Climate Change: We're Doomed

Alleviating worldly suffering along the way.

Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby justsit » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:56 pm

Uh, think I'll pass on the Australian version of Rush, thanks anyway. :tongue:

But yes, I thought the poll was interesting just as a quick snapshot of attitudes here. There were about 100 or so respondents in that sample; later in the day, the number was closer to 500, but the percentages didn't vary much.

Lots of work to do, tempus fugit.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:08 pm

Here in Asia I see the exact opposite of what should be done: more infrastructure, more cars on the road, more consumption, more plastic wrap, more throwaway products, etc... in China and India it is especially brutal. Climate change doesn't really enter into the equation. Even on this little island of Taiwan I often think that climate change is problem for foreigners and that's about it.

Last year I was walking along a beach covered in hundreds if not thousands of dead blowfish and plastic rubbish. Meanwhile the fishermen were at the pier and surfers at the combed area of the beach without any apparent concern. If the surfer's area is clean and the fish still bite, why worry about all the plastic bits all over the rest of the beach or the thousands of dead blowfish mysteriously baking in the sun without any birds going near them?
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Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby GrahamR » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:43 pm

Huseng wrote:Here in Asia I see the exact opposite of what should be done: more infrastructure, more cars on the road, more consumption, more plastic wrap, more throwaway products, etc... in China and India it is especially brutal. Climate change doesn't really enter into the equation. Even on this little island of Taiwan I often think that climate change is problem for foreigners and that's about it.


Hi

I live in Thailand and it's the same, the is no concept of 'Sustainable Urban Development, they just want to concrete over everything, (soil is 'dirty') so when it rains, where can the water go? It floods! The problems with traffic in the big cities needs to be seen to be believed and the only answer is seen as building more roads.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:33 am

GrahamR wrote:
Huseng wrote:Here in Asia I see the exact opposite of what should be done: more infrastructure, more cars on the road, more consumption, more plastic wrap, more throwaway products, etc... in China and India it is especially brutal. Climate change doesn't really enter into the equation. Even on this little island of Taiwan I often think that climate change is problem for foreigners and that's about it.


Hi

I live in Thailand and it's the same, the is no concept of 'Sustainable Urban Development, they just want to concrete over everything, (soil is 'dirty') so when it rains, where can the water go? It floods! The problems with traffic in the big cities needs to be seen to be believed and the only answer is seen as building more roads.

Graham

China, India, Taiwan, Thailand ... all going through an overwhelming Industrial Revolution, much as Europe did in the nineteenth century. You could add South Korea to the list.
But they will find a better balance more quickly than Europe did - remember, it took until the 1950s for the UK to work out that they needed to do something about London's air quality and had the ability to do so. Beijing, on the other hand, is already aware of the problem, knows that solutions exist and do work, and is beginning to apply them.
Yes, we have a problem, but it's not insurmountable.
Graham, can I suggest "Clean Up Australia Day" http://www.cleanup.org.au/au/ as a model for local action where you are? It started small and local - see history here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_Up_Australia - and has just grown and grown over the twenty years of its existence.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:11 am

There's secret funding for climate change denial:

    Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120m (£77m) to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change, the Guardian has learned.

    The funds, doled out between 2002 and 2010, helped build a vast network of thinktanks and activist groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarising "wedge issue" for hardcore conservatives.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2 ... ks-network
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:20 am

GrahamR wrote:I live in Thailand and it's the same, the is no concept of 'Sustainable Urban Development, they just want to concrete over everything, (soil is 'dirty') so when it rains, where can the water go? It floods! The problems with traffic in the big cities needs to be seen to be believed and the only answer is seen as building more roads.

Graham


Here flooding isn't such a huge issue normally, but, yeah, they don't mind paving over everything. A "park" is usually just cement with some trees. Nature is something to be feared and contained normally.

I think there's all too recent memories of living in shacks with dirt floors.

Taipei built and is expanding a rail system, but it is actually cheaper to ride a scooter rather than take the train. Taizhong is building a light rail system, too, but it apparently just covers the main road and that's it. Gaoxiong built a system, too, but hardly anyone uses it.

Meanwhile almost everyone is wearing glasses and so many kids suffer asthma. The government is told they need to do something, but average citizens I reckon don't want to change their lifestyles.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:07 am

Huseng wrote:There's secret funding for climate change denial:

    Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120m (£77m) to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change, the Guardian has learned.

