10 Comments
Mar 15, 2023Liked by MCJ Collective

Thanks to David for writing this. Messaging about climate action has been and will always be like walking a tightrope due to the sheer complexity of the problem. There is a place for "doomerism" in the dialogue but it's best served in small doses.

An FYI that Rare (https://rare.org) has done some great work on behavior change as well, worth checking out!

Expand full comment
author

Well put 👏 Thanks for sharing this additional resource!

Expand full comment
Mar 16, 2023Liked by MCJ Collective

Great post

Expand full comment

I’m a climate communications specialist for a climate action consulting firm and this topic is something we always struggle with. How much versus how little do we incorporate hard, “doomy” realities into climate messaging? How do we meet people where they are when the “where” is such a huge spectrum? Is there enough time, and is it responsible to just patiently lead people into the issues at this point in the crisis?

While I certainly don’t have definitive answers to these questions, and, really, no one does- I found this article very informative and thought-provoking. This kind of data-driven content really helps people in my position think more critically about the communications we craft every day. Great work! Thank you for the read

💪🌎

Expand full comment
author

Glad you found it helpful, Joey. Thanks for your feedback and insight!

Expand full comment

It would be great if you could share some actual content examples (articles, videos, tweets etc) that demonstrate the insights in action.

Expand full comment
author

TCD's report includes content samples for each of the key takeaways. Check them out here: https://www.thecooldown.com/briefs/2023/

Expand full comment

As a "Doomer" I respect what you are saying and doing but you are 30 years to late. You state,

"Doomerism is a losing strategy. Leaning into anxiety and despair creates paralysis and depression. On the flip side, visually showing audiences a future that’s happier and healthier, and exposing them to the innovative technologies and solutions that will take us there, can inspire people to want to become a part of the climate movement."

False Hope is also “Disinformation".

Let me ask you a question David, "do you know the current RATE of WARMING?"

It's about 0.36C PER DECADE since 2015.

From 1850-1975 the rate of warming averages out at about 0.07C per decade.

From 1975-2015 the rate of warming averages out at about 0.18C per decade.

Around 2015 the rate of warming roughly doubled. We know exactly why.

Earth's Albedo 1998–2017 as Measured From Earthshine

P. R. Goode, E. Pallé, A. Shoumko, S. Shoumko, P. Montañes-Rodriguez, S. E. Koonin

First published: 29 August 2021

https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GL094888

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2021GL094888

The Earth's Albedo dimmed and radiant forcing doubled.

“We have reported a two-decade long data set of the Earth’s nearly globally averaged albedo as derived from earthshine observations. Stringent data quality standards were applied to generate monthly and annual means.

These vary significantly on monthly, annual, and decadal scales with the net being a gradual decline over the two decades, which accelerated in the most recent years (much of the decrease in reflectance occurred during the last three years of the two-decade period the team studied).

Remarkably, the inter-annual earthshine anomalies agree well with those from CERES satellite observations, despite their differences in global coverage, underlying assumptions to derive the albedo, and the very different sensitivities to retroflected and wider-angle reflected light.”

"The two-decade decrease in earthshine-derived albedo corresponds to an increase in radiative forcing of about 0.5 W/m2, which is climatologically significant (Miller et al., 2014).

For comparison, total anthropogenic forcing increased by about 0.6 W/m2 over the same period. The CERES data show an even stronger trend of decreasing global albedo over the most recent years, which has been associated to changes in the PDO, SSTs and low cloud formation changes."

Notice that last paragraph. It quantifies how much of an effect this change in albedo is having. By 2017 it had reached 0.5 W/m2 (Watts per square meter). That doesn’t sound like much, until you realize that the effect of all our CO2 pollution in 2017 was 0.6 W/m2. Bottom line,

By 2017 the decline in the Earth’s albedo doubled the rate that the Earth was warming. We are warming up twice as fast as we were.

I wrote about this last year on Medium.

Living in Bomb Time — 20 - Heat doesn’t “just happen”. Where it’s coming from and why that matters Feb 22 (https://smokingtyger.medium.com/living-in-bomb-time-20-64a268ef306a)

and extended my analysis here.

Living in Bomb Time — 22 - I’m actually being “conservative” when I tell you that things are bad. Additional thoughts on Albedo Dimming Apr 22 (https://smokingtyger.medium.com/living-in-bomb-time-22-c7825fce2f2a)

You want to know how you can tell it's really happening?

You can tell because the Oceans are warming up, FAST.

Oceans surged to another record-high temperature in 2022 WAPO January 11, 2023

The amount of excess heat buried in the planet’s oceans, a strong marker of climate change, reached a record high in 2022, reflecting more stored heat energy than in any year since reliable measurements were available in the late 1950s, a group of scientists reported Wednesday.

That eclipses the ocean heat record set in 2021 — which eclipsed the record set in 2020, which eclipsed the one set in 2019.

Oceans Broke Yet Another Heat Record in 2022, Scientists Warn Science Alert Jan 12, 2023

In 2022, the heat content in the upper 2000 meters of the Pacific ocean reached a record level “by a large margin,” researchers say, “which supports the extreme events witnessed, such as intensive heat waves and deoxygenation, and poses a substantial risk to marine life in this region.”

THE OCEAN IS RELEASING HEAT. WE JUST HAD A FREAKISHLY "MILD” WINTER. BY THIS SUMMER HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS WILL BE DYING IN HEATWAVES.

This has stopped being a "both sides must be respected' and "people can agree to disagree" time in history.

I am forecasting famine deaths in the 800 million to 1.2 billion range over the next 4-6 years.

We are having "existential" crisis's at the Nation state level and at a Global "survival of civilization" level.

Articles like yours, band-aids on sucking chest wounds. Platitudes and feel good pablum that lull people into feeling that the crisis is still off in the distance and the wolf is not at the door, RIGHT NOW.

Let me ask you one last question David, "how warm do you think the MAJORITY of Climate Scientists think it/s going to get by 2100?"

What do Climate Scientists say IN PRIVATE?

A majority of climate scientists think that warming is going to be at least 3℃ or higher.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02990-w?utm_source=Nature+Briefing&utm_campaign=6770175a62-briefing-dy-20211102&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c9dfd39373-6770175a62-45552674

Expand full comment
Mar 15, 2023Liked by MCJ Collective

If most of the American population read your comment, they would choose to tune it out. Telling everyone the world as they know it is over and that they’re going to die isn’t an effective communications strategy, even if it’s true. You guys have been screaming the same message for decades and it hasn’t worked. It doesn’t mean that you’re wrong (although 800M to 1.2B deaths from famine in the next 4-6 years is a pretty extreme position) but you’re fundamentally not getting through to most people. On the flip-side, if 75% of the population believes this is our most important issue five years from now, that’s better than if 20% of people think it’s our most important issue (current state of affairs). We simply have not been able to accomplish many hard things in this country without strong popular support. Right now we don’t have it.

Expand full comment

You are 100% percent about not having popular support. There is a reason for that.

For the last 50 years the Elites have chosen what the global “Climate Policy” would be. It’s reflective of their choices and their power that not one government on the planet is run by a “Green Party”.

NOT ONE.

That isn’t an accident.

The Fossil Fuel Elites/Industry has been manipulating opinion about Global Warming since the 70’s. The key point to understand about this manipulation is that they have always demonstrated foreknowledge.

Again and again, they have used disinformation campaigns to shape public opinion and define the social narrative just before an effect of global warming has become apparent. They have really good climate models because theirs aren’t hobbled by false assumptions and sand thrown in the gears.

Exxon scientists in the 1970s accurately predicted climate change.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2354492-exxon-scientists-in-the-1970s-accurately-predicted-climate-change/

Analysis of internal climate projections shows Exxon scientists knew the harm of burning fossil fuels, while firm’s executives played down the risk.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/jan/12/exxon-climate-change-global-warming-research

Revealed: Exxon made ‘breathtakingly’ accurate climate predictions in 1970s and 80s

Oil company drove some of the leading science of the era only to publicly dismiss global heating

Exxon’s Climate Denial History: A Timeline

https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/fighting-climate-chaos/exxon-and-the-oil-industry-knew-about-climate-crisis/exxons-climate-denial-history-a-timeline/

A review of Exxon’s knowledge and subsequent denial of climate change.

Exxon disputed climate findings for years. Its scientists knew better.

https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2023/01/harvard-led-analysis-finds-exxonmobil-internal-research-accurately-predicted-climate-change/

Research shows that company modeled and predicted global warming with ‘shocking skill and accuracy’ starting in the 1970s. Harvard and Potsdam researchers analyzed Exxon’s predictive “skill scores,” or how their predictions matched what actually happened.

They found that Exxon scientists were producing climate research in the 70’s and 80’s with an average skill score of 75 percent.

In comparison, NASA scientist James Hansen, who famously presented his global warming predictions to Congress in 1988, had an average skill score of 66 percent.

The disinformation and misdirection campaigns of the Fossil Fuel Elites have been very successful. They have managed to prevent a political consensus from forming around a transition to a sustainable future.

“The science of climate change is too uncertain to mandate a plan of action that could plunge economies into turmoil,” said one Exxon ad, addressing proposals in the late 1990s for the U.S. to join an international climate accord at the time. White Republican America ate that shit up and voted for Bush, the oil and gas guy, in 2000.

The Fossil Fuel Elites have never been a neutral party in this matter and they have aggressively protected their interests. Mostly to keep us using fossil fuels for as long as possible.

They seem willing to watch 50% of the “surplus population” die by 2100. Are you willing to watch your children starve in the coming years so that the 1% can collect more billions?

Because they have a LOT more money to spend on advertising than you do.

POLITICAL ACTION IS THE ONLY ROAD FORWARD.

VOTE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT.

VOTE FOR A GREEN DEMOCRAT IN 24'

Expand full comment