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Whether Fire or Water, Studies Say Climate Impacts Will Soon Be At America's Door

You are woefully mistaken. You posit far more water than is encompassed by climate change. Even if the Antarctic Ice Cap melted completely (that would take several centuries) it wouldn’t turn the Earth into Waterworld! A non hyperbolic though still dire risk can be ascertained from an increase in sea level of perhaps 10 ft. this century. That is a high limit btw according to the current estimates of possible melt rates decades hence.

Resorting to hyperbole is fun when you are sitting around a bowl stoned and uncritical but many people try to sound authoritive and yet they think nothing of spouting the most exaggerated and unsubstantiated claims for climate risk. The truth is certainly bad enough as it is and hyperbole is simply not necessary. A strict adherence to the truth (sans hyperbole) educates people over the long term because they feel like they can trust someone who sticks to rigorous fact checking first before they speak. Listeners are then less confused as to what is the real truth and what is excess.

The truth is plenty bad enough in other words. Stick to the truth and be scientific. Resort to hyperbole and become a poet of excess and not to be believed later even when you are talking the truth about something else.

Perhaps you might take a look at the climatae map at:

This shows in detail what is at risk at a mere 6ft SLR, which is considerably less than the 10 ft you have conceded. Nuclear power plants, as well as other infrastructure,are along all coasts and within the areas of med tohigh risk. That webiste is NOAA and for the moment can still be viewed. The data is not my hyperbolic imagination. Where are you getting your information that suggests a more poisitive outcome?


I see where the miscommunication stemmed from. About the only thing that we can be grateful for concerning climate change is that it will not be abrupt for our civilization (although geologically and evolutionarily it will be quite sudden of course). I mean sea level rise to the degree you cite won’t happen to us overnight but will take a number of years. I am assuming that human beings (stupid as we were to install nuclear reactors) will come to their senses and decommission coastal reactors properly. No more Fukishimas hopefully.

If for some reason that human beings simply proved unwilling or unable to decommission the reactors and they all got submerged or otherwise damaged by sea level rise, then I would say that the hyperbolic warning you cited would become reality. I am as yet unable to accept that people will knowingly commit suicide given sufficient warning. As sea levels threaten coastal reactors then people (I hope) will make sure that the radioactive dangers are either sequestered or removed.

Long term sequestering is problematical but then you pays your money ( subsidized nuclear industry ) and you gets your radiation. What we will do with it is the problem. Sadly an irradiated ocean is also a long term possibility. On the other hand GMO bacteria and so forth as well as new tech may ameliorate the damage somewhat.

I just don’t see humanity just giving up and kicking the radiation bucket barring war. For the first time, we are finally becoming aware that we don’t need nukes to provide energy. Imagine the efficiency of solar, wind and tidal in thirty or fifty more years based on new advances that we see almost daily!

We have hit the final nuclear hump and all that remains is for humanity to get past it this one last time. I just react badly to anyone who makes pronouncements that humanity is virtually doomed as if it is useless to try to overcome our problems such as climate change or even the disposal of nuclear energy risks etc.

However you didn’t confine your hyperbole to only nuclear now did you? “Mega epidemics, crops underwater (?), famine…”

I do not concur with that fatalistic doomsday scenario speculation and projection so easily… as yet!

My thing is the expectation that life will be misery but humanity will not perish though our natural world may to a great extent.

Keeping fingers crossed that we can fix our problems before hyperbole becomes reality…or at least we figure out a way to move to another neighborhood (planet)!

We enter upon a new change of seasons for the long term future. Heat baby! Heat!

Once the old song said “Summertime and the living is easy.” Well that will sadly change to “Summertime and the dying is easy!” The elderly and the very young or infirm. It hit 129F in India and Pakistan last year in the summer. Poor people literally died. Similarly thousands died during the summer heat wave in Russia a few years ago, as did nearly 30,000 in France during the heat wave when the nuclear reactors had to be shut down because the temperature was too hot and the rivers weren’t cool enough to adequately cool the reactors.

