Solution for Climate Change Could Come From A Few Targeted Actions

By Anna Groves | April 12, 2019 11:00 am
(Credit: Liv Oeian/Shutterstock)

Greta Thunberg, a Swedish student who led schoolchildren in a climate change protest. (Credit: Liv Oeian/Shutterstock)

If you’ve been following climate news, you’ve probably heard about an approaching “tipping point” toward climate change — the point of no return after enough small changes brought us to certain disaster.

But what if the opposite were just as likely? One group of researchers thinks that a few small, positive changes could “tip” us back in the right direction. They’re calling them “sensitive intervention points,” or SIPs for short. And some of them might be inevitable — meaning we might not be as doomed as we think.

The interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Oxford Institute for New Economic Thinking published their ideas in Science today, explaining a few ways that “a small kick at the right point can trigger a large change” for climate change.

Tip Away from Oil and Gas Companies

First of all, the team reports, companies aren’t accurately incorporating climate-change-related risks and profit projections into their business models. But ignoring climate change doesn’t make it go away.

If investors were given accurate information about risks like sensitivity of infrastructure to extreme weather events, the researchers say, investments would shift toward greener options simply because it’s better for business.

For example, oil and gas companies often project the price of oil is going to continue to rise by about 2 percent each year.

But meanwhile, many countries are taking real actions to meet the goals set by the Paris Agreement, the international climate change pact ratified in 2016, to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

As more and more actions are taken by countries to meet this goal, demand for oil and gas will drop dramatically. Instead of the 2 percent increase each year, the price of a barrel of oil might instead drop by half. High-emission companies — not just oil and gas companies — will take serious profit hits as they replace or abandon existing infrastructure.

Not accounting for these details, the authors say, effectively subsidizes high-emissions industries, inflating the amount of investments they get in false expectation for high future profits. But as soon as these risks and inevitable future costs become more transparent, current investments should organically shift away from carbon-heavy industries. Not because of any sacrificial love for the planet — just because investments go where future profits are expected.


Removing greenhouse gases from the air will cost trillions.


Tip Toward Alternative Energies

The reason that alternative energies like solar and wind aren’t more prevalent already is because they’re either more expensive than oil and gas or it’s just too expensive to make the switch. Solar panels on your home’s roof sound great, until you consider the tens of thousands of dollars that it’ll cost you.

But these prices are changing, fast. Oil and gas have cost the same amount to produce for about a century, while the “real cost” of solar has dropped by a factor of some 6,000 since the invention of photovoltaics in 1956. It’s been dropping in cost about 10 percent every year since 1990.

The only question is whether investors will speed up this process by investing in the switch, or slow it down by investing in business-as-usual despite its unsustainability. The former seems likely, argue the authors, since it’s the better business decision.

“There’s a lot of hope there,” says Matt Ives, an Oxford University economist and complex systems modeler who worked on the new paper in Science. “Well, it’s not even hope, it’s just inevitable.”

“Why aren’t we doing it [yet]?” he says. “They’re probably against losing profits, but I think people should be worried about whether those profits are going to continue if they continue to invest in their old ways.”

solar plant

An aerial view of the Gemasolar Thermosolar Power Plant in Spain. (Credit: Novikov Aleksey/Shutterstock)

Tip Silent Climate Majority Into Action

The authors point out there’s a widespread belief around the world that climate change exists and should be addressed, but until now, people have been floundering instead of acting. Climate is a big issue, sure, but when the path forward is unclear and uncertain, it’s easy to permanently move it to the back burner.

But the authors point out that this is yet another place where over-sized impacts can come from small actions. The more people that get involved in a cause, for example, participating in protests, the lower the cost to that person and the greater the impact of doing so. Case in point: Greta Thunberg, a Swedish student who led schoolchildren in a climate change protest, has become a prominent activist and inspired climate strikes around the world.

The last example the authors give is tipping governments into a ready position, which will allow them the option of taking climate-friendly actions. They give the example of the United Kingdom’s Climate Change Act of 2008, which on its own didn’t “kick the system,” they write, but it did create a framework in the UK government that allowed and supported policies that would reduce emissions.

