Climate Crisis: Our Last Chance

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This topic contains 423 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by  Marcos 13 hours, 27 minutes ago.

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    This essay makes some pertinent points on capitalism’s inability to reform itself without creating the conditions for a global economic crash.

    However, its “eco-socialist” solutions are nationalisation and a “war-economy” It too resurrects FDR’s New Deal as the model to follow and endorses the Green New Deal policies as proposed by the leftwing of the Democratic Party



    A booming global market for cars has helped drive CO2 emissions to an all-time high in 2018, say researchers.

    The main factor in the near 3% rise has been coal use in China, driven by government efforts to boost a flagging economy.  China, the world’s largest emitter saw emissions rise an estimated 4.7%.

    At UN climate talks in Katowice, the lead researcher Prof Corinne Le Quéré, from the University of East Anglia, told BBC News that the rise in China was down to government activity.

    “For the past two years, the Chinese government has boosted the economy and the economy is based on construction and heavy industry, coal and steel. When you boost the economy you actually see a rise in emissions,” she said

    But emissions from cars, truck and planes using fossil fuels continue to rise in all parts of the world

    Renewables have also grown this year, but are not keeping pace with the CO2 rise.

    The research, carried out by the Global Carbon Project (GCP), says that this year’s “strong” rise is projected to be 2.7%.

    That’s much bigger than 2017’s 1.6%. This will worry scientists as they had seen CO2 emissions relatively flat for the three years before.




    More bad news

    Rising sea levels could become overwhelming sooner than previously believed, according to the authors of the most comprehensive study yet of the accelerating ice melt in Greenland.

    Run-off from this vast northern ice sheet – currently the biggest single source of meltwater adding to the volume of the world’s oceans – is 50% higher than pre-industrial levels and increasing exponentially as a result of manmade global warming, says the paper, published in Nature on Wednesday.

    Almost all of the increase has occurred in the past two decades – a jolt upwards after several centuries of relative stability. This suggests the ice sheet becomes more sensitive as temperatures go up.

    “Greenland ice is melting more in recent decades than at any point in at least the last four centuries, and probably more than at any time in the last seven to eight millennia,” said the lead author Luke Trusel, of Rowan University. We demonstrate that Greenland ice is more sensitive to warming today than in the past – it responds non-linearly due to positive feedbacks inherent to the system. Warming means more today than it did even just a few decades ago.”

    “At some point, sea-level rise will be too fast for us to adapt to, so we really have to avoid this situation by reducing emissions,” said the study’s co-author Michiel van den Broeke of Utrecht University. “I think this is one of the many wake-up calls that we have had in the last few decades. It clearly links manmade global warming to sea-level rise.”



    Further to an earlier post, this quote echoes the urgency

    “With this year’s growth in emissions, it looks like the peak is not yet in sight,” said Professor Corinne Le Quere, from the University of East Anglia, who led the analysis. “To limit global warming to the Paris agreement goal of 1.5C, CO2 emissions would need to decline by 50 per cent by 2030 and reach net zero by around 2050. We are a long way from this and much more needs to be done because if countries stick to the commitments they have already made, we are on track to see 3C of global warming.”



    <p class=”story-body__introduction”>Climate change has significantly boosted the chances of having summer heatwaves in the UK.</p>
    A Met Office study says that the record-breaking heat seen in 2018 was made about 30 times more likely because of emissions from human activity.

    Without warming, the odds of a UK heatwave in any given year were less than half a percent. But a changing climate means this has risen to 12%, or about once every eight years.

    It ain’t half hot, mum




    As predicted by our blog, COP24 cannot agree.

    US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait objected to this meeting “welcoming” the report. Instead, they wanted to support a much more lukewarm phrase, that the conference would “take note” of the report. It appears that the Saudis and the US baulked at the political implications of the UN body putting the IPCC report at its heart.



    Emissions are going up, temperature is going up, agreements are going down. I personally think we are screwed unless there is a global revolution and looking at the people on social media, forums, and whom I meet the very idea of not carrying on as usual, of driving everywhere, of eating meat and dairy, of flying abroad on holiday is preposterous. They’re not interested in even considering small lifestyle changes, let alone sociopolitical revolution.



    ‘They’re not interested in even considering small lifestyle changes, let alone sociopolitical revolution’.

    But you are – and you have to ask yourself what makes you so different from the rest of your species?



    Not that small lifestyle changes are going to do much to solve the problem. That’s shifting the blame and responsibility from capitalism on to us. Under capitalism if workers consume less what would happen is that a bigger proportion of what is produced would go to the capitalists as profits. No, the whole capitalist economic system of production for profit and capital accumulation, which is impeding the matter been dealt with effectively, has to go before anything lasting can be done.



    Wez, I can only say I’ve always been odd…..😄 But although there are millions of us who can see, billions are blind either actually through ignorance or willingly through fear or conviction of different beliefs. Either way, we need a majority to wake up even if only so far as the danger, let alone the solution.


    ALB, agreed. Although lifestyle changes make me personally feel better I grasp the futility.

    We’re screwed.




    Rising carbon dioxide emissions could cause a decline in the brainpower of workers around the world, according to new research.

    A new study by academics at University College London (UCL) found that higher amounts of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere could affect our memory, concentration and decision-making abilities.

    Climate change is likely to make intellectual impairment a far more widespread problem in the decades ahead, according to the researchers. The UCL team said evidence indicated that “human cognitive performance declines with increasing CO2 levels”.

    “Given the likelihood of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration by the end of the 21st century, direct impacts of anthropogenic CO2 emissions on human cognitive performance may be unavoidable.”

    Ummmm?..what was i saying…?????



    Yeah, and it also causes reduced sperm counts, autism, nut allergy, and ….[fill in, to improve your chances of getting research funding and publicity for the results]

    Seriously, this is not what this study found at all. It’s a study by building engineers about how buildings design could be changed if increased CO2 emissions lead to the amount of CO2 generally in the atmosphere rising to a level that affects human thinking ability. They didn’t carry out the research on the effect of CO2 on the brain.

    There is such research and it has been known for ages. Because humans breathe out CO2 its levels in enclosed places where humans congregate such as offices, classrooms, submarines, etc rise to quite high levels (which would be reached in the general atmosphere only in the really, really worst-case scenario). In so far as this is a problem it is independent of global warming and could have been with by building design at any time in the last two hundred years or so. A few pot plants might help too.

    We need to apply more critical thinking to what we read in the papers or hear on the media.




    Green Capitalists get active

    Global investors managing $32tn issued a stark warning to governments at the UN climate summit on Monday, demanding urgent cuts in carbon emissions and the phasing out of all coal burning. Without these, the world faces a financial crash several times worse than the 2008 crisis, they said.

    The investors include some of the world’s biggest pension funds, insurers and asset managers and marks the largest such intervention to date. They say fossil fuel subsidies must end and substantial taxes on carbon be introduced.

    “The long-term nature of the challenge has, in our view, met a zombie-like response by many,” said Chris Newton, of IFM Investors which manages $80bn and is one of the 415 groups that has signed the Global Investor Statement. “This is a recipe for disaster as the impacts of climate change can be sudden, severe and catastrophic.”

    A key demand of the Global Investor Statement is to phase out coal-fired power stations across the world. Peter Damgaard Jensen, the CEO of Danish pension fund PKA, said: “Investors, including PKA, are moving out of coal in their droves given its devastating effects on the climate and public health, compounded by its poor financial performance.”

    Investment firm Schroders said there could be $23tn of global economic losses a year in the long term without rapid action. This permanent economic damage would be almost four times the scale of the impact of the 2008 global financial crisis. Standard and Poor’s rating agency also warned leaders: “Climate change has already started to alter the functioning of our world.”

    The investors include some of the globe’s largest pension funds, such as Calsters and ABP, and insurers, including Aviva, AXA and Zurich. They also want an end to subsidies for coal, oil and gas, which the IMF rates at $5tn a year and which the G20 has been promising to tackle for a decade. This measure alone could cut global CO2 emissions by 10% by 2030, according a UN report released in time for the Poland summit.

    The investors said current national pledges to cut carbon would lead to a catastrophic 3C of global warming and that plans must be dramatically increased by 2020. For developing countries, ”finance is the critical enabler of increasing ambition,” said Niranjali Amerasinghe, of the World Resources Institute.

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