Friday, October 12, 2018

When Governments Can No Longer Handle the Truth

Gwynne Dyer has interesting views on climate change from the military perspective. In his book, "Climate Wars," he argues that we won't die from climate change but from the wars it will unleash.

It's not surprising that Dyer wasn't very impressed with this week's report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or the milquetoast attitudes of the governments that commissioned it. Governments, he claims, are afraid of putting themselves on the hook to actually do something about it.
...governments don’t like to talk about the mass movements of refugees and the civil and international wars that will erupt when the warming cuts into the food supply. And they don’t want to talk openly about the feedbacks. 
Governments take climate change very seriously these days, but they worry too much frankness about the cost, in lives, of going past 1.5 C will create irresistible pressure on them to take radical action now. In the ensuing struggle between the scientists and the politicians, the executive summary always gets toned down. 
What got removed from the summary this time was any mention of “significant population displacement concentrated in the tropics” at plus-two C. 
Even worse, “tipping points” barely are mentioned in the report. These are the dreaded feedbacks – loss of Arctic sea ice, melting of the permafrost, carbon dioxide and methane release from the oceans – that would trigger unstoppable, runaway warming. 
They are called feedbacks because they are self-reinforcing processes unleashed by the warming we already have caused. 
If you don’t go into the feedbacks, you can’t talk about runaway warming, and going to four, five or six degrees C higher average global temperature, and hundreds of millions or billions of deaths. And if you don’t acknowledge that, you will not treat this as the emergency it is.


Anonymous said...

Dyer mentions feedback, when what he means is positive feedback, which is the recipe for instability - the result adds (positive) to the input. Negative feedback is used in many electronic and mechanical systems for stability, even the toilet tank, and is how Earth reacted to disturbances until the disturbances became too large for it to absorb in too short a time.

It's too late to swing this ship around. So far as I can tell, nobody gives a shit really, so I agree with Dyer. All the pols would rather steam full speed ahead and make jobs for today instead of taking a reasoned view. It's what they're wired to do. Even people who started out as social democrats and then got highly enamoured with their wonderful impeccable selves like Notley. Fighting over scraps. All the remaining contingency plans probably involve slaughtering civilians if they start to move from uninhabitable areas. I see no sign of public swimming lessons for coastal residents, Instead, around here residents bleat that the province or municipality should build giant breakwaters at public expense because their backyard barbecue is underwater during storms. With that kind of attitude, it's plain to see that people ain't put two and two together yet.

I mentioned before I was fatalistic. We won't get out of this horror as a species, because we're no smarter than any other. If there's food, we procreate mindlessly with no thought of the future - that's all wired in due to our genetics. Having consciousness doesn't mean we act for our preservation, since every protoplasmic blob is ultimately out to save itself. You can buck the trend, dig a hole, stockpile cans of beans, go and live in New Zealand, but to what end? There'll always be other desperate survivors who'll cut your throat for a spoonful of Heinz Beanz.


Anonymous said...

It's time for men to curb their appetite for sex???