Trump is Putting our Longer Term Future At Great Risk

by Duane Nichols on June 3, 2019

The effects of “climate change” are many and varied

Future of earth’s climate put at risk by Trump’s administration

Letter to Editor by Larry Harris, Morgantown Dominion Post, June 2, 2019

The news has been full of stories of disastrous weather events of late: Heavy rainfall followed by floods in the Midwest; increased numbers of tornados, high temperatures, melting ice packs and so on.

A Washington Post article pointed out that it was 84 degrees in the Arctic last week. Eighteen of the hottest years on record have occurred since 2000. These are all indications that our climate is changing.

What is causing the extremes of temperature? Climate scientists point to increased greenhouse gases such as CO2, which reached 415 ppm (parts per million) this week — the highest in human history. In fact, CO2 levels are rising in an exponential manner due to our continued burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas.

Most countries in the world recognize the need to reduce the use of fossil fuels, but our country, the greatest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, is denying there is a problem.

This week it was announced that the EPA was told to change the way it reports climate information. No more reports will be allowed that show how bad things will be after 2040 if we do not limit our use of fossil fuels.

Our current administration in Washington is interfering with the reporting of science, thereby allowing politics and money interests to trump the scientific method. It has become difficult to know what is true in our society, due to the increased occurrence of fake news.

But real science is based on truth, on studies that correlate physical data to events. If our president can step into the scientific world and tell scientists what they can and can’t report, then we have slipped to a dangerous place for the future. This has to change.

We are fortunate to be able to vote for better leadership, and 2020 is the time to do so.

>>> Larry Harris, Retired Professor of Biochemistry at WVU, has served on the Environmental Protection Advisory Council for the WV-DEP

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one } June 4, 2019 at 10:32 am

‘Social Breakdown and Outright Chaos’: Civilization Headed for Collapse by 2050, New Climate Report Warns

Article by Olivia Rosane,, June 04, 2019

A new report warns that climate change could displace more than a billion people, leave two billion without regular water access and lead to a breakdown in international order by 2050 if nations do not increase their commitments under the Paris agreement.

“Climate change now represents a near- to mid-term existential threat to human civilization,” the report authors conclude.

The new assessment comes from the Melbourne, Australia-based think tank Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration and was written by Breakthrough’s research director David Spratt and former Royal Dutch Shell senior executive Ian Dunlop. The authors use the dire scenario outlined in the report to call for a massive international mobilization towards a zero-emissions economy on the scale of efforts seen during World War II.

“A high-end 2050 scenario finds a world in social breakdown and outright chaos,” Spratt told Vice. “But a short window of opportunity exists for an emergency, global mobilization of resources, in which the logistical and planning experiences of the national security sector could play a valuable role.”

The report authors have a major endorsement from that sector in the figure of retired Admiral and former Chief of the Australian Defence Force Chris Barrie, who wrote the paper’s foreword.

“David Spratt and Ian Dunlop have laid bare the unvarnished truth about the desperate situation humans, and our planet, are in, painting a disturbing picture of the real possibility that human life on earth may be on the way to extinction, in the most horrible way,” Barrie wrote.

Spratt and Dunlop based their scenario on findings that current Paris commitments would lock in three degrees Celsius of warming by 2100. However, since those findings do not account for feedback loops set in motion by future warming, Spratt and Dunlop predict three degrees of warming by mid-century.

“It should be noted that this is far from an extreme scenario: the low-probability, high-impact warming (five percent probability) can exceed 3.5–4°C by 2050 in the Xu and Ramanathan scheme,” they write.

The impacts of three degrees of warming by 2050 would include:

>>> The collapse of ecosystems like coral reefs, the Amazon and the Arctic

>>> Unlivable temperatures for more than 100 days a year in West Africa, tropical South America, the Middle East and South-East Asia

>>> A one-fifth decline in agricultural yields

>>> The flooding of coastal cities, small islands and low-lying regions including Chennai, Mumbai, Jakarta, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Shanghai, Lagos, Bangkok, Manila and ten percent of Bangladesh

>>> Likely armed conflict over resources, with the possibility of nuclear war

Spratt and Dunlop offer what they call a “scenario planning” approach to climate risk assessment, because they argue that current risk-assessment strategies aren’t adequate in the face of the existential threat posed to human civilization by the worst-case climate change predictions.

“What is needed now is an approach to risk management which is fundamentally different from conventional practice. It would focus on the high-end, unprecedented possibilities, instead of assessing middle-of-the-road probabilities on the basis of historic experience,” they write.

The point is ultimately to avoid the scenario outlined in the report.

“A doomsday future is not inevitable!” Barrie wrote in the foreword. “But without immediate drastic action our prospects are poor. We must act collectively. We need strong, determined leadership in government, in business and in our communities to ensure a sustainable future for humankind.”


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