[bold]Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe - and that make clear who the real enemy is[/bold]
If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven't convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.
Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation – in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the "largest temperature departure from average of any season on record." The same week, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet's history.
Not that our leaders seemed to notice. Last month the world's nations, meeting in Rio for the 20th-anniversary reprise of a massive 1992 environmental summit, accomplished nothing. Unlike George H.W. Bush, who flew in for the first conclave, Barack Obama didn't even attend. It was "a ghost of the glad, confident meeting 20 years ago," the British journalist George Monbiot wrote; no one paid it much attention, footsteps echoing through the halls "once thronged by multitudes." Since I wrote one of the first books for a general audience about global warming way back in 1989, and since I've spent the intervening decades working ineffectively to slow that warming, I can say with some confidence that we're losing the fight, badly and quickly – losing it because, most of all, we remain in denial about the peril that human civilization is in.
When we think about global warming at all, the arguments tend to be ideological, theological and economic. But to grasp the seriousness of our predicament, you just need to do a little math. For the past year, an easy and powerful bit of arithmetical analysis first published by financial analysts in the U.K. has been making the rounds of environmental conferences and journals, but it hasn't yet broken through to the larger public. This analysis upends most of the conventional political thinking about climate change. And it allows us to understand our precarious – our almost-but-not-quite-finally hopeless – position with three simple numbers.
(please see the link for the three numbers, and a discussion of each one... it's interesting, informative, and sobering)
i thought i'd be dead by the time global warming really fucked things up. bummer- looks like i'll have the fun of dealing with it after all.
We're already dealing with it.
that's what i meant, r9- we are already dealing with it, and it's going to get much, much, worse.
WTF is wrong with conservatives?
They REFUSE to accept this. No matter what new information comes out, no matter the overwhelming consensus within the scientific community, they decided a while ago that they would never, ever believe this. It's always "but, Al Gore uses a billion light bulbs!"
They REFUSE to acknowledge that, yes, actually, successful business owners have used publicly funded infrastructure.
They REFUSE to acknowledge that when the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791, the "arms" mentioned were single shot muskets that took at least five seconds for a trained person to reload.
I am talking about actual arguments I have been having with conservatives. They can't say, "well, yes that may be true, but it doesn't matter." They just flat out do not believe any of it.
R12, this article explained it, as did Al Gore in a quote he used in "An Inconvenient Truth" from Upton Sinclair:
[quote]"It's difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
There is too much money involved. And conservatives are too self-centered and greedy. If they acknowledge the truth, they lose money (or perceive they will, anyway).
The facts are that there is nothing we can do about it. China's co2 output is now 3 times as the US and Europe's COMBINED. Factor in the cyclical solar flares, and we are fucked.
R14, did you read the entire article? Just curious.
It's a very well-written article, that too many people won't read or understand.
It's OK. Allah, or Jesus, or Mohammed, or Hubbard will save us and mend the planet, but things gotta get hotter as the fire is being stoked up to burn all the sinners. Overpopulation will be fixed too.
Im afraid to open my electric bill this month.
R12 - Most conservatives no longer deny that global warming exists - the evidence is just too conclusive for them to deny - they now deny that human behavior is the cause and instead claim that it's part of the earth's natural warming and cooling cycles. Of course, this is rubbish because the earth has never warmed at the rate it is occurring now, but most people really don't care since there is no material consequences for them as long as they deny the problem: even though you spend more on AC now, you spend less on gas in the winter. If you acknowledge the problem, however, there are serious consequences - having to use public transit instead of your car, living in a smaller house with a smaller lot, consuming less while paying more. I can definitely understand why people prefer to ignore it.
R20, a lot still deny it.
It doesn't matter. It's too late to do anything about it. We will just have to ride it out.
Sunday morning bump
"WTF is wrong with conservatives?"
Sociopaths, in bed with the oil corps, who think they'll be gone before any real crisis sets in. The fact that their offspring may suffer is unimportant.
I think that if we all crank up our air conditioners and open the windows maybe the planet will cool down a little, no?
Or if we put a GIANT ice cube in the ocean!
Ice cubes are already falling into the ocean, that's part of the problem, R26.
I'm not talking about polar ice caps, those are far too small, I mean the world's biggest ice cube made in the world's biggest freezer. Then we'll just leave the freezer door open to cool the earth down even more! This is big picture thinking!
There are just TOO MANY people on the planet.
Mother nature is doing what she does best, restoring the balance.
The planet is an bio system, just like your body. When you get a virus that overwhelms you, your body fights back, well planet earth is fighting back.
Great article. Well worth reading the whole piece.
The article is depressing and alarming, but it should not be in the least bit surprising or shocking to anyone who has been paying a modicum of attention to this issue over the past twenty or more years.
People are largely apathetic about this because (1) it has not really affected them in any meaningful way; and (2) the fuel industry and its supporters (Republicans) have muddied the debate about the reality of climate change with silly nonsense about Al Gore's weight.
In addition, people have been lulled into a false sense of doing something good for the environment by engaging in modest efforts at recycling -- none of which will have any meaningful effect in light of the massive use of carbon fuels here in the U.S. and in places like China and India.
Even if you dutifully put your cans, plastics, and newspapers out for the recycling truck, you can completely offset any good you are doing by driving around in an SUV or buying cheaply made disposable crap from Walmart and Target. The more junk that we consume only fuels the system for producing more and more goods, using more and more energy to create, ship, and sell them.
But, the devastating effects of global climate change may wake people up from their stupor. Maybe. It is a pity, however, what is going to have to happen before that occurs.
Right now, it feels like we are in the opening sequences of a very horrifying science fiction movie.
Buy land in Vermont now, it will be beach front property soon.
[quote] I mean the world's biggest ice cube made in the world's biggest freezer.
proof of how stupid most people are.
