Reduce carbon emissions and fossil fuel dependancy.

The challenge of this century will be to have a global improvement in our quality of life while dramatically reducing our ecological carbon footprint! The magnitude of the problems means it will take actions at a global, national, local and individual level.

Carbon has to be eliminated from energy production, buildings have to rapidly move to become carbon neutral or positive, transportation will have to become electrified, and a much greater proportion of our consumption will need to be produced locally.

Globally we are facing an enormous challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels that limit the global average temperature change to less than 2 degrees Centigrade. Currently annual greenhouse gas emissions are 390 ppm, well above the long term historical average of 280 ppm, and there is an emerging scientific consensus that to limit the temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius will require us to keep global emissions below 450 ppm.

There is also a movement led by climate scientist James Hansen from NASA and Bill McKibben that we must go even farther and limit emissions to below 350 ppm if we are to prevent climate related tipping points, beyond which climate dynamics can cause rapid changes out of humanity's control. Tipping points occur because of amplifying feedbacks such as the loss of Arctic sea ice, melting ice sheets and glaciers, and release of frozen methane as tundra melts.

Andrew Weaver is one of the world's preeminent climate scientists, based out of the University of Victoria, and he has captured the magnitude of the challenge well. Research that they have done indicates carbon dioxide lasts for much longer in the atmosphere than previously thought. Starting January 1, 2007 until the day we finally arrive at zero emissions, we only have 484 billion tons of allowable carbon emissions to play with on a global basis. For each year we delay we lose 10 billion tons of our future carbon allotment at current emission rates.

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