Reason 22: Humans are terrible at recognizing and adapting to slow-moving, nearly invisible, small incremental threats. If a tiger is chasing us and we see it, we mobilize quickly to flee. But with the slow-moving, almost invisible, and small incremental changes of escalating global warming, we are like the experimental frogs that do not jump out of a slowly heating pot until they are cooked alive!
Additionally, humans generally do not learn quickly or efficiently without a painful experience or tragedy. Few (less than 5%) learn from reviewing complex data or history. Collectively our learning ability seems even worse. History has shown us with a preponderance of the evidence that governments, organizations, and groups seem to learn and set new policies and take new actions only after some horrendous tragedy or catastrophe. This collective learning/prevention inability repeatedly happens throughout history, even though the disaster or catastrophe was visible and discussed long before.
This seeming evolutionary disability may be one of the most compelling reasons to doubt that we will ever effectively manage the global warming extinction emergency before it is too late.
Reason 23: The human race is significantly limited and distracted by individual day-to-day survival issues, current media distractions, and this fatal evolutionary disability.
Because of many distraction factors, it is not unreasonable to say that 95% of the population is so distracted by day-to-day activities that they do not have the time or available bandwidth to process and respond to such a complex problem. It also would be fair to say 95% of people cannot understand this climate emergency because of a natural evolutionary disability to understanding slow-moving threats like global warming.
Because of the above and other factors, humanity will not collectively realize it is in an extinction emergency until it is far too late!
Reason 24: Society's fear of change is also a significant cause for the 40+ years of social inertia concerning doing what must be done to resolve this climate change extinction emergency. If we do not handle this dominant human fear of change factor by assuring those whose jobs, livelihoods or assets are threatened (by assisting them in the transition and minimizing their losses,) it is improbable we will be successful in getting close to the required 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets. Therefore, we must create adequate national and international fossil fuel-related job transition training and other recovery and transition subsidies and funding. This funding will assist all individuals, businesses, and nations that will suffer significant financial losses or closures due to the ending of fossil fuel use.
For example, carbon Fee and Dividend revenues (and other needed fossil fuel transition taxes) could help compensate and assist developing nations in stopping using fossil fuels. It will also help developing nations leapfrog over their building or expanding any current fossil fuel energy generation systems. This funding could help them build or grow green energy generation systems like solar or wind power.
We cannot forget to financially compensate, subsidize, and actively assist those individuals, businesses, and nations who will be harmed financially in this rapid and radical transition away from fossil fuels. This support would naturally also include providing new job training for the new green economy or positions in other industries.
This step is critical to the success of all global fossil fuel reduction procedures!
Our unsurfaced fear of change and how it will harm the current status quo is a significant source of the human inertia that has prevented humanity from effectively managing the global warming extinction emergency for many decades. (Please see the following research article on cultural trauma, social inertia, and climate change for a deeper understanding of the early importance of implementing this fear of change management and compensation step. This research paper will explain the many social fear barriers we must overcome with little time left. After reading this article, you may believe that social fear is one of the biggest challenges we must overcome.)
Unfortunately, this work is not happening now, has not happened over the last 40+ years, and is highly unlikely to occur before we miss the 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets. (The above was drawn from Part Three of the Job one for Humanity plan.)
Reason 25: The world's citizens have failed to rise as a single powerful voice demanding their politicians act immediately to save the future.
This failure is because:
a. at the current time, there is too little cooperation between the world's environmental organizations to mass organize the world's population. Therefore we will not get enough of the population to protest in the streets at the same time on the global warming extinction emergency. To be successful, we would need at least 3.5% or more of a nation's population to protest. (Please see this published essential article for what would have to happen for us to have a 3.5% or more public protest success in this area.)
b. unless there is a cooperation miracle bringing us all together in the shocking awareness of how bad it is and for the need for immediate change, creating a public understanding of how bad things are and then getting the public to demand their politicians' act, will probably take decades at the minimum. This time delay is because of the slow-moving education process, political consensus-building, and lobbying. It is also because of widespread global warming denial and the intentional and well-funded disinformation programs being executed by fossil fuel-related industries and the politicians they control.
