Global Warming's Terrifying New Math

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scott seward, Friday, 20 July 2012 13:08 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

"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 (seven years ago) link

well that's good news, at least

frogbs, Friday, 20 July 2012 13:24 (seven years ago) link

we're fucked

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

all that pesky arctic ice was hiding all the oil!

scott seward, Friday, 20 July 2012 13:28 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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.

xxpost

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

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 (seven years ago) link

now I think I'm fooling myself maybe

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

i need a drink after reading this

Spectrum, Friday, 20 July 2012 13:57 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

http://adsoftheworld.com/files/sony.start_.new_.tunnel20.jpg

scott seward, Friday, 20 July 2012 14:15 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

sounds about right

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

You gotta start somewhere.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 20 July 2012 14:25 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4MCRrsmzYU

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 20 July 2012 14:29 (seven years ago) link

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.

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/2012/jul/11/weather/

scott seward, Friday, 20 July 2012 14:47 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

odds are expressed as a fraction of 1 iirc

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

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

Thus Sang Freud, Friday, 20 July 2012 16:11 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

more proof that this is all a hoax

your friend, (Z S), Friday, 20 July 2012 16:16 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

*checks the constitution for what should be done in the event of a coup on a state legislature*

i will never make a typo ever again (Karl Malone), Saturday, 22 June 2019 19:52 (one month ago) link

This story terrifies me.

Got your butt drank (Neanderthal), Saturday, 22 June 2019 20:51 (one month ago) link

the hourly NPR news update just mentioned the Oregon situation for the first time (that i've heard, at least). how did they cover it? between two stories about climate protesters in NYC and Europe, they news reader said:

"in oregon, climate over climate change legislation led to the closure of the state capital"

that's it

i will never make a typo ever again (Karl Malone), Sunday, 23 June 2019 14:42 (one month ago) link

― i will never make a GODDAMMIT ever again (Karl Malone),
― i will never make a GODDAMMIT ever again (Karl Malone),
― i will never make a GODDAMMIT ever again (Karl Malone), ― i will never make a GODDAMMIT ever again (Karl Malone), ― i will never make a GODDAMMIT ever again (Karl Malone),

i will never make a typo ever again (Karl Malone), Sunday, 23 June 2019 14:42 (one month ago) link

"in oregon, conflict over climate change legislation led to the closure of the state capital"

i will never make a typo ever again (Karl Malone), Sunday, 23 June 2019 14:42 (one month ago) link

"conflict" smdh

Ambient Police (sleeve), Sunday, 23 June 2019 14:44 (one month ago) link

(not at you, KM!)

Ambient Police (sleeve), Sunday, 23 June 2019 14:45 (one month ago) link

The world is increasingly at risk of “climate apartheid”, where the rich pay to escape heat and hunger caused by the escalating climate crisis while the rest of the world suffers, a report from a UN human rights expert has said.

Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said the impacts of global heating are likely to undermine not only basic rights to life, water, food, and housing for hundreds of millions of people, but also democracy and the rule of law.

Alston is critical of the “patently inadequate” steps taken by the UN itself, countries, NGOs and businesses, saying they are “entirely disproportionate to the urgency and magnitude of the threat”. His report to the UN human rights council (HRC) concludes: “Human rights might not survive the coming upheaval.”

Alston’s report on climate change and poverty will be formally presented to the HRC in Geneva on Friday. It said the greatest impact of the climate crisis would be on those living in poverty, with many losing access to adequate food and water.

“Climate change threatens to undo the last 50 years of progress in development, global health, and poverty reduction,” Alston said. Developing countries will bear an estimated 75% of the costs of the climate crisis, the report said, despite the poorest half of the world’s population causing just 10% of carbon dioxide emissions.

“Yet democracy and the rule of law, as well as a wide range of civil and political rights are every bit at risk,” Alston’s report said. “The risk of community discontent, of growing inequality, and of even greater levels of deprivation among some groups, will likely stimulate nationalist, xenophobic, racist and other responses. Maintaining a balanced approach to civil and political rights will be extremely complex.”

The impacts of the climate crisis could increase divisions, Alston said. “We risk a ‘climate apartheid’ scenario where the wealthy pay to escape overheating, hunger, and conflict while the rest of the world is left to suffer,” he said.

