Uh oh

I covered the polar vortex thing pretty well already, so you do not need me to remind you again how it works. On the other hand we all could use a reminder of how this stuff matters. You see, aside from trafficmaggeddon and your frozen nuts things are happening up north that could soon become a problem for everyone. I highlighted Nome, Alaska earlier because most people know something about it and it hit forty six freaking degrees in Nome, but in fact aside from tree-killing invasive critters moving north, melting permafrost and the coming mosquito season straight out of the book of revelations the weather in Nome is not THAT big a deal. I mean, it will suck a little more to live in Alaska if you make buildings or live in them, but it does not threaten the rest of us all that much. Well ok, that pipeline has its foundations in permafrost, so that could be a problem. But I digress.

The other day I read that Greenland had its own endless summer this year.

Alaska isn’t alone. Greenland has been about 5°C warmer than normal in January. This year’s snow season has shrunk in the northern hemisphere by about three weeks, leaving the people who plan Winter Olympics grappling with how to adapt.

That concerned me a bit more so I looked it up (graphs adapted from Weather Underground).

nuuk v. chicago 500 px

Note last month’s temperature in red against the historical average maximum and minimum daily temps in blue. You can see that Greenland has had a pretty half-assed winter.

I do worry that we will miss arctic sea ice. Open water and green land or dirt absorb a lot more heat energy than ice. After the albedo threat you have these ginormous reserves of methane ice that might or might not explode out of arctic sediments as they warm up. So ok, I am not exactly rooting for the northwest passage to open up for shipping year round. On the other hand at least arctic ice does not pose much of a threat RIGHT AWAY when it melts. Think of a glass of ice water left out in the sun. When floating ice melts the water level changes not at all. Greenland is more like a bucket of ice with a pool of water that gets higher and higher as ice piled up in the air melts away.

You could argue that Greenland represents a lot less of our big blue marble than the ice in a bucket with a little pool at the bottom. Though correct, I would respond that our human species likes to build expensive things really close to the water line. The oceans are miles deep, around 14,000 feet deep if you average the whole thing out, yet it will take just a few more feet to swamp north Florida, ‘bama and Mississippi in a flood of refugee cockroaches, Burmese pythons and trigger-happy racists. Three more feet and one hundred forty-one thousand people in New York City alone will commute by rowboat. Greenland has enough ice to add about twenty-four feet to the global total if its glaciers melt, as they seem increasingly inclined to do. That would put about one in ten of everyone on Earth a very tight spot, and by ‘tight spot’ I mean a refugee camp.

If it comforts you to think this is some hand-wavy science that might get overturned by a new fad in a few years, great. I hope you live a ways uphill from the sea. In truth this is pretty basic physics. A glacier only survives where the annual average temperature is below some hard number. Historically you would only find, say, a stable shelf of sea ice where the annual ‘isotherm’ was -9 degrees C or lower, though ice shelves fall apart at colder average temperatures now because ocean currents have gone screwy. Glaciers will only remain a thing in Greenland if the average temperature stays low enough for them to hang around. Cross that threshold and those pools of open water that show up in the summer will last a little too long and cover a little too much area, helping to split glaciers and ice shelves into more digestible chunks and lubricating the great ice river when a pool finds or creates a gap in the ice and drains to the bottom.

If the year-round average temperature goes up in Greenland by five degrees C then the area where glaciers stick around will get quite a lot smaller. Expect tidal surge floods like Hurricane Sandy to become an annual thing and then a monthly thing and then just how things are all the time as glaciers in the the new no-ice zones crumble and melt their way to the sea.






70 replies
  1. 1
    Diana says:

    Oh, yeah, and if all of the Greenland ice sheet melts and slides off into the sea, there’s also the possibility of a repeat of this lovely episode in world climate history:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas

    And there maybe goes the Gulf Stream ocean current that warms Northern Europe, which could mean that Europe could see temperatures more appropriate to its latitude (i.e. Siberia and Canada).

    this global climate change is one hell of a hoax.

