The climate crisis in three easy charts

UPDATE: This has been edited since first publication, and will continue to be revised until this sentence no longer appears. I’ve introduced mark-up in the charts, clarified (and in one or two cases, corrected) the language, and enhanced a number of explanations. This piece is part of a three-part set that together explains the climate crisis from “10,000 feet” — a very high-level view with the most basic elements explained for the interested lay reader.

The three parts of this set of posts are:

The climate crisis in three easy charts — the view from 10,000 feet (this piece)

 ▪ A closer look at global temperature, both before and during the age of man

Climate crisis: Why we’re on track for 7°C warming or greater by 2100

Thanks for reading.
________

I’m preparing to pivot back to climate crisis, starting with some reformatting of the 2012 Climate Series posts — the transition to WordPress wasn’t kind to them — and the organization of this material into book form. (There’s also a climate-themed novel in the works. Thriller fans, stay tuned.)

As a result, I’m working to refine both the concepts (or rather, the explanation of them) and the dating of coming events (the earliest time when the crisis, in its various stages, unfolds).

The first part of that pivot includes two media appearances this week. I’ll be on Virtually Speaking With Jay Ackroyd this Thursday (May 2) at 9 pm ET to discuss climate crisis for a full hour, followed by a Sunday appearance with Avedon Carol as part of the Virtually Speaking Sundays weekly media panel. (Links lead to archived shows.)

Here I’d like to focus on climate, beginning with a look at three diagrams that, taken together, detail the long view, the “view from 10,000 feet.” The long view has just three pieces:

▪ A view of life on earth, in particular its three main phases to date — early life, Age of Reptiles, Age of Mammals

▪ An view of changes in climate across that period, with special attention to climates before the age of man, then climate during the age of man

▪ A look at where climate is headed and how that compares with previous climate periods

There’s a remarkable and frightening symmetry in this picture. But it’s not a complicated — just striking.

Climate catastrophes usher in new geologic eras

Long-scale earth history is divided into “eons,” then “eras,” then “periods,” them “epochs.” (You can see the whole set of them — eons, eras, periods, epochs — laid out here.) But in fact, prior to the Cambrian Period, when life on earth exploded in number and variety, earth history is the story of either pre-life or small single-celled and multi-celled life. For our purposes — a study of the effect of climate on life — we need look no further back than the Cambrian Period.

In addition, from the Cambrian Period onward, there’s only one geologic “eon,” so considering eons is pointless. What we’ll look at, therefore, is geologic “eras” (main divisions in the kind of life on the planet) and their important sub-divisions (mainly the important geologic “periods”).

So let’s start there, with the Cambrian Period and the flourishing of life on earth. Consider the chart below:

Mass_Extinction_500px-Extinction_intensity.svg_5_marked-up

The source is here; I’ve added some mark-up. The divisions across the top are geologic periods, starting with the Cambrian (“Cm”), the period of “visible life.”‘ In the Cambrian, life on earth exploded, starting in the sea. We know this from the proliferation of hard-shelled species preserved as fossils, as well as from other data.

On the chart, the numbers across the bottom (the X axis) are millions of years ago, usually abbreviated “mya”. The spikes in the chart itself show mass extinction events, as measured by the extinction of marine species only, for apples-to-apples comparison, since land plants evolved later, roughly 475 million years ago, and amphibians later still, roughly 375 million years ago.

“Extinction intensity” is a measure of marine extinctions that’s adjustsed to account for the fact that it’s easier to identify some extinctions than others, based on data from so long ago. Despite not being a literal count of extinct species, “extinction intensity” is considered an excellent measure for making relative comparisons across time periods.

Starting with the Cambrian Period we’ve had just three geologic eras (the larger divisions):

Paleozoic Era — literally “old life”
Mesozoic Era — literally “middle life” or the Age of Reptiles (including the dinosaurs)
Cenozoic Era — literally “new life” or the Age of Mammals (including man)

The Paleozoic Era runs from the Cambrian at the start of the graph to the big spike at 250 million years ago. It encompasses six geologic periods and ended in the greatest mass extinction event on the planet — geologists call it the “Great Dying”.

