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When Historians in 2100 look back at the events of the early 2000's they will conclude that the most profound and far-reaching characteristic of the political gridlock in the United States during that era wasn't either party's position on taxes, Social Security, Medicare, immigration, guns, gay marriage or abortion, but rather the reflexive dismissal by the Republican Party of anything preceded by the letters "U.N."

Writing on virtual, evanescent screens in their air-conditioned enclaves, situated well above saturated coastal regions teeming with desperate populations, they will ask themselves why any nation--let alone the world's wealthiest--would permit a cabal so xenophobic, so vehemently anti-science to dictate climate policy at a time when the whole of human civilization stood dependent on concerted, cooperative action. They will ask why any nation would have empowered those whose sole objection to scientific truth boiled down to the fact that it was presented to them by an international organization, made up of folks with odd-sounding names and possibly even different skin colors than themselves.

They may call it a failure of democracy, a capitulation to overweening greed, an inherent flaw of Capitalism. But no one will seriously conclude that there was any shortage of warnings.

Nations have so dragged their feet in battling climate change that the situation has grown critical and the risk of severe economic disruption is rising, according to a draft United Nations report. Another 15 years of failure to limit carbon emissions could make the problem virtually impossible to solve with current technologies, the experts found.

Delay would likely force future generations to develop the capability to suck greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and store them underground to preserve the livability of the planet, the report found. But it is not clear whether such technologies will ever exist at the necessary scale, and even if they do, the approach would likely be wildly expensive compared with taking steps now to slow emissions.

The findings are those contained within a draft of the Third Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report is the final of three installments and will be released for publication in April 2014. A final document synthesizing the three reports is scheduled for publication in October 2014.   As has been the case in the past, the report's findings were "leaked' to various news organizations, including Reuters and the New York Times.  The purpose of the report is to influence and inform the U.N. in its negotiations among 190 countries to achieve a treaty governing "greenhouse" emissions that cause global warming.

However, the outlook is anything but optimistic.

The report says that the development of alternative energies is being outpaced by an acceleration in fossil fuel emissions in developing countries like China. As the Times article notes, the wealthiest countries are in effect "outsourcing" their greenhouse gas emissions to countries where the goods that the wealthy nations consume are manufactured. Further, not only are countries failing to develop alternative energies, they're also failing in their efforts to adapt to what the Panel now sees as inevitable climate disruption.

According to the draft report, the cost of maintaining rising temperatures within "safe" levels will amount to 4% of the world's GDP by 2030:

Most scenarios that meet the 2-degree Celsius (3.6-degree Fahrenheit) cap on global warming that world leaders endorse require a 40 percent to 70 percent reduction in heat-trapping gases by 2050 from 2010 levels, according to the third installment of the UN’s biggest-ever study of climate change. The world would need to triple the share of renewables, nuclear power and carbon-capture and storage to meet that.
But the problem in achieving those goals is as much a matter of political will as it is cost:
Efforts are underway to negotiate a new international treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, but it is not even supposed to take effect until 2020, and it is unclear whether countries will agree on ambitious goals to limit emissions. It is equally unclear how much political support a new treaty will gain in China and the United States, the world’s largest emitters.
The Obama administration is pushing for a deal, but any treaty would have to be ratified by the Senate; many Republicans and some coal-state Democrats are wary, fearing economic damage to the country.
The new report suggests, however, that the real question is whether to take some economic pain now, or more later.
As the quote above notes, the United States and China are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases. Not coincidentally, they are economic competitors as well, and it's probably not too simplistic to conclude that neither will move appreciably on climate change unless the other does. In fact China's reticence (and India's) is usually trotted out as an excuse by those in this country who oppose meaningful efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.  But despite its refurbished image over the past two decades, China remains a totalitarian dictatorship that is not particularly moved by internal public opinion (even if it is beginning to comprehend the magnitude of its own environmental catastrophe). It is, however, responsive to economic self-interest and its standing in the eyes of the world. The effect of a concerted international effort that included the United States would be difficult to withstand. But the U.S. is unwilling to mount such an effort, due in large part to a climate denialist movement financed by the fossil fuel industry and enabled, for the most part, by its surrogates in the Republican Party.

Some of the report's other conclusions:

* Greenhouse gas emissions grew by an average 2.2 percent per year between 2000 and 2010. Global emissions since 1970 outstrip those for the preceding 220 years.

* Just 10 nations accounted for 70 percent of emissions in 2010.

* Industrial emissions from developing nations now exceed those from industrialized ones, though high income nations are net importers of carbon dioxide emissions embedded in goods from abroad.

* Pledges for emissions cuts by 2020 that were made by the world’s biggest emitters in 2010 don’t correspond to the ‘‘lowest cost” emissions reduction trajectory and would lead to greenhouse gas concentrations of as much as 650 ppm by 2100.

But the most disturbing conclusion is that at the upper end of the IPCC's potential estimates for CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, it will become more expensive to fight climate change than to deal with its effects.

Which is just another excuse for Republicans to continue to fiddle while the Earth burns.

Originally posted to Dartagnan on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 04:04 PM PST.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, Climate Change SOS, and Climate Hawks.

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  •  Tip Jar (164+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pakalolo, stagemom, blueoasis, Claudius Bombarnac, marleycat, worldlotus, corvo, mollyd, ypochris, Steveningen, Magnifico, Louisiana 1976, annominous, Mary Mike, fumie, NJpeach, slowbutsure, divineorder, Phoebe Loosinhouse, ericlewis0, Gurnt, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, New Minas, Gooserock, northerntier, occupystephanie, Glen The Plumber, Prognosticator, highacidity, RMForbes, Mr Robert, blackjackal, Horace Boothroyd III, Hey338Too, YucatanMan, jayden, PapaChach, citisven, pixxer, jnhobbs, sunny skies, Bob Love, Lefty Coaster, joanil, Geenius at Wrok, coldwynn, FarWestGirl, enemy of the people, Shockwave, bbctooman, Dvalkure, flitedocnm, Meteor Blades, Aaa T Tudeattack, yuriwho, remembrance, subtropolis, petulans, Smoh, maryabein, One Pissed Off Liberal, expatjourno, grollen, eeff, Rosaura, JosephK74, CoolOnion, skybluewater, jexter, tiggers thotful spot, global citizen, IndieGuy, bluezen, eagleray, Just Bob, susakinovember, George3, elwior, ATFILLINOIS, Kombema, TomFromNJ, bnasley, Ignacio Magaloni, karmsy, NYmom, wordwraith, No one gets out alive, techno, harlinchi, roses, The Jester, side pocket, RiveroftheWest, Dianna, Alumbrados, hubcap, lotlizard, KayCeSF, SolarMom, ask, 2thanks, NoMoreLies, Simplify, left of center, Lupin, Burned, Onomastic, Carol in San Antonio, asym, HeartlandLiberal, rapala, Kristina40, LI Mike, LynChi, DuzT, kharma, MuskokaGord, parse this, Creosote, sydneyluv, mudslide, blue jersey mom, caryltoo, oortdust, vivadissent, catilinus, MrBigDaddy, Claybow, emal, temptxan, zerelda, Robynhood too, Jakkalbessie, PeterHug, smokeymonkey, Joe Bob, jrooth, Sun Tzu, StrayCat, raptavio, quill, profundo, Things Come Undone, eru, Paul Ferguson, IreGyre, lisakaz, LSmith, stvnjon, forgore, RepresentUsPlease, Oly moly, Urban Owl, nomandates, 2dot, todamo13, BeninSC, chantedor, helpImdrowning, dfwlibrarian, mrobinson, Julie Steinhaus, cumberland sibyl, too many people
  •  The mega multinational corporations who are making (39+ / 0-)

    billions of dollars selling products that contribute to global warming now will be the ones making trillions of dollars from carbon sequestration and other methods of amelioration in the future.

