Monday Message Board

Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

53 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. @tony lynch

    I often enough make the point that only the final extant concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere counts for this kind of climate forcing. Some people assume that if one asserts that the final extant concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere is still rising (as per Keeling Curve data and other data) then one is also asserting that human GHG emissions are still rising. However, one is not necessarily asserting that. It might or might not be the case that human GHG emissions are still rising but other and different data are needed to examine that proposition.

    Even if human GHG emissions have now flattened or even decreased slightly, for whatever reasons, it is still the case that natural carbon sinks and natural carbon emission sources could still be making their own contribution changes. A heating ocean absorbs less CO2 if strata mixing is equal or less. Vegetated areas give off increased CO2 emissions if the bushfire regime is changing. Data shows that boreal forest wild fires are increasing with climate change. That is just one example. Given these other feedbacks into the system, the mere flattening of human CO2 emissions now, if it has actually occurred, takes on the appearance of too little too late. It is pretty clear we need massive, emergency reductions in direct human GHG emissions of at least 5% p.a. (on the original base) according to some sources. In other words, net human GHG emissions need to be reduced to net zero in twenty years. If we don’t achieve that we have little chance of preventing a climate driven collapse of current global civilization. Primitive civilizational pockets might remain or migrate to new zones.

  2. @tony lynch

    Excellent ref.

    There is now ‘no chance’ that the globe will avoid climate catastrophe.

    Companies are still exploring for oil and gas and methane hydrates.

    The planet is on a suicide mission, just because of economic quackery and control of nation decision making by commercial interests of various types.

    There is no solution – just middle class political platitudes.

  3. Our society, national and global, is going into ever greater denial about climate change. Media stories and public concern about climate change are in decline. See ABC, The Drum, “Climate change has dropped off the political radar (and this is a big problem)”. So, as conferences like COP21 pretend to address climate change and nations make false promises of doing something about climate change in the indeterminate future, people are putting their heads back in the sand and the problems are getting worse.

    The continued rise of the Keeling Curve indicates that we are not doing enough. Even if human emissions have peaked (which is doubtful)*, this event on its own is of little import if the Keeling Curve keeps rising. The continued rise in GHGs indicates that the sum of human emissions plus emissions from carbon sinks is still rising. We have passed a dangerous threshold. This indicates a point where we take the foot off the gas (a little) and yet the rise in the GHGs continues to accelerate. The only explanation is that dangerous feedback thresholds have already been crossed.

    It is not even certain that the human emissions plateau is anything but a temporary blip caused by poor global economic performance. The irony is that neocon macroeconomic ineptitude is the only force retarding growth in human GHG emissions.

    The continuation of fossil fuel exploration for more reserves is proof positive that the nations, all nations, are not serious about addressing global warming. Many leading scientists have already said that 75% of known fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground to prevent dangerous global warming. At 350 dot org they say 80% must stay in the ground. Given this situation by what logic is any fossil fuel exploration occurring? The answer is by no logic. By what logic do Canadian tar sand operations continue after the serious boreal forest wildfire event in Alberta? By what logic does the Canadian government still subsidise the tar sands with cheap gas fuel to melt the tar? Again, the answer is by no logic.

    The words of COP21 are cheap, meaningless lies. Look at what the governments and elites are actually doing. In the meantime the masses remain passive and obedient. Given the inevitable physics of global warming and the inevitable logic of capitalism, which demands and requires endless physical economy growth to reproduce itself, then only a global political revolution OR (not an XOR) a catastrophic collapse physical and economic collapse can end this developing crisis. It will take a series of damaging and deadly environmental crises, unambiguously attributable to climate change, to wake up the people of the world and begin a series of revolutions. These could lead to socialism or barbarism, the only real alternatives at this stage. Then we will see real change. However, much of the damage will already have been done. Many major coastal cities of the world will be uninhabitable by 2100 and perhaps even by 2050. Civilization in the 21st century will be a “rough beast” at best.

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