Open Thread Plus Cartoon Of The Week

Opine away!

The scariest story of them all….

Via The New Yorker

67 Responses to Open Thread Plus Cartoon Of The Week

  1. Robert Callaghan says:

    So we have to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050 while we have never ever experienced even a 1% decline through the great depression and subsequent recessions.

    Dr. Kevin Anderson is Deputy Director of the famous Tyndall Center. He made a speech recently where he informs us that thing are really worse than we can imagine. He says climate scientists are in a conspiracy alright, a conspiracy of silence about how bad thing really are. Listen if you dare.

    Germany is actually burning more coal.

    Even if the XL pipeline is shut down, all they have to do is to ship the tar sands by train with no hearings, environmental impact or presidential permission necessary.

    We are approaching a planetary state shift that when once started is unstoppable and irreversible. This is critical to our survival and is not about global warming.

    Cap and Trade is a scam, pure and simple.

    Green energy uses conflict minerals, dirty rare earths, dangerous solvents, lethal heavy metals and Chinese wage slaves. Batteries are expensive and dirty. All the promised jobs will only increase consumer demands. Green energy will not make enough of a difference in time.

    That’s the good news. The bad news is that we are going to fix it. We are so thoroughly screwed, that it is only a matter of time until we try to modify the planet’s climate itself. It’s like letting kids play with dynamite.

  2. Will Fox says:

    Although I love Climate Progress, there’s too much doom and gloom here. I think people tend to overlook the exponential progress of technology that’s occurring in many areas, potentially easing some of the resource scarcity and other issues related to climate change.

    Here’s just one example, from a company called NBD Nano, which is developing a water bottle that can literally fill itself up –

    “NBD makes use of a nano-scale surface to enhance water condensation. Mimicking the Namib Desert Beetle, our nanotechnology can be used to collect water in the most arid regions of the world.”

  3. Joe Romm says:

    This is a New Yorker cartoon! I’m optimistic we can avoid doom, if we face up the grim reality that continued inaction would bring.

  4. Nell says:

    What technology can replace Iowa?

  5. John McCormick says:

    What technology can replace the Arctic sea ice in September? Answer: no technology.

    Robert is telling truth.

    Will is not listening.

  6. Will Fox says:

    I’m about as pro-green as they come, and I fully understand the impacts of global warming. I’m just saying, technology is growing exponentially and you shouldn’t ignore its potential. Ray Kurzweil’s “The Singularity is Near” goes into detail about the trends I’m referring to:

    Look at solar for example, which is doubling in capacity every couple of years, and could potentially meet almost 100% of our energy needs within 20 years –

    As for the Arctic sea ice, how about an orbital solar shield? This wouldn’t need to be heavy, just a lightweight layer of nanotechnology material and/or particles that would reduce the Sun’s glare. In the 1990s, a solar shield might have sounded like science fiction, but our technology is growing so fast now, it’s a realistic possibility in the next few decades.

    There’s a vast multitude of other technologies with huge potential that are being rapidly developed right now. I don’t have time to list them all, but they’re out there on the Internet if you look for them.

    Once again, I acknowledge the severity of climate change – all I’m saying is that you shouldn’t dismiss human ingenuity and our (exponentially growing) technological capabilities.

  7. Steve in MIami says:

    Will, the fact that there are posters on this site that believe the world is going to end in the next few years because of climate change says nothing about climateprogress (other than the fact that Joe doesn’t censor their posts). Joe Romm is actually one of the most optimistic pundits out there which is why I love his site.

    If you don’t like doom, I suggest you don’t read the comments because that is where the real doom is on this site. Do you suggest that Joe censor doomy posts?

    I myself am somewhere in the middle. I believe we are heading for a terrifying state shift, but I also believe that there are probably hundreds of thousands of geniuses in the world with a collective IQ unlike anything seen in the history of the planet.

    If only people would wake up and start really brainstorming, who KNOWS what we could do. But it will mean thinking as a planet and not my country vs. your country, and that isn’t going to happen until something major opens the worlds eyes to the gravity of our predicament.

    I also believe that Obama and friends understand how serious things are and we can only imagine what kinds of “fixes” are being discussed at the highest levels of government.

    We created IPads and cell phones and nuclear power and and currently exploring the outer reaches of our solar system. We can do just about anything if we utilize the full potential of our collective IQ. It’s a matter of waking up the sheep from their coma.

    I prefer to side with Romm and remain hopeful about our future.

