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. Inga,

    P.S. Actually, I believe, at the core, it is more of a “haves vs. the have-nots” cum “law and order” rant. Race is not my focus; “winning and losing,” “merit vs. entitlement,” “right and wrong” and “success and failure” are.

    Everybody loves a winner.

    But winners are denigrated and penalized in contemporary America.

  2. I.Annie,

    To be sure, I apologized for a mis-posting.

    While not material on this site, it is a revelation of fact and truth.

    I do understand that, for some, the cold hard truth is difficult.

    If beer weren’t sold in bars and liquor stores, there would be no drunk drivers. If African Tribal Chiefs hadn’t sold members of their tribes, there would have been no American slavery.

    Abraham Lincoln was told by Chief Justice Taney that he had NO authority to suspend Habeas Corpus.

    Typically, when a citizen is found to be in violation of the law, he is arrested and prosecuted and precluded from future violations.

    Abraham Lincoln went of from illegal suspension of Habeas Corpus to exponentially greater, unconstitutional feats.

    In the normal course of human events, corrective action is implemented after the discovery of an anomalous condition.

    Lincoln’s egregious aberrations persist to this day.

    Imagine the very related affirmative action as bias in the ostensibly neutral, land of the free.

    Will you proffer a viable refutation of the facts or was that simply an emotionally imperative, visceral response?

    I am always excited to be corrected and learn the facts and the truth.

  3. PHILLY T
    I don’t know who your acquaintances are, but the people I know believe that is ALL our obligation to care for the earth, as well as all life on it. There are Christian’s in name only and those who try to live by God’s word and are eternally grateful for His precious gifts of life and the opportunity to live it.
    Try reading the Bible for the clues to living a thankful life. You will be amazed!
    I am, by no means, a perfect person nor the best Christian, but I’m trying to improve my ways to do God’s will. We each choose our path.

  4. How is it when the religious nuts prepare for the end of the earth about every decade or so and we all laugh. But then “scientists” do the same and the global kahoutek warmers all start bowing and chanting. Global Warmers are not just religious fanatics, they are batshit apocalyptic ones.

  5. I apologize. In my haste this post, intended for another site, was posted here.

    I apologize.

    Please ignore.

  6. MItt, Baby. How’s that RomneyCare which was the same thing as ObamaCare? What are you? A RepubliCrat or DemoCan? Can’t tell the difference, huh?

    The Confederate Flag is a symbol of the truth.

    Let’s try to remember the tyrant and despotic dictator, Abraham Lincoln, who nullified and violated the Constitution as acts of treason and insurrection. All of Abraham Lincoln’s actions were unconstitutional. Chief Justice Taney told him that he, Lincoln, did not have any authority to suspend Habeas Corpus, the Civil War was unconstitutional and was not “common defence” (it was a war of aggression against the Confederate States), confiscation of private property was unconstitutional as are ALL of Lincoln’s “amendments” which were ratified without a quorum, through coercion and under duress during the dictatorship of Lincoln’s “Reign of Terror.”

    Lincoln invaded a foreign country after the Confederate States availed themselves of their natural and God-given right to SECESSION.

    Scotland voted on SECESSION last year. West Virginia SECEDED from Virginia. Pakistan and Bangladesh seceded as did the entire USSR.

    Was THAT SECESSION bad, Mittster?

    You may like certain ideas, Mitty, but you can’t do things that are ILLEGAL and UNCONSTITUTIONAL, Mitty.

    Insanely GULLIBLE, bleeding-heart-liberals who fall for any parasites begging, can start a CHARITY in the PRIVATE SECTOR all day long. Under the American Founding documents, however, including the right to private and personal property, the severely limited government cannot TAKE MONEY FROM ONE MAN TO GIVE IT TO ANOTHER. You just can’t do it, MItty.

    Regarding slavery, it was an economic issue and should have been countered with economic tools such as the boycott. Supply and demand, right, MIttster. Every country in the world could have STOPPED buying cotton, period. Products from plantations could have been avoided like the plague at the shipping docks.

    But King Lincoln had to illegally invade another country and kill 1 million Americans because of his psychotic religious zeal.

