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IEA Warns of Irreversible Climate Change In 5 Years

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the it's-getting-hot-in-here dept.

Earth 1105

iONiUM writes "As a follow up to the previous slashdot story, there has been a new release by the International Energy Agency indicating that within 5 years we will have irreversible climate change. According to the IEA, 'There are few signs that the urgently needed change in direction in global energy trends is under way. Although the recovery in the world economy since 2009 has been uneven, and future economic prospects remain uncertain, global primary energy demand rebounded by a remarkable 5% in 2010, pushing CO2 emissions to a new high. Subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption of fossil fuels jumped to over $400bn (£250.7bn).'"

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So (4, Interesting)

sithkhan (536425) | more than 2 years ago | (#38008976)

As 60% of the energy usage is all the third-world countries, the answer is obvious.

Re:So (4, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38008996)

As 60% of the energy usage is all the third-world countries, the answer is obvious.

I can guess what you're going to say, but no the answer is not obvious.

Short of a major disaster (worldwide epidemic, nuclear war, asteroid strike), none of which would benefit the planet in the long run, I don't see how we're going to recover. Here in Australia they just passed a carbon tax - as if we can just tax the problem away.

Re:So (5, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009026)

Actually, a carbon tax might work, if it applies to imported goods as well. Of course, China would scream bloody murder.

Re:So (-1)

DavidDavidson (2504490) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009326)

Actually, a carbon tax might work, if it applies to imported goods as well. Of course, China would scream bloody murder.

When has a tax ever done anything? Name one!

Re:So (5, Informative)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009400)

Most tariffs (tax on imports) have been very effective. Another example would be road tolls.

Actually, if your goal is to reduce consumption, it would be difficult to find a tax that is ineffective.

Re:So (4, Insightful)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009054)

Carbon taxes on industry can work, in theory, when the tax amount makes production infeasible, which it never does and when the tax is actually asked for and not bailed away, like it usually is.

Re:So (4, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009122)

> none of which would benefit the planet in the long run
The planet is a big iron ball that doesn't give a damn what we do. The ones who care about epidemics and war are us humans, who are by and large causing the problems ourselves.

Although this is not politically correct to say, the fewer humans there are the better off the rest of the biosphere will be.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY [youtube.com]

Re:So (2, Interesting)

zrakoplovom (1938894) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009134)

> the fewer humans there are...

You first...

Re:So (5, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009260)

Why do people always think that reducing the population requires some sort of genocide? You realize it's also possible to just have a birthrate below replacement level? Soylent Green entirely optional.

I don't think we're at the carrying capacity of the Earth yet, but I think Homo sapiens are the only species so far that will be capable of artificially surpassing the carrying capacity for a short amount of time which will lead to a period of...genocide, at least in some localized populations who aren't lucky enough to have a strong government with a powerful military. So by not addressing the problem now in a humane way we might end up having exactly what you fear.

Re:So (1, Flamebait)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009362)

Why do people always think that reducing the population requires some sort of genocide? You realize it's also possible to just have a birthrate below replacement level?

Do you mean like the Germans before and during 2nd world war? Or like in Communist China? Or that movement of Eugenicists in the beginning of the 20th century were they believed non-smart people should be sterilized? Or maybe you agree to put poison in the water to increase miss-carriage? There's not so many ways, and most have been tried already. Take your pick...

My pick: allow development in poorer countries, so that growth reduces by people will and conditions.

Re:So (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009178)

Fortunately, birthrates are either stable or declining in most First-World countries when you discount immigration... due to a higher standard of living.

Now, how exactly do you propose to get the Third World to cut back on births without also promoting them to the same (energy-consuming) standard of living? Yep, that's what I thought.

Re:So (5, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009198)

Actually, as their own standard of living has risen, their own birth rate has fallen in proportion. If the current rate of change is maintained, third world countries will not have high birth rates for much longer.

Re:So (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009242)

I have no proposal, wish I did. I'm afraid people will keep doing what people do, and nature will take it's course.

Re:So (2)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009200)

Here in Australia they just passed a carbon tax - as if we can just tax the problem away.

