Submission of objection for:
MCUI/2017/2940 – Material Change for Use – Impact
Development Application
Development Permit – Material Change of Use June 2017 to Service
Station & Car Wash
Corner Albert Street & New England Highway, Crows Nest
Lot 2 on RP151087
Prepared for: Marakech Pty Ltd
From (handed to Toowoomba Regional Council Office – Crows Nest Monday 26 March 2018)
Name:
Mr Steven Thomas Signature: …………………………….

Date:……………………….

email: cngqld@gmail.com

Address 25 Esk Street
Crow’s Nest Qld 4355
Tel: 0432 199 675
To:
krys.denhertog@tr.qld.gov.au
Assessment Manager
Toowoomba Regional Council

DA Objection 2017/2940 26-03- 18ST

Objection submission for-
(MCUI/2017/2940 – Material Change of Use – Impact):
Aim:
This submission is to formally object to the proposed construction and operation of the service
station proposed for the location as set out in the Development Application (DA)
MCUI/2017/2940, submitted 13/06/2017.

Objections:

I have resided in Crow’s Nest for 20 years. In my time here I have learned to appreciate the consequences of seasonal flooding: particularly inundation leading to road modification, major disruption and ultimately closure to the New England Highway.

I am not anti-development in the town though I am objecting to this particular site being developed as put forward thus interfering with natural flow of water, a compounding of issues inherent with water in the area, and the inherent liability of toxic chemicals being leeched into the surrounding soil and so into the water courses and creeks.

The objections for why the planning approval for this site should be rejected:

Alteration of natural water collection will impact the existing water course on site and flow through to adjoining properties, cross the highway and inundate the creek, flow through the national park and ultimately downstream to Cressbrook dam. And as further consequence of this development the tide will include toxic chemical pollution.

 

Your report shows that flood modelling occurrence as medium risk and earth works as mitigation as per the nature of water will not reduce the risk but further compound the likelihood and does not include any historical assessment nor consideration of previous flood events.

In addition to the negative impacts above it is noted again in your report this site has degraded vegetation, acid sulfate soils, and ground water degradation, each of which will be a further impacted by a flood event.

 

In conclusion the lack of a model which accounts suitably for the sites significant flood history and negative impact both in situ and downstream, nor the traffic disruption that has previously occurred, bodes heavily on this planning approval from being accepted.

To reiterate I here say this material change of use for this site, a service station as suggested, is not appropriate.

Steven Thomas
25 Esk Street
CROWS NEST QLD 4355
0432 199 675

DA Objection 2017/2940 26-03- 18ST

ATTACHMENT ‘A”

I Steven Thomas 25 Esk Street Crow’s Nest have read and agree with Mr Graham
Blackman’s DA Objections 2017/2940 of 23/03/18 (emailed 23/03/18) and support the
content set within, especially all statements regarding flooding and the negative impacts
that have impacted to our property on the northern boundary of this site.

Signed:……………………………………………………..Dated:…………………………………

Steven Thomas
Submission of objection for:
MCUI/2017/2940 – Material Change for Use – Impact
Development Application
Development Permit – Material Change of Use June 2017 Service
Station & Car Wash
Corner Albert Street & New England Highway, Crows Nest
Lot 2 on RP151087
Prepared for: Marakech Pty Ltd
From (Emailed Friday 23 March 2018)
Name Graham Blackman
Address 12a Albert Street
Crow’s Nest Qld 4355
Tel: 0481 395 528
Email: ggb67qld@gmail.com
To:     krys.denhertog@tr.qld.gov.au
Assessment Manager
Toowoomba Regional Council
Planning Department

The walrus and the carpenter,
Have much to ponder,
This day ‘tis more ruminate my sire!
Are at their usual fodder. #artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter
All in the game of twitter,
You can’t say that can you Sire!
Enjoy the chivvy in their titter. #artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Have a maladie ague,
Rarely the febrile tweeter,
Now end on a-tishoo. #artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Remember the martyr religious,
An allure of the white sautoir,
Just not adjacent but contiguous. #artwiculate

I moved from rural Wales in my youth and now live in Crows Nest.

