READ KINDLE ☰ Six Degrees ☥ Mark Lynas –

This text should be required reading for participation in the planetary exchange of resources i.e breathing, drinking, eating, excreting What Lynas has provided here is a comprehensive summary of international research on climate change and carbon emissions from a variety of perspectives and methodologies The result is a harrowing projection of the kinds of shifts in ecosystems around the world water tables, weather patterns, food production, biodiversity, ocean acidity that are likely to occur if the average temperature of the earth goes up by as much as 6 degrees C In each successive chapter, degree by degree, Lynas walks the reader through the gradual changes humanity can expect to experience, based upon a combination of state of the art computer modeling, statistical probabilities, current observable trends, and historical precedence The end result walks a fine line between igniting profound motivation for change and tripping the wire of paralytic despair.A major criticism I have of the work is that, in all but the sketchiest senses, Lynas fails to make the connections between the emissions warming circumstances and the sociopolitical systems that have precipitated them Only once or twice does he point directly to global capitalism and consumption at both the industrial and individual levels, and then to predict that at the point of societal collapse popular political theory may shift to point blame where it is deserved His intention is only to provide an accessible reference for the scientific research as it exists a moral choice that, given the severity of the circumstances he describes, seems to me cowardly and untenable Nonetheless, an important book. The subject of this book is the fast approaching Global Fry Up Oh, I hear you cry, spare me another jeremiad about this boring topic Yes I m with you It is horribly tiresome Okay, every time you turn on the news you get death, financial crisis, war, ghastliness The news is always bad except for the last little bit of amusing oddness they throw in to stop you hanging yourself from your wardrobe door Let s add to that the general feeling that many people have as they get older that everything is getting WORSE music, movies, politicians, taxes, everything Okay, then came Global Warming, which is Bad News to the power of a million In the introduction this guy Mark Lynas tells the story of how he was in the toilet at one of his early presentations of this Six degrees material I overheard a conversation in which an audience member apologised to another for dragging them out to something so depressing I was truly shocked Depressing It had honestly never occurred to me that Six Degrees might be depressing Well in Six Degrees Mr Lymas presents us with a series of terrifying cataclysmic visions of what life on earth will become after the earth heats up degree by degree It s depressing all right Because what is the ordinary punter s reaction going to be, assuming she isn t an influential scientist or on a government advisory committee What can we do Run out and quickly not go on that foreign holiday Dash out and decline to renew your car Swiftly consume less every day for the rest of your life The global warming crowd are the all time downers Mr Lynas thinks his book is a call to arms But i think it s a call to phone in sick and watch Curb Your Enthusiasm dvds all day long There s a lot I don t get in these debates For a start, I don t even get why there s even an argument between the Global Warming is Caused by People crowd and the No it isn t, it s a Natural Phenomenon sceptics Because these two groups seem to agree that whoever s causing it, it s happening So both sides should stop arguing and try to figure out a better solar panel The pathologist is contacted after the patient has been pronounced dead Or are the warming deniers simply saying that we should carry on partying like it s 1999 Are they that genuinely idiotic Anyhow, the whole thing also seems to assume that everyone is in favour of the human race and that we should all be earnestly striving for the continuation of the species This assumption is a very easy one and should be challenged, and it was too, by a bunch of extremists some years ago called the Deep Greens who thought humanity was a virus or pestilence and the quicker it exterminated itself the better You can see their point if you take the long view Humans are doing all they can to wreck this pretty blue spinning complex biosphere Hey Humans Leave that planet alone I can see that argument So I go back and forth on the question of whether humans should be preserved Also, right now, the population of the planet is approaching 7 billion It s too many, especially if 6 of the 7 billion start to acquire stuff the other billion takes for granted, like golf and patios and cars Do you think they all bicycle to work because they re fitness enthusiasts Not at all They all want cars because they re just like us I remember a quote from a farmer in Yemen back in the 1980s A left wing journalist asked him about his political affiliations Well, he says, I m a communist now Then his face lit up But one day I hope to be a capitalist So, it s a great shame, and all, but in the future there will have to be a decision made about how many people we can allow on the planet And there will have to be a cull I m sorry but this is probably a seats 3 billion planet So we ll have to agree on who we should get rid of Yes, it will probably be an upsetting time But I think everyone will be able to agree that the people who should be got rid of are the nasty people Imagine if everyone left alive on the planet after the cull was nice how lovely that would be No war, no tax avoidance and no public littering And very few politicians So, they ll invent a nice ometer This will measure a person s niceness If you drop below 50% niceness you ll have to go Now this system would have amazing benefits even before any serious culling started Just announcing it will make everyone start anxiously being nice to each other , having Golden Rule parties, doing unto others before they even knew they wanted it doing unto them People will be donating their entire salaries to worthy causes, every blind person will have four or five seeing eye dogs, it will be remarkable I haven t thought the whole thing through but I can only see benefits I hope I live to see it Although the chances of any device measuring me to be than 50% nice is, if I m honest, remote. READ KINDLE ⚐ Six Degrees ♬ Possibly The Most Graphic Treatment Of Global Warming That Has Yet Been Published, Six Degrees Is What Readers Of Al Gore S Best Selling An Inconvenient Truth Or Ross Gelbspan S Boiling Point Will Turn To Next Written By The Acclaimed Author Of High Tide, This Highly Relevant And Compelling Book Uses Accessible Journalistic Prose To Distill What Environmental Scientists Portend About The Consequences Of Human Pollution For The Next Hundred YearsIn , The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change IPCC Released A Landmark Report Projecting Average