Global Warming's Terrifying New Math

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scott seward, Friday, 20 July 2012 13:08 (six years ago) Permalink

just starting to read it now, but it's by bill mckibben, so it's going to be a good read. the man is truly a hero.

your friend, (Z S), Friday, 20 July 2012 13:15 (six years ago) Permalink

i would say its scary but its way beyond that. kind of an r.i.p. earth dispatch really.

scott seward, Friday, 20 July 2012 13:19 (six years ago) Permalink

"In early June, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled on a Norwegian research trawler to see firsthand the growing damage from climate change. "Many of the predictions about warming in the Arctic are being surpassed by the actual data," she said, describing the sight as "sobering." But the discussions she traveled to Scandinavia to have with other foreign ministers were mostly about how to make sure Western nations get their share of the estimated $9 trillion in oil (that's more than 90 billion barrels, or 37 gigatons of carbon) that will become accessible as the Arctic ice melts. Last month, the Obama administration indicated that it would give Shell permission to start drilling in sections of the Arctic."

scott seward, Friday, 20 July 2012 13:21 (six years ago) Permalink

well that's good news, at least

frogbs, Friday, 20 July 2012 13:24 (six years ago) Permalink

we're fucked

Tartar Mouantcheoux (Noodle Vague), Friday, 20 July 2012 13:26 (six years ago) Permalink

all that pesky arctic ice was hiding all the oil!

scott seward, Friday, 20 July 2012 13:28 (six years ago) Permalink

it's why if you talk to people who work on climate change (people at environmental nonprofits, climate scientists, think tanks), everyone has this attitude that's beyond fatalistic. like, you almost have to laugh at the situation a little bit to keep yourself from going insane. i guess the article talks about that a bit:

We're in the same position we've been in for a quarter-century: scientific warning followed by political inaction. Among scientists speaking off the record, disgusted candor is the rule. One senior scientist told me, "You know those new cigarette packs, where governments make them put a picture of someone with a hole in their throats? Gas pumps should have something like that."

your friend, (Z S), Friday, 20 July 2012 13:33 (six years ago) Permalink

but yeah, it's absurd. in 2010, my dad told me "you know who Obama should appoint for secretary of energy? Sarah Palin. i don't agree with her about a lot of stuff, but she has really good ideas about energy." my dad's kind of an outlier i guess, because he's a super fundamentalist who believes the earth is 8000 years old and doesn't believe that climate change could happen because god promised not to flood the earth again, and even if environmental catastrophe did occur, he'd be raptured out of it (the "pre-wrath rapture" theory") before the shit hit the fan. but man, there are a toooooooon of really ignorant people out there that don't want to hear anything that's bad news.

your friend, (Z S), Friday, 20 July 2012 13:36 (six years ago) Permalink

it really is up to the governments of the world. all of them. the average person is too far gone to really change things. i'm too far gone! he mentions that moral outrage over the loss of a city due to climate-related storms would change opinion, although there has already been mass devastation to cities due to super storms and it hasn't changed anyone's mind about anything. plus, for some reason people don't want to make the connection. major damage due to warming doesn't make people hate the oil companies.

scott seward, Friday, 20 July 2012 13:45 (six years ago) Permalink

this is increasingly all I think about and it leaves me in a heavy depression. I try to be fatalistic about it and tell myself that the universe will go on regardless, but that's not comfort since I guess one day it will be a dark grey cold mass of atoms.

lou reed scott walker monks niagra (chinavision!), Friday, 20 July 2012 13:45 (six years ago) Permalink

i find it near-impossible to imagine a government stepping in to take the necessary action against oil companies in liberal socialist Europe, there's absolutely no chance in hell it wd happen in the US or China

Tartar Mouantcheoux (Noodle Vague), Friday, 20 July 2012 13:47 (six years ago) Permalink

all the news stories here about the drought are about how you might be paying more at the pump in the future! that is the number one concern. oh and food prices are gonna go up. that takes second place.

scott seward, Friday, 20 July 2012 13:47 (six years ago) Permalink

thats really the frustrating part; it really seems like as a planet we could buckle down and fix things, we just won't

frogbs, Friday, 20 July 2012 13:47 (six years ago) Permalink

whenever I hear the phrase "the price at the pump" it makes me insane. was looking at various political parties' platforms, and of course in the energy section for the democrats' paper there is little mention of climate change, and instead just talk about energy security, independence, and yes, the "price at the pump."

lou reed scott walker monks niagra (chinavision!), Friday, 20 July 2012 13:50 (six years ago) Permalink

It sounds like it may be coming to a head in the US soon if next year's corn harvest may be fucked.

