Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Agnotology: The Surge - 10

Jeffrey D. Sachs
"Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University.

He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development" (The Earth Institute).

Today, Dr. Sachs is presenting a report to the United Nations concerning The Damaged Global Climate System.

That report is entitled "Pathways To Deep Decarbonization" (Video at Morning Joe).

It is interesting to note that generally those who have been educated by the ignorance generators (Agnotology: The Surge - 9, Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 33), now working overtime in American culture, also tend to be United Nations haters.

These are the same types who tend to become confused by maps that have the You Are Here indicators on them.

Some of them, (Inhofe, Beavis, & Butthead Need Waders), as leaders of the Western World down through recent history, have been united in their efforts that have resulted in the current threats to human survival:
Mass Extinction Underway, Majority of Biologists Say
Washington Post
Tuesday, April 21, 1998
By Joby Warrick
Staff Writer

A majority of the nation's biologists are convinced that a "mass extinction" of plants and animals is underway that poses a major threat to humans in the next century [we are now in that next century - the 21st], yet most Americans are only dimly aware of the problem, a poll says.

The rapid disappearance of species was ranked as one of the planet's gravest environmental worries, surpassing pollution, global warming and the thinning of the ozone layer, according to the survey of 400 scientists commissioned by New York's American Museum of Natural History.

The poll's release yesterday comes on the heels of a groundbreaking study of plant diversity that concluded than at least one in eight known plant species is threatened with extinction. Although scientists are divided over the specific numbers, many believe that the rate of loss is greater now than at any time in history.

"The speed at which species are being lost is much faster than any we've seen in the past -- including those [extinctions] related to meteor collisions," said Daniel Simberloff, a University of Tennessee ecologist and prominent expert in biological diversity who participated in the museum's survey. [Note: the last mass extinction caused by a meteor collision was that of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago.]

Most of his peers apparently agree. Nearly seven out of 10 of the biologists polled said they believed a "mass extinction" was underway, and an equal number predicted that up to one-fifth of all living species could disappear within 30 years. Nearly all attributed the losses to human activity, especially the destruction of plant and animal habitats.

Among the dissenters, some argue that there is not yet enough data to support the view that a mass extinction is occurring. Many of the estimates of species loss are extrapolations based on the global destruction of rain forests and other rich habitats.

Among non-scientists, meanwhile, the subject appears to have made relatively little impression. Sixty percent of the laymen polled professed little or no familiarity with the concept of biological diversity, and barely half ranked species loss as a "major threat."

The scientists interviewed in the Louis Harris poll were members of the Washington-based American Institute of Biological Sciences, a professional society of more than 5,000 scientists.

(Original article available here.)
(Mass Extinction, emphasis added). That was about 16 years ago, almost two decades, so let's get up to date.

A growing group of people now see "Near Term Human Extinction" (NTHE) as a reality (e.g. Nature Bats Last, Collapse of Industrial Civilization).

I do not think that Dr. Sachs is one of the NTHE group.

Regular readers know that Dredd Blog reports from time to time on NTHE works, as well as reports of those who think human civilization can pull out of it.

Both groups agree that human extinction is either a very real possibility, or a certainty.

In both groups there are varying degrees of estimations of how much time is left, if any, to correct the behaviors that are causing the ongoing Sixth Mass Extinction, as well as the approaching first and last human extinction.

One thing is for sure on this subject matter: if there was ever a time to err on the safe side, it was long ago.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Key times in the video below:
(Note: GW = global warming; GG = greenhouse gas, CC = climate change):

00:40 - Schwarzenegger: no debate, GW is happening.
06:20 - Proper amount of GG is good, keeps us warm.
07:00 - Too much GG is a bad thing.
07:09 - Tyndall in mid 1800's began research into GG.
07:45 - Arrhenius did first degree calculations re: CO2 content.
08:25 - Callendar discovered GG increases in 1930's.
09:02 - Hulburt accord in 1930's.
09:43 - Depression / war stopped GG research.
10:00 - Gilbert N. Plass developed CO2 atmospheric calculations.
10:49 - Suess & Revelle do paper in 1957 warning of GW dangers.
12:30 - Dr. Revelle warned of polar ice cap melt in TIME interview.
13:25 - CO2 levels discovered to be high.
16:30 - Lyndon Johnson in 1965 says fossil fuels causing GW.
17:00 - GW, CC not political originally.
18:20 - White of NOAA, 1978, warns of GW dangers.
20:52 - Polar Areas to be impacted 4 times more than other areas.
24:20 - IPCC formed in 1979 with consensus on GW.
26:00 - Bush I signed GW treaty.
26:45 - Denial of GW begins.
27:40 - Luntz injects GW denial propaganda into political debate.
28:25 - Oil baron Cheney propagates GW denial.
29:00 - Oil companies do massive scale denial propaganda.
29:30 - Marshall Institute
30:30 - Marshall Institute formed to support Reagan SDI (star wars)
32:50 - Marshall Institute "cigarettes not related to cancer".
36:50 - Marshall Institute does GW denial campaign.
42:54 - Marshall member Seitz worked for big tobacco.
47:20 - Singer of Marshall Institute politically attacks GW.
53:35 - Cigarette smoking is ok rhetoric applied to GW science.

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