We are still screwed: the coming climate disaster


Well, unless that melting reveals some ancient DeathPox and they get to be patient zero for it.





Yeah, but consequences of climate change going unchecked is also droughts flooding, and catastrophic crop failures.

We are rapidly approaching the point where we can no longer look to prevention, but will need active intervention to stop the end of the world, and active intervention will always have some side effects.



I was going to raise the same point. We’re already engaging in geoengineering on a global scale. Except we’re doing it by accident, with no plan and no goals. And we’re not limiting it to climate; changing biomes on land and plastic in the oceans are both widespread enough to count.

On the plus side, the data we’re collecting will be useful someday when we start terraforming Mars and Venus… assuming our civilization doesn’t collapse first.



I joke hope the solution ends up being the construction and deployment of thousands of cotton candy clouds.



We’ve had a decent amount of discussion in this thread about nuclear power as a clean energy source. As part of the reading challenge thread, I just read a book by Gregory Jaczko, former head of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and it’s really disturbing. To the point that I no longer think nuclear power is really a viable alternative in its current form.

I wrote more at the links up there, but here’s the quick summary: the nuclear power industry owns the regulators, through political and economics pressure. That means safety is taking a back seat to profit. Nuclear power fail states are at best extremely dangerous and at worst massive disasters, so this is a really dangerous situation. Correcting this would require either significantly different (and much more expensive) reactor designs, or the political will to fix the regulatory system…and neither of those is anywhere close to reality. Until that changes, nuclear power should be off the table.



Yeah but I agree with this:

If we’re just pushing the worse case scenario sooner, we just need to make sure other options have been considered fully first. I mean when you the answer to what do we have to lose, we’re at that last moments right, is well the very thing we’re trying to avoid… that’s not something to do until you’re as sure as you can be, not so much as the results of the medicine so much as that other medicine has been fully considered.




I don’t know anything about Happer, but I have no problem with skepticism in science, as long as that is based on real research and real science (as opposed to a paid flunky for the oil and gas industry, for example).

Is anyone familiar with this guy’s background? I plan to RTFA article when I get back home, I just can’t get to it for a couple hours.



One tidbit: he has public stated that, as a climate change skeptic, he is being persecuted like Jews during the Holocaust.



Ah. Enough said. :)



Atomic physicist, which means he’s likely got as much formal education in the pertinent fields as your average PubG player (slight correction - he probably has a better understanding of fluid dynamics). In that respect, basic skepticism is fine; he should know what he doesn’t know as ask for clarity to get a better understanding instead of just hand-waving along the claims of others. But of course that’s not what he’s doing. He’s turned into a caricature, claiming climate science is akin to a cult, touting the wonders of CO2 and how we should really want more of it, etc…



At least he doesn’t deny there was a Holocaust.



Ohhhh, I didn’t know the name but I’m familiar with the guy. Thanks. Seems to be a perfect fit for the Trump administration.



The Professor must have been edumacating this guy.



We understand that fighting climate change will only be taken seriously if it’s a way to make people rich or once it’s obvious that something must be done? I’m talking having Flat Earth people going “Yeah, we need to do something about the climate”. As long as fighting climate change is a money loser, it’s going to be too “difficult”.

I think it’s inevitable that someone will turn to these risky geoengineering measures, they’re cheap enough that a Musk can do it for fun, or any not particularly rich country once it’s desperate enough.



Say you’re the Seychelles. You give a call over to the Maldives and the Bahamas. Say:

‘Hey guys, we’re going to be wiped off the map here in a few years. We got a few hundred mil in tourist money, and if we do this it may prevent our entire countries from disappearing. So what do you say we each throw a quarter mil into the kitty, and shoot up some salt. If it fails, our countries are fucked anyhow. If it succeeds we can keep our countries from going away completely, and we’re tropical so any unintended consequences probably won’t matter to us’

If you’re then, aren’t you at least floating that idea?



Isn’t it already obvious? Or do you mean “my house is under water” obvious?



For some, this is literally what it takes.



But if you are already rich and powerful, there is always someplace not ruined yet you can move to. This won’t be solved by avoidance, by running away from the problem. It may take running TOWARDS the problem, by attacking it as something you can make more money from.