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Climate Hustle

Trump's disbelief won't stop dangerous climate change

Posted on 5 December 2018 by dana1981

“I don’t believe it,” said Donald Trump when asked about the fourth national climate assessment, authored by 13 government agencies and hundreds of the US’s top climate scientists. His administration had tried to hide the report, publishing it on Black Friday when many Americans were either recovering from a Thanksgiving food coma or stampeding department store sales.

The administration’s plan backfired badly – the latest alarming climate science report became front-page news. Numerous Republican politicians were asked about it on TV news and politics shows, and their answers demonstrated that Trump’s climate science denial continues to pervade the GOP.

Republican party leaders’ answers ranged from platitudes – such as “our climate always changes” and “innovation” is all that is needed to solve the problem – to accusations that “a lot of these scientists are driven by the money”.

Addressing the latter point, one of the report’s lead authors, Prof Katharine Hayhoe, noted that many of its contributors were “paid zero dollars” and estimated that in the time she devoted to the assessment, she could have written eight of her own papers. Conversely, GOP politicians and operatives are paid millions of dollars annually by the fossil fuel industry. Some people are clearly driven by the money, and it’s not climate scientists.

Trump’s comments did not stop at disbelief – he also appeared to shift blame to other countries and tout the US’s clean air and water.

“You’re going to have to have China, and Japan, and all of Asia, and all of these other countries – you know, [the report] addresses our country. Right now, we’re at the cleanest we’ve ever been, and that’s very important to me. But if we’re clean but every other place on Earth is dirty, that’s not so good. So, I want clean air, I want clean water – very important,” the president said.

These comments confuse climate change with air pollution, but the two are connected. The national climate assessment report pointed out that climate change was exacerbating wildfires, which in turn create air pollution. The Camp fire in November produced so much smoke that California had the worst air quality in the world at the time.

A key figure showed that climate change had approximately doubled the area burned by wildfires in the western US, and the report noted that – contrary to the administration’s frequent claims – this increase was “more closely related to climate factors than to fire suppression, local fire management, or other non-climate factors”.

fires

 The cumulative forest area burned by wildfires in the western US between 1984 and 2015. Photograph: Fourth National Climate Assessment Report

Trump’s claim that US air is “the cleanest it’s ever been” is also not strictly true. Despite a long-term downward trend, owing in large part to the replacement of coal power plants that the Trump administration is desperately trying to save, particulate matter levels were up slightly from 2016 to 2017.

The administration’s efforts to weaken and repeal every possible environmental regulation certainly do not merit credit for the long-term improvement in air and water quality in the US.

Trump’s efforts to shift blame to other countries is also at odds with the fact that every other nation in the world has signed up to the Paris climate accords and only one government has announced its intent to withdraw from them.

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Comments 1 to 23:

  1. For those of you interested, here is a summary of the Fourth National Climate Assessment by Katharine Hayhoe conducted by ClimateCentral.org.

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  2. In the video summary that Katharine Hayhoe did for Climate Central where she summarized the Fourth National Climate Assessment, she gives the following logical for speaking hopefully about the future instead of focusing on fear and panic. I found this quote inspirational and logical.

    “Fear and panic are not going to fix this problem [Climate Change]. When we panic it’s really good for motivating short-term action. But short-term action isn’t going to solve Climate Change. To solve Climate Change we need the long-term sustained action over days, weeks, months, years, and decades. And to sustain that kind of action we need hope. We can hope for a better future. Hope that our decisions, the choices we make today, can actually change the future.”

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  3. I have an MBA, but I am pretty sure the fundamental economics related to climate science are fairly easy to follow:

    • The competition for superiority relative to others in games based on popularity and profitability (with the ability to benefit from misleading marketing), have developed unsustainable and damaging results. That is because it is cheaper and easier to do things less acceptably or unsustainably (especially if you can keep people from realizing how unacceptable the activity is).
    • Earning wealth for 10 or 20 years is 'increasing wealth'. And earning wealth for one more year is 'earning more wealth'.
    • Being able to personally avoid harmful consequences or significant personal losses when an unsustainable activity ends (when it can no longer be prolonged), is simple 'risk mitigation' which the bigger winners in the pursuit of profit do more successfully than others. Risk mitigation can be done by making sure Others suffer any negative consequences or making sure Others suffer the losses of benefit at the end of the unsustainable activity.

