On February 6 Antarctica Was Warmer Than Orlando, But Mainstream Democrats Fiddle as the Planet Burns

Yves here. One can debate what in particular to do about climate change, but it’s hard not to conclude we should be engaging in a war level mobilization. Yet the Democrats, the folks that like to think they represent reason and science, think the most important thing is not to change things too much, when that is precisely what ought to happen.

By Thomas Neuberger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny!

Location of Esperanza Station on the northern tip of Antarctica

The climate news out of Antarctica isn’t good. As Vice News put it on February 7, “Good Morning. It’s 65 Degrees in Antarctica. That’s warmer than Orlando today.”

Since then the news from the South Pole has gotten worse. From the World Meteorological Association on February 14 (emphasis added):

The Argentine research base, Esperanza, on the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula, set a new record temperature of 18.3°C on 6 February, beating the former record of 17.5°C on 24 March 2015, according to Argentina’s national meteorological service (SMN).

A committee for WMO’s Weather and Climate Extremes Archive will now verify whether this indeed is a new record for the Antarctic continent, which is defined as the main continental landmass.

“Everything we have seen thus far indicates a likely legitimate record but we will of course begin a formal evaluation of the record once we have full data from SMN and on the meteorological conditions surrounding the event. The record appears to be likely associated (in the short term) with what we call a regional “foehn” event over the area:  a rapid warming of air coming down a slope/mountain,” according to WMO’s Weather and Climate Extremes rapporteur, Randall Cerveny. …

WMO is seeking to obtain the actual temperature data for a montitoring station on Seymour Island, part of a chain of islands off the Antarctic peninsula. Media reports say that researchers logged a temperature of 20.75°C. Mr Cerveny cautioned that it is premature to say that Antarctica has exceeded 20°C for the first time.

Twenty degrees Celsius (68°F) is a marker for obvious reasons, an even number that’s never before been crossed. It’s been crossed now. You could wear shorts and a T-shirt on a 68° day, even on Seymour Island.

A personal note: A personal note: As part of my “day job” I interact in many venues with people at the most progressive end of the Democratic Party infrastructure, and I keep being told by some of the smartest in these groups that we need to be practical (in the real sense, not the fake “I want to slow you down” sense) in our attempt to enact policies like Medicare For All and the Green New Deal. I keep being told that you can’t build Rome in a day.

And they’re right in a sense; these things do take time. The Republican Party didn’t destroy a third of the electorate and more than half of the federal government in one or two cycles — it took decades of evil, dedicated work and endless seduction of eager neoliberal Democrats to accomplish the mess we’re in now.

And yet, at the rate things are advancing — not just on the climate front, but on the “rebellion against the pathological rich” front — we just don’t have a decade to work with. We may not have five years.

Which leads me to argue back: Look, even if we elect a better-than-Trump, half-measures candidate, we’re still not better off. Our grandchildren will curse us all the same.

I don’t think that sinks in, even to most of the better minds among them. Perhaps seeing a building that’s about to fall, but hasn’t, isn’t enough. Perhaps the building has to start its descent before most in position to act will take the urgency of the crisis seriously. After all, the bricks haven’t fallen on their grandchildren’s bodies yet.

But they soon will, all too soon for all too many. It’s not enough to act. We need to act in time enough to matter. I guess that’s why I support Sanders and no one else, the only one who will even try to build Rome in a day.

A slow-handed, good-hearted captain of the Titanic is still a disaster just about to happen — a person blind to what hovers in the mist, a person who cannot feel its approaching breath.

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55 comments

  1. The Rev Kev

    Maybe a bit of context is necessary here. Antarctica is hostile to life and the cold will kill you without even thinking about it. Here is an article by a guy who had to get clothing to go for a visit there which gives an idea of what it is like-

    https://oceanwide-expeditions.com/blog/in-polar-travel-choice-of-clothing-can-mean-life-or-death

    By contrast, here is the ensemble that those scientists found that they could get by with on that summer’s day-

    https://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/templates-of-blank-t-shirt-shorts-pants-vector-15376410

    Political operatives do not see things like this nor are probably interested in them anyway. If a hurricane flooded out the Hamptons then that might get their donors, errr, their attention but otherwise no. Albert Einstein once said that ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.’ I am thinking here that we cannot solve our problems with the same politicians that helped created them either.

    Reply
  2. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves.

    Whales migrate from the Antarctic in the winter towards southern Africa and the Mascareigne archipelago. Last winter, the northern hemisphere summer, numbers fell off a cliff. Whales, especially cows about to give birth, did not have to travel that far north.

    One notices the acceleration in global warming in the south. Every festive season, I visit Mauritius and notice beaches washed away, farms abandoned due to persistent drought. Locals one talks to are of the view that we are past the tipping point and all the talk far to the north of the Equator is just hot air. Not enough people are suffering enough up there for things to change where the impact is currently most severe. What goes is not of any interest to the courtiers (a profession formerly known as journalism), politicians etc. As Vlade commented late last year, “We are past peak human.”

    No one down there was surprised when Kenyan campaigner Vanessa Nakate was photo shopped from a photo with Greta Thunberg and other “telegenic” campaigners at Davos. It sums up how the destruction is addressed. It’s the same with campaigners in Canada, first nation from the Rockies, and Bangladesh, all teenage girls and who precede Thunberg.

    Reply
  3. Plutoniumkun

    This is the deeply frustrating thing. I even find it with people I know who have been actively (and professionally) involved in reducing CO2 for many years, and who understand the science. They are still locked in a mindset which was reasonable perhaps 25 years ago – i.e. that the problem could be addressed with steady moves to decarbonise key areas of the economy and build in some judiciously designed resilience to key infrastructure.

    But that time has passed – its far too late for baby steps. It needs to be understood that this is a war level emergency, and its happening right now. This seems a conceptual step too far for many people. They will only change when the water is lapping up to their waists and their lungs are full of smoke. Maybe not even then as some Australians have proven.

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  4. Joe Salimando

    OK, it’s a war-level emergency. Something needs to be done.

    What?

    Have you troubled to actually READ “the green new deal” from AOC? It’s full of great ideas, but —

    a. You’d need wholesale defeat of the Republicans in the U.S. As in, convert the Senate from 51-49 to 68-32. The GND can’t exist as an idea, it has to be passed into actual laws. Converting the Senate to include that many reasonable politicians probably would take at least 6 years.

    Not saying that could not happen — no one in my generation thought we’d ever have a black president. And no one who grew up in Brooklyn NY when I did ever thought we’d have Donald Trump run a country, by the way.

    b. Let’s say we pass the GND’s ideas into law in 2026. It would probably still take DECADES to implement all of it. Go read the thing.

    Then there’s Greta. Her anger is expressed wonderfully, as only a teenager (note I said teenager, not teenage girl) could provide for all of us. I was pretty angry as a teenager, as it looked as if I would have my head blown off in Vietnam (as a few older guys from my neighborhood had). And when Greta says “you’ve ruined my childhood” — well, maybe she should visit some parts of Africa to see what an actually “ruined childhood” looks like.

    However, her core climate-change-fighting idea seems to revolve around defunding fossil fuels now. This is a great idea, except for the fact that the world’s economic system runs on the stuff. Going for her solution would leave people starving . . . and starving people (in the billions) is really NOT a good idea.

    I’ve been a vegetarian since 1978. I am credited (in a book I had nothing to do with) with helping to foster wider municipal recycling in the United States in the 1980s (when I was editor of a garbage industry magazine). I was “at” the first Earth Day. I am a True Believer in the environment, and that things could be a lot better.

    However, I am also a 66-year-old human. I have seen damn few important things change. Here in the U.S., we are STILL fighting the goddamn Civil War (albeit with no Pickett’s charges and Cold Harbor battles).

    The war ended in 1865. If anything, you could say the losing side has given ground only grudgingly. It’s 155 years later!

    My point is: Don’t express anger. Don’t push for urgency. Don’t declare an emergency. TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT TO HAVE HAPPEN. And make it practical, do-able, and something (a plan, a scheme, whatever) that can take place in a small number of years.

    Please.

    Reply
    1. Grumpy Engineer

      Yes!! “Do what?” is indeed the essential question. Too many people out there are treating global warming as a problem of emotion or belief. Where if we can convince enough of the right people that it’s truly a problem, then they’ll “do something” (there are those words again) to fix it.

      But climate change isn’t a problem like racism or homophobia. Changing people’s minds and passing laws doesn’t change CO2 emissions at all. Until we change the EQUIPMENT that emits CO2 (or relies on energy produced by CO2-emitting equipment), nothing changes. Any plan that simply sets emissions targets or sets aside money for “climate change” isn’t really a plan at all. A real plan would talk about new equipment to be deployed, old equipment to be decommissioned, and equipment to be left in operation. With types, sizes, and quantities all listed for industrial, commercial, and household settings.

      And even if somebody has the skills and knowledge necessary to put together a real plan, will everyone agree that it’s the right path to take? Because several high-level approaches have been proposed, and everybody has their favorite. I’ve seen the following six:

      [1] Keep using energy like we do today. Engage in mitigation efforts reactively.
      [2] Keep using energy like we do today. Engage in mitigation efforts proactively.
      [3] Electrify the economy as much as possible and provide that electricity with renewable power.
      [4] Electrify the economy as much as possible and provide that electricity with nuclear power.
      [5] Engage in extreme energy conservation efforts.
      [6] Engage in extreme geoengineering efforts.

      You won’t see much enthusiasm for #1 or #6 around here, but I’ve seen people (in good conscience) advocate for the others. Alas, having Greta Thunberg scream “How dare you?” doesn’t help answer the question of which approach is best.

      Reply
      1. jrs

        And answering what approach is best doesn’t do a darn thing about the political problem.

        I mean we have easy problems like healthcare, where it’s not some mystery what approach is best, and yet it’s like pulling teeth. True that may be a U.S. problem.

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        1. Grumpy Engineer

          Aye. I wouldn’t dispute that assessment. Even if somebody came up with a highly detailed plan that was truly the fastest, cheapest, safest, and most environmentally effective, there’s no guarantee that our government could make it happen. We seem to be paralyzed by politicians always jockeying for position instead of actually doing something useful.

          Reply
  5. jackiebass

    Political parties are about winning elections.On controversial issues they will take a position that they think will get them the most voted not what is the right thing to do. They also depend on money to finance elections. This too often determines their position on issues. Who is president is far more important than most people realize. They control all of the regulating agencies. Laws are usually written in general terms and agencies make the rules to implement the law. That’s a big reason why Trump being president is so dangerous.

    Reply
    1. fajensen

      Yes. “The Left” seems to be marooned in identitarianism and sectarian diet- and gender- diversity issues with precisely Zero ideas about what future they want to create and how to create it, leaving both the ball and the ballpark to “The Right” (while lamenting that “The Right” are winning by being rude and scoring goals in their absence).

      However, maybe it is not real: The strategy of “Go Left on Social Issues and Right on Culture” worked well enough for a funny little man with a German accent to be tried again?

      They can always spool it back once they are in power!

      Reply
      1. tegnost

        “Zero ideas about what future they want to create and how to create it”
        No they know what they want, self driving cars, state supported monopolies, uber/lyft transportation, and doorstep delivery of their barest whim. Indeed I have heard the argument made that it just opens up more land for a bigger population to provide moar for less. It’s Panglossian. And you’re right, they’re certain that if a problem arises it will be manageable enough to spool it back

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    2. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, the smarter fringes of the Far Right in Europe (western Europe anyway) long ago recognised that getting too tied up with fringe theories was a bad idea if you want to go mainstream. Anyway, denialism has its roots in neoliberalist thought, or to be precise, the belief if free markets don’t will it, it can’t be true. The Far Right has never been too wedded to this – in fact, some would probably welcome the type of corporatist state that may be required to combat it. Its just the uses they’d put this state to that should worry us.

      Reply
  6. Seamus Padraig

    One thing I still don’t understand is this: if the polar icecaps are really melting, then where’s all that new water going? Sea levels do not seem to be rising, the rich are still buying beachfront properties, and have we even lost one single Pacific atoll? It just doesn’t make any sense. That’s one of my biggest problems with this global warming theory.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its not rising because most of the melt has taken place on seaborne ice sheets. Its like if the ice cubes in your drink melt, it doesn’t raise the level of the drink. This is why the real threat is the melt of continental ice sheets in Antartica and Greenland, not the North Pole or seaborne ice around Antartica. The melt of this ice is just getting going. Once it starts, its almost certainly unstoppable.

      Most of the rise we’ve already seen is from thermal expansion – i.e. warmer water expands. This will displace to glacier ice quite quickly, its probably already happening.

      Reply
      1. thoughtfulperson

        There has been significant rise already, check out the increasing phenomena of day flooding at VA Beach or Miami Beach for an example.

        Good point on the ice floating in water. Another aspect of that example is to watch the temperature as the ice melts. The water stays right about 32F or 0C as the ice melts. When it has gone the temperature rises quickly. Globally we are in the melting stage where change is noticable by the size of the ice cube but not so much in temperature, especially relative to what will happen in a century.

        Reply
        1. The Historian

          Sadly, the problem with polar ice caps melting is much more than just sea level rise. All that desalinated water introduced into the oceans can also cause changes in the currents in the ocean and dramatically affect the weather. For instance, it is because where the Gulf Stream is that Great Britain has a moderate climate and no polar bears even though it is as far north as the lower half of the Hudson Bay.

          https://phys.org/news/2020-02-arctic-ice-ocean-currents.html

          Then there is the effect it will have on fish which many people on this planet depend on for protein.

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    2. timbers

      It IS rising. The sea level IS rising.

      I used to live in Quincy, Ma on the coast. One year after I sold that coastal property, FEMA placed it into the Flood Zone. Lowest classification, but still.

      If you want to see some hard empirical facts suggesting strongly, that the sea level is rising, google Quincy Massachusetts Flood Zones and spend some time on the City of Quincy flood zone map.

      On that map, you go back some decades and see the FEMA classifications of coastal property and there flood rating, in overlaid map zones, and see with you own eyes the progression of floods zones moving inland.

      There’s a clear trend.

      Is this conclusive evidence?

      Well, about a year before I sold my house, I saw professional surveyors in the the sea bed at low tide, taking measurements. They were hired by the City of Quincy to fight FEMA’s new flood zones which place more sections of Quincy into flood zones.

      Quincy did get some roll back of FEMA food zones, but basically lost it’s battle.

      Key point in my mind: The trend showing an advancing ocean over time on City of Quincy’s mapping, and the surveyors I saw collecting measurements.

      Reply
    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Actually, it is rising. At 32nds of an inch per year. But spread out over a hundred million square miles of ocean surface, that’s a lot of cubic volume water. But yes, if most of the ice so far melting is floating in the ocean anyway, its meltdown won’t contribute to ocean rise. Only the ice above sea level will contribute its entire liquid volume-when-melted to sea level rise.

      People who don’t believe that are encouraged to buy coastal land in the strongest possible terms.

      Reply
    1. Susan C

      Yes, just saw this. Starts out with examples of paleontology and then changes in climate over millions of years. We are in a really bad place right now. Please see.

      Reply
  7. agkaiser

    Capitalism is self destructing hundreds of years ahead of Marx’s prediction. The ruling elite class of banksters and billionaires are too stupid to see it. And they’re smarter than most of the rest of us.

    I’ve said that before. At least one person has commented that the parasites know they’re wrecking the world. They just don’t care what happens next as long as they”ve got theirs now! … That’s still stupid.

    Reply
    1. tegnost

      They’re smart in a certain way that makes them lots of money. Most everyone is smart in some way. We’re like a flock of corvids. Some of them are more adept than others but by and large they’re the same intelligent species. We just have a habit in our flock of saying people who don’t agree with us are stupid. We’re different, having had a variety of interests and opportunities, that’s all. If they were smart rather than particularly self interested they’d be able to see what’s right before their eyes. Hubris.

      Reply
  8. Polar Donkey

    I worked a winter at Palmer Station on the Antarctic peninsula in 2001. It was on a rock island covered by a glacier. The island was basically cone shaped. We would walk or ride up to the top of the island and ski or sled down. That was only 18 years ago. The glacier is gone now. Scary

    Reply
  9. Tom Stone

    One thing that strikes me is that many assume that these changes are linear.
    They are not.
    “Slowly, and the all at once”
    What woyld the effects of a 1 Ft sea level rise over five years be?

    Reply
    1. fajensen

      Well,

      One predictable effect is that a lot of very angry, red faced, white men aged 50+ will cry foul and conspiracy because Christiansborg Slotsplads in Copenhagen is only submerged by 20 cm of water instead of the 40 cm predicted by climate science!

      Reply
  10. Amy Fargochar

    Might as well face it, we’re addicted to growth. The affliction is growth. Climate disruption is just one of many of its symptoms. Contraction will not come voluntarily. It will be forced. By nature it appears. Natural forces will end our addiction to growth and greatly cull our species if not extinct us entirely. Human has shown it cannot regulate its behavior. It will grow, or try to grow, until it is no more.

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  11. teacup

    Bernie hammering on and winning because of the climate crisis may be our best shot at war level mobilization. Would love to see Stephanie Kelton shove a progressive, climate positive dose of MMT down all these scorched earth, war mongers’ throats. As Buckminster Fuller and David Graeber have argued, we could pay people to stay at home to avoid using resources going to and from their bullshit jobs.

    Reply
    1. Amy Fargochar

      My problem with the GND is that it doesn’t go far enough and is too little too late. In a previous post by Yves, degrowth was mentioned. Degrowth, or radical contraction more appropriately, must be at the center of any effective climate disruption movement. Renewables are a growth industry. Factor in planned obsolescence and technological obsolescence and the GND quickly falls flat on its face. The end of growth, a radical contraction, necessarily means the end of capitalism but also the end of socialism too in fact. We’ll need a new ism to describe this radical contraction to a steady state.

      Take air travel for example. Opponents of the GND have proselytized that the GND will ban air travel. GND proponents have said the GND does no such thing. In fact, they have indicated air travel will grow and increase because they believe innovation will allow fossil fuel free air travel. That’s not going to happen and SHOULDN’T happen. Radical contraction also means the end of Wall Street as we know it and the end of high finance as we know it.

      We Can Have A Green New Deal, And Air Travel Too

      Can human voluntarily radically contract? I doubt it. Contraction will most probably be forced by nature and terribly brutal, but then again, what human has done to this planet has been terribly brutal. What goes around will come around. Eventually. And eventually is knocking at the door and in fact has just let itself in.

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      1. Dan

        Any true “green” movement would be calling for massive decentralization of all economic and political institutions. All institutions in fact. Centralization and hierarchy destroy ecosystems. This has always been true; even a cursory investigation of anthropological evidence bears this out.

        The paradox is that even the most sensitive ecologist really has no idea how to live in balance with this world. All of our institutions, even the ones we think are worthwhile, such as schools and such, are actually life-denying. They’re not human-denying, but they are life-denying, which of course is ultimately human-denying as well.

        How could a people who spend as much time as we do “studying” things and classifying them and judging them and basically living an incredibly distorted, mediated life…how could such a people think that they in any way know how to live properly on this earth?

        Cut ourselves off from the living whole and then erect buildings where we study it piececemeal and feel good about ourselves. This is insanity raised to infinity.

        Reply
        1. Amy Fargochar

          Great rant! I couldn’t agree more. I think we know how this ends. If Aldo Leopold could see us now. The carnage he witnessed and wrote about was almost more than he could bear and that was the early part of the 20th century. Human is quite literally a super organism at this point devouring the planet until the planet is no more. Faster, harder, more, more, more…………….

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          1. pdxjoan

            Imagine how production really ramps up as we start hoarding everything while we’re waiting for our solar roofs to be installed. (sarcasm) Reminds me of a memorable cartoon from a few years ago, The caption was something like this. “While the end-of-the-world scenario will be rife with unimaginable horrors, we believe that the pre-end period will be filled with unprecedented opportunities for profit.” Sadly, it’s not hard to imagine the talking heads on Bloomberg News or CNBC actually saying this on-air.

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        2. Math is Your Friend

          Some people post here and elsewhere that massive decentralization is the solution to global warming. Others with equal fervour that centralization and integrated control of everything is the path to salvation.

          It reminds me of the problems with plastics. You have the people who advocate recycling plastics into structural plastic items that replace cutting down trees for wood. Others advocate biodegradable plastics that degrade rapidly under common conditions into simpler organics that return to the ecology. It all starts coming unstuck when recycled structural plastics start failing because of contamination by biodegradable plastics in the recycling.

          Other people want to replace single use plastic bags with paper bags. The paper bags have to be used three or four times before their carbon footprint is as low as the plastic bags. Re-usable bags need to go around the loop about 150 times for that to happen. Might happen, might not. Place your bets.

          Cut down on plastic, and cut more trees down, while vehicles become heavier and less fuel efficient, and insulation becomes less effective.

          Converting to an electric economy would be slow, expensive, and consume enormous resources requiring a huge jump in mining, smelting, exploration, transport, and construction, disrupting ecosystems and water supplies, spreading various forms of environmental contamination, and creating various new kinds of waste.

          De-growth only means that the world will be ruled by the countries that reject that option.

          And everywhere, proponents of various ‘solutions’ trot out policy marketing pieces that ignore inconvenient things arising from their favoured choice.

          There are no easy solutions, and workable ones will only come from looking at the downsides as well as the benefits of each alternative.

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          1. jrs

            “De-growth only means that the world will be ruled by the countries that reject that option.”

            Only it actually would not be without direct military conquest. So they would rule by military conquest? That may be. But without it they will quickly outstrip the resources in their country, and a degrowth world is not a free trade world, it’s not a world of all that much trade at all.

            Reply
  12. Joe Well

    Speaking of climate-killing Dems, the author of the Green New Deal in the US Senate, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, is being primaried by Joe Kennedy, grandson of Bobby Kennedy. Climate activists are furious.

    If you are in Massachusetts, local Dem. caucuses are happening now. Please go to yours (dates, times, locations here) and run as a delegate so you can endorse Kennedy at the state convention or else vote for someone who will. The Kennedy campaign is pushing hard for endorsements from the state establishment, especially at these caucuses.

    New England could learn something from old England, where the royal family does not stand for elected office.

    Reply
    1. jrs

      ugh, so AOC and Markey, the two pushers of the GND, now both being primaried, for what a GND that doesn’t go far enough anyway, but still goes FAR TOO FAR for the Powers That Be?

      I thought he might not make a bad VP for Sanders though, but hard to argue old white northeastern guy adds that much to the ticket. Better in the Senate.

      Reply
      1. Joe Well

        Markey is very different from Sanders on many issues, especially foreign policy. Except for the GND, Markey just isn’t very progressive by Massachusetts standards or the standards of Sanders supporters. But since the GND is our best shot at fighting climate collapse in Washington, Markey is worth fighting for in the Senate.

        Reply
  13. DHG

    Human rulers and wannabe rulers punt on it as they have no idea what to do. Humans were never created to rule and run themselves independently of God. Fortunately the current system of things is about to come to a close forever and Gods Kingdom to take ruler ship of this planet to time indefinite. Only God has ALL the answers to mankinds problems. The Earth will never be completely destroyed as God has promised humans will live on it forever in paradise conditions forever.

    Reply
  14. Kevin

    The concept of anthropogenic global warming is not so certain as the intense discourse around it would portray. Like anyone else who reads this blog, I don’t want to overlook the truth. I would invite any readers, including you Yves, whose work I quite value, to invest a little time to watch the presentations below, because the price of keeping the global warming bus moving down the street is enormous, and the returns on investing a little time to fully understand the situation are considerable. Please take a few minutes to watch some or all of the videos below, each of which present a scientific basis for climate change that is not anthropogenic, and that is not on a warming trend either. The sun is currently in an extreme state of inactivity and declining. The magnetic poles are shifting more rapidly than they have in many years. It is the sun and the magnetic field of earth that determine climate. Mankind’s contribution, despite that pollution is a travesty against nature and humanity, just hasn’t been enough to alter the global temperature. If anyone who cares to investigate finds one scrap of inaccuracy or illogic in these videos, I would appreciate knowing about it, because, as I said, like anyone here, I want the truth too. But please have the courtesy not to comment outright, without doing the research into these presentations.

    arctic and antarctic sea ice and temperatures from data: https://youtu.be/aWlBiih1p9Y (his manner can be off-putting, but try to just follow the data and the rationale and stick it out to the end). Tony Heller’s credentials: https://realclimatescience.com/2019/04/who-is-tony-heller/

    the nature of climate change (executive summary): https://youtu.be/tul07hx8V8w

    Heller on Climate Change basics: https://youtu.be/8455KEDitpU

    (Full discourse on climate forcing (mechanisms of climate change): https://youtu.be/rEWoPzaDmOA)

    Reply
    1. Craig Dempsey

      Well, I tried Kevin’s links, and sampled the material. All I found was discussion of the natural cycles and how they work to influence our climate. That is good to study. However, Heller made the claim that we could know little about human influence until we know all about natural cycles. So he ignored what we have learned, especially about carbon dioxide. It would be great to find out what the optimal level of carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere, it may indeed be higher than pre-industrial levels. He makes the point that we do not know the net effect of cloud cover under different climate situations. That does have an impact on the green house effect of water vapor. In a similar vein, ice cover is not the same as ice quantity. Yes, the fresh meltwater does refreeze easily. However, the volume of sea ice in the arctic is way down. Thick multi-year ice is almost gone.

