/ The glaciers are dying

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James Jackson on 30 Aug 2016
These photo comparisons are sadly shocking. I'm almost lost for words. We pretty much all contribute to this, with cars and plastics and oils and whatnot.

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/melting-ice_swiss-glaciers---before-and-after/42305734
Rigid Raider - on 30 Aug 2016
In reply to James Jackson:

Don't depress me.
MG - on 30 Aug 2016
In reply to James Jackson:
It is shocking, but remember those photographs are taken a century or more a part and most of that loss was not anthropogenic. The really shocking changes are in the last 20, 10 and even 5 years, which are manmade.
pneame on 30 Aug 2016
In reply to James Jackson:

It is quite astonishing over that large a time interval. It's interesting to use Google Earth to just look at the last 20 years or so. Particularly the Bossons below Mt Blanc, but many others also
Pesda potato - on 30 Aug 2016
In reply to James Jackson:

dont worry theyll be back, remember the last ice age? man they had their fun then
James Jackson on 30 Aug 2016
In reply to MG:

Indeed it is more reflective of the cyclical global variation (and the mini ice-age that was coming to an end in the late 1800s). Still pretty amazing change.
jcw on 30 Aug 2016
In reply to Pesda potato:
I find flippant replies to this issue quite nauseating. True, the long term cycles are relevant but to watch what is happening in the recent past for someone who loves the mountains is like watching someone dying of cancer. It is irreversible and the odd hard winter is like putting on a bit of makeup to disguise the inevitable. I was showing someone my photos of the Mont Blanc area of just 50 years ago and they could not believe the change. And if anyone has done the Vallee Blanche as I did this year and seen where the glacier was in 1985 as you slog up to Montenvers you would be ashamed of such simplistic and reductionist explanations of the causes.
Post edited at 22:57
wbo - on 30 Aug 2016
In reply to James Jackson: is it?

Pesda potato - on 30 Aug 2016
In reply to jcw:
Its not flippant, its a different point of view, people in general dislike change, glaciers are melting, the landscape looks different.
yes we may be accelerating the warming of the earth due to pollution, but theres nothing to say it wont recover. Its been through an lot of dramatic changes over its millions of years and always comes to some balance.
Post edited at 23:20
GPN - on 30 Aug 2016
In reply to Pesda potato:
> Its been through an lot of dramatic changes over its millions of years and always comes to some balance.

Hmm, if it hadn't come to 'some balance' then we wouldn't be here to know about it...
Dave Cumberland - on 30 Aug 2016
In reply to James Jackson:

Eff all to do with cars, plastic, oil and whatnot .. .. ..
Natural variability can neither be predicted or modelled with accuracy, nor any external influence measured.
Next ice age coming regardless.
0Unknown0 on 30 Aug 2016
In reply to GPN:
> Hmm, if it hadn't come to 'some balance' then we wouldn't be here to know about it...

It will continue to recycle itself until eventually the earth gets so hot that nothing will be able to survive and eventually all will incinerate. Animals may continue to evolve to deal with the changes, but the world will one day die and that is fact, and nothing to do with pollution. The idea that man has, or if some men have that we can keep the world alive indefinitely if we treat it better is bogus, we can't. How many cycles we will go through before the very end we don't know, they do know there will be an end one day.
Post edited at 23:57
Robert Durran - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Dominicandave:

> It will continue to recycle itself ......................... but the world will one day die and that is fact, and nothing to do with pollution.

But isn't that a bit like saying that because I'm eventually going to die, I might as well not give a toss about the coming week?
jonnie3430 - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to James Jackson:

The worst but for me is that the glaciers contribute to ground water, so once they go, the ground water level will decrease and everyone relying on wells and boreholes for water will have a harder time. The potential for that to be bad is huge.
0Unknown0 on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:

> But isn't that a bit like saying that because I'm eventually going to die, I might as well not give a toss about the coming week?

No, it's completely like just stating a fact. Apparently we are accelerating the process somewhat, but by how much we can not tell. We live in an impossible time.
I'm mistified as to how anything can be done when we have probable future world leaders announcing global warming is nothing to worry about and high emissions needs to be reestablished in order to create jobs (and infact will be if they win). I don't see how those who care can convince those who don't care to consider.
If this is down to us and we choose not to rethink then I choose not to worry myself about it. I guess those who love the mountains and spend time in them over many years are so much more aware of the changes, but no one seems to be getting the massage across in a digestible package.
Is it wrong not to worry about something you can't see changing?
Timmd on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Dominicandave:

> Is it wrong not to worry about something you can't see changing?

The answe could depend on whether being concerned could lead one towards being a part of the change, I guess?
0Unknown0 on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Timmd:

> The answe could depend on whether being concerned could lead one towards being a part of the change, I guess?

I do my own personal little bit where I can, but it doesn't appear to be making any difference.
jethro kiernan - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to James Jackson:
Took the family to the ice cave from Montenvers and it was quite shocking to see the drop in glacier levels over the last couple of decades.
Science has also proven that man made climate change is real, regardless of where nature is in climate cycles.

Andy Hardy on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Dominicandave:
[...] we have probable future world leaders announcing global warming is nothing to worry about and high emissions needs to be reestablished in order to create jobs [...]

There are no "world" leaders, only those who lead countries. If there was world leadership we might be doing something about global warming.
summo on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to pneame:

> It is quite astonishing over that large a time interval. It's interesting to use Google Earth to just look at the last 20 years or so. Particularly the Bossons below Mt Blanc, but many others also

I've got any old photograph, roughly a 100 years old of what was then Chamonix village, showing bossons and Mt Blanc. Staggering change in all respects.
summo on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

> Natural variability can neither be predicted or modelled with accuracy, nor any external influence measured.

> Next ice age coming regardless.

how can it be coming regardless, you said it can't be modelled?
MG - on 31 Aug 2016
ian caton on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Pesda potato:

"It's a different point of view"

But not a view held by any climate scientist and therefore of no importance.
Doug on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to James Jackson:

I visited Chamonix a few times in summer in the late 70s & early 80s but then didn't visit in summer until 2007. I could hardly believe the difference. Most striking was the snout of the Bossons glacier where we used to practise ice climbing which seemed to have retreated a huge distance.
Clint86 - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Dominicandave:

I like the idea, 'be the change'. The difference will be in you. Thats quite a big difference from your point of view given that we all live in our own little worlds.
Pesda potato - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Clint86:

I like the phrase - only when we have cut down the last tree will we realise we cannot eat money -

I do what I can to reduce my impact on the world, but Im afraid it will do very little, even if many people do the same, we have so little influence on things like climate change, there are just too many people on the earth unable or unwilling to change.

Bear in mind though, we are a function of this planet just in the same way that trees and plants and other animals are, we are a part of nature. Just because we can deliberate on our actions or feel guilty about it doesnt mean its wrong. The earth has gone through several mass extinctions and major climate changes and although we dont want to feel responsible for another we may contribute to it - but then its part of the earths nature.

