Summary of “The Climate Change Paper So Depressing It’s Sending People to Therapy”

Photo by VICE.What if I told you there was a paper on climate change that was so uniquely catastrophic, so perspective-altering, and so absolutely depressing that it’s sent people to support groups and encouraged them to quit their jobs and move to the countryside?
“Climate change is going to fuck us over. I remember thinking, Should I just accept the deep adaptation paper and move to the Scottish countryside and wait out the apocalypse?”.
Professor Jem Bendell, a sustainability academic at the University of Cumbria, wrote the paper after taking a sabbatical at the end of 2017 to review and understand the latest climate science “Properly-not sitting on the fence anymore,” as he puts it on the phone to me.
“Jem’s paper is in the main well-researched and supported by relatively mainstream climate science,” says Professor Rupert Read, chair of the Green House think-tank and a philosophy academic at the University of East Anglia.
“Emerald requested the author correct their blog post to reflect the facts. This request was unfortunately ignored. The post continues to imply the paper was rejected because it was deemed too controversial. The paper was not rejected, and was given a Major Revision due to the rigorous standards of the scholarly output of the journal.”
Bendell’s paper appears to have hit a unique nerve, especially given that the average scientific paper is estimated to be read by only three or so people.
She had read the IPCC report warning that the world is nowhere near averting global temperature increases, as well as the 1,656-page National Climate Assessment on how climate change is now dramatically affecting our lives-and then she read Bendell’s paper.
Reading the paper, she says, helped to crystallize her increasing uneasiness about the pace and scale of climate change.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Hard Lessons of Dianne Feinstein’s Encounter with the Young Green New Deal Activists”

One imagines that Senator Dianne Feinstein would like a do-over of her colloquy with some young people on Friday afternoon.
A group of school students, at least one as young as seven, went to the senator’s San Francisco office to ask her to support the Green New Deal climate legislation.
When the group persists in supporting the Green New Deal, which was introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Feinstein responds, “You know what’s interesting about this group? I’ve been doing this for thirty years. I know what I’m doing. You come in here and you say, ‘It has to be my way or the highway.’ I don’t respond to that. I’ve gotten elected, I just ran, I was elected by almost a million-vote plurality,” she continued.
Feinstein was demonstrating why climate change exemplifies an issue on which older people should listen to the young.
The kids whom Feinstein was talking to are going to be dealing with climate chaos for the rest of their lives, as any Californian who has lived through the past few years of drought, flood, and fire must recognize.
Feinstein’s condescension, though it’s less jarring in the video of the full encounter, which also shows gracious moments-including one when she offers a young person an internship-echoed that of Nancy Pelosi, from earlier this month, when the Speaker of the House talked about “The green dream, or whatever they call it. Nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?”.
If we’d moved thirty years ago, moderate steps of the kind that Feinstein proposes would have been enough to change our trajectory.
“You didn’t vote for me,” Feinstein said to one of the young people in her office.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is climate change way worse than we realise?”

David Wallace-Wells, the author of new book The Uninhabitable Earth, depicts a world ravaged by climate chaos.
India Rakusen talks to the author about why he thinks we are underestimating the impact climate change will have on the environment.
Plus: the Guardian’s Helen Pidd on the consequences that Brexit uncertainty is having on the north of England.
The opening to an article David Wallace-Wells wrote in 2017 begins: “It’s worse, much worse, than you think.” Based on the worst-case scenarios foreseen by science, the journalist’s piece portrayed a world of drought, plague and famine, all caused by climate change.
Supporters said it was a long-overdue antidote to climate complacency.
It was among the best-read climate articles in US history.
Wallace-Wells has now written a book-length follow-up – The Uninhabitable Earth: a Story of the Future.
Helen Pidd, the Guardian’s north of England editor, reports on how this might affect the area.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Book Excerpt: The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells”

