Carnegie Inst.’s Caldeira: Fracking ‘helping to inexorably transform the planet into a place more and more challenging for people to live in’ — Example, please?

Climate Central sweats:

As fracking catapults the United States to the top of the list of the world’s largest crude oil and natural gas producers, climate scientists worry that the nation’s booming fossil fuels production is growing too quickly with too little concern about its impact on climate change, possibly endangering America’s efforts to curb global greenhouse gas emissions…

Ken Caldeira, a climate scientist and researcher at the Carnegie Institution for Science and a professor at Stanford University, said the rapid expansion of the U.S. energy industry is helping to inexorably transform the planet into a place more and more challenging for people to live in.

“Expanding our fossil fuel infrastructure is more-or-less saying that we don’t give a damn about future generations,” he said Wednesday, the same day the journal Nature published a study showing that human greenhouse gas emissions are transforming the planet so rapidly that 5 billion people currently live in places where the climate will exceed historical bounds of temperature variability by 2050 if emissions continue unabated.

Caldeira said that if current trends in greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption continue, the climate will change into something that hasn’t existed on Earth since the dinosaurs were alive more than 100 million years ago.

“We can pretend that this is OK to do,” Caldeira said. “But realize that if the founding fathers of our country had been in our position and made the same choices we are making, today the oceans would be acidified, the ice caps would be melting, the seas would be rising, heat in many places would be unbearable, many ecosystems would be gone, and the extractible fossil fuel supply would be exhausted. What would we think of them if they had done that to us?”

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5 responses to “Carnegie Inst.’s Caldeira: Fracking ‘helping to inexorably transform the planet into a place more and more challenging for people to live in’ — Example, please?

  1. Think how screwed we’d be if the dinosaurs had invented the gas cumbustion engine…I’m guessing Dr. Caldeira hasn’t spent a lot of time studying the challenges of village life in Nuristan province, Afghanistan, CO2 level be damned.

  2. We have a whole new tipping point: climate exceeding historical bounds of temperature variability. And the expected range for all life to survive happened between 1860 and 2005. I’m guessing Dr. Caldeira would like for us peasants to emulate the village life of Nuristan province.

  3. And this nutcase is allowed in a classroom unsupervised?

  4. Yes, it is “Challenging” to live with cheaper energy while the cacophony pf the “Watermelons” increases.

  5. Every epoch of human history has been stressful and challening. Our more recent challenges have been how to bring those with the least into opportunities, how to use our more-educated populations effectively, and how to use some of our resources to mitigate real environmental issues. This is much better than fighting the plague, famine, and invaders. Those problems aren’t gone but they are far less important than they once were. Cheap energy is one reason they are far less important.
    I’ll take our modern stresses and challenges over those any previous generation.

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