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Climate scientist James Hansen spoke at the TED conference last week and laid out the risks of continuing on our business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions path.  He also offered a policy solution that will greatly reduce CO2 emissions in the next decade.  Here are some of his key points:

- "Extreme events" like the Texas heat wave, the Moscow heat wave the previous year, and the 2003 European heat wave are now happening 25 to 50 times (not percent) more often than just 50 years ago.  Therefore, he said, we can say with high confidence that these events were caused by global warming.

- Dr. Hansen said that while most predictions are for 1 meter (3 feet) sea level rise this century, he believes it may be much more -- as much as 5 meters (18 feet) -- if we keep burning fossil fuels.

- On the current path, many areas of the world may experience droughts worse than the Dust Bowl in just the next few decades.

more below the video...









- By using 3000 "Argo" floats around the world's oceans, we can now determine the Earth's energy imbalance (how much more energy is going in than going out).  The current imbalance is 0.6 watts per square meter.  While it doesn't sound like much, it is equivalent to 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs being detonated every day.  Furthermore, this imbalance was measured while the Sun's output was at a minimum which means that global warming effects overwhelm the variations in the Sun's output -- contrary to what deniers claim.

- To stop warming and stabilize the climate before it spirals out of our control, we need to reduce CO2 emissions by 6%/year starting next year.  If we wait 10 years, the needed reductions will be 15%/year... an amount that he said would be "difficult and expensive -- perhaps impossible."

- Dr. Hansen proposed that we adopt a "Fee and Dividend" policy where fossil fuel companies pay an escalating fee on CO2 and 100% of the money collected -- every dime -- is paid out monthly to every legal resident on a per-capita basis.  Because CO2 usage is related to wealth, most people would earn more in dividends than they pay in higher energy and products prices (and the ones who do pay more can afford it).  The plan would spur innovation and create millions of jobs.  While not mentioned in the talk, another component of the plan is to put a tariff on goods coming from countries that do not have a CO2 fee (this is allowed under the WTO).  The tariff would protect our industries and would encourage other countries to adopt their own fee, since they would rather keep the money themselves than pay it to us.

- Dr. Hansen also spoke about his personal journey including censorship at NASA.  He called on everyone to help him get the climate message out.

You can see my expanded write up about the talk at Climate Progress.  But I urge you to watch the talk yourself and tell your friends and colleagues to watch it too.

If you're interested in learning more about climate change and Fee and Dividend (aka Clean Energy Dividend), visit my web site at ClimatePlace.org.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think he is overly optimistic (22+ / 0-)

    and we have already passed the tipping point.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:25:32 AM PDT

    •  I'm curious what aspect of climate science you do? (6+ / 0-)

      I have huge respect for your reporting on OWS (particularly as a fellow Portlander), but I'm curious what your basis is for saying this.

      •  The loss of sea ice over the Arctic (8+ / 0-)

        not only means we absorb more solar radiation. There are releases of sequestered methane undersea and in the tundra that are exponentially more warming then CO2.

        Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:32:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Reference, please. Or someone may call BS. n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FG

          Where are we, now that we need us most?

          by Frank Knarf on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 07:42:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  NSIDC.org (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YucatanMan, sleipner, PeterHug

            I used to work there.  Dr. Serreze has done a lot of work with Sea Ice extent, and Dr. Zhang has done a lot of work with permafrost and methane release.

            It's a big website, but you can find a lot of good stuff there.

          •  Sorry I forget not everyone follows this like (11+ / 0-)

            their lives depend on it too:

            not only means we absorb more solar radiation. There are releases of sequestered methane undersea and in the tundra that are exponentially more warming then CO2.

            Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

            by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:37:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the person you're responding to (5+ / 0-)

              continually questions and criticizes respected climate writers and scientists, promotes false rumors that only appear on denialist sites, and discusses "climategate" as if it were a legitimate scandal. he seems to be attempting to sow seeds of doubt in any way he can. interpret as you will.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:17:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Last week I listened to Susan Solomon respond (0+ / 0-)

                to a question about methane specifically and tipping points in general.  You can go look up the research on atmospheric methane.  I won't try to summarize her rather lengthy answer here apart from her emphasis on CO2 vs methane due to dwell times.  But why pay attention to someone like Solomon when you can find so much uninformed hysteria right here?

                Where are we, now that we need us most?

                by Frank Knarf on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:35:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  solomon (0+ / 0-)

                  says the tipping point has been passed, because of the ocean as heat sink. but fascinating how you keep trying to pick at nits while ignoring the overwhelming scientific consensus. just as you continue to act as if the concocted "climategate" was an actual scandal.

                  The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                  by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:51:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Caution with the mounting proof isn't hysteria (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  PeterHug

                  The fact that you would use that word where any reasonable person should find concern, even if unconvinced, sounds extremely biased towards a particular view.Do you deny the world is warming?

                  And may I ask you, what are the two or three worst case scenarios you foresee if AWG turns out to be wrong but if we proceed as if it is?

                  •  It would be catastrophic... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Horace Boothroyd III

                    we would spend some money making the economy more efficient and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

                    Socialism! Really!

                    /s

                  •  Only a denialist would deny the earth is warming (0+ / 0-)

                    since we have multiple sources of evidence that it is. For the record, I favor:

                    - Extensive public investment in alt energy R&D

                    - Higher taxes on carbon-based energy with tax code offsets to protect the poor.

                    - International efforts to constrain population growth

                    - Regulatory and tax incentives for energy efficiency

                    - Increases in climate research funding for agency and academic groups.

                    - Honest discussion of the costs and benefits of policy proposals and climate projection uncertainties.

                    I have my own reasons for doubting the specifics of the IPCC consensus but I am not a climate scientist.  Pay attention to the scientific work and draw your own conclusions.

                    Where are we, now that we need us most?

                    by Frank Knarf on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:12:59 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  do you deny (0+ / 0-)

                      that human burning of co2 is the primary driver of accelerated warming and climate change, and that the consequences will be catastrophic?

                      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                      by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:29:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  human burning of fossil fuels (0+ / 0-)

                        and the emission of co2 from that.

                        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                        by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:30:40 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Human fossil fuel use is the primary cause (0+ / 0-)

                        of increased CO2 in the atmosphere.  Doubling of CO2 should cause about 1C rise in global mean temperature as a direct radiative forcing.  The earth has been warming with some quasi-periodic variation since the Little Ice Age and industrial era CO2 forcing has increased the rate of warming recently.

                        IPCC consensus projections assume a number of positive feedbacks, mainly water vapor and albedo changes.  There is substantial uncertainty about these feedbacks.

                        Since there won't be any major decrease in fossil fuel use for the next few years, we'll all get to observe what actually happens to the climate as a result.

                        Where are we, now that we need us most?

                        by Frank Knarf on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:51:31 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  in other words (0+ / 0-)

                          you don't accept the overwhelming scientific consensus on the severe consequences? or are you just being coy?

                          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                          by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:10:05 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The major direct consequences of CO2 induced (0+ / 0-)

                            warming (apart from surface temperature), afaik, sea level rise, increased ocean heat content, reduced ocean pH, loss of sea ice, loss of continental ice, regional changes in precipitation, changes in strength and frequency of severe storms, and changes in cloud cover, wind patterns and ocean currents that mediate energy transfer in the ocean/atmosphere.

                            All sort of indirect changes to the biosphere and to human society can be expected to depend on the character and magnitude of these direct effects.

                            Laurence is convinced that the science is settled regarding all of this.  I disagree.  In any case the revolution is not happening and demand for coal, oil and natural gas will continue at high levels for many years.

                            Updated consensus impact assessments will be published in 2014 as part of AR5, followed by furious disagreement from both "denialists" and skeptical scientists.  Meanwhile we'll continue to emit CO2.

                            Where are we, now that we need us most?

                            by Frank Knarf on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:27:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  yes (0+ / 0-)

                            the denialists will do what they do, even as they now speculate that ar5 will downgrade the expected heat impacts- idle speculation seen nowhere among credible scientists, but often bandied about on denialist sites, and sometimes in your comments. how interesting.

                            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                            by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:01:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  Horace, I believe, is partly correct. We have (17+ / 0-)

        already reached, and even passed several 'tipping points'.  There's no stopping some of the damage that is coming.  We still have an opportunity to mitigate some of the worst of the damage.  But that would require America, and its leaders to enact changes to how we approach nearly every kind of business - in a drastic way.  The piece-meal, half-assed basis on which these changes are being addressed will not work.  

        We can start by getting people elected that will admit the obvious - that the Earth's climate is being badly affected by human beings.  Denial on such a large scale is doing far more damage than any other factor.  The world follows us and acts on what we do here in America.  If the world is to be saved, the action must begin here.

        So, Get Out The Vote!  And, provided we can give our President the help he needs to enact this kind of change, we will need to hold his (and every other Democrat's) feet to the fire to get to work - doing the hard stuff.

        #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

        by Evolutionary on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 07:23:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with you 100% (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SeattleTammy, Evolutionary, soarbird

          But also would suggest that we need not just the elected officials, but the public on board.  We're not going to get the change we need if the people elected to do this (no matter how much they themselves might want to) have no political support.  We need everyone who has a stake in the future to be paying attention, and to care.  We need this to be a big issue publicly, not the current scene where major politicians can say ludicrous things like global warming is a hoax -in 2012!- and get away with it.

          My husband and I recently started a new YouTube series to try to do this - it's called Don't Just Sit There - Do Something! and every episode combines science, news, and humor into digestible short videos to try and raise awareness, including among the people who may not necessarily rank currently climate change as a priority.  We also give people easy, real world actions they can take to make the situation better.  Take a look, and if you like it, make sure to tell your friends, relatives, people you meet at bus stops, etc.:

          EPA Petition
          More about the series at dosomethingaboutclimate.com

          War is NOT a preventative measure.

          by demandcaring on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:54:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  which tipping point? (19+ / 0-)

      The one that leads to the decline of industrial civilization?

      The one that leads to an "evolutionary bottleneck"?

      Or the one that leads to human extinction?

      So long as there is the will to live, there is the will to fight.

      And not a single one of your ancestors, all the way back to the first single-celled organisms billions of years ago, ever gave up.  Otherwise you would not be here.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:32:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hate to reason by appeal to authority (7+ / 0-)

      but I think Dr. Hansen knows everything about climate change that you do, plus a few hundred thousand things that you don't ... with all due respect. I mean that it is unlikely you are aware of a major climate change forcing function that he is not.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 07:44:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Does he have access to information I can not (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy, pollwatcher, soarbird

        afford?-Most definitely

        Has he read more than I have on this subject?- Debatable

        Is he moderating alarming information to "protect the public"?- Yes

        Is he smarter than I am?- Statistically improbable

        Has he had a straight privilege education?- Yes

        I've had to learn the hard way that I do know more than the experts in many fields. And I'm not trying to be a braggart but sometimes I can no longer keep my mouth shut and let someone that can afford a piece of paper lead us down the primrose path. This is too important.

        Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:57:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, he seems to have good expertise (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Horace Boothroyd III

          in the climate science itself.

          But no real sense of how to stop/change things - for example his "Game Over" attribution to the Tarsands was thoroughly debunked in a recent Nature paper . ..

          Sure, stopping the tarsands is a worthy goal, but an entirely symbolic one . . . . which is not enough when REAL action is needed immediately.

          •  To elaborate (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blue aardvark

            Japan's nuclear power industry has a capacity of 48.9 GWe.

            According to this site 100 watts results in 1852 pounds of CO2 emissions per year.

