Five degrees of separation

If I were a betting man, I’d go with the 4.9 degrees Celsius trajectory (the orange represents high emissions, green medium, yellow low, and blue very low).

chart

But Al Gore is fat and Roger Pielke’s critics are shrill, so what’s the biggie?

I can’t think in Celsisus, but nine degrees Fahrenheit is a lot to this unserious person.






71 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    You may not be able to think in Celsius, but Roger Pielke Jr can’t think, period. He’s a shithead. Like all climate denialists.

  2. 2
    JPL says:

    We had snow in ice storms in the Atlanta area a few months ago, so global warming is a hoax.

  3. 3
    Fair Economist says:

    The best approach at this point, I think, is the economic approach. We *are* going to get warming, and at this point any additional warming is unquestionably bad. Tax all carbon production for a “think of the childen fund” large enough to pay for mitigation measures – buying up Miami and New Orleans, relocating almost everybody in Bangladesh, etc. And, yes, that will be a huge tax.

    The fact that we’re going to blow through 2 degrees makes mitigation measure more important, not less, because as we get further away from the current climates, additional changes are more and more harmful.

  4. 4
    chopper says:

    but nine degrees Fahrenheit is a lot to this unserious person

    and it aint spread out evenly. the arctic is gonna cook.

  5. 5
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Fair Economist: It will take much more than economic policy proposals to do something about problem. The political will does not exist to do the sorts of things you’re proposing. The political landscape needs to change, quickly.

    The Koch Brothers and their minions are actively attempting to put an end to renewable energy initiatives, because their short term profit is supposedly endangered by taking long term measures (such as solar power).

    The survival of the species is totally secondary to these assholes accumulating more lucre.

  6. 6
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    I look forward to the forcible relocation of all Climate Deniers to remote little islands, just inches above the current sea level.

    While revenge is best served cold, this variety of justice is best served WET.

  7. 7
    chopper says:

    @Fair Economist:

    because all that carbon is gonna get burned. it’s basically pure money sitting underground. how do you convince countries all over the world to leave a bunch of money in the ground instead of digging it up?

  8. 8
    Cacti says:

    O/T but worth sharing.

    Turns out that Cliven Bundy is a big fat liar about his “ancestral rights” to the land he’s squatting on.

    His parents moved to Clark County, NV from Arizona in 1948 and purchased the ranch from Raoul and Ruth Leavitt according to property records.

    Ma and Pa Bundy didn’t start grazing cattle there until 1954.

    The local CBS affiliate did a little due diligence on Bundy’s claims and found they don’t hold water.

  9. 9
    DougJ says:

    @Cacti:

    Were the people they bought it from ranchers?

  10. 10
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The Koch Brothers and their minions are actively attempting to put an end to renewable energy initiatives, because their short term profit is supposedly endangered by taking long term measures (such as solar power).

    You know, I’m not even sure it’s about that. Renewable energy as a growth market is something they could make a killing in, and they certainly have the capital to get started on it. I really think these people want to fuck people over just because they can. It would certainly explain a lot of ALEC’s social policy initiatives.

  11. 11
    Anton Sirius says:

    @Cacti: Wait, someone somewhere committed an act of actual journalism? How quaint.

  12. 12
    Redshift says:

    @chopper:

    and it aint spread out evenly. the arctic is gonna cook.

    And the atmosphere isn’t an oven that’s just going to get nine degrees warmer (which doesn’t sound too bad.) It’s a complex system of air and water patterns and our civilization is built to depend on them not changing too much. Nine degrees is going to add a hell of a lot of energy to that system.

  13. 13
    sharl says:

    Thanks Doug. Gave your link a quick look-see, and it looks pretty good (and depressing); will try a more thorough reading later today. I was glad to see that the topic of ocean acidification got a mention. I don’t think that gets nearly the attention in the popular media that it deserves.

    OT, but I appreciated your exchange with Broken Calculator Lady on twitter. I have no use for her either, but at least she doesn’t usually run away* from her critics (unfortunately she doesn’t usually constructively engage with them either, but it may be the best she can do).

