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Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 26 Nov 2018, 17:56:26

onlooker wrote:I think we actually agree. You concede that other biophysical limits exist. And I concede that AGW is potentially a calamity from which humans may go extinct or at least be thrown back to the Stone age.

While we may go back to stone age population levels I don't see any chance of going back to stone age levels of knowledge or technology. There are too many libraries and too many computer hard drives out there as well as millions of educated people for all of it to be wiped away world wide.
As to biophysical limits the next one I see is available fresh water for drinking and irrigation and after that grain or food supply in general followed by sea food of all types.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 26 Nov 2018, 18:07:30

vtsnowedin wrote: I don't see any chance of going back to stone age levels of knowledge or technology. There are too many libraries and too many computer hard drives out there as well as millions of educated people for all of it to be wiped away world wide.


The problem isn't the knowledge or the technology. The problem is the mines.

All the easily accessible mineral deposits have already been mined out. If civilization ever stumbles, there simply aren't any surface mineral deposits around any more with basic things like iron, tin, copper etc. Its even worse for trace elements, rare earths, precious metals etc.

The way we get these now is with HUGE open and DEEP surface mining operations, combined with sheltering and refining operations to concentrate out minerals that are present only at extremely low concentrations in the mines we have today.

We can't restart civilization if it ever stumbles, because we couldn't do an iron age or a bronze age or even another oil age ever again. The easily accessible mineral deposits and oil reserves are all gone.

Cheers!
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 26 Nov 2018, 18:34:13

Plantagenet wrote:
The problem isn't the knowledge or the technology. The problem is the mines.

All the easily accessible mineral deposits have already been mined out. If civilization ever stumbles, there simply aren't any surface mineral deposits around any more with basic things like iron, tin, copper etc. Its even worse for trace elements, rare earths, precious metals etc.

The way we get these now is with HUGE open and DEEP surface mining operations, combined with sheltering and refining operations to concentrate out minerals that are present only at extremely low concentrations in the mines we have today.

We can't restart civilization if it ever stumbles, because we couldn't do an iron age or a bronze age or even another oil age ever again. The easily accessible mineral deposits and oil reserves are all gone.

Cheers!

I think you are overstating that case. There are a lot of deposits of most mineral types that are perfectly fine but are not now being worked because there are other cheaper sources now being exploited somewhere else in the world.
Copper from Chile and iron from Brazil and Australia are cheaper then mining it here today but that does not mean the deposits here are exhausted or even close to it.
https://www.mining-technology.com/featu ... -the-world
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby aspera » Mon 26 Nov 2018, 19:26:04

Plantagenet wrote; We don't know what the next "biophysical limit" is. We don't even know if there is one.

Well, the folks at The Stockholm Resilience Center think there are such limits. They have conceptualized nine planetary boundaries. https://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/planetary-boundaries/planetary-boundaries/about-the-research/the-nine-planetary-boundaries.html There is also a concise write-up here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_boundaries

As of about 2010 they claim 2 boundaries have been crossed: biosphere integrity and nitrogen flows. Phosphorus flows are near the boundary.
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The nine planetary boundaries

Stratospheric ozone depletion
The stratospheric ozone layer in the atmosphere filters out ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. If this layer decreases, increasing amounts of UV radiation will reach ground level. This can cause a higher incidence of skin cancer in humans as well as damage to terrestrial and marine biological systems. The appearance of the Antarctic ozone hole was proof that increased concentrations of anthropogenic ozone-depleting chemical substances, interacting with polar stratospheric clouds, had passed a threshold and moved the Antarctic stratosphere into a new regime. Fortunately, because of the actions taken as a result of the Montreal Protocol, we appear to be on the path that will allow us to stay within this boundary.

Loss of biosphere integrity (biodiversity loss and extinctions)
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment of 2005 concluded that changes to ecosystems due to human activities were more rapid in the past 50 years than at any time in human history, increasing the risks of abrupt and irreversible changes. The main drivers of change are the demand for food, water, and natural resources, causing severe biodiversity loss and leading to changes in ecosystem services. These drivers are either steady, showing no evidence of declining over time, or are increasing in intensity. The current high rates of ecosystem damage and extinction can be slowed by efforts to protect the integrity of living systems (the biosphere), enhancing habitat, and improving connectivity between ecosystems while maintaining the high agricultural productivity that humanity needs. Further research is underway to improve the availability of reliable data for use as the 'control variables' for this boundary.

