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This topic is stuck in a psychological double bind -- if we could face up to it, we'd recognize that the problem of avoiding total doom for the human race is multidimensional -- there are sociological, anthropological, psychological, meteorological, and numerous other-dimensional aspects of planetary disaster and how to avoid it.  But the topic of possible doom itself inspires walls of psychological denial, because it's too scary to think about.  So there's the double bind.

In this post I am going to examine the most-talked-about of impending disasters, the disaster predicted due to global warming.  I'm not going to say a lot about the specifics of this disaster -- I'm going to let the video below do most of the talking for me -- but what's important to remember is that scientific forecasts of planetary global warming now predict a disaster on the order of the Permian-Triassic boundary, 251 million years ago, in which nearly all life on Earth was forced into extinction.  So the curious thing about the public discussion of global warming is that we can now read and hear pronunciations of doom, of the possibility that the human race may be altogether a hopeless case because global warming will completely overwhelm our ability to cope.

***

At any rate, in my previous post I argued:

The political reality in which we traffic today is one of emergent and compounding disaster.
 

Now, my previous post discussed the optimism of a writer named Rebecca Solnit, who argued in her book that in disaster situations people will drop their internalized social attitudes and develop what Victor Turner called "antistructure," a space outside of social structures where people can create society anew in solidaristic fashion.  We can hope, then, that the "antistructure" that emerges from the coming disasters will inspire a revolution in human thinking, that will make our world-society's disaster tendencies a PRIORITY and something we ought to fix.

Here I'd like to address the possibility that the sort of compounding disaster that's coming down the pipe is something that will overwhelm the human race.  Thus the title of my diary: "We're doomed."  I mean to discuss the idea that "we're doomed" as a species of argument, with origins, effects, and destinies of its own.

This post is more-or-less intended to address recent discussions such as this one, from Alex Pareene in Salon Magazine: "Earth Still Probably Doomed No Matter Which Way Court Rules."

Even if, against the odds, the Roberts court manages to uphold the ACA, or even to find the individual mandate unconstitutional while preserving the rest of the bill’s reforms and subsidies, there is still a pretty good chance that the country and the world will face mass droughts, floods, famine and extinctions as this century draws to a close. With the global average temperature already .8 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, it is exceedingly unlikely that humanity will manage to keep the planet from warming by less than 2 degrees, which most scientists predict would be fairly disastrous for many people, even if Antonin Scalia writes a very strongly worded dissent to their models.
This argument brings us into the realm of priorities.  Oh, sure, the ACA may save a few lives if upheld, based on the supposition that the insurance companies will cooperate with the law and actually grant people CARE rather than just mere "coverage."  This, in turn, is based on the assumptions that health insurance in 2014 under the ACA won't be too expensive and won't meet up with (possibly illegal, but unenforced) insurer failures to pay and won't be priced out of the patient's ability to pay with prohibitive copays and deductibles.  But the ACA "solution" as such will at best be trivial compared with the health care nightmare which global warming will bring to the world.

Pareene's idea, then, is that the band-aid approach to the health care crisis as championed by the ACA is at best a diversion -- the real health care catastrophe coming down the pipe is the one that global warming will bring us.  

Now, I suppose this isn't an either-or matter -- we could have both a health care solution and a global warming solution.  The problem, of course, is that the particular solution chosen for health care was one which enriched insurance corporations with public funds.  No special interest is enriched by a genuine solution to global warming.  Oh, sure, a genuine solution to global warming would help the human race and the planet, but do politicians care about such things?  A genuine solution to global warming will help no industry which can offer sweet think-tank jobs to retired politicians.

None of the "serious people," then, in Washington DC is discussing global warming solutions.  Perhaps it is only to be expected that the discussion about global warming entertains a degree of alarmism about near-term human extinction because of climatic doom -- what do they have to say before any of the "serious people" pays attention?  So in general the question the climate scientists are asking this month is one of whether or not we've "reached a tipping point" -- has the problem gotten so bad that there is really no going back, and we can just kiss the human race goodbye?

But perhaps these links are not enough, and my audience here still needs a good simple oral explanation of the "we're doomed" global warming scenario.  For those of you in that category, please take a look at this video by David Roberts of Grist Magazine:

"If we keep doing what we're now doing, we are screwed.  This we know now."

That's the rhetoric at its core.

Roberts' conclusion: "To stabilize temperature, global climate emissions must peak within 5-10 years and decline rapidly every year thereafter."  Last I looked, no such option was even in the planning stages for my November 2012 voter ballot -- in fact, practically nobody in American society is even TALKING about such a plan.

Let's switch focus, now, to David Swanson's most recent blog entry, "The End Is Near."  Swanson, here, is arguing that the failure of the "summit" in Rio is a pretty ridiculous echo of a conclusion that world leaders could have drawn eight years ago, when the 30-year edition of "The Limits To Growth" came out.  As Swanson says:

If we wait for Wall Street to decide that destroying the Earth is a bad idea, the basic systems of life on Earth will collapse in shortages, crises, and widespread suffering.  Instead, we have to enforce change as a society, and we have to do it now.
At any rate, admitting the possibility that we could just be completely lost as a civilization means getting past the denial of such a possibility.  But acceptance of the possibility of doom might threaten the possibility of one's even caring about the future at all.  If we're doomed, well, then why bother?  If we're doomed, then why bother with any sort of preparation for abrupt climate change at all?  Crank up the Hummer and turn on the AC!  Tell your kids to kiss their rear ends goodbye!  Live for the moment!  Party like there's no tomorrow!  And by all means stop talking about serious stuff.  It depresses the hell out of us, and life is short!

There are plenty of different species of denial at work in an inspection of opinions about global warming.  The famed Republican denial that it's happening is only one of them.  Also in the bidding for the denial sweepstakes should be "Global warming is happening but it won't be disastrous," "global warming is happening but there's no solution," and "global warming is happening but we can't deal with it effectively because (name your excuse)."

In fact, the only real escape from global warming denial is a proactive solution to the problem.  Without the possibility of such a solution, we might as well be deniers, or at least ignorers.

You should be able to see, then, how the psychological double bind works.  As collective hope for a proactive solution fades with the continued acceleration of greenhouse gas emissions, the psychological tendency to deny the possibility of such a solution increases.

First off, it cannot be overstated that global warming is not the sort of problem that will be solved through individual responsibility.  Global warming is essentially a social problem, and it requires a collective solution.  The tipping point is when world society imposes a phase-out of fossil fuel extraction, not when we buy Priuses.

Secondly, we can observe that solutions to global warming will become a priority when other priorities are dethroned.  Knowing this underscores the idea of what a priority is -- if collective survival means more to the human race than anything else, then all of the "anything elses" must take second place.  

The most important of these priorities is what I've been calling capitalist discipline.  Capitalist discipline is what motivates us to pursue "careers," to work for "wages" or "salaries," and to obey the fundamental dictates of the capitalist system and the governments that keep it in place.  As a replacement for capitalist discipline, we will need to imagine a sort of "ecological discipline" -- a discipline that impels people to seek out sustainable ways of life and to maintain those ways through an increased sensitivity to the relationships of the natural and social worlds.  

***

An interesting take on the psychology of rational responses to the current world-situation (and here I'd like to avoid terms like "radical," "progressive," and so on -- survival is a human impulse, not that of someone with a particular political stripe) is offered by Bruce E. Levine in this piece for ZCommunications: "Liberation Psychology for the US: Are We Too Demoralized To Protest?"  I feel that this is an important piece because Levine gets to some of the psychological "climates" that can be found in the United States which discourage people from being activists.  Levine's point of connection for our purposes, here, is in his observation about something Noam Chomsky said:

In the question and answer period that followed a Noam Chomsky talk (reported in Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky, 2002), a somewhat demoralized person in the audience asked Chomsky if he too ever went through a phase of hopelessness. Chomsky responded, "Yeah, every evening.... If you want to feel hopeless, there are a lot of things you could feel hopeless about. If you want to sort of work out objectively what's the chance that the human species will survive for another century, probably not very high. But I mean, what's the point?.... First of all, those predictions don't mean anything—they're more just a reflection of your mood or your personality than anything else. And if you act on that assumption, then you're guaranteeing that'll happen. If you act on the assumption that things can change, well, maybe they will. Okay, the only rational choice, given those alternatives, is to forget pessimism."
Pessimism, then, leads to denial, which forms the double bind.  I think that it's safe to say that once world society can break the psychological double bind, and make a proactive solution its priority, the world will itself look different.  Until then, we get doom and denial.

Originally posted to The Rebel Alliance on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Hawks, DK GreenRoots, and Postcapitalism.

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  •  Tip Jar (130+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic, absdoggy, Wolf10, greenbird, cazcee, Nada Lemming, Dallasdoc, blueoasis, Lily O Lady, FishOutofWater, pat bunny, Mary Mike, kharma, Supavash, chipmo, maryabein, triv33, jnhobbs, G2geek, side pocket, cordgrass, JTinDC, Dauphin, tonyahky, PapaChach, One Pissed Off Liberal, Syoho, bsmechanic, PhilJD, expatjourno, don mikulecky, NoMoreLies, Lib Rule Guy, petulans, FutureNow, Ashaman, angel d, TomP, jessical, bookwoman, Shahryar, NYWheeler, dmhlt 66, Shockwave, soarbird, blue aardvark, Earth Bear, mudslide, BigAlinWashSt, Keone Michaels, No one gets out alive, figurine, bobdevo, buckstop, hubcap, ChemBob, Paul Ferguson, karmsy, muddy boots, Carol in San Antonio, Robobagpiper, WarrenS, Superpole, HeyMikey, sodalis, happymisanthropy, PeterHug, shaharazade, Pescadero Bill, greenbastard, Oye Sancho, ZhenRen, IndieGuy, geordie, TheGreatLeapForward, Cardinal96, ratzo, Justus, LaughingPlanet, DamselleFly, Mother Mags, asym, bmaples, rebel ga, Jim P, surfbird007, jamess, Mimikatz, chrississippi, marleycat, CarbonFiberBoy, Lopez99, SuWho, mrkvica, PBen, kmackle, Susipsych, dirkster42, Burned, BlackBandFedora, hangingchad, zerelda, strangedemocracy, bfitzinAR, artisan, turn blue, Steven D, terabytes, yawnimawke, ninkasi23, tommyfocus2003, Alice Venturi, occams hatchet, Panacea Paola, Polly Syllabic, Sun Tzu, elengul, Gemina13, priceman, mofembot, Hayate Yagami, gooderservice, too many people, radical simplicity, Shawn Russell, SolarMom, Sagebrush Bob, goobop, Oh Mary Oh, A Siegel

    "A people who know how to organize the accumulation of wealth and its reproduction in the interest of the whole of society, no longer need to be governed." -- Peter Kropotkin

    by Cassiodorus on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:00:11 AM PDT

  •  Ideas kill. Bad Ideas kill more efficiently. (28+ / 0-)

    TeaBuggerism and rampant AnnRandism are mental diseases which can destroy humanity.

