Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Paris breaks all-time high temperature as deadly heat wave grips Europe (accuweather.com)
171 points by spking 31 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 167 comments

Climate change isn’t disputed by logic. It’s being disputed by the commercial entities that are protecting their $billion/$trillion industries who, otherwise, would have to face big losses. We all know the industries that are negatively impacting the environment. Their selfish stakeholders have managed to successfully create a reality distortion field of denial. This article, with lack of mentioning global warming, is proof.

It's disputed by the argument to consequences.

"If climate change were happening, we would feel morally compelled to control our CO2 emissions; we don't want to control our CO2 emissions, therefore, climate change must not be happening."

"If climate change was happening and a massive problem, we would be morally obligated to advocate for the most effective methods of prevention - no matter their side effects. Nuclear, geoengineering, a carbon tax, making sure that Africa never industrializes - everything would be on the table. Since we don't like those solutions, climate change must not be that large of a problem."

They aren't as bad as the Republicans, but let's not try and pretend that the Democrats are particularly great either. If the Green New Deal is what they'd actually attempt to do, we're fucked.

> If the Green New Deal is what they'd actually attempt to do, we're fucked.

No, we'd be making progress toward eliminating the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere, but making it slower than if they'd also embrace nuclear power.

> making sure that Africa never industrializes

Is that even part of the public debate? I mean, outside of Ron Paul's newsletters or something equally crazy?

> No, we'd be making progress toward eliminating the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere, but making it slower than if they'd also embrace nuclear power.

Ehhhh... We might be making progress on eliminating the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere from the US, but that's a rather different statement. Unless you can get everyone else to agree to emissions restrictions far more restrictive than the Paris Agreement, we'd be worse off than before. (yes, this is a tragedy of the commons problem)

This is part of why I mentioned geoengineering as an option, because unlike with emissions reductions geoengineering may actually be sufficient to prevent climate change without the cooperation of the rest of the world.

> > making sure that Africa never industrializes

> Is that even part of the public debate? I mean, outside of Ron Paul's newsletters or something equally crazy?

Perhaps not to ensure it never industrializes, but a refusal to limit the emissions growth of the third world soon is part of why the Paris Agreement was insufficient. (How to get the third world to agree to this is, of course, a wee bit of a problem)

> We might be making progress on eliminating the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere from the US, but that's a rather different statement

That's not a different statement. Making progress in (subtask of A) means we are making progress in (A). Besides, it's not like everyone else isn't making lots of progress too.

> Making progress in (subtask of A) means we are making progress in (A).

Not always, but I will grant that it likely does in the case of emissions reduction. (consider a thought experiment - US reduces emissions from power generation by building a ton of coal plants over the border in Mexico)

The point was more that the Green New Deal can only address a small fraction of future world emissions, and that fraction is not large enough to prevent catastrophe. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't reduce emissions! Just that unilateral reductions might not be the way to go. (Imagine the US unilaterally giving up nukes in the 1960s and then trying to convince the Soviet Union to do the same - it would be far less likely than agreeing to both disarm at the same time. IMO negotiations on emissions reduction are like this)

Attempting anything would be good

It's pretty short-sighted to blame individual companies for providing what the people want: Affordable energy and transportation.

You see what happens if you drive up prices for gasoline in France: People start rioting in the streets.

If you had gasoline prices like that in the US, whole states would stop functioning.

Also, most CO2 emissions are from countries where people are far poorer than in developed nations. Are you expecting them to become even poorer?

If you don't have a solution to these economic concerns, don't be surprised when world leaders adopt a "devil may care" attitude.

Yes! Any solution that screws over the bottom strata of society is no solution at all. We need their cooperation, and they won't be willing to help if we're shitting on them.

Please see https://ourworldindata.org/uploads/2018/10/CO2-emissions-by-....

86% of CO2 emissions are created by people in upper-middle income and high income groups.

This doesn't contradict what I said. The OECD defines "upper-middle-income" countries as 4000$-12,000$. This includes major developing countries such as Russia, Brazil and China, all of which have far lower incomes than the US or most of Europe.

For reference:


The real problem is pension funds. And when you look at who's benefiting from the pension funds, you'll see another problem; People aren't dying and the pension funds are being asked to fund way more than they expected to. We have hoards of people who haven't worked in 40 years still getting paid out of a pension that expected to pay them for 20.

At this point fossil fuel investments carry a significant long term financial risk. Pensions funds shouldn’t be involved in that kind of investment.

> We have hoards [sic] of people who haven't worked in 40 years still getting paid out of a pension that expected to pay them for 20

Citation needed. I don't know of many 90- to 100- year old people collecting pensions.

There are some professions, mainly police/military, that permit retirement after 20 years of service. Those pensions are managed to expect longer payout periods albeit using the actuarial stats of their members which are not the same as the general population.

Not only broke it, destroyed it: +2.2C (+4.0F). That's incredible, in a terrifying, "well, I guess this is going to happen" kind of way.

Terrifying in the "this is the new normal" sort of way.