    It's a win-win for them just like the MIC does when it makes money to destroy and then makes even more money in rebuilding.

    •  I'm finding it difficult to imagine any kind of (16+ / 0-)

      carbon sequestration scheme that would be big and fast enough to be effective, but without causing local atmospheric disruptions, both in terms of rapidly reduced CO2 availability and of course the resulting and probably unpredictable changes in weather patterns.

      Sounds like one last profitable boondoggle to me.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 04:29:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They'll still make trillions attempting to do it (17+ / 0-)

        BTW, the banking boondoggle worked out fantastic -  for the ones who made the big bucks out of it in the first place.

        Some carbon sequestration plants have been built in Port Arthur (with taxpayer funding of course). The resultant CO2 will be injected into old oil fields to rejuvenate and increase yields.

        The problem is that they will also be sequestering oxygen with this method so it is not a panacea.

        Port Arthur Fact Sheet: Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Project


        Total cost: $431 million. DOE share: $284 million (66%).

        The DOE awarded the Port Arthur project $900,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in October 2009. The project also received an additional $253 million from the ARRA as part of the DOE's CCS Program's Phase 2 in June 2010. This money is matched by $368 million in private funding.


        The project is made up of 2 Steam Methane Reformers (SMR) located within the Valero Refinery in Port Arthur. The first plant has been capturing CO2 since December 2012, while the second plant completed construction in February 2013 and began carbon capture operations in March 2013.  Both units are now operating at full capacity.  Over 222,000 tons of carbon dioxide have been captured and provided for storage as of early May 2013

        •  oh hooray. (6+ / 0-)

          Sequester CO2 so that it can be used in a manner appallingly similar to fracking.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 04:43:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Carbon capture is only part of serious GW solution (8+ / 0-)

          There will have to be some nuclear and lots of renewables
          which is about 11% of US electricity today.

          Carbon sequestration is too expensive to make a huge impact but if 'clean coal' and high efficiency natural gas
          combined cycle can provide a modest baseload (50%)along
          with nursing along the current ancient nuclear fleet(20%),
          plus 30% of electricity generation  from renewables
          we should cut CO2 emissions from power by more than 50%. If we actually did these things today on a global basis instead of waiting for some pie-in-the sky technology to descend we could slow global warming by 50%.

          So your idea of a massive CCS boondoggle will never happen and instead we will surely careen out of control past the 450 ppm redline without a noticing in the next 20 years.

          I wouldn't put your hopes on nuclear though as a heat wave in 2009 shutdown 30% of France's nuclear reactors and 14 of 19 reactors located inland and coastal reactors
          don't seem to be necessarily a long term solution.

          •  I have seen so many commercials that show... (6+ / 0-)

            how we have made enough plastic water bottles to circle the earth some big number of times.  If we can do that without even trying, why couldn't we make enough of those reflective emergency blanket type material to cover large portions of the North Pole during the summers?

            I know it sounds silly (probably because it is) but its not impossible.  Al Gore, after scoffing at other ideas, said that white roofs may help a little, why not something more reflective on a bigger scale?  The material is cheap to make, lightweight and could be put on a grid system covering thousands of square miles.  Small solar powered motors could retract them like large umbrellas to clear snow at regular intervals if the weight or wind gets too much.

            I don't know what the answer is but I believe there is one (or more than likely a bunch of partial ones) where innovation and conservation work together to slow this and eventually reverse this (albeit over a long, long time).  The first question is, do we have the will?  

            Since we have demonstrated that we can negatively impact the climate of the entire earth then it stands to reason that we have the power to positively impact it as well.  The next question is when are we going to get started?

            "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

            by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:00:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •   (0+ / 0-)

              If that were possible, it would create a deadzone accross everything it covered.

            •  Human negative (0+ / 0-)

              impact and positive impact are not equally easy to pull off. It's not a two way switch. Once the biosphere is negatively impacted, there are feedback loops. For example, there is the hypothesis that the melting of polar ice caused by global warming is behind the recent swath of freezing temperatures over the U.S. And, you can't just turn around the melting of the polar ice once it has started.

              •  I'm not sure what we are capable of but... (0+ / 0-)

                I believe there is a solution out there.  I am reminded of the quote falsely attributed to Charles Duell who was the Commissioner of US patent office in 1899.

                "Everything that can be invented already has".
                We do not know what technologies are out there and if I had the answer, I would have a much healthier bank account than I do now.  I have ideas but they are merely seeds sown in an infinite ether hoping to pollenate and evolve into a discussion that may one day contribute to that solution.  

                I once read a book called Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono that suggests something called parallel thinking which is counter to Greek debate where one person takes one side of an argument and the other person takes the opposite.  In parallel thinking, everyone thinks positively about solutions (where no solution is too crazy) and then, after everyone talks about positive solutions, everyone does the same thing and looks critically at each idea.  This gives way for things like suggesting "Why don't we give our product away for free?"  This seems crazy but many internet businesses do this all the time and then get paid in advertising revenue from companies wanting to take advantage of specific target markets.  

                This type of thinking opens up minds to view things that ordinarily we viscerally reject out of habit.   If solutions were obvious, they would have already been tried.  If we want to come up with something different, we have to think differently.  How do you know we cannot "turn around the melting of the polar ice once it has started"?  No one thought that our manufacturing processes would change the entire climate of the world until recently (and some still do not believe it).  One of the biggest accelerators of global warming is the melting of the ice caps and the blue ocean absorbing more heat than the white ice.  If we can make an artificial reflective barrier that mimics or exceeds the reflectivity of the polar caps, maybe we can reduce this accelerant and buy a few more years while we continue to reduce our pumping of pollutants into the atmosphere.  Maybe it is the stupidest idea ever suggested but in disputing it, another, totally original idea is suggested that does revolutionize how we think of global warming.  

                I don't know what the answer is but we better start thinking about how we can make a positive impact as opposed to wasting our time complaining about people not conserving energy and not caring about the end of humanity as we know it because time really is running out.

                "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                by Buckeye Nut Schell on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:54:20 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The best ideas... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  luerwulf, Buckeye Nut Schell

                  ...have always been the ideas least "feasible."

                  Thinking outside the box is indeed our only hope, not only in this circumstance but in almost all situations in which we, individually or communally, find ourselves trapped.

                  So Buckeye, thank you for reminding me that a life spent thinking about things in what others consider a "backwards" way, is a life well spent.

