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View Diary: The Most Important News Story of the Day/Millennium (349 comments)

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  •  these are all good points (26+ / 0-)

    and it makes me conscious i've been sloppy with my language. here's the deal. we've raised the temperature of the planet one degree already and it's causing great trouble (drought/flood/melt). it looks almost certain we've got another degree coming, given these latest trends--the heat will accumulate in the oceans for a while but eventually expresses itself in the atmosphere.  the questions remaining are, do we go for 3-5 degrees increase this century, or do we pull back immediately, get off coal and gas and oil in a matter of the next 15 years, all out effort.

    we're going to have a difficult century; the question is whether it's going to be an impossible one. and that's still in our power to control, at least if feedbacks from Arctic methane and a couple of wildcards don't prove to be completely disastrous.

    •  Shy of controlled consumption reduction (16+ / 0-)

      concurrent with population controls, I don't see how there is any sort of controlled landing scenario. If it's not done contraceptually, it will happen through more cataclysmic means - famine, plague and that most famous apocalyptic horseman of all, war.

      Still.. it's not clear exactly what the implact on potency and fertility are from paleohistorically high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. So this might be a problem that the planet truly can solve on its own- the more 'the market' ignores, the more aggressive the dieback.

      So I think we are looking at a dieback scenario - it is just a question of severity and mode of population reduction.

      And human beings, wont to be paranoid, don't wait for hammers to fall - they lash out pre-emptively. I'm going with widespread political instability and warfare being in the cards as it becomes very clear the rulers of the planet have been lying to the world to get a head start toward the lifeboats.

      •  We are already in a die off scenario (8+ / 0-)

        the media just ignores it.  

      •  Carbon use will accelerate under climate stress (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cskendrick, Evolutionary

        As food yields drop, farmers will apply more fertilizer, and lift more water to keep producing the more and more valuable crops. Fixing nitrogen and lifting water from the ground both take energy. And, the more water is taken, the farther it has to be lifted.

        As food yields drop, people will die off. But, it won't be the high-consumers, it will be the poor dying first. The rich will still be hungry, and they will still have the money to pay for food. Pay for it directly, or via their armed forces. Armies burn energy, and cheap, mobile engines emits carbon.

        As food yields drop, some regions will have steeper drops than others. Those willing to pay for that food will also be willing to transport it long distances. Transport of both food and water will use more energy, as production patterns fall farther and farther away from established consumption patterns.

        Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

        by chimpy on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:58:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  N. Africa, E. Africa, SW Asia, S Asia, Central too (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chimpy, Evolutionary

          Those will be the areas hit first and hardest - they already are being hit first and hardest.

          •  And mass starvation won't be pretty. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calamity Jean

            #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

            by Evolutionary on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 12:26:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There will be wars, and nasty ones, ahead of that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Evolutionary

              As a rule, human beings are more forward-looking than we often deride, enough to see scarcity coming even if the drivers of it are ignored.

              My money is on the four "I"s - Israel, Iran, India and Indonesia - all being close to major war theaters in the coming century and by 2100, all four are likely nuclear powers. Two are already.

              •  We like to pretend that we aren't already having (3+ / 0-)

                resource wars.  Water and food will become precious commodities, even here in the most fertile valley in the world where I live.
                If I were profit-motivated, I would buy up land in Northern California, and Oregon.  There will be mass exodus from the southern half of the most populated state - to more northern areas.  
                I guess I have a good start.  I live near a river in Northern California, and I am an expert at growing food in my climate conditions - in my front yard.  My neighbors either think I am crazy, or applaud me for doing it.

                #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

                by Evolutionary on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:00:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Wealth of all forms is carcass meat (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Evolutionary

                  Something larger predators steal from smaller ones - or from the bones of herbivores.

                  A crass way to say that things of any kind are ephemeral.

                  There's just nothing that's worth anything but time and good people to spend it with, and work on ways to spend it lovingly in their service.

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