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"Our parents did not know their actions could harm future generations, we will only be able to pretend"
James Hansen, eminent climate scientist and director of NASA Goddard Center, has come out with a new paper Scientific Case for Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change to Protect Young People and Nature (pdf) which lays out in the most simple and direct terms what we face with the current trajectory of climate change.  
Global warming due to human-made gases, mainly CO2, is already 0.8°C and deleterious climate impacts are growing worldwide. More warming is 'in the pipeline' because Earth is out of energy balance, with absorbed solar energy exceeding planetary heat radiation. Maintaining a climate that resembles the Holocene, the world of stable shorelines in which civilization developed, requires rapidly reducing fossil fuel CO2 emissions. Such a scenario is economically sensible and has multiple benefits for humanity and other species. Yet fossil fuel extraction is expanding, including highly carbon-intensive sources that can push the climate system beyond tipping points such that amplifying feedbacks drive further climate change that is practically out of humanity's control. This situation raises profound moral issues as young people, future generations, and nature, with no possibility of protecting their future well-being, will bear the principal consequences of actions and inactions of today's adults.
Amazingly,  in his Summary and elsewhere Hansen is calling for the reduction of short-lived climate forcers.  And this as some of you may know is what I have been working on here and at the MIT CoLab.  He might just have entitled his piece "Beach Babe you were right all along!" Seriously, Hansen of course explains it so much better than I ever could.   And since he wrote this for distribution I'm sure he won't mind my quoting him profusely.
Summary. Humanity is now the dominant force driving changes of Earth's atmospheric composition and thus future climate (1). The principal climate forcing is carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuel emissions, much of which will remain in the atmosphere for millennia (1, 2). The climate response to this forcing and society's response to climate change are complicated by the system's inertia, mainly due to the ocean and the ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica. This inertia causes climate to appear to respond slowly to this human-made forcing, but further long-lasting responses may be locked in. We use Earth’s measured energy imbalance and paleoclimate data, along with simple, accurate representations of the global carbon cycle and temperature, to define emission reductions needed to stabilize climate and avoid potentially disastrous impacts on young people, future generations, and nature. We find that global CO2 emissions reduction of about 6%/year is needed, along with massive reforestation.
Reforestation and Soil Carbon. The long CO2 lifetime does not make it impossible to return CO2 to 350 ppm this century. Reforestation and increasing soil carbon can help draw down atmospheric CO2, even though the effect on atmospheric CO2 amount decays (Fig. 3a).

snip

The measured energy imbalance affirms that a good initial CO2 target to stabilize climate near current temperatures is "<350 ppm" (20). Specification of a more precise CO2 target now is difficult and unnecessary, because of uncertain future changes of other forcings including other gases, ground albedo, and aerosols. More precise knowledge of the best target will become available during the time that it takes to turn around CO2 growth and approach the initial 350 ppm target.
Ironically, future reductions of particulate air pollution may exacerbate global warming by reducing the cooling effect of reflective aerosols. However, a concerted effort to reduce non-CO2 forcings by methane, tropospheric ozone, other trace gases and black soot might counteract the warming from a decline in reflective aerosols (39).

In recommending reforestation as the most practical carbon sink Hansen is posing the question of where do we get the land to reforest?  In my paper with Gerald Wedderburn Bisshop linked above.  We outline how reforesting land which was deforested for livestock production is the most viable means to reforestation.  Hansen also suggests the reduction of the short-lived climate forcers of Methane, Black Carbon and Ground level ozone which in my paper is used as a bridge to buy us time to reduce C02 in the carbon sink of reforestation.  And we show that livestock production is the greatest contributor to all the short lived climate forcers including; Methane, Black Carbon and Ground level Ozone.

Indeed, Hansen does touch on reducing meat consumption as the most effective individual action we can take.  I think he is correct on focusing on the transition to green energy as that will take governmental policy decisions.  But both governmental and individual action will be necessary to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

Can the human tipping point be reached before the climate system passes a point of no return? What we have shown in this paper is that time is rapidly running out. The era of doubts, delays and denial, of ineffectual half-measures, must end. The period of consequences is beginning. If we fail to stand up now and demand a change of course, the blame will fall on us, the current generation of adults. Our parents did not know that their actions could harm future generations. We will only be able to pretend that we did not know. And that is unforgiveable.
In an appropriate sign of the times Teenagers take global warming to the Courts

Originally posted to beach babe in fl on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, Meatless Advocates Meetup, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Science Matters.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (222+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LeftHandedMan, HeartlandLiberal, gzodik, RFK Lives, lonemorriscodem, Supavash, katiec, Horace Boothroyd III, One Pissed Off Liberal, Red Bean, aravir, pollwatcher, linkage, leeleedee, Paul Ferguson, FutureNow, Margd, MartyM, Crashing Vor, jazzizbest, Alan Arizona, Robobagpiper, KnotIookin, Demi Moaned, Ice Blue, tacet, radarlady, Losty, dirkster42, bluicebank, NJpeach, John Crapper, maryabein, LynChi, Little Lulu, Azazello, mudslide, kamarvt, blue aardvark, ColoTim, pixxer, rhubarb, Darryl House, beverlywoods, citisven, NYFM, mookins, Siri, Hayate Yagami, Russgirl, boran2, kharma, DaveVH, divineorder, Lorinda Pike, Catte Nappe, Evolution, ratzo, catadromous, tytalus, azrefugee, rat racer, Milly Watt, No one gets out alive, drnononono, Lujane, pgm 01, mithra666, thomask, Mary Mike, murphthesurf, vacantlook, homo neurotic, Shockwave, pimutant, Bmeis, quince, Timaeus, sockpuppet, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, petulans, tonyahky, where4art, DeminNewJ, PhilJD, luckylizard, TiaRachel, hubcap, sleipner, northerntier, Singing Lizard, Imhotepsings, Railfan, sngmama, Crazy like a fox, chimpy, ninkasi23, SaraBeth, SanFernandoValleyMom, prettygirlxoxoxo, poligirl, zedaker, nightsweat, oortdust, Susan from 29, emmasnacker, joey c, jfromga, WheninRome, Joieau, SeaTurtle, Florene, karlpk, lineatus, BalanceSeeker, mofembot, sfarkash, peregrine kate, blonde moment, buffalo soldier, marleycat, buckstop, temptxan, Julie Gulden, zerelda, eXtina, CA Nana, dotsright, cwsmoke, PapaChach, expatjourno, Fiona West, maybeeso in michigan, Jim R, JosephK74, Plan9, 2thanks, elengul, LSmith, wxorknot, hillbrook green, celdd, Carol in San Antonio, wide eyed lib, offred, ogre, Hopeful Skeptic, reddbierd, JClarkPDX, eztempo, Steve15, suspiciousmind, Zinman, doppler effect, blue armadillo, Stwriley, indycam, jrooth, dwahzon, JBL55, windwardguy46, pat bunny, asym, hyperstation, Marihilda, BachFan, kevin k, Lily O Lady, Mac in Maine, Moderation, wasatch, AuntieRa, Ian S, Sylv, Syoho, greenomanic, DawnN, Sun Tzu, doingbusinessas, sodalis, RonV, MizC, uciguy30, aliasalias, TomFromNJ, IndieGuy, be the change you seek, gatorcog, Mentatmark, maxcat06, zmom, JayDean, Just Bob, Question Authority, Alumbrados, Grandma Susie, also mom of 5, notdarkyet, dewley notid, Yosef 52, Gowrie Gal, Teiresias70, Burned, Miss Jones, Only Needs a Beat, eeff, millwood, BlueMississippi, davidincleveland, ctsteve, techno, DvCM, joedemocrat, Ocelopotamus, bnasley, WarrenS, GreyHawk, blueoregon, Oh Mary Oh, Barbara Marquardt, sebsgf, forgore

    Macca's Meatless Monday

    by VL Baker on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:59:55 AM PDT

  •  It's hard to argue with your POV. (18+ / 0-)

    There is a strong case that the "little ice age" resulted from reforestation after human depopulation caused by epidemics.

    http://phys.org/...

