[Discussion] Climate Change

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

World breaches key 1.5C warming mark for record number of days

The world is breaching a key warming threshold at a rate that has scientists concerned, a BBC analysis has found.

On about a third of days in 2023, the average global temperature was at least 1.5C higher than pre-industrial levels.

Staying below that marker long-term is widely considered crucial to avoid the most damaging impacts of climate change.

But 2023 is "on track" to be the hottest year on record, and 2024 could be hotter.

"It is a sign that we're reaching levels we haven't been before," says Dr Melissa Lazenby, from the University of Sussex.

It is almost like we knew about the problem but did nothing. Shocking.

Maybe you did nothing, I switched to reusable grocery bags. When I remember to bring them and not leave them in the car.

Don't forget using the recycling bins, the contents of which my collection service promises to actually recycle someday...

I don't know, JLS, did you rinse, dry, and spit shine every item? If not they'll throw out the entire city's batch.

I have a reusable straw. Exxon told me that if I didn’t I would destroy the planet.

I repost every doom report I see on social media to raise awareness.

Oh, and I have a bumper sticker on my SUV.

I bottle my own farts and store them deep underground.

I helped bankrupt Mike Lindell by not buying any of his pillows.

I figure one less millionaire in the world is going to do a lot more to prevent climate change than any of that other stuff!

Chairman_Mao wrote:

I bottle my own farts and store them deep underground.


Writers the contest is over: this sentence has been written and you’ll never write a sentence this bad.


Yeah, that... that pretty much sums up a lot right now.

"in tune" as in "resonating in a positive feedback loop"

I love that it says “the climate crisis around us” as though “we” are safe in the eye of the storm, unaffected.

I honestly can't even get mad.

"Eco-conscious superyacht" is an SNL bit made real.


F— right off with that ageist nonsense.

Gen X and Millennials have been voting for a good long time, too. When we vote for people who enable corporate malfeasance and regulatory caputre, we get the climate that we voted for.

I object to ageism as well, in general, but there are loads of studies about how boomers have f*cked their descendants. I understand you don't like being lumped in with them(i wouldn't either) and that maybe that makes it a sore-point. We know that you are on the right side of history, and that there are loads of progressives amongst the boomers too - everyone knows that.

That said, I really don't think its a hot-take or a controversial statement to imply that the boomers were especially self-serving and left us a worse world than they inherited - and that they continue to be the power-base of regressive right-wing politics and politicians. I see it in my personal life, we see it in society. It's just fact.

Boomers have the same access to science, history, technology that the rest of us have - but they choose to ignore it for their own benefit and gain. So long as grandma got hers, f*ck all y'all.

Only to be overruled or thwarted by baby boomers. It's no more ageist because "not all old people" than a feminist meme about men is "sexist" because "not all men."

SallyNasty wrote:

I understand you don't like being lumped in with them(i wouldn't either) and that maybe that makes it a sore-point.

You got that right. But...

I respectfully disagree with each of your points. It's not a hot take or a controversial statement because ageism is one of the few forms of bigotry that remains socially acceptable. Just look at the way the mainstream press is going after Biden for his age, when his (currently) leading opponent is about the same age.

"The boomers" weren't self-serving, the people who used their advantageous economic position to lock in more wealth and put up roadblocks to prevent anyone taking it away were self-serving. That cadre doesn't have a minimum age.

Boomers are not the power base of regressive right-wing politics and politicians. Plenty of younger people are cheering on the rise of fascism. Just look at the ages of the people convicted in the Jan. 6 attack on Congress. How old is your average Proud Boy?

Some of the noisiest superconservative politicians are younger, too. Matt Gaetz is 41. Ron DeSantis is 48. Marjorie Taylor Greene is 49. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are 52.

How old is your average techbro billionaire, or your average longtermist? Many are not boomers (though I'll grant that many are "Generation Jones" — early Gen Xers). Musk is not a boomer. Andreesen is not a boomer. Bezos is on the edge. In fact, in the Forbes list of 25 wealthiest Americans, nine are younger than me. (I am technically a boomer, but I obviously don't identify with that age group.)

Fox News was founded by a boomer, but the public face of Fox News has always been decidedly younger.

Tucker Carlson, one of the most poisonous talking heads in existence, is 54.

In data for the 2016 election, the age at which votes started breaking for TFG was 40: https://www.statista.com/statistics/...

Blaming the state of the climate, or even the economy, on older people as a group is an ugly misrepresentation.

We'll remix it then:
It's no more ageist because "some young people too" than a feminist meme about men is sexist because "some women too."

When Gen X & Millennials get to be the granny's age, it'll still be an accurate meme, because by then we actually will have had our chance to fix it and failed as well. The assholes you listed are certainly continuing a problem that already exists, but they wouldn't have had the opportunity if boomers acted in a responsible manner in the first place.

The people I think of as most culpable for the climate crisis are the boards of the energy companies which knew about the disastrous effects of fossil fuels and did everything in their power to conceal, obfuscate, and flat out lie about what they knew.

And yeah, because of when that happened, they were all boomers.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to lie down because my lumbago is acting up.

BadKen wrote:

Thoughtful and well considered post.

Appreciate your qualifications. I don't think I agree entirely, but I appreciated your post and the thought you put into it. To respond to 2 specific points -
The Biden/Trump age difference is inconsequential - you are right, they are essentially the same age. That said, Biden looks like he is falling apart whereas Trump comes across as much more vital. I also think a lot of that criticism comes from a place of people wanting another generation to get a chance to lead, but it does come out ugly, you are right. For me personally - I support and I'll vote for Biden again, but he has been in politics for generations. It's someone else's turn.

With regard to the people who put up the economic roadblocks, they couldn't have done it without the votes to enact/codify. I think those voters were hoodwinked, absolutely, but boomers voted for a lot of policies that have held us back and limited/reduced rights.

You make a fair point about the age of the new superconservatives, and they are the most dangerous right now. I agree.

I'd also like to point to the movie Boiler Room for this discussion.
Great movie but eerie for the fact that it didn't go far enough in its accurate prognostications.
Much like the movie it homaged, Wall Street.

SallyNasty wrote:

The Biden/Trump age difference is inconsequential - you are right, they are essentially the same age. That said, Biden looks like he is falling apart whereas Trump comes across as much more vital.

The fat walking McDonald's hamburger looks vital? Bullsh*t.

Biden fell off his bicycle because he was exercising. I guarantee Trump hasn't rode a bicycle in 60 years, if ever.

He should have died from covid but he got the experimental expensive drug that millions of others didn't. He had a secret heart attack or stroke in office that they covered up as a "routine physical" even though those are always scheduled and publicized. Like the one he got a year or two before that where the lying ass doctor said he was the healthiest president ever.

He's about 10 times more likely than Biden to keel over dead in office, just based on weight and exercise.

What are you talking about? Trump is 6'3" and 215 pounds, basically taller and slightly leaner than the typical NFL running back. If that's not peak vitality, I don't know what is!



I didn't say healthy, Stele, I said vital. Absolutely Biden is healthier, no question.

Scientist who warned world about climate change in the ’80s says it’s worse than you think

The planet is on track to heat up at a much faster rate than scientists have previously predicted, meaning a key global warming threshold could be breached this decade, according to a new study co-authored by James Hansen — the US scientist widely credited with being the first to publicly sound the alarm on the climate crisis in the 1980s.

In the paper, published Thursday in the journal Oxford Open Climate Change, Hansen and more than a dozen other scientists used a combination of paleoclimate data, including data from polar ice cores and tree rings, climate models and observational data, to conclude that the Earth is much more sensitive to climate change than previously understood.

“We are in the early phase of a climate emergency,” according to the report, which warns a surge of heat “already in the pipeline” will rapidly push global temperatures beyond what has been predicted, resulting in warming that exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in the 2020s, and above 2 degrees Celsius before 2050.

