Review: 10 Most Important Climate Stories of 2016

This is the time of year when bloggers and websites will publish their 2016 Year in Review, Photo essays and other dubious human “achievements” for 2016. I am not going to bother because by and large, it’s all bullshit. Under-reporting our global crisis is not what I do.

I like Climate Central, so this isn’t a slight against their efforts. But it is very, very important that we not get enamored with bogus “achievements” (hopium) that do not accomplish what is claimed. So here are the 10 Most Important Climate Stories of 2016 from Climate Central.

And here are my comments:

The world struck an airline carbon pollution deal

10. Still burning / contributing massive levels of emissions, not just CO₂. Airline flights still going UP.

An extremely potent greenhouse gas is also on its way out

9. Was supposed to be “solved” decades ago. Non-ratified, so non-binding, so not enforced, so still meaningless to date.

July was the hottest month ever recorded. Then August tied it

8. Expected. 2017 will be worse.

Arctic sea ice got weird. Really weird

7. Also expected. 2017 will be worse and may see less the 1 million cubic kilometers (ice free) in 2017.

Divestment and clean energy investments each hit a record

6. Every year will be a “record” for so-called “clean energy” (not, improper term for renewable energy that still requires fossil fuels to build, maintain). There is nothing “clean” about it as it still produces emissions through its entire life-cycle.

The Great Barrier Reef was decimated by warm waters

5. Extend this point to coral world-wide. Rising ocean temperatures and acidification.

The world breached the 1.5°C climate threshold

4. The most unreported story of the century. 100% of the publications continue to claim that we’ve not even achieve 1°C warming yet.

Carbon dioxide hit 400 ppm. Permanently

3. Yep, it’s 400+, but effectively, it’s already 490ppm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QUoN8unzR0

The Paris Agreement got real

2. The Paris Agreement was never real. It will never be real either. Non-binding, non-effective, too little, too late, goals already exceeded, invalid claims, etc.

It was the hottest year on record. Again

1. Yes. And 2017 will be hotter still. And 2018 will be hotter still. That’s what happens you when settle for ridiculous, non-binding, non-enforceable agreements, delay action for decades, ignore scientists and facts, and keep telling yourselves how much wonderful “progress” your making (not).

Now, for the real headline that you will not see published.

0. We die. Yes, that is what lies ahead. There is no technology to remove the carbon / methane from atmosphere, soil and water. There is nothing we can do to achieve the scale required. There is no intentions by humans and human governments, human businesses and enterprises to stop burning carbon and emitting emissions into the atmosphere. Therefore, CO₂ will go UP, UP and UP, contributing to the rising temperatures as permafrost melts and emits more carbon, methane hydrates dissolve, ice melts globally and even soils and forest and oceans revert from carbon sinks into carbon emitters. That is all already unfolding, globally, to say nothing of rising sea levels, disappearing glaciers and depleted aquifers, etc., etc.

There is no good news. None whatsoever.

That is the “story” that needs to be reported. Just the facts, not the hopium. Refusal to publish the facts is what is causing humans to constantly take the wrong path, do the wrong things and delay actions. This methodology is leading us to our extinction.

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16 thoughts on “Review: 10 Most Important Climate Stories of 2016

  • December 30, 2016 at 3:22 am
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    Bad bad monkeys = No banana (or twinkies) .. forever
    Bye bye bipeds and good fkn riddance.

  • December 30, 2016 at 4:51 am
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    I saw that Climate Central article yesterday and thought to myself: ‘What a load of crap’. Especially the item about airlines finally doing something about emissions. Yeah right! an agreement to buy ‘carbon credits’ to supposedly offset emissions. Only there is no such thing as carbon credits -just another financial scam allow a few people to make money while totally avoiding the fundamental issue: “We’ll pay you some money (originally created out of thin air) to not cut down trees that were scheduled to be cut down, or we’ll pay you some money to plant trees where there is now nothing because the trees that were originally there were cut down a while ago.”

    And as for all the crowing about the Paris agreement, what can we say, other than repeat what Jim Hansen said: “It’s fraud.”

