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[flagged] We’re Still Not Prepared for Global Warming (nytimes.com)
57 points by mooreds 74 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 27 comments



There are multiple crisis's about to happen: Oil becomes too expensive (affecting infrastructure, transport, plastic production, etc), we use wood more heavily due to lack of plastic and cause deforestation, we can't build enough batteries due to materials demands for electric vehicles (which are needed more as oil cost increases), warmer climate increases need of air conditioning units (with some companies using banned CFCs to cut time/costs), water shortages, food shortages (due to water shortages and failed harvests due to climate)... The list goes on. Any combination of those would probably trigger a global economic collapse too (stock markets in chaos as "stable" markets suddenly become unstable).

We're likely already past the point of no return, we should be considering plan B - which is: How do we live in an inhospitable world as a result of global warming?

I think if we end up in such a state, the two most important resources to have will be energy and raw materials. If it were me, I would consider harboring precious metals (for building electronics, batteries, infrastructure, etc), building renewable energy sources, building nuclear power plants (particularly salt reactors - to take up any additional load), investing into nuclear fusion (it's quite close now) and making sure the military is well funded (you need to protect whatever benefits you have). If needs be, steal technologies to further your own capability as fast as possible. To keep your society in order, you would probably want to reduce any internal resistance, so slowly reducing freedom of speech and freedom of expression to keep things in order (i.e. control the internet). Additionally, you want to protect any area (land/sea/air/space) you have and claim as much additional resource intensive and/or strategic area you can get away with. If you're going down anyway, you may as well cause as much environmental damage as needed to further your own position in the end game.

Currently the only Country that would be "ready" by this standard is China, but the shear number of people may be their downfall. The only benefit would be that as resources run out, you can reduce your numbers by claiming more resources with you military (and mandatory inscription) - with their deaths easing pressure on infrastructure.


'crisis's' ? You mean crises.


It's really annoying that every discussion about global warming gets flagged immediately.


Look at the equator:

http://thwack.co/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/images-of-world-...

And look at the countries with the highest fertility rates:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_d...

This is not going to end well. Africa is already a net food importer, so as growing conditions deteriorate, food-growing countries will just cut the continent off.

Best we could do right now is quickly wean African nations off food and monetary aid (making up about 20% of many nations' GDPs), and replace it completely with contraception and education for women.


It’s unfortunate that we’ve let things get this bad. Maybe now that people are seeing some real effects that they can point to more action will be taken.


too bad that the groups of people most responsible for “letting things get so bad” and the groups of people who are now “seeing some real effects” on the daily, are probably mutually exclusive


Maybe, in democratic countries at least the people in charge might feel some more pressure to do something (or make it look they are doing something etc)


It might be optimistic to think that people will recognize the real cause. Politically it can be pretty effective to simply blame the disastrous effects on the policy of your opponents regardless of what the scientific evidence says.


Yeah I am trying to take something optimistic away from this. Im just hoping that at least some sizable minority of the voting populace starts to see climate change as the cause for some of their problems and start voting accordinongly. I think we are seeing this a little bit(in the US at least) republicans on the coasts are starting to soften on climate change[1].

[1] https://www.economist.com/united-states/2018/08/02/republica...

(apologies if you don't have access to the article)


Or, in the US, blame something else, criticize the overwhelming data in favor of it, or generally be complacent until your career in politics is over.


Curious what you've actions yoi've personally taken. Did you stop buying things you don't need? Did you stop traveling both for work and pleasure? Did you stop buying fashion/shoes? Did you stop eating things shipped from too far away or even locally that require too many resources? If you used to live somewhere where you needed are car to commute did you start car pooling or better yet move to a city and use public transportation?


Whether or not the parent did those things, individual efforts of those sorts will not solve climate change alone. Technological and policy changes are required. One could rationally argue for such changes, accepting the personal impacts they would bring, even while being unwilling to make equivalent sacrifices absent that motivation. (For example, I might be in favor of a carbon tax that would make driving more expensive, leading me to cut down on unnecessary commuting, even if I would not voluntarily cut down otherwise. Because I know the impact of the tax, and the resulting impact on everyone's behavior, would make a difference worth that sacrifice, whereas my own individual change might not.)


