The Keeling Curve and the need for an immediate global moratorium on fossil fuel exploration and infrastructure development.

From 2006 to 2010 I had the task of informing business lawyers in three of Canada’s largest commercial law firms about climate change mitigation and associated opportunities for business lawyers.  I  always started with framing the conversation using the Keeling Curve and materials available on this site.

I started showing the annual cycle illustrating the earth’s rhythm and how it is dominated by the northern hemisphere’s photosynthesis cycle.

Click to access mlo_one_year.pdf

I then pulled back to the full record of the Keeling curve, going back to the late 50’s.

Click to access mlo_full_record.pdf

This view shows the clear trend of increasing concentrations.

The next slide in my standard deck was this –

Click to access co2_800k.pdf

A few understood and gasped when I pointed out that the Keeling Curve with its 45 deg incline is now nearly merged with the right hand boundary of the graph – it is virtually vertical!

It is essential for those who advocate continued investment in fossil fuel exploration and production to focus on this reality.  We must mitigate emissions deeply and rapidly.  We are out of time for debate over the most efficient means of doing so.  A global moratorium on fossil fuel exploration and infrastructure development would be a very good start.


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