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

onken

Member
Dec 15, 2008
7,730
17
850
some place.. far away. yes, that will do
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.

I know - but the vast majority of people reading the article will come to this conclusion. The doom 'n' gloom approach cuts both ways.
 

Drazgul

Member
Aug 31, 2010
8,756
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0
Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage will survive. Join my road gang today for early bird perks. Wearing road leathers is mandatory, assless chaps optional.
 

DavidDesu

Member
Oct 26, 2014
3,821
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0
Glasgow, Scotland
www.youtube.com
There are now, trapped in Arctic ice, diseases that have not circulated in the air for millions of years — in some cases, since before humans were around to encounter them. Which means our immune systems would have no idea how to fight back when those prehistoric plagues emerge from the ice.

I fear that this may be the great leveller nature is keeping up it's sleeve to deal with the runaway human threat.

It's crazy to think just how close "the apocalypse" really is for our species. A few hundred years of relatively quick advancements and here we are, we've already fucked it up. God help future generations, I guess we should just feel lucky we lived just before the madness really begins.
 

Skinpop

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Dec 17, 2012
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In a basement
more depressing than this catastrophe summary was the recent news that China - which has been held up as a beacon of renewables now that Trump abdicated any leadership - has been quietly building or approving for construction 600 to 700 coal fired power plants OUTSIDE China in the various developing countries that it wants to heavily influence via gifts in return for natural resource allocation (wood, food, ore etc).

So basically China is playing lip-service to reduction in CO2 pointing at coal closures domestically while it (of course) puts its geo-political and economic interests first and massively builds out CO2 production sites everywhere else.

So all that nice headline news about China stepping up is largely just a mirage. And China does what China does, it doesn't change these kinds of plans easily.
So the chinese government is building those coal-plants around the world?
 

Ac30

Member
Jul 11, 2014
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0
0
more depressing than this catastrophe summary was the recent news that China - which has been held up as a beacon of renewables now that Trump abdicated any leadership - has been quietly building or approving for construction 600 to 700 coal fired power plants OUTSIDE China in the various developing countries that it wants to heavily influence via gifts in return for natural resource allocation (wood, food, ore etc).

So basically China is playing lip-service to reduction in CO2 pointing at coal closures domestically while it (of course) puts its geo-political and economic interests first and massively builds out CO2 production sites everywhere else.

So all that nice headline news about China stepping up is largely just a mirage. And China does what China does, it doesn't change these kinds of plans easily.

That's doubly weird since their development bank apparently *says* they won't finance any:

https://www.google.ca/amp/foreignpo...evelopment-bank-wont-touch-coal-projects/amp/
 

Calabi

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Nov 2, 2013
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0
One of the people who were interviewed for this article has this to say about it.
https://twitter.com/MichaelEMann/status/884421725533999105

I dont mean to criticise the scientists, but what they've done hasnt really done much so far. These scientists dont have a clue what to do with this information they've thrown it out there in its dry non committal form as if thats all they need to do. But lies and misinformation has propagated better than their information. Do scientists not have some culpability in this, when you keep doing the same thing and nothing happens, what does that say.

Like maybe people need the fear. The best thing that supposedly helped with the Aids problem in the 80s were these really scary advertisements in the UK. There has been very little action so far, at least not enough. Saying, we dont want to say its going to be too bad because people might be paralysed by fear seems weird to me and is just feeding the malaise. When has a large populations avoided doing something because they were paralysed by fear where is the evidence of that?

Whatever we do now will reduce the problem. Maybe we need people to be terrified and realise that they will be to blame for it in the future, and that anything they can do now may at least lessen their culpability/guilt a bit.
 

Skinpop

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Dec 17, 2012
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The best thing that supposedly helped with the Aids problem in the 80s were these really scary advertisements in the UK.
Maybe it helped slow down the spreading of HIV but it also ensured the stigmatization of the afflicted.

I dont mean to criticise the scientists, but what they've done hasnt really done much so far. These scientists dont have a clue what to do with this information they've thrown it out there in its dry non committal form as if thats all they need to do. But lies and misinformation has propagated better than their information. Do scientists not have some culpability in this, when you keep doing the same thing and nothing happens, what does that say.
No they don't, the problem is that climate change almost from the start became a political issue.
 

PeskyToaster

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Dec 5, 2012
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605
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I fear that this may be the great leveller nature is keeping up it's sleeve to deal with the runaway human threat.

It's crazy to think just how close "the apocalypse" really is for our species. A few hundred years of relatively quick advancements and here we are, we've already fucked it up. God help future generations, I guess we should just feel lucky we lived just before the madness really begins.

It's not an apocalypse though. I don't think any scientists have claimed that global warming is the end for humanity or life on Earth. Not even the numbers that do get through around match what we've survived in the past. The commonly agreed upon number for the Black Death was 50% of Europe dead. Some areas suffered less, some more. I don't think any scientists have suggested anything even close to those casualty rates for climate change. Not that we shouldn't do anything about it but I'm saying humanity has lived through worse without any of the tools we have now.
 

LogicAirForce

Neo Member
Feb 6, 2017
112
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0
Nebraska
So what, exactly, is the point in waiting for shit to hit the fan? Its probably just my anxiety speaking, but wouldn't I be better off stopping at the gun store on my way home from work tomorrow and just ending it? At the very least that means one less person contributing to this.
 

GeordieMark

Member
Dec 10, 2013
6,569
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565
There is an interesting article on this very subject in The Atlantic. Worth reading for a different perspective. The writer is also of the opinion that this piece is a tad dramatic.
 
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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.


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.
Quoting this for the new page. Thank you for giving a more balanced stance.
 

Skinpop

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Dec 17, 2012
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In a basement
So what, exactly, is the point in waiting for shit to hit the fan? Its probably just my anxiety speaking, but wouldn't I be better off stopping at the gun store on my way home from work tomorrow and just ending it? At the very least that means one less person contributing to this.
That sounds like an excuse to kill yourself. Maybe you are depressed?

I'm gonna produce lots of children and brainwash them into becoming science wielding CO2 murdering monsters.
 

Fancyarcher

Member
May 27, 2014
4,550
1
305
When climate change, it happens. I'm scared yes, but I don't try to make climate change take other my mind or make me crazy so to say. I don't wanna

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

That aligns more with my viewpoints. Climate change definitely isn't something to sneeze at, but with the way the article writes things, you'd assume that climate change would destroy the entire human-race very quickly, and that's technically not true / scare-mongering.
 

LogicAirForce

Neo Member
Feb 6, 2017
112
0
0
Nebraska
That sounds like an excuse to kill yourself. Maybe you are depressed?

I'm gonna produce lots of children and brainwash them into becoming science wielding CO2 murdering monsters.

There has been some bad climate change news over the last few days, and its sent my anxiety into overdrive.

Figure out how to reproduce with plants, make plantkids that eat carbon. problem solved.
 

Calabi

Member
Nov 2, 2013
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0
Maybe it helped slow down the spreading of HIV but it also ensured the stigmatization of the afflicted.

Well there's no stigma involved here except for those whom dont want to live on a better planet and are condemning us so maybe they deserve this stigma?

No they don't, the problem is that climate change almost from the start became a political issue.

Well then that's a problem isnt it? The scientists have been treating it as if its not political and as if they dont have to have any involvement in politics.
 

Ovid

Member
Oct 10, 2006
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80
It's a really good article and I really wish more and more people in power would realize how dire things are.

One thing that the article forgets to mention is the fact that this misery and annihilation are unevenly distributed. Places like China, South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East will be hit hard by this, while the ones most responsible for mass extinction (the US, Australia, Europe) will be hit less and have the most resources to lessen the damage.
I watched an episode of VICE the other day and it never occurred to me that some people in power actually wouldn't mind if global warming continued. Their countries would reap many benefits if it did.
 

Famassu

Member
Sep 11, 2010
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Its going to be difficult, but the US and Canada have the resources to combat and adapt to these changes. As the current bread baskets become infertile, new fertile land will open in where taiga is today. Alaska and Northern Canada will be the new bread baskets.
Not true, necessarily. Sub arctic regions can also dry up. When it was previously a little warmer, Canada had a lot of lakes & rivers that were (almost) completely dried up. The increased heat increases evaporation to levels that exceeds the amount of rain etc. leading to worse overall water situations.
 

Senteevs

Member
Mar 28, 2014
342
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Latvia
Every day I look at my 2 year old son and am frightened of his future.

I completely understand people, who don't want to bring children into this messed up world.
 

Master Yoshi

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May 4, 2014
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Every day I look at my 2 year old son and am frightened of his future.

I completely understand people, who don't want to bring children into this messed up world.

I feel the same about my 1 year old daughter.

I know they try to keep from talking gloom, doom and hopelessness, but I really feel like the dominoes are falling and our hands are tied due to our leaders and lifestyles.

Dying oceans, horrific plagues being uncovered from the melting Arctic and famine are going to throw this world into chaos.
 

Skinpop

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Dec 17, 2012
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I completely understand people, who don't want to bring children into this messed up world.

it's impossible for me to understand that sentiment. Even if I knew the world would tomorrow, I wouldn't prefer being unborn. Children born today, especially in the west have more freedom, better health and access to more means of achieving their potential than any that came before them, that's a fucking superpower compared to what most of human history looks like. The least you can do is try to leverage that to produce people that help change the world.

Well then that's a problem isnt it? The scientists have been treating it as if its not political and as if they dont have to have any involvement in politics.
this is an extremely unfair characterization of scientist, especially since many do involve themselves with politics.
 

Irminsul

Member
Aug 14, 2012
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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
Yeah, that article seems a bit weird, right at the beginning.

It talks about the goal of keeping global warming capped at two degrees, which is measured in Celsius (or Kelvin to use the correct scale). Then it goes on to state that "This past winter, a string of days 60 and 70 degrees warmer than normal baked the North Pole", which has to be Fahrenheit, because the average low at the North Pole in winter is around -35 deg. C and it certainly hasn't been +25 there in last winter (that would be around 15 degrees warmer than the record temperature in summer).

Even if the author didn't literally mean the North Pole, there is no place on the Northern Hemisphere where the daily mean temperature is below -45 deg C in winter (that being Oymyakon in Russia) and the record high for that place is -16, not +10.
 
Jun 13, 2014
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Whats even weirder to me is that 25 companies are responsible for 50% of the global greenhouse emissions. 100 companies are responsible for 70%. Chinese coal plants account for 15%. Virtually all the companies in the top 20 are oil companies, #2 is Saudi Oil, #3 is Russian, #4 is Iranian, #5 is Exxon.
https://www.theguardian.com/sustain...-71-global-emissions-cdp-study-climate-change

If people drove 30% less worldwide the impact would be massive, yet there is no push by celebs to get people to drive less, there is no call by governments to get people to drive less, nothing. Everyone just expects governments to sign accords and then magic ?? happens to reduce emissions.

If everyone who drives drove one day less a week, kept their cars around longer, reduced how many cars they own, etc it would have a much bigger impact but I rarely see anyone advocating for this. Instead we seem to focus on trivialities like not using plastic bags and getting more people to buy electric cars, which is just bizarre since electric cars still create insane amounts of greenhouse gases by simply being built, and using the existing electrical grid which functions mostly on coal and oil.
 

psyfi

Banned
May 21, 2016
5,945
2
0
Every single person alive right now needs to make the healing of the world their life's work. This isn't a drill.
 

psyfi

Banned
May 21, 2016
5,945
2
0
Damn, I'm in Arizona. Should I be bailing the fuck out?
Might as well do it soon, it'll let you establish a new life somewhere safer. We need deep community ties right now, self-reliance will probably be a lot more central to our way of life soon.
 

Jezan

Member
Feb 5, 2009
3,051
29
910
Mexico
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

The current people in power and have a say in how we handle this situation are going to be dead before the shit hits the first world to the point of breaking, so why should they give a fuck? They're going to spend their last two decades killing us and having fun

We need a giant public works project with radical changes in policy and regulation if we want this Earth to be habitable for ourselves and especially the future generations of humanity.
Exactly!

Many people just want to leave the hard work to future generations, problem is that more people think like this, sooner we get the apocalyptic stuff.
 

mantidor

Member
Jul 24, 2009
12,252
6
820
Rio de Janeiro
Whats even weirder to me is that 25 companies are responsible for 50% of the global greenhouse emissions. 100 companies are responsible for 70%. Chinese coal plants account for 15%. Virtually all the companies in the top 20 are oil companies, #2 is Saudi Oil, #3 is Russian, #4 is Iranian, #5 is Exxon.
https://www.theguardian.com/sustain...-71-global-emissions-cdp-study-climate-change

If people drove 30% less worldwide the impact would be massive, yet there is no push by celebs to get people to drive less, there is no call by governments to get people to drive less, nothing. Everyone just expects governments to sign accords and then magic ?? happens to reduce emissions.

If everyone who drives drove one day less a week, kept their cars around longer, reduced how many cars they own, etc it would have a much bigger impact but I rarely see anyone advocating for this. Instead we seem to focus on trivialities like not using plastic bags and getting more people to buy electric cars, which is just bizarre since electric cars still create insane amounts of greenhouse gases by simply being built, and using the existing electrical grid which functions mostly on coal and oil.

