July 2022 Climate – still on road to extinction

Australia has a new government. Every month we fail to stop global warming is a month closer to global mass extinction. Still no visible progress towards solution.

https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

The graphic above downloaded today shows the current state of sea-ice surrounding the Antarctic continent. Despite what seems to be a cold winter in Victoria, its coverage indicated by the teal blue line in the chart is 530 km2 smaller than it has ever been before for this time of the year. There are many more indicators that the climate is still deteriorating towards making Earth uninhabitable for its present life forms (including humans!) at an accelerating rate.

The following news items underline the dangers this represents for humans.

Model-analyzed temperatures at 12Z Tuesday, July 19, 2022 (noon GMT) were transcending average values for the time of day and season by 12 to 24 degrees Celsius—or 22 to 33 degrees Fahrenheit—over large parts of northwestern Europe. (Image credit: tropicaltidbits.com) [from the article]

by Bob Hensen, 17/07/2022 in Eye on the Storm, Yale Climate Connections

Horrific heat descends upon Western Europe: 104°F in London

Dozens of all-time record highs melted on Monday and Tuesday under a searing, deadly European heat wave that has caused at least 1,169 heat-related deaths in Spain and Portugal. The heat wave has also brought the hottest day on record for many locations in France and the hottest temperatures — by far — ever observed in the United Kingdom.

The record-smashing heat in Europe’s normally mild, maritime northwest corner was eerily comparable to the astounding heat wave in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and far southwest Canada in June 2021. The latter was found to have been “virtually impossible” without human-produced climate change.

By 9 a.m. GMT on Tuesday, July 19, London’s Heathrow Airport had already surged past 90°F, and at 12:50 p.m., the airport’s official observing site for London recorded what, if confirmed, would be the hottest temperature in London history: 40.2 degrees Celsius, or 104.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Read the complete article

Record high temperatures and extreme weather events are being recorded around the world. Photograph: Ian Logan/Getty Images [from the article]

by Robin McKie, 31/07/2022 in the Guardian

‘Soon it will be unrecognisable’: total climate meltdown cannot be stopped, says expert

Blistering heatwaves are just the start. We must accept how bad things are before we can head off global catastrophe, according to a leading UK scientistRobin McKie.

The publication of Bill McGuire’s latest book, Hothouse Earth, could not be more timely. Appearing in the shops this week, it will be perused by sweltering customers who have just endured record high temperatures across the UK and now face the prospect of weeks of drought to add to their discomfort.

And this is just the beginning, insists McGuire, who is emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London. As he makes clear in his uncompromising depiction of the coming climatic catastrophe, we have – for far too long – ignored explicit warnings that rising carbon emissions are dangerously heating the Earth. Now we are going to pay the price for our complacence in the form of storms, floods, droughts and heatwaves that will easily surpass current extremes.

Read the complete article

In the run-up to the May 21st Federal Election, I posted many more articles documenting the increasing risk of mass extinction that humans face if we do not stop and reverse the runaway acceleration that is flipping our global climate to the Hothouse Earth state.

In the Election Australians replaced the Liberal/National COALition with a more climate friendly Labor government supported by an extensive cross-bench of climate-friendly independents (‘teals‘) and Greens.

The Government has very little time (if any – see the article above) to act to stop carbon emissions and to do what we can to remove some of the past excesses from the atmosphere.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!

Featured image:

Time series graphs showing the variation in the three most important greenhouse gases as observed and recorded by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Global Monitoring Laboratory at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii.

The carbon dioxide data on Mauna Loa shown in the top row constitute the longest record of direct measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere. They were started by C. David Keeling of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in March of 1958 at a facility of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Keeling, 1976]. The first graph shows atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the last five complete years of the Mauna Loa CO2 record plus the current year. The second graph shows annual mean CO2 growth rates for Mauna Loa. In the graph, decadal averages of the growth rate are also plotted, as horizontal lines for 1960 through 1969, 1970 through 1979, and so on.

The middle row charts the growth of atmospheric methane: the first graph shows the full NOAA time-series starting in 1983, The red circles are globally averaged monthly mean values centered on the middle of each month. The black line and squares show the long-term trend (in principle, similar to a 12-month running mean) where the average seasonal cycle has been removed.The second graph summarizes annual increases in atmospheric CH4 based on globally averaged marine surface data.

The bottom row charts the growth of atmospheric N2O (Nitrous oxide) beginning in 2001, when NOAA began to have confidence in the data. Values for the last year are preliminary pending recalibrations of standard gases and other quality control steps. The second graph plots the annual increase in atmospheric N2O in a given year, i.e., the increase in its abundance (mole fraction) from January 1 in that year to January 1 of the next year, after the seasonal cycle has been removed (as shown by the black lines in the first figure). It represents the sum of all N2O added to, and removed from, the atmosphere during the year by human activities and natural processes.

As yet, there is NO evidence that any of these values are beginning to stop increasing, let alone decrease, as the result of any human actions.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

True grimness of IPCC’s report still misunderstood

Most media concluded that emissions could go on rising until 2025 and the world could still stay under 1.5C. A potentially lethal error.

photo by Mario Tama / from the article

by Matt McGrath, 16/03/2022 in BBC News

Climate change: Key UN finding widely misinterpreted: A key finding in the latest IPCC climate report has been widely misinterpreted, according to scientists involved in the study:

A major challenge in communicating complex messages about climate change is that the more simplified media reports of these events often have more influence than the science itself.

This worries observers who argue that giving countries the impression that emissions can continue to grow until 2025 would be a disaster for the world.

“We definitely don’t have the luxury of letting emissions grow for yet another three years,” said Kaisa Kosonen from Greenpeace.

“We have eight years to nearly halve global emissions. That’s an enormous task, but still doable, as the IPCC has just reminded us – but if people now start chasing emissions peak by 2025 as some kind of benchmark, we don’t have a chance.”

