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For much of the past twenty-five years, efforts to control global warming through limiting carbon emissions have mostly involved an economic fight, which the carbon producers have won.

Oil and coal companies today are as economically powerful as ever, and are still preventing all but the smallest tentative steps towards real and effective control of carbon.

However, the stakes may be more than economic.  A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science suggests that for many mid-range global warming scenarios, the average global temperature will rise above what humans can survive.

Human core body temperature is around 37 degrees C., and skin temperature around 35 degrees C.  In order to avoid lethal overheating of the body's core, humans cannot endure for more than 6 or 7 hours external temperatures above 35 C.   To see how close we are to that temperature today, and what realistic scenarios may be in the next century follow below the ominous squiggle of extinction.

The paper titled An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress, was written by Steven C. Sherwood of University of New South Wales, and Matthew Huber, of Perdue University.

They first established the temperature at which the human body succumbs to lethal overheating, which is around 35 degrees C.  They then measured the land area affected with these temperatures for significant periods of time, i.e. weeks or months, under the commonly accepted scenarios for continued global warming.

Peak heat stress, quantified by the wet-bulb temperature TW, is surprisingly similar across diverse climates today. TW never exceeds 31 °C. Any exceedence of 35 °C for extended periods should induce hyperthermia in humans and other mammals, as dissipation of metabolic heat becomes impossible.
While this never happens now, it would begin to occur with global-mean warming of about 7 °C, calling the habitability of some regions into question. With 11–12 °C warming, such regions would spread to encompass the majority of the human population as currently distributed. Eventual warmings of 12 °C are possible from fossil fuel burning.
It is important to note that once carbon is in the atmosphere, warming does not stop when the emissions stop.  There is a lag effect of several hundred years until the climate reaches a new equilibrium.

What Sherwood and Huber are saying is that each doubling of the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere leads to a temperature rise of around 4.5 °C.

If we allow the profiteers to burn the carbon reserves they currently own, total warming in 300 years would lead to 2.75 doublings of CO2, or a global temperature rise of about 12 °C.

There are also feedback effects to consider, such as the outgassing of methane in arctic soils as permafrost melts, and possible destabilization of methane hydrates on the continental slope.

So, while the business as usual scenario is thought to lead to a 4 to 5 °C rise in temperature at the end of the century, a couple of hundred years later it could easily be over 12 °C.

At that temperature, much of the earth becomes uninhabitable for humans and other large mammals, and we go extinct.

The authors say that most current thinking about the worst case scenarios are based on
economic costs extrapolated from present-day data,

but this is clearly unsatisfactory for climates so different from any in human experience. Inability to specify consequences of very large warmings is therefore a hurdle to rational decision-making on climate mitigation.
Most people think that because we can tolerate a wide range of temperatures today, we can adapt if the temperature was warmer.  But this is not true.  There is an upper limit, and we are surprisingly close to it.  
We show that even modest global warming could therefore expose large fractions of the population to unprecedented heat stress, and that with severe warming this would become intolerable.
So we are not just facing a crisis of sea level rise and extinction of many species due to loss of habitat.  Continued burning of carbon is literally the path to our own extinction as a species.

Our capitalist system is built on allowing people like the Koch Brothers and other oil, gas and coal owners, to extract huge profits today based on imposing huge external costs on other people in the future.  So long as those people are poor, brown, and invisible there is no outcry.

But would you be complacent if you were told your great grandchildren would be part of the last generation of humanity.

I have been a climate activist, but until reading this paper, I never actually considered that Exxon and other companies could cause the extinction of the human race.

When I was going to school in the 1950's, we lived with the knowledge that we all might die in a nuclear holocaust.  I remember reading Nevil Shute's On the Beach - a story of the last six months of humanity.  

The plot involved the crew of a submarine that made it to Australia, as lethal radiation slowly spread to the southern hemisphere, and everyone knew that within six months they would be dead.  The novel was about how ordinary people's daily lives could be in the face of unchangeable catastrophe.  

That sense of possible doom was really present.  Another high school paper I wrote was about the last couple on earth - except the woman was pregnant.  The story ended with the mother's death in child birth, and the father's delivery of a son.  Very adolescent stuff.

When I first read Sherwood's paper, I thought if everyone knew this there would be immediate calls for eliminating carbon fuels.

But then I remembered that in the 1950's we just accepted the idea of nuclear annihilation as something we grew up with; that was the way the world was and the number of people who protested - who felt this was an intolerable situation - was very small.

So, I think we need to add this information about our own extinction to our conversations, and explain the risks and costs of not acting on carbon.  But just the facts are not sufficient.  

The emotional pull is stonger.  Why should I contemplate the destruction of everything I have ever loved, along with the sweep of history I find so moving and revealing, so that a criminal oligarch can extract more money for another decade or two.  

This is the emotion of revolution.

Originally posted to tsackton on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:22 PM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (226+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lupin, northsylvania, Thunder, copymark, laurak, mickT, LynChi, willyr, Sandy on Signal, Foreign Devil, hubcap, Zinman, cskendrick, Agathena, kharma, psnyder, hangingchad, yet another liberal, JimWilson, Josiah Bartlett, sb, rapala, G2geek, marina, NoMoreLies, greycat, offred, Simplify, basquebob, dewtx, david78209, YucatanMan, owlbear1, majcmb1, aaraujo, Ginny in CO, sodalis, xaxnar, lynn47, BlueInARedState, profundo, HoundDog, Yellow Canary, victoria2dc, AoT, KenBee, Wary, blueoasis, Rosaura, Crashing Vor, WarrenS, blueoregon, bear83, camlbacker, Ageing Hippie, Dartagnan, ColoTim, psychodrew, yoduuuh do or do not, karmsy, la urracca, some other george, jeanette0605, HeartlandLiberal, Matt Z, dee, pimutant, doubledutch, Creosote, 84thProblem, brainwave, zerelda, ChemBob, cv lurking gf, lilsky, Odysseus, NJpeach, Pescadero Bill, ZappoDave, Kristina40, i saw an old tree today, Babsnc, DarkestHour, Liberal Thinking, Assaf, quill, marleycat, unfangus, Ralphdog, PeterHug, RFK Lives, dull knife, left of center, LABobsterofAnaheim, wordwraith, Joieau, Shockwave, La Gitane, CA Nana, cocinero, maryabein, bfitzinAR, Words In Action, MKinTN, Chrislove, forgore, The Jester, Marihilda, Steven D, LibrErica, VickiL, Hayate Yagami, lehman scott, where4art, Loudoun County Dem, BobBlueMass, grollen, bleeding blue, wader, Mr Robert, New Minas, No one gets out alive, tommymet, IndieGuy, elwior, Captain C, on the cusp, Friend in Miami, samanthab, slowbutsure, Nebraskablue, blackjackal, Cen Den, Amber6541, FarWestGirl, ArthurPoet, bluedust, melo, CharlieHipHop, e2247, LinSea, matching mole, belinda ridgewood, Burned, Desert Scientist, Jesse Douglas, monkeybrainpolitics, eeff, foresterbob, cablecargal, Mimikatz, Obi don, EighteenCharacters, DawnN, kosta, johnrhoffman, slathe, iglarmobley, Barbara Marquardt, ModerateJosh, oortdust, jilikins, Risen Tree

    All radicals are optimists. If we did not believe things could get better, we would not try.

    by tsackton on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:22:16 PM PDT

  •  Humans are incredibly resourceful (52+ / 0-)

    And I imagine that under scenarios of extreme devastation, small fringe populations may be able to hang on for an indefinite period of time.

    But I'm very pessimistic about human society and civilization as we have know it to outlast this century. And the Dark Ages that followed the collapse of the Roman Empire in Western Europe will seem the height of comfort and order in comparison to what might be coming.

    I think what we're really looking at is a mass extinction of most vertebrate life as well as a wide variety of plants. Humans can only hang on so long in such a scenario, but out passing will be but a footnote in the overall collapse of organic life.

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

    by Demi Moaned on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:33:52 PM PDT

    •  so: when do you fight back? (18+ / 0-)

      Before it's too late?

      After it's too late?

      Never?

      Really?

      See also my comment below about terrorists hijacking a bus.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:53:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's kind of now or never (27+ / 0-)

        I bought my ticket to get to New York for the big demonstration Sept. 20-21. It was Meteor Blades who brought it to my attention.

        If we reach a critical mass of public outcry, maybe, just maybe, something can yet be done. A huge amount of devastation is already inevitable. But something might still be salvaged.

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

        by Demi Moaned on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:00:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But Ezra Klein is a pessimist (34+ / 0-)

        Over at Vox today he lists 7 reasons America will fail on climate change. Here are the seven reasons without his discussion:

        1) We've waited so long that what America needs to do is really, really hard — and maybe impossible
        2) The people most affected by climate change don't get a vote
        3) We're bad at sacrificing now to benefit later
        4) The effects of global warming are not easily reversible
        5) The Republican Party has gone off the rails on climate change
        6) The international cooperation required is unprecedented, and maybe impossible
        7) Geoengineering is nuts
        I have to say his reasons more or less correspond to what I've been thinking for a while.

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

        by Demi Moaned on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:17:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  he misses than main reason (45+ / 0-)

          Most mericans now basically live week to week. They dont have the luxury of worrying about what is going to happen next year let alone 50 to 100 years from now.

          and to make matters worse, with this ponzi rigged bullshit fake wall street economy we now have, companies also dont care about much beyond this and possibly the next quarter.

          Absolutely no one is america is concerned or looking at the future now. It sort of like no one cares about their kids or grand kids.

          •  therefore: (43+ / 0-)

            1)  Get Americans thinking about the future again.  We've done it before, and we have not gone genetically stupid to the point where we can't do it again.  WW2, Apollo, etc.  Thinking about the future is subversive as hell: it gets people asking "why?" and "why not?"

            2)  Dredge up all the old mid-20th-century stuff about the wonderful future ahead.  Use that as compare-and-contrast against what we actually got.  Get people so bloody pissed off that they are ready for the moral equivalent of war over what was stolen from them.

            3)  Ratchet up the nonviolent direct action and include humor as a deliberate tactic.  See also the latest diary on the Goating of OAS episode: stuff like that recruits people for our side because it shows people they can fight back and win.  

            4)  Even when people are strapped, paycheck to paycheck, there are things they can do.  Such as moving all their money out of the bankster banks and into to credit unions.  This denies bankster banks the capital that's their food.  It doesn't take much of a "calorie restriction" to cause them to squeak.  

            5)  Take the gloves off about Marxism and socialism.  That will also scare the living shit out of the oligarchs, but if they attempt to suppress it with force, they will cause a social explosion.  

            6)  Use your noodle.  Be creative.  Don't moan about what you can't do, cheer about what you can do.  Everyone can do something.  DO IT.

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:20:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Terrific comment. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, camlbacker, PeterHug, elwior

              I needed to read this tonight, G2G. Thank you.

              " a path, not a model." -Henri Lefebvre

              by Free Jazz at High Noon on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:51:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  None of that works (8+ / 0-)

                Given the IPCC projections we hit 7degrees C in  2125 and after that it gets really bad quick

                "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

                by rktect on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:04:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Um.. ok. (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  G2geek, PeterHug, New Minas, elwior

                  I was happy for a moment's optimism, but the battle rages, and etc.

                  " a path, not a model." -Henri Lefebvre

                  by Free Jazz at High Noon on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:13:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The IPCC graph is a warning, not a prediction (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    yet another liberal

                    +7C is a business as usual scenario.   The bottom trajectory, RCP3-PD would keep the planet livable; the next one, RCP4.5 would be like playing Russian roulette with about 3 bullets in a 6 shooter - not prudent.

                    There are many options to bend the curve of overheating, all of which will cost FAR less than business as usual.  Rapidly replacing the present fossil fool infrastructure would create millions of jobs. The total cost would be less as a share of the economy than the mobillization for WWII, or the military builup of the cold war which is still with us though there is no comparable military threat.  Climate catastrophe is the overwhelming real security threat; resources are available to prevent it.

                    At some point, political and economic leaders will recognize the need to invest seriously in clean energy.  Whether it will be in time to prevent runaway positive feedbacks and vast uninhabitable regions is an open question.

                    Our job is to make them recognize their responsibilities beginning this September at the UN Climate Summit, or to replace them begininng in the general election this November.  

                    Despair is part of the problem.  Channelling our anger into action is part of the solution.

                    There's no such thing as a free market!

                    by Albanius on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 03:10:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  in which case see my comment about... (8+ / 0-)

                  ... a terrorist hijacking a bus.  

                  Right now the terrorist (climate denialist lobby) has the bus driver (our government) tied up in a passenger seat, and the terrorist is aiming the bus for a cliff while the passengers (all of us) are too preoccupied with gossip to pay attention to what's about to happen to them.

                  Right now we can get the terrorist out of the driver's seat without having to resort to anything more than minimal force (political and economic action).

                  If we wait much longer, that won't be an option.

                  Then what?  Civil War II?

                  We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                  by G2geek on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 04:34:49 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die" (7+ / 0-)

                    probably pretty miserably like the rest of us

                    Its hard to say what threatens us most, drowning in a flood or mudslide, burning to death in a brush fire, having a nuke plant slip beneath the waves every few hundred miles and lying there untended for a few years.

                    Maybe starving because of crop failures and famine, or just plain the extinction of every species we can eat including other humans, dying of thirst because of a lack of fresh water, heat stroke as mentioned in the diary.

                    Maybe  asphyxiation after we kill off all the oxygen producing organisms in the oceans.

                    Maybe being killed unpleasantly by mobs, cannibals, or bandits looting or plundering, opportunistic disease, being crushed or impaled by debris in a storm, various kinds of accidents including gun fail.

                     Maybe just being too physically weak to get up after you have fallen and not having anybody come help you.

                    Imagine a population crash, not where there are thousands of people lying dead and unburied in the streets, but urban areas with tens of millions. The water runoff into drinking supplies toxic, disease rampant, looting and panic in gun fail America.

                    Skip forward a few years when the survivors begin to come out of their bunkers to try and find food and supplies, now it just looks like your typical apocalyptic sci-fi movie.

                    No government, no organization beyond gangs and even that subject to frequent violent  readjustments of leadership.

                    Now that's what we are already committed to, but it can get worse quick if we let it.

                    "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

                    by rktect on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 07:05:47 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  with that outlook, what's preventing you... (3+ / 0-)

                      ... from becoming a crazed shooter yourself?  For instance going into Exxon and blasting away at anything that moves?

                      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                      by G2geek on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:04:49 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  and in case anyone is tempted to mis-interpret.... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        PeterHug, AoT

                        ... that comment, my point is to find out what it is that enables someone to contemplate the threat of omnicide without going thoroughly and literally insane with rage.  

                        We need all the psychological survival strategies we can find, in order to keep our heads screwed-on right as we walk forward into this new world of ours.

                        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                        by G2geek on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:46:38 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  We knew that nobody gets out alive going in (2+ / 0-)

                          for my generation we have lived a lifetime expecting the worst and been pleasantly surprised every decade we lasted after 30.

                          I'm dying to be pleasantly surprised again by some genius having figured out a way to scrub the carbon out of the atmosphere and save us all, and some other genius figuring out a way to limit overpopulation, pollution and resource war by everybody treating their neighboring countries as if they were part of one big family, without the were number one us and them nationalism

                          "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

                          by rktect on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 10:33:26 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You wont. Your comment illustrates the (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            rktect

                            problem.

                            Our problem is in fact not technological at all. It's one of attitude. We live outside our means and lie to ourselves about it. We could have solved this problem by now if we were realistic about these things. How? By cutting back.

                            If we chose to gradually taper back our lifestyle and consume less energy while at the same time converting to alternative fuels, we could slowly get this under control. Had we started years ago we could have avoided most of this.

                            This is not, repeat, not a technological problem. This has everything to do with self-control, and nothing to do with anything else. As long as people keep saying things like that I will no that nobody really understands the problem.

                            No matter what technology we may attain, we will always be able to get more energy and more goods if we ignore teh aftermath. We need to grow up. We don't need super science. In fact, super science will probably allow us to destroy the planet faster.

                            Ignorance more frequently begets confidence then knowledge. Charles Darwin

                            by martianexpatriate on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 11:23:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I blame Religion for its improperly advising (0+ / 0-)

                            what is right and proper, ie; go forth and multiply, get married have lots of babies, raise them to be god fearing, has as much responsibility as what we have decided is required by progress towards a more perfect union and a better quality of life.

                            To protect us we decided we needed well regulated militias, which in the hands of special interests became standing armies, navies, air forces, coast guards, marines, special forces, intelligence services, all dependent for their survival on fearing us into identifying funding.

                            Maybe science shares religions failings by being too conservative, disinclined to speculate on the consequences, what if, before proceeding with the experiment.

                            Maybe men of action and women of submission made sense in the dark ages what with crusades, jihads, the invasions of Huns and vandals, the Black Death and various other existential threats that were solvable just by making more people, but things have changed, now its having too many people doing too many things in too small a geographical area that is the problem.

                            If men won't go along with a woman's right to choose, and her just saying no even to the extent of demanding that women bear their rapists progeny, then women need to the cycle.

                            "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

                            by rktect on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 06:27:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Human nature gives you two reasons (0+ / 0-)

                          A)Go ask 100 people: "Ill give you  1000 dollars today, and if your great-great-grandchildren don't pay me back, they'll die.", and I promise you that a majority, if not a super-majority of people will take you up on that offer because "Something will come up."  And the kicker is you can't convince them they're wrong - because they may not be.  Something might very well come up.

                          B) I've seen repeated comments throughout this diary and others that people's lifestyle's are going to have to decrease in order to combat Global Climate Change.  Enough people say this that this is what the entirety of the environmental movement is perceived to be saying-and even if its true- this sends entirely the wrong message.

                          Go ask 100 people "You are going to have to adjust your lifestyle downwards to 19th century levels of energy use.  You can do it now, voluntarily and live a long healthy life- or you can keep going for another decade and then a violent crash will do it for you." Again, I guarantee you that a majority, if not a supermajority of your 100 people will pick the crash.

                          All telling people that they have to decrease their lifestyle will do is inspire a fatalistic hopelessness and cause them to tune you out.

                          Instead, sell them on how much green technologies will IMPROVE their quality of life. It doesn't matter WHY people adopt green technology, it only matters that they do.

                          "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                          by Whimsical on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 09:48:25 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  At the very least, I suppose the fact (4+ / 0-)

                        that such a course of action would be completely ineffective would counsel against it.

                        Having said that, I wouldn't be all that surprised if eventually there do start to be violent actions that are explicitly motivated by and targeted towards stopping climate change.  This possibility is IMO one reason TPTB are so twitchy about thinks like OWS and are so interested in creating and maintaining a domestic surveillance state.

                        (I know that is a conspiracy theory and I freely admit that I don't have any particular evidence for it.  It is consistent with the observed reality, though.)

                •  You know, stuff like that (0+ / 0-)

                  Not only makes me incredibly pessimistic, but makes me want to blow my brains out.

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

                  by Ellid on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 07:41:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  every one of us who does that... (6+ / 0-)

                    .... is a victory for our enemies.

                    Staying alive is a victory for us.

                    Sticking to our principles is a victory for us.

                    Organizing others is a victory for us.

                    Humans have survived far worse than this, far many more times than this, throughout our history as a species.

                    The future is not written in stone.  Individual acts still make a difference.

                    Think of the people who resisted the Nazis in so very many ways.  What difference does it make if you save one Jewish family from the Gestapo?  

                    The difference it makes is that each person you save carries a universe in their minds.  Saving four people is saving four entire universes.

                    These are the turning-point times, between the threat of extinction and the potential for transcendence.  

                    Go forth and do as much good as your mind and muscles can possibly do.  

                    We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                    by G2geek on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:15:16 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Comments like yours (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      PeterHug

                      are what keep me going.

                      recalls Kip's speech at the end of Have Spacesuit, Will Travel

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

                      by Ellid on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:50:34 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Humans have survived... (0+ / 0-)

                      ... far worse than this, far many more times than this, throughout our history as a species.

                      When?

                      Never.

                      Victories only count if you can point back at them from a future vantage point. So yeah, there will be no victories.

                      •  The Black Death wiped out a third of Eurasia (0+ / 0-)

                        That was pretty horrible right there.

                        Also, as I pointed out elsewhere:  the report (and the diary) assume that technology will remain static.  That almost certainly isn't the case, especially over the next three centuries.

