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climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 18 Nov 2017, 08:09:19

baha wrote:
Ibon wrote:There is nothing threatening humans on a species level at the moment and nothing in the foreseeable future.


Not according to Guy McPherson. If the ocean dies and becomes anoxic, we will all die. I'm not saying it will happen...but the shape of the Great Barrier Reef and the Pacific ocean is troubling. When the ocean turns pink, you should start digging your hole :)


We are not only the Kudzu Ape. We are also the cockroach ape. Look onto the poorest slums on the planet to witness the resilient adaptation.

All this cascading prognosis of dying oceans is pure projection. It's bullshit. Guy McPherson is full of hubris that he is one of the wise ones crusading in a sea of denial and ignorance.

You think this evangelical "chosen one " hubris doesn't make him reach for apocalyptic conclusions?

Just like end time christians... McPherson is just like them.
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby baha » Sat 18 Nov 2017, 08:25:47

I agree Ibon, I think Guy tried to get anyone to listen about CC, and no one did. So he developed his version of the worst case scenario just for shock value. And went on a crusade. I respect that...

He is only trying to make people understand the level of uncertainty we face when we play with natural processes. Sometimes adaptation will not work long term.

I think the number of advanced species that have really survived long term could be counted on one hand...
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby GHung » Sat 18 Nov 2017, 09:10:05

baha wrote:I agree Ibon, I think Guy tried to get anyone to listen about CC, and no one did. So he developed his version of the worst case scenario just for shock value. And went on a crusade. I respect that...

He is only trying to make people understand the level of uncertainty we face when we play with natural processes. Sometimes adaptation will not work long term.

I think the number of advanced species that have really survived long term could be counted on one hand...


McPherson was a crusader for the worst-case scenario when it came to climate. Since he has been accused of being a sexual predator, no one is paying any attention.

As for the number of advanced species that have really survived long term, virtually all of them were specialists whereas humans are perhaps the most successful generalists our planet ever evolved. Our problem-solving abilities are only surpassed by our ability to devise ways to cheat nature and trash our environment. If we could turn our efforts toward creating a sustainable path for ourselves and our ecosystems we may earn the right to continue evolving.
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 18 Nov 2017, 09:17:01

baha wrote:I agree Ibon, I think Guy tried to get anyone to listen about CC, and no one did. So he developed his version of the worst case scenario just for shock value. And went on a crusade. I respect that...

He is only trying to make people understand the level of uncertainty we face when we play with natural processes. Sometimes adaptation will not work long term.

I think the number of advanced species that have really survived long term could be counted on one hand...


Ah, no. 'Professor' McPherson made himself a comfortable living for a couple decades as a lecturer and then went on his national and later world tour to English speaking countries proclaiming 'The End Is Nigh'.

I fully grant that the climate is going to change not in the smooth integral the IPCC insists on using in their projections, but stepwise in function with at least two and possibly several abrupt steps between the world ice age climate we evolved in and the total world hothouse climate we are heading towards. However change is not extinction, it is evolution, which is something you would think a PhD educated lecturer would know. Through the entire history of this planet the climate has ranged between two boundary conditions with ice age glaciations on one end and hothouse climate with no ice on the other. What is more significant is the planet since life evolved roughly 500 Milllion ybp to present has spent about 75% of that time in hothouse climate conditions.

The doom to end all doom that McPherson constantly mutters about to the gullible with hydrogen sulfide bacteria as the predominant species in the ocean did not prevail for 400 Million of the last 500 Million years. However if you listen to the prophet of doom we are guaranteed to hit the cyanobacteria releasing hydrogen sulfide and gassing everyone to death any day now, and we have not even made it up the first step between the current climate and the hothouse climate we may reach.

He also constantly preaches that nuclear waste pools are going to irradiate the entire countryside while also opposing moving those wastes to secure storage in Nevada or elsewhere, and a whole host of similar silliness. If he believed a tenth of what he preaches he should be fighting to prevent that which is preventable with minimal effort instead of proclaiming "things are hopeless and we should eat, drink and make merry for The End Is Nigh"
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby baha » Sat 18 Nov 2017, 12:12:26

Ha, ha, got you folks going...

