Disruption of stable oscillating systems and the notion of exponential change applied to our Climate.

Model of Energy Oscillations and some essential natural laws.

 

When it comes to analyze the climate, the debate is wide open. Mainly people expect a super computer to draw them an accurate scenario with hundreds of data parameters in input and a nice temperature graph by regions and years as an output. It is not that easy; because models tend to integrate too many parameters for which we don’t know exactly the impact, given that we only studied them for 50 years.

Fifty years is not a lot of time compared to the lifespan of our current climate system. It looks as if we were trying to determine the topography of a beach next season with a handful of sand. This argument is the major argument for climate change skeptics. They turn it into a “we don’t know anything, anyway”, “we can’t prove the climate change is human induced”, “the studies have flaws, we want hard evidence”.

I will intent to make a simple approach based on systems exchanges. Our planet can be modeled as a heat exchanger.

Let’s start with the basics: the warm air and water at the equator expands and get redistributed toward the poles. This happened more or less thanks to the seasons and the variation of angle of the planet axle. In summer, for each hemisphere, we get more energy coming from the sun (as we are closer) on a greater surface (by hemisphere) and in winter it’s reciprocal. This rhythm is responsible for the change of seasons, the weather events, the oceanic currents.

The temperatures variations are cyclic and can be modeled with an oscillation. Temperature is one of the output  data which can be read like a radio wave.

The system can be visualized as an energy exchange analogy: the energy in the system, which derives in temperatures variations, can be considered the entropy of the atmosphere.

While the Force applied to the system is the energy variation, triggered by the change of seasons.This system is conservative and balanced: the Greenhouse effect and solar variation being make up the “stiffness” (symbolized as the spring in the figure below) because they re-inject energy into it while there is very little dissipation.

The effect of the oceans and forests, absorbing carbon dioxide and therefore reducing the greenhouse effect influence can be modeled as the dampening effect; taking energy out of the system.

The entropy variation, which can be measured in term of temperature present then the form of an oscillation for each hemisphere.

SDOF

Now (and you can have a further look for yourself), the movement of the system (aka temperature variation in our analogy) are directly, proportionality affected by an augmentation of the stiffness (greenhouse effect and solar radiation) AND entropy.

Where we might have a problem is that, in classic SDOFs, the mass is constant. But in our analogy, the mass (entropy of the atmosphere, aka energy in our atmosphere) increase with the greenhouse effect.

So we might see answers like this:

SDOF response stimulation

Yes, our temperatures will oscillate soon with larger amplitudes. It’s exponential and we can already feel the effects.

Obviously, our temperatures variation do not follow a perfect sinusoidal as per the example above. They are actually the combination of several patterns forming a complex signal as our system is not perfect and micro-local effect exist.

So we could see something rather like this:

estimation of stitistical energy analysis source journal of vibroengineereing

You can see that there isn’t a scale of time on this graphic above. But each Maxima could be considered a summer. With our current augmentation of 0.8C we might be just as the beginning of the tremor, half way through that first exponential group made of 6 cycles.

This is just an image, a metaphor to illustrate how climate can “bascule” and why. We know as we studied the past climate variations of or planet that the transition from one stable system of climate to another happens very quick, in a few decades only.

As per below, this illustrates the importance of parameters in the real system of our planet as an heat exchanger. The role of the oceans, and particularly their dampening effect, can actually alter not only the amplitude but the period of the primordial sinusoidal. This means that our season will not only experience higher maximas and lower minimas but they also are likely to start earlier or later. We will be experiencing “unseasonal” weather. Sounds familiar?

damped - undamped SDOF

 

This figure above is taken form an experiment on a mechanical SDOF.

One thing is common to all these simulations:

CLIMATE CHANGE HAPPEN FAST (AND LIKELY EXPONENTIALLY)

This would explain why we can notice change within the couple of the last decades.

Now, what impact would it have on our planet?

We all know the answer intuitively whether you choose to “believe” it or not. (By the way if you are a Christian living by what is said in the Bible, the following will either blow your mind either make you crawl in the darker corner of your local church)

Plants have taken hundreds of thousands of years to evolve (sorry Christians friends) and they haven’t been naturally selected to withstand huge constant variations of temperatures. This is unpredicted for them, they will bloom early and then freeze, failing to reproduce and dying. This is stress for our plants and of course for all the living creatures depending on them.

Do you know where we find high extreme temperatures variations at high frequency?

In a desert.

No plant, very little life.

This is what we are building now, the annihilation of most of the living species on Earth. Species which have taken hundreds of thousands of years to be what they are now. They will be faltering and other will rise in a very long time. And not on our watch.

You might wonder why the intensity and frequencies of super cyclones and typhoons have increased. We know it’s climate change, but how?

Well the rising of 1 Degree Celsius doesn’t seem much for us humans, who are used to adjust our air conditioner, heat or cool all sort of things, right? Rising the water temperature up degree up doesn’t take much energy. Rising your air temperature in your house one degree up doesn’t take much energy neither. However, can you imagine rising the temperature by one degree if you were living in a castle or when you are trying to heat your swimming pool? This takes a lot more energy.

Well, now imagine at the scale of the planet how much energy is required to raise the ocean surface water of a small 1 degree? Can you visualize how much energy is involved on the process?

Therefore, when the temperature of the ocean is several degrees above the normal seasonal average, some super storm will brew.

Why?

Because of the change of season created by the tilting of the planet, which is an immutable force. And as we demonstrated before (and climate data back up this theory); the temperatures variations will be more accrued: the summer will be hotter and the winters cooler.

While in between, all that beautiful energy has to transfer from the equatorial belt toward the poles as the air and water follow the path of circulation created by temperatures differences (convection current and thermohaline circulation).

More energy means that the transfer will be more intense; carrying more heat and humidity in both amplitude and frequency toward the pole.

If you add to this the Coriolis Effect, you have the existence of super typhoons, cyclones, hurricanes and blizzards.

These storms might seem on the rise lately and each one year after year brings more destruction. They can be much more worse and intense.

Emissions and Global Warming Theory

Global warming.jpg

Now in term of scale, there are a few factors that should worry us. It is true that the human emissions are little** compared to the global exchange happening with the oceans, volcanic eruptions and normal decomposition. However, each one of the big systems of exchange previously cited is balanced and has been so for a few millions years. Human activity, as you can see in the figure is only one way: releasing into the atmosphere mainly. We are very good at burning things but not so much in planting trees.

