Author Topic: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal  (Read 6151 times)

Aelias

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Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« on: January 05, 2018, 06:44:18 AM »
To start--I know this has been a contentious topic on the forum.  I'm starting from the premise that climate change is real and caused by human activity.  If you don't believe that, ok.  This isn't the thread for you.

Anyhow . . .

By any measure, there have been a lot of intense weather events in the US, particularly hurricanes and wildfires.  I'm absolutely convinced climate change is playing a role. 

But seeing the flooding from this storm surge in my town--in neighborhoods I know well and love--really brought it home.
https://slate.com/business/2018/01/bomb-cyclone-brings-record-flooding-to-boston.html

Damn.  I know being a coastal city sometimes means coastal floods. And I knew, eventually, rising sea levels would make flooding a big problem for us.  But seeing these images, the same thought kept running through my mind-- "I thought we had more time."

We don't.  We don't have more time.  This is happening.

Stay safe, friends.

Barbaebigode

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2018, 06:59:48 AM »
And 2017 is the hottest year on record without an El niño. Probably 2nd hottest overall. A few years ago I thought most people would really want to take action once weather anomalies started to pile up. I was wrong.

Kris

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2018, 07:55:05 AM »
Yep. And there will people denying this to the bitter end, even as their own houses go underwater.

Sigh.
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Zamboni

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2018, 07:59:34 AM »
Yes, those videos are distressing. I lived in Boston for years and never thought about flooding . . . but it makes sense.

My other half wants to return to the beach some day (teenage years were at the coast.)  My response: "Okay, that sounds fun, but we are definitely renting, not buying!"

Kris

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2018, 08:13:45 AM »
Yes, those videos are distressing. I lived in Boston for years and never thought about flooding . . . but it makes sense.

My other half wants to return to the beach some day (teenage years were at the coast.)  My response: "Okay, that sounds fun, but we are definitely renting, not buying!"

My husband and I have been planning to RE somewhere warm and out of the country. We'd been talking about the Caribbean, but with the effects of climate change now? No way. Especially not an island.
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StarBright

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2018, 08:22:33 AM »
Yep. And there will people denying this to the bitter end, even as their own houses go underwater.

Sigh.

Yep- we had SoCal family who were side-eyeing our move to the midwest. I said I thought it would be the easiest place to actually settle our family for the next 50 years, with the least amount of potential disruption.

They came to stay with us for a week when the Lilac fire threatened their home. They are now talking about buying property in Florida and they still think we are nuts for relocating to Ohio (we had a choice of SoCal, Wales or Ohio based on job prospects.)

They legitimately do not believe in climate change.

As a former inhabitant of the Boston area (Brighton and Somerville, FTW) the social media from my friends is really freaking me out. Hope you are okay OP!

jinga nation

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2018, 08:38:59 AM »
There are many who think climate change = global warming = increased temperatures. This week's bombogenesis brings out claims that "Hey it's mega colling. What global warming?"

They don't understand that change means temperature swings, can be either low or high outside the norm. The earth has always had long-term heating and cooling periods, but these are slow over thousands of years. People fail to admit that it is the effects of human behavior that is accelerating these changes.

2017 was the hot as hell in FL, we didn't even get our regular "winter" thanks to a weak La Nina system. http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/weather/first-four-months-2017-hottest-record-for-florida/PEgPQsUGjxSxM8v1ZcGJnL/

I lived a year in the Boston suburbs/exurbs (if you can call Sharon that). I feel safer about flooding and storms in Tampa Bay, relatively speaking. Storms of rain and snow and wind ain't no joke no matter where you are.
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Barbaebigode

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2018, 08:53:31 AM »
There are many who think climate change = global warming = increased temperatures. This week's bombogenesis brings out claims that "Hey it's mega colling. What global warming?"

They don't understand that change means temperature swings, can be either low or high outside the norm. The earth has always had long-term heating and cooling periods, but these are slow over thousands of years. People fail to admit that it is the effects of human behavior that is accelerating these changes.

2017 was the hot as hell in FL, we didn't even get our regular "winter" thanks to a weak La Nina system. http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/weather/first-four-months-2017-hottest-record-for-florida/PEgPQsUGjxSxM8v1ZcGJnL/

I lived a year in the Boston suburbs/exurbs (if you can call Sharon that). I feel safer about flooding and storms in Tampa Bay, relatively speaking. Storms of rain and snow and wind ain't no joke no matter where you are.

Those people also don't understand that mainland USA is about 2% of the earth's surface. 2017 also saw periods of harsh winter conditions in parts of Europe, and was still one of the hottest years on record.

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2018, 09:10:24 AM »
I am a complete pessimist about human nature, and I have a strong suspicion that as climate change effects become more dangerous and more evident,  the topic will actually create less political consensus about action (though possibly not whether it exists) rather than more.  Look at how political refugees have caused increase in political polarization in Europe.  And that was small scale and not climate related.  It's water shortages that concern me most, in terms of long term geopolitical stability.

