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In a New York Times op-ed today, Durwood J. Zaelke and Veerabhadran Ramanathan write about the closest thing we have to a Climate Change silver bullet and that is going beyond C02 for the short term solution of a reduction of the short-lived climate pollutants

The support for reducing the Short-lived climate forcers(SLCF) of Methane, Black Carbon(soot) and ground level ozone is coming fast and furious.  Just yesterday I wrote about the only positive news coming out of Climate talks in Doha is that the Clean Air and Climate Coalition to reduce the SLCF is the only initiative that is getting enthusiatic and rapid response.  I have been writing about the need to reduce the SLCF extensively so am particularly pleased with this response.

The New York Times:

WE all know (or should know) by now that the carbon dioxide we produce when we burn fossil fuels and cut down forests is the planet’s single largest contributor to global warming. It persists in the atmosphere for centuries. Reducing these emissions by as much as half by 2050 is essential to avoid disastrous consequences by the end of this century, and we must begin immediately.

But this is a herculean undertaking, both technically and politically, as the lack of progress at United Nations climate talks here this week attests. And even if we are able to do this over the next 40 years, we would not slow the rate of warming enough by midcentury to moderate consequences like rising sea levels, the release of methane and carbon dioxide from melting arctic permafrost, and a rise in extreme weather.

There is, however, a short-term strategy. We can slow this warming quickly by cutting emissions of four other climate pollutants: black carbon, a component of soot; methane, the main component of natural gas; lower-level ozone, a main ingredient of urban smog; and hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, which are used as coolants. They account for as much as 40 percent of current warming.

The Obama administration began an important effort to reduce these pollutants when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton began the global Clean Air and Climate Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants earlier this year. Twenty-five countries are now participating including the G 8, along with the World Bank, the European Commission, the United Nations’ environment and development programs and several environmental organizations.

As I mentioned in my piece yesterday this is progress. But they are still ignoring the greatest contributor(pdf) to the short-lived climate pollutants and that is livestock production.  I'm sure as implementation of projects to reduce the SLCF is accelerated there will be emphasis placed on livestock production and agriculture as well as that gives us all a way to be part of the solution to mitigating the worst effects of climate change by simply eliminating/reducing our consumption of meat and animal products.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yep. Methane = very bad. As you point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl, Cedwyn

    out, at least it does not stay I. The atmosphere as long as CO2. The power of Big Oil and our ignorance is rather amazing in a bad way. The thing is that if we wait until the denialists admit the truth (which real peer reviewed science tells us already) , it will be too late. We are storing up Hell for ourselves . As Gore put it- umm, love me some gold bars on the one scale or The Entire @&$&@@ Planet that we all inhabit. If there is no planet we can live on, then the gold bars the Big Oil companies have will be literally worthless.

  •  Thanks for another great diary. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl
  •  Yes, that is why I don't eat meat (0+ / 0-)

    the environmental impact of it is unacceptable to me. I don't believe in much woo-woo health claims, so that's not it. I do feel concerned about the ethics of eating living creatures, but I also feel differently about a prawn vs. a pig, so this is different from many (mostly) vegetarians. However, I really, strongly feel that meat is so environmentally troublesome that I cannot eat it in good conscience. Recently, I've been thinking more and more about my relationship with fish and shellfish, which are know are also environmentally troubling for their own reasons.

    Thanks for this diary. It's an important one. Tipped & Rec'd.

    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:06:45 AM PST

  •  I still eat meat but (0+ / 0-)

    1) have drastically cut back on the amount. 1 lb of ground beef can last me 3-4 recipes.
    2) raise meat myself. Least I'm in the planning stages of rabbit hutches with my husband. We're also hoping to house chickens for eggs.
    3) it's deer season in MD. I usually turn it into ground meat and use it like cow meat.

  •  If serious, this wd mean a fracking moratorium (0+ / 0-)

    Methane (CH4) the main component of natural gas, is a MUCH more potent greenhose gas than CO2 per molecule, by a factor of 20 or 30 to over 100, depending on the time frame (CH4 impacts are front loaded bc it has a short half life in the atmosphere.)

    Data is sparse, but Profs Howarth and Ingraffia of Cornell found that total life cycle methane emissions from hydrofracking for natural gas release enough CH4 to have a greenhouse impact per KHW delivered comparable to coal over a century and worse than coal over a couple of decades.  

    It happens that the next decade or two give the last chance to turn around the GHG tanker before global overheating triggers runnaway positive feedbacks, eg by tundra thawing.

    Unless that peer reviewed study is refuted beyond a reasonable doubt, continuing to frack for natural gas presents an unacceptable risk.

    There's no such thing as a free market!

    by Albanius on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:18:38 PM PST

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