IPCC

On Sunday, the United Nations released one of its bluntest and bleakest reports to date on the dangers of global warming. The study from The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that the world must cut nearly all greenhouse gas emissions by 2100 in order to head off the worst effects of climate change. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged world leaders to act, saying that the science is unambiguous. We speak with three authors of the report about future impacts of climate change and what can be done about it.

Guests:
Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School and Department of Geosciences at Princeton University and an author of the new IPCC report
Katharine Mach, co-director of science for the IPCC Working Group II, based at the Carnegie Institute for Science at Stanford
Gary Yohe, professor of economics and environmental studies at Wesleyan University, co-author of the IPCC report and vice chair of the National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee
Eric Holthaus, meteorologist, Slate.com

  • Sean Dennehy

    What’s the best piece of evidence to bring up in a debate with a climate change denier?

    • Elizabeth Fisher

      Just tell them your own story and how you got to where you are now. You won’t convince them in one talk but you can slowly erode their stridency. George Marshall does a great 20 min video on “How to Talk to a Climate Denier” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp-nJKBwQR4, Summary: 1 Find Common Ground 2. Show Respect 3. Hold your views 4 Tell them your personal journey 5. Make it fit their worldview . 6. Offer rewards (what benefits come from believing/doing?)

      • thucy

        I lije that. The necessary next step is getting people who ALREADY understand that climate change is real to also jnderstand that our current way of life is unsustainable and personal sacrifice is essential for the survival of plant and animal life.

        • Beth Grant DeRoos

          A less is more lifestyle isn’t a sacrifice because it provides less stress, but sadly we have wealthy materialistic folks who have made money and stuff their God and insist others are not as advanced unless they consume consume consume.

          • c_woof

            Unfortunately, consume, consume, consume, keeps everyone working. If we stop consuming, unemployment goes up.

            We need a new system.

          • Elizabeth Fisher

            If you stop consuming, consuming, consuming, not as many people need jobs; unemployment would go down. Maybe we could go back to having only one parent working…like the days when we had smaller houses, one TV, one car, a smaller closet full of clothes,,,,essentially half of the junk we have now and families that actually did things together every day.

          • c_woof

            Well, yes, this sounds good on the surface, but we have an unemployment problem now, so if we just continued to stop buying, we’d have more of that problem, which would mean more on the dole, so to speak.
            I agree we have too much, we’re sold on having too much, and we could do w/less. Also, most of this “stuff” comes from China.

            So I guess I could qualify my response to say we need to ease into an old system which enables us to have one parent working, so to speak.

            How to do that seems one of the challenges.

          • Elizabeth Fisher

            We could buy more services instead of more junk; it’s harder to get services from China. First step is probably just to get the conversation going. Maybe the pendulum will swing back. Increasing minimum wage would probably help. Folks used to live on min wage; now you need two or three min wage jobs — that’s part of the cause of unemployment — two or three jobs used to employ two or three people; now it employs one. And then there’s the $1.8 Billion that went to the CEO of UHC when he retired. Sucking that much money out of the economy without a peep, tossed a bunch of folks out on the streets.

          • c_woof

            ” First step is probably just to get the conversation going.”

            Couldn’t agree more.

          • thucy

            It’s like Nora Ephron asked: “When did the mani/pedi become a requisite of personal maintenance?”

            I work with 20-somethings and 30-somethings who already use botox and restylane, and got breast enhancement right after college graduation. They were more beautiful without it, but it’s the new “normal”.

            How do you function as a normal woman in a society where it often feels like everyone is altered? I go to mass, and even many of the church ladies have restylane-puffy cheeks.

          • c_woof

            By having enuf pride in yourself.

          • thucy

            No worries, i suffer from no lack of self-regard. But I would be unwise indeed not to note how the landscape signifies some serious challenges to getting citizens to think beyond their own noses.

          • We had a system, but industrialism destroyed it.

          • c_woof

            Well, that, and the unbelievable amount of energy in a barrel of oil.