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

                        by Ellid on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 01:25:44 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Black Death is a walk in the park (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          CharlieHipHop

                          compared to what's coming

                          •  In which case we should all just hang ourselves (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            FinchJ

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

                            by Ellid on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 01:52:23 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  well, not us, if you're over 50 (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            CharlieHipHop

                            you're going to do relatively well and probably not suffer too much - probably just massive inflation and turf wars over resources before you draw your last breath

                            If you're under 40 it's going to be pretty stressful during the last decade or your life

                            Under 30 it's going to be pretty bad

                            Under 20, hmmm, hanging might not be a bad option by the time you get to 50, if you manage to get there.

                            Under 10 I just have to say I'm really sorry. Ain't gonna be pretty.

                          •  You know, diaries and comments like this (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            FinchJ, Whimsical

                            are only going to make things worse.  Without even the faintest glimmer of hope, why not just use things up faster?  Why postpone the inevitable?

                            And no, I am not joking and I am not being a troll.  If it is that bad, if this is inevitable and imminent, why even bother?  Why not just gas myself tomorrow?  If there is no hope, what is the goddamn point of anything, including this website?

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

                            by Ellid on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 03:04:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I hear ya (0+ / 0-)

                            It is sad. It does make you think just those things you mention, that's an entirely logical emotional reaction. It would be surprising if everyone did not feel that way. Sadness and anger, big time.

                            But emotions do little to change the science and the tools we have available to effectively deal with it. And trying to simple will the problem away through wishful thinking has rarely been a powerful strategy. Many scientists have been ringing the unpopular alarm loudly for decades. They weren't doing it just to hear their own voices. Collectively, meaning globally, we chose not to hear. And for those few of you that chose to hear and "do" others chose for you to negate any small effects you have made. In fact, collectively, we chose to ratchet things up, and we are continuing to do so. We are on track to add close to 70,000,000 people to the mix this year, BTW.

                          •  Unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

                            I think you're probably right.

                            They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

                            by CharlieHipHop on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 06:01:32 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  Over 100 Years (4+ / 0-)

                  The only climate change we're absolutely committed to is the next 30 years baseline from the Greenhouse condition through today.

                  Any lessening of the CO2e concentration starting now slows the extra increases starting now, so delays +7C to after 2125.

                  If by 2035 we have cut US emissions by 1/3 from 2005, now the Executive policy (for 2030), our country will have done its nominal share to balance the Greenhouse. If we cut it by 2/3, as is right, just and achievable, we will allow the rest of the Earth to slowly absorb the Greenhouse safely into other sinks.

                  Geoengineering is nuts, but not CO2 cracking. If we have enough clean energy we can crack all the extra CO2 out of the atmosphere, and dial in any Greenhouse thickness we want. New research this year (on cheap bismuth catalyst compounds) shows an 80% energy efficient process cracking CO2 to CO, replacing industrial feedstock from petrofuels that can stay safely in the ground.

                  We have over 100 years to slow and even reverse the Greenhouse. Within that time I expect plentiful clean energy will be available, and plenty of tech like CO2 cracking systems. We can slow the damage to buy more time, and probably clean the whole thing up at balance.

                  But we have to remain optimistic. Pessimism is a self-fulfilling attitude - as is optimism.

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:34:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Could you give us a diary about this? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JeffW
                    Geoengineering is nuts, but not CO2 cracking. If we have enough clean energy we can crack all the extra CO2 out of the atmosphere, and dial in any Greenhouse thickness we want. New research this year (on cheap bismuth catalyst compounds) shows an 80% energy efficient process cracking CO2 to CO, replacing industrial feedstock from petrofuels that can stay safely in the ground.
                    I'd like to read more about it.  

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

                    by Calamity Jean on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 01:50:04 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Given the IPCC estimates have been conservative (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  elwior
                  Given the IPCC projections we hit 7degrees C in  2125 and after that it gets really bad quick
                  how much more "goosing" do we need to get our "leaders" to actually lead?
                •  beat me to it (4+ / 0-)

                  This assumes a 3.0 ECS for a doubling of CO2 and doesn't include positive feedbacks that can occur from warming oceans and forest desertification. (land carbon feedbacks).

                  It also doesn't include the potential for massive releases of methane and carbon dioxide from permafrost.  

                  Under this scenario, we will see a sea level rise of over 3 meters by 2100 and 20 meters by 2150.

                  Truly a hellish future for our grandchildren who will be part of humanity's remnants moving further northward in a post apocalyptic struggle to survive.  

                  Mitigation and geoengineering (by carbon capture from the atmosphere (biochar)) is our only solution now.

                  http://oi61.tinypic.com/...

                  Be the change that you want to see in the world

                  by New Minas on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 10:50:10 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  2°C is not good Its a suicide out on a high ledge (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    RiveroftheWest

                    but 7°C is like the jumper has jumped already.

                    So if you imagine politicians with big energy money filling  their hands trying to talk Exxon or BP out there with our lives  in their hands back off the ledge and having to break it to them that yes its going to take a couple of trillion a year off your bottom line for the next few centuries, our survival depends on whether they are willing to cut the BS and live with that...

                    "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

                    by rktect on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 10:50:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Re: Your second point. (0+ / 0-)

              Do you mean, as in asking the voting public, "Are you better off now compared to four years ago?" That's so crazy it just might work, if a Green Party candidate asks the question.

              Consumerism is the deepest shrinkage of what it means to be human. - Dr. Vandana Shiva

              by bisleybum on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 01:45:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The only way to stop climate change (0+ / 0-)

              is to make burning carbon based fuels uneconomic.  When the oil companies can no longer make money, then we have a chance.

              No matter how cynical you become, you can never keep up.--Lily Tomlin

              by MadScientist on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 01:58:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Gotta make a living ending the world (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hangingchad, G2geek, alypsee1, elwior

            One of the things it's going to take to save the planet is wealth redistribution. Inevitably, whether indirectly or directly.

            Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

            by Simplify on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:34:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  in which case we should... (12+ / 0-)

              ... go overt about that ASAP and put it on our agenda.

              Protesters in the 1960s used to have something called "non-negotiable demands."  It was said that the radicals of that era provided "cover" for liberals to push through liberal programs such as the Great Society war on poverty.

              Action on climate change has to be a "non-negotiable demand."   In order to force the issue, we need to have a laundry list of demands that are so much more onerous to the .000001% that they are willing to compromise and to deal with us about climate change.

              For example demand a return to Eisenhower-era tax rates where the top .000001% would be paying a top marginal rate above 90%.  Then "compromise" at 60%.  

              Meanwhile, there should be zero room for compromise about shutting down coal fired power plants and replacing them with any non-carbon energy sources.

              We got the future back. Uh-oh.

              by G2geek on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 04:40:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You had me right up until... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Simplify
                ...any non-carbon energy sources.
                A nuclear moratorium should be a non-negotiable demand until we figure out what to do with the waste.  Humankind has never engineered anything to last 1/100th as long as that stuff will be hot and almost unfathomably toxic.

                Renewables and hydrogen fuel cells can easily replace all current sources of energy if we have the political will to implement them -- and we won't even have to boil rivers!

                They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

                by CharlieHipHop on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 06:06:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not necessary. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JeffW
                  A nuclear moratorium should be a non-negotiable demand....
                  Nuclear power can't compete financially with renewables.  It takes too long to build and costs too much both to build and to run.  Nuke plant operators are already complaining that wind farms are undercutting their prices.  Solar is still slightly higher, but it wouldn't take much to change that.  

                  If a nuke nut starts banging on that dead old horse, just smile politely and say, "OK, fine, if it's the most cost-effective."  It isn't, and it won't ever be.  

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

                  by Calamity Jean on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 02:08:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  MBD: this is not about kids/grandkids (9+ / 0-)

            It is s/b about now.  Did you see the CA map with the reality of the drought?  The whole damn state is red!!  

            What that means to us is that we better start figuring out how to grow our own food.  We better teach or kids and grand kids to do it NOW, not in the future.

            Do you read permies.com?  It will make you aware that there are millions of people around the globe who are working right now and doing amazing things.

            Yesterday the featured video was a woman and her husband (2 people by themselves with no government help or hinderance) who turned a desert into a lush forest!  They planted trees and I don't know what else.

            Go look it up @ permies.com. Paul is making plans to grow lemon trees in Montana.  He's not trying to change the weather, he's working to adapt the land to the changes that are taking place now!

            Amazing stuff.  Go read. You'll feel better and will hopefully join in.

          •  The Masters of the Universe (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            No one gets out alive, elwior

            have never cared about the next generations down the line, beyond turning their own progeny into rotten wastrels born richer than God. They will fight tooth and nail to continue their unchecked rape of the planet and all life forms on it.

            The people don't really care about the next generations down the line either. If they did, general behaviors wouldn't be so murderous/suicidal. We're an odd species.

            Someone (a supposedly 'important' enviro-crusader journalist) once asked me why I was willing to suffer so much in a vain attempt to make people care about what they don't want to know. I began the standard passion-colored oratory on the future with the usual "it's all about the children" appeal to emotion, but it sounded as fake to my own ears as it probably was to his. So I just shrugged and said I wanted a better world to live in because this one is crapped up to the max and I have a problem with the greedheads who always get away with turning everything they touch into toxic waste. Just for fun. Wanted to see them get a little of the comeuppance they so richly deserve.

            He smiled a little and said that was the most refreshingly honest excuse he'd ever heard for anyone's commitment to changing the world. Of course, the world never changed on the level I was targeting (in fact, it's far worse now than then)...

            Because in the end the real truth is, you can't make people care about what they don't want to know.

            There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

            by Joieau on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:18:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's more the 1% who have to change (0+ / 0-)

            If Big Energy/Chemical/Agriculture wanted to create a wholesale shift towards protecting what we have left of the environment - and, attempt to make a profit by leading the charge - they could do so.

            Instead, almost every major business leader complains about government regulations, mandates and the like.  They won't invest in new directions all at once and will only do so incrementally when pushed by the government (or market, but that's moving slowly).

            "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

            by wader on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 10:15:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Great, I can come up with one reason to... (9+ / 0-)

          ... overcome all seven of those:

          1)  Because if we don't, we go extinct.

          If that's not compelling enough, then why didn't we surrender to the Axis the day after Pearl Harbor?

          "Lie back and enjoy it" is shitty rape-crisis counseling.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:13:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  “Geoengineering is nuts”? (0+ / 0-)

          Compared to accepting the extinction of humanity and other large mammals, if that were the alternative? Presumably not the choice that Klein had in mind.

          •  "I know an old lady who swallowed a fly" (0+ / 0-)

            I'm rather of Klein's opinion.

            Not to be a killjoy, but it's hard to believe that the consequences of the huge, unpredictable changes to the global climate can be safely reversed by further efforts to make huge, unpredictable changes to the climate.
            Any kind of geoengineering 'solution' will be highly speculative at best and certain to involve unintended consequences. Kind of like tapping Sarah Palin as Vice-President to revitalize your campaign, except much more desperate.

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

            by Demi Moaned on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:57:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  so what? (0+ / 0-)

          This would make sense if there was some benefit to giving up.

          There is none.

          This isn't like folding a poker hand to cut your losses.

          This is a situation where folding has no benefit.

          It's like trying to get to shore after a shipwreck.  You don't make it, game over.  You just have to try to make it.

          I notice he makes a comment that climate change might be good for Russian agriculture (it's buried in the "international cooperation" section).  That suggests that he is not only a pessimist, but also a denialist.  The simpleton idea that "Russia and Canada will just be the new Florida" is not supported by any serious model.

          His attitude here is a right wing denialist attitude.  This is a common right wing denialist position.  "It's too late so we can't do anything".  ("And it will just make the Arctic into the Mediterranean anyway" is a common addition)

          •  Amen on Canada and Russia. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest, Calamity Jean

            There are parts of Siberia that may be amenable to agriculture with a warmer climate.  Unfortunately the warming that would open southwest Siberia to agriculture would dessicate the breadbaskets in the steppe belt that extends from Ukraine eastward into Russia.  15-20 inches of rain per year is enough in regions where the average summer high temperature is 25-27 C.  Raise that to 29 C, and this great breadbasket turns into central Nebraska without the aquifer.

            In Canada, the rule is that everything that can be plowed has already been plowed.  The diversity of possible crops may improve in some areas, but that might not make up for dessication in Saskatchewan.  

            "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

            by Yamaneko2 on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 08:03:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I'm inclined to agree mostly with Klein. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          His reasoning is for the most part spot on.  However there is a tiny sliver of hope that the American public may be waking up. Whether it is too little too late is a question, but we might be able to keep it from being catastrophic if we wake up in time.  Our windows are closing rapidly, and not just on global warming. We simply cannot support 9 billion people with all their water, food, soil, and waste disposal needs. Right now I'd wager 75/25 that we will doom our civilization at least and maybe 50/50 on the species within 300 years or so.  Wall-E here we come, unless we can migrate to Mars.  

      •  You fight back 2 or 3 decades ago (0+ / 0-)

        Oops.

    •  This is making Hawking's 1000 years (5+ / 0-)

      to vacate the planet look conservative.

    •  A bit extreme (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      No one gets out alive, elwior

      The further down you go in the pecking order, the less it matters.  Cockroaches (including the Koch brothers) don't care about this.  Neither does most aquatic life.

      It's humans and most other large mammals who would be most affected.  I think it's rather improbable that the human race would be entirely snuffed out.  A 99% die off is not "extinction."  And the issue is not the extra temperature per se, but the impact on food and water resources.

      It is uncertain what parts of the world get hurt worst.  One of the reason that Canada may be backing off its environmental commitment is that they are one of the few countries on earth that is likely to benefit (relatively little coastline exposure, access to natural resources when the ice in the Northwest Passage goes away, improved growing conditions and length of seasons).  On the other hand, I've got to think that Africa and the Middle East are seriously screwed; the Sahara Desert is going to be on the march and that's going to matter long before rising sea levels do.

      None of this leads to extinction of the human race, nor does it imply the death of technological civilization.  But that civilization is going to look much different after the disaster, and we might not like it, assuming we are among the survivors.

    •  If there's a large enough dieback, (0+ / 0-)

      a few oligarchs and their servants will be able to live on AC and/or the most hospitable climes.

      I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

      by Words In Action on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:21:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Kill a Republican, Save the World" makes a good (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      No one gets out alive

      bumper sticker, yes?

      It is one thing for the Ants to plan and the Grasshopper to squander. But I ask this, what would the Ants do if the Grasshopper was going to get THEM killed too?

    •  Dark Ages in Western Europe (4+ / 0-)

      There was never a civilized period in Western Europe prior to the end of the Roman Empire. There were a few forts and tranding posts, and indeed some towns around them, but the vast majority of Western Europe - and the rest of Europe - was never civilized until the end of the Middle Ages.

      The Roman Empire collapsed in Italy - because it moved to Constantinople, closer to the industrial and cultured East. Western Europe was tribal the whole time until the gradually richer and more omnipotent Church organized its warlords into kings and so transcontinental trade, culminating in overseas colonization.

      The myth of a "Dark Ages" (defined by a pre-Dark civilized Europe) is just a "Renaissance" invention to endow its kings and bankers to claim a legacy that never existed.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:15:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yet another way we may soon go. (43+ / 0-)

    It seems to me, however, that ocean acidification will finish us off sooner. I doubt most species in the oceans can survive the dieoff of anything with a carbonate shell, particularly the zoo-plankton, and I doubt humans will long survive the complete collapse of the ecosystem of two thirds of the earth, which will likely be followed or accompanied by the collapse of terrestrial ecosystems.

    Yep, don't have much long term hope for the human race. But it just isn't worth saving if it might cost me as much as having a cup of coffee at Starbucks each morning.

    •  Collapse of food chains. n/t (8+ / 0-)

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:01:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And then there is the Humbolt Squid... (10+ / 0-)

      Due to the slaughter of sharks mainly for their fins, they are becoming extinct and these squids are taking over the ocean without large preditors to control them.
      Now they are a charming creature they are man-killers and can grow very fast, grow up to 200 lbs., they attack divers slamming into them at high speeds then a large beak comes out and eats you.  They also eat every fish in sight wiping out fishing grounds and leaving nothing alive behind.
      They aren't even good to eat as they rapidly decompose when they are pulled out of the water.
      Nightmare scenario time.

      We are not powerless!! "Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet."– Alice Walker

      by nocynicism on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:06:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We need a movie called SQUID! (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MikePhoenix, G2geek, Joieau, PeterHug, elwior

        It would get peoples attention.  Especially when they begin to tolerate fresh water.

        •  SQUIDNADO!! (8+ / 0-)

          Im copyrighting the title today. Call me, SyFy.

          •  SQUIDICANE!!!! N/T (4+ / 0-)

            No War but Class War

            by AoT on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:26:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  SQUIDFERNO!!! N/T (6+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, PeterHug, Dvalkure, DocGonzo, alypsee1, elwior

              "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

              by Lost Left Coaster on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:04:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So much better. n/t (4+ / 0-)

                No War but Class War

                by AoT on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:16:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  As in many interesting things, (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, Lost Left Coaster, ypochris, elwior

                XKCD has relevant commentary.

                :)

              •  TOWERING SQUIDFERNO! (0+ / 0-)

                "Towering Squidferno" by DocGonzo
                with apologies to the Trammps and their "Disco Inferno"

                (Burn baby burn)
                (Burn baby burn)
                (Burn baby burn)
                (Burn baby burn)

                To my surprise, one hundred degrees high
                People getting drowned y'all, or climbing out on the roof
                Folks are screaming, out of control
                It was so motivating when the generators started to explode
                I heard somebody say

                (Burn baby burn) towering  squidferno
                (Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
                (Burn baby burn) towering  squidferno
                (Burn baby burn) burn that mother down

                Liquefaction came in a chain reaction
                (Burnin')
                9.0 was enough, for the tsunami to flood our stuff
                The heat struck back, from the basement to smokestack
                Everybody forced to swim, and that is when the squids slammed in
                I heard somebody say

                (Burn baby burn) disco inferno
                (Burn baby burn) towering  squidferno
                (Burn baby burn) disco inferno
                (Burn baby burn) towering  squidferno

                All around my waist
                I feel tentacles in the surf
                That makes me know
                I've forever left the turf

                Liquefaction came in a chain reaction
                (Burnin')
                9.0 was enough, for the tsunami to flood our stuff
                The seas had risen, levees overtopped
                Everybody forced to swim, and that is when the squids slammed in
                I heard somebody say

                (Burn baby burn) towering  squidferno
                (Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
                (Burn baby burn) towering  squidferno
                (Burn baby burn) burn that mother down

                (Burn baby burn)
                (Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
                (Burn baby burn) towering  squidferno
                (Burn baby burn) burn that mother down

                (Just can't stop) when the squids slam in
                (Just can't stop) when the squids slam in

                (Just can't stop) when the squids slam in
                (Just can't stop) when the squids slam in
                (Just can't stop) when the squids slam in
                when the squids slam in

                (Just can't stop) when the squids slam in
                (Just can't stop) when the squids slam in
                (Just can't stop) when the squids slam in
                (Just can't stop) when the squids slam in
                (Just can't stop) when the squids slam in
                (Just can't stop) when the squids slam in
                (Just can't stop) when the squids slam in

                (Burn baby burn) towering  squidferno
                (Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
                (Burn baby burn) towering  squidferno
                (Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
                (Burn baby burn)
                (Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
                (Burn baby burn) towering  squidferno

                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                by DocGonzo on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 10:18:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Vapire Squid! (0+ / 0-)

          And go ahead and confuse the issue of which vampire squids are worse - the ones who eat fish and divers, or the ones who polluted the planet so badly that squids could take over the ocean.

          There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

          by Joieau on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:27:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Er, Vampire Squid. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior

          There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

          by Joieau on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:28:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  lol!WTF? man. some world, eh? Ex-almostdivemaster* (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:37:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  those and jellyfish. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        isabelle hayes, elwior, melo

        The waters of the world are becoming infested with jellyfish.

        Also toxic nasty things that are not edible by humans.

        This is what happens when ecosystems "simplify."  All the good stuff dies off and what's left is the shit.

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 04:57:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And dont forget the jellyfish. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior

        Their numbers are increasing, a lot in some places.
        Clogging up cooling water intake pipes at power plants, etc.
        They like global warming too. So far.