            Doing the math (corrections are welcome if this is incorrect!!), that means that Japan's nukes were preventing 0.45 gigatons of CO2 emissions each year.

            Compare that to the TarSands:

            The tarsands will produce about 0.62 billion barrels of oil this year.   Burning each barrel produces about 697 pounds of carbon, then add a 21% penalty for the "dirty" production that means each barrel produces about 884 pounds (0.42 of a ton) of carbon pollution.  doing the math shows the tarsands produces about 0.26 gigatons of CO2 emissions each year, considerably less than what Japan's nukes prevented.  

            so the question arises with the "Game Over" people - why aren't they screaming about restarting Japan's nukes ASAP to prevent an outcome 72% worse (i.e., 0.45 gigatons/0.26 gigatons) than Game Over?

        •  Hansen has to be careful with alarm bells. (4+ / 0-)

          He is a very public face for Global Warming, and he simply can't be too alarmist.

          But even he talks about the "extreme events" that are happening NOW, that have effected millions of people, and that are driving many species of plants and some animals to near future possible extinction.

          So in one breath Dr. Hansen has to put on his calm face and say we have 10 years, and in the next breath he tells us to look around and see what's happening all around us, and it's happening now, and there's no turning back.

          •  i don't get the "can't be too alarmist" line of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pollwatcher

            reasoning. if we as a species only have a decade to turn this around, muting the sense of immediacy strikes me as terribly counterproductive. there are few things worthy of full on mass panic, but this is one of them. i don't think we get the mass scale radical response we need through moderated cerebral rhetoric, quite frankly.

            •  People will turn away. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy

              Although I fully agree with how serious this is, if you tell people the house is burning down, and all they can see is a little smoke, they'll think you're crazy and just ignore you.  So the question is, how do you wake people up and get them to pay attention?

              We've got mountains of data, we've got clear signs that things are happening now, and yet people listen to the oil and gas companies that tell them that things are just fine.  These people either  ignore what's in front of them, or they simply don't care.  I wish I knew how to reach them, but I don't so I have to defer to Hanson.

            •  If he becomes "too alarmist" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pollwatcher

              the reaction of many would be to not even try to deal with it since "it's too late." In fact, I think it's pretty clear that our leaders have taken on exactly this attitude.

              While it probably is too late but we are OBLIGATED to at least try to deal with global climate change. Giving up is not an alternative. Based on their behavior, it's clear that our political leaders have (on the whole) thrown in the towel.

              "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

              by Sagebrush Bob on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:29:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  "The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim (0+ / 0-)

          must be proportioned to its strangeness."

          Statistically improbable
          Wow.
      •  I think they're both correct (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue aardvark

        but Horace is more correct. The problem is that if we began taking all necessary steps RIGHT NOW, those steps wouldn't be fully implemented for decades - and at that point, it's too late. The thing is, we're not even close to having the technology required:

        In 2009, Professor Nate Lewis discussed what was needed to be done and by his estimation, we only had about 5 years to get things done. Well it's almost three years that have passed and we're not much further along than we were back in 2009.

        The following video explains far better than I can how immensely difficult a situation we faced then ... and it's only gotten more difficult since then due to the lack of action on the part of our "leaders."

        "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

        by Sagebrush Bob on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:24:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "at most 7-12 years... before irreparable damage" (2+ / 0-)

      If one were to believe the information and the existence of an enlightened group of buddhas, or Masters of the Wisdom.

    •  just as the Right is prone to denial, (10+ / 0-)

      the Left is prone to despair.

      Do not lose hope.

      I have stopped writing diaries on the latest climate science research because - and I apologize for this human frailty - I can't stand reading the commenters who say "we're doooooomed!" We may be, we may not be, but that's no excuse for not taking action.

      The world is on pace for 11 degrees F warming. Nothing else in politics matters. @RL_Miller

      by RLMiller on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 08:33:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Politically we've passed the point of no return (3+ / 0-)

      but technically we still have time.  

      Anyone who doesn't think elections matter, I hope you're one of the first to suffer the unimaginable consequences of ignoring what is in effect, a slow motion asteroid collision with our planet.

    •  We have passed multiple tipping points ... (0+ / 0-)

      * How many species are going to go extinct?

      * How many feet of global sea level rise?

      * How much / many / etc ...

      We have created, humanity has created, a path toward something very legitimately described as catastrophic climate chaos -- no matter what we do today.  

      We pass a tipping point, literally every day, to a certain extent.

      The real question, which I think you are asserting with "we have already passed", is whether humanity has the ability to control how bad that catastrophic chaos becomes.  This is something that can be debated and fought over, even as I have to believe that we have some ability to affect the 'outcome' (if for no other reason than I have children).  Now, as per Hansen, does that opportunity become more expensive and difficult to implement with every passing day's inaction?  Yes.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:46:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We have to assume otherwise (0+ / 0-)

      We may have passed the tipping point but if we have it's unlikely we'll know for years. It may be that it's not to late and we have to act like there's still time because if there is we can't afford to not have given our best efforts and if the threshold has passed we may be able to slow the effects or bring the start of the recovery effort forward.

      We need our own tipping point. As much as we need governmental action I fear too many people see that as the only solution. I believe the best way for us to get the government to act is to act ourselves and the government will catch up.

      Sadly the US government seems to be unable or unwilling to be proactive and will only jump on the bandwagon once it's safe to do so. So it's up to us to fix the first 60% and then get the government to ensure that the remaining 40%, the people who refuse to be good citizens, can be persuaded one way or another to act responsibly

      The saddest thing for me is the lack of focus or commitment from those who are concerned about the planet. There are so many that even if we're in the minority it should be possible to leverage some changes but there seems to be a lack of co-ordination, nothing to focus all that energy. Of course there are many who are concerned but hope or expect someone else to take care of it.

  •  Zero chance that will happen. (7+ / 0-)

    The next Republican president, and there will be one after Obama, will just pour gas on the fire.  And the Corporate Democrats, the only kind that ever get elected, will not lift a finger to slow down this train wreck.

    •  so why not commit suicide? (10+ / 0-)

      If you're so convinced that all is lost and there's no hope, why not just take yourself out of the gene pool right now?

      Otherwise, shut up with the defeatist memes, roll up your sleeves and get to work doing anything constructive about this.  There's no time for meeping and moaning and spreading despair.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:36:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If we would start to address climate (14+ / 0-)

        it would be a lot less depressing.

        Right now we are in procrastination mode ... which makes for distorted thinking. People leap from "let's don't think about it" to "nothing can be done anyway."

        I also believe the lack of public leadership makes people feel more depressed and hopeless.

        Obviously our only sensible action is to try to fix things as best as possible. We could do it with a WWII-type commitment. That is our best hope.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:20:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  which "we"? (11+ / 0-)

          WE as in, you & I & everyone we know?  Start with that WE and make it spread.

          My electricity and natural gas consumption are 1/3 to 2/3 below average for Americans.

          My gasoline consumption is 3/4 to 4/5 below average for Americans.

          My solid waste & recycling output is about 5/7 below average for Americans.

          How'bout you?

          That's where the we comes in.  

          Set an example, make an example, spread an example.  

          Doing that is also an antidote to despair.  

          The lack of public leadership is really the lack of grassroots leadership.  If WE lead, and our elected officials will follow.

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:37:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "We" on a national level (6+ / 0-)

            I too live a more sustainable life than most Americans.

            My point is that a national commitment to address climate - or even acknowledge that this is a serious problem we need to tackle - will get us into a better mental outlook.

            Knowing we have a problem and knowing we aren't dealing with it makes people depressed.

            An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

            by mightymouse on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:43:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  serotonin imbalance is what makes people depressed (5+ / 0-)

              Everything else is just excuses.

              And everyone can pick something to do:

              Change your lifestyle.  

              Register voters.  

              Go to Washington DC or better yet to your Representative's or Senator's office in your home town and just SIT THERE holding a sign saying "What are you doing about climate change?" until the office closes for the day or they call the police (and in the latter case it's up to you whether to leave when the officer asks you to leave, or whether to turn it into a one-person civil disobedience protest).  

              Get a crowd together, and go into big box stores just after Thanksgiving and do Mic Check for anti-consumption messages.

              Do free condom distributions in front of your local high school (overpopulation).

              Call up any radio talk show that's not a rightwing hate-fest and harangue the audience.

              Write two letters to editors every week and fine-tune them until they start getting published.

              Do it with your spouse, do it with a friend, do it by yourself, do it in a public place where others can get involved.

              The most important thing is to just pick something and DO IT.

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 05:20:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  More to the point (5+ / 0-)

                Dramatically reduce your usage of fossil fuels. Add insulation to your house. Accept cooler/warmer inside temps. Arrange your life so that you don't drive as much.
                  Go to denier publications websites and comment (Forbes, WSJ .) After you become thoroughly informed on the topic, of course.
                  Get with groups to spread the word...maybe form some sort of commune to finance and install solar. Heat your home's water with a solar heater.

                •  62 in my bedroom... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GDbot, Evolutionary

                  67 at my desk.  

                  But I'll confess to cheating.  I have a nice fluffy quilt on the bed.  Wake up in the morning and it's anywhere 59 - 63 in my bedroom but I'm all toasty warm as I hop into my clothes and get on with it.

                  "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 06:19:14 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  These are fine actions. (4+ / 0-)

                But ... like many, I realize it will take sustained effort at the national/international level to make a real difference.

                Again, the situation calls for a WWII-level effort. Hitler was defeated not by individuals putting barbed wire around their yards but by the governments of the largest and richest nations in the world devoting full energy to stopping him.

                An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

                by mightymouse on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 05:37:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hitler was defeated in a shooting war. (6+ / 0-)

                  Hitler was defeated by hundreds of thousands of soldiers who were willing to sleep in muddy trenches with fleas and lice crawling all over them, and do without wiping their asses after they shat, and eat crappy food, and endure hellacious heat and bitter cold, and get shot at, wounded, lose arms and legs, die slowly and agonizingly on battlefields, die quickly by being blown to pieces, and kill enemy soldiers in even larger numbers by the same means.  

                  See, there's another reason aside from moral principles (not to mention site TOS!), to not go advocating violent means of change: nobody in this over-pampered culture is willing to put up with the physical privations involved.  

                  But here's the dirty little secret:

                  All that mud-slogging and lice-enduring and dying and killing was to stop a madman whose victims (the war as well as the Holocaust) totaled up to at most a high double-digit million.

                  That's one hell of a puny death toll compared to what climate change is doing to do: at least two billion.  World War Two is a tiny fraction of what's going to happen during this century.  And once it gets going, it's going to add up to a world war's worth of casualties every single year.

                  Compared to that, eating non-meat dinners a few nights a week, turning the heat down to 65, doing without Christmas presents, doing without spurious car trips, and spending your Saturdays registering voters, is EASY.

                  If we can't do that much, we deserve to go extinct.

                  So which will it be: sacrifice and work your butt off, or consign humanity to extinction?

                  Hint:  Every single one of your ancestors all the way back to the first single-celled organisms, passed the test of natural selection.  That's over three billion years' worth of ancestors.  Otherwise you would not be here.  

                  "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 06:32:45 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  A lot of those soldiers weren't all that willing (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Evolutionary

                    their government forced them to go sleep in the mud with the lice, etc etc

                    And like you say, forced them to do all that when the stakes were much smaller than today.

                    Basically, you are making the argument for absolutely draconian, top down action on the part of the federal government.  . . .

                    •  if need be, yes. (7+ / 0-)

                      If there's a wildfire sweeping through a valley, one would hope that everyone evacuates voluntarily.  But if not, then you send the police door to door, and if they find children, they yank them the hell out of there even if the parents want to stay and get incinerated.  Because when push comes to shove comes to handcuffs, parents do not have the right to incinerate their children, even if they themselves don't give a flying fiddler's fart whether they live or die.  