Silver Buckshot To Stop Climate Change?

Bruce Hungate, a climate change researcher not involved in this study, says there’s no silver bullet to fix the climate problem. “But maybe there’s some silver buckshot.”

“What I found really interesting about this, was instead of that sort of reductionist, direct, maybe simplistic and linear way of thinking,” says Hungate, referencing strategies like carbon taxes and cap-and-trade systems, “instead, it looked at it from a whole systems perspective with the strategy of: Let’s find the most leverage. Where are the real sensitivities?”

“I’ll never say we can’t solve this problem. I think we can,” says Hungate, director of the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society at Northern Arizona University. “My first reaction [to the paper] was, wow, that’s really cool.”

Ives explains that the team’s goals from this Science paper are a bit out of the ordinary. “Part of the reason why we’re doing this is we want to be able to trigger these sensitive intervention points. We don’t just want to identify them, and understand them, we want to trigger them.”

“Which is unusual for an academic program,” he adds. “What I see here is a cleaner, smarter, safer, and cheaper world. It’s possible.”

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, top posts
ADVERTISEMENT
  • Nom de Plume

    Sigh. Regardless of what anyone thinks about AGW, the sticking point is energy storage. Think of BTUs as how much energy a fuel stores. Fossil fuels have high BTU ratings. That’s why they’re used to power machinery. Solar and wind might give them the warm fuzzies, but energy storage is the bottleneck. Even if solar panels became lower per square than shingles, the problem of energy storage remains.

    If they are convinced this is an issue, what they need to address is energy storage. Resolve that issue, and all sorts of things open up. Unless they do that, they haven’t really done anything at all.

    • Occasional-Cortex

      Lithium batteries are reaching their theoretical limit of storage efficiency, set by physics and chemistry.

      It would / will take a revolutionary new type of storage tech to leap frog past that problem.

      • CB

        “Lithium batteries are reaching their theoretical limit of storage efficiency, set by physics and chemistry.”

        Lithium batteries are only one in a vast array of energy storage options!

        This resource might help educate you on the issues:

        “when there is more supply than demand, such as during the night when low-cost power plants continue to operate, the excess electricity generation can be used to power storage devices. When demand is greater than supply, storage facilities can discharge their stored energy to the grid.”

        www. ucsusa. org/clean-energy/how-energy-storage-works

        • John Jorgson

          People have developed all sorts of interesting energy storage methodologies over the past 40 years, and yet we have not a single example which has practically demonstrated high efficiency at the type of massive scale needed to absorb the difference between peek and bottom energy load for a signal million plus city in the industrialized world. Not one. Not even close. People without any conception of the intersection of large scale physical science and engineering involved are quick to point to science fiction as if it were demonstrated science fact… unfortunately.

  • Occasional-Cortex

    This all sounds swell but how does it apply to China, India and Underdeveloped Countries (not bound by the Paris Accord) that produce 70% of global greenhouse gas, and whose output is on an uptrend?

    This study only illustrates how oblivious Western elites are to the underlying facts of greenhouse gas production and management:

    Poor people in China, India and Underdeveloped Countries want to become wealthier, like our ancestors did.

    And the laws of physics and chemistry dictate the fastest way to do that is with free market economies powered by carbon.

    As well as the fact that the energy we can theoretically squeeze out of solar cells and windmills is approaching its theoretical limit, set by physics. And even at max theoretical efficiency, they will still fall short of carbon in terms of convenience, cost and energy output per unit of mass. Meaning, their low percentage of contribution to the power supply is not going to dramatically vault to replace carbon and sustain the modern world economy.

    New generation nuclear can make a big impact, as in France, but it is only a realistic green alternative in developed countries with favorable political climates.

    When I read about a plan that rationally encompasses those facts I’ll seriously consider it. So far, I’ve not seen one.

    • Mike Richardson

      So let’s do nothing and condemn our civilization. Nihilism is not a realistic plan that deserves consideration, either.

      • Occasional-Cortex

        It’s not nihilism. It’s clearly looking at a complex situation and rationally evaluating proposed solutions to determine if they’re worthwhile or just Unicorn feel good fluff.

