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CO2 Level Hits a New Alarming High of 425ppm

Article Published At:
Green Energy Times
Date of Publication:
June 23rd, 2023

Professor Eliot Jacobson said on Twitter, “Here on hot-house planet Earth, on April 28, 2023, CO₂ levels just breached 425.0 parts per million (ppm) for the very first time. This is a horrific day in the record books of what humans have done in their relentless desecration of this once pristine planet.” The diverse flood of responses shows how poorly many people understand what is going on. So, I will review the critical issues that lie ahead.

The sun heats the Earth. The burning of the carbon-based fossil fuels, which were stored in the Earth for millions of years, is warming the planet and driving rapid cli- mate change, by driving up atmospheric CO2, a key greenhouse gas (GHG) that reduces the cooling of the Earth to space. At the start of the industrial revolution around 1700, CO2 was around 280ppm, and it had reached 315ppm in 1958 when measurements started at Mauna Loa. CO2 is important because its atmospheric life- time is on the order of a century, although the removal processes are poorly understood. Methane (CH4) is a more powerful GHG, but its atmospheric lifetime is much shorter, on the order of a decade.

The warming of the Earth and oceans from increasing GHGs has been well understood for about 50 years. Back in 1978, James Black, the chief scientist of the current Exxon-Mobil company did the global modeling and correctly concluded that doubling atmospheric CO2 would be a disaster for the global climate and for life on Earth. He told management they had five years to change their business plan. Their response was simple, “Be quiet. We have trillions of dollars to bribe politicians and fund advertising and webs of lies to confuse the public for decades.” This is exactly what they have done. For forty-five years the oil companies have deliberately hidden the truth that they are consciously destroying the Earth to maximize their profits. This is clearly a staggering crime against all life on Earth including our chil- dren. Millions are starving from climate disasters in poor countries and many have died or been forced to migrate. Catastrophic floods have killed many more. It is shameful that society and politicians have taken bribes and simply accepted these webs of lies and this criminal deceit.

The oil company profits have hit new records since the war in Ukraine started last year. The EU passed a windfall tax on oil companies, which of course the oil companies are trying to block. Globally, legal action against the oil companies is moving along, especially in the Netherlands. The district court in the Hague ordered Europe’s largest oil company, Royal Dutch Shell, to reduce its carbon emissions by a net 45% by 2030 compared with 2019 levels. The court was also explicit in stating that the harms from climate change are violations of human rights.

Last week in the U.S. the Supreme Court allowed state law climate suits against oil companies to go ahead. Many have been in limbo for years. For example, the Baltimore suit, filed in 2018 in Maryland state court, al- leges that more than 20 energy companies promoted fossil fuels while concealing information about the harmful changes of climate they cause, including rising sea levels and extreme weather. Other cases brought by state and local officials make similar allegations. Perhaps eventually the oil companies with have to pay for their long-term criminal fraud. The deeper issues are radically different. Human destruction of life on Earth for profit has been explicit for nearly 50 years.

Fortunately for the Earth but unfortunately for capitalism, humanity is no longer in charge. Mother Nature has taken over the climate to save life on the planet more broadly. This is a complex issue that I have addressed in the scientific literature (see alanbetts.com/research), and society have been bribed to live in webs of lies and deception. They also believe that their money and power give them control through technology. But their lies mean they cannot face the basic Truth that Mother Nature, who is the Creator herself, is far more powerful than humanity. She is now managing radically new climate extremes, amplified of course by climate change, using new modes we have never seen and we cannot predict before they occur. We think we have climate projections for this century but increasing melting of glaciers and icecaps, along with ocean changes, are driving faster sea-level rise that is likely to flood our coastal cities within decades.

It has been a winter of onshore storms on the west coast and more extreme storms and tornadoes across the country, especially in the south. As I write in early May, a remarkable stationary pattern called an Omega block has brought record snow (for May 1) to Marquette, Michigan, but a remarkable 90ºF for Missoula, Montana. Since Hurricane Ian amplified off the west coast of Florida to a Category 5 storm on 28 September 2022, flooding and severe weather have dominated Florida with frontal thunderstorms and tornadoes during the winter. The most recent extreme was a record 26 inches of rain in 24 hours in Fort Lauderdale on 13 April 2023 that closed the port and the airport, cutting off fuel supplies. Most of society is unable to communicate directly with the Creator, even though she can read our minds and help us. We are the only species on the planet that lives in this isolated world that comes from more than a thousand years of ‘male power’ over nature, women and indigenous thinking. Historically this goes back to the dictates of the Roman Emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicea. It is still an obstacle stopping us dealing with climate change.

The renewable energy world of G.E.T. is different. Everything you do to transform our energy system and reduce fossil fuel use will get the Creator’s active support. This helps a lot even if you are unaware of her presence – but with awareness come many more connections.

Dr. Alan Betts of Atmospheric Research in Pittsford, VT is a climate scientist. See alanbetts.com.

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