Only way to save the planet! – Watts Up With That?

Only way to save the planet! – Watts Up With That?

Guest “We had to destroy the village to save it” by David Middleton

Equivalent to the waste of Covid emissions needed every two years – study
According to experts, equivalent emissions reductions are required over a decade to meet the safe limits of global warming

Fiona Harvey, environmental correspondent
Wed 3 Mar 2021

Carbon dioxide emissions will have to decrease by the equivalent of a global lockdown roughly every two years for the next decade to keep the world within safe limits of global warming, research has shown.

Lockdowns around the world resulted in an unprecedented drop in emissions of around 7% in 2020, or around 2.6 billion tons of CO2. However, for the next decade, reductions of between 1 and 2 billion tons each year will be required to have a good chance of keeping the temperature rising to 1.5 ° C or 2 ° C from pre-industrial levels, as dictated by the Paris Agreement.


The Grauniade

Grauniad’s article refers to Le Quéré et al., 2021: “Fossil CO2 emissions in the post-COVID-19 era.”

Covid emissions? WTF? Fossil Emissions? WTF’ingF? Fossils stopped emitting gases before they became fossils.

After just reading the first few paragraphs of The Grauniad Dreck, I jumped to Le Quéré and saw that the main thing was that rich countries shouldn’t become third world countries to save the planet … But there was this nifty graphic :

on, Annual emissions for 1970–2019 in GtCO2 yr – 1, including a projection for 2020 (in red) based on the analysis of the Global Carbon Project1 and its uncertainties (shading; methods). b, Daily change in emissions in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions compared to an average day in 2019 for the globe, updated since first published in May 2020 (Ref. 3). c, As in b but for three economic income groups: the Annex B country group of the mostly high-income economies with emission targets according to the Kyoto Protocol; Higher middle income economies (including China) as defined by the World Bank; Low-middle-income economies and low-income economies (including India) as a single group. Global economic and energy crises are highlighted in on, along with key international political data.
Source data ”

The first thing I noticed was the effectiveness (/ SARC) of Kyoto and Paris:

date Notable events Δ GtCO2
From … to
12/11/1997 1997 Kyoto agreement adopted 0.2 1998-1999
02/16/2005 2005 Kyoto agreement effective 1.9 2006-2007
12/12/2015 2015 Paris Agreement adopted 0.5 2016-2017
04/11/2016 2016 Paris Agreement effective 1.2 2017-2018
Average 1.0

Climate agreements lead to rising emissions. Modified from Le Quéré et al., 2021.

Financial events seem like the only way to reduce carbon emissions:

date year Notable events Δ GtCO2
From … to
01/01/1973 1973 Oil crisis -0.1 1974-1975
01/01/1979 1979 US savings and credit crunch -0.6 1980-1981
01/01/1991 1991 Collapse of the Soviet Union -0.5 1992-1993
01/01/2008 2008 Global financial crisis 1.2 2009-2010
01/01/2020 2020 Covid-19 pandemic -2.6 2020 only
Average -0.5

Unemployment leads to falling emissions. Modified from Le Quéré et al., 2021.

The Grauniad journalist wrote that we need a COVID-style lockdown every two years to save the planet (my paraphrase). Le Quéré et al. However, seem to call for COVID-style cascading:

Although measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic will cut emissions by around 7% in 2020, they alone will not cause permanent emissions reductions, as these temporary measures will have little impact on the fossil fuel-based infrastructure that caused the pandemic supports global economy2.


The task of reducing global emissions on the order of one billion tons of CO2 per year21 while supporting economic recovery and human development as well as improving health, equity and well-being lies in current and future measures.

Le Quéré et al., 2021

This is what “a reduction in global emissions of the order of a billion tons of CO2 per year” would look like by 2050:

CO2 emissions (GtCO2 / year). Data from CDIAC and Le Quéré et al., 2021.

This would lead to global CO2 emissions as low as the Great Depression. It would be a good ploy to figure out how to do this immediately “while supporting economic recovery and human development, and improving health, equity and well-being”, considering that only economic emergencies can successfully reduce emissions.

Had COVID attacked “the fossil fuel-based infrastructure that supports the global economy” instead of attacking humans, this kind of reduction would have been achievable. But it would only have brought “justice” … we would all be equally dead in a few years.

What’s even crazier than the total cut they are asking for?

The world population is growing more slowly and is projected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050. It could peak at nearly 11 billion by 2100
June 17, 2019, New York

According to a new United Nations report released today, the world’s population is projected to increase by 2 billion people over the next 30 years, from 7.7 billion today to 9.7 billion in 2050.


UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs

If we insist on destroying the economy to save the planet, emissions per capita in 2050 would only be about 1/3 what they were in 1900. This would bring justice too … unless you are a king.

Oh, I almost forgot …

Save the planet?

WARNING: Lots of F-bombs !!!


Boden, Tom, Gregg Marland, Bob Andres. Global CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuel Burning, Cement Making, and Gas Flaring: 1751-2008. June 10, 2011. Carbon Dioxide Information Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6290

C. Le Quéré, GP Peters, P. Friedlingstein et al. Fossil CO2 emissions in the post-COVID-19 period. Nat. Ascent. Chang. 11 197-199 (2021).

be right

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