        A lot of solutions we read about these days are based on a monumental ignorance of science, or economics, or human behavior. Some are good, but so many more are not.

        The only way to arrive at actual solutions is to start by recognizing the realities of the problem, some of which I point out above.

      • CB

        “let’s do nothing and condemn our civilization.”

        How about let’s ignore the misinformers? Their questions have all been answered, and if they cared about the truth, they would have already looked them up.

        “a greenhouse gas (GHG) tax (a carbon tax, for short) imposed in the United States and not analogously in other countries could lower the tax’s environmental benefits by driving production, new investment, and emissions to countries with less ambitious climate policy, a shift known as emissions leakage.

        Draft U.S. carbon tax bills and other proposals manage this with border carbon adjustments (BCAs).”

        www. brookings. edu/research/making-border-carbon-adjustments-work-in-law-and-practice

        • Mike Richardson

          While there’s certainly some appeal in ignoring them, I do have a bit of a problem ceding a science magazine’s blogs to folks who distort science and spam political propaganda. OC, for instance, posts almost verbatim the same “…but China and India…” and “nobody is proposing a realistic solution” talking points in every article discussing climate change. Like Ol’Wilson, he’s politically motivated, but he doesn’t always deny that climate change is an issue — his approach is always that it’s too hard to address the problem, pointedly ignoring when other posters explain many practical ways to respond. You yourself have seen that in his responses to your informative posts. So while I don’t see the need to respond to every one of their repetitive posts, I have no plans to let one of my favorite science blogs be used solely by climate science deniers to push deliberate misinformation.

          • CB

            “I have no plans to let one of my favorite science blogs be used solely by climate science deniers to push deliberate misinformation.”

            The liars will be here yapping whether you like it or not!

            The question is whether you use your time replacing what they say, or whether you use your time treating them as if they have some sort of valid argument.

            I would suggest you’re too smart to bother with engaging them. It’s beneath you, and it helps them mislead.

            You’ve got nothing at the root! Surely you have something more interesting to say than “jonetta” the spam queen…

          • Mike Richardson

            I think the title of spam queen might more easily be bestowed on socalpa, Ol’Wilson, or OC with the cut-and-paste debunked denier talking points. At least “jonetta” is not hiding its financial motivation in spamming science sites.

          • socalpa

            Gossipin’ about other posters now with CB ?
            .
            You go .. girlz !

          • Mike Richardson

            Wow, so you really do have the maturity of a middle school girl. Not surprising, since you also demonstrate that level of critical thinking and writing ability.

          • socalpa

            You are the one spewing bile ,gossiping and telling tales ,lady .

          • Mike Richardson

            In case the name doesn’t clue you in (not surprising), I’m not female. And I see you and Ol’Wison have something else in common — playing victim when bizarre behavior is pointed out to you. You also don’t seem to realize that gossiping would be behind your back. I’m posting to others where you can see it, and then ironically behave like the juvenile school girl.

          • socalpa

            Spew more bile and whine ,girl ..

          • Mike Richardson

            … said the one trying to play victim. True irony. 😁

          • socalpa

            Let’s see some more of those “critical thinking skills” missy .

          • socalpa

            And didn’t you make a big deal over a typo ,lady ?

          • Mike Richardson

            So mature, socalpa. You either are a child, or an unfortunate adult in the throes of dementia. Either way, my sympathy goes out to your family.

          • socalpa

            “Beter” ?

          • CB

            “At least “jonetta” is not hiding its financial motivation in spamming science sites.”

            Lol!

            Right? It’s less offensive than the nonsense coming from the Climate Denier clown show…

            …but you really should be burying all of it.

            You have more important things to say than they do, and the lurkers should see you, not them.

        • socalpa

          Ridiculous !
          .
          Make U.S energy sources more expensive than Russia ,Saud, Iran Venezuela ? Demand is increasing globally for coal oil and gas , production in the U.S reduced imports to a trickle compared to the 70s 80s .
          .
          Tell us CB , which jump in oil prices did not trigger recession ?

