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Dave Levitan
For… reasons… I am reading a 1983 EPA report titled “Can We Delay a Greenhouse Warming?” and it is inCREDible. Stunning consistency since then: “Current estimates suggest that a 2 degrees C increase could occur by the middle of the next century… 5 degrees C increase by 2100”
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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“political institutions stressed"
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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WHERE HAVE I HEARD ALL THIS BEFORE “Many have dismissed it as too speculative or too distant to be of concern. Some assume that technological options will emerge to prevent a warming or, at worst, to ameliorate harmful consequences."
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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The report authors modeled out various policy maneuvers and tested whether they could delay the 2-degree warming threshold. What did they find? Reader, you will be shocked:
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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Are we 100% sure that climate scientists from 2019 didn’t travel back in time to 1983 to write this? “Scrubbing CO2 emissions from power plants is of limited effectiveness and prohibitively expensive."
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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Oh my god even they even mention geoengineering! And… they sound pretty much like a lot of people sound today, outside of the “great cost” bit.
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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Among the recs is the need to “accelerate and expand research on improving our ability to adapt to a warmer climate.” They write that “a key element of this research must be developing regional climate scenarios…” More than half of US states CURRENTLY lack an adaptation plan.
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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“…sooner than most of us would like to believe."
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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Oh my god I’m gonna start punching walls. “In the minds of many, concern about these changes far outweighs the remaining uncertainties surrounding their exact nature and timing."
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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There’s a quaint degree of optimism in this, like in 1983 there was still an assumption that the world might act in rational fashion. I mean, the Stern report was 2006, and that didn’t exactly spurn dramatic action.
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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[bobby knight throwing a chair.gif]
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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I don’t like where this is heading.
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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Ugh they even predicted where the deniers would pick everything apart, why am I doing this.
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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Interesting. They found that even a worldwide tax on fossil fuel use wouldn’t change energy use much and wouldn't delay the 2 degree mark by more than a handful of years; my guess is because they didn’t anticipate just how far the costs of solar and wind power would fall?
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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BUT GUESS WHAT AN ACTUAL BAN ON FOSSIL FUELS WOULD DO!
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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The lowest temp line on here is the “no shale, no coal” option, which, hey, good idea, 1983 scientists.
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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Ok I REALLY don’t like where THIS is heading
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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So you’re saying if we manage the science and the international agreement then we’re on our way? Hm.
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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“In general, environmental issues have not readily produced an international consensus.” Ah. Well. Yes.
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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This cost estimate for solar geoengineering is equal to around $52 billion per year in 2019 dollars! That’s amazing — most estimates now peg it somewhere from $1-5 billion/year.
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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“ouR fInDingS CAll FoR aN ExpEdiTIous reSpONSe"
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Dave Levitan Feb 25
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Okay well that was fun, here’s the report’s last line about “soberness and a sense of urgency” along with just a random news story from today, no real connection.
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Dave Levitan Apr 14
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Since people seem to be finding this thread again somehow, here’s the follow-up, my conversation with the guy at the EPA who wrote the 1983 report. He was less bitter than anticipated.
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