Well, it's not a tax -- it's an Emissions Trading Scheme, but with a fixed-price set on permits by the Government for the first three years of its operation. Even in those first three years, permits are still able to be traded and sold as in any ETS, rather than CO2 emissions being directly taxed (as is the case in a carbon tax).

Once it starts being a fully-fledged ETS, incidentally, there are two separate non-governmental bodies that should hopefully ensure that CO2 reduction targets are set independently of the government (just as the reserve bank, not the government, sets interest rates). It's perhaps not the best solution, but it's not a bad way of doing things (and has a heck of a lot more chances of success than the Rudd Government's previous CPRS legislation).

The trick is getting enough countries to do similar, and in that respect the best hope is probably China (which will start a limited trial ETS next year). That'll help that 60% down, for starters :)

More than 60% of the population is "third world" (1)

TheEmperorOfSlashdot (1830272) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009390)

although this depends entirely on how the term "third world" is defined. Unfortunately, you provided no citation for your claim, and the term "third world" is so ludicrously imprecise as to be meaningless, so there is no basis to even evaluate your statement.

Incidentally, this TED talk by Hans Rosling may enlighten your view of the world and its countries: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVimVzgtD6w [youtube.com]

Re:So (4, Informative)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009408)

A single nation, US of A releases 25% of world's greenhouse gases. "Third world" is not even in the picture here. US beats everyone even in emissions per dollar of economic activity. I don't remember the book name, but here's a world map I found: http://www.worldmapper.org/display.php?selected=299# [worldmapper.org]

snore (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38008978)

snore

stop the subsidy madness (0, Offtopic)

plopez (54068) | more than 2 years ago | (#38008984)

let's see what the free market does for a change. No more corporate welfare.

Re:stop the subsidy madness (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009028)

What, and cut all the green pork? What will Slashcrap say then?

let's see what the free market does

MOAR COAL (possibly shale too, given its abundance these days)

Re:stop the subsidy madness (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009140)

You think that coal/shale oil/shale gas isn't highly subsidized by the tax/rate payer? Please can I have some of whatever you are smoking 'cause it's some pretty powerful stuff to put you in such a fantasy land

Re:stop the subsidy madness (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009174)

No, dickhead, fossil fuels aren't highly subsidised by the taxpayer. To the extent that they are subsidised, you could eliminate those subsidies and still wind up more cost-effective than the worthless green shit sucking up billions of dollars of subsidies worldwide.

Re:stop the subsidy madness (5, Interesting)

polar red (215081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009252)

from the summary :

Subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption of fossil fuels jumped to over $400bn

that dwarfs green subsidies.

It's almost all China (1, Interesting)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009018)

Due to massive reduction programs, most of the world keeps CO2 at most slightly increasing, and in some cases lowering. Except for China who's doubling their pollution every ten years.

Re:It's almost all China (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009076)

Where did you read that?

Re:It's almost all China (5, Informative)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009100)

For example, in the linked article [planet3.org] .

Re:It's almost all China (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009402)

Something noteworthy is the fact that all depicted countries have increasing levels except Germany and the UK.

While I'm inclined to accept the fact that China has the biggest growth rate and together with india the only increasing slopes. It is important to note that the US have more emissions for the projected period(20th century) that the sum of the rest. Another thing I would like to point out is that chinas (and indias) 2000s are like the USA's 60s they coincide with an international industrial boom and economic influx. Chinas industrialization is supported by international funds being dumped on them in massive quantities.

So what? China is the bad guy? Stop apple/sony/samsung/the_automobile_industry from dumping billions on them every month and then you will see their carbon emissions going right down.

Re:It's almost all China (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009216)

China’s rapid emissions growth and global climate change policy [anu.edu.au] table 8.1 lists China's emissions growth 2000-05 as 10.6% p.a. If continued, this rate means a doubling of emissions in approximately 7 years. If you take figures published in China [chinadaily.com.cn] of 33.6% between 2006-10, equating to a 7.5% p.a. growth, or a doubling period of approximately 10 years (6.0% and ~12 years if you treat that as a 5 yr period). Contrast that with figures for Australia [climatechange.gov.au] which are essentially flat this year (-0.4%).

