Politicians in Paris will try, if that’s not too kind a word, to find an agreement that will hold down temperature increases to 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels [+2C].
Still too much, says James Hansen, of NASA (retired) and Columbia University, who has been warning us about this since 1981 or so:
• The last time Earth was +2C, 120,000 years ago, sea levels were 6-8 meters higher than today. 2 degrees would lock that in, the only question being how fast we would get there.
Stephen Gardiner, in his book A Perfect Moral Storm, says that climate change produces moral corruption. The worst effects of carbon pollution are many years to come; responsibility is diffused over hundreds of governments, thousands of corporations, billions of individuals, and many generations; and, we are not well practiced or intellectually equipped for making decisions about problems of this sort. So it is hard not to make up stories, to fool ourselves, to tell ourselves that what we do now doesn’t matter, and carry on as before. That is moral corruption. It leaves us with a good chance that action will not be taken soon enough to avert catastrophe.
Americans voted yesterday for more moral corruption, choosing to boost the power of a party that is wedded to the propositions that we can’t have a good life without plenty of fossil fuels, Continue reading
Click image to enlarge; thanks to John Fleck, via Rabett Run, for this beautiful graphic. Of course it reminds you that the city’s water – Chinatown and all that – is coming from desert rivers that don’t flow quite like they used to.
From today’s Guardian – NASA’s James Hansen talks to the UK government:
Tar sands exploitation would mean game over for climate, warns leading scientist
[…] Hansen met ministers in the UK government, which the Guardian previously revealed has secretly supported Canada’s position at the highest level.
From last Friday’s Guardian – the UK government couldn’t care less:
UK’s climate change adaptation team cut from 38 officials to just six
Former senior official John Ashton attacks government for ‘spooking potential investors’ in energy infrastructure
Exxon Hates Your Children – what a name for a website, for a campaign. Nice because it is so obviously true while being literally wrong simply because the corporation has no emotions. If an individual were doing what Exxon does, we would see their actions as hateful and hold them up as objects of hate in return – as indeed we do with the Koch brothers or Gina Rinehart. With Exxon and its ilk you get just a bunch of corporate cogs, a machine of impersonal hatred, banal evil…