Monday, June 8, 2015
How to Decarbonize the World in Only 85 Years
The leaders of the G7 industrialized nations are holding a group meeting in Germany, just as western Europe is sweltering in an anomalously early heat wave. Temperatures are as much as 25° above normal for this time of year. Perhaps in response to this heat wave, the G7 leaders pledged today to decarbonize the world economy in 85 years to stop global warming. There was no word on how this "decarbonization" was to be accomplished other than a vague pledge that it would only take place many decades after all the current leaders of the G7 are out of office.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was disinvited to this G7 meeting, but if he had been there he might have pointed out that 85 years is equivalent to 17 consecutive old style USSR "five year plans". In fact 85 years is longer then the USSR itself even existed. Theres no way around it ---- 85 years is a very very long time.
Its great news that several leaders of major industrialized countries have all agreed that climate change is a real problem, and that they need to take action to mitigate global warming. However, its a little disappointing that the best they can come up with is a vague promise that everything will be OK in 85 years. What are people supposed to do for the next 85 years until the decarbonization occurs?
Homes and apartments in France and Germany typically aren't equipped with air conditioning, and past heat waves in Europe have already killed tens of thousands of victims. In 85 years this death toll is likely to grow. In 85 years sea level will have risen by 1-3 m. In 85 years crops will be failing due to drought and heat. In 85 years Arctic Sea Ice will be gone and Greenland Ice will be rapidly melting and the world will be well on its way to climate disaster.
I'm disappointed that the G7 leaders didn't come up with a more concrete proposal that could be completed in a shorter period of time. Let face facts----the G7 pledge to act in 85 years means they intend to take no significant action to stop climate change now.