furthermore, i was wrong to write "drilling" platforms... as those are only used during the field's construction, until the wells are in place.
You're seriously overestimating Americans, circa 1982. We were still fighting about whether cigarette smoke causes cancer (correlation is not causation!) and we had a president who claimed that trees pollute the environment more than cars do (who went on to be reelected). Politically influential Christian public figures rationalized how the deadly sin of greed should be considered a virtue while also blathering about how HIV was a manifestation of God's wrath toward homosexuals. And everyone kind of assumed our odds of surviving the cold war weren't great anyway, so you want to worry about something about temperature increasing, and also didn't you say there was going to be an ice age or something, blah blah blah?
It's a minor miracle that we managed to cease the destruction of the ozone layer given the level of stupidity we were operating at. A person aware of current events and capable of making analogies might question how much progress we've truly made, but that's a separate topic.
Circa 1982? Some months ago, the NYTimes did a story on Coke/Pepse/Nestle sugar drink/food causing simultaneous systemic obesity and malnutrition in Central/South America. Company leadership was quoted as expressing surprise at this "unexpected" impact. TPP had ISDS provisions to permit companies to sue governments to recover profits lost to health policies. And so it goes. Today.
I'm not sure you can say that we ceased destruction of the Ozone layer. Certainly slowed, and in some cases ozone is increasing but not universally. Ozone levels in the upper levels have been slowly increasing, but the lower levels are still being depleted and there is evidence of an increase of short-lived ozone depleting substances.
If you want change you have to convince the customers or force change through government.
But the prime directive of any entity - whether it's a living being, or abstract idea like a corporation or nation state - is to continue existing. After all, every entity that failed in this is no longer with us.
Society moving away from oil is an existential threat to ExxonMobil-the-corporation. Climate change is only an existential threat to a large fraction of humanity, and a largely disjoint one from individual decision-makers at Exxon. So their incentives are somewhat misaligned here.
That seems obvious, but suicide and extreme risk taking demonstrates many other things are considered more important.
In the corporate world banks fail all the time because the people running them don’t care about failure nearly as much as their next bonus. This is also why pensions and other long term liability’s are generally under funded.
Suicide is a consequence of shame. Human beings have evolved an emotional mechanism that lets them function as groups; this mechanism functions by giving each individual an unconscious sense of whether they "measure up" to the standards of the group around them. One consequence of that is that some fraction of individuals won't, oftentimes with tragic results for the individual. But groups that have this mechanism killed or absorbed all individuals that don't (well, not quite - psychopathy is the absence of shame, and it's usually maladaptive but some high-functioning psychopaths can blend in among normal society), and so the world we live in includes suicide.
Banks serve financial markets. It's okay for individual banks to fail as long as the market as a whole continues to function; in fact, proper functioning of the market requires some banks to fail.
It's the same as ant colonies or human microbiomes. When you step on an individual ant, the colony doesn't care, because the unit of survival is the colony. When you crap out intestinal bacteria, you don't shed a tear, because the unit of survival is the individual human and not the bacteria within them. In fact, the perspective with which you look at the world says a lot about the degree of interaction within the system. We think of a human as an individual entity; it took us a long time to think of a cell as an individual entity; and unless you're a dedicated biologist you probably don't think of a mitochondria as its own entity, despite them being independent bacteria at one time.
You could look at global capitalism as being one super-organism, much like an ant colony, and individual humans are, well, workers. Capitalism doesn't care if it chews up and spits out human lives, because there will always be more of them. Its prime directive is to sustain capitalism itself.
(Note also that global capitalism doesn't care if ExxonMobile lives or dies, and it's highly likely that it'll die. It'll just get replaced by some solar energy company. This conflict between levels goes all the way up the hierarchy - the interests of your cells are not necessarily aligned with yours, your interests are not necessarily aligned with your employer, your employer is not necessarily aligned with the market.)
Private companies also take extreme risks and fail. People running companies simply don’t face the same risks as the companies themselves. A 20% shot at 10x returns can be completely rational.
PS: Suicide is not just about shame, some people are simply in a lot of pain and seek a way out. Evolution did not optimize for joy.
I think we should retire that phrase and rethink it as the tragedy of greed. Many people are happy and even work to maintain some sort of equilibrium between their consumption and replenishment of natural resources. Garrett Hardin, who originated this trope, arguably had a very dim view of human nature and began with the premise that everyone was equally greedy and pseudo-rationally inclined towards maximizing consumption.
Why do that when you can focus on short term gains? Outsource departments, cut funding for health and safety, ignore potential issues, collect your fat bonus for cutting costs and then move on to screw the next company before the one you're at implodes
> Clifton C. Garvin Jr. - CEO
> Served on the boards of directors of Georgia Pacific, Chevron, Citicorp, Citibank, Johnson and Johnson, J.C. Penney, PepsiCo, Inc, Sperry Corporation, and TRW Inc.