What effect will the next major eruption e.g. yellowstone have on the earths climate? What effect will the next major asteroid impact have? Sure we cant do anything about them, but what can we do about pollution driven climate change? How are we going to change the habits of developing countries, or indeed our own, more cars on the road each year, more use of electricity, more people needing more food and resources.....
SenzuBean - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Dominicandave:

> It will continue to recycle itself until eventually the earth gets so hot that nothing will be able to survive and eventually all will incinerate. Animals may continue to evolve to deal with the changes, but the world will one day die and that is fact, and nothing to do with pollution. The idea that man has, or if some men have that we can keep the world alive indefinitely if we treat it better is bogus, we can't. How many cycles we will go through before the very end we don't know, they do know there will be an end one day.

So you're saying let's not care - let's ruin the planet since it's going to end in (time until the sun extinguishes: 5 billion years). Do you know what's bogus? That attitude.
To put things in perspective, if the current age of the Earth was scaled to 24 hours - then humans came onto the scene at 2 seconds to midnight, and within 0.6 seconds have started significantly heating up the atmosphere and the ocean and show no sign of stopping. That means we've got another 24 hours approximately (5 billion years left on the sun), and we've already f(*ked things up in less than a second!?! That's simply unacceptable.

Secondly, you're forgetting that by jeopardizing our short term with rapid anthropogenic climate change, we heavily reduce the chance that we'll be able to survive long enough to develop the technology to colonize other planets, and continue indefinitely.
Dr.S at work - on 31 Aug 2016

> Secondly, you're forgetting that by jeopardizing our short term with rapid anthropogenic climate change, we heavily reduce the chance that we'll be able to survive long enough to develop the technology to colonize other planets, and continue indefinitely.

And the Proxima centurans breathe a large sigh of relief.....
SenzuBean - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> And the Proxima centurans breathe a large sigh of relief.....

And the Betel's geused themselves.... ;)
Robert Durran - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Pesda potato:

> Bear in mind though, we are a function of this planet just in the same way that trees and plants and other animals are, we are a part of nature.

What sets humans apart from all other species is that our brains have evolved so that we can foretell the results of our actions beyond the next instant. Yes, we are part of nature, but an absolutely unique part of it. Should be just ignore that?
0Unknown0 on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> [...] we have probable future world leaders announcing global warming is nothing to worry about and high emissions needs to be reestablished in order to create jobs [...]

> There are no "world" leaders, only those who lead countries. If there was world leadership we might be doing something about global warming.

Actually you are wrong. I don't know if you have ever been to or spent any considerable time in developing nations. Well if you do you will see the power the US has on an ignorant society. In every under educated ignorant nation on this planet, society look to the US for how they are to move forward and what is important, from how important education is, gun culture, even who is a relevant person (Kardashians for example) to the delusion that you will become a millionaire if you continue standing on street corners and gangbanging. The power the US has over the ignorant developing nations of the world is huge, they will follow no matter what it is or how counterproductive and stupid it is.
Now this is how society in general follows, and it would seem ridiculous to consider that governments follow suit also wouldn't it, well they do and will especially if they give them the easy out about not having to worry about pollution etc. No, small developing nations are not massive contributors in the emissions issue, but they are the biggest contributors when it comes to not recycling waste. Some of the most beautiful unspoilt parts of our planet are ruined with plastic, because it's alright, there is nothing to worry about, apparently.
And so in context of what I was referring to you are wrong, certain countries pave the way for others, create example and therefor can be considered 'world leaders'.
Timmd on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

> Eff all to do with cars, plastic, oil and whatnot .. .. ..

You are aware that the people funding the scientists who say that man is having no impact on the climate, are predominantly companies who's businesses rely on producing and using fossil fuels?

> Natural variability can neither be predicted or modelled with accuracy, nor any external influence measured.
> Next ice age coming regardless.

Even if it doesn't turn out to be true that man in contributing to climate change, we will still be better off from having improved air quality and made a transition to a less wasteful way of living, and to using more renewable energy. So essentially there's no reason not to.
0Unknown0 on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to SenzuBean:
> So you're saying let's not care - let's ruin the planet since it's going to end in (time until the sun extinguishes: 5 billion years). Do you know what's bogus? That attitude.

> To put things in perspective, if the current age of the Earth was scaled to 24 hours - then humans came onto the scene at 2 seconds to midnight, and within 0.6 seconds have started significantly heating up the atmosphere and the ocean and show no sign of stopping. That means we've got another 24 hours approximately (5 billion years left on the sun), and we've already f(*ked things up in less than a second!?! That's simply unacceptable.

> Secondly, you're forgetting that by jeopardizing our short term with rapid anthropogenic climate change, we heavily reduce the chance that we'll be able to survive long enough to develop the technology to colonize other planets, and continue indefinitely.

That is not what I said at all, and if you can point out where I said that then please do so.... Can't? because I didn't say that, you just made that up. Like I said I do my own personal bit (whether it helps or not, whether we are responsible or not), and choose not to worry about it past that. Am I personally guilty because I am aware of the realities and point out a few facts?
And I'm not forgetting anything, I merely look at what we're dealing with, the worlds attitude towards it and I don't see us heading in the right direction, hence what I have posted.


Post edited at 11:03
SenzuBean - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Dominicandave:

> That is not what I said at all, and if you can point out where I said that then please do so.... Can't? because I didn't say that, you just made that up. Like I said I do my own personal bit (whether it helps or not, whether we are responsible or not), and choose not to worry about it past that. Am I personally guilty because I am aware of the realities and point out a few facts?

> And I'm not forgetting anything, I merely look at what we're dealing with, the worlds attitude towards it and I don't see us heading in the right direction, hence what I have posted.

Here's what you said:
Animals may continue to evolve to deal with the changes, but the world will one day die and that is fact, and nothing to do with pollution. The idea that man has, or if some men have that we can keep the world alive indefinitely if we treat it better is bogus, we can't. How many cycles we will go through before the very end we don't know, they do know there will be an end one day.

I've bolded the parts (which I refuted in my earlier post) to help with your recollection. ;)

I'm glad you're doing your bit too. If you do truly understand the predicament we are in, I hope you'd even consider "extending yourself" to help improve the situation. As another example, the current extinction rate is 10,000x (that is not a typo) the background level, all due to humans - and it's only increasing. The time for urgency, and a bit of self-sacrifice is now - "I'm a good sort because I bring my own shopping bags to the shops when I remember" attitude (not saying you have that, but some people do) is like trying to piss on a wildfire.
Pesda potato - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:
we can make educated guesses at foretelling what will happen next, but we cant even accurately predict the weather for the next week let alone how the planet will respond to our changes.
im all for conservation and do feel sad when a species declines or dies out, and sometimes I feel we dont deserve to have such power of mind, however these things will go on with or without our assistance.
Perhaps there is a grand plan for our planet, perhaps its function is to allow us to evolve to a point where we accomplish some great feat or discover something particular.
Perhaps there is no point to existence, that we are merely an accidental by product of another planet among countless number.
Who knows, we certainly arent intelligent enough to work that one out, but theres no point in getting angry about change (be it good or bad from our personal perspectives), if we are powerless to do anything about it.
Post edited at 11:26
tony on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to SenzuBean:

> I'm glad you're doing your bit too. If you do truly understand the predicament we are in, I hope you'd even consider "extending yourself" to help improve the situation.