Really, when was the record set?

70 years ago

according to the article, 70 years ago.

If every disaster contains opportunities, what are they here?

The obvious thing would be investing in green technology, but what else? Are HVAC equipment producers about to see a big uptick in sales?

Vast swathes of land in Russia that have been frigid are becoming arable. Lots of formerly inland properties will become seafront all around the world - invest wisely!

Temperate, not necessarily arable. Arable implies soil conditions, etc which most of these areas probably don't have.

I meant arable: the soil (not) being frozen is one of the factors affecting arability, right? Russia has this to gain (with precipitation being possibly at risk) https://phys.org/news/2018-05-climate-arable.html

Vast swathes of land in Russia are releasing gigatons of methane now. Methane has a way stronger greenhouse effect than carbondioxyde.

This is really terrifying. Google ‚Methans craters‘...


Warsaw is today 27C, Minsk 21C, Smolensk 18C, Moscow 22C. So not entire Europe is baking in heatwave only the Western part.

The same circulation is heating Western Europe and cooling Eastern Europe.

To later become island front?

Probably. Much of Europe hasn't really needed AC until now.

It would often only have been really impactful for one or two weeks a year. Not really worth the investment.

With temperatures climbing this high, and being maintained for longer periods, I recently bought my first mobile AC unit and am thinking about installing a permanent one after the summer.

Where are you? Apparently there is a surge in AC sales in The Netherlands as well. Sure, we have had a few hot days now and about a month ago, but nothing that can't be handled with a good ventilator. The remaining 355 days of the year we absolutely don't need an AC. Now people have AC units installed and also turn them on when it's 30 degrees celsius outside. Given that we are nowhere near 100% renewable energy yet, it's a hell of a good way to make the problem even worse.

Are they not buying reversible heat pumps? That’s what people buy in Norway, which helps on the much longer heating season

Slashdot-esque post:

1. Set up AC company in Europe

2. Wait for panicked calls from sweltering people

3. Profit!!

Disagreed on that. It's more of a cultural thing really.

Having lived in south France, where temperature was always over 30C in summer for long period of time. There simply wasn't air conditioning in homes or offices. It's not that it isn't needed. It's just not there. If you want to change job to an office job with AC, good luck finding one.

You're just burning down in summer? being completely unproductive at work? People just live with it. Dress in short tshirt and drink a lot of water. There can be 50 employees asking to get a AC unit for the floor, doesn't matter, management is just nope.

It's evolving slowly as new office constructions have air conditioning and it's being retrofitted to some places.

It's kind of ironic that when the Earth gets hot we turn on more devices that heat up the Earth (via CO2 emissions).

I don't have AC at home in the Bay Area -- when it gets hot I just go to a public air-conditioned space for the day.

> It's kind of ironic that when the Earth gets hot we turn on more devices that heat up the Earth (via CO2 emissions).

It's not exactly irony; these vicious feedback loops are a big part of what has gotten us into this mess.

It's part of the reason I think rooftop solar panels are an interesting idea. They generate power at exactly the time when it's needed for cooling.

When it's so hot like now, the efficiency of solar panels goes down and they produce about 20% less.

Even in Finland where we’ve been mostly spared from >30° weather, portable AC units have been sold out for a couple of months now.

Aside from the direct opportunities making the problem even worse (sell millions of ACs) presented here already:

This is a serious opportunity for mankind to learn from its mistakes and become a sustainable society. Let's hope it doesn't take more than 100 years and half the population to do so.

My hope is that this is taken as an opportunity to change the logic of our society's organisation away from endless growth and to end the calous, brutal exploitation of people and resources for the singular goal of profit.

i imagine real estate in Greenland is p. cheap - barley was grown there at one point, so there's that

Green HVAC equipment ;)

In 2014, there was a fake weather report to imagine what would the temperature be in 2050.


Seems like we are 30 years too early

For me it’s easy to accept that climate change is happening but predicting what will unfold in the next 30-50 years seems nearly impossible. Humans have historically been bad at predicting what will happen even 20-30 years in the future. The media is even worse (https://skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s-in...). Articles can be found from at least the sixties predicting the end of the earth in X years due to climate change. Can you really blame people for being skeptical given what they’ve been told over the years? On top of that, climate change isn’t the only existential threat that humanity faces. How do you rank its importance, and thus the level of focus and resourcing it gets, relative to other threats? I understand that we shouldn’t do nothing. I also understand that some of the extreme climate change proposals likely over estimate the magnitude of the problem.

Some of that was misinformation spread by Exxon, whose scientists predicted global warming fairly well (as a global average anyway) 40 years ago. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/exxon-knew-about-... So the real science is not as fickle as was reported.

Look at it this way. In 1970 some scientists predicted how bad climate change will influence the Earth in 50 years.

50 years passed and their predictions in some areas match current state and in some preconditions failed because they did not think it will be THAT BAD.

Based on that I know it will be either what they say now or it will be way worse..

Ps. Im talking about the scientists which were hired by oil companies to create prediction maps.

