Global Fever: How to Treat Climate Change (William H. Calvin Book 14) William H. Calvin

ISBN:

Published: August 29th 2010

Kindle Edition

352 pages


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Global Fever: How to Treat Climate Change (William H. Calvin Book 14)  by  William H. Calvin

Global Fever: How to Treat Climate Change (William H. Calvin Book 14) by William H. Calvin
August 29th 2010 | Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 352 pages | ISBN: | 7.41 Mb

Our global fever has been spiking, thanks to an accumulating blanket of CO2 around the earth. The climate doctors have been consulted, the lab reports have come back, and now it’s time to pull together the Big Picture and discuss the treatmentMoreOur global fever has been spiking, thanks to an accumulating blanket of CO2 around the earth. The climate doctors have been consulted, the lab reports have come back, and now it’s time to pull together the Big Picture and discuss the treatment options.Greenland is slip sliding away. Coral reefs are bleaching.

Deserts are expanding. Hurricanes are stronger. New insects are arriving in the neighborhood. People are poaching (35,000 Europeans dead in the 2003 heat wave). The sunlight is dimming, the ozone thinning, the methane leaking – and there are threats of the Gulf Stream halting, El Niño settling in for good, and a lot of tipping, slipping, and flipping.The diagnosis, now certain, is poisoning from fossil fuels, with some help from agriculture and garbage dumps. The outlook is for major complications, such as droughts that just won’t quit.

Tipping points lead to demolition derbies – as when the Amazon burns off and doesn’t come back. Major cities are inundated. Oceans acidify. Extreme weather keeps trashing the place. Is that picture big enough to keep “global warming” from sounding cozy?The proposed treatments ought to sound familiar: We are told to walk, diet, change what we consume – that is to say, conserve energy, emphasize renewable energy, fill the car’s tank much less often, and substitute solar, wind, geothermal, and biofuels for coal and oil.Too little, too late.

Turning things around by 2020 is the only way to keep the fever from spiking into truly dangerous territory where dwindl¬ing resources create hordes of refugees and trigger genoc¬idal wars with neighbors, Darfur writ large.Few climate scientists or politicians, it appears, are accustomed to thinking like physicians about the tradeoffs imposed by speed and uncertainty. Delay in starting treatment has happen¬ed often enough in medicine that there is now a cautionary aphorism: “The doc who waits until dead certain may wind up with a dead patient.”When the new cancer patient asks about drugs in the pipeline, the physician explains, “You don’t have time to wait for them.

You’re in a race with a destructive process. You need something that is known to work half of the time, even though it isn’t perfect and has some unpleasant side effects.” The physician may silently add, “If you’d stopped smoking earlier, you wouldn’t have to use this medicine now.” And so it is with stopping our industrial-scale smoking and starting “chemo.” Because of the 2020 emergency, solutions must be both global and quick.No one fix will do but a combination of three existing technologies could dramatically dampen the world’s consumption of oil and coal by 2020.

First, running our vehicles largely on electricity. Second, substituting nuclear power for coal until more desirable electricity sources get up to speed. And third, subsidizing low-loss DC transmission lines to carry power from stable countries with nuclear power to those that will otherwise burn their own coal to modernize.Time’s up.

Do we, knowing full well the consequences of our inactions, really want to destroy our civilization and kill off half of all species?



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