CO2 already emitted, ‘yesterdays CO2’, is a first lethal dose for which no one seems to be willing to administer the available and affordable antidote.
Most of us seem to think we only need to be concerned about tomorrows CO2.
This post offers a short guided/linked tour to explain why it’s important to know the difference between yesterdays CO2 and tomorrows CO2.
Countless international leaders and individuals call meaningful work toward emission reduction strategies like screwing in another energy-efficient lightbulb, buying a trendy politically correct luxury car, or investing in carbon capture and storage. While these might be good things to do for the future these actions are deluding us and we are missing the most important core problem.
Todays problem facing us is not todays or tomorrows CO2 rather it is YESTERDAYS CO2.
We must turn our attention to the gargantuan nearly 1000 gigatonne CO2 overdose, a century and more of our accumulating anthropogenic (fossil) CO2. This CO2 overdose is still mostly in the air as it takes centuries for CO2 to equilibrate with the rest of the planet.
What the world seems to be doing is treating the single most important patient, Mother Nature, like an indigent overdose patient arriving in a hospital emergency room.
CO2 is a slow poison and the antidote to save the patient seems terribly expensive and uncertain so the emergency room sends the patient up to the psych ward to be counselled on how not to take a second lethal dose. If the patient dies at least the emergency room hasn’t billed the county for an expensive antidote and ended up with another indigent dead patient on its reports.
Likely the Psych Ward will show they provided the best treatment words, mere words, of advice and counselling and sent the poor patient home so again their death doesn’t show up on their reports either.
Oops forgot one vital detail the pitiful patient Mother Nature has no next of kin, she is us, we are all part of her.
The poison comes from us its CO2 it’s killing ocean life instead of making green
As our CO2 overdose is circulates in the vital living systems that are Mother Nature it is mostly removed from the air by dissolving into the oceans. Many reports are sounding the alarm of ocean acidification even though to be precise the ‘acid’ in that phrase is really not quite correct. In reality the crisis of CO2 in the oceans is one of the increasing solubility of calcium, you know the stuff that makes sea shells.
Alas the term ‘ocean solubilification’ might be a better term but it has not proven to be a winning spin masters term so ‘ocean acidification’ it is. Adding just the tiny amount of extra acid to our oceans in the form of CO2 mixed with the water (H2CO3) has made calcium much more soluble in the sea water.
That more soluble calcium means that every form of ocean life that makes use of calcium as in countless vital tiny plankton like ‘White Cliffs of Dover cocolithophores’, sea shells, to fish bones… all that calcium must be obtained at greatly increased amount of living energy to capture and hold it stable as part of new ocean life and that means tragically that far less ocean life is possible. Unless we help by offering Mother Nature her antidote.
Meanwhile global political power games are engaged in ‘follow the money’ business as usual
One player in the game are those that cry only an all-powerful world government, redistribution of wealth, and the turning back of the modern technological society into an energy deprived vegan stone age will suffice (and of course leave said proponents in positions of power). What these proponents seem to think is needed is another ruthlessly ruled dark age, the tithe they demand according to many reports amounts to trillions of dollars. Their opponents, those that deny, include all of the usual suspects determined to refuse and refute the need to tax and spend trillions even when faced with the demise of Nature.
What’s missing and attacked by both criers and deniers at every mention is any working solution capable of making real strides of helping to save Nature while the battle for power ensues. Joining forces with Mother Nature to provide her with the most immediate, effective, and powerful antidote available … never… that would shut down the war and put the soldiers, and generals, out of a job.
Old Trees and Old Rock Stars
Until very recently it seemed that trees and forests were helping as they are Natures way of consuming CO2 and growing more forest, right? Tragically it seems our yesterday’s CO2 while indeed being hungrily snorted and inhaled by trees acts more like cocaine and methamphetamine than fertilizer. The trees it seems are all too willing and able, like rock stars, to consume as much of the drug as is available. The result for the trees is the same as for the rockers they live fast and die young. Trees of the Amazon rainforest are now reported in a 30 year study to be seen to be not living to the ripe of age of 300 years and more, they are burned out and dead by the time they are just becoming senior tree citizens at the still prime and vital age of 200 years.