I think a lot of proposals actually underestimate by far the magnitude of the problem.

Pro tip for people who do not have airconditioning in their houses:

1. Go to universities

2. Go to co-working spaces

Go to any place to flee the heat.

I'm at my university right now, and I'm not even noticing it's as hot as it is since the airconditioning is doing an amazing job here.

I know you're in triage mode helping the immediately-affected get safe, but given the climate change undercurrents of all this, a statement like

> I'm not even noticing it's as hot as it is since the airconditioning is doing an amazing job here.

...just leaves a frustrating and poor taste.

What's powering all that air conditioning? It's not free.

Get safe now, but don't lose sight that it's all inter-related.

If your alternative is to just stay hot, it doesn't really help. Those places will be in AC whether this person goes there or not.

Fair point, but like a sibling comment already stated: I cannot convince my uni to stop using AC in the short-term. So then better use it.

The climate change issue in the long-term is gripping me. What are we — as mostly programmers — doing about it. Why isn’t FAANG doing something? For pure problem solvers this seems like a juicy problem to sink your teeth into.

Solar power?

Shopping centres. You can even have a beer! :D

I like the viewpoint that while yes its the hottest summer for the last few decades, its also the coolest summer for the next few decades.

It is actually pretty cold July here in Poland, after hot June. Few nights before I have used electric blanket. We have northern circulation for 4th week.

> French energy company EDF stated that it would shut down two nuclear reactors in an attempt to limit the amount of heating water used to keep the reactors cool at Golftech nuclear power plant.

I don't see why that would be a necessary or even good thing? Surely they must have higher demand for power from AC loads with the heat, even if AC isn't quite as prevalent in the EU as the US.

This was done to prevent badly affecting the ecosystem of the rivers. The water from the river is used to cool down the plant, but the resulting warm water is poured back into the river. The temperature of the water going back to the river is carefully monitored and during heat waves it may be decided to shut down the plant. By the way this is not specific to nuclear at all, coal plants work the same, but France is the major exception in the world with 74% electricity coming from nuclear, and most of the rest coming from dams (extremely low carbon footprint for electricity). Some plant designs only use closed-circuit cooling which doesn't have this problem. The towers people usually associate with nuclear plants, is in fact a cooling tower that uses the air to cool the water. Again despite popular belief, these cooling towers are not just for nuclear, they are also used for coal plants (any thermal power plant)

The nuclear reactor of Grohnde in Lower Saxony, Germany is also currently being shut down. Like many reactors this one depends on a river (River Weser) for cooling. The water temperature of the Weser will reach 26° Celsius by tomorrow, which is a threshold value for serious damage to the ecosystem along the riverside – so the decision was made to not let the reactor contribute to further heatup of the river. The shut down is expected to last until sunday or monday.

It's necessary because the water used to cool reactors is rejected in rivers. In normal circumstances the temperature increase this causes is under control, but right now it risks endangering the wildlife in said rivers.

Because reactors need a lot of water as coolant, and they were designed with assumptions about how high the temperature of the water would be, which are now being broken. They started building that reactor in 1982, before they understood that temperatures were in the process of rising 1.5C (up to now).

The more accurate answer is that to not cook everything downstream they are forbidden from releasing to hot a water. If the upstream is already hot, they have no margin to not cook the fish downstream so they close shop. (It’s a bit more complicated since it depends also on the River size, but the main factor is downstream temp.)

Also to add, the water doesn't have to be hot enough to literally cook fish to be an issue - a big concern is how the different micro-organisms/plants/fish/etc react to the temperature change of there normal habitat.

Thanks for the correction.

France is EU's top energy exporter [0]

[0] https://www.reuters.com/article/france-electricity/french-20...

It is not a good thing. Just another piece of infrastructure affected by the heat. And a problem to solve - the higher the average temperature, the more limitations on cooling power plants with river water.

They just don’t have the cooling capacity on the hottest days.

I don't know about France, but domestic AC is almost unknown in the UK.

I wonder if "heating water" implies that coolant is being plumbed through buildings to heat them, which could be dangerous to the occupants of those buildings if they were already too hot. Or maybe France is suffering a drought at the moment.

No mention of climate change in the article.

I was talking about climate change with a co-worker on Monday.

He still doesn't "believe" in it. "Nobody can know if it's happening" and "earth went through countless high and low temperature passes over the years. It's nothing special"

It was a great example of today's reality we live in. It's truly an age of misinformation.

It's a funny kind of fooled by randomness, the argument that there is variation, so it wasn't caused by a specific effect.

Suppose Iceland were to win the World Cup. Would people be saying that Iceland had spent a bunch of effort training players, or would they be saying that it's natural for different teams to win, and that it had to happen eventually?

One major issue is that probability and statistics are very far down the pecking order of what is considered part of a good education. A huge number of people think "it varies randomly" means the same as "there's no way to know any more".

>>> Suppose Iceland were to win the World Cup. Would people be saying that Iceland had spent a bunch of effort training players, or would they be saying that it's natural for different teams to win, and that it had to happen eventually?

