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Why is C.C. so urgent in Part II-Climate Science?

Asked by Marley, Last updated: Sep 07, 2022

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John Smith

John Smith

John Smith
John Smith

Answered Sep 08, 2016

Methane gas frozen under seabed-2. atlantic conveyance belt may halt -3. resource scarcity -4. energy security-5. environmental pressures-a-which may release as ocean warms 23 times more potent- equivalent of thousands of nuclear explosion [permafrost] b-as melting ice which are less dense become too light to sink, and the ocean can no longer circulate to distribute heat evenly in the globe.c- for c- e , you are likely to know better than me. here i wish to share some notes writte by atul,chief advisor, energy and climate policy of bp who also sits in world economic forum. 2/25/2009some observations * the worlds population is growing and it is, as ever, the fundamental driver of all economic activity. people create needs; the more people the greater the need. by 2020 the world will have about 7.5 bn people three times the number in 1950. * the needs of a growing global population start with the inseparable trio of requirements - food, water, energy. all three are crucial with ample and secure energy supplies are fundamental to the advancement of living standards and increasingly necessary for delivery of food and water. there remains a very high correlation of energy consumption to living standards at all income levels. by 2030, if the current trends continue, global demand for energy will increase by about 40%, for food by 50% and for water by about 30% as compared to today. * the demand for energy is rising rapidly as people move upwards on the income scale. at each step on the income ladder consumption per capita increases. the step out of poverty is important but the steps above the levels of $ 5,000 or $ 10,000 annual income lead to a step change for energy demand as people acquire the means of mobility and access to consumer goods. * the longer term fundamentals of demand have not gone away and the current shorter term disruptions will eventually disappear (although the short-term may be 2-3 years). * the further need is for work. at a personal level that is psychological. at a national level it is about social stability. there is a strong correlation of unemployment and instability from calcutta to copenhagen to chicago. but there are wider questions of social structure, redistribution, the public finances and the role of the state in the economy. growing populations combined with extending life spans make employment a fundamental challenge for many governments. * the changing geography of the market (again driven by population) also imposes pressures including the requirement for trade, and potential conflict for access to resources. there may be no physical shortage of energy resources but the growing requirement for trade may stretch the limits of political tolerance and further exacerbate energy security concerns. trade which is not equal or balanced (in which the supplier holds the power to deny supplies in ways which can damage the consumer) can easily come to feel like dependence. * politics have been and will always be national and local. the development of global markets has not been matched by a similar development of global politics. there are no well functioning democratic structures above the nation state. state to state relationships have worked remarkably well in the last half century for example in the eu but cant be pushed too far (as evident by the failure of eu members to adopt the lisbon treaty). * put another way if politics is the process of balancing interests through negotiation between representatives with delegated power, the population continues to define its interests at the local/national level. the absence of patriotic interest a concept which is very real for joe public but for many of us seems unreal and outdated is clearly one of the reasons for the distrust of multinationals. * this distrust has further increased with the spectacular failure of the financial sector to self regulate and prudently manage risks. there is strong public support to punish those held responsible and to force the wrongdoers to disgorge the ill-gotten gains. * at the heart of the concern about energy security are the politics of the middle east. the global public may not understand islam or the internal politics of iraq and iran but they recognise a quagmire which lies beyond both reason and conventional military power. * to this we should add the concern about russia, and the uncomfortable reality of russias unpredictable relationship with its former territories in eastern europe and central asia. this was clearly evident in the georgia conflict last summer. * growing consumption creates its own pressures of environmental pollution and waste management. the rapid pace of urbanisation is intensifying local environmental pressures. at the same time climate change appears to have entered the public consciousness for the first time even in the us and china. * in summary, our need is for secure, increasingly clean and local energy, ideally produced in ways which generate long lasting, productive employment. * history suggests that technology responds to meet needs. scientific breakthroughs do not generally come randomly they are endogenous within a complex system through which politics, economics and science respond to the requirements of the times. the green revolution of the mid 20th century is probably the best recent example. * the geographic pattern of population growth and the demographic revolution underway are also important and are rebasing economic activity away from the atlantic basin to the east. the real implication is that the centre of business activity will move as well. * in all this there is an issue of timing. needs are rarely answered immediately. people generally compromise and accept second best solutions. but the complex social forces of politics, technology and economics do tend over a period of time to provide answers and to meet needs when those needs are backed by economic capacity. over time, and in unpredictable ways, the consumer rules.so what does this mean for the future?
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