The Myth of 2C Being Safe and Achievable

At every twist and turn in our Runaway Abrupt Climate Change fiasco we have been lied to by the powers that be that they were acting and had the situation under control.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

William Nordhaus, an economist at Yale was the first corporate shrill to suggest that 2C was both achievable and safe.  It was neither but we were collectively sold the lie.
I have been moved to draft this blog after continually reading climate change articles that continue to reference 2C as being achievable as it patently is not and when the aware reader witnesses chaos unfolding at approximately 1.5C it is obvious that 2C will be catastrophic and is only a pathway to much higher global mean temperatures as a myriad of tipping points and self reinforcing feedback loops kick in.
2C is complete disaster

Below are a number of embedded links to confirm the obvious: ‘Why the 2°C limit looks increasingly impossible‘ care of ” Vox”.

We have been thrown under the abrupt climate change bus and the lying before Cop 21 is under way

“At a meeting in London on 28 October, New Scientist asked the chief UN climate negotiator, Christiana Figueres, if it was now time for the world to accept that limiting warming to 2 °C is unrealistic and to start preparing for even greater warming. Figueres vehemently rejected this idea.”

“Would you want that for your children,” she responded. “This is about the quality of life on this planet.” The Paris treaty would “build a pathway” to 2 °C, she said, by paving the way for further cuts.

It is time to start preparing for a world more than 2 °C warmer than now, via New Scientist:  ‘The climate fact no one will admit: 2 °C warming is inevitable.’

Computer estimates of current climate sensitivity is demonstrated that they are dangerously low. They are based on an inadequate treatment of the system of amplification feedback which multiplies the effect of human interference of the composition of the atmosphere. The detailed analysis of the historical planetary response to the change in the concentration of carbon dioxide, temperature increase reveals an amplification of the eight times that of CO 2 (in contrast with the amplification of three times predicted by the climate modeling BY COMPUTER SET IPCC). Applying the corrected value of the sensitivity of the climate multiplied by more than 2 ½ times the earlier predictions of the response to any change given in the concentration of CO 2.

“One immediate consequence is the collapse of the “Carbon budget available” and the recognition that all future emissions add to the passing of the atmospheric gases of greenhouse effect. Significant reduction in the current population of CO 2 e is an essential element in the limitation of the increase in the global temperature to 2° c.

“On the other hand, the advances in the understanding of the implicit increase in the level of the sea and the dynamic response of global climate to small changes in the average temperature of the surface, show conclusively that the limit of temperature goal of 2° (C) has been set too high. It has to be reduced below 1° c if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change. Implications of the new analysis are set out for the whole of the promises of reduction in emissions of offered currently before the cop21, as well as with the persistent stage bau high emissions”.

Comment from Chefurka:

For those with a strong stomach for the bad news, the new paper of Dr. David Wasdell, given to meet before the cop21 in Paris.  7.8 degrees c by duplication of Co2 in place of 3 C? You say “Carbon budget”. Yes, we had one of these, maybe a hundred years ago. We now have a carbon overshoot that we can never pay.

“I firmly believe that Wasdell is correct. The situation that we face is much more serious than what we’ve accepted until now, because it was not taken into account the long term effects almost irreversible atmospheric co2. As usual, we’ve looked into the future only until the confines of our own life, and hemo ignored completely the lingering effects of the actions of today for those who live in the more distant future.”

Here is some additional information, The impossibility of limiting Global Warming to 2C. Brace for Impact:  Apollo Gaia Project. The harsh realities of now.

Several great videos:  5 Degrees Warmer: Civilization Collapses and Kevin Anderson – Delivering on 2°C: evolution or revolution?

McKibben’s Divestment Tour – Brought to You by Wall Street | Part XI: 2 Degrees of Credendum.  Brought to you, courtesy of Cory Morningstar author at: Wrong Kind of Green:

Excerpt:  “Conclusion: We have the United Nations, scientists, governments, global media, corporations, educational facilities, etc. etc. all echoing the three syllable term, the “2ºC target.” This term has been unremittingly reverberated throughout the echo chambers of corporate and so-called progressive media in tandem with the non-profit industrial complex. This constant reiteration did not reflect the 2ºC terminology, rather, it constructed it. Misleading statements, videos, interviews and both academic and scientific papers carefully and deliberately tone down any sense of immediate urgency, lending further “target” legitimacy to the 2ºC target, to which we acquiesce. Remember that the chosen word “target” is defined as “a goal to be achieved,” which strikes a chord, even if only on a subconscious level – which is far more powerful.

