We’re hot as hell

Written By: - Date published: 7:19 am, August 6th, 2010 - 70 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment - Tags: ,

We’re Hot as Hell and We’re Not Going to Take It Any More

Three Steps to Establish a Politics of Global Warming
By Bill McKibben

August 04, 2010 "Tomdispatch" —  Try to fit these facts together:

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the planet has just come through the warmest decade, the warmest 12 months, the warmest six months, and the warmest April, May, and June on record.

* A “staggering” new study from Canadian researchers has shown that warmer seawater has reduced phytoplankton, the base of the marine food chain, by 40% since 1950.

Nine nations have so far set their all-time temperature records in 2010, including Russia (111 degrees), Niger (118), Sudan (121), Saudi Arabia and Iraq (126 apiece), and Pakistan, which also set the new all-time Asia record in May: a hair under 130 degrees. I can turn my oven to 130 degrees.

And then, in late July, the U.S. Senate decided to do exactly nothing about climate change. They didn’t do less than they could have — they did nothing, preserving a perfect two-decade bipartisan record of no action. Senate majority leader Harry Reid decided not even to schedule a vote on legislation that would have capped carbon emissions.

I wrote the first book for a general audience on global warming back in 1989, and I’ve spent the subsequent 21 years working on the issue. I’m a mild-mannered guy, a Methodist Sunday School teacher. Not quick to anger. So what I want to say is: this is fucked up. The time has come to get mad, and then to get busy.

For many years, the lobbying fight for climate legislation on Capitol Hill has been led by a collection of the most corporate and moderate environmental groups, outfits like the Environmental Defense Fund. We owe them a great debt, and not just for their hard work. We owe them a debt because they did everything the way you’re supposed to: they wore nice clothes, lobbied tirelessly, and compromised at every turn.

By the time they were done, they had a bill that only capped carbon emissions from electric utilities (not factories or cars) and was so laden with gifts for industry that if you listened closely you could actually hear the oinking. They bent over backwards like Soviet gymnasts.  Senator John Kerry, the legislator they worked most closely with, issued this rallying cry as the final negotiations began: "We believe we have compromised significantly, and we’re prepared to compromise further.”

And even that was not enough.  They were left out to dry by everyone — not just Reid, not just the Republicans. Even President Obama wouldn’t lend a hand, investing not a penny of his political capital in the fight.

The result: total defeat, no moral victories. ….

Read the full post here.

70 comments on “We’re hot as hell ”

  1. Matthew Hooton 1

    Thank god New Zealand has our ETS then. That’ll save us.

    • lprent 1.1

      It is about as watered down as it is possible to get. It was bad enough under Labour. But National proceeded to remove every bit of evidence of price signals to industry.

      In fact they pushed all of the direct costs to individuals and made it more profitable for Industry to pollute. Almost entirely the opposite of what is required.

      A pretty typical demonstration of the priorities of NACT. Make nice to their funders.

      • Matthew Hooton 1.1.1

        Lynn – You do understand, I hope, that the NZ ETS is the most draconian in the world? The EU ETS is far softer and includes greater subsidies than ours. Our forestry sector is the only one to be included, our aluminium smelter is the only one to face a price on carbon, ours includes all electricity and liquid fuels, and the carbon price we pay on electricity (because of the way the market works at peak times) assumes all electricity is produced using carbon, ignoring most of ours comes from hydro.

        You also understand, I hope, that the climate is a global phenomenon so that no matter how draconian our ETS is, it will make no difference to the speed of climate change, and that the costs of our ETS are independent from its benefits. Therefore the only purpose of our ETS is to encourage other countries to follow and none are as the post makes clear. China, the US, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia none of these have any intention of following us.

        That means, if we’re doomed, we’re doomed and it could be argued it would make much more sense (if you believe the climate change hypothesis) for us to be building dikes and assisting land owners to transition to crops which suit slightly higher temperatures than they experience right now. For example, there could be seminars for dairy farmers in Southland to learn how to plant grapes, and experts could come over from Southern Europe to teach Northlanders how to grow crops in the hotter conditions they cope with.

        I’m not advocating any of this but it makes far more sense than having the world’s only real ETS.

        • Gosman 1.1.1.1

          That’s a good point. I do get sick of people from one side of the debate continually bemoaning our supposed weak ETS yet failing to truly look at it objectively against others around the world.

          This isn’t like the anti-Nuclear debate where we could ban the bomb, bask in the adulation of the liberal parts of the world, and not worry too much about negative consequences. If we have a more draconian ETS than other nations then our costs will be greater which means lower standards of living for everyone.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1

            Hint: the only real option we have if we want to save our own ecology as much as we can is to remove ourselves from the global market. In fact, that’s the only option that any country has.

            • Gosman 1.1.1.1.1.1

              LOL!!!

              I guess North Korea will be fine then.

            • Gosman 1.1.1.1.1.2

              You are funny DTB.

              I so wish the mainstream left would take up some of your wacky ideas as official policy as it would be nice to see it ridiculed more widely.

              • Matthew Hooton

                Indeed. And North Korea faces identical risks from climate change as any other country – however severe those risks may or may not be.

              • Draco T Bastard

                see my reply @ 1.2.2.1

        • lprent 1.1.1.2

          Matt.. I realize you haven’t been thinking this through on anything apart from a personal level and from a lack of specific knowledge.

          It isn’t a hypothesis any more. That was the case when I was getting trained in earth sciences around 1980. Since then there has been nothing that has managed to poke significant holes in it. It is now the working theory of everyone involved in the earth sciences. There are just as many earth scientists trying to poke holes into it as ever (that is the nature of science), but mostly specialists are working desperately to fill the vast holes in our knowledge about what the downstream effects are.

          As you say climate change is a global issue and requires global solutions. What you haven’t grasped is that the problems are far more risky than the IPCC predictions which only look at known provable science. Each series of volume I from the IPCC incorporates more proven science, and each is progressively worse than the previous one.

          What you haven’t considered is that as a system, climate is a geometrically increasing process with positive feedbacks. It keeps moving until it reaches a new level of stability. If you look back in the paleoclimate history of earth, this is quite obvious.

          The problem is that we’ve been pushing the impetus for change into the climate system for over a century. It is showing the very first effects over the last 50 years, but in the last two decades has been speeding up massively. The absorption of CO2 and energy that is currently protecting us from the full effects by being adsorbed into oceans and ice will re-emerge into the climate systems in periods that range from decades to centuries. But the nett effect is that once the climate starts changing significantly it will probably become extremely difficult to stop, and the shifts become more rapid.

          We still don’t know enough about probably downtime risks. It would not surprise me to see sea level changes of between 1m-5m within my remaining lifetime – and I’m 51. All that requires is the rapid progressive collapse of some ice sheets – which aren’t even factored into the last IPCC report. We didn’t have that data in 2003 when it was being written – it was still being collected. Somehow I don’t think that dikes will cut it.

          Similarly there is a lot lot of modeling of probable climate/weather effects. But a lot of these are pretty damn conservative because of the known science limitations. What is clear though is that the weather variations will become more extreme. There is a lot more energy for the system to move around. This means that while average climate may become warmer over all, you will also get weather events that are both far colder and far warmer than the current variations.

          So your idea of just shifting crops to slightly warmer versions is completely idiotic. The crops and farming practices would have to deal with far more extreme weather events than we are used to. Ask any farmer what more extreme weather variation means to them and you’ll hear an answer that you really don’t want to hear.

          Quite simply, from what you’ve said, it is clear that you still have bugger all idea about what climate change involves and just how risky it is going to be for us to continue to modify our climate.

          • Gosman 1.1.1.2.1

            So more investment in GM crops that can handle dramatic swings in climate then.

