The Bill

This little film

… isn’t perfect, but damn is it good.

Four minutes and 22 seconds, in German with English subtitles, but watch it anyway.

Kudos to Germanwatch , and if anyone wants to pay for an English version, don’t hesitate to call.

300,000 deaths per year, and that's just for starters

A recent report from Kofi Annan’s Global Humanitarian Forum tells us that climate change is already responsible for 300,000 deaths a year. And if we go beyond simple death to count the number of people that are already impacted, the number swells to 300 million. The report, Human Impact Report: Climate Change The Anatomy of a Silent Crisis, projects that increasingly severe heatwaves, floods, storms and forest fires will be responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths a year by 2030, making it the greatest humanitarian challenge that the world now faces. Which, frankly, is saying something! Continue reading “300,000 deaths per year, and that's just for starters”

The Remaining Emissions Budget

On April 30th, Nature finally published something \we’ve wanted to see for a long, long time – a peer-reviewed paper that integrates the latest science towards the very pragmatic goal of defining a entirely citable, global emergency emissions reduction trajectory. The paper is called Greenhouse-gas emission targets for limiting global warming to 2C (download it here) and it’s written by a team led by Malte Meinshausen, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, which has in recent years been the source for much of best scientific work on precautionary emissions trajectories. Also on the author’s list is William Hare (better known in as Bill Hare, particularly within the climate movement) – both Bill and Malte have long been key members of the Greenpeace International climate team.

What Meinshausen et. al. have done is define a comprehensive probabilistic framework which calculates the total amount of CO2 that can be emitted between 2000 and 2050, relative to any given chance of meeting, but not overshooting, a particular temperature target. If you’re interested in high chance of meeting a safe target – or at least the most widely supported of plausibly manageable targets – which would hold the global average temperature increase to 2C above pre-industrial levels target, that budget is extremely small. More precisely, the 2C target corresponds to total 2000-50 emissions of about 1000 Gigatons of CO2, a number to be compared to the approximately 300 Gt that were emitted between 2000 and the end of 2008. (At which point the annual emissions rate was about 36 Gt CO2 per year). Continue reading “The Remaining Emissions Budget”

One billion high emitters

An important scientific paper (by Chakravarty et al.), called Sharing global CO2 emission reductions among one billion high emitters was just published in the Proceedings of the [US] National Academy of Sciences. And because, as Greenwire notes, it “loosely builds on the idea of ‘greenhouse development rights,'” we’ve decided to write, and prominently feature, this a friendly rejoinder to it. Continue reading “One billion high emitters”