Carbon dioxide is unique in that light passes through it unaffected but heat is partly reflected back to the earth.The light from the sun, when it illuminates the darker colors of the earth, turns to heat. The amount of this heat that stays on the earth is determined by the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmospheric blanket. For hundreds of thousands of years there was just enough carbon dioxide to keep the earth warm enough for life, including the evolution of human life. But the gradual civilization of human-kind led to agriculture which was followed mellenia later by steam power and the large scale burning of fossil fuels. This burning generates carbon dioxide and so the blanket that keeps the earth warm started to thicken and the earth became warmer.Fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas trapped in the earth, became the foundation of the earth's economy. Virtually nothing could be made without burning the these fuels or by changing them into other materials by chemical processes which in turn consumed more fuel. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere began to grow with the invention of the steam engine in the mid-1800s when man began to burn fossil fuels for energy. In less than 200 years, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased by over 70% and has kept growing.
THE IMPACT HAS BEEN CATASTROPHIC. Although the earth only warmed by an average of 1°C (1.8°K), this represented an enormous amount of energy for the atmosphere, land and sea over the entire globe were warmed. The blanket was now too thick. There was too much carbon dioxide and more and more of the heat created by the sun was trapped and warmed the earth.
But humanity reacted in a strange way. Despite repeated warnings from the work of thousands of scientists, humanity for the most part ignorned the effects of the carbon dioxide and moreover kept adding more at a rapid pace when it was critical that the amount added should be drastically reduced. This continues to this day in mid-January 2019 and there is no sign that it will chnge. Terrible wildfires, droughts, record storms and deadly high temperature had litte effect on thinking about what was happening. Worse, and most unbelievable, the individuals and companies who sold the fossil fuels, despite being aware of the danger for decades, covered up their knowledge and kept working to sell more and more fossil fuel. And perhaps still worse the leaders of the world sat back as if nothing were happening. In the early part of the 21st century, the climate was reaching the point of running out of control.
We are at the inflection point of the exponentional curve of temperature as the CO2 in the atmosphere increases. And in a very recent horrific discovery scientists announced that the oceans had absorbed 40% more heat than previous estimates. This will increase the speed of temperture increase even more.
FROM MY PERSPECTIVE the worst behavior is that of the Trump administration. Just at the moment when drastic measure are necessary to reduce output of carbibn dioxide and when pressed about climate change is response is "I don't believe it."
It is concievble that Donald Trump will go down in history as the man who destroyed the earth.
THE ONLY NATION WHOSE PRESIDENT could lead the world, set an example and commit the resourses necesssary to reducing the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is occupied with building walls and removing all restrictions on emission of carbon dioxide. The headline below, althought I expected someting like it, reduced me to utter despair. Could this really be happening? It is, and should he win another term it will result in a society that is occupied with combating its own destruction for thousands of years, an utterly tragic outcome of a previously maturing humanity. Reaching a criticsl turning point in globsl warming will result in our no longer being able to move back upstream in the infinite river of time, back to an existence we enjoyed and loved. Our decendents will curse us for our blindness.
THERE ARE TWO CHOICES
1. Spend a few trillion dollars in the next 20-40 years to bring carbon dioxide back to 1980 levels.
2. Spend every dollar we have, hundreds of trillions of dollars, 100 years from now to make the planet livable.
To accomplish #1, we must replace Donald Trump in 2020 with a climate superman president. It is that bad. I would bet my life on it. If you keep reading, you might understand why I say this. Read carefully and think. Don't let your friends brush you off. If you live, you will regret it.
A CLIMATE OUT OF CONTROL was beyond comprehension. Scientists warned, meetings were held by the United Nations, articles were written in the most prominent journals and newspapers. And yet something was not getting through. "Out of control?" could not happen. A warning that the ocean could rise as much as 170 feet collided with a human memory of a constant and reliable earth. Looking out of the window of an airplane or sailing the seas seemed no different than before, and so what was needed was not done. It had come to a place where the behavior of every country on the earth had to virtually reverse itself, turn upide down, and the focus had to change from all other issues to climate. But that was beyond comprehension to the leaders where it mattered the most.
Scientists unfortunately spoke in clear, quiet and reserved tones, as they had been trained. The public and the politicians could not translate "it is highly likely" to it is "dead certain." Simultaneously many projects for renewable energy, electric cars, solar cells and wind mills were begun and were successful, but gave a false sense of accomplishment and security for there contribution was not sufficient to make the critical difference.
