Author Topic: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "  (Read 21227 times)

scottish

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #100 on: September 13, 2019, 05:09:08 PM »
It's my engineering background,  but I think it'll be really interesting to see which problems are solved and how...

Bloop Bloop

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #101 on: September 13, 2019, 05:20:04 PM »
The number will be determined by our migration laws, which to date, work.

I'm not Gandhi. I'm not here to save the world. I'm here to be financially responsible. The only difference between me and the average person is that I'm financially responsible.

And when the government can't provide enough food and shelter for it's citizens are they still going to enforce those rules?  Are they not going to rise up in protest and hunger?  Joined by a horde of desperate immigrants?

When people in the middle of your island are literally roasting to death, their homes no longer inhabitable (and the power grid no longer reliable enough to stave off lethal temperature changes? 

Even if you subscribe to "fuck you I've got mine and my country needs only protect its own citizens",  there are places on the planet that currently have significant populations and are becoming uninhabitable***, and un-farmable. And Australia doesn't seem immune to that. That means displacement even among your own citizens.    (***e.g., https://time.com/longform/jacobabad-extreme-heat/)

When wlidfires fires turn your country into a burning hellscape, and there's not enough food because New Zealand and others have their own issues and can no longer be net exporters, and people in Adelaide are dying in 50*C plus heat and hours long black-outs, and coastal cities and their population and industry are underwater? 

Having a solid immigration policy seems very unlikely to prevent instability.  Or, in many cases, death.

I don't see this happening. For people in my city to be sweltering, roasting to death etc, there'd be a lot of cities (most of the American Southwest, Phoenix, Las Vegas, half of Florida) that would go first. And if I know anything about human nature, it's that when faced with existential threats to first world countries, we suddenly tend to take them seriously. In fact I think within about 5 years climate change will in fact be taken seriously, if not already now. There is no runaway apocalypse here. The earth is self-levelling, even if all of humankind is not. I may be wrong - but people thought that the nuclear arms race, AIDS, all that stuff would lead to devastation and now AIDS has been cured. Or something.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #102 on: September 13, 2019, 07:06:42 PM »

I also heard a TED talk for about a year ago that based on population growth only, there will not be enough food (calories) in the world to feed the entire population. And the presenter was talking about 10 years from that moment.

Was the TED talk 10 years ago? Because that's the sort of prediction that's been tossed around for a long time.


Quote from: Papa Bear
“One-third of the food produced for human consumption winds up lost or wasted globally, about 1.3 billion tons a year, according to a study by the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology (SIK). The UN supported the study titled “Global Food Loses and Food Waste.” Although the amount of food lost or wasted annually is almost equal in industrialized countries (222 million tons) and developing countries (230 million tons), over 40 percent of waste in industrialized countries occurs at retail and consumer levels. In developing countries, food loss occurs during post-harvest and processing stages of the food supply chain (FSC), but very little is wasted.”
In the West, food is wasted at the wholesale/retail level, where wonky-shaped apples are rejected, that sort of thing, and at the household level, where for too many the salad drawer in the fridge is the place where healthy eating dreams go to die and rot.

Here in the West we do things like pick apples when unripe, treat them with 1-methylcyclopropene (which slows their ripening, it's also used to keep cut flowers going) and store them in a huge refrigerated warehouse with depleted oxygen and increased nitrogen to slow ripening, so they can be stored for over a year before sale. And they are transported around in refrigerated trucks. Meanwhile that subsistence farmer in Togo manages to grow 10% more sorghum than his family needs this year, puts it in some clay jars and rats get in and eat the lot.

In this respect, resource depletion - particularly of fossil fuels - is more of a threat to global food production and Western lifestyles than climate change. While our fossil fuel lifestyle has caused a huge loss of topsoil (endless monocropping depletes the soil, combine harvesters compact it, pesticides kill helpful bacteria etc), those same fossil fuels can also make up for our stupid landcare practices (natural gas is used to make fertiliser), and also by-the-by make some pretty marginal land - like the drier parts of India and Africa - productive.

If you reduce the amount of fossil fuels used, then those tractors and combine harvesters have to be replaced by oxen with ploughs and men with hoes. A tractor can plough 120 acres in a day. An ox or horse can plough it in one day. One man can plough it in 12 days. This is how we go from 25% of the population in the West engaged in farming in 1900 to less than 2% today, and a good number of them only managing by massive government subsidies. As fossil fuels decline, a lot of people will have to leave their airconditioned office, roll up their sleeves and start digging and hoeing.

And obviously, without cheap fossil fuels we don't have oxygen-depleted refrigerated warehouses, and planes flying romaine lettuce out to NYC in the winter. The age of the 3,000 mile caesar salad is passing. This does not mean famine, but it does mean our casual attitude to food consumption will have to change. At the moment, most people don't even know what foods are seasonal - how many readers know what grows locally and when? - but they'll learn over time.

As for global famine, I'm sceptical. Certainly, much food in the West is wasted, and much in the Third World is lost. World grain production is, the FAO says, 2,708 million tonnes. Current world population is 7.53 billion. That's 359kg of grain per person. There are 3,780kCal in 1kg of grain, so that 359kg per person annually equates to 3,724kCal daily each. Even if one-third is wasted/lost (and it's mostly not grain that's wasted and lost, it's fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy), that's still 2,400kCal daily per person.

However, of world grain production around 36% is given to livestock. It's 70% in the US. And 9% goes to biofuels. Which is to say that even without considering waste and loss, we only directly eat 55% of the world's grain production, the rest we consume indirectly in meat and dairy, and by burning it in vehicles. Put another way, we could basically halve world grain production and still eat as much grain as we do now, just much less meat and dairy.