                      Here's the blunt reality:

                      The longer we wait to deal with the climate crisis, the fewer the options that remain, and the uglier are the options that remain.

                      Today we can get there by cutting back carbon outputs by 6% per year.  If we wait, it'll have to be 15% per year.  

                      If we keep waiting, it'll be food rationing and starvation lotteries and mass graves.  Not to mention terrorist bioweapons (a few desperate people in a doomed country are all it takes) and suppression of dissent by force, and mandatory sterilization after the first kid is born, and 40% unemployment if we're lucky, and forced mass migrations, and climate refugee camps, and, and, and, and.

                      There is no arguing with nature about this, any more than there's arguing with gravity if you fall from a high place: 9.8 meters per second squared doesn't care whether you're a poet or a pickpocket, either way, you'll go splat! when you hit the ground.  

                      Right now our culture is engaged in a kind of binge behavior where "the party goes on" until the hangover hits in full force.  But the day of reckoning is fast approaching.

                      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                      by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 07:47:15 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  When TPTB are partly of the mindset that (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    G2geek, mightymouse, marina, NoMoreLies

                    Theocracy is the answer to ills (praying for rain), one of our biggest hurdles is attempting to get them to understand what you are talking about - Evolution.

                    They deny Evolution, they deny Climate Science, they deny science in general, and in fact, are attacking those that would teach the world (teachers) the truth.

                    Until and if, these idiots get past their fairy tale Man in the Sky, and start dealing with reality, we don't stand much of a chance.

                    We don't just need to get money out of politics, we also need to make clear the separation of church and state.  A Theocracy would surely spell the coming of their now, all too real, self-fulfilling prophecy of Armageddon.  So what's the solution?

                    VOTE!!!
                    VOTE!!!
                    VOTE!!!
                    VOTE!!!

                    #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

                    by Evolutionary on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 07:41:43 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And register new voters, and offer to drive people (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      marina, NoMoreLies

                      .... to the polling places.  And in states with ALEC Crow laws, drive people to get their state voter ID cards, and help them get their birth certificates so they can get those voter ID cards, and then get them registered.  

                      You can be damn sure the Republicans will be doing that via their dominionist churches, to make sure every adult member is registered and able to vote.  Our side needs to hit the same numbers and more.  

                      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                      by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 07:50:38 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  US, Britain, and USSR economies (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    G2geek, Roadbed Guy, wu ming

                    directed totally toward the war effort.

                    these countries produced an astonishing amount of stuff to defeat Hitler.

                    that level of focus IS possible.

                    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

                    by mightymouse on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 08:01:34 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  propaganda effort, too (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mightymouse, G2geek, wu ming

                      People forget that there was a huge propaganda effort here and abroad to push/convince people to participate and make that effort. That was really egregious in WWI but was also an important part of WWII.
                      I'm not advocating "propaganda" about climate change, but we DO need massive, convincing, top-down education so that every community is pitching in toward a goal.

                      When activities become popular or the thing to do, people will eagerly join in. Example: I've been carrying my own cloth/mesh grocery bags since about 1980, over thirty years. Now in the last couple of years, somehow these bags have become the thing to do, and everybody (or a noticeably large percentage of people) bring their own bags. What caused this change? Stores adding a surcharge if you take bags? Stores promoting the cloth bags? Some kind of TV role models I don't know about? Schools? City recycling centers? Somebody's grassroots project? Or a combination of all these? What effected this change in behavior?

                      I guess people need to feel like it's fun and worthwhile to join in. We need to figure out how to do this on many more issues.

                      ~On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame!~ I am proud to say three generations of my family lived in WI. Though I live elsewhere, am with you in spirit!

                      by sillia on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:15:52 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  great point - propaganda is essential. (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        G2geek, sillia, sleipner

                        it's fascinating to go back and look at the WWII propaganda effort. they really taught the people who the good guys and bad guys were.

                        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

                        by mightymouse on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:27:39 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  One caveat on propaganda (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          sillia, mightymouse

                          Back then the populace was relatively naive when it came to propaganda and marketing - today everyone's been exposed to hard sell jobs for everything from beer to politics their entire lives.  Attempting to overwhelmingly motivate people as occurred in WW2 would be impossible today.  

                          The only way we'll get that level of motivation will be after tremendous disasters begin to occur which were obviously caused by climate change - personally I believe we've already seen many of those but the deniers are better at propaganda than the scientists, so the population still believes those several thousand events are flukes.

                          Atheism is a religion like Abstinence is a sexual position. - Bill Maher, 2/3/2012

                          by sleipner on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:49:04 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I was thinking more (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mightymouse

                            of fashion trends, fads, bandwagons to jump onto. Keeping up with the Joneses by getting solar panels on our house, too! Some sparks of publicity to help generate that type of behavior.

                            I agree with you that people are more sophisticated now about marketing. They still like participating in something they view as worthwhile though, so it could be done, carefully. But the will has to start somewhere.

                            ~On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame!~ I am proud to say three generations of my family lived in WI. Though I live elsewhere, am with you in spirit!

                            by sillia on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:17:07 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  maybe "propaganda" is the wrong word (0+ / 0-)

                            kind of old school. but that's what it is ....

                            An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

                            by mightymouse on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:35:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  then I'll advocate propaganda about climate change (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        HoratioGalt, mightymouse

                        .... since you said you wouldn't:-)

                        We have an entire advertising industry producing propaganda for overconsumption, which is one of the two key drivers of the climate crisis (the other being overpopulation).

                        So we need to direct the same kind of talent, effort, and blanket coverage toward producing propaganda for climate change.  And the key to that is to not waste effort explaining and explaining but instead go right for the emotional narratives and the emotional hot buttons.

                        For example run natural disaster footage, then cut to a picture of two 10-year-olds walking through the flood or the wreckage or the parched desert where there used to be a municipal reservoir, talking about how "nobody cared about climate change when they could have stopped it."   All manner of gruesome stuff could be created to scare the living shit out of people and give them nightmares.  And on the other hand, all manner of warm and fuzzy stuff could be created to depict what happens if we manage to solve this.  

                        There's nothing dishonest about using emotional narratives and button-pushes to get people to act in a manner that will save their childrens' and grandchildren's lives.  

                        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                        by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:11:27 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I think it has to be firmly connected (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          wu ming, mightymouse, G2geek

                          to action. You don't just scare people on principle. You use the emotional narratives to get a particular result--in the case of WWII, for example, collecting scrap metal. (Not to mention donating their sons :-( ...) In our case, recycling, using cloth grocery bags, swapping light bulbs, turning down the furnace, carpooling, etc. But there has to be a GOAL.

                          The kind of action I'd like to see is more hands-on, like insulating people's houses. How about a gov't program to put insulation into every attic, supported by state and local efforts (they could compete to see who does more) and volunteer efforts? I imagine this would be a big job-producer, but the work is so enormous, at least for the first few years, you'd need teams of volunteers too, like Habitat for Humanity.

                          ~On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame!~ I am proud to say three generations of my family lived in WI. Though I live elsewhere, am with you in spirit!

                          by sillia on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:29:22 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  as gmoke often writes (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            sillia, G2geek

                            the analogy is a barn-raising.

                          •  Yes, clearly, and also... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            sillia

                            When people start taking steps such as insulating their houses etc., they start to get "buy-in" which gives them a commitment to the issue.

                            The most important piece is getting people to write to their elected officials in large numbers, and getting them to vote for someone who will do something serious about this.  

                            Everything comes down to votes.

                            And yes there could be an enormous economic stimulus based on this, which will also produce major buy-in with people who are getting those jobs.  That's what we should have done starting in 2009, but one way or another it can still happen.

                            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                            by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:24:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  this is a big deal (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        sillia, mightymouse

                        people need to be given lots of small things they can accomplish, so that they can be a part of a solution and not just get bogged down in despair at the enormity of the thing. luckily for us, global warming is the sum of zillions of seemingly insignificant acts, so shifting those acts away from releasing carbon are actually - not only in a propaganda sense - fighting the problem at its source.

                        you gotta give 'em hope, and you gotta give 'em victories.

                    •  Ironically, I suppose, all that (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mightymouse

                      effort certainly boosted CO2 levels more than anything else in history up to then . . .

          •  I applaud your discipline, but... (1+ / 0-)

            ....why should rank-and-file Dems lead on this issue?

            Over the past decade, the median income has decreased in this country.

            So why should the working class sacrifice more.

            I ask, has the median family increased its living space (square footage) over the past decade?

            Have prominent Dem pols done so?  Have they doubled their square footage?  Have they taken trips to climate conferences in Asia when they could have delivered the same presentation over Cisco?

            G2geek, why shouldn't prominent Dems lead on this issue?

            Unless, of course, they don't perceive it to be the danger that many Kossacks consider it, and instead, simply see climate change as a way to further increase the tax burden on the working class.

            Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

            by PatriciaVa on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 08:18:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  agreed, but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mightymouse

            it ultimately is going to take more than personal virtue here (although it will doubtlessly require that in spades as well). just as the budget cannot be balanced with voluntary tax payments, there will have to be some serious legal compulsion if we're to crash collective carbon emissions to the point where we can pull this one out.

            whether that will take the form of legislation and state action (my preference) or mass direct action or war or sabotage or whatever i cannot say, but the sort of mass shift we need will involve some degree of force and compulsion, is my guess (i include regulation and the legal system in the category of "force" here, to be clear).

            but living in the future that we want to exist is the first and easiest step of many.

        •  There actually quite a few leaders on this. (4+ / 0-)

          Folllowers who actually do anything are a little thin on the ground, though.

      •  Are you really allowed to tell somebody... (0+ / 0-)

        ....why not just off yourself?

        Seems like some kind of comment violation.

        If Obama doesn't deserve credit for getting Bin Laden because he didn't pull the trigger, Bin Laden doesn't deserve the blame for 9-11 because he didn't fly the planes.

        by Bush Bites on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:22:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  the negativity around here is a drag (12+ / 0-)

      Dr Hansen and Dr Mann and so many others say "get going." they don't say "give up."

      neither should you.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:02:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know about you guys but (7+ / 0-)

        I ordered about two dozen fast growing trees.  I'd have ordered more except I've got to plant and maintain them by hand, at least until they're established.  I'll prolly get more next year.
         

        Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

        by Ice Blue on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:37:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Excellent! Any kind of reforestation is good. (8+ / 0-)

          Whether in your yard, in your neighborhood, or in any nearby woods where there's more room for trees.

          And/or you can also try:  stealth reforestation:

          If you live in a neighborhood that's got a lot of foreclosures & evictions, go right into their yards and plant trees.  Plant the whole damn yard full of trees.  The way things are going, those trees will reach a respectable height before anyone "notices them."  And by then they will have become "features" of the property, and won't get cut down.  

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 05:24:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's a great idea! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marina, Ice Blue

            In Sacramento, our local (citizen owned) electrical utility (SMUD), has a long-standing program of offering to plant shade trees for free!  One of the many names attributed to Sacramento is, "city of the trees".  We have an urban forest that grows each year.  

            If saplings were to be planted everywhere that there isn't any landscaping being done, we could re-forest much of the land.  It's hard to make up for all of the lost forest in South America, and Eurasia, but it is possible.

            #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

            by Evolutionary on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 07:45:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I want people to quit mowing their lawns (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Evolutionary, Ice Blue

              They could grow switchgrass, mow it only once or twice a year, after nesting season, to a height of 6"-8", use the cuttings for fuel and at the same time provide deep roots for soil stability and water retention, and food and habitat for wildlife.

