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CARBON DIET to save the World - Future Action

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The 10 Step Carbon Diet - to save our future world

Expect much of our world to adopt a strict carbon diet.  As with any diet you can eat what you like from time to time.  It’s the overall balance that really matters.  So with carbon dieting we can expect people will make choices.  We may chose for example to continue to burn a lot of carbon in planes, but still be carbon-light because so little carbon is used in future in heating our homes or driving our cars.

So what is the 10 step CARBON DIET?

C      Carbon capture

A      Alternative energy

R      Recycling

B      Building to last

O      Offsetting

N      Neutral life

and then....

D      Damage limitation

I      Insulation

E      Electric vehicles

T      Taxation and subsidies

C - Carbon capture

This is the big one:  expect targets to capture at least 90% of all carbon dioxide at every coal and gas power station where geologically possible, and store it deep underground, for example in empty gas fields as a compressed gas (sequestration).  This doubles the cost of electricity generation, but when you add in distribution, marketing, billing and other costs the actual difference in price to the consumer is only around 20%, even using today’s technology.  Phased in over 20 years, we will hardly notice a difference, particularly as lights, heating and appliances become far more efficient. And remember that next-generation sequestration technologies will be far cheaper to run.

A - Alternative energy

Many hundreds of millions of households will play a small part in energy production using solar cells on roofs of homes, solar heating panels, wind turbines, geothermal heat pumps and other technologies.

R – Recycling

Huge amounts of carbon are wasted every year because of lack of recycling.  This is a powerful way every person can save energy.  Linked to recycling is making things last longer in the first place.  Every manufacturing and construction process uses energy.  The same is true of car manufacturing, length of life of fridges, washing machines and so on.

B – Building to Last

Two of the most significant elements in the lifetime energy use of a building are in construction and demolition (up to 30% when added together).  Every year that is added to the length of life of a new building represents a major energy saving.

O- Offsetting

Offsetting is a powerful and rapid way that any business or household can make a difference.  However this complex area is open to major fraud. Its easy to spend a lot of money with zero global benefit.  The real issue is additionality:  does my offset programme really create an additional reduction in emissions compared to what would have happened anyway?

N - Neutral life

One step further than offsetting, which is a fairly crude way to re-engineer the future and ultimately limited in scope as easy opportunities to trade carbon savings start to become scarce.

Neutral life means living in such a way that our entire day to day existence on balance uses no more carbon than is saved.

CARBON steps are not enough - another 4 completes the  DIET

D - Damage limitation

Decisions will be taken to reduce or eliminate negative effects of climate change – for example planting drought-resistant plants in gardens or parks to reduce strain on public water supplies.

I – Insulation

Obvious, easy, short pay-back period.  Few home owners or commercial real estate companies have taken this seriously in the past. Take for example the fact that most hotels in Middle East desert areas have no double glazing, despite temperatures soaring to around 50 degrees in the Summer.  Insulation against heat is just as important in many countries as insulation against cold.

E - Electric vehicles

If we decide to burn most carbon at power stations where it can easily be captured and stored, and invest heavily in alternative power creation, then the obvious next step will be to ensure that most new vehicles are electric powered.  This will require major advances in battery technology (which we will see soon), and will also solve the growing menace of air pollution in major cities.

T – Taxation

We tend to think of taxation as a negative thing, but in a carbon diet world the aim will be to encourage healthy balance with both positive and negative incentives. Expect zero tax some nations for many carbon reducing technologies.

Energy markets have been distorted for many decades by governments, who have poured vast subsidies into coal mining and nuclear power, while spending almost nothing in comparison on solar cell technology or geothermal heating systems.  Expect this to change rapidly over next 5-10 years.  This will be partly to encourage home-grown industries as we have seen in Germany which now has a global lead in solar cell production, due to state subsidies for those buying them.

Many more Global Warming Videos by Futurist Dr Patrick Dixon and Sustainagility book.

Articles and Videos on Global Warming

Here are more resources on this site that you may find helpful.

True Cost of Global Warming
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global warming with green technology
CARBON DIET to save the World

Global Warming - Science Summary

Future of Oil Prices: Middle East, global economy

Roof Gardens Impact on Energy Saving

Biofuels Controversy and Climate Change

Iceland Volcano Eruption - Geothermal Power Potential

Energy Use Consulting - Boom Industry

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Green Technology Innovation Awards Chaired by Patrick Dixon

Product Exchanges and Climate Change

Wind Turbines and Global Warming

Solar Cell Roofing and Climate Change
Low Energy Streetlights and Global Warming

Polymer Cement - to save 2% global CO2

Carbon Capture - Climate Change Business

Future of Oil Industry
when will oil run out? Kuwait and region
Heat Pumps - to prevent global warming

Cost of
global warming - practical answers
The $40 trillion
climate change business
Impact of Global Warming on Human Life

The Future of the Environment

Green Technologies
innovation will help with climate change
Sustainability,
climate change and crazy biofuels policy
Sustainagility:
innovation will help save world. Sustainable business future
Sustainable business: $40 trillion
green tech boom will help save world
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Futurist Q&A with Patrick Dixon
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