DS

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2018, 09:11:35 AM »
https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/67/12/1026/4605229


Quote
On the twenty-fifth anniversary of their call, we look back at their warning and evaluate the human response by exploring available time-series data. Since 1992, with the exception of stabilizing the stratospheric ozone layer, humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse

Kris

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2018, 09:31:50 AM »
I am a complete pessimist about human nature, and I have a strong suspicion that as climate change effects become more dangerous and more evident,  the topic will actually create less political consensus about action (though possibly not whether it exists) rather than more.  Look at how political refugees have caused increase in political polarization in Europe.  And that was small scale and not climate related.  It's water shortages that concern me most, in terms of long term geopolitical stability.

It's starting. Cape Town is running out of water. Possibly in the next four months.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/27/travel/water-crisis-cape-town-travelers.html


Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

Aelias

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2018, 10:55:51 AM »
Thanks for all the supportive comments.  We're hanging in there.  Took a first crack at shoveling out my car which is in 2-4 feet thanks to drifting--made it about a third of the way through.  Life has mostly returned to normal--the T is up and running, which is a good proxy for how functional the city is.

@StarBright – those folks from SoCal who want to move to Florida decidedly do not get it.  You could not pay me enough money to own property in Florida right now.  It’s only a matter of time.  Don’t listen to them—I grew up in Ohio, and it has a lot of really lovely spots. And with ample water and arable land, they’ll be in decent shape going forward.

@Zamboni and @Kris and others—Yeah, the coast is amazing.  But as a long term place to live?  No thanks.  We’re actually building into our FIRE plan a modest homestead in Vermont a la Frugalwoods.  We’re serious gardeners and food preservers, and would love a place with enough space for some fruit and nut trees, a subsistence garden, a water source, and some woods to heat the place.  We usually talk about it as a “vacation place”, but really, it’s an escape hatch.

ketchup

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2018, 11:21:17 AM »
This has been more top-of-mind for me since Harvey even though the people I know in Houston lucked out relatively speaking (their house didn't flood, plus they were renting anyway, and their cars were fine).

It is here.  It's happening.  And it will only get worse.  Massive change has to happen in order to slow it; impossibly massive change has to happen in order to stop or reverse it.

Humanity will adapt, but it won't be pretty.

Stachey

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2018, 11:30:37 AM »
People on this thread might be interested in watching Planet Earth II  (on Netflix).

The cinematography is amazing!!!  But it also speaks to climate change.  It said that the deserts of the world keep expanding year upon year. 

It seems like parts of the world are getting drier (we didn't have rain for 2 1/2 months last summer - I can't remember it ever being that dry) while other parts of the world are getting deluged with rain that causes a ton of damage. 



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zinnie

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2018, 11:46:27 AM »
This is freaking me out, too. The California fires have been really scary this year. For Christmas we were in Sonoma county where it is usually rainy and green, and it was still late-summer dry conditions. In San Diego we are already into January and still waiting for winter to start. I'm wondering if spring is going to start (which it usually does in late Feb./early Mar.) before we even get a winter. It has only rained once this winter season, and it was very light and brief. Everything is sad and yellow/brown right now.

Humanity will adapt, but it won't be pretty.

This is a good way to put it.
 
I try to have a "focus on what you can control" mentality--if I can't control it, there is absolutely no point in worrying about it. I'll do what I can to reduce my impact and talk to people around me/elected officials but beyond that, it's out of my hands. I also think about how lucky all of us with FIRE plans are. If things get bad where we are, we can move. We'll have the financial independence to make choices that a lot of other people won't. This added to the fact that technology is improving at exponential rates right now--so fast that laws and our brains can't keep up, and I don't think it is totally irrational to hold some optimism on this front. Solar power is reducing in cost dramatically and the technologies needed to clean up the environmental messes we have made are also increasing dramatically. It's very possible that ten years from now we'll laugh at how everything used to be powered with fossil fuels. At least I hope so!

Lichen

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2018, 12:31:39 PM »
Living as far inland as I do, as well as above the 47th parallel, neither flooding nor water shortages have been an issue. The issues driving home climate change around here are fire seasons and tree migration.

Our fire seasons have been severe historically -- some is natural and some is due to poor forestry management practices in the first half of last. The part with climate change is the severity, intensity, and length of the fire season is increasing every year -- keeping perfect pace with the climate change models. Hotter, longer summer paired with lower annual snow fall is the culprit.

Then, we have plant migration. I personally noticed it two years ago. The larches in our nearby woods began to die out and new ones didn't grow in. Went a little north (less than 50 miles) and they were still thriving. This summer, I had to drive almost to the Canadian border to find healthy stands of larch. Asked a ranger about it, since I assumed it was disease or pest problems. Was informed that the forestry peeps had been tracking the northward migration of the larches for some years. As overall temperature increases and the length of our summer increases, the larches die out. Seeds carried northward by birds, etc, are germinating and thriving further north than they ever have. For those Tolkien fans, it makes me think of the Ents looking for the Ent-wives. I'm afraid climate change will wipe out the Ent-Wives before the Ents find them....

