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Bill McKibben: Obama’s Pipeline Decision Underscores His Incoherent ‘All Of The Above’ Energy Policy

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"Bill McKibben: Obama’s Pipeline Decision Underscores His Incoherent ‘All Of The Above’ Energy Policy"

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by Bill McKibben, via Huffington Post

The president makes a potentially interesting speech today in Cushing, Oklahoma.

It comes amidst a completely unprecedented March heat wave — 2,000 records fell last week as cities like Chicago broke records dating back to the 19th century, and that heat is expected to move towards the eastern seaboard this week; meanwhile, record levels of atmospheric moisture are expected to trigger flooding in Texas and Oklahoma. It comes on the tail of a year when America set a new record for multi-billion dollar weather disasters. And it comes on his first visit to the Sooner State since it set the all-time American record for the hottest summer by any state — the average reading for June, July and August was 86.9 degrees, breaking the old record (also Oklahoma, this time 1934) by an astonishing 1.7 degrees. In other words, if there was ever a moment for talking about global warming, this would be it.

But I’m guessing the president won’t.

My bet is he’ll talk about what’s he’s called his “all of the above” energy policy — about how America has drilled a record number of oil and gas wells during his administration, about how fracking technology has spread around the country. He’ll laud sun and wind, but as supplements to gas and oil, not replacements.

And to make it especially painful to ranchers, indigenous people, and assorted environmentalists, he may do it while standing next to pipe waiting to be laid for the southern half of the Keystone Pipeline, an enterprise he has promised to “expedite.”

Amidst the many environmental disappointments of the Obama administration — the fizzled Copenhagen conference, the opening of vast swathes of the Arctic to drilling and huge stretches of federal land across the northern Plains to coal-mining, the failure to work for climate legislation in the Senate, the shameful blocking of regulations to control ozone — the president has done one somewhat brave thing. He responded to the largest outpouring of environmental enthusiasm so far this millennium and denied a permit for the main Keystone XL pipe from Canada’s tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico.

Cynics said he did so just to avoid disappointing young people before the election, and pointed out that he invited pipeline proponent Transcanada to reapply for the permit. It’s hard not to wonder if those cynics might be right, now that he’s going to Oklahoma to laud the southern half of the project just as Transcanada executives have requested.

True, the most critical part of the pipeline still can’t be built — thanks to Obama and 42 Democratic Senators, the connection to Canada remains blocked, and hence that remains a great victory for the people who rallied so fiercely all fall. But the sense grows that Obama may be setting us up for a bitter disappointment — that his real allegiance is to the carbon barons. In recent weeks he’s been talking tough about removing subsidies for the oil industry, a good idea that many of us will work hard to achieve — but so far he hasn’t mentioned by far the most important subsidy, the fact that unlike every other industry fossil fuel gets to dump its main waste product, carbon, into the atmosphere for free.

And if you think about it, “all of the above” is not a particularly coherent energy policy, not if one worries about climate change. Burning all the oil you can and then putting up a solar panel is like drinking six martinis at lunch and then downing a VitaminWater. You’re still a drunk — just one with your daily requirement of C and D. If a presidential candidate said they had an “all of the above” foreign policy, where every other nation was an equal ally, they’d be thought lightweight or even dangerous.

But with energy, it apparently seems politic to insist we need never make a choice. Or at least to tailor your talking points to your audience. Obama is making his first presidential visit to my state, Vermont, at month’s end. We had the worst disaster in our history last summer — while Oklahoma baked, record rainfalls washed away half the state. And he’d be applauded if he talked about climate change here.

But if he won’t do it in Cushing, I kind of hope he doesn’t in Burlington either. It would just reinforce the idea that he tells us what we want to hear, not what we need to know.

Bill McKibben is founder of 350.org and Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College in Vermont. This piece was originally published at the Huffington Post.

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39 Responses to Bill McKibben: Obama’s Pipeline Decision Underscores His Incoherent ‘All Of The Above’ Energy Policy

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    Excellent essay, Bill.

    I fear that our president is codependent. He constantly tries to please, even when the result is destructive. True leaders aren’t built that way- think Kennedy, Lincoln, Truman, Roosevelt, and Eisenhower.

    It will be interesting to see what he has to say to the people of Oklahoma. Democrats are a weak minority there anyway, so the president has nothing to lose by telling them the truth.

    Should Obama come out and tell Oklahomans that they need to think about moving away from the oil economy because of global warming, it would be a historic speech. Ain’t happening, unfortunately. And pleasing the pipeline touts gains him nothing politically, while causing him to lose respect.

  2. Bill Goedecke says:

    According to a post in today’s Financial Times (Thurs, 22-Mar) Canadian oil is already flowing to Cushing, OK (where WTI is priced) through existing 590,000 BPD Keystone pipeline. Obama is expected to fast-track the part of XL that is to run from Cushing to the Gulf Coast refineries (journalist G. Meyer). In a video on same site by E. Luce, Mr. Luce covered the Romney campaign – in reference to Obama campaign noted the vehement opposition to XL but stated that Obama feels he can take the left for granted – not stating why – but I would assume that it is again a choice between the lesser of two evils.

  3. Obama is doing what he has to do, making the speeches that he has to make to get re-elected. If the Republicans, especially Romney, are making an issue over Keystone-
    XL, then act to take that issue away from him. That is smart politics, even though it is not leadership and may end up being a real push over a breaking point from which there is no return.

    Unfortunately, continuing to state these truths here does little unless we take the initiative that Obama will not take for himself. This need to be taken from Climate Progress and moved to every media outlet in the country. We hold the ability to do this in our own hands. Writing letters to the editor, addressing the management of television station, all helps. It is time we realize that no one else is going to do it for us.

  4. Sasparilla says:

    Well he didn’t mention climate change in Cushing. It’s important to remember the other issues that had occurred before the President delayed the XL (and probably were more important to its ultimate delay).

    It became publicly known that the State Department had the primary contractor for TransCanada (a single person at that) write the environmental impact statement for the U.S. and was faulted because it didn’t fully look at oil spill response plans, safety issues and greenhouse gas concerns (makes you wonder what it covered).

    Then the Republican Governor and both Senators from Nebraska (a Rep & Dem) were trying to block it because it went over the main drinking water aquifer for several states there (and pipelines always leak).

    The 350.org protests were happening.

    The main thing is to take Obama at his word, when he delayed the XL he publicly said he was still for it, that they just need to reroute and resubmit. He’s for it, he said so.

    We shouldn’t delude ourselves into thinking President Obama delayed the XL pipeline because he wants to slow climate change. His previous actions show that he doesn’t care about the issue from an action standpoint (approving the 1st two tar sands pipelines to Canada in 2009 and on and on etc.).

    It’s also important to note that the GOP (and its media outlets) are relentlessly and successfully bashing President Obama on the XL and successfully implying he’s in the way of reducing the cost of our gasoline (however dumb that is) – from a political “winning the election” standpoint the XL delay has hurt him and his chances for re-election (and we should not be blind to this and its possible consequences however much we want the XL stopped).

    He’s the cleanest dirty shirt in the laundry hamper, but this shirt hasn’t given a wink, politically, for climate change.

    • Mike Roddy says:

      Yeah, I’m afraid you’re right, Sasparilla. Wishin’ and hopin’ won’t change it, and there’s no sense letting Barry batter us.

      • Clinton M says:

        I’m really getting sick of people beating up on the President when:

        A) The House of Reps is controlled by anti-science oil shills
        B) The Senate does not have even close to 60 votes for climate
        C) Deniers and their co-horts are demonstrating that lying is their preferred method to work
        D) The public at large is TOTALLY in the dark about most climate issues.

        IMO the most important climate issue of 2012 is:
        1) Getting President Obama re-elected as the alternative is a disaster.
        2) Working to get House elections with climate friendly Reps.
        3) Ditto the Senate.

        It’s incredibly short sighted and dangerous to be putting all these things on the President’s shoulders.

        What did all of us do in 2010 to get science-friendly people elected?

        Yeah… thought so. And look how that has turned out.

  5. Peter Anderson says:

    Joe,

    Bill’s no doubt right about the President’s “vow of silence” on the “C” word, but, we can’t ignore the fact that Waxman’s carbon tax trial balloon earlier this week similarly excised any such reference. Waxman! Henry Waxman.

    Please pull back the cover and find out who in tarnation is the putative guru behind the screen advising so called progressives in this suicide pact.

  6. Chris Lock says:

    A Greenpeace recruiter / activist told me two days ago that you (Bill McKibben) will be here in Vancouver on Monday March 26th. It’s the anniversary of the Exxon Valdez, and it’s a protest against the Northern Gateway Pipeline across northern British Columbia. I will unfortunately have to be at work during the protest. I would love to be there outside the art gallery listening and cheering and protesting. Since I can’t be there, I will be there in spirit.

    Are there any other protests or events in the late afternoon or evening in Vancouver? Will you (Bill) be speaking elsewhere in British Columbia on your visit?

  7. To all Obama defenders out there — and I know you exist –

    Do you still think that it’s OK to imprison people (Tim DeChristopher), or to make people fall ill (lax smog rules), or to endanger people’s very lives (BP oil spill) — all for the sake of some ‘greater good’?

    And what exactly can this ‘greater good’ be?, that somehow trumps the rights of innocent people, their health, and their very lives?

    – frank

    • Lou Grinzo says:

      I will vote for President Obama as I did in 2008, and for the same reason: Of the candidates on the ballot who have more than a tiny chance of winning the election, he will be the best person for the job, and by a wide margin.

      That’s all I need to know to decide which little oval to fill in with the felt tip pen on election day.

      That doesn’t mean I’m happy with everything he’s done, not by a mile. But what are my alternatives? Vote for the Republican? Not vote at all? Vote for some “green” candidate who will get less than 1/10 of 1% of the popular vote?

      None of those are serious alternatives. I will vote for Obama and then continue to do everything I can to push him in the right direction.

      • Dan Ives says:

        “I will vote for Obama and then continue to do everything I can to push him in the right direction.” – And I’m sure your children and grandchildren will applaud that effort. I’m sure they will be thrilled that you voted for a guy who is demonstrably a conservative, whose record on climate is nothing short of a failure. I’m sure they will take comfort when you tell them you voted for the slightly-slower, slightly-more-cushioned hand basket to hell.

        Those of us with principles will not be duped by your self-fulfilling, circular argument (I won’t vote 3rd party because they have no chance of winning because no one votes for them!). Sorry, I know I’m getting a little preachy here, but this “lesser of two evils” farce has got to stop.

        If you vote for Obama or Romney, you are voting for a ruined climate (along with endless war, Muslim slaughter, and many other things not relevant to this blog). Period.

        • Your purist illogic is what gave us George W. Bush in 2000 (thanks, Ralph Nader!).

          • Dan Ives says:

            Over 200,000 registered Democrats in Florida voted for Bush and half of registered Democrats in Florida didn’t even bother to vote. Sorry but that tired argument doesn’t hold up.

            http://www.cagreens.org/alameda/city/0803myth/myth.html

          • Clinton M says:

            You are absolutely correct Jonathan.

            Anti-science deniers are just laughing in their boots to see this ‘purist’ fallacies discussed here as it let’s them know that ‘divide and conquer’ is still a very effective method to destroy a group you don’t like.

            The fallacy that 200,000 this or half of that is the reason an election was lost is ludicrous. The reason Gore lost is because he was 544 votes short. So anybody and everybody who did not vote for Gore or who did not vote at all is the reason. Period.

            To even hint at anything else is not accepting responsibility for choices that are now history.

            Let’s make sure we don’t have more negative history and get out to work for science-backing candidates at every level.

            If you don’t, then you don’t get it.

    • Luc Binette says:

      Bill: I find disappointing to read so many excuses that are being offered to explain B. Obama’s failings. It makes me think of the peace Nobel prize he was offered in the hope of … getting less war and less torture and less innocent peoples sacrificed to the interests of the Empire. Can’t he be judged by his actions like the rest us? This president will not stand neither for peace nor for dealing with climate change. What would the US electorate gain if he was reelected? Wasting 4 more years along the path of developing human awareness about our responsibility towards Climate Change. Just as gedankexperiment, imagine that G. Bush had remained president 2 more years, the GOP could not claim that it was socialism the cause of Americans difficulties. Who would doubt today that the ideology of the GOP had been dead wrong and is the real CAUSE of the recent economical collapse? My position is that awareness will progress faster when the right is failing in a big way. B. Obama is unable to take a stand unless it brings him votes. By shifting evermore to the right, the GOP simply moves further to the right, and US citizens as well as all mankind lose. Please Bill denounce what needs to be denounced. We need to follow Gandhi’s path: zero tolerance to evil doing (& forgive the evildoer). By the way, there will be a third candidate at the November election, what is the excuse for not considering it publicly?

  8. AlaninAZ says:

    The truth is that there is no desire in either party to move away from fossil fuels if there is any chance of higher energy prices or restricted supply. I went to my local Democratic club last week to listen to the candidate for Congress from our new district. She had no time for me when I noted that we must disincentive the use of fossil fuels through some sort of pricing mechanism that includes the social cost of carbon burning. Her policy on climate is to place tariffs on Chinese imports to protect domestic producers and end oil company subsidies. Any move that might result in higher short term energy cost such as cap and trade or fee and dividend is a huge no-no and was told so very strongly. This candidate also seemed to have very little understanding of the science behind the climate change issues.

  9. Hot Rod says:

    I note the Gallup poll here http://www.gallup.com/poll/153383/Americans-Favor-Keystone-Pipeline.aspx?utm_source=add%2Bthis&utm_medium=addthis.com&utm_campaign=sharing#.T2tkUnpLy2c.twitter

    showing ‘A solid majority of Americans think the U.S. government should approve of building the Keystone XL pipeline…’

  10. Lou Grinzo says:

    One of the questions we keep coming back to is “will we burn it all?”, meaning will we burn fossil fuels until it’s no longer economical to do so. I’ve argued for a long time that the most likely answer to that question is yes, and the only real issue is when we’ll put a meaningful price on CO2 emissions to shift the economic landscape and make it uneconomical sooner than brute force resource depletion would have achieved by itself.

    If the US elects a Republican president in 2012 (probability about 10%, IMO), then the floodgates will open. If we re-elect President Obama then there will be a lot of posturing and gamesmanship and plain old politics involved, but KXL will still happen.

    As for that carbon price — it won’t happen until one of two inciting incidents comes to pass:

    1. The direct pain of climate change is so great it overcomes the ability of the right wingers to use pricing carbon as a political weapon. We’re nowhere near that point in the US, even with the grim prospect of heat waves, continued droughts, rising sea levels, etc. No one should underestimate the ability of Americans to convince themselves that something is someone else’s problem — right up to the moment it hurts them personally.

    2. Someone, like Bill, finds a way to organize enough people to become a political force to put the fear of the voters into politicians. In 2012 I’m not sure that’s even possible in the US without the impetus of the CC impacts in [1].

    • Sasparilla says:

      So well said Lou.

      I’d add one thing.

      If a Republican is elected President then the likelihood that Green Energy will get annihilated at the federal level is very likely (Wind, Solar, Plug-in Vehicles you name it – they’ve all committed to it). This is a big difference between Obama and the GOP candidates.

      I hope the chance for GOP candidate election is 10%, my gut, here in the midwest, says its higher particularly if oil doesn’t decline through the summer.

  11. SecularAnimist says:

    KFOR, a.k.a. News Channel 4 in Oklahoma City, has a full transcript of Obama’s speech on their website:

    http://www.kfor.com/news/kfor-complete-transcript-pres-obamas-speech-in-cushing-20120322,0,772460.story

    It’s not “disappointing” — it’s horrific. It’s “Drill Baby Drill” on steroids with Obama boasting about his administration’s success in massively expanding fossil fuel extraction while giving lip service to alternative energy sources.

    If this is the “lesser of two evils” then we are really, really screwed.

    • Steve says:

      I think you need to appreciate the complexity of the politics, the degree of the economic and lifestyle addiction to oil and gasoline, and the need to both get elected and advance a gradual transition policy… if we get temperatures 35 degrees above normal in Los Angeles, Washington, Houston, and Phoenix this July, things will happen…

      • Dan Ives says:

        Yes indeed, when you grow old and your grandchildren ask you why the climate is utterly ruined, be sure to tell them all that politics are very complex and that politicians like Obama need to get elected.

        “If we get temperatures 35 degrees above normal in Los Angeles, Washington, Houston, and Phoenix this July, things will happen…” – based on what evidence? In the last few years we had the warmest year on record, a colossal drought in Texas, record Mississippi River flooding, devastating tornado outbreaks, intense wildfires… And did anything happen then? You’re kidding yourself.

        • Clinton M says:

          Mr. Ives,
          The fallacy of your position is you do not accept or understand how laws are made or how people get elected.

          You are either promoting the conversion of our democracy into a monarchy or dictatorship or playing directly into the GOPolluter’s hands of dividing and conquering.

          You are the oil, coal, and gas lobbies best friend via your lack of understanding how the game is played.

          And by the way… how many doors did you knock on , how many phone calls did you make in 2010 for candidates who had a realistic chance chance to win who were climate friendly?

          How are you going to actually help and not hurt climate this fall?

          You obviously don’t want to hear it, but we’ll be in FAR BETTER shape if WE WORK to get the President some help, than if we expect him to attempt to be a dictator.

          This entire conversation of a 3rd party option or some magical elimination of climate deniers in the political process is so far from reality it literally borders on heresy.

          • So Clinton M, your answer to 11 people dying due to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion is ‘oh, that’s how the game is played’?

            Your answer to Tim DeChristopher’s unjust imprisonment is ‘oh, that’s how the game is played’?

            – frank

          • Dan Ives says:

            Your post has so many goodies, it’s tough to know where to begin.

            So you suggest we re-elect the President. You support the guy who turned “all-of-the-above energy strategy,” expanding off shore oil production, opening more federal lands to oil, gas, and coal exploitation, and de-regulation of pollution standards from party-line, contentious issues into bi-partisan consensus. And you have the nerve to accuse ME of being “the oil, coal, and gas lobbies’ best friend?? President Obama is the oil, coal, and gas industry’s best friend (along with the so-called liberals who support him), because under a Republican president, the red half of the country supports fossil fuel production while the blue half cries foul. Under Obama, the red half says he isn’t exploiting fossil fuels fast enough while the blue half twiddles their thumbs. And you accuse me of not knowing how the game is played? Laughable.

            No, Clinton, it is your position that contains the fallacy. The fallacy of your position is that it is rooted in tribal loyalty and “pragmatism” whereas my position is anchored in principles. When the climate is ignored or clean energy is pushed aside for more fossil fuels, I will complain regardless of which party is in power. The fact that you don’t see the blatant hypocrisy of your previous comment is revolting. Being called a heretic by people like you, I take as a compliment. Because people like you will all but assure that catastrophic climate change becomes a reality. You’ll only be able to take credit for it happening under your chosen tribe instead of your rival tribe.

            So what will I do to help the climate this fall? I’ll support a candidate who actually cares about the climate and who makes climate change one of the priorities of their platform. I’ll support a candidate who has spoken numerous times about the need for us to act, and who supports action that can actually save us from disaster. The sad thing is, you will support Obama and probably convince yourself that you’re doing the same. Inexcusably pathetic.

    • Steve says:

      I guess what I am saying is that I would not write off the second half of the speech as “lip service,” that’s all. Alternative energy is being developed, fuel efficiency is being promoted, these things are highlighted in the talk (in a town which otherwise would likely hear nothing of it). He also is rebutting the GOP blame-game over prices, and reiterating the factual record.

      We need to make forward progress in infrastructure, technology, awareness, energy efficiency. This is better done gradually than suddenly, but even if it becomes a sudden emergency for the planet, we need forward steps now. You won’t have them with a GOP president, and he needs to get re-elected in the face of a heavily-financed, lie-ridden campaign to get him out of office.

      Whether the oil and gasoline come out of our ground or the Middle East, it’s going to be burned until people collectively change their lifestyles… drive less, buy fuel efficient vehicles, install solar, etc.

      Frankly, gasoline prices are going to go up (or not go up) regardless of what we do or the President says about domestic drilling. The key is that he not be blamed, and the election turn on that fact. Now, even more frankly, it is not a bad thing for the prices to ease up due to world dynamics and for Americans (and others) to start the adaptation process more earnestly.

      And, my last point, consistent with Lou’s comments, radical change won’t happen until unprecedented pain (just like housing market speculation)… and that probably will be heat wave, drought, flooding driven. I bet more and more people are putting two plus two together with the present Midwest and East Coast record temperatures.

    • Dan Ives says:

      The either option in the “lesser of two evils” choice results in a trip to hell in a hand basket. Our laughable democratic “choice” is between a regular old red basket and a slightly slower, more cushioned blue hand basket.

      • Solar Jim says:

        We have a choice between corporatism or rampant corporatism. May we all have the wisdom to decide our fate (W. Allen).

        Government by globalized corporate influence and lobbying along with campaigns by money, i.e. governance by federal reserve note, is corporatism, a failing state.

        Obama is only a pawn, a sell-out, because politicians do not run globalized corporatism, money handlers do.

  12. M Tucker says:

    “…the president has done one somewhat brave thing. He responded to the largest outpouring of environmental enthusiasm so far this millennium and denied a permit for the main Keystone XL pipe from Canada’s tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico.

    Cynics said he did so just to avoid disappointing young people before the election, and pointed out that he invited pipeline proponent Transcanada to reapply for the permit.”

    I don’t think he made the decision to postpone Keystone XL for the “young people.” They don’t really vote. No, I think it was the ranchers whose property would be invaded by the pipeline and the possible threat to those ranchers groundwater. I think he did it to avoid disappointing property owners.

    The protest was against the Keystone XL pipeline not against global warming. The protesters did link the pipeline to global warming but as soon as the pipeline was postponed the protest ended. When the protest is against global warming and when the victory conditions include a price on carbon we might hear a different message from our President about energy. The economy dominates the campaign and President Obama will advocate for “all of the above” because he does not want clean energy to be ignored. He knows real permanent jobs come with solar and wind factories and he knows he will be an easy mark for conservative attack if he ignores drilling. The conservatives want to kill all clean energy jobs, end subsidies for clean energy, drill in ANWR, and keep subsidies for oil corporations. Don’t be surprised when the new Keystone route is finally approved sometime in 2013. I think he also does not want to disappoint the pro-pipeline Canadian government.

    • So Steve and M Tucker see innocent people being imprisoned (Tim DeChristopher), being made to fall ill (lax smog rules), and being killed (BP oil spill), partly because of Obama’s decisions.

      And they see no problem with any of these. Steve says, “I think you need to appreciate the complexity of the politics”. M Tucker says, “The economy dominates the campaign”.

      What? Is it now OK to imprison, harm, and kill innocent people, in the name of “politics” and “campaigning”?

      This is moral bankruptcy!

      Dan Ives is right:

      Yes indeed, when you grow old and your grandchildren ask you why the climate is utterly ruined, be sure to tell them all that politics are very complex and that politicians like Obama need to get elected.

      – frank

      • Steve says:

        Frank,

        What do you want from your profoundly divided federal government (which most people don’t especially trust)? WWII-style mobilization on this issue? Are you sure 330 million people will go along? (That’s called a reality check.)

        On the personal level, who should I vote for — I have my PV rooftop solar (130% of my needs), ample trees and drought-tolerant vegetation, a hybrid, and a 5-minute commute to work. I understand and try to relay the climate change talking points, but I’m not a minister or high priest or magician, just another person with some talking and writing skills, being that I’m a lawyer. But LOTS of people don’t agree with me on the topic, and LOTS of people don’t see the immediate need or the ability to meaningfully change their emission levels. It’s frustrating, but it’s a fact.

        Now, whom can I vote for who, in turn, can and will change these oil-addicted hearts and souls out there so I’m not “morally bankrupt”??? And what is that individual’s platform at the moment?

        • Steve, what you do outside the voting booth matters a lot more than what you do inside.

          If you see 11 people being killed in the BP oil rig explosion, and your thinking is, ‘how can we prevent people from using this to criticize Obama lest he lose votes?’, then you have a serious problem.

          – frank

  13. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    What you can do is choose who you offer support to. If your representive is a choice between bad and worse then go help one who is better.

    If there is good, go and help.

    Go, make a noise about what you believe in. Prior to an election is when you are most likely to be heard.

  14. Joan Savage says:

    The heat wave that is likely to persist into summer could be Obama’s version of 9-11 and Katrina. He doesn’t act like he sees it coming.

    I give credit to Homeland Security for funding sno-cone machines for western Michigan- smart move to have portable ice makers in a heat wave. Colbert made fun of them as anti-terrorist devices, missing the point that Homeland Security includes preparedness for disasters in general.

    • prokaryotes says:

      Yes… we need a climate pearl harbor to prevent 1000 years of armageddon (literally speaking).

      But because of all the slow inertia of the climate system we can not change the outcome within a few years or decades.

      And we might very well hit climate tipping points. Thus so far these possibilities are totally – fatally absent in the climate risk assessments of current political decision making. Because, why exactly? To complex? To hot to touch this topic? So we will have these mega extinction events… because the human mind is used to act on punishment and punishment only?