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NYMag: The Uninhabitable Earth - Famine and economic collapse sooner than you think

Kuroi Gogeta

Member
Aug 23, 2015
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Some private individuals and governments are investing aggressively in some alternative energy and transportation options such as solar and high speed rail. France's new president is also taking a more focused stance towards climate change than his predecessors or peers.

What are our options right now? Governments are too bloated with bureaucracy and private interests. Which kind of private companies and individuals are investing in solutions? So far I know that there is work being done with de-salanization plants where sea water is being extracted and converted to fresh water to be used in farming and drinking, there are indoor and space efficient vertical farms being constructed, and meat alternatives are on the rise, weakening the demand for grazing land and farms for meat production (a big culprit in emissions) at what rate are these solutions being invested in? I think it's important to make people aware of these things and if there are websites where we can donate to have prototypes constructed or to pay for ad campaigns to spread the word then the average person can at least feel like he or she is doing something.

I don't like it when articles don't feature links to ways in which we can contribute to solutions immediately in a substantive way. I'm not going to waste time writing to a politician whose responsibility is to his donors, I'm not going to waste time signing a petition that a politician won't read either. We need to be able to push for our workplaces to become more efficient, and we need to invest in private companies and individuals who are doing their part to combat climate change. Technology and innovation are our options, politics as a means of accomplishing serious goals seems to have just become obsolete. The political leadership seems to just be clubs of old rich people who want to talk around issues and travel to other countries to rub shoulders with each other and then ultimately do nothing of substance. I feel jaded and like it's a waste of time to rely on outdated methods for change that aren't working. We need grass roots efforts here and we need to be made aware of how we can do something other than sit around biting our fingernails hoping we'll be dead while our Descendents suffer
 

Shredderi

Member
Feb 24, 2013
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At this point I think it would take all the people in the world simultaneously forcibly kicking out their current governments and put the leading scientists in country leading positions.
 

HeatBoost

Member
Jan 1, 2016
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Hahaha no. Things are going to get worse during your life time. Also this line of thinking highlights how fucked we are. Not calling you out, but a lot of people are thinking they'll be dead before it gets really bad, so the efforts to curve away from this disaster are half-hearted compared to what we really need to do

This seems kinda like an Ouroboros of doom

You have a tail that is like "Man this all sounds fucked we're fucked who cares" that is being chewed on by a head that is going "YOU DONT UNDERSTAND HOW FUCKED YOU ARE LOOK AT THE REALITY OF THE DEPTHS OF YOUR FUCKING AND THEN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT EVEN THOUGH THE AMOUNT OF DIFFERENCE YOU CAN DO AS AN INDIVIDUAL SOUNDS 100% INSURMOUNTABLE"
 

Herr Schwarz

Banned
Nov 6, 2016
2,639
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UK
Each country will have its own big ass wall to prevent the denizens of the newly scorched earth out of there.

Lots of skeletons littering the base of our walls. Millions.

Meanwhile I suppose we dig down? Escape the sun by becoming the mole people whilst the richest and most affluent fly to Mars.
 

Alcotholic

Banned
Feb 10, 2013
7,490
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One of the people who were interviewed for this article has this to say about it.
https://twitter.com/MichaelEMann/status/884421725533999105
In the case that we want the populace to largely change their ways, how bad could it be to overstate the effects? I mean, this is not our future that we'll be dealing with; it's the future of our children and our children's children.
Yeah, lying is not good, but the potential outcome of our planet is worse.
 

jellies_two

Member
Jun 14, 2014
5,510
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IT used to be that the pentagon was producing some of the best far sighted scenarios on how climate change will challenge national security (hey whatever gets them to think it's bad right?) but now trump is busy weeding out anyone that dares to think that way.

If the military industrial complex starts thinking it will be profitable to be in the business of defending borders against nations destroyed by famine etc then well dystopia here we come.
 

Hyoukokun

Member
Jun 25, 2013
720
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In the case that we want the populace to largely change their ways, how bad could it be to overstate the effects? I mean, this is not our future that we'll be dealing with; it's the future of our children and our children's children.
Yeah, lying is not good, but the potential outcome of our planet is worse.
Haven't you seen all of the "fake news" finger pointing in the political sphere? Overstatements and lies, once uncovered, will be served up as proof that the basic premise of climate change is wrong. Right wing media loves to do things like pick through researcher emails and say "here, look, they disagree! there's no consensus!" even when there is broad consensus.
 

captive

Joe Six-Pack: posting for the common man
Feb 14, 2007
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So what you're saying is doom is completely unavoidable so we shouldn't bother trying, gotcha.

thats not what they said at all. In fact, they specifically outlined that this is the *schedule* of what will happen would we do nothing and even outlined the fact that not all of this will happen because once the first things start to happen humans will actually do something about it.
 
Apr 29, 2014
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There is nothing that gives me existential dread in the way climate change does.

I try to focus on ways I can help, the research being done on solutions (as well as the growing economic drive for it), and on being optimistic, but it's damn hard sometimes.
 

