We are still screwed: the coming climate disaster


#4367

Krugman in high dudgeon.

Why would anyone go along with such things? Money is still the main answer: Almost all prominent climate deniers are on the fossil-fuel take. However, ideology is also a factor: If you take environmental issues seriously, you are led to the need for government regulation of some kind, so rigid free-market ideologues don’t want to believe that environmental concerns are real (although apparently forcing consumers to subsidize coal is fine).

Finally, I have the impression that there’s an element of tough-guy posturing involved — real men don’t use renewable energy, or something.

And these motives matter. If important players opposed climate action out of good-faith disagreement with the science, that would be a shame but not a sin, calling for better efforts at persuasion. As it is, however, climate denial is rooted in greed, opportunism, and ego. And opposing action for those reasons is a sin.

Indeed, it’s depravity, on a scale that makes cancer denial seem trivial. Smoking kills people, and tobacco companies that tried to confuse the public about that reality were being evil. But climate change isn’t just killing people; it may well kill civilization. Trying to confuse the public about that is evil on a whole different level. Don’t some of these people have children?


#4368

That is a really good way of putting it.


#4369

The fucking gob smacking thing about Trump saying he doesn’t believe a report which says climate change will cost the US billions of dollars is that he says it the same day that Zinke is in California saying that the cost of the fires there will likely be in the billions.

But then, as the Times points out, the deniers are not speaking in good faith so, as ever, Trump’s stated beliefs have no connection to reality.

I had to stop watching Zinke’s remarks from Paradise as he was using the tragedy as a platform for praising Trump and saying that we need to gut environmental regulations to prevent this from happening again.


#4370

Glad I didn’t see that. I might be having to buy a new TV set…


#4371

Horrific as that idea is in the abstract, imagine it coming out of Zinke’s smug maw and you understand why I had to stop watching mid sentence.


#4372

Reminder: these people represent a clear and present danger to you, your family, everyone you know and love. Allowing them to remain in power is tantamount to suicide on a global scale.


#4373

#4374

You make that fit on a bumper sticker and I want one.


#4375

Does anyone else ever do a Naughty by Nature FUCK THE GOP remix in their heads when reading various headlines? No? Cool, just me then.


#4376

100% this. Its why I have become far more absolutist. Republicans want to kill all of us and our children, quite literally.

I will never forgive them.


#4377

And now us lilly white straight dudes can begin to grasp what it feels like to be not one of those things!


#4378

I think the GOP leadership has moved beyond “it’s not happening” now to “it’s so far gone we can’t do anything to stop it”, and are proceeding to loot the system and set up their protected enclaves as best they can. Don’t think that the “invasion” language is just a backwards-looking dog-whistle; it also looks forward to the generations of refugees and migrants who will be splashing about the world for the next century.


#4379

This article seemed more hopeful than most I read:

First of all, in the last 15 years, wind and solar went from extremely expensive green luxury items maintained by subsidy to the cheapest forms of energy ever. That happened because government subsidized wind and solar, made a market for it that companies competed over, and they relentlessly drove the cost down. It’s a remarkable achievement – that conservatives should relish – of market success, but through government subsidy.

With the direct air capture technologies, 10 years ago you would have said that’s just like a fairy tale. But because of diligent activity by a small number of technical people, there’s been very rapid progress, so much so that knowledgeable people who are not starry-eyed, but just hard-headed, believe that there is a very high probability that a research effort within 10 years would produce direct air capture at less than a dollar a gallon of gasoline. That’s $100 a ton [of captured CO2].

I didn’t know carbon capture was already happening on this scale:

Carbon capture and storage has gone from, “Well, maybe it’s possible to do,” to a big business. Sixty-one million tons of CO2 are going into reservoirs and staying there this year in the Lower 48 [U.S. states] alone. That’s a big number.


#4380

Some good news in the right direction:


#4381

Not directly climate change related, but the same economic arguments that justify pollutants often lead to overriding environmental concerns over dredging. Which, as the article says, can lead to significantly higher flooding and storm surge issues. Combine with more extreme weather events from climate change, and you have some very wet futures for a lot of coastal and riverside areas.


#4382

Where would this go? Qatar wasn’t a huge oil producer, but this isn’t good visibility for OPEC.


#4383

You got to love really old people who actually care about the future after they’re gone. If only there were more of them.


#4384

David Attenborough rules.


#4385

Have some more Krugman climate dudgeon:

There are three important morals to this story.

First, if we fail to meet the challenge of climate change, with catastrophic results — which seems all too likely — it won’t be the result of an innocent failure to understand what was at stake. It will, instead, be a disaster brought on by corruption, willful ignorance, conspiracy theorizing and intimidation.

Second, that corruption isn’t a problem of “politicians” or the “political system.” It’s specifically a problem of the Republican Party, which has burrowed ever deeper into climate denial even as the damage from a warming planet becomes more and more obvious.

Third, we can now see climate denial as part of a broader moral rot. Donald Trump isn’t an aberration, he’s the culmination of where his party has been going for years. You could say that Trumpism is just the application of the depravity of climate denial to every aspect of politics. And there’s no end to the depravity in sight.


#4386

The Baltic Sea offers a preview of what’s to come with global warming
https://wapo.st/2FRdMmD

Shrinking populations of fish that traditionally live in those waters, and migration of species that like warmer seas. We may see this in larger bodies of water in the near future.