Climate Change

Published on July 14th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer


Google Eaarth Shows Our Hellish 4C Future if Republicans Filibuster 2010 Climate Bill

July 14th, 2010 by  

If the Republican party does succeed in filibustering landmark climate legislation that Majority Leader Senator Reid brings to a vote this month, we will end the world as we have known it. This Earth will become what Bill McKibben calls Eaarth, a unknown new planet, with temperature and other changes never before experienced by humans. The last time the planet was that warm was millions of years before humans evolved.

What will that new world look like? Where will it be safer to pass down property to your grandchildren? Which regions will still have water? Google Earth has just come out with this new overlay to show how different regions will fare under the “business as usual” scenario.


The KML layer launched today by Climate change minister Greg Barker. The impact of a global temperature rise of 4C shows the effects of a 4 C rise (about 7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of this century.

The 4C scenario will be the result with no action by the US  (Senate switchboard:  (202) 224 3121) because this November in Cancun, the rest of the the world will respond to that inaction.

Without the legislative changes needed to move to a clean economy we will continue grinding by, scraping the bottom of the barrel of the dirty one. This  “business as usual” will tip earth’s climate beyond pullback, to one that will change the ecosystem we need, to survive, for the next 100,000 years.

That this true catastrophe for the entire human race is not front and center on our minds and our media is clear evidence that we have not evolved sufficiently to survive a slow-moving catastrophe.  That is dependent on an understanding of how science underpins our civilization, an understanding of scientific cause and effect, education in understanding empirical data, and an intellectual ability and respect for scholarship.

That ability appears to be beyond enough of us, that as a race we are powerless to stop the worst (and this time, preventable) disaster to happen in millions of years. The last time the earth was as extinction-causing warm as where we are headed by century’s end was 55 million years ago during the Eocene.

In great part the stupefying was due to obvious work by dis-informers from the one industrial sector, fossil energy, that stands to lose big-time if we moved to a clean-energy-powered economy.

Few these days would still buy the same kind of disinformation campaign from the tobacco industry, yet for fifty years that industry prevented action that killed due to cigarette smoking. The fossil energy industry is far more rich and powerful. Three of the top six Fortune 500 companies are oil companies. The fossil fuel industry funds the campaign, and Senate Republicans, in order to remain our only energy source. Their successful well-financed campaign has succeeded in putting the human race to sleep.

If you understand the danger, now is one time you should call a Senator (202) 224 3121.

This month’s climate bill is our last chance.  We evolved to see and respond to dangers that barrel down on us at speed. Half the human race has an IQ below 100. Don’t let that fact wipe us all out.

Susan Kraemer @Twitter

Image: British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.

  • Tatjana

    HelloAmelie est traitre, elle est jalouse de julie et elle surveille constemment Senna quand il est avec Julie! Pour la peine j’espere qu’elle va lui piquer, ca serait trop cool.

  • Jake


    You talk about fear mongering as a scare tactic in a lot of your columns, I was just curious if you consider yourself a hypocrite for doing the same. Many countries are exponentially increasing their energy consumption, mainly China and India, yet you manage to lay all the blame on one political party. Republicans will “end the world”? Please wipe the foam from your mouth and stick to the science instead of injecting you flights of fancy.

    • you are right, India and China are where the rise in energy use is. But, the US is still an influential world leader, and that we could not even keep our mild promise at Copenhagen will end negotiations at Cancun, greatly reducing pressure on India in particular, to come into compliance on a carbon switch.

      China appears to be forging ahead on its own with gigantic renewable infrastructure development, and that is a relief, but in the immediate future, this country is going to be left further and further behind, because of the strange refusal of Republicans to support any renewable energy. In the long run, because we are at the climate tipping point by 2013, legislative decisions now, do decide humanity’s fate. That tipping point cannot be undone.

      History will show that an accident of history, how we set up the Senate, to have 2 Senators per state, regardless of population, has been humanity’s downfall. As a result, there are way too many Senators coming from states with nobody in them, just fossil extraction, and those Senators represent the interests of fossil industry, not of human beings. Though mostly Republicans, the same problem even affects several Democrats – the problem is too few people in the state. About ten states have under a million people and a thriving fossil industry.

  • Sven

    So you basically told Roger that you are not interested in looking at a climatologist’s work if it does not support your own view of man-made global warming. Excuse me if I’m not shocked at your ignorance.

    • No, I basically told Roger that it is for climate scientists to look at it, to try and overturn the theory, just the same way it works in all other fields of science. Are you and Roger butting in to dispute scientific expertize about ANY other field of science? No.

      Climate scientists have a real motivation to try and disprove climate change (fame, fortune, grants). So far, none has been able to. The vast preponderance of evidence lies the other way.

  • Origo

    The Crooked Politicians’ Declaration of Independence

    When in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for Crooked Politicians to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected Us to Our Constituents, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Our Corporate Sponsors requires that We should declare the Causes which impel Us to the Separation.

    We hold these Truths to be Self-Evident: that all Crooked Politicians are created equal; that We are endowed by Our Corporate Sponsors with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Greed, Wealth, Power, the Pursuit of Political Pandering, and the Rights to accept Graft; to Lie; to espouse Half-Truths; to pay back Special Interests; to spend without accountability on Pork Barrel projects; to keep certain Votes secret; to subvert the Constitution to fit Our political Agendas; to raise Our own Salaries; to spend millions to land a Job that pays much less; to provide for Our future financial Well-Being when voted out of Office; and to sell Our Souls to all who will ante the Fare.

    Prudence, indeed, will dictate that it is Our Right, it is Our Duty, to throw off the Constraints of Law and Campaign Promises, and to provide for Our future Security.

    We, therefore, the Ostensible Representatives of the People, with a firm Reliance on Mutual Protection, do hereby pledge Our Lives and Our Fortunes to Ourselves. God bless America.

    The dictatorship of the dollar

    Dirty money [from carbon fuel lobbyists] begets dirty politicians, who beget dirty laws which beget dirty energy.

    Hiding in plain sight, dirty oil in the Gulf is floating on top of the very answer to our energy independence! Water, easily split by photocatalysts, is our only source of renewable, carbon-free hydrogen fuel available in the huge quantities needed to supplant gasoline.

    Automobile manufacturers can make internal combustion engines that are designed to use hydrogen as a fuel. Onboard hydrogen-producing systems would obviate the need for a nationwide system of hydrogen refilling stations.


  • Roger L


    Try going to sometime and check out the following which discusses CO2 and various feedbacks and definitely data that conflicts with the author you quote. You are making (or maybe the 4C author is making) will statements that are not universally backed up by the scientific community most notably Dr. Roy Spencer. Spencers’ work is NOT dis information.

    “Now, you might be surprised to learn that the amount of warming directly caused by the extra CO2 is, by itself, relatively weak. It has been calculated theoretically that, if there are no other changes in the climate system, a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration would cause less than 1 deg C of surface warming (about 1 deg. F). This is NOT a controversial statement…it is well understood by climate scientists. (As of 2008, we were about 40% to 45% of the way toward a doubling of atmospheric CO2.)

    BUT…everything this else in the climate system probably WON’T stay the same! For instance, clouds, water vapor, and precipitation systems can all be expected to respond to the warming tendency in some way, which could either amplify or reduce the manmade warming. These other changes are called “feedbacks,” and the sum of all the feedbacks in the climate system determines what is called ‘climate sensitivity’. Negative feedbacks (low climate sensitivity) would mean that manmade global warming might not even be measurable, lost in the noise of natural climate variability. But if feedbacks are sufficiently positive (high climate sensitivity), then manmade global warming could be catastrophic.

    Obviously, knowing the strength of feedbacks in the climate system is critical; this is the subject of most of my research. Here you can read about my latest work on the subject, in which I show that feedbacks previously estimated from satellite observations of natural climate variability have potentially large errors. A confusion between forcing and feedback (loosely speaking, cause and effect) when observing cloud behavior has led to the illusion of a sensitive climate system, when in fact our best satellite observations (when carefully and properly interpreted) suggest an IN-sensitive climate system.

    Finally, if the climate system is insensitive, this means that the extra carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere is not enough to cause the observed warming over the last 100 years — some natural mechanism must be involved. Here you can read about my favorite candidate: the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.”

    Best Roger

    Welcome back, Roger. But, I don’t need to “try going to a site”. The science already provided a vast body of evidence, for the world’s scientific community to debate. That is their job: (climate scientists). It is not up to me or to you to decide these matters for them, by “trying going to sites” or other means.

    You wouldn’t dream of second-guessing say a civil engineer’s scientific underpinnings for why he builds a bridge a certain way so it won’t fail. Nor a vaccination. Nor how airplanes really fly. Likewise, all of you non-climate scientists don’t need to endlessly fret over the underlying science in this scientific field, also.

  • LouG

    If Harry Reid was so concerned about the bill he would have not kept it off the floor when he decided to push “immigration reform”. Many observers felt this was one ballsy polictical move by a man behind in the polls in his re-election bid. He blind-sided Linsay G. on this move. Look on your side of the aisle before blaming everything on the GOP. LouG

    [SK: Reid, like most of the Democrats, has voted for clean energy in all 50 votes since 1993.

    The Republicans have voted as a bloc against clean energy virtually all 50 times, and the ones who strayed were all voted out, except Collins and Snowe. The votes:

  • I didn’t realize Google Earth was now Google Eaarth

    • Eaarth refers to the future name given earth by McKibben whose book Eaarth describes our climate changed future

  • Kum Dollison

    In the last 100 years we’ve put about 100 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere. Approx 290 to 390. That’s a 34% increase (the effect of CO2 in the atmosphere is logarithmic, you know.)

    As a “possible” result we’ve seen an approx. 0.6 C increase in temp (the local stations in my state, Mississippi, show NO increase using “Raw” data.

    Anyhoo, using the above “Facts” how in the world do you come up with 4.0 Degrees C? You are printing nonsense.

    [SK: I don’t “come up with” 4C. That’s long been one of the scenarios projected since the last IPPC summary, 2007. As to your one state disproves…see

    So, so far Mississippi 0.6 + Alaska 10 = average about 5.

    Averages are worldwide, not just one region. But that is the past.

    The 4 c will be the 2100 new world average rise if we keep on like this without changing to clean power – that is the business as usual scenario.]

    You don’t need this to make a wonderful case for sustainable, clean energy.

    But it is the reason we need to switch. Forget pretty environments: We will not survive this, as a race.

  • Sven

    Republicans must have block climate legislation millions of years before humans evolved. Who knew?

    • CO2 Feedback loops, had em then, we’ll have em in the future too, (plus the huge artificial increase we are adding) – find it among all the other usual denier rebuttals, including science links to show why they are nonsense

      Neanderthals did mostly die out during periods of relatively mild climate change. We, who are mostly the descendants of Homo Sapiens, were smart, so we survived, but we may not be able to survive the future we are making. (Some Neanderthal genes have survived in us, according to new findings).

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