(Illustration found here).
Writer and activist Bill McKibben in an interview at Outside magazine, published Monday, ‘Earth Day,’ and a bit of historical-reality with our predicament:
“The oil companies knew everything there was to know about climate change.
Look, these were the richest companies in the world.
They had vast squadrons of scientists.
Their product was carbon.
They were determined to understand it.
They produced, by the early 1980s, compelling accounts of how much and how fast the temperature would rise and rough estimations of just how bad the effects would be.
And they were believed within those companies.
Exxon began building its drilling rigs to compensate for the sea-level rise that it knew was in the offing.
People began plotting out their strategies for how they were going to drill in the Arctic once it melted.
None of those guys told the rest of the world what they knew.
If they had, things would have turned out very differently.
Imagine if Jim Hansen had given his testimony in 1988 and the next day the CEO of Exxon had said, ‘You know what? Our scientists are telling us pretty much the same damn thing.’
No one would have said Exxon’s just being climate alarmists; everyone would have said, ‘OK, we’ve got a problem. We’ve got to get to work.’
But that’s not what happened.
Exxon et al. made sure that there was sufficient doubt about the science, that there would be no action.
They caused a completely sterile and pointless 30-year debate about whether or not climate change was real.
A debate that both sides knew the answer to from the beginning.
It’s just—one of those sides was willing to lie.
And because of the effects, that will turn out to be the most consequential lie in human history.”
And fitting, at a crucial juncture in the safety of our planet, the guy in charge of the US is one of the greatest liars of all time, maybe ever, and a dumb-ass denier of climate change to boot. One could not fictionally-create a way-more-terrible a villain than the T-Rump.
Adding to stress on the issue — apparently ‘feedback loops‘ seem to play a bigger part in overall global warming as in melting of the Arctic permafrost, releasing methane. Note on this ‘loop‘ via SyFyWire yesterday: ‘Here’s the problem: Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. Molecule for molecule, it’s about 25 times better at trapping heat than CO2! As methane is released in the air, it accelerates warming, and that means more methane is released, and that means it gets even warmer, and … feedback loop.’
Although the piece was trying to be optimistic, and downplay the “methane bomb” theory of global warming increasingly going faster, and faster, and ‘We’re doomed…’ there was this graph: ‘If we can mitigate the amount of global warming we’re causing, then the permafrost methane deposits won’t be that big a problem. But that’s only true if we take the reins and reduce our carbon footprints. If we don’t, then yeah, those methane deposits will indeed be a problem, but only because we didn’t take action.’
Last fall, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported we have maybe until 2030 to make a solid turn-around on climate change, after that, the shit really starts to hit the fan. The UN didn’t fully understand impact of those ‘loops‘ on acceleration of climate change.
Via Yahoo News, also on Monday:
It is “feedback loops” like that one that make climate change unpredictable and represent a threat of global warming spiraling out of control.
“It’s already begun,” Thomas Crowther, professor in the Department of Environmental Systems Science of ETH Zurich, told Yahoo News.
“The feedback is in process.”
Crowther estimates that carbon dioxide and methane emissions from thawing soils are “accelerating climate change about 12 to 15 percent at the moment,” and said past IPCC reports that left out the feedback “were way more optimistic than they should have been.”