Side note: very nice and engaging format, just right: playful but not too fancy
Quote from the movie/film "The day the earth stood still". (don't know if it's copied from the older film or some book etc...)
I did quite like that film (it was "ok", kind of advanced-mediocre) - at a certain point I was reaaaally hoping that somebody would state something like that, and a few minutes/seconds later they did => it made me incredibly happy :)
Also FWIW, I think the bigger concern in Central Asia is water security. I don't think Canadians will be in as difficult a position as those in Central Asia without them.
It isn't as bad as Central Asia as far as I know, but it's still not great.
In the absence of human activity, we would not be seeing the glacial retreat that we are seeing now. In fact we would expect relative stability until the onset of the next glacial period--then growth.
And of course, we care about all this because the civilization we've built is deeply integrated with the current climate, and it will be extremely expensive and traumatic to alter or adapt, especially on timelines as short as 50 to 100 years. Cities that rely on glaciers for year-round water are thousands of years old in some cases. Most of India, for example.
I get that there will be consequences to climate change that's how it's always been, but nature throws that at us all the time and have always been doing that. If anything we've just become better and better at dealing with it.
So I wish someone could provide anything other than speculation here.
Also, it's important to be clear. We are throwing this one at ourselves.
Earthquakes, tsunamis, animals, forest fires, bad crops, flooding, undrinkable water, tornados, storms I could go on.
It's really quite fascinating just how many people which I assume are normally rational thinking beings have decided to throw out any sense of critical thinking when it comes to nature and climate.
It's like Scientology. Lots of talk about science and then when you dig into it the actual science does not lead you to conclude what is claimed.
You seem to have trouble distinguishing between "there was a fairly stable set amount of problems" and "there will be an increase in problems"
We were used to certain operating conditions for earth, and they're shifting rapidly.
You have no base for the claim that there are going to be more problems just like you have no base for knowing if we are going to be better to deal with those that come.
We have more crops than ever and we are better at making sure they survive than ever in ever more hostile environments.
You are only looking at one side of this discussion and forgetting the other.
Yes, there are ways to adapt. But previously the glacier provided a free service and now we must soend energy to replace it.
It likewise doesn't take a soeculative model to observe "hmm, more plants die in heat waves. If it keeps getting warmer more crops will die"
Certainly we can motigste, but again we pay more energy for the same result.
It likewise needs no speculative model to note that storm surges now send water seeping up through the streets of Miami, and that if oceans keep rising, this will worsen.
You seem to be saying that we can't know anything about the future, and if anything bad happens we will surely adapt.
Your optimism is admirable but you would make a lousy general.
So again it still comes back to the simple fact that neither you nor anyone else have even remotely demonstrated that we should be as worried about the future as many would like us to be.
I am not saying we can't know anything I am saying we don't know what exactly it is we should worry about and whether we should worry and we don't know what the consequences of prematurely doing things like making fossil fuel illegal or focusing on an inferior technology like solar and wind long before they can provide enough energy and replace the current energy sources reliably is the wrong way to go about it EXACTLY BECAUSE there is nothing that suggest that the consequences whatever they are will be cataclysmic which means it's not actually an argument for forgetting about the peoeple who exist today and who also want live better lives, also want to live like we do in the west.
You and others seem to assume that hindering climate change is without consequences for people living today. I have yet to see a suggestion that isn't fundamentally about stopping what we are doing to some extent.
So you are misrepresenting how this works.
So yes the conclusions are based on a lot of speculation. The problem is that people like you try to claim that these specific scenarios which are only one of many potential outcomes is somehow science. It's not. Not even by a longshot.