The Mesozoic Era runs from the Great Dying at 250 million years ago to the big spike at 65 million years ago, the event that wiped out the dinosaurs. That extinction event cleared the way for mammals to grow big and thrive.

We’re now in the Cenozoic Era. The Cenozoic is also called the Age of Mammals, and it includes us, who show up very late. As you’ll see later, our earliest ancestor doesn’t appear until the end of the Neogene Period (“N” on the chart), a little over 2 million years ago.

Keep those transitions in mind — when mass extinctions change which groups of species can evolve and dominate, it’s the end of an era and the start of another. Check the chart again — so far there have been just three geologic eras. The next extinction event on the scale of the one at 250 million years ago or the one at 65 million years ago will change once more the shape of life on earth and usher in the next new era.

So your first takeaway — We could be on the cusp of a new geologic era, one that may not include us. That’s what’s at stake if we set off another mass extinction on this scale. Ready for that?

Where does man fit in?

Great question — where does man fit in? Answer: We come in very late.

First, notice the last three geologic periods at the top-right in the chart above, the periods abbreviated K, Pg and N. The period marked “K” is the Cretaceous, the period at the end of the Mesozoic (“middle life”) Era. The next period (“Pg”) is the Paleogene, the one that marks the start of the Cenozoic (“new life”) Era. The period after that (“N”) is the Neogene, which ended just 2 million years ago. The period after that, not shown, is the Quaternary Period (abbreviated “Q”), our current one.

The Neogene-Quaternary boundary is the start of the time of great glaciers, and the best way to show that is with the chart below, showing earth temperatures mapped across the geologic periods (left quarter of the chart through the end of the Mesozoic) and then the geologic epochs (the rest of the chart to the right).

Earth_tem_All_palaeotemps_mark-up_2

Click the chart to open a larger version in another tab. It’s big and interesting. (Source here.)

I’ve marked up the original with the three geologic eras, and for the Cenozoic Era, I’ve indicated its three periods — the Paleogene (Pg), the Neogene (N), and the Quaternary (Q) — which the original doesn’t show. For the first two eras, the boxes across the top represent the periods, as in the first chart above. For the Cenozoic Era, the boxes represent smaller divisions, the epochs, since we need to see more detail. I’ve added the Cenozoic’s three periods above those boxes. (Again, to see all eras, periods and epochs in relation to each other, click here.)

First, get oriented. The Y axis shows change in global average temperature, measured in °C, using the year 1800 as the norm or zero mark. (The scientific symbol for “change” is Δ. Unless otherwise noted, the global pre–Industrial Revolution temperature is generally the mark from which other climate temperatures are measured. In the climate science world, temperatures are measured in °C. To convert from °C to °F, just double the number and back off slightly; you’ll be very close. One degree Celsius is slightly less than two degrees Fahrenheit.)

The X axis shows time — first in millions of years ago, then in thousands of years ago. It starts with the Cambrian Period, the first period in the Paleozoic Era, and continues through “now,” the Holocene epoch, the age of civilized post–hunter-gatherer man.

Note how late our ancestors show up. Homo habilis appears about 2.33 million years ago, followed by homo erectus, numerous other cousins, and finally us, homo sapiens, as the baby in the family. We don’t appear until about 250 thousand years ago. (Homo erectus, by the way, lasts a long time on this earth. Longer than us by a lot.)

For the most part, the various species of man evolved in the Pleistocene Epoch, the modern age of glaciers, and only became civilized (settled, with villages and farms) during the Holocene. Look at that chart again, at the climate during those two time periods. Do you see the difference between them? Do you see where this discussion is going? I thought so.

