Monday, 20 June 2016

Paul Beckwith asks "is it too late?"

Paul Beckwith: Climate System Change, “Too Late” or NOT “Too Late”?

Which is correct regarding the abrupt climate system change that humanity has set into motion? What does this phrase “Too Late” really mean anyway. Too late for whom, and in what way.

Humanity occupies the entire spectrum of views, from outright ignorance and climate denial to the view that all 7.4 billion humans will die in the next 15 years and humanity will go extinct. Not only that, each subgroup has no tolerance for the views of others.
What does it all mean? For a start, we need to ask what people mean by “Too Late”!


  1. But Paul, I have no interest in "surviving", I want to live. Surviving is a constant struggle for food and shelter. I'd just as soon not be fighting for a can of peaches during a food riot. What is meant by "too late" from this doomer's perspective is that the human race will continue to either ignore, disavow or otherwise jabber away while the entire industrial system continues unchecked. At some point in the near future, there will be the loss of a keystone species and everything will come crashing down. And then when we would need some form of civilization to organize and work upon whatever half-assed non-functional "solution" to the crisis, there won't be one. It's going be a horrible comedy of errors with lots of warfare, starvation and pestilence tossed in for good measure. Wild upswings in ant-science religiosity masquerading as politics and it's has already been going on for 36 years. It's too late because we didn't heed the warning signs, didn't understand the science and didn't want to give up cheap crap from China in exchange for a future for our children. Recognizing that it is too late is not despair, it's acknowledgement that life is short and we need live while we can.

    1. Excellent, Uncle! I couldn't have put it better.

  2. A strange video indeed. "What does 'too late' mean?", Paul asks, while right there beside him is a chart that seems to spell it out. We're on the road to "all hell breaks loose", under the influence of runaway climate change (although the chart doesn't specify that). So here's my definition: the climate is changing so rapidly now, with two centuries' of accumulated momentum, that it's too late for mankind to do anything meaningful to stop the change. We're on the runaway train and it's the height of hubris to think we can stop it before it reaches its destination which, in global temperature terms, should be 22-25C. Given the vigour with which we've stoked the boiler, though, it wouldn't surprise me to see the temperature go even higher. But stop it? Too late!