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View Diary: New study forecasts mass extinction in 100 years due to Climate Change (226 comments)

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  •  You give humans WAY too little credit! (2+ / 0-)
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    melo, salamanderempress

    I'm not a climate change denier (oh HELL no!) but I'm not a doom-n-gloom gal either. I had no problem making fun of Mona Charen when she said that the fiscal cliff was going to lead us into a Mad Max hellscape.... and I have no problem saying that people will still be around and many will still be happy in 200 years.

    Remember the saying "If it's too good to be true, it probably is?" Well, the same goes for the reverse: "If it sounds too awful to be true, it probably is." I don't believe that we'll ever reach a "The Road" type scenario where we all die in a whimper. Yes, the world will get hotter and human populations will shrink to accommodate limited food sources. Frappuccinos will be gone. Farms will be in. Arctic environments will turn temperate. Temperate environments will turn to desert and deserts may turn greener.

    Still, climate change is a net negative for us and we should take steps to correct... but diaries like this one are the reason why even Democrats are ignoring the issue.

     As soon as you hit the panic button, the problem looks unsolvable.

    We need less "AAAAAAA!!!! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!" and more "Hey, check out this climate change policy and how it really benefited this community."

    We need less arctic sea ice stories and more stories about places like Boston, Massachusetts and how, through aggressive but comprehensive reforms like repairing water pipes and installing low-volume toilets, the city's aquifer went from bone-dry to brimming.

    More positivity, people. Less horror stories. In this way we can accomplish more.

    •  right. don't tell me something i don't want to (4+ / 0-)

      hear.   check out my diary list i write the most positive diaries around sometimes that helps people to make changes sometimes being frightened into action works.  have to do whatever works.

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:02:35 PM PST

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      •  I try to keep focused on how much (4+ / 0-)

        can be averted so the death tolls will not be so high. It's been awhile since I had Internet so don't know for sure where I read what seemed a reasonably hopeful projection. That if we can keep the increase down enough (from 6), there could be enough arable land and resources (sans too many toxins, elevated pH, etc) to maintain a human population of 2 billion. If we peak at 8, that's a lot of people dying off. (Yeah, that's as bad as I can deal with...)

        I think what gets to me the most is trying to deal with the reality that no matter how well/quickly we respond, life is going to change, a lot, by the time the currently arriving generation reaches their 80's.  Meanwhile, the issue is drowned out by general plans based on the expectation that somehow life will continue as it has, indefinitely. I feel like some kind of conspiracy theorist bringing up the real possibilities.

        As weird as it may seem, these diaries keep me from feeling like I am becoming psychotic!

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:20:44 PM PST

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    •  No, this really has he potential to be an (9+ / 0-)

      existential threat.  Given the current political trajectory we're looking at hundreds of millions of dead.  If we can make the change faster we can hopefully keep that down to tens of millions.  The droughts are already here, as are the heat waves.  Pretending like we're going to be okay is frankly dumb and dangerous.  We have a serious problem.

      And there are no stories of any places doing what needs to be done.  If you know of a city that's carbon neutral I certainly haven't heard of it, and that's what we need to do.  Carbon negative even.

      The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:21:57 PM PST

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    •  suggestion? (5+ / 0-)

      you can write those diaries, you know, although humanity seeing 2200 seems rather unlikely at this point.

      just a little bit bored.

      by terrypinder on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:01:57 PM PST

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    •  We're not all going to die. (7+ / 0-)

      And very few people actually claim anything of the sort.  Still, the odds are that a great many people will die, many times more than we're prepared for and far more than enough to justify treating this issue with at least as much intensity as we would a major war.

      "Forecast for tomorrow? A few sprinkles of genius with a chance of doom!" -Stewie Griffin

      by quillsinister on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:02:44 PM PST

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      •  Long before the shit really hits the fan (13+ / 0-)

        there will be major wars over scarce resources, like water and arable land. Then we will be in the position of trying to fix the planet in the middle of wartime.

        I try to be optimistic, I really do.  But nothing in my lifetime has really encouraged optimism.  Men and nations will do the right thing when all other options are exhausted.

        The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. --Goya

        by MadScientist on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:23:33 PM PST

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        •  Agreed. (5+ / 0-)

          My point was to convey that, even if we don't actually follow the Neanderthal into the long dark night of extinction, there is still a vast spectrum of suck that we can and likely will experience.  Too many people seem to think that, so long as some humans are left standing at the end, then it's all good.

          Thresholds interest me; how people can be moved to outrage and action over certain things while remaining indifferent to others.  We lost our collective shit and launched a multi-trillion dollar war because a few crazy people crashed some planes and caused a few thousand deaths, yet a freaking mass extinction event is met with a resounding "meh."  By the same token, we consider the Holocaust to be one of the greatest crimes in human history, and would surely support extraordinary measures to avoid a second one, but somehow the deaths we expect from climate change count for less, even though they will be numerically far greater.

          I'm reasonably certain we won't actually become extinct (though I could be mistaken), but even if this just results in the equivalent of a few dozen Holocausts, several regional wars for diminishing resources and a few centuries of chaos like after the collapse of the Roman Empire, that's still pretty fucking bad.  More than sufficient cause to approach this as the most important issue of our time.

          But we only have outrage for far lesser issues, it seems.

          "Forecast for tomorrow? A few sprinkles of genius with a chance of doom!" -Stewie Griffin

          by quillsinister on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:48:37 PM PST

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    •  On the Other Hand... (2+ / 0-)
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      FishOutofWater, grahamcstrouse's worthwhile to try to keep an accurate idea of what's happening.  That can help people plan ways forward.  Societies have indeed collapsed due to environmental degradation (such theories include the Mayans and the Hittites.  The Mycenean Greeks who became the marauding Sea Peoples of the Bible were likely driven from their homes by others fleeing drought; and it's surmised that bubonic plague devastated the early Byzantine Empire).  

      Endless optimism is every bit as dangerous as perpetual despair.  We've created an increasingly hazardous world for ourselves and the most intelligent thing to do is to understand what those hazards are--always with the goal of surviving.

    •  Wow! If I had only known that before! (2+ / 0-)
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      Creosote, Words In Action

      Democrats would be acting on climate change if only Beach Babe hadn't written this diary. And a few other folks, myself included hadn't written diaries like it. If I had only known that Congress and the President were reading my diaries I would have been more optimistic!

      diaries like this one are the reason why even Democrats are ignoring the issue.
      It has nothing, of course to do with the money and power of big oil (&gas), and the coal companies.

      If only we did happy talk here Congress wouldn't be so scared.

      Then Democrats would suddenly pass legislation that would solve all our problems.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:20:12 PM PST

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      •  Please don't be facetious, (0+ / 0-)

        You know exactly what I'm saying. There needs to be a middle ground between climate change denial (which is wrong) and climate change panic (which is unproductive).

        When the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 back in 1957, we as Americans did not say "AAAAA! THE RUSSKIES HAVE WON!!! THEY HAVE THE SUPERIOR TECHNOLOGY!!!! WE'RE DOOMED!!!" Or, at least, not all of us said that. Instead Americans dusted off their hands and said, "Right. Let's get to work."

        And we got to work. And twelve years later the US landed a man on the moon.

        Now, with climate change, I say that once again Americans must spare themselves the exquisite masochistic pleasure of despair and say: "Right. Let's get to work."

        We must encourage vegetarianism (including no fish, no sushi)

        We must use our cars as little as possible... and try to buy cars that are hybridized or electric.

        We must devote our spare time towards helping environmentally-friendly, progressive candidates.

        We must spend our weekends hiking with friends or children so they too can be aware of the beauty of nature and how necessary it is to protect it.

        We must encourage environmentally-friendly businesses and entrepreneurship like industrial design student Elie Ahovi whose plastic-eating underwater drone captures plastic recyclables and converts them back into petroleum. It's a possible answer to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

        Most of all, we must be joyful, happy, and productive. Depression and despair are very unproductive...and no problem as large as climate change was ever solved by people who preferred to moan over being optimistic. This is just simple psychology.

        •  All of those are good things to do, (1+ / 0-)
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          but they will not prevent us from whizzing past 2 degrees Celsius into the disaster zone. The only thing that does that is massive government and business engaged policy and cultural change, because the vast majority of CO2 is generated by the government (esp. Defense) and business, including through the products they create, market and sell.

          Yes, embrace and champion Permaculture, but we also have to pursue radical cultural change on a much steeper curve than gentle promotion alone will accomplish.

          The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

          by Words In Action on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:51:41 AM PST

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    •  not sure about you (1+ / 0-)
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      yourself but have known those with similar worldview and all of the ones I know have always had things work out for them so have a rather rosy view of the future that "it'll all work out".
      Myself on the other hand, having had things go to the shit and having been alone with that, have a different worldview. I'd prefer the other one though.

    •  You may find the book Six Degrees of interest. (1+ / 0-)
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      Words In Action

      It makes sense to know what one is facing.

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