The costs of action vs the costs of inaction on global warming

By our inability to prevent a global 2+°C warming, by virtue of there being very nearly 400 parts per million CO2 despite our scientists’ constant warnings to do whatever it takes to reduce that number to at least 350, we’re going to cost ourselves a hell of a lot of money. Both in the short term and in the long term.

Firstly, the Arctic is thawing. Within the Arctic is a time-bomb of methane gas that’s gonna cost us almost as much as the global economy.

“The global impact of a warming Arctic is an economic time-bomb,” said Gail Whiteman, an author of the report and professor of sustainability, management and climate change at the Rotterdam School of Management, part of Erasmus University.

“In the absence of climate-change mitigation measures, the model calculates that it would increase mean global climate impacts by $60 trillion,” said Chris Hope, a reader in policy modeling at the Cambridge Judge Business School, part of the University of Cambridge.

That approaches the value of the global economy, which was around $70 trillion last year.

The methane bomb is a one time event though, as it has a significantly different impact life span of 20-ish years, compared to CO2‘s 5 years in the atmosphere til it gets either taken up by biological processes or the ocean. The problem with CO2 is that while any individual molecule stays in the atmosphere for a few years, it also might return to the atmosphere after a stint in the ocean or in the trees. The individual molecules stick around for thousands of years compared to methane’s 20-ish, and we’re pumping out twice as much CO2 as the planet can apparently sink per year.

Plus, the repercussions of more CO2 in the oceans is acidification, which kills coral and marine life and could destroy the entire fishing industry and any culture that relies on it for food.

Global warming doesn’t just mean it’ll get warm and stay warm — it means there’s more energy in the system, so you have wilder weather swings. You’ll therefore see superstorms in all weather: tornadoes and hurricanes, blizzards and thunderstorms, floods and droughts. The more energy, the bigger and more frequent the energetic releases. And we all know how much damage each of those events can do, money-wise.

All of this, compared to the costs of finding a less carbon-heavy way of feeding ourselves, finding a less carbon-heavy way of powering our electrical gadgets and climate control systems and personal conveyance, and industry. It’s possible to beat this issue without all of us turning into cave-dwelling survival nuts, but we need to fix a lot of processes that are well and truly entrenched — and as far as I can tell, they’re only entrenched at this point because certain people are still making money off the carbon economy. A carbon economy the American government subsidizes heavily by giving huge kickbacks to the oil industry. How much is THAT costing us? How much would carbon really cost if not for the invisible hand of the marketplace sticking a heavy thumb on those scales?

When some climate denialist says it’s too expensive to do anything about CO2 emissions — show them these costs. The cost argument evaporates when you take into account how much inaction will cost.

Hilariously awful Christian End Times movie – title needed

Who says Christians aren’t capable of taking their mythos and creating true works of art?

Yes, this film looks like what would happen if you took Mad Max, Fallout, Star Wars and the Bible and stuck them in a blender. Yes, there’s a multitude of mullets. Yes, the laser effects are absolute crap, and the laser light show gratuitous. Yes, that guy should have actually shot after turning his gun on the warlord. Yes, this looks like an absurdly high budget for your average Jesusification of a genre movie. Yes, I have no idea why I’m itemizing things here.

I guess I’m saying I need to see this because it looks Nineties-riffic. Does anyone know the title of this, that is obviously someone’s magnum opus?

Found at Everything Is Terrible.

Should Spider-Man be gay?

Spider-Man kissing dudes upside-down, sans rain. Photo by Philip Bonneau, stolen from Project Q Atlanta.

Spider-Man kissing dudes upside-down, sans rain. Photo by Philip Bonneau, stolen from Project Q Atlanta.

There’s nothing I enjoy more than watching right-wingers lose their shit over people NOT treating homosexuals as eeeevul deviant pre-verts, except perhaps watching an entire media’s fandom lose their shit over an idea for injecting novelty into their favourite franchise that involves, you know, actually changing it. This is one of those rare celestial alignment type coincidences that is probably pretty unlikely to happen again any time soon. We should take careful note, and savour it for all it’s worth.

Andrew Garfield, star of the current iteration of Spider-Man movies — a franchise that, full disclosure, I absolutely love, and for which I found the Sam Raimi movies underwhelming at best — has suggested to the director, then publicly, that he sees no reason that Peter Parker shouldn’t be gay, exploring his sexuality in a rebooted universe where it turns out MJ is a guy.

Right-Wing Watch reports that this has majorly rustled the jimmies of Charisma’s Jennifer LeClaire:

Really? Don’t we have enough gay comic book heroes? About this time last year, DC Comics outed the Green Lantern. When he’s not wearing his neon-green garb and accomplishing superhuman feats, the chiseled Green Lantern enjoys kissing his new boyfriend. As I noted in my column last year, perhaps DC Comics was trying to compete with its rival, Marvel Comics, which announced just days earlier that it would host the first gay wedding in the June 20 issue of Astonishing X-Men #51.

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Send Ben Sweatervest someplace where he’ll be put to work!

Ben Sweatervest, who proposed to me very shortly after we met, is raising funds to do something absolutely amazing. You know how Christian groups do that culturally-polluting thing of going over to “the heathen countries”, and making aid to their peoples contingent on conversion (or faking conversion) to their religion? Well, the Foundation Beyond Belief has taken that idea and done it right: sending humanists abroad to both provide aid and scope out the territory for potential allies in founding their master plan for world domination — err, I mean, setting up a whole shitload of secular service groups worldwide.

It’s called the Pathfinders Project, and to get it done, they need your help.

Hi,

You may or may not know me, but I’ll assume you don’t. I am a microbiology/pre-med student that has worked extensively in the Secular and Humanist worlds for the past several years. I have grown to love this community, and it has always been a loving supportive place for me.