Your second takeaway — The age of “civilized” man exactly coincides with a very narrow range of temperature changes. How narrow a range? No more than about ±½°C, a range we’re already outside of.

Where are we headed? Let’s see.

First the bad news

To see where we’re headed, we need to look at the extreme past first, at the left-most part of the second chart. During the first two geologic eras, and especially during the Paleozoic Era, the Y axis shows huge changes in global temperature relative to pre-Industrial norms. The earliest spike, which occurred across a span of roughly 50 million years, looks especially large.

Now take another look at the far-right end of the same chart, at that little spike. Note that it’s already higher than the highest peak through the entire Holocene, as measured by the dark black line.

I’ll have more to say about why the narrow temperature range during the Holocene matters. But for now, just know this — that little climb in temperature you see on the right is already outside the Holocene range, and it’s just the beginning. To see where we’re headed, let’s look at some predictions based on a number of scenarios, starting with Figure 21 from the Copenhagen Diagnosis, a report prepared by … I have to say it … nearly every one of the world’s top climate scientists, for the benefit of world “leaders” who met in 2009 to discuss how to … I have to say it … pass the climate buck one more time.

The figure itself is reproduced from an earlier IPCC document released in 2000. (IPCC is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the main science body for this stuff.) Note what it shows about future climate, between 2000 and 2100, under a number of prediction scenarios, indicated by variously colored bands:

Copenhagen_Diagnosis_Fig_21_LARGE

Starting from the left, what you see are temperature reconstructions from 500 AD through 1800 (the fuzzy blue line), followed by temperature observations through 2000 (the black line), followed by a number of prediction scenarios through 2100. See the scenario labeled “A1FI”? It’s the band in red. The A1FI scenario is as close to a “do nothing” scenario as the IPCC produces. (There’s an actual “do nothing” scenario created by the scientists at MIT, but A1FI will work for now. We’ll discuss the MIT scenario later.)

The “do nothing” scenario — otherwise known as the “Keep David Koch Wealthy” scenario (keep that name in mind) — is exactly what we’re doing now. So far, we’re doing exactly nothing relative to what’s needed to change our trajectory.

All you need to know? We could be on track for about +7°C — the peak temperature in the big Cambrian spike — by the year 2100.

Your third takeaway is stark:

The Cambrian temperature spike is 6–8°C higher than pre-Industrial levels.

If we don’t stop emitting carbon now, it’s also the temperature we’re headed for — compressed into the next 90 years. 

There’s a fearful symmetry in that, even though there’s nothing “natural” about +7°C as a stopping point.

Are we really headed to another terrible temperature spike, and in that short a time? Again, if we don’t stop ourselves, yes, we really are.

Now the good news

It’s not over yet, despite all this doom and gloom. Truly. By my calculation, we have at least 5–10 years to avoid the catastrophe. Perhaps we have more, but we better not count on it. Five to ten years … and yes, that’s enough, if enough people are awake to what’s going on around them. We’re sitting on a carbon bomb, but we can defuse it ourselves — and that’s good news.

It won’t be easy, however — we’re past the point where any transition will be smooth — but we can make the transition and survive as a civilized (non–hunter-gatherer) species, humans in a recognizable world. Two things are needed, however:

  1. This must be our top priority, which means you and everyone you know must be fully awake and in full battle gear. (For reference, it’s called “hugging the monster.”)
  2. It’s us vs. David Koch and all of his friends and enablers. Tackling any other enemy is tackling a dummy. The David Kochs of the world must not be allowed to monetize their carbon.

Think of it this way; you can educate your friends and put a wrench in the Koch machine at the same time. How’s that not a plus?

Your fourth bottom line — If the Koch Bros keep getting rich, we move backward. If Barack “Hope & Change” Obama approves Keystone, we move backward. If the U.S. develops “domestic carbon” resources, we move backward. For every new car (“carbon-to-air-delivery system”) sold, we move backward. People need to know this and think like this. We can stop the crisis, but only if we stop carbon. It’s that simple; and that stark. But it’s also doable, and we’re the species that’s most equiped for “doable.” It’s what our big brains are for.