If we're good on both of those, then I think the disagreement is whether we'll continue to dramatically improve or not. In other words, if we can drive the total negative cost (premature deaths, property damage, civil unrest, etc.) of certain disasters towards 0 by improving our response/mitigation capability, then it won't really matter if they come at an increased rate, the additional impact is a rounding error. If you agree with this, or see how one could agree with it, then maybe you can see why it's frustrating to hear people freaking out about climate change being an existential threat (it can be, given Venus, but that planet had no humans opposing it) which will doom our planet unless and only unless global CO2 is reduced (at some cost, perhaps partly of our species' ability to improve our mitigations fast enough).
Yet this discussion is being had AS IF we are debating what is scientifically true when in fact we are debating which interpretation of the science we should prioritize.
If someone can demonstrate scientifically to me that it's a cataclysmic event and that humans have no way of dealing with it you have my attention.
Other than that I prefer to worry about the current generations issues not panicking and rushing to conclusions making absurd political decisions like we are doing today, btw decisions that won't actually solve the very problems they are claiming to deal with.
Do places like Flint Michigan not make you think that maybe your hope in the collective power of mankind is a little misplaced? It's well within our means to solve that particular problem, but no one can be bothered.
But it's mostly speculation and this conversation would be much more useful also for future generation if we didn't as we see in this thread here completely panic at every sensationalist headline and start asking ourselves some more constructive questions.
Again give me a concrete scientifically demonstrated consequence of those issues that we don't know how to deal with. I have asked my times in this thread yet all I got back was downvotes. Doesn't that tell you something?
We will always have to deal with nature whether, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanos, floods, water rising some places and disappearing other places. Sahara used to be green.
Lets' stop panicking and start rationalizing.
And could you please define "don't know how to deal with" - what are the indicators that we should start to deal with something, and what is a successful example of "dealing with"? In the case of a catastrophe, what defines a failure and success for you?
These are things that humans have always had to deal with and we are much better at dealing with them today.
The list of deaths related to extreme weather is down not up.
With don't know how to deal with it i mean show me something that we can't deal with. Drought, flood, etc. but which is also demonstrated to happen not just speculated can happen.
We can't solve problems we can't see. We have to solve the problems we can see and do that in a way that doesn't just throw everything out
Should we stop poor countries from using fossil fuels which is what they primarily are using right now?
In this thread I've had a hard time figuring out what you mean by "dealing with" the effects of climate change, by mentioning "price" you give some hint that economic analysis. Do you consider this a worthy way of deciding whether to take action or not? It sounds like you've made up your mind on costs, but again, I can't tell.
I mean, that would one thing we could work on.
This is a strawman argument, and you know it. The rest of the world is hard at work trying to come up with better ways to meet energy needs that have a smaller impact on our climate.
Don't believe the hype.
We aren't debating climate change v.s astroid we are debating cataclysmic climate change vs. astroid thats quite a different discussion which is the whole point here.
They have high albedo as well; their retreat is decreasing the albedo of the terrain. This isn't their most important feature, but they are a piece in the puzzle of keeping temperatures stable, and stability is good for us.
I would still ask those most worried to point to a scientifically demonstrated consequence of climate change we don't know how to deal with or that they believe we won't be able to find solutions for over the next 50-100 years or so.
Edit: It's funny how downvotes are being used instead of argument by people I assume consider themselves on the side of science.
Humanity may survive, yes, but civilisation as we know it will regress to a large degree if the world leaders are as flippant about the issue as you are.
Software will not solve climate change, no matter how many startups you create and sell. Climate Change is a human lifestyle addiction problem that affects the suppliers of the lifestyle more than the consumers - until the number of suppliers start dwindling and then the consumers wonder why their coffee habit starts costing so much. Addictions and habits aren't easy to break even individually, much less for a whole society.
Rising oceans, changing climate zones, less arable land, fewer food resources, civil unrest, mass migration, resource wars, economic collapse.
(edit: the first three are things in the above list are already occurring, the rest are logical extensions).
Again you are just listing a bunch of things that might or might not happen without any evidence: 1) that they will happen, 2) that we can't deal with them if they happen. 3) when they will happen.
Yet you consider yourself the rational one.