    What to do? I have no Idea.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:03:06 AM PDT

  •  collective action is a reflection of individual (17+ / 0-)

    action so in order to create a mass response you have to have mass individual action.  Individual action is where it's at whether pressure comes from top or bottom.  

    Macca's Meatless Monday

    by VL Baker on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:22:08 AM PDT

    •  yeah, we're doomed if individuals wait (15+ / 0-)

      for direction from 'above'

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:23:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think that is what he is saying... (7+ / 0-)

        He is saying that the fundamental structure of economics has to change.  That is very hard to happen from the bottom up.

        'Osama Bin Ladien is still dead and GM is still alive' - Joe Biden "Dems kill terrorist. The GOP keeps them around as a boogeyman - so they can continue to steel."

        by RichM on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:21:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We were doomed when we rejected the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldhippie, FrY10cK

        opportunity to do something serious about our dependence on fossil fuels back in the 1970s. Also when we embraced the idea that free markets could solve all problems. And we still have not woken up. And consensus is that it is too late to avoid the really bad stuff coming down the road.

        We should have made a moon landing style priority out of replacing fossil fuels after the 73 gas crisis. But we ignored the problems that we knew at the time we were eventually going to face. Like running out of fossil fuels. And then we discovered more problems and still we ignored them. And still today we ignore them. Humanity wins the Darwin Award for the rest of the 21st Century.

        •  Yep. Al Gore wrote Earth In The Balance more than (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AshesAllFallDown, AoT

          twenty years ago. It was legitimate then to think the balance had perhaps already tipped. Twenty years later we still talk about tipping points as if they are in the future.

          The tipping points are all behind us. There's a legitimate case that we have passed the collapse point. The temperatures where I sit these past months are what  "alarmists" say may occur in 2030. Or 2050. Or before the end of the century. Anyone who says "Just look out the window"  is not an alarmist but a doomer. Nothing short of food shortage will get anyone's attention and by then it will be all over.

    •  Not always. (7+ / 0-)

      Action, individual or collective, has to be organized in a way which will forward collective goals in order to be effective as collective action.  Green consumerism, for instance, can be individual or collective, but green consumerism will only forward collective goals that make sense in terms of consumerism.  This is why I stated it the way I did in the diary.

      "A people who know how to organize the accumulation of wealth and its reproduction in the interest of the whole of society, no longer need to be governed." -- Peter Kropotkin

      by Cassiodorus on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:28:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, but a person organizes their own (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, Cedwyn, AoT, Steven D

        individual action...individuals lose their power if they wait.  That is what is happening now re climate change.

        Macca's Meatless Monday

        by VL Baker on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:55:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Organization doesn't have to be from the top down (3+ / 0-)

          We can organize as individuals from the ground up.

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

          by AoT on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:44:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And furthermore, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, too many people

            these actions must be collective and inclusive to be effective. Focusing too much on individual action falls back towards the blame-the-consumer approach ultimately.

            Alternative institutions can be created and grown to great strength trhough collective action.

            The Lorax is actually a terrible example for environmentalists. Instead of woefully speaking for the trees, he really needed to organize the marmaloots and every other stakeholder to create institutions to protect the trees from industrial consumption. Those trying to build collective movements around climate change are doing the most effective thing that can be done, and we'd all do well to join and help grow, improve, and expand the collective movement.

            "Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel." ~Sepp Herberger

            by surfbird007 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:37:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Individual action without organization (9+ / 0-)

      is like a little league soccer game.

      People get excited about kicking the ball even if it goes in the wrong direction, and assholes like Paul McCartney can have a hybrid Lexus flown to England and in one fell swoop offset all the supposed "environmental benefit" that his purchase enabled exemplify this all too well.

      Worst of all, half measures like electric cars which are STILL MERELY AN ENVIRONMENTAL LESSER EVIL keep people from facing up to what must happen, which is a radical deconstruction of society and tech.

      Obama 2012: For More Wars!

      by chipmo on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:57:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Individual action without organization (6+ / 0-)

        can be useful if the actions themselves are useful.  Individual actions in the context of organizations can be just as harmful as no action.  The case you bring up is part of the organized actions that are taking place.  It's easy to take individual actions, the problem is that we have all these organization that are pushing cars and slightly better light bulbs as solutions when they simply aren't.

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

        by AoT on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 07:54:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am not talking about "organizations". (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, surfbird007

          I am talking about "organization", as in true fundamental planning and thinking, strategy setting, and an accurate vision for the long term goal that is desirable.

          I am certainly not one to talk about relying upon an Organization, as in a hierarchical entity, being the way to go.  But the only power individual people have against an organized entity like the powers behind capitalist environmental rape is to also make sure all of their actions are directed and deliberate.  And that takes work and organization in the true sense of the word.  1,000 bees can't stop a bear from destroying their hive if they each attack one at a time.  They can if they all strike in unison.

          Obama 2012: For More Wars!

          by chipmo on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:58:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then I agree completely (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            beach babe in fl

            And I think that sort of organization is happening in regards to what to do about global warming, but it isn't wide spread enough.

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

            by AoT on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:20:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  That's Completely Correct Beach Babe! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie, beach babe in fl

      It's all of our job(s); to speak out, blog, protest, do whatever we are able to do, to stop the destruction of this planet!

      To create a mass response you have to have mass individual action.
      Anna And The Animals * Earth Day April 22nd 2012

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:34:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thing To Remember is THEY Are Not Doomed, Only (27+ / 0-)

    we are. The worst warming scenarios will still allow millions of humans to survive and thrive.

    Just not billions.

    WE'RE doomed; ownership is not, and that's why society lacks the permission to address the issue.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:23:00 AM PDT

    •  Capitalist discipline again. (11+ / 0-)

      At the micro-level each individual within the managerial stratum of the capitalist system is trained to exercise "self-discipline" as a panderer after money or property -- the documented result of all of this pandering is what we call the "resume" or "curriculum vitae."  The latter term means "course of one's life," and the successful CV is meant to reflect a life pandering after money or property.

      A new type of "management" will be necessary.

      "A people who know how to organize the accumulation of wealth and its reproduction in the interest of the whole of society, no longer need to be governed." -- Peter Kropotkin

      by Cassiodorus on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:31:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am not advocating this but it will take force (0+ / 0-)

        to impel people to change. When given a choice one picks the best option for them personally. If given a choice between saving energy and wasting energy I pick the one that meets my needs. But unless I am compelled, or the choice is taken away from me there is no guarantee that I will act in the best interests of everyone. It is basic human nature.

    •  Apparently, that's what they think. (21+ / 0-)

      Or they may think it will happen some time well into the future when they are long gone.

      History shows that the rich and powerful don't fare well when society starts to crumble. Heads part from bodies.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:33:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, most people think of 'the End' wrong (9+ / 0-)

      The Earth will not end, humanity will not be wiped out. Our current civilization will end, and when the industrialized food production system we've built collapses (it's the only way that we're able to feed the unnatural amount of people existing today), humanity will have the huge die-out of billions, and eventually civilization will probably go back to a Medievel or Roman Empire type state, possibly a renewed Old West style.

      Humans are an extremely adaptable species and it would take a world shattering catastrophe to completely wipe them ALL out, and unless the global warming takes on a Venusian scale and raises the temp. to hundreds of degrees, its not going to do it. But say goodbye to your iPhone and every other little luxury you enjoy now.

      Romney 2012 - Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses? If they would rather die, then they had better do so, and decrease the surplus population!

      by Fordmandalay on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:40:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  no, the worst warming scenarios only the cockroach (7+ / 0-)

      survives.  Siberian permafrost thaw, warming feedback loop, apocalyptic methane "belch"--boom, end of mammals.  And we join the ranks of the dinosaurs.

      •  Atmospheric CO2 in the early Cenozoic was 5-10x (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RichM

        today's levels and global temps were much warmer.  There were no polar icecaps.  Mammals are still here.

        Where are we, now that we need us most?

        by Frank Knarf on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 07:38:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  METHANE. (4+ / 0-)

          Methane is the key difference.

          Methane is, in the short term, 23x as potent a greenhouse gas as CO2. But it breaks down about 5x as quickly as CO2, so in the long term it's "only" about 5x as potent.

          But the short term may well be long enough to trigger runaway methane release. Gazillions of tons of methane are locked up in the arctic tundra and in undersea frozen "clathrates." The warmer the atmosphere gets, the more tundra and clathrates melt, the more methane is released, triggering more warming and even more methane release.

          Google "methane extinction" if you want to be seriously sobered up.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:40:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Methane seems to have been ... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HeyMikey, FishOutofWater, NoMoreLies

            ... part of some previous rapid climate change transitions before.

            Big extinction events tend to take out big animals more than small ones. Mammals will likely survive ~ mice and rats, bats, maybe up through smaller wild cats and foxes. Humans, elephants, mountain lions, wolves, horses, cows ... maybe not so much.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:36:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Gazillions is incorrect. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HeyMikey, elengul, AoT, too many people

            It's about 500 gigatons, though some say only half that much.

