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Climate Change – Speeding Past the Stop SIgns


#1

Climate Change – Speeding Past the Stop SIgns

John Atcheson

There’s been a tendency in the media and in the international community to assume that with the Paris agreement this past December, the world is well on its way to dealing with the problem of climate change. In fact, the agreement was woefully inadequate, allowing for an increase of 3.5 C or more, and recent data suggests it’s only gotten worse since the agreement was signed. Rather than feeling complacent, we should be doubling down on the very limited progress we made.


#2

"Speeding past the stop signs" --in SUV's.

Reagan taking down the solar panels on the White House--a day that will live in infamy.


#3

Oh kiddies, it's all over except for the places and dates. We have zoomed past 400ppm of CO2 and methane levels are almost off the charts. We passed 1degree centigrade like a hitchhiker on the highway.
When thinking about our warming planet keep this in mind. Our scientists have, so far, been very conservative in their estimates of GHG levels and subsequent climatic changes caused by them. Unfortunately, their estimates have been so low-balled that they have become less annoying and more dangerous. I full well realize being involved in science most of my life, that most professional scientists are not prone to hyperbole. They fear "chicken little" syndrome. The problem is that hyperbole has become the norm.
But hey, we've past the point of no return. The climate is going to change dramatically, and soon. The problem was that we treated climate change like the worst kind of twelve stepper. We grudgingly admitted that we had a problem. Told everybody at the meeting that we were going to get better. And then we snuck out to he car, lit up a J, pulled a flask out of the glovebox, and told ourselves that moderation was the secret to success. Then we pulled out of the parking lot and t boned a bus load of nuns.


#4

It is widely agreed that the Paris agreement is inadequate and who knows if the pledges will ever be met. However, it probably at least will finally get us off the business-as-usual emissions path. That would be some progress. A key part of the agreement is that the countries will meet every 5 years to review the situation and probably work for stronger targets. That means an absolutely critical meeting will take place in 2020. The next president will be involved in that meeting. What happens if it is Trump, Cruz, or some other Republican climate change denier? Clearly that would be disastrous. The US and the world needs Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton to be president when that meeting takes place. This is sort of why it is mind boggling to hear supporters of a Democratic candidate say that if their candidate is not the nominee they will not vote for the other candidate as if the consequences of doing that would have no chance of being catastrophic. It is time to get real and try to save this planet for us and future generations. There is a good chance that the climate situation is even worse than portrayed here in this article.


#6

Hillary Clinton represents the political power center that took over the Democratic Party that has paved the way for a Trump, or a Cruz to become president. If it weren't for the DLC Democrats, or the "third rail" paving the way for the corporate coup that is largely complete, then even a Hillary Clinton would be booed off any stage by a public that would know better. A public that wouldn't have been mauled over by a consolidated media thanks to her husband Bill.

So you will vote for Sanders?


#7

What is called climate change is simply part of the normal progression of ice ages, which occur in a quasi-regular pattern, each lasting approximately 100-120,000 years or so. What we experience over short centuries in this progression is the normal scatter, or noise, in the complex long term signal. Ice cores show that there have been higher CO2 contents than today, and lesser ones. CO2 lags warming; it does not effectively drive it. Solar radiation output drives it, as do orbital changes in our distance from the Sun.
However, I am strongly for reducing the use of carbon-compound fuels dramatically for the simple reason that we are increasingly polluting the atmosphere and oceans with noxious-to-poisonous by-products, unlike other life forms, which have effects ranging from acid rain to chronic health problems to the near-constant visual haze in the lower 5 km/15,000 feet of our atmosphere.
The other driver of "bad events" is overpopulation, which leads to increased deforestation (less of your carbon sink daily) and energy-consumption-related atmospheric chemical emissions. If we are going to live successfully on this planet, safely with the rest of the residents of this biosphere, we have to reduce, not our carbon footprint, but the human footprint generally. We are too many, and too thoughtless of the consequences of our recent and unusually energy-hungry presence here on Earth.
Instead of "climate change", think more broadly of "pollution change".


#8

Ah, another Heartland Institute graduate chasing down truth to kill it.


#9

Is someone paying you to recite the Cover Story, or are you delusional enough to believe your own post?

Obviously population numbers mean something... but they also disguise the completely skewed patterns of consumption--by region and demographic.

Obviously, pollution is a serious plight.

BUT... this nonsense about Ice ages being normal looks past all the evidence that Ice Ages GRADUALLY came about. This one is being artificially sped up by the industrial nations' foot on the CO2-producing-gas pedal.


#10

All pretty tough reality. What is not mentioned certainly is that "growth" is a process which strips wealth from Nature, and results in pollution, including GHG. Wind and solar are nice and required. Highly efficient cars are moving in the correct direction. Even so, it takes lots of energy to manufacture wind and solar hardware. In modern society, the amount of CO2 released to the atmosphere during the manufacture of a car is typically about the same that car will belch in the first five years of being driven. Building a nuclear power plant involves huge amounts of CO2 release. And, as LEDs come into our houses, we tend to just leave the lights on more and more. And we know about the billions of humans who have no electricity or running water in their homes. But do we realize the numbers being added to the population. There was a web page talking about that. During the first six weeks of 2016, for example, about 25 million people were born, and about 10 million died. So, that is an addition of 15 million. Now, the population of my state, CO, is about 4 million people. So, the way to think of that is that somebody needs to add four times the mileage of highways, four times the schools, four times the railroads, four times the hospitals, and maybe six times the number of lawyers. This needs to be done in 6 weeks, repeating s process that took 150 years to do the first time. (The more people, the more law suits.) And of course, every kid in the Middle East dreams of a fast, black Daimler. It seems like wind and solar are the future. However, we need to greatly reduce CO2 emissions from the other things we do to make some room for the emissions resulting from wind and solar hardware manufacture. We need to realize that things we bomb were all constructed with huge amounts of CO2 release, and rebuilding them will be no different.


#14

Our surface carbon sinks are nearing capacity. This report neglects the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas leak that pumped 96,000 metric TONS of methane into the atmosphere. This is equivalent to 8,000,000 Metric TONS of CO2 (at 2200 pounds per ton, Metric tons were used to make the number look smaller) and it only took 5 months to put all this into the atmosphere of the space ship earth.
Folks need to watch Tomorrowland again and take heed!


#17

The planet will get over this temporary disruption due to the malfeasance of civilization. It has recovered from many disruptions in the past. However, the population will have to deal with the predicaments of climate disruption and ocean acidification and warming as well as over population, declining capability of food and potable water supply, aging of the infrastructure they are so dependent on and running out of numerous, irreplaceable natural resources, including oil.


#18

Paris was a political success but an environmental disaster;
The 1.5 DegC IPCC target is fantasy, the 2DegC target limit is unachievable.
Factored in to all these IPCC 'targets' is atmospheric Co2 reduction via Bio-energy with capture and storage (BECS), a technology still in the development stages, that may not prove to be feasible on the scales required to offset future fossil fuel emissions.
We are looking at >+5DegC by 2100 or sooner; an unlivable world for most humans.

The IMF estimates (worldwide) the fossil fuel industry currently receives govt subsidies of $5.3 trillion; while at Paris only $100 billion could be found from developed nations to assist amelioration of AGW effects in developing countries.

Nowhere mentioned in the 32 page Paris agreement are:
fossil fuels,
aviation emissions or
shipping emissions.
The document will not be reviewed until 2020, by which time a couple of positive feedback 'tipping points' may well have been crossed.

Refer this sobering series of 3 interviews of Prof. Kevin Anderson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change in the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering at the University of Manchester:


#19

A new species for a new geologic age; the Anthropocene. Homo sapien sapien is, apparently, an experiment of Nature that has run amok. I believe we are the first species to have gone insane and are hell bent on destroying ourselves and as much of the other life on the planet as possible.

And as this happens what we are really worried about is not climate change, over population, disappearing fresh water supplies, a pandemic of diabetes and other diseases from eating processed food, 53 people owning more wealth than the bottom 50% of the population and all out nuclear war but rather we are focused on women getting abortions and people changing their sex and sexual preference and the teaching of evolution in schools.


#20

"Paris was a magnificent political achievement but it was woefully inadequate from the perspective of physics. And when it comes to a conflict between physics and politics, physics always wins."

Paris was, in fact, a perfect example of the kind of bribery, extortion and cynical bargaining the US and other parts of the elite’s global empire has engaged in since the beginning of well, everything.

More than 100 countries wanted 1.5°C as the goal of the conference, and Obama et al saw a way to get what they wanted. Our goal is to avoid climate catastrophe. Their goal is to appear to be avoiding climate catastrophe while not giving up any tiny bit of the wealth, power and privilege that comes with having a global empire and an increasingly unequal world. Getting an agreement was their goal—any agreement they could trumpet as historic and wonderful, regardless of whether it did anything to avoid utter catastrophe. Obama et al made a deal with the representatives of those 100+ countries—1.5°C over pre-industrial temperature would be included as the stated goal as long as the methods used to reduce greenhouse gases would have no chance at all of actually keeping warming under 1.5. (I’m sure it wasn’t stated that baldly.)

Although that’s still too high to be safe (as is obvious from the drastic effects we’re already seeing beginning to accelerate at barely 1°C, it’s virtually impossible to reach it now that there’s been an agreement that makes no attempt to, despite it being the nominal goal. The methods selected, and the fact that the first re-evaluation is 5 years from now, means that unless a global revolution forces governments to take more radical action there is absolutely no possibility of keeping warming under 1.5 and almost no chance of keeping it under 2. Higher than that leads to tipping points that may start runaway changes that cause more warming and make the world inhospitable to civilization. Unless you admire Machiavelli above all others, Paris was not a magnificent political achievement; it was a mass murder-suicide pact forced on the world by the rich.