“When Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on New York in 2012, stranding low-income and vulnerable New Yorkers without access to power and healthcare, the Goldman Sachs headquarters was protected by tens of thousands of its own sandbags and power from its generator.”

big beautiful wario (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 25 June 2019 10:05 (one month ago) link

(CNN) -- Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue cited weather patterns and said "it rained yesterday, it's a nice pretty day today" when asked about the cause of the global climate crisis in an interview with CNN.

Perdue joins President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence as the latest senior administration official to question the near universal consensus in the scientific community that the global climate crisis is man-made.

Perdue told CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich in the interview released Tuesday that "we don't know" the cause of climate change, adding, "and obviously scientists -- many scientists believe that it's human caused, other scientists believe it's not," Perdue said.

"So if it's not human caused, then what is it?" Yurkevich asked.

"You know, I think it's weather patterns, frankly. And you know, and they change, as I said. It rained yesterday, it's a nice pretty day today. So the climate does change in short increments and in long increments," Perdue responded.

mookieproof, Tuesday, 25 June 2019 20:55 (one month ago) link

*screams into pillow*

Ambient Police (sleeve), Tuesday, 25 June 2019 21:02 (one month ago) link

oh man, 'scientists' should look into the weather patterns theory. has anyone looked into that? maybe all of this is just unpredictable weather!

HAVEN'T HEARD A DUMBASS MAKE THAT ARGUMENT NINE HUNDRED FUCKING TRILLION TIMES BEFORE NO SIREE*head explodes*

i will never make a typo ever again (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 25 June 2019 21:09 (one month ago) link

i don't want to tell vanessa yurkevich how to do her job, but maybe those are statements that could be challenged by a journalist armed with facts

mookieproof, Tuesday, 25 June 2019 21:15 (one month ago) link

In a slightly more positive note I had occasion to flip through a dumb ‘wellness’ magazine at the weekend. I happened upon a article ‘what to do about climate change anxiety’ and it was actually pretty good. It’s message was, educate yourself (by going to the the CSIRO and climate council website), lobby your MP and vote for people who want to do something about climate change and then some practical stuff like install solar, walk don’t drive, eat less meat and eat local.

It may be 20 years too late but things are changing in the suburbs. 77% of Australians are at various levels of freaking out about the climate crisis.

Now if only they had voted for a government that want full of people like the wilfully ignorant, self interested chicken molester above.

Theresa May’s Hail Mary for a legacy by trying to legislate the UK be carbon neutral by 2050 is a good sign too.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Tuesday, 25 June 2019 21:19 (one month ago) link

Meanwhile, re Australia, just read this bullshit in a book by Leigh Sales (host of probably the only "serious" current affairs show in the country):
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D98FYVFU8AAWviB.jpg
Substitute in gravity or the Holocaust or Sandy Hook shooting victims or anything else for which there is overwhelming evidence and the paucity of the argument is obvious. Plus people will die by the million if these admirable doubters are wrong, as they almost definitely are. But please, let's encourage their valuable contribution.

Today is the hottest June day in Germany's history: 101.5°F (38.6°C)

This is why: There's never been a high pressure system over Europe that matches the current one, in all the decades we've been keeping track. The atmosphere is different now.

By Friday, France could hit 110°F. https://t.co/O7pGpR2Ay5

— Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) June 26, 2019

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 27 June 2019 10:39 (one month ago) link

A gauche carte des températures à 1500m prévues par GFS. A droite le cri de Munch.
Jamais vu ça en 15 que je regarde des cartes météo #canicule pic.twitter.com/RIJTXiCUh1

— Ruben H (@korben_meteo) June 20, 2019

despondently sipping tomato soup (Sanpaku), Thursday, 27 June 2019 15:28 (one month ago) link

Da Fuq?!!!

(Freak hailstorm buries major Mexico city under FIVE FEET of ice – as California bakes in 38C)

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9407977/hail-storm-mexico-guadalajara-drivers-trapped/

nickn, Monday, 1 July 2019 03:50 (one month ago) link

yup, here we go, full on climate chaos

Ambient Police (sleeve), Monday, 1 July 2019 04:11 (one month ago) link

WAKE UP libcucks, how can there be GLOBAL WARMING if it’s HAILING in MEXICO in JULY

coroner criticises butt (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 1 July 2019 07:34 (one month ago) link

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/los-angeles-solicits-record-solar-storage-deal-at-199713-cents-kwh/558018/

-*The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is preparing a potentially world record-setting power purchase agreement (PPA) for solar + storage at 1.997 cents and 1.3 cents per kWh, respectively.