I am curious what the thinking inside China is - I oddly expect more of them than the US, partly because I don't associate them with "Oh God won't let that happen".

Andrew Farrell, Friday, 20 July 2012 13:51 (six years ago) Permalink

I remember having my huge bout of paralyzed fear about the environment in early 1992 -- still always associate the Church's stellar Priest = Aura with that, probably why that album has lingered with me for so long. I don't see myself returning to that state anymore because it's almost like...well, I went through it, and my fears never went away. I just became inured, and so I'll just live my life as low impact as possible and...wait.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 20 July 2012 13:53 (six years ago) Permalink

xpost but it's up to people to force their governments to act.

what i'm dreading even more than the world that we'll have to live in for the rest of our lives - where the new normal is weeks on end of 100+ degrees, droughts, Katrinas, oceanic foodchains ruined by acidification, climate refugees struggling to move to the remaining pockets of the world where agriculture isn't wrecked - is the geoengineering "solutions" that will inevitably arise. it's so obvious that that's where we're headed. and no doubt, geoengineering efforts will probably be pushed by exxon-mobil and the like.

your friend, (Z S), Friday, 20 July 2012 13:54 (six years ago) Permalink

what is the true percentage of people in the US that believe god is protecting us though? I feel that there are many who just don't want to admit the truth because it is terrifying, or are just susceptible to listening to whichever account of events is least traumatizing. I figure it's quite a minority who really believe that God Himself will prevent any ecological disaster, even if a majority of Americans identify as religious.


lou reed scott walker monks niagra (chinavision!), Friday, 20 July 2012 13:54 (six years ago) Permalink

like most Americans are religious, but not thaaaaat religious, right? I mean most people just like to say they believe in god and attend church once in a while. right guys??

lou reed scott walker monks niagra (chinavision!), Friday, 20 July 2012 13:56 (six years ago) Permalink

now I think I'm fooling myself maybe

lou reed scott walker monks niagra (chinavision!), Friday, 20 July 2012 13:57 (six years ago) Permalink

i need a drink after reading this

Spectrum, Friday, 20 July 2012 13:57 (six years ago) Permalink

I get the impression that it works on a lower/earlier level, like as long as there's FUD about climate change, people can react to it as "one story is this, and one story is that, but God would not put us in the situation where Story 1 happens so it must be Story 2"

Andrew Farrell, Friday, 20 July 2012 13:59 (six years ago) Permalink

I am curious what the thinking inside China is - I oddly expect more of them than the US, partly because I don't associate them with "Oh God won't let that happen".

also because their leadership would actually have the ability to unilaterally "force" action on the issue. don't know if they'd actually do it, but at least it's possible.

your friend, (Z S), Friday, 20 July 2012 14:00 (six years ago) Permalink

there was a nyer stat about 26% (iirc) of americans defining themselves as evangelicals, recently (xxxp)

hey Z S, sorry to use you as a lazy wikipedia substitute, BUT, is it correct that the limited action that was taken by governments after the discovery of the hole in the o-zone layer was actually effective? that stat always seemed slightly reassuring to me, because i couldn't believe that anyone did a lot, but the idea that some modest action was effective seemed promising.

, Blogger (schlump), Friday, 20 July 2012 14:02 (six years ago) Permalink

these are some of the people in power in the united states. just so we are clear:

In 2009, for the first time, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce surpassed both the Republican and Democratic National Committees on political spending; the following year, more than 90 percent of the Chamber's cash went to GOP candidates, many of whom deny the existence of global warming. Not long ago, the Chamber even filed a brief with the EPA urging the agency not to regulate carbon – should the world's scientists turn out to be right and the planet heats up, the Chamber advised, "populations can acclimatize to warmer climates via a range of behavioral, physiological and technological adaptations." As radical goes, demanding that we change our physiology seems right up there.

scott seward, Friday, 20 July 2012 14:02 (six years ago) Permalink

U.S. Chamber of Commerce is horrible for many reasons, not least of which is that they fool people into thinking they're an actual gov't agency!

lou reed scott walker monks niagra (chinavision!), Friday, 20 July 2012 14:05 (six years ago) Permalink

Not long ago, the Chamber even filed a brief with the EPA urging the agency not to regulate carbon – should the world's scientists turn out to be right and the planet heats up, the Chamber advised, "populations can acclimatize to warmer climates via a range of behavioral, physiological and technological adaptations." As radical goes, demanding that we change our physiology seems right up there.

