Study Shows Global Warming Will Advance Even if We Drop Emissions. We Can Still Drop Emissions
By lucas@endneoliberalism On 14 Aug, 2013 At 11:42 PM | Categorized As Neoliberal Alert | With 0 Comments

Do you want me to tell you the bad news or the good news first? A new study by climate scientists in the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany shows that extreme heat waves will quadruple by 2040 even if we lower our emissions today. More precisely, climate change will affect 60% of the world in 2040, compared to 5% today, even if we start dropping emissions right away.

Dropping emissions, however, is unlikely to happen. Global emissions of CO2 hit a record high in 2011 and atmospheric CO2 concentration exceeded 400 ppm in 2012.

India and China account for 2.5 billion people, or 35% of the global population. Previously destitute nations, decades of hard work are giving millions of people a chance to live the American Dream. Some of them (Most Chinese and Indian people continue to live like slaves, but a couple of hundreds of million new middle-class people are a significant number nonetheless) are driving more and bigger cars, changing their cell phones every 6 months, and munching on double cheeseburgers with corn-based sauces and soda pops. The world population will also rise by 2 billion putting more pressure on already scarce energy, minerals, and water sources.

You would think that politicians and business leaders would start planning ahead but the system is corrupt beyond belief. World leaders continue to invest in fossil fuels that get dirtier to extract and transport. Five years ago the tar sands in Alberta were too far to worry about. This year alone three towns across USA and Canada were destroyed from the transportation of bitumen via rail and pipelines. Detroit, already devastated by Neoliberal policies, is now a a toxic dump owned by Koch industries.

Politicians like John Boehener stand to profit greatly from their shares in oil & gas corporations, so they are pushing to open Keystone XL pipeline like a heroine addict tries to find a new vein.

We could have a peaceful and prosperous world if we wanted. Germany invested the last 20 years on solar energy and today they are able to power half the country using energy from the sun. The good news is that the technologies and methods of production that we need to become a wealthy civilization are already here. Taxes and regulations on externalities can drive corporations to invest on Cradle to Cradle and Biomimicry technologies. We just need the political power to move forward.

Picture credit: Cherrylynx cc by 2.0

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