Monday , September 23 2019
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My Plan to Keep Greenland White

Summary:
In my latest IER post, I sketch out a scenario entirely consistent with the UN reports on climate change, to show how a voluntary approach could solve any problems from a melting ice sheet. (There might be other, secondary problems, but we don’t need to worry about rising sea levels drowning London.) An excerpt: Now for the next component of my thought experiment, let’s further assume that humans do nothing at all about the accumulated stock of CO2 they’ve pumped into the atmosphere, and that they maintain this posture for an additional century. That is, except for whatever sopping up measures they deploy (through the private sector) to achieve net-zero emissions starting in the year 2100, humans don’t do anything extra to deal with the legacy of the past.

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In my latest IER post, I sketch out a scenario entirely consistent with the UN reports on climate change, to show how a voluntary approach could solve any problems from a melting ice sheet. (There might be other, secondary problems, but we don’t need to worry about rising sea levels drowning London.)

An excerpt:

Now for the next component of my thought experiment, let’s further assume that humans do nothing at all about the accumulated stock of CO2 they’ve pumped into the atmosphere, and that they maintain this posture for an additional century. That is, except for whatever sopping up measures they deploy (through the private sector) to achieve net-zero emissions starting in the year 2100, humans don’t do anything extra to deal with the legacy of the past. They merely say, “From this point in 2100 going forward until the year 2200, we will just make sure that we are no longer contributingcarbon dioxide to the atmosphere, but we won’t lift a finger to do anything about what we already put up there.”

So of the 7.3 trillion tons of carbon dioxide lingering in the atmosphere[3] that is the accumulation from human emissions during the prior century, the question is: How much will natural causes alone remove, from 2100 through 2200?

Well, despite the true-but-possibly-misleading statements about carbon dioxide emissions contributing to global warming “for thousands of years,” actually about 70 percent of human-caused atmospheric CO2 would be removed naturally in a century. So of our stipulated 7.3 trillion tons of “excess” (human-caused) CO2 in the atmosphere as of the year 2100, only 30 percent—in other words, 2.2 trillion tons—would remain by the year 2200. The rest would have been dissolved into the ocean and absorbed by other natural “carbon sinks” over the course of the 22nd century.

Robert Murphy
Christian, Austrian economist, and libertarian theorist. Research Prof at Texas Tech and author of *Choice*. Paul Krugman's worst nightmare.

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