And I feel that this community can come together and make amazing things happen. That is why I am spending the next year working with the Pathfinders Project to do service projects in developing countries. Through the Pathfinders Project, I and 3 other volunteers will be going to several developing nations, including Cambodia, Uganda, Ghana, Ecuador, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Guatemala, to do service work with existing nonprofits and NGOs to design, implement, and complete clean water, education, and environmental conservation projects.

This project will also play a role in shaping the Humanist movement, because it will serve as a research trip for the Humanist Service Corps. As we engage in service in each location, we will also be collecting data about potential partner organizations and countries in order to evaluate sites for the eventual Humanist Service Corps.

The work that we will be doing will have an important effect on both the service locations and our movement. I am incredibly excited, but we need your support!

He totally stole that opening stinger music at the start of the video from a fake news video I made a while back for some stupid work thing.

The prizes for funding his IndieGoGo project include: a wistful sigh while saying your name, VIDEO of said wistful sigh, an EMarriage Certificate (legal in most major nation-states!*), or even one of his trademark sweatervests!

And, not only that, but you’ll be sending a damn good person overseas to do a damn lot of good, in ways that don’t make that good contingent on belief in some invisible imaginary deity. A damn sight more palatable than missionary work — as long as they’re working with local allies and getting their actions right!

Oh, did I mention we’re engaged? I think he just wants Canadian citizenship, though. Sadly, polyamorous marriage is not legal in Canada. Plus, I keep catching him kneeling at other people and asking them some question I can’t quite hear, but he just keeps saying he’s being polite. I’m starting to suspect he’s interested in other people.

* (It’s probably legal to own one of these, I mean.)

Conspiracy theories about Zimmerman’s car crash rescue

I don’t know if you’ve seen these, but they’re setting off all sorts of wishful-thinking and conspiracy theory alarms on my bullshit detection kit. Four days after being declared not guilty of murder after having shot and killed 17-year-old unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman quickly reentered the news. CNN reports that he “stepped out of seclusion” and, happening upon the scene of a family of four having overturned their car, helped pull them from the car before it erupted into flames.

By the time a deputy arrived, Zimmerman and another man already had helped the two adults and two children out of the vehicle, Smith said.

Zimmerman did not witness the crash, and he left after making contact with the deputy, Smith said. No injuries were reported in the crash.

Only there are some minor inconsistencies with the report: that Zimmerman didn’t mention the rescue to his lawyer when they next saw one another; that the family didn’t mention a crash on social media; that the first officer on the scene was a self-described “friend” of Zimmerman even before the verdict.
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Mock The Movie: Gymkata transcript

Lost in all the excitement of the CONvergence videos and the planning for FtBConscience was this gem of a movie that we mocked the hell out of this past week. So bad a movie is Gymkata that Ed Brayton suggested we do it for MTM — several days after we’d just done it. The movie is notable for its threadbare plot, its omnipresent ninjas, and its requisite pommel horse conveniently placed so that the hero, who I’m pretty sure is named Luke Skypommeler, could repeatedly kick criminally insane folks in the kisser.

Will post the subtitle files shortly in the usual place.
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Ashley, Heina and I talking about rape, comics and conventions

Three disparate topics, not exactly light conversation to start off, but we got progressively less ragey at least. It was an interesting conversation tonight on the Ashley F. Miller Show. (The F stands for “Fuckin'”. [No it doesn’t. And you’d know that if you’d watched FtBCon!])

It was a relief to be on a panel I wasn’t running, with people who needed no prompting to set things up appropriately, after having done that all weekend long. Though I think I might be burned out on public appearances for a little bit. Let me restock on spoons for a bit, then we’ll see.

Also: I can’t believe I misattributed the nude revolutionary calendar to Taslima Nasreen. Now both she and Maryam Namazie are going to hate me. :(

#FtBCon: Female Protagonists in Video Games

Had a fantastic panel with Ashley F. Miller, Rebecca Watson, Avicenna Last, Tauriq Moosa and Lynnea Glasser on female protagonists in video games, though we expanded the scope of the panel somewhat unexpectedly to cover also genderqueer, gay and trans* characters, which I wasn’t expecting and didn’t stack the panel toward. If I would have known in advance, I would have happily included voices, and I sincerely apologize if I was unable to speak for you adequately.

Even still, despite that issue of “mission creep” of the panel’s focus, I really enjoyed this panel. It was significantly more muted than the panel last night, but that’s probably a good thing. Last night’s was funny, and I had a good time, but it was a bit unfocused comparitively. This one ran really smoothly by comparison.

#FtBCon: Video Games, Religion and Morality

Thanks to the tight timing between the Atheist Music panel and our panel, where we had many of the same participants, we ended up turning into a pretty raucous and jovial crowd at the top of the panel while killing time waiting for Ashley and Brianne to join in. That translated into a much looser panel than I was expecting, but I really enjoy those sorts of panels so I encouraged it gladly.

Best single moment for me: Ashley humming the Katamari Damacy theme.

#FtBCon: The panels I’ve facilitated, and the panels I will facilitate

Day three of FtBConscience, and it’s been a hell of a lot of work so far. I don’t have as many panels as PZ has had, but I’ve had a lot of last-second stress swinging in to help troubleshoot someone’s connection problems or dealing with sudden changes of plan. The tensest moment thus far was Kate Donovan’s presentation which started ~15 mins late, due to the university deciding to close up the building she was using several hours earlier than usual — so she sprinted home and set up as quickly as possible, and somehow seemed genuinely unruffled through her talk and still gave a bang-up presentation. My already immense respect for her has only redoubled.

I’ll include all the panels I ran / moderated / facilitated so far below, but I’ll also create a special thread for commenting that I’ll link the titles to below.
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