MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

How Big of a Deal Is an Extra Half Degree of Global Warming?

New report declares world must be off fossil fuels entirely by 2050.

IPCCHalfDegreeIPCCEarlier this week the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its special report: Global Warming of 1.5 °C. The alarmed reaction of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was typical. "This report by the world's leading climate scientists is an ear-splitting wake-up call to the world," said Guterres in a statement. It confirms that climate change is running faster than we are—and we are running out of time."

Under the Paris Climate Agreement reached in 2015, the nations of the world committed to the goal of "holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change." In order to achieve this goal, the IPCC report concludes that humanity must cut greenhouse gas emissions—chiefly carbon dioxide emitted by the burning of fossil fuels—in half by 2030, and reach net zero emissions by 2050.

In evaluating the report, let's discuss global temperature trends, extreme weather trends, energy technology transitions, and money.

The new report finds that the observed global mean surface temperature trend has increased by about 0.87°C above the average during the 1850–1900 period. The report then estimates that anthropogenic global warming is currently increasing at 0.2°C (likely between 0.1°C and 0.3°C) per decade due to past and ongoing emissions. That rate implies that average global temperatures will reach the 1.5°C threshold by around 2050.

The IPCC report relies upon six long-term surface temperature datasets to come up with the 0.2°C per decade rate of increase. Interestingly, the report does not cite the two global temperature datasets derived from satellites: the University of Alabama in Huntsville reports that global average temperatures are rising at a rate of 0.13°C per decade, and Remote Sensing Systems reports the rate of increase at 0.18°C per decade. At the UAH rate of warming, the 1.5°C threshold would not be exceeded until around 2070. (Note in passing, recent research suggests that without anthropogenic warming, the planet would already be headed well down the path toward a new ice age.)

The IPCC report argues that limiting future temperature increase to 1.5°C is urgent because the "temperature rise to date has already resulted in profound alterations to human and natural systems, bringing increases in some types of extreme weather, droughts, floods, sea level rise and biodiversity loss, and causing unprecedented risks to vulnerable persons and populations."

Given that it is generally agreed that the world has warmed over the past century, it is not surprising that the frequency of heat waves is up. University of Colorado Roger Pielke, Jr., offers a succinct roundup of the new report's rather modest assertions about global trends in other types of extreme weather. For example, the new report acknowledges that the IPCC's earlier Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), released in 2014, noted that "there was low confidence in the sign of drought trends since 1950 at global scale" and that "the recent literature does not suggest a necessary revision of this assessment."

The new report further notes that global "streamflow trends are mostly non-statistically significant" and confirms the AR5's finding that "there is low confidence due to limited evidence … that anthropogenic climate change has affected the frequency and the magnitude of floods." What about hurricanes and typhoons? "Numerous studies towards and beyond AR5 have reported a decreasing trend in the global number of tropical cyclones and/or the globally accumulated cyclonic energy," the new report says. In fact, the 40-year trend in accumulated cyclonic energy (roughly, the amount of energy released by all tropical cyclones each year) is downward. Noting the proliferation of contradictory studies, the report also observes that there is low confidence in the studies reporting increasing trends in the global number of very intense cyclones.

Melting ice from the polar regions and mountain glaciers is expected to boost the rate of sea level rise increasing the risks of coastal flooding. A recent study evaluating 25 years of satellite altimeter data suggested that sea rise has been accelerating. If such acceleration is sustained, sea level will rise about 25 inches instead of 12 inches by 2100.

Although climate change is projected to become a significant factor in species extinction, a recent study found that most extinctions to date are the result of habitat loss, introduced species, and hunting. Climate change might well pose unprecedented risks to vulnerable populations in the future, but the fact is that the chance of dying from a natural disaster including extreme weather has fallen by more than 90 percent since the 1920s.

On to money and technology. The IPCC report finds that the only way keep the planet from warming more than 1.5°C is to totally replace by 2050 all fossil fuel energy by building lots of wind and solar power generation and vastly improving energy efficiency. The IPCC report gives short shrift to the one low-carbon energy technology that could technically be deployed with fair rapidity: nuclear power.

The report does acknowledge that France took just 25 years to deploy enough nuclear power plants to generate 80 percent of its electricity.

The report then, however, goes on to observe that "[t]he current deployment pace of nuclear energy is constrained by social acceptability in many countries due to concerns over risks of accidents and radioactive waste management." This is obtuse. If environmental activists who are now worried about man-made global warming hadn't spent decades irrationally demonizing nuclear power, the world would already have been well on the way toward relative energy decarbonization. The report does at least also note that for nuclear power "comparative risk assessment shows health risks are low per unit of electricity production." Please take note, environmental activists.

So what, according the IPCC report, will it cost to transition from fossil fuels to wind and solar? "Global model pathways limiting global warming to 1.5°C are projected to involve the annual average investment needs in the energy system of around $2.4 trillion [in 2010 U.S. dollars] between 2016 and 2035 representing about 2.5% of the world GDP," states the report. For comparison, the International Energy Agency recently observed that "total energy investment worldwide in 2016 was just over $1.7 trillion, accounting for 2.2 percent of global GDP." Of that, only $297 billion was spent on renewable energy sources.

So how much economic damage will pursuing the IPCC's fast transition to a no-carbon energy system spare us? The report asserts that if no policies aimed specifically at reducing carbon dioxide emissions are adopted, then average global temperature is projected to rise by 3.66°C by 2100, resulting in global GDP loss of 2.6 percent from what it would otherwise have been. Comparatively speaking, in the 2°C and 1.5°C scenarios, global GDP would only be reduced by 0.5 percent or 0.3 percent respectively.

Concretely, the global GDP of $80 trillion, growing at 3 percent annually, would rise to $903 trillion by 2100. A 2.6 percent reduction means that it would only be $880 trillion by 2100. A 0.3 percent decrease implies a loss of $2.7 trillion resulting in a global GDP of $900 trillion. Note that the IPCC is recommending that the world spend between now and 2035 more than $45 trillion in order to endow $2.7 trillion more in annual income on people living three generations hence. Assuming the worst case loss of 2.6 percent of GDP in world with a population of 10 billion that would mean that they would have to scrape by on an average income of just $88,000 per year (the average global GDP per capita now is $10,500.)

There is no denying that man-made global warming could become a significant problem for humanity over the course of this century. In addition, the projections of the climate and econometric models could be way underestimated. 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. While Litterman's analysis strongly suggests that some investments toward mitigating climate risk should be made, it is not unreasonable to question the expensive and rushed decarbonization schemes proposed in the IPCC report.

In any case, given that all national commitments to address climate change are voluntary under the Paris Agreement, it seems unlikely that many (any?) of its signatories will accede to the IPCC's steep and expensive decarbonization recommendations.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Live Free Or Diet||

    The Medieval Warm Period was warmer, even according to IPCC's own graph.
    www.eike-klima-energie.eu/wp-c.....teaser.jpg
    It was a time of prosperity.

  • Tony||

    And it wasn't a global phenomenon and it wasn't caused by humans and it wasn't nearly as dire as the current warming. So what's you're point? B e specific. No, be really specific about what argument you're making. Do you even know?

  • Ecoli||

    I think he is saying that a period in history that was even warmer than today was prosperous, hence today's climate is not an existential threat as claimed by the likes of the internet's inventor, Al Gore. Maybe panic is not a reasonable reaction to climate change?

  • Tony||

    But it's an entirely different phenomenon and the global scientific community suggests that, if not panic, massive collective action is needed. Still trying to figure out what the point of the comparison is other than to add to the collective stupidity of the world in the face of major crisis.

