Atmospheric Carbon Hits Record Levels

China exports more than manufactured goods to the U.S.

From 350.org comes some troubling news.

Link: Atmospheric Carbon Hits Record Levels:.

air pollution Way out in the middle of the Pacific ocean atop an 11,000 foot volcano, where researchers can get the most representative and clear atmospheric samples, the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii has been continuously recording atmospheric changes since the 1950s. Scientists at the observatory announced a few days ago that the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have now reached 387ppm, a level we’ve never seen within the past 650,000 years.

Studies suggest that the increasing growth rate of CO2 levels in the atmosphere can be attributed to a few things – a weakening in forests’, oceans’ and soils’ ability to function as carbon sinks, and the increased use of coal in China and other parts of the world.

The website 350.org is building a movement to tell the world that 350 is that target to avert climate catastrophe, and ensure a safe future for humanity.

via Fred First at Nameless Creek

Coal is NOT the Solution

Steve Heckeroth at Mother Earth News describes why coal is not a good source of energy. Excerpts below.

Link: Solar is the Solution.

Coal is burned mainly to produce electricity, and coal-fired power plants produce more than half the electricity used in the United States. But burning coal has serious drawbacks. One is that it releases carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming. It also releases heavy metals, such as mercury and sulfur. These toxins that were locked in the Earth’s crust over billions of years are suddenly spewed into the atmosphere and thus degrade our air, water and soil. The exhaust from burning coal contains more pollutants and global warming emissions per unit of energy produced than any other fossil fuel. In addition, the methods used to mine coal are destructive to the land and dangerous for the miners.

Now consider that coal is enormously inefficient from a total energy perspective. It took billions of years of solar energy to form the coal we have today. And while coal is the most abundant fossil resource, the total amount of energy produced by burning all the coal on the planet would only be equivalent to the solar energy that strikes the Earth every six days.

Who Needs Oil, We Have COAL

Here’s an excerpt from a presentation at the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO) by Jeremy Leggett, who worked in the oil industry until 1996.

Link: Transition Culture » ASPO 5. Jeremy Leggett Intertwines Peak Oil and Climate Change..

The tipping point in terms of climate is 2°C above pre-industrial levels. This is the point of no return. We look set to go soaring through that. We need a mass withdrawl from carbon emissions. We must leave the coal in the ground. The bottom line is that coal is the killer. We have plenty of it, and we do have the option of seeing if every Government research lab IN THE WORLD is wrong. If we panic and use coal it will be our epitaph.