Can I Get An Amen?

Real Climate posted an mildly interesting article about whether or not keeping planetary warming below 1.5 degrees increase is possible. What was interesting was how the author managed to lie to himself and then everyone else who read the article. This did not go unnoticed.

Two graphs show the path to 1.5 degrees

The obvious contradictions and ridiculous assumptions in this article lead me to wonder what it actually takes to be a “scientist” these days. I’m not alone with this observation:

Posts like this only further reduce the scope of the meaning of the word “possible,” a disturbing trend in climate science.

We have signs of accelerations all over the climate map. Downplaying that overall reality is maybe not the best idea. For example, in the last five years we’ve had years with no El Nino yet very low ASI levels.

I am also disappointed in this post. Is it not possible for the planet to reach 1.5C increase from pre-industrial just with our present 500 ppm,equivalent or even the actual 420 ppm or so concentration of carbonic acid gas? We are now at about 1.25C.

I think some climate scientists, whom I wholeheartedly support as a category, get too far ahead of themselves and can be found to contradict, disregard or be unaware of other considered analyses (such as life sciences).

It is the year 2021 and we are still only talking about global reductions, while financiers, corporations and nation-states are constructing massive fossil buildout or otherwise proping up the status quo. Temperature is only one indication of our peril (and the trend is very bad).

Since we are literally talking about the lives of our children, we should instead be asking:

1) What is the temperature that has a 95% chance of not being exceeded under each scenario? Who would put their child on an airplane that only had a 50% or 66% (or even 95%!) chance of reaching its destination without crashing? Why is the 50%/66% temperature even being discussed?

If the 95% temperature even under the most optimistic plausible emissions scenarios is greater than +1.5ºC (which I’m sure it is), then we must *assume* we are going to breach +1.5ºC and act accordingly.

2) Is +1.5ºC an “acceptable” outcome for our children? What is the societal outcome of a +1.5º and +2ºC world? How many people would die? How many failed states would there be? How many cities destroyed by SLR? Again, apply a 95% (or 99%) confidence of safety to these estimates.

I’d support the opening comment and go further. It seems incredible that Stefan make two almost opposite points:

– It is not yet impossible to keep warming below 1.5 °C.
– This requires roughly a halving of global CO2 emissions by 2030

A halving of emissions by 2030 is impossible, given the way humans have behaved since the science clearly showed a serious problem 30 years ago. It is pointless to say that, if humans did everything needed to stay within 1.5C then that goal would be achieved. We’ve seen that humans will not do what is needed so it would be better to say that 1.5C is not achievable but we must at least try to limit global heating as much as we can.

A dose of realism is required by climate scientists.

I don’t like being lied to, which is something I believe we are seeing quite often regarding what the future holds for planet Earth and habitability. We ARE talking about the lives of our children and their survival. I’m amazed at how many billions of people don’t realize this fact, although I shouldn’t be – the level of stupid on planet Earth has gone exponential.

It’s been clear for many years that Climate Scientists Erring on the Side of Least Drama. Though written in 2013, we’re still at that same juncture, when we should have long since moved past this point.

Here’s another take on what is unfolding:

I’m convinced the world is hoping and praying for a Hail Mary silver bullet solution to solve deadly and dangerous climate change “in time”. Absolutely do not count on this, as this is incredibly unlikely (hopium).

Science tends to only listen to itself, within narrow disciplinary channels from approved voices. Anyone outside of these confines tends to be ignored. This is a form of elitism and can at times be exceedingly dangerous when the issue may mean life or death.

I’ve been warning about the science, and the reticence of science for years. Meanwhile as they continue to discuss how many angles will fit on the head of a pin, the planet continues to warm up faster and faster. This isn’t to disparage science, but good god almighty, why can’t we just move ON from this pointless and ultimately useless discussion and stop pretending that there is time to stop dangerous warming? It’s already HERE as the evidence shows.

What we need to do now is to stop the political debates and the useless conjecture and idiotic claims from the denialsphere and get down to the business of saving habitability for life on Earth. THAT should be our #1 global priority right now.

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3 thoughts on “Can I Get An Amen?

