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We already pumped, 50 times faster than in any paleo-record we know of, enough CO2 to replace everything that Mother Nature sequestered in the past 3 or more thousand millennia... in 150 years. That's a step function change in a complex system. There is nothing we can look at to tell us what happens next... the models give us some idea but it isn't a good look. The temperature is rising some 20 times faster than any time in the climate record. We DO NOT know how things like the WAIS will respond.


I appreciate your sincerity in advocating on this issue - but do you really believe that the above is true? I've typically gotten the impression that you are quite convinced that the results of climate change will destroy human civilization, if not human life altogether, in the absence of very dramatic and immediate changes to emissions behavior.

That's somewhat inconsistent with the notion that we have an imperfect ability to predict the consequences of rapid emissions. We can clearly predict that the future will be hotter, and that this will affect the climate - and even that many of the effects will be negative for mankind. But the degree of those negative impacts (net of positive impacts) is difficult to predict. This is especially the case when trying to project the impact of physical changes to the environment (say, increasing annual precipitation in the U.S.) to human society - or our own responses to them.

Do you believe that we can predict, with any degree of certainty, that failure to act to control emissions will result in calamitous - rather than simply negative - impacts on human civilization?

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