      •  Haven't heard about divers being eaten by squid. (0+ / 0-)

        Could you post a link for us?

      •  HumbolDt squid do not kill humans. This is myth. (7+ / 0-)

        They are good to eat and fished commercially throughout the world.

        In fact, it is fishermen and not divers who gave rise to stories about their supposed "aggression". Fishermen lure the squid to the surface by illuminating phosphorescent plankton at night and then culling the squid. The squid arrive in numbers and feed aggressively, thus the legends about humans being attacked if they fall into their midst.

        Of course, there is not one documented human death:

        I cannot find a single verifiable record of a fatal squid attack on a human in the medical literature
        They are not a nightmare scenario. They are large creatures inoffensive to humans moving into more shallow waters due to global warming effects. Please research before demonizing.
        •  fyi, Hippos do. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dvalkure, ypochris, elwior

          More than Terrorists.

          In fact, I suggest we cut our anti-Terroism budgets in half and redirect .01% of it to Anti-Hippoism. We can monitor every damn one of them and put the suspicious ones in indefinite detention.

          Much less e3xpensive, more effective way to protect humanity.

          Then we go after deaths by lightning with a vengeance!!! BWAHAHAHA!!!

          I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

          Trust, but verify. - Reagan
          Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

          by Words In Action on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:25:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You dive with them and see what happens. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior

          The documentary I watched interviewed divers who were attacked by them and they don't agree with you about the danger.  They are smart and hunt in large groups too.

          We are not powerless!! "Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet."– Alice Walker

          by nocynicism on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 10:01:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No one has ever been killed by a squid. (0+ / 0-)

            Humboldt squid are fished for food worldwide.

            Many marine animals are possible threats to divers. If you enter their world,  you accept that risk.

            If the show you watched truly said squid kill and eat people and are not fished for food, it was outright lying to be sensationalistic.

            •  It didn't say divers were killed but interviewed (0+ / 0-)

              people who were attacked and thought themselves lucky to be   alive.   I don't remember them saying anything about them being good to eat, I do remember them saying they rapidly decompose after being pulled out of the water.

              We are not powerless!! "Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet."– Alice Walker

              by nocynicism on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 09:06:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  New Horror movie, the Rise of the Jellyfish Men!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior

      we are running a lab experiment, what will the ocean ecosystem come up with if we kill off so many species?

  •  Well, they're certainly part of the problem (30+ / 0-)
    I have been a climate activist, but until reading this paper, I never actually considered that Exxon and other companies could cause the extinction of the human race.
    But having 7+ billion people on the planet isn't really Exxon's fault. Maybe we could blame the Haber process. And maybe antibiotics. And various religious and political leaders for driving up birth rates. In a sense humanity has dug it's own grave. Fossil fuels are just one of the shovels we've used.

    GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:41:55 PM PDT

    •  The so-called "Green Revolution" (14+ / 0-)

      was largely driven by fossil fuels and is part of what got us here. Being able to feed this large of a population is the sine qua non of having such a population. And we can't do that without oil.

      No War but Class War

      by AoT on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:13:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Say rather, "We can't do that as we have been ... (13+ / 0-)

        without oil.

        But that doesn't mean that we can't uncover much greater productivity and efficiencies that are quite independent of oil.

        How often has it been demonstrated that restrictions on destructive technologies have unleashed more efficient processes than the ones being restricted?

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

        by Demi Moaned on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:23:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My only point was that (8+ / 0-)

          Exxon and friends are in fact responsible as much as antibiotics are responsible for our current population levels.

          How often has it been demonstrated that restrictions on destructive technologies have unleashed more efficient processes than the ones being restricted?
          No clue.

          No War but Class War

          by AoT on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:43:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  However some climate scientists (13+ / 0-)

          taking the combined problems into account, have calculated that we have to decrease the population to < 2 billion by 2100 to be able to sustain a standard of living similar to European countries. To do this, 1 child per family would be necessary world wide.

          Unfortunately I am not sure this takes into account how much fresh water/aquifer damage will be done by fracking before it is stopped. The negatives are likely to overwhelm too much of the many ecosystems.

          While I think the time left for humanity is virtually impossible to predict, I suspect the resistance to do what is minimally necessary (1 child, not to mention all the other quality of life losses) will be enough to wipe out the vast majority if not all.

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:10:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  one way "or another," we will get to 2 billion. (5+ / 0-)

            Our task is to encourage doing it voluntarily rather than "the other way."

            When I see projections of population 9 billion by 2100, I shake my head and say "we won't see anything like 9 billion."

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 04:59:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  According to one UN report I read awhile back, (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              isabelle hayes, G2geek, Odysseus, elwior

              the population estimates were actually coming down below 9 billion due to control efforts at that time. Recent improvements in long term, injectable methods that are easily implanted by low level caregivers, have been improving the numbers even more.

              The probability is that it will be a mix of voluntary and 'other ways'.  My brain has gotten to the point when I hear that cigarettes killed 1 billion people in the 20th century...

              "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

              by Ginny in CO on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:17:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed (and maybe 1.5 or even 1 billion) (4+ / 0-)

              I have exactly the same reaction to the projections for continued linear increases: ain't gonna happen. The limitations in water (especially clean water) and food crops, plus increased disease due to those limits, plus increased conflicts due to population migrations due to all of the above, make that pretty clear.

              And add in the chemical and hormone-bending plastics that cause birth defects and cancer and impair fertility.

              Add in natural disasters. Call it the five (or six or seven) horses of the apocalypse.

              IMO we need -- everywhere, locally and globally -- to be planning for depopulation and reduced life expectancy.

            •  Voluntary population control (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              maryabein, elwior, Ginny in CO

              is all well and good, but given how long people live and the resource depletion/AGW timeline we're looking at, I don't think that a relevant reduction will happen in a useful time without a dieoff.

              Therefore, although population reduction needs to be part of any successful approach to solve this problem, it cannot be the whole solution - we urgently need efficiency improvements in delivering an acceptable lifestyle to everyone, coupled with massive replacement of carbon generation.

              •  There will certainly be other causes of dieoff. (0+ / 0-)

                JohnnySacks notes below the probability of plague(s) is one that will especially hit areas with poor water/sewage systems.

                Plain lack of potable water and severe malnutrition will eliminate large numbers.

                Climate victims and refugees will be other groups decimated. Refugees have been shown to have shorter lifespans just from the stress.

                Toxins are already creating problems in fertility, viability of fetuses as well as all kinds of diseases from birth on.

                I am wondering how widely euthanasia will become a personal choice, with government regulation and aid.  I think it should be offered now to those who are sentenced to life in prison.  

                The scientists who came up with the 1 child per family to do this by population control did not, IIRC, estimate how many would actually comply, or what other causes might make the difference.

                What authorities will need to prepare for is how many will die in some situations and need to have adequate containment of the biomass.

                "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                by Ginny in CO on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:17:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  We're Also Overdue For A Plague... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ginny in CO

            I've been reading through the comments looking for someone stating the likelihood this scenario.

            Something is going to make the jump from either a chicken, pig, or cow agricultural feed operation to humans or do a quick and simple mutation in a hospital ward and we're going to be powerless to stop it because by then, it will have become immune to our entire arsenal of antibiotics.  
            We're seeing the beginnings of it now.

            What's scary is that society will instantly revert to dark ages isolationism.  Same with global warming repercussions.  Our military (and decidedly UN-christian populace) will be put to work killing Central Americans doing nothing more than migrating to where there's water and food.

      •  yeah we can (9+ / 0-)

        we just choose not to, since carbon base companies run our governments now.  We created nuclear energy in a couple years in the early 40's with the manhattan project.   You dont think we could do the same with renewables?  

        Please the entire universe is made up of nothing but energy.  To think we can only power our world by burning black goo that comes out of the ground is beyond absurd.

        •  It's not just the power (6+ / 0-)

          It's the fertilizer and many other things.

          And while we might be able to switch over to renewables, we aren't. So what we can do, or could have done, really is beside the point in many ways.

          We created nuclear energy in a couple years in the early 40's with the manhattan project.
          That was not a couple of years to create nuclear energy. That was to create a bomb.

          No War but Class War

          by AoT on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:28:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  If it is everyone's fault, then it is no one's (6+ / 0-)

      And it is strange to me when people blame the "7 billion" without, you know, admitting that they are one of them. It's kind of like people who sit in their car and rage about the traffic around them, as if they are the one car absolved of responsibility for being there.

      The fact is, Big Oil has played the same role as tobacco companies, casting bullshit doubt upon climate science and causing political paralysis at every turn. Their portion of the blame is huge, even if it is not theirs solely to bear. The fact is, a lot of these 7 billion don't use a hell of a lot of energy in their day to day lives. In some areas of the world, the most common fuel is still wood.

      Americans and Europeans, however, consume a vastly disproportionate amount of the world's resources. I'm delivering a talk on climate change this weekend and found a telling statistic to share -- the USA has been historically responsible for over 30% of total emissions sitting up there in the atmosphere today. And that's with a small percentage of the world's population.

      So don't blame the 7 billion. Most of them have done very little to cause climate change. There are a variety of reasons that we should promote women's rights, access to family planning, and poverty reduction, all of which reduce birth rates and help population stabilize, but when it comes to fighting climate change, the most important action is a matter of getting the highest emitters of the world, both current and historically, to take responsibility for what they have done and rein in the political power of the fossil fuel industries.

      "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

      by Lost Left Coaster on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:48:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Poverty aside, that 7 billion has still resulted (5+ / 0-)

        in population pressures on ecosystems around the world. Humans pushing further into forested and pristine areas. Not to mention, there aren't very many humans that don't dream of owning a car, a house, eating three square meals a day.

        That would be 21 billion meals every day. And around 76 trillion meals a year for the foreseeable future. That's a lot of resources whether it's being cooked with wood, coal, or gas.

        And yes, I am one of the 7 billion. But have chosen to not have children. I'd say that's akin to deciding to ride my bike to work past the traffic jam. Yet the traffic jam still exists and is something I feel compelled to complain about.

        Agriculture, fossil fuel burning, and population pressures are the three great threats to the planet.


        "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

        by Pescadero Bill on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 07:33:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What blaming the 7 billion does (4+ / 0-)

          is takes the blame off the surprisingly small number of villains who are holding back progress on climate change. Suddenly it becomes the fault of everyone, mostly poor people, who continue having children, something humans have always done and will continue to do, but will do much less of if we can improve living conditions for every one, improve women's rights, improve access to health care for everyone, etc.

          If (when) the planet burns, it will mostly be on the hands of a small number of people, who prevented the world from kicking the fossil fuel habit and for making the lives of poor people around the world better.

          Most of the 7 billion will mostly be victims of climate change. Their individual contributions to the problem are miniscule compared to, say, the individual contributions of North Americans. Not to mention that North Americans for the most part have not held their leaders accountable for being anywhere from useless to downright maliciously harmful on this issue.

          I'm just saying that the blame is by no means to be spread evenly though the 7 billion. But I am not denying that population pressures play a role.

          "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

          by Lost Left Coaster on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:11:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Water will kill most off first (28+ / 0-)

    Too much, too little, contaminated. Then there is the lack of agriculture.

    So, Nimbus III

  •  tsackton - more non-scientists could better (6+ / 0-)

    understand your diary if the temperatures were in F, rather than C.

    "let's talk about that" uid 92953

    by VClib on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:00:01 PM PDT

    •  to convert think of body temperature (19+ / 0-)

      body temperature is about 98 degrees F;  or 36.6 degrees celsius.  

      What the authors are saying is that a sustained environmental temperature of 95 degrees - i.e. with no opportunity to mitigate with shade, water, wind etc  - would eventually lead to death due to inability to get rid of excess heat.  

      Put another way - you can stand up to 110 or 120 degrees for a short time, provided you have a way to cool down and it is not 100% humidity -- but 95 degrees at sustained humidity and no relief is lethal.

      That is why so many elderly people died in France a few years ago during the August heat wave - 12,000 or more - because they could not cool off at night.

      All radicals are optimists. If we did not believe things could get better, we would not try.

      by tsackton on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:04:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Americans need to learn Celsius already (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madcitysailor, charliehall2, elwior

      There really is no excuse not to know it. The entire world, minus the USA, uses it. Same with the metric system. It is a ridiculous form of American exceptionalism to use outdated and nonsensical systems of measurement.

      "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

      by Lost Left Coaster on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:50:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I like F because it has more granularity in the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lost Left Coaster, barleystraw

        the most common temps we refer to for weather.

        "let's talk about that" uid 92953

        by VClib on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:19:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, elwior

          Talking about .5 degrees all the time in Celsius does make it a little less elegant. And I always liked the fact that in Fahrenheit, 100 means pretty freakin' hot. It seems to line up well. But still, Celsius has its own advantages too that I'm sure everyone is familiar with. I think that kids are being taught the system in school these days -- I wish that TV meteorologists, at the very least, would start giving the temps in both, so that we can all get more accustomed to how all the temps line up.

          "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

          by Lost Left Coaster on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 10:15:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Easy conversion: C x2 + 30. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lost Left Coaster, elwior

      So 35 C = 35 x 2 (70) + 30 = 100.

      That's not exact but close enough.

      Alternately and more accurate, normal body temperature (98.6F) is 37.

      The rest of the world (including the UK) uses C, so that's the language the international popular press as well as scientists use. Why doesn't the US? Because Communism and United Nations and American sovereignty and black helicopters, or something like that.

      •  Alternate scale (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lost Left Coaster

        I use:
        0 C   = Freezing
        10 C = Put on a sweater
        20 C = Comfortable for working (mowing the lawn, say)
        25 C = Comfortable to sit in the shade
        30 C = Getting rather warm
        35 C = HOT
        40 C = much too HOT

      •  I would say inertia, or Network Effect. (0+ / 0-)

        Most American uses Fahrenheit and is exposed to Fahrenheit growing up, so they're used to using Fahrenheit.
        When they have kids, they also teach them using Fahrenheit.
        When anyone want to mention anything with temperature, those using Fahrenheit is more easily understood than those using Celsius (simply because it's easier to intuitively understand the former).

        It will require a government mandate making metric mandatory (list what most other country did).
        http://en.wikipedia.org/...
        US, so far, only made it voluntary (the only requirement is that metric measurement be available in some instances, and old measurements are not banned). Thus, Network Effect still dominates.

      •  Multiply by nine fifths and add 32. (0+ / 0-)

        It's a bit more accurate.

        "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

        by elwior on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 11:59:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Manhattan was once under one mile of Ice (7+ / 0-)

    A land bridge once connected Yucatan to Cuba.

    In both cases, man was inconvenienced as climate change happened.

    But don't ever underestimate how resourceful man is.

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

    by PatriciaVa on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:02:08 PM PDT

    •  don't want to underestimate resourcfulness (30+ / 0-)

      but issue is not if humans are resourceful, the issue is control of resources -  all the ingenuity in the world does not matter if a small group of people is gaining immense wealth from your discomfort.  The incentives are all on their side.

      The idea of 'human ingeniuity' implies some kind of common bond and equal effort.

      That is not possible with massive inequality and unequal control of wealth.  

      I think global warming is a sickness of capitalism - and the sickness cannot be cured without killing the disease agent - capitalism itself.

      All radicals are optimists. If we did not believe things could get better, we would not try.

      by tsackton on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:09:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've been pushing for Tax on Wealth for a fw years (8+ / 0-)

        A graduated tax on wealth, starting at 1% of net worth for households with at least 50M in net assets.  Going to 8% annually for the likes of Buffet and Ellison.

        A tax on wealth will materially mitigate inequality.

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

        by PatriciaVa on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:17:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  start by demanding 40% and then... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          isabelle hayes, AoT, Dvalkure, elwior

          ...let them negotiate for something less than that.

          Seriously: never start with the "reasonable" proposal.  Start with the proposal that will scare the living shit out of your opponent and get his attention.  Then negotiate.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:07:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I will go with the follow. (0+ / 0-)

            Raise inheritance tax up to 99% after the current limit of around $5 million. Perhaps adding lower tiered tax below $5 million.

            It will be much easier for IRS to check and compute said tax since it only happens once per life-time, and thus can devote more resource to check it correctly. Trying to compute net-worth annually is a messy business (unless you want to make tax accountant even richer).

      •  there's a little more to it than just capitalism. (13+ / 0-)

        The underlying fatal flaw is "the instinct for increase," and "the desire to dominate."

        For example having more children than your competitors.

        Having more consumer goods than your neighbors.

        Having more this year than last year.

        More, more, more: any rate of growth is an exponential, and exponentials are nature's original insurance policy against various other forms of extinction.

        However at this point in human history, or more accurately some time during the 1950s - 1960s, exponentials became our undoing, as we approached the limits to growth, and then went over the limits in the early 1980s.  Exponentials are now what is driving the threat of extinction.

        Replacing capitalism with something else, by itself is not sufficient.  We also need to radically change the culture:

        1)  Negative population growth: one child per family for a few generations until we are down to a total world population of about 3 billion.  After that, a birth rate of 2 children per family.

        2)  Negative economic growth: reduction of consumption until the ecological footprint per capita is no more than that of Western Europe.   After that, steady-state economics.

        You may know that "negative economic growth" is one of the ingredients in the definition of economic depression.  This will be offset somewhat by the creation of new wealth during the conversion of our energy supply to non-carbon energy sources.  But in the end there is no question we have to contract the economy and reduce consumption levels.

        3)  Radical cultural change: to value those things that do not require economic transactions, for example knowledge, wisdom, creativity, empathy.  

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:09:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Negative Population Growth will happen, (10+ / 0-)

          Either voluntarily or involuntarily. I doubt it will be voluntary. Those of us who fully practice it, as my family has, have no offspring. Those who do not understand it, along with those who understand it, but freely procreate anyway, will be the parents of the next generation. That is a big problem.

          In high school I read the great dystopian novels, including On the Beach. After a stint in the Vietnam War, I became even more convinced that humans were up to no good for a sustainable and peaceful Earth. After the War, I became a worker and a union leader. It became clear to me that capitalism was a recipe for disaster, but socialism in this country was not going to mature in time to save us. Thus, I have become a pessimist. I believe humans will experience a collapse of our ecosystem, and a collapse of peaceful order.

          There have been other major extinctions in the history of the Earth, and I think there will be more. Maybe, sometime, in the far off future, there will be a sustainable ecosystem on Earth which will endure until the Sun dims and the lifeboats leave for other worlds. Beyond that, I haven't a clue. Good luck and good night.

          Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now 401.25 ppm. That is "Climate Cluster Chaos". (hat tip to JeffW for CCC)

          by Zinman on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:47:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Just to get an idea of where we are (0+ / 0-)

            Here's the World Population Clock. Note that only 3 countries in the top 20 have negative population growth and in Russia's case part of that comes from emigration.

            Everyday births still outnumber deaths by about 2.5 to one, so we are nowhere close to reaching a stable population level.
            Thomas Piketty recently pointed out the link between high population growth and war, albeit offset a generation. Syria, for example, had a very high birthrate 25 years ago. Now we are seeing the war. The Horn of Africa still has some of the highest birthrates on earth.

            Of course, it may not be population growth that sinks us. The British astronomer Martin Rees asserted that we face a passel of risks, including deliberate AI augmentation, that push the likelihood that even a single human is living in 2100 down to around 50%.      

            It is not easy to see what you are not looking for, or to know what it is you do not know.

            by kosta on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 12:03:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, there you go again, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, AoT, elwior

          … posting one thoughtful, cogently written, informative response after another, up and down this diary's comment thread.

          :-)

          Seriously, though, thanks. I wish every commenter, myself included, were as constructive and educational as you're being here.

          The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

          by lotlizard on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:15:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  simple formula for being constructive: (11+ / 0-)

            Don't get stuck in the emotions of "problematizing."  Don't get bogged down by moaning and weeping, which do not help.  "Don't mourn, organize!"

            Acknowledge the situation and look at it clearly and objectively.  Look for the root causes and the contributory causes.  

            Focus first on big-picture solutions: what has to change in order to permanently solve this.  Then seek out contributory solutions: what we can start doing right now that moves us in the right direction.

            Look for specific actions that can promote those solutions or move them forward by any degrees whether big or small.

            Organize and/or encourage people to take any specific actions they can, whether large or small.  Everyone can do something.

            Keep in mind that success breeds success, and commitment breeds commitment.  People start by doing one thing, they see that it's successful or at least makes them feel good about doing something, and then they do more, and encourage their families and friends to do something.  That's how it spreads.  