                  •  The best ideas have always been least feasible (0+ / 0-)

                    Speaking of not "feasible", does it ever occur to anyone that the planet may not be able to support the number of human beings we currently have on the planet in the manner to which they have become accustomed?

                    Is it possible that our species has spent down the bank account of resources and have borrowed more from the future than it can provide?  

                    In a sense, we have drained the eco-bank account to the point where, no matter how cleverly we write further checks on it, they're going to bounce higher than ball bearings off a steel floor.  

                    Catholic Church anyone?  The saviors of the poor.  The saviors of humanity.  The pious impotent.  The wise.

                •  OK, I appreciate your points (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Buckeye Nut Schell

                  But we are not just talking about ideas. We are talking about bio-processes, which are complex. This is why climatologists talk about tipping points. There are certain points beyond which man cannot reverse the course of global warming/acidification/pollution/salination/desertification, etc. This is supported by science. Unfortunately, it does not follow that man cannot correct everything that he disturbs. There are lakes that have been destroyed that will never return, e.g. the Aral Sea; only a portion of it has proven to be recoverable.

            •  It gets very windy there (0+ / 0-)

              Wind would rip up your space blankets in short order.

              Warren/Grayson 2016! Yes We Can!

              by BenFranklin99 on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 03:55:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I wonder if it would be possible to combine that (0+ / 0-)

              idea with capturing any methane leaking under such a cover and stuffing it in a tank to be picked up once a certain amount was collected and replaced with an empty tank to collect any more leaking methane.

          •  Carbon sequestration won't work beyond a (0+ / 0-)

            certain scale because there simply aren't enough places to store the excess CO2. Possibly there is a way to reprocess CO2 into something else we use - gasoline, eg, although the EROEI would be negative,
               Upscaling the world's nuclear fleet means increasing the number of nuclear accidents proportionately. Plus, there is the issue of "peak uranium" as well as the shortage of human capital available.
               Not to mention that all plants dependent upon water for cooling will be endangered by too hot river/lake/ocean water as well as the unreliability of water levels.
               Realistically, the only way forward is energy conservation, renewables, and natural gas - with the caveat that nat gas is a fossil fuel, too, and we will ultimately have to shift away from that.
               But I doubt that we will be able to keep from doubling CO2 concentrations from the preindustrial level.

            •  No. According to US DOE there are a huge number of (0+ / 0-)

              places to put the CO2.


              The US produces 6 billion tons of CO2 per year and
              has enough volume in old oil and gas fields (248 billion) , in
              unmineable coal seams (124 billion) and in saline formations(+2300 billion tons).

              Just as I trust climate scientists are giving us good information, I think USGS geologists are giving us reasonable storage numbers.

              I agree with you that expanding uranium to dangerous but
              just keeping the current plants running is probably a good compromise even though it is increasing nuclear waste and the problem of uranium depletion exists.

              I think developing CCS is more likely to help super CO2 emitters/ coal burners China and India.

            •  Algae Systems, funded by US Navy is working on (0+ / 0-)

              making that economically competitive with petroleum and has said it expects to succeed in three years since end of March 2013 at about $10/gallon.  And Exxon Mobil hates the idea.

            •  I supect we need to replace nuclear power for (0+ / 0-)

              civilian power plants, but first replace all of coal and get natural gas down to about 1% to 2% of our total energy use first, then replace our nuclear power plants.  And I suspect we would be better off buying fossil fuel reserves as mineral rights than fighting with fossil fuel firms desperately fighting to preserve their corporate lives by continuing to sell fossil fuel to be burned until it is all burned.

        •  No problem if some oxygen is removed with carbon (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          in CO2 - the earth has plenty of oxygen.  The problem is CO2 in the air.

          •  No problem if some oxygen is removed with carbon (0+ / 0-)

            All we need is a process (in addition to photosynthesis) to separate the carbon from the oxygen using solar energy then use that carbon in manufacturing 'stuff' like nano-tube materials out of the carbon.  

            It's not a novel idea but we're devoting paltry amounts of research to the problem.  

          •  Not if the phytoplankton die off, it doesn't. (0+ / 0-)

            Of course if that happens, we're fucked in other ways, so the lack of O2 might not matter as much.  

            "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

            by gharlane on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 12:18:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Similar to a certain Oligarch who claims to.... (5+ / 0-)

      ...champion environmental causes, who claims that his companies are helping make the world a cleaner planet.

      Yet, this same Oligarch is bankrolling a venture that will allow fellow Oligarchs to embark upon carbon-emitting joyrides into subspace.

      And this Oligarch has the gall to ask for a carbon tax that will exacerbate income inequality.

      Carbon-emitting joyrides into subspace for some.

      A regressive carbon tax for others.

      It's a win-win for him.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 07:36:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  careful now (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PatriciaVa, Don midwest

        for some the man walks on water.

        "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." T. Roosevelt

        by Lowgun on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 07:46:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Carbon tax is efficient (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Claudius Bombarnac

        And some of the revenue can go to poor people, like the EITC.

        Price signals are very important on shifting usage. A carbon tax should not be the only tool used, but it is an important one.

        We need a minimum guaranteed income and then every incentive, tax, research, etc. tool we can find.

        In the meantime, people respond to cheap energy by using more of it.

        "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.” ― John Kenneth Galbraith

        by Urban Owl on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 01:13:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  sorry, did not mean to post twice (0+ / 0-)

          got an error message the first time, so thought it didn't post.

          My bad!

          "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.” ― John Kenneth Galbraith

          by Urban Owl on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 05:25:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Carbon tax is efficient. (0+ / 0-)

        People respond to price changes faster and more efficiently than to regulation or adopting new technology. Use some of the proceeds as rebates (like the EITC) or better still, go ahead and adopt a simple base guaranteed income for people. We don't need everyone to work. (Use soemthing even use on research, some on subsidizing good changes, like improving energy efficiency of cities.)

        People respond to the current cheap energy by buying more of it. The externalities of their choices aren't part of the price they individually pay. Carbon taxes are a way of saying that if you use the fossil fuel, you should pitch in to deal with the ensuing problems.

        Trying to mitigate poverty by keeping prices low doesn't work, and benefits people who are not poor.

        In the meantime, we are doing nothing to deal with climate change, not prevention, not mitigation, not adaptation.

        The time of being picky about what to do is past. We need to do everything possible.

        "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.” ― John Kenneth Galbraith

        by Urban Owl on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 01:22:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The rich would love any highly regressive tax (0+ / 0-)

          from replacing the federal income tax with a stiff head tax and the death penalty for failure to pay to a carbon tax with all the revenue going to replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy and buying the fossil fuel reserves as mineral rights and carbon capture and storage.

    •  Too big a project. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Won't have any immediate payback.  They won't go near it.

    •  Maybe so, but it would be nice if they would start (0+ / 0-)

      amelioration ASAP

    •  Carbon sequestration scheme will work ... (0+ / 0-)

      ...only in conjunction with reduced oxygen consumption, and only if it is done the natural way - by trees.  Pumping carbon dioxide underground no more guarantees that it will stay there than doing so with fracking chemicals.  We have already seen fracking chemicals escape their sequestration and pollute ground water and surface water, and fracking has been practiced only a short time.  Thinking that a gas would stay down better than a liquid defies reason.  Additionally, pumping carbon dioxide underground traps not only carbon but also oxygen, something we want to have around for activities such as respiration.

