New NPG Forum Paper Details Opportunities to Combat Global Warming

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How We Can Help Ourselves and Our Oceans.


In the ‘best case’ scenario, where humans hold warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-Industrial Revolution temperatures, sea levels will likely rise between one and two feet by century’s end.

Negative Population Growth, Inc. (NPG) has released a new Forum paper detailing various opportunities to combat global warming. The paper, titled Humans are Making Oceans Warmer, Deeper, and Life Threatening, identifies the roles of nations in climate change, examines the many ways humans can utilize oceans to stop the earth’s temperature from rising, and discusses the detrimental effects of single-use plastics. Author Edwin S. Rubenstein begins by recounting the latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change surmising that “a potentially disastrous rise in global sea levels is inevitable. In the ‘best case’ scenario, where humans hold warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-Industrial Revolution temperatures, sea levels will likely rise between one and two feet by century’s end.”

Rubenstein goes on to highlight the world’s top contributors to global warming, noting: “The largest greenhouse gas emitters in the world – China, the United States, and India offered no new commitments to reduce, or at least mitigate, future emissions. Obsessed with economic growth, and competing among themselves for export markets, the big three see global warming as another cost of doing business. Collectively they account for 58% of global CO2 emissions.” He also addresses the opinion that global warming is not real, saying: “While top researchers may differ as to the exact magnitude of global warming, they unanimously agree on its existence. No matter how you adjust the data, the world is getting hotter.”

Rubenstein adds: “We still have the ability to avoid truly catastrophic, civilization-ending consequences if we act quickly. The oceans are a good place to start. Nearly three-quarters of the Earth’s surface is water, yet oceans absorb only 25% of anthropogenic CO2.” He explains that we need to use the ocean to our advantage by creating infrastructure to support ocean-based renewables as a source of energy and promote Carbon-free ocean shipping with “hybrid power systems, including combustion engines, and more efficient hull designs.” Another imperative step is to restore ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrasses, and salt marshes. Choosing a seafood rich diet would also “have a substantially lower carbon footprint per unit of protein than food from cattle, sheep, and terrestrial-based ruminants.” He even explores the option of Seabed Storage where “CO2 can be captured and deliberately injected deep into the ocean seabed, where most of it can be stored and isolated from the atmosphere for centuries.” While these five ocean-based actions will contribute to CO2 reduction, Rubenstein says, “the clear implication (is that) more land-based mitigations are desperately needed, (such as) population reduction.”

Plastic is another important component when looking into the ocean’s health. Rubenstein writes of the past, before plastic, when grocery store items were packaged with cardboard or sold in glass containers and also discusses the impact of plastics, saying: “about 10% of all plastic waste ends up in the ocean, most notoriously in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (AKA, the Pacific Trash Vortex), a vast floating dump of debris in the north Pacific Ocean gathered by prevailing currents from Asia, North and South America.”

In conclusion, Rubenstein states: “If greenhouse gasses continue to pile up unchecked throughout the century, sea levels could keep rising at a relentless pace for hundreds of years potentially by 17 feet or more by 2300. We would not recognize the world…Global population reduction may be the last best hope for survival.”

NPG President Don Mann praised the new work, stating: “Rubenstein skillfully discusses many ways humans can combat global warming and the serious implications of doing nothing. He deftly navigates the severity of the situation by including the very real and tangible solution of population reduction. We must continue to focus on a livable future for all by working to slow, halt, and eventually reverse population growth.”

Founded in 1972, NPG is a national nonprofit membership organization dedicated to educating the American public and political leaders regarding the damaging effects of population growth. We believe that our nation is already vastly overpopulated in terms of the long-range carrying capacity of its resources and environment. NPG advocates the adoption of its Proposed National Population Policy, with the goal of eventually stabilizing U.S. population at a sustainable level – far lower than today’s. We do not simply identify the problems – we propose solutions. For more information, visit our website at, follow us on Facebook @NegativePopulationGrowth or follow us on Twitter @npg_org.

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Craig Lewis
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