c. there also is a well-financed and highly effective global disinformation campaign run by the fossil fuel industries. The purpose of this disinformation is to try to confuse or impair the ability of average citizens to understand how bad climate change is right now. Its aim also is to ensure average citizens do not know how bad climate change will get or how soon things will come crashing down on top of us. These disinformation campaigns freeze average citizens in a continuous doubt and uncertainty loop. This disinformation also freezes the world's citizens' desire, urgency, or ability to act and demand the needed changes. It also helps maintain public inaction and inertia.
d. making the required fossil fuel reductions will impose incredible hardship and discomfort on the world's citizens. Moreover, these painful sacrifices will make it very difficult to get billions of people demanding less comfort and mobility from their politicians.
e. understanding the global warming extinction emergency is incredibly complex. To adequately understand the threat, an individual would have to have above-average intelligence (IQ 130+.) They would also have to have read thousands of pages of global warming research, understand systems theory, or have an equivalent of a Ph.D. in climatology.
f. 16% of the human population can't read at all. A significant remaining percentage of the human population does not have the discipline or ability to educate themselves sufficiently on the nature of this complex challenge to understand it as an actual and imminent emergency.
The above educational and political process will most likely not happen in time with the complex climate educational process and emergency. There is not enough time before 2025 to get everyone educated on this issue. There is also not enough time to get the 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets met once the politicians are finally influenced to act.
The primary and most likely good that will come out of increasing mass public protests is that we will get the politicians to act sooner. That will slow down the global warming extinction nightmare just enough so that some individuals forewarned have extra time to prepare and adapt so that their lives are longer and more comfortable during the decades-long extinction process.
Reason 26: We are already well over and far beyond all rational and safe climate extinction threat and risk limits for responsibly protecting the future of humanity. Because we have ignored 40+ years of warmings, we are already deep into the global warming trajectory toward the collapse of civilization. This collapse outcome is highly likely because 9 of the known global warming and climate change tipping points that regulate the state of the planet have all been activated toward crossing their internal tipping points.
The nine tipping points below can trigger abrupt and significant carbon release into the atmosphere, such as the release of carbon dioxide and methane caused by the irreversible thawing of the Arctic permafrost.
After these global warming tipping points are crossed, and more carbon is released, additional warming would become self-sustaining due to positive feedback loops within the climate system and the mutual interaction of these global warming tipping points. It is best to think about interacting with global warming tipping points like a row of dominos.
These climate system tipping points are so interconnected that knocking over the first couple of "dominos" will most likely lead to a cascade knocking over many, if not all, of them. Once the above global warming tipping point "dominos" begin their falling cascade, we are already at a criminally negligent point of no return.
Because of these global warming tipping points and their feedbacks, Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director emeritus and founder of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, believes that if we go much above 2° C, we will quickly get to 4° C and, a 4° C increase would spell the end of human civilization.
Distinguished Professor of Meteorology Michael Mann from the University of Pennsylvania recently stated that once we reach the carbon 405 ppm level in our atmosphere, a 2 degrees Celcius average global temperature increase is already baked in! Once that happens, there is nothing we can do to stop it! (As of March 2022, we are currently at carbon 421 ppm. )
Check out the following exponentially rising current atmospheric carbon levels in parts per million in the graph below. Despite the 33 plus past global climate conferences and decades of international government agreements to reduce global fossil fuel use, this rise is still happening!
Johan Rockström, the head of one of Europe's leading research institutes, warned that in a 4°C warmer world, it would be "difficult to see how we could accommodate a billion people or even half of that. Not even a rich minority world survives with modern lifestyles in the post-4°C-warmer turbulent and conflict-ridden world".
Many other climate scientists have warned that once the climate warms 4 degrees C over our preindustrial average global temperature, human adaptation to these temperature levels will be impossible!
Soon we will lose control of the tipping points for the Amazon rainforest, the West Antarctic ice sheet, and the Greenland ice sheet in much less time than it will take us to get to global net-zero emissions. So, there is also a crucial way to think about this race to get to net-zero emissions before crossing more extinction-producing global warming tipping points.
Imagine that the captain on the Titanic suddenly sees the iceberg in front of him. He needs at least 3 miles to slow and steer the Titanic away from any object, but he is only 1 mile away from the iceberg. The titanic is already doomed the moment the captain notices the iceberg.
This Titanic example is not much different than our current climate situation. (Our trying to reach the last chance 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets and get to net-zero emissions.) We have wasted so much time ignoring valid scientific warnings over the previous 40+ years; that we probably do not have enough time remaining to "steer" away from extinction.
Furthermore, we already have a baked-in minimal 2 degrees C in average global temperature increase. We have already triggered a global tipping point cascade effect, which will quickly get us to 4°C and the collapse of civilization. These facts will rapidly take us to a far less habitable planet and livable climate regardless of any additional fossil fuel emission reductions we might now make.
At the end of this document, you can learn more about the Job One for Humanity Plan, making the best of either situation. (Either getting close to the 2025 global targets or what to do to prepare as our civilization collapses over the next few decades.)
Reason 27: The invisible adverse effects of climate momentum and human inertia inhibit and discourage needed climate change actions and real change. Complex climate momentum and inertia factors will delay experiencing the results of most fossil fuel reductions we make today by 20-30 years or more. Without seeing results for decades, this delay factor will make the painful fossil fuel reductions we need to make today far less likely to occur.
Politicians telling their citizens that they will need to make painful sacrifices now and not see any results from those sacrifices for decades is not likely to be a successful process. (The climate's many complex climate momentum and inertia factors are discussed in detail in the book Climageddon.)
Additionally, but crucially related, climate change occurs within a complex adaptive system. Complex adaptive systems are, by nature, very complex and sophisticated and well beyond the understanding of the general population. To truly understand what is happening with climate change and global warming, one would have to extensively study systems theory that deals with complex adaptive systems and think from a dialectical meta-systemic perspective. With the average human intelligence IQ level at about 100, the more profound understanding of the urgency and truth of the climate change extinction emergency will unfortunately forever be outside many individuals' cognitive reach.
Reason 28: Covid has taught us the bitter truth that a large portion of the population will resist intelligent life or death urgent change --- no matter what!
Particularly in the US, Covid has once again taught us that 30% of the population will resist wise and urgent change. All one has to do is view how about 1/3 of the US population has steadfastly refused to get a Covid vaccine despite the vaccines being free and readily available.
This ongoing resistance to an urgent emergency that individuals can quickly see the deadly effects of tells you how very hard it will be to mass mobilize the world to stop the invisible and slow-moving climate change extinction emergency. Also, now add to the previous the avid resistance and avoidance to making the critical 2025 global fossil fuel reductions also will never stop because the fossil fuel industry produces 1/3 of the world's gross domestic product and provides tens of millions of high pay jobs.
Asking every person and company worldwide to reduce their total fossil fuel use by 75% to meet the extinction-preventing 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets will produce massive social resistance and back-pressure. This human inertia and structural resistance factor (along with the other reasons listed above) will slow down making the needed global fossil fuel use reductions so much, that it is highly unlikely (to all but impossible) that we will be able to get close to the 2025 critical global fossil fuel reductions in time to save the future.
One could easily call all of the previous reasons we will not solve the climate change emergency in time, a perfect definition for the new emotional malady many now call an inescapable feeling of climate doom. And, there is still more.
Reason 29: Here is the ultimate reason and challenge for our governments to work together and mass-mobilize all needed resources to prevent extinction, yet, it still has not been done!
As if the above reasons were not bad enough, other critical factors need to be considered and planned for in the nightmare post-carbon 500 ppm and carbon 600 ppm global warming scenario that we are all facing:
By this point, rational individuals should be convinced that they need to do everything they can to get their governments to mass mobilize now, as described in Part 3 of the Job One Plan. This will slow and lessen global warming so they can survive. But unfortunately, there is still more horrible news and another challenge.
As global warming worsens to near-extinction levels, we will also have to deal with the following civilization-ending realities:
a. As global warming worsens and many governments enter into social chaos and fail, nuclear reactors in the unsafe global warming zones between the 45th parallel north and south (about 400 reactors) will no longer be able to be kept secure or maintained by stable functioning governments. If these nuclear reactors go critical and meltdown, it will not matter where you migrate!
No location or bunker will be safe from the massive continuous fallout and radiation from scores, if not hundreds of reactors that will eventually go critical and spew radiation for centuries! The same holds true for all the biological and chemical weapons or toxic chemicals stored in areas with collapsing or collapsed governments. Once those areas are generally abandoned, are lawless, in chaos, and no longer being managed by functioning governments, these life and world-ending toxic commodities will slowly leak out (or be seized by gangs) and poison and kill areas far beyond their original locations.
b. Critical food production above the 45th parallel north or below the 45th parallel south will be extremely limited. This food problem is the generally lower soil quality and lower seasonal sunlight amounts, which will be grossly inadequate using traditional or existing methods to grow enough food for the desperate billions of climagees migrating to these areas. Somehow the governments of the world will have to cooperate to justly and carefully limit how many people can occupy the very limited global warming safer zones and still be fed adequately.
Trying to carefully limit the number of people who can inhabit the few global warming safer zones by force or special lottery will create unimaginable social chaos, panic, and conflict that will keep those living in the global warming safer zones under continuous threat and uncertainty. Moreover, anyone living in those minimal safer zones will only have temporary relief.
c. Additionally, if you do not allow enough diverse individuals from the global warming unsafe zones to migrate, there will not be enough human genetic diversity to survive the waves of new diseases that will burn through the far north or far south. This disease issue is because thousands of-year-old unknown and known pathogens will be released from the melting permafrost (which humanity has never seen before and has no immunity.) Additionally, these safer global warming zones will also be threatened by new or existing pathogens that are constantly mutating. Only a good amount of genetic diversity will be our best guarantee that at least some of humanity will survive.
d. For any of us to survive in any way close to what we are used to, the world's critical infrastructure for a modern functioning civilization must be moved within the next 3-9 years, utilizing all of the relative political, economic, and social stability which remains. This minimal time frame means we need to begin immediately moving critical industries like medical, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, etc., and key administrative, policing, and other social structures into the global warming safe zones above the 45th parallel north or below the 45th parallel south.
e. As nations struggle to deal with the rising chaos and demand lands in the safer zones from their national neighbors, we will be fortunate if nuclear or biological war does not break out before global warming ends us first
f. And finally, if we miss the 2025 targets by a significant amount, we will move from the unconscionable threat of an unavoidable extinction where about half of humanity will perish by mid-century to the ultimate danger of a near-total extinction event where temperatures will keep rising, and almost nothing will survive.
At some point, even the most optimistic person will recognize nothing will save them from this accelerating climate change monster if we don't get global fossil fuel usage under control by 2025. From that total of everything we are facing, they will also realize that we either cooperate and work together or we die together.
"We are no longer in just an emergency to prevent global heating from getting worse. Instead, we are in an all-out war to slow down the near-total extinction of humanity. As long as we keep thinking about preventing global heating from getting worse, we are continuing to focus on the wrong targets, and we will most likely fail to prevent our extinction. Our governments need to shift their total focus to the sole goal of first slowing down the coming runaway global heating extinction of about half of humanity predicted by mid-century. If we do this, we should be able also to slow and manage a near-total extinction beginning about 2070." Lawrence Wollersheim
If you have not read about the six phases of the Climageddon Scenario, which take you through the painful details level-by-level as humanity moves closer to extinction, please do so soon by clicking here.