    The burning of fossil fuels is a fundamentally unsustainable activity. The non-renewable resources continue to get harder to get. And eventually nobody will be able to benefit from their burning.

    Burning fossil fuels is also a harmful activity, in many more ways than the production of excess CO2 or methane in the atmosphere.

    So, any society (or person) that has developed perceptions of prosperity or superiority relative to others that are substantially based on benefiting from burning fossil fuels faces a potential serious correction. And without correction of the socioeconomic-political system that allows harmful and unsustainable activity to have a competitive advantage, any innovation is likely to develop new harmful unsustainable activity.

    The portion of the current population benefiting most from the burning of fossil fuels hopes to remain powerful enough to prolong their continued acquisition of more wealth and enjoyment in 'Their lifetime - that 10 to 20 year time frame often applies', and powerful enough to continue to allow harmful and unsustainable activity to continue to have a competitive advantage (every year of personal benefit is 'more personal benefit').

    Protecting the future of humanity, including effective action to limit the climate change impacts on future generations, clearly requires the already more fortunate people who continue to benefit from the global burning of fossil fuels to be unable to protect 'their personal interests and incorrectly developed perceptions of superiority' from the required correction.

    Trump and the New GOP are just part of the many who are now trying to win by Uniting greedier and less tolerant people (united to support each other's unacceptable interests, interests that need to be corrected). Hopefully their undeniable incorrectness on climate science (and so many other matters related to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals) will hasten the end of their ability to win the game playing Their incorrect way.

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  4. This is just one more issue for the newly elected House to address starting in January.

    It is mandated by US law that these assessments are done and released, it really doesn't matter if Trump denies them, he also denies such things as evidence from US security agencies on national defence issues.

    Trump White House issues climate change report undermining its own policy

    Trump sides with Russia against FBI at Helsinki summit

    Khashoggi killing: CIA did not blame Saudi crown prince, says Trump

    Donald Trump represents an end run on responsible democratic government, not real democratic representation.

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  5. *2030: 50% of emission will come from meat.*
    *2018: 50% of emissions come from the top 10%.*

    Taxing the shit heck out of meat and taxing the top 30% earners down to a median income will reduce emissions 999% more and faster than anything in the last 20 years.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/collapse/comments/a1gbuj/2030_50_of_emissions_will_come_from_meat/

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Please keep it clean. 

    I also activated the url link. Please learn how to do this yourself by using the appropriate tools contained in the edit box.   

  6. It's been 10 years since most people found out about global warming. It's been 24 years since the Conference of Parties. COP24 is where rich and famous people try to solve climate change.
    *Total world energy growth = 14% per decade*

    2007 = 115 Mtoe

    2017 = 135 Mtoe

    20 Mtoe/decade = 14% increase

    Our total energy growth per decade is 14% or 20 Mtoe/10yrs.

    Source: BP 2018 Energy Review, page 8

    https://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/en/corporate/pdf/energy-economics/statistical-review/bp-stats-review-2018-full-report.pdf

    *Renewable Energy*

    2007 = 1% of total energy use

    2017 = 3.6% of total energy use

    Renewable Growth = 3%/decade

    How long until renewables = 100% energy use?

    *Answer:* never

    Just look at the chart below, do you see the thin dark orange sliver? It will take at least 70 years for that dark orange color to replace all the other colors on the graph, according to Vaclav Smil. By looking at this graph, that doesn't seem like much of a stretch.

    https://lokisrevengeblog.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/bp1.png

    *Emissions*

    2007 = 300 Gtons/yr

    2017 = 334 Gtons/yr

    Growth = 10%/decade

    https://lokisrevengeblog.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/bp4.png

    Source: BP 2018 Energy Review, page 49

    **Runaway Tipping Points = Runaway Mass Extinction**

    Every 10 years = 14% energy growth + 10% emissions growth.