            This has given those in the industrialized countries lives only the very rich could live before its discovery.

            It is this “drug” which will be so hard to let go of, no matter how much it pollutes….

          • thucy

            I agree, except for when my SUV-driving friends accidentally side-swipe me on my bike because they’re distracted while talking to their “guru” on the cell phone. Personal enlightenment requires a cell phone and a Range Rover – who knew?

        • Elizabeth Fisher

          I don’t think that we need to sacrifice anything if we just put a price on carbon and give the money back to the people with Citizen Climate Lobby’s Carbon Fee and Dividend. Most of us end up richer, the air would cleaner, and the move to renewable energy would be accompanied by more jobs and higher GDP.. (see cltizensclimatelobby.org). Also, composting has enriched my life — it’s fun, not a sacrifice. Carpooling has introduced me to interesting neighbors I wouldn’t have met otherwise, growing my own food tastes better and is way more convenient at dinner time, and if I did have solar panels I’d save money and not have to deal with the blackouts in the summer heat. I could go on,,,,,

    • Chris OConnell

      I saw Senator Angus King on Real Time last Friday and he had a wallet-sized card that he carries and gives out. It is a pretty convincing graph of the connections between CO2 and global temperatures. See the link here:
      https://twitter.com/SenAngusKing/media

    • How about “why take the chance that it might be real?” But most deniers are Rush Limbaugh types who think there is a secret cabal of scientists doing this for power, like the comment Krasny read, ugh. No hope for them.

  • thucy

    Meanwhile, many of us who are making hard sacrifices to reduce global warming and ask if those sacrifices shouldn’t be shared, are routinely dismissed for our efforts and our voice.

    We have enough knowledge, but even liberals drive gas-guzzling luxury cars and make wholly unnecessary airplane trips.

  • GiorgioOrwell2nd

    None of what Katharine Mach is suggesting is possible under the current political system both here in the US or in countries like China, India, Brazil, Russia. I’m not sure what she has been observing for the past 10 years that leads her to believe anything she just said would be possible?? To be clear, I agree that is it the major problem that we are confronting.

    The next economic crisis coming down the pipe might be the only thing to take care of the out of control economic system we are running, and the demand/supply of fossil fuel, but there is pretty clearly no political solution to this problem. It’s not going to be pretty, but derailing our perpetual growth global economic systems is the only thing that will slow this train down.

    • c_woof

      “…derailing our perpetual growth global economic systems is the only thing that will slow this train down.”

      This.

      • I’m hoping for the collapse of most high technology. Mander (In the Absence of the Sacred) demonstrates better than anybody how high tech is what is killing us, but its collapse will be violent.

        • c_woof

          However, as high tech comes along, I hope something will make the lives of the poorest among us better. If that happens, the drive for ever higher population will slow.
          “Free” power, in the form of wind, solar, and other renewables, can be scaled and power itself can be decentralized.
          It doesn’t all have to be new iPads.

          • Decentralization is key. And yes, there are many poor people living in horrible situations, but funny thing is by all accounts poor people are happier than middle class people. And many of the people living lives of poverty and desperation are that way because of high technology, for example Bangladesh, the dead factory towns in Mexico, etc. High tech always says it has the solution but by percentage of population there are more people in poverty now than ever in modern history, and rising. So where is the magic of high tech?

          • c_woof

            Is that because of the fact there are more people? Or a higher percentage of poverty?
            I would propose the former, and a lower percentage.
            One does not have to be rich to be happy. If your family is secure, you have enuf water, and work, it seems to me happiness can follow.
            Subsistence farmers seem happy to me. Some (many?) in hi-tech, hi-rise jobs are never happy, so tech does not mean happy.
            But I’m talking about the hi-tech which leapfrogs the methods we have historically followed. Witness cell phones in Africa, doing what we do here in the West w/our computers, our electrical grids, etc.

          • thucy

            “Subsistence farmers seem happy to me.”

