IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE IN CLIMATE CHANGE - John Wawrzonek

If you do not believe in climate change, watch the slide show above. For the most part global warming simply makes what is already going to happen much worse, as with the recent hurricanes. This includes the accelerating of polar ice caps and the glaciers of Greenland. They might have melted slowly before, now they are melting faster than anyone expected. The result is a rise in sea level which will speed the flooding of coastal cities. We are passing through a dangerous time and emissions are going up strongly rather than taking a nose-dive as we need.

To an engineer (63, 65, 67) global warming has smelled of thermal runaway from day one with the report that heat from the greenhouse effect would melt the tundra and release methane, a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide. Methane, in turn, would trap more heat, warming the atmosphere further. At some point, depending on “loop gain,” the rate of increase of temperature also begins to increase. Time runs faster and faster until there is no turning back. I read of this 15 years ago and my life has not been the same since.

All the while we seem to forget the Earth is our only home, it took billions of years to build, and moving is not an option, even just to the moon.

Despite a river of science revelations, our teaching curiculia strike me as medieval. Basic math of course, and contemporary language, history with various distortions, intentional or not, but science is still for the most part elective while the science requirement of an open mind and expectation of discovery is taught only by the best science teachers, and getting one is luck.

Greed is running as well as ever with carbon just a waste product to discard as waste products have always been. A new confidence that wealth and technology will save us is like a new toy, helpful in the crib, but not so much outside.

But most of all is a need to sense the urgency and accept that basic forces need to be changed now. This in turn demands an ability to speak to the unscientific.

But that is only at home in America and there is the rest of the planet to deal with complicated by thousands of thousand year old religions none with a trace of the scientific openess we need and all confindent that they were chosen to be the chosen, or just captured by greed like most others. What to do has never had more answers with less conficdence in their appropriateness.

What to do? We still don't have a plan but we do have the absolute opposite of a perfect plan holding the office that should be creating the perfect plan. (Oddly it reminds me of an epsode of M*A*S*H, with Charles Emerson Winschester III holding his precious french horn, it having just been run over by a very large vehicle, and now thinner than a pancake. Not a trump(et) but close enough.)

We do have countless articles predicting cataclysm and then nothing about what to do. It merits a “Titanic sized” headline on the front page of the Times. It gets comparatively nothing.

Somehow, the danger of our only home burning down, has never gotten 1/100 of the publicity it deserves. The New York Times did magazine features two years ago and before that very little. Perhaps the headline on the Time Magazine (not The Times Magazine) cover should have been a question, rather than a warning of how bad it is going to get: “Why are we letting the earth die?” followed by point by point obituaries.

It has always been just a matter of time and single digit degrees. 2100 and 2°C was the target. The fact that we were being pummeled at less than 1°C and that CO2 was at its highest level in 800,000 years and 42% higher than 1880 and the fossil fuel industry was doing everything conceivable to pump out more CO2 which is what is going on today has not been sufficcient to create enough fear to cause a coalition of concerned people to raise the flag high and start planning. THIS is catastrophe. This is not “getting it.” Perhaps it is some combination of greed and stupidity, for that would make sense for a fuel business. And it is not the UNIPCC which does not have at least the hint of an army in back of it. It negotiates at conferences one or more levels from the top. And one is too many.

However, I believe there is something more fundamental going on, and my guess is a predliction to believe something before we know anything and, in many if not most cases to keep believing it. It is a wall of acquired knowledge from dubious soures, fear of being overrun by obtuse explations beginning to believe that the outcome might be true. Or a lifetime of learning that god is in control of the climate and there is nothing to be done, except possibly enjoy the "end-times."

12. An Intellectual Void

Science and engineering run in my family so they are a way of life. As I read of people who "do not believe in science," something has gone wrong. Not believing in science is like not believing in sunlight.

It is likely you would not be alive without it, a species with incredible talent doing all it can to kill itself off.

1. Few study science and those who do probably don't get a very good education.

2. There are no longer media like newspapers with big science sections and (I presume) PhD scientists trying to educate us. The New York Times does not even have a science editor or a writer with a science degree.