Manmade CO2 emissions are much smaller than natural emissions. Consumption of vegetation by animals & microbes accounts for about 220 gigatonnes of CO2 per year. Respiration by vegetation emits around 220 gigatonnes. The ocean releases about 332 gigatonnes. In contrast, when you combine the effect of fossil fuel burning and changes in land use, human CO2 emissions are only around 29 gigatonnes per year. However, natural CO2 emissions (from the ocean and vegetation) are balanced by natural absorptions (again by the ocean and vegetation). Land plants absorb about 450 gigatonnes of CO2 per year and the ocean absorbs about 338 gigatonnes. This keeps atmospheric CO2 levels in rough balance. Human CO2 emissions upsets the natural balance.
Figure 1: Global carbon cycle. Numbers represent flux of carbon dioxide in gigatonnes (Source: Figure 7.3, IPCC AR4).

About 40% of human CO2 emissions are being absorbed, mostly by vegetation and the oceans. The rest remains in the atmosphere. As a consequence, atmospheric CO2 is at its highest level in 15 to 20 million years (Tripati 2009). A natural change of 100ppm normally takes 5,000 to 20.000 years. The recent increase of 100ppm has taken just 120 years.

Additional confirmation that rising CO2 levels are due to human activity comes from examining the ratio of carbon isotopes (eg ? carbon atoms with differing numbers of neutrons) found in the atmosphere. Carbon 12 has 6 neutrons, carbon 13 has 7 neutrons. Plants have a lower C13/C12 ratio than in the atmosphere. If rising atmospheric CO2comes from fossil fuels, the C13/C12 should be falling. Indeed this is what is occurring (Ghosh 2003). The C13/C12 ratio correlates with the trend in global emissions.
Figure 2: Annual global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning and cement manufacture in GtC yr?1 (black), annual averages of the 13C/12C ratio measured in atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa from 1981 to 2002 (red). ). The isotope data are expressed as ?13C(CO2) ‰ (per mil) deviation from a calibration standard. Note that this scale is inverted to improve clarity. (IPCC AR4)

Source: John Cook, Skeptical Science

 

Unfortunately, this little unbalance created by the human activity has never been experienced before on the planet, at this scale ** .

This “little” amount of Co2 that we carelessly released into our atmosphere has already the following consequences:

– The slight increase of temperature allows vast areas in the Russian territory to defrost. Leading to a monumental emission of methane (greenhouse gas) due to the awakening of bacterial decomposition.

– The change of drought and rain patterns in the tropical areas lead to an increased activity of fires, releasing huge amounts of Co2 in the atmosphere**.

– Changes into the ratio of fresh water/sea water in the oceans modify the oceans density, changing oceans currents responsible for the drought/rain patterns and probably increasing volcanic activity. This creates both mass extinction of sea life (decomposition, acidification and release of Co2 in the atmosphere) and Co2 emissions due to seism**.

All of the above largely increase the amount to greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, responsible for these effects. The cycle continues fueling its own energy: It follows an exponential law.

There is more: at the moment our oceans absorb a large amount of our unbalanced emissions. But there is a limit on how much they can absorb. Once this limit is reached, they will start to release SO2 (sulphur dioxide), killing all plant life on the planet. They are uncertainties on when this might happen due to the limits of the model**. It has happened in the past of the planet and it could be faster than you could comprehend:

Infinite cycle of Doom.jpg

  1. Human activity creates a slight amount of Greenhouse Gases. The amount is very small in proportion to the other emissions. However over the years it accumulates enough to start the chain reaction to follow.
  2. CO2 Emissions and other Greenhouse gases increase the Greenhouse effect.
  3. The greenhouse effect has a direct causality on the increase of energy in our atmosphere, affecting the established circulation of hot and cold currents due to the change of balance in mass between both. This is called climate change: the weather patterns are affected and redefined.
  4. The above average increase of temperatures trigger the melting of the Ice Caps and Mountain Glaciers.
  5. The fresh water resulting from the melting of the ice caps causes change of density of sea water and alteration of the depth of several layers in the ocean water. This results directly in an accrued change of oceanic current: force (flow), speed, depth and geographic location.
  6. The change of the oceanic current and the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere both contribute an acidification of the oceans.
  7. The acidification of oceans change permanently the origin of food sources in term of quality and quantity. Coral reefs are bleached. Ecosystems collapse.
  8. The collapsing of ecosystems create an accrued difficulty for rural community to access to food sources. Fishing is scarce. Crops have lower yields as the rain patterns are affected due to the change of oceanic currents.
  9. Surprisingly, in times of difficulties, the human population booms. As people get stressed they have more children so the stronger or clever ones can make it through. This phenomenon, often observed in times of war, is a mechanism resulting of despair. As the life expectancy gets lower, couples have children younger and more children. If population struggle for subsistence, children don’t go to school as they are kept to help the family surviving. A low level of medical care and education can be expected. The less developed and poorest countries in the planet suffering of famine and scarcity all have a birth rate quite high despite the living conditions and very young populations.
  10. Overpopulation increases the consumption of resources and the human industrial and framing activity. It’s a race to use and utilize the last resources.
  11. Deforestation happen at a large scale as more farming is required to feed our increasing population.
  12. Deforestation is a large contributor to the greenhouse gases emissions. It has a double effect: forest are often burned to be cleared, releasing large amounts of Co2 in the atmosphere. At the same time, their disappearance lower the capacity of our planet to fix the Co2 form the atmosphere into materials. The forest are carbon sinks.
  13. As the cycle pursue its course and the average temperature rise, the permafrost, made of millions of tons of decomposing material, accumulated remains of old forests stopped in their decay by freeing conditions, starts to melt.
  14. As the permafrost thaw, the decomposition processes starts again, releasing vast amount of methane gas which creates 4 times more greenhouse effect than CO2.
  15. The melting of glaciers and change in rain patterns (due to deforestation and change of ocenic currents) lower the natural reserves of fresh water. Drought are more frequent and intense. Desertification progresses.
  16. The increasing difficulty of communities to access fresh and drinking water generates pressure on the agriculture sector. Inflation of prices and degradation of living conditions create a climate of stress including unemployment, difficulty to access education or care. Populations starts to emigrate, creating conflicts.
  17. Some recent studies have proven that the change in ratio between salt water and fresh water in the oceans affect the density of seawater and change oceanic currents. In parallel, the earth crust gets affected by these changes because the mass characterizing a volumes of ocean water change the forces applied on the earth crust. This result in an augmentation of seismic and volcanic activity.
  18. Increase in volcanic activity produces enormous amounts of greenhouse gases as well as decreasing the alberdo effect (capacity of our planet to reflect sunlight into space) due to the presence of soot particles. However, there is also a small cooling effect due to the diffusion of sunlight created by halogens and the destruction of ozone layers.

