Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Kenya Foy at PLAYBOY website does a cli-fi news story about '' what-cli-fi-gets-right-about-our-environmental-doomsday''


What "Cli-Fi" Gets Right About Our Environmental Doomsday

Why do we humans procrastinate? It's because we think, psychologically, of our future selves as ''strangers''. So in taking steps to fight runaway #AGW, we therefore procrastinate because we don't see the future as *our* future. We are "Procrastination Nation." #CliFi

In popular films about climate disasters, there’s typically a frenzied scenario in which a group of scientific experts with furrowed brows monitor changes in Earth’s activities just before rushing to warn the entire world of impending upheaval by way of an unprecedented cataclysmic weather event. In the background, everyday citizens go on about their daily duties in complete oblivion—that is, until a tsunami of melted ice cap water sweeps through the populated area, engulfing everything in sight and permanently altering life on Earth as we know it. 
In real life, scientists, environmental experts and climate change organizations continue doing the tireless work of making sure that these terrifying “cli-fi” apocalyptic movie plots remain onscreen and don’t actually unfold outside of big-budget movie sets, where they stand to obliterate far more than their box office competitors. The latest collective attempt at hoisting up a proverbial red flag is a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, titled “Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene.” The review posits an overall increase of two degrees Celsius in the planet’s temperature is all that stands between us and critical climate changes that could produce what the study’s authors refer to as “Hothouse Earth” conditions. Lead scientist William Steffen collaborated with 15 other experts on the paper, which takes into account multiple other studies that explore climate-related trends over the past hundreds of thousands of years.

By combing through the planet’s climate chronicles, the study suggests that life on Earth could become increasingly precarious for humans should global warming venture two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Specifically, the temperature change could lead to substantial climate warming and a rise in sea levels, hence the catchy hothouse description. The study also outlines an alternate outcome—labeled Stabilized Earth—in which the climate remains comparable to its current state.

Some experts like Richard Betts—who provided his expertise for the hothouse review—caution us against pressing the panic button in response to the study. The odds of this frightening prediction developing beyond the literary-based speculation, Betts writes in EcoWatch, is highly unlikely, plus if it were to actually occur, we’re looking at a timeline of about one million years down the line, where humans may or may not have mined the cosmos and successfully settled on another planet altogether. 


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