Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

You're right about those people, but I'm not talking about them. There are people living in extreme poverty today who won't even be alive anymore by the time sea level rise causes a problem.

Who are we to claim that climate change is the most pressing issue facing humanity, when much of humanity faces unrelated life threatening issues?

You're looking at humanity through the lens of an individual. The reality is that the threats to people in extreme poverty are not going to threaten humanity as a whole.

I am defining humanity as the progression and prosperity of the human race. Climate change could ultimately threaten the entire human race. It could even result in extinction in the worst case scenario.

I disagree with the comment that because of this, all minds should be focused solely on this issue, and that all other problems should be ignored. But the reality is that a small subset of humanity living in extreme poverty does not pose an existential threat to civilization or the human species.

Only a small percentage of the population lives in extreme poverty today, yes.

But even a smaller percentage deals with significant issues due to climate change, today. The changes thus far have been excessively inflated, and may be net-positive so far.

You're right about the worst case scenario, GHG emissions could in theory lead to Earth becoming like Venus or somewhere in between the two where the atmosphere is bad enough to cause the end of humanity. But this is extremely unlikely and might not even be possible with the sum of our economically accessible fossil fuel reserves.

In reality, it seems there is still a threat of huge increase in poverty due to some WW3 type event, or a superbug global plague, or something like that.

I think it's unfair to weigh climate change above poverty at the moment, even for the overall prosperity of the human race.

In fact, I think climate change will end up being much worse for the rest of life on Earth than humanity. We have the advantage of being able to plan and react in advance, so we will probably be fine for a long time to come, but most plants and animals might go extinct.

Humanity is not facing extinction, even if we indulge in global thermonuclear war.

Comfortable civilization will vanish, for at least centuries, taking with it food security, education, and high-tech industry. We will retain iron scrapping. We might keep dentistry, in luckier pockets.

There are people who are alive today, and who won't be next year because of extreme weather events tied to climate change.

And that's before getting into real live issues to do with water rights, habitation, crop resilience to changing weather patterns, energy access and usage. These issues are likely to spark wars in our lifetime (if they haven't already.. Syria and the Arab Spring was tied to crop failures and high food prices). And these issues disproportionately affect the poor living today. Entirely aside from rising sea levels which will compound the damage

I'm not sure this is true, at least not on net.

Do you have any scientific evidence showing a net global increase in extreme weather events in the last several decades?

It is true. "New data show that extreme weather events have become more frequent over the past 36 years, with a significant uptick in floods and other hydrological events compared even with five years ago, according to a new publication" https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180321130859.h...

Have you even looked out the window, lately?

Not all areas experience extreme weather. Where I live, there's basically no extreme weather ever.

Lucky you. That experience does not generalize.

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