  • ||

    the global scientific community suggests that, if not panic, massive collective action is needed

    You keep saying this, but you cannot back it up. It's almost like you have no idea what the "global scientific community" thinks about anything, really, and don't actually care.

  • D-Pizzle||

    "[M]assive collective action..." Well, that gives away the game, doesn't it.

  • TuIpa||

    Tony, your link is broken.

  • Tony||

    I don't see your fucking link either, goober. If I guarantee you I can provide a link or 1,000 to credible sources that support by view, can you give me just one that supports yours? No guarantee that I won't point and laugh when it turns out to be Anthony Watts or Ann Coulter or whom the fuck ever.

  • ||

    Tulpa isn't saying anything other than pointing out that you can't back up your claim to know what the "global scientific community" thinks. Because you haven't, and you can't, because you don't.

  • Johnimo||

    One can only speculate as to the degree to which Tony has given up fossil fuels. Does he drive and electric car? Does he heat his house with solar energy? Does he have wood burning stoves? Or ... likely ... does he just want a dictator who will make him behave as he knows we all should?

  • emmanuel||

    It's getting colder. Right now I'm burning the remains of my son's deck. But when the temps drop to 30 degrees and lower I turn to America's most abundant natural resource....coal.

    My home heating costs are a third of my neighbor's.

  • BYODB||


    ...the global scientific community suggests that, if not panic, massive collective action is needed.

    Unequivocally false. This is a bald faced lie about what the 'global scientific community' came to a consensus on. The fact that we have literally cited why that is a lie dozens of times means that it's not an accident that you continue to lie about this, it's willful dishonesty.

  • ||

    The fact that we have literally cited why that is a lie dozens of times means that it's not an accident that you continue to lie about this, it's willful dishonesty.

    ^ This. It's really gotten quite pathetic.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    And a guy just finished a PHD thesis showing that the data set the IPCC used for their "conclusion" is complete and total shit. It's completely unreliable and worthless, but "science" and morons like Toejam eat it up.

  • CE||

    If we found another Earth like planet that was 2 degrees warmer on average, we would call it a perfect candidate for colonization.

  • vek||

    LOL

    I'd never thought about it like that, but it is so true!

    I don't believe we're going to warm as much as the doomist claim, but even if we do, it won't be horrible. The earth is likely to actually gain arable land in the whole deal, because the northern hemisphere has more land mass than may be lost at the equator from getting too hot.

    It's probably just because progs don't want Russia to become a paradise because they gave up on communism!

  • CE||

    Massive collective action is rarely what is ever needed.

  • Steve-O||

    I wasn't aware that there was a "global scientific community." Do they have an HOA? I bet their block parties are real sausage fests.

  • gah87||

    The global scientific community is now saying that wind power will warm the climate by 0.24°C.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yes Tony, it's all the fault of republicans and capitalism. Socialism and crippling taxes will save the world!

  • Woody Chip Hurrrrr?||

    It has been confirmed just as warmer in Africa. So yes, global.

    But Proggies don't care about Africans, so carry on, zinger.

  • Live Free Or Diet||

    And it wasn't a global phenomenon

    It was global.

    The Little Ice Age as Recorded in the Stratigraphy of the Tropical Quelccaya Ice Cap
    (Science, Volume 234, Number 4774, pp. 361-364, October 1986)
    - L. G. Thompson et al.
    Evidence for the existence of the medieval warm period in China
    (Climatic Change, Volume 26, Issue 2-3, pp. 289-297, March 1994)
    - De'Er Zhang
    The Little Ice Age and Medieval Warming in South Africa (PDF)
    (South African Journal of Science, Volume 96, Number 3, pp. 121-126, 2000)
    - P. D. Tyson, W. Karlen, K. Holmgren, G. A. Heiss

    Now, want to go for the Roman Warming Period being regional?

  • Tony||

    So what's your point with respect to the current phenomenon? Be specific please.

  • ||

    You're the one who declared it wasn't a global phenomenon, and he proved you wrong, because you are very ignorant of climate science despite how aggressively you choose to preach about it.

    The point with respect to the current phenomenon is that these prior warm periods show that current GMT is not unprecedented, may well not be anthropogenic (at least re: fossil fuels), was not catastrophic in the past, and didn't require government action to remediate.

    Is that specific enough for you?

  • Live Free Or Diet||

    Well said, sir.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony is a lying piece of shit who will twist everything around to boost socialism and democrats.

  • MoreFreedom||

    Excellent point. But it's all moot, because the latest scientific models of the Sun suggest we're in for a multi-decade or multi-century little Ice Age in which we'll need to warm the planet or suffer the effects of cold, and by the end of it we'll likely have cheap abundant energy.

    Don't worry, be happy, get some warm clothes within the decade.

  • CE||

    The northern regions of civilization are getting more pleasant to live in.
    The southern regions require a little more air conditioning than previously.
    We'll adapt.

  • Live Free Or Diet||

    And it wasn't a global phenomenon

    It was global.

    So what's your point with respect to the current phenomenon? Be specific please.

    I showed that that the MWP wasn't just in North America and Europe. It was warmer then than now in South America, Africa and deep into Asia too. Climate change is normal, which would be evident to anyone if they thought about things as basic as the ice ages.
    As to mankind changing the climate, yes, we are; all species do. NASA has shown we are literally greening the Earth, which means more total life. The last ice age came extremely close to the lower limit (150 ppm) for C3 and C4 to work, and plants were suffering. We are fixing that CO2 famine by burning fossil fuels.

  • JasonT20||

    CO2 famine? The CO2 concentration for the Holocene (epoch that started with the end of the last ice age ~11,000 years ago) was pretty steady at around 280ppm until industrialization. There was no "CO2 famine" to worry about when we started burning fossil fuels. The CO2 level never went significantly above 280 ppm in the ice core data going back several hundred thousand years.

  • vek||

    And in the LONG TERM past, it has been astronomically higher. When the earth was super hot, it actually had far more life, was greener and lusher, etc. Think Jurassic period. We've been on the very low side for millions of years IIRC. So it's all a question of what scale you're looking at, and what you consider desirable.

    Obviously if the climate changed that much, it would be a MASSIVE amount of adaption. However it would actually be a better planet after it was all said and done. But that's not going to happen anyway.

  • Ladyhawk||

    You said: "it wasn't a global phenomenon and it wasn't caused by humans and it wasn't nearly as dire as the current warming."

    Yes it was a global phenomenon (see references above) , and it was warmer than now. How much of this warming has been caused by humans? No one has an answer they can back up with anything other than surmise. How much of the MWP was caused by humans? We have been cutting down forests, burning grasslands to prevent regrowth of forests, re-routing rivers, and in myriad other ways changing our own landscape and therefore affecting climate since we came down from the trees. We may well have contributed to the MWP, but we have as little hard evidence for that as we do for this warming period. Unless you'd like to enlighten me with some credible evidence, which in truth I would appreciate. I mean hard numbers re the human effect versus other natural causes of warming, like the fact we are in an inter-glacial period.

    As for being "dire", you can only mean how freaked out the media is about it, because the projections for the future consequences of the current warming have been off by at least 50% so far. And no one really knows what happened in the MWP but a lot fewer people could even read headlines if there were any. So likely no panic at all. "Dire" isn't a something.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    None of your points necessitie more socialism, amd therefore will be ignored.

  • Woody Chip Hurrrrr?||

    Thank you!

  • BYODB||


    And it wasn't a global phenomenon...

    Of course, if that's true than the entire notion of 'global warming' was just blown to pieces you giant fucking idiot.

  • Rossami||

    Tony makes three assertions and gets one out of three right. Congratulations! Your score is improving!

