Climate Change

We're All Gonna Die: Climate Change Apocalypse by 2050

Worst-case scenarios mislead far more than they enlighten.


Man-made climate change (now dubbed "climate crisis" by The Guardian's editors) poses potentially serious risks for humanity in this century. But acknowledging the hazard is not enough for a growing claque of meteorological apocalypse porn peddlers who insist that if their prescriptions for solving the problem are not followed then civilization will momentarily come to an end.

Recent hawkers of fast approaching climate doom include David Wallace-Wells in his book The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, Cumbria University professor Jem Bendell's "Deep Adaptation" paper, and environmental activist Bill McKibben's Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? (my review is forthcoming).

Now comes a policy paper, Existential climate-related security risk: A scenario approach, from an Australian climate action advocacy group the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration. The headline over at Vice says it all: "New Report Suggests 'High Likelihood of Human Civilization Coming to an End' in 2050."

In his foreword to the 8-page sketch of purported climate calamity, retired Australian admiral Chris Barrie asserts that it lays "bare the unvarnished truth about the desperate situation humans, and our planet, are in, painting a disturbing picture of the real possibility that human life on earth may be on the way to extinction, in the most horrible way."

To justify their alarm, the authors of the paper, David Spratt and Ian Dunlop, are basically channeling Harvard economist Martin Weitzman's dismal theorem. In deriving his dismal theorem, Weitzman probed what it would mean if equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS)—conventionally defined as global average surface warming following a doubling of carbon dioxide concentrations—exceeded the likely range of 1.5–4.5°C.

Weitzman outlined a low probability-high consequence scenario in which ECS could be as high as 10°C. Such a case would indeed be catastrophic considering that the temperature difference between now and the last ice age is about 5°C and it took several thousand years for that increase to occur.

So just how likely is such an extremely high ECS? In its Fifth Assessment Report, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted that the "equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C, extremely unlikely less than 1°C, and very unlikely greater than 6°C." More reassuringly, a 2018 article in Climate Dynamics calculated a relatively low climate sensitivity range of between 1.1°C and 4.05°C (median 1.87°C).

The Breakthrough Centre paper rejects conventional cost-benefit analysis in favor of sketching out a "hothouse earth" scenario that relies on projections in a 2017 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences article that average global temperature will exceed 3°C by 2050. They devise their scenario with the aim of alerting policymakers to the idea that climate change could turn out to be worse than current climate model projections suggest.

In their scenario, sea level rises by about 20 inches by 2050 and by 6 to 10 feet by 2100. Fifty-five percent of the world's population is subjected annually to more than 20 days of heat "beyond the threshold of human survivability." Wildfire, heatwaves, drought, and inundating storms proliferate. Ecosystems collapse including the Amazon rainforest, coral reefs, and the Arctic. Global crop production falls by at least 20 percent. Unbearable heat, along with food and water shortages would force billions of people to migrate. The result of this "hothouse earth" scenario would be "a high likelihood of human civilization coming to an end."

On the basis of their scenario, the authors assert that only thing that can protect human civilization is "a massive global mobilization of resources is needed in the coming decade to build a zero-emissions industrial system and set in train the restoration of a safe climate. This would be akin in scale to the World War II emergency mobilization."

Before racing to embrace their scenario, let's consider what is known about the current rate of climate change. According to relatively uncontroversial data, average global surface temperatures have increased by 0.9°C since 1880. Getting to an increase of 3°C above the pre-industrial level by 2050 would mean that temperatures would have to increase at the rate of about 0.7°C per decade from now on.

The State of the Climate in 2017 report issued last year by the American Meteorological Society cites weather balloon and satellite datasets indicating that, since 1979, the increase of global average temperature in the lower troposphere is proceeding at the rate of between 0.13°C and 0.19°C per decade. According to NASA's Earth Observatory, the rate of temperature increase since 1975 as measured by thermometers at the surface is roughly 0.15–0.20°C per decade. Basically, the rate of global temperature increase would have to triple in order to destroy civilization in the Breakthrough Centre scenario.

The flaw with constructing scenarios is that they enable our easy propensity to imagine disaster to run rampant. Scenario building, with the goal of advising policymakers and the public on how to govern the globe in the context of environmental and economic policy, has failed its practitioners spectacularly.

Probably the best example of scenario building gone badly awry is Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich's 1968 The Population Bomb: Population Control or Race to Oblivion?. Ehrlich sketched out three dismal scenarios in which hundreds of millions of people died in the 1970s from pandemic disease, thermonuclear war, and massive cancer epidemics sparked by exposure to synthetic pesticides. In his most hopeful scenario, the "major die-back" of hundreds of millions of people starving to death in India, China, Latin America, and Africa would end by 1985. Thereafter, the world population would be being managed downward by the remaining enlightened countries to just 2 billion by 2025 and 1.5 billion by 2100. "Our only choices are a lower birth rate or a bigger death rate," Ehrlich declared.