Re:It's almost all China (1)

multiben (1916126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009112)

And I assume that you own no Chinese made products? It's all very well for everyone to bitch about China's pollution, but we're all very happy to pay for cheap manufactured goods when it suits us.

Re:It's almost all China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009184)

Actually I'd willingly pay more for well made articles with decent quality control. Problem is that in most cases I can't. The only thing available is the badly made Chinese article, and it's often not that cheap.

Re:It's almost all China (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009396)

Industry in China is fine. Industry in China powered by coal is not; there are lots of other ways to get power, and if adoption of (ex.) nuclear power by China instead of coal caused a 5% rise in the price of Chinese trinkets, so be it.

Re:It's almost all China (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009130)

Pollution in China that is the result of us exporting manufacturing there is our pollution.

Re:It's almost all China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009372)

So that's America's fault too! Because the ChiComs, like other leftist regimes before them, are not at all completely indifferent to pollution!

Re:It's almost all China (5, Insightful)

md65536 (670240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009208)

It's not "almost all China". That's completely retarded.
It's not the rate that CO2 output is increasing that is the problem, it's the level of CO2 output. China only recently surpassed US in level.
Worse than that though, it's not just a yearly output that's the problem, but decades worth of output, because CO2 stays around in the atmosphere for a very long time.

Check out this chart from a recent slashdot story: http://planet3.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/cdiac.gif [planet3.org]
Compare the area under the graph of the US relative to the area under China.
It's more appropriate to say "It's almost all US" at this point. China, having produced less CO2 in the past decades but now producing more, has only just started to catch up. It's got a long way to go.

That said, with the US not slowing down and China racing to catch up, if their rate of production keeps up then things are going to get a lot worse a lot faster. However you spin it, rate of CO2 production by the US is not sustainable, whether they're producing most of the world's CO2, or (worst case) if their dangerously high levels are only a small fraction of it. In the latter case, in the future the US would be making things generally worse, while China might be rapidly endangering the planet, but that hasn't yet happened and it still wouldn't make the problem "almost all China".

Re:It's almost all China (5, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009350)

Good Lord, look at that graph. In the past I would say something like, "China's per capita emissions are still 1/4 of ours, even though we exported all our heavy industry there." But look at that graph! Scientists are saying we need to immediately make major reductions, and instead the curve is headed almost straight up. We are so screwed.

It's human nature. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009024)

I don't expect changes to be made. Capitalistic culture has no thought of the future; people are selfish and will sacrifice their descendants to make things just a bit easier and more profitable to themselves.

I'm kind of curious to see how the world will end up by the time I die.

Re:It's human nature. (5, Informative)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009138)

Tell you what - take a tour of what used to be the USSR some time... the vast majority of the ecological damage there [wikipedia.org] (esp. what used to be the Aral Sea) was done by a decidedly non-capitalistic government, hell-bent on a 'glorious revolutionary future'.

Or, you can drop the sophomoric and faux-intelligent 'OAMG teh capitalizm is teh nexus of 3vilz!' act.

Re:It's human nature. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009220)

The root problem is greed. I never said (nor do I believe) that any other type of economy is going to avert that; that's something humanity as a whole is going to have to overcome. It doesn't help that greediness is rewarded, much less punished.

Re:It's human nature. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009236)

Evil? Capitalism is nothing more than an amoral resource distribution algorithm.

Re:It's human nature. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009348)

Do you realize that you in no way attempted to answer any part of what the OP wrote? When will this childish argument cease to find its way into debates held by anyone over the age of 6? Comparing something worse or equally bad in no way lessens or validates the original subject. I could care less if communism was worse, or if it raped school children while being worse. The OP's point that capitalism drives on the same road, albeit at a slower pace, remains unchallenged by your attempt at misdirection.

Re:It's human nature. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009352)

Ergo, we should just let capitalists run everything, hell-bent on a glorious monetary future. Yep, makes perfect sense.

Re:It's human nature. (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009182)

Just wait 5 years and see. Can you hang on that long in this horribly polluted, environmentally dangerous world of ours? I wish you the best.

Re:It's human nature. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009312)

I love AGW alarmist deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.

old news (5, Insightful)

sanzibar (2043920) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009036)

we are past the point of the last Irreversible claim... and the one before that... and the one before that...

Re:old news (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009058)

Does this mean we won't have to listen to any more bullshit about global warming after 2016?

Yeah. I didn't think so either.

Re:old news (0)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009204)

Exactly. I am waiting for even one of their predictions to come true. For example: ocean level has actually decreased over the last couple of years.

Re:old news (5, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009378)

You got modded troll, but you made me curious, because I seemed to remember hearing these before, too. Doing a google search of "global warming irreversible YYYY" I came up with these:

From 2009, Obama has 4 years to save the world [examiner.com]
From 2009, global warming is now irreversible, study says [npr.org] (also discussed on slashdot [slashdot.org] )
From 2006, The End of the World As We Know It; THE world has already passed the point of no return on global warming [smh.com.au] .
From 2005, past the point of no return [independent.co.uk] .
Also from 2005, Global warming irreversible [ummah.com] .
From 2004, Damage from warming becoming irreversible [commondreams.org] .
From 1989, We have a 10 year window to fix the problem [newsbank.com] .

What do you think of that?

Cue fossil fuel interests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009040)

Quick, if you're on a coal or oil payroll then discredit this as long as you need to to make some money... ...until everything goes into the shitter and you can't enjoy your money because the world is well and truly fucked.

Let's say it now and get it over with (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009042)

Bullshit.

More global warming scare tactics. We don't need any more, thanks.

If it's true then it still doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009044)

We have international agreements banning cocaine and opium-based drugs. If some guy wants a car that goes 120 mph or a hookup that keeps his house 75 F in the winter, guess who is going to supply him with it?

And they care. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009046)

And I bet that freaks THEM out. THEY are probably looking forward to the northwest passage being a new drilling/resort area. This freaks them out about as much as Occupiers do I bet.

In other words (3, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009066)

There will be irreversible climate change. The corporate powers that profit from the status quo have more than enough money to continue confusing the issue for centuries to come. Short of a major catastrophe (i.e. millions dead in first world countries), nothing will ever break through the wall of propaganda to awaken the masses.

Cue deniers coming in to lie about how all the world's climatologists are in a conspiracy being funded by Big Solar or whatever.

Re:In other words (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009248)

I used to work for "Big Solar" (well, the third-largest PV maker on the planet). Trust me, if you had any idea how much energy is required to run a single CZ crystal furnace (let alone nearly 100 of them at just one site), or even one semi-tractor-sized wire saw (let alone nearly 50 of them), the last friggin' thing you'd think about solar panel production is "energy efficient", or "zero carbon footprint". And don't get me started on the chemicals required... they can be deadly as hell for crystal PV production if they ever leaked out, but are still rather tame compared to the chemicals a thin-film cell requires.

As for the rest, the climate has been hotter, and it has been colder. I'm not going to ring the alarms until we start seeing something that breaks an actual geological record.

Re:In other words (4, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009306)

See, there you go. Confusing the issue.

1) Do you have any actual numbers to back up the notion that solar energy is worse for the environment than current technologies (coal, mostly)?
2) Even if you do, it's irrelevant, since my only point was the absurdity of thinking that "Big Solar" could somehow afford to buy off more scientists than the oil and coal industries.
3) Chemicals required in manufacture are completely unrelated to climate change. We don't make a habit of dumping them into the environment the way we do with CO2.
4) Climate has been hotter and colder. Yes, it was colder during the ice age, and hotter 4 billion years ago. Would you have liked to live in either of those time periods? The climate is changing. It is scientific fact that we have a hand in it. If it changes too much, many, many people will die. We should therefore attempt to prevent it from changing. This is really straightforward stuff.

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009386)

"It is scientific fact that we have a hand in it." Well this just made everything you said suspect.

Re:In other words (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009322)

Ever been on an oil rig?