    GOP: Bankers, billionaires, suckers, and dupes.

    by gzodik on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:15:31 AM PDT

    •  Careful where you reforest, though (16+ / 0-)

      The reestablishment of scrub-forests on abandoned farmland in Africa in areas where the population was decimated by the slave trade arguably heralded the return of the tsetse fly and sleeping sickness.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:42:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  40-80 million people in North America 500 (0+ / 0-)

      years ago?  There were not 40 million people in the whole world!  Bad, very bad science!

      •  I suggest you do some basic research (10+ / 0-)

        Worldwide population passed 200 million during the early Roman Empire.  2000 years ago.  A century or two later the Roman Empire alone is believed to have gone over 100 million in population.  Look things up first.  Google "historical demography" and "classical demography" for starters.

        •  Yeah. Looks like you are right on the consensus (0+ / 0-)

          Amazing to think that, at one time, the total number of humans was only a few thousand individuals on the southern coast of Africa, or so I am led to believe.

          Fructose is a liver poison. Stop eating it today.

          by Anne Elk on Wed May 09, 2012 at 01:38:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  But 40-80M native Americans died? (0+ / 0-)

          And they had such significant agriculture that this "reforestation" occurred.  I'm skeptical.

          The Muslim said "I wished I had met Christ before I met the Christians" - Rev. Marvin Winins

          by captainlaser on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:39:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  No, that's a common estimate (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lineatus, jrooth, wasatch, mrkvica

        Europe was at about 60 million in 1491.

        http://www.shmoop.com/...

        We get what we want - or what we fail to refuse. - Muhammad Yunus

        by nightsweat on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:44:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You might want to take a new look (7+ / 0-)

        at how many people were in the Americas. I would suggest you read 1491 by Charles C. Mann, examine his arguments and look at his references. He makes a very good argument for tens of millions of people prior to Columbus. There was probably close to 10,000,000 living in Mexico City alone and that would be a conservative estimate among scholars today.

        Just consider a 90-95% mortality rate from the diseases that Europeans introduced and then work backward from there. Not to mention the wholesale slaughter by enslavement and genocide enacted by the Europeans for approximately 400 years.

        Ever thought about the population of China and the rest of southeast Asia? How about Africa?

        You're looking at the situation from a Euro-centric view. Europe was mostly a disease-ridden backwater 500 years ago. American silver is what led to the recovery of Europe from the dark ages.

        OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

        by hillbrook green on Wed May 09, 2012 at 11:37:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You don't actually mean 10,000,000 in (0+ / 0-)

          Mexico City, do you?  Maybe within the boundaries of modern Mexico that estimate is defensible.

          Also, the Italian renaissance predates contact with the Americas. Whatever benefits accrued to the Spanish Empire from the conquest, it makes no sense to describe the end of the "dark ages" as caused by this.

          Mann's book is interesting but I would advise caution in accepting every claim therein as gospel.

          Where are we, now that we need us most?

          by Frank Knarf on Wed May 09, 2012 at 03:11:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, I did. (0+ / 0-)

            that figure is actually near figures arrived at by S.F. Cook and W.W. Borah and other collaborators in research dating up to the early 60's and based on Spanish census figures from the early 1500's. Their estimate (which involves some interpretation and ratio calculations of the Spanish census figures) for 1516 (pre-Cortez and mostly pre-European-introduced diseases, was more than 6,000,000 (7 figures) for Mexico City and Tlaxcala and about 25,000,000 for central Mexico, the area controlled by the Mexica. This figure was scoffed at by later scholars such as William Sanders in the mid-60's who put the total for Mexico City and Tlaxcala somewhere around 3,000,000 which would yield a figure of 11,000,000 if extrapolated over the larger area of central Mexico. It seems from the more recent literature that it is generally agreed that Sanders' figures were probably too low and it seems like Borah and Cook's are being given more credence. Check for example The Native Population of the Americas in 1492, 1992 (second edition) edited by William M. Denevan.

            Of course it is all just estimation, but I think even the lower figure refutes the comment I originally replied to.

            I am still doing more reading on the economics of the period following the dark ages, so I wouldn't consider myself an expert on that area (or the population thing for that matter). While it is true that the dark ages probably gave rise to the ancient ancestor of capitalism, what was lacking until the discovery and extraction of the (mostly) silver and (some) gold from the Americas was capital. Europe and China for that matter were silver- and gold-poor. Gold and silver, but especially silver, were just not durable enough to be used as money in every-day capitalistic transactions. Both lost some of their weight every time they were handled because they were so soft. Thus the money supply was constantly shrinking - a difficult thing to overcome in a system based on capital. Over scores of years, the money just disappeared. Plus both metals were too expensive to be used for the sorts of ordinary transactions among ordinary people. When the huge supply of American silver hit Europe, it soon solved both problems. There was a constant and growing supply of the metal and the huge supply reduced the value, letting it be used for vastly more types of transactions, including small transactions.

            OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

            by hillbrook green on Wed May 09, 2012 at 04:52:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Fascinating. I need to go look at the references. (0+ / 0-)

              Are you aware of any analyses of the agricultural production and transport/logistical systems that would have been required to support that kind of density?

              Where are we, now that we need us most?

              by Frank Knarf on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:27:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, I am not (0+ / 0-)

                As I said, I don't consider myself an expert. I mostly just regurgitate what I have read.

                But that is a very interesting question.

                There are descriptions from the Spaniards who first encountered Mexico City and they were, to put it mildly, flabbergasted. Hordes of small boats plying the lakes and the waterways, the city dwarfed Paris, the largest city at that time, and the like.

                The real tragedy is that the Mexica probably had excellent records of their population and finances and everything else. The Spanish priests, in their zeal to convert destroyed nearly all of the Mexica written records.

                Any suggestions of sources on the agriculture and transport/logistics?

                I believe the Mexica used wheels on the toys for their children, but having no draft animals, apparently never bothered to go for the large version.

                OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

                by hillbrook green on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:16:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  10,000,000 in Tenochtitlan is way overstated (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emptythreatsfarm

          The island city simply wasn't large enough to accommodate anywhere near that number.