People would be saying both and they would all be right. It takes both luck and training to win.

I've gotten similar responses arguing with climate crisis deniers. I think a reasonable retort is: how do you know there were countless high and low temperature phases? If you listened to overwhelming science for climate history why don't you agree with equally overwhelming science that we are the cause of the climate crisis?

Does he believe smoking causes lung cancer?

Edit: This is what I was trying to remember:


What is the personal benefit to believing in climate change? Now you get to feel bad about doing all the things you're going to do anyway? If you're going to go cognitive dissonance, you might as well go all-in.

Lifestyle choices won't affect climate change as long as we keep fueling the machine that's chewing through the resources. "It's the economy, stupid" - the modern economy doesn't just depend on consuming many resources as possible, its tenets are fundamentally based around it. Every call for more jobs is a call for more waste. Every push to lower interest rates is a judgment of valuing the present over the future. We've figured out how to make more stuff than we can actually ever use - now we need to figure out how to dial it back instead of throwing the excess away.

It's important because it frames what is happening now in a proper context. For example, in the USA, we are caging climate refugees, many children, in concentration camps. The media doesn't call them climate refugees, but that's what they are. If you understand this, then you understand the problem of people wanting to come is only going to get worse, and it's a moral imperative we let them come.

It's also important to you because it can help you decide where to work, where to live, and what to do.

Without a sense of action, that "proper context" just causes more mental anguish. I'm obviously writing from a place of accepting climate change - I'm just describing why denying it is so attractive. Lifestyle choices are intrinsically a social game - your ignorant climate change denier is likely very concerned about some different issue, and can't understand why you're ignoring it. There are so many problems, it's impossible to care about them all. Meanwhile the media encourages both ignorances, pitting them against one another to insulate the status quo.

I don't think denial is apathy or a response to dealing with other problems. Denial is a product of a massive disinformation campaign. There is a reason the rest of the world (in places with worse problems than in USA) doesn't have the same level of denial.

If it is simply a disinformation campaign, then why hasn't that disinformation campaign been waged more equally across different countries? Even if the US is one of the largest markets to maintain, surely there would also be great value in eroding the European consensus.

I'd argue that the overriding moderator is culture, with global warming being much more inconvenient for the car-based consumption treadmill.

> There is a reason the rest of the world (in places with worse problems than in USA)

It's not about real problems that people directly struggle with, but rather political "problems" that mass media turns into a divisive frenzy.

Unfortunately you repeat anything enough times and people will pick up on it, even if it goes against what is self-evident. Even something you can explain in 5 minutes like the connection between the concentration of greenhouses gases and warming.

It’s probably quite a good lesson for everyone, a lot of our beliefs aren’t reached through some process from first principles, they are accepted from what appears to be normal. Our understanding of the world is really not much better than the sources for news and analysis we and those around us expose ourselves to.

"Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming" by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway explains how the misinformation about climate change (and other topics) unfolded.

There is a growing number of people who were on board in 2007 but now are expressing doubts. I think support ebbs and flows depending on the weather/what movies are popular.

Whats the rational response to that? I keep getting into these discussions but I myself am not versed enough to counter it :(

>He still doesn't "believe" in it.

Here's a clue:


It's called a forecast. So what if they are off by only 10 years? Does it matter? Because it's certainly going to be ice-free way before 2100.


This year is looking like it will set the record for lowest yet. My guess is that it will be ice-free in September within 5 years because it's an exponential decay. Note "ice-free" is agreed to mean less than 1mil square kilometers.

> Note "ice-free" is agreed to mean less than 1mil square kilometers.

Agreed by who? You're trying to convince the deniers; giving them a massive out like that isn't tactically sound.

"Oh their prediction was wrong so they changed the terms - climate change is a conspiracy and they're lying to our faces, can't you see?!?!"

Deniers have already switched from "It's not happening" to "It's happening but not man made". I'm seeing some already switch to "It's is man made, but it's a good thing! look, the world is getting greener!".

I was going to say "It's an endless fight", but it isn't true. The fight will end when we all die. The horrors that are coming are unspeakable. During the famines in Russia during the civil-war starving mothers ate their children. Famine is our future. In the USA, we are already locking up climate refugees, many children, in cages.

Things are already starting to get bad and we aren't at 1.5C, or 2C, or the 3-4C we are projected to hit by end of the century.

> Famine is our future. In the USA, we are already locking up climate refugees, many children, in cages.

Funnily enough, I think this would actually be justified if climate change was going to cause imminent famine as you're suggesting. Given the choice between having the population of the US undergo a mild famine while to the south there's a famine beyond living memory (thanks to preventing climate-motivated migration) or having a famine beyond living memory here (thanks to the extra few hundred million mouths to feed), I know which one I would want the US government to choose. Helping refugees is a good thing, but the US government has an obligation to US citizens first and foremost. That's why we call it the United States government, and not the Mexican government, or Guatemalan government, or Honduran...

If you let too many people get into the lifeboat, you all drown.

