Not Zero: How an Irrational Target Will Impoverish You, Help China (and Won't Even Save the Planet)

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Not Zero: How an Irrational Target Will Impoverish You, Help China (and Won't Even Save the Planet)

Not Zero: How an Irrational Target Will Impoverish You, Help China (and Won't Even Save the Planet)

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In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, the country is crying out to end its dependence on expensive fossil fuels.

Naught" and "nought" come from the Old English " nāwiht" and " nōwiht", respectively, both of which mean " nothing". In response, the climate-economic modelling community – already able to include plant-based carbon sinks and geological carbon storage in their models – increasingly adopted the “solution” of combining the two.An easy to read analysis of how the climate propaganda machine routinely exaggerates claims of existential threat but ignores sensible decarbonisation measures that could actually help. Instead of accepting “net zero” targets at face value, civil society and media must scrutinise these announcements to assess whether they signify real climate action. The tragedy is that their collective efforts were never able to mount an effective challenge to a climate policy process that would only allow a narrow range of scenarios to be explored.

It has also hastened the destruction of the natural world by increasing deforestation today, and greatly increases the risk of further devastation in the future. But unfortunately, the “net” in “net zero” is being used to green-wash weak climate targets, and could end up driving huge land grabs, particularly in the global South. warns that the government’s response to tough problems is being driven by stale tactics and ideology.Either way, “solutions” like BECCS and DAC risk locking in several more decades of continued fossil-fuel production and combustion. But these seemingly ambitious goals in fact amount to yet another round of greenwashing and dangerous distractions that will delay and prevent the adoption of real climate solutions. This involves massively increasing the burning of trees and crops for bioenergy, capturing the carbon emitted and burying it underground. That hasn't prevented the UK government from fixing dates in the early 2030s for banning the sale of petrol- and diesel-engined vehicles (and even of hybrid fossil-fuel/electric vehicles) and of gas boilers, and a date later this decade for banning the sale of oil-fired boilers (much used for domestic heating and hot water in rural areas). Hence in computer science a zero represents the outcome of a mathematical computation such as 2−2, while null is used for an undefined state (for example, a memory location that has not been explicitly initialised).

This had been shown to be possible in principle: compressed carbon dioxide had been separated from fossil gas and then injected underground in a number of projects since the 1970s. The European Union has a golden opportunity to restrict this form of corporate greenwashing and set an example for other governments to emulate. They give the illusion that corporations are taking serious action to tackle the climate crisis when, in reality, they are sweeping the problem under the carpet and leaving it to others and future generations to clean up their mess.Unfortunately, in practice it helps perpetuate a belief in technological salvation and diminishes the sense of urgency surrounding the need to curb emissions now. However, not being a zealot, I found Ross Clark's book not only very readable but rational and well-argued.

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