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Member since: Sun Jun 4, 2017, 04:46 PM
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Please see https://www.democraticunderground.com/1127129731
Posted by The_jackalope | Tue Jul 23, 2019, 03:12 PM (4 replies)

It's the End of the World as They Know It

On one hand it's morbidly reassuring to know that the scientists are experiencing the same emotional reactions as so many of us civilians. On the other hand, they are having these responses to information visible just within their own silos of climate change research. Adding in the web of interactions that become visible in a cross-disciplinary synthesis makes the psychological well much deeper and darker.

Sometimes I envy the scientists for the knowledge boundaries imposed by their necessary specialization - I often feel that being a generalist with no academic allegiance puts my sanity at greater risk.

It’s the End of the World as They Know It

It’s hardly surprising that researchers who spend their lives exploring the dire effects of climate change might experience emotional consequences from their work. Yet, increasingly, Cobb, Shukla, and others in the field have begun publicly discussing the psychological impact of contending with data pointing to a looming catastrophe, dealing with denialism and attacks on science, and observing government inaction in the face of climate change. “Scientists are talking about an intense mix of emotions right now,” says Christine Arena, executive producer of the docuseries Let Science Speak, which featured climate researchers speaking out against efforts to silence or ignore science. “There’s deep grief and anxiety for what’s being lost, followed by rage at continued political inaction, and finally hope that we can indeed solve this challenge. There are definitely tears and trembling voices. They know this deep truth: They are on the front lines of contending with the fear, anger, and perhaps even panic the rest of us will have to deal with.”

While Americans feel “an increasing alarm” about climate change, according to a survey conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, scientists have been coping with this troubling data for decades—and the grinding emotional effects from that research are another cost of global warming that the public has yet to fully confront. Before you ask, there is no scientific consensus regarding the impact of climate research on the scientists performing it. It hasn’t been studied in a systematic way.

Put another way, climate scientists often resemble Sarah Connor of the Terminator franchise, who knows of a looming catastrophe but must struggle to function in a world that does not comprehend what is coming and, worse, largely ignores the warnings of those who do. “An accurate representation” of the Connor comparison, one scientist darkly notes, “would have more crying and wine.”

When she was a graduate student in 2010, Myhre recalls, she attended a summer program that included the world’s top scientists on climate modeling. One presented research on how increased CO2 levels posed frightening scenarios. She asked him how he was able to talk to nonscientists and communicate the implications of this work, which can be hard to understand. “I don’t talk to those people anymore,” she remembers him replying. “Fuck those people.” After that, Myhre went to her hotel room and wept. As she saw it, his anger was driven by the fact that his expertise—his foresight—was not broadly recognized. “People don’t know what to do with their grief, and it is manifested in anger,” she says.
Posted by The_jackalope | Tue Jul 9, 2019, 07:24 PM (3 replies)

Climate change: Why is it so often "sooner than predicted"?

Found some time in the future, engraved on a giant slab of rock (think Georgia Guidestones):

"To the Next Ones: Sorry we missed you. We had to depart sooner than expected.
H. sapiens"

Climate Change: Why is it so often “sooner than predicted”?

  • “As the Climate Council has reported, hot days have doubled in Australia over the past half-century. During the decade from 2000 to 2009, heatwaves reached levels not expected until the 2030s. The anticipated impacts from climate change are arriving more than two decades ahead of schedule.” [“‘It’s been hot before’: faulty logic skews the climate debate,” The Conversation, February 20, 2014]
  • “Climate change will reduce crop yields sooner than thought” (University of Leeds study) [Science Daily, March 16, 2014]
  • “New research shows climate change will reduce crop yields sooner than expected” (different study) [Arizona State University, March 25, 2014]
  • “Dangerous global warming will happen sooner than thought – study: Australian researchers say a global tracker monitoring energy use per person points to 2C warming by 2030″ [The Guardian, 9 March 2016]
  • “Scientists Warn Drastic Climate Impacts Coming Much Sooner Than Expected: Former NASA scientist James Hansen argues the new study requires much faster action reducing greenhouse gases.” [Inside Climate News, Mar 22, 2016]
  • “Florida Reefs Are Dissolving Much Sooner Than Expected” [ClimateCentral, May 3, 2016]
  • “Scientists caught off-guard by record temperatures linked to climate change:” “We predicted moderate warmth for 2016, but nothing like the temperature rises we’ve seen” [Thomson Reuters Foundation, July 26, 2016]
  • “Ice-free Arctic may happen much sooner than predicted so far: study” [DownToEarth, 16 August 2018]
  • “Ground that is not freezing in the Arctic winter could be a sign the region is warming faster than believed” [“Scientists surprised to find some Arctic soil may not be freezing at all even in winter,” CNBC, Aug 22 2018]
  • “Paris global warming targets could be exceeded sooner than expected because of melting permafrost, study finds” [Independent, 17 September 2018]
  • “Climate change impacts worse than expected, global report warns” [National Geographic, October 7, 2018]
  • “Ocean Warming is Accelerating Faster Than Thought, New Research Finds” [NY Times, Jan 10th, 2019]
  • “Scientists warn climate change could reach a ‘tipping point’ sooner than predicted as global emissions outpace Earth’s ability to soak up carbon” [Daily Mail, 23 January 2019]
  • “Scientists who study the northern Bering Sea say they’re seeing changed ocean conditions that were projected by climate models – but not until 2050.” [“Bering Sea changes startle scientists, worry residents,” AP, Apr 13, 2019]
  • “New Climate Report Suggests NYC Could Be Under Water Sooner Than Predicted” [Gothamist, May 21, 2019]
  • “Antarctic Ice Sheet Is Melting Way Faster Than Expected, Scientists Warn” [Huffington Post, 06/14/2018]
    “Arctic Permafrost Melting 70 Years Sooner Than Expected, Study Finds” (The original source for the Independent article) [Weather.com, June 14th, 2019]
Posted by The_jackalope | Thu Jun 20, 2019, 06:37 AM (23 replies)

