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Science communication is important in today's technologically advanced society. A good part of the adult community is not science savvy and lacks the background to make sense of rapidly changing technology. My blog attempts to help by publishing articles of general interest in an easy to read and understand format without using mathematics. You can contact me at ektalks@yahoo.co.uk

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Paris Climate Agreement - Too Little Too Late - Nations buy time to do nothing for at least 5 more years

I had made a resolution that I shall not comment on the Paris Climate Change Agreement - this was not to be; and I feel compelled to say my bit on an agreement that is not quantitative enough but a restatement of 'good intentions' albeit more cleverly drafted.  
CO2 levels have risen from about 300 ppm to 400 ppm since the Industrial Revolution - a good part coming from human activities of burning fossil fuel and deforestation.  Carbon isotope analysis has confirmed this beyond any doubt whatsoever.  People who claim otherwise are only being silly.  The average Global temperature has already risen by 0.8C and could rise by a total of 2.7C even if all the good intentions of the Paris agreement are delivered.  
It will be good to watch what the oil company share price does over the next few months - I bet that it will not crash as it should if the Paris agreement has any meaning and fossil fuel consumption is reduced.  The share price will vindicate my belief  that nations of the world will not implement what they have promised in Paris yesterday.  

The basic problem is money - Bloomberg analysis says it will cost 16500 Billion dollars to shift energy production from fossil to renewable etc. and the biggest developing economies of China and India will not be inclined to find big monies to correct a problem that USA and Europe caused and who also have greater resources.  It really boils down to sustainability.  The carbon foot print of the developed countries is far greater than the average global foot print.  A large fraction of CO2 emission from China and other developing countries goes to produce and transport goods for consumption in the developed countries.  We have got used to living on cheaply produced goods - no wonder inflation is so hard to materialize in spite of masses of Quantitative Easing by the central banks run by very clever, and very rich, people.  We have mortgaged the welfare of the next few generations already.  The climate change effects of rising sea levels, selective severe droughts and rainfalls, new diseases moving north, frequent extreme events will be just a few extra miseries they will need to cope with.

If we keep burning fossil fuels at the current level then CO2 levels will not come down - they will not be coming down in a hurry anyway as once CO2 is in the atmosphere, it will hang around there for much more than a 100 years.  We are already committed.  Emissions need to be cut - and cut drastically - to limit temperature increase to less than 2C.

General wisdom is to limit what one has to say to an A4 sheet of paper.  I could go on for a few more pages but that will be unwise.

Take care and Bye until the next time... 

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