FOR THE TRUTH WAS HIDDEN. It was power generation and transportation that had to reduce their carbon output, and primarily in the largest nations. And they did not understand, did not listen and did not take the actions necessary. The habits of maintaining the momenta of economies and of keeping political power were entrenched. And so "out of control" began to happen. The temperature rose high enough to begin release of the methane in the tundra, and was the beginning of the end.
To stay in control, emissions had to be reduced drastically and quickly for too much time had gone by, and just as critically, it became necessary to augument the process by removing carbon dioxide from the air, something called "negative emissions," a process that was so expensive and challenging that it would not be attempted because it was felt it would hurt the present economy. The customary short-term thinking locked in the status quo. And so a failure to spend a trillion dollors now portended the spending of a hundred trillion dollors in an attempted rescue 50 to 100 years in the future.
As the blanket grew, more heat was trapped, the temperature rose and every minute counted. But the major countries of the world: China, India, Russia and the United States were unable to rise to the occasion.
I have struggled for years to find a way to picture the future, to create a kind of metaphor for what was happening. In the minds of almost all of humanity they were living in their secure homes and for the most part the weather was comfortable. But in fact they were being carried along in a current of inattention and blindness. There eyes were clear but their minds were captive to the past. I call the current The Infinite River.
"We are, at best, now thinking decades into the future, while pressing our foot hard on a CO2 accelerator that virtually guarantees climate chaos for millennia to come.".....
"Because of our collective failure to rapidly decarbonize the global economy and slash CO2 emissions, we are poised to leave future generations a grim legacy of climate upheaval."
Click above or below for the link
Sea level rise has shrunk India's Ghoramara Island from nearly 8 square miles to 2 square miles in recent decades. Sea level rise has shrunk India's Ghoramara Island from nearly 8 square miles to 2 square miles in recent decades. ZUMA PRESS/ALAMY
Yale Environment: 360, Opinion
BY ROB WILDER AND DAN KAMMEN • SEPTEMBER 12, 2017
BY RICHARD SCHIFFMAN • MAY 23, 2016
"For two decades, Klaus Lackner has pioneered efforts to combat climate change by pulling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Now, after years of watching the global community fail to bring greenhouse gas emissions under control, Lackner — director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University — is delivering a blunt message: The best hope to avoid major disruptions from global warming is to launch a massive program of CO2 “air capture” that will begin to reverse the buildup of billions of tons of carbon in our atmosphere."
Website author's note:
I have struggled for a year to summarize my view of climate change and to keep modifying that view as circumstances changed. The two articles above summarize my current view exceptionally well.
This is the pivotal moment of our civilization and we have been horribly, morally and stupidly lax. It is truly now or never.
The moral sins that we have committed are beyond the pale and they are getting worse. We could easily spend (and should) a trillion dollars now, in return for having a decent home for our civilization and saving a hundred trillion dollars in damages and repair for future generations, as well as likely billions of lives along the way.
The following is a collection of sections of this web site (there is much that is out of site) and does not comprise a coherent whole. However, much is important to lend credence to the above. Some can be accessed by clicking on the links at the very top. Others have become obsolete or need rewriting badly and I must get on to other projects. I am aware of terrible writing, many typos and misspellings. I have spent a year trying to get this in shape and a trace of optimism has turned to despair. So it is what it is. If my wife had written it the writing and spelling would be far better.
OTHER IMPORTANT LINKS and ISSUES
JAMES HANSEN HAS BEEN THE LEADING AUTHORITY and spokesperson on climate change for decades. He has just announced the "last chaper" in his comprehensive analysis of what is coming to the earth and its people. The blue link above is a pdf of his paper. Below is a brief ourline of that paper. You owe it to yourself to read both. Following that are my comments on risk.
1. Climate has always changed, but humans are now the main drive for change.
a. Rising atmospheric CO2 levels, primarily a result of fossil fuel emissions, have become the predominant cause of continuing climate change.
b. Climate change is driven by cumulative CO2 emissions. The United States has contributed a disproportionately large share of cumulative global emissions.
2. Current levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs), mainly CO2, cause Earth to be out of energy balance. This imbalance is driving climate change.
a. Earth’s energy imbalance is now measured and large. As long as Earth remains out of energy balance, the planet will continue to get hotter.
b. If GHG amounts continue to rise unabated, the energy imbalance will drive global warming to levels with climate impacts beyond the pale (see Opinion 3).
3. If high fossil fuel emissions continue unabated, consequences will be predominantly negative for humanity, especially for young people. a. Sea level: Continued high fossil fuel emissions will eventually make coastal cities dysfunctional, with incalculable consequences.
b. Species exterminations: Shifting of climate zones, with other stresses, may commit many species to extinction, leaving a more desolate planet.
c. Regional climate: subtropics and tropics will become dangerously hot, if global warming continues. Emigration chaos may threaten global governance.
4. Required actions to avoid dangerous climate change are guided by Earth’s climate history and by the need to restore Earth’s energy balance.
a. Science can specify initial targets, sufficient to define policy needs.
b. Substantial emission reductions must begin promptly, or climate will be pushed beyond a point at which changes proceed out of human control.
5. The United States government, via both actions and inactions, is behaving with flagrant disregard of rights and wellbeing of the public, especially young people
a. Action: authorizing, permitting, subsidizing massive fossil fuel extraction.
b. Inaction: absence of any coherent, effective program to reduce emissions.
The problem of appreciating risk is what has driven the The Infinite River. It has been to explain something that cannot be explained unless you have had something you thought you understood blow up in your face.
There are two problems:
The climate of the earth is the most complex system anyone has ever tried to understand AND we are continuing to abuse it by feeding it more and more greenhouse gases. Our predictions are already catastrophic, and they are probably optimistic like all our others have been.
We need to be turning ourselves inside out. Every nation. But we are going to smooze like we have in the past.
You don't keep flying an airliner to its destination with smoke coming out of the engines.
The most likely realistic outcome, taking all factors into account, is a very warm planet able to support about one billion people, about 1/10 of its projected population.
Every trillion dollars we spend now will pay itself back and then some. Every trillion dollars we don't spend now will require at least a dozen trillion down the road and a far more hostile planet.
But if you haven't been in the risk business, you won't get it. And hardly anyone does.
A nightmare and an overview of getting the nations of the world to comprehend how serious the situation really is.
As of yesterday (December 15, 2018) the mood from Katowice was upbeat. Agreements were better than expected and there was optimism that the 1.5°C target was doable. However, there was and is a giant fly in the ointment.
If you look at the graph below, you see a sharp break in the 1.5°C and 2°C emission curves. which means something pretty drastic has to happen soon in order to turn things around fast enough. If such a drastic action were contemplated it would be big news and there was no big news.
The Paris Agreement, around which the Katowice meeting was based, is deeply flawed. A good summary is an MIT review of the agreement. The first and last paragraphs of this review are reproduced below. There are numerous other organizations that have made similar comments (including the US EPA), but this is among the clearest. The link is "Last Words from Me" above.
However, despite my favorable comments about the review, it focuses on 2°C which is unacceptable.
"An MIT analysis of the Paris climate agreement finds that—even if all the participating nations meet their pledges—global warming will exceed the 2°C maximum targeted for 2100 as early as 2050. To determine what else is needed, researchers at the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change calculated a series of global energy technology mixes that would meet future demand while generating greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the 2°C target. Depending on the assumed costs plus a uniform global carbon price, different technologies dominate, but all the successful combinations are markedly different from today’s global energy system. The researchers conclude that substantial R&D investment is needed to lower the cost of key energy technologies and help transform the global energy system—a shift that must be well under way within the next decade or so if the world is to meet its targets."
"The researchers conclude that the transition to a dramatically different global energy mix must be well under way within the next 10 to 20 years to prevent an excessive temperature increase by 2100. They recognize that such an undertaking will almost certainly require extraordinary political agreement or sudden and unforeseen breakthroughs in technology. They assert that since it’s not clear which technologies will take the lead, substantial R&D investment is needed to develop current technologies, explore new ones, and increase the efficiency with which we use energy so less is required in the future. The technological advances and cost reductions that result will help countries move forward on climate change and support the transition onto a 2°C energy pathway as soon as possible."
Below are two graphs. The first is the MIT projections, the second is my extrapolations from what is likely the same NASA data. The results are similar for the simple reason that there are a huge multitude of contributors to carbon emissions, and neither incorporates a major (and I do mean major) change in how energy is created and/or how emissions might be removed from the air. The most probable program would require immediately beginning to build a very large number of nuclear reactors with a damn the cost approach finananced by wealthly nations, especially the United States, China and the EU. However, nobody has the (exuse the language) balls to get in front of the plenary session, read them the riot act and get them to face a very harsh reality. 2°C will likely be hell on earth and is not likely to be met, barring a drastic shakeup. Instead, whenever nations feel they are doing significantly better than before, satisfaction sets in.
The MIT scientists used a sophisticated dual modeling approach (read the whole MIT report; the link is above) to model what was really going to happen.
It has been clear for years (actually decades) that something drastic was necessary. James Hansen said recently that "the shit has hit the fan." But getting in front of 150 or more nations and telling them that the engines on their jetliner are on fire and so urgent is an understatement just is not happening. If you add to that the ongoing construction of coal-fired power plants and the unspeakable behavior of the United States who would have to play a major role in building and funding a nuclear or similar program, then you can predict that the earth will be toast.
"Talk to leaders who are gathered in Poland. They acknowledge that we aren’t close to getting the job done in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that warm the planet. People are dying today because of climate change, and many more will die and trillions of dollars of damage to property will occur unless America gets back in the fight."
In my opinion, we do not have a prayer of saving the earth with Donald Trump as president. He is doing absolutely everything he can to make the situation worse by INCREASING emissions, but also by taking America out of its essential leadship and motivating role to the rest of the world.
The United States is necessary as part of the process not only because of its enormous output of carbon dioxide but because only it has the resources and technical prowess to take on the high risk but essential negative emissions challenge.
We are currently trapped between two nightmares: not knowing how the warming process will evolve and a presidential lockdown and lockup of America's contribution.
Note: Much of the following is repetitive of the above and is reproduced from earlier versions of this website. However, some of the material is not covered above and I have decided not to delete it at this time.-JW
"The fuel taxes were less the cause of this wave of protests than the straw that broke the camel’s back. Macron has overseen a massive transfer of wealth to the country’s elites. His tax reforms will leave the bottom fifth of French households worse off as the top 1 percent — and corporations like Total, one of the world’s largest oil companies — reap massive gains, all while the cost of living continues to tick upward, public services are consolidated, and the unemployment rate hovers around 9 percent. Proposed fuel taxes were felt most acutely in rural communities that face cuts to both public transportation and speed limits, leaving many with longer and more costly commutes.The United States ranks in the lower 30 percentile in income equality.
"Just prior to President Obama's 2014 State of the Union Address, media reported that the top wealthiest 1% possess 40% of the nation's wealth; the bottom 80% own 7%; similarly, but later, the media reported, the "richest 1 percent in the United States now own more additional income than the bottom 90 percent". The gap between the top 10% and the middle class is over 1,000%; that increases another 1,000% for the top 1%. The average employee "needs to work more than a month to earn what the CEO earns in one hour."
Enormous sums will be needed to implement climate change mitigation, including negative emissions, and that money will have to come from the wealthy. Macon, as has been the govenrment in the United States, both conservative and liberal, has ignorned the enormous transfer of wealth to the wealthiest and Macon wants the poorest to finance it through a gasoline tax. This wealth transfer and the vicious power grab of conservatives in the United States represents a crossroads for humanity and for the earth.
LONGER RANGE ISSUES
Positive feedback from methane release in the tundra. Under construction.
Negative emissions may be necessary to achieve 1.5°C. Under construction.
A METAPHOR FOR CARBON AND THE CLIMATE
FROM GRIST, 12 12 2018
"Our current rate of warming will quickly lead us back to a climate that predates the evolution of modern humans, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That kind of rapid change has no direct comparison in all of Earth’s multi-billion year history."
click on blue
"What Andrews didn’t know was that the Carr Fire — to that point a dangerous but rather ordinary California inferno — was about to spawn something monstrous: a fire tornado the likes of which the state had never seen.
The vortex of air ripped around a column of rising heat, flames licking its walls. A freak of meteorology, it would annihilate everything in its path, uprooting trees and crumpling electrical towers. For the men and women who spend their summers on the fire lines, the tornado was an ominous glimpse of the extremes our warming climate will bring."
To the United Nations:
we must have a permanent
World Wide Climate Authority
for making sure the right things are happening everywhere
and that everyone knows about it
we must have a permanent
World Wide Climate Authority
for making sure the right things are happening everywhere
and that everyone knows about it
for making sure the right things are happening everywhere
and that everyone knows about it
and that everyone knows about it
Engineers who have worked with power systems know of and have likely witnessed a phenominon called "thermal runaway" where rising temperature feeds on itself and runs out of control. Full thermal runaway is unlikely but something close enough that we would call "hell on earth" is not just a possibility, but a clear-eyed view says is likely because of what we are NOT DOING.
We already have flooding cities, vicious storms, record breaking wildfires and temperatures, mega-droughts, rising sea levels and despite all this and more THERE IS NO SENSE OF URGENCY OF THOSE IN POWER. There is no time left. In fact we are about 30 years late. What the hell is wrong with humanity? This is our only home. We have mega amounts of work to do to stave off a world none of us would like to live in. Let alone leave to our children's children.
Look at my graphs below. We are at what is known as the inflection point of an exponential curve. When we pass this, which we are doing right now, satan will seem like a friendly neighbor.
John Wawrzonek, MIT '63, '65, '67
A plan that is specific about each issue, need, goal for every geographic entity and every technology that is critical to success. The story in Climate Home News indicates why we are in a hopeless position without an authority and without US suasion there is little chance for one.
Each is in the context of the others so efforts do not compete, but reinforce each other. It is time to get moving. It is time to stop wasting time.
To reduce future damage, suffering, and loss of life we need specifics in these areas:
1. Get some engineers: who are a bit less meticulous but know how to get things done, and speak plain, forcful English. "It is highly likely...." does not get the point across as well as "If we don't do this we're dead."
2. Combine engineers with scientists to create ACTION PLANS.
TECHNOLOGY: The need and role of each.
1. Negative emissions: A research and evaluation plan so we can execute asap. "It is highly likely..." does not get the same action as: "If we don't do this we're dead."
2. Nuclear power: is now ABSOLUTELY SAFE and essential to provide large quantities of emission free power anywhere.
3. Wind Power: What is its role, where, how much, who does it. Wind power has become economical and is already a significant contributor. How do we optimize its contribution?
4. Energy storage: Evaluate new lithium technology as well as other approaches. Make recommendations.
1. Develop a working plan for each country and other appropriate geographic entities with assessments, targets, methods (i.e. nuclear, biomass, conservation) so leaders know what to do.
2. Develop financial plans for technology development and assistance to countries that cannot afford to do what they must do.
3. Work with mega-wealthly businesses and individuals to fund "SAVE THE EARTH" because that is where the money is now. Failure on the part of the wealthy to do their part will cause untold suffering and destruction. Develop an "encouragement plan" to get President Trump to do what an intelligent president would do.
1. Hold public hearings to make known to the world how good a plan each country has.
2. Hold "PROGRESS REPORT HEARINGS" every 6 months so everyone knows how everyone is doing.
3. Put a giant display in Times Square, New York that shows on an ongoing basis how each plan is going.
4. Put up a giant THERMOMETER in Times Square, New York to show how the earth is doing.
5. Put up a giant EMISSIONS GUAGE in Times Square, New York to show how the people of the world are doing.
WE ARE CONVINCED. LET'S GET TO WORK.
Spring Morning After Storm, Sudbury River, Ashland, Massachusetts
The vast increase in weather anomalies has coincided with the increase of CO2 in the air so there can be no question as to the cause of the weather extremes: Storms, heat, drought, floods, and so forth that are plaguing many parts of the world. And all the scientific evidence supports the connection.We are squabbling over what to do, and the IPCC is not getting the cooperation it needs. Somehow, the reports and pictures of record wildfires, storms, floods, heat, etc. are not registering. Going up 1/2 degree C will make things half again as bad. Going up two degrees will make things twice as bad.
WE ARE NOT APPRECIATING HOW BAD THAT WILL BE. AND IF WE LET IT GO HIGHER (I AM ANTICIPATING 3°C) IT WILL BE HELL FOR MANY MORE PARTS OF THE WORLD AND DOUBLE HELL FOR OTHERS. And we are saddled with a moron for a president and a population that on the whole that does not comprehend what is happening. It does take some scientific knowledge and reasoning ability to understand that climate change is not like a bad cold that can be cured, it is like a bad cancer that keeps getting worse and the treatment, if it can be made to work at all, will be enormously expensive, but we have no other place to go. So like blithering idiots we shut down our science operations, and have a president do nothing but feed his ego. If you do believe the Bible, it could well be the end-times, and we have the devil himself as president to be sure all goes un-well. So the output of carbon dioxide has continued to increase despite promises, and the United States is the worst contributor, not even acknowledging the existence of a problem.
Along the coast in Massachusetts. A stark example of what is happening. Despite being built on stilts, bigger storms and higher sea level and it will not take much more and this house will be gone.
1. It is illusive and nearly impossible to communiate what it has done elsewhere and what it is going to do. 2. Much of what it does is to amplify what would have happened anyway but resulting in record fires, winds, rainfall, droughts, flooding and more. 3. The cause, too much carbon dioxide and methane, is invisible and has no odor 4. How it works is difficult to explain, usually with a diagram full of arrows and much text 5. The scientists who have done impeccable research are conditioned to speak carefully lest they have missed something, so the force of their arguments is lost except to other scientists.6. So the war-like mobilization that is necessary is not happening despite the efforts of scientific bodies. However, as has been evident before, is simply that what humans can do has outrun their ability to understand themselves.Perhaps the worst of all are two "phenomena." One is the total commitment of the fossil fuel companies to sell as much fuel as possible while knowing it was killing the planet. The second is the willingness of such a large number of people in the United States to not realize they are voting for a president who is, expect for bullying and lying, functionally illiterate and who is using them as fodder to further his own personal aims.
Thus the present situation: 1. Global warming is getting worse; i.e. the average temperature of the earth is rising; 2. The rate at which the temperature is increasing is increasing; 3. All the havoc to date is the result of a 1°C rise compared to the recent past; 4. Another 1/2 degree rise is certain, and another degree very likely. That is expected to double the effects of warming. With record storms and 180 mph winds, record fires, record droughts, temperatures so high that you either die in your home or find a river to cool off in. The nations of the world must recognize the problem and change their behavior immediately.However, as politicians sit in air-conditioned offices far from on-going tragedies, one can get agreement but not action. Other problems and especially political survival take priority. The presumption is that the leaders understand the problems. They do not. Or they are being lobbied by oil companies or are fighting other nations over far less important issues. Deniers are in the same situation. They do not comprehend that there is a difference between metastasizing cancer and the flu. Then there are communication problems. Scientists speak a different language or speak the same language in a different way. They are so concerned with being precise, that urgency and conviction are lost. We are in a downhill spiral, and barring a miraculous coalition of leaders, the earth will become less and less livable until the lights just go out. The United Nations' IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) keeps holding meetings trying to find a way to get nations to cooperate, but without the power and suasion of the United States, I believe that is close to impossible. And the United States doesn't even admit officially that a problem exists and is encouraging the increased use of fossil fuels. A more dire situation is hard to imagine. A combination of a failure of a full understanding of what is happening combined wtth an inability to communicate with each other or with the public adds up to a situation that is intractable. In addition the fossil fuel companies continue to push their products despite having known for decades their effect on the earth. In the absence of understanding there were many preconcieved notions of what was true. This applied especially to conservative politicians, conservative religions, a large portion of the congress and, of course, the president.The president pushed the issues even further by attacks on science and the beginnings of a systematic dismantling of the science functions of government, an act of extraordinary ignorance and harm. What I have tried to do has begun to feel like an epic struggle against the forces of evil, a morality play with villains, heroes, an army of enemies and an army of supporters and every other necessary entity including, of course, the devil himself.What began as an attempt to draw attention to global warming has turned into an examination of many parts of the human experience, of science and scientists and of global warming itself. None of them are what they seem to be. However, it has revealed to me a collossal degree of destruction with far worse yet to come. It has also revealed, despite much activism, a nation and a world not able to comprehend and confront this ultimate danger. Global warming is a kind of perfect storm with the powers furthering the destruction and most able to do something about it, either ignorant or greedy. There is no time left. If James Hansen's negative emissions are going to make or break the outcome then every minute wasted in not getting to work makes the problem more expensive and the outcome less likely to be good. And, for the most part, leaders do not get how serious this is. Back in my first engineering studies, we had a term for situations like this. The term was