            The issue is actually oxygen. If the methane goes, those temperatures change the bacteria in the sea from aerobic to anaerobic and those bacteria make hydrogen sulphide instead of oxygen. It takes a very specialized mammal to breathe hydrogen sulphide and very low levels of oxygen. Genetic engineering isn't even close to that point.

            We already have some hydrogen sulphide upwellings.

            I'm very interested in the "what do we do" discussions here. I've had them all inside my head already. Nothing is happening. Nothing. I think the point about the ACA is very well taken. That is capturing almost all of our attention and it makes almost no difference. It's on the scale of one rock on a beach.

            We could postulate a Lenin figure, but this society has created powerful negative feedback loops that prevent any person, no matter how intelligent and charismatic, from changing the system.

            So basically, we have to wait for the pitchforks. Unfortunately, the pitchforks won't come out until the end times, when it's all over. It's like 2000 when I went to the computer to see where the demonstrations would be. Crickets. I tried having my own. Crickets.

            It takes a mass uprising to create change. Unfortunately, the 1% can keep it together for the vast majority until it is much too late.

            We are fucked.

            People wish to be settled, only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. - Emerson

            by CarbonFiberBoy on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:56:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe we're not fucked. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CarbonFiberBoy, elengul

              Understand, there's certainly a significant chance that we're fucked.

              But there's also a respectable chance that we're not.

              New technologies come and go pretty rapidly. Whale oil was the only game in town for a long time, then it was rapidly replaced by petroleum. From the Wright Brothers' first flight to dogfights and bombing of cities was a little over 10 years. And believe it or not, there was a time before the internet and cell phones.

              Which is to say, the cost of solar and wind power is on a steady downward path.

              There is also a significant chance that we've already passed Peak Oil, which--if true--will manifest itself in steeply rising oil prices when/if the global economy recovers.

              Put cheaper wind/solar together with expensive oil, and we could see another rapid technology transition.

              The fly in the ointment is, of course, coal. There are still gazillions of tons (100% scientifically verified accurate figure) of coal left, and it will likely remain cheap, at least in the developing world. That's really a political problem--will the rich countries pay the poor ones NOT to burn coal? But as we've all observed, politics seems to be the least soluble problem of all. Thus that significant chance that we are, indeed, fucked.

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:15:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  If we want a mass uprising then (0+ / 0-)

              we have to organize it.  People have been organizing for this here and there.  Occupy and the Black Bloc are two of the more visible manifestations.

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

              by AoT on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:05:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  It's not the atmospheric CO2 that would cause it (0+ / 0-)

          but the sudden release of methane.  let me see if I can find a link

        •  a link: (0+ / 0-)

          http://www.motherjones.com/...

          A methane burp is suspected in "the Permian-Triassic extinction, the greatest mass extinction in history, which killed off 99% of all species on Earth".

          http://www.wisegeek.com/...

        •  Which is completely different context (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FishOutofWater

          Specifically in that those mammal evolved during that time and didn't have the rest of the ecological pressures that humans have put on the earth.  There's 7 billion of us pumping out green house gases and other pollutants.  We're already seeing the beginning of a mass extinction from things unrelated to global warming.

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

          by AoT on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:00:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Now tell folks about the end Permian. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassiodorus

          Don't cherry pick.

          Frankly, there is consensus of scientists about CO2 causing climate change, but there is debate about how bad things will get.

          look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

          by FishOutofWater on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:37:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  cockroach thing is a myth (0+ / 0-)

        like the twinkie never going bad.  Cockroaches actually need humanity and its filth to prosper.  They arent too hardy

        Bad is never good until worse happens

        by dark daze on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:40:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ownership is also doomed. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChemBob, shaharazade

      The phrase, "first against the wall" comes to mind.  Unless they all move to a remote island with a fortified volcano fortress, that is.

    •  Well... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChemBob, Cedwyn, shaharazade, nchristine, AoT

      Let's see how well those 'owners' do when there is no political structure which dictates that they actually 'own' anything.

      'Osama Bin Ladien is still dead and GM is still alive' - Joe Biden "Dems kill terrorist. The GOP keeps them around as a boogeyman - so they can continue to steel."

      by RichM on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:23:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  everywhere we dig (0+ / 0-)

        that has agriculture has had an ownership society. The current, capitalist owners may go away but their descendants (and not just metaphorical descendants) are most likely to be the new owners.

        If, of course, the apocalyptic version of climate change is true.

        Try to shout at the right buildings for a few months.

        by nickrud on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:12:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ownership... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          Is enforced by a government.  It's not like 700 years ago when the land owners had a moated castle and a private army.  If the government collapses - and they are Hell bent on collapsing it, who is going to enforce the deeds to their homes?   If they collapse the government, who is going to back their currency?

          'Osama Bin Ladien is still dead and GM is still alive' - Joe Biden "Dems kill terrorist. The GOP keeps them around as a boogeyman - so they can continue to steel."

          by RichM on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:30:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, intellectual property rights ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RichM, AoT

            ... like patents and such ~ hard to have in a system where property rights are once more along the lines of a modern drug cartel.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:38:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  you're limiting your horizon (0+ / 0-)

              to your pet bugaboo, it looks like. If there's no enforcement of intellectual property there's probably no use for it either.

              Try to shout at the right buildings for a few months.

              by nickrud on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 03:46:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What? (0+ / 0-)

                I'm "limiting the horizon" of the comment to the point it was commenting on ...
                ... as people hopefully do in individual comments.

                How that supports a jump from that to what my "horizons" are on the issue, that is a puzzlement.

                I guess you could equally infer the limits of my horizon to my "pet bugaboo" from my comment on methane, though tracking what my "pet bugaboo" is supposed to be might give an observer whiplash.

                Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                by BruceMcF on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 05:39:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I was responding to the particulars (0+ / 0-)

                  in that comment regarding intellectual property, not your comments on methane. It seemed a facile reposte to my point that, no matter how things get organized after the posited doom, there will be owners.

                  Which was the subject of the comment thread, not mechanisms for how the the doom will/might occur.

                  Try to shout at the right buildings for a few months.

                  by nickrud on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:41:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The claim that ... (0+ / 0-)

                    ... no matter how things get organized "there will be ownership" is itself quite facile. Ownership as we understand it is a much broader set of social institutions than it is in many societies over history, so the claim that "there will still be ownership" ignores that in some societies in history a majority of current ownership rights did not exist as individual rights at all.

                    Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                    by BruceMcF on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 10:11:38 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  yet they were owners (0+ / 0-)

                      owned people even. If you're going to extrapolate potential societies after the 'Fall' then getting wrapped up in modern rights will blind you to the possibilities. Maybe even probabilities. The caveman scenario that some here are postulating is no less unlikely than us maintaining the individual rights regimen we do now.

                      Try to shout at the right buildings for a few months.

                      by nickrud on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 01:52:17 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Not all did ... (0+ / 0-)

                        ... do not stereotype the property institutions in some societies at some point in time to the range of property institutions across all societies at that point in time.

                        Even in feudal times, the rights of usas, fructus and abuses were not often tied up into a single "property owner", with the right to use, the right to exclude, and the right to abuse quite often dispersed ~ the commons could have no fructus or abuses other than the sovereign, and no restriction on usas, a feudal land grant could have multiple fructus as the sovereign granted domain to a lord as vassal who granted domain to their own vassal who granted usas to their retainers. Sovereign, lord, knight could all exercise fructus, peasant exercise usas, and only sovereign had the right of abuses.

                        Quite often, the only real property where "property" existed as we expect it to be were the sovereign's private domains.

                        Other feudal systems in Japan and East Africa were similar.

                        On the other hand, before the feudalization of Gaelic lands, there was often the system of property of a clan, in which there was little private property at all except for portable personal possessions. Many horse migratory societies, whether in the steppes of Asia or the Great Plains of North America after the re-introduction of the horse, were similar.

                        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                        by BruceMcF on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 09:08:19 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  My response, however, was with the ... (0+ / 0-)

                    ... particular argument ad hominem that labeling the specific example a "personal bugaboo" meant that the substance of the comment therefore did not require addressing.

                    Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                    by BruceMcF on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 10:13:03 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  yeah, the bugaboo was (0+ / 0-)

                      more than a bit over the line. You got caught up in overflow from a totally unrelated discussion I'd had recently regarding intellectual property, for which I do apologize.

                      Try to shout at the right buildings for a few months.

                      by nickrud on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 01:54:55 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  you're not going back far enough (0+ / 0-)

            Greeks had ownership society - so did Egyptians, Sumerians and pre-Sumeria. At least, if the archeologists are correct and those seals indicated owners.

            Someone will enforce their claims. It's what we do.

            Try to shout at the right buildings for a few months.

            by nickrud on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 03:44:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  No healthcare (0+ / 0-)

        No communications, no utilities, no transportation, no fancy hotels or restaurants.  You know, all the things the peasants keep working.

    •  They may be forgetting (0+ / 0-)

      that when you get a banana republic the elites are usually first up against the wall.

  •  The (15+ / 0-)

    Superman mythos tells of a doomed planet whose inhabitants will not accept the facts and prepare to evacuate. The rulers of the planet will not allow discussion of the facts. It is left to one scientist and his wife to find a personal solution by constructing a small spacecraft to safe their child.

    This scenario has played out many times. People in Nazi Germany and throughout Europe didn't foresee the coming destruction. Only a few fled or were allowed to flee.

    We insist on building along coastlines that historically experience catastrophic storms, or on hillside that experience mudslides.

    We've polluted our environment until our rivers have caught fire and our health has been damaged, often fatally by poisons buried in the earth or leached into groundwater.

    The more I think about it, the more I see the story of Krypton as a template for human behavior. We ignore our peril until it's too late.

    Our leaders imagine that they will be able to buy their way out. That is likely how so many civilizations before us fell and disappeared from human memory. Everything old is new again.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:27:23 AM PDT

    •  holy cow.... (5+ / 0-)

      Origins of Superman:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/...