> 1982 Exxon celebrates 100 years since the formation of the Standard Oil Trust in 1882. In its first 100 years, the company evolved from a domestic refiner and distributor of kerosene to a large multinational corporation, involved at every level of oil and gas exploration, production, refining and marketing, and petrochemicals manufacturing.
> 'There is no wad of cash like this anywhere on earth,' said Jack Blum, a Washington energy lawyer and former Senate investigator. 'This is a wad of cash to break banks, even governments.'
It's very difficult to rally people around a problem until they see tangible evidence of it in their own lives. Global warming was an abstraction in the 80s; we knew it was happening, we knew it would have a big impact, but we were too busy trying not to get nuked by the Soviets (or rather, trying to make them think we were gonna nuke them so they bankrupted themselves). In a democracy you can't get political support for policies until a majority of people agree with you. When it comes to giant systems like the environment, that's too late.
There are probably a number of other problems that can see right now that we are doing nothing about - trust pollution (where you have no idea what's true anymore), mass migration (which I guess we're doing something about, but that "something" is putting kids in cages), erosion of the rule of law, potential infectious diseases, a looming demographic crisis, etc. But all of these are too big to wrap our head around a solution until they become a crisis - we're too busy dealing with climate change - and so they'll just blow up society and we'll be left to pick up the pieces.
Why would the government bother? The experts from the companies who helped get them elected told them it wasn't a problem.
> In 1981, he was appointed to President Ronald Reagan's National Productivity Advisory Committee and later served on the President's Private Sector Survey on Cost Control. He served as Chairman of The Business Council in 1983 and 1984.
This isn't about the environment.
There is a part of the brain that is responsible for integrating events into a continuous narrative. That part of the brain is why we perceive ourselves as an integral being and not a set of parts, but that part is also severely biased in healthy humans, biased to paint ourselves as kinder, more altruistic, more intelligent, while also rewriting the motivation we cite for our past actions, so as to put ourselves in the best possible light.
But no, there's nothing special about those Exxon researches, that's just normal human behavior.
And to go further, acting against ones own interest requires going over a strong emotion. The body let's you know that you shouldn't be doing something through a gut feeling. Repeatedly ignoring or repressing those emotions is not healthy for the nervous system, and much has been written on this subject.
LE: And regarding claims that stopping global warming was in their own interest back in the 1980s, there's the hyperbolic discounting effect (among other things).
i.e., acting against their own interests. Spending the last 40 years using their strength against environmental research meant that the people who in 1980 owned and managed Exxon extracted great benefit to themselves (at the cost of others) for the rest of their lives (either they're already dead, or will be before any serious consequences may hurt them); doing what you propose would have benefitted the world but greatly hurt their own interests.
This and other statements in your comment are assumptions rather than facts.Have you considered the possibility that your view of human nature is overly reductive?
I'll keep posting about it untill this hysteria dies, though I fear that given social pressures regarding anything representing "denial" will keep it alive indefinitely. No one knew about an incoming crisis in the 80s. People were aware about the possibility of climate change in the 80s. It took 30 years of data collection, research, and computational modeling on increasingly modern hardware, which allows for exponentially larger and more precise models, before we had amassed enough evidence in a totally model driven field to conclude that we may be terraforming on the scale of 100 years.
Let's correct two of these. Of course there are empirical observations related to climate. There is a definition of 54 "essential climate variables" (ECVs), see . One of these is greenhouse gases . At the bottom of the link, you can see observing programs for CO2 and CH4, both in situ and satellite.
These are well-measured variables, with well-characterized error bars, and models are tested against these observations. For instance, the ~400 ppm CO2 ECV is measured to within 1ppm quite regularly and has been for many years. This is how we improve the models. The same kind of monitoring/model-improvement feedback loop is in place for almost all of the ECVs, including clouds and sea surface properties like temperature and salinity.
Another correction, relating to "no one knew" about a future crisis in the 1980s. Here is a paper  from James Hansen in Science magazine, in 1981, that clearly warns of crisis-level consequences. From the abstract -- In the 21st century, we will see "creation of drought-prone regions in North America and central Asia, erosion of the West Antarctic ice sheet with a consequent worldwide rise in sea level, and opening of the fabled Northwest Passage." For whatever it's worth, this appeared on the NYTimes front page in 1981.
That's just one publication. Throughout the 1980s there were broad-based studies, mandated by Congress, that indicated the scope of the problem. See , from 1983.
Not true, please don't put words in my mouth. I use the term terraforming to emphasize the magnitude of the claim. We are fundamentally changing the properties of an entire planetary atmosphere, inadvertently.