  • LADWP presented the 400 MW solar, 800 MWh storage project to the city's Board of Power and Water Commissioners on June 18, previewing its planned July 23 submission for approval. The solar + storage contract would beat out the previous U.S. record, a 2.376 cents per kWh solar project proposed by NV Energy in June 2018, with both the Nevada and California projects under developer 8Minute Energy.
$.02/kWh solar, wholesale, is very very good. for reference, wholesale electricity prices typically hover around $3/MWh ($0.03/kWh) (https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=37912)

i will never make a typo ever again (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 2 July 2019 16:59 (one month ago) link

yarg, i meant $30/MWh, not $3

anyway, it is a very good thing when clean energy prices are cheaper than the carbon-heavy status quo

i will never make a typo ever again (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 2 July 2019 17:00 (one month ago) link

Paper in Nature says we need to ban all fossil fuels now if we want to keep the temp rise to 1.5 degrees. What next? The scientists form militias? They go full Unabomber? This is not an inconvenient truth, it is a fount of cosmic horror, and I am not surprised that so many choose to lie to themselves about it. We are a self-limiting pathogen and society is in the early throes of what may well be its terminal decline. I'm personally a bit upset about that but it's also a larger tragedy, in the Greek sense. Our fatal flaw is the imperative to grow and consume at any costs.

If anyone reads this, Uatu or whoever, don't listen to Peter. Go ahead and judge this race by empty remains. It harms us none to do so, honestly is an unearned consolation to think that anyone will even be left to judge us.

Quilter Ray (rushomancy), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 14:10 (one month ago) link

Our fatal flaw is the imperative to grow and consume at any costs.

that is true for a lot of people, today. we have a biological drive to reproduce, like a lot of other creatures. i'm not sure that necessarily translates into an inherent drive to grow and consume. it hasn't been that way for all cultures. it certainly is for our own, right now.

we also have a drive to adapt and use technology. there's a positive vision for how that might play out. *insert project utopia summary here, involving a dramatic & unexpected change of political will and the invention of perpetual motion machine*

the more likely scenario is that our ability to adapt and innovate will be useful in moderately mitigating the worst effects of climate change. maybe 50 million die instead of 2 billion. maybe we save 50 cities from the water that would have otherwise gone under. that kind of thing. it's hard for us to see those things as "victories", but they are, in a way.

or maybe a much smaller population of humans adapt to the hellscape of 2150, and everyone tells each other that this is pretty much the only way it could have happened.

the point is that we have more impulses than just reproducing and growing and consuming. adapting and using technology is what makes humans special. terrible outcomes are definitely possible, even likely. but they're not inevitable.

i will never make a typo ever again (Karl Malone), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 15:08 (one month ago) link

I prefer Octavia Butler's take, that we have a fatal combination of intelligence plus hierarchical bioprogramming

Ambient Police (sleeve), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 15:11 (one month ago) link

fyi as an academic bolshevist in tie-dye and hippie stink lines, i believe the word y'all are looking for is "capitalism"

Good morning, how are you, I'm (Doctor Casino), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 15:36 (one month ago) link

Thanks for the good thoughts. The way I adapted yesterday was going full-on Buddhist. The challenge I have is not getting trapped in suffering but at the same time not trivializing it. I don't know how it plays over in societies where Buddhism is a real social force, but it's easy here for it to come across as "your suffering isn't real", which isn't true at all - suffering just isn't _ultimate_ reality, doesn't define who we are. The difference between me and Buddhism is that I have no fucking clue about what ultimate reality is. Buddhism seems like it has some pretty good guesses but I don't know if it's any more than that.

Anyway, whenever the end comes for humanity, if it's in the next hundred years or hundreds of millions of years down the line, there's always going to be sadness and regret, but I'm sort of feeling liberation from the endless cycle of death and rebirth this morning.

Quilter Ray (rushomancy), Thursday, 4 July 2019 12:50 (one month ago) link

it terrifies me that this exists on some level
https://clexit.net/

one charm and one antiup quark (outdoor_miner), Wednesday, 17 July 2019 23:26 (one month ago) link

Why be terrified?

Academic reputations have had diminishing returns. The fossil fuel interests have (mostly) good credit. There have always been whores (no disrespect to honest sex workers). They do what they think is necessary for their children to go to college, but they're all (and I think in most cases, knowingly) ethically stained for their participation in these charades.

