A question about climate change/global warming.

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What do you think the reasons are that many people are not willing to consider the possibilities for the human causes for climate change/global warming, despite massive scientific evidence? I'm talking just normal citizens who do not work for the Hoover Institute, Exxon, etc.

I work with several people who refuse to read any articles about it, or even consider ANY information about it, unless its critical of the whole notion. My wife says that most people that she works with are the same (she works in the States...I'm in Canada).
Are they just too lazy? Are they suspicious of any kind of intellectualism? Are they just prone to believe in conspiracy theories?

And I'm not talking here about being being a healthy skeptic. They do not consider ANY of the information.

peepee, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 17:32 (sixteen years ago) link

avoidance of guilt.

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 17:33 (sixteen years ago) link

They don't want to have to change what they are doing, or even consider it. It's the "American way" to do whatever the hell you want and damn the consequences. Apparently.

Sara R-C, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 17:34 (sixteen years ago) link

"they can't tell me what to do!"

*shake fist at cabal of liberal scientists*


Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 17:36 (sixteen years ago) link

Also, I think there is a suspicion of scientists having some kind of left wing agenda. (And a scary number of people in the US don't understand even the basics of how science works, which doesn't help either.)

Sara R-C, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 17:36 (sixteen years ago) link

I think there's a lot of the "well, even if I make changes, no one else is going to" attitude. It's easier to not do anything :(

Incrementalism is never gonna be sexy.

Maybe if the church got involved there'd be more progress. Going green for Jesus, or something. I think there was a documentary about this on the other day. Though, greeny issues are a bit pagan.

There were some good articles about green issues in the last issue of the Idler, "How to Save the World without really trying". Basically, not treating the world as just a resource.

jel --, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 17:51 (sixteen years ago) link

Doing less is the most noble thing you can do.

jel --, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 17:53 (sixteen years ago) link

I've heard of more evangelical christian churches refocusing on the "stewards of the earth" idea, in Seattle at least.

There's not a lot of direct positive feedback for the actions and efforts of an individual, which makes it hard if not impossible to motivate people to take action. As to not even wanting to know or acknowledge that their choices (added with the choices of others like them) have a global impact, well there's a lot of head-in-the-sand w/r/t science, environment, consumerism, politics - a major part of human nature, we'd just rather not think about it thanks anyway.

Jaq, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 18:11 (sixteen years ago) link

I think it's absorbing right-wing propaganda, which is of course designed to be the easiest to absorb without even thinking about it. Even the word "environment" begins to take on negative connotations in this light, which is weird, but there you are. "Environment" leads to "protecting" leads to "anti-business" leads to "THEY TOOK AWR JARBS!"

Also, from a purely capitalist, profit-motivated perspective, it really *doesn't* make good sense to take steps to change.

kenan, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 18:19 (sixteen years ago) link

In the short term, of course.

kenan, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 18:20 (sixteen years ago) link

Though, I heard those pesky capitalists are planting crops for biofuel which means less hops for beer = increased prices.

jel --, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 18:23 (sixteen years ago) link

oh great, more corn.

kenan, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 18:24 (sixteen years ago) link

It never rains but it pours = more evidence of global warming.

jel --, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 18:24 (sixteen years ago) link

not just avoidance of guilt but also denial re a sense of lifestyle inadequacy. people hate being shown that what they've been doing for so long is wrong (generalisation) as it makes them look foolish/ignorant.

blueski, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 18:27 (sixteen years ago) link

"Also, from a purely capitalist, profit-motivated perspective, it really *doesn't* make good sense to take steps to change."

I don't think this is entirely true - the profit motive to "go green" has grown incredibly strong over the last few years (similar to agribusinesses' desire to "break into" the hugely profitable organic market). Where there's services/products to be developed and delivered and a simultaneous public clamor for those services/products, there is money to be made.

Speaking from my own personal position in the energy field, I would tell any kid coming up who wants to make a shitload of money to get an energy engineering degree.