      • socalpa

        Condemn our civilization to .. what ,exactly ?
        .
        300 years of warming since the Maunder Minimum has been entirely beneficial ,extra month of growing season ..for one example ..
        .
        So answer to what ,exactly ..?

        • OWilson

          Fossil fuels powered the Industrial Revoluton, the Technological Revolution, The Space Age, and the Information Age, and by every measure increased humanity’s well being.

          Health
          Longevity
          Poverty
          Wars
          Democracy
          Hunger
          Child Labor
          Infant Mortality
          Leisure Time
          Hygiene
          Access to fresh water
          Education
          Transportation
          Housing
          Record Food Production

          In addition Co2 is “Greening The Earth” (NASA)

          All co-incidently since 1880, the year AGWers like to pick as the start of the “catastrophic” climate change.

          Massive global government intervention in an attempt to stop the Earth’s slightly warming climate in this natural Interglacial Epoch, should not be undertaken lightly.

          What if their dire assumptions and catastrophic predictions of the future are wrong? Computer models require “assumptions” by the modelers, and no model yet has been found to replicate the future of chaotic systems, such as housing and stock markets, political changes, scientific and technical advances, and least of all, climate changes.

          The result could be costly, indeed!

          Update:

          (NOAA’s entire 40 year satellite record shows a warming anomaly of a mere 0.34 degrees, with no scientific margin of error given!)

        • Mike Richardson

          Extreme weather events, including flooding, droughts, deadly heat waves, etc. Sea level rise that threatens coastal cities and low-lying countries. The spread of mosquitoes and the tropical diseases they carry to formerly temperate areas. Areas near the equator eventually becoming uninhabitable. Accelerating the rate of extinction of countless species. But if you deny we’re causing climate change, you probably deny that any of that is occurring, as well. You may as well deny that evolution is a real thing while you’re at it.

          • socalpa

            Our civilzation has dealt ,successfully ,with all of the above for centuries .
            .
            Or are you claiming we can prevent droughts ,heatwaves ,SLR ( ongong before any rise in CO2 ) etc..; ?

          • Mike Richardson

            “Our civilxation has dealt ,successfully ,with all of the above for centuries .” — In addition to being barely coherent with the misspellings and gratuitous comma placements, your premise is wrong entirely. There hasn’t been a global civilization for centuries — only during the past century or so has that been the case. Previously, there were separate regional civilizations, many of which did succumb to droughts, floods, and other climatic extremes. Our current global civilization will not be immune to collapse if global climate extremes place too much stress on it.

            “Or are you claiming we can prevent droughts ,heatwaves ,SLR ( ongong before any rise in CO2 ) etc..; ?” — No, that equally poorly written suggestion exists only in your fevered imagination. I’m simply for not making them worse by adding an accelerant to the fire, unlike you.

          • socalpa

            Ok , in the past century or so ,civilzation has dealt with all the problems you listed . Far better than earlier times when isolated civilizations faced regional damage from Volcanoes, tsunamis , floods .droughts etc..
            .
            “If ” global climate extremes place too much stress on it” ..The “IF” shows your reliance on speculations ,not objective observations , which show the opposite, benefits of both warming ,CO2 enrichment and spread of industrialization.
            .
            Unlike you ,I rely on objective facts .

          • Mike Richardson

            “Unlike you ,I rely on objective facts .” LOL! 😆 No you don’t. You deny the human impact on climate change while simultaneously arguing the contradictory point that increasing CO2 and warming temperatures will be beneficial to civilization (despite increasing evidence to the contrary). Get out of here. Your ridiculous fantasy world has no relationship to actual reality, and isn’t even consistent in itself. No rational mind would take anything you say seriously.

          • socalpa

            I see . You don’t know the difference between objective facts ,like increased growing seasons . increasing arable latitudes and altitudes . decades of declining global storm activity and global ACE .Increased global greening ,marine and terrestrial .
            .
            That is just recent centuries .. the warmer parts of the Holocene were even more beneficial ,the Sahara a green savannah with vast lakes rivers , the Gobi and northern China vast grasslands and forests ..western americas verdant ,Middle East verdant .
            .
            What you offer are called speculations , educated guesses ,at best .
            .