Much like the Breakthrough Centre policy researchers, Ehrlich proposed sweeping plans to solve what he viewed as a desperate global problem. At home, he recommended that "a federal Department of Population and Environment (DPE) should be set up with the power to take whatever steps are necessary to establish a reasonable population size in the United States and to put an end to the steady deterioration of our environment." Although Ehrlich acknowledged that it would be politically impossible at the time when he wrote, he noted that "many of my colleagues feel that some sort of compulsory birth regulation would be necessary to achieve such control. One plan often mentioned involves the addition of temporary sterilants to water supplies or staple food. Doses of the antidote would be carefully rationed by the government to produce the desired population size."

Outside our borders, the United States and other developed countries would have to practice "triage." Food exports and aid must be denied to hopelessly overpopulated countries such as India since that would only delay and worsen the famines that must eventually pare back their excess citizenry.

Fifty years after Ehrlich outlined his gloomy scenarios, world population is at 7.7 billion and global average life expectancy has increased from 57 years to over 72 years now. Ehrlich totally missed the scenario that actually unfolded which lowers fertility and limits population growth—the prosperity that results from the spread of economic freedom and the rule of law turns out to function as a kind of invisible hand of population control.

Nevertheless, despite the wrongheadedness of trying to use worst-case scenarios to guide policy, I have also noted that the projections of the climate and econometric models could be way underestimated.

The future trajectory of man-made climate change is not certain. Consequently, hedge fund manager Bob Litterman sensibly argues that climate change is an undiversifiable risk that would command a higher risk premium. Litterman likens climate change risk to the systemic risk that investors face in the stock market. It is hard to hedge when unknown unknowns can cause the prices of all assets to decline at once. Litterman's analysis suggests that some policies—perhaps a revenue-neutral carbon tax—could help mitigate climate risk.

More fantasy than fact, the Breakthrough Centre scenario fails to persuade that an impending climate apocalypse threatens human extinction. Worst-case scenarios mislead far more than they enlighten. Given what is known about the rate of global temperature increase, my best judgment is that it is not yet time to panic about the imminent end of civilization.

NEXT: Colorado's Jared Polis Is the Latest Governor to Embrace Licensing Reform

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  1. Welcome to the new religion of the 21st century: Climate Hysteria.

    1. They sky is falling! The sky is falling!

      1. But it will be cushioned by a soft layer of carbon dioxide, so all is well.

      2. I accidentally flagged your comment. Apologies. Reason really needs a confirmation button for that.

        1. Why does reason even have that?

          1. Someone posted nude pics of Shikha once. Probably for stuff like that.

        2. Are you some kind of Chicken Little denier?

        3. "I accidentally flagged your comment."

          It doesn't help that Reason's steam-powered host server takes forever to stabilize the window.

          1. I don't think it's steam-powered. I heard from a friend that it's powered by orphans on a treadmill. And when one of those orphans gets called away to polish a monocle, it gets a bit glitchy.

          2. I'd always assumed it was more a matter of my browser requiring minor epochs to unravel and deploy the spaghetti code the site produces.

            1. On our company site, the designers made sure it operated without spasms on all the popular browsers; it wasn't that difficult.
              So lame coding or steam-powered server; either way, not very professional.

    2. I agree with Dane Wigington's comment "no serious discussion of climate change can happen until people acknowledge geoengineering" . He's of course referring to the vast amount of chemicals (chemtrails) and crap being dumped as governments try to control the weather. If you don't believe it, check out the website (or just look up!)

      1. Ya know what I said to myself this morning while perusing the forums? "Self", I said, "what these forums need to lighten things up, post-Hihn, is a chemtrail whackjob poster." And lo and behold, one appears!

        1. That'll teach you to think better of Hihn!

      2. Wow, that site's got some weapons grade crazy on it. I'm surprised at all the people who get caught up in this ... and probably the same people who laugh at the homeopathic remedies.

      3. Chemtrails are the only thing holding back the UV-a from destroying the ozone layer.

      4. "...If you don’t believe it, check out the website (or just look up!)..."

        What grade of tin-foil hat is required for your level of stupidity?

    3. Well we all gonna die.

      Country Joe McDonald. War weather something don’t give a damn. Ain’t no time to wonder why. Whoppie we all gonna die.

    4. Green New Deal, Climate Change or Global Warming have based all three topics upon a single element: CO2. We know, as any farmer will tell us, that CO2 is plant food. Plant life would perish if CO2 levels (today at roughly 400 molecules out of every million – ppm) dropped below 150ppm. 99% of earth’s atmosphere has two major elements: nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%). Remaining (1%) are “trace gases:” Argon (0.93%) and CO2 (0.04%) and “other” (0.03%). There, that’s settled. Did you know the largest concentration of “vapor gas” in earth’s atmosphere is, YES!, VAPOR. WATER VAPOR. See, all three models omit the “real Culprit,” water vapor. Not one of the three models, contains “water vapor” measurements and ITS effect upon earth’s atmosphere. In other words, the warming effect of each molecule of CO2 decreases significantly (logarithmically) AS ITS CONCENTRATION INCREASES. WOW! The Green New Deal, Climate Change and Global Warming hawks are yelling about something every farmer knows to be beneficial...rising CO2 feeds plants. The Paris Climate Agreement omitted Water Vapor component affecting atmospheric changes. We know this from two sources: 1) Indirectly, from Ice Cores taken from Antartica and Greenland and 2) Direct measurements taken from Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii, since 1958. In the first case, Ice Age, four Ice Ages had 190 ppm and one lower than 182 ppm. GLACIERS INCREASED and PLANT LIFE DECREASED. IN OTHER WORDS: CO2 LEVELS below 150 ppm, life on earth cannot exist. 140 million years of “hard” data document the fact that RISING CO2 levels are beneficial while FALLING CO2 levels are 2019, we are at roughly 400 ppm...and rising! This is good. 143 pages of “Inconvenient Facts (author: Gregory Wrightstone)” tell the truth. Pray. Amen. God Bless America. Read A Bible. NKJV Psalm 128 (God’s Law).

