Last week I linked to the Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene, published by leading European climate scientists. Their goal was to assess the risk of cascading climate feedbacks as well as the risk of a Hothouse Earth Pathway.
Since this report, hothouse earth has become a meme which has bubbled up to mainstream news outlets.
As well, there are numerous articles all over the place, due to the hothouse earth meme. This is excellent news because it is now on people’s radar.
And it just could be that Trump is the best advocate, the best community organizer for climate change advocacy. He is the Denier in Chief and his absurd tweets have caused pushback. Pushback is our friend.
The hothouse earth meme, combined with Trump’s climate-change denial, may just be the perfect recipe for the human tipping point. People are waking up. People are realizing that climate change is real, that it is imminent and that there is no denying it. Denial is a river in Egypt.
There are two forces that campaigns organize around, hope and fear. This meme is driving fear and it is driving momentum. (More about hope later.) And so there is potential for rapid change if and only if people work together.
My thoughts around this circles back to organizing locally. People trust their local media outlets. We have access to local media outlets and can influence them. This is where we can ask that they link extreme weather and fires to climate change. The more climate change is showcased, the more people will think about it.
And if local media needs material there is this...
This is an organization of leading scientists and journalists who research and report on climate change. They produce weekly weather graphics, animations and videos to aid TV weathercasters.
HOT AIR NEWS ROUNDUP
First a few more words from climate scientists about the recent Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene. RT has an excellent interview with one of the two authors. Professor Katherine Richardson starts speaking at 2:49…
RT August 13, 2018
The risk of a hothouse Earth: video: https://www.rt.com/shows/going-underground/435810-emissions-congo-coloni...
Paul Beckwith on hothouse earth August 12, 2018
They suggest that we are on that path now, and have a decade or two to avoid the worst. I fear that we have already gone over that cliff, and I declare a global climate change emergency to claw back up the rock face to attempt to regain system stability, or face an untenable calamity of biblical proportions.
And here are some links to mainstream media…
Newsweek August 7, 2018
'Hothouse Earth': Climate Domino Effect Could Lead to Runaway Global Warming
In light of the findings, the authors say we must urgently accelerate the transition toward a greenhouse gas emission-free economy. At present, global average temperatures are hovering at just over 1 degree above pre-industrial levels and rising by roughly 0.17 degrees Celsius (around 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade.
CNN August 8, 2018
Earth at risk of becoming 'hothouse' if tipping point reached, report warns
Scientists are warning that a domino effect will kick in if global temperatures rise more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, leading to "hothouse" conditions and higher sea levels, making some areas on Earth uninhabitable.
BBC August 6, 2018
Climate change: 'Hothouse Earth' risks even if CO2 emissions slashed
Each year the Earth's forests, oceans and land soak up about 4.5 billion tonnes of carbon that would otherwise end up in our atmosphere adding to temperatures. But as the world experiences warming, these carbon sinks could become sources of carbon and make the problems of climate change significantly worse.
And a small sampling of the many other articles on hothouse earth…
RollingStone August 9, 2018
Hothouse Earth Is Merely the Beginning of the End
“Our future,” scientist James Lovelock has written, “is like that of the passengers on a small pleasure boat sailing quietly above the Niagara Falls, not knowing that the engines are about to fail.”
in Lovelock’s view, the Earth’s self-regulating system is seriously out of whack, thanks largely to our 150-year fossil fuel binge. “You could quite seriously look at climate change as a response of the system intended to get rid of an irritating species: us humans,” Lovelock told me in 2007 when I visited him at his house in Devon, England, for a profile in Rolling Stone. “Or at least cut them back to size.”
And Lovelock did not mince words about the future that we are creating for ourselves by ignoring the warning signs on our superheated planet. As I wrote at the time:
In Lovelock’s view, the scale of the catastrophe that awaits us will soon become obvious. By 2020, droughts and other extreme weather will be commonplace. By 2040, the Sahara will be moving into Europe, and Berlin will be as hot as Baghdad. Atlanta will end up a kudzu jungle. Phoenix will become uninhabitable, as will parts of Beijing (desert), Miami (rising seas) and London (floods). Food shortages will drive millions of people north, raising political tensions. “The Chinese have nowhere to go but up into Siberia,” Lovelock says. “How will the Russians feel about that? I fear that war between Russia and China is probably inevitable.” With hardship and mass migrations will come epidemics, which are likely to kill millions. By 2100, Lovelock believes, the Earth’s population will be culled from today’s 6.6 billion to as few as 500 million, with most of the survivors living in the far latitudes – Canada, Iceland, Scandinavia, the Arctic Basin.
Grist August 7
Terrified by ‘hothouse Earth’? Don’t despair — do something.
Yes, the prospect of runaway climate change is terrifying. But this dead world is not our destiny. It’s entirely avoidable. As the authors of the paper have argued in response to the coverage, implying otherwise is the same as giving up just as the fight gets tough.
Other climate news…
Mashable August 10, 2018
Why the ocean is cooking off the coast of Southern California
On Wednesday, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego recorded its highest ocean temperature ever, of 79.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists have taken measurements off the marine institute's pier for over a century, since 1916.
"Global warming is really ocean warming," Josh Willis, an oceanographer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in an interview. "The heat being trapped is almost all in the ocean."
The initial driver of Southern California's heating event, however, was weather. A big mass of warm air, or a high-pressure system, has settled over the region, which has curbed the strong winds that blow from the north, explained Willis.
Inverse August 10, 2018
The Strange Role of Chemtrails in the Debate About Fixing Climate Change
…it turns out that seeding the sky with sulfate aerosols to curb climate change isn’t the solution we’re looking for. But it sure took us a shockingly long time to get here.…“We are the first to use actual experimental and observational evidence to get at the total impacts that sulfate-based geoengineering might have on yields,” according to the study’s lead author Jonathan Proctor, a UC Berkeley doctoral candidate in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, in a statement. “Before I started the study, I thought the net impact of changes in sunlight would be positive, so I was quite surprised by the finding that scattering light decreases yields.”
Overall, Proctor thinks that there are a lot of risks and a lot of unknowns surrounding the idea of large-scale geoengineering — and that a great deal more study is needed before even thinking of implementing something that would tweak the whole world’s atmosphere.
There is some hope…
I went to a presentation this last weekend on solutions for mitigating climate change. They presented a number of complementary strategies for driving down carbon emissions: carbon pricing, community control of energy delivery, and regenerative agriculture. The presentations were by Monterrey Bay Community Power, Citizens Climate Lobby and No Regrets Initiative.
The event was held just after the hothouse earth report hit the press and it was packed. Standing room only. It felt different. People wanted to know what they could do. It was refreshing. Taken together they are making a difference. Is it enough…
I particularly enjoyed the presentation about the No Regrets Initiative. Sixty percent of the non-water surface of the earth is grasslands. They are working to make that a carbon sink.
Soil is a bit of a magician. It has the ability to re-balance the carbon cycle beyond reducing emissions, in a way that benefits the oceans and agriculture; it can ensure that the water cycle is thriving, and prevent the dangerous extremes of flooding and drought; it can build the nutrient content of food and take a truly holistic approach to food security. We’ve fallen in love with soil and its capacity to solve the majority of our ecological destruction problems if treated well.
The #NoRegrets Initiative is a Regenerative Assets Strategy that deploys human, ecological and financial capital toward soil health and its effect on climate change. Their mission is to improve soil health and grow soil carbon in the agricultural soils of North America.
Economically, ecologically, and socially, our relationship to land and nature is a profound human touchstone.
• regenerative agriculture could draw down the 50 parts per million of CO2 we need to get back to 350 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere.
• With global adoption of conservation agriculture, world cropland could sequester 40 million to 1 billion tons of carbon annually over a period of 50 to 100 years. That’s a lot of carbon.
• Grasslands alone could sequester 54 to 216 million tons annually by 2030 according to the IPCC. Soil is our climate change
Monterey Bay Community Power’s presentation was about our local carbon-free electric company. They provide locally-controlled, carbon-free electricity to residents and businesses in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties via existing PG&E power lines. They expect to have another county on board in several months.
Citizen's Climate Lobby (CCL) spoke about pricing carbon--Carbon Fee and Dividend.
Then there is this...
The Guardian August 13, 2018
Blow for coal power as EU carbon emissions price hits 10-year high
However, observers said the carbon price rises and further anticipated increases would begin to hurt coal operators’ profit margins and influence investment decisions.
Phil MacDonald, the head of communications at Sandbag, a group that monitors the carbon market, said: “It will already be cutting into coal profits … Renewables get a big win from this and so does nuclear.”
Mark Lewis, the head of research at the Carbon Tracker thinktank, said although coal plant owners were bearing the brunt of the higher carbon price, they would pass it straight through to consumers.
The price of carbon would need to go much higher, to as much as €30 (£27) per tonne, to trigger large-scale switches from coal to gas and renewables, he argued. “I don’t think we are at the stage yet where the carbon price will have a major effect.”