    Many scientists agree with Claire Fyson:

    We must reduce energy emissions 50% in 10 yrs to avoid 1.5 C.

    Many scientists agree with Stefan Rahmstorf:

    We must reduce energy emissions 100% in 20 yrs to avoid 2.0 C.

    Hans Schellnhuber says that cascading runaway hothouse begins when 5 major tipping points are triggered between 1.5 - 2.0 C.

    Cascading only means the triggering of more than one tipping point.

    https://lokisrevengeblog.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/bp3.png?w=696

    Energy emissions/demand are growing between 10-14%/decade

    They must decrease 50%/decade for life on earth to continue.

    Our whole world depends on annual growth of 2% per year. Your job, your bank, your pension, your government all depend on growth.

    We have 3 weeks of riots in France over gas prices. People in the country can't afford higher gas prices, like people in the city can.

    *Water*

    Water shortages could affect 5bn people by 2050, UN report warns

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/19/water-shortages-could-affect-5bn-people-by-2050-un-report-warns

    By 2020 about 30-40% of the world will have water scarcity, and according to the researchers, climate change can make this even worse.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140729093112.htm

    With only 7% of the world’s freshwater, China plans to produce 807 million gallons a day from desalination by 2020, roughly quadruple the country’s current capacity.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-09/china-embraces-desalination-to-ease-water-shortages

    By 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity, with two-thirds of the world’s population living in water-stressed regions.

    http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/freshwater-crisis/

    There will be about 1 billion more mouths to feed worldwide by 2025 and global agriculture alone will require another 1 trillion cubic meters of water per year (equal to the annual flow of 20 Niles or 100 Colorado Rivers).

    http://www.interactioncouncil.org/world-confronts-serious-water-crisis-former-heads-government-and-experts-warn-new-report

    UN studies project that 30 nations will be water scarce in 2025, up from 20 in 1990.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/06/2011622193147231653.html

    According to the U.S. Intelligence Community Assessment of Global Water Security, by 2030 humanity’s “annual global water requirements” will exceed “current sustainable water supplies” by 40%.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/05/the-coming-global-water-crisis/256896/

    The global middle class will surge from 1.8 to 4.9 billion by 2030, which will result in a significant increase in freshwater consumption.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/05/the-coming-global-water-crisis/256896/

    Water demand in India will reach 1.5 trillion cubic meters in 2030 while India’s current water supply is only 740 billion cubic meters.

    http://www.mckinsey.com/client_service/sustainability/latest_thinking/charting_our_water_future

    If current usage trends don’t change, the world will have only 60 percent of the water it needs in 2030.

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/03/20/world/asia/ap-world-water-crisis.html?_r=0

    By 2035, the world’s energy consumption will increase by 35 percent, which in turn will increase water use by 15 percent according to the International Energy Agency.

    http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2014/01/16/will-water-constrain-our-energy-future

    By the year 2040 there will not be enough water in the world to quench the thirst of the world population and keep the current energy and power solutions going if we continue doing what we are doing today.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140729093112.htm

    The number of people living in river basins under severe water stress is projected to reach 3.9 billion by 2050, totaling over 40% of the world’s population.

    http://www.globalwaterforum.org/2012/05/21/water-outlook-to-2050-the-oecd-calls-for-early-and-strategic-action/

    Compared to today, five times as much land is likely to be under “extreme drought” by 2050.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6068348.stm

    Feeding 9 billion people by 2050, will require a 60 percent increase in agricultural production and a 15 percent increase in water withdrawals.

    http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/water/overview

    Water demand is projected to grow by 55 percent by 2050 (including a 400-percent rise in manufacturing water demand).

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/03/hot-crowded-and-running-out-of-fuel-earth-of-2050-a-scary-place/

    By 2050, 1 in 5 developing countries will face water shortages (UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization).