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 18:27 (sixteen years ago) link

people hate being shown that what they've been doing for so long is wrong (generalisation) as it makes them look foolish/ignorant.

see also 'Creationists' and what have you

blueski, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 18:29 (sixteen years ago) link

Speaking from my own personal position in the energy field, I would tell any kid coming up who wants to make a shitload of money to get an energy engineering degree.

As someone with a family member who is CLEANING UP on methane digesters, I concur.

Laurel, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 18:35 (sixteen years ago) link

Coco from Man or Astro-man? went into biodiesel.:


jel --, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 18:39 (sixteen years ago) link

He makes fuel outta grease from restaurants.

jel --, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 18:40 (sixteen years ago) link

there's a documentary about some all-girl punk band touring the country doing that

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 18:43 (sixteen years ago) link

Absolutely Shakey (and Laurel). There's enough momentum behind "green" "renewable" energy right now for people to make serious $$$ for the next decade, minimum. Chemical engineers who focus on organic (hydrocarbons), physicists, even the traditional electrical and mechanical engineering disciplines - all will be in demand, especially with minors in environmental sciences or policies.

Jaq, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 18:43 (sixteen years ago) link

ahh, see, my dad has worked for years for a company in south Texas that helps refineries fix leaks and comply with EPA regulations. The oil dudes think of my dad as a necessary evil. He is not loved by his clients. My dad, by way of commiseration, perhaps, believes that the EPA is stupid and corrupt and that there is nothing wrong with the environment whatsoever.

kenan, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 19:00 (sixteen years ago) link

the guilt-avoidance and admitting-wrong things are pretty otm, at a deeper level than the r-w talking points thing (which flows out of the first two), but there's at least two other factors i can think of. one is related to the lifestyle thing, but goes a bit deeper - a major change in the social fabric in response to this would deny some people a sense of meaning/purpose in life - it would eliminate not just the existence but the social utility/status of their jobs/defining leisure activities (compare the sagebrush complaints about the spotted owl and horny lizard or whatever it was). the other is that it requires people to think on a macro level, about the world as a system, etc., which many people are unwilling to do/uncomfortable doing probably for a variety of reasons but one big one might be that it makes them feel very small and without much agency in things.

gabbneb, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 19:09 (sixteen years ago) link

the EPA is stupid and corrupt

As with any govt agency, I don't doubt there's truth in this.

Jaq, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 19:12 (sixteen years ago) link

Also, the simple things each of us can do seem so inconsequential, the bigger things (like putting up a solar panel or windmill) are costly. It all seems so hopeless. Those on the right have a kneejerk reaction to doom-and-gloom. Those who accept the problem tend to bicker about what's worse and better (paper vs. plastic, dishwashers vs. hand-washing dishes). There was a story in our local paper about houses here installing copper tubing in the ground to harness geothermal energy. I sent the article to a family friend who is making building plans - his response was that the enviromental footprint of the copper tubing and excavators and digging outweighed the use of conventional energy systems. It all just gets so confusing that it's easy to throw one's hands up in the air and go for a nice aimless drive while it's still possible.

Maria :D, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 19:19 (sixteen years ago) link

This is all reminding me of when I was in college - my Dad (sort of a country club Republican sort) was pretty annoyed with my going to marches and similar activities. "You young kids think that you can change things..." was I think what he said.

I think it is really bizarre to see people - like him - in their early 60s now - who lived through huge social changes (like, say, the Civil Rights movement) who still don't think that things can be changed. (Of course there is also the fact that a lot of them didn't feel comfortable with those changes and definitely don't want any more change.)

Sara R-C, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 19:23 (sixteen years ago) link

There are a lot of younger people who now have this very romantic notion about the old days, before styrofoam and disposable everything. I think that's partly why baking and knitting have become so hip - the return to traditional crafts and a simpler day. Too bad there's not really any going back. I'd like to see a return to sustainable ways, but without the sexism and repression of the olde days. Is it hip yet for boys to darn socks?