            Sorry, but this is seriously uninformed.
            Seeming happy to you does not mean they are happy. China and India are in the constant battle to suppress revolts from subsistence farmers. This is not because they’re “happy” – it’s because they live so close to the edge that they’d prefer to die fighting than the slow bleed of subsistence farming.

          • c_woof

            Well, it depends upon the circumstances of the family, of course.
            If life is always a struggle, then….
            But I think (MHO) that if examined, those in revolt are having difficulties other than just living their lives — droughts, bureaucracy, land theft, pollution, something keeping them from just getting on.

            I have myself seen populations where the resources needed were available, and the local situations were stable, and families felt “happy” and satisfied.

          • thucy

            “but funny thing is by all accounts poor people are happier than middle class people.”

            That’s not what the research indicates.

  • Cathy

    Sorry that I came in late and this may already answered but I’m wondering what/who are the biggest resistant in congress? If republicans take over congress will there be significant additional push back on believing in climate change and what to so about it.

  • Chris OConnell

    Can Homo sapiens leave the “coal in the hole” and the “oil in the soil”? It’s a real challenge. It seems to go against our DNA. Today, the wealthy countries are exploring the deep sea and newly accessible Arctic zones, and using technology to access previously inaccessible fossil fuels.

    • thucy

      “It seems to go against our DNA.”

      it seems to go against our DNA to cosset ourselves in cars and planes, to build and occupy homes that are energy-inefficient, thereby making the earth inhospitable for our (and everyone else’s) DNA.

    • ES Trader

      its not DNA’s fault, it’s the symptoms of the lowest hanging fruit and the resistance to change by that inertia.

  • Kim

    If you want to convince people to care about climate change, your rhetoric needs to be more emotional. People are not persuaded by reason alone, they need to feel it.

    • Chris OConnell

      Science doesn’t work that way. But you are right, the advocates need to take that point.

      • Scott A

        You’re right about physical science.

        But “political science” is a different beast.

        One is finding out what the facts are. The other is convincing people the facts are real, matter, and that we can act to make things better.

        • c_woof

          How to do that is what everyone here is asking.
          Unfortunately, it seems the guests were not really equipped to answer that as they are not policy wonks or psychologists.
          They are great @ cheerleading the report, but as the troll who wrote in has made clear, that won’t convince everyone.

          I think more than a few were converted after Sandy, but I hope it doesn’t come to that everywhere else.

  • ES Trader

    World population keeps growing and former 3rd world nations are consuming more fossil fuels producing pollution so global warming just seems common sense. The steadfast denial by Republicans in general is just whistling by the grave-yard..

    • Kurt thialfad

      And who is the 3rd most populous nation after China and India?

      • Beth Grant DeRoos

        Mexico? Sadly Americans use more natural resources per person than any other country I believe.

        • c_woof

          3rd most populous is USA, followed by Indonesia.
          Mexico is #11.
          Yes, Americans are among those using the most, behind tiny countries like Qatar.
          Please note the population growth rate and how rich the country — the poorer, the more growth; the richer, the less.
          http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/population-by-country/

          • ES Trader

            I dont know the answer w/out googling but the developimg nations and under developed have the fastest rate of growth which will be the “tipping” point for convincing even far right Republicans tomorrow by then the advanced countries may be fossil fuel free

          • c_woof

            Please see my response to Colin Warnecke about pop. growth above.

  • Ben Rawner

    I agree that climate change is happening. Drought in California, superstorms more frequently, and disappearing ice shelves. The problem is that it is not in the interest of oil and gas companies to switch to other fuels. They make the energy and we eat it up. Weak laws have tried to change these companies future plans, but changing political winds seem to blow these ideas away. Not to be doom and gloom, but mass extinction has already started. The solutions we have today are like trying to plug holes in a dam with your finger, sooner or later the dam will break fully and there is nothing we can do about it.

    • thucy

      “, sooner or later the dam will break fully and there is nothing we can do about it.”

      Sorry, but there’s an ethical and moral obligation to TRY to do something about it.

