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These articles scare me. Another one with exactly the same message: Things are worse than we thought, it was already bad, we are not coming close to doing enough to save us, there isn't even much of a plan.

And then I see most of the west handling covid-19 just like we handle everything: No clear direction, minimal effort, leaders asleep at the wheel, politicians trying to get the better of each other, rich people get richer.

Climate was an important theme in our last elections, but even the green party had no clue whatsoever, and the voters made it clear they did not even remotely care.

Now Covid-19 is easy stuff compared to the climate. I was hoping Covid-19 could serve as a wake up call for the cost of incompetence in our organisations. But that does not seem to happen.

Covid-19 has a pattern I also see in the climate: First, nobody cares for some theoretical crisis far away, then its in our countries but still not personal, and by now everybody knows about a specific person who died. Climate is a theoretical crisis far away for now.

So how do we proceed from here?




The book Collapse by Jared Diamond is frightening. It shows that throughout history, civilizations have collapsed with eyes wide open. Unlike today, those civilizations faced local collapse, now we have the potential of global collapse and we haven’t changed a goddamn bit


These articles also scare me, as well as make my angry because we collectively could be doing so much to mitigate this.

A key problem is that political division has been weaponized, and a good chunk of the population doesn't believe in these threats because it's a "liberal conspiracy". Currently the US federal government is being helmed by these very same people.

I don't know if there is a solution that is available, but I think part of it is to develop messaging that can point to solutions that "the average person" can both understand and feel some stake in its implementation and success.


>"liberal conspiracy"

Call it what you want. I don't know that the social engineering campaign was developed on one "side" or the other-- I assume its planning and implementation goes "deep"er than that, and pervades both sides of the aisle.

Given the evidence, who questions whether or not there is a social engineering campaign?

it's quite obvious to me.

The "dots" connected for you:

https://ibb.co/gj76Frc

The "dots":

[1] 1/n Spent some time on LexisNexis over the weekend. Depending on your political orientation, what follows will either disturb or encourage you. But regardless of political orientation, I'm sure we can all say 'holy fucking shit'" https://twitter.com/ZachG932/status/1133440945201061888

[2] The NYTimes is Woke "Many trends develop over decades but I’ve never seen change so rapid as the breathtaking success of what one might call social justice concerns. Beginning around 2010-2014 there appears to have been a inflection point. Here from Zach Goldberg on twitter are various words drawn from Lexis-Nexis." https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2019/06/th...

[3] Discussion on how identity politics conveniently sprang up as a counter-movement to deliberately disrupt up the Occupy Wallstreet movement, which is corroborated by the timelines of sources 3 and 4 above. https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/1wecyn/identity...


> Climate was an important theme in our last elections, but even the green party had no clue whatsoever, and the voters made it clear they did not even remotely care.

Climate should have been an important theme, but because there seemed to be little coverage or comparison of climate change policy, I can’t blame the voters for not factoring it into their decisions. Why was there no DNC-hosted climate change debate? There was too much punditry and too little substance for voters to make informed decisions.


Because the DNC exists to represent the interests of people who want to see a climate collapse.

Some of the democratic candidates don't share that view, but the party leaders do.


I have no love for the DNC but I think that their interests go no deeper than currying favor for their corporate patrons.

"Ordinary" democrats by and large do care about climate change.

On the other side of the aisle, it's easy to see disregard for the science in both leadership and party members. Among that population is a significant chunk that is deeply religious and looking forward to the apocalypse.

I may get hate for this comment, but it's meant as a summary assessment of position, not of judgement (which I am happy to share in other contexts).


The problem is this:

What ordinary corporate patrons want is incompatible with avoiding climate collapse at this point. Maybe we could have pulled it off if we started in the 00s, but the cure is going to be far more painful today, after we wasted two decades.

Ordinary corporate patrons aren't interested in higher energy costs, much higher transportation costs, and economic contraction. They aren't interested in getting net CO2 emissions down to zero. Given the two options, they would rather take the climate collapse outcome.


It's always about the profits, we just have to make it more profitable to do the right thing, eh?

Of course this may be a wee bit easier said than done. But the first place to start is the "marketplace of ideas."


I feel like that folks might finally be able to grasp the value in changing our ways. These photos are pretty dramatic. Seeing these changes could help push more folks to care and speak up. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/11/positive...


I wish I shared your optimism. I see photos of remote places, that have issues I don't have to worry about (being sarcastic here, I've literally been there and experienced that smog, its terrible even short term).

I guess people need to feel immediate and very personal threat and loss to change their view. That's the problem - to change entrenched view of billions, to move from not-my-problem to my-problem-too. Would be nice to use some psychological tricks. Don't ask me which ones


> So how do we proceed from here?

Like we always do when our leaders fail us. Organise and rebel.


Seriously, who do we hit first, and how?

How about big pharma and exclusively using water-boarding so nobody gets killed? Is that too far? What is too far? What is an is not acceptable in terms of punishment for extreme destruction of the earth and general oppression/enslavement of humanity? Are we really going to give them a slap on the wrist while torturing pot dealers?


I think torture is always wrong and calling for it is always wrong. Your comment, as responded to, has no place here and is hateful and vile, no matter how justified and entitled to violence you feel you are. Go soak your head.


You're harmless, and would never deserve such punishment. You don't understand this, but some people aren't like you and require hard boundaries. Hard boundaries as in pain.

You have to understand: not everyone is like you. Not everyone is harmless.


So on top of environmental collapse we can have social collapse as well? Sounds like a recipe for success.


A social collapse would coincide with an economic collapse and lower emissions. Honestly, speaking as a former climate change-adjacent geophysicist, I'd take it.

It is becoming fairly clear we will have revolutions. At some point, things will deteriorate to the point it will happen. Normalcy bias is a hell of a drug, and we are all sniffing it really hard.

The ruling class is unwilling and unable to solve this or any other wide-scale societal problem we have. Ruling classes never yield power without force.


Why do you prefer that outcome? Social and economic collapse could cost millions of lives, and mostly among the poorest parts of the world.


We're headed towards a collapse either way, with many, many millions dying. Very possibly billions over the course of this century. Either it's a major society upheaval leading towards positive change, or it's just general societal breakdown as civilization as we know it becomes impossible. Our current political-economic system is simply not up to the challenge, so not having upheaval is not an option.

A comparatively mild collapse sooner is better than later. This really is an existential threat like we have never experienced.


Have you considered alternative scenarios?


Yes. This is something I think about quite a bit, since I did used to work on climate-change related geophysics. If we started combating climate change decades ago, we wouldn't need such a drastic change. Realistically, no real change will happen for another decade, but our backs are already up against a wall.

Having waited so long, the changes required are unbelievably radical and painful, in that our entire way of life must change. AOC and Bernie's Green New Deal is woefully inadequate, and that's considered extreme. I can't see that happening when we can't even figure out how to make paper face masks.


But if human civilization has flourished in much warmer earth in the past, why are you so convinced that a warming globe is necessarily a bad thing? Humans seem pretty adaptable, especially if the change is slow like climate change seems to be. That would seem like a good alternative view to investigate before putting all your money on "destroy the current world order".


Human civilization has not flourished in a much warmer earth. That is 100% falase.

Human civilization has only existed during the Holocene, which has been a period of stability. We are now in the Anthropocene.

These changes are also very fast. By 2050, we will be living in a different world. Even in the 2030s, climate change will cause massive amounts of instability in developing countries due to droughts and famines, and huge migrant crises. It only takes 2-3 major food producing regions to have significantly failed harvests at once to have a famine on the scale of 1-2 billion going hungry. With a stable climate, this hasn't happened. However, it becomes more likely all the time.

The changes we are facing will lead to large portions of the tropics being uninhabitable without A/C and unsuitable for agriculture. That is where most of the world lives. This change is happening very fast, faster than we can adapt. Our industrial civilization depends on immense resource consumption on a global scale. This will be completely disrupted.