It has become normalized. The spectacle, comprised of a single number united with a single letter (with a little circle between them), must be considered a feat in 21st century hegemony – a creation by those whose interests are served by the spectacle; a pasquinade for the impoverished and those not yet born. The 2ºC discourse must be considered perhaps the most deadly game of psychological warfare ever played on human society. Using simple language and steadfast repetition, the acceptance by civil society of this so-called “two-degree target” represents an unsurpassed feat in modern psy-ops.”

After many decades of supporting Greenpeace and and similar organisations I have come to the conclusion that they are no longer the independent activist organisations I worked in many decades ago, they are now all beholding to the corporate money they receive and use to fund their corporate entities with.

Like Captain Paul Watson and Peter Wilcox, former Skipper of the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior  whom I was once arrested with for ” Obstructing a Nuclear Ship in the course of it’s passage”I have moved on.

I will be touring NZ with my dear friend and fellow climate warrior Professor Guy McPherson in November 2016, more details will be available on this blog in the near future;

I’m editing this post on the third of May 2020 to include the latest peer reviewed paper from my co-host on Nature Bats Last showing that we have already exceeded 2C

My Latest Peer-Reviewed Article Published

I'm an anti-imperialist, environmental activist and blue ocean sailor, who is passionate about the earth and all it's inhabitants without favour. Brace for imminent impact as we bare witness to the non-linear unraveling of the biosphere and habitability disappearing for most if not all complex life on the only habitable planet we know of. To quote President Niinistö in North Russia: ‘If We Lose the Arctic, We Lose the World’. Folks we have lost the Arctic.

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Posted in Abrupt Climate Change, Feedback loops
36 comments on “The Myth of 2C Being Safe and Achievable
  1. Really most interesting analysis by Cory Morningstar. I have been a fan of Bill McKibben but this article gives me pause. Thanks for posting it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Daryl Byron West says:

    Well blogged Skipper ! Will check out these links ‘dreckly’. Keep me in the feed shipmate.


  3. Kevin Hester says:

    David Wasdell rubbishes the safety of 2C on Radio Ecoshock, excellent show.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kevin Hester says:

    ” Some of those surveyed who said the 2C target would be met confessed they did so more out of hope rather than belief. “As a mother of young children I choose to believe this, and work hard toward it,” one said.”This optimism is not primarily due to scientific facts, but to hope,” said another.
    Hoping against reason is not good parenting or leadership.
    I revert, again, to my position as a yacht skipper.
    When I know unequivocally that my vessel has foundered It is my duty to Immediately inform the crew and instruct them on how we will prepare and inform the passengers. First a strategy, then inform everyone and then implementation of that strategy.
    Our ‘leaders’, if you could call them that have decided to lie to us and then the large NGO’s have decided to play along with the charade.
    This fellow passenger / skipper refuses to play that game.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kevin Hester says:

    The synopsis that we need to declare a climate emergency is spot on.Looking at the consequences of crossing so many tipping points isn’t. We will see a domino effect as the great unraveling unfolds and there will be a multitude of unforeseen reactions and they will all be very, very bad.
    I note that the presenter doesn’t talk about How we will draw down carbon as that technology doesn’t exist and we are losing more forests than we are planting.
    Fantasy technology will not save us.
    1C is not safe so 2C will be catastrophic, 4C is an extinction even for us all.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kevin Hester says:

    “Bill McGuire, professor emeritus of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, is most emphatic. “My personal view,” he says, “is that there is not a cat in hell’s chance.”
    Spot on.
    If you want links to the multitude of university’s doing climate research there are heaps embedded in this link!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kevin Hester says:

    “This doesn’t let us off the hook. Indeed, the idea that 2C is somehow safe is itself a pernicious bit of climate denial.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kevin Hester says:

    Cory Morningstar who writes at Wrong Kind of Green cuts to the chase on the lie that is a safe 2C and the role that the large NGO’s are playing in the perpetuation of 2C being safe.
    Follow the money.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. […] the biosphere. For many years we have been sold the lie that a global warming target of 2C was both Safe and Achievable  It was never safe nor achievable under the yoke of Industrial civilisation and unfettered […]


  10. Kevin Hester says:

    In 2005 Dr James E Hansen said 1C was the safe maximum.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. sheilach2 says:

    Our RULERS have made it virtually IMPOSSIBLE for us to reduce our carbon emissions. They have been fighting us for generations to prohibit or make illegal sex education, birth control & especially abortions.
    The ever growing & ignored, ‘elephant’ in the room, overpopulation, has doomed us already, our RELIGIOUS RULERS continue to push for more DAM GROWTH of consumption & population, that is INSANE!
    On the radio, I hear from one islamic women after another complain how her & her seven or so children can’t get enough food, shelter or education, that is our problem too many people who thanks to their religion & their religion besotted rulers have forced them to keep having more children by law but their sincerely held beliefs will not protect them from food shortages, water shortages or climate change, their innocent children will be the first to suffer.
    Christianity is just as guilty as Islam when it comes to forcing women to produce more children than they want or can care for.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Kevin Hester says:

    “Without abrupt action to restrict higher emissions “it will become exceedingly difficult to keep warming below a target smaller than 2° C” they write. Furthermore, they say, the supposedly safe “limit” for warming of 2 degrees Celsius—which has driven global climate negotiations for years—is too high. Anything more than 1 degree C could imperil the Earth’s ecosystems and societies. Hansen in particular is concerned about inaction imposing a crushing burden on today’s children, as reflected in the paper’s title: “Assessing Dangerous Climate Change: Required Reductions of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature.”


  13. Kevin Hester says:

    Proof that 2C isn’t safe when chaos is breaking out at 1.6C above the 1700 baseline.


  14. Reblogged this on The Brooklyn Culture Jam and commented:
    Some thoughts from Kevin Hester, who I frequently borrow from when the Despair overtakes me. A cogent quote: “Some of those surveyed who said the 2C target would be met confessed they did so more out of hope rather than belief.“ These are scientists hoping against what they know.


  15. Kevin Hester says:

    Radio Ecoshock show based on 2C not being safe;


  16. john turcot says:

    Kevin.. not to rain on any parade which deals with the possibility of stopping our inexorable slide towards extinction, but unless a catalyst is found and identified that could bring about such a possibility I wouldn’t bet too much money on it. If the threat of nuclear war ever since Helen Caldicott waved that flag way back in the eighties couldn’t budge the doomsday clock needle back more than a few seconds, the probability that global temperatures rises of 2 or 3 degrees C, or even 3 C, never mind 5-6 C, are about as great as using a kite to reduce the impact of a hurricane. I don’t think we can change the potential risks of climate change unless we can change the very nature of that which has caused it in the first place, and it’s not overpopulation.

    No one hardly ever talks about Brontosaurus being in the room, never mind the elephant. The roots of our problems are not our politicians, because WE are the politicians. They are not our bureaucrats, because WE are the bureaucrats, and thay are not the rich, because WE are the rich. The main problem is in our collective heads. Example, if WE can elect the likes of Donald Trump to address the problems of our continued existence, then it should reveal just what those collecrtive heads have in common.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin Hester says:

      Sadly you are spot on. The gist of your contribution to the debate reminds me of that great expression coined by the late great Michael C Ruppert “Until you change the way money works you change nothing”. I think it sums up the predicament perfectly.


  17. Kevin Hester says:

    This week the EU think tank ESPAS (European Strategy and Policy Analysis System) released a report on future global trends. In it the authors warn of “at worst, the extinction of humankind altogether” (see page 8) if “temperatures increase further” 1.5 degrees centigrade.

    Click to access ESPAS_Report2019.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Kevin Hester says:

    Professor Guy McPherson rips the 2C fantasy to shreds


  19. Kevin Hester says:

    Peter Wadhams replies to Guy’s link above


  20. Wish I could watch youtube to hear what they are saying to one another!

    Sure is feeling as if there Isn’t going to be any habitat left pretty damned soon in our immediate future…this is a Permian Extinction Event unfolding.

    Civilization-Ending Climate Change Is Knocking On Our Door
    by Thom Hartmann (also on 3Aug)

    The only bugs that are doing well in this blasting heat are yellow jackets and bald-faced hornets which are trying to take over the last hummingbird feeder I’ve got hanging on the front porch. There are a couple female Rufous and Calliope still eating on it but the mass of 30 or so that arrived in May have disappeared with the heat. I don’t know if these few are still feeding babies but these nasty bugs are very very aggressive in this heat towards them. The little hummers will NOT contest the feeder when the hornets are on it, and I’ve been doing the vacuum cleaner suck on them. Yellow jackets are an introduced invasive species…

    The majority of insect life that showed up about the same time they did has for the most part disappeared. Swallows vanished this year also but then they are flying bug eaters and since there isn’t any food here maybe they went down the ridge into the valley along the Colville River? Sure are a LOT of mosquitoes in the evening down below for them at least. The year-round creek just behind and below me in the canyon is no longer flowing above ground.

