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Jean-Pascal van Ypersele is Professor of Climatology and Environmental sciences at the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium), and Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

= = =

Ian Fry, the delegate from Tuvalu (a small island state in the Pacific Ocean), had a voice broken by emotion in the COP15 Plenary room Saturday morning when he pleaded for his country’s proposal for a Copenhagen legally-binding agreement limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial. "The fate of my country lies in your hands", he said. The plenary room was suspended to his words. Every normal human being had to be moved. At least I was. Is climate science providing a basis for this emotion? Should the world accept a 2°C rise, a value which seems gaining ground, or is 1.5°C, now advocated by the Alliance of Small Island States and many developing countries, a better target?  Does the IPCC provide useful information on this question?

We all know  (at least those who understand the scientific methods) that the burning of massive quantities of fossil fuels has destabilized the carbon cycle, since we are emitting every year approximately 20 billion tons of carbon dioxide in excess of what ecosystems and oceans can absorb. These contribute to thicken the layer of heat-trapping gases around the Earth, and warm its climate. The average warming over the last 100 years is of the order of 0.8°C, and has been called "unequivocal" by IPCC in its last report ( After assessing hundreds of articles, the IPCC concluded that most of the observed increase in global temperatures since 1950 is very likely due to the observed increase in human greenhouse gas concentrations. If emissions continue unabated, global temperatures are likely to rise between 1.6 and 6.9°C above pre-industrial before the end of this century (except noted otherwise, all warming or sea-level increase values given below will be expressed with respect to the pre-industrial values.)

The physics behind this is extremely solid, and those who are not convinced either have not read the IPCC reports in good faith, or are blinded by the short-term interests they defend.

Climate warming over the last three decades has likely already had a discernible influence on many physical and biological systems. It is likely that the summer 2003 European heat wave (70000 additional deaths over the summer) and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were both intensified to some extent by warming. But these are nothing compared to the impacts in store. In the future, human health, many ecosystems (both terrestrial and marine), water resources, agriculture, and low-lying coastal systems are likely to be especially affected by climate change. This is true also for small islands, where there is high exposure of population and infrastructure to sea level rise.

The UN Framework Climate Convention, adopted in 1992, states in its Article 2 that its ultimate objective is to "... prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system." The first policymakers who gave a quantitative interpretation to this article are the European Council of Ministers, who decided, in June 1996 that, in order to avoid this "dangerous interference", we should never allow a global warming that exceeds 2°C above pre-industrial. This was decided 13 years ago, on the basis of the second IPCC Assessment Report.

The Third IPCC Report, published in 2001, contained the "burning embers" diagram synthesising the severity of risk associated with five "reasons for concern" (RFC) in function of the global temperature increase, using a colour scheme easy to understand: a graduation from white (low risk) to yellow (significant risk) to red (severe risk). In retrospect, it kind of justified the political choice made by the EU leaders in 1996: the transition between the yellow (significant risk) and red (severe risk) zones was located for the first two RFCs around 2°C (about 1.5°C above the 1990 temperature).

The last IPCC  report (2007) contained an updated assessment of these RFCs, and an updated diagram was published in 2009 by PNAS (look for Smith et al. on or on ). This diagram clearly shows that the red zones are entered in at a lower warming threshold than in the 2001 version for each RFC. The downward movement is by at least 0.5°C. In other words, the 2°C threshold that could be considered somewhat "safe" on the basis of the 2001 report urgently needs a political update. My guess is that if the same European Ministers who decided, thirteen years ago, that the target ought to be 2°C would look at the evidence in the last IPC C report, they would have to conclude that a lower target, probably 1.5°C, is warranted. Please note that when I say this, I am not policy-prescriptive, I only highlight the evolution of knowledge that has taken place over the past 13 years, and suggest that using the same criteria they used in 1996, those Ministers would likely pick a lower target. I hope this is policy relevant.

Another way to look at the same issue, to understand the 1.5 versus 2°C debate, is to check what the IPCC writes about sea level changes for a 2°C warming. For a 2 to 2.4°C warming, the last IPCC report gives a sea-level increase at equilibrium of the order of 0.4 – 1.4 metres above the pre-industrial level for water thermal expansion only, but did not give a total estimate. A total number should take into account, in addition to water expansion, the melting of glaciers and small ice caps, and more important, the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Glaciers and small ice caps contain the equivalent of 15 to 37 cm of sea-level increase, and have started to melt already. The Greenland represents 7 metres, and Antarctica 56 metres of sea-level rise. Given that the threshold for the long-term viability of the Greenland ice sheet has been assessed to be between 1.9 and 4.6°C global warming, and noting the uncertainty about the long-term sea level contribution from Antarctica (Oppenheimer and Alley have suggested in 2005 that a sustained global warming of 2.5°C would be a threshold beyond which there would be a commitment to a large sea level contribution from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, but there is no consensus on this value), one can easily understand why Tuvalu and Small Island States are concerned: 2°C means ultimately at least 40 cm from thermal expansion, plus at (the very) least 10 cm from the melting of glaciers, plus potentially 7 metres from the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, plus some contribution from Antarctica!

Tuvalu’s highest point, Ian Fry told the Plenary, is less than 4 metres, with its entire population living at less than 2 metres above sea level.

One can therefore understand why choosing 1.5 or 2°C for the ultimate goal matters for him, and why he was crying Saturday morning, preparing his intervention for the COP Plenary.