Again we are discussing the difference between accepting there are some consequences of the climate changing and then these catastrophist claims that the world is going to end and we can't deal with it.
Zapp: Come back when it's a catastrophe
Sure, but making it more unstable is clearly worse for us. Sure, we have ways of making even the most unstable environments survivable (like the Moon!) but saying that we should just make things worse and hope that we can undo it in 50 years isn't a really good strategy.
I would really encourage you to stop for a minute and start digging into the data. You will be shocked when you realize how little is based on actual facts.
> Nature has never been stable especially not for humans
Yeah, it changes on geologic timescales, i.e. thousands and millions of years. We've subjected nature to catastrophic shocks 1000x faster. It does not respond well. It collapses. We're in the middle of shit storm because of our own actions. It is absolutely not business as usual for Earth.
> I would still ask those most worried to point to a scientifically demonstrated consequence of climate change
We're not really sure how Earth is gonna function if the oceans are dead and there are no insects, and parts of it are literally uninhabitable for humans because it will be too hot to go outside (~130F).
> If anything we have made it more stable
Nonsense. We chopped down most of the forests in the US  to make farmland. Literally. My home state of Indiana was _literally_ solid hardwood forest 250 years ago. Take a look at it on Google maps sometime.
Edit: added handy reference
Please do not break the site guidelines like this, regardless of how wrong or annoying other comments may be.
Prior to European colonization: 1,023,000,000 acres
Today: 766,000,000 acres
If that is too complicated for you to process, please take a look at the graphics on the page. Btw I don't do religion. Let's do facts instead.
"We chopped down most of the forests in the US  to make farmland. Literally. My home state of Indiana was _literally_ solid hardwood forest 250 years ago. Take a look at it on Google maps sometime."
That's factually wrong in so many ways especially seen in the light of your entire comment to me.
"There is just no accurate estimate of the number of trees 100 years ago, relative to now." --Jeanne Paquette, Mineralogist who also teaches some paleontology at McGill University (1991-present)
Maybe you should pick a topic with more hard data to argue about. Or is that too complicated for you? Nah, you just have an agenda: we're all gonna die unless we do what you say! Who cares about the truth! Truth must serve, not be served!
"In 1630, the estimated area of U.S. forest land was 1,023 million acres or about 46 percent of the total land area."
"In 2012, forest land comprised 766 million acres, or 33 percent of the total land area of the United States."
Source: US Department of Agriculture
25% ish. Hardly most of the forrest in the US.
What's your point?
You take the most catastrophic interpretations as gospel while at the same time admitting we have no idea what the consequences will actually be.
That's exactly the point here.
So instead of jumping to conclusions like you are doing perhaps it would help if you started being concrete.
The quesiton still stands. What scientifically demonstrated problem which will arise over the next 100 years can't we deal with?
It's like with bees. Some people go, who cares if neonicotinoids wipe them out, we'll simply make a billion incredibly advanced miniature robot bees to replace them. Ok, sure, we can probably figure that out in the next fifty years. But that seems like way more of a pain in the ass than just cutting it out with the neonicotinoids.
P.S. the insect populations are already massively cratered. That part isn't wild speculation about 2100, that's today. I'm sure you remember the headlines about the study in Europe finding 75% reduction in insect biomass over the last twenty five years. Oh, and the year round fire season is here in California.
We need energy to survive especially being as many as we are, poor countries are depending on cheap reliable energy and don't care about the climate. They are trying to survive today.
So it all comes back to what the consequences will be of what you are going to propose as a solution.
If for ex. the choice was between making fossil fuel illegal or allow it to be used as it is being used today then I would definitely be choosing the latter so that we can continue to have growth and create the surplus to come up with better solutions.