Since early days I’ve engaged with initiatives, such as clean energy and social justice, for a better world. In my local community I’ve been an advocate for community services to improve health, safety, public transport, inclusivity and protection of heritage.

The farmlands and natural environments of Condamine need protection from the impacts of mining ventures and inland rail. Also, prime agricultural land is being eaten up by over development of housing with ecological deficit. Peri-urban areas have been traumatised by excessive tree clearing and loss of wildlife habitats. I also stand to support conservation farming practices, grassroots land care and indigenous rangers.

Here we have a local, Queensland and global responsibility to lower the impacts of climate change. I advocate for less dependence on coal mining which directly elevates temperatures and ocean acidity. There needs to be a stronger acceptance from government of the capability of the renewable energy sector to make a rapid change in the energy market. I support strong and responsible regulation of a state public energy provider to stop providers rorting the system. I encourage initiatives for responsible consumerism including shared transport efficiency.

In Condamine I am a local representative of the people, and I demand for the people full consultation, legal protection, responsible government and weeding out corruption.

Dear editor,

re: Local Landcare Forum – Dalby

My attendance at Queensland Water and Landcarers (QWaLC) forum held at the Senior Citizens Centre Dalby was an informative day where aspects pertaining to the organisation, from the aging of the Landcare community through to attracting new energetic members for their fresh contributions were addressed. The importance of green clean and sustainable agriculture is a priority as is the equitable efficient use of water, land and human resources.

Soils, water to future challenges for the group in a climate vigilant world; the importance of grassroots support, ‘Keeping it Local’ together with branch support; aboriginal burning methods so as to control dead zones and promote variety of flora and fauna; drought and feed concerns for livestock and the action of tree fodder harvesting; notably this is not tree clearing per se as the distinction is made between redundant dead mulga growth and the notably differing viable variety of indigenous trees which are in turn further habitat for flora and fauna therein.

Roadside litter and the seemingly perennial problem of how to deal with acquired bad habits of people who consume and freely discard but fail to deal with the consequence; not merely visually but also essentially environmental pollution. Volunteer Landcare work teams would over a day or more collect truckloads of garbage and recyclables from the roadside; ideally the education of the community so as to establish a clean environment free from litter. How exactly to establish correct habits?

Noxious weeds and their poisoning so as a way of curtailing the spread, awareness of the chemical problem, trends in statistical analysis of water, the concentration and variety of herbicides and pesticides found on the Downs; the concern being what potentially will be the future chemical cocktail resulting from our present and past use and its result on nature is an unknown factor.

Feral animals and their curtailment, notably deer and wild pigs: pigs seemingly have a sixth sense in the tracking down of recently sown chick peas and once achieved there upon root the seeds out. Then the exotic carp and their deleterious effects on waterways, feral cats, and alien Indian minors, also fox predation and turtle hatchling and their protection with notable success, were discussed.

A last note taken from the forum is care of soil being critical for the stability of carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere and the recent ending of federal funding for soil sciences mean this intergral area of research has been hard hit. On a lighter note it is true that woody weeds do have a silver lining in that they protect soil from erosion and exposure in the new reality of extreme environmental conditions thus ensuring propagation of the hardiest resiliant nature and as such illustrate the varied aspects of agronomy today.

On the day it is apparent that natural asset management of the Murray Darling basin and the Condamine catchment is directly relevant to this organisation.

Lastly may I say it was a pleasure to attend such a friendly event.

Thank you,

Local Landcare Forum – Dalby
Where: Dalby Senior Citizens Hall, Dalby.
When: 9:00am to 3.30pm, Saturday, 14 October 2017

Dear Editor,

The future is in front of us.

Hurricanes, earthquakes, refugees: each is an extra fatigue for an already over drawn life. In an overdose of issues we just aren’t ready to face up to climate change as this assaults our basis for daily activity; we don’t want to think about it so it isn’t real and when eventually it is acknowledged it is assumed to be then too late to do anything constructive and thus things continue.