    The Mittster says, to hell with the truth, do as I say, not as the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights (10 amendments) mandate.

    The TRUTH is that the AFRICAN TRIBAL CHIEFS STARTED SLAVERY and law firms everywhere should be preparing litigation for reparations from Tribal Chiefs to their tribe members who were sold into slavery.

    It’s kind of diffiucult to really blame the end user of a legal, commercial product that are supported by bills of sale, receipts and deeds.

    DAMN, MITTY. I’M RINO SURPRISED AT YOU. Oops!

  7. The state regulated monopoly electricity utility constitutes the very General Welfare the Founders “established” in the essential Preamble, and was created for and persists for the benefit of all citizens.

    Wealthy, “green” individuals who circumvent that regulated monopoly by selfishly going off the grid, in fact CHEAT the General Welfare. Without current radical liberal “lobbying” for incoherent “green” rebates and incentives, they would be in violation of regulation and law.

    With regard to state regulated monopoly electricity utilities, the inmates have taken over the asylum. There is little or no science involved in the deployment of wind and solar generation or distributed generation. There is plenty of radical, even something approaching anarchist, dogma and lobbying, but very little science. The quantifiable benefit, after consideration of the positive and negative impacts of each method, will inexorably lead to superior technologies and reveal the insufficiency of the remainder. Wind and solar pale in comparison to other methods of generation in their net benefit. France is 70% nuclear and Japan at Fukushima was warned one year in advance that it needed to raise the elevation of it back-up diesel motors. Japan failed. The technology did not.

    When “the sky is falling,” radical “green” lobbying is removed, state regulated monopoly electricity utilities have no competition. They enjoy “economies of scale” that competing distributed technologies can never achieve. Intuitively, huge trains deliver freight per-pound at a fraction of the cost of a diesel tractor-trailer. Responding to the “competition,” public utilities commissions will likely end “rebates” and “subsidies” and regulate “radicalism” out and “proven scientific efficiency” in; to the chagrin and detriment of “rooftoppers” with long term contracts. If the grid disappeared tomorrow, all of the administration, research, equipment, installation, maintenance, replacement and repair would be individualized and distributed to every house and business in the operating areas. “Electricians” will become as ubiquitous as plumbers. The wealthy “greenies” would be able to boast of being “off the grid,” but ratepayers and property owners collectively would have costs increase exponentially as was the case with the introduction of the cell phone and the extinction of the land line, after the telecom “Big Bang.” Then, phone bills were calculable on the fingers of one hand. Contemporarily the wireless bills have exceeded the stratosphere. The overall “bill” for electrical power will be daunting. The electronic aspect of the “poor” who are still on the grid won’t survive.

    State regulated monopoly electricity utilities have a vested interest in using the most efficient method of generation. It’s called EPS. If solar farms weren’t environmentally destructive, didn’t damage the flora and fauna beneath them and were cost-effective, utilities would have used them, or been “regulated” to use them decades ago. The allegation that utilities eschew efficiency is absolutely preposterous except to the radical activist, “green” lobbyists who control the state governments and public utilities commissions (Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn influence that sixties radical and ineligible imposter, Barry “Natural Born Citizen” Soetoro, to this day – and then there’s the admittedly radical and “green” Gov. “Moon Beam,” King Jerry Brown, who is “Browning California” through his failure to “serve” the people, as a subject of the sovereign, and prepare the state for inevitable and predicted droughts, as Japan failed to prepare for its inevitable and predicted tsunami).

    This country should put science back in charge at electricity utilities and get radicalism out in order to efficiently operate a state regulated monopoly as General Welfare for the benefit of all the people not just the wealthy “green” radical few.

    Finally and again anecdotally, the breakthrough, state-of-the-art, in-home electricity storage batteries are an “explosive” issue. No. Literally. There is a huge potential for explosion of those storage batteries. It may or may not be more explosive than in-home natural gas lines, but the potential should be acknowledged and addressed. I believe it was 119 degrees Fahrenheit in Palm Springs yesterday. I would have been packing my brand new Elon Musk, gigafactory, in-home, electricity storage battery with multiple bags of super-frozen ice, if I hadn’t already “got on ‘old paint’ and got the —- where I ain’t.” I mean a huge battery full of Kilovolts in a 119 degrees is a frightening concept.

