Microscopic atmospheric particles & Pioneer 10

Alexander Morse, researcher at Rockefeller Institute, reports CO₂ emissions will fall 5% this year. CO₂ has fallen by 20% in Wuhan, while microscopic atmospheric debris fell by 71% since March 24th in India.

Neither Morse, nor we, are suggesting this is the solution to our ecological problems, or that we focus on anything outside health and relief right now, but such a dramatic reduction is important knowledge.

(Pioneer 10’s images of Jupiter, from NASA, where everything is free.)

For the future, we could try carbon-cost programs. Some estimates of social costs per ton run to $400: The Obama administration estimated between $42 to $62 per ton; the Trump administration between $1 to $7 per ton.

So let’s turn to the states, where initiatives have generated about 50% of growth in renewables. And not a zero sum: Between 1970 and 2017 a witch’s brew of pollutants fell by 73%, while GDP grew by 270%.

If you can see the western sky this evening, look for red giant Alderbaran blazing to the left of Venus.

If all is well, Pioneer 10, launched in 1972 & last heard from across 7.6B miles in 2003, is still heading out. Weighing <600 pounds, carrying pictures of a man & a woman, the solar system, and how to find us relative to 14 pulsars, it should pass Aldebaran in 2 million years. We know how to do this stuff. Analysis here: https://rockinst.org/blog/coronavirus-has-improved-air-quality-what-does-that-mean-for-climate-policy/ Cool graphic: https://www.space.com/nasa-satellite-air-pollution-us-northeast-coronavirus.html