The news on climate change has been pretty grim lately, but the fact is, it’s possible—even likely—to be far worse than the already sobering news in the latest reports.
There are a lot of assumptions here but fast action on a global scale is needed.
I won’t conjecture on the just how bad things have to get before the WW2 type mobilization Mr. Atcheson calls for will be put in place. Pretty bad though, I’m sure. That said, I will conjecture that by the time that happens, it’ll be too late to mobilize anything but local militias organized to keep climate refugees from invading your turf.
I’m not talking about refugees from Bangladesh or or some submerged Pacific Island. I’m talking about refugees from Florida and the Carolinas. The biggest, most violent pipeline battle ever seen will be the one that seeks to stop fresh water from being shipped out of the Great Lakes. Sorry, Arizona, you’ll have to build a few desalinization plants and pipe water in from southern California. Good luck, start soon.
While a re-link this article outlines the USGS report on one of the largest oil/gas finds in US History accessible using new technologies. These newer technologies are even more environmentally destructive then past technologies.
There is the 1 percent of investors that see exploiting these resources as a means by which billions in profits can be made. This 1 percent will claim this will provide jobs and give the USA a competitve advantage in the World Economy.
Even when considering the sheer scale of the dangers facing us with Climate change and all of those warnings that this stuff has to be left in the ground, do people really believe the 1 percent and their lackies in Government will implement policies that might threaten those potential profits and do people REALLY believe that Capitalism and the extractive nature of the same is NOT an issue when it comes to Climate change?
“Nothing short of a World War II-style mobilization will enable us to escape a devastating global meltdown.”
Sticking with this ‘war’ theme, consider the forces aligned on the opposing side of the struggle.
I look around and see hordes of SUV’s, large pick’em-ups, and my favorite, the latest fad of cargo vans driven just because they’re so, well, new and spiffy, like mini-motorhomes, I guess. And then there’s the endless convoys of those monsters . . . ‘motorhomes’. Gawd!
I see endless commercials on TV for vehicles, all spewing the mind-warping propaganda that having, driving, being in one is the thing to do, no questions asked . . . no consequences mentioned . . . nothing about which to be concerned. It’s status . . . a fashion statement . . . it’s recreational.
I feel immersed in a world gone mad on things, especially the internal combustion engine ‘culture’.
The fossil fuel industries, along with the automobile manufacturers have done a solid job, selling their poison.
From the get go, I have always interpreted fracking and related technologies as a sign that true desperation has begun in the energy business/war. The old saw that one should not defecate where one eats is at play. Water resources are being contaminated over indeterminate time scales over vast land masses. Constructing pipelines to relatively minor reserves spread throughout the landscape hardly smacks of an economy of scale. Desperation, yes that is how I see it. Almost a game of musical chairs for the oiligarchs. For the rest of us it just seems to be a dirge.
I’d just like to point out that Mr. Atcheson is not just skeptical of a major component of the IPCC report, he flat out denies that it is true. When I do that, I’m labeled a scientifically illiterate rube yet Atcheson is lauded. Looks to me that you can question the “consensus” view all you want as long as you question on the side of increased catastrophe.
Just a little something to add to your comment about fresh water from the Great Lakes . . .
In the desperate times ahead, I expect the Great Lakes Basin to become a war zone.
And the Canadians have been trying to build a nuclear waste storage facility on the eastern shore of Lake Huron.
I mean, what could possibly go wrong with that scenario?
There’s another bigger issue which seems to have escaped almost everyone’s attention. The largest fossil fuel reserve on earth, equaling 75% of all known reserves, has up until now never been tapped at all, and it exists virtually everywhere on earth where there is a coastline. That fossil fuel source is called Methane Hydrate, has never been used as an energy source and would provide an extremely abundant source of carbon based energy if harvested. The Japanese have been working on developing technology to harvest it because they own no oil or coal reserves of their own. Methane hydrate has to be mined in deep sea operations but once utilized would potentially dramatically increase access worldwide to fossil fuel reserves, and dramatically increase the human carbon footprint.
and “methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide”
Additionally it should be noted that it exists in huge quantity beneath permafrost, if that melts, then gargantuan amounts of methane gasses are released into the atmosphere - this makes the term “feedback loop” seem a little to tame to describe the situation.
Yes, and ironically I might add that it is possible that burning these resources, resulting in carbon dioxide, might have a lower greenhouse footprint than if they somehow volatilize into the atmosphere with the impact of methane. Please, oh please don’t quote me as an authority on this matter, as I have given the issue but the most rudimentary attention. If anyone can contribute factual focus on this matter, I welcome it with all dispatch. Please note that I am not advocating the flame as a solution, but am only acknowledging my limited understanding of the nonlinear dynamics that underly such important questions.