The last thing you'd think is that this enormous, energy-wasting mechanical monstrosity could possibly a net producer of energy. But of course it is. Same with your solar panel factory, which (just like the oil rig) is fabulously energy-efficient -- over 100% efficient, in fact.

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009330)

All governments & all corporations, not just the Chinese & US ones, endorse oil.

Are you saying there is a giant worldwide conspiracy involving all governments and all corporations against running my mother's life support on solar?

what will happen: (5, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009070)

this will turn into a discussion assigning political blame, and nothing but a lot of hot air will be generated (pun intended)

what should happen:

blame should be set aside, and fixing the problem should be talked about. seed the ocean with iron to create phytoplankton blooms to suck out CO2 and sink to the ocean floor? it has flaws. so strategize some other ideas. yes, some will have anxiety about doing such major ecosystem altering activity when we aren't sure of every infinitesimal outcome... missing the whole goddamn point about what is already happening to the climate. penny wise, pound foolish. it's time for dramatic action, not hand wringing

look: natural, manmade, whatever: obviously the climate is changing, only complete idiots still insist it isn't. so the most compelling, overarching argument is: we have a vested economic interest in keeping our environment the way we are used to it. so we can talk about a price point about what we are willing to invest to keep the thermostat where it should be. so find the price point and fit a plan of action. end of discussion

we are homo sapiens: we don't evolve fur, we kill animals and wear their hides. we don't look for berries, we slash and burn and make the berries grow where we want them. and we don't get used to a hotter earth with more violent storms. we put our hands on the thermostat, and put the earth in the climate zone we like

we are homo sapiens: we don't adapt to the environment, we adapt the environment to us. we aren't fatalistic spineless scatterbrains. this whole climate change topic is really just an engineering problem, with currently not enough engineers working on it, and too many talking heads and other assorted nitwits involved. roll up the sleeves and get to work

Re:what will happen: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009230)

we aren't fatalistic spineless scatterbrains

Individually, perhaps not.

Collectively, absolutely we are.

Re:what will happen: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009240)

I WANT MY SUV

yur so-called 'cyns' can't stop me

grr!!!!

Re:what will happen: (1, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009280)

we have a vested economic interest in keeping our environment the way we are used to it.

Really? I'd love to see the evidence. While obviously an ice age or an overly-hot overall climate would be catastrophic, unless we start seeing outright permanent flash-flooding of the coasts, or a rapid breakdown of overall society, your premise is just an assumption.

Re:what will happen: (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009376)

Just how stable do you think civilization is today? All we have to do is not expand the economy every quarter and hissyfits crawl out of the TV. It is only going to take modest changes in either arable land, fossil fuel supply or potable water to really kick the major economies into a prolonged tailspin. That increases the probability of widespread military actions, enormous problems with refugees and other unpleasantness.

Read up on Joseph Tainter's 'Collapse of Complex Civilizations' for an overview of what will likely happen.

Yes, the planet will survive. In fact, homo stupidicus will likely survive as well. But it isn't going to be pretty.

Re:what will happen: (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009308)

You think the political blame is bad now, just you wait until we start playing around with geoengineering concepts. I say that because it's still not entirely certain how big of an impact CO2 has on climate. That's because our data collection is tiny compared to the rest of Earths history and thus a baseline doesn't really exist. But when nations start playing around with geoengineering, that's when the real international finger pointing will occur. Unfounded or not, there will be demands for financial reparations between China, India, Russia, Europe, USA, Africa, and South America nations when crop yield diminishes. It could even lead to war from this very subject alone of who's responsible. That's because man would now actively, consciously, purposefully be altering the climate.

It's not irreversible. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009072)

It may be no longer possible to reverse it simply by cutting consumption, but geoengineering solutions can still work.

well great (0)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009084)

we'll finally get some warm weather here.

So if we do as they ask... (1, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009090)

The Earth's Climate will enter stasis, and stop changing for the first time ever?

Re:So if we do as they ask... (2)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009128)

Point is: It never changes spontaneously, for no reason. Usually it's changes in atmospheric chemistry that causes it to change.

Right now we're the ones changing the atmospheric chemistry. And it's a Bad Thing.

Re:So if we do as they ask... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009218)

Why is more CO2 a bad thing? Plants are carbon restricted. If we add more CO2 to the atmosphere, plants will grow better and the earth will be greener. A green earth is bad? Farming the northern tundra is bad? There are multiple sides to all arguments.

Re:So if we do as they ask... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009406)

Acidic oceans would likely be 'bad' as in changing the weather patterns for much of the world, causing major shifts in marine flora and fauna - stuff that a large number of people depend on for food.

It's much more complex than just having more Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere.

Re:So if we do as they ask... (1, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009258)

No, it's a dynamic, chaotic system that has been changing since "infall". It hasn't stopped changing ever. It was changing before there was life on the planet and it will be changing after we're gone - until the planet is swallowed by the sun. That's what makes the outcry over "climate change" so ironic.

Re:So if we do as they ask... (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009294)

Do you realize that it's possible for what you say to be true (and I agree with the general point) AND for it to also be true that humans are capable of altering the environment? Given that, it's also possible that the natural changes wouldn't be so bad, but the human caused changes might end up being very bad for us. So shouldn't we do something to stop the changes we can stop?

We're going to find out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009108)

If you think China gives one rat's ass what the IEA thinks about 'climate change' you've got more lead and mercury in your brain than a resident of Shenzhen. The only way their CO2 output is going to stop growing is if we apply tariffs. We won't do that, because we like keeping the industry that makes our stuff faaar away from our precious selves.

That means that whether the IAE is right or wrong about the consequences of CO2, we're going to find out, because nothing, absolution fucking nothing, is going to stop it.

Re:We're going to find out (3, Interesting)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009254)

If you think China gives one rat's ass what the IEA thinks about 'climate change' you've got more lead and mercury in your brain than a resident of Shenzhen. The only way their CO2 output is going to stop growing is if we apply tariffs. We won't do that, because we like keeping the industry that makes our stuff faaar away from our precious selves.

Funnily enough, China's actually doing a heap more stuff on reducing emissions than most countries, including starting trial emissions trading schemes next year. And their investment in renewable energies is extraordinary. Unfortunately, they're also the largest country in the world and they're industrialising their population at a crazy rate -- so whether they do enough remains to be seen.

But they certainly care a lot more than one rat's ass, and more than a lot of developed countries also.

End of the World! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009116)

Harold Camping! Is that you?

What are you going to do? (3, Insightful)

Phleg (523632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009148)

So what are any Of you going to do about it? Continue to point fingers at China? The third world? Oil companies?

How about accepting that you can't change others, and instead set examples yourself. I moved into the city, leave my A/C and heat off whenever possible, bicycle for 95% of my trips (including commuting), grow as much of my own food as I can, and buy the rest locally and in-season whenever possible.

2 years ago, I was doing none of that. Now my personal energy footprint is a fraction of what it had been. Perhaps not as much as is needed, but it's something, and none of it has honestly even been hard.

So again I ask: what are you going to do about it? What will you or have you changed about your lifestyle to help avert global disaster?

Re:What are you going to do? (3, Funny)

rssrss (686344) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009276)

Put a pool in my back yard, and look forward to floating through the hot afternoons.

Re:What are you going to do? (1)

NeverWorker1 (1686452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009300)

Except that buying local [physorg.com] can [conservationmagazine.org] increase [publicradio.org] your carbon footprint [econlib.org] . Basically, for things not involving expensive inputs (e.g. produce), the price of a commodity correlates pretty well with the energy expenditure required to produce it. There is a reason local produce tends to be more expensive--it is less efficient.

Re:What are you going to do? (1)

Phleg (523632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009398)

Note I also mentioned in-season produce. The problem of local-but-foreign and year-round produce is well-known, but to my understanding, the situation around local, seasonal, and native produce is more favorable. The price rule of thumb is a great suggestion, though. I'll be sure to start paying more attention to that.

Re:What are you going to do? (3)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009358)

I take the bus whenever possible (average 1000 mi of driving per year), use energy efficient bulbs and appliances, turn off everything when its not in use, buy local food where possible, and got good insulation so I can turn down the heat in non-bedrooms during the night, never use AC in my house (don't even own one), and only use it in my car in short bursts to cool it down after it's been baking in the sun all day.

But all of that is nothing if we don't get political change as well.

The powers that profit from the status quo are devastatingly effective at propaganda. Nothing you change about your own lifestyle will make a difference if they convince a hundred million of your neighbors that you're just some stupid hippie to be laughed at and ignored.

They can barely predict the weather for next week. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009154)

... why do they think we'll believe their forecast for over five years?

Doing more damage than we can reverse. (0)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009158)

We've already done more damage than we can reverse. It was 71 degrees the other day on November 1st. Our atmosphere is changing probably to a configuration that is hostile to our survival. Probably the first to go will be our crop resources. I don't think our society will change. The majority of this species believes in an Earth that will exist forever because a 2500 year old anthology of books say so.

I don't believe the Earth will be like Venus because Venus is in a different orbit than Earth is. But I do think the Earth will change and probably become hostile to our species. We didn't always have the atmosphere we do now. and when our species dies off, another species will take our place. Our sun can probably support the deveopment of one more species before it perishes.

The Human species had its chance to survive and chose badly.

Think scientifically about this please (1, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009164)

This is the kind of stuff I oppose when I say I'm a skeptic about global warming. The article makes clear that this is a propaganda statement focused on the upcoming climate summit. I want science, not propaganda.

Sure, I accept that CO2 affects the earth's temperature. I understand this equation [wikipedia.org] , and know that it has been accepted science for a hundred years.

But saying that there is a 'point of no return,' a point where massive feedbacks start making the planet vastly hotter than what CO2 could do on its own, where ocean currents stop flowing.......that stretches belief.

The evidence for it is sparse. In fact, there is good evidence to believe the opposite: that each successive ton of CO2 causes a smaller and smaller effect on the earth's climate (see the above equation and consider its implications if you are in doubt). Thus going from 380ppm to 480ppm atmospheric CO2 will have a smaller effect than going from 280ppm to 380ppm.

Re:Think scientifically about this please (1)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009320)

But saying that there is a 'point of no return,' a point where massive feedbacks start making the planet vastly hotter than what CO2 could do on its own, where ocean currents stop flowing.......that stretches belief.

Yeah, taken a look at Venus lately? Now, there's a planet that clearly proves there's no way a climate system could ever get out of control ...

Seriously, though, I think you need to do a little more research into climate feedbacks. They're most certainly not insignificant, and there's a lot of them out there. (Hint: water vapour's one, the albedo of ice vs water is another ... I could go on ...)

We _are_ thinking scientifically... (3, Informative)

grimJester (890090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009354)

But saying that there is a 'point of no return,' a point where massive feedbacks start making the planet vastly hotter than what CO2 could do on its own, where ocean currents stop flowing.......that stretches belief.

No one is saying that. The "Irreversible Climate Change" in the article means the 2C warming considered unsafe will be unavoidable.

The evidence for it is sparse. In fact, there is good evidence to believe the opposite: that each successive ton of CO2 causes a smaller and smaller effect on the earth's climate (see the above equation and consider its implications if you are in doubt). Thus going from 380ppm to 480ppm atmospheric CO2 will have a smaller effect than going from 280ppm to 380ppm.

Yes, the warming is proportional to the exponential of CO2, so every doubling of C02 will give roughly the same amount of warming. This is well known.

Stop talking about changing the way we use energy! (2)

Jartan (219704) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009172)

Carbon emissions are a real problem. We don't need a bunch of zealots claiming the sky is falling unless we do things their way.

With the third world getting ready to ramp up energy production the idea of conservation is a pipe dream. China is already ignoring us and the rest will do the same.

We need to globally spend trillions of dollars on energy research and we need to do it yesterday. It's the only answer left.

Two Simple Solutions (4, Insightful)

ad454 (325846) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009192)

Built a cheap portal to an alternative Earth that is 85 million years in the past, in order to colonize it.

Or wait for the rapture.