      If mankind continues to consume oxygen to burn fossil fuel, where will that oxygen come from?  We're clearing rainforests and other woodlands at an alarming rate.  We have already seriously disrupted the balance of nature and can look forward to crop losses due to lack of water, too much water, freezes, and other weather-related factors, as well as insect infestations and disease caused by weather changes.  Perhaps as mankind dies out, decreasing the demand for arable land, the forests will come back, as they will have plenty of carbon dioxide to breath - even that scenario, however, is unlikely because change is occurring so rapidly.

      The world needs to embrace clean energy to reduce carbon emissions and should work to convert existing carbon dioxide back to oxygen.  We should be planting carbon-sequestering trees in every available space.  Of course, the trees that should be planted would depend on one's climate - both present and anticipated.  Where I live in the tropics, I am doing exactly that by encouraging the return of rainforest to pastureland.  Everyone with a yard, however, can help in this effort.  Governments should have a very active role in promoting such a movement and should educational assistance and seedlings to willing participants.  Governments should be assisting individuals convert to clean energy by helping individuals either replace older cars or convert them to more efficient technology, and by assisting in replacing inefficient lighting sources and appliances (including air conditioners).  The start-up costs will be high, but they will be incidental compared to the widespread loss of life and property that will certainly result if we do not take major steps in the very near future.

      •  If and when Algae Systems, funded by US Navy, (0+ / 0-)

        succeeds in getting algal liquid bio-fuels cost-competitive with petroleum, with 80% of carbon content of algae in liquid bio-fuel for transportation and 20% in bio char, the over all process with be modestly carbon-negative.  It will take time, but a dozen or two crops a year of algae and a third of our energy from algal bio fuel and two thirds from electricity from renewable energy like wind, solar, and geothermal, there should be progress in capturing and storing carbon in bio char.

    •  Why do you think they are (0+ / 0-)

      working so hard to find a new planet?

      •  That's just "idle' curiosity (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        We have no way to get there, nor is it likely we will develop one, let alone be able to spare the resources, as we inevitably focus on dealing with the results of this inaction.

        •  far more likely that we need space technology to (0+ / 0-)

          Exist on earth before we are through, living in bubbles shielded  from the natural environment. Using a self contained suit to be able to go outside. I grew up reading a lot of science fiction, and it seems most scenarios of the future had whole planets that were one great artificial city. ( see Asimov's Trantor for an example).

          I still would love to see Mars rover Curiousity discover evidence of a Bradbury type (former) Martian civilization. That may be the only thing that would ever have enough impact to change our collective way of thinking about the future.

          •  Problem being, we can't survive (0+ / 0-)

            without our ecosystem to support us. Decades and millions of dollars have been put into creating "geodomes", self-contained environments to support humans. But we have not been able to figure out how to survive outside the natural system. The geodomes have all failed after a while.

          •  You may recall that there were MANY farming worlds (0+ / 0-)

            required to feed Trantor at its height.  So besides covered cities, we had better find some farming worlds and develop inexpensive shipping of food from them to earth!

    •  History will wonder (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LI Mike, ypochris, slakn1, IreGyre

      why we didn't just ostracize and sequester them.
      At least.

      I know...we don't do violence. I'm not proposing violence to anyone.

      But look at the cost of what they're doing: Our entire planet and all of its life forms.

      We cling so hard to free speech, but lies are killing us, and we haven't the power--yet--to counteract the liars.

      At least we could demand truth in media. That's if we want to "form a more perfect union" and "promote the general welfare."

  •  They are lying (15+ / 0-)

    we already know that the IPCC climate sensitivity estimates are far higher than the newest report indicates.  Just recently it was determined that a reduction in low clouds would produce a climate sensitivity of greater than 4C for 2X CO2.  

    The report used 2.3C.

    In addition, the report expects that the amount of CO2 that is removed from the earth's atmosphere each year by natural sources remains at a value around 50% of total human emissions (leaving only half of what is emitted to remain and accumulate in the atmosphere).

    these are absolutely wrong, carbon sinks are going away as carbon cycle feedbacks resulting in a warming arctic and drying amazon will lead to the earth removing only 30% of the annual CO2 emissions by 2040.   This, in effect will increase our effective emissions by 40% (rate of accumulation).

    and finally, we know that ocean acidification will lead to a reduction in ocean spray aerosols that currently keep the earth about .3C cooler.  Additionally, human sourced SO2 keeps the planet between .4C and .75C cooler than it would be without it.  These aerosols are going away no matter what we do.  This will effectively double the warming that we have currently experienced since 1880.

    The final results?  a 2.5C warming between now and 2060 and another 2.5C warming by 2100 with the final equilibrium temperature of 8-14C warming by 2300.

    unless we begin to reduce our CO2 emissions with a target of 80% total global reductions by 2040.

  •  But It's Not Just a Cabal, It's American Governmen (17+ / 0-)

    and economy working together to remove the power of society to address the issue in any meaningful way.

    The free trade deals we have signed and are now being promoted by the President will seriously weaken our government's authority just to regulate let alone try to reverse the trend.

    Both parties have spent the last 40 years ceding governing power and authority to top global economic ownership. There may be some way for someone to discover a good path forward but at present the issue is simply out of our hands.

    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 Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 04:38:39 PM PST

  •  Meyerson, in Tuesday's WaPo... (16+ / 0-) has happened on far too many other issues regarding "converging emergencies" both in the U.S. and around the globe...

    On climate change versus the Trans-Pacific Partnership: "Obama Trades the Environment for a Trade Deal."

    Also, on U.S. income inequality, our government leaders are totally talking out of both sides of their mouth (re: support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, led by none other than Democratic Senator Max Baucus, as well).

    Same for controlling the too-big-to-fail banks, intellectual property laws, controlling Big Phara price-gouging, and on and on...far too MANY other topics, as far as the Trans-Pacific Partnership is concerned. (And, NO, last I checked, 190 congresspeople being in favor stopping the TPP does NOT equal 218+/- congresspeople. And, that's what's needed to even BEGIN to put a saddle on this clusterf*ck.) Been here. Done this. This TPP train's barrelling down the tracks!

    As Meyerson notes, down below, on far too many issues, right now, our entire owned, two-party system may be in the process of writing one very lengthy "chapter in the annals of self-negation."

    Free trade and the loss of U.S. jobs
    By Harold Meyerson
    Washington Post
    January 14, 2014

    When President Obama delivers his State of the Union address this month, he will surely highlight the issue of growing economic inequality and argue for such remedies as raising the minimum wage. He may also put in a plug for the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement his administration is negotiating with 11 Pacific Rim nations and for fast-track legislation that would limit congressional input in the accord to facilitate its ratification.

    If he does both — bemoan rising inequality and promote yet another free-trade agreement — his speech will rate a chapter in the annals of self-negation.