I’ll have more in the weeks and months ahead. I haven’t given up and you shouldn’t either. But we can’t pull out of a tail spin if we don’t admit we’re in one. Me, I think we can pull out.

GP

To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

Share This Post

  • Kiri

    the thing is there are other countries that can afford it (like Australia for instance) but they are lead by the nose around this by the USA. So if USA doesn’t do it, then Australia doesn’t do it. If Aus doesn’t do it, then the kick-on effect keeps going and no-one does it. No-one does anything? Then we’re screwed. It’s the problem of US politics – it scares me silly and makes me glad I’m childless.

  • Kim_Kaufman

    This is also a basic economic issue. Activists can wail and moan about this all they want but while the Kochs and their buddies (the 1%) have all the money (and media), they can still buy whatever and whoever they want — no matter what the people want. That’s another reason chained cpi (and other “austerity” cuts) is/are so damaging — the less $$ the 99% have, the less time and resources they have to advocate for better policies.

  • http://twitter.com/DrDignity Damiano de Sano Ioco

    Unfortunately, Zachary, humans are prone to knee-jerk reactions when catastrophes hit. Better planning is like primary prevention, nipping something in the bud before it becomes malignant & life-threatening. The nature of the beast is to put off, deny or lie. I’m very happy I’m old now, grew up in a wonderful age & probably will be pushing up daisies before all hell breaks loose with the feedback loops. Damiano

  • Paul

    Thanks for the reply, Gaius. I think it goes a little deeper than the Koch brothers, right down to the petrodollar, which puts us between a rock and a hard place if you know our monetary policy, but I understand what you’re saying: Follow the money. Though, I am a conservative independent, so I don’t think they’re quite as evil as you do :P, but I wouldn’t trust the ultra rich whether they claimed to be conservative or liberal. They’re only ever about making money or gaining power, that’s how they got so much of it.

    Also, the US produces only 20% of the world’s carbon emissions, even if we reduced ours to 0, we’d be at worldwide year 2000 levels. How could we get other countries to do what we cannot afford, or could barely afford to do?

    I hate to use the wait and see approach, but that is what it is looking like it will come down to. I think you’re right, the time to educate will be then, but so will the time to innovate, as man’s best work always comes under pressure.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zachary.smith.3914207 Zachary Smith

    Total chaos of the sort predicted by early disaster novelists. Think “Alas, Babylon” and “Malevil” and “Lucifer’s Hammer”. Make each of those situations worse by a factor of at least 5.

    Today’s news tells of how they’ve discovered cannibalism was practiced by the surviving Jamestown settlers. It also happened in the US southwest when the environment went to hell for the Anasazi.

    Mind you, this is about the ‘best case’ if those tipping points trigger some climatic mousetraps. The most likely situation if those events happen is the collapse of our technology/science – based civilization. The extinction of humanity becomes ‘thinkable’ if the bioweapons are released.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zachary.smith.3914207 Zachary Smith

    *** We don’t have a functioning government. How can we have a functioning response? ***

    Best nutshell summary I’ve seen!

    At a time when “Government” is most needed, all the pinheads in DC are busily dismantling it.

    I disagree with you about “the mega rich”. I’d prefer to categorize that bunch with an invented term like “lower middle class Rich”.

    Opinion time, but the thing to do is to watch what the top .01% are doing to prepare for the coming disasters. Clue: slowing/stopping climate change doesn’t appear to be any part of their plans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zachary.smith.3914207 Zachary Smith

    I have the National Geographic DVD, and it is truly horrifying.

    http://shop.nationalgeographic.com/ngs/product/dvds/science-and-space/six-degrees-could-change-the-world-dvd

    Few people are going to watch even the youtube videos, because keeping their heads in the sand is very comforting.

