Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?

You may have already heard tell of this, a rather astonishing scientific paper by Jim Hansen and his team, but chances are that you haven’t read it, or even skimmed it. So consider this to be another chance, one you shouldn’t pass up. This, after all, is a paper that says that we need a “phase-out over the next 20-25 years of coal use that does not capture CO2,” and if there has been more easily understandable call for an emergency energy transition, we haven’t heard it. Continue reading “Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?”

No More Kindergarten Approach to Climate

Sunita Narain, of New Delhi’s Center for Science and the Environment, has long been a leader in the battle for global climate justice. Which makes it all the better to have her weigh in with this rather sharp editorial. If you’re tired of recent fashion of blaming China and India for the crisis (both countries have far less historical responsibility and far lower per-capita incomes than, say, ours) you might want to take a look at this short, bracing call to return to basics.

A Peak on the Horizon

There are essentially two paths forward from here, both of them passing through Copenhagen and then heading on to a global peak and, subsequently, a rapid decline in greenhouse-gas emissions. The first, an extremely dangerous business-as-usual path, is one in which we fail to act, decisively and in time, and thus commit ourselves to disruptive, frightening, and extremely expensive near-future adjustments. Continue reading “A Peak on the Horizon”

A Green New Deal: Joined-up policies to solve the triple crunch of the credit crisis, climate change and high oil prices

Now here’s something interesting! An actual use of the term ” Green New Deal,” which has been knocking around for years now, and in the title of a report written by group of veteran British climate and social justice campaigners that ought to know what they’re talking about.

The precise definition of the “triple crunch” here is a bit too topical for our tastes (we’re not sure that the credit crisis deserve equal billing with climate change) but this is a pretty small point. The main claim here is that “These three overlapping events threaten to develop into a perfect storm, the like of which has not been seen since the Great Depression,” and it’s well worth considering, particularly since it may be right. And because, if it is, the stakes will be extremely high. Continue reading “A Green New Deal: Joined-up policies to solve the triple crunch of the credit crisis, climate change and high oil prices”

Climate Code Red: The case for emergency action

We raved about Climate Code Red when it first came out as a report, and we’re not going to stop now that it’s a book. And the fact that the book is hard to get in the US doesn’t make much difference. Get a friend in Australia to send it to you! Or go to the book site and try your best. Here’s what we said about the original report:

David Spratt and Philip Sutton, the two Australian climate analysts behind this report, insist that we’ve already crossed the line, and that the problem now is to engineer an emergency global mobilization and to “cool the earth” as quickly as humanly possible. Their argument, alas, is not a rhetorical one that will be easy to deny. In fact, it’s for the most part quite measured. It’s certainly strongly rooted in the science (much of which has come out since the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report) and almost entirely free of gratuitous political spin. Continue reading “Climate Code Red: The case for emergency action”

The G5 Statement

If youre a regular visitor to this site, you know that our focus is a fair global climate regime. Indeed, we believe that, before theres any real chance of stabilizing the climate, there will have to be a fair burden sharing deal, one that the developing countries can really support. In the absence of such a deal, developing country negotiators can all to justifiably conclude that they have more to lose than to gain from any really serious engagement with a global regime that, after all, must significantly curtail access to the energy sources and technologies that historically enabled growth in the industrialized world. Continue reading “The G5 Statement”

Oxfam: Rich Must Pay the Bulk of Climate Bill

Oxfam has just taken a big step, and it wasnt easy, and they deserve heaps of kudos for it. It has called for a mandatory adaptation funding regime (were talking global here) thats on the right scale, or at least the right order of magnitude, one in which national obligations to pay (to help poor and vulnerable communities adapt to the now ineveitable impacts of climate change) are determined by historical responsibility for the impacts of climate change, and by ability to pay. Continue reading “Oxfam: Rich Must Pay the Bulk of Climate Bill”