I don't think that this is currently the case, though. Famine, when it comes, will affect the rest of the world far more than it will the US, Canada, and Russia. Food will become more expensive, but that will be due to exports rather than having more people than the land can feed - unlike almost every other country on the planet. Also barring further improvements in agriculture, of course.

> Famine, when it comes, will affect the rest of the world far more than it will the US, Canada, and Russia.

USA has had the biggest impact on climate in the last 100 years and is responsible for the bulk of climate emissions. In other words, the rest of the world will starve because of us and somehow we can justify building walls to protect ourselves. If there is a thing as "evil" it most certainly is that.

> In other words, the rest of the world will starve because of us

I think that when it comes to total impact on the ability of the rest of the world to feed itself, the US is probably pretty far in the black. Yes the contribution to climate change is negative, but the Green Revolution [0] is almost certainly very, very positive. Improved agricultural tech, including GMO crops, have fed a lot of people around the world.

0: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Revolution

Arguably, it's better that way. Confusing meteorology with climatology is the favourite fallacy of climatosceptics.

EDIT: Replaced "argument" by "fallacy"

Example: across much of the US in the last few years there have been record colds because of polar vortexes. A few weeks of record colds doesn't negate climate change. A few weeks of record heat isn't the proof of it either.

I keep saying that ocean acidification needs to be the forefront of the argument more. The data is so much clearer and dramatic that it's so much harder to deny the harm being done by greenhouse gases. "It's hot today" is a terrible way to start a discussion with someone who doesn't believe in global warming, just like "it snowed today" is a terrible counter-argument from them.

> Example: across much of the US in the last few years there have been record colds because of polar vortexes. A few weeks of record colds doesn't negate climate change. A few weeks of record heat isn't the proof of it either.

I don't know about these polar vortexes in particular, but climate change predicts wider swings in both directions, as there is more energy in the system. In other words, the vortex would not have gone as far south if it had had less energy.

Exactly - there's still plenty of people calling it "global warming" mocking people who don't understand or believe the science. We've hit the point where most (or at least more) people agree with the conclusions of the scientific consensus, but they don't remotely understand it, and they're mocking other people who don't understand it, and all we're achieving is getting a bunch of strawman arguments out there that are easy to discredit.

If I may share a simpler analog, it's like when I see people on social media mocking flat-earthers and saying, "how do you think cell phones work if satellites aren't real?" Okay - you agree the earth is near-spherical. That's great. But your lack of actual understanding just gave the flat-earthers a chance to point out that cell phones don't actually use orbiting satellites, make you look like you don't know what you're talking about, and win the argument. Now somebody who also doesn't understand is questioning the scientific consensus even more strongly.

I don't get why climate change is disputed. It's obvious that as society grows, we have increase CO2 output through record levels of burning fossil fuels.

> Energy arrives from the sun in the form of visible light and ultraviolet radiation. The Earth then emits some of this energy as infrared radiation. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere 'capture' some of this heat, then re-emit it in all directions - including back to the Earth's surface.


It's a hard sell.

It's devastating to think about, very negative, and it almost always means that people need to quit doing things they've come to love.

It's like trying to get someone who's addicted off their drugs and telling them that even if they are successful with quitting, it won't protect them unless all others stop doing drugs simultaneously.

It's worse than things they've come to love. It's things they think are normal and necessary.

How are they not normal and necessary? Are you willing to give up electricity for 6 hours of your day to combat climate change? I think most people aren't willing to do that. If you were to take the problem seriously you'd need to start doing things like that and no one wants for their quality of life to decrease that much.

"No electricity for six hours a day" at an individual/consumer level is not the solution and obviously never will be even if the math lined up. Think economically, not individually. Commuting is normal but it is not necessary. Suburban and rural living at consistent standards of living (necessarily higher-consumption factors due to diseconomies of scale) are not necessary. You're right in that people won't do it, but that doesn't make it necessary.

And I'm putting enough solar on my roof to run the house and charge my in-the-near-future EV, so, yeah...

This discussion reflects an additional problem. There is no agreement about the solution.

Try selling people a problem without a solution. Good luck!

There are plenty of solutions, but none that people would willingly participate in. If you can't think of something, ask Thanos ;)

So there are — effectively — none.

And even the hypothetical solutions nobody wants to commit to are being disputed in the style you can witness above.

what do you mean exactly when you say think economically, not individually? because we already know the entire world creating solar panels/batteries, as you seem to be implying is the way forward, doesn't scale:

- we know that that effort would result in an uptick in carbon production (need to produce all this new stuff: factories, ship it everywhere, etc.)

- we also know that as energy gets cheaper, people use more of it

- there aren't enough rare earths to replace all transportation with EVs, and even if there were it's like 20% of emissions; this ignores rare earths needed for outside storage batteries/grid tech/...

the only solution - happens to be economic - is massive shedding of consumption by basically the entire population of the earth, and if you think your standard of living won't decrease many-fold you aren't being realistic.

