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Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:09 AM

Scientist: The Climate Change Disaster Train has left the station


Prepare for 5°C Warmer World, Former Leader of Climate Change Panel Says

Posted on Feb 14, 2013
By Alex Kirby, Climate News Network


This piece first appeared at Climate News Network.


LONDON—The world has missed the chance to keep greenhouse gas emissions below the level needed to prevent the temperature climbing above 2°C, according to the British scientist who used to chair the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The scientist, Professor Sir Robert Watson, chaired the Panel from 1997 until 2002, when he was ousted after US pressure for his removal.

Professor Watson says there is a 50-50 chance of preventing global average temperatures rising more than 3°C above their level at the start of the industrial age, but a 5°C rise is possible. That would mean the Earth warming more than it has since the end of the last Ice Age.

He was speaking at a symposium, Preventing global non-communicable diseases through low-carbon development, held at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/ex-ipcc_leader_prepare_for_a_5c_warmer_world_20130214/



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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Scientist: The Climate Change Disaster Train has left the station (Original post)
marmar Feb 2013 OP
no_hypocrisy Feb 2013 #1
MadHound Feb 2013 #2
rightsideout Feb 2013 #4
countmyvote4real Feb 2013 #5
CanonRay Feb 2013 #6
oldbanjo Feb 2013 #7
Kennah Feb 2013 #18
4dsc Feb 2013 #3
The2ndWheel Feb 2013 #11
greymattermom Feb 2013 #8
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #12
MH1 Feb 2013 #15
BlancheSplanchnik Feb 2013 #17
Javaman Feb 2013 #9
PETRUS Feb 2013 #10
KurtNYC Feb 2013 #13
Kennah Feb 2013 #19
ramapo Feb 2013 #14
redqueen Feb 2013 #16

Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:10 AM

1. Five degrees this year.

It can always get hotter.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:24 AM

2. Well d'uh!

 

We really should have started in on climate change back in the seventies when this first became a known issue. But it was one of those "liberal whacko" issues that nobody in the Democratic, and especially the Republican party wanted to touch. The real issue that was pushing renewables during the Carter administration was the cost of oil, not the health of our planet.

Of course Reagan signaled early on that he was going to do anything about climate change when he ripped down the solar panels that Carter put up. During the nineties, it was the dawn of the Age of the SUV's, and whatever fuel efficiency and pollution controls were put in place were immediately overwhelmed in the quest for bigger, badder. Yeah, here and there were some token nods at climate change, but for the most part people simple didn't care, even while our planet was warming up and up.

Bush II, the oil soaked president, he wasn't going to do a thing. And the planet continued to roast, and recognition of climate change became a matter of faith instead a matter of science for many, many people who chose to disbelieve science and put their faith, and head, up their ass.

Now, frankly, we've entered the era of fatalism. Yeah, climate change is happening, we're all going to die from it, but for right now, crank up the AC, fire up the iPad, frack out some more fossil fuels, why bother with meaningful change because it is all going to go to shit anyway.

So despite the dedicated work of a relative handful of good people, despite some token adjustments in government policy, the fact is people just don't fucking care, and won't care until it is far too late. Five degree rise, hell, the rate we're going we're looking at a ten degree rise minimum.

The dinosaurs had a legit reason for going extinct, a big comet or asteroid hit, BOOM! We're stupid enough to kill our own selves out of greed and stupidity, and take the rest of the planet down with us. Tens of thousands of years from now, when aliens stop by to do an archeological study, they're going to shake their head and say, "Thank god these babbling idiots never made it out of their solar system."

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Response to MadHound (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:34 AM

4. Good post

I agree 100 percent.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:51 AM

5. Thank you. n/t

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Response to MadHound (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:02 AM

6. Excellent post

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Response to MadHound (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:11 AM

7. Very good and true.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:09 PM

18. You get a Valentine for that superb post.

I have this vision of a conversation between a couple of aliens.

Alien #1: Have you looked at their science fiction books and films?
Alien #2: No, why?
Alien #1: Do you know what appears to be a common fear permeating much of it?
Alien #2: No, tell me.
Alien #1: Anal probes.
Alien #2: Wait, WHAT!?
Alien #1: They were worried we'd stick anal probes in them.
Alien #2: You have GOT to be kidding me? What was wrong with them?
Alien #3: That's nothing. Read up on early 21st century American politics, specifically a group that called themselves The Tea Party.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:28 AM

3. Consumerism is killing the planet

We just cannot stop the madness so we will suffer its effects.

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Response to 4dsc (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:06 AM

11. What else would we do?

Civilization is a resource concentration process. That we would consume the resources that we concentrate into the hands of a small percentage of life shouldn't be a shock. That's what we accuse the 1% of doing.

Civilized humanity is basically the 1% of the planet. We attempt to privatize the planet for a single species, while socializing the costs to the rest of life. We're a global corporation that tries to write the rules which govern us.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:38 AM

8. population decline?

There was another thread on population decline in developed countries, especially Japan, but including the US and Western Europe. Won't that affect climate change? Has anyone put those two calculations together?

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Response to greymattermom (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:08 AM

12. China. India. Third-world immigration into Europe.

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Response to greymattermom (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:49 AM

15. global population is not declining (yet)

when it happens it will either be gradual by drop off in birth rates, or cataclysmic by some event such as nuclear war.

We sure hope it will happen by gradual drop off. Eventually that will factor into climate change, but it will take awhile, due to how long CO2 etc stays in the atmosphere and continues to effect climate.

When birth rates fall, there will be a 'demographic problem' that there are fewer young people to support the elderly. If meanwhile life spans increase, but working age expectation doesn't increase, then there will be fewer young resources to support increasing numbers of "elderly" resources. (but if lifespans are increasing, doesn't it seem reasonable that the working age can be extended?) so on the surface this appears to support raising eligibility age for certain social programs. But, not so fast. Especially in the case of Medicare, because it is more efficient to provide single-payer health care, so we should be lowering that age instead of raising it, regardless of demographics. (But the problem is we think of it as an elder-care program. We need to stop thinking like that.)

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Response to MH1 (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:37 PM

17. Be prepared to have the naysayers tell you you're wrong

That US population is at zero and it's immigration now.....

The problem is global...we are too damn fertile. If "someone" "designed" us this way, it wasn't very intelligent of them.

As National Geographic once said, humans are an exterminator species.

The root cause for most of the problems we face is overpopulation, but we stubbornly refuse to take measures as simple as encouraging "none or one".

I've always thought tax rewards for those having no children, and removing tax breaks for those having more than one would help reverse the trend.

It doesn't matter how careful we are, people live their lives and just by doing so, impact the environment. The fewer of us, the less stress on everything around us.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:52 AM

9. That train left a long time ago...

It was 30 years ago when it was only cruising down the tracks at a moderate pace where we could have still put on the breaks well before we all realized the bridge was out.

Now the breaks have long since rusted and are completely in operable.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:57 AM

10. ...

The weekly New Scientist reported that the year before, shortly after the inauguration as US president of George W Bush, an ExxonMobil executive wrote to the White House asking: “Can Watson be replaced now at the request of the US?”

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:11 AM

13. Yes. At this point arguing with climate deniers is like arguing on the deck of the sinking Titanic

Time to get in the lifeboats:

- move to cooler climates which are not hurricane prone,
- buy or grow locally produced food to strengthen the infrastructure which will be needed in the near future
- stop rebuilding in areas that will be under sea water or else build floating homes like the Dutch

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:14 PM

19. Real estate in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut will become valuable

I expect we'll be growing citrus in addition to apples in Washington State within 20 years.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:27 AM

14. You shouldn't mess with Mother Nature

There is no doubt that we've messed with the mechanisms that control our climate and living conditions. However, the Earth is constantly changing and evolving. CO2 levels have been very high in the past and the Earth was just fine. Oxygen levels have changed dramatically over millennium also. The problem is humans just might not be able to adapt as quickly as necessary to changing conditions.

Oh well. We take ourselves so seriously. Humans are but a tiny blip in the history of our beloved Earth. Earth has been through amazingly dramatic changes. Incredible varieties of lifeforms have come and gone. Earth will be here for a long, long time after we are all gone. Then one day. Earth will be gone too.

We just borrow our molecules from Nature. She is the ultimate recycler.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:13 AM

16. A few more big meteors might help.

K&R

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