We are still screwed: the coming climate disaster


As Atrios likes to say, there is never money in America for nice things. That’s what practicality seems to mean: We can have wars and aircraft carriers and fighter jets and tax cuts until we’re up to our asses in them, but health care? A decent social safety net? An actual livable planet? How would we pay for that?


Eh, Feinstein is a pretty safe target, as far as that goes. She’s 85. Her seat is safely Democrat no matter what.

And it’s not a great exchange for Feinstein at all. It’s just not as bad as the original video cut that made the rounds of twitter yesterday made it look.

Social media will find something and someone new to freak out about in the next few hours.


Well sure, but that’s because conservatives have for the last 40 years, or at least since Reagan, developed into the party of No, the party of stasis, the party that wants nothing except to reduce, cut, and spend on debt. It would be great to not spend money on aircraft carriers and fighter jets, but a good 45% of the population, and over 50% of the political actors (thanks to gerrymandering) want that.

You often see in states dominated by the Republicans broken political systems unable to seriously function, since their aversion to taxes and regulation are so baked into their discourses and political ethos that when confronted with problems that require resources they all but throw their hands in the air and shrug, preferring to allow whatever disaster their state is suffering to continue.

But yea, she’s old and she sees reality. That’s why this is a clash between aspiration and reality, and why she’s been holding the line against the shit-eating-grin party for decades with realistic politics. And it’s why this GND scares the hell out of conservatives because fighting the rearguard politics the Democrats have done for decades doesn’t win battles, it just holds the line for another political cycle, a fact Conservatives have used time and again to spin and win victories, even if the pendulum inevitably swings back after a while.

The GND doesn’t make sense in any technical sense but it does reflect a push toward Green and conservation and that means, gasp, regulation and taxes. And of course even a single additional regulation leads to Venezuela and death camps, right? Or so will the politically connected wealthy, who see America as a place for wealth extraction and are indifferent to those not in their industries and social circles, will themselves believe and hope to convince anyone within earshot of the same.

If this was an ambush by AOC (which I’m doubtful of, btw, it sounds too convienent a narrative and I don’t put much stock in twitter narratives), then it does show a shift towards activism that is impatient, and justly so, with decades of talk and nothing to show for it, a desire to force the ancien regimes in America to change. But this may not be either politically astute or may be a political overreach.


The GND at this point is a proposal to create a committee with a mandate to draft legislation to pursue some aspirational climate and economic goals. There’s nothing more technically sensible than that.


Yeah, i get all that, but it seems like this is a bad thing for Cortez’s own political team to be focusing it’s efforts on.

Of all the things to do, attacking Democrats seems misguided.


My understanding is the video is from the Sunrise Movement, which is not AOC’s political team.

McKibben writes a persuasive essay on why a moderate/centrist Democratic approach is now insufficient. I don’t know how you get meaningful climate change legislation passed in the Senate. Maybe there’s parliamentary maneuvers that can get it done, maybe the filibuster is removed, I don’t know.

I do know that if you don’t at least try you’ve already failed.

Feinstein is, in fact, right: on most questions, a “my way or the highway” attitude doesn’t get you very far. If I’m a lawmaker and I think that the minimum wage should be thirty dollars an hour, and you’re one who thinks that eight dollars is generous, we’ll probably try to pass a law that sets the mark somewhere near fifteen dollars, and then argue about it again after the next election. There would be no point in holding out for what I can’t get. But, in the case of the environment, the opponent is not the Chamber of Commerce. The opponent is physics, and physics doesn’t negotiate. It’s not moved by appeals to centrist moderation, or explanations about the filibuster. And it has set a firm time limit. Scientists have told us what we must do and by when, and so legislators must do all they can to match those targets. The beauty of the Green New Deal legislation is not that it’s shiny or progressive or a poke in the eye to the oil companies. Its beauty is that it actually tries to meet the target that science has given us.


For some people joking about Dems in disarray all of the time, you are very eager to jump to the Dems in disarray explanation.

The clip is from an independant group that supports AOC’s GND, but isn’t directed by her at all.

I agree the editing is misleading, but this is Californians trying to get Feinstein out so they can get a new GND friendly candidate in.


Maybe you should worry about making the GND into an actual legislative plan.

I mean, I know that’s just boring grunt work, but that’s what actually has to happen.


This is NOT disturbing at all! Fuck the Trumpsters and the 3rd party voters so hard. Well, humanity had a good run I guess.