This changes the make-up of the forests, possibly even making them more prone to devastating fires because there is more dead wood and less green wood to replace it. And then there are no trees to grow back, since they can no longer survive in the changing climate.

DarkandStormy

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2018, 12:57:58 PM »
https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2016/10/17/13190036/global-climate-change-facts-effects-cartoon

This is quite startling.

Look, our governments have proven they don't care and will likely fail at this, despite the Paris Accord.  It's not enough.

We ALL have to do our part - that's recycling, composting, investing in solar if financially possible, etc.
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jrhampt

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2018, 01:08:12 PM »
Agree w dark and stormy above.  We got solar panels this past fall!  Looking into a hybrid or electric vehicle in the future, too. 

jinga nation

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2018, 01:19:39 PM »
I am a complete pessimist about human nature, and I have a strong suspicion that as climate change effects become more dangerous and more evident,  the topic will actually create less political consensus about action (though possibly not whether it exists) rather than more.  Look at how political refugees have caused increase in political polarization in Europe.  And that was small scale and not climate related.  It's water shortages that concern me most, in terms of long term geopolitical stability.

It's starting. Cape Town is running out of water. Possibly in the next four months.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/27/travel/water-crisis-cape-town-travelers.html

That was the same in Dec 2005 when I was there with ze wife.

I'm from East Africa. Water shortages are as common as blue skies.

East coasters: We don't have enough bottled water for the hurricane.
Africans: We don't have enough water, forget if it's drinkable. Need access to tap (faucet).
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Travis

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2018, 01:27:50 PM »
I'm originally from CA and spent the last two weeks there on vacation.  CA's ability to manage its resources has always been laughable, and the drought of the last few years was but the latest example.  Not only has there been a storage shortage since I was a kid in the early 80s, but they've never had enough money saved up for infrastructure upgrades and maintenance.  The state didn't declare it an emergency until the final year of the multi-year drought and even then it was "pretty please don't waste water."  My in-laws were close to being washed out when the nearby dam started to fall apart (engineering defects were revealed to have been known for years at the state level).  Now that the state survived the drought and the dam (almost) collapse, folks are seeing their water bills skyrocketing since the powers-that-be are finally understanding their systemic weaknesses.  They don't understand that the state has been deferring infrastructure investment for decades.  I get a good laugh whenever I drive south on I-5 through the valley and every couple miles is a sign on the side of the road saying "Growing food isn't stealing water!"  While I agree that growing food is a better use of water than other things, these signs are not placed on the north-bound side for the people coming out of LA County.  Their gas prices are already high due to state-mandated restrictions and those prices are going to continue to climb.  While I feel that as a nation we underpay for gasoline, I have no faith that CA's gas tax increases will go towards what they need to.

What does all of that have to do with climate change? Resources are already at risk due to simple population growth.  Expert management is required for us to preserve our resources against growth, pollution, and soon disappearance due to climate change.  Some places just don't have it together.
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gaja

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2018, 01:33:52 PM »
I am a complete pessimist about human nature, and I have a strong suspicion that as climate change effects become more dangerous and more evident,  the topic will actually create less political consensus about action (though possibly not whether it exists) rather than more.  Look at how political refugees have caused increase in political polarization in Europe.  And that was small scale and not climate related.  It's water shortages that concern me most, in terms of long term geopolitical stability.

On of the factors behind the Syrian refugee crisis probably was linked to climate change: https://newint.org/blog/2016/06/10/climate-change-and-the-syria-crisis
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Another Reader

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2018, 02:12:27 PM »
Before you all start with the beating of chests, rending of clothes, and wailing, I suggest you read this blog post from Granola Shotgun:  https://granolashotgun.com/2017/01/16/king-tide/

In particular, this passage:

10,000 years ago San Francisco Bay was a dry grassy valley populated by elephants, zebras, and camels. The planet was significantly cooler and dryer back then. Sea level was lower since glaciers in the north pulled water out of the oceans. The bay isn’t that deep so a relatively small change in sea level pushed the coastline out by twelve miles from its present location. Further back in pre-history when the earth was warmer than today sea level was higher. The hills of San Francisco were small islands off the coast of ancient California. These cycles play out on a scale we humans can’t perceive in our daily lives. You can think of this process as a larger version of the tides that play out over thousands of years instead of twice a day. There’s absolutely no need to debate human induced climate change. The climate changes all the time with or without us. The real question is how we will adapt over time.


The reality is that climate change has been occurring since the planet was formed, and on a geologic time scale, it happens very rapidly.  Are humans affecting the current rate of change?  Probably.  Are they affecting the direction?  Climate change happens constantly, so the jury is out on that one.