Read the complete article….

Editor’s note: Based on my rigorous evaluation of the IPCC’s scientific methodology and writing processes, even the corrected understanding of the IPCC report STILL UNDERSTATES the likelihood of the risk from, and the magnitude of consequences of failures or even delays in stopping the progress of global warming. In reality, the report says it is already too late to avoid global average temperatures rising more than 1.5 °C. By reaching net zero in 2030 AND extracting and sequestering most of the excess CO₂ already in the atmosphere we might be able to bring temperatures back down to 1.5 °C or less. Continuing with business as usual keeps us on the road to runaway warming to Earth’s Hothouse Hell and social collapse leading towards global mass extinction of humans and most other large and complex organisms on the planet.

Featured Image: A dried out reservoir in Chile where drought has forced the government to take emergency measures. / Getty Images / from the article.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Last Horseman: warming & near-term mass extinction

A 2016 article lays out where we were then compared to past extinctions. We are now closer to point of no return. Warming must be stopped!

Coral bleaching in March 2016. Rapid rises of greenhouse gases in the past have been linked to major extinctions in the oceans. XL Catlin Seaview Survey / via the article.

by Katrin Meissner & Kaitlin Alexander , 24/03/2024 in the Conversation

Mass extinctions and climate change: why the speed of rising greenhouse gases matters

[G]reenhouse gases are rising faster than at any time since the demise of dinosaurs, and possibly even earlier. According to research published in Nature Geoscience this week, carbon dioxide (CO₂) is being added to the atmosphere at least ten times faster than during a major warming event about 50 million years ago.

We have emitted almost 600 billion tonnes of carbon since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and atmospheric CO₂ concentrations are now increasing at a rate of 3 parts per million (ppm) per year.

With increasing CO₂ levels, temperatures and ocean acidification also rise, and it is an open question how ecosystems are going to cope under such rapid change.

Read the complete article….

Featured image: Moschorhinus kitchingi with Lystrosaurus. Basal Triassic of South Africa. Lystrosurus was one of the few large animals that survived the Permian-Triassic global mass extinction event anywhere on the planet. Source: Creator:Dmitry Bogdanov / Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Following today’s Apocalyptic topic back to last year

Considers the grim Apocalyptic Horsemen of too many people and too much consumption in a world approaching runaway global warming

Daniel Mariuz/AAP / from the article

by Corey J. A. Bradshaw, et al., 13/01/2021 in The Conversation

Worried about Earth’s future? Well, the outlook is worse than even scientists can grasp

Anyone with even a passing interest in the global environment knows all is not well. But just how bad is the situation? Our new paper shows the outlook for life on Earth is more dire than is generally understood.

The research published today reviews more than 150 studies to produce a stark summary of the state of the natural world. We outline the likely future trends in biodiversity decline, mass extinction, climate disruption and planetary toxification. We clarify the gravity of the human predicament and provide a timely snapshot of the crises that must be addressed now.

The problems, all tied to human consumption and population growth, will almost certainly worsen over coming decades. The damage will be felt for centuries and threatens the survival of all species, including our own.

Read the complete article….

The article here is based on the reserch paper, Underestimating the Challenges of Avoiding a Ghastly Future by Bradsaw et al., 13/01/2021 in Frontiers in Conservation Science.

Featured image: Said to be the longest traffic jam in the world — in China (https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/worlds-worst-traffic-jam-drone-6594560): Source: unknown, but appearing in many places.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Are people ignoring the IPCC’s climate warnings? Why?

Even the very conservative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says billions of people will suffer direct harm from ongoing global warming. Are they getting the message?

Although their science is impeccable, I have explained in detail that the IPCC is constrained by governmental foundations and scientific reticence to understate and downplay the dramatically stark nature of the impacts accelerating global warming is having and will have on human populations and Earth’s biosphere.

Nevertheless, even the IPCC warns that half of all humanity can expect serious impacts from the crisis, including a billion people face coastal inundation from rising sea levels (to say nothing of those already caught up in riverine and flash flooding from extreme weather. And then there are the mass dieoffs of trees, corals, and other land and marine organisms that are already beginning, to say nothing of large areas of land becoming unsuitable for agriculture due to droughts, excessive temperatures, fires and too frequent flooding.

The IPCC’s warnings are most succinctly expressed in terms of conditions that our children and grandchildren can expect in their lifetimes in FAQ 3: How will climate change affect the lives of today’s children tomorrow, if no immediate action is taken? For example:

  • “Children aged ten or younger in the year 2020 are projected to experience a nearly four-fold increase in extreme events under 1.5°C of global warming by 2100, and a five-fold increase under 3°C warming. Such increases in exposure would not be experienced by a person aged 55 in the year 2020 in their remaining lifetime under any warming scenario”.
  • “With ongoing global warming, today’s children in South and Southeast Asia will witness increased losses in coastal settlements and infrastructure due to flooding caused by unavoidable sea level rise, with very high losses in East Asian cities. By mid-century, more than a billion people living in low-lying coastal cities and settlements globally are projected to be at risk from coastal-specific climate hazards. Many of those will be forced to move to higher ground, which will increase competition for land and the probability of conflict and forced relocation.”
  • “Climate change will impact water quality and availability for hygiene, food production and ecosystems due to floods and droughts. Globally, 800 million to 3 billion people are projected to experience chronic water scarcity due to droughts at 2°C warming, and up to approximately 4 billion at 4°C warming, considering the effects of climate change alone, with present-day population.”
  • “Depending on future policies and climate and adaptation actions taken, the number of people suffering from hunger in 2050 will range from 8 million to up to 80 million people, with most severely affected populations concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Central America. Under a high vulnerability-high warming scenario, up to 183 million additional people are projected to become undernourished in low-income countries due to climate change by 2050.”

