We have used the majority of our carbon budget and we are already at dangerous levels of CO2 concentrations, about 400 parts per million. The levels were 250 before industrialization. So the problem is what we have done already and, therefore, what must be undone.

— Graciela Chichilnisky

The most grateful Graciela Chichilnisky quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you

Geoengineering means changing the Earth's fundamental large-scale processes.

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Political parties often take advantage of denial and fear in a moment of change.

This is a well understood phenomenon that often leads to scapegoat-ism: blaming outsiders, such as immigrants, or racial and religious minorities. The phenomenon is behind Brexit and the violence in the political cycles in the US and EU.

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Changing the world's oceans to increase their uptake of CO2, as other geoengineering solutions propose, is equally dangerous, as the increased resulting acidity of the oceans kills tiny crustaceans, such as krill, that are the basis of the pyramid of life on the planet as we know it.

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Carbon negative power plants can provide energy while they overcome poverty and change economic values in the right direction.

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We are in the midst of the 6th largest extinction event in the history of the plant and the first caused by human action.

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While denial leads to certainty, it is only the certainty of death.

This is true for individuals and also for civilizations.

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The sun is the source of all energy on planet Earth and we cannot experiment with our only energy source.

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Trees and clean energy [are] the long-run solution but we have no time to wait for the long run. We need a short-run solution now, and one that encourages and facilitates the transition to the long-run solution.

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The new markets that arise from ecological constraints will dominate the 21st century economy, and so will markets for knowledge.

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As difficult as it is to eliminate the risk of nuclear warfare, it requires fewer changes to the global economy than does averting or reversing climate change.

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The "can do" logic, by its own nature, does not accept limits.

And an empire does not have a graceful way to evolve out of this role. History demonstrates this time and again.

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We know little of the consequences of the geoengineering process, such as spraying particles into the atmosphere that shade the planet from the sun's rays and could decrease its temperature. But this process is how dinosaurs disappeared from the Earth about 60 million years ago, by particles spewed by a volcano or a giant meteorite impact, and our species could follow suit.

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About Graciela Chichilnisky

Quotes 33 sayings
Birthday 1944

We have to remove the CO2 that the industrial economy has already emitted, which otherwise will remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years and alter the Earth's climate irreversibly. It is possible to do this.

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Climate change is new and complex. We don't have all the answers.

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After denial comes anger and finally, acceptance.

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We are still learning how exactly the Earth reacts to increased CO2 and other greenhouse gases. We know it leads to warming seas which are melting the North and the South Poles, rising and starting to swallow entire coastal areas in the US and elsewhere, as the New York Times article documents.

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Technology is a many-headed monster and perhaps it would be better to regress to a safer past and avoid technological change; it is tempting to think like that.

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The transformation of capitalism is unstoppable because we need limits on resources for humans to survive.

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Signs of a poorly understood but treatable house fire requires action, not inaction.

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If nuclear warfare is believed to be somewhat controlled, then climate change is now the greatest threat.

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Trying to conserve a privileged global position makes change traumatic for the US.

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The first reaction to trauma is denial, then comes anger and finally, acceptance. I think the US is still between denial and anger, and I hope we will reach acceptance because almost perversely, right now, only the US has the technology that is needed for global economic change.

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To survive, humans need food, water, and air.

Yet biodiversity, the Earth's bodies of water, and the planet's atmosphere are all under threat.

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We need to support our future instead of undermining human survival. Let's do it.

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The consensus is that climate change ranks along with nuclear warfare as the top two risks facing human civilization.

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The change in economic values created by the new markets for global public goods will reorient our global economy and under the right conditions can usher the satisfaction of basic needs of the present and of the future. This is what is needed right now.

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CO2 from air can replace petroleum: it can produce plastics and acetate, it can produce carbon fibers that replace metals and clean hydrocarbons, such as synthetic gasoline. We can use CO2 to desalinate water, enhance the production of vegetables and fruit in greenhouses, carbonate our beverages and produce biofertilizers that enhance the productivity of the soil without poisoning it. Carbon negative technology is absolutely needed now.

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Climate change is due to the use of energy for industrial growth, which has been and is overwhelmingly based on fossil fuels.

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We know that the warming rising seas will swallow entire island nations that are about 25 percent of the UN vote and perhaps at the end, even our civilization. This realization is traumatic and the first reaction to trauma is denial. Since there is some remaining scientific uncertainty, a natural response is to deny that change is occurring. This is natural but it is very dangerous.

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Even if we planted a tree on every square yard available in the planet by the end of the century we would only capture at most 10 percent of the CO2 we need to reduce. This does not mean that we should not plant trees; we should, for biodiversity's sake, and for our long-term future together with the other species.

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Changing an economic system that is bent on uncontrolled and poorly measured economic growth and depends on fossil energy for its main objectives, is much more difficult than changing how nuclear energy is used for military purposes. Some think it may be impossible.

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We need a transformation of the world economy and of how we use and share the Earth's resources. We are running out of time. We are truly at the point of no return.

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