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Ticking Carbon Clock Warns We Have One Year to Avert Climate Catastrophe


Ticking Carbon Clock Warns We Have One Year to Avert Climate Catastrophe

Nika Knight, staff writer

Our window of time to act on climate may be shrinking even faster than previously thought.

We may only have one year remaining before we lock in 1.5ºC of warming—the ideal goal outlined in the Paris climate agreement—after which we'll see catastrophic and irreversible climate shifts, many experts have warned.


" Time is running out."
One wonders how long before the headline reads:


One year to avert catastrophe?

Tell that to the people of Syria: http://www.ibtimes.com/human-induced-climate-change-triggered-middle-easts-worst-drought-900-years-nasa-says-2329373

and how about the magnificent and essential for life ecosystems that comprise the Arctic and Antarctic:

The list of human induced climate change catastrophes, human induced extinctions and destructive alteration by humans of all the spheres of life is endless.

While I appreciate your coverage of human induced climate change here at CD, it is misleading to even hint at having more time let alone state we have one year in the title of this article. More factual title is in order, imo.

“The carbon dioxide we’ve already committed to the atmosphere has warmed the world about 1.8°F since the start of the industrial revolution. This year, in addition to marking the start of our new 400 ppm world, is also set to be the hottest year on record.” https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-s-co2-passes-the-400-ppm-threshold-maybe-permanently/


The problem with articles like this one is that they're not only reducing their arguments to fear mongering, but the implied solution is completely unrealistic.

Let's take the article at face value and assume that there will be material, adverse effects to the climate if we don't effectively eliminate all emissions in the next year. Do you realize how expensive that would be in a global scale to implement? The amount of infrastructure change, loss in economic activity and growth would be truly catastrophic. It begs the question of which is worse?


I would say this is the scientific view without taking into account political, economical, and financial constraints to arrive at a realistic view. Given the results of the recent US presidential election I think it is reasonable to conclude that time has run out to stay under 2C. A new goal will need to be set, perhaps 2.5C or 3.C. In any event, the pledges made would take us to about 3.5C so one critical task has to be to get stronger pledges. Most of the states are making at least some progress on green energy so the US will probably continue to reduce emissions but not nearly enough particularly because of the coming vacuum of leadership from the White House in the fight against climate change.


From pathos to despair in 20 years - we yet debate whether or which in a year or a decade or two! The true portend of things to come has came and went already. We only await the gauge of how fast it overtakes us and how long will we allow it to worsen as catastrophe continues to mount one upon another.

But we know already that the future for us is no longer what we once (rightfully) took for granted. The future that existed for us in our past will never happen any longer. There is absolutely no chance of that happening any longer. Our future will be a different one than what nature had intended! Our future will be what man has allowed to happen instead.

This article correctly describes a warning but it cannot speak the 'lingua' of our age. The message doesn't quite get through that disaster has already happened. We know and as Trump will illustrate - we do nothing.

We await the big finale - the big action sequence in the film to ratchet up the level of excitement that will satisfy us. Sure we know that amphibians are disappearing and fish stocks are plummeting! We know but we need the big scene to even notice that we already know (and we don't face that).

The arctic melts and we look on the 'bright side'. The Great Barrier Reef is dying - remember the scuba diving travelogues? We know and are too busy to care that we know.

We and that mythic frog sit quietly in that proverbial pan of heating water but in fact when it gets too hot, the frog will jump out before it is too late.

How odd that it just may be that it is we who will not!


It's not as if we have one year to prevent this forest fire from being lit. The arsonist already lit the thing a while ago. The Arctic ice pack is in record low territory (for January) right now. We're getting violent north-south air currents this month, cookers, blizzards, tornadoes in the South.

The question is, are we going to watch the pretty forest fire get bigger all by itself, or are we going to try to get the thing 20% contained?


We may only have one year remaining before we lock in 1.5ºC of warming

It's already locked in, and even 1.5ºC is optimistic. This article is at least 8 years too late. Just like the "Left" has been in a coma regarding Obama's wars, they have also been asleep regarding climate change.

A real shame. Billions of people who have no voice or representation have been betrayed by a small slice of humanity. This Liberal class had it within their power to give this planet peace and a fighting chance, instead they insulted those that spoke out.


I find this clock to be offensive and a joke. Just more "hopium" to feed the sheeple. The clock ran out a long time ago. We have done the damage. CO2 levels are currently at 406 and climbing. We have baked in a 2C rise in very short order and it won't stop there. Like I've said many times, we have already driven off the proverbial cliff. We're just waiting to hit the canyon bottom below. We are done. I apologize to all other life forms on our beautiful planet.


No, we do not need growth. We need an equitable economy. Much of what the current "economy" produces is completely unnecessary.



Which is worse, the end of capitalism or, The End?


Tell the starving people in Africa, Asia, parts of Latin and South America...actually any poor person, that "we don't need growth." How is Zimbabwe going to improve economically in a zero-growth world? Where is the money and resources going to come from?


The end of capitalism (i.e. freedom) is the end. Turning the world into the Soviet Union to pay for such an immediate and drastic change in global infrastructure would result in the death of hundreds of millions of people. And that is not fear mongering on my end.


Yes, I realize that.

I am not optimistic about diverse life on earth surviving this human induced nightmare----and I agree with thsanyal above re: "growth".

noun: fear-mongering
the action of deliberately arousing public fear or alarm about a particular issue.

If there ever was an issue (besides nuclear annihilation) that humans should be afraid of it is the fact that we are now in uncharted territory with co2 levels (over 400 ppm) and we are on the path to losing the planet’s cooling system: the Arctic Ice.

There SHOULD be alarm about this issue. There are still deniers which truly boggles the mind.

Fear mongering-----many say it doesn’t work (http://bigthink.com/age-of-engagement/study-finds-that-fear-wont-dont-do-it-why-most-efforts-at-climate-change-communication-might-actually-backfire

What the hell does work?

Calmly presenting the science hasn’t worked.

Books like Joe Romm’s: Language Intelligence: Lessons on Persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga haven’t worked.

In any case, it is my belief that MSM and alternative media “fear mongering” has been minimal given the fact that many scientists are AFRAID to tell the truth about human induced climate change:

What works? Tragically we’ve run out of time to spend analyzing what works and what doesn't work. It appears nothing works for a critical mass of people (too many people) to stop this runaway train. And I think it’s time to toss out the notion of “political will”. That is right up there with "holding elected officials feet to the fire".

From Climate change link above:

“Professor Wadhams has concluded that there is now so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that dangerous warming is inevitable unless more drastic action is taken. He says reducing emissions will help, along with planting forests, but it will never be enough.
“What is needed is something that has not been invented yet − a large-scale method of passing air through a machine and taking out the carbon dioxide,” he says.
“In the long run, only by taking carbon out of the air can we hope to get the concentrations down enough to save us from dangerous climate change.”


Well, the United States is a very rich country. Why does it have people who are homeless? Why are CEO's paid so much more than the workers who actually get the work done? "Growth" under the capitalistic model will always generate poverty, that is the undeniable lesson of history. Newton, Shakespeare, Da Vinci, Mozart, they all created in a world that did not have the likes of the financial crooks of today. That tells me that we can get rid of the money shufflers and have a better world for everybody (minus the .01%).



You have no business on a dead planet.

No ecology, no economy.

The cost of "business as usual" is incalculable, and far outstrips any cost of reducing and surviving the climate catastrophe that has been unleashed by fossil-fueled industrialism and agriculture.


Your ideological blinders and rigidity, help explain your clinging to climate denialism.


So Capitalism or Soviet tyranny; these are the only two possibilities for an economy that human creativity can bring forth? I believe, contrary to the Thatcherite mantra, we can do better than that. Do you suppose Albert Einstein was a fool in arguing for Socialism? Between Mnuchin and Einstein, I choose the latter. Your mileage will vary.



I am beginning to think these temperature goals no longer make any sense. At one time they did. The goal determined the amount of greenhouse gases that could be emitted to correspond to a given temperature. The idea was to assign each country a quota of emissions in a fair manner based on such considerations as stage of development, historical emissions, population, etc in a legally binding agreement. However, this has now been abandoned, largely because developing countries refused to take part. So we are left with voluntary commitments based on the best countries think they can do. Clearly, they are not making sufficient commitments. So at this point the temperature goals seem rather meaningless and probably the only goal should be to get off this suicidal path as quickly as possible. Or as Michael Mann would put it, if your were driving down a hill that got steeper the further you drove what you would want to do is not decide to get off somewhere down the road but get off at the next exit. Just get off quickly..


"So far, there is no track record for reducing emissions globally," explained Fabian Löhe, spokesperson for MCC, in an email to Common Dreams. "Instead, greenhouse gas emissions have been rising at a faster pace during the last decade than previously—despite growing awareness and political action across the globe."

Either planned collapse of the "economy" (sic) or unplanned collapse of Earth's actual Economy.


Note: Which would of course mean the collapse of "the economy" anyway, which should be obvious but sadly needs to be said in fantastical realms of make believe we live in.