Chemical pollution and the release of novel entities
Emissions of toxic and long-lived substances such as synthetic organic pollutants, heavy metal compounds and radioactive materials represent some of the key human-driven changes to the planetary environment. These compounds can have potentially irreversible effects on living organisms and on the physical environment (by affecting atmospheric processes and climate). Even when the uptake and bioaccumulation of chemical pollution is at sub-lethal levels for organisms, the effects of reduced fertility and the potential of permanent genetic damage can have severe effects on ecosystems far removed from the source of the pollution. For example, persistent organic compounds have caused dramatic reductions in bird populations and impaired reproduction and development in marine mammals. There are many examples of additive and synergic effects from these compounds, but these are still poorly understood scientifically. At present, we are unable to quantify a single chemical pollution boundary, although the risk of crossing Earth system thresholds is considered sufficiently well-defined for it to be included in the list as a priority for precautionary action and for further research.

Climate Change
Recent evidence suggests that the Earth, now passing 390 ppmv CO2 in the atmosphere, has already transgressed the planetary boundary and is approaching several Earth system thresholds. We have reached a point at which the loss of summer polar sea-ice is almost certainly irreversible. This is one example of a well-defined threshold above which rapid physical feedback mechanisms can drive the Earth system into a much warmer state with sea levels metres higher than present. The weakening or reversal of terrestrial carbon sinks, for example through the on-going destruction of the world's rainforests, is another potential tipping point, where climate-carbon cycle feedbacks accelerate Earth's warming and intensify the climate impacts. A major question is how long we can remain over this boundary before large, irreversible changes become unavoidable.

Ocean acidification
Around a quarter of the CO2 that humanity emits into the atmosphere is ultimately dissolved in the oceans. Here it forms carbonic acid, altering ocean chemistry and decreasing the pH of the surface water. This increased acidity reduces the amount of available carbonate ions, an essential 'building block' used by many marine species for shell and skeleton formation. Beyond a threshold concentration, this rising acidity makes it hard for organisms such as corals and some shellfish and plankton species to grow and survive. Losses of these species would change the structure and dynamics of ocean ecosystems and could potentially lead to drastic reductions in fish stocks. Compared to pre-industrial times, surface ocean acidity has already increased by 30 percent. Unlike most other human impacts on the marine environment, which are often local in scale, the ocean acidification boundary has ramifications for the whole planet. It is also an example of how tightly interconnected the boundaries are, since atmospheric CO2 concentration is the underlying controlling variable for both the climate and the ocean acidification boundaries, although they are defined in terms of different Earth system thresholds.

Freshwater consumption and the global hydrological cycle
The freshwater cycle is strongly affected by climate change and its boundary is closely linked to the climate boundary, yet human pressure is now the dominant driving force determining the functioning and distribution of global freshwater systems. The consequences of human modification of water bodies include both global-scale river flow changes and shifts in vapour flows arising from land use change. These shifts in the hydrological system can be abrupt and irreversible. Water is becoming increasingly scarce - by 2050 about half a billion people are likely to be subject to water-stress, increasing the pressure to intervene in water systems. A water boundary related to consumptive freshwater use and environmental flow requirements has been proposed to maintain the overall resilience of the Earth system and to avoid the risk of 'cascading' local and regional thresholds.

Land system change
Land is converted to human use all over the planet. Forests, grasslands, wetlands and other vegetation types have primarily been converted to agricultural land. This land-use change is one driving force behind the serious reductions in biodiversity, and it has impacts on water flows and on the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus and other important elements. While each incident of land cover change occurs on a local scale, the aggregated impacts can have consequences for Earth system processes on a global scale. A boundary for human changes to land systems needs to reflect not just the absolute quantity of land, but also its function, quality and spatial distribution. Forests play a particularly important role in controlling the linked dynamics of land use and climate, and is the focus of the boundary for land system change.

Nitrogen and phosphorus flows to the biosphere and oceans
The biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen and phosphorus have been radically changed by humans as a result of many industrial and agricultural processes. Nitrogen and phosphorus are both essential elements for plant growth, so fertilizer production and application is the main concern. Human activities now convert more atmospheric nitrogen into reactive forms than all of the Earth's terrestrial processes combined. Much of this new reactive nitrogen is emitted to the atmosphere in various forms rather than taken up by crops. When it is rained out, it pollutes waterways and coastal zones or accumulates in the terrestrial biosphere. Similarly, a relatively small proportion of phosphorus fertilizers applied to food production systems is taken up by plants; much of the phosphorus mobilized by humans also ends up in aquatic systems. These can become oxygen-starved as bacteria consume the blooms of algae that grow in response to the high nutrient supply. A significant fraction of the applied nitrogen and phosphorus makes its way to the sea, and can push marine and aquatic systems across ecological thresholds of their own. One regional-scale example of this effect is the decline in the shrimp catch in the Gulf of Mexico's 'dead zone' caused by fertilizer transported in rivers from the US Midwest.

