Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Another IPCC warning (2): après nous, le déluge (4)

Last Monday, the IPCC issued its 6th assessment report on climate change (report). Their timing is remarkable as we are still being made scared about the latest coronavirus mutant (eg, Reuters). I assume that this IPCC report will soon lose the media battle for attention. Fear works better when it’s close to you. The IPCC warning is “only” about forthcoming decades and centuries.

My new habitat is, however, well above sea level. That was a deliberate choice because at least a third of my country is below sea level. Climate change is real to me as Change is the default in life and nature; not the exception. I do expect sea levels to rise as melting polar caps are consistent with an interglacial period. Wiki: “Outside these [ice] ages, the Earth seems to have been ice free even in high latitudes.” 

I disagree with the IPCC’s assertion that climate change is man-made. That is a political rather than a scientific assertion (eg, NASA, Geoscience Frontiers). It’s political because people would ignore these IPCC warnings if climate change would not be labeled as man-made. Creating accountability & responsibility may result in guilt & shame, including man-made action, to prevent (future) regret & remorse over climate change.

The British Geological Survey mentions 7 reasons for climate change: (1) Strength of the Sun, (2) Changes in the Earth’s orbit, axial tilt and precession, (3) Quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, (4) Ocean currents and carbon dioxide content, (5) Plate tectonics and volcanic eruptions, (6) Changes in land cover, and (7) Meteorite impacts.

Humans have an impact on reasons (3) and (6). Reason (4) is important because a recent study in Nature Climate Change suggests a “collapse from the currently attained strong to the weak [AMOC] mode [which] would have severe impacts on the global climate system” (eg, CNN, NYT, Reuters), like “cooling of the Northern Hemisphere, sea level rise in the Atlantic, an overall fall in precipitation over Europe and North America”. Note: markings in quote by LO.

In the distant past, humans would just migrate to either higher or warmer territories to escape worsening climate conditions. Nowadays, national borders (and/or walls) prevent human mass migration. These IPCC reports will probably encourage (rich) nations in additional measures to prevent mass migration.

Most of the above is irrelevant to us because of the human tyranny of short-term thinking (eg, NRC article). Long-term or generational thinking is unusual to us (eg, TED Talk by Roman Krznaric). Politicians are experts in short-term thinking. They can as they rely on the fact that voters (ie, us) will forget before the next election.

Some relevant quotes:
– Short-term thinking is the greatest enemy of good government. Anthony Albanese
– You can’t build a long term future on short term thinking. Billy Cox
– Long-term thinking improves short-term decision-making. Brian Tracy
– People don’t like the idea of thinking long term. Many are desperately seeking short term answers because they have money problems to be solved today. Robert Kiyosaki

Into The Future (2018) by Chef’Special
artists, lyrics, video, Wiki

Take me into the future ’cause I know
Tomorrow goin’ be better today I’m feeling low
Take me into the future ’cause I know
Tomorrow goin’ be better today is moving slow
Take me into the future

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.


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