There are many other reasons why a 2°C world might not be so safe after all. The last IPCC report also contains these sentences, which I find terrible: "Approximately 20 to 30% of [plant and animal] species assessed so far are likely to be at increased risk of extinction if warming exceeds 2 to 3°C." Those species don’t have a Ian Fry to speak on their behalf, but wouldn’t the fate of our human species be better, wherever we live, if these other species, who provide so many ecosystem services, were allowed to survive?

I rediscovered an old book the other day. It is the report written by Barbara Ward and René Dubos in preparation of the 1972 UN Conference on environment, in Stockholm. It contained these visionary sentences: "The increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the air means that, at the present rates of use, the earth’s temperature could rise by 0.5°C by the year 2000." (Well, this is precisely what happened.) and: "We [need to] wonder whether the sum of all likely fossil fuel demands in the early decades of the [21st] century might not greatly increase the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere and by doing so bring up average surface temperature uncomfortably close to that rise of 2°C which might set in motion the long-term warming-up of the planet."  

So, the science disputed by some today was already so clear 37 years ago!

We should remember the title of that visionary 1972 report (and revisit the numbers it contains, on the basis of the latest science): "Only one Earth".

Originally posted to Jean Pascal van Ypersele on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 10:31 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  500,000 climate refugees in Bangladesh each yr. (13+ / 0-)

      Bangladeshis have watched as hundreds of thousands of their country's citizens have lost their homes to rising sea levels, and become climate refugees. Many of these displaced people are flocking to Bangladesh's crowded capital Dhaka where the slums swell with half a million migrants arriving a year.

      See: NBC Report 500,000 Climate Refugees per year in Bangladesh NOW

      "These old Wall Street boys are putting up an awful fight to keep the government from putting a cop on their corner." - Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 12:20:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "unequivocal"? Hardly... (0+ / 0-)

      The average warming over the last 100 years is of the order of 0.8°C, and has been called "unequivocal" by IPCC in its last report

      The only way the IPCC can claim this warming is unequivocal is by forcing temperature artificially low for the Meieval Warm Period, which new data indicates was likely global in nature.  

      Data from Woods Hole suggests the MWP was as warm as it is now.. globally.

      Woods Hole embraces the Medieval Warm Period – contradict Mann’s proxy data

         A new 2,000 year long reconstruction of sea surface temperatures (SST) from the Indo-Pacific warm pool (IPWP) suggests that temperatures in the region may have been as warm during the Medieval Warm Period as they are today.

      Are we warming? Yes!  Is man spewing way too many pollutants into the atmosphere?  Again, yes!  Are they related?  Science has yet to say that definitely as far as I am concerned.  But we can err on the side of caution and do whatever we can to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gases and do so without upsetting the global economy.

      "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

      by Skeptical Bastard on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 01:09:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And let's try to keep things in perspective, (0+ / 0-)

        shall we?

        Historical video perspective: our current "unprecedented" global warming in the context of scale

        One of the favorite buzzwords of alarmists is "unprecedented" when talking about present day warming.

        See the link above with the instrument data from 1900 added in to see how "unprecedented" climate change really is...

        "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

        by Skeptical Bastard on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 01:21:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Unequivocal, Yes. (6+ / 0-)

        The MWP doesn't help your case one bit.

        1. The MWP doesn't set the baseline for warming this century. If you want, you can use the last milenium as a baseline.
        1. The MWP occurred when CO2 levels were much lower. The MWP doesn't affect the sensitivity of climate to radiative forcing by greenhouse gases.

        look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 01:48:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That makes no sense.. (0+ / 0-)

          The MWP occurred when CO2 levels were much lower. The MWP doesn't affect the sensitivity of climate to radiative forcing by greenhouse gases.

          You imply by that statement that it is fact that CO2 is causing the current warming.  My point is, the current warming could simply be natural variability exactly like the MWP coincidentally with CO2 increase.

          The major point being, we have had exactly this type of global warming before with loss of glaciers and Greenland ice with no man made input.

          "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

          by Skeptical Bastard on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 05:43:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  MWP (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            koNko, RLMiller

            From Climate Progress:

            The new study suggests (again) that the Medieval warm period was limited to only a part of the Northern Hemisphere, and that recent human-caused warming is quite outside the boundary of the last two millennia

            From New scientist:

            In the southern hemisphere, the picture is even more mixed, with evidence of both warm and cool periods around this time. The Medieval Warm Period may have been mostly a regional phenomenon, with the extremes reflecting a redistribution of heat around the planet rather than a big overall rise in the average global temperature.

            What is clear, both from the temperature reconstructions and from independent evidence - such as the extent of the recent melting of mountain glaciers - is that the planet has been warmer in the past few decades than at any time during the medieval period. In fact, the world may not have been so warm for 6000 or even 125,000 years

  ! The climate can't wait.

            by B Amer on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 06:02:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's right and that's why his vid is BS (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              koNko, RLMiller

              His youtube video compares apples and oranges.

              look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

              by FishOutofWater on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 06:36:00 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Did you bother reading the links? (0+ / 0-)

              The evidence is showing the MWP was global in nature.

              It was not regional.

              Read this and follow the link..

              As far as being warmer now than in the MWP, that is not fact.  The reconstructions have been cherry-picked to show that.  We were every bit as warm in the MWP globally as we are now.

              "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

              by Skeptical Bastard on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 07:46:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Please change your username (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Eileen B

                From SkepticalBastard to ReligiousNut.

                It's rather interesting that you treat uncertian data from a small region extrapolated to a complex system to draw a conclusion the authors of the study do not make, treating your own conslusions as gospel.