Relying on individuals to 'extend themselves' is pointless, and exhorting self-sacrifice is not going to help. The issues are of such a scale that it's only supra-national action that is going to make the differences that are needed. That's why world leaders, such as the USA and the EU are needed, to demonstrate that industrialised and post-industrialised countries can thrive with low-carbon economies. Sadly, there is currently insufficient societal will to put the necessary pressure on governments to really make anything useful happen. What is more likely to happen is that we will learn to adapt to higher temperatures, albeit at a considerably higher cost than would be the case if we prevented further increases in the first place. We'll be reacting to events, rather than trying to prevent those events happening.
tony on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Pesda potato:

> Who knows, we certainly arent intelligent enough to work that one out, but theres no point in getting angry about change (be it good or bad from our personal perspectives), if we are powerless to do anything about it.

But we're not powerless. We do have it in our power to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions which are causing the problems, if such action were seen as being a sufficiently high priority. Unfortunately, I don't think it does have the priority it needs among those who are in a position to do anything about it.
Toccata on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to James Jackson:

This is not to make a comment on the fact the climate is warming and the glaciers are retreating but I'm not convinced by the photo comparison. Obviously taken from different points but I'm curious as to the mature forest that has appeared. My experience is that mainly bare rock and moraine are left with glacial retreat. My guess is that primary and secondary succession would take at least 100 years in this terrain and I suspect the foreground in the recent picture is not at all associated with the glacier. Anyone clarify?
0Unknown0 on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to SenzuBean:

> Here's what you said:

> Animals may continue to evolve to deal with the changes, but the world will one day die and that is fact, and nothing to do with pollution. The idea that man has, or if some men have that we can keep the world alive indefinitely if we treat it better is bogus, we can't. How many cycles we will go through before the very end we don't know, they do know there will be an end one day.

> I've bolded the parts (which I refuted in my earlier post) to help with your recollection. ;)

> I'm glad you're doing your bit too. If you do truly understand the predicament we are in, I hope you'd even consider "extending yourself" to help improve the situation. As another example, the current extinction rate is 10,000x (that is not a typo) the background level, all due to humans - and it's only increasing. The time for urgency, and a bit of self-sacrifice is now - "I'm a good sort because I bring my own shopping bags to the shops when I remember" attitude (not saying you have that, but some people do) is like trying to piss on a wildfire.

Well there you go, thankyou for accepting you just made your previous post up. Shows my recollection is in perfect working order and you are having problems understanding perfectly plain English. ;-)
SenzuBean - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to tony:

> Relying on individuals to 'extend themselves' is pointless, and exhorting self-sacrifice is not going to help.

That's where you're not thinking. We need to realize that we hold the government, and industry accountable. Extending yourself means outreach, it means political action, it means research, it means so much more than whatever you think it did.

> Sadly, there is currently insufficient societal will to put the necessary pressure on governments to really make anything useful happen.

Look - you even noticed that yourself, but didn't make the connection that you are part of that society and need to be part of the solution.

> What is more likely to happen is that we will learn to adapt to higher temperatures, albeit at a considerably higher cost than would be the case if we prevented further increases in the first place. We'll be reacting to events, rather than trying to prevent those events happening.

While that might be possible, it's not inevitable. That attitude used again is like saying that if it's likely you'll crash the car, may as well not slam on the brakes because you're going to crash anyway.
SenzuBean - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Dominicandave:

> Well there you go, thankyou for accepting you just made your previous post up. Shows my recollection is in perfect working order and you are having problems understanding perfectly plain English. ;-)

I never said or implied such a thing - which shows pretty that it's a problem on your end. ;)
Xharlie on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to SenzuBean:

> "I'm a good sort because I bring my own shopping bags to the shops when I remember" attitude (not saying you have that, but some people do) is like trying to piss on a wildfire.

I completely agree but, realistically, what can one actually do beyond this?

I re-use fabric shopping bags, cycle to work, restrict the car to weekends away where it does under 5 litres per 100 because I'm not sitting in traffic and I drive with some sense, use my gear until its dead instead of buying new stuff for vanity's sake (same with my phone - the "new iPhone ever 6 months" crowd should be first up against the wall) and generally try to live efficiently. When I was working in london, I bought my own tea-spoons for my desk drawer because I refused to use those disposable plastic stirrer things and the company clearly considered them cheaper than paying someone to wash spoons.

I'm not evangelical about this way of life (because people who evangelise their life choices are universally arseholes, as countless rabid vegetarians and vegans show us) but I do try to set an example, at least showing that it is possible to actually re-use a spoon!

But, apart from that, exactly what power do I have to do anything more than piss on the wildfire? I don't even have a democratic vote because of FPTP for fs sake.
Xharlie on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to SenzuBean:

> That's where you're not thinking. We need to realize that we hold the government, and industry accountable. Extending yourself means outreach, it means political action, it means research, it means so much more than whatever you think it did.

But environmental issues are never about the environment! Possibly the only actually predictable outcome of Brexit was that it would be an environmental catastrophe but I don't think anyone even mentioned that in the campaigning. I'm a remainer, but how many brexiteers considered the environmental issues as important, when weighed up against immigration, xenophobia and misplaced nationalism?
MonkeyPuzzle - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

> Natural variability...

What do you mean by 'natural' here?

> ...can neither be predicted or modelled with accuracy

It can and is, with increasingly startling accuracy

> nor any external influence measured

It can be and is. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen by roughly 25% in the last 150 years, showing that CO2 has been produced at a rate higher than it is naturally being absorbed. The lighter carbon isotopes preferred for absorption by plants are also those emitted when many years later burnt as fossil fuels. The last 150 years show an increase in the proportion of these lighter carbon isotopes versus the heavier carbon isotopes, therefore showing that manmade CO2 is increasing, as a proportion of all CO2.

Here's some reading: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/how-do-we-know-that-recent-cosub2sub-increases...

tony on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to SenzuBean:

> That's where you're not thinking. We need to realize that we hold the government, and industry accountable. Extending yourself means outreach, it means political action, it means research, it means so much more than whatever you think it did.

I never understand this kind of reaction. You have no idea what I have done or haven't done. Why make up stuff when you don't know what you're talking about?

ads.ukclimbing.com
0Unknown0 on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to SenzuBean:

> While that might be possible, it's not inevitable. That attitude used again is like saying that if it's likely you'll crash the car, may as well not slam on the brakes because you're going to crash anyway.