We need to know about this anxiety because it is at the centre of the inability to do things. Big business, the money motive, are resistant to fix things and so to make money it plays on the anxieties already inbuilt by way of the frenetic fresh yet tiresome news byte as a red herring. The cascade of glamour and consumables as an alternative to news is another.

The freedom to be oneself or do what one wants, this freedom is more than a consumer value it is a shift of focus away from the liberal society, the shared community and the responsibility there in. Autonomy is important, but not when it is manipulated, for gain, by endless opportunities for pleasure or escapism.

Drawing attention to the need for transformation is what is difficult in these days of perpetual change, where there is little solid to hold onto: though this sense of foreboding does not stop the need for change from bearing down on us.

It’s time to get real and assert ourselves in acknowledging what needs to be done; and what is necessary is a wholehearted twenty twenty vision of the collective future.

Thank you,

Steven M. Thomas,
Greens Candidate for Condamine.
0432199675
25 Esk St,
Crows Nest,
Queensland 4355

Relationships wont last

Anxiety about our reality

Hurricanes, earthquakes refugees (which is genocide): each is an extra fatigue for an already fatigued life. In an overdose of issues we aren’t ready to face up to climate change as it assaults our basis for life, and we don’t want to think about this for the moment so it isn’t real and when eventually it is acknowledged as real by this time it is too late to do anything constructive this things continue ad infinitum.

 

 

Drawing attention to the need for transformation is what is difficult in these days of perpetual change, where there is little solid to hold on to though this sense of foreboding does not stop change from bearing down on us. Hurricanes,earthquakes, refugees: each is an extra fatigue for an already over drawn life. In an overdose of issues we just aren’t ready to face up to climate change as this  assaults our basis for daily activity, and we don’t want to think about it for the moment so it isn’t real and when eventually it is acknowledged by this time it is too late to do anything constructive thus things seemingly continue. We need to know about this anxiety because it is at the centre of the inability to do things. Big business, the money motive, are resistant to fix things and so to make money it plays on the anxiety already inbuilt in the consumer by way of the frenetic fresh news byte as a red herring. The cascade of glamourous titillation as seeming realism is another.

The freedom to be oneself or do what one wants, this freedom is more than a consumer value it is a shift of focus away from the liberal society, the shared community and the responsibility there in. Autonomy is important, but not when it is manipulated, for gain, by endless opportunities for pleasure or escapism.

It’s time to get real and assert ourselves in acknowledging what needs to be done; and what is necessary is a wholehearted twenty twenty vision of the collective future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What we have is at the expense of others and acknowledging this is a fear of loss, a foreboding of winners becoming losers.

we supposed to do anything real.

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
On hands and knee as we see,
With a goal of the learnt adventure,
To attain the allusive bursary #Artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Proficient in the occults noires,
Concoct to the heart’s desire,
Consult duly the pages grimoire #Artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Do the most loathsome of chores.
Are in need of yon hassock sir?
It’ll be a change from all fours #artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Continue the theme magique,
Graphic sigil as signature,
Hence evocation cabalistique. #artwiculate

The walrus and the Carpenter,
Are most uncongenial this day,
Unlike moi please do aver,
Ever contrariwise with all they say. #Artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
With diligent surety to create,
Inspector Clouseau is onto it Sir,
La Sûreté générale to implicate #Artwiculate

There once was a woman named Taylor,
Whose passport was too long to regail here,
Kamikaze,
Harikari,
Please come back signed, Australia.