  • GaiusPublius

    Thanks, Paul. There’s only one answer: we have to stop using carbon for energy. Even nuclear isn’t an answer because what’s blocking us is that all carbon owned and in the ground is an asset on some company’s books, and the CEO class who gets rich off these companies will make sure it’s monetized.

    If Koch doesn’t own nuclear plants, he won’t like nuclear. And even if owned a dozen, he’s not going to walk away from the undrilled riches he already owns. It’s that simple.

    The answer is also simple: Prepare to take on the carbon billionaires, because that’s the only thing in our way.

    The bad side: it’s already too late to transition seamlessly, so be ready for a bumpy transition even if we started now.

    The good side: One or two more obvious summers, droughts, storms, zero arctic ice, huge ice sheets coming off of Greenland and Antarctica like dandruff flakes and people well really get it, and really start to panic. That’s the point at which the max education effort is possible. So be prepared to educate.

    The message — if David Koch wins, a whole mess of us will be abandoned by government and left to fend for ourselves. That’s just a fact, and an easy future for most people to picture and agitate against while it still counts. Just be ready with the message. It’s David Koch’s underground assets or your grandkids lives in a “civilized” world. We could still not hit bottom. Hope so, cause bottom is really down there.

    Again, thanks.

    GP

  • Paul

    Possibly, but not necessarily. I think the earth is more self correcting than that. Higher temperature means more moisture in the air, more moisture means more sun reflected via clouds. Cloud seeding has been an idea floated around as well.

    But why not nuclear? Can we, of this blog, agree that it is our best shot if these predictions are accurate?

    Unless one of you has a 90% efficient solar cell in your back pocket and some new form of energy storage, its about all we can do if we want to do something basically yesterday.

  • Paul

    I’m not a naysayer, but it doesn’t really matter to me, I believe we should do our best to not pollute the earth whether there is global warming or not.

    But, your point about oil money: Who benefits the most from scarcity of oil, or at least the perceived future scarcity of oil? (Oil companies)

    But does that make sense if the Republicans support the oil companies? It could, as long as this fight goes on, oil futures will stay up out of fear of government sanctions on where oil companies can drill and how much, but as long as it never comes to fruition, the oil companies make a ton more money, the petrodollar stays strong, and our country does better. An alternate is that if we become an oil exporting country due to becoming more energy efficient, we get that much more rich as a country.

    I’m just playing Devil’s Advocate here, but these are the more interesting theories I’ve heard.

  • http://www.facebook.com/monoceros.forth Monoceros Forth

    I don’t know. There have been crazy schemes floated to orbit large screens around the Earth to block out enough Sun to counteract the greenhouse effect, but I’ve got no idea how dumb (or clever) an idea it is. But I honestly think it might be getting to the point of doing something crazy like that. Even if we were immediately to cease emission of carbon dioxide right this minute the Earth’s temperature is still going to rise.

  • Paul

    So, what do we do that is actually feasible and within technology and doesn’t cause corrupt jack-wipes to get rich off the rationing of carbon, much like concocted oil scares through history?

    I’m at a loss, everything we’ve tried so far has fallen on its face completely. Mostly because someone decided they couldn’t make enough money from the taxpayer on it, or the taxpayer got sick of getting hosed.

    Nuclear is the best short term solution, but the environmentalists will kill that immediately. Perhaps the Global Warming Doomsayers should stop railing at the oil companies and rail at the environmentalists to support nuclear?

  • http://twitter.com/DrDignity Damiano de Sano Ioco

    Salve, Gaius! Thanks for writing! Please go to YouTube National Geographic’s Climate Change 1-6 degrees, a series in three parts as it is done much better than what I could present here. Also remember that no one knows exactly how a warmer world will be as the positive feedback loops take a life of their own, rapid, non-linear & very unpredictable, even with our best mathematical models. Does it make sense that with 7 billion plus humans & growing, civil liberties are diminishing with more surveillance & militarisation of the police? Damiano

  • GaiusPublius

    Thanks, Damiano. All true, sorta. World governments won’t cease altogether. I see three kinds of government based on where we’re talking about — none; remnant; well-armed and organized. You can probably figure out what parts of the earth are governed in what way.