          • Mike Richardson

            Speculations? The best minds studying climate change have stated that those “speculations” are the effects that can be expected, and are even now being observed. You keep referring to periods of time when our current coastal cities would be completely submerged — that’s what we’re headed back towards, and the Sahara is GROWING, not shrinking as the planet warms. That’s not speculation. Bury your own head in the sand, but don’t expect company.

          • socalpa

            Projectiosn of climate/weather/sea level/storm conditions a century ahead are by definition ,speculations .
            .
            Many large regional and global projections have been shown already to be exaggerations or the opposite occured .
            .
            Winters across Eurasia and NE Americas have been colder past 25 years . Not “milder” as predicted .
            .
            Global tropical cyclone activity and ACE declined for over 20 years .
            .
            The most thorough study of SLR and icemelt (Ice2sea 2013) projects ~ 18cms ( ~ 7 inches) rise by 2100 in a BAU emissions scenario .
            .
            Antarctic sea ice extent increases for decades, continental icesheets as well
            .
            As to deserts’
            Science News
            Deserts ‘greening’ from rising carbon dioxide: Green foliage boosted across the world’s arid regions

          • OWilson

            Speculations by the “best minds” are not faring well, these days, Lol

            “Arctic ice free by 2014, 2015, 2016”

            “North Pole has 50/50 odds of being completely ice free this summer” 2008 – NSIDC

            “Trump has no path to ….. – ” CNN’s best political minds.

            “Markets tank if Trump elected” – Nobel Economist

            “Russian Traitors” in White House” CIA Director

            And another notable quotable:

            “This is the day (my election) when the oceans will cease their rise, and the planet will begin to heal!” – U.S. President Obama

            (followed by 8 of the warmest years on record, Lol)

            But ironically, according to NASA and NOAA, global temps are LOWER under the first 2 years of Trump!

            So much for “best minds”! :)

          • socalpa

            Yeah , that “best minds” that can see a century out is utter nonsense .. pure “buy this Brooklynbridge today” .. fraud .

          • OWilson

            And all those speculations tell us there is nothing but catastrophe in that future.

            Not one bit of good news among the lot of them.

            What a way to go through life!

            Aye yi yi!

            It’s either their coffee, or the old dreams of marxist massive wealth re-distribution!

            What’s your guess? :)

    • John Jorgson

      Show me a compelling reduction over multiple years in CO2 release from the body of non-“First World Democracies”, and maybe, just maybe, the realistic net impact of reductions world wide might be statistically significant. Oh, and while your putting all of your horses in that barn let’s just see what happens when the world’s population doubles over the next 25 years and sustainable food production and clear water availability goes negative… worse yet all of the R&D money during that period going to ineffective attempts to reduce global CO2 with little evidence that the system won’t self correct with increased cloud albedo and flourishing flora stimulated by the CO2. BTW what direction did global temperatures move after the Cretaceous when CO2 was 800% higher than today? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

  • OWilson

    The debate continues to surround the “solutions” to “climate change”, while the actual problem, catastrophic AGW, is just assumed and glossed over, without much thought.

    The posters here are a good example!

    Perhaps coveniently so.

    To paraphrase Johnny Carson’s old audience, “But how hot is it?”

    NOAA’s satellite record, currently shows a warming anomaly of merely 0.34 degrees over the entire 40 year record. At this rate……(do the math!) And what’s the scientific margin of error here?

    As much thought at least should be given to the scientific establishment of the “problem” postulated, as is given to the largely political solutions. After all, these “solutions” are world changing!

    Senator Kerry’s recent testimony before the Congressional oversight Committe on Climate Change consisted of little more than partisan name calling, promotion of OAC’s GND, and a political diatribe against “Trump tax cuts”, “one percenters” and “kangaroo committees” which did little to throw light on the science!

    An unfortunate choice of star witness for the AGWers.

    • Mike Richardson

      Kerry more than held his own against the anti-science know nothing attacks from the right.

      Speaking of which, you cherry pick only NOAA’s satellite data set as interpreted by one group — Roy Spencer’s. You do not, however, mention the RSS interpretation which more closely matches the ground based measurements, and accounts for diurnal drift of the satellites. This has been pointed out to you numerous times, so your deliberate omission is dishonesty on your part.

