Sap: Mr Trump, sir, you requested a climate briefing.
Trump: So, all these so called climate ‘experts’ – are they right or wrong.
Sap: Mostly badly wrong, sir.
Trump: All this global warming, what, just nonsense.
Sap: I believe I didn’t say that sir. I was indicating that the scientific consensus was inaccurate.
Trump: The UN conference stuff, all those scientists, they don’t know their field, or are they making it out to be worse than it is?
Sap: With respect sir, most of the IPCC are experts in their field. I don’t believe I stated that they were wrongly making a worse case scenario.
Trump: Son, we have limited time. Make your point.
Sap: I couldn’t agree more sir. The situation is somewhat worse than you may have been told.
Trump: So, your saying the planet is warming?
Sap: Sir, yes.
Trump: But we can deal with that right? The earth used to be much warmer. What are the upsides?
Sap: Can I clarify, sir. Upsides?
Trump: You know, more plant growth, ice free poles. We can maybe get into those artic oil fields all year round. That’s a good thing, right.
Sap: That is not something I would advise on sir. The planet is warming faster than predicted, climate impacts are greater than anticipated, the situation has moved beyond our ability to mitigate.
Trump: So we adapt. We can do adaptation right. We’re talking, what, a couple of degrees. We can do that.
Sap: I indicated it might be somewhat in excess of that sir.
Trump: So what do your experts say? This is natural change right. We’ve adapted before, we can do it again.
Sap: We are looking at extremes beyond our ability to adapt sir. We are looking at extremes beyond human experience. This is not natural.
Trump: You trying to tell me this is our fault now. That what, we burn some oil and suddenly the whole planet’s up in smoke.
Sap: Partially sir.
Trump: You’re talking riddles. Make it make sense, son, or you’re gone.
Sap. Sir. We’ve put too much CO2 into the air. It has put the system out of balance.
Trump: So we burn cleaner. Stop pumping out so much gas.
Sap: The gasses already produced will continue to overheat the atmosphere for decades to come.
Trump: So we take it back out of the air We can do that. Even your IPCC guys say we can do that
Sap: Unfortunately only in theory sir. Current IPCC projections incorporate such mitigations but we have no proven technology available.
Trump: So we move on that. Big drive, big focus. Let’s get it sorted.
Sap: Sir, there are other greenhouse gasses.
Trump: So that’s our fault too?
Sap: Partially sir.
Trump: Son. Make sense.
Sap: Methane is a major issue sir.
Trump: We make that much methane? What’s that, cow farts. That our fault too.
Sap: Sir, this is not about blame. Methane occurs naturally in the earth.
Trump: You said this was our fault. Now you’re saying it’s natural.
Sap: It is a natural response to a warming planet sir.
Trump: How do we stop it.
Sap: We can’t sir. It’s locked in.
Trump: You got any other unnatural natural responses you want to tell me about, or are we done.
Sap: There’s the water vapour sir.
Trump: Steam, we’ve been pumping out steam since America was born. That a problem all of a sudden.
Sap: Sir, this is increased levels of evaporated water from the oceans. This traps heat in the atmosphere.
Trump: More clouds make it cooler right. Sorted.
Sap: Sir, clouds are condensed water vapour. Condensing water releases further heat into the atmosphere.
Trump: You’re loosing me again son.
Sap: Sir. Current assessments do not incorporate all these feedback loops. IPCC is a very conservative estimate. if you combine the effects of all these gasses then warming is way above 2 degrees.
Trump: You about done with your feedbacks. Got any others you want to throw in.
Sap: Sir, there are in excess of 50 in total.
Trump: But some will work in our favour right.
Sap: Sir. Once the system is out of balance then the major feedbacks all pretty much work in the one direction.
Trump: OK. Tell me another one.
Sap :When the ice is gone from the artic, all the sun’s heating effect warms the oceans
Trump: But it’s cold. There is no sunshine up there.
Sap: Sir. In the summer the sun shines all day and all night. It’s the winter ice that keeps it cool. Once the ice melts the sun just goes on making the ocean hotter and hotter.
Trump : So what we talking about overall. 3 degrees, four maybe?
Sap: At least eight or nine sir.
Trump: OK, that’s hot. Fahrenheit right.
Sap: Celsius sir.
Trump: Pretty rough on Africa I guess. But good for say Canada, right. That place is cold.
Sap: Sir, this will severely impact food supply chains and industrial civilisation on a global level.
Trump:I don’t do pessimism son. Give me options, give me solutions.
Sap: There are no solutions. There is no upside, sir. Advanced industrial civilisation will not survive this event.
Trump :OK. Say I believe you. We’ve got time to sort this. What are we talking, sometime next century, turn of the century worst case.
Sap: Sir. We can trace the feedback loops back ten years. The best estimate is that the planet will be uninhabitable for humans in less than ten years.
Trump: What about sea levels. They worse than forecast too?
Sap :You are correct sir but I would suggest that sea level rise is the least of your immediate concerns.
Trump :There’s a bunker right. I’ll have a place in a bunker. And my family. There’ll have a place too, right.
Sap: Sir yes there is a bunker sir, but you may not wish to consider utilising it.
Trump: Meaning what son.
Sap :Sir. Once the widespread collapse of modern industrialised civilisation is underway then the presence of aerosols in the atmosphere dramatically reduces.
Sap: Sir, the presence of atmospheric aerosols block sunlight reaching the earth’s surface and have a strong net cooling effect.
Trump: And that goes away, right.
Sap: Yes. Estimates are for a further 3 degrees of heating.
Trump: Celsius right.
Sap: Yes. Celsius.
Trump: Totalling what exactly.
Sap: In all probability in excess of ten degrees sir In, under ten years sir. The opportunity for complex organisms to adapt and survive in these timescales is limited at best and projections are for a near total extinction event.
Trump: So how long would I, we, whoever, need to stay in the bunker. How long until it’s safe.
Sap: Ten thousand years, sir, before the climate might begin to recover. Several million years for any sort of environment that could support complex life forms again.
Trump: So we’re fucked.
Sap: Yes, fucked, sir.