WP: Extreme Climate Change has Arrived in America

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SpitztheGreat

SpitztheGreat

Member
May 16, 2019
450
I know. I would become a vegetarian if I could (I'm not giving up cheese and milk though) but it's not possible right now. But people won't change, we have a culture where we think that everything is fine and we can do whatever we want, and that's a problem.

And something that makes this even worse is that there's nowhere to escape to. There's no habitable planets around us. We don't even have an "Oasis" (the virtual reality universe from Ready Player One). This is the world I'm growing up in and I hate it.
Rome wasn't built in a day and climate issues are gaining traction. We don't need everyone to stop tomorrow, but we do need a trend to begin, one that will grow over time. All you can do is worry about youself and maybe those closest to you, and spread the word. Don't avoid doing the right thing just because not all 300 million Americans aren't doing it right now. If you're waiting for everyone else to start first nothing will ever happen.

Also, vegetarians can eat dairy, you're thinking of vegans.
 

LegendofJoe

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,115
Arkansas, USA
Fighting climate change needs to be monetized now. And the easiest way to do that is to enact a global greenhouse gas tax. The best hope for that to happen is the Carbon Dividend and Energy Innovation Act. There is a ton of big money support lining up behind it. I believe it will be the law as soon as a DDD trifecta takes over in Washington.
 

Fularu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,112
Whenever I read those threads you always have the exact same « tips » about fighting climate change (the most common one beeing « go vegan » with the water use as the main culprit)

But I weirdly never see the most obvious, simple one that is fought tooth and nails by the whole political spectrum

Reduce your water consumption. Americans use upwards of 300l (between 80 and 100 gal) of water per day per person.

The norm should be less than 50l (15 gal) per day per person.

You will have a direct, controllable and efficient effect

But that will mean changing how you use water, your showers, your baths, your green lawn and so on
 
Dec 4, 2017
1,016
Simply switching to non-ruminant meat and reducing milk/cheese consumption would massively decrease emissions, since the vast amount of GHG emissions is by far from ruminant farming.

Of course, this is somewhat of a non-starter in some cases, due to cultural/religious restrictions.
 

dabig2

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,964
Last winter in North NJ was over 6 months! There seems be an opposite effect here.
I'm curious on the water impact in regards to the Rockies. I only say that because this winter/spring and even into this summer we've had so much rain that all of our reservoirs are like 500% of normal levels.
Pretty digestible crib notes at the link here:
Storms and floods
As more evaporation leads to more moisture in the atmosphere, rainfall intensifies. For example, we now know that the rainfall from Hurricane Harvey was 15 percent more intense and three times as likely to occur due to human-induced climate change.

We expect to see a higher frequency of Category 4 and 5 storms, also, as temperatures continue to rise.
While scientists aren't certain about whether climate change has led to more hurricanes, they are confident that rising sea levels are leading to higher storm surges and more floods.

Most of the current sea-level rise comes from the expansion of warming oceans, triggered by human-caused global warming. (Like all liquids, water generally expands as it heats up.) The rest of the rise comes from melting glaciers and ice sheets.
Snow and frigid weather

It may seem counterintuitive, but the increase in snowfall during winter storms may be linked to climate change.

Remember – a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture. So when the temperatures are below freezing, snowfall can break records.

And scientists are studying a possible connection between a warming Arctic and cold winters in the eastern United States. The idea is that melting sea ice in the Arctic can weaken the jet stream, allowing frigid polar air to travel farther south.

Also pretty easy read:
When we talk about extreme weather — something the vast majority of experts say we should expect more of in the coming years — most people assume the greatest danger will be in the form of something new: record-breaking hurricane winds, off-the-charts heat waves, or regionally shifting conditions. But as Barry proved, one of the most insidious effects of climate change might be something with which most places are already somewhat familiar: rain.


