4 thoughts on ““Future generations” are here now

  1. The same companies and bodies they dominate – like the Minerals Council of Australia – are now gearing up for an attack on the very modest measures being considered by the Albanese Government to mitigate the impact of high energy prices.

    We should recognise that these organisations are enemies of the Australian people and of the entire planet. The sooner they are out of business, the better it will be.

    Well done JQ!!!

    The sooner the majority of Australians know this the sooner the fossil fuel industry lose their social license.

  2. These disasters are only going to get worse. Even if emissions stopped immediately, heating would continue until the climate reached a new equilibrium. If the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 is achieved, heating will continue until the end of the century.

    Per NOAA, dated 7 Apr 2022 (bold text my emphasis):

    While there’s been scientific debate on the cause of the ongoing surge in methane levels, carbon dioxide pollution has always been the primary driver of human-caused climate change. An estimated 36 billion tons of carbon dioxide were emitted into the atmosphere last year by human activity; roughly 640 million tons of methane were emitted during the same period. The atmospheric residence time of methane is approximately nine years, whereas some of the carbon dioxide emitted today will continue to warm the planet for thousands of years.

    Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide are now comparable to where they were during the mid-Pliocene epoch, around 4.3 million years ago. During that period, sea level was about 75 feet higher than today, the average temperature was 7 degrees Fahrenheit higher than in pre-industrial times, and studies indicate large forests occupied areas of the Arctic that are now tundra.

    https://www.noaa.gov/news-release/increase-in-atmospheric-methane-set-another-record-during-2021

    ICYMI, I recommend viewing the YouTube video titled Keynote Debate Can the Climate Emergency Action Plan lead to Collective Action_ (50 Years CoR), published 20 Nov 2018, duration 2:23:08. It’s a record of part of the proceedings of the Club of Rome’s 50th Anniversary Summit, covering the afternoon session on 17 Oct 2018 (just over 4 years ago), including a keynote debate with Prof H.J. “John” Schellnhuber, Anders Wijkman, Connie Hedegaard, Ian Dunlop, Camilla Born, and Yoshitsugu Hayashi.

    Prof Schellnhuber’s response to Jørgen Randers’ question, from time interval 0:46:12 (bold text my emphasis):

    Ja. OK, let me answer it directly, because it is such a rich question, ja? So I will not take others for the time being, but of course later. Now first of all, we are not mixing-up timescales. We have to consider all of them in parallel, unfortunately, ja? And I just introduced the Pliocene and the Miocene and all these, ah… stupid names, er… geologists have developed, ja, simply because this is our reality lab, ja? I mean, if I cannot see under comparable conditions, a major shift in the state of the planet, in the back, er… in the… in the… back in fifteen-million years, when I have no evidence, actually. So, this is just in order to underpin some of the things. And looking forward, I mean, I excuse for… I apologise for that, but… we have actually ended the ice age cycle, the, er… the glacial dynamics for good, or for bad, or for whatever – that’s how it is. But your question is of course extremely important, because… I… I once coined… We had a meeting at the Belgian Academy of Sciences and I coined this expression, which became quite… quite, er… sort of seminal, actually: ‘Avoiding the unmanageable and managing the unavoidable.’ So you see, avoiding the unmanageable would be three, four, five, six degrees. I’m, I’m pretty sure we cannot adapt to that. But if the world warms by one… it has warmed already by one degree, and actually half of a degree is masked by air pollution. So if you would clean the air over China and India and so on, you immediately would… you get another half degree. So, one-and-a-half degree – we are there already, ja? But if we stop it at two, er… two-point-five degrees maybe… and actually CO₂ stays within the carbon cycle for more than twenty-thousand years. People think this is a matter of a hundred years. Yes, it goes into the sediment, but it’s re-mineralised and goes back into the air, and so on. So it’s longer lived than plutonium, actually, ja? Atmospheric CO₂!

  3. I am reminded of the story of a US coal mining CEO c.1990 who was questioned about whether he was concerned about the impact of his company’s operations on the wellbeing of future generations. He answered that there weren’t going to be any future generations as the Rapture was imminent. I think we can say he’s been proven wrong.

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