    GP

  • http://twitter.com/DrDignity Damiano de Sano Ioco

    Part 2, Gaius: The positive feedback loops. Between 2-3 degrees C rise, these notable positive feedback loops may occur: The ocean temperature & pressure normally keeps methane stable on the sea floor so it doesn’t escape. Already with little ice & snow cover in the Arctic & the albedo effect, methane bubbles are now rising from the Arctic sea floor. Between 2-3 degres C rise, world soils warm up, accelerating bacterial release of C02. With so many dry forests, forest fires may burn out of control, even in the Amazon, releasing tons of soot & C02. As greenhouse gases go, methane hydrate can be 120 times more powerful a climate changer than C02.Between 2-3 degrees rise, it is unpredictable, rapid & non-linear how the world will respond. As coastlines disappear, there may be armed conflicts over food, water & space. Scientist predict that the 2 degree C increase will occur circa 2035. Between 2-3 degrees C rise, world governments may become brutal or may cease to exist altogether. Between 3-4 degrees C rise, coastal cities will be islands, with a 50 meter rise at the beach. The permafrost fills the air with more methane & C02, warming it further. For those who survive, it will be a Mad Max planet. Between 5-6 degrees C rise, armed conflicts are everywhere. Ocean life collapses as the oceans acidify. Plankton to sharks all are affected. The currents slow from the poles, waters do not get oxygenated & an anoxic sea & decaying organisms produce hydrogen sulfide which essentially kills remaining life except for some types of fungi. At 6 degrees, methane gases in the atmosphere rain down fire bombs. Source: National Geographic Global Warming.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Yes, Similar events are taking place as companies go bankrupt here and in Greece.

    Worker owned and democratically managed companies will just increase the desire of workers for a democratically controlled economy.

    http://links.org.au/node/2995

    http://links.org.au/taxonomy/term/75

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Have you checked out the Mondragon labor model?

  • Bill_Perdue

    Serious union busting using deregulation and the export of jobs began with Carter and the decline has been precipitous.

    Union busting began in earnest as soon as Union troops were withdrawn from the South, betraying Reconstruction. They were used to crush rail unions in the first national rail strike and in Philadelphia against the General Strike that broke out there in 1877 by Rutherford B, Hayes, Republican. His betrayal of southern blacks and vicious attacks on union workers marked the end of the Republicans as a radical party and reinforced the role of the Democrat party as a right wing party. Neither have budged from their right centrist politics since then. There were strikes and union busting before that but there just wasn’t much of union movement.

    Taft Hartley was a direct attack on unions but membership didn’t begin to decline precipitously until the Vietnam War. The unions lost their leadership when the SPUSA and the CPUSA capitulated and joined the Democrats. As that proceeded under the impetus of Truman’s loyalty oaths and Eisenhower’s McCarthyism the Social Democrats betrayed the CPUSA and jointed the witch hunts. The AFL-CIO misleadership never regained the high ground.

    Carters deregulation and Reagans job export were new and very effictive forms of union busting.

  • nicho

    Union busting actually began in the ’30s. The so-called “American Dream” of universal home ownership was invented on the logic that people who had mortgages to pay couldn’t really strike. Taft-Hartley was another huge blow against unions by depriving the labor movement of its thought leadership and key activists. Deregulation was just the end-game movement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/monoceros.forth Monoceros Forth

    Yeah. It’s probably too late. The window is closing too rapidly and
    even the best-meaning of our politicians are content with the same
    pathetically slow, baby-step approach that they apply to all sorts of
    legislation, where we’re supposed to be happy with some weak and
    lethally compromised bill because “it’s a start”. (That’s rarely how it
    actually works out but what do you do.)