Atmospheric aerosol loading
An atmospheric aerosol planetary boundary was proposed primarily because of the influence of aerosols on Earth's climate system. Through their interaction with water vapour, aerosols play a critically important role in the hydrological cycle affecting cloud formation and global-scale and regional patterns of atmospheric circulation, such as the monsoon systems in tropical regions. They also have a direct effect on climate, by changing how much solar radiation is reflected or absorbed in the atmosphere. Humans change the aerosol loading by emitting atmospheric pollution (many pollutant gases condense into droplets and particles), and also through land-use change that increases the release of dust and smoke into the air. Shifts in climate regimes and monsoon systems have already been seen in highly polluted environments, giving a quantifiable regional measure for an aerosol boundary. A further reason for an aerosol boundary is that aerosols have adverse effects on many living organisms. Inhaling highly polluted air causes roughly 800,000 people to die prematurely each year. The toxicological and ecological effects of aerosols may thus relate to other Earth system thresholds. However, the behaviour of aerosols in the atmosphere is extremely complex, depending on their chemical composition and their geographical location and height in the atmosphere. While many relationships between aerosols, climate and ecosystems are well established, many causal links are yet to be determined.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby GHung » Mon 26 Nov 2018, 19:36:52

Plantagenet wrote: ........

We can't restart civilization if it ever stumbles, because we couldn't do an iron age or a bronze age or even another oil age ever again. The easily accessible mineral deposits and oil reserves are all gone.

Cheers!


If civilization ever 'stumbles' to the point where it needs to be restarted, there will be a mass die-off; starvation, disease, war..... 7.5 billion humans are currently all in for things as they are. What will be left will be a triage/salvage free-for-all for a long time. The good news is that there will be plenty of stuff laying around to help restart whatever comes next. Likely more tribal than civilized.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby aspera » Mon 26 Nov 2018, 20:00:53

Ghung wrote: If civilization ever 'stumbles' to the point where it needs to be restarted...
...Likely more tribal than civilized.

An older definition of the word "citizen" is someone who can restart civilization if that becomes necessary. Biophysical reality has changed since that definition was made. It would be interesting to come up with a list of what types of procedural knowledge, capacities, competencies, etc. a citizen would need to restart things (as best they could) under the scenario we posit here.

Under the energy descent stumble, a citizen would need to be able to:
    -- maintain and teach how to maintain behavioral stability under stress
    -- maintain and teach how to maintain emotional stability under stress
    -- maintain and teach how to remain clear-headed
    -- ability to maintain prosocial inclinations despite threats
    -- capacity to plan and carry out plans
    -- capacity to restrain behavior
    -- ability to hold leadership roles
    -- practical knowledge of the biophysical world
The issue here is not how to "get back to normal." That won't be possible under the energy descent scenario. It would be to be able to respond better than they would if they lacked these skills.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 26 Nov 2018, 20:03:43

I’ll believe we are making progress when one of the major political parties adopts a de-growth platform.

Waiting, patiently.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby GHung » Mon 26 Nov 2018, 20:21:58

Newfie wrote:I’ll believe we are making progress when one of the major political parties adopts a de-growth platform.

Waiting, patiently.


Waiting for a collective top-down response for de-growth? Maybe you can explain what forms that will take.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 26 Nov 2018, 20:52:10

Newfie wrote:I’ll believe we are making progress when one of the major political parties adopts a de-growth platform.

Waiting, patiently.
More like when the de-growth party wins election and then re-election.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby GHung » Tue 27 Nov 2018, 13:12:40

United Nations Emissions Gap Report November 2018

From the executive summary:

Global greenhouse gas emissions show no signs of peaking. Global CO2 emissions from energy and
industry increased in 2017, following a three-year period of stabilization. Total annual greenhouse
gases emissions, including from land-use change, reached a record high of 53.5 GtCO2e in 2017, an increase of 0.7 GtCO2e compared with 2016.
In contrast, global GHG emissions in 2030 need to be approximately 25 percent and 55 percent lower than in 2017 to put the world on a least-cost pathway to limiting global warming to 2°C and 1.5°C respectively.
In 2017 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions - excluding emissions from land-use change - reached a record
49.2 GtCO2e. This is an increase of 1.1 percent on the previous year. Emissions from land-use change, which vary from year to year because of weather conditions, added another 4.2 Gt CO2, bringing the total to 53.5 GtCO2e.
Despite modest growth in the world economy, CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion, cement
production and other industrial processes remained relatively stable from 2014 to 2016. This brought
optimism to climate policy discussions, indicating that global GHG emissions might show signs of peaking.
However, preliminary estimates of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, industry and cement for 2017 suggest an increase of 1.2 percent (figure ES.1). The main drivers of the increase are higher gross domestic product (GDP) growth (about 3.7 percent) and slower declines in energy, and especially carbon, intensity, compared with the 2014–2016 period. The 2017 increase leaves considerable uncertainty as to whether the 2014–2016 slowdown was driven primarily by short-term economic factors.
Since CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, industry and cement dominate total GHG emissions, the changes
in CO2 emissions had the largest influence on GHG emissions from 2014 to 2017. Land-use change
emissions have remained relatively flat, despite large annual variations driven by weather patterns and
uncertainty in input data.
Global peaking of emissions by 2020 is crucial for achieving the temperature targets of the Paris Agreement, but the scale and pace of current mitigation action remains insufficient. .....

Full report: http://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle ... sequence=1
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby pstarr » Tue 27 Nov 2018, 13:58:23

I see the AGW hysterics have given up on the calamitous predictions. No more 'runaway', 'tipping point' or 'point of no return' type events. Just record keeping. No more California Drought either. Not this one. Not the last one. Both gone.

Well, I am here to say that I don't give a darn about 'AGW'. In part because who knows how much of the 'GW' is caused by 'A'. Lots of warming happened before humans showed up to burn fossil fuels.

Also earth has gained more than 1 million square miles of additional forest since 1983 as a direct consequence of CO2 fertilization. Seems those new trees will take up TOO MUCH CO2 in the future, as they mature. Oh the worry :shock: :o 8) AGC! (anthropomorphic global cooling)
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby asg70 » Tue 27 Nov 2018, 17:00:45

pstarr wrote:Well, I am here to say that I don't give a darn about 'AGW'.


I think we figured that out already. So why don't you proceed to STFU about it now and leave the discussion to those who actually have functioning brain cells?

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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby Cid_Yama » Tue 27 Nov 2018, 18:11:52

In recent years the Arctic has experienced an increasing number of extreme weather events, which are causing significant dieback of plants in the region.

Now a team of researchers from the University of Sheffield in the U.K. has found that dieback following these events could significantly reduce the ability of Arctic ecosystems to mitigate the impacts of climate change, according to a paper published in the journal Global Change Biology.

The team have described this dieback—a condition in which a plant begins to die from the tip of their leaves or roots—after certain extreme events as “Arctic Browning.”

“Arctic browning is declining biomass or productivity in Arctic regions,” Rachael Treharne, from the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at Sheffield, told Newsweek. “Extreme events linked to winter weather—such as abrupt periods of extreme warmth—are among the key drivers of Arctic browning. These events can cause sudden plant damage across huge areas.”

“Over the last few years we’ve seen a range of extreme events driving browning across thousands of square kilometers,” she said. “We’ve even seen these events causing record browning across entire Arctic regions [in this case, the Nordic Arctic Region.] Many of the events causing this damage to plant communities are happening more frequently due to climate change, which is progressing exceptionally rapidly in the Arctic—twice as fast as the global average.”

“Our results show that Arctic browning causes massive reductions in the ability of Arctic ecosystems to take up carbon,” Treharne said. “Arctic browning driven by extreme climatic events halves the ability of widespread Arctic heathlands to take up carbon dioxide,” Treharne said.

“In more detail, net CO2 uptake—the primary measure of ecosystem carbon balance—was reduced by 48 percent in vegetation dominated by mortality, and 50 percent in that dominated by stress,” she said. “It is surprising that these reductions are so similar, suggesting that extreme events can have major impacts on ecosystem CO2 balance even where vegetation is not killed.”

link

And just to be clear about pbrain's nonsense, the Earth HAS NOT gained a million sqare miles of forest since 1983. What an idiot.

We rely on trees for the production of oxygen so that we can breathe, yet globally, world annual deforestation is estimated at 13.7 million hectares a year, equal to the area of Greece.

