Taking Charge: Design the Life Youve Always Wanted (Common Sense for Uncommon Times Book 2)

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Indeed, before any philosophers are invited in to talk, a proper base of evidence about climate change has to be established. The latest conclusions of the best available science have to underpin any philosophical enquiry. Every graph and claim made in this first chapter is supported by the relevant references to the scientific literature.

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They are the cause of climate change. The data shows that our emissions have been increasing and are continuing to rise relentlessly. The projection for in a paler colour and beyond continues in the same direction. Stating the obvious, we are not controlling our emissions. The line on the graph is going up, and new records are being set every year16, The overall average increase was 0.

Conversely, we are accelerating them A rise from 2. This upturn is the equivalent of , Hiroshima nuclear A-bomb explosions per day When geologists create images of the planet of how it must have looked in the deep past, as a snowball earth or a greenhouse earth, it is hard to imagine the forces that.

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When we look at our earth from satellite imagery today and see a giant disco ball, we might simply be reminded of the streetlights at home. Yet these lights represent just a fragment of the power that human beings are affecting the planet with, on each spin. Graph 2 — Energy Sources The reason why our emissions are increasing is due to the fact that we are still meeting the large majority of our energy demands with fossil fuels. These statistics are taken from the latest data of the International Energy Agency. In fact, although fossil fuels use increased by a much smaller percentage, in absolute terms it outstripped green energy growth by 19 times.

Politicians may frequently cite their commitments to huge-percentage increases in green energy supplies. However, the data that matters shows very clearly that we are not making any inroads into curtailing our reliance on fossil fuel. In fact, all of the recent policy commitments to new investments in green energy are not even sufficient to deal with the increased demand for energy that will come in the years ahead from factors such as population growth. Therefore, fossil fuel use and emissions will continue to increase until and beyond21, It had become very clear that humanity was stepping into very dangerous territory with global warming.

The ultimate decision-making body of the convention is the Conference of the Parties COP and as part of the plan, they established annual COP meetings in which these reviews would take place. A list of the meetings is presented on the previous page. There have been a long list of negotiated outcomes that often carry the name of the location in which they were agreed and purposeful slogans. However, despite all of the signatures, the troubling fact is that not a single COP Conference of the Parties meeting has been able to witness progress in meeting its declared objective.

The outcome of those meetings might achieve secondary targets, but it must ultimately be judged by the data on global emissions. The red line which cuts across the years and the places is going up23, we have gone from ppm of CO2 to ppm, we have gone from an annual output of 8 excessive gigatonnes of CO2 to 9, to 10, and onto This is a very basic observation, but it has to be stated. It has to keep anthropogenic interference in the atmosphere to a safe level.

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All of the other targets and outcomes only have any value in how they relate to this central aim. Last year, the global economy grew while global carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels stayed flat In graph 3, it can be seen that there have been some years during which the rate of increase started to flattened out, but this is hardly a comforting fact.

What is needed, is a firm and sensible application of the brakes to actually slow down the bike down to a speed that is compatible with your survival A failure to meet this average mark means that they must repeat a year of schooling Throughout the year, the students are presented with their grades in tests and homework across all of their subjects with marks out of Their continual assessment is provided so that they can know if they are on target, and it helps both teachers and parents to make the right interventions in adequate time. It is a clear method of assessment. We will reduce our carbon emissions in the range of 17 percent below levels by That is how Obama presented his emission goals.

What is the concrete reality behind these confusing numbers? If they do, how much closer? Why do the media and the public tolerate being given their information in such a jumbled way? The USA was not alone in making things cloudy in Paris. Obama was following what has become the standard way in which the vital statistics for climate emissions data are released and published. By contrast, Economics would not tolerate such numerical ambiguity. It is informative to make a comparison with another institution. The Bank must write an open letter of explanation to the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the CPI index roams more than one percentage point away from this target in either direction.

In the letter, it has to explain how long it expects the inflation rate to remain off target, and the bank must also explain the policy actions it is taking to rectify the problem. This is just common sense.

In a democratic society, government institutions are accountable to the public and whether they succeed or fail in their goals, everyone has the right to know what is happening. This is especially true with something as fundamentally important to the economy as interest rates and inflation. Anyone, whose interests include treasure hunts and wasting valuable time, could spend several days clicking around the website looking for the key information. There are interesting articles about beating plastic pollution, how people in the Sahel are developing solar energy, and so much more.

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It is a busy webpage with many layers and hundreds of articles that are related to climate change. All of which creates the impression that something is being done. However, the fundamental question about climate change remains unstated and unanswered. The essential target for humans is buried far away from the home page, and the essential data that demonstrates our progress towards that target is missing.

It is a systemic problem that extends from the webpage to the podium. It is a systemic problem that is also mirrored in the way the media reports on the UNFCCC; their motivation to get to the roots of a story has been undermined by commercial pressures to appear interesting and busy. Back to School There are two school-related issues here.


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Given such a foggy and muddled format, you would rightly insist that the school provide another document. It is a notation system that is transparent, and it enables the reader to draw the main conclusions easily. They show where improvements have been made, and where more effort or interventions are needed. Every child in a class has the right to know how well they are performing, for better or worse. Every citizen has the right to clear information about the atmosphere. Secondly, many students who fail an exam or an assessment do so because they do not answer the question.

At the bottom of this scale is horseshit. Although it is a very unpleasant thought, at the top of the scale is dogshit. These are outstanding essays, characterised by a very meaty content, a compact size and a strong impression that is difficult to forget. Most importantly, dogshit essays point somewhere. If I invited my students to assess any of the speeches made in all of the COP meetings, or indeed any political comments about climate change, they would be graded as horseshit. They simply do not answer the question that they have set out to answer. Although teachers can monotonously repeat the same message about focus, and although many students struggle to see why this is so fundamentally important in an assessment, the dull fact is that not answering the question posed makes all of the knowledge and understanding they might have used irrelevant.

In an odd way, they are the most exciting questions, because nobody is asking them. It is weirdly mesmerising that every year thousands of delegates, with thousands of scientists, accompanied by thousands of staff, tracked by thousands of reporters, all assemble in one town for 2 weeks — and the main reason for them all being there is not directly addressed or openly discussed. They have to consider so many variables when making the calculation. The detailed qualifications to these figures will be explored in Part Two of the book.

It also assumes that the speed of global emissions remains the same as today. The simple point of this graph is to show that there is a limit to what can be put up into the atmosphere. After decades of scientific enquiry, we have a clear understanding of where that limit is. It is an absolute number. At current speeds of emissions, we are due to spend this budget by Graph 5 - Where are we now? However, here is a strange fact. The level of CO2 that is in the atmosphere now basically guarantees that a rise to 1. There is a time-lag between the CO2 going up into the air and the thermal effects taking place.

To avoid a 1. This mechanical detail about the climate system is well understood by science, but that was not evident at COP21 when the targets for climate action were being set up. Neither the highest-ranking politicians, nor the media seemed to be aware of the implausibility of even negotiating anything relating to a 1.

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It was almost surreal to follow the coverage of the COP21 in Paris because this most basic fact about the situation was simply not on the table. Energy system transformations for limiting end of century warming to below 1. Change 5, — However, no comment was made about this ambition being such an improbable goal A BBC Sport correspondent would not ask a football manager what result he might be hoping for in a match, in a post-match interview.

He should have watched the game and questioned the manager about the performance and the result.


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Despite this, none of the major industrialised nations are even on track to fulfil their Paris commitments. The red line shows what would happen if we took no further action.