Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Climate Changed

This book is a graphic novel about climate change.  The plot is the author educating himself about the issue and beginning to confront the implications of what he learns in the decisions he makes in his own life.  What is especially interesting is that the information and the experts he consults are all European.  For an American, that puts a slightly different spin upon things.

The detail and the discussion of the issues around climate change are deep and the references are long.  This is not a "comic book" examination but a fully researched and strongly felt narrative.

_Climate Changed:  A Personal Journey Through the Science_ by Philippe Squarzoni
NY:  Abrams ComicArt, 2014
ISBN 978-1-4197-1255-5

(58-59)  methane today 1.8 ppm atmosphere (200x less than CO2)
for last 400,000 years methane in atmosphere between 0.35 and 0.7 ppm
since 1750, the Industrial Revolution, methane in the atmosphere has doubled, from around 800 ppb to 1800 ppb or 1.8 ppm

(60) 30 million tons of methane (per year?) accumulate in the atmosphere
shorter atmospheric lifetime than CO2 [30 years?]
CH4, methane, 72x more effective infrared trapper than CO2
Nitrous oxides concentrate in lower levels of atmosphere
More than half of human emissions from nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture

(69)  ...the current concentration of CO2 is the highest since humans have been on earth 
the Cretaceous, 55 million years ago, had similar or higher levels
homo sap sap 200,000 years old

(90)  2004 Cyclone Catarina formed in the South Atlantic, once thought impossible

(95)  So what scientists are seeing when they make temperature measurements, analyze ice caps, tree rings - all those show that global warming is a reality.  Over the course of the 20th century the average surface temperature of the earth increased by 0.75º C [1.3º F]
half of that over the century’s final twenty years 
NB:  when we should have known better and had an environmental movement in place

(185)  After energy production, the industrial sector is the world’s next largest emitter of CO2 [16.8% industry]
It comes in first if we take into account all the greenhouse gases put together.
The production of basic materials - metals, glasses, cement, paper…
…accounts for 80% of emissions due directly to manufacturing for the gases combined.
The rest are emitted by the manufacture of finished goods.
In general, finished goods are thought to generate up to two times their weight in carbon emissions.

(212)  Today the contents of a typical shopping basket of twenty-five items travel an average of six times around the planet before reaching the consumer.

(213)  Over the first ten years of the century, emissions due to deforestation decreased from 20% to 10%.

(238)  A [sea-level] rise of a foot or more is unavoidable [in what time frame?]. And even at the stabilization point, the rise will be over a meter.
It is estimated that a rise in sea level of a little over 3 feet (1 meter) will result in the coastline receding an average of 110 yards - about 100 meters of retreat.

(239)  Sixteen out of twenty of the planet’s biggest metropolises are on the sea.  More than half the world’s population lives near a coast.

(244)  According to the world bank, 60 million people living in arid zones could migrate by 2020.
Every third-of-an inch (1-cm) rise in sea level means the displacement of a million people.  [3 million people displaced for every inch rise - a decade?]

(245)  It is estimated that there are already 25 to 50 million eco-refugees fleeing from drought, hurricanes, floods… and their migration is accelerating.

(314)  It’ll only take burning one-third of the known resources to explode past climate-changing thresholds.  If, however, we want to limit global warming in the long-term, that means at least half the reserves of fossil fuels need to stay in the ground.

(322)  Every year the sun sends the equivalent of 6,000 times our energy consumption to earth.

(341)  For example the Sleipner platform in Norway’s North Sea - the pioneer of this technology [carbon capture and sequestration] - buried 1 million tons of CO2 while emitting 900,000 tons into the atmosphere.

(344)  France may well generate 75% of its electricity from nuclear power but it still consumes more oil than its less nuclear neighbors.

(345)  If we add it [greenhouse gas emissions] all up starting at the uranium mines, it’s not a negligible amount.  You need to dig it up with machines, you have to transport it, treat it….
It comes out roughly to 2.1 ounces [60 g] of CO2 per kilowatt-hour of energy produced.  Compared, for example, to 1.1 pounds [500 g] of CO2 for natural gas.  It’s better, but it’s not zero.  And it’s more than wind or solar.
…nuclear is only 2% or 3% of the world’s energy consumption.

(369)  The Negawatt Association (http://www.negawatt.org) developed an energy scenario of this type, based on typical needs, that combines energy conservation, energy efficiency, and development of renewable energy [to meet current needs with much lower consumption].
In combining conservation and efficiency we could reduce our energy consumption by a factor of 2 to 5 and meet all the same needs.

(406)  I believe that assuming there are limits is the only feasible public-policy approach.
Genevieve Azam is an economist studying the relationships between ecology, economy, and society.  She is a member of the scientific council of ATTAC (Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions and Aid to Citizens - http://www.attac.org/enbv), an organization dedicated to developing sustainable globalization and ecological alternatives.

(441)  It may be useful to think about the theory of solidarism that statesman Leon Bougeois, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1920, first discussed in the 1890s.

(442)  “The individual does not exist in isolation” was his creed…
“Interdependent and interrelated,” Nicholas Delalande writes on this, “people are indebted to each other and to the generations that preceded them as well as to those who will succeed them.”

(447)  … the fact that the emissions market becomes speculative, and promotes the spread of financial trading into the area of climate control - the negative nature of which we’ve been exposed to in recent years - that should be avoided at all costs.

(449)  The fantasy surrounding the capitalist society also needs to change...
The example often used, of the conversion of the US economy [to support the war] during World War II, shows that, yes, we can achieve major changes without taking centuries…
What the United State did after Pearl Harbor to transform the automobile industry into an arms industry was only possible because there was no democratic for opposing it.

(464)  Earth Overshoot Day - http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/earth_overshoot_day/

(465)  … the day when global consumption exceeds the renewable resources of the planet
and begins to tap into the reserves needed for the coming years.
In 1996, Earth Overshoot Day fell in November.  In 2007 it was October 6 [2014 now in mid-August]