I'm not sure about your actual city but most cities I know and most governments have indeed those kind of programs to encourage people to drive less. In my home town there is even a "no car day" once or twice a year. There are also laws about plastic bags and other stuff.
 
Sep 12, 2013
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Saving the livable habitat all comes down to how we fuel/power ourselves and our tools. Conceptually, it is as simple as that.

The most drastic intervening steps to mitigate climate change would be the following 3 things:
1. Power our tools with some combination of nuclear and renewable energy.
2. Feed ourselves with a primarily vegan diet.
3. Limit the number of children we have.
 

LordKasual

Banned
Jul 28, 2016
5,702
1,302
495
Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. Another one of these videos hit up my facebook feed, that framed the issue as :

"IMMINENT BIOLOGICAL ANNIHILATION"

which would be a fucking absurd headline, even if an asteroid managed to fry everyone on the surface of the planet. Of course a paragraph into the article, the author admits that he chose the phrase to display the "gravity of the situation". Which is good for shock views but clearly doesn't do shit when it comes to getting people to actually listen.

I'm pretty sure scientists have all but concluded that we're currently taking part in a Mass Extinction event that is already as we speak moving faster than the KT one that killed the dinosaurs off. But we've known that for a while.

This sensationalist, deliberately dramatic kind of tone is probably only going to cause a "News who Cried Wolf" effect once people research past their initial horror and realize that we're talking about events that are more likely to completely pass by the heads of most 1st world country citizens....like it's currently doing right now.


The article is well-meaning, but irresponsible.

People already can't give 2 fucking shits about the environment. Framing it as a hopeless apocalypse scenario isn't going to get anyone off their ass.
 

KissDaRing

Banned
Jun 13, 2016
214
0
0
Whats even weirder to me is that 25 companies are responsible for 50% of the global greenhouse emissions. 100 companies are responsible for 70%. Chinese coal plants account for 15%. Virtually all the companies in the top 20 are oil companies, #2 is Saudi Oil, #3 is Russian, #4 is Iranian, #5 is Exxon.
https://www.theguardian.com/sustain...-71-global-emissions-cdp-study-climate-change

If people drove 30% less worldwide the impact would be massive, yet there is no push by celebs to get people to drive less, there is no call by governments to get people to drive less, nothing. Everyone just expects governments to sign accords and then magic ?? happens to reduce emissions.

If everyone who drives drove one day less a week, kept their cars around longer, reduced how many cars they own, etc it would have a much bigger impact but I rarely see anyone advocating for this. Instead we seem to focus on trivialities like not using plastic bags and getting more people to buy electric cars, which is just bizarre since electric cars still create insane amounts of greenhouse gases by simply being built, and using the existing electrical grid which functions mostly on coal and oil.

Society world wide is way too selfish and entitled to want to take such drastic steps. That's the real problem here. They'll only care when it's way too late.
 

shandy706

Member
May 3, 2011
15,994
5
0
Clemson Tiger Country
I've been going to the same Island Beach for 20 years on the East coast of the US. The water is no closer to the beach house than it was 20 years ago.

Not saying it's not happening, but the rate it's happening at is much slower than any of these "doomsday" articles. I'd be surprised if the ocean reached the beach house when my grandkids are my age (I don't have any grandkids..my kids are only 9 and 5).

Having said that, we need to do a lot of things so much better for our environment.
 

SomTervo

Member
Jan 19, 2015
15,311
2
0
Scotland
Good on that scientist for speaking up about issues with the article.

That said, I get why the writer would go so hard on the gloom angle. Even if the rhetoric is too forceful, that's sometimes what's necessary to make people wake the fuck up.

Ignorance is bliss :) this stuff doesn't faze me. It's fear mongering.

I'm leaving now.

Lol, sarcasm?
 

Bigboss242

Banned
Jul 10, 2014
935
8
0
The wheels are falling off as we speak. We on the verge of the sixth mass extinction event and we are the cause either way we are fucked.
 

Tovarisc

Member
Jul 1, 2014
16,139
0
0
BREAKING: NASA Suomi VIIRS image released today confirms trillion-tonne chunk has broken off Antarctica's Larsen C iceberg.

https://twitter.com/CBCAlerts/status/885077223287422978
 

Laiza

Member
Sep 6, 2016
1,588
2
0
I need to remind folks that clean energy adoption is only increasing in rapidity and that it is pretty much inevitable due to market forces dictating that the cheapest solution be found - the cheapest solutions now being wind and solar.

