Aviation is responsible for 5% of global warming and its rapid growth puts it on track to consume a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050. There is a way to avoid this outcome but we need to act fast, a green transport NGO has said. By driving out the use of fossil kerosene fuel through carbon pricing and requiring aircraft to switch to synthetic fuels, the climate impact of flying can be reduced dramatically, according to a new report by Transport & Environment (T&E).
While high profile promises such as short-haul electric aircraft or more efficient aircraft designs every 20 years won’t be sufficient to solve aviation’s climate problem, new near-zero-carbon electrofuels can be produced today and deployed immediately using existing engines and infrastructure. Electrofuels are produced by combining hydrogen with carbon dioxide, but to do this sustainably the hydrogen must be produced using renewable…
At a time when we should be uniting globally to reorganize our way of life to stave off climate disaster, many parts of the world are instead veering to the right, rejecting internationalism and demonizing marginalized communities. How did we get here? How can we escape annihilation?
Overlapping Roots of Fascism and Climate Catastrophe
Earth’s carbon dioxide levels are likely the highest they’ve been in 15 million years
Direct measures of the air show carbon dioxide levels have recently hit 410 parts per million, or ppm, the highest-recorded number in human history.
“For the most part, carbon dioxide was below 400 ppm for the last 14 million years or so,” Matthew Lachniet, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said in an interview.
SEE ALSO: This scientist keeps winning money from people who bet against climate change
There may have been a time, roughly 3 million years ago during an extremely warm period called the Pliocene Epoch — when sea levels were between 16 and 131 feet higher than today — during which carbon concentrations could have approximated present levels.
“However, the concentration of CO2 currently in Earth’s atmosphere is higher or is nearly as high as it has been over any time period during the…
Zombies For Climate Apocalypse gathered outside Warren Entsch’s office on Halloween.
They were be there to mark the death and destruction caused by fossil fuel economies.
Carrying signs such as ‘Warren Entsch’s Walking Dead’ and ‘Tony Abbott Bit Me’, the zombie horde drew the link between horror fiction and the fact of climate denialism within the LNP government.
The Zombie Shuffle is in solidarity with a zombie event being held at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne.
The MASIL Project (Mapuche-Aboriginal Struggles for Indigenous Land) has initiated the Melbourne event to highlight the damaging effects of transnational corporate mining on First Nations peoples.
The Mapuche are a First Nations people from Chile.
They have partnered with Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance for this event.
Zelda Grimshaw explained, “People often joke about ‘the zombie apocalypse’ but we know it is only half a joke.
Droughts, fires, plagues, floods, epidemics, rising seas, terrible storms and other climate impacts really are the stuff of apocalypse, and we know that this is what is coming unless we end fossil fuel use.
“In Melbourne the global heads of mining companies are meeting to work out how best to profit from the extinction of our species.
First Nations peoples in Australia as elsewhere are on the front lines of mining and climate impacts.
Here in Queensland, the negotiation rights of indigenous landholders have been trampled by the State and Federal governments in order to facilitate the Adani mega mine.
So we are shuffling in solidarity today.
“We are a reef electorate.
The Great Barrier Reef is suffering as a result of Australia’s coal-fired power stations, fracking, and coal exports.
Our federal representative, Mr Entsch, has yet to take any meaningful action at all to protect our people, our towns and our reef from continued fossil fuel use.
Stop Adani Cairns was refused an audience with Mr Entsch to discuss the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on climate change, which warns that a temperature rise of above 1.5 degrees will have catastrophic consequences for humanity.
Stop Adani Cairns is demanding that Mr Entsch read the report and follow the recommendations to phase out coal and gas immediately from the Australian economy.
The latest report from the IPCC shows we cannot afford to burn the vast majority of remaining reserves of fossil fuels if we are to keep warming below 1.5 or even 2 degrees.
A new line in the sand is needed.
We support an agreement with a moratorium on any further expansion of the fossil fuel industry in rich countries, together with a fund to support renewable energy development in poorer countries to reduce the need for fossil fuels, paid for by redirecting the staggering $10m per minute that governments currently spend on fossil fuel subsidies.
The best way to mark the 50th anniversary of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty would be to begin negotiation of its fossil fuel equivalent.
Bill McKibbenFounder, 350.org Naomi KleinWriter and activist Caroline Lucas MPGreen party John SauvenExecutive director, Greenpeace Craig BennettCEO, Friends of the Earth Ann PettiforPrime Economics Leo Murray10:10
It is also right to demand that the government “tell the hard truth to its citizens”.
This hard truth should not only apply to the effects of climate change but to the necessary measures to mitigate it.
An example measure would involve a great deal of rationing akin to that in wartime.
For instance; petrol and diesel cars could be restricted to use only every other day, natural gas for central heating could be rationed to that required to heat an average house to 20 degrees, or even less.
Even electric cars could be affected, it may be impossible to recharge batteries when there is a windless night.
