Home | About | Donate

Carbon Levels Could Hit Pre-Human, 'Palms in the Arctic' State by Mid-Century


Carbon Levels Could Hit Pre-Human, 'Palms in the Arctic' State by Mid-Century

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Current carbon dioxide levels are unprecedented in human history and could reach a level unseen in millennia if their rates continue at this pace, a new report out Tuesday warns.

Research published in Nature Communications finds that if fossil fuel use continues unabated, the atmosphere could revert "to values of CO2 not seen since the early Eocene (50 million years ago)," a time when humans did not exist, by the middle of the 21st century.


I would say the low point in human history may turn out to be Nov 8, 2016, the day Americans chose a climate denier for president that than a candidate with ambitious policies to fight climate change. It is hard to believe but Americans actually voted for a candidate who said climate change is hoax created by the Chinese. Could this be the same country that elected Obama twice? What happened?


I wish I had an answer as to "what happened?" I can scarcely imagine. Perhaps a sudden plummeting of IQ's? Sorry, I just don't know.


for the last century or two, politicians, economists and (to a lesser extent) scientists have promised us more of everything.

and we, gullible fools that we are, believed them. We had little choice, because we all wanted the products of hydrocarbon fuels, and if every fuel pump had OIL KILLS PLANETS printed on it, we would have still bought fuel and burned it as fast as possible.
Common sense says that climate change is going to decimate our numbers, but to stop it would "affect the economy and kill jobs"
So we do nothing and will continue to do nothing---its called human nature folks, and I wish it wasn't so. But it is.

And we will go on doing so, despite the hand wringing and cries of doom and despair, because we have locked ourselves into a system that cannot function in any other way.
We eat oil, and renewables cannot alter that. 7.4 billion people live on a planet that, without oil, can support around 1 billion. No climate change conference is going to change that.
That is the brutal reality we face, there are just too many of us.
6 billion people do not have a future here, and there is no other planet to go to.

We demanded more, and got it. Now there is no more.

This book tries to explain how we reached this state.

It offers no solutions on how to extricate ourselves from the mess we're in.


The normal evolution of Capitalism. That's what happened.


Trump Inc. will see this as good news.


The subject paper considers something that I have been worrying about, and that is the continuous increases in solar output since the early Paleozoic when CO2 levels were last as high as humans will drive them if fossil fuels continue to be extracted. So the net forcing could be, 3-4 centuries from now, like nothing the earth has experienced. The limits of habitability for all complex terrestrial life could be crossed. Sure, everybody reading this will be long ago dead when this happens. So what? Think of what it is worth doing right now to prevent this!


re.: (sic)

While HRC at least acknowledged climate change and offered up some generalities about her "plan", it is almost the universal opinion among climate scientists and those who closely follow the science that most of the remaining fossil fuels must be kept in the ground. Hillary's support for fracking, oil & gas infrastructure expansion were at serious odds and would have done nothing to alter the end-game of climate destabilization.

Her fans can continue to speculate that she'd be amenable to pressure...but that works both ways, as her career shows that the most successful pressures have come from those who fund her campaigns...i.e. Wall St., the corporate lobbies, etc.

And please don't oversimplify and misread this as suggesting there is "no difference" between her and Trump on this issue. There are big differences. But I strongly doubt they would alter the course of events.

If anything, the election of HRC would likely have reduced the public pressures to address climate change as the serious problem it is; for as we have seen all through their history, it is difficult to mobilize lots of soft liberals for such actions when it's their team in the White House. "Don't rock the boat", etc. Trump's wildly reckless sword-swinging has mobilized millions ... and hopefully at least a substantial portion of them will recognize that they must move beyond anti-Trump to a more broad resistance of a system that has created a downward spiral for all.


With election of Trump, all talk of addressing climate change has halted in my area..

How could the election of Clinton reduced pressure to address climate change. There were actual programs in place to address climate change, that have now ben dismantled! Do you really know anything about ho the federal government and federal rulemaking works at all?

And your stated positions on Clinton and oil and gas infrastructure are wrong. She would have kept both the DAP and the Keystone XL from being built.

Say you are stuck in on a mountain in a -40 F blizzard, and have two refuge huts to choose from - one not heated at all, the other heated, but only to a bit below freezing. Would you choose the -40F hut while complaining about how cold the other hut was?


A whopping 26%.


Here here. Excellent points. With HRC everyone would have already gone back to sleep.