As the diagram illustrates, the reactions are empirical creating a motion of positive feedback. This would explain the extremely rapid transitions times the Earth has experience in the past transiting from a climate to another: ***

All_palaeotemps

Please note the scale on the diagram above. More is to come on this article on how the change in climate patterns are never “subtle”….

http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/natural-cycle

 

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The Darkest Hour

And it’s not because of the electricity bill.

When we thought it was already unbearable it only gets worse. The last couple of weeks have reached a climax that even the grotesque satire of a corrupt and desensitized government could barely equal.

Where to start without finding matter for despair? When half a million dollars gets handed over to a selected few without any tender process in an attempt to cover the lack of support toward environmental change?

When some “National Energy Guarantee” plan desperately tries  to bind together the vote of the electors by promising cheaper energy rates and the Paris agreement energy target?

Well, in the light that this magic trick was a bit too thin to hold, the PM panicked and in a desperate attempt to convince voters, out of the two, dumped the energy target!

Now he’s hanging for his job against a hate-filled control freak who has an history of cheap political stunts and mealy-mouthed words. Someone whose policies might bring an end to freedom via a super policed state, big brother scenario and disastrous international relationships.

Something is sure, after months of trying to put the light on anything else than climate and energy debate, because it is too inconvenient, the attention has come back like a bull and Malcolm will pay the price. Australians care for their environment as they witness wild fires, distraught farmers in drought, the extinction of species, intense deforestation and the agony of the reef. They care for the energy debate and how they will still be able to turn on their aircon and filter their swimming pool. They care about the origin of their food and who owns the farms that put food on their table. They care about the population growth and the limit of resources.

There is just no one who can address the debate correctly. No one who can name concrete measures to solve this climate riddle. Why?

Because growth and capitalism are based on infinite resources. Something that the short-sighted industrials and lobbies have neglected to tell to the wider public. How to create and generate profits if all sudden they are consequences to consume more?

If you listen attentively to the political debate nowadays (even if you don’t pay too much attention), you will notice that everything the MPs are trying to sell us revolves around “how it will be cheaper for the consumer”. As if money gain was the only interest for Australians, as if we were for sale, like cheap prostitutes, ready to hand out our votes for a few coins. Are we?

On the radio, some MP blatantly assured that small and average businesses issue number one was to have smaller electricity bills so they could hand out pay rises to their employees. As if! Please name one who does and I build a shrine for them. How about incentives to bring small and average businesses to USE LESS POWER HUNGRY SOLUTIONS? How about energy savings initiative support? After all, if small businesses can’t align their figures with a competitive market and reduce their energy needs to be more competitive, is lowering the cost of electricity beneficial? Or is it just putting the whole economy on a drip while we happily continue to burn our 22 Megatons of Co2e each… annually?

How will a lower cost of electricity actually allows us to ever reach our Paris target agreement?

Nevertheless; that we all know; these are lies, nothing never gets cheaper, inflation is part of an healthy growing capitalist economy. The concerning truth is that: they don’t know. They can’t reconcile economy interests and Paris climate agreements. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean it can’t be done, they just are too scared to take string positions towards real problems.

A political scene of muppets, an outrageous farce, a bloody circus.

It’s time for a change. We all know this. And while the white extremists and hate-filled culturally impaired fascists are still at bay, we should fill the gap before we get the stick.

It isn’t the darkest hour yet, but if you do nothing and just watch this non-sense parody of democracy, soon enough it will be.

Ecovolution·Saturday, 22 April 2017

 

Introduction – Getting the Global picture on carbon consumption.

Every few years, our governments gather to “discuss” climate change. Reports on the effects of our greenhouse gas emissions are published and possible “end of the world” scenarios are talked through. Before the weather was a light subject to discuss; nowadays it is a source of controversy. There are the ones who “don’t want to believe” in climate change, the ones who don’t really understand why it is so much a problem (“ Earth has been here for millions of year and will survive us anyway”) and even the ones who are “against” it. There have been so many excuses mentioned mainly for these two reasons:

No one wants to give up a comfort that they were not entitled to have in the first place.

No one wants to believe that we have to make efforts to change things. Most of the people hope to be able to go on with our lifestyle without trouble.

As a result the whole responsibility (because people want to be reassured politically) rests with our political leaders in this instant.

They are paid and elected to make promises on carbon reduction schemes for which they have not the remote idea how they will implement it. Policies are drafted and discussed without a realistic way or plan to implement it. They will relay their promises to the executives of the industry and the head of the different departments and this will be all. A screen of smoke in the face of the electors. They can make some progress for sure; but they can’t switch a whole economy; from fossils fuel to renewable energy, with the time they have; about twenty years. Certainly not when the vast majority of the people is engaged in a race to consume more, to consume worse, cheap and to discard without second thought.

So, in order to give everyone a bit of clarity, I propose that we should all be informed of what is our tab in carbon emissions at the individual level and understand how it plays a role at the national level .

We should know what businesses produce more CO2 and see measures scheduled and implemented to reduce it. We should ask for constants reports of the progress and expect results to follow.

If we unify a movement behind the values of a responsible quantifiable commitment toward our environment, we will sail out of the storm wet but safe. Preparing ourselves to achieve a sustainable future is the biggest bet that the human civilization has had ever to face. This is a non negotiable step since the rise of modern medicine if we want to assure the conservation of our modern evolved and complex societies.

New Concept: How to save the planet, a model of consumption for a carbon diet.