Not the person you responded to but my answers to your questions are no. But it's still unfortunate that things have gotten to this point and hopefully seeing the changes before our eyes will lead to action.

It's OK to point out things are bad even though I haven't done everything possible to mitigate the harm. Perhaps that makes me a hypocrite but the veracity of the claim that it's unfortunate that we've gotten to this point still stands. Please don't let my hypocrisy or anyone else's hypocrisy prevent you from recognizing the growing harm to the environment that humans are causing.

It's unfortunate that as a species we tend to optimize for local min/max rather than global ones when engaged in our everyday behavior. Only regulations backed by strong political leadership will cause a change in behavior in enough people to make a difference. We need nudges.


I feel like you’re trying to make some sort of point. But it’s honestly lost on me.


the point is the poster is asking "them" to notice so "more action will be taken" by "them". Why is it always "them" who needs to take the action not the person commenting?

In other words if you're not willing to take action why should you expect anyone else to take action?

I have tons of friends and acquaintances that love to spout off on their concern for the environment and then are in the process of buring down the planet with their 3rd vacations this year to the other side of the world and their 4th 10000 mile round trip flight in the last 6 months to attend some conference followed by Instagram pictures of all the loot they bought.

Heck, most of the tech companies fly there employees all over the place. fly them to SV for orientation. Fly them to some city for a global off-site. Fly them to the yearly team gathering. Apparently none of them really care either though they all have a PR page about their concern.



I feel like there are two kinds of preparations: personal and societal. I’m 100% behind working together to prepare for and mitigate global warming, but I’d really like to read more on how we can prepare personally for global warming. Besides striving for net 0, what else can an individual do to prepare for an unpredictable climate?


This is an important distinction. For example, you might have adopted a waking/cycling/transit oriented lifestyle, but if the prior inhabitants of the urban neighborhood you gentrified are now displaced to freeway sprawl, total emissions have not declined. Actually they’ve gotten worse, since you probably use ridesharing and rentals sometimes, whereas the urban poor were stuck with the bus.


Move inland and uphill.


Says who? Even if half of the world population were to die off, those in developed countries will barely notice. Just throw some automation at it, which we're doing anyway, and we can even increase our quality of life while third world countries go to, quite literally, hell.


You forgot the /s


It's hard to be ready for it when its worse every year. Plus, we don't even know half of the secondary effects yet.

We are sleepwalking to oblivion.



Some hard truths:

1. The comparative impact of global warming relative to many other global phenomenon (including ecological phenomenon) is still comparatively low, and will continue to be comparatively low for the next 10-20 years or more. The red tide in Florida (which many don't even know is happening) is going to have a greater impact on the US GDP in 2018 than global warming.

2. Until people who make more than $10 a day are impacted more than the occasional brownout or heat wave, nothing outside of normal market forces is going to be done.

3. The current US administration does not accept human influenced climate change, and the current US minority party has decided to die on Mount Collusion rather than point out the many detrimental things that the majority party is doing to our environmental regulations.

I understand people are dying as a result of this. I understand that the dangers to specific parts of the globe are dire. But what's the plan? You can't shame heartless capitalists or devout technocrats into doing something they perceive as being against their best interests. The continued fearmongering isn't going to rouse any bases any more than it already has.


What we're seeing now is, in some ways, worse than predictions from 20 years ago. And even now, the Trump administration is in full denial. But hey, given the lagging effects of CO2 and CH4 emissions, we're already locked into far more extreme changes. It's sad, but so it goes.


One thing I find somewhat galling is how the climate change denial rhetoric smoothly shifted from "climate change is a hoax," to "there's no evidence that climate change is caused by humans," once reality was clearly at odds with the former, without ever acknowledging the moving of goalposts. Presumably in a decade or two it will be, "No one could have seen this coming," with no acknowledgement of past discourse.


Indeed. Predictable. Maybe Google will have forgotten. And pages gone from the Internet Archive over robot bullshit :(




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