I personally don't think you comprehend the scale of the problem here and the total disregard for the welfare of planet the vast majority of the worlds population has. The planet is an utter dump. Beautiful Caribbean Islands surrounded by a sea of plastic a km thick. Highly populated nations with absolutely no waste management program in place, people burning their waste in a constant cycle, smoldering mega dumps that have been burning for 50 years, just typical of the world we live in.
And now like I have already said, we have a world influence or leader (whichever you prefer for arguments sakes) telling the world that none of this is worth worrying about and it is time we forgot about emissions and instead of searching for alternatives, just carry on digging this whole. Well, I'm sorry, but of you think I'm making a difference my driving a low emissions car and using my blue bin then you think considerably more optimistic than I.
The world is a very difficult place these days, those of us who can afford to worry about such things as global warming are a tiny minority. The majority of the world has the problem of just getting through the day, feeding their children and trying to find work to put food on the table tomorrow. Those who have the luxury of caring are the lucky ones.
tony on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Xharlie:
> But environmental issues are never about the environment!

One of the problems is thinking it's an environmental issue. It's not - it's an economic, societal and industrial issue. Unfortunately, governments tend to be too dim to see this.
Post edited at 12:11
0Unknown0 on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to SenzuBean:

> I never said or implied such a thing - which shows pretty that it's a problem on your end. ;)

OK then, you didn't accept that you just made shit up about what I said, you should have because by quoting me you kind of did. If you read what you yourself quoted of me and then go and see what you implied I said you will see that you did infact just make stuff up.

There is no problem at my end, and that's where forums are quite useful, we can easily go back and see exactly what was said, and I didn't.

Why are you putting words in peoples mouths or insinuating what you can not possibly know about me?
Xharlie on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Toccata:

I was on a ladder onto a glacier, last year, and one of the people in the party pointed out the new sections of bright, shiny metal added to the ladder only that season in order to reach the ice - he'd been there two years in a row but the joints in the cables made it quite obvious anyway. It was the most tragic thing I think I have ever seen in the hills.

The change in one year sends a far more potent message than these 100 year comparisons but they are certainly not exaggerated. I advise you to go outside and see for yourself!
MG - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Toccata:
Its surprisingly quick. Here is an example of what happens in 30 years from exactly the same position - nothing to scrub. Another 70-100 will get trees quite easily.
http://s251.photobucket.com/user/johnnyrook1/media/MorteratschGlacier.jpg.html
Post edited at 12:30
kipper12 - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to James Jackson:

I think this is one of the most depressing threads I have read, and it is up against some stiff competition.

To those who say its too difficult, so Im doing my ostrich impression need to get their head out of the sand.

We have history of tackling big challenges:

Think back to the smogs of the 40's and 50's , they killed people in droves and we acted through the clean air act and our towns and cities are much improved as a result.

More globally, when we spotted the hole in the ozone layer, we (humanity) put together the Montreal protocol and it looks as if the ozole hole is beginning to close.

I think reducing acid rain is another challenge we have some success with

We can and do tackle difficult challenges that cross boarders and require intergovernmental cooperation. To the ostriches on here, if we get our collective heads out of the sand, we can start to mitigate the worst ravages of man made climate change. We don't owe this to ourselves, but to the generations to come. This is not our planet to F**K up, we are merely passing through. We will have to answer to our children and grandchildren for our inaction
Robert Durran - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Pesda potato:

> We can make educated guesses at foretelling what will happen next, but we cant even accurately predict the weather for the next week let alone how the planet will respond to our changes.

Oh dear........

We have enough understanding of chaotic systems to know that, even in principle, we can't accurately predict the weather next week, but we also have enough understanding of physics and chemistry to know that pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere will tend to warm the climate (weather and climate are not the same thing). Both tyopes of understanding are remarkable achievements of science.


> There's no point in getting angry about change (be it good or bad from our personal perspectives), if we are powerless to do anything about it.

There is every reason to get angry about it when the change is going to be disastrous and we know what we need to do to stop it but don't.

tony on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to kipper12:

> I think this is one of the most depressing threads I have read, and it is up against some stiff competition.

> To those who say its too difficult, so Im doing my ostrich impression need to get their head out of the sand.

> We have history of tackling big challenges:

> Think back to the smogs of the 40's and 50's , they killed people in droves and we acted through the clean air act and our towns and cities are much improved as a result.

> More globally, when we spotted the hole in the ozone layer, we (humanity) put together the Montreal protocol and it looks as if the ozole hole is beginning to close.

> I think reducing acid rain is another challenge we have some success with

I completely agree that we've had successes, but the ones you've cited worked because the fixes were relatively easy. Closing the ozone hole was easy because it was possible to replace the damaging HFCs and CFCs with other technologies. Cleaning the air of smog and acid rain was a simple technical fix.

The difference we have now is that fossil fuels are at the very heart of the global economy. Everything revolves around fossil fuels - we wouldn't be where we are now without fossil fuels. So it's not just a massive technological fix that's needs, it's a huge attitudinal change that's needed. Weaning ourselves off fossil fuels means a complete change in the mind-set of business, government and society. Importantly, it means saying to developing countries that they can't take the same paths that we've taken to prosperity. Until we make the necessary changes, we can't expect them to do anything.

We do have some technological capabilities to remedy the situation, but without the necessary shifts in government and society, I don't see a rosy future. Remember, the problem is not new - the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997, building on a 1992 treaty. We've known that 'something must be done' for over 20 years. Precious little has been achieved in that time.
Pesda potato - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:
i didnt say weather and climate were the same thing, i just used it as an example of how we regularly try to predict the natural pattern of things and get it wrong. You are correct - it is a chaotic system and we have no idea how a warmer globe with increased available carbon dioxide will cause the planet, more specifically plants and algae to react. For all we know it will cause massive growths of otherwise insignificant organisms that will balance the excess, and in turn act as food, fuel habitat for other creatures.

what is going to be disastrous, have you got it written on a stone tablet somewhere that the end is nigh?
Yes we are causing a change, and people often fear or dislike change because its inherent in our nature to adapt to an environment then want it to remain constant so we dont have to continually re adapt which requires more effort and energy.

Its not new news that we are accelerating the warming of the globe - not causing it just speeding it up - and yes we have made changes to our society / economy such as using unleaded petrol and driving for more fuel efficient vehicles, but as I said earlier, how are we going to change the minds of developing countries and economies worldwide? We as individuals or even en masse are powerless, its up to lead scientists and governments to instigate the change.
As a previous comment mentions, things that we have been able to change such as using less CFCs, acid rain, these arent down to the population making a change but companies being told by government that they are no longer allowed to use a certain chemical, which means we stop using them.
Post edited at 13:03
Andy Hardy on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Dominicandave:

I was thinking more along the lines of commercial competition between nations driving climate change - e.g. the US won't cut back if China don't, etc etc. In that sense there is no world leader to get a grip on this (or any other issue)
Robert Durran - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Pesda potato:

> I didnt say weather and climate were the same thing, I just used it as an example of how we regularly try to predict the natural pattern of things and get it wrong. You are correct - it is a chaotic system and we have no idea how a warmer globe with increased available carbon dioxide will cause the planet.