          Check out Stolen Continents by Ronald Wright (1992). He states the population of Mexico City (Tenochtitlan) was a quarter of a million in 1492, with about 20,000,000 under its control.

          By comparison Tudor London held only about 60,000 people.

          The Aztecs fielded armies of about 50,000 citizen soldiers, which is fully consistent with Wright's estimates of the population in 1492. A city of 10,000,000 could never have been conquered by Cortez and his small band, with or without smallpox. They would simply have been overwhelmed.

          Also, Europe was not a backwater 500 years ago. It was a vibrant commercial, religious, militaristic and expansionist society that went on to subjugate most of the world over the next few centuries. Ever hear of something called the Renaissance? It is not Eurocentric to recognize these facts, but it is unrealistic to deny them.

          •  Well, (0+ / 0-)

            Actually, the Mexica had many enemies and Cortez was able to assemble an army estimated at 200,000 of indigenous enemies for his second assault on Tenochtitlan/Mexico City. Smallpox had swept through the city by then, but even so there may have been as many as 100,000 casualties among the Mexica in the assault.

            If there were only 250,000 people in Mexico City in 1492 and a smallpox epidemic came through with, say, 25% mortality (probably absurdly low given the population's total lack of immunity), reducing the population to less than 200,000, and an army of 200,000 attacked, how would the defenders, assuming roughly half were women and children, have been able to put up any fight at all??

            You might want to read some history of China and Africa.

            And you might want to check out the importance of American silver in the European conquests following 1492.

            There were many, many empires around the world in 1492. I would suggest you check out Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel for the reasons behind Europe's post-1500 conquests.

            OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

            by hillbrook green on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:37:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  No mention of the Black Death. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wasatch, gzodik, mrkvica

      The article you link to discusses the possible role of old-world diseases wiping out Native Americans and a subsequent decrease in forest burning but doesn't mention that starting in the middle ages, the human population in also Western Europe declined precipitously:

      "The Black Death had been one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1347 and 1350 with 30–60 percent of Europe's population killed.[1]. It reduced world population from an estimated 450 million to between 350 and 375 million in the 14th century. It took 150 years for Europe's population to recover."
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Farms were abandoned, large areas reforested, etc. which also could have reduced C02 in advance of the little ice age.

    •  Why did this "reforestation" not show up in the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gzodik

      global CO2 levels in GISP ice cores?

      There is no indication of such a CO2 drawdown. Paper here

      More common thinking about the Little Ice Age was that it was due to a quiet sun (lack of sunspots in the sunspot record).  But we have few records of ocean circulation changes which also could have given rise to European cold periods.

      The Muslim said "I wished I had met Christ before I met the Christians" - Rev. Marvin Winins

      by captainlaser on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:37:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank You - N/T (3+ / 0-)

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:21:28 AM PDT

  •  If we don't reduce the population... (24+ / 0-)

    any efforts at energy conservation or sequestration are going to be overwhelmed by the numbers of new people.

    We ignored doing anything about Global Warming in the 80's and 90's and now civilization will pay a high price.  If we ignore the root cause of population growth, there won't be much left of civilization to pay the price.

    •  This is not really the case. (21+ / 0-)

      The main culprit is overconsumption and the population that is most guilty of overconsumption is us.  If we seriously question our existing lifestyle in this country we CAN make a difference and will not be overwhelmed by the numbers of new people.  We have to control world populaltion for sure but to say that it alone will doom us is just not accurate.  Since you went back to the 80's and 90's I will give you one of my favorite explanations from 1994.  This analysis is just as true today, if not more so, than it was then.  

      INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
      ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT
      Cairo, 5 -13 September 1994
      TOO MANY RICH PEOPLE:
      Weighing Relative Burdens on the Planet
      by Paul Ehrlich

      Concern about population problems among citizens of rich countries generally focuses on rapid population growth in most poor nations. But the impact of humanity on Earth's life support systems is not just determined by the number of people alive on the planet. It also depends on how those people behave. When this is considered, an entirely different picture emerges: the main population problem is in wealthy countries. There are, in fact, too many rich people.

      The amount of resources each person consumes, and the damage done by the technologies used to supply them, need to be taken as much into account as the size of the population. In theory, the three factors should be multiplied together to obtain an accurate measurement of the impact on the planet. Unhappily, governments do not keep statistics that allow the consumption and technology factors to be readily measured—so scientists substitute per capita energy consumption to give a measure of the effect each person has on the environment.

      USING AND CONSUMING

      In traditional societies—more or less in balance with their environments—that damage may be self-repairing. Wood used for fires or structures re-grows soaking up the carbon dioxide produced when it was burned. Water extracted from streams is replaced by rainfall. Soils in fields are regenerated with the help of crop residues and animal manures. Wastes are broken down and reconverted into nutrients by the decomposer organisms of natural ecosystems.

      At the other end of the spectrum, paving over fields and forests with concrete and asphalt, mining the coal and iron necessary for steel production with all its associated land degradation, and building and operating automobiles, trains and aeroplanes that spew pollutants into the atmosphere, are all energy-intensive processes. So are drilling for and transporting oil and gas, producing plastics, manufacturing chemicals (from DDT and synthetic nitrogen fertilizers to chlorofluorocarbons and laundry detergents) and building power plants and dams. Industrialized agriculture uses enormous amounts of energy—for ploughing, planting, fertilizing and controlling weeds and insect pests and for harvesting, processing, shipping, packing, storing and selling foods. So does industrialized forestry for timber and paper production.

      PAYING THE PRICE

      Incidents such as Chernobyl and oil spills are among the environmental prices paid for mobilizing commercial energy—and soil erosion, desertification, acid rain, global warming, destruction of the ozone layer and the toxification of the entire planet are among the costs of using it.

      In all, humanity's high-energy activities amount to a large-scale attack on the integrity of Earth's ecosystems and the critical services they provide. These include control of the mix of gases in the atmosphere (and thus of the climate); running of the hydrologic cycle which brings us dependable flows of fresh water; generation and maintenance of fertile soils; disposal of wastes; recycling of the nutrients essential to agriculture and forestry; control of the vast majority of potential crop pests; pollination of many crops; provision of food from the sea; and maintenance of a vast genetic library from which humanity has already withdrawn the very basis of civilization in the form of crops and domestic animals.

      THE RELATIVE IMPACT

      The average rich-nation citizen used 7.4 kilowatts (kW) of energy in 1990—a continuous flow of energy equivalent to that powering 74 100-watt light bulbs. The average citizen of a poor nation, by contrast, used only 1 kW. There were 1.2 billion people in the rich nations, so their total environmental impact, as measured by energy use, was 1.2 billion x 7.4 kW, or 8.9 terawatts (TW)—8.9 trillion watts. Some 4.1 billion people lived in poor nations in 1990, hence their total impact (at 1 kW a head) was 4.1 TW.

      The relatively small population of rich people therefore accounts for roughly two-thirds of global environmental destruction, as measured by energy use. From this perspective, the most important population problem is overpopulation in the industrialized nations.

