Thongchai Thailand

THE FINANCIAL TIMES IN THE AGE OF CLIMATE

Posted on: August 2, 2021

At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, each day records are being set by the dozen. Globally, a different set of records are making history but for the wrong reasons. The number of so-called “planetary vital signs” hitting new highs and lows, despite the restraint to human activity from the pandemic in the past year, were highlighted in a paper published earlier this week that tracked a set of various indicators related to climate change. Glaciers have been melting at record pace; sea levels are at an all-time high, and concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in the Earth’s atmosphere have never been so dense, the data show. “I’m concerned. I’m alarmed. I feel like it’s important for people to see these data together,” said William J. Ripple, a professor of ecology at Oregon State University and co-author. “My conclusion is that we are mostly doing business as usual, with the transient interruption of the Covid-19 pandemic . . . but we’re [already] getting back to setting new record highs.” The Ripple paper’s release comes as the scale and frequency of recent weather events leads some scientists to conclude that global warming is to blame. Among the indicators are the anomalies for land and sea surface temperatures, which reached record highs in certain areas in 2020. At the same time as oceans warmed to peak temperatures, according to the tracking data, their acidity was at the highest level recorded in seven years. Combined, these effects are known to bleach warm-water coral reefs. And there are fears the trend in these conditions could soon reach a “tipping point” — beyond which, the destruction caused would be difficult to reverse.

One of scientists’ key concerns, highlighted in the paper, was the lack of lasting impact the Covid-19 pandemic had accumulated on the “vital” indicators. “Huge behavioural changes by humans in reducing energy consumption [as a result of the pandemic] had such a small effect,” Ripple explained. “We need to be thinking about big transformative change at this stage . . . yet, we are still in a fossil fuel society.” Energy consumption from fossil fuel sources fell as the pandemic brought industry and services near to a standstill in 2020. Yet global energy use originating from coal power is expected to reach above pre-pandemic levels this year, the forecasts suggests, while energy consumption from oil and natural gas sources will rebound. As many as 18 of the 31 indicators being tracked by the group of scientists have reached recent extremes. Yet not all can be viewed negatively — some provide a glimmer of hope. Wind and solar energy use is expected to be up by a third this year, from 2019 levels, for example. Recommended Climate change Timeline of temperature extremes reveals global pattern of record highs The value of global subsidies on fossil fuels dropped by more than 40 per cent in 2020, compared with the previous year. And, divestments of fossil fuel assets by pension funds, educational institutions, governments and other organisations continued to rise — up to $14tn in 2020 from $11.5tn the previous year. But, the authors conclude, the scale of climate action presently is not enough to reverse key trends of concern. “We’re in a climate emergency . . . a very dangerous climate emergency,” Ripple says.At this point it’s important that we do things that will have rapid effects. OMG! OMG!

LINK TO SOURCE: https://www.ft.com/content/a52f32ea-c9ed-4bcd-8eef-8eb9ca8da2b1

William Ripple. PhD: says we can Save The Planet by eating a plant-based  diet. - YouTube

WHAT THE CITED PAPER BY WILLIAM J RIPPLE SAYS

Ripple, William J., et al. “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency 2021.” BioScience:

In 2019, Ripple and colleagues (2020) warned of untold suffering and declared a climate emergency together with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from 153 countries. They presented graphs of planetary vital signs indicating very troubling trends, along with little progress by humanity to address climate change. On the basis of these data and scientists’ moral obligation to “clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat,” they called for transformative change. Since the article’s publication, more than 2,800 additional scientists have signed that declaration of a climate emergency (see supplemental file S1 for the current signatory list); in addition, 1,990 jurisdictions in 34 countries have now formally declared or recognized a climate emergency (figure 1p). But, at the same time, there has been an unprecedented surge in climate-related disasters since 2019, including devastating flooding in South America and Southeast Asia, record shattering heat waves and wildfires in Australia and the Western United States, an extraordinary Atlantic hurricane season, and devastating cyclones in Africa, South Asia, and the West Pacific (see supplemental file S2 for attribution information). There is also mounting evidence that we are nearing or have already crossed tipping points associated with critical parts of the Earth system, including the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, warm-water coral reefs, and the Amazon rainforest (supplemental file S2). Given these alarming developments, we need short, frequent, and easily accessible updates on the climate emergency.