Fatal wetbulb temperatures arrive in Pakistan

This video is by Paul Beckwith, an Ottawa-based climatologist. At the end he includes a summary of the 27 different ways a person can die from heat, a subject that he expands upon in the following video.

Nightmare information.
Posted by The_jackalope | Thu Jun 20, 2019, 06:22 AM (1 replies)

A remarkable resource - everything you ever wanted to know about The Predicament

All organized and searchable. No commentary, just context.

The Database of Environmental Change

Welcome to a new kind of information service which gives people simple point and click access to many thousands of key articles, curated over five years using a consistent frame of reference / classification schema.

Size - Contains 60,000+ links to articles about significant environmental change, growing at a rate of 50+ articles a day.
Sources - Curated from global mainstream publications, scientific and technical sources, alternative and social media.
Access - Organised into hierarchies of categories which can be navigated as easily as a supermarket or a department store, also searchable using standard key word functionality.

Here is the side bar, showing topics and number of stored articles:

- DRIVERS [17089]
+ Emissions [4488]
+ Ecosystems [3423]
+ Energy fields [196]
+ Humans [8982]

- IMPACTS [55295]
+ Tipping points [4490]
+ Water [7033]
+ Air [10776]
+ Life [32996]

The Fracking Files
Special Focus
- Fracking Files [2213]
+ Drivers [1344]
+ Impacts [869]

Posted by The_jackalope | Sat Jun 15, 2019, 11:05 AM (2 replies)

No Happy Ending

Even if someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better.
It's not.

The moment I read his earlier article and book, "Learning to Die in the Anthropocene", I knew that Roy Scranton was one of the people at the top of my "Totally Gets It" list. This article is an awe-inspiring, uncompromising takedown of two prominent modern hope-mongers.

No Happy Ending: On Bill McKibben’s “Falter” and David Wallace-Wells’s “The Uninhabitable Earth”

There are moments when changing the stories we live within is the only way to keep going. Today, facing worldwide ecological collapse, we find ourselves in such a moment. Two new books illustrate and embody this challenge: Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben and The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells.

Climate change poses such profound challenges to the ways that we conceive of human existence that we are compelled to rethink what that existence means. In some sense, this was apparent from McKibben’s first book, The End of Nature, published in 1989. Since then, he has been a leading voice in framing the problems climate change poses, yet his solutions lean always toward the homiletic. The story McKibben knows best is one in which our mission in the wilderness has foundered but can be saved by spiritual renewal. When he turns to face the future, he does so dressed in a faded patchwork of Protestant confessionalism, Disneyfied Romanticism, and faith in human redemption.

Wallace-Wells also does justice to the limits and obstacles we face in addressing the problem, which he explores in the book’s last third, building a thorough and convincing argument that we moderns, especially and specifically 21st-century Americans, are prodigiously ill-equipped for coping with or even really understanding the global cataclysm we’ve unleashed. As the reader closes in on the final 30 pages, a dizzying narrative suspense takes hold: the problem Wallace-Wells presents is so overwhelming, so comprehensive, so frightening, and so far beyond the grasp of current political institutions that you wonder how the author will confront the abyss toward which the story seems headed. Disappointingly, Wallace-Wells flinches.

