The Oxford meeting has been posted to YouTube as a string of clips. As is common for gatherings of academics these days, the meeting was broken into sessions of 4 or 5 short talks (10 minutes each) to provide a launch point for a moderated discussion between the participants, aiming for a balance between researchers, policymakers and practitioners. The same format was used in Pennsylvania. The web simulcast saves you, me and hundreds of others the climate footprint of a flight, rental car, and hotel. For the Oxford meeting, there was also the very reductionist reportage by Carbon Brief, although on July 4th they interviewed one of the keynote speakers, Amory Lovins, at greater length and that provides somewhat better context for his remarks in September.
There was neither webcam nor Carbon Brief at the Finland meeting September 3-6. You just had to be there. But unlike the other venues, in Finland, some very real solutions were being not merely discussed, but demonstrated.
- Emissions peak by 2020.
- Emissions fall about 50% by 2030, then a further 50% by 2040, and a further 50% by 2050.
- Agriculture transforms from a carbon source to a carbon sink.
- Solutions to store carbon, for example, reforestation, biochar or bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, are scaled up.
- Remaining natural carbon sinks are protected and enhanced.”
I have been repeating similar carbon arithmetic since Paris in 2015 but SRC has simplified the trajectory to make it easier to swallow. If one takes the IPCC consensus position that in order to hold global warming to only 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial (locking in the currently unfolding climate chaos) nations must attain zero fossil emissions by 2050 at the latest (although many have already set more ambitious goals), that implies a decline slope of 11 to 14 percent, depending upon how soon it gets going (it has yet to begin). SRC says, let's make the math more basic and use 7 percent. If you understand the exponential function, you know that a 7% growth rate represents a doubling every ten years. Conversely, a 7% attrition rate equals a halving every ten years. That, in essence, is what the “Carbon Law” says: half by 2030; half again by 2040, and so on. To say this number reaches zero by 2050 is a bit disingenuous, but so be it. It is a good start. Assuming we actually get started.
|Woody waste feedstock pile at Carbofex in Tampere Finland|