  8. forgotwhoiam:

    That’s part of the problem. We have made so much progress, but we are still in the beta test phase. There are still problems that need to be resolved, and they will, I am sure.

    This also illustrates the global interconnectedness we share. We have our EPA regulations, but we ship our toxic e-waste overseas where kids pick through it. We buy most of our goods made overseas, where those countries deal with the toxic waste of manufacture. People think clean renewables are already a panacea, but solar panels and wind turbines use toxic materials in their manufacture, which pollute the countries that make them. And those toxins pollute the air and water and float on back to us.

    We are not as superior as we like to think. We just don’t do it in our own backyard.

  9. Anecdotally, the wind components require “rare earth” and other deleterious, exotic materials.

    ************************

    IER – Institute for Energy Research

    “Simon Parry from the Daily Mail traveled to Baotou, China, to see the mines, factories, and dumping grounds associated with China’s rare-earths industry. What he found was truly haunting:

    As more factories sprang up, the banks grew higher, the lake grew larger and the stench and fumes grew more overwhelming.

    ‘It turned into a mountain that towered over us,’ says Mr Su. ‘Anything we planted just withered, then our animals started to sicken and die.’

    People too began to suffer. Dalahai villagers say their teeth began to fall out, their hair turned white at unusually young ages, and they suffered from severe skin and respiratory diseases. Children were born with soft bones and cancer rates rocketed.

    Official studies carried out five years ago in Dalahai village confirmed there were unusually high rates of cancer along with high rates of osteoporosis and skin and respiratory diseases. The lake’s radiation levels are ten times higher than in the surrounding countryside, the studies found.

    As the wind industry grows, these horrors will likely only get worse.”

  10. Don’t lump me into the “me generation!” I use LED lights, drop off the old CFLs at collection sites rather than throw those Mercury bombs in the trash, try to organically garden fighting hordes of squirrels and rabbits, never use rodent poison, buy organic and local, plant native plants for pollinators, keep organic hens and let them free range, use non toxic laundry and dish soap, use a clothes line, cut apart soda can rings so birds or seals won’t get caught, recycle, live in harmony with the neighborhood coyote pack (when so many people kill them or drive them away), conserve water, bring my own bags, donate to environmental charities, and support made in America and Fair Trade whenever possible. That is just some of the ways I care for the environment.

    But there is this meme going around that anyone with any questions on climate science doesn’t care about the environment.

    That’s just not true. I do more for the environment than most. I just don’t use it for a holier-than-thou competition.

  11. Philly T:

    Exhibit E
    “The dominionist christians, among many others, believe that it’s finf to do whatever they want with the planet”

    Christianity does not call us to pollute the planet. On the contrary, the faith makes us stewards responsible for the planet. I am Christian and both a conservationist and environmentalist. Hunters among my family and friends are conservationist.

    These divisive biases are not helpful. Only by working together can we clean up the environment. The majority of the population in the U.S. are Christian. So if you were right they would have never passed any environmental legislation ever. Many of the pioneering greats in environmentalism were Christians.

  12. Aridog:
    “I for one will embrace solar panel technology when it becomes efficient in both generation and storage, and when I can afford it. Presently , “storage” is the unsolved problem. At present neither is true or possible for the average guy. Windmills are old news, almost Quixotic in their hubris…plus are ugly and destroy wildlife regularly along migration routes which naturally follow the wind patterns over the nation. Has a self sustaining “windmill” device (no subsidy and little waste) ever been built? I’ll listen. Subsidy is necessary, perhaps, for now but for how many decades?”

    That’s my quandary, too. I would also like to see our laws catch up with living off grid. Another problem is that the energy infrastructure is huge and expensive. Here in CA we are especially suited for solar, but not the water hogging solar thermal. As utilities lose customers to solar they charge more. We are legally required to connect to utilities even if a house is powered 24/7/365 off grid.