Global Surface Temperatures To Rise Between Degrees And Degrees Celsius Roughly To Degrees Fahrenheit By The End Of This Century Based On This Forecast, Author Mark Lynas Outlines What To Expect From A Warming World, Degree By Degree At Degree Celsius, Most Coral Reefs And Many Mountain Glaciers Will Be Lost A Degree Rise Would Spell The Collapse Of The Rainforest, Disappearance Of Greenland S Ice Sheet, And The Creation Of Deserts Across The Midwestern United States And Southern Africa A Degree Increase Would Eliminate Most Life On Earth, Including Much Of HumanityBased On Authoritative Scientific Articles, The Latest Computer Models, And Information About Past Warm Events In Earth History, Six Degrees Promises To Be An Eye Opening Warning That Humanity Will Ignore At Its Peril Fever Six Degrees Is What Readers Of Al Gore S Best Selling An Inconvenient Truth Or Ross Gelbspan S Boiling Point Will Turn To Next Written By The Acclaimed Author Of High Tide Placenta the Forgotten Chakra This Highly Relevant And Compelling Book Uses Accessible Journalistic Prose To Distill What Environmental Scientists Portend About The Consequences Of Human Pollution For The Next Hundred YearsIn Managing Enterprise Content The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change IPCC Released A Landmark Report Projecting Average Global Surface Temperatures To Rise Between Degrees And Degrees Celsius Roughly To Degrees Fahrenheit By The End Of This Century Based On This Forecast Gradus Author Mark Lynas Outlines What To Expect From A Warming World New & Selected Poems Degree By Degree At Degree Celsius The Spooks Bestiary Most Coral Reefs And Many Mountain Glaciers Will Be Lost A Degree Rise Would Spell The Collapse Of The Rainforest Filth Disappearance Of Greenland S Ice Sheet The Armies And The Creation Of Deserts Across The Midwestern United States And Southern Africa A Degree Increase Would Eliminate Most Life On Earth Degas Including Much Of HumanityBased On Authoritative Scientific Articles The Lord of the Rings The Latest Computer Models Deff Skwadron (Warhammer 40,000 Graphic Novel) And Information About Past Warm Events In Earth History Wszyscy jesteśmy Meekhańczykami Six Degrees Promises To Be An Eye Opening Warning That Humanity Will Ignore At Its Peril This is a 2007 2008 in USA book about global warming It summarizes the results from scientific papers on climate change, and it uses successive chapters to describe the world s climate at 1 C, 2 C, on up to 6 C rise of average temperatures The effects are compared to paleoclimatic studies, with six degrees of warming compared back to the Cretaceous geologic period.Since this book is already ten years old it s interesting to compare its predictions to what has actually happened since it was published This book predicted that we would reach 400 ppm of atmospheric CO2 by year 2015 According to this website, 401.51 ppm was reached in 2015 The 2008 worldwide recession reduced CO2 emissions, so I was hopeful that it may have delayed reaching the 400 ppm mark These GRAPHS show that total emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere actually decreased in 2009 This is one of the few good things about a recession But the resulting rate of increase to atmospheric CO2 concentrations as shown on this GRAPH is barely detectible This book indicates that if we re able to stop the rise in CO2 at 400 ppm we are still doomed to a probable increase in average world temperature rise of 2 C which will result in increased severity of to storms in the weather, increased pH in oceans that will cause bleaching of coral reefs, and moderate rise in ocean levels These things are already happening.However, if CO2 concentrations rise to 450 ppm 3 C average temperature increase we will probably pass the threshold for carbon cycle feedback Carbon cycle feedback refers to various biochemical reactions that respond to rising temperatures in a manner that causes still increased CO2 discharge to the atmosphere.If the CO2 concentrations continue to increase to 550 ppm it will probably result in an increase of 4 C to average world temperatures which will probably pass the threshold for Siberian methane feedback Siberian methane feedback refers to the expected release of methane caused by thawing of the permafrost in the arctic regions which will allow initiation of the organic decomposition of organic material previously held in a frozen state This causes organic carbon to be converted into atmospheric CO2 At some point the warming of ocean temperatures may cause the release of methane hydrate a greenhouse gas that is currently trapped at the bottom of the ocean under the load of high water pressure If the CO2 concentrations continue to increase to 650 ppm it will probably result in an increase of 5 C It will be the first time the earth has been that warm since the Pliocene geologic period 5 to 3 million years ago That s the era of when the hominid fossil Lucy was living The oceans will have risen sufficiently in this world to dramatically change the shape of the exposed land mass.If CO2 concentration reach 800 ppm the earth s temperature will reach the 6 C rise threshold which will be the highest temperatures since the Cretaceous geologic period 145 to 66 million years ago This was the time when dinosaurs dominated, the only mammals were small creatures, and there were certainly no humans alive at the time This book suggests that humans are clever enough to probably survive in a world of 6 C rise, but the earth would almost certainly not be able to support today s population Of course there are plenty of uncertainties in these predictions, and climate change deniers like to emphasize this point But uncertainty could go the other way, and conditions could be worse than predicted The reason climate change deniers can sound believable is because there is a long lag time in these changes If CO2 concentrations stopped at today s levels the earth s temperatures would continue to rise and the ocean levels would continue to rise for 30 to 50 years Since this book was published ten years ago some of the predicted correlation between temperatures and CO2 may today be slightly different based on advanced modeling But it s my understanding that the general order of magnitude of expected changes are much the same.Unfortunately, climate change has become a political issue with conservatives generally being skeptical of climate science and liberals being advocates of it Here s a LINK to a NYT article April 27, 2017 that indicates that there is an organized effort underway to send an anti climate change booklet to virtually every science educator in the USA Unfortunately, a recent survey indicates that some science teachers show signs of being influenced by this misinformation The following is taken from the NYT article.A survey of 1,500 American science teachers published last year in the journal Science found 30 percent of those surveyed said they emphasized in their classes that recent global warming is likely due to natural causes Less than half also correctly identified the degree of consensus