      I'd have to say that the people who created the Superman series and the whole cultural mythos around it, tapped into a deeply-held human archetype:  Doomed parents manage to save their children by sending them to safety.  The children grow up to be special in some unique way.

      I wouldn't conclude that the Superman myth is the source of the present attitude about climate change or other crises.  In fact we are creating a planet into which no sane person would launch their kid if they could fully grasp what's happening.  

      But the element of collective disaster and personal escape is certainly present in the culture.  There is a strong cultural myth-complex to that effect.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 07:12:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I should have said "archtype" but (6+ / 0-)

        words fail my 60-year-old brain from time to time. It just seems that we keep making the same mistake over and over again. Like teens we take insane risks with little regard for the dangers. And we call ourselves an intelligent species!

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 07:55:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, but it was a beautiful myth (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassiodorus, AoT

        for its time and continues to be powerful. Anyone have a count of SciFi books which postulate a starship sent into the void when Earth's destruction seemed assured? Unfortunately, we already don't have the resources to launch such a ship, having already consumed them.

        People wish to be settled, only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. - Emerson

        by CarbonFiberBoy on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:02:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not advocating for space travel (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          too many people

          as a solution to global warming/climate change. In fact I think it's a terrible distraction.

          I mentioned the Superman mythos because, in the case of Krypton, their advanced society could have done it to escape an exploding sun which was their only choice.

          Our sun is not exploding. We are adversely affecting an ecosystem which makes life possible for us and for millions, if not billions of other species. In our case, we need to concentrate on what is going on here on Earth. Space travel is a distraction that cannot save us and many other of Earth's inhabitants. It elevates technology to a deus ex machina which will somehow help us adapt to a catastrophic situation.

          Indeed the idea that mankind can adapt to the coming climate change is a theme touted on PBS's NOVA which is sponsored by David H. Koch. If people allow themselves to be lulled by this idea, then mankind truly is doomed.

          "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

          by Lily O Lady on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 02:09:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Outstanding. Social and technical solutions exist. (13+ / 0-)

    We can't allow the Kochs, the Murdochs and all of their employees and stooges to make us lose hope for social and technological solutions that can make us happier and healthier. Our present level of wealth disparity is bad for the economy, the environment and our health and happiness.

    The Arab spring is one of many hopeful signs that people can rise up to make for a better society and a healthier planet. However, success will not be achieved without continuous effort.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:28:47 AM PDT

  •  why do you assume everyone is in this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, G2geek, Shockwave

    "double bind"?  

    Die with your boots on. If you're gonna try, well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

    by Cedwyn on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:30:55 AM PDT

    •  You have the solution -- (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, Shockwave, shaharazade, stevej, elengul

      and are going to bring it to us all by yourself?

      "A people who know how to organize the accumulation of wealth and its reproduction in the interest of the whole of society, no longer need to be governed." -- Peter Kropotkin

      by Cassiodorus on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:34:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i'm just responding to what you said (6+ / 0-)
        Pessimism, then, leads to denial, which forms the double bind.  I think that it's safe to say that once world society can break the psychological double bind
        why do you presume everyone is in this double bind?  there is no shortage of solutions; the problem is in implementing them on a large scale.  the easiest solution, of course, is to stop deforestation and legalizing hemp.

        Die with your boots on. If you're gonna try, well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

        by Cedwyn on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:42:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They're not really solutions -- (12+ / 0-)

          if you can't implement them on a large scale, are they?

          And if we "stop deforestation and legalize hemp" while continuing to burn Earth's fossil-fuel reserves at the rate of 85 million bbls. per day of crude oil and an equal carbon-equivalent of coal, to the effect of increasing the terrestrial atmospheric CO2 component by 2.3 ppm/ year, that's no solution at all.

          "A people who know how to organize the accumulation of wealth and its reproduction in the interest of the whole of society, no longer need to be governed." -- Peter Kropotkin

          by Cassiodorus on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:47:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Your quote doesn't say everyone ... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassiodorus, elengul, AoT, too many people

          ... is in the double blind, it says that society must break free of it. Society is not just some "average" of the individuals that make it up, it is the regular patterns of behavior, the institutions that they form, and that reproduce those regular patterns of behavior.

          For a problem that cannot be solved at an individual level, but can be solved at a social level, then it is society that must break free.

          If all individuals where trapped in the double blind, then there would be no hope, because there would be nobody to work on breaking society free.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:45:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'll see you Chomsky and raise you a Diamond: (26+ / 0-)

    From an interview PBS Newshour interview excerpted in
    The Deciders Must Suffer

    Diamond:

        There are elements in American Society that are resistant to making basic changes our [energy and environmental policies] ; there are other elements that are willing to explore changes.

    Solman:

        Of all the cultures that you have studied that have tried to deal with severe economic dislocations, what’s the marker of resiliency?

    Diamond:

        ...One of the predictors of a happy versus an unhappy outcome has to do with the role of the elite, or the decision-makers or the politicians or the rich people in the society. If the society is structured so that the decision-makers themselves suffer from the consequences of their decisions then they are motivated to make decisions that are good for the whole society. Whereas, if the decision-makers can make decisions that insulate them from the rest of society then they are likely to make decisions that are bad for the rest of society.

    Diamond notes that in New Orleans, for example, the rich lived on higher ground, so the relatively small amount of money it would have taken to prevent the flood was not spent. Compare that to the flood control system in the Netherlands, a wonder of the modern world, where the rich along with everybody else are at risk from catastrophic flooding.

    And as to the issue of our current economic dislocation, Solmon suggests that the rich are also currently suffering, Diamond responds that "I would like to see the rich suffer even more and the politicians even more."
    Solman:

        Because it would be good for us?

    Diamond

        Yes, because they would then be motivated to solve all of our problems and they wouldn’t have the sense that ‘It’ll be okay for us.’

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:31:24 AM PDT

  •  Sorry, but I think this is exactly the wrong way (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, jessical, Cedwyn, Aquarius40

    to be thinking about this:

    Oh, sure, the ACA may save a few lives if upheld, based on the supposition that the insurance companies will cooperate with the law and actually grant people CARE rather than just mere "coverage."  This, in turn, is based on the assumptions that health insurance in 2014 under the ACA won't be too expensive and won't meet up with (possibly illegal, but unenforced) insurer failures to pay and won't be priced out of the patient's ability to pay with prohibitive copays and deductibles.  But the ACA "solution" as such will at best be trivial compared with the health care nightmare which global warming will bring to the world.
    First things first.  It makes a great deal of difference to those "few" people who will actually die now or in the near future without access to health care. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't suggest that we should stop trying to find cures for disease, feed hungry children in Africa, stop the spread of AIDS, or a host of other things that make the lives of the people who are here on this planet right now a little bit better, just because if we continue on our present path sometime in the future we may make ourselves extinct. The sun is going to burn out someday, too, and that will be the end of life on this planet right there anyway.

    And did it ever occur to you that the people who are helped by the ACA just might through voting help us move toward electing a Congress that will actually start doing something about global warming?

    •  The sun will burn out someday -- (8+ / 0-)

      in a billion years.  The timetable for global warming isn't like that at all.  Please watch the movie embedded in this diary.

      And did it ever occur to you that the people who are helped by the ACA just might through voting help us move toward electing a Congress that will actually start doing something about global warming?
      A political system driven by money is going to produce a bunch of post-capitalist politicians who will phase out fossil fuel extraction?

      Here's my problem.  Why do you write stuff like this if neither you nor I believes it?

      "A people who know how to organize the accumulation of wealth and its reproduction in the interest of the whole of society, no longer need to be governed." -- Peter Kropotkin

      by Cassiodorus on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:52:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't believe it, but I do (4+ / 0-)

        I haven't given up, while you seem to have. I think that's really harmful, because when people like you give up, it makes it harder to actually move forward. You're helping to fulfill your own prophesy of doom by your own attitude.

        What difference does it make to any of us living right now whether the earth will end in billion years or in only 150? None. Nada. Zilch. We'll all be dead then anyway in both cases.

        All we can do, each one of us, is try to do the best we can right now to move toward positive goals.

      •  Even though I liked the diary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aquarius40, AoT

        ..I share elmo's twitch on this one.  Because people who have no commonweal are unlikely to form alternative forms of social structure.  If your model is eat or be eaten, then when the dusty cans of radioactive tuna run out, your fellows start to look mighty tasty.  Cooperation begets cooperation, and big disaster scenarios beget panic and cruelty, for the most part.

        I don't think we're going to avoid the brunt of global warming (or the myriad things that come with it).  And we have no freaking idea, really, how an extinction level event at this scale and rate is going to go down.  Ending fossil fuel dependence would be the way to go, but as a society I suspect we are going to double down on it while also pursuing alternatives, largely as a function of cost.  I suspect that our carrying capacity will be in the billions...but they will be different billions, differently distributed.  

        Anyway, I think elmo's reaction was to dragging apples and oranges together.  Mine was.  I think we should hold together both our short term good and our slightly longer term good and consider them both important, in different ways and as participants in different (contradictory to some degree) systems.

        I was at TESC when this talk was given, interestingly enough.  A couple of my classmates made it, but I had too much homework to even consider it.

        ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

        by jessical on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 07:57:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Please see my last diary (3+ / 0-)
          Because people who have no commonweal are unlikely to form alternative forms of social structure.
          the one about Rebecca Solnit, who does some prying into disaster relief operations and especially into Common Ground in New Orleans.  Because frankly I beg to differ.  Everyone is likely to form alternative forms of social structure, under the right circumstances.

          "A people who know how to organize the accumulation of wealth and its reproduction in the interest of the whole of society, no longer need to be governed." -- Peter Kropotkin

          by Cassiodorus on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:35:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Absolutely. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jessical, too many people

            However those social structures formed after NOLA was underwater, and they had a lot of structural assistance from the whole nation, which was not underwater. It's like a state wants Federal disaster assistance. Yeah, but what if every state wants it?

            I don't see anything happening until we reach the self-immolation point on a mass scale.