Oh dear........
Pesda potato - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:
is that is just oh dear?
enlighten me o wise one
Post edited at 13:04
kipper12 - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to tony:

Agree they were simple in comparison. However, the ozone issue and acid rain required international cooperation to resolve them, something which is required now. True there are bigger vested interests at play here. However, to do nothing but wring our hands is the wrong option. Personally I'll be dead before anything really bad happens, but this doesn't mean we should not try. To hand on the problem to future generations is rubbish.

It we had said the same over the ozone hole, acid rain or smog - we would have a different world already. Maybe the smog helping with the increased UV though!
mysterion on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to James Jackson:
If climate scientists were more ethical and measured then perhaps more attention would be paid to their pronouncements.
Post edited at 13:25
MonkeyPuzzle - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to tony:

> The difference we have now is that fossil fuels are at the very heart of the global economy. Everything revolves around fossil fuels - we wouldn't be where we are now without fossil fuels.

More so than we wouldn't be where we are without food, drinking water, relatively uncommon freak weather events and our low-lying land not being under sea water?

MonkeyPuzzle - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to mysterion:

> If climate scientists were more ethical and measured then perhaps more attention would be paid to their pronouncements.

This should be good - please elaborate.
ebdon - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Dominicandave:
I dont understand youre point that only a tiny minority worry about global warming. Surely peple drowing in Bangladesh or starving in sub Saharan africa due to lack of rain are some of the most deprived people in the world and also the ones being killed by the effects of anthropogenic climate change right now. To suggest its a first world issues is pretty odd.
On an aside does anyone apart from Dave Cumberland actually not believe anthropogenic climate change is a thing? it seems a pretty ludicrous point of view these days with mountains of evidence.
Post edited at 13:47
ebdon - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to James Jackson:

If anyone cares I thought this was good article explaining the interactions between natural climate cycles and global warming, unfortunately the conclusions are we are doubly screwed.
https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/Geoscientist/Archive/July-2015/Steps-and-cycles
mysterion on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> This should be good - please elaborate.

No. I have come to realise the UKclimbing forum is a 'safe space' for all kind of morons

SenzuBean - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Xharlie:

> I completely agree but, realistically, what can one actually do beyond this?

> But, apart from that, exactly what power do I have to do anything more than piss on the wildfire? I don't even have a democratic vote because of FPTP for fs sake.

It's hard to say what extra should be done. Clearly whatever we (concerned citizens) are doing is not enough, evidenced by the continual increases in all the bad metrics (ocean acidity, ocean temperature, CO2 concentration, methane concentration, mean temperature, arctic sea ice % coverage, etc).

I do really hate to use it as an example... but WW1 or WW2 are very instructive examples. If (concerned citizens) knew really how bad of a clusterf*&k they would be before they started - would they have done more to prevent it occurring? It's a question we won't know the answer to.
If we were in the same position - would we do everything we could to prevent it those wars? I'd like to say my answer is yes, as I'm sure everyone would. If we knew for certain that WW2 would be prevented if we could do certain actions - we would do them.
Would you say that if everyone before those world wars just went about their ordinary lives, went to work, didn't question things, followed the rules, prioritized job security and themselves, and did small gestures - would they have had a chance at preventing anything? (This is what was repeated again and again after the war - people said they simply did what they were told, they went to work, etc).
That is the question. On the surface, it might be tempting to say "yes, small gestures would've solved it". But what about the people whose job it was to make bombs and tanks? What about the people whose job it was to use those bombs and tanks? What about the generals whose job it was to occupy a foreign country? If they all did their job...

If we are to avoid a future catastrophe, we need to look at the past for lessons. And the past shows that if we follow orders, go to work, focus on our lives - then we (as concerned citizens) will be unable to prevent disaster. Related adage "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
MonkeyPuzzle - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to mysterion:

> No. I have come to realise the UKclimbing forum is a 'safe space' for all kind of morons

In which case thanks for not adding anything useful to the debate.
MG - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Pesda potato:

> it is a chaotic system and we have no idea how a warmer globe with increased available carbon dioxide will cause the planet, more specifically plants and algae to react.

That's just wrong. We have a very good idea how the planet will react - not perfect but good. Pretending we just don't understand and should therefore do nothing is ridiculous and a denial of science.

> what is going to be disastrous,

Acidifcation of the oceans, more violent weather as the atmosphere heats and become more turbulent. Dessertification. Mass migration as these problems affect where people can live. These are just the effects we are already seeing, not those in the future we can confidently predict, let along the ones we haven't predicted


> We as individuals or even en masse are powerless, its up to lead scientists and governments to instigate the change.

And who elects politicians who decided to fund and act on scientific advice?

Robert Durran - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Pesda potato:

> is that is just oh dear?

> enlighten me o wise one

Weather is inherently unpredictable. Global warming due to pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is predictable. Making comparisons between the two things is comparing like with unlike and proves nothing (a common mistake whether through ignorance or deliberately through a desire to mislead though).
Toccata on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to MG:

> Its surprisingly quick. Here is an example of what happens in 30 years from exactly the same position - nothing to scrub. Another 70-100 will get trees quite easily.


Thanks. That's exactly what I was after and much faster than I would have assumed.
0Unknown0 on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to ebdon:
Did I suggest it is a 1st world issue? Can't remember saying that. Infact I said the complete opposite. I did make point that we are the ones fortunate enough to be concerned, we have the knowledge, less immediate issues at hand like immediate survival.
Post edited at 13:57
mysterion on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to James Jackson:

One final thought. We humans game things, prisoners dilemma and all that, and so will states. So is it going to be one world government or coercion of the weaker by the stronger and 'better'? Quick! A decision is required now!
ebdon - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Dominicandave:

Apologies i miss read youre post although i think those in Bangladesh sub Saharan africa etc.. have a pretty good grasp of how the changing envronment they live in is very much tied to day to day survival and are not very happy about it.
Clint86 - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Pesda potato:

We can't change anyone else, we can only change ourselves.
0Unknown0 on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to ebdon:

> Apologies i miss read youre post although i think those in Bangladesh sub Saharan africa etc.. have a pretty good grasp of how the changing envronment they live in is very much tied to day to day survival and are not very happy about it.

Do you really believe that 'the people' are knowledgeable of such things, your every day joe public? I don't think so.
ebdon - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Dominicandave:

I think their aware that the are drowning and have no food and that it wasnt always like this.
Xharlie on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to SenzuBean:

I think the worn-out truism about the last tree and not being able to eat money is sadly one of the most insightful things that was posted in this thread because that's really where the problem lies.

The world economy is entirely hung off fossil fuels and money (often not even real money) and everything we see stems from that. Why did the oil price fall? It was game theory and the fact that cheap oil was a dominant strategy for many players. Cheap oil is the worst possible thing for the environment.

Amazon's single item orders and dedicated buttons to spam them. Single-use everything. New iPhones. Plastic stirrers. These are all the problem because they are dominant strategies for some player. It's cheaper to buy unsustainable plastic stirrers than to pay someone minimum wage to wash tea-spoons and so someone gets a bonus because they save some money - probably a bonus they use to buy a new iPhone or a bigger car.