                What we do know unequivocally, is that CO2 are at historical maximums, are rapidly increasing and strongly correlate to a well-established systematic model. We also have more recent information that the reduction of the ozone hole due to ODS reductions has a cooling effect and the teperature would be even higher absent this effect. Since this was certianly not a factor in the period covered by the study, it would also require teoretical consideration if we to integrate the new data.

                Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

                by koNko on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 12:29:55 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  You don't seem to understand physics 101 (0+ / 0-)

            Mars used to have liquid water and an atmosphere, but it lost its greenhouse gases to space because its mass wasn't large enough to keep the solar wind from sending its atmosphere into space. Once most of the greenhouse gases were lost Mars got so cold that CO2 freezes as dry ice at the poles.

            Only an irrational denier of science denies the warming effect of greenhouse gases.

            A number of recent scientific publications have separated out the effects of different variables on the earth's temperature. Try reading them instead of denier site "Watts up" and you might learn something.

            look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

            by FishOutofWater on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 06:34:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Explain warming without CO2 then (0+ / 0-)

              The fact is:  We have had the exact same type of global warming before as we are seeing now.. without CO2.

              "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

              by Skeptical Bastard on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 07:42:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It isn't the same. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Milankovitch cycles explain the glacial - interglcaial cycles.

                The video is totally f'ed up because it compares local Greenland ice core data with global data - apples and oranges. There are many events where the NH warms and the SH cools. Sometimes the Atlantic warms and the Pacific cools.

                Watts up has been debunked by Real Climate and other climate scientists.

                The PETM is similar to the warming we are having now and that's not a good thing.

                look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

                by FishOutofWater on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 08:26:00 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  I'm afaid I take issue with this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Are we warming? Yes!  Is man spewing way too many pollutants into the atmosphere?  Again, yes!  Are they related?  Science has yet to say that definitely as far as I am concerned.  But we can err on the side of caution and do whatever we can to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gases and do so without upsetting the global economy.

        I won't argue which model is more likely, or whether either provides adequate proof, but the bolded statement is an oxymoron given the fact of the world's present dependance on fossil fuels.

        Applying the precautuinary principle given the evidence before our eyes is enough to justify the economic realignment that will be required failing to take control of the situation will lead to consequences that suggest a more chaotic realingment.

        The economic consequences already affect many economies and will yours too.

        Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

        by koNko on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 11:59:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Direct Links (0+ / 0-)

      For simplicity, anyone wanting a PDF of the revisions to the IPCC RFC can obtain it at the following link to the PNAS website

      Assessing dangerous climate change through an update of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) "reasons for concern" (PDF direct link)

      Thank you Dr. von Ypersele for the information and explanations.

      Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

      by koNko on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 11:47:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Warming: largest refugee source, security threat (20+ / 0-)

    The U.N. currently states that more refugees are now displaced by environmental disasters than by war, more than 25 million climate refugees (ecologically induced migrants), and experts have projected that number will double within the next five years to over 50 million.  Several organizations like the IPCC, Red Cross and The Christian Monitor estimate between 150 million and 1 billion climate refugees will be displaced within the next four decades, yet not one single international law gives asylum, or even a helping hand to environmental refugees.


    "Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."

    by oregonj on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 10:49:56 AM PST

    •  This makes Islamic Militarism a minor irritant (5+ / 0-)

      compared to the population stresses which will drive the major wars of the next 80 years.

      "Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly." - Voltaire

      by captainlaser on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 11:33:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your comment, captainlaser (5+ / 0-)

        This makes Islamic Militarism a minor irritant compared to the population stresses which will drive the major wars of the next 80 years.

        should be the mantra that accompanies any discussion on this extremely urgent environmental crisis Apocalyptic precipice into which we and our planet are all about to fall.

        And Dr. Pascal van Ypersele, your diary here should be reposted weekly until we've successfully pounded this into the heads of all climate deniers or until they fall or are collectively pushed into the rising seas or massive wild fires our planet is currently experiencing and we rid ourselves of these brainless fools.

        I beg of you, Dr. Pascal van Ypersele, please continue posting here on this subject when you can. Your presence here is vital and your expertise is desperately needed to add to the valuable information provided by our many DailyKos community Green diarists. It is paramount at this time that we have all the input we can get our hands on to help us fight for this at the grass roots level. Welcome!

        The beatings will continue until morale improves. -8.50, -6.92

        by ferallike on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 12:01:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  thank you for joining us today! (22+ / 0-)

    definitely will bookmark and pass your essay around because it so clearly makes the case for why we need to take effective measures now, here in US and treaty.

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 10:55:38 AM PST

  •  Thank you so much for posting! (19+ / 0-)

    Tuvalu has a proposal on the table to cut emissions 1.5 degrees C (I'll have a diary up very shortly on Tuvalu, albeit from a far less learned perspective), which unfortunately has about the same chance of succeeding as does the country as a whole.  

  •  Do we have the political will to combat climate (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    missLotus, JayDean, Rogneid, koNko, rb137, RLMiller

    change with firm limits on GHG and resources necessary to help those who will suffer its effects?

    Please, people in Copenhagen, rise to the occasion, overcome parochial interests and respond to the challenge.

    Thanks for the diary. From Indiana, midwest of the US.

    •  Whaddya mean, We? (11+ / 0-)

      surveys over the world show that working people are strongly in favor of taking necessary action. However, the will of the people is irrelevant. Nations are guided by the will of the privileged, nowhere more so than in the United States of America.

      The wealthy will act in self-interest and profiteers will do everything in their power to prevent any meaningful conservation program. There are a few pleasant exceptions, of course, but basically there are no countries that truly submit to the will of the people.

