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Global Warming: Defining and Solving the Problem

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power our cars - generate our electricity - warm our homes in winter - cool our homes in summer. With technologies that aren't toxic for our planet ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Global Warming: Defining and Solving the Problem


1
Global WarmingDefining and Solving the Problem
  • Is global warming really a problem?
  • If so, what kind is it?
  • - Emissions Reduction, or Energy Conversion?
  • And how is it to be solved?

Steven H. Johnson The Wallcharts
Workshop September 19, 2006
2
Topics
  • Reviewing the basics
  • Reframing the issue
  • How a nation mobilizes for energy conversion
  • Getting the ball rolling

3
WE LOVE OUR STUFF!!
We love hot cars . . .
. . . and warm homes
And we think we love coal, oil, gas
. . . and electric power
4
And were supposed to abandon our cherished stuff?
What a heartbreaking idea!
No, we can still love our cars, our homes, our
electricity We just need to - power our cars -
generate our electricity - warm our homes in
winter - cool our homes in summer With
technologies that arent toxic for our planet
Feelings of regret are a possibility . . .
5
Okay, now that weve listened to our hearts . . .
  • . . . lets also tune in with our minds

6
The global warming scenario
Certainties and estimates
Greenhouse Gases Increase
Earth Becomes Warmer
Climate Triggers Are Pulled
Damaging Results Follow
  • Certainties
  • Greenhouse gas totals
  • Estimates Risks can only be estimated
  • Till they occur and are observed
  • Certainties Irreversibility is a certainty
  • Once CO2 is added to the atmosphere, it remains
    there for centuries

7
Global warming risks include . . .
  • Storms, floods, and heat waves
  • Melting glaciers and warming polar regions
  • Melting ice sheets, rising oceans, flooded
    coastal regions
  • Farmbelt-destroying drought
  • Habitat disappearance, species extinction

Source An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore
8
Global warming risks include . . .
  • Al Gores film highlights the following
  • Storms, floods, and heat waves
  • Hurricanes more numerous, more damaging, more
    widespread
  • All time US tornado record set in 2004
  • Major floods much more frequent
  • Killer heat waves occurring
  • Melting glaciers and warming polar regions
  • Glaciers worldwide are disappearing
  • Permafrost is thawing in Alaska, thaw will
    release methane, add to greenhouse gas levels
  • Arctic Ocean ice cover shrinking rapidly, loss
    will accelerate polar warming
  • Survival of polar bears threatened by loss of
    polar ice cap
  • If global warming melts Greenland ice sheet, the
    worlds oceans will rise 20 feet or more
  • If global warming melts West Antarctic ice sheet,
    oceans will rise another 20 feet
  • Changing climate affecting crop lands and
    threatening ocean
  • Drought causing fertile areas to shrink, deserts
    to expand
  • Ocean circulation system threatened
  • Habitat is changing, species survival being
    threatened
  • Spring starting earlier, habitats affected
    everywhere
  • Warmer winters provide opportunities to invasive
    species

Source An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore
9
When climate triggers are pulled . . .
Greenhouse Gases Increase
Earth Becomes Warmer
Climate Triggers Are Pulled
Damaging Results Follow
Warmer oceans
Storms more violent
Warmer winters
Glaciers disappear
Warmer arctic
Polar bear dying out
Warmer summers
Drought and heat
. . . risks become reality
10
Rising CO2 is a risk-laden reality
PPM Parts Per Million
Source Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis
Center
11
Heres the same trend in metric tons
This presentation assumes 1 Part Per Million of
CO2 7.77 billion metric tons
Norm prior to the Industrial Revolution 2,175
Billion Metric Tons CO2
12
14 billion tons per year are now being added to
the atmosphere
Mauna Loa PPM measurements converted to metric
tons (in billions)
1991 93 The Mt. Pinatubo effect
13
Cumulative CO2 is up 780 billion tons
2,175 Billion Tons in 1760
2,955 Billion Tons in 2006
14
And could be headed much higher
In 2100 4,770 Billion Tons
Forecast assumes 10 billion tons more CO2 each
decade
2,955 Billion Tons in 2006
2,175 Billion Tons in 1760
15
Topics
  • Reviewing the basics
  • Reframing the issue
  • How a nation mobilizes for energy conversion
  • Getting the ball rolling

16
We have three options . . .
CO2 EFFECTS
  • Rapid growth

3 OPTIONS
  • Business as Usual Ignore the risks
  • Continuing growth
  • Emissions Reduction Retain carbon energy, but
    scale it back
  • Levels off, no further growth
  • Energy Conversion Embrace a post-carbon energy
    future

17
. . . and one hard question
  • Think about total CO2 in the atmosphere
  • Is there a danger zone we should never reach?

