[Discussion] Climate Change

This thread is just to post interesting news, thoughts, opinions about climate change.

Seth wrote:

I mean, is it that slow? Rome took 250 years to collapse. We're probably gonna beat that record by a century or two, depending on when you mark the beginning of Pax Americana.

I mark the beginning of our current collapse with the advent of the internal combustion engine: around 1860. 250 years from then would be 2110, so we're def ahead of schedule.

Thanks technology!

I would put the start of our collapse at the assassination of Lincoln.

IMAGE(https://i.ibb.co/QKx83gW/AEF29-A24-9021-497-C-A656-2-BDB750-BC4-FD.jpg)

Well y'all are a bunch of Chicken Littles, aren't you?

Sure, it's not pretty in some places (just like always), some groups are being oppressed (just like always), but societal collapse? Come off it. Government at all levels is still operating as normal (i.e. inefficient and corrupt), non-governmental aspects of society are all operating as normal - you can walk the streets as safely as you normally could, shop in the same stores that are operating as normal, go where you want and do what you want.

Societal collapse?

Pull the other one.

Should probably go back to coal and steam engines as the start of the collapse.
You could also go as late as the freeway system. Before that, Amazon would have had to ship via train or horse. "Free next month delivery" ;P

Jonman wrote:

Well y'all are a bunch of Chicken Littles, aren't you?

Sure, it's not pretty in some places (just like always), some groups are being oppressed (just like always), but societal collapse? Come off it. Government at all levels is still operating as normal (i.e. inefficient and corrupt), non-governmental aspects of society are all operating as normal - you can walk the streets as safely as you normally could, shop in the same stores that are operating as normal, go where you want and do what you want.

Societal collapse?

Pull the other one.

Things are fine now, assuming you’re still employed and haven’t been evicted from your home and your entire family hasn’t joined a cult and you aren’t one of the multitudes of people currently displaced by one of the dozens of “historic and unprecedented” natural disasters we’ve seen over the last several years (hell, there are people still homeless from the 2018 California wildfires), but the US is currently dashing eagerly towards multiple social/political/environmental crises that each alone would present an existential threat to a nation, and our response as a country ranges from “pretend not to notice it” to “let’s propose an ineffectual solution and then either not bother enacting it or compromise it even further in practice.”

ruhk wrote:

but the US is currently dashing eagerly towards multiple social/political/environmental crises that each alone would present an existential threat to a nation, and our response as a country ranges from “pretend not to notice it” to “let’s propose an ineffectual solution and then either not bother enacting it or compromise it even further in practice.”

My hypothesis here is that "dashing eagerly towards multiple social/political/environmental crises" has been business-as-usual for the past few hundred years.

Society hasn't collapsed in the face of that centuries long onslaught. It's constantly changed radically as a result (and continues to). Seems far more likely to be that that's more of what we're in for. Societal adaptation, not collapse.

I’m not saying humanity is going to die out or anything, just that in our lifetimes we will likely see the end of the quality and standards of life that most of us have right now. Even if we fix or avoid the social and political issues, climate change is going to severely f*ck us, our infrastructure, and our ability to produce and distribute basic resources like food and water. We’ve got a chance of things not turning out so bad, but we have to make massive, sweeping changes to *waves arms* basically everything, and the people in charge are struggling to make even barely adequate changes while grass roots movements are too fragmented and marginalized to make serious progress.
This is complicated by the fact that due to the way climate change operates, even if we make ALL the necessary changes yesterday, things will continue to get worse for decades and every naysayer, climate denier, and corporate lobbyist will be pointing out how we made all those changes for nothing and will push to undo them.

Jonman wrote:

My hypothesis here is that "dashing eagerly towards multiple social/political/environmental crises" has been business-as-usual for the past few hundred years.

Society hasn't collapsed in the face of that centuries long onslaught. It's constantly changed radically as a result (and continues to). Seems far more likely to be that that's more of what we're in for. Societal adaptation, not collapse.

The flaw in this reasoning is that the entirety of human history has been contained within the Holocene epoch. The drastic and severe climate shift that we have triggered is in the midst of changing the world to such an extent that our lifetimes fall within what will eventually be considered the transition period to whatever the next epoch is named (and it's quite likely that the detritus layer of our current civilization will be the most significant strata marker between the Holocene and the new epoch).

We know that humanity has navigated every prior crisis of civilization more-or-less successfully under the climate conditions of the Holocene. We don't know with certainty how well our civilization will or won't navigate the state of the world to come.

I'm not willing to say that we're in a societal collapse yet. We're in a societal crisis, absolutely, but the US has made it through several of those already, so there's still reason to hope we'll get through the current crises.

We are definitely seeing an increase in crises induced by the early stage of this transition to a new geological epoch, however.

Jonman wrote:

Society hasn't collapsed in the face of that centuries long onslaught. It's constantly changed radically as a result (and continues to). Seems far more likely to be that that's more of what we're in for. Societal adaptation, not collapse.

By that definition every post-apocalyptic story could be summed up as "societal adaptation, not collapse."

OG_slinger wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Society hasn't collapsed in the face of that centuries long onslaught. It's constantly changed radically as a result (and continues to). Seems far more likely to be that that's more of what we're in for. Societal adaptation, not collapse.

By that definition every post-apocalyptic story could be summed up as "societal adaptation, not collapse."

Exactly.

"We used to have clean drinking water and now we don't" *shrug*

“Remember when we used to be able to grow food?”

(there were farms in Oregon and Washington that lost entire crops to the heatwave we had in June)

ruhk wrote:

“Remember when we used to be able to grow food?”

(there were farms in Oregon and Washington that lost entire crops to the heatwave we had in June)

And yet, grocery stores still full of food here in Washington at reasonable stable prices.

Jonman wrote:
ruhk wrote:

“Remember when we used to be able to grow food?”

(there were farms in Oregon and Washington that lost entire crops to the heatwave we had in June)

And yet, grocery stores still full of food here in Washington at reasonable stable prices.

Because grocery stores in Washington were able to source food from states and countries that weren't as impacted by adverse weather and transport them to you. The items in the typical American grocery store travel an average of 1,500 miles, so very little of what you have available to buy is dependent on local conditions.

Of course the problem with rising global temperatures is that more agricultural areas will be simultaneously affected by heat, drought, decreasing crop yields, and the growing unwillingness and cost to transport increasingly valuable crops thousands of miles from where they were grown to grocery stores in Washington and elsewhere. What's valuable farmland today will become Dust Bowls in the future.