            • loota 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Oh I see, your answer to corporations profiteering from polluting and energy wastage is to…help corporations profiteering from pollution and energy wastage?

              You’re nothing if not consistent.

          • Matthew Hooton 1.1.1.2.2

            Lynn – I’ve read all that, but you still haven’t made any case for an ETS, tough or soft.

            • lprent 1.1.1.2.2.1

              I wasn’t making the case for an ETS.

              I don’t think that any manufactured market is capable of doing anything within the available time. The political will to push the emission price up high enough will not happen until after it becomes useless.

              I suspect that what will eventually happen is that we will wind up with a set of major disasters with a death toll in the millions, some lynchings of political idiots, and a mandatory death sentence for persistent users of hydrocarbons

              • Matthew Hooton

                So what is your point?
                What do you want to see happen?
                How would you achieve it?

                • RedLogix

                  Well given that the unmoderated magical ‘market’ has gotten us into this mess, and seems utterly hell-bent on digging the hole deeper, then we have to rely on the action of governments to force the required change upon the market. It can only do this one of two ways:

                  1. Regulation. Set strict rationing limits on burning fossil carbon, winding back this dangerous and outmoded practise for all except the most minimal and essential uses. Use govt resource to research, fund and implement sustainable, re-newable technologies to direcly replace current systems.

                  2. Pricing. Set the price of burning fossil carbon so high that users are highly motivated to change their behaviour and rely on the market to create and implement the new replacement technologies.

                  There are no other options I can think of Matthew . I would have imagined most right wingers (and indeed most lefties as well) would pick some variant close to Option 2… use pricing signals. But no, all we have seen for a decade is denial, stalling and obduracy from the right, a paradoxical lack of faith in one of their own most cherished beliefs… that markets will always respond to pricing signals.

                  Because if you are not prepared to back carbon pricing in any form; then I must assume you are implicitly endorsing Option 1… outlawing the burning of fossil carbon by govt decree.

                  The ‘Business As Usual’, ‘Do Nothing’ option is not on the table anymore. Pick a lane.

                  • ZB

                    The politicians believe the market will adapt to price signals, that’s what the textbooks say. But the politicians have been rewarding the market players who ignore price signals and profit by the facade of control over profits. Profits that derived not by their activities but but market bubbles and technology allowing even quicker seperation of value and risk from plebs.

                    We can turn it round tomorrow! Yes, I look out on a lawn, it uses up oil in a lawn mower dumping carbon into the atmosphere. Now I’ve been trying to get some bamboo plants but the garden centers don’t sell them. Obviously if every fat westerner like me with a lawn out front were to grow bamboo for five year, and put unemployed people to work cutting the stuff and buying it…

                    But this goes against another tenet of National Socialism of our two major parties. Do nothing that would create a mass movement and empower citizens, the plebs might start asking for more.
                    And we know what happened to Oliver when they fed him meat.

                    So the indicators that we will have a violent, poor, starving future are clear, the bureaucrats will want more reports, the politicians will dither, the markets will continue to target profit and offset risks that will come due without being abated.

                    This is why I live in NZ. We have a low population, we can grow vegies in the lawn, and now steaming hordes will descend on us. But that’s why its really surprising why the EU, US have not done anything yet because they will be hurt by the instability and chaos far more. And all they need to do is have everyone grow bamboo. Geez, how hard is that!

                • lprent

                  From the current information, I suspect that we are decades too late to do much for what will happen over the next 50 years or so. The lags in the systems are such that we will have some pretty severe die backs with what is already going to happen.. Most of the remainder of the accesible oil reserves will get pumped into the climate systems before we get enough of a real price signal to shift energy technologies.

                  The issue now is how to prevent total collapses later this century. That will largely centre on exploitation on coal and tar sands. Fortunately they have quite strong costs that should start to mitigate the issues.