    The funds, doled out between 2002 and 2010, helped build a vast network of thinktanks and activist groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarising "wedge issue" for hardcore conservatives.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2 ... ks-network

Well spotted, Huseng - thanks!
I knew about the fossil fuel industry's funding of denialism - Merchants of Doubt opened that to public knowledge a few years ago (review: http://www.resilience.org/stories/2010-07-15/review-must-read-book-merchants-doubt) but I didn't know about this lot.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:07 am

Another kind of environmental action takes off, even quicker than the organisers had hoped:
Carey L. Biron wrote:A months-old national campaign to convince U.S. colleges, universities and city governments to withdraw investments from the world’s largest oil and gas companies has seen some notable initial successes.

On Tuesday, a city supervisor in San Francisco introduced resolutions calling on the city’s retirement fund to “divest” all money it has in fossil fuel companies and gun manufacturers. That followed a significant recent decision by the city of Seattle’s two-billion-dollar retirement fund to actively shed its stocks in companies that contribute to climate change.

And Wednesday, former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, a prominent climate activist and Harvard alum, sided with a strengthening campaign to get that school to back out of its oil and gas investments.

“If I were a student, I would support what you’re doing,” Gore told students, speaking on campus at Harvard. “But if I were a board member I would do what I did when we took up the Apartheid issue. This is an opportunity for learning and the raising of awareness, for the discussion of sustainable capitalism.”

In fact, the divestment movement here in the U.S., which has burgeoned following the November presidential election, took its inspiration from the anti-Apartheid experience.

“During the 1980s, 155 schools came out against the South African Apartheid, and so we’re modelling a lot of what we’re doing now on that,” Jamie Henn, communications director for 350.org, an advocacy group that has spearheaded the divestment push, told IPS.

“So, it made perfect sense for us to start with universities, as these institutions have a special responsibility to make their investments live up to their missions. Many have publicly committed to sustainability and solving the big issues of the day, yet many are still putting tens of millions of dollars into companies that are wreaking havoc on the planet.”

Hampshire College, a small school in Massachusetts, was the first to follow the campaign’s lead; in 1979, it was also the first school in the United States to divest from South African holdings. Two more colleges have now followed suit.


More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/08/al-gore-fossil-fuel-divestment
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:46 pm

Beijing hit by air pollution, sand storms
... but at least they are working on it: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-28/beijing-hit-by-air-pollution-sand-storms/4545944

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby rob h » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:30 am

I think we're getting to a point where the focus is starting to switch to these energy cartels and they're going to face pressure like they couldn't imagine. They've had the population distracted for so long, but as it becomes clearer that the earth is becoming so bad their propaganda might fail and they'll come under actual attack from populations. So if they become the focus of the problem it's very unlikely that the energy cartels are going to be able to persuade governments around the world to protect them when they're so clearly outnumbered. This alone should do most of the work.

Then you have alternative energies. Solar power, wind power, electric cars, and so on. Also the possibility of new technologies that many are saying have been suppressed for decades. If they start appearing, or if their ability to suppress them starts failing as they lose support because it's clear they're destroying our ability to survive, it should be enough to get us out of this mess.

It doesn't look good now, but I've got a lot of faith in us as a species to come up with a myriad of ways to deal with these problems. As the activists start getting more focused and are able to help people more (think of Occupy and Anonymous last year alone. Then you have the Keystone pipeline activists and all the other groups getting so much support and doing so well, etc.) I think we'll be able to deal with this one if we focus enough and stick together. Companies fracking, going after oil, burning coal and so on shouldn't be able to down the whole Human race and I don't think they will. Why would they carry on going after fuels if the world is in chaos and their products start becoming worthless as people are sick of them?

Am sure we can solve this.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:25 am

Thanks, Rob - my thoughts too! :smile:
Others are thinking the same way. I just came across these two comments over at RealClimate, http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/03/unforced-variations-march-2013/:
Marvell wrote re: Rex Tillerson [of Exxon]: “At least he admitted to AGW, but I don’t like his use of climate science uncertainty to muddy the waters and downplay the importance of AGW.”
The fossil fuel corporations have pretty much given up on public, outright denial of AGW when speaking to a general audience, since that position has become untenable — although they continue to fund organizations like Heartland to preach “AGW is a liberal hoax” to their talk-radio-Fox-News-programmed cult following.
They have moved on to other propaganda strategies to obstruct and delay the urgently-needed phaseout of fossil fuels.
These include denial that AGW will cause any serious harm in the forseeable future (a line which is also rapidly becoming untenable given the onslaught of serious harm already occurring), and of course attacks on the solutions — especially renewable energy like wind and solar — as costly, damaging to the economy, and ineffective.
I have noticed of late a small but growing number of blog commenters who acknowledge the reality of AGW and preach despair and hopelessness in response — e.g. “it’s too late, we’re doomed, you’re deluded if you think there is anything that can be done, just give up, resistance is futile” — in a clear attempt to demoralize, while simultaneously regurgitating every Koch-funded, spurious attack on renewable energy (Solyndra!) that Fox News and Rush Limbaugh spoon-fed to their audiences throughout last year’s election campaign.
Remember, for the fossil fuel corporations this is not about, and has never been about, science. It’s about perpetuating fossil fuel consumption as long as possible, by any means necessary — and that largely involves getting people to be passive and do nothing. When deceiving people by denying the existence of the problem won’t fly any more, then demoralize them into inaction by denying the existence of any solution.
Comment by SA — 8 Mar 2013 @ 6:03 PM

A reply to the above:
Honestly, such people no longer bother me all that much. I agree with Annie Leonard who said at Bioneers in 2009 or ’10, it’s time to simply ignore these people and get about the business of change. She’s absolutely correct. Observable climate changes are making the difference. Obviously that is all that could tip the playing field, so let’s just get on with it now that we have a majority, even in the US, that are “getting it.”
Second, studies indicate that memes and/or social movements reach tipping points and then spread relentlessly.
http://news.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenter ... age%281%29
We are likely at those tipping points.
Other research (The Authoritarians, oft linked here) indicates the far ends of any ideological spectrum are essentially immovable and must simply fade out over time and/or end up marginalized.
Worrying over denial is pretty much the biggest waste of time the “aware” can engage in at this point, and I needn’t remind at least some of you how ardent I (aka ccpo) have been in the past in fighting denial.
What worries me far more is the seemingly increasing cannibalization going on among the “aware.” Much like racism and prejudice when the key antagonist has been overcome, the smaller differences between the formerly co-oppressed become more important and seemingly magically a whole new oppressive framework appears. (Protestant Americans vs. Catholic and other immigrants immigrants, e.g., light- vs. and dark-skinned of various ethnic groups.)
We who are, for lack of a better term, climate aware need to avoid the sort of cannibalism already apparent, and even seen on these fora.
The import of all this on climate science lies in finding solutions to sequestration, emissions and consumption. Biases are apparent for as yet “unproven” solutions merely because they haven’t been paid much attention by enough scientists, regardless of their efficacy in practice – even in the face of 30-year comparative studies, e.g.
Failing to keep our ears, eyes and minds open in the problem-solving process is quite likely to lead us to non-viable solutions. Solutions are going to become a more important part of climate science. We will need to be modeling what happens if we start growing food all over towns and cities and not just on big farms. We need to model what happens if we regrow half of all the forests we’ve lost or start rebuilding soils at a rate many times what natural processes achieve.
What happens if we successfully (the math is pretty simple, really) but very rapidly return atmospheric CO2 to sub-300 ppm, say, on a 50 – 100 time frame? Do we create problems with reversing CO2 just as we do with increasing it? Does rate of change matter in both directions?
And all this on top of geo-engineering ideas and such.
Meh… forget the denial. It’s days are numbered. Let’s get to the work at hand.


The problems are real but we can solve them ... so long as we believe we can solve them.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:50 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:The problems are real but we can solve them ... so long as we believe we can solve them.


Well if we believe we can't solve them, we certainly won't solve them, in any case.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby shaunc » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:01 am

I keep a few chooks in the backyard, they're all either sisters or 1/2 sisters. Today I noticed one of the girls has started moulting already. What's so strange about it is that normally they'd all moult at about the same time (May/June) it's unseasonably warm here at the moment (high 20's celcius).
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:29 pm

shaunc wrote:I keep a few chooks in the backyard, they're all either sisters or 1/2 sisters. Today I noticed one of the girls has started moulting already. What's so strange about it is that normally they'd all moult at about the same time (May/June) it's unseasonably warm here at the moment (high 20's celcius).

