SocraticGadfly: Needed on #climatechange: Negative carbon emissions

December 26, 2015

Needed on #climatechange: Negative carbon emissions

If the Paris climate deal is to be anything more than the lipstick on the pig of Copenhagen 2009, as I called it, if it's going to be reality, we either need to stop ALL fossil fuels use NOW or else start extracting carbon dioxide from the air NOW.

Here's the details.

While it's tough extracting meso-level climatic variations from normal and saying how much is based on climate change, nonetheless, an unusual El Niño that has given Seattle plenty of rain, but Los Angeles and San Francisco none, while also helping the Southeast (and other places in the US) break Christmas warm-weather records, is surely tied to climate change in part.

That extractiveness could include planting more trees and other biomass. It could, on paper, include chemical methods such as seeding the ocean surface with iron to stimulate some plankton. (I say "on paper" because one trial wasn't fully promising. Also, as with most human geoengineering, it's certain to have at least one hidden trap door problem.)

And, speaking of geoengineering, there's wild-eyed ideas about sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

Cutting fossil fuel use immediately, while painful, is easier. It would also, if cutting natural gas use is part of that, cut methane leaks into the atmosphere, which are themselves a growing problem, as a monster leak in Los Angeles shows.

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