0033 - Climate Change, Narcissists, and Doomspeakers
MAKO: Warning. This show contains adult themes and language including fucks we are still trying to give.
SQEAKY: Dysevidentia is an inability to reliably process evidence and this is a podcast all about it.
MAKO: This episode was released on May 2nd, 2022 because it is clear millions of climate change deniers are suffering from it.
SQEAKY: I am Sqeaky.
MAKO: And I am Mako.
SQEAKY: We discuss logic and evidence because our hope hasn’t been crushed quite yet.
MAKO: You can support us by becoming a Patron at patreon.com/dysevidentia. If you donated all of your money to climate change lobbying, you can like, subscribe, and leave a review to help us out.
SQEAKY: If you have a paper you have written or a small business to plug, let us know.
MAKO: Today we are going to discuss climate change and the myths around it.
SQEAKY: Bark bark! Shasta is upstairs barking at-
MAKO: Bork bork bork.
SQEAKY: Bark bark!
SQEAKY: It’s been two weeks since our last episode.
SQEAKY: Again, we’re pretty light on corrections. We did miss something.
SQEAKY: One of our listeners pointed out another fallacy. I don’t think we could have possibly gotten all of the Shroud of Turin fallacies.
MAKO: No, no, that’s… Honestly I think that wouldn’t necessarily be worth trying to hunt down every conceivable fallacy, there’s so many.
SQEAKY: Yeah that’s a topic for like a whole podcast. Not one episode but like a whole podcast.
SQEAKY: Yeah. Well, we did miss the category of just ‘Bad dating’. In our Discord, this person pointed out a new scientific study that showed that the Shroud was actually from the time of Christ’s death. Clearly this was bullshit, and it linked to a thing that linked to a thing that eventually led to a paper in a not peer-reviewed journal. So I’ll go ahead and link to that, I’ll label it “BULLSHIT SOURCE” but it all boils down to some fools trying to use X-rays to date a thing and I went to a bunch of sources that describe the Xray techniques they were using. Not used for dating.
BULLSHIT SOURCE [1:48] Dating the shroud with Xray bullshit - https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/cwn/2022/april/new-scientific-procedure-dates-shroud-of-turin-to-the-time-of-christs-death
SQEAKY: Yeah, I had a whole big ole rant about it in Discord. I mean if people are interested we can… Sign up for our Discord!
MAKO: Yeah. Join our Discord, but yeah.
SQEAKY: Yeah, whatever. There’s no money there. Chat with people who also care about evidence. And we disagree a lot actually, and I’ve been proven wrong many times. So if you want to hear me without editing…
MAKO: That’s not for the faint of heart.
SQEAKY: I’m gonna edit out me being offended by that.
SQEAKY: Uh one thing that somebody emailed us, this is a new listener, I hadn’t spoke to them before so I’m not sure how spammy this is, but they sent me a link to companies that aren’t just boycotting Russia, but companies that are choosing to stay in Russia. Some of them are interesting like uh, Cloudflare is staying in Russia because they’re helping facilitating getting good information to the Russian people or so that’s their excuse. Another company, Pirelli, they just make high-performance tires. They’re just choosing to stay in Russia ‘cause fuck Ukraine I guess. But there’s a list of, I don’t know, hundreds of companies that are pulling out of Russia and being not horrible.
SOURCE [2:38] Updating list of countries leaving and staying in Russia, likely spam - https://www.websiteplanet.com/blog/companies-boycotting-russia/
SQEAKY: So that’s good but uh, I’ll put the link to this in the show notes. And the list has been updated several times and it looks like they’ll be keeping that up to date so it’s just good to have a resource if you want to use that to influence your shopping decisions or anything like that. And if you want tires that definitely aren’t made in Russia, you can buy Bridgestone. They’ve entirely pulled out so fuck Pirelli.
SQEAKY: For the giveaway for uh, helping to spread the podcast, we’ve got four winners picked out. I’ve already emailed them but if anybody Perzerk, Perosca, SMR, or Florian, you’re our four winners. I’ll be mailing you flash drives and Vladamir Putin buttplugs.
MAKO: In Ukrainian colors!
SQEAKY: Yup. I got it to print in two parts so it will be yellow and blue. It’ll look uh… It’ll look like it looks.
MAKO: Yeah there really isn’t a good way to- I mean like Putin I guess? But, yeah. There’s not really a good way to describe it, it’s special.
SQEAKY: And again, these aren’t actually buttplugs, they’re 3D printed, do not shove them into your body in any way or whatever, they’re not sanitary for that.
MAKO: They’re not shaped for it either, you will cause damage.
SQEAKY: I mean some people can really fuckin’ stretch man. Fisting is a thing.
MAKO: Sure, but a human fist has contours. Like can you imagine if somebody tried to fist somebody else with a not quite entirely closed fist and had long nails?
SQEAKY: Been there, done that.
MAKO: X to doubt.
SQEAKY: No, look! The Putin’s head is smaller than my fist.
SQEAKY: I mean granted when you’re fisting you make a motion- I’m making the- nevermind.
MAKO: You make your fingers into a little cone and you just get it in there.
SQEAKY: This is one of those moments where I wish I had a camera. I’m comparing a little finger cone you make when fisting to Vladamir Putin’s nose.
MAKO: That’s- okay. Nose first, clearly the nose isn’t gonna be much of a problem. But yeah, if you’re going crown first, the nose is gonna be a problem.
SQEAKY: I mean, not on the way in.
MAKO: And especially the way you have it mounted on the base, it kinda has to be crown first.
SQEAKY: Okay. I’m gonna link to something for the Vladamir Putin buttplug. I’ve got a thing up on thangs.com where you can download it if you want to print it yourself. And I’ll see if I can link to something else. I just- this is too visual of a medium for a podcast.
SOURCE [4:55] Vladimir Putin Buttplug 3d model - https://thangs.com/designer/Sqeaky/3d-model/putin%20buttplug-57043?manualModelView=true
MAKO: It’ll be covered in the YouTube video I’m sure.
SQEAKY: Oh we’re going to have instructions on use?
MAKO: No, I think people are smart enough, they can put it together themselves, they just need the smallest amount of visual aids. Not those AIDS!
SQEAKY: There are lots of ways to connect with us that don’t involve buttplugs like our Patreon, patreon.com/dysevidentia.
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MAKO: We have a subreddit, r/dysevidentia.
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SQEAKY: You can tweet at us, @dysevidentia.
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MAKO: We have a Discord and a YouTube channel. Links are in the show notes.
CONTACT [5:31] Dysevidentia on Discord - https://discord.gg/EZtcgdsCDA
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SQEAKY: You can email us, email@example.com.
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MAKO: We do not have a Facebook though, because fuck Mark Zuckerberg.
SQEAKY: I’m being non-specific. Maybe Republicans are listening.
MAKO: Sure. Maybe our podcast are being distributed by Republicans to trigger other Republicans because they like triggering people.
[5:55] MAIN DISCUSSION - 1- DENIAL, NARCISSIST PRAYER
SQEAKY: We’ve had several listeners in our Discord wanting us to do climate change for a while and it’s just such a big topic that we’re gonna have to break it up.
SQEAKY: This time we’ve sort of just gathered myths.
MAKO: Yeah, this is one of those topics where you could have an entire podcast devoted to it so… the full depth of the topic we’re really just going to be scratchy the surface here but it’s a start.
SQEAKY: I agree. Climate change is such a big topic that there are like college degrees dedicated to it.
SQEAKY: There are people who don’t just dedicate a podcast, they dedicate like their whole careers, their whole live’s work dedicated to fixing it. Part of why we decided to make one episode now was uh, I saw a recent Kurzegesagt video, there are some science communicators on YouTube. Every time I think they’ve got something wrong I go and check their sources and I’ve learned a thing.
SQEAKY: They talk about not giving up, not giving in to hopelessness, and they compare the current climate change denial trend to the Narcissist Prayer and it really is the ideal example in modern times of the Narcissist Prayer in action.
SOURCE [6:48] Kurzegesagt on hopelessness about climate change - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxgMdjyw8uw
MAKO: Yeah, depending on who you talk to, yeah.
SQEAKY: Who would disagree except conservatives.
MAKO: I guess- Okay so, more thinking there’s a whole lot of people that are still on like the first stage of Narcissist Prayer and they haven’t really advanced past it at all, but yeah there’s a bunch of other people that have gone through most if not all of the stages of the Narcissist Prayer- ugh, the Narcissist’s Prayer in regards to climate change.
SQEAKY: I guess I should read off the Narcissist’s Prayer.
SOURCE [7:16] The Narcissist’s Prayer - https://www.thelifedoctor.org/the-narcissist-s-prayer
SQEAKY: It’s really simple and starts with “That didn’t happen, and if it did it wasn’t that bad. And if it was, that’s not a big deal. And if it is, that’s not my fault. And if it was, I didn’t mean it. And if I did, you deserved it.”
SQEAKY: What is that like the seven- One, two, three, four, five, six. Six stages of reverse denial?
SQEAKY: And when you say people are still stuck in the first stage they’re still stuck denying that climate change even exists.
SQEAKY: So there’s unlimited examples here, but I’ve got Pete Ricketts, the Governor of Nebraska. I mean, this podcast is hosted in Nebraska but Pete Ricketts is still denying climate change to this day as far as I can tell. I guess he just thinks it won’t affect us at all even though we’ve had, I don’t know, different amounts of tornadoes. We’ve had winters where there was no snow, things like that.
SOURCE [7:47] Pete Rickets is a modern climate change denier - https://www.huffpost.com/entry/pete-ricketts-nebraska-30x30-american-stewards_n_6261dcd5e4b0ea625c04f0fa
MAKO: Yeah, we’ve definitely had disruptions to compare to what I am accustomed to. This last half a decade, decade, definitely has had a lot of weather that is different from what I remember it being as a child. And that’s not necessarily proof of climate change but…
SQEAKY: It’s something, it’s one piece of evidence.
SQEAKY: But we have really good evidence- and I saw it in the show notes, we’ll get to real good evidence, let’s just get more examples of the real parts here. I’ll link to a to a Huffington Post article. Pete Ricketts is part of a contingent of Republicans right now that are trying to lie about more liberal policies. They’re trying to do anything they can to discredit any attempt to help the environment. I don’t think it’s because they hate the environment, it’s because they’ve been paid by people who want to extract natural gas and uh, other fossil fuels.
MAKO: Yeah. They care about their cash flow.
SQEAKY: Yeah. So, they’re at a minimum putting on a good show for their… I don’t know, their customers. Their constituents, not the people of Nebraska, the people giving them money. Uh, they’re trying to do things like claim that Biden’s 30 by 30 plan, which is a plan to make thirty percent of the country reserved for natural growing space. They’re trying to claim it’s a land-stealing plan when really it’s like, hey let’s make sure that the natural parks, uh let’s make sure that the wild life reserves, that they’re well taken care of, that they’re not going to be turned into coal mines or something. And if we look into this at all, we can see that groups like the Koch Brothers who are big oil investors, have given money to Pete Ricketts and other groups in this vein. So this isn’t some conspiracy theory, this is publicly documented.
SOURCE [9:01] Pete Ricketts, for example, has accepted more than $700,000 from "Energy & Natural Resources" including $65 from Koch - https://www.followthemoney.org/entity-details?eid=5723939
SQEAKY: This isn’t ridiculous. Okay, another example. Uh, this is a little less recent, but still this decade, or the past decade, the past ten years. Senator Jim Inhofe tried to deny that climate change exists because he had a snowball and brought it onto the Senate floor.
SOURCE [9:49] Sen Jim Inhofe confused a snowball with evidence that winter could be 1 degree warmer - https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sen-jim-inhofe-climate-change-is-not-real-because-here-is-a-snowball/
MAKO: Wow that’s some really solid proof you got there.
SQEAKY: So this school of “It didn’t happen”, most people are smart enough to realize that this is just ridiculous. It’s just moot, asinine, and it’s just childish.
MAKO: Yeah what does having a snowball even prove? Of course snowballs exist.
SQEAKY: Yeah. And a lot of people think that climate change means that it will be burning all the time or something. But if the temperature raises on average one or two degrees and it got down to twenty below where you’re at, it’s going to be eighteen below instead or whatever temperature it was unless two degrees up removes all of our freezing and even then it’s not what scientists are saying, it’s a worldwide average, some places will actually get colder.
SQEAKY: Most places will get warmer.
SQEAKY: Anyway, I’ll link to CBS News for that and The Life Doctor for the Narcissist’s Prayer, just for examples of people still stuck at this first stage.
MAKO: And so the next stage.
SQEAKY: That didn’t happen, and if it did it wasn’t that bad.This is just any attempt downplaying that it exists. Conservatives will frequently say things like “Ah it’s one degree it’s not a big deal” or “Oh it’s not actually one degree it’s going to be a tenth of a degree” and there’s various ways to downplay it.
SQEAKY: But they’re all of the form of ‘Let’s downplay it so we don’t have to deal with it.’ So let’s say it does exist, if it’s not a big deal then we don’t have to change what we’re doing and right now what we’re doing is really good for people making a lot of money doing what we’re doing. People selling oil, people selling coal, people selling natural gas. They’re doing good right now. So, I’ve got a Media Matters link and it’s uh… ten different clips that just show how various people play this down. It ranges from people trying to discredit the notion of climate change by calling it socialism which-
SOURCE [11:19] Fox and other news outlets often claim it is fake or downplay it - https://www.mediamatters.org/sean-hannity/11-dumbest-things-conservative-media-said-about-climate-change-2014
SQEAKY: Well they say stuff like ‘Climate change is just socialism rebranded, it’s not real’ or ‘it’s not a big deal’ or they’ll say that there is ice so climate change can’t be that serious. It’s the same thing as what Senator Inhofe was saying except instead of saying we have ice therefore climate change doesn’t exist, to we have ice therefore climate change isn’t a big deal.
MAKO: It just- Well it’s the connection between climate change and socialism. It’s… I get the connection is from their perspective, climate change and socialism is frequently coming from the same group of people, but beyond that the statement is nonsensical.
