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Paris or Pittsburgh

2 June 20017

I was interviewed for two 20 second quotes on the national television (clip with me at 2.00 minutes after start) about the criminal act of the Trump administration to leave the climate agreement of Paris. This makes me angry. Thirty years ago, there were already signs of climate warming in the Arctic. The models predicted a long trajectory but warming went faster and faster. The Arctic makes the problem very visible as the temperature rise is more and frozen ice turns into water. Today there was similar devastating news about coral reefs. Those will disappear if we allow 2 degrees temperature increase. Our weather will be more extreme, our future uncertain. We have to reduce carbon emissions now.

The climate agreement signed in Paris provides a realistic trajectory. But we have to make a start with the reduction within 4 years. At the high level of emissions right now, we cannot continue 4 more years and we will end up for sure with an average global temperature increase of more than 2 degrees. It will be more difficult to stop this and with 4 degrees we start a trajectory in which both the boreal forest and the amazone rain forest will be threatened. Those are regarded essential biomes for our oxygen supply.

Above, there is a figure from Schellnhuber, Rahmsdorf & Winkelmann titled Why the right climate target was agreed in Paris (Nature climate change 2016, 6: 649-653). This figure changed my attitude completely. The predictions are very clear and scary under a scenario without action. The problem is bigger than our concerns about the Arctic. The earth will survive, probaly mankind too. But without action mother earth changes to an inhospitable place.

This is a moment in history on which we later will reflect. There will be three groups of people. Those who did the good thing, a large group of people who pretended to be ignorant and those who were bad. I hope that there can be a moment where we are able to confront the latter group with their crime against humanity.

Our future goal should be simple. At some point our resources are used and we have to survive with a circular green economy. Why cannot we do it now? Maybe using climate warming as a danger which speeds up this neccessary action. We do not need new technology or unjustified investments for this change.

But even than, we will loose the coral reefs of the world, and as a scuba diver that makes me very sad....

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Plans for 2017 Paris or Pittsburgh John Kerry about Donald Trump