4 just became the new 2.

Written By: - Date published: 11:44 am, December 7th, 2017 - 14 comments
Categories: capitalism, Economy, Environment, global warming, science - Tags: ,

Projections for future levels of warming are calculated from “best guess” estimates around climate sensitivity. Climate sensitivity rests on some complex stuff, such as how changing cloud cover might affect the dynamics of warming. In essence, the lower that climate sensitivity is taken to be, the lower the expected level of warming.

That’s why there are broad bands of temperature range given in graphs that display possible future levels of warming.

Ken Caldeira and Patrick Brown (Nature) thought it would be good idea to figure out whether the higher or lower projections were more likely to be accurate. To do this they looked to see which models (high and low sensitivity) best matched  recently measured observations(phys.org).

Models incorporating higher levels of climate sensitivity were more accurate at simulating recent and present climate observations. From that, Caldeira and Brown re-calculated that the chance of the world experiencing 4 degrees C of warming by the end of the century (at current emission rates) shifts from a 62% chance to a 93% chance. (The Independent) Put another way, we were telling ourselves we had a 3-1 chance of avoiding 4 degrees, and those odds have just dropped to about even money.

Obviously the work undertaken by Caldeira and Brown doesn’t touch on the fact that we’ve been “stacking” integrated assessment models by inserting things like negative emissions technology, and monkeying with emission rates and peak emission dates and what not to make our prospects look better than they actually are.

So we need to cut and cut fast. This link is going to bring back up a post that outlines a politically unpalatable, but as far as I can tell, perfectly feasible course of action that would allow us (at least, in NZ) to slaughter our emissions in a timely manner.

And just to finish I want to re-visit a short exchange with Rhinocrates last night. The suggestion was that even though we have landed ourselves with a square wheeled cart, we have no option but to get in behind and push in the hope we can transform our situation.

The problem I have with the notion that we’d make progress if everyone just “did their bit”, is simply that the economic, social and political paradigms that have brought us to this point, are the very ones that deny us the ability to do anything other than push a square wheeled cart into ever deeper ruts the ground.

If we want that cart shifted far enough and fast enough, we need to ‘walk’ it using levers (think “ice hockey sticks”) and anyone committed to ‘pushing’, is in the way and dangerous. So yeah, If you’re in behind and pushing, do your bit. Stop.

14 comments on “4 just became the new 2.”

  1. greywarshark 1

    Just found a couple of quotes and these relate to what you are saying Bill.
    I will read all your links later as they come under ‘wise men’ category and as for women, if their determination and vision can be got on board, the best will be achieved. If not, there will continue to be voices crying in wilderness with a few successes but not enoughto near the potential action for change.

    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. Plato
    Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/plato_109439

    No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. Muhammad Ali Jinnah
    Author Profession: Politician
    Nationality: Pakistani
    Born: December 25, 1876
    Died: September 11, 1948
    Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/muhammad_ali_jinnah_372003

  2. patricia bremner 2

    This is very frightening Bill.

  3. jimekus 3

    Times have changed and the struggle could be won by AI, if not The Handmaid’s Tale. First, the AI tackles public health issues like drug overdose prevention and incorporates large scale outdoor cannabis cultivation for climate change mitigation. When there is hardly any global support population left, NZ will be forced to adopt the single payer settlement philosophy of Giovanni Gentile.

    “Designed for behavioral modification, 420 Electronic Monitoring is going fully offline and untrackable late in 2020. Featuring a human auditable self-aware AI, that uses verifiable transactional identities in a global pseudo-blockchain, it is currently studying drug users who pay for full service versus those who are prescribed a dispensary lock option.”

  4. corodale 4

    Noting again, persistent condensation trails above SH1 at Bombay today… It’s hardly an open and honest info environment for a debate. And as for action… that would require multi-level responses; from personal-spiritual, right though to the self regulating global market, hooked on debt and fueled with ignorance. Similar to our “debt” to JC for the cross-stunt, but raising to the solution, it’s looking more like a peace and spread-the-goodness model, taking back ownership of our souls.

  5. esoteric pineapples 5

    “and anyone committed to ‘pushing’,”

    Should that be “and anyone not committed to ‘pushing’,”

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    Insurance premium are expected to rise after a record $242 million in weather-related claims this year due to the effects of climate change.

    At some point either it all becomes unaffordable or the weather will have smashed so much at once that the problem becomes moot.

    Or maybe someone can figure out how to make lots of lemonade.

    I’m picking the former. Or the latter.

    • greywarshark 6.1

      We know we can rely on you to cut to the chase OAB. We may die laughing, and I’m being funny (strange not haha).

      • cleangreen 6.1.1

        We are all heading for a catastophe of the industrialist’s own making and we helped them with our lack of care for the planet.

        Then there were the paid ‘spindoctors who said it was just ‘junk science’.

        Well we all need to go back to the drawing board on this now.

        Firstly we need to place everything under a carbon foootprit and not exclude any favoured issies.

        “carbon pricing is well overdue folks. as that way we ca see the things bwe are all doing today is to higher cost,

        Labour Minister of transport phil Twyford today said trasppoort will be under the study of the best system to use, ” is it roads or rail, air, or sea, or a combination of all”

        We call it “modal shift”

        Around the world we all do this, so we here must stop building more roads, and use some of the other froms of transport that emit less CO2 and generate far less carbon.

        The EI report last week showing the “value of rail” is a perfect study to be used in this new proposed “carbon pricing study.

  7. jcuknz 7

    As a mobility challenged person living within a stone throw of an existing rail line I rely on my personal transport and simply could not use and get to the [currently] removed station. It is bad enough carrying in groceries from my car let alone a station a couple of hundred metres away. I have a bus stop almost outside my house but only one way … to go into town it is either way as far as the old railway station. So rail is no use to me.
    I am sure I am lucky and many more people are in a much worse situation.

  8. Philg 8

    PM Helen Clark, years back spoke of investment in coastal shipping and rail infrastructure. The trucking lobbyists won out.

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