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Author Topic: You will have to pick a side. There is no longer Room for Procrastination  (Read 6204 times)

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AGelbert

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Ashvin,
Here I continue to address your questions with a post from Eddie that I comment on.

Because of that 40 year time lag, it is simply impossible, even with drastic measures to stop the continued increase in deleterious effects of global warming for that length of time, even if we go 100% green today. IOW, we have to go to more than 100% green to actually address the baked in time lag. We have go to, say 130% or so, so as to rapidly return the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels. This is certainly not limited just to CO2 reduction. Many other toxic products of industry must be eliminated somehow.

A lot of people missed the memo on this, but I've read it from a number of sources I trust.

Exactly. AS David Wasdell states in the following video, if you wish to actually ameliorate the existential threat from catastrophic climate change, you must use the projected climate condition of about 40 years from now as your target, not what is observed at present. Acting on the present guarantees failure due to the fact that the feedback mechanisms are moving faster than the policies to ameliorate climate change. This is politically very unpalatable. But it is the only approach with science behind it. IOW, if the IPCC predicted 470 ppm of CO2 and a 2 degree C increase by 2055, then drastic action to eliminate any target above that must be taken now.

Of course, that is not happening. Every day that isn't happening makes it more and more difficult to deal with.
 

David Wasdell, Director of the Meridian Programme, is a world-renowned expert in the dynamics of climate change. He is also a reviewer of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports and the author of numerous papers and presentations on climate change and related topics.

Kevin Anderson, former Director of the Tyndall Centre (the UK's top academic institute researching climate change), said that a global society (like the one we have now) is not possible with our present level of technology in 4degree C or higher world. And that's where we are going, despite the IPCC figures all revolving about an alleged agreement (with no teeth, no enforcement and all voluntary carbon limits. LOL!) by the piggy countries s of taking measures to keep the planet  below 2 degrees C. Collapse is baked in, so to speak, thanks to government piecemeal incremental measures.

Back to David Wasdell, he clearly and calmly stated that the 30 or so positive feedback loops, if not addressed with absolute limits on carbon output, including even foregoing even biofuels, approximately 80% of life on Earth may die. If that isn't an existential threat, I don't know what is.


Ashvin asked,

What are the chances that scientific technology will progress quickly enough to offer viable solutions (I believe you say this is a very good chance)?'

According to both the scientists I mentioned, we do not have the technology to stop this catastrophe at this time, once the runaway greenhouse positive feedback loops push us past a certain point. Some say we have passed it. Due to the 40 year bake and the paltry government measures being employed, it sure looks that way. Drastic measures to stop emitting CO2 might change that equation.

But it is not realistic to expect governments to engage in them. When large masses of people are dying and a public outcry is sounded, it will be about 40 years too late.

All that said, there are technofix types that claim we just have to put a pack of aerosols up there and cool the planet like volcanic eruptions have partially done in the past. There is evidence that our government has been doing just that since 2000. It doesn't seem to be working. Maybe it's just a conspiracy theory, but some very obvious man made 'cloud' grids have been videoed for some time. And, they are not jet contrails.

Another less messy and much more expensive approach is to block out a portion of the sunlight reaching earth with some giant aluminum vapor coated, 1 mil thick, polyester film a few thousand miles in diameter to cool the planet. But we have no way of knowing whether such a simple solution would not trigger some, even worse, unforeseen climate effect. It certainly is true that the massive sun shield qualifies in the 'any port in the N.T.H.E. storm' category.

But it would do nothing to eliminate the other industrial toxins, unrelated to CO2, that have upped the probability of getting cancer in our lives from 1 in 10 back in 1950 to 1 in 2 (for men) and 1 in 3 (for women) at present. And no, that isn't because we "live longer" ( check the social Security stats and you will find the longevity increase applies to the top 20% wage earners. The bottom 80% "longevity increase" looks like a rounding error.  :P). ; it's because we are subject to more pollutants in our food, air and water from birth than any humans in history. 

We have a plethora of severe problems and the rug the gooberment keeps trying to sweep them under is starting to look like Mount Everest.


-What are the chances that the above technology, or other mitigating policies, will be implemented by corporations and governments which can make a difference when push comes to shove (I believe you say this is a low chance, but quite possible)?

-What are any other known or as of yet unknown factors which may serve to mitigate the destructive trends?


Well, here's the situation, according to Professor Emeritus Richard Somerville  Please note that he is a very conservative scientist. But he makes it clear how serious the urgency is BECAUSE of the limitations of our technology and government reaction times.

The above graph is discussing the procedure to limit the damage to 2 degrees C. That was in 2013. He explained that the required carbon limits, if not enforced by 2020, will basically be impossible to implement. We are passing by 2015 with no end in site to the INCREASE in carbon pollution.

As he said, once the window is closed, it will remain closed. That is a scientist's way of stating an existential threat. He understands the technology. He understands what will happen when we cannot hope to stop the positive feedback mechanisms from overwhelming reforms. He understands that will head us to 4 degrees C or more. That is a dire threat to our species, and literally millions of other species we share this planet with.



Notice how the IPCC sea level rise predictions only fit the data at the extreme end. It is not logical to think that they aren't erring on the side of caution. They are. Therefore, only the most extreme scenarios they come up with can be considered 'in the ball park'.

Every time a report comes out, they have to admit that, yeah, the ice melted more than predicted and several other predictions were a bit on the, uh, conservative side. Each report published every 7 or 8 years gets a little more real. Consequently, it is prudent to assume that a worse than their worse case scenario is highly probable.

That is why I believe firmly that mankind faces an existential threat from Global Warming AND all the other industrial pollution factors degrading the biosphere.

That is why I focused initially on extinctions with Alan. When the extinction rate of species in our biosphere is 1,000 to 10,000 the normal background rate of the last ten thousand years (at least!), it's logical to then assume our species faces an existential threat.

This extinction rate cannot be neatly approached as the product of a single cause. Our society is lousy at dealing with multiple causes. It's like we are as bad as crows (they can't count above three).

But  there are thousands of toxic chemicals, radionuclides and aerosols, along with the CO2 damage that have joined together to drown us in our industrial effluents. CO2 pollution is what we should all agree on. As you can see from Alan's posts, even that is like pulling teeth.

Also, there are too many corporations stuck in the incremental measures approach to expect them to own up the their responsibility to future generations. I just posted an article on the good and the bad corporations. But the 'good" are STILL not at 100% renewable energy. And the bad ones are worse than ever. :emthdown:

It's hard to communicate this threat dispassionately. I do the best I can. We are in a world of trouble.

These are the web sites Professor Emeritus Richard Somerville recommends for reliable information. I hang around RealClimate regularly. I have posted articles from RealClimate here during the last year and have recommended it to all readers. They are the ones who are now looking very hard at the meltwater tunneling by supercritical water (liquid water several degrees below freezing due to massive glacier pressures lubricating glacier movement) beneath Greenland glaciers that is NOT addressed in any of the IPCC predictions that David Wasdell discussed.

They cover all the climate bases. RealClimate is staffed exclusively by climate scientists. 



Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

 

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