From the standpoint of what is practical for the first stage of decarbonisation, there's no question natural gas will remain a big part of the mix, as until major changes are made to the grid (continent wide smart grids, HVDC transmission from renewable rich areas), natural gas is how we buffer renewable intermittancy. For some energy applications, like air and water transport, renewables aren't remotely competitive at present.

However, anyone who follows this knows that to retain human carrying capacity, extraction of most present fossil fuel reserves can't be permitted. So we divide and conquer. Coal fueled electricity generation comes under our fire first, petroleum-fueled land transport and space heating second, and then we run out of low hanging fruit and have to hope for miracles on the algal fuels front for air transport and shipping.

The US gas companies were happy when it was all about solar and wind buildout, as they knew that for every MW of either a MW of gas peaking plant had to be built. But some of them have interests in the petroleum side. Coal is different, the coal companies typically have never diversified. Lotsa bankrupcies there lately, but the executives will all keep their salaries and bonuses.

полезный идиот (Sanpaku), Thursday, 18 July 2019 01:08 (one month ago) link

it terrifies me that this exists on some level
https://clexit.net/

the list of founding members of this thing has a lot of predictable names on it. guys like christopher monckton, who gets away with a lot because he has a Lord in front of his name and his accent makes republicans think he is smart and trustworthy, and marc morano, who runs climatedepot.com, the second most popular climate denier website, a mix of the drudge report and the meeting minutes of the flat earth society.

don't be terrified of stuff like clexit. no one gives a shit about that. but most of those same guys are the darlings of the Heartland Institute, a much more prominent (and successful) organization dedicated to lying about climate change so that fossil fuel interests can party for a while longer

Karl Malone, Thursday, 18 July 2019 01:25 (one month ago) link

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49086783

"This paper should finally stop climate change deniers claiming that the recent observed coherent global warming is part of a natural climate cycle," said Prof Mark Maslin, from University College London, UK, who wasn't part of the studies.

lol

L'assie (Euler), Wednesday, 24 July 2019 21:16 (three weeks ago) link

happy overshoot day everyone

Mankind will have used up its allowance of natural resources such as water, soil and clean air for all of 2019 by Monday, a report said.

The so-called Earth Overshoot Day has moved up by two months over the past 20 years and this year’s date is the earliest ever, the study by the Global Footprint Network said.

The equivalent of 1.75 planets would be required to produce enough to meet humanity’s needs at current consumption rates.

“Earth Overshoot Day falling on July 29 means that humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate. This is akin to using 1.75 Earths,” the environmental group, which is headquartered in Oakland, California, said in a statement.

Earth Overshoot Day 2019 is approaching on July 29th, the earliest ever. Join the community of Date Movers on our new crowd-sourced solutions platform. We’d love to learn about your favorite solutions that help to push back Overshoot Day later in the year. https://t.co/qqgJeOcJdX pic.twitter.com/mnV3gnGVd4

— Footprint Network (@EndOvershoot) July 28, 2019

another no-holds-barred Tokey Wedge adventure for men (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 29 July 2019 12:58 (three weeks ago) link

don't think we mentioned it itt when it appeared in the nyt back in april, but this piece on how the pinkertons are gearing up for climate change is amazing

According to the World Bank, by 2050 some 140 million people may be displaced by sea-level rise and extreme weather, driving escalations in crime, political unrest and resource conflict. Even if the most conservative predictions about our climate future prove overstated, a 1.5-degree Celsius rise in temperature during the next century will almost certainly provoke chaos, in what experts call climate change’s “threat multiplier”: Displacement begets desperation begets disorder. Reading these projections from the relative comforts of the C-suite, it wasn’t difficult to see why a company might consider enhancing its security protocols.

For Pinkerton, the bet is twofold: first, that there’s no real material difference between climate change and any other conflict — as the world grows more predictably dangerous, tactical know-how will simply be more in demand than ever. And second, that by adding data analytics, Pinkerton stands to compete more directly with traditional consulting firms like Deloitte, which offer pre- and postdisaster services (supply-chain monitoring, damage documentation, etc.), but which cannot, say, dispatch a helicopter full of armed guards to Guatemala in an afternoon. In theory, Pinkerton can do both — a fully militarized managerial class at corporate disposal.