    By now, even the most ossified right-wing economists concede that globalization has played a major role in the loss of American manufacturing jobs and, more broadly, the stagnation of U.S. wages and incomes. Former Federal Reserve vice chairman Alan Blinder has calculated that 22 percent to 29 percent of all U.S. jobs could potentially be offshored. That’s a lot of jobs: 25 percent would translate to 36 million workers whose wages are in competition with those in largely lower-income nations. Of the 11 nations with which the United States is negotiating the TPP, nine have wage levels significantly lower than ours.

    Trade agreements that promote the relocation of U.S. corporations’ factories to nations like China and Mexico have played a central role in the evisceration of American manufacturing and the decline in U.S. workers’ incomes. Two out of three displaced manufacturing workers who got new jobs between 2009 and 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, experienced wage reductions — most of them greater than 20 percent.

    But perhaps the most devastating argument against the kind of trade accords the United States has entered into over the past quarter-century has been that inadvertently made by those defenders of such agreements who have used the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement — it went into effect on Jan. 1, 1994 — to celebrate its achievements…

    (Bold type is commenter's emphasis.)

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 04:51:25 PM PST

  •  I also wonder if the onset won't be (9+ / 0-)

    stupefyingly sudden.

    If coastal areas start to experience Sandy type storms every couple of years or a couple of times a decade, it will become glaringly obvious that rebuilding is not an issue. The drought on the West coast during the rainy season is scary. What if it becomes not an anomaly but the norm?

    At some point somewhere these things will be in our face and they will not be able to be pushed down and ignored.

    What is the plan, stan?

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 05:10:21 PM PST

      •  I know people make jokes about the Fema (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dartagnan, maryabein, Calamity Jean

        camps, but I would actually love to hear about the government building housing in advance that is reserve housing for natural disaster victims. I think it is a good idea.

        I have always thought that a lot of military housing has been taken offline in base closures - why not look at that for a start?

        Many will relocate to friends or family but there are just as many who don't have that option. If we can send billions of dollars in new money to financial miscreants in recapitalizing them, we can mint some money for some altruistic purposes as well - the earth won't tilt on its axis if some money is created to help the 99% in the face of crisis.

        “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

        by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 05:45:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Central Valley breadbasket is a semi-arid (7+ / 0-)

      Desert. Where essentially free water from other places lets us grow rice! If the last two winters of little rainfall does become the new normal, California agribiz is no longer viable. Farther north in the Capay valley I have a client who's walnut grove is in serious trouble, and a nearby large vegetable farm there probably won't plant tomatoes this year. I hope the hell it rains next winter.

      We want you to terminate the GOP's command. With extreme prejudice. (from "Utopia Soon")

      by oddmike on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:41:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's exactly what I'm talking about (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DarkestHour, StrayCat, ainwa

        I'm starting to see the phrase "peak water" appearing. I know that some large industries are very interested in moving in on and privatizing this resource and whole aquifers.  I pray we won't be dumb enough to let this happen in this country, but I am almost certain that we are dumb enough to let it happen under the rubric of "small government" and "privatization" and "lowering property taxes" because we are too moronic to understand that a municipal water utility owned by the taxpayers is preferable in every way to corporate shakedown and profit taking from the most basic necessity of life. It's Chinatown, Jake.

        “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

        by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 01:49:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe we should try desalinating much sea water (0+ / 0-)

        for domestic use and irrigation.

    •  The US will feel the hurt economically (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phoebe Loosinhouse

      when there is a drought that makes the Mississippi unnavigable to barge traffic. In recent years, the Corps of Engineers has had to go beyond dredging and resort to blasting the rock that used  to be covered by sand and silt.
         Alternating floods and severe drought are already damaging Midwest agriculture, cutting into barge traffic, and producing a Gulf of Mexico dead zone that reduces the productivity of the Gulf of mexico fisheries.

    •  and what about the children and grandchildren (0+ / 0-)

      of all the aspects of the deniers of climate change, it is their callous disregard of the future of the next generations that is hardest to understand!!! Don't they have children of their own??? or have our chambers of power become filled with hedonistic sociopaths who only live to pleasure themselves and whose distain for others encompasses even their own children and grandchildren.

      •  Yes they have become filled with hedonistic (0+ / 0-)

        sociopaths because they live in a world that shelters their children and grand children.  They can simply board their jets or yachts and escape to somewhere where things are better.  I didn't see Elysium but Hunger Games (the first one) showed this by how the people (leaders) in the Capitol looked down upon the rest of society and considered them as nothing more then producers and victims of their gladiator games.  As I understand it, Elysium placed the wealthy in the sky while the rest of the earth starved.

        The only way the rest of us can survive is by becoming household servants in the establishments of the rich.

        Two quotes I wish to live by "Strength and Honor" (Gladiator) and "Do or Do Not, There is no Try" (SW-ESB).

        by SQD35R on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:58:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Profits are a Tax Levied Upon the Consumer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, NoMoreLies, StrayCat

    It's money taken from the consumer without any reciprocal benefit. Profits are the mother of entitlement programs. They're not driven by empathy or moral imperative. Whoever was able to sell the populace the message that profits are good was a genius. Money for nothing.

    A lot of investment has happened in sequestered, unexploited hydrocarbons. Pennies on the dollar investments that will demand hundreds on the dollar or the hydrocarbons will be tapped for the good of all. At some point, the price the extortionists are willing to accept will exceed society's ability to pay. Maybe the lack of meaningful response is a tacit admission we have passed this point.

  •  Those pesky externalities (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, NoMoreLies

    that don't show upon the balance sheet right away. I have been of the opinion that we will need to have clear climate change before people collectively agree to do something about it.

    Listen to Netroots Radio or to our pods on Stitcher. "We are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place" <- Me

    by yuriwho on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 05:30:15 PM PST

  •  democrats (8+ / 0-)

    are also fiddling.

    Let's not kid ourselves.

    This will be a bipartisan fuck up of legend.  

    •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies, left of center, StrayCat

      Who is residing in the WH?  
      And what will the TPP do in regards to CC?  
      When foreign companies can sue if regulations get in the way of their profits?  
      Anti fracking city?  Law suit- fracking starts.
      Same with any other destructive corporation.
      There are 2 parties that are in denial or just working against regulations. Granted the Rethugs are the worst, but I don't see Obama or the Dems making this a priority.

      SORRY FOR THE TYPOS. Ziggy fingers on an Ipad :)

      by snoopydawg on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:33:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Congress is STUPID. All adults are planning (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for climate change, the sainted Military, equally sainted mulitnational corps and insurance companies too, only our elected officials dont' get this....MADDENING.

      "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

      by merrywidow on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:52:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Short version of your opening paragraphs (6+ / 0-)

    "In 2100 they will look back at this generation as the stupidest people in the history of humankind."

  •  The deniers are having their way (5+ / 0-)

    And they have joined forces with the anti-science totalitarian Christians;

    Why Climate Change Skeptics and Evolution Deniers Joined Forces

    There is the "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" theory. In other words, anti-evolutionists and climate deniers were both getting dumped on so much by the scientific community that they sort of naturally joined forces. And that makes sense: We know that in general, people gather their issue stances in bunches, because those stances travel together in a group (often under the aegis of a political party).