              Or people could grow sunflowers in their huge suburban lawns. Wouldn't that be a delight to see! Or an orchard...or almost anything except huge standard lawns that are so wasteful.

              •  Why should people stop mowing their lawns... (0+ / 0-)

                ....when Dem leaders at the federal, state and local level continue to enjoy them?

                So many of you lament the growing inequality in the US.

                But days later, you embrace policies (replacing lawn with switchgrass) which exacerbate this inequality.

                Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

                by PatriciaVa on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:16:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  That's not a bad idea Marina. I tried growing (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marina, Ice Blue

                "buffalo grass", which is basically plains-grass.  It rarely needs cutting, and needs less water than other grasses.  I did this to only a small portion of my front yard.  The rest of my front yard is covered with large planter boxes.  I just harvested turnips, beets, broccoli, and Bok Choi.  My onions aren't quite ready yet.  Soon, I will plant my summer crops.  Some neighbors (an upper class neighborhood), have a poor opinion of my front yard vegetable gardens, but to hell with them.  I tell them that my Grandfather did the same in his front yard, and he called it a Victory Garden.  I tell them that their nice manicured lawns are pointedly useless, and are a huge waste of precious water.  Why grow grass with that water when you can grow food???

                Hail the victorious vegetables!

                #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

                by Evolutionary on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:42:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  it's especially important in sac (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Evolutionary

              not just because the summers are so brutal without shade, but also because sac's urban canopy is getting pretty old. when those trees eventually come down, there needs to be a bunch of young stuff coming up to take their place. SMUD is awesome in this regard, i really wish yolo county had been able to ditch PG&E and join you guys a few years back.

              •  Perhaps PG&E can be lobbied by us nosy (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wu ming

                Librulllls to help conserve energy and create clean air by planting trees in their customer's yards...

                There are whole volunteer neighborhood crews that go out each year and help put new young trees in front yards.  No one pays us to do that.  It's a good example of small scale environmentally friendly practices.  They aren't immediately or obviously of any benefit, but they will be in five or six years.  The process continues each year.  Our urban forest continues to grow.

                We must show the rest of humanity the way...

                #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

                by Evolutionary on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:46:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Plant a diverse, multilayered (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wu ming

          sustainable landscape appropriate to your ecoregion. Forested areas get canopy, understory, shrub and ground layer (usually herbaceous vegetation), prairie regions get prairie plants and fire tolerant trees and shrubs, desert regions get indigenous cactus, mesquite, wildflowers, etc.

          All of these sequester carbon from the atmosphere at a net positive rate, unlike lawns mowed with mowers that use fossil fuel, which actually contribute over 1/2 ton of CO2 per year per acre. There are over 30 million acres of lawn in the US.

          A bonus is that a native sustainable landscape with varied species is lower maintenance and more resilient than the industrial lawn landscape model, and helps return rainfall to the water table, rather than helping it run off.

          Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

          by NoMoreLies on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:45:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I planted three new trees last year. (2+ / 0-)

          Unfortunately, my patio home yard simply doesn't have the room for more.  

          I live in a tiny house - 1100 sqft - for two people, have super-insulated the attic, installed a new high-efficiency heat pump (which is damn uncomfortable in the winter - lukewarm  air only), and replaced windows. The lights that are used frequently are all LEDs - even more efficient than CFLs and have been for years now.

          I drive a small efficient car. I fund tree planting in Central America and Mexico.  There isn't much more I can do on my own.

          We need government programs and leadership to change things.  Even if individuals are super attentive to what they can personally do, coal powered power plants and consumption of petroleum needs to decrease world wide.

          We need bold measures on an internationally cooperative level. Fast.

          What a Police State Looks Like: "On one side: soft human flesh, unprotected human skulls, cardboard signs, slogans they chant, armed with belief in 1st Amendment rights. On the other: helmets, body armor, guns, batons, chemical weapons." -- JanetRhodes

          by YucatanMan on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:55:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There's the key (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YucatanMan, mightymouse
            We need bold measures on an internationally cooperative level. Fast.
            The greenest government imaginable in the US wouldn't accomplish much good without a concerted global effort.

            If liberals really "hated America" - We'd vote Republican

            by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:00:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  My house is even smaller than yours. (0+ / 0-)

            It's got about the floor space of a two car garage.  I've got garages and sheds with more square footage than my house but, unless I've got the lights on, they use zero energy.  Another benefit to unheated buildings--they're taxed at a tiny fraction of heated floor space.

            Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

            by Ice Blue on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:07:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  The challenge is what to do about (4+ / 0-)

        countries out of our control, such as China where explosive growth in carbon emissions has taken place over the past decade and continues apace.

        And Japan, which is doing likewise - shutting down ALL of their nuclear power and replacing it with fossil fuels.

        I am really interested how I can have any impact at all on that.

        •  Have to work on your own country (6+ / 0-)

          and go from there.

          there are ways for one country to impact another. it is difficult to see how one individual can impact another country - unless you are a multi-billionaire.

          are you a multi-billionaire?

          "fortunately" there is a lot to work on right here in the USA.

          An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

          by mightymouse on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 05:40:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, but as awful as we are, we are (6+ / 0-)

            kinda trending in the right direction . .  kinda.

            China, Japan, and much of the rest of Asia is not.

            In any event, here's an interesting Carbon Footprint graphic . . .

          •  US produces 18.8% of CO2 emissions (3+ / 0-)

            and is the highest per capita. Change that and we at least kick doomsday down the road a few more years.

            •  US is not highest per capita (4+ / 0-)

              By far.  Look at the graphic posted above.

              http://scienceblogs.com/...

              Gibraltar of all places is the worst.  Then the US Virgin Islands.

              We get what we want - or what we fail to refuse. - Muhammad Yunus

              by nightsweat on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 06:53:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, the US is not the highest per capita (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Evolutionary, PatriciaVa

                And Wikipedia has sortable data - which has us at Number 12 in 2008 - down from Number 8 in 1990.

                In other words, we're taking baby steps in the right direction.  Sure, we could and should do more - but we're not as horrific as we're sometimes held up to be.

                Also, get rid of Texas, we'd be pretty much in the thick of European rankings . ..  

                •  We can't get rid of Texas. Even if we were to (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  YucatanMan, LaughingPlanet

                  allow the State to secede, they would continue their slash and burn policy.  Since ignoring them or letting them go away won't help, then the only answer is to essentially force change on Texas from a Federal level.  Not all Texans are Republican idiots, so we have a good start.  As a country, we really need to focus on the states with the worst, and most recalcitrant politicians.

                  #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

                  by Evolutionary on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 07:48:58 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The thing being, if Texas were a country (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Evolutionary

                    it'd be Number 7 wrt total emissions all by itself - just behind Germany, a bit ahead of Canada . . .

                    •  A lot of that is because they are creating (3+ / 0-)

                      petroleum products consumed in many other states.  Texas has a huge number of refineries.

                      Texas also has far too many low-grade coal powered electric plants.  And far too many big pickup trucks.

                      Cut down consumption of gasoline, tar, asphalt and other petroleum products in other states and you'd cut Texas emissions too.

                      On the electric front, there's not much other states can do about Texas' messed up electricity market.  The free marketers have created a huge mess there with all sorts of screwed up incentives and actual disincentives to provide more plants with more power.  Overall, that is a good thing, because the state will be FORCED to conserver or face brown outs.  hahahaha  

                      What a Police State Looks Like: "On one side: soft human flesh, unprotected human skulls, cardboard signs, slogans they chant, armed with belief in 1st Amendment rights. On the other: helmets, body armor, guns, batons, chemical weapons." -- JanetRhodes

                      by YucatanMan on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:00:11 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You raise some interesting points (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Evolutionary

                        I'll have to look into the methodology to see if the carbon emitted by products from Texas' refineries is assigned to Texas or to the state where they were used.

                        •  I'm sure the emissions from using the products (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Roadbed Guy, Evolutionary

                          is counted in the place where the products are used.

                          However, creating the products themselves from petroleum emits a large amount of global warming gases.

                          Google images for "refinery" and you'll find all sorts of "flares" which are burning off waste products from refining petroleum. And these flares stink.  They contribute CO2, but also much more powerful greenhouse gases like methane and others.  You'll see the smokestacks.  

                          So, what I was saying is that the refineries being in Texas, create a lot of Texas emissions through their operation.  

                          Most of the products created are exported from Texas to other states create the emissions there when they are used.

                          What a Police State Looks Like: "On one side: soft human flesh, unprotected human skulls, cardboard signs, slogans they chant, armed with belief in 1st Amendment rights. On the other: helmets, body armor, guns, batons, chemical weapons." -- JanetRhodes

                          by YucatanMan on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:17:28 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  More on refineries: (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Roadbed Guy, Evolutionary

                          http://thehill.com/...

                          “We have always had plans that we would go from the largest stationary [greenhouse gas emissions] source, which is utilities ... to the next largest, which is refineries,” she said.
                          Texas has 26 refineries, the largest number of any state. Adjacent Louisiana has 19.  

                          The USA has a total of 148 refineries scattered among all states.  Texas and Louisiana have 30+% of the entire number in the nation.  And the refineries in Texas are some of the largest in the nation as well.

                          http://www.eia.gov/...

                          You can look up numbers of refineries and capacities at the above link.  

                          Anyway, we need to cut back. A couple reasons that there are so many in Texas are: 1) lax Texas pollution laws in every way and 2) the harbor at Galveston / Houston.

                          What a Police State Looks Like: "On one side: soft human flesh, unprotected human skulls, cardboard signs, slogans they chant, armed with belief in 1st Amendment rights. On the other: helmets, body armor, guns, batons, chemical weapons." -- JanetRhodes

                          by YucatanMan on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:29:59 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                •  One has to be careful interpreting per capita (0+ / 0-)

                  especially for countries and territories that have a small poopulation but a large shipping or tourism sector.

                  The footprint graphic includes the claim "Tiny Gibraltar tops the per capita list due to its need to import most manufactured goods" but this is simply false. The emissions shown here are not based on end-use accounting - for example, if an American buys a product made in China using coal, the CO2 from that coal is allocated to China - not the USA - in the methodology used for this graphic.

                  So why does it put Gibraltar top - particularly as the Wikipedia data you linked barely has it in the top 20? The biggest reason would accounting of emissions from gasoline and diesel: Gibraltar has much cheaper prices than neighboring Spain and many road trip tourists fill the tank when visiting. So it has 30,000 people but meets the vehicle fuel demand of a much larger effective population.

                  •  Try not to get overly fixated on Gilbraltar . .. (0+ / 0-)

                    feel free to use the Wikipedia rankings instead . . . .

                    Which show that the USA is bad, but not really the worst of the bunch.  

                    With not too much effort, we'll be in respectable company - which is the direction we're heading despite absolutely no top-down guidance from the government.

                    And about the manufacturing in China contributing to huge coal-based carbon emissions - I am doubtful about that - their advantage is cheap labor (e.g., kids sewing Nike's) that is not really all that carbon intensive.

                    Much of their emissions comes from a huge boom in concrete production, automobiles, their own consumerism, etc.

                    •  Neither data set is very good (0+ / 0-)

                      The wikipedia data is only CO2 emissions (for some countries CO2 is 90% of greenhouse gas emissions, for others it is less than 50%) and the footprint graphic gives a distorting impression of per capita use for which I pointed out the so-called "top" Gibraltar as one example - their apparently extravagant emissions being explained by their relatively low fuel taxes and fuel sales to tourists.