Consuming is a hard habit. Our society is built on this. But there is a limit. Only a hundred years ago, each household item was carefully catered and quality was primordial over quantity. The manufacture of goods was expensive and the renewal of equipment occasional. We are now into an economy promoting goods with short lifespan. We have to replace everything on a regular basis to follow the trend, evolution or degradation of the items we buy. The quality is going down as we are scaling our production plants but the prices stay the same or increase. We “all want better” is the motto but what we really have is less quality choice at the same price than before. We also have less time in our hands because we spend it thinking of the next thing to replace. The illusion of choice leads us to more consumption and make us fit into a society where no one is never satisfied. This frenetic use of resources is a Damocles sword hovering over our head because every single item displayed in shops is a carbon hole. To have such prices, they are produced into countries where the labor is cheap. Nothing wrong with this. However the expense of fuel used into logistics to transport all these products is terrifying. Also is the amount of packaging employed to avoid the spoiling of the products during the transfer defy comprehension. Some fruits and veggies are even transported by plane!

The manufacturing of products itself is a frenzy of unnecessary carbon emission wastage from the various heating required for processed food to the synthesis of chemicals such as preservatives, colorants, emulsifiers, enhancers, acidity corrector and so on…

Finally, the result of such efforts to produce food is used in only a small percentage as the vast majority finishes in the bin.

There is something that an alert consumer should be able to ask for each product:

The Carbon Emission Index (CEI) also commonly “carbon footprint”.

On the same principle that we know how much nutrition there is in our processed food, we should be able to know how much carbon dioxide has been released into the atmosphere during the complete process of producing, manufacturing, packaging and delivering each product. This should be measured in grams and displayed clearly onto the packaging. Then the consumer could choose to spend more money or less in carbon efficient goods. After all, each product has been using a parcel of the carbon available on our planet and we should be able to ponder the value of it against the price of the product to make our choice.

On the next step, we could be to be able to quantify our carbon print in our everyday life and have the ways to reduce it. When I says quantify, I am thinking of an electronic wallet of Carbon Units. Everytime you buy anything; the carbon balance is updated with the carbon emission index (CEI) value of what you just bought. You can keep track exactly on how your daily choices influence the balance, publish it, compare and compete with your friends.

STEP 1: Educating the consumers, a Carbon Emission Index for all products (2 YEARS)

In our everyday life, we are fairly well educated beings. We take thousands of decisions a day whether we drive our cars, exchange with our friends, do our jobs and for sure; choose the products we buy. When it comes to shopping, it’s almost an art for many people. Getting the right product in the right quantity at the right time with the right image we want to attach to it.

Marketing teams thrive on this and most of them are pretty good in making us believe that the values we defend are exactly (why not?) the ones they stick on their products. It’s a delirious display of colors, material, images and clever sentences.

There is one thing which largely drives our decisions when buying something: the price. However, more and more, values and ethic are a growing advantage in regards to the average consumer. Most of us would spend the extra dollar to get in their trolley the brand of oats they used to have as a kid or the packaging which promises that the chicken has been running “free range,” making friends. The “something” Free has become a trend so strong that they even promise you the obvious. For example “permeate free” on the milk makes as much sense as selling eggs guaranteed with natural shells. Therefore, you have to decide if you want either the organic, the fair-trade product, the branded product, the cheap generic one. This is paired with how you identify yourself: respectively a greenie, someone who care for social fairness, someone who trust brands and ads or someone who just wants the cheapest whether it’s because they can’t afford the other products or because they have no concern for value attached to products.

Is it worth more to have the warranty that the brand has been on the market for 50 years or that they don’t use this and this chemical? Would you go for the GMO Free or the preservatives Free or the Organic version (which could be GMO!)? Is it especially suitable for children? Are you sure that no slave labor has been use in its manufacturing? Why does it have to come all the way from Finland? And so on…

Then you have the combination of one or several factors and promises. But six months later, the product changes again, it gets a new packaging, a new set of promises more fantastic, the price drops a bit and the quality is not as it used to be. In this shemozzle of choice the tricks are many and the honesty of some labels doubtful. It’s often that you would see leaves, green packaging and healthy looking people on products which are neither organic neither chemical free.

Even Coca-Cola and Macdonald followed the trend these last years with their new green logo for the fast-food company and their green label for the famous beverage corporation. They haven’t changed their product one inch but somehow their marketing teams got the feedback that “green “was good. It reflected a positive image in people minds being widely associated with healthy sustainable natural progressive values. Where does the scam start and where does the bullshit stop?

I mean, they are the same people who consciously, out of economical reasons, decided to feed cows with flour originated from fish… Therefore creating the mad cow disease out of disrespect for the more basic evolutionary laws: the separation of herbivores and carnivores. How could they care less for the potential consequences on their consumer health in a twenty years period? How should they feel concerned about their way of production wasting the resources of the planet when they are playing smoke and mirrors with the continual change of products? They are only operating a seduction process rapidly coupled with a mass production profit.

Their company image is all about promising what they can achieve and no one is here to assess what they can deliver. They sell more on fairy dust, they win, and they change and so on… Who actually cares in getting the right message, the right information to make a change?

It’s YOU and only YOU;

At the moment you grab the package from the shelf and you put it in your trolley (or your recycled reusable bag). YOU (your children, your loved ones) will be the one eating what you purchased, wearing what you elected, and driving what you have been saving for. And at the present day you are missing a very important piece of information each time you make a decision.

You are missing a key indicator on how much damage you are doing to your environment (or not, but let’s admit it we are all consumers). You don’t know for sure how a product is better for our environment than another. You need a number on each product you are considering buying, it’s the Carbon Index. Or more precisely the Carbon Emission Index (CEI). How much CO2 has been emitted during the full life cycle of the product. How many volumes of carbon have been released in the atmosphere during the design, prototyping, production, packaging, transport and disposing/recycling of the product.

This information should be calculated per unit of product (packet, loaf, brick, bottle) based on an average taken from the energy consumption of the company producing it, the energy (CEI) involved in the process of each components including packaging, the amount of fuel (CEI) burned over the number of miles travelled and finally the estimated carbon release (CEI) for the disposal of it (burning or burying) or for the recycling at the end of the product’s lifetime.

The display of such crucial information should help the customer to get a better picture of the impact of his choice. After all, we have been fed for years with the nutritional value on packets and a clear mandatory display of the price per kilo for each product. These two measures have been essential tools for most of us to decide which product to choose as per we are favoring an honest price or a reasonable diet. Many of our households are familiar with budget restrictions requirements or either special diet due to intolerances, allergies or health issues. We already pay a special attention to the price per kg when we want to avoid tricky packaging. We already read (less common) the nutritional value to monitor our fat/sugar/sodium intake.