>and claims that are very strong, sweeping, and incorrect ("totally model-driven field").
Also not true. The point is that climate science by nature cannot be experimental. We can only make predictions and then proof amounts to measuring how well decades of measurements line up with predictions/models.
>Another correction, relating to "no one knew" about a future crisis in the 1980s. Here is a paper  from James Hansen in Science magazine, in 1981, that clearly warns of crisis-level consequences. From the abstract -- In the 21st century, we will see "creation of drought-prone regions in North America and central Asia, erosion of the West Antarctic ice sheet with a consequent worldwide rise in sea level, and opening of the fabled Northwest Passage." For whatever it's worth, this appeared on the NYTimes front page in 1981.
Again, given the non experimental nature of climate science, this was a massive claim which requires decades of data collection and modeling to verify before committing to sweeping social and economic policy reform which has costs of its own.
People underestimate the fact that climate change is one of the most radical ideas ever proposed by the modern scientific establishment, in terms of the scale of the changes, the disastrous predicted consequences, and the scale of societal change required for mitigation. We're talking about a potential irreversible, runaway global extinction accidentally triggered by humans 100-1000+ times faster than any measured natural rate. Due diligence, in a non experimental field, limited by 80s modeling hardware, took time. Meanwhile we all benefited from the fossil fuels we (and our parents) burned.
It's not uncommon to hear this kind of claim on HN - sometimes people seem to not really have on-the-ground information about how climate science works, and are instead going by how they might imagine it works -- a bunch of modelers working in isolation.
That's not how climate science is done. For more on the relationship of climate models to observations, see an old comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15613090#15620293
Your reply says that you meant to say that Climate Science "cannot be experimental". This, it turns out, is also not true. There are cases where nature runs the experiment for us.
For instance, the large methane leak recently in the LA area allowed us to understand the effectiveness of the inversion algorithms that are used to turn observations of concentrations into observations of the emissions that caused those concentrations. For instance, to understand the correctness of wind models.
Wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and ENSO onsets often serve as nature-given checks on climate science predictions. They basically provide a "step function" input that is a tool to characterize the system response to a shock. For instance, we got a lot of science out of the varying climate-system responses to different volcanic eruptions.
You said that "no one knew" about a possible future crisis in the 1980s. I supplied links showing that this is not the case -- the science establishment, the Congress, and the readers of the front page of major newspapers knew.
Your reply counters with "what should we have done". That's another question, isn't it?
>For instance, the large methane leak recently in the LA area allowed us to understand the effectiveness of the inversion algorithms that are used to turn observations of concentrations into observations of the emissions that caused those concentrations. In other words, to understand the correctness of wind models.
This is exactly what differentiates model driven from experimental sciences. You cannot go out and define an experiment to confirm your claim, you can only make observations of natural phenomena. Which can take decades when you're considering sweeping, global changes, particularly when you're measuring changes which occur on scales of decades-centuries.
>You said that "no one knew" about a possible future crisis in the 1980s. I supplied links showing that this is not the case -- the science establishment, the Congress, and the readers of the front page of major newspapers knew.
Once again you are twisting my words. My point is to differentiate between knowing that something is happening with certainty, e.g. a consensus that climate is indeed changing due to human activity, and knowing of the possibility of something significant occurring, requiring substantial evidence to match the claim. It took decades to gather enough evidence to match the scale of the claim of global climate change.
>Your reply counters with "what should we have done". That's another question, isn't it?
Again I've done no such thing. My point is that we did what we should have - it is not rational to make sweeping changes to society, culture, and economy for every alarmist prediction uttered by a scientist, because such changes, big or small, are not free. One requires a minimum degree of certainty and, considering the magnitude of the implications of climate change, from the perspectives of both consequences and mitigation, it isn't unreasonable to say that 30 years is a relatively short time to establish a rigorous scientific consensus given the age of the modern scientific establishment and the amount of data that needed to be collected and analyzed because of the purely data driven, non-experimental nature of climate science.
Of course, as we know now, the fossil fuel industry knew in the 1950s.
From what I now gather, multiple persons & orgs were raising the issue independently. Certainly, the leaders were kept in the loop. Top three hits from a quick search:
You can use "geoengineering" if you want a sarcastic term similar to how rocket people use "rapid unplanned disassembly" instead of "crash".
My 4th grade teacher (1978) was brain washing us into being tree huggers. Conserve water while brushing our teeth was "magic". Turn down the heat. Recycle. Etc.
I recall hippie flavored propaganda in the school library asking if we wanted Earth to become a Red Planet (industrial) a Green Planet (farming) or Blue Planet (natural ecosystems), or some combination.
My (much older) cousin was a physicist studying submarine acoustics. He's always known, patiently explained the whatnots to us younger skeptics.
I worked at a civil engineering firm while still in high school (1980s). All the adults seemed to know what was happening, even if we didn't yet know all the causes. I vividly remember my boss (from Canada) telling me his childhood neighborhood lake was no longer safe to play hockey on.
I volunteered thru the 1990s at an org trying to save the PNW salmon. The staff scientists knew our local snow packs were shrinking. (Need the melt for salmon runs.) Now our mountains are bare most of the year, of course. Terrifying.
Maybe because I read a lot of sci-fi, I've always "known". Most memorable to me have been John Brunner's Shockwave Rider, The Sheep Look Up, and Ernest Callenbach's Ecotopia. But of course, post-apocalyptic is a popular storyline, so there have been zillions others.
PS, for the down voter(s), one of the minor plot lines from the TV show Dallas was Bobby Ewing's renewable energy efforts, in opposition to older brother JR Ewing's doubling down on carbon. In debating with Bobby in front of Daddy Ewing, JR's money quote was "We've been running out of oil since the first oil well." So, ya, climate change was part of the (most) popular culture too.
I want to amend my answer.
We all knew global warming was happening. What we didn't know yet was why it wasn't happening faster. Given the rate the carbon was being added to the atmosphere, the temperature should have been rising faster than observed. And the skeptics (of the time) used the missing carbon to fuel their FUD.
The ocean had not yet been identified as the carbon sink. Once that penny dropped, everything since has been details.
My best guess is that one teacher slyly taught environmentalism on the down low. It certainly wasn't part of the curriculum. And some how her message stuck with me.
Given my own experience, and my readings about "Language is a virus", Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions, memetics, Everett Rogers' Diffusion of Innovation, Luntz's Words of Power, etc:
It's mostly a waste of time and effort and goodwill trying to persuade any body of anything. It's better to focus imprinting kids with the values and ideals they'll need to better compete in the future.
For better or for worse.
Mostly for worse.
At what point do we learn the lesson that’s deeply embedded in our collective consciousness (Noah’s Ark, the ant and the grasshopper) and decide that modern states are not capable of dealing with the problem, assuming that climate change is going to result in serious disruption, and look to make contingency plans for ourselves and our families?
William Nordhaus' Nobel prize winning proposal would make that easier: https://issues.org/climate-clubs-to-overcome-free-riding/
If folks can get an equitable system working then that's great - otherwise I expect the US, India and China to bear the vast majority of the cost since those three nations all have an immense amount to lose if global warming gets more extreme.
Both India and China are in extremely weather sensitive areas with large populations and a government that would be unable to cope if food shortages became a thing and economic instability happened. America just doesn't want the hassle of being the golden egg if food shortages break down, it'll probably fair pretty well for quite some time, but the 40% of Americans that are obese will be poorly situated to survive in extreme weather events.
My response is:
1. China is doing stuff. Not enough perhaps, but arguably more than we are.
2. Who are we to say anything? Canada has the highest per capita emissions in the world. If anybody should be first, shouldn't it be us?
But the free riding problem is still real. "Climate clubs" would completely demolish the "but China" problem.
You assume that it will require power (read: coercion & violence) in order to deal with climate change.
For a few hundred years we've had an ever-growing state in most places in the world, reaching levels of power undreamed of by rulers of the past. Yet climate problems persist with no sign of stopping. Relying on the current political order will not result in anything different. All nations exist in a state of anarchy with respect to one another.
So we're at a crossroads: do we empower global government to control the entire population, in order to address climate problems? Or do we admit that government cannot solve the problem and look to more imaginative -- and less violent -- solutions?
I for one don't expect that global government will work out quite like its proponents envision. Is anyone fit to be King of the Earth?
Yes, even when it's a celebrity or elected official, we should just utterly ignore them.
Whenever I hear about a celebrity breakup like it's actual news I shudder.
Anecdotally, the hn community does have an obvious majority on most issues, including this one, but is still good about allowing dissenting opinions to be heard, because it is necessary for the mission of satisfying intellectual curiosity.
There has to come a point where a consensus is so solid that continuing to play devils advocate is a disqualifying act. We know the planet is changing, and we know we are doing it. This is no longer a subject to be debated, end of.
It's not about "Those who disagree with me" it's "Those who disagree with widely accepted facts." and are causing real harm by doing so.
But that isn't a reason to create climate blasphemy laws. Because the scientists could easily be wrong about a lot of it. History is littered with superseded theories in science.
I went to a presentation of a tenured climate scientist from a good school, who gave a somewhat skeptical presentation on climate change. He didn't dispute that global warming is real or is man-made. He just thought the postive feedback loops were a lot stronger than IPCC concesuss estimated.
But other professors from non-science disciplines came and read him the riot act during the Q/A portion. Being challenged is good. But some of the questions strongly implied he shouldn't publish anything challenging the status quo. That's bad.
