The Future Laid Bare.

Scientific research and climate events over the last 2 years paint a different picture to the one the I.P.C.C. provides for COP21 in Paris this November. The U.N. and governments, have championed economic growth and technological development as necessary for a warming world. Sir Nicholas Stern (an economist), speaks as an ‘authority’ on the future “compatibility” of earth systems and economic growth.

“There is no conflict between economic growth and action on climate change.” (1)

The increase of research/data in 2006, compared to 2015, is staggering, as is what the reports say.   The UNFCCC has overseen 20 years of COP meetings to limit warming to “under 2 degrees C”. This is not legally binding. (2) There was no penalty when Canada, Russia and Japan withdrew from the “legally binding” Kyoto Protocol.

JHScientists such as James Hansen, Michael Mann (3) and Kevin Anderson (4), have since 2006 consistently been critical of the official climate change “doublespeak”, which, with climate denial, has allowed apathy, disinterest and confusion to develop at a grass roots community level towards climate change.

The I.P.C.C. “language” now explains we are “likely to achieve 2C with a 60% probability”(5), even though it now knows 2C is a marker between “dangerous” and “very dangerous” impacts. The IPCC knows that at a 90% “certainty” of staying under 2 degrees there is no carbon budget left, and reduces the “risk” from 90% “must stay under”, to a 60% “probability”. (RCP2.6). (6)

The IPCC announced a “carbon budget” which “allows” us to continue contributing to a cumulative emissions total that is “dangerous” now. (7)

The underlying economic concerns since 2007/8, and a considerably weakened environment movement since the 2009 Copenhagen fiasco, provided a vacuum now filled by Ecomodernism.   New age economic “winners”, such as Gates (8), Branson bransonspacesuitand Musk have thrown their support behind the Ecomodernist movement with heavy research funding, whilst paying lip service to what is left of “the environment”. The centre of the climate denial industry, the Heartland Institute, and the Koch brothers, have recently given support to the Ecomodernist Manifesto, strange bedfellows. (9)

 

The manifesto’s geo-engineered, “virtual” climate future (business as usual), is nuclear fuelled, negative emissioned, GMO fed, Apple inspired and technologically spellbound by ideas of recreating extinct species and living on Mars. (10)

The recent announcement by the head of the I.E.A. that “decoupling” carbon emissions from growth is hailed as being “on the right track”, came after 46 billion metric tons-e of carbon was emitted. (11)

Along with prosperity, growth and a safe climate through technology, the I.P.C.C.’s “low/zero/no carbon” (RCP 2.6 /4.5 A.R.5), vision of negative emissions technology, “sometime between 2070 and 2100” (12, 13), is completely untried at scale, (or still theory), has unknown consequences and is far too late.

Ecomodernism has wide appeal, wait for technology and the markets, and do nothing for 70 years. The Anthropocene is here. This is the future Christiana Figueres is taking to Paris.

Governments, the I.P.C.C. and neoliberalism cannot control nature and time. Try as they may to control the science, the weight and consistency of proof over time, and nature’s response in the form of climate “events”, is becoming overwhelming, and exposing the doublespeak and lies up to now passed as “information”.

“Earth Will Cross the Climate Danger Threshold by 2036” is a paper by Dr Michael Mann that contains a dire warning. (14)

In Brief

  • The rate at which the earth’s temperature has been rising eased slightly in the past decade, but temperature is still increasing; calling the slowdown a “pause” is false.
  • New calculations by the author indicate that if the world continues to burn fossil fuels at the current rate, global warming will rise to two degrees Celsius by 2036, crossing a threshold that will harm human civilization.
  • To avoid the threshold, nations will have to keep carbon dioxide levels below 405 parts per million.

 

As the carbon content of the atmosphere is above 400 ppm now, this research indicates that there are 2 or 3 years at most, until we reach the atmospheric carbon content equivalent of 2 degrees of warming above pre-industrial times.

Relevant factors, not publicised in a Murdoch world, include Mann’s “cooling effect” of particles (from coal burning particularly), preventing temperature increases relative to emissions generated. As coal use declines, temperatures rise to equilibrium.

Thermal lag/inertia. Recent research from Katherine Rike and Ken Caldeira, give a 10 year “cause/effect” time, between emissions generation and heat increase. This indicates there is already “built in”, a further 0.5C warming, supported by Dr Mann’s research. (15)

Cryosphere “tipping points” are being reached far in advance (75 years) of IPCC projections at the north and south poles. (16) RCP 8.5 is the do nothing scenario the Arctic is heading for soon.

arctic-ice-1

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In an attempt to activate negotiators at the Paris COP21, James Hansen has published a paper open for public comment called “Climate Danger in the Hyper-Anthropocene” and reopens the debate which the IPCC avoided about ice melt and rapid sea level rise over decadal periods. (17)

Climate scientist Paul Beckwith in conversation with Alec Smith examines many of these issues and suggests Arctic summer ice melts could see ice free summers in 5 years. (18)

Slide1Author David Spratt, following research by Dr Mann, says the temperature “now”, from pre 1880 modelling, and observations, is 1.17C above pre-industrial times. (19)

Given the “thermal lag” of 0.5C “built in”, we are very close to the 2 degree limit and the 405 ppm stated by Dr Mann.

Spratt also observes the “El Nino” event “brewing” in the central Pacific Ocean, as big at present as the 1998 EN which began a new level and regime of temperature increases.