Our planet, our human race, our country, needs to go on an even more important diet. The carbon diet is the bet that our generation can achieve. It is the goal that most of the people around at the moment have their eyes fixed on. But the question we often hear is HOW? And the answer which is the most heard is that it will be hard, it will be almost impossible, that we need to feel guilty, that the change will probably never happen, that it is too late, that we are not even sure it is needed and so on… When we hear this despair and denial, it’s easy to go on with our life and forget about it.

It’s even more a betrayal to our environment to donate money to a green association and continue our life as a carbonivore. So many people say that they support green ideas but they continue to buy new cars, to consume frenetically and they would not change their lifestyle or switch their energy consumption pattern because it would put them out of their zone of comfort. They still book planes tickets for remote exotic destinations without worrying on how their carbon footprint grows the size of a mountain. And how could they change? There is nothing clear to help them look ahead, no way of measuring their results after sacrifices to the consumption habit.

A Carbon Emission Index on each product would change this. It would be a lead light to guide us in making better choices for every single item we look at; absolutely EVERYTHING should have a CEI displayed on it. We could compare, we could judge, we could understand, we could elect or we could sanction.

Even more, each individual would know for sure how responsible he/she is toward the planet. There would be then, no excuse as we didn’t know how much our consumption habits can be regulated to ensure our lifestyle while we are conscious that the environment doesn’t suffer from it. Some would say that human nature is devoted to vice; therefore you witness people with grave heart issues (and a medical need for a diet) who still continue buying sodas and fast food. Out of the same principles, would the human specie be doomed and create their own abnegation while they were completely conscious of it and didn’t act?

Would the lemming law prevail?

Many, nowadays are solving the issue with their conscience by answering yes to that question. They even mention that after all, we would surely deserve it. Why? Out of the guilty trip so well propagated by religion? Should be all be punished for our sins? I’d like to stand and say it clearly,

“NO, WE DON’T DESERVE TO BE PUNISHED, WE CAN EVOLVE.”

We have the unique chance of being able to communicate our ideas widely, fast and we can implement radical solutions thanks to our technologies and internet. What we need is a little discipline and a lot of commitment for our environment and the generation to come.

We all have that, surely? Then a measured sacrifice of our needs should do the trick if everyone does it, keep it simple, keep it informed. You are the one driving the business activity and not the reverse. A Carbon Emission Index on each product would educate everyone and help for a rational conscious choice. It would force the companies to be more inventive and efficient in supplying products. And we would see the arising of a new consciousness in this world: we don’t need to destroy to consume, we can also produce at an individual level, we need to achieve better steps toward self sustainability. Greediness is the worst evil; wisdom comes out of balance; the middle way; it’s time for humans to rise above their social image issue and focus on enjoying a meaningful life linked with a healthy environment and future.

STEP 2: Implementation of Carbon (CEI) Accounting (2YEARS)

Getting clear and meaningful information of our impact at the personal level on the planet will be a major step to help us to choose better products, fresher products and from more genuine origins. The Carbon Emission Index would be the fairest way to do it, a number related to the actual impact that a product has on our environment. It would be exact and accurate in the same way than we are getting the nutritional value of product. It has to be a calculated number and not flags, ratings or logos.

The Carbon Emission Index being a number ensures that one could learn how everything adds up at the end of the month. You can have a clear idea of how much a bag of shopping which will last you 2 weeks actually worth in CEI Units. If a majority of people were to be informed on this, we would have then a solid start to actually bring the change.

At the moment, the tool is not here to guide us in the right direction. As a result we care somewhat but we have no way to measure our improvement or to be rewarded for our achievement on driving our energy consumption down. We should know, we should try, we should compare and even one day we might compete to drive our carbon emissions down. After all, most of us already know about KPI’s, Key Performance Indicators, commonly used in the workplace to enhance commitment and efficiency.

The Carbon Emission Index would be a KPI of well living in accordance with our resources.

It will refrain us for being carbon gluttons without making our capitalist/consumption driven society crash down. It will stimulate our local economy and diversify our jobs offers.

So this second step would require some systems to be implemented. The supermarkets should be active actors of it by allowing the Carbon Emission Index to be entered in their database for each product they sell. Each Carbon Emission Index would be communicated to the shops as being the result of the production to which the shop would add the transport and storage.

For the transport, average values rounded to the next 100 kms would be calculated and the energy consumption for storage would be included. Due to the complexity of some solutions (production and logistics), the level of detail and exactness on how the Carbon Emission Index is calculated has to be defined by a norm. Norms already exist and are widely applicable.

We can setup a system of standard values for each 100 km travelled as well as standard values for packaging solutions depending on the volume and the amount of plastic used. Committees of audit would be created and they would ensure by sampling and control that the Carbon Emission Indexes are in agreement with the rules of calculations defined by the norm. ( ISO/TS 14067:2013 based on International Standards on life cycle assessment ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 )

There is nothing new in all of this; most of the businesses apply quality norms already (ISO 9001 for example) to answer a requirement from their customers. The nutritional value is required for any food product. This is just a new way to look and measure the true impact of our activity and report it at a personal level. It would be relatively easy to implement given the technologies we have nowadays.The benefit from it would be huge: we would know for sure how each of us can drive his effort to reduce our impact on the environment. This carbon accounting could be linked as a data with our credit cards or be registered separately on a special carbon consumer card attributed to each person. We could use apps to manage it. We could see our impact in a year and why not be rewarded for it through tax returns?

This idea might scare a great amount of people as it looks complex and it would point out how our lifestyle and ecological convictions are working sometimes against each other. This idea was born out of the observation that many of us today would like to do more but lack the direction or the discipline to do it.

For example, many of my friends are proud of saying that they support all sort of green movement financially, they buy all their food organic so they consider themselves already doing their maximum. However, if you start mentioning their 4×4 that they change every two years, the fact that they crank up the air con in summer, their holidays on the other side of the planet, they get all defensive. We are not ready to sacrifice our own comfort to some extend and the “green” image is a nice façade useful to socialize. The carbon accounting would help us to realize what important changes we can makes if we use common transportation, get better isolation or a house more efficient energetically, buy our furniture made locally and go to some paradisiacal place in our own country for holidays.