            Recognize that occasionally there will be setbacks and bad news, but those things should if anything strengthen the resolve to stay committed and keep doing more.

            Since this site is strongly connected to Democratic party organizing, we should encourage people to let their candidates and elected officials know: Climate change is "Job #1."  

            This is the most important issue on the table today.  It's an existential threat that makes the WW2 Axis powers, the USSR, and Al Qaeda all look almost insignificant by comparison.  No war in history compares in sheer lethality to what the climate crisis will do to humanity.  This justifies an attitude that President Carter called the moral equivalent of war: complete commitment to every possible action to deal with it.  No oligarch is so powerful, no vested interest so entrenched, that we can't push them aside to deal with this.  

            And in the end, keep in mind that the most significant thing we can do right now to stop this, is to shut down all of our coal fired power plants and replace them with any available non-carbon energy source.  That will stop 30% of the carbon emissions and give us the room needed for the longer-term solutions to be put into place.

            In other words, we can do this with a "tech fix" now, and culture change over the long term.  

            That's worth working for and fighting for with everything we've got.

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:58:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JeffW
              And in the end, keep in mind that the most significant thing we can do right now to stop this, is to shut down all of our coal fired power plants and replace them with any available non-carbon energy source.  That will stop 30% of the carbon emissions and give us the room needed for the longer-term solutions to be put into place.

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

              by Calamity Jean on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 03:37:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Given where long term rates are right now (6+ / 0-)

          We're already there, and we are seeing one impact of it: Concentration of wealth is accelerating. The strong are crowding out the weak as much as possible ahead the moment when the mob storms their chateaus.

          •  you should put your formidable writing skills... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cskendrick, elwior

            ... to work on a novel about the climate hellscape and Civil War II breaking out over it.  

            Might scare a few more people into waking up.

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:09:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am writing that :) (4+ / 0-)

              One more act to go.

            •  An excerpt (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, lilsky, Odysseus, The Termite, elwior

              Tara passes through the jade and gold gate and descends a wide stair. The Via’s floor drops away from artificial starlight on the ceiling above. She notes the prominent artificial moon, though out in the real sky the moon is nowhere to be seen. Here in the Via, Luna is always in full phase. The hint of a duplicate moonlight source shines from just around the rightward bend of the Via.

              The illusions in the newer galleries deeper down in the underground city are more convincing. They’ll have to be, because the surface of the Earth will get less habitable before it gets more so for quite a few centuries to come.

              Some, like the Chinese, insist that the salvation of Humanity lies in space. Tara sides with her father’s way of thinking: There’s plenty of space on Earth and more on the way – because we are going extinct as quickly as the rest of the biosphere.

              As of 2090, the total human population was 6.2 billion – a full three billion less than forecast at the turn of the century. And the population level will fall much lower before the dieback is done.

              If we are to claim the stars, we must first heal the Earth. We cannot save enough diversity, not of species, not of Humanity, in scattered deep space colonies. Earth will be our everlasting crèche or our eternal coffin. We will have both the Earth and the stars - or neither.

              •  excellent; and you & I have both landed on the... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cskendrick, Odysseus, elwior, Zinman

                ... same meme independently:  "We will have both the Earth and the stars - or neither."   Where are you going to publish that?

                Sustainability is the prerequisite for space migration.  Otherwise we suffer a major collapse and dieoff, lose our access to technology, and regress to a caveman existence until the natural increase in the Sun's luminosity boils the oceans in about 1/2 billion years.  "Mars and the stars, or graves and the caves."  "Do we pass or fail the cosmic Darwin test?" etc.

                I'm working on a pretty hefty writeup as well, though not fiction.  This to be published elsewhere, as the scope of it is beyond the scope of DK and I need to own the site it's on.

                We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                by G2geek on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:13:35 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  See my research summary elsewhere here (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  G2geek, elwior

                  I did a precise modeling of vertebrate extinction rates.

                  All primate families are at risk of being extinct within a thousand years.

                  If the cascade scenarios happen as some here have forecast, this happens inside of a hundred.

              •  CHILLS!!! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cskendrick

                Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

                by The Termite on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:28:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  How would we get in touch? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cskendrick

                I have an idea you may find interesting.

                Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

                by The Termite on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:29:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  "knowledge, wisdom, creativity, empathy" (0+ / 0-)

          it's my understanding that cultivating interest/devotion in these human/e things is the work we do when we represent them in our family/community

          as to the subject of this excellent diary and comments:

          those of us who have the ability to bear it, know our place in the nature of reality, otherwise known as the universe

          we are less than a pixel, but so far, we and some of our fellow mammals are the only creatures that can be noble

          that'll have to do

        •  Negative economic growth (0+ / 0-)

          If the population declines, negative aggregate growth is OK since what counts is per capita economic output.

          The biggest problem with declining birthrates is dealing with the resulting aging population.  This is far more solvable than the Very Serious People seem to think but it requires some real thought about economic policy -- in the opposite direction of where the catfood crew want it to go -- and not necessarily along a capitalist/socialist/whatever model.

          One thing.  Most people (and especially most cultural conservatives) simply do not have any sense of obligation to their children.  Children are there to serve the parents, and their reward, if they survive, is to be served by their children.  (A corollary, since they perceive making babies as a positive NPV act, is that they have every incentive to make babies -- this is the genesis of the anti-choice movement.)

        •  more greed ok here: arts and scientific inquiry (0+ / 0-)

          shift away from material things into world of ideas, story telling, games, dance, yoga, gardening and other enrichment activities.

          more unicycles, community bands, hiking clubs, civic participation

    •  It's easier to keep warm when it's too cold (6+ / 0-)

      It's a lot, lot harder to cool down when it's too hot.

      No War but Class War

      by AoT on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:14:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually (5+ / 0-)

        It is using modern tech, but not more ancient tech.  Indians lived in the Sonoran desert of Arizona for thousands of years, in numbers and densitities far higher than the arctic.

        Shade, ventilation, and siestas go a long way.

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:19:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The arctic is a different level of cold. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mconvente, YucatanMan, G2geek

          If we take the human body temperature as a base we can survive far lower temperatures than that. Far, far lower. Going the other direction, we can hardly survive much hotter.

          The Sonoran desert gets up to 120 or so when it's really, really hot. That's about 20 degrees about body temperature. Where I live, a bit east of the Sonoran desert, it get's down to -20 at the coldest. That's 120 degrees colder than body temperature.

          We can survive extremely cold temperatures with some basic clothes. With heat it takes a hell of a lot more energy to cool down.

          No War but Class War

          by AoT on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:48:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I get what you are saying (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, Zinman, alypsee1, G2geek

            But it's not that hard to get a few degrees cooler...pit houses, adobe houses that average out the day/night temperature by sheer mass, etc. etc.

            If we look at human history (long history), hot places were colonized before cold places.  

            "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

            by Empty Vessel on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:51:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  A few degrees, sure (4+ / 0-)

              But the issue here is much more than that. And the desert has the benefit of cooling off a lot at night, which makes it easier to deal with the heat. If it starts regularly hitting even 110 in, say, NYC then a whole ot of people will die.

              No War but Class War

              by AoT on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:00:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, G2geek, Justus

                And Arizona is sure as gonna be uninhabitable.  I mostly reacting to the extinction rhetoric of the diary.  Not everyone in New York will die, not the ones 100 stories up who can open a window and get the wind, not the ones undergound who can get the ground cooling effects.  Street level, now that would suck.  Not to mention the heat island produced by all that concrete.

                I actually thought of one more thing that makes the extinction hypothesis really unlikely...solar AC.  One room per house,  cooled by solar AC, and the whole story changes.  New York would likely still die, but the suburbs could survive.

                "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

                by Empty Vessel on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:09:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  In regards to extinction (5+ / 0-)

                  People in Alaska are probably going to be fine, along with a number of other high latitude placed. New York will be screwed if it doesn't have air conditioning. Those windows don't open.

                  Solar AC does sound like a decent solution, but NYC and it's suburbs are gone either way based on the sea level rise.

                  No War but Class War

                  by AoT on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:21:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What are they goint to eat and breathe? (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    maryabein, G2geek, madcitysailor

                    The plankton and coral in the oceans are already dying because of the increased PH caused by the increase in CO2 in our atmosphere. By the time the heat becomes problematic the oceans will already be mostly sterile.

                    Also, the arctic tundras are already releasing methane sequestered hundreds of thousands if not millions of years ago. As the methane which is about 40 times more potent as a greenhouse gas, is released into our environment it heats the atmosphere faster which in turn releases more methane. This will very quickly change the basic chemistry of our atmosphere and lead to a runaway greenhouse effect.

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

                    by RMForbes on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:03:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Plants, for one (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      G2geek

                      Mostly plants, if not only plants. People get food from places other than the ocean.

                      No War but Class War

                      by AoT on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:31:14 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  it's all interconnected (9+ / 0-)

                        many plants rely on animals like birds, seabirds for instance, to scatter their seeds. If the birds aren't doing this due to a population crash resulting from any number of already existing issues (mistimed migration patterns as food sources change their own timing, lack of food sources directly from the sea, migratory changes due to other environmental changes and development) then those plants lose their ability to reproduce. Each loss causes another loss. Species under stress will do more and more extreme things in the attempt to survive, so predators and omnivores will expand their diets, creating more stress on species as yet untested...

                        I've been growing a lot of plants for food over the last decade as one of my ways of reducing my own damaging footprint. Here are a few of the hurdles I have faced;
                         1. Where are all the bees that are supposed to pollinate my crops? Yields are WAY down as blossoms fall unpollinated.
                         2. How do I know when to plant? the almanac is useless these days. we get frosts in late May and early September, then 90 degrees anytime from March to October.
                         3. Hailstorms. Two so far this year, and it's only early June. Very destructive to any produce.
                         4. Inconsistent rainfall. mostly too much, in my neck of the woods. Exacerbates the poor yields for crops like tomatoes and other storable produce.
                         5. Invasive pests and diseases. every year it's a new invasion. Pests that never used to exist at this latitude, fungus problems due to weeks of wet weather at a time...

                        Nothing is simple. nothing can be fixed like a worn out brake pad can be fixed.
                        I'm starting work on a diary about the interconnections of climate change; there is far too little thought put into the ramifications of the amplifying effects of climate change and too much emphasis on direct fixes of individual problems like building seawalls and better A/C.

                        not meaning to pick on you, AoT; this was triggered a while ago in a comment thread about sea level rise in Boston; many felt the answer was to move Logan Airport to Worcester. Made my head hurt.

                        Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

                        by kamarvt on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 03:35:19 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  I've seen the map in the study. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RiveroftheWest

                  Hot areas (jpg)

                  Arizona will remain habitable, if extremely uncomfortable because the wet-bulb temperature will stay below 35 C.  

                  The western Sahara, southeast Pakistan, northern India, the Australian outback, China east of Beijing (but not southeast), the shores of the Persian Gulf, Amazonas (the Amazon forest and the areas due south), lowland Paraguay and the United States roughly south and east of Minneapolis are the main areas that would become uninhabitable.  Only the zones in eastern China, the United States and India are densely populated.

                  "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

                  by Yamaneko2 on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 08:51:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  They were able to raise crops because rainfall (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          patterns were much different today.

          Good luck with looking for increasing rainfall.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:09:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  One of my wife's best friends (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, nosleep4u, Cassandra Waites

        Says "You can always add layers when it's cold, but you can only take off so much when it's hot."

        (Yes, I know nudity is not the best practice for very hot weather, but the sentiment is accurate.)

        And one of the consequences of the Second Law of Thermodynamics is that you can't make it cooler here without making it even hotter somewhere else.

    •  "Man's" resourcefulness (10+ / 0-)

      led to the problems addressed in this diary.  I for one am not too impressed by the idea that humanity's "resourcefulness" is proved by surviving a catastrophe of its own making.

    •  Those changes were both slower and less drastic (6+ / 0-)

      ... than what's underway now. A mass extinction is already underway that is on course to rank among the big five, perhaps second only to the Permian extinction.

      As I argue above, a fragment of humanity may persist for some time, but human civilization cannot withstand this.

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

      by Demi Moaned on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:30:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Has mankind survived these levels of (8+ / 0-)

      carbon in the atmosphere?  I think that is highly questionable.

      Have the oceans ever been subjected to this much acidification while man walked the earth? I don't think so.

      We're entering uncharted territory. Not because of where the shoreline lies, but because of the other massive changes to come: an acidified ocean which won't support a variety of life; an atmosphere which doesn't cool sufficiently at night over much of the earth; mass extinctions.

      When man could walk across the Bering Straits, there was not a shortage of variety of forms of life. There was a huge huge variety of life. We're entering the exact opposite.

      There are no indications that will be survivable.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:07:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, yes, "survive" if you mean like prehistoric (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, nosleep4u, Cassandra Waites

      people survived  (Spoiler alert: they didn't have cell phones. Or hospitals.).

      Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

      by fourthcornerman on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:38:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not the extreme values (3+ / 0-)

      It's the very high velocity of change.

      If the temperature were slowly increasing, even to values higher than what's predicted, it's at least possible that evolution or human ingenuity could adapt. But, using an extreme analogy, you're not going to get a solution to deep water from people being swept away by a tsunami.

    •  "Inconvenienced" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justus

      There are two issues here.

      1. I would view it as a pretty serious crime against humanity to "inconvenience" the human race in this manner.  The reality is that most people wouldn't survive the long term scenario.  And you need to look at who the survivors would be; the surviving population will not be a 100% perfect sample of the global population.

      2. The survivors (disproportionately people in affluent Western countries, along with Russia) are going to find that standards of living will have regressed about 200 years (and since the very rich will live as they do now, an unprecedented degree of inequality that will make 2014 look like redistributive socialism.)

    •  As a species, we're quite resourceful. (0+ / 0-)

      As long as a few hundred of us survive, we will have enough genetic diversity as a species to continue.  

      As individuals, it would be like putting 119 bullets in 20 six-shooters, and then playing Russian Roulette.  

      It could be great for the nation-state, though:  every nation will take every measure to make sure that they (or at least their elites) survive while everyone else dies.  Such measures include nukes.

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 08:36:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nuclear winter: problem postponed! (0+ / 0-)


        It's postponed until the clouds clear up and the sun shines through the ozone-free atmosphere.  

        "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

        by Yamaneko2 on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 08:54:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The enemy of the environment is capitalism (20+ / 0-)

    All the incentives push for the exploitation and destruction of the environment.
       Until we face up to that, nothing will change.

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:02:33 PM PDT

    •  Or consumerism and waste. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, victoria2dc, G2geek

      No matter what the nominal economic system, if it involves using and wasting as much as we do, it will be enormously destructive.

      © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:31:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Except that the Mediterranean basin was ruined (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, AoT

      in many places thousands of years before the advent of capitalism, you're spot on.

      Now, tweak your statement to apply exclusively to the modern globalizing economy, and you might have something.

    •  I mostly agree (0+ / 0-)

      Although Soviet Communism was one of the most environmentally destructive economic systems the world has ever seen. Among other things, the Soviets caused two of the biggest environmental disasters in the history of the world, Chernobyl and the Aral Sea.

      Of course, Soviet Communism is gone now, and capitalism is what we are left to deal with.

      "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

      by Lost Left Coaster on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:53:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  well said! and feminism is essential (0+ / 0-)

      to any serious anti-capitalism, with its critique of the oldest division of labor.

    •  Not necessarily... (0+ / 0-)

      The Soviet Union was pretty bad for its environment.  The "exclusion zone" at Chernobyl is just the most obvious example, though the disappearance of the Aral Sea is probably even worse.  

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 08:58:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, my plan for reincarnation by being planted (5+ / 0-)

    under a young redwood or other long-lived species is bound for failure anyway?  Maybe I'll have to rethink this.

  •  Young Ishaan Rao, of New Delhi, India... (13+ / 0-)

    ...has a simple request:

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

    by WarrenS on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:15:46 PM PDT

  •  It seems too simple. (4+ / 0-)

    Human beings have consistently survived in very warm climates. They did it before modern indoor climate control raised expectations of physical comfort, to where "stifling" ambient temperatures would be unthinkable. Time was, people just sweated in the heat and swatted flies and probably rested in the hottest part of the day. They drank a lot of water. They went swimming. In modern times, people survive with air conditioning. Yes, air conditioning fosters climate change, but for somebody braving scorching weather, that's hardly an imminent concern.

    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 Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:15:49 PM PDT

    •  Never hurts to actually read the paper (11+ / 0-)

      "Mammals have survived past warm climates; does this contradict our conclusions? The last time temperatures approached values considered here is the Paleogene, when global-mean temperature was perhaps 10 °C (26) and tropical temperature perhaps 5–6 °C warmer than modern (27, 28), implying TW of up to 36 °C with a most-common TW(Max) of 32–33 °C. This would still leave room for the survival of mammals in most locations, especially if their core body temperatures were near the high end of those of today’s mammals (near 39 °C). Transient temperature spikes, such as during the PETM or Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (26), might imply intolerable conditions over much broader areas, but tropical terrestrial mammalian records are too sparse to directly test this. We thus find no inconsistency with our conclusions, but this should be revisited when more evidence is available.

      On evolutionary time scales we might expect taxa stressed by heat to undergo adaptive increases in surface-area-to-mass ratio to aid heat dissipation relative to metabolic rate. While data from the tropics are sparse, the major mammalian taxa heavier than 1 kg—carnivora, artiodactyls, and perissodactyls—were indeed about a factor of 10 less massive on average during the early Eocene than during cooler, later periods (29, 30), part of a growth trend known as “Cope’s law” (31). Similarly, “transient dwarfing” of midlatitude mammals occurred during the PETM (32). Both phenomena have been attributed to changes in food supply but could also be explained as an adaptation to changing heat stress.

      In principle humans can devise protections against the unprecedented heat such as much wider adoption of air conditioning, so one cannot be certain that TW(Max) = 35 °C would be uninhabitable. But the power requirements of air conditioning would soar; it would surely remain unaffordable for billions in the third world and for protection of most livestock; it would not help the biosphere or protect outside workers; it would regularly imprison people in their homes; and power failures would become life-threatening. Thus it seems improbable that such protections would be satisfying, affordable, and effective for most of humanity.

      We conclude that a global-mean warming of roughly 7 °C would create small zones where metabolic heat dissipation would for the first time become impossible, calling into question their suitability for human habitation. A warming of 11–12 °C would expand these zones to encompass most of today’s human population. This likely overestimates what could practically be tolerated: Our limit applies to a person out of the sun, in gale-force winds, doused with water, wearing no clothing, and not working. A global-mean warming of only 3–4 °C would in some locations halve the margin of safety (difference between TW max and 35 °C) that now leaves room for additional burdens or limitations to cooling. Considering the impacts of heat stress that occur already, this would certainly be unpleasant and costly if not debilitating. More detailed heat stress studies incorporating physiological response characteristics and adaptations would be necessary to investigate this.

      If warmings of 10 °C were really to occur in next three centuries, the area of land likely rendered uninhabitable by heat stress would dwarf that affected by rising sea level. Heat stress thus deserves more attention as a climate-change impact."

    •  But that's not all there is to it (11+ / 0-)

      Methane is about 40 times worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas and once the trillions of tons of methane now sequestered in the arctic tundra and off the continental shelf begin to be released into the atmosphere it will heat the atmosphere faster which will release even more methane. This is what is called a positive feedback loop which will most certainly will lead to a runaway greenhouse effect.

      Also, the ocean PH has already started raising because of increased dissolved CO2 from fossil fuel usage which likely will very soon sterilize the oceans. Once the diversity of life in our oceans are gone we we won't be far behind. The oceans are nearly as important as our forests in the natural CO2=O2 cycle. Without the plankton and healthy coral reefs we will not have enough O2 to live...we can't breathe methane or CO2.

      What we are talking about here is nothing like summer anywhere today (except on Venus). It will not be even possible to survive this kind of climate change. We are looking at a mass extinction event because of the greed of a few. Since there is about a 40 year lag between action and reaction in climate systems it may already be too late...we may already be going the way of the dinosaur. We just don't know it yet.  

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

      by RMForbes on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:17:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Warm climates, yes. (0+ / 0-)


      The degree of heat and humidity discussed is such that sweating, air circulation and rest are not sufficient to cool the body.  Swimming would help, provided that the water temperature stayed below 95 F.  (Add 12 C and maximum summer lake temperatures in Chicago go from the mid 70s to the upper 90s, which does no good.  Smaller lakes get warmer.)