And this is a highly conservative reading of the likely consequences of continued warming….

What do people and their governments need to do in response to the warnings? As emphasized in the Guardian article and IPCC Report, far too little effort has been made up to now either to mitigate or adapt to the climate changes being driven by global warming. To avoid the most extreme consequences (e.g., global mass extinction – not discussed anywhere in the Report due to government suppression and scientific reticence) much greater effort must be devoted to stopping human carbon emissions and implementation of major mitigation projects.

The third part of the IPCC AR6 report, on mitigation is due for release next month, will explore the kinds of strategies that need to be implemented to mitigate the most immediate effects. Part 4, to be released in October will provide information for discussion by policymakers at COP 27.

A wildfire in January in Bastrop State Park in Texas in the south-western US. Photograph: Jay Janner/AP / via the Guardian

by Fiona Harvey, 05/03/2022 in the Guardian

Q&A: Has the IPCC’s bleak warning of climate breakdown been heard?: Report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said half of the world’s people are ‘highly vulnerable’

The point I am trying to make with this post is that if the IPCC says our future is filled with dire consequences if we fail to act now to stop and begin reversing global warming, our future is very likely to be even a lot worse than forecasted in the full 3675 page document. My assessment of the vast array of evidence around climate change based on a long professional career as an evolutionary biologist and complex systems analyst is that global warming is approaching a point of no return beyond which nothing humans can do will stop Earth’s climate system from runaway heating to its ‘Hothouse Hell’ state, as explained by Steffen et al, 2018 in their Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This risk is both real, and very large if warming is not stopped.

Unfortunately most governments have done very little to slow global warming by actually stopping greenhouse gas emissions or to mitigate the kinds of dangers described in the IPCC AR6 pt. II report. Some are just incompetent, but most seem to be well trained puppets of already super-wealthy special interests of fossil fuel industry who put protecting the special interests continued profits above any serious actions that might curtail them, as is all too evident where both the American and Australian governments are concerned.

Where America is concerned Big Oil’s well honed disinformation campaigns have been all too successful and have been very successfully backed up in government by Senator Joe Manchin.

In Australia we have been governed by the LNP COALition that has their own very effective disinformation system supported by Scotty from marketing himself (listen to his own words here), many cabinet ministers, and to say nothing of a totally funded minor party, coal double billionaire Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party with its coal loving and climate science denying senator, Malcolm Roberts.

“This is coal” 09/02/2017 via David Marler on Youtube
“We’ll keep on mining coal” 09/09/2021 via The Guardian

I have said what follows before, and I’ll probably say it many more times – because it is important!

We need to turn away from the road to hothouse hell, and we won’t do this by continuing with business as usual!

It seems to have taken the clear thinking of Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old girl who concluded school was pointless as long as humans continued their blind ‘business as usual’ rush towards extinction.

greta-act-as-if-the-house-was-on-fire
Listen to Greta’s speech live at the World Economic forum in Davos 2019. Except for her reliance on the IPCC’s overoptimistic emissions budget, everything she says is spot on that even she, as a child, can understand the alternatives and what has to happen.

In other words, wake up! smell the smoke! see the grimly frightful reality, and fight the fire that is burning up our only planet so we can give our offspring a hopeful future. This is the only issue that matters. Even the IPCC’s hyperconservative Sixth Assessment WG2 Report that looks at climate change’s global and regional impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities makes it clear we are headed for climate catastrophe if we don’t stop the warming process.

Scott Morrison and his troop of wooden-headed puppets are doing essentially nothing to organize effective action against the warming. In fact all they doing is rearranging the furniture in the burning house to be incinerated along with anything and everyone we may care about.

In Greta’s words, “even a small child can understand [this]”. People hope for their children’s futures. She doesn’t want your hopium. She wants you to rationally panic enough to wake up, pay attention to reality, and fight the fire…. so our offspring can have some hope for their future. Vote Climate One’s Traffic Light Voting System will help you use your preferential votes wisely on behalf of our offsprings’ future.

Help give them the bright future they hope for off the road to Hell!

Featured image: Climate emergency – The oceans are risking. Melbourne was part of the global climate strike on March 15, 2019, drawing an enormous crowd estimated at 40,000 people, the vast majority school students. After welcome to country and some speeches at the Old Treasury Building the march wound it’s way through CBD streets, down Collins Street and up Bourke street, then down to Treasury Gardens. It was a highly energetic march with the roar of chanting calling for coal, don’t dig it, and for climate action now. . Attribution: Takver from Australia, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons / https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0d/The_oceans_are_rising_and_so_are_we.Climate_emergencyMelbourne_climate_strikeIMG_4246%2833509327348%29.jpg/1200px-The_oceans_are_rising_and_so_are_we.Climate_emergencyMelbourne_climate_strikeIMG_4246%2833509327348%29.jpg?20190416115510

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Latest IPCC report shows we’re on road to Hell

IPCC’s Sixth Assessment WG2 Report looks at climate change’s global and regional impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities

On February 28 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) officially launched the second of three parts of their Sixth Assessment Report, produced by Working Group II: responsible to assess the impacts of climate change, from a world-wide to a regional view of ecosystems and biodiversity, and of humans and their diverse societies, cultures and settlements. It considers the vulnerabilities and the capacities and limits of these natural and human systems to adapt to climate change to reduce climate-associated risks and provide options for creating a sustainable future for all through an equitable and integrated approach to mitigation and adaptation efforts at all scales. In other words, it provides a route map to global warming on the road to hell

Even though the IPCC is heavily constrained by its political structure and its highly bureaucratic and conservative approach to science, this report predicts dire consequences for humans and the rest of our biosphere from the ongoing climate change (i.e., global warming). However, all readers of the report and the flood news items relating to it must understand and recognize that political censorship and scientific reticence is still very much alive and well in this report. The likely realities are probably a lot worse than reported here.

