WTF Climate Change News

Beebo Brink

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In its most recent report, the IPCC laid out a detailed plan that it believes could help the world avoid the worst impacts of rising temperatures. It involves "rapid, deep and immediate" cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases - which trap the sun's heat and make the planet hotter.
OMG, that make me feel so much better!! How silly I've been, thinking we're doomed.
 

Beebo Brink

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A few days ago, I was listening to a video interview with Derrick Jensen (author of Endgame) and was struck by one of his comments (paraphrased): "The last sustainable human culture was the Stone Age."

Sooner or later, we'll get back to that. We just seem determined to make it sooner.
 

Sid

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IMHO it is an impossible task for mankind to change habbits an behavior in the pace that is needed to even have a hope on halting the current climate change.
It is not even certain if we can halt it at all. There might be unknown or external forces at work as well.
Earth's climate had a lot of hick ups during earth's lifetime, for which we don't even have real answers why they happened, certainly it wasn't us then.
But if the IPCC says so......


I'm still not going to hold my breath until that plan starts.
 

Beebo Brink

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IMHO it is an impossible task for mankind to change habbits an behavior in the pace that is needed to even have a hope on halting the current climate change.
It is not even certain if we can halt it at all.
I'm more than willing to operate under the assumption that it's technically possible to halt the progression of climate change* if we act now, on both an individual AND at the societal level. To that end, I'm doing my best to minimize my resource footprint with limited car travel and no air travel, plus a modest (by American standards) lifestyle. It's not going to be enough, not even remotely enough, but I'm doing it anyway.

There are other changes that I could make, but they require a significant level of sacrifice, and I will confess that I'm not eager to take those extra steps. For instance, I won't avoid driving altogether because there is NO public transportation in my town and I'm unable to walk very far due to health issues; replacing my gas-dependent car with an EV would incur financial hardship. There are more drastic energy conservations measures that would literally put Mrs. Beebo's life at risk, such as not running the AC in summer; she has MS and can't regulate her body temperature very well in extremely hot weather. We can't install solar panels or wind power because 1) West Virginia zoning is ruled by oil companies, 2) there are no solar companies within a reasonable area (we've looked), 3) such a large investment would gut my retirement fund, 4) the financial ROI on solar would probably not break even during our lifetime, and 5) we would be tied to this house until we died because all our money would be sunk into solar and no one is going to buy this house (bad neighborhood) at a price that would come close to reimbursing us for that investment.

All of these impediments have palatable solutions, but they require time (lots and lots of time), money, and a wholesale dedicated effort to reorganize the infrastructure and financial underpinnings of our society. Meanwhile, each winter it's touch-and-go whether our town can afford to snowplow our streets. So.... yeah.

We have organically built up a society heavily dependent on cheap oil/gas. There is no painless way to dismantle that system quickly (if at all) and few people -- myself included -- are going to willingly sacrifice our current lives for a hypothetical future. My wife and I will continue to drive our car to the grocery store until there's no gas available, and we'll run our AC until the electricity stops. And then we'll die.



* In truth, I don't believe we can do anything more than (possibly) put the brakes on to slow the rate of climate change somewhat. Feedback loops that drive climate are most likely now out of our control, especially with the melting of permafrost and escalating release of methane. The good news is that we will indeed reduce greenhouse emissions once our infrastructure collapses and half (or more) of our population dies. The bad news is that by then it probably won't matter.
 
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Sid

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That is exactly the problem. We can't do everything that is needed without extreme hardship and sacrifices.
And as long as not everybody works seriously on improvements, personal efforts are not more than a drop in the ocean and not really encouraging to go to the max.
Sure compared to 10 years ago, my footprint is at least 50% less at the moment, (green electricity, less miles with my car, practically no use of airplanes, busses or trains, garbage recycling, eating less meat, buying more eco products) but it is still too high to even make that drop in the ocean a decent sized one.
It is all easier said than done.

And there is still a lot of ignorance.
We have a deposit system on plastic bottles so that they can be easier recycled or reused. Still 20% of all the bottles is never returned.
And the list goes on and on.
People in general are selfish creatures. And it is totally understandable that we want to live in some comfort.
I praise myself happy that I don't have any children and grandchildren in this race.
I think the sorrows about their futures would kill me.
Now I'm only concerned of the future of mankind in general, but that is somewhat different I think.
 
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Aribeth Zelin

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That is exactly the problem. We can't do everything that is needed without extreme hardship and sacrifices.
And as long as not everybody works seriously on improvements, personal efforts are not more than a drop in the ocean and not really encouraging to go to the max.
Sure compared to 10 years ago, my footprint is at least 50% less at the moment, (green electricity, less miles with my car, practically no use of airplanes, busses or trains, garbage recycling, eating less meat, buying more eco products) but it is still too high to even make that drop in the ocean a decent sized one.
It is all easier said than done.

And there is still a lot of ignorance.
We have a deposit system on plastic bottles so that they can be easier recycled or reused. Still 20% of all the bottles is never returned.
And the list goes on and on.
People in general are selfish creatures. And it is totally understandable that we want to live in some comfort.
I praise myself happy that I don't have any children and grandchildren in this race.
I think the sorrows about their futures would kill me.
I used to make all sorts of sacrifices but, why should we as normal people make all of them when if the corporations do not do their share, it doesn't matter.