We will need to adapt to whatever change happens.  However, governments aren't going to do a whole lot about what their countries are doing, except for reducing some pollutants that are inconveniently killing off their populations.  If the human species is still around when the hilltops of San Francisco are next islands in the Pacific ocean, we will have succeeded at adapting.  Otherwise, some other form of life will dominate the planet.

sol

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2018, 02:23:21 PM »
Before you all start with the beating of chests, rending of clothes, and wailing, I suggest you read this blog post from Granola Shotgun: 

This is gross misinformation, AR.  The current scale and pace of climate change are unlike anything ever seen in the geologic record (that wasn't accompanied by a mass extinction event).

You don't have to worry if you don't want to.  That's your right, and probably better for your mental health.  But neither should you lie to other people when you clearly don't understand what you're talking about.

gobius

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2018, 02:31:14 PM »
The reality is that climate change has been occurring since the planet was formed, and on a geologic time scale, it happens very rapidly.  Are humans affecting the current rate of change?  Probably.  Are they affecting the direction?  Climate change happens constantly, so the jury is out on that one.



Most scientists in the field and most scientific organizations agree it is mostly humans affecting it. 

I know it's YouTube, but it's a graph provided by NASA showing all the known effects on the climate up to about 2005.  The NASA Climate Change site is a good reference.  So is Skeptical Science.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gHUHoqBn-Y

As Sol mentioned, this is happening much more rapidly than previous changes.  Orders of magnitude higher than any speed human civilizations have seen.

gobius

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2018, 02:40:47 PM »
There are many who think climate change = global warming = increased temperatures. This week's bombogenesis brings out claims that "Hey it's mega colling. What global warming?"



Not to mention the acidification of the ocean, or the coral reefs bleaching more and more because the oceans are heating up.  Some think added CO2 just means warmer air.  It means much more than that.

Another Reader

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2018, 02:41:40 PM »
Before you all start with the beating of chests, rending of clothes, and wailing, I suggest you read this blog post from Granola Shotgun: 

This is gross misinformation, AR.  The current scale and pace of climate change are unlike anything ever seen in the geologic record (that wasn't accompanied by a mass extinction event).

You don't have to worry if you don't want to.  That's your right, and probably better for your mental health.  But neither should you lie to other people when you clearly don't understand what you're talking about.

Sol, you are a scientist, the analytic type of person, but I hear emotion in your tone.  What lie did I tell?  I'm not disputing that the climate is changing.  I said climate change happens, we are probably affecting the rate, and whether this was the underlying direction when we started affecting it is not clear.  We will have to adapt, self interested governments won't do anything, and we will have to live with the consequences.  Where is the lie?

Linda_Norway

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2018, 03:00:56 PM »
There are many who think climate change = global warming = increased temperatures. This week's bombogenesis brings out claims that "Hey it's mega colling. What global warming?"



Not to mention the acidification of the ocean, or the coral reefs bleaching more and more because the oceans are heating up.  Some think added CO2 just means warmer air.  It means much more than that.

I am also very worried about the climate change. I think the changes will lead to water shortages, failed harvests due to too little rain or too much rain, extreme weather in many ways, mass migrations and maybe war. And the oceans are to cry about. They are getting warmer, more acidic and full of micro plastic. Now also a lot of radium under the arctic ice. And we are making a veey large part of all species in the world extinct.

I am happy that I didn't put children on this planet, because I don't think they would have a nice life during all of their life. I even think it won't last my own lifetime.

For FIRE I wonder which financial consequences it will have. Will it be expensive for the countries to set up protection against the bad weather and will they have to increase taxes big time? Will the atock market take a big and permanent crash? I try not to think too hard about it, as it makes me very depressed they we humans are destroying our planet in so many way.

ketchup

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2018, 03:08:27 PM »
Before you all start with the beating of chests, rending of clothes, and wailing, I suggest you read this blog post from Granola Shotgun: 

This is gross misinformation, AR.  The current scale and pace of climate change are unlike anything ever seen in the geologic record (that wasn't accompanied by a mass extinction event).

You don't have to worry if you don't want to.  That's your right, and probably better for your mental health.  But neither should you lie to other people when you clearly don't understand what you're talking about.

Sol, you are a scientist, the analytic type of person, but I hear emotion in your tone.  What lie did I tell?  I'm not disputing that the climate is changing.  I said climate change happens, we are probably affecting the rate, and whether this was the underlying direction when we started affecting it is not clear.  We will have to adapt, self interested governments won't do anything, and we will have to live with the consequences.  Where is the lie?

BookLoverL

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2018, 03:24:29 PM »
I don't think most governments are going to do anywhere near enough about climate change, resource depletion, and other intersecting problems - even the ones that have signed up to the Paris Accords. I concluded a couple of years ago that the only solution was to take steps to increase my personal resilience to climate change, and that of my local community.

How to do this? Well, for a start, take a look at where your house is. If it's coastal and near sea level, or in the flood plain of a river, or along a coast that usually gets hurricanes, or in an area plagued by drought, well: it's probably not going to get better from here. Move to somewhere uphill from the flooding/a place that gets more rain/etc, or make peace with the fact that your house will probably be destroyed in a natural disaster at some point.

Then, look at the areas of your personal life in which you depend on fossil fuels, environmentally unsound practices, and anything else you think might be a problem when climate change and resource depletion has progressed a bit more. Learn some more eco-friendly ways of getting those things. Even if you don't put them all into practice now, make sure you have the knowledge to, say, cook if the power's out for a few weeks/get some food even if global food supply chains break down/etc. Learn the plants, animals, and cycles that can be found in your home area. Figure out how easy it is to travel to nearby places without a car, and what your effective range will be in one day/one week/etc of foot travel or bike travel. Integrate yourself with the local community, so that people see you as a friend/someone to help rather than as a stranger/someone to steal resources from. FI is about financial resilience. To have the best chance of surviving future climate turmoil, you need resilience in your lifestyle and skillset, too.

Also, you can help your community as a whole by setting up sustainable systems in public areas. You won't be able to convince everyone to help combat climate change, but you can certainly plant a few things/figure out how to get water sustainably/improve the local soil quality, so that your area will support a higher number of people or a higher quality of life in the future. You could even try going into politics, if you have the personality for it.

Whatever you do, don't rely on governments or corporations to do anything about it. It's definitely an issue. Climate change is here. The ship for preventing it has long sailed, and the only thing left to do is ride out the storm.
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bacchi

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2018, 04:07:18 PM »
It's not all doom and gloom. The world did band together and fix the ozone problem by banning CFCs.

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/04/130416-ozone-layer-aerosol-environment-science-montreal-protocol/

sol

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2018, 04:58:40 PM »
It's not all doom and gloom. The world did band together and fix the ozone problem by banning CFCs.

And acid rain, too.  But those were both "fixed" by economic incentives, by offering profit-seeking corporations more money to pollute less.  Carbon emissions are much harder to fix this way.

marty998

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2018, 05:09:39 PM »
It's a balmy 40C+ here in South Eastern Australia.

When I was a kid we used to have one of these days in Sydney once every couple of years.

Now we have 10-12 days of it every summer.

The tropics are moving further south too... a lot more tropical afternoon storms being experienced these days.

StarBright

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2018, 05:31:28 PM »
I don't think most governments are going to do anywhere near enough about climate change, resource depletion, and other intersecting problems - even the ones that have signed up to the Paris Accords. I concluded a couple of years ago that the only solution was to take steps to increase my personal resilience to climate change, and that of my local community.

How to do this? Well, for a start, take a look at where your house is. If it's coastal and near sea level, or in the flood plain of a river, or along a coast that usually gets hurricanes, or in an area plagued by drought, well: it's probably not going to get better from here. Move to somewhere uphill from the flooding/a place that gets more rain/etc, or make peace with the fact that your house will probably be destroyed in a natural disaster at some point.

Then, look at the areas of your personal life in which you depend on fossil fuels, environmentally unsound practices, and anything else you think might be a problem when climate change and resource depletion has progressed a bit more. Learn some more eco-friendly ways of getting those things. Even if you don't put them all into practice now, make sure you have the knowledge to, say, cook if the power's out for a few weeks/get some food even if global food supply chains break down/etc. Learn the plants, animals, and cycles that can be found in your home area. Figure out how easy it is to travel to nearby places without a car, and what your effective range will be in one day/one week/etc of foot travel or bike travel. Integrate yourself with the local community, so that people see you as a friend/someone to help rather than as a stranger/someone to steal resources from. FI is about financial resilience. To have the best chance of surviving future climate turmoil, you need resilience in your lifestyle and skillset, too.

Also, you can help your community as a whole by setting up sustainable systems in public areas. You won't be able to convince everyone to help combat climate change, but you can certainly plant a few things/figure out how to get water sustainably/improve the local soil quality, so that your area will support a higher number of people or a higher quality of life in the future. You could even try going into politics, if you have the personality for it.

Whatever you do, don't rely on governments or corporations to do anything about it. It's definitely an issue. Climate change is here. The ship for preventing it has long sailed, and the only thing left to do is ride out the storm.

I agree with this big time. We took these things into consideration when my DH took his (likely for the rest of his life) job. Family thought we were nutty but I'd be lying if I said I didn't factor in that this is a place where my children can live out their lifetimes.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 05:56:14 PM by StarBright »

Abe

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2018, 05:51:44 PM »
A couple thoughts:

1) On the one hand I want to stay in California, but on the other hand think that at least the southern part will turn into a Mad-Max wasteland in our lifetimes. One thing I've thought of is having a water distillation system to treat seawater. We would really only need to distill the drinking, cooking and clothes-washing water.

2) They need to stop growing those damn almonds. Lowest taste to water use ratio of anything ever.

3) Coastal areas - if you build on the water, it just makes sense to not have your living space on the ground level. Almost every society that traditionally built on or near the water built their houses on stilts of some kind. 


jeninco

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2018, 08:21:44 PM »
Thanks, ketchup. I was thinking I would have to go find that XKCD and post it here -- its a really lovely way to present the data. (I forwarded it to my kid's middle-school science teacher, and he printed the whole thing out and laminated it so he could hang it vertically. It's 8 feet high!)

letired

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2018, 09:59:06 PM »
I also get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach from time to time. I love threads like this, because it means I'm not the only one, but that's the only good thing.

When I'm feeling particularly morose about it, I read the climate predictions for various regions, and none of it is any good. Where I am in Texas feels particularly un-sustainable, primarily due to water. But the whole problem is that no place is left untouched.

10,000 years ago San Francisco Bay was a dry grassy valley populated by elephants, zebras, and camels.

I shouldn't engage, but as a biologist, I can't help it. Anyone who claims zebras have ever lived in San Francisco is, to put it politely, not a reliable resource.


bacchi

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #36 on: January 05, 2018, 11:08:57 PM »
It's not all doom and gloom. The world did band together and fix the ozone problem by banning CFCs.

And acid rain, too.  But those were both "fixed" by economic incentives, by offering profit-seeking corporations more money to pollute less.  Carbon emissions are much harder to fix this way.

Revenue neutral carbon tax! It garnered 42% in WA and probably would've passed if the eco groups weren't so pissy about it (it didn't go far enough; it was flawed; etc.) It's only a matter of time. (Libertarians should be all over this plan but, alas, most are philosophically challenged.)

Besides, look at the deniers' arguments over the past 20 years.

First, "GW isn't happening!"
Then, "GW may be happening but it's from solar flares and definitely isn't caused by human activity."
Now, AGW is possible but "the science is undecided."

Finally, more people live in coastal elite cities; any doubters there will lose their skepticism as these "once every hundred year" events occur once every 10 years and then once every 5 years. In other words, NYC can outvote the rest of their state.

maizeman

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #37 on: January 05, 2018, 11:28:21 PM »
It's not all doom and gloom. The world did band together and fix the ozone problem by banning CFCs.

And acid rain, too.  But those were both "fixed" by economic incentives, by offering profit-seeking corporations more money to pollute less.  Carbon emissions are much harder to fix this way.

Revenue neutral carbon tax! It garnered 42% in WA and probably would've passed if the eco groups weren't so pissy about it (it didn't go far enough; it was flawed; etc.) It's only a matter of time. (Libertarians should be all over this plan but, alas, most are philosophically challenged.)

Yup, it's actually a rather elegant solution if anyone could manage to implement it, particularly since a lot of the best variants of a revenue neutral carbon tax can also start to serve as an (extremely small) minimum basis income.

Quote
First, "GW isn't happening!"
Then, "GW may be happening but it's from solar flares and definitely isn't caused by human activity."
Now, AGW is possible but "the science is undecided."

This is a pretty universal government or organizational response when a committee or large group of people is faced with hard and unpopular choices. I think Yes, Minister captured it best:

"Standard response in a time of crisis.
In stage one we say nothing is going to happen.
Stage two, we say something may be about to happen, but we should do nothing about it.
In stage three, we say that maybe we should do something about it, but there's nothing we *can* do.
Stage four, we say maybe there was something we could have done, but it's too late now."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSD1d-6P6qI&t=8

Another Reader

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #38 on: January 06, 2018, 05:53:46 AM »
The way humans live today, the planet is above carrying capacity at 7 billion plus of them.  The usual population controls for overpopulated species of war, famine, and pestilence aren't working right now.  We have minimized famine and pestilence for the time being and there haven't been any wars large enough to impact human population for awhile.  At some point, something will fail and the population will be reduced by one or more of the big three.  Or maybe a large asteroid will collide with the planet and we will have another mass extinction event.

Who knows how and when this will happen?  No one.  However, in 5,000 years, the planet will look different than it does today.  People as a species may have disappeared or at least be a much smaller part of the life here. Get used to change. It's going to happen. 

BookLoverL has got it right, although the time frame may extend beyond our lives.  With respect to today's problems, governments will posture and do nothing. Make your decisions accordingly.


westtoeast

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #39 on: January 06, 2018, 07:05:49 AM »
Thanks, ketchup. I was thinking I would have to go find that XKCD and post it here -- its a really lovely way to present the data. (I forwarded it to my kid's middle-school science teacher, and he printed the whole thing out and laminated it so he could hang it vertically. It's 8 feet high!)

Yes! I teach about climate change to middle schoolers, and I'm going to print the thing out too. Although my students are all entirely convinced by climate change science, and quite concerned.

Not much to add here that hasn't been said, but as I get ready to head outside into some of the coldest temps ever in my NE region, this has been on my mind too. When I'm teaching, I try to emphasize how dire the situation is while also reinforcing that my students' generation has the ability/responsibility to make a change. But in reality, we've passed a tipping point. Now we have to adapt to a new climate and try to prevent the situation from getting much much worse that it will already be.

BookLoverL

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #40 on: January 06, 2018, 07:39:21 AM »
It's not all doom and gloom. The world did band together and fix the ozone problem by banning CFCs.

And acid rain, too.  But those were both "fixed" by economic incentives, by offering profit-seeking corporations more money to pollute less.  Carbon emissions are much harder to fix this way.

Revenue neutral carbon tax! It garnered 42% in WA and probably would've passed if the eco groups weren't so pissy about it (it didn't go far enough; it was flawed; etc.) It's only a matter of time. (Libertarians should be all over this plan but, alas, most are philosophically challenged.)

Besides, look at the deniers' arguments over the past 20 years.

First, "GW isn't happening!"
Then, "GW may be happening but it's from solar flares and definitely isn't caused by human activity."
Now, AGW is possible but "the science is undecided."

Finally, more people live in coastal elite cities; any doubters there will lose their skepticism as these "once every hundred year" events occur once every 10 years and then once every 5 years. In other words, NYC can outvote the rest of their state.


The ozone and acid rain stuff is good progress, but, like I said, not nearly far enough towards transforming society into something sustainable. Carbon taxes and pollution taxes are definitely a good idea. Alas, I don't feel like there's the political will for it - most people seem to be more concerned with the economy, healthcare, or social issues, and miss the big picture. If taxes come in, even in small areas, I'll be pleased, though.

The way humans live today, the planet is above carrying capacity at 7 billion plus of them.  The usual population controls for overpopulated species of war, famine, and pestilence aren't working right now.  We have minimized famine and pestilence for the time being and there haven't been any wars large enough to impact human population for awhile.  At some point, something will fail and the population will be reduced by one or more of the big three.  Or maybe a large asteroid will collide with the planet and we will have another mass extinction event.

I completely agree with this comment on population. Right now, we're able to support this many people because soil fertility kept up by repeated application of fertilisers derived from - you guessed it - fossil fuels. At some point, climate disaster, war, famine, and pestilence are going to come right back and start shrinking the population to a sustainable level. I personally feel like the current problems in various parts of the Middle East may be the start of that. And watch out for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, too.

It's entirely possible that any of us in the younger generation (I'm 24) could have our lives upheaved by climate change. Be prepared.
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gaja

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #41 on: January 06, 2018, 07:53:38 AM »
I'm a big fan of Per Espen Stoknes. He is a behavioural economist, who specialises in how to get us to deal with climate change. This TED talk is quite good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5h6ynoq8uM

This short animated video explains his ideas in a short and easy way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovfOURebDjc
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Linda_Norway

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #42 on: January 06, 2018, 08:31:46 AM »
Another thing is the fact that fertilizer is made from phosphor that is not very abundant. I think we won't be able to produce as much food without fertilizer. Ecological agriculture takes up much more space than modern agriculture. I think we will have to accept more genetically modified food in the future, like rice being able to stand in water without drowning, other plant species resiliant against fungi and pests. I recently saw a TED talk about the world food crisis being there already in 10 years.

Let's also not forget the bees that are dying out. I can recommand the book"The history of Bees. A Novel", which describes the dying of the bees and a possible future without bees, in the form of a novel.

It is comforting to see in this thread that so many more people are concerned about this. People in my surroundings, like my colleagues, think I am a doom thinker and that things aren't quite as bad. But every time I listen to a climate expert, I hear that things are really bad. I thing the rest of the population is in denial. Goverments are uasullt chosen for only 4 years. They don't dare to make too unpopular choices, like make air traffic very expensive or telling people to reduce their energy use with 50%, because they might not get reelected.

In the valley below I live we also have had several 200 year floods in the last couple of years. I am lickybthat I live high up the hill. I also plan to buy a FIRE house that is safe for floods and mud slides. Norway will become a lot wetter in the future. And if the gulf stream ever stops flowing here, it will become very cold. I also plan to plant veggies in the garden.

maizeman

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #43 on: January 06, 2018, 08:53:30 AM »
Another thing is the fact that fertilizer is made from phosphor that is not very abundant. I think we won't be able to produce as much food without fertilizer. Ecological agriculture takes up much more space than modern agriculture. I think we will have to accept more genetically modified food in the future, like rice being able to stand in water without drowning, other plant species resiliant against fungi and pests. I recently saw a TED talk about the world food crisis being there already in 10 years.

The current estimate is that known reserves of phosphate rock will last about 200 years at the rates they are currently being mined out for use in fertilizer. On the scale of a human lifetime, that seems like a lot (and enough to get us to a point where a lot of the other problems people are talking about in this thread are likely to hit us first). On the scale of human civilization's history to date, 200 years seems like the blink of an eye.

Random bit of trivia: the proportion of all known phosphate rock reserves in the world located in Morocco is roughly equal to the proportion of all known oil reserves controlled by all the members of OPEC combined.

Of the major nutrients in most fertilizers: N, P, and K, phosphorous probably has the hardest limit. Mineral reserves of potassium (K) are enough to last thousands if not tens of thousands of years. Ammonia (N) is currently produced using natural gas and air, but with cheap electricity for solar, wind, or nuclear power it can be synthesized just as easily from water and air in a carbon neutral fashion.*

*All you need to make ammonia is nitrogen (present in the air all around us in huge amounts) and hydrogen. Right now hydrogen from natural gas is cheaper than hydrogen from electrolysis of water.

scottish

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #44 on: January 06, 2018, 11:31:51 AM »
I've seen the high level statistics about atmospheric carbon.    It seems to me this type of statistic isn't actually measuring climate change, it's measuring, well, atmospheric carbon levels.

What are scientists using as statistics to measure these climate change events?    Has anyone seen a good methodology to capture statistics on tropical storms (such as the ones in the gulf last year), wild fires (California) and other such events related to climate change?
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bacchi

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #45 on: January 06, 2018, 11:50:10 AM »
I've seen the high level statistics about atmospheric carbon.    It seems to me this type of statistic isn't actually measuring climate change, it's measuring, well, atmospheric carbon levels.

What are scientists using as statistics to measure these climate change events?    Has anyone seen a good methodology to capture statistics on tropical storms (such as the ones in the gulf last year), wild fires (California) and other such events related to climate change?

There are numerous peer-reviewed studies about the warming effect on storms that can be found via google. A good start is NASA and NOAA. The relevant question is: will you ignore the many peer-reviewed studies and rely on wattsupwiththat instead?


scottish

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #46 on: January 06, 2018, 11:51:34 AM »
For example NASA https://www.nap.edu/read/21852/chapter/6#91  has a good graph of European temperature statistics:



And then MTBS has a nice visualization for wildfires (althought it doesn't seem to be very current) here:

https://www.mtbs.gov/viewer/index.html



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scottish

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #47 on: January 06, 2018, 12:00:46 PM »
I've seen the high level statistics about atmospheric carbon.    It seems to me this type of statistic isn't actually measuring climate change, it's measuring, well, atmospheric carbon levels.

What are scientists using as statistics to measure these climate change events?    Has anyone seen a good methodology to capture statistics on tropical storms (such as the ones in the gulf last year), wild fires (California) and other such events related to climate change?

There are numerous peer-reviewed studies about the warming effect on storms that can be found via google. A good start is NASA and NOAA. The relevant question is: will you ignore the many peer-reviewed studies and rely on wattsupwiththat instead?

Heh, I put more faith in the climate scientists than Anthony Watts any day.

I've always been a bit skeptical of the accuracy of climate models because climate science has to do things in such an open loop manner.   I thought open sourcing climate models was a huge step forward.

Statistical evidence demonstrating climate change would be another huge step forward.   It's pretty hard to deny actual facts (i.e. statistical evidence) around climate change.    The next step is hopefully to go back and figure out what parts of the models are predicting with a usable accuracy.
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Stachey

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #48 on: January 06, 2018, 12:30:02 PM »
I'm a big fan of Per Espen Stoknes. He is a behavioural economist, who specialises in how to get us to deal with climate change. This TED talk is quite good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5h6ynoq8uM

This short animated video explains his ideas in a short and easy way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovfOURebDjc

Thanks for posting these.  Very interesting.

It always makes a person feel better when they know they can do something to improve the situation.  These videos talk about at least three things:

1) Don't drive
2) Don't fly
3) Eat a plant based diet

I already do two of the three.  So now I can work on the third.
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gaja

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Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #49 on: January 06, 2018, 12:51:27 PM »
I'm a big fan of Per Espen Stoknes. He is a behavioural economist, who specialises in how to get us to deal with climate change. This TED talk is quite good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5h6ynoq8uM

This short animated video explains his ideas in a short and easy way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovfOURebDjc

Thanks for posting these.  Very interesting.

It always makes a person feel better when they know they can do something to improve the situation.  These videos talk about at least three things:

1) Don't drive
2) Don't fly
3) Eat a plant based diet

I already do two of the three.  So now I can work on the third.

Not only feel better, but more likely to do something about it. Hidden Brain or Freakonomics had a podcast about this the other day, where someone talked about how fear was an efficient way to stop people from doing stuff, like stop smoking. But if you want them to start doing something, you need to frame it in a more positive way, preferrably in the form of a story.

I don't quite agree with him on your third point, since that would mean more import of fruit and veg to the far north. Wild game and grazing farm animals are a good protein source in areas where edible plants are hard to grow. But we do need to reduce our meat consumption, and eat all parts of the animal rather than just the nice cuts. (That reminds me, I need to get the blood out of the freezer so the kids can have blood pancakes tomorrow). But since his audience are mainly consumers of industrial meat, and consuming less meat is easy to do in the western world, he is probably right to frame it like that.
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