      The United States poses the most serious threat of all to human life support systems. It has a gigantic population, the third largest on Earth, more than a quarter of a billion people. Americans are superconsumers, and use inefficient technologies to feed their appetites. Each, on average, uses 11 kW of energy, twice as much as the average Japanese, more than three times as much as the average Spaniard, and over 100 times as much as an average Bangladeshi. Clearly, achieving an average family size of 1.5 children in the United States (which would still be larger than the 1.3 child average in Spain) would benefit the world much more than a similar success in Bangladesh.
       

      If we really want to straighten out all this crap we need to really think about shit!

      by John Crapper on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:05:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks JC for breaking thru the distracting mem! (7+ / 0-)

        It's not the number of people, it is how we ALL TOGETHER utilize our finite resources...

        Again, elite go to great lengths to push the idea of less humans - perhaps to justify their perpetual wars at everyone's "expense" in blood/money while they steal all?

        “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed.

        Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”  

        ~Lincoln's First Annual Message to Congress, December 3, 1861.

        •  No you guys are wrong, and here's why. (11+ / 0-)

          Habitat fragmentation is already happening, along with too much habitat loss, in places with large populations like the U.S. When you talk about severely overpopulated places like India, it's even worse.

          The only way to survive climate change is to begin massive reforestation. Read the article.  That means that Indiana and Iowa need to be covered in forests again (the vast majority of land in those states was forest, from the Mississippi to the Atlantic).

          A U.S. of vegetarians driving electric cars is not enough.  We need to stop expanding our urban and suburban areas, and that won't happen without population decline or stagnation.

          Thank you to jayden, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Aji and everyone in the Daily Kos community involved in gifting my subscription and gifting others!

          by Nulwee on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:02:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree that lowering population is a key goal. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pat bunny, TomFromNJ

            But Iowa wasn't covered in forest.

            It was covered in tallgrass prairie before colonization.

            That does bring up an interesting point, though.

            Prairie is effective at sequestering carbon.  Even more so if it is grazed.

            I wonder what would graze it?

          •  Not to mention basic human nature to live beyond (6+ / 0-)

            squalor.

            How can we possible consider actually achieving the idea of improving the living standard of all humanity at the current, let alone future, population without it leading to over consumption?

            It probably wouldn't be too hard to calculate a minimalist American standard of living and determine what it would take in resources to achieve it for the world's population. The end sum would no doubt be unsustainable. Then backtrack the number until you reached a sustainable population number that achieved balance between a universal human comfort level and the resources necessary to supply that level of comfort.

            I'm pretty sure it ain't 11,000,000,000 - the projected number if population growth goes unchallenged by political will.

            But if the 11 billion number were to be acceptable, then the universal comfort level would have to be reduced down to something like a one room shanty with no heat and with people eating mostly raw vegetables.

            I'd be willing to bet the final number of humans the would can support at a modest level of comfort would be closer to 1 billion. Max.

            That is considering the energy and resources it would take to keep everyone fed (and hydrated), clothed, warm, and dry. Just take into account what a refuge camp can do to a local ecosystem.

            Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

            by Pescadero Bill on Wed May 09, 2012 at 11:27:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  As a land use planner (here on Dkos), let (7+ / 0-)

            me say if we eliminated "suburbs" from our vocabulary, reinvested in urban areas (watch NYC bloom), redeveloped local agricultural resources to supply said cities, we would have land to spare for generations.

            “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

            by the fan man on Wed May 09, 2012 at 11:39:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Urbanites ignore (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              emptythreatsfarm

              the fact that people migrate to suburbs precisely because they find urban living unpleasant.  For some of us, EXTREMELY unpleasant.  Humans did not evolve under conditions equivalent to being stacked together like cordwood, and a significant portion of the genepool is incapable of adapting to this condition without mental illness.

              •  Mental illness? Watch Desperate Housewives? (0+ / 0-)

                People leave cities for a variety of reasons, just as they are reentering for different ones. The biggest bleed from cities was "white flight" in the 70s as the nation began to sort itself out by race and class. Other reasons usually are dwelling costs compared to living space size, increase in children, school systems and finally defensible space. The biggest mental stressor in cities is noise. Another is lack of contact with "nature". Some cities are addressing these issues and are imminently liveable. The answer for those that can't handle city life is NOT suburbia.

                American suburbs are an evolutionary dead end in human dwelling strategy. Country living (again my urban planner hat) should be in towns, villages and farms, not strip malls, shopping malls tract housing and McMansions. The latter makes many mentally ill. Look to early New England as an example of good land use planning.

                Finally, human behavior is highly adaptable. We spent most of our existence on the village level, but have been making cities for a long time. More than anything else, we are a social animal. We need other "cordwood" in our lives.

                “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

                by the fan man on Thu May 10, 2012 at 04:53:55 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Actually it's simple arithmetic, it's our numbers (7+ / 0-)

        You can reduce our consumption until the entire planet lives like they were back in the middle ages, and if you don't get control of the growing population, we all lose.

        We live on a finite planet with diminishing natural resources.  Unless you can find a source of infinite energy and can 100% recycle everything we use, we go down with the ship.  We can probably reach something close to this, with a population of around a billion or 2.

        It just builds false hopes to think that 7 billion people can reduce their standard of living to anywhere near a sustainable level.  The quickest, easiest, and most effective way of reducing the impact of global warming is to get our numbers down.

      •  We ARE overpopulated (5+ / 0-)

        I'm not arguing that only people in poor countries need to decrease their population.  I think we, the US, need to decrease our population.  Because we consume more it's even more important for us to control our population.  Sure, we could all live in hovels, but is that what we want for ourselves?  Who is going to accept it?

        We are overfishing the oceans for pete's sake!  It drive me nuts when people say "I've driven all over this country and there's plenty of space for more people."  I've driven all over too, and I see a lot of farmland, desert which isn't good for much except to be desert, and very little natural space.  It's not about the space we live on, it's about the resources we use.  We need to use less and there needs to be fewer of us.

        It's not a distracting meme, it's the principle meme.  And the term meme was coined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene.  He also wrote that we are overpopulated.

      •  Auto sales in China now exceed those in the US. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gzodik, emptythreatsfarm

        And India is not far behind.  Much has changed since 1994.

        Where are we, now that we need us most?

        by Frank Knarf on Wed May 09, 2012 at 03:13:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think the odds are very low ... (9+ / 0-)

    that any kind of meaningful change will happen within the needed time frame. That being the case, total collapse cannot be far off.

    If we fail to stand up now and demand a change of course, the blame will fall on us, the current generation of adults.
    It won't be long before no one even remembers us much less what we did or did not do.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:35:48 AM PDT

    •  A little overblown there (5+ / 0-)

      This will take a long time to destroy all civilization.

      Civilization will retreat toward the poles and the tropics and subtropics will become sparsely inhabited (or uninhabitable) wastelands - but isn't that better than driving a car with a 4 cylinder engine?

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:06:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Civilization as we know it will disappear (8+ / 0-)

        If methane emissions from the melting permafrost and Arctic ocean accelerate global warming we are toast, literally.

        Human beings will survive but the world will be different, Hunger Games perhaps or even worse.