  8. Robert Callaghan says:

    One more item:
    We are heating and acidifying the oceans faster than anything else in the last 300 million years. The last time the ocean heated and acidified any near the present rate it resulted in one of earth’s five mass extinction events.

  9. Robert Callaghan says:

    Human ingenuity got us here. It has been our fate since the first man-made fire, the first domesticated animal and the first human-planted seed. The techno-fetish magic bullet will save some. Billions will die this century.

  10. red admiral says:

    Great Book for Will:
    Techno-Fix: Why Technology Won’t Save Us Or the Environment

    by Michael and Joyce Huesemann

  11. John McCormick says:

    Will I am not doubting your awareness of the chaos we and next generations face. I was too focused on time scale and international elements to share optimism regarding techno-fixes.

    As I write doom and gloom, I am also working to advance the smart grid and distributive generation of all kinds, sizes and locations.

    It is my effort to resolve the sickening dilemma I personally feel and share with many of you. We know too much and have few avenues in which to download our fears. So, we sometimes unload here and then go back to work doing what we can knowing what we know.

    Maybe Robert is right…acidification of the warming ocean may be the trump card. Maybe we will lose a huge part of the NA grain belt to drought and depleted Ogallala aquifer.

    Will, we are counting on your optimism and anything you are doing to advance technology is vital.

  12. prokaryotes says:

    The fundamental problem we have with climate change is that the problems caused by it mount exponentially into the future, but humans are adapt to act on short term timescales.

    Climate change effects all of us adversely and more so your children, and that means it is not a “Bipartisan” nor “Political” decision.

    Because of the slow inertia of the climate system, we just experience the effects from fossil fuel burned decades ago.

    The good thing is that the actions which must be taken offer an economic advantage too, because the transition to new, cleaner technologies help to spur economic growth.

    If you want to preserve the land we call our home, then you need to start and reduce our Co2 footprints.

  13. Brooks Bridges says:

    Thank you prokaryotes. Quiet, eloquent, powerful.

    A must see, must share video.

  14. Robert Callaghan says:

    Scientists did not expect the damage we already have at + 0.8°C. The 565 gigatons safety number is an illusion. It’s not like, whew! – we’re safe at 564. By the time we add 200 gigatons more, the arctic will be gone and the methane will start in earnest.

  15. prokaryotes says:

    The start for real climate action means to tax products like Coal, Oil, Gas (fossil fuels), Carbon or their Co2 equivalent impact. Sweden established this tax 1991 and today is one of the most competitive economies in the world.

    Energy companies must switch to clean forms of energy generation, such as Biogas (from landfills), Solar, Wind, Geothermal or Wave power. If not, they must be forced, because they indirectly cause climate disruption.

  16. Leif says:

    Socially enabled capitalism thrives on disasters, war, exploited resources and pollution of the commons. Just as “for profit” health care profits from sick people, not the healthy. IMO for humanity to thrive into the future this failed capitalistic paradigm must embrace some method of placing a dollar value on Earth’s life support systems and sustainable ecosystems. Barring that it looks like Toastvill for the Kidders.

    Stop profits from the pollution of the commons. A future for humanity, NOT profits to the polluters.

  17. Brooks Bridges says:

    “If you want to preserve the land we call our home, then you need to start and reduce our Co2 footprints.”

    But – that would be inconvenient.

  18. Robert Callaghan says:

    the left want austerity for the rich, the rich for the rest when we’re well beyond that now. I see a world declining C02 based electronic word currency chance, something new effective. Cap’n’trade is for governments and corporations. The public electronic transfer of funds through effective open democratic regulation. Make the boyz in washington and wall street irrelevant, put the boyz in texas out of business. what if money were open public business instead of a semi-private secret? Open source financing. Monitoring the source of carbon would be cheap. We could change the world.

  19. Paul Klinkman says:

    God doesn’t give us impossible problems. Instead, people have free will and they often as not quit because it’s too hard, they’d have to change something. In the original Christianity, a bunch of people were fed to the lions for their faith. These faithless days, “too hard” could be kind of simple.

    The end of climate change would look like:

    1. Oil will not be drilled out of the ground as soon as solar (with storage) is cheaper. If there’s a good climate change inventor out there, and there are probably thousands beyond me, don’t starve him or her out of the business. This sounds basic, but it’s not being done. The women’s movement puts its own abortion providers through medical school, but the environmental movement does no such thing with the people that it should protect. Losers.

    2. Our government fights against climate change because it is corrupt. Starting at the neighborhood and town levels, we need a parallel government dedicated to actual democracy, to giving everyone a job and to keeping a sustainable economy. I recommend Cambridge, Massachusetts-style proportional representation as a tested way of reducing public election corruption by maybe a factor of 10. PR can also be used to elect state legislatures. It would work for the House of Representatives also. Oil will not be drilled out of the ground as soon as nobody buys it and as soon as nobody heavily subsidizes it.

    3. We, the people of the world if not the rogue governments, need world carbon treaties with financial penalties. If you pollute, here’s a trade tariff. Otherwise your money is no good in our country and our money is no good in yours. Since our own government is stuck in the mud, we must write our own Sullivan Rules for this new immoral business, such that every company that wants to do actual business needs to adhere to the rules.

    My target list of inventions are as follows:

    Online democracy that effectively excludes paid corporate trolls from the conversation.

    Better solar 2-axis trackers (next on my list).

    Better solar heat (in progress)

    Better midwinter no-heat greenhouses (in progress)

    Devices that naturally suck heat out of the Arctic Ocean, eventually restoring the polar ice cap. Similar microgeoengineering devices for Arctic land.

    Inexpensive algae bioreactors.

    A new transit system, 1/10 the cost of cars/freeways, no more 40,000 deaths per year, no more commuter traffic, comfy, mondo accessible, a factor of 10 more energy efficient.

    There are many more. It’s too bad for everyone that I can’t get to all of them. I have a Sophie’s Choice problem.

  20. Brooks Bridges says:

    Condemning “Capitalism” outright is, I think, a major mistake and a serious waste of energy and potential.

    I will again give a link showing a major part of the problem is the artificial short term horizon constantly in vogue and how it is now seen as a disastrous, counter productive idea even by real “Capitalists”.

    There is no inherent “evil” in wanting to make money. It can be a powerful tool to accomplish what we all want to happen re climate change.

    A related idea by a philosopher, Watts I think: “There are no vices, only virtues carried to extremes.” I would add: or virtues stupidly implemented.

    It’s the current FORM of capitalism that is wrecking the world and MUST be changed.

    Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.

    PLEASE read this article and the comments.

    “The Dumbest Idea In The World: Maximizing Shareholder Value.”

  21. Steve L says:

    People read t-shirts and it’s a good way for an introvert to initiate a conversation. I think if there were a bunch of cool-looking t-shirts then lots of AGW-knowledgeable introverts might be able to enhance the public conversation on this most important issue. I propose:

    1) Somebody should design damn good t-shirts with a variety of messages that will reach a variety of people;
    2) Somebody should subsidize the distribution of these t-shirts to those who will wear the shit out of them in public places (these locations could be targeted with specific messages, as was recommended for green tech projects in Ohio, etc).

    Perhaps this is more for the other blog post regarding climate communication and Jeff Masters’ review of Joe’s book. I’m going to ask about provocative design on that thread.

  22. prokaryotes says:

    Last week i joined a discussion with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber and Lars Gustafsson, both asserted that we require a lot of reasonable acting to solve this crisis. Also according to Schellenhuber we have only a 10-20% chance to avert catastrophic climate change at this point. We do not play Russian roulette with the climate, but a revolver loaded with 5 bullets.

  23. I think that Kunstler makes a good analysis of Kurzweil’s problems in his most recent book “Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation.” At the point where peak oil turns into peak capital, technological development has a major problem, especially in a capitalistic economy.

  24. Mike Roddy says:

    Let’s get back to the cartoon, which is a classic. We will never know whether solutions could hsve worked if the world continues to operate based on shareholder value. We need world leaders to wake up and act, very soon. This action may (or may not) lead to a planned recession, as Anderson says, but that is trivial in light of what we face.

  25. John McCormick says:

    A frustrating thread. Filled with hopes, some dreams, great ideas (some not) in search of reality, a Program, map to get us there…..leaders.

    I believe we are walking in circles while chanting to ourselves. My apology. I’ll take a break.

  26. PeterM says:

    That we are a but a few years away from the point of no return- meaning we will not be able to avert disastrous climatic outcomes- the public is only now just beginning to realize that the climate is ‘behaving oddly’.

    In a few years will the public be willing to change their lifestyles radically in order to avert a hellish world for their children and generations to come?

    At best we can avert doom as JR has said, but we will still see centuries of a climate gone mad. I dread to see what kind of weather we will be seeing at the end of this decade- and I ask the question once more- will we be doing anything>?

  27. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Nice debate.

    Doha talks start this week so smarten up your diplo-speak skills.