Personally I figure we need a lot of things- heavy investment in sequestration technology, clean energy, and carbon free transport in the first world, but also clever spot fixes like the $1 grate for cookfires (https://www.engineeringforchange.org/news/a-1-insert-for-coo...) that could cook the same meal with less fuel in millions of households. Maybe someone will come up with a cheap clever way to slow down the melting of drinking water glaciers to buy a few decades. The floating shade-ball experiments in reservoirs to reduce evaporation also come to mind.
P.S. The barely-surviving communities you mention concern for are the least able to cope with the consequences of climate change. Desalination plants and robot bees are simply not on their list of options.
And lets not pretend that whatever solution most people think of it isn't somehow going to be based on slowing down growth.
P.S. They certainly will be having big problems dealing with the consequences if they aren't allowed to grow and become richer and won't have access to cheap reliable energy.
The build-out of renewable power and electrifying everything in a matter of two or three decades would be superhero-level industrialism worthy of the legacy of WWII America. Solar panels & windmills need people to install them, and that new battery-electric F-150 is going to need a lot of people to develop & build it. Sequestration, too, will be a massive industrial works if we get it going, and synthetic fuel could balance the flow of carbon in the transit sector overnight.
That future would be built on a lot of American sweat & hard work. Plenty of growth, too. Frankly, I'd have thought that was something the country that rebuilt her fleets in like a year after Pearl Harbor & landed on the moon could get excited about.
More or less environmentally friendly than climate change?
I'm surprised for someone pro growth and all, you aren't interested in the opportunity to build all this out. Why not?
Only Nuclear solves that today but there is a huge anti-nuclear sentiment by the environmental organizations and thus politically against nuclear which of course is absurd as that's probably the only energy form that actually can deliver on the no-emission promise which is the one everyone claims to be so worried about.
I have nothing against wind and solar but they are just inferior to nuclear and hopefully in some distant future fusion and in a less distant future thorium but the current sentiment makes that even more filled with friction.
To give you an example of the absurdity.
This summer the weather was amazing in Denmark, the result no wind which in a country largely based on wind energy means they are relying on other countries to provide energy in this case Germany. Germany who also had a great summer and has been focusing on solar.
What happened? Germany used coal. And now that they are closing their nuclear powerplants that will only increase and is a good example of the consequences of a ideologically driven rather than a rationally driven energy policy.
Thanks but no thanks.
Adapting to this through an uncoordinated approach of sociological gradient descent is just going to see tons and tons of wells being dug, in a race for the deeper acquifer.
Currently in California people can pump as much water as they can from wells with no restriction. Some changes in the works, but until the person who pumps it in gets to pump it out or sell it, this idea will not work.
In fact that's one of the things we've been really good at learning to deal with. Natures tendency to throw us all sorts of unexpected events.
I don't even know where to start.
Hopefully you'll see where to start.
Of course all mega-large-scale problems look like achievable goals, as long as you don't pay too much attention on who's gonna pay for all that ...
Where have I said anything about carbon tax or that it's dangerous? That's not what I am saying at all.
To reduce my position to a couple of cliches:
A stitch in time saves nine
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
What we see on the other hand is plenty of political attempts to try and force specific technologies in which aren't even close to being able to provide enough energy Solar and Wind being the most famous here.
They are going to be great as extensions but we are not going to live in a world where they provide the majority of the energy and thus they aren't fundamental solutions to the problem they are distractions and they aren't even that green.
Thats a good example of what happens when we try and solve a problem which we don't even know will show up and if it does in a 100 years form now.
The difference in cost between solving a problem with technology and methods 100 years from now should be pretty obviously huge and thus it make no sense when we can't even point to a specific problem but just speculate about it.
That's what absurd here.
What other method does humanity have of estimating future effects?
If you don't accept the modelling scenarios then you won't accept anything. Continually asking for something that is impossible to provide is what's absurd.
It's not what I think it's a reality.
Yes, modelling gives plenty of varying outcomes, that's what it's meant to do. Conclusions aren't drawn on single instances. They're drawn from running many models with varying input assumptions and conditions, and then seeing what the most likely outcomes are.
