Climate Action Shorts

Climate Action Shorts

Monday at 4 PM on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter will be the Climate Town Hall on the West Coast, PST.  This will be on C-SPAN2 at 7:45 PM – 9:15 PM PST. 

Monday at 6 PM starts the “24 Hours of Reality:  Protect Our Planet, Protect Ourselves” broadcast hosted by former VP and Nobel Laureate Al Gore, as broadcasts go around the world.   This was covered on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

I covered a set of talks at UCI on California Electrification:  Emerging technologies for a zero-emission environment.  I put these on a Flickr album on my account, though the pictures pale in quality to the actual talks under “Electification” above.  The key finding of the cover slide was that electrification of transportation from gasoline to electricity, and of natural gas for space heating and water heating to electricity, could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% from 5,100 Mtons (million tons) of CO2  to 1,600 Mtons.  This would only increase electricity by 18% over the current energy mix to 45%.  These changes make energy much more efficient, as well as increasing efficiency in uses of all forms of energy.

News quotes from Huffington Post “This New World”:

Only 29% of Americans believe human activity is the main cause of climate change.  This takes an extreme view of the Monmouth poll.  An additional 37% believe that humans and natural causes are equally responsible.  Adding these give 66% or 2/3.  78% of Americans believe that the world’s climate is changing.

In the US, more than 90 cities have adopted 100% renewable-energy goals.  An additional six have already hit their marks.

Greenhouse gas emissions have increased 2.7% in 2018.

The Guardian on the UN #EmissionsGap Report on Meeting the Climate Goals:

“Only a rapid turnaround here can help.  Emissions must be reduced by a quarter by 2030 [to keep warming to no more than 2ºC (3.6ºF) above pre-industrial levels] (they are already at 1ºC (1.8ºF) above that) and for 1.5ºC, emissions would have to be halved.”  So a tripling of effort may be needed to even meet the 2ºC goal.  (With just the goals at present, the 2100 warming will be to 3ºC or 5.4ºF.)

From Jain Liu, the chief scientist at UN Environment, if all fossil fuel subsidies were phased out, global carbon emissions could be reduced by up to 10% by 2030.  If we don’t act now, we will be making inefficient buildings, transport networks, and energy generation that will last another 50 years.

In 2017, CO2 rose to an average 406 ppm, up 126 from 280 pre-industrial times.  That is up 45% or almost half.

The greenhouse gas methane accounts for about 17% of global warming and is now 2.5 times than preindustrial times from emissions from cattle, rice paddies, and leaks from oil and gas wells.

Nitrous oxide, N2O, is over 20% higher than pre-industrial times.  About 40% of it comes from soil degradation, fertilizer use, and industry.

From the UN Yearbook of Global Climate Action 2018:

Climate Action commitments are being made globally by cities, regions, businesses, investors, and civil society.  Commitments come from more than 9,000 cities from 128 countries (16% of the global population), around 240 states and regions from more than 40 countries (17% of the global population) and more than 6,000 businesses in 120 countries representing $36 trillion.  (We have to help out to expand action to just more than 1/6 of the earth’s population.)   (Not participating as countries are now the US, Brazil, and Australia.). Committed parties have to carry out and enhance their commitments.  There are 127 cooperative initiatives, and 60% of them are on their way to reaching their goals.

To achieve the 1.5ºC limit, investment in energy systems would have to be $2.4 trillion a year up to 2035.  This will bring a net economic gain of $26 trillion by 2030.  (Yes, 12 x $2.4 trillion is a total $29 trillion in investment by 2030.)

CO2 stays in the atmosphere for a century.  So you can pay for clean energy now, or leave it for your kids, grandkids, and great grandchildren to pay off at greater expense later.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
This entry was posted in Al Gore, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Climate Education, Climate Science, Fossil Fuel Energy, Global Climate Action Summit, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Mayor's Climate Action Plan, Paris Climate Accord, Paris Climate Agreement, Renewable Energy, Sea Level Rise, Transportation, Trump on Climate Change, US Climate Mayors. Bookmark the permalink.

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