You do realize, dumb-dumb, that the Antarctic ice shelves are FAR bigger than any possible freezer could ever be? you didn't? well, please just go back to your sandbox and play and let the adults continue discussing important things.
Idiots like R32 don't seem to realize that if/when sea levels rise, all beaches will disappear. The new coastlines will be beachless and disasters. Beaches build up over tens of thousands of years.
R33 is too retarded to recognize obvious sarcasm.
Lighten up R34, it was said in sarcastic humor.
Ugh, relax, R33.
R28 was trying to be funny.
Making light of a horrible situation that most of us are too terrified to actually think about.
Which, of course, is precisely the problem.
Monday morning bump... an article everyone should read (it's not THAT long, stop whining and read it)
All these hysterical freaks concerned about the great myth of Global Warming.
Remember in the 70s when the world was going to run out of oil? Yeah....
Remember in the 80s, when the ozone holes were going to melt the polar ice caps and create global flooding? Yeah....
Now we have Global Warming. Yawn.
I think that I'm going to drive around aimlessly and spew some more carbon into the atomosphere.
Except the air is already degraded from when you were a child R40. See all those people with oxygen tanks? That's your future.
"There is too much money involved. And conservatives are too self-centered and greedy. "
And I bet you have a windmill in your backyard powering your computer. LOL
"There are just TOO MANY people on the planet."
That's it exactly.
R42? That's called a distraction. An irrelevency. Missing the point.
I totally believe in global warming, but it's pretty easy to forget about in San Francisco. Gotta love the irony of a place that conservatives loathe remaining blissfully cool year-round, while the "heartland" scorches.
...or the fact that in the city where you feel it the least, you probably have the most believers in the reality of it.
R40, you're an idiot, a moron, and living proof that "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing".
But cling to your ignorance, little boy. It's apparently all you've got.
[quote]"There are just TOO MANY people on the planet."
this will unfortunately correct itself.
Yeah, we're fucked. As the article points out the only way out is if the fossil fuel companies leave the oil in the ground already, and we know they're unlikely to leave that $ on the table.
Also, it's not just conservatives/Republicans. Though Dems acknowledge global warming, they're, as usual, pussies who refuse to do anything about it.
It's interesting that the majority of Americans according to that poll actually do believe and do want the government to do something about it.
Jesus Saves! Jesus Saves!
R40...I hate to say anythin but the ocean levels have risen and the polar icecapes are melting and our weather does seem to be much more unpredictable...causing one expensive desaster after another. R40, you aren't very bright, are you?
I guess I am more concerned about the impending economic collapse of the world. It effects me more directly. The earth will survive while I am still alive, but I really worry about not having money.
The US is the only total denier of this all, the only one.
If you never actually read the full article linked in the OP... you really, really should.
Actually, we are doomed. You see we've lived in a period of extremely low volcanic activity that won't continue. Once that kicks in, it's all over. We won't need to worry about climate though, the fact is we won't be able to BREATHE. Already oxygen in the atmosphere has fallen as much as 15% in some places. In the future we will have to make do with about 40% of the breathable air we have now. Most people will die once they reach 60.
Not so R54. China also. But the solution is easy and obvious. Nationalize the oil and natural gas companies. Their profits would be enough to pay off the national debt and consumption and production could be easily controlled and eliminated.
We had a drought here in Kansas. Another few summers like the last one, and I guess it's going to be the Dust Bowl again. I do remember in the early 90s there was a drought in the state, and I saw a large dust cloud off in the distance a few times.
Maybe all those damn Asian countries should stop polluting the air so damn much, which is helping ruin the atmosphere.
Well, it's not as if the planet has experienced heating and cooling cycles in its past or anything.
It's incredibly arrogant to think that humans are immune to extinction. The planet itself will just go on spinning until the sun explodes and collapses. We won't be missed.
R67, was there a point to that?
Because you sound like a real idiot if you think any of that needed to be said. It's like you're responding to an argument nobody is making.
Read it and weep.
Oh please, R66. Could you be any more stereotypically American? Guess who is responsible for the majority of the CO2 in the atmosphere?
indeed, but China recently pulled ahead as far as CO2 emissions
And most people in the U.S. won't believe it until those who live on a hill wake up one morning discover they now live on waterfront property.
Anyone remember an episode of Oprah where she had on some scientist who had come up with a solution to repair the Ozone layer? It had something to do with using a regular Garden hose and using it to send up... some sort of gas. All I remember was that the logic behind it was that whenever a volcano erupts, it emits this gas and it has positive effects on the Ozone and this process could easily be replicated?
Whatever happened to that?
They're running the documentary "Chasing Ice" on National Geographic HD channel... it's amazing. Read this, then watch that. Then get everyone you know to read this, and watch that.
Between global warming and The Big One on the San Andreas fault, I can't wait until Victorville has ocean front property.
I wonder if there is anyone alive who can see this entire issue clearly and will write about it for the history.
Not me. I can't write. But you start with Rachel and the young people who read her and the ones who read Ayn, J.D. or Jack and show how they got into the schools, destroyed the minds of three generations of children, forming the four pillars of our current nutcase civilization.
Ironically, the pillar of Envirofundies have some truth behind their case. Humanity IS at last a big enough shitload to start having a permanent effect on the climate. Thankfully, a supervolcano will render the entire issue moot. In the meantime, let them be.
What the fuck are you talking about R78?
This is a must-read
The planet earth will survive just fine.
The human race is only a microscopic part of earth species history. There will be another intelligent species. This has all happened before.
Go back 65 million years for total species collapse (the planet is 4.5 Billion years old already) The human race has only been here for 50 thousand years. The dinosaurs lasted 180 Million years. We are just a flash in the pan.