There will be some outcomes that fall within the "nothing to worry about" range, but they seem to be very low percentage likelihood. Not zero, but highly unlikely.
Isn't that how computer modelling and the scientific method work?
Climate computer models create a spread of outcomes each of them based on various parameters. None of them are conclusions they are all potential outcomes. The IPCC doesn't not just conclude one outcome they provide the spectrum of potential outcomes some of these outcomes have us come out just fine, others are catastrophic but none of them are conclusions.
The outcomes that are "nothing to worry about" are not more unlikely than the "the world is falling apart" outcomes and that's the point I am trying to make.
It's not rational nor sensible to prematurely solve problems that you don't know are actually going to be problems by introducing inferior and unrealiable solutions like wind and solar "just in case" especially not when those "solutions" are creating all sorts of other problems such as burning of coal when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing.
The irony of all this is exactly that by focusing on wind and solar i.e. inferior energy sources that will never be able to provide enough energy for the worlds growing demands we are basically ending up burning more coal and fossil fuels at the same time as the wind and solar not being clean energy sources at all. Not as bad as burning coal but still not really that environmentally friendly and hard to maintain.
But the world want's to be fooled.
 I took the most pro climate models article I know of. Now add to this that these models are trying to look 50 to 100 years into the future and you realize just how shaky ground we are one with these models.
Again what we can say scientifically and demonstrate is a fraction of what we speculate.
I know what it's like when one feels like the lone voice of sanity taking on all comers, but past a certain point discretion and self-restraint are the only ways not to further damage the container here.
Climate Change is cancer, and localised weather-based or natural disasters are broken legs.
Unexpected events within a relatively stable norm that humans have been living within for thousands of years. Climate change has the distinct potential to break out of those norms.
My argument is that we have become better and better at dealing with the potential consequences of climate change.
I guess what some (most?) people mean when they say "the potential consequences of climate change" are those large scale, high impact, changes that we haven't yet seen.
Which I guess could be considered a bit of moving the goal posts insofar as we've dealt with everything thrown at us thus far, as we'd otherwise not be here having this conversation.
And I do, at times, find myself thinking things like "they've been saying [whatever] is on the brink of collapse for 40 years, and it hasn't happened yet".
Yeah, tricky hey.
Other places like Bangladesh, cannot. Its per capita GDP is 2.5% of the US's, is incredibly low lying and incredibly densely populated. A 3 foot rise in sea level would displace 30 million people . That would make Syria's refugee crisis look like peanuts, its hard to imagine it occurring without millions dying and a regional war. Would this be considered something we can deal with?
I think you have a problem seeing the scale of humanity that could be affected, and the scale of engineering and infrastructure effort would be required to support relocating 30 million people. Bangladesh doesn't have the money to do it, and the US will be too busy working on the Mexico wall.
Unless of course you're only concerned about the species surviving, rather than a large percentage of the population surviving.
Even if we know what a solution is, there's an ocean separating knowing a solution from implementing a solution.
The tip of the spear only causes a small wound.
You could point to Germany as an example of a country that's dealt fairly well with an influx of refugees from 2015, at 890,000 refugee applications, but it takes time to process them all, it's far from a smooth transition, plus there's a human toll associated with mass migration that falls along a purely subjective 'scale of acceptability':
More than 5,000 asylum seekers died in sea crossings, either by drowning, fuel inhalation or suffocation in overcrowded and unseaworthy boats.
The issues of integration into the community, work, language barriers, and other cultural differences will mean there will be a limit at which a population will tolerate an influx of refugees.
There will also be a limit to what governments can afford to provide to refugees finding their feet. Elections are already won or lost on refugee and immigration policy, with the 'more restrictive' policies generally being more popular amongst voters.
These things aren't new, but the scale has the strong potential to be much greater.
I am being downvoted for not panicking which is fine and just shows how religious people are treating this topic.