      1. Damn it. There you go again; using science, logic, reason, critical thinking, and Common Sense!

  2. Too bad we'll all be dead in 12 years.

    1. There goes AOC's lifetime subscriptiona to The Nation-- and Clumbia Journalism Review

      Be sure to mention Bill Moyers in your will

  3. Can't wait to check off this rock in 50 years and global cooling is the issue dejour again for my last 20 years.

  4. As usual, dump a ton of salt on these alarmists. If I believed the world was in truly imminent danger within my lifetime of reaching a Venus-style tipping point, I would move heaven and earth to get as much nuclear power installed as possible, regardless of danger from rushed construction or any other mass casualty threat, because the alternative would be killing all humans and probably all life above the bacteria level.

    That they denigrate nuclear while pushing known incapable solar and wind power is prima facie evidence that they do not believe their own propaganda.

    1. If I believed the world was in truly imminent danger within my lifetime of reaching a Venus-style tipping point, I would move heaven and earth to get as much nuclear power installed as possible, regardless of danger from rushed construction or any other mass casualty threat, because the alternative would be killing all humans and probably all life above the bacteria level.

      And yet, Politico is butthurt that some clean energy money is going to those nasty nuclear plants.

      1. You are more right than you know. Chernobyl, the absolute worst disaster in terms of human lives affected by civilian nuclear power, pales in comparison to the doomsday scenario postulated by these nitwits.
        When you compare the number of acute deaths (28 within a few months, an additional 14 died of radiation induced cancers up to 10 years later), and the statistical increase in deaths due to exposure by the population at large, it is literally NOTHING compared to the climate change apocalypse. Besides, the Chernobyl exclusion zone is literally teeming with normal, healthy life, and not deer with 5 legs or fish with 3 eyes (after all, the truly harmful mutations die out quickly and don't reproduce).

        1. And just for shits and giggles, the only other commercial nuclear disaster comparable in terms of core damage and release of radionuclides is Fukushima. 2 workers died (from the earthquake) and 6 others received dose larger than the lifetime limit. Meanwhile 10,000 people died due to the earthquake and tsunami. But everybody thinks the nuclear disaster killed so many people.

          1. France has NEVER had an accident or meltdown with any of it's nuclear power stations and is actually expanding it's program and building more. Focusing on the only 2 meltdowns in the history of nuclear power stations is disgusting sensationalism

        2. Chernobyl proved that communism and technology do not mix. Restarting a reactor before the excess xenon decays killed 3 Americans in 1961--which is the total body count for all U.S. accidents. Communist chieftains ordered a restart during a generation (not safety) experimental shutdown with no nuclear engineers present. THAT put several dozen in the morgue and irradiated many more.

    2. This.

      Also the fact that they are tacking on ending poverty, giving everyone free healthcare, and solving all of societies as of yet unsolved problems to the whole deal. If they really believed the world is going to end then all their pet political dreams would take a back seat.

      1. Every last one of them. If I were staring down the barrel of a burglar's gun, there would be just one thing on my mind, and it sure wouldn't be minimum wage laws.

    3. Nuclear is evil because it allows the population to continue growing, life-spans to continue increasing, and drastically improved quality-of-life for dirty brown poor people.

    4. The earliest and most sophisticated 20th Century case for renewables came from a German who is widely considered the most influential philosopher of the 20th Century, Martin Heidegger.

      You know who was a fan of Heidegger?

      1. You know who was a fan of Heidegger?

        Jacques Derrida?

    5. "That they denigrate nuclear while pushing known incapable solar and wind power is prima facie evidence that they do not believe their own propaganda."

      When the H-wood lefties short their Malibu digs, we'll know they are serious.

    6. If they were that concerned with the radiation from nuclear energy then they would be sending multiple missions to the moon for H3. A non-radioactive isotope that has been hypothesized as viable for nuclear fuel. Basically nuclear energy without radioactivity.

  5. Just to be on the safe side, we must return the federal government to total Democratic control.


  6. It always seems to boil down to a tax being the solution.

    1. Which was why the Republicans reject Al Gore's pet project. Did Al Gore not realize that the was going to divide the public on this by replacing the science with politics?

      In any case, today's Republicans all love taxes. Call it a tariff and everyone except those traitors Amash and Massie will get on board.

      Climate funds at last, climate funds at last, praise Al Gore, climate funds at last!