  2. 2
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Unrelated but too good not to pass on. Something close to satirical perfection in this one.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....e-rich-guy

  3. 3
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Al Gore is fat.

    Just had to get that in early.

  4. 4
    C.V. Danes says:

    The last time CO2 was at the current level, the oceans were about 70 feet higher than now. It might take a couple of centuries for sea level to get there, but that’s where we’re headed.

  5. 5
    slippytoad says:

    The climate deniers get stupider every day.

    All this cold air, it came from a place, right?

    Since hot air is what moves cold air, that place, it is by necessity a bit hotter, right?

    And, that cold air that’s come down here to wreak havoc on our lives? Yeah, it’s going to get WARMED UP by the latitude.

    GLOBALLY, our temperature has increased, and in a very dramatic way that is kind of hard to miss.

    It’s telling what fucking retards the GW deniers have to act like to avoid drawing this conclusion. You’d almost have to act like you were the dumbest fuck alive.

  6. 6
    Helmut Monotreme says:

    I am not looking forward to the mess that will be created when every low lying coastal garbage dump in the world gets washed into the ocean.

  7. 7
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Diana:

    this global climate change is one hell of a hoax.

    Indeed, as is trying to feed 10 billion people over the next 30 years as half the world’s species die off :-)

  8. 8
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @slippytoad:

    You’d almost have to act like you were the dumbest fuck alive.

    No acting involved in this case.

  9. 9
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    The oceans are miles deep, around 14,000 feet deep if you average the whole thing out, yet it will take just a few more feet to swamp north Florida, ‘bama and Mississippi in a flood of refugee cockroaches, Burmese pythons and trigger-happy racists.

    At last, a border fence idea I can get behind.

    I swear, I half-expect a NOAA forecast any day now to consist of a picture of Jake Gyllenhaal and Emmy Rossum holed up in a tundra-fied NY Public Library. This is really gaining momentum.

  10. 10
    Comrade Jake says:

    Anyone catch Bill Nye debating some wingnut rep on Press the Meat this Sunday? You have to hand it to the GOP. Their line on climate change has evolved from “this is a liberal conspiracy!!!” to “even if we kill our economy to curb CO2 emissions it won’t make enough of a dent!!!”

    Rat fuckers, all of them.

  11. 11
    Violet says:

    Heard something on the news this morning (NBC Today Show) that Congress is “discussing climate change today” but “some Republicans still don’t believe it’s real” or something like that. I figured it was progress–at lest they’re discussing it and the news is covering it.

    Plus, NBC Nightly News last night did a segment on the extreme weather globally and showed a clip of John Kerry saying that if people didn’t believe in climate change they had their heads in the sand. Showed clips of England floods, drought in American west, massive snow in eastern US, Japan and northern India. Then talked about climate change. Again–at least they’re talking about it.

  12. 12
    Morbo says:

    We probably all have this acquaintance: “Hardy har har, the cold temperatures in America mean global warming isn’t real.” Well, what do you mean by “America” east coaster?

  13. 13
    NonyNony says:

    @slippytoad:

    Since hot air is what moves cold air, that place, it is by necessity a bit hotter, right?

    Well, no, that’s not obvious.

    There could also just be a massive amount of cold air being created “somehow” in the North. Where cold air is created. And there’s so much that it’s filling up the top of the globe and pushing more cold air south than we usually get.

    Your average US citizen does not understand how weather works. They know that cold air comes from the North (for some reason), that storm systems move from West to East (for some reason), that warm air comes up from the South (because Equator or the sun or Mexico or something-or-other), and that sometimes you get really bad storms that can kill you. They know that jokes about the weather sometimes get a laugh and sometimes get a groan and sometimes get a blank look. And they know that the local weather guy has an office that looks like the deck of the Starship Enterprise because weather is so damn complicated you need a supercomputer with the voice of Majel Barrett to put up those little infographics about 5-day forecasts and run the greenscreen map for the weatherguy.

