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I'll beg to differ. It's actually very "low-hanging", as it could be almost removed very quickly. Yes, that would not be at equal level of satisfaction, but it's possible pretty much instantly.

What you describe are major priorities. They are not, though, low-hanging fruits. Full decarbonisation of electricity production is a massive task, and one that will actually create a lot of emissions, which would thus have to be gained back (as would emissions from peaker plants).
But that'd only be the start, as to de-carbonise other activities, electricity production would have to double.

And of course, there are other GHG than CO2.

The point is not just to "keep the program busy for at least a decade". It's to have started reducing CO2 concentrations before the end of the next one. Not emissions. Concentrations.

I don't see how that would be achieved without making sacrifices in terms of availability of air travel (OK, not total disappearance, but enough that visiting my friends once in a decade would be problematic -yes, we are talking Australia, New Zealand, Laos...) during the transition period.
The alternative is to let some catastrophes happen. I believe it is the more likely scenario. We would have needed to start a massive program earlier.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Apr 19th, 2014 at 05:45:15 PM EST
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If the franchise were limited to engineers, you'd be right. But under the universal franchise, shutting down cheap airflight is going to cost more political capital than shutting down coal power.

(I'm assuming that the only real challenge here is the politics - the technology we have pretty well in hand. Also, I'm shooting more for "survival of industrial civilization," and less for "keeping all our coastal cities," nevermind "avoiding serious catastrophes.")

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Apr 19th, 2014 at 06:55:01 PM EST
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A significant part of the problem with air travel is not just the CO2, CO, various hydrocarbons and particulates emitted, but where they are emitted - the upper atmosphere.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 19th, 2014 at 08:48:57 PM EST
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