    The Medieval Warm period was not caused by humans but it was global and it was every bit as hot (and actually a bit hotter) than what we are currently experiencing. And, yes, it was a time of prosperity and flourishing of civilization.

  • Greg F||

    And it wasn't a global phenomenon ...


    There are dozens of published papers suggesting otherwise. Here is a short list.

  • Live Free Or Diet||

    Nice list! I have new reading. Yay!

  • aajax||

    Warmer than what, 2018, or the projected climate?

  • Live Free Or Diet||

    Warmer than now. Other periods (Roman, Minoan) during human civilization were warmer yet.

  • JasonT20||

    Warmer than now. Other periods (Roman, Minoan) during human civilization were warmer yet.

    Even if I grant you this as if it is fact, most of the problem is not what the global temperature is now, but what is going to happen to the temperature in the foreseeable future. A 'business as usual' scenario is very likely to push us to a global climate that humans have never seen, and certainly one that human civilization has never seen.

    The fact is that human population exploded from around 1 billion people in the 18th century to over 7 billion now. Whatever the climate was like in Minoan, Roman, or Medieval times, it is the climate of the last 200-300 years that has set patterns of human habitation, agriculture, etc. Going substantially beyond that climate in either direction would be likely to disrupt those patterns and cause harms.

    The "lukewarmers" (those skeptical of the amount of warming projected by models under business as usual scenarios and/or think that the cost of reducing emissions outweighs the benefits) I at least give some credit for not denying the basics of greenhouse theory. It is those that jump to whatever argument they think will "win" the debate that I have a problem with. It is like arguing with creationists when dealing with them.

  • vek||

    Almost nobody argues that CO2 has no effect... But whether it is a major driver, or a bit player is open to legitimate debate. As as already been mentioned by others, all current predictions based on models have been off by 50% or more from observed warming. This means there is SOME MAJOR variable missing from the models. If this current estimate is off by even a mere 50% still, it's basically a non issue for the world.

    When they can accurately predict warming even 5-10 years into the future with a reasonable error rate, then I'll take all these idiots at their word. Unfortunately for them other models, primarily solar driven models, have actually predicted outcomes more accurately than the stuff the IPCC has cooked up... So they kinda seem like the most accurate game in town. Perhaps discounting THE FUCKING SUN as the main driver of climate isn't a crazy idea after all...

  • JasonT20||

    As as already been mentioned by others, all current predictions based on models have been off by 50% or more from observed warming.

    What models have been this far off? I see plenty of AGW doubters say that "the models are off" or whatever, but I never see them link the actual academic literature on this. Please provide the research that shows models being this inaccurate before repeating that canard as if it is fact.

    When they can accurately predict warming even 5-10 years into the future with a reasonable error rate, then I'll take all these idiots at their word.

    You aren't understanding how climate modeling works if you think this to be a reasonable test of climate models. On that short of a time scale, variations are likely to be dominated by short-term cycles (like the El Nino-Southern Oscillation) or just simply random fluctuations. Models don't try and predict such things, but they can and do include different scenarios for them as part of the ensembles that they run. Climate modeling involves thousands of runs, or 'realizations', of what is projected to happen in the future, and then those runs are averaged together with statistics giving confidence bands around the resulting average. Virtually any outcome 5-10 years into the future would fall within these statistical confidence bands, telling us absolutely nothing one way or the other about the quality of the model.

  • JasonT20||

    Perhaps discounting THE FUCKING SUN as the main driver of climate isn't a crazy idea after all...

    Perhaps climate models don't discount "THE FUCKING SUN", have you thought about that? Have you considered that the "FUCKING" sun has actually decreased its output slightly while the globe has been warming? I think you just don't know what you are "FUCKING" talking about.

  • JasonT20||

    "The Medieval Warm Period was warmer, even according to IPCC's own graph."

    For crying out loud, that graph was from the very first of the IPCC reports nearly 30 years ago. In the time since then, no other reconstruction of global temperatures has put the MWP above current temperatures. Way to cherry pick your data.

  • Angelique||

    By the way, the oil companies, which spent a lot of time DENYING climate change now ask for (surprise, surprise) Government Money to help protect their refineries from severe weathr caused (surprise, surprise) by climate change.

    And the Governmetn will give it to them, no fear.

    Isn't it nice that money is spent to protect them from an imaginary threat?

    Now, if I could get some money to protect me from vampires.....

  • General_Tso||

    Your vampires are more likely than man-made climate change.

  • Angelique||

    Well, the oil companies do not think so. Why else are they asking Government money?

  • TuIpa||

    To get it? Because it's being handed out?

  • Radioactive||

    and other blood suckers like the UN...

  • Radioactive||

    and other blood suckers, like the UN

  • Sevo||

    "By the way, the oil companies, which spent a lot of time DENYING climate change now ask for (surprise, surprise) Government Money to help protect their refineries from severe weathr caused (surprise, surprise) by climate change."

    You should read the article instead of making an ass of yourself.

  • ||

    If you are referring to damage to facilities on the gulf coast (TX and LA), there is no evidence at all that there has been any change in the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones. You seem to be one of these people who believes that the east and gulf coasts of the USA (from TX to New England).

    The oil companies are not asking for Government Money to help protect their refineries from severe weather caused by climate change, they are calling for bailouts due to damage from severe weather that has always existed in the areas where they have built facilities. Another case of corporate welfare, has nothing to do with climate change.

    To paraphrase Richard Nixon, "We are all welfare bums now,"

  • ||

    You seem to be one of these people who believes that the east and gulf coasts of the USA (from TX to New England) have not always been liable to experience tropical cyclones. That belief is false but perhaps if you are young and/or historically ignorant, you are possible excused. But now you have been corrected so next time you will not have an excuse.

  • NashTiger||

    Severe Weather isn't increasing, and isn't caused by Climate Change. The IPCC even says so

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Meet the new hysteria.

    Same as the old hysteria.

  • Brandybuck||

    There is absolutely no fucking way the US, let alone mankind, can get entirely off of fossil fuels without a return to nuclear power. You can do it with solar, wind, and most alternatives, because they only generate energy sporadically. You can't do it with hydro as there aren't enough rivers left to dam up. Biofuel is the only possible feasible source of alternative energy, but it has its won problems, and we still end up with carbon based energy. It may be the long term solution, but it won't happen by 2050.

    The only source we have with today's technology is nuclear power.

    And guess what the one source of energy the Left hates worse than Petroleum...

  • Inigo Montoya||

    Fortunately, they are all about supporting science, so they know how safe and efficient MODERN nuclear power is!

    /sarc/

  • Radioactive||

    so the big deal is how it affects the research budget.

  • Tony||

    At least both sides can agree that there is no possible way to provide energy for modern civilization while protecting its environment without massive government investment. Libertarianism--how fun was it while it lasted?

  • DarrenM||

    It doesn't require massive government investment so much as getting rid of the regulations that make it take 10 years to complete a single nuclear plant.

  • Tony||

    And why would we want to regulate something that could devastate the environment for millions of years? Surely a free market in nuclear insurance will pop up to deal with it. Oh wait, it won't, because nobody will pay for it without limited liability offered by governments.

    Nuclear power cannot exist in a libertarian environment. Period. The fact that you idiots keep pushing it speaks only to the corrupt corporate backing of your so-called philosophy.

  • JCarruthers||

    I am old enough to remember pretty damn clearly when "climate change" was a scam whipped up by conservative governments to push nuclear power. Good job, guys.

    Of course we have no actual idea if nuclear power would prevail in a Libertopia, we have no idea if insurance would assume the risk. It seems unlikely today, but we just don't know. That's the tragedy, the seen and the unseen and all that.

