Creating the Climate for Change | The Jackal

14 May 2011

Creating the Climate for Change

Did you realise that sea ice is melting and temperatures are warming even faster than climatologists predicted? There is no doubt that it's happening because of Human-made climate change. An increasing body of scientific observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system, with new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.

Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometres of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost around 152 cubic kilometres of ice between 2002 and 2005. Glaciers are also retreating almost everywhere around the world.

Although one can point to particular glaciers that are growing, glaciologists look for trends in the total mass of glaciers worldwide. The consensus is that the world’s glaciers are losing ice at an accelerating rate. Several ice shelves have collapsed completely, including one covering 3,250 km2. In September 1979, Arctic sea ice extent was roughly equivalent to the area of Australia. Since then it has declined by about a third. The melt outstripped all projections, and added to an increase in sea levels around the globe.
Click image for larger view.
A new blueprint for sustainable, economic growth was presented with the UNEP's Green Economy Report, which outlines public policy choices, urgent actions and investments needed for a transition to a global 'Green Economy' that is low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially-inclusive. Unfortunately many Governments (Including National) have completely ignored the information. No doubt they will also ignore the information presented by James Hansen, one of the world's most famous climate change scientists, who is currently touring New Zealand.

The argument against implementing such a course of action can be described as weak at best. One of the recent issues raised is that there's a trade-off between environmental sustainability and economic growth. This is clearly a myth, adopting a Green Economy approach does not mean an inevitable decline in GDP. It's been shown that investing as little as 2% of global GDP across ten key sectors will trigger a new engine of economic growth and provide a net generator of decent jobs, something New Zealand is in desperate need of. Greater investment in a Green Economy model is also vital for eradicating poverty and curbing the costs associated with climate change.

It certainly beats what NASA has recently presented. Their scientists as well as a number of other institutions modeled the effects of a war involving a hundred Hiroshima-level bombs, or 0.03 percent of the world's current nuclear arsenal.

The research suggests five million metric tons of black carbon would be swept up into the lowest portion of the atmosphere. The result, according to NASA climate models, could actually be global cooling. Why they have presented this information is not clear. However a Nuclear holocaust is not a viable option, for obvious reasons.

It's not the first time the lunatics have taken over the asylum... Project Argus was a top-secret US military test aimed at detonating atomic bombs in space to generate an artificial radiation belt and disrupt the near-space environment. It, and the later tests conducted by both the U.S. and the Soviet Union, peaked with H-bomb detonations in space in 1962 that created an artificial magnetic (radiation) belt that persisted for 10 years.

However I digress. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), greenhouse gas reductions alone will not avert further destruction of the arctic. Black carbon and ozone reductions are also required. Estimates are that black carbon may be the second or third biggest contributor to global warming after CO2. It is a short term "climate forcer" which means that we could make an instant impact on global warming if reductions were implemented with a green economy.
Hyundai's pure electric car BlueOn - available 2013.
The idea of a clean tech future is no longer confined to the realms of environmental specialists and is fast becoming a key component of mainstream economic discourse. UNEP's Green Economy Report is a critical landmark in the transition to a more efficient and equitable economy that makes better use of natural resources to achieve sustainable growth.

You might be aware that exposure to air pollutants emitted by vehicles (such as sulphur oxides, soot and smoke particles) can lead to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and an increased risk of lung cancer. With an estimated 10,000 Kiwis dying prematurely from airborne pollution each year, implementing cleaner technology will have an economical payoff in that not as many people will require hospitalization or time off work. There really aren't any more excuses for not pursuing a clean green future.