So we're not looking at famine, we're looking at big changes in how and what we eat. Australians eat about 110kg of meat per person annually. (source) There are some exceptions like PNG and Greenland, but generally speaking, large meat consumption is basically a sign of being in a Western or First World country. It goes with massive energy consumption.

This need not be so.

There may not actually be enough fossil fuels for us to burn to give us the worst possible effects of climate change. There's certainly not enough oil and gas, coal's the uncertain one, there's actually quite a lot of it, but getting it involves some pretty nasty and polluting practices, like coal seam gasification, etc. But nobody's really sure about the feedbacks with the carbon cycle, there are some negative feedbacks like ocean acidification (kills coral reef and fish, but absorbs carbon which would otherwise go to the atmosphere) and some positive feedbacks like Siberian peat thawing. We just don't know.

Anyway, as old Arnie says, climate change or not, the things we need to do for it are good things to do anyway. I wrote about this ten years ago, the last time we were ten years away from global famine and destruction.

https://www.bicyclefixation.com/howto.html

  • Buy electrical power from other sources preferring in order: wind, geothermal, solar, hydroelectric, landfill gas or natural gas, waste burning, bagasse. Don't even think about nuclear or coal.
  • Use cool drinks and fans not airconditioning, jumpers and hot drinks not heating, hang washing out to dry, change to CFLs, and pull plugs out on appliances not in use
  • Don't fly in aircraft at all.
  • Bye-bye cars: for a journey under 5km, walk. Under 15km, bike. Over that, public transport.
  • Consume mainly fresh fruit and vegies, grains and legumes, avoid processed containerised food
  • reduce meat consumption to under 12kg/year (0.25kg/week)
  • For consumer goods, borrow rather than buy, secondhand rather than new
  • If available, use coppiced wood for heating/cooking, otherwise use that wind powered electricity, or if that's not available, use natural gas
  • Plant trees--don't pay someone else, plant them where you can watch them and know they'll be cared for.

The first point addresses both climate change and resource depletion, and of course local pollution. #2 drops your power bills. #3 and #4 reduce your transport costs. #4 improves your physical health, as do #5 and #6. #7 and #8 save you money. #9 gives you a nice day out with the family, conversations with curious neighbours, reduces noise pollution on your street, moderates the ambient temperature (that article on the Pakistani city mentioned how planting trees made the local climate less insane), slows down traffic in that street, increases property values, and so on.


The things which we as individuals and households can do to reduce our impact on climate change are all good things to do for a bunch of other reasons, too. Less doom, more action.


Humanity is not doomed. That any change to our wasteful consumerist lifestyle is interpreted as an "apocalypse" is merely our excuse not to take the actions we think necessary. It's not an apocalypse, it's just a big change. A change which you plan to make is much less painful than one forced upon you by circumstances. South Carolina plantation owners who manumitted their slaves in 1860 would, I think, have had more comfortable lives than those who had them all just walk away while the Union troops looted the house in 1865.


I pause now to allow people to make excuses and continue spouting "doom!"

« Last Edit: September 13, 2019, 07:10:08 PM by Kyle Schuant »

PDXTabs

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #103 on: September 13, 2019, 07:41:23 PM »
In this respect, resource depletion - particularly of fossil fuels - is more of a threat to global food production and Western lifestyles than climate change. While our fossil fuel lifestyle has caused a huge loss of topsoil (endless monocropping depletes the soil, combine harvesters compact it, pesticides kill helpful bacteria etc), those same fossil fuels can also make up for our stupid landcare practices (natural gas is used to make fertiliser), and also by-the-by make some pretty marginal land - like the drier parts of India and Africa - productive.

You missed underground aquifer depletion, which will only exacerbate climate change related drought. If you want to read about glacier delpetion you can do so here.

BicycleB

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #104 on: September 13, 2019, 08:22:27 PM »

  • Buy electrical power from other sources preferring in order: wind, geothermal, solar, hydroelectric, landfill gas or natural gas, waste burning, bagasse. Don't even think about nuclear or coal.
  • Use cool drinks and fans not airconditioning, jumpers and hot drinks not heating, hang washing out to dry, change to CFLs, and pull plugs out on appliances not in use
  • Don't fly in aircraft at all.
  • Bye-bye cars: for a journey under 5km, walk. Under 15km, bike. Over that, public transport.
  • Consume mainly fresh fruit and vegies, grains and legumes, avoid processed containerised food
  • reduce meat consumption to under 12kg/year (0.25kg/week)
  • For consumer goods, borrow rather than buy, secondhand rather than new
  • If available, use coppiced wood for heating/cooking, otherwise use that wind powered electricity, or if that's not available, use natural gas
  • Plant trees--don't pay someone else, plant them where you can watch them and know they'll be cared for.

The first point addresses both climate change and resource depletion, and of course local pollution. #2 drops your power bills. #3 and #4 reduce your transport costs. #4 improves your physical health, as do #5 and #6. #7 and #8 save you money. #9 gives you a nice day out with the family, conversations with curious neighbours, reduces noise pollution on your street, moderates the ambient temperature (that article on the Pakistani city mentioned how planting trees made the local climate less insane), slows down traffic in that street, increases property values, and so on.

The things which we as individuals and households can do to reduce our impact on climate change are all good things to do for a bunch of other reasons, too. Less doom, more action.


Now that's an action list!!

Kyle Schuant

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #105 on: September 13, 2019, 09:56:06 PM »
You missed underground aquifer depletion, which will only exacerbate climate change related drought. If you want to read about glacier delpetion you can do so here.
I said, "resource depletion - particularly fossil fuels." Water's a resource.

In principle, if energy were no obstacle, we'd have plenty of fresh water by means of desalination, and other resources wouldn't be a problem, either. Given their historically massive energy return on energy invested compared to every other energy source, fossil fuels are the limiting factor in our civilisation's current lifestyle. It's quite possible something else will run short first - for example, if Musk gets his wish of 500,000 electric vehicles a year, just his company by itself will use the world's entire current production of lithium - but fossil fuels are a definite limit on everything else.