as cynical as i am about the intelligence of our conservative political leaders, i think that many of them really do understand the implications of climate change. as time goes on and denying climate change becomes more and more absurd - think about the first warnings about cigarettes and cancer in the late 50s, the loooooooong conservative battle against those scientists who were trying to save lives, and then the gradual, quiet acceptance of the facts in the following decades - the rhetoric will quickly shift to geoengineering "solutions", since by then it will be too late to actually effectively mitigate climate change by reducing CO2 emissions. hell, it's probably already too late NOW, when you take into account tipping points/feedback loops. anyway, they'll be happy to move straight to geoengineering, because that's a pro-business attitude that doesn't involve changing your own lifestyle.

your friend, (Z S), Friday, 20 July 2012 14:08 (six years ago) Permalink

wait did ned just say that he made his peace with the destruction of the planet via an australian college rock band from the 80's?

scott seward, Friday, 20 July 2012 14:22 (six years ago) Permalink

sounds about right

mississippi joan hart (crüt), Friday, 20 July 2012 14:23 (six years ago) Permalink

You gotta start somewhere.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 20 July 2012 14:25 (six years ago) Permalink

hey Z S, sorry to use you as a lazy wikipedia substitute, BUT, is it correct that the limited action that was taken by governments after the discovery of the hole in the o-zone layer was actually effective? that stat always seemed slightly reassuring to me, because i couldn't believe that anyone did a lot, but the idea that some modest action was effective seemed promising.

yes, the actions taken were relatively effective! but the experience is - cue negative nancy alert - unfortunately not very applicable to the problem of climate change. ozone depletion is primarily caused by the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Banning the use of CFCs in things like spray cans and refrigerators was relatively easy to accomplish, since there are chemical substitutes that could be used at a similar cost. and it was regulation that could be implemented quickly, from the top down, on industry.

climate change, on the other hand, is driven by the emission of greenhouse gases, primarily from burning coal and using oil. but the key is that the infrastructure required to deliver energy and car-centered transportation to the people is enormous. you can't change it overnight, and you can't do it in a way that consumers barely notice (like phasing out CFCs in spray cans). there are cleaner substitutes for coal and oil, of course, but the substitutes tend to be more expensive and will take a long time to replace to replace the existing infrastructure.

and also, there's just the sheer usefulness of fossil fuels. think about what a gallon of gasoline provides for you - it enables a weak, feeble human being to move a one ton automobile for 30 miles or so! imagine pushing that car! all from a gallon of fossilized ancient dead organisms! it's seriously amazing. and so incredibly cheap. $3 for access to superhuman powers. it's like playing videogames on god mode. people in underdeveloped countries understandably want access to oil and coal. again, all of this in contrast to CFCs, which could be eliminated without negatively impacting the prospects of a better life for anyone else.

your friend, (Z S), Friday, 20 July 2012 14:26 (six years ago) Permalink

xpost -- Said album was more of a vehicle and a lens, in that it builds up to a pretty harrowing ending. I don't know whether it matched my mood or enabled it, but I find it pretty inextricable in reflecting back, and anytime I encounter stories or concerns like this it's part of the soundtrack in my head.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 20 July 2012 14:27 (six years ago) Permalink

If global warming is real, then why is it cold in winter? Huh? Fuck you, science.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 20 July 2012 14:29 (six years ago) Permalink

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 20 July 2012 14:29 (six years ago) Permalink

The first six months of 2012 were the hottest on record. Deke Arndt, chief of the climate monitoring branch of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, takes a look at record warm temperatures across the county and the world and their connections to global warming.

scott seward, Friday, 20 July 2012 14:47 (six years ago) Permalink

The 'Dark Knight' shootings are terrifying and ppl will rightly be appalled by them but somehow climate change lacks the immediacy that would rightly make it that much more terrifying.

sive gallus et mulier (Michael White), Friday, 20 July 2012 15:52 (six years ago) Permalink

it's because what's predicted to happen has never happened before in human memory and so people just ignore it.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Friday, 20 July 2012 15:58 (six years ago) Permalink

if you can scarcely conceptualize a threat then it's hard to motivate yourself to give up deeply ingrained habits and privileges to stop it.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Friday, 20 July 2012 15:59 (six years ago) Permalink

i do wonder what sort of world the rest of my life will be spent in. will my neighbors and myself experience widespread privation? or will life in america just become marginally more difficult, with our wealth and technology insulating ourselves from the worst of it? will my diet change thanks to rolling food shortages? will we all simply die of malnutrition in 40 years?

