UPDATESG6 CANADA 6/9/18NEW YORKER TANGIER ISLAND
REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS TO VIRTUALLY ZERO and...DO THE RESEARCH NECESSARY TO DO LARGE SCALE
ATMOSPHERIC CARBON REMOVAL
BY ANY COMBINATION OF METHODS
AND DO IT AS RAPIDLY AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE
In the absence of negative emissions two things happpen. First I believe that reduction of emissions, especially with US policies being what they are, will be insufficient to even approach the 2°C target. Second, I believe that because there are so many businesses and individuals that have to do a small part, that there will be a feeling of hopelessness that will reduce the chances of success.
However, even if the United States should participate it will be a close call considering the increasing output from undeveloped nations which will go for the least expensive energy sources which in most cases will be coal, the worst posssible choice for energy generation. And because of limited resources, dirty coal will be used in many cases. Additionally the cost of large scale negative emissions will be very high, likely running into the trillions of dollars. And to complicate the financial situation further, undeveloped countries will rightfully expect financial aid from the countries (especially the US) who have been the largeest contributors to the problem and who have the greatest financial resources. It will take an extremely strong leadership to convice the relatively small group of businesses and individuals that own most of the financial resoures of this country to dig very deeply into their pockets to have a chance of making this work.EVERYONE HAS TO DO his or her part and that means every country that makes a significnt contribution to carbon output which in turn means every contributor within that country. This is extraordinarily unlikely especially since every year counts which means every reduction is less effective the more time it takes which means the goal is continually receding barring a virtually miraculous turn in humanity's attitude.
MANY SCIENTISTS THINK THIS IS ESSENTIAL because if atmospheric carbon is not reduced then warming will continue indefinitely and that means a ravaged earth sooner or later. It is complicated by the fact that the effects of the last 10 years of carbon output have not yet been felt. The overall consequences vary from moderately bad to catastrophic which means so bad that there is no choice but to make the leap into carbon withdrawl now.
IN THE ABSENCE OF AGGRESSIVE LEADERSHIP by the United States, or possibly China, this is not going to happen. The investment is likely to require thousands or even hundreds of thousands of removal stations and investment of trillions of dollars. First, a large investment in research will be required on a crash basis (think of the Manhattan Project several times over) and then implementation as rapidly as possible. The more delay in implementation of the surpression of emissions and/or the implemention of an atmospheric drawdown system, the greater the likelihood of failure. It is now or never time for the human race and for the planet.
SO IS THERE A SOLUTION? Under present conditions: No. The United States has the worst leaders conceiveable. They are forcing us backwards as fast as they can and they have no comprehension of the problem. They believe, like most people, what they want to believe. The worst parts of their genetic makeup and their life experiences have taken over. As individuals do we have any power? One shot. Change the government completely by the end of the year and replace it with a powerful, carismatic, responsible one that is well-educated in science.
WELL, I WILL SUGGEST ONE OTHER. A scientific uprising which is nearly impossible because scientists are if anything measured (pun not intended) in their responses. However, I can concieve of a step. A world-wide gathering of scientific "doers" that choose a steering committe that puts a do-or-die plan on the president's desk by the end of the year, and refuses to leave the White House until it is signed. Perhaps a rotating group of 100 camped in the oval office 24/7 and another 1000 out front.
I HAVE MET TWO SCIENTISTS (and there are many possibilities I have not met) who might have been capable: Amar Bose (my mentor) and Rainer Weiss the primal force behind the gravity wave project. Dr. Bose passed away several years ago and Dr. Weiss is in his 80s.
WILL THE MAN who combines the best qualities of both and perhaps those of Kip Thorne, Richard Feynman, FDR, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln please stand and be recognized.