among climate scientists that human activities are the primary cause of global warming.It s difficult to imagine any credentialed science teacher being influenced by this propaganda All teachers I know would recognize it as politically motivated misinformation.The following link is to a six page summary of Six Degrees by Mark Lynas following link is to the report, Climate Change 2014, Synthesis report, Summary for Policymakers This is a 32 page report Its contains some excellent graphs in color.http pdf assessment rep My review is a call to action for anyone in healthcare in particular, as well as the general public I finishedSix Degrees Our Future on a Hotter Planetseveral days ago, but wanted to let the book s subject matter sit with me a few days before I wrote a review Plus, I ve been freakin busy There are many insightful reviews on the subject matter itself, so I m going to focus on what the book meant to me as a human, and as a nurse Bottom line our earth is warming up What is causing the warming, and how severe the warming will be constitutes almost all the discussion on climate change in mainstream mediawhen any discussion occurs at all But as another astute reviewer put it while the patient is alive we focus on the symptoms and a cure Autopsies occur AFTER the patient dies So, with our planet, I fear that we are so focused on the cause that we won t address the symptoms or a viable cure until its too late Mark Lynas has written a book that does just thatfocuses on the symptoms He outlines what each increasing degree Celsius means for our environment, and by extension us His book is rooted in a 300 item long bibliography of scientific studies His lens is broad, and his chapters encompass the entire globe, cataloging changes from the rain forest, to to the Savannah of Africa, to the Alps, to the poles It may be hard for readers to wrap their mind around the scale of projected changes, to remember that each of these large areas contains countless villages, communities, neighborhoods, families People whose entire way of life may very well change When I finished the book, my first thought washow am I a nurse in a large university teaching hospitaland we aren t talking about this We aren t actively participating in local or state governmental policy or taking action to advocate for our community Some nurses, maybe even dozens of nurses are, but there isn t a collective, unified action So then I wonderedare there any platform statements by nursing health organizations Turns out there are some, but many are woefully outdated Here s one from the WHO Environmental Healthalso refers to the theory and practice of assessing, correcting, controlling, and preventing those factors in the environment that can potentially adversely affect the health of present and future generations 1992 And here s another quote, also from 1992, from the International Council of Nurses The concern of nurses is for people s health it s promotion, its maintenance, its restoration The healthy lives of people depend ultimately on the health of Planet Earth its soil, its water, its oceans, its atmosphere, its biological diversity all of the elements which constitute people s natural environment By extension, therefore, nurses need to be concerned with the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health of the natural environment, particularly with the pollution, degradation, and destruction of that environment being caused by human activities Much recently the Ohio Nurses Review released a paper in September, 2016 They agree with many of the predictions that Lynas laid out in his book namely the looming threats to public health of temperature related death and illness heat stroke , air quality impacts, increasing extreme events heat waves, hurricanes, tornadoes, mudslides, floods, wildfires, and drought , growing food insecurity, and increased vector borne diseases These are serious threats to populations, and nurses need to educate themselves so that they can educate and advocate for their communities We need to be doing this now I m well aware of the educational challenges though Almost 10 years after this book was published, a large percentage of Americans still refuse to believe that climate change is real An even smaller percentage believe that climate change will affect them personally Lynas does a great job of discussing the forms that denial take Here are some of the major ones 1 denial of responsibility I m not the main cause of the problem 2 rejection of blame I ve done nothing wrong 3 powerlessness nothing I do makes much of a difference 4 comfort It s too difficult for me to change my behavior 5 fabricated constraints there are too many impediments and 6 faith in some kind of managerial fix or technological white knight which will solve the problem for everyone This is a problem that requires grass roots, mass effort To close, Florence Nightingale wrote the first rule of Nursing in 1859 Back then wounded soldiers lay in squalor in dank wards She famously said Keep the air within as pure as the air without In 2017 we must care about the air without We must fight for its purity. Why is climate change not the biggest issue for the loudest group of protestors in the West these days I m starting to wonder Why do student firebrands who are usually middle class and comfortable, often protesting about things that don t directly affect them mostly treat it as a secondary issue, some way further down the list than their main concerns Why are SJWs SJWs and not CJWs What if we d had as much progress in legislation and in attitude change among the media in the last five years as there has been on trans issues, for instance That would also give a better chance of a stable society in which there would be peace and space enough for trans issues and needs to still be considered significant in fifty or a hundred years time Even many people who aren t personally invested in trans issues talk about the subject differently now Then there s the loudening in feminism over the same timespan perhaps feminism is comparable to climate change and environmental issues as something already widely recognised as important, which had been further down the agenda for a while Climate science is easier to make sense of than the works of Judith Butler If you look at this graph of climate during the 200,000 years modern humans have been here you ll notice that for the first 188,000 years the climate was very unstable compared to the last 12,000 years.Guess what also happened around 12,000 years ago Agriculture developed along with cities and civilizationour relatively prosperous interlude may prove to have been a lucky aberration, thanks in large part to the massive boost in food and energy that our civilisation derived from fossil fuels This same fossil energy boost, of course, while allowing our species to proliferate massively in numbers and construct wonderful, complex societies in little than a historical instant could in the longer term prove to be our undoingWhere no refuge is available, and crops and water supplies fail, civil war and a collapse into race or community conflicts seems sadly the most likely outcome These mostly twentysomethings voxpopped by Vice in July might not consider themselves the SJW type, but evidently there s a problem of understanding it will require signficant levels of crisis, like food shortages affecting middle class Britons, for them to want to do much about it By which time a lot damage will have been done, with again waiting in the wings, due to the time lag involved in cause and effect Would six similar people in 2005 or 2010 thought that sexism and racism were huge problems they and the media should be continually aware of I doubt it, they would have probably thought it could be a lot worse in the UK But those, for whatever reason are the issues that got pushed to the top of the agenda by the types of activists that manage to set it Anyway, this difference of priority might have just shot to near the top of my reasons to be annoyed with SJWs from my also leftwing, narcissism of small differences position.Humans are hopelessly short termist, and nowhere near enough of them think that nature is important than their own species or specific examples of it As was said in another book I read recently, Gwynne Dyer s Climate Wars which I also read simply because it was on Scribd, rather than because it was my first choice among books on climate change , some of them have learned a lot about international co operation e.g the UN over the last seventy years, besides not mentioned in the book huge changes in Western countries in general attitudes and legislation on domestic violence, corporal punishment, animal cruelty and so on But humans as a mass do continue their old ways that got them where they are today, of putting themselves first although they are of an endangering than an endangered species Another Vice article based on the opinions of one psychologist suggests that lifestyle change needs to be sold to the public as fun and improvement But what about all those people who are satisfied with government austerity policies because they see a national budget in the same way as a household budget With the right rhetoric and, crucially, media support, I m sure they could be got on board And some others, at least, are fear motivated or have some degree of interest in simplification, back to the land etc I don t think the same shiny bright green hipster message works on everyone As you would expect from a nine year old book about a fast changing area of science, Six Degrees was sometimes a burden to read because of wondering, and checking whether, some piece of research has been superseded or confirmed and there are hundreds of studies mentioned here it s essentially a synthesis of climate modelling and palaeoclimate research up to 2006 and then there is looking at up to date info about carbon emissions, Arctic ice, etc to see to what extent that might alter the book s conclusions Broadly, it still correlates with recent events and research particularly because it takes into account the point that palaeoclimate findings turned out to be sensitive than the models used up to time of writing since then there have been rises in carbon concentrations to the landmark 400ppm, a number of record hottest years approaching an average 1.5C above pre industrial levels, and reductions in Arctic ice are or less in line with the book Perhaps the most significant change between then and now is fracking The greenhouse conditions under which shale oil and gas was created millions of years ago make it seem a Pandora s box of a substance And somewhat related the dip in oil prices that has disincentivised alternatives Thanks Leah for the reminder in comments Renewable energy use has gone up a bit but not as much as it needs to, and dramatic positive developments are tentative, like this Icelandic carbon capture scheme which has successfully changed CO2 into rocks A new modelling study from Canada, on what may happen by 2300 if all known fossil fuels were burnt exceeds the global average six degrees Celsius rise after which this book is named, and suggests eight degrees higher in some places, lower in others interestingly media reports of the study mention conditions similar to those cited by Lynas as possibly occurring from average 5 6 degree rises Without reading other papers cited by the Canadian study and by those Lynas outlined, it s impossible to say whether this is because temperatures are now thought to have been higher in the Eocene, or for some other reason For 6 degrees or , he suggests a super fast verson of the end Permian extinction, the largest one ever known That National Geographic report on the study makes a good point that limiting considerations of potential changes up to 2100 now looks short sighted If human longevity continues its recent pattern which it may not due to less healthy lifestyles, as well as environmental changes that may occur in the intervening decades then most western kids born now would be alive then, as pensioners It s not as far away as it used to be The book is sort of organised around possible average temperature rises of 1,2,3, 4, 5 and 6 degrees above pre industrial levels Reports of that study confirms my general impression that Lynas had given weight to studies which displayed direr consequences at each point, i.e without being able to recall exactly which other articles I meant, I felt that he often cited consequences commonly associated with a degree or two higher than where he mentioned them Which is not to say that there is no value in the book, or that 1 2 degrees of warming do not have significant consequences for ecosystems and food production It is perhaps a problem of organising the material Climate systems are very complex and trying to present them, and potential events within and affecting them, in the linear form of words, rather than, say, a series of animated 3 D flowcharts and diagrams, is inevitably a challenge Including worst case scenarios can easily make them noticeable because they can t help be dramatic And you can t have a decent survey without including the best and worse cases A number of the modelled scenarios and political possibilities were similar to those in Climate Wars, such as war between India and Pakistan over water supplies various world river systems and their reliance on glaciers and seasonal snowmelt being described in detail here , famines in China resulting from failure of river systems, and desertification in the southwestern USA Other, different ones, were addressed in greater detail these similar books need their USPs poor Botswana, for instance, which appears to have a poor chance of not becoming a desert, actually the entire country Predictions for regions of Africa get attention here the Sahel may for a while become greener and get higher rainfall, but only for a few decades at most Other models suggested a simpler drying and heating up Either way, at some point, millions if not billions of refugees will try and escape famine and probable wars by going north to Europe where the Mediterranean countries will themselves be increasingly parched and infertile or south to South Africa, dwarfing the current Syrian and Eritrean exoduses exodi Northern Europe and Canada should be relatively okay climatically and everybody will want in although this ranking of countries preparedness for global warming must have its limits considering the UK, Netherlands and Denmark s relative vulnerability to sea level rise and reading these things I do worry for online friends in hotter parts of the world, them or their potential children, especially in the most politically tense regions As might be expected from an author who d previously written a book on sea level rises, changes in the oceans get detailed attention here, from the decrease in plankton at the base of the food chain and coral bleaching, to one of the great wildcards of climate change, the possible release of large quantities of methane a far potent greenhouse gas than CO2 stored in sea beds, which erupted during some prehistoric extinction periods, and can be stimulated by seismic activity or landslips The Mesolithic Storegga Slide, which swept away Doggerland and made Britain an island, was also associated with one of these One of the observations that feels most credible in the Northern Hemisphere is an increased severity of storms at least as much as hotter summers as a marker of global warming Americans have their huge hurricanes, but Britain has its own modest equivalent changes In the times in my adult life when I ve lived in houses and flats with outdoor space, I m positive there has been far frequent running outside into storms to stop things blowing away than there ever was when I was a kid This sort of thing didn t used to need doing every year, never mind several times a year, sometimes than once a month And there was a lot loose stuff in that garden then than I would keep lying around It seems a consistent change up to this point than the variability of winters 19812011 and those mild grey 90s Christmases between Lynas suggests significant tipping points after which it will become very difficult for humans to control global warming, two in particular The first is the drying out of the rainforest the world s largest tree based carbon sink not just the home of a lot of wildlife and Sting s favourite aboriginal people, as one could be forgiven for thinking on the basis of certain 1980s campaigns and its succumbing to forest fire, releasing all that carbon into the atmosphere This is indicated as likely at 3 degrees of warming other estimates may vary.Next, and perhaps itself impossible to avoid if the were to burn, due to the increased heating from all that carbon, the full scale melting of Siberian permafrost and the release of the gases stored in that.Humans can be enormously interesting and they have discovered and created some amazing things, so yes it will be a shame if there are no of them, or if the decent, empathic and talented ones all disappear with pretty much only the blindly bellicose and the extremely religious remaining albeit with the possibility of descendants with different temperaments However, Lynas belongs firmly to the category of environmentalists I call human first as opposed to nature first and I strongly take issue with the following which seems little short of a secularised version of the religious homilies that the Earth was created for man to use The planet might even be better off without Homo sapiens, some might suggest Notwithstanding the moral questions that this sort of attitude raises it is a bit like saying the Nazi Holocaust didn t matter because the high post war birth rate soon replaced the six million dead , it is far from clear that life will always go on.Although earlier in the book he does acknowledge In Gaian terms, I suppose, the planet would be trying to restore a balanceI find the Gaia concept too sentimental by name, but underneath I probably do see things similarly, finding humans torturing and deliberately harming other humans infinitely sinister and repellent a very different matter from the processes of nature itself, even though measured soleley by pain in those who do not feel that way, there may be little difference Don t most people find it sadder that humans might destroy everything, not just themselves In the worst case scenario of an end Permian level extinction,It took 50 million years well into the Jurassic before anything like pre extinction levels of biodiversity returned the end Permian greenhouse probably took at least 10,000 years to play out We could achieve the same level of warming in a century, a hundred times quicker even than during the worst catastrophe the world has ever known. Even 1000 years wouldn t give much time for adaptation, given that 10000 years was too fast Scientists have calculated that only a billion years remain before the bio sphere will go extinct for ever from overheating by the sun the planet is already 4.6 billion years oldIt took 50 million years well into the Jurassic before anything like pre extinction levels of biodiversity returnedEverything else wouldn t have that much time to recover from humanity if things got that bad.From sitting on the fence in 2007To knowingly cut this flowering short is undoubtedly a crime, one un speakable even than the cruellest genocide or most destructive war If each person is uniquely valuable, each species is surely so I can see no excuses for collaborating in such a crime As the post war Nuremberg trials established, ignorance is no defence Lynas now appears human centred For example he favours nuclear power Which is a tricky issue and perhaps one on which no one can be right in my eyes To those who are idealistically and firmly anti nuclear, I tend to say that there s inevitably going to be some of it as a backup to renewables because the alternatives aren t familiar and tested enough for politicians, and I wouldn t actively oppose it but people who are firmly pro are the Other Side who evidently think it s fine for humans to keep knowingly on a path of destroying a great deal else to satisfy their short term interests, by creating nuclear waste that will hang around for a very long time.Back in 2007, Lynas described climate change and ecosystem destruction as a classic tragedy of the commons and pointed out that economics and finance is wrongly configured, considering wild resources whether obvious ones like fish, or the atmosphere and climate itself being in a state amenable to trade and business as free goods missed out from accounting, and depletion of resources counts as an accumulation of wealth Depreciation ought to be built in, he doesn t quite say, as it is for large items of equipment infrequently purchased All of which shows again for what a short time civilisation has existed The principal solution offered here are things to which the world is really no closer than it was at the time the book was written although the Paris accord and increased %s of renewable energy use are something a little something Just as people were better off and healthier in Britain under food rationing during the Second World War, so most of us would see a dramatic improvement in our quality of life if carbon rationing were introduced by the government Although carbon permits should be tradeable in the interests of flexibility, conspicuous carbon consumption by celebrities would be largely eliminated Instead, social pressure would reverse, with people happy to make changes in the knowledge that everyone else is doing likewise.This kind of collectivist solution is likely to be anathema to conservative Americans, who don t have the idealisation of the make do and mend era not uncommon on both right and left in Britain Though perhaps the idea is that countries would start this unilaterally scandinavians first, I guess and do what they could, ignoring the US An entirely unprecendented solution, meanwhile, isan across the board global agreement, given different levels of development There is only one logical way out of the conundrum rich countries must agree to trade their habituated inequity in return for poor countries participation in an agreed climate regime, a compromise first proposed by the Global Commons Institute and known as Contraction and Convergence Under CC, all countries would converge to equal per person emissions allocations by an agreed date, within the overall context of a contraction of global emissions to sustainable levels It would be a historic bargain the poor would get equality, whilst all including the rich would get survival In the US, where per person emissions are higher than in the majority of the world, this convergence process would require much heftier cuts than the global average, perhaps as high as 85 per cent by 2030, depending on the nature of the CC deal In order to make the system flexible and efficient, however, it is crucial that an international market in emissions permits is established allowing poor countries to sell unused allocations to the rich, generating significant revenue in the process This earning from a global carbon trade could help tackle poverty as well as ensuring that poorer countries have the option of pursuing a low carbon development path. Having until now considered political principles and potential public service provision in terms of what we could afford in this country, I am extremely curious about what we could afford in this hypothetical scenario and it probably won t be pretty. Read this on my step father s request I think he might have been trying to get me to shit my pants.This is, roughly, one part robust scientific journalism and one part ecological apocalypse torture porn Working from several decades worth of scientific inquiry into both our current climate situation and periods of vast geologic climactic upheaval, Lynas gives us a best guess global picture of what happens as the temperature rises, degree by degree, from one sucky to six extinction of most plants, animals, people Oddly enough I ve found myself working in a lab that measures cosmogenic nuclides via accelerator mass spectronomy Most of what they do the reams of academic papers I been collating into grant proposals has a lot to do with the creating the hard data of the arcane geological studies Lynas draws on The physicists and machinists in the lab are not liberal cooks with axes to grind, they re boring, incredibly sensible Indiana people whose politics liberal and conservative takes a back seat to their intense love of stabilizing the norm on their data So when Lynas got into it about tipping points that will be reached in the next century and the resulting possibilities of firestorms, sulpher clouds, mass starvation, mass exodus etc, I felt like my 13 year old self watching my first slasher flick terror, fascination, and deep sadness at our need desire to relate the baroquely fucked up He lays it on thick and nasty in the last 1 3rd of the book Just where his predictions become the most dire, their scientific scaffolding fades.At the very least, apart from all the global warming etc, this book is an interesting study in the alarmist literature dynamic between the dual objectives of a piece of alarmist journalism to be objective and to ruthlessly manipulate the fears of the reader.Anyway, unless you re trying to convert a global warming disbeliever through sheer terror , do not touch this book It will blow your head off with a hand canon. I read this book summarised in the Sunday Times when it was published in 2007 and have now read the full horror story Lynas is a journalist who has lived on a few different continents and now lives in UK, so he is better at communicating the science than many pure scientists He collected the papers and charts about what would progress if the world warmed as it was set to do, and presented the evidence of the effects per each degree upwards He largely succeeds in being unbiased, except to add that he would like the planet to survive in its current form and it would be lonely without all the major species such as Siberian tigers We re now nearly at two degrees already, and this after the global economic meltdown of 2008 onwards Partly of course, we know that the carbon already output is still present, cosily insulating the Earth and damaging ecosystems like coral reefs and burning forests And partly we can see evidence of increasingly filthier oil being produced and transported using increasingly power The really scary part is that we can see the feedback cycles mentioned in the book, and we re advised that from three degrees, the next cycle is kicked into action, which brings us inexorably to four degrees and the next cycle etc right the way to the author warning us that six degrees may prove a distressing read Each degree is powerful and destructive, from hurricanes becoming super hurricanes to multiple species extinction to desertification of cropland to belches of methane from frozen subsea strata to hydrogen sulphide, already seen off Namibia, being released in a silent murderous planetary devastation sorry, it got away with me there And for each degree we are not just looking at one computer model, but looking at hard evidence from past aeons Whatever is being described has all happened before and left fossil evidence The layer of burned earth, the layer of mud rich with fossils followed by a layer of mud empty of the remains of life, the evidence of massive landslides which indicate huge tsunamis, the desertification following overgrazing and deforestation causing societal collapse Coming soon to a supermarket near you Some suggestions to stave off ultimate destruction are mooted at the end of the book We need seven or wedges of change to improve planting trees, using less coal and gas, driving less, ceasing to fell and burn rainforests, etc But the main drive is to reduce fossil fuel use and gain power from other sources instead, not as well as oil and coal I ve been a naturalist and careful consumer and secondhand user and recycler and energy saver and environmentalist all my life Please do the same It matters We ve only got one generation to keep Earth under three degrees of warming, and after that, it seems to me that nothing can stop the increase Notes are P281 333 and index 335 345 I found eleven names in the index which I could be sure were female The notes and sources however cite scientific references by last name and initial This is an unbiased review of a library book. I saw this book when it first came out in 2008 and deliberately did not pick it up But s it s not exactly as if I have been in denial I m a long term environmental activist As a young man in the sixties I read Aldo Leopold s Sand County Almanac and Rachel Carson s Silent Spring I was there for the first Earth Day, when it appeared we all began to realize we were killing the planet I ve long been a reader and sometimes supporter of various ecoterrorist environmental acts and movements I know my Edward Abbey Desert Solitaire I m a long supporter of principles of ecological democracy, resource sustainability, and the like I m in a group on Goodreads, The Transition Movement, where some people discuss climate change, read books And this five star rating is not because I enjoyed reading this, believe me, but because it s a gift that science has given us that we shouldn t just ignore or be in denial about.Anyway, I read Bill McKibben s The End of Nature, his recent 2010 Eaarth Making a Life on a Tough New Planet some other such realistically frightening books, so I thought I might just pass this one by I have kids and don t like to imagine a future in greater chaos than the present we now face I guess that s a kind of denial, but sometimes there s only so much bad news you can take And then we elected a climate denier who has in place various billionaires sympathetic to this suicidal position, include Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil CEO, as possible Secretary of State But my friend Alan told me I must read this now, so I did.So, in 2001, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC released a landmark report projecting based on current trends and practices average global surface temperatures to rise between 1.4 degrees and 5.8 degrees Celsius roughly 2 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the 21st century At 1 degree Celsius, most coral reefs and many mountain glaciers will be lost, which we are now seeing A 3 degree rise would spell the collapse of the rainforest, the disappearance of Greenland s ice sheet, and the creation of deserts across the Midwestern United States and southern Africa, which we are also starting to see to some extent Lynas does a work of synthesis, drawing on the latest scientific articles, the latest computer models, and prediction based on past warm events in history Each chapter is titled by a degree, from one to six, and tries to give you a good idea of what scientists think might happen as temperatures rise and And what we face or largely, in the US, at least, choose to ignore is horrifying, unless we can make dramatic decisions to reverse course We see, like things with faulty vision,things at a distance, he replied That much,for us, the mighty Ruler s light still shines.When things draw near or happen now, our minds are useless Without the words of otherswe can know nothing of your human state.Thus it follows that all our knowledge will perish at the very momentthe portals of the future close Dante, Inferno, Canto XThe Sixth Circle of Hell Clearly, we are heading toward at a bare minimum solid two degree global rise, within a short time, as each year we break heat records, as the polar ice cap melts and the oceans warm and grow oily What can save the planet from this climate disaster You all know it Putting an almost complete stop to carbon emissions at the very least by 2050 Are we seeing positive signs Sure Some entire countries are making the now dramatic shift to alternative sources of energy But some of the major polluters are just now coming around, and slowly What will Donald and Rex do, in the face of the Paris Accord, which was a pretty tepid first step It s depressing, yes But don t give up, Lynas says, do all you personally can to be the change, to stop the planet from dying Read books like this that will not lead you to despair, but activism.He suggests this, from Dylan Thomas Do not go gentle into that good night.Old age should burn and rave at close of day Rage, rage, against the dying of the light Amen.See Ted s Environmental Book List if you want to put your toe in this water, or jump in head first if optimism hope is not the direction you have been taking lately, and you need a good dose of slap in the face realism with your wake up call, you might also consider a recent article in The New York Magazine by David Wallace Wells that is getting a lot of attention The Uninhabitable EarthFamine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us What climate change could wreak sooner than you think.http daily intelligencer Reading this book was like meeting someone, falling madly in love, and finding out she s got a terminal illness, all in the space of twenty minutes It s been a decade since I ve thought about Science, and not being much of a nature girl I forgot how mindblowingly amazing and complex the Earth is The best parts of this book really reminded me of that.Did I say terminal illness That s a bad metaphor, since disease seems sort of just to passively happen also, we tend to think of illness as something slow and wasting that takes a long time to kill you Reading this book is like meeting the most beautiful, fascinating woman who s ever existed, then watching her being sadistically brutalized, gang raped, and tortured to death I know that s a bit graphic, but the truth here is nasty Of course, in an uncomfortable, Twilight Zoney twist, one can t escape the reality that one numbers oneself among the rapists and torturers someone else on here compared this book to a slasher film, and it is one If you ve got a weak stomach or heart, this could be tough going.So the premise of this book is that Lynas, a British science guy journalist I think, goes over all these academic articles about climate change and related topics, and describes what our planet might be like when average global temperatures rise by 1, 2 6 degrees A lot of these scenarios are based on what we know about how the planet was the last time it was at these temperatures Since chilling is obviously not the right adjective for these descriptions, I ll just have to warn that you might crap your pants It s scary The book has a Dante s Inferno kind of frame, and the whole project really is extremely Biblical The sense one gets really is that we as a species have cast ourselves out of an incredible Eden and into a spiraling, multi leveled, intensifying Hell that is, for the most part, not much fun to read about Six Degrees wasn t exactly a page turner I did not enjoy most of it, which I d like to blame on Lynas s writing style but which likely has to do with the topic Parts of it were really fascinating, especially all the stuff about how weather and water systems work, and the descriptions of geography and the changes over time in the earth s climate were very illuminating for someone like me who knows nothing about all this But boy, what