  • Elizabeth Fisher

    There’s a simple solution that also grows jobs and the economy. Peter Barnes asks “Who Owns the Sky?” in his book of the same name. The answer — we all do. Citizens Climate Lobby’s proposed carbon fee and dividend puts a steadily rising price on carbon at the source (oil/gas well head, coal mine) and gives all that money back to individuals. That charges the sources of the pollution of our skies and gives it to the owners of the skies — us. It also more than compensates all but the biggest spenders for their increased prices for energy and other goods as the oil, coal, gas companies pass on their increased costs. It’s simple, transparent, and effective.

    • But we don’t own the sky. Governments “own” the sky, or at least control it and have jurisdiction over it, and corporations own governments, so I don’t see how we can ever own the sky as a people.

      • c_woof

        Can we create and pass legislation which charges for carbon output?

        • Elizabeth Fisher

          Lots of organizations are trying to “put a price on carbon” and 40 national and 20 subnational jurisdictions, including California, the northeast RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) states, and even China, already have a price on carbon or have it scheduled to go into effect in the new few years. The US is behind. How do you get our US Congress to act? Sweden has a price on carbon up close to $150/ton CO2 …

          • c_woof

            Hmm.. I wonder if one party or the other is better along these lines?
            (Other than the obvious Green Party, that is. )

          • Elizabeth Fisher

            The Dems are more willing but if they introduce anything the Repubs will vote it down. Needs to be Republican but they hate having any money come out of the established fossil fuel industry and some are climate skeptics.

      • Elizabeth Fisher

        We need to “take back our sky” and our government. Government is supposed to be “for the people….

  • Scott A

    When I look at the rates we’re bringing non/low-carbon energy sources online, and the urgent needs listed in your report, it seems pretty clear that we can’t bring enough solar and wind online in time to keep us at a 2 degree temp rise.

    Does this mean we need a serious discussion about hydro and a new generation of nuclear power plants?

  • There is another kind of skepticism, not that of denial, but skepticism of the UN and its ability to do anything. Chris Hedges (Pulitzer Prize winner) wrote in September, after the big NYC climate march, √¶We need to highlight the fact that the United Nations has sold out to
    corporate interests. At U.N. meetings on climate change you see
    corporate logos on display. During the last meeting on climate change in
    Poland, the U.N. held a simultaneous conference to promote coal as a
    clean energy source. These U.N. meetings have become corporate trade
    shows where discussions on climate are hijacked to promote corporate
    interests”

  • Barbara Coe

    As you say, the need now in regard to the effects of global climate change, is to take action. However, research shows that people do not take sustained action out of fear of future negative impacts, even if they believe the predictions in the first place. Rather, they take sustained action toward something positive that they can clearly envision while at the same time understanding the reality. (As Robert Fritz, Peter Senge and Barbara A Coe explain in their publications, underlying structures that drive behavior explain and predict this). If people are to be motivated, leaders will have to find ways to emphasize to people the positive outcomes that can be expected.

    • thucy

      “However, research shows that people do not take sustained action out of fear of future negative impacts, even if they believe the predictions in the first place. Rather, they take sustained action toward something positive that they can clearly envision while at the same time understanding the reality.”

      Some more recent research indicates that both fear AND hope are motivators. Mindless “positive” thinking is how we got into this mess.

      • c_woof

        Your key word is “mindless.”
        We need to be mindful about what we do.
        And I agree that fear AND hope are motivators.
        We need leaders who get it and are willing to put it out there.

  • KMFN

    How do we approach those who’ve been convinced that free market environmentalism is the answer?

    • What’s the alternative? Plato’s benevolent dictator?

      • thucy

        Wait, are you implying that there’s nothing ‘twixt the spectrum that has free-market fundamentalism on one side and a dictator (bene o non) on the other?