    *In the aftermath of Snowden, it has been unfortunate to see what kind of folks have come out of the shadows to support the Nat-Sec status quo. Folks like John Schindler clearly aren’t used to engaging with folks outside the Clubhouse, and summarily dismiss ignert “regular folks”, from the safety and comfort of their taxpayer-funded, tenure-reinforced Ivory Towers Cold War turrets. [Schindler did OK on BBC’s Newsday this morning though; he must be damn near orgasmic to have the Soviet Union Ukraine-Russia conflict as a major topic of discussion. Like pulling out the photo album and talking about how the old days are new again.]

  14. 14
    Anton Sirius says:

    Oh, now I get why they got so riled up about the Bundy thing.

    “They are literally treating western United States citizens, ranchers, rural folks like this- are the modern day Indians. We’re being driven off of our lands. We’re being forced into reservations known as cities,” Justin Giles, an Oathkeeper from Alaska, said.

    Treating God-fearing white folk like injuns, kinda sorta? THIS SHALL NOT STAND!!!!!!

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @The Other Chuck: Just pure mean, in other words.

    Well, if that’s not a valid reason to start rolling tumbrels, I don’t know what is.

  16. 16
    Redshift says:

    @The Other Chuck: I may be mistaken, but the Koch’s don’t seem like the entrepreneurial type. They seem like the “buy the government to make sure our sure thing stays a sure thing” type.

  17. 17
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Redshift: They HATE the actual free market, because the actual free market does not guarantee them profit. They have to take risks, they have to work, they have to hustle. They hate all that. They want rents. They are parasites. Eliminate them.

  18. 18
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The most frustrating thing again is just how much we seem to be backsliding on all fronts on this. The political will has all but evaporated as conservatives have gone hardline ‘SUPER GREEN FASCIST HOAX!!’ position, and even the public seems to be backsliding with the undecideds going hard on the ‘it’s not happening’ line while all the other numbers seem static. It’s just….fucking galling. The conservative line on fucking everything is seductive and always given the utmost credulity until every single aspect is proven wrong, despite it nearly being ALWAYS wrong, while the other side has to prove everything in triplicate and until then is seen as the biggest bunch of grifting psychopathic evil America-haters in the history of ever.

    The Kochs and friends are winning a debate we shouldn’t even be having and preventing the actual debate of ‘what the hell do we do about this massive problem?’ from ever actually happening. They’re winning like fucking gangbusters.

  19. 19
    AxelFoley says:

    But algore is fat

    Fix’d

  20. 20
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Anton Sirius: Agenda 21! Agenda 21!

    God. Anyway. Greenland was once warmer and the earth is young and God sends storms, so who cares about anything.

  21. 21
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    From where I sit in the southern end of the great state of California, a nine degree rise in temperature turns my neighborhood into Tuscon. Not Phoenix, not yet. But bad enough.

    Going to be interesting/horrifying to see what this does to the oceans. When I was born, the ocean here was still productive. It’s now pretty much a wasteland – most everything died off by the late 70s. The system is not going to be able to take much more abuse and stay a viable option for what’s left of the native critters to live.

  22. 22
    GIndy51 says:

    @Redshift: They are old men who are afraid of any change in their existence. It doesn’t matter what it is, gay marriage, renewable energy, whatever. If it is change, they are against it EVEN IF IT COULD MAKE THEM MONEY! My in laws are as rich as those assholes are and think exactly the same way. My spouse cut and ran from them, literally cut off monetarily, when he refused to buy into their narrow mindset and by marrying WAY beneath him. I support him 1000% and his parents will never see my kids as they are as toxic as lead and radioactive material.

  23. 23
    Cacti says:

    @DougJ:

    Were the people they bought it from ranchers?

    Doesn’t say, but I would assume so. Another article from the same station says that the Las Vegas area grazing district was established by the Federal Government in 1936.

    The first land owner of Bundy’s current property was Leland R. Wattis (no relation) who purchased it from the federal government in 1920.

    Bundy’s maternal grandparents lived in Clark County in the early 20th century but not in Bunkerville. 1930 census records describe his maternal grandfather’s occupation as mesquite farmer rather than rancher.

  24. 24
    jl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: @chopper:

    Even mainstream energy economists are proposing carbon taxes starting at $50 per ton, and advocate a policy with built-in automatic increases as function of the rate of human (edit: example is William Nordhaus)-induced global warming. That would change relative costs of fossil fuel energy versus, for example, solar. Changing relative prices can do a lot in a short time.

