WICKED PROBLEM: GLOBAL WARMING

A WICKED PROBLEM: GLOBAL WARMING

GLOBAL WARMING

 Let’s face it: the world’s climate IS changing. Each of the past three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than all the previous decades in the instrumental record, and the first decade of the 21st century has been the warmest.

Carbon dioxide circulates naturally through photosynthesis and respiration. Greenhouse gas emissions by industrialization have destroyed that natural balance. Carbon dioxide does not denature or modify by itself. Hence, if the absorption of carbon dioxide by vegetation and the sea does not keep pace with its creation, the gas stays in the atmosphere and stores heat.

With global warming, warmer water causes water to outgas CO2. Colder water allows the CO2 to be absorbed and remain in solution. So oceans are a significant source during warming periods and sink during cooling periods. You may conduct an experiment in your own house as to this fact with some bottles of soda water. Open one when it is warm and see how much CO2 comes out and chill the other in your fridge and open it.

Carbon dioxide can stay in the atmosphere for more than 500 years. 

Average global temperatures are already 1°C higher than in pre-industrial times; along with urbanization, electrification and rising incomes in developing countries, this is boosting demand for air-conditioning. 

By obliging countries to cut emissions of these powerful greenhouse gases, by 2020, we can avert the equivalent of 100 billion-200 billion tons of carbon-dioxide emissions by 2050, enough to chop 0.5°C from the rise in average global temperatures by 2100. In the context of the agreed goal of global climate policy, which is to limit such warming to less than 2°C, this is significant.

Unfortunately, many people still think that climate change is some sort of voodoo science. They think that tens of thousands of academics are supposedly colluding to make this up. On the other side of the argument, big oil and coal producers and government lobbyists are our white knights telling us the “truth”. 

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We don’t care what the science-denying people say. 

The quickest way to cut greenhouse gases is to expand the Montreal protocol (5.6 billion tons of  COemissions).  That will require cutting carbon emissions by around 26 billion tonnes of COequivalent a year by 2030 (or almost halving the current rate of emissions).

 

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Trailing some way behind the Montreal protocol is a small group of measures—not really climate policies—that have been responsible for avoiding between 4% and 7% of greenhouse-gas emissions. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, nuclear power avoided the production of 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2010—that is, emissions would have been 2.2 billion tons higher if the same amount of electricity had been produced by non-nuclear plants. Energy from dams and other hydroelectric sources avoided 2.8 billion tons.

A carbon tax is perhaps one of the less harmful ways of funding very bad policy. It relies heavily on the social cost of carbon.

In reality, despite the world’s governments imposing 100s of billions of dollars of carbon tax on energy-intensive industries and energy consumers, it has not made one bit of difference to CO2 levels in the atmosphere which continues to go up lineally.

The social cost of carbon pollution calculates the economic cost of these problems and estimates the damage done by each ton of carbon dioxide that is spewed into the air. This is the impact cost that emissions have on our health, well-being, and quality of life in terms of dollars. The current estimate is around $40/ton using a discount rate of 3%, even though the carbon tax is presently only $15/ton.

If offered $1 now or $1 in a year, almost everyone would choose to receive the $1 now. Most individuals would only wait until next year if they were offered more money in the future. The discount rate of 3% is how much more you would have to receive to wait until next year. 

This cost does not include all the relevant damages on fisheries; the effects of increased pest, disease, and fire pressures on agriculture and forests; and the effects of rising sea levels and resource scarcity due to migration. According to a study, in the journal Nature Climate Change, the actual cost could be much higher. “We estimate that the social cost of carbon is not $40 per ton, as previously estimated, but $220 per ton”. If climate change affects not only a country’s economic output but also its growth, then that has a permanent effect that accumulates over time, leading to a much higher social cost of carbon.” The Exxon Mobil Corporation predicted $80/ton of CO2 emissions in 2040.