Maria :D, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 19:29 (sixteen years ago) link

Boys are genetically predispositioned not to darn.

kenan, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 19:34 (sixteen years ago) link

I forgot they found a chromosomally linked gene for aversion to needlework. Silly me.

Laurel, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 19:39 (sixteen years ago) link

My two bits on this:

1. conservative types tend to not believe in systemic/complex causation rather than direct causation. (i.e. you're poor cuz you're lazy and it's your own fault and responsibility, not b/c you're in a system that's fucked)

2. american politics are extremely tribal right now, and agreeing with anything of this stuff is akin to casting your lot in with the dirty hippies. Plus, empiric & objective science has been attacked enough lately so that you can project your political thinking onto scientists, since scientists are all biased and only want a certain political output, and want to silence all dissenting opinions.

It's kinda fun how it's a big shitpile of these folks suddenly seeing the validity of debate, an inability or deliberate decision not to understand how science actually works, and disingeniousness in wanting to put forth a "serious alternative answer," as opposed to trying to scramble around for anything to cudgel the other side.

It's a lot like the intelligent design folks who want their shit taught alongside evolutionary biology as equally valid, yet spend all their money on shit-stirring p.r. instead of actually producing any research(check the budget of Seattle's Discovery Institute), and indeed openly attack those(sincerely interested or not) who want them to publish their research so it can be checked out. The authoritarian folks are now battling the authoritative folks(the ones who actually know their shit and can call others on it).

kingfish, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 20:13 (sixteen years ago) link

In other words, that traitorous hypocrite Gore and those dirty america-hating hippies are fer it, the Leaders I trust aren't and tell me I shouldn't be either, so i'm agin' it.

That kinda thing.

kingfish, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 20:15 (sixteen years ago) link

This is becoming less and less of a left vs right wing phenonmenon, as shown by the number of posts on The Corner (like those by Jonah Goldberg) acknowledging that global warming is real. The ones who believe simply distrust Gore-ist alarmism (OMIGOD MILWAUKEE WILL BE UNDERWATER IN 20 YRS).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 20:25 (sixteen years ago) link

But there's still plenty of folks who attack Gore just for being Gore, which is a political thing, not with the science of it; see all the increased attacks & talking points in the last two days.

hell, there's some douche on Ed Schultz's show right now going off on him.

kingfish, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 21:12 (sixteen years ago) link


g®▲Ðұ, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 21:18 (sixteen years ago) link


g®▲Ðұ, Tuesday, 27 February 2007 22:19 (sixteen years ago) link

Things I've heard people say:

"Don't get me started on environmentalists! Soon denying global warming'll be like denying the holocaust. It'll be all "How dare you say it doesn't exist blah blah" (same bloke blamed "this PC world in which we live" for the rise in health and safety measures - my boss blamed lawyers. I think I agree with my boss)

"They ask me to switch off my TV instead of leaving it on standby, saying it saves energy, but have they considered that that so-called "wasted" energy is actually helping to heat my house?"

the next grozart, Wednesday, 28 February 2007 12:23 (sixteen years ago) link

These are also the kind of people who have an incredibly high suspicion of scientists, doctors and other professionals. "What's he talking about?! These people! He's not a proper scientist!" etc.

the next grozart, Wednesday, 28 February 2007 12:26 (sixteen years ago) link

"The cost of recycling is actually greater than the damage done"

the next grozart, Wednesday, 28 February 2007 12:27 (sixteen years ago) link

Recycling IS very expensive and energy-intensive, though

How about Ken Livingstone, eh??