                      And neither data set uses consumption-based accounting.

                      You don't think manufacturing in China of products used in other countries is much of their emissions total. I agree a majority of the increase in emissions in that country over the past decade is internal consumption, but the emissions used to produce exports are still significant.

                      Unfortunately, such accounting of emissions is not simple - so in the research where it has been done, the data is fairly old. For example, Caldeira and Davis ("Consumption-based accounting of CO2 emissions", 2009) wrote "in 2004, 19% of the CO2 emitted to support production of goods and services consumed in the United States was emitted outside US territorial borders, whereas 28% of China's territorial CO2 emissions supported production of goods and services consumed outside of China." There really isn't much consumption-based accounting of emissions research with newer data than that.

        •  since carbon released anywhere affects everywhere (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roadbed Guy

          you might as well affect what you can, first.

          •  Yes, but it gets discouraging when you (0+ / 0-)

            see a single country (China) year after year INCREASING their emissions more than the ENTIRE amount emitted by - oh let's say Germany.

            Ironically enough, Germany still tries really really hard to reduce their emissions regardless.  But I suppose that that's because if history has shown us anything, Germans are just really really good people.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for other massively offending countries like Canada, Qatar, and the Maldive Islands.

            •  i find it somewhat telling that americans (0+ / 0-)

              suddenly developed this self-righteous outrage at chinese emissions only after they eclipsed us as the worst global offender for emissions, a title we had for decades with little comment.

              the nice thing about our insane per capita and net carbon profligacy is that it offers so many soft targets to reduce our share of emissions quickly without too much in the way of decline in standard of living (defined by the somewhat arbitrary standard of industrial developed economies). china, ironically, is in a similar situation, although unlike us they are putting serious coin down building an infrastructure that will eventually help them to get off of carbon.

              their assumption that carbon is an OK thing to use as a transitionary bridge is batshit insane, though, in china as it is in america. there definitely needs to be pretty concerted direct action in both countries to get things to the point where we don't kill off humanity through our idiocy.

              but given how big a portion of this mess is ours, we would do well to clean it up while we urge others to do so, instead of putting it off until after china beats us on the downslope of emissions.

    •  It's a tall order but we have to take it on (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, Evolutionary

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:11:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Next GOP President? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CharlieHipHop, Tracker, HoratioGalt

      How concerned are progressive pols regarding climate change?

      Why take a commercial/private jet to a climate change conference in Dubai when you could deliver the same presentation via Cisco teleconferencing?

      Why bankroll a billion dollar tourist trap (Richard Branson's Virgin Space) that will emit as much CO2 in a few minutes as a cross country airline trip if one is so concerned about climate change?

      If Dem pols/leaders were so concerned about climate change, I ask, how many of them have slashed their living space (square footage) in the last 20 years?

      I don't doubt that there are some Dems who are concerned about climate change.

      But FAR TOO MANY of them are too afraid to ask the really wealthy to pay their fair share, so they have come up with climate change as justification to increase the tax burden on the working and middle-class.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

      by PatriciaVa on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 08:11:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Forget about US politics for a moment. It's a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy, PatriciaVa

      global issue. US is not even #1 CO2 emitter anymore. There is no political will in other countries to get anything done about it either.

    •  That's not counting China and India. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PatriciaVa

      If Obama doesn't deserve credit for getting Bin Laden because he didn't pull the trigger, Bin Laden doesn't deserve the blame for 9-11 because he didn't fly the planes.

      by Bush Bites on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:20:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, this answers one of my questions. I (0+ / 0-)

    understand the idea of an energy imbalance of 0.6 W/m**2 (I would prefer the total imbalance as I don't know what total area is being used - irradiated area, total earth surface, ?). This is the first truly quantitative definition of AGW I have ever heard.

    My second question is how we decrease emissions with exponentially increasing energy production. Living in 3rd World SE Asia, I have observed that the people here are a lot less interested in curbing AGW than developing an Industrialized Lifestyle, complete with the attendand inefficienies and wastes. Short of rationing their gasoline or occupying them (like Afghanistan), they will not cooperate. There are a batch of us in the 3rd World, a whole lot more than in the Industralized Countries.

    Also, In CA and AZ, the undocumented residents are going to want their money. Only giving it to "legal residents" is awful politics and will not withstand the legal challenge.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:59:27 AM PDT

  •  My greatest fear with all of this (28+ / 0-)

    Is not merely that humanity is about to have its collective ass handed to it like it has never experienced before, nor that the Earth's sixth great extinction event has already begun and will likely scour most of all life from the planet, nor even the prospect that a century or two hence, the best we can realistically hope for is that we've only been reduced to preindustrial population levels following widespread famine, wars over remaining oil and fresh water supplies, and general inability of the Earth's systems to support our numbers or our civilization to cope with the instabilities we've set into motion.

    All of these things I've already accepted as basically unavoidable, given where we are compared with where we need to be, and the relative motion between the two points.  It was rough, let me tell you, to admit that we're in Dante's shoes, looking down the road to hell, knowing that the only way out is through.  I wish that we had chosen differently, back when it would have made a difference.  I think McKibben's Eaarth strikes closest to the mark.  In addition to doing what we can to mitigate this unfolding catastrophe, the time has come to determine the kind of communities that will best weather the storm, and start building them now.

    But I digress.  The thing that I most fear out of all of this is that much of the progress our species has made over the past few centuries will be lost.  That the human suffering to come will send us back into the thrall of apocalyptic superstition and repressive theologies.  There is a very strong possibility, with the challenges nation-states will face, that secular power will fail and we'll lose the core of reason that lies at the center of Enlightenment thought.  That just when we need that kind of clarity the most, we'll end up flinching from lightning and terrified of the imaginary hobgoblins that religion has always used to ensnare the minds of humanity.

    When I hear people like Inhofe dismissing scientific understanding by quoting scripture in the halls of Congress, that is the rough beast I see slouching towards Washington to be born.

    •  Well said. It's not as though (6+ / 0-)

      a huge portion of humanity isn't still laboring under the oppression of superstitions and backward-looking/acting religions already.

      The scientists will (continue to) be the ones whom the religious leaders will blame for natural disasters; the secular, rational people will be sacrificed to try to placate the murderous god(s)  and their agents who in our day hate women, hate rationality, hate humanity generally.

      Lovely.

    •  I'm afraid you're right. (4+ / 0-)

      As far as superstitious theologies go, let's start with climate change denial itself. I was struck by James Hansen's concluding statement: "So now you know what I know, that is leading me to sound this alarm. Clearly I haven't got this message across."

      In 1989, my high-school class on "Science and Society" had the opportunity to submit a question to a climate change expert (I forget who; I was a snot-nosed teenager at the time), carried live over C-SPAN. We winnowed down the question by committee, and then posed it to the panelist. And it was something like, "how do you go about persuading skeptics of climate change that there is a need for action?"

      His response? "That's a very good question."

      So we put that question to C-SPAN guy almost twenty-three years ago, and both the question and its answer remain exactly the same. You could imagine Hansen's answer: "That's a very good question -- in fact, it's clear that I haven't got this message across."

      Back in 1989, the thorniness of this issue, the failure to convince skeptics, just seemed like garden-variety inertia. No doubt, there were lobbyists freaking out behind the scenes, working overtime to keep the question from being answered properly. But on the surface, at least, the problem still seemed to present itself in the way that such problems do in Hollywood films: plucky hero has to convince panel of crusty curmudgeons that an asteroid is hurtling towards earth. Curmudgeons are stubbornly adhering to age-old assumptions, but by and by, they will come around.

      Now, of course, the picture is much more clear: vested interests are throwing anything against the wall that will stick. Ridicule environmentalists every time we get a heavy snowfall! (Even though heavy precipitation is itself of climate change!) Point to unseasonably cool weather as evidence that things are not changing! (Even though no one promised that global warming would result in simultaneous, across-the-board rises in local temperature!) Throw up distractions! Change the subject!

      The ideological transparency of the climate change deniers has never been more clear. But we are farther away from convincing people of climate change than we have been since Hansen, Gore, and others started drawing attention to this issue.

      It depresses the hell out of me that the answer to our class's 1989 question is still, "that's a good question." The convincing bit should have been over 10 years ago, so that we could all move on to rolling up our sleeves and getting things done.

      Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

      by Dale on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:44:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, the constant problem with this slow-motion (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dale, mightymouse

        crisis is:

        So we put that question to C-SPAN guy almost twenty-three years ago, and both the question and its answer remain exactly the same. You could imagine Hansen's answer: "That's a very good question -- in fact, it's clear that I haven't got this message across."
        Democracies are notoriously poor at addressing invisible or slow-motion crises.   Yes, we jumped into action for things like WWII, but that was a clear, present and IMMEDIATE danger.

        Most people are slumming on their sofas, enjoying tonight's HBO or whatever, and not really interested in something that doesn't have a gun to their temples.

        Convincing masses of Americans, let alone the rest of the world, is crucial, but no one has yet found a way to do so.  

        As you mention, over 20 years ago, we knew this was a huge problem and it has not yet been solved:  What do we do to convince people that change is urgent?

        What a Police State Looks Like: "On one side: soft human flesh, unprotected human skulls, cardboard signs, slogans they chant, armed with belief in 1st Amendment rights. On the other: helmets, body armor, guns, batons, chemical weapons." -- JanetRhodes

        by YucatanMan on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:14:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  change WAS urgent (0+ / 0-)

          back in 1989, and earlier than that, really. Now you really might as well kick back and watch HBO, cause nothing is going to make any difference anymore.

          •  TIME magazine had a cover story on the urgency (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PatriciaVa

            of climate change in the late 1980s.  I saved that for years, thinking that we'd suddenly wake up and do something about it.  But no one ever did.

            Not Clinton (never expected Reagan or Bush to do anything) and not Obama.  My optimism about 'change' is at a pretty low point right now.

            What a Police State Looks Like: "On one side: soft human flesh, unprotected human skulls, cardboard signs, slogans they chant, armed with belief in 1st Amendment rights. On the other: helmets, body armor, guns, batons, chemical weapons." -- JanetRhodes

            by YucatanMan on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:45:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Not sure I can run with that (0+ / 0-)

            What we can do to make a difference is, as I indicated above, to identify the qualities in ourselves and our communities that will be most useful in weathering the storms to come and start cultivating them now.  As it stands, not only have we set this beast loose upon the world, but we are breathtakingly unprepared to face it.  We may not be able to do anything about the first thing, but we can still address the second.

            It is obvious by now that our political and economic institutions are holding on tooth and nail to a doomed status quo, but we don't have to.  Nor do we have to waste our strength attacking a failing system that is still powerful, but which will collapse on its own given time.  We may have to just go full Gandhi on this one, become the change we wish to see, plant the seeds of the culture that will endure in ourselves and those around us.  It may be that our reach will always be local, but that may be enough.  I have a friend who has been devoting herself to gardening, specifically urban and community, based on her conviction that mastery of small scale agriculture in developed areas will be a vital survival skill as these events move forward.  Like a martial art, mastery of gardening takes time under the best of conditions, and she's starting now because she knows that we will not have the best conditions in the years to come.  She knows she won't live to see it get really bad, but the gardens she plants and the people to whom she passes these skills may.  When I think of survivalist militia types stockpiling guns and canned food, but not thinking beyond when that food runs out, how much wiser this quiet woman seems by comparison.

            She can't write national energy policy, but she can learn how to coax life from the ground, and pass love of the same to the children in her neighborhood.  People like this give me hope that maybe, we'll make it through this yet.