Both authors adhere neatly to the genre of the monitory ecological sermon, which found archetypal form in Theodor Geisel’s 1971 story The Lorax: industrial capitalism has wrought total ecological devastation upon the Earth, denuding it of Truffula Trees, brown Bar-ba-loots, Humming Fish, and Swomee Swans, which devastated world is fated to be our grim gray home forever … unless. Unless, that is, we heed the Lorax who speaks for the trees. The future depends upon cultivating the right feelings: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Which implies that if you do care, things will get better — a kind of magical thinking to which Americans seem especially susceptible.
Posted by The_jackalope | Sat Jun 8, 2019, 10:22 AM (9 replies)

A new Pledge of Allegiance is coming

I pledge allegiance to the President of the United States of America, and to the Banana Republic for which he stands, one Nation under surveillance invisible, with liberty for him and the Department of Justice for his enemies.

Trump gives Barr power to declassify intelligence related to Russia probe

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), who as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee leads one of the ongoing congressional investigations of Trump, called the action “un-American.” Trump and Barr, Schiff said in a statement Thursday night, are conspiring to “weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies.”

Welcome to the nightmare.‬
Posted by The_jackalope | Fri May 24, 2019, 05:53 AM (2 replies)

Global food crisis ahead as extreme weather events devastate crops

This article contains a selection of links to current news stories about the effects of the unfolding climate catastrophe on food production in various parts of the world.

This is exactly what we hysterical, chicken-little doomers have been warning about for a decade. Well, it's here and happening now, on a continent near you. Got garden?

Global food crisis ahead as extreme weather events devastate crops and fields around the world

Extreme weather events are devastating crops and thus the food business around the world. From Australia to North Korea and Argentina here are the latest reports of food shortage around the world.
  • Australia imports wheat for first time in over a decade after worst drought in 116 years
  • Floods, hail and bad weather affect fruits and vegetables in Italy
  • Planting in France slowed down by extreme cold temperatures
  • Severe drought devastates crops in Yucatan, Mexico
  • Lowest rainfall in 100 years leaves millions at risk of starvation in North Korea
  • Spring’s record-late arrival in parts of the U.S. has catastrophic consequences for food industry – Food prices set to rise
  • Cracks are appearing in the edifice of modern agriculture: Australia’s biggest grain producer’s revenue collapses after horrific crop losses
  • Floods leave 600 000 ha (1.5 million acres) of crops damaged in Argentina
Posted by The_jackalope | Thu May 23, 2019, 07:43 PM (2 replies)

We are burning ourselves to death

"Our spread over the earth was fuelled by reducing the higher species of vegetation to charcoal, by incessantly burning whatever would burn. Combustion is the hidden principle behind every artefact we create. The making of a fish hook, manufacture of a china cup, or production of a television programme, all depend on the same process of combustion. Like our bodies and like our desires, the machines we have devised are possessed of a heart which is slowly reduced to embers."
-WG Sebald, "The Rings of Saturn"

This is precisely why our civilization is inextricably wedded to fossil fuels - they're the easiest thing on the planet to burn, and easy to transport to wherever we want to burn them. More broadly, it's why humanity is in a carbon trap" Our continued survival depends on the very thing that is killing us.

For an intelligent species living on a high-carbon planet with an oxygen atmosphere, burning stored carbon and using the released energy of combustion is easy and obvious. It would probably be done fairly early in the life of the species, well before they accumulate enough scientific knowledge to detect the long-term planetary danger of the carbon dioxide exhaust gases. In our case we have been burning carbon to use its stored energy for hundreds of thousands of years. But we figured out the dangers of CO2 (global warming, climate destabilization and ocean acidification) less than a hundred years ago.

By the time the danger is realized, the species will be carbon-dependent - locked into the burning of carbon for energy - trapped in a vicious spiral of thermodynamically-driven self-organization, energy-dependent maintenance of existing physical and social structures, increasing energy dependence, increasing CO₂ production - and increasing planetary heating from the greenhouse effect.

If there is enough carbon available (as there seems to be here on Earth), the species will become technologically advanced, will send out signals for a short while and will then go extinct due to an inability to adapt to the planet's changing climate. The species will not climb out of its gravity well and fly to the stars, because the energy required will all be soaked up in its own growth, and extinction will happen well before it gets to the "Dyson Sphere" stage of development.

To my mind, this is a highly probable explanation for Fermi's Paradox, aka 'Where is everybody?" Clever species in an environment suitable for developing technology (i.e. one with a lot of stored carbon and an oxygen atmosphere) have a very high chance of burning themselves into collapse in short order.
Posted by The_jackalope | Thu May 16, 2019, 09:48 PM (1 replies)

In support of the anti-abortion legislation

The name of the state has been officially changed to al-Abama.
Posted by The_jackalope | Wed May 15, 2019, 07:49 PM (0 replies)
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