CARBON - an uncertain future

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  • future options
    • 1. Business as usual (no change)
      • ADVANTAGES
        • Energy in the present - regardless of the future.
        • Simple changes can reduce short toerm flood and drought risk.
        • Resistant to climate change and diseases
      • DISADVANTAGES
        • Future enrgy at risk
        • Costly technology so is unavailable to poor subsistence farmers
        • Constant maintenence is needed in hard-engineering
      • Resilient agricultural systems - Drought and climate tolerant systems to keep food production high to meet demands.
      • Flood risk management - building defences to avoid flooding to keep businesses and houses running.
    • 2. Some mitigation - emissions rise to 2080 then fall
      • Water conservation and management - water butts, using more 'grey water'.
      • Afforestation - tree planting to help carbon sequestration(National Trust). The BIG TREE PLANT campaign encourages communities to plant 1 mil new trees in urban areas.
      • Land-use planning - enforcing strict runoff controls and soak ways, and building restrictions near vulnerable coasts.
      • ADVANTAGES
        • less resources used
        • use of more recycled water (grey water)
        • 1 million trees are being planted
        • restrictions placed on vulnerable food
      • DISADVANTAGES
        • efficiency does not match increased demand
        • needs strong governance to enforce
        • changing cultural habits of consuming large amounts of water may be hard.
    • 3. Strong mitigation - emissions stabilise at half today's levels by 2080.
      • Carbon taxation - a 'carbon price floor tax' set a minimum price companies had to pay to emit CO2 - was unpopular (frozen in 2015).
      • Renewable switching
      • CCS - Canada's Large Boundary Dam is the only working scheme currently. (capturing released C and storing it deep underground).
      • ADVANTAGES
        • a minimum  price for taxing carbon is set
        • switching to renewables is controlled by governments
        • can keep the carbon stored for a long time (CCS)
      • DISADVANTAGES
        • Causes debate
        • renewables are intermittent and not continuous - needs to be reliable to meet demand
        • only one large-scale working scheme (CCS)
        • UK cancelled its investment into CCS in Scotland in 2015.
    • 4. aggressive mitigation - emissions halved by 2050.
      • CCS
      • Kyoto Protocol - reducing GHG's in the atm to "a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system". set in 2005.
      • smart metres - show each appliance's usage of electricity.
      • Solar radiation management - using satellites to reflect some of the heat back into space before reaching earth
      • DISADVANTAGES
        • smart metres have hidden costs and dangers
        • SRM not tested
        • involves playing with a very intricate system
      • ADVANTAGES
        • Intervening into climatic system to stop GW.
        • can help people control their own energy consumption.

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