The last 12 months have been the wettest in U.S. history. Spring flooding drowned huge swaths of the Midwest this year, wrecking communities and essentially turning farms into inland seas. Floodwaters overwhelmed levees in the nation’s heartland, drenching towns and causing billions of dollars in infrastructure and crop damage. During May, a stormy pattern boosted the national monthly precipitation average to the second-highest level on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The seemingly endless rain proved to be a chaotic maelstrom for farmers: Farmers were able to plant only 58 percent of the corn crop (compared to 90 percent at the same time last year), and soy planting this May was forced behind schedule by over 30 percent.
More than 70 percent of the planet’s surface is water, and as the world warms, more water evaporates from oceans, lakes, and soils. As average temperatures rise, air acts like a sponge that can hold on to more moisture. For every 1 degree Celsius (or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming, the air can hold 7 percent more water. That moisture then falls as extreme rain. Additionally, climate change makes storms migrate at a lazier pace, enabling them to drop far more rain on a given region, leading to an increased risk of devastating floods. In these ways, climate change forms an ideal brew for perfect thunderstorms.

Take Hurricane Harvey, for example. When the storm approached the Texas coast almost two years ago, it was clear it would be one for the ages. It dumped more than 30 inches of rain on 6.9 million people, while 1.25 million experienced over 45 inches and 11,000 had over 50 inches. The result was catastrophic flooding in the city and surrounding area that caused an estimated $128 billion in damage and killed 89 people. Four attribution studies have found that human-caused global warming likely made Harvey’s rains heavier.

“Harvey was the most significant rainfall event in United States history in scope and rainfall totals since rainfall records began during the 1880s,” U.S. Geological Survey scientists wrote in a study last year.
The next couple decades here are going to massively suck. Heat waves, droughts, torrential rains, storms, winter storms, etc. will all be happening. Way too many people, especially those in power, think of climate change as some singular consequence. Temperature goes up and heat is bad. What's happening is so so so so so much worse.

The entire balance of the biosphere, with which our species and so many others have grown up in, is being destroyed with the quickness.
 

Ensorcell

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,290
People are not going to change until it affects their daily lives but by then it'll be too late. Heck it probably is already too late.
 

LegendofJoe

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,115
Arkansas, USA
Whenever I read those threads you always have the exact same « tips » about fighting climate change (the most common one beeing « go vegan » with the water use as the main culprit)

But I weirdly never see the most obvious, simple one that is fought tooth and nails by the whole political spectrum

Reduce your water consumption. Americans use upwards of 300l (between 80 and 100 gal) of water per day per person.

The norm should be less than 50l (15 gal) per day per person.

You will have a direct, controllable and efficient effect

But that will mean changing how you use water, your showers, your baths, your green lawn and so on
Yep, if you don't work outside you need to stop showering daily. It isn't necessary, it's bad for your skin and immune system, and it's bad from a resource conservation standpoint. It isn't a defensible habit at all.
 
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SpitztheGreat

SpitztheGreat

Member
May 16, 2019
450
Whenever I read those threads you always have the exact same « tips » about fighting climate change (the most common one beeing « go vegan » with the water use as the main culprit)

But I weirdly never see the most obvious, simple one that is fought tooth and nails by the whole political spectrum

Reduce your water consumption. Americans use upwards of 300l (between 80 and 100 gal) of water per day per person.

The norm should be less than 50l (15 gal) per day per person.

You will have a direct, controllable and efficient effect

But that will mean changing how you use water, your showers, your baths, your green lawn and so on
Water consumption is an important environmental issue and I'm not sure anyone here would argue otherwise.
 
Feb 5, 2019
102
Whenever I read those threads you always have the exact same « tips » about fighting climate change (the most common one beeing « go vegan » with the water use as the main culprit)

But I weirdly never see the most obvious, simple one that is fought tooth and nails by the whole political spectrum

Reduce your water consumption. Americans use upwards of 300l (between 80 and 100 gal) of water per day per person.

The norm should be less than 50l (15 gal) per day per person.

You will have a direct, controllable and efficient effect

But that will mean changing how you use water, your showers, your baths, your green lawn and so on
Jeez that's nuts. Who the hell uses that much water a day?
 

Zyrokai

Member
Nov 1, 2017
1,097
I predict there will be a water pipeline from lake Superior to the southwest within my lifetime.

Instead of addressing the root causes of the issue we will slap Band-Aids on the symptoms.
Not if the Great Lakes states have something to say about it. They'll want them to move there.

I look forward to the future glory of today's rust belt. And I'm not really kidding. If not for AC, humans would hardly be living in the SW deserts of North America.
 
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SpitztheGreat

SpitztheGreat

Member
May 16, 2019
450
Not if the Great Lakes states have something to say about it. They'll want them to move there.

I look forward to the future glory of today's rust belt. And I'm not really kidding. If not for AC, humans would hardly be living in the SW deserts of North America.
My wife and I have talked about moving to avoid the winters. But even basic research into the long-term climate forecast is clear: staying up north is a solid place to be. The Southeast and Southwest are going to be no-mans land in the next 20 years.
 

smisk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
942
This is such a fantastic article. I think it's really for people to see exactly how climate change is affecting their neighboorhoods, and within many people's lifetimes even. The bit about beach erosion in Rhode Island was sobering.
 

ZOONAMI

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,389
Not if the Great Lakes states have something to say about it. They'll want them to move there.

I look forward to the future glory of today's rust belt. And I'm not really kidding. If not for AC, humans would hardly be living in the SW deserts of North America.
This is true. Perhaps one day Duluth really will be the next Chicago.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,001
Instead of the usual "welp" "we deserve it" "can't wait" "snowball.gif" "this is fine.jpeg" defeatist ERA nihilism, here's what you can do locally on a micro level that can scale up through your community and make a difference:

-cut red meat consumption (this is healthier as well), or even go vegan
-reduce consumption of processed foods and meats
-recycle and reuse more, try to eliminate petroleum based products or anything that's one-time use
-drive electric/plug-in hybrid or take public transport if possible
-don't fly on jet airliners unless necessary
-go solar, sell your excess kwh back to the grid or go off the grid
-buy used or refurbished gadgets and devices instead of new ones
-go paperless for all your accounting or office work
-lobby your local representatives, get active in Sierra Club or other organizations
All of these. Also, go fully digital on games and other media and try to buy local products. And don't have children if you want to make the biggest impact.
 

real2

Member
Jan 31, 2019
78
It's amazing to me that there are climate deniers. The fact that it's getting fucking hotter every single year should be proof enough. It pisses me off to no end that people that generally vote Republican say science is fake. Just because you're too fucking stupid to understand the intricacies doesn't mean it's fake. But I guess pissing off the liberals is more important.

/rollseyes
 

bombermouse

Member
Oct 25, 2017
169
Instead of the usual "welp" "we deserve it" "can't wait" "snowball.gif" "this is fine.jpeg" defeatist ERA nihilism, here's what you can do locally on a micro level that can scale up through your community and make a difference:

-cut red meat consumption (this is healthier as well), or even go vegan
-reduce consumption of processed foods and meats
-recycle and reuse more, try to eliminate petroleum based products or anything that's one-time use
-drive electric/plug-in hybrid or take public transport if possible
-don't fly on jet airliners unless necessary
-go solar, sell your excess kwh back to the grid or go off the grid
-buy used or refurbished gadgets and devices instead of new ones
-go paperless for all your accounting or office work
-lobby your local representatives, get active in Sierra Club or other organizations
While a good post some of these are on a whole different ballpark, people should focus on three points:

- Avoid taking airplanes. This can't be stated enough. A transatlantic flight can emit as much Co2 as a single person in a year.
- Reduce red meat/red meat subproducts. Eating poultry and dropping red meat/milk/etc can be even better than veggies who consume milk.
- Delay having kids/have fewer kids.
 

Octodad

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,269
It adds up quickly, most people aren't even conscious of how much water they're using. They sing an extra song in the shower, read an extra page of Era while on the toilet, use more water than they need when boiling pasta, and all of a sudden you're way over where you should be.
How does sitting on the toilet longer use up more water?
 

Haubergeon

Member
Jan 22, 2019
543
It's amazing to me that there are climate deniers. The fact that it's getting fucking hotter every single year should be proof enough. It pisses me off to no end that people that generally vote Republican say science is fake. Just because you're too fucking stupid to understand the intricacies doesn't mean it's fake. But I guess pissing off the liberals is more important.

/rollseyes
Almost no one truly denies its existence at this point, honestly. Even the vast majority of those who claim they don't think it's real/real to the extent that it actually is, don't actually really believe that - they just have a direct financial incentive in delaying the response until its far too late, which is what we're already well on our way to. It's not a question of intelligence or people being too dumb to understand it. The problem is capitalism.

This problem is so large, it demands a response on a massive, global scale, too, which is part of why "6 helpful tips to fight global warming!" doesn't get us very far. I mean, by all means, people should reduce their meat consumption (I've almost completely cut all red meat out of my diet, among other things, which is a great help) but this problem isn't getting solved by individual action, it can only be solved by collective action.

Which is part of why I feel slightly hopeless about it at this point - obviously conservatives have no interest in solving it - but liberal capitalists will not save us either.
 

demosthenes

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,450
This year was really good for water levels across the country. The snowpack in the Rockies was excellent, and the ice/water levels of the great lakes reversed a 30-year trend in declines.

But the key word here is "trends". The trends are undeniable that snowpacks in the Rockies are getting thinner and less consistent year-to-year at the same time that demands on water systems are increasing. While it was great that the Rockies did so well this year, over the last 20 years they haven't been doing well. The same for the Great Lakes, water levels have been declining for 20-30 years in most/all of the lakes, and this corresponds with declines in ice coverage in the winters. As the climate has warmed there is less ice on the lakes, and less ice means less reflection of the sun in winter months, this results in more evaporation.

As I posted earlier, this map shows the forecast for stress on our water aqueducts through 2040. It isn't good.
Receipts on great lakes info? I've just been hearing about Ontario screening up New York coast lines for the last 5 years.

Edit: after some quick googling. Found an article that was debating the low level in 2013 and why it was lower but 2014 onwards hve seen very high levels with new records this year.
 

bombermouse

Member
Oct 25, 2017
169
Whenever I read those threads you always have the exact same « tips » about fighting climate change (the most common one beeing « go vegan » with the water use as the main culprit)

But I weirdly never see the most obvious, simple one that is fought tooth and nails by the whole political spectrum

Reduce your water consumption. Americans use upwards of 300l (between 80 and 100 gal) of water per day per person.

The norm should be less than 50l (15 gal) per day per person.

You will have a direct, controllable and efficient effect

But that will mean changing how you use water, your showers, your baths, your green lawn and so on
Sure, but a single pound of beef requires 8000l of water. Take shorter showers, but that's insignificant next to water required to produce beef.
 

WhySoDevious

Member
Oct 31, 2017
2,369
I wonder if affecting America will motivate any change.

Nah all the rich fuckers will just move somewhere nicer.
Imagine any natural disaster caused by climate change.

Imagine how much money the government (aka taxpayers) will spend in cleaning, relief, etc.

Who's gonna get those contracts? The companies that are lining the pockets of elected officials.

So why fight climate change when there is money to be made in the aftermath.
 

Geist 6one7

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,463
MASS
It's amazing to me that there are climate deniers. The fact that it's getting fucking hotter every single year should be proof enough. It pisses me off to no end that people that generally vote Republican say science is fake. Just because you're too fucking stupid to understand the intricacies doesn't mean it's fake. But I guess pissing off the liberals is more important.

/rollseyes
What do all those scientists know about science anyways?
 

ZOONAMI

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,389

muteKi

Member
Oct 22, 2018
7,799
a sunken pirate ship
How exactly is it NJ and RI warming the fastest? Why just those 2 in particular?
Atlantic currents mainly. Climate change is vastly going to (already is, really) changing this. Those have a huge impact in moderating temperature.
Changes in the temperature of these currents is actually part of what's causing the ridiculous cold fronts that are happening in the central US, IIRC -- it's been close to a decade since I took a class on this stuff, so I forget the specific ways the feedback happens.
 

Fularu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,112
Sure, but a single pound of beef requires 8000l of water. Take shorter showers, but that's insignificant next to water required to produce beef.
That’s over the lifetime of said beef

It takes 25 days for a human to consume as much water with no added value to society.

You also have more humans than cows in the US.
 
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SpitztheGreat

SpitztheGreat

Member
May 16, 2019
450
Receipts on great lakes info? I've just been hearing about Ontario screening up New York coast lines for the last 5 years.

Edit: after some quick googling. Found an article that was debating the low level in 2013 and why it was lower but 2014 onwards hve seen very high levels with new records this year.
While the last couple of years have been good for the Lakes, trends still point to a very fragile ecosystem and declines in water levels over the long term.


This link shows the year-to-year max ice coverage for the Lakes as a whole system. Fluctuations year-to-year are expected, but you can see that from 1998 to 2013 ice coverage had some really bad years. Those bad years result in a lot of evaporation that helped take water levels down to historic lows for much of the decade. This doesn't get reversed quickly.


This won't be too helpful for a forum discussion, but this book is excellent. While it does focus a lot on the ecological systems of the Lakes, there is discussion about water levels and their historic lows for most of the Aughts.


This is a little out of date, but discusses the low levels over a 16 year period. Since that time water levels have rebounded, and this year was absolutely insane in how much they came roaring back.

I think the key here though is that for most of the last 30 years water levels for the Great Lakes have struggled to maintain their historic average. The last couple of years were great for the health of the Lakes (though not so much for those living near them) and show how fragile the ecological system can be, but that doesn't make me less concerned about the long-term forecast for the Lakes. It was't like 1998-2013 saw just below average levels, they saw historic lows. As someone who spends time on the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence, it was clear as day during that time that water levels weren't doing well. One of the mistakes that we've made in the past regarding Climate Change is experiencing some sort of hardship and when relief comes we think that it's permanent when really it's just temporary.
 

bombermouse

Member
Oct 25, 2017
169
That’s over the lifetime of said beef

It takes 25 days for a human to consume as much water with no added value to society.

You also have more humans than cows in the US.
What? A human is going to consume that pound of beef in a few days. ie, not eating a pound of beef is the equivalent of one full month of showering/flushing/etc.
 

RoKKeR

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,486
I’m from the West and am really fearful for the future. There is so much beautiful nature and critical resources that are threatened by climate change.

Last year was a huge snow year which has such positive impacts across the board, but I worry when we have a string of bad winters consecutively combined with the increasing summer heat.
 

CerealKi11a

Member
May 3, 2018
368
When things get desperate enough that this has to happen, there won’t be much Canada can do to stop it. They might write an angry letter, but that’s about it.
The combined population of states bordering the Great Lakes is 65+MM. I find it hard to believe that water is going anywhere tbh, especially with the pull these states have and the international factor. Canada’s largest city and capital are along the Great Lakes watershed.
 

Wonderment

Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
9,531
Notice on the temp map the states that don't have appreciable temperature changes...they sure get the flooding though.
 

UltimusXI

Member
Oct 27, 2017
183
In addition to the tips already mentioned, to me the easiest change was to just drink nothing but tap water all day. Well to be fair, i drink one glass of soy milk and two cups of tea each day and besides that just pure unflavored unfiltered tap water.

The amount of resources, packaging, store space and transportation that flavored drinks cost just isn't worth the taste for me. Food can give me flavor. Plus it's healthier too.

Also, happy to read the positive responses here for a change, people starting to take action, thanks a lot all and good luck! 👍