UN Says Climate Genocide Is Coming. It’s Actually Worse Than That. #auspol #qldpol #nswpol #StopAdani #EndCoal #ClimateChange #TheDrum #QandA #MatterOfFactABC @abcnews

UN Says Climate Genocide Is Coming. It’s Actually Worse Than That.

Just two years ago, amid global fanfare, the Paris climate accords were signed — initiating what seemed, for a brief moment, like the beginning of a planet-saving movement. But almost immediately, the international goal it established of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius began to seem, to many of the world’s most vulnerable, dramatically inadequate; the Marshall Islands’ representative gave it a blunter name, calling two degrees of warming “genocide.”

The alarming new report you may have read about this week from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — which examines just how much better 1.5 degrees of warming would be than 2 — echoes the charge. “Amplifies” may be the better term. Hundreds of millions of lives are at stake, the report declares, should the world warm more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, which it will do as soon as 2040, if current trends continue. Nearly all coral reefs would die out, wildfires and heat waves would sweep across the planet annually, and the interplay between drought and flooding and temperature would mean that the world’s food supply would become dramatically less secure. Avoiding that scale of suffering, the report says, requires such a thorough transformation of the world’s economy, agriculture, and culture that “there is no documented historical precedent.” The New York Times declared that the report showed a “strong risk” of climate crisis in the coming decades; in Grist, Eric Holthaus wrote that “civilization is at stake.

If you are alarmed by those sentences, you should be — they are horrifying. But it is, actually, worse than that — considerably worse. That is because the new report’s worst-case scenario is, actually, a best case.

In fact, it is a beyond-best-case scenario.

What has been called a genocidal level of warming is already our inevitable future.

The question is how much worse than that it will get.

Barring the arrival of dramatic new carbon-sucking technologies, which are so far from scalability at present that they are best described as fantasies of industrial absolution, it will not be possible to keep warming below two degrees Celsius — the level the new report describes as a climate catastrophe.

As a planet, we are coursing along a trajectory that brings us north of four degrees by the end of the century.

The IPCC is right that two degrees marks a world of climate catastrophe. Four degrees is twice as bad as that. And that is where we are headed, at present — a climate hell twice as hellish as the one the IPCC says, rightly, we must avoid at all costs. But the real meaning of the report is not “climate change is much worse than you think,” because anyone who knows the state of the research will find nothing surprising in it.

The real meaning is, “you now have permission to freak out.”

As recently as a year ago, when I published a magazine cover story exploring worst-case scenarios for climate change, alarmism of this kind was considered anathema to many scientists, who believed that storytelling that focused on the scary possibilities was just as damaging to public engagement as denial. There have been a few scary developments in climate research over the past year — more methane from Arctic lakes and permafrost than expected, which could accelerate warming; an unprecedented heat wave, arctic wildfires, and hurricanes rolling through both of the world’s major oceans this past summer. But by and large the consensus is the same: We are on track for four degrees of warming, more than twice as much as most scientists believe is possible to endure without inflicting climate suffering on hundreds of millions or threatening at least parts of the social and political infrastructure we call, grandly, “civilization.” The only thing that changed, this week, is that the scientists, finally, have hit the panic button.

Because the numbers are so small, we tend to trivialize the differences between one degree and two, two degrees and four. Human experience and memory offers no good analogy for how we should think about those thresholds, but with degrees of warming, as with world wars or recurrences of cancer, you don’t want to see even one.


At two degrees, the melting of the Arctic ice sheets will pass a tipping point of collapse, flooding dozens of the world’s major cities this century — and threatening, over many centuries, to elevate sea level as much as 200 feet. At that amount of warming, it is estimated, global GDP, per capita, will be cut by 13 percent. Four hundred million more people will suffer from water scarcity, and even in the northern latitudes heat waves will kill thousands each summer. It will be worse in the planet’s equatorial band. In India, where many cities now numbering in the many millions would become unliveably hot, there would be 32 times as many extreme heat waves, each lasting five times as long and exposing, in total, 93 times more people. This is two degrees — practically speaking, our absolute best-case climate scenario.