I still try to do my bit, but the real problem are the ones who knew this was coming and buried it, rather than be responsible. Until they do their share?

Still, I'm hopeful, because I'm stubborn.

As for an EV? Once they have some way of extending range, we have to keep at least one gas powered or get a hybrid. We have to travel too far when we have to travel at all. If we get to where we can afford a second vehicle, though, we're planning on getting one for around town use.
 
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Sid

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As for an EV? Once they have some way of extending range, we have to keep at least one gas powered or get a hybrid. We have to travel too far when we have to travel at all. If we get to where we can afford a second vehicle, though, we're planning on getting one for around town use.
I think I'm driving my last car, but if I do need yet another one in the future, I hope I can go for a hybrid car.
They use a lot less gas and have a range like normal gas driven cars.
But they are still pretty rare on the second hand market.
 

Aribeth Zelin

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I think I'm driving my last car, but if I do need yet another one in the future, I hope I can go for a hybrid car.
They use a lot less gas and have a range like normal gas driven cars.
But they are still pretty rare on the second hand market.
Yeah, my mom says that about her car - except she plans on just using Uber [does -not- make me happy - I don't trust Uber drivers] Though she has been looking at EVs too.
 

Sid

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They are closely related to us already :)
 
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GoblinCampFollower

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That's the definition of life on this planet. Altruism is also a survival strategy, but only under limited circumstances. Meanwhile...

YEP. It's easy to see how a people of totally giving creatures would never last, as they'd be too easy to exploit...
 

Chalice Yao

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That's the definition of life on this planet. Altruism is also a survival strategy, but only under limited circumstances. Meanwhile...
That's the thing that always gets me about peope who say that we Humans are somehow so much worse than other animals, that we are horrible creatures, etc. etc.

We probably really, really aren't any worse than them on principle. We animals on earth are all driven by the same basic instincts and basic urges that hit humans just as hard as any other species.* We humans didn't invent greed, envy, hate, jealousy, the urge to grab every resource we can, or the urge to remove anything that threatens us, if we *can*.
The difference is that we have developed the *means* to drop bombs and build factories and turns areas of land into parking lots and barren fields for our own resource and territory gains. If they had the same possibilities, they'd very probably roll like we do, simply based on the fact that we're all part of the same self-perpetuating cell-divison and reproducton that is evolving all around the planet. It's just that we like to romanticize the whole us vs. other animals situation.
We are simply the branch that has spun out of control in its capabilities due to said evolution, and that's the out-of-control difference.

The really, really sad thing is that we also developed the capability for rationally thinking about consequences, and you'd think that would makes us just stop. That would be nice.

But the reality is: The very same urge and instinct that stops each and everyone of us, me, you, right now from just passing on 95% of our belongings not necessary for survial, not using heating or warm water unless it's necessary for bare survival, never fucking again, and just tending to a pile veggies and trees for bare self-reliance is the very same set of urges and instincts that keeps everything hurling towards collapse at a large scale.

* Except the goddamn Capybaras. They are like the Dalei Lamas of the animal world.
 

Beebo Brink

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That's the thing that always gets me about peope who say that we Humans are somehow so much worse than other animals, that we are horrible creatures, etc. etc.

We probably really, really aren't any worse than them on principle.
In another thread I mentioned a primatologist who studies the differences between humans and the other apes. To my surprise, compared with chimps and gorillas, we're actually way less violent in our interactions with other humans. We have the tools to magnify our violence, but we lose our tempers far less and cooperate far more.

And it's this factor of our animal nature that resigns me to whatever fate lies ahead with climate change. Some individuals have just enough foresight to see what's likely coming at us, but the majority of people are just leading their lives, focused on their immediate (and pressing) needs, and they will exhibit an emotional resistance to an emergency response when the emergency isn't right smack-dab in front of them. It's who we are.
 

Beebo Brink

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Physicists predict Earth will become a chaotic world, with dire consequences
"If the Earth System gets into the region of chaotic behavior, we will lose all hope of somehow fixing the problem."
Most concerning, the researchers found that above a certain critical threshold temperature for Earth's atmosphere, a feedback cycle can kick in where a chaotic result would become unavoidable. There are some signs that we may have already passed that tipping point, but it's not too late to avert climate disaster.
We've passed the tipping point, but it's not too late. I can't even....
 

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*sigh*

Across the country, Republican lawmakers and their allies have launched a campaign to try to rein in what they see as activist companies trying to reduce the greenhouse gases that are dangerously heating the planet.

“We’re an energy state, and energy accounts for hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenue for us,” said Riley Moore, the West Virginia state treasurer. “All of our jobs come from coal and gas. I mean, this is who we are. This is part of our way of life here in the state. And they’re telling us that these industries are bad.”

“We have an existential threat here,” Moore said. “We have to fight back.”
When temperatures are 130F in the shade in DC and the oceans are sinking your beachfront property, explain to us what the existential threat is one more time.