“Yet a polemical tactic has developed which enables virtually any general statement, however true, to be flatly denied, simply because it is not 100 percent true in all circumstances...Even in the days of Stalin, to make a distinction between the Communist world and the free world was to invite sarcastic dismissals of this distinction, based upon particular inadequacies, injustices, or restrictions found in “the so-called ‘free world,’ ” as the intelligentsia often characterized it, which kept it from being 100 percent free, democratic, and just.”
So >90% of coverage should be about what >90% of people think, and <10% of coverage should be what <10% of people think.
Let's make it proportional.
Some celebrities are smart - some have degrees in neuroscience... but I really don't care to hold their opinion over anyone else's.
2. Learn about how people actually change their minds, instead of trying to coerce and shame them and then shunning them when they don't take your point of view instantly.
3. Be open-minded to the valid points they may have. Almost no one is 100% wrong, and you are not 100% right. But when you start from a "you're wrong and stupid" perspective, your audience digs in their heels deeper.
4. Coordinate memetic campaigns to provide an alternative viewpoint to people who might be on the verge of being taken in by the wrong and stupid.
5. Provide a safe harbor for people who might possibly change their minds. Recognize that by changing their worldview they may be shunned by their existing family, friends, and/or community. They need to know that if they join your worldview they're not going to be shamed for not joining it sooner.
>Because you people
One of the worst ways you can start a discussion if you actually want people to listen to you but ok. You people being those that trust and listen to scientists and data over politicians and pop culture figures with no scientific training or background? If anything, it is climate change deniers that treat it like a religion, blindly believing in something.
> Some things are true, some things aren't. Your 'climate change nightmare' of what might happen in 40 years is the daily reality for billions of people
Correct, and climate change is true and a daily reality for everyone living on earth.
>And just because someone doesn't buy into the same bs you do, does not make them a troll
He never said it did, he simply stated that there are a large number of trolls online that deny climate change exists which is also true
and 'you people' which you bashed me for, is no different than saying '90% of scientists' good job trashing your own argument.
Everyone knows China and India lead GHG growth by country, and they have no real interest in increasing the costs for their poorest and most vulnerable, and neither does the West (see "yellow jacket protests"). Increasing energy costs under the justification of protecting the poorest in the world from environmental catastrophe, which only leads to highers costs to those very same people is very sordid "logic." It's almost a thought-crime situation.
I heard a pundit on NPR this morning point to flooding in the midwest this spring as evidence of GCC, despite the problem going back 200 years. Of course, addressed by our benevolent government with 12 separate Flood Control Acts, costing billions of dollars. It started, coincidentally, in 1917 (i.e. Lenin's Russian Revolution).
> Exxon internal researchers knew about the incoming crisis since 1982.
> ...they started sponsoring anti climate change material producing organizations and supporting its dissemination. A wildly succesful project that has probably paid itself back with a large factor.
So yeah, find a way for lowering emissions to create money and power and then .aybe there would be the motivation to do so.
"You dont want to give No-Strings-Attached money to China to help the environment? You must be a Anti-Science Denier!"
Wineries are moving up into Oregon and Washington now, following the climate . It takes ~7 years for the grapes to get to a point where you can make wine out of them, hence moving up there now and planting.
This climate crisis is going to ruin Napa and already kinda is. ~81% of the grapes can't manage in the heat by 2080 , that's 4 of every 5 vines just dying in the sun. Meanwhile, the Napa Valley Vinters Association's head is firmly in the sand  and remains steadfastly confused that climate is weather.
I worry that poor countries like my home country, which has not much resource to migrate people in mass, will face serious issues in the near future. Having said that, I also believe in the resilience of the people there. They have been through military dictatorship and whatnot, so I have faith that they will survive albeit with huge cost of lives and property...
Climate change will disturb world's political and economic systems, and I hope (and kind of believe) that the humanity can survive through this ordeal. In my honest opinion, it's too late to stop climate change, and the best we can do is to do our individual parts to mitigate the effects and come up with ways to cope with it the best we can.
Climate change is not a binary thing, it's a process. We absolutely still have the opportunity to stop it from getting much much worse. So let's not give up and fight on that front as well!
Unchecked climate change could mean that the weather conditions hurting farmers this year will become increasingly common and result in higher costs for the federal government, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report.
The report, issued by the USDA’s Economic Research Service, found that if greenhouse gases are allowed to continue to increase, U.S. production of corn and soybeans—which are more susceptible to extreme heat during growing season—could decline as much as 80% in the next 60 years.
This is a problem. The US has some of the most fertile growing regions in the world and if we stop exporting cheap grain there will be global hunger and strife.
Shits about to get real yo.
He who controls the Spice controls the Universe.
In the Twin Cities, for instance, the altered jet stream has greatly increased both colder-than-usual and hotter-than-usual patterns that stick around for longer. So although our average increase looks low, for instance this summer espeially we are having unusually hot streaks followed by unusually cold streaks (and the winters have been very bad over the past several years, with two 'polar vortex' years due to arctic air masses displacing on us, which is greatly impacted by climate change and arctic warming).
TL;DR I'd be very interested to look at the data shifts in temperature more deeply and see which areas are impacted by both hotter AND colder weather, which wouldn't show up in an examination of averages.
The system has become completely unstable to the point where weather models no longer seem to be able to output accurate results.
Filed under believe but cannot prove: Agriculture interrupted the background warming & cooling cycle.
If humanity is to survive climate crisis, we'll need to actively manage the entire carbon cycle. aka Garden Earth.
This I agree with.
In all this turmoil and disappointment that we screwed up our ecosystem, regardless of whoever is at fault, it's about time we step up to evolve into a specie which can control their home planet's climate to a large extent.
I may be day dreaming but I see controlling climate as next progression in our evolution.
And when I say "controlling climate", I don't mean it at expense of arresting development or hoping that people will just stop indulging themselves etc.
I think that is a very hard marketing battle to win since the idea of climate change to many people just means warmer temperatures.
I think a lot of people in colder climates feel they have little to lose. The actual massive scale effect is extremely difficult to comprehend, even after watching excellent documentaries. I think it is only something most voting citizens will care about when it effects them personally & by then it would be far to late.
* Based on living in the Midwest
- Edit - Giving this more thought I wonder if these articles need to be less about temperature changes & reflect more about increases of extreme weather & effects on farms.
But yes, people have been indoctrinated in associating warmth and heat with "good". I trace it back to the post-WW2 era, with the development of paid holidays and tourism in the sun. Before that, the part of population who could afford holidays would either go to spa resorts in the mountains or to the North Atlantic shores; i.e. they would go to places which were cooler than the places they usually lived, not to places that are hotter than those places where they lived which are already hot in in summertime.
From the 60's to the 80's, sun was promoted as an extremely positive value. The more sun you could get, the healthier you would be. You'd have to get more and more tanned.
Previously, people protected themselves from the sun. Hat, scarfs, long sleeves were worn. Shades were looked after, and large trees were planted along the roads and most squares. Houses (also for practical reasons) had smaller windows, unlike the fad of large window bays which make the room behind unbearable as soon as the sun shows up.
There has been lately a little bit of back-pedalling on a few of those aspects, but the main principle ("sun, heat, and light are good for you") has not changed much and remain quite deeply ingrained in most people.
I find it infuriating that in 2019, TV and weather forecast anchors still always present long streaks of hot, dry and cloudless days as a "beautiful weather" for which we should rejoice. It doesn't matter if the main news theme of the previous days has been climate change/warming, or the drought hitting farmers, nope, 24 h later they use the same wording again. I mean, they could finish their sentence with "a beautiful weather for those who fancy this or that activity", that would be fine, but they never do: in their mind it is must be good and welcome for everyone. At the same time, as a fair scale gardener I see half of my crops die from the drought or the heatwave, because it has rained only once in 8 weeks, despite the fact that I am supposed to live in one of the chamber pots of my country... :-(
I think it indicates a huge cultural inertia, even though this culture was only (IMO) recently born, in the second half of the XXth century. Despite the awareness which has been rising in the last 15 years, it hasn't yet translated into the common mental model.
: not sure how well it translates in English: a place where it rains very often.
>Summers in the Midwest tend to be humid and hot. Temperatures in the 80s and 90s are common, and in many areas of the region, the temperature rises to triple digits at least a few times each summer.
The thought is it will translate to less cold winters. I'm not arguing that this is great logic, just pointing out the common thoughts I overhear.
Following a bit the same kind of logic, I often hear people complaining "Phew, enough with this bad weather!", when, after a series of 8 dry hot sunny days, it has been raining only for a half-day (and it will not last any longer)...
Concerning farming, I'd rather have a steadily cold winter, than a warmer winter with a 1 or 2 days cold spike a month after crops have started growing, having started early because of a too early and too warm winter period. (We've had that too this winter here.)
Having lived many years above Arctic Circle, would I have wished for warmer winters? Shorter ones, yes, a bit, because it gets a bit monotonous in the end. But warmer, not really.
Science will not save us. God will not save us. It will not be okay. And unless you're currently on your deathbed, you will feel the effects of climate change. You will be fucked.
I suspect only drastic, world wide, almost revolutionary political change could effectively halt the massive carbon generating machine that is human industry. Except the problem with massive revolutions is that they tend to cause conflict, which tends to increase emissions (tanks don't exactly run on solar).
Man, I'm pretty damn close to joining a doomsday cult.
I think the far bigger problem will be that it won't really be that bad for the next 50 years, leading to complacency, and we will hit the point of no return before we really feel much impact in the richer western countries.
The 18 month stat is a mashup of two totally different deadlines. First, that we need strong emissions commitments by 2020, which is not a meteorological deadline but a political one: UN meeting schedules and the Paris Agreement call for strengthened emissions plans by 2020, so failing to act by then implies an overall lack of political will. Second, the IPCC report that CO2 emissions need to peak by 2020 to keep warming below 1.5 C by 2100. That's important and hard to reach, but "peak" is not "become net negative" and >1.5C is not "doomed".
The 12 year stat is basically backwards - confusing an emissions deadline with a temperature peak. The IPCC finding is that we'll reach 1.5 C of total post-1975 warming between 2030 and 2050, and that major emissions cuts by 2030 (and net-zero by 2050) could limit warming to 1.5C. The worst case described was 3C by 2100, not 2030, and harms arriving some time after their "locked in" warming thresholds.
None of that means it's not a serious problem, or that rapid action isn't needed, but I'm really disturbed to see people predicting death and doom for what are actually emissions deadlines. It seems like an attempt to trick people into acting fast, but action that fast isn't actually possible. I think that instead we're going to get to the 2020s and be hearing "you said the world would end but things are still basically ok, you're full of shit, clearly we don't need to keep taking action".
This isn't necessarily validated by hard scientific evidence, but I have a suspicion that climate change is exacerbating conflict in the middle east. For one, heat is a known catalyst for violence. But also, as desertification takes effect, resources become constrained, creating conflict.
The US has a refugee crisis stemming directly from the loss of arable land in Central America, and Europe is suffering from one as a result of the a massive drought and the Arab Spring hitting Syria.
Effects of emissions take about 20-30 years to be seen, so today’s emissions are already locked in to be felt mid-century. That should help put the 1 degree C rise you mentioned in proper context.
So, yes, things are that gloomy. We need immediate, global efforts in a war-like sense to change our entire energy sector if we are to avert the worst of it, and of course we’re only headed faster and more headstrong in the opposite direction. It’s not incorrect to say that we’re most likely completely fucked, and that Gen Z will be the last generation to experience a peaceful planet.
We have hit the point of no return. The only options available to us right now are how to minimize the inevitable effects.
I don't think we can fix this problem.
The best possible solution, at this point, is to try to build "habitats" for humans to survive in for as long as it takes for the ecosystem to reboot.
That obviously won't work for long term since historically, after a mass extinction, it takes about 50 million years for a new diverse ecosystem to get established.
We'll have to evolve as a species, both biologically and socially, in order to survive the extremes and lack of resources.
The question is if we can accomplish that evolution, even with the benefits of science, within time. Do we have 100 years? 200 years? 500 years? Even if we can survive in a mad-max style dystopia for 200 years, would we even have the ability to manufacture multi-generation shelters at that point? If we manufacture them now, would people stay in them even when the ecosystem hasn't yet collapsed?
How long can we live in an underground bubble before it falls apart and we're thrown into a world that's not hospitable for regular human life anymore? Can we survive as a species with a population collapse from almost 8 billion to a few dozen million?
The only "magic bullet" I can see saving us is if someone figures out cheap and accessible fusion energy. Nearly unlimited cheap energy could power a lot of otherwise impossible "moon shot" projects to try to save our species.
Anyone who generally participates in the modern lifestyle that most of us share is one way or another contributing to the problem. Your passion is misplaced - wasted, even - unless you yourself are making drastic changes to how you live.
On a serious note, I hear you and agree with you to a certain extent.
Indulge me for a moment, in long run most likely universe will end up in heat death. So yes, we are screwed.
But right now, it's time for action. We need to think of engineering solutions.
There are 2 key problems here:
1. amount of CO2 in atmosphere
2. heat added by sun every day.
Fix any one of them and we stand a chance. There are ways of fixing it from accelerating photosynthesis (chemically or by optimizing plant growth by controlling env. it's growing in etc.) or having a sun shade at L1 or just literally planting more trees.
I am assuming you are a techie, so you are well equipped with tools and you are certainly not happy, so you have a motivation.
We may not be able to solve it perfectly we can certainly make a huge dent.
Here's an alternative approach: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-market_environmentalism
> Free-market environmentalists therefore argue that the best way to protect the environment is to clarify and protect property rights. This allows parties to negotiate improvements in environmental quality.
I would not hold my breath waiting for ExxonMobil, the Saudi Royal family, or any other powerful entity to give up property rights. This outcome is worse for them than turning the planet into slag.