Some people are just super stubborn about it because they don't want to be wrong. I used to work with a guy who said climate change wasn't real, then after about a year of being the only person at work with that viewpoint, he accepted that it was real, but with the caveat that it's a good thing. He said that man-made global warming was going to help hold off the next ice age, so warming the planet now will pre-emptively save lives in the future. That makes no sense though, because we're experiencing extreme weather and mass extinction right now, and the next ice age isn't supposed to happen for over a thousand years.

Because energy companies and "free market"/"prosperity" thinktank lobbying groups dump a ton of resources into getting politicians and media moguls to broadcast well-known lies. It was never an organic movement.

The https://www.criticalfrequency.org/drilled podcast is a great primer on this.

Some of the most extreme assertions about climate change are strongly disputable or outright wrong (for example, even the current high-end estimates wouldn't set records for Earth's temperature--merely the hottest in the Quaternary). It's not hard for many people to go from "this theory is partially wrong" to "there is no validity anywhere in the theory."

I thought conflating climate and weather is what "deniers" do?

The former accuweather CEO was appointed to head the National Weather Service by Donald Trump.

This man had in the past lobbied to forbid the NWS from releasing weather data directly to the public, and gotten Rick Santorum (his home state senator) to propose a bill to that effect.

weather != climate

Weather is not climate but record after record after record for years in a row is climate change.


It's a nice equation. Here's another: car crashes != driving. Despite this being technically true, let's not pretend that the left side is independent from the right.

Let's remember that equation the next time Arctic ice field expands...

Climate Crisis

Any news source that reports "record-breaking temperatures" is, deliberately or not, making these dangerously increasing temperatures sound like a good thing.

This extreme heat is costing us $$$

No, record-breaking means it broke a record. If it was used almost exclusively for positive things, you might have a point, but it is routinely used for negative things as well. For example, "storm" is the third most related topic based on Google trends.[1]

1: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?q=record-breaking&g...

There's no universal law that declares it has to be reported as such

I missed the part where "deadly heat wave" was a framed as a good thing.

that's my point: many news sources are framing it as a good thing by not calling it what it is: a deadly heat wave

Do heatwaves pose a threat to local fauna and flora?

Yes, irrepairable damage in fact. And it's already done near where I live, in the eastern part of the Netherlands

Yes, they can be devistating to agriculture as well. Animals are just as susceptible to heat stroke and dehydration.

Plants are of course similarly susceptible to extreme temperatures. There are tactics farmers can apply such as coating their crops but there are limits.

One thing that should worry you in particular is that there is a temperature range photosynthesis happens in, and that temperature range ends at about 40C.

This isn't necessarily an immediate problem for plants, because plants store extra calories generated from photosynthesis for future use, and when the temperature is too hot they can switch from photosynthesis to respiration, consuming their stored sugars for energy. During this time, plants become net producers of CO2 instead of net consumers, taking in oxygen, burning their sugars (in the same slow chemical burn we use) and releasing the CO2 at the end.

This is an immediate concern for us, because those stored calories are what we wanted to eat. Plants may survive higher temperatures, but they produce fewer stored calories in the form of delicious fruits, vegetables and grains for us to eat. Climate change is complicated for agriculture, but extra days above (or close to) 40C is just bad, bad, bad.

This is highly dependent on the crop, and when in the plant's growth cycle the heat comes.

For example, crops like wheat benefit from a hot dry period when they get close to harvest time. Same for some vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.

The challenge isn't so much that high heat (to an extent) and agriculture is incompatible, it's that unexpected high-heat, or high heat at unexpected times can be damaging.

Don't think that I'm downplaying the risk of climate change to agriculture, there are plenty of very serious negative effects that climate change will have on agriculture, but warmer temperatures on their own, at least at this range, aren't directly a huge issue if they're expected.

Sure. For example, local river fish start dying at 28C. The Rhine is now at 26C.

Warm seas kill coral reefs, and ecosystems depend on these coral reefs for sustenance and protection (hard for a colorful fish to camouflage itself in a bleached reef). It's also allowing Jelly Fish colonies to multiply out of control, which are pretty much devoid of nutritional value.

We're seeing record shattering temperatures in different parts of the world a lot this yet - yet the article doesn't even mention climate change. As long as we keep shoveling meat into our faces 5x per day and the population keeps expanding at break-neck rate, we have massive heatwaves and endless storms to look forward to. And then that road will come to an end, and it won't be pretty.

> As long as we keep shoveling meat into our faces 5x per day

Right, because that's your biggest problem.

It couldn't be the fossil fuels used for transportation (29%) or the industry that produces the goods and the raw materials like cement (22%), the production of electricity (28%), or even the commercial and residential emissions (12%).

Oh no, our biggest problem has to be agriculture (9%). And let's not talk about the use of fertilizers, or of the transportation of food for thousands of miles before it reaches the table. Let's also not talk about the practice of burning crop residues, or of the seas of plastic.

The problem has to be meat and the solution is to shame meat eaters.