    • Elizabeth Fisher

      Suggest a carbon fee and dividend. Fossil fuels pollute the sky for free. Correct that market distortion with a fee on fossil fuels, give all that money back to people (who own the sky that is being polluted) as a dividend and 1. the free market will see that fossil fuels finally have to pay their full cost and renewable energy will emerge as cheaper because we’re no longer externalizing all those fossil fuel costs and 2. the dividend going back to people will more than compensate them for their increased costs of energy…until the price of energy comes down again as fossil fuels are replaced. See citizensclimatelobby.org for Carbon Fee and Dividend or PeterBarnes.org for Cap and Dividend. The fee is key to letting the free market work (it’s a rigged market now). The dividend is key to making it work without harming people’s pocketbooks.

  • There is another kind of skepticism, not of denial, but that the UN is underestimating the problem. Chris Hedges (Pulitzer Prize winner) wrote last month about the corruption of the UN: “We need to highlight the fact that the United Nations has sold out to
    corporate interests. At U.N. meetings on climate change you see
    corporate logos on display. During the last meeting on climate change in
    Poland, the U.N. held a simultaneous conference to promote coal as a
    clean energy source. These U.N. meetings have become corporate trade
    shows where discussions on climate are hijacked to promote corporate
    interests”

  • Kurt thialfad

    Would it help if we pursue policies of stabilizing human population growth?

    • thucy

      Yes. It is also critical that existing adults stop consuming so much. Your average African or Chinese uses a tiny fraction of resources used by the average American.

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      That is a must Kurt!! We as Americans also need to stop being so arrogant in thinking we are the best!! When the fact is we could learn a LOT from the Scandinavians and other ‘green’ countries.

    • Colin Warnecke

      It goes beyond stabilizing population growth. Many out there believe that we have already passed the true sustainable carrying capacity of the planet and the only workable solutions will involve global population reduction. This doesn’t fit with most economic growth models, so it will never happen.

      • c_woof

        That is the crux — can we go forward w/o “economic growth” as we know it, or is there a model which enables the rising of all boats which does not need new polluting solutions?

        • Colin Warnecke

          Any model that relies upon growth as a foundational model is ultimately unsustainable. Steady-state models don’t fair well either as they stagnate. Only cyclical models are truly sustainable. Look to nature to see models of existence that have been around for hundreds of thousands/millions of years and you will see predictable cycles.

          So my answer is NO. There is no real long term solution that involves growth, whether that be economic, population or otherwise.

          • c_woof

            Well, what about bringing poor countries up to a level where they feel sufficiently secure to slow their pop. growth to that of the developed countries, and changing developed countries’ use of energy to that of non-polluting solutions?

          • Colin Warnecke

            “bringing poor countries up to a level”…… So they can consume more? That would be going to wrong direction. That is a growth model. Controlling population via economic growth and increase resource consumption defeats the purpose.

            It is also important to recognize that pollution is only one leg of the problem. Overall resource consumption, both finite and renewable resources, is a larger problem. Issues around arable land and clean water will push against human existence long before temperature will (as a side note, David Quammen presents an notion that humans can survive the increased heat, whether through technology or adaptation, but the cyclic turn to an ice-age type climate would kill us off completely)

          • c_woof

            If the poor countries continue to add people willy-nilly because of whatever, how does that mesh w/your arguments?
            If the growth slows so that we never reach 10B wouldn’t that be a plus?
            Otherwise, if we reach 10B by midcentury, what then? Surely that alone means more resources, more use of land and water.
            It seems to me less people is the answer — we have room for conservation/efficiency improvements allowing each to do more w/less.

          • Colin Warnecke

            I 100% agree that LESS people must be a part of the ultimate solution to sustaining human existence. By less people, I mean, less than we have now. Population growth of ANY variety is sending us in the wrong direction. We are already beyond the sustainable constraints of the planet. Too many people AND too much resource usage. Too many people seem to think you can fix one of those issues and you fix it all. You have to fix both. Reduce people AND reduce the resulting population’s per capita resource consumption.

            What I disagree with you mostly is the method of population reduction. You want to increase consumption via “bringing poor countries up to a level”. You are solving one problem by making the other worse.

          • c_woof

            Keeping poor people down will not work. Period.
            You live in luxury. What are you willing to give up?

