Too late the hero

December 11, 2012

Overcast with a drizzly fog this morning along California’s northern coast with rain expected some time later today.
Winter here is wet, and can get cold, but considering other parts of the country, way-mild.

And considering climate, the worse is yet to come — according to New Scientist, weather forecasts for the way-near-future are looking even grimmer.

Underestimating shit has always appeared to be a terrible human fallacy.

(Illustration found here).

Now that the UN climate talks in Doha, Qatar, is history, a reflection is that the whole shebang was underlined by politics, and as a whole, the whole world’s fate rests with a few countries, mainly just two — the US and China.
So it’s in President Obama’s lap — the Chinese are accelerating economically again, and most-likely won’t do much to curb their enthusiasm.
Most contend Obama needs to start talking about climate change more, everywhere, all the time.
However, he’s a money-man/economic-growth politician.
From Bloomberg News yesterday came this analysis of Obama’s climate views, which stressed no action on climate change without also helping the economy: “I won’t go for that,” he said. “If, on the other hand, we can shape an agenda that says we can create jobs, advance growth and make a serious dent in climate change and be an international leader, I think that’s something the American people would support.”
So we’re sunk — curbing/stopping fossil fuel emissions ain’t economically pretty, unless this country needs more and more the likes of Hurricane Sandy.

I didn’t really see the horror of climate change until about five years ago — don’t know why, but global warming didn’t register until that 2007 U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report which stated humans are the reason behind it all.
And it was that IPCC report that started the ball rolling — deniers came flowing like melting ice out of the rotting woodwork.
Now it seems, the IPCC didn’t say enough — they’ve been underestimating the threat, which in the short-term is shits-ville for the planet.
Via Climate Central on the mounting f*ck-up:

As the latest round of United Nations climate talks in Doha wrap up this week, climate experts warn that the IPCC’s failure to adequately project the threats that rising global carbon emissions represent has serious consequences: The IPCC’s overly conservative reading of the science, they say, means governments and the public could be blindsided by the rapid onset of the flooding, extreme storms, drought, and other impacts associated with catastrophic global warming.
“We’re underestimating the fact that climate change is rearing its head,” said Kevin Trenberth, head of the climate analysis section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and a lead author of key sections of the 2001 and 2007 IPCC reports.
“And we’re underestimating the role of humans, and this means we’re underestimating what it means for the future and what we should be planning for.”

Underestimates will continue to characterize climate projections, cautioned Richard Somerville, IPCC scientist and Professor Emeritus and Research Professor at Scripps Institution, “But that’s the nature of research,” as it constantly discovers new possibilities.
Looking back at the 1950s when scientists first identified the climate problem, Somerville notes that the tone at the time “was not catastrophic at all, but rather curious to see how the climate system would react to a big spike in carbon dioxide emissions.”
Only over time did the full realization dawn on the scientific community that many of the consequences of climate change could be very serious and even catastrophic.
And that is what hasn’t gotten across to the public, Somerville warned: a sense of urgency that, to most scientists, is now very clear.
“This is an urgency that has nothing to do with politics or ideology,” said Somerville. “This urgency is dictated by the biogeochemistry and physics of the climate system.
We have a very short time to de-carbonize the world economy and find substitutes for fossil fuels.”

Key words here: “a very short time.”

Short, as in yesterday?

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