Life on a shrinking planet.
November 21, 2018 11:26 AM   Subscribe

"We will have drawn a line in the sand and then watched a rising tide erase it." Bill McKibben updates us on climate change. (SLNewYorker)
posted by doctornemo (51 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
From the article:
We are on a path to self-destruction, and yet there is nothing inevitable about our fate. Solar panels and wind turbines are now among the least expensive ways to produce energy. Storage batteries are cheaper and more efficient than ever. We could move quickly if we chose to, but we’d need to opt for solidarity and coördination on a global scale.
We have work to do.
posted by No Robots at 11:30 AM on November 21, 2018 [11 favorites]

"Stand on Zanzibar"
posted by loquacious at 11:42 AM on November 21, 2018 [6 favorites]

The article mentions Extinction Rebellion.

They closed down the major bridges in London last week and are right now 'swarming' London.

Twitter account
Their symbol is an hourglass in a circle (representing Earth). They say that time is running out and civil disobedience is now the only answer.
posted by vacapinta at 11:54 AM on November 21, 2018 [27 favorites]

Cross-posting my comment from the New Green Deal Now thread, because it seems like a better fit here:

-Climate Change Slows Oil Company Plan To Drill In The Arctic (NPR, November 21, 2018)
A milestone oil development project in Alaska's Arctic waters is having to extend its construction timeline to accommodate the warming climate. The recently approved Liberty Project — poised to become the first oil production facility in federal Arctic waters — has altered its plans due to the shrinking sea ice season.

The challenge comes as the Trump administration has reversed an Obama-era policy and proposed re-opening the majority of Alaska's federal waters to drilling. It's pushing to hold a lease sale in the Beaufort Sea next year. The lease for the Liberty Project pre-dates the Obama-era ban on oil development in Arctic waters.

To get at the oil targeted by the Liberty Project, Texas-based oil company Hilcorp is planning to build a gravel island about five miles from shore, in the shallow waters of the Beaufort Sea, and drill from there. In order to build that island, Hilcorp needs to use what's called landfast sea ice, or ice that attaches to the coast each winter. Hilcorp would build an ice road on top of it, and transport the gravel in dump trucks.

"When it's in place and when it's stable, it makes, actually, a fairly convenient platform from which to operate," says Andy Mahoney, a sea ice researcher at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He provides information to oil companies and federal regulators on ice thickness, extent, and seasonal duration. He says operating from sea ice can be easier than trying to work from a ship or barge.

But Mahoney says a primary concern he hears from oil companies these days is that the window they have to work on sea ice is shrinking as the Arctic warms. Rising temperatures, of course, are driven by the burning of fossil fuels, and the Arctic is warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the world.
Emphasis mine, because this feels like a bully punching himself in the face and saying "why are you punching yourself?" and grinning while collecting the change that falls from his pockets.

But the bully keeps punching, because he doesn't really feel the pain just yet. The melting ice only makes the job a bit harder, not fiscally unreasonable to make a gravel island to drill for oil.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:27 PM on November 21, 2018 [13 favorites]

socialism or barbarism, folks
posted by entropicamericana at 12:45 PM on November 21, 2018 [21 favorites]

What a hell of a piece of writing. I mean, it's not a pleasant read, but it's a great piece of work.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 1:05 PM on November 21, 2018 [7 favorites]

They closed down the major bridges in London last week and are right now 'swarming' London.

"Jim Davidson, an English comedian and former TV presenter, was spotted angrily remonstrating against protesters from his car."

Even if this kind of protest weren't absolutely necessary in view of the urgency of the situation we're facing, it would still be entirely worthwhile just for this.
posted by howfar at 1:17 PM on November 21, 2018 [7 favorites]

As sea ice melts along the Alaskan coast, there is nothing to protect towns, cities, and native villages from the waves.
I just saw the fantastic documentary 'Losing Alaska' that shows the human tragedies as a result of this. Absolutely worth watching (in the cinema).
posted by ouke at 2:14 PM on November 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

You know, it's when I read pieces like this that I'm glad I've made a commitment to not buy new stuff and live "minimally". I guess the goal is to live out of a suitcase? I don't even know where the compunction came from, but it's just like, if you can shrink, why don't you?

