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COP 21 -Prof. James Hansen – Storms of my Grandchildren

This video see’s Stuart Scott the director of strategic planning from the united planet faith and science initiative alongside the author of the book “Storms of my grandchildren” which is a very accurate book with regards to the progressive nature of negative climate change. The clue in the title is that the weather and ecosystem we will be leaving our grandchildren will be quite different to what we were used to growing up. With the planet becoming heated to 1.5degrees there will be significant impacts. The author Mr James Hansen tells us about various studies with world renowned experts on climate change and how we must be aiming for 350 parts per million of co2 in the atmosphere.

Mr Hansen explains how the biggest detrimental change going on in the planet is the icebergs melting of the ice shelves around Antarctica. He adds that the previous generations were completely unaware of the damage they were causing to future generations and how disastrous that is. Mr Hansen tells us that we are on the edge of handing down to our children a climate with which the consequences will be totally out of our control. The passing down of such a damaged climate to the future generations will be catastrophic. It will become increasingly harder to work outdoors along with things that take place outdoors. Humans are threatening the existence of half the planets animals and environments. Mr Hansen tells us that China is the most damaging of all countries with regards to total climate emissions. He adds that the UK, Germany and United states are the most responsible with regards to mitigating their climate damage. However they are not saints by any means.

The solution Mr Hansen talks about how economic incentives would really help change things by giving financial rewards to those who damage the environment the least and that would also help address income inequality. Mr Hansen tells us about the global carbon price initiative which sadly was not included in the climate change agreement in Paris. The global carbon price initiative would help financially incentivise big multinational companies and investors to adopt green technology and use more efficient fuels. The GCP (global carbon price) would financially reward those companies that use energy efficient equipment and a lot of people say that’s what’s needed to truly spur on the big companies.

Mr Hanson reminds us that as long as fossil fuels are cheap they will remain in use sadly. However the true cost to humanity is not factored into the price. Moreover there is endless scientific research that shows us how damaging fossil fuels are and this is not factored in to the price. The way to bring the many countries that remain in poverty out of poverty is to embrace energy efficient fuels and eradicate the use of fossil fuels. The rising carbon fee is the most effective way to alleviate the many global issues like poverty and the lack of energy in many countries but sadly it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

We have to make the GCP happen but when will we make it happen? When will the quest for profit stop trumping caring for the environment? These questions have to be answered as we push the climate beyond tipping point.

Links: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-carbon-prices/global-carbon-prices-must-soar-to-meet-paris-climate-target-report-idUSKBN18P0PN , http://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/pricing-carbon ,  http://carbonpricingdashboard.worldbank.org/

By Alex Mitchison

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