      By the way, the US capital of extreme dew points and wet bulb temperatures is the northern Midwest.  The highest dew points recorded in the US took place in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Dr. Huber (one of the authors) described plants as wicks that transfer soil moisture into the atmosphere in class and much of the Midwest is given over to intensive agriculture.
       

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 09:18:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Something Pretty Basic Doesn't Add Up Here. (8+ / 0-)

    There large inhabited regions where the average temperatures are quite high, higher than the predicted global averages under severe climate change. So I don't see that complete human species extinction looks very plausible, not by literal heat death, all over the planet.

    Now I think a severe mass die-off is very believable, 5 or 6 plus billion if there's catastrophic damage to historic habitats all over the world, that's easy to envision.

    It's also easy to imagine that global ownership knows this and is forging ahead because it intends the results, and figures it'll get along ok.

    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 Jun 05, 2014 at 08:19:47 PM PDT

    •  In calculating temperatures they use 'wet bulb' (9+ / 0-)

      They use a wetbulb temperature  - which is a thermometer with a wet cloth over it, so the humidity is 100% and the temperature is 95 degrees - this is not the same as a hot climate where it is above 100 and humid at times.

      I am not an engineer - but they do try and make a distinction between a wetbulb reading and a normal temperature reading.

      I think another way of looking at it is if sweat could not evaporate at all, it would not cool you down  - and that is not survivable.

      All radicals are optimists. If we did not believe things could get better, we would not try.

      by tsackton on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:26:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  People Routinely Withstand Temps Over 120 Degrees (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Turn Left

      They aren't digging ditches, but life goes on.

      The question is whether there will be any food, because those regions aren't growing much in the way of food and population density is very low.

      Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

      by bernardpliers on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:45:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In dry climes (5+ / 0-)

        Try 120 degrees and 95 percent humidity - that's a hot and it can kill people if they stay in it too long.

        •   (0+ / 0-)

          That's a hot STEAM ROOM and it can kill...

        •  and just imagine what kind of diseases (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, YucatanMan

          and new viruses and such are gonna breed and evolve in that.

        •  Sustained Dew Point Over 80 Degrees Is Rare (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Justus

          Basically you need to be next to a body of very warm water while under a blazing desert sun to get a sustained dew point over 80 degrees.

          http://www.wunderground.com/...

          Highest Dew Point Levels in The World

          The hottest most humid regions of the world are the coastal areas of The Persian Gulf, Red Sea, and Gulf of Aden.

          Thanks to the shallow nature of these bodies of water they heat up during the summer season with average sea surface temperatures in the upper 80°s. In fact, the hottest sea surface temperatures ever recorded anywhere in the world have been 98° in the Persian Gulf and 96° in the Red Sea. Data compiled by the British Met Office (in its ‘Tables of Temperature, Relative, Humidity and Precipitation for the World: Part 4; Africa and the Indian Ocean’, 1967) for Boosaso (formerly known as Bender Caasim), Somalia between 1934-1946 indicate an average dew point of 83° at 2:30 p.m. during the entire month of June (104° air temperature with 61% humidity). Obviously, some days are even hotter and more humid (the record June high for the period was 113° and the record low 78°). Assab, Eritrea has an average June afternoon dew point of 84°.

          The absolute highest dew point recorded in the region and therefore the world (of which I am aware) was 95° at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia at 3 p.m. on July 8, 2003. The dry bulb temperature stood at 108° at the time, so theoretically the heat index was 176°. Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) apparently once recorded a dew point of 93.2° (date unknown) according to ‘Weather Climate Extremes’ Army Corps of Engineers TEC-0099 report.

          Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

          by bernardpliers on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:09:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Your mention of "On the Beach", reminded me (9+ / 0-)

    of a discussion I had with a very 'republican' lady, when I was in my early teens, we were talking about writers, and Neville Shute came up, she said she loved his work, until he wrote that "awful left leaning thing" meaning OTB, she considered the idea that an all out nuclear war would be non survivable, as leftist propaganda. We have the same sort of minds today (50 years later), we are collectively in deep do-do.

    May you live in interesting times--Chinese curse

    by oldcrow on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:27:13 PM PDT

    •  Great book, great film. And entirely too plausi... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, alypsee1

      Great book, great film. And entirely too plausible.

      •  Only thing not plausible... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alypsee1, RiveroftheWest

        In On The Beach, people stayed basically decent and civilized as they faced their extinction. In the real world, I don't think it would happen that way.

        •  Nevil Shute's characters were basically both (0+ / 0-)

          human and humane. They were decent people, and even when they were wrong they weren't the cruel, mindless brutes that so many literary villains are.

          The important point about On the Beach is that the nuclear fallout was inevitable and inescapable; no amount of power or money or property could buy you an extra day once the toxic cloud reached Australia. Till then, life went on; there was food and water for everyone and people worked and played and planted gardens even though they knew they wouldn't be there to harvest them. They faced the final days with all the courage they could find, and then they gave their little ones the pills, swallowed their own and that was it -- the end.

          Much easier than the fate we 21st Century humans might be looking at, actually.

  •  Either that or some spontaneous mutation permit... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cskendrick

    Either that or some spontaneous mutation permits a few to live with higher temps in a less hospitable climate.

    •  evolution would lead to smaller size (5+ / 0-)

      Actually, they identify an evolutionary trend the last time temperatures were very warm- around 10 C warmer than today - mammals who survived got smaller by a factor of ten;

      meaning that it was the smaller animals who could adapt to heat better - because they have a higher skin/ body mass ratio and could radiate heat better.  

      Another reason to fight obesity.

      All radicals are optimists. If we did not believe things could get better, we would not try.

      by tsackton on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:36:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We've been getting bigger (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PatriciaVa

        Military records show my civil war GGF a mere 5'5".

        If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

        by marykk on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:52:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Evolution? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alypsee1, maryabein

        Strange argument...According to Merchants of Doubt, it was members of the Reagan administration who argued that humanity would just "adapt" to global warming.  No problem!  There have been mass immigrations in the past, adaptations to horrible conditions -- and so there, we have proof, we'll just adapt.

        Over how many generations would such evolutionary changes occur?  At the cost of what suffering?  Is that really a responsible 'answer' -- that humans would (eventually) adapt?

        (Am I missing the point of the line of thought here?)

        •  As I said above (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maryabein

          The problem is the velocity of change. Much too rapid for there to be a high probability of successful evolutionary change, and rapid enough that novel and globally successful engineering solutions are unlikely.

          And if you need to cool large regions, the Second Law of Thermodynamics is not your friend.

    •  The mutants would also have to be able to breathe (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maryabein, marykk

      a far lower oxygen atmosphere with much higher concentration of methane and CO2 than we have today. It's not just the heat that will be problematic.

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

      by RMForbes on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:26:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Those mutations already exist; they're recessive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, G2geek

      now but weed out the 'big boned' people in sufficient numbers and recessive becomes dominant again.

      I have this nagging suspicion that there's an echelon of folks out there who would read this sort of news and think, well, that sucks for brown people but white folks like us will be ok....so why not help climate change along?

      That they somehow think that where they live at the moment reflects on their quality and survivability as persons and likewise that of their children.

      Maybe it's just me but when Minnesota and Manitoba have the climates that Nigeria and India have today, taking a wild guess it won't be people who would never be mistaken for Nigerian or Indian whose kids inherit the world.

      Oh, no. Not even close.

      Again, those mutations to have the best chance (if not assurance) of surviving the impact of climate change already exist: They just don't exist as thoroughly among the long-time denizens of high latitudes.

  •  I get that your main point is that we should begg (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, ivote2004, Ginny in CO, laurak, RMForbes

    doing more to limit carbon emissions to limit the number of giga-deaths as much as possible. And, I do take seriously extinction level events and scenarios.

    So, it is only out of curiosity and obsession with detail that causes me to wonder if the 12 degree temperature rise scenario would be  a complete extinction level scenario.

    The tropical and temperate zones would be uninhabitable but what about polar regions?  Didn't Antarctica once support a tropical jungle?

    Perhaps, other systems, like the carbon-oxygen cycle would be so out of whack that human life would not be sustainable for other reasons?

    I do not agree with those that believe it does not matter. Whether it is logical or not, I think we should make our best effort to keep the human species and as much of the rest of our ecosystem as possible going as long as we can.

    And our primary strategy ought to be to voluntarily limit CO2 emissions by cutting back on burning fossil fuels and accelerating the conversion to renewable energy sources as much as we can.

    But, given the numerous additional feedback loops you mention, plus additional social and political instabilities that will be exacerbated under radical depopulation scenarios, wouldn't it be prudent to be investing in more research and development of alternative "biospheres"  and totally sustainable enclosed ecosystems as insurance?

    So if we know average planetary temperatures will increase at least by 4 degrees centigrade, and perhaps as much as 12 or more, then we should start investing in self-sustaining communities near the poles.  

    Not as a substitute to dealing with the primary challenges of limiting global warming, but as part of an overall adaptive response.

    For example, one scenario I read over 10 years ago, predicted that even a temperature rise of just over 2 degrees centigrade will leave us with over 100 million to perhaps as many as 350 million environmental refugees from coastal areas in Bangladesh, India, and lowland coastal areas, and we currently have no global plans or institutions to even start addressing how to handle these situation which will become more common.

    Perhaps, a 100 to 200 year plan to start transferring such refugees to colonies in Northern Canada, Siberia, which have options for total containment.

    I know many will object saying no we must all remain in the same boat, etc. however, realistically we risk oversimplifying reality if we continue to think in terms of a future of two options - victory against global warming where everyone lives happily ever after, or complete extinction disaster.

    Our best hopes probably are going to be a range of scenarios in between, were we experience at a minimum 2 C degrees but more likely probably 4 to 6 C in the next 100 to 150 years.  

    Maybe 2 to 8 feet sea level rise, the combination of which will leave areas were 400 million to I don't even now how many  billion are living now uninhabitable, or so miserable as to be nearly so.

    We are going to need new concepts beyond mere geographic nation states, food production and distribution and ways to deal with conflict.

    We haven't really begun to seriously think of the many different ways this could play out, - like every person for themselves, Or multinational companies replacing nation states as primary organizations of identification. Or perhaps, religious groups, ethnic groups, or goodness knows what, probably a combination.

    My hope is that we can maintain some form of continuity with our current visions of egalitarian, democratic, compassionate, wise, civilization that plans for the survival as all of mankind, but we have to acknowledge this may be a challenge given our species history of a tendency for "us versus them" tendencies.

    My intuition and logic leads me to believe a combination of both large scale, and small scale decentralized renewable energy and sustainable farming and living communities will play a large part of the more possible futures, and also give us the most adaptability.

    We need to start creating stories of how this latter vision could be possible, or even compelling compared to breakdown scenarios.

    It will no doubt take hundreds of iterations to work out, maybe over a few generations.

    Since we will be unable to predict many of the feedback loops you mention, as well as others such as tropical viral and bacteriological contagion, we should have a broad range of survival scenarios which might include domed antarctic communities of millions living on the 20% most polar regions of the globe 250 years from now.

    Or in mountainous regions.

    Perhaps, getting more realistic and vivid about some of the possible scenarios we may be heading towards unless we more radically reduce carbon emissions will act as a wake-up call.

    But, we also must be careful not to become so alarmist that we lose credibility, which was already one of the behind the scenes controversy with the last IPCC, as a few scientists believe even the current discussions are too alarmist.  

    Which is an ideal situation for scenario planning methodologies.

    Thanks for your thought provoking post.

    Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

    by HoundDog on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:36:47 PM PDT

  •  I don't think this is at all true (1+ / 0-)
    humans cannot endure for more than 6 or 7 hours external temperatures above 35 C.
    •  this may be due to my paraphrasing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cai, Cassandra Waites, YucatanMan

      I am not a scientist, but note the followng from the paper:

      we estimate that the survivability limit for peak six-hourly TW is probably close to 35 °C for humans, though this could be a degree or two off.

      By constrast, the highest instantaneous TW anywhere on Earth today is about 30 °C (with a tiny fraction of values reaching 31 °C). The most-common TW(max ) is 26–27 °C, only a few degrees lower.
      They make the point that the high wet bulb temperature - which is a special temperature measurement - actually is pretty similar at different times in most parts of the earth except the arctic.  i.e. New Jersey can have some days that are as hot and humid as Venezuela.

      They found that across all countries, the highest wet bulb temperature is about 30 °C -- And they are saying that a 5 degree increase would be lethal.

      I think the issue is in my not be clear enough that wet bulb temperature is a special measurement, not the same as the temperature on your air thermometer.

      All radicals are optimists. If we did not believe things could get better, we would not try.

      by tsackton on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:53:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I assume it simulates evaporation from (0+ / 0-)

        perspiration.  So to get a wet bulb to 35 C might require significantly higher air temperatures around the wet bulb.

        © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

        by cai on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:28:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In a humid environment, where evaporation (6+ / 0-)

          is limited to impossible, heat stroke sets in very quickly.

          I'm a living testimonial from tropical Yucatan. I was hit by heat stroke, passed out and spent two days in a hospital.

          Once the body gets so hot, without evaporation, you basically just start pouring out water as sweat trying to cool off. But when it is humid - like near the ocean or after a hurricane or in a tropical jungle - you aren't getting any cooler.

          So, at the same time, your body temperature is rising and you're quickly losing water.

          Death can occur within a short few hours without medical attention.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:21:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Totally agree but (0+ / 0-)

            there's a big difference between 'death can occur' and 'it is not survivable'. I think many of us have endured much longer time periods at much higher temps. Sporadic deaths can and do occur, but there's a big difference between that and extinction.

            •  But here's the thing. Yes, you and I have (2+ / 0-)

              experienced higher temperatures and are here to talk about it.

              For example, much earlier in my life, I worked outdoors in the sun under temperatures reaching 105-110 F daily. Yet, I'm still alive.

              So, as I promised, here's the thing:  That was a dry windy heat. My perspiration evaporated, keeping my core body temperature within livable limits. The evenings and nights were significantly cooler -- usually 20 degrees cooler or even more. As soon as the sun went down, it cooled off a lot. And, this was one or two months of the year. The rest of the year was cooler to cold.

              But with Global Warming, we're faced with the temperatures growing hotter and staying hotter. Not only will it be hotter at higher latitudes, it will not cool off as much at night. And it will be hot for more of the year.

              And the worst part is this: a hotter atmosphere holds more water vapor and the relative humidity is expected to be higher in much of the world.

              Already today, what is causing extinction among bird and smaller mammals, and driving them to different ranges (living areas) is the fact that nighttime temperatures are not cooling as much as previously. The daytime temperatures are currently rising, but the nighttime temperatures are growing more rapidly.

              Creatures, and humans, have evolved under conditions of clearly livable temperatures at night.  That provides relief and recovery from hot days.  

              When you hear of older people dying in closed up houses without A/C during heat waves, it is often because their homes won't cool down enough at night. Why don't they open up their houses?  Often, it is because of crime in the area.

              People have died in large numbers during recent heat waves around the world. And these are all in "normal ranges" where you and I have previously survived.

              However, within 100 to 200 years, there won't be cooler nights at all. Daytime temps will be higher. And humidity will be higher.

              Will that alone be enough to drive extinction?  Perhaps not. But collapsing food chains will. No fish. Few to no crops. Very few animals to hunt or raise as livestock. They're all dying for the same reasons.

              I think extinction is a very real possibility. Have you seen the charts?  CO2 saturation of the atmosphere hasn't been this high for well over 600,000 years. I don't think humankind today is as tough as our predecessors.

              "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

              by YucatanMan on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 10:04:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RiveroftheWest

                I would not be surprised if certain areas where some people live now will be uninhabitable and there is population loss. Maybe we'll end up living in the arctic and Antarctic. I'm not quite all the way to extinction yet myself but who knows.

                Now I have to go to my kid's baseball tournament where it is expected to be 105 degrees. Bleah.

                Have a good day. :)

            •  Dry-bulb, yes. (0+ / 0-)


              The highest wet-bulb I'm aware of in the US is found here.  That would be 33 C in Appleton, WI at 5 pm on July 13, 1995.  (Back-calculated using this calculator)

              On July 8, 2003, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia saw 108 F and a dew point of 95 F, which yields a wet-bulb of 97 F.  

              "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

              by Yamaneko2 on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 09:35:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Please remember 100-150K people died in the (4+ / 0-)

      European heatwave of 2003. All the talk about digging holes and hiding in open shaded areas is fine except more than half of humanity lives in crowded urban areas. People died in mass numbers in  a NYC heatwave of the late 1800's -- just because they knew underground was cooler didn't save them.
      Forget about being able to survive the heat by sitting in the shade of your nice Arizona double-wide on your big lot ... for almost everybody in any urbanized area, it will be a deathscape.

      Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

      by fourthcornerman on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:05:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  urbanized areas will be abandoned by then (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maryabein, Cassandra Waites

        not to argue your point; it's entirely valid. But by the time we see this temperature regime, the global food supply chain necessary to sustain communities of millions of food importers will be long gone. Swamped ports, agricultural instability, political and economic chaos like we've never seen will all predate this specific problem.
        Cities are a construct fundamentally incompatible with nature. They will go early.

        Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

        by kamarvt on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 03:51:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What is natural, exactly? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ellid

          Termite build massive termite hill, is that "incompatible with nature"?

          Beaver build massive dams that disrupt river flow, is that "incompatible with nature"?

          All effect the environment, the main difference is that humanity can effect the environment at a vastly more greater scale than other animals. Such effect could be detrimental to our continued survival.

          I really despise the "natural" arguments, since there're a lot of stuff happening in nature we really don't want to emulate.

          P.S. I had flashback to argument against anti-abortionists who argued that "abortion ain't natural".

          •  incompatible with nature; (0+ / 0-)

            not the same thing as 'not natural'.
            the examples you cite don't fit that descriptor because they do not require massive ongoing lifegiving aid from a huge area in order to exist. Termites eat the wood of the tree in which they build, beavers use the existing waterways to dam and protect their homes.  No human city can lay claim to anything like that level of compatibility with the local environment. Sure, both animal constructs cause some local disruption (good or bad depends on your POV) but it is limited and rather quickly reversible. Again, something to which human cities cannot lay claim. Unsustainable directly implies incompatible with nature, no?

            Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

            by kamarvt on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 03:33:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  "Urbanized areas will be abandoned"? (0+ / 0-)

          2003 was in the past, not the future. Chicago 1996 was in the past. Are you aware of the killer floods in the Balkans, the Low Countries, the Indian Himalayas? I don't see mass migrations out of those places.
          In times of disaster people head INTO cities, not out of them. The Syrian drought of the past 5 years drove thousands of rural Syrians into the cities, where they were ready participants in the anti-government demonstrations that morphed into at this point a five year civil war.
          During the scorched earth devastation against the South in the Civil War, people fled INTO cities. Even during the savage fire-storm bombings against Germany cities in WW 2, Germans still sought refuge in cities from the oncoming battle fronts.  Even after tens of thousands were incinerated in the fires, the survivors stayed in the cities.
          Not sure how you would get people to seek refuge in dead, waterless, picked-over and scavenged open land. They have not chosen that option, ever.

          Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

          by fourthcornerman on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 12:21:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  We rely on open agriculture (5+ / 0-)

    We grow almost all of our food on open cultivated land. We rely on temperature and rainfall to be in a rather narrow band during the growing season. Large crop failures will be the first wave of human die-back, especially as we climb to 8,9,10 billion people.

    It is conceivable that we could design large sustainable cities near the Arctic Circle. The catch-22 here is that we need modern, large-scale technology to do this and that will be one of the first casualties. We also can't support much more that 1 billion people in that land mass, mostly Canada and Siberia, and that would require very well planned cities. Most of the agriculture would have to be indoor hydroponics, for the cities to be truly sustainable. That would require massive amount of sustainable energy and infrastructure. We would need to start the research and design of these cities now. This is highly unlikely as Capitalism puts the Capital in private hands, as the name says, and private hands are not interested in projects that would take decades to implement and upset economic wealth concentration. Can you imagine Exxon or Saudi Arabia accepting a new civilization that requires them to keep their oil and gas in the ground?