    The ‘good news’ is that the oceans are still absorbing a massive amount of carbon dioxide, so the atmospheric CO2 concentration is not fully reflecting the rate at which humans are adding CO2. And the oceans (and ice sheets) are still absorbing a massive amount of heat, so people living on land are not experiencing the kind of temperature increase that would occur if the oceans were a lot smaller.

    Those two factors are the major factors that will allow the current dysfunctional {functions but produces undesirable results} political-economic system to persist for perhaps as much as another decade, while it makes everything that matters far worse.

    I came across a Mike Ruppert DVD, ‘Denial Stops Here -From 9/11 to Peak Oil and Beyond’ yesterday and started watching. Over a decade ago he was touring America, highlighting the criminal nature of the government, the rise of fascism, the severity of climate change, the prospect of declining energy supply and the need to prepare. Literally thousands of people attended his talks……and nothing changed politically or economically. At the time he was talking in terms of fairly imminent collapse of the economic system -say 2010 to 2015- which didn’t happen, of course. Albert Bartlett presented the facts without the hyperbole thousands of times before he died.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O133ppiVnWY

    Guy McPherson was on a similar track between 2008 and 2015, touring America and several other countries, predicting imminent economic collapse and environmental collapse. Then, earlier this year, he shortened the time frame to ‘extinction in less than a decade’ (without providing a proper scientific narrative for that outcome).

    Then there are the religious nutters who think it is all about what was written on manuscripts thousands of years ago in the Middle East.

    So here we are, stuck in the middle, between the ‘apocalypse now’ mobs and the ‘if we try hard enough we can fix it’ mobs, with the vast majority of people apparently complete oblivious to it all and still believing they are on track for a better tomorrow via conversion of oil and other finite resources into waste.

    There are many things that allow the consensus bubble of non-reality to persist: the ability of central banks to keep creating money out of thin air and keep propping up failing financial institutions, the ability of industrious humans to force hydrocarbons out of the Earth, the ability to use hydrocarbons to pump water from one place to another and to transport food over huge distances etc. But, as discussed many times previously, it is the ability of the politicians and the mainstream media to convince the masses that lies are truth, along with the unwillingness of most people to accept the truth, that is the key to our continuing failure.

  • December 30, 2016 at 6:01 am
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    Well here’s a headlie from Infowars: “Gov’t Climate Change Data 100% Fabricated by NOAA”

    The stupidity of that website is beyond description. I won’t even read the article because it is clearly evident that if the headline is a complete lie, the content cannot be any better.

    NOAA isn’t lying, nor is this the only global source for government climate change data. Yet morons will unite behind these kinds of deliberate distractions to deceive, deflect and dissuade meaningful discussion.

    I say we kill them all. Why not? That’s what they’re doing to us.

  • December 31, 2016 at 1:07 am
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    First post. Writing is painfully slow for me. Hid in the shadows for a couple of years as with many other sites. Most times I’m not sure if I have anything of value to add the discussions. The new site policy forced me into the light a bit.

    With three young adult children just starting out the issues of climate change and our energy predicament keeps me awake at night. I really fear for their future.

    I am fortunate to have a fair bit of poor quality farmland in southern Saskatchewan Can. Half of my land I don’t cultivate or graze hoping for nature and a little biodiversity to recolonize it. Unfortunately for some creatures(deer and gamebirds) some idiot from a city 60 miles away driving a big truck comes by and shoots them not because they are hungry but because its recreation.

    I try to do my best, live small, stay home, buy nothing, plant several thousand trees a year. Meanwhile those around me drive big trucks, build big new homes, attend useless sport events all over hell, fly south every winter. If it were not for my children I would wonder what is the point of even trying. I am not optimistic.

    • December 31, 2016 at 1:30 am
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      I can be pessimistic, but still try nonetheless. I think optimism is leading us to lie to ourselves, and thus, do the wrong things (such as breed more civilization). Cornicopians view the world as improving, and act accordingly, pessimist view the world as declining, and act accordingly. There is a huge difference in actions between the two.

      My trees are too close to structures, in some cases, and even blocking exit roads in others. Fire hazards here are very high as the whole region is a tinderbox. I leave the deer, turkeys, elk and even the bears and coyotes alone, however, that raccoon had to go.