    There are numerous bird nests with eggs in them that were abandoned over a month ago. I keep finding more as I wander the property. Bird houses got too hot which is unsurprising, even the shaded ones, but then so did the nests in the treelines. Not just the flying bug eaters but the ground eaters have mostly left because the ground has gone to a dry rock-hard dusty disaster this year. The eggs cooked is what I’m guessing and I’m sure they can tell when the eggs are dead from perhaps no sound coming from them or smell? Our senses are so dull in comparison.

    I’m watering to keep the 50 yr old apple tree growing but the apples on it are looking pretty stunted for being such an early blossoming this Spring. Doubt what few apples survive will be all that edible.

    I looked at my calendar and added up the days since 2June of 100’F or more. I’m at 28 days! 104’F yesterday and expected hotter today but there are too many 90’F+ days to bother counting.

    Potential lightning/T-storms at 20% so it isn’t too likely but we really need the rainfall. Any rainfall! National weather online is getting less and less accurate I’ve noticed especially when it comes to those optimistic rain forecasts. And it is always hotter on my thermometer than their predictions.

    Getting too warm to be up here in the office on the computer. Just about 11am and it’s edging towards 90’F already. Another triple digit day for these mountains.


    Liked by 1 person

  21. Dan gets it obviously. But then we’re all gonna ‘get it’ eh Kevin? And it won’t be pretty and have a nice bow on top with chocolate frosting on the sides…

    The world is so red tinted here that it’s starting to look like Mars… It was supposed to be 106’F today but there was so much smoke that I don’t think it did. I thought I lived in the mountains but I can’t see any no matter what direction I look in….

    And the only thing the wealthy who run this planet care about is making more money. And their luxury bunkers of course…



    Liked by 1 person

  22. Kevin Hester says:

    From Sam Carana at the Arctic News Blog;
    “Of course, 1920 is not pre-industrial. As the IPCC mentions, the ‘pre-‘ in pre-industrial means ‘before’, implying that ‘pre-industrial’ refers to levels as they were in times well befóre (as opposed to when) the Industrial Revolution started.

    When taking the rise over the past century and adding 0.30°C for the rise over the previous 170 years, that brings the rise up to 1.79°C (from ≈1750, the start of the Industrial Revolution). Carbon dioxide and methane levels started to rise markedly about 6000 years ago, causing a 0.29°C rise for the years from 3480 BC to 1520 (see image at top). Finally, there will also have been a rise for the years from 1520 to 1750 that, when estimated at 0.20°C, would mean that emissions by people could have caused the temperature to rise by 2.28°C (4.122°F), compared to the temperature some 5500 years ago (see inset on above image).

    A huge temperature rise by 2026?

    A recent post suggests that the 1.5°C threshold was already crossed in 2012, i.e. well before the Paris Agreement was adopted by the U.N. (in 2015), while there could be a temperature rise of more than 3°C by 2026.”


    • Ah hell Kevin, thought you’d throw up some good news for a change…like maybe Alien Space Bats had showed up with their global warming reduction machine but I guess that’s just too much to ask, eh?

      I’m REALLY not looking forward to what’s about to happen in March like last year…you know, the start of FIRE SEASON when it should be snowing or, at the very least, raining. I wonder if it will hit 120’F here by June as if last June’s 116’F wasn’t bad enough.


      Crusty, thin (as in a couple inches) snow being rained on which turns it mushy on top and slick nasty as a bottom layer where even the dog slips; above freezing except at night, and I’m enjoying the gray overcast sky and chill temps because I’d best get in all the cool days I can, right? Won’t be a happy camper in the very near future…like three or four months when it suddenly switches over to zero rain and 45 fires like last March…driest Spring on record.



  23. […] Neither of these guardrails or what has now become missed targets, were either safe or achievable. The Myth of 2C Being Safe and Achievable William Nordhaus won a Nobel Peace Prize for sealing the planets destruction with his unscientific […]


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Kevin Hester

Kevin Hester is currently living on Rakino Island, a small island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, New Zealand, monitoring the unravelling of the biosphere and volunteering at the Rakino Island Nursery is currently developing a proposal to create a marine reserve near by. The Island has no grid tied electricity or reticulated water.  I catch my own water from the roof and generate my electricity from the ample solar radiation on the island.

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