Let’s Get Real about Climate Change

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Carbon emissions rose sharply in the US in 2018.  We are now talking about a likely 3 degree global temperature rise by 2100, beyond the point of no return.  Just look at the predicted effect on major cities worldwide.  Miami will be underwater.

The US governmental report published the day after Thanksgiving 2018 promises that climate change will batter the US economy.  “With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century – more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many U.S. states,” the report, the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II, said.

This problem should now demand our attention above and beyond everything else.  It is a matter of survival, perhaps, of the human species.  It is hardly a partisan issue.

Here in the Northeast of continental USA, NASA predicts “heat waves, heavy downpours and sea level rise pose growing challenges to many aspects of life in the Northeast. Infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries and ecosystems will be increasingly compromised.”

I have collected a number of posts related to climate change solutions.

A great review of local effects in East Hampton NY: “Storms, flooding, pests; it’s not just a theory”

Its good to remind ourselves of the simple things we can all do!  No 9 is “Offset your carbon emissions”.  Ofcourse a carbon tax would be a significant motivator.  There will be further blog posts on this topic.

A valuable resource!

Read about 1) seeding calcium carbonate particles in our atmosphere to decrease solar heat ; 2) using electricity to regrow coral reefs; 3) a plastic-eating mutant enzyme; 4) waste-munching cockroaches; 5) a group of food startups think they have the answer: meat grown without the need to raise and slaughter an animal!

80 solutions are listed in an interesting table including (1) net cost, (2) savings and (3) atmospheric CO2 reduction.  Topping the list for CO2 reduction are refridgerators! Every refrigerator and air conditioner contains chemical refrigerants that absorb and release heat to enable chilling. Refrigerants, specifically CFCs and HCFCs, were once culprits in depleting the ozone layer. They have been phased out. HFCs, the primary replacement, spare the ozone layer, but have 1,000 to 9,000 times greater capacity to warm the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

Through an amendment to the Montreal Protocol, the world will phase out HFCs—starting with high-income countries in 2019. Substitutes are already on the market, including natural refrigerants such as propane and ammonium.

About D. Posnett MD

Emeritus Prof. of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College
This entry was posted in climate change, Environment, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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