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-Issues/2012/1202/Global-water-crisis-too-little-too-much-or-lack-of-a-plan

    Between 2050 and 2100, there is an 85 percent chance of a drought in the Central Plains and Southwestern United States lasting 35 years or more.

    http://www.livescience.com/49794-megadrought-prediction-southwest-plains.html

    If farmers in Kansas keep irrigating at present rates, 69 percent of the Ogallala Aquifer will be gone in 50 years.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140819-groundwater-california-drought-aquifers-hidden-crisis/

    *Soil*

    Britain facing food crisis as world's soil 'vanishes in 60 years' - Telegraph

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/agriculture/farming/6828878/Britain-facing-food-crisis-as-worlds-soil-vanishes-in-60-years.html

    Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues - Sciam

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/only-60-years-of-farming-left-if-soil-degradation-continues/

    We need to protect the world's soil before it's too late - Popular Science

    https://www.popsci.com/topsoil-agriculture-food

    Soil erosion - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

    http://www.fao.org/docrep/t0389e/t0389e02.htm

    *Just For Fun*

    please note: Mtoe = not your mom's camel toe.

    The only way to mitigate collapse is to carbon tax the shit heck out of meat and the rich.

    They won't do it unless carbon taxes are 100% private.

    They're right, we've been over-conditioned by social media for ideological addiction.

    There is no uncorrupt form of government that has secrets. Secrets are for the rich and gov-tards.

    The left is preventing progress on this issue as well as the right.

    We don't have time for war on 2 fronts, this is it, it's now or never.

    We need 100% private carbon dividends to fund a universal basic income and free health/education in Africa instead of war and slavery.

    I know how to do this because I once learned how to save my allowance as a kid.

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Please keep it clean.

  7. So the Republicans claim that climate mitigation policies would "harm the economy".

    They are deluded, and provide no evidence, and in fact the evidence points the other way. Deployment of solar and wind power has helped the economy by providing cheap electricity and increased employment opportunities.

    There is no evidence carbon tax policies have harmed the economies of countries that have deployed them such as the UK.

    Countries also have to obviously balance economic output with maintaining a healthy environment. To focus entirely on the economy is obviously not useful,  yet this is what the White House does consistently,  shown indisputably by its policies and downgrading of even the most light weight and commonsense environmental standards.

    The harm to the economy is coming entirely from the White House and the GOP, with their tariffs causing price increases, constant backtracking on economic announcements spooking the markets and thus causing crashes in the sharemarket, and unfunded tax cuts increasing the deficit, to name but a few things. The White House focus is entirely on short term superficial gains that cannot properly be maintained longer term, and which come with accumulating costs both economic and environmental, most of which get dumped on the general public.

    According to various experts America is now on the brink of an economic recession because of Trumps policies. trends in bonds are a very reliable indicator and they all point toards a recession .

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  8. BeezelyBillyBub @6 , a lot of what you say is true enough, but sometimes "less is more".

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  9. Also is talking about Trump's "disbelief" accurate.

    He denies very well backed up evidence on a host of issues and there seems to be no such thing as objective information in Trump's world. Everything is an immediate expression of what best suits his mood at the moment.

    So one moment he can tell the Wall Street Journal that his administration has no tariffs...

    ‘Where Do We Have Tariffs?’ Trump Asks. Here’s a List

    And the next he is crowing about being "Tariff Man"...

    Trump called himself “Tariff Man.” The internet did the rest.

    Trump's reality is largely subjective, the moment it becomes advantageous to him personally to accept the reality of fossil fuel forced climate change he will. The question is if he ever will get to the point of understanding it's also in his interests to effectively address climate change by switching to a carbon neutral energy model.

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  10. I think George Carlin summarized the situation perfectly - to paraphrase slightly:

    Think about a person of average intelligence. Now consider that half of the population is even dumber than that! There's yer problem...

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  11. While the average IQ is 100 etc and this is a problem, I'm beginning to think "deliberate ignorance" is the greater problem. You see deliberate ignorance with politicians who are smart enough to know better.

    I suspect they are driven by simple ideological beliefs and so anything that upsets this makes them ignore reality. It becomes second nature. 

    Trump is also obviously massively inconsistent,  as DougC says. It's something that really frustrates me. This is hopeless in a leader and ultimately creates chaos and policy incoherence. I think it's partly because he says one thing to placate one group, and another opposite thing to placate another group, knowing he will get away with it. He treats people like fools, but they let him do this! Its almost like they enjoy it. 

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  12. There is something fairly unusual going on with Donald Trump and how he relates to most other people and especially the media. This is a man who in the past has crafted his own public image and has largely got away with it.

    Trump lied to me about his wealth to get onto the Forbes 400. Here are the tapes.

    Trump essentially lied to get on the Forbes 400 list which he then used to get loans and contracts that otherwise wouldn't have been available to someone with the relatively low amount of assets he really had. And no one checked to see what the facts were.

    Trump has been rewarded throughout his life by creating his own reality, it's no wonder he's still doing it now. It really is hard to pin down someone who has no respect at all for the facts and who has used a number of different aliases thoughout his life to deceive people.

    Pseudonyms of Donald Trump

    The fact that someone like this is now in such a position of trust and power is a strong indication of a much deeper issue with US society and government. And the problem seems to be present in many other places as well. When we need real leaders with respect for the facts and the postion of trust they hold we are being let down over and over.

    In France Macron who seems to be fully committed to real climate change mitgation just caved to political pressure and has suspended French carbon taxes. Climate change isn't going away, but any real rational sense at a governmental level seems to fading away.

    Here in Canada the big dog fight is over the oil sector and how many people are loosing their minds because they can't ram pipelines through wherever and whenever they please.

    I think Trump appeals to many people who simply finds facts and reality just too challenging and they would rather stick with a comforting fantasy even if it ends up being fatal on a global level.

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  13. Doug_C,

    I do not see the behaviour of Trump, or the many people like him, as Unusual.

    I see their behaviour as understandably incorrect and harmful, but gotten away in pursuit of Winning undeserved perceptions of superiority relative to others.

    That behaviour can best be seen in competitive sports. It gets worse the more potential personal benefit there is (very little problem in pick-up games at a recreation level - no rewards for winning). And teams and fans will deny and excuse the understandably incorrect behaviour if accepting it and not having their team benefit from it would reduce their perception of superiority relative to others. And the answer in sports is always increased vigilance and severely penalizing the unacceptable behaviour out of the system.

    Competitive pursuits of superiority relative to others in socioeconomic-political games where acceptability is based on popularity and profitability are guaranteed to encourage people to behave as unacceptably as they can get away with. And those type of flawed developments of systems are indeed occurring everywhere. They are in democracies, dictatorships, and communism. They can even develop in more socialist systems, though it is more difficult for that type of behaviour to win big in a strongly socialist society.

    The ability of people to get away with abusing the scientific understanding of how to influence people to benefit from misleading marketing is the problem. Successfully keeping people from becoming more aware and better understanding of the corrections required to develop sustainable improvements for all of humanity (far into the future) is Winning Too Much in Too Many Places.

    And incorrectly developed ways of living (harmful and unsustainable activity) that has been able to get away with becoming popular and profitable can be very difficult to correct. Many people simply dislike being corrected. But it is even harder to correct people when they can easily understand the personal disadvantage of improving their awareness and understanding.

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  14. I think Donald Trump is similar to that group of people that are hugely personally ambitious and egotistical, but more importantly cheat the rules with no conscience about the matter. They have few scruples in business.

    Humans are driven by status and winning, but we are also conscious of the problems this can generate, and decent societies have systems of rules and laws to stop cheats and people who abuse other people and the environment in the process of promoting their status. We try to keep staus seeking in check.Trump is trying to undermine all this if you look at his policies.

    I mean the pattern is absolutely obvious. Trump excuses bullying and violence and criminal behaviour, and has sought to undermine environmental and business regulation.