            People wish to be settled, only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. - Emerson

            by CarbonFiberBoy on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:12:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I liked her book (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cassiodorus

            ...indeed, she is one of my favorite essayists.  My model for such things is the siege of Leningrad, and surely you can't point to 1930s Soviet life as a model for care and cooperation before the event.  

            Still, I think the present counts.  Why must one thing be important and the other so much fluff?  I frankly don't get why you must denigrate one thing to value another.  It is the only thing in your diary I felt had a false note, and I told you here not because it made me dislike the diary, but but because -- for this reader -- it detracted.  I care a lot about both the now and the later.  

            ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

            by jessical on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 11:11:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The ACA? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jessical

              I fully expect one of two scenarios:

              1) The insurance companies will refuse to pay up, massively, and be slapped on the wrist with a penalty which will fully justify the refusal.

              2) The insurance companies will threaten to get out of the business unless and until the law is gutted.

              At any rate, all of my points are fully explained in the diary.

              "A people who know how to organize the accumulation of wealth and its reproduction in the interest of the whole of society, no longer need to be governed." -- Peter Kropotkin

              by Cassiodorus on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 11:20:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Slow incremental action is not enough (16+ / 0-)

      The climate crisis is developing now. Once the polar sea ice melts, the drop in earth's reflectivity (albedo) will cause every increment of warming to go much faster.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 07:02:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One paradigm for this (7+ / 0-)

        is reflected in our landscape choices. We persist in fighting nature with simplified, chemical soaked, fossil fueled, carbon-emitting landscapes based on non native and  maladapted plants that require great deal of water and continual management to fight off the vacuum that nature abhors. The turf based landscape system uses over twice the fossil fuels used by passenger rail in the US. It would be simple, and even saving money over the long term to replace these landscapes with locally indigenous species and a few non-invasive ornamentals, yet the juggernaut of fossil fueled landscapes rolls on, aided by the goal of creating something requiring massive inputs of resources on a recurring basis provided by corporate America, the wet dream of an economy built on waste.

        Replacing most of these landscapes with natives, which act as massive carbon sinks, should be a no brainer.

        Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

        by NoMoreLies on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:21:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the earth will begin to bake (0+ / 0-)

        the caps are earth air conditioning.

        Bad is never good until worse happens

        by dark daze on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:27:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah. I rather think that the tipping point (3+ / 0-)

        has already passed, based on the fact that even the most pessimistic predictions were not sufficiently pessimistic. I had no idea the the Atlantic Coast sea level rise was associated with the deceleration of the Gulf Stream -water just piling up as the water ahead of it stops. This is really in the not-good category. It's accelerating faster than it was supposed to.

        People wish to be settled, only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. - Emerson

        by CarbonFiberBoy on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:14:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good. (4+ / 0-)

    Now I don't feel nearly as alone.

  •  Why are you worried? Turbo-Jesus will... (4+ / 0-)

    beam up all the good right wing voters to heaven before it becomes a problem.

    /I really wish this was snark.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 07:35:25 AM PDT

  •  There is still this illusion that humans are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CarbonFiberBoy, solozen

    actually in control of the system.  We know this is not true nor has it been for a long time.  Our minds/brains are evolved parts of a greater system.  They serve it very well.  You are asking for those minds/brains to do otherwise and that seems a bit unrealistic.  As we move towards globalization more and more the system will become even more dominant.  What our minds/brains produce will help it grow to the end.  Enjoy the ride.  This is not pessimism it is realism based on the acknowledgement that humans are very very arrogant about their ability to do things.

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 07:35:46 AM PDT

    •  It may as well be pessimism (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      don mikulecky

      And going along for the ride isn't a very good option for those of us who are going to be seriously affected by this.  As in the millions if not billions who will likely die.  I'm going to guess that you're old enough that this is all academic to you.

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

      by AoT on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:19:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Academic? I fought my whole life to get (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chipmo, CarbonFiberBoy

        people to listen.  I have learned what I now know.  I wish it were different.  I have kids and grandkids and they are going to suffer.  They also live like nothing is wrong.  It may be "academic" to them.  Not to me.

        An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

        by don mikulecky on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:30:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Telling people to "enjoy the ride" (0+ / 0-)

          comes off as terribly condescending and frankly offensive when the people you're telling may well die because of that ride.

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

          by AoT on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:11:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  we are the cause of the problem (5+ / 0-)

      I dont have to be in control of a system to fuck it up. I just have to be able to toss a monkey wrench into it.

      Humans ARE the virus that is making this planet sick.

      Bad is never good until worse happens

      by dark daze on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:29:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My mission here -- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      don mikulecky, too many people

      was to identify the problem.  I think I've at least helped.

      "A people who know how to organize the accumulation of wealth and its reproduction in the interest of the whole of society, no longer need to be governed." -- Peter Kropotkin

      by Cassiodorus on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:36:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. I look at it evolutionarily. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      don mikulecky

      A species tends to evolve in one direction, both physically and culturally. Negative inputs increase specialization, not decrease. As the niche gets smaller, the species becomes even more efficient in exploiting it. We can see this happening all around us. Then the niche disappears and the species or cultural adaptation with it.

      People wish to be settled, only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. - Emerson

      by CarbonFiberBoy on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:18:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good post. (0+ / 0-)

    Capitalism's end may come with the destruction of the eco-system.  It seems we will far down that road before any revolt will occur.  And it may not.

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 07:46:40 AM PDT

  •  so we're doomed. Let's take the fossil fuel (4+ / 0-)

    companies down with us.

    I've been predicting for a while now that the clean energy battle is winnable, even if the climate war is not.

    Panelist, Netroots Nation 2012, "Coal and the Grassroots Fight for Environmental Justice." @RL_Miller

    by RLMiller on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 07:47:16 AM PDT

  •  Rio+20 failure of world's governments (4+ / 0-)

    great segment on democracynow.org on Monday

    i have been following this issue for decades

    in the 1960's my wife was having nightmares about ice melting and I could not rationally talk her out of the fears

    the segment was excellent and even for me, it scared the crap out of me

    David Suzuki's daughter at 12 years of age gave the best speech at the original Rio conference 20 years ago. David is an env activist in Canada

    Recommend watching this segmen

    David Suzuki on Rio+20, "Green Economy" & Why Planet’s Survival Requires Undoing Its Economic Model

    http://www.democracynow.org/...

    you can search democracynow web site and find from last week a video of his daughter who is also an env activist

  •  env + population + militarism will swamp everythin (4+ / 0-)

    seeing a grab by the 1%

    by the corporations

    and by those who are in extraction industries

    these issues will eventually swamp everything

    when will the change come?

    next year as the wild fires and seas rise?

    10 years?

    From the first to the second Rio conference, carbon emissions have gone up 45%

    what ever happened to the promise of progress?

    the disconnected politicians are hanging in there for their gigs as lobbyists - wait - they are in fact elected lobbyists  

  •  I consider myself a pessimist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nchristine, NoMoreLies

    but I don't consider myself as being in denial about AGW.
    Rather I consider my thoughts realistic.  There's no way
    something this complex can be turned around in the space
    of five or even ten years.  I think the Rio Summit illustrated it best; world governments are all over the place as far as any concerted effort to curb AGW.  Heck, we can't even get
    this country to concede there is global warming, even as the southwest is burning, the east is flooding and the midwest is undergoing increasing drought conditions.  I guess people like end of the world scenarios to be quick like a super volcano or a giant asteroid hitting the earth.  Thing is, this is
    quick in terms of ages of the earth; a mere couple hundreds of years and life as we know it will severely curtailed or maybe even extinguished.  And then maybe earth will start over.

    •  being middle aged (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies, too many people

      I figure in 40 years when Im likely to ready to check out, the worst of this will be beginning, and I may be lucky enough to not have to live through it.  For the kids being born today, I fear for what they may have to be up against.

      I've seen a major loss of freedom in just my short life time, I figure the next 40 will see a total loss of freedom, total domination of the corp state, and a failing eco system.

      I have said often to friends and family, I am really quite embarrassed to be part of this species.

      Bad is never good until worse happens

      by dark daze on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:36:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cheney's 1% Doctrine and Global Warming (5+ / 0-)
    So here is what I propose; if the 1% doctrine makes sense when it comes to nuclear weapons in the wrong hands, doesn't it apply also to global warming?
    These are my words back in 2006

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    If I had children I would be very worried for them.

    I have my own plan and maybe I'll have some progeny and I'll plan for it.  But it's coming.

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

    by Shockwave on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:09:15 AM PDT

  •  In about 2,000,000,000 years . . . (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, NoMoreLies, solozen, too many people

    the Sun will begin to run low of hydrogen for the giant fusion furnace that converts 2 atoms of hydrogen into an atom of helium + energy.

    At that point it will begin to expand to about the present orbit of Mars, the next planet out from the sun.  All life on earth will be destroyed.

    If humans haven't already launched exploratory probes into the cosmos, the species will perish.

    Stephen Hawking gives us 200 years to get off the planet, because he believes if we haven't done it by then, it is unlikely we will ever make the leap.

    So, yes, as a species we are just as doomed as the musicians on the Titanic . . .

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by bobdevo on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:15:20 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, but surviving one million years more (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobdevo

      would be a huge accomplishment for humans. If we have descendents still alive, say 10 million years from now, I doubt they will be something we would even consider human.

      There is only one planet suitable for human habitation in our solar system.

      by too many people on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 07:39:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed. If we can agree on the current (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        too many people

        Out of Africa theory that all humans alive today are descendants of a small group of women in East Africa about 120,000 years ago, then it's clear the entire history of humans as homo sapiens is maybe 200,000+ years . . . a millisecond in the history of the universe.

        I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by bobdevo on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 08:22:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  For communication to work you need a sender and a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChemBob, maryabein, too many people

    receiver. A large segment of our population on a planetary scale is not capable of listening because they are ignorant (religious fundamentalism being just one example of ignorance.) or in lust of the shiny objects of our capitalistic societies.