Policies to slow or reverse deforestation are more important than one might expect. Trees absorb carbon as they grow. According to a recent study in Science, declining deforestation in Brazil meant that the country produced 3.2 billion tonnes less atmospheric carbon dioxide between 2005 and 2013 than it would have if the tree-felling had continued unabated. That is 0.4 billion tons/ year.

The solution is to see the dollars spent per billion ton CO2 properly from the Carbon Tax Fund for each initiative like the Today’s Tall Tree Nurseries compared to the CO2 reduced. 

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TODAY’S TALL TREES

Global warming is more likely to be an exponential trend, as greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for over 100 years: creating cumulative effect that is hard to slow down with only a minor reduction of gases in the coming decades.

Yesterday’s Solution: plant a billion trees 50 years ago

Today’s Long Term Solution: plant a billion trees today

Deforestation

Right now deforestation is causing 15% of the problem of global warming. Large tracts of forested land have been destroyed: in Kenya over the last 30 years: forest cover has been from 80 percent to two percent.

In addition, about 482 million ha of dry lands in Africa have suffered desertification through several physical factors such as degradation by wind and water erosion in addition to loss of nutrients and physical compaction.

Global cereal production must be increased by ∼50% by 2050. Crop yields in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have either stagnated or declined since the 1990s because of the widespread use of extractive farming practices and problems of soil and environmental degradation. Yield potential of improved varieties is not realized because of soil degradation. 

Carbon financing for small-holder agriculture could increase the likelihood of success of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries programs and climate change mitigation but also promote food security in the region.

Reforestation

There have been some valiant attempts at reforestation. Launched in 2002 with US$100 million, the BioCarbon Fund, a public/private partnership, provides finance for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Nile Basin plantation will be established in 64 blocks of 25 hectares each. The total size of the plantation is expected to reach 2,137 hectares.

In Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda in 2014, there were 7,217,893 trees planted.  We have plans to have a propagation facility with a capacity to produce 5 million seedlings annually.

A third party required under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is typically involved to monitor the tree growth and to verify that the trees are being used properly. That would be our non-profit organization, Living Water MicroFinance Inc.

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 Micro forestry enables communities of farm families to accomplish what none could accomplish by working alone. Over ten years, a farmer earns more than $5,600 from a half acre of trees and one acre of short-term crops.

Our ultimate goal is a billion trees. By 2020, we plan to be working with over 165,000 families across Africa. That’s over a billion dollars in farmer income waiting to be harvested:  a billion dollars that farmers earn themselves; a billion dollars to invest in education, health care and new businesses – replacing aid and charity with investment and entrepreneurship.

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Mitigation: it includes strategies to reduce greenhouse gas sources and emissions and enhance greenhouse gas sinks.

Resilience: to anticipate threats to the economy and the environment for minimum damage.

Productivity: Sustainable agriculture is the production of healthful food, plant or livestock for future generations.

The world’s next crisis: drought and famine in the Horn of Africa

With large parts of Eritrea’s most productive farms receiving less than 20 per cent of the average rainfall, there is little chance of much of a harvest. Even in normal years some 7 or 8 million Ethiopians require international food aid to survive. This is euphemistically known as the government’s “Productive Safety Net Program”. Every year this program is underwritten by Ethiopia’s major ally – the United States – at an annual cost of $100 million.

The implementation of proactive measures will require a paradigm shift from crisis to risk management including the implementation of various government developmental priorities: the support of reforestation and biochar techniques, which is also a solution to global warming. The amounts of aid like this $100 million must be spent more judiciously.

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Agroforestry could help solve Climate Change.

Carbon Emission to be Solved

The world leaders must find a way to absorb carbon dioxide emissions that is in our atmosphere now. Trees and soils are the only way to absorb the present glut of CO2 in your world.

Presently these funds are improperly managed because they attempt to make the tax neutral by redirecting the fund for tax rebates to working families, cutting sales tax and reducing the tax on manufacturing. All this is very admirable but it doesn’t solve the high concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, which is presently causing global warming.

