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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Delusional Human Race Doomed to Extinction

As we all know, the human race is delusional. We push asset prices in the stock market to the sky and never expect them to collapse. Yet, in the last 15 years, that has happened twice. Why would we expect the third time to avoid a collapse?

But, crashing stock markets are just a minor blip on the radar compared to Climate Change. The deniers have kept us from taking any meaningful action to avoid a collapse of life on this planet. It may be too late to avoid that collapse right now.

The politicians have set an unreasonable goal for warming—2°C above pre-industrial temperatures. That goal, which we are not on target to stay below, may actually be too high to avoid catastrophe. At the present time, with temperatures having warmed by just below 1°C so far, we are seeing Arctic ice gradually disappear, superstorms like Sandy hitting northern latitudes, seas rising and flooding coastal communities, and many more. The effects are obvious. They are facts, not debatable. Yet we have done nothing to stop Global Warming. It's as if we're in a car racing down the highway with no working brakes.

David Spratt makes it clear what action we should be taking:

The catastrophic and irreversible consequences of 2°C of warming demand a strong risk-management approach, with a low rate of failure. We should not take risks with the climate that we would not take with civil infrastructure.

There is no carbon budget available if 2°C is considered a cap or upper boundary as per the Copenhagen Accord, rather than a hit-or-miss target which can be significantly exceeded; or if a low risk of exceeding 2°C is required; or if positive feedbacks such as permafrost and other carbon store losses are taken into account.

Effective policy making can only be based on recognising that climate change is already dangerous, and we have no carbon budget left to divide up. Big tipping-point events irreversible on human time scales such as in West Antarctica and large-scale positive feedbacks are already occurring at less than 1°C of warming. It is clear that 2°C of climate warming is not a safe cap.

In reality, 2°C is the boundary between dangerous and very dangerous climate change and 1°C warmer than human civilisation has ever experienced.

In the lead up to the forthcoming Paris talks, policy makers through their willful neglect of the evidence are in effect normalising a 2.5–3°C global warming target.

This evidence in "Recount: It's time to 'Do the math' again" demonstrates that action is necessary at a faster pace than most policy makers conceive is possible.