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Climate Emergency is already here. How much worse it gets is still up to us (?)

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I'm opening here with an invitation to all and sundry to state their opinion, and rationale as to where they stand on climate change/global warming etc..

Personally, I think that we need a leaner and more efficient industrial model going forward - there is excessive waste through design and cost driven considerations. Too much disposable consumerist shite. Too many inefficient cars, appliances, civic design issues, etc..

Population drives pollution and demand - currently we have a population related demand that outstrips sustainable supply. The pollution from our population demand overloads most of the natural processes that would otherwise deal with it. We need better recycling and waste processing.

Our planet's ability to deal with CO2 etc.. is provably stretched beyond its buffer: As a result, the carbon cycle is driving ocean acidification and greenhouse effect driving atmospheric rises in temperature. You are a fool if you think this is not going to lead to catastrophe for human beings.

On the upside, I think we are close to exhaustion of cheap and easily obtained oil supply - this should signal a transition towards renewable, huge research funding and a sea change in attitudes and behavior. Unfortunately the collective human organism is going the other way, and with interest. We are spending precious time and energy going after harder and increasingly costly sources of energy to prop up an industrial economy who's currency is 'oil dollars'. This negative feedback loop of increasingly self destructive behavior fascinates me as much as it is depressing. We are ensuring mutual destruction to protect the short term interests of individual component organisms, within the collective.

I think that there are solutions on the table that are demonstrably effective: Blended energy supply, trimming the consumerist waste fat and the corresponding ramping down of wasteful industrial processes and efficiency and recycling drives. We don't need pie in the sky dreams of SciFi technology like fusion power etc.. We have the tools now.

Do we have the gumption and will power? Hold on, the Kardasians is starting, I'll be back when it is over...

Climate change is here — and worse than we thought

Climate change is here — and worse than we thought

By James E. Hansen,

James E. Hansen directs the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

When I testified before the Senate in the hot summer of 1988 , I warned of the kind of future that climate change would bring to us and our planet. I painted a grim picture of the consequences of steadily increasing temperatures, driven by mankind’s use of fossil fuels.

But I have a confession to make: I was too optimistic.

My projections about increasing global temperature have been proved true. But I failed to fully explore how quickly that average rise would drive an increase in extreme weather.

In a new analysis of the past six decades of global temperatures, which will be published Monday, my colleagues and I have revealed a stunning increase in the frequency of extremely hot summers, with deeply troubling ramifications for not only our future but also for our present.

This is not a climate model or a prediction but actual observations of weather events and temperatures that have happened. Our analysis shows that it is no longer enough to say that global warming will increase the likelihood of extreme weather and to repeat the caveat that no individual weather event can be directly linked to climate change. To the contrary, our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change.

The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change. And once the data are gathered in a few weeks’ time, it’s likely that the same will be true for the extremely hot summer the United States is suffering through right now.

These weather events are not simply an example of what climate change could bring. They are caused by climate change. The odds that natural variability created these extremes are minuscule, vanishingly small. To count on those odds would be like quitting your job and playing the lottery every morning to pay the bills.

Twenty-four years ago, I introduced the concept of “climate dice” to help distinguish the long-term trend of climate change from the natural variability of day-to-day weather. Some summers are hot, some cool. Some winters brutal, some mild. That’s natural variability.

But as the climate warms, natural variability is altered, too. In a normal climate without global warming, two sides of the die would represent cooler-than-normal weather, two sides would be normal weather, and two sides would be warmer-than-normal weather. Rolling the die again and again, or season after season, you would get an equal variation of weather over time.

But loading the die with a warming climate changes the odds. You end up with only one side cooler than normal, one side average, and four sides warmer than normal. Even with climate change, you will occasionally see cooler-than-normal summers or a typically cold winter. Don’t let that fool you.

Our new peer-reviewed study, published by the National Academy of Sciences, makes clear that while average global temperature has been steadily rising due to a warming climate (up about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the past century), the extremes are actually becoming much more frequent and more intense worldwide.

When we plotted the world’s changing temperatures on a bell curve, the extremes of unusually cool and, even more, the extremes of unusually hot are being altered so they are becoming both more common and more severe.

The change is so dramatic that one face of the die must now represent extreme weather to illustrate the greater frequency of extremely hot weather events.

Such events used to be exceedingly rare. Extremely hot temperatures covered about 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent of the globe in the base period of our study, from 1951 to 1980. In the last three decades, while the average temperature has slowly risen, the extremes have soared and now cover about 10 percent of the globe.

This is the world we have changed, and now we have to live in it — the world that caused the 2003 heat wave in Europe that killed more than 50,000 people and the 2011 drought in Texas that caused more than $5 billion in damage. Such events, our data show, will become even more frequent and more severe.