To test my assumption that the Report softens the actual reality, I have thoroughly scanned all 3,675 pages of the full report for all uses of “human” and “extinction” using Acrobat X’s powerful search function. The word “extinction” is used 322 times in the full document, and “human” and “extinction” are found within 10 words of one another 33 times. However, “human extinction” is used only once — and this in the title of a reference not discussed from this point of view in the text. Most of the other hits relate to human or climate change induced extinctions of other species, while authors have carefully avoided extending the logic to humans.

Nevertheless, the bleeding obvious conclusion from the vast amount of data presented in the report is that if governments and people do not succeed in stopping the ongoing global warming there is a very high risk of near-term human extinction.

Also, the news items on the unprecedented/NB4 flooding over the last week of a substantial portion of Australia’s east coast underlines the already horrific impacts on Australian citizens from the increasing rate of global warming. The Guardian article below ties the flooding to the situation described in the IPCC Report. Bloomberg Green’s news item on the Report is typical of hundreds more news items around the world. As long as our planet continues to warm, more and more energy is available to drive extreme weather events. What in the past may have been one in 500 year events are beginning to happen again only 5 years into the future. This is when each climate catastrophe causes even more disruption before recovery from the previous ones are still far from complete. This is when the total collapse of human civilization begins, and the risk of global mass extinction becomes very real.

Flooding in the town of Lismore, New South Wales. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report found catastrophic flooding is becoming more likely due to global warming. Photograph: Reuters

by Adam Morton, 28/02/2022 in The Guardian

Climate scientists warn global heating means Australia facing more catastrophic storms and floods: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says climate effects expected to be more severe than initially predicted

Catastrophic flooding on the scale of the disaster hitting Queensland and New South Wales is becoming more likely as the planet heats due to greenhouse gas emissions, climate scientists have warned.

The latest major assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found global warming caused by humans was causing dangerous and widespread disruption, with many effects expected to be more severe than predicted.

In Australia, it said extreme events exacerbated by emissions – heatwaves, droughts, floods, storms and fires – were causing death, injury and financial and emotional stress. Their impacts were “cascading and compounding” across nature, society and the economy.

Read the complete article….
From the article: Shepherds direct livestock away from an advancing wildfire in Turkey in August.Photographer: Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images

by Eric Roston and Leslie Kaufman, updated 1/03/2022 in Bloomberg Green

Global Warming Is Outrunning Efforts to Protect Human Life, Scientists Warn: A new UN report says countries must do more to safeguard billions from floods, droughts and other “compounding” hazards

The breakneck speed of global warming exceeds the pace of efforts to protect billions of vulnerable people, according to a new report released Monday by the world’s top climate scientists. The report warns of a growing mismatch between rising temperatures and slow, fragmented efforts to adapt, leaving little time for catching up before “a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity” is sealed shut.

“With fact upon fact, this report reveals how people and the planet are getting clobbered by climate change,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, calling the 3,500-page document “an atlas of human suffering” and an indictment of a “criminal” “abdication of leadership.”…

Read the complete article….

The UN Secretary General António Guterres says that the IPCC Report is “an atlas of growing human suffering and an indictment of a criminal abdication of leadership”. I provide evidence here that our political leaders are the abdicators

The handwriting has been on the wall for some 40-50 years the unrelenting of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels to drive our continued industrial development would increasingly warm our whole planet. As explored in a series of reports by Inside Climate News, Big Oil’s own research identified the problem, and the industry by ramping up a relentless campaign using tools originally developed by the tobacco industry to deny and misrepresent the reality, direct attention away from it, to recruit “scientists” to discredit the actual science, and to “encourage” politicians to introduce legislation to block research and actions that might lead to the elimination of carbon emissions.

What follows here is some very solid evidence in our “leaders” of just how effective the fossil fuel industry and its allies in the media; and its puppets and useful idiots in governments and the institutions have been in distracting and blocking Australians from taking any effective action towards solving the ever worsening climate emergency by stopping global warming.

Global Warming and Climate Change — what Australia knew and buried … then framed a new reality for the public

This book by Maria Taylor — Published in 2004 by ANU Press, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia (freely available on-line) documents in detail based on contemporary press reports just how comprehensively successful the special interests have been in protecting and promoting the continued growth their of their industries at the expense of the continued survival of our species. This 230 page (free!) book should be required reading for anyone concerned about the survival of their families into the future in face of the oncoming crescendo of catastrophes the ongoing climate emergency is bringing us. On its own, this book is filled with compelling reasons why we must remove the present members of the LNP COALition government and their fellow travelers from Parliament that are driving us down the road to hell and replace them with rational people who are committed to putting action to solve the climate crisis at the top of their to-do lists if elected to Parliament.

Even if you have always voted for the LNP or one of their fellow traveling minor parties and have any questions about removing these puppets from office, listen to and think about what they told us in their own humbug and bulldust about how they are working keeping Australia’s fossil fuel interests (not the Australian citizens who voted for them) safe from the climate emergency.

Paving the road to hell in their own words….. Only a sampling

Tony Abbott sets tone for successive COALition governments

Tony Abbott 11/10/2017

Barnaby Joyce, ‘Blarney Bulldust, the man in the hat’ at work leading the fight against the climate emergency

Barnaby Joyce becomes deputy leader 22/06/2021

Scotty fighting the climate emergency during the worst of Black Summer

Scott Morrison 20/12/2019

Words are cheap – how are you going to do it???

Angus Taylor Minister for Energy and “Emissions Reduction”

19/08/2021 on Sky News
23/04/2021 on ABC’s 7:30 Report

Craig Kelly ex Liberal now Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party

Malcolm Roberts One Nation Qld.