The green lobby spells out the hard truth on the effects of climate change but fails to spell out the harsh measures necessary to mitigate it.
John Huggins (Independent consultant; formerly director of gas transportation for British Gas), London
•Count me in for the extinction rebellion.
I fully support the aim of “rapid total decarbonisation”, and the need for credible plans.
They will succeed when there are millions of accompanying individual decarbonisation plans being implemented by each and every one of us.
And we can start now.
I look forward to seeing significantly less traffic on our roads, reduced flights from our airports, reduced heating and lighting in all our buildings, reduced building and construction, and reduced needless stuff being sold in our supermarkets and shopping malls.
We’ve entered some profoundly unfamiliar planetary territory.
Amid a backdrop ofU.S. politicians still questioningwhether the changing climate is attributable to humans (it is), it’s quite likely that we’ve actually boosted Earth’s carbon dioxide — a potent greenhouse gas — to the highest levels they’ve been in some 15 million years.
The number 15 million is dramatically higher than a statisticfrequently citedby geologists and climate scientists: That today’s carbon levels are the highest they’ve been on Earth in at least 800,000 years — as there’s irrefutable proof trapped in the planet’sancient ice.
Though scientists emphasize that air bubbles preserved in ice are the gold carbon standard, there are less direct, though still quitereliablemeans to gauge Earth’s long-ago carbon dioxide levels. These measurements, broadly called proxies, include thechemical make-up of long-dead planktonand theevidence storedin the breathing cells, or stomata, of ancient plants.
Scientists have identified this 15 million number by measuring and re-measuring proxies all over the world.
“It’s a good scientific documentation, but it’s an indirect measure,” Michael Prather, a professor of earth system science at the University of California Irvine, said in an interview.
“And there’s several lines of evidence,” Prather, a lead author on UN climate reports, added, citing the carbon dioxide evidence in fossilized marine life. “It’s not just one person’s crazy number.”
There may have been a time, roughly 3 million years ago during an extremely warm period called thePliocene Epoch— when sea levels were between 16 and 131 feet higher than today — during which carbon concentrations could have approximated present levels.
“However, the concentration of CO2 currently in Earth’s atmosphere is higher or is nearly as high as it has been over any time period during the past 15 million years,” Daniel Breecker, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences, said over email.
The critical difference today, however, is that carbon emissions are expected to continue rising. With theunprecedented burningof fossil fuels, carbon accumulations will simply keep going up.
“Of course, C02 concentrations aren’t stopping today,” said Lachniet. “We’re probably going to blow through 550 to 600 ppm.”
Those sorts of high carbon concentrations haven’t been experienced on Earth in well over 20 million years, noted Lachniet.
“That makes this conversation even more stark,” he said.
Some folks in the climate community, though, have even argued that today’s climate has the highest concentration of total greenhouse gases — when gases like methane (natural gas) and nitrous oxide are added to the mix — in 20 million years.
This idea, called the “carbon dioxide equivalent” hassome supportin the climate community, though a variety of climate scientists we reached out to weren’t aware of research supporting this 20 million-year claim.
In the end, it’s not just the actual concentration of carbon dioxide that matters — it’s how sensitive the planet ends up being to this dramatically rising carbon accumulation, noted Breecker.
Already, Earth has proven quite sensitive
Since the onset of the Industrial Revolution, Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1 degree Celsius.
“It [global warming] raises sea levels and makes storm surges worse, it makes the atmosphere wetter, leading to flooding from extreme rainfall, and warming ocean temperatures provide extra energy to tropical storms,” climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf, head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research,saidin September.
“The polar ice is melting, in the ocean the Gulf Stream System is weakening, and in the atmosphere the jet stream is getting weird,” Rahmstorf added.
Unlike previous geologic epochs, the defining circumstance today isn’t just notably high carbon in the air — it’s how fast it’s all accumulating.
The natural world both loads and removes carbon from the atmosphere over long periods of thousands to tens of thousands of years.
For example, a warm period called the Eemian, which ended around 120,000 years ago, slowly melted a significant portion of Greenland’s ice sheets — even withprofoundly lowercarbon concentrations of around 280 ppm.
But these days, the climate hasn’t yet caught up.
“We’re warming so fast that we haven’t even begun to let Greenland melt,” noted UC Irvine’s Prather.
Where civilization ultimately ends up, carbon-wise, is contingent upon how quicklyglobal societies transitionto clean energy, and generate electricity without a deep reliance on fossil fuels.
“I would argue what’s really relevant is where we stabilize out,” said Lachniet. “Over the next hundred years we really set the next 10,000 years of climate history.”
The Climate Implications of the Migrant Caravan, EcoWatch, Olivia Rosane, Oct. 29, 2018 The U.S. military will send as many as 5,000 troops to the country’s Southern border to meet thousands of refugees and migrants who are traveling north through Mexico from Central America, The Independent reported Monday.