There is still time to act and avoid a worsening climate, but we are wasting precious time. We can solve the challenge of climate change with a gradually rising fee on carbon collected from fossil-fuel companies, with 100 percent of the money rebated to all legal residents on a per capita basis. This would stimulate innovations and create a robust clean-energy economy with millions of new jobs. It is a simple, honest and effective solution.

The future is now. And it is hot.

Global Warming Has Arrived: The Ultimate Unwanted Houseguest

Dr. James E. Hansen -- head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and adjunct professor in Columbia University's Department of Earth -- wrote a August 3 Washington Post op-ed that is a real eye-opener. The title of the piece gives the reader a pretty good idea of what he is trying to say: Climate change is here -- and worse than we thought.

So why should we listen to Hansen as opposed to, say, Sen. James Inhofe or radio personality Rush Limbaugh? For starters, Inhofe and Limbaugh have absolutely no background in climate science. Their (inaccurate) assessments of global warming are based almost entirely on opinion, rather than fact.

Let's compare this to Hansen:

    B.A., & Ph.D. in Physics
    M.S. in Astronomy
    Published for decades in peer-reviewed journals
    Heads a premier institution for climate research

Second, while global warming deniers typically base their arguments on misinformation ("Hey! These are the same scientists who warned us there would be an ice age!"), Hansen's work from thirty years ago is now quantifiably proving to be very accurate, as What on Earth has previously discussed.

Third, Hansen has the support of world-class experts, such as fellow climate guru Michael E. Mann, who says of Hansen:

    Hansen, it turns out, was right, and the critics were wrong. Rather than being reckless, as some of his critics charged, his announcement to the world proved to be prescient -- and his critics were proven overly cautious. Given the prescience of Hansen's science, we would be unwise to ignore his latest, more dire warning.

With that kind of gravitas, why would one doubt the man's assessment of our warming climate? Is he some kind of left-wing extremist with a "very partisan agenda?" Not entirely likely since Hansen is a registered Independent with a solid Republican background.

To wrap up, let's assess the credibility of Mr. Dr. James E. Hansen:

    Time and data-proven accuracy of his work
    Support of world-class experts
    Grandfather (C'mon, what's more trustworthy than a grampa?)
    Strong link to one of television's classic comedies. GISS is located above Tom's Restaurant , which is known to Seinfeld fans as the restaurant where Jerry and the gang hang out. (The diner featured in today's comic strip is based on the Seinfeld set.)

I'm sold! Who wouldn't give this guy a good listen?

(24/7 - for transparency's sake, I changed the title of the thread on 29.06.2021 on the basis of change in direction the discussion is taking - it's no longer just 'climate change' - it categorically is an emergency that threatens to wipe is out...)

Devon Red:
Prof Richard Muller, one of the most high profile sceptics, has now changed his mind and accepts that climate change is happening and "humans are almost entirely the cause".

--- Quote ---Prof Richard Muller, a physicist and climate change sceptic who founded the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (Best) project, said he was surprised by the findings. "We were not expecting this, but as scientists, it is our duty to let the evidence change our minds." He added that he now considers himself a "converted sceptic" and his views had undergone a "total turnaround" in a short space of time.

"Our results show that the average temperature of the Earth's land has risen by 2.5F over the past 250 years, including an increase of 1.5 degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases," Muller wrote in an opinion piece for the New York Times.
--- End quote ---

It looks like the climate change sceptics might be the first major extinction of the global warming era, there are less and less of them every day  ;)


--- Quote from: Devon Red on August 18, 2012, 05:53:54 pm ---
It looks like the climate change sceptics might be the first major extinction of the global warming era, there are less and less of them every day  ;)

--- End quote ---

I wish I could share your optimism - it seems to me the denialist faction is like a Lernaean Hydra  :-\ All Muller seems to have achieved is to annoy those who support ACC and made enemies of the deniers. I spend too much time debating the issue and I see no progress.

Who the fuck in this day and age is still denying climate change?

Devon Red:

--- Quote from: Bioluminescence on August 18, 2012, 06:41:16 pm ---I wish I could share your optimism - it seems to me the denialist faction is like a Lernaean Hydra  :-\ All Muller seems to have achieved is to annoy those who support ACC and made enemies of the deniers. I spend too much time debating the issue and I see no progress.

--- End quote ---

It is frustrating when the same arguments keep coming up again and again even though they've been debunked long ago.

Do you think it comes down to politics? Sometimes I wonder if Al Gore did more harm than good with his film, so many people in America and even Europe have been happy to dismiss ACC as Gore's personal invention.

I used to think the internet would make it harder to hide the truth from people, now I realise its exactly the opposite. Anyone can make a website with a few cherry picked graphs and convince those who want to be convinced. Thats the great missed opportunity of the internet, people don't really go looking for truth, they go looking for validation of their prejudices and ideologies.


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