Author Topic: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal  (Read 12998 times)

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6673
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #100 on: January 11, 2018, 12:34:51 PM »
Please tell me how millions of scientists agree on the "obvious" answer!

You're quibbling over details as if they matter.  One side says the scarecrow works because crows find human figures threatening, the other side says it works because of the wind motion and bright colors, and your take is that crows aren't a problem.  You've completely subverted the honest debate in an attempt to support an unrelated point.

Yes, we can and should figure out how to build better scarecrows.  It is disingenuous to suggest that this effort means we don't know anything about crows.

DarkandStormy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1132
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Midwest, USA
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #101 on: January 11, 2018, 12:51:53 PM »
Please tell me how millions of scientists agree on the "obvious" answer!

https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

Quote
Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial list of these organizations, along with links to their published statements and a selection of related resources.

97% of engineers agree: If you drive over that bridge it's likely going to collapse.   Are you going to drive over it?  Or is the warning not "obvious" enough for you?
The Chase Trifecta:
Earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points with Chase Sapphire Preferred - $4k spend in 3 months.
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/6/2MOVOLZCEJ
Earn a $150 bonus with Chase Freedom Unlimited - only $500 spend needed in 3 months.
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/18/ENYF0FTS66
Earn a $150 bonus with Chase Freedom - only $500 spend needed in 3 months.
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/2/DBOP9XI9XT

Southwest Cards - Earn 50k miles for $2k spend in 3 months.
Premier -
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/224/JY2BMSDZJ2
Plus -
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/223/F3ZW8H140N

Recommended Cell Service - Google's Project Fi: https://g.co/fi/r/THK0WX

Dabnasty

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
  • Age: 28
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #102 on: January 11, 2018, 12:52:59 PM »
Please tell me how millions of scientists agree on the "obvious" answer!

You're quibbling over details as if they matter.  One side says the scarecrow works because crows find human figures threatening, the other side says it works because of the wind motion and bright colors, and your take is that crows aren't a problem.  You've completely subverted the honest debate in an attempt to support an unrelated point.

Yes, we can and should figure out how to build better scarecrows.  It is disingenuous to suggest that this effort means we don't know anything about crows.

I like the analogy but I'm not sure it applies to zoltani in this case, does zoltani deny anthropogenic climate change?

I would agree that quibbling over details is often used as a way to undermine positions in these debates and whether that was the intent or not, at least now I know not to use that specific reasoning. There's plenty of other facts that clearly support human responsibility for climate change.

zoltani

  • Guest
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #103 on: January 11, 2018, 12:55:47 PM »
It's not really an honest debate when someone states that the climate has never changed rapidly, when in fact it has. Tell me how that contributes to the "honest debate"?

As I said in another thread it doesn't matter to me if climate change is caused by humans or not, as I think that part of the debate gets in the way of action. The climate is changing and something needs to be done, it doesn't matter the cause, IMO. But to you that makes me a climate denier. Does that tactic often work for you?

zoltani

  • Guest
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #104 on: January 11, 2018, 12:57:45 PM »
Please tell me how millions of scientists agree on the "obvious" answer!

https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

Quote
Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial list of these organizations, along with links to their published statements and a selection of related resources.

97% of engineers agree: If you drive over that bridge it's likely going to collapse.   Are you going to drive over it?  Or is the warning not "obvious" enough for you?

No Shit. Try and follow the thread. I don't dispute climate change and I wasn't talking about climate change consensus in my post.


Dabnasty

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
  • Age: 28
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #105 on: January 11, 2018, 01:10:19 PM »
It's not really an honest debate when someone states that the climate has never changed rapidly, when in fact it has. Tell me how that contributes to the "honest debate"?

As I said in another thread it doesn't matter to me if climate change is caused by humans or not, as I think that part of the debate gets in the way of action. The climate is changing and something needs to be done, it doesn't matter the cause, IMO. But to you that makes me a climate denier. Does that tactic often work for you?
This is true, I didn't know it had happened and now I do.

But to be fair it was in response to someone who was using uneducated generalizations of "temperature and sea level have changed in the past and therefore there's nothing we can do about it"

The order of posts made it seem as if you were defending his statements, but now we all know that you were not.


zoltani

  • Guest
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #106 on: January 11, 2018, 01:39:27 PM »
Ah, I see, thanks for the clarification.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6673
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #107 on: January 11, 2018, 02:02:41 PM »
It's not really an honest debate when someone states that the climate has never changed rapidly, when in fact it has. Tell me how that contributes to the "honest debate"?

We've already covered this in this thread but I'll repeat myself.

Past instances of climate change that have been anywhere near this fast have been accompanied by mass extinction events.  Your suggestion that this is normal is wrong, and your implication that it is unavoidable is wrong.  An honest debater would not say "this has happened before" without including that vital context.

Did someone here say "this has never happened before" or did you just throw that up as a strawman you could then try to discredit using incomplete and misleading arguments?  Maybe don't accuse me of being dishonest when I repeatedly have to correct your (deliberate?) misinformation. 

zoltani

  • Guest
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #108 on: January 11, 2018, 02:19:30 PM »
It's not really an honest debate when someone states that the climate has never changed rapidly, when in fact it has. Tell me how that contributes to the "honest debate"?

We've already covered this in this thread but I'll repeat myself.

Past instances of climate change that have been anywhere near this fast have been accompanied by mass extinction events.  Your suggestion that this is normal is wrong, and your implication that it is unavoidable is wrong.  An honest debater would not say "this has happened before" without including that vital context.

Did someone here say "this has never happened before" or did you just throw that up as a strawman you could then try to discredit using incomplete and misleading arguments?  Maybe don't accuse me of being dishonest when I repeatedly have to correct your (deliberate?) misinformation.

Well you are the one that quoted what I said, so surely you can re-read what transpired yourself. Of course, you cut my quote, but whatever.

What misinformation did I present exactly?

Another Reader

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4405
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #109 on: January 11, 2018, 03:55:43 PM »
Sol, your accusations of lying and deliberate misinformation are just not supportable.  I'm really surprised by your less than professional scientist behavior in this thread.  That's not what I have seen from you for the last five or six years.

I ask you, as I asked everyone else, to show us your list of actionable items that you will undertake that will actually change the tangent to the curve.

As to mass extinction events, I don't know if that's what will happen, but my conclusion is that we will reduce the human population by a billion or two over the next 100 years if your assumptions about the rate of change are correct.  Not going to be pretty if that happens.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 765
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #110 on: January 11, 2018, 06:41:18 PM »
Regarding carrying capacity, you might be interested in this article by Paul Chefurka, where he defines overshoot, carrying capacity and other ecological concepts.  He then reviews 5 or so estimates of carrying capacity from various sources and discusses the relative merits of each:

http://www.paulchefurka.ca/Sustainability.html

In this next article, Mr. Chefurka uses 2 billion as a place holder for carrying capacity in order to discuss the dynamics of overshoot.  But as you see from the previous article, his subsequent conclusion is that CC is probably no more than 1 billion, and in all likelihood is a lot less. Anyway, this is an interesting read on overshoot:

http://www.paulchefurka.ca/CC_Overshoot.html

I found Paul Chefurka and Vaclav Smil - Professor Emeritus at U. of Manitoba via Nate Hagens. To those on this thread who are no longer grasping for denial talking points, I urge you to watch Nate Hagen's talk 'Blindspots and Superheroes'. The discussion of terrestrial vertebrate biomass is shocking (It starts around 19 minutes into his lecture and is based off of data from Chefurka and Smil).

