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2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41

Posted on 12 October 2019 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Oct 6 through Sat, Oct 12, 2019

Editor's Pick

The world needs a massive carbon tax in just 10 years to limit climate change, IMF says

The international organization suggests a cost of $75 per ton by 2030.

icebergs near Kulusuk, Greenland, on 08/16/2019

An aerial view of large icebergs floating as the sun rises near Kulusuk, Greenland, on Aug. 16. (Felipe Dana/AP)

A global agreement to make fossil fuel burning more expensive is urgent and the most efficient way of fighting climate change, an International Monetary Fund study found on Thursday.

The group found that a global tax of $75 per ton by the year 2030 could limit the planet’s warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), or roughly double what it is now. That would greatly increase the price of fossil-fuel-based energy — especially from the burning of coal — but the economic disruption could be offset by routing the money raised straight back to citizens.

“If you compare the average level of the carbon tax today, which is $2 [a ton], to where we need to be, it’s a quantum leap,” said Paolo Mauro, deputy director of the fiscal affairs department at the IMF. 

The world needs a massive carbon tax in just 10 years to limit climate change, IMF says by Chris Mooney & Andrew Freedman, Climate & Environment, Washington Post, Oct 10, 2019

Articles Linked to on Facebook

Sun Oct 6, 2019

Mon Oct 7, 2019

Tue Oct 8, 2019

Wed Oct 9, 2019

Thu Oct 10, 2019

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Sat Oct 12, 2019

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Comments 1 to 6:

  1. Looks to me like a carbon tax/fee scheme would have to settle in at $200/ton to make a dent. That's only 50 cents/gallon at the pump. Of course, a 92% reduction in global population would solve the whole problem...which makes me bet it isn't going to get solved.

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  2. On another note, if it took about 120,000 years to produce the end Permian, and if estimates of 3 to 4 thousand ppm of "emissions" characterized a planet with a pale green sky and purple seas, whose to say that a much milder impact, say at the 2,000 year mark of that event hadn't already wiped out 97% of life forms? Or the 200 year mark? Seems to me that the outrageously rapid upswing in present GGEs could wipe out humans rather quickly...since humans are much more vulnerable to climate changes than are other lifeforms. We need houses, heat, air conditioning, three meals a day....we already had a very hard time surviving on a planet that, prior to the industrial revolution was, otherwise, a pretty hospitable place. But now? Tomorrow? In 2035 when CO2 equivalents reach, maybe 500ppm?

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  3. Doesn't it seem a little foolish to be talking about removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere when we are still subsidizing fossil fuel companies.  We will continue to do so as long as the election of politicians depends on money from these same fossil fuel companies.  Make this illegal and perhaps, just perhaps, the politicians could be pursuaded to stop these subsidies and we would pick up the pace of transition to renewables.  Already wind and solar are more economic than fossil fuel.

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  4. In order to rapidly replace fossil fuels we should cosider using GHG energy to power our civilization.The same energy source that heats our planet can be used to replace our existing dirty energy sources.

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  5. Regarding this concept of the fragility of modern civilisation. This is just my take: Western countries with their technology and complex societies have become very adept at dealing with natural disasters, but it's within a predictable range of extremes and cycles. The problem is climate change is changing this at a significant pace. Our societies while efficient and adaptable to short term crises, don't respond so well to negative changes that are new and  longer than a couple of years (eg the great depression of the 1930's that lasted ten years, and also the dust bowl problem of that period in America). A changing climate could cause some form of breakdown to our societies that is hard to get out of.

    It would then depend how fast people could learn to adapt and become self sufficient, a difficult thing for urban dwellers living in apartment dwellings so dependent on other people for all their needs.

    Poor, agricultural based societies are not good at dealing with natural disasters , but would likely survive better in an extreme climate change scenario because they know how to live a simple life. But their economic development will stop in its tracks and could well go backwards.

    Carbon tax seems the way to go, but will be a hard sell in the USA because taxes are ideologically toxic in this country. Perhaps government infrastructure programmes would be politically more viable.

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  6. As william says, changing how money influences politics is part of the required corrections.

    A more important action is limiting the ability of people to benefit from misleading marketing (and not just in politics). That would govern or limit the 'influence of money' in a helpful way regarding many issues.

    The lack of correction of the direction of development through the past 30 years has made the problem worse. The required actions to achieve the 1.5 C impact limit are now major corrections of incorrectly developed perceptions of status, all because of harmful self interest not being responsibly governed and limited by caring.

    Self Interest is one of many human thought and action drivers. Caring to not create negative impacts on others is another human thought and action driver.

    And the ability to learn and develop new actions that will result in a better future appears to be uniquely human, and sets humanity apart from impulsive-animal-like competitive barbarism.

    So, for humanity to have a sustainable improving future it appears that higher status needs to be limited to those humans who have higher degrees of Caring governing their self interest drivers. And the highest level leaders (the most influential, in business, political or story-telling), need to overwhelmingly care that their actions and the actions of those that they lead/influence do not negatively affect any others, especially the future generations.

    The challenge for the future of humanity is to get every leader to strive to improve awareness and understanding and apply that learning to achieve and improve on the Sustainable Development Goals. Any higher status person who is not doing that should rapidly significantly lose perceptions of status.

    Just one leader being able to maintain undeserved status can taint and corrupt a massive portion of the leaders, or at least seriously set back progress towards a sustainable improving future for humanity.

    In a nut shell, the threats to the future of humanity are any region or business that is able to maintain Self Interested leadership that is opposed to the corrections required by Caring about the future of humanity. Their unethical competitive advantage over Others (and there is undeniably a competitive advantage for those who do not lead the required energy corrections), can enable those people to unethically over-power those who care.

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