SQEAKY: Yup. It’s a- I’m pretty sure it’s a tribalism thing. It’s not about actually making sense or being logical. If you can- If you and other people are on the same team, you’ll all agree that the bad thing is socialism and that’s one way to identify who’s in the group and not in the group.
MAKO: Kinda like asking people who won the 2020 election.
SQEAKY: Yeah, exactly. And I’ll go ahead and link to a Five Thirty Eight discussion on exactly that, where there are a lot of polls showing that when asked, people understand who won the election when you ask questions like how many votes did each person get, who is the current President, they’ll provide correct answers, but when you ask who won the election…
MAKO: They’ll say Trump did.
SQEAKY: Yeah, based on party affiliation, which group they want to appear that they are in.
MAKO: Yep, just another loyalty test phrase.
SQEAKY: Alright, on the topic of statistics.
SQEAKY: Sometimes, the people trying to downplay climate change try to use polling data and historically climate change polls very low when people are asked to rank what they care about politically. Almost always, people care about the economy or jobs most.
MAKO: Well it’s because of like how near future a lot of these problems are and there are a lot of problems that are nearer future than climate change.
MAKO: I don’t want to downplay it like anybody that has to deal with insulin, yeah you’re probably not going to be ranking climate change very high.
SQEAKY: Yeah! If you have diabetes and you need insulin this month or you die, what the climate is doing in 2050 just doesn’t matter because you’ll be too dead to care.
MAKO: Yeah. But that said, 2050 is coming, some of us are still gonna be care, people need to care.
SQEAKY: Climate change for the past twenty or thirty years has been in the polls in terms of issues people have cared about, and it’s always been fairly low down, but if you think about it, other issues have come and gone off the polls. Things like gay marriage is now legal and that used to be contentious or even entirely opposed by the American populous thing. Climate change is sticking around because it is important people who do expect to live into the future or who have kids who will live in the future eventually start caring. And even then, the whole notion of ‘This is unpopular therefore it doesn’t matter’, ‘This is unpopular therefore it isn’t real’...
MAKO: Yeah that doesn’t really track when you’re looking at the objective problems you are kicking down the road by ignoring climate change.
SQEAKY: Yeah there’s like a latin name for this with the argument Ad populum, but it’s super common for people to try and say everyone says blah, therefore blah. Like no, it doesn’t matter if everyone says a thing, what actually is true or isn’t. Do we have the evidence? Why do people say that? And that’s what- We skipped past that little bit of logic to go to why people are saying that climate change doesn’t matter to them. Right if I have to get to work and I have to put fossil fuels in my car to do that, I’m just gonna care less about climate change than paying my bills because being… being housed and fed now is better than –from my perspective– is better than living in a world without climate change but me being starving and homeless. Just, we have to take care of our short-term concerns and we just skipped right to that.
SOURCE [14:24] Argument Ad Populum - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum
SQEAKY: Okay, the third part of the Narcissist’s Prayer.
MAKO: And if it was, it’s not a big deal. It’s another form of downplaying.
SQEAKY: Yeah. Not all arguments come from just big media outlets. I mentioned Fox News and we have a lot of Fox News and even a little bit of CBS and other stuff from the Media Matters link but I went trolling around in the conspiracy theory subreddits and try to get a general feel for how people talk about climate change there. Generally, they are pro-climate change denial. They will argue over the specifics and I found one where they actually were- the conversation is pretty angry at each other. This guy posts a meme where he’s got a picture of a leaf talking about Canada, and he’s saying- the meme says that uh- you can’t- you can’t tax the poor so much that you can change the weather. And there’s a whole bunch of dishonesty baked into that little bit of… of meme-ery there. The intentional confusing of weather and climate.
BULLSHIT SOURCE [15:41] One way to claim it isn’t a big deal is through various lies about CO2 - https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/tz5iby/climate_change_is_designed_to_steal_your_money/
SQEAKY: Weather is what is happening right now, climate is the general pattern of what’s gonna happen.
MAKO: Over long periods of time like decades. Centuries.
SQEAKY: Yeah. Like the Amazon Rainforest, right. Its climate is that it is generally wet and hot. But any given day, it might be sunny or raining.
SQEAKY: It’s not going to be both at the same time... usually. It can be sunny and raining, it just can’t be that in all of the Amazon. But if you’re like at the edge of a cloud or something.
MAKO: Yeah. Or there’s like a random hole and the cloud’s going overhead.
SQEAKY: The specific poster of this meme tries to claim that more CO2 is always good.
MAKO: That is objectively false but how did he try to rationalize it?
SQEAKY: Uh, more CO2 leads to greater crop yields which leads to more plankton which leads to more oxygen. His argument was more CO2 is more oxygen.
MAKO: Okay that’s… that’s fucking stupid and I can explain why but that actually comes up in one of my sources later so I’ll explain later why that’s fucking stupid.
SQEAKY: Yup. And even the people on r/conspiracy were able to highlight why it was stupid on some levels. Some of them tried to defend some of his points –pretty sure all of his points were bad– but some people pointed out basic science things like ‘Hey carbon dioxide is made of carbon and oxygen, where the fuck did that oxygen come from? There’s less oxygen in the atmosphere.’ And going so far as to call him dipshit and stuff like in the middle of the discussion and it’s just great to see these people chewing each other up ‘cause the ones that were popular weren’t willing to appeal to evidence and the ones that did appeal to evidence got downvoted to oblivion. Like, there’s somebody in there actually linking to the IPCC- three C’s or two C’s?
SOURCE [17:29] Conspiracy Theorists hate aggregate science like what the IPCC assembles - https://www.ipcc.ch/reports/
MAKO: Think it’s two.
SQEAKY: Yeah the International Panel of Climate Change. Climate Change Commission? Eh, whatever. People linking to that paper, the one that really bothers conservatives when you link to it-
SQEAKY: -are getting downvoted to oblivion. But then they would say things that like are in the paper because they’ve had to backpedal.
SQEAKY: And then just other bullshit. Like here’s a quote that this person said in the middle of one of these arguments. “Oxygen is reactive as fuck and does not last long. We need continuous supply of CO2 to be broken into carbon and releasing the oxygen.”
MAKO: Okay so they’re right, oxygen is pretty reactive as fuck. Oxygen does a whole lot of chemical bonding with a lot of things, but does not last long? Like, does he not understand the O2 composition in our atmosphere?
SQEAKY: No, he clearly doesn’t.
SQEAKY: And he is also talking- he doesn’t come out and say it precisely but he’s implying that carbon dioxide breaks down in the atmosphere into oxygen.
MAKO: Bold and also objectively wrong.
SQEAKY: Yup. He just doesn’t understand science and that’s where a lot of people are trying to say this isn’t a big deal. Either intentional or accidental misunderstanding of science.
MAKO: Describe to me the process you are envisioning and what is responsible for this process.
SQEAKY: No shit, at one point someone was talking about cosmic rays.
MAKO: Cosmic rays.
SQEAKY: Yeah something about cosmic rays breaking up the CO2.
MAKO: So, we talked about that with the Shroud of Turin. There is the carbon-14 that is produced from cosmic rays.
SQEAKY: Yeah, yeah, from-
MAKO: There’s things in science that are vaguely analogous to this but no, not this.
SQEAKY: No, they’re full of shit. But they’re also not as common as the next step in the Narcissist’s Prayer.
MAKO: Yeah this one I’ve seen a lot of.
SQEAKY: So we were just talking about a big deal. “And if it is, that’s not my fault.”
MAKO: In the context of climate change, this would be ‘Yes, climate is changing, but no, it is not caused by humans.’
SQEAKY: All these arguments come down to a contrived measurement or a contrived excuse or something where it’s yeah, the evidence is there, but it doesn’t connect to humanity. And even going back twenty years when I was first convinced that climate change existed, I remember the argument that convinced me, it was a big volcano in the Iceland and people were trying to say that this released so much greenhouse gasses that it’s more than humans will release in a century and I looked it up, it was less than humans were going to release that year.
SOURCE [19:45] Volcanoes are insignificant CO2 sources compared to humans - https://skepticalscience.com/volcanoes-and-global-warming.htm
SOURCE [19:46] On average humans make 60x more CO2 than volcanoes annually - https://www.climate.gov/news-features/climate-qa/which-emits-more-carbon-dioxide-volcanoes-or-human-activities
SQEAKY: It was stupid small- okay it wasn’t small but it was still a ton of stuff.
MAKO: Well on the climate change scales it’s pretty insignificant.
SQEAKY: Yeah. And it was like ten percent of our output for that year or our output was ten percent of that, but either way it was like ten years has passed since then. It’s all a rounding error now. These arguments are often framed in religious terms. Because there’s an unfortunate overlap of religion and conservatism, a lot of people default to saying God made the Earth this way, therefore it can’t change and if you honestly believe that the Earth is unchanging and immaculate and perfect and God will just protect it…
MAKO: I remember like a congressman a while ago who got into the news because he claimed that- pretty much along with what you just said, that God created the Earth and the belief that humans are capable of changing God’s plan on such a scale is hubris. I was like holy shit dude, you’re fuckin’ stupid.
SOURCE [20:21] GOP Congressman: God Will 'Take Care Of' Climate Change If It Exists - https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tim-walberg-climate-change_n_592edc73e4b0540ffc837acf
SQEAKY: So I found a bullshit source, a Medium article, and here’s a verbatim quote: “Man is arrogant to think a rogue, warmongering species roaming the Earth and destroying everything in its path can destroy the planet.” And there is just so much here that is mismatched and wrong.
BULLSHIT SOURCE [20:38] Claiming humans couldn’t cause climate change is the common way to claims “that’s not my fault” - https://agrainofsalt.medium.com/man-made-global-warming-is-a-farce-f616fb4e6ef2
MAKO: Yeah there’s a lot of- “rogue”, “warmongering”?
SQEAKY: I mean-
MAKO: We have a lot of wars, don’t get me wrong, but like it makes this sound way more bloodthirsty than we objectively are.
SQEAKY: And I mean I don’t see why we couldn’t destroy a planet and no one c-
MAKO: Define “destroy”.
SQEAKY: I was thinking smash to smithereens. I honestly think humanity, if given sufficient motivation, could smash a planet to smithereens. Like, convert a planet to an asteroid belt. We can do that.
MAKO: I mean maybe. That’s… hard, but-
SQEAKY: I’m not gonna say it’s- I’m not gonna say it’s easy but also that’s not what climate change people are saying.
MAKO: Well first thing I would- Sorry I’m thinking about this now, you have me thinking. The first place I would go is establish a network of gravity tractors to bring all manners of asteroids and comets into our planet.
SQEAKY: Oh you wanna blow up Earth specifically. I was gonna blow up a smaller planet like Mars, that’ll be easier.
MAKO: Oh we can do it to Mars too, that’s fine.
MAKO: Just you gotta start with gravity tractors and bring in large rocks.
SOURCE [21:49] Gravity tractor, just use it to send rock to Earth instead of away - https://www.inverse.com/article/13842-here-s-how-to-build-a-gravity-tractor-save-mankind-from-an-asteroid-apocalypse
SQEAKY: Yeah that’ll do it. For listeners who aren’t familiar with what a gravity tractor is, it sounds super sciency and high tech but really it’s a big heavy thing in space.
SQEAKY: ‘Cause everything pulls on each other. When you have a planet being orbited by something, the planet is also orbiting that other thing and equal and opposite reactions means that when a small spaceship like the Space Shuttle or the ISS are orbiting Earth, Earth moves very little and the spaceship moves a lot.
SQEAKY: So you go, you got a big rock or something heavy, then you put it near the thing you want to move, and you put it in a position where they both move towards each other, you turn on the engine a little bit to remove- to move your tractor again, and eventually you move the thing a real distance and doing that you can do things like adjust a rock from a circular orbit to an elliptic one and use the math to make it hit the thing you want it to hit.
MAKO: Yeah enough math and enough time, you can direct every single near-Earth asteroid, comet, you can direct them to pretty much anywhere you want in the solar system.
SQEAKY: Yeah, yeah, totally. And you can even do things like pass ‘em around the moon to get a big gravitational lift and like really smash the shit out of the surface. It’d be hard to get smithereens from that but…
MAKO: Yeah it would be functionally destroyed as we understand these environments to be currently.
SQEAKY: Yeah you could do things like sterilize the surface of Earth with that strategy.
SQEAKY: You’d have to move a really big planetoid to destroy Earth. You’d have to take like a, what is it, Ceres?
MAKO: Ceres could probably do it.
SQEAKY: Yeah. Ceres is a dwarf planet out in the asteroid belt. Smashing it into Earth would probably be worse than climate change.
SOURCE [23:36] Ceres in a really cool NASA simulation - https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/dwarf-planets/ceres/overview/
MAKO: That would be proper cataclysm of global scale.
SQEAKY: And that’s also not what we should be thinking about when we say destroy the Earth. ‘Cause when climate change people say that, they are talking about our ability to live on the planet, not the Earth being smashed to smithereens.
SQEAKY: Moving the temperature up ten degrees, you know you might- you might- let’s say you kill everything on Earth, right. It’s still- Earth will be here, it won’t be destroyed. And that’s intentional dishonest phrasing and straw-manning from people who are being climate change denialists.
MAKO: And even less extreme than that-
MAKO: -is moving up I think four degrees? Four to five degrees?
SQEAKY: Just a few degrees, yeah.
MAKO: Then agriculture. The current agriculture infrastructure as we have it, supplying food to everybody, can not be sustained with that level of increase.
SQEAKY: And even- Let’s back off even further. Let’s just say climate change stays at- let’s say we just gain an extra half a degree, right. Most agriculture will be fine, but let’s say wheat production in Russia falls by half. Might Russia invade another country for its wheat? Not saying that’s why Russia’s invading Ukraine, but we could imagine a hypothetical despot invading another hypothetical food-growing country really causing problems for everyone.
MAKO: Yeah, more food for himself and less mouths to feed overall. Seems like a win-win.