      Climate change is occurring, and more rapidly than many of the early models indicated. That is not an assumption, but truth. As someone with a child or children of his own, you should have more concern for your descendants’ future, and not work so hard to promote ignorance and a dangerous and unsustainable status quo based on fossil fuels.

      • OWilson

        Kerry? Lol

        As for the UAH (University of Alabama Hunstville), partners with NASA, NOAA vs RSS (A private research Corporation) you take your choice.

        We’ll see who’s right eventually! :)

        As for looking out for my family, you, who are constantly claiming that low lying lands will face increased devastating flooding, recently were flooded out of your house in low lying S.E. Louisiana, and promptly rebuilt your house on the same spot!

        Look out for your own family, mine are doing just fine! :)

        • Mike Richardson

          NASA and NOAA have other sources besides the UAH interpretation for data. You just choose to ignore it, and go for petty personal attacks and right-wing political propaganda, rather than accepting the preponderance of scientific evidence. Such a warped view of the world you have, twisted by prejudice and willful ignorance.

          • OWilson

            Have a nice day, Mikey! :)

          • Mike Richardson

            It’s always a nice day countering anti-science nonsense from the usual sources.

          • socalpa

            RSS after adjusting their global temp data up , shows temps again falling out of their lowest forecast ranges again on their website .

          • Mike Richardson

            And yet, still showing a trend upwards in temperature, greater than the UAH interpretation. Or are you trying to argue that RSS has concluded that the average global temperature of the troposphere is not rising?

          • socalpa

            They point out that even after the “adjustments” , the temps fall out of the lowest forecast ranges of the climate models .
            .
            As does UAH .
            .
            So ,in that ,both satellite systems agree .. The climate models have significantly deviated from observations since 1998 ..
            .
            Are you trying to argue temps confirm the model predictions ?

          • Mike Richardson

            No, only that they confirm significant warming, which you deny.

          • socalpa

            When the modeled temps do not match the observed in the 5-95% range for 20 years , then the warming is not statistically “significant ”
            .
            ,The models failed .. the hypothesis needs scrapping or a major revision .

          • Mike Richardson

            I’m not talking models, Einstein. I’m dealing in the reality of the observations obtained, which do in fact show warming at significant levels, particularly in the Arctic regions. But keep pretending the imperfection of a model in quantifying a phenomenon disproves its existence. Depending on wind and barometric pressure, you might jump from a plane and go splat a few seconds later than your calculations predicted. But gravity exists, and go splat you will.

          • socalpa

            The issue at hand is not warming ,that has been ongoing for ~ 300 years ,end of the Maunder Minimum,and ~ 200 years before any significant rise in CO2 .
            .
            The issue ,and the only isssue ,is the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect of CO2 .>20 years of data during decades of the highest CO2 pppm show little to no agreement between models and sat observations . Arctic amplification occurs in every past warmer period studied.
            .
            The RSS data expresses the updated models CMIP5 , The prior CMIP3 models fell out of forecast ranges after 1992 ..

        • okiejoe

          “We’ll see who’s right eventually!”

          And then it will be too late!

          • OWilson

            Too late for what?

  • johnetta

    I actually gain close to $6,000-$8,000 each month through the internet. It is actually ideal to simply replace my earlier workplace salary, specially thinking of I only just work nearly 20 hour in one week at home.I got rid of my job after working for the same workplace for a long period, I required very trusted earnings. I was not interested in programs that promises to make you rich in just few days as you can see all over the internet. Those all of them are kind of ponzi mlm plans in which you have to first get leads thereafter sell something to friends and relatives or any person so that they will be in your team. The best part of working online is that I am always home with the children and also enjoy time with family on different beaches of the world. Honestly,it is actually simpler than you would think, all you need to do is submit a simple form to get front line access to the Home Profit System. The instructions are extremely simple, you do not have to be a computer whiz, however you must be aware how to use the internet. It’s as simple as being on Instagram. Here’s the most effective way to start ===> ARKY.IN/u6O

    • –Jeff Moden

      Lordy… Even Discover Magazine get’s spammed. :-(

  • CB

    Pricing carbon is the way to find the most leverage.

