The Brutal Logic of Climate Change

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"Climate change will take on a life of it's own and spiral out of control. Something like half the earth's currently-inhabited land would become too hot to survive on. I don't mean it's difficult to grow beans, or your air-conditioning bills are inconveniently high. I mean, if you go outside you die of hotness. Places that were an average of 80F will now be an average of 170, 180F. Will there still be human civilization under those circumstances?"

The Brutal Logic of Climate Change, by David Roberts of grist.org

Wording and links lifted verbatim from this MeFi post.... it was so well done that I couldn't see any way to improve on it. The first link is a 15-minute TED talk that I found very engaging, and I don't tend to like video presentations as much as text. The latter two are text.

http://www.euractiv.com/climate-envi...

According to this, carbon dioxide emissions are even higher. Honestly, with all of this news of economic catastrophes and climate apocalypse, it makes you not even give a crap about things. We are pretty much screwed. And we will all likely meet grisly ends.

What a world.

ZaneRockfist wrote:
http://www.euractiv.com/climate-envi...

According to this, carbon dioxide emissions are even higher.

Yup, once again, the "alarmist" scientists were actually being too conservative.

The great analogy I got out of the TED talk is this: Hitler's armies are on the march, a hundred miles away, and the denialists are arguing about the thread count in the soldiers' uniforms. This is the biggest emergency that humanity has ever faced. Bigger than anything, ever.

Where I presently live has an 'average' temperature of 90 degrees for most of the summer, which of course it hasn't even vaguely approximated, being closer to 97 or 98 most days. If we don't do anything, within a hundred years, the average summer temperature here is going to be like 120 degrees, and in 300 years, it will be something like 180 degrees during the day.

Malor wrote:
If we don't do anything, within a hundred years, the average summer temperature here is going to be like 120 degrees, and in 300 years, it will be something like 180 degrees during the day.

Might want to stock up on sunscreen, then. Just like the financial crisis, this one isn't going to get any real attention until the 11th hour, but by then, midnight will be too close to do anything about it. As bad as peak cheap fossil fuels is, it might be the only thing that can prevent the absolute devastation of the world as a whole.

We really did get born into a wild time in history.

With all the coal we can dig up, and the ability to chemically process it into an oil substitute, we're not going to run out of fossil fuels in time to matter.

Malor wrote:
I presently live has an 'average' temperature of 90 degrees for most of the summer, which of course it hasn't even vaguely approximated, being closer to 97 or 98 most days.
Please take into account the hours of the day you aren't conscious before proclaiming a per day average as bunk.

The thing is, it doesn't really matter if global warming exists or not.

If it does exist, and we become environmentally responsible, we avert global disaster.

If it doesn't exist, and we become environmentally responsible, we improved the quality of life on Earth.

The worst possible negative for becoming environmentally responsible is economic collapse due to the amount of money being spent on the environment.

If you believe none of the science you are in a 50/50 split between the Earth failing and the economy failing. If you believe any of the science, you should push for environmental action to be taken.

Squee9 wrote:
If you believe none of the science you are in a 50/50 split between the Earth failing and the economy failing. If you believe any of the science, you should push for environmental action to be taken.
Look, mister: we already rejected your so-called "science", so don't come around here with your elitist "logic" to try to make it sound like we should agree. Did you ever stop to think that maybe some of us don't want to have to choose between the lesser of two evils? We should start a third option in this debate to silence you 50/50 people.

Malor wrote:
With all the coal we can dig up, and the ability to chemically process it into an oil substitute, we're not going to run out of fossil fuels in time to matter.

You are probably right. We are screwed. I hope none of you have kids or grand kids.

IMAGE(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4036/4254681996_27b1ed7ff0.jpg)

Perhaps we've already warmed the place up enough to start the natural feedback loop of release of additional greenhouse gases from natural sources-> more heat -> more release from natural sources. If so then us merely stopping won't be sufficient, though that's not justification not to do so - simply a statement that it may take more.

Maybe a real and tangible extinction level threat is precisely what this species needs to get its sh*t together and treat each other and the environment with respect. That's rather idealistic though, historically these sorts of things just result in more violence, war, and death.

krev82 wrote:
Perhaps we've already warmed the place up enough to start the natural feedback loop of release of additional greenhouse gases from natural sources-> more heat -> more release from natural sources. If so then us merely stopping won't be sufficient, though that's not justification not to do so - simply a statement that it may take more.