  • Dunehunter||

    I'm pretty old too and don't remember this--not saying you're wrong, just saying I don't remember. I had thought the ramp up to nuclear back in the 70's was a result of the Arab oil embargo and the ensuing energy crunch.

  • ||

    And why would we want to regulate something that could devastate the environment for millions of years?
    ...
    Oh wait, it won't, because nobody will pay for it without limited liability offered by governments.

    Really they shouldn't require defense in the form of limited liability from your imaginary boogeymen in the first place.

    But you've always been the sort to invoke religious specters when it suits your agenda and shun them when it doesn't.

  • ||

    Actually, Tony (stopped clock) is right. The Price–Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act was the basis for the LP's nuclear plank in 1980.

    It was not so much an anti-nuclear plank as a call to repeal Price–Anderson and let nuclear sink or swim on its own.

  • ||

    Actually, Tony (stopped clock) is right.

    No, he's not. I wasn't saying he wasn't correct about indemnity. He was wrong in that nuclear reactors don't and can't devastate the environment for millions of years. The radiation may be detectable for millions of years but the 'devastation' isn't and never really has been very much disparate from natural disasters and other industrial accidents. Moreover, the watermelons are hell bent on convicting people of non-crimes no matter how small the number of people affected or statistically insignificant the risk.

    Part of the reason we had to bomb Nagasaki was because the devastation at Hiroshima wasn't convincing enough. It wasn't until it was realized that the Allies could support a somewhat sustained campaign of such attacks that it was clear surrender was required. A typhoon shortly after the bombing of Hiroshima was far more destructive than the bombing itself was.

    Further, despite the deliberate attempts to devastate as much as possible as long as possible, you can freely walk the streets of either city today. The museum commemorating the bombing of Hiroshima was opened in Hiroshima almost within a decade after the bombing.

  • ||

    Sorry, industrial... accidents.

    Again, I'm not saying there should/shouldn't be indemnity. Just that nuclear reactors aren't inherently or necessarily more dangerous than fertilizer plants.

  • Longtobefree||

    For a fun time, look up the casualty numbers for the Dresden and Tokyo fire bombings. Include the deaths from disease (typhus, diphtheria, dysentery, starvation, etc) as a counter balance to radiation sickness.

  • ||

    I am not speaking of whether Nuclear energy is actually a threat, I speaking of the fact that in order to get investors to treat nuclear energy favorably, Congress had to pass legislation that gave nuclear a "leg up" in the world.

    I do not care what might have happened without that "leg up", I am merely pointing out that it should not have happened in the first place.

    Nuclear power should have had to sink or swim on its own. It should never have been given a special advantage. Price–Anderson stands as an advantage given to nuclear in much the same way as the various tax credits and direct subsidies to wind and solar have gotten today.

    If you are opposed to subsidies to solar and wind, you should also examine Price–Anderson and its market distorting affects along with the various tax treatments that have been given to the oil and coal industries.

  • ||

    I do not care what might have happened without that "leg up", I am merely pointing out that it should not have happened in the first place.

    Right people like Tony drummed up fears about nuclear energy poisoning the planet for the next million years, lobbied legislators, and actively protested building sites for years.

    If similar were done to solar, wind, or even petroleum oil or auto manufacturing in its nascence they would've never gotten off the ground.

    I don't like the the 'leg up'. Tony's "devastate the environment for a million years" is the root cause of the 'leg up' and the tactic is applied far more broadly than just nuclear power. This used to be called FUD and was universally frowned upon by 'reasonable' people.

  • TuIpa||

    "And why would we want to regulate something that could devastate the environment for millions of years? "

    Like breeding?

  • ||

    Pretty much all of Asia has never really been the same since the rise of socialism, we really should do something about that.

  • Tony||

    I'm glad we agree that libertarianism is totally useless.

  • ||

    Yeah, because eugenics was such a resounding success, huh?

  • BYODB||


    Yeah, because eugenics was such a resounding success, huh?

    I'm actually pretty sure Tony is fine with eugenics, he just might have an issue with who it was aimed at in particular.

    With how often he uses the 'cousin fucker' insult, I assume that he has some genetic superiority complex. I also assume he has a problem with Muslims, and Pakistani folks in particular.

  • vek||

    You know, I always hate it when people imply eugenics doesn't work. It is 110% scientifically sound. It is a FACT that directed breeding has the exact results one would expect.

    It is only a question of morals, not that it works. I think eugenics is a GREAT idea, I just don't believe in forcing it at the barrel of a gun.

    We have a lot of dysgenic policies, like taking money from the intelligent and productive, and giving it to those that shouldn't be having as many kids in the first place... Those are NOT wise choices for a lot of practical reasons, and encouraging breeding amongst low IQ people, while simultaneously discouraging it among high IQ people, is in fact the most important long term outcome.

  • Woody Chip Hurrrrr?||

    why would we want to regulate something that could devastate the environment for millions of years?

    You mean like governments? Corrupt, monolithic, coercive, unthinking, incompetent governments?

    All all their shills and apparatchiks?

    Like you?

    Government has fucked up the world far more than any thing else.

    Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and all the current socialist regimes fucking up their societies and economies?

  • BYODB||


    And why would we want to regulate something that could devastate the environment for millions of years?

    That you think this is in any way true indicates how utterly ignorant of all things scientific you really are.

  • ||

    And why would we want to regulate something that could devastate the environment for millions of years?

    Thank you for opening your mouth and proving your progtardiness. As if you are not chanting out of the other side of your ass-mouth "GLOBAL WARMING!!!!© is going to ruin the planet for millions of years."

    As if a few trillion wouldn't provide plenty of insurance vs. The $45 trillion the IPonCC is proposing to steal from the wealrhy (i.e., the US working class).

    If a bunch of fucking enlisted US Navy retards can run hundreds of nuke plants for the last 60 years without an incident, anyone can.

    Disclaimer: my brother was enlisted in the US Navy for 22 years as a nuclear reactor operator. He is not actually a retard

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""At least both sides can agree that there is no possible way to provide energy for modern civilization while protecting its environment without massive government investment""

    What's funny is I remember when the argument was being made that we couldn't go into space without massive government investment.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""At least both sides can agree that there is no possible way to provide energy for modern civilization while protecting its environment without massive government investment""

    What's funny is I remember when the argument was being made that we couldn't go into space without massive government investment.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""At least both sides can agree that there is no possible way to provide energy for modern civilization while protecting its environment without massive government investment""

    What's funny is I remember when the argument was being made that we couldn't go into space without massive government investment.

  • Ladyhawk||

    "At least both sides can agree that there is no possible way to provide energy for modern civilization while protecting its environment without massive government investment. Libertarianism--how fun was it while it lasted?"

    WHAAAA?? Who the hell provided it for the last 200 years? What you mean by "massive government investment" is going to be bailing out the fossil fuel companies who will lose money trying to provide reliable energy while "protecting its environment" from the utterly unpredictable demands that the greenies will be making for the next like forever. Oh right I forgot....wind and solar will somehow miraculously become steady and reliable and so small as to not be hideous species-killers, when we revoke the laws of physics and make the wind and solar farms .

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "At least both sides can agree that there is no possible way to provide energy for modern civilization while protecting its environment without massive government investment. Libertarianism--how fun was it while it lasted?"

    No, both sides can't agree, and there should never be agreement on that kind of bullshit.

  • Angelique||

    By the way, all the way from India

    Coal plants are dying - cheap renewables are killing them off.

    The fact remains that after the first hurdles are over, sunlight and wind are free, and coal (and oil) has to be paid for.