    We humans are not part of a sustainable global habitat. That requires diversity and low fertility and no large negative environmental impacts. We are about 130,000 years old, very very young for a species. We destroy every habitat that we expand into, and see no reason to do otherwise. I don't see how we survive. Unfortunately, we will take a very large percentage of the planet's species with us, but life will survive and return to a stable state in a few 10's of millions of years.

    •  life (0+ / 0-)

      life will return to a stable state and start to thrive on this planet a lot quicker than that after humans are gone. Life doesnt need millions of years, just perhaps a few hundreds years or perhaps 1 thousand years with humans out of the picture.

    •  Foodstuff crops need certain minimum days of light (0+ / 0-)

      if they are to produce any food at all. Corn, for instance, will not grow above a certain latitude because there aren't enough days or hours per day of sunlight to carry the plants to fruition.
      If you can design a greenhouse that provides as much full-spectrum artificial sunlight as naturally occurs in the Grain Belt, then you can have your polar cities. Wouldn't want to see the power bill for it, tho.

      Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

      by fourthcornerman on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:15:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Assuming we have the resource to do it. (0+ / 0-)

        In theory, solar plants in the tropical regions transferring power Arctics is possible.
        But then, if we can do that... why not just solar power everything now (not even talking about photovoltaics, something as simple as solar powered thermal plants).

    •  population decrease (0+ / 0-)

      When do you expect the "die-back" phase, i.e. population decrease to start ?  I'd say around 2060/70....

      •  I agree, but could be sooner (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        Most predictions are that we will be at about 9 Billion people by mid century.  Combine that with global surface temperature increases of 2- 3 degrees C, and toss in weather extremes, driven by increased heat content of the planet's surface and some large grain belts will be failing on a regular basis. Given the fact that human food storage is somewhat around one year of capacity, any two years in a row of failures of two geographically large growing areas will precipitate a die-off. The first one may occur anytime after mid century, but we could get unlucky and it could be sooner. After that they will occur with regular frequency. Given the political makeup of the world you could speculate how this will play out over different countries, that is, who will get food and who will not. You can also speculate as to the world-wide reactions to a crisis of this magnitude. The combination of 10,11, 0r 12 billion humans by 2100 and an atmospheric level of greater than 600ppm of CO2 creates an impossible problem to solve without a catastrophe.

  •  A terrorist hijacks a bus and plans to drive it... (8+ / 0-)

    .... over a cliff.

    At what point does it become acceptable for the passengers to use physical force against the terrorist?

    1)  When the terrorist is telling the bus driver that he's hijacking the bus.

    2)  When the terrorist has the bus driver tied up in a seat and is now at the wheel.

    3)  When the terrorist has put his foot to the floor and the bus is now speeding down the road toward a sharp turn beyond which is the cliff.

    4)  When the bus crashes through the barrier and begins to plunge over the edge.

    5)  When the bus is in mid-air freefall toward the ground below.

    6)  When the bus has hit the ground, killing 1/3 of the passengers.

    7)  When the bus is tumbling on the ground, killing more passengers.

    8)  When the bus comes to rest and bursts into flames, killing the rest of the passengers.

    We got the future back. Uh-oh.

    by G2geek on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:47:54 PM PDT

  •  In such a scenario (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Justus

    it would make wide swaths of the Earth uninhabitable, but not the currently temperate zones. Minnesota, for example, would likely be just fine for human habitability.

    I'm somewhat suspicious of the claim that people can't survive an extended period of greater-than-95-degree weather.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:01:12 PM PDT

    •  Minnesota? No. Summer record highs are often set (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan

      in MN already. They don't have enough major lake frontage to help temper their climate.
      Michigan, perhaps, being in the middle of all that water. But with all of the other pressures brought by AGW, there really is no safe place.

      Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

      by peregrine kate on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:48:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Enough major lake frontage? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, Justus

        Do you know what it says on our license plates? It's not an exaggeration.

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:18:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unfortunately, growing zones are moving north. (5+ / 0-)

          Our vast swaths of (for example) wheat land in Kansas and corn land in Iowa may no longer be suitable, not to mention we're already draining the aquifers which provide for irrigation.

          Pests, disease, and other issues are increasing.  If humans have to all live up north, where will the food come from? Will the same growing conditions be duplicated in other lands with changing weather patterns and growing zones?

          "Just move north" is sorta like the "well, good! winters will be nicer" claim of deniers. It doesn't allow for all the other effects we know are already happening.

          We're losing orange trees in Florida (to pests and disease) and in California, the orange groves are facing extended drought. In Mexico, lime trees are suffering from more problems.

          And that's just citrus. And that's just today, under current circumstances. We'll see much worse. Already, effects that weren't predicted to be seen until our children's adulthood are being seen today. It's just been learned that warming since 1997 is actually double what we thought.

          We're already in deep deep trouble, even if levels could be frozen at today's measurements, but they are still increasing. And we're doing precious little about it.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:40:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The many small lakes help, no question. (0+ / 0-)

          But even they won't be enough, as the other two commenters say.

          Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

          by peregrine kate on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 07:20:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  And their food would come from....? n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RMForbes

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:22:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ...Our farms? (0+ / 0-)

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:18:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's the entire problem (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maryabein, forgore, RMForbes

          The farms will fail because the climate will keep changing.

          agriculture requires a stable climate and those days are over with.

          Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

          by yet another liberal on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:02:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, actually (0+ / 0-)

            agriculture does not require a stable climate, as with changing climate one can change one's crops to suit.

            Note: I'm not saying that it wouldn't be devastating to humanity to have a severe climate change. It would be, and the equatorial regions could become uninhabitable. What I'm skeptical about is the claimed degree of this severity as being an extinction level event.

            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

            by raptavio on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:30:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Where do you find crops (0+ / 0-)

              That are adapted to the new conditions?

              Also, what exactly are the new conditions if they don't persist?

              And how do species adapt to new conditions that change on the time scale of decades?

              Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

              by yet another liberal on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:53:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Basically -- (0+ / 0-)

                if the planet warms, in general you shift to crops more customary to a more southerly climate. So in Minnesota, you switch from corn and soybeans to wheat, or onions, or citrus, or bananas, or quinoa.

                Species either adapt by migrating, or they can manage the climate inherently, or they die. That's part of the cataclysm that climate change brings. And no doubt; climate change would result in massive die-offs.

                "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                by raptavio on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:37:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  For awhile (0+ / 0-)

                  But that process has limits to it.

                  What happens when it becomes too hot in Minnesota to grow bananas?

                  Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                  by yet another liberal on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:19:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That is not (0+ / 0-)

                    what is being forecast.

                    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                    by raptavio on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:21:44 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's more like an equation (0+ / 0-)

                      The more CO2 we continue to dump into the air, the worse it's going to be.

                      Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                      by yet another liberal on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:29:25 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yes, but there's an upper limit. (0+ / 0-)

                        There's only so much CO2 we have available to dump into the air, and a certain portion will be absorbed into the oceans, a certain portion will fall back to earth, etc. We will never be able to become, say, Venus.

                        No scientific forecasts predict Death Valley conditions across the world.

                        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                        by raptavio on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:32:06 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Humans can't survive isolated (0+ / 0-)

                          Without the food chain and the ecosystem, humans are gone too.

                          Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                          by yet another liberal on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:33:46 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The damage to the ecosystem (0+ / 0-)

                            as projected will be severe, and will doubtless disrupt the food chain, but is unlikely to destroy it beyond the capacity for us to survive as a species.

                            It will most assuredly disrupt our way of life, and risk a massive die-off of the human population, but in all probability humanity as a species will survive, as will our civilization in some form.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:37:13 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Who knows (0+ / 0-)

                            It partly depends on what people do next.

                            But the risk is tremendous.  Absolutely tremendous.  And the stakes are for real.

                            And further, we've been seeing predictions and models understating the problem.  Why have so much faith in what you called "forecasts"?

                            Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                            by yet another liberal on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:40:44 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  For the same reason (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm not a climate science denier.

                            The best science has to offer is the best prediction we can make.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 11:41:01 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, they aren't forecasts (0+ / 0-)

                            And they most likely underestimate the actual danger.

                            Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                            by yet another liberal on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 11:53:26 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Your bare assertions (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Justus

                            do not trump what our best scientists have to offer as models and predictions.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 11:57:02 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The irony (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            RMForbes

                            Bare assertions has been your mode the entire discussion.

                            Here's the thing.  You can't quantify the intricate interrelations in the web of life on planet earth.  Therefore, it's not in the studies.  However, it still exists.

                            The entire thing can spiral downwards rapidly because of the intertwined dependencies.

                            But who could have known, right?

                            Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                            by yet another liberal on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:03:28 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No - (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Justus

                            my mode has been based off of the very evidence brought by the diarist - a global climate change rise of less than ten degrees. Which makes temperate zones into subtropical ones, and subtropical into tropical. Is there anything you dispute about that? Would you like a comparison of current average temperatures in temperate, subtropical and tropical zones? That's easily sourced.

                            Your speculations, however, are not.

                            I stick with science. Because to go off into wild speculations and doomsday predictions without evidence will only play right into the climate deniers' hands. Our only truly persuasive weapon is the science. We need to stick to that if we're going to effect any useful change.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:08:46 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                            I dispute that it stops there.

                            Why does the climate then become stable after the less than 10 degree rise you mention?

                            Why do you assume the climate settles into predictable patterns at that point?

                            It would have to in order to support farming.

                            Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                            by yet another liberal on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:13:35 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Why would it? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Justus

                            Are you saying farming doesn't happen today in places where the climate is volatile?

                            If you have evidence it won't stop, please proceed, present your evidence.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:17:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I am saying something very simple (0+ / 0-)

                            And I said it at the beginning of this thread.

                            You have to have enough predictability in what the weather will do in order to farm.

                            It's simply true.  And there are a number of other good comments from people who actually farm, in this diary, explaining the same thing.

                            Tell me.  Do you farm?  Or did you grow up farming?

                            In any case, isn't it obvious that if the climate keeps changing that you don't know what to plant?  Or where to plant it?

                            Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                            by yet another liberal on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:24:26 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  My family homesteaded a farm in northeast (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Justus

                            North Dakota in the 1920s and it remains in the family to this day. My grandfather pulled the damn stumps out of the ground to prepare the fields. My own mother worked that farm. I come from a proud line of farmers. SO WHAT. If I were standing in a field now watering a crop of corn it wouldn't make me righter or wronger, nor if I'd never grown a flower in a flippin' flowerpot (and I am an avid gardener). You're deflecting.

                            Climate changes over the course of decades by anybody's model. That's plenty of time to adjust, as farmers have done for, literally, millennia -- and with lots of help predicting how each year's weather will look thanks to modern technology, and plan accordingly.

                            This discussion is pointless. You clearly have no evidence to bring to the table. I'm done.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:45:19 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So, you think decades is enough time (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't.

                            And you ran this argument in circles.

                            You could have just said that to start with.

                            Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                            by yet another liberal on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 01:14:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Except that crop planting would become a sort of (0+ / 0-)

              guessing game.
              You have to guess which crop will suit the weather pattern in the coming years, and constantly change it to suit said pattern.

              Another possibility is that GMO for drought/heat/frost resistance can make crop grow even in the most hostile environment.

              •  I suppose that's possible. (0+ / 0-)

                Either way, it's not a future I want to leave my children, or my (hopefully) grandchildren, to navigate.

                "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                by raptavio on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:53:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  the way I see it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    forgore

    civilization starts breaking down after a week or 2 of losing electricity, that is a pretty shaky foundation for a society to rely on.

    Mankind's "civilization" has become way to dependent on technology. In just the last generation or two, thousands of years of know how has been lost.  How many of us know how to live off the land anymore?  Most in western civ have been taught skills that are only worthwhile in the very narrow civilization we have now. Most skills are virtually useless in any other scenario.

    I dont look to the Bible for answers, but I think it may have gotten one thing right.  the meek are going to inherit the earth and it will be those living on the outskirts of society currently, those who still know how to live as our ancestors did, that will go on.

    Civilization is doomed. The next world war is not going to be fought on battlefields or with nukes, the next war will be countries simply hacking and destroying each others powergrids and so forth and bringing each others country to their knees in a matter of a week.

    What becomes of  US that suddenly finds itself without power for 2 to 3 years. we dont last a few months. We destroy ourselves from within. There's no rebuilding from that.

    There are some very bleak and troubling times coming our way, and I think many of us feel it deep inside us if we let ourselves be truthful.  I'm feel bad for the young generations coming up.

  •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

    There simply is not that much reduced carbon available to burn.

    Restore the Fourth! Save America!

    by phillies on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:04:35 PM PDT

    •  feedback loops (8+ / 0-)

      when oceans stop absorbing, when all that perma frost releases all that methane.  Mathematically there is a point in which you reach when all of a sudden things get out of hand incredibly quickly.

      •  the current path is unsustainable (0+ / 0-)

        it is destabilizing the complex global feedback loops that sustain the biosphere. As we speed pass tipping points like milestone markers on the interstate, we race towards the systemic implosion of the economy, civil society and the ecosystem.

        Governments will fall, wars will be fought, millions- perhaps billions will die of blocked access to resources, disease, malnutrition, war and violence. Nothing living on land or in the sea will evade the stress of the upheaval. Many plants and animals will be unable to adapt and will wither and die too. Many species will entirely go extinct including the large mammals.

        But society and culture will adapt to the emerging situation and people will learn how to live in the new era.

  •  as long as we're making planet-sized speculations (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scott in NAZ, Justanothernyer, Justus

    let me throw out that Antarctica is twice the size of Australia.

    I bet it will warm up down there a lot over the next few decades. Will it warm up enough to melt all that ice? doubtful.

    There's gonna be temperate bands and islands spread across the planet due to elevation and solid land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

    The probability that it warms up so much that every inch of the planet becomes uninhabitable to humans is lower than the chance of getting a room full of monkeys with internet connections to type up this diary and all the comments in it including this comment.

    •  i dont by that for a second (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ivote2004, YucatanMan, Odysseus, forgore

      when we start messing with things such as environment, it isnt just about, boy its hot out here, it about all sorts of things like all sorts of virus and bugs no longer die off in winter, and now they are free to start evolving into all sorts of nasty stuff.  We humans are a fragile , stupid, dangerous and dirty creature.

    •  I would be more worried about the melthing of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, forgore

      the arctic tundras than the antarctic ice pack. Once the tundras start to melt they will release methane which will heat the atmosphere faster which will release more methane. This type of positive feedback loop will lead to a runaway green effect long before the oceans will raise because to polar ice melt.

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

      by RMForbes on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:37:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hotlisted this one. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai, peregrine kate

    if ever there were a candidate for the Hotlist, this is it.

    #3: ensure network neutrality; #2: ensure electoral integrity; #1: ensure ecosystemic sustainability.

    by ivote2004 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:19:22 PM PDT

  •  Confirming what David Roberts says in this video. (6+ / 0-)

    I've been linking this a lot recently, though I saw it long ago, but it's really the eye opener I think people need.

    We'd be in deep trouble at 3 or 4 degrees C warming, but the problem is, we'd be really unlikely to stop there -- the "positive" feedbacks, aka the vicious cycles, would kick in.  Even 2 degrees C might cause them.

    And once they're in effect, humanity is fucked.  We can't do anything.  We have to have peak emissions this decade and start coming down fast, or young and middle aged adults alive today are gonna see things go bad, and children and future generations are gonna be in for hell on earth.

    As much as I'm glad that President Obama's EPA is regulating emissions, if we don't get real about how much methane leaks, it's not gonna be enough.

    Gestures are what we're getting, when what we need is fundamental change.

    Too bad a guy already ran on that.

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:24:27 PM PDT

  •  Also a new study headed by Stuart Pimm (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YucatanMan, KenBee, lilsky

    at Duke University
    http://www.sciencemag.org/...

    There was a book out February 2014 written by Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

    I cover this in my Diary last week.
    The Sixth Great Extinction

  •  Thanks for the reminder (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, forgore

    and for bringing it to the attention of those who have not yet seen it. To clarify, the linked report is from 2010, and it was the subject of a dairy by Keith Pickering. Not that this should preclude you from publishing it. Many did not see that one, and many who did read it have forgotten about it. So, thanks again.

    As others have noted, the combination of temperature and humidity are important. Yes, we are smart, adaptable, and evolving. Nevertheless, at some point risks and costs will be more than even we can bear. Plus, even if we do survive, what kind of world are we making? Shouldn't we be trying to avoid this scenario? Wouldn't the costs for such avoidance be more than offset by paybacks in technological advancements, ecosystem services, and disaster prevention?

  •  Just a thought (0+ / 0-)

    When do are words match our actions.
    When do we tell people to get the hell out of Florida and head North.
    30 years from now North Dakota's population could be quite a bit larger. Will those occupants be Democrats or Republicans.
    70 years from now, who knows, but whoever plans first and the best will control this country.
    It is a scary thought to think the Republicans would control all of the land in the Northern States and that was the only place that was habitable.

    I hate to say it, but I am glad I am 56 and got to enjoy this world as it was when it was still green.

  •  Unless we can create a stable climate again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    forgore

    It's just a matter of time.

    How will humans grow food?  What's farmland today will become too hot in a couple of decades.  Then what?  You can only move so far north running from the non-stop heating.

    And then if people end up just fighting wars with each other, whose working on putting the CO2 back into the ground?

    The way I see it, either humans terraform the atmosphere again or die off entirely.  I mean, everybody saw the charts from the ice core study, right?

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:16:37 PM PDT

  •  'a clear and present danger' (0+ / 0-)

    that some oiligarchs want to smooth over for 'profits'

    and what to do about such a clear and present danger?

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:31:36 PM PDT

  •  "We're Finished, Now What" (4+ / 0-)

    I've been working on a post about extinction for a while now and will share here one of my sources:

    From DGR

    University of Arizona Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources and Ecology Guy McPherson predicts human extinction by 2030 and keeps an up-to-date climate change summary on his website Nature Bats Last. McPherson keeps track of positively reinforcing feedback loops set into motion by climate change. These feedback loops are the great multipliers of climate change. Once in motion, they are virtually impossible to stop and they all lead to a planet that cannot support human life. The first feedback loop was observed in 2010 and in just four years McPherson’s list has grown to include 30 self-reinforcing feedback loops.

    Brilliant Australian biologist Frank Fenner says the writing is on the wall. [1]

    And John Davies, writing for the Arctic Methane Emergency Group, says we’re at the beginning of a run-away greenhouse event that will kill off humans by 2040.

    If you're not terrified into action by the IPCC's 5th Assessment , you're not human.

    by boatsie on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:37:43 PM PDT

    •  Earlier dates than I expected... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whenwego, boatsie

      ...Hello Boatsie.  I've thought for some time that we have passed the point of no return, but this is surprisingly early.  In 2030 I'll be, if still alive, 97 yo.  To consider the advent of ELE before that is amazing.  

      In our historic past, ELEs were not under our control; they came from the cosmos like meteors.  But we have the great privilege of being witness to the first Human created extinction.  We have been forewarned, but we did not understand,  We did not accept the changes mandated by evolution to change, learn, and grow beyond our self destruction.

      Smileycreek has a great new sig line, a quote from Neal deGrasse Tyson:

      The dionosaurs didn't see that meteor coming.  What's your excuse?
      Many of us have seen it.  It looks like not enough have seen it.  So that's the excuse.  We can only keep trying to spread the mandate of evolution, the mandate of survival.

      "... this is a severe existential threat to the Russian state itself, and has been designed as such." Daniel Patrick Welch

      by dharmasyd on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:37:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They're low-prob (very) high risk scenarios... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      forgore, boatsie, G2geek

      ...and of course should be taken very seriously because

      1. they're avoidable
      2. we deserve to be wiped out if we don't avoid them

      We spend more money and attention on lesser risk scenarios like super-flus. Thus, my quips above.

      •  The power of money (0+ / 0-)

        and the power that comes with money IMO truly does shape one's genetic makeup to the point where those who run the show are incapable of seeing the handwriting on the wall.  The elite NIMBY attitude is internalized to the point where empathy and conscience are obliterated.

        I have thought for some time that given our destruction of the planet, it has become an adaptive behaviour to survive to lose the sensitivity which enables us to truly feel the consequences of our inaction.

        Studies on creating suicide bombers and the roots of violence show how chemical, genetic and emotional states can be radically altered by environmental factors.

        And while it is a matter of years for example for those who become suicide bombers after living their entire lives in refugee camps and observing ongoing violence, how a person can change when they become accustomed to a rarified environment of power and money after just short periods of immersion is IMO perhaps testimony to the fact that the structure of their brains might indeed by altered as well. They are no longer capable of connecting with reality.

