Yes readers, 350 is the magic number so the majority of climatologists say. That’s 350 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 equivalent that is the level we need to get back to so to have a chance to limit warming to just two degrees Celsius.
Do we have much of a change seeing that in parts of the globe we are already at 400ppm? Well I hope so, or we better start thinking of climate adaptation and not climate change mitigation which is the less expensive of the two choices we have in front of us.
Personally, I don’t think all is lost. Things have changed, at least in a few countries, but the overwhelming majority of the top polluting countries do not have any major plans to mitigate climate change and begin any meaningful action.
Can we make a difference? Well, once again I hope so, but sometimes I just don’t know. I would like to think that we are not complete idiots and will begin to lower global emissions, but looking around at the crazy political policies that even our own governments are making, I still think it is business as usual.
Let me highlight two extremely short-sighted political decisions that were made in the last few weeks. In Victoria, our state government has reduced the state’s net solar feed-in tariff to 8 cents a kWh. As the majority of residential properties are paying between 23 and 25 cents a kWh for every one they import, essentially they are getting ripped off royally. It lets the electricity retailers buy it at 8 cents and lets them sell it instantly to your neighbour at the higher 25 cents, pocketing a profit of 17 cents a kWh for not even lifting a finger. It makes justifying the capital outlay of solar PV difficult for the average bloke, and it certainly does not encourage the rapid uptake of renewable energy. No sense of a fair go in this State. I think other states in Australia have the same issue now as well.
The other crazy decision is the federal government’s back down from the negotiating table after their promise to buy and decommission a few large, heavy polluting coal fired power stations, and ramp up large scale renewables. It was cowardice at the upper most level as far as I am concerned. Reports are that they didn’t even put an offer on the table, just walked away.
Both decisions designed to line the pockets of the fossil fuel industry and keep things just as they are. This stupidity does not give me much hope, and just makes me angry that our decision makers are so short sighted.
The founder of 350.org, Bill McKibben has it right you know. He says we have a fight on our hands, and it is against the most profitable entities in the world which are the oil, gas and coal companies and their lackeys in the political system. (acknowledgement goes to Dawn for the link)
What do you think? I do have lots of hope and believe that people will turn it around back to 350ppm, but my confidence often gets chipped away at. time and time again. It is discouraging to say the least.