SQEAKY: Yeah and we don’t need to have like preposterous levels of change to get there. If you change the climate by half a degree, you know if you make everything on average a little warmer, you can do things like put Nebraska in a drought situation, like we are now. The Douglas County… something or other group, they were emailing me and saying ‘ah yeah, we’re in a no-burn warning ‘cause we haven’t had enough rain. And for me it just means don’t light the little fire pit in my backyard but for farmers that could be a ten percent reduction in wheat production or corn production for the state. If that happens, what are the… what are the secondary effects? That could be changes in fuel prices, it could be people starving somewhere, it might mean we stop exporting corn, it could be fuckin’ problems.
SOURCE [24:48] Much of the US is suffering drought conditions, Omaha is "abnormally dry" - https://www.drought.gov/
MAKO: Yeah. These changes are more about individual pieces of infrastructure failing for one reason or another, and us being unsure of how well and how quickly we can adapt to those changes they come.
SQEAKY: There is a non-zero chance the Russia war for example was started or at least was contributed- There is a non-zero chance that climate change contributed to Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine. Those two countries were in the top ten for wheat production in the world, and there are going to be thousands of deaths because that wheat is now more expensive and can’t get to where it needs to go. Wheat from Ukraine went to all over northern Africa and places in the Indian Ocean and it’s not now ‘cause it’s not being farmed, it’s being bombed and if climate change factored into Putin’s decision, I don’t have any evidence it was, but if he was trying to secure food supplies for his people, that’s climate change deaths and that’s what a lot of it looks like, it looks like a lot of weird, secondary effects.
SOURCE [25:40] Ukrainian invasion and wheat prices - https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/wheat-corn-prices-surge-amid-russias-invasion-ukraine-83226272
MAKO: All the details are there so it’s a fair speculation, but yeah, no evidence.
SQEAKY: And let’s say we even have no evidence, there’s plenty of other reasons for them to have gone to war, so you can’t say it’s all about food ‘cause Ukraine has uranium, natural gas, coal, lots of other stuff, lots of steel.
SQEAKY: So he probably would have gone anyway.
SQEAKY: So what if he decided to go this year instead of next year? If you can push off a war for a year then maybe you can discuss at the negotiation table and work out a better deal. But the faster climate change happens, the more people are going to opt for war, invasion, subterfuge instead of negotiation, diplomacy, trade.
MAKO: Yep. They’re the gonna want the fast solution, no matter how costly, ‘cause they’re going to feel they don’t have time.
SQEAKY: The fifth step of the Narcissist’s Prayer. So we were just on “That’s not my fault, and if it was, I didn’t mean it.” So at this stage, people are still trying to say that if it was my fault I wasn’t being serious or trying to downplay their role in it. So yeah sure it’s a catastrophe and a calamity, and it’s my fault, but oops I’m sorry, not a big deal. For this one I finally go to Trump. Trump has been calling climate change a Chinese hoax for a while.
SOURCE [27:16] Trump claimed climate change was a hoax right up until he could take credit for fighting it - https://time.com/5622374/donald-trump-climate-change-hoax-event/
MAKO: Yeah I remember hearing that for the first time, I was just like oh my fucking God. Like, like it- Why China!?
SQEAKY: Trump just needed a boogeyman and he has ties to Russia so they were out so he just picked China.
MAKO: Yeah he’s been anti-China –at least outspokenly in the media anti-China– for as long as I can remember.
SQEAKY: As near as I’m aware he doesn’t have like business ties to China. He has business ties in Russia.
MAKO: Didn’t he establish a few business ties to China shortly after he got elected?
SQEAKY: Didn’t he stop calling things Chinese hoaxes shortly after he got elected?
MAKO: I believe so, yeah.
SQEAKY: Yeah, yeah.
MAKO: Funny that.
SQEAKY: Uh, it’s a bit too conspiratorial. The evidence is there but don’t take that and run with it claiming that Chi- or Trump is a Chinese oligarch or something.
MAKO: Oh no.
SQEAKY: We’re not claiming major conspiracy beyond what we can see and what’s going on with him and Russia that there’s tons of evidence for but anyway this, just this right now.
SQEAKY: As he’s backed off of calling climate change a Chinese hoax, he’s also tried to step into trying to take credit for good things. ‘Cause during Trump’s time as President, we continued –like American businesses– doing things like buying solar, not because there were subsidies but or because there were forceful reasons to but because the market provided it as a reasonable opportunity because of previous investments. So, our general carbon emissions did go down while he was President and he tried to take credit for that as if we hadn’t been working at that for the past thirty years.
MAKO: Yeah. Reducing carbon emissions is a giant infrastructure problem that will take decades. I’m sorry, your one term did not make that much of a difference.
SQEAKY: Yeah we all have to work on it together and even then at the beginning of his term, he was actively working against green energy. He… He said windmills cause cancer.
SOURCE [28:59] Trump claimed windmills caused cancer - https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/437096-trump-claims-noise-from-windmills-causes-cancer/
MAKO: I know the answer to this already, but I have to ask anyway: Did he even try to explain the mechanism for that?
SQEAKY: Uh, not in a coherent way.
MAKO: More covefefe?
SQEAKY: Uh, he tried to say something about the vibrations and then moved on to killing birds and then just dodged the question.
MAKO: Yeah. Yeah, figured.
SQEAKY: Yeah he had the smartest uncle in the world who said that it caused cancer so we should believe him. I can not sympathize with people who believe Trump. Trump does all the things that a lying seven-year-old does.
MAKO: Yes. If you have children, well you probably see a lot of similarities between them and Trump.
SQEAKY: Just to highlight how Trump is trying to take credit for some of these problems. He tried to cite- or tried to provide examples about how every one of the signatories of the Paris Climate Accord lag behind America in terms of reducing carbon footprint.
MAKO: Oh, that’s… Oh God.
SQEAKY: There are ways where there might be a kernel of truth. Because Republican… I don’t want to use the word operative, but Republican people assembled this and if you reduce America’s carbon footprint by one percent, in absolute numbers you’ll wind up reducing more than like the carbon consumption of many European countries just ‘cause America’s 350,000,000 people and some European countries are like a million people.
MAKO: Yeah, we’re big.
SQEAKY: Yeah. And we also waste the most. Depending on when you get your numbers from, America uses between ten times and two times as much carbon as places in Europe so if we pull back by half, we still might be more wasteful per capita, but in terms of actual gigatons of carbon released, we’ll have fixed that so it’s just about understanding the difference between an absolute number and a rate or a ratio. If you’re not measuring like to like, it just lets people get in and lie and misinform.
SQEAKY: I honestly don’t think Trump’s smart enough to do that but I think he’s smart enough to hire people that can do that.
MAKO: Yeah he almost certainly hired somebody to be like ‘hey, figure this out’ and he heard the sound bite and he’s ‘That’s great!’ and ran with it and didn’t think about it.
SQEAKY: That’s… Yeah that sounds really plausible. I’ve got a time.com for that. And the final part of the Narcissist’s Prayer, we were just talking about whether we meant it, “...and if I did, you deserved it.” So lots of people… Most political conservatives aren’t here yet, they’re still on the “I didn’t mean to cause it” or “It’s not my fault.”
MAKO: It’s kind of a difficult thing to rationalize in the case of climate. I mean people manage it, but it’s difficult.
SQEAKY: Alright so, sticking with purely secular arguments, I don’t have sources with this but I’ve had, I’ve had conservatives like in face-to-face arguments tell me ‘We shouldn’t build electric cars, that’s worse for the environment’ and that logic right there immediately segues into ‘You caused this liberal’.
MAKO: Yeah I’ve heard people try to say that the process of manufacturing a solar cell consumes a lot of chemicals, consumes a lot of plastics, consumes a lot of oil, and that is not offset by the lifetime of the solar panel.
SQEAKY: That also ignores as we move forward, the more we invest now, the better we’ll get in the future.
MAKO: They’ll last longer, the manufacturing processes will become more efficient, use less material.
SQEAKY: Or just, we’ll be able to switch from fossil fuel-based things to more synthetic things. At some point, we’ll be able to make solar panels without using fossil fuels at all. And the whole notion of let's not invest in the long term so we can keep up the short term thing that we can do somewhat efficiently is ridiculous.
SQEAKY: But I picked a bunch of people who were more direct and less thoughtful with their arguments because right now the people who are blaming climate change on liberals today are the religious conservatives, not the political ones.
MAKO: Of course.
SQEAKY: So… It’s happened a whole bunch, but the common thread is ‘You support gay people, therefore God sent hurricanes.’ I have a conservative ultra-right-wing Rabbi, Noson Leiter, who blamed on Hurricane Sandy on New York legalizing gay marriage. Hurricane Sandy is particularly a big deal here because it was one of the first big storms where people tried to say- or scientists tried to say here’s how big we expect a storm like this to be, here’s how big it is, and we think the difference is climate change. So, that one in particular is noteworthy and a lot of scientists looked through it with that lens and there were big arguments about whether or not that’s a valid way to look at it. And that’s an argument we can have and we can use evidence to talk about that and then conservatives come along and say ‘Nope gays, have hurricane’. Come on.
SOURCE [32:44] Conservatives often claim others deserve climate disasters - https://www.huffpost.com/entry/god-and-natural-disasters-its-the-gays-fault_b_2068817
SOURCE [33:06 ] One examples of the plausible claims that climate change made Sandy worse - https://www.theverge.com/2021/5/18/22436902/hurricane-sandy-climate-change-sea-level-rise-damages-study
SQEAKY: I’ve got another one, uh my source for that one is the Huffington Post. Another from Salon is six of the most absurd things Christians have tried to blame the gays on.
SQEAKY: Such shitty wording. Like… just let's try to dehumanize people. “The”. Whatever. There’s a specific storm that they’ve done, and I had a source for them blaming Hurricane Katrina on gay people and that’s not in here but I’ll make sure to- it’s not in my show notes, I’ll make sure to link it. But there’s this thread of ‘My religion says a thing, I’ve no evidence for that but I believe it anyway, you got hit by a hurricane therefore you supporting gay people’... I can’t even piece the logic together, it’s so bullshit and shitty. If I sounded incoherent it’s because of what I’m trying to restate. They’re just horrible bigots and they’re using religion to justify it.
SOURCE [33:45] Pastor blames hurricane Katrina on gay people - https://archive.thinkprogress.org/hagee-says-hurricane-katrina-struck-new-orleans-because-it-was-planning-a-sinful-homosexual-rally-55b392a04322/
MAKO: Yeah. Anything that they don’t like, they’re going to be like ‘Yup, God made this happen because the thing we don’t like happened.’
SQEAKY: Yeah. And even when there are cases ‘cause we’ve heard stories where the conservative preacher said the gays brought the tornadoes or whatever and then later on the weather came and destroyed the church, that logic all of the sudden goes out of the window as soon as it’s them and their family suffering.
SQEAKY: Then it’s God works in mysterious ways. It’s clear that this isn’t about their belief in a religion, it’s about them hating people.
MAKO: Finding any straw they can grasp on to to reinforce that hate. It’s not based on anything of substance.
SQEAKY: In that Salon source, I also have ‘The gays’... “The gays”, that’s their wording, not mine but “The gays being blamed for the 2008 economic crisis”, “9/11”, and “Tornadoes”. In general.
MAKO: Just in general.
SQEAKY: In general.
MAKO: Tornadoes. Okay. Bold. Not hurricanes, just tornadoes?
SQEAKY: There was a specific hurricane.
MAKO: But Sandy- But like, we’re talking about in general here.
SQEAKY: Yeah, all tornadoes.
MAKO: But not all hurricanes.
MAKO: I… Okay. I don’t even know.
SQEAKY: I mean, I’m not going to explain their logic. It’s bad.
MAKO: Just like right there, front and center, like you can plainly see the lack of logical consistency, or ideological consistency even and just like, yeah, I don’t know, people who don’t understand what is wrong with this clearly don’t want to understand what is wrong with this.
SQEAKY: I’ll agree with that. There is a certain level of willful ignorance going on here for sure. And I think it will get worse. I’m going to predict that we’re gonna see more people fall into this last category of “You deserved it” as we move into the future. In ten years, maybe less maybe a little more, so let’s say uh fifteen years max, you will see conservative politicians blaming the disastrous results of climate change and saying this is climate change this is liberals, Democrats, progressives, fault and there will be a whole category of formulation of arguments like that.
MAKO: Yeah I can see it.
[36:10] SPONSOR (ABK KUSTOMZ)
MAKO: Sqeaky, would you happen to know anything about what is wrong with my computer?
SQEAKY: What do you mean?
MAKO: Games were crashing, seems my computer was running a bit hot, around a 140 degrees.
SQEAKY: That’s fine. Those parts are good up to any temp that doesn’t boil water.
SQEAKY: Oh. But still, but what could I have to do with that?
MAKO: I don’t know… yet. But I went to shut it off.
SQEAKY: Good idea.
MAKO: Turns out my PC tower is just an empty cardboard box, the power button was drawn with crayon. Still, my monitors and keyboard had wires and I followed them across the room and through the hole in my wall that is still leftover from when you rented a bulldozer, I went out of the house and into the backyard to a patch of disturbed earth.
SQEAKY: Oh yeah, I was experimenting with green energy.
MAKO: How the hell is…
SQEAKY: Now I just need to figure out how to get electricity from all this captured heat. We can power your PC with geothermal power.
MAKO: That isn’t how this works. That isn’t how any of this works.
SQEAKY: What do you mean? Uh, we just power it with its own waste heat.
MAKO: Help me d… Help me dig this up.
SQEAKY: That’ll be hard… It’s like fifteen feet down there.
MAKO: How? How did I not see you digging?
SQEAKY: Uh, I had a backhoe.
MAKO: And how did I not hear it?
SQEAKY: Oh I managed to get a backhoe made of stealth composites from when I worked for the Air Force.
MAKO: Dig my PC back up.
SQEAKY: Actually I can’t seem to find the backhoe anymore. It’s a very good stealth backhoe.
MAKO: I am calling ABK Kustomz to get a new computer.
SQEAKY: Yeah, maybe it is just easier to get a computer made with AB+ certified parts so you know it’s efficient instead of… whatever you had.