    I think the main hurdle to getting something done is solving the ‘fairness’ argument of places like China, India and Brazil, who say that they should not be punished simply for being later in economic development than industrialized countries. With regard to economic coal reserves, that is basically U.S./Canada, former Soviet countries and China, so three big players that need to agree. China has invested a lot of money in manufacturing of solar and other renewable energy capital, so they are not betting one hundred percent on all coal all the time forever.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: The planet will endure.

    The apex species, not so much, as we’re so fucking busy shitting all over the place.

  26. 26
    catclub says:

    @Anton Sirius: Except the only land he is being ‘driven’ off of is land he does not own. Denial is not just a dyslexic mountain.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    catclub says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: “my neighborhood into Tuscon. Not Phoenix, not yet.”

    I am confused. I thought Tucson was south of Phoenix and hotter.

  29. 29
    Punchy says:

    Did those graphs factor in the runaway effect of warming + frozen trapped methane = free methane + massive, massive, massive greenhouse effect?

    Cuz if not, that orange line is probably not even close to reality.

  30. 30
    Seanly says:

    @Fair Economist:

    With there being over 7 billion people on the planet, there will not be any mass relocations. At least not of any persons not part of the 1%. Our population is the elephant in the room.

    One of the solutions to our impending self-wrought doom is for there to be a lot less people. Less people – less carbon emissions from them driving, from trying to feed them, clothe them, make their iPhones. Planet Earth will be still be here for eons to come, but I think our bright little spark will be gone sooner rather than later.

    So we’ll be on that orange carbon path until our carbon footprint begins fading as people die from environmental causes or wars over dwindling resources. There are some preppers & such who relish this coming disaster, but I am glad that I don’t have any children who’ll know the famine & devastation coming.

  31. 31
    srv says:

    Some amazon shockwave plug-in is locking up on this site with FF.

    “4.9 degrees Celsius”

    I’m not going to be dead by then, perhaps I should stay in Vancouver…

  32. 32
    Cacti says:

    @catclub:

    I am confused. I thought Tucson was south of Phoenix and hotter.

    South yes, hotter no. Phoenix usually runs about 5-7 degrees hotter than Tucson in high summer.

  33. 33
    catclub says:

    Did anyone else think those labels are confusing? They are not evenly spaced – the space between the 2.4 and 1.5 is smaller than the difference between the 3.0 and 2.4 curves. Are they temperature changes on some date? What date?

  34. 34
    catclub says:

    @Cacti: I did not know that. Altitude? Phoenix kind of in a bowl?

  35. 35
    scav says:

    It’s a little easy to re-visualize those land rushes in OK as bunches of moochers gathering in hordes and then piling in en-masse to get them there free obamaphones and land titles. Sorta Black Friday at the Welfare Office. Entire state nicknamed after the low-lives that gamed the system and grabbed phones early. ’cause all govt hand-outs are evil evil evil and detrimental to proper bootstrap operation, right?

  36. 36
    Cacti says:

    @catclub:

    Altitude I believe. Pima County has taller mountains than Maricopa.

  37. 37
    gnomedad says:

    Why aren’t denialists buying up low-lying land that’s undervalued until the hoax is exposed?

  38. 38
    Botsplainer says:

    @Anton Sirius:

    “They are literally treating western United States citizens, ranchers, rural folks like this- are the modern day Indians. We’re being driven off of our lands. We’re being forced into reservations known as cities,” Justin Giles, an Oathkeeper from Alaska, said.

    Everything about the Tealiban can be explained by watching Blazing Saddles:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....038;sns=em

    Taggart: [on learning Bart is the new sheriff of Rock Ridge] Now if that don’t beat all. Here we take the good time and trouble to slaughter every last Indian in the West, and for what? So we can appoint a sheriff that’s blacker than any Indian. I am depressed.
    Lyle: Excuse me, Mr. Taggart, sir, but I sure do hate to see you like this. What if me and the boys was to shoot that nigger dead? Would that pep you up some?
    Taggart: That might help.

  39. 39
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cacti: You know, I honestly didn’t see that coming.