    The first time I was aware of Trump was watching him on the Apprentice. He seemd ok but had absolutely no sense of humour and said a lot without saying very much if you know what I mean. Psychologists seem to think he is a narcissist. I have no argument with that. Such a condition is extreme egotism, exacerbates the desire to win at all costs and reduces conscience.

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  15. One Planet Only Forever @13

    It's the Charlie Sheen tiger blood drinking warlock type of "winning" that Donald Trump represents.

    Not the kind of winning that people like Newton, Maxwell, Pasteur, Planck, Einstein, Currie, Meitner, etc.. represent. The most valuable advances in our species and society have come from the application of the scientific method and a genuine respect for the facts that someone like Donald Trump is a total rejection of.

    If this was the 17th century he be demanding that they "Lock him up!" with Galileo.

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  16. Doug_C @15,

    I agree.

    I would clarify that the expanded issue of 'improved awareness and understanding of what is going on and how to apply it to help sustainably improve conditions for humanity' is what has advanced humanity.

    That effort is not limited to 'rigorous scientific method' investigation. The scientific method has tremendous but limited applicability to improving awareness and understanding. It struggles to evaluate the complexity of the bigger picure. It is limited to figuring out parts in intense detail. It struggles to evaluate complex things like 'explicitly identifying the mechanism(s) of harm from smoking (a lot going on that is impractical to replicate in a controlled/repeatable study)'.

    That clarification does not change the understanding that the likes of Trump are harmful undeserving Winners. And it can allow many more people to be included in the category of helpfully aware and understanding people who are unlike the likes of Trump (and that group of helpful people includes many spiritual leaders and followers).

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  17. One Planet Only Forever @16

    The Scientific Method has produced an incredibly detailed understanding of the natural world from the largest scale to the smallest.

    Whether it was Einstein following on from the works of very penetrating thinkers before him to detail the relationships between light, gravity, time and relative velocity to those working at the smallest scale to give us a profound understanding of how nature seems to function at a fundamental level.

    That was due to people with the mindset that we are never finished asking questions and always open to new explanations that fit the facts as they are constantly revealed.

    Then we are faced by those who are unwilling or afraid to even ask the important questions.

    One of my favorite lines from reality and entertainment is;

    "Let's work the problem people. Let's not make things worse by guessing."- Gene Kranz(NASA Flight Director)

    We are in that kind of situation where if we don't get our actions precisely right and in a very limited time frame we could lose life support on Earth for much if not most of the current biosphere.

    And people like Trump are so unaware of the true dimensions of this crisis that if they were on Apollo 13 they'd get out and try to walk home.

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  18. Doug_C @17,
    I agree with the importance of the scientific method and what has been developed by technical science and its application.

    My objective is raising awareness and understanding of the importance of developing a larger worldview, a worldview that leads to people to embrace 'personally act now in ways that support the achievement of local and global benefits now and far into the future', rather than people only caring about their personal interests in the very near term (which can include prolonging harmful incorrectly developed beliefs and actions).

    A lot of important helpful improved awareness and understanding is not 'new results of technical scientific investigation'. And a lot of it is identifying required corrections of the results of the applications of technical science, especially when the scientific investigation and application is driven by competition for perceptions of superiority relative to others driven by popularity or profitability. A particular concern is the harmfully incorrect applications of marketing science to attempt to increase and prolong understandably incorrect activity. A related harmful incorrect behaviour is claiming that correction of what has developed cannot be 'forced to happen (by external judges/referees of the game)' unless there is 'scientific certainty , of the exact mechanisms and details of harm done by the popular and profitable activity (to the satisfaction of the people who do not want to be corrected)'.

    A recent example is the delays in action to limit the use of neonicotinoids until the potential harm they are causing is well understood. The argument is that they are now popular and profitable - and help end poverty - so the use can only be allowed to be forced to be stopped if there is very explicit and robust proof of the harm done (and maybe not even).

    Similar incorrect arguments are used against efforts to reduce the burning of fossil fuels. And the burning of fossil fuels are also defended by the claim that new technical science developments will be the answer. The claim is that new technical developments must occur to solve the problem, implemented in ways that do not damage incorrectly developed perceptions.

    For many people, understanding the harmful incorrectness of burning fossil fuels is not enough to justify the clearly required correction. Protecting the developed perceptions of prosperity and superiority is claimed to be required. No curtailing of fossil fuel burning until a way to accomplish it is developed that does not correct the incorrectly developed perceptions of prosperity and superiority.

    And that is the core of the temporary regional success of the likes of Trump. The likes of Trump gather support by making-up claims to defend the incorrectly developed perceptions of opportunity, prosperity and superiority. They do it to keep people from improving their awareness and understanding of what helps and harms the development of a sustainable better future for humanity. And that would explain why their strongest appeal is in non-urban areas (like the pro-Brexit regions in Britain, and the source of the violent anti-climate action protesters in France). Their ability to get support is greatest in regions where people develop smaller worldviews, where people and can more easily tempted by greed or intolerance to divisively polarize away from improved awareness and understanding of how to help develop sustainable improvements for all of humanity.

    The Sustainable Development Goals are an example of improving awareness and understanding that is not developed by technical science. Though the Climate Action Goal is due to technical scientific evaluation, it is actually the result of improved awareness and understanding of the harmful unacceptability of popular and profitable developed applications of technical scientific learning. And many of the other Goals are the result of improving awareness and understanding of the harmful unacceptability of other developed results of human competition for perceptions of superiority relative to others that require correction, especially developments driven by pursuits of popularity or profitability.

    In essence what I am suggesting is that the most important improved awareness and understanding is that the currently developed socioeconomic-political systems are actually causing lots of harmful incorrect developments, and making it difficult to correct them.

    The developed socioeconomic-political systems need to be corrected. Without correcting the system, more technical science is likely to be more harmful. Without system correction, it is likely that incorrect harmful new applications of new technology will be done 'to solve the problem'. The results of that 'type of solution' could be more harmful than the problem that needed to be solved.

    That modification of understanding does not change the fundamental understanding that any 'solution' developed by the likes of Trump is almost certain to be a Very Bad Idea.

    And hoping for a better future for humanity without correcting the socioeconomic-political systems that developed winning by the like of Trump would be like that definition of Insanity “Continuing to do the same things, but expecting a different result”.

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  19. @6 BeezelyBillyBub,

    Not all meat production is a net emissions source. Properly managed it can be a large carbon sink. So this idea of taxing meat is doomed to failure as a AGW mitigation strategy before it even starts.

    Now if you instead taxed all CAFO meat production and used that money to subsidize verified carbon sequestration in the soils of properly managed farms. Then you might have something.

    Your ideas as they stand though, across the board, are far too simplistic to be effective at all on complex systems such as AGW. The meat comment being just the most obvious one.

    “The number one public enemy is the cow. But the number one tool that can save mankind is the cow. We need every cow we can get back out on the range. It is almost criminal to have them in feedlots which are inhumane, antisocial, and environmentally and economically unsound.” Allan Savory

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  20. RedBaron@19 Great point. I became vegetarian mostly for this reason, and will likely stay vegetarian mostly for this reason. I'm afraid that the economic and social pressures will keep cattle being raised in ways that are bad for the environment, but it is good to know that there is a method that can be encouraged and nurtured along the way to finding solutions to reduce our GHG burden. Thanks for your comment.

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  21. Only could be worse in US if the Koch bothers were president and vice president.

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Pushing the limit.

  22. I found an interesting chart that also presents hypothetical data.  The analysis appears to be very similar to the chart for wildfire data in the post.  I am not certain that I believe either data set, since they are both hypothetical.

    Hypothetical Hillary vs Barack

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Completely offtopic, 100% political and without any science content at all

  23. Ok....I learned my lesson: no more illustrating absurdity by being absurd.  Instead, a question: Why is this chart presented as factual when it is entirely hypothetical?  I would ask for the data, buit since it is hypothetical, it is, therefor, based on assumptions that I am not interested in.

    absurd chart

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