Time series of climate-related global human activities. In panels (a), (d), (e), (i), and (m), the most recent data point(s) are a projection or preliminary estimate (see the supplemental material); in panel (f), tree cover loss does not account for forest gain and includes loss due to any cause. With the exception of panel (p), data obtained since the publication of Ripple and colleagues (2020) are shown in red. In panel (h), hydroelectricity and nuclear energy are shown in figure S1. Sources and additional details about each variable are provided in the supplemental material. Complete time series are shown in supplemental figure S2.

Time series of climate-related global human activities. In panels (a), (d), (e), (i), and (m), the most recent data point(s) are a projection or preliminary estimate (see the supplemental material); in panel (f), tree cover loss does not account for forest gain and includes loss due to any cause. With the exception of panel (p), data obtained since the publication of Ripple and colleagues (2020) are shown in red. In panel (h), hydroelectricity and nuclear energy are shown in figure S1. Sources and additional details about each variable are provided in the supplemental material. Complete time series are shown in supplemental figure S2. Recent trends in planetary vital signs In the present article, we investigate recent changes in planetary vital signs since the publication of Ripple and colleagues (2020). Out of the 31 variables that we track, we found that 18 are at new all-time record lows or highs (supplemental table S1). Below are noteworthy recent patterns in potential climate drivers (figure 1) and impacts (figure 2): Food. For the first time, world ruminant livestock numbers soared past 4 billion, which represents much more mass than all humans and wild mammals combined (figure 1c). However, recent per capita meat production (figure 1d), declined by about 5.7% (2.9 kilograms per person) between 2018 and 2020, likely because of an outbreak of African swine fever in China that reduced the pork supply. Future declines in meat consumption and production will probably not happen until there is a general shift to plant-based diets or increases in the use of meat analogs (substitutes), which are growing in popularity and projected to be worth US$3.5 billion globally by 2026 (MarketsandMarkets 2020). Amazon forest. The Brazilian Amazon annual forest loss rate increased in 2019 and 2020, reaching a 12-year high of 1.11 million hectares destroyed (figure 1g). The increase was likely because of weakening deforestation enforcement triggering a sharp spike in illegal land clearing for cattle and soy farming (Junior et al. 2021). Forest degradation due to fires, drought, logging, and fragmentation has caused this region to act as a carbon source rather than a carbon sink (Qin et al. 2021). Climate economics. Global gross domestic product dropped by 3.6% in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is now projected to be at an all-time high (figure 1e). There was a strong increase in fossil fuel divestment; it increased by US$6.5 trillion between 2018 and 2020 (figure 1j), while, at the same time, fossil fuel subsidies dropped to a record low of US$181 billion in 2020—a 42% decline from 2019 levels—likely because of reduced energy use and prices (figure 1o). The percentage of greenhouse gas emissions covered by carbon pricing is projected to increase from 14.4% to 23.2% between 2018 and 2021 (figure 1m). Much of this increase is due to a proposed carbon pricing scheme by China, which is still rapidly building many coal plants and is now responsible for more emissions than the entire developed world (supplemental table S2; Rhodium Group 2021). The global emissions-weighted average price per tonne of carbon dioxide has remained too low (US$15.49 as of 2020), and it would need to increase severalfold to be highly effective in curbing fossil fuel use (figure 1n). Energy use. Likely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, fossil fuel energy consumption has decreased since 2019, along with carbon dioxide emissions, per capita emissions of carbon dioxide, and air transport (figure 1h, 1i, 1k, 1l). However, these declines appear to be transient in that 2021 projected estimates show all of these variables significantly rising again. Conversely, solar and wind power consumption increased by 57% between 2018 and 2021, but it is still roughly 19 times lower than fossil fuel consumption (figure 1h). The number of air transport passengers dropped by a sizable 59% in 2020 because of COVID-19, but more than a third of this loss is projected to be recovered in 2021 (figure 1i). Greenhouse gases and temperature. Three important greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, all set new year-to-date records for atmospheric concentrations in both 2020 and 2021 (figure 2a–2c). In April 2021, carbon dioxide concentration reached 416 parts per million, the highest monthly global average concentration ever recorded. The year 2020 was the second hottest year on record, and all five of the hottest years on record have occurred since 2015 (figures 2d and S3d). Melting ice. Greenland and Antarctica recently showed new year-to-date all-time record low levels of ice mass (figure 2f, 2g). In 2020, the minimum summer Arctic sea ice was at its second smallest extent on record, and glacier thickness also set a new all-time low (figure 2e, 2h). Glaciers are melting much faster than previously believed; they are losing 31% more snow and ice per year than they did just 15 years ago (Hugonnet et al. 2021). Ocean changes. Both ocean heat content and sea level set new records (figure 2i, 2k). Ocean pH reached its second lowest year-to-date average value on record, just behind 2012 (figure 2j). This is troubling given that coral resilience to ocean acidification is likely reduced by thermal stress and more than 500 million people depend on coral reefs for food, tourism, or tropical storm surge protection.