My own view (not "the answer", but a rational conclusion) is that HRC and the Democratic Party leadership lost the election to an unqualified caricature of a caricature, possibly THE most unlikable and unqualified candidate in history. Why did Trump get elected? To wit:
First, HRC's weaknesses:
- HRC's own unfavorables, clear to most early on, were only slightly better than Trump's.
- Few, especially of younger generations, could relate to her; some I knew said every time she spoke they sensed a lack of genuineness.
- Younger feminist women I knew were angered by what they considered "faux feminism"...the claiming of that mantel when her values and many of her policies undermined women around the globe and offended their sense of feminism.
- Her record, whether on helping to keep single-payer off the table, or as Senator from NY (such as her support for bankruptcy "reform" that benefited the finance industry at expense of the poorest), or with respect to promoting harmful trade policies (TPP), fracking and oil & gas pipelines; coupled with her close ties to Wall St.... all this was quite visible to those who cared to look.
- The steadily widening gap between the wealthiest few (the so-called 1%) and the rest of the nation, and growing underclass, which occurred no less on Democratic watches (her husband's policies exacerbating it, while Obama was unwilling or unable to do much better, and was even promoting another horrible trade deal undermining workers' (and the planet's) interests.
- The unfair advantages conferred upon her & unfair treatment of Sanders by the DNC, and the obvious collusion with mainstream media caused many to distrust her even more.

All of the above led to a defection by too many Democrats, and a loss of interest by very many unaffiliated voters. One clue to this is the large number who left the top line of the ballot blank; another is the number of third party voters - though the latter probably affected both DP and GOP.

On the Trump side, of course there was his "base"... those who responded to the dog-whistles of racism, xenophobia, religiously-cloaked bigotry and authoritarianism; and who would have supported whatever right-winger did so. I'd guess (and certainly hope) this was just a fraction of Americans - maybe 15%.

There were also many "persuadables". I put in this category those R's who disliked Trump and would've gladly voted for a sane alternative had they felt their was one. I met such people: lifelong R's who said they were prepared to vote Sanders if it came to him against Trump; but when Sanders was eliminated went back to their R roots.
- A subgroup of the persuadable were those who, while Democrat-leaning, disliked Clinton for any of the above reasons and were motivated to accept Trump's words about "cleaning out the swamp" or about more productive engagement with Russia and other powers, his mistrust of the intelligence establishment, or of wanting to scrap TPP and renegotiated NAFTA for the betterment of American workers.

Then, there were many who simply wanted to "throw a bomb into the system"... who were so frustrated by the "establishment" in general and seeing that Trump was at least hated by the establishment, were willing to set off the bombs.

This is my synopsis of what happened; based on polls and my readings far and wide and conversations with numerous folk prior to and after the election.


Yes, or perhaps more like the DE-volution of capitalism.


No. Not at all. I've only been involved for about 40 years so you'll forgive my obvious ignorance. Please educate me.

Must be tough to live there. Not so in my area. I routinely see posts dealing with it...far more so post-election. I expect massive throngs at climate marches nearby and across the nation. And hopefully, a lot more than marches.

It is widely agreed that the U.S. was not on course to meet even the modest Paris agreements; which standards would all but ensure continued climate destablization. You can argue that some standards, "programs" are better than none; and in some way(s) that is true. However, considering the planetary physics, I doubt it. And given that Obama and Clinton also were enabling/ promoting expanded fossil fuel (natural gas, oil) extraction, when experts call for leaving most fossil fuels in the ground, were contradictory anyway.

That is a complete denial of what any reading of her involvements to date had been. It was under her watch/orders that her State Dep't accepted an EA, written by a contractor with clear conflict of interest, that claimed "no significant impact" - thereby smoothing the way for KXL. She was long SILENT on DAP - until issuing a meaningless statement: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/10/28/what-crock-clinton-breaks-dapl-silence-statement-says-literally-nothing


I can only hope that Good will ulitmate come out of Crumpus' election. There are many mobilized people who are angry that our country voted this fool into office. I believe the Rethugs are going to see sweeping losses in the Mid Terms based on the ongoing incompetence of Chief Bozo and his Clown Car cabinet. If we can "nut" the Clown in Chief in the mid terms, that would be a start. In the meantime, we're going to see tremendous setbacks and no progress in Climate legislation. You can tell I'm not a fan of clowns.....


P.S. And when are we going to see the truly horrifying headlines begin to emerge on Climate Chaos. "Hundreds of Millions Starving Due to Heat Stressed Crops." I believe we will soon see a massive drop in human population on a wide scale, especially in poorer countries with little infrastructure. I'm not looking forward to the 2020's.. the decade of global panic at the realization that our warming of the planet is increasing at nonlinear rates with dire consequences.


Time before last, they voted for "hope and change." They got neither.

Can't say that they aren't at least getting "change" this time!


A reasonable hope. Many would be happy just to restore the WH to a less overtly offensive clown.
However, unfortunately the DP leadership has shown no signs of understanding anything about what happened & why. They are essentially all saying that no course corrections are needed...just improved "messaging".
They do not get that there are entire generations who are pissed off at what some call "the duopoly", at the loss of democracy, loss of economic fairness and war-mongering at both parties' hands.
Unless there IS a major and swift course correction, the DP is flirting with permanent minority status, squandering (as it did in 2016) the opportunity to take care of an almost equally unstable GOP.


This - Thank you. At least now the liberals can figure out who the enemy is. Both parties have been marching us towards catastrophe.


In videos extolling such facts the comment sections are full of people saying how they can't wait for new lands to conquer and settle down in, coupled with f**k the tropics, etc...