            •  I'm inspired by your outlook, really (0+ / 0-)

              Unfortunately I'm much more pessimistic - I don't think change is possible anymore and not just because it will prove completely impossible to orchestrate 7 billion people on the same mission while keeping all their needs satisfied (just the inertia on that is a puzzle that no one can even fathom: how? how do you keep a viable economy and feed everyone that currently expects regular feeding without falling into complete chaos when you alter that economy?) But my premise, sadly (and for which I get a fair amount of criticism) is that the horses/cows etc. have left the barn a long, long time ago on the coming future & climate change: the mere concept of "changing it" is, in my view, not a possibility. I'm amazed when people post diaries like this that point out the absurdity of our situation and everyone reverts to "well let's just try really hard to make the world better" in the comments: it's like trying to dodge a bullet that has been shot at the back of your head at point blank range: no matter how much you want to think that you're not going to take a bullet you still are: you can't put this genie back in the bottle. I garden too, but in no way do I think it makes a drop of difference in the coming shit storm.

              •  Oh, I'm a pessimist, too. (0+ / 0-)

                A military pessimist, no less.  I'm well aware that the human species will be much smaller in a century or two, and that arriving at this new equilibrium will not be at all pleasant.  I agree that our inescapable reality is that humanity's demands have long since exceeded the planet's capacity, and that we will consequently be culled in numbers heretofore unimaginable.  Malthus is well positioned to have the last laugh, and it’s sure to be a hearty one.

                Short answer, I do not propose we orchestrate seven billion people on the same mission while keeping their needs satisfied; that would not be possible under the best of circumstances.  No, I’m afraid most of those people will likely die at the hands of a veritable potpourri of fell horsemen accompanying this beast we’ve loosed.

                But not all of us will.  In the history of our species, there are stories of great civilizations who wove the pattern of their own undoing much as we have done, though their numbers were much smaller and their technology more primitive.  We’ve sifted their bones through our fingers and unearthed their silent ruins.  And then there are other stories, of people seeing clearly the direction in which survival lay and charting their course by these new stars, often discarding generations of culture, economic tradition and religious dogma all demanding to be maintained.  Most people admittedly don’t have the stomach for this kind of thing, and would prefer death to change (though they’d never admit that in so many words).  I would not presume to sway those people, because I’ve seen how skilled they are at building intellectual walls, and I don’t have the time or strength for siegecraft on that scale.

                What interests me far more these days are the intrepid souls determining the ways in which humans must adapt, and then making themselves a living laboratory for the testing of these skills.  It is clear to me now that these adaptations will never be imposed from above, and most people would resist them tooth and nail in any event.  That’s what I meant when I talked about going full Gandhi.  What we can do, first and foremost, is to make those adaptations ourselves, even if we're alone in the effort, and teach others by example how much more they’re capable of.  It’s not much, but there are many intelligent people who can at least infer the kind of qualities one would need as the global ecosystem unravels, and many of them have a fair grasp of words and fully functioning bodies.  That doesn’t guarantee success by any means, but it beats despair, and if enough people do likewise, we may have the beginning of a new human paradigm that can survive the trials we face.  Plant the seed, and see in a hundred years what kind of tree grows from it.  A hundred years should be just when we need it to bear fruit.

                Catastrophe has a way of bringing out both the worst and the best of human qualities.  I am personally determined to embrace the latter, and support others who do likewise.  It may well be that it will come to nothing, and that humanity will join its lost Neanderthal cousins in the long dark of extinction.  But maybe we can at least face the end on our feet, still fighting for a future worth having even knowing that we will never see it ourselves.

                Amor fati and all that Latin rot.  :-)

    •  I couldn't agree with you more. History has (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PatriciaVa

      shown that massive crisis leads to a loss of reason and an embracing of "religion" or theocracy in the midst of chaos.

      Many great civilizations, with substantial scientific, mathematical and written knowledge have existed before us.  And they have lost it all.  Fortunately, we rediscovered much of that knowledge, but there is much we do not still know about past civilizations.

      The Enlightenment was only a short time ago, as far as human civilization goes. We could easily lose that progress and fall back into superstition, "survivalist" style politics and hateful splinter groups in substantial numbers.

      Civilization itself is at stake, as well as the survival of so many species (many of which we still have not discovered), and the survival of billions of people.

      Humans will likely continue to exist in some numbers, but in a vastly remade world that is a lot harsher and unforgiving.

      What a Police State Looks Like: "On one side: soft human flesh, unprotected human skulls, cardboard signs, slogans they chant, armed with belief in 1st Amendment rights. On the other: helmets, body armor, guns, batons, chemical weapons." -- JanetRhodes

      by YucatanMan on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:10:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I fear you're correct (0+ / 0-)

        Nevertheless, I try to keep a small little garden of hopesprouts potted in my soul (next to the birdhouse).  One reason why is the woman I mention above in my reply to radv005.

        We may make it yet, even when it's clear the system as a whole is paralyzed.

  •  What is the basis for the 5 m sea level claim? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek

    I've seen an estimate that the maximum sea level rise by 2100 is 2m, based on the maximum rate that Greenland ice can flow out to sea through the narrow choke points, and I'm curious if Hansen references something that disputes this.

    I feel like for sea level rise the more important point is that while we may only get 2 m max by 2100, that we are fast approaching the point where we will be guaranteed 20 m sea level rise over the next several centuries. 20 m sea level rise drowns most major cities in the world, and would be very hard to build sea walls against.

  •  Honestly, by now I'm hoping for some scientific (5+ / 0-)

    Deus ex Machina to solve the problem, because the chances of us collectively working to save the earth are pretty much nil.

    And since the government does far too little, we actually have to bet on the private sector on this one. Shit.

    •  I have one for you, so what are you going to do... (13+ / 0-)

      ...to promote it?

      Telecommuting.

      Takes commuter cars off the road.

      I invented the feature in office telephone systems that enables them to transfer calls to employees' home office landlines or mobiles.

      As of 2004 it became available worldwide.  (I didn't get rich on that but I do have bragging rights:-)

      Combine that with VPN for the computer network, and any person who doesn't have to put their physical hands on physical products, can work from home.  

      So: how would you like to take cars off the road?  

      Every commuter you can turn into a telecommuter, is ten fewer car trips per week.

      So: go out and evangelize like crazy for this.  And you'll be taking cars off the road.  For most people, unless they are solar power installers or candidates for public office, that is the most direct and concrete thing they can do that has the greatest multiplier effect.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:46:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There should be a tax credit for telecommuting (5+ / 0-)

        perhaps for both the employer and employee, but especially to persuade nervous companies to allow it.

        There are thousands hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. -Thoreau

        by Frameshift on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 06:39:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bike commuting! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wu ming, yojimbo

        And I'd like a tax credit for that, too.

        We do not forgive. We do not forget. The whole world is watching.

        by Tracker on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:53:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And for those who cannot telecommute (0+ / 0-)

        what about mandating a 4 day work week to lop off at least 2 car trips.

        Plus, its time to rebuild what time forgot and the car and oil companies helped wreck...the tens of thousands of miles of electrified light rail that existed in the US before World War II, and extend it to intercity freight and passenger rail- the steel interstate.

        So what  compulsory goods and intercity and commuter transport we still end up using (we need to reduce consumption) is powered by electrified rail.  A concept that was even brought up in the 1950s, by the admiral of the "nuclear navy", Hyman Rickover.

        Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

        by NoMoreLies on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:53:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  works as long as you're not flipping burgers (0+ / 0-)

        or making some such other shit. We still do make stuff here, and setting up an assembly line in each person's home is hardly feasible.

    •  Heh, I find myself desperately hoping (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy

      that a breakthrough in fusion happens.

      "On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation." William Lloyd Garrison

      by HoratioGalt on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:21:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  heavily-armed environmentalist aliens? (0+ / 0-)

      Who just come down, change things, and don't even bother arguing with us because they know we won't listen.  I could go for that.

      Religious people don't believe human beings are in control of anything and think caring about the environment is equivalent to nature worship, large chunks of the country are still fighting the Cold War in their minds and think anything from buying less stuff to a green Manhattan Project is communism, the plutocrats have zero economic incentive to curb consumption or kill their own polluting industries, and the Third World is determined to make all of our old mistakes so we'll respect them or something.

      Never attribute to stupidity what can be adequately explained by malice; stupid people couldn't hurt us so effectively.

      by Visceral on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:14:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  treat this as if someone is coming to break in to (3+ / 0-)

    .... your house and strangle your children.

    What are you willing to do in order to stop them?

    Now take that amount of effort and that amount of willingness to risk self-sacrifice, and put it into GOTV, and protest, and civil disobedience, and changes in your lifestyle.  Put it into throwing yourself upon the proverbial gears so they cease to turn.  Put it into setting an example, making an example, and making sure the examples spread.

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:48:09 AM PDT

    •  except they think WE'RE trying to kill their kids (0+ / 0-)

      The Third World thinks that environmentalism is a conspiracy to keep them poor forever so that the West can keep on partying forever.  The ones that don't indulge in conspiracy theory still love cars, factory farming, and fossil-fueled power plants.

      Hell, half of this country also thinks that ... plus "goddamn Yankee gubmint tellin' me what t' do!"

      Never attribute to stupidity what can be adequately explained by malice; stupid people couldn't hurt us so effectively.

      by Visceral on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:20:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  what will most likely happen.... (9+ / 0-)

    ..... is that peak oil will put an end to overconsumption, and a plague or three will put an end to overpopulation.    There will probably be a dark age lasting a couple of centuries.  But humanity will squeak by with enough of civilization left in order to rebuild, having learned the lessons of sustainability just as humanity survived the plagues and learned the lessons of sanitation and infectious disease control.  

    The question is how far we're willing to let things slide, or more to the point, what we're willing to do to keep the slide to a minimum.

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:55:29 AM PDT

    •  If that scenario comes to be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Evolutionary

      we'll need to look to poor people for advice on how to get by in the new world.

      Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

      by Ice Blue on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:44:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wouldn't count of peak oil. (3+ / 0-)

      If oil prices get high enough, kerogen shale and tar sands get to be more and more attractive. And, as propagandized as people are now, they'll just keep blaming the higher gas prices on environmentalists.
        Most likely scenario is a die-off of several billion people as now fertile regions can no longer support agriculture and some parts of the earth become so warm that people literally can't live there.

      •  Peak oil could have an effect (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Evolutionary, NoMoreLies

        there an argument that sounds reasonable to me that our economies cannot afford $200/barrel oil - that relying on oil shale will never happen on a large scale.

        I don't know enough to be sure ... however it is clear that the rising prices have made a (small) dent in US fossil fuel habits.

        But I think you are right it's no "silver bullet."

        We'll see. What a crazy world.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 06:34:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Unfortunately, I have to agree with you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bush Bites

      But I'm not so sure about civilization surviving in sufficient form.

      We've seen from history that when societies reach collapse, sheer chaos breaks out and people revert to non-rational views and beliefs.

      Interestingly, in the book 1493, Charles Mann makes the argument that the "little cooling" of the 1600-1700s was due to the massive die-off of the indigenous peoples of North America (due to disease imported by the first Spanish contacts spreading like wildfire across the continent).   Without the millions of Native Americans managing and burning off the forests, a huge regrowth took place - a reforestation - which actually reduced CO2 so much that a slight cooling took place.

      If we could manage a human-created reforestation on a huge scale -- every person planting 10 trees across the country or something like that -- we might be able to make a dent in things.  But it would take all the nations on earth and a hell of a lot of trees.

