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Our global warming options

"May I suggest that Filipinos continue to enjoy their life in their present situation?"

 

In 2017, according to the UN’s Interagency Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes at least 95 countries, including the world’s biggest polluters, China and the United States (they account for half of the total global pollution), the world has become warmer—by 1°C since 1850-1900, the so-called pre-industrial era.

This means we have only .5°C (half a degree Celsius) before the world hits the tipping point of global warming, which is 1.5°C. That 1.5°C will be reached in just 12 years, warns the IPCC in its Special Report released on Oct. 8, 2018.

Beyond 1.5°C, according to the IPCC studies, up to 97 percent of the Philippines’ corals will disappear. And up to 97 percent of total electricity should be produced by renewable energy (RE)—water from dams, natural gas, solar, wind, biomass, etc. At present, 55 percent of Philippine electricity comes from coal, which is cheap and is easily available. Remember, the Philippines has one of the most expensive electricity rates in the world.

In a previous column, I said most of Luzon would sink because of global warming.

Currently, renewables are big racket in the Philippines. Because they are expensive to produce, renewables enjoy from the government feed-in tariff (FIT), or subsidy, and subsidy is taxpayers’ money given to the very rich (why are the big tycoons and taipans in renewables?)

These rich RE investors are not after producing environment-friendly electricity but primarily are in the business to make money which money comes from so-called feed-in tariff (FIT). A typical FIT costs P8 per kilowatt-hour. Imagine your Meralco bill being overpriced by P8 per kwh, just because Meralco uses renewables. The effect is that you will be poorer before you could stop global warming.

So now, you have three choices—pay extortionate electricity rates and become poorer in the process (remember the very poor have no life and sometimes, poverty is a situation worse than death), endure global warming, or drown because of rising sea water induced by global warming.

Back to corals. Corals are living creatures, just like sea anemones and jellyfish. Corals support our marine diversity. Globally, up to 500 million people are dependent on corals—for food, jobs, and recreation, the equivalent of $375 billion a year.

President Duterte is agog over the Philippines’ illegal drugs industry which is only worth $4 billion a year and affects at most three million Filipinos. He has publicly staked his life just to reduce if not eradicate illegal drugs. Authorities admit to killing more than 4,000 in Duterte’s vicious anti-illegal drugs campaign. Some critics place the deaths at 12,000 since Duterte took over in July 2016.

The IPCC defines global warming as an increase in combined surface air and sea surface temperatures averaged over the globe and a 30-year period. Warming is expressed relative to the period 1850-1900.

According to the IPCC, warming up to the decade 2006-2015 is assessed at 0.87°C.

The IPCC blames humans as the main cause of global warming. Meaning if there were no humans, the world would not be warmer—a claim that cannot be verified because such verification would be done by humans.

Anyway, since 2000, insists the IPCC, the estimated level of human-induced warming has been equal to the level of observed warming. Of course, other sources of warming are solar and volcanic activity.

Other IPCC findings, in its Special Report:

 “Warming greater than the global average has already been experienced in many regions and seasons, with average warming over land higher than over the ocean. Most land regions are experiencing greater warming than the global average, while most ocean regions are warming at a slower rate.”

“About 20 to 40 percent of the global human population live in regions that, by the decade 2006-2015, had already experienced warming of more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial in at least one season.”

The world’s population is 7.4 billion, so 20 percent is 1.48 billion; 40 percent is 2.96 billion.

“If all anthropogenic emissions (including aerosol-related) were reduced to zero immediately, any further warming beyond the 1°C already experienced would likely be less than 0.5°C over the next two to three decades, and likely less than 0.5°C on a century timescale, due to the opposing effects of different climate processes and drivers.”

 “Limiting cumulative emissions requires either reducing net global emissions of long- lived greenhouse gases to zero before the cumulative limit is reached, or net negative global emissions (anthropogenic removals) after the limit is exceeded.”

 There are two ways to approach global warming—adaptation and mitigation.

 Per the IPCC, “climate adaptation refers to the actions taken to manage impacts of climate change by reducing vulnerability and exposure to its harmful effects and exploiting any potential benefits.” 

On the other hand, “ambitious mitigation actions are indispensable to limit warming to 1.5°C while achieving sustainable development and poverty eradication.”

Mitigation will make Filipinos poorer and make electricity three times current prices. Why? Because you will have to remove coal, which is a very cheap source of electricity.

Says the IPCC Special Report: “Ill-designed responses could pose challenges especially—but not exclusively—for countries and regions contending with poverty and those requiring significant transformation of their energy systems.”

May I suggest that Filipinos continue to enjoy their life in their present situation. Our per capita income is $3,500. We are rich. Ignore global warming. The world can take care of itself.

Filipinos hardly contribute to global warming. The total carbon emissions produced by Filipinos amount to just one-third of one percent (0.33 percent) of global emissions. In statistics, a margin of error of two percent (2 percent) is infinitely allowable. So charge our global warming contribution (0.33 percent of global emissions) to error margin.

Enjoy life. It’s short. By the time we absorb the full impact of global warming (which is year 2100), we would have been dead or due to die anyway. Remember, the lifespan of the Filipino is just 69 years.

And please, oppose feed-in-tariff (FIT) given by the government to the rich. It is a form of extortion.

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Topics: Interagency Panel on Climate Change , China , United States , Rodrigo Duterte , Climate
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