Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies






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

Ideasthesia: How do ideas feel?

Longevity will lead to Overpopulation - we need to consider our options now

Practopoiesis: How Cybernetics of Biology can Help AI

Aqua: meeting the challenge of freshwater depletion

Debunking the 5 Most Common Meditation Myths

Condoms are So Hundred Years Ago: Why Better Birth Control for Men Would Be Better for Everyone


ieet books

The Future of Business
Author
Ed. Rohit Talwar


comments

Valkyrie Ice on 'Longevity will lead to Overpopulation - we need to consider our options now' (Jul 4, 2015)

spud100 on 'How to Survive the End of the Universe' (Jul 3, 2015)

Alexey Turchin on 'How to Survive the End of the Universe' (Jul 3, 2015)

spud100 on 'How to Survive the End of the Universe' (Jul 3, 2015)

Alexey Turchin on 'How to Survive the End of the Universe' (Jul 3, 2015)

spud100 on 'How to Survive the End of the Universe' (Jul 3, 2015)

ChristopherMaddsen on 'Tinkering with Consciousness' (Jul 2, 2015)







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


Universal Basic Income—The Foundation of a Technically Advanced Society
Jun 15, 2015
(47084) Hits
(6) Comments

Should Politicians be Replaced by Artificial Intelligence? Interview with Mark Waser
Jun 12, 2015
(19014) Hits
(3) Comments

Will Artificial Intelligence be a Buddha? Is Fear of AI just a symptom of Human Self-Loathing?
Jun 17, 2015
(11189) Hits
(5) Comments

Atheism in Zambia - skeptical, rational thought in a very superstitious country
Jun 23, 2015
(10126) Hits
(0) Comments



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

Print Email permalink (2) Comments (3898) 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 (3899) 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