Relevant Smil publication.

Excellent links, Malaysia41. If you want numbers, check out the Paul Chefurka article.
Interesting links and it's nice that rather than arm-waving there is an attempt to arrive at well-defined ways of arriving at those numbers. While the impact of technology was briefly discussed by Chefurka, it is seemingly cast aside in favor of the "outside" and "objective" view of carrying capacity. That view appears to assume the only acceptable capacity calculations are those where one assumes (by the various measures) that humanity is necessarily in stasis and is in equilibrium with the environment.

There are two problems with that. First, taking the definition seriously, the "perpetual" carrying capacity of the Earth is zero. Unless action is taken, the sun's increasing luminosity will boil the oceans in a billion or two years. Second, the requirement that a sustainable population be able to survive in stasis is irrelevant under the condition that human knowledge and technology is rapidly growing. That growth in knowledge has already allowed for >2,000x increase in population from when 35 million "sustainably" lived. The notion of sustainability is only clear in a static society, which has not applied to humanity since the Scientific Revolution in the West and to much of the rest of the world since, perhaps, the 19th/20th centuries.

Sorry for off topic comment though. Someone posted a Vox article that approached the point I'm making: talking about overpopulation as a problem accomplishes nothing. Even if you believe there should be only 100 million or 2 billion people or whatever...well, here we are all the same.


sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6673
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #111 on: January 11, 2018, 07:03:24 PM »
Well you are the one that quoted what I said, so surely you can re-read what transpired yourself. Of course, you cut my quote, but whatever.

Fine, you sucked me in.  I went back and checked, and no one in this thread said that.  You were apparently the first person to bring up the idea that this sort of change "has never happened before" so I think I can safely stand by my assertion that you only brought up because you thought you could refute it, instead of dealing with any of the actual criticisms in this thread.  That was dishonest of you.  I'm not sure where you're getting your talking points, but they're leading you astray.  You're arguing with yourself, and for some reason I feel compelled to step in and correct you.  Perhaps because your performative strawman argument wasn't a part of this thread, and you only started/ended it in order to spread your pre-existing ideas about the topic in an attempt to influence other people's opinions.

It's a dumb game.  Can I start a thread refuting that Zoltani is a booger-eater?  There's really no good evidence for Zoltani's booger eating, though there's clearly a compelling argument that says he eats boogers more often now than he used to.  The jury's still out, I just wanted everyone to be aware of the disagreement about how often Zoltani eats boogers, because in reality it's probably not nearly as often as everyone says it is. 

See?  It's a dumb way to make your point.  If you have something to say about something in the thread, then please address it directly.  You don't need to make up new stuff just to inject you false ideas into the conversation.

Quote
What misinformation did I present exactly?

For the third time now...

Claiming that the current pace of warming is a common occurrence in Earth history, without catastrophic environmental consequences, was misinformation.

Claiming the cause of the Younger Dryas was unknown, and implying that this uncertainty discredits climate research, was misinformation.

Accusing me of dishonesty for pointing out your mistakes was also misinformation, but in the more general sense of being a jerk rather than in the more fraudulent sense of continuing to promote easily falsifiable ideas.

Claiming that you weren't "talking about consensus" when you ridiculed a post about consensus was misinformation, though of the purely nonsensical instead of the deliberately deceptive variety.

Were you also the person who posted about zebras in California?  That was a good one.

I'm really surprised by your less than professional scientist behavior in this thread.

I'm rolling with the pigs here.  The amount of underhanded trickery, deception, fraud, and lies around this topic is absolutely mind boggling.  Notice that nobody beat Trump in the primary by taking the high road.  I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty in order to play the game on the field where the game is being played.  Welcome to the internet.

Another Reader

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4405
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #112 on: January 11, 2018, 07:26:46 PM »
Are you accusing me of trickery, deception, lies and fraud?  I really take exception to that if you are.  I have no dog in this fight and no motivation to do those things.  It seems like the subject is a hot button for you, and your internet behavior deteriorates accordingly.  You would be better served to engage people politely with your disagreements.

I'm still waiting for your list of actions you will take personally to change the outcome of this mess...

Another Reader

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4405
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #113 on: January 11, 2018, 07:47:16 PM »
There's no fossil evidence of zebras, so maybe that writer mis-remembered one species.  However, it's accepted fact that there was no San Francisco Bay 15,000 years ago and the area was populated by species that are more reminiscent of the African Savannah than modern day California.  Fossil evidence of lions, camels, etc.  Do your homework - the evidence is there.

BookLoverL

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
  • Location: England
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #114 on: January 12, 2018, 12:02:18 AM »
Regarding carrying capacity, you might be interested in this article by Paul Chefurka, where he defines overshoot, carrying capacity and other ecological concepts.  He then reviews 5 or so estimates of carrying capacity from various sources and discusses the relative merits of each:

http://www.paulchefurka.ca/Sustainability.html

In this next article, Mr. Chefurka uses 2 billion as a place holder for carrying capacity in order to discuss the dynamics of overshoot.  But as you see from the previous article, his subsequent conclusion is that CC is probably no more than 1 billion, and in all likelihood is a lot less. Anyway, this is an interesting read on overshoot:

http://www.paulchefurka.ca/CC_Overshoot.html

I found Paul Chefurka and Vaclav Smil - Professor Emeritus at U. of Manitoba via Nate Hagens. To those on this thread who are no longer grasping for denial talking points, I urge you to watch Nate Hagen's talk 'Blindspots and Superheroes'. The discussion of terrestrial vertebrate biomass is shocking (It starts around 19 minutes into his lecture and is based off of data from Chefurka and Smil).

Relevant Smil publication.

Excellent links, Malaysia41. If you want numbers, check out the Paul Chefurka article.
Interesting links and it's nice that rather than arm-waving there is an attempt to arrive at well-defined ways of arriving at those numbers. While the impact of technology was briefly discussed by Chefurka, it is seemingly cast aside in favor of the "outside" and "objective" view of carrying capacity. That view appears to assume the only acceptable capacity calculations are those where one assumes (by the various measures) that humanity is necessarily in stasis and is in equilibrium with the environment.

There are two problems with that. First, taking the definition seriously, the "perpetual" carrying capacity of the Earth is zero. Unless action is taken, the sun's increasing luminosity will boil the oceans in a billion or two years. Second, the requirement that a sustainable population be able to survive in stasis is irrelevant under the condition that human knowledge and technology is rapidly growing. That growth in knowledge has already allowed for >2,000x increase in population from when 35 million "sustainably" lived. The notion of sustainability is only clear in a static society, which has not applied to humanity since the Scientific Revolution in the West and to much of the rest of the world since, perhaps, the 19th/20th centuries.

Sorry for off topic comment though. Someone posted a Vox article that approached the point I'm making: talking about overpopulation as a problem accomplishes nothing. Even if you believe there should be only 100 million or 2 billion people or whatever...well, here we are all the same.



