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'Benign' Fossil Fuels? McKibben Says There's No Such Thing


#1


#2

Oh Lord. Bill McKibben, earnestly pleading with Hillary Clinton not to be Hillary Clinton.

Let's get this straight once and for all:

The nanosecond Hillary Clinton wins the Presidency all of her worthless campaign promises will be shot from a rail-gun into deep space, never to be heard of again. She will instantly vanish into the Presidential bubble to play her imperialist games with her elite conspirators and moneyed owners.

McKibben: so smart on climate, so stupid about politics.


#3

Methane seems quite mysterious compared to the most important greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. There doesn't seem to be any good explanation of why atmospheric methane levels recently suddenly leveled off for a couple of decades after rising for about a century and why they then suddenly resumed rising again. That is a far cry from the carbon dioxide Keeling curve which seems to remain on an almost predictable trajectory heading for levels that the earth hasn't seen for many eons. Methane has many human sources including leaks form oil and gas drilling, ruminants, rice paddies, land fills, etc. It also is released from thawing permafrost and shallow methane hydrates. It is not even clear whether or not global warming has reached such a level that a positive feedback from methane being released from permafrost and methane hydrates has created a self-perpetuating positive feedback mechanism to increase warming. Hopefully the tipping point for that has not yet been passed.


#4

#8

What a joke. Right above this post we see Professor McPherson lay out the "dead planet walking" reality. Matt, I guess in some weird way you mean well, but you're full of crap with this renewables baloney.

25 years from now? Are you aware of the 40-year lag between emissions and temperature rise? If so, do you realize that all the impacts we're seeing today are just from cumulative emissions till 1976? You do understand also that civilization is a heat engine, and that only the collapse of industrial civilization would in any significant way reduce emissions?

Further, even with the complete collapse of industrial civilization, it seems likely that we have already triggered so many self-sustaining feedback loops (including the melting of the arctic permafrost and consequent release of now-frozen methane) that it would at best merely slow the catastrophic runaway already baked in?

Denial: it isn't just for AGW denialists any more.


#9

Bill has it right. It is a fossil fuel addiction and just like any addiction, total abstinence is the only answer. No different than with many other substances.


#10

Tugging on the southern and Chinese ends of the global mega corporations and banking/finance/economic balancing acts are also massive hydroelectric projects around the world.

In tropical regions they become what some refer to as "methane factories". The point to keep in mind is that these frequently drive entire national industrialization plans with agribuiness and mining driving people off their land no less than the petroleum/gas operations. Its only in the past few years that it has been proven that the metrics have been off by orders of magnitude.


#11

Wow. Maybe there is some potential for advancing consideration of this perspective for fundamentalist Christians. Likewise, there may very well be something to be said for the legacy of the 12-step program format for communities that decide to change their ways. Perhaps it sounds strange, but I'm not being flippant.


#12

The answer is yes. We inhabit a finite planet with finite resources. The super wealthy intend to allow climate to change drastically thereby allowing billions of people to starve and die of malnutrition and disease. All the rich need is enough population to shop, work their "slave" factories at ever lower wages and benefits and nanny their kids and estates. Death clears the poor who live over and around their (the rich) resources. Culling the population allows for a continuation of their capitalistic, laissez faire winner take all economy into the future. The super rich think they will survive the worst yet to come with their wealth and power intact. And we thought we had rid ourselves of kings and pharoes? A preposterous argument I am making, but I am only half kidding!


#14

Not to seem to cynical, but I have been spouting your points for about a year now. Most Americans, being a very dim lot, can't comprehend that, if all of us, every last human, disappeared from the earth tomorrow, the CO2 level would continue to rise for at least another generation. And even if we did all manage to stop breathing this week, the atmospheric CO2 level would probably still reach an almost unprecedented 450ppm, and that's not taking into account the methane level, a much more potent gas.
I tend to agree with your sentiments. The climate battle is over already. It's just a matter of places and dates now. The only remaining decision Homo sapiens has to make is, are you going to be Morlocks, or Eloi?


#15

LISTEN CHILDREN:......."For Humanity must now be saved--not for Heaven, but for its future here in this world--so that this world may remain a habitable environment for humanity & so that you may learn to deal with competition from beyond the world and all the many influences that will be placed upon humanity by other nations in the universe who seek to have this world for themselves, to benefit themselves." ..from the New Revelation: What Will Save Humanity from the newmessage.org.


#16

Rules of dysfunctional families and society - rule A) "Don't", A1) don't talk about Rule A; Rule A2) don't talk about that you don't talk about Rule A.
Derek Jensen on the premise of human supremacy


#17

"For these reasons, McKibben said Wednesday, "It's high time for Hillary Clinton to match Bernie Sanders' commitment against fracking."

Why does Bill McKibben waste time saying Hillary should be like Bernie Sanders when there is Bernie - who has said, for years, we must address climate change and get money out of politics which perpetuates the use of fossil fuels? He should endorse Bernie.


#18

McKibbon, Hansen, and the rest of the global warming town criers really do mean well. Their attempts to try and convince mankind to change its fossil fuel ways are admirable. But at the end of the day, their efforts will bare about as much fruit as trying to nail jello to a wall (sorry to mix metaphors)
Mankind has only ever changed AFTER the disaster. The problem this time is that the dark ages we face in our near future will make the post Roman Empire dark ages look like a goddamn tea party.
But hey, the few of us that will survive may just turn out to be the best among us. The perfect mix of brains and brawn to start a new human epoch. Oh, who am I kidding? The survivors will be the descendants of today's olgarchy. They will emerge from their underground lairs and bubble cities when the groceries run out, and immedietly begin eating the weakest and smallest. Then they will begin humping any animal they find in the wasteland, and then eat them as well.


#19

Benign Fossil Fuels= Chaotic Climate Fuels.... "It is not about national security now. It is about world security, planetary security"....
Humanity is imperiled from within & from without. From Within, it is facing a world in decline. ITs growing populations will have to contend with a slowly shrinking well of resources & environmental disruption. It will have to pay attention now to the laws of nature, which HOLD LITTLE MERCY FOR THE UNPREPARED. It will have to face a fundamental decision over whether nations will COMPETE AND CONTEND AND FIGHT OVER the remaining resources or whether they WILL UNITE TO PRESERVE THEM, to extend them and to make sure the human family as a whole has what it needs."... from the revelation, What Will Save Humanity. newmessage.org.

All the current signs of global events point to an ever-increasing world 2-class system...maybe a new caste of Ultra-Poor and Ultra-Rich for this Planet Earth.
What is needed is a new message, new information, a new communication for humanity. Something....to awake, warn and alert humanity.
The Earth is providing that information. And another Source is providing a new communication..... what is needed is a new course for humanity... As we can see that our current path of Business as Usual is destroying this planet.... Yes- a new path of awakening is needed. If this resonates, you will Know.....and May You Seek Knowledge.


#20

Oh the drama! The drama of conspiracy theories for everything. The drama of hyperbole and the ever popular big finale so necessary for the American sense of entitlement! Give me everything or death! The American >>> I'm not happy so the world will end prophecy?

Everyone who grows solemn with gravitas that oh so wise wizard living in mom and dad's basement or collecting those SS checks and kind of crotchety anyway. The end is nigh because ... Well it oughta be types. And the ever cheerful >>> wipe out billions because rich people always want to kill the peasants. Thanks for sharing!

Is insanity contagious? I sure hope not ... Dang cat litter! How about everything gets damn crappy but no extermination of the poor by the rich. What a crock! The rich are not going to emerge from the underground bunkers and bubbles either. Sorry no big finale!!!

How about worrying about real trouble and quick fix schemes scientists are petrified of but politicians think will let them look like heroes. How about empty seas and GMO foods engineered to withstand the heat. Chimera salmon/trout fish and animals with genes from God knows what or even whom. How about a lousy polluted hot as hell world instead of a beautiful one like we still have?

No big finale ..just a long boring day after day of heat, food rationing by price and shortages of everything. An increasingly artificial environment replacing the natural one... And crowded too.

That's it! No drama just a crappy existence for anybody who isn't rich or who doesn't live in a rich country.

But then someday when fossil fuels are finally removed from the environment, carbon will continue to be sequestered and removed from the atmosphere and the Earth will slowly become a better place to live eventually... Even when overpopulated.

Sheesh all you >>> humanity deserves its comeuppance and the west deserves its comeuppance and so forth ... F off !!!

Sure we messed up but I'd rather our species gets away with it instead of paying the penalty. I hope we cop a plea and get parole instead of hard time.

Humanity may deserve it but I hope we never have to pay that bill.

We are a very smart species and the means to prevent the worst exists already but greed is placing the future at risk. Time to march on Washington again! And keep marching.

Electing Bernie would help too!


#21

I thought he did endorse Sanders?
http://www.climatehawksvote.com/message_from_bill_mckibben


#22

Thank you for the link and correcting me. I'm glad to know that!


#23

Methane is the "Want to buy a bridge?" to the future fuel.

A bridge to the future built entirely out of methane gas will, on rare occasions, allow cartoon characters such as Wyle E. Coyote to walk across the terrible chasm to the future. I've seen this unique ability exhibited in old Road Runner cartoons. The trick is to not look down!


#25

Um... Take another look at the CO2 hockey stick. Then add in the methane and other greenhouse gasses. Keep in mind that this curve has happened in an instant of geologic time, when it normally takes thousands of years to naturally foul the atmosphere with CO2. Also keep in mind that anytime after we reach 1.5C - 2C above pre-industrial levels, we start to lose the permafrost, and it accelerates at a roughly exponential rate... Not that these average temps are meaningful numbers, because the Arctic is already heating much faster than the rest of the planet, and that's where we've got plenty of carbon and methane sequestered since the last ice age. Plenty, as in, waaaay more than enough to kill us all. Need I continue? No, I don't. Ask any Eskimo if you need a second opinion, but they're just going to start rambling about albedo and techy stuff like that...

Oh, ok... I can't stand it... I gotta ruin your day... Is there any reason to think that the worst case scenarios won't come to pass? I mean, seriously... We're not doing nearly enough to avert the worst cases (we all seem to agree on that part) so let's take a good, hard look at what "worst case" actually means. Uh, actually, I can't look anymore. I've seen enough to know I've seen too much... Do your own research, if you have the fortitude... Watching my planet get murdered by lunatics and fools has worn me down to the nub. However, bear in mind that If we screw this up (and we already have), then it's really as simple as having a lobster's eye view of watching a pan of water boil on a hot stove. It's just a matter of time at this point, and yes, we're talking decades, not centuries.

"Humanity may deserve it but I hope we never have to pay that bill." Seriously... Who do you think is going to pay that bill (and clean up your pollution)... Maybe you think it's up to my daughter to cover your debt to the planet? Up yours, buddy, it's time for YOU (and me) to pay the bill. Hope? C'mon... The word you need to start working with is "dystopian". That's about as hopeful as it gets, and even that outcome is pretty much a prepper's pipe dream at this point. Hope... I don't know if I should laugh or cry anymore. Both, probably, it's a sign of a life well-lived.

Oh... One last thought... Acidic oceans. Ever try to keep a saltwater tank healthy and balanced? Yeah... Check into that with your worst case scenario research...