04.22.2014 07:29 AM

The End

Son One, who is smarter than me, spoke to me at length about this morning on the way in (in a vehicle, yes).  It got me so depressed, I went looking for evidence about his claims.  I found it.

Bottom line: the point at which we start to destroying the planet has been passed, pretty much.

43 Comments

  1. Nic Coivert says:

    Does the religious right ignore these glaring and hard core facts because they think that in the end God will bail us out, or are they welcoming the human destruction as it will eliminate the sinners? Really, I wonder about this. And Harper is a religious zealot himself.

  2. Paul Brennan says:

    you blame this on a political party in Canada? Me thinks its a worldwide problem that developed over centuries or am I wrong about that?

    what about those in political power when they started letting cars on road to solve problem of cities being inundated with horse poop….those are real culprits!!!

    This is a major problem that needs all hands on deck

  3. MoS says:

    Ominous as it may seem, global warming, taken in isolation, is a dangerous distraction. It is usually depicted as something we can remedy with behavioural mod or perhaps some quick fix. That obscures the reality that climate change is merely one symptom of a greater threat that arises out of overpopulation, over-consumption and our obsessive addiction to endless, exponential growth. We’re beset by lethally dysfunctional organization – social, political and economic. We’re already using renewable resources at 1.5 times our planet’s replenishment rate. It’s manifest, much of it to the naked eye from the space station – deforestation, desertification (the exhaustion of arable farmland and its transformation into sterile desert), rivers that no longer reach the sea. Satellites measure the surface subsidence created by rapidly drained aquifers that we use to prop up agricultural production. We measure it in declining catch tonnages from our collapsed global fisheries. We’re generating far more waste than nature can cleanse and, in the process, contaminating our air, soil and water. And our approach to all this? As ever, constant growth in GDP. More resources, more energy, more production, more consumption, more waste and ever more consumers. We don’t see it much in Canada or at least most of Canada but we’re one of just five countries that are relatively untouched. That, of course, doesn’t apply if you live in the north or in British Columbia, especially the coastal region.

    This problem is a lot bigger than just climate change and we’ll need to find new models – economic, political and social – if our society is to get through it relatively intact.

  4. debs says:

    scientists have been yelling this out for over 2 decades. the idea that big oil came in and muddied the waters with their ridiculous PR campaigns of lies and dishonesty is the biggest culprit. Even during that copenhagen conference and the famous hacking of the science emails….was just pure evil. as the systematic damage done to those trying to inform the citizens of what needs to happen and why, allows people to believe its a hoax. I just cannot believe the level of dishonesty that goes on with american and canadian govts, and how tied to corporate oil they are. Yet folks are now in a state, where they give up as why bother.
    govts need to be held accountable as does big oil. Perhaps more people would have wanted to change, been on board if they knew the extent of damage being done.
    Today I was reading how folks want tax payers money to be invested in greener energies. MY attitude, let the Big Oil companies invest for us in greener energy….they owe the world alot of money in compensation.
    I think folks are in for a rough ride in the next two decades….as from my perspective I dont see big oil and world govts backing down, I see them revving up for whats next going to happen, the outrage they are going to have to deal with. Just today I read harper is removing some of the protections on humpback whales, why, it interferes with big oil being able to transport they resource.
    parks in bc no longer have protection from resource extraction, coincidence….no I think not.
    the idea that all the environmental protections in place from the last 3 decades of govt are about to be removed by harper thanks to his ties with big oil and other businesses. air, water and land now is a big free for all for foreign and domestic companies to take what they like.

    and folks main concern….how will this affect me and mine….will I still be able to buy cheap gadgetry from China….no worries folks you will have all the computer devices you need, and games, all indoors of course, as going outdoors, it will be too polluted. Yep, we really have screwed up priorities so the other part to this….is it was soo easy for big oil and big govt to cash in on our apathy, and our greed, as we were thrown a few bones and scraps to keep us busy whilst they took over the world:P

  5. Al in Cranbrook says:

    What’s depressing is that they indoctrinate our kids at school with this nonsense.

    Anyone happen to look outside and notice that we just went through pretty much the coldest winter on record? Or that Lake Superior is covered with so much ice for so long now that it’s affecting weather?

    The fact that global temps haven’t increased in 17 years comes right from NASA’s own data…despite a 5% increase in CO2 over the same time period. Not surprising really, ’cause the fact is that the science proves that CO2 levels rise as a result of global warming.

    Watching some documentaries lately, where we learn interesting stuff.

    Like f’rinstance: Circa 5000 BC the Sahara wasn’t a desert, but instead it resembled eastern Africa in that it was covered with lakes, vegetation, and was a habitat for huge herds of the same animals found on the Serengeti today. Why? Because the planet was warmer then. As I mentioned here before, also circa 5000 BC the Columbia Ice Fields didn’t exist. Again, ’cause it was warmer then.

    Amazingly, polar bears (which have been around for about 200,000 years) seemed to have survived all that, just as they survived the ice age that preceded it. They also survived from 1000 AD to 1300 AD when global temps were higher than today, a time when southern Greenland was settled by Vikings. However, they had to bail for the homelands when global temps plummeted to current temps.

    In fact, global vegetation has increased roughly 15% over the last several decades. Why? Because the levels of CO2 that sustains plant life has increased. Anyone want to argue that this isn’t a good thing???

    1600 ducks get killed in a tailing pond in Alberta, and all hell breaks out from envirowhackos! But the wind turbines slaughter anywhere from 300,000 to over 1,000,000 birds…including all kinds of eagles…and bats each year globally, and nobody gives a rat’s ass, least of all the envirowhacko crowd! In fact, Obama himself grants special dispensation to wind farms for the next 30 years for all the bald eagles that will get wiped out…forget that they are classified as endangered no less in most of the continental US.

    Here’s another tidbit: Not one of those models that are supposed to predict climate for the next 100 years will take data already recorded and replicate climate for the last 100 years for which we already have records.

    So tired of all this insidious mind numbing AGW garbage I can’t speak.

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      Oh, and did I mention that the millions of acres now dedicated to growing biofuels is playing hell with feeding the world’s starving? Not to mention that natural range lands…meaning wildlife habitat…are being converted at record rates for biofuel production.

      Lovely, eh? Just frickin’ wonderful!

      • David Bronaugh says:

        The reason your kids are instructed in this in school is because it’s been well studied, and is at this point pretty much established as scientific fact. Reproduction of the historical record is pretty decent, if imperfect; prediction of climate change on regional scales is still tough. See http://www.climatescience.org.au/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/CMIP5%20run_0.jpg .

        Also, as the Columbia icefields are a remnant of the glaciers that covered northern North America ~10-17ka BP, I highly doubt they fully melted ~7ka ago. Please cite your sources. Please check your facts for pretty much everything else you’ve stated, too — specifically, CO2 causes increase in plant life (it doesn’t; plants are usually limited by water/nutrients), the Medieval Warm period was warmer than it is today (it wasn’t — it was even a bit cooler), and global temps haven’t increased in 17 years (the ocean has been steadily accumulating heat; see comment above).

        Biofuels are sure as hell not a panacea. There’s conflicting data on them — anywhere from a 95% reduction in GHG intensity to a 7% increase with cellulosic ethanol, for example. Wind farms are also not a panacea — they have their own ecological consequences. That being said, at least some solutions are likely to be better than the alternative of the status quo.

        • Al in Cranbrook says:

          The Columbia Ice Field came up in a documentary on the Rocky Mountains on one of the nature channels. It was stated as a matter of fact. The neat part is that it was narrated by Saint Suzuki himself, who commented, to paraphrase: “…it’s not clear as whether human activity is speeding up the melting of the glacier.” Saw the doc a couple times, not making this up.

