(Updated) Climate scientist Michael Mann: If we don’t Stop Now, we’ll surpass 2°C global warming

UPDATE: I added the full Guy McPherson video in place of the shorter one. Scroll down to watch it.
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When will the global warming process, and all the damage it does, get out of control? This question is obviously the focus of considerable debate.

Lately the writing and thought of Guy McPherson is causing some controversy among climate thinkers and writers. McPherson’s predictions are at the extreme edge of cataclysm. For some of what McPherson is saying, scroll to the bottom of this piece and listen to the interview. The interviewer is Thom Hartmann, on his nightly TV show “The Big Picture”.

McPherson sees runaway global warming in this century due to a massive methane emission from the Arctic, especially Siberia, with warming even greater and faster (both degree and speed) far beyond what even I’ve been talking about. (For some background on methane as a greenhouse gas, go here.)

What do more mainstream climate scientists, like Dr. Michael Mann, predict?

As I said, there has been some discussion of McPherson among climate writers thanks to the Hartmann interview. Which has led many of us to consider a recent piece, published in the mainstream Scientific American, by Dr. Michael Mann. Mann is famous, against his will, for first having produced the Hockey Stick diagram, and then for being attacked verbally by deniers, and legally by Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli, for his climate views.

This piece is adapted from something I contributed to one of those climate discussions. After it was noted that other climate scientists thought McPherson may be wrong on some of the science, the discussion turned to Mann’s article. (The issue with McPherson’s hypothesis, in part, involves the temperature and pressure conditions under which deep-underwater methane “ice” could convert to a gas in large enough quantities to cause the runaway effect, though other objections are raised as well. Do I disagree with McPherson? Too early to say. I haven’t yet given it the study it deserves.)

Mann’s article itself is here, and it’s very well-written — not at all science-speak. Key to his piece is this diagram and its text. I’m including it below in a small version. If you click, a much larger and very readable version will open in a new tab.

Mann_earth-will-cross-the-climate-danger-threshold-by-2036_large_50pct

The various colored lines model various “sensitivities” of global surface temperature to increased carbon emissions. The Orange line, for example, says that if we double carbon emissions (in ppm of CO2) from pre-Industrial times, the surface will warm +3°C before it stabilizes — i.e., the climate is +3°C “sensitive” to doubling of CO2 ppm. But the climate might be less sensitive (responsive), or more. Other scenarios in the chart show a “sensitivity” of as little as +1.5°C to ppm doubling (pale Ivory line), through other sensitivities to as much as +4.5°C (Red line).

The chart and article then discuss which “sensitivity” is the most likely one, and what the timing implications of that are. (Hint: Mann says the data supports the Orange line, a 3°C sensitivity, but with some caveats as expressed in the article. I’ll address those at another time.)

Now note the last sentence on Dr. Mann’s chart (my emphasis):

These data therefore indicate that to reliably avoid two degrees C of warming [above pre-Industrial levels], CO2 levels should be held to 405 ppm (blue [line]) — barely above the 393 to 400 ppm levels observed in the past year.

In other words, if Mann is right — not just McPherson, Mann — we still need a Manhattan Project–style conversion-and-austerity regime now, not sometime the future. I personally don’t see a reason not to be saying that clearly and often. (I’m calling that a voluntary, high-speed “Zero Carbon economy” for ease of reference.)

Bottom line — Whether you agree with McPherson or not, even more mainstream scientists like Dr. Mann think that Stop Now is the only sure way to stay under +2°C (Blue line on the chart), and it will do that only barely. There’s no reason to say anything else.

Warming will continue for at least a century after we stop emitting carbon

One more thing. Though the article itself references the following idea, I’d like to give it more emphasis. It’s important to recognize the “in the pipeline” number as well as the “on the ground” number, since “in the pipeline” implies inevitability.

As a rough estimate, I put the current on-the-ground warming number at +1°C above the pre-Industrial norm (the chart shows Mann agrees with this, even with the cleverly named “faux pause” factored in). To me, this says that, roughly, there’s another +1°C already “in the pipeline,” for a guaranteed total of +2°C, even under a “stop now” regime. Check the Blue line in the year 2100 on Mann’s chart for confirmation of his thinking.

Now the timing. Mann’s chart puts +2°C “on the ground” in the 2030s in his Orange sensitivity scenario (look for the orange line), or at higher sensitivity, in the early 2020s (Red line). Because I think that things are accelerating (forecasts tend to be “wrong to the slow side“); that the deep ocean will stop holding heat (or burp some of it back during El Niños); and that there will inevitably be surprising surges, discontinuities from the gradual … I’m personally closer to his Red line timescale than his Orange one.

Rate of change aside, though, the problem is the “in the pipeline” number itself. Until the day we do stop — actually stop — the in-the-pipeline number also goes up with the on-the-ground number.

What if we haven’t stopped carbon emissions by 2020 (just a few years away) and we’re on Mann’s Orange timescale? The on-the-ground number in 2020 is roughly +1.5°C, and there’s every reason to think the in-the-pipeline number brings us to at or near +3°C total, coming in the 2050s.

And if we’re on the Red timeline, and the in-the-pipeline +3°C shows up in the 2030s. Anyone who is 30 today would see that in their 50s. But by either timeline, what’s the in-the-pipeline number when there’s +3°C on the ground? Mann shows his 2100 projections as linear. Odds of that, in a world that’s mostly out of control, socially and politically? I think when we have +3°C on the ground, the process runs to conclusion, meaning +7°C or higher.

Again, what’s the only possible solution? It’s not “carbon neutral” dithering. It’s Zero Carbon — just stop now — and saying so clearly and often. David Koch can fend for himself.

What does Guy McPherson say?

For completeness and for your consideration, here’s that interview with Guy McPherson done by Thom Hartmann. McPherson is as sincere as the rest of us. Feel free to judge for yourself how right or wrong he may be. [Update: This video is now the full unedited interview.]

Yours in good understanding,

GP

Twitter: @Gaius_Publius
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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.

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  • 4th Turning

    The last of 460 comments (last count).Sy2502 • an hour ago

    Sometimes I feel like these predictions are like some of those cultists claiming the end of the world will come “any moment now”. Decades later they are still claiming the same things. I heard the “15 more years before environmental doom” when I was a kid, and 30 years later we are still talking of only 15 more years. I am not in favor of trashing the planet, but this kind of predictions make me roll my eyes.

    In Tom’s intro.
    Just fifteen years now to change course, or face a heavy price.

    http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/04/14/climate-change-countdown

    Don’t know if anyone is checking in here-but this link is definitely worth setting aside 50 min.

  • 4th Turning

    Seems like collapse of the internet ought to be figured into all this somehow. Maybe it is
    invincible and all the stuff I keep hearing about its vulnerability is just more speculation?
    Starvation on an unimagined scale is already being imagined. But it feels like we in the west
    will experience an unimagined die-off of our own. Since the first heart/kidney transplants science
    and medicine have undertaken to defy natural selection… The lifeline for very many-who knows
    how many-depends on a perfectly functioning distribution system. What happens when there
    are no more reliable supplies of cialis, immunosuppressants, insulin, dialysis, etc.? Or forgotten
    diseases sneak back and vaccines aren’t around? Are none of these folk able to add 2 & 19
    and get 4?

  • dula

    The “little people” need to stop playing into the hands of the elite. They want us in endless war/disease/environmental destruction for endless profits. We need to join forces regardless of ethnicity. For me, in this case, that means supporting the well being of the 99% in Ukraine. The IMF deal is meant to enslave them. Their ousted leader was right to refuse it.

  • h4x354x0r

    Zero Carbon Now; it’s certainly needed, but I don’t see how. The proverbial “We” knew about this 30 years ago. I’ve spent most of my life using a bicycle for transportation, partly because of this, but I understand how utterly dependent I still am on fossil fuel use. IE: Almost all my food.

    The science of climate change is simple and easy to understand. It only gets complicated and uncertain when it’s the money you understand, more than the science. Conservation is the quickest, cheapest, easiest, lowest-hanging fruit we have in our carbon emissions reduction basket. Unfortunately, the adage that “time is money” isn’t really true anymore. These days, Energy is Money. Reducing energy usage reduces money circulation. We can’t bring more clean energy online fast enough to satisfy needs and keep turning dollars in the economy. Significant conservation will be required; and the economy will get real ugly, real fast.

    Nice fix we’ve gotten ourselves into.

  • Bill_Perdue

    I saw it dula, it’s very good.