      What a Police State Looks Like: "On one side: soft human flesh, unprotected human skulls, cardboard signs, slogans they chant, armed with belief in 1st Amendment rights. On the other: helmets, body armor, guns, batons, chemical weapons." -- JanetRhodes

      by YucatanMan on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:19:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heh, I know Germany is getting trashed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan

        for ratcheting up their fossil-fuel consumption, but they do have a decent reforestation program in place. South Korea has an excellent one as well. And other countries are pursuing them as well.

        I have been having full-blown panic attacks lately regarding climate change (admittedly, I'm prone to anxiety and panic attacks, but, still...) But, reading about those kinds of efforts gives me hope. There are people who GET IT, and recognize the sort of effort required to both curtail our CO2 output and to sequester the CO2 that we've pumped into the atmosphere. I plan on purchasing a sapling and planting it on my parents' property (though I'm having a hard time tracking down a place that sells fast-growing trees).

        "On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation." William Lloyd Garrison

        by HoratioGalt on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:36:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  peak oil.... take one moment to think about that (0+ / 0-)

      and then think about what is made that does not involve oil: nothing. Now think about peak oil and what it's going to affect: everything. No oil = no nothing in terms of the standard of living the world collectively has come to understand. And reverting to an agrarian society and real horse power is really hard to do with 7 billion mouths to feed.

  •  the "how many people are you willing to kill" test (6+ / 0-)

    The root causes of the climate catastrophe are overpopulation and overconsumption: both of which are voluntary behaviors by adults.

    There is a direct relationship between reckless reproduction and reckless consumption, and climate impacts; and there is a direct relationship between climate impacts and their human death toll.

    This works out to about a billion casualties per degree celsius above current average global temperatures.

    We are presently on track for +2 Celsius, or about two billion casualties: the equivalent of 200 Hitler Holocausts or a major nuclear war.  Most of those casualties will occur where we can't see them, but none the less.  

    So:

    When you run into someone who's engaging in climate denialism or reckless reproduction or reckless consumption, the question to ask them, if all else fails to get their attention, is How many people are you willing to kill for that?

    How many other families' kids are they willing to kill so they can have more kids?

    How many other families are they willing to kill so they can have more "lifestyle"?

    And just let the question sit and fester in their mind.

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:07:58 AM PDT

    •  Overpopulation, true, but (4+ / 0-)

      a single American consumer has many times the environmental impact of a third worlder.

      We aren't on track for 2 deg C of warming. That is the level that they were trying to acheive with the Kyoto treaty.
       Without dramatic cutbacks in CO2 emissions, we're on track for 5-6 deg C.

    •  Yet all around me (6+ / 0-)

      I see bright young people having babies with the same enthusiasm and optimism as ever.

      I wonder "Have you thought about what kind of a world they'll likely be living in 30 or 40 years from now?" I don't have the heart to say it out loud though, and step on their buzz.

      No, I have no children - so maybe I don't understand the unstoppable urge to reproduce and parent. Maybe it requires a focus on a positive future and denial of overwhelming problems.

      •  Well, during the Clinton years there (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Evolutionary, dinazina, YucatanMan

        was unbridled enthusiasm that everything was Hunky Dory and could only get better.  Heck, even the business cycle had been banished in favor of never ending prosperity.

        Now, some would like to say it has been banished in the opposite direction, but IMHO that would really take alot of doing!

        So, kids born today might do alright after all.  They'll just have to learn to live closer together.

      •  change 30 to 40 (0+ / 0-)

        to 10 to 20. Although if they are lucky (??) enough to be here 30 to 40 years on they will have survived fantastic odds and have the battle scars to prove it.

      •  someone's going to have to work to heal the world (0+ / 0-)

        - tikkun olam - after we're gone. who is to say there won't be beauty and companionship and meaning and purpose in the times to come, as there have been throughout human history, even in very dark times?

        i remember growing up in the wake of the first realization in the 70s that these times were coming, and hearing adults say "who could bring children into this world?" as a child who had been brought into this world. i think we are a generation destined to save ourselves and the world from the mistakes of our ancestors, and while it will be hard, i still find plenty of meaning in my life in the beginning of these troubles.

        that is not to criticize your choice not to have children - i would not dare to do so, and overpopulation and overconsumption is a huge problem, especially for those of us in the developed and wasteful first world - but just to say that there are many ways to face what is to come.

    •  and yet (0+ / 0-)

      people keep having kids.

      I really do not get that in sooooooo many ways.

  •  "Drill baby drill" will make as much sense (11+ / 0-)

    to future generations as the Salem Witch Hunt and the Children's Crusade.  

    The religious right's denial of global warming is another  great crime against children.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:14:05 AM PDT

  •  good talk by Dr. Hansen ... (5+ / 0-)

    thanks for the blogging at climate progress.

    truly this needs to be issue #1.

    I do believe if we started to take on climate change instead of just sitting around it would be less depressing.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:16:10 AM PDT

  •  We're not, as a country, going to do it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Evolutionary

    We can lessen our greenhouse emissions as individuals but the US is not going to get its ass in gear until it's too late.  The repubs will block the way.

    Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

    by Ice Blue on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:23:47 AM PDT

    •  what makes you so certain of that? (0+ / 0-)

      Do you have a degree in Applied Prophesy?

      Is your precognition score better than p < .01 ?

      Or are you just making excuses to do nothing?

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:49:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not ignoring it. (0+ / 0-)

        I do, however, know enough stupid people who think global warming is a hoax.  And, unfortunately, those dumbasses all vote Republican.

        Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

        by Ice Blue on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 05:02:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Great, so what are you going to do about it? (0+ / 0-)

          Shoot them?  Hardly.

          Maybe start convincing them to make changes in their lives, slowly.

          "Hey neighbor, how'z it goin?  Sheesh, the f---in' A-rabs sure are jerking our chain at the gas pump, eh?  But I just installed a nifty gadget in my car that's stickin' it to 'em right back.  It's called Scan Gauge.  By using it to drive aware, I've cut my gas bill by $30 a month."

          "Really?  Where can I get one of those...?"

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 05:28:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  First off, though I live in a rural area, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, Evolutionary

            I seldom drive.  Second, what you need to convince these assholes of is their lot in life is not the fault of that black man in the White House.  It's because they don't even have their GEDs.  You can't educate someone if they don't want to learn.

            Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

            by Ice Blue on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 06:09:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  miles driven per capita have crashed (0+ / 0-)

      oil consumption per capita has crashed. alternate forms of electricity production are increasing, mass transit and rail ridership is growing steadily.

      americans are actually moving in the right direction. what is needed is not a reversal so much as an intensification, and an infrastructure that works with and not against those efforts.

      •  If by crashed, you mean "moved (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wu ming

        measurably lower in  like the first time ever" then you have a point.

        If you mean "crashed" by the usual definition of the word, then not so much so.

        •  i will plead guilty to hyperbole (0+ / 0-)

          still, it has been a fairly pronounced shift, and has not reversed with economic growth, in contrast to the prior pattern of economic activity tracking very close to gas consumption.

          in several cities, there has been a definite decline in miles driven going on for a couple of decades, so this isn't entirely new, even if the scale and breadth is.

  •  Well, I started a petition asking the White House (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, G2geek

    to spread awareness, based on this figure specifically. If you fine fellows want to check it out, you can read my diary here or go to the petition page on We the People here

  •  It makes me weep. (7+ / 0-)

    The U.S. will do nothing, absolutely nothing, to try to mitigate climate change until long past the tipping points of which Dr Hansen spoke. Nor will many large developing economies (China, India)…

    Short-term profit will continue to trump the wisdom and necessity of long-term planning. The deniers — led by such ignorant assholes as Inhofe and his ilk — will continue to stop legislation and policies that might help.

    Mr Mo wants grandkids. I would be just as happy to have my offspring choose not to bring any children into a world that will face an unrelenting downward spiral of disaster and famine and drought and warfare. (I expect one or more of my children will have children, and I will love my grandchildren, but I am very fearful for their future.)

  •  Dr. Hansen says what we all should do now!.... (11+ / 0-)

    Being part of the solution is energizing..you don't have to wait for government to move..although they need to...but we lose precious time...be the change that's necessary

  •  heat the bodies, not the buildings: (10+ / 0-)

    There's nothing quite so nice as a down quilt on the bed.

    When I wake up in the morning, the temperature in my bedroom is anywhere from 59 to 62 degrees.  But I'm toasty warm and I hop into my clothes and that's that.

    I use thermometers to check my indoor temps to keep the heat properly adjusted.  Right now it's 67.5 in here, which is a perfect temp for doing desk-stuff.  

    You've heard of "task lighting," how'bout task heating?

    Get a heat lamp bulb and put it into a clip-on ceramic light socket with a reflector.  Attach this in a position to put the heat on you wherever you're working or sitting.  Power consumption is about 60 watts, replacing the equivalent of a 1,000 watt electric space heater.  For fire safety, unplug it when you're not sitting next to it or under it.

    One reasonable exception is the bathroom during showers.  I use an electric heater (1,000 watts) to warm it up from the usual 66 - 67 degrees to a toasty 70 while I'm in the shower.  That could be replaced with heat lamp fixtures in the ceiling (use two, 120 watts) controlled by a windup timer so they turn off on their own.  

    Sweats, sweaters, and long underwear are wonderful for winter; shorts and T-shirts and flip-flops or sandals for summer.  Your feet make a major difference in whether you feel warm or cool.  So does your head.  Wearing a knit cap indoors in the winter is worth about 1 - 2 degrees Fahrenheit of indoor heating.

    All of these changes are easy to get used to.  Once you start doing them, they become second-nature.

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 05:09:44 AM PDT

    •  Hedonist! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, deha, Evolutionary, yojimbo

      62 during the waking hours, 51 at night. I also eat low on the energy vine, (1 meat meal a week) drive less than 6000 miles per year, and most importantly, never produced offspring.

      I use fans, not AC, and my workplace is not air conditioned either. And, if I had the money,there are a myriad of off-the -grid techniques I would love to try, from gardening to solar. (have you seen the soda can heater?) but lack of money can be crippling.

      But you know something? Unless governments get involved and take this seriously, it's kind of hard to make a lot of headway.

      •  yeah (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Evolutionary, yojimbo
        Unless governments get involved and take this seriously, it's kind of hard to make a lot of headway.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 06:36:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  you won this round! (2+ / 0-)

        You beat me by a bit on each of those metrics.

        I have to do more infrastructure modifications to get down to that point.

        In Oakland CA here, the outdoor temps are in the 40s at night, so even with the heat shut off, the indoor temps wouldn't get below about 58.  And the heat situation consists of one floor furnace in the hall, so the actual indoor temp varies from 67 where I'm sitting now (front room near the heater) to 65 in the bedroom to 62 in the kitchen (I have thermometers around; I monitor my inputs & outputs pretty closely).  

        My driving added up to about 7,000 miles last year but is slowly decreasing; I work from home (telecommute) almost every day, the exceptions being when I have to go to clients' sites.  But in February my total gas consumption was 8 gallons, or half the usual, which in turn is 1/4 of the USA average.  

        Something else I do: water management.  The cold water that comes up before the hot in the shower goes into a storage tank.  There are two tanks used in rotation to ensure an adequate supply of earthquake water.  When one tank is filled, it's swapped with the other full tank, which then goes for use in the laundry and is about 2/3 to 3/4 of my total water for laundry each week.  Then the graywater from the laundry is stored and used to flush the toilet.  

        Also built my own refrigeration system from two chest freezers and digital thermostats.  That replaced the energy-hog that came with the place, thereby dropping yearly power consumption for refrigeration from 1,400 KWH/year to about 463 KWH/year, saving of almost 1,000 KWH/year.  

