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Old April 23 2014, 01:13 PM   #1
Dennis
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Welcome to the future

The other shoe drops. Well, what did anyone really think would happen other than this?

By 2009, nearly every government in the world had endorsed the 2C limit global warming beyond that level was deemed "dangerous." And so, every year, the worlds leaders meet at UN climate conferences to discuss policies and emissions cuts that they hope will keep us below 2C. Climate experts churn out endless papers on how we can adapt to 2C of warming (or less).

Two decades later, theres just one major problem with this picture. The idea that the world can stay below 2C looks increasingly delusional.

Consider: the Earths average temperature has already risen 0.8C since the 19th century. And if you look at the current rapid rise in global greenhouse-gas emissions, were on pace to blow past the 2C limit by mid-century and hit 4C or more by the end. Thats well above anything once deemed "dangerous." Getting back on track for 2C would, at this point, entail the sort of drastic emissions cuts usually associated with economic calamities, like the collapse of the Soviet Union or the 2008 financial crisis. And wed have to repeat those cuts for decades.

The climate community has been slow to concede defeat. Back in 2007, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report noting that the world could stay below 2C but only if we started cutting emissions immediately. The years passed, countries did little, and emissions kept rising. So, just this month, the IPCC put out a new report saying, OK, not great, but we can still stay under 2C. We just need to act more drastically and figure out some way to pull carbon dioxide back out of the atmosphere. (Never mind that we still dont have the technology to do the latter.)
http://www.vox.com/2014/4/22/5551004/two-degrees
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Old April 23 2014, 03:23 PM   #2
sojourner
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Re: Welcome to the future

Don't worry. The Singularity will save us.
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Old April 23 2014, 03:45 PM   #3
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Re: Welcome to the future

Humanity is screwed unless someone's delusion is correct (aliens, God, AI, magic unicorns, etc...)
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Old April 23 2014, 04:20 PM   #4
YellowSubmarine
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Re: Welcome to the future

sojourner wrote: View Post
Don't worry. The Singularity will save us.
Think about it that way - exponential increase in energy consumption might just be the only way to combat global warming!
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Old April 23 2014, 04:25 PM   #5
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Re: Welcome to the future

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
Don't worry. The Singularity will save us.
Think about it that way - exponential increase in energy consumption might just be the only way to combat global warming!
I think it's pretty clear that Western society are prepared to throw the poor and disadvantaged under the proverbial bus. If there is any justice, our AI overlords will murder us in disgust.
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Old April 23 2014, 08:26 PM   #6
DarthTom
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Re: Welcome to the future

Dennis wrote: View Post
The other shoe drops. Well, what did anyone really think would happen other than this?

By 2009, nearly every government in the world had endorsed the 2C limit — global warming beyond that level was deemed "dangerous." And so, every year, the world’s leaders meet at UN climate conferences to discuss policies and emissions cuts that they hope will keep us below 2C. Climate experts churn out endless papers on how we can adapt to 2C of warming (or less).

Two decades later, there’s just one major problem with this picture. The idea that the world can stay below 2C looks increasingly delusional.

Consider: the Earth’s average temperature has already risen 0.8C since the 19th century. And if you look at the current rapid rise in global greenhouse-gas emissions, we’re on pace to blow past the 2C limit by mid-century — and hit 4C or more by the end. That’s well above anything once deemed "dangerous." Getting back on track for 2C would, at this point, entail the sort of drastic emissions cuts usually associated with economic calamities, like the collapse of the Soviet Union or the 2008 financial crisis. And we’d have to repeat those cuts for decades.

The climate community has been slow to concede defeat. Back in 2007, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report noting that the world could stay below 2C — but only if we started cutting emissions immediately. The years passed, countries did little, and emissions kept rising. So, just this month, the IPCC put out a new report saying, OK, not great, but we can still stay under 2C. We just need to act more drastically and figure out some way to pull carbon dioxide back out of the atmosphere. (Never mind that we still don’t have the technology to do the latter.)
http://www.vox.com/2014/4/22/5551004/two-degrees
Dennis, thanks for sharing this. What I find alarming is smart/intelligent people no longer believe in Global Warming because of the cold winter we had earlier this year.

I interact with business leaders here in Atlanta on a daily basis - people who are in charge of some of the largest corporations in the South and US e.g. UPS and because of the cold year here in Atlanta specifically - the 2 unprecedented ice storms we had - and generally the super cold winter the US had in 2014 - there isn't a belief [at least with some in corporate America] that, "global warming," is real.