    Searching through all the available options is all well and good, but if crashing the planet continues to be the average person’s cheapest option, that is what she will continue to do.

    Take that option away from her, and she will find the most efficient alternative.

    “To account for the cost of burning fossil fuels, we propose an initial fee of $15/metric ton on the CO₂ equivalent emissions of fossil fuels, escalating by $10/metric ton each year”

    (Citizens’ Climate Lobby, “The Basics of Carbon Fee and Dividend”)

    • Occasional-Cortex

      How exactly would that work?

      • CB

        “How exactly would that work?”

        There are a number of different ways to make it work!

        I prefer a sequestration credit, where the funds collected from people emitting carbon are sent to people sequestering it… but probably the most popular plan is the fee and dividend. In this plan, all the funds would be distributed in equal shares to the population. This would ensure that only the most profligate users of fossil fuel would shoulder the burden of the transition.

        Most folks will come out with more money in their bank accounts at the end of the month.

        “100% of the net fees from the carbon fee are held in a Carbon Fees Trust fund and returned directly to households as a monthly dividend. About two-thirds of households will break even or receive more than they would pay in higher prices.”

        citizensclimatelobby. org/basics-carbon-fee-dividend

        • socalpa

          “fee and dividend.”?
          .
          You mean; Fee and Bribe ,don’t you ?

  • Safesam

    What happens if CO2 has nothing to do with it?
    CO2 is only 0.04% of the atmospheric gases and is essential for plant life
    Some scientists think there is evidence that we are heading into a cold period due to the loss of energy of the SUN in this solar cycle
    Should we rather be storing up food?

    • John Jorgson

      We are headed into a glacial period… in fact the current period is called an “interglacial” because it is a temporary warm spike in the midst of the current ice age. CO2 in concentration evens out heat energy (slows increases in temperature and slows decreases in temperature.) Don’t buy stock in parkas yet though. The current interglacial is expected to continue for at least 8000 more years. 😉

    • CB

      “What happens if CO2 has nothing to do with it?”

      Whoever proves it gets a Nobel prize.

      This is not new information. Before you start “just asking questions”, perhaps you should educate yourself.

      “The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century”

      climate. nasa. gov/evidence

      • socalpa

        NASA says ;
        “The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century “..
        .
        And leaves out ;
        .
        In a sealed jar on a windowsill , and a sealed flask on a lab bench .. experiments run by people that had no idea that in the Earths atnosphere ,,, CO2 lags temp changes as we learned this100 years later from the 800,000 year ice core records ,in the 1990s !

  • DavidAppell

    The author wrote:
    “If you’ve been following climate news, you’ve probably heard about an approaching “tipping point” toward climate change — the point of no return after enough small changes brought us to certain disaster.”

    There is no such tipping point!

    Climate change doesn’t work that way. It’s incremental — some change in temperature for a change in atmospheric CO2 (about 2/3 deg F per trillion short tons of CO2 emitted).

    There MAY be tipping points in the future, but it is not as clear cut as the author claims, and they are very uncertain. (That’s not a good thing.) They may have already been at least one tipping point in the past, w.r.t. the decline of Arctic sea ice.

    But there is no hard deadline, no number X that if CO2 passes we are screwed. Climate just doesn’t change like that.

    • CB

      “Climate change doesn’t work that way. It’s incremental”

      You are 100% correct! Things like this are going to go on… and on… and on… for perhaps a thousand years if we do not put the atmosphere back the way we found it:

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fe0c49307711dfbc6771062aa64fddb6a647ecd4950155ed4d995d91abceff4e.png

    • okiejoe

      I’ll give you a tipping point: When enough ice melts to raise sea levels sufficiently to change the primary ocean currents. The Gulf Stream will be suppressed by the flow of cold, fresh water into the North Atlantic causing weather upheavals in Europe and ultimately in North America. Circum-Antarctic currents will be affected as well.

