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Climate Clock (climateclock.world)
44 points by amar-laksh 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 89 comments





Yeah, somehow I don't believe it. If we truly are only 7 years away from being totally fucked then I don't think we can actually do anything about it at this point. I mean, if it's true I feel like my coworkers who talk about this kind of stuff all the time would trade in their SUVs and start carpooling... You know, actually try to do something about it. But even the people I know who believe the world is gonna end in 7 years bc of global warming don't do anything about it unless it's superficial and only requires them to post a comment online.

I remain greatly annoyed by the class of individual who is typically well off, talks frequently about climate change, and has the attitude that "This is so important that the only thing one can possibly do is Vote Democrat and wait for them to fix it." While living a high carbon international type life that they likely don't even bother offsetting (because those are scams, you know - and I do agree with them there, carbon offsets smell very strongly of indulgences).

And it extends on upwards. I've yet to hear a compelling reason why a many-millionaire needs a huge house, but many certainly go that route. If you actually believed in what you were talking about regarding climate change, I can think of an awful lot of better ways to put tens of millions to use than a mansion with the heating and cooling energy requirements of a small island nation.


No amount of personal lifestyle changes will affect the end result and the only thing that will affect the end result is policy--specifically carbon pricing and border adjustments. So while I don't think "voting democrat" is sufficient (because they seem to do little more than lip service toward the climate), "personal responsibility and lifestyle changes" are a distraction (and a deliberate one that the fossil fuel industry invests in). Indeed, one has to raise awareness ("talk frequently about climate change"), pressure their representatives, and of course vote. Everything else is penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Note that I'm not a partisan, and any Republicans who want to help conserve the world (including the economy) are welcome at the table as far as I'm concerned.


imo personal responsibility and lifestyle adjustments are just the kind of grassroots behavior that could lead humanity out of this. why wait for the industrial/capital machine to see the light and change course?

this approach, however, would have to be widely adopted and it may take generations. it's not a quick fix but i suspect it would be longer lasting, being built on a societal foundation of healty eco-habits.


> why wait for the industrial/capital machine to see the light and change course?

Because you not using pesticide in your garden while 100 square miles around you are getting sprayed on an industrial scale is a nice symbolic action that makes you feel cosy, but nothing more. Similarily personal climate changes are nice, but don't you ever fool yourself that this would even remotely dent the current trend.

The changes we need are not on the scale of "everybody that can should take a bicycle instead of a car" they are on the scale of we need to restructure the whole damn mobility system, the energy sector, industrial sector, logistics on a scale that makes the industrial revolution look like a walk in the park.

This is not something you can do from the roots up starting in your own backyard, this must come as a huge transformative movement carried by many people and aided by governmental and industrial interest, otherwise it is just not going to be enough.


>this must come as a huge transformative movement carried by many people

I believe governmental and industrial interest will follow the example set by these "many people". How do transformative movements start anyhow?

In order to arrive at "the change we need", we have to start somewhere.

We're facing the same general task... just have different ideas about how to approach it.

Wait for it to fall in your lap, or work for it.


> […] "This is so important that the only thing one can possibly do is Vote Democrat and wait for them to fix it." While living a high carbon international type life […]

You're not wrong, but voting for politicians that think/thought that climate change is a Chinese conspiracy is hardly an option IMHO.

* https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2016/jun/03/hillary-cl...

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_conspiracy_theo...

> If you actually believed in what you were talking about regarding climate change, I can think of an awful lot of better ways to put tens of millions to use than a mansion with the heating and cooling energy requirements of a small island nation.

Again, not wrong, but just because people are hypocrites doesn't mean that they're wrong:

* https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/tu-quoque

Plenty of oncologists smoke cigarettes. :)


> You're not wrong, but voting for politicians that think/thought that climate change is a Chinese conspiracy is hardly an option IMHO

That's not what the OP was suggesting or implying. His was a statement about the ineffectiveness of political leadership so far and the irrational belief that simply voting means you've already done your civic duty. Yet, reliably, any comment about politics in the US instantly becomes about picking a side.

> Again, not wrong, but just because people are hypocrites doesn't mean that they're wrong:

It does mean that they're wrong. Someone who's a hypocrite will spend more time shuffling about blame and responsibility than addressing the problem at hand.

This approach is objectively wrong if your goal is to solve the problem.