And there, again, is the problem. Money is used to determine entitlement. If I can afford a bigger car, I obviously deserve a bigger car and am entitled to buy it and drive it. If I can afford a new iPhone, I deserve to upgrade whenever Apple make another one or I decide I don't like the bling-gold colour of my old one any more. (Out of character: I do not own an iPhone.)

Shipping food across the world from some third-world country also yields a better profit margin, even considering shipping costs. Cheap bunker fuel is very dirty but that doesn't matter. Shipping food is a dominant strategy and growing it locally isn't and so we have our food shipped across the world.

Now it is always possible not to buy the iPhone, not to buy the bigger car and not to eat food shipped around the globe but you have to actively choose to disadvantage yourself to do this. For me, not buying a new iPhone is easy because I don't like iPhones and, to be honest, I couldn't care less whether I have the latest phone or not - as long as it runs WhatsApp (Grr! Privacy! Bugger off FB.), it's enough for me. Also, I'm quite happy with "a car" that gets me to the mountains and don't need more. But food? I simply don't have the income to afford sustainable food, in general. Game Theorists define a "rational agent" as a player who chooses the dominant strategy, should there be one and should it be known. Most humans are probably rational so as long as the cheap food is there, people will buy it.

There's also a cultural issue at play. We have allowed our culture to create an environment where the "worth" of a person is defined by their possessions. iPhones. Fashion. Having the latest. Keeping up. As long as the new iPhones are released every six months, people will buy them.

The same culture promises everyone that they can have instant gratification - that they're entitled to it. As long as Amazon will ship single items, next day delivery, people will order them.

Can any individual, with or without a democratic vote, do anything against this? Not a chance! Nothing short of a revolution will affect the status quo and people are the very system chains people to their sofas, watching game of thrones and twitting on their new iPhones, catching up with the Kardashians on Facebook, getting the "feels" from some listicle, eating their ready meals or Mc Donalds.

The sheep are drugged with bread and circuses and the revolution won't come until these things are threatened.

When the people rise up, I'll be there. When we're all shouting that we're angry and won't take it any more, I'll be there. Until then, I'll be up a mountain, eating the most sustainable food I can afford and wearing out my old and unfashionable gear.
0Unknown0 on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to ebdon:
> I think their aware that the are drowning and have no food and that it wasnt always like this.

No doubt, but that is not what you are saying, you are saying that the ignorant are aware that the changes are down to global warming, and I am telling you that joe public isn't.
We are dealing with people who don't even think past the moment, never mind generations ahead. These people are not aware of environmental threats at all. I don't understand where you get your ideas from but I think they are rather optimistic in terms of awareness and education in our poorer regions.
Post edited at 15:59
0Unknown0 on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Xharlie:

Nicely done. Have a like.
Goucho on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Doug:

> I visited Chamonix a few times in summer in the late 70s & early 80s but then didn't visit in summer until 2007. I could hardly believe the difference. Most striking was the snout of the Bossons glacier where we used to practise ice climbing which seemed to have retreated a huge distance.

Absolutely Doug. A bit of warm up ice bouldering on the Bossons was a start of season ritual. Depressing to think how much it has receeded over such a short period of time.
In reply to Pesda potato:

> yes we may be accelerating the warming of the earth due to pollution, but theres nothing to say it wont recover. Its been through an lot of dramatic changes over its millions of years and always comes to some balance.

I have no doubt that it will come to a balance again even if we carry on polluting the way we are now. Most of the life on this planet will die in the process tho!
0Unknown0 on 01 Sep 2016
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

> I have no doubt that it will come to a balance again even if we carry on polluting the way we are now. Most of the life on this planet will die in the process tho!

I am sure that if the planet could talk it would be excited about getting rid of us in hoping that in the next cycle maybe welcoming species that are more respectful of it and all that share it.
caver - on 01 Sep 2016
In reply to James Jackson:

No doubt; sometime in the next 40-100,000 years when the the next ice age arrives, UKC will be awash with people moaning about the problems caused by the expanding glaciers.
DancingOnRock - on 01 Sep 2016
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:
> I have no doubt that it will come to a balance again even if we carry on polluting the way we are now. Most of the life on this planet will die in the process tho!

Most?

It's a shame but the human population can't keep growing at the rate it is.

There's always lots of doom and gloom.

My allotment is back to the state it's in if I don't go down in two weeks. It only takes a couple of hundred years for woodland to become established and diverse.

There's lots of unexpected things happening. They thought the sea level would rise but that doesn't seem to affect the amount of land. We can always reclaim land from the sea. More snow is falling.

I think it's far too complex to model and predict.
Post edited at 15:26
Bwox - on 01 Sep 2016
In reply to Xharlie:

> people who evangelise their life choices are universally arseholes, as countless rabid vegetarians and vegans show us

Oi!

(arseholery notwithstanding, meat production does seem to have a significant direct and indirect affect on the climate, so they may be on to something)
wbo - on 01 Sep 2016
In reply to DancingOnRock: you might think it's too difficult to model, but it ain't, and big computers and stochastic modeling make it quite manageable and with improving accuracy of models. All models look hard before you start

The weather is unpredictable on a small scale but it's the trends and big picture that matter

DancingOnRock - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to wbo:

I was thinking more about the reaction and behavioural changes made by man.

We can predict what might happen to the climate IF we continue to pump out CO2, and we can predict what might happen at various levels of production.

What we cannot be 100% sure of, is what man would do as sea levels rise, temperature increases etc.

The doom and gloom merchants would have you seeing crop failures, flooding and mass migration leading to wars.

Has that part been modelled accurately? I'm sceptical that man isn't a bit brighter and would let that scenario become a reality.
DancingOnRock - on 02 Sep 2016
In particular. This Zilka virus looks very worrying.

I'm guessing that's being partly caused by global climate change. I wonder how many models include the increased spread of cholera and other viruses on the global population.
tony on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to DancingOnRock:

If you want to read a brief summary of some of the modelling that's been done regarding food production, threats to existing ecosystems, threats arising from sea level rise, and so on, you could do worse than look at the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC Working Group 2:
http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2/

The Summary for Policymakers is the simplified short version for non-scientists. More complete details are given in the individual chapters.

But in short, lots of modelling has been done regarding future impacts across a range of different emissions scenarios. Whether suitable adaptation and mitigation measures are taken is a question for governments.
Clint86 - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to DancingOnRock:

.........so I'd have you down as a head in the sand merchant.
DancingOnRock - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to Clint86:

Not at all. I don't think people respond very well to "Its the end of the world" type scaremongering.

Total annihilation of the world and every species in a doomsday scenario doesn't tend to have the effect intended. People just don't react to that kind of thing.

There are only 3 people to convince, the people in charge of the US, China and India. Not the whole population of the world.
ads.ukclimbing.com
jonnie3430 - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> There are only 3 people to convince, the people in charge of the US, China and India. Not the whole population of the world.

But democracy doesn't work like that, you need to convince the majority of 2.9bn people...

Scaremongering in this case is justified, the world in 30 years will be very different to how it is now.
DancingOnRock - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to tony:

Thanks. Chapter 11.7 and 11.8 are very interesting.
tony on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Not at all. I don't think people respond very well to "Its the end of the world" type scaremongering.