      • socalpa

        The AMO current does that in a quasi 60 -80 year oscillation documented back ~1,800 years , currently flipped from positive (warming) phase to negative (cooling) to negative (cool) phase in 2005 followed by Arctic sea ice extent increases ..
        .

      • DavidAppell

        The AMO is already declining in volume transport. It’s why the US east coast is a sea-level rise hot spot.

        • socalpa

          And also why Arctic sea ice extent is increasing . The AMO/AMOC is the driver of Arctic sea ice .

  • socalpa

    The premise of this article ,alteriing climate change by reducing CO2 emissions , a single variable in a 60 mile thick planetary chaotic ,coupled ocean atmosphere , open to -250F space and covered on 71% of surface by SW ( solar radiation) absorbing liquid that is opaque to the IR emissions of CO2 …

    Is as unlikely as changing the orbit or distance to the moon by landing spacecraft on it .
    .
    Also annoying is the utter lack in the supposed cost benefit analysis is the lack of calculating the “externalized” benefits of FF in terms of lives saved from starvation and freezing each year (Billions) ,health ,manhours .economic benefits of well over 100 Trillion dollars ..
    ..
    I think a “tipping point” has been reached ,several actually ,from Australia repealing carbon taxes , Brexit ,U.S out of Paris and the Yellow vests of France ..
    .
    The public is now asking …
    ,’
    Trillions in taxes today ,for better weather (maybe) in 2100AD ?
    .
    The NOs are growing louder ,and spreading across the Globe !

    • Mike Richardson

      Beter weather? LOL!

      • socalpa

        What is precipitation ,drought ,heatwave ,storm frequency and intensity etc called ?

        • Mike Richardson

          Beter? 😄😄

          • socalpa

            Cute ?
            .
            Correct Answer ;
            .
            Weather .

          • OWilson

            Mikey usually wins his final point on spelling, which is usually all he has left after a rational discussion!

            Lol

          • Mike Richardson

            You lose on spelling and rational discussion, something you and socalpa have in common. At least you now have someone to whom you can relate. :)

          • socalpa

            Believing there are accurate century ahead forecasts of climate/weather/sea level conditions is not “rational” .
            .
            So ,cling to your typo victory .. .

          • Mike Richardson

            It’s called cause and effect. More CO2 = higher temperatures, as it always has in the past. The truly irrational deny this. As for the typos, misspellings, and otherwise incoherent attempts at communications, I’ve no doubt you’ll continue to provide more examples for me to point out. It isn’t a coincidence that sloppy thinkers are sloppy writers.

          • socalpa

            “More CO2 = higher temperatures, as it always has in the past.” ?
            .
            Not true , for the late Holocene, past 6,000 years , Global avg temps declined as CO2 increased ~20ppm . This is called the Holocene Temperature Conundrum and discussed in Liu et al 2014 .
            .
            Then there is the 800,000 years of ice core data that shows CO2 lags temps by 600 -1,400 years .
            .
            Look it up ,school marm …. learn some science ..

          • socalpa

            You found a typo ?
            .
            Is this your critical thinking skill limit ?

          • OWilson

            For classic trolls, it’s a lot easier to ignore the content of a post, and just zero in on the spelling!

            Big win for a small mind! Lol

            Perfect classic example here!

          • Mike Richardson

            Yes, you are a perfect classic example of a small mind. Thanks for noting that.

            And you are certainly the right person to teach classic trolling methods, though socalpa apparently needs no teacher.😁

  • –Jeff Moden

    I think a whole lot of people (no pun intended) are missing one of the primary reasons for our global woes. People need to stop having so many babies. Look at what the population of the Earth has done in the last 200 or so years and look where it’s happening.

    • CB

      “People need to stop having so many babies.”

      They are. The trend is toward replacement, and even if it weren’t, humans are still carbon-neutral. The problem is those humans digging up and burning fossil fuel.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/72beee159c5bac6ba884543c789a1550360c7d532b8e36e3b9ac6f7ba7dd54c6.png

      • socalpa

        “humans are still carbon-neutral. ” ?
        .
        Not true , 7.5 Billion humans ,converting millions of sq kms from forests to croplands and firewood are not “carbon neutral as the activities alter the carbon flux .

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+