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Humans May Have Passed the 'Point of No Return' in Climate Crisis, Says Study—But That Doesn't Mean All Hope Is Lost

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/11/12/humans-may-have-passed-point-no-return-climate-crisis-says-study-doesnt-mean-all


‘Humans may have passed the point of no return.’
I should hope so. Ours is the most careless and destructive species that has ever walked this planet.Time to give Mother Nature a chance to breath and recoup. Earth will have new species and will do just fine without us…


If you want the technologies, ask.

The first winner for removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere will almost certainly be nature-based removal techniques. We’re going to want to directly pay the local (actually residential) farmers, ranchers and woodlot managers to maximize carbon absorption per year into their soil.

Native midwestern grasses can put their roots down 50 feet, in case of drought. If herbivores bite off these grasses within one inch of their bases only once a year, the remaining parts of the plants need all of their energy to grow new leaves and so the roots die back to within 1 inch of the base. The carbon that was in the roots stays deep in the soil, probably for thousands of years. If we can get 50% of the world’s ranchers behind this effort, we can sink gigatons of carbon into the soil.

The most productive soil on the planet is in eastern Pennsylvania. Generations of Amish farmers have been naturally adding carbon to their soil for hundreds of years. They can get six tons of corn per acre.

Honestly, we don’t quite know how to sink carbon into forested land. We need more experiments and we need them soon. Undisturbed Amazon rainforests are excellent at sequestering carbon.

I expect, based on my own successful greenhouse prototypes, that we can grow algae rather cost-efficiently and land-efficiently. Trees take decades to grow, but algae doubles in mass every 20 minutes. Algae is half biodiesel oil and half cellulose. We’d probably sell the oil and bury the cellulose in big lignite mountains.


Hey, I’m just a simple fellow, but I’ve heard that there’s this really advanced technology which removes and sequesters carbon from the atmosphere. It’s called a tree.


While developing these futuristic “technologies” to pull carbon out of the air, how about an organic solution that could begin immediately. Plant trees. Reforestation. Restore the equivalent amount of forested land back to the beginning of the industrial era. In some areas, that may no longer be possible, but untold number of trees could be planted in urban and suburban areas, as well as reclaiming ancient forests. In urban areas, there can be great creativity. Vacant lots, sidewalks, rooftops.

But of course, that would require a will to do it, and putting aside all devouring capitalism for the sake of the envionment and biosphere. No profit in planting trees, but there is in cutting them down.


Maybe we should quit trying to fix it, until we understand better that we are the problem.
Such hubris.


It seems we are now locked in to at least 3 degrees no matter what. Just look at what we are experiencing now at 1.1 and you can see humanity, at least, is doomed. Even if half of us disappeared tomorrow, amd the remains stopped emitting carbon altogether, we will still hit 3 degrees, at we would still be doomed.
When the word that the feedback loops have started really hits the main populace of places like the USA, you will see what humanity is really made of, as we go out in a giant and unprecedented wave of decadent debauchery.


yeah, it would make those student loans seem pretty insignificant.

Please remember that we have 1.4 trillion tons of greenhouse gases on schedule to be released from the Arctic tundra. Stopping the release is at least as important as forcing a few gigatons of carbon into the world’s soils. Restoring the Arctic’s albedo with artificial snowmaking is one answer. I plead with the Biden administration to face up to the biggest problems.


Boy did you hit a sore spot! Just this afternoon I received a call from a collection agency and was told that my wayward son (who I haven’t seen in five years. He was such a wonderful child. Now he’s just another asshole) stopped paying on a student loan I co-signed for years ago. Now I have to call my attorney to get this thing cleaned up.
I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried:(


Sorry about that. It is kind of a racket, I hope your attorney can help sort that out. Maybe this is an opportunity to work this out with your son as well. I have a son too, he is a grown man though.


Good point fern. Opportunity can be found in unexpected places.

Sometimes we can use our little community here for group therapy. Thanks


Last night I dreamed I was in China selling herbs in a big pavilion. it seemed so real. So today, I looked on the internet to see if they did that, and it turns out they do. (a little validation) We have to savor the lucid moments. (smile)


Maybe some invention that resembles a bilge pump. Private homes, businesses, autos, refineries. Scrub the air around us in a mass attempt.
Larger industrial units could be installed in areas that are thawing.
Next to the ice and snow machines suggested by another CD commenter.
Fantasy? Lucid moment?

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What the article implicitly acknowledges is that THERE IS NO POINT OF NO RETURN.

People are creative. People are inventive. Look over the last 50 years - the developments in terms of renewable energy and energy efficiency was not even imagined 50 years ago. As for those who want to see humans go extinct, sorry, I never bought into self hatred. Humanity is the only species I’ve been part of.

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Okay, but dare I say you have committed an anthro-reductionist fallacy? Humans have existed for roughly one-to-three million years. The anthro that is causing all the havoc we bemoan is but a recent emergence. Anthro is the reflexive image cast up by the shadow of predatory capitalism. Anthro is not human. Let’s not blame humankind for the problems caused by the anthro simulacrum.


It’s very disappointing to see that even progressive media frames what humans are doing to the biosphere as only issues concerning “climate crisis” and how our hacking of climate systems affects us.
The stark fact is we have passed the point of no return for anthropogenic mass extinction; climate hacking is just one of many ecocidal hacks we’ve done to the web of life on this planet.
We’ve killed hundreds of billions of native plants, trees and animals, and stolen their homes as well.
Hope is a delusion, but working to reduce your ecological impact is the one step you can take.
Read the two Endgame books by Derrick Jensen, for an irrefutable analysis of what our species has done.
There are no technoutopian, “green energy,” humans-can-fix-anything solutions for our population overshoot. We’re the all-powerful species that built its entire existence by destroying the life of the planet.


No, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost, but the recent US elections and the government that will result does mean that hope is delusional.


Excellent reply! Humans can and did hunt large species to extinction (or at least their hunting supplied the pressure that tipped them over into extinction) and the Communist countries showed that they too could abuse nature. But probably the most damage has been caused relatively recently - by Capitalism. Most aggrievedly, in full knowlege of the damage being done.


We should blame humans because humans have adopted the institutions which destroy the planet. Among these are the endorsement and adoption of leadership of the most vile and inhuman examples among them, and have readily accepted their capitalistic and violent tendencies. No other animal would be so stupid as to tolerate leadership that goes directly against their interests and which drives them toward unnecessary violence and extinction. Humans have learned to use tools and develop technologies that are destructive of the environment, and they have overpopulated to the point of the exclusion of other species habitat. We certainly cannot blame another species for any of it. What it comes down to is a species willing to play god but lacking any sense of responsibility.