Really? You've got to be kidding me. Things aren't *this* desperate that we need to mess with the stratosphere?!
This is a fair and sane reaction; much more reasonable than LFG!! Crazy Balloons FTW!! And, on a basic level, it's right: climate change probably won't lead to all people dying (probably is a necessary caveat here, as ecosystem collapse will obviously increase likelihood of nuclear war). And, we're making progress! Of a sort. We'll probably even wean ourselves off fossil fuels someday, maybe. But, we're not going to do this and preserve a world worth living in unless we reflect sunlight now.
Here are the 5 specific things that personally pushed me over the top to feel that I have a moral obligation to create as much global cooling as quickly as I safely can, in order of which they occurred:
- We can only mine ~10% of proven reserves to (maybe) stay below 1.5C. These reserves are already on company's books and being increased. We will mine close to 100% of proven reserves, as articulated by normally-milquetoast Trudeau: "I’ve said many times that there isn’t a country in the world that would find billions of barrels of oil and leave it in the ground while there is a market for it."
- You know how you'll occasionally read things like "some permafrost is melting, and there's methane in there. This is bad"? Apparently you're better read than the UN climate change folks. These terrifying charts assume 0 greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost melting. This is what really pushed me over the top.
- We emit *a lot* of carbon. It's wishful thinking to imagine decarbonization of agriculture, construction, or shipping by 2050, let alone civilization as a whole.
- Carbon capture and storage is great... in the lab. We're <.006% of our way to 2050's UN goal, and you need to make very rosy assumptions to *even vaguely* imagine a scenario where this works.
- There's a big difference between 1.5C and 2C. Big as in most coral reefs and global famines big.
Unconvinced? Brace yourself.
So yeah: we're pretty properly fucked. But! There's some hope. More on that next post;)