Climate Emergency revisited

The Planet has a 'Climate Emergency'.  Australia acknowledged one in Fiji in July, 2022 at a Pacific leaders conference. Months of negotiation over the Climate Safeguard Mechanism failed to prevent a moratorium on new fossil projects and expansions and even wind down existing fossil operations.  If science based climate evidence was used to guide this climate policy, it probably would have become apparent that strategy is needed on a deeper and more fundamental level.
It's still a climate war and it's still a technology war.
There's still a lot of delay (the new denial) and plenty of competition between existing and emerging technologies.
But - it could be an appropriate technology Renaissance...
Most of climate science has a spatial component. With new satellite tech coming online a finer grain or greater accuracy and confidence in climate data is being researched and assessed.
The evidence is becoming more reliable and the results and predictions are becoming more horrifying. Many scientists conclude their research papers with a 'Call to/for action'. The alarm bells are ringing loudly. Radio Ecoshock, anyone? Why not a UN report?
How could anyone know that natural gas is an essential/crucial energy source for the transition if there's no transition plan to make that assessment?
Fossil fuel is a dying/dead dinosaur/Ancient sunlight energy source, increasingly unnecessary/non-essential over time (like a vanishing wedge as uptake of appropriate tech increases) and we need to put most of our efforts into R&Ding and commercialising sustainable or even C negative energy sources. Adaptation through C emission mitigation and C removal technologies and strategies are needed which, in my opinion, is the most radically conservative position to take. Public Private Partnership (PPP) can work well if there's transparency in finance.  Pragmatism can erode ambition but applied science can uncover new design possibilities to move progress forward but is difficult to accurately model. Game changing tech is coming online on a daily basis around the world. The following diagram illustrates a potential strategy for climate emergency action...
1. 'Appropriate Technology' should be the kernel of a 'Just Green Transition' plan.
2. Although I placed appropriate technology at the centre of the above diagram, I believe finance is the largest barrier to apptech uptake, not ingenuity and innovation. This is when conservative investment could get radically conservative in the form of divestment from C emitting technologies and reinvestment in C removal apptech taking into account the 'Precautionary Principle'. Nothing like a Fritjof Capra 'Turning Point'!
3. 'Appropriate Technology' decentralised manufacturing (Industrial Revolution 4.0/Industry 4.0) can be scaled up to local production lines (which could possibly use some robot/machine automation but the tech would need to create additional upstream and downstream jobs) and still be 'appropriate' if consumed 'locally' (though may be pushing the definition boundaries if exported at great distance), is affordable and 'Net negative' or 'Carbon negative' in it's production and application during it's service life.
4. 'Appropriate Technology' should be able to be upcycled or recycled at the end of it's service life.
5. Fossil fuel technology is already obsolete (with an exception of classic cars and motorcycles) and needs to be replaced with appropriate electric, biomass or a combination of both technologies (eg.a large self-powered biochar kiln or even an ECHO2 that produces electricity, process heat and biochar and has the potential for scaling down and scaling up), as soon as possible if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.
6. That technology is the central determinant of an economy's composition and health
7. That materials determine what needs to be mined, what design is possible and what components can be produced

I designed the graph above from an accounting perspective, using a 'Black line' for CRCU, representing being in the 'Black' in a C budget and a red line representing C emissions for being in the' Red' in the C budget.


What about targets? Under-ambitious targets are like looking through a distorted lens and even if ambitious or even over ambitious targets are described as 'fantasy' we will get further towards a 'Safe climate' and a sustainable Planet as we try to reach them or even exceed them. 

Achieving 'Net Zero' C emissions by 2050 was ambitious and globally recognised at the Paris Climate Summit in 2015 as a good long-term goal for the Planet to avoid catastrophic climate change.  I wouldn't be surprised if that figure is revised over the next few years and the goal posts are brought forward if the current heatwaves, bushfires, flooding and landslides are any indication that the climate system is already running away?! From some preliminary research, it seems some Nations eg.Finland and mostly large businesses are adopting a 2035 target. I'm curious to learn what scientific evidence/modelling this is based on or whether it's caution with higher ambition? Plus, we've still got to mop up the greenhouse gases still in the climate system causing harm.