Later, after Paz Larach took his turn on the range — during which he emptied a Galil ACE assault rifle into a human-shaped cardboard cutout, then quickly drew his nine-millimeter, grouping four shots in the chest-cavity bull’s-eye — he offered the example of Hurricane Maria. On the day the Category 4 hurricane made landfall in Puerto Rico in 2017, he received more than 30 calls from American businesses and multinationals. He wouldn’t go into detail but explained that many chief executives felt blind to the situation and effectively tendered a blank check if Pinkerton could provide security. Over the next few days, as the company deployed hundreds of agents to the island, some of them, Paz Larach claimed, reported seeing firearms brandished at gas stations. “We had to escort the cargo with real agents, have cars chase the main truck,” he said. “Those who did not have protection were having their cargo hijacked.”

Aware that he might end up sounding vampiric, Paz Larach hesitated, then eventually confessed what he’d wanted to say in the first place: The future looked pretty good for Pinkerton.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/04/10/magazine/climate-change-pinkertons.html

another no-holds-barred Tokey Wedge adventure for men (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 30 July 2019 14:30 (three weeks ago) link

wheeeeeeee

One common metric used to investigate the effects of global warming is known as “equilibrium climate sensitivity”, defined as the full amount of global surface warming that will eventually occur in response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations compared to pre-industrial times. It’s sometimes referred to as the holy grail of climate science because it helps quantify the specific risks posed to human society as the planet continues to warm.

We know that CO2 concentrations have risen from pre-industrial levels of 280 parts per million (ppm) to approximately 410 ppm today, the highest recorded in at least three million years. Without major mitigation efforts, we are likely to reach 560 ppm by around 2060.

When the IPCC’s fifth assessment report was published in 2013, it estimated that such a doubling of CO2 was likely to produce warming within the range of 1.5 to 4.5°C as the Earth reaches a new equilibrium. However, preliminary estimates calculated from the latest global climate models (being used in the current IPCC assessment, due out in 2021) are far higher than with the previous generation of models. Early reports are predicting that a doubling of CO2 may in fact produce between 2.8 and 5.8°C of warming. Incredibly, at least eight of the latest models produced by leading research centres in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and France are showing climate sensitivity of 5°C or warmer.

https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2019/august/1566136800/jo-lle-gergis/terrible-truth-climate-change

another no-holds-barred Tokey Wedge adventure for men (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 30 July 2019 15:46 (three weeks ago) link

That is very bad, but keep in mind that it takes a while (hundreds of years) for the temperature equilibrium to be reached. So if CO2 was 560 ppm in 2060 and the expected equilibrium is 5C increase in temp, that means that over the course of hundreds of years global temps would rise 5 degrees C

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 30 July 2019 16:08 (three weeks ago) link

Temperatures have been above average across Alaska every day since April 25. None of the nearly 300 weather stations scattered about Alaska have recorded a temperature below freezing since June 28, the longest such streak in at least 100 years.

On Independence Day, the temperature at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport hit 90 degrees for the first time on record. It comes as no surprise that the Last Frontier is just a day away from rounding out not only its warmest July but its warmest month on record.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/07/30/alaskas-summer-heat-has-been-basically-off-charts

mookieproof, Tuesday, 30 July 2019 16:59 (three weeks ago) link

i imagine it would not be hard to find footage/quotes of senator ted stevens pooh-poohing climate change, observing hilariously that just yesterday there were 10 inches of snow in his hometown, etc.?

Good morning, how are you, I'm (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 30 July 2019 21:32 (three weeks ago) link

also

Dunleavy has proposed eliminating all state funding for research based at UAF (which includes climate change): "I hope the regents accept this offer." #akleg

— Matt Acuña Buxton (@mattbuxton) July 30, 2019

mookieproof, Tuesday, 30 July 2019 21:35 (three weeks ago) link

just read an article arguing we could reforest the entire planet for roughly 2/3rds the cost of Trump's tax cut, which in turn could suck enough CO2 out of the air to send us back to the 1920s

frogbs, Tuesday, 30 July 2019 21:38 (three weeks ago) link

ah the gilded age, jazz, spanish flu

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Tuesday, 30 July 2019 21:43 (three weeks ago) link

This seems promising. A direct atmosphere capture process cost analysis that runs $232/t. A universal carbon tax of that much ($2.06/US gallon gasoline) could fund a carbon neutral economy. Caveat: this is three times the highest carbon taxes, worldwide.

