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View Diary: Well, yeah, we could slow global warming. But it would cost too much. (59 comments)

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  •  BURN IT ALL !! is the current strategy. (6+ / 0-)

    All the coal.

    All the oil.

    All the natural gas.

    And try to cut down the forests. I read where that's 20% of new CO2 in the atmosphere.

    That's the road we're on. So what's at the end of the road? When we BURN IT ALL !! what's the CO2 PPM ???

    What's the average temperature at the surface of the earth at the end of this road?

    What is the rise to sea level?

    Frankly, who cares whether it takes 300 years or 1,000 years to get there ??? If we go on down that road to the end, what's there?

    If it's not turning into Venus, then you're going to see humans alive at high altitudes and at the the far north and far south. With big deserts near the equator.

    But how bad is it?

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

    by waterstreet2013 on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 03:49:58 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  As I posted elsewhere (13+ / 0-)
      We're not "killing the planet." We're merely making the Earth unfit for human habitation. When we're gone, the surviving species will say good riddance. The Earth will shrug, dust itself off, and keep on going. The only decision left for us is: How soon will this be? Our best hope is that maybe we can put it off for a few thousand years.
      To which ypochris replied
      If we can put it off for a few thousand years, we should be able to postpone it indefinitely, in human terms, even if extinction is the eventual fate of all species on a geological time scale.

      If we can make it through the next couple of centuries, we should be able to recover as the CO2 we emit today leaves the atmosphere and things improve. But our actions now most likely will determine if we can, indeed, survive, or if things will get so bad Earth is uninhabitable for humans.

      Assuming it isn't too late. I prefer to think it is not.

      I also prefer to think not. But I doubt we'd survive the scenario waterstreet2013 describes above. In which case the answer to "who cares?" would be, "Ain't nobody left to care."

      Fred Upton, Chairman, House Energy Committee: Stop pushing dirty energy, stop blocking clean-energy initiatives. Help lead the transition or retire.

      by Bruce Brown on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 04:24:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  O.K. But that's not thinking it through. (0+ / 0-)

        What if the answer is that temperatures rise 20-degrees centigrade?

        That sea level goes up 250 feet?

        That doesn't kill everybody.

        Run temperature up 30 degrees centigrade. That's as an average for the whole planet. Take the ice off Antarctica and it's still damn cold down there.

        The shore of the Arctic Ocean might be habitable. We'll call one of the big islands New Fiji !!

        Novaya Zemlya goes to a daily high in July around 40-degrees C. Mountainous, sure thing. Mile high.

        There's someplace, somewhere you could run some agriculture. Go fishing.

        There's a few hundred thousand people alive, maybe a few million.

        Maybe larger than the cast of "Game of Thrones."

        "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

        by waterstreet2013 on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 05:06:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not saying it's un-doable, waterstreet2013, but... (4+ / 0-)

          If I remember my geography lessons (looonnggg time ago) I think there's no land at the North Pole. That would leave us all on Antarctica.

          Assuming we didn't completely kill each other off fighting for food and for clean water on the way there, maybe a few could make it until things cooled down. Especially if there's no more burnables putting CO2 in the atmosphere.

          All the death would put out a shitload of methane, though. Which creates lots more of a greenhouse effect than CO2. I have no idea how to even guess where that would put the Earth's temperature.

          Not exactly a best-case scenario, but maybe possible.

          Fred Upton, Chairman, House Energy Committee: Stop pushing dirty energy, stop blocking clean-energy initiatives. Help lead the transition or retire.

          by Bruce Brown on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 05:28:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes it does kill everyone and almost every other (11+ / 0-)

          plant and animal species on the planet. Only a six degree increase in global temperature triggered the Permian-Triassic mass extinction event over 250 million years ago and it took the climate millions of years to normalize again. It took about 100 million years for the flora and fauna to reestablish in significant diversity.

          The runaway greenhouse effect created by the melting of the trillions of methane sequestered over millions of years in our arctic tundras and off our continental shelves will not be survivable and we will die off completely long before the sea level raises significantly. Methane is at least 40 times worse as a greenhouse gas. We are adding CO2 sequestered millions of years ago as fossil fuels into today's environment but that's only the trigger...methane is the bomb that will kill us all.

          Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

          by RMForbes on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 05:51:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Permian-Triassic mass extinction killed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bruce Brown

            millions of species.

            Obviously not all of them. Not all mammals, for example.

            It is too easy to say that "The End Is Near" and "We Are All Going To Die." That's probably not going to sell, either. There's no model, no numbers, no process.

            This planet is going to change.

            Long after Charles and David Koch are forgotten their sins will be visited on the biosphere. And what does that really look like ???

            "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

            by waterstreet2013 on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 04:10:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Mass extinction events kill the larger animals (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bruce Brown, offgrid

              at the top of food chain first. Mankind will not survive the coming mass extinction event. Once life in the ocean begins to die off because of the acidification caused by too much CO2 in the atmosphere, people will not be far behind. During the Permian-Triassic extinction event the global temperature peaked at about 12 degrees above base and in your scenario with a 30 degree increase there will be far fewer survivors.

              What it looks like? First civilization collapses into chaos, wars and famine kill billions, the survivors will need to migrate towards the poles but the migration will only put off complete human extinction by a few years. In the end there will be no food sources left and any survivors will need to resort to cannibalism. The air will eventually become unbreathable and all the water too acidic for most complex forms of life to survive. The only possible survivors will be some insects and some bacteria that can tolerate the acidic environment. It will take millions of years before life as we now know it will be able to be reestablished on Earth.  

              Personally, I think we need to look at other options than continuing down the path we are on.

              Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

              by RMForbes on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 08:58:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Fishing would not exist because water absorbs (4+ / 0-)

          CO2 too. Adding enough CO2 to the atmosphere to raise the global temperature 30 degrees would raise the PH in the water too high to support fish populations and the plankton fish feed upon.

          Your model is not survivable at all. The oceans will be sterile long before all the glaciers melt in Antarctica. It will not be possible to grow plants anymore and no more seafood, the only thing left will be people in the end and that food source will not last more than a few years...if that.

          Maybe we should be looking at other strategies than mass migration if you don't want to become a cannibal in the end.  

          Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

          by RMForbes on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 06:45:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nice neat conclusions. (0+ / 0-)

            No model.

            Falling in love with conclusions is different from building a process model. And obviously, if the planet heats up over centuries we'll see population movement away from the equator.

            Let's put some bones on what's being presented to the public.

            "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

            by waterstreet2013 on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 04:14:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The runaway greenhouse effect will not (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bruce Brown

              necessarily take centuries to play out. Once the methane begins to melt and the positive feedback loop is established, climate change will accelerate exponentially. We are not talking centuries here...we are talking decades on the outside.  

              We have already seen this "model" play out before when the volcanic activity that broke apart Pangaea released enough CO2 relatively quickly to raise the global temperature by 6 degrees. This spike in global temperature triggered the melting and release of sequestered methane into the atmosphere. This set up a positive feedback loop where as the methane began to melt, increasing the global temperature higher which in turn released more methane. It didn't take centuries for most of life on the planet to go extinct, it took less than two centuries.

              We are in a more precarious position today than life was over 250 million years ago because today there is far more sequestered methane to melt and add to the runaway greenhouse effect. Build all the models you want but anyway you look at it we are screwed unless we radically change how we relate to the Earth now.  

              Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

              by RMForbes on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 11:45:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  40 C is pretty damned hot. 104 F, actually. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          waterstreet2013, Bruce Brown, JeffW
          Novaya Zemlya goes to a daily high in July around 40-degrees C.
          Are you saying that it gets that hot now, or that it will get that hot if global warming isn't stopped?  

          "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

          by Calamity Jean on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 12:55:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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