    I don’t say this with a “people are idiots” attitude either – most people do not actually need to know how the weather works to live their day-to-day lives. This is one of the big flaws of democracy – people are supposed to rule themselves, but people do not have the expertise to rule themselves, so we pick experts by ballot to rule for us. But of course people don’t have the expertise to pick experts so … yeah.

  14. 14
    Violet says:

    @Morbo: To those folks “America” is whatever they see out their front door. Typical Republican/conservative outlook–if it doesn’t affect them personally, it’s a non-issue or isn’t real. As an adjunct, if it does affect them personally, that’s how it is for everyone.

  15. 15
    currants says:

    This map lets you go to any given location (step right up and pick yer continent!) and see what might become submerged under certain specific sea level rises. You can adjust (top left) how many meters.

  16. 16
    Gopher2b says:

    I’m resigned to it. Now I’m just trying to figure out where to live for the next 30-40 years as I’m thinking about a change. Serious question. Thoughts?

  17. 17
    srv says:

    James Burke covered all this way before Fat Al did.

    You’ll love the ending.

    And if all that tundra methane gets out, can’t we just set the sky on fire or something?

  18. 18
    The Dangerman says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    …even if we kill our economy to curb CO2 emissions it won’t make enough of a dent!!!

    I think I heard that woman say on MTP that global warming will create agricultural opportunities (presumably for agriculture where it is presently too cold)….

    …otherwise known as “fuck you, California Central Valley” (a deeply red area) , the “Willamette Valley is looking pretty good to us right about now”.

  19. 19
    srv says:

    @Gopher2b: I’m thinking Oregon is the best bet. Going to check out Bend and a few other spots.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @srv:

    Time to trot out some old Tom McCall witticisms in order to deter immigration to Oregon.

    “People don’t tan in Oregon during the summer…they rust!”

    “Last year, 16 children fell off their bikes in Oregon…and drowned!”

  21. 21
    Bill D. says:

    Once you fully melt off the Greenland ice cap, it’s gone until the next ice age. The land area in Greenland is just not high and cold enough in an interglacial period like today to form extensive glaciers unless the ice cap is already there to provide the necessary coldness due to elevation. You need the ice cap to have an ice cap, unless an ice age puts the needed temperatures down to a much lower elevation to match the terrain.

    So if we go down this route of melting off the Greenland ice cap it’s permanent in any meaningful time frame, as in thousands of years. Same for the resulting sea level rise.

  22. 22
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @NonyNony:

    No one can explain the tides, you know. Tide goes out, tide comes in, no one can explain it!

  23. 23
    joel hanes says:

    Serious question.

    Serious answer.

    Use Google images to find the current US maps for the northern limits of malaria, yellow fever, fire ants. Figure you want to be five hundred miles north of that line, not on a coastline, in a place with plenty of clean rain, and with a historically liberal/tolerant culture. Rural Minnesota looks pretty good.

  24. 24
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @The Dangerman: Chlorophyll breaks down around 41 deg C or thereabouts. It’s the driver for all food plants we know about. Basically plants won’t grow if it’s that hot on a regular basis no matter how much water and nutrients they get. It might be possible to make a super-GMO plant that can cope with higher temperatures but I wouldn’t bet my retirement on it.

  25. 25
    Jim says:

    Look on the bright side in the big PX the hardest hit will be red necks and 1%’s. The red necks will die sitting on their roofs, waiting for God to save them and the 1%’s will fund a massive public works project to save their beloved Manhattan and that cottage in the Hamptons.

  26. 26
    slippytoad says:

    @NonyNony:

    There could also just be a massive amount of cold air being created “somehow” in the North.