    I think people are beginning to see the reasons for the sudden explosive revival of cold war hysterical Russophobia. Russia, now that it’s a capitalist and imperialist state is even more a threat to the US and the EU ruling classes.

    I think that after almost a century they’d forgotten just how predatory the Tsars were and never understood how much Putin wants to emulate them. For the most part the Stalinists just wanted to defend their bureaucratic system and built a large wall between NATO and themselves – the Warsaw pact – to protect the USSR. It was only when they began to emulate the US, as in the arms race, interfering in the Mid East and invading Afghanistan that they began to destabilize themselves.

  • dula

    Naomi Klein on Ukrainian disaster capitalism:

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/04/10-7

  • 4th Turning

    This sounds like what you might expect to hear under a street light ’round midnight.

  • 4th Turning

    So far the lights are coming on very piece-meal. Chileans seem to have gotten the message
    after their previous earthquake, too. If you are a reader, you are welcome to google my user
    name. Happened across this book earlier in the decade and immediately took to Wm.’s
    interpretation of history although I was assured by a history prof acquaintance that
    such cyclical constructions were now pooh-poohed by legitimate scholars. I expect there
    will be some huge event soon that may or may not get our attention. In the meantime,
    I think mindful preparation is key-thoughtfully scrutinized info-gathering, taking advantage
    of govt. buyouts to relocate, networking with others than the foil hat crowd, passing the word
    along to loved ones-who are listening, etc. Wonder if our millennials get that circling the
    wagons metaphor…

  • BillFromDover

    Perhaps this is nature’s way of leaving the Earth to whatever species would not even think about destroying it for another fucking dollar?

  • BillFromDover
  • 4th Turning

    Is that your final answer?

  • 4th Turning

    My list is just too long to qualify for neglectful…
    Forest’s is the only legitimate definition in my personal dictionary.
    I think I’ve got some of the current dilemma figured out and will run this by you.
    There are the 1. educated, 2.uneducated, 3. under-educated, 4. schooled,
    and 5. unschooled.
    The first crowd got what is no longer appreciated-a liberal arts foundation
    and with a little luck got packed off on the road to the possibility of some
    degree of higher consciousness.
    The sec. came to the feast drunk and pissed away the grandest lottery
    winning they will ever know.
    The third are the narrowly focused-the doc’s crowd. He will know what
    is meant.
    The schooled, for me, are all those who fulfilled the basic requirements,
    got on with their lives and maybe got a chance at that consciousness
    raising possibility from their enrollment in the university of life.
    The unschooled are those that didn’t get a crack at the formal stuff
    but who loved and learned knowledge on their own and for its own
    sake and achieved a share of wisdom thusly. The Education of Little
    Tree is my ref. here (another Forest) and knowledge of those who
    dropped out of school in the 4th grade to support 6 or 10 brothers and sisters and then went off to wwII to do the killing for us at 17. If the expert elites are as flummoxed and running in circles over that gaping hole in the bottom of the U.S.S. Civilization as they now appear, then maybe we should cut the frightened passengers some slack.

  • BillFromDover

    Anything for another fucking dollar?

  • cambridgemac

    When I was a child, living on a US Air Force base outside of Tokyo, we were taught that the Japanese needed government permission to cut down a tree. That is, we were taught that the attitude of “nature is sacred,” was backed up by current, modern institutions.

  • cambridgemac

    The answer to Armageddon? I’m surprised you’ve forgotten: Duck! And cover!

    Seriously, this country is deeply in thrall of the Stockholm Syndrome. The 1% have been willing to annihilate not just the East Coast, but all life on earth – and have been planning to do so for almost 70 years. Elaine Scarry, in her latest book, mentions that the US has built 8 nuclear armed subamarines since the USSR dissolved. Think “Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.” The inmates are running this asylum.

    I suppose the good news is that all major change begins never begins with the majority,literate or not, but with a determined visionary sliver who influence opinion leaders in various communities. The rapid rise of the anti-slavery movemenbt in late 18th c Britain, conversion of the Mongols to Buddhism, adoption of agriculture in the late neolithic era – all of these had enormous consequences….

