Peter Wadhams on Our Last Ditch Hope

anybody left alive at the end of the century to write the
history of the 21st century, Trump will be one of the
biggest villains. But the trouble is, withdrawing from the
Paris agreement encourages everybody else
to withdraw as well. And that helps to ensure that
we’re going to be wiped out. STUART SCOTT: I’ll give a slight
counter point to that, which is that we are in a
position of pushback. In a position of extreme
pushback on the damage that Donald Trump is
doing to the American reputation, the American system
of values. I can’t say to the American economy,
because I don’t study it, but I think he’s also damaging
the American economy to the favor of enriching the already richest and
impoverishing the middle class. PETER: We’ve got our very own
acts of major-league stupidity going on in this country. STUART: Yeah, again, I have
not studied Brexit at all, but I hold the contrary opinion
that anything that is damaging to any major
economy of the world enhances our chances
of survival. Because the economic engine of
the world is what’s killing us. And I will repeat that at
every opportunity, so more and more people get it.
That you can’t have a society which enriches people based
upon the destruction of nature, functioning well, with seven
billion people all trying to claw nature apart in order
to get financial wealth. You can’t eat money. And it’s not even
paper money. You might conceivably be
able to fry and salt paper money and eat it. But it’s cyber – money is
cyber cash now. And I’m not talking about Bitcoin. I’m talking
about the money you have in the bank is cyphers in someone’s ledger. But let me switch to the dire parts of the
predictions. You said a moment ago, or
a few moments ago, ‘If any of us are left by the end
of the century…’ So where do you see us headed,
and with what probability do you see us
headed there? PETER: Well, I guess I’ve
been asked this a couple of times in the
last couple of days. And it’s a very difficult question
because we are either going to… It’s either going to be a
complete disaster or we’re going to be able
to save ourselves, and it’s not clear which. Because, the first thing is, if we carry on
the way we’re going, we’ve had it. And all of this, ‘Let’s reduce our carbon emissions according
to the promises made in Paris’ just won’t work. I mean, the reductions, first of all,
are not taking place because carbon dioxide
levels are rising at an accelerating rate, and you see
that with the Mauna Loa data. And all the promises made by governments
in the Paris agreement are just… They made them, but what
they really mean is, ‘Our successors might do something, but we
don’t have to do anything now because it’s not going to… The totting up is not going
to be done until 2052. Well 2052 I think, and… So they can get away with
a lot for a long time. STUART: We are mightily kicking
the can down the road. Not just kicking it down
the road, but mightily. We’re kicking it way down
the road to 2052. PETER: It offers the possibility that they
could agree on a tighter effort, but I think it’s unlikely, and especially
with the US leaving it And then also just this reducing
CO2 emissions is just not easy. If it was easy, they would
have done it. Like deciding that we would
stop producing CFCs because it’s producing
the ozone hole. That was an easy decision to make, because
you could substitute chemicals for CFCs. So they did it, to save the world
from the ozone hole. But saving the world from climate change
by reducing CO2 emissions is not easy because
if you… Well, I can see you’re in Hawaii,
but I was in California and you just have to look at
a Los Angeles freeway and you realize – how is the human race
going to live without this? It’s made of a world which is
a kind of nightmare world completely dependent on fossil fuels
for keeping everything going. Because building lots of buildings
a long way apart from each other means you have to travel around
in a car to get from A to B. Everything is predicated on ready
availability of fossil fuels so that you can
drive everywhere. And that can’t be undone.
The shape of cities… Unless you’re prepared to demolish
all the world cities and rebuild them in a sensible way,
which we can’t do, you’re stuck with the cities
that we’ve got. There’s built in climate
change horrors just in our urban
infrastructure. STUART: So but a moment ago, you said
there was an alternative – that we might survive – which is
good news to me – I regard your opinions
very very highly. So what might be that path through?
Let everything collapse? But ‘collapse’, I mean
not ‘everything’… Let the heat engine that is the
California freeway system and all like it, let that somehow implode and yet still be able to hope
that there’s enough carbon sequestration
going on to keep us out of four degrees
centigrade, or..? PETER: Well, that’s what
I would say is, our only hope is not reducing carbon emissions,
because we won’t do it. It’s taking carbon out
of the atmosphere, direct air capture of
carbon dioxide. And that is a massively
expensive task. It’s not even clear that it’s
practically feasible, although it does look
as if it is from the pilot studies
that are being done. But it has to be made
a lot cheaper. That can be done with a lot of
engineering research. So, we can… If we really put our minds to it and make it
the biggest thing that we do, bigger than military research,
bigger than anything else, design a practical, […] and
cost-effective method of removing CO2 from the atmosphere
by air capture. And then if we apply that,
we can save ourselves. Because, I mean, what’s the villain,
what’s doing it, all this climate change
horrors, it’s carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,
plus methane and other things. But if you can get rid of
the carbon dioxide we’ve got rid of the greenhouse effect
and we can save ourselves. It’s the last ditch because
we can’t… We ought to be able to live
in a sustainable way in harmony with the environment
and so on, and do it that way. But we don’t, we’re too stupid
to do that. Too greedy and selfish and we won’t
do it, and it’s not going to happen. So the only way we can
save ourselves is to use our engineering skills,
our technical skills to design direct air capture systems that will work
and will get us off the hook by removing CO2 from
the atmosphere. That’s what I put
my faith in. I mean, I don’t normally put
my faith in techno fixes, but that’s our
last-ditch hope. And it ought to work because the methods
that are being used now in the pilot studies in Iceland
and British Columbia are the same as… They’re working, they’re
removing CO2. What you need is, to think this is like
solar energy was 10 years ago. It works, but it’s incredibly
expensive. Now solar energy is incredibly
cheap because enough money was
put into technical research to find new ways of producing
solar energy. So we can do the same. If we put enough money and effort
into air capture of CO2, we can achieve that. And we have to spend a large fraction
of the global domestic product on it. But we’d be able to do it, and it
would get rid of enough CO2 to stop the climate from
warming more. So, we can get off the hook by
doing a techno fix, so long as we do it absolutely
with all our effort and all our money and all
our engineering skills and don’t waste our effort
on something that looks like designing a new
weapon system or something. STUART: Or flying to Mars. PETER: Yes, Mars is not going
to be a place to escape to. STUART: I was gonna say that
seems to be an attractive alternative
to the mega riches. You know, they’re booking passage
on Elon Musk’s… I don’t know what’s going on.
I also hear that… I mean people float rumors about
how the the uber-rich have have bunkers
in New Zealand. You know, where they can survive for
a matter of years before coming up. Well, those might work in the event that
the problem was a nuclear war, but they won’t work very well
if the problem is a 4 degrees centigrade
hotter world. You know, you can come up in two years and it’ll
still be impossible to grow anything. PETER: My faith in the human race is that
we’re a very ingenious species. We are creative, ingenious and brilliant at anything
involving things and technical stuff. But we’re no good at
human relations or anything involving sort of
moral approaches. So we’ve got ourselves into a terrible mess
through our own greed and stupidity. But we can get out of it
by our ingenuity. My faith is a partial faith
in the human race, that we have one set of characteristics
which can save us, while all the other characteristics
are destroying us.

Comments 100

  • Economics and Politics does not change scientific facts. It may promote scientific processes but scientific facts do not change.
    Is there a way to stop the warming of the oceans within the next 10 years?
    The Arctic Council did say that 20% of the permafrost will thaw by 2040. That was said in 2017. There has been some additional reports made since then that would greatly change that statement for the worse.
    Scientific facts. They cannot be changed.
    Do you know of any way to stop the permafrost from thawing or the Arctic ice to thaw?
    There is a time limit.
    The weather extremes are getting worse and we are already seeing extreme weather events destroying infrastructure. That will get a lot worse in the next 5 years. I seriously do not see the Arctic remaining ice covered during the Summers for all of the next 5 years when scientists have already said that the World will be unusually hotter for the next 5 years.
    There is a developing El Nino and that will be in full effect next year.
    What many people fail to understand is that it is not whether or not you can survive another year that is the issue. It's whether or not you can survive the extremely hot summers that we will be seeing in the very near future.
    I live in Vancouver BC. The normal July/August high temperatures are 22°C-24°C. Vancouver is a coastal city.
    We were not in an El Nino event this year and still the temperatures were almost double the normal highs. Most of the summer we had temperatures in the mid 30's with the hottest temperature for the summer hitting 40°C. I know this because I was taking temperature readings using the conventional mercury thermometers. The weather stations would issue heat warnings but downplay the actual temperature to the normal seasonal highs thus putting people's lives at risk.
    Take a good long look at the daily heat graphs and you will see something that defies logic. Temperatures during a heat wave going up in down in temperature sputters while never reaching the actual heatwave extremes that we experienced.
    This is a classic case of weather data manipulation.
    The whole month of August was a heatwave. We had 8 heatwaves back to back from May to September. According to the weather stations we had a normal cool summer.
    We will be in an El Nino next year and the Summer here will be even more deadlier. People do have to go outside in that heat for food or work so that is when you will see the highest death tolls.
    Or maybe you won't. Heat related deaths are not being recorded as such. They are instead being recorded as heart attacks and heart attacks usually don't make the news.
    Weather extremes are going to get worse and we are already at the point where these extremes are destroy much of the new infrastructure we put in place. It will get to a point where it will be impossible to turn this boat around.
    Personally I think it already is too late because I seriously do not see any method to stop the warming of the oceans in the next few years. Over 90% of global Warming is absorbed by the oceans and as anyone knows, heat rises. You cannot cool the atmosphere if the oceans are still warming. It takes a long time for energy to heat up water. We see that when we try to boil a pot of water on a stove.
    It is going to take quite some time for the energy absorbed by the oceans to heat it up.
    This is why US oceanographers have said in 2014 that the Warming of the oceans is unstoppable. The energy has already been absorbed. The oceans will warm up for hundreds of years because of all that energy that is already in the oceans.
    Heat rises so a warming ocean will warm the atmosphere above it. Ocean Warming is Global Warming on an Ocean World. Earth is an Ocean World with 71% of it's surface covered by water.
    Even if we stopped burning fossil fuels today and stopped all of the emissions from the various feedback loops, the oceans will still continue to warm. The energy is already in the oceans.
    Scientific facts cannot change no matter how much money is spent.

  • To the richest people who imagine that they can live in their ivory towers unaffected by what is happening I have a bit of bad news, no one will escape the consequences of what is happening, the loss of biodiversity is bad, but a total collapse of life on earth is worse. Life on earth is in a constant state of flux and equilibrium and we have just pulled one of the Levers and disrupted that delicate balance.
    ALL hell is about to be unleashed.

  • This time Peter Wadham is a bit too optimistic. Hope is a kind of magical thinking. – Keep driving your fossile fuel V8-trucks! Our technical ingenuity will save us all in the end. Or God?
    Er… Really?
    Just can´t see the global effort for such a miracle. Even if the technology was ready available. How on earth could our ignorant leaders find a common ground how to settle the bill?
    How to pool money from the Military Industrial Complex fueling the US economy together with petro industry – both busy destroying us all?

  • We better get started on carbon capture!

  • But, what about the other phenomenon of global dimming? Will that be solved by removing c02? I read that cleaning up of the atmosphere will reduce global dimming as well which will cause a huge sudden spike in temperature. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario.

  • He may be right that we COULD do it, but I really don't believe we will. There are too many idiots in our US government and too many ignorant and greedy citizens. Not to mention China, Russia, India, Brazil, etc. I have just about no hope at all.

  • Has anyone else seen How it Ends on Netflix?

  • He's talking about a worldwide Manhattan project but right now ALL The Nation States are squabbling and disagreeable and not even focusing on this problem. I would say a better option since the problem is so technical ie removing planetary carbon, carbon that has been emmitted for hundreds of years is the create self improbing Artificial intelligence and task the artifical intelligence with the problem, Now of course the AI may decide to get rid us as part of solution but you can try to program it with something similar to Issac Asimov's three laws of Robots.

  • It would be easier to create a flying pig than get the whole of the world, most particularly capitalist societies, to accept change that would require a total transformation (simplification) of their current lifestyles, and massive reduction in population. History and a basic understanding of human nature indicates that only an enlightened species , which excludes homo sapiens (whose lack of wisdom created the mess ) could take such actions. Intelligence (or potential intelligence) is useless without wisdom, a quality in serious short supply amongst humans. Albert Einstein may or may not own this quote, regardless it is to the polnt : “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”

  • I see another possible alternative, but I can not publish it until November 20 for personal reasons. I hope to offer my idea that could change the current situation largely in one year. I will be back. Saludos desde México.

  • Thank you both for your honesty and frankness.

  • We might not be continuing business as usual for much longer, according to one analysis.. But yep I think we're damned if we do, and f**ked if we don't –

  • Only hope is this : scientists made an error regarding the CO2 contribution to global warming

  • How stop it is by citizens allowing themselves to live poor…

  • While CO2 capture isn't going to happen either because THERE IS NOTHING LIKE THE CONSENSUS THAT IS REQUIRED. There is another scenario that is infinitely more likely. The (comfortable) humanitarians can't see it because they aren't angry enough about the SOCIAL mess the world is in. I'm talking about global war—but not like WWI and II where everyone involved aligned on one side or another so that ultimately there was a winner and with that reorganization. No, THIS global war would be anarchic and unlike the WWs which boosted economic development to unimagined heights with all the evils that entailed, this era of conflict would destroy the world economy and decimate its population.

  • May I suggest a (free if you want online) search, Great Waves of Change. A mindful and responsible guide to help humanity move forward amid all these devastating phenomena.

  • Mmh I imagine they could reserve one lane of these highways for electric or hydrogen buses. And also for electric cars to encourage people to get them.

  • Thank you. Good Luck!

  • The people who voted to remain in the EU voted for more of the same because they are doing very well out of things as they are. We cannot afford more neoliberal capitalism.

  • Peter Wadhams, you are a very wise man. I wish the politicians and decision makers listen more to you.

  • If any human survives by the time the civilization recovers the language and all records will be dust. We are in the end times. Guy is more likely right than wrong. Greed will be mans end.

  • Somewhere between 2035 and 2065 there will be no real civilization and perhaps there might be tribes. Keeping food and shelter will be the main focus in life. Fear of strangers and no real safety unless you provide your own.

  • Yes, but at least 95% of humanity must die before the few survivors have a chance.

  • For every 10000 people there's one 0.01 percenter.
    If wealth were suddenly spread evenly then everyone suddenly wealthy would splurge and consume more.

  • Nothing will help until we reduce the human burden on the biosphere. Population reduction is one aspect of burden reduction is necessary but not sufficient on it's own. But no other scheme will work if population is not reduced. All of this talk about "mitigation" using techno-fixes is loony unless it includes rapid population reduction. But, it would also be wise to remember (Eric) Sevareid's law: The biggest source of problems is solutions."

  • Humans: evolve or become extinct. Learn how to deal with radiation. Store food and water. Get underground. Make synthetic photosynthesis the world's biggest industry. Don't waste your time trying to convince people who don't want to be saved

  • "Challenge global warming"- strategy:

    – Refreeze arctic ice shield

    the "Arctic Ice Management"-concept by Steven Desch, ASU

    combined with the new form of power generating:

    SunCell®-Technology by Dr Randell Mills (Harvard),

    Brilliant Light Power Inc

    – Figure out metabolism of methanotrophs, optimize the enzyme structure

    & engineer CH4 atmospheric absorbers to catch ESAS gigatonbursts


    intuitive design ai (Maurice Conti, @Alpha moonshot factory)

    synthethic biology (Neri Oxman, MIT).

    – Develop more effective atmospheric CO2 absorbers

    – re-accellerate the gulfstream to an optimum level

    & take out the stored thermal energy that heats up the oceans with

    projects like "Ocean Tunnels" by Patrick McNulty

    & Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

    Proceed transforming the economic infrastructur as planned to cut further CO2/CH4-emissions.

    This is my best shot from a layman perspective.

    Without a well coordinated & fast reaction on a global scale mankind seems to fail this challenge.

    Best regards & good luck mankind.

  • The middle class will become wealthier when they stop buying personal gas guzzling machines and switch to solarized e-vehicles.
    I use a Solarized walk assist device that costs about $2500, this machine saves me $10k/yr, in 10 yrs that's $100k.
    People can take 1 yr of the savings ($10k) and solarized their dwellings, saving even more on utilities.
    Watch on utube, Solarized walk assist device – camper build
    Also, Solarized walk assist device
    Two styles of low cost solarized transportation.

  • And there won't be anyone left to man the nuke plants……

  • Plant more Trees.

  • Reducing population is a must because if we technofix the greenhouse effect – that's just one problem. We still have resource depletion. Unless we learn to turn rock directly to food, we are still going to starve. Solving the greenhouse effect just means more people will starve rather than dying of heat stroke.

  • Where do you store the carbon when you've captured it?. Under ground, will it stay there?. I keep hearing this 2100 timeline, guy McPherson thinks by 2026 were in big trouble or worse,

  • Trump has it figured out. We must destroy the environment to save it.

  • "Unless those times were cut short than all flesh would be destroyed"

  • Just as in the days of Noah. People eating, drinking, marrying, and being given in marriage and they took no note until the flood came and washed them all away. So those times will be.

  • A good summary of the situation. I wonder what role contraception can play in reducing carbon emissions, considering 200 million women still don't have access to it. BTW love the intro music, has a smooth warm earthy feel.

  • I agree with Wadhams on what he is saying here about LA freeways, i.e. how are we going to get on without that working? It's mind boggling to drive on LA freeways. A single picture cannot convey how many highways there are down there that have sometimes as many as 9 lanes going one way and they're all jammed with traffic.

  • I agree with Wadhams. We're too greedy a species to stop emitting CO2, our only chance is direct air capture. The scale of that would have be quite massive. If what is captured can be used as a material for various products, then it could be economically viable.

  • Here is an idea. Make inland seas in all the low lying deserts of the world. Start with Death Valley. Use a pipeline to get a siphon started. Since it is already below sea level, it would be easier to bring in seawater. This could cool things down ?

  • Why is their only 2.2 k subscribers?

  • Giving everything a value was the biggest mistake the human race ever made. Nature gave us everything for free.

  • Paris was never a good deal, it left us with a bottom-up approach in which countries could choose whatever measures they thought might limit warming to 1.5 degrees, which we've already overshot. At least 2 deg. of warming is already baked in. Latest analysis shows that industrial nations will push warming to 5 deg. by 2100, not that we'll be here to record it.

  • Oh, Prof Wadhams. Remove CO2 from the atmosphere? Even if we could do that at scale in time we have to remove the latent heat from the sea, and you'd have to stop replacing it with more CO2 by totally de-industrializing…. de-industrialize… find an industrial solution… some contradiction there, surely?

  • Two points about the viability of carbon sequestration:
    – It doesn't just have to work, it has to work well enough to counter what will undoubtedly be our increasing output of CO2. Even if we can close that gap gradually to ultimately have a net negative amount of CO2, we have to close that gap fast enough before the methane bomb is triggered.
    – Yes, it will be incredibly expensive. So will politicians run on taxing us to cover these costs? And will nations come to some kind of agreement as to who will pay what amount? And will they cheat saying they are doing more than what they are actually doing? It gets very messy.

  • Removing carbon possible? Every automobile is a carbon generator. How many millions of cars are there? Add to that every furnace in every house generating carbon. Then we move on to power plants and all the other miscellaneous carbon creating facilities and producers. How many carbon sequestering plants would have to be built even if we had the technology? Tens of thousands to solve a problem half the people don't believe exists and another quarter who aren't willing to make sacrifices even though they believe it's possible. We would better off preparing for how to survive on a hothouse planet.

  • Turn the 7.6 billion of us into an asset by planting ten pot plants per person; problem solved. Jeans that last 100 years, a non-petoleum source of chemicals and resins, fermented, it produces more ethanol that corn. We would all rather die than think outside our tiny little paradynes.

  • DAC is not feasible. We will have to filter the whole atmosphere of the planet several times over. We would need millions of those capture plants and they need energy to run. Which we don't have, btw.

    Reforestration/afforestration (or growing some energy crops) and BECSS is the only thing that could help us, at least a little. We are a bit short on the land area it requires, but BECCS produces energy, so it "runs itself". It could be possible to produce liquid biofuels on the side to run all the ships, trains, trucks and other machinery that are required.

    There's still the little problem of how and where the resulting hundreds of cubic kilometers of liquid carbon dioxide are injected.

  • You need to discredit and expose the power behind Trump and the Rest of them, put the criminality on display in a manner that is irrefutable, undeniable and abhorent. See Kaczynski Morph here on youtube for the diamond in your toolchest.

  • "The economic engine is what is killing us." said interviewer Stuart Scott. Here is a constructive use of the economic engine. Basically, we can pay people to do their life without emitting fossil fuel CO2. We can recapitalize society paying people $3.50 each time they save a gallon of gasoline by not burning it. Unlike the last 10 years of sustainable energy, the society needs to measure local CO2 emissions and the payments must be linked to real immediate reductions in local emissions, where one day is the measurement interval.
    Another way of understanding that "the economic engine is what is killing us" is the gasoline companies have been getting cash for every gallon sold, but the total local carbon dioxide emissions are not being measured. If we don't measure local CO2, then we can't reduce local CO2.

  • Peter Wadhams is an expert ocean physics.
    What I think is missing from the last 20 years of Arctic research is an explanation of why so much longwave infrared energy has been applied to the Arctic in the last 20 years. I think the emission of hot CO2 and hot water vapor into the stratosphere by trans Arctic passenger jets has been drastically underestimated. Hot airplane exhaust rises, and from Boyle's law it goes up about 3000 feet. So the heating blanket rises up toward space where there are no sequestration processes and very few measurements of the air slightly above the belts of air traffic.
    There isn;t much measurement of Arctic mesospheric or stratospheric CO2. It seems the satellites measure tropospheric CO2, Scientists seen in the Arctic Report Card on youtube do not carry longwave sky spectroradiometers. No mention of sky albedo, no mention of the probably incessant jet contrails visible overhead. Most orbits of most resource sensing satellites are inclined and do not cover the Arctic.
    Finally, shrewd European governments love Americans taking two week European tours where each person burns $500 worth of jet fuel (most of it in takeoff and over the Arctic) and spends $1500 on hotels and bus rides.

  • ? STOP BIG OIL! ?Stop Climate Change ? We don't ABANDON Kids! ? STOP YOUR ENGINES! ? Stop BIG OIL! ? ?

  • i know a thing called a tree that captures co2, why don't we plant billions and billions of them on all the spare land we have available, might help a bit. Stop having any more children until we get things under control, cut down on meat/ or cut it out

  • Organized civilization will cease to exist by 2100 if things continue as-is. It's critically-imperative to deploy large-scale geo-engineering ASAP, or future children will die horribly. Period. Full stop.

    (Enormous, multi-stage air-compressors, fractional distillation of CO2 and underground injection on a massive, massive scale.)

    Rebuild Los Angeles because the automakers ruined it.

  • Mad Max meets the Road and many other dystopian visions of the future, 20-40 years from now… Warlords will roam the lands, scavenging the leftovers of our current civilization…

  • Mankind has a Superman to come and save us. This is artificial intelligence AI. We can use it to save us if we use it correctly and carefully. No one else seems to recognize this possibility. Mankind has never had this higher form of intelligence before. Likewise, we have never seen this Horizon before. Maybe the universe is giving us a last chance and maybe we should wake up and see this.

  • If we're at "The Last Ditch Effort" stage, it's too late. LOL. Really though, are humans worth saving?

  • If the Paris Accords aren't working as you state, why bash Trump for pulling the US out?

    The Paris accords were a joke from the start when Obama pledged the US in but let other major producers completely of the carbon emissions hook for 20 years and then only encouraged them to participate. Trump bashing doesn't win you people on your side

  • Do not be defeatist comrade. Trump uses Theatre, we, the public and Media need to use Counter Theatre. See also David Cay Johnston's U-Tube or books who reported Trump for 30 years. As Chomsky says there is much can be done from organising against voter suppression at ground level et al. It does not always follow to diminish the economy lessens the Heat Machine: much can be done within our present means and abilities to Not buy Not consume. Fossil fuels are kept on the by subsidies 5.3 billion subsidies and no carbon taxes that can be tax level by lessening personal and other taxes except on the rich. See the vacuum trains that use little energy for cities underground and between cities and between countries. No. We can do it but need to apply ourselves and become active. Not true we are simply greedy, that is a lie spread by the Billionaires and believed by them out of their traumas. Don't buy into that folks. Peter L. Dollins.

  • Let me introduce myself. I am a full time researcher proffesor at a university of Mexico at the postgrad in Cognitive Science. I promised to offer to day another alternative to the one proposed in this video by Dr. Peter Wadhams. I will do it in the evening, when I return from my work at the university. Please, wait for my comment. Saludos desde México.

  • Considero que las causas principales del Antropoceno son la explotación de energías sucias (carbón , petróleo, etc.), deforestación y la gran producción y consumo de carne, y que uno de sus efectos más funestos es la creciente emisión de CO2 (y de otros gases de efecto invernadero). Me centraré únicamente en los comentarios del Dr. Wadhams acerca la alternativa que ve. Yo veo otra: un rápido cambio radical de la forma de vida que lleva una gran parte de la gente que vive en las grandes urbes alrededor del mundo. ¿Cómo lograrlo? Iniciando con un rápido desplazamiento hacia fuera de las grandes ciudades mediante un sistema híbrido de rasgos capitalistas y no capitalistas, que se iría desarrollando a favor de los no capitalistas. Esto se podría llevar a cabo mediante construcciones al estilo de “Los Guerreros de la Basura” (cuyo pionero es el arquitecto Michael Reynolds y hay un video de su hermosa casa), es decir, construcciones cuya materia prima es, esencialmente, basura reciclada y que son autosustentables y autosuficientes, porque usan energías solar y eólica, sistemas naturales de calefacción y refrigeración, usan y reciclan varias veces agua de lluvia y destinan un espacio para la producción de alimento originario de la propia localidad, por ende sin pérdida de su propio hábitat (Guy McPherson), el aún rescatable. Y tienen muchas ventajas más, como la necesidad de un mínimo uso de dinero, más otras bondades, algunas comunitarias. La mayoría son casas apropiadas tanto para personas adineradas (lujosas) como para personas pobres (sencillas) con posibilidad de extenderlas a discreción; por ello, irían estrechando en gran parte las diferencias entre ricos, clases medias y gente pobre. Las necesidades básicas para subsistir se encuentran dentro de cada casa. Al término de su estado híbrido se convierten en comunidades no-capitalistas. No requieren dinero para sobrevivir, basta con realizar el trabajo de mantenimiento de la vivienda, de los espacios comunitarios (escuelas, hospitales, universidades) y del uso esporádico de autos que pueden ser compartidos con los vecinos. Incluso desde su estado híbrido implican inmediatamente una reducción relevante tanto del consumismo, como de las emisiones de CO2. No son grandes sistemas, sino pequeños sistemas locales y colectivos. ¿Dónde construirlos? En el espacio de tierra que ocupa la gran industria de la carne y del alimento para ganado (sí, se requiere que en el sistema actual se promulgue una ley que prohíba el consumo de carne per capita por más de un día a la semana, algo similar a la actual prohibición de fumar tabaco). Ya hay varias construcciones de este tipo de casas en distintas partes del mundo. ¿Como difundirlo? Desde asambleas locales que discutan al respecto en diferentes sectores sociales, hasta el uso similar de Internet y las redes sociales, en la medida en que estos artefactos son pharmakos (Bernard Stiegler) ¿Qué persona de “clase media” haría este esfuerzo? Por poner un solo ejemplo (hay muchos), pensemos en las pérdidas sufridas (de casa, coche, trabajo, etc.) por aquellos que no murieron calcinados hace algunos días en Paradise, California, USA (Paul Breckwith). Si los monos babuinos que estudia Robert Sapolsky pudieron cambiar radicalmente su modo de vida en una generación (dadas ciertas circunstancias), los monos predictivos que somos los humanos (Andy Clark) también podemos hacerlo, sobre todo dada la emergencia existencial que nos amenaza por el Calentamiento Global en aumento. Mi última esperanza está en que lo imposible se vuelva posible.

  • The carbon-dioxide content of the atmosphere is still rising at the same rate, yet the climate has stopped warming and is now cooling. There's an obvious disconnect between CO2 and climate temperature. Watch: You don't have to worry anymore about the troposphere getting an extra 3 W/m**2 of warming. What you have to worry about now is the coming deficit of 8 W/m**2 that will be reached in the period between 2020-2040, and the decrease may be beginning now in 2018 going into 2019.

  • Peter is right…maybe. Huge "ifs" though. Ingenuity will be overshadowed by greed and incompetence. Hubris is not the mark of the rational.

  • Were dumber than the extinct Do Do bird

  • Lets all ride bicycles lol

  • Transitioning to 100% Renewable Energy is feasible, the cheapest solution, and with the physics of efficiency supporting it. Dr. Whadams is missing the physics. Wind and solar are now the cheapest and least resource-dependent of all major fuels and are accelerating in adoption and public acceptance.

    He and other sincere DAC, SRM, and CCS proponents are wasting energy on lesser solutions. Yes, we are currently only investing barely $300 B/yr for modern RE, but we are only now achieving grid parity in practically all markets. Yes, it is way too slow, but disruption, I believe is at hand. EVs and Autonomous Driving will possibly/likely cut oil by 40%- 90% by 2030, depending on what part of the S-curve we are on. It's physics over politics. Real economics over fake economics.

    DAC should only come in to play if needed AFTER wind, water and sun (WWS) replace all FF and nukes. No new nukes, and the less risky nukes should all be gone by the end of the transition. The more risky nukes need to close sooner, but we need to focus on FF and cost cuts. Once RE is even a bit cheaper it will gain speed. 100% WWS by 2050 will be sufficient to allow for the gradual return to lower PPM by 2100.

  • 95% of passenger miles worldwide will be electric, autonomous, transportation-as-a-service, reducing global car fleet by 90% from 1.2 B to <200 million, reducing steel manufacturing, and asphalt for parking, and of course a crash in oil.

  • 100% RE by 2050 is achievable, feasible, affordable, and gaining adoption by the week.

  • Cost is irrelevant. Our militaries could be converted from killing, to rescuing the environment, even if it's only a goodwill gesture.

  • Just curious…Schumer just gave 1.2 Billion for the Border Wall. How many solar rooftops would that pay for?

  • The rich will die from rickets, hiding in their bunkers, those who are fit for the changing world will, eventually, prosper, just as humankind prospered in the distant past. The Americas and Australia will become deathtraps, either too dry or too wet, the Tropics, likewise. The remainder will be unlike the near past, but habitable.

  • Direct CO2 capture…it is called tress and we need millions of them.

  • Peter advocates climate engineering to save us, polluting the planet to save it is an oximoron. We're done…..period. we passed the point of no return decades ago .Get rid of the billions of tons of co2 and put it where? ???? In a hole in the ground? ?? Complete fiction and wishful thinking Peter.

  • My faith in the human race shows how brilliant we are at polluting and raping our planet and cleverness without wisdom is dangerous, just look at the brilliant minds of those who created the atom bomb, sure it was clever, but where was the wisdom? Same goes for geoengineering and ocean fertilisation, clever ideas…….but a wise idea?

  • The Paris agreement was a complete fucking joke. All of the climate agreements have been a complete fucking joke. Why? Because ALL of these climate agreements are "advisory" in nature with no enforcement mechanism whatsoever. NO CLIMATE AGREEMENT has EVER resulted in a reduction of carbon emissions world wide. Never. Carbon emissions have risen inexorably past 400 despite all these agreements. So Trump is now a "villain" for passing on a meaningless climate agreement? I guess it's easier to blame that moron than to look in the mirror. How about the yellow vest protesters in France who have ignited the worst social unrest since WW2. What are they protesting? Macron's CARBON TAX on diesel and gasoline. Designed to fulfill France's "pledge" under the climate accords. Every opinion poll in France says they are supported by over 80-90% of the French population. Macron has postponed the carbon tax for 6 months although it looks like his political career (and the carbon tax) is history. Are the yellow vest protesters all climate change deniers? Are they clueless American style rednecks who just don't get it? Are they VILLAINS? Every consumer on this planet is contributing to the heat engine known as industrial civilization. The yellow vest protests in France are Exhibit A that the poor, working and middle classes in the West are hurting badly and will absolutely, positively, NOT AGREE TO A REDUCTION IN THEIR STANDARD OF LIVING TO PAY SIGNIFICANT CARBON TAXES for the greater good of the environment. We the people won't stand for it. So stop with this fucking myth that it's the politicians fault. The politicians and the oil companies are giving us-we the people- exactly what WE demand-gas for our cars and heat/ac for our homes. I'll go even further. The people are not as stupid or selfish as I am implying. IMO the vast majority of people living on this planet either know or suspect that the climate is completely fucked. I think most understand that human civilization and emissions are at least contributing to the problem if not causing it outright. We also know that 7.5 billion of us cannot live as hunter gatherers or subsistence farmers on this planet. We understand that 95% of us are LOCKED IN to this paradigm of industrial civilization. This industrial civilization is a heat engine period as discussed extensively and correctly by Guy McPherson. We know that there is no transition to a non industrial or green civilization without killing off 90% of the population. If u tell people who are struggling to pay rent and put food on the table that the human race might be extinct in 10 years if the climate keeps heating, I suspect many would say they are MORE worried about heating their homes THIS winter. That's human nature. So please-stop blaming the climate change deniers. Stop blaming the oil companies. Stop blaming the politicians. If u are a consumer on this planet, U are the problem. We are the problem. Let stop lying to ourselves.

  • Has anybody else come to the conclusion that the powers that be actually want global Armageddon to de-populate the planet.

    When Trump said. "The planet will heal itself. " I knew that was the last straw.

  • It's all very depressing. I believe people don't want to look anymore, too scary and painful for a lot of people.
    I think we are not recoverable from global catastrophe now. What will survive is difficult to know, but it will be a very different world. It already is changing, with the destabilization of the jetstreams. With all the focus on CO2 in this video necessarily, and all the challenges just with that, the other elephant now in the room, having squeezed through the hole made by the first is the issue of methane CH4 now adding to that one. There are numerous sources but one of the largest is the permafrost areas in Arctic circle, recently warming very fast. Measuring this is still being formulated but the amount is huge and it emits CO2 as well. It has NOT been included to date in IPCC data, which is softened and fudged for political reasons as it is.
    "According to the scientists: The permafrost soils of Northern Europe, Northern Asia and North America could produce up to 1 gigaton of methane and 37 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2100. But there are uncertainties. To what depth will the soil actually thaw by then? Will it be wet or dry? "
    Read more at:
    Thank you gentlemen for your untiring efforts nevertheless. 🙁

  • Some great ideas and wisdom. METHANE is at least twenty-three times more harmful than CO2 and sulfur dioxide even more so. We must spend our efforts barking up the right trees. The urgent methane threat involves different strategies for solution of the greenhouse gas problem including spaying and neutering the main living producers, livestock. Those raised on an industrial scale, the whole production, transportation, storage, packaging, preparing, and cleanup are on a long list of methane associations along with plastic products, petroleum-based pharmaceuticals, industrial-strength cleansing agents.

  • Thank you for the great opening statement,
    We live in a World of Corporate GREED, and they control the government;
    It' a lose, lose for all of us
    By 2030 the damage climate change will cost, will break every nations budget causing complete economic collapse

  • I don't claim one bit to be as well versed in climate science as Dr. Wadhams, but in terms of technical feasibility, the more sensible approach would be carbon capture through redesigned land and marine ecosystem management techniques. Incorporating agroforestry, especially multistrata agroforestry (agriculture with trees at various spatial levels, much like a natural ecosystem), aforestation and reforestation, and, perhaps largest of all, massive planting of seagrasses and macroalgaes (seaweed) to sequester carbon as well as mitigate (if even locally) the impacts of ocean acidification. A tall ask, but IMO more feasible at present than designing and scaling industrial processes of carbon capture and storage.

  • I think everyone should get a set income with free education, free healthcare and housing. We can only have two children. NO credit. We have to stop all this air travel and the military industry which both uses too much resources. It’s time to pay and save for what we want again.

  • There exists an alternative to the world we know. In the free-of charge book I wrote, "Another World is Possible", on Ecohumanworld website I reveal this
    alternative to you and present a world that is entirely different from the existing one, with a completely different social order. It's a world that does not work for money in order to have more, but a world that works in order to become more and rise to a necessary higher level of civilization. A border-less world united under one flag in a planetary community with a common vision for the good of all — for nature and for us. The world of the future that we must begin building now because the one we live in is running out of time.
    Let us step into the next century as proud winners and not as disappointed losers.

  • Thanks for this.

  • I love your characterisation of money as a virus replicating itself through humans and turning nature into itself. Of course, underlying money is the debt based, interest bearing system, which we must overthrow as a matter of urgency, or the planet will do it for us

  • If we all get together no expense is massive,

  • The "rich" will have no more ability to survive than the rest of us. Their money will become worthless. The rich are entirely dependent upon OTHERS to do WORK for them. That's why they are rich: they have MONEY but no valuable skills.

  • 1:40 I agree! We NEED to destroy economies.

  • I take comfort in knowing that there are millions and billions of planets in the universe and life is likely on many of them. Even if we are wiped out, Life on another planet has a chance actually to develop in just the way we should have to live in harmony with our planet. Maybe Intelligence (accompanied by Greed, Sloth, Envy, Anger et al.) may not be the Goal of all Life after all.

  • Real wealth is living in a beautiful environment and enough to eat and maintaining meaningful relationships …..Money is not wealth!

  • From Ice House to Hot House in one lifetime.
    In the light of the overwhelming scientific understanding of the disruption and disaster looming around the world by the atmosphere heating up beyond the balance it had achieved in the last 10,000 years.
    I believe that by the 2070’s, regardless of global ‘war economy’ efforts to capture carbon or shade the Earth in space. We will be fortunate if we manage to have more than one billion humans remaining in scattered sustainable, communities on high ground and north or south of 30 degrees latitude.
    Fire, Flood, Famine, Storms, Surges, Heat, Hunger, Mania, Depression, Disease, Drought, Desperation, Aggression, War and Civil Collapse will kill people on a scale never seen before. That’s 10 billion death in 50 years folks – hold on to your hats!
    Compared to WWII – That’s 200 times the scale of death and suffering squeezed into 10 times the number of years. That’s an acceleration of death & destruction by a factor of 20, every year for half a century…
    I think most survivors will detach themselves from others suffering just to keep themselves sane.
    This is why we Rebel, the Extinction must be faced with honesty and humility. We fight for the right to call out the lies of incremental gradualism. Those days are over, there history, cons vibes to the dustbin of ignorance and innocence. We face the threat, we face those, the politicians, the media, the scientists who are either too corrupt, too afraid or simply in denial to the facts they all have and have understood the implications of for the last several decades. Pursuing the Lemming mentality of more speed (growth), more grass (GDP) , while every step, every mouthful bring them closer to the cliff edge free-falling to bloody carnage.
    We are the fossils of the future, maybe we’ll be fuel for another self-aware species in deep time…

  • That many countries (politicians) do not want to help save our planet to me is a crime against humanity. How about laws that they have to help? My son wants to have a bright future.?

  • Why does not anybody talk about why the US so aggressively pursue the dirty fuel agenda? It must be because they can't use green energy in their war machine, they need that oil. War is their greatest export. Since most everything we make from oil is now doable with other things, oil is so obsolete.

  • We are all now victims of this, the ultimate, crime against humanity

  • Carbon is only part of the problem. Humans destroying nature is another factor.

  • Ridding politics of corporate control is our only hope. Whilst big money pulls the strings we are certain to die and soon. Corporation exists to legitimise tax evasion and create institutional protection and profit of and for their own regardless of how many deaths or how many ecosystems are destroyed. White collar crime no worries. Environmental protestor Jail… We must rebalance our mis management, system of society. Corporates and other tax evasion syndicates must pay for their destruction so we can fix them. Corporations could be our great failure excusing them wrecking killing and polluting simply because Inc or Co is clear indication of political bias toward corporatations and the greasy corrupt failed lawyers club of politics World over…

  • Our hope is carbon capture? So hopeful! Don't know if that's going to stop all the other ways we are wrecking the pond.

    The human species has failed

  • Uh, no…. just no.

  • the we, we, we, paradigm is typically portrayed as us doing whatever.
    Fact of the matter is that most humans are too ignorant,
    ,, or cognitively impaired
    ,,,, and then, first then comes those with malignant greed (arguably a special form of cognitive impairment). The smallest segment of humanity.

  • Now it's been ten thousand years
    Man has cried a billion tears
    For what, he never knew, now man's reign is through
    But through eternal night, the twinkling of starlight
    So very far away, maybe it's only yesterday

  • convert five million acres of U.S. farmland to Regenerative Agriculture = absorb enough CO2 to counteract what the United States emits each year. One million converted so far.

  • The stories and messages are a bit the same all the time.
    But that does not matter.
    Keep spreading the word, keep warning, keep interviewing.

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