    BIG SELLING POINT

    i would put the link here, but this does not allow to enter it (too long a word).

    The fact is that with technology improvements renewables are getting cheaper and cheaper

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Nothing is "free", including solar and wind.

  • BYODB||

    Indeed, do people really think that absorbing sunlight and converting it into energy has no costs? That's perhaps one of the most idiotic things I've ever seen an adult believe, and I know a lot of people that believe in an invisible sky father. At least invisible sky father understands economics and chemistry.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Nor do they consider that batteries are needed, and the environmental impact of mining the materials that go into making them.

  • BYODB||

    That was exactly my point. The resource may itself be functionally infinite (not really infinite, of course, but no one gives a shit if we run out of sunlight in a few billion years) but the materials required to construct the collectors are finite and they can't be infinitely recycled.

    It's just plain retarded. The argument sounds good to retards. That's the sum total.

    Now, I have zero issues with people that want to add a solar panel to their roof or what have you. That could be sensible, I guess, especially if you get a subsidy. But that isn't what the watermelons or useful idiots like Tony are talking about.

  • Angelique||

    No the panels and storage batteries have to be made, and they take materials.

    But the material for a solar panel has to be extracted ONCE, and they you have it. Same as the material for the battery. The coal has to be dug out EVERY DAY, and next day is burned up.

    You can do the math, can you?

    The article says that the renewables energy is CHEAPER.

    You know, "market forces"? They are working against coal now.

  • D-Pizzle||

    "You know, 'market forces'? They are working against coal now."

    Great. So there's no need for government involvement.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Angie, you really don't know what the fuck you're talking about. First the article is wrong. Renewables aren't cheaper. Bailey is an idiot.

    Second, lithium ion batteries are not terribly recyclable. This is well known.

    You might want to educate yourself in these matters before making such proclamations.

  • General_Tso||

    As long as the gub'mint subsidies hold out, at least.

  • Azathoth!!||

    I would put the link here, but I don't actually have one (because the idea of 'cheap renewables is as preposterous to me as it is to everyone--including basic physics)

    FTFY

  • Sevo||

    Angelique|10.11.18 @ 11:33AM|#
    "...The fact is that with technology improvements renewables are getting cheaper and cheaper."

    It they keep getting cheaper, why maybe one day they'll compete with fossil fuels, bullhsitter.

  • ||

    Here's that link you were not looking for.

    The Chinese, who build a crapload of "cheap renewables" seem to disagree with you vehemently.

  • Rossami||

    Somebody fell asleep when they were covering lifecycle costs in economics class. The fact is that no current renewable technology is cost-effective on a total lifecycle basis. Several are getting closer - but closer is a relative statement.

    For a quick refresher, total lifecycle costs include not only the installation costs and operating costs but also all on-going maintenance and all the decommissioning and remediation costs when the facility has outlived its useful life. Sunlight and wind are, indeed, free. The heavy metals needed to build those facilities are not. The massive powerlines to move energy from where it's generated to where it's needed are not. The concrete to build the solar or wind farm are not. The safe disposal of all those heavy metals are not. And the life expectancy of a solar or wind installation is currently about 25 year at most. Many facilities are experiencing substantially shorter useful lives before the plants must be shut down.

    Quick side note on concrete. It gives off an astonishing amount of CO2 during the production and curing process. So much that the concrete for a wind farm gives off more CO2 than burning fossil fuels to get the same amount of energy over the useful life of the farm.
    (con't)

  • Rossami||

    (con't) This analysis is without considering the additional adverse environmental effects of the various renewable technologies, all of which require a lot more arable land than a fossil fuel facility of the same generating capacity.

    The fact is that renewables are getting cheaper but they are still not even close to cost-effective. If they were, they would not need subsidies to survive. Once renewable make actual economic sense, people will switch to them without coercion.

  • ||

    Wow, it sounds to me like maybe some other remedies for "climate change" need to be considered other that destroying all conveniences of modern living.

    Everyone on the "climate change" bandwagon (I remain agnostic as to the reality of such but I would prefer to continue to have a "western" standard of living) seems to think that not onlu can "we" not continue to maintain "our" standard of living, but that the "lesser races" in the "third world" cannot expect to even aspire to such a thing. If you think it's bad to condemn the west to severely declining living standards, how do you feel about condemning the "lesser races" in the "third world" to degradation of a standard of living which is barely removed from starvation.

    Talk about your "white man's burden."

  • bachelier||

    "So much that the concrete for a wind farm gives off more CO2 than burning fossil fuels to get the same amount of energy over the useful life of the farm"
    That's a stunning statistic if true. Do you have a source for it by any chance? I haven't found much out there except a link from 'stopthesethings.com' plausibly ascribing 242 tons of CO2 to the inputs of each wind tower. Neglecting the fact that most any alternative generation *also* uses concrete and rebar, this alone doesn't seem like a terribly large number. A 1MW rotor producing power only 2 hours a day would displace more than this in only two years (versus gas - .185MWH per ton.) Surely the useful life of a typical wind farm is quite a bit longer than this, and most wind farms produce far more than 2 hours of power per day. so I'm curious what your assumptions are here.

  • ||

    Quick side note on concrete. It gives off an astonishing amount of CO2 during the production and curing process. So much that the concrete for a wind farm gives off more CO2 than burning fossil fuels to get the same amount of energy over the useful life of the farm.

    ^this^

    Guess which country that stands to get free technology at the expense of the USA if the IPCC gets its way recently finished the largest concrete structure on the planet?

    Here is a hint.

    Oh, and without oil production say goodbye to asphalt roads. Asphalt oil is the leftover sludge when you take out all the light products like gasoline, kerosine, etc. It is solid at 200 F, 100% recyclable, and never degrades into soils. It is the literally the most recycled product on the planet.

    Concrete producers thank you for your support!

  • BYODB||

    That's an interesting read.


    Economic costs also ran high. Official reports place the price tag in the 24-billion-U.S.-dollar range. Critics say that actual costs could be several times the stated amount.


    Yeah, I do not believe it cost only 24 billion dollars.


    The dam's 410-mile-long (660-kilometer-long) reservoir will flood about 244 square miles (632 square kilometers) of land—including well over a thousand towns and villages.

    I guess they'll just dump all those villagers in one of China's empty premade cities...I have to notice that the stories in 2015 were that there were a lot of empty cities, yet now some of them are claimed to be full. Gee, I wonder how that happened? Not that I even believe the Chinese government about anything anyway.

  • ||

    I guess they'll just dump all those villagers in one of China's empty premade cities

    That is the plan, yes. This has been decades in the making - I remember the stories about the forced relocation of all those villages many years ago. Environmental activists used to be concerned about it, in that it not only destroys pretty much a whole US state's worth of habitable land, it may actually alter global weather patterns.

    That was back when environmentalists were interested in things other than curbing Western capitalism.

  • Greg F||

    Coal plants are dying - cheap renewables are killing them off.


    Electrical power has to be dispatchable. IOW, it has to be supplied when needed. "Cheap renewables" due to their intermittent nature can only supplement and require backup in the form of conventional generation. The problem is the "renewables" cost doesn't include the backup costs to make them viable.

  • ||

    AND, Solar panels are toxic waste

    AND, for solar and wind produced electricity to act as anything but a supplement it has to be stored to be supplied upon demand. That means batteries.

    Good luck with ever being cost effective.

  • NashTiger||

    Are you trying to out-stupid Tony?

  • vek||

    Most forms of renewables aren't REALLY cheaper than coal/natural gas yet. But I suspect they will be before too much longer.

