change, but both will be slower than behavioural change.  

Seventhly, because the powerful are relatively isolated at the top of government, corporation, party, university and union hierarchies those with sufficient knowledge, probably most easily in groups, using letters and personal contacts, could rise through the hierarchies in small or large steps providing learning support through dialogue when appropriate. Tens of thousands of us with enough scientific and strategy knowledge can contribute. The hierarchies must be chosen carefully to maximize impact. This is an additional suggested strategy to be used alongside the seventeen or more existing strategies, not an alternative. It is based on the hypotheses that most senior people care for their descendants and culture but have insufficient understanding, and that large organizations outside government have a major influence on executive government beyond the expectations of democratic theory.

Eighthly, because the success of this hierarchical strategy and the many existing strategies aiming to change government policy will probably be insufficient, a people's web strategy is suggested. More or less ordinary people will communicate and coordinate through the World Wide Web by entering their past and progressive emission reduction on national web sites, organized according to location, for all to see and discuss. By local and international comparison, people will be more motivated to participate, and the participation will spread globally among the wealthier countries and wealthier sectors of the developing countries. Translators and an energy data base expert are needed to get this going.

  Copyright © 2009 Michael Tuckson.  All Rights Reserved 

 Print this page  |   Bookmark this page

 

Language Links Above

减缓气候变化的新对策  

NUEVAS ESTRATEGIAS PARA MITIGAR CAMBIO CLIMATICO

วิธีหยุดโลกร้อน 

Các chiến lược mới để làm giảm nhẹ sự thay đổi khí hậu      

Semi-Random Slogans

Invite a denier to lunch

Eat less meat every day

Form a small climate group

Inertia will kill us, twice

Holiday on bicycles

Learn how to plant and nurture trees

Drain your rice fields sometimes 

Auction caps 

Grow and store carbon 

Write to a newspaper in a denier region 

Help the employees, not the fossil fuel owners

Read a book, not a newspaper, on the bus

350 not 450

Study tropical forest protection

Why are most deniers men?

Carbon tax before cap and trade

Look for a home closer to work

Write a new page for this website

Oppose lobbying

Put a new slogan on your bicycle or bag every day 

Study the latest climate science first

No air-conditioning before lunchtime

Drink just a little cow milk

Study Earth's thermal inertia

Learn how to teach

Send parts of this website to a politician

Grow and store carbon in houses 

Organize exchanges with Asian universities 

Grow crops not livestock

Rationing is equitable

Study thermal inertia in buildings

Practice dialogue, not argument

Behaviour before technology

Make a bicycle path plan

Don't use concrete

Drive a much smaller car

Study the denier claims

1.5 not 2.0

Don't use trees for offsets

Work with a bilingual person 

Eat even less meat every day

Support better democracy

Do deniers care for their grandchildren? 

Paint your roof white

Oppose advertising by polluting companies

Consume less, save money

Form an international group 

Help a politician to learn

Making cement emits CO2.

Education must be global 

Grow and store carbon in the soil

Fans, not air-conditioning

Lobbying is bribery

Study growing algae

Improve the school curricula

You can't read driving a car

Find dated photos of glaciers

Study which companies bribe political parties 

How do you entice a denier to want to learn?

Share your job with an oil driller

Plant trees to absorb carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere

Have you tried Tahini dip?

What do deniers understand?

Dress less formally in the heat

Design a more tempting commuter bus

Get to know a denier's children

Pay tax to fund retraining

Less clothing, not fans

Eat kangaroo meat 

E-commute

Improve the university curricula

One is enough

Interview a climate scientist on video

Insulate your home

Open a wind turbine factory in a coal town

Study Earth feedback processes

300 not 350

Wheat is safer than rice

Take men's fashions up, and women's down

Use a condom in emergencies

Share some job-time

Protest forest destruction

Wear a cotton coat

Study tree plantations

Eat just a little cheese

Get to know a denier's grandchildren

Why do the rich want to grow?