    My dream is to go solar. But I would also like to see the manufacturing process improved to minimize the surprisingly toxic materials it contains. We feel superior with our cleaner environment here, but we buy most products made oversees. So another country deals with the toxins.

    I looked at a house to buy that had 3 wind turbines. Like every single other turbine I’ve ever seen they were loud. And when parts wear out they were insanely expensive to repair. Plus they kill birds and drive wildlife nuts. In the house I did buy with no turbines we have birds nest on the property every year and I just had a visit from a coyote pup.

  13. G De La Paz

    I think you have it exactly backwards. The dominionist christians, among many others, believe that it’s finf to do whatever they want with the planet. I have met several of these people over the years, and their arrogance and certainty is frightening. They do not believe in stewardship, or respect for the Earth–they are in fact treating the planet like a roll of toilet paper, quite positive that god made the planet for them to use and abuse as they please, and that when the time comes, god will come to get them and take them off to heaven.

    So, no thanks.

    But perhaps this is one place where a version of Pascal’s wager would fit:
    Given the possibility that the planet is in danger, and assuming that the increase in human suffering or its very extinction is the likely outcome of ignoring these dangers, one should believe and act as though the planet is at risk, and if it turns out it wasn’t true, the world and human existence would benefit from the changes anyway.

  14. Max-1 … expanding on my remarks, I for one will embrace solar panel technology when it becomes efficient in both generation and storage, and when I can afford it. Presently , “storage” is the unsolved problem. At present neither is true or possible for the average guy. Windmills are old news, almost Quixotic in their hubris…plus are ugly and destroy wildlife regularly along migration routes which naturally follow the wind patterns over the nation. Has a self sustaining “windmill” device (no subsidy and little waste) ever been built? I’ll listen. Subsidy is necessary, perhaps, for now but for how many decades? The fossil fuel subsidies, such as they are, have lasted a rather long time…e.g., we rob Peter to pay Paul with all of it. We don’t have the money except what we borrow so for a start, let’s cut all subsidy and let the inventors and the market take back over. I’ve worked in hydro-power and in that instance our generation generated more electric power than we needed and always gave us a credit with the local power company…over a period of 30+ years I’d say it wasn’t a burden on the working folks because the grid it is on disseminates power to other grids to enhance their capacity and reliability in some rather rural areas.

    I am not interested in ideals alone, only objectives met economically, once innovation is fully developed, which brings me back to those areas that are not yet advanced enough to provide power to the entire population. My friends in various parts of rural and semi-rural Africa confirm my ideas…again, power outages are common. A large stock of candles is a necessity, not to mention wood or coal fired pits to heat water for bathing. In another part of the world that is how I heated water for a bath, outside, for pouring in to a small stainless steel tub, whether July of February. Not fun or convenient. Again, YMMV…I have to go with what I know, and have experienced, so far.

  15. Max-1 …said…

    The “ME” generation has spoken. They have their’s so screw the future for humanity…

    Would you care to delineate in detail all that you are doing to assure a future for humanity? I relaize it will require more than a one liner comment…but I have to ask. Almost all of us do something, so I presume you do too. I don’t mean “talk” about “climate change” I mean what are you, personally, Max-1 doing to ameliorate it? And doing so economically within your personal world. If there is to be a solution it will involve all of us, in little ways and large ways, it won’t be by government mandate or diktat. YMMV.

  16. Exhibit D:
    “Correct. The “ME” generation has spoken. They have their’s so screw the future for humanity”

    Exhibit E does make a desultory effort to actually address the sincere concerns along with some name callin:
    “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!”

    However it is untrue. The most recent statement that 2014 was the hottest year ever was admitted to be within the margin of error and hence statistically meaningless to the actual scientific community, by definition.

    I neither neither affirm nor deny anthropogenic climate change until these errors and in some cases, unfortunately, deliberate malfeasance, are corrected. You can’t move the bloody station for example.

  17. Science rests on three pillars: observation, hypothesis, and theory. If it is observed that the average annual temperature of our atmosphere and ocean increases and that sea levels are rising you have to come up with a hypothesis. Too many methane-farting cows?

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