Heat baby! Heat! It isn’t the end of the world of course but we are all on a long road that just keeps getting worse (hotter) as each year goes by.

The utter disaster facing us here is so underplayed! This demands and will accept nothing other than radical change if there is any chance of survival. Yes, dislocation is part of the story but ultimately a minor player. This issue is how will food be grown when the great American desert stretches from the Mississippi to the Pacific ocean and that ocean is officially dead. An exaggeration perhaps, but if even close to the truth heaven help us.

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Well, all those beautiful, non GMO tomatoes, will be radiated, not fit for consumption, once another two or three nuke plants go down. Eating will kill you .


Well eating is a bad habit! Once you get hooked on eating, you end up doing it for the rest of your life!

Americans have gotten used to linear thinking and the logic of movie plots. Climate change is not that straightforward as of yet. Look at the drought in California which has been aliviated at least for this year. You can’t put that sequence in a movie plot because unless it is presented as A + B = C, we complain that the movie plot didn’t make sense or that it was too hard to follow. Now because of this one good rainfall year, many people will think the years of drought are over permanently.

We want things to always be too simple but reality doesn’t work that way. No drought this year doesn’t mean that there won’t be a drought next year.

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MM23: I don’t know on what information you base the statement that scientists are saying “we have more time.” My reading on this isn’t exhaustive, but what I have read from most scientific quarters is just the opposite. Unfortunately scientists and scientific fact have very little sway now in forming responsible national public policy, where the real problem lies. The government is captured by powerful interests that will allow no interruption to their revenue stream. 'Nuff said.

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Yeah, but it’s so damn enjoyable… usually… :yum:

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My time scale is “within this year.”

The price of seafood will go up because the North Pacific Ocean has gone pretty blue and sterile, says ENEnews.org. It’s not just the reefs, it’s the mid-ocean plankton.

The price of home insurance in Florida will go up because one big hurricane could flood half the state these days. It’s tornado season, and a mile-wide wedge tornado isn’t that rare these days. The other possible repeat performance would be another 900 mile wide Hurricane Sandy flooding somebody else’s subway system.

Western forests are still dying off and turning into firetraps even with adequate rain this winter. If you look at all forests in the U.S. you’ll find that most of the trees are a bit less healthy.

Alaska’s permafrost is turning into one giant methane release party, fast fast fast. So is the continental shelf off of Alaska’s North Slope. Expect even higher record temperatures in July. Some dude is likely to try surfing in the Arctic Ocean, maybe this September.

We’re in the stage where climate change is like a slow, big forest fire. It keeps getting bigger all by itself if you don’t fight it, and no, your house isn’t safe. You are on evacuation warning, although evacuating to the moon isn’t considered viable at this time.


Title needs to be changed from “Climate impacts will Soon Be at America’s Door”---- to: “Climate Impacts have passed through America’s door”


Here in the midwest the forests are ravaged from repeated straight line winds that occur hand in hand with more frequent severe storms due to AGW/AGD (whatever one chooses to call the human induced decimation of the biosphere). I am in N. Wisconsin right now and will let you know that looking at the forest from the window where I am typing leaves me feeling horror, grief and anger. Forests (prairies, wetlands, woodlands) has been on the decline for decades (from pollution, logging, pests) but the past 2 years have made them look like a war zone here.

It is shocking to me that some people have the ability to deny and act as if they are oblivious to what is happening everywhere in the world.

The waters are infested with invasive species and they will NEVER be the same. Ticks and other vectors that carry disease are off the charts. Fewer bees, monarchs, bats----- and I should stop here because I’m working today and could go on for pages on all the dying at the hands of humans and those that come here have read the lists ad nauseum.

Impacts (to put it mildly) are here NOW and no place is immune—not even f—ing Trump towers or Four Seasons “resorts”.

And this:


Unfortunately, we are all entitled to our oil based economic society. Am I going to give up my car? My imported Mexican winter vegetables? My dish washer? My vacations? Wars? Campfires? Meat? Golf?