> Owners face a strong incentive to take care of and protect their property. They must decide how much to use today and how much to use tomorrow. Everybody is trying to grow value. Corporate value and share price is based on their anticipated future profits. Owners with the possibility of transferring their property, either to an heir or through sale want their property to grow in value. Property rights encourage conservation and defend resources against depletion, since there is a strong incentive to maximize the value of the resource for the future.
Just like a CEO would never risk the long term sustainability of the company for fat short term bonus. /s
If humans were rational and were maximizing for future value we wouldn't be in this position.
It's easy to be skeptical but there are plenty of rational Christians who believe humans are made in the image of God, and while humans are inherently sinful (think the greed that plays a role in accelerating climate change), this brings them further from God. They believe that the closest to God you can be is to be essentially humanitarian. Humanitarians by definition would put aside personal gain to help their fellow humans (help reduce/eliminate climate change). Also that since the earth was given to us a gift, it is our responsibility to be good stewards.
Not all religious people think this way, but there does seem to be a sizable contingent who do.
It's a near impossible battle to fight, but that doesn't make it ok to give up. You eat an elephant by taking one bite at a time (and trying to convince other people how good elephant meat tastes)
^ Arguably Snowpiercer but people still interpret the ending in an optimistic fashion
It's a terrifying problem facing the world and like you said - it definitely could be the case that by the time rapid change starts occurring, it will already be too late. However, it might also be the case that it will just be a slow change that will be more manageable to tackle in time. "Rapid change" when it comes to climate science could mean over the course of a thousand years or over the span of seconds (K-T bolide impact extinction, Ordovician-Silurian (if it was caused by a gamma ray burst)).
The problem is that climate science is an incredibly complex field with an overwhelming number of interconnected factors and so all hypotheses are built on upon assumptions that are built upon assumptions. This is why it often comes down to the verbiage that you see so often in these types of discussions where people "believe" one way or another. The stakes are extremely high though and we can already say for certain that historically rapid change is taking place.
While I personally believe that it is a problem that warrants immediate action, I think it's counter-productive to demonize and strawman all who don't hold one's exact views as climate deniers or (on the other side) climate alarmists. This will only further entrench people in their views, widening the divide between people, and causing them to be more dismissive of anything that doesn't affirm their belief.
If people were more open to actively trying to hear out the other side and find common ground, it will be easier to come to a joint conclusion. By earnestly listening to people, they will in turn be more likely to hear you out as well. The vast majority of people don't actually hold extremist positions but because of the easy amplification of a noisy few, rampant strawmanning is taking place.
(I don't mean to imply you personally are doing any demonizing, or are guilty of the strawmanning, It's just something I often see in comments and wanted to give my two cents)
The show made a big deal about how communist secrecy and denial obstructed the solution, made the problem worse, and even allowed it to happen in the first place. "A nuclear disaster cannot occur in the Soviet Union".
But when I think about how we're reacting to climate change, it really seems like we're pretending the problem doesn't exist the same way they did, but without the corresponding succeed-at-all-costs extreme problem solving.
Going by evolutionary theory, that means the more our total population increases the smaller average human body size must shrink, so we would consume less input resources and produce less waste individually. Same reason why giant dinosaurs went extinct yet little cockroaches survived. Those T-Rex'es required massive calories consumption to sustain themselves, yet there was no longer enough resources in the environment to fuel them.
The problem is for any of those biological changes to take place and for human to evolve (assuming the evolutionary theory is true), that process will be a slow and gradual one, likely to take hundred thousands or even millions of years. Climate change certainly doesn't operate within even a remotely similar time frame. Once it hits, resources will become scarce so in the worst case if we cannot stop climate change, the only possible solution is to practice reducing average consumption level to minimum, or to forecast optimal numbers of the world's total population that can still be accommodated by the Earth at each level of damage produced by climate change, then find a way to relentlessly control that number to keep it within limit.
I sincerely hope we will never have to come to that scenario as countries which own nuclear power will possess massive advantages over others.
But the areas of the world now with less population growth (such as the US) also consume much more resources than the areas with higher population growth. So resource consumption is a big problem. But I think it's not helpful to frame it as a "population" problem, as we expect the population to level off.
I have read 2007 IPPC report and evidence of the above two claims is burried under mountains of fear mongering and dire predictions about the consequences of the claims being correct. The actual evidence is barely addressed and comes down to trusting a handful of computer models that only a few dozen people understand.
Recent warming amount and rate is not unusual for the earth's recent pre-human past.
When you add to this the myriad of political causes that have latched on to anthropogenic hypothesis being true, its pretty reasonable that informed individual is sketical. Especially with authoritarians calling for violence and censorship against"climate deniers".
I'd rather have politicians saying "there's no such thing as climate change" with people fighting back against them then have politicians saying "climate change is real, and you can help fight it by giving up plastic straws!" sapping the willingness of people to do anything more - something that might actually be of use.