Scientists: Humanity’s End Is Now In Sight

earth-screensaver_largeThe same week as Pope Francis’s historic encyclical warning of the dire dangers posed to humanity over climate change , scientists have issue new warnings that we are likely past the point of no-return to save humanity from catastrophe and possible extinction. Famed Australian microbiologist Frank Fenner, a key figure in the elimination of smallpox in the 1970s, now believes that humans will be extinct in 100 years after making the planet uninhabitable. Others have pointed out that the United States and other nations continue to adopt insufficient targets from carbon reduction and that our passing the critical “3C” threshold now appears all but assured due to opponents and deniers of climate change or reforms.

Fenner insists that it is now a sure bet that we will pass the point of no return and that humanity has missed its window to act. He was reacting to the G7 announcement on Monday that it was asking all countries to reduce emissions — a meaningless effort that scientists around the world denounced as too little too late. The G7 simply asked all countries to reduce carbon emissions to zero in 85 years despite the overwhelming scientific data showing that such a target date would be too late to stop the disastrous course for the planet.

The view of the scientific community is that no treaty that emerges from the current United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany, in preparation for November’s United Nations climate conference in Paris, can now avoid the global disaster.

Scientists generally use the target of 2 degrees Celsius as the level that must not be passed. At 3C, the trend is viewed as unstoppable. Even the Pentagon now rates climate change as a “Threat Multiplier” and an existential threat.

While the Obama Administration has moved aggressively, the U.S. target (a 26 percent to 28 percent decrease from 2005 levels by 2025) is viewed as based on clearly erroneous and rosy projections. The European Union has proposed a 40 percent decrease from 1990 levels by 2030 while China as usual is the worst with a call for an unspecified emissions peak by 2030.

There have been dozens of academic publications from around the world reaching basically the same conclusions from leading academics and institutions. For the less scientifically trained, Bill McKibben did an oft-cited piece in in 2012 explaining the stark realities of these figures and why they will not avoid disaster. McKibben noted that the target temperature has already increased 0.8C, and even if we were to stop all carbon-dioxide emissions today, it would increase another 0.8C simply due to the existing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That would leave only a 0.4C buffer to hitting 2C. The failure to act by humanity has squandered its chance to avert the global catastrophic results. Indeed, as Pope Francis expressly denounced, powerful industrial interests have succeeded in blocking efforts to act and delaying any meaningful reforms. For many scientists, it is the Nero complex of fiddling as the planet burns.

The 100 year prediction of demise seems a bit too specific a time frame but that period does represent the passing of the critical 3C line that is expected to trigger catastrophic and cascading global changes. Regardless of whether we are speaking of extinction in a 100 years or worldwide famine and natural disasters, many of us are left to marvel at man’s capacity for avoidance of difficult challenges, even when our very existence could rest in the balance. The refusal to act in the face of such overwhelming scientific evidence and warnings is a sad (and possibly lethal) conclusion of our species.

166 thoughts on “Scientists: Humanity’s End Is Now In Sight”

  1. Look at Jesus’ lesson of the Fig tree. This lesson speaks of the Coming of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
    “Just as the[ fig tree] branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he [Jesus] is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. HEAVEN AND EARTH WILL PASS AWAY, BUT MY WORDS WILL NOT PASS AWAY.
    It’s time to deal with the pollution of our souls and change the climate of our hearts and souls to believe in God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Man is destructive, but God saves and forgives.

  2. @ kevin schmidt – i see your hypothesis, but is it tongue in cheek or are you saying it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, as in the science of noetics (the thought itself has weight, and the more people thinking it the more weight, thus power, is gained by the thought, giving it impetus to eventually come to fruition, etc)? so difficult to hear intonation in posts online … because i think that vast masses DID believe in the mythological Y2K fly, probably only because of the catchy name imho, and far fewer knew of the utter myth. and yet no eow.

  3. yet very few people i knew thought there was even such a thing as a Y2K “bug”; thought it was some horse hockey hysteria dreamed up by decidedly non-pc-literate bean counter-type office drones who had nothing better to worry about and had insufficient IT knowledge to understand the workings of anything-IT (as told to me in reassuring tones by my then 15-yr-old computer-nerd nephew); and voila! they were right. nary an insect in sight. much ado over nothing. one really must pick and choose one’s hysterias these days.

    1. jr conklin – at the school I worked at we thought y2k wasn’t a problem, but just in case people were at the schools during the roll over.

  4. If everyone thought the Y2K bug was going to end civilization, then civilization would have ended

  5. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this to me is that Paul Erlich has been selected to be a Cardinal, and chief environmental advisor, by the pope.
    Given Erlich’s infallibility, this is a slam dunk.

  6. sheesh – having finally read the entire litany of comments and discontents, the sound and fury, the relevant, irreverent and some complete b.s., i still feel that nobody’s remarks have altered the fact that mankind could easily render itself extinct in much less than 100 years. the harm that’s been done to the planet is already creating shortages and perceived shortages which could and likely will bring out the self-interest and desperation inherent in homo sapiens fighting each for their own survival above all others’, until the last king on the hill gasps its last breath or breathes in its last chemical cocktail. for me, it is much more difficult to believe that given the power/willpower imbalance of noble v ignoble amongst mankind, the latter clearly willing to sacrifice us all for a myriad of reasons from selfishness to philosophy – that the noble could possibly keep mankind alive for half that long. climate change alone is not the single deciding factor, is it? one madman with one bomb and a touch of heat stroke – ?

  7. Michael Mann? Really? You think he is a good example? Because I think he is someone with some emotional problems. Let’s not base this discussion on the outliers.

    1. phillyT – there are very very few paleoclimatologists and even if you don’t like Michael Mann, every thing circles back to his data.


    A “discussion” between a habitual liar and an “expert” actor is supposed to mean what, exactly?

  9. “Take a modern car; it has an intake air temperature sensor …”

    You have to be dumber than a doornail to think that a car air intake is the same as a ship water intake.

  10. Karen S.: “It also wasn’t denialists that showed they were wrong, either.”

    I believe the point that was being made was that what is consensus today can be disproven tomorrow. Look at what was considered health food 50 years ago. That’s the exciting thing about science – we learn more every day. And the nobody going back to check I believe refers to the fact that we would be surprised how many times the accepted consensus has completely changed.”

    Nah, it overly simplifies how science works.

    Most of the dumb/stupid examples are statements made at the early part of technology or field, when things are very unsettled. And most of the statements were proven incorrect very soon after they were made!

    The corrections come from science. That’s a normal part of science.

    Corrections, if there are any, aren’t going to come from denialists.

    A lot of the nutrition stuff “50 years ago” wasn’t based on research (though it was reported by people in white coats, it wasn’t scientific). So, that’s a bad example. The other problem with “bad for you”/”good for you” reporting is that it’s often the dopey media exaggerating the results of the research.

  11. “Danson: I Lied, Oceans Didn’t Die”

    Limbaugh Archive

    November 13, 2007

    RUSH: Remember back in 1988 when this program debuted, Ted Danson predicted that we only had ten years to live because the oceans were going to be dead and, if the oceans died, then we would soon follow? He made a big deal out of this, one of the early environmental alarmists, the brilliant oceanologist, Ted Danson. Back in 1993, on my television show, I implored the Drive-By Media to ask Ted Danson where he got his information on the oceans having ten years left.

    RUSH ARCHIVE: They’re always making me justify my existence. I wish they’d do that to Hollywood celebrities who claim to be oceanographers and so forth. “Mr. Danson, Mr. Danson, what do you mean we’ve only got ten years left on earth unless we do — what’s — what’s — what’s your source?” They never do. They just — whatever Ted Danson or Whoopi Goldberg, any of these other Hollywood celebs say, they just accept it as gospel. When I say it, “Prove it! Where did you get that information? You have no right to say that. You’re just a racist, bigot, sexist, homophobe pig.”

    RUSH: That’s how the media reacts to me, “You can’t say that, prove it!” Ted Danson makes these claims, “Oh, oh, he cares so much.” Well, last Friday on CNBC’s High Net Worth, the reporterette Jane Wells interviewed Ted Danson, and she said, “There was a time when you said the oceans are going to be dead in ten years. They’re not dead?”

    DANSON: No. They’re not. But, I’m sure there was some hyperbole in what I said to draw attention to the issue, but you go to science journals now, 70% of the world’s fisheries are at a point of collapse.

    RUSH: Really? Oh, you lied, it was just hyperbole. So now after being proven to have lied, but, but, but 70% of the ocean’s fisheries or the world’s fisheries or whatever are at a point of collapse, 70%. So he’s been proven wrong, throws another figure out there, wow, we’re in trouble, oh, no, 70% of the world’s fisheries are closed. So Jane Wells then said — well, the answer she reported after — “Danson says some people have wondered, why listen to an actor? They make fun of celebrities taking up causes. He gets that.”

    DANSON: Celebrities can be silly, we can take swipes at them, and what the heck, why not, we are silly. But we do raise money. You know something, this community raises more money for charity than any other community in the world. This community is so generous.

    WELLS: He says over the years he’s probably given $3 million of his own money to the Oceans Campaign, and just last week he flew to Geneva to urge the World Trade Organization to lift subsidies which may result in overfishing.

    DANSON: I do want to be engaged in the process. I do not want to be victimized, or embarrassed, or guilty that I haven’t done something during this really critical time.

    RUSH: So, once again, after being proved wrong about the death of the oceans, he remains an expert, he remains a go-to guy. Why? Because he donates so much to charity to the oceans. He threw $3 million down the drain if he donated it to an ocean charity. The idea we can control the oceans is about as absurd as being able to control the climate! Anyway, I just think that just illustrates the point. Celebs are silly, he admits all this, and yet we know that you people are going to take us seriously because we’re like the big clique in high school, and you all wish you were in our group.

    1. forgotwhoiam – that was a surprise. I would have picked Stalin and Mao.

  12. phillyT – you know that those 97% of climate scientists (a very very small group) who believe in climate change have declared the data proprietary product and refuse to release it to the public or other scientists? Does this sound like the scientific method we were all taught?

    Well, ten minutes of research proves that claim to be nonsense. Research funded by private money stays proprietary and that’s mostly industry money. But if you don’t make your data available within the acceptable time limits it can’t be peer reviewed and it doesn’t make it into the journals. So I’m calling BS.

    DailyCaller is NOT a reliable source of, well, anything.

    But please explain to me why we shouldn’t be making every effort to stop pumping poisons into our air, water and soil, even if, and I don’t believe it for a minute, human-made climate change isn’t real?

    1. phillyT – check out Michael Mann and the lawsuits brought against Michael Mann to release his data. Last case was against the UVA.

  13. @PaulCS

    What is ridiculous is where NOAA is getting its new numbers. You will never believe this—ships’s engine intake gauges!

    It’s time to close NOAA, unfortunately.

    Until last week, government data on climate change indicated that the Earth has warmed over the last century, but that the warming slowed dramatically and even stopped at points over the last 17 years.

    But a paper released May 28 by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has readjusted the data in a way that makes the reduction in warming disappear, indicating a steady increase in temperature instead. But the study’s readjusted data conflict with many other climate measurements, including data taken by satellites, and some climate scientists aren’t buying the new claim.

    Of course.

    You see, the data says that over the last 20 years or so there has been no warming beyond instrument uncertainties at all. Not in the ocean, not in the atmosphere, not anywhere.

    The prediction was that warming would occur on an exponential basis. It hasn’t happened, and not one but two separate satellite data sets agree. Further, floating buoys that are specifically intended to measure this sort of data confirm the satellite data.

    So what did NOAA do? They used engine intake temperatures from ships, which (of course) are subject to all sorts of errors, all in the warming direction. The inside of a ship is probably going to be warmer than the intake water, which means that most of the time there will be a shift upward in temperature .vs. reality.

    Take a modern car; it has an intake air temperature sensor because the density of air changes with temperature and when computing how much fuel to inject having a baseline is important. But on my car, which I log data from in real time on a reasonably-regular basis during trips, the intake air temperature is frequently 10 or more degrees higher than the outside air temperature. Indeed, the displayed temperature on most cars that have an outside air temperature display is usually higher than reality because that sensor is usually located where it is subject to heated air (e.g. close to the road surface, which is warmer than the air in the daytime due to absorbed heat.)

    The same errors apply to ship cooling water intake temperatures.

    It’s utterly nuts to use such a temperature measurement for any scientific purpose as an absolute indicator. Such data is very useful for the operator of the ship as a relative measurement; if the ship’s engines are operating at 70% of output capacity and the expected delta between the intake and outlet temperatures is 10 degrees C, but the actual delta is 12 degrees then the maintenance staff may want to investigate whether there’s a flow problem or the engine is otherwise malfunctioning. That’s why these sensors are in ship water intakes.

    In other words we have yet another political “science paper” that intentionally omitted data the writers didn’t like.

    That’s not science, it’s politics and intentionally labeling it otherwise is fraud.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  14. Annie
    So, in other words, to hell with our children and grandchildren. The politics of denial trumps the future for our progeny.
    = = =
    Correct. The “ME” generation has spoken. They have their’s so screw the future for humanity.

    1. Only when NOAA readjusts the figures does it become the hottest May ever. Max, buddy, you need to go around the block a few more times to see what is happening here. 😉

Comments are closed.