[Discussion] Climate Change

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

I've been expecting for a while now that, when the effects of climate change get so bad that even Fox News can't pretend it isn't happening, the standard conservative talking point is going to be "Those evil left-wing scientists never warned us about this!"

(...maybe I should post this under Political Predictions)

Opening soon, Governor Greg's Rootin' Tootin' Barbeque.

Rat Boy wrote:

Opening soon, Governor Greg's Rootin' Tootin' Barbeque.

I find it darkly ironic that the fire is called the "Smokehouse" fire.

Don't get me wrong, I feel for the people affected by this horrible thing, but couldn't someone have come up with a more serious-sounding name?

BadKen wrote:

I find it darkly ironic that the fire is called the "Smokehouse" fire.

Don't get me wrong, I feel for the people affected by this horrible thing, but couldn't someone have come up with a more serious-sounding name?

It's the Smokehouse Creek fire, people just keep shortening the name.

Maybe we should call it "The Great Texas fire", but that's kind of like how they used to call World War I "The World War" - you know there's going to be more, so why set yourself up for failure?

Sure, but "The First of Many Great Texas Wildfires en route to The Parable of the Sower" is a mouthful.

ruhk wrote:
fangblackbone wrote:

I hope it moves the needle if even just a little.
Somehow I suspect it will devolve into "the solution is more guns" for whatever reason.

For the last couple years any large forest fire gets blamed on satellite-based energy weapons by the fringe right, and the claim has been quickly gaining popularity. During the Maui fires even some Fox talking heads were suggesting it. Give it another year or so and I guarantee it’ll be the mainstream conservative explanation for many climate disasters.

This is so fantastically stupid I did a cursory search about it, and jfc somehow I stullb cannot believe the mental cartwheels people will go through to avoid accepting the reality of climate change even when it’s literally burning the world around them.

Snopes article if you want to feel bad about your fellow humans:

Heat and drought are sucking US hydropower dry

The amount of hydropower generated in the Western US last year was the lowest it’s been in more than two decades. Hydropower generation in the region fell by 11 percent during the 2022–2023 water year compared to the year prior, according to preliminary data from the Energy Information Administration’s Electricity Data Browser — its lowest point since 2001.

That includes states west of the Dakotas and Texas, where 60 percent of the nation’s hydropower was generated. These also happen to be the states — including California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico — that climate change is increasingly sucking dry. And in a reversal of fortunes, typically wetter states in the Northeast — normally powerhouses for hydropower generation — were the hardest hit. You can blame extreme heat and drought for the drop in hydropower last year.

This creates a vicious cycle: drought reduces the amount of clean energy available from hydroelectric dams. To avoid energy shortfalls, utilities wind up relying on fossil fuels to make up the difference. That leads to more of the greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change, which makes droughts worse.

Heat was another problem in the Western US during the last water year, which starts over in October in order to account for both winter snow and summer rain. Temperatures rose a startling 30 degrees Fahrenheit above normal in the Pacific Northwest during a May 2023 heatwave.

Western states typically rely on slowly melting snowpack for water during dry summer months, but much of that snowpack vanished with the heat in May. That left the Northwest with below-average water supply for the rest of the water year. Hydropower in Washington and Oregon fell by at least 20 percent during the last water year. Combined, the two states normally make up 37 percent of the nation’s hydropower capacity.

Climate change: 'Uncharted territory' fears after record hot March

Climate change could move "into uncharted territory" if temperatures don't fall by the end of the year, a leading scientist has told the BBC.

The warning came as new data showed last month was globally the warmest on record, extending the run of monthly temperature records to 10 in a row.

It's fuelled concerns among some that the world could be tipping into a new phase of even faster climate change.

A weather system called El Niño is behind some of the recent heat.

Temperatures should temporarily come down after El Niño peters out in coming months, but some scientists are worried they might not.

"By the end of the summer, if we're still looking at record breaking temperatures in the North Atlantic or elsewhere, then we really have kind of moved into uncharted territory," Gavin Schmidt, the director of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told BBC News.

March 2024 was 1.68C warmer than "pre-industrial" times - before humans started burning large amounts of fossil fuels - according to the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service.