      1. Did Al Gore not realize that the was going to divide the public on this by replacing the science with politics?

        Yes, he did. That was the point.

        1. Which means his goal was never to deal with the problem.

          1. Indeed.

            1. It's virtually the same case as with 'transgender rights activism,' or the immigration debate. The point is not to make progress, the point is to get your opponent to block progress.

          2. Gore's goal was to get rich.

        2. ""Did Al Gore not realize that the was going to divide the public on this by replacing the science with politics?"'

          That didn't matter. He was going to make a killing on his green energy investments.

          1. I see Tom beat me to it.

    2. It's rather comical to note that for all their alleged 'complex' understanding of the universe, the left's solution always comes down to 'more taxes' or 'more *punitive* regulations!'


    3. It used to boil down to surrendering to the Soviet Union being the only alternative to mass extinction. That was literally proposed by a "scientist" writing to Physics Today right after Reagan took office.

  7. I saw that Biden has released his own Gangrene New Deal. The weird part was how he repeated the claim that we've only got twelve years to act but his plan doesn't come to fruition until 2050. Won't we all be dead by then?

    1. > Won’t we all be dead by then?

      That won't stop the taxes.

      1. Nor the voting.

    2. Having a plan that extends beyond 12 years does not make the 12 year claim invalid.

      P.S. Biden and every other Kale for brains is an idiot.

    3. His plan will only add $5 trillion to the debt. And they call him the moderate choice.

    4. Excellent point. They know they are spouting male bovine excrement but assume the Progressive Plantation proletariat serfs will believe anything they are told by their Elitist Masters and Uncle Tom Overseers.

      Funny thing is that the climate scam didn't work to get Al Gore (inventor of internet too) elected as President. IIRC his was only 10 years before cats ass trophy occurred so the current Progressive Ignorati are now adding a 2 year cushion.

  8. Frankly, the marketing of global warming, er, climate change, er, climate crisis was absolutely braindead. First off all, stop with the marketing. Science is not a product to sell. But the politicians wanted to make hay so they explicitly hitched the science to a political party.

    People wonder why conservatives and Republicans and libertarians knee jerk kick back against climate change. The answer is simple: Because the Democrats have told us to that accept the science is to become a liberal Democrat. Where did they think this strategy would lead? To kumbayas all around?

    But it's always puzzled me why they didn't team up with the Religious Right. Market climate change not as a failure of human freedom, but as a failure of mankind. We have sinned, and our sins have caused climate change which is our punishment.

    These are the end times. The seven seals of the Apocalypse of Saint John match the effects of runaway climate change: war, famine, death, environmental destruction, the wrath of God.

    It seems like a cromulent means of getting some anti-science religious right to recognize the data. They may reject the science, but smiting the Earth for mankind's sins fits their current narrative. We've not only sinned by allowed homosexuality (or so they claim) but we have sinned by polluting the very Earth we were entrusted to steward.

    1. Ah, but you see, if they are right and we are wrong, it's Doomsday. If we are right and they are wrong, well, we've only made some temporary sacrifices and cleaned up the world a bit.
      So we have to bet on them!

      Now apply that to Ehrlich's 'poison the water with sterilant's' idea

    2. "But it’s always puzzled me why they didn’t team up with the Religious Right. Market climate change not as a failure of human freedom, but as a failure of mankind. We have sinned, and our sins have caused climate change which is our punishment."

      That insight seems unreliable. A United States Senator once told me he couldn't get excited about climate change (or environmental issues in general) because 'when you look at it from the broader perspective, there's nothing people are worrying about that the Rapture won't take care of.'

      Guess which party. Guess which element of that party.

      Evangelicals are buyers of Trump, not so much interested in addressing difficult issues with reason.

      1. "The science is settled" is so far from reason that the light from it won't be visible for a billion years.

        1. The science is never settled, but the data is overwhelming.

          1. I assume you mean the data that it's a totalitarian scam

          2. ""but the data is overwhelming.""

            Before or after their adjustments?

            1. After, because they deleted the before data. Trust them, though, the methodology for the adjustments was sound.

      2. You are so, so, so tiresome. And an asshole.

        1. Your handle, sir, makes me wonder if we're related...

      3. But the Republican Religious Right has stopped worshiping God and are now worshiping Trump. There will be no rapture, because that's in the Bible (sort of, if you squint) but they've all thrown away their Bibles in favor of Trump's Tweets.

        Not only are there no conservative Republicans left after Trump, there are no Christian Christians either. They're all marching to the beat of the Trump. I swear there are churches that have replaced the cross on the steeple with a giant TRUMP logo.

        1. So? Better Trumpians than Clintonistas, I say!

        2. Does it hurt being that ignorant BB?
          Or just normal for a Progressive serf?

          BTW: Projection is a serious issue and if left untreated one will become delusional. Seek professional help before it is too late!

      4. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland
        June.5.2019 at 12:06 pm
        "...That insight seems unreliable..."