The problem is everything. I sometimes have discussions with people about unnecessary flights. People always point out, that there is no need to change their flying habits as long as industry is producing even more CO2. The thing is that if we want to turn this around we have to change our behavior in everything. We need to radically adjust our travel patterns, our consumption patterns (why a new phone every 2 years?), our eating patterns, our energy sources, etc.

Unfortunately, I fear that it is too late to turn things around. Climate change has been a known serious problem for at least three to four decades. But politicians do not want to bring the bad news that we need to change our lives drastically in order to get their votes the next election.

But we should still try for future generations. No more holidays by plane. Switch to renewable energy. Live close to work and travel by bike or work remotely. And yes, perhaps eat a little less meat.

Yes, meat and meat eaters are a very big problem here. Not the only one as you pointed out, but look at is this way:

- Industrial regulations will take years if not forever to be reformed to offset the damage in that sector. You also have big money in keeping things "business as usual", so good luck with that. Things need to be made.

- Transportation: it will take years to get all the gasoline-fueled vehicles off the road, although there are some good strides being made here. However, the biggest issue is that electric cars are prohibitively expensive, and people still need to get to work.

- Production of electricity: again, good strides being made in this department but it's still years away. We need electricity.

- Meat eating: you, the people next to you, _everyone_ can immediately decide this very second to do their part. Here's the thing about food though - human beings don't need to eat meat. There is plenty of plant-based food out there and at this day and age and depending on your location, highly restricting your meat and dairy use is the easiest it's ever been.

Out of the list of issues you described contributing to climate change, the one you are annoyed at me for bringing up is the only one that you personally can fix, entirely by yourself. Yet, you choose not to, and I don't really understand why.

tl;dr: All those other issues require change at a massive level that the "average Joe" can't do a whole lot about. But eating no or less meat requires minimal effort, everyone can do it starting right this second, and it has a huge payoff. Not just on a climate impact scale, but on a global health level.

If people won't even make that first step that can be done for no effort, how do you think any of those huge issues will get figured out?

> you, the people next to you, _everyone_ can immediately decide this very second to do their part

Or, with all due respect, I can tell you to fuck off.

My problem with environmental movements is people basically bring their own beliefs and agendas in, with no support from science and then rub it in other people's faces, trying to turn their religion into policy.

We could have a chat about how most vegans are deficient in certain vitamins and proteins, making the vegan diet, in fact, more challenging than any other diet. We could also talk about how animals and plants could be raised sustainably. But there would be no point to it because your mind is already set.

And it's incredibly frustrating to see the minds of Silicon Valley invest in fake meat instead of solving problems that actually matter, but that's not new.

You're right about the meat but peak population growth rate was 50 years ago.

See: https://ourworldindata.org/uploads/2013/05/Updated-World-Pop...

Rate could also mean people/year instead of %/year.

growth in people/year is surprisingly constant over the last 50 years


Oh, interesting.

I guess editorializing on the causes of weather trends is not within the scope of AccuWeather?

Or that the family that runs Accuweather has been deeply enmeshed with the party of climate denialism for the past few decades. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-06-14/trump-s-p...

Fair, but the mere mention of the phrase "climate change" is better than pretending it's some anomaly and we have no idea why.

I know, I know - I don't want to soapbox here. But we're spiraling towards disaster in our lifetimes and I can't help but think that hundreds of millions are blissfully unaware.

Conflate weather and climate, I thought that's what "deniers" do?

According to normal variations around the long term average, these kind of temperatures would be happening once every 50 or 100 years, but they are happening now every few years. There’s only so many times you can roll a six before you conclude the die is loaded, and you should really start worrying when the die starts rolling sevens!

These temperatures are breaking 60-70 year old records. For example the prior Paris record was set in July 1947. And is about to drop to seasonal averages starting tomorrow (80s F)... You're quite wrong on this.

That's a good point for single day records, for cities, but not for longer term and larger scale anomalies. The more you zoom in on time or scale the more noise dominates signal, and the less effect any warming trend will have. Here are the yearly figures for the 100 km grid square which contains Paris, for reference:


Calm down, there will be a war or virus or climate change itself will help us with the overpopulation problem.

If you killed every second person and planted a tree things will balance themselves out.

You joke (I think) but that's the path we're headed down. I'm fully expecting over a billion people to die within my lifetime from disease, malnutrition, and war spurred by climate change. It's foolish to think humans are so different from other life that we won't have a population crash after such rapid growth.

You should probably expect far more than that over your lifetime, but you can pretty much ignore malnutrition and war based on current data on causes of death. Already about 1.8 people die around the world every second from all causes. That's a billion people in less than 18 years. Half of those are for people over 70. About 80% of the deaths are people 50 years and older. 30% of all deaths are from cardiovascular diseases, over 85% of all deaths are from some sort of disease. If you correlate the various diseases with age it's not unreasonable to claim "old age" as the biggest killer. Even if we gain mastery over planetary climate as an engineering solution to climate change, without tackling old age, your estimates on billions of deaths from disease should not change.