    The statement I made was, when air is moving, it’s because it is hotter. At least, that’s what I intended to make. And I don’t entertain illogical premises like cold air being “created.” Air gets colder, or is heated up. There’s no force that “creates” cold air, just the lack of heat.

    The point is, the mechanism of our air being stirred over our heads is pretty simple and my fucking jesus christ do you have to be an idiot to wilfully misunderstand it.

  27. 27
    Gopher2b says:

    @joel hanes:

    I was thinking Minnesota/Chicago but these polar vortexes have thrown a wrench in that analysis.

  28. 28
    Bill D. says:

    @srv: Oregon also has low-lying areas that will be flooded. With severe-enough warming, even Portland would be vulnerable eventually though not in the next 40 years. Bend is good in this respect, though there are volcanic hazards there. It’s best to not focus on just one environmental hazard to the exclusion of others.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Robert Sneddon:

    It might be possible to make a super-GMO plant that can cope with higher temperatures but I wouldn’t bet my retirement on it.

    Not to worry. Marsha Blackburn is more than willing to bet your retirement on it. Not her own, of course.

  30. 30
    Pogonip says:

    @maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor: I think Florida is already inundated with cockroaches and Burmese pythons.

  31. 31
    Diana says:

    oh, and let’s face it, the perps all share a certain profile:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/s.....801100104X

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bill D.:

    Bend is downwind from several High Cascade peaks that could become undormant at any time., and of course, we have the seriously serious plate of Juan de Fuca subduction zone right off the coast, egging them on to become undormant. We’re all waiting for “The Big One” to come along and make SF and LA’s quakes look like mild unpleasantness.

    Portland’s elevation is not that great along the Willamette waterfront (20 feet), but much of the city is at higher elevations than that.

  33. 33
    Anoniminous says:

    @NonyNony:

    Potted, generalized, explanation:

    Higher sea temperatures around the equator produces lots of warm moist air. Since warm air rises it moves north. Since it’s warmer it moves further north into the dry cool air around the North Pole and since warmer and moister air has larger amount energy it pushes the dry cool air further south. This extends the frontal boundary between the warm moist air and cool dry air.

    A frontal boundary is where weather happens.

    Thus we experience warmer and more intense weather than expected in the North. We experience cooler and more intense weather than expected in the South. And more intense weather all the way around and along the frontal boundary.

    ETA: tundra scientists are quietly freaking at the number of methane geysers they are finding. At the moment it is not known if they are going to continue to “leak” or if we’re heading for a “burp.” If the latter things are going to get interesting.

  34. 34
    joel hanes says:

    @Gopher2b:

    polar vortexes

    As xkcd has pointed out, it’s just a return to historical winter intensity, as we experienced routinely in the mid-20th century.

    Deep winter is no problem if you dress properly, and it slows the pace of life quite wonderfully. People who live in places with deep winter have learned to live with it — watch the locals and emulate. A good stocking cap and a pair of Sorel Caribou boots and a big ol’ Carhart insulated oversuit will keep you toasty in a blizzard, if you eschew cotton the rest of your clothing. (It’s amazing how stubbornly people cling to cotton clothing, which is wonderful in hot weather, and a death-trap below zero F.)

  35. 35
    trollhattan says:

    @Pogonip:

    Palmetto bugs, damnit! Those other things are legless swamp cattle.

    –Florida Tourism Commission

  36. 36
    joel hanes says:

    @Gopher2b:

    OTOH, if the polar vortices scare off the fair-weather people, that’ll just preserve the current reality: a relatively modern 3 BR 2 BA house in rural MN, on a nice-sized lot, for $125,000 or less.

  37. 37
    NonyNony says:

    @slippytoad:

    Dude (dudette?) you need to take a deep breath and go back and read it again.

    I actually know a bit about how physics and the weather work. I just don’t assume that most people in this country do because they don’t. They don’t know. Nor do they need to know most of the time – it isn’t something that has typically been more than trivia for most people. They have some hadwavy notion about how cold air comes down from the North (like Santa delivering presents at Christmastime) and that’s about all they need in order to live their lives.