        That's because you're a fucking lefty ignoramus

      5. A United States Senator once told me


        1. I hear ya. Poor RAK (Royal Arse Kisser) wouldn't be around a US Senator that wasn't a Progressive Democrat.

      6. That literally never happened.

    3. At what point did the horseman Pestilence get renamed "environmental destruction"?

      1. Have you not read (or watched the series) Good Omens?

        1. just started today. was on Goliath but finished those

        2. I am a big fan of both Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, but the line about Pollution killing more people than War and Famine is right out of the book. And complete nonsense.

  9. As long as the millennials die also, I'm good.

  10. Almost any recommendation by any UN-related organization or panel is predicated on one principle - can this justify forcing the US or any developed country to give money to the other member states? Always expect demands for cash from countries that will take the money and place it in a foreign bank.
    Even Seattle spends about $100.000 per homeless person. How much actually goes to a street person and how much to administrators?

  11. There's one thing we know for the sure:

    If the temperature keeps getting hotter and hotter, all the rivers, lakes, and oceans will boil away, and we'll die screaming in a burning inferno.

    So, I don't care how fast global warming is happening. You better fix this shit right now. I hate heat, and I don't want to die overheating. That's like the worst way to go. That's torture.


    1. Name checks out

  12. I suspect people who are old enough to remember the Cold War are probably more skeptical about these kinds of predictions.

    There was a Great Disappointment in 1844, when Jesus' second coming failed to materialize for the Millerites, too.

    Seems like the world has always been about to end unless we completely charge our lives now, now, now!

    "Wall Street indexes predicted nine out of the last five recessions!"

    ----Paul Samuelson

    That was supposed to be a criticism of markets as a predictor of the future, but what if it was the information in the indexes that made people change direction and avoid a recession?

    I was reading yesterday about how Beyond Meat and Impossible Burgers were having trouble keeping up with demand from mainline fast food franchises, who are all hopping on board the new veggie meat bandwagon. It still costs twice as much to make those burgers because of processing that meat doesn't need to go through, but consumers are willing to pay for it, in part, because they want to do what's good for the environment.

    People making self-interested choices within the context of a free market and entrepreneurs, like White Castle and Carl's Jr, struggling to meet demand and making a premium on their profits, yeah, that's the way we avoid disasters--even if, like Samuelson said, avoid nine out of the last five disasters. Our fears often seem to have been unfounded looking back, and the future always seems to be an impending disaster.

    1. OT: If anyone would know this, it's you 🙂

      Reason either dropped the length limit altogether, or increased it. Any idea which?

      1. length limits are racist.

        1. ICwhatUdidthere

    2. “I suspect people who are old enough to remember the Cold War are probably more skeptical about these kinds of predictions.”

      Ya think?

      I was just a kiddo growing up in a forward base in Germany.

      The jets, don’t know which they were would fly over. The sonic boom would rattle the windows and things would drop off the shelves. Mom would shake her head and put things back. Dad was somewhere on assignment.

      So let us put the so called Cold War somewhere else.

  13. Is the end of human civilization a bad thing, really?

  14. >>>(my review is forthcoming).

    42 pages of laughter and calling McKibben an idiot.

    1. Ehrlich should have been taken out behind the maintenance shed and shot when he didn't commit suicide after his predictions failed so miserably. At least very least Stanford should have censured him. Maybe that would have discouraged McKibben and his ilk.

      There is no accountability in academia. When 'they' say something is 'peer reviewed', just remember that Ehrlich's bomb was peer reviewed and he is still one of those peers.

      1. Too harsh for a bad prediction. You must mercilessly mock the dude instead.

        But no one ever mocked him. No one even snickered. Sigh.

  15. civilization will momentarily come to an end.

    Ending civilization momentarily? Trump has been doing this via Twitter for over 2 yrs. now.

    1. LMAO!!!

  16. One of Ron's links brought me to the web site "Climate Code Red." Just looking at their old posts brought me to this.

    30 August 2012
    Big call: Cambridge prof. predicts Arctic summer sea ice “all gone by 2015”

    So it's June 5, 2019 and as far as I know, the arctic still has ice, unless someone can say otherwise.

    1. Did you order the Code Red?

      1. No, are there good parts like girl on girl?

  17. The Breakthrough Centre paper rejects conventional cost-benefit analysis in favor of sketching out a "hothouse earth" scenario that relies on projections in a 2017 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences article that average global temperature will exceed 3°C by 2050.

    For temperatures to increase in excess of 5.4°F by 2050 would require an eightfold increase in CO2 concentration by 2050.

    Weitzman outlined a low probability-high consequence scenario in which ECS could be as high as 10°C.

    For an 18°F increase, we need a CO2 increase by a factor of 2^10=1024. That is a ppm in the tens of thousands.

    1. In the future, all drinks will be carbonated.

    2. For temperatures to increase in excess of 5.4°F by 2050 would require an eightfold increase in CO2 concentration by 2050.

      That's if you accept that CO2 is the primary driver of temperature.

      1. That’s if you accept that CO2 is the primary driver of temperature.

        Check out Mr. Examine-the-Premises, here. Do you even Science, bro?

    3. Since you seem to know, are we certain it scales like that?

      1. It has been proven mathematically.

      2. First order ODE thus you get exponential/logarithmic dependence. Logarithmic in this case, hence the focus on doublings.

