Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Common Sense

In my neighborhood, they are building like cracy right now. The City Council made it easy for developers to build to 60 feet and even higher if they put some affordable units in. Although many of the projects are concrete throughout, most just have three or four levels of concrete parking structure that go pretty deep into the earth. Above that, it's all sticks.

When I was a builder of passive solar homes, the general building height rule of thumb for sticks was three stories. But, these guys are going six and seven floors with standard 2x4s and plywood sheathing. One side of me hates these things, but another side of me realizes that we are going to have to learn to build more and more with carbon (wood) if we are going to begin to stabilize, and ultimately begin to reduce the amount of carbon in the biosphere.

Just reducing our emissions will likely not be good enough. Here's another study that points in that direction:

Carbon Output Must Near Zero To Avert Danger, New Studies Say
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 10, 2008

The task of cutting greenhouse gas emissions enough to avert a dangerous rise in global temperatures may be far more difficult than previous research suggested, say scientists who have just published studies indicating that it would require the world to cease carbon emissions altogether within a matter of decades.

Their findings, published in separate journals over the past few weeks, suggest that both industrialized and developing nations must wean themselves off fossil fuels by as early as mid-century in order to prevent warming that could change precipitation patterns and dry up sources of water worldwide.

Using advanced computer models to factor in deep-sea warming and other aspects of the carbon cycle that naturally creates and removes carbon dioxide (CO2), the scientists, from countries including the United States,Canada and Germany, are delivering a simple message: The world must bring carbon emissions down to near zero to keep temperatures from rising further.

"The question is, what if we don't want the Earth to warm anymore?" asked Carnegie Institution senior scientist Ken Caldeira, co-author of a paper published last week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. "The answer implies a much more radical change to our energy system than people are thinking about." (clip)

Until now, scientists and policymakers have generally described the problem in terms of halting the buildup of carbon in the atmosphere. The United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate Change framed the question that way two decades ago, and many experts talk of limiting CO2 concentrations to 450 parts per million (ppm).

But Caldeira and Oregon State University professor Andreas Schmittner now argue that it makes more sense to focus on a temperature threshold as a better marker of when the planet will experience severe climate disruptions.

The Earth has already warmed by 0.76 degrees Celsius (nearly 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. Most scientists warn that a temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) could have serious consequences. (clip)

European Union Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, in Washington last week for meetings with administration officials, said he and his colleagues are operating on the assumption that developed nations must cut emissions 60 to 80 percent by mid-century, with an overall global reduction of 50 percent. "If that is not enough, common sense is that we would not let the planet be destroyed," he said. (more)

"Common sense is that we would not let the planet be destroyed."

As I stated in the Belief Belief post several years back.

But do we leap into action to protect our family?

our house,
our home,
and our future?


And that's the reason that they don't believe it either.
Because we don't believe it.
If we did.

We would start the water.
We would call for help.
We would fight the fire.
We would build
an Earthfamily.

We would think of nothing else.
Until the danger had passed.
It's called belief belief.

"Common sense is that we would not let the planet be destroyed"

"Common sense is that we would not let the planet be destroyed"

"Common sense is that we would not let the planet be destroyed"

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or maybe, we will figure it out and take appropriate action. In Houston this October 2008 will be a joint meeting of geo-scientists celebrating the International Year of the Planet. They will discuss how scientists can care for and nurture the planet.

5-9 October, 2008 George R. Brown Convention Center Houston, TX meetings@ geosociety.org

Celebrating the International Year of Planet Earth – A Joint Meeting Between The Geological Society of America, Agronomy Society of America, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, and the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies.



3:39 PM  

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