        If you're not terrified into action by the IPCC's 5th Assessment , you're not human.

        by boatsie on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 01:11:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great global warming diary. Thanks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    forgore

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

    by hestal on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 01:10:23 AM PDT

  •  Climate deniers are threatening our (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ellid

    children and our grandchildren.  We need to treat them appropriately.  

  •  But! But! (0+ / 0-)

    I need my 3-ton Ford Canyonero to haul my 1.5 children to soccer practice!

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 02:17:00 AM PDT

  •  A Feb'14 thread between FishOutOfWater and me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whenwego

    on this very topic, focused on vertebrate mass extinction levels

    Using IUCN Red List data (covers threatened and endangered species) and their risk criteria, I applied 13 risk scenarios (an orthodox baseline plus six more/less severe to either side of the line) to derive a range of forecasts on vertebrate mass extinction rates. The result looked like this for the next 1,000 years:

    The mean scenario is 33% species loss within ten centuries.

    The scenarios for both saving nearly all - getting back to background extinction rate AND losing everything - are equally extreme.

    And that statement won't easily save Humanity, for reasons I'm about to discuss.

    This is a block quote from the thread above:


    The Hominidae family is one of the first 'large' (more than 10 species) families to die off. Primates make up most of the top ten.

    We are literally killing ourselves.

    Got your attention yet? Let me elaborate on that claim.

    It's a crap shoot picking individual extinctions - it'd be like picking which homeowner will default on a mortgage (we had a bit of an oops attempting that approach a few years back as you may recall). However, pooling similar risks to derive rates is sound practice so long as you accept some variability in your forecasts and run them against a range of scenarios - a WIDE range (see above: near-complete salvation down to near-complete extinction).

    So, what counts as 'similar risk'? Why, species sharing the same taxonomical family, of course. Cichlids ( a kind of fish) or Ranids (a kind of frog), big families both.

    So how many species is enough to rely on? Hmm, depends... actually it's fuzzy to me. I think the monotype and near monotype families (one species per) represent both the most vulnerable (due to uniqueness of habitat, say) and the most durable species (Coelecanths, anyone?) - the species count alone is not enough. That's stipulated.

    And yet once you get past five or six species per family, that question gets tabled; you no longer have one fish living in a pair of lakes in Valencia. You no longer have one relic reptile living on a few minor islands off the coast of New Zealand. You have dispersion, you have diversification, you have a portfolio. At which point portfolio theory and credit risk assessment tools are helpful.

    A bit of prior-thread technobabble, please...


    I [...] applied a Monte Carlo function based on credit risk migration (the sort of thing S&P uses to rate companies AAA through default-worth) because the approximate 'default'/extinction risk of the IUCN categories was about the same as the worst three standard ratings.

    Then I ran that puppy, by decade, by every species record even the 'safe' ones, for a thousand years.

    Then I tightened the settings incrementally six times, then I lightened them the other way six more.

    The result is what you see above: a range of total vertebrate species counts that, yeah, are incredibly bad if the worst-case is allowed to pass - and damn bad anyway.

    The following is from the same thread, again, but this is the exhibit that drive homes the theme: That the mass extinction is killing the world from the putative top down.

    Again, picking individual species' extinctions is worse than a crap shoot - and the monotypes that dominate here aren't much better. Regardless, for the most part this is a non-controversial list.

      Kaka (a New Zealand parrot in its own family)
      Baiji/Yangzte Dolphin
      Central American river turtle
      Leatherback Sea Turtle
      Gharial
      Toothcarp
      Sawfish
      Echidnas
      Big-headed Turtle
      Plains-wanderer
      Kagu
      Laotian Rock Rat
      Numbat (banded anteater)
      Round Island ground boa
      Gray Whales
      Darwin's Frogs
      Paddlefish
      Coelacanths
      New Zealand short-tailed bats

    Let's do the same rank-ordering with monotype and near-monotype families excluded. Here's the Top 20 taxa at risk, five or more species each:

      Sawfish
      Chinchilla Rat
      Capuchins and squirrel monkeys
      Porpoises
      Rhinoceros
      Sea Turtles
      Musk Deer
      Gibbons (Lesser Apes) counting subspecies
      Frigatebirds
      Ghost Frogs
      Chinchillas and Viscachas
      Indrid Lemurs
      Mackerel Sharks
      Hawaiian Honeycreepers
      Iguanas
      Rorquals  
      Albatrosses
      Tarsiers
      Tapirs
      Cavefish

    Now for the real eye-opener: More than 10 species each

      Capuchins and squirrel monkeys
      Gibbons (Lesser Apes) counting subspecies
      Indrid Lemurs
      Hawaiian Honeycreepers
      Iguanas
      Albatrosses
      Tarsiers
      Malagasy rainbowfish
      Howler, Woolly, Spider, Wooly Spider Monkeys
      Hutias
      Humans, Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Orangutans, Bonobos
      Cats
      Tortoises
      Old World Monkeys
      Striped possums and wrist-winged gliders
      Brittle-belly Frogs
      Eurasian pond/river turtles, Neotropical wood turtles
      Gulper Sharks, Dogfish
      Cranes
      Funnel-eared bats

    Primates in bold.

    •  Forgot new piece - Hominid extinction forecasts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek

      2010 - throwaway
      2040 - the immediate runaway greenhouse scenarios
      2050  
      2080
      2140 - various degrees of collapse and depopulation
      2250
      2470
      2830
      3460
      3760 - assuming H. sapiens is last hominid to go...
      3760   ....this might reflect that any sustainable population
      3760   ....is too small and too dispersed to perpetuate
      5000 - end test range, a default for 'yay we keep going'

      Mean extinction date for all hominids which happens to include Humanity: circa 2890-2900 AD.

      But there's a dangerous cluster of extinction checkpoints over the next 100-150 years to get through first.

      •  OK, I read it & the links. so then... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cskendrick

        ... the question is "what to do about this?"

        First of all, nothing is written in stone.  If, tomorrow, some cyber-bug caused all the coal fired power plants in the world to self-destruct, we'd be bailed out pretty well.  If we phase out coal more slowly, we're bailed out by about 30%.  Coal is the killer-diller that should be our immediate focus.  

        Second, the language we use (all of us who are on-side for this and have decent verbal skills) can make the difference between people getting riled up and ready to take action, vs. people getting depressed and blowing their brains out or doing nothing.  We have the responsibility to communicate in such a manner as to encourage and stimulate action.

        Third, we have to point toward a future that will truly be worth living in and fighting for.  If we do it right, people will realize what's already been stolen from them and what's about to be stolen from them, and they will dig in their heels and resist.  If we do it right, people will have a goal that's more meaningful than merely staying alive.  

        And/or, what do you have in mind?

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 07:18:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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

          And never mind all the usual caveats but one:

          It is the young who fight the wars of the old.

          If this ever becomes a civil war-ish ruckus, it will be Millennials versus Millennials and YOUNGER who do the fighting.

          Are they fighting with each other on environmental issues? Are they split into factions on other criteria? What's the mix of factions, if there are any? What can you say to 20somethings about how they've been deprived, that (a) they don't know already and (b) haven't already locked down as been either Dems' or Pubs' or the overall system's fault? What more can you say.

          Also, because generational thinking, perhaps it is proper time to pass the thought leadership and messaging baton to Millennial voices. They know themselves best, they know what collectively they want to hear and how to act - and they want ownership.

          We older folks are at best people who didn't confront the bad guys successfully when it was relatively easier to do so. At worst we are part of the problem. We have to own that brand damage. Boomers in particular are defensive of such criticisms but that is a big reason why Millennials despise them. That, and Boomers are their parents. :)

          So you want to know how to communicate effectively to the future? The future is now: Ask a Millennial. Read Millennials. They're here, they're displeased, they're active and they're not waiting for us to thread through what to do.

          •  generational stuff: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest, ModerateJosh

            The Millennials and the generation after them (Generation Z?) will be living through shit-hits-fan times like nothing we've seen before (at least in the US).  So it's clearly incumbent upon us (GenX, and also the Boomers) to give them whatever unconditional support we can.  

            But I reject the notion that we didn't confront the badguys successfully when it was relatively easier to do.  The Boomers started Earth Day and the environmental movement, and our generation developed a paradigm of sustainability as daily praxis (admittedly often via necessity of economic distress, but none the less), and both generations voted for Al Gore in 2000.

            The turning point to climate hellscape has a particular date: 12 December 2000, the date on which the Supreme Court awarded the 2000 election to GW Bush.  Had the election gone to Gore or been decided for Gore, the entire course of world history would have been different.  

            Not only would the US have taken a lead role in dealing with climate change, but 9/11 would not have occurred: Gore was sufficiently cozy with the USIC (recall his opposition to civilian crypto, a position taken by NSA in those days) that he would have heeded the CIA warnings and the plot would have been disrupted and the terrorists caught before the dreadful day.  Minus 9/11, the post-9/11 recession would not have occurred, nor the ill-fated economic stimulus that followed, nor the real estate bubble it produced, nor the crash that those things produced, nor the overall culture of inevitable decline & fall that has resulted.

            The continuation of Clinton-era economic normalcy plus the new emphasis on climate would have stood a decent chance of putting us on track to solve this.  

            I recall 12 December 2000 as clearly as 9/11: where I was when the news came over the radio, and my immediate reaction, "Game over, world ends."  That by way of an expletive more than anything, because I have not given up by any means.

            For 12/12, as for 9/11, it can reasonably be argued that nobody in their right mind (no laypeople anyway: climate scientists and CIA analysts were aware of the respective threats) would have predicted either of those events.  In the lead-up to 12/12, could we have expected Gore to have predicted the Brooks Brothers riot that ultimately influenced the Supreme Court decision?  

            If there is any criticism to be raised, it's that "our side" has been playing defense almost since the beginning.  Contrast to the Civil Rights movement, which immediately started playing offense and ultimately won the key legislative and court battles.  

            In general progressives don't have a taste for playing offense.  Progressive culture is not a warrior culture, though it should be, and will have to become such.  Progressive culture is a live-and-let-live culture, which is all fine and well until there's a need to go to war or its equivalent, and then we are reluctantly roused to action.  

            The reason that progressives went on the offense for the Civil Rights movement is that they were led to that position by the African American community who were the proverbial tip of the sword, because in turn the African American community were bearing the horrific consequences of Jim Crow and the only alternative was to go on the offense to fight.  

            When the pain is immediate and manifest, as it is in the case of Jim Crow, the necessity to fight is also immediate and manifest.

            But if someone told you that hostile ETs were going to invade Earth in 100 years (for example our space telescopes picked up signs of the approaching armada), would we be particularly roused to demand a crash R&D program to develop gravitic propulsion and antimatter bombs?  You and I might, but most people out there would think it was crazy.  Largely because they couldn't wrap their brains around a threat of that magnitude, that was also outside of their own lifespans.

            That's what we face today, plus or minus the "frog in slowly heating water" phenomenon of people emotionally adapting to an increase in violent storms and the like.

            So on one hand we should be giving all due material support to the generations who are going to have to face down the proverbial space invaders.  But on the other hand we should not give up on being actively engaged in the battle.  To quote Aldous Huxley out of context, "nothing less than everything is truly sufficient," and to quote Mario Savio out of context, "If not us, who?, if not now, when?"

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 07:37:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Hate to sound like a broken record, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ellid, Justus

    but once again, reading through the comments, it is readily apparent that the climate and environmental activists unwillingness to educate the public about alternative food production methods- primarily agroecology and agroforestry, is leading to much despair.

    Many international experts agree that the combination of these two methodologies is going to radically alter, in a very good way, the presence of mankind on this planet.

    TER13, entitled Wake up Before it is Too Late: Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable Now for Food Security in a Changing Climate was released on 18 September 2013. More than 60 international experts have contributed their views to a comprehensive analysis of the challenges and the most suitable strategic approaches for dealing holistically with the inter-related problems of hunger and poverty, rural livelihoods, social and gender inequity, poor health and nutrition, and climate change and environmental sustainability - one of the most interesting and challenging subjects of present development discourse.
    Here is the link to the UN report.

    We need to know the consequences of our actions. But we also need to know that the "age of excuses" is over. We have the solutions. What we don't have is public consciousness that these broad-scale, highly applicable, very affordable, methodologies exist.

    And this is partly due to wide-spread willful ignorance regarding this topic among climate and environmental activists.

    You want to know how we will feed the population? How we will clothe them, have clean water, clean energy, etc? The answers are right here in front of you.

    •  Yeah, um, none of that is going to happen (0+ / 0-)

      quaint to think you can re-do global infrastructure in a fast enough time scale to make any difference at this point - even if you did start it a decade or 2 ago. The rapacious demands of human populations and economies will continue to impose rigid demands upon the earth and, until all-out calamity imposes otherwise, this dynamic will not and can not be altered.

      •  But it is happening. Millions are already (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ellid, RMForbes

        benefiting. Whether you think it will happen or not, the fact is is that is that these things are changing.

        Nice if you to be on a progressive blog and believe that humans cannot change anything...even when the overwhelming evidence is that yes, we can change.

        •  human ARE changing everything, that's the point (0+ / 0-)

          progressive blog has nothing to do with it. Might as well also believe in unicorns.

          Millions might be doing something, but it's what been done already that's the problem. And billions are still doing everything they always have been, and that's amazingly overwhelming to anything good that anyone is doing.

          Drops in the bucket do not fill it up very fast and we ran out of time already anyway.

          •  Might as well pull the plug now then right? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ellid, Justus

            Or do you enjoy spreading your fear and despair so much that life is worth living one more day, as long as you can sit smugly behind your keyboard and laugh sardonically at the efforts of millions to turn this ship around?

            Really, what keeps you here on this blog if you don't think anything can change? What do you hope to accomplish by tearing down the work of others?

            Sorry, but I- and millions of others- aren't going to be joining you in your pity party, waiting for the final calamity to end it all.

            •  It's just the truth about what's going to happen (0+ / 0-)

              according to the science. We have reached the point of no return... seriously. As in really and truly. In fact we're well past it. We have surpassed the most aggressive forecasts of CO2. If you do accept climate change as a fact you really need to get what this really means.

              No fear and despair or pity parties. That's all entirely beside the point and irrelevant. No need to pull any plugs - in fact I will likely live a full lifespan relatively unscathed given I'm in my mid 50s. But none of that changes the hard cold facts - unless you deny climate change.

              Lots of people want to imagine that we can still fix it and get back to other matters, but it's just not that simple. It's not tearing the work of others down, it's merely pointing out the fact that what ever is "done" won't have any meaningful impact. You've got to keep uppermost in mind that there are 7.2 billion of us competing for resources and the number is still rising. I'm sorry if that has an emotional content for you of feels somehow insulting, but the science really does point to real, actual, severe impacts. It's well past time for people to really get this. In any case, go ahead and do what you want about it - just try to do it without expending any additional fossil fuels of exploitation of resources, because that will just hurry things along.

              •  Oh please. Ignore the question and (0+ / 0-)

                continue pontificating about your absolute certainty that "the science" supports your position that we are all doomed to failure.

                Again, ignore the question. Why are you here? I'm not trying to run you off- I hardly interact here anymore anyway- but seriously.

                Why? What keeps you on this blog if "the science™" says we will all die in a few decades and there is nothing we can do about it because x y and z?

                Actually, don't even bother answering. I shouldn't have even bothered dignifying your apocalypticism with a response.

                •  hmmmm (0+ / 0-)

                  what's with all the animosity? It's clear you would want to run any one off that has a different point of view. I can only imagine that at heart you are a climate change denier.

                  The fact is that, currently and in the short term (meaning the next decade), there are no viable, scalable, effective technologies that can be implemented globally quickly enough to alter the human impacts that we have already made. This in the face of a globalized economy that is still completely geared to exploiting resources and burning fossil fuels. In fact, over this same time frame the burning of fossil fuels is still projected to increase. Global population is still increasing, we are still adding tens of millions of people that need to consume resources every year. We are deep into uncharted territory and I am not the only one or the first one to say this.

                  Finally, no where did I say "says we will all die in a few decades". In fact I made it clear I was fairly certain that I will not live to see the worst being now in my mid-50s, which is assuming I live close to 80.

  •  Purdue, not Perdue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, forgore

    Don't give Mitch Daniels any more ideas of how to sell off chunks of the school.

  •  What a misleading title (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justus

    The study in no way says or implies that human extinction is imminent.  Temperatures are already well over 35 C for many hours a day in summer in Arizona and many other places.

    The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

    by Scott in NAZ on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 04:36:04 AM PDT

  •  35 degrees C is 95 degrees F. A wet bulb (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein

    temperature of 95 degrees means that the ambient temperature is such that evaporative cooling can't reduce the temperature below 95 degrees.
       As the article states, humans (and most mammals) can't survive prolonged exposure to wet bulb temperatures above 95 degrees C.
       That, and the fact that many plant species cease photosynthesis at 104 degrees F means that we don't have as much margin as everyone seems to think.

  •  Nice work. Clearly lays out the case (0+ / 0-)

    without the offputting hype about how "We're killing the planet!" We're not. We're merely making it unfit for human habitation. When we're gone, the surviving species will say good riddance, the Earth shrug its shoulders, dust itself off, and keep on going. Won't miss us a bit.

    Thomas Paine: When my country...was set on fire about my ears, it was time to stir. It was time for every man to stir.

    by Bruce Brown on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:25:51 AM PDT

  •  Honestly, I don't think studies like this help. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ellid

    I think it feeds the Republican mean that the climate change proposition is exaggerated and dramatic.

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:36:45 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, don't cite every doomsday scenario as true. (0+ / 0-)

      The paper is scientific research, so it's fine to discuss.

      But it's rather dubious to read it and conclude "apocalypse is imminent and unavoidable".

      If I had my way, carbon emissions would stop today, or at least be force-phased out as quickly as possible. I won't get my way.

      It's not appealing to build a survivalist bunker in the Yukon. Nor is it appealing to do nothing and cash in on burning all remaining fossil fuels (because then eventual catastrophe is assured).

      We need concerted, amped up activism to pressure governments worldwide. This trumps all other issues, and anyone saying otherwise is lying.

      This is our last, best chance to limit the damage. Let's try.

  •  Good Thing There Isn't - - (0+ / 0-)

    A declensionist narrative going on here.

    •  Reality itself is declensionist. (0+ / 0-)

      Systemic global environmental degradation is fact.

      We don't have to agree on whatever percent chance there is of catastrophic collapse to fight against the ongoing destruction.

      •  Doomsayers in White Robes - (0+ / 0-)

        Are generally ignored by passersby - perhaps eliciting a condescending smirk, at most. More than a few comments above have mentioned the lack of action. I would argue that when the issue is couched as it has been here, it produces the opposite reaction of what is intended.

        •  It isn't couched in anything (0+ / 0-)

          Do you think human beings can live under any conditions?

          Do you think that so long as we continue to pump CO2 into the air the earth will continue heating?

          Deniers don't want to be bothered with basic realities.  It hurts their feelings.

          Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

          by yet another liberal on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:12:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Art of the Possible - (0+ / 0-)

            Seems utterly lost on the left today.
            Maybe it has always been that way.
            But I don't think so.

            I am disgusted by how the GOP is acting towards Obama -
            (as if anything has changed over the past 5 1/2 years) -
            but when climate activists preach doom and gloom -
            it simply chases people away.
            And then they add "denier" as the cherry on top.

            Working people face unemployment and declining wages.
            Meanwhile, the far-right is growing worldwide.
            Go figure.

            •  By far and away (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ellid

              The biggest problem with convincing the public is how much the fossil fuel industries spend on TV talking points and greasing congressman.

              If it weren't for that things would be a lot easier.

              Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

              by yet another liberal on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 11:58:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Global warming doesn't give a fuck about elections (0+ / 0-)

              and ignoring it will make things far worse for working people.

              Climate scientists can't tailor their work to what best serves the Democratic Party. Pushing the party to address their conclusions is up to us.

              If you want human life on earth to be possible, that is.

              •  A GOP Senate - (0+ / 0-)

                Will certainly pass oodles of environmental legislation.

                •  Neither will a Democratic Senate. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Churchill

                  Thus our activism.

                  •  This Is Why Dark Greenism - (0+ / 0-)

                    Is fundamentally reactionary.