        Rising sea levels, radical changes in agriculture, all sort of geopolitical repercussions, massive migrations.  We may not be around when this gets critical, but the next generations will live through it.

        Not all reptiles disappeared with the dinosaurs but we are the new dinosaurs.

        Sorry about my pessimism but the recalcitrant denier right justifies it.  Some of them look forward to an apocalypse that causes Jesus to return.  Aaaarrrrgggghh!

        Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

        by Shockwave on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:05:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  People may retreat towards the poles ... (8+ / 0-)

        but they won't be carrying civilization with them. Our civilization is way too resource intensive. What you can expect to see is a vicious circle of drought, famine, disease and a decreasing capability to respond to increasingly severe natural disasters (floods, tornadoes, hurricanes).

        Social order will fall apart. Human populations will collapse. Some remnant will survive, but they will lead a subsistence existence.

        You're mistaken if you think it will take a long time. Given our dependency on advanced technology of all kinds, a drastic collapse could happen very quickly.

        "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

        by Demi Moaned on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:26:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What will happen (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Demi Moaned, beach babe in fl

          is that the billionaires will expend sufficient resources so that they are comfortable, and the population necessary to maintain their comfort at least continues to exist.

          In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

          by blue aardvark on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:36:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  doubtful (8+ / 0-)

            in the end the mob always rules. We are talking about limited resources here, when that happens, all of societies rules go out the window.

            When shit gets bad, what happens to that 80 year old billonaire, he becomes a frail old man who use to have some access to a lot of fiat currency.

            Shit can turn on a dime.  

            The problem with our current societies is that we are a lot more vulnerable and fragile due  to tech.

            Limited resources, leads to wars, wars can easily lead to having energy grids taking down via hacking, energy pulse weapons, what have you.   New Orleans fell into chaos in 3 days, and that was with a healthy strong country and world  around it to support it, Imagine what will happen if entire regions go down?

            Im not saying this is going to happen tomorrow, but more than likely within our kids lifetime.

            The only thing that may save us from tech is tech ironically.  We need portable, clean energy sources for humans.  We need to get off the grid.  We need solar/battery power that can be harnessed and used without reliance on some massive grid.

            Bad is never good until worse happens

            by dark daze on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:55:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What happens is that (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Demi Moaned, cynndara

              the frail old man and his not-frail middle aged sons didn't get rich by being complete morons.

              And before things go completely bad they buy lots of good stuff with that fiat currency - weapons, medicines, storable foods, underground tanks full of gasoline and diesel, and so on.

              And then they have a hierarchy of security people so that no one guy can take them out and set himself up as the new boss.

              How much you want to bet that the Kochs and Bloombergs and so on have some very interesting things stored on some properties in Canada?

              In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

              by blue aardvark on Wed May 09, 2012 at 11:02:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  A highly likely scenario, IMO, but... (5+ / 0-)

                a few enclaves of survivalists living in relative comfort along with their retainers and entourages is quite a different thing from the survival of global civilization.

                Who knows, if they organized their enclaves on sustainable principles, they might even be the basis for a new civilization arising over time, which would be a tremendous irony in light of everything they've done to oppose the adoption of sustainable practices in our current society.

                "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

                by Demi Moaned on Wed May 09, 2012 at 11:24:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, BTW - wife and I are going to install (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Demi Moaned, wasatch

              solar on our house in the next year or two if things go according to plan. I want to have some wind turbines, too, to generate power at night, but Aardwife wants to keep it simple.

              In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

              by blue aardvark on Wed May 09, 2012 at 11:03:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Do you have enough treeless land? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JeffW, blue aardvark
                I want to have some wind turbines, too, to generate power at night....
                You need quite a lot.  Check the law in your location.  Before you go to the expense of putting up a wind turbine, put up a pole at least 30 feet tall and install a recording anemometer to make sure you have enough wind to make it worth the cost.  

                Renewable energy brings national global security.     

                by Calamity Jean on Thu May 24, 2012 at 08:17:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  We used a Madgetech anemometer... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blue aardvark

                  ...(www.madgetech.com), and I bought Calamity Jean a military-surplus sectional radio mast for her birthday on eBay. Make sure that you get an anemometer with a cable long enough to mount the recorder housing at a comfortable height near the bottom of the pole, and with enough slack to create a drip loop before it goes into the housing.

                  Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

                  by JeffW on Thu May 24, 2012 at 08:23:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I was looking into a turbine (0+ / 0-)

                  designed for roof mounting by GE, IIRC. It wouldn't generate more than about 600 W - it was a supplement, not a main system. Just something to keep the power flowing at night.

                  In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

                  by blue aardvark on Fri May 25, 2012 at 05:25:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Generally (0+ / 0-)

              Neither the best nor the worst occurs.  Some of the filthy rich predators simply change their mode of predation and survive.  Others find themselves unable to change for one reason or another and die off.  Some of the mob's leaders move into the upper stratum of whatever society remains, along with their bully-boys and doxies.  Some survive.   Most of the "little people" die, of course, since they're the ones with the least resources to fall back on.  Nevertheless a major change in civilization is their major opportunity to move their genes ahead in the great game, as a new environment favors different abilities and strategies than the old one did.

              Overall, the only thing you can say for sure is that there will be great Change.  And far fewer human beings on the other side of the Events, whatsoever they may be.

      •  True, it would take a while (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lily O Lady, blue aardvark

        As the saying goes, "Rome wasn't destroyed in a day".

    •  Auh - Marcus Arelius and Stoicism (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, tonyahky, mwm341

      We are all just dust in the wind....

      If we really want to straighten out all this crap we need to really think about shit!

      by John Crapper on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:08:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Jim Hansen favors nuclear power (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      the fan man, Demi Moaned, gzodik

      The only large-scale way to replace electricity base-load supply generated by burning fossil fuels is by adding more nuclear power plants.  In countries where nuclear power supplies most of the electricity, carbon footprint is considerably smaller.

      High Profile Champions of Nuclear Power

      Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

      by Plan9 on Wed May 09, 2012 at 11:28:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Shhh. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Demi Moaned

        “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

        by the fan man on Wed May 09, 2012 at 11:39:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's fine if (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        beach babe in fl, mrkvica, cynndara

        you can get your nuclear plants away from where they will inevitably have failures that poison the earth and groundwater with radioactivity for thousands or tens of thousands of years; and the waste ditto.

        Any ideas where that could be?

        Over the extremely long run--and with nuclear you're always talking staggeringly long run--we aren't good enough to build that well.

        •  Just need a fusion reactor (0+ / 0-)

          They have engineering plans for them.  Apparently the numbers all add up, and they could supply enough energy for all of humanity for thousands of years.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          Nuclear fusion has many potential attractions. Firstly, its hydrogen isotope fuels are relatively abundant - one of the necessary isotopes, deuterium, can be extracted from seawater, while the other fuel, tritium, could possibly be created using neutrons produced in the fusion reaction itself.[8] Furthermore, a fusion reactor would produce virtually no CO2 or other atmospheric pollutants, and its other waste products would be very short-lived compared to those produced by conventional nuclear reactors.