Trust me, I know a lot about the climate and its effects. It is a bad thing. No one seriously says it isn't. It's delusional to think it could be a good thing. Your line of thinking is just a continuation of the denialist garbage that got us into this mess.


I'll take your word you are an expert, and what you say sounds alarming. I cannot make all the connections, though. For instance, much of the Middle East lives in temperatures that fry eggs during the midday. I was in Afghanistan during the summer, not always with A/C. Not pleasant, but I wouldn't say uninhabitable. I also wonder about being unsuitable for agriculture, since plants flourish in greenhouses, which are quite hot and humid.

On the other hand, I can accept there will be large droughts, famines, and huge human migrations in the future. Our population continues to both climb dramatically, while congregating in a few very dense areas, mostly the cities where living is easier. That is clearly an unsustainable model.


I used to be a glaciologist, specifically. People don't grow significant crops in those hot deserts. Afganistan has hot summers, but not horrifically hot compared to some areas. Afganistan also has low humidity, which is key for our ability to perspire. The worst-hit areas are humid tropical climates.

Middle eastern populations in the hottest and humidest areas usually have AC. Most other places aren't quite so bad, due to lower humidity if not lower temperature. Traditional populations lived in stone or mud brick houses that can withstand the midday heat better.

There has been several occasions recently where the heat index has gotten near fatal in Rajasthan and Punjab, which caused quite a few deaths.

Greenhouses aren't that hot, usually not more than 30C. Not many plants like it super hot. Even plants in hot climates will do better if its a bit cooler. With hotter climates, plants (at least the ones people rely on) undergo more heat stress and have shorter growing seasons. Much of Africa is drying, especially the Sahel. Similar situations will occur in many parts of S. America and Asia.

A big distinciton here is timeframe and how much mitigation happens. We are more or less locked into a 3C rise, which is really bad. And that's our effective best-case scenario. However, if mitigation fails, and it has thus far, a 7C rise by the end of the century is not out of the question. That will lead to a total civilizational collapse and probably eventual human extinction. We wouldn't be able to maintain an industrial civilization in such an environment, and we'd have to fall back on localized, less industrial production. But, the environment would be so degraded that non-intensive agriculture probably couldn't provide enough food to stave off continual population declines.


Thanks, this is more convincing. So it looks like it is the,combination of great heat and humidity. Would that combination lead to more cloud cover and then back to cooling?

And, thank you for answering my questions, vs just dismissing me as a denialist. The way you are approaching the issue is making it easier for me to understand.


Standing up is the opposite of collapse. Failure to stand up is required for the collapse to go ahead.


Why do you think rebellion is synonymous with standing up?


It's not synonymous with it, it does entail it. Why would you think resistance against sleepwalking into the collapse of human civilization as something deserving of such a title, which would entail incredible suffering, is synonymous with "society collapsing"?

To quote the White Rose: "If a person cannot even summon the strength to demand his rights, then there is nothing left for him but destruction." If someone person equates that with random fighting and murder that says nothing about resistance as such, it's very clearly attacking the weakest form of the argument.


Rebellions are sometimes the only recipe for success. Think about Women's suffrage movement, civil rights movement, anti war movements etc.


I agree civil movements and bloodless revolutions through the political process are good. Violent overthrows are bad, AFAIK almost always resulting in a much worse regime than the one being overthrown. The USA's founding is a fortunate divergence from the norm. More recently, look at the Bolshevik revolution, resulting in over 100 million dead.


Agree. I should be more specific next time. By "rebel" I don't mean violent overthrows. I mean peaceful civil disobedience.

Btw, here is some science on violent vs. non-violent uprisings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJSehRlU34w


Yeah, how many are dead from the american revolution? And how many were lifted out of poverty by each revolution? Since you can apparently trace all of history following a revolution to that revolution, how do you add up these numbers? While we're at it, how many deaths do you pin on the british empire and the russian empire?


How many were lifted out of poverty through capitalism, despite massive, bloody revolutions that resulted in genocidal regimes that killed untold millions of their own citizens?


I know how crappy it feels to be fearful of a future that you feel helpless to prevent. Those feelings gnaw at you day in and day out and cast a pall over everything to do and experience. I also know the future comes and the present becomes history with or without our active participation. We can no more stop it than stop an ocean wave from cresting on the shore.

All we can do is make the choices we can make and take the actions we can take so that when that day comes for us to breathe our last breath, we know that we did what we could for what we believed in. It will never feel like it was enough but it is all we can do.

For me, the late 70's were about how we were going to be completely out of oil by now and everything from plastic to driving around would be impossible. That and the levels of pollution were going to make it a requirement that you wear a gas mask outside. The 21st century was going to open up as a toxic wasteland of factories belching out pollution as we huddled to make clothes out of flax and vehicles out of wood. Oh and nearly every creature but people were going to be extinct because the 30 billion people living on the planet will be so starving even the rats aren't safe.

Of course here we are, 50 years later, and none of that has come to pass. But the point I took away wasn't that the people predicting that future were wrong, its that they made their predictions assuming nothing would change.

Some of the changes weren't even on the radar back in the 70's. If you told someone then that your hybrid car would get 50 miles to the gallon, where "good" gas mileage at the time as 12 or 15, they would laugh. Or if you told them that as people's standard of living went up, they stopped having so many children they would ask "What, sex is no fun in the future?" Or it you told them that their television would have 10x the screen size but hang on a wall and use 1/10th the power, they would say "Nah, even on Star Trek the screens are all small."

We don't live in a system on rails. We live in a massively interconnected system. When oil prices go up, we invest in solar, when people die from disease we invest in medicine, when species become threatened we adapt habitats.

Here comes the unpopular opinion, the current future killer is Climate Change. We have documented all the ways in which humans have impacted that climate. We are causing it to change in ways that we cannot predict what the effects of that change will be. But here is the thing, we know from geologic and other records that the climate has changed often on this planet without any help from humans. The system adapts to that change. Some species die, some develop, some change niches. We can guess that this future will be very different from our current circumstance, but more or less different than 1970 to 2020 ? How about 1820 to 2020? Or even 1720 to 2020?

I can promise you that things will happen over the next 50 years that are in none of the climate models. Humans could finally harvest fusion power, volcanism could wipe out half of humanity, ecosystems in formerly frozen lands could re-emerge into the semi-arid rain forests they were long ago.

None of those things will you or I have the ability to make happen or not happen. But it doesn't change the things that matter.

This pandemic will effect this generation. There is a sharp divide today between people who have lost someone they care about and people who haven't. The people who have lost are more motivated to change things than the ones who were not affected, as a result change will happen. Slowly, imperceptibly while it is happening, but looking back from 2030 to 2020 the changes that occurred due to this event will be as clear as the changes that happened because of 9/11 in the US. Some will be superficial, some will be more substantial, but the system will adapt. And for people born into it, it will be the only system they have ever known and so it will be comfortable and normal to them.

I know you're scared, fear is the mechanism we have that spurs us to change our behavior. It can be good for that as a survival reflex, but letting it wear on you over things you personally cannot change is not healthy. Make the choices and do the things you can do, vote for the people who feel you do about what needs to change, volunteer when you can to help programs that work to mitigate harm. Be a good person and be an example to others. It's the best anyone can do.


Thanks for this Chuck.


[flagged]


I think calling it selfishness is too simplistic. In my opinion, and this pandemic is a confirmation of sorts, people are just really bad at understanding dangers that are far away in physical distance or time.

While Covid-19 was clearly a pretty big problem in China, in the Western Hemisphere we were virtually oblivious to the dangers. Hell, people still went on vacation to northern Italy while warnings were being raised.

Nothing in our evolution has prepared us to deal with distant dangers like the ones we’re facing now.


>I think calling it selfishness is too simplistic.

Probably. But whether it is people's inability to not realize their selfishness, or folks that actively work to benefit the few, the outcome will be the same.

>While Covid-19 was clearly a pretty big problem in China, in the Western Hemisphere we were virtually oblivious to the dangers. Hell, people still went on vacation to northern Italy while warnings were being raised.

There are reasons for that. The public in the US was not informed nearly as early as we should have been. Just look back to when folks dumped stock after the briefing in January. We've had folks like Michael Osterholm telling us for years this was coming. He also warned of our current scenario in the early COVID days. The point is, the information that pandemic risk has been increasing is not new and has been largely ignored.

>Nothing in our evolution has prepared us to deal with distant dangers like the ones we’re facing now.

Some of us are clearly able to comprehend and adapt. But it does seem that we collectively we are still too naive.


[flagged]

eloff 42 days ago [flagged]

There is literally overwhelming evidence. Given that, I'm not sure what it would take to convince you that up is not down.


I gave my evidence in the two URLs to YC here, and those two have more good references, including some of the best.

I'm just a private citizen with no more skin in this game than anyone else, so I'm objective, open minded, and willing to learn.

So, of your "overwhelming" evidence, of which I claim there is none that is significant, let's see your three strongest.

By the way: I totally debunked the main piece of evidence, Al Gore's graph of CO2 and temperature from ice cores going back ~800,000 years.

Next, to be science, it has to make accurate predictions, and the predictions were among the worst in the history of science -- wildly wrong. Good science predicted black holes, the neutrino, and the Higgs boson and from some group theory and quantum mechanics can predict the spectral lines of molecules, but the climate science couldn't get future temperatures even close to right. I gave the reverence.

Pictures of swimming polar bears is not good evidence.

Pictures of Arctic ice melting in September is not good evidence; I want to see pictures of Arctic ice, wind velocities, and wind temperatures in February.

Pictures of coral reefs are a terrible way to measure temperature. When I was at the US National Bureau of Standards, we routinely measured temperatures to 0.01 C. Generally we can measure temperature quite accurately; pictures of coral reefs can't compete.

Pictures of glaciers meeting the sea are not good evidence.

Pictures of some one particular glacier in Greenland melting are not good evidence.

We HAD CO2 concentrations go up from 1940 to 1970, and temperatures went down, and that contradicts that higher CO2 concentrations yield higher temperatures.

I gave the reference to MIT's Professor R. Lindzen's comment that the warming since 1900 cannot be CO2 warming.

Droughts, animal deaths, COVID-19 are not good measurements of temperature.

Now, you do have three good pieces of solid scientific evidence for human sources of CO2 causing significant global warming?

eloff 42 days ago [flagged]

I could come up with 300 given enough time. But it's not my job to convince people who are unable to evaluate evidence rationally. You can't cherry pick three things out of three hundred. All your objections are strawmen - nobody claims a picture of a melting glacier is evidence of climate change. Now the satelite data showing Greenland and Antarctica losing ice at an unprecedented rate is good evidence. I want to say just take an honest look at the whole of the evidence, not just things that agree with your bias. I don't think you will though. Good luck with that attitude with anything in life - it has a way of punishing people whose mental model of the world drifts too far from reality.


You attacked me, your up and down.

A local community college, when the epidemic is over, should be able to give you a course in remedial reading sufficient for you to read and understand my posts I referenced.

For your 300 pieces of evidence, I asked for only three. So, you were unable to give even three and, instead, attacked my "rationality".

Rationality? I hold a Ph.D. in applied math from a world class research university, and have published peer reviewed research in several technical area.

Let's see your three best pieces of evidence.

avmich 42 days ago [flagged]

So, how do you explain scientific consensus on climate crisis?


MIT Professor R. Lindzen explains the consensus in

"The Great Global Warming Swindle"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52Mx0_8YEtg

The explanation is in one word -- money, as in two words, too much money.

In addition, look at the arguments. Since I hold a good STEM field Ph.D., I'm supposed to do that.

For more, I gave my explanations in the two URLs to YC I mentioned above.

eloff 42 days ago [flagged]

Wow, how does one achieve this level of self-deception? Can this power be used for good as well as evil?




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