Time series of climate-related responses. Data obtained before and after the publication of Ripple and colleagues (2020) are shown in gray and red respectively. For variables with relatively high variability, local regression trend lines are shown in black. The variables were measured at various frequencies (e.g., annual, monthly, weekly). The labels on the x-axis correspond to midpoints of years. Sources and additional details about each variable are provided in the supplemental material. Complete time series are shown in supplemental figure S3.

Time series of climate-related responses. Data obtained before and after the publication of Ripple and colleagues (2020) are shown in gray and red respectively. For variables with relatively high variability, local regression trend lines are shown in black. The variables were measured at various frequencies (e.g., annual, monthly, weekly). The labels on the x-axis correspond to midpoints of years. Sources and additional details about each variable are provided in the supplemental material. The updated planetary vital signs we present (figures 1 and 2) largely reflect the consequences of unrelenting business as usual. Even the effects of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic on some climate-related human activities (figure 1d, 1e, 1h, 1i, 1k, 1l) were short lived. A major lesson from COVID-19 is that even colossally decreased transportation and consumption are not nearly enough and that, instead, transformational system changes are required, and they must rise above politics. Despite positive intentions to “build back better” by directing COVID-19 recovery investments toward green policies, only 17% of such funds have been allocated to a green recovery as of 5 March 2021 (OECD 2021). Given the impacts we are seeing at roughly 1.25 degrees Celsius (°C) warming, combined with the many reinforcing feedback loops and potential tipping points, massive-scale climate action is urgently needed. The remaining carbon budget for 1.5°C was recently estimated to have a 17% chance of being negative, indicating that we may already have lost the opportunity to limit warming to this level without overshoot or risky geoengineering (Matthews et al. 2021). Because of the limited time available, priorities must shift toward immediate and drastic reductions in dangerous short-lived greenhouse gases, especially methane. We need to stop regarding the climate emergency as a stand-alone environmental problem. Global heating, although ruinous, is not the sole symptom of our present struggling Earth system but is only one of the many facets of the accelerating environmental crisis. Policies to alleviate the climate crisis or any of the other threatened planetary boundary transgressions should not be focused on symptom relief but on addressing their root cause: the overexploitation of the Earth (Rockström et al. 2009). For example, by halting the unsustainable exploitation of natural habitats (described below), we can simultaneously reduce zoonotic disease transmission risks, conserve biodiversity, and protect carbon stocks (IPBES 2020). So long as humanity’s pressure on the Earth system continues, attempted remedies can only redistribute this pressure. To address this fundamental overexploitation, we echo the call made by Ripple and colleagues (2020) to change course in six areas: (1) energy, eliminating fossil fuels and shifting to renewables; (2) short-lived air pollutants, slashing black carbon (soot), methane, and hydrofluorocarbons; (3) nature, restoring and permanently protecting Earth’s ecosystems to store and accumulate carbon and restore biodiversity; (4) food, switching to mostly plant-based diets, reducing food waste, and improving cropping practices; (5) economy, moving from indefinite GDP growth and overconsumption by the wealthy to ecological economics and a circular economy, in which prices reflect the full environmental costs of goods and services; and (6) human population, stabilizing and gradually reducing the population by providing voluntary family planning and supporting education and rights for all girls and young women, which has been proven to lower fertility rates (Wolf et al. 2021). All transformative climate action should focus on social justice for all by prioritizing basic human needs and reducing inequality. As one prerequisite for this action, climate change education should be included in school core curriculums globally. Overall, this would result in higher awareness of the climate emergency while empowering learners to take action (see supplemental file. Given the intensifying urgency and insufficient efforts to tackle the climate crisis at scale internationally, progress on the six above steps is imperative. In addition, we call for a three-pronged near-term policy approach of (1) a global implementation of a significant carbon price (energy and economy), (2) a global phase-out and eventual permanent ban of fossil fuels (energy), and (3) the development of strategic climate reserves to strictly protect and restore natural carbon sinks and biodiversity throughout the world (nature). The global minimum carbon price should cover all forms of greenhouse gases and as many sectors as possible, including forestry and agriculture (food). A higher carbon price will be needed to trigger transformative change in harder to decarbonize sectors (Sharpe and Lenton 2021). It should be linked to a socially just green climate fund to finance climate mitigation and adaptation policies in the Global South (Cramton et al. 2017). The phaseout of fossil fuels should be similarly comprehensive and must ultimately prohibit fossil fuel–related exploration, production, and infrastructure development (Green 2018). Effective strategic climate reserves provide protection and restoration—which offers enormous cobenefits for biodiversity, ecosystem function, and human wellbeing—and require specific targets that cover carbon-rich terrestrial and marine ecosystems (e.g., forests, wetlands, seagrass, mangroves). Implementing these three policies soon will help ensure the long-term sustainability of human civilization and give future generations the opportunity to thrive.

