CO2 emergency

CO2 Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, understanding the CO2 crisis

Why is it that the world doesn’t want to talk about yesterday’s CO2?

The new Paris Accord treats CO2 like a monetary crisis’ many nations face. Only by forgetting about the debts of yesterday will new steps help prop up overdrawn economies/ecologies.

But all of today’s global problems with CO2, aka climate change, have to do with yesterday’s CO2, our global CO2 debt, and those problems are already severe.

Here’s some of TODAYS problems resulting from Yesterdays CO2

Carbon Pie on earth

Here’s the present distribution of CO2 in its free and fixed state. The oceans hold and always will hold the vast majority, 30 times that of land.

Yesterday’s CO2 amounts to somewhere between 600-900 billion tonnes of the stuff (depending on your favourite report) ‘I call this nearly a trillion tonnes as there are more than a few CO2 sources not generally included’, but it is an incredible amount in any case. CO2 is very stable in the air which is the key problem as our excess burden of CO2 has been accumulating. It is slowly removed from the air by natural mechanisms like simply dissolving into the oceans or being repurposed by plant photosynthesis into more plant biomass, as in trees.

Ocean plant life collapse – Think of the ocean plant crisis in the context of deforestation of rainforests which we ‘earthlings’ all understand. For the oceans in each 5 year span of time for the past half a century an amount of ocean plant life equal to that held in the entire Amazon Rainforest has been lost, that’s 10 Amazon’s worth of plant life eradicated in half a century of ocean pasture collapse. We have not yet, thankfully, lost even one Amazon rainforest though the memo of the loss of the Amazon Rainforest is a penultimate climate change meme.

The primary cause of ocean pasture plant disappearance is the fact that high and rising CO2 in the air, yesterdays CO2, feeds plants on land and has been producing a today’s global greening. That greening is becoming ever-more ‘good ground cover’ and ‘more grass growing means less dust blowing.’

Global Greening (click to enlarge)

Global Greening (click to enlarge)

It is that dust that blows in the wind that is the most vital element for life in the oceans. Again our pasture metaphor makes it easy to grasp, pastures on land and their grass live or die depending on what blows in the wind, those land pastures must have the gift of water from the seas in the form of rain or they become brown dusty deserts. Ocean pastures live or die depending on what blows in the wind as well but this time in the balance of Nature it is the gift of dust and vital minerals that blow from the lands to nourish the seas, without the precious gift of dust in the wind ocean pastures turn into blue deserts.

Ocean fish populations collapse – Pastures whether on land or in the oceans are defined by their ‘carrying capacity‘ that is the amount of animal life the pasture can sustain whether the animals are goats, sheep, cattle, zebras, or fish! Everyone knows when pastures on land suffer a terrible prolonged drought the numbers of animals that lived upon those pastures drops to a small fraction of what is there in times of abundance. Ocean pasture collapse is the primary cause of ocean fisheries collapse!

Humanity loves to have someone to blame and/or fear and in the case of the decline of fish in the seas the villainous boogeymen are those evil overfishing fishers. Most certainly overfishing or over hunting or over harvesting any pasture will result in collapse of the number of animals there and this is made worst of all when the pastures are simultaneously collapsing in their carrying capacity. But first and foremost it is the collapse of carrying capacity of ocean pastures, the disappearance and species shifts of ocean phyto-plankton caused by our high and rising CO2 that is primarily responsible for the vast majority of the collapse of global ocean fisheries.

Ocean Acidification – CO2 in the air is always in balance with this blue planets water. CO2 readily dissolves into water, that’s why we make ‘soft drinks’ that are carbonated with CO2 to give them a zesty taste. The more CO2 in our air the more CO2 in our oceans though the process of moving CO2 from air to oceans takes hundreds of years it is unstoppable. In the oceans H2O + CO2 becomes H2CO3 (just add up the bits) this is also known as Carbonic Acid! Slowly the nearly trillion tonnes of excess CO2 from all of our yesterdays of human emissions and influence will become acid in our oceans, ‘ocean acidification.’

