There was a climate scientist not long ago calling for a "world war-like mobilization" in regards to addressing climate change and that's exactly what needs to happen. Buying an electric vehicle and slapping a solar panel on your roof simply isn't enough.
I think people have to bear in mind this is also about industrial scale. One person buying an electric car brings down the price for another, each new person brings down the price more and opens up the possibility to more people, and at some point you’ll get a mass transfer. Electric cars are only something like 0.3% of cars on the road but already have the scale to get quite close to competitive. They're already cheaper for high mileage cases.
Although I do agree we will need concerted effort, it’s likely this will be in conjunction with, not opposed to, these kind of individual decisions.
EVs are still worth it if they're powered by coal or natural gas. But quoting them as getting cleaner as the grid decarbonizes is wrong, until the existing load is satisfied with renewables (even instantaneously).
The only exception is if EVs allow you to increase the renewable share beyond what you'd otherwise be able to do eg with demand dispatch.
I agree that perfect is the enemy of good, but I think EV production is net harmful and your numbers overoptimistic, so the argument does not apply in my view.
The only pro ev argument that still has legs IMO is that since we'll have to stop the remaining oil and coal from being exctracted and burned in any case, EV availability can provide popular support for it. But it's much better if we can just rein in car dependency.
Perhaps, but in your comparison folks still grew "victory gardens".  Personally, I'm reminded that I need to call the installer back about putting those "victory panels" on my roof.
We can either do this now, in an organized and equitable way, or later in a chaotic and unfair way.
When that conference ends, we have one decade to cut global emissions by 50%.
Are we going to make it? If so, how?
My 2000 sq ft home is currently using about 8kwh per day of electricity in summer, which I think is pretty good. I'd love to get solar panels to get that down to below zero.
I treat electricity reduction like a game, always trying to go further. Lately I've been using a solar cooker to cook food and it's awesome. It keeps the cooking heat and smell out of the house while using no electricity. I only recently just started but I've made curry, pizza, veggie burgers, potatoes, baked bread, and reheated leftovers. My next target is getting the summer usage down to 7kwh per day average. I think improving water heating is going to be the ticket there by reducing the heater temperature a little, wrapping it in a thermal blanket, and getting a more efficient shower head. Having a solar water heater would be huge but that's a possibility for down the road.
What are other people doing?
This is such an important realization which I think (hope) more and more people are coming to. No point in debating solar vs wind, batteries versus fuel cells. Do all the things.
Currently working on getting panels installed before the tax incentive expires. We get a stupid amount of sun here in Colorado, and Xcel has a good net metering program.
For the solar cooker I prefer to put the cooking pan inside some pyrex dishes. This acts like a greenhouse and limits the wind's ability to blow heat away. It gets very hot, but not as hot as a solar oven. Hot enough to bake bread!
You can cut that number by a factor of 3, just by building apartment blocks instead of individual houses. It cuts down the heat loss area, and lets you install larger pumps that benefit from efficiencies of scale.
AFAIK, an average flat around the latitude of St. Petersburg uses ~300-500 kWh per month, or 3600-6000 kWh per year. And that's considering that most housing stock there was built in the 70s and 80s.
If we're talking top of the line insulation and a geothermal heat pump, the numbers should be way lower than that even. Not to mention that generally speaking living inside the Arctic circle is a giant waste anyway. You can't do agriculture there and it costs a lot to heat things. It should be reserved for research stations and temporary work establishments.
My point is the insulation is the cheapest way of lowering heating (and chilling) costs.
Also, lots of mining, logging and manufacturing jobs up north.
Global heating is pretty much inevitable. There's no taste for fixing it among the people who can actually do something. Politicians don't see farther than their next term in office, and the rich don't need to fix it. It's not really a case of "if" any more. It's going to happen.
Where I live major political parties are now scrambling to adopt greener policies after losing big to green parties in the recent EU wide elections.
Because people have shown that if they don't do it, they will vote for someone who will.
There's also the issue of thousands of students rallying for greener policies every friday instead of attending school. It's been going on for some time and politicians are further under pressure because of that.
This phrase might be applicable if each country had its own atmosphere.
Reading this gives me a headache. Guess what will WAY be worse than that?
Also most of the developing countries, those people like you like to point their finger at and use as an excuse to keep dooming yourself, your planet and most of all your children's futures, will be hit first and the hardest by climate change. And they know it. China is already coming around.
Surely doing nothing (not actually doing nothing, but rather continuing to burn fossil fuels) leads to, well, ~ infinite warming until we run out of fuel?
Or is the assumption that at 6c we're dead so whatever?
Of course, we don’t know what the feedback loops are, they could kick in and take over. The IPCC is quite conservative about including feedback loops, and mainly deals with direct effects. But the same logic applies either way, within any reasonable range any reduction in CO2 emissions is worth pursuing.