Xe4

Banned
Aug 1, 2014
9,859
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One of the people who were interviewed for this article has this to say about it.
https://twitter.com/MichaelEMann/status/884421725533999105

Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup.
This x 100000000

Seriously, this article is fucking bunk, and all it will do is give ammo to those who seek to deny AGW when the predictions fail to come to pass.
People have been predicting shit like this since the 70's and much of it has failed to happen.
Global warming is bad enough, we don't need to be doing this scare mongering shit, seriously.
And I say that as someone who does research on atmospheric physics as it relates to climate change.
Mann, who's twitter this was, does this way more than I do too (I am but a lowly undergrad researcher). He's one of the biggest AGW proponents out there (famous for his hockey stick graph of warming). People should listen to what he has to say far more than the article.

when is it expected for shit to hit the fan hard?

like in a hundred years? Or two hundred?
Never. The thinking that global warming is going to cause some global catastrophe of unseen proportions is flawed.
Climate change is a slow acting process (in terms of a human lifespan) that is going to continually make economic and social problems more difficult to deal with, especially for developing countries. It's going to cause trillions of dollars in damage, hurt vulnerable ecosystems, and make a bunch of peoples lives more difficult, but it's not going to be some doomsday scenario.
 

Epsilon-delta

Banned
May 9, 2006
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The scum of the Earth leaving for space? I'll take it and hope they never return as I choke to death.

The 99% would have killed them off by then.

I do not see scientists, engineers, construction workers, etc. who are part of the 99%, volunteer their time and energy constructing an Elysium in space knowing they won't be a part of it.

I know I wouldn't.
 

Shredderi

Member
Feb 24, 2013
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The 99% would have killed them off by then.

I do not see scientists, engineers, construction workers, etc. who are part of the 99%, volunteer their time and energy in constructing an Elysium in space knowing they won't be a part of it.

I know I wouldn't.

This. I don't think it would work quite as easily as in the movies.
 
Feb 25, 2013
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And climate deniers will drag their feet until it's too late.

It's not happening.

It's happening, but out of our control.

It's happening, our fault, but not that bad.

It's happening, our fault, is as bad as predicted, but it's too late to do anything.
 

Shredderi

Member
Feb 24, 2013
9,302
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Maybe we need a "supervillain" who does something to get the whole world on their knees, forced to entertain the villain's every whim or the world would be faced with very quick calamity and certain. The villain would then force the whole world to pool their resources and co-operate to fix as much of this whole thing as possible.
 

molotrok

Member
Sep 1, 2012
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The third world will not survive the coming future.

People that live in Third World countries are accustomed to harsh and relentless conditions such as violence, pollution, scarcity of food, ect. People that live in comfy First World conditions ,and countries are the ones that are in for a rough time.
 

Ozzy Onya A2Z

Member
Apr 16, 2012
9,555
3,388
970
Melbourne, Australia
Just imagine the progress if some of the world's military budgets were dropped 10-25% and spent on global "corrections" for environment, poverty, water etc. Yeah we can do a lot better than just fight with each other.
 

RinsFury

Member
Jun 2, 2016
2,817
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I feel we will see a revolution in the near future. The 1% just has way too much wealth and becomes greedier by the day. It will be bloody but necessary.
 

Staccat0

Fail out bailed
Apr 13, 2007
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Maybe we need a "supervillain" who does something to get the whole world on their knees, forced to entertain the villain's every whim or the world would be faced with very quick calamity and certain. The villain would then force the whole world to pool their resources and co-operate to fix as much of this whole thing as possible.
Get on it brah.
 

Xe4

Banned
Aug 1, 2014
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God I just finished reading the article. What a bunch of shit.
It is a complex issue reduced to a fantasy.

Seriously, this article bugs me a lot, because it twists its facts in such a way that it makes it seem like The Day After Tomorrow is going to be true or something. The fact of the matter is, climate change is a complex issue people spend their lives studying. This article represents a climate scenario which is incredibly dire and not at all within the consensus of scientific opinion. It is about as accurate as those who say there is no warming that is happening at all (relative to what the actual science says), and does nothing to help us deal with the real issues.

All it does is paralyze people and make them feel hopeless instead of giving them real solutions to the problem of climate change. Yes the world is warming, yes that is a bad thing, but we can reduce the amount it is warming. It will not, nor could not be the end of humanity, even in a worst case scenario. Let's face the real problems in the real world, not fantasy problems in a magazine article.
 

The Wart

Member
Dec 23, 2005
690
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In the case that we want the populace to largely change their ways, how bad could it be to overstate the effects? I mean, this is not our future that we'll be dealing with; it's the future of our children and our children's children.
Yeah, lying is not good, but the potential outcome of our planet is worse.

Because it provides ammunition to deniers as well as supporters by providing an easy target to shoot down, and it damages the credibility of the scientific establishment in the eyes of the general public.
 

Shredderi

Member
Feb 24, 2013
9,302
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I will be a kinda Bebop or Rocksteady moron sidekick if you need one.