MAKO: Their experts can help with that. I’m going to abkkustomz.com right now and using code “Evidence” to get ten percent off my next custom gaming PC.
SPONSOR [37:53] Get a custom gaming computer, 10% off with code “evidence” - https://abkkustomz.com/
[37:56] MAIN DISCUSSION 2 - Rebutting Climate Myths
SQEAKY: We just got discussing sort of a framework of where climate change myths might come from, the whole thought process that leads into the Narcissist’s Prayer.
SQEAKY: Knowing where they come from doesn’t necessarily help rebut them. What do you have on that front?
MAKO: So I found a really good series of articles. It would take more than a single episode to go through every single article in the series but from newscientist.com, they have a whole series on climate change myths and are really well-sourced. There is a caveat though. While New Scientist does have a very high amount of factual science-based reporting, and they do link to a bunch of scientific papers, these publications specifically are from 2007 and a lot of the links to these papers are now dead.
SOURCE [38:24] New Scientist series on climate change - https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11462-climate-change-a-guide-for-the-perplexed/
SQEAKY: That sucks.
MAKO: Yes. But still in some of these publications they do have enough information that you can look up the scientific paper through other means or you can find other sources that corroborate the information. New Scientist is a pretty good source for these kinds of things.
SQEAKY: Okay. Now is this an ongoing thing or is this just something they did back in 2007?
MAKO: Uh, near as I can tell, every single one of their publications for climate change was from 2007.
SQEAKY: Oh okay, okay. That makes sense, they just did a whole bunch of research and put out what they thought was a conclusive debunking and then it didn’t move the needle at all because there’s no evidence that scientists can put forward that a zealot cannot just simply disregard.
MAKO: Something like that. But they do provide interesting insights on some of the more nuanced details for the causes of various things related to climate change.
SQEAKY: Okay. Is there some you want to discuss specifically?
MAKO: Yeah. There’s a bunch of different things that climate change deniers or doubters or pick your term insert here like to say about climate change and how it’s not real, and ‘It’s obviously not real’ in some zealots’ cases. One of the first ones I personally had the displeasure of interacting with when I started discussing climate change on the internet when I was a teenager was somebody trying to assert that the Little Ice Age proves that climate change isn’t real.
SQEAKY: That’s ridiculous and I’ve heard similar. How is it formulated by New Scientist?
MAKO: So the Little Ice Age refers to…
SQEAKY: Yeah that’s a period of time back in the late medieval early renaissance when there were a few years of like famine right, and it was just like really cold?
MAKO: It’s actually a larger time period than that.
SQEAKY: Oh, okay.
MAKO: So the Little Ice Age generally defined as being from the 16th to the 19th century but some people claim that it goes back a little bit further and it’s… the range is instead from 1300 to 1850. It just kind of depends a little bit on how you want to define it and who you ask, but it is a few hundred years by most definitions where global temperatures did drop a bit. At least that’s the claim. But this is just not really true. Uh, for one, there’s no singularly defined period as I just described, like we can’t really agree on exactly whe it all happened and after 1600, average winter temperatures specifically in Europe and North America were two degrees lower than they are today, and that’s usually what people are pointing at and referring to when they’re like ‘Yeah no, climate change can’t be real because of this.’
SOURCE [40:21] Wikipedia on little Ice Age - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age
SQEAKY: So is there uh… another step of logic there or is it just ‘The climate’s already gone up two degrees and nothing bad happened already’, if that’s the whole thought process, that should be disregarded out of hand, but I could see that being a whole thought process. Plenty of people have come to me with worse thought processes than that.
MAKO: Well the general argument that they’re saying, yes, it being two degrees warmer now, it does mean warming but the claim pretty sure is if we just- if we were to chart the temperatures, I mean it’s going to go down and that’s gonna be a little valley in the chart and then it’s going to go back up and I mean like I said it’s two degrees higher today but that there is this up and down, up and down, means that this is just a part of the global cycle, it’s not part of this constant upward trend, you wouldn’t get a valley you wouldn’t get an ice age, you would just get an age of constant warming, is the thought process a lot of people are trying to apply to this. And that’s ridiculous for a few different reasons. There’s always going to be fluctuations, even in climate.
SOURCE [41:38] Climate myths: Many leading scientists question climate change - https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11654-climate-myths-many-leading-scientists-question-climate-change/
SQEAKY: And the people making these claims generally aren’t scientists. The scientists say yeah, something like the Little Ice Age happened, they all define it a different way, but the scientists don’t then extrapolate that to mean that change isn’t happening today, it’s always people politically or religiously motivated saying this.
SQEAKY: There’s no evidence to make that next connection.
MAKO: So we do have tree ring records. We use tree rings quite a bit to understand a lot of different things about the history of our planet ‘cause well the carbon-14 stuff we even talked about with the Shroud of Turin. We can look at carbon content in tree rings, we can look at just how the rings were formed and other materials that are in the rings themselves and infer quite a bit from that. And the tree ring records do show widespread cold intervals, multiple of them, during this period, specifically from 1580 to about 1850. So, yeah okay, we do have solid evidence of cooling, it’s not to say that the Little Ice Age doesn’t exist, but this was only really in North America and even when we’re going off of recorded temperatures it’s North America and Europe, it’s the northern hemisphere. The southern hemisphere didn’t have any evidence of this.
SQEAKY: Also sounds like Asia is left out.
MAKO: I’m presuming that- yeah I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on with Asia, I couldn’t find anything specifically talking about them one way or another. It might be lack of record-keeping or something, I don’t know. I don’t want to make any claims about Asia. But, yeah, Europe and North America looks like had this phenomenon. Nowhere in the southern hemisphere had it.
SQEAKY: That’s interesting, I didn’t know that about the Little Ice Age. Okay.
MAKO: So, yeah. Like you can’t call it a global phenomenon if a whole hemisphere is missing from it.
SQEAKY: And we’re definitely sure that climate change is a global phenomenon because well when we measure things with like satellites over the whole planet, it’s happening everywhere.
SQEAKY: Okay, so that makes sense. So people try to make some formulation from the Little Ice Age therefore bad logic, therefore climate change is somewhere on the spectrum of the Narcissist's Prayer, it doesn’t matter, it is smaller than we thought, it doesn’t exist, it isn’t man made.
MAKO: Yeah. People think that global warming means there is going to be one solid upward trend with no deviation and it’s like no, that is a logical fallacy.
SQEAKY: Yep, things are complex. The general trend right now is for the temperature to go up, sometimes it deviates a little bit down, but that is how trends work. Trend doesn’t mean a straight line, it means on average it’s going up.
SQEAKY: Okay. Okay. The argument from the Little Ice Age therefore nonsense. That’s a good one. What do you have next?
MAKO: He claimed that “Global warming is caused –and tightly correlated with– solar activity.
SOURCE [44:37] Climate myths: Global warming is down to the Sun, not humans - https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11650-climate-myths-global-warming-is-down-to-the-sun-not-humans/
SQEAKY: Oh I’ve heard this. Can I take a stab at what a conservative might say?
SQEAKY: ‘Oh that highest temperature that you saw was correlated with a local maximum measured on the sun and sun spot something something therefore liberals wrong.’
MAKO: Something along those lines, yeah.
SQEAKY: Yeah I was paraphrasing at the end.
MAKO: I mean I certainly hope so.
SQEAKY: I’ve had conservatives tell me to my face “liberals wrong”. Like out loud, they weren’t even pronouncing the “e”. It was just lib-rals, like woah. Okay. They were angry at me. Anyway.
MAKO: I mean were they drunk?
SQEAKY: They weren't using their whole brain.
MAKO: I mean that sounds like that’s their default state. I’m more concerned about the dropping of the “e”.
SQEAKY: There wasn’t a beer, they were allowed to drop other things.
MAKO: Okay fine.
SQEAKY: I got nothing man.
MAKO: Okay so, this is another one of those things that’s like okay there’s some details that kind of line up with this but ultimately this is just wrong. Yeah, so this is kinda weird ‘cause people trying to claim that global warming is entirely the result of the sun, solar activity has increased, and therefore so has global temperatures. Solar activity will decrease, global temperatures will go down, and everything will be fine.
SQEAKY: Can I take a stab at this one?
SQEAKY: Just for my own personal knowledge and having heard this over the past, ooh, twenty-five years or so. I know there’s an eleven-year cycle for the solar minimum and maximum.
MAKO: There’s actually multiple solar cycles. That is one of them, yes.
SQEAKY: And the temperature doesn’t go back down when the solar cycle goes back down, or at least as not as much as it went up.
MAKO: Yeah, something like that. We should acknowledge that a lot of the heat- a substantial amount of the heat that we experience –particularly on the surface of the Earth– is a result of heat being transferred to us by the sun. The other large portion of heat is from Uranium decay in the crust but that’s not directly relevant to what we’re talking about right now. So right on the surface of it, it does make sense to try to make the claim that yeah the global temperatures would be tightly correlated with the sun but this is ignoring a bunch of other effects, things like greenhouse gasses. The geological record shows that we did have liquid water pretty early on in the development of the Earth about four billion years ago and given the life cycle of our star output, like actual solar irradiance increases over time, at least for the stage of the star’s life cycle that we are in right now. And back then, solar irradiance was seventy percent of what it is now and it is believed by scientists that is not enough heat to actually create liquid water.
SQEAKY: Yeah so you’re talking about the difficulty that astronomers have with how does Earth have the amount of liquid water that it has.
MAKO: At this early of development given the stage that our star was in at the time.
SOURCE [47:21] How did earth get water? - https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-did-water-get-on-earth/
SOURCE [47:21] Wikipedia has detailed but dry hypotheses for the origins of terrestrial water - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_water_on_Earth
SQEAKY: Okay yeah, yeah, I follow, I follow. There’s a ton of different hypotheses because nobody’s really sure, some people say a comment, some people say other processes and they all have different problems.
MAKO: Scientific consensus is greenhouse gasses.
MAKO: And that is why it’s relevant in this article and to this topic. Like it is- we have a whole the Faint Young Sun paradox.
SOURCE [47:40] Faint Young Sun Paradox on wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faint_young_Sun_paradox
MAKO: It’s not something that’s settled science, unfortunately, but yeah it is definitely the scientific consensus that greenhouse gasses, mostly CO2, was responsible for trapping enough heat for liquid water in the early development of Earth.
SQEAKY: Okay, that makes enough sense.
MAKO: Yeah. So that is one point that this article is trying to make. The other one, so going off of the same detail, where the current stage of our star’s life cycle, solar irradiance increases over time, if global warming was simply a function of solar output, we would see something closer to the like a steady constant upward trend and that’s not really what we see when we look for evidence of it. So we’re cooler now than we have been in the very distant past. And like I’m talking like-
SOURCE [48:06] Irradiance is not only a real word, it is exactly the correct word - https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irradiance
MAKO: -billions of years on these timescales.
SQEAKY: Yeah I’ve heard that, where climate change deniers will say ‘Oh before the dinosaurs the Earth was much hotter than it was now’ and I’ll usually just skip right past that and say we didn’t build human society in that time period.
SQEAKY: We need to care about what the climate’s been like the past couple thousand years and we’re fucking it up now.
SQEAKY: Who cares what dinosaurs needed? Dinosaurs didn’t have wheat fields.
MAKO: When we’re- Of course when we’re talking about the damage we face, a lot of the things back in this timescale is irrelevant. But specifically how much does the sun impact global temperatures, this information is a little more relevant.
SQEAKY: I see. So you’re trying to demonstrate how it is decoupled and how even though back then we had less sunlight it was warmer because we had more greenhouse gasses.
MAKO: So the two things actually are coupled but they’re not as strongly coupled as conservatives would have us believe.
SQEAKY: I was careless with my wording. They’re not directly coupled, they’re related.
MAKO: But yeah, again, the primary suspected reason for why Earth was warmer back then was greenhouse gasses. Earth has gone through a lot of different cycles, it has its own carbon capturing systems, and a lot of systems that put this carbon into the ground that we then dig up and burn for our energy needs in the modern day.
SQEAKY: There are different kinds of cycles.
MAKO: Yeah, for warming, cooling, warming again. That’s what creates a lot of the normal fluctuations but if again it was just a result of the sun constantly blasting us with heat then we wouldn’t see as many of those cycles going on. Now, for a lot of the past few hundred years, solar emissions and global temperatures- and this is a much much smaller scale than what I was just talking about. Before I was talking billions of years, now I’m talking hundreds of years. Solar emissions and global temperatures did actually correlate pretty closely. And this is another thing that conservatives look at and they’re like ‘See? Proof.’ Well that stopped being the case about fifty years ago when we started seeing global irradiance going down, and global temperatures aggressively skyrocketing. And one of the other sources I have here, from NASA, has a convenient chart. So this yellow line-
SOURCE [50:25] There Is No Impending 'Mini Ice Age' - https://climate.nasa.gov/ask-nasa-climate/2953/there-is-no-impending-mini-ice-age/
SQEAKY: Oh damn we gotta make sure that uh…
MAKO: Gets in the video, yes.
SQEAKY: We gotta make sure Qeldaar puts this in the video, that’s a great chart. Yeah.
MAKO: Yellow is sollar irradiance, red is global temperatures. So you can see it right here, that actually kinda correlates, that’s really close. Then right here, woop, completely decoupled.
SQEAKY: Yep that makes sense. There in the 40s is the last… like a peak for our temperatures, then just after that in the 50s there’s a peak for solar output-
SQEAKY: -but the temperatures go down while the solar output’s going up, and then after that they just shoot off in different directions. Temperature skyrockets up, solar output jumps around a little bit and then trends downward and they’ve just totally diverged whereas before they were somewhat correlated. Not perfectly, but somewhat.
MAKO: Yeah, you can start a discussion reasonably by saying these two things are- there’s a cause, when you’re looking at just this data and ignore everything over here. You can make that argument but as soon as this happens, no, no. This is clearly not the case.
SQEAKY: For reference, when Mako is saying “this data” you can make the case conservatives make with data before 1940, and seeing as that’s where they want to bring the country back to, that makes sense.