They build living rooms the size of your pocket now, what with proper Bluetooth speakers, pocket projectors, and USB-C phone dongles, and yeah, ok, that's taking a hit if you're used to booming surround and 4k video, but my noise blocking headphones are 3 years old and just survived a trip through the washing machine. I have also moved into a formerly coal-heated property in Beijing with electric radiant-heat radiators. I'm not even sure if there's a standard term for these bad boys, but they operate on the "sauna rock" principle. A unit that's about a meter wide and sticks out 5cm from the wall weighs about 150kg, and you heat whatever rock-ish thing is inside it for two hours, and it keeps emitting heat for 8-12. One of those keeps my 99sqm 2-story place T-shirt weather warm (I spend most of my time upstairs, and it's a heat bottle up there), and there are three in the house; I basically don't have to run the other two but for the two months a year Beijing gets way below freezing at night. I also have a solar + electric water heater for showers, and some sort electric ionic filter on the tap w/ separate faucet. All this stuff just came with the place. I moved in two weeks ago and I'm still getting used to it all, but I'm living in a 300-year old brick building, in the middle of a city of 22 million, surrounded by high-rises, share-bikes, and CNG buses, and a train network that will get me anywhere in this country for $150, or half that if I'm willing to sleep crouching for two days in hard seat class. If I want to cook, I have one gas burner that's fueled from a propane tank and another hotplate. I also have blenders, a juicer, an 850w microwave, and a 1050w oven. All for less than $50 each, delivered to my door on electric trikes in recyclable packaging, which the neighborhood scrappers grab within an hour of setting it out. That or grabbed from swap meets or 2ndhand apps. All 3-5 years old and well-loved. I also have all stainless steel dishes, some wicker chairs, and no computers newer than 2 years old. And I have Netflix and Spotify.

A family of 4 used to inhabit this unit, and I'm planning to rent out the downstairs bedroom to someone, because it's sitting unused. Rent on the whole place is about $1400 a month. My heating bill shouldn't be more than $500 this winter.

Basically, I'm living in the future. China, for all its faults, is pretty active about tackling environmental stuff, especially in the historic districts of the capital city, and, I mean...I feel like how I'm living now is how the better-off half will be living in 20 years, and it ain't all that bad. Obviously I worry for the people who will be displaced, and for myself as food costs rise and such, but through sheer luck of renting from an enlightened landlord in a place that does take environmental policy seriously (or was that a historically protected district plus government subsidies like half-price electricity at off-peak hours + forced installation of electric heating? oh yeah. "enlightened" by government money folks.), and from my own penchant for recycling and DIY + 7-11 salads as a weight loss plan (lol but it's 24 hours and right across the street and a respectable tuna or chicken salad is $2 a pop and I'm single), I think I'm getting a taste of how this can work if you're middle class and want to live without a massive carbon footprint. My neighbors are kids and old ladies and a cafe. It's fine! I have space to spare!

I live in a house that I just stumbled into. I was not looking for this. I saw it, liked it, took it without thinking about the environment at all. But then I read things like this article, and apparently we're ruining the planet, and I look around at all my stuff, at my 10-year old pajamas, at all the little individual choices that make up my (admittedly privileged!) living environment, and I'm like...I'm not ruining it! $30kusd a year pays for me. All of it, food, insurance, vacations, etc., and that's downtown-in-the-capital-of-the-world's-2nd-largest-economy prices. If what I'm living right now is the change we have to adapt to, that's ok, y'know? I don't know why, except for greed, anyone would stand in the way of that. I'm proof, dammit. If I can accidentally live in the future, I'm sure you can on purpose. It's not terribly complicated, and it's actually not too different than what you're used to already. If we're killing the planet, it's because our governments are short-sighted, corrupt, greedy fucks who won't pay your landlords to rent you a 2br apartment with everything electrified for $1400/month.

Such efforts help explain why, in 2017, the growth of American residential solar installations came to a halt even before March, 2018, when President Trump imposed a thirty-per-cent tariff on solar panels, and why the number of solar jobs fell in the U.S. for the first time since the industry’s great expansion began, a decade earlier.

