2012-07-19. Global Warming's Terrifying New Math |

posted Aug 25, 2012, 2:08 PM by Alan Gould
by Bill McKibben, Rolling Stone magazine. An article relevant to GSS Climate Change chapter 10. Excerpt: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe. Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation…. Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by midcentury and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees [C] …the amount of carbon already contained in the proven coal and oil and gas reserves of the fossil-fuel companies, and the countries … that act like fossil-fuel companies…  the fossil fuel we're currently planning to burn… is … 2,795 [gigatons] – is higher than 565. Five times higher. …If you told Exxon or Lukoil that, in order to avoid wrecking the climate, they couldn't pump out their reserves, the value of their companies would plummet. John Fullerton, a former managing director at JP Morgan who now runs the Capital Institute, calculates that at today's market value, those 2,795 gigatons of carbon emissions are worth about $27 trillion. Which is to say, if you paid attention to the scientists and kept 80 percent of it underground, you'd be writing off $20 trillion in assets…. Read the full article: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719