I also personally think the economics for certain low carbon technologies will dominate over a middle/long time period, just that as it stands they won’t take over quick enough to dramatically bring down emissions.
I don’t think anyone in the world can answer the question about how likely these feedback effects are, unfortunately!
That's not being realistic. That is decidedly pessimistic and something that no one could say at this time.
Seriously: we are all going to fucking die from this if nobody does something, and soon. Except maybe a few billionaires in space or bunkers.
There is a long term upward trend in the ECS upper bound, there is model convergence towards that new upper bound figure, and it agrees with recent satellite observations from CERES. I think this constitutes a fair amount of support that warrants my concern.
No it doesn't. The link there is not a scientific article but points to a set of models benchmarked against data for the IPCC report.
Trying to check there's no artifact is just good science, no need to reproach them for that.
The United States wouldn't even sign it because it "would cause serious harm to the U.S. economy."
The more we can eliminate the need for negative emissions, the better. But we shouldn’t assume no negative emissions, and the most stringent temperature pathway, otherwise people will just assume that action is impossible and use it as an excuse to do nothing.
Drastically curtailing airline flights and eating less meat is a considerable step for most Americans who aren't already doing so. Let 'em start with that, maybe they'll make the next step to riding the bicycle to work a few times a week, maybe they'll find they can just cut meat altogether. Next thing you know, they're washing their hemp clothes in their water-saving washer less often.
Because let me tell you what voting green has gotten me over the last thirty years...
Even if climate change has made it so that the 100 year year broken temperature records are now 10 year temperature broken temperature records, could we at least say that statistically? Is it too much to ask?
 Nigel Lawson, An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming (New York: Duckworth Overlook, 2008), p. 36.
What is this "wealth" you speak of?
Can you eat money?
Do all the technological advances, smartphones, VR, blah blah, counteract killing off the megafauna, turning the natural landscape into deserts and concrete?
I've engaged with commenters in the WSJ hundreds, if not thousands, of times. Basically, you'll talk yourself into one big circle. People have all sorts of standard answers like "the climate is always changing", references to debunked movies, a handful of "scientific names", the Global Warming Hiatus, etc.
You can address all of them but they'll simply start over again with the same comments in the next article.
Several years ago I was even going to create an FAQ of questions.
The only positive is that recently the WSJ stopped letting people comment on most articles.
One of the guests was Nathan Myhrvold, who was advocating for geoengineering. I'm wondering why geoengineering is not being seriously considered as a solution at this point.
Perhaps your understanding of both camps might help explain this.
Because an overshoot in the other direction would be even worse than a couple degrees of warming. Feedback loops can work both ways. We are currently in an ice age and glaciation covering most of the northern hemisphere could happen in about a decade. Reducing emissions is just tuning a known activity and second order effects aside is perfectly safe, but geoengineering is a giant unknown that could cause catastrophic consequences.
That was an interesting read. It suggests that really abrupt changes in warming are possible. The downside seems that only one good data source exists.
Are you aware of any computational modeling of the large scale mechanisms? I'm coming from computational neuroscience and bayesian modeling and found this data pretty interesting
I've also widely engaged people who doubt or deny climate change, trying hard to approach in an open handed, friendly way, and mostly succeeding.
In my opinion, a big chunk of the people who doubt climate change are and will remain extremely opposed to any kind of geoengineering. Perhaps violently so.
In people's minds, there's a huge leap between trusting scientists' saying that the earth is warming fast, fucking things up in the future, and trusting scientists' saying that we need to actively change the world right now in response to climate change. And I appreciate that distinction.
In truth, I think quite a few people unconsciously push back against climate change because they are afraid of the possibility of active geoengineering in response.
I don't trust politicians, but I have some trust in nerds. While scientists and engineers are far from immune to groupthink or perverse incentives, there is so much clout to be gained (not to mention a feel-good pro-growth story), if the case for AGW wasn't strong, I think we'd be seeing a stronger contrarian pushback from within scientific communities (including taking their case to the public through TED talks, podcasts, YouTube, etc) . Be it string theory, or the lipid hypothesis, or OOP-vs-FP, how rare is it to actually get 95%+ of nerds to agree on anything?
 For an example in action, see physicist Richard Muller, who spent years as a skeptic and founded an organization to debunk climate change, only to change his mind after examining the results: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Earth
If they pollute, they do so as a side-effect of misallocation - e.g. food is shipped halfway across the world not because it has to be or should be but because low fossil fuel prices make it viable; electricity has high carbon impact (e.g. UK ~0.3kg/kWh) for historical reasons; etc.
They certainly don't fly about or do anything that has no replacement at present.
A country letting things get become "too expensive" in these silly monetary coupon terms and so everyone starves would be a complete governance failure.
Then again, some countries are currently failed states in that sense; in the UK we don't care if people get enough to eat, we give them some pictures of the queen's face if they jump through a ton of hoops and hope it works out. That likely wouldn't be viable.
