AGU Scientist Asks, ‘Is Earth F**ked?’ Surprising Answer: Resistance is NOT Futile!

Posted on

"AGU Scientist Asks, ‘Is Earth F**ked?’ Surprising Answer: Resistance is NOT Futile!"

Yes, geophysicist Brad Werner actually titled his talk at the huge American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting last week, “Is Earth F**ked?” The talk’s abstract (searchable here) appeared to offer a pessimistic answer:

In sum, the dynamics of the global coupled human-environmental system within the dominant culture precludes management for stable, sustainable pathways and promotes instability.

We have met the enemy and they are us! But Werner, who works at the Complex Systems Laboratory at UC San Diego, offers hope in the subtitle, “Dynamical Futility of Global Environmental Management and Possibilities for Sustainability via Direct Action Activism.”

Slate‘s Jonathan Mingle attended the talk and reports on the source of Werner’s pessimism and optimism in his piece, “Scientists Ask Blunt Question on Everyone’s Mind: Why Earth and atmospheric scientists are swearing up a storm and getting arrested.”

The bulk of Werner’s talk, as it turned out, was not profane or prophetic but was a fairly technical discussion of a “preliminary agent-based numerical model” of “coupled human-environmental systems.” He described a computer model he is building of the complex two-way interaction between people and the environment, including how we respond to signals such as environmental degradation, using the same techniques he employs to simulate the dynamics of natural systems such as permafrost, glaciers, and coastal landscapes. These tools, he argued, can lead to better decision-making. Echoing Anderson and Bows, he claimed it as a legitimate part of a physical scientist’s domain. “It’s really a geophysics problem,” he said. “It’s not something that we can just leave to the social scientists or the humanities.”

Active resistance by concerned groups of citizens, analogous to the anti-slavery and civil rights movements of the past, is one of the features of the planetary system that plays an important role in his model. If you think that we should take a much longer view when making decisions about the health of the “coupled human-environmental system”—that is to say, if you’re interested in averting the scenario in which the Earth is f**ked—then, Werner’s model implied, resistance is the best and probably only hope. Every other element—environmental regulation, even science—is too embedded in the dominant economic system.

Certainly anyone who follows the scientific literature understands that if we stay anywhere near our current emissions path, we are most certainly f**cked (see “An Illustrated Guide to the Science of Global Warming Impacts: How We Know Inaction Is the Gravest Threat Humanity Faces“).

More and more more climate scientists are willing to tell this most inconvenient and unpleasant of truths (see Lonnie Thompson on why climatologists are speaking out: “Virtually all of us are now convinced that global warming poses a clear and present danger to civilization”).

Werner thinks scientists need to do more than just speak out:

I asked Werner what he sees as scientists’ role in contributing to this kind of resistance, the kind of direct action taken by researchers like [James] Hansen and [Jason] Box. Werner views his own advocacy as separate from his scientific work. “To some extent, [science is] a job, and a job I really like, and I have the good fortune and privilege to have,” he told me. “In my other life, I am an activist, but there’s a line. Both sides inform the other. And I think that that is healthy. But when I’m doing geophysics, I’m a geophysicist. When I’m doing activism, I’m an activist.”

Here is the full abstract:

Environmental challenges are dynamically generated within the dominant global culture principally by the mismatch between short-time-scale market and political forces driving resource extraction/use and longer-time-scale accommodations of the Earth system to these changes. Increasing resource demand is leading to the development of two-way, nonlinear interactions between human societies and environmental systems that are becoming global in extent, either through globalized markets and other institutions or through coupling to global environmental systems such as climate. These trends are further intensified by dissipation-reducing technological advances in transactions, communication and transport, which suppress emergence of longer-time-scale economic and political levels of description and facilitate long-distance connections, and by predictive environmental modeling, which strengthens human connections to a short-time-scale virtual Earth, and weakens connections to the longer time scales of the actual Earth.Environmental management seeks to steer fast scale economic and political interests of a coupled human-environmental system towards longer-time-scale consideration of benefits and costs by operating within the confines of the dominant culture using a linear, engineering-type connection to the system. Perhaps as evidenced by widespread inability to meaningfully address such global environmental challenges as climate change and soil degradation, nonlinear connections reduce the ability of managers to operate outside coupled human-environmental systems, decreasing their effectiveness in steering towards sustainable interactions and resulting in managers slaved to short-to-intermediate-term interests. In sum, the dynamics of the global coupled human-environmental system within the dominant culture precludes management for stable, sustainable pathways and promotes instability.

Environmental direct action, resistance taken from outside the dominant culture, as in protests, blockades and sabotage by indigenous peoples, workers, anarchists and other activist groups, increases dissipation within the coupled system over fast to intermediate scales and pushes for changes in the dominant culture that favor transition to a stable, sustainable attractor.

These dynamical relationships are illustrated and explored using a numerical model that simulates the short-, intermediate- and long-time-scale dynamics of the coupled human-environmental system. At fast scales, economic and political interests exploit environmental resources through a maze of environmental management and resistance, guided by virtual Earth predictions. At intermediate scales, managers become slaved to economic and political interests, which adapt to and repress resistance, and resistance is guided by patterns of environmental destruction. At slow scales, resistance interacts with the cultural context, which co-evolves with the environment. The transition from unstable dynamics to sustainability is sensitively dependent on the level of participation in and repression of resistance. Because of their differing impact inside and outside the dominant culture, virtual Earth predictions can either promote or oppose sustainability.

Supported by the National Science Foundation, Geomorphology and Land Use Dynamics Program.

Kudos to Werner for being willing to reduce the complex issue to the one simple question on everyone’s mind. Let’s hope he is right about  the possibility for activism to turn the tide.

The photo is from Eli Kintisch of Science who reports:

In response to a query from Science, AGU Executive Director/CEO Christine McEntee states: “Our program committee evaluates the scientific merit of the abstracts and accepts those that meets their criteria. Our scientists are free to create the titles of their sessions.”

Great. Let’s see more blunt titles next year. This is no time for obscuring the facts.

« »

91 Responses to AGU Scientist Asks, ‘Is Earth F**ked?’ Surprising Answer: Resistance is NOT Futile!

  1. Once you get past the ultra-dense academic text (which some of the writers at The Onion might be proud of), Dr. Werner is absolutely right.

    We can wear the b*stards down. That’s how women got the vote, how civil rights were established, and how the Vietnam war ended.

    The science and facts need to be there, but we need the spectacle of non-violent civil action to drive people to them.

    Here’s to McKibben’s efforts in that regard.

    • Superman1 says:

      These proposals are off the mark; the model is wrong! Here is the metaphor for what is actually happening in man-made climate change.

      One hundred people are sentenced to jail for twenty years. They are confined to one large room, with relatively close quarters, a low ceiling, and almost no ventilation. Ninety-eight of them are three pack a day chain smokers, and the other two are non-smokers. Five of the smokers are ‘deniers’, and two of those five own the cigarette concession.

      Ninety-three of the smokers recognize the dangers of smoking, but are too hooked to quit. The two non-smokers recognize the dangers of smoking, and also recognize the dangers of inhaling second-hand smoke. The two non-smokers talk about the dangers of smoking, but no one changes their habits. The two non-smokers take a poll, where sixty smokers say they would like to quit, but none reduces their smoking by even one cigarette. The two non-smkokers ask their elected ‘leader’ to show leadership and force smoking reduction; he says he is powerless without popular support.

      After two years, three of the smokers have died from lung cancer. The ‘deniers’ say people have been smoking for thousands of years, and no one has died prematurely from smoking; they died when their time came. The ‘deniers’ say the three dead smokers died from ‘natural causes’. No matter what the two non-smokers try to do to change the environment, they run up against a stone wall.

      That’s where we are with man-made climate change today, and that’s why a real-world solution is not in the cards.

      • And then, one day, the engineers at the cigarette factory read a report about how their product is harmful to people, and they decide to change the factory to manufacture roasted peanuts. There are no more cigarettes to be had in the market, so the 96 people stop smoking.

  2. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    “Is Earth F**ked?”
    While not an expert on the former (Earth), I do happen to be one of Earth’s leading experts on the latter (F**ked). And as such I’d say it sure feels like it.

    • Artful Dodger says:

      Yes, it’s high time for some straight talk. The Right mastered it long ago. Classic easy to understand one-liners like “Get a job!”, “Off the Grass, Hippie!”, and “Disperse, or we’ll shoot”.

      There is a reason that DHS has militarized local Police forces. Ask any student that was pepper-sprayed during last year’s Occupy protests. The Establishment is prepared and willing to invoke serious suffering on any group that opposes their financial interests.

      • Dennis Tomlinson says:

        The pepper spray was administered by police who, economically and ideologically, should have been allied with the Occupy protesters. But wage slavery inflicted upon those struggling to remain middle class by their oligarchic masters, and the resultant Stockholm Syndrome has, indeed, positioned the puppet masters for the forthcoming rousing of the rabble. [Mulga, where are you?]

  3. Icarus says:

    Can someone please invent a profitable and low energy method of extracting CO2 from the atmosphere, on a scale of tens of billions of tons per year, and converting it to a stable form? That’s the only way I can see global warming mitigation working. In the long term I don’t see us being able to leave valuable fossil fuels in the ground (barring some as-yet-unrealised energy generation miracle) so emissions reductions will at best slow down the accumulation of carbon in the climate system and only delay the inevitable. Carbon dioxide is exchanged between atmosphere and oceans fairly rapidly but the carbon itself is in the climate system effectively forever, on human timescales, unless we actively remove it. I know about biochar but if the entire natural world is only absorbing about half of our annual carbon emissions, I don’t see how we can possibly grow enough biomass to offset our annual emissions, let alone start drawing down what we’ve already emitted. Would’t we have to quadruple the growth of the biosphere, or something like that?

    Not trying to be defeatist, and I know slowing down AGW is better than nothing, but I still don’t know what will actually *solve* the problem… if anything.

    • rollin says:

      Great idea Icarus, I’ve been thinking that is the only way to go since we are past just mediating the problem and other geo-engineering systems look like recipes for disaster. If we can figure out ways to chemically remove CO2 from the air, then we could use it to make carbon-fiber materials, building materials, insulation and other useful long term materials. A Japanese company just started making wetsuits out of limestone,a carbonaceous material. The possiblities are great, but thinging out of the box has to be the new way. Just cutting back is not enough anymore if we want a liveable world.

      • Icarus says:

        rollin, that’s *exactly* the sort of thing I had in mind, as long as we can do it with (a lot) less energy than we gained by burning the fossil fuels in the first place.

        Hey here’s a thought: Carbon would make an excellent black surface for absorbing solar heat. Maybe we should convert that dangerous carbon dioxide into useful solar thermal energy generating equipment…

        • Solar Jim says:

          Keep dreaming but have you ever heard of the term Entropy? We just dug up (over 200 yrs) and ignited 375 billion tons of carbon, which went to a lower energy state via carbonic acid gas.

          • Icarus62 says:

            That’s why I specified ‘low energy’. I don’t actually know of a way to sequester CO2 from the atmosphere using much less energy than we gained by producing it in the first place. If it’s not possible then we really are stuffed… or at least, we have to accept that a several-degrees-hotter planet is now an inevitability, and learn to cope with it as best we can.

          • Artful Dodger says:

            The need to ‘sequester’ does not necessarily imply chemical reaction. Gas hydrates are one potential method, where 7 water molecules surround 1 carbon dioxide molecule in a frozen state. A low temp/high pressure sea bottom is required, however. Hopefully we’ll still have that for a few millennia.

    • Stephen B. says:

      Icarus,

      I agree with both you and rollin in that we need a mechanism to take billions of tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere.

      The most practical method I can think of is using plants for they are best at using solar energy to break the bonds of the CO2 molecule and getting us back to plain carbon. I think we have to start reducing lots of plant matter to biochar and quickly. We can do this by burning biomass for energy, in a charring environment, that is, not burning the biomass completely down to ash, but rather subjecting the biomass to heat in an oxygen free environment and burning the gaseous products that result. We then use the biochar as a soil amendment.

      The science of adding char to soil is not fully understood. Readers may be familiar with the Amazonian use of char to make terra preta as well as the claims of greatly increased fertility that result from adding biochar and compost to soil, but even if such amended soil is only slightly more agriculturally productive, there is still the advantage that char added to soil holds the carbon many times longer than simple compost holds carbon in the soil. Time frames of many hundreds to several thousand years are reported. At this point, burying carbon for even a thousand years is better than nothing.

      We could pretty quickly start co-firing biomass in fossil fuel power plants and then burning biomass alone. We could provide government incentives for burning biomass and burying char. Farmers, who right now are facing possible drought conditions in many parts of the world, owing to higher soil temperatures, could benefit from the higher water retention, higher carbon soils demonstrate. (Both biochar and compost increase water retention.)

      We do have to be very careful to add all char and any ash back to the soil, lest soil elements such as potassium and phosphorous be lost. We also have to give preference towards quick turnover biomass crops – hopefully annual crops or quickly coppiced wood for biomass generation as cutting established forests flat creates a temporary additional carbon burden onto the atmosphere until such forests regrow. (Burning biochar results in a fraction of the carbon being quickly returned to the atmosphere.) Annual and near annual crops regrow much more quickly.

      We also have to produce the biochar in very clean burning facilities lest we put too many particulate and other air borne pollutants into circulation, but we already can burn fossil fuels fairly cleanly when we want to, so this isn’t a concern.

      I think that using vegetation via biochar to catch and sequester carbon is probably about the only way to effectively do it. Other ways of breaking down CO2 require an energy input and about the only energy we have left at our disposal is renewable or nuclear, since we want to get away from fossil fuels. Nuclear simply won’t scale to the massive quantities of energy we need for this, never mind the safety problems, hence renewables, mainly meaning solar. If we are going to do this quickly and worldwide, the technology has to be readily distributable and to me, that means using biomass.

    • Paul Klinkman says:

      I should be writing that grant proposal right now. Instead I’m answering you.

      The two keys to mass sequestration are government support (as opposed to “Die, Baby, Die!”) and cheap biodiesel algae production on top of worthless desert sand dunes such as Oklahoma. You say that Oklahoma is still farmland?

      Biodiesel’s waste product, gigatons of algae cell husks, can either be fermented into ethanol, another biofuel, or it can be simply buried in big hydrocarbon mountains, then capped with clay for an average of 2500 years.

      The price of algae production in sealed, nonevaporative bioreactors will be crushed by a factor of 10 if we can drive down the cost of 2-axis solar reflective trackers. That’s project 1. Project 2 is to integrate the trackers with my highly affordable bioreactor design. Project 3 is to set up a community corporation so that all sorts of wildcat farmers can set up shop on a piece of desert. It’s hard work but if it pays well… There are some nifty fresh water projects too down the road, but some types of algae will grow if you have a supply of seawater. Los Angeles regularly pumps a river of fresh water up 3000 feet and down the other side of the mountains, recovering much of the pumping energy, so pumping seawater as far as, say, the Salton Sea might be done with wind power.

      I suppose that we could bury the biodiesel also.

    • Dan Miller says:

      It can be done and would cost less than $100/ton if reasonable R&D funding is provided. The total back-of-the envelope cost for sequestering all yearly human emissions would be about $1T/year. It sounds like a lot but it is probably the biggest bargain we have ever been offered. For another $1T/year we could begin reducing atmospheric CO2 (but the oceans would put back some of the CO2 we remove… working in reverse of what it does now).

      I’m an investor in this area and, unfortunately, there is no market for “saving the world”. The only market for carbon capture now is Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), but I hope and expect this will change in a few years.

      If there was an escalating price on carbon, carbon capture from power plants would become ubiquitous around $50/ton and almost all other emissions would be balanced by air capture at around $100/ton. These numbers are much less than the current conventional wisdom, but there are exciting developments taking place.

      Let’s get a price on carbon soon!

      • Solar Jim says:

        When writing please specify ton of what? A fee of $50 for a ton of “carbon” is a $14 fee for a ton of “carbon dioxide.” This is equivalent to pricing noise and would seem to have little quantitative effect. Regards, SJ.

      • Mark E says:

        Its absurd to state final cost ($100/ton) in the same sentence you lobby for funds to do essential R&D.

    • Chris says:

      The one thing I always wondered about is even if you can remove tens of billions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, where are you going to put it? We are looking at something on the order of cubic miles of storage per year. OK, not impossible, but still extremely difficult.

      • This is the key problem of large scale sequestration, and no one has a good answer for it, which is why reducing emissions is critical. The idea that we can move and store billions of tons of material EVERY YEAR and find safe places to put it is hard to believe. Some serious people are studying this issue, but for $100/ton (plus a lot of complementary policies) we can put ourselves on a path to very low GHG emissions using existing technologies, without resorting to magic asterisks.

      • Dan Miller says:

        I understand that there is much more space underground than is needed for long term and safe CO2 sequestration. I recently asked an expert at Stanford about this and she confirmed that finding the space is not the problem (the cost of capture is). Of course, there is no policy on place to encourage carbon capture (or emissions reduction!), so we still have lots of work to do (and not much time to do it).

        Biochar is great and has POSITIVE side effects (like better soils), but the amount of biomass available for this is limited.

      • Paul Klinkman says:

        Create new mountain ranges in the desert. Build onto existing ranges. Sculpt the carbon dumps to look like natural ranges. Cap with clay, then add plants, rocks, natural-looking features. People are going to hike these mountains.

      • Artful Dodger says:

        They have it. It’s called ‘soil’.

    • Jonathan Maddox says:

      I think what you’re looking for is the tree : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree

    • prokaryotes says:

      Cultivating bamboo we could mitigate cc effects on coastal areas http://youtu.be/9520QpLevF8?t=35m0s

    • Artful Dodger says:

      They have it. It’s called ‘trees’.

    • Mike Roddy says:

      If we stop chopping down forests here and in Canada for housing lumber, and use 70% recycled steel instead, we will reduce our annual emissions by 4%, and develop carbon sinks and healthy forests, too. I proved this statement in the following magazine article a few years ago, which had a small circulation:

      http://www.tinyurl.com/ycxfsqu, http://www.tinyurl.com/yc8ncuq

      One click is the article, the other is the background research. It is unlikely to happen, because homebuilders don’t want to increase their hard costs by 1%, and are too set in their ways to get away from two by fours.

    • A cost-effective “and low energy method of extracting CO2 from the atmosphere” is called a forest.

      It scales well, as it is self-propagating if not attacked.

      Ironically, even in the U.S. today, in just the state of Oregon, we are currently terminating several BILLION board feet per year of these state-of-the-art automonomus biological carbon sequestration and storage units.

    • David Lewis says:

      Klaus Lackner is a leading proponent of the idea that it will become economically feasible for civilization, in extremis, to remove enough carbon from the atmosphere to save itself.

      Lackner is a Geophysics professor at Columbia, a.k.a., the Director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy at The Earth Institute. One accessible text to take a quick look at his ideas is his testimony given at a 2010 House hearing: “Air Capture and Mineral Sequestration“.

      Socolow et.al. in Direct Air Capture of CO2 with Chemicals (2011) tended to dismiss Lackner’s ideas. Socolow understands that Lackner’s critique of Socolow et.al. is that it studied a penguin to see if a bird could fly.

      After Richard Alley gave his famous “The Biggest Control Knob” talk at the AGU some years ago he was asked about whether it would be possible for civilization to save itself this way. He encouraged people to study what Lackner says but concluded that given what we know right now it would be cheaper to stop adding CO2 to the atmosphere than it would be to remove it.

      Still, now that it is dawning that too much CO2 is already in the atmosphere and twenty years after the UNFCCC was signed the rate at which more CO2 is added continues to accelerate, more people may realize there is no alternative: its either help Lackner bring his ideas to fruition or accept that civilization is going to commit suicide.

      • Superman1 says:

        “accept that civilization is going to commit suicide.”

        I don’t agree with ‘going to’. We have already drunk the Hemlock. It takes a while for the effect to occur!

  4. fj says:

    Seems to be another way of describing the critical path for making our future perhaps more simply desscribed as

    Profound integration with natural where human capital is the most important component.

  5. KokoTheTalkingApe says:

    The link that purports to be to Mingle’s Slate article just links back to this ThinkProgress article.

  6. Guy Marsden says:

    I’m all for direct action, in fact I have committed a big chunk of my life and $$ to living as sustainably as practical – without major compromises. See my web site:
    http://www.arttec.net/SustainableLiving/index.html

    It’s folks like me that are the potential agents of change. Civil society and not business as usual.

    • Mom says:

      You’re deluding yourself if you think you are living “sustainably”. Nothing mined out of the ground (including those solar panels) are “sustainable”. The Ford Escort is not “carbon neutral” either.

      You chose a different life, but it’s not a sustainable one. I don’t even drive, but this won’t matter. Anyone that is living above subsistence living level is contributing to the problem.

      Sustainable is not using remote resources, living entirely within local means, relying on all renewables. Americans have really no idea what sustainable really is.

      • Paul Klinkman says:

        Sustainable is inventing better solar (etc) so that eventually billions of people will go solar and save on fossil fuels. Sustainable is having a profoundly negative lifetime carbon footprint upon the earth,

        recognizing of course all of the other product developers, the wild-eyed pioneers who went before you, even the ones who tried and failed, the ones who come after you, the sales and financial guys, the first customers who to tell the truth really gambled their money on you, your teachers, your friends when sometimes you didn’t quite deserve them,… All of them contributed to your group negative carbon footprint.

    • fj says:

      Most likely high sustainability is determined how well you are integrated within natural systems with minimal effect on them.

      This may prove to be a very elegant way to design the future; perhaps sailing provides a very nice example how this can be achieved.

  7. Just a reminder. While some called it only a campaign stunt, Green Party presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, was getting arrested supporting those who would block Keystone XL Pipeline.

    I agree that we need to be more forceful in our opposition, to the level of civil disobedience (almost wrote “if necessary”) as it will be necessary.

  8. Karl Sanchez says:

    Well, Earth isn’t in any danger from humans, but humnans are in danger from other humans. Our home planet will continue on pretty much as before for the next several billion years until the expanding sun consumes it, as will life at the microbial level. Rather, it’s the macrofauna, which includes humans, that are threatened with extinction by the actions of humans. And it’s that fact that always troubles me when I see papers/speeches/presentations using titles like this one does–because it’s fundamentally false.

    • Merrelyn Emery says:

      Have we discovered life on Venus?

      But long before we reach that point, we are already seeing the death of whole ecosystems that include a lot more than megafauna – open your eyes, ME

      • Mark E says:

        Microbiologists cringe whenever someone talks about mass extinctions saying, “__% of all species went extinct”. They like to say, NOT IF YOU COUNT ARCHAEA AND BACTERIA SPECIES!

        In the biggest picture of all, I think this comment is right on the money. Single-cell life on this planet is not dependent on multi-cellular life. Neither is plate tectonics or earth’s orbit.

        I think what the original comment was getting at was the implied part of the presentation “Is Earth (as we know it) F***ked?” Deep sediment archaea don’t really give a hoot.

  9. Stephanie Liaci says:

    Non-violent civil action…. how when America is braindead on this issue? So many are so ignorant that even though they personally know NOTHING of science, and refuse to take the time to study the issue, they will STILL pop off their mouths denying this horrific climate change we are facing.

    the actions of the oil industry are by definition VIOLENT, as they cause death and destruction, and use their combined wealth to purchase media outlets and politicians to ensure they can continue their nefarious practices unfettered.

    short of some dramatic catastrophy…. or God forbid some ACTUAL LEADERSHIP from our so-called “leftist” president… we ARE fucked.

    • Artful Dodger says:

      As JFK demonstrated, ACTUAL LEADERSHIP from the U.S. President is itself unsustainable.

      No, this time it must truly come from the ‘grass roots’ up. In fact, ‘anything that sequesters carbon’ up.

  10. Merrelyn Emery says:

    As well as taking to the streets to get action at the govt level, also get your neighbourhoods and communities organized for collective action on emissions. Works well as it generates energy, creativity and sense of achievement, ME

  11. Ozonator says:

    “F**ked” and scrooged, “Human societies and environmental systems” are US –

    For this week’s coming AGW predictions with any correct being impossible aka a holy grail by deniers, “A). … 1). Regular qualitative predictions are US for “normal” catastrophic, violent AGW ecosystems (quakes to CMEs to toxic feticide) from the rotten EssoKochFox’s and their willing accomplices. Sunspots will be blasted out of the nearside to shoot death rays, proton storms, and radio blackouts at us and Jupiter with energies of M6 – X10 along with more CMEs from filaments. … This is the 1st of 3 weeks in the 32nd Simon Bolivar Model (12/9 – 15/12). This is 1st of 4 weeks under the 15th KochEssoFoxrush Exploding AGW Quake Cyst Model (12/9 – 15/12). This also is the week of the Yemen Model. This is 1st of 5 weeks under the 57th DEQ-ORM-Esso-Kill-the-Planet Model (12/9 – 15/12). This is the 2nd week of 5 under the killer 50th Persian – Band Aceh – Bhamo Model (12/2 – 8/12). (With condolences, there are ~5,000+ AGW preventable deaths with loss of major infrastructure with each Persian – Band Aceh – Bhamo Model.) … From this Saturday to the next Saturday … 271st BAZS=ERC Model (12/9 – 15/12) predicts a 90 – 240 sunspot number. From this Saturday to the next Saturday, the 132nd Solar Storm Model (12/9 – 15/12) maximum negative Bz will range from -10 to -30 nT. …
    B). Including the odd chance of JJBAL Fireballs with each prediction, the specifics of the Giulaino – Gansu Model (12/9 – 15/12) of extreme AGW earthquake warnings (n= 27) among tectonic energy lines with individual predictions for regions (magnitude in Richters) are:
    1). 32nd Simon Bolivar Model (12/9 – 15/12):Tarapaca, Chile (8+) – Peru (7+) – Colombia (6+) – Costa Rica (6+);
    2). 15th KochEssoFoxrush Exploding AGW Quake Cyst Model (12/9 – 15/12): Azores (6+) – Algeria (6+) – Italy (6+) – Hungary (5+) – Finland (6+) – north of Svalbard
    (5+);
    3). Yemen Model: Mauritius – Reunion Island (6+) – Gulf of Aden (6+) – Djibouti (7+) – Ethiopia (8+) – Eritrea (7+) – Chad (5+) – Mali (5+); and
    4). Heilongjiang (7+) – Hokkaido (8+) – Kurils (6+) – Kamchatka (7+) – Koryakia (6+). …
    C). GBRWE official experimental quake, volcano, and other models are US. … A correct for any of these concurrent earthquake models is anything within 0.5 Richters below given prediction and anything above the prediction for the region (within 100 miles, greater if people felt it). On the open ocean … 400 miles … 1). 1-week model – BAZS=ERC Model, SEERCH Model … 2). standard, 2-weeks model – unless stated otherwise, ALL predictions get at least 2-weeks …
    D). Including the odd chance of JJBAL Fireballs with each prediction, warnings for the Pickerell Model (12/9 – 15/12) for qualitative AGW volcanic warnings (n=15) among tectonic energy lines with individual predictions for regions are:
    1). Calatrava Volcanic Field – Canary Island (Hierro) – Montserrat (Soufriere Hills) – Colombia (Nevado del Ruiz) – Guatemala (Santa Maria and Fuego);
    2). Democratic Republic of Congo – Kenya – Ethiopia – Yemen; and
    3). Aleutians (Cleveland, Chuginadak Island) – Kamchatka (Kizimen, Shiveluch, Karymsky, and Tobachik)” (GBRWE 12/9 – 15/12”s Extreme Planetary Warnings for Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Solar/Terrestrial Flares from Human Activities; Robert Rhodes, Supplemental; GBRWE 12/9 – 15/12, 12/8/12).

    • aenoch says:

      I was telling my friend Furgus just the other day. I told him that I’m pretty dang sure that they are putting something in the tin foil these days. Just a coincidence I’m sure.
      Just saying.

    • Ozonator says:

      1 AGW correct prediction –

      In these blog comments, I had predicted “more CMEs from filaments” on December 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm as supporting evidence that we are AGW “F**ked”. This would normally be an impossible prediction lacking a $10 calculator and AGW. For example, “Dean Pesnell, a solar physicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. … Almost all solar activity from sunspots to solar flares is regulated by this inner dynamo. “Understanding … is a holy grail for stellar physics … key to forecasting solar activity and space weather”” (“What Lies inside the Sun?”; Dr. Tony Phillips, NASA Heliophysics News Team; nasa.gov, 7/6/09).

      With the active area about to rotate to be facing Earth, “SDF Number 345 Issued at 2200Z on 10 Dec 2012 … IA. Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 09/2100Z to 10/2100Z: … Two filament eruptions were observed off the southeast limb … Both events have associated CMEs; however neither event appears to be Earth directed. IB. Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be at low levels on days one, two, and three (11 Dec, 12 Dec, 13 Dec)(“Joint USAF/NOAA Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity Report and Forecast”; Prepared jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force; swpc.noaa.gov/forecast.html, 10 December 2012).

      At the time of my predictions, “SDF Number 343 Issued at 2200Z on 08 Dec 2012 … IA. Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 07/2100Z to 08/2100Z: Solar activity has been at low levels for the past 24 hours. … IB. Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels on days one, two, and three (09 Dec, 10 Dec, 11 Dec)” (“Joint USAF/NOAA Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity Report and Forecast”; Prepared jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force; swpc.noaa.gov/forecast.html, 8 December 2012).

    • Ozonator says:

      The 2nd AGW correct prediction –

      Volcanic activity of “SANTA MARIA Guatemala” was 1 correct of 15 predicted AGW volcanic regions with the 1 of 7 reported, under 12/9 – 15/12 for the start of the 1st of 4 weeks for completeness.

      As of 12/12/12, Reporting Period 12/9 – 15/12, 1st of 4 weeks of reports – volcanoes were reported (“Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report”; volcano.si.edu/reports/usgs):

      SAKURA-JIMA Kyushu, Japan;
      WHITE ISLAND New Zealand;
      LOKON-EMPUNG Sulawesi, Indonesia;
      POPOCATEPETL México;
      SANTA MARIA Guatemala;
      REVENTADOR Ecuador; and
      KILAUEA Hawaii.

      “Early warning offers ‘holy grail of volcanology’ – the more the moisture, the bigger the eruption. … Scientists normally monitor active volcanoes by measuring how the ground around them deforms and how the gases they release change over time” (“When Water Bubbles Signal a Volcanic Big Bang”; Guardian News & Media 2008; buzzle.com, Published: 9/6/2006).

    • Ozonator says:

      A 4th AGW correct prediction –

      About 6 days ago with a $10 calculator and AGW, I had predicted “Sunspots will be blasted out of the nearside to shoot … proton storms”.

      “Space Weather Message Code: WARPX1
Serial Number: 386
Issue Time: 2012 Dec 15 0158 UTC
      WARNING: Proton 10MeV Integral Flux above 10pfu expected
Valid From: 2012 Dec 15 0157 UTC
Valid To: 2012 Dec 15 1200 UTC
Warning Condition: Onset
Predicted NOAA Scale: S1 – Minor
Potential Impacts: Radio – Minor impacts on polar HF (high frequency) radio propagation resulting in fades at lower frequencies.”
      (“Space Weather Alerts Issued by SWPC”; NOAA/Space Weather Prediction Center; swpc.noaa.gov, 12/9 – 15/12).

      You might think it would be hard to transmute a cherry pit with radiation bombardment into a free lunch. On the very day of a predicted AGW proton storm, “Report: UN IPCC AR5 draft leaked, contains game-changing admission of enhanced solar forcing” (racketeering found on 12/14/12) (Marc ‘Mengele’ Morano whistle-sucker performing/perfuming the stink at climatedepot.com). “Charlton Heston Reads Crichton on Our Arrogance … March 2, 2007 … radiation is good for life … Many forms of life will thrive with more” (the old, ugly and evil Rush “looting” Limbaugh whistlesucker performing and perfuming the stink at rushlimbaugh.com).

  12. rollin says:

    My, what a long winded and tortuous way to state what is already known. I guess I should be glad that academia is starting to catch up a little but this is not the way to do it. Pushing the old rebellious protest,blockades, sabatoge and anarchy will fail, the governments and corporations are all set up to stop this and break it’s momentum. If you think the big money guys care, they do, they get quite irritated when things slow down so they look for better profit margins elsewhere and the apparent success is really a failure. Look at the palm oil disaster, a planet killer painted in “green” and pushed by big money. Look at the ethanol fiasco, a “solution” that is worse than the problem.
    Only direct conservation and habit changes on our part will do it. If the products are not purchased, they stop mining and making them.

    • perceptiventity says:

      They are not only just making the products. They are also ‘agressively’ creating ‘consumers’ from a cradle to a grave. Zombie rule

  13. Paul Klinkman says:

    I’ve actually written models like this. I modeled cognitive dissonance and subsequent political shifts away from the political center. Think “Birthers”.

    A general willingness to endure personal suffering for your beliefs changes minds, usually not the minds of the true diehard birthers, but the minds of the vast majority of people.

    Stock methods of enduring personal suffering exist nowadays. A willingness to face arrest is the most famous. However, as more and more people walk that path, the actual suffering involved in the arrests and trials diminishes.

    Small group walks the length of the Appalachian Trail, but through cities, have meaning. Try small group bicyling out West where intercity distances are greater. Reach out, reach out, reach out.

    A listening project works wonders. It finds out rather exactly what every type of person (stakeholder) is thinking. In mostly listening, you actually change more minds than by talking.

  14. Mike Roddy says:

    Werner’s paper was provocative, but let’s see if he gets himself arrested. Hansen shouldn’t be out on a limb here.

    Lord Monckton attracted an overflow crowd at UCSD when he gave a lecture there early this year. Brian Bilbray, their Congressman, is a former lobbyist and stalwart denier. Werner won’t even have to leave his district to start making a ruckus.

    • Today Congress banned the word ‘lunatic’ from use in any government document.

      But I can say that Senator Inhofe is a lunatic.

      Let’s see. “We’re f**ked because they are lunatics.”

      • Icarus62 says:

        What Inhofe does probably makes perfect sense – If you have a lot of influence and no scruples whatsoever, then taking money from fossil fuel companies to lie to the public and thereby protect their profits probably seems like a jolly good wheeze. He’s probably rubbing his hands with glee, and laughing all the way to the bank at such an easy way to make money. It may be despicably immoral but it’s not ‘lunatic’.

  15. David Goldstein says:

    we need to be assertive/aggressive AND figure out a couple themes to begin hammering relentlessly in protests, in the media, etc. The most potent image by far seems to be ‘The Children’. It is a demonstrable scientific conclusion that we are on the very verge of leaving our children and their children and so on a legacy of disruption and suffering which will be, in some senses, historically unique. This is, of course, nightmare-ishly unacceptable to almost every human- if that fact can be hammered home. How is this for an idea?- 1) Generate as large a crowd as possible for the 350.org protest march in Washington Feb 18th. All participants come with photos of their children/nieces/nephews, etc (or bring their actual children!) displayed. 2) Once the crowd gathers at the White House, we go into silence for 10 minutes. Everyone holds up their pictures and stands…in silence. (This ‘feels’ like an image the press would lap up) 3) At the end of the 10 minutes, in an organized fashion, all who volunteer to be arrested (by ‘blockading’ the White House or whatever) step forth, still prominently displaying their photos (or with their actual children- to be handed off to care-takers). HOPEFULLY- more and more celebs and even politicians (c’mon Al Franken, John Kerry and the rest who have spoken up about climate change). And then…do it again with an even bigger march sometime later. We have nothing to lose since we are on the verge of losing everything!…it’s getting damn close to ‘put up or shut up’ time for all of us.

  16. DES_Toronto says:

    I hope people keep looking for a way out of this mess, but to me it looks like we’re heading very fast toward a brick wall. There’s no law of nature that says our species has to survive, never mind the forms of our civilizations. The earth will carry on without a hiccup. I only hope it won’t happen while I’m here.

    • Dennis Tomlinson says:

      We are cursed with the knowledge of our individual mortality. And we are cursed with the knowledge of how our lifestyle can lead to our demise as a species. And we are further cursed with an intergenerational moral code that impels us to attempt to fix this mess, even if we won’t be around to measure our success or failure.

    • Superman1 says:

      We have grown up with the belief that our species is ‘special’, but that is our arrogance at work. We were placed on this Earth in a self-sustainable life style, but, alone among species, we developed a resource-intensive non-sustainable lifestyle. We will disappear, along with the millions of species that have already disappeared as a by-product of our recklessness, and the millions of species that have yet to disappear because of our greed.

      As far as ‘heading towards a brick wall’, I think we have already hit it. But, we’re like the person who loses a limb in an accident, and only starts to feel the pain a while later. For most of us, the hurt will appear in a little while; for some of us (New York, Phillipennes), the pain has already been felt.

  17. J.R. says:

    “if you’re interested in averting the scenario in which the Earth is f**ked—then, Werner’s model implied, resistance is the best and probably only hope.”

    This is Hopium, the drug of choice when it comes to making the assumption that resistance will stop the dominant paradigm (in time).

    This does not work. It has almost never worked. For every dam project stopped [no pun intended], 10 more are built. The same can be said for coal-fired plants and so on.

    The dominant paradigm, BAU (business-as-usual) remains very much in charge.

    We actually already know it is “too late”. Too late for resistance, too late to save ourselves. Too many positive feedback mechanisms in motion (virtually all of them) and no way to stop it. Hopium will also be suggested here.

    Expecting civilization to either suddenly stop or somehow reverse itself is to remain in denialism. Expecting such a miraculous event (should it ever happen) to prevent disaster is also denialism. The evidence is incontrovertible. Moreover, expecting 7 billion people to just “quit” and stop doing what they’re all doing is denialism.

    The Earth is not f*cked, we are.

    The Earth will go on without us, regaining climate stability and species in time. It may be worms and jellyfish in the oceans for a long, long time, but the Earth will still remain and some life will exist.

    • Better to assume it’s possible to stop these changes in climate and work hard to do so than to succumb to rank pessimism. You don’t really know if it’s possible or not, and on the off chance that we are able to turn things around, I’m more than willing to keep fighting. Of course, we know technically that it can be done, it’s a question of people learning and changing fast enough. But just because you’ve given up hope doesn’t mean the rest of us should. So keep your pessimism to yourself and let the rest of us get on with fighting as hard as we can. You don’t help anyone with your negativity. And feel free to join us when you’re ready, we need all the help we can get…

      • J.R. says:

        Sorry, you don’t have the right to tell me what to do (and never will). Your phony optimism is just as dangerous as the Hopium I preach against.

        What you perceive as negativity, I perceive as realism. The Hopium that is being offered is disingenuous, a dangerous deception that will lead people to engage in wasteful activities. Similar to “replacing light bulbs to go green”, activities which amount to very little.

        Being a realist is the only true hope we have. Virtually all proposals still continue to insist that the BAU model can somehow be maintained. This is pure bullshit, and always leads to the same place.

        People marching in the street are not going to stop climate change, or McDonald’s or Coca Cola or anything at all. Nor are they going to shut off their air conditioners and stop working at jobs that continue to promote the present paradigm.

        Planting a garden or “going green” isn’t going to work either. We’re already well past that point, and there are far, far too many of us.

        It should be dead obvious that we’re not going to change. If that were true, we would have done it already (versus the cheap words we resort to using).

        Far from “submitting to rank pessimism”, I have been writing for years on deconstructing civilization, abandoning the existing capitalist model and reverting back to an existence that was actually sustainable.

        This has failed. It was in fact, the only real hope humanity had to stave off total disaster. Now we face the results.

        I’d rather face this square on then succumb to Hopium, or addled brains that cannot connect the dots that represent the future we have set in motion.

        • JR, thanks for modeling the self-righteous “doomed” so authentically!

          I, and most people here, feel your pain and share your fears, even though you’re likely to deny it.

          But in fact you do not offer any hope, in your personal projection that things are hopeless.

          Could well be true. Most probably will. Calling the dice in line with the visible odds is easy.

          But calling the game over while players are still on the field is a pointless and an unnecessary stance.

          Count me among the hopeful, whatever the odds, even if only because trying is infinitely more fun!

        • You are of course entitled to your opinion, but I believe you missed my point. People are notoriously bad about predicting what’s possible in the future, and the same arguments you are making now about the futility of individual and group action on climate were made by others about slavery and women’s suffrage in the 1800s and civil rights and apartheid in the 1900s. You may ultimately be right that we won’t change in time, but it shouldn’t be because we fail to try. Remember also now that we have new tools for persuasion, new tools of measurement, and the ability to adapt our technologies and institutions in unprecedented ways, so it’s a new day for humanity and we have a fighting chance.

          I’m as realistic as they come about what’s possible, having studied climate mitigation’s successes and failures since the late 1980s, but giving up before we’ve really tried makes little sense to me. The future is ours to create, it’s not written in stone. We may still fail, but we’ll at least go down fighting.

          Finally, Brooks Bridges summarized things nicely below with the Henry Ford quote, which I love: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” That quote encapsulates my experience–I generally don’t pay much attention to what people think can or can’t be done (with the exception of physical limits circumscribed by the 2nd law of thermodynamics, for example), because ingenuity and hard work can lead to surprising results (and most folks are ill-informed, anyway). Most people are constrained more by their own self imposed limitations than by actual limits imposed by reality, and this realization has changed my world view in fundamental ways.

          I treat the issue of the inadequacy of most people’s informal feasibility assessments in Chapter 3 of Cold Cash, Cool Climate. If you email me I’ll send you that chapter so you can take a look. I’ll be happy to hear your comments.

        • ET says:

          JR, I share your concern that hope be authentic, and not merely another species of denial. The Everest of data documenting the environmental calamity mankind has wrought is in plain view for all who are prepared to see. However, the likelihood that the story of humankind, and a fair portion of the living things we share this rock with, will end badly, does not obviate our moral imperative, does it? We must continue to act upon our convictions, and go down fighting.

          Kathleen Dean Moore, an author and philosophy prof at Oregon State University, has written a compelling essay entitled: “HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND TO CLIMATE CHANGE? What I Tell My Students” (see link below).

          http://www.riverwalking.com/blog/34-general/97-how-should-we-respond-to-climate-change-what-i-tell-my-students.html

          Hers is a call to personal integrity, even in the midst of the darkest night of despair: what is demanded of us, she argues, is consistency of belief and action. “[T]hat is the answer to powerlessness — to do what you think is right, knowing that your actions will be the well-spring of the new world. You’ll know you have achieved this integrity and torn loose from hypocrisy, I tell them, because the relief of it will bring you to tears.

          From these sheltered pockets of moral imagining and from the protected pockets of flourishing, new ways of living will spread across the land, across the salt plains and beetle-killed forests. Here is how we will start anew — not from the edges over centuries of invasion.

          Rather, from small pockets of good work, shaped by an understanding that all life is interdependent, and driven by the one gift humans have that belongs to no other — practical imagination, the ability to imagine that things can be different from what they are now.

          ‘Your calling,’ philosopher Frederick Buechner said, ‘is at the intersection of your great joy and the world’s great need.’ Go to that place, I tell my students. Do that work.”

          I haven’t run across a more persuasive call to action . . .

    • Superman1 says:

      You are correct. Most of the posters on this blog are greater deniers of reality than Anthony Watts et al ever were.

      [JR: I don’t agree.]

      Here’s the metaphor. 98% of the electorate are chain smokers, and the posters here want to ban tobacco, triple the taxes on cigarettes, and eliminate smoking in all public places. How far would you get? The only reason we made any progress against smoking was that 60% of adults were non-smokers when the Surgeon General’s ’64 report came out, and only 40% were smokers. Much is possible if you’re part of a super-majority. In the fossil fuel game, the super-super-majority is on the other side.

    • Brooks Bridges says:

      Henry Ford: Whether you think you can or think you can’t you’re right.

      So, you’re a 100% right JR.

  18. David Goldstein says:

    I realize what I am about to say is very basic, even naive, but…a denier type replied to a climate post of mine with the ‘it’s virtually stopped warming in the past 15 years’ claim. Now I know that global temps are still going up in past 15 years though at a rate of about only .05C, mostly because of Asian aerosals and, possibly, deeper ocean heat sequestration. (as opposed to the .16 C or so it had been going up from about 1970-2000)(2012 is due to be about 9th warmest-definitely ‘warm’ as all recent years have been, but NOT warming above where it’s been for past decade). Here’s the question- do climate scientists expect global temps to begin another ‘steep ascent’ curve soon?…it would be ‘helpful’ in the sense of easily demonstrating that we are indeed on a track to 4-6 C rise by end of the century

    • Paul Klinkman says:

      Actually, worldwide temperatures have gotten 20 degrees Fahrenheit colder in the last 15 years.

      After reading about many years of April Fools pranks, I’ve realized that average people can make any kind of utterly evidence-free statement, and as long as it has a 1% chance of being true in the average lay person’s mind, they’ll half-believe it. For example, an April 1 story about a baseball pitcher who could throw a 167 mph fastball got picked up nationally and printed by other papers.

    • Dan Miller says:

      It’s the Faustian Bargain (deal with the devil) that Jim Hansen refers to. Aerosols, that last in the atmosphere for a few weeks, cover up the effects of CO2 that lasts for hundreds to thousands of years. The explosive growth of all those coal plants in China had a short-term impact. Soon, the payment will be due.

      • David Goldstein says:

        Dan- yes – I read about a study (Hans et. Sata?) that says the current aerosal impact is approx. 110% of warming…that would mean that currently they are damping another .85 or so warming already!

        • Solar Jim says:

          I believe your statement about 110% is inaccurate. This may refer to other “greenhouse gases” beside CO2. The earth’s energy flux is about 0.6 W/m2. As I understand, total gross forcing due to all AGW gases is around 3 W/m2, with net forcing around 1.7 W/m2. It is the temporary aerosols that give us the “net forcing.”

  19. Wonhyo says:

    I’m starting to see hints in the (more) mainstream media that people are starting to realize the urgency of climate change. Some are starting to (correctly) realize that climate change cannot be stopped or reversed, only slowed. With this realization, many people will become desperate and turn to the riskiest “get well quick” remedies (e.g. atmosphere/ocean geoengineering).

    Environmentalists have lost the fight to prevent climate change. While we still need to reduce CO2 emissions to slow climate change, that is now of secondary importance.

    What’s more important now is that we prevent the profiteers from fooling the panickers into funding dangerous geoengineering shams that will accelerate the damage to the climate. It’s time to move on to a battle that we haven’t yet lost.

  20. From Peru says:

    “Environmental direct action, resistance taken from outside the dominant culture, as in protests, blockades and sabotage by indigenous peoples, workers, anarchists and other activist groups, increases dissipation within the coupled system”

    Is right to protest and act, but we must be very careful, as there could be some people that take this things too seriously, and fall into the use of violence. And some eco-terrorist attacks would be a not only a tragedy but also huge public relations disaster to environmentalism.

    There should have been a warning against violence in the presentation abstract.

    In effect, as the abstract says “The transition from unstable dynamics to sustainability is sensitively dependent on the level of participation in and repression of resistance”.

    Even if the protesters don’t start the violence, revenge against repression can drive a “violence death spiral”.

    History teach us that revolutions indeed are very often just protests until repression turned them into a massive rebellion.

    Great achievemnts could be done (like the declaration of Rights of People and the Citicens of 1789), but also could open the Pandora box of a bloody nightmare (like the Reign of Terror in France).

    Just think in the fate of the Russian Revolution (civil war followed by totalitarian regime) and the Iranian Revolution (Iran get from absolute monarchy to theocracy) and now , in the Arab Spring, think about the peaceful protests in Syria that degenerated into the horrendous civil war that is now happening.

  21. Gillian says:

    Opposition to fossil fuel projects can only increase. It is already apparent that activism is becoming more strident, e.g. the current hunger strike of Diane Wilson and Bob Lindsey Jr.

    The Arab Spring was triggered by a single act of self-immolation. Two years later the movement still reverberates across 7-8 countries.

    I am certain that we will see dramatically shocking climate activism that will trigger massive change. The more polite forms of activism have primed millions to respond when the spark is struck.

    When populations are threatened and leaders don’t act, the population rises. As the threat becomes increasingly obvious, activism will become increasingly extreme.

  22. Paul Magnus says:

    Fu***d – 900 – 1000 dead. Hansen gets it spot on abit a little too late…. Mega Storms of our future http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/12/201212102229486150.html

    “This is a scale the Philippines has not previously seen, we’re talking about tens of thousands of homes destroyed across southeast Mindanao,” Joe Curry of Catholic Relief Service told Al Jazeera.

  23. Bill Goedecke says:

    The Financial Times reported (Oil sands: Environmental concerns come head-to-head with economics – Nov 19th, 2012) that the impact of protests on oil sands production has been negligible. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers estimates that production is at 1.78 m b/d this year and will rise to 3.17 m b/d by 2020. What impacts production is economics, according to the article (figures cited).

    • Financial Times reporting on _industry_projections_ is mostly just a reverberation of the industry’s own echo chamber.

      It just tells us that industry doesn’t think they’ll have to change due to protests. And what else would industry think?

  24. Brooks Bridges says:

    I’m convinced that we have a climate crisis of such magnitude as to require a massive response by our government; small scale actions alone are critical but will woefully inadequate on their own.

    i’m further convinced that:
    1) A tsunami of a million people descending on DC, ideally multiple times, could be the equivalent, in effectiveness, of the much discussed “climate Pearl Harbor”. It’ll convince all but the very dumbest politician it’s time to fear retribution
    2) Similar to (1) except smaller groups surrounding media corporate offices where ever, to force them to confront Reality.
    3) That this effort will not succeed unless each person similarly convinced of the crisis begins a serious one-on-one campaign to convince every one we can reach. All the great religions started this way.
    4) That this effort will not succeed until the splintered efforts of the various climate orgs – 350, Sierra, etc., unite as one. So item (3) requires going after leaders in these groups specifically.
    4) Start by overwhelming Bill McKIbben’s planned event. I mean, it’s not asking you to pledge your lives, your fortunes, or your sacred honor. Just one day in DC. Don’t tell me it won’t work. Prove me wrong.
    5) Until you’ve seriously inconvenienced yourself, risked something important to yourself, you can’t criticize others for inaction.
    Brooks Bridges, email bridges.brooks gmail

  25. Dave Yuhas says:

    How many people would give up non-essential flying as an act of direct action to slow down global warming? Precious few IMHO.