  • andhraman
  • pvequalkt

    How will our species respond…? simple. we’ll die. not by the millions… by the BILLIONS. And nature and earth are completely indifferent to this.
    Within a couple of decades there are glaciers on the Hindu Kush that have been disappearing for decades that will be gone. And a couple billion in asia will have no source of fresh water.
    Within a couple of decades oceanic acidification due to CO2 will kill all coral. What dominos follow is kind of conjectural… except there will be dominos that fall. AND fisheries, already profoundly stressed, will collapse. And, thus, the protein source for billions will go poof.
    So we may build dikes to keep the seas from swamping florida and keep wall street a street. But when humans don’t have water or food… they die. period. And if billions try to move in on top of other billions? They’ll fight wars and kill each other. And they will die.
    But earth and nature doesn’t care. nature will do whatever nature does once we’re gone… or at least reduced to an annoyance instead of a cancer.

  • Maureen jones

    If it is happening, then we are in a fight to the death and the ‘climate change deniers’ are the enemy. Their threat needs to be eliminated. It’s us or them.

  • DanB

    4th Turning; Your points on communication and on the broader topic, how to engage and motivate a broad swath of the public to positive action, are correct.

    I’ve got another view on that. What disaster will be the Pearl Harbor moment for the US? Miami, and most large cities on Florida’s coast, seem to me to be a top choice. Unlike NYC they sit on porous limestone and cannot be protected by seawalls. Norfolk, VA is another. Destruction of this major Navy installation would wake up an influential constituency of our government, the Pentagon. Houston is also vulnerable.

    Our local Filipino community had their Pearl Harbor moment this year. Typhoon Haiyan was just one of five Typhoons (I’ve heard 7 but believe that’s because disasters tend to get bigger as they’re retold.) to hit the Philippines this year. Most Filipinos aren’t questioning Climate Change and Global Warming. Crowds show up to events about the connection between Typhoons and Global Warming. There’s been a big shift in awareness and a big increase in knowing what’s going on.

    What event could change American views? It doesn’t seem as though drought, agricultural failure, floods or the combination of extreme weather won’t do much until a large wealthy city or institution is destroyed in dramatic fashion.

  • Ninong

    You forgot the superfluous apostrophes.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    That’s not stupid, that’s just being neglectful. Everybody has brain-farts. ;-)

  • 4th Turning

    Agree. But would you be willing to find another word for “stupid”? I once neglected
    to set the parking brake on my car-downhill, into a tree, $2k…

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    We’ve got millions of Americans who are so stupid and ill-informed, it doesn’t even occur to them to ask why a pipeline that is constantly billed as contributing to America’s ‘energy independence’ is being built all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, which is where all the oil tankers are.

    And just as many millions who simply don’t believe we’re poisoning our nest. And nearly as many millions of Americans who believe the Earth itself is only about 6000 years old and we needn’t worry about taking care of it because Revelations-style Armageddon and Jesus are both coming real soon.

  • 4th Turning

    Don’t confuse me with the facts. I once got grief for suggesting we just might be preachin’ to the

    choir-maybe even dismissed. Nevertheless, my profound suspicion remains that countless u.s.

    millions just can’t comprehend the very info they desperately need now to put the brakes on this runaway train. Video was also on St. Stephen. Is there no way to override this state of affairs?

    Rates of literacy in the United States depend on which of the various definitions of literacy is used. Governments may label individuals as literate those who can read a couple of thousand simple words they learned by sight in the first four grades in school. Other sources may term such individuals functionally illiterate if they are unable to use basic sources of written information like warning labels and driving directions. The World Factbook prepared by the CIA describes the definition of literacy in most countries as “age 15 and over can read and write.”[1] The literacy rates are not completely measurable.

    experts recommend writing documents intended for the general public at the 9th-grade level, health and safety information at the 5th-grade level. Knowing the average reading level of your audience, however, is not the same as writing for that audience. That takes study, practice, and discipline. It is very difficult to write for a class of readers not one’s own. One must become aware of the reading habits and the types of documents with which your audience is familiar

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndsakKc00DQ

  • emjayay

    Wow, exactly what I was looking for. Pretty comprehensive. I should have checked Grist in the first place!

  • Bill_Perdue
  • Bill_Perdue

    It’s far too late, GP.

    The Obama regime along with Congressional Democrats and Republicans support offshore drilling, fracking and will soon line up enabling extensions of the poisonous XL pipeline.

    Bills have been introduced by both parties in both Houses to increase fracking exponentially. “The way to beat Vladimir Putin is to flood the European market with fracked-in-the-USA natural gas, or so the industry would have us believe. As part of escalating anti-Russian hysteria, two bills have been introduced into the US Congress – one in the House of Representatives (H.R. 6), one in the Senate (S. 2083) – that attempt to fast-track liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, all in the name of helping Europe to wean itself from Putin’s fossil fuels, and enhancing US national security. (My emphasis – BP). http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/10/us-fracking-companies-climate-change-crisis-shock-doctrine

    “… legislation authored … Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) and a House bill by Congressman Cory Gardner (R-CO), would tear down barriers to the export of LNG, potentially spurring a massive increase in fracking… “http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/02/fracking-natural-gas-exports/

    I’d say head for the hills but what’s the point.

    photos below from endecocide.eu and Reuters
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8RuQrhVBvo&noredirect=1

  • Swami_Binkinanda

    Here is the laundry list of responses to the well developed list of denier points.
    http://grist.org/series/skeptics/

  • emjayay

    Oh please, do you really want to believe a secret conspiracy by 99% of earth scientists who have spent their entire educational and job careers studying this stuff all around the world?

    Just calm down and get baptized and saved by Jesus Christ your Personal Savior. God will arrange things for us people He created in His image just fine

  • emjayay

    Well I am well aware the wingnut crowd is not susceptible to information that does not confirm their preconceived notions, but I would still like to have some authoritative debunking from some expert on their various typical claims.

    In any health insurance article like there were all the time last year they always repeat exactly the same misconceptions, for example about what insurance Congress/federal workers get and how it compares to what private employers offer etc. Sometimes I would reply with actual information, sometimes someone else would, but I know it never mattered. It’s a faith and Fox News based belief system.

  • caphillprof

    The problem is–you can debunk the claims but you cannot debunk the skeptics.

    Wealth is always redistributed, presently from the poor and middling to the very wealthy. What prithee would be “wrong” about redistributing the wealth of the very wealthy?

  • cole3244

    that sounds about right.

  • Ninong

    Changes to our carbon output will come about but will they be in time? If we want to see how the political process works, all we have to do is look to China. The pollution problem in China’s major industrial centers is so out of control that the government has been forced to shut down factories and ban most driving on some days. People are being told to stay indoors for days at a time.

    It’s too bad we can’t get the Chinese to realize that their dirty factories aren’t the only problem. By being responsible for the annual slaughter of tens of millions of sharks for their fins, they are destroying the natural balance of the food chain in the world’s oceans. Japan is driving blue-fin tuna to extinction while China is in charge of eliminating bears for their gall bladders, sharks for fins and tigers to make tiger penis soup. I’m sure Viagra works better than tiger penis soup but don’t tell that to some of the newly wealthy Chinese.

    Much of the climate-change discussion is centered on the land and the atmosphere, which is good, but the ocean may be even more important because it will take millions of years to correct itself and its damage may not be seen as soon as that on land. We cannot reduce the amount of carbon dioxide we have caused to be absorbed by the ocean even if we go to a zero carbon society. All we can do is slow down the amount we are adding. We may still change from aragonite seas to calcite seas within a few centuries.

    How will our species respond once the effects of climate change are irreversible? I think that’s the big unknown. We have the technology to survive but how will the political process work? How will we handle mass extinctions on a global scale? How will we respond to mass starvation of tens of millions of people simultaneously on different continents? How will we deal will mass migration of tens of millions of people within individual countries, including our own, when areas become uninhabitable? How do we get from 7 billion people down to less than 2 billion within probably less than 150 years?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Seems to me the only thing that’ll stop this is the collapse of human civilization. Which we’re setting up for ourselves as inevitable, day by day and year by year.

    We needed to stop burning fossil fuels a generation ago.

  • 4th Turning

    Ran across this by accident. I think it holds a message for American citizens and those of us
    who also believe ourselves global citizens.

    “States the Talmud (Yoma 9b): “Why was the Second Temple destroyed? Because of sinat chinam, senseless hatred of one Jew for another.”

    What is the antidote to this problem which is so rampant in the Jewish world today? The answer is ahavat chinam, the Jews have to learn to love their fellow Jews.

    There’s no hope for the Jewish people until all learn how to communicate with each other, and respect each other, regardless of differences.”

    http://www.aish.com/jl/h/cc/48944036.html

  • emjayay

    IMPORTANT QUESTION

    Hope that got someone’s attention. On every single article on global warming at for example Yahoo!News the comments are cut and pastes of various anti-global warming science claims. Like there is more Artic ice than there used to be. Or these today:

    “In the fifties we were told we were entering an ice age. Scientists wanted the US to shoot rockets over the poles to dump carbon black on them to absorb light. That was trash science, and global warming, or climate shift, or whatever they are calling it today is even worse. It is not just lies, it is a way to steal from us and control us. Better wake up America. BTW, enjoy the inner net before obama gives it to the UN.”

    Or this one:

    “Facts: The planet has been cooling for the last 20 years. Global Warming is a hoax disguised as global governance/ redistribution of wealth. The scam was uncovered through the communications of scientists inputting false data and hiding important data as well as junk computer science. One of the most genius scientists at age 95 said that more CO2 can actually help the climate. If you want to be responsible for a hurricane or drought that caused damages on the other side of the world and pay for it — you’ve been duped.”

    Or how about:

    “Earth’s surface temperature has been flat for 17 years now, after its 23 rise to 1998. Before that, as CO2 emissions took off, the world was cooling from 1940 to 1975. I’m certainly not denying CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but its impact is obviously weak with minor net feedbacks, in contradiction to the Global Warming Apocalypse models which have essentially been disproved by reality. So this “expert panel” should declare the problem solved and go home.”

    So…is there an article anywhere online where all the typical science skeptic claims are debunked?

  • emjayay

    They will completely forget their blanket refusal to believe any of the science and blame liberals for all the problems.

  • Indigo

    In an Armageddon culture such as ours, we’re comfortable with Armageddon. It’s already here and nothing I’ve seen, not even the UN report, actually tells people what to do to survive, let alone to counteract the effects. Why not? I suspect it’s because nobody knows how to shift the political culture to get busy. We’ve long since come to understand that crisis management is the only path open and that requires a self-evident crisis. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, the response was immediate. Likewise the destruction of the World Trade Center. But until Air Force 1 can’t get off the ground because the asphalt runway is bubbling from the heat, there is no crisis for our political elite to manage. Gleeful fortune telling about the east coast going under water is not helpful. When it happens, we’ll deal with it but there’s nothing in the management deck to deal with it until it happens and then terminally fashionable Miami will get out the gondolas. But not until.

  • cole3244

    a couple of reasons i believe there is no way to stop the inevitable, first humans generally are not willing to make the tough choices necessary to solve a problem until it is too late which will be critical in this case, second as long as there are religious zealots that will always look to god as the solution those people will be the death of the rest of humanity.

    global warming is not convenient to the average person and is an annoyance to the right, when the critical mass is reached what will the deniers say and whom will they blame this on, then imo their lies and deception will be a death penalty for them even before the rest of civilization.

  • 4th Turning

    I’m almost certain our senator will be replaced by more tea party this fall. Which sledge hammer
    will it take to get their attention in time (assuming the winder is still ajar) to halt the hummer
    assembly line and set up a manhattan/pearl harbor/moon landing project? Unless I’m very
    mistaken, the link below represents the current majority level of concern…

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/03/31/ford_versus_cadillac_new_ad_featuring_detroit_dirt_mocks_poolside_commercial.html

  • eggroll_jr

    One of the big issues will be rebuilding natural systems as they confer societal resilience. We don’t want to go down The Road, which gives the impression society just falls apart, we need to be rebuilding forests, deserts, river deltas and riparian habitat and benthic environments. Japan, which is pretty populous, takes the notion that protecting nature is a sacred duty. Contrast that with American religion that largely promotes dominion and control geared to resource extraction and zero externality costs.

  • therling

    People regard 2100 as being so far off. After all, many of us won’t be around until then. But it isn’t as far off as we think. My mother was born in 1915 and lived until 2000. That suggests that there are a lot of children born right now who will have to live with what will happen if we do nothing.

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    Your climate posts are terrifying, Gaius. Even more so because I simply cannot see, absent some horrific climate-related version of Pearl Harbor or 9/11, how any changes in our carbon output will come about.

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