Citizen Action Monitor

“Diva of Doom” asks why climate scientists aren’t telling us how bad the prognosis really is

The truth is — “CATACLYSMIC CLIMATE CHANGE IS ALREADY BAKED IN THE CAKE!”

No 2487 Posted by fw, July 5, 2019

Gail Zawacki Diva of Doom

“Reason #3.  Societal consequences are not in their purview.  They know that only an urgent and drastic curtailment of emissions can mitigate the worst effects on society…and that imposing such harsh measures is politically impossible.  Following natural laws rather than wishful thinking means that what is required is no less than a revolutionary change in modern lifestyles, including economic systems built on nonsensical faith in unlimited growth and unsustainable resource extraction.  Issues such as government energy subsidies, corporate personhood, justice for climate refugees, prevention of famine and wars are foreign to the realm of atmospheric physics, and only the rare scientist has enough courage to venture into policy implications.”Gail Zawacki, Wit’s End

Below is my repost of Gail Zawacki’s short piece on why climate scientists are reluctant to tell us the truth about cataclysmic climate change. Keep in mind that Gail – aka “The Diva of Doom” — published this article eight years ago, in 2011. And how things have changed since then – In October of last year, “… the world’s leading climate scientists warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.” Moreover, today there are protest movements busting out all over the world to pressure governments to take IMMEDIATE action.

Does that mean we’re saved? Probably not. For as Gail shouts out loud and clear in this article — CATACLYSMIC CLIMATE CHANGE IS ALREADY BAKED IN THE CAKE! Even if we had the technology to do so – and we don’t — we couldn’t suck out the existing high levels of CO2 from the atmosphere fast enough to save the planet. Besides, as Zawacki points out, although “an urgent and drastic curtailment of emissions can mitigate the worst effects on society…imposing such harsh measures is politically impossible.”  

To read Gail’s post on her website, Wit’s End, click on the following linked title and then scroll way down to the bottom of the page. Otherwise, read my repost below. And don’t miss the link at the bottom of this post to a fascinating 2018 audio interview with Gail, an expert on the death of our trees.

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Why Are Climate Scientists Less Than Truthful? by Gail Zawacki, Wit’s End, July 2, 2011

If you suspect that climate scientists aren’t being truthful, you would be correct.  They are not leveling with us.  Are they part of an alarmist conspiracy to embezzle government grants…furthering a plot to regulate, tax and destroy the American way of life?

Not exactly.  (For one thing, the amount of money spent on climate research is trivial compared to the profits of the international oil, gas, coal and biofuel industries which are primarily causing climate change – and have oodles left over to fund a well-organized cadre of opposition.)

So, what secrets  *are*  those pesky climate scientists withholding?

Like doctors reluctant to diagnose a fatal cancer…THEY AREN’T TELLING US HOW BAD THE PROGNOSIS ACTUALLY IS.  And why not?  They have several inhibitions:

Reason #1.  Scientists don’t want to jeopardize their careers by being branded hysterical or unprofessional.  Traditional scientific reticence limits predictions researchers can prudently risk when their calculations are subject to complex uncertainties.  Because they can’t accurately model the timing of delayed effects from system inertia, or the precise influences from positive amplifying feedbacks, they simply DON’T INCLUDE the most important variables and tipping points in consensus reports – like the albedo effect, and temporary aerosol cooling – even though they know climate change is provoking extremely violent storms, sea level rise, and desertification.  And oops…they’ve completely left out of the equation the ramifications of ocean acidification leading to near total extinction of sea life (which produces much of our oxygen!).

Reason #2.  Scientists mistrust public reaction.  They are fearful that if it were widely recognized how inevitably and rapidly climate destabilization is occurring (and will accelerate exponentially), the majority of people would become resigned, depressed, and lose motivation to do anything about it…or worse – succumb to collective terror and derangement; and

Reason #3.  Societal consequences are not in their purview.  They know that only an urgent and drastic curtailment of emissions can mitigate the worst effects on society…and that imposing such harsh measures is politically impossible.  Following natural laws rather than wishful thinking means that what is required is no less than a revolutionary change in modern lifestyles, including economic systems built on nonsensical faith in unlimited growth and unsustainable resource extraction.  Issues such as government energy subsidies, corporate personhood, justice for climate refugees, prevention of famine and wars are foreign to the realm of atmospheric physics, and only the rare scientist has enough courage to venture into policy implications; and

Reason #4.  Scientists are human and hope for the survival of their children too.  They can’t believe how absurdly awful and inconceivable it is that humans have ignored consistent warnings from decades ago that releasing 90 million tons of greenhouse gases per day means we are knowingly and unnecessarily destroying the habitability of our only home, Earth.  Like the most stubborn ideological deniers, many prefer to think the destruction of an environment hospitable to agriculture must be a preposterous nightmare – and that any minute, someone will pinch them and wake them up.  They themselves don’t want to admit that

CATACLYSMIC CLIMATE CHANGE IS ALREADY BAKED IN THE CAKE!

What remains to be seen is how much more disastrous we allow it to become for future generations.  The blog WitsendNJ links to studies indicating exposure to toxic tropospheric ozone is killing trees – even faster than warming from CO2 (oh, yes indeed, no kidding – pollution is really killing trees!  Go look carefully at some).  We CAN and MUST stop that before the entire ecosystem that depends upon them enters irretrievable collapse.

SEE ALSO

Gail Zawacki: “You’re Not Gonna Be Able to Survive This, No Matter How Much You Prepare” by Collapse Chronicles, December 16, 2018. — In a 60-minute interview with Sam Mitchell, Gail provides an articulate description of the what and why of our overshoot predicament, and concludes with some wise advice on what to do about it: “Enjoy every good day that remains.” Check out Gail’s classic primer for neophyte doomers, “Doom for Dummies“: http://doomfordummies.blogspot.com/

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