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Washington Post:

An influential group of scientists led by James Hansen, the former NASA scientist often credited with having drawn the first major attention to climate change in 1988 congressional testimony, has published a dire climate study that suggests the impact of global warming will be quicker and more catastrophic than generally envisioned.

The research invokes collapsing ice sheets, violent megastorms and even the hurling of boulders by giant waves in its quest to suggest that even 2 degrees Celsius of global warming above pre-industrial levels would be far too much. Hansen has called it the most important work he has ever done.

Source: All Star Science Panel Drops Bombshell Climate Paper

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23 thoughts on “All Star Science Panel Drops Bombshell Climate Paper

    • Yes, the one discussion begun by ubrew12 who suggested a conspiracy to overshadow bad climate change news with pre-planned, headline-grabbing terrorist attacks (e.g. Belgium) was rather amusing. Although, it’s difficult for me to see anything about global warming as funny. The seriousness of this issue facing all of us is quite alarming.

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      • I think with enough imagination, a conspiracy can be made out of anything.
        One would then wonder is someone, big oil, in this case undermining the climate change discussion?

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        • A conspiracy between the fossil fuel industry (i.e. Big Oil, Big Coal) and some U.S. politicians (i.e. Republicans) and their advocacy organizations (e.g. ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council) to undermine the climate change discussion doesn’t require speculation to imagine – it is a proven charge reported on by investigative journalists repeatedly over many years. It even has been publicly admitted by some of the perpetrators (e.g. Marc Morano).

          However, the cognitive leap from that conspiracy to one which includes deliberate pre-planned terrorist acts – with the cooperation of western government officials and outside terrorist groups – is a mighty big one indeed! Is it possible? Sure, I suppose so. But, I am not inclined to believe such a vast conspiracy without direct evidence beyond the weak circumstantial case offered by ubrew12.

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        • That was a long stretch.
          Funny story. A group of people here at home believe the terror attacks happen whenever this thieving government got something to hide or distract attention

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        • Paranoia of government is now a world-wide phenomenon. It has steadily risen, along with a general distrust of large institutions, in response to the social inequalities associated with globalization. When ordinary people see their prosperity and political power sacrificed to benefit the wealthy elite, they first become resentful… then irrational… and eventually, they become violent.

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        • I know violence usually doesn’t end up well but I think where we are at, as a country, the upheaval it causes maybe the only way to effect change.

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        • Think of it this way, the level of unemployment is over 40%. Mps whenever they sit increase their salary, they have proposed legislation to allow them earn a pension till death after they lose their seats. The people in government steal money in unprecedented levels. Corruption has become a way of life. The only two countries we can’t beat is Nigeria and France. And maybe the UN. And they are busy positioning themselves for the next general election. Violence is the only way to disrupt the status quo in a meaningful way. Elections will only result in recycling these thieves

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        • That may indeed be true now. If it is, then many oppressed people around the world are sure dragging their feet towards revolution. Where’s the great social upheaval brewing? The only violence I see is coming from Muslims drunk on their crazy religion, Christian wackos hell-bent on persecuting gays and burning down abortion clinics, right-wing nutjobs using police officers as target practice and illegally occupying government property. Revolutions require great organization, great resolve, and a great many willing soldiers. But, this isn’t happening.

          Here’s my take: Violent revolution is a collective act of desperation spontaneously triggered when all hope is lost. Most often it fails, and even when successful the end result is often worse than before. People know this intuitively, and that’s why revolutions are such rare events.

          Despite its myriad flaws, democracy and elections can work. History provides ample proof. Populist political power has turned latent and is now withering through disuse and misuse. But, people can still utilize it if they are smart and stick together. If that does happen, as it has in the past, then we will see a real revolution – one that the elites will learn to regret.

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  1. We cannot meet the Paris accords simply by cutting co2. To meet that goal, we must cut methane. Why is the animal agriculture industry getting a pass on this? Methane is a more potent GHG than CO2 and is where we need to be looking.

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    • It seems the meat industry is getting a pass because the demand for its products remains high. The high-protein, high-fat American diet is ingrained in our culture and changing it will take a lot of time.

      However, recent U.N. and IPCC projections on population growth and food production, respectively, indicate global food shortages beginning around 2030. Such societal stress will undoubtedly trigger a transition to a more plant-based diet.

      Yes, it is true that methane is many times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas; but, it cycles out of the atmosphere at a much higher rate. So, CO2 remains the biggest problem by far. However, the release of natural methane hydrates (clathrates) – from the vast Arctic tundra regions and from extensive ocean deposits – caused by overall global warming pose a very worrisome threat of rapid climate change escalation. This process, which is still not fully understood by science, was included in the dire Hansen paper just released.

      I regret my pessimism, but Earth’s climate has probably already passed a critical tipping point. I fear that by mid-century, and perhaps sooner, modern civilization will face myriad existential challenges beyond the capabilities of government to address. If and when that happens, civil society will break down.

      Please forgive my gloomy forecast, and thanks very much for your insightful comment.

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