          On 21 November 2006, the seven participants formally agreed to fund the creation of a nuclear fusion reactor.[9] The program is anticipated to last for 30 years – 10 for construction, and 20 of operation. ITER was originally expected to cost approximately €5billion, but the rising price of raw materials and changes to the initial design have seen that amount more than triple to €16billion.[10] The reactor is expected to take 10 years to build with completion scheduled for 2019.[11] Site preparation has begun in Cadarache, France and procurement of large components has started.[12]

  •  The ice buys us time . . . (5+ / 0-)

    the question I'd like to see addressed is "how much time?".

    Without that vast thermal sink holding temperature down we'd be in a world of hurt already . . . how many years of the present level of heat trapping will it take to melt essentially all of it?.

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:43:19 AM PDT

    •  scientific consensus now says we have (11+ / 0-)

      about 5 years to make a complete reversal.  By the time ALL the ice is melted there won't be many of our species left if at all.

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:49:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I love optimism, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sockpuppet, maryabein, asym, cynndara

        but short of a devastating world war nothing is going to change in the next five years.  Social inertia and a lack of political will all but guarantees that.  Even if we banned all Carbon mining tomorrow the heat trapping would continue for centuries without some additional intervention . . . and who's going to do that?

        Temperatures will rise on the continents and the ocean surface, "weather" will get more . . . energetic . . . in response to local heating and as the heat moves to the remaining sinks transported by air and water currents, until at some point it no longer has anywhere to go.  How many years ? ? ?

        The rich seem to believe that they and theirs will survive, and only the poor will die off.  Good luck with that . . .

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:43:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Maslowski says 2016 plus or minus 3 years (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wasatch, mrkvica, dewley notid

      and the Arctic sea ice is gone.  Which is another way of saying 2013- next year - is not out of the question. Simple extrapolation from PIOMAS volume data says 2014 or 2015 seems likely.

      Greenland and Antarctic ice will take a bit longer.

      Much of the current instability of weather patterns may be attributed to the reduced Arctic ice levels now.  Alterations to a heat sink much smaller than "all planetary ice" can cause changes that make the planet uninhabitable.

  •  Should Democrats Make Climate Change a Key Issue? (15+ / 0-)

    After jobs of course, and linking green industry to jobs.

    We have supported Green for a while, but using this as the issue second only to job in Ads and Messaging.

    There is a start choice for voters, Republicans will not use government to reduce CO2, Democrats will.  

    In using this as a stark difference, Republicans will not turn around and say they support government to promote Green and Green jobs -- so the difference will be very clear to voters.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:43:43 AM PDT

  •  Been a vegetarian for 28 years and counting. (12+ / 0-)

    It's easy and yummy, folks.  Join me and help restore the climate that keeps us all alive.

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:58:42 AM PDT

  •  I honestly think people won't do anything... (7+ / 0-)

    It's the old frog in simmering water brought to a boil as seen in An Inconvenient Truth. Most people are too busy or ignorant to care, and they have so much other stress in their lives that they are literally drained with no energy to battle climate change.

    That, plus there's too much money to be made with how everything is now, and businesses are obsessed with short term over long term profit.

    •  That's why it is so important to sell taking (8+ / 0-)

      action on climate change with a positive message for the general population.  Doom and gloom will not motivate the masses to take action.  

      To get people to admit climate change exists and motivate them to take action a "positive outcomes" sales job needs to be made. Convincing people of the benefits and improvements to their lives will result in a willingness in them to change.  People are very quick and willing to change if they perceive the change resulting in a positive effect on their livelihood. Look how fast the automobile was adopted worldwide. How about the telephone, television and internet. Change is capable of happening incredibly rapidly throughout society if the change is viewed as enhancing one's way of life. In these circumstances there is no need for any emergency to present itself. Change takes place because of a desire to obtain the benefits the change will bring.

      If we really want to straighten out all this crap we need to really think about shit!

      by John Crapper on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:17:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Plenty of people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        beach babe in fl

        from the most radically liberal and anarchist right through to the reactionary fundamentalists, are choosing to renounce the "good life" of treadmill treading and overconsumption for rural self-sufficiency because they perceive the positive effects of healthy lifestyle and genuine liberty on their life experience.  This is forming an important buffer for both human survival and economic independence from the "permanent growth" economy.

    •  Though that's not true of frogs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dewley notid

      An individual frog is smarter than the mass of us, perhaps.

    •  Intentionally drained. (0+ / 0-)

      Remember that everyone who works for a living is carrying the parasitic rich on their backs, and those parasites are NEVER satisfied, so you cannot produce enough to please them and you certainly can't produce enough to please them AND enough to also eat and sleep yourself.  The constant stress also serves usefully to keep the workers too busy to consider issues of common good which might conflict with the continuing greed of the parasitic class.

      It's not a bug, it's a feature of the disease called Capitalism, which IS destroying the world.

  •  start with golf courses (20+ / 0-)

    I would like to see them replaced with forests. Put those bazillions of gallons of water to some actual good use. Less pesticides, too. And to steal from the immortal George Carlin, provide one less place for greedy old men to carve up the rest of the world for themselves.

    And it is high time we stopped talking about global warming in the future tense. It is here, and it will get worse no matter what.

    Class war has consequences, and we are living them.

    by kamarvt on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:01:35 AM PDT

  •  I did spend one day, some years ago, (18+ / 0-)

    planting trees with Friends of the Urban Forest.   Although I'm sure it isn't enough, people in cites can get involved with a variety of tree-planting programs, which does something, and doesn't require waiting for legislative gridlock to thaw.

    Chicago has Tree Planting Initiative and Tree Partnership Program.

    New York City has Million Trees NYC

    Las Vegas - Urban Forestry Initiative

    Atlanta has Trees Atlanta

    Los Angeles has Tree People

    Seriously, if everyone devoted one day a year to tree planting, that would make a dent.  Can't say it will save the world, but it's worth a shot.

    If religion means a way of life, and life's necessities are food, clothing, and shelter, then we should not separate religion from economics. - Malcolm X

    by dirkster42 on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:02:47 AM PDT

  •  The government could tax meat (4+ / 0-)

    The blowback would be enormous, but dietary choices are amenable to governmental action.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:02:55 AM PDT

  •  I ordered a couple of American Chestnut trees (12+ / 0-)

    yesterday and as I was googling chestnut tree care I came upon a couple sites on how modern chestnut hybrids can help alleviate global warming.  Link.  The trees grow so big and so fast that they're capable of sequestering a godawful amount of carbon.  (Their wood is mighty useful, too.)  We have yet to make them 100% immune to chestnut blight but they're working on it.

    Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

    by Ice Blue on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:02:57 AM PDT

  •  Hey, wow (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rezkalla

    A climate change diary on DKos that isn't all doom and gloom and defeatism. It's a miracle!

    "On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation." William Lloyd Garrison

    by HoratioGalt on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:08:54 AM PDT

  •  another good way to get carbon back in the soil (13+ / 0-)

    is using compost for cover crops. There's some really exciting stuff happening with that in the Bay Area, but we have to get more cities to compost their food waste and do it everywhere. I'm working on an article about this and will share when it's done. Thanks beach babe for all the work you do!