                  Looks like a triumph of stupidity…..

                  • loota

                    From the current information, I suspect that we are decades too late to do much for what will happen over the next 50 years or so. The lags in the systems are such that we will have some pretty severe die backs with what is already going to happen..

                    Yep. We are left with fiddling around the margins to try and salvage something from this situation.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I suspect that what will eventually happen is that we will wind up with a set of major disasters with a death toll in the millions, some lynchings of political idiots, and a mandatory death sentence for persistent users of hydrocarbons

                I’m expecting the world population to drop by billions and a mandatory death sentence for capitalists as well. They are, after all, the root cause of the oncoming disaster.

        • barry 1.1.1.3

          When you blow your credibility with statements like “(if you believe the climate change hypothesis)” why should we take you seriously. The NZ ETS is not more “draconian” than Europe’s.

          Yes we include Forestry, but only so that we can claim the credits. Then we ignore the liability that we are building up for our children.

          Yes we intend to include agriculture, but given the significance to our emissions profile, we could hardly leave it out forever.

          Without some meaningful steps we are not going to meet our Kyoto obligations, let alone any “aspirational” targets beyond. This ETS doesn’t do anything to change behaviour, and doesn’t even raise any money to buy credits to cover the shortfall.

        • Locus 1.1.1.4

          “The NZ ETS is the most draconian in the world” Source please?

          “ours includes all electricity and liquid fuels, and the carbon price we pay on electricity” I thought the idea was that all the added costs of an ETS would be passed on to the consumer – and if the consumer has to keep on buying electricity to cook and keep warm and fuel to get to work, not a lot of incentive for suppliers to clean up their act is there?

          “Therefore the only purpose of our ETS is to encourage other countries to follow” I actually think it’s a cynical device by the Nats to appear to be meeting Kyoto obligations, and also a marketing strategy to ensure the brits don’t boycott our goods.

    • Yeah Right 1.2

      Very well guffawed Mathew

      The real climate experts with no vested interests record that the global temperature is clearly reducing against rising CO2 levels. That is a concern because warming is much more preferable to cooling. There is also new/current hard scientific evidence to show CO2 has very little effect on the planet, certainly not an effect that requires taxing people. Only flat earth deniers are sticking with the warming crap.

      The Greens website shows the hockey stick graph as \”evidence\” of global warming and apparently the little ice age didnt exist either according to the Greens graph. They also show a graph with temperature rising in response to CO2 levels rising. Ask any scientist or look it up on the net, it is the other way around and there is a lag of 800 years. So whatever the temperature was 800 or so years ago we are seeing the CO2 levels relative to that today.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 1.2.1

        What about the other 700 peer reviewed studies.

      • walter 1.2.2

        ‘real climate experts say global temperature is clearly reducing’
        ‘hard evidence that CO2 has very little effect on the planet’

        Did I miss the satire tag?

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2.1

          No, that’s the typical RWNJ who’s disbelief in reality is total.

        • Yeah Right 1.2.2.2

          Walter

          Please feel free to link us to actual global climate data centres that record the planet is warming up rather than cooling. No, not the IPCC who are a political media centre – I mean real climate science data centres. You cant because they dont exist.

      • lprent 1.2.3

        YH:I realize that you’re scientifically illiterate and have simply read this somewhere. I think I should write a post about how idiotic the obsessional are fixated. They seem to have lock themselves a decade or so in the past on the ‘hockey stick’

        However you are also talking about an CO2 effect that happens after a glacial. Of course this is rather different from the effect that happens without a preceding glacial. But first you’d have to figure what a glacial is……

        Next year maybe?

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 1.3

      Thank god we’ve also got an honest functioning democracy (unlike the U.S) as well. This problem is not going away and will get bigger in the public conciousness. Rudd lost his prime ministership through their refusal to acknowledge what the voters want and pander to ill informed memebers of the public and well funded pressure groups over the ETS and Gillard’s procrastination saw her poll numbers plummet.