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Friday, 20 July 2012 16:01 (six years ago) Permalink

3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.

he sorta blows his math cred in the second sentence. that number is almost zero.

Thus Sang Freud, Friday, 20 July 2012 16:03 (six years ago) Permalink

odds are expressed as a fraction of 1 iirc

Tartar Mouantcheoux (Noodle Vague), Friday, 20 July 2012 16:08 (six years ago) Permalink

agree. the odds are small, not large. an editor should have picked that up.

Thus Sang Freud, Friday, 20 July 2012 16:11 (six years ago) Permalink

Dodgy formatting imo, should it be 3.7 x 10^99:1? Or 3.7 x 10:99? Or what?

mod night at the oasis (NickB), Friday, 20 July 2012 16:12 (six years ago) Permalink

more proof that this is all a hoax

your friend, (Z S), Friday, 20 July 2012 16:16 (six years ago) Permalink

Sorry, I've got my stupid head on and didn't read the sentence properly. Yes, it makes no sense as he has written it.

mod night at the oasis (NickB), Friday, 20 July 2012 16:26 (six years ago) Permalink

it makes sense it's just inaccurate. he shd've used odds against if he wanted to draw the stars comparison.

Tartar Mouantcheoux (Noodle Vague), Friday, 20 July 2012 16:27 (six years ago) Permalink

i mean, i knew what he meant, so it makes sense, and i squinted at the -99 index when i read it

Tartar Mouantcheoux (Noodle Vague), Friday, 20 July 2012 16:28 (six years ago) Permalink

yes but it's far more important that we continue driving oil-machines and keeping certain human beings on the other side of an imaginary line BE REALISTIC

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Friday, 25 January 2019 20:59 (two months ago) Permalink

We’re really fucked if people treats statements like this seriously and not as know...denial.

Neoliberalism rots people's brains into thinking climate policy means sacrificing something. If we do it right climate policy will mean most everyone gets luxurious public goods & a better quality of life as billionaires become millionaires and we shutter the fossil fuel industry

— Kate Aronoff (@KateAronoff) January 27, 2019

Nerdstrom Poindexter, Sunday, 27 January 2019 21:49 (two months ago) Permalink

yeah thats some wishful thinking

21st savagery fox (m bison), Sunday, 27 January 2019 21:57 (two months ago) Permalink

it sounds like wishful thinking to me too, but i know kate pretty well, and because of her years of reporting on the issue i trust that she knows the boundaries of the possible on this subject better than any of the 3 of us.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 28 January 2019 19:38 (two months ago) Permalink

i'm sure its dark mirth for sanpaku, i don't get it either, i just have trust in the source here. see for ex a response here from Kallis, a degrowth guy whose work i follow:

Sounds like a good summary of what we mean by degrowth, yes. (I guess the part of degrowing private and material goods is left tactically out of the summary).

— Giorgos Kallis (@g_kallis) January 27, 2019

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 28 January 2019 19:40 (two months ago) Permalink

the problem? climate change! the solution? genocide!

Colonisation of the Americas at the end of the 15th Century killed so many people, it disturbed Earth's climate.

That's the conclusion of scientists from University College London, UK.

The team says the disruption that followed European settlement led to a huge swathe of abandoned agricultural land being reclaimed by fast-growing trees and other vegetation.

This pulled down enough carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the atmosphere to eventually chill the planet.

It's a cooling period often referred to in the history books as the "Little Ice Age" - a time when winters in Europe would see the Thames in London regularly freeze over.

"The Great Dying of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas led to the abandonment of enough cleared land that the resulting terrestrial carbon uptake had a detectable impact on both atmospheric CO₂ and global surface air temperatures," Alexander Koch and colleagues write in their paper published in Quaternary Science Reviews.

maxwell’s silver hang suite (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 31 January 2019 16:15 (two months ago) Permalink

didn't this get reported last year also?

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 31 January 2019 17:20 (two months ago) Permalink

the evidence for the ecological benefits of genocide mounts!

maxwell’s silver hang suite (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 31 January 2019 17:22 (two months ago) Permalink

That sort of result was claimed for the Mongol invasions and Black Death here:

Pongratz et al, 2011. Coupled climate–carbon simulations indicate minor global effects of wars and epidemics on atmospheric CO2 between ad 800 and 1850. The Holocene, 21(5), pp.843-851.

Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if some enterprising billionaire is funding development of some antibiotic resistant pneumonic plague, etc. as the least painful way of dealing with coming overpopulation/climate/resource crises.

innocence adjacent (Sanpaku), Thursday, 31 January 2019 17:23 (two months ago) Permalink

The plot of The Kingsman iirc

Nerdstrom Poindexter, Thursday, 31 January 2019 17:49 (two months ago) Permalink

this is what i had in mind from last year

“The arrival of 16th century Europeans, in particular the British and Spanish, had a profound impact on central and southern America,” Maslin told the Observer. “They carried germs for smallpox, measles, flu, typhoid and many other diseases that led to the deaths of more than 50 million Americans – who had no previous exposure to these pathogens – within a few decades. Society in America collapsed and subsistence farming there was wiped out.”

Forests returned to land that had been abandoned by humans. “We can detect this in Antarctic ice cores,” added Maslin. “These provide a history of the atmosphere for thousands of years and show carbon dioxide levels reached a distinct minimum around 1610 because forests, which are much better than farm crops at absorbing carbon dioxide, were now covering vastly increased areas of the American landscape – thanks to the eradication of the people who had once farmed there.” This effect continued for decades until America’s population of humans was restored.

Within decades of the discovery of America, Europeans were eating its potatoes and tomatoes, while China and India were consuming its peppers. These imports also had a profound impact. “In China, for example, the arrival of maize allowed drier lands to be farmed, driving new waves of deforestation and a large population increase,” say the authors. The colonising of America resulted in a trade triangle: manufactured goods from Europe were sold to Africa for slaves, who were transported to the Americas to grow cotton and tobacco for Europe. For the first time, the world was bound into a single global economic system. Globalisation had begun and its impact on the planet has since been vast. One result has been the homogenisation of life on Earth. Rats and other pests carried on ships have overrun the habitats of isolated species, while more and more land has been turned over to agriculture.

“A good example is provided by the earthworm,” said Maslin. “In the US, most of the earthworms you will find there are actually European. They are better at competing for nutrients. So they have taken over the soil in North America since Europeans brought them across the Atlantic in the 16th century. That is not something you can unpick. They are there for good.” This last point is summed up by the two authors: “The Anthropocene began with widespread colonialism and slavery; it is a story of how people treat the environment and how people treat each other.”

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 31 January 2019 18:39 (two months ago) Permalink

see also:

Nicholas Loughlin at the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK, and his colleagues examined soil cores from a lake in Ecuador’s Quijos Valley. Pollen, charcoal and fungal spores in the cores indicate that indigenous peoples intensively farmed and burned the land for some 500 years before the first Europeans arrived in the sixteenth century.

The samples also suggest that this agricultural activity ended abruptly in around 1588, when an influx of Spanish colonists led to the death or dispersal of most of the local population. By roughly 1820, the structure of the Quijos Valley ‘cloud forest’ was similar to that of the forests that blanketed the region 40,000 years ago, well before humans first settled the area.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 31 January 2019 18:41 (two months ago) Permalink

thanks for these links, hoos, i'll read through them when i get home.

it's all very...awkward, from an enviro/political/persuasive point of view. for the last three decades we've had competing strategies on how to address pollution and climate change. broadly:

1) a cornucopian belief that existing and future technology will save the day via the invisible hand
2) a tech/policy-driven posture that aligns with neoliberalism and technocratic governance approaches
3) a more aggressive, radical activist (and some scientists) movement to fundamentally change the way we approach energy and the environment,
4) whatever we should call the dumbfuck evil republicans and industry groups which actively seek policies which undermine the lives of billions of people.

4 plays well with 1. And 1 and 2 have a lot of overlap. 3 has always been off in its own world, with little political support. Recent political leaders and big green groups have found themselves firmly entrenched within 2. And part of the neoliberal technocratic approach is the constant assurance that people aren’t the problem, stressing that we don’t have to sacrifice human wellbeing to fix the environment (that we broke), that human and environmental progress can go hand and hand. That was certainly the line in the Obama administration, which was a big improvement over the Bush-era.

but…the problem is that 3) is probably the most appropriate way to go at this point. There was a time, about twenty to thirty fucking years ago, when there might have been time to bend the curve of GHG emissions downward, trending toward zero, with enough of a buffer to mitigate most of the worst consequences of climate change. That time appears to have passed, but the political world is still operating as if nothing has changed.

i don’t know, not sure what point I’m getting to, if there is any. It’s just…the Obama-era “all of the above” energy strategy and “cutting energy use is actually GOOD for GDP, which is a wonderful way to measure human progress!!” is really hard to square with reports like the ones Hoos highlighted. I hope this means that more and more AOC’s will show up who will tell the truth, but there are just a TON of people out there who still have no idea and got sick of hearing about this shit back during the Population Bomb-era.

