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Old 02-19-2014, 06:35 AM
 
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Thoughts on this article? I think there are some good points. I hope he is wrong about it being too late though.

James Lovelock: 'enjoy life while you can: in 20 years global warming will hit the fan' | Environment | The Guardian

Excerpt: (There is a lot more in the linked article)

"For decades, his advocacy of nuclear power appalled fellow environmentalists - but recently increasing numbers of them have come around to his way of thinking. His latest book, The Revenge of Gaia, predicts that by 2020 extreme weather will be the norm, causing global devastation; that by 2040 much of Europe will be Saharan; and parts of London will be underwater. The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report deploys less dramatic language - but its calculations aren't a million miles away from his.

As with most people, my panic about climate change is equalled only by my confusion over what I ought to do about it. A meeting with Lovelock therefore feels a little like an audience with a prophet. Buried down a winding track through wild woodland, in an office full of books and papers and contraptions involving dials and wires, the 88-year-old presents his thoughts with a quiet, unshakable conviction that can be unnerving. More alarming even than his apocalyptic climate predictions is his utter certainty that almost everything we're trying to do about it is wrong."
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:03 AM
 
Location: DC
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I don't think food is going to be as big a problem as he believes. I believe places like New York City will have to install flood control like the Dutch Delta works. I suspect we will abandon places like New Orleans. The cost of all this will dwarf what we are trying to spend on "green technology." Lovelock is spot on, the solutions are more technology not less. Wind and solar are lower cost solutions than nuclear.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:44 AM
 
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I thought he had some really good points too. Since the we all seem to have slightly different views on things I thought it was a good article to post here.

BTW, Not only New Orleans would be abandoned, but South Florida and potentially even up through Central Florida will be gone too. It was under water at one point in History, so I don't see a reason why it won't be again at one point. Miami Beach is currently having huge sea water intrusion problems and they are in the process of spending hundreds of millions on pumps to keep the ocean out of the city during king tides. I was trying to find an exact amount budgeted so far, but couldn't. And some of it is Federal money as well.

The funny thing, the residents all saying no pumps by my house. My feeling, let 'em get cut off from the world during high tide and see how long that lasts. (Resident tries to fight Miami Beach City Hall over giant pumps in front of his house - Miami Beach - MiamiHerald.com)
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Volcano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
I don't think food is going to be as big a problem as he believes.
Why not? Global fisheries are collapsing, and catches are declining. Agriculture is dependent on water, and climate change is causing huge disruptions in the weather, which is nature's mechanism for moving water from the oceans to the land. As a result of the years of drought so far in California, for the first time ever water supplies have been cut off to large parts of "America's salad bowl," so spring plantings there are down by one/third. Meanwhile historically rich and productive croplands globally are being abandoned due to salt water intrusion and outright flooding.

What part of the emerging food situation do you find encouraging?
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Spokane, WA
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I don't know, these types of predictions have been wrong for about the last 40-50 years. Hopefully we'll all still be here to see if this one comes "true".
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:28 AM
 
Location: DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
Why not? Global fisheries are collapsing, and catches are declining. Agriculture is dependent on water, and climate change is causing huge disruptions in the weather, which is nature's mechanism for moving water from the oceans to the land. As a result of the years of drought so far in California, for the first time ever water supplies have been cut off to large parts of "America's salad bowl," so spring plantings there are down by one/third. Meanwhile historically rich and productive croplands globally are being abandoned due to salt water intrusion and outright flooding.

What part of the emerging food situation do you find encouraging?
The growing zones will shift and there will be changes in what areas are wet, but higher temperatures mean an overall wetter Earth. The grain belt in North America will shift north. Fisheries are in trouble because we over fish. We will be farming more seafood. Genetic technology will make productive many areas currently too salty to farm. People badly underestimate what the next wave of genetic engineering will do for food productivity.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:30 AM
 
Location: DC
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Futurists always underestimate the impact of technological change.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:34 AM
 
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Hmm maybe I'll have beachfront property in a few years

No, in reality I'm not that flippant.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Volcano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aplcr0331 View Post
I don't know, these types of predictions have been wrong for about the last 40-50 years. Hopefully we'll all still be here to see if this one comes "true".
"These types"? Such as what, specifically?

I remember the predictions that we were overfishing the oceans and that entire seafood populations would go into decline, and that happened.

I remember predictions that nuclear accidents were inevitable, and those accidents would turn people away from supporting nuclear energy, and that happened.

I remember predictions that clearcutting native forests for "slash and burn" agriculture would devastate the Amazon basin and drive out indigenous people if not halted, and that happened.

The only biggie I can think of that didn't happen was "The Population Bomb," and that was because something the author could not predict happened... as medical advances and infrastructure improvements, including better food and water supplies, were made in developing countries, the birthrates dropped. IOW, as the death rate for children dropped, women stopped having lots of children in the hope that a few might survive.

I think that's the key reason long range predictions fail, when they do, because of some factor the author did not take into account, or simply could not see from their vantage point. Disruptive technologies can have that effect, such as airplanes and cars had on railroad planning; or electronics had on business machines.

Most of the climate change scientists are predicting reaching an ecological tipping point in 20 years or so, while Lovejoy feels we've already passed it. Same predictions, basically, just with differing time scales. The takeaway, for me, is that if we are going to do something to try to avert an oncoming global disaster, the time to be doing something is upon us. We really can't wait any longer.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Spokane, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
"These types"? Such as what, specifically?
Specifically? Predictions of our demise. Wrong. Wrong for a long time. But, this one is probably right

by Dr. David Viner, 2000
Within a few years "children just aren't going to know what snow is." Snowfall will be "a very rare and exciting event.

by Michael Oppenheimer, 1990
[By] 1995, the greenhouse effect would be desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots…[By 1996] The Platte River of Nebraska would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers.

by Lester Brown, 1981
....the period of global food security is over. As the demand for food continues to press against supply, inevitably real food prices will rise. The question no longer seems to be whether they will rise, but how much.

by Lester Brown, 1994
The world's farmers can no longer be counted on to feed the projected additions to the world's population.

by Norman Myers, The Sinking Ark, 1979
40,000 species per year were going extinct and that 1 million species would be gone by the year 2000.

Paul Ehrlich, 1971
By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people ... If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.

by Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, Secretary of Smithsonian Institute,1970
....in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.

by Ehrlich, Earth Day, 1970
In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish."

by Al Gore, 1988
We have only 10 years to react.

by Al Gore, 2008
We have only 10 years to react.

All that being said, my family and I live as green as we can. Recycle like crazy, turn off lights and appliances (including unplugging) at night we are very conservative with our home energy use. We only have one car and do multiple events on one trip. Theses predictions are just fodder for people to disbelieve. We should be more measured in our tactics, if every little bit helps that's how we should sell it. Every. Little. Bit. Helps. Not ZOMFGLOLOLBBQ!!!!! The planet is already dead!!!!
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