      Back to carbon dioxide, his failure to address the profound effects it has makes me highly suspicious of his entire claim. Carbon dioxide is a powerful greenhouse gas, and it has rapidly increased in our atmosphere. We may well have another ice age someday, but right now our greatest threat is an increasingly dangerous heat wave. Anthropogenic global warming may well have the last laugh on humanity.

      Reply
      1. John Farnham

        You sure have a different take than mine. The greenhouse gas effect is little more than a matter of conjecture. Quantifying any effect man is having on climate is impossible without knowing what it would be without such alleged effects. In any case change of 1 degree C / century is rubbing up against accuracy of measuring instrumentation – especially in the case of older data – often arrived at with different instrumentation. And of course, there is the matter of mucking with data. Adjusting for urban heat islands destroys impartial witness at the same time it recognizes the data was not accurate in the first place. That is a definite Oops ! On the validity of NOAA,NASA and Hadley CRU global average surface temperature data https://thsresearch.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/ef-gast-data-research-report-062717.pdf

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        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          If your take is the correct reality-based one, then you have a very lucrative contrarian investing opportunity before you . . . if you have the money to invest.

          When the insurance industry boycotts coastal land and assets . . . in terms of refusing to insure them at any price or premium . . . that will be your opportunity to buy your pick of un-insurable assets and wait for the climate-cycles to reverse and vindicate your bold investment decision.

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    2. ItsGettingCold

      If you can refute everything there:

      https://skepticalscience.com/anthrocarbon-brief.html

      Also missing from the above the fact that the lower layer of the atmosphere are warming up faster than the upper layer while you expect the opposite if the warming was due to solar activities.

      And also refute _all_ the scientific paper cited in section 1.3.1 (attribution of climate changes to human and natural influences on the climate system) of the ICC reports:
      https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/SYR_AR5_FINAL_full.pdf

      Quite frankly i have not seen any proper literature that would absolve humans …

      Reply
  15. Oregoncharles

    ” I keep being told that you can’t build Rome in a day.”

    But you can destroy it.

    So why are we bothering with the Democratic Party? It’s an obstruction, not a vehicle

    Reply
    1. Isotope_C14

      Probably because Americans don’t want the ugly truth of what a real “civil” war would look like in the US of A.

      Due to generations of TeeVee brainwashing the “coastal elites” and their sycophants would run out of food pretty rapidly, and the “flyover” states who produce the grain, all the meat, and have all the guns, would essentially side with “God” or whoever was pretending to be “God” at the time.

      Who would you bet on? I’m thinking the tech-savvy silicos will run out of food before their kill-the-poor drones fail due to their operators starving to death.

      Perhaps if they Uber/Lyftize farming they will be in better shape.

      Reply
    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      You think you will build a whole new vehicle faster than others can conquer and disinfect the Democratic party? Especially with a morality stuff-strutting dilettante party like the Green Party?

      Well, that’s a theory of change, I guess. Go ahead and try it.

      Reply
  16. Tony Wright

    The fundamental problem is Too Many People. I have yet to hear any politician even mention this inescapable ecological truth. The “Super Predators”, ref . David Attenborough, have overrun the planet and are trashing the place. Religion is often used to justify overbreeding – “We are God’s Chosen Ones” , or some such chauvinistic bullshit.
    Until such time that we greedy ecological vandals address this fundamental problem, nature will increasingly apply the usual constraints to any overpopulating species:
    Intraspecific conflict,
    Disease epidemics,
    Famine.
    We have uniquely, using our great big brains, found a way to accelerate our self destruction via the burning of fossil fuels – all that carbon safely sequestered away many millions of years ago. And we think we are so clever.

    Reply
    1. thoughtfulperson

      There is no one fundamental problem.

      50% of world population contribute 10% of global greenhouse gases.

      Removing 4 billion of us won’t have much effect, unless you remove those most resilient to nature’s constraints…

      Reply

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