At three degrees, southern Europe will be in permanent drought. The average drought in Central America would last 19 months and in the Caribbean 21 months. In northern Africa, the figure is 60 months — five years. The areas burned each year by wildfires would double in the Mediterranean and sextuple in the United States. Beyond the sea-level rise, which will already be swallowing cities from Miami Beach to Jakarta, damages just from river flooding will grow 30-fold in Bangladesh, 20-fold in India, and as much as 60-fold in the U.K. This is three degrees — better than we’d do if all the nations of the world honored their Paris commitments, which none of them are. Practically speaking, barring those dramatic tech deus ex machinas, this seems to me about as positive a realistic outcome as it is rational to expect.

At four degrees, there would be eight million cases of dengue fever each year in Latin America alone. Global grain yields could fall by as much as 50 percent, producing annual or close-to-annual food crises. The global economy would be more than 30 percent smaller than it would be without climate change, and we would see at least half again as much conflict and warfare as we do today. Possibly more. Our current trajectory, remember, takes us higher still, and while there are many reasons to think we will bend that curve soon — the plummeting cost of renewable energy, the growing global consensus about phasing out coal — it is worth remembering that, whatever you may have heard about the green revolution and the price of solar, at present, global carbon emissions are still growing.

None of the above is news — most of that data is drawn from this single, conventional-wisdom fact sheet. In fact, nothing in the IPCC report is news, either; not to the scientific community or to climate activists or even to anyone who’s been a close reader of new research about warming over the last few years. That is what the IPCC does: It does not introduce new findings or even new perspectives, but rather corrals the messy mass of existing, pedigreed scientific research into consensus assessments designed to deliver to the policymakers of the world an absolutely unquestionable account of the state of knowledge. Almost since the panel was convened, in 1988, it has been criticized for being too cautious in its assessment of the problem — a large body of temperamentally cautious scientists zeroing on those predictions they can all agree on (and which, they may have hoped, policymakers might find workable). The panel’s Wikipedia page has separate subsections for “Outdatedness of reports” and “Conservative nature of IPCC reports.”

Which is why it is so remarkable that the tone of this report is so alarmist — it’s not that the news about climate has changed, but that the scientific community is finally discarding caution in describing the implications of its own finding.

They have also, thankfully, offered a practical suggestion, proposing the imposition of a carbon tax many, many times higher than those currently in use or being considered — they propose a tax of up to $5,000 per ton of carbon dioxide by 2030, growing to $27,000 per ton by 2100. Today, the average price of carbon across 42 major economies is just $8 per ton. The new Nobel laureate in economics, William Nordhaus, made his name by almost inventing the economic study of climate change, and his preferred carbon tax is $40 per ton — which would probably land us at about 3.5 degrees of warming. He considers that grotesque level “optimal.”

But a carbon tax is only a spark to action, not action itself. And the action needed is at a scale and a speed almost unimaginable to most of us. The IPCC report called it unprecedented. Other activists often see one precedent, in all of human history, citing the model of how the United States prepared for World War II, and calling for a global mobilization of that kind — all of the world’s rivalrous societies and nationalistic governments and self-interested industries organized around the common pursuit of a stable and comfortable climate as though warming was an existential threat.

It is. And the World War II mobilization metaphor is not hyperbole. To avoid warming of the kind the IPCC now calls catastrophic requires a complete rebuilding of the entire energy infrastructure of the world, a thorough reworking of agricultural practices and diet to entirely eliminate carbon emissions from farming, and a battery of cultural changes to the way those of us in the wealthy West, at least, conduct our lives. And we need to do all of that in two, or possibly three, decades. As a comparison, simply the last phase of the recent three-stop extension of New York City’s Second Avenue subway line took 12 years. All told, from the first groundbreaking, the project took 45 years.