      The same thing will happen here. If Key and Goff start pandering to the ignorant they will suffer the same fate- in fact I’ve not doubt Labour will not be electing another conservative like Goff for a long time. Have a look at what is happening to the Greens poll numbers in Australia and NZ- and its not just Labor/Labour voters that are defecting to the Greens.

    • pollywog 1.4

      4 million people on godzone green country. We’re flush with carbon credits !!!

      Hell, we’re totally made in the shade…FTW

      actually how does that ETS thingy work ?

      captcha : hard (to know ?)

      • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1

        It works by giving a large amount of our money to NACTs rich mates so that they’ll pollute more.

        • pollywog 1.4.1.1

          yeah but isn’t there some really clever equation of land size vs forests vs population vs polluting businesses which govern how much carbon credits we get and can trade when we reach our cap ?

          I mean, given theres only 4 mil of us, anything we do wont make a hua of a lot of difference to the pollution chucked out by the industrial zone of any significant chinese city..

          so why bother ?

          i was reading somewhere about it being just another artificially created currency for well off bank and gov’t insiders to trade with and create a bubble they can burst once all the mums and dads have invested heavily in their bullshit schemes ?

          so by us getting in first, is that like getting in early on a pyramid scheme and getting the most out of it before it collapses in on itself ?

    • I hear you Matt say continuously that this will not work and that will not work and I keep watching the CO2 levels increase and I see the North Pole melt and I keep wondering, what do you think we should do?

      Quick answer though, the world is on the edge of cataclysmic disaster. Our children will never forgive us if we fail this.

      • Matthew Hooton 1.5.1

        1. Admit Kyoto has failed and that there will be no post-Kyoto international treaty, and so therefore no international carbon credit settlement in 2015 – so that our policy does not need to be based on that treaty’s rules but on practical things that will reduce net emissions not just from New Zealand but globally.
        2. To assist in global efforts to reduce net carbon emissions, plant the DoC estate with slow-growing native trees, providing jobs for the unemployed.
        3. Expand the tree-planting programme through the Crown long-term leasing eroding private land, that is marginal for sheep and beef, and get DoC/LandCorp to plant it with fast-growing exotic forests.
        4. Further develop the Global Research Alliance (GRA)
        5. As part of commitments under the GRA, set up a $1 billion fund for Massey University and others who are world leaders in ag sci to develop science to deal with the nitrous oxide and methane issues. Include a $100 million prize for the science team who succeeds in developing effective and marketable science in these areas.
        6. Ensure the NZ Crown holds the patent to the science developed out of (3) and sell it globally so the New Zealand taxpayer profits from the investment while the science is applied globally to reduce global methane emissions (which are of course far the real issue, not our domestic ones which are low on a per cow basis and tiny in total.)
        7. Strongly communicate these initiatives globally as examples of New Zealand specific things we have done, and encourage others to do things which make particular sense for their economies and science communities – rather than telling them to pay homage to Kyoto.

        What are your ideas?

        • Bored 1.5.1.1

          Matthew,

          Well said, I have no faith in Kyoto, only practical leading by example (which costs). The reforestation of NZ in natives would be the single biggest contribution to our environment and planet that we could make. And it makes long term economic sense whilst providing a tradable capital base.

          I have said some uncomplementary things about your opionions in the past and no doubt will in the future. On this issue your suggestion deserves my full support and credit.

        • Gosman 1.5.1.2

          A little bit statist don’t you think?

          Perhaps the solution could encourage more private sector involvement such as changing rules and taxes around investment in certain types of energy.

          They could also get rid of the silly unscientific restrictions on GM research and development.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.5.1.2.1

            Privatisation doesn’t work as we well know after 300 years of seeing it fail.

            • Gosman 1.5.1.2.1.1

              Hey why don’t we just follow a policy of self reliance or “Juche” as I believe it is called in North Korea.

