Why we need to stabilize the climate -- immediately

It is hard to understate the urgency of the great problem of the day. 

This is the problem of global warming.

The Earth has warmed far more than you probably realize. 

And no one seems to want to do anything about it.

Here's another problem: the solutions that are being offered by politicians, and even by scientists, will not solve anything.

Take the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement aims to keep global temperatures "well below" a 2 degree Celsius temperature rise from pre-industrial levels.

There's a problem with that: the Earth's temperature has already risen 1 degree Celsius and we seem committed to 1.5 degrees of warming. In other words, we've already blown through most of the temperature cushion we've given ourselves.

Here's another problem: in order to keep temperatures from getting that high, humanity would need to immediately cease emitting "super pollutants" like methane / HFCs, go carbon neutral by 2030, and pull 1 trillion tons of carbon from the atmosphere (this according to a recent Scripps study

There is not a single politician today who is advocating for this type of framework.

Even the most well meaning ones don't get the science. Or they are not really understanding the problem.

Surprisingly, even the environmentalists don't get it quite right. Take the campaign to limit atmospheric carbon concentrations to 350 parts per million (or "350 ppm").

350 ppm does not at all appear to be a safe level of carbon for civilization. The Eemian Period, in which sea levels were about 2 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels, had a CO2 level of about 275 ppm. Sea levels were also about 6 - 9 meters higher than they are today (or close to 30 feet). Current concentrations of CO2 are 410 ppm. 

Urging a return to 350 ppm is like seeing a burning, multi-story house, and telling the firemen to only douse the bottom floor. That doesn't do anything. The house still burns down.

Here's what we need to do to stabilize the climate:

(i) All countries have to transition, immediately, to renewables. We have to stop producing carbon and super pollutants ASAP.

(ii) All countries have to commit to lowering CO2 concentrations to pre-industrial levels, probably 260 ppm, 280 ppm at the least. This has to happen immediately, and no later than 2050

(iii) This will mean we have to start removing carbon from the atmosphere, immediately.

The same Scripps study cited earlier mentions the possibility of wide-scale (perhaps 90%) species extinction if climate change goes unaddressed, with "existential" threats to humanity.

We need to stabilize the climate, immediately. 

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