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Thread: Climate Change

  1. #1
    King Sloth High House Chaos sir archely's Avatar
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    Default Climate Change

    So, if you haven't already read it, Bill McKibben wrote a must-read piece in Rolling Stone on the topic. It's long, but well worth it, even if you just scan it. Mind-numbing.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics...-math-20120719

    If you absolutely need the cliff notes version though, here it is in three numbers:

    2 degrees Celsius - Absolute maximum increase in global temperature we can deal with. (And this might be too high.) We already have a .8 degree increase.

    565 Gigatons of CO2. - Amount of CO2 we can put into the atmosphere by 2050 and stay below the 2 degree increase.

    2795 Gigatons of CO2 - "The number describes the amount of carbon already contained in the proven coal and oil and gas reserves of the fossil-fuel companies, and the countries (think Venezuela or Kuwait) that act like fossil-fuel companies. In short, it's the fossil fuel we're currently planning to burn." Essentially, this is the fuel that is already on the balance sheets of these companies, not stuff that's yet to be found.
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    Administrator Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Climate Change

    On the other side, tip the scale over to the other side with the same amount of degrees Celsius and it would trigger an Ice Age. We'll probably get both. First the climate gets screwed by Global Warming, causing the Arctics to melt very rapidly, causing the oceans to cool down, and before you know it we'll need iglo's to make it through the winter and eat the neighbors for food. Which reminds me of that Occupy sign: Soon the Poor Will Have Nothing to Eat but the Rich. The bigger the gap between poor and rich, the bigger the chance of a global (very un) Civil War. And yes, the greedy fuel people are widening that gap progressively.
    Sooo... if I were filthy rich, I'd either invest in alternative fuel and live with my fellow poor people under the blue sky, or I'd invest in a well protected bunker filled with food and water and heavy guns to keep the zombies out. Look around and you'll see the filthy rich are indeed preparing for a zombie holocaust...

    Meanwhile, life goes on..

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    Administrator Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Climate Change

    Having written that, I now have this deja-vu feeling. How creepy.
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  4. #4
    Quick! To the Volcano! High House Moon Eyreplenh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Climate Change

    Great article. I think we need a lot more of these pointed and simple arguments to eventually sway a world currently suspended in failure to act.

    I think, aside from the numbers themselves, that the article raises a few interesting points. First, it says on the first side that "not that our leaders seemed to notice". This, I think, is a bit on the side -and the article goes on to touch onto this problem later on. I think our leaders cannot, in any conceivable reality, be unaware. But what can they do? No, I do not want to free world leaders from any responsibility, but I think that they are also trapped in the inertia of our world systems. In most of the western world, leaders are elected for four years, during which time their possibility to act is severely limited (last three years of the Obama rule, anyone?), and making hard choices and stern demands is almost impossible, as someone else instantly will campaign on the notion of not making those demands of the populace. Over here there is currently tendencies of uproar in the climate discussions, as quite a few scientists and lobbyists have written in various articles and opinions that China might just be our only hope, in that their -undemocratic- system might be the only one capable to produce the changes we need.

    As for the two degree celsius number, I am a pessimist. Even if we managed drastic cuts this instant, a lot of processes we clearly do not know enough about has gone to the point where I think we just don't know what's going to happen. But I do believe, and this strongly so, that there will be a significant difference between a world three degrees warmer and one six degrees warmer.

    I fear that the possible solution lies in something the article describes, a great disaster somewhere that "matters" (sorry africa and southeast asia!), that might stir some action. But then again maybe not. Does anyone still remember Deepwater Horizon? Didn't exactly put BP out of business, did it...
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