I rest my case.
posted by saysthis at 3:41 PM on November 21, 2018 [8 favorites]

Oh, and some clarification because I can't abuse the edit window:

When I say "coal-heated", I mean they directly burned coal briquettes in the building. The money from the government my landlord got was the urban version of this.

If China can do this, if an itinerant American can live in a very nicely converted historical unit with proper insulation paid for by the Chinese government, if these things are just left scattered around for people to rent, in a nation notorious for corruption and pollution, what's stopping the richest country in the world again??????

Just sayin'.
posted by saysthis at 3:55 PM on November 21, 2018 [4 favorites]

This is literally the battle to save the world. Changes, big and small will have to be made - either we will change them ourselves or we will be forced to change them. There are about three ways the next 25 years are going to play out and only one of them doesn’t involve mass, worldwide death.

Anyway, let’s start with something straightforward and buy the oil companies.
posted by The Whelk at 4:50 PM on November 21, 2018 [7 favorites]

brutal and elegiac. I loved the piece. we're toast (I appreciate both folks here and McKibben's mentioning the possibility of averting the likeliest outcome, but I do not share that optimistic perspective, and i do not think McKibben highlights it as a probable outcome).
posted by mwhybark at 6:49 PM on November 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

what's stopping the richest country in the world again?????

American exceptionalism and a concerted attack on democracy on behalf of an effort to instantiate an American oligarchic and authoritarian state as a response to reduced economic egalitarianism and as a defense of capital concentration against non-oligarchic economic actors, domestic and international.
posted by mwhybark at 6:59 PM on November 21, 2018 [10 favorites]

I would add that attacks on democracy are springing up all over the West, not just in the US. Look at Brazil and the UK for example. American exceptionalism is a huge obstacle in terms of getting the deplorables in the nation to get on board with science, or eliminate their ability to interfere, but unfortunately there’s a pretty big backlash to progressive goals in multiple nations.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:19 PM on November 21, 2018 [6 favorites]

Blaming the oil companies at the level of individual leases makes no real sense. Most of the big ones are pursuing renewables, but there is no demand. The oil companies are just doing what society needs them to to keep the lights on and the hospitals running at this point. Change will have to come from the demand side. Some small towns and countries have made this change but larger populations are falling back on the old tribalism and aggression responses to stress as humans tend to do. Because when it comes down to it we are neither logical nor very smart.

I'm an ecologist, I studied systems for years and now I do mostly infrastructure stuff. Most of my friends are climatologists or hydrologists or ecologists or biologists. We all think it's over, we're fucked. So smoke em if you got em, and if you have kids teach them how to split wood, fish, hunt and carry out small engine repair and minor electrical fixes. They're gonna need to know.
posted by fshgrl at 9:21 PM on November 21, 2018 [8 favorites]

Also, the owning classes will flock, at some point, to whatever lifeboats they can find. I feel like there's a chance of world-wide pandemonium if such an effort sees sufficient sunlight.
posted by Slackermagee at 9:43 PM on November 21, 2018 [4 favorites]

Blaming the oil companies at the level of individual leases makes no real sense. Most of the big ones are pursuing renewables, but there is no demand. The oil companies are just doing what society needs them to to keep the lights on and the hospitals running at this point. Change will have to come from the demand side. Some small towns and countries have made this change but larger populations are falling back on the old tribalism and aggression responses to stress as humans tend to do. Because when it comes down to it we are neither logical nor very smart.

Well, as the notes say, no one is cutting off the spigot tomorrow (even if the US is producing more oil and gas then ever before ) and leaving hospitals dark. You buy out (or seize, there’s a good argument these companies are complicit in murder many times over) the top 100 oil and gas companies in America and unite them under a national service umbrella with a 5 year plan to ramp down fossil fuel production AND commit thier resources to doing the unprofitable work of repair and recovery, planting Woodland, rewilding, undoing fracking damage, cleaning superfund sites and oil spills, building new seawalls, buying land near the coats and rivers to leave wild or restore oyster beds/wetlands/barrier islands to reduce storm surges, stuff like that - maybe keeping a small national plastics company on the side (while at the same time passing laws drastically reducing to outright banning say, consumer plastic packaging? Cheap plastic fiber in clothes?)