Change is coming. Everything is impermanent. But first we must raise our consciousness.

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But describing the consequences of non-action is not an encouragement to do nothing, as you seem to suggest. On the contrary, underplaying the expected consequences of our failure to act can have the opposite, the complacency, effect.
Perhap you can share where you got the assurance that the consequences to society will not be abrupt. I have not seen anything that makes that case and some scenarios do suggest that the positive feedbacks that can trigger serious, increased land-based ice cap melt and slippage may indeed be quite abrupt.


What are you talking about? I am sorry that you keep rewording the intent of my words because you seem to be suggesting that I am saying something other than what I am. What is your point exactly? I quoted your words at least and took issue with them. You instead reword what I said as if I was suggesting something other than what I wrote. This is boring and petty and once again I ask you if you have a point to this nonsense?

I do not have the same fatalistic assessment of our future as you wrote. Others also resort to this drama hyperbole when describing the future of humanity. To listen to them, they expect the worst and then wax eloquent insisting that humanity is doomed.

As I said, I don’t believe it is. I do think the natural world that we now exist in will not fare as well. I do expect that in some future Earth ( perhaps by this century’s end ) that humanity will have used up virtually ‘every square inch’ of habitable Earth leaving no room for animals and wild nature ( the ultimate outcome of the sixth extinction sans humanity itself)! I expect only misery and sorrow for a desperately over populated Earth damaged by the current assault on nature and unable to repair that damage at a later date! Wall to wall humanity in other words and little or no room for anything else. Imagine densely populated city streets with literally only bare concrete and asphalt from horizon to horizon stretching across the planet.

I think of that but not of the end of humanity.

We are a stubborn species but at least we are creative problem solvers. I believe or hope that long before this overpopulated hellhole speculative fate becomes real that science and common sense will change our future direction for the better. The natural world as we now know it will exist in memory or in zoos but humanity will find a way to survive and rise up out of its self induced misery.

The anthropocene may mean the near end of nature as we know it leaving only humanity and its means of feeding itself but then… life goes on.

I don’t see an abrupt end because of ‘sudden’ sea level rise. It is possible that the oceans might be rendered hazardous with diluted radiation however if your scenario ensues.

In that case, the anthropocene will exist with sterilized seas nearly devoid of life but humanity will still survive.

The end is not nigh… it just feels that way.

This very article is an example of “we have more time” … talking about what might happen by the end of this century. It is upon us NOW. And this isn’t the only one. Article after article says “if we don’t act in the next 10/20/30 years the effects of climate change may become irreversible.”


Exactly right… there is still time to change course!

People need to be honest about what deniers see around us. To them there are still fish in the oceans and trees in the forests etc. They don’t see the destruction as yet so they deny it exists.

It is like we are talking about a patient who is very sick who won’t recover if he doesn’t receive adequate medical aid now. Yes the Earth’s climate is in deep trouble but talking as if the patient is already dead will not get that patient the medical care he needs okay!

The fight isn’t over even if things go past the irreversible point! Yes we may someday be able to scrub excess carbon from the atmosphere. No we can’t do that now nor should we count on a method being discovered in time because it may not! But we are a resilient and creative species.

I say this because at my age ( good luck kiddies ) I am so damn impressed that solar energy has exploded across the planet in virtually a few short years when the need truly arose for us to find a way off fossil fuels. Sadly greed is inhuman but humanity found the non polluting solution to its vast energy needs nevertheless.

Solar energy development is being held back by fools like Trump and corporatized greed but we found the solution.

That species specific creativity is hope for our future.

Good luck kiddies.

Over the last 30 years I’ve witnessed the rain in Haiku (Maui, edge of the rainforest between Haiku to Hana) go from raining EVERYDAY to a drought.

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My only consolation in all of this is that Mar-a-Lago will some day be under water. I wish it would happen in Donald’s lifetime, but will settle for Donald, Jr., Eric and Ivanka witnessing it.

Cessation would lead to “global dimming”. It’s a Catch-22.