MAKO: So more on the NASA article about it specifically. Overall solar irradiance has been dropping since 1990 and this drop is expected with known solar cycles. And this is kind of what I mean when there’s multiple cycles. There’s the eleven year cycle you were referring to, but there’s also larger trends of solar irradiance going up and down.
SQEAKY: Like solar El Niño and whatever.
MAKO: Kinda, yeah. So just by this drop in solar output, the globe was experiencing unexpectedly large increases in solar temperature during the same period. There is something called the grand solar minimum, and some people believe that we are entering into the grand solar minimum and that is going to cause an ice age. That’s going to balance out the effects of global warming.
SQEAKY: One of these is exponential, the other isn’t.
MAKO: So we do have some evidence to suggest that a grand solar minimum has occurred in the not too terribly distant past. It was around 1650 to 1700 and-
SQEAKY: That loosely correlates with the…
SQEAKY & MAKO: Little Ice Age.
MAKO: Yes, it does.
SQEAKY: So just to make sure I understand, these grand solar minimums, it’s just when all the solar cycles line up to produce the least.
SQEAKY: It’s like when we have a supermoon and the moon is much closer to the Earth. The moon isn’t like half the distance it was, it’s just oh the cycles line up so that way the orbit of the moon being slightly elliptical and the location of the Earth it makes it look like two percent bigger in the sky but two percent on an astronomical scale is pretty big.
SQEAKY: It’s like that, but for climate instead of the moon’s location.
MAKO: So when we talk about the solar irradiance dropping, we’re not talking about the sun becoming twenty percent dimmer. If that happened, there would be catastrophic effects. We’re talking like, less than a one percent drop.
SOURCE [52:52] Several examples of the variance Mako talks about and the earth receives 1400 W/M^2 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_irradiance#Variation
SQEAKY: Okay, and there’s a couple different cycles that each have, y’know, some percentage difference and during this grand solar minimum there’s a one or two percent drop or something like that.
MAKO: Well even then still less than one percent even in the grand solar minimum.
SQEAKY: Okay, that makes sense.
MAKO: So even if we were to enter a new grand solar minimum, we’re not entirely sure we will, but it could happen. But even if we did, the reduced output of the sun is expected to be roughly point one watts per square meter.
SQEAKY: Wait, the output of the sun is point one watts per square meter.
MAKO: No, that would be the drop as a result of the grand solar minimum.
SQEAKY: Okay, so how much does the sun normally produce per square meter?
MAKO: Uh, the article didn’t actually say.
SQEAKY: Yeah without context that’s not a whole lot. Doesn’t the Earth get something like 13 or 1400 square watts per meter? The sun would have to give off more than that.
SOURCE [53:40] A one meter patch of the upper atmosphere receives about 1,367 watts - https://www.solarreviews.com/blog/how-much-energy-does-the-sun-produce
MAKO: They did provide one other piece of context for that.
SQEAKY: Oh, okay.
MAKO: That drop is roughly equal to about three years of current warming we’re experiencing and this grand solar minimum would be over the course of decades.
SQEAKY: Oh. So that group of people that are saying humans couldn’t possibly cause climate change just haven’t looked at numbers?
MAKO: No. These things- there is an effect here, and that effect could happen, but that effect plus what we’re already experiencing, they’re in the wrong order of magnitude.
SQEAKY: Yeah, our impact is just many times stronger than the sun’s impact at this point. That’s what you’re getting at.
MAKO: Yes. All the data points to that. Yes, the sun is having an effect. No, it’s not the only thing that can be attributed to this and the effect we are producing is much stronger than what it’s contributing to it.
SQEAKY: This feels an awful lot like superhero logic. Like you’ve argued with people over which superhero could beat up which other superhero, right?
MAKO: Yeah sure.
SQEAKY: When making arguments about my favorite superhero versus your favorite superhero, Goku versus Superman or something, right, people will always say ‘Well Superman is invincible and has this thing and then Goku has this other thing’ and it’s more like listing off specific key abilities. You’re enumerating things and acting like they’re equal. ‘Well Superman is ten times stronger because of this reason’ and ‘Goku is ten times strong ‘cause of this reason’ and you add up all the points and then whichever one has more points you kind of rhetorically won because you had a point to counteract the other guy’s points when really you could measure these things if these fictional characters were real you could measure their strength, it doesn’t matter actual how much rhetoric is around them, it’s what are the numbers. And we have good numbers for the climate and these people are trying to play rhetorical games like we do when we’re comparing our favorite superhero characters and it just doesn’t work because we just have the number, we know that one of these is thirty times stronger than the other.
MAKO: Yeah, okay. No, we cannot blame global warming on the sun and no even if we go into a grand solar minimum, that is not gonna fix our problem. It will give us a kind of a reprieve, that’d be nice, sorta, but it won’t fix it. So the next claim: CO2 is insignificant and can’t possibly be the cause of global warming.
SOURCE [55:42] Climate myths: Human CO2 emissions are too tiny to matter - https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11638-climate-myths-human-co2-emissions-are-too-tiny-to-matter/
SQEAKY: Oh well of course conservatives would say this, they can’t see and hold and touch CO2 with their bare hands, therefore it can’t exist.
MAKO: Well not just that but the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere is a percentage.
SQEAKY: It’s really tiny, yeah.
MAKO: So on Earth, the atmospheric composition is seventy-eight percent nitrogen, twenty-one percent oxygen, point nine percent argon, and point one percent other gasses including carbon dioxide. So carbon dioxide is a very small amount of our atmosphere as a percentage.
SQEAKY: I got into an argument with someone over percentages the other day and they just didn’t get it. Yeah, yup, so the argument we were having was large people being able to get onto rollercoasters and they were like ‘The seats can accommodate ninety-seven percent of people and that’s enough’ and some people were saying ‘No you should accommodate everyone’ and I’m like wait hang on. If it’s amusement parks making the decision, why don’t they do something like use money. Like how much money will that extra three percent of people bring in? That extra three percent of the people could be ninety percent of the money. We don’t know how big of an impact they’ll have if they don’t look at data. Because CO2 could absorb heat ten times better than oxygen for example or nitrogen or let’s say CO2 absorbs heat a million times better than nitrogen, well then you need one-millionth as much.
SQEAKY: And I’m sure you’re about to tell me how much more it does absorb, and that really matters for this.
MAKO: Uh, I don’t know if I have good information on that specific piece of information but I did look up more specifically what the carbon dioxide percentage is in our atmosphere, it’s 0.04%.
SOURCE [57:08] Global Carbon Dioxide: 2020-2021 - https://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/296/global-carbon-dioxide-2020-2021/
SQEAKY: Yeah and it does absorb heat. All it has to do is absorb heat 10,000 times better, sounds like a lot but when you consider that plenty of things don’t absorb heat, it’s entirely plausible.
MAKO: Yeah, methane is a worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide but it’s also much less abundant.
SQEAKY: And it breaks down faster. It lasts decades where CO2 lasts centuries. Hang on, I want to look up exactly how potent this is.
SQEAKY: Oh, it isn’t about heat absorption, it’s about opacity. So when light enters the atmosphere, it passes right through the carbon dioxide. It hits things up, and then the things emit infrared.
SOURCE [57:46] How Exactly Does Carbon Dioxide Cause Global Warming - https://lamont.columbia.edu/news/how-exactly-does-carbon-dioxide-cause-global-warming
SQEAKY: And then it’s opaque to infrared, so it’s…
MAKO: Yeah that’s what creates the greenhouse effect.
SQEAKY: So we’re comparing something that absorbs energy functionally perfectly because the atmosphere can be made opaque to light trying to leave- or to infrared heat try- in- Light in the infrared spectrum feels like heat when it touches your skin so I’m just going to call that heat. So when the heat tries to leave, it can’t, it gets stuck. Whereas if there wasn’t any CO2, the atmosphere would be functionally transparent to this. So yeah, it really is many times more.
MAKO: So the EPA-
MAKO: -has a few pages where they talk about the GWP which is the Global Warming Potential. It is a unitive measure for gauging how effective of a greenhouse gas the different gases are. CO2 is the baseline so it is one GWP.
SOURCE [58:21] EPA description of GWP - https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/understanding-global-warming-potentials
MAKO: Methane has GWP of twenty-eight to thirty-six.
SQEAKY: Okay so it’s a much worse greenhouse gas.
MAKO: Uh, nitrous oxide has a GWP of 265 to 298.
SOURCE [58:48] Charts of known greenhouse gases and their GWP values - https://www.ghgprotocol.org/sites/default/files/ghgp/Global-Warming-Potential-Values%20%28Feb%2016%202016%29_1.pdf
SQEAKY: Wow, okay.
SQEAKY: I did not see that one coming.
MAKO: Yeah it’s pretty huge. Uh, we… They do acknowledge that CFCs- I’m sorry, chlorofluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons
SQEAKY: HFCFCs, yeah.
MAKO: PFCs, Sulfur Hexafluoride. They’re called high GWP gasses because for a given amount of mass they trap substantially more heat than CO2, but they didn’t provide numbers specifically for each of those gasses.
SQEAKY: But more than one, okay.
MAKO: Yeah. Um… I was wondering, what is…
MAKO: Holy go fuck, Uhh. It looks like a bunch of synthetic gasses, things that are controlled by the Montreal Protocol. CFC12 has a GWP of 8,100.
SQEAKY: Got it. So you crack open one bottle of that and just-
MAKO: HFC23 is 11,700. Looks to be the highest number I found- oop, nope. Sulfur Hexafluoride, 23,900.
SQEAKY: Doesn’t sound friendly at all.
SQEAKY: I’m curious what these things are used for. I imagine the HFC and CFC stuff are probably refrigerants and other industrial gasses.
MAKO: Chloroform has a GWP of four but I guess-
SQEAKY: So in addition to smelling and tasting great in rag, it’s a contributor to global warming.
MAKO: So I guess anything below CO2 is not considered a greenhouse gas if I am to infer from this ‘cause I’m not seeing anything that’s talking about values lower than one.
SQEAKY: Probably what’s going on here is CO2 is only a problem because of how much there is. There’s a huge amount of it.
MAKO: Compared to all these other gasses, yeah there’s so much more. Okay, so, that was a fun tangent. I’m sure you’re going to have a whole lot of fun editing.
SQEAKY: It’s going to be a giant pain in the ass.
MAKO: But getting back to the core- the meat of the article to answer your specific question. CO2… Claiming that CO2 is insignificant if you look at just that one piece of information that it is 0.04% of the atmosphere, sure, on the surface of it that makes sense as an assertion. But, that is still a shitload of CO2 and the effectiveness of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is large enough this is still a fucking problem. It’s exactly like what you were describing. It doesn’t matter if it’s one millionth as many if it’s a million times more effective and that’s more or less what’s going on here.
SOURCE [1:00:47] Atmospheric composition of Earth - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Earth
SQEAKY: Yeah. It’s like bullets might only make up, y’know. one part per trillion of the atmosphere, but when a bullet hits you you have a problem. It’s way more effective at hurting me than oxygen.
MAKO: That’s an awkward example but I suppose that’s how it works.
SQEAKY: You just want to shoot me.
SQEAKY: Sorry that was terrible.
MAKO: And like human-produced carbon dioxide is not the only carbon dioxide that’s being put into the atmosphere. And a lot of the people listening to this only in the context of climate change would think that because that’s the only context they’re hearing about it. There is an entire cycle for carbon dioxide that’s being admitted from natural sources constantly. And there’s a certain balance that the current ecosystem has struck, expects a certain amount of carbon dioxide to be produced, and a certain amount of that to be consumed. So there are sources and there are sinks on Earth for carbon dioxide. For the last mmm… Half a million years? 500,000 years, CO2 levels have remained within the range of about 130 to 300 parts per million in our atmosphere. Since the rise of industrialization, we’ve seen steady increases and this increase has gone up more aggressively since the 1950s. If you remember the decoupling of the solar irradiance that was also around the 1950s. At the time of the publication, which was May 16th, 2007, we were already at 375 parts per million. There have been multiple estimates made to guess where exactly we’re going to be by 2100 and they range from 550 parts per million best case to 950 parts per million worst case.
SQEAKY: So there’s a big range and it’s all going to be worse than it is now.
MAKO: So there’s- This whole thing is a big complex system and like you put things into the pipe, it goes down the pipe and comes down later. We can’t change things right now and expect instantaneous results without cataclysmic changes. We can do things right now and we can start seeing those effects years, decades down the road which is why we still should make these changes as quickly as possible because we’re still gonna see it.
SQEAKY: Yeah if you need a tree the best time to plant it is twenty years ago, the second best time is now so…
SQEAKY: You’ll eventually have the tree.
MAKO: Now, caveat for these estimates. These estimates were again from 2007. There are almost certainly better, more refined estimates that exist now that give us a better, tighter range given a lot of the technological advances that have occurred since 2007. So, the vast majority of excess CO2 is being sinked into the oceans. The oceans have quite a bit of carbon-capturing capability. The problem with that is it increases the acidity of the oceans and that still contributes to habitat collapse in the oceans.
SQEAKY: It’s like a can of coke. There’s a ton of CO2 dissolved in there and I’m sure that contributes to why you can damage certain metal surfaces with coke, that’s just highly acidic, but it’s uh… there’s only so much you can put in there.
MAKO: Yeah. There’s a finite amount that it can capture and we are producing more than the ocean’s ability to capture CO2.
SQEAKY: So we’re gonna melt all the corals and all the shells of things.
MAKO: I even- I don’t have a good source on it right now but I read that there’s also pockets of methane at the bottom of some of these oceans and the acidity is usually- it goes to the bottom of wherever the body of water is so if you think that the acidity is not going to reach the deep ocean that’s objectively false but in some locations there are pockets of captured methane and by increasing the acidity of the oceans we’re going to release a substantial amount of methane when we get to a certain tipping point.
SQEAKY: So is there a way where we can do this where it’s good for the economy? Can we just releasing this and ignore it and just kind of catch that methane like in a net or something and just sacrifice the oceans and sacrifice all the shelled things, just go ahead and melt all those shells away for the sake of… I don’t know, my stock portfolio going up half a percent?
MAKO: I’m sure there is a way. I don’t know of it and I don’t care to explore it.
SQEAKY: That was tongue in cheek, clearly.
SQEAKY: But there are a lot of people that think that is how others are making these decisions and it’s more disconnected than that. It’s a whole bunch of decisions in isolation that lead to us ignoring these effects. I’m with you. Acidity is killing wildlife and can break these pockets of dissolved gasses up such that the gasses will be released into the atmosphere. Goodness. Uh, did you have the GWP for methane?
MAKO: Uh, I do.
SQEAKY: It was thirty times as potent as CO2, something like that?
MAKO: Yeah I mentioned it earlier, let me see if I can pull it up again.
MAKO: Um… Okay so the GWP is apparently calculated by different time intervals which is interesting and adds a lot of complexity to it, goddammit. Okay, so twenty-eight to thirty-six is the GWP for methane.
SQEAKY: Okay. So it’s on the order of thirty times as strong and releasing more CO2 has the possibility to release this methane. Okay.
MAKO: In the oceans, yes.
MAKO: The oceans are trying to keep up with the amount of CO2 we’re pumping into the atmosphere. They literally can not. The natural systems for taking in more… ‘cause there is that buffer zone that is provided by the environment but we’re completely maxing that system and stil; dumping in more CO2. We’re producing so much CO2. So in addition to that, and again I don’t want to make it sound like we’re producing more carbon dioxide than the natural world, that’s not the case. We’re producing a small fraction of it, but I mean given the balance between the normal sources and sinks, there isn’t much leeway and we’re exhausting that leeway. In addition to that, we are destroying a number of sources through development, agriculture. So in addition to all of that, we’re destroying sinks such as with development and reforestation like the destruction of the rain forest.
SQEAKY: Now for people who haven’t talked about things in terms of sinks and sources. Just a sink is anything that can store and capture away a resource or a thing you’re measuring and a source is where these things come from.
SQEAKY: So you might have a swimming pool and there might literally be a drain and that would be a sink and then you might have a pipe coming in that would be a source to fill it back up and then you might have something to recirculate it, that would be a sink and a source.
MAKO: ‘kay. I was midpoint.
MAKO: We’re destroying sinks and in place of those we are creating sources. Deforesting the rainforest to create animal agriculture to feed more people, that agriculture is a source of CO2 and we destroyed a sink in order to get it.
SQEAKY: So if I understand what you’re saying, by and large, left to its natural devices, the environment would have an approximately equal number of sinks and sources. It might not be perfect, there will be variants, but we’re coming along and we’re generating more sources, we’re taking sinks that used to have captured carbon and burning it, releasing that carbon, and then to compound this we are destroying things that would be natural sinks of carbon and releasing even more. So even if we’re releasing less, we’ve changed the average flow direction.
MAKO: So this is a graphic in the article-
SQEAKY: I’ll see if we can get Qeldaar to put that graphic in there.
MAKO: Respiration, photosynthesis, that is the lion’s share.
SQEAKY: Things breathing, exhaling and inhaling, plants respirating is almost all of the CO2 change. Okay.
MAKO: Since this publication is old from 2007, I kinda wanted to see where we are with parts per million since they provided multiple projections for where we’re going to by 2100 and NASA published something mid last year-
MAKO: -talking about where the current data shows we are. The most recent day that they had data shown was July 31st, 2021 and that was roughly 414 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere on that day.
SQEAKY: So we are… We are eighty years out still and we are approaching the range already.
SQEAKY: So we’re going to miss the best case just no matter what we do at this point.
MAKO: Without some massive, massive change, yeah.
SQEAKY: Well that’s depressing. So any argument that stems from the amount of CO2 we release being insignificant is a bullshit argument. It has to ignore either how potent it is at absorbing heat or capturing heat.
MAKO: It doesn’t require humanity to produce more CO2 than the rest of the natural world, it just requires humanity to produce more CO2 than the natural world can absorb.
MAKO: That’s it. And we do.
SQEAKY: Yep. So two points, sorry. CO2 absorbs more than other gasses to destroy that one point where people say it is an insignificant amount, and then we don’t have to outstrip the natural world, we just need to –as you said– outstrip absorption, and we’re attacking points where it’s absorbed.
SQEAKY: Attacking. Makes it sound like we’re deploying the military. The Amazon’s a threat to the economy! Quick, get the guns! Nuke the Amazon.
MAKO: Gotta nuke something.
SQEAKY: Nuke the whales.
SQEAKY: But uh surely, global warming can’t be real. Polar bear populations are increasing.
SOURCE [1:09:38] Climate myths: Polar bear numbers are increasing - https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11656-climate-myths-polar-bear-numbers-are-increasing/
MAKO: That is indeed the next point that a lot of people- Okay so, people like to simplify things especially if it’s something that is friendly and easy for a child to understand, and then throw that out there to make their points. I mean a lot of people do this but this one in particular is kinda fuckin’ stupid.
SQEAKY: Yeah there’s some places it’s valid, and not here.
MAKO: Well, this is like a lot of the other things, there is a very very tiny corner of this information where it’s technically correct. But when viewed in the broader scope of things, it is objectively incorrect. So, okay. Polar bears, their population increasing overall is false. It’s not really happening near as we can tell.
SQEAKY: Wait, hold on. Where are all those actors for the Christmas Coca-Cola commercials coming from?
SQEAKY: Oh, okay, I’ll let ABK Kustomz know to contact Coke and just hook them up.
MAKO: Oh my God. Wow. So, the general logic is if polar bear populations are increasing then clearly their habitat must be thriving and their habitat is something that would be destroyed by climate change therefore population of the polar bears are increasing which again is not true then global warming can’t be happening is the general train of thought these people are following. Now, near as we can tell, we’re actually- I shouldn’t say near as we can tell, we’re pretty confident about this information. There are nineteen distinct population groups of polar bears in the arctic. At the time of this publication, which is again 2007, two of the population groups were in fact growing in numbers. But two were also declining and we didn’t have really good numbers on the rest of them. So in the broader scope, even then it’s still a wash at best, but if you confine it to those two population groups and nothing else, then fine, technically polar bear populations are increasing there, specifically. And that’s the one kernel of truth. The best-studied group is in Canada’s western Hudson Bay and during the course of those studies it was shown that their population had dropped twenty-two percent from 1987 to 2004. Twenty-two percent drop in population is not insignificant, it’s a big fuckin’ deal.
SQEAKY: That’s in fifteen years. That’s like a one percent drop per year. That’s bonkers.
MAKO: Yes. Yes. So the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has concluded that shrinking sea ice is the primary driver for the shrinking population.
SQEAKY: The conservative argument there would be something about not trusting the U.S. government?
MAKO: Yeah probably.
MAKO: To get more information on polar bear population because, again, this is an old publication, I did some searching and I found a website that talks about polar bears which is pretty sweet. They have more recent data from 2019 and five of the nineteen polar bear populations were shown to be stable, two of the nineteen were increasing, four of the nineteen were decreasing, and the remaining eight we simply don’t have enough data on. There’s another cool infographic.
SOURCE [1:12:04] Polar bear population - https://arcticwwf.org/species/polar-bear/population/
SQEAKY: Oh, one about polar bear population?
MAKO: Yep. Here’s the locations.
SQEAKY: What do the different colors mean? What does blue and red mean?
MAKO: Blue means it’s stable. The yellowish-gold means increasing, red means declining, and white means we just don’t know.
SQEAKY: So all the bears in Russia we don’t have good information on but the bears in Canada we have more information on.
MAKO: Yeah. And the size of the dots is the- a rough approximation of how much.
SQEAKY: We’ll make sure we have this linked in the show notes and we’ll see about getting it in the YouTube video so take a look at the- your screens if you’re watching it there.
MAKO: So in addition to that, this website projects… I forget exactly who they sourced for this claim, they have their own source for it though. “Polar bear populations are expected to drop an additional thirty percent by 2050.”
SQEAKY: So polar bear populations have been dropping the whole time, they’re definitely dropping now, and they have been dropping and they’re projected to keep dropping. So any argument from polar bear populations are increasing therefore no global warming just has its base premise facts wrong.
MAKO: If you narrow the scope down to just those two population groups, it’s correct, but the larger claim is still wrong ‘cause you’re dismissing all the other information.
SQEAKY: Yeah, and so if you’re trying to say global climate change isn’t a factor because this one tiny thing, it’s just fuckin’ wrong.
SQEAKY: So either you’re fuckin’ wrong because you’re looking at the wrong thing, or you’re fucking wrong because your data is bad. Okay so polar bears.
SQEAKY: But surely there’s other reasons to disagree. I might not be expert enough to look at climate change. The experts, they can’t all be on the same page.
MAKO: Well that’s… technically, if you want to be literal about it, kinda true. But it’s not usefully true. It’s not usefully true.
SQEAKY: Don’t even rant at that. On polls, when you ask people “Are you answering a poll, yes or no?”, five percent of people will say “No”. If you poll scientists and you get back ninety-nine percent what happened is the other one percent didn’t understand the question.
MAKO: Hey, so people claim that a bunch of scientists don’t agree on climate change, that the debate is still ongoing, that there is still a debate to be had. That’s not really true, at least with a high-level assertion. There’s a lot of debate on the causes and like nuances for like the causes and how much they’re contributing, getting really good numbers and dates on these things, that’s where the debate is.
SOURCE [1:14:22] Climate myths: Many leading scientists question climate change - https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11654-climate-myths-many-leading-scientists-question-climate-change/
SQEAKY: That argument was plausible back in the 80s, but even back then we knew there was climate change, we knew humans were causing it, we just didn’t have as much knowledge as we do now.
SQEAKY: And each decade we’ve gotten better and better at it and today if you’re taking this stance that scientists don’t agree, you’re full of shit.
MAKO: Usually when people try to claim that scientists don’t agree, they don’t ever really describe how or why.
SQEAKY: And they never cite the scientists that don’t agree unless they go straight to like scientists specifically in the employ of oil companies or something.
MAKO: Even that I think is a little bit generous. One event that was referenced by this publication was in April 2006. There were sixty “leading scientists” –and that was in air quotes for those that can’t see it– that urged Canada’s Prime Minister at the time to reconsider the country’s stance on the Kyoto Protocol. Most of these signatories were not engaged or otherwise involved in climate science, and some were not even scientists. Fifteen of them, one-quarter of these signatories, were retired.
SOURCE [1:15:24] Wikipedia on Kyoto Protocols for some context for the lost - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Protocol
SQEAKY: So one-in-four of these people aren’t doing science anymore, and none of them did science in the relevant fields. Or, so very few did science in relevant fields. Okay.
MAKO: So a lot of these people that are like ‘Hey, there’s a debate’, they’ll reference things like this and they won’t look at the actual credentials of the people they’re trying to lean on, and that’s a mistake.
SQEAKY: Yup, and events like this are coordinated by people who do things like take money from oil lobbyists, and these people will float around letters to stir up dissent.
MAKO: These events are just rare, and we have events going the opposite direction that are much strong and more frequent. One such example would be a petition to the Bush Administration condemning their stance on climate science that had 15,000 scientist signatories on it.
SOURCE [1:16:18] 15,000 Scientists condemn Bush admin's stance on climate change - https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/2004-scientist-statement-scientific-integrity
SQEAKY: And of those, they were in the relevant in the fields and not retired?
MAKO: They didn’t break down the signatories as well as I would like, but yeah I’m pretty sure all of them were actually practicing science at a minimum.
MAKO: So also, this is another thing that is brought up a lot in January 2009. 3,146 earth scientists were polled and eighty-two percent answered yes to “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor to changing mean global temperatures?” So these are just earth scientists, they are all over the place, they have a lot of different disciplines, earth science is very fucking broad. Of that 3,146, seventy-seven of them were climatologists, and of those seventy-seven climatologists, seventy-five answered yes.
SQEAKY: So in the relevant field, ninety-five percent say yes.
MAKO: Yeah I think it’s ninety-seven point four to be more exact, but yes.
SQEAKY: In adjacent fields, there’s still an overwhelming yes, but a lot of those geologists are like oil researchers and stuff.
MAKO: The ones that were most likely to answer no were petroleum geologists and meteorologists.
SQEAKY: And even then, our Rock Doctor when we asked him he’s like climate change is real and manmade, and his defense of fossil fuels was ‘It’s how we built society’ and I’m like yeah that’s objectively true.
SOURCE [1:17:29] Episode 13, Climate Change with the Rock Doctor - https://dysevidentia.transistor.fm/episodes/episode-13-oil-and-climate-change-with-the-rock-doctor
SQEAKY: We burned these things to build society, we should do something about that and see if we can build society with something better.
MAKO: There’s also a study in 2004, it examined the abstracts –just the abstracts– of nearly 1,000 scientific papers published in the previous decade that contained the words “global climate change” and they were just trying to look for the stance from the publication like do they accept or do they reject and they couldn’t find a single one that rejected the consensus position.
SQEAKY: So no publishing scientist has a peer-reviewed paper that disagrees with climate change.
SQEAKY: So even if there’s a scientist out there that disagrees, they’re not writing and contributing to the active research.
MAKO: Specifically within the range of 1994 to 2004. They did the study in 2004 and they only checked the previous decade. Yeah, not a single one in that decade.
SQEAKY: Yeah, and it’s gotten more extreme since ‘cause the evidence is even strong now-
SQEAKY: -we have much higher resolution in all of our things, we have better tools for looking back, we have more animal tracking, we have more buoys in the ocean, everything that can be tracked we are tracking it better now and it all points in one direction: Climate change is real, caused by people, and a big problem for people.
SQEAKY: There was a spider sighting and the spider did not exist.
MAKO: Huh. Sneaky stealth spiders.
SQEAKY: Sneaky stealth spiders.
MAKO: I hate those.
[1:18:52] A FEW REASONS WE AREN’T DOOMED - WITH A PAPER FROM A LISTENER
SQEAKY: One of our listeners, Class of Broadway, has written more on climate change, he’s very active on our Discord and just in time for our climate change episode he got an Op-Ed that he wrote.
