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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report 708

New submitter SomeoneFromBelgium (3420851) writes According to Bloomberg a leaked climate report from the IPPC speaks of "Irreversible Damage." The warnings in the report are, as such, not new but the tone of voice is more urgent and more direct than ever. It states among other things that global warming already is affecting "all continents and across the oceans," and that "risks from mitigation can be substantial, but they do not involve the same possibility of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts as risks from climate change, increasing the benefits from near-term mitigation action."
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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

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  • What? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @10:49AM (#47765021)

    Are you telling me that spewing into the atmosphere millions of years of accumulated sunlight and cutting down most of the natural CO2 scrubers (trees) of the world will have negative effects? Nah! Imposible!

    • by emagery ( 914122 )
      Well said
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Are you telling me that spewing into the atmosphere millions of years of accumulated sunlight and cutting down most of the natural CO2 scrubers (trees) of the world will have negative effects?

      1. Trees do nothing
      2. Human emissions are not even stable, they are continuing to increase. 60 million barrels of oil went up in smoke 10 years ago. Today, almost 50% MORE, 90 million barrels a day. Coal, increasing too. Gas usage, increasing.

      Confused people will start talking about things like "cow farts" or "trees" or similar. These have nothing to do with global warming - the climate thing - because these do not represent sequestered carbon. These are all carbon cycle stuff. Sequestered carbon being ADDE

    • Yes, in the beginning there was carbon and water. Then, the water was split into hydrogen and oxygen which oxidized the carbon into carbon dioxide and left a lot of hydrogen gas drifting around. Then life spontaneously arose and converted the carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons aka "stored sunlight." Then more new life spontaneously arose which could metabolize the stored sunlight (aka food) into carbon dioxide and now here we are busily turning/burning the stored sunlight back into carbon dioxide. Now, a
    • by Layzej ( 1976930 )

      Plant growth is actually outpacing plant death:

      When I was in graduate school, that was the first time that scientists came to grips with the fact that half of the missing carbon is going into the land. The reason that was a surprise is that it is not enough just to have photosynthesis taking CO2 out of the air, what we are saying is the growth of new plants is more than the death of old plants. Things are growing faster than they are dying–and this is across the world, which was really a surprise.

  • by Cardoor ( 3488091 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @10:50AM (#47765023)
    change your name to Kamin and learn to play the flute.
  • Delayed action (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @10:50AM (#47765033)

    We'll never do anything about climate change as long as businesses can dictate law, control the EPA, and guide lawmaking through lobbyists. The Supreme Court has literally ensured this.

    I can't stand the idea that multi-billion corporations can't afford to spend 1/8th of their profit, if even that much, to operate in a more environmentally friendly manner.

    Gotta hoard and accumulate money at all costs, no matter what happens.

    • by Layzej ( 1976930 )

      We already are doing something about climate change! The price of solar is plummeting and some are suggesting that it will be a disruptive technology on the same order as the internet:

      the tipping point will arrive around 2020. At that point, investing in a home solar system with a 20-year life span, plus some small-scale home battery technology and an electric car, will pay for itself in six to eight years for the average consumer in Germany, Italy, Spain, and much of the rest of Europe. Crucially, this

    • Ok, please lead by example. Spend 1/8 of your disposable income on operating more environmentally friendly. Solar panels on your house, more efficient appliances, pay a landscaper to plant trees.
      • Re:Delayed action (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RobinH ( 124750 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @12:24PM (#47766093) Homepage
        That would actually be illogical for an individual to do if they're mostly interested in themselves and their offspring (and people do it which shows how generous some people are, sacrificing themselves for the greater good). A single person giving up 1/8 of their income for the benefit of everyone instead of themselves is just putting themselves at an economic disadvantage. Those are resources that can't be put towards better education for their kids, buying bigger/newer (i.e. safer for themselves) vehicles, etc. This kind of stuff will only work if we agree as a society that everyone has to play along by the new rules, for the benefit of everyone as a whole. A lot of people are completely against this idea (government intrusion on freedom, etc.) but that's the only way we've ever solved problems based on the "tragedy of the commons". If there's a common resource that people have an incentive to exploit, with no limit, for essentially free (e.g. the atmosphere) then they will do it. Sure, we all breath, but there's little/no incentive to breath "more". We can, however, use more energy by burning inexpensive fuel which consumes O2 and releases CO2 into the atmosphere, and we don't, as individuals or as companies, have to pay for that "externality". Therefore we will *never* stop doing it until we all agree as a society to regulate CO2 emissions.
      • One can't make that kind of choice unilaterally when competing against others. The companies can't either.

        Even if their founders have initially good intentions those good intentions will, when there are externalities, ultimately harm their business. This applies to everything from worker welfare or unsafe factories to harm to the environment.
  • by Joe Gillian ( 3683399 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @10:52AM (#47765051)

    From the article:

    The UN panel since September has published three separate reports into the physical science of global warming, its impacts, and ways to fight it. The study leaked yesterday, called the “Synthesis Report” intends to pick out the most important findings and present them in a way that lawmakers can easily understand. (Emphasis mine)

    Why do I have a feeling the report to the politicians will have to read a lot like the Simple English Wikipedia, to the point where it might not be a bad idea to get the writers for that on it.

    "Global warming is a bad thing that causes lots of problems. Burning stuff causes global warming. If you keep burning stuff, you will have a bad problem."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tarius8105 ( 683929 )

      Thats not the problem though. They understand english and know how to look up big words. The problem is that they receive campaign donations from people who have an interest in keeping the status quo. If lawmakers were to pass bills that would attempt to counter global warming on a large scale, these same businesses would have a huge hit to their bottom line. The stupidity of the situation is if we made changes little by little when people started to raise alarms about global warming, we probably could have

  • Irreversible? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SternisheFan ( 2529412 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @10:52AM (#47765055)
    --- “Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”

    Shel Silverstein

    The 'impossible' is just something that hasn't been done yet.

    • "Possible permanent changes include the melting of the ice sheet covering Greenland. That would boost sea levels by as much as 7 meters (23 feet) and threaten coastal cities from Miami to Bangkok along with island nations such as the Maldives, Kiribati and Tuvalu.

      The scientists said they have “medium confidence” that warming of less than 4 degrees Celsius would be enough to trigger such a melt, which would take at least a millennium.

      Other effects the report flags include reduced food secur
      • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
        "Irreversible" is a very strong word, and clearly incorrect. We're not so much talking about unscrambling eggs here as something than *can* be corrected, and in all likelihood *will* be corrected, just by leaving it alone and waiting long enough. The problem for us humans here today, of course, is that we won't we around that long and in all probability neither will many generations of our decendants. I fully expect the naysayers to latch on to this in combination with the historical record showing that
        • Ah, you one of those kill all the humans types: "just by leaving it alone and waiting long enough." So, who is going to do the waiting around?
    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
      That's besides the point. If we act now, we have a chance at fixing it that's fairly large and wouldn't cause that many problems. If we act much later, we have fewer chances of succeeding and even success would probably mean that people (how many? thousands? millions?) have died for nothing. Saying that we can always recover is incredibly selfish, even if it's true (and frankly it's more of a gamble than I'd like).
    • by wbr1 ( 2538558 )

      The 'impossible' is just something that hasn't been done yet.

      Nothing is impossible eh? Go slam a revolving door.

    • by pla ( 258480 )
      The 'impossible' is just something that hasn't been done yet.

      Quoting a work of fiction doesn't make your point unless your point applies only within that world.

      Unless, of course, you think we can solve global warming by reversing the polarity of the neutron flow (or perhaps Gandalf can just not let any IR photons pass, if you prefer fantasy solutions over scifi ones).
    • Re:Irreversible? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @12:41PM (#47766253)
      I have a slightly different take on it. Using absolutes like "irreversible" or "unavoidable" is dangerous is because it decreases public support for what you're trying to accomplish. People will think, "well if we can't do anything about it, then I guess there's nothing left to do but live it up in the time we have left."
  • well... (Score:2, Funny)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 )

    I just hope global warming increases to the point where it can self-pop the popcorn I like to eat when these histrionic sorts of things come out. All the sound and fury, so little actually accomplished! Whee!

    It's also likely that global warming might deliver pre-melted butter for the popcorn. Damn, what's wrong with this again?

    • by mellon ( 7048 )

      Well, if you aspire to be (as opposed to eat) sous vide steaks, I guess there's no problem at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @10:58AM (#47765109)

    Don't worry. Seriously, some very rich people who made a fortune selling gas and coal have assured us that these climate change alarmists are just a bunch of melodramatic liars. There's nothing to worry about.

  • It's IPCC...not IPPC (Score:4, Informative)

    by dtjohnson ( 102237 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:06AM (#47765193)
    At least get the acronym for the name of the organization predicting doom right. And...there's no hurry for action. The climate is currently taking a 'hiatus' from warming due to the alleged storage of heat in the deep ocean. Forecasts for the upcoming winter are...cold.
  • I'm far from an expert but the drought conditions out west are certainly telling something.
    • People should live in a desert.

      Seriously why to people do water intensive farming in a desert in an effort to preserve their water rights? I am not all that sympathetic to farmers and ranchers that through our governments subsidy rules and their use it or lose it water rights are having a hard time in what normally is a desert. Guess what you live in a desert and if you can't get the water to grow your alfalfa, lettuce, grape, etc crops maybe you should be trying to grow those things there.
  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:10AM (#47765231) Homepage
    They probably meant irreversible in a reasonable amount of time.

    But I absolutely assure you it is possible to undue all damage- if we are willing to pay a ridiculous amount of money to do it.

    Now, biological extinctions may be unpreventable, but we can always turn the clock back on climate change.

    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
      I don't think the worry with climate change was ever that we'd destroy Earth. It's just that it's in our best interests to avoid a certain species of apes from going extinct. Even that is unlikely, but I'm not sure you'd enjoy the possibility of millions or billions of people dying to an extinction-level event. Who's to say you'd be among the survivors, or your children?
    • by jandrese ( 485 )
      The "irreversible" part is talking about Ice Sheets that can't reform unless we have another ice age. Even if we got the average yearly global temperature back down to pre-industrial levels the ice sheet won't reform because the winter snow would be falling at a lower altitude where it will melt in the summer. So either we get this climate change situation under control in a hurry, or we start building a whole lot of seawalls around our coastal cities and just learn to deal with flooding.
  • by nblender ( 741424 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @12:04PM (#47765885)

    Buy another LED light bulb? Buy an electric vehicle? Eat vegetarian?

    Given there are no good alternatives when it comes to voting time, it seems like we're basically along for the ride..

  • by NotQuiteReal ( 608241 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @12:16PM (#47766007) Journal
    China accounts for 42% [sciencemag.org] of the carbon emissions. US and Europe combined are 20%, so even if "the rich" country bankrupted themselves trying, they can't solve the problem alone.
    • China makes everything, for everybody. We pay them to do this, part of the reason everybody pays them is because they are willing and we are not. Since we are not immediately and directly impacted by CO2 ...plus it is invisible... we are simply too shallow to realize it harms us indirectly. Just as people shop at Walmart and wonder why their jobs disappeared (forcing them to shop at Walmart more.)

      Is it MY fault I shot you in the foot, when you told me to do it?

  • by kick6 ( 1081615 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @12:48PM (#47766353) Homepage
    Really? Climate change groups have secret reports that need to be leaked because people are just DYING to get the details? Something about this concept seems...well complete bullshit.

"my terminal is a lethal teaspoon." -- Patricia O Tuama