The findings add to a slew of recent research that concludes the world is hurtling toward 1.5 degrees, a threshold beyond which the impacts of climate change — including extreme heat, drought and floods — will become significantly harder for humans to adapt to.

“The 1.5-degree limit is deader than a doornail,” said Hansen on a call with reporters. “And the 2-degree limit can be rescued, only with the help of purposeful actions.”

Some other scientists, however, have cast doubt on the paper’s conclusions that climate change is accelerating faster than models predict.

Hansen, a director at the Earth Institute at Columbia University, is a renowned climate scientist whose 1988 testimony to the US Senate first brought global attention to climate change.

He has previously warned that the Earth has an energy imbalance, as more energy comes in through sunlight than leaves through heat radiating into space.

The resulting excess heat is equivalent to 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs a day, with most of the energy absorbed by the ocean, Hansen’s research found a decade ago.

In this recent paper, Hansen and his co-authors say the energy imbalance has now increased, in part because of successful efforts to tackle particle air pollution, especially in China and through global restrictions on shipping pollution. While this kind of pollution is a serious health hazard, it also has a cooling effect, as particles reflect sunlight away from the Earth.

The imbalance is set to cause accelerated global warming, bringing disastrous consequences, according to the paper, including rapid sea level rise and the potential shutdown of vital ocean currents within this century.

Hansen said he is particularly concerned about the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet and especially the Thwaites Glacier, which acts as a cork, holding back the ice on land and providing an important defense against catastrophic sea level rise.

But the warming is not necessarily locked in, according to the paper, which calls for “extraordinary actions.”

Measures it recommends include taxing carbon pollution, increasing nuclear power to “complement renewable energies” and strong action from developed countries to help developing countries move to low carbon energy. While the highest priority is to drastically reduce planet-heating pollution, this alone will not be enough, the report found.

“If we’re going to keep sea level close to where it is, we actually have to cool the planet,” said Hansen.

One way to do this, the report suggests, is solar geoengineering. This controversial technology aims to cool temperatures by reflecting sunlight away from the Earth, or allowing more heat to escape into space. That can be done through injecting aerosols into the atmosphere or spraying clouds with salt particles to make them more reflective, for example.

Critics warn of unforeseen consequences, including impacts on rainfall and monsoons, as well as “termination shock” if geoengineering were suddenly halted and pent-up warming released.

But Hansen said it should be considered. “Rather than describe those efforts as ‘threatening geoengineering,’ we have to recognize that we are geoengineering the planet right now,” he said, by burning large amounts of planet-heating fossil fuels.

The paper’s findings are alarming and come as the world is experiencing unprecedented heat. This year is on course to be the hottest on record, with every month from June onwards breaking records for the hottest such month.

But while science is clear that the rate of global warming is increasing, the idea that it is accelerating beyond what models predict is controversial.

The findings “are very much out of the mainstream,” said Michael Mann, a leading climate scientist at the University of Pennsylvania.

While the Earth’s surface and its oceans are warming, the data does not support claims that the rate is accelerating, he told CNN in an email. “As I like to say, the truth is bad enough!” Mann said. “There is no evidence that the models are under-predicting human-caused warming.”

He also cast doubt on the role of pollution reduction in warming trends, saying the total impact is very small, and warned that solar geoengineering is “unprecedented” and “potentially very dangerous.”

“Whether or not the 1.5 degrees Celsius target is reachable is a matter of policy, not climate physics, at this point,” Mann said.

But Hansen rejected criticisms of the research, saying it’s based on hard numbers and straightforward physics.

“This is not fringe, this is the correct physics and it is the real world,” he said, “and it sometimes takes the community a while to catch on.”

Dr. James Hansen, who should be a household name by now. Not *just* "Scientist"... Sigh.

CNN severely overestimates how much faith I have in politicians actually doing anything to address climate change.