Well, obviously when the sun eventually expands into a red giant, neither we nor any other life as we know it will be able to live on Earth. Since that's millions of years away, it's somewhat less relevant, though. ;)

It's true that technology and knowledge is still growing, but I think it's dangerous to believe it will continue growing at the pace it has been. I think it's more likely that after all the low-hanging discovery fruit have been picked, it'll take more and more effort to make smaller and smaller gains. Consider the iPhone: the first few models advanced quite a lot between them, but what extra functionality does the latest one give you over the one before it?

John Michael Greer wrote quite a bit about the law of diminishing returns on his old blog, the Archdruid Report. The original site went defunct when he moved to his new blog, but the posts are still available in various mirrors, though I can't remember which post was the best example of his discussion on diminishing returns. But it's worth a google. He also writes fairly often about "the religion of Progress" and "the myth of Progress", as far as I can remember.

In addition, advances in technology are what got us into the climate change/resource depletion/overpopulation predicament to begin with. Is the solution really to apply yet MORE technology, with as yet unknown consequences?

And of course it would be immoral and unethical to try and "solve" overpopulation. It's more that it's a factor to keep in mind in models of the future, in terms of what types of events you expect to happen.
The world is real.

Your actions have consequences.

You can change things.

MasterStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #115 on: January 12, 2018, 05:05:27 AM »
It's truly sad that someone cannot openly discuss their concerns about how weather is/will be affected by climate change without it being cluttered up with a couple anti-science trolls spewing their garbage. The OP even made it clear if you disagree with AGW fine, but this thread is not for you.

To the OP, to put your mind at a bit of ease (if only temporarily) here is a good link for you to peruse:
https://www.skepticalscience.com/extreme-weather-global-warming.htm

Another Reader

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4405
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #116 on: January 12, 2018, 05:49:41 AM »
So, what IS the purpose of this thread, if not to be a circle jerk of people crying "woe is me" about climate change?

Apparently anyone who questions what will be the ultimate result of global warming and what can be done about it is an "anti science troll."  You gotta love the poster that dragged income inequality into the conversation.  That's on topic, isn't it...

I see Mr. MM put up some solar panels on his business building in downtown Longmont and did so at a reasonable cost by DIY.  Sol has his panels, which seem to work even in the perpetually cloudy PNW.  The deserts are being covered with solar farms and here in "progressive" Santa Clara County, a lot of County buildings have solar roofed parking lots.  Those are nice, teeny steps.  Let me know how you are going to support 7 billion people (or better yet, the projected 11.5 billion) without industrial scale agriculture and a very costly, energy dependent supply chain.  Hint:  having everyone farm their back yards and trade locally ain't going to accomplish that goal.

MasterStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #117 on: January 12, 2018, 06:11:37 AM »
So, what IS the purpose of this thread, if not to be a circle jerk of people crying "woe is me" about climate change?

Apparently anyone who questions what will be the ultimate result of global warming and what can be done about it is an "anti science troll." You gotta love the poster that dragged income inequality into the conversation.  That's on topic, isn't it...

I see Mr. MM put up some solar panels on his business building in downtown Longmont and did so at a reasonable cost by DIY.  Sol has his panels, which seem to work even in the perpetually cloudy PNW.  The deserts are being covered with solar farms and here in "progressive" Santa Clara County, a lot of County buildings have solar roofed parking lots.  Those are nice, teeny steps.  Let me know how you are going to support 7 billion people (or better yet, the projected 11.5 billion) without industrial scale agriculture and a very costly, energy dependent supply chain.  Hint:  having everyone farm their back yards and trade locally ain't going to accomplish that goal.

No, the anti-science trolls are those who feel the need to debate a science fact with nonsense garbage. Often try to link to stuff they don't understand or failed to fact check thinking they are somehow disputing AGW. The OP tossed out a legitimate concern about how AGW is/will affect weather. And they made it clear this was not a place for the anti-AGW folks.

Another Reader

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4405
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #118 on: January 12, 2018, 06:54:01 AM »
These forums are for discussion and debate, not for circle jerks. 

We will see, in retrospect, what the scientific facts are.  And the results of those facts.

No one here has come up with a list of actionable steps that will have any effect on the outcome.  Without that, my suggestion is that everyone prepare themselves for a less pleasant future than the present.  A discussion of how to that might actually be useful.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11084
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #119 on: January 12, 2018, 07:18:02 AM »
These forums are for discussion and debate, not for circle jerks. 

We will see, in retrospect, what the scientific facts are.  And the results of those facts.

No one here has come up with a list of actionable steps that will have any effect on the outcome.  Without that, my suggestion is that everyone prepare themselves for a less pleasant future than the present.  A discussion of how to that might actually be useful.

The first post that you made in this thread is quoted in it's entirety below:

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 isnít 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 canít 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. Thereís 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.


1. In it you quoted a factually incorrect source (to your credit, you later did check the information posted and admit that it was incorrect).

2. You made the misleading statement "The reality is that climate change has been occurring since the planet was formed, and on a geologic time scale, it happens very rapidly.", as an apparent attempt to equate the current unprecedented rate of human caused climate change with the natural and radically slower climate change that has happened in the past.

3. You indicated that there was doubt as to whether humans were impacting the current rate of climate change, where virtually none exists among the scientific community.

This infusion of misinformation and half-truths is likely why people have been responding so negatively to your posts.  Because the science doesn't really support the point of view that you appear to be espousing, the tactics you've chosen to debate are all that can be brought forth.  They're typical of climate change deniers and their ilk . . . which is to spread lies, and do everything possible to cast doubt upon the actual science related to climate change.  Misrepresentations, outright lies, and the sourcing of incorrect material is the reason that the original poster asked denialists to stay out of the conversation.  You call it a 'circle-jerk', but other perfectly reasonable people might call it attempting to have a discussion/debate in good faith.
My spirit animal is a tardigrade.

partgypsy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2027
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #120 on: January 12, 2018, 07:47:44 AM »
I have been reading about climate change since the late 80's while I was in college, and at the time, I was, why isn't anyone TALKING about this! This is REALLY important! But it was around that time they got rid of that media fairness rule, where each side spoke. It honestly seemed to me, that governments, particularly our own, have been minimizing and suppressing, and paying speakers to spread misinformation about this, because a) it would impact private corporation profits to make changes to reduce climate change, and b) they don't want to start a panic. And at some point, the government will admit what is going on, but say it is too late to do anything. In a sense it is too late. No matter what we do at this point, there is going to be a mass extinction of many species on this planet. Not just from climate change, but from habitat loss, loss of resources, pollution, and introduction of non-native species. Collectively, both the climate change and the loss of species, will eventually impact us. There is going to be large loss of human life, from natural disasters and increase in disease and infections, and migrations/wars due to scarcity.
 
We were given a "break" in the sense that the oceans were absorbing c02 and both moderating the impact of the greenhouse gas. But the side effect was acidifying the oceans. We are at the point it a) is going to cause massive die off of marine life, and b) won't be able to absorb more c02.  Certainly, I individually want to reduce driving, reduce meat eating, and reduce consumption. But I think at this point we need more at the government level. Develop some kind of technology to remove c02 and other gases from the ocean and atmosphere. The US build some nuclear plants so we have SOME energy to use while transitioning to renewable energy sources. Investing in renewable energy as well as taking a look in all ways, how to make the US less car dependent and less energy dependent.
Do we have that kind of leadership? Not at this point but we need it.

https://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/03/17/can-military-save-us-climate-change
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 10:51:19 AM by partgypsy »

A Definite Beta Guy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 609
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #121 on: January 12, 2018, 08:26:11 AM »
These forums are for discussion and debate, not for circle jerks. 

We will see, in retrospect, what the scientific facts are.  And the results of those facts.

No one here has come up with a list of actionable steps that will have any effect on the outcome.  Without that, my suggestion is that everyone prepare themselves for a less pleasant future than the present.  A discussion of how to that might actually be useful.

I mean, there are no real actionable steps mentioned in this thread, but there are places out there that show the cost and carbon mitigation effects of different proposals, and the expected path of warming as a result of that carbon mitigation.

Here's one such graph that was making the rounds earlier this year:
http://www.fewresources.org/uploads/1/0/5/2/10529860/7002642_orig.gif

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6673
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #122 on: January 12, 2018, 08:56:30 AM »
Do your homework - the evidence is there.

I have done an entire PhD's worth of homework on this topic.  I assure you that I am familiar with the sea level record.  Yes, San Francisco Bay was a river delta at one point in time, when the ice sheets were larger and the coastline sat offshore at what is now the edge of the continental shelf.  Before that the entire interior of North America was a shallow sea.  There were once alligators in what is now Antarctica.  There are sea shells on top of Mt. Everest.

Our understanding of these things is exactly why we can say with so much confidence that our current climate is changing at a dangerous rate.  We understand how plate tectonics modifies oceanic circulation patterns.  We understand how volcanic emissions regulate solar energy balance in the atmosphere.  We understand how the ice albedo feedback grows continental ice sheets.  We are not ignorant children grasping at straws for political reasons, we are concerned scientists trying to find a way out of a bad situation.  We have evidence of past catastrophes, and we're hoping to avoid repeating them.

I'm still waiting for your list of actions you will take personally to change the outcome of this mess...

One step was reducing my family's consumption level, which is personally gratifying and a good example for others but individually a very minor contributor.

Another step was getting a PhD and then devoting my professional career to solving various aspects of this problem on behalf of the US government.  You're welcome.

How about you?  Are you helping or hurting?

MasterStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #123 on: January 12, 2018, 09:05:35 AM »
These forums are for discussion and debate, not for circle jerks.

We will see, in retrospect, what the scientific facts are.  And the results of those facts.

No one here has come up with a list of actionable steps that will have any effect on the outcome.  Without that, my suggestion is that everyone prepare themselves for a less pleasant future than the present.  A discussion of how to that might actually be useful.

There is no debating a fact, that average global temps are rising, and that humans are the predominant cause of this. You can debate how it does/might impact weather all you want because that is open for discussion and the point of the OP's post. Only AGW deniers try to turn it into a "circle jerk."   

toganet

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 173
  • Location: Buffalo, NY
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #124 on: January 12, 2018, 09:23:39 AM »
Looks like I hit a nerve with my post and somehow this turned into a challenge to determine what steps need to be taken to mitigate disaster.  A few folks have mentioned things you can do personally to reduce consumption and carbon footprint, which are necessary -- but obviously not sufficient.

What would it take to truly avoid the coming impact?  We'd need a time machine to reduce impact to 0, as we couldn't even measure the effect until we had burning fossil fuels for centuries, and had built up the science to understand it.

It really looks like the changes that need to happen would essentially remake our entire system -- replacing our current systems of economics, agriculture, construction, transportation, family planning -- everything.  These are not small changes that can be put in place within a single term of government.  They aren't the kinds of fixes that one smart guy on a forum somewhere is going to explain in a couple paragraphs.  They're not the sort of systems that you drop into place, fully formed, with no errors or unintended consequences.  They're not going to work right the first time.

These are the solutions that we need to be working on NOW, with as much enthusiasm, determination, and grit that we can muster.  The longer we delay, the worse the outcome.

Then there's the upside-down version of this:
Hey, if you're one of the Elite, this is the chance you've been waiting for.  And all's you gotta do is keep on keepin' on.  Eventually lots of "expendables" will go through an uncomfortable population bottleneck, and we can cut it with the artificial scarcity crap.  I got dibs on Buffalo, it'll be the San Diego of the East!

Dabnasty

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
  • Age: 28
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #125 on: January 12, 2018, 09:24:00 AM »
These forums are for discussion and debate, not for circle jerks.

We will see, in retrospect, what the scientific facts are.  And the results of those facts.

No one here has come up with a list of actionable steps that will have any effect on the outcome.  Without that, my suggestion is that everyone prepare themselves for a less pleasant future than the present.  A discussion of how to that might actually be useful.

There is no debating a fact, that average global temps are rising, and that humans are the predominant cause of this. You can debate how it does/might impact weather all you want because that is open for discussion and the point of the OP's post. Only AGW deniers try to turn it into a "circle jerk."

To be fair I don't think AR is completely denying AGW but it can be hard to tell, posts are a little all over the place.

What he is saying is that we as individuals have no hope of making any change which I believe is a classic fallacy of thinking "I'm too small to matter" most likely paired with a personal resistance to changing behaviors. Is one vote also to little to change an election? Or one dollar too little to put towards ER?

Dabnasty

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
  • Age: 28
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #126 on: January 12, 2018, 09:36:46 AM »
Looks like I hit a nerve with my post and somehow this turned into a challenge to determine what steps need to be taken to mitigate disaster.  A few folks have mentioned things you can do personally to reduce consumption and carbon footprint, which are necessary -- but obviously not sufficient.

What would it take to truly avoid the coming impact?  We'd need a time machine to reduce impact to 0, as we couldn't even measure the effect until we had burning fossil fuels for centuries, and had built up the science to understand it.

It really looks like the changes that need to happen would essentially remake our entire system -- replacing our current systems of economics, agriculture, construction, transportation, family planning -- everything.  These are not small changes that can be put in place within a single term of government.  They aren't the kinds of fixes that one smart guy on a forum somewhere is going to explain in a couple paragraphs.  They're not the sort of systems that you drop into place, fully formed, with no errors or unintended consequences.  They're not going to work right the first time.

These are the solutions that we need to be working on NOW, with as much enthusiasm, determination, and grit that we can muster.  The longer we delay, the worse the outcome.

Then there's the upside-down version of this:
Hey, if you're one of the Elite, this is the chance you've been waiting for.  And all's you gotta do is keep on keepin' on.  Eventually lots of "expendables" will go through an uncomfortable population bottleneck, and we can cut it with the artificial scarcity crap.  I got dibs on Buffalo, it'll be the San Diego of the East!

To answer AR's question of what is the point of this thread if we're all in agreement, here you go. Have you ever been in a brainstorming session where you have that guy who listens to each idea and picks out one flaw, tears it apart and says it'll never work? They're not very helpful. The chaff falls away on it's own as you pick out the wheat.

Dabnasty

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
  • Age: 28
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #127 on: January 12, 2018, 09:42:43 AM »
Just recalled an analogy that might be helpful for those who think it's too late so what's the point.

I agree in a sense that it's too late for the perfect scenario but if we look at our current situation as a car speeding towards a brick wall at 80mph, we know that eventually we are going to hit the wall. The question is, are we going to pump the brakes, delay the impact and hope to survive the crash or are we going to say screw it and hit the accelerator cause going fast is fun?

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6673
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #128 on: January 12, 2018, 09:52:17 AM »
Just recalled an analogy that might be helpful for those who think it's too late so what's the point.

I agree in a sense that it's too late for the perfect scenario but if we look at our current situation as a car speeding towards a brick wall at 80mph, we know that eventually we are going to hit the wall. The question is, are we going to pump the brakes, delay the impact and hope to survive the crash or are we going to say screw it and hit the accelerator cause going fast is fun?

I think a better analogy is a speeding train, instead of a car, and it's being driven by the people in the back.  I am rich, and thus more protected from the negative consequences of our decisions.

Sure, the crash is going to suck for the people in the first few cars.  They are not the ones currently begging for full speed ahead.  Those of us in the last car are still going to feel the crash, but it will be manageable because of the damage to someone else's train car.

A Definite Beta Guy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 609
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #129 on: January 12, 2018, 10:09:42 AM »
Looks like I hit a nerve with my post and somehow this turned into a challenge to determine what steps need to be taken to mitigate disaster.  A few folks have mentioned things you can do personally to reduce consumption and carbon footprint, which are necessary -- but obviously not sufficient.

What would it take to truly avoid the coming impact?  We'd need a time machine to reduce impact to 0, as we couldn't even measure the effect until we had burning fossil fuels for centuries, and had built up the science to understand it.

It really looks like the changes that need to happen would essentially remake our entire system -- replacing our current systems of economics, agriculture, construction, transportation, family planning -- everything.  These are not small changes that can be put in place within a single term of government.  They aren't the kinds of fixes that one smart guy on a forum somewhere is going to explain in a couple paragraphs.  They're not the sort of systems that you drop into place, fully formed, with no errors or unintended consequences.  They're not going to work right the first time.

These are the solutions that we need to be working on NOW, with as much enthusiasm, determination, and grit that we can muster.  The longer we delay, the worse the outcome.

Then there's the upside-down version of this:
Hey, if you're one of the Elite, this is the chance you've been waiting for.  And all's you gotta do is keep on keepin' on.  Eventually lots of "expendables" will go through an uncomfortable population bottleneck, and we can cut it with the artificial scarcity crap.  I got dibs on Buffalo, it'll be the San Diego of the East!

Spit-balling here, but quick google:
https://ourworldindata.org/how-much-will-it-cost-to-mitigate-climate-change
Quote
If we utilized all of our <Ä60 per tonne abatement opportunities to their full potential (which is an important assumption), McKinsey estimates the total global cost to be Ä200-350 billion per year by 2030. This is less than one percent of the forecasted global GDP in 2030.
The 60 euro threshold gets GHG reduced by 50% relative to 2010 levels. At the provided upper range, that $420 billion year. If you were to scale that to the economy size, that'd be about $105 billion per year. That's pretty reasonable.

More ambitious goals like zero net carbon emissions, or reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050...those look pretty pricey.

MrMoneySaver

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 155
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #130 on: January 12, 2018, 10:10:37 AM »
Species don't last forever -- why would we?

When a species gets "intelligent" enough to exploit natural resources all over its planet, it makes sense that it would overdo things and end up suffocating in its own muck. Could be happening all over the universe -- in fact, I bet it is.

In that sense, human-caused climate change is just as natural as any other process. Could be a defining feature of our species. (And, as I said, perhaps of "intelligent" life in general?)

Seems like an uphill battle.

Edit: By the way this line of think would rather neatly address the Fermi paradox, IMHO.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 10:18:44 AM by MrMoneySaver »

Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #131 on: January 12, 2018, 10:26:28 AM »
I'd just like to throw out, with regards to the forest fires, we've had a silly fire fighting policy for 100 years where all fires are snuffed out. This has resulted in dangerously overgrown forests that burn more fast and intensely than a healthy forest.

As for some of the hurricanes, you have to remember that the population in some of the hurricane prone areas has increased so much in just the last few decades. Even 100 years ago, a lot of the Gulf Coast was pretty sparsely populated. So hurricanes seem worse because there's simply more people in the way.

For reference, we routinely have massive natural disasters here in Alaska, landslides, volcanoes, earthquakes, and forest fires. But you don't hear about them because usually no one lives in the vast swaths where they take place. So with some of these newer cites like the ones in California and the Gulf Coast, you're seeing a natural assertive process take place.

Old cities like Baghdad and Rome and London have proven themselves to be relatively insulated from disaster, where as the sites of some these newer cities are just proving to be much less stable.

Anyways, I don't know that this 'explains' all symptoms of climate change, but I believe these are factors in why things seem worse.

A Definite Beta Guy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 609
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #132 on: January 12, 2018, 10:37:28 AM »
Species don't last forever -- why would we?

When a species gets "intelligent" enough to exploit natural resources all over its planet, it makes sense that it would overdo things and end up suffocating in its own muck. Could be happening all over the universe -- in fact, I bet it is.

In that sense, human-caused climate change is just as natural as any other process. Could be a defining feature of our species. (And, as I said, perhaps of "intelligent" life in general?)

Seems like an uphill battle.

Edit: By the way this line of think would rather neatly address the Fermi paradox, IMHO.

Totally agree, but I think nuclear war is probably the culprit there, and not runaway greenhouse effects. But then again, that's based on essentially nothing, because we haven't conquered any alien homeworlds (yet! growth mindset!)

BookLoverL

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
  • Location: England
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #133 on: January 12, 2018, 10:53:21 AM »
I took the point of this thread to be something like, "Am I right to be worried about climate change, and, if so, what should I do?", which is why, in my first post, I included a section with multiple suggestions on what you could do to be more prepared for climate change.

Regarding steps to "solve the problem" or whatever, i.e., stop climate change completely, I don't believe that's possible. I believe we'd have needed to have started in the 70s or 80s if we were going to seriously "stop" climate change. But of course, living in an eco friendly way and encouraging others to do so will at least prevent the level of the predicament getting even worse.

Regarding overpopulation, I think the sort of issues to prepare for from that could include famine and war in various parts of the world, plus mass migrations like the kind we're already seeing of refugees to Europe, which will then trigger strife between the locals and the new immigrants (which we're also already seeing to some extent). Also, a lot of places import a lot of their food at the moment - I think the UK imports 40% of its food, if I remember the stat correctly from the talk I went to several years ago while I was at uni. So consider: if crops failed in the countries the imports come from, or war or natural disasters caused shipping lines to break down, how much of your food could you currently, with your skillset, knowledge, and existing resources, forage/hunt/grow/raise/buy in your local area?
The world is real.

Your actions have consequences.

You can change things.

partgypsy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2027
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #134 on: January 12, 2018, 10:55:13 AM »
I'd just like to throw out, with regards to the forest fires, we've had a silly fire fighting policy for 100 years where all fires are snuffed out. This has resulted in dangerously overgrown forests that burn more fast and intensely than a healthy forest.

As for some of the hurricanes, you have to remember that the population in some of the hurricane prone areas has increased so much in just the last few decades. Even 100 years ago, a lot of the Gulf Coast was pretty sparsely populated. So hurricanes seem worse because there's simply more people in the way.

For reference, we routinely have massive natural disasters here in Alaska, landslides, volcanoes, earthquakes, and forest fires. But you don't hear about them because usually no one lives in the vast swaths where they take place. So with some of these newer cites like the ones in California and the Gulf Coast, you're seeing a natural assertive process take place.

Old cities like Baghdad and Rome and London have proven themselves to be relatively insulated from disaster, where as the sites of some these newer cities are just proving to be much less stable.

Anyways, I don't know that this 'explains' all symptoms of climate change, but I believe these are factors in why things seem worse.

It's a joint problem. The human population has increased and moved into areas that used to be natural barriers for hurricanes, etc. And there is an intensification of extreme weather events due to climate change.

waltworks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2708
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #135 on: January 12, 2018, 11:59:12 AM »
2 quick points:

-I have never understood why the whole debate wasn't originally framed as a Pascal's wager situation. We don't need to be *certain* we'll get in a car wreck to put on a seatbelt (ok, most of us), and likewise even a low probability of making the earth less/uninhabitable is a big, big deal. "We need more research", when used to simply create doubt, is a scumbag move. Even if there's only a 15% chance all those atmospheric chemistry eggheads are right... that's Russian Roulette odds. With *billions* of people's lives.

-However, if you're looking at where we are today, the whole "eat less meat and ride your bike" solution is ridiculous. We started putting more carbon in the air than the planet could take back out in the *late 1800s*. We spew orders, and orders, and orders of magnitude more out today. Some pretty serious climate change is probably pretty much baked in at this point, so instead of building more models and pestering people to go vegan, we should probably be doing the energy/adaptation equivalent of the Manhattan project. GMO plants. Artificial photosynthesis, or way better solar power in some other form. Better energy storage for load leveling. Geoengineering. The die is pretty much cast - we're going to have to either survive the changes coming, or prevent them, or some combination of the two.

Annoyingly enough, most people who actually believe the science end up thinking driving a Prius and recycling their organic coconut water is going to save the planet or some such nonsense. Don't even get me started on the anti-GMO people.

So we end up doing nothing useful.

-W

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6673
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #136 on: January 12, 2018, 12:33:39 PM »
Even if there's only a 15% chance all those atmospheric chemistry eggheads are right... that's Russian Roulette odds. With *billions* of people's lives.

* other people's lives.

Quote
-However, if you're looking at where we are today, the whole "eat less meat and ride your bike" solution is ridiculous.

It would be s lot less ridiculous if everyone adopted it.  Like immunizations, or education, or indoor plumbing, the immediate personal benefits are vastly outweighed by the social benefits of widespread adherence.  We'll all get on board eventually.  Don't encourage the holdouts.

Quote
Annoyingly enough, most people who actually believe the science end up thinking driving a Prius and recycling their organic coconut water is going to save the planet or some such nonsense.

I don't think it's fair to blame the individuals in these specific cases.  The prius and the coconut water are popular because they are profitable products heavily marketed by polluting corporations who have co-opted the narrative, not because they are good solutions.  Capitalism drives consumer options and marketing drives their choices.  If there were a viable way to significantly reduce emission that was more profitable for corporations than increasing emissions, they would do that instead.  It's all about profit, and environmentalism is just a marketing buzzword to most people.

Utility scale solar is now profitable, so now it happens.  Electric cars are profitable, so we have those.  Vegan diets and bicycles are not profitable solutions, so they struggle.

Long term, many people share the goal of altering the planets energy balance back to the way it was.  While this is technically possible, I doubt it will ever happen just because it creates specific winners and losers.  Canadians like global warming.  That's the real reason we haven't done anything useful.

MrMoneySaver

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 155
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #137 on: January 12, 2018, 12:50:48 PM »
Quote
Canadians like global warming.  That's the real reason we haven't done anything useful.

All that maple syrup production trashes the planet.

Another Reader

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4405
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #138 on: January 12, 2018, 01:28:00 PM »

I think a better analogy is a speeding train, instead of a car, and it's being driven by the people in the back.  I am rich, and thus more protected from the negative consequences of our decisions.

Sure, the crash is going to suck for the people in the first few cars.  They are not the ones currently begging for full speed ahead.  Those of us in the last car are still going to feel the crash, but it will be manageable because of the damage to someone else's train car.

And since the people in the back cars largely control the world economy, nothing will be done until the crash affects them.

[quote/]
2 quick points:

-I have never understood why the whole debate wasn't originally framed as a Pascal's wager situation. We don't need to be *certain* we'll get in a car wreck to put on a seatbelt (ok, most of us), and likewise even a low probability of making the earth less/uninhabitable is a big, big deal. "We need more research", when used to simply create doubt, is a scumbag move. Even if there's only a 15% chance all those atmospheric chemistry eggheads are right... that's Russian Roulette odds. With *billions* of people's lives.

-However, if you're looking at where we are today, the whole "eat less meat and ride your bike" solution is ridiculous. We started putting more carbon in the air than the planet could take back out in the *late 1800s*. We spew orders, and orders, and orders of magnitude more out today. Some pretty serious climate change is probably pretty much baked in at this point, so instead of building more models and pestering people to go vegan, we should probably be doing the energy/adaptation equivalent of the Manhattan project. GMO plants. Artificial photosynthesis, or way better solar power in some other form. Better energy storage for load leveling. Geoengineering. The die is pretty much cast - we're going to have to either survive the changes coming, or prevent them, or some combination of the two.

Annoyingly enough, most people who actually believe the science end up thinking driving a Prius and recycling their organic coconut water is going to save the planet or some such nonsense. Don't even get me started on the anti-GMO people.

So we end up doing nothing useful.

-W

Exactly.

MasterStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #139 on: January 12, 2018, 01:31:21 PM »
These forums are for discussion and debate, not for circle jerks.

We will see, in retrospect, what the scientific facts are.  And the results of those facts.

No one here has come up with a list of actionable steps that will have any effect on the outcome.  Without that, my suggestion is that everyone prepare themselves for a less pleasant future than the present.  A discussion of how to that might actually be useful.

There is no debating a fact, that average global temps are rising, and that humans are the predominant cause of this. You can debate how it does/might impact weather all you want because that is open for discussion and the point of the OP's post. Only AGW deniers try to turn it into a "circle jerk."

To be fair I don't think AR is completely denying AGW but it can be hard to tell, posts are a little all over the place.

What he is saying is that we as individuals have no hope of making any change which I believe is a classic fallacy of thinking "I'm too small to matter" most likely paired with a personal resistance to changing behaviors. Is one vote also to little to change an election? Or one dollar too little to put towards ER?

I have no ideal weather they are or not. My post was a general observation as I skimmed through the earlier post. AR just happened to respond.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 765
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #140 on: January 12, 2018, 06:27:37 PM »
Regarding carrying capacity, you might be interested in this article by Paul Chefurka, where he defines overshoot, carrying capacity and other ecological concepts.  He then reviews 5 or so estimates of carrying capacity from various sources and discusses the relative merits of each:

http://www.paulchefurka.ca/Sustainability.html

In this next article, Mr. Chefurka uses 2 billion as a place holder for carrying capacity in order to discuss the dynamics of overshoot.  But as you see from the previous article, his subsequent conclusion is that CC is probably no more than 1 billion, and in all likelihood is a lot less. Anyway, this is an interesting read on overshoot:

http://www.paulchefurka.ca/CC_Overshoot.html

I found Paul Chefurka and Vaclav Smil - Professor Emeritus at U. of Manitoba via Nate Hagens. To those on this thread who are no longer grasping for denial talking points, I urge you to watch Nate Hagen's talk 'Blindspots and Superheroes'. The discussion of terrestrial vertebrate biomass is shocking (It starts around 19 minutes into his lecture and is based off of data from Chefurka and Smil).

Relevant Smil publication.

Excellent links, Malaysia41. If you want numbers, check out the Paul Chefurka article.
Interesting links and it's nice that rather than arm-waving there is an attempt to arrive at well-defined ways of arriving at those numbers. While the impact of technology was briefly discussed by Chefurka, it is seemingly cast aside in favor of the "outside" and "objective" view of carrying capacity. That view appears to assume the only acceptable capacity calculations are those where one assumes (by the various measures) that humanity is necessarily in stasis and is in equilibrium with the environment.

There are two problems with that. First, taking the definition seriously, the "perpetual" carrying capacity of the Earth is zero. Unless action is taken, the sun's increasing luminosity will boil the oceans in a billion or two years. Second, the requirement that a sustainable population be able to survive in stasis is irrelevant under the condition that human knowledge and technology is rapidly growing. That growth in knowledge has already allowed for >2,000x increase in population from when 35 million "sustainably" lived. The notion of sustainability is only clear in a static society, which has not applied to humanity since the Scientific Revolution in the West and to much of the rest of the world since, perhaps, the 19th/20th centuries.

Sorry for off topic comment though. Someone posted a Vox article that approached the point I'm making: talking about overpopulation as a problem accomplishes nothing. Even if you believe there should be only 100 million or 2 billion people or whatever...well, here we are all the same.



Well, obviously when the sun eventually expands into a red giant, neither we nor any other life as we know it will be able to live on Earth. Since that's millions of years away, it's somewhat less relevant, though. ;)

It's true that technology and knowledge is still growing, but I think it's dangerous to believe it will continue growing at the pace it has been. I think it's more likely that after all the low-hanging discovery fruit have been picked, it'll take more and more effort to make smaller and smaller gains. Consider the iPhone: the first few models advanced quite a lot between them, but what extra functionality does the latest one give you over the one before it?

John Michael Greer wrote quite a bit about the law of diminishing returns on his old blog, the Archdruid Report. The original site went defunct when he moved to his new blog, but the posts are still available in various mirrors, though I can't remember which post was the best example of his discussion on diminishing returns. But it's worth a google. He also writes fairly often about "the religion of Progress" and "the myth of Progress", as far as I can remember.

In addition, advances in technology are what got us into the climate change/resource depletion/overpopulation predicament to begin with. Is the solution really to apply yet MORE technology, with as yet unknown consequences?

And of course it would be immoral and unethical to try and "solve" overpopulation. It's more that it's a factor to keep in mind in models of the future, in terms of what types of events you expect to happen.
I think it's wrong to think the sun will necessarily expand into a red giant in ~5B years. A sufficiently advanced civilization should be able to either siphon off matter from the sun to cool it and keep it in the main sequence longer and/or move the earth's orbit closer or further from the sun as needed. It's a stupidly hard problem but nothing that violates the laws of physics. And we have 5B years to solve that problem (get your slide-rule out!).

Your point about technological stagnation is very good and highly relevant. Maybe the low hanging fruit is all gone and all we have to show for it is high definition porn, Juicero, and fucking Twitter. Perhaps, though, this is an argument for having more people in the world: more people means more people potentially solving problems (though perhaps an overly optimistic view). Anyway, making predictions about the future is fraught with difficulty and the impacts of the development of AI in particular may be difficult to foresee.

Regarding whether or not more technology is the answer: it probably is the answer to our problems, but as you suggest, those solutions will raise new problems. Technological innovation is a Red Queen's race against its own deleterious side-effects but the alternative of strict "sustainability" is--depending on your point of view--much worse: subsistence foraging, constant predation, disease, and cosmic threats against which we would not have the capacity to even potentially defend ourselves. If life is worth living then technological progress is the only way to provide a chance that life persists very far, at cosmic timescales, into the future.

***

Finally, to keep this slightly on-topic, I don't even think the "A" matters in AGW. If unicorn farts instead of CO2 emissions were raising the temperature, it would still potentially be cause for concern (albeit with a different set of solutions associated with it). Stating "it's part of a natural cycle" doesn't solve the problem if the natural cycle gives rise to a shitty climate. Regardless whether it's a natural or human-made problem, it can massively disrupt human civilization; our distant descendants probably won't be complacent about the sun "naturally" getting more luminous for the sake that its a natural process.

That leaves the climate change skeptic with one alternative: question the reconstruction of global temperature history and recent temperature measurements. I don't follow the science much at all but it would appear the skeptics are losing.

Leisured

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 484
  • Age: 73
  • Location: South east Australia, in country
  • Retired, and loving it.
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #141 on: January 14, 2018, 12:18:30 AM »
I heard of carbon dioxide induced global warming - for the future - in a first year physics class at university in 1963. The science has been known since the 1890s. Sea levels are expected to rise between half a meter and a meter in this century, although if a chunk of the Greenland or Antarctic ice sheets breaks off, seas might rise several meters overnight.

The far future is now the near future, and some of it is predictable. Canada, Russia and northern Europe will benefit from global warming, as these regions know. The wheat belt will move north, and the North West passage will open, and sea transport along Russia's northern coast will benefit, in summer. The sad part is that most rich countries will benefit from global warming, and most poor countries, who have not contributed so much to the warming will suffer the consequences.

The long term consequences of the insane population boom of the past sixty years has been considered for a long time. It now seems that global warming is a possible population regulator, as some tropical regions become lethally hot, and rising seas invade low lying crop regions. Another dark horse is growing resistance by pest insects to insecticides. There was an article in Scientific American a few months ago about this matter, which I have not yet been able to track down. There is a parallel with antibiotic resistance by microbes. Microbes multiply much more quickly that insects, but the principle remains.

Mother Nature is looking into her tool chest. We will see what she does about the problem.

Aelias

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 166
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #142 on: January 14, 2018, 08:29:18 AM »
I took the point of this thread to be something like, "Am I right to be worried about climate change, and, if so, what should I do?", which is why, in my first post, I included a section with multiple suggestions on what you could do to be more prepared for climate change.


Honestly, when I started the thread, it was more like "I'm really worried about climate change--more so than usual--and I'm looking for some support."  But, I think "what should I do?" is a very useful direction for such a conversation to take.  I think denying the science is not a very useful direction for such a conversation to take, and I had hoped that anyone who felt that way would contribute to another climate change debate thread (I checked--there are plenty!).

But note to self--any discussion on climate change on this forum will turn quickly into a debate.  Lesson learned.

My take-aways here:

1) Individual actions are necessary but not sufficient. 
2) Political activism should focus not just on limiting emissions but on large scale resilience measures.
3) The poorest countries that have contributed the least to climate change and have the fewest resources to cope will be hurt badly.  Other species will be hurt worse and many are and will be driven to extinction.

Linda_Norway

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2970
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #143 on: January 14, 2018, 09:05:36 AM »
Recently the was a Norwegian climate expert on TV. He said that one thing we should do is catching CO2. One relatively simple way to do it is to grow forest, cut it down, transfer it into charcoal and burry the charcoal into the ground.

I think it will help for individuals to reduce their ecological footprint, like not flying. Also, it will help if fewer children were born, less than 2 per couple on average. And we should use our right to vote. At the last election for Oslo city (in Norway), the green party got 10% of the votes if I remember correctly. This made them an inportant factor in the negotiations forvthe new city government. They are now a part of the government and making some substantial non-car-friendly decisions.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6673
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #144 on: January 14, 2018, 11:14:51 AM »
Recently the was a Norwegian climate expert on TV. He said that one thing we should do is catching CO2. One relatively simple way to do it is to grow forest, cut it down, transfer it into charcoal and burry the charcoal into the ground.

Artificial carbon sequestration is the only way to speed up the naturally slow process by which CO2 in the atmosphere is removed.  There are lots of different ways to do it, some of which have their own environmental problems.

But in broad strokes, the crux of the problem is that all human technological progress since approximately 1850 has been driven by digging carbon out of the ground and putting it into the atmosphere.  That's been the primary process of the global economy for over a century.  We have mined and then burned coal and gas and oil as fast as humanly possible for all of that time, as our primary economic activity.  Putting it all back would require atmospheric carbon extraction and burial to become the primary purpose of our economy for the next century, just like getting it all out was for the last century.  Every automobile would have to capture approximately one pound of liquified CO2 per mile driven.  Every airplane, every lawnmower, every power plant, every forest fire and permafrost field and cargo ship and bitcoin mining rig would have to converted into a CO2 capturing device that literally sucked CO2 out of the air and stored it in a form that could then be transported to some sort of underground storage facility.  It's almost incomprehensible.

Malaysia41

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3120
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Verona, Italy
    • My mmm journal
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #145 on: January 14, 2018, 12:12:34 PM »
Recently the was a Norwegian climate expert on TV. He said that one thing we should do is catching CO2. One relatively simple way to do it is to grow forest, cut it down, transfer it into charcoal and burry the charcoal into the ground.

Artificial carbon sequestration is the only way to speed up the naturally slow process by which CO2 in the atmosphere is removed.  There are lots of different ways to do it, some of which have their own environmental problems.

But in broad strokes, the crux of the problem is that all human technological progress since approximately 1850 has been driven by digging carbon out of the ground and putting it into the atmosphere.  That's been the primary process of the global economy for over a century.  We have mined and then burned coal and gas and oil as fast as humanly possible for all of that time, as our primary economic activity.  Putting it all back would require atmospheric carbon extraction and burial to become the primary purpose of our economy for the next century, just like getting it all out was for the last century.  Every automobile would have to capture approximately one pound of liquified CO2 per mile driven.  Every airplane, every lawnmower, every power plant, every forest fire and permafrost field and cargo ship and bitcoin mining rig would have to converted into a CO2 capturing device that literally sucked CO2 out of the air and stored it in a form that could then be transported to some sort of underground storage facility.  It's almost incomprehensible.

yeah - I find it incomprehensible too.

All I can think to do is double down on my own conservation, vote, and discuss this with people around me so they vote too.

We eat vegan (our reasons go beyond GHGs, but GHGs are definitely part of the equation), we don't own a car, and we limit our travel in general. We bike with the kid to school and back every day. We keep the temp inside the house on the cold side, etc.   Even so, I know it's futile. But, just like I don't want to be a part of chick culling, pig gestation crating, or systematic anal fisting in the dairy industry, I don't want to take part in pushing even a miniscule bit on the accelerator toward our species extinction.

Sucks man.
Last one to panic wins!

Outlaw political corruption:  Join or start a represent.us chapter

My Rohingya Refugee Charity (It's Tax Exempt!)

Privately funded political systems are just WRONG.

scottish

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1125
  • Location: Ottawa
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #146 on: January 14, 2018, 02:29:54 PM »
That's been the primary process of the global economy for over a century.  We have mined and then burned coal and gas and oil as fast as humanly possible for all of that time, as our primary economic activity.

Is this completely true?  i.e. has the fossil fuels industry really been the primary economic activity?     

There's no question that fossil fuels have been the source of most of the energy we've used, I'm just wondering if it's really been a larger activity than manufacturing + s/w development + farming + everything else in the economy.
Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6673
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #147 on: January 14, 2018, 02:32:15 PM »
There's no question that fossil fuels have been the source of most of the energy we've used, I'm just wondering if it's really been a larger activity than manufacturing + s/w development + farming + everything else in the economy.

All of those things are just different ways to burn carbon.  They are secondary industries, driven by carbon extraction.  They would not exist without fossil fuels.

waltworks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2708
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #148 on: January 14, 2018, 09:46:36 PM »
Indeed, Sol is correct. Our entire economy (including your vegan food) is run on fossil fuels of one kind or another, with a tiny bit of solar/wind/hydro (mostly hydro) thrown in.

I can see the conservation angle buying a little bit of time. That's a good thing. But even the most frugal/environmentally conscious modern lifestyle is fundamentally unsustainable if you're concerned about carbon emissions, unless you're a nomadic herder or hunter/gatherer or something.

We are going to have to adapt/survive the changes, or else invent/geo-engineer our way out. It's probably 100 years too late to conserve ourselves to a sustainable level of emissions, unless we're willing to kill off most of humanity to achieve it.

I can say that if I was Elon Musk, I'd have the high-altitude aerosol-deploying planes all ready to go.

-W

Malaysia41

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3120
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Verona, Italy
    • My mmm journal
Re: Climate Change - A little more freaked out than normal
« Reply #149 on: January 15, 2018, 12:14:56 AM »
Indeed, Sol is correct. Our entire economy (including your vegan food) is run on fossil fuels of one kind or another, with a tiny bit of solar/wind/hydro (mostly hydro) thrown in.

I can see the conservation angle buying a little bit of time. That's a good thing. But even the most frugal/environmentally conscious modern lifestyle is fundamentally unsustainable if you're concerned about carbon emissions, unless you're a nomadic herder or hunter/gatherer or something.

We are going to have to adapt/survive the changes, or else invent/geo-engineer our way out. It's probably 100 years too late to conserve ourselves to a sustainable level of emissions, unless we're willing to kill off most of humanity to achieve it.

I can say that if I was Elon Musk, I'd have the high-altitude aerosol-deploying planes all ready to go.

-W

I agree with all this. For conservation to solve the problem, or have more effect than just buying a bit of time,,  we would all have to pretty much go back to Ďliving in hutsí or some version thereof. Still - even if, for example,  a vegan diet requires fossil fuels , itís 1/3 to 1/10 the amount compared to a standard western diet.  (Eg Dont let perfect be the enemy of good.  )

When in conversation with people who are worried about GHGs, itís  alarming how quickly they dismiss suggestions of conserving  beyond small feel-good measures like turning the thermostat down a degree. We are truly cheap-energy junkies.
Last one to panic wins!

Outlaw political corruption:  Join or start a represent.us chapter

My Rohingya Refugee Charity (It's Tax Exempt!)

Privately funded political systems are just WRONG.