Thus We Fall: June Temperature Spike Confirms Dire Climate Change Forecasts

Yves here. While climate change skeptics might try tired “a single robin does not make a spring” sort of arguments, we’ve seen an awful lot of robins. The latest could audition for a lead role in a horror movie.

By Thomas Neuburger. Originally published in God’s Spies

(b) Global-mean temperatures for 2016, 2020 and parts of 2015 and 2023 expressed as differences (⁰C) from 1850-1900 levels.

It couldn’t happen to a nicer planet. Too bad it’s happening to ours.

From the Copernicus project, the European Union’s Earth observation component of their space program, comes what should be momentous news:

Global-mean surface air temperatures for the first days of June 2023 were the highest in the ERA5 data record for early June by a substantial margin, following a May during which sea-surface temperatures were at unprecedented levels for the time of year. Also in May, the World Meteorological Organization published a report highlighting a 66% likelihood that the annual average global temperature in 2023-2027 would be more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for at least one year. So, did we in fact witness a rise in the global-mean temperature to over 1.5⁰C above the 1850-1900 level in early June? Let’s take a closer look at what the ERA5 figures tell us, and how they are calculated.

ERA5 is a product of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). ERA5 is their 5th-generation re-analysis tool. Not a small deal at all.

I bolded the important bits. The answer is to their question is yes., as you see from text below and the chart above:

Exceeding 1.5⁰C has typically occurred in the boreal winter and early spring, most notably in February and March 2016. This [February through April] is the time of year when the rise in temperature since 1850-1900 has been largest. … Conversely, the temperature limit is generally further from being exceeded in boreal summer. The warm period at the beginning of June 2023 is an exception.

Which means, if things are bad in June, they won’t be getting better over time.

“The world has just experienced its warmest early June on record, following a month of May that was less than 0.1°C cooler than the warmest May on record,” said Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) Deputy Director Samantha Burgess.

One by one they fall, these thresholds, these targets, these walls.

Their caveat is cold comfort:

[I]t remains to be seen how often, for how long and by how much the limit is exceeded in the coming twelve months or so, as the current El Niño completes its cycle.

We know the descent is inevitable, because even now, no one from Biden to BP to Exxon to Charles G. Koch is putting a stop to their own relentless march. “Energy independence” is still the word of the day.

As I’ve said before, if elites were planning to save us from global collapse, we’d be watching them do it. We’re watching the opposite. And thus we fall.

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  1. thoughtful person

    Thus we’re heading to the business as usual future as described in the original Limits to Growth, 1972, and more recently revisited by some of the original authors in 1993 (beyond the limits) and 2004, (the thirty year update). Various academics have also revisited the studies in more recent papers.

    In these studies there is a business as usual graphic that plots human population, available food, resources, pollution etc. As time goes by, resources decline, food declines, pollution increases and thus human population declines too. Famines (which will be billed as natural disasters) will be arriving with ever greater frequency in the next few decades in this scenario.

    Pollution is the parameter reflected by climate change as climate change is the result of the greenhouse gases we are pumping into the atmosphere.

    Yves conclusion is absolutely correct and what the earlier studies do not really comprehend:

    “As I’ve said before, if elites were planning to save us from global collapse, we’d be watching them do it. We’re watching the opposite. And thus we fall.”

    The opposite is planning for a mass die-off!

    Earlier authors did not realize that our elites care only for maintaining their wealth and power. There is an assumption that if presented with compelling evidence, behavior will change. That assumption is incorrect.

    1. eg

      My truly dystopic vision includes wars of extermination. I hope not to live long enough to experience them.

      1. Dida

        Ecological collapse, disintegration of supply chains, scarcity, resource wars, and unending waves of desperate migrants are the obvious ingredients in a doomsday scenario, but it would be naive to believe that the West will go on unchanged while the world is crumbling, so my dystopic vision also includes the militarization of society and state adoption of religious extremism for social control. But I’m 60, already in poor health, and Trudeau in his magnanimity has legalized assisted suicide for the rabble, so I guess I’m good.

        1. Mildred Montana

          >”Ecological collapse, disintegration of supply chains, scarcity, resource wars, and unending waves of desperate migrants are the obvious ingredients in a doomsday scenario…”

          In your doomsday list you missed at least one possibility: That of inter-generational conflict. In other words, the energetic and concerned youth of today who believe they have been wronged by their fat happy elders* who made bank in the age of carbon, enjoyed job security at a good wage, own houses and RVs, take expensive holidays and collect generous pensions while they, the youth, scrabble to get by on gig jobs with no benefits and pay $2000 a month rent for a one-bedroom apartment with no hope of ever being able to afford a house. Not only that, but they are now expected to make the sacrifices and help pay the costs of a transition to a green economy. How could they not help but feel cheated?

          Inter-generational conflict. It’s in the air. I’ve felt it myself and I’ve also seen and heard instances of it. The sardonic phrase “OK, boomer” didn’t spring from nowhere and for no reason.

          *I am 71 years old.

        2. efschumacher

          “Unending waves of desperate migrants”. In which Canada has greater cause to worry than does the US.

    2. Paul P

      The cumulative effects of all forms of pollution were cited as the greatest danger to mankind by Prof. Stephen Hawking some years ago ,however he also included humanity’s two dominant and abiding traits – greed and stupidity . In order to avoid the ‘business as usual future’ it will require more than just the elites to transcend themselves.

      1. Rolf

        Hawking also warned of the potential threat of AI to bring about humanity’s end, although here he was clearly referring to what he called superhuman AI, nothing like what we are dealing with today. But our increasing (and in many cases, unwitting) reliance on artificial “intelligence”, even in its current state, coupled with our greed, stupidity, and our naïve, lazy acceptance of new technology — absent real effort devoted to recognition of cumulative consequences and limits (after all, WCGW?) — could prove equally disastrous.

        1. Susan the other

          There is the possibility that quantum AI can prevent our frivolous choices by seeing all possible trajectories of our decisions. I’d like to have a tool like that.

      2. JonnyJames

        And the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ “Doomsday Clock” is at 90 seconds to midnight. “A time of unprecedented danger” Nuclear war and environmental collapse are the biggest dangers.

        The recently deceased Dan Ellsberg tried to warn us about the increased dangers of nuclear war. John Pilger and others are warning us now. The political muppets and Mass Media Cartel don’t bother to mention it, so it not considered a problem. We are supposed to focus on what the MMC tell us.

        But I’m just a negative “doom and gloomer” for pointing this out

  2. David H.

    So I guess we will now see Bill Gates and John Kerry ditching their private jets to save the planet? And we are going to save the planet by driving electric cars, stop using straws and bringing reusable bags to the grocery store? We are doomed.

  3. Cocomaan

    We will likely need geoengineering to get out of this unfortunately. Seems like a good opportunity for some companies, since you can’t make record profits when people are dying.

    We will not get out of this by forcing people to abstain from consumption. That clearly hasn’t worked despite the scolding, the carbon credits and so on.

    Need real solutions.

    1. Samuel Conner

      > by forcing people to abstain from consumption.

      perhaps one could argue that decline in real wages must entail some kind of gradual reduction in consumption on the part of wage-earners. But it’s not rapid enough to change the trajectory of ecosystem degradation.

      1. Cocomaan

        Yes that’s a pretty gradual solution or self correction.

        My thought experiment is this: imagine that we could put a number on consumption limitation worldwide that would curtail the damage. Let’s say 25% of annual consumption needed to be knocked out.

        Who in the world enforces that? Who tells people that they can earn their money and not use it to do the stuff of life?

        I’m not interested in that solution because it simply will not work.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Here’s one answer to your query:

          Humanity is using nature 1.8 times faster than our planet’s biocapacity can regenerate. That’s equivalent to using the resources of 1.8 Earths. How many Earths would we need if everyone on the planet lived like the residents of your country? Here’s how we calculate that, using the United States as an example:

          The Ecological Footprint for the United States is 8.1 gha per person (in 2018) and global biocapacity is 1.6 gha per person (in 2018). Therefore, we would need (8.1/ 1.6) = 5.1 Earths if everyone lived like Americans.

          Here’s another interesting way to look at the data. How many Japans does Japan need to meet its residents’ demand on nature?

          The Ecological Footprint for Japan is 4.6 gha per person (in 2018) and Japan’s biocapacity is 0.6 gha per person (in 2018). Therefore, it would take (4.6/ 0.6) = 7.8 Japans to meet its residents’ demand on nature.

          So worldwide consumption would need to reduced by nearly half. If we were to go about it equitably, mean American consumption would need to drop by a whopping 85%. LOL.

          “Who in the world enforces that? Who tells people that they can earn their money and not use it to do the stuff of life? ”

          Once upon a time, there was a thing called rationing employed during a war. It even included GASOLINE, the precious fuel of the gods.

          Even a freaking 60 MPH speed limit would help, but speed limits are apparently a thing of the past unless the cops have a forfeiture ring going.

          I don’t want to pick on you but this:

          earn their money and not use it to do the stuff of life?

          is the problem. We Americans have been so well brainwashed into thinking we are what we buy.

          I want my Maypo. Thanks a lot, Bernays.

          1. Cocomaan

            Yeah, there’s no way that’s going to work. 85% decline in consumption by the median household and their income of $60,000 is ludicrous.

            Pushing people into poverty is unreasonable and out of touch with reality.

            1. some guy

              We could start by pushing everybody OVER $60,000/year down to $60,000 per year. And if that isn’t effective enough, then we could all go down further together.

              We could. Yes, in theory, we could do that.

            2. some guy

              It is also a clever and cynical way to shift focus away from people making at or over a half a million dollars a year. A lot of sincere people have fallen for this diversionary trick . . . . that we should ” cut the median by 85%” . . . but the engineers of this clever trick to put the spotlight on exactly the wrong people in order to keep the cameras away from exactly the right people will only discredit the concept of conservation-living, which is exactly what they intended to do. And that goes strongest of all for the creators of any “courses” or “content” which teaches their innocent marks that ” everyone should cut their income and living by 85% to cut the median by 85%” and tricks those innocent marks into advocating such a preposterous and hatred-inducing reccomendation to members of the Lower Class Majority.

    2. c_heale

      Geoengineering is not a real solution. None of it has been tested on a large scale and there is no experimental evidence it will work. It may have the opposite effects to those intended.

      That is apart from the fact that we have been geoengineering the planet since we evolved, but this jumped drastically with the widespread use of fossile fuels driven by wars and the industrial revolution.

      Real solutions would involve socially fair energy conservation and policies to improve the health of the planet, and not a greedy elite that doesn’t seem to care if the rest of us die, as long as they survive.

      I have long thought that a massive disaster (widespread crop failures?) might get us to pull together.

      We’ll see.

        1. Joe Well

          As a lover of trains, that film is what made me a supporter of geoengineering.

          Living on a train > van down by the river > climate refugee camp. And supposedly eating bugs is the new hot thing.


      1. Cocomaan

        Real solutions would involve socially fair energy conservation and policies to improve the health of the planet,

        This isn’t going to happen. If geoengineering is pie in the sky thinking, believing that a magical combination of policy solutions will suddenly solve the problem is just as fantastical.

        The fact is that any abstinence-based system will fail, with 100% certainty. The drug war and prohibition didn’t work, abstinence only sex Ed doesn’t work, and it won’t work here.

        I actually think it’s irresponsible to keep promoting abstinence only education when it comes to climate solutions.

        1. some guy

          Abstinence as Virtue Hair-Shirting will certainly fail. But particular areas of semi-abstinence weaponised and targeted against the Upper Class in a Total Civil Economic War could be useful if they are seen and designed that way. But only if a critical tipping-point massload of people decide that such weaponised and targeted semi-abstinence can really degrade and attrit the Class Enemy enough to weaken it for the Final Kill.

      2. Ridgewood Dickens

        The recent La Nina is thought to have been extended to its very unusual three year duration by the shading effect of bushfire smoke coming from Oz.
        The smoke shading the ocean surface kept SSTs in the range for la Nina.

        However that kept the Atlantic ocean warm, yikes.

        So geoengineering.

    3. Bsn

      Real solutions? Engineering is what got us here. Geoengineering is like inventing a “new improved” shovel as you dig a deeper hole for your coffin. Worst yet, it is like continuing to lay excrement in your back yard and thinking you can just keep on eating and flushing. We must cut back dramatically on our dinner plate or our dinner plate will fracture.

      1. britzklieg

        …and no one is willing to speak to the environmental damage caused by the western empire’s wars of choice and aggression… the wars that have dominated my entire 67 years of life.

  4. Ignacio

    I read this post. Minutes later I recall the Spanish laws I had been examining a few hours ago on the electric system and how these rely all their effectiveness on free markets, free access (thought not truly or totally free) and the usual stuff.

    Bottom line: we are not prepared to deal with something like this by a long stretch and our legal systems are blind to the problem we face even when they all mention climate change as a challenge.

  5. jefemt

    Weather versus climate… awoke summer’s official dawn to 35 ‘effn cold degrees f, camp-ping-for-work.
    -luckily no frost- in central Montanny.

    This after yet another evening of drenching rains… we are having a cool/wet one, reminds me of the summer of ’91 when we moved back from sodden coastal BC to MT, only to have a cool/wet that was almost like coastal pac/nw (light?!)

    These rains melt out the snowpack prematurely, and are causing havoc with ag as we used to do and know it.

    As the folks in Vietnam said when they saw Unca Sammy on the horizon

    We’re Phuced.

  6. Verifyfirst

    I have been thinking it was going to be 15 to 20 years (30 if we got lucky) before the acceleration of the feedback loops made large parts, or even all, the planet uninhabitable. Now I’m wondering–5-10 years?

    It seems all that could save us is a volcanic eruption to block the sun for a while–but for humans to continue, the eruption would have to be “mild”–we need a cooling, not an ice age. The only geo-engineering the humans could bring to the table would be trying to trigger a volcanic eruption–maybe with a nuke? So tricky to get that right tho……

    Not kidding, unfortunately.

        1. some guy

          Yes, this would be it. It will be interesting to see how much slower the earth-surface would recool, if at all, under this upcoming Maunder Minimum 2.0 ( if there is one) than it did under the last Maunder Minimum. It would be a test of how well all the new greenhouse sky-gases retain heat in the face of less sunlight available to break down into new heat to add to the heatload.

  7. Synoia

    Cheer up, things could be worse.
    So I cheered up, and things got worse.

    To be brutal, mother nature will resolve all .. even the elites.

    Is there a good place to hide? I think not.

    I did read today that is is believed that that pumping ground water has changed the axis if the earth’s spin. According to my thoughts that could hove one of three outcomes:

    1. No change
    2. Things get better
    3. Things get worse

    It appears that the changes in climate are most probably making (3) the outcome.This outcome is an extinction event.

    How much longer will we dither in front of the collapse? Probably until a series of climate catastrophes have focused our leaders awareness.

    Mr Biden, and all members of the blob, all that loot that Hunter and you all appear to have collected will become worthless. So what’s your plan?

    1. some guy

      Mr. Biden and Hunter and etc. are not the “owners of the hotel”. They are the smiling faces at the front desk.

      The “owners” have already made other plans . . . bunkers in New Zealand, huge ranches atop huge aquifers in Paraguay, etc. Any “dieoff” which fails to kill every bunker-dweller in New Zealand and every Aquifer Ranch Owner in Paraguay is an unsuccessful and pointless dieoff . . . killing all the wrong people and none of the right ones.

      The best kind of dieoff would start at the top and work down. A “diamond platinum” Jackpot, if you will.
      Thinking about it could be the first step to doing something about it, if there is anything to be done about it.
      Question: is there anything that we of the Targetted Majority can do to make the Jackpot start with the billionaires and work its way downward till no more Jackpotting is necessary to stabilize non-elite human survival?

        1. some guy

          It isn’t Class “Warfare” till the Lower Class fights back. Till then it is just Upper Class Pearl Harbor attack after Upper Class Pearl Harbor attack against the Lower Class.

  8. Phil R

    Also, I guess the previous five months (January-May) when temperatures were on average below the previous years was just weather. Long-term cold is weather, brief temperature spike is climate change. I think I got it now.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Sorry, I do not think you have ‘got it’ … at all. Double back to the previous five months and besides checking the weather check the measures of the ocean heat content —
      You should avoid confusing weather with climate. Ocean heat content is a better proxy for Global Warming than the temperatures experienced as weather on the land. I believe the popularized adoption of the term Global Warming to refer to the Anthropocene climate change on the Earth is deliberately confusing. I believe this post might have spared a few extra words explaining the colder weather of the previous five months (January-May) as part of discussion of La Nina weather impacts and El Nino weather impacts.

      You might find Hansen’s latest email posting interesting — May 25, 2023: Equilibrium Warming = Committed Warming?
      “…chaos was the topic of our paper1 ‘Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms,’ which was blackballed by IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). In that paper, we conclude that continuation of GHG emissions along the path that the world is on will lead to shutdown of the overturning (North Atlantic and Southern Ocean) circulations this century and sea level rise of several meters on a time scale of 50-150 years. As yet, little has changed to get us off that path” A shutdown of the North Atlantic and Southern Ocean overturning — I believe this is a reference to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) was the subject of the fanciful, over-the-top climate disaster film “The Day After Tomorrow”. Slowing of the AMOC has been measured but its possible shutdown remains controversial. I brought it up to suggest one way that Global Warming could cause a period of significant cooling of some regions — among other potential effects. It is even more interesting to consider both the amount of CO2 Humankind added to the atmosphere over the last century or two, and the the rate of that addition as measured in geologic time. Instead of a climate characterized by the relatively stable warming we have seen, the Earth’s climate could become chaotic.

      1. Phil R

        It’s not that the earth’s climate could become chaotic. it is chaotic. That’s why long-term predictions are worse than useless. Otherwise, guess I shoulda used the sarc tag. Some people miss it.

        Hansen’s predictions from 30-40 years ago were wrong. what makes his newer ones any better? Sorry, nothing predicted by climate scientists has come true yet, but by golly, wait ’till you see what happens in 2100! No thanks.

        1. some guy

          That’s an interesting contrarian opinion to have. If you are correct, then you should study all the climate scientists’ predictions for the next 80 years and do your best analysis as to how such events would affect investable-in assets, securities, etc. Then assume that the majority of “global warming believers” will move out of assets targeted for degradation or destruction by the climate scientists’ predictions. And if you see asset classes getting priced lower and lower and lower as people disinvest out of them for fear of losing everything if they stay in them for too long, you can buy up these “climate-panic-distressed” assets.

          For example, once enough landowners start to flee coastal Florida that land values decay there, that would be the time to spend all the money you have and can borrow on “panic-distressed” seaside or near-sea-level property in Florida. Then when people realize several decades later that it was all a needless panic, and they want to move back, you or your heirs and descendants can sell back to the wannabe returnees the land they fled from. Land you buy for pennies on the benjamin can be sold for benjamins on the penny.

          If your analysis is correct. Do you have confidence that your analysis is correct? Enough confidence to act on your analysis? A fortune awaits you if you are correct and if you are bold enough to buy when the time to strike comes.

          1. Phil R

            My analysis is correct in that Jim Hansen is on record making specific predictions about the dire effects of climate change that did not come true. When one makes a prediction that does not happen, that prediction is falsified. Since his prediction was false, I have confidence that my analysis is correct. I have no burden to prove future predictions are wrong. The onus is on the people making the predictions that they are correct. everything else is just conjecture and fearmongering.

            As a side note, no land owners are fleeing coastal Florida due to climate change and haven’t been for decades. They may leave for other reasons, but not climate change. Any apocalyptic predictions about the future are nothing more than unsubstantiated assertions.

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              “…Jim Hansen is on record making specific predictions about the dire effects of climate change that did not come true.” Again, perhaps you could elaborate briefly what predictions Jim Hansen made about climate change that did not come true. If Hansen made some predictions which did not come true, that does not mean that all of his predictions did not come true or will not come true. In any case you are arguing without sharing your evidence. “I have no burden to prove future predictions are wrong.” That is indeed true. You do have a burden to provide further detail to your initial claim that Hansen made false predictions.

            2. some guy

              Well, then . . . . as I said, you have a tremendous contrarian investing opportunity lying at your feet. Either now or in the next-few-years future. Be prepared to take it and be bold in striking when the time is right. Put your analysis to profitable use in your own interest.

        2. Jeremy Grimm

          I am not sure what failed predictions James Hansen made 30-40 years ago that did not come true and so upset you, causing you to lose all confidence in his work. The paper “Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise, and Superstorms” did not make specific predictions. As I recall it reported on possible effects of future global warming based on studies of the Earth’s paleoclimate.

          The Earth’s climate is chaotic. However, for thousands of years before the Anthropocene climate, the climate had been nestled in a range of relatively stable and temperate climate. Humankind appears to have pushed climate toward much more unstable regions of variation — to the kinds of behavior called chaotic in the popular sense of that word. That in essence, is what Hansen and his team have claimed and characterized based on paleoclimate and study of the data generated from sets of current models of climate.

          I believe you are mistaken about the inability to make long-term predictions about the Earth’s climate because it is chaotic. You can reasonably predict that if you take a chaotic system in a region of relatively stable variations and disturb it with a significant step increase in the value of a key input like CO2 that the system will leave the region of relatively stable variations. I do not believe the kind of mistake you are making is termed ‘sarcasm’ as the word is commonly used.

          1. Phil R

            Thanks for interacting. You have challenged me and taken me to task but kept it civil, and I hope I have responded in kind. Jim’s failed predictions are easily searchable and no I don’t have a responsibility to do the research. It’s not, as they say, rocket science.

            However, as typical I mentioned Jim as one example and the focus becomes Jim. Climate scientists have been making predictions and projects for decades, many if not most which have been false.I also understand that that’s an assertion for which I’m not providing support. Oh, well…

            One of the earliest ones was the IPCC’s predictions of the classic GW fingerprint of the tropical tropospheric hot spot. Or have I missed recent developments on that one too.

            You believe I’m mistaken and I believe I’m not. I also don’t believe that model predictions are as accurate or reliable as many people believe they are. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

            1. some guy

              Again, if you really believe in your personal off-line meatspace physical-self existence what you pretend to believe here on-line, you have a tremendous contrarian investing opportunity opening up before you.

              Don’t let this opportunity go by.

            2. Jeremy Grimm

              I did not ask for research on Hansen’s failed predictions. I asked what predictions he made that failed. And actually, climate science is not that remote from rocket science. Both involve complex systems and fluid flows, but rocket science gives scope to empirical discovery of the characteristics of the rocket control surfaces and propulsion systems that climate science can but envy.

              I mentioned Jim Hansen. Jim Hansen does not make predictions as such, at least as far as I can recall from following his email chain and my attempts at reading his papers. Regarding the tropospheric hot spot that you mentioned:
              “Climate scientists find elusive tropospheric hot spot”
     Phs Org May 14, 2015 — for what it is worth.

              “I also don’t believe that model predictions are as accurate or reliable as many people believe they are.” With this statement, I believe you misunderstand me and my position. I do not believe the climate model predictions are accurate or reliable. All the variables and effects operating in the Earth’s climate systems are not known. Models are only as good as knowledge about the system being modeled, and the input data of course. The best models of partially known nonlinear chaotic systems with partial data and of that considerable proxy data, systems like the Earth’s climate can at best make reasonable estimates of system performance within a limited performance region. In his most recent paper, Jim Hansen and his team argued that the current estimates of the Charney doubling constant — used to build the IPCC’s so-called carbon budget — low-balls the Charney constant. In other words, the IPCC’s carbon budget is overly optimistic. Hansen’s team also provides evidence that the rate of global warming is accelerating, and so too is the rate of ocean rise.

              I believe that the Charney doubling constant and the IPCC’s crafting of a carbon budget is a transparent political maneuver designed to continue burning fossil fuels. I believe Climate Chaos is not a matter where the genius of the Market is going to find an optimal solution. You might find Phillip Mirowski’s presentation “Prof. Philip Mirowski keynote for ‘Life and Debt’ conference” illuminating. It is the source for much of my skepticism about the pronouncements of the IPCC and geoengineering. I am also fond of the presentation: “ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE: THE VIEW FROM THE PAST, THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE”, the AGU 2014 Nye Lecture,

  9. Susan the other

    David Graeber’s The Dawn of Everything has an interesting take on the agricultural revolution. the prevailing wisdom has it that it was the agricultural revolution that sparked civilization and all of its requirements – but he points out that all sorts a civilization and cooperation existed before organized agriculture. The most salient point for me is that for the ancients the entire world was a garden to be tended and conserved and that’s what they did. In fact historical records show that often humans reverted back to hunter-gatherer societies after trying to maintain agricultural practices. So just for the sake of optimism we might consider dumping our industrialized ways for ecological ways. And bla blah. I mean, it is quite possible.

    1. efschumacher

      Those eras had about 1% of today’s population. Business as usual does mean that extinction event is coming, but some – perhaps 1% – will manage to survive. It won’t be a self selected elite 1% however, it will be whoever can hold the livable upper latitudes. Maybe humanity will expand out from Ushuaia in another 5000 years.

    2. some guy

      The Amazon terra pretaformers were hardly hunter-gatherers. They were whole-landscape ecosystem managers. That should be inspiring and hopeful.

      In terms of strict hunter-gathering, there is nothing left to hunt and very little left to gather unless whole landscapes are managed to foster the growth of gatherables. So “eco-terraforming” might be what should guide some of our thoughts.

      1. lambert strether

        > The Amazon terra pretaformers were hardly hunter-gatherers. They were whole-landscape ecosystem managers. That should be inspiring and hopeful

        That is how I feel.

  10. danf51

    The main thing the green priests have to offer the world is global impoverishment and/or extermination of much of the worlds population of “useless eaters” as they describe them in private dinners in comfortable homes.

    When I start hearing the green cardinals talking about having a goal of providing more energy and prosperity AND “saving” the planet, perhaps I will listen.

    Just like data from “modern” medicine can no loner be trusted, likewise alarmist climate data from the green synod’s is at best questionable.

    1. some guy

      Could you name some of the green priests for us and offer some links to articles detailing their calls and plans for the global impoverishment and/or extermination of most of us which you say they offer?

      Or is that just more “made up shit” which you have decided to generously offer to feed us . . . over and over and over again , I suppose?

  11. kareninca

    Aren’t two new things affecting the temperature? One is the Tonga eruption; I’ve read that by sending so much vapor into the atmosphere it will cause temperatures to rise for a period of time: (,warming%20threshold%2C%20new%20research%20finds.).

    The other is the reduction in sulphur in ship fuel; that is supposed to allow more sunlight to hit the ocean surface:

    “But there’s more. Over the past few decades atmospheric pollution, especially across the North Atlantic, has lessened due to the Clean Air Act. Airborne pollution decreases the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth and helps cool us, masking some of the greenhouse warming. But as pollution has decreased in recent decades the Atlantic ocean temperatures have increased.

    One very prominent example of this is very recent. In 2020, cargo ships, which traditionally burned the dirtiest of fuel, were forced to substantially reduce Sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions. Now, cargo ships are running much cleaner. The reduction in pollution, which is otherwise good news, means an increase in ocean heating.

    In the below graph you can see the dramatic drop of SO2 in the last 2 years. The jury is still out on how much this is contributing to ocean heating.” (

    It will be “interesting” to see if these two extra things cause matters to progress in an unexpected way. It is not hard to picture that happening.

    1. ScottB

      Hansen believes a spike is coming in part because of SO2 reductions. Michael Mann thinks otherwise, because other pollutants that contribute to warming are also being cut.

      I think the models, while admiral attempts at good science, don’t factor in synergistic effects (because the research is siloed, which the latest IPCC report acknowledges) and because they can’t predict tipping points.

  12. ThirtyOne

    “The next few decades will decide which direction humankind will take. No one has the hands on the wheel that moves the giant thing we call “civilization,” and we are seeing efforts to push it in one of the three scenarios above (some people even seem to be actively pushing for scenario #0, a civilization-level expression of what Sigmund Freud called the “death instinct”).”

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