      When things get bad enough, revolutions will take place. Until then, I don't hold out much hope that the profiteers will do anything to preserve our planet.

      I think Al Gore's strategy is best. We have to convince the profiteers that they can make even more money by joining the conservation effort. Whether that is actually true is not particularly relevant. These are mind games we must win.

      Is it not written "There's a lot goes on we don't get told."? (Lu Tze)

      by MakeChessNotWar on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 11:25:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A survey in the Baltimore Sun this week (7+ / 0-)

        said that 83% of the polled public (unscientific) thought that scientists had exaggerated the effects of global warming.

        We need to work hard on US public opinion or we are lost as a civilization.

        "Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly." - Voltaire

        by captainlaser on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 11:35:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •   1000 paul reveres in reverse (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          reflectionsv37, koNko

          it starts with 1000 RW radio stations because they are uncontested.

          they blast the denial all day long, intimidating as well as enabling politicians and media with their easily mobilized misinformed screaming hoards of dittoheads. that is industry's main constituency, made to order, as limbaugh and hannity and others blast the country with coordinated uncontested repetition.

          the key is that it is uncontested- the monopoly excludes competition and call screeners ensure they will not be called on their lies and distortions.

          those stations are licensed to operate in the public interest and they are instead operating as paul reveres in reverse.

          the 400 people i marched to the state capitol with didn't get any media attention for the recent 350 protests. if 20 of us had gone to the local limbaugh megastation instead i suspect we would have had media attention.

          and their local sponsors need to be asked WTF.

          US social and political reality is largely determined by 1000 radio stations blasting coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition all day long.

          by certainot on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 11:52:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Irritating media (0+ / 0-)

          that asks questions of science using opinion poll language. Better, "Are you convinced by the science studies you have read of climate change? How much climate science to you read in one month?"

          No public option, no re-election. It's not complicated.

          by mrobinson on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 12:00:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not to mention that every poll this week has (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            koNko, cumberland sibyl

            ended up reactionary.

            They had a poll:

            Do you support the University of Maryland committing to buy 23% of its energy from green sources?

            80% of the people said "No".   WTF.

            I am pretty sure that they are being regularly freeped.

            "Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly." - Voltaire

            by captainlaser on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 12:27:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  what we must do (0+ / 0-)

          part of the problem is that people can get away with being deniers with no consequences. We must treat all deniers, both in public and in private. We must shun them and isolate them so that it is clear that if they do not accept the risks of climate change that none of their opinions are of any interest. We need to get nasty about this.

          Is it not written "There's a lot goes on we don't get told."? (Lu Tze)

          by MakeChessNotWar on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 12:57:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Al Gore is right, but it doesn't matter... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayDean, In her own Voice, freesia

        because profiteers don't want to wait. They want profits NOW.

        Let's say that the solar industry will be extremely profitable in 20 years. If I were Rex W. Tillerson (Shell's CEO, a 57 years-old engineer), I would not want to wait 20 years for big money, because I won't be CEO by that time.

        That's also the line of thought of "Cap & Trade" opponents. They don't want an increase of "taxes" and they will go lengths to convince themselves that AGW is not fact, so that they don't need to have their taxes raised.

      •  Your assertion is totally false. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko, CuriousBoston

        Most people do not want to sacrifice for the future in any form (studying hard, dieting, exercising, saving, investing, paying taxes for infrastructure).

        That is the problem.

        The sins of 2000 gave us the penance of 2001-2009. Don't repeat them.

        by Paul Goodman on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 12:00:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

          It is the weak spot of both Modern Capitalism and Socialism.

          But soon when islands and coastlines are disappearing it won't be about the future anymore.

          Is it not written "There's a lot goes on we don't get told."? (Lu Tze)

          by MakeChessNotWar on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 01:15:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It already isn't (0+ / 0-)

            How much the short term consequences are in one's face depends greatly where on lives, and those facing the most severe and direct effects tend to be poor and voiceless, but then, that is the subject of this diary, isn't it?

            For example, poor Bangladesh, with meagar percapita CO2 emissions of 0.3T and an economy to match in inundated by rising sea levels, loss of airable land inland due to salinization and ever more severe monsoons and flooding near costal regions that further errode farmlands while linland areas recive declining rainfall.

            And then the world dumps it's unwanted ships on them so they can pick them apart by hand to salvage the scrap metal for a living now that the farms are gone.


            People need to understand this, how we treat our fellow man and the earth.

            Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

            by koNko on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 12:50:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  people understand, they just don't care (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I can't agree with the assumption that when people know the facts they will behave properly. I don't believe that people are inherently good. Self-interest is hardwired into our biology.

              Is it not written "There's a lot goes on we don't get told."? (Lu Tze)

              by MakeChessNotWar on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 12:55:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  That does not seem to be the case (0+ / 0-)

        It depends, somewhat on country/region (some people face more direct consequences) but in the USA public sentiment is actually on a downward trend, probably due, in part, to short-term economic pressures that swing the public mood.

        It is therefore importiant to educate and inform, including our means and alternatived to arrest the trend and mitigate effects.

        But I'd certianly agree many corporations have short-term economic incentives to obstruct and lots of financial resources to influance governments, themselves often willing enablers.

        Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

        by koNko on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 12:37:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm concerned about (7+ / 0-)

    the humanitarian impact -- drought, watershed throughput, perturbed ecosystems affecting resource distribution, etc.

    We are doing our best to create change that reverses the mistakes of our past. What can regular people like us do to help the UN minimize the humanitarian impact of climate change?