  •  Unfortunately... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wasatch

    ...there is likely a very small audience for this these days.  You're not going to vbe very much concerned about climate change when you don't know if your family is going to have a place to live tomorrow.

    •  I said this above but will say it again because (11+ / 0-)

      it's so important.   I believe the more gloom and doom messages the general "unaware" population hears the more tuned out they are going to get.  We need to make taking action on climate change the most patriotic, most positive thing for the economy, most life changing, working towards a brighter future for you and your kids thing tht anybody can do.   Taking action on climate change needs to be sold as the best thing since apple pie.

      To get people to admit climate change exists and motivate them to take action a "positive outcomes" sales job needs to be made. Convincing people of the benefits and improvements to their lives will result in a willingness in them to change.  People are very quick and willing to change if they perceive the change resulting in a positive effect on their livelihood. Look how fast the automobile was adopted worldwide. How about the telephone, television and internet. Change is capable of happening incredibly rapidly throughout society if the change is viewed as enhancing one's way of life. In these circumstances there is no need for any emergency to present itself. Change takes place because of a desire to obtain the benefits the change will bring.

      If we really want to straighten out all this crap we need to really think about shit!

      by John Crapper on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:30:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am not sure I agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dirkster42, dov12348

      So many of our cultural problems seem driven by a corporate owned press that misleads the public with half truths, outright lies or constant sins of omission.

      I bet there are more of us doing our part than you know.

      Even Oklahoma has recycling stations!
      Even Oklahoma is actively engaged in water conservation.

      Sure we have lots of other problems [big ones too], but there are some things happening in our state that are good for the environment.

    •  I don't know if I'm going to have a job (4+ / 0-)

      in a month and a half.  I eat now because I get food stamps.

      I am extremely concerned about climate change.

      If religion means a way of life, and life's necessities are food, clothing, and shelter, then we should not separate religion from economics. - Malcolm X

      by dirkster42 on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:14:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dov12348, cynndara

      as our economy was crashing  they went to Copenhagen telling the third world countries the West should pay for climate change .

      The future survival was to be pitted against the current survival of the unemployed and scared about being unemployed workers.

      I knew then the battle was lost.

  •  Thank you for working on solutions, and for postin (7+ / 0-)

    g this great diary.  My teenage kids are already much more aware of--and determined to help solve--the problem than I was when studying the issue in college just 25 years ago.  They give me hope, and they keep a fire lit under my feet, too.

    One question:  my daughter, who is a high school sophomore, has tremendous aptitude and interest in both math and the sciences (chem, biology), and is interested in pursuing a degree that will best allow her to participate in researching and creating solutions to the climate crisis.  Do you have any recommendations as to type of degree(s) she should pursue?

    •  The kids today are aware and I agree they (5+ / 0-)

      are our hope.

      Wow, your daughter is lucky with aptitude in both math and the sciences.  I was not so lucky and work on the other side of my brain.  So the social sciences is where I spent my time.  She is fortunate in that there are so many new fields opening up due to our transition to clean energy.

      I think the university choice is important and can make the difference in the course she pursues.  She probably needs a diverse selection of choices within her chosen university.

      I wish I could be more specific but I think focusing on the choice of a good school with known diverse selection of avenues in her interests is a good place to start and of course keeping her GPA up so she has good options!

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:04:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Biology... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drnononono, beach babe in fl

      Its where the answers are coming from...

      http://arpa-e.energy.gov/...

  •  If you truly do live in Florida I advise (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dirkster42, cynndara

    you to sell any real estate you own as I believe that the southern 1/3rd of Florida will be under water by 2030.

  •  Start (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl

    exposing these deniers in front of their children and grandchildren so they will know who to curse for their coming misery.

    •  That's awkward (0+ / 0-)

      if you want to retain access to continue educating said children.  I've had to rachet back on trying to knock sense into my Little Brother's thick head for the kids' sake.  It's going to be hard enough for them to come out into the adult world a decade from now even if we all pull together for them.

  •  Also, (0+ / 0-)

    there are certain climates where it's kind of absurd to own a clothes dryer.  If it is 95 degrees with low humidity, your clothes will dry faster on a clothesline than in a dryer.

    When I lived in Claremont, CA, it drove me nuts that people would use dryers in summer.

    If religion means a way of life, and life's necessities are food, clothing, and shelter, then we should not separate religion from economics. - Malcolm X

    by dirkster42 on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:22:35 AM PDT

  •  You mean Al Gore's global hoax designed (0+ / 0-)

    to be a windfall for independent scientists?  Pshaw!

    NOW SHOWING
    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:26:49 AM PDT

  •  The (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John Crapper

    problem I have with Hansen is he is a nuclear power supporter.

    I doubt he has changed his mind even after Fukishima. Does anyone know otherwise?

    •  Please learn a bit more about the effects (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gzodik

      of low level radiation.  Contrary to popular belief here, Fukushima's radiation release has killed no one.  The increase risk of mortality, even based on the dubious LNT dose-response model, is so low as to be indistinguishable from other normal risk factors.  Prof. Wade Allison (Prof. emeritus at Oxford, nuclear physics and nuclear medicine) has proposed to the international community radiation safety standards based on what is as high as reasonably safe, instead of the current as low as reasonably achievable principle.  He provides evidence that  100mSv / month is still 10 times below levels that can be proven to be harmful.  If 100mSv / YEAR levels were accepted (10x's less again), people could move up to within spitting distance of the Fukushima plant.  More harm has been done by the forced evacuation than by what this low-level radiation is likely to ever cause.

      So, ban nuclear power because of... what, exactly?  Irrational fear!

      Now compare these highly oversold, dubious claims of "ZOMG low-level radiation" under WORST CASE SCENARIO meltdown with the effects of fossil fuels, certain to destroy the fucking planet.  Nuclear power is the only alternative energy technology PROVEN to massively displace fossil fuel use.    

      I'm afraid Hansen has it right re nuclear power.

      The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

      by mojo workin on Wed May 09, 2012 at 01:36:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let's (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DawnN

        see. Human's not storing nuclear waste properly, humans cutting corners at hundreds of nuclear plants all over the world.

        I have learned a lot about what radiation can do, I read Voices from Chernobyl. Horrifying.

        I'm against Hanson on nuclear energy mainly because of human nature.

        •  I fully understand what you mean (0+ / 0-)

          But, that sentiment can be applied to all manner of dangerous toxic things that human enterprise has gotten involved with.  

          Nuclear waste is no more special in terms of how nasty it can be than many, many industrial chemicals (chlorine, hydrogen cyanide, etc.), fossil fuels (e.g. LNG)  and toxic compounds found in coal ash which are produced in the millions of tons each year.  

          One big difference exists, however: per unit energy delivered, the amount of toxic crap left over is about 100,000 times smaller than is the case for fossil fuels.  Moreover, if we make spent fuel waste a priority to be dealt with, we HAVE the knowledge on how to recycle it to get many, many more times more energy out of it (a full order of magnitude more, at least).  That's why Hansen is a supporter of the Integral Fast Reactor, which can recycle nuclear waste.  