    4. As I once told a climate change alarmist, "If you were serious about sequestering carbon, you would bury all the forests..."

  18. "a massive global mobilization of resources is needed in the coming decade to build a zero-emissions industrial system and set in train the restoration of a safe climate. This would be akin in scale to the World War II emergency mobilization."
    We could mobilize the trains to get rid of alarmists; maybe those Japanese camps are still there. There would be less warming due to a dramatic decrease in hot air. Send them all to Big Bend TX in July and August, and put them in an un-airconditioned Quonset hut. Then they will know what global climate warming change is actually all about.

    1. The US Japanese camps are way too nice; perhaps there are some real Japanese POW camps still in The Philippines or Malaysia that would better serve their needs. Same diet and regimen as WWII.

  19. I feel like that "WWII mobilization" catchphrase comes from a playbook...

    1. Ask any descendant of a Japanese-American from the forties - - - - -

      1. I'm old enough I didn't have to. I asked them directly.

        My home town and surrounding counties had a very large Japanese-American population. I've heard the first hand stories of losing two and three generation farms and getting shipped off to camps. US citizens. Second and third generation US citizens. They're wealth and livelihood stolen. And in most cases never returned. I know people who were born in those camps.

        I'm amazed they forgave us. Amazed that they never held a grudge.

        1. And yet lefties are still desperate to shovel yet more power at the Federal colossus, all the while crying "it can't happen here".

        2. ...and now whores like Crazie Hirono shill for Democrats. Pathetic.

  20. The "Green Left" and the "Workers' Left" have never been very comfortable bedfellows.

    Some of us have predicted for a while that this would be the wedge that starts to split the Left.

    1. The “Green Left” and the “Workers’ Left”

      The Soviet Union didn't much go in for that pansy environmentalist stuff.

      1. Yeah - and I remember as an undergraduate being made to read this socialist history of Los Angeles, which takes a very poor view of environmentalists, the Sierra Club especially, who are portrayed as thinly disguised bourgeois NIMBYs using 'conservation' to keep the Poors out of Malibu.

        It was not at all clear in the early '90s that the political left was going to be the one to take up the environmental movement, and what the consequences would be if they did.

        1. The political left realized that environmentalism could leveraged as a means of social and economic control.

          1. Indeed, but then overestimated how successful the messaging would be among their working-class base.

      2. If you ever want to destroy the Earth fully, just make it all socialist. I live in an old Soviet mining and steel city. They put the dirty, disgusting refineries in the middle of the city along the river and built a town at the edge of the open strip mine. This made it easy to get workers to and from work much like in Chernobyl. Not only did they not care about the health of the people but they didn't care about the environment. Just like the humans it was to be used anyway the government pleased.

        1. Not much has changed since the Soviet Union fell. Just look at China and India.

          1. Or certain parts of michigan

          2. No because Russia doesn't care and most of the former Soviet states are too poor to do anything about it. Russia, of course, wants to keep it that way which is why Putin can't keep the troops in his pants where they belong but has to use them on every ex-state he feels strong enough to screw.

      3. After the fall of the USSR, the Caspian was a toxic sludge lake. Gotta love that collectivism.

        1. You mean- after the fall of the USSR we learned that the Caspian was a toxic sludge lake.

  21. ... my best judgment is that it is not yet time to panic about the imminent end of civilization.


  22. […] We’re All Gonna Die: Climate Change Apocalypse by 2050: Worst-case scenarios mislead far more … […]

  23. If you're going to start from baseless speculation, why not assume that ECS is 100 C? There's just as much evidence for that as for the claim that it could be 10 C.

    1. And notice that we've started leaving off the time axis. The original cause for concern was not that the planet would warm to the point that life would be impossible (not many think that's a real possibility). The original cause for concern that the planet would warm rapidly, causing catastrophic weather events.

      As Ron points out, 10C of warming is probably not even possible, but 5C of warming over the course of several thousand years is nothing (as the last several thousand years have shown us). 5C of warming over the course of 150 years would likely be disastrous (but isn't going to happen at currently-observed rates).

      1. Actually, the geologic record suggests that even 5C over 150 years would likely be a not-very-significant event. Increases on that scale have almost certainly already happened multiple times.

        If you use the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map as a proxy for overall climate, a 5 C increase is approximately equivalent to moving up one zone. Alternatively, you could think of it as about the equivalent of moving from Indianapolis to Louisville or from Philadelphia to Richmond.

        1. Yes, but then New Orleans becomes Rwanda...wait, what?

          1. It used to be West Ruanda, but the Appalachians eroded a lot.
            These things happen.

  24. Man-made climate change (now dubbed "climate crisis" by The Guardian's editors) poses potentially serious risks for humanity in this century.

    No, it does not. The entire religion of AGW is based on flawed models that have repeatedly and unanimously been wrong by more than 2 sigma, all in the same direction (too hot) when compared to actual data. Feynman famously noted that when the models don’t fit experiment, throw them out.

    Will Reason ever hire a real science writer?

    1. Surely your joking, Mr. Feynman! What a great book!

      1. And What Do I Care What Other People Think.

        I had the great privilege of meeting Feynman once.