    Which is all the more reason that we don't need to worry about this shit. They're a good idea in theory, provided they are cost effective. When they are, they will all of a sudden take up nearly 100% of energy investment. It will all get converted when and where it makes the most sense.

  • Teddy Pump||

    Such a shame that The Powers That Be stifled Tesla's plans for completely Free & Clean Energy derived from the electromagnetic belt of the earth & upon his death stole his process for doing it! I have read that some people on earth in the last ten years have discovered the way to do it, but The Powers That Be will not issue them the patents!

  • CE||

    A lack of patents shouldn't stop them. Some greedy capitalist will invest beaucoup bucks in them if they really have a cheap energy source they can sell to people.

  • NashTiger||

  • Jerryskids||

    The IPCC report finds that the only way keep the planet from warming more than 1.5°C is to totally replace by 2050 all fossil fuel energy by building lots of wind and solar power generation and vastly improving energy efficiency.

    It's one simple trick that will amaze you! For full details, just send a blank check and all your individual rights to your nearest Peoples Committee For Social Justice. For best results, make the check payable to the head of the Peoples Committee personally.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    There is no denying that man-made global warming could become a significant problem for humanity over the course of this century.

    There's no denying that the claim and its use by would-be statists could become a significant problem.

    I thought the rise in the Earth's single temperature would turn my vast land holdings in Western Pennsylvania into beachfront property by now. What's the holdup already?

  • ||

    I thought the rise in the Earth's single temperature would turn my vast land holdings in Western Pennsylvania into beachfront property by now. What's the holdup already?

    Pause in beachfront property level rise while the swamp is being drained.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    IT HAS TO BE DRAINED TO SOMEWHERE.

  • Bubba Jones||

    These scenarios never outline an actual plan to achieve the desired result.

    SOMEBODY SHOULD DO SOMETHING

  • Alcibiades||

    New ice age = terrifying.

    Warmer planet with slightly elevated CO2 levels = a greener planet with elevated crop yields.

  • DPICM||

    Not only elevated crop yields, but better access to untapped resources. Look at the globe and consider how much mineral wealth is buried and inaccessible frozen turdra. And how much more is inaccessible because, even though not technically in the arctic, it is still far enough North and too cold for many people to want to live there. Huge swaths of Asia and North America are like this. All of Antarctica is frozen. Who knows what is out there?

  • Alcibiades||

    Correct.

    IPCC = UN-enabled massive transfer of wealth from advanced, prosperous, wealthy nations to shithole banana republics.

    Here's to global warming...and fracking too.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "IPCC = UN-enabled massive transfer of wealth from advanced, prosperous, wealthy nations to *international ruling class*"

    FTFY

  • renreok||

    I dont get the math here. Shouldnt it be that the IPCC is advocating the world spend $45 trillion to save the difference between a. 3% decrease and a 2 6% decrease, or 900 trillion minus 880 trillion.

    So its 45 trillion up front to save 20 trillion, which is still a shitty investment return.

  • Radioactive||

    not to mention pretty shitty math.

  • DarrenM||

    The IPCC report gives short shrift to the one low-carbon energy technology that could technically be deployed with fair rapidity: nuclear power.

    That's because they are still not really serious.

  • NashTiger||

  • buybuydandavis||

    They're very serious about accumulating power for the international ruling class.

  • JFree||

    We suck at predicting the future. We suck even more at restraining ourselves so the future has the resources to fix the problems we impose on them.

  • DarrenM||

    We're not all that great at predicting the past either.

  • JFree||

    Maybe someone can create the anti-Bitcoin (new supply created by producing/reserving energy supply - and energy can only be purchased/traded with that form of money) and we won't have to predict anything.

  • BYODB||


    We suck at predicting the future. We suck even more at restraining ourselves so the future has the resources to fix the problems we impose on them.

    Are you trying to contradict yourself here? Honest question.

  • JFree||

    No I'm not trying to contradict myself.

    I do think the sole purpose of the IPCC fearmongering is to persuade us to restrain ourselves (which is fucking WAY overdue and is a huge failure of modern economics/money). But as long as they are doing so by trying to predict the future, they will fail and make it more difficult to make changes which really should be made anyway.

  • BYODB||

    Gotcha, so you say we're shitty at predicting the future then proceed to use future predictions to claim we need more restraint. Got it.

  • JFree||

    No - we need restraint because we are:

    a)directly subsidizing fossil fuels via extraction, transport, and pollution policies

    b)indirectly subsidizing via our entire foreign policy since at least WW2 (prob WW1) - the dollar's reserve value is almost entirely because oil is priced and paid for in dollars

    c)mispricing all nonrenewable/nonproduceable resources because our money is debt-based rather than surplus-based. Which is why Say's Law no longer works - and why we instead need TopMen and TopBanks to manage our money supply and fuck with the economy and ensure that everything else gets mispriced too.

    'Climate change' is nothing more than a boil on a bull's butt. Or maybe a Darwinian FYTW that we won't ever understand.

  • chipper me timbers||

    The biggest trick they've pulled is that they've put predictions about the OUTCOME of global warming bundled together with the FACTS that there is a warming trend.

    "It's getting warming" vs. "It's getting warmer and we're all gonna die. Quick, time for full authoritarian control of everything in a vague bid to address it, no time to think! " are two very different claims.

    But you're a "denier" if you don't buy into the second one.

  • ||

    "It's getting warming" vs. "It's getting warmer and we're all gonna die. Quick, time for full authoritarian control of everything in a vague bid to address it, no time to think! " are two very different claims.

    But you're a "denier" if you don't buy into the second one.

    ^ This. cf. Bjorn Lomborg.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    "New report declares world must be off fossil fuels entirely by 2050."

    Lol

  • Ron||

    A 4.e-04 change to 4.01e-04 change in one of the gas level increase is not enough to change temperatures without an external increase from the heat source. running the math we would have to increase the CO2 levels by 2500% in order to get 1º of change. simple thermodynamic laws prevail

  • Colossal Douchebag||

  • Sevo||

    "The report then, however, goes on to observe that "[t]he current deployment pace of nuclear energy is constrained by social acceptability in many countries due to concerns over risks of accidents and radioactive waste management.""

    The IPCC admits we have a solution in hand which will not require ruining the world's economy, nor returning to a neolithic culture, but we can't use it since some people think it's icky!
    When they get serious, I'll do the same.

  • buybuydandavis||

    You can't use it because it might work.

    Solve the problem, end the rationalization for more unaccountable rule by international apparatchiks.

    Most government "solutions" should be understood as hostage situations.

    Once you pay the danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "How big a deal is an extra half degree of Global Warming?"

    1. None.
    2. Call me when it actually happens outside of a computer model.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Can someone list all the low lying island nations that are now underwater as was predicted?

  • ||

    Those that are sinking, or only those that are being subsumed by rising tides? Because the latter group is fairly small. Maybe not even an integer.

  • handsoffmypineapples||

    In 1998 climate "experts" predicted that all 1,196 islands in the Maldives would be underwater this year. They were only off by 1,196...

  • chipper me timbers||

    Oh man I"d love to get a link or reference to this...

  • handsoffmypineapples||

    Sorry, typo... It was 1988 for the prediction, not '98. And on the well known climate-denier site Wikipedia, the Maldives are - as of 2018 - still above water. But it's under such immediate threat that the Saudis are investing $10B there!

  • Sigivald||

    "New report declares world must be off fossil fuels entirely by 2050."

    New report lives in fulfilling fantasy world where that is remotely possible, at all.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "The IPCC report argues that limiting future temperature increase to 1.5°C is urgent because the "temperature rise to date has already resulted in profound alterations to human and natural systems, bringing increases in some types of extreme weather, droughts, floods, sea level rise and biodiversity loss, and causing unprecedented risks to vulnerable persons and populations."

