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Seven Things You Should Know About the IPCC 1.5°C Special Report and its Policy Implications

Seven Things You Should Know About the IPCC 1.5°C Special Report and its Policy Implications

Rachel Cleetus

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is soon going to release an important report to help inform global efforts to limit climate change. The special report details the impacts of a global average temperature increase of 1.5°C relative to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and pathways to limit temperature increase to that level.

I searched the article for “ecology”, “ecosystem”, “flora”, “fauna”, and “animals” and came up empty. This planet is an integrated host for people. Damn the “economics”, Pacha Mama comes first! On her word, we are all back to stardust.


I agree with those climate scientists who say the realistic goal is not to go beyond 4C. And that certainly seems doable although not easy, particularly when you consider the role that positive feedbacks might play. All this discussion is of course lost on the right wingers who have retreated from the real world into conspiracy theory and fundamentalist religious beliefs. As the article points out there is a tremendous gap between the goals of 1.5C and 2.0C and the pledges of the Paris Climate Accord. This article presents a realistic assessment of the situation and the options. I think we need to keep trying to meet the goals of 1.5C or 2.0C although we know that meeting those goals is extremely unlikely.

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It is darn near funny to see them compiling a list of probable problems when the temperature goes over 1.50C… because if they would have done that in 1990 when they knew for sure that GW is bad and driven by fossil fuel burning, they we still had time to mitigate it.

We ran out of time 10 years ago. 1.5 is a certainty, and +2oC is likely by 2050, and tell you what we are going to be hitting 40oC in Canadian summers every year now. Have you felt what 40oC is like? It is beyond the wet bulb limit which means when wind blows it does not cool via evaporation, it actually ADDS heat.

How about 50oC? All work stops, everything stops. We did this. Our leaders are climate criminals, and that is one of the highest crimes ever committed.


The Mossad did a fine job avenging the genocide with their nazi-hunters. Perhaps they should be unleashed on the climate criminals who are guilty of ecocide, no?
Maybe a future US administration, dealing with climate catastrophe, will point a few nukes at New Zealand and state, “remember Afghanistan? Hand the bastards over, or else!”

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Why? So they can turn around and start their own oil companies and fracking fields, just like they did last time?
Or did you perhaps miss the part of that story where they created an apartheid state, started a genocidal ethnic cleansing campaign and created the worlds largest open air prison/concentration camp?


I was interested in the term " negative emissions." I decided that means stopping all unnecessary emissions from war planes, war ships, flights over football games, military
vehicles --------although maybe it’s just easier to say ------STOP ALL the wars!


And yet there is no mention of Global Dimming.
Whereas the observed global temperature rise is a little over 1 degree, the pollution in our atmosphere is masking the true temperature rise.
Remove the pollution and the world will feel the full effect of Global Warming.
The truth is that the world has warmed up by at least 7 degrees already but our pollution is preventing us from feeling the bulk of that temperature rise.
All this talk about limiting the warming to 1.5 or 2 degrees is really meaningless when we have already tripled those temperatures.
Want proof?
Reduce emissions to zero and you will get all the proof you need.

And Wiseowl i search the article for the words “capitalism”, “profit motive”, “accumulation of capital” and “market expansion”. Seems that the economic system can remain intact when it comes to fighting climate change

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We know what we are seeing in those Kavanaugh close ups. That’s the spirit and attitude that the so-called “conservatives” want the whole world to see. That’s what their ideology represents. We will now see cancellation of every decent thing the Supreme Court has stood for all these years.

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“We’ll need to invest in technologies, processes and infrastructure to advance the (low-carbon) electrification of as many energy uses as possible, including in the transportation and industrial sectors. We also have to invest in research, development and deployment of a portfolio of the next generation of solutions—which could include advanced battery storage, zero-carbon fuels and transit options, carbon capture and sequestration, safe advanced nuclear reactors, more distributed electricity generation, and changes in diet, land use and land use management choices…” Scientists should stop telling fairytales that say if we magically completely alter our current socioeconomic system and rely on as yet unproven technological fixes, we could all continue to go about our business and lives just as our forbears have done. None of this is possible to do in the short time frame the IPCC says it needs to be done, 2030 or 2050?! Humanity has chosen its path and there is no turning back.

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Economics must be like that underwear of which those folks in Utah are so fond…


Required Reading for Governor Ralph Northam on Climate Change http://bluevirginia.us/2018/10/required-reading-for-governor-ralph-northam-on-climate-change


Allow me to make a simple analogy that even a person educated in one of Betsy DeVos’ funny-dementalist “christian” charter schools should be able to understand.  Adding carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere is like adding a thin flannel sheet to your bed — it traps a bit of your body heat and you eventually feel a little warmer.  Adding methane (CH4) to the atmosphere is like adding a heavy cotton blanket to your bed — it traps even more of your body heat and you eventually feel quite a bit warmer.  Since the beginning of the industrial age we have added enough “sheets” and “blankets” to the atmosphere that Mother Earth is already feeling at least 1°C warmer, and she will eventually – even if we stop adding more “sheets” and “blankets” today – feel at least 2°C warmer by 2040, maybe even by 2030.  If we don’t stop adding more “sheets” and “blankets”,
I expect Mother Earth will feel 4°C or even 5°C warmer by 2100.   And nobody is even talking about how to REMOVE any of the “sheets” & “blankets” (how to REDUCE the amount of CO2 and CH4 ALREADY IN the atmosphere), so expect the situation to continue to get worse for the foreseeable future.  The ONLY un­certainty is HOW MUCH WORSE . . .

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I really don’t understand who or what Lrx is, but I’m guessing it’s a think tank committee that’s enamored of its own Powerpoints.

I belonged to the UCS twenty years ago when they were less timid and worked to reduce nuclear weapons. For them to now be talking about “sustainable development” and pie-in-the-sky, utterly unproven carbon capture techniques shows how far they’ve fallen.

4 degrees Celsius ends civilization. This has been noted many times in many places. 2 degrees is probably enough to cause collapse. If we make it to 2050, I’ll be surprised, and delighted.

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Great analogy!

Anybody else remember the commondreams article from 2/21/2004 about the Top Secret Pentagon study buried by Cheney/bush that came out in the UK Observer?

“Now the Pentagon Tells Bush: Climate Change Will Destroy Us”

I have it sitting here in front of me, and I quote from the article: …“should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern…Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.”

…“An imminent scenario of catastrophic climate change is ‘plausible and would challenge United States national security in ways that should be considered immediately’.”

At this point, with what we have learned in the last 14 years if you have been paying any kind of attention, the term catastrophic climate ‘collapse’ would be a far more accurate description.

And in the same intervening years, NOTHING has changed except for the worse. And the same stupid arguments continue, the ‘disaster date’ continues to be pushed forward while the scientists scream unheard about the radical unprecedented acceleration of Global Warming when compared to the paleoclimatic record going back millions of years.

We’re over 400ppm CO2 and rising in the atmosphere, folks. Last time this planet saw that it was the Pliocene Era over 2.5 million years ago. Our species is living in an atmosphere it was not evolved to breathe in. Think about that for a second.

And the MSM with its so-called ‘news’ that is owned by 6 (count 'em, SIX!) giant corporations continue to refuse to link the dots together.

It is insane for anybody to listen to the (extremely) conservative by political consensus-ruled IPCC that won’t even consider the destabilizing permafrost in the Arctic that is releasing methane like gangbusters, or the feedback loops that I keep reading about on science sites showing how/what/why but are not politically acceptable to the politicians that are actually running the IPCC.

Mega-droughts, mega-fires,mega-acidification in the oceans, melting Greenland and Antarctica and all the glaciers of the world, a ‘blue water event’ coming due imminently in the Arctic. None of this matters. Only the ‘consensus’ by politicians bought & paid for by corporate lobbyists matter?

Insanity. Talk about this with anyone, give them the science, and they shut down their cognitive process like a wall behind their eyes.

Just complete total insane irrational behavior. And, as a very young ignorant but full of hubris species, we did have such promise…


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Yes, I do remember this. I’m glad you have the link.

We aren’t going to do anything. I’ve become resigned to that. I’m 48 now. I’m sure I’ll live to see billions die, if I’m not one of them.