    If you are depending on people understanding how the climate works in order to get political change underway you might as well forget it. People don’t work that way.

  38. 38
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Gopher2b:

    I’m resigned to it. Now I’m just trying to figure out where to live for the next 30-40 years as I’m thinking about a change. Serious question. Thoughts?

    Upstate NY, where the only thing that will kill you is the boredom :-)

  39. 39
    E. says:

    Folks, moving isn’t going to help. Long before we have global warming effects that hit us here in the US there will have been geopolitical responses to those effects in poorer, more ecologically vulnerable countries whose citizens have less to lose and plenty of weaponry.

    And even if we make it through the global warming caused geopolitical instability, we have to make it through the insanely unstable geo-engineering phase (when we do all manner of Dr. Strangelove things to cool the planet down), and then you have to survive your crazy dipshit neighbors who are armed to the teeth and hate you.

    It’s provably hopeless. Get used to it.

  40. 40
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @currants: Thanks for that, my house is toast.

  41. 41
    Sherparick says:

    But George Will says “Little Ice Age!!!” And hippies!!!

    Really, I forced myself to watch a bit of Fox News Sunday. The non-sequiters and ignorance was breathtaking on Global Warming/Climate Change topic was breathtaking.

    Its hard to be optimistic when about half the United States whether human caused global warming is happening, 40% do not accept Evolution by natural selection, and 25% think the Earth is the center of the universe (because that is how the Bible has it. And they would like to enforce these doctrines through law (Galileo got off light apparently).

  42. 42
    currants says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Uh huh. Lots are.

  43. 43
    catclub says:

    @E.: If the oceans and various species were in good shape, when the climate changes, that might not be so bad. But the oceans are dying due to overfishing and trash dumping PLUS CO2.
    Lagniappe.

  44. 44
    Bill D. says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yes. And I’m far enough north that I’ll feel that Big One and it may cause some damage here. Not looking forward to five minutes of shaking, should it happen while I’m here.

    Your Big One will justify the name. Meanwhile, here in California public thought and rhetoric is *stuck* on the idea that The Big One will happen eventually and that such a quake is the main and present earthquake concern. Actually, while southern California is due for a big one on the southern portion of the San Andreas Fault, that quake’s distance from LA would actually result in less-intense shaking in LA than a moderate quake right under LA which is quite likely to happen on any of various faults. The latter quakes are actually the main earthquake threat to LA and San Diego.

    Meanwhile, here in the Bay Area our next Big One (a la 1906 on the San Andreas Fault) is probably a long ways off, but we are likely to have smaller but still very damaging quakes (think Kobe 1995) in the core of the region. Again, the Big One that will happen eventually is not the real threat in my lifetime. Less-sexy moderate-sized quakes will cause more damage and disruption than most people are prepared to think, despite all that has been done to prepare for this eventuality. A Loma-Prieta-sized quake centered in the core of the region will not be as quickly shrugged off as that quake was.

    Back to the topic, even a few feet of sea level rise will cause real problems here, and much more than that will render major transportation corridors (Eastshore and Bayshore freeways, plus rail lines) and airports (SFO, OAK) untenable to maintain. The earthquake danger makes protecting against sea level rise harder, as any protective structure has to withstand an earthquake at the same time that it’s holding back the Bay, and perhaps while anchored in or built on top of bay mud. Not good.

  45. 45
    Redshift says:

    What, no “Have a nice day” at the end?