This very system is designed to give you power to enforce rationally and gradually balanced habits of consumptions. I can already hear the cries of despair from the ones still believing in the traditional opposition between social development and free market. We are not talking of this yet but the common idea that carbon economy is bad for business is largely overdue by now. These old concepts opposing drastic communism against blazing capitalism are from another time when we were not able to think out of the box. Now with our technologies and our ways of communication, the movement should grow and prosper. It should be the incentive of growth in reasonable volumes and would help to reduce the gap in social classes. This would particularly be the case with the implementation of the very next step.

STEP 3: Setting the limits, an average objective to control our emissions. (3YEARS and beyond)

I understand that the following description might raise a fair amount of protest and incredulity from the opponents to any ecological change. It is developed to explain how to bring back the consumption system into control without over regulation of the market, without over protection and a complicated set of laws to protect our economy. The idea itself is self regulating and pushes the consumer to limit and plan its resources use in a better way.

Once the step 1 (information and education) and the step 2 (accounting) are implemented, we have good hopes that the step 3 will be asked by the large conscious majority when it becomes mandatory for the change to happen due to an increase of difficult economic conditions linked to the climate.

We are talking of limitations.

A simple calculation of the average over the country of the current Carbon Emission consumption per inhabitant per year would show where we are at presently. This could already be estimated over the industrial activity of the country but it wouldn’t be as accurate or have as much impact than if each one of us knows where he is standing compared to the actual average. It makes sense to consider that the average should be calculated by age bracket.

Then an environmental study would provide the actual value what the average should be for us to limit our Carbon Emission at a reasonable level and therefore ensure a foreseeable future. The climate summit in Paris already define a limit: we have to limit our emissions limit global warming by 2C.

There the limit should be set. Whether gradually or in a hurry; it would be for the citizens to vote for when the plan is designed for implementation. There are good chances that by then, tragic weather events would show how limited time we have to go on our carbon diet.

And this is when things would start to get interesting: we would ALL be a part of this commitment and the carbon monitoring would be part of everyday life. The same way that we started brushing our teeth, that we stopped using lead based products, stopped using CFC gas, monitor our diet, we would together operate the change to save the planet.

How would this happen? Well, each one of us would have a Carbon Account setup (thanks to step 2) with the little difference that it would be limited to a maximum corresponding of the average value needed to operate the change. A little bit like when you have prepaid credit on your phone, every year, each resident would be allowed the same amount of carbon (the average value) defined per age bracket. Once the account consumption reaches that value, the account owner would not be allowed to purchase anything else, his ways of payment would be temporally suspended whatever amount of money he has on his account. But that’s not the end.

The beauty of this is in the ability to trade CEI at a micro-level via network platforms accessible from your phone. Let’s say, some student or single mum knows already that their way of life allow them to use a very small amount of CEI (they don’t own a car, are in a shared apartment, buy second hand clothes, and use low CEI food). Therefore they can offer their estimated surplus to buyers and the market laws would do the rest. The Carbon Emission Unit would then have a value and the market would be self regulating. Even better, you would be rewarded financially for having less impact on the planet but everything you would buy with this extra money will also cost you carbon emissions. So a careful watch for the best quality you can have for money AND carbon emissions, would be necessary. You will push our system to produce better quality lasting products not just cheap disposable junk.

What’s in for the ones who want to have it all? The sport car, the mega mansion, the swimming pool? Well they will have two choices: either they self regulate themselves and opt for solutions less hungry in carbon, either they pay for the surplus they can’t help but consume. It will cost you a lot more to live an irresponsible life toward the planet. It can be fair enough given that threatening the future for the next generations, carbon wise, might be considered as a crime one day. Who knows?

Some might cry against it as an authoritarian way to restrict our liberty to consume and burn carbon in a frenzy debauchery of consumption. There are so many things that could be answered to that cry, but the main ones are the following:

When the action of an individual or a group of individuals endangers directly the living conditions of the rest of the group, we have to regulate upon it in the interest of the majority. In this case, our debauchery in carbon emissions is now life threatening for the human race. So get on with it.

– People take for granted their right to exploit and abuse the resources of our environment. This could go on so long as we didn’t have the knowledge of our impact, the proof that the planet was sensible to it and technologies to fix it. We now have all the three of the latter and more. The fact that you want to believe it or not, is one of the last barrier and it is mostly linked to your refusal of giving up some of the comfort you had for free. Please Evolve.

– We are utterly powerless against the consequences of an exponential climate change. The only way to avoid the worst would be to act now before it is too late. You are the only one who can do it, a human being.

STEP 4: Carbon trading at micro level, consequences of a balanced system. (within 10 YEARS)

Selling the carbon you don’t use is not a new idea. This has already been implemented between companies in a worldwide regulated carbon market. This was an idea to regulate the emissions and the easy way to implement it was to deal with businesses. The main problem is that not everyone complies with it. It was based on good will. Businesses have thousands reasons not to be inclined toward a consequential effort on their carbon print. This would change if you are the one driving the request. And also, in our beautiful capitalist societies, the demand has to be answered. The demand comes from the consumers who are completely uninformed of the carbon levels used to produce the goods they choose. They go following their fancies (and the TV that tells them what to get) and the businesses follow. In a delirious cost reduction scheme to win the market, producers have implemented solutions extremely cheap but also extremely carbon hungry. Let’s reestablish the balance.

Mass production on the other side of the planet for complex items requiring a great amount of components and a fair amount of plastic involves convoluted logistics chain. Some of them requiring parts to cross three or four border each, using a different way of transportation every time. Some products have gone twice around the globe before they get served to the consumer. They travel more than you. Do you think this is normal? Is it reasonable to have strawberries produced in Australia, send to Thailand for processing (cleaning, sorting); packaged and then send them back to Australia to be sold? Apparently it makes sense in a pure economical way, because petrol is so cheap as well as labor cost overseas. However with a CEI index, the company would need to find a more efficient solution and bring back a bit of good old logical sense in its supply chain.

There would be many consequences in micro trading carbon. First, it would probably create carbon banks: you sell them your surplus of carbon credits and they offer them to the market and the bidding. We can imagine carbon banks actually purchasing land and planting trees back to create more carbon credit available. This already exists but it would become common practice and some farmers might find more interesting to plant a forest than growing wheat. People could even live in these forests (as long as they don’t cut too many trees) in fully sustainable units. The carbon local trading scheme would enhance local economy, promote handmade goods and revalue the second hand market.

