Sunday, May 04, 2014

"Don't Even Begin to Talk To Them Until You've Forgiven Them For Everything"

It's just too nice to be inside blogging.  So here are a few pics about things I'm not blogging about.  [It turns out I couldn't keep to that goal when I tried to briefly summarize the Citizens' Climate Lobby meeting.  The title gets explained near the end.]

Goose Lake still had ice Saturday

After the Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) meeting Saturday morning I biked the long way home and digested what I'd heard.   Dana Nuccitelli, a physicist who writes, among other places, at Skeptical Science,  gave some highlights of the latest U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report.  There were actually three recent reports.  The key findings he reported for the first report:
  1. 95% confidence level that humans are the main cause of global warming since 1950.
    And that humans are responsible for about 100% of global warming since 1950.  In each of the reports since the 1990s, they've grown in confidence level that humans are the cause.  
  2. Predict how much warmer it will get under three different scenarios
    1. Business as usual - about 4 or 5˚C (about 9˚F) warming by 2100 as compared to pre-industrial temperatures
    2. The GOOD NEWS:  If take action to limit greenhouse gas emissions we can still limit global warming to 2˚C by 2100.  He said 2˚C is a critical number because scientist believe if we go above that we'll have really severe climate effects.  Some scientists say that 2˚C is already too much, but we've already risen 1˚ and another 1/2 will result from the greenhouse gasses already emitted.  So 2˚ is the only reasonable goal we could achieve. 
The second report focused on Climate Impacts and Adaptation - how various scenarios will impact humans and how we can adapt to them and one of the key findings was:
  1. For another 2˚C increase we will see an annual decrease of 2% of global income per year and potentially more than that, and if beyond that, economists aren't even comfortable estimating how large they'll be.   Basically it gives us an economic incentive not to go beyond that 2˚C limit.
The third report that came out about a month ago, focused on climate change and  mitigation and the key finding he reported was that:
  1. If we act efficiently we can keep global warming going beyond that 2˚C  and it will only cost 0.06% of annual global economic growth.  Putting that into perspective if the global economy grows at 2.3% per year, using that 0.06% figure, it would grow at 2.24% per year.  
So, for a pretty minimal cost, we could prevent very dangerous global warming.  

You can listen to the international phone in presentation here.   These meetings are content rich and move right along.  If you just want to hear the part where Dana talks, go to 11 minutes, where he's being introduced.  and goes to 27:16. 

This post's title comes from a little earlier in the tape where CCL Executive Director and meeting host Mark Reynolds  is talking about one of the CCL staff who was planning a meeting with the Koch brothers. He was trying to explain his difference between being 'nice' and being 'generous.' 
"Sometimes people get confused about what we're trying to do when we we're attempting to do this in the most generous way we possibly can.   What people translate that into sometimes is thinking that we're trying to be a nice organization.  And I don't have any problem with being nice and I'm not against nice people, but that is not what we're trying to do.  53  In my view, being nice implies a certain phoniness, like when you pretend to like someone you don't like.  Whereas human generosity is asking yourself to do something you can't possibly do.  Let me give you one simple example.  I was at a luncheon last November with [corrected spelling: Peter Fiekowsky] who heads up a couple of big projects for CCL.  He's the head of Team Loyal [Oil] and he's also in charge of our hundred year plan.  We were talking before lunch and he had said he'd scheduled his first meeting with the Koch brothers and he asked my advice on what he should talk about.  I try to take as big and generous a view as I possibly can of dealing with people and I really failed in that case because I told Peter I don't know why you're talking to them, I think these are terrible people, I can't imagine meeting with them, I think they're evil, and it's a bad thing.  Peter's always great with me and he's like, OK, Mark, I got that, that's your feedback [?], do you mind if I talk to Father Gerry?  Father Gerry O'Rourke is an 89 year old Catholic priest, who both Peter and I have known for decades and he was instrumental in the North Ireland peace process.  So Peter went off and talked to Father Gerry and we talked later and I said, what did Father Gerry say to you?  And he said, well, he started by saying basically what you said.  And I'm like, see, Peter?  I told you so.  And then he said this:  I'm going to tell you to do what I told the people in Northern Ireland they had to do.  And that is, Don't even begin to talk to them until you have forgiven them for everything.

So that doesn't mean you say out loud to someone "I forgive you."  But it's asking yourself to do something you're not capable of doing at that moment.  You know, I think Charles Du Bois said it correctly.  "The important thing is this:  At any moment to be able to sacrifice what we are for what we could become."  I think that's the organization we're trying to be and the way of working we're trying to emulate  and sometimes people confuse that with something simple called "nice" and I just wanted to be clear that we're all talking about the same thing."
 As you can see, I got carried away with the meeting and actually did write a whole post.  the picture is of Goose Lake which still had, yesterday, ice on the surface of most of the lake.  But we've had several days with temperatures into the 70s (at least in our backyard) so it can't last long.

I'll put up the other pictures later.   Maybe.

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