Here are the slides for my second talk in the Interdisciplinary Climate Change Workshop at the Balsillie School of International Affairs:
Like the first it’s just 15 minutes long, so it’s very terse.
I start by noting that slowing the rate of carbon burning won’t stop global warming: most carbon dioxide stays in the air over a century, though individual molecules come and go. Global warming is like a ratchet.
So, we will:
1) leave fossil fuels unburnt,
2) sequester carbon,
3) actively cool the Earth, and/or
4) live with a hotter climate.
Of course we may do a mix of these…. though we’ll certainly do some of option 4), and we might do only this one. My goal in this short talk is not mainly to argue for a particular mix! I mainly want to present some information about the various options.
I do not say anything about the best ways to do option 4); I merely provide some arguments that we’ll wind up doing a lot of this one… because I’m afraid some of the participants in the workshop may be in denial about that.
I also argue that we should start doing research on option 3), because like it or not, I think people are going to become very interested in geoengineering, and without enough solid information about it, people are likely to make bad mistakes: for example, diving into ambitious projects out of desperation.
As usual, if you click on a phrase in blue in this talk, you can get more information.
I want to really thank everyone associated with Azimuth for helping find and compile the information used in this talk! It’s really been a team effort!