And of course, there may be some other limit in things we can't predict. I read an interesting article about the extinct Tasmanian Tiger (a marsupial carnivore) pointing out Tasmanian Devils have this horrible contagious cancer wiping them out, and that in the past the Tiger used to keep the Devil population low and in isolated groups, which prevented diseases spreading across the whole population. The Devil could not really anticipate its need for the Tiger, but there it is. Nature is full of little cycles where you remove one little element and the whole system collapses. For all we know the destruction of coral reefs will lead to a collapse in tuna stocks or algae blooms, for example, by breaking the link in some predation chain.

That's all unknowable at this stage. There are definitely things to be concerned about and watch, of course. But what we do know is that fossil fuels are the big cog in the machinery of Western society, once you remove that cog the machine won't work the same way. And there is not much we can do in our own lives to reduce our impact on aquifers or lithium stocks or whatever, but there's a lot we can do to reduce our overall use of fossil fuels. See the action list above. First, deal with the problems you can deal with.

Even if climate change were not real and burning coal gave us vitamin C, we'd have to transition away from fossil fuels, simply because they're finite; in principle most other resources can be reused indefinitely (and many like lead from lead acid batteries already are reused quite a lot), but fossil fuels once burned are gone forever. This means a lower energy consumption, more localised lifestyle, churning through less stuff. This is not necessarily a bad thing, what's bad is changing because we have to rather than we choose to, and the political and social chaos which inevitably results from involuntary change.


Of course, depletion leads to people getting desperate. It's no coincidence that the Carter Doctrine came about a few years after the peak of conventional oil production in the US, and not before. And as production becomes constrained, disruptions to its flow become a very effective means of waging war, both on the direct target and the countries the target supplies with oil. Thus the attack on Saudi Arabia today, written about here. We can expect more and more state and non-state actors doing things like this. And the essential problem is that oil prices under USD75 a barrel destroy oil companies, and prices over USD75/bbl destroy economies. This is why US shale oil has been heavily subsidised with loans despite almost never turning a profit, and why the GFC was preceded by high oil prices.

Ironically, events like the attack on Saudi Aramco's facility, the largest crude oil stabilisation facility in the world, will only make us dependent on oil for longer, since governments and corporations will put any reduction in supply down to events like this, and say, "well, it's only temporary so we don't have to change anything." Don't look for effective action from governments, though corporations will be slightly more responsible since they are better able to look 10+ years ahead. Not all, of course, thus the GFC. But some.

Nonetheless, the most effective action has to come from us. Collapse now and avoid the rush. Start living a lifestyle with less fossil fuels, so that once it becomes compulsory you're used to it, and can pass on useful skills to friends, family and your community.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2019, 02:58:33 AM by Kyle Schuant »

Leisured

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #106 on: September 15, 2019, 09:16:43 PM »
Some posters have made remarks about Australia, presumably after seeing news items about our bushfires. Australia is about the same size as the US, but is mostly dry, and partly desert. Latitudes range from 12 degrees south for Darwin, to 42 degrees south for Hobart, Tasmania. The latitude of Hobart is about the same as for New York.

Most Australians live near the coast, and to the south of the continent. Climate change will increase the number of very hot days in the south, but most of the time the climate will be good. One solution is to build houses with walls a metre thick, for thermal mass, perhaps brick walls, connected by some steel reinforcing rods, the gap being filled with dry sand or gravel. The house interior will follow the yearly average temperature, thus insulating against extreme hot days.

Much of Africa is a vast upland, so cooler than the lower coastal regions. There are uplands in India and south east Asia. Finding somewhere to live in a hotter world is not hard, but the problem is finding crop growing land. Plant growth slows at temperatures above about 35C, about 95F.

I have been to Indonesia, which is very near the equator, and Indonesia has a steam bath climate, and will presumably get worse in the future.


Leisured

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #107 on: September 15, 2019, 09:30:57 PM »
PDX, reply 98, raised the possibility of India invading Australia, and added that India is a nuclear armed state. Australia is huge, but too dry to support  most of India, as Indian planners will know. The invasion force will need an industrial effort much greater than the D Day cross Channel invasion, and it is unlikely that India will set off atomic bombs over land that they want to settle in.

Most farmland in the future will be away from the equator, that is where rich countries are. One possibility is that in a warming world, rich countries will feed everyone else in the world, to the best of their ability. Rich countries might just give grain to the likes of India, on the understanding that India does what is needed to reduce its birth rate a lot.

PDXTabs

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #108 on: September 15, 2019, 10:10:34 PM »
PDX, reply 98, raised the possibility of India invading Australia, and added that India is a nuclear armed state. Australia is huge, but too dry to support  most of India, as Indian planners will know. The invasion force will need an industrial effort much greater than the D Day cross Channel invasion, and it is unlikely that India will set off atomic bombs over land that they want to settle in.

I was very clear that with 3C of warming Australia would not be a great place to farm. I was attempting to point out to someone that lives in a nice comfortable developed country that once India and Pakistan hit 46C+ all bets are off. The developed world better have a damn good plan for climate refugees or something really nasty could happen.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #109 on: September 15, 2019, 10:25:00 PM »
I'm sure we could give them some foreign aid to help them resettle.

former player

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #110 on: September 16, 2019, 12:20:29 AM »
I'm sure we could give them some foreign aid to help them resettle.

Where?  Nauru?

Bloop Bloop

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #111 on: September 16, 2019, 02:27:16 AM »
Nauru? Nairu? Nimby?