    But there's also the "declining trust in science" theory, according to which political conservatives have, in general, become distrustful of the scientific community (we have data showing this is the case), and this has infected how they think about several different politicized scientific issues. And who knows: Perhaps the distrust started with the evolution issue. It is easy to imagine how a Christian conservative who thinks liberal scientists are full of it on evolution would naturally distrust said scientists on other issues as well.

    I don't have progeny so I will not see it but if you do, your children and certainly their children will probably live in a Mad Max world at best;

    Mad Max photo MadMax_zpsc886c563.jpg

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

    by Shockwave on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 05:45:22 PM PST

    •  People hate change (0+ / 0-)

      And when the change is both psychological (your beliefs are wrong) and physical (you need to alter your lifestyle from what it is now and what you grew up with), most people shut down.  Those who have and interest and intelligence to understand what science is showing are too few, not powerful enough, not (face it) attractive enough, and not ambitious/self interested enough to get into positions that can do something about it.  We are either scientist, which are not in the spotlight, or concerned citizens that have not reached  the top of the ladder because we are concerned about others... not just about ourselves.  

      Those that are greedy and self centered are those idolized by the media and therefore the masses.  Those that care for others are considered weird and shunned because they don't have  the super fancy house, car, or wealth.  

      That does make the popular image (at least in this country) and thus loses.

      Two quotes I wish to live by "Strength and Honor" (Gladiator) and "Do or Do Not, There is no Try" (SW-ESB).

      by SQD35R on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 09:08:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think it is hate... (0+ / 0-)

        as much as it is fear.  If a person has learned to not like or trust themself, change becomes difficult to deal with.  

        Part of the problem is that many people have learned to try to control everything outside of themselves, rather than what is going on inside.  All of the people we put on pedestals look and act as if they have control over life.  Many have learned to deny the reality that everything can change in the blink of an eye.

        Former columnist Sydney Harris, once wrote that there are two opposite drives in people that are difficult to yoke together.  One is for truth, and the other is for comfort.  Truth makes many people uncomfortable, and comfort insulates people from the truth.

        The internal compromise many people end up with is that they want things to stay the same, but get better at the same time.  In regards to climate change, that will not happen.

        Besides over-population, I think our main problem is that people in this country, and in this world, have been socialized to value acting or behaving in either passive or aggressive ways.  To my knowledge, there has not been a concerted effort by schools or any other organizations in this society, to train all people to be assertive.

        If the sociopaths in charge of the corporations weren't so aggressive, we wouldn't be here now.  If the general populace wasn't so passive we wouldn't be here now either.  

        •  My mother's ancestors came from around where (0+ / 0-)

          France, Germany, and Switzerland meet.  She could cope with either end of a dominant submissive relationship, but not a peer relationship.  She so overwhelmed me on many issues, I gave up trying-- both to try to please her and to try to do anything for myself.  Then she could not understand why I let everyone else walk all over me.  What did she expect, that I should let only her and nobody else walk all over me?

          •  old habits... (0+ / 0-)

            of all kinds die hard.  When a person learns to believe they have no options, or never learn there are other choices, it is hard to change.  Beating one's head against a wall that never chnages is not much fun.

            I think it's good that you are aware of your learned tendencies, and I hope you have learned there are other options in life.  

      •  My father was a scientist. I still believe in (0+ / 0-)

        science, even when the math is too much for me to follow.  Scientists, especially in fields that have not yet become well-solved problems, come off sounding like professional gamblers offering odds for a bet because there really is that much uncertainty left in what they are studying.

  •  I'm hoping that the major future headlines will .. (7+ / 0-)

    ..address climate change/pollution from a different angle too.

    The report said that governments of the world were still spending far more money to subsidize fossil fuels than to accelerate the shift to cleaner energy, thus encouraging continued investment in projects like coal-burning power plants that pose a long-term climate risk.

    The "governments of the world."

    A future where there is reporting asking this question:

    What will those governments be made up of? will it be people of a majority who make the rules?

     That governments subsidizing corporations will in fact be reported for what is really is; that all government activity that are not of a people (real flesh and blood people that is) but are essentially global corporations and the biggest hurdle to overcome to address and make a positive change for all the issues - especially environmental issues

    That unless corporate Global interests aren't stopped by radically reining in their size via a complete overhaul of what these charters allow we will no longer live in a world protected by the wants/democracy of the majority of people at all.

    We will be governed by a dead thing? A legal fiction unaffected by pollution and is immune from the restraints that protect this planet and its people. A world where democracy, as fragile and as flawed as it may be, is no longer voice to any but these "sovereign" forces

    That is the reporting I want to see/hear. Starting now because..

    ..taxes, Social Security, Medicare, immigration, guns, gay marriage or abortion..
    ..ail these issues will not be decided by anyone that it matters for unless we as a people preserve our real voice/democracy the majority voice; the deciding voice in this "Global economy" some are calling as so vital for our future. They won't even be considered important.

    republicans talk of freedom - A corporate narrative that involves the freedom of corporations alone - not people - that is what republicans have been able to sell to any who vote for them.

    It is a lie.

     Free trade - freedom for who? or rather freedom for What?
    Thx Dartagnan

    P.S. and I'm not just talking about the latest TPP/fast tracking. Fast tracking isn't new but it is very bad medicine even it is skirting our congress full of RWNJs/teabaggers that deserve to be sidelined and that were paid for and put into action by the very same corporations to wreck the function of government in the first place - to a purpose

    Corporations don't need a peoples government at all (with all those "burdensome regulations" - that protect out water,air, and land). That should be part of the dialogue and the reporting.

    - end of rant

  •  Can the environment support the American Dream (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, LI Mike

    for the entire world?

    The consumers also have a responsibility in this f***ing mess.

    There's a saying: "You can't have your cake and eat it too." America has been eating cake for decades. Is is fair to say the rest of the world can no longer also eat cake?

  •  Given that Obama expanded drilling... (9+ / 0-)

    …you just can't lay all of this at the feet of the Republicans. It's bipartisan.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

    by expatjourno on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:12:06 PM PST

  •  the only thing wrong i can see with this diary is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the beginning, where it says historians in 2100 will be looking back. i don't think there'll be any historians around in 2100 (at least, honest ones, who haven't been bought & paid for by our plutocratic overlords) & i doubt very much there'll be anyone left at all, for that matter, especially at the rate we're destroying the environment.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. ~ J.K. Galbraith

    by bluezen on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 07:08:35 PM PST

    •  half a billion people in 2100 (7+ / 0-)

      this climate scientist says about half a billion will survive in a 4C scenario. 4C is conservative at this point, especially once the solar cycle kicks back into high gear....

      Professor Kevin Anderson, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change in Britain, was quoted in The Scotsman  ahead of the 2009 Copenhagen conference saying the consequences were ‘‘terrifying’’.

      ‘‘For humanity it’s a matter of life or death ... we will not make all human beings extinct, as a few people with the right sort of resources may put themselves in the right parts of the world and survive. But I think it’s extremely unlikely that we wouldn’t have mass death at 4 degrees.