    I’d really like to know how, exactly, Republicans think the vast global-warming conspiracy is supposed to work. I can sort of understand, without accepting, the attitude that global warming is happening but we shouldn’t do anything about it because it would wreck the U.S. economy or because there’s nothing much we can do anyway or because you believe that we’re so resilient a nation that we could roll with the punches somehow. What I don’t understand is the histrionic denial that global warming is happening at all and that it’s all some lie spun by a cabal of atmospheric scientists. To which I must respond: WHY? What on Earth are these scientists supposedly gaining by making it all up? I guess one notion is that it’s a scheme cooked up to roll in the grant money paid for by MA TAX DOLLARS, which I think is an absolutely hilarious idea, if only because there’s a lot more oil and gas money floating around than you’ll get from paltry government grants. And how did this vast conspiracy get started anyway? How could it come to include nearly every atmospheric scientist anywhere on Earth? The whole bizarre notion is so ludicrous yet Republicans actually believe it.Or pretend to.

  • http://twitter.com/DrDignity Damiano de Sano Ioco

    Great explanation, Gaius! The positive feedback loops will further warm the planet without our consent when temperatures reach 1 degree Celsius. We are already at 0,8 degrees C rise since pre-industrial times. A positive 6 degree rise will usher in a Permian age, a minus 6 degrees will usher in an ice age. It’s a small window that supports life as we know it. With the 0,8 degree C rise, the world has already witnessed climate change, superstorms, colder winters & extreme heat waves, more droughts & more floods. This is what will most likely occur between 1-2 degrees C rise: the central USA states may experience terrible desertification. About one third of the world’s fresh water may be eliminated from land surfaces over the globe, polar ice will disappear altogether, island nations will disappear and the permafrost zones of the world will melt, releasing tons of methane & C02. There will be stronger storms & hurricanes in previous unaffected areas of the world. The first ecological refugees will march out of nations seeking food, water & fuel. We may have already exceeded 400 ppm of C02 in places in the world. Between 1-2 degrees C rise, heat waves will expand over Europe & North America. Stressed, dry trees emit more C02 than 02. Many southern Europeans may emigrate to lands north. The melting ice sheets of Greenland are melting faster, raising water levels. As the glaciers in the Himalayas melt, large water systems feeding Asia are narrowing & drying out. India, Pakistan & Bangaladesh are destabilised. The ice free Arctic absorbs more sunlight, warming it & changing the currents which arise from very cold waters. These cold currents oxygenate the seas, providing plankton, the start of the food chain. Source: YouTube National Geographic Global warming 1-6 degrees

  • Bill_Perdue

    …..

  • Bill_Perdue

    Workers have not been steadily losing their unions. Their unions and union jobs have stolen and under attack for nearly 40 years. The new tools of union busting are deregulation, begun by Carter, intensified by Reagan and Bush1, intensified much more by Clinton and Bush2 and now Obama. The second tool they used was the export of entire unionized industries and the elimination of union jobs.

    Check out the Alliance for Class and Climate Justice http://www.kclabor.org/accj.htm

    and http://links.org.au/taxonomy/term/523?page=1

  • Drew2u

    Thanks, man! That sounds precisely what I’m looking for!

  • ComradeRutherford

    But a tiny handful of people wont continue to collect every penny of all the money in the world. So clearly that’s out.

  • caphillprof

    Workers have been steadily losing their unions. If they can’t keep their unions, how can they do anything about climate change?

  • caphillprof

    We will do nothing until it is too late to make any difference.

    People whose homes were wiped out by Sandy are already rebuilding in the same place, and not higher or better, just waiting for next year’s hurricane.

    In the Hamptons, the mega rich are building sea walls and the public beach goes missing.

    We don’t have a functioning government. How can we have a functioning response?

  • Bill_Perdue

    The radicalization will make it possible and likely. After we change to a workers state the scientists will come around.

