A Short Guide To A Secure Future

by Stephen Stretton


Part One sets out major global problems tackled in this book; in particular, the science of climate change and the emissions reductions needed for a more secure and sustainable future.

The Triple Crisis

This book describes a set of solutions to three interlinked problems:

  • Firstly, there is a short term economic crisis in modern economies. Our quality of life could be better than it currently is, and we need to ensure we save enough for the retirement of an ageing population. Our tax systems hold back the economy
  • Secondly, there is instabiliy in energy and food sectors, with soaring prices and political instability in suppliers of energy.
  • Thirdly, there is a global crisis over the future of life on earth, associated with climate change, pollution and the burning of fossul fuels.

These crises need a robust, global and integrated response. This book will describe a set of credible and realistic solutions to these problems.
Chapter 1 - The Triple Crisis (pdf)

The Science of Climate Change

The scientific chain of reasoning and evidence for human-induced global warming and ocean acidification are outlined. Appropriate responses are discussed. To preserve the climate in which human civilization has developed and prospered, it is necessary to move rapidly and globally to a net-zero carbon economy.
Chapter 2 - The Science of Climate Change (pdf)

Toy Model

This spreadsheet links global emissions of carbon dioxide to committed global temperatures, under the assumption of a high 'airborn' fraction in the future. Note: This model has no carbon cycle! This needs to be sorted out!
ToyModel (xls)

Principles To Determine Global and National Emissions Reductions Targets

How fast do we need to reduce our greenhouse emissions for a secure future? Targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are derived, consistent with a fair chance of avoiding dangerous climate change. Specifically, targets that imply a maximum 50% chance of global temperature rises exceeding 2 Celsius above the pre-industrial level are recommended1. A methodology is proposed for translating between a global target and a national target, based on diffusion of climate change policy and low-carbon technologies.
Chapter 3a - Principles for Emissions Reductions (pdf)

Stabilization Pathways

This spreadsheet sets out various pathways for the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations, as laid out in the Stern Review.
Pathways to stabilization (xls)

What Should National Emissions Reduction Targets Be?

What do the required stabilization paths and the principles of allocating emissions mean for national targets? The existing UK emissions targets as defined in the UK Climate Bill and draft US legislation are set out and the possible implications of such targets are outlined. The consequences of those targets and of no targets at all are considered.
Chapter 3b - What Should National Emissions Reduction Targets Be? (pdf)