            I might also point out that I have to deal w/more waste than I want, due to the way products are packaged, not due to my preferences. I see in our packaging alone a ton of room for improvement.

          • Colin Warnecke

            Now you are just twisting my words. I don’t want to “keep poor people down”. I just am pointing out that the idea of making all poor people “middle-class” is a false utopia with more pitfalls than you are presenting. Increasing economic stability results in higher consumption use. I am not saying that we shouldn’t attempt to increase the economic stability of the poor, but we have to be honest about the repercussions.

          • c_woof

            I agree.
            And I believe it can be done — perhaps in ways we haven’t seen yet, as in the use of cell phones in Africa example. Contrasting the difference in energy consumption in that example alone to accomplish the same tasks in the developed world is instructive.

            But I think a large part will also depend upon political changes which haven’t happened yet.

          • Colin Warnecke

            You agree that the repercussions of increasing global socioeconomic status are negative on the environment? That was what I was saying, but you seem to still be all gung-ho for it, so I really don’t think you agree with me.

          • c_woof

            Please see below.

          • c_woof

            A point of refinement — I see it as “less struggle to survive” rather than “consume more.”

          • Colin Warnecke

            dressing up a pig in a dress… you still have a pig. if you consume more in your reduction of struggle, you are still consuming more. Call it what you will, it doesn’t change the fact.

          • c_woof

            I think — my opinion — that you seem to be stuck.
            As I pointed out, Europeans use half the resources we do, yet their life is not lessened because of it.
            Life improvement does not mean American level of consumption….

          • Colin Warnecke

            I am not saying it does. That is your interpretation of my statements. I am simply stating that increasing socioeconomic status results in increased resource consumption. That is all I have said and will continue to say. Europeans use far more than twice as many resources as a typical West African. Why didn’t you make the false assumption that I was speaking on a European lifestyle?

            All I am saying is that decreasing population via methods that inherently increase overall consumption, defeats the purpose of reducing populations. Any viable solution MUST do both simultaneously.

          • c_woof

            And I was merely pointing out what evidence has shown works now.
            Perhaps if we in the US could reduce our consumption by half, that might allow a few of the poorest in the world to feel a little more secure and not disturb the continuity of life.

            I also want to point out that I totally, absolutely agree that Western levels of consumption, now available around the world, are unsustainable going forward, and that solutions must come forward or we’ll run into the wall finite resources represent.

            But as the proof exists of what works shy of catastrophe also exists, I point in that direction while we attempt to solve the other problem.

            We need to change our thinking about what it means to live comfortably so that those mechanisms keeping us so inefficient in our existence can change. But until we are convinced this is possible, nothing will happen until we meet that wall, as you say.

  • Elizabeth Fisher

    Part of the problem for Americans is that we talk about climate change in degrees C that no one understands. 2C doesn’t sound like much but its equivalent 3.6 F sounds bad. Americans can relate to 98.6 + 3.6 = 102.2 as a bad fever but how many Americans know or care what 98.6F + 2C means? We’re in the US….we need to speak American English. No one talks calls elevator “lifts”, or calls a car trunk a “boot”, why do we insist on talking about the weather in F but climate change in C?

  • Lawrence Dominic Wollersheim

    I am currently about 1/2 through a detailed reading the new IPPC report.
    Could you ask the people on the show if it is — as it appears that
    “all of the main possible scenarios of temperature increase based on
    different responses actions DO NOT contain calculations for key tipping
    points within the climate meta system and its subsystems.”

    These
    fat tail, low probability high-consequence events are simply so
    difficult to predict and calculate (even with super computers,) as to
    when they will happen and, that the current science on critical climate
    tipping points is so weak that the tipping points were not even
    calculated into the given main scenarios of the IPPC report.

    A few of these tipping point fat tails are:

    when the oceans soils and forests stop absorbing carbon and start releasing it instead.
    When the oceans stop storing heat and start releasing it,

    when the ice shelfs and Greenland glaciers go into rapid collapse,

    massive methane releases from tundra or ocean coastal shelfs or

    when
    plankton die off in mass from carbonification of the oceans and they
    can no longer absorb masses of carbon from the atmosphere.

    Lawrence Wollersheim
    Senior analyst at UnbiverseInstitute.org

    • I agree, all possible outcomes need to be studied, like methane etc. But what about anomalies, for example what if another Krakatoa happened, or a terrorist sets off a small N-bomb or massive forest fires spreading soot on snow. There are other possibilities that could dramatically either mitigate or exacerbate the effect of climate gasses. I also just read that some scientists think the Tungusta event was a spontaneous release of methane that caught fire, interesting.

  • Part of the challenge is how to get the “rank and file” (including industry) to see a personal solution to the problem … what can they do? One answer is to address one core issue – everyone wants to be more affluent/live better (globally) and no or few companies are willing to impact sales or profitability to develop truly sustainable products (forget greenwashing). A key may lie in understanding the relationship between the impact of production and use of a product and its value in the market. If we can develop products and production technology that creates value to the consumer while at the same time reducing the impact of that product (in manufacturing and use/end of life phases) by, say, a factor of 10, one can actually supply the growing demand while reducing the effects. This requires a focus on hard core, boring old subjects like manufacturing, material conversion, re-manufacturing and recovery, etc. But it can be done. And, there is a business model for it so companies are happy to. And there is technology out there to make it work too.

  • Strandwolf

    Good luck bucking the Koch bros. and Exxon et al. Talk about an entrenched special interest web of groups….

    • c_woof

      Well, no attempt, no success.

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    How many of the pro climate change folks on the show have more than one child, eat meat, live in homes bigger than 500 sq ft and travel a lot. We have one child, live in a small home 400 sq feet, are vegan and have not had a vacation since 1989!! We walk the talk.

    • ES Trader

      500 sq ft is too large ?

  • Colin Warnecke

    I have always been curious to why even those who accept the overwhelming evidence of global climate change refuse to address the issue of global population control/reduction. Reducing resource consumption simply delays the inevitable. Why not address the fact that only through aggressive reduction in population with an underlying movement to reduce per capita resource consumption will we be able to undo the harm we have done

    • c_woof

      As populations rise economically, and women gain power, population growth slows.
      So it would appear that if we raise women’s stature in the world, and can raise up the very poorest of us, that would accomplish the goal.

      • Colin Warnecke

        Growth is growth. All your solution does is change the rate of decay. As I mentioned in another post, population reduction and economic sustainability are opposing forces. Adding more women to the workforce is certainly a great thing to do, but to point to it as a solution for population growth doesn’t play out. If you reduce populations, economic growth will slow and economies will falter, leaving less employment for women (and men). The solution as you explained it would actually have an adverse effect on the economy over the long haul and therefore would never be considered by those who include economics in their calculus for how to foster a sustainable environment.

        • c_woof

          Evidence is available in the real world.
          http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/population-by-country/
          Notice that the richest countries have the slowest population growth, and the oldest populations. The drive for more people is in part from insecurity that family will go forward, and/or won’t be available to work the land/business.

          Also note the places where women fare the best, contrasted w/where they fare the worst.

          • Colin Warnecke

            I say it again. Growth is growth. I understand the whole cycle of population growth and have studied the socioeconomic foundations well beyond “insecurity”, but it is beside the point. There is very little in this world that could be considered infinite and still few that are renewable at a rate to allow for a steady rise in consumption due purely to population growth.

            Your solution looks at population only and not the effects of increasing economic stability. While your population may decrease, the overall rate of consumption would increase, resulting in a net loss of resources and depletion of the environment.

            There is no clean solution. As far as long-term human sustainability goes, I see only one viable path. Drastic population collapse on a global scale. We won’t do it to ourselves (not directly), but it could happen “naturally”. It would be like hitting a reset button.