          CO2 and plant life: Google it up, lots out there. This one came up first… http://www.plantsneedco2.org/default.aspx?menuitemid=225 Lots of info. Also… http://www.co2science.org/subject/b/summaries/bioproductivity.php

          Here’s the big thing about all of this: Canada could shut down all vehicles, including trucking industry and agricultural uses, and we still could attain Kyoto targets, not to mention the difference to global CO2 would be virtually zilch, insignificant beyond ability to even measure. I listened to a top climate official of the EU, who stated that it was their intention to spend 7 TRILLION $$$ on climate change between now and 2100. Someone put it to her that the proven net effect of this would be one tenth of one percent drop in global temperature. She replied, and I’m not making this up, to paraphrase: “Yes, we know…but it’s the right thing to do.” C’mon now! That’s just jaw dropping, logic defying, absolute idiocy!!! And what cost in human terms??? It’s a fact that Europe has already created a new condition that is termed “energy poverty”, which is to say, people are now directing so much of their income merely to heating their homes and transportation that it’s seriously impacting their standards of living. Why? Because of artificially raised costs in order to make “green” energy look reasonable. Not to mention subsidies are bankrupting nations across Europe, to point that most are now pulling out of these programs just to survive financially!

          You want to save the planet??? RAISE PEOPLES’ STANDARD OF LIVING! It’s that simple! Starving people poach and destroy wildlife without any thought to the consequences whatsoever. Poverty stricken people hack down thousands of square miles of forests indiscriminately to grow food and heat their huts. Poverty stricken people have as many children as possible so that one or two may survive unto adulthood. And the key to all of this is AFFORDABLE energy. End of story. Eventually carbon based fuels will become obsolete to cleaner energy sources, most like hydrogen and fusion. But until then, wind and solar farms are a piss poor alternative that don’t even come remotely close to solving anything, cost a fortune, and only work (as any ten year old will tell one) when the wind blows and the sun shines.

          • Al in Cranbrook says:

            That should read, “…still could NOT attain Kyoto targets.” Sorry.

          • David Bronaugh says:

            Plant productivity in high CO2 environments: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2013EGUGA..15.4451G . Furthermore, use your head here: in a warmer world, precipitation patterns will shift. This means your farmland may no longer have rain falling on it, or may end up flooded. CO2 may enhance plant productivity to some degree, but this is likely to be offset by reduced water or nutrient availability. Some adaptation measures can be taken such as changing the crops grown, but these take time, and we are forcing the climate to change faster than it has in, most likely, millions to hundreds of millions of years.

            Shut down everything is obviously not an option. Raising people’s standards of living alone will not fix the problem — it is the combination of increased population and the very raising of our own standard of living in North America and Europe which brought us to this point in large part.

            The answer is a delicate and complicated balance between development and nature which we so far have completely failed to master. Nuclear energy may play a large part; solar, wind, and hydro will all have their own parts to play, as well. Changing our patterns can also help — make multiple stops on a trip out instead of single-purpose trips. So can insulating our houses better, using higher efficiency lighting, improving rail networks to reduce our dependence on air travel (high speed rail), hybrid battery-electric vehicles, and so on.

            Also, 7 trillion dollars over 90 years = 77bn/yr. That’s about 0.5% of GDP in the EEC, and by the time 2100 rolls around, it will be much less. Inaction also has a cost — recent studies place this at something greater than 1% of GDP, last I checked. Furthermore, I suspect the individual’s remarks were taken out of context to some extent — perhaps the temperature drop in 2050 would be 0.1 degrees, but that is relatively immaterial, as that part of the climate change which is coming is pretty much locked in. It’s what happens after 2050 that gets interesting.

          • David Bronaugh says:

            Harvard article link got eaten; here’s shortened ver: http://bit.ly/1gPKE7a

          • Al in Cranbrook says:

            We can throw reports and studies at each other until hell freezes over, each proving their case…and in scientific terms, were we honest, neither of us likely understand that well.

            Big picture instead: 1978 James Hansen (same one) was running around telling anyone who would listen than an ice age was imminent. There’s a short CBC news doc from that era somewhere in their archives, starring Adrienne Clarkson, in which she talks about shortened growing seasons, cooling temps, and all the scary potential consequences. (Good luck finding it, I can’t. Probably gassed it…) Indeed, I’ve seen several articles illustrating how, since the late 1800s, stories dominating the news have cycled from global cooling to global warming four times, generally about a 30 year pattern. No surprise; weather is cyclical, as is solar activity. And indeed, there are numerous graphs overlaying climate and solar cycles that pretty much match over that period.

            Again, climate is never static, always in a state of change, and cyclical in both the short and the long term.

            Here’s the thing: There’s no money in this recognition of reality. It is what it is, in the same sense as it volcanic activity or tectonic plate shifts. Nothing to be done about it except prepare where possible, and hope for the best.

            There is, however, massive…as in astronomical…potential in attribution of climate change to the human race. Money to be made by the ton, literally! Which is exactly what has happened, and in spades! Politically, it has the potential to, metaphorically, move mountains. More to the point, herd people. And when you go back to the beginning of all this, and find the likes of one Marice Strong behind the initial Kyoto agenda, it begs for further investigation. (I believe he’s the one hiding out in China from those who want to talk to him about something to do with the oil for food thing in Iraq?)

            When people start turning into zealots, when science becomes religion, and particularly when prominent figures start suggesting climate heretics be tossed into prisons a la medieval Inquisitors, I get real suspicious. And I start doing my own research to find out just exactly what the hell is going on.

            And in that I find out about scientists being intimidated into silence, or having their careers threatened. Or about notable people living like kings while preaching the peasant class should live like…you know…real peasants, all the while they’re stuffing their own bank accounts with proceeds from talking tours to dealing in carbon credits. When I see despicable wannabe tyrants like that ass from Venezuela preaching his quasi-communistic crap at global climate conferences to cheering and fawning crowds, I think I’m getting a real sense about those who are pushing this agenda, and what their real motives are.

            When I see just about all the major news outlets humping the climate change/global warming pooch for all they’re worth, while ignoring outright anything and everything to the contrary, I want to know why! And when I see notable personalities within those ranks equate those holding alternate views with “holocaust deniers” and similar scum of the earth, I just know for certain that something rotten is afoot.

            When I read about a petition with 110,000 signatures on it demanding the Washington Post ban all skeptical articles/columns, I bloody well alarmed! And this emerging pattern certainly isn’t unique to just the Post! It’s happening everywhere.

            When I find out so-called environmental activism organizations are in fact laundering truckloads of cash into Canada to oppose their poster child for the cause, the oil sands, and nobody in the MSM, aside from Sun News, seems to give a good God damn, I’m further convinced of the unholiness of that cause. When I find out that a big time documentary making the rounds, “Gasland”, is one big collection of half truths, lies and deliberate disinformation, I’m further reassured I’m onto something.

            Climategate was a filthy disgrace upon the science community! That it got so easily whitewashed and then hastily tossed under the carpet as quick as possible speaks volumes.

            Here’s the really sad part. All those protesters and demonstrators against projects like the oil sands, many of whom honestly think they’re doing something good? I have no doubt whatsoever that there are those who sit back and smile, and regard the lot of ’em as nothing more than useful idiots. Many of them nothing more than professional protesters for hire, literal mercenaries, and gleefully unrepentant for all the hell they cause.

            It’s all reeking BS, every last bit of it!

            It has to be, because the real truth wouldn’t require any of it to make it so.

    • Coelocanth_Jones says:

      It’s for reasons like this that buzz phrases such as global warming are falling out of favour, with global climate change taking its place. Of course, even a more accurate and comprehensive term as such fails to make an impact on those indoctrinated by big oil and neocon ideology

      • Al in Cranbrook says:

        I’m not indoctrinated by anybody! Never read a “conservative” book in my life, and don’t plan to!

        Here’s what I’m also NOT…

        I’m NOT looking for money in the form of a taxpayer funded subsidy for a wind or solar farm project.

        I’m NOT looking for money in the form of taxpayer funded grants for to pay my wages while I study AGW related whatever.

        I’m NOT invested in wind or solar stocks.

        I’m NOT invested in carbon credit trading.

        I’m NOT a dealer in carbon credits.

        I’m NOT on a mission to sign up followers for quasi-religious AGW ideology in order to somehow find validation of my own being and/or beliefs.

        And I’m certainly NOT on a quest to scare people into voting for left wing politicians.

        And thus, I am free and unencumbered to go out and find out the truth for myself, whatever that may be, and wherever that may lead me.

        • Coelocanth_Jones says:

          Alrighty, enjoy life unencumbered by us scary left-wingers, I just hope you have a plan for when the non-renewable resource we’ve based our infrastructure and economy goes bye bye. The earth could damn well be a colder place by then, but it’s gonna suck all that much more if we can’t heat our houses or drive anywhere

        • Get serious Al cranbrook. BP had a first quarter profit of 4.2 Billion dollars. If you’re a scientist willing to muddy the water on climate change BP will find a way to get you funded and published.

          If, however you’re a Canadian climate scientist trying to publish real data, the Harper Tories will cut your finding, bury your research, and get you fired for speaking out. You think there is big money in being a climate scientist? Wrong. The real gravy is in being a climae change denial puppet.

          • Al in Cranbrook says:

            Nonsense!!! There are billions, indeed tens of billions, being pumped into anything and everything related to this AGW scare!!! The skeptic side of this is getting their side out on a mere fraction of the resources available to climate change fear mongers!!!

            Secondly, and to your first reply: You, and everyone else, assume that all things will remain static, as they are today.

            Technology is advancing at a rate unparalleled in history, and will continue to multiply at ever faster rates for as long as civilization is around. (…which won’t be long if another ice age hits, take that to the bank!) There is stuff coming down the tube now and over the next couple decades that we can’t even begin to imagine right now! The days of carbon based energy are numbered, but not because of depleted reserves. It will be because it eventually will be obsoleted by new technologies. Just 100 years ago agriculture was powered by horses…and for every couple acres dedicated to crops, another acre was required to feed the 15,000,000 horses in the US that kept farmers going! If that had been a static situation, the reality is that today it take 80% of all the potentially arable land in the US to feed just themselves. Instead, only some 27% of arable land is under cultivation, and it also feeds a damn good part of the rest of the world, too. Thank both technology, and affordable energy…meaning oil/gas…for this. For if not for that, there would be damn little wildlife left on the continent that competed for food, and damn little space for their habitat. Forget about conservation!

            Not to mention you and I would be sharing a standard of living we don’t even want to think about.

          • Al in Cranbrook says:

            It’s worth mentioning, too…

            The skeptic side of the argument gets out via Sun News and Fox.

            While AGW is pumped to the hilt by the CBC (on taxpayers’ dime), CTV, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN, all the while virtually ignoring outright anything to the contrary.

            It took the CBC between 9 and 11 days just to finally get around to acknowledging Climategate…and then merely in passing, as in nothing to see here folks, now move along. The rest were hardly any better. A billion per year for news THEY deem we need to know, and not a word more.

        • debs says:

          another thing you are NOT doing is using peer reviewed science. or scientific articles….I think there is a big difference pulling from ideological slanted bloggy bits off the internet and really delving into the science with folks that are considered professional climate scientists.
          and when you quote fox or sun news as credible sources of information on any topic, you have lost the argument.

  6. Just Call Me Rick says:

    I wonder at what point-if ever- it will become a political/election issue? Far too late I think. Our political structures were not designed or equipped to deal with an existential threat like this.

