Friday, 3 January 2014
What does doubling of Carbon Dioxide mean?
In the past 1.3 million years (the time when homo sapiens evolves), the Earth is in an ice age cycle with atmospheric CO2 between 175 to 275 ppm. Human began industrialization and large scale burning of fossil fuel about 250 years ago. Since then, the atmospheric CO2 has been increasing. We note that the increase in exponential, that means the increase is becoming faster and faster. If we take the current growth rate of 2.2%, the concentration will be double the pre-industrial value by 2050, only 36 years from now. As the current third countries improve the living standard and if they adopt the same lifestyle as the current people in developed countries, this 2.2% is a lower prediction of the rate of increase. That also means that we shall reach the doubling much earlier. Do people in the developed countries have the moral right to ask those in the poorer countries not to grow rich? Do people in the rich countries have the moral right to tell the poor that they cannot get rich by the ways that we have? Do people in the developed countries have the right to pollute but not the poor? If we want to live in peace, we need an equitable distribution of resources and opportunities. Poor people everywhere have the same right as the rich to live. In fact, unless we act, no one can live, at least in the same way as we are doing now.