      ‘‘If you have got a population of 9 billion by 2050 and you hit 4 degrees, 5 degrees or 6 degrees, you might have half a billion people surviving.’’

      Read more:

      I'm crossing my fingers the current solar "grand minimum" will buy us precious time to figure out sequestration etc....

      It makes me sick in the pit of my stomach to think of what my young son will be facing....

      •  solar minimum (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        from what I've read, the sun spot cycle is supposed to flatline for the next 70 years... when it flatlines, it feeds on itself and affects the next cycle...

        scientists apparently know very little about effects when this happens.... could be a little... could be a lot. doubt it will cancel out global warming... and it certainly will be used by the deniers if warming flatlines because of it.

        •  Scientists can't predict the solar cycle. The (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          current solar cycle hasn't followed the usual pattern, with a prolonged and deep minimum followed by a weak maximum. However, the warmest year in history was 2010, during that prolonged minimum.
              A Maunder type minimum would reduce the warming by only a fraction of a percent.
              If there is to be a natural cooling, it would involve a series of large volcanic eruptions.

      •  gnosticator -- that sounds optimistic, at best, to (0+ / 0-)

        me. even without factoring in global warming, there's not going to be enuf potable water to sustain the population, oceans, lakes, & rivers will be so polluted no aquatic life will be edible, & arable land will be unusable for farming b/c of industrial contamination.

        The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. ~ J.K. Galbraith

        by bluezen on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 07:14:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Seriously? News like this makes me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, SQD35R

    Want to kill myself.  One less carbon footprint.

    No, I'm not joking.

    We are so, so fucked.

    This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

    by Ellid on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 07:19:24 PM PST

  •  free market supporters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    business law says that if one business impedes on another, or inflicts pain and suffering on the lives of others, they can get sued to pay for the damages.

    free market supports will of course insist that the polluters pay for their mess right?


  •  One way the 1% can kill off all the undesirables (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snoopydawg, Dartagnan, StrayCat

    is to turn the entire planet into a gas just let 'nature' (after centuries of ecological devastation) run its course at the expense of the riffraff.

    It would just be so expensive to save the world as-is, with all its people. We'd have to waste so much of the wealth the laboring classes created for us... surely, they wouldn't want us to waste their legacy on saving their kids to linger in a wrecked world.

    So much better to just let... nature runs its course, and remember the better days fondly on their behalf.


    No, I personally do not think this... and I think it probably captures the quietly murmured mindset at some of those parties few if any of us here at DK will be attending in 2014.

    Not a conspiracy so much as a, oh well, there's nothing for it now. We'll just have to ride it out...

    •  Not too far off the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Mark, IMO.
      They know they are ruining this planet, so maybe they have a plan.
      Lots of CT about underground condos, but what if it is not CT?  

      SORRY FOR THE TYPOS. Ziggy fingers on an Ipad :)

      by snoopydawg on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:36:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why am I now thinking the movie (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DarkestHour, Dartagnan

        Elysium -- "In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth."

        That movie bothered the hell out of me, because this type of solution is in the planning, and has been discussed by scientists in documentaries... though they don't say only the wealthy would be living there.  The Kochs of the world would be fine leaving the planet they destroyed while the rest of us suffer on Earth.  

        Maybe I should stop watching futuristic documentaries, and movies.  :/

        I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

        by KayCeSF on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:05:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Remember WALL-E (0+ / 0-)

          I wonder if hollywood/movie studios are trying to sublimely change the view of people, WALL-E, Hunger Games, Elysium all have themes of this happening.  I wonder if it is really working or simply the people just go "that was a great movie, lets hop into the Hummer and drive around for a while."

          Two quotes I wish to live by "Strength and Honor" (Gladiator) and "Do or Do Not, There is no Try" (SW-ESB).

          by SQD35R on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 09:14:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The only problem is that with the kind of (0+ / 0-)

      die off being discussed here, the whole concept of wealth becomes meaningless.

      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

      by StrayCat on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:15:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most wealth today is in a form inaccessible (0+ / 0-)

        to 99% of the population today.

        For example, the absence of approximately 6.8 billion people would not impair the value of most luxury goods at all; the bulk of humanity doesn't contribute to the demand side of those pricing charts at all.

        Or let's go to information: Most Americans with kids today are learning that their little ones  are now priced out of college education. That's an asset they'll never acquire.

        Their absence from the pool of college applicants so far has not slowed down tuition price increases very much.

  •  Speaking as a devout... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, TJ, IowaBiologist, Don midwest

    ...big stone head worshiper of Easter Island, I say we must continue to cut more timber in order to erect more big stone heads. The liberals who claim we're running out of timber should be sacrificed the big stone heads.

    To our glorious future! Vote Big Stone Head Party!



    by Lupin on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 02:26:59 AM PST

    •  Speaking as a devout (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IowaBiologist, Don midwest

      big bank head worshiper of Manhattan Island, I say we must continue to cut more taxes in order to stimulate more big bank heads. The liberals who claim we're running out of resources should be sacrificed to the big bank heads.

    •  And the big stone heads (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest

      currently hold a majority of the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

      The big stone heads also infest most of our other institutions, and they themselves unceasingly tell us that unless we keep creating, feeding, and worshipping them, there's going to be a big smackdown from on high.

      Or, more precisely, the big smackdown is coming whatever we do, but we need to keep serving the big stone heads so that they will have a tiny bit of mercy upon us and allow us a few crumbs upon which we may hope to survive.  Otherwise - forget about it!

      FOX News: For entertainment purposes only. Not to be confused with actual news broadcasting.

      by IowaBiologist on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 07:12:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No worries. The free market will (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest

    solve this.  We just need for Weyland-Yutani to install one of those atmosphere processors and everything will be hunky-dory.

    ... like tears in rain

    by bladerunner on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:23:37 AM PST

  •  But the Good News in all this is that the very (0+ / 0-)

    last to die off as the end appoaches will be the very richest among us.

    But they will die tilling their own fields for food and there will be no place for them to spend their wealth.

  •  Well, if you think you need (0+ / 0-)

    atmospheric processing stations in 15 years the time to start is right now.  Me, if you're going to do sequestration I think it's a better idea to start now on the exhaust of our existing power plants.

  •  late stages of Roman Empire - no one knew (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ, Dartagnan, SQD35R

    according to a classic scholar friend of mine

    but USA is running a parallel effort to Roman Empire collapse

    and many have been pointing out the dangers

    but here in the USA, land of US exceptionalism, while some problems exist, the consumer culture buzzes along watching reality TV

    stupid Americans with corporate media maintain a fantasy

    here is something else that is not covered. We have military forces in 134 countries

    i recall some years ago, but don't have the reference now, that major improvements in health care, food supplies, etc. could be helped with an expense less than the 1 trillion per year that the USA spends on defense

    and the reckless goal of extracting resources is driving the planet down

    yet we have the money and the cultural backing to ONLY have troops in 134 countries. The pentagon wants even more.

    here is the article on this written by Nick Turse whose book last year Kill Anything That Moves pointed out the the good old, moral USA bombed Cambodia's indigenous people during the Vietnam war because they had bombs and planes sitting idle with the halt of bombing of N. Vietnam, so they put them somewhere else.