  40. 40
    scav says:

    @catclub: They’re showing results on a third variable. The lines are Co2 emmissions over time.

  41. 41
    Face says:

    @catclub: I’m confused by the random blue and brown circles in the middle of the lines. What do the large circles represent? Do they correspond to a particular x-axis or y-axis value?

  42. 42
    Botsplainer says:

    @Seanly:

    With there being over 7 billion people on the planet, there will not be any mass relocations. At least not of any persons not part of the 1%. Our population is the elephant in the room.

    Limiting population growth is bad. Ron Reagan, Karol Wotyla and a bunch of Wahhabi Imams said so back in the early 80s.

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Botsplainer: These people are simply evil.

  44. 44
    Botsplainer says:

    Oh, and Algore lives in a big house and hybrid cars are gay.

  45. 45
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    and it aint spread out evenly. the arctic is gonna cook.

    Negative Nancy. Perhaps that will open up the Artic for more drilling, and thus more oil! Not to mention, all that pristine ocean water that needs to be polluted, fished, and whaled!

    I’m seeing all positives.

  46. 46
    jl says:

    @Anton Sirius: I didn’t notice that the Bundy thing came up in this thread.

    Looks like Bundy is greatly exaggerating the length of time his family has owned or used any of the land:

    Local TV Station Sheds Doubt On Bundy’s Claims About His Family Ranch
    TPM Livewire

    ” KLAS in Las Vegas obtained property records showing that Bundy’s parents purchased the family’s ranch in 1948. ”

    “…court records obtained by KLAS indicated the family’s cattle didn’t begin grazing the land until 1954. The Bureau of Land Management was created in 1946…”

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....ral-rights

  47. 47
    scav says:

    @Face: Do need the text the graph is illustrating to get why the large dots are indicated, but the different lines are very likely alternative scenario / model runs, the dots (as they are entirely to the left / earlier than about 2015) show where actual measures are in regard to the alternative scenarios.

  48. 48
    Captain C says:

    @catclub: Tuscon is about 90 miles south of Phoenix, but is usually about 5 to 10 degrees (F) cooler than its northern neighbor.

  49. 49
    satby says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Why should they (the Kochs) care, they’ll be dead. Too bad about the rest of us.

  50. 50
    Jack the Second says:

    @Redshift: The atmospheric heating alone is pretty catastrophic. Photosynthesis stops working when temperatures are above around 105 degrees C, and works less well in the degrees leading up to it.

    So an increase in days above 100 degrees means less plant growth and more CO2 in the atmosphere. Not only do plants stop growing (and, say, producing food) when it is too hot, and stop taking CO2 out of the atmosphere, they switch to burning their stored sugars, producing more CO2.

  51. 51
    catclub says:

    I suspect ( reading the article to find out is too much work) that the temp labels are mean change for the year 2100. I agree that all the dots so far ( black) tend to follow the top curve ( so far).

  52. 52
    john b says:

    Photosynthesis stops working when temperatures are above around 105 degrees C, and works less well in the degrees leading up to it.

    So an increase in days above 100 degrees means less plant growth and more CO2 in the atmosphere.

    If we’re up to 105C then our problems are much larger than photosynthesis not working.

  53. 53
    Schlemizel says:

    For those of us old enough to remember the fight over tobacco and lung cancer we have all seen how this climate change debate is going to play out. For 20 years the tobacco companies shut people up, funded non-cigarette focused research & quashed the real thing. If you saw Cosmos Sunday you know how they did that. Despite that the government knew there was a link but the economics of the situation kept it relatively quiet. Then it leaked out & the tobacco companies spent the next 20 years dumping BS studies and running PR campaigns against the real science. It worked but gradually the truth became obvious to anyone that wanted to see it. The infected anal cyst still denied it & his sheep believed and slowed the government response. For the next 10 years they claimed nicotine was not addictive and that the manufacturers didn’t willfully manipulate the product to increase that addictive power. You can still find morans today that will tell you that despite the evidence.

    So we passed the 20 years of buying off and fake science on climate. We are midway through the 20 years of PR and attack politics with no end in sight. Even if we were to win in 10 or 20 years it will already be too late to not cause horrific disruptions. Famine, contagion, drought, war and much worse are coming and there is nothing we are going to do that will not be too little too late.

