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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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Global weirding with Katharine Hayhoe: Episode 5

Posted on 24 November 2016 by Guest Author

Global Weirding is produced by KTTZ Texas Tech Public Media and distributed by PBS Digital Studios. New episodes every other Wednesday at 10 am central. Brought to you in part by: Bob and Linda Herscher, Freese and Nichols, Inc, and the Texas Tech Climate Science Center.

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Comments 1 to 3:

  1. Another fine video from Katharine.  And I spelled her name right also.

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  2. Another brilliant brief presentation.

    The only problem with brevity is the need to 'not say something'.

    In this presentation it may have helped to add that the 'Curve of climate change' will be difficult to predict regionally. That means that planning regionally for the change is a gamble, and also means so much more.

    What is certain is that almost all regional climates will be changing. What is less certain is exactly what the regional weather changes will be. And the faster the rate of change the more difficult it will be to use observations of recent regional changes to reliably forecast what will regionally occur in the near future, like an upcoming crop growing season.

    So it is worse than needing to plan for the curve. It is more like being a batter trying to figure out if a curve or knuckle or fast ball is coming and what part of the plate it is going across. In baseball the batters get several attempts in a game and sometimes figure it out or guess right.

    Unlike baseball which is just a game for the entertainment of humans, this economic game gambit of competing to get away with benefiting the most from burning fossil fuels will create more uncertainty and risk and challenges for others, particularly future generations of humanity.

    Too many people have developed a taste for the possible benefits and are addicted to the pursuit of more. They excuse their desires by claiming everyone is to be freer to think for themselves and do as they please for their convenience, entertainment and enjoyment. And they will irrationally and unjustly fight against limitations to that freedom.

    Unlike batters in baseball, future generations of humanity shouldn't have more 'swings that miss' just because a portion of a generation of humanity did not care to limit their personal pursuits of personal desire and do not care to actually understand how their desires and demands for freedom to do as they please are impediments to the advancement of humanity to a lasting better future for all, a future where climate science actually can improve the forecasting of regional growing seasons rather than scrambling to try to figure out what is going to happen (and not being sidetracked by the need to try to grab the attention of a population of people that are developing attention spans like goldfish and the desire to not have to do something harder and less personally entertaining if they might get away with an easier and cheaper more enjoyable action plan without having to consider that it is likely to cause problems others will end up having to deal with).

    This leads to need to understand the way that a Business Mind can regard risk (My MBA helped me more clearly understand powerful motivations of the business mind). The business approach to risk is mitigation. Not mitigating the consequences created that others have to deal with. Mitigating the magnitude of potential negative consequences for the investors-executives (and hoping to be able to find someone responsible, like an employed professional person or other scapegoat, that they can blame for failing to keep them from getting away with what they very powerfully wanted to get away with). There is ample evidence of the damaging 'success' of this approach. Things like the 2008 global financial debacle, Deepwater Horizon and Union Carbide's Bhopal disaster each limited the consequences faced by investors and executives who benefited from the more profitable riskier approach to taking in money quicker (Trump proudly declared he would do that as America's Boss - grab and gather quicker than the others can, any way that can be gotten away with).

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  3. There is appreciable uncertainty about the temoral and regional impact of climate change, as noted here. But the impact of climate change is only one of the predicaments that society will have to try to deal with in coming decades. Declining availability of irreplaceable natural resources, including oil, over and aging population, the impact of ocean acification, pollution and warming on the marine ecosystem, the irrevocable aging of the vast infrastructure (from cities down to ipads) that provides society with the services they have become dependent on, together with the degradation of the environment and the consequences of flora and fauna species extinctions will provide a challenging mix of predicaments.

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