Maybe a real and tangible extinction level threat is precisely what this species needs to get its sh*t together and treat each other and the environment with respect. That's rather idealistic though, historically these sorts of things just result in more violence, war, and death.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-en...

Positive feedback.

The problem is that we are probably already too far gone. The time for action was long ago. By the time any action is taken, it will be far too late. Humanity is a failed species and it won't have much longer. At this point, I am going to continue doing what I can to reduce my contribution, but I know it won't amount to a damn thing. I'm just going to try to enjoy the last few good years of comfort before I put a bullet in my head when the storm rises.

Dude! I mean, we're all thinkin' that, but you're not supposed to just up and *say* it like that.

krev82 wrote:
Perhaps we've already warmed the place up enough to start the natural feedback loop of release of additional greenhouse gases from natural sources-> more heat -> more release from natural sources. If so then us merely stopping won't be sufficient, though that's not justification not to do so - simply a statement that it may take more.

Maybe a real and tangible extinction level threat is precisely what this species needs to get its sh*t together and treat each other and the environment with respect. That's rather idealistic though, historically these sorts of things just result in more violence, war, and death.


IMAGE(http://www.draftpartyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/rat-farts.jpg)

So, survival of the fittest?

What we need is some environmental pressure to select those that adapt, otherwise we die out.

Well, that was a real downer.

Squee9 wrote:
The thing is, it doesn't really matter if global warming exists or not.

If it does exist, and we become environmentally responsible, we avert global disaster.

If it doesn't exist, and we become environmentally responsible, we improved the quality of life on Earth.

The worst possible negative for becoming environmentally responsible is economic collapse due to the amount of money being spent on the environment.

If you believe none of the science you are in a 50/50 split between the Earth failing and the economy failing. If you believe any of the science, you should push for environmental action to be taken.

It's a real Pascal's Wager—except this time the stakes are actually material and verifiable.

I can't see any reason for not taking that bet, except short-term selfish gain. Which is basically fundamental to First World government and economics. Everyone we have in de jure and de facto power wants their cookie now and can't wait for two later.

Sorry for colliding metaphors like that.

necroyeti wrote:
Dude! I mean, we're all thinkin' that, but you're not supposed to just up and *say* it like that. :)

I am sorry, man. This post kind of killed that final spark of hope I had for the future. I would like to be an optimist, but it just isn't realistic these days.


Where I presently live has an 'average' temperature of 90 degrees for most of the summer, which of course it hasn't even vaguely approximated, being closer to 97 or 98 most days. If we don't do anything, within a hundred years, the average summer temperature here is going to be like 120 degrees, and in 300 years, it will be something like 180 degrees during the day.

Where did you get these numbers? 90 degrees F is about 32 degrees C. 120 degrees is about 49 degrees C.

I've never seen a scientific prediction of a 17 degree C increase in 100 years, or 54 degrees C in 300 years. That's far, far faster than the IPCC or even the Kevin Anderson article you cited would provide for. His worst case - absolute worst case - is 4 degrees C by 2050, and 6 degrees C by 2100. Your estimate is *triple* what he gives as the worst case.

Seriously, I follow this stuff like a hawk, and Anderson doesn't say it, the Grist article doesn't... Where did you get this? It destroys Anderson's point, which is that we can still mitigate this stuff, and without *too* much trouble, if we start before about 2025. If we're going 17 degrees C by 2100, we'll hit 6 by about 2040.

ZaneRockfist wrote:
necroyeti wrote:
Dude! I mean, we're all thinkin' that, but you're not supposed to just up and *say* it like that. :)

I am sorry, man. This post kind of killed that final spark of hope I had for the future. I would like to be an optimist, but it just isn't realistic these days.

You and me, we should start some sort of support group.

Farscry wrote:

You and me, we should start some sort of support group. ;)

Everyone would end up committing suicide from how depressing it would be.

ZaneRockfist wrote:
necroyeti wrote:
Dude! I mean, we're all thinkin' that, but you're not supposed to just up and *say* it like that. :)

I am sorry, man. This post kind of killed that final spark of hope I had for the future. I would like to be an optimist, but it just isn't realistic these days.