> Plenty of oncologists smoke cigarettes

Since we're engaging in pointless pedantry and linking fallacies:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formal_fallacy


> I've yet to hear a compelling reason why a many-millionaire needs a huge house, but many certainly go that route.

Sure, it might look better if these millionaires practice what they preach and live in small cottages, but it won't move the climate needle in any meaningful way. It's basically the same argument as "If everyone was more mindful of their climate impact, the world will get better," which is already questionable, except that we now narrowed it into a small number of rich folk, so the impact is even more questionable.

Also, when Greta Thunberg decided she got tired of the hypocrisy and crossed the Atlantic in a yacht, people still made fun of her as being a spoiled rich kid. Some people will complain no matter what - let's ignore the messengers, and focus on the message.


Voting for Democrats also does pretty much nothing evident from the current stalemate on the 3.5T plan.

It's hard to avoid the obvious similarities between parties.

A Republican claims climate change isn't happening, or isn't human caused, or isn't a big deal, or we'll solve it somehow, and does nothing.

A Democrat claims climate change is the biggest issue facing humanity, it's a huge deal, it's all our fault, we have to take control of the economy to solve it, and... then does nothing.

Biden's plans didn't even hold up in the face of the risk of slightly increased gas prices before he was asking OPEC to do us a solid and pump more, please. They at least had the good sense to tell him to solve his own problems.


I appreciate what you're saying -- that the end result of a Democratic majority Congress, in addition to a Democratic President -- is the same. However, I do think it's unfair not to acknowledge 2 points:

  - The executive isn't all-powerful
  - The Senate has the slimmest possible majority, with 2 caucusing members hesitant to do anything without the other party purely because of optics
Add to that:

  - Progressive wings of the Democratic party have come up with comprehensive climate plans
  - Democrats do tend to set emissions reductions goals, while Republican tend to undo those emission goals.
I think it's unfair to say that both sides are the same on this issue, basically because two members of the Senate Democratic caucus are indifferent on the issue, even though darn near 100% of the Republican party is opposed to any action on climate change.

I agree, but this is a very small consolation to me. In particular, we're talking about a $3.5T budget, of which only a small amount goes to tackling climate issues and even those provisions are largely symbolic rather than serious. If Democrats were serious about climate, I would expect to see a full-court press on carbon tax (which actually generates revenue) with the social issues put on hold--because as important as social issues are, climate change is an existential threat. Imagine if we were invaded by the Chinese or Russians or aliens for that matter--would we prioritize social issues (perhaps with some half-hearted, billion-dollar gesture toward addressing the invasion), or would we sideline them to deal with the existential threat?

> ...or would we sideline them to deal with the existential threat?

Covid says, "We'd fight over whose fault the invasion was to try and make sure the other guy got the blame."

Just like every other dying empire seems to manage on the way down.


Absolutely agreed. Why actually do something when we can deflect to the other side? The partisans will console themselves with the knowledge that they chose the better side while the world burns around them.

The fossil fuel momentum is gargantuan, propelled by a growing population hungry for creature's comforts. Politicians will do what politicians do, take credit for the direction in which the wind blows. Doubtful they have any meaningful influence.

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/annual-co-emissions-by-re...


Whereas if we did not vote for Democrats, we'd have many policies that make things even worse. Remember, Republicans have agency too, and they use it to make everything much, much worse. Voting for Democrats, even if it's just to block Republican virulence, is therefore an undeniable positive act.

My objection is with the commonly held position that the solution to climate change is to "Sit back, relax, and Vote Democrat." That seems pretty well likely to end up in the same spot as "Doing nothing."

It's actually much more effective than expending energy obsessing about how much carbon you're emitting on a daily basis. Use that energy instead to vote/support/campaign for Democrats, because the marginal utility of having more Democrats in power is exponentially more important, given the consequences of not having them in power.

Use the energy to persuade your representatives to actually do something (including by raising awareness among your fellow voters) rather than voting for a particular party. Of course, Democrats are more likely to be persuaded, but "sit back and vote for Democrats because it's better than <shitty alternatives>" is a pretty surefire way to lose the climate war.

Pretty sure the 3.5T plan makes only symbolic gestures toward the climate ("EV charging stations", "civilian climate corps", "public transit"), so even if the Democrats were aligned on passing it, it still wouldn't make a difference.

Yeah, I don't think we're 7 years away from totally fucked. I think it's probably more like we reached the totally fucked point 7 years ago but most won't realize it for another 7 years.

I feel like looking at a prominent climate scientist's lifestyle, and looking at the measures they take would be a good indication of how fucked we are. If we are truly fucked I imagine they're taking some pretty drastic measures to do their part to fix the problem (or if we're passed the point of no return, to prepare for societal collapse or w/e).

Their part to fix the problem would be to make sure they're able to do the maximum to affect things at a macro level. That means not bothering to obsess about individual acts of emitting carbon, or putting finite resources into guilt-mollifying individual carbon offsets. If an environmentalist needs to attend a conference where they can better-influence the movers and shakers of the world, then they should take the most convenient form of transport to get there, not a sailboat.

Can you point to any instance in history when a stance of "Suffering for thee, not for me!" has actually worked well?

If the people who claim to be leading the movement aren't even willing to take major steps in their own lives to reduce their impact, how are they likely to lead others in that direction? Humans always have been, and always will, remain quite sensitive to hypocrisy.

I can make the best arguments ever heard for a vegan diet, but if I do so while munching a bacon double cheeseburger on the side, nobody is going to take me even the slightest bit seriously.


You're missing the point. Humans/citizens generally don't need to change their behavior, the world needs to change how it meets the demands of humans. There may be some environmentalists out there who say we need degrowth, or we all need to live in a commune, but those people are not going to be the ones who deliver the solution, because you're right, no one is going to bother following those people into the abyss, even if they do practice what they preach.

There are a few things we can and must do immediately.

1) Build any big power plants that will work for 30 years with no carbon emissions. If you're near equator or right on thermal vents, this may be renewable. Otherwise, build the darn nuclear fission plants post haste. We do not have 50 years to develop the alternative technologies. We barely have 15 to deploy all this. (I'm counting 3.5 C increase as likely deadly.) Close all fossil fuel plants. (You can have some for emergencies, just offline.) No ifs, buts or whens.

This immediately makes electric cars and other transportation more useful and viable too.

Tax won't do, it would get passed on to users. This includes oil and gas pipelines. They need to go.

2) Pour everything we can research wise into carbon capture or other means of cooling the planet, keeping water and food supplies rinning. Biotech, physics, chemistry, space technologies. It's too late to research clean energy sources at this point, though improvements in batteries and decentralized grid will be nice too.

Heck, halt ITER if it will get these researchers to work on immediately critical problems. (Like say desalination or batteries even.)

3) Ban fossil fueled transportation. Tax won't do, it's too slow and weak. Reduce transportation if we can. Note that this immediately kills big airplane operators. (Electric or renewable don't have the mileage - use boats or airships.) To avoid the temptation, retrofit or scrap these immediately instead of shipping to poor countries.

4) Stop making stuff from hydrocarbons. There are alternative plastics that do not outgas or require methane. Heck, growing feedstock for some will capture carbon.

5) Prepare agriculture and housing for extreme climate, depending on place this will be drought, cyclones, floods, desertification, even potentially freezing. There are ways to deal with every such challenge. For the love of all that is holy, stop cutting Amazon forests for beef farming. Provide incentives and alternatives, and if that does not work, outright ban it. Ensure all farming is redone to minimize methane emissions.

6) Secure garbage disposal against methane outflow and water table contamination. Do not ship garbage thousands kilometers away to not be processed.


> If an environmentalist needs to attend a conference where they can better-influence the movers and shakers of the world, then they should take the most convenient form of transport to get there, not a sailboat.

I never suggested they should. But if a climate scientist can't be bothered to do any of the things that would be required from the rest of society in order to fix the "end of the world" scenario, then they'd be a complete nutter to expect other people to jump on board.

The best way to lead is by example, not saying "ya'll need to do all these things that I'm not willing to do myself". That's a strategy straight out of the narcissists handbook, and has a tendency to completely backfire. If we're dealing with something like an "end of the world" scenario, this has got to be the single most insane thing for someone to do, or suggest should be the case. If you care about swaying minds, don't take the "rules for thee, not for me" approach. It won't work and you'll have just as much blood on your hands for being a nitwit.


Yeah, as skeptical as I am about a lot of this stuff (for one, I personally believe that the climate is too chaotic and has too many significant independent variables to model with much certainty), I've always cringed a bit at the people who insist that the leaders in the movement should all but stop emitting carbon. Certainly there is hypocrisy among those leaders who preach guilt and carbon abstinence, but there is a logical case to be made for pragmatism and focusing on the macro things rather than the micro details. I probably could word this better... but I think I've mostly made my point. :)

Considering no amount of lifestyle changes will put a dent in the carbon problem, I would expect a seriously concerned climate scientist to spend their energy advocating for the only thing that will make a difference: top down policy change (carbon pricing or clean energy mandates or similar).

That said, if I were a prominent polluter, I would want people to think that this is all a matter of lifestyle changes so I could keep on polluting while shaming you into some miserable vegan existence. :)


I don't think anyone actually believes this number. Think about what your life would be like if you literally believe the end of the world is coming in 7 years. I certainly wouldn't have kids. And if I were trying to change the world, I certainly wouldn't be focusing on Western countries who have had their emissions going down in absolute terms for the last few decades. I would focus on China who is the largest contributor to CO2 and is the fastest growing contributor. But dunking on the Chinese government isn't as satisfying as blaming the west.

Sure it might not be fair that China would never be able to enjoy the luxuries of the US, but we're talking about the literal end of the world. So lets focus on the place where we can make the most impact.

And to those that will reply that it's all actually driven by western countries outsourcing dirty production to poor countries, if you look at the trade adjusted CO2 emissions (excludes production for trade purposes), you'll see that consumption based emissions are still ~90% of China's CO2 ( see China: Consumption-based accounting: how do emissions compare when we adjust for trade?)

[0] https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/each-countrys-share-co2-emi...

[1] https://ourworldindata.org/co2/country/china


It sound like[0] This is not saying the world end in 7 years, nor is it even exactly saying something weaker like "the world will end in 50 years, but we have 7 years to prevent it." Rather, it's saying we have 7 years (at current emission levels) before we're over a 60% chance of eventually warming by 1.5˚C, which will probably have high-impact, potentially devastating effects.

[0] https://climateclock.world/science#deadline


It may be true, but its also true that such claims are always being made with a 5-10 year time-span, so people are weary:

> In 1989, a senior U.N. environmental official said, “Entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.”

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/nations-vanish-global-warm...


> I mean, if it's true I feel like my coworkers who talk about this kind of stuff all the time would trade in their SUVs and start carpooling... You know, actually try to do something about it.

The problem is that no amount of "personal responsibility" is going to put a dent in the problem. The overwhelming majority of emissions come from industry, and the only way industry is going to change is by fiat, and a carbon price is probably the most efficient class of solution.

And this "personal responsibility" mythology is intentionally cultivated by polluters. They want you to think that we can just change our lifestyles, because the actual solutions will invariably curb their profits.

This means that the most effective thing you or I can do is vote, advocate, write our representatives, and donate to political causes, but 3/4 of those aren't outwardly visible to you and the other looks like "comments on the internet" in many cases.

That said, I doubt 7 is the right number. I'm of the impression that the error margins are so large that we're not sure if we're already in "irreversible runaway global warming" territory or whether that remains decades off. Certainly "7" is too precise. In whichever case, urgency is absolutely warranted.


> The overwhelming majority of emissions come from industry,

Producing... what, exactly?

Right, "consumer goods." Or upstream supply chains for said, or machines to produce the machines that build said, or... etc.

"Consume less" solves an awful lot of problems too, but when the people who talk loudest about how awful climate change is going to be aren't willing to do so, they're unlikely to lead many people.

Like her or not, Greta at least attempts to live something resembling a sane response to what she's talking about.


> Producing... what, exactly? Right, "consumer goods." Or upstream supply chains for said, or machines to produce the machines that build said, or... etc.

Sorry to ruin your mic drop moment, but...

Of course, there is no way for individuals to know how much pollution was involved in the manufacture of the item, so the fact that they're manufacturing things that ultimately bottom out in consumer goods and services doesn't actually do anything. Even if you really want to minimize your footprint, you basically have to trust the packaging about whether the product is actually "green" ("greenwashing" exists as a term precisely because the packaging can't be trusted).

But you can't cheat carbon pricing. And consumers don't even need to care about the environment--carbon pricing aligns their economic interests with the interests of the climate, so the cheapest products will be the greenest. Of course, that really puts a damper on the fun for those of us who like to make a big show about how much we sacrifice for the environment.


... or I could just not buy the thing in the first place, find a way to reuse something else, etc.

I have a hard time taking this suggestion seriously, because it amounts to asking everyone to give up every material pleasure with no actual sense of the degree to which it harms the environment, particularly when we could instead change the system to produce things with minimal harm to the environment. But again, I recognize that's no fun for the folks whose identity is wrapped up in sacrificing "for the environment". It's politically impossible, there's everything to lose, and there's nothing to gain over a carbon pricing scheme.

That said, if I were in charge of Exxon's marketing apparatus, I would absolutely campaign to get people to think that they could personal-responsibility their way out of this problem. Go environmentalists! You can do it! Put your back into it!


> ...particularly when we could instead change the system to produce things with minimal harm to the environment.

Hold on, you're shifting your posts here somewhat.

Minimal carbon emissions, or minimal harm to the environment? They're not the same thing, and minimizing one may or may not minimize the other in the process.


I'm operating on the assumption that GHG emissions are overwhelmingly the largest threat to the environment (and thus human civilization) such that minimizing emissions and minimizing harm to the environment are functionally the same thing. I don't know of any serious emissions-reducing proposals which would actually do more harm to the environment than maintaining our emissions trajectory.

we are all born into a system that limits what we can do

try surviving in the u.s without a car (gasoline) or shopping at a supermarket where everything is packaged in plastics

we don't have much choice in where our electricity comes from, nor what companies choose to package things in... what individuals can do is tiny compared to those in industry and billions if not trillions of capital to invest and research in better more sustainable methods and materials

also, corporations are in competition with each other which also limits how much profits they can give up pursuing said goals...

our entire system make dealing with this externality incredibly difficult


About 2 years ago the most probable scenario was 1.5° Kelvin until 2100. Now we're at 2.5° Kelvin.

If this is right, there's nothing we can do at all, as long as CO² is the sole factor. If it's not right, we should do what we can to improve our models and - most importantly - search for all possible factors influencing the climate.

The worst imaginable situation would be we're focusing just on CO² and then, just before extinction, realize the problem wasn't primarily CO² but methane, or atmospheric dust, or decreased albedo due to unknown effect, or whatever else.

Edit: as obvious as I hope this is, but nevertheless: we MUST do anything we can to reduce CO²! But we should definitely not forget to investigate other possible causes for the raise in temperature.

Edit2: Corrections


Do you have any sources for this? I'm pretty sure 1.5°K was never a probable scenario, merely the internationally accepted one by the Paris Agreement for acceptable damage control.

If anything, we're still spot on the target corridor that Shell (secretly) plotted 40 years ago: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97...


Generally the most outspoken climate change activists are the ones that will be affected the least by the costs of policy. The worst that will happen to them is there might be a little more crime in their area or things might be a little more expensive, things of that nature.

Meanwhile the monumental social and economic upheaval it would likely cause would mimic the American Midwest after de-industrialization in many places. Maybe we should tell them all to learn how to code and it would miraculously solve everything.


With all due respect, while OPs point is maximally shortened and alarmist, it's not claiming the world will end in 7 years.

What's the case is that we're about 7 years away from the tipping point after which, no matter what we do, the world will stop being a hospitable place for 10-20% (and growing) of the world population starting another 10-20 years from that.

Mankind itself will most probably survive. How the world will look like fending off a billion people from moving to more moderate climates is a different story I'm still not fully ready to mentally prepare.


> Mankind itself will most probably survive. How the world will look like fending off a billion people from moving to more moderate climates is a different story I'm still not fully ready to mentally prepare.

I'm pretty sure avoiding exactly the, uh, violent horror that is likely to result from that, is why New Zealand is such a popular place for billionaires to set up their doomsday retreats, lately. Hard to have a crush of unexpected and unwelcome climate migrants rushing over your border when reaching your country requires ships.


Don't believe what, exactly? 0 emissions in 7 years, or else what? Even if we get to 20 years and nothing has yet happened, this could still stand. There is no proposition or prediction.

Going vegetarian or selling your suv won't do much when the entire world agrees that capitalism/consumerism and globalization are the ways to go.

Then the people who aren't willing to do anything about it should just shut up already. It's like complaining that the person in the stall next to you is making the bathroom smell like shit, while you sit there taking a dump.

Those people generally aren't the ones trying to shame people into making mostly useless actions that don't move the needle. They know full well that the solution involves change at the highest levels. Individual action isn't solving this. Even a general shift in consumer-led actions isn't solving this. The only thing solving this at this point is coordinated, international action, changing how we produce, which is the only thing that will change how we consume at a level sufficient enough to be meaningful.

Think about the difference between how we individually spend time and effort to sort our recyclables, and how meaningless (and even harmful) that turned out to be, when the real problem was that governments weren't cracking down the unnecessary production of plastics.


"We probably need to do something about our CO2 scrubbers on this space ship we're all traveling on. They don't seem to be working very well."

"OH COME ON, if you were serious you'd have spaced yourself by now so you stop generating CO2. Just shut up already."

[EDIT] OK so that's hyperbole but I do think it's absurd to disregard someone's opinion on climate change because they haven't voluntarily and unilaterally upended their own life in order to delay warming by, maybe, a few seconds.


Read Apocalypse Never by Michael Shellenberger

https://www.amazon.com/Apocalypse-Never-Environmental-Alarmi...


Meh. While Shellenberger is spot on on a lot of topics (I also have an issue with short-sighted, technology averse degrowthers who prioritize the impact on local birds over supporting building permits for battery car factories, wind farms and nuclear), only the tiny minority of his intellectual readers will actually get the subtlety of his point.

All the urban tank drivers will just take from books and titles like this that even respected climate scientists and environmental activists say it's all just not so bad...


> A controversial and polarizing figure, Shellenberger sharply disagrees with other environmentalists over the impacts of environmental threats and policies for addressing them. Shellenberger's positions have been called "bad science" and "inaccurate" by environmental scientists and academics.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Shellenberger


That sentence has one of the highest amount of citations I've seen on Wikipedia.

Except... what's going to happen is that "not enough" will get done by then, and the world won't end overnight. So what's the point, exactly?

This is like the death cults claiming The World Will End At Exactly... - and it doesn't, and the whole thing fizzles out.

1.5C will suck. 2C will suck more. Etc. But it's not like there's some magical point where it won't suck.


And when it fizzles out, it'll just become more fodder for climate change denialists down the line. Six years from now, they'll point to this as another piece of evidence that climate change isn't real/is a conspiracy/is heavily overblown. Alarmists have for decades and continue to harm actual progress in the fight against climate change.

It won't fizzle out, that's the problem. There's no maximum GHG dose atmosphere can't take. And the planet has been hotter in the past too.

The thing is, there were no humans at the time and life was a bit different.

We're talking some 50 year timespan to terrible effects, that means most everyone here will be affected. They may be affected more or less. Current trajectory is on more, bordering on deadly. The time for low impact has passed, thanks to people like you dismissing actual scientists as alarmist. We've known this for 40+ years now. It's become public knowledge at least 25 years ago.

The climate system has a lot of inertia, century scale at times, once pushed too hard humanity might not be able to stop it, no matter what we do.


According to the IPCC, we are already 80% of the way to 1.5c, and the world is quite comfortable.

Not sure about 'quite comfortable' part. The PNW just had a crazy >115F heat wave. At some point the crops will start drying out in the fields, which is far from a reassuring prospect.

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/agriculture/there-was-...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_Western_North_America_hea...


> At some point the crops will start drying out in the fields

It's already happening, as your links show. Double-digit percentage crop loss in some areas, which has already resulted in empty supermarket shelves for some staples[0]. And food prices are already reaching record highs. It won't be long before heat bubbles hit the wrong places at the wrong times and kneecap the world's food supply.

In the meantime, the human population is still rising sharply[1], with 2 billion more mouths to feed coming before the population curve will start to level out. Things aren't looking good.

[0] https://metro.co.uk/2021/10/05/pasta-shortage-due-to-poor-wh...

[1] https://ourworldindata.org/uploads/2019/06/2019-Revision-%E2...


Things are not looking good. The wheat situation is the most worrisome, in WA the 2021 wheat crop is 50% of the 2020 crop. "Smallest harvest in 57 years."

On a small note, I wasn't aware of the pasta situation. I was surprised earlier this week when there was no pasta at the local Costco, sadly that explains it.

https://archive.is/JcDRd


Somehow I don't think we'll reach 0 emissions in 7 years, and somehow, I think life will go on.

Life will always go on, life as we know it might not, we're probably close to the peak of the energy usage/consequences curve, we don't feel much yet but even if we stopped everything right now we'd still go through major changes in the next century due to momentum

We're following the 1970s "Limits to Growth" predicted curves pretty closely - and, you're right, we're almost exactly at the top of the energy and industrial production ones before the tip over and head down at an alarmingly fast rate.

I mostly see 2 talking points in these comments:

(1) I, personally, cannot do much. (2) If it were really so bad, people would already do something.

I expect more quality comments in the next hours so I won't go too much into detail but we have to understand that every single person and decision counts. And just like with climate change: There will be runaway effects (or call it "critical mass"), which means that first there are only a few people that change their behavior/lifestyle/voting, then there are more and then finally it's a big movement. It happened with Solar, it happened with vegan foods, it will happen with EV vehicles, and it will happen with many more things.

People change. Governments change. We can mitigate climate change. And we do. But the most important steps are believing in our power and conceptualize our lifestyle changes positively. E.g. greener cities, more walkable areas, more home office, less working, less waste. These things! All positive for the climate. All good. Let's do this.


As an european this feel very US-centristic to me. "Green new deal" is something in the US right?

When I visited the states, I was kind of shocked how bad the public transport system was. It's hard to be a tourist in a city like LA for example.

It also feels like it gotta suck to be in that traffic every day which I am sure many are. So many cities seems completely built to for everyone to have a car. There is no walking distance anywhere.

Ofc I rented a carto travel around since there was no other option available. While I really enjoyed the large straight roads of the US it just amazed me that there was so bad sidewalks, little to no bicycle paths and bad public transportation systems.

What I don't get is how the US will ever get to zero emissions. I have a hard time believing that when there is literally no other option than using a car.


>As an european this feel very US-centristic to me. "Green new deal" is something in the US right?

AOC whose 'end of the world' date is about 10 years from now. Slightly longer, is the one who created the 'green new deal' and that legislation was universally voted against. Even her fellow democrats voted against it. Hawaii's democrats were exceptionally angry about it because the new green deal would actually destroy Hawaii. Afterall, how much diesel is used every day to travel too and from hawaii?

>What I don't get is how the US will ever get to zero emissions. I have a hard time believing that when there is literally no other option than using a car.

The history about north america can dawn why. We were built around railroads, while Europe was built around horses. Everything is much more spread out.

It also won't be a problem. Electric cars are coming with a passion.


> As an european this feel very US-centristic to me. "Green new deal" is something in the US right?

Not really. See https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/euro... and https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/euro...


>What I don't get is how the US will ever get to zero emissions.

Since the very act of breathing or farting creates emissions, I don't think any country will ever have zero emissions.


Sure thing, but at least most european countries have a lot easier when it comes to lower the emissions from cars.

Seems incredible wasteful for everyone to have their own car. Perhaps it will be more of a taxi service in the future with electric cars but until then even electric cars does release a lot of carbon when they are created and their batteries etc is not that great when they expire.


>Sure thing, but at least most european countries have a lot easier when it comes to lower the emissions from cars.

Most European countries are also like 1/500th the size of the USA though(exaggerating a little bit). Things are much more spread out over here, and from what I've seen we have bigger streets that can handle more traffic whereas a lot of European places have preexisting structures/buildings that prevent streets from really getting any bigger.. Like, I figure that probably went into the thought process when people decided whether or not to invest more in public transportation. If you can't make your streets bigger you probably need to incentivize people to not rely on the limited space of the roads.

I live in the USA and went 3 years without a car and had no issues getting around via public transportation. It just depends on where you live. The USA isn't the same everywhere you go, ya know?


True true about the preexisting buildings. But usually the towns can grow wider and that is what's happening at least in my home town of Stockholm.

But they are also building out bicycle paths and a lot of public transportation. When you go in the states a lot of shops etc is so far between so walking between them is possible to not really feasible.

Such places exist in my country as well but they are rare and far between. In the US it seems to be the standard. I visited 4 states and only NYC had good enough public transportation IMO.


As an european this feel very US-centristic to me. "Green new deal" is something in the US right?

When I visited the states, I was kind of shocked how bad the public transport system was. It's hard to be a tourist in a city like LA for example.

It also feels like it gotta suck to be in that traffic every day which I am sure many are. So many cities seems completely built to for everyone to have a car. There is no walking distance anywhere.

Ofc I rented a carto travel around since there was no other option available. While I really enjoyed the large straight roads of the US it just amazed me that there was so bad sidewalks, little to no bicycle paths and bad public transportation systems.

