Happy New Year to anyone reading this! 2018 was for me a good year personally, but I think a dismal year in news for the planet. We are reminded by the IPCC recent report that the time to act is now, clarifying that now means really turning things around in the next 12 years. Atmospheric CO2 continues to rise at around 0.5% per year in 2018 reaching 410 ppm for the first time in history. Flattening out this Keeling curve by 2030 could keep climate change manageable; continued growth at the current rate would get us to 500 ppm by 2050, a rapid growth scenario that would push the earth’s temperature up another 4℃ (we’re up 1℃ so far). Global emissions of 37 billion tons CO2 (5T/capita) are what we’re dealing with, especially affluent Americans (typically 15-20T/capita). We’ve got to help people to drop their CO2 load by tons per family, that’s my goal for 2019.
Just before the New Year, I got to see the musical Hamilton. It was fantastic, inspiring, more fun than the book. Among other things, Hamilton wrote 51 essays, the majority of the Federalist papers, in a short time to inform people and help raise public opinion towards ratifying the Constitution. Arguably it worked, since the doc was ratified by a small margin, and the rest is history. So I’m thinking, how about the climate, perhaps I should write the Federalist papers to get the climate ratified, or rectified? One essay a week through 2019 may be a tall order for me, but let’s see what I can do with these Climate Conversations. (The “conversation” part is in the comments readers leave on the blog or editorial post.)