You all make very good points and your possible outcome is much more likely than his. But we are treading on unbroken ground. We (including the 15,000 scientist) are just making educated guesses. I leave open the possibility that something radical could occur. Super volcanoes, asteroids, pandemics, or nuclear war...the list is endless. It could happen...

Don't throw up your hands and run for the exit (like KJ) just remember that as soon as you think you have it figured out...it will change.
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sat 18 Nov 2017, 12:22:14

baha wrote: We (including the 15,000 scientist) are just making educated guesses.....


Not really, no.

The predictions of the effects of global warming aren't based on guesses at all.

They are based on supercomputer models of the earth that incorporate state-of-the-art knowledge concerning the physics of the atmosphere, oceans, biosphere, cryosphere, etc. Climate scientists use these Global Climate Models (GCMs) to simulate what the earth will be like in the future by doing model runs where atmospheric CO2 is increased to levels higher then today.

When the GCM models are run, the planet warms rapidly, glaciers melt, sea level rises, etc.

So far the response of the actual earth to increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere is a reasonable fit to the modeled predictions, but there are some differences. For instance, the models don't tend to cause the Arctic Ocean sea ice to melt. But this isn't good news because an ice-free Arctic will produce feedbacks that will tend to make the earth warm even more rapidly then the models predict.

Cheers!

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Predictions of the effects of global warming aren't just "guesses". They are based on supercomputer runs of sophisticated Global Climate Models that seek to simulate the behavior of the earth's weather and climate.
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby baha » Sat 18 Nov 2017, 13:46:02

Yes Plantagenet, you're right. :)

These folks are very educated. The models are good. But as you pointed out all it takes is one major departure, like a melted ice cap, to create a feedback loop that was not even in the model.

Keywords above are prediction and simulate. Same as educated guess and brainstorm. We won't know until we get there.
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby dohboi » Sat 18 Nov 2017, 14:17:22

And it's not just models. First, it's also basic physics, CO2 and methane being well known greenhouse gasses, a property of theirs discovered well over 100 years ago. So we know we've dumped hundreds of billions of tons of these gasses into the atmosphere, increasing CO2 levels by about 45% and more than doubling methane levels. We also know temperatures are rising. It doesn't take an 'educated' person to connect those dots, but it does take someone who either willfully doesn't want to or is just lying not to connect them.

Furthermore we have paleo-studies, showing the tight connection between global temps and atmospheric carbon levels over and over again throughout the paleo record.
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 18 Nov 2017, 15:07:20

In practical terms what deos it all matter.

Thought experiment, suppose China, Russia, India, GB, and the USA were to make a joint announcement tomorrow that they have discovered a huge asteroid on a direct collission course with Earth to impact on September 29, 2122. All life will be exterminated, there are not options, it will happen.

Does anyone think anyone would change their life style one iota?

Now suppose there was an out, some technological fix, 100% sure, but we would all have to make extreme sacrifices to pull it off. We would have to give up ALL fossil fuel use and have no Electic Power as it would take everything we have to avert disaster. Does anyone here think we could accomplish that?
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby dohboi » Sat 18 Nov 2017, 17:19:46

Interesting question, even if intended to be merely rhetorical.

I do think that people would react differently to an outside threat than to a threat we have generated and are generating ourselves. But we probably won't have much chance to see the difference.

Certainly, in WWII, in the face of outside threats, people were willing to scale back their domestic use of lots of things, 95% reduction in domestic use of petrol in the UK, iirc.
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 19 Nov 2017, 10:29:22

Re: Passenger Pigeons (discussed a few days ago)

http://wmot.org/post/why-did-passenger- ... 0#stream/0
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 19 Nov 2017, 10:31:42

The difference to WWII was that then the threat was immediate and palpable.

In this thought experiment it’s neither.
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 19 Nov 2017, 11:04:36

I don't know, a large comet that people could see images of and see that it was on a track to hit earth would likely seem pretty palpable to many, perhaps most.

