Can we make changes?

Yes, and it is not too late. Do not use a car and breed Whales (see later) and we will all be fine if those pesky types in low-income countries do not ruin it.

Who is to blame?

Look at the emissions per head of population, there is strong relationship between emissions and economic growth, no high-income country has (yet) achieved reductions which bring them in line with the global average.

What difference can we make?

How many tonnes of CO2 per year each action would save for an average person, according to research by the University of Leeds:

  • 2.0 – Live without a car, or use an electric car instead
  • 1.9 – Cut out long-haul flights
  • 1.6 – Switch to renewable energy
  • 0.9 – Change your diet- less dairy and beef
  • 0.6 – Use public transport often
  • 0.1 – Recycle

Just do it!

Or is that slogan already used?

What’s with Whales?

Global emissions per year are estimated at 43 billion Tonnes.

Pre whaling there were 5 million great Whales (today there are 1.3 million). The carbon capture potential of whales is truly startling.  Whales accumulate carbon in their bodies during their long lives. When they die, they sink to the bottom of the ocean; each great whale sequesters on average 33 tons of CO2, taking that carbon out of the atmosphere for centuries.

But Whales also have a dramatic multiplier effect on increasing the populations of phytoplankton. These microscopic creatures capture an estimated 40 percent of all COproduced. To put things in perspective, this is equivalent to the amount of CO2 captured by 1.70 trillion trees—four Amazon forests’ worth.

How do Whales generate more plankton? It turns out that whales’ waste products contain exactly the substances—notably iron and nitrogen—phytoplankton need to grow. Whales bring minerals up to the ocean surface through their vertical movement, and through their migration across oceans. This fertilizing activity adds significantly to phytoplankton growth in the areas that whales frequent.

At a minimum, even a 1 percent increase in phytoplankton productivity thanks to whale activity would capture hundreds of millions of tons of additional CO2 a year, equivalent to the sudden appearance of 2 billion mature trees.