07/02/220

Scotty supports fossil fuel above climate survival

“This is coal” 09/02/2017
09/09/2021 We’ll keep on mining coal
Why don’t they have a replacement for burning coal?

Gas-led recovery funds fossil fuel & distracts from labor intensive renewable energy

15/09/2022 – blather and humbuggery about advantages of expanding the gas industry with its associated fracking — completely neglecting any mention of the huge labor requirement from investments in sustainable energy infrastructure.

Morrison humbuggery at COP26 in Glasgow

Scott Morrison spurns criticism of Australia’s record on climate change during UN speech – video 26/09/2021 — Again, Morrison is notable for his lack attention on the principal issue at hand, the danger from global warming and the need to stop it. Rejection of criticism does not mean there is nothing to criticise!

What is the truth behind the COALition’s humbug, bulldust and blather – and how can you find it

In my many years of professional life in evolutionary biology and engineering knowledge management systems analysis and design I spent several years studying how to identify authentic reality amongst the clouds of human faith, true-belief, opinion and deliberate attempts to misrepresent and deny important facts of the world we are living in. Both as a scientist and from my employment in the defence engineering world I am fully aware that our lives may depend on recognizing and acting on real dangers in the world we live in. Ignoring them does not make them go away!

From 2013 to 2017 I gave several presentations around Melbourne explaining what I learned in this area. I provide links to them here in hopes that others can learn from them, and to show that my comments on how the COALition and its fellow travelers have worked to pave the road to hell by misrepresenting, distracting attention from, and actually blocking any concerted action to stop carbon emissions are based on a great deal more than just political disagreement.

Note: the first 6 documents describe my learning experiences and some of the lessons I drew from them. The last three speak most directly to sorting our way through today’s political humbug to find hints of reality.

The common factor in all the political interviews I linked above is that they humbug, avoid, minimize, distract from or even lie about the emerging dangers of global warming driven by fossil fuel emissions, while also emphasizing the need to continue or even expand support for fossil fuel industries such as coal and gas in order to maintain/protect employment and the Australian economy. Even more important is the total absence in all the humbug and blather of any comments that the lower cost for renewable energy and the investments to build and deploy the vast array of new generators, storage and distribution systems for renewable energy. These will do far more to increase employment and economic activity than anything that can possibly be done to support the dying fossil fuel industry. There is also no hint of the further economic activity that will be needed to mobilize global solutions to reduce warming by capturing and sequestering atmospheric carbon.

Where some of the puppets are concerned, the strings tying them to the fossil fuel industry rather than the Australian voters are starkly obvious. Craig Kelly is tied to Clive Palmers billion dollar coal interests by Clive’s totally funded United Australia Party (how much has already been spent on the endless TV commercials and full-page newspaper ads?) Malcolm Roberts is practically wed to Pauleen Hanson who founded Pauleen Hanson’s One Nation party. Malcolm worked most of his life in the coal industry. Both Pauleen and Malcolm are currently Senators for Queensland in the Australian Parliament and totally committed to advancing the coal industry. It is less clear what so strongly motivates Scott Morrison and Barnaby Joyce to promote growth of the fossil fuel industry at the expense of renewables, but there is no evidence that the continually growing evidence that fossil fuel emissions are having profoundly bad impacts on Earth’s atmosphere and biosphere as emphasized in the AR6 pt. 2 Report causes any concerns for these two.

We need to turn away from the road to hell, and we won’t do this by continuing with business as usual!

It seems to taken the clear thinking of Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old girl who concluded school was pointless as long as humans continued their blind ‘business as usual’ rush towards extinction.

greta-act-as-if-the-house-was-on-fire
Listen to Greta’s speech live at the World Economic forum in Davos 2019. Except for her reliance on the IPCC’s overoptimistic emissions budget, everything she says is spot on that even she, as a child, can understand the alternatives and what has to happen.

In other words, wake up! smell the smoke! see the grimly frightful reality, and fight the fire that is burning up our only planet so we can give our offspring a hopeful future. This is the only issue that matters. Even the IPCC’s hyperconservative Sixth Assessment WG2 Report that looks at climate change’s global and regional impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities makes it clear we are headed for climate catastrophe if we don’t stop the warming process.

Scott Morrison and his troop of wooden-headed puppets are doing essentially nothing to organize effective action against the warming. In fact all they doing is rearranging the furniture in the burning house to be incinerated along with anything and everyone we may care about.

In Greta’s words, “even a small child can understand [this]”. People hope for their children’s futures. She doesn’t want your hopium. She wants you to rationally panic enough to wake up, pay attention to reality, and fight the fire…. so our offspring can have some hope for their future. Vote Climate One’s Traffic Light Voting System will help you use your preferential votes wisely on behalf of our offsprings’ future.

Help give them the bright future they hope for off the road to Hell!

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Too late already? The frozen Arctic is burning now!

The sensational title describes reality. World’s largest carbon store, peat covering permafrost, is now burning year-round through midwinter

The featured graphic above shows a false-color picture of an active fire burning on a forested area of permafrost in the drainage of the Lena River not far from Yakutsk, capital of the Sakha Republic in Siberia. The video below, from the Siberian Times, documents that the Arctic is burning, even through the entire winter under snow cover in the peat layer covering permafrost. This is only one of many reports (e.g., see Burning the High Arctic: 2020 Spring and Summer Fire Season in Sakha Republic. A Precursor of Fire Seasons to Come?) in this source of the escalating frequency, area, and ferocity of the wildfires burning forests, tundra, and peaty organic soils covering permafrost in the Arctic (Alaska, Canada, and Eurasia (mostly Russia/Siberia). This is also a phenomenon I personally studied extensively last year using freely available access to NASA and European Space Agency satellite monitoring: “Portents for the Future – 2020 Wildfires on the Siberian Permafrost“.