ONLY ocean replenishment and restoration can enlist, as allies, the most powerful force of nature – the ocean plants, the bloomin’ plankton.
Not even half of yesterdays CO2 has reached the oceans where Revelle’s Rule tells us 80+% of CO2 ends up. This means the first CO2 overdose and carbon time bomb made up of yesterdays CO2 will be continuing to explode in the ocean for more than a century even if we stop the emission of new, tomorrow’s CO2, today. No amount shifting to alternative energies, recycling, bicycling, or “clean coal” will tend to the already mortifying effects of the first carbon bomb. Sure lets reduce the size of the second deadly CO2 overdose bomb but first things first. Here’s the formulae for Natures natural antidote for the first lethal dose. It is simply mineral dust. It’s an approved formulae by the ocean plankton.
Global Greening is rapidly taking place on land while vital thriving ocean pastures are becoming blue deserts.
Walt Whitman once said “All beef is grass.”
I say “All fish is plankton.”
High and rising CO2 in the air is not only responsible for ocean acidification. Far worse, from the oceans point of view, it has fed, over fed, green plants on land making them greener, bushier, and into “good ground cover.” This CO2 effect along with mankind’s reforestation and soil conservation efforts is producing “global greening.” Ground cover improvements have reduced the amount of dust blowing in the global winds by 1/3 in just a few decades.
More grass growing means less dust blowing.
For ocean pastures life and abundance is all about dust in the wind.
Oceans dust on the wind brings vital mineral micro-nutrients, that terrestrial Yin (dust) is just as important as rain, the Yang, blowing from sea to land nurturing plant life. Global dust in the wind is in dramatic decline.
Eight years ago reports told of the problem that had been observed and measured since earth and ocean satellites went aloft 30 years before. Those reports showed the measured decimation of ocean plants, 50% are gone from the Southern Ocean, 17% from the N. Atlantic, and 26% from the N. Pacific. A few more decades further into the past saw ocean pastures growing more verdantly and consuming billion of tonnes more CO2 each year than today. Since in every drop of 10% of ocean plant life we see the loss of their reduction of CO2 being equal to the emissions of all of our fossil fuels it is clear they have the power to do the job.
Becoming good shepherds of ocean pastures
Today, Easter 2015, we as good shepherds of the whole of our blue planet have a Holy task set before us. We must replenish ocean mineral micro-nutrients, dust, to restore life in once verdant ocean pastures. If we bring the ocean plankton blooms back to levels seen only 30 years ago those tiny phyto-plankton plants will annually convert billions of tonnes of our industrial waste CO2 into ocean life instead of it becoming acid ocean death. Those restored ocean pastures will deliver many times the CO2 reductions called for by the Kyoto Protocol.
Just a penny for our planet
To begin, and we must without delay, begin spending not the hundreds of billions even trillions demanded by those ardently selling massive world efforts under the banner of “Climate Change.” To replenish and restore ocean pastures will take not more than we can affored it only requires the very least we might possibly pay. Less than a penny for every soul on Earth will suffice but this adds up and the work requires some tens of millions of dollars.
But working in partnership with Mother Nature and her oceans we can succeed in a matter of just a few years to restore the oceans back to a state of health they and we enjoyed a few decades ago. In the bargain the restored oceans will feed everything from tiny krill to the great whales and everything and everybody in between – fish, seabirds, penguins, seals and us.
Here’s how the first large scale ocean pasture restoration project has delivered hundreds of millions of fish into the nets of fishermen and onto the plates of hungry children.
Replenish and restore the oceans without delay. The really really good news is that we can, and have, restored large ocean pastures, cheaply, effectively, for the benefit of all. There is an extensive collection of reading on the topic here on this blog or check out the work of the Ocean Pastures Corporation.