A little word on second hand goods: it would become advantageous to use and re use second hand goods as their resale carbon weight would be close to zero. They already have been produced and bought, therefore the CEI cost has already been paid by the first buyer. Exception for one little thing remaining: the CEI required for disposing of the item (carbon emissions to recycle or dispose the item). This last part of the CEI could be transferred from the second hand buyer to the first buyer if they agree upon it. Therefore, you would save your CEI credits by buying second hand goods compared to new goods and the seller of second hand items would find in its actual possessions a mine of CEI credits.

It is really important that when a second hand transaction happens, only the CEI cost to dispose the product would be passed onto the new owner. Why not pass the entire CEI cost to the second hand buyer? Well, this is debatable but one of the obvious consequences if we were to transfer the entire CEI cost form one buyer to the other would be the following: someone would stay stuck with the rotten apple. In other terms, the second hand market would include a certain number of risks and people would not care about the system. They would then buy always new items, use all their carbon credits and the whole country could be carbon broke.

It’s a bit like when you buy something and then you sell it on gumtree: you buy a saucepan 100 dollars and then you might sell it used on gumtree or ebay for 30 dollars. When you sell something second hand, you are prepared to bear a cost. It is just the same with CEI cost. If you buy an item new, you should bear the weight of the carbon emitted through their production, transportation, packaging. After all you are the one who commanded and justified the production of this item; information that you give to the company producing it by buying it new. They will plan their production numbers accordingly as per the demand requested for new items bought. Their energy bill (and carbon emission) will follow this trend.

However, the next person who will buy your used item will only take advantage of an already produced good available to the market. His action of acquiring it will not produce a hint to companies to make a new one, therefore, he is not responsible for any production/transportation/packaging cost but he will be theoretically the one responsible to dispose of the item (unless he resell it on the second hand market). This justifies the fact that he should bear in advance the CEI cost of disposal and refund this amount to the seller of the second hand item.

What about the cost of life, then? Well, we might expect an inflation of prices as the total of CEI credits of a country would be a fixed quantity defined for the year, with exception of how many carbon banks decide to repopulate areas with trees. On the other hand, the economy being localized, there would be a lowering impact on prices as the logistics cost, storage, import taxes, complexity would decrease.

We might see an inflated CEI market toward the end of the year when everyone would run out but then, people could still resort to neighborhood production which would be almost carbon free. They would be forced to take their bicycle more often instead of driving their car a couple of kilometers to the supermarket.

We might see more local initiatives and people producing some of their basic food like bread, milk, yoghurt, cheese, butter, eggs, and vegetables. The handmade market would surely be flourishing and things like timber work and sewing/knitting/crocheting might come back in fashion. All of this would happen because everyone will want to save their CEI credits for a fancy holiday, a car (however these might as well disappear soon, leaving the place for electrical shared vehicles) and electronics.

If you plan to make an investment and buy a TV for example, or something that is extremely CEI costly, you will be able to plan over a certain number of years the use of your CEI cost. It would be your role to choose a compromise between a low CEI and a long estimated product life.

The industry of services might do very well. They are virtually carbon free businesses: marketing, health practitioners (the drugs have all a carbon cost though), counselors, consultants, teachers, council workers and politicians (as long as they cut down on helicopter trips). Basically the principle of this system is that it would cost you more to spend more, but only on carbon hungry solutions.

Basically, if you have a comfortable level of life and already consume in accordance with caution and monitoring your carbon print, there will be no change for you. You might even find that at the end of the year you might be able to cash some rewards for the extra CEI you haven’t used.

If you are struggling at the end of the month but you know how to get things locally and limit your energy needs to what you can afford, then you might be able to increase your income by reselling the CEI units you don’t need to use.

If you drive a hummer, spend your week-ends on your motorboat roaring around, have a black brick house with black tiles roof, the aircon cranked at the maximum, eat frozen prepackaged food and book holidays to Thailand, Mexico and the US; then you will see your cost of life certainly double or triple until you figure a way to regulate your consumption like everyone else. After all it’s time to give a fuck about the planet and your co-citizens.

If you are struggling with our income and buy the cheap chinese crap products or imported European rubbish, with the CEI you will not be able to afford them anymore. Instead you will be forced to review your consumption habits and buy local, handcrafted goods. Buy Australian, buy less but buy better.

It would teach you to be carbon wise. Simply because the resources on the planet are not infinite, you should spend only what Earth can spare, only what you are entitled to, as an active citizen of a great nation. And if you know how to live simply, with a very low carbon foot print while you are still enjoying your life, you will definitely be rewarded for it.

Conclusion: On a wider perspective, the YING and Yang of Economy.

The concept of carbon price presented as a “carbon tax” is far from new. It has been applied for the last decade in different forms. The incentive was to address directly the companies and make them pay for the carbon consumed. As a direct consequence, they reflected an increase on the prices on the final product corresponding (theorically) to the amount of carbon used in their supply chain processes.

This had two outcomes: an inflation of prices decried by many as a brake for consumption. They accused the carbon tax to be an obstacle to the healthy development of the Australian Economy. People cried for the injustice made to the companies and the fact that Australians had already to pay to many taxes.

There was another effect more subtle and a lot more disastrous: the companies; forced to compete on the prices; chose to cut the quality in materials of their products because it was less costly instead of investing into more sustainable processes. They went for simpler solutions they could control and preferred to pay out for more carbon emissions than upgrading their production solutions. So the consumer found itself paying more for products which were of a pitiful quality, using resources by the truckload.

This happened because the cost of carbon credit calculation wasn’t treated differently from the global cost of the product. It had been incorporated through complicated estimations including profit percentages and risk assessments. This was completely non- transparent to the final consumer who at the end only saw an increase in price and couldn’t decide in the plethora of labels selling the green image. Smoke and mirrors.

Let’s call a cat, a cat.

The Carbon Emission Index scheme would counter balance the effect of inflation and overgrowth of consumption eventually leading to consuming only the right amount.

Let’s educate widely on carbon dioxide emissions, let’s the people appreciate the weight of impact of products they choose to acquire.

Because the amount of CEI available for consumption at the national level would be finite, it would act as a dampening effect. But it wouldn’t limit the economy. The competition would still be open. I only would be creating an economical climate favorable for the most quality enhanced products.

There are two questions which immediately arise:

1- What if no one cares? And everyone spend a lot more above their average putting the country into a “carbon broke” state?

