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The high and low points for climate change in 2019

Posted on 23 December 2019 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward

Picture it this way just for fun: Three scientists walk into a bar.

They join a few more, early arrivals, and soon after are joined by yet a few more; like them, perhaps, taking a respite from the intensity of consecutive long days of highly technical PowerPoint presentations at an annual year-end mega-conference.

The casual talk soon turns to their views of 2019’s most ENcouraging and most DIScouraging developments in their field. (Part II explores scientists’ and crystal ball visions of the coming new year’s major developments – hoped-for, feared, or just expected best they can see down the road.)

Actually, of course, that’s not at all how it happened in what follows, not even close. Instead, those quoted below, each invited by the author, responded to an email seeking their views of high and low points of the year just ending, and their outlooks for the year just about to start.

Bright spots in an otherwise dim 2019 climate year

Perhaps not surprisingly, the youth movements – personified by, but not limited to, Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg, Time magazine’s 2019 “Person of the Year” – get several mentions, kudos.

Thunberg’s “Fridays for Future” international movement “changed the conversation in useful ways,” said Jeff Severinghaus, PhD, of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego. “Instead of half-hearted national ambitions, the focus is now on the spectacular failure of today’s adults to solve a problem that will primarily impact the future of today’s children.

Youth movement highlights ‘spectacular failure of today’s adults to solve a problem’ primarily affecting children’s futures.

“It highlights the moral dimension of the climate problem,” according to Severinghaus, a member of the National Academy of Sciences: “One group harming another by abdication of responsibility is widely considered to be immoral.”

Maureen Raymo, PhD, of Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, along with Alan Robock, PhD., of Rutgers University and National Academy of Sciences member Peter H. Gleick, PhD, president-emeritus of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California, also single out Thunberg and youth activism for praise. Raymo wrote that she is “heartened by the rapidly expanding engagement of youth and young adults in the climate movement. They appreciate that it is their future at stake.”

Going beyond the youths’ activities, Don Wuebbles, PhD, University of Illinois, said he finds particularly encouraging “the new science and technology developments being discussed that may help greatly reduce future greenhouse gas emissions.” He singled out developments in solar energy “in and of itself, and also the potential to use solar energy for high-temperature industrial applications.”

Katharine Hayhoe, PhD, of Texas Tech, said that, looking beyond the U.S., she is very encouraged by real-world, large-scale, system-wide actions that are being taken by countries around the world. For example:

  • Canada (my home) has a federal price on carbon and re-elected the party that introduced it (as compared to Australia where they were voted out and the carbon tax was flushed down the toilet).
  • The United Kingdom has (at least temporarily) imposed a moratorium on fracking.
  • Finland is phasing out coal and it will be banned by 2029.
  • Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is divesting from companies dedicated to oil and gas exploration.
  • Ireland became the first country in the world to divest from fossil fuels entirely (they voted on it in 2018 but I am counting it for this year since it takes a while to accomplish!).
  • New Zealand has committed to being carbon neutral by 2050, and Scotland by 2045. Additionally, nearly 70% of Scotland’s electricity is already green.

Hayhoe said she is encouraged by “the increasing awareness of the climate crisis and its coverage by the media,” and she pointed to youth protests, major IPCC and National Climate Assessment reports, and “the Trump Administration’s rejection of the science and rollback of environmental protections.” She also said public awareness of climate change implications has been driven by “the increasingly severe events we have been experiencing as a result of climate change loading the natural weather dice against us.”

Social scientist and international relations expert David Victor, PhD, of UCSD and Scripps, said he finds satisfaction in 2019 from “the expansion of carbon neutrality goals across more of the U.S. states.” And Andrew Dessler, PhD, of Texas A&M University, pointed to “the continued reduction in the price of renewables” as especially encouraging. “This alone might keep us below the RCP4.5 trajectory,”* Dessler wrote. “That’s good news!”