These points lead us to an uncomfortable conclusion: we are already at risk of failing to meet a target that is itself inadequate to avoid dangerous climate change”(20). and ;

“The world needs to understand the plausible worst-case scenario for climate change this century and beyond — something that the media and the IPCC have utterly failed to deliver.”(21)

 

  1.   http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/aug/26/lord-stern-hits-out-at-claims-about-cost-of-climate-cuts
  2.    http://www.mrfcj.org/our-work/unfccc/cop-timeline.html
  3.    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/01/michael-mann-climategate-court-victory
  4.    http://www.whatnext.org/resources/Publications/Volume-III/Single-articles/wnv3_andersson_144.pdf
  5.   I.P.C.C. 2013 WG1AR5 report p. 27.
  6.   I.P.C.C. 2013 WG1AR5 report “The Physical Science Basis”, slide 5.
  7.    Ibid.
  8.    http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/02/26/how-bill-gates-is-engineering-the-earth-to-resist-climate-change/
  9.    http://clivehamilton.com/the-technofix-is-in-a-critique-of-an-ecomodernist-manifesto/
  10.    http://www.ecomodernism.org/espanol/
  11.   http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/globalwarming/11486432/The-lights-are-going-out-for-coal-and-humans-may-be-starting-to-fight-back-against-global-warming.html
  12.    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/19/co2-emissions-zero-by-2070-prevent-climate-disaster-un
  13.    http://newsroom.unfccc.int/unfccc-newsroom/leading-scientists-call-for-long-term-climate-vision/
  14.    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-will-cross-the-climate-danger-threshold-by-2036/
  15.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBe60pVAePY
  16.    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/12may_noturningback/
  17.    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/07/27/3684564/james-hansen-climate-danger-hyper-anthropocene/
  18.    http://www.ecoshock.info/2015/09/are-we-already-in-abrupt-climate-change.html
  19.    http://www.climatecodered.org/2015/08/as-2015-smashes-temperature-records-its.html
  20.   http://www.carbontrust.com/news/2013/06/negative-emissions-technologies-climate-necessity-or-technical-distraction
  21.   http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/07/27/3684564/james-hansen-climate-danger-hyper-anthropocene/

 

 

The Low Road.

Politicians have taken regard of historian Simon Schama’s comment that no one ever won an election by telling voters it had come to the end of its “providential allotment of inexhaustible plenty”. The official policy articulated, in a moment of unusual candour, by Jean-Claude Juncker, the current head of the European Commission, was that when the situation becomes serious it is simply necessary to lie.

For the moment, to paraphrase Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the “permanent lie [has become] the only safe form of existence“.
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/satyajit-das-column-20150825-gj7bcy.html#ixzz3kIOC1BVl

The issue of climate change is no different, with the exception that blind faith in technology also incorporates a collective “amnesia” about the problems that we face because of technology. As pointed out to Stewart Brand by Winona LaDuke.

The politics of the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” are based on the most powerful (U.S.) corporate intellect, the same philosophical basis upon which all governments are run.

The very oil, coal, and gas giants that have brought us to the brink of catastrophe are not just at the negotiating table—they are coming dangerously close to running the show. Examples of Big Energy’s influence in the talks abound: from corporations actually sponsoring the last round of talks (COP19), to industry front groups like the World Coal Association and IPIECA (the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association) gaining official status, to solutions on the table that seek to enrich the private sector above all else.

http://theleap.thischangeseverything.org/rescuing-the-climate-talks-from-corporate-capture-a-roadmap/

 

Naomi Klein’s book “The Shock Doctrine” on “disaster capitalism” is a stark reminder of what will happen to those who cannot pay, and the institutions on which they rely.

One of those who saw opportunity in the floodwaters of New Orleans was Milton Friedman……He wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal three months after the levees broke. “Most New Orleans schools are in ruins,” Friedman observed, “as are the homes of the children who have attended them. The children are now scattered all over the country. This is a tragedy. It is also an opportunity to radically reform the educational system.”…….. George W. Bush backed up their plans with tens of millions of dollars to convert New Orleans schools into “charter schools,” For Milton Friedman, the entire concept of a state-run school system reeked of socialism. In his view, the state’s sole functions were “to protect our freedom both from the enemies outside our gates and from our fellow-citizens: to preserve law and order, to enforce private contracts, to foster competitive markets.” In other words, to supply the police and the soldiers—anything else, including providing free education, was an unfair interference in the market.

Within nineteen months, with most of the city’s poor residents still in exile, New Orleans’ public school system had been almost completely replaced by privately run charter schools. Before Hurricane Katrina, the school board had run 123 public schools; now it ran just 4. Before that storm, there had been 7 charter schools in the city; now there were 31

For more than three decades, Friedman and his powerful followers had been perfecting this very strategy: waiting for a major crisis, then selling off pieces of the state to private players while citizens were still reeling from the shock, then quickly making the “reforms” permanent.

From “The Shock Doctrine, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”. Introduction

Governments who make the decisions in the IPCC forum have no thought to change the economic/social system to a more egalitarian climate justice base, but the IPCC is complicit by blind adherence to science fiction and the ecomodernist answers, Corporate ideology, and feeding this back into Government thinking as “viable”.

The Papacy turned the eye once more to the “moral” case for climate justice, but known skeptics within the church such as Cardinal George Pell from Australia, said the Catholic Church had no business issuing statements about politics.

The “Precautionary Principle” has morphed into ‘cost /benefit, risk analysis’ where GDP and profit are “privatising” what were once “Human Rights”

Naomi Klein’s book set the debate in the most analytical way possible. The logic is irrefutable, but is answered with silence and has failed to produce the required debate. Read it.

This is the “low road”, but requires more crowdfunding than is possible. Needs more emissions reductions that seem possible, more “Degrowth” than seems possible. It needs new financial taxes, redistribution of wealth and social reforms that don’t seem possible. More than that, it needs a sizeable majority with Climate Justice as its main talking point. Its a road we know instinctively but haven’t travelled before, its starting again.