  •  you get some crazy diseases (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, Dartagnan, StrayCat

    you get some crazy diseases and bugs in the tropics. The constant heat allows certain bugs and viruses and bacteria to thrive. No winter means such things do not die off, rather they thrive.  This change is happening so quickly that evolution will not favor the humans.

    Disease , famine , war..  Perhaps humanity needs a rest anyway, and the earth a little time to fix itself without the biggest virus it faces..humanity

  •  So frustrating for me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, Dartagnan

    Who is just your average individual with a bit of education to read this and to see how nothing changes. I can't even begin to imagine how frustrated the scientists who study this issue and are on the frontlines writing these reports must be.

    Keep speaking and keep writing.

    Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. Elizabeth Warren Progressive Wing of political spectrum.

    by emal on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:39:30 AM PST

  •  positive change to deter negative change (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that comes from inaction and denial of reality.

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

    by IreGyre on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:11:25 AM PST

  •  This is the way the world ends, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because no industrialists care as much for humans as they do for their stock portfolios. As long as they make a profit, they'll take all of us down to do it.

    The value of an idea has nothing whatsoever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it.--Oscar Wilde

    by Gene in L A on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 11:01:41 AM PST

  •  We have had warnings for generations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    C.S.Lewis, the author of the popular "Narnia"series wrote another series in the 1950s, including the books "Perelandra" and "Out of the Silent Planet".  Heinlein in his masterpiece "Stranger in a Strange Land" and my favorite sci-fi movie "The Day The Earth Stood Still" have all sent up the same warnings against the destruction of our planet due, basically, to corporate greed.  This is NOT an issue that popped up when Nixon established the EPA, or just two weeks ago when Limbaugh claimed the term "polar vortex" was just recently invented.  We have watched waterways and forest destroyed by acid rain around the world since the 60s, at least.  And today Beijing is once again covered with toxic smog.  It is there to be seen by those who will see.

  •  Last night on the Bill Marh show... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There was talk coming from, "James Carville," along with his right wing dingbat wife, about how the Virginia coal miners only know the jobs they have and that we shouldn't take those jobs away from them instead of retraining them for green jobs. Well, if they don't, they won't have a planet to live on, much less a job.
    How Stupid!

    If you like bicycles, check out the newest and coolest products at my site, "" You can also find my products at e-Bay under the name, "Ziggyboy." See all the products on my "See seller's other items" link.

    by JohnnieZ on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 03:30:59 PM PST

    •  I heard it put in a similar way... (0+ / 0-)

      What good is a job when you don't have air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, or a planet to live on.

      I can't prove this, but it wouldn't surprise me if companies like Monsanto and Dow, with the creation of their chemicals that are toxic to humans, animals, and especially bees, are trying to kill some of the population off.  They certainly are not responding to the information out there that proves how deadly these chemicals are.

      I'm thinking their rationalization is "what's a couple of billion people more or less, here and there, as long as we can control everything we can get our frightened, greedy hands on."

      The Biblical quote is "the love of money is the root of all evil."  No one seems to be asking the question about what it is that drives people to love money more than other people.  Money in, and of itself, is neutral.  It is how it is used that determines positive and negative outcomes.  Again, the question is why people use money and power in negative ways.

      To me, it is all about fear.  To me, it is fear that drives people to do the negative things they do.  Take fear out of the equation, and people change in positive ways.  Of course, the people who have a vested interest in maintaining power and control over others will have little to no reason to look at their fear or change their behavior.  When it comes to dealing with any zealots, it may come down to them or us.  

      The corporate sociopaths and psychopaths are just as zealot as any fundamentalist religious person.  Their religion, or rather, their addiction of choice, happens to be gold and power.

  •  A deadly game of chicken ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... is how someone once described our current version of capitalism: Major companies rushing to produce more, to raise their profit margins in case "the other guy" doesn't, speeding up the destruction of the Earth.

    It's also like the Prisoner's Dilemma, except this is not an idle mental exercise.

    END G.O.G. NOW!


  •  Plants love CO2 (0+ / 0-)

    There's this thing called "photosynthesis"... No, that doesn't mean to make a collage with PhotoShop.  It means that humans inhale O2 and exhale CO2, whereas green plants consume CO2 and release O2.  What a nice, cozy arrangement that has been for millions of years.  

    So what's the problem with planting a lot more plants on the planet?  Corporate America has denuded the forests.  Now it's the forest denuders' responsibility to replace what they have ruined, no?  Well, only if they want to have a live planet to continue raping.  Otherwise, it's called something like necrophilia... which they probably will learn to profit from, as they profit from everything else.   "Necrophilia for sale! - Get 'em while they're still warm - before rigor mortis sets in!"    

  •  You're extremely optimistic. (0+ / 0-)
    Writing on virtual, evanescent screens in their air-conditioned enclaves
    Sorry, but the societal infrastructure required to manufacture and transport such things will have broken down.
    •  I'm optimistic about Cantwell solution (0+ / 0-)

      but discouraged about the DC elites ever seeing beyond their own self-interest.

      We produce more renewable energy than any other state - WA Gov. Jay Inslee

      by mrobinson on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 12:13:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Eh? (0+ / 0-)

        All sorts of technologies are being developed today in 2014; optimism about many of them being brought to market in the near future is warranted. This has nothing to do with whether they will be available in 2100, when the average global temperature will be at least 4C higher than today. Technology like "evanescent screens" require a huge interconnected infrastructure that won't be available in 2100. "Cantwell solution" (diesel-powered generators?) won't change that ... the CO2 being put into the atmosphere today will stay there for 100 years.

  •  The CLEAR Act (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Submitted by Senator Maria Cantwell [WA], also presented to the White House:

    CLEAR Act would sell carbon shares to fuel producers and would return 75 percent of the resulting revenue in $1,100 checks to every American.
    However, Senator Kerry's proposal was more acceptable that year with D.C. Democrats & the WH. I was awestruck at the time that those Democrats failed to see how popular this Act would be, that rebated $1,100 to every American. It's clearer now to me what & who they value.

    "I've got this pen. I'm ready to do it."

    by mrobinson on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 11:57:49 AM PST

  •  The CLEAR Act (0+ / 0-)

    "I've got this pen. I'm ready to do it."

    by mrobinson on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 12:02:21 PM PST

  •  Disaster Captalism (0+ / 0-)

    ...disaster capitalism on a world-wide scale...

  •  Invest in Dome technology (0+ / 0-)

    As we trip the light lunatic into the future, we will have to protect ourselves from our folly. Domes. Biospehere domes will the key to survival.

  •  We are running out of fresh water we are making (0+ / 0-)

    beef from peatree dishes, and we are growing foods with enough chemicals to make a 400 RBI hitter proud and I ask myself, what has changed since the hippies sat around a table in 1969 and discussed the ecology and the Earth......Nothing -- as long as we allow D.C. Lobbyists to run the country.

  •  Just a thought (0+ / 0-)

    The wealthy will kill us all and then themselves.

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