Mann's False Hope Graphic Presentified

I needed a copy of the "False Hope Graph" that Michael Mann painstakingly created for his Scientific American piece "Earth Will Cross the Climate Danger Threshold by 2036" for a presentation I'm doing, but it had to be simpler, leave some stuff off, and be readable across the room on a screen. The original graphic looks like this:
earth-will-cross-the-climate-danger-threshold-by-2036_large (1)

It is a major contribution showing the relationship between climate sensitivity and climate change in the future depending on various important factors. The graphic I made from it is here (click on it to get the big giant version):


You'll notice I left only one sensitivity + aerosol forcing line on it because in my talk I'll use that as the most likely. Some of you might find it helpful.

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What makes that graph so utterly tragic, and also the biggest moral issue humanity will have faced for most of its existence, is that we have had more than ample warning, and the steps needed to fix it are wholly within the grasp of currently-existing technologies. Truly this is a Darwin Test for our species.

Unfortunately, a relative handful of intelligent humans, of the 7 billion humans on our benighted planet, seem unable to alter the course of the rest of them. This is Evolution writ large. Humans have evolved Cognitive Dissonance and related cognition deficiencies. Unless an individual is properly taught to achieve "self-awareness," a human individual will prefer anecdotal "evidence" to scientific data. Then there are the Magic-believers (the majority) who trust an invisible deity to make everything OK. That's not gonna happen! Apparently, the race to sea-level rise will not slow down, barring some accidental good luck on Planet Earth's part. Perhaps the "relative handful," instead of trying to save all humans, should self-identify and start a movement to save themselves. Hmm. That might not go over well... Think of the bad press: "The Sun reports that eggheads plan to throw the hoi-polloi to the wolves and save themselves..."

By double helix (not verified) on 10 Apr 2014 #permalink

Think of the bad press: “The Sun reports that eggheads plan to throw the hoi-polloi to the wolves and save themselves…”

Well that could have a good effect of making the hoi polloi demand to be saved along with them :) (forgetting that they had been denouncing the need for saving all a long)

By Smarter Than Y… (not verified) on 10 Apr 2014 #permalink

I suppose the response almost everywhere is currently lagging the facts for many reasons, but I dont see this as "tragic" ; tragic is when you realize a sad truth but can do nothing about it. Right now, we dont as a nation all realize the sad truth of climate risk, notwithstanding the science has been clear about it for years [IPCC etc] and we could act and prevent tragedy. But we arent there yet. We need to bring up the laggards.
maybe, with adequate education, we can 'bring up' the laggards and then adopt a Plan to achieve zero carbon aspa, eg by 2030. It may require a nasty tipping point eg a sudden collapse of part of Pine Island or Totten and/or Greenland glaciers with sea level rise of a few meters to wake up the laggards.