What I don't get is how the US will ever get to zero emissions. I have a hard time believing that


The common theme in the comments seems to be anti-alarmism. Which is certainly smart because alarmism from the past made many false predictions. Al Gore wrote a nice essay about how much damage his alarmism caused.

History predicts we have a very bad crisis coming.

WW2 ~79 years ago American civil war ~77 years before ww2 Age of revolution ~70 years before glorious revolution ~91 years before anglo-spanish war and japanese shoguns ~100 years before war of the roses ~100years before

We have a pattern of great conflict. It looks like climate change is setting up the cause for a great war with china. Hence all this talk about Taiwan, Australia, Japan, UK, France. As far as I am aware ABC is reliable news.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-04/taiwan-preparing-for-...

From a Canadian point of view, it's hilarious how we are being treated like a protectorate. Even more interesting, there's an awful lot of talk about building new chip fabs in the usa and europe. Also seems like the plan is to let Taiwan fall.


Reading the comments I think it’s important to not read too much into the exact number on the clock. It’s similar to how nothing really happens on your exact birthday. Instead see it as a discussion starter and way to highlight the issue for more people. The clock does provoke a bit, which is good in this case.

Exactly my point in posting it. Thank you for finally putting into words what I was thinking while reading extreme reactions in the comments.

Here's a real 'climate clock', albeit one which only looks back:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interglacial#/media/File:Ice_A...

Notice how the last interglacial was markedly warmer than the Holocene (the current interglacial which began ~11.700 years ago). The question to ask, and this is a serious question, is how the planet ever survived this climate crisis. If the records can be believed this interglacial is markedly cooler than the previous 3 at least, the peak temperature of the previous interglacial lies above the most pessimistic prognoses for the current era yet, still, earth abided and life did not end.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_climatic_optimum#/med...

Even the current interglacial shows some marked ups and downs with a clear trend toward lower temperatures. The "climatic optimum" - the period with the highest average temperature - lies some 8000 years in the past, since then the trend has been towards lower temperatures with the eventual drop into the next cycle of glaciation somewhere in the future. If those dire predictions hold truth, how can it be that human civilisations actually came to thrive in the stone age?

To put it bluntly, this type of scaremongering only serves to discredit the concept of anthropogenic climate change, it is the climatic equivalent of 'there are 5G transponders in vaccines'. The more this type of apocalyptic messaging is pushed, the more the messengers will start to resemble religious zealots instead of objective agents.


The planet will survive until the Sun will engulf it during the red giant phase. 10B people hanging on Earth's surface may have more urgent concerns.

Humans survived glaciation and started to thrive at the climatic optimum so they'll survive this blip on the temperature graph as well. Some species could not adapt to the warming climate and the resulting changes in vegetation - from the cold open plains of the mammoth steppe [1,2] to a largely forested Eurasian continent, partly due to the disappearance of large herbivores which kept the trees at bay - and/or the increased predation by other species (humans being an important example of those) and died out, e.g. there is not much left of the Pleistocene megafauna [3,4].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammoth_steppe

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uvs_Lake_Basin

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleistocene_megafauna

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaternary_extinction


Aren't we already kind of screwed? It feels like we're more picking what type of crash we want, rather than avoiding the crash.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/climate-change-tipping-points-a...


Indeed. CO2 have a manageable effect in low troposphere, and it takes roughly 20 years for it to reach altitudes where it will have a greenhouse effect. So the climate of 2021 is caused by the emissions from 2001. We will never, in our lifetime, have this climate ever again.

When I was in high school, I remember one degree centigrade was the tipping point. Then it became two. Now I i saw 2.5. Sure, models change, but seeing the point of no return keep getting shoved back every time we blow past it sets off my cynicism radar

Kurzgesagt: Can YOU Fix Climate Change? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiw6_JakZFc

Link in response to people asking what everyone is doing, should be doing, and can be doing...


How about "not a video that uses a ton of energy and bandwidth" form links?

Kurzgesagt uploaded a video about this recently. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiw6_JakZFc

Interesting to see all the pictures of existing clocks... with lower numbers than the current one. Clearly it's increased in the past and I'm willing to bet it'll increase again.

Better live it up while we can, 1.5 degrees will be here before you know it!

I’ll invest in some black and white Nikes. Will punch be served?



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