The Greenhouse Development Rights project, of which we are core members, has just released a brief report (only 12 pages) entitled A 350 ppm Emergency Pathway. In it, for the first time, a very precise and up-to-date representative 350 ppm pathway is developed. Like so:
The first phase of the 350 campaign has been a wild success. 350 is now an international symbol of emergency climate stabilization. More importantly, the 350 target reflects a scientifically-grounded assessment of what global climate protection really means. But what would it actually take to bring the atmospheric carbon-dioxide (CO2) concentration back to 350 parts per million? This memo provides a quick, up-to-date overview of the issues here, which are significant to any plausible emergency emissions-reduction effort. It focuses on the extremely limited size of the global CO2 budget that would remain to us in a 350 ppm future, and on the shape of the emissions pathway that’s needed if were to keep within that budget. In particular, it specifies a representative emissions pathway consistent with a 350 ppm concentration target. By way of context, it then compares this 350 pathway to an emission pathway consistent with a 2C temperature target, and to other, supposedly 2C-compliant pathways that have significantly lower odds of actually satisfying their target. Finally, it offers a brief glimpse of the challenges that all true emergency climate-reduction targets raise in this North / South divided world.
Copenhagen was obviously a failure — at least if you judge it by the numbers, the formal emission targets and financial commitments that are needed to support a fair and effective emergency global climate mobilization. If you judge it, that is, by what is necessary.
The more pressing question, though, is whether Copenhagen was a failure when judged against, not what is necessary, but rather what was possible. This is a much more difficult question, and it has far more to do with judgment than with calculation. And, here, very little is obvious.
This scoreboard isn’t perfect. For one thing, it doesn’t really show national proposals — a term that implies that countries are suggesting levels of effort for others as well as for themselves. These are actually pledges, not proposals. And for another thing, national pledges are in no way compared to national fair shares — what countries should be doing. But leave aside these two little “details,” and this isn’t a bad scoreboard.
If you’ve been hearing that the science has gotten worse since the IPCC’s last assessment report, but lacked for a single report that pulled the details together, you’re in luck. The Copenhagen diagnosis, subtitled “Updating the World on the Latest Climate Science” is written by an all-star team of top researchers, and it’s just what the doctor ordered.
A major new report, just released today by the Stockholm Environment Institute and Friends of the Earth Europe, shows that — despite an increasingly widespread sense that climate catastrophe can no longer be averted — radical action, on the necessary scale, is still a very real possibility.
In this conference, they’re going to try to take our money and send it to third-world countries because of, since we spend so much oil and these other countries have suffered, then were going to give our money to these third-world countries.
But then there’s this:
Neil, we have people here starving in our own country, Norris said. You know, my foundation, I have families, who are making $9,000 a year, the kids I’m teaching. Why aren’t we trying to help the poverty in our own country