It’s a simple as you break it, you bought it. It would fit neatly into a New Green Jobs Deal while also not stepping on any upcoming renewable companies. It could also serve as a hub for general Climate Change policy and action, give them a hefty fund to peruse crazy carbon capture technology, let a sector work with improving and expanding public transportation nation wide (an organization this big could pull of something like burying the BQE and putting native woodland on top) . Think of the biologists and geologists and ecologists you’d need!

All of this while we reduce demand with renewable replacement plans, circular and solidarity economy planning, and more degrowth focused methods like enforcing stuff made to last. And ending militarism abroad, the U S military is one of the top polluters and carbon sources in the world.

We also may have to ban commercial air travel for a while. Which I would hope would ease all of us being more comfortable with telecommuting as opposed to pretending to be okay with it.

There’s a lot of ideas, there’s a lot of change that needs to happen. It just needs to happen yesterday.
posted by The Whelk at 10:27 PM on November 21, 2018 [9 favorites]

I vote for “seize,” myself.

attacks on democracy are springing up all over the West, not just in the US. Look at Brazil and the UK for example

It can be argued that the root of the regression is the same in all three cases: an unholy alliance of primarily American evangelical Christian dominionists and right wing disaster capitalist autocrats. The autocrats all seem to know each other, or have similar goals. But the populations, in all three cases, have been prepared for the slaughter with the same deliberate propaganda techniques.

I’m least clear on the details in Brazil, but the combination of American evangelical poison hitting an already thoroughly corrupt society plagued with violence seems...explosive.

Anyway. The point is these aren’t indepedent phenomena. Fascist authoritarianism is a response to stress in some people, and stress has happened the world over. But it’s also been carefully nurtured and spread by the same network of assholes world wide.

We can absolutely deal with that. Whether we will is another question.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:05 AM on November 22, 2018 [5 favorites]

Think of the biologists and geologists and ecologists you’d need!

That is already the field we all work in. I be been doing stuff with ecological restoration, coastal resilience and green infrastructure for two decades. Your idea is nice but unless you are secretly Donald trump and are putting the finishing touches on your plan it is too late. Society needed to lay the ground work 30 years ago to make that happen. It's far too late for seawalls, we will have to move massive amounts of people and associated infrastructure. And we don't get it. We are building new infrastructure in areas that'll be underwater in 100 years.

I've been to so many meetings with politicians, I've worked with the military, I work with homeowners. Unless we magically go back in time and raise the people who are now running the place completely differently they will continue to drag their feet and live in denial. Transitioning away from oil in the 70s might have helped us but it's not gonna happen when they're trying to figure out how to move Boston, Houston most of New York and New Orleans inland all at the same time. I wish it would.

I personally think that some day in the next several decades someone who is crazy enough and powerful enough is going to come to the conclusion that the only way to survive is to drastically reduce the number of humans on the planet and try to make it happen.
posted by fshgrl at 11:32 AM on November 22, 2018 [6 favorites]

Most likely some places with be OK. Places with elevation, freshwater and that are small enough to govern easily or that have an existing decentralized system of government people are likely to stick with. Some countries will really only be affected physically by refugees, although loss of trading partners will affect all.

But the real threat isn't getting killed by the weather, it'll be civil unrest, radiation from abandoned power plants, instant food deserts caused by loss of supply lines, drug shortages-- stuff like that. Look at how fast Syria and Yemen were reduced to rubble.

There is a documentary called The Age of Consequences on Netflix that lays it out pretty well. We are making documentaries about this happening but not stopping it, the idea people have that when it gets bad enough someone will step in and carry out sweeping changes is just not a correct idea.
posted by fshgrl at 12:07 PM on November 22, 2018 [6 favorites]

Scientist Runs Over Man With Truck.