Finding yet more “good news,” Gleick pointed to “serious efforts by some Democratic presidential candidates to develop real climate plans.”

A flood of bad news from the year now ending

All that is not to put too rosy a picture on a year that also had abundant disappointments on climate change issues.

Turning to that side of the ledger, Wuebbles singled out as “most discouraging” the lack of progress on policy issues by the U.S. “and around the world.” Agreeing, Severinghaus decried “the current U.S. administration’s rollback of dozens of Obama-era positive climate mitigation” initiatives. “And the increasing use of disinformation on many fronts to weaken our democracy, and push the U.S. toward becoming a petroleum autocracy like Russia or Saudi Arabia.”

Bad news: a close second is ‘hollowing-out of government’s ability to use science to make decisions.’

Lack of federal action in the U.S. is “obviously” a major disappointment in looking at 2019, according to Dessler. “A close second is the continued hollowing-out of the U.S. federal government’s ability to use science to make decisions.” He said he fears many senior federal scientists are being driven to leave civil service and added: “This will make it easier for politicians to make decisions that go against science and satisfy narrow constituencies rather than society as a whole. … Don’t expect things to snap back to the way they were before Trump.”

Those losses of federal scientific expertise come just as “new science is pointing to climate change actually being an even larger issue than we already thought,” according to Wuebbles. He pointed in particular to “more significant severe weather issues and higher climate sensitivity in new models suggesting longer-term impacts.”

‘So many depressing scientific studies’

“There ARE no encouraging advances in climate science in my opinion,” said Hayhoe. “just more bad news, punctuated by the occasional not-so-bad news.”

“It is truly hard to choose among so many depressing new scientific studies, so I would say in general: the trend towards recognizing that, increasingly and in many (but not all) ways, the scientific consensus has under-estimated the rate, magnitude, and/or extent of climate impacts on both human systems and the natural environment,” Hayhoe said. “This is not new – we’ve been seeing this for a number of years already – but there were a number of studies this year that continued to reinforce this discouraging trend.”

“Also discouraging,” she said, “is the fact that our carbon emissions continue to rise, globally, despite so many efforts that are being made to reduce them.”

Victor characterized as discouraging the U.S.’s formal notice of withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. But he cautioned that “it is easy to overstate that” because he expects the U.S. will rejoin “when Trump is gone.”

An enduring concern, Victor said, is that “actions on Paris undermine U.S. credibility, and the damage from that will be lasting – as they will from our actions in Syria and many other places.”

In addition, Victor cautioned that “the ongoing (often petty) expansion of the trade war with China will amplify the damage to the U.S.-China relationship. That relationship is fraught with challenges that go far beyond the Trump administration, but it is impossible to get serious about climate without a serious engagement with China.”


Katharine Hayhoe’s concerns that our fears ‘could doom us’

What is it that makes Hayhoe “profoundly discouraged” right now? Hayhoe, seen as one of the nation’s most effective climate science communicators, spelled it out this way:

“I am profoundly discouraged by how quickly this [increased popular awareness of climate change] turns into fear, and fear turns into judgment, and judgment turns into circling the wagons and attacking each other.

“Climate fear is turning into a new religion (because what is religion other than a set of behavioral rules we obey because we believe they will make us right in our own eyes, and perhaps those of others and/or a god?) with a brand-new set of 10 commandments: Thou shalt not eat meat or animal products, thou shalt not fly, thou shalt not use any mechanized transportation, thou shalt not have a child – that we then use to persecute any we perceive to be heretics with the zeal of the Spanish Inquisition.

“If there is any trend I am most discouraged by this past year, it is this. I used to fear that apathy could doom us – now, I fear that it is our fear that will.”

*Editor’s note: RCP4.5 is an IPCC scenario in which average global surface temperatures would rise about 3 degrees C (about 4.8 degrees F) by 2100.

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Comments 1 to 17:

  1. " points for climate change in 2019" - CO2 emission rised on 2.5%

    Positive results of all this meetings and agreements = ZERO.
    Because humans are egoists.
    Kioto agreement ended CO2 emission rise. Paris - the same, emissions rised, rise and will rise.
    Europe can reduce CO2 emission as they want, but USA, China, other Asia, India, Africa burn commodities, which not used Europe. And, Europe diminish CO2 emition ONLY for economic reasons and corruption! You need dollars for buy. And Moscow want sell more natural gas, so just buy european politicians, for coal => natural gas. NO climat reasons at all!
    Main fighter with global warming is OPEC.
    NOW, i see the only possibility/chance to avoid catastrophic global warming in solar and wind energy, and storage.

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  2. “Climate fear is turning into a new religion (because what is religion other than a set of behavioral rules we obey because we believe they will make us right in our own eyes, and perhaps those of others and/or a god?) with a brand-new set of 10 commandments: Thou shalt not eat meat or animal products, thou shalt not fly, thou shalt not use any mechanized transportation, thou shalt not have a child – that we then use to persecute any we perceive to be heretics with the zeal of the Spanish Inquisition."

    Whew! Katherine Hayhoe has blown a bit of a fuse here. Religion is actually a belief in god, while behavioural rules are just a way of bringing order to society. These are not the same thing at all. All we need to do is get the rules right. And we do need to remind each other of the rules,  as long as its not over zealous and guilt inducing, I agree with her about that.

    Unfortunately sensible climate rules have been highjacked to an extent by vegetarians, population control fanatics, extremists, simple living groups, and anti technology zealots. This is distracting from the core climate goals.

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  3. takamura_senpai @1, you are engaging in the exact unjustified unhelpful sort of finger pointing dicussed in the article. What's more your accusations about Europe are ridiculous, unjustified, and totally unproven. Europe is leading in provision of wind energy and storage, eg Scandinavia and Germany and the UK.

    Asia is full of corruption, not every country but many. Refer this list which is organised from the least corrupt to most corrupt countries.

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  4. Nigel:

    "Unfortunately sensible climate rules have been highjacked to an extent by vegetarians, population control fanatics, extremists, simple living groups, and anti technology zealots. This is distracting from the core climate goals".

    As it happens, my son is a leader of a local Extinction Rebellion group and, according to him, it is a continual battle to keep everyone focussed on the central issue of climate change and avoid diluting the message, and even derailing it, with all these extraneous issues which no one can agree on anyway. He had to eventually threaten to abandon the group if they continued squabbling over these issues.

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  5. I sort of share nigelj's view about Katharine Hayhoe's dislike of the promotion of corrections of how people live being like a religion. But I also sort of share Katharine Hayhoe's dislike of people claiming that being helpful is like a religion, as if being religious about something is a bad thing.

    Being Religious can and should be understood to mean: behaviour that is strictly adhered to similar to what is required by a religion. An example would be an Engineer's 'religious' pursuit of a comprehensive consideration of all that is knowable regarding what they are doing and applying that knowledge to limit the potential for harmful consequences.

    The collective who share the pursuit of 'religious behaviour based on expanded awareness and understanding applied to minimize harm done to others and to help develop a sustainable and improving future for humanity (achieving the Sustainable Development Goals)' can and should be understood to constitute the collective of all moral people - the Highest Level of 'Religious' Understanding and Actions - the common sense basis for Moral Understanding.

    Many sub-groups can sustainably co-exist within that Collective of Moral Understanding including: atheists, agnostics, pagans and polytheists.

