400 ppm C02 level reached
"decoupling" is the solution
Just in time for the celebration of 2012 World Environment Day we read that the Arctic region has reached the 400 ppm CO2 level.
350 parts per million are considered "safe". The normal level was around 275 ppm. The disturbance of the natural emissions and sequestration balance is caused by mankind.
Burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and agriculture are the main causes. The climate gases stay in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. Carbon capturing and storage (CCS) is a technocratic illusion. Mitigation of the climate change effects will be nearly impossible, we think.
Greenhouse gas emissions are part of the general pollution and depletion of nature, brought about by too many people using too much stuff. In other words, by a world population and levels of economic production and consumption that are far higher that the world's carrying capacity.
Scientists know and admit that economic growth increases the GHG emission rates and the speeds of resource depletion.
Some climate scientists, such as Carlo Carraro, expect temperature rises far more dramatic than the 2 degrees.
["Rio, Kyoto, Copenhagen, Cancun, Durban ... what's next? - A skeptical view on climate negotiations",
par Carlo Carraro, President, University of Venice, Vice Chair, IPCC WG III, Chairman, Scientific Advisory Board, FEEM" [.ppt, new window]]
So far the story of the doomsayers.
Fortunately we are finding solace with our members of the Discipline of Economics, who are showing us the way for continued economic growth, whilst reducing emissions and resource use, ameliorating the state of the environment, and dematerializing the economy.
A true win-win-win-win-win for all, brilliantly outlined in the "UNEP Green Economy Initiative", and the "UN Decoupling Report" [PDF new window], "Decoupling Press Release" [PDF new window] and "Decoupling Presentation" [PDF new window].
Thanks to higher material efficiencies, innovation, nanotechnologies, and human creativity we will get more products and services out of less materials.
With appropriate government policies we will achieve total decoupling of matter and spirit, if we invest sufficient effort and money in innovative research and development.
A new "Wave of Innovation" has become part of offical UNEP policy, according to Achim Steiner, UNEP's Executive Director.
At the United Nations Headquarters Mr Steiner and the lead author Mark Swilling presented the "Decoupling Report" that explains it all in full detail. Should you have any questions, contact the UN Resource Panel: Ashok Koshla
or the authors and UNEP functionaries: Mark.Swillingsopmp.sun.ac.za, Maria Fischer-Kowalskiunep.fr, our infatiguable factor 4 and factor 5 specialist, Ernst-Ulrich von Weizsäcker: Ernstweizsacker.ch, Nick.Nuttall@unep.org
Moira O'Brien-Malone, UNEP Information Officer, Division of Technology, Industry
and Economics (DTIE), Paris, + 33-1-4437-7612, Mobile: +33- 6 82 26 93 73
Terry Collins, Tel: +1-416-538-8712; Mobile: +1-416-878-8712, email:
Jim Sniffen, UNEP Programme Officer, New York, Tel: +1-212-963-8094 or 8210
They will be too pleased to explain how we can get more with less, finally becoming avatars, immaterially hovering over a depleted planet that we no longer need.
We humbly bow our head for so much positive thinking and HOT wisdom!
Greenhouse gas levels pass symbolic 400ppm CO2 milestoneMonitoring stations in the Arctic detect record levels of carbon dioxide, higher than ever above 'safe' 350ppm mark
guardian.co.uk, Friday 1 June 2012 12.50 BST
The world's air has reached what scientists call a troubling new milestone for carbon dioxide, the main global warming pollutant.
Monitoring stations across the Arctic this spring are measuring more than 400 parts per million of the heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere. The number isn't quite a surprise, because it's been rising at an accelerating pace.
Years ago, it passed the 350ppm mark that many scientists say is the highest safe level for carbon dioxide. It now stands globally at 395.
So far, only the Arctic has reached that 400 level, but the rest of the world will follow soon.
"The fact that it's 400 is significant," said Jim Butler, the global monitoring director at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Lab. "It's just a reminder to everybody that we haven't fixed this, and we're still in trouble."
"The news today, that some stations have measured concentrations above 400ppm in the atmosphere, is further evidence that the world's political leaders – with a few honourable exceptions – are failing catastrophically to address the climate crisis," former vice president Al Gore, the highest-profile campaigner against global warming, said in an email. "History will not understand or forgive them."
Carbon dioxide is the chief greenhouse gas and stays in the atmosphere for 100 years. Some carbon dioxide is natural, mainly from decomposing dead plants and animals. Before the industrial age, levels were around 275 parts per million.
For more than 60 years, readings have been in the 300s, except in urban areas, where levels are skewed. The burning of fossil fuels, such as coal for electricity and oil for gasoline, has caused the overwhelming bulk of the man-made increase in carbon in the air, scientists say.
It's been at least 800,000 years – probably more – since Earth saw carbon dioxide levels in the 400s, Butler and other climate scientists said.
Readings are coming in at 400 and higher all over the Arctic. They've been recorded in Alaska, Greenland, Norway, Iceland and even Mongolia. But levels change with the seasons and will drop a bit in the summer, when plants suck up carbon dioxide, NOAA scientists said.
So the yearly average for those northern stations likely will be lower and so will the global number.
"It's an important threshold," said the Carnegie Institution ecologist Chris Field, a scientist who helps lead the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. "It is an indication that we're in a different world."
Ronald Prinn, an atmospheric sciences professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said 400 is more a psychological milestone than a scientific one. We think in hundreds, and "we're poking our heads above 400," he said.
Tans said the readings show how much the Earth's atmosphere and its climate are being affected by humans. Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels hit a record high of 34.8 billion tonnes in 2011, up 3.2%, the International Energy Agency announced last week.
The agency said it's becoming unlikely that the world can achieve the European goal of limiting global warming to just 2 degrees based on increasing pollution and greenhouse gas levels.
Some oil depletion graphs
Nachhaltigkeit in der schweizerischen Bundesverfassung Überbelastung,"Overshoot"
"Green Economy" - "The New Big Deal"
"Rio+20 and the "Green Economy">