The grim reality of climate change is still not dawning


Are we all through with calling everyone Nazis for supporting free speech? If we are, the planet is melting and if you think being carbon neutral by 2050 is meaningful, you are part of the problem.

There is no stopping Climate Change now, only mass cultural, political and economic adaptation can save us and we are currently no where near that.

I’ve been following the science behind global warming climate change and the most excruciating truth is that as each year passes, only the worst case scenarios start bearing fruit…

Climate change: ‘Hothouse Earth’ risks even if CO2 emissions slashed
It may sound like the title of a low budget sci-fi movie, but for planetary scientists, “Hothouse Earth” is a deadly serious concept.
Researchers believe we could soon cross a threshold leading to boiling hot temperatures and towering seas in the centuries to come.
Even if countries succeed in meeting their CO2 targets, we could still lurch on to this “irreversible pathway”.
Their study shows it could happen if global temperatures rise by 2C.

Climate change could trigger ‘Hothouse Earth with 60 metres sea level rises
Earth may be on a runaway trajectory towards a ‘hothouse’ climate which will see huge swathes of the planet become uninhabitable and 200ft (60m) sea level rises, an international team of scientists has warned.

A new review found that even if targets to cap global warming at 2C are met, it may already be too late because of a ‘domino effect’ of other factors such as the ongoing reduction in Arctic sea ice and the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.

Gwynne Dyer: Climate change — where is it all going to end?
This is Armageddon Summer in the northern hemisphere: out-of-control wildfires all around the Arctic Circle (not to mention California and Greece), weeks-long heatwaves with unprecedented high temperatures, torrential downpours and Biblical floods. And yes, it’s climate change.

It’s quite appropriate to be frightened, because the summers will be much worse 10 years from now, and much worse again 10 years after that. Prompt and drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions now might stop the summers of the 2040s from being even worse, but they wouldn’t do much to lessen the mounting misery of the next 20 years.

Those emissions are mostly in the atmosphere already.

China’s heatwave apocalypse: By 2070, weather there will kill
NOW we know why Beijing is so interested in the South China Sea: Killer heatwaves are set to sweep across northern China within just 50 years. If they don’t leave, 400 million citizens could face a day where they’re left with only hours to live.

And that day will be a pressure cooker.

A report published this week in the science journal Nature Communications details the effect of climate change on China’s great North Plain, which contains the megacities Beijing and Tianjin. The area’s once fertile open fields have become among the most densely inhabited places on Earth.

But things are warming up. Fast.

…global warming due to human made pollution is an existential threat to our entire species and the need to change and adapt to it are beyond the current capacity of our political spectrum.

Being Carbon Neutral by 2050 isn’t a solution to anything, it’s the pretence of a solution.


  1. And, global dimming is the kicker. The cooling effect of particulates from coal fired power stations has masked the real temperature rise. Tricky paradox – reduce emissions and reduced dimming increases temperature.

    I’m picking that some putz having a lost roll of the dice will order up a nuke to be popped into an active volcano. The ensuing nuclear winter will provide temporary respite as the elite go undergound in a kind of reversal of the Eloi and Morlocks.

    More realistically, time for the government to abandon Wellington (sea level rise) as the capital and head to Taupo. It’ll be a ten year transition so they should start now.

    • Let’s not forget that Taupo is sitting on a giant caldera that is due to erupt before too many centuries… Out of the frying pan into the fire?
      Why not move the Capital to somewhere safer? Hamilton!

  2. Among the climate change effects we have to look forward to are massive “methane burps” (50 gigaton release of methane all at once) in the Bering sea that would within minutes speed up the process to the point that the human race will be instantly be in survival mode. “That would literally alter life on the planet in a matter of minutes.”

    • Those methane “burps” will be catastrophic when they aee released, especially in the arctic tundra.

      When sea levels rise, you’ll hear propertied middle classes living on million dollar properties along coastal areas screeching for state assistance for taxpayer funded sea walls. Don’t believe me? Just watch how political parties pander to superannuitants (they vote) or propertied middle classes (they vote with vengeance) when they have their hands out.

      We have not even begun to see the true effects of anthropogenic climate change. The anthropocene is truly upon us.

  3. Well then, draw the logical conclusions.

    Capitalism is causing climate change, therefore remove the cause.

    Any sign that any capitalist state, government, regime, is prepared to make the urgent changes necessary to stop human extinction?
    Because the profit motive is singular and the market anarchic. Trump has trumped liberalism, and opened the road to fascism.

    Any likely?

    Based on a rational survey of how capitalist states are constituted to defend private property, even the most anti-capitalist regimes such as the USSR and ‘Red’ China could not break free from the capitalist world. They found it impossible to build socialism alone surrounded by a hostile capitalist world and were forced to restore capitalism.

    Therefore there is only one possible solution and that is the rule of the majority, having pushed aside the parasitical monstrosity of overblown, rotting, capitalist class that would rather die and take us with them rather than forego any of their disgusting wealth.

    Meanwhile as they employ more mercenaries to control and repress us, and stoke fascist movements to destroy us, we have to organize the vast majority of working people to defend, resist, and because it is necessary for us to live, overthrow them.

    This will not be because we have debated around the houses about Marxism, anarchism, liberalism, and fascism and voted on a blueprint for our future, but because it is the only way the majority can take control of their lives and come back from the brink.

    There is only one name for this and that is survival = socialism.

    • “Based on a rational survey of how capitalist states are constituted to defend private property, even the most anti-capitalist regimes such as the USSR and ‘Red’ China could not break free from the capitalist world. They found it impossible to build socialism alone surrounded by a hostile capitalist world and were forced to restore capitalism.”

      I find this reasoning a little thin. How much land and resources did the USSR and PRC have (including their allies in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa)? How much more did they need? Is it really that true that they were ‘outnumbered’ once you take their sheer geographic size, their populations, their plentiful access to steel, iron, aluminium, oil, gas, gold, arable land, etc.

      Maybe next time don’t shoot all the farmers lol.

      • Cemetry J – In terms of industrial and economic power, the USSR and PRC were always poor and second-rate. It’s not only the Geography that matters. The powerful rich industrial countries were Capitalist, and prevailed.

        • The capitalist bosses in the ‘capitalist’ countries realised after the 1st and again the 2nd World War, they need to keep their populations ‘happy’, so to keep them quiet, and not start overthrowing their rule.

          Hence with various great plans, e.g. the Marshall Plan, they pumped money and investment into post war economies, created industry, jobs and mass produced goods for many to afford, hence the growth in motor car ownership and use, which the USSR and China never achieved.

          That and other living standards improvements led to higher use of energy, higher wastage and the problems we now have more than ever before.

          Blaming it merely on ‘capitalist countries’ is rather blinkered a view, one needs to see such details in context.

          Look also at the high energy use, that is mostly fossil fuels in the wealthy Gulf States, leading to high per capita pollution. They offered their people high living standards with the consequences of pollution and wastage, to keep them ‘happy’ and quiet.

          The price to pay is the situation we have, the people and humanity as a whole needs to change, changing the bosses and system in a political sense will not be enough, will not really solve the environmental crisis and the absolutely unsustainable situation we have on the planet now.

        • They were industrial enough by the 1930s. Their subsequent fuckups were of their own making. It was a classic case of silly games, silly prizes. Don’t let Stalin design canals, don’t try irrigating salt flats to grow cotton, don’t shoot all your farmers in the name of class war. Start there and work in the opposite direction to making a desert of your home.

        • Yes, all well and true. But the Baltic States Poland and the rest on the Russian boarder are flat plains basically, Gangis Kahn went across unopposed, Napoleon went the other way, Hitler went across then Russia the other way. It’s just impossible to defend against Russian infantry and Artilary on the boarder. After the fall of the wall the U.S took advantage of a weak Russia, did not honour the gentlemens agreement not to advance NATO into the baltics, now Russia is no longer weak.

          • “It’s just impossible to defend against Russian infantry and Artilary on the boarder. “

            I’m guessing that “Russian infantry and Artilary on the boarder” is made redundant by ICBMs, tactical atomic weapons, modern warplanes and bombers, et al.

            If there was an agreement not to advance NATO, I’d like to see some documentation on it. It would explain much. (I’ve seen one passing reference to some “agreement”, but no agreement in itself.)

            If Nato and the West did break an unwritten agreement, it would explain Russia’s recent animosity to the West.

    • Dave, I share your derision on capitalism. But socialism as an answer to anthropogenic climste change? No, I don’t think so. The Soviets polluted their environment just as badly as their American counterparts. They just hid it better.

      Green socialism might be a better option.

    • “Capitalism is causing climate change, therefore remove the cause.”

      What a totally stupid comment.

      Changing the owner of the capital (i.e. power generators, factories and so forth) will NOT get rid of the problem of cause.

      Whether the capitalist business owner runs the show, or a state that is supposed to represent the people, the pollution will be the same, as long as we have the same technology and same networks operating. And whether an unequal society pollutes, or a more equal one, the great sum of it all remains the same.

      Radical change is needed on the technological front, the lifestyle front, the population control front, the industry front, human behaviour front AND the system change front.

      Humanking is arrogant and thinks it can control and manage the environment to its benefit, without harming it, history has proved humankind wrong.

      Nature and the earth do not need us, we need both.

      • I think the point made about capitalism is that the profit motive over rides all considerations.

        Socialism is a pretty wide descriprion of what.

        Cooperatives and conservation and repair of the environment may be what we need and of course a drastic reduction of human population over a short time frame of one to two generations.

        China is the only country who have made a move on the population reduction imperative.

        We have consumed approximately 75% of the Nonrenewable Natural Resources available at 1800.

        Too many people and far too many gadgets and machines wasting our shrinking and finite resources. Much of this is over drive by capitalism and the profit motive.

        • “China is the only country who have made a move on the population reduction imperative.”

          Once it was, no more:

          It seems economic pressures condemn already over populated countries to carry on with over populated situations, so to cater and finance for the elderly, i.e. carry the burden on more shoulders.

          • Both of these Western sources links are full of inaccuracies and generalisations that are untrue.

            Same old stuff we see in much propaganda against Chine.

            In some regions a second child had been permitted on strict conditions. Both the mother and father have to meet criteria before a second child is given the OK.

            There have been families all though the one child policy who have had more than one child and have had privileges denied as a result.

            China has adjusted the policy to fit changing demographics but still is on course to seeing its population decline as a result.

            The claim of the two child then one child and lately a relaxation to a two child policy have potentially changed China’s numbers by an estimated 400m less than if no such policies were implemented.

            Agreement with of support of the policies is surveyed within China at 78%.
            The one child policy was designed to run for one generation.
            The policy has been replaced but still with strict limits.

  4. Here on the Westcoast 5000 people protested for the continuation of mining ,including coal on the DOC estate. Maybe Helen was right in her reference to coasters as Feral. The coast rd is being hammered by erosion and now we want a bigger airport for bigger jets. More shops are being built on the Hokitika foreshore for more tourists . We are clearly on a roll . The Hokitika river is dead of all normally resident aquatic life due to the dairy factory pumping in up to yes 15,000cum of so called treated waste A DAY. mmmm where to from here. We maybe the most intelligent species but clearly the one with the least wisdom.

    • Greg on the coast are many “enterprises” driven by absent investors. They are invariably extractive of resources and local money supply.

      The big shops have killed of many of the small family run businesses and most of the food is no longer grown locally.

      A recipe for disaster. Capitalism at work.

  5. A cull of 95% of the earths richest human populations would be a good start. But bags not me and mine.

    On a practical level; what are your practical skills?
    Do you understand soils and can you grow foods?
    Could you kill, cook and eat an animal?
    Do you own a gun, a fishing rod/net/boat?
    Do you have basic first aid knowledge?
    Do you own and can use tools and basic equipment for house repairs, building stockades?
    Do you find humour in irony?
    Do you have board games?
    How do you feel about cat and rat combo curries?
    How are you with Pearly Gate negotiating skills?
    Can you play the harp?

    And you do know who’s dragged us into this literal, actual, living and breathing nightmare, right?
    That’s right. The Banks. The Banks have used us to destroy our own biosphere. By psychologically convincing us modern, erudite human beings with all our potential to become the best, greedy, narcissistic, egotistical, aggressive, murderous, careless, deceitful, deviant, wasteful, freaks of nature on the planet. Yay. Go us.

    Don brash is now speaking at Auckland Uni?
    We should be going to visit don brash. Have a wee chat. Swing by roger douglas while we’re at it.

    • At last someone mentions over-population. Culling the top few billionaires is no solution. We need to euthanise every one over 70 (I’m 78 just for the record). That might bring world population down by 50%. That might do the trick. If not, keep culling.Then move to those parts of the world where it is still possible to live. You will have to walk , I’m afraid. Forget about growth and jobs. Wealth is what you can carry. Bye.

      • Yes, the huge, strangely invisible elephant in the room…human overpopulation.

        Geographically the earth is a finite space with, at the current rate of destruction by humans, a very limited ability to reproduce the wonderful combinations of elements that allowed our lives and our fellow precious beasties lives to begin and survive in the first place.

        Shall we all now put aside our collective greed along with the overwhelming desire to reproduce our own kind to ever increasing unsustainable numbers, and really address the main issues that are loudly smashing down the front door of our – running on an ever diminishing fine line – habitable environment.

        China once had the spark of a good idea – for a minute at least. A one child policy, designed to reduce a burgeoning population it couldn’t at the time support. How quickly things change eh?

        If we so called intelligent beings can’t see the need to reduce our global population through natural means then the once beautiful earth environment for humans & beasties alike is destined to rot like mould on an orange. It’s not a hard choice, really.

        The constant drip eventually fills the bucket, or empty’s it. Which do you prefer?

        Will there be a future species from the fourth dimension that looks incredulously back/forward upon this time in the same way we once looked back on Cro-Magnon Man? Are we foolishly debating Creationism versus Evolution whilst Rome burns (not in a day) and the latter day Normans fill their ever burgeoning coffers with more gold?

        Where’s me fiddle de dee, de daa, de ha ha haaaaa!
        Oh God! We’re in big trouble.

      • Those over 70 don’t breed so they are not a threat to population expansion.

        Suppressing birth numbers can be done through many approaches.
        Education about a planned future is one.

        Countries that have large families tend not to have a state run pension system. A pension and welfare system is a radical move towards controlling population.

        A cooperative society is not run by wealthy parasites.

    • i like icelands answer, shove all the bankers in the coldest most remote prison on the planet and forget them

      • Agreed and along with many classes of predatory “investors”.

        Banking is a protected predatory blight on humanity yet the bankers never are made responsible globally for the appalling consequences of their feasting on communities and the environment.

    • Correct Countryboy, 100%. And one of my offspring has upskilled in everything you list -except harp playing – but may not like me telling people that. When I read that the Greens now want to kill off cats, my initial reaction was that they may be depriving my grandchildren of food.

      Is there a political party in NZ actually focused on not just our long term, but on our immediate term economic and environmental sustainability ? I don’t think so.

      Always remember that the v rich can provide themselves with buffers undreamed of by the rest of us, but not as much as they may like to think.

  6. Nope not CO2 and not warming from CO2 either. Ever heard of Piers Corbyn? The brother of Jeremy Corbyn? Wonder why Jeremy Corbyn never talks about global warming? Because he listens to his brother the solar astrophysicist. Solar magnetic activity with lunar modulation drives weather activity not CO2:

    This particular warm event in Europe is driven by the wild swings of the upper atmosphere jet stream which is modulated by solar electromagnetic energy.

    This electromagnetic connection is being disrupted even more by the fading of the earths magnetic shield as the poles go into a full reversal in the next few decades. This does mean extreme weather events getting even more extreme to the point they could be an extinction level threat to our species.

    What to do? Get the science right and adapt to the wild ride our species is in for the next 100 years or so and maybe just maybe we could survive as a species.

    • The new form of climate denialism, its nothing to do with the massive pollution and chemical imbalance of the thin protective atmosphere that humans have been responsible for since the beginning of the industrial revolution, and especially since the end of WW2. The Great Acceleration they call it, the unfettered and cancerous growth of the human enterprise. Hello! No, its just coincidental that the Earth has some electro-magnetic thing going on blah blah…all is ok folks, keep polluting willy-nilly, keep breeding and eating ruminant animals like there’s no tomorrow, keep the party going.
      Voltaire’s Candide would be very happy with this response.

  7. The latest report demands war cabinet seriousness. I spent a day on my own sitting in that cesspit of realistic hopelessness, then I went back to work. Nobody, not least the Herald , mentioned it, I gradually eased out of my depression about the certainty that there is only 15 odd years til Hell. Or a technological solution, all 21 digits crossed. Gosh help us. Gosh hate that rationalisation.

    God Christ, it is September, 1939. Or, God Christ help us. Humans aren’t.

  8. 10/10ths of news-stories in September, 1939 were about the War. 1/10ths, at best, now. God help us. Martyn is doing the best of the rationalist commentators.

  9. Sad. So very, very sad.

    And of course you will only take notice of articles that have citations/references.

    Look to other man made causes for extreme Climate Change.

    Double check:  Dane Wigington  New Zealand


    Peer reviewed

  10. The great reality is, that CO2 is a gift and more CO2 will save the future!
    CO2 is plant food and has nothing whatsoever to do with climate!

  11. we should all be building underground greenhouse in our backyards and city parks. so at least we will be able to eat as the weather rages around us and we wait for the end.
    i see hope in going local rather than capitalism vs socialism.
    local community resilience and as near as possible self sufficiency in food production.
    but of course to have this at a sufficient scale might require some intervention and re thinking on land ownership and usage rights.
    anyway still trying to hold onto hope as i am spending time trying to heal the soil around me and grow what food i can.

  12. In the context of a technological society, many believe that someone somewhere will come up with a solution to the massive predicament of planetary meltdown generated by technology.

    Those of us who have thought these matters through thoroughly have known for a long time that technological fixes will not help, and generally make matters worse via unintended consequences.

    This viewpoint is now confirmed with respect to blocking sunlight as a means of preventing the Earth severely overheating (below).

    Needless to say, the only strategy that has any hope whatsoever of reducing future temperature rises, drastically reducing the use of fossil fuels, is politically unacceptable, and will not be implemented. And so, each day that passes we make the predicament worse.

    ‘Reflecting sun’s rays would cause crops to fail, scientists warn
    Research shows geoengineering method intended to combat climate change would have adverse effect on agriculture’

  13. Humans have had the technology to significantly cool this planet for decades. Currently, 9 independent states possess this technology. Do you really think we will experience a 60m sea level rise before one or more of them decides to do something?

    If the science is anywhere near correct, the taboo on geoengineering our climate will most certainly end. We will not be living in any hothouse earth. Far more likely, we’ll be freezing in the dark because somebody screwed up. Ice is going to be the problem, not heat. It is far easier to cool the planet than warm it up. We just got lucky.

    Our best bet at this point is to find slightly saner methods of changing our climate. I stronly recommend we make haste and attempt to geoengineer both Venus and Mars. Far better to experiment and screw up there than be testing on a system we currently need to survive.

    • I am sure Elon Musk and other well to do are working overtime to get something ready to geo engineer Mars, so they can set up a colony sustaining human life there, and escape from the planet that humanity screwed up.

      It is the same mentality that led to places like this and Australia being claimed or conquered, as a refuge from the screwed up rest of the globe, so Mother England and its off spring have an alternative to flee to, when the Mother land goes under.

      This mentality is part of the problem of humankind, it is just more BS of elitists thinking they deserve to survive, while the rest go under.

      So screw your smart wannabe comment.

      • I am not suggesting we geoengineer Venus and Mars to make somewhere to escape to. The logistics of that would be impossible. What I am suggesting is that we PRACTICE on those planets. After all, as humans we don’t exactly have a great track record in doing things right. Billions will die if we make a mistake on Earth.

        Moving some meaningful percentage of humanity to another planet is inconceivably difficult. Sending a few robots, essentially nuclear armed, is not especially hard. If we lobbed X amount of dust into the atmosphere of Venus, essentially blowing up a few mountains, how much would it cool and for how long? What about seeding the upper atmosphere with reflective particles… would that do anything? How much? Let’s test these models to see how well they work. Because, if we have to do it here, and these scientists are basically saying well will have to, I’d like the people pushing the buttons to at least have a tiny bit of experience.

        I get that messing with another planet is not especially good, that it destroys things before we even know they exist. But, if there is anything alive on those planets, it’s not particularly evolved. There are billions here that are. Yes, it’s a value judgment, but I’ll put the welfare of a dirt farmer in Bangladesh, that will not survive significant sea-level rise, over the survival of possibly-existing Martian microbes.

    • David you are floating an idea in a vacuum of evidence and likelihood.

      CO2 and warming are but a small part of what we have done to the planet.

      There are many other pressing issues that see our terminal decline.

      Non Renewable Natural Resources seems to escape discussion somehow.

      We have consumed at least 75% of what was available at 1800 and our consumption rate is still increasing but not for much longer.

      Industrialisation rate of increase is tapering off and will soon be industrialistion in decline.

      We are on peak food and have long passed peak horticulture for human food. Peak grain per capita globally was in 1987.

      Brace yourself if you wish.

      • That is the core of the argument. Do we survive this round of Malthusian Dilemmas or do we sink? So far, we’ve kept inventing new technology to solve the problems created by the previous technology. Fossil fuels were actually the solution to horse pollution. On and on it goes, until one day it doesn’t. Yes, the day will come when we miss, where humanity really gets socked by the problems we’ve created for ourselves, but not today.

        We can cool the planet if we really need to. Might make another even bigger mess in the process, but that’s not stopped us yet. We have already begun the industrial scale farming of insects which will likely end up feeding another 4 or 5 billion of us, buying a few more years. We’ll be mining landfills for depleted resources at some point. We solve problems, usually the ones we’ve created with our last set of solutions. Such is the nature of humanity.

        All the arguments bottom out here. You either think we’ll do it again, or you think we’ll fail this time. I think we’ll do it again. We’ve been on quite the streak.

        • David, many of the suggestions you have covered include use of Non Renewable Natural Resources which are finite within our likely existence span and are dwindling rapidly.

          Science finding a way forward is bandied around as a reason to continue as we are.


          Science is a way of analysing problems or systems, the best way we have come up with so far. Its roots are ancient but are continually cut across by many human thinking processes that divert our paths to what many seem more manageable or comfortable for some who appear less capable of engaging a fuller analysis.

          Coal allowed a harvesting of more energy than burning of wood allowed particular where the wood resource was stripped out, mismanaged.

          Oil increased the ernergy harvest. The consuming of Non Renewable Natural Resources at a higher rate was the result. Horse pollution hardly enters the picture as a problem, living in high density communities was the accompanying environment that horse poo harvest and use may have become a neglected aspect of community management.

          The availability of a greater energy harvest is what supported population growth but not without fairly dire consequences which are out of our apparent control.

          Recycling requires more Non Renewable Natural Resources and creates its own wastes. Also recycling requires energy for both the recycling and the harvesting of materials to create the recycling plant or processes.

          Mining landfills will be extremely energy and plant intensive so more NRNR used to harvest that energy and the plant necessary for the mining.

          We will not feed another 4 or 5 billion. The logistics do not stack up but insects for food is another minor consideration.
          Environment, use of NRNRs and energy will be required as will be in vertical farming.

          Humans throw up many blind hopes as a reason to carry on the way we are. A colony on Mars is another one but not for humans. There are too many impossible obstacles biologically and resource wise.

          Humans in their wide ranging abilities and limitations to think and understand, seem on a path of not throwing up ideas but not allowing important change until it is far too late. We generate action but ignore many consequences.

          A maximum of 2 billion living as we did about 1800 but not allowing energy harvesting beyond the level used then, may have worked for many thousands of years but it is too late for that now. Humans are a terminating species.

          Any hope of extending human presence in very modest numbers will be in the hands of a few clear thinkers who survive impending collapse and can find an environment and community who proceed on a very different path to what we have allowed to be forged.

          • The Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894: “In 50 years, every street in London will be buried under nine feet of manure.”

            If you go back to the 1800, or pretty much any point in history, you will find very smart people making very reasoned arguments saying humanity is in very serious trouble. Occasionally, they’ve been right, but not for a long time now.

            You may be right, and you’re keeping good historical company, but you’re bucking a well-established trend. I say solar is going to get so cheap it’s almost free, what with the organic collectors getting more efficient and with automated manufacturing. We will stop using fossil fuels because solar will be significantly cheaper and more abundant, not because we run out. We’ll probably get to the point where we’re collecting so much solar energy that we’re heating the planet up because of it… the next big human-caused environmental disaster. And, yes, I fully expect insects to feed billions of people. Billions.

            Scoff if you want, but this is our future. The only real question is if it happens before or after humanity gets kicked.

Comments are closed.