Put on an extra jumper when its cold outside

Offer a new job to a coal miner

Adopt two

Join an NGO today

Political bribes, not donations

None is enough

Holiday close to home

Invest in a diverse plantation

Wear less in the heat

Talk to migrants about emailing home

Make compost

Promote eco-tourism for locals

Read more of this website

Ask a politician have they read James Hansen

Eat less cream

Jumpers are cheaper than gas

Arrange a climate debate

Build a thick-walled house

Study how to turn moderate deniers

Study fast growing trees

Hand out appropriate leaflets at railway stations

Study your local energy organization

Learn about the delights of veganism

Study Chinese

Practice walking

Shirts are enough in hot weather

Support rapid research on how to turn deniers

Try an IUD

Asians make blankets from cotton and kapok

Get to know your neighbours

Recycle jumpers and coats

Holiday by mass land transport

Drink red wine, not milk

Support rapid research on capturing CO2 from the air.

Hand out leaflets at bus stops

Men's legs are beautiful too

Talk to local government about recycling biological waste

Keep a stock of morning after pills

 

Adopt another one

When will the USA go metric?

Write and publish leaflets

Holiday on a sailing ship

Start a course on climate change and solutions

Exercise periodically when its cold

Farmers now support the Green party

Give a talk at the local school

Chocolate's great with soya cream

Climate crisis not climate change

Share a car with your neighbours

Study tipping points and irreversibility

Email government ministers

Form a climate group with your neighbours or friends

Read Climate Cover-Up

Study palaeo-climatology

Soon meat becomes less tempting

Improve your foreign language skills

Adopt a baby girl 

Write an article for your local newspaper

Read Storms of My Grandchildren (after reading some climate science such as on this website)

Take plastic packaging off at the shop

Climate emergency not climate crisis

Ask you government to make a good video on the climate emergency

Move your company to where your workers live

Invite your favourite denier to a vegan lunch

Ask the supermarket to turn off half the lights

Study carbon taxes in more than one nation

Join yours with other climate groups

Shop at dimly lit shops

Email people you know abroad

Ask a climatologist to explain the various! meanings of CO2e

Plant and nurture trees in your garden till its full

Learn about biochar

Study the bus routes in your town or city

Support James Hansen for the Nobel Prize for physics, peace or whatever.

Protest new oil exploration

Install a solar thermal hot water heater

Shop for food where the fridges have lids or doors

Plant 10 trees a month in neighbours' gardens and in parks

Ask your adult children what they think

Write a better letter to the newspapers

Organize a demonstration outside coal company offices.

Where are the Nobel prizes for Earth and social sciences?

Form a climate group at work

Give a talk at a school in a coal town

No children is best

Buy a glass of wine for a denier

Start an NGO

Support honest and intelligent politicians

Study short-term GHGs

Join a good political party

Give a talk at a school at an oil town

Study hire-purchase for solar panels

Stake out a coal energy factory

Don't export coal or oil

Work in a vulnerable area

Invest in geothermal

Live with a farmer family in the holidays and help them plant trees

Build a sailing ship

Give talks at the local town.

Hand out leaflets at another station

Video a debate

Move to a swinging seat in time for close elections

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
 
 

 Michael Tuckson

The website author and publisher, December 2009.

 

Easy Summary

 

We must try to understand up-to-date climate science coming out over the last few years that warns of possible disaster. Ice shelves and sheets are melting much faster than before. Global temperatures are rising, with oscillations due to ocean oscillations. Natural causes are minor compared with pollution. This understanding must be spread by advanced adult education, especially among the powerful. As many readers as possible must spread understanding.

 

Denier leaders are funded by the fossil fuel, tobacco and similar corporations and/or are ideologues. Their arguments are always against, not considering pro and con, as with real science. They rarely call for better understanding, just attempt to confuse. None are climate scientists. Their motivation is salary and weak government, not salary and discovery. Either they do not care about their descendants or they do not understand the probable future.

 

We must put more emphasis on the short-term greenhouse influences such as methane. Carbon dixide must be captured from the atmosphere. Also we must lead with behaviour change before appropriate technology spreads. Birth control is important in some regions. Job-time sharing and retraining can reduce any unemployment resulting from mitigation measures. Mitigation must be coordinated globally by government and citizens in modern sectors. City pairing could be useful.