I am tilting at the windmill of human denial about the danger of global warming.
illustration from ClimateProgress.org
And AGW is worse than ever. Even TIME magazine thinks we should wake up to the the dangerous misunderstanding of climate change. This article ran just a few days before the election.
"... carbon emissions would need to be cut drastically from current
levels. Yet almost all of the subjects in Sterman's study failed to
realize that, assuming instead that you could stabilize carbon
concentration simply by capping carbon emissions at their current
level. That's not the case -- and in fact, pursuing such a plan for
the future would virtually guarantee that global warming could spin
out of control. It may seem to many like good common sense to
wait until we see proof of the serious damage global warming is
doing before we take action. But it's not -- we can't "wait and see"
on global warming because the climate has a momentum all its
own, and if we wait for decades to finally act to reduce carbon
emissions, it could well be too late. Yet this simply isn't
understood. Someone as smart as Bill Gates doesn't seem to get it.
"Fortunately climate change, although it's a huge challenge, it's a
challenge that happens over a long period of time," he said at a
forum in Beijing last year. "You know, we have time to work on it."
But the truth is we don't. "
I think I am gradually growing to accept this human deficiency - we are unable to see, unwilling to act on far off dangers - no matter how certain. The future of global warming becomes clearer... and the ONLY global survival solution requires a total unified human effort - with 100% support.. which is, of course, impossible. The differing opinions and different thoughts and actions - quintessentially human - is a trait that best preserves our species by having sizeable factions in disputed survival judgements and errant thinkers taking different actions. So whole populations with one trait may thrive, while those with another trait will fail. It seems like a nice way to design a species: to allow groupings with individual differences to best adapt to a changing future. This assures that random changes may still act to allow the species to change.
We are not ants. But in this case it may bite us back, for the errant few with denialist tunnel vision are working to constrain any unified effort to change. And that spells doom.
They may no longer deny, they may only want to delay. That delay will kill us, the delay means tipping points are passed and runaway global warming cannot be stopped, no matter how strong the human will and effort. And a destabilized climate will continue to wreak havoc, and the predicted increase in temperature (11 degrees C ) can extinguish most animal life at sea level. With less heat increase, perhaps better survival.
First comes the decimation of our species - it will take a few decades, disease, drought, storm floods and the attendant wars and violent struggles to survive - met with violent defense. Eventually the chaos will wean out the weak and the unwilling and the remaining population will have full commitment to survive - but almost no capability to affect global cascading events. Then in a hot and changing age the struggle will be to survive amidst dwinding resources and scarce living places - perhaps limited to mountainous areas near the poles. Pretty grim future. Even though that struggle may be a few generations out - it may be good that people don't realize this just now. How does one tell a young person about this?
And so I am not going to argue with idiots anymore because the ship is now hitting the iceberg and no change of direction can prevent it. Now the discussion is about how to best deploy the lifeboats and figure out how best to slow the sinking. Bush was the captain that crashed the boat, Obama is the new captain. So this is a change of attitude. The science and the projections remain the same. I realize this is dystopic - but it is not implausible, and it conforms to IPCC climate predictions.
Cross posted to climatedebatedaily.org