              It has done wonders there and it has the added benefit of coming with truckloads of free aid from the WFP when unavoidable droughts and/or storms destroy your crops.

              😉

              LOL!

            • Yeah Right 1.5.1.2.1.2

              Crap, it worked in the countries I have been involved with. this one is a good example.

          • Bored 1.5.1.2.2

            Goss have a look at Open Mike, I set you a challenge. Would be really nice to see you do something positive and constructive, might be asking a bit but all yours. If Matthew can be constructive I am sure you might.

            • Gosman 1.5.1.2.2.1

              I just was. I posted a bunch of other things Government can do to encourage more private sector involvement in dealing with the challenges around climate change.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 1.5.1.3

          Doing something about reducing Methane produced from cows belching could our contribution. Farmers would have to play a part (drenching) and changing grass types- but there’s no reason government could not get involved in such projects. Then we could export the technology and make a profit.

        • Mickysavage 1.5.1.4

          Matthew

          These sound like good ideas but there are two problems:

          1. How do we fund it? I think that a tax on polluters could raise the funds and provide an incentive for them to pollute less, something like a Carbon Tax or an ETS.

          2. Can we afford another 20 years of international negotiations? Won’t it be too late?

          • Matthew Hooton 1.5.1.4.1

            On 1 – yes, a modest carbon tax would pay for it – 2c/litre of petrol should be sufficient for the start up costs. Or it could be funded out of general taxation (which means borrowing at present). The costs would not be significant in terms of total govt expenditure – and there are other benefits such as job creation, erosion control, biodiversity etc.

            On 2, my point is that the multilateral negotiations will never reach a conclusion – the Copenhagen/Mexico UN process has less chance of ever reaching a conclusion than the WTO’s Doha Round – so we are silly to base our policy on an assumption they will. Bilateral arrangements or small groups of countries (like the GRA) are the only option available to those concerned about this issue.

            It is interesting that the only real international development to address climate change was the NZ-led GRA (and it was opposed by the Wellington bureaucracy and Nick Smith because they feared it would be a distraction from the main game of the ETS and the Copenhagen negotiations!) If it delivers science to half methane emissions it will cut world GHG emissions by 7% – the largest forecast cut of any single initiative since the Rio Summit talkfest that kicked all this off. So, for all the talk from the govt about NZ not wanting to lead on the issue, they have led – both with the mad ETS and on the far more practical GRA. Marty G and loota below might want to note that.

    • Marty G 1.6

      Matthew Hooton also thinks NZ should have stayed out of World War 2 becuse we alone couldn’t defeat fascism.

      It’s called doing your part, Matthew. And you do it because it’s right and necessary, even if others don’t do their part.

      • Matthew Hooton 1.6.1

        No I don’t.
        But I certainly think that if no other country had declared war on Germany it would have been a bit dopey for NZ to have fought alone against Germany.

        • RedLogix 1.6.1.1

          In the event of course engaging the Axis power fascists was the correct thing to do. History tells us that ‘doing nothing’ was not really an option.

        • loota 1.6.1.2

          Hooton probably thinks it was dopey for NZ to face off against the Americans re: nuclear weapons.

  2. singularian 2

    I’m a mild-mannered guy, a Methodist Sunday School teacher

    Yawn.

    Surely God will sort it all out? Wait……no? God aint doing shit, the world is melting and God has done nothing. Bad God, naughty God, hardly deserves to be God does she?

    Q- Where is the bulk of NOAAs’ warming occurring?

    A- Why the Arctic circle of course, catastrophic warming of 4-5 degrees is occurring there.

    Q- How many multiples of 1200km smoothing has been applied to the warmest area because of the strange lack of actual measuring instruments?

    A- Well since we don’t use any temperature stations from above 80 degrees north we’ve had to ‘extrapolate’ the data a bit to cover the entire Arctic circle. But hey, we’re scientists, we have no dog in this fight, we just want the facts, so us inventing data that just happens to account for 85% of the perceived global warming is cool…..right?