Karl Malone, Thursday, 31 January 2019 19:13 (two months ago) Permalink

starting this today also as a counterbalance to the degrowth reading

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 31 January 2019 20:33 (two months ago) Permalink

evidence that sudden depopulation of the americas lead to global climate change is summarized in Charles c. Mann’s 1491, a (pretty good) pop anthropology book published in 2005

sciatica, Thursday, 31 January 2019 20:51 (two months ago) Permalink

i want to read more about it. the thing is, obviously the scientific community was already aware of the little ice age, and i thought they already had various explanations for what caused it? (for example: volcanos and changes is arctic sea ice cover). but of course there could be a variety of complementary forces contributing to the same outcome

Karl Malone, Thursday, 31 January 2019 20:56 (two months ago) Permalink

1491 is a cracking read

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 31 January 2019 21:00 (two months ago) Permalink


sleeve, Thursday, 31 January 2019 21:03 (two months ago) Permalink

Some graceful writing which found itself in the WaPo Style section:Everything is not going to be okay: How to live with constant reminders that the Earth is in trouble

To grasp the problem, we have to slow down. To respond to it, we have to act fast.

innocence adjacent (Sanpaku), Saturday, 2 February 2019 18:12 (two months ago) Permalink

good long excerpt here from david wallace-wells' the uninhabitable earth even-handedly looking at the tools we already have to fight climate change and why we might well still fuck it up anyway

No single solution alone is sufficient, but the solutions, plural, are here already. As climate activists often say, we have, today, all the tools we need to avoid catastrophic change. It’s true: a carbon tax and government action to aggressively phase out dirty energy, even outright ban much of it; a new approach to agricultural practices and a shift away from beef and dairy in global diet; and public investment in green energy and carbon capture. We just need to choose to implement them — all of them — and quite fast. But of course political will is not some trivial ingredient always at hand. We probably have the tools we need to solve global poverty, epidemic disease, and the abuse of women, as well.

Calgary customer Elvis Cavalic (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 4 February 2019 15:44 (two months ago) Permalink

well uhhhh... shit

Scientists have discovered an enormous void under an Antarctic glacier, sparking concern that the ice sheet is melting faster than anyone had realized — and spotlighting the dire threat posed by rising seas to coastal cities around the world, including New York City and Miami.

The cavity under Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is about six miles long and 1,000 feet deep — representing the loss of 14 billion tons of ice.

It was discovered after an analysis of data collected by Italian and German satellites, as well as NASA’s Operation IceBridge, a program in which aircraft equipped with ice-penetrating radar fly over polar regions to study the terrain.

The discovery is described in a paper published Jan. 30 in the journal Science Advances. The researchers expected to see significant loss of ice, but the scale of the void came as a shock.

“The size of the cavity is surprising, and as it melts, it’s causing the glacier to retreat,” said Pietro Milillo, a radar scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and the paper’s lead author. He said the ice shelf encompassing the Florida-sized glacier is retreating at a rate in excess of 650 feet per year, and that most of the melting that led to the void occurred during the past three years.

Calgary customer Elvis Cavalic (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 5 February 2019 15:48 (two months ago) Permalink

cool cool cool

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Tuesday, 5 February 2019 18:09 (two months ago) Permalink

it's cool when glaciers start moving so fas (~ 2 feet a day, a little less than an inch per hour) that you can actually sit there and watch them move. it's up there with the opening of the northwest passage as a convenient, quality of life kind of improvement

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 5 February 2019 18:19 (two months ago) Permalink

why we might well still fuck it up anyway

if this were a war that could be fought with soldiers, guns and bombs, we'd be all over this. instead it is a "hearts and minds" battle, and the forces of evil have the preponderance of advantage on their side, because change is hard and plunging straight ahead over the cliff is easier, especially when the cliff's edge is in the indistinct and difficult to imagine future rather than at one's feet.

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 5 February 2019 19:04 (two months ago) Permalink

the new civilization VI expansion adds climate change

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 02:35 (two months ago) Permalink

What does the future hold for your children?

