‘Sitting Ducks’ and Mondays

March 31, 2014

EmissionsOvercast with a chilly wind this early Monday on California’s north coast — a winter-like weather system is bearing down on us with forecasts of pretty-heavy thunderstorms today and tomorrow.
Sometimes spring doesn’t sprout all the way.

And today, the infamous IPCC report on climate change is made public — way-bad news, but even worse is the nearly-do-nothing reaction of the world even as the newest study screams, “the worst is yet to come.”
Via the New York Times and David B. Lobell, a Stanford University scientist who has published much of the recent research and helped write the new report: “It is a surprisingly small amount of effort for the stakes,” he said.

(Illustration found here).

Beyond the already-produced warnings of ice caps melting, heat waves and heavy rains intensifying, coral reefs dying, and many other creatures beyond humans are going extinct, this latest from the UN paints one awful picture.
Continuing from the Times:

The report was among the most sobering yet issued by the scientific panel.
The group, along with Al Gore, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for its efforts to clarify the risks of climate change. The report is the final work of several hundred authors; details from the drafts of this and of the last report in the series, which will be released in Berlin in April, leaked in the last few months.
The report attempts to project how the effects will alter human society in coming decades.
While the impact of global warming may actually be moderated by factors like economic or technological change, the report found, the disruptions are nonetheless likely to be profound.
That will be especially so if emissions are allowed to continue at a runaway pace, the report said.
It cited the risk of death or injury on a wide scale, probable damage to public health, displacement of people and potential mass migrations.
“Throughout the 21st century, climate-change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hot spots of hunger,” the report declared.

All this, of course, is not new — not at all.
Today’s IPCC report is the fifth in the series — the first in 1990, 24 freakin’ years ago, and the old stuff is the same as the new stuff. From the Guardian:

But in the words of that great British band The Smiths, you can now stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before.
That’s because all of the above comes not from today’s blockbuster IPCC report on the impacts of climate change, but from the first one started in 1988 and published in 1990.
Much of the science it drew on was older still.
Just so we can calibrate our memories here, 1990 was the year Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web, Nelson Mandela got out of jail and MC Hammer wore those pantaloons (U Can’t Touch This).
Now more than 25 years after scientists started compiling that first report, the latest report is similarly alarming – just with added impacts and greater certainty.

But if we go back to brass tacks, it’s worth asking how the world has reacted to these repeated warnings.
Since 1990, annual global greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels have gone up 60 per cent.
As The Smiths also said, That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore.

This entire scenario was never real-hilarious from the beginning, but the biggest obstacle is still greedy mankind:

Despite the warnings given by the IPCC in its reports over the past two decades, the gap between the science and what governments are doing remains huge, says Sandeep Chamling Rai, head of the World Wildlife Fund’s delegation to the meeting.
“The science is clear and the debate is over,” he said.
“Climate change is happening and humans are the major cause of emissions, driven mainly by our dependence on fossil fuels.
“This is driving global warming. This report sets out the impacts we already see, the risks we face in the future and the opportunities to act.”

However, the real-powers that be don’t give a shit — the bottom line is paramount.
Via Think Progress last week and the phoney natural gas bullshit:

According to CO2 Scorecard, that didn’t happen.
Instead, the coal just went to other countries.
The researchers used data from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) to tease out how much coal-fired generation was displaced by natural gas versus other sources of electricity from 2007 to 2012.
They then looked at how U.S. exports of coal behaved over the same period.
From 2002 through 2006, those exports remained relatively steady.
But then they spiked after 2007, following the arrival of America’s natural gas boom.
Specifically, the researchers calculated that the rise of natural gas in America’s energy mix cut our carbon emissions by 86 million tons over that time period.
But the spike in exports increased carbon emissions from U.S. coal burned abroad by around 149 million tons.
As CO2 Scorecard notes, U.S. coal is relatively cheap on the global market.
So it’s possible coal exports from other countries declined in reaction because they couldn’t compete.
Unfortunately, EIA data also shows that global coal consumption rose steeply over the 2007-2012 time period, suggesting the primary effect of U.S. coal exports was to drive down the fossil fuel’s global price and encourage demand.

And here we are. Earlier this month, a study funded by NASA on the collapse of historical civilizations, points at the 1 percent saying, ‘Fuck you.’ A common crazy:

“…. appears to be on a sustainable path for quite a long time, but even using an optimal depletion rate and starting with a very small number of Elites, the Elites eventually consume too much, resulting in a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society. It is important to note that this Type-L collapse is due to an inequality-induced famine that causes a loss of workers, rather than a collapse of Nature.”

“While some members of society might raise the alarm that the system is moving towards an impending collapse and therefore advocate structural changes to society in order to avoid it, Elites and their supporters, who opposed making these changes, could point to the long sustainable trajectory ‘so far’ in support of doing nothing.”

The commoners all die first, then the elites — nobody gets out of this alive, unless those days are shortened. Some people are confused on that concept.
As long as the deniers, bullshitters and the rich keep pinging away at reality, all of us are being pushed, shoved in a bad way:

“We’re all sitting ducks,” Princeton University professor Michael Oppenheimer, one of the main authors of the (IPCC) report, said in an interview.
“After several days of late-night wrangling, more than 100 governments unanimously approved the scientist-written 49-page summary — which is aimed at world political leaders. The summary mentions the word “risk” an average of about 5 1/2 times per page.
“Changes are occurring rapidly and they are sort of building up that risk,” Field said.

And on top of all that ugly shit, it’s Monday!

(Illustration out front found here).

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