    Q- Who is the Standard? I thought it was a blog but now it seems to be a person?

    A- The Standard is a blog when we want it to be AND a person when it suits. Simple really.

    [lprent: The Standard is used for notices, reprints, and OpenMike. In other words things that the authors here don’t write. We put posts that are sent to us or where we have obtained permission to reproduce into Guest Posts.

    I’d have to ask. You’ve been commenting here for most of our (nearly) 3 years. How could have you missed this? It has come up a number of times? From memory, I seem to remember that you raise it yourself every 6 months.

    With a flakey memory like yours, I suspect you should seek some professional advice and/or lay off the substance abuse. ]

    • felix 2.1

      Q- Who is the Standard? I thought it was a blog but now it seems to be a person?

      Articles posted under “The Standard” are usually re-posts of articles from elsewhere. The clue would be in the subheading: “Three Steps to Establish a Politics of Global Warming By Bill McKibben”

      But I guess you didn’t make it that far.

      captcha: slowest

    • eye saw 2.2

      I think and I’m not talking for God,(safeguard from lighting),that God believes in free will, and if this is the way you humans want to treat this planet I provided for you in pristine condition,then good fucking luck with your endeavour.

      So maybe the responsibility lies with us and the action needs to start at home.
      After all its the only planet we have.

      We are the creators,we have the capacity to have a better world.

    • singularian 2.3

      But I like abusing substances.

  3. ZB 3

    I blame the parents, selfish sods. I mean they know that going on 7 billion people are now on the planet, and they know that having children keeps pushing that number ever higher. So what is the inheritance they are gifting their own kids? After their death? What will their grandkids think of them? 10+ billion people? Eeking out a existence. Having two kids would have been sustainable, but no longer. Now one kid families are necessary if you love you children.

    This is whats so surprising about the Catholic Church, I mean they seriously are bent on destroying the Earth with their no contraception faith. In fact any religious intrepretation that cannot rational embrace a one child policy should be expose for its heresy. If you love your children you owe them a better world than you. So ask the environmentalist how many kids they have! Not what kind of car they drive. Ask the politician how many kids do they have! What could be easier to shift us away from the economics of stupid. How many kids do you have Mr. PM? Three? Four?
    How can we trust your judgment to lead out world when you are so heartless to your own kids. Because you know damn well if we can’t sustain the 10+ billion that you won’ be having grandkids, you will be denying your own kid that joy of having their own kids.

    Imagine the effect of a one child policy of teen pregnacy rates? Women realizing they had all the time in the world to have their one. And remember that everyone who has more than two is robbing you of more grandkids.

  4. Gooner 4

    What Matthew Hooton said.

  5. loota 5

    The frog is slowly but surely cooking.

    Rrrrrriiibbbbit.

  6. jbanks 6

    “I’m a mild-mannered guy, a Methodist Sunday School teacher.”

    You go girlfriend. If the USA is gonna finally listen to someone it’s gonna be a religious gay guy.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      The bigotry just flows…

      • jbanks 6.1.1

        I don’t have any problem with people being gay. If you like to go backpacking now & then draco good for you.

        My point may have been a bit subtle for a grown man still at school.

        America is full of conservative Christians who hate teh gays. Most of these people don’t even listen to qualified scientists on the issue of the environment let alone a ‘fag’ who makes a mockery of their Jesus.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1

          I don’t have any problem with people being gay.

          Then why did you use it as an insult?

  7. Cnr Joe 7

    Well these comments are all a bit gross – Hooten sets the tone – well done.

    y’all fiddle with yr diddles whilst home burns.

    • loota 7.1

      Hmmmm glad to see you are joining the gutter party 😛

      It’ll be 90-100 years before the situation is dire and obvious enough to human kind to act seriously about it.

      Sorry about that great grandkids, but you’ll have to manage our ****-up.

  8. JonL 8

    Climate change will only become real when it starts hitting the wealthy in the pocket!

    Revaluation of properties south of Sydney in the last month, has seen, coastal properties, deemed to be at risk due to potential rising sea levels, devalued by up to 50% ! Insurance companies are not going to insure these properties (without much higher premiums)!
    This is just a small taste of what is to come – there are some people and businesses out there (in Aus. at least), looking beyond the end of next week!

  9. eye saw 9

    UN agenda 21.

  10. Jenny 10

    .
    climategate-data-sets-to-be-made-public.html

    The Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK, recently at the centre of the hacked emails controversy, is launching a pilot study into how best to make public three major temperature data sets and detailed records of how they are processed.

    capcha – hidden

  11. What will happen geopolitically if we fail to act?

    Climate Wars is well worth a read: (two book reviews below)

    http://climateandcapitalism.com/?p=663
    Review: Climate Wars
    April 18, 2009

    Gwynne Dyer: Climate Wars. Random House of Canada. Toronto, 2008. ISBN 9780307355836. 272 pages.

    Reviewed by Zane Alcorn
    Green Left Weekly, 18 April 2009

    Climate Wars is a disturbing book and a valuable contribution to the ever-growing body of literature on the historic fork in the road at which the human species currently stands.

    This book explains the effects of climate change not just on coral reefs and polar bears, but on hundreds of millions of climate refugees who may face a fate akin to what the population of Gaza faced at the hands of the Israeli military in January.

    It also describes with some clarity a truly profound shift in collective human consciousness, which would be both the precondition and the hallmark of any successful attempt to prevent runaway warming.

    Climate Wars uses an exciting format whereby a series of interviews with military, political, climate and renewable-energy specialists is punctuated by fictional projections of a future devastated by climate change.

    There are also projections for how society may prevent runaway climate change, an effort which would take substantial investment and decades of sustained internationalist collaboration to succeed.

    A fantastic example is a quote by Lester Brown, from the Earthwatch Institute, highlighting the fact that humanity is very capable of manufacturing and installing the vast network of green energy we need to slash carbon emissions.

    “We build sixty five million cars [around the world] every year, so it’s not a big deal. We could produce these wind turbines for the entire world simply by opening the closed automobile assembly plants in the USA. That’s all we need to get 40 per cent of our energy from wind by 2020.’

    One of the most powerful (and disturbing) aspects of Climate Wars is in Dyer’s investigation of reports by senior military advisers who work for the CNA Corporation (a military-funded think tank).

    ….Living in Newcastle, Australia, and witnessing the epic expansion of the world’s largest coal port currently underway here, I cannot help but think the greenhouse mafia are happy to ruin the planet for profit.

    Seeing (and participating in) the steady growth of the climate movement, I can also see the potential for growing a large movement relatively quickly.

    Nevertheless, Climate Wars is the best book I have read on the topic since Climate Code Red and raises some very interesting points. I strongly recommend it.

    http://reviews.media-culture.org.au/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2974

    The India section, for example, starts with a plausible situation—radically decreased precipitation in the Hindu Kush caused by the disappearance of water-giving glaciers—and describes the potentially terrible consequences. Dwyer has a flair for drama in these predictions: this chapter begins with the sentence, “The surviving monkeys still play amid the ruins of the Taj Mahal’ (113). But the verisimilitude with which these horrendous futures are described is deeply disconcerting: it is very easy to forget that you are reading a fictional account.

    The book’s structure is actually an unusual combination of scientific research and imaginative reconstruction, in a similar vein to the recent book The World Without Us, which imagined the environmental effects of human extinction. After offering brief interludes describing the virtually unliveable future we’re in for if we don’t keep CO² below its present levels, Dwyer presents the facts that support his chilling analyses. This is a wise move, as it lends solidity to the future predictions.

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