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GeoffBeacon

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A reference personal carbon budget
« on: June 10, 2019, 06:53:35 AM »
The world is dependent on activities that cause greenhouse gas emissions. These make the Earth's climate worse. The relationship between emissions and the "badness" of climate has not been expressed simply enough for most people to easily follow.

One useful concept is remaining carbon budget. This is used in different forms. One example is the remaining CO2 budget for a 66% chance of keeping the mean surface temperature of the Earth below a 1.5C rise since pre-industrial times. This was estimated in IPCC SR15.

I'm skeptical of

  • The use of global mean surface temperature. There is too much scope for interpretation and we should be more interested in the consequences for life on Earth (floods, droughts, heat deaths &etc.).
  • There are other important measures that are not directly related to GMST such as ocean heat content or global ice volume.
  • The way the basket of greenhouse gases is compiled by international protocols is problematic.
  • Climate models. e.g. missing feedbacks.

However, when lobbying policy makers and policy influencers we need something straightforward to say. For this we a reference figure for a global greenhouse gas budget. To make it personal, it is best expressed by dividing the total budget by the world's population.

It should be expressed as CO2e to account for other GHGs. It should not to be tied to a particular GMST. It should simply be the quantity of GHGs that every human can reasonable emit.

Reasonableness is a personal judgement but it opens up the possibility of discussion. e.g.
  • "Is your estimate high because because you think the consequences of a  2.0C rise are bearable?"
  • "Is your estimate low because you believe extra feedbacks  will cause strong forcing?"

Reasonableness is a personal judgement but perhaps "experts" carry more weight. Different "experts" will likely have different estimates but a consensus figure will be useful.

It could be called the reference personal carbon budget.

My estimate based on IPCC SR15  is 64 tonnes CO2e.

What's yours?



P.S. At a recent conference I said
Quote
We each have a personal budget 64 tonnes CO2e left, and this development is for people emitting 15 tonnes CO2e/year. We must find a better way.

Was that reasonable?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 12:32:19 PM by GeoffBeacon »
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Neven

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2019, 07:46:11 AM »
It's not really an estimate I've done myself, but I thought it was more like 100 tonnes. I mean, that's hard enough to achieve for the rest of my life (I'm 45), but 63 tonnes would be even more difficult, especially for children in the west that are still in the midst of their process of total consumer conditioning.
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nanning

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2019, 07:55:22 AM »
I have a different view on 'Carbon Budget'.
Quote
The world is dependent on activities..
Do you realise what you mean by "The world"?

We (all of Earth's life) are 135ppm on the wrong side. There is no special carbon budget for humans.
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sark

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2019, 08:39:44 AM »
I'll note that the SR1.5 came out within weeks of the previous "carbon budget" for 1.5C was depleted, and gave it 8 more years.  I'm skeptical that this update was driven by science more than by politics.  It's just.

whether we want to emit 360 more gigatonnes or 1100 more gigatonnes, the math is simple.  360 gigatonnes / 7.7 billion = 46.75 tonnes remain for each person on earth.  At the global average of 5.25 tonnes per annum, that's a shade under 9 years before the world population would need be carbon neutral.
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GeoffBeacon

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2019, 10:41:46 AM »
It's not really an estimate I've done myself, but I thought it was more like 100 tonnes. I mean, that's hard enough to achieve for the rest of my life (I'm 45), but 63 tonnes would be even more difficult, especially for children in the west that are still in the midst of their process of total consumer conditioning.

It should be accepted that those stuck in societies where budgets are routinely greatly exceeded cannot cut their GHG emissions without changes in their societies. For example, taxes are collected by governments for activities, which cause emissions. Wars are a good example.

Although this measure has strong implications for morality, it has a local context. Aubrey Mayher recognises the international context in the principle of Contraction and Convergence.

My interest is town planning and how local communities can be designed so that they are "environmentally sustainable".  An early stage of this is identifying schemes which are claimed to be sustainable but actually have terrible footprints. Another is the creation of an Institute of Enhanced Town Planning to design lifestyles that are sustainable.

The reference personal carbon budget could be a useful measure in this context but to be useful it must be quantified.

I'm hoping for further estimates, which avoid the McPh***** route of none left give up.



Neven, I suspect my footprint is worse than yours (perhaps not by much if I discount my share of UK government activities) but although this is relevant, the urgent task is to discover pleasant ways of living that do not cause climate chaos. The hope is that the less "developed" world might be persuaded to adopt similar and avoid doing the damage we have done.
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bluice

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2019, 11:35:20 AM »
I wonder if talking about 1.5C target is actually counterproductive. People and the media tend to consider 1.5 to 2 C warming as given for this century and don't grasp the direness of the situation.