        Though, I will admit to being a carnivore; however, most of my meat consumption is in the form of "meat as a condiment", so on average I have "meat as main course" twice a week, "meat as condiment" three times a week, and "no meat" once a week.  This being the dinner situation; I don't do lunch (only a mid-day snack) unless I'm going to meet up with a friend.  

        Fans, check; no AC, check; and agreed I could also do quite a bit more if I had the $$.

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 06:54:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Task heating" example - Japanese heated table (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming

      Kotatsu

      Looks like a good way to keep feet warm and contain the heat.  For more amusing images, change the image search to "kotatsu cat" or "kotatsu dog".  

      There are thousands hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. -Thoreau

      by Frameshift on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 06:47:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's clear things are already a mess... (16+ / 0-)

    ...and they're getting worse. But the deep-pocketed Professional Denial Industry is doing a great job convincing people that we need to be 100% convinced that 100% of the warming is man-made before doing anything about it--and since those are impossible hurdles, they (rightly) figure nothing need ever be done.

    If the weather forecast calls for a 90% chance of rain today, we take our umbrellas before leaving the house.

    If a Vegas casino gives us 9-in-10 odds of winning a craps game, we'll play all day.

    If a doctor tells us we've got a 90% chance of suffering a massive heart attack in the next six months if we don't start losing weight now, we immediately begin dieting and working out.

    But if a thousand climate scientists tells us there's a 90% chance that the current warming will cause major disruptions to the biosphere in our lifetimes--major droughts, rising sea levels, wars, famines, and all the rest--we hem and haw and vacillate, and say, "Only 90%? We'd better wait until it's 100%; we need to be sure."

    Stupid humans...

    The "Right" thing is almost always the wrong thing.

    by Neapolitan on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 05:10:47 AM PDT

    •  Hansen's public posture actually encourages (0+ / 0-)

      this.  An honest discussion about the risks and uncertainties in view of the precautionary principle might get us somewhere.  Instead, we hand the Inhofes of this world ammunition.  

      Where are we, now that we need us most?

      by Frank Knarf on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 08:05:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He used to use a straight by the book (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Frank Knarf

        type approach.

        which went nowheres, so he's now gone into some wild hyperbole.  

        Sadly, that is no more effective.

      •  I disagree. It's those who don't know what... (0+ / 0-)

        ...constitutes "an honest discussion" who encourage the Inhofes. Real science is only "wild hyperbole" to those who hate the truth.

        The "Right" thing is almost always the wrong thing.

        by Neapolitan on Tue Mar 13, 2012 at 03:41:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think there has been quite a bit of discomfort (0+ / 0-)

          expressed by working climate scientists over some of Hansen's claims.  I attended a lecture by Susan Solomon last week in which she addressed the situation directly.  No one is going to label her as a skeptic or denier.  Using the IPCC consensus vs Hansen's apocalyptic scenarios is more likely to get results.  It's too easy for Heartland et al to portray Hansen as a quasi-religious fanatic.

          Where are we, now that we need us most?

          by Frank Knarf on Tue Mar 13, 2012 at 08:05:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Any "discomfort" has been on the part of... (0+ / 0-)

            ...'skeptics", I can assure you. Dr. Solomon was a panelist--with Hansen--at the Doomsday Clock symposium back in January. Unless she's had a seveer change of heart over the past several weeks, she's in nearly total agreement with Hansen and his "claims".

            Feel free to disagree with Hansen all you wish, but I seriously doubt whether he's kept up at night worried about whether Heartland finds him to be a fanatic.

            The "Right" thing is almost always the wrong thing.

            by Neapolitan on Tue Mar 13, 2012 at 10:32:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  As long as the U.S. is run by markets (5+ / 0-)

    there's zero chance of anything substantial happening.

    •  bingo! (4+ / 0-)

      As long as the US is run by markets, and markets are run as casinos, and compulsive gambling isn't recognized as a destructive habit.

      Long story short: socialism & stoicism.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 06:55:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly! (4+ / 0-)

      And most tragic/humorous of all (I'm not sure what it is) the most draconian solution that is ever mentioned in polite circles is the market based "cap and trade" folly - yeah, like that's going to be at all helpful.  Egad.

      •  good conv w/ Naomi K on this very point (4+ / 0-)

        Naomi Klein:

        You can set up carbon markets, consumer markets, and just pretend, but if you want to get serious about climate change, really serious, in line with the science, and you want to meet targets like 80 percent emissions cuts by midcentury in the developed world, then you need to be intervening strongly in the economy, and you can’t do it all with carbon markets and offsetting. You have to really seriously regulate corporations and invest in the public sector. And we need to build public transport systems and light rail and affordable housing along transit lines to lower emissions. The market is not going to step up to this challenge. ... If you take climate change seriously, you do have to throw out the free-market playbook.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:12:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The most important issue in human history, yet.. (6+ / 0-)

    it's still buried on the equivalent of page 43, right behind the automobile ads and just in front of the weight loss scams.

  •  thanks for the post dannym999 (5+ / 0-)


    but unless we can topple the Deniers

    when they are exposed,

    the public will continue to believe that it's all "debatable."


    and the urgency will not be there -- since that is the point of denial,

    as the Tobacco CEO taught us.


    It's Only OK if you're a Climate Denial Front Group
    by jamess -- Mar 11, 2012


    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 06:06:16 AM PDT

    •  Toppling the deniers: a brief how-to. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Evolutionary

      Find them, identify them, bird-dog them, and video tape them doing something that will take them down.  

      For example follow them, find their car & license plate number, and be on the lookout for that car parked at night at an hourly motel.  Video tape with date/time stamp and post it on YouTube.  This will most likely lead to a messy divorce and bad reputation: one denialist down!

      For example find them parked near a bar: video tape them staggering drunk into the car, grab a cellphone or find a payphone and call the cops to report a drunk driver.  And post the video.  

      For example become a recycling thief and "empty their trash" every week for a few weeks: you would be surprised at what you can learn about them once you have it all spread out on your garage floor.  Send the video of that to someone else to publish anonymously:-)

      There are all kinds of nonviolent tactics that can be used to take these people down.  One just has to be willing to spend the effort doing it, and in some cases take legal risks (for example attaching GPS devices under their bumpers, so you can watch from home while they drive to the cheap hourly motel, etc.).  

      Yes, the politics of personal destruction.  But every denialist has a few million peoples' future blood on his hands, so they should be dealt with mercilessly.  They are the enemy, they are worse than Nazis, and morally they deserve to spend eternity in the Christian version of Hell, and subjecting them to a nonviolent takedown is downright kind compared to what they deserve.  

      So destroy them nonviolently, bird-dog them and expose them and watch them go down in the proverbial flames.  Pat yourself on the back for each one of them who goes to jail for DUI or ends up in a messy divorce or watches his career disintegrate or otherwise pays the price for promoting something that will add up to the equivalent of 200x Hitler or a major nuclear war.  And when you're doing it, think of the thousands, tens of thousands, or potentially hundreds of thousands of lives you're saving that way.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 07:07:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Turn the German nuke plants back on!! (7+ / 0-)

    Is it clear yet we have to get off fossil fuels first, then turn off the nukes?  Or is climate change not the threat it's claimed to be?

    If we really have just 10 years left, then restart the German reactors and shut down coal plants instead. That is the rational, scientific approach.
    The anti-nuke approach increases CO2, so I guess they deny the climate. change reality.

  •  Why Not Ban Coal Mining? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy

    Everyone knows that coal burning produces the most GHG, yet there is no effort to restrict coal mining and burning.  

    Why does Hansen ignore the obvious?

    •  Hansen does not ignore coal but burning oil for (0+ / 0-)

      transport is almost as big as coal burning which is why he opposes Canadian tar sands. Eliminate all coal and oil and you cut US emissions by 80% but also cut US energy consumption by 60%.

    •  Fee and Dividend will do that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      Once F&D is passed, no new coal plants (without carbon capture and sequestration - CCS) will be built, even though the initial fee will be quite low.  Once the fee rises to $50/ton-CO2 or so, coal plants will be shut down or will be retrofitted with CCS.

  •  If Jim Hansen did not exist, Heartland (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, Bush Bites

    would try to invent him.  His PR stunts and extreme claims backfire when the data don't confirm his scenarios.  Try listening to someone like Susan Solomon for some realism and honesty about climate change.

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 08:01:02 AM PDT

    •  She doesn't seem to agree with the diarist. (0+ / 0-)
      The severity of damaging human-induced climate change depends not only on the magnitude of the change but also on the potential for irreversibility. This paper shows that the climate change that takes place due to increases in carbon dioxide concentration is largely irreversible for 1,000 years after emissions stop.
      http://www.pnas.org/...

      If Obama doesn't deserve credit for getting Bin Laden because he didn't pull the trigger, Bin Laden doesn't deserve the blame for 9-11 because he didn't fly the planes.

      by Bush Bites on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:30:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Susan who? (0+ / 0-)

      Preserving one's credibilty comes at the cost of being ignored.

      It appears that you believe Hanson has damaged his credibility by "going too far"... but I think he explained his journey from expert to advocate most adequately in this TED talk.

      Have you noticed?
      Politicians who promise LESS government
      only deliver BAD government.

      by jjohnjj on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:53:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Things will change (6+ / 0-)

    I understand the feeling that -- the way things are now -- it's hard to imagine the U.S. taking significant action on climate change.  But things will not remain stagnant.  The Arctic will be mostly ice-free in summer within a decade.  Extreme weather will accelerate.  Like the difference between December 6th and 8th, 1941, things that seem impossible today will become easy.

    I see the racketing up of the denialsphere to actually be a sign that it is about to collapse.  The reason it is getting louder is that reality is showing its face.  You don't need to deny loudly unless reality is becoming more obvious to everyone.

    We can't avoid climate change... it's happening now and will get worse.  But it will get far, far worse if we fail to act soon.

    •  yes, the US consumes most energy....BUT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PatriciaVa

      no one is going to stop China and India. They are just sitting down at the table and they're ready to party!

      "we need to reduce CO2 emissions by 6%/year starting next year" Is not happening, no way no how, no matter how much we all want it to. The world is so completely dependent on the burning of fuels and population is still going up. No one the world over is going to meaningfully change their behavior, mainly because they CAN'T. Until, of course, we all do under a much more dire circumstance.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      so... I think those charts are pretty optimistic, given that they indicated there will be a viable-enough civilization in 2050 to keep adding to the problem - 38 years from now, or 28 years after Hansen says we are totally screwed.

  •  A note on rhetorical technique... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe
    "Extreme events" like the Texas heat wave, the Moscow heat wave the previous year, and the 2003 European heat wave are now happening 25 to 50 times (not percent) more often than just 50 years ago.
    That's a good reduction of Dr. Hanson's statistical "greek", but "25 to 50 times" is still too big a spread to use in conversation with the general public.

    Even though the expression may be statistically correct, and even though the low end is alaming enough, the denialbots jump on expressions like that to push their claim that the science is "uncertain"... which they always conflate with "inconclusive".

    I would choose one number or the other, or say "more than 25 times".

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:44:28 AM PDT

  •  WR Mead on the Euro green collapse: (0+ / 0-)

    http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/...

    "Back in those halcyon times when the Davoisie were convinced that a global green carbon treaty was just around the corner, EU diplomats and journalists used to boast incessantly that climate activism was the centerpiece of a new and dynamic European diplomacy. Now both Europe and the climate agenda are in near-total disarray, and the EU has been unable to legislate for itself, much less for all mankind."

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:47:25 AM PDT

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