Im skeptical that climate change will ever make humanity extinct. Lead to highly undesirables states, yes, but extinction, no.
I think it's also quite unlikely that climate change, or even results from it, will make humans extinct. Even if climate change triggers some kind of global thermonuclear war, which I think is a small possibility, I'm pretty convinced that humans are here to stay.
Maybe not many of us, but some.
In my opinion, extinction isn't the main worry. Collapse of civilization should be what we're trying to avoid. And that is a real possibility I think.
(As an aside, Im not convinced humans are here to stay, but for very different reasons.)
I hear you, and I agree.
But... carbon taxes seem to be a huge non starter. The current (centrist) Liberal government in Canada introduced an extremely modest and utterly inadequate one that is revenue neutral (the money for the year came back on our tax returns this spring), and the opposition Conservative party is having a field day attacking it as a "cash grab" that's just ideologues taking money out of the pockets of "everyday Canadians". Check out the parade of last carbon-tax-free fill ups posted on social media the night before it kicked in:
And the keyboard warriors on social media are even worse— they read the word "tax" and their brains just click over into rage mode, despite that carbon taxation is a long time conservative policy, and that similar market-based solutions were openly favoured by previous generations of right wing politicians in Canada:
How do we make progress on this? If a relatively progressive country like Canada can't even collect a tiny payment for incentive purposes (because all the revenue is being returned), how in the heck are we supposed to get to a place where polluters are charged the actual cost of scrubbing their emissions?
If we can't get polluters to pay directly, where are the trillions going to come from to pay for this? We can't even seem to find the money to build high speed rail, or get proper running water to our indigenous communities.
It's almost certain to be repealed when the current government loses power in this fall's election. :(
But the larger point is that when you pay back all the revenues as dividends, then you only get the reduction incentives. Where does the extra cash come from to actually pay for sequestration?
Perhaps government contracts to sequestration companies in order to hit emissions targets could be carved out of existing budgets. I'm from the U.S. and there is certainly money to be diverted. Maybe we just need sequestration contractors in the right districts for certain politicians?
Looks like there are projections for a bunch of jobs in the carbon capture industry (eg https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/mar/17/carbon-c...), but I'm still hazy on how we're going to find trillions in the general revenue pot to make it happen.
Edit: I suppose this is to do with oscillations in the jet stream?
Indirect because this summer had been result of jetstream change - the same circulation that had been sucking hot air to Western Europe had been also blowing cooled air into Eastern Europe.
Actually it was fascinating to watch circulation daily...
Unfortunately jetstream is still poorly understood and scientists debate results of changes in jetstream. There was a popular and well explained article in Financial Times.
As it is behind paywall...
> The impact of the jet stream on climate change, and whether it will shift in the future, is hotly debated by scientists. It is seen as one of the central issues that will determine how weather patterns across western Europe, in particular, will shift as the planet heats up.
> “This is a critically important part of climate science, and one of the least well understood,” says Prof Williams. “We know the climate is getting warmer, and this is settled by now, but it is the consequences of that warming — like the jet stream — that we are just starting to explore.”
> “We think the rapidly warming Arctic is making these wavy patterns happen more often, and as a result we are seeing weather patterns themselves become much more persistent,” she [ Jennifer Francis, senior scientist at Woods Hole Research Centre] adds, meaning that weather such as heat or storms can be trapped in place for longer.
> Other scientists predict the opposite could happen: climate change could cause the jet stream to get stronger and move toward the poles. Atmospheric models — the complex simulations that run on supercomputers and forecast long-term weather and climate — tend to support this view.
Watch air movement at 500 or 850 with temp or humidity overlay...
I am not that smart myself. ICM UW has very enlightening daily commentaries.
A pity in this case its habitat is a whole planet, but that's life (and death). I wonder if something like this eventually happens on every living world, and if the overrunning species generally comes to harbour a comforting superstition that basic biology doesn't apply to it in its magnificent superior aloneness?
If you are in the US, consider looking into Citizens Climate Lobby. They are pushing for a carbon tax-and-dividend bill, shown by independent analysis to be enough for the US to surpass the Paris Accord if implemented, it currently has bipartisan support in the House: https://citizensclimatelobby.org/
And if you're into graphic design, there's a really small group of devs within CCL working on an OSS project we're using to coordinate calls to representatives - like reminding members to call, helping with talking points and tracking which districts we are making calls in: https://projectgrandcanyon.com/ You can message me (email in profile) if you're keen and I can put you in touch with the maintainers.
July was hotter than June.
May was the 4th hottest ever: https://www.noaa.gov/news/may-2019-was-4th-hottest-on-record...
It's time to stop pointing fingers and start coming up with solutions.
Even moreso because we are outsized in our cultural influence. As we model the lifestyle changes ourselves, and those changes are reflected in the movies, etc that we export. That impacts what lifestyle the rising middle class aspires to in places like China and Africa.