  • May 12, 2021 at 5:22 pm
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    I’m immensely thankful for the work scientists have been doing on climate, but it strikes me as retreating into over-intellectualized narrowness to claim that there’s any chance in the world we can stay under 1.5° over pre-industrial temperature—even physically/numerically. We’re already above 1°. Unavoidable aerosol decline alone will bring us past 1.5°, and these other factors (and more) mean it will be virtually impossible to stay under 2°:

    The roughly 40 year pipeline of already emitted GHGs that haven’t reached their full warming potential; feedbacks; carbon cost of construction of the necessary clean safe renewable energy; the odds (trusting the existence of civilization to a coin toss is hardly sane).
    Decreasing EROEI of fuels is accelerating warming even of the same level of energy use, which is increasing faster than efficiency and clean safe renewables are being built. Because of small state bias, gerrymandering, voter suppression, etc. half the political power in the US either still outright denies warming is happening or denies the severity or the solutions.
    The huge gaps between Paris goals, NDCs, and effects; between need, the pitiful amounts pledged for the international green climate fund, and the even more pitiful amounts paid; between goals, means, politicians’ tendency to procrastinate, and the area-under-the-curve problem.
    https://commons.commondreams.org/t/do-what-the-science-demands-biden-white-house-to-be-given-climate-clock-ahead-of-global-summit/90671/6

    The Republicans are insane, but ”Dems make chicken-shit (and out-dated) short-game political calculations while the worst planetary crisis humanity has ever faced accelerates.”
    —Alex Steffen

    Virtually no one in US politics is even considering the only solutions that will work at this point:
    Nationalizing fossil fuel, ICEV, agrochemical, banking, and other corporations to shut them down in an orderly and compassionate fashion.
    Based on decades off experience with the lunatic right, a lotta stick, a little carrot: mandating a transition to sustainability in energy, buildings, transportation, industry, agriculture, forestry. The crucial solution of a national high speed rail network and local and regional commuter networks to replace flying and driving is being ignored in favor of much-too-slow progress on personal EVs—which is also opposed by enormous political and corporate forces and fortunes. Meanwhile, supply chains of sufficient lithium to make enough personal EVs happen are also being stalled. The lithium exists but only government foresight and action, including rationing, can meet our needs in time.

    Every aspect of the transition faces the same problems, and even more important, denial in all its forms even by those scientists and others somewhat aware of the crisis feeds the refusal to consider solutions. Most current discussions about solutions involve side debates that are little more than further delaying tactics—the resort to too-low too-slow carbon prices, the projective hatred of blaming poor people of color for a problem that’s overwhelmingly caused by rich people of mostly white; nonexistent technologies like CCS etc; dead end technologies like nukes; and likely disasters like geoengimagicalism; all designed to slow implementation of the only solutions that will work in time.

    More people imagine the end of civilization than imagine the end of capitalism, which while not the root problem (that’s psychological) is an insane way to organize our relationships to each other and the rest of nature, and is stunting our ability to even think about solutions, let alone implement them. The forces of denial and delay are in charge in the US, and the rest of the world will never move fast enough without a truly democratic, motivated US pushing the actual solutions. The only solution to the whole problem is a massive, immediate, peaceful revolution. People who aren’t part of that are part of the problem.

    Mother Jones: “Don’t mourn; organize.”

    Judith Lipton: “The therapy for despair is action.”

    I think the therapy for despair is therapy, but action is a great way to put therapy’s lessons into practice.

  • May 12, 2021 at 5:25 pm
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    “Although the value of EEI in the first decade of this century was about 0.6 Watts per square meter, it is now measured during 2010-2018 as 0.87 W/m2. Since this applies to the entire surface, whcih is 5.1 x 10 E14, the total heating is 4.4 x 10 E14, or 440,000 Gigawatts (GW). (an astounding value) With an estimated 3% going into icemelt this means 13,200 GW, or the equivalent of more than thirteen thousand large 1000 MW power plants running 24/7/365, is the cause of some one trillion tons of ice converting to liquid water around the globe each year.

    The preferred value of EEI for the continuance of civilization is zero, implying “negative emissions.”

    NOW! Planetary heat flux has since increased to about 1.0 W/m2, which seems to me to be a tremendous acceleration.

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