    Bullshit.

    "It confirms that climate change is running faster than we are—and we are running out of time.""

    Nonsensical.

    "Melting ice from the polar regions and mountain glaciers is expected to boost the rate of sea level rise increasing the risks of coastal flooding. A recent study evaluating 25 years of satellite altimeter data suggested that sea rise has been accelerating. If such acceleration is sustained, sea level will rise about 25 inches instead of 12 inches by 2100."

    Hyper-bullshit. Have any of the geniuses ever gone outside and visited where the sea meets the land?

    "The report asserts that if no policies aimed specifically at reducing carbon dioxide emissions are adopted, then average global temperature is projected to rise by 3.66°C by 2100,"

    Hyper-bullshit, I 'asserted'.

    "There is no denying that man-made global warming could become a significant problem for humanity ...the projections of the climate and econometric models could be way underestimated. "

    Really, no one has denied it? No, the projections could not possibly be underestimated. They can only be overestimated.

  • blondrealist||

    Top soil erosion does not get the attention it deserves. Setting aside the arguments about why top soil is disappearing at an alarming rate, it's a problem that has no quick solution. Agriculture production in the USA has been impressive for decades, and we have been fortunate to have so much farm land (especially in the Midwest) with good topsoil. What is troubling is that in states like Iowa, the rich topsoil layer is half of what it was in 1850, when more intensive farming began. Where conventional farming practices are being used, topsoil is disappearing by 1% or so each year. No-till farming is gaining in popularity - but it's still not used much - and not enough to deal with the larger problem. It's okay to disagree with global warming activists about increased heavy rains washing away topsoil - but there's no denying that rich farmland in Iowa had 14 inches of topsoil in 1850 and now it's down to just under 5 inches. It's conceivable that in 50 years or so, with the expected growth in global population and if farmland productivity goes back to where is was back in 1980 -which could happen due to the topsoil problem, then the world might have trouble feeding people.

  • Rossami||

    While you are right that topsoil erosion is a problem, with respect, it is not as severe as your two datapoints would suggest. Most of the topsoil loss occurred early in your stated time range. Relatively little of that loss has occurred since the advent of modern agriculture (call it WW2 or so). In some places, not only have innovations like no-till stopped topsoil loss, they have actually led to small increases in topsoil.

    It's also worth noting that the expected growth in global population is, well, not growth. All the trends continue to show that as affluence and education increase, population growth decreases. Population growth peaked in 1962 (at 2.1%) and has been falling steadily ever since. We're not at peak population yet - but we're probably not that far from it.

  • Woody Chip Hurrrrr?||

    That one particular matchup really galls me. Let's spend a fucking fortune now to prevent losing one year's growth in GDP. In their own worst case scenario. In their own more realistic scenarios, save even less.

    Fucking morons. Just fucking stupid.

  • BYODB||


    "This report by the world's leading climate scientists is an ear-splitting wake-up call to the world," said Guterres in a statement. It confirms that climate change is running faster than we are—and we are running out of time."


    I missed the part where Antonio declares war on India and China...that is their proposed solution right? Because if it's not, they're masturbating in public.

  • Just the Tip||

    Here's a balanced take on the report from VOX:

    http://www.vox.com/first-perso.....-disasters

  • Just the Tip||

    I kept editing, but I tried to dissociate, pretending that none of it was real, as ridiculous as it sounds. That didn't work either. The craft of editing demands empathy. You have to be present.

    Then I went into depression. My social life turned into fits and spurts of intense engagement followed by equally intense withdrawal. I was deeply afraid of telling even the people closest to me what I knew and why I was so scared. I couldn't sleep. The crying fits continued. They didn't become more predictable.

    I'd silently been asking myself: What am I fighting for? What am I trying for? Why am I paying my student loans? Hell, why am I saving for retirement? I was heading into a desperate space
  • Just the Tip||

    I grew a lot during that first year. And that's why I say this with no intention of condescension: In order to face climate change, to truly look it in the eye, we have to grow up.

    We can't pretend this isn't happening anymore. Especially for us Americans, our general privilege and relative comfort compared to so many in the world can make it easy to turn a blind eye. But we can't pretend that some unnamed cavalry is coming to save us. We are the adults in this room. We have to save ourselves.

    It's not our fault, but it is very much our problem. It's dire, but we have to dig in our heels and fight — for each other.
  • BYODB||


    It's not our fault, but it is very much our problem. It's dire, but we have to dig in our heels and fight — for each other.

    Finally, someone at Vox has noticed that we need to nuke India and China back to the stone age to save Mother Gaia.

    /sarc

  • ||

    Ahhh, balanced with, exactly what? I see lots of feelings, lots of emotions. What I don't see is any science or history.

    So what is the balance? Is it between the author's feelings and her emotions, or what exactly?

  • Uncle Jay||

    Global warming: The great hoax manufactured by quacks who want millions of tax dollars to ensure they die multi-millionaires.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Hundreds of billions
    For a start

  • Just the Tip||

    The dominant narrative around climate change tells us that it's our fault. We left the lights on too long, didn't close the refrigerator door, and didn't recycle our paper. I'm here to tell you that is bullshit. If the light switch was connected to clean energy, who the hell cares if you left it on? The problem is not consumption — it's the supply. And your scrap paper did not hasten the end of the world.

    Don't give in to that shame. It's not yours. The oil and gas industry is gaslighting you.

    That same IPCC report revealed that a mere 100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of global climate emissions. These people are locking you and everything you love into a tomb. You have every right to be pissed all the way off. And we have to make them hear about it.
  • Just the Tip||

    If you follow the link to the listing of 100 companies, you quickly find that they are mostly in the oil and gas industry. Should be easy enough to reduce our global emissions by 71% then - we'll just get rid of oil and gas. Simple, and pain free for everyone.

  • ||

    Ummm, what link?

  • ||

    Sorry I should have checked further up where I found a link that was long on feelings and emotions but decidedly short on evidence and historical perspective.

  • Just the Tip||

    FYI - I do not read Vox regularly. This was part of the "news" feed on my phone, and the headline was too tempting to resist.

  • ||

    I get lots of shit from 'the "news" feed on my phone', most of it is worth about the same as this and thus I don't ever bother anyone else with it.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""You have every right to be pissed all the way off. And we have to make them hear about it."'

    And I can't think of a better way than a boycott. Those really concerned should make those companies feel the pain by not using any of their products.

  • Rob Misek||

    Show me peer reviewed science that correlates the earths temperature with human activity.

    Then give us a calculator into which we each can input our normal activity and receive a number that indicates my contribution to global warming.

    Then let's see some rich fuckers number and explain to all of us why he gets to have such a greater negative impact.

    Private jets and yachts use a lot of fuel.

  • Truthteller1||

    I bailed at "united nations".

  • Longtobefree||

    Always a good choice - - - - - -

  • Longtobefree||

    Not a big deal at all.
    I would fact check a UN report that predicts the sun rising in the east.

    For the record:
    Man cannot destroy the earth.
    The earth will get colder or warmer as it damn well pleases, no matter what humans think or say.
    I have not seen a global climate warming change model that turned out to be accurate as time passed. Not one.
    The ones from the sixties said NY & DC would be underwater by 2000. Not even wet feet yet.
    The ones from the seventies - well, you can guess it from here.

  • eric76||

    We are still in an ice age that began approximately 2.6 million years ago. This is a warm period of that ice age, but that warm period could end with not a whole lot of warming.