> Total annihilation of the world and every species in a doomsday scenario doesn't tend to have the effect intended. People just don't react to that kind of thing.

Is anyone actually saying total annihilation of the world and every species, or are you overplaying that idea just a touch. I've never read a reputable paper which makes such a suggestion.

> There are only 3 people to convince, the people in charge of the US, China and India. Not the whole population of the world.

Not so. To make the changes necessary requires massive efforts on the parts of big chunks of society and industry. Believer it or not, the people in charge of the USA, China and India don't have complete control over everything that matters.

Lusk - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to jonnie3430:

> Scaremongering in this case is justified, the world in 30 years will be very different to how it is now.

I'd bet you my house that it won't be.
0Unknown0 on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to jonnie3430:

> But democracy doesn't work like that, you need to convince the majority of 2.9bn people...

That is not going to happen. Believe it or not the majority of the words population don't even know these issues exist, never mind being aware of specifics. And the majority of the rest that do couldn't give two hoots enough to stop them going about life as they do.
I agree with the other guy, make changes in the influencing nations and half the job is done. But look at the contributors, they are not going to make change and so game over before you start down that road.

jonnie3430 - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to Lusk:

What's my stake? Am keen, though should probably visit your house...

This was an interesting read: http://listverse.com/2016/08/26/10-horrifying-future-wars-we-will-live-to-see/

I spent 9 months working in India and found their attitude towards life and war very different to ours...
jonnie3430 - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to Dominicandave:
Agreed, gonna be a mess, but one that we may not be involved in because we have the potential investment ability to deal with anything on our shores and should still have enough water.
Post edited at 11:13
DancingOnRock - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to tony:

Paul Philips and DominicandDave Sen to agree that most of life on the planet will disappear.
Clint86 - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to DancingOnRock:

The person to convince is yourself. If you can't convince yourself, how are you going to convince anyone else, let alone the Chinese, Americans etc. Its not really end of the world type scaremongering. I want to live in the right sort of world NOW. As much biodiverstiy in the garden, on Scout Scar as I can get etc. The worlds going to end anyway.

I haven't read the whole thread. Its complicated and I respect your views. I have an idea where you are coming from.
tony on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Paul Philips and DominicandDave Sen to agree that most of life on the planet will disappear.

Apologies, I was thinking more about people who are in a position to influence global governments - you know, climate scientists, modellers, epidemiologists and the like. I'm not sure assorted UKC posts have much to offer in that respect.
DancingOnRock - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to tony:

But it does show the way some (most?) people think.
DancingOnRock - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to Clint86:

I think the problem there is that change (great or small) is inevitable I'm afraid, so what you want is pretty much impossible.

Where am I coming from?

It's a discussion on Climate change, it's not a competition on how many members of UKC you can impress with your knowledge of how bad and quickly the world will descend into a death spiral.
tony on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> But it does show the way some (most?) people think.

most? Where on Earth do you get that from? It's not even most respondents on this thread, never mind anywhere that matters.

But, being charitable, maybe this is just an indication of the problems that are faced if anything meaningful is to be done. Reacting to ill-informed hyperbole rarely leads to well-informed sensible considerations.
Dell on 02 Sep 2016
"If We Release a Small Fraction of Arctic Carbon, We're F#@k%d"

http://tinyurl.com/j6qoodr
0Unknown0 on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> There are only 3 people to convince, the people in charge of the US, China and India. Not the whole population of the world.

And so we are fooked. Look at the probable next leader of the US who is saying first thing he will do when he gets in is reestablish major emissions in order to create jobs. And do you really think China is ever going to do the right thing. They've been giving two fingers up to the rest of the world on all moral fronts for the last 50 years, and still to this day will not address certain policies that are outright unacceptable in a modern age.
Now for people to have confidence in what we are up against is in my opinion a delusion.
tony on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to Dominicandave:

> And so we are fooked. Look at the probable next leader of the US who is saying first thing he will do when he gets in is reestablish major emissions in order to create jobs. And do you really think China is ever going to do the right thing.

China is a long way ahead of most countries in its development of renewables. It's partly driven by concerns about air pollution, rather than rising temperatures, but it already has the highest levels of installed wind and solar electricity generation, and has a lot of hydropower, and their use of coal has been declining. China also has a strong desire to improve its energy security, reducing its reliance on imports, and renewables are a significant part of that.
0Unknown0 on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to tony:

China has had to make some changes because it is a filth pit. Everything is so polluted, water, earth and air that people are literally unable to live a healthy life directly because of the affects pollution was having. It has a long long way to go to be considered a clean nation, and I don't believe can or will recover.
The growth of China has meant that there is always room for energy alternatives, but they are still pumping out the filth and so it is misleading to consider they are replacing one with the other, more so as well as.
I don't believe China has the environment at heart what so ever, more so they were bargained into alternatives.
planetmarshall on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to Dominicandave:

> And so we are fooked. Look at the probable next leader of the US who is saying first thing he will do when he gets in is reestablish major emissions in order to create jobs.

Probable? Mathematically possible, more like. Personally I think Betfair's current odds of 1.4:1 in favour of Clinton are pretty generous.
tony on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to Dominicandave:

From what I've read, I'd disagree with the idea that China will never make the change it needs to make. I'd certainly agree that some of what it's doing is in response to the very high levels of pollution it has suffered, and continues to suffer. But in the same way as we need Western industrialised nations to take a leading role in tackling their own emissions, I think we also need to acknowledge when movement is going in the right direction, as I believe it is in China. Simply writing off their efforts as you seem to be doing is to ignore the fact that change, even in such a huge country, is possible.

You might be right to say that China doesn't have the environment at heart, but I think that simply falls into the mistaken idea that reducing emissions is an environmental issue. It's not - as I said earlier, it's a political, industrial, economic and social issue. Pigeon-holing it as an environmental issue is one of the reasons so little meaningful action has been taken.

China is in an interesting period in its history - it has made rapid growth from pre-industrial to industrial and parts are moving to post-industrial. Much of that growth has been fuelled by coal, but the problems associated with coal have been recognised and arguably China is doing more than most other countries to move to a post-industrial low carbon economy. In doing so, it's presenting an interesting alternative to most post-industrialised countries, which aren't really doing very much of real significance.

Of course, it's helped in this regard by having no democratic issues to deal with, so it's much easier for the Chinese government to effect a change in direction than it is in Western democracies where are there many more opposing forces at play. China also has the advantage that the ruling Communist Party knows it's going to be in power, so it can afford to take a long-term view, in stark contrast to the short-termism which is more common when governments have to deal with elections every few years.

China also has an eye on global influences. By developing a successful low-carbon economy on the back of appropriate renewables, which is what it's aiming to do, it will be in a position to sell its technologies to the world, and with that, it wins political influence. This is one of the areas where I think we've seriously missed the boat. Successful development of, for example, clean coal technologies, would be a huge money-making exercise for whoever wins. Instead, our stupid government has cancelled all meaningful CCS development - a massive opportunity tossed away. Similarly, if the fossil-fuel industries had spent a fraction of the time they've wasted on their climate-change-denial on clean carbon technologies, they'd be laughing all the way to the bank. Instead of which, they've just spent the last 30 years being angry about a bunch of lies they've been propagating through their idiot think-tanks.
0Unknown0 on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to tony:

I'll agree there is a lot of sense in there, good points.
0Unknown0 on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to tony:

Having said that, I still disagree with the optimism of recovery, given the severity of the apparent pollution.
DancingOnRock - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to Dominicandave:

There won't be any recovery. We're on our way out of an ice-age.

At best we'll slow it and stop it from running away.

3million years ago levels were much higher and the earth swung back.

The point is we can try and slow it, but really I think we'd be much better planning for what's ultimately going to happen. Maybe it's going to happen 100 years earlier than it would anyway due to burning of fossil fuels. Doesn't really matter humans would have to deal with it eventually. Just like they would have to deal with another ice age.

I'm not burying my head in the sand. I just think we're looking at this the wrong way.
Clint86 - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to DancingOnRock:

You've lost me there.
DancingOnRock - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to Clint86:
You want things to stay the same?

That's impossible. Even without man made climate change things are cyclical. If everything was steady state it'd be a massive mess.
Post edited at 20:36
girlymonkey - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to DancingOnRock:



> The doom and gloom merchants would have you seeing crop failures, flooding and mass migration leading to wars.

> Has that part been modelled accurately? I'm sceptical that man isn't a bit brighter and would let that scenario become a reality.

It is already a reality.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/climate-change-key-in-syrian-conflict-and-it-wil...
jcw on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH: reply to Pesda potato


First and foremost the humans. The problems that are building up are coming so fast that we won't be about much longer, we'll have destroyed each other in the competition. Once we have gone nature can perhaps get back into some sort of equilibrium again.
Kevster - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to jcw:

Humans are so important, we are just one species, apex in some ways, others we are not so omnipotent.
The sun is on its second coming, star dust us all, the world is cooling and global warming is happening at the same time. Gas levels have historically changed. Old maps show the ground beneath the Antarctic which only now we are seeing to be true. In this thaw of our making? Do we actually care? Maybe..
I live near the moraine of an ice age glacier, my mother remembers the Thames freezing over. The link between the two is not always what one sentence suggests.

Medicine is bad for genetics, and evolution.
Religion is social glue that blows us apart.
The politicians we elect and choose are unpopular.

Do we actually know what we are talking about? Is society actually going to change? Are we as a species not going to last anyway?

What I do know is that budweiser isn't a great beer, but it's all I have.
God bless bud and may it never change for the worse. Even tho its not great to start with.

DancingOnRock - on 03 Sep 2016
In reply to tony:
Good post. And timely.

China Ratifies Paris Climate Agreement (and US expected to follow):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-37265541


.
Post edited at 07:39
Baron Weasel - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:

> It is shocking, but remember those photographs are taken a century or more a part and most of that loss was not anthropogenic. The really shocking changes are in the last 20, 10 and even 5 years, which are manmade.

Anthropogenic changes have been happening for thousands of years slowly, for hundreds of years modestly, for a hundred years or so much faster and out of control for the last few years. I cite loss of mega fauna such as wooley mammoth for my first point, deforestation for my second, increase in air pollution for my third and leave the forth point open for demolition.
Toerag - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to girlymonkey:

Add to that the water wars in India:-
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-37346570
MG - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Baron Weasel:

We are talking about glaciers here, not mammoths. Although i would question the mammoth thing anyway - they were on their way out man or otherwise.
Xharlie on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Baron Weasel:

When people say, "the climate has changed, before," these are the changes they're talking about: http://xkcd.com/1732/

Yes, that's Randall Munroe's representation of changes in the Earth's temperature since the last ice age. (No, not the mini one, the real one.)
davidalcock - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to mysterion:

> No. I have come to realise the UKclimbing forum is a 'safe space' for all kind of morons

Oh the irony...
LakesWinter on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:

That's questionable.... The very last population of mammoths on Wrangel Island may well have gone extinct without human involvement but human hunting pressures put many large species over the edge of extinction, especially in the Americas and Australia and Europe.
Ardverikie2 on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Xharlie:

> Yes, that's Randall Munroe's representation of changes in the Earth's temperature since the last ice age. (No, not the mini one, the real one.)

(Pedant alert) Actually that graph only goes back 20,000 years and shows mainly the current inter-glacial period which started 10,000 years ago.

The current ice-age (i.e. the one that anthropogenic climate-change has just replaced with something-else. Something-else most probably being the end of all life on Earth) started 2.58 Million years ago. So the climate , far from constantly changing, has been stable (with minor and well-understood variations) for over 100 x the period shown on that graph.



dsh - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to SenzuBean:

> To put things in perspective, if the current age of the Earth was scaled to 24 hours - then humans came onto the scene at 2 seconds to midnight, and within 0.6 seconds have started significantly heating up the atmosphere and the ocean and show no sign of stopping. That means we've got another 24 hours approximately (5 billion years left on the sun), and we've already f(*ked things up in less than a second!?! That's simply unacceptable.

Quite. http://xkcd.com/1732/ Illustrates the point quite well that the anthropogenic change is having a much greater and rapid effect than the natural cycle. Earth's natural cycles happen over much longer timescales.


mysterion on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Xharlie:
I notice he just can't help but add a 'hockey stick' at the end. And look at 'limits of this data' about 1/4 of the way down...

Post edited at 21:09
andrewmcleod - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to mysterion:

> I notice he just can't help but add a 'hockey stick' at the end.

Indeed. It would be remiss of him to not plot all the data (including the recent warming) - ending the graph at 1950 or so would be most misleading. What's your point?

> And look at 'limits of this data' about 1/4 of the way down...

Seems perfectly reasonable to me, and only a fairly small fraction of the long-term variability... again, what's your point?
The Ice Doctor - on 21:22 Wed
In reply to James Jackson:
Glaciers are dying.

You are stating something I have known for a decade.

If people actually cared about the natural world, perhaps people would change their behaviour. Few do.

Lets be frank about 'climate change' even if all progress stopped, the warming would continue for over 100 years due to fossil fuels already emitted. The fact is its too late, and there is nothing we can do.

Stop procreation, is the best action you can take.
Post edited at 21:37
Pursued by a bear - on 21:37 Wed
In reply to James Jackson:

Good Lord.

Over 120 posts and no-one's said this. No one!

The glaciers are *not* dying, they're melting. Sheesh, the standard of pedantry on this site's gone right down. I blame them socialists.

T.

The Ice Doctor - on 21:46 Wed
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

Dying, melting, whats the difference? Everyone knows what he means.
Pursued by a bear - on 22:57 Wed
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

And thus a point was proved. Like I said, standards have slipped...

T.
Lion Bakes on 23:42 Wed
In reply to James Jackson:

I think if I was repeatedly stabbed with axes I'd be dying as well.


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