That is not to say it’s over or we’re doomed. Stalling warming below four degrees is better than surpassing it, keeping temperatures below three is better still, and the closer we get to two degrees the more miraculous. That is because climate change isn’t binary, and doesn’t just kick in, full force, at any particular temperature level; it’s a function that gets worse over time as long as we produce greenhouse gases. How long we continue to is, really, up to us, which is to say it will be determined in the province of politics, which is to say public panic like that produced by the IPCC report can be a very productive form of policy pressure.

There are also those far-fetched alternatives I mentioned — carbon capture and solar geoengineering — but each is far from workable at the moment and, even in theory, come with really scary drawbacks. But even if the technology becomes dramatically cheaper and more efficient over the next few years, you would need to build them out across the globe, as well — whole plantations sucking carbon almost everywhere on the planet. It will take quite a long time to build those, in other words, even if they worked, and we simply don’t have that many years left to act.

A few weeks ago, as the IPCC report loomed, I had lunch with a prominent climate scientist who’d been involved in earlier reports and has done considerable work on local preparedness as well. I asked if he thought New York would eventually build a sea wall or surge barrier to protect the city from sea-level rise and flooding. Yes, he said, Manhattan will be protected, at any cost. But major infrastructure projects like these take decades — typically about 30 years. Even if we began building today, he said, the barrier would not be finished in time to save Howard Beach and other parts of southern Queens and Brooklyn. Soon enough, he said, you’ll see the city adjust accordingly — halting new infrastructure projects there, eventually pulling back from even quotidian maintenance like sewer repairs and generally signaling to current residents that they will not be able to leave behind their homes, when they die, to their children. And of course a sea wall to protect New York only encloses the narrows of New York Harbor, leaving all of Long Island exposed.

This is just the threat from sea level, and just one (very rich) metropolitan area. The world is much bigger than that, but so is climate change. It is also very fast, with more than half the carbon humanity has ever emitted into the atmosphere having come in just the last 25 years, since Al Gore published his first book on climate change. Monday’s IPCC may seem like a dramatic departure, and it is. But there is going to be much more like it coming. So long as we continue to squander what little time we have, the news will only get worse from here.

Press link for more: NY MAG

One comment

  1. Waters Near Arctic Ocean Just Jumped 30 Degrees Above Normal | Global Citizen | by Joe McCarthy | May 15, 2019

    Which One Will Collapse First ?

    Greenlands 20 Feet Of Sea Level Rise or

    Antarcticas Over 200 Feet Of Sea Level Rise

    Last Time Parts Per Million of Carbon Was Over 410ppm

    Sea Level Was 130 Feet Higher Than Right Now

    Carbon Is At 415.87ppm an Climbing Now

    There Is Over 130 Feet Of Sea Level Rise Melting, Calving an Getting Ready To Collapse Any Time Now Today Tomorrow With In 36 Months

    “Every 100-ppm CO2 increase in the atmosphere gives us 100 feet of sea level rise,” he told me. “This happened when we went in and out of the Ice Age.”

    As I knew, since the industrial revolution began, atmospheric CO2 has already increased from 280 to 410 ppm.

    “That’s 130 ppm in just the last 200 years,” I pointed out to him.

    “That’s 130 feet of sea level rise that’s already baked into Earth’s climate system.”

    He looked at me and nodded grimly. I couldn’t help thinking of that as a nod goodbye to coastal cities from Miami to Shanghai.” Dahr Jamail

    “More worryingly, the paper finds that Greenland lost about half of that ice—roughly 2,200 gigatons—in the years between 2010 and 2018. The ice sheet has also failed to gain mass in any year since 1998.

    That’s an alarming result, because it means glaciers might now be shrinking Greenland from the bottom faster than hot weather can melt it from the top. And researchers believe that bottom-melting glaciers are less stable and more prone to rapid collapse.

    Rignot believes that the new study should make glaciologists look anew at the speed with which Greenland could collapse. The ice sheet’s bleeding-out could eventually raise global sea levels by as much as 25 feet.

    So the key question, Rignot said, is “How fast can you make these entities fall apart?”

