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The Terrible Truth of Climate Change

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/05/terrible-truth-climate-change


Thank you Ms. Gergis.


Great article,
I new of all this decades ago .I learned what was going to happen to the Earth and the universal law of cause and effect from Spiritual books and authors .
They also have solutions , but nobody listens to nut job spiritual authors as it’s not science fact.

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A poignant, prosaic and brutally honest piece of journalism. In the UK I and others have endured years of ridicule trying to raise awareness of the growing climate emergency facing our Blue droplet of life in the universe. We may well be unique. Articles of this quality will resonate with fresh minds. Hopefully creating more ripples of action here in the UK and elsewhere.


Hi NorthernLass70:

Maybe we all need to see that view of Earth rising, which happened first when one of the astronauts took that film through his space window. Out against the blackness of space, blue and beautiful and vulnerable was Earth--------our home, our only home.


Maybe more people need to see that film which the astronaut took of our planet and realize who we are , and where we are------and where we may not be for very long. It’s a beautiful shot and it makes me cry, because of all that Earth has created and endured, and promised too--------we are all Earthlings and , whether or not you believe that rich people and corporations and fascist leaders —all our futures hang together. So to paraphrase what Ben Franklin once said about the republic …"We can hang together—or hang separately------:frowning:

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“We still have time to try and avert the scale of the disaster, but we must respond as we would in an emergency. The question is, can we muster the best of our humanity in time?”

I don’t know why anyone even bothers to ask that question. Hell no, we can’t, we won’t. I don’t know about the other countries but much of the U.S. population it too stupid and too ideologically biased to even acknowledge that AGC is for real. The Republicans laugh at it and the Democrats want to enact a carbon tax. The ONLY way to maybe, if we’re extremely lucky, stand a snowball’s chance in hell of saving our asses is if we stop immediately burning any and all fossil fuels NOW and every country on the planet does so as well. Ain’t gonna happen. Anything less will just be pissing in the wind.

I have already accepted the fact that we are fucked. It’s just a matter of time before all hell breaks loose, and I’m quite certain it’s going to be sooner rather than later. I believe that Guy McPherson is one of the few who are telling the ugly truth – that by the year 2030, at the latest, there won’t be a human being alive on the planet.


This should be the lead story on all media.

This should have been the lead story on all media for decades now.

i have watched this coming my whole life. In elementary school in the 1960s i was introduced to global warming through the film Unchained Goddess, a science documentary about the power of the sea, which included a segment on industrial activities pumping carbon into the atmosphere, raising the temperature through the greenhouse effect, causing the ice caps to melt, leaving Miami entirely under water. That film was produced in 1958.

In 1971 Barry Commoner published his book The Closing Circle, in response to the first Earth Day in 1970, and he included a chapter on global warming. i read The Closing Circle in 1972. i decided then that i would never drive an automobile or fly.

None of this has ever been “scientifically controversial.” The controversy was entirely fabricated by fossil fuel corporations, industrialists, capitalists, and the media mouthpieces and political lackeys who serve them, to bolster their short-term financial bottom lines and cement their political power. It’s all so fucking transparent, but we humans find it far too easy to be distracted and bamboozled by propaganda, and power, and automobiles, and debt, and entertainment.

And the scientists have known that – whatever their models showed as “most likely” outcomes – we have been playing with unknowns, and the prudent thing would have been to be careful, to not risk finding out the models under-predicted the severity of the climate’s reaction to so much introduced atmospheric carbon. Alarm bells should have been going off for decades now.

There has been a lot of pain in my life, like everyone. Nothing compares to watching this unfold, knowing what is happening, not being able to do anything myself, or as part of any movement, to move public opinion to face down this industrial capitalist consumerist power structure and turn this thing around.

So late in the game now. Can any event or action spark a real shift in public consciousness to enable a real shift in the structure of the economy, in time to allow us to have a chance?


“To restrict warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, the world needs to triple its current emission reduction pledges. If that’s not bad enough, to restrict global warming to 1.5°C, global ambition needs to increase fivefold.”

Not even close. We aren’t going to stay under 1.5°C. It’s virtually mathematically impossible for us to stay under 2°, and will take at least 6 times the speed of current actions to even come close.
Comment: https://grist.org/article/600-environmental-orgs-say-this-is-what-they-want-in-a-green-new-deal/#comment-4285915404

Probably, after the years of retrograde movement we’ve seen since Joe Romm supported that estimate using Socolow and Pacala’s wedges, we have to go more like 10 times as fast. https://cmi.princeton.edu/wedges

What do we need to do when even the knowledgeable purveyors of rational doom brightside the public?



Ahhh, the only person who refers to your sources as “nutjob spiritual advisers” is you. I doubt whether any reputable scientist would use a phrase like that but they would point out that these people you mention really don’t know much about the topic being discussed. Seems to me that you lamely try and belittle scientists by putting words in their mouths. Also, please tell us what the “Universal law of cause and effect” is?

I saw a video on YouTube that was originally filmed in the 1950s with a man named Dr. Frank Baxter who explained science to the lay public. This particular segment was about the possibility of global warming and its likely effects and the graphics depicting coastal areas being flooded were quite prescient. Tragically, it takes ctisis conditions before you can get people to act responsibly.
I also noticed in this article that there was no mention of the addition of warming by the introduction of methane variants. There are far more powerful than CO2 in bringing about “global warming”. Climate scientists are very concerned that a so-called “methane burp” of billions of tons could be released from arctic and subarctic regions in a relatively short period of time which will further accelerate the increase in atmospheric temperature that is already exceeding climate model predictions. I’m afraid that the next two COP meetings will accomplish little in any real change in government policies.


Hmmm, even as cynical as I am about human affairs, especially politics, I doubt if all humans will be wiped out by 2030. However, I can envision a world at that time that will be much harder to live in for the human race with hundreds of millions of “climate refugees”, failed crops, pestilence, major storms and mega fires occurring regularly, extreme inequality and civil disruption and even chaos in many countries. Those conditions could see the further rise of authoritarian governments like we have now in many more countries under the banner of maintaining order and the loss of civil liberties and the increase in capital crimes and imprisonment.

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The fossil fuel industry receives a lot of criticism these days, and rightfully so. But in the final analysis, we are the ones who support the energy industry and it is our standard of living that will need to change. So contemplate what you can do for the cause

Personal Actions

End our love affair with the automobile

Ride more trains and buses

Car pool

Walk and bike more

Turn off the air conditioner in the summer and dial the thermostat down in winter

Become vegetarians or vegans

Refill plastic water bottles with tap water

Discontinue using aluminum cans with and without carbonation

Maximize use of reusable bags and products

Recycle junk mail

Forego fast junk food

Go to “slow food”;

Recycle maximally, especially aluminum cans

Drive and accelerate more slowly

Climb more stairs

Plant more trees

Forego use of spray cans

Ride more trains and buses

Repair, mend and alter as much as possible

Buy solar panels

Compost as much as possible

Last person out of the room turn off the lights

Eat and farm organic

Ride more trains and buses

Fly fewer planes

Promote conference calls and web cams, fewer meetings

Use manual tools instead of power tools

Share more

Use rakes rather than leaf blowers

Decrease use of bottled water and refill plastic bottles with tap water

Maximize reusable bags and products

Push rather than power small mowers

Replace lawns with vegetable gardens

Stop fertilizing and mowing lawns

Compost as much as possible

Minimize use of disposables (Pampers);

Maximize high efficiency LED and solar powered lighting;

Limit endless gadgets

Use motion lighting, where appropriate

Decrease consumption

Limit family size

Local Government Actions

Reorganize cities, building taller residences with a smaller footprint (the end of suburbia)

Institute a carbon tax

Promote car pooling subsidize and expand mass transit

Expand bike paths

Have shareable (zip) cars

Ban electric outdoor signs;

Eat and farm organic

Promote conference calls and web cams, fewer meetings

Eliminate approximately 50% of all street lighting and office lighting in unoccupied buildings

eliminate “fast junk food”; go to “slow food


Federal Government Actions

Eliminate subsidies to fossil fuel corporations

Ban gasohol

Rein in the militaries for defense only and outlaw war

Further shrink nuclear arsenals and increase treaties

Discontinue night baseball

Promote making electronics, house wares, furniture, etc to be as durable and long-lived as possible

Promote recycling

Set standards for making appliances to be as energy efficient as possible

Discontinue single use aluminum cans

Ban electric outdoor signs

Subsidize solar and wind power;

Change from petroleum based fertilizers to regenerative agriculture

Reverse deforestation, plant more trees

Restrict spray cans

Promote conference calls and web cams, fewer meetings

Promote zero population growth with free condoms and family planning world-wide

End yearly auto model changes;

Proscribe junk mail

Scrap the mission to Mars

Adjust tax laws to limit family size


Hi StardustIbid, I totally agree and thanks for liking my comment, my first on Common Dreams.
As a family of nations, we need to “get busy living or get busy dying” - thanks Andy Dufreyne from Shawshank.
The fact is that we need to put in place the kind of will and wheels of invention that Kennedy did in his Apollo mission. He committed mankind to getting to the Moon. He did it. But it required whole nations, their scientists across all industries to pool ideas.
We need another giant step for mankind.
We need this to happen now.
The changes to our natural world are non linear. The changes to the Arctic are frighteningly ahead of the predicted models and can only serve as the harshest of warnings that our time is up.
We have the ingenuity. We have the tools. We just need the will from us, the people, to be transferred to those in political power.


That’s the film i referred to, Unchained Goddess, with Frank Baxter as “Dr. Research.” Part of a series of science documentaries produced by Bell Labs.

Yes, through those movies, millions of elementary and jr. high school students were exposed to a lot of scientific concepts otherwise only covered very superficially and elementarily.

What I want to know, what I really want to know, is how can someone like F. William Engdahl, who I originally learned about at https://www.globalresearch.ca/, has written numerous books that seem to be revealing truths that no one else is, believes in this idea that global warming is a hoax:

I’m not very moved be her gushing tears on her carbon-spewing flights back home. If she cared about the planet, she would make appearances via video teleconference. Everyone needs to make changes to save the planet…except her.

Doubling of CO2 is a BS point. We are already witnessing huge ice loss at both poles and we still have at least 20 to 40 years of heating baked in (no pun) even if we stopped emissions right now.

There is nothing that can reverse this momentum. To talk like if we just do a bit of something warming will stop and reverse is a bold face lie.


Dr. G, I faced what you recently went through back in 2012, and I know that gut wrenching feeling. I also came to terms with the increasing possibility of human extinction at that time. I’m a field scientist so therefore I simply used my eyes along with my journal reading to know how advanced the process truly was. I don’t depend on models since they’ll always understate the scale of the change. My 40 years of field work tells me that we need to warn others of their personal environmental risk and to advise them to prepare for possibly the worst. Meanwhile, to help with the anxiety, I joined the Red Cross to help with the storms. I do disaster assessments. And I stay in The Now, and take it one day at a time. After all, that’s all we really have, right? The Now. Good luck, Jackie

Evaluate your personal risk, and mitigate as best you can. And I suggest you do it yesterday cause people are catching on quick. I think in the next few years we’ll see a stampede of people away from the ocean coasts and from those south of the Mason Dixon. So do it now, and good luck. Oh, and stay at least 50 miles from any nuclear power plant - they’re not designed for what here let alone what’s ahead in a few years time.