Looking at the numbers it is evident that the best case scenario would mean perhaps 3 degrees of warming while a current trajectory takes us to civilization destroying figures. Obviously there are many uncertainties the further into future we project but they may act in both directions.
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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2019, 11:57:54 AM »
Things have changed so much. Not that many years ago we still talked about a target of 350 ppm - (Bill McKibben - 350.org).

To get atmospheric CO2 down to 350 ppm (from about 415 ppm) would mean getting about 500 gigatonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere (if my arithmetic is correct). So if one accepts 350 ppm as a limit for a "normalised" atmosphere one is talking about negative carbon budgets.

All work done to reduce CO2 emissions is therefore a mitigation /damage limitation exercise, which makes it more urgent, not less. But maybe the way to pressurise the powers that presume to govern us to get on with it is to present them (and us) with an achievable but urgent target.

But who wants to bet against that by the mid-late 2020's the IPCC strategy is based on an urgent need and time-frame to limit warming to 2 degrees - 1.5 degrees merely a receding memory alongside 350ppm..
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GeoffBeacon

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2019, 03:42:41 PM »
  360 gigatonnes / 7.7 billion = 46.75 tonnes remain for each person on earth.  At the global average of 5.25 tonnes per annum, that's a shade under 9 years before the world population would need be carbon neutral.

Thanks. Adding 30% to your CO2 figure gives a reference personal carbon budget of 60 tonnes CO2e.

bluice
Quote
I wonder if talking about 1.5C target is actually counterproductive.

Agreed. Perhaps I should not have mentioned 1.5C but I wanted to show what influenced my estimate. GMST is only one of the influences on my judgement - and it can be a misleading measure.
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sark

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2019, 08:54:04 AM »
I'm skeptical of the whole concept because I've lived in that carbon budget.  It's unwelcome in society.  Any hail mary ideas

https://www.aalto.fi/en/department-of-design/15-degrees-lifestyles
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GeoffBeacon

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2019, 12:41:12 PM »
I'm skeptical of the whole concept because I've lived in that carbon budget.  It's unwelcome in society.  Any hail mary ideas

https://www.aalto.fi/en/department-of-design/15-degrees-lifestyles

Any idea how I can make a sensible comment on the York Local Plan, which is promoting planet threatening lifestyles?

I'd like to say the York Plan is encouraging citizens to emit too much CO2 (&etc) but without a meaning for "too much" I'm stumped.
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GeoffBeacon

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2019, 02:22:41 PM »
In this thread I am asking for what might be called science-informed moral judgement. I suppose, it's obvious I'm struggling to express it in the best way. I think I did better than above in a recent email:

Quote
A representative remaining carbon budget ...

Different judgements can be made of what quantity  is a reasonable
total GHG emissions budget for people living now. A personal judgement
will depend on things like:

1) What  you think the consequences are
2) How Earth saving technology will develop
3) How much you care about the future
4) Whether mitigation is a lost cause.

Notes ...

(1) is often described in terms of global mean  surface temperature but
this is just an imperfect proxy for horrid things happening
(2) depends on things like the confidence in things like BECCS
(3) is personal morality
(4) is how much you believe Guy McPherson.

Not precisely determined ...

Clearly a representative remaining carbon budget is not something
that can be precisely determined: It is a mixture of science, morality
and personal judgement.

Despite these difficulties, I believe that a quantified figure would be
very helpful for planning - even if the quantity was simply an average
of "expert" opinions.

My judgement is 64 tonnes CO2e.

I'd still like to hear more.
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nanning

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2019, 08:25:55 PM »
@GeoffBeacon
Quote
science-informed moral judgement.
I think that text should read "('civilisation's) academic-science informed moral judgment". e.g. Amazon indians have a different opinion, as have I, about your morality (your=the people from 'civilisation').

Concerning morals, I wonder what the >0BC Jezus-from-Nazareth would think of your 'carbon budget' with ppm already at 415, +135ppm, plus the accelerating mass extinction of all other lifeforms (because of accelarating climate change) etc.? I wish you all a lot of strong real high morality principles to adhere to. Don't live your life through the eyes and minds of others (don't yearn to belong); steer your own ship.
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wili

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2019, 09:06:51 PM »
nanning, if you have a specific counter proposal, please present it clearly.

Sniping at word choices is not particularly helpful.