This is impossible as the limitations when they come in place would be based on the average by age bracket. Also, the implementation of Carbon Consumption ceiling would come after 4 years of educating the consumers and training everyone to monitor their carbon accounting. By then goods habits would already have emerged and hopefully a majority of products would be carbon low.

2- Does it not just sum up as giving to every Australians a maximum budget to spend in their year to ensure their lifestyle? Therefore the complete system of salaries has to be indexed and reviewed to maintain controlled system? Eventually leading to devaluation of the Australian currency and prices inflation?

It’s a budget of a kind, I agree. But it is linked directly to the amount of carbon emission you consume. So if you’re good at it, you can have more useful quality items. Nothing proves that you need more anyway but the capitalist driven society, how about learning some arts? Music? Reading, creating, teaching? Spend more time on this and you will need less “things”.

We have been educated with the black and white scheme of economy. Communism versus capitalism and we all have heard than these two theories are the only ones who could model an economic reality for our societies. There were both wrong in establishing a balanced and fair society.

Communism, while probably very efficient to help a community very disadvantaged at the beginning; is quickly overridden by the greed and the control of a few individuals. It also restricts private liberties and doesn’t leave you the choice to choose for yourself.

On the other end of the scale, Capitalism through an abundance of choices creates enormous disparities within the wealth of the population. A large amount of people have no access to correct healthcare and barely make more than what they need to live; while less than 1% bath themselves in decadent luxury, owning 99% of the wealth.

What if we mix them together into a healthy mix? And for doing this we need to link our monetary system to a value which exists finitely and has a meaning physically: Carbon Emission Index. Its amount is finite on the planet and it goes through a perpetual cycle. But we still allow growth and competition with an underlying limit. As you get a better growth and better fruits through pruning and trimming the dead branches of a tree; you would get a healthier growth in products quality and offer once you regulate to avoid carbon hungry solutions to be sold.

But there is the trick: with the Global Carbon Emission Index Management Plan, you won’t have to regulate against anyone! You won’t have to decide as a rule who is green and who is not, the public will do it for you by choosing the product the most efficient carbon wise. This could mean less norms and complicated Tariff importation codes. No protection needed either than the imperative labeling of CEI on all products.

I call it the Ying and Yang principle of economy because the two opposite most powerful forces would be at work: the law of the market of demand and offer on one side pushing for expansion and the carbon reality of our emissions limiting the consumer in their choices. They are linked together and should bring a stable situation to an empirical sustainable growth.

Should we trust ourselves to go the right way once we have this power of deciding for the planet really given back to us? I think so. I believe that humans can achieve self control and sustainability with the right information and tools. Almost everyone today is concerned by the future of our planet and the wild weather events experienced over the last few years. People know but feel powerless. They are powerless at the moment and need to be given back the liberty to decide for our production systems. They can do it by voting, buying is voting and we love it!

It also a question of control, limits and actively budgeting our carbon emissions needs. Look, thousand of households do it already successfully with money. They know how to save! No one complains that there is a limit of the amount of money you can borrow! Well carbon emissions are just the same, just consider that we borrow from the planet to enjoy our lifestyle but we have to be sure that we don’t borrow too much or, like a very mean mafia godfather, our planet Earth will pay herself in human cost.Some would say ;

“Yes, but we can’t influence on other countries which import goods in our economy”. That’s exactly why the CEI (Carbon Emission Index) accounting scheme, our solution for our future; will help to give an indicative to the neighboring countries on how “carbon clean” we want our products.

Conclusions

The Global Carbon Emission Index Plan could start tomorrow. You could know what you consume and how much your everyday efforts make a difference. Let’s ask to vote for it. Let’s legislate to get it started.

You are the consumer; you are the one to decide where you want to spend your money. In these times it is as important as voting. Let’s face it; you are voting every day, you are giving money to defend principles. Do you want to eat sweet greasy junk food packaged in bright colors or do you want be able to take your son fishing and see him still catching some fish? Do you want to crack up some dollars in a junk shop filling up your house up to the ceiling with dust catching meaningless items? Or do you want be sure that the Great Barrier Reef will still be there to take your grand kids and not just show them a pretty picture?

It is your choice, now. Let’s make understand the big companies that the change is needed for yesterday and that they are late. It should take less than a generation to avoid the catastrophe.

Enough of the preservatives, we want to eat fresh. Enough of the colors and chemicals, we want to taste safe. Enough of the brain washing screens and ads for shampoos, we want to smell less. Enough of a consumption driven society where unhappy people get their will and wallets dictated by brain washing; plundered to their ears by the industrial lobbies.

I call for a Revolution, an Eco Revolution, which would actually be a Human Evolution of our consciousness on how to deal with our surroundings, to fully integrate our development with our planet. AN ECOVOLUTION. Silent and peaceful but effective. We need to bring back the Earth to a balanced diet of carbon; we need to save it, our world. It is essential to have a will; to make every human aware of its own impact, of the emergency and the hope behind each choice of consumption.

Ecovolution is the key for the future, a shared wisdom based on technology for the sake of humanity, a system of balanced needs and workable accomplishments. Ecovolution will reduce the disparities in our societies as well as our stress for development. It will balance the need for growth and reinstate a fulfilling philosophy of awareness. It might be the very next step required by our human race to reach higher levels of consciousness.

The Journey Begins

Welcome and thank you for taking two minutes to learn about this project.

It started due to a major concern for the consequence of climate change on the environment and its threat to biodiversity as well as ecosystems. This project addresses human induced climate change by proposing a new way, very simple, easy to implement, to control our carbon footprint as a society. Please read the article named “The Global Index Carbon Management Plan” and share your comments.

I plan to grow the idea as much I can, to get something effective started. So if you like the concept, don’t hesitate to msg me if you want to get involved.

The project aims to network, communicate and spread the concept as much as possible; the publication of a free ebook soon to come with more details about the action plan as well as more graphics to be added to the drafts.

A crowdfunding will be created very soon to gather the first funds to get the political party “Ecovolution” going, the creation of an official website, the production of information videos and campaigning materials.

The ultimate goal would be to bring this to parliament and make the voice of Australian people, proactively saving the planet, being heard. If you have had enough of making constant efforts and tired to see no results around you, please join us. Good reading and keep your hopes up. together, we’ll get there. Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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