  46. 46
    Mart says:

    Keystone is a Trojan Horse for Enbridge. I have been beating a dead thread drum for awhile, so I repeat. All those concerned about Keystone XL please Google Enbridge + Projects. They are currently building tar sand pipelines all over the place. Met a man in Quincy, IL who was building Enbridge’s Flanagan South Pipeline. Flanagan, IL is a terminal station that currently supplies the poison to the Wood River refinery just north of St. Louis. The Flanagan south pipeline will cross the Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri and Arkansas rivers (to name a few) on its way to the mother of tar sands terminal in Cushing, OK. (Keystone is also being routed through the Cushing terminal.) From Cushing it is piped down to Gulf Coast refineries and then shipped to Asia.

    There is a little push back on Enbridge, but nowhere near what Keystone gets. All of the current, under construction, and proposed pipelines need pushback.

    http://kansas.sierraclub.org/i.....gan-south/

  47. 47
    Mj_Oregon says:

    Late to this discussion, but if you haven’t seen this documentary, you should: Chasing Ice

    As sobering as it beautiful.

  48. 48
    Gopher2b says:

    @joel hanes:

    I lived most of my life in the north but spent the last 4 years in the middle-ish south. I’ve gotten weak. I want to figure out essentially where Southern California’s climate is going. Alternatively, the Carolina’s.

  49. 49
    Gopher2b says:

    @E.:

    Canadian Rockies, it is.

  50. 50
    Jonny Scrum-half says:

    @Anoniminous: You wrote that “since warm air rises, it moves north.” I get that warm air rises, but I don’t understand why that would mean that it moves north. Can you (or someone) explain?

  51. 51
    currants says:

    @Mj_Oregon: Yes–sad, and beautiful.

    @Gopher2b: Ack. Politics aside, bad choice for enviro reasons. See this link about water advisories in South Carolina along with this, on drinking water there, and the thousands of additional acres opened for clam and oyster harvesting! Only the very tiniest tip of the problem here.

  52. 52
    Lee says:

    I’m old enough to vaguely remember part of the debate about the pipeline was how the foundation was only going in the permafrost and that if it ever thawed there would be major problems.

    Of course the supporters just scoffed at the notion of the permafrost melting.

    It was something along the lines of ‘Why do you think they call it a permafrost”

  53. 53
    joel hanes says:

    Southern California’s climate is going.

    SoCal’s climate won’t support people — not enough rain; they have to steal it from other places.

    I agree that British Columbia looks nice.

  54. 54
    Bill D. says:

    @Lee: Melting of the permafrost by heat from the hot oil, potentially leading to pipeline failure and oil spills, was a major concern at the time. It was only addressed by major revisions to the pipeline design after the initial proposal was made. That still doesn’t address permafrost melting caused by climate change.

  55. 55
    Ksmiami says:

    @joel hanes: so cal smart enough to build desal plants… Other places not so much

  56. 56
    C.V. Danes says:

    @E.:

    It’s provably hopeless. Get used to it.

    Spot on.

  57. 57
    mclaren says:

    Methane clathrates remain a big unknown. If the arctic/antarctic get warm enough to melt the submerged methane clathrates, that could pose a huge problem. Climatologists have posited the clathrate gun hypothesis, which boils down to enough extremely potent greenhouse gas getting released that the planet suffers irreversible catastrophic warming of the kind that has been linked to the Permian-Triassic extinction.

    In the Permian-Triassic event, 96% of all marine species went extinct. Double plus ungood, Winston.

  58. 58
    Arclite says:

    @Mj_Oregon: RE: Chasing ice – I hadn’t realized it was on Netflix streaming. Just watched.

    I think the most frightening thing from that film is that we’re increasing the CO2 levels 100x to 1000x faster than what has happened naturally in the past million years, and (so far) 40% greater than any value in the past million years either. It’s just crazy to think that things will be okay. It’s conceivable that between the melting permafrost and the methane calthrates that we could add so much greenhouse gasses to the atmo to heat the planet to the point that nothing between the tropics of cancer and capricorn will grow at all, and the only habitable places will be the Yukon territory, upper Siberia, and Antarctica.