Cleaning up the Big Smoke: Livingstone plans to cut carbon emissions by 60%

and presumably some of the experience gained with this long-term initiative can be imparted to Venezuela through Ken's expertise-in-exchange-for-cheap-oil-for-poor-Londoners deal he struck with Chavez:

Livingstone seals Venezuelan fuel deal

Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 28 February 2007 12:53 (sixteen years ago) link


blueski, Wednesday, 28 February 2007 13:08 (sixteen years ago) link

follow up information to all those attacks against Gore over the last two day, from the " Tennessee Center for Policy Research" to every rightwing radio show and blogger out there

kingfish, Thursday, 1 March 2007 00:21 (sixteen years ago) link

I suspect the biggest reason is that too many people have been preaching catastrophe from too many angles for too long. People are incurious about all sorts of subjects that could be deemed vital or essential. Picking "humans cause global warming" as a topic is really kind of pointless, unless you happen to be a big believer in it. If it's your dogma, then it suddenly it's unreasonable that others don't share your enthusiasm, wonder, or abject fear. Abortion, Iraq, Putin whoring himself around the Middle East, poverty, saving the whales...everyone's got a cause that someone else doesn't care about.

And really, you can't blame people for being at least a little bit jaded, non-plussed, or even cynical on this topic.

Dandy Don Weiner, Thursday, 1 March 2007 01:35 (sixteen years ago) link

Ah......sure I can.

peepee, Sunday, 4 March 2007 15:07 (sixteen years ago) link

......so we're only capable to worry about one cause?

peepee, Sunday, 4 March 2007 15:09 (sixteen years ago) link

we can have as many causes (and crisis) as we want. Some have many, some have few. People have jammed their heads in the sand for eons for a variety of issues.

Dandy Don Weiner, Sunday, 4 March 2007 15:35 (sixteen years ago) link

But then why choosing to jam their heads with such an energetic response against it?

peepee, Sunday, 4 March 2007 15:48 (sixteen years ago) link

Instead of consulting a message board of what amounts to like minded people on this subject, maybe it would be more productive to sit down with these people and ask them why it is they think the way they do. That way, you wouldn't have to speculate. Maybe it's your approach to the subject that makes them wave you off. Maybe they'd be willing to consider your perspective on different terms. Are you out to change their mind or simply expose them because you think they are idiots? How is it "energetic" to merely refuse to consider possibilities of humans causing global warming? Sounds pretty passive to me.

Dandy Don Weiner, Sunday, 4 March 2007 16:26 (sixteen years ago) link


I'm consulting a message board right now, because I'm at home, and the two people who live in this house have questions, and y'all MIGHT have some insight.

I do not argue with these people. I am calm and non-judgemental with them. I ask them questions. The thing that always gets me , though, is a lack of willingness to read something, or watch something, etc. I get along with these people. We talk in a friendly manner about all kinds of things everyday.

I have asked them why they're so bitterly opposed to the concept, and they usually have no answer except "It's a bunch of bull!", as if they'd rather not discuss it unless we're in agreement that it is a bunch of bull.

Dan, please don't project those nasty traits onto me.

(Am I comming across in a nasty way on this thread?)

peepee, Sunday, 4 March 2007 16:36 (sixteen years ago) link

cool thread, everything's fine

Take seeing electric vehicles as a solution. A simple switch to private electric vehicles from petrol and diesel cars, will cause a surge in demand for minerals, that will devastate natural habitat, leading to bigger biodiversity loss.https://t.co/z6N6D1f1Em

— Stephen Barlow (@SteB777) October 19, 2021

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Thursday, 21 October 2021 19:23 (one year ago) link

By now it ought to be clear that the best thing that could possibly happen to all non-human life forms on earth is for humans to experience a massive and immediate die-off of about 90% to 100%, without it being caused by a nuclear war. The chances of this happening on that scale and with sufficient speed, without a nuclear war, are so close to nil that you may treat them as being non-existent. The best remaining options among those with a non-zero probability all require a collective will and a collective sacrifice, driven ahead by foresight, compassion and perseverance.

iow, we're fucked.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Thursday, 21 October 2021 22:48 (one year ago) link

Bathtub gin

Et Dieu crea l' (Michael White), Thursday, 21 October 2021 23:02 (one year ago) link

I never touch the stuff. My stainless steel straw makes sure of that.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Thursday, 21 October 2021 23:10 (one year ago) link

yeah I feel like an asshole for being completely, miserably hopeless about all this, because if we don't act as if there's hope we can't do anything - but yeah, we're fucked.