Keith et al, 2018. A Process for Capturing CO2 from the Atmosphere. Joule, 2(8), pp.1573-1594.

hedonic treadmill class action (Sanpaku), Tuesday, 30 July 2019 22:20 (three weeks ago) link

spare a thought for blackrock investors during this difficult time

BlackRock, the world’s biggest investor, has lost an estimated $90bn over the last decade by ignoring the serious financial risk of investing in fossil fuel companies, according to economists.

A report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has found that BlackRock has eroded the value of the $6.5tn fund by betting on oil companies that were falling in value and by missing out on growth in clean energy investments.

The report found that BlackRock’s multi-billion dollar investments in the world’s largest oil companies – including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP – were responsible for the bulk of its losses.

The fund was also stung by the collapse of big US fossil fuel companies, including General Electric, and the coal mining company Peabody.

professor steve gogurt (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 1 August 2019 08:43 (two weeks ago) link

womp womp

maura, Thursday, 1 August 2019 10:14 (two weeks ago) link

in related news

Switching just some of the huge subsidies supporting fossil fuels to renewables would unleash a runaway clean energy revolution, according to a new report, significantly cutting the carbon emissions that are driving the climate crisis.

Coal, oil and gas get more than $370bn (£305bn) a year in support, compared with $100bn for renewables, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) report found. Just 10-30% of the fossil fuel subsidies would pay for a global transition to clean energy, the IISD said.

Ending fossil fuel subsidies has long been seen as vital to tackling the climate emergency, with the G20 nations pledging in 2009 to phase them out, but progress has been limited. In May, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, attacked subsidies, saying: “What we are doing is using taxpayers’ money – which means our money – to boost hurricanes, to spread droughts, to melt glaciers, to bleach corals. In one word: to destroy the world.”

The new analysis shows how redirecting some of the fossil fuel subsidies could decisively tip the balance in favour of green energy, making it the cheapest electricity available and instigating a rapid global rollout.

“Almost everywhere, renewables are so close to being competitive that [a 10-30% subsidy swap] tips the balance, and turns them from a technology that is slowly growing to one that is instantly the most viable and can replace really large amounts of generation,” said Richard Bridle of the IISD. “It goes from being marginal to an absolute no-brainer.”


Most experts define fossil fuel subsidies as financial or tax support for those buying fuel or the companies producing it. The IMF also includes the cost of the damage fossil fuel burning causes to climate and health, leading to an estimate of $5.2tn of fossil fuel subsidies in 2017, or $10m a minute. Ending the subsidies would cut global emissions by about a quarter, the IMF estimates, and halve the number of early deaths from fossil fuel air pollution.

professor steve gogurt (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 1 August 2019 12:00 (two weeks ago) link

Multi vortex tornadoes. In Luxembourg.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaV_Kfk-0c0

hedonic treadmill class action (Sanpaku), Sunday, 11 August 2019 03:00 (one week ago) link

just read an article arguing we could reforest the entire planet for roughly 2/3rds the cost of Trump's tax cut

If you only figure the cost as including the seedlings and the labor involved to plant the trees, this could be correct. However, wherever a tree grows it takes a certain amount of land out of agricultural use. The shade limits what can be grown under it and the roots interfere with tillage of the soil in general, but especially with mechanized tillage.

which in turn could suck enough CO2 out of the air to send us back to the 1920s

This apparently refers only to the CO2 levels of the 1920s not the agricultural acreage of the 1920s, when a very large amount of the CO2 now liberated in the atmosphere was sequestered underground in the form of oil, natural gas and coal, rather than in the form of forests, which stand above ground. So, if we were to follow this plan, it would drastically reduce the agricultural capacity of the planet. That could have consequences as disruptive and chaotic as the agricultural devastation caused by unchecked climate change.

A is for (Aimless), Sunday, 11 August 2019 04:31 (one week ago) link

impressive how a teenage girl taking a cargo ship makes people lose their fucking minds

mookieproof, Friday, 16 August 2019 20:56 (four days ago) link

sail boat? bc she awesome and those people are lunatics
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WT8NemS6FmQ

one charm and one antiup quark (outdoor_miner), Friday, 16 August 2019 21:18 (four days ago) link

Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as glacier. In the next 200 years, all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and know what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.

August 2019

415ppm CO2

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49345912

Karl Malone, Monday, 19 August 2019 04:24 (yesterday) link


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