  59. 59
    Fair Economist says:

    @currants:

    This map lets you go to any given location (step right up and pick yer continent!) and see what might become submerged under certain specific sea level rises. You can adjust (top left) how many meters.

    Woo-hoo, I’m on the beach!

    My mother-in-law will have to move in with us, though.

  60. 60
    Fair Economist says:

    @Arclite:

    It’s conceivable that between the melting permafrost and the methane calthrates that we could add so much greenhouse gasses to the atmo to heat the planet to the point that nothing between the tropics of cancer and capricorn will grow at all, and the only habitable places will be the Yukon territory, upper Siberia, and Antarctica.

    Unfortunately when the world gets that hot the icecaps melt and, due to 24 hour sunshine in the summer, the polar regions will be uninhabitably hot in the summer. The only inhabitable places will be higher-altitude mountains. But not too high, because there will actually be enough CO2 going into the air to measurably reduce the oxygen levels and so the maximum habitable altitude will drop one or two thousand feet.

    Even the worst scenarios I’ve yet seen leave La Paz and Lhasa inhabitable. With temperatures like Phoenix, however, they won’t be nice.

  61. 61
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Diana:

    this global climate change is one hell of a hoax.

    The hoax is deeply devious; it involves actual global climate change!

  62. 62
    muddy says:

    My neighbor told me climate change wasn’t true, because “they haven’t accounted for the fact that the poles have moved”. They? “Those scientists.” If only these idiot scientists knew what this guy does, they’d see that their so-called data was totally skewed! Skewed like the poles. Or one might say, like the polls.

    What? Wait. I’m turning into Glenn Beck. Sorry.

  63. 63
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    Their line on climate change has evolved from “this is a liberal conspiracy!!!” to “even if we kill our economy to curb CO2 emissions it won’t make enough of a dent!!!”

    The right-wing endgame is geo-engineering after it’s too late for prevention. And then there will be active international disagreement (perhaps war) about what geo-engineering approaches to use, since they would not (perhaps excepting orbiting sunshades) be neutral in their effects/side effects.
    Does anybody see a way for this to play out differently?

  64. 64
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Morbo:
    Also in “America”, summer heat wave in Argentina.

  65. 65
    Bill Arnold says:

    @E.:

    (when we do all manner of Dr. Strangelove things to cool the planet down),

    Yeah. And the lists one generally sees don’t mention the extreme options.

  66. 66
    E. says:

    @Bill Arnold: Bill I think you are correct that the right’s endgame is geo-engineering, and I expect they see a whole lot of money in it. They probably even think it will work. But yes there will be war, and there will be death, and there will be environmental consequences we can’t even begin to imagine, and our children will look back at us with hate and bewilderment. I do not look forward to the year 2045 or so.

  67. 67
    moderateindy says:

    @E.: I think both E & Bill are completely wrong about geo-engineering being the right’s endgame. If our current & recent past economic woes have taught us anything, it is that our corporate masters have basically no long term strategies. They are all about harvesting every last egg from the Golden Goose right now, this instant, even if that means the goose croaks.

  68. 68
    Bill Arnold says:

    @moderateindy:

    it is that our corporate masters have basically no long term strategies.

    You’re not wrong, however when the time comes, the short term strategy will be geo-engineering. I expect that there are forward-looking entrepeneurs even now who are examining how to monetize climate-fixing.
    Besides money, there is also control. If the command and control of a geoengineering system is not internationalized and made transparent, then it will be abused, at least by governments.

  69. 69
    E. says:

    Plan A: There is no such thing as global warming.
    Plan B: There is global warming, but it is natural and good.
    Plan C: We are the cause of global warming, but stopping it is too expensive.
    Plan D: Global warming is a terrible threat to our existence and we must pay whatever it takes to geo-engineer a solution, and the only people capable of finding one are the oil companies.

  70. 70
    Min says:

    @Gopher2b:

    Move to Denver. Then your kids can get high and watch the tide roll in.

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