I think it was 2014 or 15 when it really sank in for me that the world was going away, and when I think back to 2014, and how much more we're feeling the effects of climate change now, it feels like a different era. It's all sped up so much in just seven years - where will we be in another seven? It's terrifying to think about. Feels like we're about to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, and the only question is how close we are to the edge.

Lily Dale, Thursday, 21 October 2021 23:23 (one year ago) link

"The world-as-resource perspective not only depletes our environment of the raw materials we seek; it ultimately depletes it of meaning."


Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Monday, 25 October 2021 18:06 (one year ago) link

Excellent article, I rate highly anything that cites Amitav Ghosh in the lede.

This part merges well with what's been said in this thread:

What Kate Aronoff shows, in her timely book “Overheated” (Bold Type), is that the “old-school” approach to corporate climate denial has given way to new, subtler strategies. Yesterday’s denialists insisted that climate change was a hoax, funding dodgy science and blitzing coöperative media outlets such as Fox News with industry “experts.” But under mounting public pressure many companies have withdrawn their support from denialist think tanks like the Heartland Institute...

“White Skin, Black Fuel” by Andreas Malm and the Zetkin Collective, of Scandinavia...shows how, in the political arena, arguments about economic rationality get woven together with hierarchical structures and the pursuit of domination, portending what it calls fossil fascism. In particular, its authors are struck by how the European far right has used the “funnel issue” of hostility toward immigration to promote hostility toward renewable energy.

They don't touch on the 'blame China' deflection but it's become so standard now among denialist trolls that I've seen, it's effectively like they're working from a script.

The article's naysaying about 'market solutions' and 'realism' is a bit heavy-handed given that the writers admit their proposed alternate solutions amount to a wish list. I don't really see the fundamental ideological opposition to carbon taxes. Barring a global communist revolution it looks like market-based economic systems are what we're working with, in which case taxation is basically the most consistently effectively method of the requisite wealth redistribution that will be needed to compensate for all the harm caused by the resource extraction industries and their financial backers.

recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Tuesday, 26 October 2021 16:27 (one year ago) link

Barring a global communist revolution it looks like market-based economic systems are what we're working with.

Capitalism and the global financial system are the only global powers extant. Any revolution capable of overthrowing them would take a very long time compared to speed at which the climate is shifting and that overthrow would be accompanied by a further period of chaos as society groped toward a new basis. We ain't got time for that.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Tuesday, 26 October 2021 18:17 (one year ago) link

at least justice can sometimes be served

Donzinger won indigenous clients a $9.5 billion settlement from Chevron for poisoning the Amazon. Now he's gone to jail after a US judge appointed a Chevron-linked private law firm to serve as prosecutor in a contempt of court case. (Federal prosecutors refused to try the case) https://t.co/G1tzD4902c

— ᴅᴇʀᴇᴋ ᴍᴇᴀᴅ (@derektmead) October 28, 2021

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Friday, 29 October 2021 08:29 (one year ago) link

oh yeah this whole story is insane. the kind of thing we imagine happening in like equatorial guinea or angola, but not “here”

Tracer Hand, Friday, 29 October 2021 12:06 (one year ago) link

they cover this in the excellent Drilled podcast, several episodes iirc

Tracer Hand, Friday, 29 October 2021 12:08 (one year ago) link

you can start here:


Tracer Hand, Friday, 29 October 2021 12:10 (one year ago) link

I'm already familiar with the main details but I will give a listen when I have some free time.

The whole thing is so galling, particularly in terms of setting a precedent. Courts are widely recognized as effectively the main mechanism for international environmental justice and even in domestic terms, when I took an environmental policy course our main focus was on the role of the courts. Now we're in a situation where this sort of judicial capture is given a pass, and meanwhile Trump in one term packed the courts, something like a third of current federal appellate judges were appointed by Trump. At least we have coal baron Manchin on 'our' side amirite.

recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Friday, 29 October 2021 16:37 (one year ago) link

In other news, and in re: the recent US House hearings which questioned executives from major fossil fuel firms, this looks like a pretty good overview of how badly Exxon CEO Darren Woods was lying when he said Exxon's public statements on climate change “are and have always been truthful” and that the company “does not spread disinformation regarding climate change":


recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Friday, 29 October 2021 18:36 (one year ago) link

From the second link:

In his own words: Woods once called carbon reduction standards “a beauty match, a beauty competition”.

recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Friday, 29 October 2021 18:41 (one year ago) link

BREAKING: Supreme Court agrees to consider limiting EPA's authority to curb greenhouse gases from power plants, will hear appeals from coal-mining companies and Republican-led states

— Greg Stohr (@GregStohr) October 29, 2021

seems bad!!

frogbs, Friday, 29 October 2021 21:23 (one year ago) link

"You see, the greenhouse gases from power plants have liberties and rights according the constitution..."

I'm a sovereign jizz citizen (the table is the table), Friday, 29 October 2021 21:44 (one year ago) link

"Polluters are people too, my friend..."

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Friday, 29 October 2021 21:49 (one year ago) link

it is very bad. and the first of probably many, unfortunately.

"elections have consequences"*

*also blatantly stolen SC seats

Karl Malone, Friday, 29 October 2021 21:51 (one year ago) link

if you want to know where the worst discourse is heading, once again lolico is ahead of the cunt-curve.

"The deal is this: Tuvalu sinks beneath the waves, there is even more flooding than usual in Bangladesh, and in exchange we get pharmaceutical medicine, TV, Reeboks, McDonald’s, air travel, computers, blogs, and all the other apparatus of modern life. That’s a no-brainer.+

— Andrew Lilico (@andrew_lilico) November 2, 2021

edited to reflect developments which occurred (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Tuesday, 2 November 2021 13:09 (one year ago) link

jesus christ

Tracer Hand, Tuesday, 2 November 2021 13:10 (one year ago) link

Muh Reeboks. Muh Filet O Fish. "Tuvalu", lol.


When they put their respectable mask on:

Charles talking about “growing global population creating ever-increasing demand on the planet’s finite resources”.

There's a certain kind of person that loves talking about growing populations and climate change... #COP26 pic.twitter.com/JZ0CFoMmvc

— Josh Gabbatiss (@Josh_Gabbatiss) November 1, 2021

recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Tuesday, 2 November 2021 14:33 (one year ago) link

i didn't know who andrew lilico was and for a second i thought it was like an "accidentally left wing" post

certified juice therapist (harbl), Tuesday, 2 November 2021 14:37 (one year ago) link


Just in case the glaring smug hypocrisy of these inbred twits isn't obvious enough.

Report: Queen Elizabeth secured personal exemption from Scottish climate law

recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Tuesday, 2 November 2021 14:38 (one year ago) link

Guess the thing about the climate crisis, cause it's such a nebulous problem that we're all guilty of contributing to, is that one can use it project basically any of one's pet issues on to. It's all a matter of scale. Like cosmic insignificance.

recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Tuesday, 2 November 2021 18:21 (one year ago) link

Fucking royals.

recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Tuesday, 2 November 2021 18:21 (one year ago) link

crossposting this here

"Although carbon emissions have been increasing rapidly since the Industrial Revolution, it is no accident that 63 percent of all emissions have been produced in these past forty years. Pace the Davos set, these emissions track neither population growth nor consumption from developing states. Their path is unimpeded by the proliferation of eco-conscious marketing schemes, “corporate social responsibility,” and promises (and non-existent realities) of mystical techno-fixes. They track the return to and difficult maintenance of profitability.

As an interdisciplinary team led by chemist Will Steffen demonstrated, in terms of GHG emissions, ocean acidification, rainforest destruction, aquaculture depletion, global warming itself, and so on, climate change tracks not only cumulative GDP growth (as is widely discussed) but such conspicuous features of contemporary global capital as the increased use of telecoms, non-recreational transportation, and foreign direct investment (FDI), which moves from almost zero in the 1960s to trillions by the 2010s. Following Polanyi, they dubbed this “the Great Acceleration.” Such acceleration does not aggregate with population growth; perversely, the relation is inverted. Emissions, resource intensivity, and other climate measures are concentrated where end-point consumption is greatest, as many climate scientists now openly state, among the world’s wealthiest. In the global top wealth and income deciles, population growth is lowest or even negative. And as the rate of population growth is curbing globally, climate change continues its exponential pace. Many climate scientists today go further still, like physicist and social ecologist Julia Steinberger, in arguing the need to push past symptomatic criticisms of biophysical and economic growth towards the clear critique of capital as the “fundamental driver” of climate change."


Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Tuesday, 2 November 2021 18:38 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

Remember how some people would say the worst effects of climate change are in the global South and that Europe wouldn't be affected like anywhere near as hard but in the last year you see things like European river levels dropping off. This is from Spain.

There’s drought - and then there’s a super drought! 60% of the Spanish countryside is bone dry. Groundwater eventually runs out - then what..Wheat and barley crops are likely to fail entirely in four regions- & summer yet to come. pic.twitter.com/91mz8sYopf

— Peter Dynes (@PGDynes) April 16, 2023

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 19 April 2023 08:05 (five months ago) link

Global South is getting the worst of it for sure but we are going to see bigger effects in Europe pretty fast. All bets are off if water and food supplies are fucked.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 19 April 2023 08:07 (five months ago) link

four months pass...

Lol @ this climate scientist. Does he have a mansion on the hill with solar panels?

I hope I am wrong and others may see things differently, but I am expecting effective societal collapse by mid-century, and planning - for my partner and I and our kids - accordingly.https://t.co/ZkZyaR9uBh

— Bill McGuire (@ProfBillMcGuire) September 13, 2023

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 17 September 2023 08:45 (one week ago) link

It all depends on what you imagine "effective societal collapse" looks like. If you imagine it looks like the zombie apocalypse, then 'planning accordingly' feels like a joke. If it looks like the breakdown of globalism, food shortages, crumbling infrastructure, electrical brownouts, an increase in regional wars, high unemployment, more poverty and scavenging, increased but not universal violence, corrupt police states flourishing, and other similar outcomes, then some measure of planning and adaptation cold be very helpful, if only to set correct expectations and strengthen one's mental resilience and skill set.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Sunday, 17 September 2023 17:53 (one week ago) link

Yeah. I guess so. I interpreted this as the Wikipedia definition so I don’t understand his use of “societal collapse” to describe the possible consequence of a global problem. What society is he talking about?

Allen (etaeoe), Sunday, 17 September 2023 18:21 (one week ago) link

FWIW, I think Damian Carrington, author of the article Bill McGuire quotes, uses the more accurate description: “extinction.”

Allen (etaeoe), Sunday, 17 September 2023 18:27 (one week ago) link

Extinction at "mid-century" seems far too rapid by even the most alarmist standards, so whatever McGuire thinks "effective societal collapse" means, it feels like it's probably not "extinction". The physical fact of 8,000,000,000 living humans constitute a formidable barrier to extinction within a few decades from climate change alone.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Sunday, 17 September 2023 18:45 (one week ago) link

"then some measure of planning and adaptation cold be very helpful, if only to set correct expectations and strengthen one's mental resilience and skill set."