YES. Once cumulative CO2 climbs into the danger
zone, climate disaster is inevitable. So many
climate triggers. Theyll all be pulled.
NO. Greenhouse gas is safe. No matter how much
CO2 we create, theres no cause for worry.
18
Whats YOUR answer?Is there a danger zone?
NO. Greenhouse gas is safe. There is no danger
zone.
YES. Greenhouse gas is dangerous if theres too
much.
19
If you think there IS a danger zone . . .
  • Is Emissions Reduction the right option?

20
An Emissions Reduction scenario
Forecast assumes 7 billion tons per decade of
emission reductions
4,005 Billion Tons
2100 vs 2006 Added carbon dioxide equals 1050
billion tons
Into the danger zone and beyond
21
Emissions Reduction is the reform strategy of the
moment
  • Two bills have been introduced
  • Sponsored by Congressman Waxman (D-CA) and
    Senator Jeffords (I-VT)
  • They target business, not housing
  • Annual emissions in targeted categories are to be
    reduced, eventually, by 80
  • A cap and trade carbon credit system is the
    primary tool for change
  • Full implementation by 2050

22
But Emissions Reductionis like deficit reduction
  • Even if we reduce deficits, were still
    borrowing money
  • The National Debt total keeps on growing
  • Even if we reduce emissions, were still adding
    CO2
  • And cumulative CO2 keeps on rising, headed into
    the danger zone

23
Its time to flatten the curve
?
?
convert
level off
24
Flattening the curve is essential
Two curves send CO2 into the danger zone. One
curve protects the future.
CO2 EFFECTS
  • Rapid growth

3 CURVES
  • Business as Usual Ignore the risks
  • Continuing growth
  • Emissions Reduction Retain carbon energy
  • Levels off, no further growth
  • Energy Conversion Clean prosperity on a clean
    energy foundation

25
Core logic recap
Total CO2 has to level off
  • To stay out of the Danger Zone, we have to
    flatten the curve
  • To flatten the curve, we have to take emissions
    to zero
  • To take emissions to zero, Energy Conversion is
    essential

Total CO2 keeps on rising
  • Emissions Reduction never gets emissions to zero
  • If emissions never go to zero, we never flatten
    the curve
  • If we dont flatten the curve, we end up in the
    Danger Zone

Emissions Reduction is a mistaken approach
26
Major reframing is called for
Emissions Reduction
Energy Conversion
Goal
Level of response
Tactical
Strategic
Whose problem
Carbon traders and Kyoto diplomats
Everybodys
Agenda
Symbolic gestures and partial reforms
Serious actions with valuable benefits
Credible
No
Yes
Real solution
No. CO2 keeps on rising.
Yes. Carbon energy goes away.
Galvanizing
Yes, if properly led
No
27
Topics
  • Reviewing the basics
  • Reframing the issue
  • How a nation mobilizes for energy conversion
  • Getting the ball rolling

28
Were at a moment of truth . . .
  • Were at a moment of truth, just as we were in
    WWII
  • Then, Americas factories were geared for
    civilian production. Now, all the worlds energy
    system is geared to consume carbon-based fuels.
  • Then, all America mobilized to convert its
    factories to wartime production. Now, all the
    world faces a similar mobilization challenge.
    Phase out carbon-based energy. Phase in
    renewable energy.
  • Then the challenge was one of mobilizing to win a
    war fought on two fronts. Now, the challenge is
    one of mobilizing globally to protect the global
    climate from overheating.