    2. Sigma. Not the capitol used as a symbol for summation. In that you need to specify quantities being used as a summary.

      You mean standard deviation.

      That is not possible without a way to measure a population and Gaussian distribution. The average distribution of weight of squirrels in Illinois.

      What you mean is probability based on models of what might happen in the future. That is something else.

      1. Sigma is the symbol for standard deviation. It is arrived at by doing Monte Carlo simulations of the models.

        1. Not exactly.

          I can measure the red blood cell count in a general population. Physically measure that or squirrel size. We will say >2 SD +/- is abnormal. It does not say anything about any pathologic consequences. A healthy population in Nepal for example may have a higher RBC level than one in Spain. Squirrels may by larger or smaller this year. Around here they get larger in cicada swarms.

          A Monte Carlo distribution is a way to use random sampling to arrive at some statistical significance. It cannot arrive at a deterministic outcome.

          So the letter sigma in small case can be used in place of standard deviation although seldom so these days. The capitol letter used in mathematics is something else.

  25. Academics (especially biologists!) are always in favor of giving government horrible powers. I guess they assume it won't be used against them.

    How do we prevent the hypothetical deaths of millions of Chinese? Give the US government power to sterilize us!


  26. " dubbed "climate crisis" by The Guardian's editors..."

    I do not find that in the least surprising. If it is in The Guardian, it's a lie or they made a mistake.

    1. And I must point out that they do not make mistakes.

  27. On the bright side, when Doomsday comes all college loans will be forgiven. Sanders and Warren get their wish for free college. Yay

  28. I'm old enough to remember the hysteria about "we're all going to die from a new ice age". I simply have to laugh at the nonsense that attempts to pass as serious science. Climate science is 90% politics and 10% inadequate science.

  29. 2050? In 100 years, with few exceptions, everyone alive today will be dead—with the exceptions to follow shortly thereafter.

  30. This is why there is universal praise for Trump's carbon tariffs. Right?

  31. Man-made climate change (now dubbed "climate crisis" by The Guardian's editors) poses potentially serious risks for humanity in this century.

    Which of the nearly all failed predictions convinced you of this, Ron?

  32. The Paul Erlich nonsense is a red herring. His prediction never reached anything like a consensus among scientists. In fact, that episode probably makes today’s scientists if anything overly cautious.

    1. So the lightbringer's science "czar" was fringe? Well at least you're starting to admit it, even when you're trying not to.

  33. Back in nineteen ought sixty eight I began to hear the poppycock about global COOLING..... temps were dropping so fast we'd be in another ice age in twenty years, and spiralling down the ice-lined sewer pipe at a frightening rate, no end in sight.

    By about 1980 the scheisters realised there was no panic money in trying to defend against or ward off COOLING. They had taken a good look at WARMING, though, and realised "hey now, we can rake in some coin on this meme". And so they've been doing ever since.

    One thing to note: the surface temp date from NOAA and NASA have been "tweaked" for a few decades now. Anthony Watts called them on it, tried a FOIA request to get the RAW date, they sandbagged refused stalled denied for years.. he finally won in court, and sure enough, the RAW date, before the "correction factors" were applied, showed NO signficant change in at least fifty years. So I would not trust NOAA"s reported numbers at all. And it is those upon which much of the basis for the hysteria is grounded.

    Then , some may recall the East Anglia University scandal, also cooking the books to back up their panic meme. Emails amongst some of their main professors revealed a deliberate plot to falsify to "support" their desired outcome.

    Didn't these kids learn about the "carbon cycle" in about fourth grade biology, or were they too busy learning how to install rubbers on green bananas.?

    1. In all fairness, carbon is sequestered pretty slowly, and we're digging it out wicked faster than it's being put away.
      That said, climate models are just that: models - provisional, and at the very limit of what data input and computing can do. Yes, CO2 has been doubled in the past century or so. But the effects on temperature, or else this would all be long settled. Modelling a nuclear explosion is tough enough, and, you can test that. It's gonna be pretty hard to test a system that involves the whole planet. Not that we shouldn't try, and being more efficient in use of C is probably a good idea, but ruining the economy on the basis of what might happen 3 generations out seems like a poor way to proceed.

      1. what happened to preview????

        effects on temperature are apparently non-linear, or else....

      2. The most accurate model for the period back to about 1800 only ascribes about 2-5% of the heating to CO2. See Pangborn, Dan.

  34. The world will end and we're gonna die by....

    2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040, 2045, 2050, 2055, 2060.

    That about covers it.

    Fuck you Al Gore and David Suzuki.

    1. You forgot 1968 predictions about 2000. This has been going on forever;
      This from so long ago I lost the citation - -
      "Adviser Daniel Patrick Moynihan , notable as a Democrat in the administration, urged the administration to initiate a worldwide system of monitoring carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, decades before the issue of global warming came to the public's attention.
      There is widespread agreement that carbon dioxide content will rise 25 percent by 2000, Moynihan wrote in a September 1969 memo.
      "This could increase the average temperature near the earth's surface by 7 degrees Fahrenheit," he wrote. "This in turn could raise the level of the sea by 10 feet. Goodbye New York. Goodbye Washington, for that matter."