Taking into consideration that since 1947, between 7.5 million and 8 million km2 of the original 15 million to 16 million km2 of forest that covered the planet—have now been destroyed (Nielsen, 2006), it is alarming to think about the number of species that may have become extinct before they were even identified.

link
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 11 Dec 2018, 02:27:51

A sobering new piece in the journal Nature finds that October's dire UN science report about the ongoing and future effects of climate change may have actually underestimated the pace of global warming.

... The new analysis, if borne out, widens what's already a huge gulf between the expected human and ecological toll from high levels and rapid rates of warming and the failure of governments worldwide to bring about the steep carbon emissions cuts that could prevent runaway temperature increases.


https://www.axios.com/climate-change-ha ... 26caf.html

Nature article referenced above:

Global warming will happen faster than we think

Three trends will combine to hasten it...

..rising emissions, declining air pollution and natural climate cycles...will combine over the next 20 years to make climate change faster and more furious than anticipated. In our view, there’s a good chance that we could breach the 1.5 °C level by 2030
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby Subjectivist » Tue 11 Dec 2018, 06:02:56

These kind of reports drive me bonkers! You guys have pointed to science data that clearly show climate change is never a smooth transition from one stable state to another. It always goes in abrupt steps at tipping points. Yet the media keeps reporting as if today will be a tiny bit warmer than yesterday and over 20 years this tiny daily increase adds up to something significant.

But you guys convinced me, that isn't how it works. You get tiny changes until you fall over the tipping point, than wham you get a big change within a year, then you go back to tiny changes for a while. So far we have not crossed that tipping point in Ohio, but as lng as we keep pushing the day is getting nearer!
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby dissident » Tue 11 Dec 2018, 10:34:33

Subjectivist wrote:These kind of reports drive me bonkers! You guys have pointed to science data that clearly show climate change is never a smooth transition from one stable state to another. It always goes in abrupt steps at tipping points. Yet the media keeps reporting as if today will be a tiny bit warmer than yesterday and over 20 years this tiny daily increase adds up to something significant.

But you guys convinced me, that isn't how it works. You get tiny changes until you fall over the tipping point, than wham you get a big change within a year, then you go back to tiny changes for a while. So far we have not crossed that tipping point in Ohio, but as lng as we keep pushing the day is getting nearer!


F*ck the media. It is not a metric of the truth. It is a spew of fake news propaganda.

It is this very same media that has implanted into the brains of the masses the ridiculous notion that there is some sort of scientific debate about anthropogenic global warming. They did this by faking a debate on the air or paper between some token "representative" of the science community and some industry shill. The latter had typically better debating skills than the former (a deliberate set up).

Now the media is hyping climate change as if it got new marching orders. As before, they are information hacks who are not worth the time of day.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby GHung » Tue 11 Dec 2018, 11:02:46

dissident wrote: ...........

Now the media is hyping climate change as if it got new marching orders. As before, they are information hacks who are not worth the time of day.


Meh, the 'media' is just a bunch of yippy barking little dogs who sound the alarm about anything that people will listen to, whether or not there is something to be alarmed about. That said, I have a couple of those around the place because they are generally useful.

As for climate change and politics, if we have another two years of extreme, and costly, weather-related events, I expect we'll see more of those liberals (that so many here are terrified of) running things. Just a predictable response from a reactionary, fickle population that doesn't expect to have to pay the full price of their impacts on the environment, while expecting SOMEONE to do SOMETHING about things. They have to because they can't admit that their grandchildren are largely fucked due to our collective behavior over the last couple of centuries.

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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 12 Dec 2018, 10:27:47

Good discussion, but just a note: The article refered to is not just 'the media' but from Nature, one of the most respected academic science journals on the planet (not that this makes it God's Truth, or any such thing, of course), tho it does seem to be from the 'Comments' section, that is a bit more popularly oriented.

And I apologize for not including this link to it: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07586-5
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby dissident » Wed 12 Dec 2018, 23:38:11

dohboi wrote:Good discussion, but just a note: The article refered to is not just 'the media' but from Nature, one of the most respected academic science journals on the planet (not that this makes it God's Truth, or any such thing, of course), tho it does seem to be from the 'Comments' section, that is a bit more popularly oriented.

And I apologize for not including this link to it: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07586-5


Perhaps some near term overlap of factors will induce more pain and raise public awareness. Without pain there will be no action.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 20

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 13 Dec 2018, 09:39:23

Perhaps.

But mostly the super rich can manage to avoid the worst of the pain. And the big decisions need buy in from that ruling class.
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