      The shadows are often a good place to be. And it will become more and more necessary as this world goes increasingly insane.

      My children and my wife are the real reasons I keep trying too. I think the world is batshit crazy already, but it will get far, far worse then what we’ve already seen. I’ve created a refuge here, where I keep the gates locked and the life within our own (few connections to the outside world and even less real interest). The Internet brings in all the ‘world’ that we want or need. When I venture forth, I invariably run into idiots. I don’t like being treated like a connedsumer, so I avoid stores when I can and anything related to being a mindless number. It doesn’t always work, it’s getting much harder to escape.

      • December 31, 2016 at 1:42 am
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        Glad Christmas is over because the season is stupidity on steroids.

        • December 31, 2016 at 2:04 am
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          Christmas is a corporate ploy to create addicted connedsumers. The worst time of the year imo to be out among the misery monkeys (a term coined by Lonewolf).

  • December 31, 2016 at 7:27 am
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    To be honest, I find it increasingly difficult to read “climate news” because it is incredibly dishonest now. Generally lacking in any real research or assessments if it comes from a right or left “wing” media source (mouthpieces for lies). Only scientific research honestly reported is useful, but you still have to assemble this with all the other knowledge and information you may know about. Almost nobody is describing the real picture and what it means.

    I’ve read dozens of articles just today, and virtually all of them are misleading articles that downplay the stories they contain. It is ubiquitous.

  • December 31, 2016 at 8:30 am
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    Article here: http://www.ecowatch.com/climate-change-tipping-point-2170296371.html?page=3

    “Emissions reductions can no longer prevent dangerous climate change. Even with the best case scenario of 80 percent reductions by 2050 (as outlined in the Paris commitment), we will see additional warming of double to triple what we have already seen—well above the 2 degree C limit. We have simply delayed too long.”

    Then why not publish what will happen? Why not describe the 6C world? Why not tell the truth? Why not?

    Pay attention here. The above ecowatch story was originally published on truthout. Ecowatch dropped the final paragraph from their copy of the story. This is what it says:

    “To prevent Earth’s temperature from exceeding the dangerous limit we have to remove the excess long-lived CO2 already in our sky. The new technologies of directly removing already emitted CO2 have the capacity to prevent dangerous climate change in time frames that matter. In addition to emissions reductions, it’s clear that direct treatment of climate pollution must be part of our future as we head into 2017.”

    Original article here: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/38905-climate-change-2016-the-year-the-future-arrived

    In other words, Truthout is LYING. Ecowatch won’t come out and say it.

    What are they lying about? The technology. The costs. The willingness to do this. The intractability of politicians and corporate control over any issues dealing with real efforts to combat the real and severe issue of what it is going to take.

    a) The technology to remove C02 from air, water and soil does not exist on any meaningful scale. Right now, it cannot be done. It is unlikely that this can EVER be done because this exceeds by far anything humans have ever tried.

    b) The time frames are not just glossed over, but outright lies. The “time frames that matter” already occured during the period from 1970 – 2017 and going forward forever into the future. Since the technology does not exist, the money isn’t there and the political direction is entirely absent, we can be quite assured that the timeframe will be completely blown. Once again, Truthout is lying.

    c) Truthout and Ecowatch simply do not bother to tell their readers what this is really going to mean. Nobody is. I have. The temperatures expected are beyond human survivability, but we starve first because our food production will fail first.

    This is why it is hard to keep reading the climate snooze. This shit will put you to sleep with hopium clouds floating around in your head.

      • December 31, 2016 at 11:31 am
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        Listening now. Will add my comments after I hear what he has to say.

        Good video. Good presentation. Recommended. Hated (some) of the crappy music. Always wonder why people ruin their vids by adding horrible music.

        This song one was good however – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7jVqok1bqw

        “What do you think our chances are to avert to the worst case disaster” – “Our chances are not good”.

        “If everyone reduced their own carbon footprint by 20%, then the nation would produce 20% less carbon”. Not true. Individuals produce far less carbon then industry. There would be small drop in industry, but nowhere near 20%. And we need 189.99% carbon reduction (negative emissions, carbon capture from air, water, soil).