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The Funds to Finance Rehabilitation

There are two sources of funds based on two different methods of absorbing carbon emissions: one from biochar in soils and the other from planting of trees.

On one hectare of farm land of 500 trees:

  1. Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Fund for BIOCHAR IN SOILSldn fund

LND Fund seeks to mobilize US$2 billion annually; they estimate that the average cost of land rehabilitation is $100- $150/ha. In Africa, five countries have voluntary committed to LND including Senegal.

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  • 500 trees/hectare will yield 50 tons of Carbon from branches and weeds or (50 tons x ⅓) 16.7 tons of CO2 emission absorption from the production of
  • The value of the capture of carbon in the form of Biochar is $250/year at the tax rate of $15/ton. (The LDN Fund offers $150/year based on $10/ton of carbon emissions.)
  1. The Carbon Tax Fund for TREES: the fund can support 500 trees for a total cost of $200/year for a period of 25 years plus an initial $750:

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  • There will be 500 trees with a NPV of $0.50/tree: at the rate of $15/ton, the Net Present Value (NPV) is $200/year.
  • Add $1.00/tree for reporting and auditing for 25 years (that’s a one-off total – not per year): $500 to be monitored by Living Water MicroFinance Inc. for 25 years.untitled-10

This part of the fund will support each 1.5 acre farm that will have access to $150/year n the form of micro finance assistance complements of the Carbon Tax Fund. Each $150 will be recycled nine times for a total of $1,350.

This micro finance will be made available to women farmers and their families who need support before the orchards become productive after 18 months: they will maintain this agroforest farms by planting vegetable like yam in between the new tree seedlings. The micro finance loan will be due after the harvest.

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The tree farm is supported by a Today’s Tall Tree Nursery managed by Living Water MicroFinance Inc. in order to reduce the cost of tree seedlings. The fruit and nut tree seedlings along with nitrogen fixing trees are supplied by Today’s Tall Tree Nursery.

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The reporting and auditing of trees for 25 years at the rate of $1.00/tree will help finance a Today’s Tall Tree Nursery to service over 100 hectare (beginning with 50,000 tree seedlings). The estimated fixed cost is $80,000. This decentralized system is preferable to the present centralized nurseries that have costly transportation costs for very vulnerable tree seedlings.

This calculation does NOT include income streams from the fruit and nut produce, which are reserved for the women farmers and their families.  Later, irrigation can be added for a remunerative 275% crop improvement.

There will be a stipulation that all biomass on the 1.5 acre farm will be converted to Biochar every year. Creating Biochar on a farm involves incentives: the women farmer and her family will receive $150 based on the carbon tax rate of $15/ton for a total of 34 tons/year of carbon sequestered.

Living Water MicroFinance Inc. will arrange partnerships with African landlords (who provide a long term lease) for woman farmers and their families.

Leave a Comment below if you wish to have more information.

 HELPING SOLVE WORLD’S CARBON POLLUTION

New Trees are the only solution to soaking up Carbon Dioxide:

Tree Growth

A Full Scale Aquaponic Tree Nursery in Africa supported by:

  1. A Micro Hydro Electric System: no dams: HugENERGY.us
  2. An Irrigation System: NORTHydro.com
  3. A Rabbit and Fish Farm: AfriCAPITALISM.us
  4. An Agroforestry Intercrop System: LivingWaterIs.com
  5. The Charitable Arm: SunnyUp.net
  6. God’s Loveletters:  Godloveletters.com

OUR STRATEGY

Stage 1     Agricultural Mechanization of Africa                        
Stage 2   Today’s Tall Trees Nursery: Carbon Tax Fund 
Stage 3   Micro Finance & Landlord Cooperatives 
Stage 4   Irrigation in Remote Areas using kinetic energy from moving water.
Stage 5   Electricity Created in Remote Areas using moving water without the use of a dam.

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