    Elephant: (noun) A mouse designed by committee.

    by rb137 on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 10:58:21 AM PST

    •  A good start (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Is to reduce your own carbon footprint to a minimum starting with how you lead your daily life and the personal choice you make.

      You ask an excellent question, one that needs repeated answering and public awareness, with information broken-down to Simple Do's, Dont's, How To's and Did You Know's.

      This was underscored on a News story I saw on TV last night, local schools here in Shanghai are running public information campaigns where students become teachers and survey people on the street, and them ask them to sign a contract to take some simple actions in their daily lives listed in the contract. Most of the people they interviewed in the story were very positive and remarked that they didn't realize how much they could actually do just by changing their behaviour using common-sense with a little environmental awareness involvled.

      I actually belive this is an importiant element of change and that most people are capable of changing if it becomes part of social obligation. For example, when China banned ultra-thin shopping bags and incentivized reuseable/recyclable alternatives with taxation and mandatory user feees, I was surprised how cooperative most people were, taking pride in their environmental awareness and putting peer-pressure on others (it is no considered an embarassment to purchase a bag verses carrying your own durable bag). Despite my own lobbying for this change, I honestly expected more public resistance and it just didn't materialize beyond the grumbling of a few old farts.

      Obviously the Diaries of ASegal provide lots of information and a template to follow, but what should be follow-up activities on Daily Kos?

      Should we have a regular feature on weekends to give people the ABC's?

      Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

      by koNko on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 01:07:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is the EcoJustice series. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It posts on Monday nights. Probably we can do something there. There is the GreenRoots series, as well as the Green Diary Rescue -- so there are plenty of outlets at DK where such a feature could live.

        I think that the climate writing here is pretty good. I would like to see more about how climate change affects ecojustice -- and not just in a hyperbolic sense. Already climate change is displacing people, intensifying struggles over already sparse resources, and threatening humanitarian stablility is a real way.

        I asked the question because the UN has their finger on what is already happening in the biggest humanitarian crises on the planet.

        Elephant: (noun) A mouse designed by committee.

        by rb137 on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 07:00:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for your reply. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          My thought is to make the Eco posts on Kos more oriened to the ABC's of "how to" than the present news-driven format. I realize there are special interest groups but they don't seem to be in a high visibility position to reach the maximum number of people.

          Perhaps this could be done my changing the format of the MB round-up diary to feature a sidebar every issue that covers a single issue in simple and direct fashion. Since there are front page articles, they would get more exposure than diaries pushed-off the list by Sara Palin rants.

          I am a big supporter/user of the UN and UNEP in particular (linked on my blogroll) which is an excellent organization. One area where Obama has done very well is to rehabilitate the Us relationship with the international community and UN in particular, and this very welcome by us outside the USA

          Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

          by koNko on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 08:23:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  MB's roundup is up to MB. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            But you can contact any of the people who write for EcoJustice or GreenRoots -- they like "how to" stuff, too. They are particularly action oriented, even if it's a simple as turning off a faucet. But there is a lot of action oriented stuff in those diaries.

            Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse is the best contact person for GreenRoots, and boatsie is the best contact person for EcoJustice.

            :)  -rb

            Elephant: (noun) A mouse designed by committee.

            by rb137 on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 08:38:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  The problem with talking about a particular (6+ / 0-)

    temperature increase is in the uncertainties of the models for such projections.

    We could make commitments for certain emissions reductions and even achieve them only to find that the Earth's temperature rises a little more than expected and that this has tragic consequences.

    For example, one of the things that climate models have the highest uncertainty in is feedbacks from cloud formation.  This seemed to be very problematic, and many climate scientists expected that there would be a negative feedback.  this would mean that as temperatures increase, cloud formation would increase to result in more radiation reflected into space so that there would be a lessening of the temperature increases.

    It turns out that there is a way to check this and researchers Clement, Burgman and Norris reported their result in the July 14th, 2009 issue of the journal, Science.

    It turns out that measurements over the Northeast Pacific over a period of decades showed that as temperatures increased, reflections of energy from clouds decreased.  This is then a positive feedback, and only one of the current climate models was consistent with this effect.

    That means that at least over the temperature ranges in which this effect is expected to hold up, the average of current model runs will underpredict the temperature increases.

    We had better not set targets now with confidence.  They must be checked frequently as we learn more about climate sensitivity and tipping points.

    "Trust only those who doubt" Lu Xun

    by LookingUp on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 11:06:01 AM PST

    •  I agree that setting temperature targets is not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      scientifically sound.  We need to regulate the forcings not the response.

      "Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly." - Voltaire

      by captainlaser on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 11:36:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is that how the temperature targets are being (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      used?  Or are they more like guidelines, based on computer models, for emissions?  Or something else?

      •  The targets are (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        part educated guesses and part model dependent.

        We know that past climates hit tipping points that we want to avoid, but we're not sure exactly what the temperatures for the tipping points will be or what will trigger them.  There are some possibly good guesses, but we don't know for sure.

        We know very accurately how much sea level will rise for a given ocean temperature change.  It's not easy to calculate, but it is within current skill of the models.  Expansions of water with temperature increases depend on the particular starting temperatures and pressures that the water is under.  There is enough known about the oceans to make this difficult set of calculations very reliable.

        But we don't know how much ice will melt at a particular temperature, and that makes the total rise in sea level at least moderately uncertain.  Current models don't do well in predicting ice melt.

        We can have high confidence in the trends, but there are still uncertainties in the details.

        "Trust only those who doubt" Lu Xun

        by LookingUp on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 01:40:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Regulations wil be pplied to emissions (0+ / 0-)

        Temperature limits are general goals to guide emission standards and a monitoring mechanism to (ultimately) validate or adjust emissions limis.