  • Bill_Perdue

    A good start is Stepping Stones, the making of our home world by Steven Drury, Oxford University Press, 1999.

    Drury teaches a the Department of Earth Sciences at the Open University, the largest University in England. He combines a geological view of evolution and its interconnections with the biological evolution. It’s a very good book, especially in it’s detailed accounts of extinction events and ow they molded new life forms. .

  • Drew2u

    Never going to happen. You’ll need outspoken scientists that are not afraid to be painted as crazies and bad guys, risking their government grants and money from wealthy philanthropists, same goes for media outlets paying serious attention to the cause and not a, “well there you have it” complacency, also afraid of their revenue dollars drying up.
    I agree with what you say, mind you.

  • freewayblogger

    Y’all don’t have to remain quiet about this y’know:

    http://freewayblogger.blogspot.com/2013/05/save-humans-los-angeles.html

    The first amendment allows the use of public property for the posting of political speech.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The most important thing we can do in the United States is to launch a massive, multi trillion dollar effort, exponentially exceeding the scope of the TVA or the Manhattan Project to green the entire economy, beginning with the infrastructure and moving on to industry, transport and agriculture.

    The effort should be led by workers, consumers and environmentalists and hiring should be done in union hiring halls to insure good wages and benefits.

    The attitude of Democrats and big business towards environmentalism was summarized recently by Bill Onasch at Labor Advocate, “The President made two key appointments to posts vital to climate policy–the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. Gina McCarthy, a life long civil servant, is expected to have a better relationship with polluters than her predecessor Lisa Jackson at the EPA. Ernest J. Moniz, a nuclear physicist at MIT who served as Deputy Energy Secretary in Clinton’s second term, takes over the DoE. He favors continuing to replace coal with ever more natural gas and–of course–nuclear power. Different flies–same natural fertilizer.

    The ever popular BP made an announcement last week you might have missed. After long sporting a logo featuring the Sun on a green background, and running an advertising campaign
    proclaiming BP means Beyond Petroleum, this denationalized British giant is returning focus to its historic core business–oil. In explaining his outfit’s ditching of solar energy, CEO Bob Dudley said, “Not that solar energy isn’t a viable energy source, but we worked at it for 35 years, and we really never made money.”
    http://laboradvocate.blogspot.com/2013/03/march-11-week-in-review.html

    To accomplish anything of value regarding the environment we’re going to have to tax the rich at a rate of 100% for any amount over $250,000.00 a year from all sources and make hoarding money overseas a crime punishable by life in prison with no possibility of parole. And we’ll have to dump the Republicans and Democrats and create a real – economic and political – democracy. You can’t have one without the other.

  • Drew2u

    Is there a handy chart showing the proliferation of species – and of what orders – throughout the different eras/ periods? It’s part of a project I want to start working on.

  • Hue-Man

    More depressing Arctic climate change news.
    “…the surface snowpack above Arctic sea ice plays a previously unappreciated role in the bromine cycle and that loss of sea ice, which been occurring at an increasingly rapid pace in recent years, could have extremely disruptive effects in the balance of atmospheric chemistry in high latitudes.” http://esciencenews.com/articles/2013/04/26/sunlit.snow.triggers.atmospheric.cleaning.ozone.depletion.arctic

    Which makes this headline from HuffPo today even more shocking: “Science Cuts In Canada: PEARL, ELA Among Many On Tories’ Hit List” http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/05/01/science-cuts-canada-pearl-ela_n_3162105.html?utm_hp_ref=canada
    “Surrounded by snow and ice at least nine months of the year, the building houses the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL). Located on Ellesmere Island near Eureka, Nunavut, it’s one of the most remote weather stations in the world and has been the focus of Duck’s
    scientific research for years. The findings that come out of the facility offer insight into how climate change is affecting Canada and the planet.

© 2014 AMERICAblog News. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS