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04/30/2013

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Alexander Ač

Excellent! Breathtaking contradiction in Kelemen's reasoning:

"Realists and 'pessimists' are the problem!" even though they are miniscule/irrelevant fraction of human populace.

What a MIGHTY SPECIES we are!

We are blocking everybody from doing anything good, since we are pointing out to the problem. If we stop pointing to the problem(s), solution(s) would emerge immediately!

The same way doctors are responsible for illness, since they try to cure it (they scare the patient); and firemen are responsible for the wildfire since they try to extinguish the fire! etc.

Kelemen is optimistic humans will eradicate the rest of inconvenient people, and all the overblown problem(s) with them. Then paradise on Earth will emerge :-/

Alex

Rowan

Or, in other words, if you don't have anything positive to say then you should shut the f**k up - I've lost track of how often I've been told this!! Kinda shuts down the discussion so the Delusionists don't have to lose their happy happy mind frame.

Oliver

@Dave - Yep.
@Alex Ač - Exactly.
@Kelemen - I feel sorry for you, if that's the sum total of your wisdom after x many years on this planet.

Dave S. Nottear

"And my children are lucky, in a stable home, among the 3 percent, talented, athletic, well educated..."

His family is highly insulated and isolated from normal, everyday life. He wants to believe this will always be so. And he wishes the mean people out there would not upset his kids.

Sounds like the profile of the editors of The New York Times. A lullaby for the Adult-sized Children.

The Dingo

Dave,

I have been following your blog for a while and have read (nearly) every one of your posts. And I think I have a good handle on your sensibility--and I like it. The human race and the planet needs your "common" sense now, more than ever. I know you probably don't do requests, but I'm curious--if you could one day write up a post in which you outline what your policy would be, if you could somehow had influence in the levers of "power". I know--I know, you don't think the policy of politics works when solving real issues. And you're right; it doesn't. But, I'm just curious as to what type of policies/laws or whatever you would lay out, if you could. I'm a 20-something, desperately worried about the disaster I know is coming down the tracks for me, at full speed, and you have been the most sensible voice I have heard from the older generations on this matter. However, even after reading your blog, I'm still not sure what actions I can take that are worth investing in and what are not.

For example, should I (as young guy) invest/work for a solar company or volunteer to protect the environment, and so on...now and in the future, to try and mitigate climate change? Or is that a meaningless gesture, because the flaws of human nature will ultimately make my efforts worthless and pointless, because of the failure of man to make collective change. I don't want to be a Doomer or a Pessimist--I want to be a realist, but the reality keeps pointing to me to the fact that we humans will be done in by are very nature,at some point down the road. So, I'll admit, I'm lost as to what actions I could take that will be meaningful and less harmful to our current collective situation. Maybe you can help in this dilemma. Thanks

Ben

the climate that worries me most is the climate of fear

Here is a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don't worry be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy......

Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy http://youtu.be/d-diB65scQU

rumor

If only we could get rid of all that fear of impending danger, we could finally devote our collective attention and effort towards conservation, sacrifice and adaptation in avoiding impending danger!

Well, that just makes perfect fucking sense.

That's just science, right there.

John D. Wheeler

I just had to check the numbers. Keleman is talking about potentially taking out 1 billion tons of CO2 per year according to the article you cited. According to cdiac.ornl.gov, in 2010 about 33.5 tons of CO2 was emitted from making cement and burning fossil fuels.

Really? We are supposed to have hope from that? So instead of hitting the brick wall at 67 mph we hit it at 65 mph? Okay, maybe we can find 32 more solutions like that... or maybe people could start making the hard choices and cutting back voluntarily. But I'm not holding my breath.

Dave S. Nottear

@ Dingo,

This is none of my business, but...

Reading your second paragraph - you sound like you feel it necessary "to do something" about the predicament we are in. Please remember, you are not responsible for the situation that more than 7 billion people have created over a period of centuries. Also, you do not have the "power" to alter the course of 7 billion people. And finally, you are not obligated to try and fix anything. The only thing you are "obligated" to do is to try and live through it (don't become cannon-fodder for some well-intentioned, but futile and maybe self-defeating "Crusade!").

So, maybe the best thing you might do - at least as a start - is "tread lightly" during your lifetime (please read "A Different Kind of Luxury: Japanese Lessons in Simple Living and Inner Abundance" by Andy Couturier). That might be enough to land you in with a group of like-minded people and you can then see where things go from there (live the way you think we should live - contribute as little as possible to "the system," and take/consume as little is possible - learn to live without "the system" as much as possible.

My very gifted 19 year-old son is working full-time at a local Pawn Shop, where he is learning a lot about human behavior among other useful "life skills." He is saving for, and taking, "tech ed" classes now so he is learning to make and break things without having to hire someone else to do it. He has put-off engineering school for now. He goofs off too much yet, but he also reads, and reads and reads (e.g. he skipped a party last Saturday night to finish my ancient copy of Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" - he's reading Kahmeman's "Thinking fast and slow" today...). He is building strong, local social circles (we are in a reasonable community where this is worth doing).

I told him not to confuse his life with what is happening in the world around him. We each are Wave Riders, not Wave Makers - we were forged by the process of evolution and what we are today and what we face today are a consequence of that. Act like a small mammal and avoid the dinosaurs as they fall.

If anything, in terms of evolution, I think you should consider viewing the future as a series of filters that most people - maybe all people - will fail to negotiate.

---

I hope Dave or someone can come up with some "policies" - but I will not hold my breath that any "policies" will be acceptable to all of the major industrial nations and developing nations. I also believe the USA is playing for keeps - it does not plan on sharing. And I think there is nothing we can do to stop that. I would love to believe otherwise, but i think it is mostly fantasy/bargaining to believe the world will work together at this Very Late point in our history.

Just my 2-cents. Plenty of room for arguments etc.

Jim

I'm repelled and fascinated by people like Dr. Kelemen. They see and acknowledge the problems that face us, but they just refuse to believe they aren't just another set of problems to overcome.

I spent a painful hour this evening listening to a lecture entitled "Exponential Everything" by Dr. Kelemen:
http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/video/peak-earth

Amongst the highlights: he suggests there's no way we are going to slow our global economy down, so we might as well accelerate it instead. He foresees a 10x increase in global energy use by 2100. He's skeptical we can get there (he knows and talks about the difficulties in the verious energy sources), but then he says we increased energy use 10x from about 1900, and we did it then, so it's logical to assume we can do it again. Technology and the human will solve all problems.

He says the Dow Jones has risen so high because it's on an exponential growth curve. Prediction: the Dow will be at 1.3 million in 2100.

He's fully aware a 10x increase in energy use would have massive repercussions regarding climate change. He believes we can address them with various methods of carbon capture and storage, sequestration, and increased renewables. Some suggestions: grow a lot of trees and dump them in the Mariana trench (I'm not making that up), inject captured carbon into seawater and/or the seabed, etc.

He knows this will increase energy and resource costs dramatically, and he knows that the trend is towards ever and ever increasing energy prices even without the added capture prices. But hey, we've always handled such things in the past, so no sweat.

Here's an article by him, too (widely cited a few months ago):
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/coal-oil-gas/will-the-us-surpass-saudi-arabia-in-oil-production-14764018

This is exactly the same stuff as the Ted series - "We know we gots some stuff coming down the pike, but look at how smart we are, so don't worry, bro."

Who is the problem here, indeed.

P.S

Kelerman: "Climate, energy, and resource problems have solutions, and we can solve them when we muster the resolve to do so."

This reflects the world view that has got us into this mess. It's all just a technical problem, amenable to technical fixes provided by those synaptically blessed brainiacs with whom Dr Kelemen self-identifies.

I forget who said "The chief cause of problems is solutions", but they were wiser than Dr Kelemen.

Ken Barrows

I think it was Eric Sevareid (CBS?) that said "the chief cause of problems is solutions."

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