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This is a point of view on Climate Change and what it it means.
About Climate Change
What interests us is not whether climate change is really happening, or human-induced. Because, firstly, we are students, not professors, secondly, the scientists may well be wrong. But what is interesting is the reality highlighted by how human beings have responded upon accepting this “assumption.”
What does this assumption imply?
Assuming that scientists are correct, that climate change is human induced, this would have two implications, firstly, the impact resulting from actions of human beings are equivalent to a geological force of the planet.
Secondly, this would mean that the feedback loop of a system of such a scale is usually longer than human beings are able to comprehend, at least until the system reaches a tipping point.
It is like blowing a candle, if one exerts a force smaller than the system, the system will only flicker, but if equal to or greater to the system itself, it will fundamentally alter— The candle will turn into smoke.
Translate to climate science, the tipping point means 2 degrees temperature rise.
How much time do we have under this assumption? The scientists says that from 2007, the earth’s average temperature has risen by 0.74 degrees in the period from 1906 to 2005.
The latest science allows 1000 billion CO2 emission from 2000 to 2050 if the temperature is kept at 2 degree. From 2000-2009, we have used 1/3 of the quota.
The Reality of Human Response
Here is what is interesting, for those who accepted the above assumption of climate change and acted on it, the way they did so was to reduce green house gases (GHG), such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, i.e. CDM emission trading, carbon capture and storage technological developments or citizens driving less.
Much of the discussions and of the United Nations international negotiations are framed under this approach, so are many NGO’s campaigns targeting individuals’ low-carbon lifestyle.
But the funny thing is Carbon dioxide is a a product of every living creature’s breathing. Plants absorbing carbon dioxide in the air, and when they die, some of the carbon become trapped and turn into fossil fuels buried under the ground. Unfortunately, most of our energy comes from burning these fossil fuels, turning millions of years’ accumulation into a sudden pulse of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, quicker than the living plants are able to absorb.
Looking closer at the previous graph, the planet has been self-balancing itself for the at least the past 8000,000 years.
We cannot solve problems with the same mindset that created them
- ALBERT EINSTEIN
To be continued….
A paradigm shift