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Stop telling kids they’ll die from climate change + Orbit affects climate variability

C C Offline
Earth’s orbit affects millennial climate variability

INTRO: Abundant geological evidence demonstrates that Earth's climate has experienced millennial-scale variability superimposed on glacial-interglacial fluctuations through the Pleistocene. The magnitude of millennial climate variability has been linked to glacial cycles over the past 800 thousand years (kyr).

For the period before the Mid-Pleistocene Transition, when global glaciations were less pronounced but more frequent, scientists had been unable to identify the linkage between abrupt climate changes and ice-age cycles. Recently, however, scientists from China, the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland found that the magnitude of millennial climate variability was persistently influenced by variations in the precession and obliquity of the Earth through the Pleistocene.

Their study was published in Nature Geoscience on Nov. 1... (MORE)

Stop telling kids they’ll die from climate change

EXCERPTS: . . . That’s why I find it alarming that most young people today feel like they do not have a future. Many might also forgo having children as a result. This mentality doesn’t just show up in survey data, it also tallies with my personal experience. I’m in my twenties and hear it from friends all the time. The dilemma about whether to bring kids into a world on the path to annihilation is a real one.

One of the most recent and alarming examples of this doomsday mindset came from a group of young activists before the German elections. The group, who call themselves the Last Generation, went on hunger strike for almost a month. Several ended up in hospital...

[...] There are a couple of ways I think this doomsday scenario has become commonplace. First, you don’t need to look far to find people with large platforms promoting these messages. Take Roger Hallam, the founder of Extinction Rebellion. In one of his most recent videos—titled “Advice to Young People as They Face Annihilation”—he claims we must get emissions to zero within months, otherwise humanity will be wiped out. He claims that this annihilation is now locked in. The worst thing about this message is that, rather than inspiring action, it resigns us to the falsehood that we are already too late. There is now nothing we can do. It’s easy to dismiss Hallam as an extreme outlier, but he is also the founder of one of the world’s largest environmental movements. A movement whose name is hinged on this premise that we’re heading for a total wipeout. This is out of line with the science, and scientists should call this out more prominently.

Second is a miscommunication of targets and thresholds. The 1.5 degrees Celsius target was written into the Paris Agreement in acknowledgement that 2 degrees Celsius of warming would risk the livelihoods of some communities—particularly low-lying island states. It was a call for greater ambition. But the likelihood that we would meet this 1.5 degrees C target was as slim then as it is now. Feasible in the models, but in reality it’s gone. The problem is that many now view 1.5 degrees C as a tipping point threshold. Once we hit it, the game is up. It’s therefore not surprising—given that we will most likely pass 1.5 degrees C in the next few decades—that many people believe we’re too late.

Third, the pace of almost-real-time updates means we are bombarded with news of the latest disaster. These stories matter, but they don’t give us an accurate perspective on how the frequency and consequences of disasters are changing overall. In fact, they give us a false perspective. The data tells us a different story: Death rates from disasters have fallen a lot over the past century. This isn’t because climate change has no impact on the severity of disasters. We’re just much more resilient to them. [...] Follow the news and we quickly come to the opposite conclusion: That more people are dying from disasters than ever before. Some media outlets use the frequency of articles as a marker of progress. The Guardian publishes a new climate article every three hours. At that pace, most of these articles are reports on the latest catastrophe. It’s an anxiety-inducing feed.

Combine these messages with the slow and inadequate action on climate so far, and it's not surprising that so many feel that humanity is doomed. But this pessimism is a problem for several reasons.

First, it comes at the cost of mental health. We shouldn’t underplay the toll that this can take. I’ve been there: feeling like you are screaming into the void and no one is listening. It’s why I find it shocking that it’s become acceptable to tell kids that they will die from climate change. Not only is it a terrible thing to tell our children, it’s also not true for most of them.

Second, doomsday scenarios play into the hands of climate skeptics. When the world doesn’t end in 10 years, the whole field of climate science takes a hit. People assume this message came from scientists—which it didn’t—and their reputation becomes tarnished. The public loses trust in them. This is perfect for those who want to stop us from taking action.

Finally, I am skeptical that this mentality is effective in driving change. It often makes us feel like any effort is futile. That we’re already out of time. Anger can, for short periods of time, be useful in kickstarting action. But it sometimes comes at the cost of clear thinking on how we actually make progress. And once anger transitions into hopelessness, we struggle to achieve much at all. Hopelessness is no better than denial... (MORE - missing details)
Magical Realist Offline
I solved global warming for myself by moving from Texas to Portland Oregon in 1998. The temps are much cooler here along with more rainfall and even snow in the winter. If I lived another 50 years, I'd probably move to Alaska.
Syne Offline
(Nov 6, 2021 09:17 PM)Magical Realist Wrote: I solved global warming for myself by moving from Texas to Portland Oregon in 1998. The temps are much cooler here along with more rainfall and even snow in the winter.

And more homeless out in the elements.

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