The life and death of Rosa Reichel: the brilliant girl who was swept away

The Guardian wrote:

On an individual level, many are not prepared for the floods to return. They have rebuilt their homes exactly as they were, without flood-resilience measures. Electrics and boilers are downstairs. Bedrooms are on the ground floor. There are no flood-proof walls, doors or windows.

All across Trooz and the surrounding towns, people talk of the dam. Had it not been full, had it not been opened so suddenly, this calamity would not have happened. Yes, there would have been flooding, but not on this scale. The authorities, they think, will not make the same mistake twice. There will be future flooding, yes – these towns are used to 30cm, even 60cm, of water – but the bombe à eau that exploded in the Vesdre valley on the night of 15 July will never be seen again.

Beltran believes this is magical thinking, but he is OK with it. “If this idea can reassure them, it’s good for me,” he says. “It’s like a religion. In religion, if you are thinking there is someone over there taking care of you, no problem.” The real reason, says the beleaguered mayor – whom I am interviewing on a Saturday morning, because he works most Saturdays anyway, who met 2,500 people in their homes after the floods while his wife was in hospital, yet still gets hammered on Facebook – “was not human error. It was climate change.”


The climatologist Prof Xavier Fettweis has calculated that the floods that took place in Belgium in July 2021 would have been impossible before 2014 and were made possible only because of the climate crisis. Hot air retains water, which increases precipitation; a 1C temperature increase means that 7% more water is retained in the air. Global heating also means that areas of low pressure stay in the same place for longer. The 2021 floods were caused by a low-pressure system over central Europe, leading to sustained rainfall over large areas. Belgium was badly affected, as was Germany.


According to Fettweis’s models, a flooding event on the same scale as July 2021 – or even larger – will take place once or twice in the Vesdre valley before 2050.

I still remember driving my family to the Frankfurt airport that July, and seeing all the German military and disaster assistance vehicles driving towards the Ahrtal region (western Germany, near Belgium), where 134 people had died in the flooding just a few days earlier.

AUs_TBirD wrote:
The Guardian wrote:

On an individual level, many are not prepared for the floods to return. They have rebuilt their homes exactly as they were, without flood-resilience measures. Electrics and boilers are downstairs. Bedrooms are on the ground floor. There are no flood-proof walls, doors or windows.


Beltran believes this is magical thinking, but he is OK with it. “If this idea can reassure them, it’s good for me,” he says. “It’s like a religion. In religion, if you are thinking there is someone over there taking care of you, no problem.” The real reason, says the beleaguered mayor... “was not human error. It was climate change.”

"I know that what happened is going to happen again, but I'm okay with everyone pretending that it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing because it makes my job easier. At least until it does happen again and everyone loses their homes again, but I'm fine with that."

What the actual...? Shouldn't you be trying to convince your citizens that this is a real concern and people should take preventative action now to try to mitigate the damage from the disaster that you know is going to happen again?

Tbh, in the full article it just sounds like Beltran has given up, as he's being blamed for much/most of what happened rather than climate change. He outright states in the article that he has no desire to continue after his term runs out.

We’ve been boned for a while. Science has been telling us for decades that the world could work together to reduce greenhouse gases. Every year a new report, and every year nothing happens.

Sorkin wrote this ten years ago:

Mixolyde wrote:

Are we boned?

Well considering 2023 had even more CO2 and methane put out into the air than any year before, I would say yes. A whole lot of talk and very little action to actually hold the primary producers accountable.

sh*t’s not going to happen unless people pull a Ministry for the Future and start murdering CEOs in their homes and downing private jets with modified commercial drones.

I also just finished that book. I'll trade jetfuel based air travel for dead CEOs. I'd consider a perpetual airship as my primary residence too.

my favorite aspect of that book is that the liberal bureaucrat main character pats themselves on the back for saving the world through negotiation and compromise but it’s pretty clear that everything she did was basically just buying time and all the real change occurred because of the actions of the off-the-books direct action terrorist cell run by her subordinates without her explicit knowledge

The Ministry for the Future also includes elements of utopian fiction, as it portrays society addressing a problem

Ain't that the truth.

I have a good place to start.


Well, *they* didn't sign it!


(but do fear category six hurricanes)

BadKen wrote:

(but do fear category six hurricanes)


BadKen wrote:


(but do fear category six hurricanes)

I cannot read "the gush" without immediately hearing this in my head.