          There is enough depleted U and spent fuel in inventory today in the USA to power all our energy needs for 300-500 years with IFR technology, without having to mine any fresh Uranium.  This is not pie-in-the sky.  The IFR technology has been demonstrated over 30 years with the EBR-II reactor, and the full proliferation-proof fuel recycle and passive safety demonstrated in the IFR project terminated by Clinton Dems in 1994 (saying the technology wasn't needed, a position Sen. Kerry is on the record as saying he now regrets).  I believe GE-Hitachi wants to build one on a satisfaction-guaranteed or don't have to pay demonstration of the S-PRISM (commercial variant of the IFR) to get rid of the British plutonium waste stockpile.

          I'm afraid we are where we are, not where we wish we could be with regard to human population and our impact on the environment.  Nuclear technology can provide the energy we need with the smallest net environmental impact because of the almost incomprehensible energy density of nuclear processes.  

          Radioactive materials are dangerous, yes, but we deal with dangerous substances all the time, waste streams are tiny and the stakes of global climate change are huge.  Context is everything in this debate.

          The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

          by mojo workin on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:13:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Moving from SW to NW (6+ / 0-)

    I have been traveling back and forth some across 1500 miles of the West.

    It isn't statistics.  The climate in New Mexico has been getting steadily hotter and drier, although slowly over time.  The yard where we had planted rosebushes is now a dry dust that you can stick your toe down into and swish around.  

    Meanwhile up the coast from Seattle, it is actually trending towards more rainy days.

    I remember when I pulled into a gas station in the new neighborhood with the UHaul I got into a conversation with the attendant in the mini mart.  She said she had just moved up there from southern California because she was concerned about climate change.  That sort of conversation isn't uncommon.

    Meanwhile there are Tea Party types hell bent to cut down more trees and to not support forest preserves, and they seem to have traction here and there.  A lot of people still see trees as money that can only be realized by cutting them down.  Green gold.

    Luckily there are a lot of very progressive voters.  Still, it is a challenge.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Wed May 09, 2012 at 11:39:01 AM PDT

  •  The Holocene has not had stable shorelines (0+ / 0-)

    Shorelines have varied from 40 meters above present levels to 60 meters below present levels.

    Stable shorelines.. what rubbish.

  •  We solve the problems ourselves (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl, cynndara

    or Mother Nature will solve it for us. We are pretty damn arrogant as a species to think we can survive our contributions to the degradation of this planet.

    Earth will heal over the course of a million years or so once humanity is gone. How long we stay is up to us.

    All philosophies have certain valid points. All philosophies followed to their logical conclusions is hazardous for mankind overall.

    by Captain Chaos on Wed May 09, 2012 at 01:08:26 PM PDT

    •  The earth doesn't "care" what the sea levels are. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomFromNJ

      There is nothing to "heal".  It is a ridiculous notion.

      The earth varies wildly over eons.. very low seas to very high seas.  High to low average temperatures.  All of those conditions and everything in between is normal and natural.

      Humans setting up living spaces near changeable natural conditions (such as shorelines) is the problem.

      Humans counting on "stable" conditions is the problem.

      Whether we speed up change or not, change will come.

      •  When I look at the history of this palnet (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        beach babe in fl

        and what happens after extinction catastrophes I would call that a healing. Eventually life begins anew after a few million years of repairs. Normal & natural of course, but a healing none the less.

        And if we do not take some proactive measures now the human race ends up as fossil fuel for some other species millions of years in the future.  

        All philosophies have certain valid points. All philosophies followed to their logical conclusions is hazardous for mankind overall.

        by Captain Chaos on Wed May 09, 2012 at 06:12:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hansen's TED talk (2+ / 0-)

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Wed May 09, 2012 at 03:21:20 PM PDT

  •  Costs are inflicting on people who aren't here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl

    When the world shunned apartheid, there were millions of people suffering from it. When the US entered World War 2, there were more millions who were freed from tyranny. There was a visible wrong to see, and a visible reward when that wrong was righted. But the people who we'd "save" from climate change HAVE NOT EVEN BEEN BORN YET. They have no voice, no political clout, in fact since they don't exist they're really not even threatened, as human morality would perceive it. Even looking at your children today, do you see an actual threat happening this very moment against their lives and well-being? Are they living in suffering and frustration because of climate change? So how charged up can you get about it? Not like if you saw your kid lying in the street bleeding.
    The human race is too self-absorbed, too wrapped up in the "now" to ever launch into vast projects requiring much self-sacrifice for some vague future possibility. Are you going to reduce your energy usage by 4/5ths starting today, and justify it as trying to make a liveable future for your children? OK, instead, how about doing the same sacrifice so millions of people in foreign lands can avoid having their futures destroyed?
    Human reasoning does not use a long timeframe for evaluation of actions. It's a simple psychological fact. To counter that you'd have to turn every person on the planet into a extremely well-educated zen master who can control his/her emotions.
    I think it's more likely that in 2050 gasoline will be cheaper, per gallon, than potable water -- because of all the new oil reserves to be found in the Arctic, Greenland, etc and massive pumping out of existing off-shore fields, and the extreme degradation and pollution of our fresh-water sources.

    The people demand the fall of this regime ...

    by fourthcornerman on Wed May 09, 2012 at 06:56:54 PM PDT

  •  Thanks so... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl

    ...much for this.

    Hansen is a good man and a great scientist who has been treated with unbelievable disrespect by our political system.

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:56:07 PM PDT

  •  Red States (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl

    The Red States will suffer the most climate change. The extreme fringes of the USA- coastal CA, the extreme upper Great lakes, and the upper northeast will suffer the least. Yet those idiots in those Red States say NO NO to climate change. In any case their fate is now sealed. The outcome will be very nasty for them.

  •  Hansen, Obama and our role. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl

    James Hansen is absolutely correct, we need to take  immediate actions. We need to accelerate building our Save the Mother Earth movement.

    Obama has failed to lead in climate protection, but for a good reason: it would be political suicide. With the election showing all signs of being close, with the economy being the overwhelming concern of Americans, with the Climate coming in at, what, 25th? in terms of the most important issue,he is walking the fence. He doing what he can on environmental issues, and NOT giving the republicans something to grab onto that would jeopardize his re-election.

    What our role must be is to raise the awareness of the climate crisis, or climate disaster.  It is public pressure raising the importance of fixing the climate, of changing our energy economy, that will enable Obama to take big steps.  

    The public responds to fear. Look what happened to nuclear power after Fukushima. The moment the public gets that CO2 is more dangerous than a nuclear fallout, the tide will turn.

    IMHO, we must change our rhetoric to the most extreme language , because it is justified scientifically -- as Hansen put it: apocalyptic. We must use the language of disaster: Thermogeddon, Thermal Hell, Global Roasting, American Sahara, etc.  We must give Obama the political capital to to reverse the course of the most powerful enterprises ever.  The climate is in our hands - Obama will do what he can.

    “Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.” - William Butler Yeats

    by RandW on Sun May 13, 2012 at 01:50:10 PM PDT

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