I could have been clearer, but I meant disease, malnutrition, and war, each spurred by climate change. Diseases like malaria and cholera that would have infected far fewer people if not for climate change. I'm thinking at least a billion plus people on top of the baseline rate of dying.

I joke because the parent statement had so much fear and emotion. Sometimes things are out of our control. The world has systems for balancing everything.

On the positive side without population crashes evolution doesn't work so in some ways things are working as as designed.

Are you volunteering?

You kill I'll plant a tree on every grave.

Piers CORBYN is a timecube level nutcase and climate change denier.

well that's disturbing but interesting to be aware of. I'm surprised that this doesn't innately trigger any reader's quack detector

We are bombarded daily with hysteria about the world ending due to climate change caused by humans. There are lots of opposing views but they are almost invariably laughed off because 'it's been decided'. I'm on the fence about Corbyn but he's serious enough to warrant attention

Cut the military and substantially cut emissions. Consumer decisions aren't up to this task: consumers accept what is sold to them, and what is sold is driven by profitability - the ability to make something that can be made exclusive and sold repeatedly. That is a requirement which walls off most good ideas and forces unlimited consumption of natural resources.



We've banned this throwaway as well as your main account.

Aside: Thanks for doing so. These 6 char throwaways are getting crazy recently, or maybe this is just me.


Eh, I’m not a huge fan of no-op virtue signaling myself, but this site has an influential readership (I imagine the odd billionaire or two drops by once in awhile even) so until the consensus becomes “we’re doing everything we can about this” it probably isn’t the worst thing for it to stay top of mind with this audience.


Or maybe it's Europeans sweating in 40°C heat (>100°F) without AC.

>Because, otherwise, what's the point on having these "summer is hotter than it used to be" articles all day up?

Maybe let's do something about it or it will only get worse?

I dunno. Maybe we could start trying to do something about it? If you hate these "damn it's even hotter now" messages maybe you could take steps to fix the underlying issue?

Meanwhile here in Texas, that level of heat is business as usual. I get that most places in the EU don't have aircon, as they rarely need it, barring southern EU, which I have spent considerable amounts of time in. I far prefer the misty moors of England over anything with tons of sun.

Having grown up in Europe, I do prefer their weather when it's normal for them. If only I could convince my wife to move somewhere with a proper 4 seasons rather than this hideous backwater of heat and humidity.

Good luck! My wife and I were fond of Texas (well... really only Austin and select parts of Houston) -- but I was more fond of having four seasons than anything Austin had to offer. A move to Boston convinced her pretty easily and since then we're both on the same page about sticking to places with similar climates. We would love to see our friends in Texas more but ever moving back is a very hard no, both due to weather and politics.

I also grew up in Europe for a few years at least.

Guess some Texans have seen your post ;) Not in TX myself but after a recent Texas-like heat/humidity wave I found myself thinking how much more energized and comfortable I felt after it left, but it was still subjectively quite a high temperature. Such oppressive heat really does affect your quality of life in a big way. I lived in Europe for many years without air conditioning and was never more than mildly uncomfortable on the worst days. There was something very different about the heat...it may be as simple as humidity levels, but it was not particularly dry where I lived and visited either. Here I don't see many days that would be tolerable without AC.

Good comment. I loathe Texas, but I'm here because of the wife and her family. I would prefer to live someplace where it's overcast 90% of the time, and where it rains at least twice a week. I also prefer snow on the ground for a couple of months. Here in the Houston area, the heat, humidity, insects, and sheer amounts of concrete all contribute to the lack of comfort. Moreover, there are too many people here all shoved into a space that really cannot accommodate them.

Maybe I'm biased, but take a look at Denver as a compromise? It doesn't fit all of your preferences (it's very sunny and the snow melts quickly), but it's also very low humidity, convenient to snowy towns in the mountains, and we've pretty much had at least a few minutes of rain every day for the last month or two.

There are also a ton of ex-Texans here.

Appreciate the comments. My brother lived in Denver for a few years. It's not really my cup of tea when I visited. Too much sun, and too high in altitude. I could barely breathe when I was there and my nose bled every day for the first three days.

My preferences would be Vermont, Snoqualmie, WA, Bellingham, WA, or the AK peninsula. Me and the sun are not friends.

A major difference is most Texans make use of air conditioning. Paris largely does not.

Growing up in the US then living for quite some time in Europe it was initially weird for me to not see AC everywhere, but I quickly realized it was much more comfortable for me. Something about being in a cold building and then going out into a swamp heater just makes it more miserable. Maybe its slow acclimation or some subjective thing.

Not really acclimation, but willingness to suffer through it. I hate it when my children want to play outside because I'm out there for less than five minutes and my shirt is soaked through with sweat, it's unbearably hot, and the insects are legion. When I leave work in the late afternoon, it's so hot my car takes 10 minutes to cool down to where it's comfortable inside. By then my Right Guard has gone left and I'm having cold air blowing on wet skin. It really does suck.

And I mentioned same in my statement above. The entire lower half of the US would be largely unlivable without aircon. Even Alaska get 90+ in the summer, albeit for short bursts.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact