Doomer Stuff

The US Government’s view is that our CO2 emissions will continue to climb, until 2050, at which point they will suddenly tail off.

I expect you already know the problem with that plan: 1) it’s carefully constructed so that all the rich people and politicians in charge, today, will have had a chance to live out the rest of their lives and die in comfort, 2) it ignores the fact that it will take tens to hundreds of thousands of years for the CO2 to be re-sequestered by natural processes, since “carbon capture” isn’t happening, and more of it will be around to destroy the ecology for generations, 3) the US has, since that strategy was laid down, become the world’s biggest fossil fuel exporter (!) and 4) everyone, basically, has been lying about their projected emissions, anyway.

Years ago, when I started this blog, I realized I am a “doomer” [stderr] and disagree with all the “+1.5C” plans, projecting +3-5C. Currently, we are on track for +3C, and if civilizations that have announced their plans to continue emitting into the 2050s stick with that course, it’ll be a race whether we hit +5C before or after agriculture collapses and takes civilization down with it. Basically, it’s the Mad Max world scenario except without motorcycles and V-8 interceptors.

[Note: small arms ammunition is remarkably durable if stored in its original shipping. I once shot through a case of Finnish army 9mm from the Winter War that I got, surplus, back when ammunition was affordable. One thing Mad Max gets wrong is that there will be plenty of guns and ammunition – there won’t be cars and motorcycles. Maybe a few quads.]

This is the piece that made me sit down hard: [reuters]

NEW DELHI, May 29 (Reuters) – Record heat seared parts of the Indian capital for a second day on Wednesday, reaching a temperature of 52.3 degrees Celsius (126.14 degrees Fahrenheit), while an unprecedented heat wave continued to parch some northwestern regions.
The unusually high summer temperatures have brought “heat wave to severe heat wave” conditions over the last few days, weather officials said, but added they were likely to ease from Thursday over northwest and central India.
Students fainted in the heat at a government school in the eastern state of Bihar, news agency ANI said, with video images showing a girl lying on a classroom bench as teachers sprinkled her face with water and fanned her with a book.
“Electrolyte imbalance is causing fainting, vomiting, and dizziness,” said Rajnikanth Kumar, a doctor at the hospital treating the students.
Mexico City is also under a “heat dome” condition: [reuters]
MEXICO CITY, May 22 (Reuters) – Mexico, reeling from a heat wave that has already broken records, caused power outages and killed people and animals, could see “unprecedented” temperatures over the next two weeks, the country’s largest university warned on Wednesday.
The extreme heat, fueled partly by the most recent El Nino weather phenomenon, will arrive with 70% of Mexico in drought and a third in severe drought, according to data from the national water commission.
“In the next 10 to 15 days, the country will experience the highest temperatures ever recorded,” researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) said in a statement.
Temperatures in the capital could reach a record 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) in the next two weeks, said Jorge Zavala, director of UNAM’s Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Change.
Most of the metropolitan area’s 21 million residents – accustomed to more temperate weather – lack air conditioning. Earlier this month, the capital was one of at least ten cities in Mexico that registered their hottest day on record.


  1. anonymous3 says

    Not only haven’t we done anything to mitigate climate change, we haven’t done anything to simply stop making the problem worse. We’re all breaking the first law of hole digging.

  2. says

    Reuters may be unthinkingly handing stories to an AI to write. Searching some internet weather stations shows New Delhi around 109F (“feels like 103”)

  3. SchreiberBike says

    I think that instead of the “Oops” response, we will get “Why didn’t you warn us? I mean I heard you talking, but you could have warned us that it was serious. Why don’t you care what happens to me?”

  4. outis says

    according to another article in Nature (cannot search for it at home), we’re set for 3°C for 2100 or earlier, and that’s already in the “fuck” part of the diagram. Personally I am forlornly hoping that episodes like these will lit a fire under the various gubmints asses so they start to act while we’re in the “oops” part – even if the deplorables/knuckle draggers don’ wanna. Even if that happens, it won’t be easy.

  5. sonofrojblake says

    I am forlornly hoping that episodes like these will lit a fire under the various gubmints asses so they start to act

    The problem with that hope is that the governments that need to act are not the governments presiding over the places that will be affected first and worst. By the time it starts getting bad for the worst offenders, it will be far, far too late for the rest.

  6. lochaber says

    They’ve already done that in regards to covid, blaming “Democrats” for it’s spread, because “democrats” are supposed to know rightwingers are contrarian idiots, and therefore, by asking people to wear masks, they caused rightwingers to not wear masks and increased their exposure rate.

    you can’t make this shit up…

  7. says


    I think that instead of the “Oops” response, we will get “Why didn’t you warn us? I mean I heard you talking, but you could have warned us that it was serious. Why don’t you care what happens to me?”

    “That’s why I’m voting for Trump!”

  8. Pierce R. Butler says

    It ain’t (just) the heat, it’s the dryness:

    As reservoirs go dry, Mexico City and Bogotá are staring down ‘Day Zero’

    In Mexico City, more and more residents are watching their taps go dry for hours a day. Even when water does flow, it often comes out dark brown and smells noxious. A former political leader is asking the public to “prioritize essential actions for survival” as the city’s key reservoirs run dry. Meanwhile, 2,000 miles south in the Colombian capital of Bogotá, reservoir levels are falling just as fast, and the city government has implemented rotating water shutoffs. The mayor has begged families to shower together and leave the city on weekends to cut down on water usage.

    Just what happens when North America’s largest city has to empty out – rapidly – with hardly any place in that nation with water to spare?

  9. seachange says

    Perhaps this will be the impetus to regularize and dar orden to the water distribution system in Ciudad de Mexico. A lot of the water loss in this estado is due to theft and leaks. Normally this doesn’t matter enough.

  10. Pierce R. Butler says

    seachange @ # 10: A lot of the water loss in this estado is due to theft and leaks.

    From the same article:

    …Mexico City loses almost 40 percent of its municipal water to leakage from pipes and canals, one of the highest rates in the world. This means that residential conservation efforts can only have a limited effect on the overall water budget, according to Perló Cohen. The city has also seen a rise in water theft from canals and reservoir systems: Organized crime groups siphon off public water and use it to grow avocados or resell it to water-starved households at a high markup. Locals call this huachicoleo de agua, using a term coined to describe fuel theft.

    Much of the article devotes itself to comparisons with Cape Town:

    … the famous example set by Cape Town, South Africa, which made global headlines in 2018 when it almost ran out of water. The city was months away from a total collapse of its reservoir system when it mounted an unprecedented public awareness campaign and rolled out strict fees on water consumption. These measures succeeded in pulling the city back from the brink. ¶ Six years later, Cape Town stands as a success story in municipal crisis management… Instead of focusing primarily on changing public behavior, these cities will need to make big investments to improve aging infrastructure … Cape Town’s grassroots conservation success will be difficult to replicate. In order for such messaging to work, residents have to trust their government.

    South Africans seem to have lost much of such trust, but wherever it went, it didn’t float across the Atlantic, over the equator, and through the Caribbean and the Gulf onto the shore between Quintana Roo and Tamaulipas.

  11. Pierce R. Butler says

    Oops @ my # 11 – that last ‘graf is my commentary, not part of the quote from

  12. says

    (Adapted from a Twitter — my own local copy of Bind still recognises that domain name — thread.)

    Yeah. We, the old Peasant class, really underestimate the extent of the contempt in which the Aristocracy really hold us.

    In the UK, it was always traditionally the Aristocracy — who owned the land you stood on, and charged you rent for the privilege of existing — and the Peasants. And the Aristocracy have always been brought up with the genuine, unquestionable belief that the proper order of the universe is for us, the Peasants, to serve them. It’s as deeply ingrained into their subconscious as gravity, or the cycle of the seasons.

    Now, most empires ended in violent revolutions. The only challenge to the British Empire was the Industrial Revolution.

    The steam engine made slavery economically unfeasible. It ate only coal; it did not have to sleep; and if it misbehaved, it could be brought quickly back into line with a few drops of oil and a gentle tweak from a spanner.

    Do not make the mistake of thinking Aristocrats are stupid. They could see clearly what was going to happen. It would eventually be possible to produce machine-made goods less expensively than their slave-made counterparts. And mass production techniques meant every subsequent technological development would inevitably become affordable to ordinary working people, given time. And the Aristocracy really hate that, because it’s not enough for them just to Have Things: they have to have, very specifically, things that the Peasants do not have.

    One day, the people who used to carry away their shit in pots would be able to pool their meagre resources; pay for a brand new water closet to be installed in their masters’ home; and never again would anyone have to suffer the indignity of emptying a chamber pot, if they could just say “No, sir. Simply sit on that thing, and pull the chain when you are done. Good day to you!”

    The Aristocracy also faced a new threat, in the shape of Industrialists who had, by some combination of good fortune and hard work, become wealthy and risen from the peasant class. They had not been brought up expecting to be served. They wanted machines to do the work: Plumbing, not servants carrying water in jugs! Central heating and electric light! Some of them even had the temerity to build whole new, pretty villages, full of modern homes for the workers who had helped them make their fortunes, as if to share the benefits of progress with them!

    By the time the forerunner of the modern washing machine had appeared, there were two ways to look at it. For the Industrialists, it was of course a positive thing. Laundry was back-breaking work that occupied far too much time. Every step that could be delegated to a machine was a positive win; and the arc of progress bent towards universal affordability. But for the Aristocracy, it meant that the people who had once hand-washed their clothes would, one day soon, be parading around in freshly machine-washed clothes — and, to add insult to injury, most probably cleaner than could be achieved by hand.

    “Infuriated” must have been an undertatement.

    Then came World War I; and, much to the shock of the British Aristocracy, the country went to war against the Germans, whom they supported. It was accidentally proved that women could do as good a job as men in many occupations. And by the time the War was over, with anti-German sentiment in the British public running high, there had been a Communist revolution in Russia. And an emerging technology threatened to give everyone access to information in real time.

    Here were a few brief glimpses of a future in which, it seemed, people’s standards of living could be truly equal; and perhaps it was, after all, not inevitable that society should be divided into those who served, and those whom they served.

    These were dark times indeed for the Aristocracy, and World War II made things look even worse; with a government actually working in the interests of the majority of the population, building new homes, better than the ones that had been blown to bits in the war, and accepting responsibility for the well-being of the population through the creation of the National Health Service and the Welfare State.

    But all in the garden was not quite rosy; and as the 20th Century drew to a close, an opportunity finally existed for the Aristocracy to revert, once and for all, to their old, preferred, two-tier model of society. If fossil fuels became exhausted before sustainable replacement options were in place, there would be no more cheap energy.

    Meaning no cars, no washing machines, no central heating. And therefore — at least, in the eyes of the old Aristocracy — no good reason not to employ servants anymore.

    And that, folks, is why the rich are so dead set against transitioning to renewable energy. The Old Aristocracy — that’s the likes of Rees-Mogg, whom you are never going to convince me is not looking forward with glee to attending his first slave market, and co. — absolutely hate the likes of you and me having access to cheap energy; because, apart from money, there isn’t really anything they have that we don’t have anymore. And in all the time since the Industrial Revolution, while the benefits of technology have been slowly, gradually, ineluctably, becoming universal, they have had precious little else to do but count their money — and discover just how useless it really is.

    If it weren’t for the existence in the USA of another pro-slavery, pro-fossil-fuels faction with whom they could ally to rein in the excesses of the Peasants, the Old British Aristocracy probably could be dismissed as barely relevant to anyone in the rest of the world.

    But the two together are fully able and willing to let the world burn, if it means the Peasants will no longer have access to exclusive preserves of the Rich that they have no right to.

  13. Reginald Selkirk says

    I got up and shook hands.
    “What are you doing here? I mean, is there something I can do for you?”
    “I’m leading a double life,” I told him.
    “That’s nothing,” he said. “Double lives are simple. It’s the triple and quadruple lives that give you excitement. What do you want?”

    The Count of 9 by A.A. Fair

  14. says

    But the two together are fully able and willing to let the world burn, if it means the Peasants will no longer have access to exclusive preserves of the Rich that they have no right to.

    Your view of the world is so dark, it surprised even me. I think there’s a lot of truth, there, too.

    When I was a kid I used to think that governments and kings and senators etc were necessary to organize us for the common defense against their own ilk. But gradually I started to move more toward the idea that power and wealth (which are mostly interchangeable by design) mostly organize civilization for the maintenance of power and wealth.

  15. says

    As a Brit, I am not looking forward to this tiny island being the only habitable place left.
    I may have to rethink my stance on immigration.

Leave a Reply