WTF Climate Change News

Beebo Brink

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How can people be so obtuse?
Confirmation bias. It's easier and more convenient to believe that climate change is not an existential threat to one's life. As for the movers & shakers in the oil & gas industries, sheer greed. For them, it's much more lucrative to believe that climate change won't hurt them personally.
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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Well going carbon neutral is quite easy - you just need to live as most people did before the industrial revolution, let's say just like the Amish do. Presto: almost carbon neutrality. That's by the way what the preppers are preparing for after the collapse of civilisation.

But since this would mean also giving up the modern life style it's maybe the long term goal, but not the short term goal. The short term goal is to reduce the emissions a lot - and later move on. But even on the short term goal humanity seems to fail at global scale.
 

Ashiri

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Well going carbon neutral is quite easy - you just need to live as most people did before the industrial revolution, let's say just like the Amish do.
Or we could efficiently use the technology that is already available. It won't be cheap in the short term.
 

Beebo Brink

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Finding that much farmland for the entire population of the US isn't possible.
:qft:

At the start of the Industrial Revolution there were 700 million people on the planet. If we want to return to a pre-industrial lifestyle, we need to lose about 7 billion people.

Eventually, we will. It just won't be voluntary or painless.
 

Brenda Archer

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We can’t go back to the pre-industrial lifestyle.

- We have too much poison lying around from nuclear and other modern activities, which must be maintained
- I agree there is not enough land for this population
- Climate change will make a lot of what is now farmland a hot, dry desert
- Social disorder will cause even more nuclear and petrochemical pollution
- Many of the environments where people are still hunting/gathering or following herds are melting or burning

Sure the scenario where only a handful of humans survive is one of the possibilities, but for most of the world it’s a death scenario, including those naive preppers, most of whom don’t have the ability to do a 19th century lifestyle (or a place that would be remote enough from large populations to be safe enough to do it in.)

Edit to add: the Amish are doomed too. They’re dependent on modern agricultural markets, and in Pennsylvania they’re too close to population centers to be safe during social disorder. It’s good they have the skills, but they won’t get to use them, if the law breaks down.
 
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Beebo Brink

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The MOSE project is now about 93% finished, according to the consortium building it, which now projects it will be fully operational by the end of 2021. Costs have ballooned to €5.5 billion.
Once MOSE is working, it is unclear how long it will be able to shelter Venice, because it was designed on the assumption that sea levels would rise less than are now forecast.

The project was designed to last 100 years with a forecast of a 60 centimeter rise in the average sea level. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now says sea levels could rise up to 110 centimeters by the end of this century.

“In the best-case scenario, MOSE gains us 100 years. In the worst-case scenario, 50,” said Mr. Cecconi.
 

Beebo Brink

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Really chilling acknowledgment of:
"There is no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline, in greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere despite all the commitments under the Paris agreement on climate change," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
Unless we find a feasible, scalable means of removing carbon from the atmosphere, we're looking at a climate change arc of tens of thousands of years. It will take a few hundred years to just feel the full effect of the greenhouse gases in the air right now. Then they persist for thousands of years beyond that point.

This delayed timeline is one of our biggest psychological challenges. By the time people recognize the full scope of the problem at a visceral level, they'll already be locked in to a far worse scenario than the one being experienced at the time of their epiphany.

And even now, as more and more people are beginning to believe and worry, they can't wrap their minds around the basic fact that there are too many people on this planet. No matter how small our individual footprint, the sheer mass of humanity Is overwhelming the carrying capacity of the planet's ecosystem. We're all complicit and all trapped by the infrastructure around us.
 

Brenda Archer

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The mechanism of the flooding:

 
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Innula Zenovka

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Tipping points are reached when particular impacts of global heating become unstoppable, such as the runaway loss of ice sheets or forests. In the past, extreme heating of 5C was thought necessary to pass tipping points, but the latest evidence suggests this could happen between 1C and 2C.
The planet has already heated by 1C and the temperature is certain to rise further, due to past emissions and because greenhouse gas levels are still rising. The scientists further warn that one tipping point, such as the release of methane from thawing permafrost, may fuel others, leading to a cascade.

The researchers, writing in a commentary article in the journal Nature, acknowledge that the complex science of tipping points means great uncertainty remains. But they say the potential damage from the tipping points is so big and the time to act so short, that “to err on the side of danger is not a responsible option”. They call for urgent international action.
The Guardian article cites several alarming examples from the article and quotes a number of eminent British scientists.

Prof Tim Lenton at the University of Exeter, the lead author of the article, said: “We might already have crossed the threshold for a cascade of interrelated tipping points. The simple version is the schoolkids [striking for climate action] are right: we are seeing potentially irreversible changes in the climate system under way, or very close.”
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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Israeli scientists genetically modified E. coli bacteria to live on CO2 instead of sugar.

If you might think "oh good, we're all saved now" - wrong. First the mitosis of those bacteria happens only all 18 hours so far instead of 20 minutes, second in order to bind CO2 again as bio mass we do need exact the amount of energy we got out of it by burning fossil fuels plus some more due to the limits of effectiveness.

 
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Beebo Brink

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Yeah, not ready for prime time just yet:

The CO2-eating, or autotrophic, E. coli strains can still grow on sugar — and would use that source of fuel over CO2, given the choice, says Milo. Compared with normal E. coli, which can double in number every 20 minutes, the autotrophic E. coli are laggards, dividing every 18 hours when grown in an atmosphere that is 10% CO2. They are not able to subsist without sugar on atmospheric levels of CO2 — currently 0.041%.
Interesting, but they are forcing an organism to subsist on CO2 in a lab situation. It will be an additional challenge to loose an organism into the wild and expect it to continue that behavior. Unless this organism has a substantial advantage due to this new food source, better adapted E. coli will out-compete the newcomer.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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The darker reaches of environmentalism...


He has a lot to say about the influence of Paul Ehrlich and his book The Population Bomb. I was 13 when first it was published, and I realise now that some of my inherent scepticism, which I've never really been able to explain, about the Green movement in general, as opposed to specific concerns such as energy use and global heating, must stem from the way that, back then, a lot of the far right were very taken with what they took to be the ideas behind it.
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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Greta Thunberg is a ruthless killer! That's what the motorshow host Jeremy Clarkson has to tell the world about it, he now hates Thunberg even more than cyclists because he thinks that she finally killed his show by making people suddenly care about the environment:

Everyone I know under 25 isn’t the slightest bit interested in cars — Greta Thunberg has killed the car show. They’re taught at school, before they say ‘Mummy and Daddy’, that cars are evil, and it’s in their heads. She’s an idiot. Going 'round saying we’re all going to die, that’s not going to solve anything, my dear.

And his sidekick has to add this: Young people don’t care about cars. How many kids now are growing up with posters of cars on their bedroom wall?

 

danielravennest

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The darker reaches of environmentalism...


He has a lot to say about the influence of Paul Ehrlich and his book The Population Bomb. I was 13 when first it was published, and I realise now that some of my inherent scepticism, which I've never really been able to explain, about the Green movement in general, as opposed to specific concerns such as energy use and global heating, must stem from the way that, back then, a lot of the far right were very taken with what they took to be the ideas behind it.
Erlich predicted worldwide famines in the 1970's and 80's, which didn't happen. In fact, today more people are suffering from too many calories than too little (obesity, diabetes, etc.). Population growth rates peaked 5 years *before* he published that book in 1968, and has been declining since then: