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A View From The Climate Changed Future

A new sci-fi history looks back on climate change from the year 2393.

This April 28, 2010 file photo, shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Mont. Colstrip figures to be a target in recently released draft rules from the Environmental Protection Agency that call for reducing Montana emissions 21 percent from recent levels by 2030. (AP)

This April 28, 2010 file photo, shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Mont. Colstrip figures to be a target in recently released draft rules from the Environmental Protection Agency that call for reducing Montana emissions 21 percent from recent levels by 2030. (AP)

Here’s a story to chill your bones.  It is the year 2393,  almost 400 years from now.  And a Chinese historian is looking back on our century, the 21st century, and trying to explain how the world saw climate change coming and did nothing.  How we denied and delayed as an unbelievable price tag of suffering and destruction gathered around us.  How that suffering finally came – with flood and heat and mass migration and chaos.  How Western civilization collapsed . This hour On Point:   a horror story from the future about climate change and the rest of our lives.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Naomi Oreskes, professor of the history of science at Harvard University. Co-author, with Erik Conway, of “The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From The Future” and “Merchants of Doubt.” (@NaomiOreskes)

From Tom’s Reading List

Mother Jones: How Western Civilization Ended, Circa 2014 – “You don’t know it yet. There’s no way that you could. But 400 years from now, a historian will write that the time in which you’re now living is the ‘Penumbral Age’ of human history—meaning, the period when a dark shadow began to fall over us all.”

The Guardian: Researchers tackle link between climate change and public health — “‘People tend to look at climate change as just temperatures getting a little hotter and that being something they can manage,’ said Bruce Armstrong, emeritus professor at the University of Sydney’s school of public health  ‘They don’t seriously see the impacts that will flow from a small increase in the average temperature where the net effect will be enormous.”

NPR Books: Has Climate Change Created A New Literary Genre? — “‘The Odds Against Tomorrow’ is the latest in what seems to be an emerging literary genre. Over the past decade, more and more writers have begun to set their novels and short stories in worlds, not unlike our own, where the Earth’s systems are noticeably off-kilter. The genre has come to be called climate fiction — ‘cli-fi,’ for short.”

Read An Excerpt of “The Collapse of Western Civilization” By Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway

 

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  • Egg Man

    its a cli fi book not SCI FI, pleasE!

    • http://onpoint.wbur.org/about-on-point/sam-gale-rosen Sam Gale Rosen

      Wouldn’t cli-fi be a subset of sci-fi?

      • Acnestes

        Sounds like sci-fi is going in the direction of heavy metal, with a zillion sub-genres. Black cli-fi vs., death cli-fi, thrash sci-cli-fi vs. speed cli-sci-fi. And then there’s the whole Goth climate thing. . .

        • http://onpoint.wbur.org/about-on-point/sam-gale-rosen Sam Gale Rosen

          Thrash sci-cli-fi would be if Gwar organized a recycling drive.

    • Charles Vigneron

      NEVER Egg Man.

  • Egg Man

    or as Naomi told me in an email herself a hybrid cli fi book or aka “hi-cli-fi” – smile BUT NOT SCI FI get over it WBUR

  • Jon

    sci-fi or cli-fi, it’s all manifest of the millennia old millennialism and endless search of the meaning.

  • Matt MC

    Just read Oryx and Crake. Talk about that!

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I prefer the term: Global Heating. Thermodynamics uses heat and heat energy as its subject, not warmth and coolth. Signed.. Registered Electrical Engineer {power}

  • Kathy

    Did the Romans write fiction about the collapse of their civilization at the very time it was collapsing? It seems like such a curious exercise.

    • Dave Lister

      They may have lasted longer if they did.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    My friends and family in Alaska don’t care about polar bears. And most of those doons were born there! I’m an ex-pat Alaskan and I’m the only that does care about the ecology back home.

    Alaska is experiencing massive changes in its climate and ecology now. The only folks who seem to have noticed are the professional institutes at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
    {my own alma mater}

    • Don_B1

      It is hard to believe that they have not noticed the road breakups as the permafrost melts?

      And the houses in Fairbanks or Anchorage settling at weird angles must be at least observable.

      But the human mind is capable of incredible amounts of denial, from macroeconomics to science.

  • William

    The left is becoming more desperate to keep pushing the lie of global warming.

    • nj_v2

      Here comes the idiocy.

    • Ray in VT

      I know. They keep on rigging the thermometers to make people just think that temperatures have risen and continue to rise.

      • William

        Gloom and doom always sells well. Just ask any investment writer and they make a killing writing books about the next great depression, stock market crash etc….odd aspect of society.

        • Ray in VT

          Denial seems to sell as well, at least to some people.

    • Kathy

      It’s true. Reality has a liberal bias.

    • Dave Lister

      And they spare no expense either. Look at the lavish lifestyles of all those climate scientists on the take!

      • nj_v2

        ^ Bogus generalization

      • Don_B1

        They all could make a lot more studying a different subject.

  • William

    What will our lives be without birds? How many millions of birds are being slaughtered by wind mills to generate power? Where is the outrage from the Left?

    • Ray in VT

      Are you a paid distractor for the window lobby? Why will you remain silent while they butcher our avian brothers?

    • Don_B1

      For every bird killed by a windmill, probably several are killed by cars, tens are killed hitting glass windows, and hundreds are killed by feral cats.

      Those numbers are only approximations; you are welcome to find the more accurate ones but probably not much different, though the sources used for comparison may not be fully accurate.

      • Ray in VT

        We need to get someone on killing all of those cats. Maybe we can find a volunteer.

      • William

        If it is so minor of a problem for wind mills then why did they demand and get a 30 year waiver to kill endangered birds?

        • Don_B1

          So people like you would not have that issue as a basis for filing frivolous lawsuits.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    When Florida becomes a reef do we get to give up the “lies about sea level rise”?

  • warryer

    It’s always around summer time you see this climate change issue (formerly global warming) being talked about.

    • Don_B1

      First, climate change is caused by global warming, so they are merely aspects of the same phenomenon.

      Of course you knew this, but you find that saying such things confuses those who are scientifically illiterate.

      • JS

        Do not give credit for knowledge where none is due. I’ll take him at his word and believe he doesn’t know the difference, and sees the “name change” as proof that scientists are trying to deceive people.

        • Ray in VT

          Well, they just made up the term polar vortex too.

          • JS

            Yes, and cleverly went back and inserted it into 1960′s textbooks, just like that inserted Obama birth announcement in those newspapers.

          • Ray in VT

            They’re very sneaky.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    No Outer Banks. And no Inner ones, too!

  • Scott B

    As long as we have people that would rather listen to the climate change deniers in Congress, and media pundits, that begin their sentences with “I’m not a scientist, but…” we’ll have this problem.

    The media is part of the problem, treating climate change as if it’s still something to be debated, instead of fact and something that needs to be acted upon. I’d give anything to hear one major network announce that they’re not going to give climate change deniers any more air time.

    • couchdog27

      So true.

      There was research on how if you put the other side to a debate, even if it is proved to be wrong, some will hear it as an equal discussion

      • Scott B

        Look at what the deniers and conservative media are supporting of late: They’re saying that NASA deliberately changed temperature measurements upwards, and inferring it was by several degrees, to manipulate the data for their pro-climate change agenda.

        The truth is that NASA made CORRECTIONS to data from a few observation points, and that the average temperature adjustment of those numbers for each point was .015 (15/1000) of one degree.

        That’s a far cry from scandal, or truth, from the Right.

    • William

      Like the big man said, it is about taking away individual freedom. Free Speech? Nope. Shut it down. Scary idea don’t you think?

      • Ray in VT

        That is the line from the big man who is proud of helping to dumb down America.

        • William

          Vs the Left? How is the Public Education system working out for us? You guys on the Left have certainly dumb down millions of American via that system.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think that it is possible for public education to fail enough to make people as dumb as the Dittoheads and those in the GOP who want to push religion into the science curriculum.

          • Scott B

            I don’t see the left pushing for cuts to education. That seems to be the Right’s agenda, along with an alternative version history.

      • Don_B1

        I don’t have a problem if you want to go down to your town common and stand on a box and spout your thoughts to your heart’s content.

        After a few more years of the current “weird weather” no one will be listening.

        And no one should have to “listen to you” here, either.

        • William

          Why are you people on the Left so afraid of Free Speech?

          • Don_B1

            We are NOT afraid of free speech, but don’t have to LIKE false speech, which you are a big source of.

      • Scott B

        No one is suggesting that people don’t have the right to speak freely. This country was forged out of dissent. However, the science is in, and has been for quite some time. People can debate as to what rate it’s occurring, how much the seas will rise, and so on, but the deniers might as well be arguing that the world is flat and the sun orbits the earth.

        The discussion now should be about what happens when, how, and where; and what we do about it?

    • John Roberts

      As long as the ‘Republican Noise Machine’ dominates all modes of all media, even recognition of the problem (the 1st step) is unlikely.

      • Don_B1

        If you mean in the short term, I totally agree.

        But today’s “weird weather” is being absorbed by osmosis and being assembled into people’s views of the science, and things will change in the longer term.

        Unfortunately that may not be soon enough to avoid the real “weird weather” that will come if humans do not stop burning fossil fuels and releasing the resulting CO2 to the atmosphere.

        • Scott B

          Part of the problem is that people that are misled and uneducated about climate change don’t understand that there’s a difference between weather and climate. Fox Noise, et al, shows a freak blizzard somewhere and says “This is why climate change is a lie,” and their viewers buy into it, not understanding that the 4 feet of snow there is because some other place on the planet, like Australia, that shouldn’t be having weird weather either, is hot, dry, and probably on fire.

          As for the CO2, I just saw an article where the climate change denying, conservative writer was saying that 4x the amount of CO2 in the air would be great because it would mean giant vegetables. HUH?! That much CO2 might be good for plants, but not so much for humans, nor the planet.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Give us your tired your displaced water-logged hoohahs.
    Come to hilly western Pennsylvania.
    Wipe your feet, please.
    And remember: voting is what got you here.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    China is already displacing its people. Buying up real estate all over the world. Up next for China: Greenland and Antarctica.

  • James

    I’m too young to experience it, but I respect the sentiment.
    In 1960 it was over population,
    In 1970 it was “a new ice age”
    In 1980 it was deforestation, and ozone destruction,
    Now it’s global warming
    We might very well be screwed but I won’t blame anyone if they dismissed all of this as the boy who cried wolf.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      In 1955*, the population of the USA was less than half what it is now. HD
      * I was in nursery school then

    • Ray in VT

      There were only a few actual studies that seriously proposed the idea of “a new ice age”. It was a decidedly minority position that was towards the outer fringe of the science.

      • couchdog27

        I am not sure… but some of the things that are leading us to climate change… might also lead to an ice age — but only after earth has been destroyed….

        to the initial point… why is it so hard for people to actually accept the truth??

        • Don_B1

          Try reading this:

          http://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.htm

          there are several (3) levels of detail in explaining why the claim that scientists were predicting a coming ice age are false.

          Of course the press got in the act and distorted the science (as they usually do) as most of them do not understand science, but they do understand what excites people to buy their publications.

          Your last question has been a puzzle for brain scientists for as long as it has been an issue. But it has its origins in our desire for what we want, not what is real.

    • Mike C.

      Is it possible that all of these concerns over a period of decades have contributed to our current situation (“new ice age” not withstanding…)?

    • nj_v2

      It’s still overpopulation.

      It was never “a new ice age” There was never any consensus among climate scientists. (http://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.htm

      http://climatecrocks.com/2013/06/07/the-1970s-ice-age-myth-and-time-magazine-covers-by-david-kirtley/)

      Deforestation is still a serious problem.

      Ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere was halted because the agents which caused the problem, chloro/fluorocarbons, were banned.

      So, your post is totally without merit.

      • James

        The overpopulation predictions of the sixty predicted life today would be as dire as the guest is suggesting.

        • Ray in VT

          And if we tack on a couple of more billion people and we see a substantial loss of land along the coasts, then how is that going to work out?

          • TELew

            I am moving to the mountains.

        • nj_v2

          TImelines are always tricky when predicting the future. Just because things didn’t happen exactly when predicted doesn’t invalidate the central notion of the prediction.

          Earlier predictions notwithstanding, the current population of the planet is not sustainable using the current means of producing food, processing waste, settlement patterns, etc.

          Your previous post attempts to dismiss current, legitimate, rational concerns because certain past predictions (and many of them you cited weren’t even real) turned out to be not completely accurate.

          It’s an untenable, specious premise.

          Another caller (Steve) is doing the same thing right now, invoking “nuclear winter” scenarios re nuclear weapons during the cold war.

          As Ms Oreskes is pointing out, this scenario didn’t happen, arguably, at least in part, because they were taken seriously and the warnings were taken seriously.

          • James

            And yet so called scientist continue to make specific predictions, which specific points of time and numbers, which specifically scares the crap out of the average middle American and then pisses them off when doomsday doesn’t come at the date and time expected and they feel like fools for being terrified in the first place.

          • JS

            Scientist make predictions, and work on ways to prevent such predictions from occurring. The over population crisis was posponed mainly by development of new wheat and grain varieties that are able to feed way more people. A temporary solution at best. As a finite system, the Earth, and especially our ability to feed the people on Earth, is not an unlimited resource.

          • nj_v2

            Aside from the mangled grammar making your point difficult to discern, you’ve put up another low-information post.

            Science doesn’t make “specific predictions.” It uses models with error bars, standard deviations, certain assumptions.

            Get back to us when you’ve learned something about science.

          • Don_B1

            And the Green Revolution, made possible by the use of fertilizers manufactured from fossil fuels, was much more successful than anticipated, thus extending the point where overpopulation would begin to impact the world.

            But new discoveries don’t always come “on time,” and the ways commercial GMO companies are developing new plants are leading mostly to huge negative side effects (toxic weed killers, etc. spreading toxic chemicals throughout the environment) rather than new plants that perform better.

            Climate change is actually reducing the productivity of food plants, reducing the carrying capacity of the earth, pushing overpopulation closer to being in play.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    When the sewage is up to your armpits remember: Mother Nature doesn’t care if you believe or not.

    • weblizard

      Sadly, so true… Every science denier seems to think sticking their fingers in their ears, going “la-la-la” will make the bad things not happen.
      I run a wastewater lab. We won’t repair infrastructure now- what’s going to happen when we will have to _relocate_ all the multimillion dollar WW plants that operate little above sea level?

  • John Roberts

    400 years from now? How about 40 years from now. The only nations capable of doing something about the problem ignore it, deny it, or delay action on much more critical & immediate issue. So, we’ll never get around to taking measurable action on this impending apocalypes until we’re WAY past the tipping point — assuming we don’t provoke a nuclear winter before then.

  • Dave Lister

    I’ve always thought that if the human race was going to do anything big anymore, it would fall to a government not unlike China to do it. If we ever get into space in a meaningful way, it will be because a bunch of autocrats in China decide it’s a good idea. If we ever do anything about climate change, it will be a government that is not paralyzed by politics. It’s not the kind of government I would wish on my kids but ours has lost it’s ability to function, even on the mundane things of everyday business. There’s a reason why the pyramids were build by the Egyptians.

  • Mari McAvenia

    Stratospheric geoengineering ( spraying particulates into the atmosphere to block out sunlight ) has been underway across the globe for many years, already. It has NOT worked out well unless you are a stock speculator betting on the weather. It has caused killing droughts in some areas, devastating rainfall and flooding in others. Next time you look up in the sky and see grid patterns being sprayed by aircraft, which turn into a blanket of milky white haze, you are looking at primitive stratospheric geoengineering. Just look up.

    • JS

      So, this is so widespread, there should be first hand accounts by the people actually involved admitting it. Are there any?

      • Mari McAvenia

        Yes. Kristin Meghan is one good name to google. She was an environmental technician in the US Air Force and has since become a prominent whistleblower due to what she observed while on active duty. Most people who work on these projects do so under top secret DOD clearances, bit by bit, and don’t know the “whole picture”, just their own specific job descriptions. There are many little cogs in the big machine who will do anything for a paycheck and are sworn to ask no questions beyond their immediate “need to know”. Do some independent research. I’ve been at it for over 10 years, now, and it isn’t easy, but it’s worth it if you care to find out what all those long white lines in the sky are being sprayed for. They never used to be there before 1998 and have increased exponentially, all over the world, since then. Good luck.

        • JS

          So, no one in the Aluminum industry, no one in the trucking industry, no airplane mechanics, pilots, no one else? A world wide conspiracy to effect the weather and 1 person comes forward?

          Sorry, but contrails are nothing new, and Weather Change machines on such a scale are the stuff of James Bond, not reality.

          I have done independent research, and I have yet to see any compelling evidence.

          • Mari McAvenia

            You see it your way and I’ll see it mine. Obviously, you want to debunk stratospheric geoengineering as a “conspiracy theory” while millions more of us – all over the world – want to find out the truth. There are declassified briefs clearly stating the goal of this operation – see “Owning the Weather By 2025″, a US military document explaining that altering the climate is a desirable “force multiplier” – and many more people (Dane Wigington, Scott Stevens, the late Ted Gunderson, etc.) who have set up educational websites on the topic. I will say no more to you. Again, good luck. As the situation becomes more obvious, to everyone who looks up and then looks deeper, you’ll need all the luck you can find to support your debunking theory. The cat, as they say, is outa the bag.

          • JS

            “You will say no more” – time to go put on your till foil hat I assume.

            So, you want to find out the “truth”, and have already decided what that truth is. My debunking is based on what I have learb=ned so far, and I am open to vchanging my opinion as facts come in.

            Can you point me to peer reviewed research papers on this topic? So far, when ever I have asked for such, I am steered to papers with research on some topic, that is said to be evidence for stratospheric geoengineering (SE), and no papers expressly on the topic. So, where should I look? I have subscriptions to Geology, the GSA, Groundwater monitoring and Remediation, and access to dozens more through the university library. Where should I start?

            Not websites or blogs, but peer-reviewed research papers.

  • Charles Vigneron

    Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov used “Future Histories” to explore social trends. Get over this cli-fi nonsense. It is based on science and it’s fiction.
    Justin Foote

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Tell your ma
    Tell your pa
    We’re all moving
    To Arkansas.
    –The populace of New Orleans

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    A species whose butt sits on its own shoulders isn’t going to recognize societal threats until after they’ve come and stayed.
    For the long haul.

  • Markus6

    Don’t see that much that is new here. I see books, movies, TV shows, podcasts on our bleak future all the time. Haven’t read the book, so might be great, but the basic idea has been done hundreds of times.

    One problem with this is how hopeless it makes it all seem. I suspect many have switched to denying the science, because there’s no solution. The scientists I hear all seem so fatalistic.

  • Michiganjf

    It doesn’t sound like the book addresses one of the most critical dangers we face, the destruction of most of the natural world… we WILL NOT SURVIVE the disappearance of a world with which we share a crucial symbiosis.

    Humans themselves are comprised of 90 percent micro-organisms, in terms of the number of cells in a typical human body; we also depend on the natural world to oxygenate the air itself, not to mention to grow food, fertilize the soil, pollinate, etc…

    If we are looking at a level of mass extinction on the order of 70-95 percent of the variety of species on Earth, which is WELL WITHIN the realm of probability, then we ourselves will not survive the cataclysm we’ve created.

    Climate change deniers aren’t just ignorant and stupid, they’re dangerous to the future of humanity.

  • gregory rotello

    I’d like to hear more about a worldwide methane hydrate release and the runaway green house effect. great show !

  • Ray in VT

    Well, as long as we just choose not to believe something then it isn’t real, right?

    • couchdog27

      you could post this about the GOP, just about every 10 minutes…

      It is kind of weird how lock step they are on so many issues — and so wrong

      • Mike C.

        If you tell a lie often enough, people will start to believe it. Who said that originally? Oh yeah, Hitler.

        • couchdog27

          Maybe that is it.. To me it would seem that some republicans would understand the truth, but I guess if they tell themselves the opposite enough — they no longer know a fact as it actually exists

          • Ray in VT

            I did hear it said that quite a few in the GOP really do know and understand the facts. It is just that they would be run out of town on a rail if they came out and said so.

          • Mike C.

            Are they really lying to themselves as much as lying to us? I think they want us to believe whatever serves to benefit them the most?

    • nj_v2

      It’s like a little kid who holds their hands over their eyes and thinks you can’t see them.

      • Ray in VT

        My daughter has just recently figured out that I’m still there when I cover my eyes, but she still thinks that she’s invisible when she closes hers.

      • JS

        Or like the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, a creature so mind-bogglingly stupid that it assumes that if one cannot see it, then it cannot see said person.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Gravity is not a belief system.

  • Mari McAvenia

    “Rolling Coal” is the choking, antisocial equivalent of “truck balls”. The people who do this are ignorant to the bone and damn proud of it.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Chinese-supplied BBQ, all ’round. HD

      • nj_v2

        Two contaminated rat burgers for me, well done, please!

    • Joe Mahma

      Pickup truck drivers…

    • TFRX

      Coal Rollers feel the need to put signs on their trucks stating that they’re “Prius Repellants”.

      What’s the point of a symbol if one has to explain it?

      I can’t imagine a Truck Nuts user who needs to use a sign.

  • Boz K

    Naomi Orskes in her book offers us a much needed perspective that we
    would otherwise not have. If we could really see the future that
    humanity is creating would we be as complacent or would we make
    immediate and radical changes to our lifestyles and living habits? I
    think a person living in the 1820′s, were they to see our world of
    today, would simply say “No thank you, the future is horrific”.

  • couchdog27

    China is going to be more advanced than the U.S. when it comes to technology… bong water… how can we accept this?!?!

    What is next they will produce a dumber tea party?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Jesus loves me this I know:
    Nanook is an Eskimo.*

    * Except his home is underwater.

  • Nicabod

    One of our problems is the exaltation of idiocy, and regarding The Enlightenment as silly, assuming the exalters have even heard of it.
    Increasing disregard of science surely doesn’t help, either.

    I found a map online of the world showing ocean coastlines for iirc a 100-meter sea level rise, and was quite surprised to see Memphis, Tenn. just slightly seaward from the shore. Of course, all of Florida was underwater.
    I’m not sure the map’s creator fully allowed for the effects on rivers.

    One comment about runaway release of methane from the melted permafrost said that average Earth temperature might rise by 30 degrees; unfortunately, whether Celsius or Fahrenheit, I don’t recall.

    In such a case, will the remaining humans try to survive on Antarctica?
    There’s a good possibility that the extremophiles, such as iirc those found near black smokers in ocean deeps, will survive.

    One point is that we won’t be as worried about overpopulation.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Come to Beautiful Springfield, IL: the New Chicago on Lake Michigan. HD

    • Ray in VT

      A 30 degree increase would seem to be way outside of what would seem at all likely.

      • Charles Vigneron

        What would prevent it? Why is there some upper limit to increase? We could become like Venus.

        • Ray in VT

          Well, that is true. Ultimately anything could be possible. Just based upon what I have read I don’t know as many, if any, scientists would stand by that number as a result of thawing permafrost, but I may be wrong.

          • Nicabod

            I was quite surprised, but methane, and apparently there’s quite a lot in the permafrost (as well as in methane hydrates) is far more potent as a “greenhouse gas”. However, I don’t know enough, but tend to trust responsible and well-informed scientists. I heard the figure in passing, in an interview on the program Living On Earth, highly recommended, probably two or three weeks ago.

            This morning’s* OnPoint Radio, second hour, was exceptionally interesting; guest was the author of an imaginary novel set about three centuries in the future — Western Civ. had disintegrated, and the Chinese historian was wondering why we had let the Earth’s temp. rise so much.
            *2014-07-29

            No promises, but I’ll try to find the author and title. She just might become our contemporary counterpart to Rachel Carson

    • Matt Farkas

      Some Paleo climate records, re PETM, suggest only 20% of earth’s surface habitable by humans… there is always underground (PVs above, LEDs below to grow food)…

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    People with money:
    1. Always survive
    2. Always move on
    3. Always get more.. everything.

    • Mari McAvenia

      People with money die, too. They don’t want to believe that, but it’s true. Hoarding of ANYTHING to excess is a mental disease. Money can’t buy sanity.

      • Joe Mahma

        “A new report shows that 64 percent of Chinese millionaires have either emigrated or plan to emigrate—taking their spending and fortunes with them. The United States is their favorite destination.”

        • TELew

          Source?

  • Joe Mahma

    .
    The most important thing – the *economy* above all else. Our current president is suffering a record low approval rating because of it and it will always trump environmental issues in the US right up until the day people are just falling over dead in the streets.
    .

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Re: Global Heating, Climate Change, Sea Level Rise
    Yeah We’re back in the U.S.S.R.
    You don’t know how lucky you are boys
    Back in the U.S.S.R.

    Bring your own survival suit.

  • Scott B

    Look at what the deniers and conservative media are supporting of
    late: They’re saying that NASA deliberately changed temperature
    measurements upwards, and inferring it was by several degrees, to
    manipulate the data for their pro-climate change agenda.

    The truth is that NASA made CORRECTIONS to data from some of their observation points, and that the average temperature adjustment of those numbers for each point was .015 (15/1000) of one degree.

    That’s a far cry from scandal, or truth, from the Right.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    No politician ever worked. There’s the first myth we can dispense with.

  • Kathy

    After listening to the last climate skeptic caller, I would like to make a modest proposal that On Point pledge to screen callers and guests on this issue and present them in the same percentage of climate scientists on each side of the issue. So for every 33 callers or guests, 32 will be believers in climate change and 1 will be a skeptic.

    • Markus6

      98% of scientists and engineers thought Y2K was going to be a disaster. I made that number up, but it’s probably close. The Y2K deniers were drowned out and made fun of. Lots of other examples of how technical professionals got it wrong.

      I believe in global warming and that it’s man made. But, IMO, NPR already biases their speakers to the left. I want to hear the other side. And, in this case, the guy talking made good arguments. I disagree with them, but he was rational.

      • JS

        Wasn’t a massive effort put it to ensure that most computers were Y2K compliant? Something was done, so disruption was averted.

        • nj_v2

          Oops, sorry. Didn’t notice you already address this bit of bogosity, and with fewer words.

        • Markus6

          Yup and I appreciate that you were polite with your disagreement. See above comment.

      • nj_v2

        Unencumbered by facts, and desperately hoping to be taken seriously, Marcus6 proffers:

        “98% of scientists and engineers thought Y2K was going to be a disaster. I made that number up, but it’s probably close. The Y2K deniers were drowned out and made fun of. Lots of other examples of how technical professionals got it wrong.”

        The “number” wasn’t the only thing Markus6 made up.

        No one got anything wrong. There was widespread, documented concern about what would happen if the date coding, present in essential software that controlled everything from banking transactions to transportation routing to sewage treatment wasn’t corrected.

        The problems didn’t happen because IT professionals spent a gazillion hours (i’m not sure, but i made that number up) rewriting code before deadline of the year change.

        • Markus6

          Actually, the Y2K problem was studied a lot. There were sectors that did almost nothing about it and some, like the US that spent billions. One example is Germany who barely spent anything to remediate it, shared many of the same systems and had almost exactly the same results as those who spent many times the amount. They, and a few others, were the control.

          Does this make any difference to you? And why make this personal by the insult?

          • JS

            A quick and dirty Google showed Germany spent almost as much as USA in percentage of IT budget, and had some problems:

            http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-CPRT-106sprt10/pdf/GPO-CPRT-106sprt10-15.pdf

            According ti this link above, Germany spent almost as much as the USA in percentage of total IT budget.

            And from this link:

            http://www.cs.swarthmore.edu/~eroberts/cs91/projects/y2k/Y2K_Errors.html

            Payroll software at Berlin’s German Opera denied certain employees government mandated subsidies for families with children. When year 2000 arrived, the computers date was 1900. This caused a person born in 1995 to appear 95 years old, making the parents ineligible for the government subsidy

            And then there this:

            http://www.finextra.com/news/fullstory.aspx?newsitemid=20916

          • Markus6

            Good points. Reminds me that I could be wrong on this.

            We analyzed a lot of the studies, but I don’t remember the PWC one. Self reporting is always iffy, but I’ve never seen a study, that wasn’t flawed. That said, they’re a disciplined group, so it has credibility. The others have a history of finding what the sponsor wants.

            Anyway, if I have time, I’ll read through these as, like I said, I could be wrong. In truth, I don’t have much time for this, but it was refreshing getting a response that wasn’t name calling or a cheap shot. Reminds me that there are thoughtful people on this forum.

          • nj_v2

            Unless you have references, i’ll assume you’re just blowing smoke. Comparing Y2K and climate change is apples and hammers.

          • pete18

            “And why make this personal by the insult?”

            I’m guessing it’s some sort of
            Tourette’s thing with him. Must be so much fun at parties.

    • James

      That history isn’t litter with doomsday predictions (even ignoring religion) that didn’t come to pass isn’t “climate skepticism” It’s historical fact, even the guest acknowledged that.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      The BBC tried censorship and it was a massive fail. There is already too much propaganda regarding the uncertainty in the science.

      • Ray in VT

        Yes there is …. from the “skeptics”.

        • Jack Martin

          All the Glade ever made can’t cover Tfarty stench.

      • Kathy

        Is reporting the truth rather than the fantasies of the Republican Party “censorship?”

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Is there a Republican party in Great Britain? If so, I’ve never heard of them.

    • William

      Should NPR/PBS run some sort of “reeducation camp?” too?

  • Ray in VT

    I think that the author hit on an important connection between free market fundamentalism/worship and refusal to accept the position of the scientific community regarding climate change.

  • Guest

    On Point pushing more man-made, global warming ‘science’ which has been thoroughly repudiated.

    • Ray in VT

      “Repudiated” by whom exactly? “Skeptics” certainly do refuse to accept climate science, but claiming that something is untrue and it actually being untrue are two entirely different things.

  • Mark

    Tom- you embarrassed yourself today. You spoke as though the events in this book were unquestionably going to occur, because the book was “based on science”. Haven’t you been around long enough to know better? Have you been given your flying car yet? If Chris Matthews was listening, he was probably shaking his head and saying “This guy is unhinged.”

    • Don_B1

      Tom did not embarrass himself today. He, as did the guest, Naomi Orestes, continually made clear that it was a fiction book based on real science. That climate science has predicted “weird weather” much like what is occurring now!

      From what I can determine from the picture you use as an analog, it was before and during the Civil War that scientists in Europe laid the foundations for climate science. How it has developed since has only shown its clear empirical foundations and its ability to predict climatic aspects of the future, first on a global level and now in many ways that apply to continents and large sections of continents.

      See

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/

      for a more complete discussion of the predictability of climate science. I hope you really want to learn enough to do the requisite homework.

  • grifdog

    Why is that when as exampled in your show…. Politicians …
    This time Marc Rubio state emphatically that climate change is not occurring and is not a valid issue……
    that no knowledgeable person representing the contrary…… asks them to defend with specific reference to current & opposing scientific study….
    the foundation of their position……Dumb

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    The climate models on which the alarmism is based have been wrong time and time again. That isn’t good enough so now they turn to science fiction to spread the fear.

    • Ray in VT

      I know, they haven’t been totally right on, so we can probably just disregard them, especially since the corrupt and incompetent fudge the temperature records and don’t know where to site their stations.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        I’m not sure if they are ‘corrupt’ but they’ve been changed. The ’30s used to the hottest decade until the record was modified.

        • Ray in VT

          I’m sure that it had nothing to do with “The most important bias in the U.S. temperature record occurred with the systematic change in observing times from the afternoon, when it is warm, to morning, when it is cooler.” http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-references/faq/temperature-monitoring.php

          I mean it couldn’t be something so simple as they used to take the official temperatures during a time of day when it was warmer.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I’m keeping an open mind. It is possible that all the adjustments that cool the past and warm the present are Kosher but I also think it is OK to be skeptical on this one. Many folks are studying it so if there are errors I believe they’ll find it. We can all applaud anything that improves the accuracy — right?

            btw — this is why I like the satellite monitoring. Little opportunity for monkey business.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that being skeptical here gets awfully close to conspiracy thinking. Why put out all of the real data out there if one is engaged in some sort of “monkey business”? I think that that is just crazy. I am all for improved accuracy, I just don’t think that many of the “folks” who may be studying this are necessarily interested in such.

            Of course the satellites also have had problems regarding drift and some questions as to whether or not they are providing full and accurate coverage. True they accurately measure what they measure, but how indicative is that of all that is going on, which would seem to be why NOAA and the NCDC do not rely solely upon them.

          • nj_v2

            Given your posting history and citation of sources on this subject, you have no credibility whatsoever.

          • Don_B1

            Great reference!

            Another part of the cause of warmer temperatures in the 1930s was the effects of the dust bowl, which dried out the soil resulting in lower water vapor in the air because of lower source levels and therefore less heat absorbed by the evaporation process, resulting in even drier soil as the little moisture left in the ground evaporated as heat rose, a positive feedback situation.

            The data used to show global warming was verified by Professor Richard Muller with partial funding from the Koch Brothers’ foundation, known as the Berkeley Earth Temperature Study (BEST), after being trumpeted as certain to destroy the “warming myth” by WUWT.

          • Ray in VT

            and somehow, after pledging to stand by the findings, it seems as though Mr. Watts has been less than willing to fully support the BEST findings.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          You believe that bunk-filled movie over the science? The 1930′s were not the warmest decade. Not even close.

          The graph in the movie was made up …

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Movie? NOAA had the ’30s as the warmest decade UNTIL they adjusted the data.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            So it’s a conspiracy? Really?

    • irishtap

      Actually the science is quite sound and consistent. Ice core samples taken at the Arctic provide accurate CO2 level readings as reliable as the ‘rings of a tree trunk reveal it’s age’. Those cores provide undeniable verification of the accelerated increase of CO2 into the atmosphere as a correlation from the beginning of the industrial age, to present day and to the changes predicted and being observed. There is no ambiguity here. Scientists of course, are cognizant of the several climate swings the earth has experienced over millenia – what is occuring now shows a rapid acceleration that is tied to human activity. The CEO of Exxon/Mobil (of all people) has finally acknowledged climate change as a factual event ‘which needs to be managed’.
      Exhaustive, empiricly based studies document migration adjustments of hundreds of North American bird species, as well as mammals and insects. Perhaps if you don’t trust scientific analysis, you can simply Google how various corporations have been adjusting their production methods in the face of ‘climate change’. For example, German brewers have been researching how to use or create hops that can thrive in very warm climates, since the 1980′s. Starbucks has stated the arabica bean could become very difficult to find as the planet warms. Italy may be forced to import grains to make pasta in a few decades. There is testimony from industry and local governments to shatter any notion of a “grand conspiracy”, simply do a little research.
      Evidence is abundant, ubiquitous and irrefutable. You mentioned “alarmism”. What I find alarming WorriedfortheCountry, is the likelyhood there is probably nothing anyone could say or do to convince naysayers such as yourself ‘our only home planet is in peril’. I ask why? Have you become so jaded that you resist these truths? I couldn’t blame you yet, the biology of the planet has no political axe to grind, it is simply reacting to a high infusion of co2 gas it can no longer absorb efficiently or sufficiently to mitigate the inevitable consequences. What will it take to convince you? Please understand, I truly mean you no disrespect. In fact, I WANT you to be right, I really do. Best wishes to you and yours.

      • Don_B1

        In addition, look at the reports put out by the big insurance re-insurers, such as Munich Re. Swiss Re, Hanover Re and (the well-known) Lloyds of London. Berkshire Hathaway is next in size.

        These companies make their money by correctly understanding the risks of insured properties from environmental events, among other things, so they cannot afford to be as wrong as WftC’s post claims.

        But WftC is a “true believer” in a fantasy world and there is little hope that he will change his mind until he loses, almost loses, most of his savings because of his false beliefs.

    • nj_v2

      The nonsense on which your delusional posts are based has been wrong time and time again.

      • Tim Truemper

        Need data for that comment

    • Tim Truemper

      No they have not- not in the least. And in most cases when they have not been precisely accurate, they have underestimated the effects

  • WorriedfortheCountry
    • Ray in VT

      Maybe someone can slide some oil or coal money his way. It certainly pays for Heartland and Friends of Science, etc.

    • nj_v2

      Yet another GDS* sufferer. Please seek professional help.

      * Gore Derangement Syndrome

      • Tim Truemper

        Looks like you have something in common with John Barba- of course, he thinks its progressive that do all the name calling.

    • John Barba

      That would be funny if weren’t true.

      • Tim Truemper

        Except its not- its trite and vapid unfounded criticism that feels good for those who agree with its “humor”

  • BlueNH

    If only 1/10 of these scenarios occur in the next few centuries, why aren’t parents and grandparents marching in the streets demanding action and changing their lifestyles?

    The books sounds frightening, very similar to “The Age of Stupid” film and the ABC special “Earth 2100″.

  • Jack Martin

    7-28: BBC reports wheat crop failures in India due to too much heat.
    Wheat is a commodity just like gas. Look for bread/ anything with flour to soar in price in the next quarters. Remember: Monsanto can’t Frack for wheat. Every hungry nation will have food riots; and all our drones can’t stop it.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      In 2010, there was a 40% loss in the wheat crop in Russia. Which had a lot to do with the Arab Spring.

    • hennorama

      Jack Martin — the July USDA crop report estimates that global wheat production exceeds demand, and the supply estimate is at a three-year high. Wheat commodity prices have also been in a multi-month downtrend.

      See:
      http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/wheat.aspx?timeframe=3y

  • Francis King

    Of all the reports and news flashes this si-fi book hits home for me. Pointing out how industry & advertising sees the global warming issue we are mostly not in panic mode as we all should be! It is a shame that major electricity companies get sub-cities and tax breaks for green energy yet, there are NO incentives or tax breaks for individuals going on their own and getting off grid or building alternative style Green homes! As a green supporter I feel alone and subdues as city ordinances and building codes prevent many of us to erect windmill towers or (unsightly) solar collectors with-in metro areas throughout the USA and Canada!

    • Matt Farkas

      Net metering is under attack nationally and some places are charging people to provide electric from PVs…

  • Matt Farkas

    We must stop debating with the flat earthers.

    Jacobson and Delucchi have outlined a Wind Water Solar solution.

    http://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/ReviewSolGW09.pdf

    WWII mobilization showed what a planned+market economy can do in a very short period of time, and doing it by creating money.

    (from

    http://www.amazon.com/Monetary-History-United-States-1867-1960/dp/0691003548

    p 571)

    “In terms of federal government expenditures during the period of
    war-time deficits, 48 per cent was financed by explicit taxes; 7 per
    cent by direct government money creation; 14 per cent by private money
    issue, which can be regarded as the indirect effect of government money
    creation but had as its nominal counterpart interest-bearing rather than
    non-interest-bearing government debt; and 31 per cent by
    interest-bearing government securities not matched by money creation. ”

    So, even in a quasi-market system, we could do this, now, with current technology.

    Of course a participatory economic model would be more a efficient and just (see Michael Albert).

    Otherwise, we’ll likely face the Oryx and Crake scenario…

    • Mark

      Their theories are just that. They have never built anything.

      • Matt Farkas

        How do you think the US economy completely re-tooled, and starting producing tanks, planes and ships to fight the Nazis? There was a plan that was drawn up by the same sort of folk who draw up car plans, building plans and city plans… then the plan was followed. That’s how big things are built. If you read the paper, you can see how plausible, and doable, it is.

        Any complex material item or system must start in theory.

        We did a complete makeover of the economy in 3yrs. to fight WWII, we can do it again. But we have to stop bickering and elect people who will get this done.

        And what if we’re wrong and we shift our economy to all wind, water and solar, all use electric vehicles, hydrogen, compressed air and batteries to store energy? We would end up with real full employment, and clean air. And, by the way, be truly energy independent.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          It will pay for itself even faster than the WWII effort – when we build wind turbines and wave power systems, etc. they produce something that we need. War planes get used for war, but that is the opposite of productive, economically.

          • Matt Farkas

            They will pay for themselves, but of course it may lead to more decentralized control of electric… strange the libertarians aren’t pushing for getting rid of fossil fuel subsidies so that they could more easily have a life off the grid…

            Note that a problem with market incentives is to make stuff that wears out or breaks; war material is one better (falls into the disposables category)… so market economically war stuff better, but ecological economically, wind, water, solar, not to mention cradle to grave products, whereever possible, are better…

        • Mark

          None of the technologies mentioned can provide the energy we need. All have drawbacks. For example, solar cells cannot be made any smaller. The common illustration of this fact is trying to put a drop of water in a bucket smaller than a drop of water. So you can’t power a city with solar cells without covering an area so large that it become infeasible. Like it or not, it’s the fossil fueled internal combustion engine until someone comes up with something completely different. If and when that happens, you can be sure of one thing- he or she will be vilified for the fortune made as a result.

          • Lee E

            Checkout Budischak et al in the Journal of Power Sources. He used real world data (wind, sun and power loads) and found “that the electric system can be powered 90%-99.9% of hours entirely on renewable
            electricity, at costs comparable to today’s”. Or the American Meteorology Society study which showed (again with real world data) that 30 to 40% of the output groups of wind farms can considered base load power.

          • Matt Farkas

            if you read jacobson’s paper, you’ll find the calculations that provide for 30 TW, globally, of power, which is the projection of what will be needed 30 years from now. that’s the beauty of jacobson’s work, like climate science, it relies on simple counting.

            in that paper

            http://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/ReviewSolGW09.pdf

            you’ll find they rely more on wind

            of course, if we changed our living habits, we could do it even more easily…

            and yes, they address the intermittent nature of wind, water solar…

            they also address the problems of biofuel (takes too much land) and nuclear (maybe 100 years worth of fuel, not to mention the problems of waste containment)…

            and notice, they calculate based on current usage habits.

            if we moved to a sustainable economic system, we would need much less energy

          • John Barba

            Solar has a value even if its not right for every situation. Cities have lots of roof tops. Use em! I find it vulgar and offensive how solar farms are popping up in wilderness areas. Where are the Ecologists screaming protection for the horny toads?

          • Tim Truemper

            There are no solar farms in designated wilderness areas. There are solar farms on green space however. And some environmentalists have disagreed with this placement.

          • John Barba

            There are no solar farms in designated areas because there’s no opposition. Build a pipe… oops we need a study to see if the area should be designated.

    • John Barba

      Typical Progressive, call people names who don’t agree with you. Validate science only if it fits your social agenda. Tunnel vision.

      • Matt Farkas

        People that don’t believe in a round earth, gravity or the 19th century science on the effect of CO2 in the atmosphere can’t be argued with.

        As far as validation, check out

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/

        they debunk any mythology about global warming you can through at them…

        and again, what if this enormous body of evidence is somehow wrong, why not have a full employment, more efficient, more healthy economy? we re-made the economy in 3 yrs for WWII, we can do it again now, if we decide we want to…

        and don’t say we don’t have the money, the fed printed 16 trillion to bail out the banks…

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/traceygreenstein/2011/09/20/the-feds-16-trillion-bailouts-under-reported/

        imagine if we’d spent that putting up windmills, covering parking lots and every building with photovoltaics…

        and yes it should be done right; i.e., require every item installed in the US to be made in the US

      • Tim Truemper

        You say that this is a “typical progressive” well, the reason for the “flat earther” moniker is that it refers to people who deny the verified peer reviewed science and are biased toward research that has a pro-industry agenda. Check out the change in mind of the Cal-Berkley researcher who was funded by the Heritage Foundation. After he did his own extensive review of the literature and changed his mind. He testified before a committee of congress dominated by climate deniers- they of course then ignored his findings. Quit looking at the Heartland Institute which distorts the findings of research or depends on people’s opinion without the scientific credentials.

      • Matt Farkas

        what happened to my post on this? maybe it was too long…

        check out http://www.skepticalscience.com/
        for scientific validation

        • John Barba

          I want to see this:
          Scientific method -
          Observation – hypothesis – experiment – observation – repeatability. Why is this not possible? Because the debate is deception. Keep em focused on the fact the earth is getting warmer and distract em from the fact that there is nothing we can do about it. The earth has gone, is going, and will go, through climate changes. Who’s fault was the last one?

  • Matt Farkas

    The silly thing is, most in this country are anything but free. The vast majority are stuck in jobs they don’t like, but must keep, since there’s nothing else available. At the job, where they spend most of their waking hours, they live under an authoritarian regime. Very strange, that in a country that touts freedom, they completely deny it in the workplace (there are successful democratic workplaces around the world… biggest example is Mondragon, in Spain).

  • Pointpanic

    This was a great show but I was put off by the question posed by a friend of the author asking why “saving the polar bear is so important’? Excuse me but someone tell that anthropocentric clown that every animal has a right to exist on planet earth. It is homo sapiens who are destroying the planets life sustaining properties, it is homo sapiens who are the cause of global climate change.Therefore we owe the bear this effort. Plus we should not just think of ourselves.

  • irishtap

    We have the technology to create clean energy. Contrary to ‘sky is falling’ estimates of making adjustment to clean energy, the fact is it can be done with little negative impact to the economy – primarily due to all the jobs such a movement would create.

    • John Barba

      We do not have the technology to control energy being consumed by other countries sharing this same planet.

  • sfwm.son

    what I never understood is the automatic dislike many people have for even trying to clean up our act. The people who lived through the 50′s and 60′s are the ones in charge now and they look at anything “green” with such disdain! I don’t get it. It certainly isn’t going to HURT to go greener, it may even HELP, and it will certainly save money to go renewable. It’s not some big scary communist plot.

    • Charles Vigneron

      In answer to your, “I don’t get it” follow the money is always where to begin…

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      “It certainly isn’t going to HURT to go greener”
      Sometimes it hurts a lot — especially the poor.
      Here in Massachusetts Cape Wind is being pushed down our throats and it hurts. $.20/kwh wholesale in year 1 and escalating to $.34/kwh in year 15.

      • John Barba

        Soon the poor will really know there place. Under the heal of their progressive benefactors.

    • Dave Lister

      people arguing against fighting climate change are basically arguing FOR air pollution…go figure.

    • SlackerInc

      I would definitely like to see us use more low-emissions renewable energy (including nuclear, btw), and “clean up our act” more generally (though I’d rather see the focus being on the erosion of green space, and a worldwide freeze on all old-growth logging and clearcutting for farming).
      But I sometimes feel like I’m the only “Star Trek progressive”, or one of very few. I am totally optimistic that we can invent our way out of trouble. We have already figured out how to deal with the problems we were causing in the Great Lakes and in many rivers, and then with CFCs that were destroying the ozone layer. I expect us to do that with energy as well, and with climate change. Worst case, we will end up resettling a lot of people in Canada, Siberia, and Scandinavia, which doesn’t sound like the end of the world to me.

  • Charles Vigneron

    Read it. WOW! As Tom closing the show, mentioned, “it will stick in your mind,” was on point!
    I expect, as the last caller Steve was dubious of AGW, it will require a heat wave as Chicago had in the 1990s, but a death toll numbering thousands as Europe suffered in 2003 attributing 70,000 deaths. In 2003, here, the news was Iraq and Europe’s woes were ignored by our press. It will be impossible to ignore rows of refrigerated trailers filling with the dead in North American cities. Senator Cruz and like-minded may find themselves suddenly on the wrong side of history.
    This tragedy I expect sooner than later. It’s 104ºF outside as I write, and it’s anticipated we’ll break local records of the number of days of heat > 100º this summer.
    It’s a chilling read Egg Man, whatever you want to call it. goo goo goo joob

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Meanwhile in the real world:
    “Temperature analysis of 5 datasets shows the ‘Great Pause’ has endured for 13 years, 4 months”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/29/temperature-analysis-of-5-datasets-shows-the-great-pause-has-endured-for-13-years-4-months/

    • nj_v2

      Christopher Monkton?!

      Hahahahaha!!

    • LoganEcholls

      You are quoting someone who’s “scientific credentials” culminate with a Bachelors in Classical Literature. Which reminds me, I have some lovely seaside venusian property located in the scenic Maxwell Montes district, and man this property is SO hot right now, but I would be willing to give you a very good price on it. Email me at wearisyourbrain@youllbelieveanythingwithadotcom.com for an out-of-this-world quote.

  • GuestAug27

    Can’t believe the woman kept repeating that “we have a democracy”. No! We have a government by the plutocrats (the 1%) for the plutocrats.
    These plutocrats are making piles of money from the current fossil-fuels based economy. They are also more than willing to “sacrifice” a few hundred million people (preferably, but not necessarily, brown ones) to keep the party going for a few more years because they know they can use their wealth to protect themselves from the impact of the climate change.

  • JS

    Actually the most common element of the collapse of civilizations is the lack of arable soil. Civilizations dont practice soil conservation, their soil erodes away, they ant feed the large populations that resulted from original increases in food production, and the civilization collapses.

    Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations Hardcover – by David R. Montgomery

    http://www.amazon.com/Dirt-Civilizations-David-R-Montgomery/dp/0520248708

  • GuestAug27

    The up-coming climate-related disasters are a clear sign that the economic system called Capitalism has reached its final stage and needs to be discarded (as predicted by Marx over 100 years ago). This is because Capitalism requires continuous economic growth, which just is not possible with world population approaching 8 billion.

    We need to find an alternative to Capitalism before it’s too late, and, yes, the alternative will require a reduction in material consumption in the “Western Civilization” down to a globally sustainable level.

    A book by an economist at the University of Utah, Minqi Li, called “The rise of China and the demise of the capitalist world economy” complements very nicely the book by Oreskes and Conway.

    http://digamo.free.fr/minqili08.pdf

  • myblusky

    Humans are going to inherit the earth they cultivated. We’ve sown the globe with garbage and destruction so that’s what we are going to get back. It’s a simple math equation: garbage in = garbage out.

  • LoganEcholls

    Granted this is a worst case scenario, but we should keep in mind that every time they update the climate model, the timeline for the onset of disastrous consequences seems to get shorter and shorter as we discover more pebbles being loosened in this landslide. Precious few new discoveries seem to about sources of climate stability.

    • anotherneighborhoodactivist

      Every day I open the paper and see news about the unravelling of the ecosystem. We are well and truly on the road to global civilization suicide.

  • celticchrys

    Read “The Windup Girl” and “Shipbreakers” by Paolo Bacigalupi. That is a stunning, scary, oh-it-could-happen-easily view of the future that will shake you.

    • Regular_Listener

      I’ll look into it. I am a fan btw of James H. Kunstler, a writer of both fiction and nonfiction on this subject, whom I first encountered on OP. He is a real curmudgeon who appears to be one of the first in recent years to begin tackling these issues.

  • John Barba

    another hoax – check real population data http://pop.org/content/facts-of-global-depopulation-1518

    • Tim Truemper

      To John Barba- The Population Bomb by Paul Ehrlich was not a hoax. Because of the alarms raised by Ehrlich, many of the population projections were significantly attenuated. This included the rise of education in third world countries and economic opportunity to women which led to lower birth rates.

  • John Barba

    How about a book about the devaluation of human beings as nothing more than chattel and how the human race was tricked into slavery by Progressive overlords promising Shangri-La

    • Matt Farkas

      Yes, those progressive corporations, shrinking the economy, keeping an army of unemployed, expanding the financiasphere, dis-organizing labor, making corporations people, and equating money with speech…

      There probably are lots of books that fit your perception though…

      • John Barba

        There’s a lot of reality to support my thesis.
        Consider this – if fixing a problem eliminates a political talking point i.e. birth control (easily fixable) then we cannot remind the stupid people why they need us. er I mean voters

  • CW

    The States are the entities that won’t be able to handle climate change. The declaration of martial law that she describes will render them and Congress dead letters. You may end up seeing the U.S. survive, but looking more like China with the Executive branch being the paramount surviving authority.

    • The poster formerly known as t

      I think you have it backwards. It’s the U.S. government that won’t be able to handle climate change. Climate change, would most likely weaken complex organizations like the U.S. government, since, with unfavorable climates in the high agricultural yield parts of the U.S., the food needed to feed the people who operate the bureaucracies that comprise the U.S. gov. simply would not be there.

  • jay moynihan
  • jay moynihan
  • The poster formerly known as t

    Interesting. 2030 is when industrial civilization is expected to collapse because of fossil fuel depletion. There are two stories here, I think. One, by burning fossil fuels to obtain our energy, we are imperiling the climate that supports the ecosystems that support human life. Two, we have burned a lot of the high quality fossil fuels and the amount of energy we obtain from fossil fuels will decline as we exploit the low quality fossil fuel deposits.

  • http://flustercucked.blogspot.com/ Frank TheUnderemployedProfessi

    The biggest problem is almost never mentioned by the media — Population Explosion.

    It’s an extremely politically incorrect subject because both Liberals and Conservatives have difficulty with the issue. Conservatives don’t want to acknowledge the issue because it implies a solution of birth control and easily-accessible (if not government-financed) abortion. Liberals don’t like the issue because it is the opposite of touchy-feely.

    However, population explosion is probably the largest driver of our environmental problems. A higher population means a higher strain on the environment and an increased demand to use fossil fuels and polution.

    Two or three hundred years from now when our Global Warming (and population explosion) problems come home to roost, our descendants might look back and despise us. Global Warming is an externality and since we won’t have to really pay for the costs in our lifetime, there isn’t any impetus to deal with it.

    • Regular_Listener

      I couldn’t agree with you more! By not controlling world population growth, we are gearing up for huge problems in the decades to come. I too am very disappointed in our political leaders who refuse to touch the issue. Conservatives (I think) at least seem to be aware of it, but their solution is to destroy the social safety net and allow a Darwinian die-off to take place. Liberals, perhaps in fear of the social engineering label or because those with high birth rates tend to be from minority groups, don’t want to acknowledge it. But over time they will have to – I just hope it won’t be too late to prevent a catastrophe. I wonder what Oreskes and Conway have to say about it.

  • Bud Lewis

    Oreskes and Conway misunderstand what scientists think will happen when an attempt at geoengineering by injecting sulphate into the stratosphere is halted. In their book, a sudden spike in planetary temperature caused by stopping a geoengineering project triggers an apocalypse, i.e. a sudden permfrost thaw which sends 1000 gigatonnes of carbon into the atmosphere in ten years which adds 6 degrees C to the planetary temperature, which causes the West Antarctic ice sheet to collapse, the ice on Greenland to go, the Black Death appears and kills half of Europe, etc.

    Their trigger for this, i.e. the 1 degree temperature spike in 18 months they say is caused by the halt to geoengineering, is not supported by the paper they point to in their footnote. That paper finds that at all times, when you add sulphate to
    the stratosphere in a model, the planet is cooler than it would be if you didn’t. There is a spike in the rate at which the planet warms that occurs just after you stop adding the aerosols, but that is it. At all times, the planet is cooler than if you didn’t geoengineer.

    So they demonize geoengineering while they claim to be writing about the future in order to better understand the present. Instead, because they misunderstand what is presently known, they’ve written a script suitable for Hollywood.

    • Regular_Listener

      I don’t know much about this kind of thing, but you do make a good point. If it is predictable that injecting sulphate into the atmosphere might bring on a catastrophe, then maybe they shouldn’t do it. What would happen if they didn’t?

      • Bud Lewis

        Although Oreskes is telling everyone on her book tour that “absolutely everything that happens in the book is based on scientific data and projections”, the fact is that no scientist has found that stopping an attempt to cool the planet can cause a rapid heating phase that ends up heating the planet twice as much as it was cooled. The paper they cite doesn’t support anything like their scenario.

        People don’t seem to understand that the troposphere is already being loaded up with sulphate aerosols, i.e. satellite sensors show little difference between much of Chinese air and the inside of a semi active volcano like Mt Etna. This sulphate is already thought to be reflecting a lot of heat away from the planet, i.e. the Chinese are inadvertently introducing a significant factor cooling the planet with all the smoke coming out of their power plants. The problem is that smoke only lasts a few weeks in the atmosphere but the CO2 that comes out with it lasts for centuries.

        The original suggestion by Crutzen that sulphate be injected into the stratosphere was so that when or if people like the Chinese get tired of dying left and right as they breathe all this smoke and they decide to drastically reduce it as every other country that became rich enough decided to do, because the morons living on this planet aren’t doing anything significant to reduce their CO2 emissions, heating may be so rapid at that point civilization will want to somehow replace that cooling factor. The stratosphere was chosen in the Crutzen scenario because it would be cheaper to maintain a sulphate load there rather than in the troposphere.

        But who cares. Let’s demonize geoengineering and claim there is actual science to back us up. The planet is going to hell in a handbasket anyway.

  • Regular_Listener

    I wonder what Orestes and Conway think of the work of James Howard Kunstler, who has already produced some similar writing on the subject, particulary in his book “The Long Emergency”, which makes a number of terrifying predictions about where the world is headed if we continue down the path of overpopulation, climate change, and rapid resource depletion. His focus seems to be a little more on oil and what will happen as it runs out.

  • Regular_Listener

    A rebuttal to Steve from Cambridge, who called in with his complacent views regarding potential disasters. The possibility of nuclear weapons going off still exists in the world. Fortunately, the Cold War is over now, or so it appeared until fairly recently, but the threat of a nuclear bomb falling into the hands of a jihadist or warlord of some stripe is still very real. The famines due to overpopulation that some predicted in the 1970s did not come to pass, but a big reason for that was the discovery and further exploitation of fossil fuels. The population has continued to grow and is as dependent as ever on oil and gas, a finite resource, never mind the effects on the climate and nature. The nuclear winter craze he refers to is possibly a reference to Jonathan Schell’s best-seller “The Fate of the Earth”, which detailed what would happen as the result of a nuclear war, which again, is not a danger that has now passed us by.

    However, I do think that his point about the political side of the discussion was a valid one.

  • Susan Huse

    The frustration I have in listening to the increasing number of programs on the impacts of climate change is that we discuss the finer points of specific predictions, we jump on the bandwagon complaining about the climate change deniers, but we don’t discuss what we as individuals are going to do about it. These programs are rightfully designed to make us take the issue seriously and to understand that environmental catastrophes may follow, but they rarely tell us how to get involved. Sure I can turn down my thermostat, buy local, commute via public transportation. I already do those things. I can go to political rallies, but given the state of our campaign financing, the force of public opinion is not what it once was. And as the saying goes: Don’t blame me I’m from Massachusetts. I am already represented by some of the most dedicated legislators. Having gloom and doom shows, without providing insights into how to get more engaged, how to make a difference, just continues to feed the apathy and futility. How can more of us dedicate our careers and our free time to helping protect against the changing climate and its impacts? How can we become impowered to make a difference? That’s what we really need to know.

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After a summer of deadly clashes between Gaza and Israel, we talk to Jews on the left and right about the future of liberal Zionism. Some say it’s over.

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