Seriously. Glad we don't have/want kids, plus now I'm motivated to make more epic vacation plans.

On the bright side, it's nice to not worry about Peak Oil ramifications.

ZaneRockfist wrote:
Farscry wrote:

You and me, we should start some sort of support group. ;)

Everyone would end up committing suicide from how depressing it would be.

Well, to be fair, that's not too far from my daily life anyway. Just less lonely. Seriously though, sometimes it's nice to not be the only person bemoaning a pessimistic view of the future!

BAH! It was the, "I'll be dead by then so I don't care," attitidue that got us in to this mess in the first place. I refuse to accept that line of thinking.

Squee9 wrote:
BAH! It was the, "I'll be dead by then so I don't care," attitidue that got us in to this mess in the first place. I refuse to accept that line of thinking.

Me either, man. Of course I'll probably be dead because of it, but I am not going to stop doing what I can to mitigate my role in things. Who knows, maybe one of us will end up doing something really special to mitigate it. But that's my wishful thinking that rears up often.

Farscry wrote:

Well, to be fair, that's not too far from my daily life anyway. Just less lonely. Seriously though, sometimes it's nice to not be the only person bemoaning a pessimistic view of the future!

Heh, I know that feel, bro. And it can be good to be pessimistic as well. People need to get a dose of it to get their heads out of their asses and do things.

clover wrote:

Seriously. Glad we don't have/want kids, plus now I'm motivated to make more epic vacation plans.

On the bright side, it's nice to not worry about Peak Oil ramifications.

I'm just a poor guy living with his mum, so I'll stick to video games and all that!

It almost makes you want peak fossil fuels to occur and occur hard. I'd certainly take a world without fossil fuels over a world that burns you alive.

Squee9 wrote:
BAH! It was the, "I'll be dead by then so I don't care," attitidue that got us in to this mess in the first place. I refuse to accept that line of thinking.

Well, I already live in an urban area, in a one-car household where we use public transport when possible, eat far less meat than most Americans, buy 80% local produce, turn off all our CFLs when we're not directly using them, recycle and limit waste, don't have A/C, give experiences-not-stuff for gifts, don't have kids, politely encourage homeowning friends to use energy-saving and low-resource stuff and support kids we know who are interested in science and engineering.

There's only so much more to trim, yanno?

clover wrote:

There's only so much more to trim, yanno?

Write your representatives asking what the hell they're doing about it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_ca...

We are, effectively, as hard to get rid of as roaches. Humanity will survive, one way or another. So don't give up just yet.

I am a strong optimist. We've gone from effectively monkeys, to having people living IN SPACE. This is neither the first, nor last massive disaster we will face. As usual, people are idiots. But honestly, I'm not really sure much outside of a planet-glassing asteroid strike or the moon falling from orbit would actually kill us all off.

Kannon wrote:
I am a strong optimist. We've gone from effectively monkeys, to having people living IN SPACE. This is neither the first, nor last massive disaster we will face. As usual, people are idiots. But honestly, I'm not really sure much outside of a planet-glassing asteroid strike or the moon falling from orbit would actually kill us all off.

That's what I'm thinking. Our strength is our adaptability, what's lacking is the will or the pressure to do things until we're looking into the brink.

The problem is see isn't so much if some of us will survive THE CLIMATE APOCALYPSE!! (big scary letters), but how many of us. It's debatable whether we're overpopulated anyway, but I can see a similar discussion to our ability to feed the hungry versus whether we do it. I wouldn't be surprised to see the world population drop, by a lot, if things change. How many people would be convinced to migrate, say, above 60 degrees north/below 60 degrees south if they had to? There's a whole bunch of room in Russia/Canada/Antarctica. Or had to move to live in the mountains.

Please take into account the hours of the day you aren't conscious before proclaiming a per day average as bunk.

Please consider that I'm not an idiot, and it may be worth clarifying what I meant. If you'd taken a second to think about it, you'd realize an average temperature of 90 degrees, for a 24 hour period, would happen only in a very few places on Earth, if anywhere at all.

The average high temperature in this area is 90 degrees exactly, during the day, for several months straight. It has been mid to high 90s almost every day this month. It's 94 right now, at 9 PM.

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