'A cat in hell's chance'

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clv101
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'A cat in hell's chance'

Post by clv101 »

‘A cat in hell’s chance’ – why we’re losing the battle to keep global warming below 2C

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... ate-change

It's good to see more climate scientists calling out the 2°C target. Hopefully this will lead to the injection of more realism into the global climate debate instead of that 1.5°C nonsense from Paris.
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Post by UndercoverElephant »

Currently about half of all global emissions are the responsibility of just of just one in 10 of the global population.
True, but misleading.

What proportion of the other 9 are emitting less by choice, and what proportion would very much like to be living a higher-emission lifestyle but are economically disadvantaged to the point where this is not a choice on offer to them?

Statistic pulled out of nowhere, but believable: fewer than 1 out of 9 are emitting less by choice, and the other 8 would emit more if the economic inequality didn't prevent it.

While grotesque inequality is morally unacceptable, and unfair, from a human rights and political point of view, it has very little to do with what this article is claiming it has to do with. It does not follow from the fact that the very rich are responsible for a disproportionate amount of emissions, that the very rich cutting their emissions would lead to a significant drop in overall emissions. It may just mean the emissions get spread around a bit more. The argument (not made in the article, but widely made elsewhere) that reducing inequality is critical for solving environmental problems does not work. How many people, if they could afford to buy and run a car, would choose not to?

The article is written by a person who has also written a book called "Cancel the Apocalypse".

I am tired of the Pollyannaism. Deal with reality or it will deal with you, and that includes accepting social and political reality.

The reality is this: we are not going to stop climate change at 2 degrees. Or 3 degrees, or 4 degrees. In fact, we are not going to stop it at all. What is actually going to happen is that it, eventually, is going to stop us, where "us" means "industrialised civilisation and humans who think they can overpopulate this planet with impunity".

The apocalypse will not be cancelled.
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Post by Automaton »

He's also incorrect on the data (or maybe just not thorough enough). We're not at just under 1 degree since 1880; it's more like 1.2 degrees, for the mean ocean and global temp.


https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/
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Post by clv101 »

1 degree is a better answer than 1.2 degrees. 2016 was a spike, 2017 will be cooler. It's fairer to say today's climate is around 1 degree warmer, with 2015/16 being a spike.

One year's record does not reflect the climate.
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Post by clv101 »

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Currently about half of all global emissions are the responsibility of just of just one in 10 of the global population.
True, but misleading.

What proportion of the other 9 are emitting less by choice, and what proportion would very much like to be living a higher-emission lifestyle but are economically disadvantaged to the point where this is not a choice on offer to them?

Statistic pulled out of nowhere, but believable: fewer than 1 out of 9 are emitting less by choice, and the other 8 would emit more if the economic inequality didn't prevent it.

While grotesque inequality is morally unacceptable, and unfair, from a human rights and political point of view, it has very little to do with what this article is claiming it has to do with. It does not follow from the fact that the very rich are responsible for a disproportionate amount of emissions, that the very rich cutting their emissions would lead to a significant drop in overall emissions. It may just mean the emissions get spread around a bit more.
It's an interesting point. To a first approximation, the more you spend/consumer the higher your emissions are - hence the wealthy are responsible for most of the emissions. The most effective thing someone in the UK can do to cut their emissions is to become poorer, work less, earn less etc.

If one just redistributed the wealth, reducing inequality, I expect emissions would increase. The only guaranteed way to reduce emissions is to destroy wealth (or at least the amount people spend/consume).

It's not a case of asking rich people to spend less (they can't or won't), or taxing them more (the state would just spends more), the wealth has to actually be reduced. I guess the point Simms is making is that the poor half of the world need not become any poorer than they are now, the emission cuts can come from the wealthy.
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Post by woodburner »

Important to recognise the "wealth" is mostly debt, paid for by plundering the planet.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

I unfortunately have to agree with UE that the only thing that will stop us from cooking the earth totally will be climate change itself. Hopefully, rising sea levels will be the catalyst that will precipitate the destruction of the world's financial and food production systems and result in mass human die off and the saving of at least some of our population. If our systems last long enough to completely cook the earth with 3 or 4 degrees the human die off is likely to be total.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

I also noted that our own Chris Vernon is quoted in the article.

The West Berkshire Green Exchange, of which I am a committee member, is hosting a talk by Professor Sir Brian Hoskins on our progress on combating Climate Change on the 1st February. I will report on what he says.

Anyone who might want to come and hear what he says is welcome. PM me for details.
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Post by Automaton »

clv101 wrote:2016 was a spike, 2017 will be cooler.
No doubt someone said 2015 was a spike, and 2014 was a spike too... I guess we'll find out if your prediction for 2017 is right.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

1998 was a spike and 1999 was definitely cooler, as was 2000, the spike being caused by the El Nino of 1998. 2016 will likewise probably be a spike caused by the El Nino although it won't be long before the temperatures catch up again.

If anyone comes back at you next year saying that CC is a myth because 2017 is cooler just quote what was said after the 1998 El Nino and how wrong that was.
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Post by Potemkin Villager »

kenneal - lagger wrote:
...
The West Berkshire Green Exchange, of which I am a committee member, is hosting a talk by Professor Sir Brian Hoskins on our progress on combating Climate Change on the 1st February. I will report on what he says.

...
Ken, I wonder if Sir Brian's talk gives you any reason to adopt a more optimistic view of the future of civilisation?
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

He was very upbeat about the future from a climate change perspective. He thought that we could achieve the goals set by scientists to mitigate climate without having to resort to any geo-engineering. He wasn't at all keen on any of the geo-engineering techniques although he didn't say anything, beyond mentioning it on a slide, about the use of biochar for sequestering carbon.

I can't see why he was so upbeat myself but then I don't think our civilisation is going to last long enough to finish the job that we have started in demolishing the ecosystems upon which we rely!
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Post by emordnilap »

The thread title is apt. No-one (in relative numerical terms) gives a flying fúck about global warming, as evidenced by more and more alarming headlines with no concomitant action, as in:

Record-breaking climate change pushes world into ‘uncharted territory’
The record-breaking heat that made 2016 the hottest year ever recorded has continued into 2017, pushing the world into “truly uncharted territory”, according to the World Meteorological Organisation.
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Post by clv101 »

kenneal - lagger wrote:He was very upbeat about the future from a climate change perspective. He thought that we could achieve the goals set by scientists to mitigate climate without having to resort to any geo-engineering.
Goals set by scientists or by politicians? Scientists aren't generally in a habit of setting goals and the 1.5 degree and 2 degrees goals are far more political than scientific - I also disagree with Hoskins about being able to meet these goals. The carbon arithmetic presented so clearly by Kevin Anderson makes it clear the 2 degree target is impossible without imminent, dramatic, rapid action - action which absolutely isn't forthcoming.
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Post by johnhemming2 »

clv101 wrote:The carbon arithmetic presented so clearly by Kevin Anderson makes it clear the 2 degree target is impossible without imminent, dramatic, rapid action - action which absolutely isn't forthcoming.
I have not looked at the carbon arithmetic, but I think you are probably right in the round if not the specific. The relatively mild actions so far have resulted in Trumpery.
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