Radical Mitigation

Emergency Mitigation or Radical Emission Reductions
We are currently wasting time and “atmospheric space” which would be needed for a smooth and gradual transition to a post-carbon economy. It is not thinkable that in the face of ever-increasing problems and costs associated with climate change and fossil extraction, and the widespread availability of cheap and easy alternatives for generating renewable energy and meeting human needs, we would maintain the current course of relative inaction for decades. Sooner or later, a social tipping point in favour of complete decarbonization will be reached. But it is likely that this point will be reached too late for some of the tipping elements (for example the Greenland Ice Shield or the Indian Monsoon).

War-time scale efforts are often referenced to suggest that we are capable of mobilizing lots of resources for a cause, when necessary. The race to the moon is another case in point.

Due to the inertia in the global climate system, and the fact that being personally affected contributes a lot to the generation of political will in our days, it is likely that the social tipping point will be reached too late for half-hearted approaches. That is why we dedicate a special page to emergency mitigation. The questions to be answered are:

What does an emergency mitigation strategy look like? Paul Gilding and Jorgen Randers’ One Degree War Plan is a first example. (also read an interview with Paul Gilding)

Kevin Anderson at the Tyndall Center has been calling for a similar framing and looking seriously at the options at hand. On December 10/11th 2013 they held the first Radical Emissions Reductions Conference.

Remaining questions are:

What are the conditions under which such a strategy would become the Plan A for political leaders?

Are there ways to speed up the creation of these conditions?