SQEAKY: It’s very well-sourced and I think you’ve taken a look at it and I agree with just about everything in there. He has some parts where he’s… optimistic, and I don’t want to shoot down optimism, but I think I want to adjust the directions he’s optimistic in, but I think he’s right: That actions speak louder than words-
SQEAKY: -and he’s right that we’ve gotten a lot of bullshit words-
SQEAKY: -and a lot of bullshit actions.
MAKO: There is a lot of bullshit surrounding climate change, it’s why people are raising as much of a stink about it as they are. It would be lovely if everybody was on the same page and we were like hey we should do something about it and everyone’s like yes, let’s do this, and then it actually happens. There would be no bullshit, no discussion, there wouldn’t be this big deal- but it is a big deal, because of the bullshit.
SQEAKY: Not an hour ago, I read an article about how people in conservative circles –not all of them–, but how some people in conservative circles feel that Tucker Carlson doesn’t agree with Trump’s stance on UFOs. Somehow I think we’re not going to get to a point where we can all be on the same page about anything, let alone things that involve like a nuanced understanding of evidence or logic.
BULLSHIT SOURCE [1:19:51] Tucker Carlson, trump, and something about UFOs - https://www.ancient-code.com/fox-news-host-tucker-carlson-doesnt-believe-trump/
MAKO: So if you say everybody as in literally everybody then like yeah, no shit, that’s… For the more practical purpose of everybody as in all of the key players capable of creating change, well there wasn’t really- so there was like a little bit of struggling, there always is when it comes to some amount of change but when we had the ozone layer depletion and we needed to ban chlorofluorocarbons, we did.
SQEAKY: Yeah, we did turn that one around. We got lucky there, too. It’s entirely possible that it was just too late. The ozone has demonstrated an astounding resilience in terms of coming back and I have a video from NASA, I’ll make sure to link it in the show notes. But it was entirely possible we just fucked the arctic.
SOURCE [1:20:37] NASA on CFCs bans and the ozone hole - https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/nasa-study-first-direct-proof-of-ozone-hole-recovery-due-to-chemicals-ban
MAKO: I remember being a kid and being told that yeah, it was almost certainly too late and my generation was gonna pay for this growing hole in the ozone.
SQEAKY: I mean it’s not like we got away with it scot-free, I mean lots of penguin species are functionally extinct and it’s not safe to be in those environments, we don’t know what other damage we’ve done up there.
SQEAKY: But I think you’re right, that it’s a lot less bad than we were told.
MAKO: And it’s something that people largely agreed on and the people in charge of the decisions to make it better were largely on the same page and we caused the change that we needed to have happen.
SQEAKY: We did. We got the offending products off shelves and the offending systems out of circulation and into a mode where they’re doing a lot less damage. Refrigerants like air conditions chemicals and things that made spray bottles work were some of the biggest problems.
MAKO: Yeah. And I get climate change is on a very different scale compared to chlorofluorocarbons- cluorocarbons. Lalallaalaala. But it’s not so outlandish that we can agree on individual things and climate change itself is a big complicated mess. If we could agree on individual components of climate change and address those at a time, just one at a time.
SQEAKY: We went over the Narcissist’s Prayer. There are still people in the “Climate change isn’t real” part of things.
MAKO: Potentially a solution for those types of people is to present the argument in a way where you never say climate change, ever.
SQEAKY: Get them out of power?
SQEAKY: Another solution?
MAKO: Well if you want to go for an extreme solution, an ammo box can potentially solve this.
SQEAKY: Woo! That’s a…
MAKO: I said extreme solution.
SQEAKY: That’s a hypothetical solution for the moment.
MAKO: Well the four boxes of liberty…
SQEAKY: That’s what the conservatives bring up but yeah, I suppose that could be reversed.
MAKO: Yes I know the conservatives try to jump to that eventually but when you’re sufficiently threatened it’s something that applies to everybody. Conservatives, being the snowflakes that they are, jump to being threatened very, very quickly. Anyway, so yeah, there’s a lot of things that we can do to try to make things better, but when you’re trying to convince somebody who is just a… your typical voter, for example. Don’t say climate change, don’t say that oh we need to solve these things. Pick one component of climate change and try to present the problem in isolation and be like oh yeah, we should make this change happen or this one problem.
SQEAKY: Don’t talk about fossil fuels being bad ‘cause CO2, talk about energy independence and diversity of energy and how we should have nuclear and wind and whatever else they think might be appropriate.
MAKO: Yeah, explain the economics of coal versus renewables. That’s one thing you could do.
SQEAKY: That really changed with the Ukraine War, didn’t it? Europe is really upset over their reliance on what was apparently cheap fossil fuels from Russia and now everybody’s like ah, shit, we really have to cut Russia off, this could have been us being invaded, it will be if we keep funding Russia.
SQEAKY: I guess my tactic is slightly different than yours. You’re like focus on one thing in isolation and I said state the… state another facet of the problem that they do care about. Those are both valid tactics here I think.
SQEAKY: Okay. Why don’t we go ahead and read Class of Broadway’s paper, now that we’ve nitpicked what we do and don’t agree with, we oughta give his words a fair shake.
MAKO: Okay. This is titled “Op-Ed: Actions Speak Louder Than Words”. “Politicians and celebrities seem to push for a greener world, but their actions don’t say so.” “The date is December 12, 2015. World leaders finish their intensive discussions on a preventive measure against human-made global warming at the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. At the end of the summit, the leaders announce their plan, the Paris Climate Accord.
Countries designed the pact to “limit global warming to well below 2, preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.” To attain this goal, every country needs to peak its use of fossil fuels as soon they could. If all went well, we could see what the Accords called a “climate-neutral” world by 2050. Meanwhile, seven years later, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) still warns of a sinister future. In a recent report, the IPCC determined that fossil fuels must peak in three years and halve emissions before 2030. Furthermore, the IPCC cautions that if warming continues at its current pace, the world could see temperatures rise 3.2 degrees Celsius by 2100. Governments appear to miss the mark so far. Politics were to blame in the IPCC report. Shortly after the release, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said, “Some government and business leaders are saying one thing—but doing another. Simply put, they are lying. And the results will be catastrophic.” Inaction from governments shows through Climate Action Tracker, an organization that observes climate pledges from 42 governments. The organization ranks none of the countries as “1.5 degree celsius Paris Agreement Compatible.” Fifteen countries are marked as “highly insufficient,” and the United States lands in the “insufficient” column. Dr. Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics, criticizes the efforts from Australia even more, saying, “It is really an embarrassment, actually." Even more, candidates appeal to voters with their environmental policies, however, several Congress Members that are called “climate champions” receive money from lobbyists in the oil industry. Senator John Hickenlooper from Colorado, Senator John Carper from Delaware, and Senator Mark Kelly from Arizona, among others, have acquired money, fundraising, or own stock in big oil companies. I say to these politicians, which is it? It can’t be both. While promises on climate action often receive gratitude and approval, pledges broken leave a pervasive taste. Humans cannot procrastinate on climate action any further. Research consistently proves that man-made global warming burdens humanity now and will persist in the future. Currently, the world is sweltering from record heat each year, with the past seven being the warmest for the planet. Several cities in the United States recorded their hottest years ever. While cities face heat, so does the ocean. Coral bleaching is an anomaly caused by the rise in ocean temperatures. During the sixth mass bleaching event since 1998, ongoing right now, saw coral become stressed by the heat and spits out its food supply, starving to death which causes the bleaching. NPR reports that waters near the Great Barrier Reef are warming up to seven degrees Fahrenheit above average. Scientists say that the reef has lost at least half of its coral. Along with the heat, natural disasters are on the rise. USA Today reports that U.S. natural disasters amounted to 140,000,000,000 billion dollars in damage, the third-highest. The catastrophes killed over 600 Americans in 2021, the most since 2011. And in March 2022, the United States saw the record for the most tornado reports shattered. Certainly, there are several other issues I can not fit into this article. Unfortunately, the future looks even grimmer for these three. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction determined that by 2030, there will be 560 disasters a year. For comparison, there were 400 in 2015. In addition, the report concluded that the world would see thirty percent more droughts and three times more heatwaves. And the coral? At the current rate, we will lose up to ninety percent of coral by 2050 and all coral by 2100. Sad to think that we would lose a significant food and income source. Half a billion people and one-quarter of marine animals rely on coral for a living. Climate change should not be a partisan issue. Quite frankly, the debate should be focused on the consequences, not whether or not the phenomenon exists or not. How bad? Depends on what actions we take. Luckily, we do not have to wait for governments to take action. Ordinary people can take steps as well. Efforts like reducing plastic, biking, walking more, and even composting seem small but overall make a tremendous difference.
PAPER CITES [1:24:18] The Leaders announce their plan - https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/world-leaders-paris-agree-historic-deal-climate-change-n478931
PAPER CITES [1:24:20] The countries designed the Paris agreement - https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement
PAPER CITES [1:24:48] The IPCC wanrs "now or never" - https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/now-or-never-un-climate-report-urgent-takeaways
PAPER CITES [1:25:12] IPCC debates value of carbon capture and Antonia comments - https://time.com/6164252/ipcc-carbon-capture-climate-mitigation/
PAPER CITES [1:25:23] Climate Action Tracker interactive map on what countries have actually done relative to their climate promises - https://climateactiontracker.org/countries/
PAPER CITES [1:25:73] BBC discusses country'sclimate efforts compared to their promises - https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-55222890
PAPER CITES [1:26:07] Even democrats accept fossil fuel money - https://www.businessinsider.com/congress-democrats-with-fossil-fuel-stocks-investments-2021-12
PAPER CITES [1:26:08] Exxon paid a few democrats too - https://www.huffpost.com/entry/exxon-mobil-video-senators_n_60ec4dcee4b09f0145f5075f
PAPER CITED [1:26:35] Past 7 years hottest on record - https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2022/01/13/global-temperature-record-climate-change/
PAPER CITED [1:26:37] "Several" Means 10, 10 US cities reported their hottest years in 2021 - https://www.newsweek.com/10-cities-report-2021-hottest-year-record-us-sees-warmest-december-history-1667656
PAPER CITED [1:26:47] Great barrier reef can't cope - https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/25/world/australia/great-barrier-reef-bleaching.html
PAPER CITED [1:26:52] What is Coral Bleaching - https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/coral_bleach.html
PAPER CITED [1:27:00] Great barrier reef is in warming waters - https://www.npr.org/2022/03/26/1088886918/australia-great-barrier-reef-coral-bleaching-climate
PAPER CITED [1:27:05] Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half of its coral - https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-54533971
PAPER CITED [1:27:10] Disasters killed more than 600 Americans - https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2022/01/10/weather-2021-death-toll/9157670002/
PAPER CITED [1:27:25] March 2022 had 233 Tornado reports, a record - https://www.nbcnews.com/news/weather/march-sets-record-tornado-reports-rcna22537
PAPER CITED [1:27:37] UN Predicts even more disasters - https://apnews.com/article/climate-science-united-nations-natural-disasters-fa1d16ad7d59c7629bb1a9a955a494b0
PAPER CITED [1:27:52] By 2100 coral might be gone - https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/02/coral-reefs-climate-crisis-environment-oceans
PAPER CITED [1:28:01] Video on importance of coral from California Academy of Sciences - https://www.calacademy.org/educators/how-do-humans-depend-on-coral-reefs
PAPER CITED [1:28:03] EPA on the basics or coral - https://www.epa.gov/coral-reefs/basic-information-about-coral-reefs
SQEAKY: I love it when people submit papers, right. And I don’t always agree with everything in all of them, but up until he got to those last two sentences, I agreed with everything here.
SQEAKY: I think there was really good sourcing on picking out specific actions and specific hypocrisy. That said, I don’t think reducing plastic, biking, walking more, or even composting are going to make tremendous difference.
SQEAKY: I do think we can make a difference by pressuring our leaders and getting the fuck rid of assholes who don’t think climate change is real.
MAKO: We need new technologies and tighter restrictions on the kind of pollutants and the amount of pollutants that corporations are allowed to release. And that has to be government-enforced with harsh consequences.
SQEAKY: Okay we both pulled up a source from the EPA, I’ll make sure that that’s linked, but it has a breakdown of where greenhouse gas emissions come from. About a quarter from transportation, about a quarter from electricity, about a quarter from industry, and the fourth quarter is split between commercial and residential buildings, and agriculture.
SOURCE [1:29:06] Current Emissions source - https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions
SQEAKY: You can check the source for exact percentages, but just if a quarter of it is coming from transportation, means that if all Americans stopped transporting everything all the time, we would only get rid of a quarter of our carbon dioxide emissions. And if you’re in a position where you can walk, instead of whatever else, you’re not going to go that far.
MAKO: And people have said that carpooling can help reduce this, and that is true, but carpooling on the scale that is necessary is –in my opinion– impractical.
SQEAKY: Well… What damages this is that planes and boats are, per mile, way more damaging than cars.
SQEAKY: Now maybe not per pound of goods transported or the speed of transport right, there are reasons and arguments that you can make that planes are more or less good than cars and boats are more or less good than cars, but no one transportation mode is all of this, and carpooling can only at a most get rid of the car stuff.
MAKO: Yeah, well and at best and that’s for when you have to transport multiple people that are going to the same places at the same times which is very specific and very limited and how carpooling can help but as far as numbers, like breaking down numbers more detailed for transport. I did find a source on Our World In Data that has global greenhouse emissions by sector, and they do have a section of the pie chart, sixteen point two percent for transport, and they break it down even further. Road transport, according to Our World In Data, is eleven point nine percent of that sixteen point two percent.
SOURCE [1:30:32] Sector by sector: where do global greenhouse gas emissions come from? - https://ourworldindata.org/ghg-emissions-by-sector
SQEAKY: So, let’s just pretend that carpooling eliminates carbon dioxide emissions. It doesn’t, but let’s just steelman this, make it as strong as possible.
SQEAKY: The best it can possibly do is reduce our carbon emissions by eleven percent.
MAKO: If we were to completely eradicate it, yes.
SQEAKY: Okay, yeah. So it tells me what we need to do is support larger-scale green energy because I think we’re gonna have to reduce the carbon emissions of our transport. Twenty-seven percent is what I got, or about a quarter, right.
SQEAKY: It is too big to be ignored, but it is from so many different sources that there’s one action we can take to fix it. We have to fix it as a society.
SQEAKY: So I’m not even disagreeing with Class of Broadway when he says that we can take actions, but I’m adding onto that these actions aren’t sufficient, we need to take every action we can because his actions are necessary, but they’re not sufficient. Support anything that will support green cars, public transport… Taking public transport or these things on your own, we will have to do all of these things and we will have to have laws and mandates on these people who are the most wasteful among us. ‘Cause the most wasteful among us are way more wasteful and if you think you’re one of those, you’re probably not. Like there are billionaires taking private jets. One billionaire taking one private jet is going to burn more CO2 through that trip than I’m going to spend the whole year in my little Hyundai Elantra. It’s just- it’s so disproportionate. People who have more money are polluting more.
SQEAKY: Now, that doesn’t mean we have to be like all doom and gloom. Yeah, our politicians are full of shit, our rich people, our business people are full of shit, Class’s paper has some really good sources on that, and our industry is releasing about a quarter of our pollution that we just can’t get rid of through any personal action. But there are other reasons to be positive. I’ve got- Oh what was your source on the thing you just said? The transport thing.
MAKO: Oh, Our World In Data.
SQEAKY: And even though our politicians are lying sacks of shit, and our business leaders are polluting sacks of shit, some things are happening. Like from seia.org, I’ve got a chart showing how many solar installations are happening in inside the U.S. In 2016, we had a total of one million sollar installations that had been done in the past forty years ‘cause that’s about how long that industry has been around, and then it was only another three years, to 2019, when there were another one million installations. So the speed of solar installations is just enormously fast now. We are getting, well millions of solar panel installations set up.
SOURCE [1:32:36] Solar panel installs are up - https://www.seia.org/news/united-states-surpasses-2-million-solar-installations
SQEAKY: And that’s good in the long term.
MAKO: New technology is being developed in renewables all the time and some of it is bigger than others but renewables is something that is exploding and their use and we’re going to continue to see their growth. Now that would not be cause to celebrate if it weren’t growing as fast as our consumption of energy ‘cause if our use of solar energy- or green energy were doubling, but our use of energy were quadrupling, it wouldn’t matter because we’d still have a huge problem. But luckily –and I’ve got another source for this one–, uh, it’s also Our World In Data. Neat, we’ve got two different charts from them. But this one is renewable energy production by country for each year between 1965 and 2020. In the beginning, in the 60s, most countries weren’t on the chart and the United States was at about four percent. Now the United States is at about eleven percent and almost every country in the developed world or Asia or South America- all the places except for Subsaharan Africa with good stuff going on. And I don’t know if just data missing for the region that isn’t there but there’s a lot of the world showing really good numbers and some places are in much higher amounts. We’re not doomed, and our actions are having an impact.
SOURCE [1:33:36] Actual trends in green energy - https://ourworldindata.org/renewable-energy
SQEAKY: But that’s not going to be enough, we have to keep pressuring people with more resources to make-
MAKO: There’s only… Yikes. What it would take to cause change. There’s certain amount of damage from climate change that has already been done. Think of it like a pipe. Certain things we’re doing now are going to continue to have their effects felt for decades to come. And there isn’t much we can do about that, it’s in the pipe, its effects are going to happen and if we start doing all of the correct things aggressively right now, it’s still probably going to take a while for us to experience a lot of those benefits. Some of those benefits not so much, we do have some really amazing information on just the natural world bouncing back during pandemic and the reduction of human activity during the pandemic.
SQEAKY: I suspect this is like the 80/20 rule, where when you begin some project, getting eighty percent of it done is twenty percent of the effort. So it looks like you’re making an amazing just killer progress. Like if I wanted to make a Twitter clone, I could probably sit down in a weekend and have the ability to quote and make tweets and upload photos.
SQEAKY: But it might take me another couple of months to get user authentication working, get the embeds working just right, figure out that weird bug where one in a hundred tweets it posts porn or something, I don’t know. I’ve written crazier bugs.
MAKO: Okay then.
SQEAKY: But nature’s recovery would be a lot like this: If we did back off from the climate change, sure, maybe corals would stop bleaching, but it wouldn’t bring back the corals that are already bleached. Those might take a thousand years to recover.
MAKO: Maybe. So, yeah a lot of the damage is kind of inevitable. We do have the power to prevent further damage. There are some consequences we’re just going to have to face. That is the unfortunate part of this. The uplifting part of it is we do have control over how much more is going to happen and people are generally trending towards being concerned about climate change and wanting to take more aggressive action. Regarding climate change, and I do have a Pew Research link that shows in general. Now this isn’t true for every single question they asked but most of them, general concerned over climate change is lowest with boomers, a little bit higher with Gen Xers, a little bit higher with Millenials, and even higher with Gen Zers, or Zoomers. So we are getting more concerned and wanting to take more action with climate change, and I don’t see any reason why that wouldn’t continue to be the case especially as we see more and more effects of that climate change start to manifest. It’s gonna be more ever present and undeniable, and even if people are denying climate change itself, it goes back to what I was telling you before: It’s like oh okay even if you don’t think climate change is happening, this is an imminent problem and a threat to you, do you not want to solve it? Let’s break this out into this specific problem, see you solve it, and people will solve that imminent problem to them.
SOURCE [1:36:14] Gen Z, Millennials Stand Out for Climate Change Activism, Social Media Engagement With Issue - https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2021/05/26/gen-z-millennials-stand-out-for-climate-change-activism-social-media-engagement-with-issue/
SQEAKY: Yeah maybe they don’t know or care about climate change but if gas costs five dollars a gallon, maybe the appropriate action isn’t yell at Democrats to lower prices, maybe the appropriate action is go buy an electric car.
MAKO: Something like that, yeah. There’s only two things I can think of that can meaningful accelerate this general trend towards being more climate change conscious ‘cause I do believe there is an unfortunate slow and fixed pace at which people are gonna become more aware of it and more proactive with what they want to do about it. Those two things, one of them I already mentioned before, the extreme end of that category of solutions. We get new politicians. We vote out the current ones.
SQEAKY: That’s a better way to phrase it: We get new politicians. I don’t- I think when we run it by our lawyers, they’ll let us keep that line in the show.
MAKO: Yup, yup, okay yeah. Uh, and that can happen a few different ways, one of them is vote current ones out and vote in politicians that actually are concerned about climate change, the other way- I’ve already stated once, I’ll leave it at that. Feel free to cut that one out.
SQEAKY: I don’t know man. Is there some way we can get rid of our politicians some fully automatic way?
MAKO: Yeah! I can think of a few ways that can do about, nin-
SQEAKY: Three thousand? Sorry. Three thousand politicians per minute.
MAKO: Something like that, yeah.
SQEAKY: This is fucked up, man.
MAKO: But the other one that doesn’t involve voting politicians, these kinds of changes are very often things that are just a foregone conclusion that will definitely happen when the economics mandate they happen. That is exactly what we’re experiencing with the rubles right now. If we get more technology that makes more economic sense that is climate change friendly than our current solutions, nobody is going to give a shit about our arguments with climate change, you tell somebody you will save money with this tech, they will just do it.
SQEAKY: If the Ford F-150 and the electric Ford F-150 cost the same amount to buy, but charging your Ford F-150 by plugging it into the outlet in your garage costs a dollar a night and filling your gas tank costs a hundred dollars per tank, people are gonna start buying the electric Ford F-150s whether or not they give a shit about climate change.
MAKO: Exactly. And that kind of technology is being worked on and will continue to be worked on and we will continue to see significant progress on. In what all forms I can’t really say, I don’t know the future but this is like I said, something we’ve seen with renewables already.
SQEAKY: Yeah, it’s just a matter of trying to find some way to make the economic incentives line up with the survival incentives.
SQEAKY: How about we move on to something actually light?
[1:39:44] SPONSOR (WREN)
SQEAKY: Now before we close this episode out, let’s discuss one of our sponsors: Wren. They let you offset your carbon footprint, we’ll have a link in the show notes, the YouTube description, you’ll be able to see it in your podcast app, just go to your show notes page. Just click the link and consider signing up. They have a whole bunch of ways where you can help. If you give Wren money, some of it is buying carbon offsets. Some of it is them putting money towards creating clean fuel for refugees so they don’t have to burn wood or burn coal for y’know cooking and fueling their lives. They work capturing burnt remnants, biochar, in California to prevent the next forest fire, and they provide tools for indigenous people in the Amazon to prevent deforestation. Yeah, go to Wren, consider signing up.
SPONSOR [1:39:44] Offset your carbon footprint with Wren - https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1701593&u=3056050&m=105790&urllink=&afftrack=
[1:40:31] END ON SOMETHING LIGHT
SQEAKY: Let’s end on something light. I’ve got two things that are kind of goofy. Don’t want to bring back up that we’re in a pandemic, but we are and one man in Germany got arrested for forging COVID paperwork. Now, he didn’t actually forge it, in the way we thinking of forgery. It was fraud, over there they call it forgery. The man got ninety COVID shots from all four of the different manufacturers.
SOURCE [1:40:38] Man gets 90 covid shots in scheme to forge covid paperwork - https://apnews.com/article/covid-health-germany-europe-document-forgery-120b2c4db8aa71ffeadf766a9829910b
MAKO: What the fuck?!
SQEAKY: And he was reselling the paperwork to people, like he’d get their name, he’d go get the shot for them, and then he’d give them the paperwork so they wouldn’t have to get the shots.
MAKO: I… Okay?
SQEAKY: Scientists are unsure about the effect of getting ninety COVID shots. No arrests have been made. The man has stopped his scheme and they are considering how exactly to prosecute this.
MAKO: Like, this should be punished but…
SQEAKY: Oh they’re gonna punish him.
SQEAKY: But science?
MAKO: But science!
SQEAKY: Let’s do it again! Get him with that other ninety.
MAKO: Does it change when it hits ninety-one?
SQEAKY: His superpower is immunity to all coronaviruses.
MAKO: Holy shit yeah, I’d get jabbed ninety times just to make COVID go away forever.
SQEAKY: I wonder if when he walks into the room, people near him get vaccinated.
MAKO: He just has a vaccination aura.
SQEAKY: I know, so many of the anti-vaxxers are doom speaking about this. Like, they’re shedding the vaccine! Like dude, if people could shed the vaccine this wouldn’t be a problem.
MAKO: That’d be amazing!
SQEAKY: So yeah that one is still ongoing, that’s like really fresh from the past couple days. My source for that is AP News. I’ve got another one from AP News. Let me just read the headline. Or is it Reuters? “Woman rescued after falling in toilet trying to get phone”.
SOURCE [1:42:07] Person falls into toilet in attempt to recover phone, and must be rescued by fire department - https://apnews.com/article/covid-health-germany-europe-document-forgery-120b2c4db8aa71ffeadf766a9829910b
SQEAKY: So, the people doing the rescuing were the fire department.
MAKO: Yeah, makes sense, they do a lot of rescuing.
SQEAKY: And when I say she fell ten or more feet into the toilet, does that help clarify.
MAKO: That’s not a normal toilet.
SQEAKY: That’s an outhouse.
MAKO: Okay. That’s an outhouse.
SQEAKY: Uh this person, they were using an outhouse in rural Quilcene, Washington. I checked it out on MapQuest, I’ll have a link to that too. It’s population 591 to tell you how far out there that is and why they might still have outhouses. Right this was way out in the pine forests, it’s like out in fuckin’ nowhere. They dropped their phone in the toilet and tried to get it out. Apparently, they had a dog leash, they tried to fish it out with a dog leash, that didn’t work. Then they tried to use the dog leash to suspend themselves to try to reach down. Then, they fell in. Had their phone, were covered in shit, dialed the fire department, the fire department showed up and passed them a series of blocks and crates and things they could stand on to climb out of the… out of the outhouse. They advised this person to seek medical attention even after they hosed him off. So they cleaned him up but they still advised him to seek medical attention ‘cause when you’re covered in human shit for, y’know, half an hour or whatever.
SOURCE [1:42:26] Quilcene is in rural Washington - https://www.mapquest.com/us/washington/quilcene-wa-282023221
MAKO: Yeah that can cause some problems.
SQEAKY: Yeah they mostly just wanted to get clean and leave. It wasn’t their outhouse.
MAKO: Okay, okay. That’s a thing.
SQEAKY: Yeah! Two cases where… I guess nobody died right off the bat. Isn’t that great?
SQEAKY: That’s so much better than these other things we talk about. No?
MAKO: It’s a thing.
SQEAKY: It’s a thing.
MAKO: It’s a thing.
SQEAKY: I’ll throw you in a toilet.
MAKO: Inaction from governments shows… Oh God, okay. Didn’t see the “r” and I’m like wait it should have an “r”. It does have an “r”. Fuck! Me being bad at reading.
SQEAKY: Thanks to Qeldaar for video and graphics work and thanks to AlphaWolf294 for transcription.
MAKO: Thanks to all of our Patreon supporters. Our supporters at the evidence investigator level of higher include Jarrod, DuktTape, Qeldaar, Steven Larabee, and Kaiju Halena.
SQEAKY: Thanks for listening and don’t forget to like, subscribe, leave a review or tell a friend.
*Mako makes a noise*
SQEAKY: You can do it, one breath.
*Mako takes a deep breath*
MAKO: If you aren’t sure where to do that, you can read the show notes, transcripts, and listen online at dysevidentia.com. You can support us financially at patreon.com/dysevidentia. We have a subreddit, r/dysevidentia. You can tweet at us @dysevidentia. You can chat with us on our Discord server link in the show notes. You can watch our videos on YouTube, link in the show notes. Or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SQEAKY: That sounded like two breaths! Doever!
MAKO: No. To both.
*Sqeaky laughs and sighs*
SQEAKY: Okay, I’m going to save that.
MAKO: Wait, wait, wait. Copyright intro!
SQEAKY: Copyright 2022, BlackTopp Studios, Inc.
MAKO: Intro music was Slow by Pit X. Used with permission.