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back to article IPCC: Yes, humans are definitely behind all this global warming we aren't having

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says it's more certain than ever that humanity is warming the planet dangerously - despite the fact that a long-running flat period in global temperatures is well into its second decade. The IPCC released a brief "Summary for Policy Makers" today (go here) a teaser for its hefty …

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Let's not forget that in a dual way or "in parallel" to the CO2

and climate aspects, there is also the "access to resources constraints aspect", and even though it is less talked about,

in "trivial economics terms" it has already probably more direct impacts, the situation :

http://www.powerswitch.org.uk/foru/viewtopic.php?t=23200

Or in other words, current crisis isn't "financial", it is also if not primarily a monstruous oil schock, and only the beginning of it.

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um?

What are you trying to say?

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Let's be realistic, we will wipe ourselves out one way or another, meteor, virus, bacteria, atomic war, super nova, alien invasion.....

What's so worrying when a bit of global warming is thrown into the mix?

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Re: um?

He's talking about "Peak Oil" - the belief that at a certain point in time, estimated to be about the year 2020, we will have maxed out global access to cheap supplies of oil and that access starts to significantly decline - and we all start on a nasty international economic downturn.

Basically, "Petroleum Man will be virtually extinct this Century, and Homo sapiens faces a major challenge in adapting to his loss."

http://www.peakoil.net/about-peak-oil

Originally, some researchers thought Peak Oil would not be a problem, because we would invest in alternatives well in advance of that point, and decrease our global use of oil. Unfortunately, that isn't the case, and our global use of oil is still increasing at an alarming rate of 6.9 million barrels per day:

http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/pressreleases/2013/may/name,38080,en.html

Basically, if Peak Oil hits in 2020 and we aren't ready, global warming could be the least of our problems. We could all be completely f**ked economically. Masses of people could starve to death or die in oil wars long before they get the chance to die from rising tides.

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Facepalm

Realistically...

If you think there is a chance of us wiping ourselves out by a meteor, super nova or alien invasion, I suggest you stop throwing asteroids around, stop fly-tipping into unstable stars, and definitely stop making rude faces at passing UFOs!

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Re: um?

"all this global warming we aren't having"

It hasn't stopped - the oceans are still warming.....The ice is still melting, the sea is still rising...

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Nym

Re: um?

See John Brunner; the collapse economically is probably inevitable, simply because the model is incorrect. He only predicted such things a la 1975 or thereabouts incidentally; he's even a Brit. Was. Was. Damned cad had the nerve to die on me. Our economy (the presumed First World) simply wasn't adapted to those darned third-worlders having the nerve to do business on their own and even challenge the Supreme United States...

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Anonymous Coward

Such a waste of time and paper.

Humans may, or may not, be behind changes in climate that we may, or may not, be experiencing but that is insignificant against the genuine and undisputed damage we are doing to the planet by our over population through destruction of habitat and our emptying of rivers and seas.

While 18,000 people are counting rings on trees and worrying about glaciers sliding back a few feet, they would do much more good campaigning about family planning in Africa and Asia.

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

Population will take care of itself if we let it. Development leading to raised standards of living, education and freedom for men and women to use contraception will all contribute to a stabilising and eventually, falling global population. It's worked in lots of places, including many that are supposed to be dominated by a religion that abhors contraception.

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

It's kind of a problem that solves itself in the long run.

As with all such problems. It's really only our way of life at risk. And I think it's probably hard to accept for most that it was probably never going to be realistically sustainable.

Unless you get some real heavy-duty terra-engineering technologies going.

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

"that is insignificant against the genuine and undisputed damage we are doing to the planet by our over population"

There is no overpopulation - who came up with that nonsense? How do you even define overpopulation? Is it by absolute number, by density?

How do you determine carrying capacity of the environment for humans when humans are able to modify their environment to increase the carrying capacity when they hit any limits?

"do much more good campaigning about family planning in Africa and Asia"

Developing their economies and raising their living standards (that includes consuming much more energy per capita) will naturally limit the population growth, just as it already did in the "developed world", where the real growth is negative and the apparent one is mostly due to inflow of immigration.

If anything, we need more people, not fewer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: they would do much more good campaigning about ...

Since, as you point out, there are an awful lot of people on the planet, we can probably afford to have some of them counting rings on trees AND some of them campaigning about family planning!

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Pint

Don't worry Anon (15:35GMT)

Nature will reduce human population all in good time. It won't be a very nice Pay-Back to live through but it will happen, if, as you point out, we fail to seriously address the matter ourselves.

BTW - I understand that throughout large parts of Africa and Asia it remains very difficult to obtain family planning and the taking of such responsibility is still largely frowned upon anyway. All that good effort and funding gone to waste, really sad.

It remains to be seen who might prevail, in terms of race and ethnicity, when things settle back down again though. Who has the best chance do ya think.

(Enjoy a cold beer, it's Friday)

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

> While 18,000 people are counting rings on trees and worrying about glaciers sliding back a few feet, they would do much more good campaigning about family planning in Africa and Asia.

Indeed. This obsession with possible problems that we may or may not be causing and may or may not be able to do anything about is bizarre and bordering on religious zealotry.

Meanwhile there are very real demonstrable problems that are definitely happening, there are solutions for, and we are fully capable of solving.

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

Well, yes, over population is the real problem, from every possible angle.

Even if we had had some effect on the climate, crippling our economies to make a worthless impact would be foolish in the extreme.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

and capitalism / neo-conservatism may or may not require a forcibly empovrished population who's resources can be plundered.

1st world problems require 1st world solutions, 3rd world problems, well, they just aren't 1st world problems.

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ST7

Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

Whilst you make valid points about habitat destruction and pollution, campaigning about family planning in Africa and Asia will do no good. They already practise family planning, they plan on having large families because lots of their children will die before they reach 5 years old and they need some surviving children to look after them when they get old.

If you want to reduce what you see as 'overpopulation' then providing clean drinking water, vaccinations against common childhood diseases and a rudimentary social safety net will reduce the propensity for large families within two generations.

Of course if you do that then where will you source the young productive people to provide for your old age.

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

Er, some people can hold two ideas in their head at once, like trying to reduce human impact on the climate *and* limit population growth. And there's a bit of a problem here, too: we know that family sizes get smaller as people get richer, so the people of Africa and Asia need to get richer and less polluting simultaneously. Put that in your pipe and don't smoke it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

Families are social security for the poor parts of the world. Let's see how popular abolishing state and private pensions in the West is, shall we? At the same time, we could convert all the houses to mud huts and abolish savings accounts.

The point is taken however. Efficient production methods destroy the environment. Deforestation without chainsaws is rather slower. Mass tobacco monoculture is pointless without factories to produce cigarettes and global distribution systems. Efficiency leads to evil because we are naturally greedy and not satisfied with putting food on the table. Efficiency doesn't lead to lower consumption, just higher profits or greater production. It appears we are incapable of stopping ourselves. We've pretty much fished some species almost to extinction in some oceans - mostly due to very efficient fishing methods.

Not to worry though, we've allowed our politicians to borrow so much on our behalf so much that even a small uptick in interest rates will bankrupt most of the West and we'll go the way of Greece and Cyprus.

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

One of the things that happens when people start to live longer is that they tend to have fewer children. If you have a look at the data you'll see that birth rates are dropping as life expectancy increases and if you look hard you'll also see that as general education levels increase the birth rates also decrease. Sure health and education may not be as easy as giving a man a fish condom but it's a longer term solution than preaching about the evils of sex.

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

I have to agree with you AC. My thoughts are that this CO2 bullshit is a farce from the perspective of the earth, however, on a local level, large concentrated populations where ever more people live in the developed world have very serious issues with the concentrated pollution.

I think that this is one of those false dilemmas so that we don't have to deal with the much larger issue of how we control and tax materials and pollution in a way that ensures better outcomes while still allowing the market to work its magic. Those who claim 'capitalism' works fine are overlooking the true cost because they only focus on today instead of the net present value of the system (and I am far to the right of center when it comes to financial issues). This tragedy of the commons is nothing more than a form of fraud (and I am more responsible for being part of this fraud than the average person).

To give governments powers to control carbon in general rather than in specific locales and to use money in general funds rather than to mitigate ill effects where they are felt (and perhaps help poorer countries in these areas) is an absolute sham. Ineffective controls that don't directly address real issues, place poor incentives that distort the market, and place power in the hands of those who are not accountable is far from an ideal solution (or much of a solution at all).

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

Don't know whether to upvote or downvote ya. I agree with your first paragraph and I think it is well stated. I think your second paragraph is simplistic. It would be good if all humans able to procreate would put some thought into it before they do so. But I don't think it is the answer to the world's problems. Might help a smidgeon, but no more.

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

Doctor: It's cancer

Patient: Is it curable?

Doctor: Well, I generally find it will take care of itself if we let it.

Patient: What?

Doctor: The cancer kills itself. I mean, it keeps growing until you die a painful death, and, as a consequence, it dies.

You will only get raised standards of living, education and contraception if someone puts time and effort into making it so. It is not just the end result, but the route to it that matter.

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Pint

Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

Latest predictions put the peak of human population at about 11 billion, or perhaps just 8.7 billion with what is probably a better model. Hardly frightening.

Like the problem of traditional air pollution (CO, HC, NOx) from modern cars in the Western world, the human population explosion is pretty much sorted.

Relax. Have some cake.

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Pint

Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

"...they plan on having large families because lots of their children will die before they reach 5 years old and they need some surviving children..."

Wow. I'm impressed. Well done. That counter-intuitive relation - where high infant mortality CAUSES over-compensation and therefore results in very high population growth - is essentially unknown. Even though it's been staring us in the face for centuries.

Healthy and wealthy: you want two kids, you have two babies, you end up with two kids.

High Infant Mortality: you want two kids, you have eight babies* but half +/- die, you end up with four +/- kids.

* The uncertainty means they need to aim high to reduce risk of no kids.

With certainty of survival, parents can play it closer to the bare minimum of replacement.

Obviously this relationship falls apart if the infant mortality rate goes extremely high.

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Wealth follows small families not leads!

Please stop repeating the great myth that education and wealth leads to smaller families.

It is, and has always been the reverse. That is why the landed gentry carry on enjoying priviledge, How China has transforming its wealth demographic, and why Nigeria isn't

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

I firmly believe that global warming is real and caused by human activity, but I 100% agree with you: it is NOT the most acute or biggest threat facing humanity or biodiversity, and the myopic focussing of ALL environmental effort on global warming is incredibly damaging.

To date not a single species has been wiped out by global warming. Meanwhile, species are wiped out almost daily by hydroelectric power dams and by converting rainforest to soy or oil palm plantations.

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

...Deforestation without chainsaws is rather slower....

Not exactly. It's done in Indonesia by the simple process of throwing a match into the forest.

Works rather rapidly, and is very labour-saving. Possibly one of the most efficient industrial processes ever... :)

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

No it won't - we're at 7 billion and counting. The figures vary, but we're way over the long-term sustainable population for the planet as it is. Take several generations more of selfish scum popping out sprogs and we're screwed.

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

" It's really only our way of life at risk."

If by that you mean our descendants staying alive, I agree. Otherwise, no. Collectively we're disturbingly like yeast in a fermenting vessel, gobbling up the resources around us as fast as we can and destroying the very environment that keeps us alive. In a worst case scenario (given that we show absolutely no signs of being able to cooperate as a species to even begin to actually stop doing the damage) we'll push one critical system or another past a tipping point, the planet will see a mass extinction bigger than than the one we're already causing - including us - and there will be nothing we can do but watch.

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

Quote

To date not a single species has been wiped out by global warming. Meanwhile, species are wiped out almost daily by hydroelectric power dams and by converting rainforest to soy or oil palm plantations.

How do you know that no species has been wiped out by Global Warming? Do you maintin all the species lists going back to the time of the start of the Industrial Revolution?

Global warming IMHO started when we humans started industrialisation on a big scale. Do you know the word 'Bedlam'? Well there is a place where the noise and polution from the blast furnaces was so bad that it was called Bedlam. People couldn't hear themselves think.

I could cite dozens of cases where industrialisation has caused irrecovable damage and change to the Environment. This goes back to the 18th Century. Who can say if all this pollution has not caused speciates to die out? You can't say for certain. No one can.

Hydro schemes may well have caused species damage in the past. In the west billion pound projects are now delayed because of a few newts or bats. They get surveyed and moved to a new location. Then once built, they can produce power and water at virtually zero pollution or CO2 Emission.

I know that I'd rather have power generated from Hydro rather than from burning Coal or Gas.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wealth follows small families not leads!

"It is, and has always been the reverse. "

[citation needed]

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

@Vladimir

"Developing their economies and raising their living standards (that includes consuming much more energy per capita) will naturally limit the population growth, just as it already did in the "developed world", where the real growth is negative and the apparent one is mostly due to inflow of immigration."

Such commonsense.

Here you'll be down-voted by the superstitious and the bedroom fascists: the Unabombers in slippers.They only want to hear mankind is wicked and we're all doomed.

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

You don't own shares in a company called Soylent, do you Vladimir? :)

On an unrelated note I had a dream a few days ago where we reached a situation far more terrifying than Peak Oil.

Peak Bacon.

Terrifying.

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

> How do you know that no species has been wiped out by Global Warming?

People do try to keep tabs you know, even if you don't. There is to date one single species where global warming MIGHT have been involved in its extinction: the Panamanian Golden Toad. It lived on a single mountain top, and then suddenly it didn't live there any more. It was speculated that global warming might have changed the rain pattern on the mountain - but on the other hand there was no change in vegetation, and the disappearance coincided with the fungal disease chytridiosis hitting the area. Chytridiosis is the *mother* of all plagues, the most destructive disease ever recorded: it's wiped out a dozen species of frog, and is threatening 1/3rd of all remaining species.

You then go on to talk about pollution and industrialization. Yes, both have wiped out species, and NEITHER IS GLOBAL WARMING. Global warming aka climate change isn't the pollution, it's the change in climate.

Hydropower is, incidentally, the most environmentally damaging form of energy production there is. No other form of energy production is even in the same ballpark when it comes to number of species extinguished. It's in a destructiveness-league all of its own, but thanks to massive propaganda and the fact that it's renewable it's viewed as somehow "environmentally friendly". Give me nuclear power any day over hydropower. Hell, I'll take coal power over hydropower.

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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

"crippling our economies to make a worthless impact would be foolish in the extreme"

Possibly, maybe "crippling" our economies for a higher purpose (like cleaner air, which has its own benefits) sure beats *actually* crippling our economies for the lulz, like what happened in 2008. And in 2001. And in 1990. And in 1981, 1980, 1973, etc, etc, etc.

Oh, and if higher electric rates are a definitely surefire way of crippling the economy, someone should tell the Germans. They don't seem to have gotten that memo.

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Re: Wealth follows small families not leads!

> Please stop repeating the great myth that education and wealth leads to smaller families.

Bollocks.

There are loads of very obvious examples and the reasons are pretty well known and established.

Over population is mostly driven by the need to have surviving offspring in areas where there is high infant mortality. China is a particularly bad example for your argument because the vast majority historically have been cripplingly poor, have low education and highish infant mortality.

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Somebody is in need...

of some new funding.

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If the last 15 years are an anomaly, how can they be sure the 20 years of data from 1986-2005 they threw into their computer models is any better?

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"If the last 15 years are an anomaly"

The are likely due to natural ocean cycles. It is a near certainty that the respite is only temporary and average surface temperature will start climbing again:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v501/n7467/nature12534/metrics/news

The average ocean temperature is still increasing by the way - so there is still warming going on....

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> The are likely due to ...

Sorry, no, any thought process that starts like that is getting the science backwards.

You have a theory that gives you predictions. The predictions tend to come mostly true most of the time, which vindicates the theory. The history of mostly-trueness allows you to come up with further hypotheses of why the occasions when the predictions are wrong arise, and why those failures don't necessarily undermine the theory in general. That's science.

Climate scientists, however, have a broad history either of predictions that have failed to come true or of predictions that are yet to come true. They simply don't have that broad background of being mostly right most of the time. When they give us explanations of why the recent non-warming doesn't contradict their theory, they're not talking about a minority of failed predictions amongst a large number of successful predictions; they're talking about the failure of their primary theory to predict exactly that which they claim it can predict. And that is not science; it's faith.

> The average ocean temperature is still increasing by the way - so there is still warming going on

Doesn't matter. That wasn't what the AGW climatologists predicted. The prediction regarded global temperatures, and it stated clearly that they would keep rising as long as atmospheric CO2 kept rising. Then CO2 kept rising and global temperatures didn't. The prediction was wrong. Saying after the fact that actually it's proven right by some other results, not the ones predicted, is, again, not science.

I'm with Feynman on models.

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Childcatcher

Of course they are an anomaly - why do you think the same years are always quoted. Talk about cherry-picked data.

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FAIL

Talking about models ... has anybody noticed the confusion between theories and evidence? Reports constantly start talking about new evidence. Then when you read further, they get it from ...computer models. Models, whether computer or not, are not evidence. They are just another way of putting a theory.

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The warming trend on the chart has slowed but until it swings the other way can we really say that warming went away?

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Anonymous Coward

I don't want it to go away!!!!!

Warm = good

Cold = bad

You should try living some place where it's really fucking cold. Trust me, a couple of degrees warmer is way better than the most probable climate catastrophe on the horizon - "Ice Age"

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Mushroom

Time to celebrate

by roasting a zebra over a pyre of tyres and fridges.

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Windows

Re: Time to celebrate

Hmm... Tyres black ... fridges white (unless you're posh) ... zebra black and white ...

I'm convinced you just said something devastatingly witty, but I'm just not quite there. Give us a clue?

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Re: Time to celebrate

It was more of a historical reference to the times when Kings and Queens threw lavish banquets to celebrate a victory.

What better way to celebrate another successful report that underpins many of the taxes currently wrecking our economy with a cook out on the very things said to be killing us, the Zebra was just a handy add in to wind up the tree hugging soya latte fuelled eco mentalists.

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Let's decide.

Defn: Science. A process whereby observations are made, theories are drawn up and tested by means of experiment. The experimental results are then used to gain a consensus regarding the accuracy of the theory in question.

Religion: A belief system where faith and doctrine are formulated, depending on various factors: real or imaginary. That doctrine is then promulgated by an appointed (or self-appointed) leadership. The lack of a testable foundation makes refuting the articles of faith very difficult for the non-beleiver, but acts to strengthen the resolve of the true followers.

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Re: Let's decide.

So, scientists vs. deniers.

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