Climate Change

Climate disasters may be unstoppable

Yale Climate Connections is a multimedia service providing commentary and analysis about climate change. YCC’s weekly newsletter is worth our attention. The most recent edition linked to What happens to people after a disaster?, beginning with the words of Inside Climate News Publisher David Sassoon:

A disaster strikes. The news reaches every home for a few days, perhaps a week. A debate erupts over whether climate change is to blame. Victims are profiled. There’s a tally of lives lost and property destroyed, and then the disaster is forgotten...

But the story is quite different for those of us who are directly affected. We won’t just move on. Instead, we’ll likely be caught in what we might call a disaster’s long tail, a slow-moving series of effects both immaterial and material.

One of the links provided by YCS is to a part of the Bracing for Disasters series published by British Columbia’s The Tyee.

Beyond the human costs imposed by climate change, there are economic costs.

Nicholas Kusnetz of Inside Climate News reports on a peer-reviewed paper that proposes the worst fossil fuel polluters should compensate for climate damages. Kusnetz also notes that young and the unborn will suffer the most.

One of the most contentious climate policy debates revolves, unsurprisingly, around money. Who should pay the monumental sums needed to protect against extreme weather and transition to clean energy, particularly because the damage has been caused by fossil fuel pollution from the rich, while the costs will be borne disproportionately by the poor?

Add to that a disparity in time: Older people have enjoyed the benefits of burning fossil fuels. The youth and unborn will suffer the harms.

Almost two years ago, NBC News published a piece by Andi Zeisler that noted parallel reactions to people who warn about the rising tide of fascism, climate change denial, and the loss of women’s rights:

History shows us that no matter how many people warn of grassroots fascism, work to elect pro-choice state legislators, or blow the whistle on everything from election meddling to dark money–funded climate-change denial, there will be those who put their heads in the sand and wonder why they didn’t see disaster coming.

From abortion to climate change, the ‘alarmists’ were right. Now stop calling them alarmists.

The Guardian newspaper warned us ten years ago that anonymous billionaires were funding more than 100 anti-climate groups working to discredit climate change science. Most of us kept heads in sand.

Sadly, an apocalyptic disaster is something my generation seems determined to leave to our children and grandchildren.

Categories: Climate Change

4 replies »

  1. When we have disasters which are caused either directly or not so directly, climate change, it impacts people just not in the wallet but in their minds, hearts, souls. It also results in physical illnesses.

    To have a forest fire or flood destroy your home, your life’s work, your family history it depresses the hell out of you. Some people never recover mentally or financially. Children who live through these experiences are not going to see life as they once did.

    If we aren’t burning, we’re flooding. At some point voters need to have alook at what is going on. Its going to come to a neighbourhood near you one of these days, sooner than later.

    Its like some body or several sat down and drew up a plan how to make money and keep it with in a small group and let the rest of the people believe this is best. Some of them have drunk the kool aid. Voters need to remember they have nothing in common with the billionaire and multi millionaire class and they don’t give a shit about you. Same goes for the politicians who work on behalf of the billionaire and millionaire class..

    When I look at the world today, it looks like we are returning to former times, when people had fewer rights, less money, less freedom. We can point fingers at the Americans but have you looked at Alberta lately and listened to what their current premier and memebers of her party are saying?

    In Ontario Ford has decided to remove the “green belt” from the “Green Belt” to build houses. Its been in the works for at least 10 if not 20 years. There goes the earth and plants. Developers have been trying to get their hands on the land for a very long time. Now Ford has given it to them. So what does Ford get out of destroying land, water, animals?

    As ocean’s rise where do you think people are going to live?
    As the rains stop, there will be a lack of water.
    We now have forever chemicals in our blood stream.


  2. In 2015 the then head of the Potsdam climate institute, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, was asked if there was any possibility to holding warming to the 1.5C target. He said there was – on one condition. He said it would require the “induced implosion” of the fossil energy giants.

    8 years later, emissions are still increasing despite the supposed goal of cutting GHG emissions by 50% by 2030. At today’s rates we have about 8 years remaining before we shatter the carbon budget. Here’s the problem. Proven fossil fuel reserves are roughly 5 times the maximum limit. Those reserves are heavily subscribed on the stock markets and bourses of the world. Even the head of London’s stock exchange has warned that fossil fuels are “stranded assets.”

    ‘The news broke in the last, ostensibly lazy week of July, 2020 and it sent a shockwave through the oilpatch: French fossil fuel giant Total was designating $9.3 billion in Alberta crude investments as stranded assets.
    Citing high production costs and forecasting declining demand for oil, Total said it was writing off its $7.3-billion stake in the Fort Hills bitumen mine, a massive development capable of processing 14,500 tonnes of oil sand per hour.
    Total also dropped its 50 per cent share in the Surmont bitumen recovery project, a joint effort with ConocoPhillips Canada that was busy doubling its output as recently as 2016.
    For good measure, Total dropped its membership in the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.’

    We know that averting runaway climate catastrophe requires that we leave 80% of proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground and especially the highest-carbon fuels: coal and bitumen. See any sign of that coming out of Ottawa or Alberta or Saskatchewan?

    So why no action? With some $28 trillion of fossil reserves subscribed on the markets with governments, banks and pension funds heavily invested, no one wants the responsibility for bursting the carbon budget and shocking the global economy to its core. You want to collapse federal treasuries, you want a tsunami-scale run on the banks, you want to gut ma and pa’s pension fund?

    I asked a climate scientist for his take on our predicament. He suggested I watch diCaprio’s movie “Don’t Look Up.” It’s about a massive asteroid hitting Earth. I asked if he was being flippant, facetious. He said ‘not at all.’


  3. Yes it is pretty much over to address any chance of getting off the sinking
    ship at this point. I have quite an extensive library and it covers decades
    of warnings of the climate path we are now on but alas here we are.
    You can’t live in a climate of forest fires health wise and if you are living up in
    the forested hill sides of BC or heavy forested areas of Alberta have I
    got a deal for you. It is comparable to building your house on a flood

    I just finished a re read by the the potentially best premier that
    Alberta never would elect..Kevin Taft. It would apply equally well in BC
    as to how the major ,projects in BC have been held in play starting around
    Christy Campbell’s time or even before. The book is entitled “Oil’s Deep
    State” (Alberta). Get if from the library. It is a masterclass in how oil works in the real world when it comes to the power players and politics. I am sure
    the same game play is alive and well today only with different players
    in Alberta and BC with oil, LNG. Site C etc.

    Until the elites get hit were it hurts (money, profits) things are not going to change. Why would they? FPP post elections are a joke and democracy is only in the dictionary. The current generation seems to have checked their brains into their digital devices and live there. They can build and live a different reality there.

    No more books on climate, reports or MSM for me. It is all theatre
    now, What could possible be put out there that has not already
    been covered in print or the media? It is a change of our lifestyle through action that needs to happen and we do not have the leadership willing to
    quarterback the play because they are playing for the other team. It
    is the affluent lifestyles playing out in NA, Europe, Asia, etc that are
    the bad actors in this movie.

    Hoping someone somewhere puts up the climate doomsday
    clock. Just wondering were we set the hands.

    You have to wonder what young people starting out today are thinking
    when they want to start a family. What could they possibly see as a future
    for their kids. What a sad disconnect.

    Yes you can beat up the boomer generation for where we are today but
    what is the current generation with kids in tow doing to change the future path they are going to be travelling?


    Liked by 1 person

  4. The thing not to do is to give up, nor to stop pushing back against the fossil fuel industries and those lost souls caught up in backing the ultimate evil empire. The fossil fuel industries and their misguided allies want people to give up, so they can continue unhindered with their narrow-minded agenda of making money for themselves.

    How decadent, simple and parasitic life would be if we only focused on making money, regardless of the consequences for others and the future of life on Earth. However, a parasite which kills its host does not survive.

    A remarkable new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has just confirmed that it’s now virtually impossible to deny the “fingerprint” of human effects on climate. The lead author Ben Santer says the finding is “incontrovertible.”

    Liked by 1 person

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