  54. 54
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @satby: They seem to care about accumulating as much swag as possible now even though eventually they will be dead, and you can’t take it with you.

  55. 55
  56. 56
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Botsplainer: But then again, the Population Bomb didn’t exactly happen either. Maybe it will at some point, but who knows when that will be.

  57. 57
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @lurker dean:

    Yeah. And almost all the responses I’ve seen and heard to it amount to “GOOD, NO MORE REVERSE RACISM!!” Not quite in those exact words, but the amount of people who live under the delusion that all Affirmative Action did was give plum university spots to barely literate drooling dipshits who barely gradutated on a pure racial quota is just…ridiculous. And yet, that’s all I see how. Another issue on the backslide at a ridiculous pace, and it just makes me horrifically depressed. Yeah, AA is a flawed program, but better that then sticking your fingers in your ears and proclaiming that everything is colorblind now and if you fail it just means you didn’t want it enough or try enough or were just an inferior person from the start.

  58. 58
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @SatanicPanic:Three words: Keep educating girls….

  59. 59
    Jay C says:

    @catclub:

    Both, I think.

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Even if THEY can’t “take it with them”, they can sure game the system (or, more likely, just buy the relevant legislation) to ensure that THEIR heirs will end up with most of the swag – and with it, the political power that said swag can buy. Of course, there’s always the chance that one of the kids or grandkids is going to turn out to be Andy the Anarchist or Louise the Lefty, and spend the family fortune on pushing programs or policies; but there you go: the future’s uncertain (and the End is always near…..)

  60. 60
    lurker dean says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    this is a good graphic that shows how harmful these bans are.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interac.....d=tw-share

  61. 61
    Jay C says:

    @Jay C:

    FYWP: should have read “pushing programs or policies Grandad wouldn’t have approved of…”

  62. 62
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @lurker dean:

    This unfortunately presumes that facts will prevail in this debate.

  63. 63
    jl says:

    @Schlemizel: I think you are too pessimistic about the time horizon for the debunking of the bought and paid-for professional self-proclaimed ‘junk science’ debunkers. From what I have seen over last year, even in the bland and balanced network and cable channels, is a breakthrough in presenting the climate science straight. Maybe part of that is it is harder and harder to find a competent meteorologist for local channels and networks who is a global warming skeptic (Fox News excepted, of course).

    I’ve heard current theories of how reduced temperature differential between tropics and polar regions affects the jet stream, and how that influences severe weather in U.S. on several networks (Fox News excepted, of course).

    Wish I were less skeptical of whether this breakthrough, if that is what is really happening, is in time to make any difference in terms of outcome.

  64. 64
    Gene108 says:

    @Jack the Second:

    If it got to 100 degrees Celsius (the boiling point of fresh water at sea level), we’d all be dead.

    Did you mean 105 degrees Fahrenheit?

  65. 65
    C.V. Danes says:

    2C is within the realm of adaptation. 4C is within the realm of survival. 6C would mean extinction of civilization as we know it.

    But global warming was always just a side effect, and never the real problem. The real problem is that there are just too damn many people on the planet.

  66. 66
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Seanly:

    but I am glad that I don’t have any children who’ll know the famine & devastation coming.

    Seeing it that way since 1980

  67. 67
    chopper says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    while the other side has to prove everything in triplicate

    and you also have to be right for at least 30 years for people to finally agree, at which point they loudly demand to know why you didn’t solve the problem 30 years ago.

  68. 68
    mike in dc says:

    @C.V. Danes: I don’t agree with that, per se. The real problem is that the rate of resource consumption is too high, as is the creation of adverse byproducts of that consumption. But it doesn’t follow that the only way to address that is via population reduction. That said, any significant impact on population growth from the adverse effects would most likely further incentivize innovation and adaptation. In other words, if we start seeing 10-100 million extra deaths every year, that is an irresistible kick in the butt to do something different. Of course, one would hope that more would be done well before that point is reached…

  69. 69
  70. 70
    MB says:

    @chopper: Convince them to reclassify these as “stranded assets”. See Carbon Tracker’s work on this. It’s good stuff. http://www.carbontracker.org/

  71. 71
    Jack the Second says:

    @Gene108: Yes. 105 F, 40 C.

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