    Will Fox, you don’t need nanotechnology for water in the desert, just a plastic bag and a rock, ME

  28. Joan Savage says:

    I’ve been working my way through a pre-publication copy of the National Academies Press publication, “Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis,” which was recently reviewed by New York Times writer John M. Broder. Is anyone else taking a look at it?

  29. Joan Savage says:

    Very good analogy.
    Must unload the five bullets.

  30. Ken Barrows says:

    Net energy from all of our activity isn’t “increasing exponentially.” What does that phrase mean anyway, besides the realm of computing power?

  31. prokaryotes says:

    From the greenest Government ever… (Cameron’s own pledge)

    Carbon Emission Targets Delayed Until After The Election In New Energy Bill

    The government has decided to delay a decision to set carbon emission targets until 2016; after the next election.

    Labour accused the Liberal Democrats in the coalition of a “humiliating failure”, and environmentalists condemned the bill, saying it would make it very hard to meet the UK’s law on climate change.

    Details of the bill were announced late on 22 November, although the bill itself will not be published until the first week in December.

    John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, told Sky News: “By failing to agree to any carbon target for the power sector until after the next election, David Cameron has allowed a militant tendency within his own ranks to derail the Energy Bill.

    “It’s a blatant assault on the greening of the UK economy that leaves consumers vulnerable to rising gas prices, and sends billions of pounds of clean-tech investment to our economic rivals.”

    And Andy Atkins, Friends of the Earth’s executive director, told ITV: “The coalition has caved in to Osborne’s reckless dash for gas and banged the final nail in the coffin of Cameron’s pledge to lead the greenest Government ever.

    This decision, motivated by outdated ideology, will help keep the nation hooked on increasingly expensive gas, drive away green jobs and investment and jeopardise UK climate goals.”

    The energy secretary Ed Davey tried to calm matters on 23 November by saying that although there is no 2030 target, the inclusion of a power to establish one in 2016, should be seen as a victory.

    According to Press Association, he said: “This is a durable agreement across the coalition against which companies can invest and support jobs and our economic recovery.

    “The decisions we’ve reached are true to the coalition agreement. They mean we can introduce the Energy Bill next week and have essential electricity market reforms up and running by 2014 as planned.

    “They will allow us to meet our legally binding carbon reduction and renewable energy obligations and will bring on the investment required to keep the lights on and bills affordable for consumers.”

    Chancellor George Osborne has repeatedly battled with ministers over green measures, believing a focus on green energy rather than gas-powered could hamper economic growth.

    The situation was exacerbated last week when an undercover reporter recorded Tory MP Peter Lilley claiming Osborne “privately regrets all the [green] commitments that have been made”.

    “Basically I think Osborne wanted to get people into key positions who could begin to get the government off the hook from commitments they made very foolishly,” Lilley told the reporter.

    The Guardian published sections from the same video which showed another Tory MP, Chris Heaton-Harris, boasting he had encouraged anti-wind farm columnist James Delingpole to stand in the Corby by-election.

  32. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The problem is that technology, working at the behest of capitalists, nearly always has unintended consequences, but they are ignored in the drive for profit maximisation. Nano-technology, for instance, will, I believe, bring disasters akin to the asbestos (another technological miracle once)industry. Technology must be operated for the benefit of humanity, not for profit, so we need a new socio-economic order.

  33. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Optimism of the spirit but pessimism of the intellect seems to me the correct position. It’s all a matter of individual disposition, I assume.

  34. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    For the rich.

  35. prokaryotes says:


    Because optimism could mean a lack of information with climate change and because of our just world believes.

  36. prokaryotes says:

    Though much of the initial work on belief in a just world focused on the negative social effects of this belief, other research on belief in a just world suggests that belief in a just world is good, and even necessary, for the mental health of individuals.[41] Belief in a just world is associated with greater life satisfaction and well-being and less depressive affect.[32][42] Researchers are actively exploring reasons that belief in a just world might have these relationships to mental health; it has been suggested that such beliefs could be a personal resource or coping strategy that buffers stress associated with daily life and with traumatic events.[43] This hypothesis suggests that belief in a just world can be understood as a positive illusion.[44]
    Correlational studies also showed that beliefs in a just world are correlated with internal locus of control.[17] Strong belief in a just world is associated with greater acceptance of and less dissatisfaction with the negative events in one’s life.[43] This may be one pathway through which belief in a just world affects mental health. Others have suggested that this relationship only holds for beliefs in a just world that apply to the self. Beliefs in a just world that apply to others are related instead to negative social phenomena of victim blaming and victim derogation observed in other studies

  37. John McCormick says:

    Good news.