It's all the same to me.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #112 on: September 16, 2019, 05:35:11 AM »
Invaders can have everything north of the Murray so far as I'm concerned. Unless they're American invaders, then we just have to fight them.


middo

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #114 on: September 16, 2019, 07:14:44 PM »
Invaders can have everything north of the Murray so far as I'm concerned. Unless they're American invaders, then we just have to fight them.

I think that view would be common amongst those from the southern states.

But seriously, there will be big changes in Australian farming, and we are seeing some of that already.  In Western Australia, farmland that was cropped is becoming rangeland grazing land.  While high cattle prices are making that an affordable option, the reality of farmers having large $ invested in machinery that is no longer viable is a problem.

Likewise the northern parts of Australia will also change.  Currently we have enough water near Kununurra to support a much bigger farming area and population, but Australian's do not want to move there.  This will continue to be an issue.

If Australia gets serious about horticulture, we can feed many more than we do currently.  We also have limits on what we can export because of other countries trade barriers.  So many of these type of issues require political solutuons.

Linea_Norway

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #115 on: September 16, 2019, 10:18:33 PM »
Maybe the kids will do something about it.

https://beta.washingtonpost.com/science/most-american-teens-are-frightened-by-climate-change-poll-finds-and-about-1-in-4-are-taking-action/2019/09/15/1936da1c-d639-11e9-9610-fb56c5522e1c_story.html

"A 17-year-old from Texas says global warming scares him so much he can’t even think about it."

That is what I am feeling too. If you think too deeply about the consequences for (mostly future) people on this planet, it scares the willies out of me. I recently listened to a podcast with a climate expert who was asked what we could to stop it. He thought through the scenario where he would be a world dictator and doing everything right for climate. Even in that scenario, it wasn't possible to stop the 2 degree C warming.
My coping strategy for negative thoughts is thinking that my country will still be a good place to live for the next couple of decades, voting green and having relatively low living impact myself.

Leisured

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #116 on: September 16, 2019, 10:38:16 PM »
PDX has drawn our attention to post 67 by former player. The post includes a link to the International Organisation for Migration, and one of its publications shows two maps, one with regions suffering heat stress up to the present, and another showing estimated regions of heat stress neat the end of this century. The increases in regions of heat stress is deeply disturbing, particularly when I realised that the data was monthly MEAN temperatures, so the monthly maxima and the few hottest days per month do not show, as the article pointed out. The maps are on page 5.

The Middle East is more vulnerable than I expected, and PDX wondered about drastic (military) social reactions. I suspect that one possibility is that Middle Eastern and Indian climate refugees, armed, will move into Africa. African nations are militarily the weakest in the world, and the invaders only have to cross narrow sea barriers. West Africa will be under heat stress, so the invaders will move to central and southern Africa. I hear that Africa has the largest untapped potential for dams and irrigation in the world, but African nations do not cooperate with each other, so river basin wide projects are difficult. The invaders will fix that.

This will mean African deaths on a huge scale.

The article failed to mention the effect of heat stress on crops, and I expect that failing crop production in heat stressed regions will be as important as heat stress on people.

former player

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #117 on: September 17, 2019, 03:14:12 AM »
There's a lot more detail on future risks in the IPCC paper on Future Climate Changes, Risks and Impacts, which is pretty readable.  It should also be very scary for anyone likely to live into the second half of this century, or who has children likely to do so.

https://ar5-syr.ipcc.ch/topic_futurechanges.php


Linea_Norway

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #118 on: September 17, 2019, 03:58:38 AM »
There's a lot more detail on future risks in the IPCC paper on Future Climate Changes, Risks and Impacts, which is pretty readable.  It should also be very scary for anyone likely to live into the second half of this century, or who has children likely to do so.

https://ar5-syr.ipcc.ch/topic_futurechanges.php

Scary stuff.

Sometimes I think that we humans deserve that we are making it so hard for our own species, as have made so many other species on this planet (animals, plants and trees, fungi, etc) extinct.

marty998

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #119 on: September 17, 2019, 05:52:16 AM »
Australia looks fucked in those maps. There isn't a polite way of saying that.

We already have severe bushfires in early spring. February is going to be fun when the height of summer rolls around.

The BOM (Bureau of Meteorology) had to add another colour on the temperature scale after we regularly broke through 50C (122F) a few years ago. The scale went from blue through white, yellow, orange, red, brown, black and then they added bright magenta for 54 (129.2F).

I suspect they may be adding yet another colour in the near future.

Not to be flippant but mother nature wins the title of worlds greatest the serial killer. Other species have come to a sudden end via volcanoes, lava flows, ice ages and asteroids.

We seem destined to be killed off by being roasted. The difference is that we had the power to stop it.

PDXTabs

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #120 on: September 17, 2019, 06:25:15 AM »
The Middle East is more vulnerable than I expected, and PDX wondered about drastic (military) social reactions. I suspect that one possibility is that Middle Eastern and Indian climate refugees, armed, will move into Africa.

I don't pretend to see the future. But I'm more worried about a future with complete societal collapse in either Pakistan or India where a warlord or terrorist organization gets a hold of some nuclear weapons. This may seem far fetched but the west worked really hard to keep this for happening when the USSR collapsed, and it many ways a climate collapse where India plus all of the middle east plus large parts of Africa are in chaos would be much worse. Once that happens, who know? I'm sure that the professional security services have basically no idea what will happen 30~80 years from now. EDITed to add: I'm not trying to predict a specific outcome, just that societal collapse in two nuclear armed states is bad mkay?
 
West Africa will be under heat stress, so the invaders will move to central and southern Africa. I hear that Africa has the largest untapped potential for dams and irrigation in the world, but African nations do not cooperate with each other, so river basin wide projects are difficult. The invaders will fix that.

Most of Africa will be just as bad off as the middle east. Do you really think they are going to march all the way to southern Africa for some farm land? Europe is right next door. If Europe doesn't let you it just nuke the Sydney opera house to let them know that you mean business.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 06:35:00 AM by PDXTabs »

LonerMatt

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #121 on: September 17, 2019, 05:33:20 PM »
Sure seems like doing things now to reduce impact is a better option than billions of refugees and yesteryear's apocalypse technology thrown in the mix.

Leisured

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #122 on: September 18, 2019, 06:13:39 AM »
I have thought again about the IOM report cited by former player, reply 67. The figures show mean heat index for the hottest month in the year, and the extreme index, 46C and over is close to lethal. I lived for many years in the south east corner of Australia, in the top of the green zone for the map for the period before 2010. I once experienced air temperature of 46C, with relative humidity of 6%, which is very low, so I could lose heat by sweating. And I was indoors. A temperature of 46C and high humidity is another matter.

The map showing heat index up to 2010 shows a small, deep red patch in NW Australia. There is a notorious town called Marble Bar at the southern edge of that red spot. Almost nobody lives there, it is very dry, and in the 1920s it recorded 100 days with maximum temperatures over 100F.

When I was younger, I worked on an irrigation farm my father had, in the same region. Europeans grow wheat in the northern spring, summer, autumn, but because of the different climate in southern Australia, we grow wheat in the southern autumn, winter, spring. Works well. I now see that parts of India and Pakistan which have extreme heat now, and which will get hotter, will also grow crops in the cooler months of the year. What we need to know is whether these regions can continue to grow crops in the cooler months.

Poor countries cannot invade rich countries. A few rich countries also have the Bomb, and lots of them. Another flood of refugees, such as Syrians in, I think 2015, will be much more numerous, and Europe, driven by desperation, can fire enormous numbers of artillery air burst fragmentation rounds to kill them. Military anthrax is a possibility. Australia is too far away, and too hard to get to.

I can see climate refugees driving, not marching, south into Africa. The Middle East has plenty of oil, and the invaders can refuel by seizing local supplies of fuel.

Linea_Norway

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #123 on: September 18, 2019, 06:35:34 AM »
Maybe Greenland will turn into a fertile area when the ice has gone. There certainly should be place for more inhabitants once one can grow more crops there. That might be the reason why Trump some time ago suddenly wanted to buy Greenland, or was that more to drill after oil?

Maybe the world needs to build very big living platforms in the north pole region (when the ice is gone). Big enough to have soil and being able to grow crops, and store lots of people from the hot regions.

Malkynn

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #124 on: September 18, 2019, 07:33:17 AM »
We live in a world where economies and geopolitical issues can swing pretty wildly in the face of disruptions that don't even have particularly large direct impact on people.

A global scale massive alteration in weather events, liveability of entire regions across the globe, and massive disruption of supply chains...and people don't think it will affect them?

Peace and diplomacy are not givens of rich states, they are tenuous and delicately balanced arrangements that are very susceptible to systemic upheaval.

Personally, it's not the food shortages or specific weather changes I'm most personally concerned about, it's civil unrest and subsequent curtailing of civil liberties as a result.

The world is actually incredibly inefficient at responding to disruption. I mean, for fuck's sake, just look at this Brexit nonsense.

Now expand the magnitude to a global scale where every single market and political entity is affected. We simply do not have the systems in place to handle that scale of issue.
We just don't, which is why we've failed so miserably to address it so far.

Just disrupting the oil industry alone is an extremely volatile issue with very far reaching impact.

No matter what happens, the response will be on a global scale, it will be disorganized, messy, and there will be a lot of violence, an astronomical amount of death, and guaranteed, some very heavy handed responses from those in power.

I'm basing this on direct conversations with the very people in my own government whose job it is to make recommendations as to when and how civil liberties should be suspended in the event of disruption. They model everything, and the threshold for outbreak of civil violence is very very low, which means so is the bar for totalitarianism.
...now turn it up to 11

The kicker is that even if technology magically swoops in with solutions, that in and of itself would be such a massive sociopolitical and economic disruptor, that even being saved with respect to climate change would come with far reaching consequences that aren't likely to produce a smooth and peaceful transition to a new world order.

The timelines are too short, the magnitude too large, the scale too global, and the interests involved too great and volatile in order for this to proceed in a way that isn't a cluster fuck.

Honestly for me, the biggest issue will be the developed world finally having to really come to grips with its cognitively dissonant version of humanity. We presently purport to value human life while living in a global system that sustains the intense suffering and abuse of huge populations for the benefit of the few. We cope with this dissonance by compartmentalizing those populations and just wishing it could be different for them, while largely blaming the power structures above them...and ignoring our complicit role in sustaining those power structures, but whatevs.

However, when rich nation's actively decide to turn people away to die, as they are doing already, it's impossible to sustain the veneer of human decency in the face of barbaric tribalism.

"It's okay, those people can die"

former player

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #125 on: September 18, 2019, 08:20:21 AM »
I'm basing this on direct conversations with the very people in my own government whose job it is to make recommendations as to when and how civil liberties should be suspended in the event of disruption. They model everything, and the threshold for outbreak of civil violence is very very low, which means so is the bar for totalitarianism.
Agreed.  The mantra I've heard is that we are 24 hours and two missed meals away from anarchy.

caleb

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #126 on: September 18, 2019, 10:21:01 AM »
Many have likely seen this article already, but last month the Washington Post mapped the state of climate change in the U.S.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/national/climate-environment/climate-change-america/

In northern Minnesota, it's very apparent, with some areas already above the 2.5C mark.  Crops are changing, vegetation is changing, animals are changing, and we seem to be trending ever-wetter.

Samuel

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #127 on: September 18, 2019, 10:42:47 AM »
Agreed.  The mantra I've heard is that we are 24 hours and two missed meals away from anarchy.

That jibes with my experience as a pet owner.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 10:44:54 AM by Samuel »

caleb

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #128 on: September 18, 2019, 12:43:10 PM »
I'm basing this on direct conversations with the very people in my own government whose job it is to make recommendations as to when and how civil liberties should be suspended in the event of disruption. They model everything, and the threshold for outbreak of civil violence is very very low, which means so is the bar for totalitarianism.
Agreed.  The mantra I've heard is that we are 24 hours and two missed meals away from anarchy.

Even within totally normal temperature fluctuations, crime waves correlate strongly with heat waves.

Imagine cranking up the thermometer to new levels while there are rolling power outages.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #129 on: September 18, 2019, 06:58:38 PM »

Agreed.  The mantra I've heard is that we are 24 hours and two missed meals away from anarchy.

Your agreement is with government modelling. Of course we have been given no source for this, so it may all be made up. But let's take it as read. It's common for authorities to assume and claim that the populace is constantly on the edge of violent revolt and anarchy. This is somewhat self-serving, and justifies all sorts of impositions on civil liberties. This is actually a misconception, as laid out here in detail by the CDC.

https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/emergency_response/common_misconceptions.pdf


"researchers have found—at least in the immediate aftermath of disasters—that community resilience and unity, strengthening of social ties, selfhelp, heightened initiative, altruism, and prosocial behavior more often prevail. In short, when things are at their worst, disaster-stricken communities tend to rise to the occasion."

They go on to say that obviously previously high-crime areas remain high-crime after a disaster, and so on. Obviously, as a government agency they don't talk about government being a threat, but...

In fact, people tend to band together and help each-other out, and if there's any threat to life and limb beyond the disaster, it comes from the government authorities. A great example is Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, where the media and government hysterically asserted that there was mass murder, rape and looting, federal officials threatened the use of the military to kill civilians, and so on. In fact, almost no citizens murdered each-other, nor did they loot beyond what was required for sustenance. However, police forces fired on unarmed civilians, and one-third of the New Orleans Police Department deserted, and the police were responsible for most of the looting.

During time of crisis, your neighbour will probably help you. A well-run government will help you, too. A badly-run government will not help you, and may actually hurt you. This is why death tolls from natural disasters tend to be higher in autocratic countries than democratic countries, though of course as Katrina demonstrated, even democratic countries can have autocratic tendencies, with corruption, cowardice and incompetence dominating affairs.

This is of course an argument for better government, for ensuring that you keep your representatives accountable. But it is also reassurance that the zombie movies you see are not documentaries.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 07:05:10 PM by Kyle Schuant »

BicycleB

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #130 on: September 18, 2019, 07:42:37 PM »
Very helpful post, @Kyle Schuant.

Leisured

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #131 on: September 22, 2019, 01:06:52 AM »
Very helpful post, @Kyle Schuant.

Me too from a fellow Australian. +1

Leisured

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #132 on: September 22, 2019, 01:38:50 AM »

More thoughts about the predicted heating of the Middle East and India. For many years, there has been talk of towing icebergs from Antarctica to hot regions of the world, for fresh water and perhaps air conditioning. Google tells me that engineers expect so much ice loss as an iceberg is towed, that the project is not worth while. If it does become feasible, then I see a continuous stream of icebergs being towed at a slow walking pace, and left in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. All winds except north will keep bergs pressed against a shallow sea bottom. Fresh bergs keep coming, so the Red Sea and Persian Gulf become seas of cold fresh water, so wind blowing across it will be cooled.

Google tells me that the strait of Hormuz, at the entrance to the Persian Gulf, is too shallow for bergs, but I expect that the bottom could be deepened with explosives and dredging.

Pump the fresh water out for centre pivot irrigation. I have seen centre pivots in action, and they are surprising devices.

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

Gulf states can afford the cost of such a project, but rich countries might pay for the project for other regions, to head off the risk of social collapse, which some posters have predicted.

The monsoon that blows north towards Bangladesh blows in the northern summer, so bergs will be pressed by the prevailing wind in shallow sea bottom in the northern Bay of Bengal.

The Gulf of Tonkin next to Vietnam and south China looks promising, because all winds except north east will keeps bergs in place.



former player

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #133 on: September 22, 2019, 04:02:13 AM »

More thoughts about the predicted heating of the Middle East and India. For many years, there has been talk of towing icebergs from Antarctica to hot regions of the world, for fresh water and perhaps air conditioning. Google tells me that engineers expect so much ice loss as an iceberg is towed, that the project is not worth while. If it does become feasible, then I see a continuous stream of icebergs being towed at a slow walking pace, and left in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. All winds except north will keep bergs pressed against a shallow sea bottom. Fresh bergs keep coming, so the Red Sea and Persian Gulf become seas of cold fresh water, so wind blowing across it will be cooled.

Google tells me that the strait of Hormuz, at the entrance to the Persian Gulf, is too shallow for bergs, but I expect that the bottom could be deepened with explosives and dredging.

Pump the fresh water out for centre pivot irrigation. I have seen centre pivots in action, and they are surprising devices.

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

Gulf states can afford the cost of such a project, but rich countries might pay for the project for other regions, to head off the risk of social collapse, which some posters have predicted.

The monsoon that blows north towards Bangladesh blows in the northern summer, so bergs will be pressed by the prevailing wind in shallow sea bottom in the northern Bay of Bengal.

The Gulf of Tonkin next to Vietnam and south China looks promising, because all winds except north east will keeps bergs in place.
It's a cute idea, but surely if engineers think it impractical at the moment then with warming ice, warming seas and warming winds it becomes progressively less and less practical?  And even if it works it doesn't resolve the overall warming issues, just mitigates some local ones.

Perhaps southern Africa, so much closer to Antarctica than the places you mention, might have more of a chance of making it work, but more for the fresh water (badly needed in Cape Town) than the cooling effect.

BicycleB

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #134 on: September 22, 2019, 05:30:21 AM »
IIRC, I saw a study a couple months ago in some scientists attempted generally to model climate with respect to the effects of possible geoengineering measures. They weren't guaranteeing that such measures would work as hoped for, just calculating as best they could the overall result on the global system if the measures did work. Their conclusion in initial modeling was basically that they were likely to be insufficient to stop global warming on their own, but almost certain to be necessary because they appear to be very effective in limiited contexts that would reduce the problem but not solve it. Their models suggested that outcomes without geoengineering at all would be much worse.

If true, then we're in an "all of the above" situation. We presumably need to conserve/be efficient, change systems to reduce carbon, attempt offsets and carbon capture, geoengineer, AND mitigate. If the icebergs can help for a while, even some limited mitigation might save lives and reduce societal trauma.

Something makes me think the mitigation value would have to be compared against the carbon produced by towing the icebergs. Not sure how that would pan out anyway.

pecunia

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #135 on: September 22, 2019, 07:54:33 AM »
Nuke plants, electric cars and trains.   Like the folks of the Middle Ages people today will go kicking and screaming into the future.  Safety?  Problems represent opportunities for the open mind.

FLBiker

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #136 on: September 26, 2019, 04:29:17 AM »
This is part of why we're moving from Florida to Canada next year.  Climate-wise, we expect Canada to be better off (both in terms of weather but also in terms of things like fresh water and disease).  We also think (perhaps we're wrong) that Canada is culturally more "pull together" than "every person for themselves".  We have a four year old, and we're basically making the move because we want to get her set up where we feel like the next several decades will be better.  Who knows?

StarBright

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #137 on: September 26, 2019, 05:59:41 AM »
This is part of why we're moving from Florida to Canada next year.  Climate-wise, we expect Canada to be better off (both in terms of weather but also in terms of things like fresh water and disease).  We also think (perhaps we're wrong) that Canada is culturally more "pull together" than "every person for themselves".  We have a four year old, and we're basically making the move because we want to get her set up where we feel like the next several decades will be better.  Who knows?

We are similar. Last year we had to decide between jobs in SoCal, TX, and Northern Ohio - future climate for our children did come into our decision.

Just Joe

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #138 on: September 26, 2019, 09:55:56 AM »
I'm basing this on direct conversations with the very people in my own government whose job it is to make recommendations as to when and how civil liberties should be suspended in the event of disruption. They model everything, and the threshold for outbreak of civil violence is very very low, which means so is the bar for totalitarianism.
Agreed.  The mantra I've heard is that we are 24 hours and two missed meals away from anarchy.

Even within totally normal temperature fluctuations, crime waves correlate strongly with heat waves.

Imagine cranking up the thermometer to new levels while there are rolling power outages.

All good reasons not to live in crowded places dependent on gasoline, grocery stores and big trucks.

GuitarStv

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #139 on: September 26, 2019, 10:18:25 AM »
I'm basing this on direct conversations with the very people in my own government whose job it is to make recommendations as to when and how civil liberties should be suspended in the event of disruption. They model everything, and the threshold for outbreak of civil violence is very very low, which means so is the bar for totalitarianism.
Agreed.  The mantra I've heard is that we are 24 hours and two missed meals away from anarchy.

Even within totally normal temperature fluctuations, crime waves correlate strongly with heat waves.

Imagine cranking up the thermometer to new levels while there are rolling power outages.

All good reasons not to live in crowded places dependent on gasoline, grocery stores and big trucks.

Where are you planning on living?

Most rural areas are at least as dependent on gasoline as the urban areas.  None of the farmland I've lived in was anywhere near self-sufficient.  Most farmers grow only one or two crops, have well water that requires grid power, and need automobiles to get places since each house is several kilometers away from the next.  Actually planting and harvesting requires regular supply of diesel and gas - few and far between are the farmers who know how to tend a field with a horse.  The farmers with livestock are even more dependent upon gas to provide feed for their animals, refrigeration for things like milk, etc.

In a rural area you're not likely to get help in time if there's crime, if there's a medical emergency, or if there's a disaster.  Don't get me wrong, crowded places can be dangerous, but you're kidding yourself if you think that rural life is significantly safer.

Just Joe

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #140 on: September 26, 2019, 11:44:23 AM »
Where are you planning on living?

Most rural areas are at least as dependent on gasoline as the urban areas.  None of the farmland I've lived in was anywhere near self-sufficient.  Most farmers grow only one or two crops, have well water that requires grid power, and need automobiles to get places since each house is several kilometers away from the next.  Actually planting and harvesting requires regular supply of diesel and gas - few and far between are the farmers who know how to tend a field with a horse.  The farmers with livestock are even more dependent upon gas to provide feed for their animals, refrigeration for things like milk, etc.

In a rural area you're not likely to get help in time if there's crime, if there's a medical emergency, or if there's a disaster.  Don't get me wrong, crowded places can be dangerous, but you're kidding yourself if you think that rural life is significantly safer.

There is a sweet spot between Manhattan and the middle of empty Wyoming. We purposefully live in a small town. We have a loose mental plan for how we would cope with a world gone upside down but we aren't preppers as seen on TV.  We're out in the country but close enough to bicycle or walk (in a pinch). It would be even easier to get to town if the main roads were empty and safe to bike on. Hopefully our frugality would help us smooth the transition from what we know now to whatever came next. Hopefully it would allow us to stock up on whatever we thought we needed.

Humananity may be forced by sickness or starvation or social unrest to reset the society's clock to 1900 if technology can't deliver us from global warming.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 01:37:37 PM by Just Joe »

pecunia

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #141 on: September 26, 2019, 05:06:45 PM »
I don't know.  Seems like some people have been worried about some sort of apocalypse since I was a kid.  This song came out long ago when I was a kid:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfZVu0alU0I

I still like the tune.

