T Nation

IPCC Conclusion on Climate Change


#1

The results were quite alarming in IPCC:s report. Hows the discussion going in US around the topic?

The administration is clearly unmoved by this, but how about the public?


#2

There’s enough anti-intellectualism going on that the politicians who pander to that part of the voter base are preventing any meaningful progress or discussion. You’re also talking about a country where a congressman once brought a snowball into a session and claimed that it disproved global warming, because if there’s snow how can earth be warming, I guess? I love my country, and I love people, but I fear for our future…


#3

Which part exactly? The part where they moved the “tipping point” goalposts again? Is it comments like the below you find alarming? Or is it the fact they don’t offer solutions, only dire warnings and leave the pontificating about solutions to the journalists and politicians whose solutions are always more taxes, more regulations and ignoring China.

"Basically, stopping warming at 1.5C would involve an immediate, coordinated crash program of re-industrialization, involving every major country in the world. It would be like the US mobilizing for WWII, only across the globe, sustained for the rest of the century.

Nothing like that has ever happened. Nothing even remotely similar has ever happened. There are currently no indications that any such effort is getting underway, and indeed the US is vigorously moving the other direction"


#4

The US and Europe are emitting LESS carbon. Thanks to more nat gas and less coal. If carbon is the problem, then somebody has to figure out how to tell the developing world they can’t have industrial revolutions. Good luck getting China to do anything it doesn’t want to do.

According to the 2017 BP Statistical Review since 2005 annual U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have declined by 758 million metric tons. That is by far the largest decline of any country in the world over that timespan and is nearly as large as the 770 million metric ton decline for the entire European Union.

“At the same time, China’s carbon dioxide emissions grew by 3 billion metric tons, and India’s grew by 1 billion metric tons.”


#5

First you make global warming (rebranded into climate change to sound less threatening) a political issue, then deny that it actually exists, with the last stage beinga collective shrug “it’s too late now”


#6

There are very proficient ways to fight global warming, all that are widely known. And they will be hopefully in use in around 5-10 years.

I agree you that taxing wont be efficient long time solution (elite and tax avoiding corporations can still pollute). The problem is that people neglect the possibilites science and tech could give to us when given enough resources. There are things in making energy, food etc. that are starting to be obsolete/outdated.

China is actually stepping forward in enviromental issues, specially now when the US is fighting against global agreements. Other thing is that how much of this will be practical solutions, or is China just speaking pretty words. It is seen in Europe: publicly politics talk about global warming, but the actions are miniature.


#7

are you talking about geo-engineering?


#8

Yeah see the link above. China has increased their carbon output by 3 billion tons per year since 2005 and India grew by 1 billion tons. They can say all the right things, but they do whatever they want after they leave the negotiating table.


#9

I dont think so…

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#10

Yeah, definitely.

Among other things.

  • Increasing green areas.
  • better agricultural models (closed systems)
  • lab. Meat
  • cutting coal and fuel with other energy sources (still some work here, fossil fuel based engines are still pretty efficient compared to other ones)
  • AI, 3D printing and more efficient logistics.

These are just couple examples. Problem is that all this research needs a ton of money.


#11

China has now done pretty bold plans conserning coal usage cuts, but like we all said: will it lead to anything?


#12

Ok, but it’s not that easy. Geo-engineering solutions exist but a lot of environmentalists want solutions that don’t involve humans intentionally affecting the planet. I think it would be nearly impossible to get a consensus on the type of geo-engineering, as it will impact such a significant amount of people. You really think something will happen in the next 10 years?

In some places, but there are still massive deforestation problems happening in places like Brazil.

Can’t wait for this, more from an ethical side though. I think it will be interesting to see how the lobby of big rachers will impact laws around it.

Yes, still a long way to go here for total replacement except for very specific circumstances

Are you talking about the reduction in logistics due to 3D printing? AI is also so broad I’m not sure how this would impact, AI has the very near-term possibility of making transportation SUPER cheap due to autonomous vehicles and that would increase overall traffic/road time.


#13

Very good points. Probably the biggest obstacle is to get the global consensus at work. Countries and smaller actors will always do stupid/shortsighted actions, since they will miss a grand scale view (Chinas coal or Brazilian forests for example).

AI will do a lot of things, many of them still unfolded. We’ll see how this turns out.

I’m just trying to be optimistic around here. Even though there will be major collapses ahead. Probably even drop in human population.


#14

I’m the one who started the AI thread, I’m more than happy to talk about that topic.

Exactly, so while there are geo-engineering solutions that theoretically make it a solvable problem, actually getting that solution implemented on a global scale is quite the challenge. I think it will only happen if things get REALLY dire. Honestly it’s like most things in politics, no action will happen until it’s crunch time.

There are a plenty of things to be optimistic about. Read Steven Pinker’s better angels of our nature.

What makes you say that? I haven’t seen anything indicating that is a possibility in the near future. Most governments have VERY strong incentives to make sure that doesn’t happen. Too many forecasts are based on growth, and population needs to increase for those programs to not go bankrupt.


#15

I think he means that warming will have to reach a point where there’s massive crop die-off and the consequences of droughts/sea level change/storms start killing millions before we see any real unified worldwide movement on this.


#16

I’ll reply properly later. But yes, I did jump a bit ahead from the 5-10 year scale.


#17

I agree that the developing world is currently contributing a lot more to carbon emissions than the US and the EU. The biggest problem with our current mode of thinking is that we should be a global leader, not just in developing technology, but in spreading the word and being an example for how it can be done, and helping everyone else do the same thing. I don’t want to sound colonialist or like we have all the answers, but we should definitely be working to contribute to the solution, not hiding our heads in the sand.
Instead, we’re becoming more isolationist and exclusionary, conceding our potential role as a world leader and leaving everyone else to fend for themselves. Our relatively small slice of the world’s surface area isn’t immune to what’s being done everywhere else.


#18

I think the biggest problem is that we know, but seem to reject the fact, that the earth was warmer in the past without the impacts of mankind and industrialization.

To assume that warmer temps will result in devastation seems foolish.
Everybody talks about the shortage of water. Melting icecaps would release 67% of the earth’s freshwater into the water cycle. This would likely change where and how much precipitation occurs but it could increase our ability to grow food and livestock.

I think that being responsive to the changes instead of trying to stop them is the proper way to go. These changes aren’t going to happen overnight. Some you may be too young to remember but in the 70’s and 80’s the consensus was that the earth was going to cool down.

Don’t let climate change be about international control of the GDP of the U.S. Most of the proposed solutions only result in costing us billions and resulting a minuscule temp reduction.


#19

Actually, there is some mindset change. As Jared Diamond pointedly explained, big issues are tackled only when the elite cannot insulate itself from their effects. You can wall yourself off from the great unwashed, buy bottled water but you cannot protect yourself from polluted air.

You cannot clean the air around someone’s mansion by decree, so current efforts are haphazard and ineffectual and focus on specific symptoms but at least it’s something.

I was in China not long ago and seen a massive forestation effort, with trees being planted everywhere - locals told me it was a Party decision, some mid-level officials are desperately trying to “clean up the air around where they live”


#20

This could be tied into bio-fuels. China is very interested in our bio-fuel research and ships tons of students to the U.S. to learn about the technology.