A 2035 target for 'Net-Zero' C emissions, which I predicted 2.5 years ago as being a safer target in a previous blog seems to be a new ideal target for a 'Safe climate' adopted by the ACF but has been rejected by the ALP.  Although it's tempting to take a sectoral approach to 'Decarbonise' the economy which the Federal ALP has just announced a plan for and Beyond Zero Emissions did in 2010 for the 'Transition Decade' that didn't really happen under the Federal LNP, ultimately the economy is a web of connections with mostly C emissions happening throughout the web right now. It also depends on what political spectrum you are on eg.'environmental political spectrum' (Google Images). Assuming there will be a C budget for MP Chris Bowen's sectoral 'Decarbonisation plan', it should become very clear that if we keep mining fossil C and even expand the industry which is clearly on the ALP's agenda, all the heavy lifting done by the rest of the sectors will be disproportionately unfair. Fossil C exports should be included in a 'National C budget' since it is a major economic ecological externality that shouldn't be ignored since CO2 from fossil C mining and consumption is the major cause of the failing global climate system. A C export tax could be another option which could be more easily delivered.


Apparently it's a fossil lobby doctrine of profit before people (and every other living and many future species) in the ears of our system that needs to move into the 21st Century and deal with the new energy and climate 'reality' including the rising 'climate refugee' problem that they are indirectly causing, eg. APPEA + coal industry->ears of politicians, campaign finance, media->pro fossil fuel expansionist policies->increasing expansion of the fossil fuel industry->increasing C fossil exports->increasing overseas consumption/combustion of fossil fuels->increasing CO2 emissions->increasing Planetary warming->changes in weather systems->increasing unnatural disasters->failures of agriculture, loss of ecosystems, even losing a home->displacement of populations/'Climate refugees'. It may come as a surprise to some holding up a 'suspension of disbelief' of climate science for fossil C mining and consumption but I believe no Country needs fossil C 'dependency' to develop and grow when there are so many greener and cleaner alternatives with exponentially increasing affordable options. Aside: A clever quip doesn't remove C.

But don't get me wrong - consumers have a role to play too choice, in reducing and even removing C emissions. I hope to help enable consumers and myself to do so.


This is where 'Recarbonisation' has a role. C is not necessarily the bad guy. If we could simultaneously reduce C emissions AND 'Recarbonise' supply chains with biochar (C removal), starting at the top with high value uses, such as air filtration->water filtration (potable use, microalgae bioreactors), solid state batteries (eg.Toyota), Photovoltaic cells (C perovskites), C fibre (eg.transport chassis) etc. then reuse that biochar down a cascade of increasingly lower value uses through upcycling (with a possible increasing chemically polluted biochar matrix at each step), we have 3 great options to direct that C to it's final resting place/'C sink' - concrete and roads (for a polluted/toxic biochar matrix) and agriculture (needing a non-toxic biochar matrix). This would also provide additional C offsetting through C material bio-substitution of C intensive materials at every step through the supply chains.


I should also mention too that I believe the ALP's 'National Reconstruction Fund' is a good idea though I didn't see any 'dedicated support allocated for investments' in Apptech startups. Maybe a 'Carbon export tax' eg.15% of C export profit, could fund it, in addition to 'Net zero' C emission operations (without a pipeline through the Amazon/Keystone XL pipeline/pipeline North of the Beetaloo Basin)! How much of C fossil profit enters the Oz economy? Also, when the Gov mentions investment, I assume they are referring to Australia's 'National Interest' and/or the 'Global Commons' - not private investors lined up, though that would not necessarily be a bad thing depending on their C removal credentials ANZBIG's 'Australian Biochar Industry 2030 Roadmap' could be linked in to this since they are predicting a 1-5 billion dollar biochar economy by 2030 in Australia and New Zealand. It would really accelerate the uptake of C removal operations. Timely since a climate circuit breaker of Antarctica may be in a lot of trouble. I'm interested to see what happens over Summer. The Arctic is a good test case.  I'm also now thinking it could be a web of climate tipping points being set off at different times not necessarily exactly in sequence. I'm worried about the marine diatoms too etc. etc.


Top down global thinking with bottom up integrated action at the local level, as the eminent Permaculture co-founder David Holmgren once described = 'Glocalisation' which I am a big supporter of.


In conclusion, there needs to be an evidence-based comprehensive 'Just Green Transition' plan based on principles of equality, ecology, economy and ambition that can be delivered with a sense of necessity and urgency. All economic sectors, their web of inter-connections and inter-dependencies including economic ecological externalities and the scaling up of C removal (biochar) apptech should be taken into account for on-the-ground 'real world' physical results. Basically, ecological/environmental economics with 'practical action' though ideals can still provide a compass. It also depends on what side of history the Gov wants to position itself. If we give up now we will lose the Planet and besides the journey can be fun. Anything can be changed and everything is possible.


The recent South American heatwave has left me bamboozled like many climate scientists chiming in. Does this mean now that heatwaves can occur anywhere and at any time? To answer my own question, I'm thinking yes if certain conditions are met at the same time eg. Ocean warming, atmospheric warming and an El nino climate pattern and whatever else...


How can C be measured?

What is the relationship between C and Emergy for accounting purposes?




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