ANDERSON, Kevin. 0.5 billion climate holocaust survivors

Professor Kevin Anderson is the Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester, UK. Professor Anderson, together with Dr Alice Bows wrote an extremely important paper describing 6-8% annual  GHG emissions reductions needed for 450 ppm CO2-equivalent (CO2-e): “According to the analysis conducted in this paper, stabilizing at 450 ppmv [carbon dioxide equivalent = CO2-e, atmospheric concentration measured in parts per million by volume] requires, at least, global energy related emissions to peak by 2015, rapidly decline at 6-8% per year between 2020 and 2040, and for full decarbonization sometime soon after 2050 …Unless economic growth can be reconciled with unprecedented rates of decarbonization (in excess of 6% per year), it is difficult to envisage anything other than a planned economic recession being compatible with stabilization at or below 650 ppmv CO2-e  ... Ultimately, the latest scientific understanding of climate change allied with current emissions trends and a commitment to “limiting average global temperature increases to below 4oC above pre-industrial levels”, demands a radical reframing of both the climate change agenda, and the economic characterization of contemporary society” (see: Kevin Anderson & Alice Bows, “Reframing the climate change challenge in light of post-2000 emission trends”, Proc. Trans. Roy. Soc, A, 2008: http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/publications/journal_papers/fulltext.pdf Gideon Polya,  “Good and bad climate news”, Green Blog, 2009: http://www.green-blog.org/2009/01/13/good-and-bad-climate-news/ ; and George Monbiot, “One shot left”, Monbiot.com (also published in the UK  Guardian, 2008): http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2008/11/25/one-shot-left/ ).

 

Professor Kevin Anderson on how many will survive the century in a “terrifying prospect” (November 2009): “For humanity it's a matter of life or death. We will not make all human beings extinct as a few people with the right sort of resources may put themselves in the right parts of the world and survive. But I think it's extremely unlikely that we wouldn't have mass death at 4C. If you have got a population of nine billion by 2050 and you hit 4C, 5C or 6C, you might have half a billion people surviving… The worst possible result at Copenhagen is a bad deal where the world leaders have to come home and say it's a good deal when its rubbish. That's the real danger – that they will feel under pressure to sign up to anything. That could lock us into something bad for the next ten years." [1].

 

[1]. Professor Kevin Anderson quoted by Jenny Fyall, “Warming “will wipe out billions””, The Scotsman, 29 November 2009: http://news.scotsman.com/latestnews/Warming-will-39wipe-out-billions39.5867379.jp .

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