A Plea For The Future And The Now / by Joaquim Gonsalves

It's time that our winner of the mini contest from week 12 get's featured.
As promised, here is a vital plea to the world, by Zubin Jhaveri. 

The global carbon budget is the balance of income and losses of carbon between carbon reservoirs or any one specific loop like the atmosphere or biosphere.

Each year it is revised with the changes and data interpreted on the global carbon cycle.

Carbon Budget is the maximum amount of carbon that can be released into the atmosphere while keeping a reasonable chance of staying below a given temperature rise.

The International Panel for Climate Change estimates carbon budgets for 1.5C, 2C, and 3C - for each temperature limit there are 3 budgets - One with 66% probability of staying below the given temperature.Second with 50% and third with 33%. You can check them in detail here.

It is estimated that in 20 years 3 months we will have exceeded the 2C above the 66% probability. In just 20 years, which means we have very less time left before the temperature rises over 2C.

Why is the 2C important?

 

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Because even something as little as 2C can destroy plant and animal habitats, more flooding, more drought. Best example is of a remote village in Arctic Circle called Shishmaref - this village is losing 9 feet of land every year. That is how devastatingly the 2C rise is.

The Paris Agreement is a voluntary agreement signed by 195 nations to keep their carbon emissions in check. The agreement is non-obligatory and countries like China and India - considered to be the world's largest coal consumers; have pledged to switch to renewable energy sources which will also bring in over millions of jobs.

 

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Historically speaking, the USA is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world with per person carbon footprint highest than any other nation. However, almost half of the fortune 500 companies from USA have pledged to take efforts to control climate change.

No matter where you are living on earth - you've already observed how the climate in your geography has changed over the last 10 years. You've felt it and so have over 97% people who believe it is a real thing with humans responsible for it. Why are we even debating whether climate change is real or not. India has committed to deliver 175 GW of renewable energy which it will continue to do so regardless of the US decision.

France and the rest of the Europe, meanwhile are committed to their efforts with the French President inviting environmental scientists and entrepreneurs to France.

 

The only good thing to have happened with the USA president pulling out of the Paris Agreement is that this issue has been now brought to the forefront and has united the world more than ever on a cause that countries are not obliged to.

Individual cities in all over the world (including Pittsburgh) are rallying to take action to bring down greenhouse gas emissions even if the USA cannot reach a deal to stay in the Paris Agreement. (which seems unlikely because EU has strongly asserted that the agreement is non-negotiable).

What can we do about it? Well, let's start by something as simple as switching off appliances and saving electricity. Because the more electricity we save, the less we consume, the less we consume, the lesser the load on the power plants to match the demand, lower the power demands would result is lower coal consumption.

While India moves to achieve its target of renewable energy source, we can be the proverbial drop in the ocean (quite literally because -we'd be saving our planet) and move to energy efficient households and offices.

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