One moulting chook isn't necessarily a sign of climate change but yes, the climate is changing and showing up in little ways like that - as well as the bigger ways. It looks like the extreme weather events are what will change public perception fastest.
Here in Queensland we have areas that have had five or six one-in-a-hundred-years floods in the last three or four years. People there know - really know, at a gut level, that the climate is changing. Once is normal, twice is bad luck, three or four times is climate change ...
The same goes for all the people who were affected by hurricane Sandy, and now the Europeans hit by yet another blast of unseasonal weather - see http://www.euronews.com/2013/03/13/parts-of-europe-still-reeling-from-severe-weather/.
Popular opposition to action on climate change is melting away by the day, as the weather records keep tumbling and the costs of extreme weather keep mounting.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:45 pm

Here's a nice easy to understand diagram about climate change and the consequences:

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/v ... ns-of-co2/
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:01 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:The problems are real but we can solve them ... so long as we believe we can solve them.


Well if we believe we can't solve them, we certainly won't solve them, in any case.


I believe we could solve our problems, but collectively there is neither the foreseeable political will nor the ability to willingly sacrifice on a scale sufficient to seriously reduce carbon emissions and the production of toxic substances ending up in the environment, which is why we are in a predicament.

A predicament cannot be solved. Damage control is only realistically possible at this point.

Societies seldom voluntarily reduce complexity to accept lower standards of living, which is what we need to collectively do. Unfortunately much of the third world, as I have been saying, is quite set on development and will not accept anything other than further industrialization with which to secure higher standards of living. Too much is riding on this politically and socially.

India and China, as their own leaders rightfully predict, will come apart if economic growth halts. Unfortunately, economic growth inevitably will halt as energy costs damage economies, and perpetual recession becomes a reality that no amount of financial trickery could conceal.

Image

http://ourfiniteworld.com/2013/03/11/ou ... in-charts/" target="_blank

At the moment global conventional oil production has plateaued and in due time will start its long descent. All manner of filthy energy sources will be utilized to prop up an increasingly costly level of complexity, which unfortunately will only amplify climate change.

Long forward to a nightmare in the decades ahead.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:33 pm

Huseng,
You haven't moved on at all ... still collecting black pebbles because you can't see white ones. Sigh.
Here are two white ones. Please look at them.

ChineseSolarandWindGenerationTimeSeries.png
ChineseSolarandWindGenerationTimeSeries.png (184.96 KiB) Viewed 525 times


http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/in-india-solar-ambitions-are-suddenly-outsize/

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:03 am

Solar power cannot run an industrial infrastructure from the roads to the planes down to the medicines and plastic wraps. Keeping the lights on is one thing, but maintaining the transportation network, industrial agriculture, modern healthcare and requisite social complexity requires fossil fuels.

Moreover, alternative energy sources like solar and wind have hidden fossil fuel subsidies. The machines that craft them and the food the technicians eat are all produced and maintained via fossil fuels.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:18 am

Huseng wrote:Solar power cannot run an industrial infrastructure from the roads to the planes down to the medicines and plastic wraps. Keeping the lights on is one thing, but maintaining the transportation network, industrial agriculture, modern healthcare and requisite social complexity requires fossil fuels.

Moreover, alternative energy sources like solar and wind have hidden fossil fuel subsidies. The machines that craft them and the food the technicians eat are all produced and maintained via fossil fuels.

Hi, Huseng,
That was all true twenty years ago, is partly true now, and is less true every day. Please join us in the second decade of the 21st century.

In Germany, for instance, it was about 50% true last year - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_Germany - and may be 45% true by the end of this year. Denmark is planning for it to be 0% true by 2050 - see http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/25/us-denmark-energy-idUSTRE7AO15120111125. That is not a typo - they reckon they can run their whole economy on renewables in less than 40 years' time. They are nearly halfway there already - http://cleantechnica.com/2012/09/28/danish-renewable-energy-generation-wind-energy-generation-percentage/.
Oh, and before you jump up and down in joy over recent headlines claiming that Germany is leading Europe in a u-turn away from renewables, courtesy of some tub-thumping by a couple of misguided right-wing politicians, read this http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/02/25/is-germany-done-with-renewable-energy/.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:28 pm

And how many of their imported products are made with coal fired plants in China and then shipped with diesel driven trucks and ships, to say nothing of all the concrete and steel infrastructure?
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