Thanks
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nanning

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2019, 04:12:15 AM »
Sorry wili, nothing specific because I think it is impossible (a carbon budget and a future). 'We' will not stay <+2C.

Maybe I want to let you see that the set of options of what-to-do is much larger than what rich (western) civilisation thinks is feasible.

I'd like people to go for the high morality options. Personal responsibility and strong principles and all that. Current morality is against all other life, including other (poor or indigenous) humans. The unworthy, heedlessly trampled.

Maybe expose the insanity of what everyone calls normal or acceptable.
The leaving of Lurk and now Tim because of frustrations has made me a bit angry? now-and-then I guess.

Be angry at rich people. They are the main perpetraitors throughout history. They wrote your history. They killed your future.

edit: added "carbon budget" and rich people.
@GeoffBeacon It wasn't personal. Just the way people forget all other human tribes and other life on Earth.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 04:51:26 AM by nanning »
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

bluesky

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2019, 11:40:53 PM »
Quote from: bluesky on August 11, 2019, 09:27:26 PM
"This is extremely rare to see information about carbon, water, an biodiversity footprint on a food packaging, this the following information that I can read on the packaging of smoked trout bought in France and the trout was farmed in France: carbon footprint 828g, water footprint 2.2 litters, biodiversity : 0.76m2 equivalent of urban town for a year. All for 100g of trout. How does it compare with other food?"


Above was posted in "what is a sustainable carbon footprint for every human alive today?" but did not drive clarifying answers so re posting it

The trout producer is ovive
https://www.ovive-truite.fr/?lang=en%
I of course have no interest in this company, apart from buying (rarely) their product when I am in France, and have more interest whether the data they advertise makes sense and whether it compares favourably or unfavourably with other fish farming's (or wild fish) carbon, water and biodiversity footprint, knowing that these trouts are farmed inland from running river water and feeded with 25 percent of fishes from labelled sustainable fishing the remaining with seeds. The trout are farmed in France in several fish farms (Pyrenees, Charente, Britanny) and sold all over France, the one I bought was in Lille produced in the Pyrenees so presumably with a relatively high carbon emission from transport unless it was transported by rail which i doubt, I presume  the footprint is at the producer doorstep not at the selling point... I generally don't find the fish farming process as very environmentally friendly as it requires fishing stocks and farm land footprint not used in the most efficiently way, but the question is whether the type of omega 3 that we find in fishes are not the same and are complementary to omega 3 from vegetals.
 The company has a few quality certification AFAQ AFNOR (respected French certification process) on energy(ISO 50001) and environment (ISO 14001)
May be Geoff will read the post and give his opinion as he has skills in carbon footprint and has been advocating for carbon footprint being disclosed for every food item.

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2019, 12:27:06 AM »
Here is a good article on the subject. There are multiple measures of sustainability. Yes carbon footprint but also biodiversity effects , water uses, pesticide use, herbicide uses and the sustainability of the fertilizers used.
 In the fishing industry biodiversity concerns are often raised where in the agricultural world they are not included. Farming is largely disruptive for existing wildlife habitats yet ag and organic ag get a pass when they shouldn't. Wild fisheries don't use pesticides or herbicides. Water is only used in processing.
 Fish farms fall somewhere closer to ag. They displace existing habitats, use medications, water, and utilize feed from various sources. Molluskan shellfish aquaculture doesn't use feed, water or medications so Molluskan shellfish generally get a better grade. Shrimp farming is very big business and IMO very disruptive. Pelagic small fish fisheries use little fuel for protein produced , no water, fertilizer, herbicides,or pesticides and as a result place very well in comparison to other forms of food production.
 

https://sustainablefisheries-uw.org/environmental-costs-of-food/
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 12:36:02 AM by Bruce Steele »

TerryM

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2019, 02:14:19 PM »
Here is a good article on the subject. There are multiple measures of sustainability. Yes carbon footprint but also biodiversity effects , water uses, pesticide use, herbicide uses and the sustainability of the fertilizers used.
 In the fishing industry biodiversity concerns are often raised where in the agricultural world they are not included. Farming is largely disruptive for existing wildlife habitats yet ag and organic ag get a pass when they shouldn't. Wild fisheries don't use pesticides or herbicides. Water is only used in processing.
 Fish farms fall somewhere closer to ag. They displace existing habitats, use medications, water, and utilize feed from various sources. Molluskan shellfish aquaculture doesn't use feed, water or medications so Molluskan shellfish generally get a better grade. Shrimp farming is very big business and IMO very disruptive. Pelagic small fish fisheries use little fuel for protein produced , no water, fertilizer, herbicides,or pesticides and as a result place very well in comparison to other forms of food production.
 

https://sustainablefisheries-uw.org/environmental-costs-of-food/


I've heard that fish lice? or fish mites? from fish farms infest wild fish that may migrate near the fish farms. Is there truth to these concerns or is it another urban myth.