Three degrees is much better than four, at which point six natural disasters could strike a single community simultaneously; the number of climate refugees, already in the millions, could grow tenfold, or 20-fold, or more; and, globally, damages from warming could reach $600?trillion – about double all the wealth that exists in the world today.
In October, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that the world has only a dozen years to halve its carbon emissions to safely avoid two degrees of warming and all those “Catastrophic” impacts.
If the world as a whole had begun decarbonization in the year 2000, when Al Gore collected half a million more votes in the presidential election than George W. Bush, emissions would have had to fall by 3 percent per year to achieve climate stability at two degrees; if we begin now, we will have to cut them by 10 percent each year; if we wait another decade, the cuts will be enormous, 30 percent per year, to even hope for warming levels below “Genocide.” Last year, Nordhaus’s own nephew Ted wrote in Foreign Affairs that the dream of keeping the world under two degrees of warming, under any approach, was simply na├»ve.
We have not yet really begun to consider the ways in which climate change will shape and distort our global politics – bringing carbon budgets into the architecture of trade agreements and peace treaties, reshaping rivalries between nations by literally reshaping their geographies, introducing in the face of drowning nations and uninhabitable cities in the poorest parts of the world the matter of climate reparations and the question of just who will pay.
Last June, a breakthrough in carbon capture was published by a team of scientists led by David Keith to much fanfare: “It’s Possible to Reverse Climate Change,” ran one representative headline.
In the meantime, climate change will likely continue to pummel us, so much that the new world we find ourselves stepping into may feel so alien from our own it might as well be another planet entirely.
The astrophysicist Adam Frank calls this kind of thinking “The astrobiology of the Anthropocene” in his book Light of the Stars, which considers climate change, the future of the planet, and our stewardship of it from the perspective of the universe – “Thinking like a planet,” he calls it.
Fatalism has a strong pull in a time of ecological crisis, but even so it is a curious quirk of our present predicament that the transformation of the planet by anthropogenic climate change – that is, climate change caused by humans – has produced a vogue for Fermi’s paradox and so little for its philosophical counterpoint, the anthropic principle.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The New Language of Climate Change”

PHOENIX-Leading climate scientists and meteorologists are banking on a new strategy for talking about climate change: take the politics out of it.
Educating the public and policy makers about climate change at a time when elected leaders are doubling down on denials it is happening at all or that humans are responsible for it demands a new lexicon, conference attendees told me-one that can effectively narrate the overwhelming scientific evidence but not get sucked into the controversy fueled most prominently by President Donald Trump.
The hope is to convince the small but powerful minority that stands in the way of new policies to help mitigate climate change’s worst long-term effects-as well as the people who vote for them-that something needs to be done or their own livelihoods and health will be at stake.
Climate Matters is tracking climate trends in 244 cities-including a steadily hotter Phoenix.
Simpson attended the conference at the Phoenix Convention Center to outline his three-year effort to educate farmers about climate change in western Tennessee and eastern Kentucky, where at some dinner tables the term remains a political curse word.
Despite the Democratic takeover of the House, and a new commitment to try to pass climate change legislation, some leading Republican skeptics are still chairing major committees with jurisdiction over climate policy.
Now, some 600 broadcast meteorologists, out of an estimated 2,200 in the United States, are working with Climate Matters, founded in 2010, to craft new ways to communicate climate change to their viewers.
Gandy, who helped found Climate Matters, recounted a recent presentation he delivered at the Rotary Club in Columbia on the dangers of climate change and the need to take sweeping actions soon to confront it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “RCP 8.5: The Climate-Change Disaster Scenario”

When climate scientists want to tell a story about the future of the planet, they use a set of four standard scenarios called “Representative concentration pathways,” or RCPs. RCPs are ubiquitous in climate science, appearing in virtually any study that uses climate models to investigate the 21st century.
Each RCP is assigned a number that describes how the climate will fare in the year 2100.
Generally, a higher RCP number describes a scarier fate: It means that humanity emitted more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during the 21st century, further warming the planet and acidifying the ocean.
Under RCP 8.5, the world’s average temperature would rise by 4.9 degrees Celsius, or nearly 9 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since 2005, total global greenhouse-gas emissions have most closely tracked the RCP 8.5 scenario, he says.
“There may be good reasons to be skeptical of RCP 8.5’s late-century values, but observations to-date don’t really give us grounds to exclude it,” he recently wrote.
Even if we avoid RCP 8.5, the less dramatic possibilities still could lead to catastrophic warming.
Not all data suggest that we’re doomed to RCP 8.5 or equivalent amounts of warming, Hausfather cautions.

The orginal article.

Summary of “RCP 8.5: The Climate-Change Disaster Scenario”

When climate scientists want to tell a story about the future of the planet, they use a set of four standard scenarios called “Representative concentration pathways,” or RCPs. RCPs are ubiquitous in climate science, appearing in virtually any study that uses climate models to investigate the 21st century.
Each RCP is assigned a number that describes how the climate will fare in the year 2100.
Generally, a higher RCP number describes a scarier fate: It means that humanity emitted more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during the 21st century, further warming the planet and acidifying the ocean.
Under RCP 8.5, the world’s average temperature would rise by 4.9 degrees Celsius, or nearly 9 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since 2005, total global greenhouse-gas emissions have most closely tracked the RCP 8.5 scenario, he says.
“There may be good reasons to be skeptical of RCP 8.5’s late-century values, but observations to-date don’t really give us grounds to exclude it,” he recently wrote.
Even if we avoid RCP 8.5, the less dramatic possibilities still could lead to catastrophic warming.
Not all data suggest that we’re doomed to RCP 8.5 or equivalent amounts of warming, Hausfather cautions.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Pop-Up Book Imagines Animals’ Future”

Read: Are we living through climate change’s worst-case scenario?
Sheehy’s project was initially inspired by paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey’s 1995 book The Sixth Extinction.
“That was the first time I’d ever thought about the Earth’s five big extinction events, and that the sixth one, which might have the same sort of drama, is our fault,” Sheehy says.
Read: How I talk to my daughter about climate change.
Sheehy, a former elementary-school teacher, is careful not to burden his young readers with real horrors.
As in his previous pop-up book Welcome to the Neighborwood, a much cuddlier tale about real-life animal builders, his primary goal is to provoke curiosity about “What else is out there that we don’t know about yet”-whether “Out there” is the backyard or the distant future.
The creatures of Beyond the Sixth Extinction, like the scientifically informed inventions of novelists Paolo Bacigalupi and Jeff VanderMeer, are just familiar enough, and plausible enough, to root in the imagination, and its passing place references-the “Cagoan District” includes the “Ohare Site,” infamous among 21st-century travelers-add to its eerie believability.
As a contemplation of adaptability, resilience, and the many possible consequences of the present for the future, Beyond the Sixth Extinction can be an adventure for former teenagers, too.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Swiftness of Glaciers: Language in a Time of Climate Change”

Across all seven continents glaciers are receding at speed.
Some geologists expect the Glacier National Park in Montana to lose the last of its glaciers around 2033, just as the equatorial glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro are also set to disappear.
Glaciers more often advanced than retreated, sometimes wiping out communities as they moved.
Shelley saw glaciers as predatory, immortal forces, eternal beings, before whose might mere humans quaked.
We are now more likely to view glaciers as casualties of humanity’s outsize, planet-altering powers.
Glaciers in the 21st century constitute an unfrozen hazard, as receding glaciers and ice packs push ocean levels higher.
For glaciers serve as fragile, frigid reservoirs holding irreplaceable water: 47 per cent of humanity depends on water stored as seasonally replenished ice that flows from the Himalayas and Tibet alone.
‘Calving glaciers’ is shorthand for the seasonal rhythm whereby glaciers amass winter ice, then shed some of that accumulation each summer in the form of icebergs and growlers.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The day I tasted climate change”

Climate change doesn’t ignite wildfires, but it’s intensifying the hot, dry summer conditions that have helped fuel some of California’s deadliest and most destructive fires in recent years.
At the rate we’re going, it could take hundreds of years to shift to a global energy system that doesn’t pump out far more climate pollution-every ton of which only makes the problem worse.
President Barack Obama’s top science advisor, John Holdren, once said that our options for dealing with climate change are cutting emissions, adapting, and suffering.
The devastation from climate change will manifest in different ways in different places, in highly uneven and unfair ways: severe drought and famine across much of Africa and Australia, shrinking water supplies for the billions who rely on the glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau, and the threat of forced displacement for at least tens of millions exposed to rising sea levels in South Asia.
Research has found that experiencing higher temperatures and extreme weather events is correlated with greater belief in or concern about climate change.
Younger people, who are staring at a much grimmer future, are considerably more likely to believe that climate change is real and action is required-even among millennial Republicans in the US. Overwhelmed.
Put another way, one paradoxical impact of climate change is that it could make many even more reluctant to take it on.
When I started writing seriously about climate change a little more than five years ago, the dangers largely seemed distant and abstract.

The orginal article.