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Anonymouse

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Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« on: March 31, 2013, 10:27:24 AM »
I started wondering if we are f'd 20 years ago, when I read a (fairly comprehensive) book tying together the background science involved in studying the subject of AGW. The implications for nearly every Earth-centric science were easy to infer.  Everything about lag time, Keeling curve, ocean absorption, species migration, speed of change, something something blah blah etc. made me realize how intertwined all of these subjects are.  Over the years came the multiple hockey sticks, and now, the Wheelchair.
Big Picture, do the details really matter any more in a wider sense, or is it all just a diary of "the end"?  The details certainly matter to everyone that cares about this subject, but will the details about real-time measurements and commentary of "how-fast-how-bad" have any impact on public policy, or are we all just talking to each other like parents discussing their newborn's poop?  (Please excuse the scatological metaphor.) 
I see so much optimism in this forum, but I am a pessimist by nature and am having a hard time seeing ourselves out of this. I also hope I am wrong. It is not that I think we should do nothing, I just hope you will tell me it is not too late. 
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 07:09:47 AM by Anonymouse »

ivica

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2013, 11:22:06 AM »
... I just hope you will tell me it is not too late.
Let's do our best, or at least try.
Better ever than never.
No regrets needed/wanted.

Wernerempire

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2013, 11:33:39 AM »
It's always has been the worst of times, depending on how denial free you can endure living.
I'm sure you can find any amount of poets and philosophers other than me, to assure you that you do live in the present, can make plans for the future, but cannot change the past.
Life will go on, the parameters will change, naturally.
In humanoid history, some branches have prospered, while others have flailed.

Thusly, I wonder if you ask the correct question.
Instead, ask:
"What can you do to guarantee the survival of the species?" (and, intertwined, as much of our ever dwindling global gene pools of species).

Resultantly, instead of paralyzing depression, the answers become:
"Buy land in the Yukon, farm potatoes (They don't call 'em "Yukon Gold" for nuthin'!!), make sure leverage political power there as to have at least regional, ecological farming zones, so as not to kill off all the honey bees, etc...."

"Make sure to merge venture capital and ecological ideas, to see them implemented "quickly", for instance using the geography of Norway or British Columbia to build "water pumped storage power plants"(sorry, using Google Translate - I hope that's the word), so thusly renewable energies have a true market chance....."

Just two ideas of the top of my head.

Dispair is a very low priority strategy in times of cataclysmic change.

Just think of that poor, weak ape, that was thrown out of the crown of a tree in the savanna by stronger mates.
S/he had to learn to use a stick, and eventually fire, to chase off the big cats that wanted to eat her/him.
And hence, here you are!! 
The big ape up in the tree  -  not so much.

So cheer, and use a stick!  :-)
"Erst kommt das fressen, dann kommt die Moral!"

Berthold Brecht

wili

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 04:37:21 AM »
AM, the answer is pretty clearly "yes."

The Arctic is going to be essentially ice free if not this summer then in the next very few.

The last year gave us a taste of what a more-than-half ice-free Arctic does to the weather patterns:

--stalled high over North America causing flash droughts and record-smashing heat in summer,

--stalled lows over Britain and other areas causing endless rains and flooding;

--and all that evaporation from a newly-opened Arctic Ocean in the early fall causing heavy snows and cold deep into the continental interiors while the jet stream looped high to the north over the Atlantic causing extreme warm anomalies over Greenland.

Best guess is that the even deeper minimums of sea ice extent we will see this summer and fall will cause these extremes to go into hyper-drive--More fires and crop failures around the world followed by a very bitterly cold and snowy winter for most continental interiors--too wet for ag elsewhere.

An El Nino may change some of the distribution of rainfall patterns, but, given what we have learned about the huge amount of warming going on in the deep oceans, it would likely unload huge amounts of that stored energy into the atmosphere leading to even more extreme extremes.

I will be very surprised (though certainly not disappointed!) if within the next two years we don't see widespread famine spreading to most of the earth's population, especially in the Northern Hemisphere.

Perhaps there is some "unknown unknown" mega-negative feedback that will come along and save our butts in spite of ourselves for a while, but that will likely just postpone what certainly looks like the inevitable.

None of this means we shouldn't stop fighting the good fights on various fronts. (Not all are frozen by depression from confronting the likely realities facing us.)

But a realistic assessment of the facts on the ground (and in the oceans) must lead one to rather grim conclusions about prospects for most of us in the not-at-all distant future.

(And of course the distant future looks utterly horrific at this point.)

 Thusly resultantly hence we strong apes must all face our humanoid history, avoid flailure, grab sticks, and found a Yukonian paradise eating aureate spuds. ;D  :P
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Anonymouse

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 07:22:05 AM »
Ivica (#1), Wernerempire (#2), and Wili (#3):
Werner, I like your analogy of the weak ape being thrown from the tree.  wili, I tend to agree with you.  ivica, you are so right, please give me some time to check out all of your links - good stuff there, IMHO.
But that is why I found my way into this forum! I want to hear from people who have thought seriously about the issue of climate change, have followed the science over the years and are not cranks or denialists. 
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 07:35:52 AM by Anonymouse »

CraigsIsland

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 07:55:15 AM »
Seeing that the Sun is a star that could supernova sometime in a very long time into the future, certainly Earth has a limit to sustaining our way of life. I think the context should be narrowed down to - will we see a drastic change within the next 20-50 years? I think there will be events that are tied into our use of carbon and how it changes Earth dramatically enough to cause conflict or unintended consequences. It's hard not to think it is impossible given the evidence of such a probability.

I too am pessimistic but I am also holding out for the optimism - it is terrible to believe that life could change that much. I watched "Zero Dark Thirty" last night. It was interesting to see how most senior CIA officials - given their Iraq WMD experience - would give very conservative estimates about the probability of finding bin Laden in the proposed raid. The young woman in the room says "100% ...motherfucking right he's there". We cannot be conservative - especially  in our overall estimates - given the climategate e-mail scandals, we might be afraid to stoke fear. That is not our intention and it never will be. Our sharing of knowledge could be met with a consensus and come across as a stern warning and a very realistic possibility. I believe 90% of posters here aren't here for that specifically. We are here to gain a better understanding of how our planet works, with or without AGW. We must share knowledge openly and look at the pictures objectively. I hope it's not too late. I hope we are not wrong. I hope we can consume delicious beer and watch soccer (football) without worrying about field vulnerabilities. Shrug. Enjoy life as it is and hopefully our knowledge can somehow transfer into the public realm for a better synthesis between Earth and humans.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2013, 09:13:22 AM »
Although it was written a long time ago,The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha is one of my favorite books. Maybe I'll read it one more time.   I'd also like to say hello to Wili, amazing place here.  I still believe it is possible to avoid the worst if we can turn around the trend line for business as usual. The Arctic seems certain to experience summer melt out soon enough , agriculture will take a big hit but it's the ramifications of the current 10 gt C per year turning to 20 gt C in our lifetime that is the fight.     

Anonymouse

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2013, 09:19:18 AM »
To CraigsIsland (#5),

I am not sure how the "climategate" emails stoked fear, indeed, the whole stinking issue has been thoroughly debunked and only places ridicule on the charlatans who tried to cherrypick the emails in the first place. Shame on you for even bringing it up.

TerryM

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2013, 09:20:33 AM »

I am not sure how the "climategate" emails stoked fear, indeed, the whole stinking issue has been thoroughly debunked and only places ridicule on the charlatans who tried to cherrypick the emails in the first place. Shame on you for even bringing it up.


Well put.


Terry

pikaia

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2013, 09:54:37 AM »
CraigsIsland: "Seeing that the Sun is a star that could supernova sometime in a very long time into the future, certainly Earth has a limit to sustaining our way of life."

Actually the sun will not go supernova, but in a few billion years it will become a Red Giant, and then the Earth will be toast. Before then, in perhaps 900 million years the CO2 will fall to lethal levels and photosynthesis will stop. What life will be like then is anybody's guess.

Homo sapiens has enjoyed a recent boom, but every boom is followed by a bust. The present population will be hard to sustain when there is no more fossil fuel left in the ground. It is thought that climate change contributed to the recent Arab Spring by producing food shortages, and food production will be hard to sustain at present levels, so I would not be surprised if there are more conflicts as things change even more.  We might survive as a species, but I don't see how we can avoid a big population crash.

Laurent

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2013, 10:54:56 AM »
In order to avoid food shortage in the future we have to make sure that anybody on this earth has got a piece of land to sustain himself. We have to organize it, it won't fall from the sky ! Do not count on the politicians, they serve some elites that provide them their career ! They may help at some point but for that we have to show them something well packed !
If you want to have a look on my web site and discuss with me you are very welcome !
www.diogene.net

fishmahboi

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2013, 12:36:26 PM »
I think its probably too late at this point to do anything with regards Climate Change and the disasters that ensue after certain events have taken place, for example the full melt out of the Arctic Ice.

It would be good if the scenarios whereas the whole world is starving and the world is gripped in the cusps of war due to food shortages, were nothing more than scare stories told around the camp fire, but following the food shortages that have occurred as a result of the extreme drought in the US it seems like this could become a reality and that reality in my opinion is quite depressing with the futures, hopes and dreams of so many people threatened with whatever is to come from the increased global temperatures.

ritter

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2013, 08:59:07 PM »
I believe we are f'd. The world's grain baskets are having a difficult time with what appears to be a new weather regime. Too little rain and too much heat at the wrong times does not help big agriculture, a direct hit to our ability to feed ourselves (yes, there is some "slop" in the system by switching to vegetarian and abandoning biofules, but good luck with those as voluntary actions). Our fisheries are in decline. Our primary pollinators, bees, are in decline. Reservoirs and aquifers in much of the world are lowering without recovery. Monster storms are becoming annual events. The ice at the top of the world will be gone this year or this decade--the exact timing doesn't really matter. It will be in my lifetime and yours.

This is all at less than 2* increase. We've played with fire. We've been burned. It's just a matter of time until the synapse hits our brain and we realize the hurt is on.

CraigsIsland

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2013, 01:57:30 AM »
To CraigsIsland (#5),

I am not sure how the "climategate" emails stoked fear, indeed, the whole stinking issue has been thoroughly debunked and only places ridicule on the charlatans who tried to cherrypick the emails in the first place. Shame on you for even bringing it up.

sorry for bringing it up, but it's still brought up by others. I know there are still charlatans who will use it to cherrypick them. That's my point. It's ok to talk about the saga.

birthmark

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2013, 02:17:58 AM »
Quote
Topic: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
Yes. Yes, we are. That's my opinion, anyway. The other posters in this thread have unsurprisingly zeroed in on the real problem: food. The next twenty to thirty years will be rather interesting.

After that, it gets worse.

Um, I hope everyone is having a great day! (Didn't want to end on such a down note.)

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2013, 02:45:14 AM »
TIC.....

Seems like all of science has this all wrong - for a century! Things are cooling!

Time to cheer up and party!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/breaking-news-climate-cha_b_2994164.html

Enjoy the cool down - and the day (April 1).

A4R

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2013, 02:52:05 AM »
Just to demonstrate how wrong the our science has been - the newly corrected global temperature trends as of April 1 is attached, in reality....the new ice age is upon us!


TerryM

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2013, 05:24:54 AM »
When your above graph is accepted by 97% of climate scientists, will Anthony, Goddard & Bastardi still feel compelled to rant against the consensus? Will Heartland still demand inaction until it's far too late to save ourselves from the imminent ice age?


Sounds like an evil plot by atheist scientists to increase taxes, enslave the free world & spit in the eye of Jesus.


Rush said it. I believe it. That settles it. 8)


Terry






Anonymouse

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2013, 07:12:33 AM »
I should have started this thread AFTER April Fools' Day! :-\  Unfortunately, many denialists and fence-sitters will believe the article from the Huffington Post that A4R (#15) brought our attention to.  IMHO, it is only satire if everyone knows it is mockery.  Perhaps this reads as satire in Europe, but unfortunately, I am guessing that in the US, the deniers will seize on this and keep hammering on it for the next 5 or 10 years. 
Huffington Post is being irresponsible in an unforgiveable way.

But it IS funny. Terry and A4R (#15-17), I heart you!
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 09:39:12 AM by Anonymouse »

Anonymouse

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2013, 07:46:34 AM »
Birthmark (#14),
Yep, you got it, FOOD.  That is a big worry.  Cormac McCarthy was so on it with "The Road".  Damn dystopian writers, getting most of it right.  And where will the actual farmable land be?  Thanks to Native Seeds Search and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, we will have seed, but we can also thank ourselves that we will have no place to grow them without advanced underground greenhouse tech.  Sigh. *crossing fingers the high-speed nomads will not get in*
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 09:34:37 AM by Anonymouse »

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2013, 01:41:27 PM »
Food security is a major issue.

The US Midwest is in for a very difficult drought year again. One area paper published yesterday that wells are lower - never replenished groundwater in winter, and also that snow pack in the Rockies is low, thus regional rivers are not going to have major melt this spring. Soil moisture indexes are low as well.

Denver Colorado went on water restrictions last week. 99 percent of Texas is in drought as of last week.

The US can grow enough for itself, for now, but not alot to export.

dorlomin

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2013, 02:07:22 PM »
TIC.....

Seems like all of science has this all wrong - for a century! Things are cooling!

Time to cheer up and party!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/breaking-news-climate-cha_b_2994164.html

Enjoy the cool down - and the day (April 1).

A4R
Quote
A spokesman of the Institute for Tobacco, Sugar, Climate, Rifles, and Pistols (ITSCRAP),
8)
Take it for granted you are wrong.
Just try to work out what about and why.

Anonymouse

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2013, 05:34:42 PM »
A4R (#20),
Can you believe that Phoenix has not yet instituted any water restrictions (ever)?  Well, it IS Arizona.  I assume you saw the article by William DeBuys, it has been posted elsewhere in this forum and other places on the 'net but here it is anyway for those who might have missed it:
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175661/tomgram%3A_william_debuys%2C_exodus_from_phoenix/
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 05:45:41 PM by Anonymouse »

CraigsIsland

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2013, 06:20:51 PM »

birthmark

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2013, 08:02:52 PM »
Birthmark (#14),
Yep, you got it, FOOD.  That is a big worry.  Cormac McCarthy was so on it with "The Road".  Damn dystopian writers, getting most of it right.  And where will the actual farmable land be?  Thanks to Native Seeds Search and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, we will have seed, but we can also thank ourselves that we will have no place to grow them without advanced underground greenhouse tech.  Sigh. *crossing fingers the high-speed nomads will not get in*
Well. We'll always have each other, if history is to be believed.  :o

Whatever we do, discover, or ultimately achieve wrt food growing it is unlikely that we will be able to feed over 7 billion hungry human beings.

Anonymouse

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Re: Gut Check Only: Are we F'd?
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2013, 08:37:57 AM »
"Well. We'll always have each other, if history is to be believed.  :o" (Quote from Birthmark)

Hey Birthmark,
I laughed out loud at that!  This discussion has apparently moved on to two other threads so see you there!