  35. Until 1/3 of the ocean turns to blood I’ll be long the markets.

  36. If I live until 2050 I'll be 101 years old. I'll probably want it to be warm.

    1. Me too. I'm the same age as you.

  37. These people remind me of Harold Campman, the guy a few years ago who kept predicting the rapture, only to get proven wrong several times, while his followers went broke selling all their shit and giving their stuff away to follow that nut job. The good thing is he’s dead. This bullshit will never die.

  38. I've said it before, and I'll repeat it: climate change is the only being accepted by the politicians because it justifies the most massive power grab in history. If the solution to climate change were somehow that centralized governments needed to be abolished and every person needed to be responsible for his own life and safety, AGW (or whatever we're calling it today) wouldn't be quite so popular.

  39. Hooray to the Reason commenters for debunking the myths of climate hysteria and, simultaneously, the pretended expertise of Reason writers!!!

  40. So, since we are all responsible for the imminent climate catastrophe, shouldn’t we all pay the price with our lives? especially if overpopulation is a big part of the problem. We could just blow ourselves up with all the nukes collecting dust in silos, or at the very least, the government should forbid vaccines and all medical treatment, ban vegetables, fruit, and exercise, and order every man woman and child to smoke 4 packs of unfiltered Camels a day. Think the nukes would be less painful.

    1. We don't need to end all human life, just eliminating the socialists would solve the problem.

  41. Catastrophists have been consistently and spectacularly wrong about everything.

  42. Ehrlich totally missed the scenario that actually unfolded which lowers fertility and limits population growth—the prosperity that results from the spread of economic freedom and the rule of law turns out to function as a kind of invisible hand of population control.

    In country after country, we see the fertility rate decline a generation after the infant mortality rate declines. Basically, it takes a generation for the new reality to sink in, but once couples realize that every pregnancy will eventually result in another teenager in the home, they buy condoms.

  43. […] change is going to lead to the apocalypse by 2050. The report has been covered by USA Today, Reason Magazine, New Scientist, CBS, ABC, and […]

  44. If their "solutions" were ever more than "rich countries need to give poor countries money" and "we need to increase social justice to create a clean environment" maybe I'd listen to them.

    How does decreasing income inequality as a first-order goal fix global warming? I recognize that if someone invented a clean power source that produced energy too-cheap-to-meter or a star-trek-like replicator there'd be some income effects but those would be secondary. Taxing billionaires into being millionaires doesn't do one thing to fix global warming.

    Former U.S. Senator Timothy Wirth (D-CO), then representing the Clinton-Gore administration as U.S undersecretary of state for global issues, addressing the same Rio Climate Summit audience, agreed: “We have got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”

  45. I saw a guy in SF once carrying a sign that the world was going to end on Dec 28th and Jesus would arrive, so we must all repent our sins and accept him. The eschatological similarities between the climate cult and end of days Christians are amazing. Christians at least promise you Rapture and eternal life, what does the climate cult offer?

    1. "what does the climate cult offer?"

      A chance to worship their wonderful selves.


  46. We are indeed all going to die. Every living thing dies ( I suppose there may be exceptions, if you want to argue about 'life' on the level if jellyfish or amoebae).

    What "Climate Change' has to do with it escapes me.

  47. When the people who are the biggest proponents of this nonsense stop riding in SUVs and Limos, sell their private planes and mansions and begin using bicycles and live in tiny homes, then I will listen. This debate is not and never has been about “saving the planet”. It is about political power, controlling the masses and imposing a centralized, all powerful government on us which can then control every aspect of our lives and eliminate individual freedom in deference to collective conformity.

  48. Throughout the entire history of the planet the earth has cooled and heated via natural cycles. The earth has been through several ice ages and then has warmed again, and all without the input of humanity. There is absolutely zero evidence that humanity has had anything more than a negligible effect on this current cycle of warming.
    If you want to talk about pollution however, then that is a different matter. We should definitely have a global concerted effort to reduce pollution, but that should not mean we have to crash national economies to do so or that the citizens of western nations should be taxed into poverty to pay to reduce this pollution.
    Man made global warming is a the biggest hoax perpetrated on humanity in order to add another level of control through guilt.

    1. The other tragedy is that AGW is crowding out all the reasonable environmental concerns. Pollution by heavy metals in lakes and rivers, and habitat loss are among the more prominent.

  49. You know what? With all the morons on this planet I welcome a good ole extinction event.

  50. We're All Gonna Die: Climate Change Apocalypse by 2050

    For some, not fast enough.

    Therefore, I suggest that everybody who believes in the climate apocalypse jump off a tall building; that way, they don't have to suffer through a slow, agonizing death and the rest of us can go on with our lives in peace.

  51. Any article reminding us of how wrong the attention-seeking whore, Paul Ehrlich, was (and is) always makes my day.

    We still love you, Julian!

  52. Global warming is either something that humanity can deal with or else it isn't, and there's little we can can do. If the problem is not intractable, then people and the economy will deal with. Carbon taxes and other government schemes are just more schemes to control other people and enrich political interests.

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