Climate crisis reality check

26 Nov 22: There is an updated post here

You are welcome to disagree with any point although I contend that it is clear.

The climate is fekked. We’ve witnessed extreme weather events on every continent. The climate is fekked because governments worldwide refused to act and instead facilitated rich people – as corporate entities or individuals – fekking it.

Big oil has known for decades that it was fekking the planet and continued regardless.

Thousand of people have already died due to the climate getting destroyed by rich people and governments and thousands more will die. Governments are still failing to accept reality and address the climate crisis. Some have started to in small measure.

People should be held to account for their actions and inactions. People are likely to get killed over it whether legally i.e through a legally sanctioned death penalty, or not.

The US has historically had and the UK repeatedly has and continues to elect political leaders who are incompetent through imbecility.

We are going to suffer extreme food shortages due to the climate being fekked.

Everything is blamed on Russia. Ukraine is not the only place that grows food. Harvests throughout Europe have / will fail.

We should try to make sure that politicians responsible for fekking the climate and planet are not re-elected.

I’m sorry to say that it’s clearly going to get worse.

Continue ReadingClimate crisis reality check

The world burns and the richest profit. It doesn’t have to be this way

Republished from OpenDemocracy under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.

As the effects of the climate crisis are seen in global heatwaves and droughts, oil firms are booming

The last time prices rose this fast was 41 years ago. The last time the UK got through prime ministers this fast was the mid-1970s. The last time there was open war between major European powers was in 1945. The last time the Northern Hemisphere was this hot was probably 125,000 years ago.

Yet the FTSE 100 is worth more than ever, corporate profits are higher than ever, there are more British billionaires than ever. And oil companies are richer than ever.

If we took climate change seriously, the petroleum industry would be bankrupt. These firms borrow billions against the future value of reserves they are yet to drill, but atmospheric physics demands we can’t burn that carbon if we wish civilisation to survive.

If our modern societies are to continue to exist in recognisable form, oil companies’ assets are worthless. And if we aren’t, they are still worthless.

But in reality, fossil fuel giants are doing better than ever. Last week, Shell said it expected to revise upwards the value of oil and gas assets it had previously written down, causing its share prices to leap for joy.

Saudi Arabia, which has struggled for investment ever since it allegedly hung a bunch of businessmen by their feet and beat them until they coughed up their bank details, has been welcomed in from the cold.

In May, oil exporter Saudi Aramco overtook Apple as the most valuable company in the world – the most valuable in human history. This week, just months after pretending to take the climate emergency seriously at COP26, Joe Biden has gone to fist bump Saudi’s narco-in-chief and beg him to pump more death into capitalism’s veins.

Meanwhile, as temperatures across England rise above levels with which human homeostasis can cope, the climate crisis collides with the health crisis.

Crushed by a dozen years of Tory austerity and the government’s incompetent response to COVID, NHS waiting lists are already at an all-time high. Accident and Emergency units are “on the fringe of collapse”, with ambulances queueing up outside hospitals, unable to hand over their patients. This means that over the next few days – when experts predict we will see up to ten thousand excess deaths as a result of the heatwave – vast numbers of people will likely spend time cooking in ambulances.

And with world food supplies already shaken by the war in Ukraine, the heatwave also means worsening global hunger.

Italian farmers are expected to lose a third of summer crops like rice and corn, while Sardinia’s fields have been scoffed by a plague of locusts. In China, soaring temperatures are drying out soil, devastating agriculture of all kinds. East Africa is experiencing one of its driest rainy seasons in 40 years, which, combined with the fact that 40% of Africa’s wheat usually comes from Russia or Ukraine, leaves tens of millions facing hunger.

Food and agriculture billionaires, on the other hand, raised their collective wealth by 45% over the past two years, while global food giant Cargill posted a 63% increase in its profits for last year, the best haul in its nearly 160-year history.

With politics in crisis, people are increasingly realising that they are going to have to fight for the future.

As the world moves out of pandemic mode (if not actually out of the pandemic), we’re entering a new phase of global capitalism.

For big businesses and billionaires, the ‘omnicrisis’ presents a perfect opportunity for disaster capitalism: use the overwhelming sense that everything is on fire to plunder: wrack up prices while keeping wages down, extract, extract, extract, extract.

But this isn’t the inevitable future. The faint echo of promises to ‘build back better’ may have disappeared, and, with politics in crisis, people are increasingly realising that they are going to have to fight for that future.

In Britain, more and more unions are voting to strike against the plunder. As concern about the climate crisis grows, so will action against those driving it. Distrust of our broken politics has deepened, creating a deep volatility.

A vast political fight over what comes next has arrived, just as the Labour Party has abandoned the field and, in the coming months, we can expect something else to rush into that space.

What? That’s up to you.

Republished from OpenDemocracy under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.

Continue ReadingThe world burns and the richest profit. It doesn’t have to be this way

Rebellious Climate Scientists Have Message for Humanity: ‘Mobilize, Mobilize, Mobilize’

Scientists in the Netherlands blocked an entrance to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy in The Hague on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (Photo: Scientist Rebellion / @ScientistRebel1)

In face of the “escalating climate emergency,” the advocacy group Scientist Rebellion warns that IPCC summary to global policymakers remains “alarmingly reserved, docile, and conservative.”

Republished from Common Dreams under a Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

KENNY STANCILApril 6, 2022

Amid a weeklong global civil disobedience campaign to demand climate action commensurate with mounting evidence about the need for swift decarbonization, Scientist Rebellion is highlighting specific gaps between what experts say is necessary and what governments allowed to be published in the United Nations’ latest climate assessment.

“We need a billion climate activists…The time is now. We’ve waited far too long.”

The landmark report on mitigation by Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—part of the U.N.’s sixth comprehensive climate assessment since 1992 and possibly the last to be published with enough time to avert the most catastrophic consequences of the planetary crisis—was compiled by 278 researchers from 65 countries.

The authors, who synthesized thousands of peer-reviewed studies published in the past several years, make clear over the course of nearly 3,000 pages that “without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5°C is beyond reach.”

Meanwhile, a 64-page Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the report—a key reference point for governments—required the approval of all 195 member states of the IPCC and was edited with their input.

Following a contentious weekend of negotiations in which wealthy governments attempted to weaken statements about green financing for low-income nations and fossil fuel-producing countries objected to unequivocal language about the need to quickly eliminate coal, oil, and gas extraction, the IPCC document was published several hours later than expected on Monday.

“Despite the escalating climate emergency and the total absence of emissions cuts, the framing of the final version of the SPM is still alarmingly reserved, docile, and conservative,” Scientist Rebellion, an international alliance of academics who are advocating for systemic political and economic changes in line with scientific findings, said Tuesday in a statement.

“The science has never been clearer: to have any chance of retaining a habitable planet, greenhouse gas emissions must be cut radically now,” the group continued. “Limiting warming to 1.5°C and responding to the climate emergency requires an immediate transformation across all sectors and strata of society, a mobilization of historic proportions: a climate revolution.”

“The IPCC [has] avoided naming the major culprits for 30 years, which is one reason for the absence of real emissions cuts,” the group added. “Facts detailing the complicity of the world’s richest countries in fueling the climate crisis have been watered down by the IPCC’s political review process.”

Scientist Rebellion proceeded to contrast the final version of the SPM—”the document that garners almost all attention”—to an early draft of a summary of the Working Group III report on mitigation that IPCC authors associated with the group leaked last August out of concern that their conclusions would be diluted by policymakers.

Peter Kalmus, a Los Angeles-based climate scientist and author who is participating in this week’s direct actions, told Common Dreams that the shortcomings of governments and policymakers have driven him to act.

Kalmus said he was willing to engage in civil disobedience and risk arrest this week, “because I’ve tried everything else I can think of over the past decade and nothing has worked. I see humanity heading directly toward climate disaster.”

With humanity “currently on track to lose everything we love,” he said, the scientific community must intensify its efforts.

“If we don’t rapidly end the fossil fuel industry and begin acting like Earth breakdown is an emergency, we risk civilizational collapse and potentially the death of billions, not to mention the loss of major critical ecosystems around the world,” said Kalmus. “This is so much bigger than me. Expect climate scientists to be taking such actions repeatedly in the future and in large numbers.”

On Wednesday, direct actions by scientists took place in Berlin, Germany; The Hague, Netherlands; Bogata, Colombia, and other cities.

In its Tuesday assessment, Scientist Rebellion documented how the political review process weakened or eliminated language about carbon inequality and the need for far-reaching socio-economic transformation to slash greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution in the final SPM:

Example 1: Section B6 of the report originally stated that “institutional inertia and a social bias towards the status quo are leading to a risk of locking in future GHG emissions that may be costly or difficult to abate.” This has been replaced with “global GHG emissions in 2030 associated with the implementation of nationally determined contributions… would make it likely that warming will exceed 1.5°C during the 21st century.” The final version also no longer mentions that “vested interests” and a focus on an “incremental rather than a systemic approach” are limiting factors to ambitious transformation.

Example 2: The leaked SPM stated that “within countries, inequalities increased for both income and GHG emissions between 1970 and 2016, with the top 1% accounting for 27% of income growth,” and that “top emitters dominate emissions in key sectors, for example the top 1% account for 50% of GHG emissions from aviation.” Neither statement appears in the final version.

“While the SPM—being approved line-by-line by all governments—is reserved, docile, and conservative, the situation is clear,” said Scientist Rebellion.

The group went on to quote U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, who said Monday that “we are on a fast track to climate disaster.”

As Common Dreams reported Monday, more than 1,000 scientists in at least 25 countries on every continent in the world are expected to participate in strikes, occupations, and other actions this week to highlight “the urgency and injustice of the climate and ecological crisis,” and several demonstrations are already underway. 

Guterres, for his part, said Monday that “climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals, but the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels.”

For his part, Kalmus acknowledged it was going to take much more than a series of direct actions by scientists to turn the tide against inaction.

“We need a billion climate activists,” Kalmus said. “I encourage everyone to consider where we’re heading as a species, and to engage in civil disobedience and other actions. The time is now. We’ve waited far too long.”

“Mobilize, mobilize, mobilize,” he said, “before we lose everything.”


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Continue ReadingRebellious Climate Scientists Have Message for Humanity: ‘Mobilize, Mobilize, Mobilize’

IPCC report calls for urgent action on climate

In summer, some polar bears do not make the transition from their winter residence on the Svalbard islands to the dense drift ice and pack ice of the high arctic where they would find a plethora of prey. This is due to global climate change which causes the ice around the islands to melt much earlier than previously. The bears need to adapt from their proper food to a diet of detritus, small animals, bird eggs and carcasses of marine animals. Very often they suffer starvation and are doomed to die. The number of these starving animals is sadly increasing.AWeith This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Endangered_arctic_-_starving_polar_bear.jpg

The most recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a UN body) report published today tells us that some impacts of climate change are now irreversible.

[A] liveable future remains within grasp – just. But the window of opportunity for action is “brief and rapidly closing”. The response from UN secretary-general António Guterres was stark: “Delay is death.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/28/what-at-stake-climate-crisis-report-everything

The IPCC report says that we must act now while world governments continue to pursue climate destroying policies. The point is this: We tolerate and suffer these governments and their super-rich masters that they pander to but we don’t have to. We can instead obstruct business as usual, refuse to tolerate and suffer these climate-destroying bastards. We need to act in unity putting away any other differences we might have. Our planet is getting killed, we must act for the sake of our children, young people and future generations. Delay is death.

Instead of responsible government Boris Johnson’s UK government is pursuing climate-harming policies and has stuffed his cabinet with climate-denying ministers. UK Tory MPs are campaigning against climate policies through the Net Zero Scrutiny Group. Legitimate government should be concerned with protecting it’s citizens while Boris Johnson’s UK government is doing the opposite.

IPCC issues ‘bleakest warning yet’ on impacts of climate breakdown

Rupert Murdoch doesn’t understand climate change basics, and that’s a problem

Climate change causing widespread and irreversible impacts, says IPCC

Constituents set up ‘Steve Baker Watch’ over MP’s climate stance

Continue ReadingIPCC report calls for urgent action on climate

Extreme heat in oceans ‘passed point of no return’ in 2014

Extreme heat in the world’s oceans passed the “point of no return” in 2014 and has become the new normal, according to research.