The comparison I wonder about is what people's reactions would be if it was shown that the earth was going off course from its orbit and was now slowly spiraling ever closer to the sun.

I can't help but think that most people would be a bit more freaked out than they are about global warming, even though the effect is essentially the same.
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby Ibon » Sun 19 Nov 2017, 15:30:39

dohboi wrote:
I can't help but think that most people would be a bit more freaked out than they are about global warming, even though the effect is essentially the same.


It's not the same. One is a physical object, a singular event threatening the planet, solid and tangible. The timing of the impact can be predicted to the second.

Climate change on the other hand is systemic, mutli layered in its complexity and difficult to predict as it is gradual and the tipping points if they come are as unpredictable as earth quakes.

People living in San Francisco along the San Andreas fault are not earthquake denialists.....

Get the point?
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 19 Nov 2017, 15:36:15

Yes, I tend to agree with Ibon. And I would add that it will and is affecting different regions in different degrees of disruption. It mirrors all the general adversity now and coming our way. It will be uneven and asymetrical in both time and space.
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 19 Nov 2017, 15:41:19

Ibon wrote:
dohboi wrote:
I can't help but think that most people would be a bit more freaked out than they are about global warming, even though the effect is essentially the same.


It's not the same. One is a physical object, a singular event threatening the planet, solid and tangible. The timing of the impact can be predicted to the second.

Climate change on the other hand is systemic, mutli layered in its complexity and difficult to predict as it is gradual and the tipping points if they come as unpredictable as earth quakes.

People living in San Francisco along the San Andreas fault are not earthquake denialists.....

Get the point?


The difference is our (technical) ability to effect the outcome.

We have the technical ability to regard climate change, we don’t have the emotional ability.
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 19 Nov 2017, 15:46:55

Look, when folks feel threatened they will take action.

Today in India there is a controversy about some big Bollywood film to be released. It’s detractors have pushed blocking its release to the Supreme Court and lost. Now they have put a bounty on the head of the producer, literally, $2,300,000 USD, so fa, for his beheading.

The travesty? The film depicts a mythical princes dancing without a veil and of appearing with her prince in an “intimate” position.

See, when people face real and emergent threats they respond!

Climate change? Piff!
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby Ibon » Sun 19 Nov 2017, 15:58:02

Newfie wrote:
Ibon wrote:
dohboi wrote:
I can't help but think that most people would be a bit more freaked out than they are about global warming, even though the effect is essentially the same.


It's not the same. One is a physical object, a singular event threatening the planet, solid and tangible. The timing of the impact can be predicted to the second.

Climate change on the other hand is systemic, mutli layered in its complexity and difficult to predict as it is gradual and the tipping points if they come as unpredictable as earth quakes.

People living in San Francisco along the San Andreas fault are not earthquake denialists.....

Get the point?


The difference is our (technical) ability to effect the outcome.

We have the technical ability to regard climate change, we don’t have the emotional ability.


to the earthquake analogy we have addressed the unpredictability with improved building codes. In affect we have addressed and mitigated with technical adjustments.

Climate change mitigation hasn't even gotten to the first baby steps of reinforcing concrete!

IT is indeed an emotional impasse collectively which does underpin the point that it is a waste of time at the moment to indulge and fret over it.

I agree with ASG70's comment. Be like Plantagent and go to Greece instead of worrying about it.

This is what I am doing every year to about 500 tourists, come on down to Mount Totumas and enjoy an intact cloud forest full of bio diversity instead of fretting over the fragility of our planet and carrying the junk and baggage of human stupidity around on your back weighing you down down down down down.
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 19 Nov 2017, 16:15:43

Not worry long about it does not make “it all good.”

Remember the song “Don’t worry, be happy”?

Remember the Nuremberg defense?
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Re: climate change "existential" threat to humanity

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 19 Nov 2017, 16:22:00

Newfie wrote:Not worry long about it does not make “it all good.”

Remember the song “Don’t worry, be happy”?

Remember the Nuremberg defense?


Remember saying “But mom, everyone was doing it....” and thinking it was a good enough reason to not get in trouble?
II Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
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