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View Diary: Atomic scientists keep 'Doomsday Clock' at 5 minutes to midnight because of global warming (61 comments)

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  •  should be 1 minute to midnight ... or less (13+ / 0-)

    As in we might not make it even if we try.

    Something's wrong when the bad guys are the utopian ones.

    by Visceral on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 02:14:46 PM PST

    •  Could be they think that one minute... (14+ / 0-) midnight might just help push people into activism-killing apathy and despair.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 02:20:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  When there isn't enough food and water for (11+ / 0-)

      humanity, those with weapons will use them to secure resources.  India, China, USA, Pakistan, Israel, France, are all countries with nukes (I think), and likely to see their agricultural resources significantly impacted. I think China is already buying up agricultural land in Africa. Meanwhile, the middle class is growing in India and China. As they adopt a more westernized lifestyle, our finite resources, including agricultural, will feel more pressure.

      To make matters worse, there is inertia in the climate. The CO2 will continue warming the planet for many years. The arctic will finish melting, and then it will absorb more sunlight.There is also inertia in politics, policy, and behavior. Sadly, CO2 levels aren't just increasing, they are accelerating.

      I agree, one minute to midnight is more like it.

      •  This statement (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        too many people

        "India, China, USA, Pakistan, Israel, France, are all countries with nukes"

        Is forgetting a very important country that has historically been a major player in the arms race.

        Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

        by MrAnon on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:35:06 PM PST

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        •  Russia? (0+ / 0-)

          They have lots of nukes and Putin is a scary dude, IMHO. If global warming destroys their food production, perhaps they are a concern. On the other hand, warming will likely open up vast Siberia for exploitation. I think Greenland, Russia, and Canada will do okay in the short term. Given time, even Antarctica seems like a likely future habitat.

      •  Nukes will speed up the climate catastrophe. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        too many people

        If any species survives it will have a lot of genetic changes. Pretty much the same for chemical or biological weapons. It all gets dispersed over time.

        The potentially too big to solve problems ahead:

        Speed of change - too fast for adaptation.
        Extensive acidification of water and soil. Again, adaptation is very, very limited.

        If there are isolated pockets that escape the latter and are not too hot for plant and animal existence, a few humans and other species may come through. They are likely to remain isolated a long time.

        We need bold action, soon. Politicians are far more cautious than scientists.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 02:06:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  on the whole I find that unlikely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      as this isn't the day after tomorrow (or what ever that gods aweful movie was called)

      odds are the worst case for climate change is dramatic, rapid climate change that fundamentally changes the earth. Much like how for example the Sahara desert was once a fertile green land and then dried out.

      Don't get me wrong, this would be horrible but it wouldn't be the end of humanity

      •  speed is going to be the real killer (4+ / 0-)

        The Sahara turning from green to brown took thousands of years.  We're looking at the same degree of change or worse over the course of a century or less.

        I'm fairly optimistic about the long-term survival of humanity; after all, we existed for thousands of years of prehistory.  What I'm not optimistic about is the survival of civilization: the survival of the Future with a capital 'F', of expanding horizons, of every generation having, doing, and being more than the one before.  A second Stone Age lasting until the Sun kills the Earth doesn't count as a good ending.

        Something's wrong when the bad guys are the utopian ones.

        by Visceral on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 06:48:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  well no one has ever really been able (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          to study climate change because most of it predates written history. The little ice age does point to some rather disturbing possiblities but even then civilization survived and even thrived

          even with rapid increase in average temperatures the results are going to be unpredictable but that doesn't mean we can't adapt at need

          •  Of course we've been able to study climate change (0+ / 0-)

            There are a lot of different ways to study past climate change.  Ice cores, permafrost stuff.  Even looking at various mineral deposits, tree rings, etc.

            even with rapid increase in average temperatures the results are going to be unpredictable but that doesn't mean we can't adapt at need
            The problem we're facing is really one of numbers.  We have so many people and so much "efficiency" built into the system that there isn't a whole ton of room for error.  A major drought could kill off a huge chunk of the worlds population.  Or we could see malaria further north and south because of warming.  The acidification of the oceans is one I'm really worried about.
            •  I mean in an in depth, labotory style way (0+ / 0-)

              where in variables can be isolated and examined etc etc

              As I said the evidence we have from the little ice age along with looking at the sources you've named is useful but we still end up with multiple models saying many different things (though sometimes the differences are tiny).

              I do agree that out of the most immediate and known effects the changing acidication of the oceans presents in the short term the most danger both directly and indirectly imo. I'm less concerned about food though we may see some dramatic change in what foods grow where

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