    That moral collective understanding (and, given good reason, will improve their understanding) includes the following:

    • To avoid imposing significant harmful climate change impacts on future generations the total global warming impact needs to be limited to 1.5C. Any impacts beyond 1.5C will be worse for the future generations. And even the 1.5C impact will produce climate changes that are very costly and challenging to deal with, including some irreversible negative consequences for future generations like the release of an Antarctic ice field into the oceans thousands of years earlier than it would have otherwise occurred.
    • use of fossil fuels must be ended sooner than 'everyone would freely choose to stop trying to benefit from it'. A portion of the population will have to be externally governed and limited to reduce how harmful they are.
    • the least fortunate need to be helped to sustainably improve their lives. And they should be the only ones benefiting most from the limited fossil fuel use allowed as the global use is brought to an end. And those who are less fortunate will need to be helped to adapt to the already created climate changes and to rapidly transition through the harmful temporary development phase of benefiting from fossil fuel use.
    • the lack of reduction of benefiting from fossil fuel use by the more fortunate through the past 30 years has developed the current tragic reality where a diversity of helpful actions that are unrelated to fossil fuel use are now required to minimize the harm done to the future generations while continuing to sustainably improve the lives of the least fortunate.

    Those points of understanding have all been attacked with misleading marketing because they 'morally' require many more fortunate people to give up developed beliefs and enjoyed ways of living (or be correctly deemed to be immoral). The understandings also result in the less fortunate people not admiring and not aspiring to be like the harmful unhelpful correction resistant among the more fortunate, seeing those people as immoral people who are undeserving of their higher status.

    And that last point is the reason for the diversity of helpful actions like reduced impacts of food consumption which include: revised agricultural practices and reduced meat consumption, particularly reduced beef consumption. These actions have become necessary because of the lack of correction by the immoral correction resistant, those who are not part of the Highest Level of Religious understanding and actions. And adherents to the Moral Religion would aspire to help overcome the harm being done by the immoral correction resistant portion of the population by changing their consumption to help sustainably improve the lives of the least fortunate and future generations which would include 'ending their eating of meat, particularly beef'.

    It is the correction resistant who are making a misleading fuss about the improved moral understanding. They try to denigrate the helpful moral collective understandings by calling it all a Religion as if being religious is bad. They incorrectly claim that encouraging people to be more helpful by eating less meat is a demand that everybody must stop eating meat, particularly beef. Only harmful activities, like the use of fossil fuels and many pesticides and fertilizers, have to be ended. Activity to be aspire to by all who want to be helpful includes: supporting regenerative sustainable agriculture, reducing meat in a meal to 4 ounces, not eating meat in every meal, and reducing how often beef is the meat.

    It is undeniably unacceptable to claim that increasing awareness and understanding that it is helpful to limit unnecessary consumption is a demand to end an activity.

    Sustainability requires more than the climate impacts of the use of fossil fuels to be ended. It also requires the amount of energy and material consumed per-capita by the most fortunate to be reduced. Though fossil fuel use must be ended, other helpful actions need to be aspired to in order to help limit the harm done by the correction resistant who resist reducing their 'unnecessary but strongly desired' efforts to benefit from the use of non-renewable resources, particularly fossil fuels.

    Members of groups like Extinction Rebellion are correct to raise awareness regarding all of the corrections needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, not just the climate action goal. And they are also correct to raise awareness regarding changes people can make to try to help counteract the increased harm done by those who will not willingly help limit the harm being done to the future generations. And they are correct to point out that anyone who tries to be dismissive regarding those helpful reductions of harm, including calling the promoters of that improved awareness and understanding a Religion as if it was a bad thing, is being Immoral.

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  6. Suspect we are sunk already, but allowing the "less fortunate" to continue engaging in the very behaviors that got us here is unacceptable to me. I'm sorry they missed the "boat of profligacy", but they also missed the Titanic, enabling them to continue living while the some of the profligate rich and famous went to the bottom of the Atlantic. My point is: since the unfortunates outnumber the fortunate about 5 to 1, how can the climate stand to tolerate the "outlaw species" assault on nature while the rest of us sit around our solar powered homes, etc, and expect to turn around global warming's dangers? I'm sorry the unfortunate missed the boat, but they will just have to do without

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  7. This discussion devolved to religion is unhelpful as well. If it weren't for religion, substantial progress could be made in climate mitigation because religion results in an attitude reflected, generally, by the following. The exact phraseology will differ but the implications are the same: "I'm not worried because the Lord is in control. Jesus will come on a cloud of glory sweeping us up onto heaven to sitting on the right hand of God Th Father Almighty

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  8. ...the maker of heaven and earth forever and ever"

    This is not helpful.

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  9. Sorry for the mangled words. I hit the submit button by mistake, but my point should be clear enough.

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  10. swampfoxh @6, not sure what you are saying. Could you clarify that a bit?

    Agree about religion @7.

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  11. I am at a loss to understand Katherine Hayhoe's concern about fear being a problem with respect to solving the climate crisis. I know that there are people out there who fear more than they should (Guy McPherson is a classic example of this and Extinction Rebellion peddles claims which generate unwarranted fear). However, the people who are not flying and not eating meat are having a major positive impact in the following way. They are getting other people to talk about it. I live in Denmark and out here there is a radio program called monopol where people call in to talk about their social problems and try to get help. I frequently here calls about conflicts with planned weddings, family vacations etc where someone is refusing to fly and it is putting a wrench in people's plans. Often the hosts are recommending respecting the wishes of the person who is refusing to fly, because they point out that research is saying that we need to change our society radiacally if we hope to solve the climate crisis. Their positioning is doubtless having a positive impact in ways I could never have predicting and I have a hard time believing that there will be a net positive gain with respect to the climate if we try to calm this fear and "religion". I respect Katherine Hayhoe greatly, but I just don't see how I can agree with her on this point. I am opening to another perspective if there is someone out there he thinks I am wrong about this. Do I have something to learn here? 

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  12. I see that I wrote here instead of hear and radiacally instead of radically. This is just to correct the errors in my previous post. I don't see that I can edit it now. 

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  13. To Nigel:

    You agree with others my statements..... This is excellent and enough
    CO2 emission rised on 2.5% every year. Positive results of all this meetings and agreements = ZERO.
    Because humans are egoists. Emissions rised, rise and will rise.
    If we look at graph of the CO2 emission ... NOT straight line...Why? ... We see in 2009...because of Kioto protocol or other ? Climate or economic reason?
    Global warming - incredible hard problem. But we want to solve it.
    Do we really want solve problem? Do we? Realy? And how many % authors here use a car?
    Cars need oil, roads, expensive bridges, other infrastracture. Our towns and cities designed for cars, not bicycles or other. On THIS was spent many trillions of dollars. Too much oil, gas, coal.
    Use a bicycle, have a good body and health, give positive example .... and laugh from fat car users......This work better, than boring appeal.
    We have to speak about man's potencia and influence of low active life ... cars .. traffic fumes...fastfood and so on.
    I specialy use such words.... too harsh.
    We must build cities with NO cars, with healthy habitants.
    And laugh from habitants of Los Angelis New York Mexico Tokio Seul Beijing Moscow
    Overhead roads for bicycles and roller skates - transport of the Future
    8 directional overhead roads, not our dull 4 diractional(South-North West-East). And no traffic lights.
    We can and must use metan in cars and others, not petrol. Cheaper and reduce CO2 emission .
    If we burn a economic war between USA and China - it reduce CO2 several billion a year.
    USA produce more CO2 than all Africa, and 80% poor people in Asia and Latin America. Only 1 country! Start from myself/youself.
    Much easier say: Africa, Asia are full of corruption.
    And do NOTHING.
    "Africa = corruption, so they have to die" So many talks about population ... and here too. It look like racism.

    Next.Politicians know about useless of agreements and meetings. But....How much noise about them we hear! and here.
    NOW, i see the only possibility/chance to avoid catastrophic global warming in solar and wind energy, and storage.
    But solar panels, wind turbines, battery the same as 50 yers ago. People use batteries from old cars as a storage. What part of science?
    On research in solar energy and storage was spent less 0.01% than on entertainment. We try solve problem using a 50 year old technologies. => zero result.
    If EU and US would spend 1% of GDP from 2000 to 2020 on research in solar energy and storage, NOW our view on global warming would be optimistic... in general. possible.

    I live in european country. There is geographical center of Europe lay in my country. And here green rates - corruption, only corruption and nothing else. 60 cents -> scandal -> 50 cents -> scandal -> 40 and so on. And 0 in research. People hate all talks about global warming, nature and polar bears. This is the result! People hate and +2.5% rise CO2 emission a year.
    Now green rate for solar 15 eurocents, corruption part aprox 7 eurocents, and pay one time in the beginning - too good for politicians.
    Ordinary people can't build solar plant without appropriate bribe. So robbers own all big solar plants. I think the same in most of World. And people become true haters of all this climat change, polar bears, nature and other rubbish, as they say.

    Europe (and USA) politicians spent hundreds of billion dollars on the support of production NON elecric cars. It 100 more than spending on research on solar energy and storage. I see economic or corruption in their behavior/doings. Green rate in Germany 8.44 eurocents. People pay 20-30 or more. Just compare. Economic, not climat. You need dollars for buy oil, coal, natural gas.
    German chancellor Shredder now in warm place in Moscow Gazprom.
    "Asia is full of corruption" all World full of corraption :( As i said: "Because humans are egoists." I think approximately the same. Forms and ways different.
    For example use central banks.
    Europe buy politicians in East Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania. Moscow buy europe politicians.....
    We have to stop use coal and buy more gas from Moscow.....
    I can give hundreds of examples. But politic is banned here in cite.
    oh. climate change - is a politic problem
    "Europe is leading in provision of wind energy and storage" China is leader in wind, solar energy and electromobiles. Produce 10? 20? 30? times more solar panels and electric cars.

    "Asia is full of corruption" - South Korea?
    "Asia is full of corruption, not every country but many." Exactly the same we can say about Europe, and every other part of the World

    My name is Mihail (in english style). takamura_senpai - just post box to be unique

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  14. Responding to swampfoxh's string of comments regarding religion and the poor.

    There is a diversity of ways to be religious. Many of them are very helpful. And some of them are harmful. That awareness leads me to try to correct harmfully incorrect generalizations about religion related to climate science. And, as a thoughtful human, I feel obliged to respond to callous dismissive comments made related to the undeniably Good Human objective of helping the poorest (an essential aspect of almost every spiritual religion).

    Undeniably, people use a diversity of ways to fight against the expanded awareness and improved understanding of the required corrections of what humans have developed, particularly, but not exclusively, the corrections that climate science has exposed are required for humanity to have a long and improving future. Only some of those people claim to be acting as members of a spiritual religious group. And not all religious people act that way or are impressed by those people.

    Everyone can expand their awareness and improve their understanding that helping achieve and improve on things like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is what life needs to be all about. Human activity should be governed and limited by objectives of correcting harmful actions and promoting helpful actions.

    Almost every religion has established beliefs that support the achievement of the SDGs. But many religious groups have been infected by a twisted capitalist, colonialist, status pursuing attitude and related non-spiritual religiously held beliefs. And a scientific approach is not necessarily better.

    That understanding needs to be increased. There is much Good in religious people and their beliefs. People ideologically holding harmful faith beliefs are a serious problem.

    Harmful faith in Science includes: “Science enables people to do as they wish with dominance and control over nature - living artificially apart from the robust diversity of life rather than as a sustainable part of the robust diversity of life - only caring about other life that can be directly useful to a human's developed way of living.” That ideology can be the basis for absurd claims like: “Technological breakthroughs will be the answer to the climate challenge (that was created by desired technological breakthroughs); Have faith that the future generations will brilliantly artificially overcome any challenges and create a sustainable better future that has little need for non-artificial living, or other living things; Glory be to Technology from Science.”

    There is also the potentially far more harmful faith in Economics: “Worshipping the belief that people being freer to believe whatever they want in pursuit of their personal interests will naturally develop Good Results” with the related damaging “Idolizing of the impressions developed by winners of competitions for popularity and profit” and the related false belief that “Everybody is fully deserving of whatever circumstances they are born into and end up with”.

    Some religious people will agree that science will allow humans to thrive in domination and control of everything - As God Intended (at least the portion of humans who end up winning the power to dominate and control everything).

    Religions in pursuit of dominance and control harmfully push their members to 'convert, overpower or eliminate' Others. And example of their harmful tribal actions include fighting against equality for women and a related dislike for the SDGs. And some fight against acknowledging that there are a diversity of ways of recognizing the Northern Hemisphere Winter Solstice because they believe that their celebration of Christmas must be the dominant one, the only legitimate celebration of the NH Winter Solstice.

    Simplistically declaring 'religion' to be a problem regarding climate science is harmfully incorrect. The problems are all of the things people do without being governed or limited by expanded awareness and improved understanding applied to help achieve the SDGs and other Objectives required for humanity to have a better future. The pursuit and application of science without that governing objective can be very harmful. And the pursuit of popularity and profit without that governing objective is undeniably very harmful.

    It would be helpful for people to expand their awareness and improve their understanding of religion, (and science, economics and politics) and apply that knowledge to achieve the SDGs. And it is very unhelpful to express a callous misunderstood generalization about religious people, who generally correctly want to help the less fortunate, in the same string of commenting that includes a repugnant expression of disinterest in helping the least fortunate sustainably improve to better living 'because they missed out - too bad - so sad for them - fake tears flowing if required to look as if caring was involved' (my paraphrased playback of the comment “My point is: since the unfortunates outnumber the fortunate about 5 to 1, how can the climate stand to tolerate the "outlaw species" assault on nature while the rest of us sit around our solar powered homes, etc, and expect to turn around global warming's dangers? I'm sorry the unfortunate missed the boat, but they will just have to do without”).

    Helping the less fortunate sustainably live better will probably have to include allowing them to benefit the most from fossil fuels during the correction of what has developed, during the rapid ending of global fossil fuel use. But the objective still needs to be global total impact limited to the required total limit (1.5C), meaning the more fortunate ones currently enjoying fossil fuels need to be the ones to suffer the loss as “They lead the required rapid correction”. And Religious People are very likely to support that understanding, more than those with a faith in Science to magically solve the future problem of failing to limit the impacts, and undeniably more that those who have faith that the developed economic systems will solve the problem they created and have made worse through the past 30 years of full awareness, but denial, of the problem being created.

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  15. takamura_senpai @13

    You make some good comments. I agree with some and not others, which probably wont surprse you. Some random thoughts....

    "Use a bicycle, have a good body and health, give positive example .... and laugh from fat car users......This work better, than boring appeal."

    Yes I agree bicycles have many advantages. However our cities are designed around cars, so transitioning to the wide use of bicycles might be a slow process. Where I live we are building cycle lanes but its not easy as you can imagine, given the physical constraints.

    Basically we are going to be stuck with quite a lot of cars for some time, even if people mainly use them for shopping etc, so electrifying cars or using hydrogen fuel cells is the most obvious way forwards.

    "Much easier say: Africa, Asia are full of corruption. And do NOTHING."Africa = corruption, so they have to die" So many talks about population ... and here too. It look like racism."

    Yes some people scapegoat Africa for various problems including climate change by pointing at its population growth and corruption. Its all unjustified, and tinged with racism, because corruption is not unique to Africa (and Asia), and their CO2 emissions are quite low and will probably remain that way even with a growing population, for some time anyway. But eventually Africa too will beome big consumers and emitters, if we continue with business as usual, and dont have a decent plan going forwards. So regardless of people unfairly scapegoating their population growth for problems, they do actually need to reduce their population growth.

    However you reverse scapegoated Europe, by accusing them of being equally corrupt. Which is also factually wrong.

    "Next.Politicians know about useless of agreements and meetings. But....How much noise about them we hear! and here."

    Yes sadly. A lot of hot air and slow progress. However our civilisation is now so complex that making changes can take time.

    "But solar panels, wind turbines, battery the same as 50 yers ago. People use batteries from old cars as a storage. What part of science? On research in solar energy and storage was spent less 0.01% than on entertainment. We try solve problem using a 50 year old technologies. => zero result."

    This is 100% wrong in most places anyway. Battery technology is proceding at a spectacular pace with lithium ion batteries and many others under development here.

    "I live in european country. There is geographical center of Europe lay in my country. And here green rates - corruption.....Ordinary people can't build solar plant without appropriate bribe. So robbers own all big solar plants. I think the same in most of World. And people become true haters of all this climat change, polar bears, nature and other rubbish, as they say."

    You don't name the country or provide any links. You cannot assume all countries are like this. I live in New Zealand, and we dont have bribes and corruption like this. People are free to put solar panels on their roofs and connect into the grid and are paid for surpluses they generate, although not fairly, there are some problems like that. But yes sadly some countries have bribes almost as a way of life.

    "Europe (and USA) politicians spent hundreds of billion dollars on the support of production NON elecric cars. It 100 more than spending on research on solar energy and storage. I see economic or corruption in their behavior/doings. Green rate in Germany 8.44 eurocents. People pay 20-30 or more. Just compare. Economic, not climat. You need dollars for buy oil, coal, natural gas."

    I'm not aware of any governmnet subsidies in America for car manufacture, but they do subsidise fossil fuels, unfortunately. Not sure what you mean by green rates, please clarify if you have time.

    "Asia is full of corruption" all World full of corraption :( As i said: "Because humans are egoists." I think approximately the same. Forms and ways different."

    It depends on how you define corruption. The link I gave you defines it in certain conventional ways and its a fact that overall Europe has lower corruption than Asia or Africa. Of course all countries do have corruption to some extent.

    Europe is not perfect, and they exploit other peoples to some extent, and drive very hard business bargains that are sometimes unethical. This is not corruption as such, but its arguably unethical. I guess the forms of corruption are a bit different from place to place, but we have to avoid false equivalence because some countries are definitely less corrupt than others, in an overall sense even by the widest possible definition of corruption. But its a bit academic, because regardless of the corruption level in another country, and how we define it, it never justifies corruption in our own country.

    "Europe is leading in provision of wind energy and storage" China is leader in wind, solar energy and electromobiles. Produce 10? 20? 30? times more solar panels and electric cars."

    Yes, although its mainly to reduce the pollution in cities and the chronic respiratory problems, more than to combat climate change. I guess the end result is still good and China deserve respect in regard to their efforts with renewable energy. Shame about some of the human rights issues.

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  16. OPOF @14, nicely balanced summary, thought porovoking, except I wonder about the statement "Harmful faith in Science includes: “Science enables people to do as they wish with dominance and control over nature .." This is probably better applied to the term technology, or applied science, and the misplaced belief it can solve every problem. It's hard to have harmful faith in a scientific theory as such and the scientific way of looking at things.

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  17. nigelj @16,

    I was taking some liberty when using the term Science. There is indeed concern about the application of the science. But there is also the potential to believe that continued Science will be able to solve a problem like the climate change challenges that are being imposed on the future generations.

    That potential faith in science to develop 'the solution' is the problem I was also thinking of. Especially when it is used to claim there is no need to reduce energy or material use - because continued science will discover the ways to Fix Things so that high energy and material consumption can continue.

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