— Baroness von Sketch (@BaronessShow) October 11, 2018

no expense was incurred (Sanpaku), Friday, 15 February 2019 22:23 (two months ago) Permalink

extinction is cool. it rocks, actually.

frogbs, Wednesday, 20 February 2019 22:51 (two months ago) Permalink

denier on the panel or not, I wouldn't expect anything good to come out of a panel appointed by this WH. i don't know how long it's supposed to take for their assessment to come out, but i assume the next administration (hopefully a new one after 2020) would just start over when they take office

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 20 February 2019 22:58 (two months ago) Permalink

god, just retire and gtfo

Everyone needs to watch this video of @SenFeinstein disparaging literal children from @SunriseMvmt calling on her to support @AOC and @SenMarkey’s Green New

— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) February 22, 2019

Karl Malone, Saturday, 23 February 2019 01:25 (one month ago) Permalink

For a year I've been reporting this story about major climate news, finally breaking today: A new simulation finds that global warming could cause stratocumulus clouds to disappear in as little as a century, which would add 8°C (14°F) of extra warming.

— Natalie Wolchover (@nattyover) February 25, 2019

mookieproof, Monday, 25 February 2019 16:09 (one month ago) Permalink

that's... troubling

he protec, he attac, but most importantly, he dmac (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 25 February 2019 16:29 (one month ago) Permalink

CHILD: Please Senator Feinstein, we'd like to have a future!
SEN. FEINSTEIN: You're fucked, kid. What can I tell you? #HeartsAndMinds

— Dennis Perrin (@DennisThePerrin) February 23, 2019

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 25 February 2019 16:34 (one month ago) Permalink

is this the historic first appearance of a perrin tweet itt

he protec, he attac, but most importantly, he dmac (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 25 February 2019 16:36 (one month ago) Permalink

ban perrin tweets

you know who deserves sitewide mod privileges? (m bison), Monday, 25 February 2019 18:33 (one month ago) Permalink

*They want to take your hamburgers and make you eat dog food to survive* -- Here's a supercut of all the insane things CPAC speakers have been saying Democrats and cows

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 1, 2019

Karl Malone, Saturday, 2 March 2019 22:42 (one month ago) Permalink

chris hayes podcast with david wallace-wells, author of the recently released the uninhabitable earth:

mookieproof, Thursday, 7 March 2019 20:22 (one month ago) Permalink

i'm pretty sure dog food is also bad for the environment

frogbs, Thursday, 7 March 2019 20:29 (one month ago) Permalink

massive spikes in homelessness every time there's a natural disaster? sure why not, let's fuckin' do this

Insurers have warned that climate change could make affordable cover for ordinary people unaffordable after the world’s largest reinsurance firm blamed global warming for $24bn (£18bn) of losses in the Californian wildfires.

Ernst Rauch, Munich Re’s chief climatologist, told the Guardian that the costs could soon be widely felt, with premium rises already under discussion with clients holding asset concentrations in vulnerable parts of the state.

“If the risk from wildfires, flooding, storms or hail is increasing then the only sustainable option we have is to adjust our risk prices accordingly. In the long run it might become a social issue,” he said after Munich Re published a report into climate change’s impact on the company. “Affordability is so critical [because] some people on low and average incomes in some regions will no longer be able to buy insurance.”

The lion’s share of California’s 20 worst forest blazes since the 1930s have occurred this millennium, in years characterised by abnormally high summer temperatures and “exceptional dryness” between May and October, according to a new analysis by Munich Re.

Wetter and more humid winters spurred new forest growth which became tinder dry in heatwave conditions that preceded the wildfires, the report’s authors said.

After comparing observational data spanning several decades with climate models, the report concluded that the wildfires, which killed 85 people, were “broadly consistent with climate change”.

Nicolas Jeanmart, the head of personal insurance, general insurance and macroeconomics at Insurance Europe, which speaks for 34 national insurance associations, said the knock-on effects from rising premiums could pose a threat to social order.

“The sector is concerned that continuing global increases in temperature could make it increasingly difficult to offer the affordable financial protection that people deserve, and that modern society requires to function properly,” he said.

Munich Re’s insurance cover in hurricane-prone regions such as Florida is already higher than in northern Europe, by an order of magnitude.

Premiums are also being adjusted in regions facing an increased threat from severe convective storms which hold an energy and severity primed by global warming. These include parts of Germany, Austria, France, south-west Italy and the US midwest.

Increases in the intensity and frequency of California’s wildfire season are predicted by climate models, and the Munich Re analysis combines monthly meteorological data with financial losses to graph the trend’s rise since 2001.

Average annual wildfire losses trailed well below $5bn even within this millennium, until 2017 and 2018, when they leapt to more than $20bn. Munich Re believes that global warming made a “significant contribution” to this.

