Reading THE ONE DEGREE WAR PLAN by Jorgen Randers and Paul Gilding.
Draft Paper from November 2009.
THESE ARE MY NOTES:
Why are they writing this? They see the dangers and consequences of global warming getting more severe with every year. Finally, the public will insist on emergency action. This is a “first take” on what should be done, on what is necessary.
Academics and climate scientists. Discussing the collapse of civilization. Geopolitical breakdown. Mass starvation.
Message too soft: as in, preparing for global warming is a win win. Being positive. People often respond: Avoid doing anything.
Message too rough: act now or we’ll all die. People often respond: Move into denial. Or worse, move into resistance.
Is it too late? Not yet. It is too late to have no human suffering. That is here, and worse is coming. But not the collapse of the global economy and civilization.
Can we do it? See WWII mobilization.
Society will respond when it perceives a crisis. There will be a “great awakening.”
We will shift into “whatever it takes” mode. Churchill in WWII: “It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.”
Two degrees C above pre-industrial period too dangerous. I agree. 1 degree C is reasonably safe.
Target of 350 ppm CO2e. Also could call it a 350 War Plan.
1 degree C is achievable. Will be disruptive to parts of our economy. Will require lots of sacrifice. Can be done.
1940. Defense spending 1.6% of GDP. 1945. Defense spending 37% of GDP.
Four days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the auto industry was ordered to stop making cars.
Little hope for a global agreement. A few powerful and influential countries will start it off.
China, US and Europe = 50% of global emissions. If add Russian, India, Japan and Brazil it’s 67% of global emissions.
Will act when seen that the threat of inaction is greater than the threats posed by acting strongly.
Current efforts. Feeble, inadequate. Crisis will help do “what is necessary.”
Their view: before 2020.
1. Climate War, Years 1-5. Cut 10% a year for 5 years, or 50% cut. Shocking. But audacious. Get momentum going.
2. Climate Neutrality, Years 5-20. Lock in the 50% emergency reductions. Move towards zero climate emissions by 2038 (if start 2018).
3. Climate Recovery, Years 20-100. Need negative emissions. Carbon capture and storage.
CO2e peaks at 440 ppm, fall below 350 ppm by end of century.
Global temps rise above 1 degree C by mid-century, but back around 1 degree C by 2100.
Sea level rises to 0.5 m around 2100. Peak at 1.25 m around 2300.
In billions of tons of CO2e:
2018 = 56
2023 = 28
2038 = 0
2100 = −6
Phase 1: Climate War.
Disproportionate value in early actions. Urgent, dramatic actions.
Breaks the “tyranny of tradition.”
Cut deforestation and logging by 50%
Close 1,000 dirty coal power plants within 5 years
Ration electricity, launch massive and urgent mass retrofit, both residential and commercial.
Retrofit 1,000 coal power plants with carbon capture and storage.
We’ll need the understanding of how to do this later in century.
Erect turbine or solar plant in every town
Create huge wind and solar farms in suitable deserts
Let no waste go to waste. Recycling fanaticism.
Ration use of dirty cars. Cut transport emissions 50%.
Prepare for bio-power with carbon capture and storage.
Strand half the world’s aircraft. Reduce aircraft 10% a year. 50% by year 5.
Capture or burn methane.
Move away from climate unfriendly protein. Red meat. US gov’t ran “meat free Tuesday” during WWII.
Bind 1 gigaton CO2 in the soil. More advanced agriculture techniques.
Launch gov’t and community-led “shop less, live more” campaign
These will seem less dramatic on a war footing.
White Roofs Campaign. Increase planet reflectivity. Help back off potential tipping points. Excellent symbolic. Create many new jobs.
Establish Climate War Command controlled by countries participating in the war.
Introduce carbon tax of US $100 per ton of CO2. Start at $20 per ton, increase $20 per ton each year to five years.. Raise $800,000,000,000 each year, total $1,900,000,000,000 in Year 5. 1-3% of GDP. Less than cost to stabilize global economy during finance crisis of 2008.
Redistribute proceeds of carbon tax. Fund war effort. Alleviate global hardship. Split it 50/50?
Shift subsidies from fossil energy to human employment, in areas like renewable energy, carbon capture and storage, battery logistics.
Resettlement plan for millions of climate refugees.
Adaptation strategy for low lying coastal areas.
Strategy for large scale famine.
Phase 2: Climate Neutrality. Years 6-20.
Goal: to lock in advances of past five years. And to hit global CO2e neutrality by Year 20 (2038).
Possible geoengineering. Capture capture and storage with biofuels. They pull CO2 out of the air. Then when burned their CO2 is captured and stored underground.
Eliminate remaining deforestation. Promote re-forestation and growth of timber.
Move to composting of all organic matter. Prevents longer-term methane emissions.
Massive renewable energy initiative to fill supply left by closing 1,000 coal-fired power plants. Shut remainder of dirty coal generators at Year 10. Turn off gas generators by Year 15.
Phase 3, Climate Recovery. Years 21-100.
Move to a sustainable model of global economy. Launch geo-engineering projects considered safe. Remove CO2 from atmosphere. Closed loop, zero waste.
The sooner we act the safer we’ll be.
This plan is cheap compared to the costs of failure.
Predict a 5-10% decrease in disposable income. Significant dislocation for many people. But not compared to alternative of collapsing economy.
“Since it appears likely that humanity will not respond until the approaching damage is perceived as a true crisis, society should get to work on the crisis response plan now.”