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Old Nov 18th 2014, 06:01 PM
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Default We're going past 2 degrees limit

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Our Planet Is Going to Blow Past the "Two Degrees" Climate Limit

For almost two decades, the push to beat back climate change has rallied around an easy-to-grasp goal: Slash carbon-dioxide emissions enough to prevent the average global temperature from surpassing the pre-industrial level by more than two degrees Celsius, a threshold scientists warn could trigger dangerous effects, including major sea-level rise.

As a marketing catchphrase, “two degrees” has succeeded stupendously. There’s a 2 Degrees movie. There’s a Two Degrees book. When officials anywhere around the world discuss climate policy, holding below the two-degrees limit is almost always the stated goal.

But as an impetus for real action, two degrees has failed. Earlier this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations-affiliated network of climate scientists that constitutes conventional wisdom on global warming, projected in its latest voluminous climate-science report that the world is likely to blow past the two-degrees marker by 2100.
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This is a very interesting issue. Basically, the scientists are saying that we are basically going to blow past the infamous "two degrees" point. At the same time, all the environmentalists and activists have worked very hard to get people to buy into the "two degrees" argument.

In other words, to be honest, we have to drop the "two degrees" argument because it is bullshit now. But if we do that, we massively risk any possible chance at doing anything effective about it. Sort of a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' type of situation.

Any thoughts?
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Old Nov 18th 2014, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: We're going past 2 degrees limit

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
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This is a very interesting issue. Basically, the scientists are saying that we are basically going to blow past the infamous "two degrees" point. At the same time, all the environmentalists and activists have worked very hard to get people to buy into the "two degrees" argument.

In other words, to be honest, we have to drop the "two degrees" argument because it is bullshit now. But if we do that, we massively risk any possible chance at doing anything effective about it. Sort of a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' type of situation.

Any thoughts?
I have long been frustrated with the public debate on climate change because, using a medical analogy, we are debating about preventative care measures when we really need to be debating full blown treatment measures.
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Old Nov 18th 2014, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: We're going past 2 degrees limit

Best find a way to start fixin' carbon.

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Old Nov 19th 2014, 12:06 AM
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Default Re: We're going past 2 degrees limit

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Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
I have long been frustrated with the public debate on climate change because, using a medical analogy, we are debating about preventative care measures when we really need to be debating full blown treatment measures.
Ain't no such thing as a public debate on climate change. What's debated in public is political and economical. The climate change issue is scientific and there's no market for such a debate (read: the general public and their representatives are too stupid for such a debate).

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Best find a way to start fixin' carbon.
There's a lot more to the problem than just CO2. The whole ecological equilibrium is destabilized.
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Old Nov 19th 2014, 12:16 AM
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Default Re: We're going past 2 degrees limit

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Any thoughts?
It's too late already. Humpty Dumpty and all that. Mankind doesn't have the knowledge or technology to restore the equilibrium of such a tremendously complex system with literally millions of feedback subsystems. Either the system will turn out to be sufficiently meta-stable to restore itself (it survived for hundreds of millions years after all despite some really major geological catastrophes) or it won't and then it's game over. Earth will be a sister planet of Venus with an average temperature towards a balmy 870 (give or take a hundred degrees).
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Old Nov 19th 2014, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: We're going past 2 degrees limit

In the short term we will have several million, perhaps billions (I'm not sure) of refugees from low lying areas and deltas.

We should probably come up with a plan for that.
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Old Nov 19th 2014, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: We're going past 2 degrees limit

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Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
I have long been frustrated with the public debate on climate change because, using a medical analogy, we are debating about preventative care measures when we really need to be debating full blown treatment measures.
Agreed. We are long past the "preventative" stage. Alas, I think we are still dead-set in the 'denial-stage'.

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Best find a way to start fixin' carbon.
I think one key point of the article is that even if we do start fixin' carbon as you say, we're still going to blow past 2 degrees.

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Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
Ain't no such thing as a public debate on climate change. What's debated in public is political and economical. The climate change issue is scientific and there's no market for such a debate (read: the general public and their representatives are too stupid for such a debate).


There's a lot more to the problem than just CO2. The whole ecological equilibrium is destabilized.
Indeed, very true. Public debate cannot deal with scientific issues. The public of the day would absolutely have voted down both Galileo and Darwin.

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In the short term we will have several million, perhaps billions (I'm not sure) of refugees from low lying areas and deltas.

We should probably come up with a plan for that.
Our western governments are all doing exactly that. Anti-immigration laws and anti-refugee laws are all being tightened/increased in order enhance our ability to keep those people out. That's definitely the plan for this, whether anyone admits this or not.

In the context of actually doing something beneficial for victims/refugees of climate-change disasters, I think it is far more likely that a US Republican Congress will pass some heavy carbon tax policy.
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Old Nov 19th 2014, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: We're going past 2 degrees limit

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Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
It's too late already. Humpty Dumpty and all that. Mankind doesn't have the knowledge or technology to restore the equilibrium of such a tremendously complex system with literally millions of feedback subsystems. Either the system will turn out to be sufficiently meta-stable to restore itself (it survived for hundreds of millions years after all despite some really major geological catastrophes) or it won't and then it's game over. Earth will be a sister planet of Venus with an average temperature towards a balmy 870 (give or take a hundred degrees).
Too late for what?

Too late to turn earth back to a pre-industrial paradise with 6 billion people on it? Too late to make the planet livable and sustainable for 6 billion people? Too late for society to keep on going, full steam ahead, consequences be damned? Too late for society to build new forms of housing underground? Too late for society to build new forms of energy production?

The point is that your definition of 'saving the planet' is going to be very different than my definition of 'saving the planet' and I suspect we will have 6 billion definitions of what a 'saved planet' looks like. We're certainly "too late" for most utopian solutions, but it isn't too late for some other quasi-viable solutions.
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Old Nov 22nd 2014, 03:41 PM
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Default Re: We're going past 2 degrees limit

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Too late for what?
Too late to prevent destabilization of the system.

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Too late to turn earth back to a pre-industrial paradise with 6 billion people on it? Too late to make the planet livable and sustainable for 6 billion people? Too late for society to keep on going, full steam ahead, consequences be damned? Too late for society to build new forms of housing underground? Too late for society to build new forms of energy production?

The point is that your definition of 'saving the planet' is going to be very different than my definition of 'saving the planet' and I suspect we will have 6 billion definitions of what a 'saved planet' looks like. We're certainly "too late" for most utopian solutions, but it isn't too late for some other quasi-viable solutions.
My definition is quite simple: the continuation of life (of any kind) on the planet. Nothing guarantees that, you know.
What are those quasi-viable solutions?
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Old Nov 23rd 2014, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: We're going past 2 degrees limit

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My definition is quite simple: the continuation of life (of any kind) on the planet. Nothing guarantees that, you know.
That's pretty easy then. Rats and cockroaches seem to be doing just fine with a deteriorating planetary environment.

The problem is keeping the world livable for us.

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What are those quasi-viable solutions?
Heavy handed government authority to tax/ban carbon or any number of other nasty chemicals or industrial factory-farming. They are only quasi-viable solutions because of the politics that prevents them.
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