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What would it take to reduce CO2 levels to 350 ppm?

"Climate 350"--for 350 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere--is fast becoming the new mantra of Gorethodox believers in climate doom and coercive energy rationing. Columbia University will host a conference on the topic next month, featuring NASA scientist James Hansen as the keynote speaker. But as Newsweekreporter Sharon Begley points out, just to limit atmospheric concentrations to 450 ppm, nations would have to build 10,000 new nuclear power plants--one every other day from now until 2050--plus a mind boggling 1 million solar roof top panels per day from now until 2050. Even then, 450 ppm is attainable only if global energy efficiency improves by a whopping 500%, population grows only to 9 billion (instead of 10 billion or 11 billion), and global GDP grows at an anemic (near recession) rate of 1.6% per year. What would it take to lower CO2 concentrations to 350 ppm? According to Begley's source, Cal Tech chemist Nathan Lewis, global CO2 emissions would have to drop to zero by 2050. Absent revolutionary changes in energy production, distribution, conversion, and storage--Nobel-caliber breakthroughs that nobody can plan or predict--lowering CO2 emissions to 350 ppm is impossible without draconian cutbacks in population, economic output, or both. Whether they realize it or not, the Climate 350 Club is asking us to go back to the caves. For additional discussion, see my post on