Thanks
Terry

nanning

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2019, 04:30:53 PM »
<snip>
I've heard that fish lice? or fish mites? from fish farms infest wild fish that may migrate near the fish farms. Is there truth to these concerns or is it another urban myth.

I found this:
https://www.salmon-trout.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Thorstad-Finstad-2018-Impacts-of-salmon-lice-NINA-Report-1449-2.pdf

Quote:
"Results from scientific studies on the impacts of salmon lice on Atlantic salmon and sea trout are summarized here. Considerable evidence exists that that there is a link between farm-intensive areas and the spread of salmon lice to wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout. Several studies have shown that the effects of salmon lice from fish farms on wild salmon and sea trout populations can be severe; ultimately reducing the number of adult fish due to salmon lice induced mortality, resulting in reduced stocks and reduced opportunitiesfor fisheries. Depending on the population size, elevated salmon lice levels can also result in too few spawners to reach conservation limits"
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TerryM

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2019, 10:02:41 PM »
Do the lice affect the quality of the flesh?
Terry

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2019, 04:56:52 AM »
Yes they do Terry.
I have been a (MSC) salmon fishcutter and if I spotted a dirty whitish blob somewhere in the fish (after it was smoked), the whole fish was thrown away.
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TerryM

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2019, 11:52:59 AM »
Yes they do Terry.
I have been a (MSC) salmon fishcutter and if I spotted a dirty whitish blob somewhere in the fish (after it was smoked), the whole fish was thrown away.
I wonder if every fishmonger shares your integrity?


The one food that I miss here in Canada is Smoked Salmon the way the Pacific Coast Natives prepared it.
Tough as shoe leather, dry as a bone & more flavorful that can be imagined. They have a product here that they refer to as Smoked Salmon that's sometimes sold in hand painted cedar boxes. Best packaging for a food product imaginable!
But it's soft, damp and not all that tasty. The closest I can find locally is something sold as "Candied Salmon" - it's close but it's got a long ways to go.


The best Smoked Salmon used to be sold from the back of pick up trucks along 1 & 101 up and down the west coast.
Terry

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2019, 12:43:16 PM »
I've worked here but it was at a smaller place, they expanded after I left. I must've made them some money :P  8)
I really liked our smoked salmon. Our farmed atlantic, chinook and sockeye had once smoked different tastes and textures. So I'd say there is a lot of variation possible with taste and texture. I think we used sodiumnitrate in the salting process to bring up the pink colour ("Colorozo" it was called). Didn't like that so much but compared to supermarket products it was holy.
Too bad the fish are almost gone eh. Same way as the Pacific Coast Natives I guess.

Warning: smoking fish can increase you carbon budget. It is very energy intensive.
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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2019, 01:04:28 PM »
Yes they do Terry.
I have been a (MSC) salmon fishcutter and if I spotted a dirty whitish blob somewhere in the fish (after it was smoked), the whole fish was thrown away.
I wonder if every fishmonger shares your integrity?


The one food that I miss here in Canada is Smoked Salmon the way the Pacific Coast Natives prepared it.
Tough as shoe leather, dry as a bone & more flavorful that can be imagined. They have a product here that they refer to as Smoked Salmon that's sometimes sold in hand painted cedar boxes. Best packaging for a food product imaginable!
But it's soft, damp and not all that tasty. The closest I can find locally is something sold as "Candied Salmon" - it's close but it's got a long ways to go.


The best Smoked Salmon used to be sold from the back of pick up trucks along 1 & 101 up and down the west coast.
Terry

Tough, and dry, best salmon jerky...reminds me my travels to BC and Olympic National Park

TerryM

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Re: A reference personal carbon budget
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2019, 03:08:11 PM »
<snipped>

Tough, and dry, best salmon jerky...reminds me my travels to BC and Olympic National Park
Good memories I hope.


A good sized chunk in your back pocket - a couple of gallons of 50/50 Gatorade and you're good for the day.
The desert denison's dream writ large and tasty.


Even feeds the masses when the masses are protesting damn near anything!
"The Man with the Fish" was almost as popular as "The Man with the Weed"
Terry