Right? Is there anyone in the world who hasn't seen that graph in 2018? And no one gives a fuck. It's like all the people from Paradise saying "I wasn't told there would be a fire, I blame the authorities". I have friends from that area, I know people from Concow and FRC well. My best friends divorced parents are both staying with her because they can't get back to either house, if they are still standing. (fun thanksgiving!) I feel for them, I really do but EVERYONE in Paradise, heck everyone in California, knows about the risk of fire. It burned 10 years ago and if you somehow forgot about that well the fire people come to your house every year to talk about it, you can't not know. The authorities aren't your parents who can magically make it all better, they aren't infallible authority figures from a movie and while they are very good at what they do they are human too. And there is no God btw either in case anyone is holding out that glimmer of hope.

At this point if anyone "fixes" the problem globally instead of locally, it'll probably be some backroom deal between a bunch of the major intelligence forces or something.

And really- fuck PG&E. That's what 17 fires now? But stockholder value has gone up! I hope they get sued into oblivion and the state takes over the utility.
posted by fshgrl at 12:36 PM on November 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

> The next NOAA report on global warming will be released this Friday to try to bury it.

'Absolute Disgrace': When No One Looking, White House Plans to Dump Major Climate Report on Black Friday. The administration just announced Wednesday that the National Climate Assessment Volume II would be released Friday afternoon
Environmental groups, journalists, and climate scientists are reacting to the Trump administration's decision to release a major climate report the day after Thanksgiving—a move some are describing as an effort to bury an assessment packed with an "astonishing amount of science," and they are hoping to see that effort backfire "bigly."

"It's an absolute disgrace to bury the truth about climate impacts in a year that saw hundreds of Americans die during devastating climate-fueled megafires, hurricanes, floods, and algal blooms," said National Wildlife Federation president and CEO Collin O'Mara.

"Releasing the National Climate Assessment on Black Friday," he continued, "won't obscure the fact that authorities are still identifying bodies in California's unprecedented megafires, Florida is still dealing with toxic algae outbreaks fueled by warmer water, and Americans are still picking up the pieces from Hurricanes Florence and Michael and Typhoon Yutu that were worsened by climate change."
Trump confuses climate change with weather, prompting widespread despair. 'I have never had a student dumb enough to make the kind of inference Trump is making,' professor and former Bush adviser says
Donald Trump has once again confused the weather with climate change after suggesting chilly weather headed towards the US means global warming is not real.

“Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS - Whatever happened to Global Warming?” Mr Trump tweeted on Wednesday evening.

The US president was apparently referring to possible record low temperatures forecast for northeastern US this weekend.
As Trump questions global warming, UN says: US gov’t won’t
A top U.N. scientist on Thursday shrugged off an online quip from U.S. President Donald Trump that questioned global warming, saying a U.S. government report will show the “fundamental impacts of climate change on the U.S. continent.”

Officials at the World Meteorological Organization also said environmentally minded efforts by the state of California, in parts of the financial sector, among grassroots activists and others will have more of an impact to help the fight against climate change than “political disturbance” and “discourse” will impede it.

The science, they said, will have the last word.
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.”
Philip K. Dick
posted by homunculus at 4:31 PM on November 22, 2018 [8 favorites]

'Desperate' low-lying Vanuatu seeks to sue climate change culprits
Vanuatu, with an estimated population of 280,000 people spread across roughly 80 islands, is among more than a dozen Pacific island nations that already face rising sea levels and more regular storms that can wipe out much of their economies.

Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu said it was time that some of the billions of dollars of profits fossil fuel companies generate every year goes toward the damage they cause in countries like “desperate” Vanuatu.
posted by homunculus at 5:38 PM on November 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

The canary in the coal mine for Australia will be the next federal election early next year. Labor has put forward their energy and climate policy and it's as aggressive as anything presented by either two major parties: Bill Shorten unveils $15bn energy plan to help tackle climate 'disaster'
posted by michswiss at 7:36 PM on November 22, 2018

If people really want to help, and not wait for others to do it for them, then look around you. Do you live somewhere that will be inundated, run out of water or otherwise toast? Move now. Ideally to a place that will be the natural stepping stone for people to move to. Run for office or the development board or join a land trust or other group and start pushing structured growth and future proofing. Push for an infrastructure development plan and designs so when the government gets around to funding movement you are ready. Make the idea that people will be coming your way inevitable to everyone, even attractive, so they get ready for it. This is going to take 10 o r20 or 30 years but that's how long things take. Start now!