    Penn State beat Wisconsin in overtime 24-21. Senior day at Penn State. Great game. Great for morale.

    Penn State has gone through its year of stress and challenge and that includes its eminent professor Dr. Michael Mann…a national hero among a short list of other climate scientists.

    Why don’t we stage a climate scientist appreciation week through out America and they must get invited to interviews on national television stations.


    Where is the damned fight by the big green. Is it a mandate that they must attend the UNFCCC COP18 in Doha.

    Did they ask us what they should be saying and doing? Closed captions.

  38. prokaryotes says:

    From the stock market…

    Vestas Wind Adr 1.46▲0.11 (8.33%)
    Gamesa Corp.€ 1.71▲0.09 (5.30%)

  39. Brooks Bridges says:

    Just finished an awesome article by Wen Stephenson castigating the MSM for its failure to present global warming as the crisis it is. He is a former insider: editor at The Atlantic and The Boston Globe. As he says: “About a year and a half ago — having left my job as the senior producer of NPR’s On Point the year before — I took a deliberate leap of conscience and became a climate activist.” He says that ultimately he had to make the move because:”I found it increasingly difficult to look into my children’s eyes.

    The article conveys the urgency of the crisis superbly.

    A Convenient Excuse
    By WEN STEPHENSON | November 5, 2012

  40. Bob Lang says:

    “If God made the earth for human habitation, then He made it for the Stone-Age mode of habitation.”
    (Richard C. Duncan Ph.D., Author of the “Olduvai Theory”)

    Yes, I know that it has been calculated that if 0.71% of the European land mass were covered with PV modules, this would meet Europe’s entire electricity consumption. Furthermore, International Energy Agency (IEA) calculations show that if only 4% of the world’s very dry desert areas were used for PV installations, this would meet the whole world’s total primary energy demand. Considering the vast areas of unused space (roofs, building surfaces, fallow land, deserts etc) the potential is almost inexhaustible.

    So why does Germany need to build 49 Gigawatts of coal-fired electricity generation before they can shutdown their nukes. Maybe because solar and wind are intermittent.

    Also, most of the rate of increase in GHG emissions stems from emerging economies with miniscule per-capita energy consumption, a fact often overlooked by the prevalent US-centric viewpoint.

    All in all, it looks like this train is going to fly off the tracks.

  41. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Proportional representation will not solve the corruption problem. As soon as you create a career politician, regardless of how they are elected, you have created the potential for corruption. Pulling them out of a hat from the total population to serve and then return to be normal citizens will, however, solve the problem and many others, ME

  42. Mond from Oz says:

    Anderson’s Tyndal presentation address is vitally important. Basically, he is saying that the 2degree ‘target’ is history, and that if we get really serious we might top out at 4.

    He is also saying, as he and Alice Bows remarked earlier, what’s up there is what matters, as much as the rate of growth in emissions. However, we shouldnt feel satisfied in any way, even if we reducedthe growth rate by 50% (Hah!) That means doubling in about 30 years.

    Incidentally, Anderson gabbles his good sense at such a rate that he’s hard to follow. We really need a video of his talk, with the slides on screen. I’ll write to Tyndal and see if such a video exists

  43. dick smith says:

    Dr. Anderson’s lecture is sobering.

  44. Will Fox says:

    Some of these global warming deniers are so ignorant, it makes me want to scream –

  45. prokaryotes says:

    Promising and a nice read.

  46. prokaryotes says:

    This article from today explains why coal and gas plants have to be shut down because of the fast growth of solar and wind in germany.

  47. prokaryotes says:

    The German Piratenpartei just set Climate Change on their Agenda. The PP Germany has good chances to enter the Germany “Senate” (Bundestag) next year.

    Die durch menschliche Aktivitäten bedingten Klimaveränderungen erfordern konsequente Maßnahmen auf allen Handlungsebenen, um auch nachfolgenden Generationen würdige Lebensbedingungen zu ermöglichen. An diesem Ziel müssen sich alle Maßnahmen messen lassen.

    Hierfür sind wir bereit, neue Wege zu gehen und setzen uns für eine konsequente Klimaschutzgesetzgebung ein, die vorbildhaft eine weitestgehend klimaneutrale Verwaltung ermöglicht und kommunale Klimakonzepte unterstützt. Weiterhin sollen wirksame Lenkungsmaßnahmen wie Energiesteuern eingesetzt werden, um konsequent Emissionen zu verringern. Den bisher sehr wirkungslosen Zertifikatehandel sehen wir kritisch.