CONCLUSION: On the basis of recent trends in planetary vital signs, we reaffirm the climate emergency declaration and again call for transformative change, which is needed now more than ever to protect life on Earth and remain within as many planetary boundaries as possible. The speed of change is essential, and new climate policies should be part of COVID-19 recovery plans. We must now join together as a global community with a shared sense of urgency, cooperation, and equity.

CRITICAL COMMENTARY: What we learn from this distinguished professor at Oregon State University is that atmospheric CO2, CH4, N20 & surface temperature are rising, that polar ice is melting, that ocean heat content is rising, that ocean pH is falling, that sea level is rising, and that the total area burned with forest fires in the USA is rising while at the same time the human condition is changing with population rising, fertility rate falling, ruminant feedstock and per capita meat production are rising, global GDP is rising, global tree cover is rising, the Amazon lungs of the earth is burning, total energy consumption by humans is going up, and all these observed changes are indicaors of the coming collapse of the earth system that sustains life. Yet, this conclusion is not supported by the data presented. In fact what we see in this analysis is not that the data support the conclusions but that the agenda of the researcher that has assumed the conclusions is looking for support in the data. This reverse logic of this research paper is endemic in climatee science and the fallacious source of our fear of global warming.

In that context we note that this is not the first global warming of the humans. We modern humans (homo sapiens) have gone through two glaciation cycles and through the previous interglacial, the Eemian, that even climate change activists and climate scientists admit was much much more severe than our current Holocene interglacial that gave rise to climate change fearology. It should also be mentioned that the current warming cycle of the Holocene is not the only warming cycle of the Holocene but rather just one of many warming and cooling cycles at millennial and centennial time scales the most intense of which was the first warming cycle, the Holocene Climate Optimum, that had created human civilization from the cannibalistic animals we were before the Holocene Climate Optimum global warming came along and brought our animal ancestors out of their caves. More to the point, this warming cycle is not the only warming cycle of the Holocene. Scientists who claim to understand the known warming and cooling cycles of interglacials should explain all nine of these cycles and not pick just one of them to explain. That kind of science is not science but superstition driven by activism needs and confirmation bias. Climate science is best understood as the unrequited anti fossil fuel activism of the 1960s hippie movement where the environmental concerns against fossil fuels were solved by the EPA and left a vaccuum in the underlying movement against fossil fuels. The climate movement of our time is best understood as a resurrection of the anti fossil fuel movement with a new argument against fossil fuels that was not addressed by the EPA.

RELATED POST: THE HISTORY OF THE HUMANS AND GLOBAL WARMING GOES BACK MORE THAN 2,000 YEARS

LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2021/06/27/modern-humans-climate-change/

CLIMATE SCIENCE HAS YET TO PROVIDE THA DATA AND THE REASONING BEHIND THE INTERPRETATION OF THE CURRENT WARM PERIOD AS AN ANOMALY EXCEPT FOR THE SUPERSTITON AND CONFIRMATION BIAS ARGUMENT THAT THIS WARMING PERIOD COINCIDES WITH THE THE KIND OF CHANGES WE NEED TO BLAME FOR CLIMATE CHANGE. HUMAN BEINGS ARE NATURALLY SUPERSTITIOUS CREATURES WITH A LONG HISTORY OF SUPERSTITION AND CONFIRMATION BIAS.

PLEASE SEE: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/08/03/confirmationbias/

Entangled Minds: Witch burning

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  • Ruben Leon: When your mind is made up you ignore the data and try to justify the bias you acquired as a juvenile and never questioned. The fact that the Antar
  • chaamjamal: Thank you for raising these interesting points. We live in strange times. Some day we may figure this out.
  • gregole: Funny after all that doom and gloom from Al Gore some years back I haven't seen much of him lately. Guess he made all the money he needed and is chil
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