If you don't want to leave or you're too old then volunteer to plan: managed retreats, land buy outs, managed retirement of utilities, school relocation, living shorelines etc only happen where local government is amenable. It's pretty easy to take over local government at low cost if you work for them for free or run for office- you'd be surprised. Start with an assessment and plan- people will say it's a waste of time and money but it's not. $50-100K a good consulting firm, a good mediator (most of them suck), 8-18 months, 4 or 5 public meetings and you'll have a PLAN. Once you have it in writing people will start to take your seriously. State and federal bureaucrats are hamstrung so do it at the local level. Get local govt on board by including upgrading infrastructure for increased floods or high tides or whatever gives them a migraine at the moment.

If 500 or 1,000 people around the country dedicated themselves to preparing their local communities for mass migration starting tomorrow we'd be in a hell of a lot better shape in 40 years. In 40 years those people would have mentored 10,000 people. Even if you can only affect the planning for one tiny town or county it all helps.

Remember the problem isn't the weather, it's moving everyone in a way that doesn't break society.
posted by fshgrl at 10:13 PM on November 22, 2018 [8 favorites]

WaPo, 11/23/2018 — Major Trump administration climate report says damages are ‘intensifying across the country’.

Direct link to the report:
Volume II: Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States

The National Climate Assessment (NCA) assesses the science of climate change and variability and its impacts across the United States, now and throughout this century.
posted by cenoxo at 2:17 PM on November 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

That should probibky be its own FPP on Monday
posted by The Whelk at 3:01 PM on November 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Heads up . . . On Monday, Dec 3rd at 7 pm, Bernie Sanders will host a National Town Hall on Climate Change with Bill McKibben, among others.

The event, titled “Solving Our Climate Crisis,” will be held in front of a live audience in Washington and live streamed on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
posted by 6thsense at 3:31 PM on November 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

Dire assessment warns of intensifying climate-related risks across the countryThe new report contradicts everything on climate change coming from Trump White House.
Here are the new national climate assessment’s main conclusions:
  • Temperatures have risen 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since 1901, all due to human activities.
  • Globally, 16 of the last 17 years have been the warmest years on record, dispelling any forecasts of a “hiatus” or “pause” in warming.
  • Fighting climate change will save hundreds of billions of dollars in public health costs alone, and save thousands of lives a year.
  • Climate change doubled the area burned by wildfires across the West between 1984 and 2015, and has increased the wildfire season by 80 days in some places. In California, wildfires have killed a record number of people in 2018.
  • By 2100, annual acreage burned could increase by as much as six times. Historically, the U.S. has spent an average of $1 billion a year to fight wildfires. In the first eight months of 2017, costs exceeded $2 billion.
  • Communities of color, the elderly, children, and low-income communities are particularly vulnerable to climate change, according to the report. Allergy-induced conditions like hay fever and asthma are becoming more frequent and severe.
  • Warming is expanding the range of mosquitoes and ticks that carry vector-borne diseases like Zika, West Nile, Dengue, Chikungunya, and Yellow Fever.
  • Drier conditions in Arizona and California have led to greater growth of the fungus that leads to Valley Fever. Before 1999, such infections were limited to the tropics, but Cryptococcus gatti, the species that causes these infections, is now established in Northwest soil.
  • The Midwest is projected to have the largest increase in heat-related premature deaths by the end of the century — an additional 2,000 deaths per year.
  • West Nile cases are projected to double by 2050, with a $1 billion annual price tag in hospital costs and premature deaths.
  • Economic losses from climate change could reach hundreds of billions of dollars annually for some sectors. Climate impacts along the coastlines are exacerbating pre-existing social inequities. The Southeast, for example, is expected to lose over a half-billion labor hours by 2100 due to extreme heat.
  • Agricultural crop quality and quantity is projected to decline across the United States due to increased flooding, temperatures, drought, and other climatic changes.
posted by homunculus at 5:23 PM on November 23, 2018 [6 favorites]

Feature length article from the NYTimes, Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe.
posted by peeedro at 11:41 PM on November 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Here are the new national climate assessment’s main conclusions:

About halfway through this list I burst out in terrified laughter

It’s so bad

We...we really need to take care of the Nazi problem sooner rather than later, huh
posted by schadenfrau at 7:42 AM on November 25, 2018

3 takeaways from the big new climate report (Vox)

This link, the ny times report, the wapost breakdown , thenlink to the full report, and the Monday town hall on climate change could make up a new post for Monday if anyone wants to take lead.
posted by The Whelk at 8:05 AM on November 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

posted by homunculus at 1:30 PM on November 25, 2018

This link, the ny times report, the wapost breakdown , thenlink to the full report, and the Monday town hall on climate change could make up a new post for Monday if anyone wants to take lead.

