AuthorTopic: The Environment Board  (Read 23448 times)

Offline Eddie

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Re: Environment Board - McPherson Calls It, Extinction Sept. '18
« Reply #90 on: June 15, 2018, 04:39:22 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/cFJwkTJuB6I&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/cFJwkTJuB6I&fs=1</a>

I can believe it will come in September, but I don't think it will be this September.

"It" being an event one could clearly tag as being "the end of industrial civilization".

And even if it is this September, we sure as hell won't be able to confirm that it WAS this September by the first of October, as Guy seems to think.

The collapse is clearly ongoing and incremental. Waterfall events will surely occur that make it more obvious, as time goes on.

As usual. Guy is guessing. He used to be guessing human extinction by 2030 if I remember right. I can believe that more readily than I believe that industrial civilization will collapse this September.

Another case of confirmation bias.

I find myself in the position that I have often found myself over the past few years. I agree with most of the data that shows that collapse is imminent, and that real catastrophic climate change is imminent. But I disagree with Guy's take on timing. And the take of others who think economic disaster will come this year. It is coming, but we have a bit longer to wait.

Not the worst thing, for most of us.





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Offline azozeo

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Re: The Environment Board
« Reply #91 on: June 15, 2018, 04:43:51 PM »
Well said, however with earth changes on the up tick, we could be in for a bumpy rest of '18.

It appears that there is a lot more human displacement currently. If the hurricane season is huge than
who knows.
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Offline Palloy2

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Re: The Environment Board
« Reply #92 on: June 15, 2018, 06:17:19 PM »
Quote
Eddie: Not the worst thing, for most of us.

For you, anyway. But for the starving billions, and for the millions of refugees on the move, and for the rainforests and all their wildlife, and for the fish in the rivers and oceans, it can't come soon enough.  For those lucky enough to be surviving on mailbox money for now, the amount they enjoy this BAU life is only a little above zero, and when it reaches zero, watch out.
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Offline Eddie

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Re: The Environment Board
« Reply #93 on: June 16, 2018, 01:59:55 PM »
Quote
Eddie: Not the worst thing, for most of us.

For you, anyway. But for the starving billions, and for the millions of refugees on the move, and for the rainforests and all their wildlife, and for the fish in the rivers and oceans, it can't come soon enough.  For those lucky enough to be surviving on mailbox money for now, the amount they enjoy this BAU life is only a little above zero, and when it reaches zero, watch out.

It will come unwound soon enough. I live my life one day at a time. There is no reason to feel guilty for having a decent life. Every day is a gift that I gratefully accept.

I am not in charge of what happens to the starving billions, just what happens to me. Your concern for them is admirable, though.  I suggest donating your living body to them when the cannibalism starts, if you're still kicking. Maybe if they're hungry enough, you can be of some service to 3 or 4 individuals, out of those crazed hordes.
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Offline agelbert

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Re: The Environment Board
« Reply #94 on: June 16, 2018, 02:40:32 PM »
Quote
Eddie: Not the worst thing, for most of us.

For you, anyway. But for the starving billions, and for the millions of refugees on the move, and for the rainforests and all their wildlife, and for the fish in the rivers and oceans, it can't come soon enough.  For those lucky enough to be surviving on mailbox money for now, the amount they enjoy this BAU life is only a little above zero, and when it reaches zero, watch out.

It will come unwound soon enough. I live my life one day at a time. There is no reason to feel guilty for having a decent life. Every day is a gift that I gratefully accept.

I am not in charge of what happens to the starving billions, just what happens to me. Your concern for them is admirable, though. I suggest donating your living body to them when the cannibalism starts, if you're still kicking. Maybe if they're hungry enough, you can be of some service to 3 or 4 individuals, out of those crazed hordes.

Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
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if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

Offline Palloy2

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Re: The Environment Board
« Reply #95 on: June 16, 2018, 05:53:49 PM »
Quote
Eddie: There is no reason to feel guilty for having a decent life.

There is when you do nothing to speak out on the side of Right, when all around you is poverty and exploitation, and you have houses galore, and whine about your taxes.  Didn't Jesus say "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."  To which you will argue that you are not rich, I suppose.  Rich enough in comparison to the poverty all around you.  It all depends on how much of your effort goes into worldly riches, (money, houses, cars, solar panels) and how much into good works, charity, etc.

Quote
I suggest donating your living body to them when the cannibalism starts, if you're still kicking.

They would even bother cooking me - way too thin.  My way of helping was to campaign for wildlife and forest protection, and all it earned me was a broken neck from the police thugs.
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Offline RE

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⛰️ Climbers have turned Mount Everest into the highest pile of trash
« Reply #96 on: June 19, 2018, 01:25:51 AM »
Homo Sap... making sure no place on earth is left unspoiled.

RE

https://nypost.com/2018/06/18/climbers-have-turned-mount-everest-into-the-highest-pile-of-trash/

Climbers have turned Mount Everest into the highest pile of trash

By Tamar Lapin

June 18, 2018 | 2:09pm | Updated
Modal Trigger
Climbers have turned Mount Everest into the highest pile of trash


Discarded climbing equipment and rubbish scattered around Camp 4 of Mount Everest. Getty Images

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Mount Everest is turning into a garbage dump.

Wealthy thrill-seekers forking over between $20,000 and $100,000 to climb the highest mountain on Earth are leaving a devastating trail of trash in their wake, according to an Agence France-Presse report published Sunday.

“It’s disgusting. An eyesore,” said Pemba Dorje Sherpa, who has summited the mountain 18 times. “The mountain is carrying tons of waste.”

Tourists are leaving behind tents, climbing equipment, empty gas canisters and feces.

Melting glaciers caused by global warming are also exposing trash that’s accumulated in the 65 years since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made the first successful summit.

Longtime climbers say the increase in trash goes hand in hand with the uptick of inexperienced tourists attempting to make their way to the 29,029-foot peak. At least 600 people have scaled the mountain so far this year.

Newbie climbers let their Sherpas schlep almost all their gear — meaning the guides aren’t able to carry trash down the mountain too.

“They have to carry their client’s gear so they are unable to carry down the rubbish,” said Damian Benegas, who has been climbing Everest for over 20 years with his twin brother, Willie.

But Nepal and Tibet are both making efforts to clean up the Himalayan mountain.

About five years ago, Nepal instituted a system in which it takes a $4,000 deposit from climbing teams and only refunds it if each climber brings down at least 18 pounds of waste.

In Tibet, mountaineers are required to bring down the same amount and are fined $100 per every two pounds they don’t.

But many rich climbers just don’t care about the $4,000 deposit, when they’re already shelling out so much for the experience, Pemda said.

Some experts, like Nepal Mountaineering Association president Ang Tsering Sherpa, are calling for a special Everest cleanup force to fix the problem.

“It is not an easy job. The government needs to motivate groups to clean up and enforce rules more strictly,” Ang said.
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Offline edpell

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Re: The Environment Board
« Reply #97 on: June 19, 2018, 04:52:33 AM »
Long past time for the big cull.

Offline Eddie

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Re: The Environment Board
« Reply #98 on: June 19, 2018, 06:26:31 AM »
No, just getting warmed up. But it's coming. It is coming.
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Offline RE

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https://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/07/12/the-sinister-underbelly-of-climate-change-denial/

ECOLOGY CHRONICLES—The Sinister Underbelly of Climate Change Denial
July 12, 2018 Posted by Addison dePitt


BE SURE TO PASS THESE ARTICLES TO FRIENDS AND KIN. A LOT DEPENDS ON THIS. DO YOUR PART.

by DR DAVID MATTSON


Polar bears are among the most prominent big mammal species likely to vanish in the near geologic future.

The last few days of June 2018 saw most people in the United States sweltering in an epic heat wave. High temperatures were uniformly between 90 and 110 degrees in a mind-boggling 17 states [1]. Heat indices in parts of the East and Midwest approached 120 degrees. Heat Advisories or Excessive Heat Warning were issued by the National Weather Service for all or parts of 21 states. Hazardously poor air quality arising from the reaction of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides with sunlight and heat compounded the agony in 9 states.

On top of this, catastrophic drought gripped the southwestern US [2], largely the product of a devastatingly dry winter. Snowpack during the winter of 2017-2018 in mountains south of a line running roughly through mid-Nevada, Utah, and Colorado was nearer 0% than 100% of normal—hardly worth even being called “snowpack.”

And virtuous Americans were not the only ones suffering. Near-record heat and drought was scorching northern Europe, fanning peat fires in England. Plus an all-time record minimum temperature of 109 degrees was recorded amidst the baseline excessive heat of Oman.

Meanwhile, the northern Rocky Mountains, where I live, was basking in near-normal June temperatures while being bathed in near 170% of normal rainfall—a factoid that will no doubt be seized upon by people obsessed with denying the reality of human-driven climate warming.

Climate Warming is Real

But climate warming is real, as is the role of humans. All of the recent weather patterns we’ve been experiencing—locally, as well as globally—are precisely what climate scientists have predicted will accompany climate warming. Extremes will amplify, especially of heat, storms, seasonal precipitation, and drought. But these extremes will be—and have been—piggy-backed on a steady increase in average annual and seasonal temperatures going back to the 1980s, with increases greatest for minimum daily temperatures [3].

I am in good company when I invoke this evidence and unambiguously assert the reality of climate warming. Contrary to the claims of conservative demagogues, there is near unanimity about the reality of human-driven climate warming among scientists who have studied climate and climate change. In fact, more than 95% of such scientists agree on this fact [4]. And to claim that such consensus is the result of a conspiracy requires either mind-boggling ignorance about the nature of scientific inquiry or highly disturbing and deeply sinister motives. Yet roughly 30% of Americans don’t believe that climate warming is happening and/or that recent warming is largely caused by human activities [5].

Interestingly, this is roughly the same percentage of American adults who offer Trump their unwavering support, despite him being the vilest politician to take center stage in living memory. (I will return to this consilience shortly.)

How Can This Be?

Scientists of all sorts, but especially those studying climate, are confounded and distressed by the fact that there are so many doubters among American adults, and that so many more, even among believers, dismiss the consequences of unfolding climate change and are unwilling to make the radical changes needed to avert a catastrophe, not just for humans, but for all life on Earth.

How can this be?

This simple question has led to a veritable cottage industry of inquiry into the psychological, social, and political drivers of climate warming denial. After roughly 20-years of experiments and surveys, some more-or-less definitive conclusions have been reached, several of which initially surprised me. Yet the proffered explanations make a disturbing sort of psycho-pathologic sense.

Drivers of Disbelief

One unsurprising result is prominent, though. People who are more scientifically literate tend to be more trusting of science, put more credence in a scientific consensus, and, as a result, believe that human-driven climate warming is happening [e.g., 6]. So we humans are not completely irrational or craven.

But then things get interesting—even disquieting. Even when considering all sorts of psychological and social factors, it turns out that political ideology and affiliation is, at least proximally, a dominant determinant of belief in anthropogenic climate warming [7]. Not religiosity nor as much other worldviews, attitudes, and orientations. In other words, everything else aside, self-identified political conservatives cum Republicans are the most committed disbelievers and, among those, the best educated (paradoxically) the most strident of all [8]. In other words, conservative elites of a Republican persuasion are the standard bearers of skepticism. Surprisingly, they are expressly less amenable to persuasion by evidence than their more poorly educated political base. As a corollary, those who are most devoted to a free-market ideology (think conservative Wall Street tycoons and their minions) are also committed disbelievers [9].

But, then, there is more lurking beneath the veneer of political conservatism, party affiliation, and current articles of faith.

An additional ample corpus of research has shown that political conservatives have a definitive modal psychological profile. For one, they live in a heightened state of existential terror fueled by fear of death and alien “others” that inclines them to seek solace in hard cognitive and societal boundaries [10]. As a derivative, they tend to be more committed to tradition and the status quo, especially to the extent that such arrangements privilege them [e.g., 11]. As a further derivative, they are often eager to perpetuate the harm embedded in inequality and hierarchical social arrangements [e.g., 12]. All of this is infused with a bestiary of bigotry, including sexism, racism, and ethnic narcissism [e.g., 13, 14]. In this country such folks are disproportionally white males who, not coincidently, are feeling increasingly beset by global dynamics enforcing a sort of inevitable leveling.

Manipulating the Masses

An evidence-based reconstruction of climate warming skepticism then follows:

Educated but mostly-white conservative businessmen and political servants/allies recognize a threat to their current near strangle-hold on power and wealth arising from calls to address rampant climate warming. They see those who promote alternative climate-cooling lifestyles and technologies as enemies to their existing entitlements, certainly profits and power. They are, moreover, inclined to be bigots. Being clever, they mobilize their equally bigoted but less educated, less cognitively capable, and exceedingly fearful base comprised largely of increasingly disadvantaged white males by appealing to their interest in maintaining the status quo and inflaming their fear of an alien intrusive world, manifest as “immigration” and “immigrants.” National chauvinism also plays well. Onto this, the conservative elites graft a disbelief in climate warming [15, 16] and aversion to socialized health care, neither of which is axiomatic to being white, threatened, and not particularly well-educated. But both threaten profit-making engines benefiting established capitalist elites. Adherence to these agendas then becomes part of a larger self-reinforcing and polarizing belief system that will not abide deviation [17, 18].

And it is not by coincidence that these very people, churned by the a similar manipulative machinery, voted en masse for Donald Trump, the most egregious denier of anthropogenic climate warming to ever attain high political office. He is—also not coincidently—the most blatant presidential spokesperson for bigotry as well as inequality, privilege, and corporate interests that we have seen in the last 80 years.

Yes, a bit speculative, but I am again in the good company of many intelligent as well as diligent scholars who have tried to make sense of an ostensibly irrational, superficially inexplicable, phenomenon.

Yet More Mystery

But, then, given all of this, there is something even more ostensibly mystifying that has intruded upon the national stage, again involving the issue of climate warming. In this instance it involves federal government bureaucrats employed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service and charged by society with implementing the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to recover and restore imperiled species—the very sorts of people you would expect to deploy science with the highest integrity.

But they haven’t…and don’t.

A Brief History of Grizzly Bears

The treatment of grizzly bears by Fish & Wildlife Service bureaucrats is emblematic. Grizzlies were listed as threatened under the ESA in 1975, including the population centered on Yellowstone National Park. Shortly after this population began to register a numeric recovery from its 1980s nadir, the Fish & Wildlife Service began plotting to remove protections. Time after time they tried, and time after time they were thwarted in Court, and for good reason. Early in the last decade, in a series of court dramas lasting from 2007 to 2009, Federal Judges essentially reprimanded agency managers for egregiously mishandling—even ignoring—highly relevant science. Such reprimands by a Court are highly unusual. Almost invariably federal agencies are given deference on technical scientific matters. But in these cases the malfeasance by agency bureaucrats was so blatant that Judges at the District and Appellate Court level felt compelled to act.

The Fish & Wildlife Service took another run at removing ESA protections from Yellowstone grizzly bears beginning in 2013. This time round, the effects of climate warming were in much greater focus, whether because of direct or indirect effects on bear foods and bear behaviors—recent or foreseeable. Much to the amazement of every outside scientist, the Service concluded in a final 2016 rule removing ESA protections [19] that climate change had not had and would never have any detrimental effect on this isolated and relatively small population of bears.

Yes Fish & Wildlife Service, Climate Change is Real

In reality, climate warming had already entrained several damaging and demonstrable changes, with more promised for the future. Three of four critical bear foods had suffered major if not catastrophic declines, with the fourth likely to nearly disappear during the next 75 years, all directly or indirectly attributable to climate warming. By contrast, there are no foreseeable positive changes on the climate-warming horizon.

To wit, we have lost between 50 and 70% of seed producing whitebark pine in a single decade due to an outbreak of bark beetles unleashed by increasing warmth. Spawning cutthroat trout had been functionally extirpated as a bear food by a combination of predation by non-native lake trout and deteriorating hydrological conditions, the latter driven by climate change. Elk populations had declined substantially—in instances to near local extirpation—in part attributable to deteriorating summer range conditions, in turn caused by increasing late-summer drought. And the last food, alpine-dwelling army cutworm moths, is almost certain to disappear from the high country with projected 90% losses of alpine habitats during the next century. (For more on all of this, see [20]).

And in the wake of these losses, Yellowstone grizzly bears have been increasingly turning to eating human-associated meat that draws them into conflict with people and eventual near-certain death. As a result, retaliation for livestock depredation and encounters with elk hunters have become the most common causes of mortality for grizzlies in this ecosystem.

Yes, climate warming is real, with real-life past and prospective future dire consequences for grizzly bears.

Yet More Willful Denial

As with willful ignorance on the part of the conservative electorate, the willful denial of climate warming by people who are scientifically literate and presumably concerned about the environment—but buried within the bowels of a technocratic federal agency—begs for some sort of explanation. In the case of grizzly bears, an explanation is not too hard to find.

The reasons have to do with basic human motivations—primarily access to money, power, and privilege, but mediated by the machinery and culture of a federal natural resources management agency. Ultimately, though, all roads lead back to one of two factors: the political elites who hold agency purse strings, and a hoary culture of wildlife management organized around the precepts of domination and use, shared with wildlife managers in bureaus lusting for power over grizzly bear management in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.

Considering purse strings, there is a long history of conservative politicians from conservative states manipulating the budgets of agencies such as the Fish & Wildlife Service to achieve conservative ends, leading, ultimately, to an internalized aversion among Service bureaucrats to antagonizing conservative elites—a sort of aversive conditioning. As a consequence, the insidious narrative of climate warming denial has subtly insinuated itself into decision-making by agency employees.

The ethos of domination and use amplifies all of this by naturally aligning with a conservative worldview and with the interests of those who, in the end, value wildlife such as grizzly bears primarily for opportunities to kill them. The impulse to kill is reflected in the primacy of sport hunting among wildlife managers pretty much everywhere. In somewhat complex ways, all of this translates into a natural sympathy, even within the Service, for state-based wildlife management. But more important, the domination-use worldview creates a powerful impulse on the part of state managers and their political allies to wrest all power over wildlife management away from the federal government, in this instance, ESA-based authority by the Fish & Wildlife Service over grizzlies.

In other words, as with the impetus for climate-warming-denial, the impulse is to maintain a power and wealth status quo in defiance of an emerging threat organized around fundamentally different values and constituencies.

How do I know this? I’ve lived it for over 60 years.

An Inescapable Imperative

The fundamental mechanisms of climate warming are not rocket science. The basic chemistry and physics of green-house gases and possible effects on climate had been worked out by the mid-1800s. The evidence of climate warming is, moreover, amply evident for anyone who has eyes to see. I’ve witnessed inescapable manifestations even during my lifetime. For one, nighttime temperatures are not as consistently cool. As a kid in the Black Hills, nighttime frost was pretty much guaranteed any time high temperatures weren’t able to get out of the 60s. Not anymore.

Likewise, the implications of rising CO2 levels were known to even the  least prescient of the scientific community as early as the 1970s and 80s—even implications for wildlife such as grizzly bears. I authored papers published in 1986 and 1991 [21]—roughly 30 years ago—in which I flagged the problem of climate warming for Yellowstone grizzly bears. Yet, emblematic of the current spate of climate-warming denial in the Fish & Wildlife Service, the Service’s Recovery Coordinator at that time likened my concerns to those of “chicken little.” Not by coincidence, he continued on to author the 2007 and 2016 Fish & Wildlife Service rules dismissing the threat of climate warming and lifting ESA protections for Yellowstone’s grizzly bears. Current manifestations of denial do, indeed, have deep roots, as do the cultural and political dynamics spawning it.

But all of this is rendered trivial in comparison to our unfolding reality and what it promises for life on Earth. I recently read an engaging book by Peter Brannen entitled “The Ends of the World.” Much of the book is devoted to describing and explaining the causes and consequences of Earth’s past epic mass extinctions. It is a sobering read, and a guide to what humanity’s obsessive consumption of profit-generating fossil fuels promises to spawn. As it turns out, rapid increases in concentrations of CO2 and methane triggered most of the near sterilizations of Earth that occurred during the last 500-million years. Alarmingly, our current discharge of CO2 into the atmosphere is more breakneck than during any previous mass extinction. The implications are stark, and not just for grizzly bears.

We need to act now. And our first order of business will necessarily be overthrowing the elites and their conservative regime that currently strangles all aspects of our national life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 Dr David Mattson worked for the grizzly study team for 2 decades. He retired from the US Geological Survey two years ago. 

ADDENDUM
Meantime, this goes on all the time, with the politicians in the pocket of the hunting and ranching lobbies (to which they often belong), while scientists and their humane recommendations go begging on deaf ears. Obviously our system of government —which includes an equally worthless and complicit media system—is worthless due to terminal corruption.
Over Seventy Scientists Call on Wyoming Governor to Halt Grizzly Hunt
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Contact: Dr. David Mattson davidjmattson@gmail.com (406) 222-1485

Dr. Rob Wielgus Wielgus.Rob@gmail.com (509) 595-1232

Jackson, WY— Today, 73 scientists released a letter opposing the state of Wyoming’s proposed grizzly bear trophy hunt— calling on Wyoming Governor Matt Mead to put the hunt on hold pending an independent peer review process. Designed to significantly reduce bear numbers within a core monitoring area and eradicate virtually all bears outside of this area, the scientists noted the plan is unsustainable. Co-signers call the hunt “ethically irresponsible, unwarranted, and not in the public’s interest.” See their full letter here.  Dr. David Mattson, the letter’s author and a retired 30-year-long grizzly bear biologist, and Prof. Rob Wielgus  are available for interview and comment.

In addition to the letter, wildlife biologists released the following statements:

“Wyoming’s plans to reduce numbers of grizzly bears outside of the National Parks will, in some zones, amount to an unmitigated slaughter. The decision is based on flawed science, flawed logic, and an utter disregard for the national public’s values in ethics, humaneness and conservation of wildlife,” said Dr. David Mattson, United States Geological Survey Research Wildlife Biologist and Research Station Leader (retired) and Lecturer and Senior Visiting Scientist, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (retired).

“Grizzly bears, one of the slowest producing of terrestrial animals, did not evolve to be hunted. Wyoming’s plans to hunt 24 grizzly bears of an isolated population is aggressive and fails to use sound science. Wyoming’s plan will result in the deaths of multiple national park grizzly bears,” said Dr. Rob Wielgus,Professor and Director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Laboratory at Washington State University.

“Ignoring the biology and the intrinsic value of grizzlies, Wyoming’s proposal to kill them for trophies is narrowly directed towards the idea that grizzly bears are just a commodity. The concept, however, that anyone would wish to kill grizzlies for pleasure is increasingly repulsive to most people. This way of thinking differs sharply from values of  wildlife conservation,” said Dr. Paul Paquet, Professor at University of Victoria’s Geography Department and Senior Scientist at Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

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Offline Surly1

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Fossil fuel industry spent nearly $2 billion to kill U.S. climate action
« Reply #100 on: July 20, 2018, 03:57:21 AM »
Fossil fuel industry spent nearly $2 billion to kill U.S. climate action, new study finds-- Industry has out-lobbied environmentalists 10-to-1 on climate since 2000.

Activists rally in New York City to support the state's investigation into whether oil giant Exxon covered up its knowledge about climate change, February 22, 2017. CREDIT: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
ACTIVISTS RALLY IN NEW YORK CITY TO SUPPORT THE STATE'S INVESTIGATION INTO WHETHER OIL GIANT EXXON COVERED UP ITS KNOWLEDGE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE, FEBRUARY 22, 2017. CREDIT: SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES

Legislation to address climate change has repeatedly died in Congress. But a major new study says the policy deaths were not from natural causes — they were caused by humans, just like climate change itself is.

Climate action has been repeatedly drowned by a devastating surge and flood of money from the fossil fuel industry — nearly $2 billion in lobbying since 2000 alone.

This is according to stunning new analysis in the journal Climatic Change on “The climate lobby” by Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert J. Brulle.

The most important conclusion of Brulle’s is that spending by those in favor of climate action was dramatically overwhelmed by the big fossil fuel suppliers and users: Environmental organizations and the renewable energy sector lobbying expenditures were dwarfed by a ratio of 10:1 by the spending of the sectors engaged in the supply and use of fossil fuels.” 

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The study serves to help put to rest notion that the effort to pass climate legislation has ever been a fair fight. But then, the big corporate producers and consumers of fossil fuels have hundreds of billions of dollars in annual revenue — thus dwarfing the funds available to major environmental groups and the emerging clean energy sector.

Brulle analyzed the “countervailing power ratio,” which is the total lobbying expenditures by the big fossil fuel trade associations along with the transportation, electric utility, and fossil fuel sectors divided by the total lobbying expenditures of the renewable energy sector along with environmental organizations (see the chart below).

The ratio of lobbying expenditures by opponents of climate action compared to proponents. CREDIT:Climatic Change
THE RATIO OF LOBBYING EXPENDITURES BY OPPONENTS OF CLIMATE ACTION COMPARED TO PROPONENTS. CREDIT:CLIMATIC CHANGE

“Special interests dominate the conversation, all working for a particular advantage for their industry,” as Dr. Brulle told ThinkProgress in an email. “The common good is not represented.”

Indeed, the other key point of the study is that a truly staggering amount of money has been spent lobbying Congress on climate change this century, more than $2 billion.

The biggest surge came, unsurprisingly, during the 2009-2010 period — when Congress came the closest it ever did to passing serious climate legislation

US national climate change lobbying expenditures total by year 2000–2016 (green) and as a percent of total lobbying (blue). CREDIT: Climatic Change.
US NATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE LOBBYING EXPENDITURES TOTAL BY YEAR 2000–2016 (GREEN) AND AS A PERCENT OF TOTAL LOBBYING (BLUE). CREDIT: CLIMATIC CHANGE.

During 2009 and 2010, total lobbying expenditures on climate change accounted for a whopping nine percent of all lobbying expenditures.

The House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, often called the Waxman-Markey bill, by a slim margin in June 2009. At that point, the fossil fuel industry launched an all-out — and ultimately successful — lobbying push to undermine any effort by the Senate to pass their own version of the climate bill over the next 12 months. 

Indeed, of the top nine energy companies with the biggest lobbying expendituresbetween January 2009 and June 2010, six were Big Oil companies (led by ExxonMobil), and the other three were a coal producer and two coal-intensive utilities.

“It’s clear that when the greatest threat presents itself — like when Congress and the Executive branch are aligned and favorable to and recognize climate change as a major issue,” explained Brulle, “these corporations that engage in the supply and use of fossil fuels work the hardest to upend legislative efforts by increasing their lobby spending ten-fold.”

Finally, it’s worth noting, as Brulle does, that electric utilities, which collectively have spent vast sums lobbying on climate change, were not all lobbying uniformly against the climate bill in 2009 and 2010.

But the biggest carbon polluters at the time, such as Southern Company and American Electric Power (AEP), were among the very biggest spenders.

Also, as the study notes, “several corporations’ apparent support for climate policy is a sophisticated strategy to simultaneously attempt to appear to support such legislation, while actually supporting efforts to undermine it.”

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To do this, some companies had memberships in coalitions that both supported climate legislation (U.S. Climate Action Partnership) and that opposed it (American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity).

And it appears to be the case that the opponents of the climate bill were very actively trying to kill the bill, while many of the so-called proponents were mainly lobbying to shape the bill “as a hedge against unacceptable climate legislation in case their first preference (no action) is defeated,” as the study notes.

Post 2010, the fossil fuel industry has maintained its consistent large edge in lobbying over environmentalists and clean energy companies.

Sadly, brand new IRS rules from the Trump administration “will no longer force Kochs and other groups to disclose donors,” as the New York Times reportedTuesday. That means major anti-climate groups, like Americans for Prosperity, will not have to report that it is heavily backed by the Koch brothers, who are billionaire fossil fuel barons.

In short, tracking the role of dirty money in politics just got a lot harder.

The bottom line is that one major reason for the lack of action on climate change is that, for nearly two decades, the opponents of serious action have been vastly outspending the proponents.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Potatoes stop growing in parched earth of north County Dublin
« Reply #101 on: July 28, 2018, 11:20:59 AM »
Potatoes stop growing in parched earth of north County Dublin
Farmer says shortage of various staple vegetables will hit in next two to three weeks



David Rodgers says dry weather has forced his potato plants into “shutting down”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

David Rodgers, the second generation of his family growing potatoes in Ballyboughal, and his father have never experienced anything like it.

So parched is the earth in this famously lush and fertile north Co Dublin countryside – renowned for its food produce – that potatoes are not growing at all.

There is definitely going to be a scarcity of potatoes and vegetables in Ireland, ” he says gloomily, “I think it will start hitting in the next two to three weeks.

“You might go to the shop and see there is no carrots, parsnips or turnips for sale. You might have to look for pasta or rice instead of potatoes,” he says.

One of four brothers who grow Queens, Kerr’s Pinks and mostly Roosters over 250 acres, they supply Country Crest, which in turn supplies Tesco.

Rodgers says the unprecedented conditions over recent weeks – from an exceptionally cold spring to a record-breaking hot summer – have forced his potato plants into “shutting down”.

Even more unusually, as they come out of dormancy with milder temperatures returning, they are essentially “going to seed underground”. This means no potatoes.

“We’re looking at half of the crop not making it,” he says.

“We have never seen this before, we don’t know what to do. We’re very concerned.

“Our native varieties never really had to withstand temperatures of 30C before.

Irrigation access

“I know there was a trial done to try and grow Roosters in Spain, and they wouldn’t grow – maybe now we know why.”

The experts appear to be equally flummoxed and are ringing around their counterparts in the UK and further afield for solutions.

Mr Rodgers spent €50,000 on irrigation equipment and drilling a well, but the new water system can only reach 50 acres – a mere fifth of his crops. He is up during the night checking on it.

David Rodgers with his potato plant farm at Ballyboughal, Co Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
David Rodgers with his potato plant farm at Ballyboughal, Co Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

There are 250 potato growers in Ireland, from small farmers with a few acres to big commercial firms. The top-producing 150 are behind nine out of every 10 spuds eaten in Ireland.

But even the big growers do not have ready access to irrigation.

Three-quarters of the national crop is not getting any water, says Shay Phelan, a potato expert with State agriculture and food agency Teagasc, who is battling to help growers cope with the crisis.

In many cases, where fields are rented for a year, it makes no financial sense to bore a well. The failed crops will be left to nature.

Phelan estimates that the tonnage of potatoes harvested in Ireland this year will fall by a fifth “easily”. If the dry spells continue, this could plunge much more dramatically.

East coast

Donegal growers are doing better than most. The country’s core band of producers, running from Meath along the east coast to Wexford and into Cork, are worst hit by the drought.

While restaurants and chip shops face higher costs for their usually imported supply – a global shortage is also looming – households around the country could be forced to ration the nation’s favourite staple.

“I don’t think we’ll be running out in the chip shops come December or January, but they will be supplied at a price,” says Mr Phelan.

“They will be scarcer.”

In Ballyboughal, Mr Rodgers is sombre, looking over his fields.

Like everyone he has his outgoings – not least, three sons: one studying agriculture in UCD; one just finished his Leaving Certificate and hoping to go to DCU; and the youngest studying for his Junior Certificate.

“It doesn’t look good. Growers are only realising it now when they look at the crop and see these sprouts growing out of the potato,” he says, “It could be devastating, I don’t even want to go there.”

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline RE

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🔥 🌎 On the Edge of Hothouse Earth
« Reply #102 on: August 08, 2018, 12:40:45 AM »
The Dr. McStinksion Hypothesis goes MSM.

RE

https://www.businessinsider.com/hothouse-earth-climate-change-tipping-point-2018-8

The world could hit a tipping point that causes warming to spiral out of control — a scenario scientists call 'Hothouse Earth'
Kevin Loria
47m


earth from space apollo 8 nasaEarth could cross a sort of tipping point that would trigger further warming. NASA

    Humans have changed the world's climate systems by emitting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
    According to a new paper, humans could warm the world so much that we'd cause the planet's natural climate systems to trigger further warming — a scenario called "Hothouse Earth."
    In that world, the average temperature could rise 4 or 5 degrees Celsius more than it already has, leading to extreme heat and up to 200 feet of sea-level rise .


Our ability to keep Earth habitable may be more limited than we realize.

Human activity could push the planet over a number of tipping points that would cause global temperatures to rise even higher than we've driven them already, according to a new paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .

The research suggests that certain natural systems on the planet could be activated by warming and consequently trigger further warming. In that situation, Earth's average temperature might reach 4 or 5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures. (For context, the goal of the Paris agreement was to prevent temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C.)

The paper's authors refer to this scenario as "Hothouse Earth."

"These tipping elements can potentially act like a row of dominoes," Johan Rockström, a co-author of the paper and the executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, said in a news release . "Once one is pushed over, it pushes Earth towards another. It may be very difficult or impossible to stop the whole row of dominoes from tumbling over. Places on Earth will become uninhabitable if 'Hothouse Earth' becomes the reality."

If this were to happen, the world would become far warmer than it's been for at least the past 1.2 million years. Sea levels around the globe would likely rise between 33 and 200 feet higher than they are now.

The rise of the Anthropocene


hottest year REUTERS/Stringer

Over many hundreds of thousands of years, Earth's temperature has naturally crept up and down by a few degrees.

Just a few degrees make a huge difference over time: those seemingly small fluctuations took the world between glacial (cold) and interglacial (warmer) conditions.

Studies of these past systems indicate that the last time the world was about 4 degrees C cooler than now, there was an ice age. Glaciers covered large parts of North America.

In the present era, humans have played a major role in changing the global temperature. By releasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, we've altered Earth's atmosphere in a way that has led it to trap more heat from the sun. That has caused global temperatures to creep up — they've already risen more than 1 degree C higher than in pre-industrial times.

That is why many scientists refer to this era as the Anthropocene.

This human-created system will continue to raise temperatures: the more greenhouse gases we pump into atmosphere, the more heat we'll trap. That's the reason so many scientists see cutting emissions as an urgent priority.

The world is not on track to accomplish the goal of the Paris agreement, which aims to prevent some of the worst effects of climate change by cutting emissions enough to keep the global temperature from rising more than degrees Celsius.

And even if we could stay below that threshold, there are still big questions about how human-caused climate change will influence major natural systems on the planet. Depending on how much and how quickly global temperatures change, some systems that affect climate could be triggered, according to the new paper.

"Our analysis suggests that the Earth System may be approaching a planetary threshold that could lock in a continuing rapid pathway toward much hotter conditions — Hothouse Earth," the authors wrote. "This pathway would be propelled by strong, intrinsic, biogeophysical feedbacks difficult to influence by human actions."

Tipping points that could trigger a 'Hothouse Earth'

If these tipping points were to cascade, a high level of warming could be locked in no matter what humans tried to do.

The list of potential tipping points or cascading systems that the paper discusses includes the thaw of permafrost, which would release trapped greenhouse gases; the death of the Amazon rainforest, which would eliminate one of the most powerful natural ways that atmospheric carbon dioxide gets reduced; and the loss of ice sheets.


pnas hothouseStockholm Resilience Centre

Each of these changes would cause rippling effects that could further warm the world.

Take, for example, the melting and collapse of the Greenland ice sheet. If this were to happen, it could alter a major ocean current: the Atlantic Meridional Ocean Circulation. That in turn could cause sea-level rise (as would the ice sheet loss) and lead heat to build up in the Southern Ocean. Warmer waters, then, would accelerate ice loss in the Antarctic and create a feedback cycle of warming.

The authors emphasize that we don't know when these other processes would be triggered. By changing the world as much as we already have, it's possible humans have already put the planet on a new path.

"The Earth System may already have passed one 'fork in the road' of potential pathways, a bifurcation taking the Earth System out of the next glaciation cycle," the authors wrote.

They think it's possible to take steps that would decrease our chances of a Hothouse Earth scenario. But without action, the world could pass a turning point that we wouldn't be able to undo.
king tide flooding floridaA motorbike navigates through floodwater caused by a seasonal king tide, Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, in Hollywood, Fla. King tides bring in unusually high water levels and can cause local tidal flooding.


AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Avoiding the worst

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, a co-author of the paper, directs the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

"What we do not know yet is whether the climate system can be safely 'parked' near 2 degrees C above preindustrial levels, as the Paris agreement envisages," he said in a statement. "Or if it will, once pushed so far, slip down the slope towards a hothouse planet."

Because we don't know when these feedback processes will kick in, we need to take action to restore Earth's systems back to their natural states as much as possible, the paper says. That means doing more than cutting emissions. It requires planting and improving forests, managing biodiversity, and potentially creating technologies that can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

"Avoiding this scenario requires a redirection of human actions from exploitation to stewardship of the Earth system," lead study author Will Steffen from the Australian National University said in a statement.

If we don't do that, we could end up on the Hothouse Earth path — though it'll take hundreds or thousands of years to see the full extent of those changes.

Some changes are already apparent, though, and many more will be in the coming decades. Researchers say we can already attribute some heat waves to human-caused climate change, and rising seas now threaten coastal cities like Miami .

Many of the extreme weather events we see, including hurricanes and fires, will only become stronger and more frequent in a warmer world. And with heat comes drought and more air pollution, which has particularly bad effects on children .

The tipping points the authors note would take these and other effects of climate change to levels that humans have never experienced.
SEE ALSO: The world faces a future of floods, famine, and extreme heat — here’s what it’ll take to bounce back
NOW WATCH: Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the real problem with climate skeptics
Save As Many As You Can

Offline Eddie

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Re: The Environment Board
« Reply #103 on: August 08, 2018, 11:17:39 AM »
Given, as C5 pointed out this morning, that the current fairly rapid changes we're all noticing are the effects of CO2
that hit the atmosphere 30-40 years ago, and that most experts say things are happening faster, not slower than they'e anticipated by the models that  exist, the only reasonable conclusion is that we're headed for deep shit climate-wise.

All this " might happen" stuff is not only gonna happen, it's happening as we speak. Guy's only real error is that he cherry picks the data to make it look as bad as he can, and that he had the unfortunate hubris to put a definite timeline on what is basically an unknowable future. It will happen, but the certainty of what year it will wipe us all out, is completely misplaced, and it makes a smart guy look like an idiot. Guy is probably right. More or less.

The only thing I ever saw him get real wrong was the "by 2030" part. The basic premise of the loss of the food chain looks pretty inevitable. Makes me want to go sailing and dive the coral reefs before they're all gone.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 05:00:15 PM by Eddie »
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Eddie

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Re: The Environment Board
« Reply #104 on: August 08, 2018, 11:43:51 AM »
And Guy COULD be a good guesser, and we might have one more decade to perfect human consciousness.

 AZ, are we gonna make it in time?
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

 

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