  7. david ray says:

    a few things i’ve learned over the last two or three years

    the elite and moneyed don’t give a rat’s ass if they take the whole planet down in their greed. they really don’t get it.

    most environmental groups who claim to act for change are in it for the money.

    someday if we’re lucky they’ll be a Nuremburg type of trial for the dipshits who caused most of this and I think we know who they are

    I feel sorry for Warren’s boy because I don’t a single person including Warren who’d doing or saying anything to cause real change which i claim proves the following

    the human lizard brain is incapable of averting disaster even when they see it coming a thousand miles an hour. they as in we are too busy living for today so the hell with tomorrow.

    fur and feather field and stream
    we destroy in the name of greed
    cause we can’t tell want from need
    oh what a future we will leave

    cause hey hey hey
    the hell with tomorrow
    when we’re living for today

    will we the people ever rise
    or gamble away our children’s lives
    have we had it too good
    have we had it too fine
    if you have to ask then we’re oughta time

    cause hey hey hey
    the hell with tomorrow
    when we’re living for today

  8. debs says:

    and so the controversy continues, its laughable how much folks are willing to deny facts. oh well its what works for politicians….I mean how convenient not to change the system unless there is solid and irrefutable evidence that the planet and its peoples are in trouble. the situation of course means we have to wait until its too late to fix it, and thereby having a whole host of folks go….ohhh it was true. but now its too late to do much of anything:p
    who gives a crap about the truth and why use logic, facts and rational thought to govern the planet.
    and with that same mentality ….they (deniers) believe in god, the devil and that harper is telling the truth….lol its too funny. faith based right wing zealotry. I mean the scientists are all liars and cheats to gain ALLLL that grant money….but harper and his minions and Big Oil are the captains of integrity, lol.

    for those that dont get their talking points from Watts up with that, http://wattsupwiththat.com/
    or from this clown
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Monckton,_3rd_Viscount_Monckton_of_Brenchley

    try real science at
    http://www.realclimate.org/

    and I guess were too late to follow this old rule.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle

    • TrueNorthist says:

      If we used this so-called precautionary principle as you suggest, we would all have to stop riding bicycles because somebody might get hurt. We would also have to stop all bodily functions entirely as just about everything we humans do causes damage to our surroundings. Perhaps you would be happier if we were all dead? Not including yourself of course.

      You should also understand that using an insulting and derogatory epithet to describe another person is righfully considered hateful bigotry.

      • debs says:

        perhaps we can find balance in trying to achieve some measure of change for the positive whilst not living life on the edge of a cliff with icy patches imminent.

    • david ray says:

      further to your point Debs. we will be the first species to document our own extinction. I see Pompeii with billions of smartphones covered in lava.

  9. Ottlib says:

    Exactly Les and George. We do not have the power to destroy the planet. We do, however, have the power to destroy our civilization and our own species, taking a whole whack of other species right along with it. We are doing just that.

    But when we are finally gone the planet will go on and so will life in some form.

  10. Kelly says:

    The future lies in some form of “socialism”. National democratic governments are the only institutions with the scale, legitimacy and ability to marshal sufficient force to compel society to respond in the interests of the common good when the shit goes down. The lone survivalist won’t survive; he’ll just get shot by the next biggest band of highwaymen, and so on…

    National governments were needed during the great depression (also the one in the 1930s), during WWII, etc. The environment doesn’t care about the CEO of BP or Chevron; their McMansions will all get burnt, various people will swing from light posts and it’ll be bad for awhile, but in the end sanity will prevail, people of goodwill will band together and form strong governments so they can work together for the common good. The last 40 years has been about the privileged and their useful idiots in the corporate media and certain political parties wresting control for themselves in an attempt to set up a blatant oligarchy. The trend is more advanced in the USA and it was accelerated after the fall of the Soviet Union, but the general direction is pretty obvious. There’s a pattern to these things. But, again, it could be very ugly and dark for quite awhile starting maybe around 20 years from now.

  11. Curt says:

    Warren,
    Look what you started.
    Suppose the world warmed 5to10 degrees. Think of the possibilities.
    Clothes not necessary. Helloooo Bo Derek.
    No mortgage with my grass hut. No gas bills too.
    Sun tanned from golfing all winter in Saskatoon!
    Grow our own bananas.
    Garden of Eden.

  12. debs says:

    heres an ode to earth day and how effective it has been.
    http://www.thenation.com/blog/179375/let-earth-day-be-last

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