3. Scientists don't speak English even if it is not technical stuff. "It is highly likely..." means to the rest of us that we would bet our lives on it.

13. Why Is There No One With The Courage

The Oil, Gas and Coal companies, who have made billions knowingly poisening the air of the planet, must be held responsible for cleaning that air.

And why do governments subsidize fossil fuel companies over 1/2 trillion dollar each year? It is crime and corruption on a vast scale.

“This week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a jaw-dropping report that laid bare the choices that we must make to ensure a livable and equitable future in the face of climate change. Make no mistake: climate change is here now—we are living with it as more powerful hurricanes, worsening drought, melting glaciers and rising sea levels are affecting populations around the world at an ever faster pace. While nations have now stepped up to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Accord, the new UN requested report makes it abundantly clear that we must do more.

“The report, drafted in response to a request by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), evaluates the differences between a 1.5°C and a 2°C future and whether different emissions trajectories can achieve a future with less warming. It makes clear that we need a global commitment to move away from fossil fuels and also focus on the removal of carbon dioxide that is already in the atmosphere (not just reduction of future emissions) to prevent irreversible effects that would have devastating consequences across the globe. Such an approach is especially vital to the ocean, where achieving a 2°C future (the official goal of the Paris Accord) would still result in destructive changes to the ocean and coastal areas around the world. We can and must do better.”

14. Zero Emissions still leaves the carbon in the air.

So we have to clean the air: It is called negative emissions.

Climate Change and the Ocean:
A Stark Message from the IPCC
link

October 11, 2018

"The report, drafted in response to a request by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), evaluates the differences between a 1.5°C and a 2°C future and whether different emissions trajectories can achieve a future with less warming. It makes clear that we need a global commitment to move away from fossil fuels and also focus on the removal of carbon dioxide that is already in the atmosphere (not just reduction of future emissions) to prevent irreversible effects that would have devastating consequences across the globe. Such an approach is especially vital to the ocean, where achieving a 2°C future (the official goal of the Paris Accord) would still result in destructive changes to the ocean and coastal areas around the world. We can and must do better.

13. Why Is There No One With The Courage

The Oil, Gas and Coal companies, who have made billions knowingly poisening the air of the planet, must be held responsible for cleaning that air.

And why do governments subsidize fossil fuel companies over 1/2 trillion dollar each year? It is crime and corruption on a vast scale.

“This week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a jaw-dropping report that laid bare the choices that we must make to ensure a livable and equitable future in the face of climate change. Make no mistake: climate change is here now—we are living with it as more powerful hurricanes, worsening drought, melting glaciers and rising sea levels are affecting populations around the world at an ever faster pace. While nations have now stepped up to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Accord, the new UN requested report makes it abundantly clear that we must do more.

“The report, drafted in response to a request by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), evaluates the differences between a 1.5°C and a 2°C future and whether different emissions trajectories can achieve a future with less warming. It makes clear that we need a global commitment to move away from fossil fuels and also focus on the removal of carbon dioxide that is already in the atmosphere (not just reduction of future emissions) to prevent irreversible effects that would have devastating consequences across the globe. Such an approach is especially vital to the ocean, where achieving a 2°C future (the official goal of the Paris Accord) would still result in destructive changes to the ocean and coastal areas around the world. We can and must do better.”

14. Zero Emissions still leaves the carbon in the air.

So we have to clean the air: It is called negative emissions.

Climate Change and the Ocean:
A Stark Message from the IPCC
link

October 11, 2018

"The report, drafted in response to a request by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), evaluates the differences between a 1.5°C and a 2°C future and whether different emissions trajectories can achieve a future with less warming. It makes clear that we need a global commitment to move away from fossil fuels and also focus on the removal of carbon dioxide that is already in the atmosphere (not just reduction of future emissions) to prevent irreversible effects that would have devastating consequences across the globe. Such an approach is especially vital to the ocean, where achieving a 2°C future (the official goal of the Paris Accord) would still result in destructive changes to the ocean and coastal areas around the world. We can and must do better.

Powered by SmugMug Log In