I don't think there is a sense of urgency on this subject - at least this year - as a result of a very odd winter we had across the entire nation.
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Old April 23 2014, 08:39 PM   #7
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Re: Welcome to the future

DarthTom wrote: View Post
What I find alarming is smart/intelligent people no longer believe in Global Warming because of the cold winter we had earlier this year.
Huh?

I interact with business leaders here in Atlanta on a daily basis - people who are in charge of some of the largest corporations in the South and US e.g. UPS and because of the cold year here in Atlanta specifically - the 2 unprecedented ice storms we had - and generally the super cold winter the US had in 2014 - there isn't a belief [at least with some in corporate America] that, "global warming," is real.
Wait, so where are the "smart/intelligent people" you mentioned?
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Old April 23 2014, 08:45 PM   #8
DarthTom
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Re: Welcome to the future

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Huh?
Yes - I'm serious Robert. I had a conversation about 1 week ago with the CFO of a major ATL based company and he said to quote him, "....based on this year's weather I no longer believe in global warming." The situation wasn't the right time to debate this person on the merits of his opinions but we should be concerned when powerful people in the biz community are becoming more skeptical.

Now my experience[s] obviously is anecdotal - but I'd water that after this year's extreme cold there are a lot more people who have more skepticism about global warming.

Wait, so where are the "smart/intelligent people" you mentioned?
Better stated as business savvy, and in powerful positions where major decisions are made about corporate policies. You may not look at such people as, "intelligent," but some of these people are considered, "leaders."
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Old April 23 2014, 08:49 PM   #9
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Re: Welcome to the future

The joke is that you think those people are intelligent. They obviously aren't where anything scientific is concerned.
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Old April 23 2014, 08:51 PM   #10
sojourner
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Re: Welcome to the future

Send your CFO a link to this XKCD:

http://xkcd.com/1321/
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Old April 23 2014, 08:58 PM   #11
YellowSubmarine
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Re: Welcome to the future

One can just apply their logic in reverse: If global warming isn't happening, how it got so warm in just the few months from December to April, duh!
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Old April 23 2014, 09:03 PM   #12
DarthTom
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Re: Welcome to the future

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
The joke is that you think those people are intelligent. They obviously aren't where anything scientific is concerned.
How about, perceived as intellignet because they help run very successful businesses. And yes, I know the ability to make a lot of $$ isn't equal to intelligence.

But outside academia, the debate club, and in here - and in the real world - many people perceive top business leaders as, "intelligent," - and that's just real life.

In any case, I'm not interested in getting into a debate with you about this minor sub-text but rather wanted to share at least what I've seen is an alarming change in some people's views on global warming because of the 2014 winter.
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Old April 23 2014, 09:10 PM   #13
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Re: Welcome to the future

DarthTom wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
The joke is that you think those people are intelligent. They obviously aren't where anything scientific is concerned.
How about, perceived as intellignet because they help run very successful businesses. And yes, I know the ability to make a lot of $$ isn't equal to intelligence.

But outside academia, the debate club, and in here - and in the real world - many people perceive top business leaders as, "intelligent," - and that's just real life.

In any case, I'm not interested in getting into a debate with you about this minor sub-text but rather wanted to share at least what I've seen is an alarming change in some people's views on global warming because of the 2014 winter.
You mean you felt the need to chime in with the laughably common anecdote that some people think a cold winter means global warming isn't real? Well, thanks for that. It's a service I'm sure none other could have provided.
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Old April 23 2014, 09:33 PM   #14
B.J.
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Re: Welcome to the future

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
DarthTom wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
The joke is that you think those people are intelligent. They obviously aren't where anything scientific is concerned.
How about, perceived as intellignet because they help run very successful businesses. And yes, I know the ability to make a lot of $$ isn't equal to intelligence.

But outside academia, the debate club, and in here - and in the real world - many people perceive top business leaders as, "intelligent," - and that's just real life.

In any case, I'm not interested in getting into a debate with you about this minor sub-text but rather wanted to share at least what I've seen is an alarming change in some people's views on global warming because of the 2014 winter.
You mean you felt the need to chime in with the laughably common anecdote that some people think a cold winter means global warming isn't real? Well, thanks for that. It's a service I'm sure none other could have provided.
Despite your snarkiness, the problem here is that these people he's mentioning in particular are the ones with the power to do something to change things. But since they don't believe it, nothing will change.
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Old April 23 2014, 10:04 PM   #15
Yminale
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Re: Welcome to the future

Well it shows that people are ignorant. Global Warming can cause colder weather in northern longitudes because increase warming can change ocean currents and the jet stream. People think Global Warming is like living in a greenhouse but it's affects are much subtler than that.
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