With regards to limits, the cost of that is absolutely nothing compared to the cost of using inferior technologies to solve a problem we don't even know will be a problem in a 100 years from now.
None of those things are even close to being unsolvable
nothing compared to the cost of using inferior technologies
solve a problem we don't even know will be a problem in a 100 years from now
None of those comments ring true with me.
If there are five different reasons for fish population decline, and one of them gets worse, then the others may become magnified.
If commercial fishing is governed by quotas then if there are fewer fish in the sea due to population decline reason 1, then "overfishing" will become a worse problem without re-adjustment of fishing quotas. Re-adjustment of fishing quotas won't happen if there's a prevailing attitude of "we can deal with dwindling fish populations".
The backhanded good news is that with fish populations declining, there doesn't need to be as much oxygen in the water...
The important word there is potential.
The only reason driving a car is more dangerous is because people don't routinely play Russian Roulette.
Which surely isn't an argument you actually want to make?
No, but I am not actively going around saying that self-driving technology is useless because the fatality rate is going down already.
The water in your tap is not free. Again. Please try and stop just for a minute and rethink your position.
But it sure is a lot cheaper than trying to desalinate the ocean water next to me.
> Please try and stop just for a minute and rethink your position.
On what? I am struggling to see your argument here. We have an issue that you are claiming doesn't need to be solved, and are trying to convince people to ignore, and I am repeatedly providing you with evidence that there is this is a real issue that at the very least would have some impact on us. Trying to "fix" the issues we cause 50 years in the future is going to be much, much more difficult than trying to improve today.
The North Saskatchewan has lost 40% of its volume and continues to decrease.
If it's happening in the future and a novel event it's going to be speculation.
> I of course know the answer but it's quite astounding that you don't stop just for a second to reflect on whether you position is as grounded in science and how much of it is based on speculating on top of that science.
Please explain then, with links to all the relevant scientific information required to demonstrate that your understanding of the issue is the correct one.
My point is that there ISN"T a scientifically demonstrated consequence of climate change that we can't deal with.
So far neither you nor anyone else have provided something which is scientifically demonstrated to be happening and which we can't deal with.
I am not the one claiming. You and others are.
You will then, of course, share that answer with us, in detail, with the same kind of scientific proof that you are asking for.
Again what are you basing the claims of millions/billions on cause it's certainly not science?
Imagine what the social and political reaction is going to be when millions flee the equatorial regions due to heat and sea level rise.
Such dismissive optimism needs to be either justified or smothered, unless you forgot a /s of course
> Yes and the best way to do that is to make poor nations richer which requires growth which will require more energy and thus more emission of CO2 (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18926331)
That's even worse than ignoring it.
First, weren't those past changes much slower, thus giving much more time to adapt?
Second, wasn't the world much more sparsely populated, meaning that if your area's ecosystem changed it was often feasible to migrate to a most hospitable currently unoccupied area?
Third, if they did migrate to someplace that was already occupied and those already there objected, nobody had weapons of mass destruction. At worst, one group would genocide the other, but it wouldn't spread beyond the disputants.
If a climate change induced resource problem leads to war in our times there are weapons of mass destruction, and those wars could be very devastating and draw in others.
Climate change is a fact of life and we have always had to deal with it. Nature doesn't give us an environment we make dangerous, nature gives us a dangerous environment we then make safe.
I am personally more concerned about a lot of other things before climate change even enters my list.
You'll have to define "deal with". How many billions dead is a success?
So much technology, the pace of development accelerating exponentially, so much having happened in just the last 100 years compared to the past thousands of human history, and all you can see is death and destruction looming.
The real problems facing humanity are the ones that have always been, and always will be, with us.
Get a grip. Go outside, take a deep breath of some fresh air, and try to enjoy the few years you have on this beautiful planet. Try to make a difference where you are, when you are. The rest isn't up to you or anyone else.
Higher temperature = more arable land.
Your beliefs are not scientifically valid.