The simulation revealed a tipping point: a level of warming at which stratocumulus clouds break up altogether. The disappearance occurs when the concentration of CO2 in the simulated atmosphere reaches 1,200 parts per million — a level that fossil fuel burning could push us past in about a century, under “business-as-usual” emissions scenarios. In the simulation, when the tipping point is breached, Earth’s temperature soars 8 degrees Celsius, in addition to the 4 degrees of warming or more caused by the CO2 directly.


Then there are the feedback loops that we haven’t nailed down yet that could grease the slide down to the “no clouds” precipice.

Edit: Though one feedback loop may work us!

Kerry Emanuel, the MIT climate scientist, noted that possible economic collapse caused by nearer-term effects of climate change might also curtail carbon emissions before the stratocumulus tipping point is reached.

The apocalypse may be averted by the collapse of civilisation!


Clouds are inherently socialist - do you want to end up like Venezuela?


Not one question on climate change during the 2016 presidential debates.
Not one scientist or politician in three years on any major network or cable political show discussing climate change.
Corporate media ignored it completely, even after the spate of studies that came out illustrating the dire consequences of doing nothing.

It took a freshman congressional representative to put climate change on the map.

But here’s an interview with Sheldon Whitehouse.
I think he gets it without needing sarcastic barbs.

The Green New Deal at this point is only a resolution that hasn’t even approached legislative language. Hearings have not yet been held. In the Senate alone, there are carbon-price bills on the Democrats side, “Keep It in the Ground” bills on the Democratic side – a variety of smaller bills for different economic sectors that address climate change and the general prospect of a Green New Deal.

Our job as legislators is to walk through those various pieces of legislation, and pull something together that keep the 1.5-degree [increase] climate threshold that is most likely to actually get passed, and that maximizes all the collateral benefits for society in passing it as a significant climate bill.

Even Franklin Roosevelt didn’t get his New Deal passed in one bill. It was more a statement of purpose. What we have to do, the same way Franklin Roosevelt had to do it, is work together with Congress to pass section-by-section laws that will solve the climate problem before it gets out of hand. After doing that, rebalance what the traditional balance of power has been in American politics and in the American economy. Arrest and reverse the slide in both of those areas of power and money to those that already have the most of it.


the Chinese hoaxing game is stronk


Miami Will Be Underwater Soon. Its Drinking Water Could Go First

[…] six feet of sea-level rise would put a quarter of Miami’s homes underwater, rendering $200 billion of real estate worthless. But global warming poses a more immediate danger: The permeability that makes the aquifer so easily accessible also makes it vulnerable. “It’s very easy to contaminate our aquifer,” says Rachel Silverstein, executive director of Miami Waterkeeper, a local environmental protection group. And the consequences could be sweeping. “Drinking water supply is always an existential question.”


But wait! I’m almost done reading the Uninhabitable Earth, recommended by Gordon Cameron above, and there is the cruelest catch-22 of all time which comes into play in your scenario. A ton of our carbon emissions also create particulate pollution in the atmosphere which has an albedo effect, reflecting some heat back into space. If we were to completely curb emissions over night we would see a sudden spike in temperatures brought on by unpoluted skies!


It seems to me hopeless that we will get it together to reverse global warming by cutting emissions, etc. So is there anything science can do to save us? The one idea I’ve heard is seeding the ocean with iron might work:

“Give me a half tanker of iron, and I will give you an ice age,” the oceanographer John Martin growled at a lecture at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1988.


How about nuclear war? Back in the day Carl Sagan was worrying about how nuclear winter would freeze the earth.

Maybe we can fire off just enough ICBMs to offset global warming.


I think there’s also been talk of massive cloudseeding (ships shooting sulfur-dioxide into the atmosphere) to increase the earths aldebo, and giant space mirrors.

The problem with any of the geoengineering solutions is they will have huge and largely unpredictable effects on the environment, so there is not going to be a lot of consensus to do them until climate change is starting to show some dire effects, and in that case we might be throwing more resources into resilience.


Yeah, the sulfur dioxide solution is apparently is relatively easy but will have dire known consequences and who knows what unforeseen consequences. I suspect someone will do it once it becomes apparent that we’re fucked.


Yeah, and the problem is who will do anything until we are fucked? Not corporate America. We are going to continue to dick around with this stuff for who knows how long? We know here in the U.S. Trump will fight against climate change because he’s a contrarian dick.