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Collapse: The Climate Change Thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by downndirty, Sep 9, 2021.

  1. downndirty

    downndirty
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    Focus: Climate change, and all it's nightmarish glory. How does it affect you? What are you doing about it? How fucked are you in particular?

    I'm working for FEMA, and I've made the case that disasters are the front lines of climate change. When I started with the Agency, the Trump Administration ensured there were no mentions of climate change causing or exacerbating disasters. The incidents of 2017 (Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and the California Wildfires) provided a vivid rebuttal. Now, in the next FEMA Strategic Plan, there will be an emphasis on climate resilience. Of the billions of dollars FEMA is spending on disasters and disaster prevention/preparedness/mitigation, more of it will be spent on mitigating and preparing for further climate change. We're preparing for an immediate future where wildfires run a bit wilder because climate change exacerbates droughts and water shortages, hurricane impacts stretch hundreds of miles, because they have so much more energy to disperse, and disasters for extreme heat and cold become the norm.

    I remember serving as a Peace Corps volunteer over a decade ago in Honduras. My work focused on local agriculture. Climate change was causing/exacerbating droughts, adding to deforestation and making agriculture less predictable. This, in turn, caused young people to abandon their villages, and relocate to the cities. With no resources, no jobs, and nothing but starvation awaiting them at home, many of these people are radicalized, pressed into gangs or end up homeless. With those prospects, illegal emigration seems like a simple solution. Thus, in a very wild turn of events, climate change is exacerbating immigration pressure.

    I can imagine this is happening in many places. I can also imagine where as the climate warms, it creates a negative feedback loop, consuming more energy to exist in places like Dubai and Arizona and Australia. More energy means more carbon in the atmosphere (generally), so the hotter it gets, the faster the trend accelerates.

    I can't recall the exact figures, but there's a certain temperature/humidity range at which humans can't survive, because the sweat doesn't evaporate effectively, and the cooling mechanism is essentially tricked. It's not cooling, but the body continues to dump water until heat stroke occurs. We're hitting this in more and more places, for longer durations. The issue with this is hitting in places where humans live, largely without air conditioning, in large, immobile populations. Much of the under-developed world is at mortal risk of dying of climate change, either literally from overheating, or starving or social destabilization.

    We can hope for natural mitigations taking advantage of slight upticks in temperature, and helping regulate it. Things like plant growth at sea, algae blooms exponentially growing, releasing more oxygen and capturing more carbon and even basic mitigations on our built environment such as solar or even roofs that absorb sunlight and dont' reflect it as much will help. We can adjust behaviorally by eating less meat and dairy, slowing down on the consumption a bit, and adopting diversified energy solutions like solar, wind, etc.

    However, the prevailing belief is those measures are like trying to stop a freight train with a bb gun.

    Are we too far gone? In some ways, yes. I read "this is the coolest summer/winter we'll have for the rest of our lives", and it haunts me. I can't imagine seeing snow in SC again on Christmas, nor can I envision another summer without 100+ degree temps as north as Virginia, with humidity you'd normally see hovering over a bowl of soup. The extinction event is certainly in motion, as we're seeing wildlife die off in record numbers, most vividly in Australia where they just die from sun exposure.

    Personally, it's delayed me buying/building a house, and certainly kept me away from anything near water. In my darker moments, it weighs in on decisions like having children and how to live my life: the futility of trying to hold back this tide makes me wonder if there's any point. I feel for the younger generations, because it's all they will ever know, and it's shaping up to be the defining battle for them.
     
  2. Juice

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  3. AbsentMindedProf

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    I'm a civil engineer who works in water resources dealing mostly with floodplain, dam breach and stormsewer analysis. In the next 20 years we are going to spend trillions on dollars upgrading our stormwater infrastructure and protecting buildings from flooding. We're seeing larger storm events much more frequently and our stormwater systems were not designed to handle those inflows. Most states are ramping up their dam inspection and regulation measures and forcing owners to upgrade facilities and prepare better emergency action plans because the likelihood of a large storm event breach is becoming more likely. Then their are the dumbass developers filling up every available lot and placing buildings directly downstream of a dam bumping the dam them into the highest hazard classification. But hey, that's for the HOA do deal with, they got their money.
     
  4. Fiveslide

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    It should absolutely weigh on decisions we all make. It does on mine.

    I think we currently have several generations that are putting their head in the sand and not making decisions with some basis on the consequences of their decision, because those consequences seem to be so far off. Yet, they're not that far off. What resources will I be using if I do this or this, if I buy this new item, what if I got a used one instead?

    I need this big truck sometimes, but mostly drive a cheap car with good gas mileage. Not only do I basically get the car for free from the gas savings, I'm using less fossil fuels. But, it's hard to convince people that they could save money and resources with an additional car.

    Take my main hobby, boating. When you look critically at it, it seems to be a hobby with a huge appetite for resources, and it is for most people. However, every boat I have is over 20 years old, I bought something that didn't need resources to create. Because our favorite spot is only about 4 miles from the house, I can get by with only buying less than 100 gallons of gas, related to this hobby, for an entire year. There are people out here that use that in a weekend, every weekend.

    Most things that I do, I have an eye toward the resources it will take to do them. I think that is something that younger generations will do more of than their older, crankier counterparts.
     
  5. Fiveslide

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    I did the topo for the dam beach study for this lake about 20 years ago. If I recall correctly, that big clearing with the house on it was found to be too high risk, so they bought only land outside the affected zone and dead ended the road into the remainder, which was kept by the seller. Sometime since then, someone built on it.



    Screenshot_20210909-102903~3.png
     
  6. Aetius

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    I don't want to be a downer, but the storms and floods and all that are going to be the least of it. The real shitshow is going to start once crop yields start to drop and the base of the ocean foodchain can't survive the hotter/more acidic waters. Imagine the upheaval when hundreds of millions of people start to cross international borders because the productive land has shifted (and diminished).
     
  7. GcDiaz

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    All I ever needed to know about Climate Change is that the military takes it very serious. Forget the politicians, forget even the scientists, when the soldiers are telling you that this is an issue of NATIONAL DEFENSE, that Climate Change will inevitably result in Climate Refugees and all the societal issues that entails, you ignore them at your peril.
     
  8. GcDiaz

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    We already bought a house, too late to keep it nomad style. But at least we're dozens of miles from the coast and nearly 500ft above sea level. That should be enough to spare the grandkids some major grief, no?
     
  9. Revengeofthenerds

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    the new truck tires I got are rated for snow. I think this will be a regular thing in the winter now in Texas. climate change can suck my dick
     
  10. bewildered

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    Climate change is a major concern for me. The more information I learn, the more terrifying it is. Ocean acidification and heating leading to die off of life including but not limited to oxygen creating algae, drought + wildfire conditions in whole regions, climate affecting ability to grow food, extreme seasonal changes cascading effects to the ecosystems and regional speciation that has their own cascading effects once die offs begin. I mean, shit, it's a small anecdotal example, but I had ducklings dying in their shells because it was too hot this summer, even with no mother sitting on the eggs. At this point I avoid seeking out info intentionally, and me and hubs are in agreement about making moves to a longterm safer place. Safe in terms of: floods, droughts, seasonal storms including hurricanes and tornadoes, and extreme heat/humidity/wet bulb situations. I want to live somewhere I can thrive, not just survive. I want a place my child can grow up happy, spending time safely outdoors when they want, and inherit a house that is an asset and not a tax burden in apocalyptic heat that no one wants to buy. I've found a couple of helpful maps that have considered the risk factors of counties across the country and give a risk assessment for each. These have helped narrow the search.

    I try to live as guilt free an existence as possible and reduce my adding to the problem (although lets be real, the biggest scam oil companies have pushed on us is getting us to care more about our individual carbon footprint rather than the astronomical pollution and waste created by them and some other companies). I recycle all I can except plastic, (which I strongly feel the government needs to step in and find a better solution for, because EVERYTHING comes in plastic there is no where to recycle it here. The recyclers who do take it often "sell" it to China and they fucking throw it in a river for all I know), I compost, I avoid wasting food, we do not eat fish or very very rarely red meat, I abide by the three Rs - reduce, reuse, recyle, turn off lights, turn off the water, water outside a minimal amount, buy used (especially vehicles, furniture, and other "bigger" purchases) when I can. I use (received used) cloth diapers for my kid. PS: Did you know it takes hundreds of years for a diaper to break down? It made me sick to my stomach when I did the quick math in my head.

    I think you probably catch onto my frenzy and panic over this topic. It's bad, real bad. The forecasts for the gulf coast made us eager to try a new region altogether. I'm so glad we got out. My brother just bought a house and I'm like.... congratulations . This region is decent but we can get extreme air pollution from wildfires all around us, and droughts and heatwaves are worsening. The farms in Oregon are hurting over the reduced precipitation and seasonal snow runoff. Some small farmers have had to abandon their farms because there is no water in the wells. Others are on a wait list to dig deeper. Some big farms are tapping hard into the aquifers, amounts dictated by state gov. This isn't just a job, these are people producing food. What the fuck do you do when you run out of water? We are moving as soon as jobs allow it.
     
  11. Nettdata

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    The shitty part is that a bunch of old fucks who bring snowballs into the US Senate as "proof" against Global Warming are running the show.

    People vote the stupidest people into power, and those that should be running for office, aren't.

    And once they're in there, BigCo pays them a few grand to continue to let them fuck over the world.
     
  12. bewildered

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    Oh yeah, and I vote.

    Makes me piping mad to think of these rich old fucks acting like it's not big deal - or moving the goalposts - too late to do anything. Yeah, they won't live to see the smoldering ruins and are confident that their wealth will protect their families.

    Fuck. Them.
     
  13. Revengeofthenerds

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    Without derailing this too much, I wonder how much of these stupid people are dying from covid right now though?

    One of the more interesting things we've been discussing around here locally is how disproportionately the "red" counties have been impacted by covid deaths, and how that might be enough to swing elections for a long time. Is it possible that COVID will change our climate policies due to the fact it disproportionately kills red voters?
     
  14. Nettdata

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    Not enough, and not fast enough.
     
  15. Revengeofthenerds

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    well shit man I'm trying to be all delicate about it and you just come in with a sledgehammer

    .... keep doing it pls
     
  16. downndirty

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    The long term implications are so vast, it's really hard.

    Climate change might force large swaths of the globe into modernization, because one of the hinges for that is female empowerment and education. This means that women have less children as their surroundings are more deveIoped. If you can't stay where you're from due to climate change (jury is out on precise causes of urbanization in the developing world, but climate change could be a factor), and you relocate to an area where women can work....

    Climate refugees are already a thing, and I don't think it means millions starve. I think it means our global food supply consolidates, which has it's own set of problems.

    I have a suspicion that the race to Mars isn't about living on Mars, that's fucking stupid. But terra-forming Mars? There might be some money in having a literal planet-sized sandbox to figure things out like massive desalinization, building and controlling micro-climates, and using remotely piloted craft to navigate an unlivable hellscape. Not to mention the value in some of the patents and tech you develop along the way....

    It's also frustrating because there's nothing to make it simpler. It's not like we say "solve the transportation issue, boom no more climate change."
     
  17. Juice

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    Unless we have some kind of Zefram Cochran moment, I think we’re fucked long before we have the technology and resources to terraform Mars. Not to mention we are currently un-terraforming this planet.
     
  18. walt

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    It's a concern, when we've gone a month without rain and when we finally do get some it's a massive storm bringing flooding and damage. Tornado warnings and occurrences were once a one time in 10-20 years thing, now there's one nearly every summer. Those hard, cold Winters we used to get kept things on schedule as well as kept ticks under control. So yeah, it's a concern.

    But honestly, what the hell am I going to do about it? We do our best to not make countless trips to town, we have a smaller home, and we're "going green" with our heating and cooling ( at a great expense ). I've flown in an airplane exactly once in my entire life and don't care if I never do again. I've long believed we're stewards of the earth and have taught our sons the same.

    On the other hand, the people on TV making the grand pronouncements about us "killing the earth" are the ones who have 3000+ square foot homes and regularly fly all over the country and world to tell people like us how horrible we are. At some point, ya just tune it all out, you know?

    Also, what good are all the measures we take here in North America/ Europe if other parts of the world are using the planet as their personal trash can? I'm not saying we shouldn't take proper measures, but we can only do so much on our own.
     
  19. dixiebandit69

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    Aetius and Kindalas are going to red dot the shit out of me, but I'm kind of appathetic about it.

    What can one man realistically do that doesn't amount to a huge inconvenience/ expense that ultimately accomplishes nothing?

    It's like that whole anti-gun argument: "GUN VIOLENCE IS BAD AND MAKES BABY JESUS CRY! YOU'RE A MONSTER IF YOU DON'T GIVE UP YOUR GUN!"

    Okay, are the criminals going to give up their guns? Are the COPS?

    I've got a lot more to say about this, but I'm at work and don't want to type it all out on my phone.
     
  20. bewildered

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    Climate change is a great example of the tragedy of the commons.