    The answer will matter to all of us. The surface of Greenland doesn’t have to move through magic to other parts of the world—already, today, its deluge is on its way.” Robinson Meyer

    For Every 1C. Temp Rise There is 7% more moisture Added To the Atmosphere Creating Record Rains Each Year

    We Have Increased Temp to 1.8C since the 1700s,

    Do You Dare Imagine the Future ?

    “Over a one-hour period, rainfall of 109.5 mm (4.31 inches) was reported, the highest ever recorded in the month of May.

    In total 442 mm (17.4 inches) of rain fell during the cloudburst causing significant flooding and elevating the risk for mudslides.

    The Japan Meteorological Agency has declared the event a once in 50-year event.” Eric Leister

    Already at 10% more moisture it has Doubled Record Rain Fall,

    Texas 2019 May 600% Record Rain For The Month

    Which One Will Collapse First ?

    Greenlands 20 Feet Of Sea Level Rise or

    Antarcticas Over 200 Feet Of Sea Level Rise

    We are Accelerating to 3C. in Months by 2020 ?
    What will Record 21% more Moisture in the Atmosphere be in Record Rain ?

    In 2020 ? 4–10 feet of Record Rain Locked in to Global Weather

    Ida, Fina, Florence — Global Warming Abrupt Climate Change sea Level Rising over 220 Feet Way Faster Than They Say Way Faster Than You Think

    Ida, Fina, Florence, Sandy, Katrina, Irma, Maria, an Harvey had 19% to 49% more Record Rain, Record Winds, Record Sea Surges,

    Our New Normal Since 2000 Record Rain has been 29 percent — 60 percent Increase in Rain

    Record Rain, Record Snow,

    Record Highs Record Lows

    Record Winds, Record Waves

    Record Fires, Record Floods,

    Record Volcanic Eruptions

    Record Hurricanes, Record Tsunamis,

    Record Typhoons, Record Earthquakes,

    Record Mud-Slides, an Record Sea Surges. Record High Tides, Record Sea Level Rise

    Glaciation kept the Mantle Cooler, Mantle is Heating up and Putting Pressure On The Ocean Floors

    The Accelerated Melt is Going to Be Horrendous, Horrific, and Tsunamic 1,500 feet, Way Faster Than they are Saying, Way Faster Than You Think

    An ideal Carbon Atmosphere, would be at 300 parts per million Not Pro Nuke Bill McKibbens 350 . org numbers

    1700s to 1800s ppm Carbon 260ppm — 280ppm

    1980s ppm carbon 350

    2015s ppm of Carbon 405

    2017 ppm of Carbon 409.35 and Rising

    2019 ppm of Carbon 415.78 an Climbing

    “I will show you the rise in CO2 levels every 5 years from 1958 to Dec. 2017. I will also show the CO2 difference beside it from the previous reading. Each reading is taken in the March of the respective year.
    Year…………………….CO2 Levels……………Growth
    2019………………………..415.78………………………18. 47

    “The last entry is early since it is May 2019.

    This shows the ever increasing growth of CO2 levels in our atmosphere.

    Some 2017 figures have shown 410ppm over the year, giving an increase of nearly 1ppm per month.”

    Can society even exist in it’s current form at 600ppm CO2 concentration ?

    I know the planet has been at that level before, but it took tens of thousands of years to get there and back again, not 250 years.

    Add in the CH4 levels, and you have an equivalence of ~580ppm already.” Mark Bevis

    Carbon + Methane + Water Vapour = Global Warming

    Methane was at around 400ppb – 700ppb in the 1700s

    Now it is around 2,300ppb an Climbing Because of Feed Back Loops Kicking in Methane From Perma-Frost, Pingoes, Mantle Methane From Isostatic Rebounding, an Methane Hydrates

    We Are Already Locked in to 10C. Temp Rise Even If We Stopped Emitting Now

    Methane has a 10 year lag time an Carbon has 30–50 Year Lag time in Reaching its Full Molecule Potential in Holding Heat Mass

    Methane has 130 Times More Heat Mass in the Molecule in First Ten years

    Then 86 Times More Heat Mass per Molecule over 20 years

    Then 34 Times More Heat Mass per Molecule over next 80 Years Than Carbon

    What We Have Now, Is a Broken Up and New Jet Stream, Centered From Greenlands 20 feet of Sea Level Rise of Ice and Snow

    Moving Over 17 degrees from the Center of the Arctic. To Greenland, an Is Now Being Pierced, and Lobed

    Because of Mantle Methane, Methane Hydrates, Pingoes, Perma Frost, Fracking, all emitting Methane NOW ! and are Polluting an Emitting over 40–50 Billion Toxic Tons of Carbon each year Globally.

    All this Hot Gas has Melted the Arctic and Will Bring a Blue Arctic in 2019 an It Has Pierced the Jet Stream in to Lobes, Moving it Over 17 degrees from The Center of The Arctic.

    The Hot Gas Fueled with the Insane Arctic, Greenland, and Antarctic Ice Melts.

    Has Roared its Global Warming Frontal Lobes with Record Setting Temperatures and Record Setting Snow, and Record Setting Rain.

    These Methane, and Carbon Molecules Have Roared Their Increased Water Vapor and Global Warming Gases, That will Set Record Heat, Record Snow, Until Greenland is 1/2 melted.

    Then Just Record Rain, and Record Heat Year After Fossil Fuel Nuclear Sea Level Rising Radiated Year.

    Four Geological Formations Spewing and Venting Methane Now In The Arctic and one Venting Along The Washington Oregon Coast

    Perma Frost Melting

    Methane Hydrates

    Mantle Methane From Isostatic Rebounding of Greenlands North American Plate

    "Pingoes — Started in 2005 Finger Size Blow Holes, Now 300 Foot Wide Methane Blow Holes Increasing in Number and Size, in Siberia, Canada, an the Euro-Asian Plate Pingoes and Under Water Pingoes

    “Pingos preceded blow-outs
    Researchers have now examined satellite images of northern Siberian from a few years back and looked at the area where the explosions occurred. They found that the year before the huge crater appeared, there were large pingos in the same place.

    Pingos are found in the arctic and are usually raised hills, like a giant pimple, with a core of ice.

    In this case, however, the pingos must have been filled with gas in the form of ice, bound up with water in gas hydrates and permafrost.

    Russian scientists have now mapped 7,000 gas-filled pingos that are poking through the thawing permafrost, visible in satellite images that illustrate how the pingos form and grow, published in The Siberian Times.” Siw Ellen Jakobsen

    Methane Burp Or Pingoe Popping Pimple

    and at some point, like Natalia Shakhov, Guy Mcpherson, and Kevin Hester point out, we are going to experience a Methane blow out in the Arctic, from Mantle Methane, Perma-Frost, Methane Hydrates, Pingoes.

    The Methane has been telling us, it is going to blow since 2005 by Maria Shakhov, what was a finger size blow whole in 2005 is now a 200–300 ft. wide blow hole called Pingoes 2015

    And their increasing in number and size in Siberia, North American Plate, and on the Euro-Asian Plate

    We Should Not Throw In The Towel, Now Is The Time To Act

    Campaign to Allow Californian Residents to Sell Electricity Obtained by Renewable Energy To the Utility aka Feed In Tariff

    We Need a National Feed in Tariff

    Will you read, sign, and share this petition?


    Richest in Land an Money Queen of England, Vatican an US Federal Reserve Should Fund Decommissioning an Relocation Of All Nuclear Waste To Above 3,000 Feet

    444 Nuclear Reactors

    450 Nuclear Fuel Rod Facilities an over 1,300 Fuel Rod Pools

    Over 250,000 Toxic Tons Of Radiated Nuclear Waste

    Over 14,000 Nuclear Weapons

    There Is So Much Uranium In The Oceans They Will Be Mining It Soon

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