Do you know these numbers?

Do you know these numbers?

2°C565 Gigatons2795 Gigatons

Do you know these numbers?

For us and our future generations it is very important to know about it. Our climate changes very fast, faster than we want to be true.

To explain the numbers I have to start with a calculation:

In all medias we can read about CO2 and that we have to do to reduce the CO2 emission. But first we have to know how much is too much?

Jim Hansen and his Team at NASA studied exactly this and published saying, that we don’t know enough to know how much is too much. However any value for carbon in the atmosphere greater than 350ppm is not compatible with the planet on which civilisation developed and to which life on earth is adapted.

But 2013 we already had 395ppm CO2 and it is rising around 2 points every year. Everything frozen on earth is melting and the result is:

- The great ice sheet of the arctic is reduced by more than half - The oceans are about 30% more acidic than they were 30 years ago - The atmosphere is about 5% more humid than it was 40 years ago

We have burned enough coal, gas and oil to raise the temperature of the earth one degree.

Now to the numbers...

2° C

That’s how much the world has said it would be safe to let the planet warm. And if the world officially believes anything about climate change it is that 2 degrees are too much.

565 Gigatons

The scientists have calculated how much carbon we can put into the atmosphere and have a reasonable chance of staying below two degrees. And they say about 565 Gigatons. A Gigaton is a million tons. It sounds like a lot and it is.

The problem is 2013 we poured 30 Gigaton a year and it goes up 3% a year. Do the math and it’s about 12 years before going past that threshold.

But the scary number is the 3rd number:

2795 Gigatons

A team of financial analysts in the United Kingdom sat down with all the annual reports and SEC filings and tried to figure out how much carbon the world’s fossil industry already had in their reserves. And that number turned out to be 2795 Gigatons of carbon.

This is 5 times as much as the most conservative government on earth thinka would be safe to pour into the atmosphere.

Do you understand these numbers and the essence of our problem?

There is already 5 times more carbon in the reserves from the fossil industry than we should pour. And they are searching for more.

Thought experiment:

You have 10 brand new gasoline operated cars in your shop and you know, if you sell all these it has a negative impact on our environment. At the same time you know how much profit you can make with it and if you don’t sell you lose a lot of money. Honestly! Would you keep the cars?   Well, what will happen with all that oil, gas and coal already in the reserves?

Don’t expect that they will keep it because of our climate problem. For the big corporations profit is everything, they don’t care about the climate protection agreement all the nations signed. Whatever they have in their reserves they will sell.

Now we could say "It is their responsibility!" or "The government has to regulate it!" but the reality is different.

The top five of oil companies (Exxon, Shell, BP, Chevron, Conoco, Phillips) made 137 billion dollars in the year 2013. That’s 375 million dollars every day. And they spent 440’000 dollars a day for lobbying congress. We are talking about big money and nobody wants to do without it. Because of this they will do everything to continue their daily business.

Finally it is our responsibility to find ways to use less/no fossils and to support alternatives. That’s the way we can change the world. That’s how we can save our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren… the world.

JUST DO IT!   By Marco Toso


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