a downer.Reading about this stuff is intense I know the world s got a lot of problems and that there s no shortage of things to get one s panties in a twist about, but honestly nothing puts it all in perspective like global warming I was surprised while reading this by the response I got from my friends Most people really don t want to think or hear about global warming, which is pretty shocking honestly, since it s a kind of the main event and first priority for a lot of obvious reasons, and b something we can actually still affect at this point The thing about all this is that it really is happening fast, as in, in our lifetimes No one really knows how quickly things will get really bad, and there are certain tipping points and feedback loops that once you go past it s impossible to stop though no one can really say definitively how or at what speed this will all play out Like, once the Rainforest burns down, we are irreparably Fucked And by we, I mean pretty much all of us creatures who live on this planet The non Biblical thing about all this is that it just isn t fair. It s not just the sinners who are being punished here, and the usual suspects will probably feel the heat least at least for a little awhile As temperatures rise due to our bloated Western Sasquatch sized carbon bootprints, it s the dainty Cinderella slippered peoples closer to the equator whose habitats will be destroyed first, who ll run out of food and water and come surging up north Not the mention the animals, of course, and all other living things We are taking this mother down with us like an obese and insane mall shooting suicide, torching the whole place to leave a scorched ugly parking lot where there was once a beautiful shopping mall planet.But yeah, so i found out most people really don t want to think about global warming You know, everyone s always so down on Holocaust deniers, and I know they re lame, but on some level I understand the impulse to pretend like something so terrible just couldn t have happened But I don t understand the global warming is fake people, because this is a problem we actually can still do something about It s also not something in the hazy and very distant future these horrific scenarios Lynas describes could occur within our lifetime BTW, for those of you looking to feel a bit better about still smoking or being childless, this book could do the trick At the end of Six Degrees, Lynas basically outlines what he sees as our options right now According to his information, he guesses there s a 93% chance that we haven t crossed the threshold yet into Completely Fucked though there is a 7% chance that enough ice has melted that we ve activated some of those feedback loops, and are so screwed really fast, no matter what we do now He says it s pretty much a done deal that global temperatures will climb one and probably two degrees, which will definitely suck and create a lot of problems however, if we can get our collective shit together and peak emissions by 2015, we do have a chance of stabilizing before we reach three degrees, which is the point from which it seems there is no return, and everything escalates and our world turns to shit.Of course, at the moment, nothing like this is happening Current political realities are incompatible with what science is telling us needs to happen this second, and unless there s a seismic shift really SOON, humanity will almost certainly succeed in the most heinous act of matricide in the history of anything anywhere At the beginning of the book Lynas takes people to task for complaining that learning about climate change is depressing He says that s like sitting in your fiery living room being depressed that your house is burning down, instead of getting up and doing something to put out the flames Reading about this is depressing, though the damage we ve already done, and the global lack of initiative to take action now It s depressing.I finished this book not really sure what I was supposed to do with this information I m pretty suspect of this school of independent environmentalism, this very individualistic American idea that if I bring my own bag to Whole Foods I can save the planet from destruction Clearly, collective action on a massive, global scale is necessary if this impending disaster is to be averted Still, that doesn t mean I need to participate actively in grinding broken glass into the face of the woman I love as she dies One thing this book made me feel is a lot committed to living in New York I ve thought a lot in the last year about moving back to California, but when I think about being an Angeleno and driving every day, I get a sick feeling in my stomach, and I think that s right, confidently now that I ve read this My carbon footprint living here s pretty reasonable, for an American, anyway, which is not saying much I don t drive, I live in a small apartment, the only meat I eat is fish, I fly pretty infrequently, though I suppose I could fly less and buy local food and what have you Reading this did make me think about how I feel good about those things, and then made me think carefully about what I feel bad about I could really do a lot better in terms of waste and consumption, and reading this book did motivate me to be thoughtful about my consumption habits in a way I haven t been really since I moved here from Oregon several years ago.Still, I remain really unclear on what the solutions are Obviously my bringing my lunch to work and not taking airplanes is not going to stop the polar ice caps from melting, so what is I d try to think of a brilliant new form of renewable energy, but I m not very smart Maybe my contribution will be to call all my scientist friends regularly, and ask them to work on it Emily Are you reading this Could you synthesize a solution in your lab I guess I should stop writing this book report and go do my job, though I have to say I do feel some loss of urgency about social problems Aren t we just rearranging the deck chairs, really, with all these other things I guess it s always that way, with each individual life Still, there s something pretty awesome about the collective end of the world It puts everything else in perspective, and it s scary and sad I guess one comforting thought is that global warming now sort of seems like nuclear annihilation did during the Cold War It s not like that threat is eliminated, but it seems like less of a pressing issue now than it was even when I was a kid I don t know what needs to happen to be climate change s Berlin Wall or whatever, but I don t think it s impossible I hope one day I do quit smoking and have kids, and I hope by the time they grow up they can look back at Lynas s book as an alarmist relic, like those old How to Survive the Bomb paperbacks you find in used bookstores sometimes, from the time before humanity started taking this shit seriously and really cleaned up its act.

  • Paperback
  • 358
  • Six Degrees
  • Mark Lynas
  • English
  • 13 October 2018
  • null

About the Author: Mark Lynas

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