29
Carbon-based energy is pervasive
Coal, oil, and natural gas provide energy for .
. .
Homes
Businesses
which leads to . . .
Greenhouse Gases Increase
Earth Becomes Warmer
Climate Triggers Are Pulled
Damaging Results Follow
Factories
Vehicles
Power Plants
30
But sunshine is pervasive too
  • Is there enough?
  • The solar energy that falls on 0.3 of the US is
    more than enough to power the entire country

0.3
Source of map www.theodora.com
31
The key is legislation . . .
  • Capital Retrofit the old, redesign the new
  • Housing
  • Commercial real estate
  • Factory power
  • Vehicles
  • Power plants

32
. . . and public involvement . . .
  • Energy conversion is a handy-man project
  • What pulls it forward is the fun of new
    technology
  • In every Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware,
    Wal-mart, Costco, and Sears, imagine cool
    displays featuring the latest technologies
  • And financing incentives that make it easy

33
. . . on a responsible timetable
  • If we Americans design our capital budgets
    properly, were within three decades of a full
    solution
  • If we truly take the lead, well have partners
    throughout the world

34
Good strategies ? good results
Good Strategies
New Technologies
Capital Budget Laws
Homes
Businesses
Handyman Creativity
CO2 Levels Off
Warming Slows
Climate Stabilizes
Further Damage Averted
Factories
Vehicles
Financial Incentives
Good Results
Power Plants
no further CO2
35
The energy conversion solution
Good Strategies
New Technologies
Good Results
Capital Budget Laws
Homes
Businesses
Handyman Creativity
CO2 Levels Off
Warming Slows
Climate Stabilizes
Further Damage Averted
Factories
Vehicles
Financial Incentives
Power Plants
36
Sidebar What is Cap Trade?
  • Carbon Cap A carbon cap establishes an annual
    limit for a CO2 emitter
  • think DuPont, or some other larger corporation
  • The size of the annual cap ought to go down each
    year in a very aggressive program, it
    eventually goes to zero
  • If DuPont emits less CO2 than its cap allows, it
    earns a carbon credit
  • Trade It can sell that credit to a company
    thats emitting more CO2 than its cap allows
  • Incentive The faster a company reduces its
    emissions, the more it can earn selling credits

37
Sidebar Theres a plus . . .
  • In a cap and trade system, the act of replanting
    a forest can earn a credit, since a forest pulls
    CO2 out of the air
  • A cap and trade system, then, creates incentives
    for Brazil to replant rain forest
  • Replanting earns carbon credits it can sell
  • (Brazil would also lose credits if it allows rain
    forest to be cut)

38
Sidebar And 3 minuses . . .
  • Players
  • Cap and Trade isnt the smartest way to enlist
    homeowners too corporate, too indirect
  • Its a game for rich country polluters, not poor
    country non-polluters
  • Purpose
  • Useful for whittling away old carbon-burning
    assets
  • Less suitable for mandating all new assets be
    CO2-free
  • Message
  • Cap and Trade implies that carbon fuels, though
    diminishing, will always be with us
  • Always be with us is a Game-the-System notion
    that hinders Energy Conversion, especially
    internationally

39
Topics
  • Reviewing the basics
  • Reframing the issue
  • How a nation mobilizes for energy conversion
  • Getting the ball rolling

40
How is this to be achieved?
Good Strategies
Capital Budget Laws
Handyman Creativity
Financial Incentives
From where we are now, how do we get to Good
Strategies?
41
A likely path looks like this
Moving away from the carbon era wont be easy.
Widespread cooperation is essential.
Conversion Cost Analysis
Clear Message
  • Good
  • Strategies
  • Capital budgets
  • Homeowners
  • Incentives

Engaged Public
Broad Coalition
Good Legislative Proposals
42
Visualizing a full solution
Clear Message
Homes
Capital Budget Laws
Conversion Cost Analysis
Business
Engaged Public
Handyman Creativity
CO2 Levels Off
Warming Slows
Climate Stabilizes
Further Damage Averted
Factories
Vehicles
Financial Incentives
Good Legislative Proposals
Power Plants
Broad Coalition
Tactics Strategies
Technologies
Environmental Results
43
OUR STUFF IS STILL LOVABLE
AFTER ENERGY CONVERSION . . .
Our cars . . .
. . . our warm homes
OUR ENERGY SOURCE IS LOVABLE TOO
. . . our electric power
44
What are you ready to do?
  • Is it time . . .
  • To reframe global warming?
  • Who would you . . .
  • Invite into the effort?
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