Black carbon is the direct cause of glacier melt in the Arctic and ice sheets all over the planet. Black carbon saturates ice sheets that are responsible for providing fresh drinking water to millions of people. This glacier and ice sheet melt is the direct cause of changing weather patterns and intensified storms we are all witnessing more and more each year and is a harbinger for sea level rise, which will inflict even more disastrous results.
“In addition to causing the climate change disaster, every year black carbon kills as many people as fifty Hiroshimas,” said Don Owens, an attorney and engineer who recently launched the Black Carbon Coalition, referring to the earth shattering nuclear explosion in Japan during WWII. “We don’t have time to battle between political parties and rhetoric, and bills that aim to reduce carbon dioxide decades from now. We must act immediately to reduce black carbon which is 1500 times worse than carbon dioxide, and we can.”
For sounding such an alarm, Owens is quite optimistic and humor lightens the gravity of his mission.
“We want to arm people with facts and data, make them powerful activists—and we want to educate legislators, policymakers and even those involved in rulemaking, which is an often overlooked group of public for activist groups,” added Owens.
Owens is the author of Burn Fuel Better: From Helpless to Hopeful in the Race Against Climate Change, which details his discoveries about black carbon.
An engineer at heart, Owens tinkered around with different technologies when trying to modify his car to get better gas mileage. What he discovered was black carbon.
The Coalition explains that black carbon is very fine particulate emissions that are the result of incomplete combustion of fossil fuels such as natural gas, diesel, coal, biomass, and other carbon intensive fuels.
Black carbon emissions from ships have grown ten times faster in the Arctic compared to the rest of the world, with an 85% increase in black carbon emitted by ships in the Arctic between 2015 and 2019, compared to an 8% increase globally, the Coalition’s website reads.
“We are standing at a forked path, we will either learn from mistakes and failed policies, or we will lose in the battle against a ticking time bomb. Proven science behind technology is revolutionary, we can implement a new way of burning fuel that minimizes black carbon from entering the atmosphere and adds life-sustaining oxygen,” Owens said.
Owens is flanking the Black Carbon Coalition with other organizations including a 501c3 organization called Coalition Against Black Carbon to build a Global Black Carbon Fund, an investment fund to help innovators build new technologies and systems to “reduce, and/or eradicate Black Carbon.”
Photo Caption: Don Owens. Black carbon is the enemy of the planet