          • c_woof

            If you are saying there is no room for efficiency improvements, I would disagree.
            We waste so much. We could “clean” up that aspect of our lives and use far fewer resources — no change in lifestyle, but just different solutions. Europe uses half the resources Americans do, on aggregate, for example. And I’m sure they could improve even more.

          • Colin Warnecke

            I am not saying that there is no room for efficiency improvements. This type of false attack is what is typical when someone points out that population reduction should be the foundation of any effort to create a sustainable existence for our species.

            What I am saying is the efficiency improvements are a bandage on the problem at best. It only delays the inevitable. Using finite resource slowly simply means you run out later, rather than sooner. You still run out.

          • c_woof

            Well, that is what drives innovation — how to do the same w/less, or w/something else.
            But as I said elsewhere, not allowing the poorest countries to rise is not a solution — their situation keeps them creating more and more people — there need to be changes allowing that pressure to lessen, and security (a blanket word covering food, energy, future, family, etc ) needs to improve for them for that to happen.
            I see it as raising their standard of living, and/or raising the status of women.

          • Colin Warnecke

            OK, I really don’t want to keep repeating myself and have you continually parse my words to support your argument. You are stuck on a meme of making the world’s poor equal and that is commendable, but you seem to stubbornly refuse to understand what resource consumption is and how it is directly related to socioeconomic status. You are making the same arguments that any economically minded, pro-growth model environmentalist would make. You ignore the underlying problems in hopes of making the short term better for a select group. Ignoring the underlying problem (overpopulation) will eventually result in a collapse of the environment and likely a vast swath of our population globally.

          • c_woof

            I agree w/your gist, as I said above, but am finding it difficult to ascertain what you are recommending.

            If the poor countries continue to reproduce @ their current unsustainable rate, that does not seem to be a solution.

            And the only way, short of violence, starvation, or other environmental calamity that “works” in the real world of reducing population, is higher status of women, and less desperate circumstances for the population as a whole.

            So, what do see going forward as a solution?

          • Colin Warnecke

            As I have said, there really is no clean solution. I know what the result of the solution looks like, but I also know that there is no acceptable means to ushering those results in.

            In the end, the solution will not be one that we choose, but one that is chosen for us, likely by the same environment that we have neglected to a century. Drought, violent storms, resource-based violence, diseases, etc. It won’t happen quickly, but it will happen. The overall global apathy toward the environment all be ensures it. We, as a species, are choosing how to solve the issues by remaining woefully ignorant to the repercussions of our behaviors.

          • c_woof

            Yes, and the “problem” as I see it, (as I’ve made abundantly clear, sorry for the repetition) is that those who are least responsible for the coming changes are those paying the highest price.

          • Colin Warnecke

            But your solution only makes the problem worse. It will simply shift the eventual suffering to a new population or, I guess in your ideal world, evenly spread across the entire population. Unfortunately, that eventual calamity would happen faster under your approach. It sounds good on the surface. I can’t deny that. Most one-shot solutions that people throw out do. It’s worth doing too. I think that we should all be comfortable when the ice-sheets start pushing us out of our homes, toward the equator and possibly to our demise.

  • Jonnie

    So yeah, most of us can probably agree that human industrial activity is the primary mechanism of the observed changes in the earth’s climate. However, there was not one word from Krasny’s scientific bobble-head panel on practicable steps nations (not individuals or states as that will have little effect on the problem) can and should do that are in the realm of political possibility.

    I’m sorry, we are not going back to the bicycle age or are going to stop eating ffat-producing methane gas generators like cows. We may slowly get to a mostly electric and hydrogen based land transportation system and renewable electrical energy systems. And don’t tell people that these are too slow and won’t change climate change fast enough…there is only so fast a polity and world can change.

    • c_woof

      That’s true — just look @ how long it took the country to gear up for WWII — decades and decades. Oh, wait…

      But I totally agree — the panel was once again a group long on pointing out the obvious but short on solutions and ways to think differently going forward, which is where most of the audience for this program are. We know the problem — what can be done about it? It seems overwhelming — we need perspectives which give hope that change can happen going forward.

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