    About 10,000 years ago, temperatures were something like 2 C higher than today. Was the result a disaster? Of course not. That was the period during which our ancestors were finally able to stop being migrant subsistence hunters and could settle down and begin farming. It is very arguable that that warmer period and its relative abundance compared to before, was what enabled civilization.

    A warm climate is a fruitful climate bringing abundance to mankind. The disaster would be a cooler climate -- that would mean that starvation and death by starvation would become the norm. Also, there would probably be large and very deadly wars over the declining food supplies.

    The scary thing about Global Warming is not that it might be happening, but that it might not be happening.

  • ||

    The scary thing about Global Warming is not that it might be happening, but that it might not be happening.

    ^ This. The known impacts of another glaciation would be far worse than even the most hysterical hypothetical impacts advanced by the warming alarmists.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "The new report finds that the observed global mean surface temperature trend has increased by about 0.87°C above the average during the 1850–1900 period.
    ...
    (Note in passing, recent research suggests that without anthropogenic warming, the planet would already be headed well down the path toward a new ice age.)"

    Truthful Headline: Global Warming Saved the World from Catastrophic Climate Change

    We've had 0.87C increase *since the end of the Little Ice Age*. That's why it's not called the Big, Catastrophic, and Ongoing Ice Age.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Don't worry about climate change. The combined effects of Trump's tax cuts, the repeal of the individual mandate, the end of Net Neutrality, and Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh will eradicate humanity well before 2050, or so leftist experts tell me.

  • TerdFergeson||

    Just Brett Kavanaugh alone will kill so many women that the human population will crash.

  • Rockabilly||

    Get the UN out of the USA.

    According to the UN sub counsel sub committee on how to park for free in New York City,'... the UN contains the largest amount of freeloaders on earth. '

    Put the monstrosity on a barge with a heading toward the Middle East.

  • Jerry B.||

    At China and India's current increase in carbon emissions, if the U.S .completely stopped all out carbon emissions, aside from the fact our economy would crash and many of us would starve, China and India, at their current rates of carbon emissions increase, would make up for our decrease in less than 10 years.

    Data here.
    CDIAC Data

  • aajax||

    Prognosis for fusion? (Don't say 25 years!)

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Muhhahahahah, Ellis Island with be in New Jersey soon. ;)

  • CE||

    It was hot in the 1930s and the 1970s too. Humanity adapted to the last Ice Age and the global warming that followed it. A degree or two warmer and seas that are a foot or two higher will be no big deal. Some people already live where it is 10 degrees warmer than where other people live.

  • Minority Right||

    THE global warming climate change scare has almost nothing to do with the environment or "Saving The Planet". Rather, its roots lie in a misanthropic agenda engineered by the environmental movement of the mid 1970's, who realised that doing something about claimed man-made "global warming" would play to quite a number of the Left's social agendas.

  • Miner49er||

    Climate change is a false premise for regulating or taxing carbon dioxide emissions. Political or business leaders who advocate unwarranted taxes and regulations on fossil fuels will be seen as fools or knaves. Climate change is NOT caused by human fossil fuels use. There is no empirical evidence that fossil fuels use affects climate. Earth naturally recycles all carbon dioxide.

    Fossil fuels emit only 3% of total CO2 emissions. All the ambient CO2 in the atmosphere is promptly converted in the oceans to calcite (limestone) and other carbonates, mostly through biological paths. CO2 + CaO => CaCO3. 99.84% of all carbon on earth is already sequestered as sediments in earth's crust. The lithosphere is a massive hungry carbon sink that converts ambient CO2 to carbonate almost as soon as it is emitted.

    The Paris Treaty is now estimated to cost up to to $100 trillion -- $13,333 per human being. Nearly two-thirds of humanity's cumulative savings over history. And will not affect climate at all. A modern coal power plant emits few air effluents except water vapor and carbon dioxide. Coal remains the lowest cost and most reliable source of electric energy, along with natural gas.

    Coal & gas dominate electric energy generation because they are cheap and reliable. Without the CO2-driven global-warming boogeyman, wind and solar power will be relegated to the niches they deserve. Using renewable energy is like paying first-class airfare to fly standby.

  • JasonT20||

    Nice! You absolutely destroyed those lefty alarmist scientists! And we can all be sure that you are right without any of that corrupt peer review stuff because you used numbers and everything!

  • Miner49er||

    Good old Ron Bailey--always the lukewarmist--crossing the aisle to make nice with the hardline collectivists.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    Nuclear power is the only reasonable answer (whether you believe in climate change or not) but they're all against that, so I'll just say "let it burn".

  • jerryg1018||

    The global warming fanatics keep pushing Doom's Day further and further out. First it was five years until Mother Earth and us Earthlings were cooked crisper than breakfast bacon at Waffle House, Then it became ten years, fifteen years etc. One can only conclude that Al Gore need more time selling carbon credits to become quadrillionaires.
    For those who haven't figured it out, the Earth is a living organism, when wounded it heals itself. Forest fires clear old growth and dead trees and vegetation, making room for new growth. The fires also thin the animal population. A forest can only support so many animals per square mile. Hurricanes do the same thing. Clear a plot of brush land and leave it fallow and within two years it will become covered with brush again. Any rise in CO2 and nature provides more green plants and trees theat absorb CO2 and produce O2. There is a balance and nature provides it, No help needed from Al Gore and his buddies.

  • jerryg1018||

    The global warming fanatics keep pushing Doom's Day further and further out. First it was five years until Mother Earth and us Earthlings were cooked crisper than breakfast bacon at Waffle House, Then it became ten years, fifteen years etc. One can only conclude that Al Gore need more time selling carbon credits to become quadrillionaires.
    For those who haven't figured it out, the Earth is a living organism, when wounded it heals itself. Forest fires clear old growth and dead trees and vegetation, making room for new growth. The fires also thin the animal population. A forest can only support so many animals per square mile. Hurricanes do the same thing. Clear a plot of brush land and leave it fallow and within two years it will become covered with brush again. Any rise in CO2 and nature provides more green plants and trees theat absorb CO2 and produce O2. There is a balance and nature provides it, No help needed from Al Gore and his buddies.

  • JasonT20||

    "Forest fires clear old growth and dead trees and vegetation, making room for new growth."

    Unless people suppress fires for too long and the undergrowth gets too thick. Then the eventual fire burns too hot and wipes out everything. Also, forest fires can be part of 'slash and burn' clearing of forest to replace the forest with crops.

    Besides, this idea that "the Earth is a living organism" is false. The Earth is a rocky planet with an atmosphere and liquid water. This makes it suited for life, not a living organism itself. Whether you meant that metaphorically or as Gaia worship, it is still wrong-headed. The conditions for life on Earth are great, but not as stable as we humans might wish them to be. At least, they are not so stable that they will remain in a range that we like regardless of what we choose to do. It is fact that we are altering the climate, and it is possible that we won't like the resulting climate as compared to what we've had for the last few hundred years.

    Your belief that Earth will balance out all of the stuff we deposit into the biosphere without us having to worry is wishful thinking.

  • vek||

    I hope the "dire" predictions are correct. Since I live in the northern part of the US, it will give me better weather!

    Unfortunately, from my nearly 2 decades of keeping up on the subject off and on, it is highly unlikely to happen :( I hope the doom-sayers are right for once!

  • JasonT20||

    I've kept up with this subject (almost always on, rather than off and on) for nearly 2 decades also. In that time, I've seen the overwhelming majority of self-declared "skeptics" argue like creationists. Long on doubt, short on knowledge, and even shorter on motivation to correct their lack of knowledge.

  • In Home Care Modesto||

    Yes, I guess, especially if you get a subsidy. But that isn't what the watermelons or useful idiots like Tony are talking about. Lol

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online