        Hope that answers the question.

        Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

        by koNko on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 01:11:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Great sig line. n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, LookingUp

      Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 11:55:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. (0+ / 0-)

        It's partly short for "Astronomy is looking up," and partly about my hopes for the future.  I've been an amateur astronomer for 54 years and have now and then worked with professional astronomers.

        "Trust only those who doubt" Lu Xun

        by LookingUp on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 01:43:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oops! You said "sig line!" (0+ / 0-)

          Sometimes I'm dense.

          I read this phrase, "Trust only those who doubt" in a book, and it stuck with me.  Eventually, with the help of someone I know from China, I tracked it down to the Chinese author, Lu Xun.

          I have found from experience that those who act certain about their ideas and actions are often well respected leaders, but they're not generally as accurate as they would like us to believe.

          "Trust only those who doubt" Lu Xun

          by LookingUp on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 02:05:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  See my note (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Attached to Meteor Blades comment, just a bit about Zhōu Shùrén, the real Lǔ Xùn (a nom de plume). Zhōu was actually quite an influnetial writer and one of the leaders of the May 4th Movement, the progressive core of modern Chinese intellectualism.

            I highly recommend his writings, they certianly influanced my own development.

            Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

            by koNko on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 02:07:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  A a great man. (0+ / 0-)

        Lǔ Xùn (鲁迅) is actualy the nome de plume of Zhōu Shùrén (周樹人), one of the leaders of the May 4th movement in China and the defacto leader of the Chinese League of Left-Wing Writers in Shanghai, my home.

        His most famous and influential work was 狂人日記 (English title A Madman's Diary) which is a amazing story of social criticizm I think you would enjoy, and one I read every few years to focus myself. I'm certian you can find it in english translation easily, it is one of the classics of modern Chinese literature and was a powerful and influential work. Another of his classics is 阿Q正傳 (English name: The Story of Ah Q)

        If you visit Shanghai sometime, his appartment above the League of Left Wing Writers Press/Bookstore is still in existance and a designated cultural heritage building, and worth a visit since the district is still a writers/publishers enclave of sorts.

        From this location the League published the periodicals 新青年 (New Youth) and 萌芽 (Sprouts) which you might consider the then equivelents of some of the more famous political blogs of today although they were a bit more radical.

        The quote you like is typical of East Asian culture and Confucian ethics; we tend to think doubt is the better part of reason and polite exercise of it a social virture.

        Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

        by koNko on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 01:59:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is that (0+ / 0-)

      real, hardcore environmentalism is all about population control.

      Environmentalists tried to take a short cut by latching on to the relatively innocuous issue of global warming (polar bears and all that).

      Global Warming, even if true, pales in comparison to human numbers -- which not coincidentally are driving Global Warming as well.

      The Chinese have a "nuclear option" that will destroy any attempt to curtail their consumption of fossil fuels:

      If pressed, they will simply call upon the West to adopt a One-Child policy for real sustainability.

      The West will back down.

      End of story.

      The sins of 2000 gave us the penance of 2001-2009. Don't repeat them.

      by Paul Goodman on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 12:06:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Glogg! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose, RLMiller

        A recipe for Glogg:


           * 1 bottle of red wine
           * 0.5 Liter inexpensive brandy or vodka
           * 10 cardamom pods
           * 1 cinnamon stick (broken down)
           * 1/2 orange peel (dried or fresh)
           * 1/2 lbs sugar (regular or lumps)
           * Optional additions: 5 cloves, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup almonds, 5 dried figs

        Heat the wine and brandy spices, fruit, and nuts in a pot (and any optional additions you might like.)

        Be careful not to boil the mixture; just let it simmer for about 45 minutes.

        Then, strain through a cloth to remove all additions.

        Serve your Glogg hot over lumped sugar (or with regular granulated sugar).

        Optional: You can also serve the Glogg with raisons or almonds. If you'd like the drink to be stronger, use more brandy.

        Find out the latest in the global warming fight at Wonk Room!

        by The Cunctator on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 12:38:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  "... even if true..." (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose, koNko

        ...Paul, Paul, Paul.

        Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 02:00:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You are looking at this backwards (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And suggesting Chinese are unreasonable; we are not. The One Child Policy was initiated based on the realizaion that the cycle of poverty and famine in China would not be broken unless we lowered our population to a point it would be sustainable given our meagar natural and economic resources. Today, it has, perhaps, even greater relevance given the fact that as we climb the economic ladder, we face other constraints, environmental ones.

        The problem is rather one of population and resource consumption (including the capacity for natural CO2 sequesting); we need to control both, and given the lack of magic solutions, accept contraints on both.

        Politically, this suggests high consuming/low population nations conserve and/or rapidly replace fossil fuels with clean energy resources, and that underveloped and developing nations control their growth and take the clean route to the greatest extent possible.

        For all it suggests some sacrifice for the common good and the terms of that are the pressure point of COP-15.

        China is not going to demand other nations addopt population controls; it might be wise for some high population countries such as India to do a better job of it and for the global community to help them, but China is not in the habit of dictating policy to other countries, if you believe so you fundamentally misunderstand Chinese political doctrine.

        But having raised the issue, let's frame that picture; the attached chart shows some selected percapita emissions data with countries selected for multiple criteria of region, economic status, dominant economic model, power generation mix and geopolitical significance.

        I invite people to read, think and debate.


        Data Source: EIA


        And our own One Child thanks you in advance for your kind & thoughtful consideration. One World, One Atmosphere.

        Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

        by koNko on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 03:12:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you (9+ / 0-)

    It's never been a question of whether the Earth will survive, but whether human civilization can survive such a radical, rapid shift in conditions. The CO2 realm we've now entered is very different from the one in which civilization evolved.  No matter how far we are from sea level, we can't avoid the tidal wave of change that will sweep over us if climate change continues unchecked.

  •  Environmental equity is a strong argument (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, CuriousBoston

    for action.   However, we have not shown any track record of that having affected policy in the past.  We feel bad about the Inuit having their meat poisoned with DDT and PCBs but our solution is to ship them southern foods.

    I suspect most nations would be willing to relocate Tuvalu rather than changing their standard of living.

    But what are you going to do with the millions of Chinese and Bangladeshi's who also live below 4 m?  Tuvalu will be forgotten in the land wars of the 21st Century which will come from relocation.

    "Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly." - Voltaire

    by captainlaser on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 11:31:51 AM PST

    •  Environmental Justice (0+ / 0-)

      May be the better, more practical term.

      To be frank, some island nations an low-lying costal regions are already basket-cases and will get worse if not dissapear entirely, so on the way to mitigating the effects, the world will have to care for those who are/will be displaced, and the term for the is Environmental Refugee; the world has millions already.

      Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

      by koNko on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 03:21:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I fear for the small-island states... (4+ / 0-)

    and I must admit I've never thought about them, because I consider global warming with a broader impact.

    With proper mitigation, we (continental countries) may be "ok" with up to +3ºC, but these countries are doomed. What happens if you evacuate these people? Who are they going to be? Australians? Americans? Brazilians? With acquired citizenship? All rights? What a mess!

    Anyway, the +2ºC means we should aim to +1.5ºC, because it'll be hard to control all the countries all the time.

  •  Who organized the climate blogathon (7+ / 0-)

    this weekend?  Good job to that person (people), and thank you professor van Ypersele.

  •  Thank for joining us today (6+ / 0-)

    As I live in a area in the US that is vulnerable to rising sea water I can certainly empathize with the citizens of Tuvalu.

    Less Meat = Less Heat

  •  American, Chinese and Indian yuppies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayDean, Rogneid

    don't give a damn about Tuvalu.

    Kudos to you for caring, but if you actually want to succeed I suggest you appeal to their cupidity.

    Main Entry: cu·pid·i·ty
    Pronunciation: \kyu̇-ˈpi-də-tē\
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural cu·pid·i·ties
    Etymology: Middle English cupidite, from Anglo-French cupidité, from Latin cupiditat-, cupiditas — more at covet
    Date: 15th century

    1 : inordinate desire for wealth : avarice, greed
    2 : strong desire : lust

    The sins of 2000 gave us the penance of 2001-2009. Don't repeat them.

    by Paul Goodman on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 11:54:34 AM PST

    •  Chinese and indian yuppies? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Considering the number of people in those two countries who are still living in abject conditions, that's a strange thing to say.

      A "centrist" is someone who's neither on the left, nor on the left.

      by nicta on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 12:49:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not sure if I agree (0+ / 0-)

      I'm probably what you might classify as a Chinese Yuppie (educated, middle class, 1.0 kid) and I care an awful lot about what happens to the world, as do an increasing number of Chinese from all walks of life.

      You see, it's kind of in our face; China/Chinese have paid a huge environmental cost for economic development and environmental concerns are consistently in the top 3 concerns of Chinese regadless of social class (save the very wealthy I suppose). In fact, environmental issues are at the root of many grassroots demonstrations (which are far more frequent here than the USA) and environmental activism (or so-called "Environmental Partiotism" as it would directly translate) is increasingly supported by the public and the government.

      I'll grant you lots of self-absorbed teenagers care more about Rap Music and NBA stars, but that is a curable desease and even some of our brats are pretty environmentally concious and involved in their schools.

      cu·pid·i·ty ?  

      Rather part of the human condition, no?

      Not all, mind you, but more than we need.

      Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

      by koNko on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 03:37:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)

    for joining us, and thank you for the reminder with the quotation from Rene DuBois in Only One Earth that 40 years ago these climate problems were known or strongly suspected.  Yet, thanks to  years of mostly Republican governance in the US, almost nothing has been done to avoid disaster.    I think about Ronald Reagan taking the solar panels down,  and the trashing of Jimmy Carter for resetting the thermostat and wearing a sweater.  And then came the Age of the SUV.

  •  Tip'd & Rec'd (3+ / 0-)

    Vous êtes depuis la Belgique ? J'ai été tout près de là. Nous vous remercions de venir et l'écriture de ce journal.

    Ben Masel for Senate-2012

    by kjoftherock on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 12:16:04 PM PST

  •  We are Insane (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, koNko, CuriousBoston

    I had no idea we were talking about how much temperture increases to accept as if we had any real understanding of how to do accomplish that, much less any real knowledge about what will happen to our planet if we reach those avearge tempertures. So far what we have repeatedly seen is that changes are happening far more rapidly then predicted with additional consequences that nobody foresaw. To talk about the possiblity that 20-30% of life on earth would not survive as if maybe that is a number we could live with without realizing that could quite possiblity leading to a cascading series of events which would make the planet unihabital for most of humanity is insane. Our leaders should be working to reduce CO2 emissions as much as possible, hoping to stave off as much change as possible, rather then pretending they are making reasonable trade-offs.

    Frankly I have no faith in our ability to solve these problems. By the time people really understand they are flirting with the demise of the human race, things will be too far along for us to do much about it.