The group of thousands grew out of 160 people who gathered at a bus stop in the crime-plagued Honduran city of San Pedro Sula on Oct. 12, BBC News explained. News of the plan spread on social media, and, by the next day, the group had reached 1,000 members.
The migrants are heading north for a variety of reasons, from unemployment to violence. But one of the underlying causes is climate change.
“Central America, in general, has had chronic impacts of climate change,” Oxfam Guatemala Country Director Ana María Mendez Libby told Earther.
What sort of society poisons the air their children breathe?
Putting the cost of energy above the health of their children.
UN Climate Change News, 29 October 2018– A new report by the World Health Organization on air pollution and child health, launched on the occasion of their firstGlobal Health Conference on Air Pollution and Health, shows that almost all of the word’s children are exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution.
The report also finds that in an increasingly populated and warmer world, still heavily dependent on carbon-based technologies, the air we breathe has serious effects on our health, accounting for a third of deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease. Air pollution is a major environmental health threat, and children are the most vulnerable to it.
“Polluted air is poisoning millions of children and ruining their lives,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “This is inexcusable. Every child should be able to breathe clean air so they can grow and fulfil their full potential.”
Every day, around 93% of the world’s children under the age of 15 years (1.8 billion children) breathe air that is so polluted it puts their health and development at serious risk, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Tragically, many of them die: WHO estimates that in 2016, 600,000 children died from acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air.
TheAir pollution and child health: Prescribing clean air reportreveals as well that pregnant women that are exposed to polluted air are more likely to give birth prematurely, and have small, low birth-weight children. Air pollution also impacts neurodevelopment and cognitive ability and can trigger asthma, and childhood cancer. Children who have been exposed to high levels of air pollution may be at greater risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease later in life.
“Air Pollution is stunting our children’s brains, affecting their health in more ways than we suspected” says Dr Maria Neira, Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health at WHO.
One reason why children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of air pollution is that they breathe more rapidly than adults and so absorb more pollutants. They also live closer to the ground, where some pollutants reach peak concentrations – at a time when their brains and bodies are still developing.
Newborns and young children are also more susceptible to household air pollution in homes that regularly use polluting fuels and technologies for cooking, heating and lighting.
The fact that smog is not visible in the air does not mean that the air is healthy. Microscopic pollutants in the air can slip past our body’s defenses, penetrating deep into our respiratory and circulatory system, damaging our lungs, heart and brain.
There are two main types of air pollution –ambient air pollution (or outdoor pollution) from fuel combustion from mobile sources, power plants, industry or biomass burning; and household air pollution (or indoor pollution), generated by household’s combustion of fuels like coal, wood or kerosene, using open fires or basic stoves in poorly ventilated spaces. Independently of where it is produced, both contribute to each other, as air moves from inside buildings to the outside, and vice versa.
“But there are many straight-forward ways to reduce emissions of dangerous pollutants”, added Dr Maria Neira, “WHO is supporting implementation of health-wise policy measures like accelerating the switch to clean cooking and heating fuels and technologies, promoting the use of cleaner transport, energy-efficient housing and urban planning. We are preparing the ground for low emission power generation, cleaner, safer industrial technologies and better municipal waste management”, she added.
Air pollution affects neurodevelopment, leading to lower cognitive test outcomes, negatively affecting mental and motor development.
Air pollution is damaging children’s lung function, even at lower levels of exposures
Globally, 93% of the world’s children under 15 years of age are exposed to ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels above WHO air quality guidelines, which include the 630 million of children under 5 years of age, and 1.8 billion of children under 15 years
In low- and middle-income countries around the world, 98% of all children under 5 are exposed to PM2.5 levels above WHO air quality guidelines. In comparison, in high-income countries, 52% of children under 5 are exposed to levels above WHO air quality guidelines.
More than 40% of the world’s population – which includes for 1 billion children under 15 – is exposed to high levels of household air pollution from mainly cooking with polluting technologies and fuels.
About 600’000 deaths in children under 15 years of age were attributed to the joint effects of ambient and household air pollution in 2016.
Together, household air pollution from cooking and ambient (outside) air pollution cause more than 50% of acute lower respiratory infections in children under 5 years of age in low- and middle-income countries.
Air pollution is one of the leading threats to child health, accounting for almost 1 in 10 deaths in children under five years of age.
Dr. Jem Bendell is a Cambridge educated Professor of Sustainability Leadership and Founder of the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) at the University of Cumbria (UK). He focuses on leadership and communications for social change, as well as approaches that may help humanity face climate-induced disruption. The World Economic Forum (WEF) recognized Professor Bendell as a Young Global Leader for his work on sustainable business alliances. With over 100 publications, including four books and five UN reports. Dr. Bendell has recently moved into a new phase of work in light of the latest climate science.
The following 14 recommendations for collapse acceptance anddeep adaptation come form Dr. Bendell’s experience with the positive and negative aspects of the last past four years since he “began to accept the inevitability of near term social collapse”:
Return to, or explore afresh, the idea of a divine or a spirit or…