Sure. You will also be tasked with granting me death after the world is saved, as that hypothetical amount of power is too much power for one man and would corrupt me eventually.
 
Apr 29, 2014
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Just set up a recurring donation to the NRDC. Extreme and oversimplified article or no (I was planning on setting up an environmental donation soon regardless), gotta do what you can to help. :)
 

Sulik2

Member
Apr 17, 2012
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when is it expected for shit to hit the fan hard?

like in a hundred years? Or two hundred?

25 - 35 years. When the middle East gets hot enough to be uninhabitable that's when the cascade of refugees breaks civilation. Syria is stressing the west to it's breaking point. When it's the entire Middle East it's over. And that's assuming morroco doesn't explode even sooner. Rising sea levels taking out cities will start having major economic and population impacts at the same time. We are already seeing the intensification of extreme weather. A prolonged drought contributed to the unrest in Syria.

Sort term antibiotic resistant bacteria is the biggest threat and the UN agrees. We are over due for a pandemic.
 

Blader

Member
Oct 8, 2006
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I'm sure the writer was well-intentioned but I feel articles like these can end up doing more harm than good.
 

darthsontin

Member
Oct 26, 2014
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I don't think articles like this help because people are more likely to either give up or tune out when it is presented in such apocalyptic terms.

He is correct for the most part in that these scenarios are scientifically possible (though still not likely) in a runaway emissions scenario. Fortunately, that scenario doesn't really seem to be on the table given the commitment of the G-19 to the Paris Accords, the good news from China/India on their progress, and the actions by US mayors which can keep us on track to our 2025 goals.

On the other hand, we still aren't doing anywhere near enough. The Paris Accord is also not supposed to be a final guideline, but rather a starting place with the assumption that countries will start doing even more over time. They are scheduled to meet next in 2018, so we will see what comes of it. As far as I've seen, the NDCs of the PA will result in around 2.8C of warming. Much more action will be needed quickly to get closer to 2C, but it is still far from the 4C-12C in the article.

This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I think that Trump might accidentally be a huge benefit for climate action. Obama deserves a lot of credit for taking initiative on the problem, but most of the recent US emissions reductions are from cheap natural gas, not anything he did. Now that Trump is threatening to make the problem worse, people are engaged and motivated in a way I've never seen. It's sort of like Obamacare- Obama had a decent start with some problems, Republicans trashed it for years, and now that it's threatened people are rightfully freaking out. It may end up inspiring more action than would've been possible with Hillary and a hostile Republican Congress blocking anything she tried to do. Or maybe I just tell myself that so I can sleep at night.

If you want to shake off the doom and gloom to feel better, here are some easy and cheap things you can do right now:
*Switch to a renewable energy provider
*Reduce, reuse, recycle
*Start composting
*Eat less beef
*Walk or take public transportation more
*Call your congressional representatives and tell them climate action is important
*Tell people around you about why the issue is important to you and see if they are willing to help
*Don't despair. We can and will fight
 

Triteon

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Dec 15, 2015
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25 - 35 years. When the middle East gets hot enough to be uninhabitable that's when the cascade of refugees breaks civilation. Syria is stressing the west to it's breaking point. When it's the entire Middle East it's over. And that's assuming morroco doesn't explode even sooner. Rising sea levels taking out cities will start having major economic and population impacts at the same time. We are already seeing the intensification of extreme weather. A prolonged drought contributed to the unrest in Syria.

Sort term antibiotic resistant bacteria is the biggest threat and the UN agrees. We are over due for a pandemic.

This is going to sould flip but one of those problems (more people than earth can sustain) might be solved by the other (pandemic). Actually alot of the issues raised would probably be lessened if we stopped producing so many humans.

There is also the potential that cataclysm might lead to a better civilization maybe one less hung up on GDP, trade and borders. Very small potential though.
 

Version 3.0

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Jun 18, 2005
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Maybe. Alot of the climate and food issues aren't supposed to be apocalyptic until like 2100ish

When I was a kid (I'm 44), they told us that, when we grew up, we'd better do something or our grandchildren's children or grandchildren might blame us for the problem they'd have to deal with.

Or something like that. It wasn't "do or die", it was "do or you'll be looked back on as complicit".

But no. All of this is happening on an accelerated timeline. It's do or die, now. And it's not even my generation, yet. It's still my parent's generation that makes up the bulk of the people in positions of authority and influence.
 

Nerrel

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Oct 13, 2014
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One of the people who were interviewed for this article has this to say about it.
https://twitter.com/MichaelEMann/status/884421725533999105

I'm glad this has been addressed, and I hope they update the article so that people can see his response. There's a lot of unscientific speculation in that article that can't possibly be based on any kind of reliable data, like the percentage increase of wars. It's just total bullshit. Articles like this give climate change deniers something to point to as proof of fear mongering.
 

KuroNeeko

Member
Jul 22, 2009
3,695
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Osaka
You guys talking about the risk of utterly overwhelming a person in dread have got it right.

I made the mistake of reading this at the end of my lunch break and now all I can think about are my two children at two and six years of age.