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Sat Feb 16, 2019, 08:59 PM

New York Times Opinion: Time to Panic (climate change)

Time to Panic
New York Times Opinion, David Wallace-Wells, 2/16/19

The age of climate panic is here. Last summer, a heat wave baked the entire Northern Hemisphere, killing dozens from Quebec to Japan. Some of the most destructive wildfires in California history turned more than a million acres to ash, along the way melting the tires and the sneakers of those trying to escape the flames. Pacific hurricanes forced three million people in China to flee and wiped away almost all of Hawaii’s East Island.

We are living today in a world that has warmed by just one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since the late 1800s, when records began on a global scale. We are adding planet-warming carbon dioxide to the atmosphere at a rate faster than at any point in human history since the beginning of industrialization.

In October, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released what has become known as its “Doomsday” report — “a deafening, piercing smoke alarm going off in the kitchen,” as one United Nations official described it — detailing climate effects at 1.5 and two degrees Celsius of warming (2.7 and 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). At the opening of a major United Nations conference two months later, David Attenborough, the mellifluous voice of the BBC’s “Planet Earth” and now an environmental conscience for the English-speaking world, put it even more bleakly: “If we don’t take action,” he said, “the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”

Scientists have felt this way for a while. But they have not often talked like it. For decades, there were few things with a worse reputation than “alarmism” among those studying climate change.


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Reply New York Times Opinion: Time to Panic (climate change) (Original post)
teach1st Feb 16 OP
nmgaucho Feb 16 #1
Bleacher Creature Feb 16 #2
handmade34 Feb 16 #4
Bleacher Creature Feb 16 #6
jimlup Feb 16 #3
Mountain Mule Feb 16 #5
Laurelin Feb 16 #8
Rhiannon12866 Feb 17 #16
Mountain Mule Feb 17 #17
Rhiannon12866 Feb 18 #19
handmade34 Feb 16 #10
airplaneman Feb 17 #15
Mountain Mule Feb 17 #18
rwsanders Feb 16 #7
They_Live Feb 16 #9
ananda Feb 16 #11
They_Live Feb 17 #14
jalan48 Feb 16 #12
Xipe Totec Feb 16 #13
Blue_Tires Feb 18 #20

Response to teach1st (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2019, 09:45 PM

1. And for those who argue: How can that be if it's been so cold this winter?

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Response to teach1st (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2019, 10:05 PM

2. But it snowed last week!!!

I don't really hold out much hope anymore. We have a moronic President, Senate, and a sizable portion of the House that continue to bury their heads in the sand and make light of this issue. If anything, the Green New Deal may not be enough.

THIS is our true national emergency.

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Response to Bleacher Creature (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 16, 2019, 11:02 PM

4. "...our true national emergency"

a general populace of people either stupid, apathetic, lazy, uneducated and/or unwilling to do the work, make the sacrifices, walk the talk...... I am truly sorry for us

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Response to handmade34 (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 16, 2019, 11:10 PM

6. Yep.

To me, this was the most depressing sentence in the op-Ed:

But a majority of Americans were unwilling to spend even $10 a month to address global warming; most drew the line at $1 a month, according to a poll conducted the previous month.

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Response to teach1st (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2019, 10:10 PM

3. Unfortunately it will be meet with silence

nobody is noticing but we're at the elbow of the temperature and sea level graphs.

It will not be pretty. We are not going to make the 2 degree Celsius target but we should still try hard because on the other side is 3 or 4 Celsius of warming or worse. That is catastrophic warming and most folks are oblivious to what will happen. Even those who are politically aware are dangerously naive about this topic.

Obama did his best to steer the ship of state in the right direction. Unfortunately, as we know only too well, the rudder has been dramatically turned and now we are headed directly over the climate cliff.

I'm pessimistic but I have not given up though I have to admit - despite knowing about this coming emergency and putting high on my political agenda for over 40 years I'm on the verge of giving up.

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Response to teach1st (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2019, 11:02 PM

5. And yet only 3 replies to this thread

I studied climatology in college and I have been following the scientific discussion for at least the past 20 years. We are in serious trouble folks. Some climatologists give us only 10 - 20 years before the planet can no longer support human civilization as we now know it. And STILL we continue on with business as usual. I am extremely pessimistic in regard to the future of our planet.

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Response to Mountain Mule (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 16, 2019, 11:15 PM

8. Do replies do any good?

I`ve done what i could personally do for thirty years, but personal doesn't do much. I've tried and failed to convince friends and family. So I volunteered for political campaigns. Really didn't do much, did it? Giving up isn't an option, but I'm not having any inspirations right now.

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Response to Laurelin (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 17, 2019, 02:09 AM

16. Welcome to DU!

We're glad to have you with us! We have an active Environment and Energy Group here, if you're interested:

Environment & Energy (Group)
https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1127

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 17, 2019, 12:50 PM

17. Thank You!

Actually, I've been around for a while. I just tend to read more than I post. Maybe I should become more active in the Environment and Energy group. Do you think?



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Response to Mountain Mule (Reply #17)

Mon Feb 18, 2019, 02:42 AM

19. Absolutely! You'd be more than welcome!

It's one of the most active groups on DU - with good reason - these really are perilous times and I learn something there every day.

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Response to Mountain Mule (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 16, 2019, 11:17 PM

10. the astute and curious among us

have been aware of this for many decades... I have been talking to others about this for almost 50 years... shouldn't be anything new or mysterious to anybody

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Response to Mountain Mule (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 17, 2019, 01:54 AM

15. I have also been following the climate change discussion for the last 20 years.

I was so proud when Al Gore brought the subject to the forefront and so horrified how it was all dismissed by right wing and conspiracy theory elements.
The biggest disappointment to me is the lack of respect for science. I have come to the conclusion you cannot be a scientist and believe that Evolution or Climate Change are not indisputable. Its almost a cult - Climate Denial and Political Affiliation is almost a given. Part of the problem comes from the internet itself. The internet has allowed any non-scientific Bozo to find allies. I have noticed recently by YouTube hits how bad this all is.
A good Scientist like Dr Keith Strong gets 300 hits a week for his Climate Change video's.
Dr Paul Beckwith gets maybe 5,000 hits a week for his video's.
Its not hard to find some Non-Scientist YouTube Bozo Conspiracy Theorist that gets 50,000-250,000 hits a week.
I have gone though all the stages of realizing we are not going to survive this. Shock, Depression, Negotiation, and Acceptance.
I say we only have one to two more functional generations before it all falls apart or 20-40 years.
I am personally surprised to see more and more Scientists come on board we have at most 12 years to Mitigate some of the Disaster headed our way or we will pass the point of no return. IPCC, COP, and The American Academy of Scientists if we have not already passed that point.
In some ways it's OK and as long as I am alive I need to find some happiness and show kindness to my fellow Mankind. Once things really go south it will happen rather quickly I believe. I will keep some thought on how it might have been on my way out.
-Airplane

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Response to airplaneman (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 17, 2019, 01:03 PM

18. It's not almost a cult, it IS a cult!

And it's only gotten worse thanks to Twitler who will surely go down in history (if there is a history in the future) as the most evil man of all time. Even Hitler didn't manage to kill all life on earth. I despair of arguing science with the cult. They are determined to remain ignorant and spread false science everywhere they can. I too have been going through the stages of grief myself. Every time I go up into the Colorado mountains and see all the dead trees, I cry.

Many ecologists and climatologists are suffering from ecological grief - I certainly am.


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Response to teach1st (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2019, 11:13 PM

7. It gets worse. Insect populations are crashing, amphibian populations are plummeting, coral reefs..

are dying.
All the ecosystems we rely on are collapsing and it barely merits notice in the MSM. The state of the planet should be part of every nightly news cast.

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Response to teach1st (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2019, 11:16 PM

9. The time to panic was actually 40 years ago

and some were even talking about this problem back then.

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Response to They_Live (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 16, 2019, 11:21 PM

11. Agree

I remember reading about global warming and
the Greenhouse Effect in the 70’s and I and
many others I knew took it seriously.

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Response to ananda (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 17, 2019, 12:55 AM

14. Thanks for confirming,

my sometimes faulty recall makes me hesitant to post without an adequate "link". I also remember having a Mead folder/binder in middle school (1977 ?) with ecologically themed artwork; a skeleton figure driving a bulldozer through a forest and stream, polluting the air, water, and soil.

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Response to teach1st (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2019, 11:30 PM

12. Unfortunately, today's identity politics can't deal with an issue like this which is

why it receives less attention than individual outrages over perceived tribal slights.

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Response to teach1st (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2019, 11:47 PM

13. As my old supervisor used to say: If you're not worried, you obviously don't understand the problem

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Response to teach1st (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2019, 09:46 AM

20. Well maybe it's time to finally stop

electing science-hating anti-intellectuals to positions of power you think?

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