VERY NSFW audio...

Colombia drought: Four-minute showers - a parched Bogota rations water

About ten million residents of the Colombian capital Bogota are being forced to ration water amid crippling shortages due to a severe drought.

It comes as the El Niño climate phenomenon pushes reservoir levels to their lowest point in decades.

Officials have split the region around the capital into nine zones - each zone taking turns to switch off water services for 24 hours.

Hospitals and schools are exempt. The city's mayor called the situation dire.

Restrictions announced earlier in the week came into force on Thursday. Authorities will reassess the situation every two weeks under the rationing plan.

"Let's not waste a drop of water in Bogota at this time," Mayor Carlos Fernando Galán said in a press conference to announce the measure.

"That will help us so that these restrictions can be lifted more quickly or reduced," he continued.

A lack of rain and unusual heat has seen Colombia's reservoirs dry up at an alarming rate.

The Chuza reservoir, part of the system which provides around 70% of the city's water, is at less than 17% capacity.

The mayor said this was the lowest point in 40 years.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro took to Twitter/X on Thursday to say he had ordered "a substantial change" to protect water resources over the next 30 years.

He also warned against "unhindered urbanisation" and criticised the "pillaging" of natural aquifers by the agriculture and construction industries.

Meanwhile, residents are cutting down on their water usage.

"There are things we can no longer do, like washing the car," Clara Escobar, who lives in the city's suburbs, told AFP news agency.

“I take a four-minute shower maximum and I avoid washing clothes,” said fellow resident Isaac Sandoval.

Experts have tied the issue, in part, to the current El Niño period, in which global temperatures typically increase.

Mexico City and Uruguay's capital Montevideo have also faced water shortages in recent years.

Climate change has also been deemed a major driver of drought, as well as rapid urbanisation and poor infrastructure.

Not all droughts are due to climate change but excess heat in the atmosphere is drawing more moisture out of the earth and making droughts worse.

The world has already warmed by about 1.2C since since the industrial era began and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to emissions.

As usual the blame is placed on consumers and people are told to not wash their cars and take short showers, even though in Colombia only about 25% of the water usage is for domestic uses. Need more water? Go to the farmers and industry that use the other 75%. Also, stop killing all of your wetlands and replacing them with palm oil plantations and cattle ranches. Also stop your industries from polluting your largest river so much that is not drinkable. Journalists and editors are culpable in this too, you see all of these water shortage articles and they rarely ever focus on the actual users and causes. Instead it is always "people should stop watering lawns!!".

It has been known this was coming in Colombia for years. I remember the World Bank or IMF or one of those types did a risk report on this 3-4 years ago. As usual, the politicians don't want to do anything about it until it is too late. Well they are finding out now... and they still aren't doing anything except pointing the finger at regular people instead of taking actual impactful actions because oh no we can't impact profit margins.

Now now, they weren't doing nothing. I'm sure they were very hard at work figuring out the best way for them to personally profit from the water problems they've allowed to happen.

It does seem to me that changing agricultural water use would take seasons, and it would cause large changes in the type of food produced, which could cause economic issues and even unrest. Changing polluting industry, yes, but again, not instant. Pollution mitigation is expensive and takes a lot of time; the US passed the Clean Water Act in what, 1972? And we are still not using it to its full extent 52 years later.

However, citizens waste a *lot* of water on many things that are not strictly necessary, and they can stop doing them right away. It's a quick hit, not a long term solution. But it's a good place to start. Eliminating grass lawns alone would be a great start, especially with the knock-on effects on pollution. Banning backyard pools and building natatoria would be another great step, as would be mandating reduced vehicle washing. More efficient clothes washers may be a dream for a country like Colombia.

They still need to clean up industry in a big way - a huge economic and political and legal challenge. And they need to change farm crops and methods. Again, disruptive and long term. This is a political problem and one that will take courage to address. But since there is a short term tool available, they need to use it.

Long term success will not depend primarily on citizens reducing use, but on the changes that are bigger and take longer to effect. It remains to be seen if the politicians will take advantage of the time granted by the emergency measures to fix things, or just hope that the emergency ends and not make changes.

My money is on the latter.

Dubai's airport