  •  Colorado is on fire... (12+ / 0-)

    In Denver yesterday, we had the second day of 105 degree whether.  In 138 years, 105 has happened only twice before and never in June.  Yet Monday and Tuesday both tied that record.  In Colorado Springs, the Waldo fire jumped two (!) fire lines and came down the ridge into the neighborhoods of west Colorado Springs.  It was spurred by near triple digit temperatures and 65 mph (!) wind gusts.  One simply cannot fight a fire under those conditions.  32,000 (yes, thousand) homes have been evacuated.

    I won't even go into the insane questions asked by the citizens of El Paso County at the press conference (including a women asking why the firefighters won't use the governmental 'weather control' satellites).

    You opened your diary by using a quote from Rebecca Solnit, which basically states that major crisis cause people to shift their thinking and drop their internal social structures.  But I would propose that this is only true if the populace is capable of 'thinking'.  I do not hold out hope that at least half of the US population has this capability.  Hell, the Texas GOP has declared war on thinking in their platform.  I don't know if the species is doomed, but I'm 99% sure that this country is.  Obama came into office and did just enough from keeping the ship of state from sinking.  Right now the pumps are working just enough from keeping the ballast from flooding.  I hold out little hope that the hole will be prepared and we will be able to sail off.

    Good diary.  Recommended.

    'Osama Bin Ladien is still dead and GM is still alive' - Joe Biden "Dems kill terrorist. The GOP keeps them around as a boogeyman - so they can continue to steel."

    by RichM on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:20:15 AM PDT

    •  Actually I quoted from my diary about Solnit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RichM

      To get to a quote from Solnit, you can read my earlier diary!

      (hee hee!  Self-promo!!)

      Thank you for reading and recommending!

      "A people who know how to organize the accumulation of wealth and its reproduction in the interest of the whole of society, no longer need to be governed." -- Peter Kropotkin

      by Cassiodorus on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:40:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think you hit it on the head. (4+ / 0-)

      I also believe that a major part of the population is not capable of thinking.  There are places in the world where I can understand this to some extent.  Massive poverty and lack of education almost prevent that level of understanding.  But here in the "greatest nation on earth" as well as other industrialized nations, there is absolutely not excuse.  Yet I run into this every day. If it isn't climate change, it's something else.  A complete inability of critical thinking.  Denial that is almost religious in zeal.  Yet the attacks on science continue, if not intensify, on a daily basis.  And I'm talking about my peers (engineers), supposedly educated people.  I just saw a headline on "Yahoo news" yesterday that was horrible but not shocking under current circumstances.  I haven't had time to validate the content completely, but the article stated that some christian schools in Louisiana (that now receive state funding under some type of school of choice program) are teaching that the existence of the Loch Ness Monster is proof that evolution is not real.  Seriously.  A mythological creature being used to validate other myths.  Granted these are younger children, so they will have time to learn, but how many of these kids will never totally escape this handicap?  And we expect people like this to suddently jump on the science bandwagon and change their lives to avert evironmental disaster?  They are waiting for some kind of apocolypse anyway.  I don't want to put all the blame on religious people, as there are plenty of non-religious (or at least non-zealous) people who are just as ignorant, but it does, at times, seem hopeless.

  •  I think the Chomsky (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, AoT, NoMoreLies

    quote undermines your assertion that individual action doesn't matter.  I tend to side with Beach Babe on this, individual action is all that really matters.

    Individual action has to take multiple forms, US consumers, consuming close to 25% of the world's resources, can have a huge effect on the need to extract grease, just by deciding to consume less, more efficiently and in more green manners.  As Chomsky said, forget pessimism.  As Yoda said,  Do or not do. There is no try.  We would have some short term deleterious effects on the global economy in consumer goods, but long term positive effects.

    As for social action, social action is merely a bunch of individuals deciding to unite.   Still individual action is at the heart of it.  There will be no individual action if we give in to pessimism, and no social action if we don't remind people that means them.

    And yes, we are probably doomed, but we don't know for sure.   And that doubt needs to become hope.    And hope isn't social, it is in each individual.  What we need to do is share our hope.

    •  exactly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfromga, tonyahky

      the chomsky quote is quite the opposite of this diary's message.

      Die with your boots on. If you're gonna try, well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

      by Cedwyn on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:35:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you allow people to choose then you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies

      run the risk of their making a bad or wrong choice. When you get to a certain level and the survival of millions of people is on the line can you afford to allow people to choose to save or destroy the environment?

      Capitalism has no answer for the climate issue. There is no market based solution. If there was one we would have had it by now. If the oil companies could see the long term benefit of the inevitable collapse of the fossil fuel market and the creation of a new market for a new kind of energy they would be investing heavily in a crash research program. They have not and seem inclined not to bother.

      Just look at the decisions made by individual bankers in the run up to the financial collapse. Their choices were made based on their bonus criteria, not for what was in the best interest of the bank or the stockholders. All they cared about was maximizing their paychecks. Its the same with all these other corporations.

      •  I am still a democrat (0+ / 0-)

        people should be allowed to choose.   There are a handfull of bankers and billions of others.

        Maybe what we need to do is start choosing instead of sitting back, billions who deserve to survive as much as any group of bankers, need to act.

        Why trade one authoritarian system for another?  If we can not govern ourselves and reach reasonable decisions to save ourselves, maybe we don't deserve to be the top predator in nature any more.

    •  "It's all individual action" (0+ / 0-)

      but nobody is going to solve the problem all by their lonesomes.

      To be more specific: if the rich consumed a bit less, the slack would be taken up by those great masses of people who want to be rich and who will discover that, lo and behold, gasoline and coal-electricity are now cheaper because the rich are consuming a bit less.  You aren't going to do anything at all about the problem if that's all you've got.

      "A people who know how to organize the accumulation of wealth and its reproduction in the interest of the whole of society, no longer need to be governed." -- Peter Kropotkin

      by Cassiodorus on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:05:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and no one said individuals shouldn't organize (0+ / 0-)

        to lend millions of voices to the cause.   But they count as individuals and an organized action starts with individuals, and social policy and political policy all move because sufficient numbers of people make the movement happen.

        And it starts with changing the mind of the individual.  Forced austerity,  outlawing things people really like and want, they don't work well, it won't start the mass movement we need.    

        If you want to believe in some deus ex machina solution outside the beliefs of people, ie, individuals, suddenly changing the course of history, ok?  But where is this god and power to come from if not from people?

  •  The existential problem... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaughingPlanet, NoMoreLies

    ...of a search for meaning in a doom scenario seems unresolvable at first.

    While it's obvious that we need to hang on as long as we can in the hopes that our human ingenuity will figure out ways to ride the storm, we also need to invest significant thought and energy into informational and genetic panspermia.

    Seed the universe with DNA, and broadcast information about the greenhouse effect and its role in the fate of our species in as many media as possible.

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

    by WarrenS on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:34:44 AM PDT

  •  I have a problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus, Frank Knarf

    with "we're doomed" diaries that appear in this venue, even well-informed, well-sourced ones (and I could name certain diarists, in particular, as culprits--ahem--but I won't :)

    Some diaries, even some very sophisticated and well-informed ones, aren't "objective," but peddle a certain ideology, that of doom.

    Yes, we are facing a scary, dangerous world situation. No, hysterical predictions won't help.

    Thanks for the diary. I greatly appreciated the Chomsky quote at the end.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:36:47 AM PDT

    •  Well.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassiodorus, karmsy

      The fact is we are doomed, if we don't realize that "doom" is on the menu.

      Two things are required:

      1) Recognizing that we could very well be doomed is essential to wake up a complacent population.

      2) Recognizing we could do something about our prospects is necessary, as well.

      Those who don't want to discuss the possibility of doom because such talk leads to defeatism are as much a problem as those who throw up their hands and quit.

      We need to talk about doom. We need to also take action to deal with it.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act". -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:19:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see your point clearly (0+ / 0-)

        but I just can't agree with this:

        Those who don't want to discuss the possibility of doom because such talk leads to defeatism are as much a problem as those who throw up their hands and quit.
        You and I differ, in that I see defeatism, potentially inspired by "gloom and doom" talk, as a bigger threat than denial, when it comes to hindrances to our ability to address our world situation well.

        It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

        by karmsy on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:47:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So... (0+ / 0-)

          The scientists are wrong about the predicted affects of global warming?

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act". -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:19:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not saying that, at all. (0+ / 0-)

            I believe we need to believe what science is telling us. It's serious.  

            But, please, let's do it without predicting specific possible future scenarios. These often don't pan out, anyway (see my comment below).

            It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

            by karmsy on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:55:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The data coming in for the last few years (0+ / 0-)

              is ten times worse that the computer models once predicted.

              We do know that the outcome is likely going to be catastrophic is nothing is done. The smart thing to do is deal with it.

              It is because of ho-hum attitudes like yours that some people are predicting little will be done in time to curtail the worst affects.

              Thus, the doomsayers may well be right.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act". -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 03:04:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  The energy crisis in the 70's was the call to get (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karmsy, soarbird, NoMoreLies, AoT

      our asses in gear.

      Instead, we got the opposite from those in power.  For decades.

      Ain't none of them bastards going to do anything they ain't paid to do.  And doing the right thing by the environment don't pay shit.

      The Koch Bros and their ilk truly have doomed us all.

      Would that Obama had a real spine, had courage to tell them all to fuck off and lead this nation on something like an Apollo Project.  But that Obama does not exist and never has.

      No one is going to lead on this.  No one is going to do anything, until it is too far gone to do anything about it except scrabble to survive.

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

      by The Dead Man on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:09:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, that's one perspective, all right. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Frank Knarf

        Maybe you're exactly right, unfortunately. Maybe every last grim future scenario you've described, will pan out. But I will say this. No idea how old you are, but I'm past 40 :) In my long life, I have seen several different possible scenarios for the End of the World come and go. I was hearing all about the Communist Menace when I was a child and the Cold War was raging. Well, the Communist Menace didn't turn us all red. Instead, as we couldn't have fathomed would happen in the 70s, history was to veer away from that, decisively. Later, as an adult, I heard for years all about Y2K. But, Y2K didn't kill us off. We're still here, much as other countries who didn't spend all the money on "remediation" that we did. Likewise, AIDS has been a very serious world problem, but definitely not what we thought it was going to be, oh, in 1989.

        My point is, while we would do well to take known trends seriously, project them into the future, and work to shape them, predictions are often folly. There are just too many variables in history to make accurate ones. There are always and forever surprises in how things actually shape up, things we could not possibly have foreseen. That's why I hear of people getting invested in possible future scenarios, becoming really hysterical about them, and I want to scream.

        It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

        by karmsy on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:53:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The major difference being that (0+ / 0-)

          The effects of global warming have already been far worse than any early prediction.  All those things were pointed to in the early, early stages and turned into crazy outlandish predictions.  The acidification of the oceans and other ongoing effects of climate change are very real and without a real course change will cause the death of millions, if not billions.  The way you present it make it seems like it's just another problem, which it isn't.

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

          by AoT on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:28:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So, don't tell me it's serious. Just don't drive. (0+ / 0-)

            Take public transportation everywhere, or ride your bike. Buy locally produced food. Find ways to remind other people you come into contact with, of the incredible cost to the environment of fossil fuels and combustion engines--a cost which is not in any dispute. Whatsoever. Do what you can to promote simpler lifestyles, with less consumption. I'll support you every step of the way.

            It still won't be enough. Whatever you do, personally, won't be enough, to stem the awful tide of environmental devastation in our lifetimes. We live with that, all the time, all of us. How do we not give into despair?

            One way we fight despair, is by not giving credence to these trendy predictions of "utter doom." We can't know the future. If anyone sounds certain about the future, they're stupid, dishonest, or both. Frightful stories about what's SUPPOSED to happen--and I've heard plenty of those that didn't pan out, believe me--do nothing but promote defeatism and passivity.

            We can, as I've said, take known trends future, and work to shape them. We can do that, and live our lives.

            It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

            by karmsy on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:17:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ooops--sorry! (0+ / 0-)

              Last paragraph: "...take known trends SERIOUSLY..." NOT "...take known trends future..."

              It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

              by karmsy on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:20:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I haven't owned a car for more than ten years (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              karmsy

              I've been a vegetarian for almost as long and a vegan for more than a year.  I take every chance I can to encourage and inspire others to do the same.

              It still won't be enough. Whatever you do, personally, won't be enough, to stem the awful tide of environmental devastation in our lifetimes. We live with that, all the time, all of us. How do we not give into despair?
              Relying on the political system has done absolutely nothing.  What I personally do may not be enough but I know that I'm not the only one.  I know that I am part of a rising tide that will crush the systemic attack on people and the earth that is global warming.  I know this because there is no other choice.  I know this because I will not sit by and watch millions die.  Even if it means doing things that I can't advocate for here on DailyKos, I know that there are people organizing and mobilizing now to do those things.  In the words of Churchill:
              Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
              This isn't a game and it isn't a political issue, it's a fight for the future of the human race in a way that has never happened before.  And I'm perfectly well aware of what's at stake and what we have to do.  And unless and until we are honest about what has to happen if we are going to avert global catastrophe then we will get nowhere.

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

              by AoT on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:31:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  When Hilton Head and Long Island et al (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CarbonFiberBoy

    Are under water, and those Venusian laden second homes are inundated with brine; well then....

    Till then, keep breathing and stay aware-

    Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

    by RF on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:42:05 AM PDT

  •  We really need to get moving if we want to get (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus, CarbonFiberBoy

    more than 2C by 2100.

    Look at TLT:

    http://www.ssmi.com/...

    David Roberts, Staff Writer

    David was born and raised in the South. A revelatory summer working in Yellowstone National Park convinced him that it was not the world but just the part where he lived that sucked, so he moved out West. After several wayward years spent snowboarding and getting an MA in philosophy (go griz), he woke up with nothing but a dissertation between him and an arid, cloistered life spent debating minutiae with the world’s other 12 Dewey scholars. So he bailed. A period was spent trudging through the swamp of Seattle tech work, wading past Amazon.com, IMDb.com, and Microsoft, before the fine folks at Grist fell for his devastating good looks in December 2003.

    He now spends his free time playing in his new house with his newish sons and his not-so-new but still-wonderful wife. He loves them, loves Seattle, loves Grist, and still, despite himself, loves the internet.

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:53:38 AM PDT

  •  Seeing the President approve the Keystone XL (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus, NoMoreLies

    Pipeline, the southern part, was disappointing, given what scientist have said about the dangers of the pipeline, and what extracting that carbon will mean to the climate overall. I think it was called something kin to the last nail in the coffin.

    http://www.democracynow.org/...

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:56:56 AM PDT

    •  The future is worth a few hundred temporary jobs (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassiodorus, greenbastard, NoMoreLies

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

      by The Dead Man on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:04:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This pipeline's existence (0+ / 0-)

      or non-existence unfortunately has nothing to do with whether that carbon will wind up in our atmosphere. That's a given. The only difference is who gets to name the next SCOTUS judge(s). Which may have a greater significance than just another rock on the beach.

      People wish to be settled, only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. - Emerson

      by CarbonFiberBoy on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:26:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't get to affect those either. (4+ / 0-)

        See e.g. Priceman's diary of back in January.  Whichever administration gets into office in 2013 is going to have to justify a good number of acts of dubious legality across the spectrum.  And there will have to be appropriately biased Justices to carry out that justification.

        The other great irony is that none of the Justices cited as being "the Republicans' fault" (Alito, Roberts, Scalia, Thomas) would in fact be there without significant Democratic capitulation.  So the SCOTUS threat is as much about what the Democrats as well as the Republicans will do.  In the final analysis practically nobody in Congress or the White House is on our side.

        "A people who know how to organize the accumulation of wealth and its reproduction in the interest of the whole of society, no longer need to be governed." -- Peter Kropotkin

        by Cassiodorus on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:35:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's more about what the voters (0+ / 0-)

          do and what we do to energize those voters. Pretty hard to be an energetic progressive voice in Congress when the voters back home don't like it. It really is bottom up. This is the one teeny point in this diary and comments where each of us can do something that will make a significant, though quite small, difference.

          Switching to alternative energy and cutting back on coal has been a priority and it's happening, now. If we can change campaign finance law, there's a chance we can do more of that.

          I hope the Dems have figured out now that it's Total War. It's been a very long time in this country since we've had that. Rather blind-sided a lot of people, including our President.

          People wish to be settled, only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. - Emerson

          by CarbonFiberBoy on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:54:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You touch on the only solution briefly (5+ / 0-)
    The most important of these priorities is what I've been calling capitalist discipline.  Capitalist discipline is what motivates us to pursue "careers," to work for "wages" or "salaries," and to obey the fundamental dictates of the capitalist system and the governments that keep it in place.
    It needs to be developed further. Capitalism as a mode of economic organization must end. It is the only solution. We are roaring through our finite resources because everyone is making commodities that nobody needs in order to receive some sort of pittance of currency which can be exchanged for food and shelter & all of the wealth derived from these resources goes into the bank accounts of 0.1% of the world population instead of, say, scientific research... It is the most absurdly wasteful [not to mention unjust] system one could possibly imagine. Even putting aside global warming for a second, that system in and of itself is leading us to a global dark age within the next 50 years because we will no longer have the food and water resources left to sustain the global population. Compound that with the effects of global warming & yes, we are facing human extinction.

    I've laughed at the mainstream liberal green movement for years because it is completely unable to grasp this underlying fact & frames all of its 'solutions' squarely within the capitalist bubble.

  •  St. Pierre is instructive for BAU/wishful thinking (6+ / 0-)

    People in St. Pierre and the local authorities didn't react properly to the impending catastrophe because the danger for the city was at that time unknown in Martinique. There were no vulcanologists on the island, and for the residents the only point of reference was the previous eruption of 1851-1852. It was a phreatic eruption which blasted steam and ash, but did not cause any damages.

    Facing the course of the events, with growing concerns for the safety of St. Pierre, the governor appointed a "Volcano Commission" with the most qualified specialists on the island : doctors, pharmacists, science teachers... The first meeting was scheduled in St. Pierre on the evening of May 7th, and the conclusions of the "Volcano Commission" published early on the morning of May 8th, can be seen today as a tragic mistake :

        "The commission, responsible for the study of the Mount Pelée's volcanic phenomena met yesterday evening, May 7th, under the chair of the Governor. After a careful analysis of the facts, the commission declares that:
        1°All the phenomena which have occurred so far are normal, and are commonly observed on all volcanoes around the world;
        2°Since the craters of the volcano are wide open, the expansion of the vapors will continue with no earthquake or rock projection;
        3°According to the location of the craters and the position of the valleys leading to the sea, the City of St. Pierre is perfectly safe.

    Of course, some people were afraid of the powerful phenomena which took place between April and May 7th 1902. In fact some families moved away from the volcano, but those voluntary evacuations were quite limited. The travel records in the early morning of May 8th - a religious holiday-- shows that there were more people traveling to St. Pierre than people leaving the city !... The story of Captain Leboffe of the Italian bark Orsolina (reported by Kennan for instance) tends to prove that the population of St. Pierre would have been saved if they had some knowledge about explosive volcanoes. The Italian captain was a native of Naples, and was quite familiar with the Vesuvius volcano. He hastily left the harbor of St. Pierre on May 7th, without his custom clearance, warning that "if Vesuvius looked like Mt. Pelee did, Naples would have been evacuated"..

    .All the members of the "Volcano Commission" who participated in the meeting on May 7th, died in the eruption the next day, including the Governor and his wife.

    http://www.mount-pelee.com/...

    The difference is that this time we've got more than enough vulcanologists, so to speak. . .

  •  We're Doomed But It's a Beautiful Day Today (5+ / 0-)

    That's my attitude.  After all, none of us is getting out of here alive, ultimately.

    Don't forget another finding of Rebecca Solnit's, "elite panic."  During disasters, elites tend to panic, thinking that the proles will loot and riot when, usually, what the people do is take care of each other.  Elite panic in terms of climate change may result in blaming the enviros when the reality becomes undeniable.

    If you want to do something immediate to slow climate change, the best bet is probably replacing three stone cooking with more efficient cookers (and reducing the consumption of meat).  Short term climate forcers like black carbon from such "primitive" cooking have an effect on local conditions, human health, and agricultural productivity.  More at http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Lots can be done but it ain't gonna happen at the political level, nationally or internationally.  It's gonna happen locally and regionally, individually and collectively.  Do enough of that and we can push the politicians, eventually.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

    by gmoke on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:22:55 AM PDT

  •  This makes me think of the film Melancholia (3+ / 0-)

    The protagonist in the film has an intuitive realization that the planet, Melancholia, is indeed going to strike the earth, despite calculations by scientists.

    Everyone else thinks it won't happen.

    In the end, she becomes, in the last few moments of the film, a sage-like woman who calmly handles the last moments of life.

    But leading up toe the moment of crisis, she appears to be hopelessly depressed and irrational.

    But the end makes her gloomy state of mind seem rational, and the denial of everyone else seem irrational. She becomes the wise one.

    The film can be viewed from many different perspectives. Not much agreement on what it means. I loved it.

    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act". -George Orwell

    by ZhenRen on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:29:26 AM PDT

  •  Picked up a very good video game (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus, the fan man

    a few months back called Fate of the World. The premise is that you, as global all-powerful dictator- have all these policy tools at your disposal, and have to manage the coming coincident crises without having the economy collapse or total environmental mayhem. Extremely hard but instructive.

    We already have death panels. They're called insurance companies.

    by aztecraingod on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:45:37 AM PDT

  •  thanks (3+ / 0-)

    great discussion and analysis.  

    very well done, Cassiodorus.


    Maybe "survivalists" got it right,

    by sheer accident, instead of by insight and intellect?


    I hear bunkers in Alaska are still cheap ...


    Hmmm?    Maybe we can send Congress there.  

    Perhaps wake them up on that oozing methane-laden tundra?


    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:50:04 AM PDT

  •  Humanity is chosing to self-extinct. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soarbird

    Which is rather a shame as we did have some potential to be great.

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

    by The Dead Man on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:59:58 AM PDT

    •  Humanity isn't chosing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies, AoT, Cassiodorus

      anything at this point, humans are just fodder for the greedy bastards that run the place. I guess I'm more optimistic about humans. I figure they have the capacity and power to change and organize themselves into social systems that work not only with nature but for their common good. Our current global disaster capitalist NWO isn't inevitable.

      The so called world leaders/overlords are not only stupid brutish and inhumane they are so short sighted that they cannot grasp cause and effect. They are the dinosaurs and they are too big not to fail. People can and do adapt and create realities that work for their communities and figure out how to live with nature that sustains them. So called civilization as we know it isn't civilized it's hell on earth.      

  •  Just another incidental "sign of times" (4+ / 0-)

    in which we obviously tread ...


    Galapagos giant tortoise Lonesome George dies after not so lonely life

    by Sara Miller Llana, Staff writer, csmonitor.com  -- June 25, 2012

    The only remaining Pinta Island giant tortoise – believed to be the last of his speciesLonesome George passed away on Sunday. No one knew his exact age but he is believed to be about 100 years old.
    [...]

    Lonesome George was an icon of the Galapagos and a symbol of the urgent need to conserve nature, and scientists had tried everything -- I mean everything -- to get Lonesome George to mate and keep the subspecies alive. Our tour guide, a local woman, had a side job for a while trying to get Lonesome George “interested” in mating. Two females were brought into his enclosure too, and Melanie had the rare opportunity to see them mating (though those eggs never hatched).
    [...]

    And while George may have been lonesome for being the last of his kind, with his potential mates, and scientists, journalists, and the public endeared to him, he lived a full life.


    Loss of top predators can multiply extinction risks as planet warms

    ANI, newstrackindia.com -- 22 Jun 2012

    [...]
    According to Phoebe Zarnetske, the [Yale] study's primary author and a postdoctoral fellow at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, most [Global warming] models predicting the effects of climate change treat species separately and focus only on climatic and environmental drivers.

    "But we know that species don't exist in a vacuum. They interact with each other in ways that deeply affect their viability," Zarnetske explained.
    [...]

    Using the single-species, or "climate envelope," approach, researchers have predicted that 15 percent to 37 percent of species will be faced with extinction by 2050.

    But research has shown that top consumers -- predators and herbivores -- have an especially strong effect on many other species. In a warming world, these species are "biotic multipliers," increasing the extinction risk and altering the ranges of many other species in the food web.
    [...]



    Welcome to the Future, "top consumers."


    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:00:14 AM PDT

  •  Captialism won and humanity is about to lose (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade

    Communism was an attempt to actually design a society and an economy. It turns out that they, the Communists, were not very good at it in creating either a good society or a good economy or being environmentally responsible. However, that doesn't change the fact that we humans had better get good at it, that is being willful about the design of the economy, or we will certainly perish. Chaotic Capitalism works well to develop wealth in a frontier society, and by this I mean frontier from the standpoint of geography or technology. Once the frontier is conquered then we have to actually deal with the reality of what we have created as a society and an economy. The easy part of Capitalism is that it is chaotic and can work with totally disparate societies, and beliefs. In the end we will have to have a core set of common beliefs that work to create a functioning, ecologically harmonious civilization. I have no idea of how we transform the current mess into something that works, given that greed and arbitrary belief structures are firmly embedded.

  •  Don't know about you, but I got my future planned: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tronman5000

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

    by the fan man on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:06:44 AM PDT

  •  As long as (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus, NoMoreLies, AoT

    a freaking human created greed based economic system, viscous capitalism, runs the world's social systems we are 'doomed'.  People believe that globalism, disaster capitalism is inevitable and that it's too big to fail.  I cannot understand why people are more afraid of the failure of an oppressive anti-humanist NWO then of the consequences it's creating.

    How mad to fear terrorists and kill others for 'security' while we burn up the world for the useless profit wealth creators? how insane to think that your iphone or a combustible oil burning engine are irreplaceable and worth the price.  Even on a societal level, the theory and implementation of oligarchical collectivism does not benefit humans.    

    'The way forward' is accepted as the only way that civilization can exist.  'Sustainable growth' says the world's most vicious monkey's in Rio. Meanwhile gamble away any livable decent society with their funny money and tell us all we must sacrifice and live in austerity so they can win the race.

    Misplaced fear and a lack of being able to even imagine social structures or communities where the common good includes not killing the planet and learning to live a real sustainable life.  Axelrod calls this 'the world as we find it' We didn't just find this it's not the natural order or manifest destiny, humans created it.

    Humans can and do restructure their way of living. Removing the vampire squid on humanities face is possible. The first step is to stop being afraid of losing the old order that actually is not only wrecking the planet but doesn't even offer a 'sustainable' way for 99% of us to live.

    Health care for profit is an oxymoron and so is sustainable growth. We are not doomed but our sick, destructive version of civilization sure is. It's too big not to fail. WE should make these greedy world 'leaders' obsolete and get on with reorganizing the way humans can live on a planet that cannot take this version of growth, it's too big and it doesn't even pay.

    Bio-regions with economies that are small in this country would be a start. I'm looking forward to Cascadia. A vision of the world  we can call home is possible but only if we let go of fear of the unknown and create a new reality. The Willamette valley used grow food to feed this region, it was the food basket. Now they mainly grow freaking Frankenstein GMO grass and sod for golf courses and suburban lawns. Community is the antidote to the insanity of globalism and one way or another it's all we are going to end up with.      

     

  •  A ) It's probably too late - (0+ / 0-)

    so the real problem may be how to survive a 90% "extinction event" but B) if it's not too late for the natural world to recover (in a few centuries) it's too late politically, however C) if there is time on both counts, what makes action or nonaction viable as far as industry/The Market is concerned is a tax structure that rewards/gives them profits for doing what needs to be done and penalizes/costs them a significant portion of their revenue for continuing the "pedal to the metal over the cliff" activities they are currently making out like bandits from.  Bidness as Molly Ivins used to call it makes an excellent team of mules - harnessed to a good "green" economy they could provide the motive force to get us out of this mess but running loose they trample the crops, gorge themselves to foundering, and damage if not kill anybody who gets in their way.  So D) since it requires good government to make the laws that harness the mules - yes, we're doomed.

  •  LENR is real...apocalypse postponed (0+ / 0-)

    Been following this story for over a year.  It seems like something is really happening.

    http://www.e-catworld.com/...

  •  far too late now. (0+ / 0-)

    I think we shoudl just tell James Inhofe that yes, he won and delayed any action until it was too late.

    Go ahead and guzzle all the gas you want.  Humanity is doomed to a near-extinction event somewhere between 2030-2060.  NOTHING is going to change it.

    and It'll start first in Africa and Asia

    We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

    by ScrewySquirrel on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 11:10:33 AM PDT

  •  "I'm gonna sing the Doom Song now!" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT
  •  The question that always gets me: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus

    in this day and age, why must science still battle religion for an honest appraisment of reality?  Are the pious still in such a majority and are they willing to continue devaluing life on earth as a mere pitstop for a better afterlife?  Thus, nothing will change, as it's all god's plan.

    I do hope humanity can become an interplanetary species.  I know it will be a race with time, but I'm sure that the few that make it before earth dies will have dispensed with the concept of religion by the time that their new habitat is populated.

    "There's been a little complication with my complication"

    by dash888 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 12:58:14 PM PDT

    •  Oddly enough, apocalyptic millennarianism (0+ / 0-)

      was traditionally a religious phenomenon, but since the Romantic era has gradually become associated with secular movements as well, including Greens.

      Where are we, now that we need us most?

      by Frank Knarf on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 02:40:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for posting this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus

    A little dose of reality, however depressing, is necessary.

    “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” -- FDR, 1936

    by SolarMom on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:47:28 PM PDT

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