The Climate is Different...

Figures and % not included in this post.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are significantly higher than 1990 levels. We have the power generation sector to blame for that. And the transportation sector. And the oil refineries. And our residences. And... every sector, it turns out.

What scientists know is that transportation and the power sector are the biggest offenders. This is because transportation depends on fossil fuels, which are hydrocarbons - carbon and hydrogen. When these hydrocarbons are combusted in our engines, carbon dioxide (CO2) is released. And CO2 is a greenhouse gas, which is making our climate at least 1.5 degrees warmer...

It therefore follows that we need to stop using fossil fuels.

Yes, imagine that.
Since an outright ban on fossil fuel use is not exactly easy, we need to think of something else, like modifying our engines to use less fossil fuels. Or we could think of fossil fuel alternatives, like biofuels, electricity-operated engines and so forth. But there are several issues to consider:

  • The costs associated with transitioning to low carbon technologies;
  • Low carbon technologies are often based on renewable energy, which can be intermittent;
  • Government will (policy)- the Government might not be alarmed by the whole Climate Change thing, or there might be more pressing needs they are attending to, like better energy supply, welfare, healthcare, etcetera.
  • The ethics involved (Garri* is NGN 150 a measure. Are we prepared to buy it at NGN 500 when cassava becomes a hot(ter) cake due to rising demand for bioethanol?)
  • The time scale (are we talking short term or long term?)
  • There is also the issue of, 'what if we are already too late? What if we are unavoidably headed towards a climatic disaster?' What is our Plan B? This is where the geoengineering aspect comes onstage, as will be discussed in a future post. 

*Garri is dried, grated cassava which forms a major part of Nigerian diets. 

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