Scientists analysed sea surface temperatures over the last 150 years, which have risen because of global heating. They found that extreme temperatures occurring just 2% of the time a century ago have occurred at least 50% of the time across the global ocean since 2014.

In some hotspots, extreme temperatures occur 90% of the time, severely affecting wildlife. More than 90% of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases is absorbed by the ocean, which plays a critical role in maintaining a stable climate.

“By using this measure of extremes, we’ve shown that climate change is not something that is uncertain and may happen in the distant future – it’s something that is a historical fact and has occurred already,” said Kyle Van Houtan, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, US, and one of the research team. “Extreme climate change is here, it’s in the ocean, and the ocean underpins all life on Earth.”

The heat content of the top 2,000 metres of the ocean set a new record in 2021, the sixth in a row. Prof John Abraham at the University of St Thomas in Minnesota, one of the team behind the assessment, said ocean heat content was the most relevant to global climate, while surface temperatures were most relevant to weather patterns, as well as many ecosystems.

“Oceans are critical to understanding climate change. They cover about 70% of the planet’s surface and absorb more than 90% of global warming heat,” Abraham said. “The new study is helpful because the researchers look at the surface temperatures. It finds there has been a big increase in extreme heat at the ocean’s surface and that the extremes are increasing over time.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/01/extreme-heat-oceans-passed-point-of-no-return-high-temperatures-wildlife-seas
Continue ReadingExtreme heat in oceans ‘passed point of no return’ in 2014

Scotland leads on wind power

Scotland is hugely expanding it’s wind generated power. Well done Scotland.

Huge ScotWind renewables sale ‘could bring oil-style’ boom to Scotland

17 projects with a combined 25gw potential have been approved in a £700 million sale.

Greta Thunberg, Nicola Sturgeon and Vanessa Nakate at Cop26

The Scottish Government expects to secure at least £1 billion of investment in the Scottish supply chain for every gigawatt of power. Sturgeon says the workforce is “superbly placed with transferable skills to capitalise on the transition to new energy sources” and “people working right now in the oil and gas sector in the North East of Scotland can be confident of opportunities for their future”.

She went on: “While it is not yet possible to say with certainty what the scale of development will ultimately be, there is no doubt that the scale of this opportunity is transformational – both for our environment and the economy.”

Funds raised will be channelled to the Scottish Government and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the “scale of opportunity here is truly historic”.

She said: “ScotWind puts Scotland at the forefront of the global development of offshore wind, represents a massive step forward in our transition to net zero, and will help deliver the supply chain investments and high quality jobs that will make the climate transition a fair one.”

The Scottish Government expects to secure at least £1 billion of investment in the Scottish supply chain for every gigawatt of power. Sturgeon says the workforce is “superbly placed with transferable skills to capitalise on the transition to new energy sources” and “people working right now in the oil and gas sector in the North East of Scotland can be confident of opportunities for their future”.

She went on: “While it is not yet possible to say with certainty what the scale of development will ultimately be, there is no doubt that the scale of this opportunity is transformational – both for our environment and the economy.”

Continue ReadingScotland leads on wind power

Extinction Rebellion unveils plans to mobilise millions for acts of civil disobedience after Cop26’s failures

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/extinction-rebellion-unveils-plans-to-mobilise-millions-for-acts-of-civil-disobedience-after-cop26-failures

Extinction Rebellion (XR) vowed today to begin a major campaign of civil resistance in April, following on from large-scale protests before the coronavirus pandemic.

XR said that world leaders had failed to heed the pleas of experts at Cop26, with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change executive secretary Patricia Espinosa warning that Cop26 leaves the human race continuing to “invest in our own extinction.”

The criticism coincided with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) saying that, in order to avoid global warming exceeding the target of 1.5˚C, greenhouse gas emissions must be cut by 45 per cent by 2030, but the world is on track for a 16 per cent increase in emissions by 2030.

dizzy: Covid disrupted and frustrated climate activism while – of course – it didn’t disrupt or frustrate the continuing damage to the climate. COP26 was disappointing by failing to achieve any meaningful action, a wasted opportunity. Politicians are owned by the filthy rich and powerful.

Politics in UK is continuing to be dominated by the Brexit lies that promoted the Brexit fantasy. We’re on a path as a consequence and a continuation of those Brexit lies and delusions which are mostly xenophobic, racist and divorced from reality.

Continue ReadingExtinction Rebellion unveils plans to mobilise millions for acts of civil disobedience after Cop26’s failures

Extreme Makeover: Human Activities Are Making Some Extreme Events More Frequent or Intense

https://climate.nasa.gov/blog/3125/extreme-makeover-human-activities-are-making-some-extreme-events-more-frequent-or-intense/

By Alan Buis,
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

In Brief:
It’s not your imagination: Certain extreme events, like heat waves, are happening more often and becoming more intense. But what role are humans playing in Earth’s extreme weather and climate event makeover? Scientists are finding clear human fingerprints.

There’s growing evidence that people and the planet are increasingly impacted by extreme events. According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, published in 2018 by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, “more frequent and intense extreme weather and climate-related events, as well as changes in average climate conditions, are expected to continue to damage infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems that provide essential benefits to communities.”

As the impacts of extreme events continue to mount, interest has grown in the scientific community to study whether specific extreme events can be partially attributed to human activities. With the help of climate models, scientists have conducted an impressive array of studies, looking for possible links between human activities and extreme events such as heat waves, rainfall and flooding events, droughts, storms, and wildfires.

A dry lake bed
A dry lake bed. Scientists are seeing an increase in the intensity of droughts. Credit: NOAA

Increasingly, they’re able to draw robust connections. There are reductions in the number of cold waves, increases in the number of heat waves on the ocean and on land, increases in the intensity of rainfall and drought, and increases in the intensity of wildfires. Despite the complications and uniqueness of individual events, scientists are finding significant human contributions to many of them.

An interactive map produced by CarbonBrief in 2020, shown below, provides visible evidence of these studies. On it, red dots represent different extreme events where scientists have found a substantial contribution from human activities – that is, human activities have made these events more frequent or more intense. For some of the blue dots, however (associated with rainfall events), scientists have yet to find a substantial human contribution.

The continued increase in global mean temperatures in response to rising levels of greenhouse gases sets the expectation that we’ll see a corresponding increase in global heat extremes. Indeed, this is being borne out by daily temperature data across the globe. Studies of individual heat waves, such as the devastating event that took place in the Pacific Northwest this summer, suggest such events have become tens to hundreds of times more likely because of human-driven climate change.

global examination of how often heat waves are occurring, as well as their cumulative intensity (how many days heat waves last above a certain temperature level), published last year by Australian scientists from the Climate Change Research Centre and the University of New South Wales Canberra, reveals a clear increase of more than two days per decade in the number of heat wave days since the 1950s.

The intensity of droughts is increasing. It’s not so much that scientists are seeing less rainfall, though that’s certainly happening in some places. Rather, in places where drought conditions exist, soils are becoming drier due to other factors, such as increased soil evaporation and decreased snowpack, which is reducing the amount of river flow during summer and fall. In the American Southwest, scientists estimate human-caused climate change is making droughts 30 to 50 percent more intense. 1

There have been hurricanes and intense storms throughout history, so what’s changed? Model studies confirm that, for instance, about 20 percent of Harvey’s rainfall was attributable to human-produced warming of the climate and waters in the Gulf of Mexico. 2, 3 More generally, climate simulations confirm that this increased intensity is a robust result.

It’s important to note that impacts from extreme events are mainly a question of thresholds – the amount of flooding needed to overtop a levee, or overwhelm storm drains – so every inch (of additional rain) counts. So, while total rainfall may increase only slightly, it’s the extreme precipitation events that disproportionately cause problems.

The Bottom Line

The combination of models and observations, informed by the unique view that space provides, imply that almost all the current multi-decadal trends we’re seeing in climate are the result of human activities. In addition, there’s increasing confidence that human-induced climate change is making extreme events statistically much more likely.

This doesn’t mean every extreme event has a substantial human contribution. But with extreme events such as heat waves, wildfires and intense precipitation, we’re seeing, in event after event, a very clear human fingerprint.

Continue ReadingExtreme Makeover: Human Activities Are Making Some Extreme Events More Frequent or Intense