Not sure what form this takes. Name things you can do on your own.

Agree "extinction" in twenty years is alarmist.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 17 September 2023 19:05 (one week ago) link

I don't know about extinction, and none of this is my area of expertise at all, but personally I'm expecting some form of collapse within the next 10-15 years. Considering how fast climate change has moved in the past decade, and how much it's accelerating from year to year, and how fragile all of our interconnected systems are, plus the potential for catastrophic events like the collapse of the insect population or the Gulf Stream stopping, it seems unlikely that we'll make it to mid-century with anything like the civilization we have now. Don't really see any way to plan for it, though. I haven't given much thought to saving for retirement because I don't expect to get there.

Lily Dale, Sunday, 17 September 2023 19:27 (one week ago) link

I feel that we will probably see in the next five years in the UK:

- Certain types of food shortages
- A fairly catastrophic flood event
- More 40 degree days, more deaths due to heat among the old and poor
- Potential energy crisis, affecting ability to fan and cool your space. So this affects everyone.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 17 September 2023 19:34 (one week ago) link

That last one is pure speculation. The first three are based on current trends.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 17 September 2023 19:36 (one week ago) link

Name things you can do on your own.

Learn how to sew and repair clothes.
Acquire some simple non-power hand tools.
Get to know your neighbors.
Practice walking longer distances than you usually walk.
Acquire a bicycle and know how to maintain it.
Know what you'd do in a catastrophic flood, fire, or similar event.
Keep thinking clearly.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Sunday, 17 September 2023 22:37 (one week ago) link

all good suggestions, would also add farming/plant skills there

out-of-print LaserDisc edition (sleeve), Sunday, 17 September 2023 23:41 (one week ago) link

stolen from lucifer's hammer: get a hardcover copy of 'the way things work' and keep it in a ziploc bag

mookieproof, Sunday, 17 September 2023 23:46 (one week ago) link

hardcover copy of 'the way things work'

Practical skills and tools are very worthwhile acquisitions, but for me the most important item on my list is keep thinking clearly.

As I understand the world, humans survive very poorly in the absence of a stable shared society of some kind. As the stability of our very large social organization breaks down and can no longer solve the immediate problems of survival, it will elevate the necessity of forming new, more reliable (if smaller and more local) social alliances and finding new modes of stability.

The more quickly the older social contract is shattered, the more drastically those new social compacts will be stressed and the more likely they'll atomize into smaller and smaller groupings. Having practical skills and tools will make things not just easier for yourself, but make you a far more valuable ally in any group you join, but thinking clearly in the face of those stresses will help even more.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Monday, 18 September 2023 00:58 (six days ago) link

One takeway from Kim Stanley Robinson's The Ministry For The Future that stood out to me was that even after millions of people dying in climate-related events, nothing really began to pick up until Crash Day - when in the 2030s 60 passenger jets are crashed by drones, then container ships and meat farming are targeted until in the 2040s air travel ends and meat eating declines.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 18 September 2023 01:55 (six days ago) link

i honestly didn't get past the first chapter, which is harrowing as fuck

mookieproof, Monday, 18 September 2023 01:57 (six days ago) link

It is harrowing as fuck, but the book is somewhat hopeful and offers some kind of pathway that isn't exercises in prepping and doomerism.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 18 September 2023 04:17 (six days ago) link

iirc that book makes a pretty convincing argument that "adaptation" to climate change will not be an option for millions and millions of people

Tracer Hand, Monday, 18 September 2023 07:12 (six days ago) link

KSR sounds amazing. Have to read that book.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 18 September 2023 07:49 (six days ago) link

I also didn't make it much past the first chapter, though I skimmed ahead some. It hadn't been that long since the heat dome in the PNW when I tried to read it, so it was all horrifyingly easy to imagine.

Lily Dale, Tuesday, 19 September 2023 03:32 (five days ago) link

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