    •  The purpose of setting goals (0+ / 0-)

      Is to motivate action. Nothing says we can't tighten the goals down the road, but in the absence of them the tendancy is inertia; your own pessimism reflects that.

      I agree "as much as possible" is what we need, but it's a bit nebulous as a horse-trading concept and ultimately we do that; "Politics"

      Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

      by koNko on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 04:22:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very well written (3+ / 0-)

    Thanks for sharing. The quote from the 1972 Conference (year I was born BTW!) is something we should all keep in mind. You often hear people talking about how scientist at that time were speaking of a global cooling. This refutes that point.

  •  1 degree, 2 degree, there is a problem here (0+ / 0-)

    and it is that we are talking about degrees.  Stick a thermometer in a glass of ice water and it will read 32 degrees.  Put it on the stove and melt 1/2 the ice, still 32 degrees.  Wait until all of the ice has just finished melting, still 32 degrees.  Homework assignment:  what happens next now that all of the ice is gone?

    Now, repeat the above experiment, but instead of tracking temperature, track internal energy of the ice-water combination.

    Memo to climatologists:  for the non-idiots out here, start tracking & presenting surface & atmospheric energy as a metric, along with net energy flow.  The information is already in your climate models and past climate measurements.  You just need to present it as a metric, and not just temperature.  Ice sheet expansion or contraction is not captured by temperature, but it is captured by energy.  (I'd hate to have to break out the thermodynamics textbooks myself).

    •  They're trying (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      To be honest, climate scientists have sufficiently understood the dynamics of the climate for about thirty years to give policy makers sufficient reason to avoid burning fossil fuels.

      But they are trying to do a better job of measuring all the energy flows. It's very difficult.

      This is actually the topic of Kevin Trenberth's "travesty" email; he was expressing his frustration that scientists aren't doing a good enough job to quantify all the energy flows.

      Find out the latest in the global warming fight at Wonk Room!

      by The Cunctator on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 12:42:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is how I explain tipping points to my (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      clueless friends.  Water at 200 degrees is really hot, and water at 211 degrees is even hotter, but water at 212 degrees is...not water any more.  Likewise, when we hit 2 degrees C, the Arctic summer sea ice...will not be there any more.

    •  Degrees (0+ / 0-)

      Is a matter of politics, not science.

      If you can motivate the world to change based on science alone I'm very happy, but until then we need to deal with the economic imperatives of nations and settle on a trget or nothing gets done.

      In my viewpoint, these numbers are subject to revision and the modus operendi is "Feel the stones to cross the river". The water is murkey and we can't see the bottom so we don't actully know how deep it is and where all the stepping-stones are, but if we wait on the river bank waiting for the water to clear we're doomed.

      I don't think most climatologists are oblivious to the concept of energy flux; the fundamentals of the science suggest otherwise (;~)> However, the model is sufficiently complex (break out those books) that it is essentially useless as point of political negotiation, and that is what these agreements are the product of.

      Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

      by koNko on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 05:00:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Watch Tuvalu's speech (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, koNko, RLMiller

    Find out the latest in the global warming fight at Wonk Room!

    by The Cunctator on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 12:37:25 PM PST

  •  Climate change reality is more than 2 Deg ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    much more.

    Here is a good blog article by Greer on why we won't do any better.

    Still, I think a great many people are beginning to realize that whatever results come out of Copenhagen, a meaningful response to the increasing instability of global climate will not be among them.

    Irrespective of the targets set (or just vaguely hinted at) in COP - the real emissions will be higher. Kyoto already proves that to us.

    At present our only "hope" is early and rapid peak oil enforced decline in energy usage.

    Cap & Trade is just another shell game to make money by the finance industry.

  •  the national impacts are interesting. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If Sea Levels rise say 5 meters.

    1. China gets hurt marginally About 10 port cities

    get hurt but they have lots of inland cities.
    Their agriculture may get hurt very badly.

    1. India gets screwed. 3 of their 5 major cities

    are coastal and this may mess up their agriculture a lot.

    1. Brazil gets Screwed.  3 of their 4 major cities are


    1. Europe does okay,  Italy gets screwed, France takes a hit on the south coast Germany takes a hit on the north coast but their major cities are inland.
    1. The UK gets screwed.  Most of their major cities are coastal.
    1. The US Gets hosed.  Miami, LA, San Diego, SF, Seattle, Houston, New Orleans, Charlseton, DC, Norfolk, Baltimore, Philly, NY, Boston are all coastal.
    1. Canada loses vancouver, but gets a much better growing season.
    1. Russia does great.  

    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

    by nathguy on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 01:18:58 PM PST

    •  heh (0+ / 0-)

      So it's OK for China to lose 10 costal cities?

      I live on the 6th floor, is that high enough?

      Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

      by koNko on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 05:48:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  because China builds 29 Cities a year. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They can lose a dozen and keep rolling.

        take shanghai.  

        Assume the sealevel rises 4 Meters.  

        They build higher port facilities and
        build a new shanghai on higher ground.

        could we do that?

        George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

        by nathguy on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 01:06:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well ... (0+ / 0-)

          I happen to live in Shanghai and it's about as close to sea level as you can get without build dikes or living underwater, so call me selfish when I say I don't want the icecaps to melt.

          No, Shanghai cannot be rebuilt, it has already got it's round of investment and needs to generate revenue for development westward.

          Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

          by koNko on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 06:52:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I do believe that humanity has gone mad (0+ / 0-)

    There is no "Planet B," dammit.

    I've been doing all my own stunts when all I needed to do was ask for a stuntman?

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 02:38:58 PM PST

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