                    <<<>>>

                    Who cares about reproductive rights?
                    Who cares about healthcare legislation?
                    Who cares about minimum wage?
                    Who cares about workplace safety?

                    To hell with it all -
                    Before the steam-roller of climate change!

                    <<<>>>

                    And I will fight you tooth and nail.

                    •  Study the global warming science. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      RiveroftheWest

                      Reality is not reactionary. It's just reality.

                      What do reproductive rights, health care, the minimum wage and workplace safety have to do with extracting and burning every last cubic inch of fossil fuel?

                      Nothing at all.

                      We can and must fight for all at the same time.

                      You're picking the wrong enemy. It is not environmentalists who insist that all gains on the left must be surrendered.

                      It's the Big Oil guys you are throwing your lot in with.

                      And the bill to workers on that Faustian bargain will be ugly.

                      •  I Love How You and Others - (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Justus

                        Like to toss out accusations -
                        "It's the Big Oil guys you are throwing your lot in with."

                        Your single-issue politics - "Climate, climate, climate!" -
                        Will not only insure that the GOP holds the House -
                        But also gains the Senate.

                        And in addition to the GOP trashing a range of environmental initiatives -
                        They will also gut everything progressive that they can.

                        You see it taking place around the world.
                        Except you don't because of your green blinders.

                        <<<>>>

                        For better or worse, it makes sense to keep Landrieu in the Senate.
                        Compare the voting records of Landrieu and Vitter.
                        Neither will get the Sierra Club Award - but there's a big difference.

                        •  You're failing to acknowledge global warming. (0+ / 0-)

                          It's not an "issue". It's reality.

                          It's a world-wide natural disaster. Like a zillion hurricanes on steroids. Would you sit here and argue that a hurricane is an "issue" that should only be seen through the lens of 2014 electoral strategy? No, you wouldn't.

                          But unlike hurricanes, we humans control global warming.

                          Read the science, man. Not the extremists, but the cool-headed, accredited, cautious, empirical lab-coated people. They speak as one: reduce and stop fossil fuel use or inherit the whirlwind.

                          Why is it urgent? The next few years represent our last chance to slow it meaningfully or face centuries upon centuries of hurt. And that's by the most conservative of estimates.

                          Act now or we're done. And all the hurt will be borne by the workers, not the Big Oil potentates whose practice and ideology you seem unwilling or unable to oppose.

                          Recent evidence shows CO2 levels are rising faster than expected, locking in a global temp rise of over 2ºC. Thus new urgency. But how does that hurt workers?

                          A global mean temperature increase above about 2-3 °C (relative to 1990-2000) would very likely result in market sectors across all regions experiencing either declines in net benefits or rises in net costs.
                          Thus the new urgency. Anyone and everyone who is pro-labor needs to read the global warming science, and fight hard against what big money wants here.

                          If we refuse, we on the wrong side of history AND future generations of labor activists are gonna be furious and call us what we would be: total knuckleheads.

                          •  All of What You Say May Be True - - (0+ / 0-)

                            But if the Senate goes Republican -
                            Zero, zilch, nada, rien will get done.

                            The same logic prevailed here at DKos in the Lieberman/Lamont race. I was thoroughly opposed to Lieberman's support of the Iraq War. But the tactics used against Lieberman supporters insured that he would win as an independent - and he did.

                            The political structure of the U.S., the media we have at present, the corporate and banking structure are realities. They can be changed and should be changed. But they exist as they are right now.

                            To pretend otherwise it to tilt at windmills.

                          •  Please read the global warming science. (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm pleading with you. It's essential for every educated labor activist. Ignorance of it hurts the whole labor movement. Start with just the wikipedia pages on the topic, click on the footnotes, bookmark the Guardian's excellent long-term coverage, browse through what one of America's top lefty anti-warming activists has to say on strategy.

                            How is Joe Lieberman relevant? Lieberman thoroughly deserved to be primaried as a DINO. GOOD. After winning the general, he continued caucusing and voting with the Democrats in the Senate. BETTER. Running as an independent forced him to reveal his GOP ways, and his constituents' backlash against his right-ward drift caused him to retire after that term. BEST. Supporting Lamont was WIN-WIN-WIN short, medium and long term for Democrats.

                            Both parties have been bought by the Big Oil people. While the GOP is the 1%, the Democratic Party has been lolling around in bed playing footsie with the 1% for so long it has forgotten there is any other way to be.

                            Of course these are realities. I'm not arguing against electing Dems. Far from it. I'm recognizing that given how corrupt the system is, to exact change on global warming will require extraordinary public pressure even if Dems are elected.

                            It won't be easy. But let's not go down without a fight.

  •  Why can't People who Post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justus

    these sorts of Diaries' use Fahrenheit instead of Celsius.  Most of us are US readers.

  •  But. But. Air Conditioning! (0+ / 0-)

    I guess we'll just all need to live inside. I mean, "humans are incredibly resourceful."

    It's crunch time. This is where we decide, as a species, if we have the stuff to be around for the long term.

    The dinosaurs ruled the earth for about a 100 million years. We're having problems cracking 100 thousand. You'd think a species with an advanced brain and opposable thumbs could be as successful as the dinosaurs.

    There you go, thinking again!

  •  Now we know why the aliens are not talking to us (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sweeper

    Either they went extinct through their own self-created extinction events, or the smarter survivors are waiting to see if we get smart enough not to go extinct.

    Shall we go? Yes, let's go.

    by whenwego on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:07:04 AM PDT

  •  "In the year Twenty-five Twenty-five..." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    forgore, RMForbes

    [Crickets...]

    Funny, but I've never thought of that song as being particularly optimistic.

    So endith the trick.

    by itsjim on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:14:47 AM PDT

  •  Sadly (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not surprised and I have to agree with Ezra Klein when he says the US will fail when it comes to climate change.

    Major policy changes tends to happen in American politics when the pain of inaction dwarfs the pain of action at that moment.

    I would modify that to say something along the lines of...

    Major policy changes tends to happen in American politics when the pain of inaction dwarfs the pain of action- death toll becomes no longer tolerable at that moment.

    Our legislators tend to be tombstone legislators, safety features in cars/planes/trains only come after huge accidents...most busses still don't have seat belts!! why you ask? not enough people have died in bus crashes yet.

    The problem as pointed out by numerous blogs, scientific papers and science in general is that it is very difficult to point at any single event, including any single death and say "Climate change did that". The fact that its difficult to point at any one event and say definitively with no reasonable argument "climate change" allows us to rationalize inaction. I really believe there are only two circumstances wherein our government will be able to act with real significant action.

    1> Incontrovertible proof that people (Americans - not Africans or Asians) are dying due to the runaway effects of climate change.
    2> Incontrovertible evidence of corporate profit being negatively impacted.

    Shy of those two things happening, we will at best take tiny steps, which may or may not last. BHO can have his EPA set a rule this year, but there is no guarantee that rule will last beyond his administration.

    When we start talking about extinction, we have to acknowledge we are talking about centuries, possibly millennia in the future, and I truly don't think the human race has the capability to plan and follow a plan that is centuries or even millennia in the making. Frankly about a decade I think is the longest period of time the human race can look ahead and follow a plan without that plan morphing into something it wasn't intended to be.

    Despite all the good science behind climate change, I find it hard to believe that you will be able to convince most Americans, democrat or republican, to start planning what's going to happen to their great great great great great great  grandchildren.

    To that end I think if we really want to get people involved and worried about climate change, the conversation has to be framed in the immediate, it cant be what's going to happen in 100 years, or a thousand years.

    Lets face it, no one is really concerned about what's going to happen when the sun begins to die and our eventual red giant sun eats the earth. Yes this is billions of years in our future, but to the average human I think 500 years isn't much different than a billion.

    So while papers like this are interesting and can be alarming, I don't think they will have much more effect than that pointed out by a previous comment that most people will look at it and just call it alarmist science.

    Religion is like a blind man, in a pitch black room, searching for a black cat that isn't there.....and finding it.

    by fauxrs on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:21:05 AM PDT

    •  But it's happening now and not hundreds of years (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yet another liberal, fauxrs

      in the future. The arctic tundras are already melting releasing millions of tonnes of methane which is about 40 times worse as a greenhouse gas than CO2. We have already past that tipping point and are already on the road to runaway global greenhouse effect warming where most all of the trillions of tonnes of methane sequestered in the arctic tundras and off the continental shelves gets released into our environment. Our children will suffer and our grandchildren will die...it's not something that might happen in centuries, it's happening now.

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

      by RMForbes on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:25:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  All thats true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RMForbes

        but the problem is, its terribly difficult to point at any one death and say "See! global warming" even if you can make a reasonable connection, we have been saying for years no single weather event is easily tied to global warming. Usually in response to some git saying "Look at all this snow, warming my ass!"

        And that truthful statement will be used by deniers and politicians to rationalize doing nothing. It easy to rationalize. California has had droughts before, why is this one tied to global warming and the ones before not? they'll ask.

        Because inaction is easy and cheap, that's what we will get for the most part I fear.

        Religion is like a blind man, in a pitch black room, searching for a black cat that isn't there.....and finding it.

        by fauxrs on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:15:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We have to make it not easy or cheap (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fauxrs

          for our politicians to ignore global warming. After all, we and our families are the ones that will suffer more than they will. If we don't our children and grandchildren have no chance at all. This is just too important to allow the status quo to continue.

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

          by RMForbes on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:35:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The Human Race will survive, Billions could die. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justus

    If global warming leads to mass methane release and eventual Fireball Earth (which has occurred before, as has Snowball Earth) and the consumption of most atmospheric oxygen .... then it would be a mass extinction event.

    However, even that worst case scenario we can as a society survive.

    By building undersea cities, and we have decades still to build and perfect complete closed systems. We can extract oxygen from sea water, powered for dozens of centuries with nuclear power. Strict population control and genetic health would have to be maintained, it would be a very different society. But we could survive and re-emerge after Earth healed itself.

    It is unlikely we could, before the extinction, do enough damage to the atmosphere to permanently switch Earth to Venus like runaway green house status. The amount of water on this planet will always act as a sink to yank the climate back to sanity.

    A sore point for me is that scientists always leave out the fact that our climate for the last 3-5 million years has stabilized to what we are used to because of the position of the continents, and the relative quiet in plate tectonics. Earth did not have remotely the kind of climate we think of when there was only Pangaea, and it was centered on the equator. As the continents continue to shift and move there will be periods in the distant future far less stable than now, due entirely to nature and we will have to conform and learn to cope with those changes as well in the distant future.

    But regardless, we will perish if the anti-science maniacs continue to have the kind of influence that keeps us from acting. As a species we MUST PURGE these people and their thinking from our society ... intellectual eugenics perhaps, they have to GO.

    Our wonderful climate that the human race has come into existence under, is just a small window relatively in the history of Earth's climates. And there have been more than one climate driven mass extinctions in the past over the  2+ billion years of complex life's existence on Earth.

    •  I like a lotof what you say (0+ / 0-)

      but I do not support any purge and have to say that I wonder you cross a line with that rhetoric.

      Der Weg ist das Ziel

      by duhban on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 10:40:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes the planet will always return to equilibrium (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yet another liberal, The Jester

      but it will take millions of years for the diversity of life to return, long after the human race has become extinct. It took over 100 million years after the Permian-Triassic extinction event for the diversity of life to reestablish on the land and in the seas. This human created mass extinction event will be no different.

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

      by RMForbes on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 02:06:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not Sure This is True (3+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure this is true. There are plenty of tropical, low altituted, landlocked places in the world where the temperature exceeds 35C/95F for weeks or months, where people and plenty of other mammals live. I lived in New Orleans where such heat (with humidity in the 90%s too) persists around the clock for days or weeks, and there's no shortage of people and other mammals - many without cooling equipment of any kind.

    That said, there are plenty of desert regions too hot for sustained human/mammal habitation despite cooling at night. I expect climate change will make many of them larger, and create new ones. And flooding that will make other regions uninhabitable by humans and other mammals).

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:10:58 AM PDT

    •  The Link Refers to Wet Bulb Temperatures (0+ / 0-)

      That is a significant difference.  That takes temperature and humidity into account to look at the capacity to dissipate heat into the atmosphere.  Though with humidity in the 90's, the difference between wet bulb and dry bulb temperatures is rather low, isn't it?

      Ideology: A set of assumptions so appealing that one looks at their abstract logic rather than at how the world actually works. -Michael Hudson

      by Justus on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:19:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Humidity (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Justus

        I think humid hot places are less likely to cool down at night than dry hot places, because the thicker air (including clouds) insulates the surface.

        The paper's satellite Tw map indicates places in SE Asia (and elsewhere) that already exceed 35C. SE Asia is one of the most densely and populated places, for longer than possibly anywhere else outside of Africa and India.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:38:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm doubtful that the heat will directly kill us (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yet another liberal

      in large numbers. However, runaway global warming will lead to a mass extinction event that has not happened since the Permian-Triassic extinction about 250 million years ago when extreme volcanism pushed the global temperature high enough to begin to melt the methane sequestered in the oceans setting up a positive feedback loop which spiraled out of control killing 95% of all plant and animal species on the land and in the sea.

      The only difference between that extinction event and today is that we are doing it to ourselves and we can possibly stop it if we act soon. But, it might already be too late as well. We will need to stop the release of global methane from the melting arctic tundras along with a significant reduction in global CO2 emissions...that's a huge problem. Maybe too big.  

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

      by RMForbes on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:49:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My two scientific warning signs are 19 Kids and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    forgore

    Counting and the fact that my "typical American" co-workers feel they must turn down the a/c thermostats to make it comfortable enough for them to sleep with their comforters on.  To the majority of Americans climate change is an ethereal nightmare myth that they are quite willing to relegate to the back burner.

    Too much time and effort is being spent on scientifically proving climate change and not enough on persuading average people and planning orderly transitions.

    The big question is how, meaning the development of an all-encompassing campaign, can we make climate change a part of everyone's everyday thinking. Like right this minute.

  •  In 2003 a heat wave killed over 10,000 people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    forgore, yet another liberal

    throughout Europe, mostly in France.

    The daily temperature went over 105 degrees Fahrenheit for one week while the nightly temperature did not go below 85-90. It was the nightly temperatures that had the most effect.

    A million Arcosantis.

    by Villabolo on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 10:33:11 AM PDT

  •  Um, don't count nuclear annihilation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yet another liberal

    We still got tons of missiles pointed at each other. Just cuz it seems a tad remote at this juncture does not mean it couldn't still happen - and happen in the blink of an eye.

    Humankind has been working on self-destruction like forever, and we will succeed one day, you can count on it.

  •  Your Title Misrepresents The Paper re:Extinction (0+ / 0-)
    At that temperature, much of the earth becomes uninhabitable for humans and other large mammals, and we go extinct.
    What I do not see here is any quotation from the paper talking about human extinction.  I followed the link and it does not support a conclusion that warming will cause human extinction, either.

    It does support a conclusion that the range of the human species will become much smaller under the scenario, by at least half.  Further, that would seem to reasonable lead to an assumption of a much smaller population of humans.  But extinction? You exaggerate, thus undermining credibillity.

    Ideology: A set of assumptions so appealing that one looks at their abstract logic rather than at how the world actually works. -Michael Hudson

    by Justus on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:15:01 PM PDT

    •  A six degree increase in global temperature (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yet another liberal

      triggered the Permian-Triassic extinction event about 250 million years ago. Around 95% of all species of plants and animals went extinct during that event. Why do you think that this runaway global warming event will be any different? If anything it should be worse because there is far more sequestered methane in the arctic tundras and off the continental shelves that will get released into the environment than there was back then.

      Unfortunately it is not unrealistic to assume we are well on our way to extinction at all.

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

      by RMForbes on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 02:20:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Read the Linked Paper (0+ / 0-)

        There is no mention of human extinction in the linked article.  Consequently, the diary title "Human Extinction - Reputable Scientists now see it on horizon" misrepresents its contents.

        Moreover, reading the actual article reveals that they do not predict human extinction caused by global warming.  The only related prediction is a reduction in the habitable range on earth for humans to live.

        Whether or not global warming will cause human extinction is a separate issue.

        Ideology: A set of assumptions so appealing that one looks at their abstract logic rather than at how the world actually works. -Michael Hudson

        by Justus on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:25:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've read this paper and a few more (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Churchill, RiveroftheWest

          the consensuses is that once the methane in the arctic tundra begins to melt it will set up a positive feedback loop that will lead to a runaway global warming just like what happened when massive volcanic activity suddenly raised the global temperature by 6 degrees triggering the Permian-Triassic mass extinction event about 250 million years ago.

          Just because this one study doesn't make that connection doesn't mean that it's not a valid conclusion. After all, this study does indicate twice the increase in global temperature than triggered the worse mass extinction event in global history and the methane is already being released at accelerating rates. The positive feedback loop has already been triggered, we have already passed that tipping point. I have no problem with making that connection, why would you?

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

          by RMForbes on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 01:28:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "And a few more" Is The Key (0+ / 0-)

            Reading the actual article reveals that they do not predict human extinction caused by global warming.  The only related prediction is a reduction in the habitable range on earth for humans to live.

            Whether or not global warming will cause human extinction is a separate issue.  The point may well be made in the "and a few more" papers you allude to.  So, then, reference thereto would be advisable in order to support the point.

            I do not contend that it is not true, just that it is not supported in the diary.

            Why can you not understand that?

            Ideology: A set of assumptions so appealing that one looks at their abstract logic rather than at how the world actually works. -Michael Hudson

            by Justus on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 05:37:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  More Directly (0+ / 0-)

            No matter the subject, when a writer declares: "Reputable Scientists now see it on horizon," it behooves the writer to cite and/or quote reputable scientists declaring that they "now see it on the horizon" - no matter what the "it" is.  

            My problem with the diary was and is that there is no such citation or quotation in the diary.  It was and is not my purpose to debate whether a cogent theory and supporting evidence for the claim exists in other literature.

            Ideology: A set of assumptions so appealing that one looks at their abstract logic rather than at how the world actually works. -Michael Hudson

            by Justus on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 06:55:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree that this particular diary was weak (0+ / 0-)

              in it's argument but I disagree that the title was in any way inappropriate. Many reputable scientists have linked our current climate change to eventual human extinction. The only real debate is how long it will take.

              Yes, in the mean time, there will also be mass population movements but even these mass migrations will only slow down our extinction, it will not stop it. The only way to stop it is to work together now before we reach more tipping points and I'm getting very pessimistic that we can do that when all we do is argue about the message of those raising the alarm.  

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

              by RMForbes on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 12:31:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  It's worse... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RMForbes, yet another liberal

    Conventionals count on fast-evolving techne to save us, & it might if we had time for roll-out, but planetary thermomentum is unstoppable in the medium term…indeed, long-haul salvation 'suggests' draconian measures--decarbonization, reforestation, Chinesque fertility controls, heavy taxation of oily-garchs, disarmament & slow thruputs…what are the odds we could cobble a global majority for such hily co-ordinated, sacrificial  methods?…billions could still perish from parchment & starvation, or be torn to pieces by rampaging coastal ecogees searching for the last grain reserves..quod erat argumentum.

  •  Human civilization can easily end up wiped out,... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill, RiveroftheWest, Justus

    Human civilization can easily end up wiped out, but humanity itself seems unlikely. There was a point in the past when humanity was reduced to less than 2,000 people and we came back from that event. Life will suck for almost everybody and be Hellish for a majority but humans are hard wired to survive and it only takes a few thousand for that to happen. And there's always the chance that humanity will hold the pluto-kleptocrats accountable and try to use our economic resources to survive instead ofeeping the wealthy in their cocoons. Not a great chance but what were the chances out of nothing an entire universe would arise? Or that this planet would be in the small habitable zone of our solar system? In other wwords, we can make educated predictions about the future but we cannot know the future.

  •  Make sure to also look at Supporting Information, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill, RiveroftheWest

    Files in this Data Supplement (.pdf download here) to the Steven C. Sherwood and Matthew Huber article, "An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress", that our fellow Kossak tsackton recommends in this excellent diary.

  •  That would be Purdue U not Perdue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill, Justus
  •  Not to worry, we'll just turn up the A/C /snark (0+ / 0-)

    More seriously, even with rampant global warming, the wealthy will build themselves buy underground or undersea shelters big enough for themselves and a few thousand servants. Enough money and they can build an entire manufacturing system. Of course, life may rather suck for the servants.

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