Malkynn

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #142 on: September 26, 2019, 05:23:45 PM »
I don't know.  Seems like some people have been worried about some sort of apocalypse since I was a kid.  This song came out long ago when I was a kid:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfZVu0alU0I

I still like the tune.

"People" have predicted all sorts of nonsense, but does the global scientific community really have the same reputation?

With that question, I also want to very clearly distinguish scientific discourse from the media discourse around science, because those are two very very different things.

As a former research scientist, I can say that we are a breed of careful-speaking folk who hesitate to say anything definitive unless we absolutely have to, so the deafening roar from the scientists on this matter is, well, to me, pants-shittingly-unprecented.

Montecarlo

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #143 on: September 27, 2019, 03:32:23 AM »
Replication crisis

Just Joe

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #144 on: September 27, 2019, 08:32:30 AM »
We all know politician's talk is cheap - some far cheaper than others. Example: see White House.

Is there any chance at all that there is a different more thoughtful discussion going on behind the closed doors of our government or is it just as chaotic when the doors are closed?

Does the right REALLY care so much about bathroom laws and the gender of who marries who or is this just the public BS they throw out there to attract voters who worry about BS topics like that?

Could the think tanks possibly be planning a more sophisticated strategy to deal with climate change that can be passed along to the talking heads soon?

I feel like the American conservatives are wasting valuable time. As someone else pointed out early - each day we keep burning oil means the oil industry pockets another ~$5B.

To the people pocketing the cash - delaying changes is very profitable.

former player

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #145 on: September 27, 2019, 09:09:13 AM »
We all know politician's talk is cheap - some far cheaper than others. Example: see White House.

Is there any chance at all that there is a different more thoughtful discussion going on behind the closed doors of our government or is it just as chaotic when the doors are closed?
My experience from the other side of the Atlantic is that there is solid, fact based work going on by the civil servants, backed by scientific research commissioned as necessary, but that once things get to the political level it's hard to make change happen if the public think there is an immediate disadvantage to them, even if the long term result will be better overall.  There would have been some radical environmental policies in the UK 10 years ago (I know, I worked on them) if politicians (of all political persuasions) didn't fold at the first indication of public opposition.

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #146 on: September 27, 2019, 03:17:08 PM »
We all know politician's talk is cheap - some far cheaper than others. Example: see White House.

Is there any chance at all that there is a different more thoughtful discussion going on behind the closed doors of our government or is it just as chaotic when the doors are closed?
My experience from the other side of the Atlantic is that there is solid, fact based work going on by the civil servants, backed by scientific research commissioned as necessary, but that once things get to the political level it's hard to make change happen if the public think there is an immediate disadvantage to them, even if the long term result will be better overall.  There would have been some radical environmental policies in the UK 10 years ago (I know, I worked on them) if politicians (of all political persuasions) didn't fold at the first indication of public opposition.

@former player, thanks for posting personal testimony - very valuable.

@Just Joe, ICYMI - there are plans on the books, already in the form of bills, that would make a huge difference. I read in The Economist's recent Climate Issue that "Four former Federal Reserve chairmen and 27 Nobel-prize-winning economists advocate a carbon tax whose proceeds are distributed to Americans in equal lump sums". The US's Carbon Dividend Act bill, currently denoted House Resolution 763, would implement exactly this very powerful policy. If you can vote in the US, you have standing to contact your Senators and US Representative, asking them to pass this bill.

PDXTabs

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #147 on: September 27, 2019, 03:54:09 PM »
Most rural areas are at least as dependent on gasoline as the urban areas.  None of the farmland I've lived in was anywhere near self-sufficient.  Most farmers grow only one or two crops, have well water that requires grid power, and need automobiles to get places since each house is several kilometers away from the next.  Actually planting and harvesting requires regular supply of diesel and gas - few and far between are the farmers who know how to tend a field with a horse.  The farmers with livestock are even more dependent upon gas to provide feed for their animals, refrigeration for things like milk, etc.

I just wanted to point out that windpumps never went out of style for pumping well water. Also, that my family managed to farm without ICEs back in the day, I'm sure that it can be done. I'm also sure that it isn't particularly pleasant, and won't feed the whole population.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #148 on: September 27, 2019, 04:49:30 PM »
Is there any chance at all that there is a different more thoughtful discussion going on behind the closed doors of our government or is it just as chaotic when the doors are closed?
Did you see the transcript of the conversation between the US and Ukraine Presidents? Did either of them strike you as thoughtful and intelligent?

In a democracy, we elect people who represent us. They may or may not represent the best of us, but they do represent us.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #149 on: September 28, 2019, 03:08:34 AM »
On another note, the choice of a teenaged girl to support as a spokesperson for the movement is very cunning. They have evidently learned from the mess of DeCaprio et al, multi-millionaires jetting in for a meeting, apart from the rank hypocrisy, they're not sympathetic figures, and between their excessive and wasteful wealth and their smugness they're eminently attackable. But when people attack an earnest teenaged girl everyone can say "oh my god how dare you, somebody think of the children!" They've borrowed this tactic from the right-wing.

Finally they're being smart. Unfortunately, not smart enough to decouple environmentalism from the other causes they're supporting. If to care about rivers (for example) you only have to care about rivers, you can get everyone from some gay 25yo vegan city accountant to some fundamentalist 55yo rural pig hunter to join together. But if to join the Save The River movement you must also be in favour of same-sex marriage, or against it, in favour of vaccination or against it, etc, then your movement will be limited in its success. Unfortunately the modern environmentalist movement insists on being a package deal.

But using a teenaged girl as a human shield is smart. I hope her family and friends are supportive when she hits 18-20yo and those pushing her forward drop her abruptly.