        “You can’t disagree with climate change when it hits your personal reality”. Sure you can. People do it all the time.

        “Even if all humanity stopped ALL carbon emissions, we are still going to get 50% feedbacks which are coming out by themselves”. Yep. We are in unstoppable, runaway climate change already. Nothing will stop this.

        “How close do you believe we are to runaway global warming on this planet?” “This 50% is an underestimate. Every feedback in the Arctic is now positive. It might not be humans being who will be able to live on the planet. The feedbacks are all getting worse and happening more rapidly. With sea level rise, we’re doing away with our cities and lots of habitable places.”

        “The Arctic is having enormous consequences on food production, just at a time when population is rising rapidly, so there will come a time when a collision between food production and population, that time is not that far off”.

        “The collision and feedback effects between climate change that are acceleration, the very least it will produce is a lot of famine, more likely it will produce a lot of warfare, the causes of the war will not be ideological, but survival, land, water, resources, those are climate change related. That’s where we will wipe ourselves out.”

        “We’re talking about the fall of civilization itself”.

        “Greenland is going doing 300 cubic kilometers per year, Antarctica is going down about 80 cubic kilometers per year”. “I’m quite worried about Antarctica”. Antarctica will contribute much more to sea level rise then Greenland will, so there is much, much more to come.

        “It’s a massive abuse of the planet. We have done a very, very frightening thing. There are so many ways that we have may have made it uninhabitable, that we don’t understand yet. Everything we understand looks bad, but there might be more. That’s why I desperately feel why we still have a settled, civilized industrial society, that can make things, do things, the things we must make them do are are devices to get rid of carbon dioxide, it is the enemy of humanity, it is the enemy of the future of the planet. We’re not at the moment doing anything about it. I really feel that is what we must be doing before we do anything else, before any more research. We should be doing research on getting rid of C02.”

        It is humans that are digging it up and burning it, dumping it into the atmosphere (and we still with with ‘renewables’). Nature has always had a way to deal with it (over immense spans of time). But he’s got a point. We know we have to get rid of it. We know enough now to know we are in serious, serious trouble, an extinction level event.

        You read all of this here on this blog before.

        • December 31, 2016 at 12:07 pm
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          good – ‘hope’ that you can get thru it – I couldn’t. Could;t take that screeching monkey ‘hostess’ one more second – just perturbing to me I guess –

          • December 31, 2016 at 12:52 pm
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            See my notes. Definitely worth watching. I skipped through all the crappy music sections I did not like, but they are not all bad.

            Wadhams “gets it”. Nobody is paying attention however. Unbelievably tragic. Humans are walking straight into a furnace. Blindly.

      • January 1, 2017 at 6:56 am
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        Good presentation, but a little contradictory too. He does not “believe” in extinction, but admits massive food problems ahead. He also thinks we’re going to make lemonade out of lemons (cornicopian).

        I’ve read Diamonds “Guns, Germs and Steel” years ago (covered here on this blog). Ziska seems to admit on one hand we’re in serious trouble, but then claims we’re going to solve this. Winds up with a hopium message, as most do, but it’s based on what, exactly? Wishful thinking?

        I still do not understand why these scientist are so narrow in their understanding of the interconnected relationships and falling dominoes now unfolding. It doesn’t make any sense to me. They should all be smarter then this. Ziska discusses food, climate, water, but misses acidification, ice, soils, energy, distribution, immigration and refugees, location and declining yields, etc. I know these people are smarter then me – so is it the narrator that governs what is being said and shared, preventing the real story from coming out? Or is it the scientists themselves who are still beholden to position, grants, department responsibility, ethics, or?

        It was a rhetorical point / question. This is all we can now expect from scientist it seems. And to think that much of the world continues to hold out the hope that they’re going to fix this somehow. As if we haven’t already been severely let down.

        We need a cadre of interdisciplinary scientist to provide a unified, consistent and clear voice to the world on the REAL RISKS we are facing. I tried to float that idea over on Real Climate and got kicked in the teeth years ago. Morons. They’re still playing make-believe and let’s pretend. They all are.

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