Couple that with battery advancements decreasing the cost and increasing the range of electric vehicles and the rise of alternative solutions for meat eaters that don't involve massive herds of farm animals, and it's pretty much inevitable that we'll actually become carbon negative sometime over the next decade and change. That is not to say that things are rosy-peachy and we can rest on our laurels, however - the only reason these things are happening is because so much of humankind is actively working to make these things happen, no more and no less.

This isn't even considering other advancements in areas such as carbon sequestration, where we actually put carbon back into the ground, or geoengineering efforts that involve countering the greenhouse gasses with other types of emissions that reduce the amount of energy entering Earth's atmosphere (this one is a last-ditch effort, however, and one that we hopefully won't have to resort to). I have absolute faith that we will manage to tackle this problem, despite how dire things seem today.

This article, unfortunately, does little to help. Sure, it's good to take the problem seriously, but as mentioned already, it does us no good to be paralyzed by fear to the point of inaction. We need to keep moving forward, no matter how bad things may get. It's the only thing we can do. Anything else is just tacitly accepting a terrible demise for all of humanity.
 

AuthenticM

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Mar 2, 2010
22,581
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UPDATE 2017-07-19

The New York Magazine published an annotated edition of the article detailing the science, which you can read here.

David Roberts wrote an article on Vox defending the piece. He explains how the article is mostly right, and we shouldn't dismiss it as "doomsday nonsense". Excerpts:

It is true that the world is making progress on carbon emissions. Many pieces have been written about that and I’m sure many more will be. But Wallace-Wells’ piece was not about that. It was about what will happen if we keep on as-is.

As many people have noted, we probably won’t keep on as-is, which makes the worst-case unlikely. But Wallace-Wells is not predicting it will happen. “What follows is not a series of predictions of what will happen,” he writes early on. “That will be determined in large part by the much-less-certain science of human response.”

He’s merely describing what could happen if we cease to act, which no one wants ... except one of the two major political parties in the world’s most powerful country, including the man in charge of the executive branch and military.

Lest the message be lost, Freeman’s piece was originally headlined: “Do not accept New York Mag's climate change doomsday scenario.”

Got that? Do not accept it. Do not feel sad. Be hopeful and positive. Failure to be properly hopeful and positive will be punished!

The theme of all these critiques is that bad, scary news doesn’t help. It terrifies and paralyzes people.

People often cite social science in support of this critique (Emily Atkin at the New Republic has a few references), but I think the lesson, such as it is, has been wildly overlearned.

First, social scientists are forever testing how individuals respond to various messages in lab conditions, in the short-term, but the dynamics that matter most on climate are social and long-term. It may be that there are social dynamics that require some fear and paralysis before a collective breakthrough. At the very least, it seems excessive to draw a pat “fear never works” conclusion from these sorts of data.

Second, even if it’s true that fear only “works” when it is joined with a sense of agency and efficacy, that doesn’t mean that every single instance of fear has to be accompanied by a serving of hope. Not every article has to be about everything. In fact, if you ask me, the “[two paragraphs of fear], BUT [12 paragraphs of happy news]” format has gotten to be a predictable snooze. Some pieces can just be about the terrible risks we face. That’s okay.

It’s fine for activists to be congenitally positive — that’s their job. But I’m with Slate’s Susan Matthews: it’s just weird for journalists and analysts to worry about overly alarming people regarding the biggest, scariest problem humanity has ever faced. By any sane accounting, the ranks the under-alarmed outnumber the over-alarmed by many multiples. The vast majority of people do not have an accurate understanding of how bad climate change has already gotten or how bad it is likely to get, much less how bad it could get if we keep electing crazy people.

When there are important things that people don’t understand, journalists should explain those things. Attempts at dime-store social psychology are unlikely to lead to better journalism.
 

Shadowhelper

Banned
May 2, 2016
1,221
49
370
Well I don't see how we are changing. We aren't even discussing animal agriculture which is the main source of climate change and ocean pollution.

That's the true inconvenient truth. Just will never be discussed.
 

old

Member
May 11, 2013
4,962
177
475
Getting the feeling WW3 will be fought over drinking water, farmable land, and fishable waters.
 

Shredderi

Member
Feb 24, 2013
9,302
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Getting the feeling WW3 will be fought over drinking water, farmable land, and fishable waters.

Ironically I could see the farmable lands and bodies of water getting fucked by the battles themselves. There's some pretty damn good water here in Finland. I hope the neighbours aren't thirsty. Might be a good time for Finland to get working on that Star Wars tier barrier to surround the whole country.