No insurer has linked wildfires to climate change before, although a Lloyds report into Superstorm Sandy in 2014 found that global warming-linked sea level rises had increased surge losses around Manhattan by 30%.

Climate scientists say that linking extreme weather events to climate change is akin to attributing the performance of a steroid-taking sportsman to drug use – the connections are clearer in patterns than in individual disasters.
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Paul Fisher, the Bank of England’s former coordinator on climate change, and a fellow at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, said: “In general, one can’t prove that a single event is the result of climate change but it is likely to cause more such events of greater severity.”

“It is very interesting if insurers conclude that climate change was a significant contributory factor to the event and will make the insurance companies think carefully about the pricing and availability of similar insurance policies.”

It may also influence several court cases testing the liability of fossil fuel companies for the effects of global warming.

Dr Ben Caldecott, the director of Oxford University’s sustainable finance programme, said: “Company directors and fiduciaries will ultimately be held responsible for avoidable climate-related damages and losses and urgently need to up their game to avoid litigation and liability.”

Munich Re has divested its large thermal coal holdings. However, it maintains some gas and oil investments.

i'm w/ tato, super hot AND weird!! (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 21 March 2019 15:34 (one month ago) Permalink

Wow, can’t believe all these insurance companies and the military are falling for this hoax that is also a good thing

but i'm there are fuckups (Karl Malone), Thursday, 21 March 2019 16:47 (one month ago) Permalink

I walked around this property—it also had a water view—in the slow, pensive way of the rich shopper, cultivating an opaque expression which could suggest equally the taking in of beauty, or polite condemnation. The place was lovely, but it was also like everything in Miami, beige, beige, beige, pink, white, beige, blue, beige, beige, white. The Zen-like bedrooms all looked like ideal places for thinking about not looking at screens at night, while looking at a screen.

The rhythm of these things is as follows: greeting, walk around, short chat, good bye. This short chat was longer. We talked about shoes and jewelry and the intense beauty of Miami, which I meant every word of. I felt bad lying to her and with no good segue for my true mission, I was worried that when I came out with my questions, her demeanor would change. But just as charmingly as she received my greetings and compliments on the layout of the kitchen and, on her shoes, she said sure, there was a problem, but if anything was going to happen, she thought it would be more like in fifty years than thirty.

It’s amazing that people in these situations tell you what they think. I think bread actually takes twenty minutes to bake, she said, removing the doughy mass from the oven. I think I can drive a car after I’ve run out of gas, he said, as he rolled silently into the breakdown lane.

I did not say this; I said nothing, because I did not have to, because—fiddling attractively with a circular gold pendant at her tan throat all the while—she continued to talk. “The scientists, economists, and environmentalists that are saying this stuff, they don’t realize what a wealthy area this is.” She said that she lived here and wasn’t leaving, and that the people selling Miami were confident, and all working on the same goal as a community to maintain this place, with the pumps and the zoning and raising the streets. There were just too many millionaires and billionaires here for a disaster on a great scale to be allowed to take place.

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 18:13 (two weeks ago) Permalink

i hate that piece with all of my heart, whatever its utility. it gave me a panic attack last night AND it reads like no one edited it. these are barely paragraphs, they're like sequences of popular tweets

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 18:13 (two weeks ago) Permalink

"cultivating an opaque expression" my god

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 18:15 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I agree it's a bit unwieldy but idk I don't find the style offensive

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 18:18 (two weeks ago) Permalink

leave it to me to find unwieldy style offensive

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 18:20 (two weeks ago) Permalink

"Cultivating an opaque expression" >> "keeping my face blank", all day every day.

Andrew Farrell, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 18:40 (two weeks ago) Permalink

we're all shorting the entire state, but it takes so long we're all bankrupt first.

Hunt3r, Thursday, 4 April 2019 03:05 (two weeks ago) Permalink

well that was a nightmarish read, thx simon

a photographer, satanist and ukip voter (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 4 April 2019 09:21 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Fox's Todd Piro seems genuinely confused by a diner guest supporting higher taxes to fund the Green New Deal and fight climate change.

— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) April 4, 2019

Karl Malone, Thursday, 4 April 2019 23:29 (two weeks ago) Permalink

The New American Energy Era

— Rick Perry (@SecretaryPerry) April 14, 2019

gotta love the words of a very dumb man glowing on a page like they're being issued from the mouth of a god

these are not all of the possible side effects (Karl Malone), Sunday, 14 April 2019 15:03 (one week ago) Permalink

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