At least where the burning Arctic in Siberia is concerned, peaty soils covering permafrost are susceptible to prolonged burning from the the margins of the Arctic Ocean to the southern boundaries of the permanently frozen soils as just reported in the journal article here that matches ground truth reporting with the satellite monitoring results.

Figure 1. The study areas.

by Kuklina et al, 23/02/2022 in Land

Fires on Ice: Emerging Permafrost Peatlands Fire Regimes in Russia’s Subarctic Taiga

Abstract

Wildfires in permafrost areas, including smoldering fires (e.g., “zombie fires”), have increasingly become a concern in the Arctic and subarctic. Their detection is difficult and requires ground truthing. Local and Indigenous knowledge are becoming useful sources of information that could guide future research and wildfire management. This paper focuses on permafrost peatland fires in the Siberian subarctic taiga linked to local communities and their infrastructure. It presents the results of field studies in Evenki and old-settler communities of Tokma and Khanda in the Irkutsk region of Russia in conjunction with concurrent remote sensing data analysis. The study areas located in the discontinuous permafrost zone allow examination of the dynamics of wildfires in permafrost peatlands and adjacent forested areas. Interviews revealed an unusual prevalence and witness-observed characteristics of smoldering peatland fires over permafrost, such as longer than expected fire risk periods, impacts on community infrastructure, changes in migration of wild animals, and an increasing number of smoldering wildfires including overwintering “zombie fires” in the last five years. The analysis of concurrent satellite remote sensing data confirmed observations from communities, but demonstrated a limited capacity of satellite imagery to accurately capture changing wildfire activity in permafrost peatlands, which may have significant implications for global climate.

Keywords: smoldering fires; zombie fires; boreal forest; permafrost; Evenki; subarctic

Read the complete article….

What do I mean by “Too late already”? for a burning Arctic

It is still early days for an exact quantification of the amount of organic carbon sequestered in the Arctic and subarctic region (e.g., as organic matter in the form of living things, peaty soils, and frozen CO₂ and methane hydrates on, in and under the permafrost). However, our best estimate is that the permafrost region currently holds probably at least two times the total mass of carbon in Earth’s atmosphere. This is not the fossil carbon being released by human industries. According to the US NOAA Arctic Report Card article for 2019 on Permafrost and the Global Carbon Cycle by T. Schuur:

  • Northern permafrost region soils contain 1,460-1,600 billion metric tons of organic carbon, about twice as much as currently contained in the atmosphere.
  • This pool of organic carbon is climate-sensitive. Warming conditions promote microbial conversion of permafrost carbon into the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane that are released to the atmosphere in an accelerating feedback to climate warming.
  • New regional and winter season measurements of ecosystem carbon dioxide flux independently indicate that permafrost region ecosystems are releasing net carbon (potentially 0.3 to 0.6 Pg C per year) to the atmosphere. These observations signify that the feedback to accelerating climate change may already be underway. [my emphasis].

Note that (1) positive feedbacks can grow exponentially (i.e., into ‘explosions’), and (2) a significant proportion of the permafrost carbon is sequestered in the form of frozen methane hydrates. Methane in the hydrate form is inert, but under heating it ‘melts’ and decomposes into water and methane gas – where for the first 20 years of its life in the atmosphere is around 85 TIMES more potent per molecule than CO₂. Even after 100 years is more than 20x potent (IPCC AR5 via Wikipedia). Thus, if global warming triggers an abrupt thawing of Arctic permafrost the rapidly increasing greenhouse could drive global temperatures substantially higher than if CO₂ was the only concern.

To me, the bulk of the evidence in my 2021 Portents for the Future graphical essay as placed in context in my subsequent January 2022 essay “Some fundamental issues relating to the science underlying climate policy: The IPCC and COP26 couldn’t help but get it wrong” suggest that our planet has already passed tipping points where the “natural” positive feedbacks will continue warming the Earth even if we instantly stopped human generated carbon emissions. Note stopping our emissions should at least slow the rate of warming to give us some more time to actually stop the warming – so this remains a vital task! In other words not only do we have to stop carbon emissions from human activities, but we have to implement global scale projects to stop and reduce global heating, e.g., by capturing and sequestering atmospheric carbon by fertilizing and farming ocean deserts. In any event, if we don’t stop the warming feedbacks while we still have the possibility, we will soon pass the point of no return where near term global mass extinction becomes virtually certain.

I am not a near-term climate ‘doomer‘, although I see doom as inevitable if we don’t stop warming. Based on more than a decade studies of the co-evolution of the human species and our technological capabilities, I think if it took us 150 years to burn enough fossil carbon to trigger runaway global warming, we should be smart and capable enough to put that carbon back into safe storage before it kills us. The conclusion of that study in 2016 led me to where I am now rather than trying to finish the book for an audience that probably would not be there to ever read it.

William Hall, 2016

The deep cultural change needed to reach a sustainable future can only be achieved by political action to replace our puppet governments protecting their greedy puppet masters

The puppets show and tell
Captain Humbug showing the parliamentary puppet troop what it is all about. ““Don’t be afraid, don’t be scared, it won’t hurt you. It’s coal.” With these words Australia’s Treasurer Scott Morrison taunted the Opposition, attempting to ridicule its commitment to renewable energy.” – The Conversation (15-02-2017)
Fossil fuel donations keep puppets in government.
See also Katherine Murphy in The Guardian on 09/02/2017 for the live video — “Scott Morrison brings coal to question time: what fresh idiocy is this? What a bunch of clowns, hamming it up – while out in the real world an ominous and oppressive heat just won’t let up.”

In Australia the puppets, fools and knaves forming our LNP COALition government continue working assiduously to protect the fossil fuel and related industries’ abilities to burn fossil carbon and emit methane for unimaginable profits by doing everything they can to deny, delay, block, confuse, distract any effective action to stop these greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, to begin effective solutions for the climate emergency we must clearly recognize and act on the need to replace this government with capable and trustworthy representatives who if elected will put action on the climate emergency at the top of their Parliamentary agendas.

To do this we have to accept the facts that are enough to make any sane person panic. However, in the incredibly wise words of a 16 year old autistic child, Greta Thunberg, we need to recognize that the panic can be answered with prompt action.

greta-act-as-if-the-house-was-on-fire
Listen to Greta’s speech live at the World Economic forum in Davos 2019. Except for her reliance on the IPCC’s overoptimistic emissions budget, everything she says is spot on that even she, as a child, can understand the alternatives and what has to happen.

In other words, wake up, smell the smoke, see the reality, and fight the fire that is burning up our only planet so we can give our offspring a hopeful future. This is the only issue that matters. All Capt. Humbug and his troop of wooden-headed puppets are doing is rearranging the furniture in the burning house to be incinerated along with anything and everyone we may care about. In Greta’s words, “even a small child can understand [this]”. People hope for their children’s futures. She doesn’t want your hope. She wants you to panic enough to wake up and fight the fire…. so our offspring can have some hope for their future. Vote Climate One’s Traffic Light Voting System will help you use your preferential votes wisely on behalf of our offsprings’ futures.

Help give them the bright future they hope for!
Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Estimating the social cost of greenhouse gas pollution

US Federal courts consider this vexing question: how much do greenhouse gas emissions cost society and who should pay this cost?

Jim Krane & Mark Finley, 13/02/2022 in The Conversation
What is the ‘social cost of carbon’? 2 energy experts explain after court ruling blocks Biden’s changes: When an electric company runs a coal- or natural gas-fired power plant, the greenhouse gases it releases cause harm – but the company isn’t paying for the damage. Instead, the costs show up in the billions of tax dollars spent each year to deal with the effects of climate change, such as fighting wildfires and protecting communities from floods, and in rising insurance costs. This damage is what economists call a “negative externality.” It is a cost to society, including to future generations, that is not covered by the price people pay for fossil fuels and other activities that emit greenhouse gases, like agriculture.

VC1 News Editor’s comment: Australians need to think about this in the run-up to our election. The costs to human society from human triggered global warming are already reaching catastrophic levels. If we cannot stop and reverse the warming process, near-term human extinction is likely. The social cost of this would be literally infinite (any costs divided by zero humans left is infinite). In other words, if we wish for our families to survive into the future, we need to spend whatever it takes to stop the warming. This won’t be helped by a present puppet government that continually denies and downplays the reality and often works to block any effective action against the carbon emissions of its puppet masters. Use Vote Climate One’s Traffic Light Voting System to replace them with people who will put climate action at the top of their to-do list if elected.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Has an abrupt methane spike started?

In a new Nature News article scientists consider a dangerously fast rise in atmospheric methane (= methane spike) from natural rather than human sources

The physical observations in this article present us with a very important choice, accept the evidence that continued global warming may trigger a methane spike that represents a truly existentially catastrophic risk to continued human existence, and do whatever is needed to stop and reverse the warming process, or to accept the risk by hiding from reality and continuing with business as usual. My colleagues and I on the Vote Climate One are optimists who think that if we fight the risk we can mitigate its dangers.

By way of providing some background to the Nature News article, methane spikes are potentially dangerous global warming phenomena where some scientists think abrupt processes in polar permafrost and continental shelves may release enough methane to boost global temperatures by several degrees over only a few decades — probably enough to cause global mass extinction in the near term — a real, high, and truly existential risk. Because of methane’s strength as a greenhouse gas, its strikingly non-linear physical responses to small changes ambient temperature and pressure around 0 °C, and its heavy involvement in a number of bio/geochemical processes, attempts to model its behavior mathematically tend to be chaotic. Mathematical simulation is made even more difficult due uncertainties in the total amount of methane potentially in play for a spike event. Thus, the observational record as discussed in the news item, combined with methane’s basic physics and chemistry is our best guide to the potential risks it represents in the evolution of our changing climate. The underlying science of methane’s behavior is solid, and thanks to its importance to the petrochemical industry, we know a lot about how methane behaves. “Natural gas” is the marketing name given to most methane found in Nature. And even in this industry its weird behavior can have catastrophic results.

However, it should also be noted that many scientists who accept that the IPCC’s reports represent the ‘best available’ science are still not convinced that that the ‘methane spike’ scenario is likely. Last month, I explored in a detailed presentation “Some fundamental issues relating to the science underlying climate policy: The IPCC and COP26 couldn’t help but get it wrong“, how the IPCC’s structure and policies cause it to downplay and minimize ‘sensational’ findings. If you are disinclined to accept the view that a global warming triggered methane spike is a genuine danger to humanity’s continued survival, please at least read and think about the sources of the controversy.

Tropical wetlands, such as the Pantanal in Brazil, are a major source of methane emissions.Credit: Carl De Souza/AFP via Getty, via Nature

Scientists raise alarm over ‘dangerously fast’ growth in atmospheric methane:

by Jeff Tollefson in Nature, News

As global methane concentrations soar over 1,900 parts per billion, some researchers fear that global warming itself is behind the rapid rise.

Methane concentrations in the atmosphere raced past 1,900 parts per billion last year, nearly triple preindustrial levels, according to data released in January by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Scientists says the grim milestone underscores the importance of a pledge made at last year’s COP26 climate summit to curb emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas at least 28 times as potent as CO2.

The growth of methane emissions slowed around the turn of the millennium, but began a rapid and mysterious uptick around 2007. The spike has caused many researchers to worry that global warming is creating a feedback mechanism that will cause ever more methane to be released, making it even harder to rein in rising temperatures. [my emphasis].

….

Read the complete article in Nature….

Why the evidence from the NOAA (US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) tables presented in the above article is so worrisome is discussed in detail in the 15 minute video by Prof. Eliot Jacobsin (a retired prof. computer science from UC Santa Barbara, Methane growth is accelerating, that includes the following graph shown on Biff Vernon’s Climate Geek Facebook post.

Increasing atmospheric methane concentration
The Graph of Doom.
For a neat explanation from Prof Elliot Jacobson, watch this:
https://youtu.be/HqZKibDw1K8

As explained in the video Jacobson uses the NOAA data to calculate the annual mean growth in atmospheric methane which is the difference between the net increase in methane emitted over a year (total emitted over the year minus amount consumed by environmental sinks) minus the amount remaining in the atmosphere that will have decayed over the course of the year. The NOAA link details how the basic measurements are made.

The following graphic from the Nature News item postulates where the increasing amount of methane is being emitted. The evidence suggests that the substantial majority of the emissions are from organic sources rather than fossil-fuel related resources (the article’s bibliography provides links to the sources for the numbers presented here).

Data sourced from Global Biogeochemical Cycles.

The Nature article is sensational enough, but the actual reality is probably even worse because they have said virtually nothing about the huge reserves of potentially easily released organically produced methane stored in Arctic soils. I explored this risk in June last year in a detailed presentation: “Portents for the Future – 2020 Wildfires on the Siberian Permafrost“. Here I showed how rapidly escalating wildfires may lead to rapid permafrost thawing that causes an abrupt methane spike by releasing massive reserves of methane currently locked away in ice-like frozen hydrates.

To me, this is a loud and clear fire alarm that says that if we have any hopes for an optimistic future, it is time to unite and begin working all-out to fight the fire that is burning down our only house – the global ecosystem that feeds us and provides the oxygen we breathe. Even a 16 year-old child could see the danger and what we need to do.

greta-act-as-if-the-house-was-on-fire

Stark alternatives face the Australian Electorate in our upcoming federal election: accept the fearsome reality and fight the fire for our future … or … believe the con and continue with business as usual

Unfortunately, in Australia and many other areas of the developed world, irrespective of the science, deciding to fight the fire is intensely political. In Australia we are currently governed by a LNP COALition administration whose first priority is protecting and even subsidizing already immensely wealthy special interests in the fossil fuel and other environmentally exploitative industries. In his own words and actions on the front bench of Parliament our current PM made his priorities abundantly clear. Most of his COALition partners are more than willing to support and promote these same special interests.

The puppets show and tell
Captain Humbug (A.K.A. Scotty from Marketing) showing the parliamentary puppet troop what it is all about behind his then PM, “Don’t be afraid, don’t be scared, it won’t hurt you. It’s coal.” With these words Australia’s Treasurer Scott Morrison taunted the Opposition, attempting to ridicule its commitment to renewable energy.” – Picture from The Conversation (15-02-2017). See also Katherine Murphy in The Guardian on 09/02/2017 for the live video — “Scott Morrison brings coal to question time: what fresh idiocy is this? What a bunch of clowns, hamming it up – while out in the real world an ominous and oppressive heat just won’t let up.”

On 20/12/2019 while on his secret Hawaiian holiday in the midst of Australia’s Black Summer wildfires, he also made it loud and clear that he doesn’t fight fires! As printed in black and white in an official transcript from the PM’s own office commenting on the deaths of two fire fighters, Scotty made it abundantly clear to John Stanley on 2GB Radio that HE doesn’t fight fires… “But I know Australians understand… that, you know, I don’t hold a hose, mate, and I don’t sit in a control room. That’s the brave people who do that are doing that job. But I know that Australians would want me back at this time out of these fatalities. So I’ll happily come back and do that.”

As a marketeer Scotty’s principle occupation along with his fellow LNP puppets has been CONvincing people to believe in whatever his clients want him to sell, which the evidence suggests is currently to protect and support the fossil fuel industry above any other consideration. Following on from Tony Abbott’s earlier denials and diatribes about global warming, Scotty and his puppet mates in the Parliament have with considerable success maintained a fog of humbuggery (i.e., denials, lies, misrepresentations, legislative action, blocking, misdirection) preventing any effective actions towards reaching net zero emissions that are considered detrimental to interests of the fossil fuel industry. Beyond this, they actively promote and subsidize the industry to help its continued growth. Not only does Scotty not hold a hose himself, but he and his puppets have done a bloody good job keeping other people from using hoses.

Clearly, If we are to successfully do anything in Australia to stop the carbon emissions contributing to increasing the risk our own species’ extinction we must first rid ourselves of the LNP Government that has blocked and stifled any real progress against the climate emergency.

Vote Climate One was formed to help Australians elect those candidate in their individual electorates who if elected can be trusted to focus on reality and put action on the climate emergency at the top of their Parliamentary priority lists. Our election information team is focused on contacting every formal candidate in each electorate for a statement on how they intend to address the climate issues and combining this with additional evidence from voting records (for existing and previous MPs), additional evidence from social media statements, press reports, and so on. Following our Traffic Light Voting System voters will have access to a complete list of candidates for their House and Senate electorates with stoplights indicating where we think they stand on the climate issue. Those marked with the green traffic light are those we trust to give priority to the climate issues. Those marked with the red traffic light LNP members and micro parties who clearly prioritize supporting special interests ahead of stopping carbon emissions, and other micro parties and independents who are likely to give their preferences to special interest supporters. The amber lights are used for the Labor Party and others who have not clearly stated that the climate is their first priority, but can at least be trusted to work on climate issues where Labor is in a minority government or in coalition with Greens and green light independents.

If enough people follow this guide, we should be able to elect a new government that will give our children and grand children a foreseeable and hopeful future.

Will you help us give our kids a bright future?
Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.