  48. prokaryotes says:

    Actually the Bundestag is the equivalent to the US Congress.

  49. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Merrelyn –
    Professor Donald Brown has a fine piece on the crucial equity component of the negotiations on the Global Commons Institute site at:

    Its the first heading in the November batch of news items, and I think you may appreciate it.



  50. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    Are we banking our hopes on Moore’s Law, but headed straight for Murphy’s? (Pilfered from the book, “The End of Growth”, by Richard Heinberg, who, incidentally, argues the case for “Murphy”).

  51. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    A reminder of the adage, “If you can remain calm and rational then you’ve obviously failed to grasp the situation.”

  52. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    ME, you have precisely stated Jefferson’s concept of a citizen-to-politician-to-citizen. The concept is over 200 years old, but now long forgotten, but for the rare conversation on term limits.

  53. Mond from Oz says:

    OK There is a full high quality video of Dr Anderson’s presentation including the powerpoint, at!

    Hmmm. Doesn’t work as a link.. But it’s well worth the trouble of pecking it out

  54. John McCormick says:

    Brooks, thanks for the link.

    Wen Stephenson’s piece in the Phoenix was a good read but did have some clumsy elements. He made a point to declare himself not an environmentalist. Who could be against the environment in which they exist?

    The comments were many, varied and about half denier and half angry and frustrated believers.

    The world will know little else of Wen Stephenson. His ‘activism’ or next step in his life may or may not ever be attached to warning the MSN of its failure to report the truth about the chaos facing us and our children.

    I keep coming back to my oft repeated and absolutely ignored idea of inviting President Clinton, Formed Secretaries Shultz and Albright, new World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Michael Mann and Richard Ally to invite editorial board members and environmental reporters to an in-your-face press conference at the National Press Building in Washington and broadcast over C-Span and etc.

    Their message, “You damned well better take climate change as reality because it is going to take down America, its coastlines, its wheat crops, its lifestyle. So, be honest with the American people and tell us the truth about this rapidly advancing chaos, of our making and within our ability to arrest.”

    There, I said it again, Joe and John Podesta and the big green hunkered down in Doha, at the UNFCCC 18th meeting of the international climate negotiations marathon.

    We are little and unimportant people as is Wen Stephenson. But, the above mentioned will be heard because they are putting it on the line professionally and that beats a several hour stay in the lockup after the police clear the area in front of the White House.

  55. Merrelyn Emery says:

    It’s a lot older than that Dennis but can be easily translated into the modern state, ME

  56. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Thanks Lewis, ME

  57. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The only problem with the Olduvai hypothesis is that, pretty soon, it’ll be too hot thereabouts for hominids to exist. Might need a Svalbard hypothesis or Novaya Zemlaya or something along those latitudes.

  58. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Don’t get me wrong, but I always thought that a ‘singularity’ was attained when a great mass collapsed under its own weight and imploded until it eventually vanished up its own fundament, or ‘black hole’ for the more mundane description. I’m afraid that looks awfully like humanity’s fate, barring some miracle, and I don’t buy techno-optimistic cornutopianism unless matched by a spiritual renaissance.

  59. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Sounds like Borges”The Lottery in Babylon’. Decide everything by chance. As far as politicians go, I refuse to believe that we could do worse than what the adversarial, two-party system has thrown up. Have brief tenure, however- a week or so, to reduce the chance of doing too much damage.

  60. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Forgive my presumption, but I knew that Cameron was lying, cynically, and that his regime would in fact be the least Green ever. It’s been true here as well, with the last three Rightwing state regimes all promising, cross their hearts and hope to die (in a cellar full of rats!)that they loved the environment, then, once elected, they have been aggressively and viciously anti-environmental, winding back the pitiful gains of thirty years, all egged on by the Rightwing MSM which vilifies Greens without mercy. These mythical Rightwingers, chimaerae though they might be, think and act along ruthlessly uncompromising lines while constructing their fanatics’ paradises of untrammeled greed and privilege.

  61. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Check out ABC Radio National’s Science Show this week, and the denialist imbecility in full spate. They just get dumber and more bellicose the more laughable their idiocies become. It’s a pity that the fate of humanity rests in the hollow of their perfectly formed skulls.

  62. Merrelyn Emery says:

    If you want a real laugh, check out Watts up with That on the subject, ME