The walrus and the carpenter,
Are seemingly joined at the hip,
To explain the waist belay,
A usual step in this courtship. #Artwiculate

For Walrus and the Carpenter,
To mollify is the preoccupation,
Make rare the sarcastic word,
But appease with propitiation. #Artwiculate

For Walrus and the Carpenter,
Things start to go awry,
Deny all knowledge we do declare,
And commencement of the argufy. #artwiculate

For Walrus and the Carpenter,
It’s quite natural the defy,
My Sir things are au contraire!
Thus Twitter becomes the argufy. #artwiculate

For Walrus and the Carpenter,
It’s a case of what do we espy,
My Sir things are au contraire!
Feet up and watch the argufy. #artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Are for same sex equality,
Gotta get as good as you give Dear,
And just hope it all ends equably #Artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Squabble over same sex survey,
But now latest here on twitter,
Are getting a long most equably. #artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Have been at this for many a year,
Now to the letter spavined,
They compose lame with obscure. #artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Are fierce rivals primogenitus
And are in their native element,
When it comes to endogenous. #artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Are fierce rivals primogenitus,
Do what thy can my Sire!
Thus perturbation endogenous. #Artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Atop the Twitter commentary,
With excellent WiFi quality Sire!
Une balade au jardin des Tuileries #Artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter,
Are now conspicuously blunt,
Don’t bogard monsieur,
As panatela is today’s forefront. #artwiculate

For Walrus and the Carpenter,
To mollify is the preoccupation,
Make rare the sacastic word,
But appease with propitiation. #Artwiculate

 

From Bigara a woman named Veronica,

Having a penchant for things Panasonica,

At home with Mount Fugi,
Smile one two then three,
Un mode de vie that’s distinctly Japonica.

The walrus and the carpenter,
Today mull with marijuana,
Mellow as game changer,
Less firework more panatela. #Artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter,
Have settled in and are comfy,
The only rule we can confer,
Don’t bogard the panetela dutchy. #Artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter,
Scrimshaw do attempt,
Not their favorite chore,
Other small issues to circumvent. #artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter,
On to things scrimshaw did stray,
And at this point the light did fade,
So put that thing away. #Artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Some scrimshaw do chisle,
Do guard yourself my Sire,
Be deadly for thine pizzle. #Artwiculate

There once was a woman of Bagara,
Desirous of yen for the craft Ikibana,
We tried haiku,
How did we do?
Last words we heard Sayonara.

For Walrus and the Carpenter,
To derivate is addictive,
Glean from where one can Monsieur,
Their art is quite derivative.

To be at the cenre is residitive
Again the balm to bathe in glamour,
The art of each couplet derivative.

The worst to be said is derivative.

For walrus and the carpenter,
All this same sex ballyhoo,
Makes scandal a public odour,
Thus my private life bugaboo. #Artwiculate

For walrus and the carpenter,
Forebodes their Waterloo,
For marriage equality please do register,
Make it more than bugaboo. #Artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter,
Are in search of today’s panacea,
What’s with it with feeling impure,
And suffering tweeters Pyorrhea?

The walrus and the carpenter,
Are in the toboggan position,
More lewd than luge Monsieur,
Quick down the stairs is the mission! #artwiculate

Pour Walrus et le Charpentier,
C’est encore des pas de deux,
Mais dépêche-toi de faire,
Vivement un prestissimo furieux.

For walrus and the carpenter,
The apt appearance of the wraith;
Supper is served Monsieur,
Thus manifestly are without scathe. #artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter,
O please do make them a waif!
What with things all austere,
Result in nothing but a wraith. #artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter,
Are garrulous on garret,
All have to live together,
Whose next in line to inherit? #Artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter ,
Now have the garret in which to dwell,
Life is hard we can concur,
A tease with this ‘ere pipistrelle.

The walrus and the carpenter,
Anent the president incumbent,
Are at home we can assure,
Yet passively stay recumbent #Artwiculate

For walrus and the carpenter,
Anent is modus operandi,
Life as a fashionable leisure,
Embodied in being quite dandy.

The walrus and the carpenter ,
Are in greatly reduced circumstances,
No not the garret monsieur!
Mischance in today’s finances. #artwiculate

For walrus and the carpenter,
An ominous onset of scurfy,
An upset of the fish food Sir?
One was aiming at being bougie. #Artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter,
Are at a lolloping gait,
A canter with aplomb be sure,
To end with a shy at the gate. #Artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter,
Are at a controlled gallop,
Gee Monsieur can canter,
You may win this ‘ere lollipop. #artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter,
Today are with ibis to bespeck,
Such is it sans arbitrage,
Another piqué-nique to wreck. #artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter,
Have pilcrow to paraphrase,
Some soma for you Monsieur,
Presently playing the Seraph haze. #Artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter,
Are at it with interregnum,
At it without a break,
The perennial ad infinitum. #artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter,
Are in a period of interregnum,
But who shall do as vicar,
To what depths does one plumb?

The walrus and the carpenter,
Today remonstrate signally,
Ever angrier more louder,
Does this work as facsimile? #Artwiculate

For walrus and the carpenter,
Capital is but more and more,
So individuality is a plague Monsieur?
Such is the fug of twitter.

For walrus and the carpenter,
The exit is nowhere to speculate,
Stop feeling me up do mind Monsieur!
Such is the the fug of artwiculate.

The walrus and the carpenter,
Sur les champs de bataille,
These cavalier on their destriers,
My such lances to catch the eye. #Artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter,
Are at their constant fun,
Roll over for this ‘ere hostler.
Now’s your time in the sun! #artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter,
Are in their habitual thrall,
What is it with this Hostler,
Whom we see as sleazeball? #artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
At home in their usual contrary,
Not for them to concur,
Comfortable in their ivory aerie. #artwiculate

For Walrus and the carpenter,
Things were a bit cheery,
What was it dear you saw on Twitter?
Life aloft in the gilded aerie. #Artwiculate

For Walrus and the Carpenter,
It’s quite safe not scary,
High up in their ivory tower,
For them a protective aerie. #artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter,
The procession pharaonique,
Suggestive of authority rather,
On the go with élixir parégorique. #Artwiculate

For walrus and the carpenter,
It’s blustery I do declare,
Not so much a saunter,
Quick face down parterre!#artwiculate

The walrus and the carpenter,
Are today full of despair,
What pray tell has happened of summer?
As they fall into the parterre. #artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Are in need of purchase on their feet,
Higher, taller and more..
Thus put crampons on the tweet. #artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Try the tampon applicator free,
Assuredly some discomfiture,
The result is crampon as we see. #artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Are traveling with a double bass,
En fait une mitrailleuse légère,
Which is indeed in this case. #artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Today nothing would aphasia:
An encounter with Oliver Wolf Sacks!
And a diagnosis of parageusia. #artwiculate

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Maybe a tickle or a laugh,
A place to bury the face rather,
Better to snuffle than to cough. #artwiculate

For Walrus and the Carpenter,
Do come out with twaddle
They pay no respect to arbiter,
So obviate positive role model. #artwiculate

I. ‘Doomsday’

Peering beyond scientific reticence.

It is, I promise, worse than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. And yet the swelling seas — and the cities they will drown — have so dominated the picture of global warming, and so overwhelmed our capacity for climate panic, that they have occluded our perception of other threats, many much closer at hand. Rising oceans are bad, in fact very bad; but fleeing the coastline will not be enough.

Indeed, absent a significant adjustment to how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.

Even when we train our eyes on climate change, we are unable to comprehend its scope. This past winter, a string of days 60 and 70 degrees warmer than normal baked the North Pole, melting the permafrost that encased Norway’s Svalbard seed vault — a global food bank nicknamed “Doomsday,” designed to ensure that our agriculture survives any catastrophe, and which appeared to have been flooded by climate change less than ten years after being built.
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The Uninhabitable Earth, Annotated Edition

The Doomsday vault is fine, for now: The structure has been secured and the seeds are safe. But treating the episode as a parable of impending flooding missed the more important news. Until recently, permafrost was not a major concern of climate scientists, because, as the name suggests, it was soil that stayed permanently frozen. But Arctic permafrost contains 1.8 trillion tons of carbon, more than twice as much as is currently suspended in the Earth’s atmosphere. When it thaws and is released, that carbon may evaporate as methane, which is 34 times as powerful a greenhouse-gas warming blanket as carbon dioxide when judged on the timescale of a century; when judged on the timescale of two decades, it is 86 times as powerful. In other words, we have, trapped in Arctic permafrost, twice as much carbon as is currently wrecking the atmosphere of the planet, all of it scheduled to be released at a date that keeps getting moved up, partially in the form of a gas that multiplies its warming power 86 times over.

Maybe you know that already — there are alarming stories in the news every day, like those, last month, that seemed to suggest satellite data showed the globe warming since 1998 more than twice as fast as scientists had thought (in fact, the underlying story was considerably less alarming than the headlines). Or the news from Antarctica this past May, when a crack in an ice shelf grew 11 miles in six days, then kept going; the break now has just three miles to go — by the time you read this, it may already have met the open water, where it will drop into the sea one of the biggest icebergs ever, a process known poetically as “calving.”

But no matter how well-informed you are, you are surely not alarmed enough. Over the past decades, our culture has gone apocalyptic with zombie movies and Mad Max dystopias, perhaps the collective result of displaced climate anxiety, and yet when it comes to contemplating real-world warming dangers, we suffer from an incredible failure of imagination. The reasons for that are many: the timid language of scientific probabilities, which the climatologist James Hansen once called “scientific reticence” in a paper chastising scientists for editing their own observations so conscientiously that they failed to communicate how dire the threat really was; the fact that the country is dominated by a group of technocrats who believe any problem can be solved and an opposing culture that doesn’t even see warming as a problem worth addressing; the way that climate denialism has made scientists even more cautious in offering speculative warnings; the simple speed of change and, also, its slowness, such that we are only seeing effects now of warming from decades past; our uncertainty about uncertainty, which the climate writer Naomi Oreskes in particular has suggested stops us from preparing as though anything worse than a median outcome were even possible; the way we assume climate change will hit hardest elsewhere, not everywhere; the smallness (two degrees) and largeness (1.8 trillion tons) and abstractness (400 parts per million) of the numbers; the discomfort of considering a problem that is very difficult, if not impossible, to solve; the altogether incomprehensible scale of that problem, which amounts to the prospect of our own annihilation; simple fear. But aversion arising from fear is a form of denial, too.

In between scientific reticence and science fiction is science itself. This article is the result of dozens of interviews and exchanges with climatologists and researchers in related fields and reflects hundreds of scientific papers on the subject of climate change. What follows is not a series of predictions of what will happen — that will be determined in large part by the much-less-certain science of human response. Instead, it is a portrait of our best understanding of where the planet is heading absent aggressive action. It is unlikely that all of these warming scenarios will be fully realized, largely because the devastation along the way will shake our complacency. But those scenarios, and not the present climate, are the baseline. In fact, they are our schedule.
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‘The Models Are Too Conservative’: A Paleontologist on Climate Change Today

The present tense of climate change — the destruction we’ve already baked into our future — is horrifying enough. Most people talk as if Miami and Bangladesh still have a chance of surviving; most of the scientists I spoke with assume we’ll lose them within the century, even if we stop burning fossil fuel in the next decade. Two degrees of warming used to be considered the threshold of catastrophe: tens of millions of climate refugees unleashed upon an unprepared world. Now two degrees is our goal, per the Paris climate accords, and experts give us only slim odds of hitting it. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issues serial reports, often called the “gold standard” of climate research; the most recent one projects us to hit four degrees of warming by the beginning of the next century, should we stay the present course. But that’s just a median projection. The upper end of the probability curve runs as high as eight degrees — and the authors still haven’t figured out how to deal with that permafrost melt. The IPCC reports also don’t fully account for the albedo effect (less ice means less reflected and more absorbed sunlight, hence more warming); more cloud cover (which traps heat); or the dieback of forests and other flora (which extract carbon from the atmosphere). Each of these promises to accelerate warming, and the history of the planet shows that temperature can shift as much as five degrees Celsius within thirteen years. The last time the planet was even four degrees warmer, Peter Brannen points out in The Ends of the World, his new history of the planet’s major extinction events, the oceans were hundreds of feet higher.*

The Earth has experienced five mass extinctions before the one we are living through now, each so complete a slate-wiping of the evolutionary record it functioned as a resetting of the planetary clock, and many climate scientists will tell you they are the best analog for the ecological future we are diving headlong into. Unless you are a teenager, you probably read in your high-school textbooks that these extinctions were the result of asteroids. In fact, all but the one that killed the dinosaurs were caused by climate change produced by greenhouse gas. The most notorious was 252 million years ago; it began when carbon warmed the planet by five degrees, accelerated when that warming triggered the release of methane in the Arctic, and ended with 97 percent of all life on Earth dead. We are currently adding carbon to the atmosphere at a considerably faster rate; by most estimates, at least ten times faster. The rate is accelerating. This is what Stephen Hawking had in mind when he said, this spring, that the species needs to colonize other planets in the next century to survive, and what drove Elon Musk, last month, to unveil his plans to build a Mars habitat in 40 to 100 years. These are nonspecialists, of course, and probably as inclined to irrational panic as you or I. But the many sober-minded scientists I interviewed over the past several months — the most credentialed and tenured in the field, few of them inclined to alarmism and many advisers to the IPCC who nevertheless criticize its conservatism — have quietly reached an apocalyptic conclusion, too: No plausible program of emissions reductions alone can prevent climate disaster.
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When Did Humans Doom the Earth for Good?

Over the past few decades, the term “Anthropocene” has climbed out of academic discourse and into the popular imagination — a name given to the geologic era we live in now, and a way to signal that it is a new era, defined on the wall chart of deep history by human intervention. One problem with the term is that it implies a conquest of nature (and even echoes the biblical “dominion”). And however sanguine you might be about the proposition that we have already ravaged the natural world, which we surely have, it is another thing entirely to consider the possibility that we have only provoked it, engineering first in ignorance and then in denial a climate system that will now go to war with us for many centuries, perhaps until it destroys us. That is what Wallace Smith Broecker, the avuncular oceanographer who coined the term “global warming,” means when he calls the planet an “angry beast.” You could also go with “war machine.” Each day we arm it more.

Humans, like all mammals, are heat engines; surviving means having to continually cool off, like panting dogs. For that, the temperature needs to be low enough for the air to act as a kind of refrigerant, drawing heat off the skin so the engine can keep pumping. At seven degrees of warming, that would become impossible for large portions of the planet’s equatorial band, and especially the tropics, where humidity adds to the problem; in the jungles of Costa Rica, for instance, where humidity routinely tops 90 percent, simply moving around outside when it’s over 105 degrees Fahrenheit would be lethal. And the effect would be fast: Within a few hours, a human body would be cooked to death from both inside and out.

Climate-change skeptics point out that the planet has warmed and cooled many times before, but the climate window that has allowed for human life is very narrow, even by the standards of planetary history. At 11 or 12 degrees of warming, more than half the world’s population, as distributed today, would die of direct heat. Things almost certainly won’t get that hot this century, though models of unabated emissions do bring us that far eventually. This century, and especially in the tropics, the pain points will pinch much more quickly even than an increase of seven degrees. The key factor is something called wet-bulb temperature, which is a term of measurement as home-laboratory-kit as it sounds: the heat registered on a thermometer wrapped in a damp sock as it’s swung around in the air (since the moisture evaporates from a sock more quickly in dry air, this single number reflects both heat and humidity). At present, most regions reach a wet-bulb maximum of 26 or 27 degrees Celsius; the true red line for habitability is 35 degrees. What is called heat stress comes much sooner.

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Actually, we’re about there already. Since 1980, the planet has experienced a 50-fold increase in the number of places experiencing dangerous or extreme heat; a bigger increase is to come. The five warmest summers in Europe since 1500 have all occurred since 2002, and soon, the IPCC warns, simply being outdoors that time of year will be unhealthy for much of the globe. Even if we meet the Paris goals of two degrees warming, cities like Karachi and Kolkata will become close to uninhabitable, annually encountering deadly heat waves like those that crippled them in 2015. At four degrees, the deadly European heat wave of 2003, which killed as many as 2,000 people a day, will be a normal summer. At six, according to an assessment focused only on effects within the U.S. from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, summer labor of any kind would become impossible in the lower Mississippi Valley, and everybody in the country east of the Rockies would be under more heat stress than anyone, anywhere, in the world today. As Joseph Romm has put it in his authoritative primer Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know, heat stress in New York City would exceed that of present-day Bahrain, one of the planet’s hottest spots, and the temperature in Bahrain “would induce hyperthermia in even sleeping humans.” The high-end IPCC estimate, remember, is two degrees warmer still. By the end of the century, the World Bank has estimated, the coolest months in tropical South America, Africa, and the Pacific are likely to be warmer than the warmest months at the end of the 20th century. Air-conditioning can help but will ultimately only add to the carbon problem; plus, the climate-controlled malls of the Arab emirates aside, it is not remotely plausible to wholesale air-condition all the hottest parts of the world, many of them also the poorest. And indeed, the crisis will be most dramatic across the Middle East and Persian Gulf, where in 2015 the heat index registered temperatures as high as 163 degrees Fahrenheit. As soon as several decades from now, the hajj will become physically impossible for the 2 million Muslims who make the pilgrimage each year.

It is not just the hajj, and it is not just Mecca; heat is already killing us. In the sugarcane region of El Salvador, as much as one-fifth of the population has chronic kidney disease, including over a quarter of the men, the presumed result of dehydration from working the fields they were able to comfortably harvest as recently as two decades ago. With dialysis, which is expensive, those with kidney failure can expect to live five years; without it, life expectancy is in the weeks. Of course, heat stress promises to pummel us in places other than our kidneys, too. As I type that sentence, in the California desert in mid-June, it is 121 degrees outside my door. It is not a record high.

III. The End of Food

Praying for cornfields in the tundra.

Climates differ and plants vary, but the basic rule for staple cereal crops grown at optimal temperature is that for every degree of warming, yields decline by 10 percent. Some estimates run as high as 15 or even 17 percent. Which means that if the planet is five degrees warmer at the end of the century, we may have as many as 50 percent more people to feed and 50 percent less grain to give them. And proteins are worse: It takes 16 calories of grain to produce just a single calorie of hamburger meat, butchered from a cow that spent its life polluting the climate with methane farts.

Pollyannaish plant physiologists will point out that the cereal-crop math applies only to those regions already at peak growing temperature, and they are right — theoretically, a warmer climate will make it easier to grow corn in Greenland. But as the pathbreaking work by Rosamond Naylor and David Battisti has shown, the tropics are already too hot to efficiently grow grain, and those places where grain is produced today are already at optimal growing temperature — which means even a small warming will push them down the slope of declining productivity. And you can’t easily move croplands north a few hundred miles, because yields in places like remote Canada and Russia are limited by the quality of soil there; it takes many centuries for the planet to produce optimally fertile dirt.

Drought might be an even bigger problem than heat, with some of the world’s most arable land turning quickly to desert. Precipitation is notoriously hard to model, yet predictions for later this century are basically unanimous: unprecedented droughts nearly everywhere food is today produced. By 2080, without dramatic reductions in emissions, southern Europe will be in permanent extreme drought, much worse than the American dust bowl ever was. The same will be true in Iraq and Syria and much of the rest of the Middle East; some of the most densely populated parts of Australia, Africa, and South America; and the breadbasket regions of China. None of these places, which today supply much of the world’s food, will be reliable sources of any. As for the original dust bowl: The droughts in the American plains and Southwest would not just be worse than in the 1930s, a 2015 NASA study predicted, but worse than any droughts in a thousand years — and that includes those that struck between 1100 and 1300, which “dried up all the rivers East of the Sierra Nevada mountains” and may have been responsible for the death of the Anasazi civilization.

Remember, we do not live in a world without hunger as it is. Far from it: Most estimates put the number of undernourished at 800 million globally. In case you haven’t heard, this spring has already brought an unprecedented quadruple famine to Africa and the Middle East; the U.N. has warned that separate starvation events in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen could kill 20 million this year alone.