Why the Carbon Budget Matters

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found, in its 5th Assessment Report (AR5), which was released in September, that the worldwide human community has a global lifetime budget of “burnable” carbon-based fuels. Beyond that, any further burning of carbon-emitting fuels would push global average temperatures more than 2°C higher than the historic norm, unleashing unmanageable climate destabilization. So, though existing reserves might allow us to use far more than the scientifically measured carbon fuel budget, those resources are in effect “unburnable”.

This is not a matter for ideologically driven debate. This is a question of hard numbers. A 2°C rise is the tipping point, beyond which it is projected climate destabilization will be irreversible, with complex feedback loops exacerbating the situation more and more. Beyond a certain point, probably well before we reach the full 2°C rise, the actual cost of adapting to significant destabilization of historically consistent climate patterns will exceed our ability to spend to respond.

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Building a Green Economy: a Talk at Columbia University

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Building a Green Economy

How to Avert Extreme Carbon Asset Risk, Price Carbon Affordably & Achieve Climate Resiliency

7:45 pm – 9:45 pm
Monday, November 11, 2013
Columbia University

Faculty House
Presidential Room
64 Morningside Drive
New York, NY 10027

>>> Click here to register – It’s free

Due to the urgent need for the United States to respond to the escalating crisis in global climate destabilization, Organizing for Action is hosting action and education events around the country this month, and has invited Joseph Robertson—author of Building a Green Economy: On the Economics of Carbon Pricing & the Transition to Clean, Renewable Fuels, founder and president of Geoversiv Envisioning and a coordinating volunteer for the non-partisan Citizens Climate Lobby—to speak about carbon pricing policy and the emerging green economy.

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We know how to solve the climate crisis

While vested interests push risky schemes like the Keystone XL pipeline, which will gravely exacerbate the climate destabilization we already face, global human industry has now pushed atmospheric CO2 concentrations to 400 ppm, 50% above the norm for almost all of the history of our species.

We need to change course and organize our relationship to Earth’s life support systems more intelligently. We not only know how to do set in motion this global transition; we know how to do it affordably, with no cost to taxpayers, no expansion of government, and a vast expansion of private capital investment in middle-class job creation and new technologies.

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