I've been having a lot of insomnia lately and have no idea what state my brain will be in tomorrow. But you've put alot of thought into it, is there any reason you don't want to do it?
posted by homunculus at 1:41 PM on November 25, 2018

No idea, i just have a tendacy to wake up later these days
posted by The Whelk at 2:04 PM on November 25, 2018

Ah, the new Megathread covers it.
posted by The Whelk at 8:20 PM on November 25, 2018

posted by homunculus at 12:32 AM on November 26, 2018

Some details about forestry practices in Europe preparing for climate change: “Making forests fit for the future” (~7min video, direct .mp4 link)
posted by XMLicious at 10:50 AM on November 26, 2018

Worldwide, Climate Policies Are Stumbling
“The gap between where we are and where we need to be is much bigger than it was last year,” says Philip Drost, an officer at UN Environment who helped write the report. “We have new evidence that countries are not doing enough.”

Joseph Curtin, a senior fellow at the Institute for International and European Affairs who was not involved with the UN report, affirmed its overall message. “It’s no surprise whatsoever that the picture has worsened since last year,” he told me in an email. Meeting the Paris goals “requires dramatic global reductions in emissions, but as the report notes, emissions have not declined.”
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:29 PM on November 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

In related news: Drilling on US public lands causes 24 percent of the nation’s CO2 emissions -- But lifecycle emissions have decreased slightly between 2005 and 2014. (Megan Geuss for Ars Technica, Nov. 28, 2018)
Last week, the US Geological Survey (USGS) released a report (PDF) concluding that fossil fuels extracted from public lands account for 23.7 percent of the nation's carbon dioxide emissions. Those numbers include carbon dioxide that's released during the drilling and coal mining process, as well as carbon dioxide that's released when the oil, gas, or coal that comes from public lands is processed and burned.

Drilling and mining in the US can occur on private land, or fossil fuel companies can seek leases from the federal government to drill and mine. Offshore oil drilling, a contentious topic among coastal states that are reluctant to see another Deepwater Horizon disaster ruin their beachfront property, counts as drilling on federal land.
This newly released USGS report was requested by the Obama administration in January 2016. At the time, the federal government tried to limit fossil fuel extraction on federal lands in several ways. The Hill notes that the Obama administration created a number of new national monuments to preclude drilling operations. The former president also halted new coal leases on federal lands and instituted new rules to limit methane emissions on federal land.
Along with measuring carbon dioxide emissions, the USGS report says that fossil fuel extraction on federal lands contributes to 7.3 percent of the nation's methane emissions and 1.5 percent of the nation's nitrogen oxide emissions.

A weak silver lining is that between 2005 and 2014, all emissions from federal public land decreased slightly. For CO2, that meant decreases of 6.1 percent; methane saw a drop of 10.5 percent and nitrogen oxide 20.3 percent. The emissions that come from public land use are closely tied with fossil fuel production on those lands, the USGS writes, so when extraction decreases, emissions decrease too.

The USGS report also quantified how much carbon dioxide federal lands sequester. That is, plants and soil can store some CO2, and protecting federal lands means protecting the ecosystems that hold some amount of CO2 in storage.

The USGS report notes that federally owned ecosystems like forests, grasslands, and shrublands sequestered an average of 195 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year between 2005 and 2014, "offsetting approximately 15 percent of the CO2 emissions resulting from the extraction of fossil fuels on Federal lands and their end-use combustion."
posted by filthy light thief at 9:50 AM on November 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

« Older The Chimichanga Job   |   Welcome to the Witch Capital of Norway Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments