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Tue Sep 14, 2021, 07:54 AM

Peter Kalmus (NASA/JPL) - Net-Zero 2050 "Magical Thinking Rooted In Our Society's Technology Fetish"

EDIT

Pathways for achieving net zero by 2050 – meaning that in 2050 any carbon emissions would be balanced by CO2 withdrawn through natural means, like forests, and through hypothetical carbon-trapping technology – are designed to give roughly even odds for keeping global heating below 1.5C. But it’s now apparent that even the current 1.1C of global heating is not a “safe” level. Climate catastrophes are arriving with a frequency and ferocity that have shocked climate scientists. The fact that climate models failed to predict the intensity of the summer’s heatwaves and flooding suggests that severe impacts will come sooner than previously thought. Madagascar is on the brink of the first climate famine, and developments such as multi-regional crop losses and climate warfare even before reaching 1.5C should no longer be ruled out.

Meanwhile, “net zero” is a phrase that represents magical thinking rooted in our society’s technology fetish. Just presuppose enough hypothetical carbon capture and you can pencil out a plan for meeting any climate goal, even while allowing the fossil fuel industry to keep growing. While there may be useful negative-emissions strategies such as reforestation and conservation agriculture, their carbon capture potential is small compared with cumulative fossil fuel carbon emissions, and their effects may not be permanent. Policymakers are betting the future of life on Earth that someone will invent some kind of whiz-bang tech to draw down CO2 at a massive scale.

The world’s largest direct air capture facility opened this month in Iceland; if it works, it will capture one ten-millionth of humanity’s current emissions, and due to its expense it is not yet scalable. It is the deepest of moral failures to casually saddle today’s young people with a critical task that may prove unfeasible by orders of magnitude – and expecting them to somehow accomplish this amid worsening heatwaves, fires, storms and floods that will pummel financial, insurance, infrastructure, water, food, health and political systems.

It should tell us all we need to know about “net zero by 2050” that it is supported by fossil fuel executives, and that climate uber-villain Rupert Murdoch has embraced it through his News Corp Australia mouthpiece. So where does this leave us? Stabilizing the rapidly escalating destruction of the Earth will require directly scaling back and ultimately ending fossil fuels. To lower the odds of civilizational collapse, society must shift into emergency mode. It will be easy to tell when society has begun this shift: leaders will begin to take actions that actually inflict pain on big oil, such as ending fossil fuel subsidies and placing a moratorium on all new oil and gas infrastructure.

EDIT

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/10/net-zero-2050-deadly-procrastination-fossil-fuels

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Reply Peter Kalmus (NASA/JPL) - Net-Zero 2050 "Magical Thinking Rooted In Our Society's Technology Fetish" (Original post)
hatrack Sep 14 OP
2naSalit Sep 14 #1
hunter Sep 15 #2

Response to hatrack (Original post)

Tue Sep 14, 2021, 08:57 AM

1. K&R

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Response to hatrack (Original post)

Wed Sep 15, 2021, 12:29 AM

2. I figure we could quit fossil fuels in fifteen years...

... if we regarded global warming as a threat similar to Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, or Soviet Russia.

Most people don't. Not yet.

Here in the U.S.A. we'll probably have to lose a few major cities before people generally accept that global warming is real and that banning fossil fuels is a good idea.

Which cities we lose, and how , is anyone's guess. Flooding, fire, and drought are just some of the possibilities.

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