Ocean Warming and sea level rise ‘aka’ global warming  – The annual State of the Climate in 2014 report, based on research from 413 scientists from 58 countries, found record warming on the surface and upper levels of the oceans, especially in the North Pacific, in line with earlier findings of 2014 as the hottest year on record. “Even if we were to freeze greenhouse gases at current levels, the sea would actually continue to warm for centuries and millennia, and as they continue to warm and expand the sea levels will continue to rise,” says Greg Johnson of NOAA. Globally 90% of the impact of CO2 as a ‘warming agent’ is in the oceans!

The dose of our excess CO2 already in the air is the major issue for life as we know it on this blue planet. The question is whether that yesterdays dose of our CO2 is already a lethal overdose or not. Left untreated it most certainly is! The only process on this planet that is ocean scale in size and has any hope of acting as the antidote to ocean acidification is ocean plant life but alas our ocean pastures and their plants are in a terrible condition of health as evidenced by their greatly diminished fish populations.

The Illuminati Speak – Here’s what John Kerry has said in his speech to the assembled tens of thousands of climate bureaucrats at the Paris COP21 meeting. Watch and listen to see what he has to say about the nearly trillion tonnes of CO2 the world has already emitted in the yesterdays of our fossil fuel age.

What John Kerry, Bill Gates, Robert Redford, Elon Musk, Leonardo DiCaprio, Richard Branson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and countless other of the rich and famous don’t speak of in their ‘climate change sound bites’ are the present day solutions needed to address yesterday’s CO2.

I have no idea why these rich folks seem so dense. Most likely it is because what they are saying is not really their own words but rather it is the prepared comments that their legions of behind the scenes social media script writers have suggested they say. As we know such behind the scene ‘Yes men’ almost never suggest anything that will stick the bosses neck out. Well almost never, the Donald seems to offer an outside that box example.

The most immediate, powerful, safe, sustainable, and low-cost means to help save the world from YESTERDAY’S CO2 is to help Mother Nature by growing more plants, reviving existing plant-life, which means restoring tress and seas!  Fortunately on the last day of the Paris Accord, during that overtime last day, 196 nations and tens of thousands of delegates agreed for the first time in 25+ years that without restoring trees and seas all of the other measures, alternative, and new technologies would fail without Mother Nature’s plant life taking on a major part of the burden of our menacing CO2.

Restoring ocean plant life is simply the most logical. Growing more trees (and keeping what trees we have) is a great thing to do, but this planet offers lands covering just 9% of the world that is and might sustain trees. That 9% is already mostly fully forested. All the tree planting we might do will help only a little.

Oceans to the rescue if we rescue them. The oceans and their ocean pastures cover 71% of this blue planet we call Earth. Today the impact of yesterday’s CO2 has destroyed somewhere between 30%-50%  depending on your chosen expert. By restoring the seven seas and their ocean pastures we will see an incredible benefit, and fast. Ocean pastures grow to maturity and abundance in a fraction of the time of a forest. By restoring ocean pastures in all seven seas many billions of tonnes of our CO2, yesterday’s, today’s, and tomorrow’s will be repurposed into new ocean plant life to restore those ocean plants we have eradicated in the past century.

In the process of this sustained ocean pasture revival and maintenance at a cost of mere millions of dollars every year some of those billions of tonnes of CO2 that becomes new ocean life will become billions of fish that will swim into our nets providing us with much of the food needed to end world hunger.

Of course ocean acidification will also be promptly curtailed as ocean life powered by limitless sunlight power will keep CO2 from becoming acid in the sea.

As for ocean and global warming it will take longer to catch up with yesterday’s and tomorrow’s dose of fossil CO2, but at least the capacity of the oceans to manage this is well within our grasp.


Record salmon returns

My 2012 ocean pasture restoration project worked so well it brought back record salmon returns To Alaska the very next year. Click to read more!