Because the above choices are more realistic than expecting the human race to put short-term greed aside to save the planet.

Ask a bunch of people if they would be willing to receive a billion dollar now, in exchange to blowing up the Earth 200 years in the future, you would be surprised how many of them would say yes. That is the problem with the human race.

Sky is falling in 5 years (4, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009196)

Don't worry, according to Family Radio, the world will end several times before then.

Do Your Part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009206)

I've made my background black. I've done my part. What about you?

(And what's with Firefox's background color setting? New tabs flash white before changing to the background color. It's blinding when everything else including the room is dimmed. Why isn't the background set before the tab is displayed?)

Re:Do Your Part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009232)

This saves NO electricity and actually uses more power on an LCD panel. Face it, most people aren't on CRTs anymore.

correcting climate change (1)

Symbit (2504476) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009210)

If climate change trends toward warming and the Earths atmosphere becomes to hot for global ecology to continue could we possible try to correct the issue with a nuclear winter? I realize that using explosions that output allot of ionizing radiation would be absurd but what if we where to deliver particulate matter to the atmosphere another way? Perhaps an artificially induced impact winter via a redirected celestial body? It would be a measure of last resort but would such methods even have a slight chance of helping compensate for global warming?

Since it will happen... (2)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009214)

...there's no point in resisting but every point in positioning for survival.

This will mean competition for space in the lifeboat, so to speak. That will mean willingness to let competitors die off, to use violence to save our own countries, and do things which are unfashionable.

Plant food (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009228)

We're producing too much plant food (CO2)

Who cares.

All liberal hype.

Next.

Volcano? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009246)

Did anyone look into the CO2 emissions from volcanos that have gone off in Siberia? I'm guessing they are having a bigger effect on the planet than human intervention.

Cool it man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009262)

http://www.amazon.com/Cool-Skeptical-Environmentalists-Global-Warming/dp/0307266923/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320906175&sr=1-5

Then there isn't anything to do (1)

SensitiveMale (155605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009284)

No way to make any meaningful changes within 5 years. IEA screwed up by crying wolf with a doomsday that was too early.

Re:Then there isn't anything to do (1)

md65536 (670240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009384)

You're proposing they do the opposite of crying wolf, and keep quiet when there is imminent danger.

"I don't want to alarm you, but there's a wolf nearby. I wouldn't worry though... if you move slowly sometime soon, you should be able to get far enough away within 30 minutes."
(5 minutes later, while being eaten): "Why didn't you warn me that the wolf was only 5 minutes away, not 30?!"
"Well, at least this way you had a decent, calm, slow pace when you were killed."

sale jerseys (1)

jersey123456 (2485408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009290)

The capital Wholesale NFL jerseys [jerseymall.biz] characteristics of their NHL jerseys were continued sleeves and stripes. The Toronto Arenas were the alone aggregation to action a solid dejected jersey with white trim.The alliance boring fabricated its way to the United States in 1924. The aboriginal aggregation in the states was the Boston Bruins. The NHL jerseys associated with this aggregation MLB jerseys [jerseymall.biz] was a solid amber blush with gold trim. At this time, the NBA jerseys [jerseymall.biz] Hamilton Tigers wore an NHL jersey with attenuate curve of atramentous and gold NHL jerseys [jerseymall.biz] on their sleeves.

Some are missing the obvious here... (0)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009332)

...Carbon Dioxide is NOT a pollutant.

PLANT LIFE ON EARTH DEPENDS ON IT.

Re:Some are missing the obvious here... (4, Insightful)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009394)

PLANT LIFE ON EARTH DEPENDS ON IT.

True but irrelevant. It's like saying it's okay to flood cities with water, because fish depend on it.

Let's avoid religious arguments, please (-1, Flamebait)

J Story (30227) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009338)

Anthropogenic Global Warming is a tenet of faith and is as "scientific" as "intelligent design". Are we really now going to pollute this site with arguments about whether Mohammud was/was not a child rapist?

Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009404)

Please try to revert shutdown of atomic power stations (which don't produce CO2). They will be replaced mainly with gas power stations which produce tons of CO2.

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