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Reply #33: I think you're entirely correct; however . . . [View All]

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #9
33. I think you're entirely correct; however . . .
Edited on Thu Oct-11-07 07:05 PM by hatrack
We are on the threshold of a world where politicians, policy, platforms and laws are going to be increasingly meaningless. In the context of an increasingly unresponsive, self-absorbed and self-destructive political class at the levers of power, the prospects of meaningful reform of energy policy, economic planning, tax systems, resource use and environmental protection are as bleak as I have ever seen them.

Does anyone on this board really believe that any politician, faced with the beyond-the-worst-case scenario we now confront, is going to do much more than talk about tax incentives, ethanol, hydrogen research and maybe toss a few more buck in the can for "clean coal", solar and wind? Fiddling around the edges is not going to do the job, and I see nothing on the horizon but more fiddling in this age of the non-responsive answer, the sound bite and the pre-recorded focus-group-tested statement.

Let me speak more clearly about what we're confronting. Yesterday, Tim Flannery, Australia's leading climatologist, talked about where we are in terms of the atmosphere's potential to absorb long-wave radiation, which is the key that winds the greenhouse clock. For years, the IPCC's conservative assumption has been that at any atmospheric levels of CO2 below 450 ppm, we would likely see a global average temperature increase of about 2C - bad, but quite possibly manageable. Plans to limit emissions and control the thermostat, so to speak, had been based on that assumption.

However, the figures he released yesterday showed that, if you include all 30 of the greenhouse gases and calculate them as CO2 equivalents - that is derive one number expressing the potential of all these gases to trap heat in the atmosphere, we're already at 455 ppm. And since CO2 (to say nothing of the other 29 gases, which have a wide range of breakdown rates) takes about 100 years to decay, the CO2 from car you drove, the bus you rode, the leaves you burned today won't leave the atmosphere, taking their thermal properties with them, until about 2107.

In other words, we haven't even begun to reap the whirlwind.

Rapid climate destabilization is here, now. It is too late to "stop" it. The best we can hope for is to soften the effects so as to spare the next generations and the rest of nature the very worst of what potentially lies in wait.

And given what I've seen of human and political nature, particularly here in the world's richest, fattest, dumbest and most self-absorbed nation, I am not optimistic that we can even pull that off.
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  -2 Pictures, 1 Graph --> Focus everyone; for the sake of humanity understandinglife  Oct-11-07 04:35 PM   #0 
  - But isn't it really just more fun to bitch about Hillary, Tweety, DINOs and Bush?  hatrack   Oct-11-07 04:41 PM   #1 
  - All that bitching...  Juniperx   Oct-11-07 04:44 PM   #3 
  - But if we elect another POTUS that supports the corporations...  superkia   Oct-11-07 04:55 PM   #9 
  - I think you're entirely correct; however . . .  hatrack   Oct-11-07 06:20 PM   #33 
     - Did you see Gore's  Admiral Loinpresser   Oct-12-07 06:56 AM   #71 
  - Thank you for posting those. I read them and so does my  tnlefty   Oct-11-07 05:37 PM   #27 
  - This jetty, the whales, and the little snap who let it escape the tank....  lips   Oct-11-07 07:01 PM   #39 
  - Hillary, Tweety, DINOs and Bush are responsible for global warming  L0oniX   Oct-11-07 06:54 PM   #37 
  - I think this is all going a lot faster than most realize...  Juniperx   Oct-11-07 04:43 PM   #2 
  - They're now projecting no summer Arctic sea ice by 2013  hatrack   Oct-11-07 04:45 PM   #5 
  - That's just around the corner...  Juniperx   Oct-11-07 05:06 PM   #17 
  - Way, way, way faster ... and, now it's no longer a "modeling" issue ...  understandinglife   Oct-11-07 04:45 PM   #6 
  - There's a domino effect to consider in this...  Juniperx   Oct-11-07 05:05 PM   #16 
  - That's been in a few X-Files episodes  krispos42   Oct-12-07 12:34 PM   #86 
     - Life imitates art?  Juniperx   Oct-12-07 12:51 PM   #89 
        - Well, science fiction eventually becomes science fact  krispos42   Oct-12-07 01:30 PM   #92 
           - I should be flying my car now...  Juniperx   Oct-12-07 02:05 PM   #95 
              - The immortal Lewis Black...  krispos42   Oct-12-07 02:33 PM   #97 
  - the ice loss this year  Tuesday_Morning   Oct-11-07 05:10 PM   #20 
  - Yes. And, yes. .... we're soon to learn just how small the planet is and how connected ...  understandinglife   Oct-11-07 05:40 PM   #28 
  - how Ul could Gore not run for president..he knows damn well Hillary will not do what is nessesary  flyarm   Oct-12-07 02:35 PM   #98 
  - I can testify to that!  rucognizant   Oct-12-07 07:14 AM   #72 
     - The best tomatoes I ever tasted were grown in South Jersey!  Juniperx   Oct-12-07 10:23 AM   #77 
     - 84degrees in mid October in So Jersey..i watched the NYYankess playoff game  flyarm   Oct-12-07 02:43 PM   #100 
  - I ride my bike when possible, grow my own veggies, have bonsia trees  DJ MEW   Oct-11-07 04:45 PM   #4 
  - Learn to can & preserve, save seeds, get out of debt ASAP  hatrack   Oct-11-07 04:46 PM   #7 
  - A few thoughts off the top of my head.  Gregorian   Oct-11-07 05:00 PM   #11 
     - Define not long  DJ MEW   Oct-11-07 08:41 PM   #42 
        - It depends on a lot of factors.  Gregorian   Oct-11-07 09:37 PM   #46 
  - I'm dedicated to THAT also, am I only allowed one area of devotion?  melody   Oct-11-07 04:52 PM   #8 
  - Took the bus, renewed my AGU membership, and when I get home . . .  hatrack   Oct-11-07 04:55 PM   #10 
     - But I could well stand here and insist you do more  melody   Oct-11-07 05:00 PM   #12 
        - "The vast majority of Americans aren't even being told the truth." Precisely.  understandinglife   Oct-11-07 05:25 PM   #24 
        - Exactly - unless you happened to be in front of the tee-vee at just the right time . . .  hatrack   Oct-11-07 05:58 PM   #30 
  - This is fucking terrifying.  Odin2005   Oct-11-07 05:01 PM   #13 
  - This shocked the hell out of me.  Sugar Smack   Oct-11-07 06:03 PM   #31 
  - I cannot agree more. nt  motocicleta   Oct-11-07 10:47 PM   #50 
  - Telecommuting vegan, here. I don't even turn my lights on before 8pm  flvegan   Oct-11-07 05:02 PM   #14 
  - That's just plain scary  knight_of_the_star   Oct-11-07 05:04 PM   #15 
  - our hands are not letting go of the steering wheel  zippy890   Oct-11-07 05:07 PM   #18 
  - Hijacked  rucognizant   Oct-12-07 07:24 AM   #73 
  - Behold the REAL threat to National Security.  Artiechoke   Oct-11-07 05:08 PM   #19 
  - Yes it does  knight_of_the_star   Oct-11-07 05:10 PM   #21 
  - K&R. (nt)  Kurovski   Oct-11-07 05:11 PM   #22 
  - I should cut back on the bourbon, rocks...  JackintheGreen   Oct-11-07 05:17 PM   #23 
  - It is humbling. n/t  flashl   Oct-11-07 05:33 PM   #25 
  - Fluorescent bulbs, LCD sets, don't need an overpowered PC, walk when possible... walk to work...  HypnoToad   Oct-11-07 05:34 PM   #26 
  - Exactly -- we learn to live simply n/t  melody   Oct-11-07 06:28 PM   #34 
  - Perhaps we can alter a 50 year time frame from now, however  hedgetrimmer   Oct-11-07 05:46 PM   #29 
  - But this is good news!  slutticus   Oct-11-07 06:06 PM   #32 
  - K&R  hatrack   Oct-11-07 06:30 PM   #35 
  - a thousand R's (if I had them)  Duppers   Oct-11-07 06:48 PM   #36 
  - Thank you.  understandinglife   Oct-11-07 11:35 PM   #56 
  - K & R  malaise   Oct-11-07 06:58 PM   #38 
  - but we're still just coming out of an ice age!  toadzilla   Oct-11-07 07:03 PM   #40 
  - Wow, that graph is...  Canuckistanian   Oct-11-07 07:10 PM   #41 
  - In_deed. Simply, it is a "black swan" environmental event.  understandinglife   Oct-11-07 08:54 PM   #43 
  - We have to nationalize our OIL and all natural resources -- if you understand GW . . .  defendandprotect   Oct-11-07 08:55 PM   #44 
  - I believe the neocons are aware of this, want the truth hidden from the people so that they  mod mom   Oct-11-07 09:01 PM   #45 
  - "private army-check. control of aquifer-check. fema camps-check." That's their fantasy ...  understandinglife   Oct-11-07 09:46 PM   #47 
  - Of course they know.....  absyntheminded   Oct-12-07 10:01 AM   #76 
  - ain't that the truth.  Warren Stupidity   Oct-12-07 10:33 AM   #78 
  - Amen, brother. But how many people out there are even truly aware, much less  codjh9   Oct-11-07 10:33 PM   #48 
  - it's too late to start caring now...  QuestionAll   Oct-11-07 10:37 PM   #49 
  - And so then a question...  malakai2   Oct-11-07 11:13 PM   #53 
  - exactly.  QuestionAll   Oct-12-07 06:14 AM   #69 
  - Moral Purtity!  rucognizant   Oct-12-07 07:29 AM   #74 
  - NO. It is time to begin leading and caring, truly, on a scale ...  understandinglife   Oct-11-07 11:34 PM   #55 
  - Gore on 11 Oct 2007: ""We have everything we need to get started," he said. "We have the capacity ..  understandinglife   Oct-12-07 12:19 AM   #57 
  - "It's never too late to be what you might have been."  puebloknot   Oct-12-07 01:24 AM   #60 
     - And, Al Gore is now a Nobel Laurette for Peace because of his "love for Earth ...  understandinglife   Oct-12-07 04:14 AM   #64 
        - And may he find his highest calling in furthering the work he has already done.  puebloknot   Oct-12-07 04:16 PM   #109 
  - words and thoughts aren't going to change the facts-  QuestionAll   Oct-12-07 06:17 AM   #70 
  - NO! It is too late to avoid disaster, not too late to mitigate its scope.  Warren Stupidity   Oct-12-07 10:34 AM   #79 
     - that's your opinion- mine differs.  QuestionAll   Oct-12-07 02:49 PM   #101 
  - Everyone brace yourselves.  Dr_eldritch   Oct-11-07 10:58 PM   #51 
  - holy crapola- there is the Northwest Passage!  kineneb   Oct-11-07 11:08 PM   #52 
  - "Looks like it may be a little late to start, but start we must." In_DEED!!  understandinglife   Oct-11-07 11:14 PM   #54 
  - Well that graph made my night.  Colorado Progressive   Oct-12-07 12:24 AM   #58 
  - For starters, way, way less than half the population are freepers ...  understandinglife   Oct-12-07 12:29 AM   #59 
     - Just remember I live west of Colorado Springs, freepers rule here!  Colorado Progressive   Oct-12-07 01:27 AM   #61 
        - Soon, you will lead them to knowledge. Go for it!  understandinglife   Oct-12-07 04:20 AM   #65 
        - print out those pictures and the graph in color on a 1-page flier, make copies  0rganism   Oct-12-07 03:20 PM   #104 
  - Thank you.  emilyg   Oct-12-07 01:48 AM   #62 
  - Wonderful!!  understandinglife   Oct-12-07 04:25 AM   #67 
  - Forty Signs of Rain, Fifty Degrees Below, and Sixty Days and Counting  gateley   Oct-12-07 02:19 AM   #63 
  - Thank you and I agree - "we can't harness the earth." We can stop destroying it.  understandinglife   Oct-12-07 04:25 AM   #66 
  - ""It is a question of war and peace," said Egeland, now director of the Norwegian Institute ...  understandinglife   Oct-12-07 04:42 AM   #68 
  - FEAR is an excellent motivator...n/t  saddlesore   Oct-12-07 09:07 AM   #75 
  - these pictures do not lie, we must come to grips what is happening  alyce douglas   Oct-12-07 10:37 AM   #80 
  - Yes and Exactly ...  understandinglife   Oct-12-07 10:44 AM   #81 
  - This is intense  f the letter   Oct-12-07 10:57 AM   #82 
  - Global warming is just a theory.  Enthusiast   Oct-12-07 10:58 AM   #83 
  - UN panel chairman hopes to work with Al Gore in combatting climate change  understandinglife   Oct-12-07 11:04 AM   #84 
  - this is THE single issue of our time  Neo   Oct-12-07 11:41 AM   #85 
  - "Why The Pundits Are Wrong About A Gore Run"  understandinglife   Oct-12-07 12:43 PM   #87 
  - "Breaking down the sleazy 'Source: Gore thinks Hillary is Unstoppable' meme"  understandinglife   Oct-12-07 02:05 PM   #94 
     - sounds like Mark Penn to me!!..the Hillary Karl ROVE OPERATIVE..  flyarm   Oct-12-07 03:20 PM   #103 
  - Gore: "My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the ...  understandinglife   Oct-12-07 12:45 PM   #88 
  - These are Good Images to Have  ribofunk   Oct-12-07 01:06 PM   #90 
  - A picture really IS worth a thousand words  hatrack   Oct-12-07 01:14 PM   #91 
  - "No need to say a word -- just look at the photo."  understandinglife   Oct-12-07 01:59 PM   #93 
  - And behind all of out petty hopes and fears, our momentous refighting of WWII  tom_paine   Oct-12-07 02:06 PM   #96 
  - And so it is . . .  govegan   Oct-12-07 02:41 PM   #99 
  - This is the beginning of the endgame, and we're still playing our opening moves  0rganism   Oct-12-07 03:10 PM   #102 
  - NOW IS THE TIME  Sufficient Voice   Oct-12-07 03:24 PM   #105 
  - Welcome to DU.  understandinglife   Oct-13-07 10:48 AM   #111 
  - fuel base has got to be changed. waterpoweredcars. crazy? kick.  dogindia   Oct-12-07 03:31 PM   #106 
  - K&R.nt  nam78_two   Oct-12-07 03:31 PM   #107 
  - k/r  Fridays Child   Oct-12-07 03:49 PM   #108 
  - kick  noexcuseforgeorge   Oct-13-07 08:59 AM   #110 
  - kick n/t  Lorien   Oct-13-07 12:02 PM   #112 

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