Support the IEET




The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.



Search the IEET
Subscribe and Contribute to:


Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view




whats new at ieet

Superintelligences Are Already Out There!

For a Longer, Brighter and More Just Future

The small and surprisingly dangerous detail the police track about you

Alan Watts by South Park creators (All in one in HD)

Prototype

The Singularity - feat. Ray Kurzweil & Alex Jones


ieet books

Virtually Human: The Promise—-and the Peril—-of Digital Immortality
Author
Martine Rothblatt


comments

AmbassadorZot on '#22: Ray Kurzweil on Rationality and the Moral Considerability of Intelligent Machines' (Dec 20, 2014)

pansi4 on 'The Slut Shaming, Sex-Negative Message in the Christmas Story: It's Worth a Family Conversation' (Dec 20, 2014)

Vigrith on 'Technoprogressive Declaration - Transvision 2014' (Dec 20, 2014)

ericscoles on 'The small and surprisingly dangerous detail the police track about you' (Dec 20, 2014)

instamatic on 'Wage Slavery and Sweatshops as Free Enterprise?' (Dec 19, 2014)

instamatic on 'Four questions for Social Futurists, and others' (Dec 18, 2014)

CygnusX1 on 'Four questions for Social Futurists, and others' (Dec 18, 2014)







Subscribe to IEET News Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List



JET

Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


Review of Michio Kaku’s, Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century
Dec 15, 2014
(9619) Hits
(0) Comments

What Will Life Be Like Inside A Computer?
Dec 7, 2014
(8374) Hits
(0) Comments

Bitcoin and Science: DNA is the Original Decentralized System
Nov 24, 2014
(7967) Hits
(0) Comments

Is AI a Myth?
Nov 30, 2014
(5220) Hits
(32) Comments



IEET > Security > Eco-gov > Vision > Technoprogressivism > Fellows > Jamais Cascio

Print Email permalink (2) Comments (3698) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


350


Jamais Cascio
By Jamais Cascio
Fast Company

Posted: Oct 31, 2009

Three hundred and fifty parts per million is the carbon limit. How will we get back there?

It may be odd to focus a political movement on a relatively obscure bit of science, but a world-wide push to limit concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million made a big splash last week, with rallies and gatherings all over the planet focusing on drilling this number into the public consciousness. The number comes from work done by (among others) NASA’s James Hansen, looking for potential climate “tipping points.” 350ppm for CO2 is a safe limit—get too much beyond it, and the dangers multiply.

It’s an audacious goal, for reasons of both communication and science.

In terms of communication, while a simple meme like “350” or “350ppm” fits nicely on protest signs and bumper stickers, it’s a term without much context for the vast majority of the populace. In and of itself, that’s not a problem; however, it can make a visceral connection to the concept more difficult. Activists adopting the 350 meme will need to match rhetoric with education, to make the number meaningful. Again, not impossible, but likely an ongoing challenge.

The scientific audacity with the 350 meme comes from a single, simple fact: current concentration of atmospheric CO2 is roughly 385ppm. That is, we already exceed the 350 limit, and most climate scientists say we’ll be hard-pressed to keep from going over 450ppm by the middle of the century. And carbon dioxide takes centuries to cycle out of the atmosphere—even if we stopped all anthropogenic sources of CO2 right this minute, we’d still see too-high concentrations for years to come.

(Even more troubling: even if we stopped all anthropogenic carbon sources immediately, we’d still see continued warming for at least decades, possibly longer, simply from the thermal inertia of the oceans. Absent a radical step, we’re guaranteed to see at least another degree or two of warming, no matter what we do.)

If this sounds like I think the 350 movement is a bad idea… I don’t. I rather like the simplicity of the meme, and the target is—if difficult—smart. It’s not saying “let’s keep things from getting too much worse,” it’s saying “let’s make things better.” That’s the kind of goal I like.

But getting back to 350ppm requires more than a rapid cessation of anthropogenic sources of atmospheric carbon. It requires an acceleration of the processes that cycle atmospheric CO2. Planting trees is an obvious step, but it’s slow and actually doesn’t do enough alone. We’ll also need to bring in more advanced carbon sequestration techniques, such as bio-char. The combination of the two would likely bring down atmospheric carbon levels, given enough time.

Unfortunately, we may not have enough time.

Read the rest here


Jamais Cascio is a Senior Fellow of the IEET, and a professional futurist. He writes the popular blog Open the Future.
Print Email permalink (2) Comments (3699) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


COMMENTS


“350ppm for CO2 is a safe limit:get too much beyond it, and the dangers multiply.”

According to the video of the gorgeous models taking off their clothes, it appears that 352ppm is dangerous enough for me. (They had two items of lingerie left on.)





Also, the moronic video in question is asking us to believe the exact opposite of the truth, i.e. that we need to cool the world down in order for the girls to take their clothes off. smile) Talk about a pro-warming video in disguise…





YOUR COMMENT (IEET's comment policy)

Login or Register to post a comment.

Next entry: Do scientists encourage misleading media coverage?

Previous entry: Neuroengineering the Future

HOME | ABOUT | FELLOWS | STAFF | EVENTS | SUPPORT  | CONTACT US
SECURING THE FUTURE | LONGER HEALTHIER LIFE | RIGHTS OF THE PERSON | ENVISIONING THE FUTURE
CYBORG BUDDHA PROJECT | AFRICAN FUTURES PROJECT | JOURNAL OF EVOLUTION AND TECHNOLOGY

RSSIEET Blog | email list | newsletter |
The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @ ieet.org     phone: 860-297-2376