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Dangerous Denial Is An Existential Threat To Human Civilization

The Scientific And Intellectual Foundations Of The Extinction Rebellion Movement

“There is no greater crime against humanity”

So let us stop talkin’ falsely now

The hour’s getting late ~~~ All Along The Watchtower

I’ve long written about the cowardice of climate scientists’ failure to tell the truth about their science, to even discuss the implications of that science, and to engage the public policy process. (Some scientists and others at Rutgers have been a target).

The scientific community – including my hero Jim Hansen – has dodged this devastating reality of abject cowardice, instead calling it “scientific reticence” and “consensus building”.

I’ve also tried to convey the existential threats to human civilization of what I call “climate chaos”.

And I’ve harshly criticized the reliance on capitalism and commodity markets to “solve” the climate crisis through market based fake solutions like RGGI cap/trade and voluntary, non-regulatory, aspirational goals like those of  the NJ Global Warming Response Act.

So, it was a huge “I told you so” moment to read this superb must read paper:

After rigorously documenting major flaws in climate science, climate modeling, and risk management approaches of the policy-makers to the accelerating climate catastrophe – which I strongly urge you to read – this paper nails the root of the political/policy problem:

Rapid reduction of carbon emissions is still excluded from consideration by policymakers because it is deemed to be too economically dislocating. The fact that the present political path of 3°C or more of warming would result in a world overwhelmed by extreme climate impacts, leading to outright chaos, is avoided. The dominant neo-liberal framing of progress, through globalisation and deregulation, suppresses regulatory action which would address the real climate challenge because it undermines the prevailing political–economic orthodoxy.

Discussion around policy choices gives primary emphasis to the role of markets. The commodifcation of carbon pollution for the purposes of market trading, and the virtue of carbon pricing, are emphasised by policymakers as the most desirable method for achieving decarbonisation. However, these discussions have become unrealistic. They accept the continuing expansion of fossil counteracted by massive expansion of negative emission technologies, such as carbon capture and storage and BECCS — which do not even exist at scale — in the second half of the century to drawdown excess carbon from the atmosphere. But, by that time it will be too late to prevent irreversible, catastrophic climate impacts.

In so doing, policymakers are complicit today in destroying the very conditions which make human life possible. There is no greater crime against humanity.

After three decades of global inaction, climate change is now an existential risk to humanity. It implies large negative consequences, which will be irreversible, resulting in major reductions in global and national population, mass species extinction, economic disruption and social chaos, unless carbon emissions are rapidly reduced. The risk is immediate, in that it is being locked in today by our insistence on expanding and sustaining the use of fossil fuels when the carbon budget to stay below sensible temperature increase limits is already exhausted.


Read the whole thing and don’t just weep -rebel!

(watch this excellent video presentation, which highlights the science and connects the dots to the terrifying Road to Fascism we are on).

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