Breaking news: Arctic summer ice loss is newly measured at over 50% higher then expected.
Of course, this is being picked up by all the science blogs too. Add to this the gigantic cyclone that just gone done battering the Artic (bet you didn’t hear about this on the MSM). I’ve been watching this for the last two weeks.
It’s a big deal. A very big deal. What goes on up in the Arctic, especially on this scale, has a dramatic effect on what will happen down here. Arctic News is now predicting total extinction as a real possibility within the next 50 years.
Personally, I definitely do not agree with their proposed mining of the “subsea methane reserves by extracting the methane, liquefying it and selling it as a green house gas energy source”. That would be a disaster (Jevon’s Paradox), saving nothing but destroying everything even faster.
Humanity is facing a gigantic problem, one which appears to have no solution. So far, Geo-engineering has failed to slow the warming down. More drastic proposals are being considered, yet none of them address the root problem of civilization and the anthropogenic contributions to warming. Therefore, in the long and short-term, nothing is going to work. You can’t keep making contributions to the atmosphere and expect different results.
I’m sure you’ve all heard this before — if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get the same results every time.
Meanwhile, the would-be idiots and wanna-be-idiots in charge are running on political platforms and policy that continues to deny that there is even a problem. Romney’s “VP pick” is a major climate denialist (an absolute fool). But don’t think that I’m voting Democrat — I’m not. Nobody that will be installed in the White House has gnats-chance of gaining any traction on this problem. The United States, as the world’s largest per-capita atmospheric polluter, will not do anything about any of this in time. American politicians are spineless cowards, two-dollar whores to Big Oil and the Defense industry.
So expect more of the same, since we’re going to do as we’ve always done. Ignore, deny, accuse and finger-point. Meanwhile, nature doesn’t give a flying f*ck about what we think or believe, it’s going to act in accordance to the laws of nature and chemistry.
Billions of humans are going to be asking themselves this simple question: “Where are they going to live, now that the ice is gone?” Yet before that question truly becomes the lamenting cry of all of humanity, they’re going to be asking themselves something else — “Where can I get a drink of water?”
Other questions will also arise — “What do I feed my children today?” And “How long can I live without food?”
I’m completely numb now to the sheer idiocy and denial that is taking place in America. I guess that is what happens in collapse – a strong disbelief that it can actually happen “here”.
I’m watching plants and trees wither and die outside my office window. I’m in one of the only locations in the country that has not been hit by drought — but it’s bone dry here now. Already. We had a very wet spring. Keeping cool has required me to shift my workload to mornings and evenings, avoiding the hottest part of the day and any heavy work if I can. A small adjustment.
July was the hottest month EVER recorded. Yet I know that it’s only going to get much worse as the ice continues to disappear. Acceleration, amplification and positive feedbacks events are all occurring now, and the longer they continue, the less ‘possible’ it becomes to slow down or stop.
I’m sure it’s irrelevant, but I recently commented on this site with regards to the “hope” proposed by the author of alternative energy accomplishing anything. The author actually extrapolated how alternative energy could conceivably “catch up” to fossil fuels – and then made the drastic error of how this should give rise to optimism and hope for humanity. He’s making the classical error that a “techno-fix” will save humanity.
Read the posting yourself: Climate Change Action Is Not Hopeless. Even in a so-called ‘carbon-neutral society’ – our goose is cooked. We can’t overlook the thousands of years of climate feedbacks from the atmosphere we’ve changed. I’m not sure why everyone forgets this, but it’s hugely important to any concept of a “future”.
You’ve been smoking Hopium! What your funny graphs fail to show is the fact that alternative energy “solutions” all require oil energy to be manufactured, it’s extremely unlikely they will EVER be able to be self-produced without fossil fuels.
In addition, the carbon footprint they create isn’t zero or even negligible, it’s quite significant, which is even more emissions into the atmosphere!
Furthermore, energy production doesn’t actually “solve” anything (Jevon’s Paradox applies here). It isn’t more energy we need long-term, it’s less. Whatever efficiencies we may gain, or alternative technologies we may employ, will only lead to more endless growth — something a finite world doesn’t need.
What we are now experiencing in regards to global warming was decades in the making, our present “experience” on climate is emissions from the 1950’s and 1960’s. We’ve yet to fully grasp what our experience will be from the emissions of the 1980’s – 1990’s (with emissions having always gone up every single year).
This means that your charts are useless in regards to climate change effects and how alternative energy can “solve” anything now. By 2050, the time when you extrapolated alternative energy catching up with conventional sources, the climate will be so horribly “wrong” that alternative energy “solutions” won’t offer lick-spittle hope for solving anything — except giving humans yet another energy source to exploit (Jevon’s Paradox).
The world continues to act, belief and think that “we have the time” to solve these issues, yet they are ignoring just how long it will take to restore climate stability (thousands of years) already set in motion. Any technofix solution we may devise now is actually already much too late. We’re still going to have to figure out how to endure hellish conditions on this planet for a long, long time. And that’s also assuming anything can be done (restoring climate stability), something this is unproven.
While I support alternative energy ideas, they are not going to “fix” anything in regards to our climate for the next several thousand years. They may help – but we won’t “experience” an of the climate benefits for a very long time.
The amount of emissions we have dumped into the atmosphere will be with us for a very long time, all the while the climate conditions get worse and worse until they finally stabilize — but that won’t be anything we’re going to like. We’re just now understanding the lag time involved.
I’ve written about this extensively on my own blog and my conclusions are very much different then yours. I don’t advocate Hopium at all, I think it’s a dangerous delusional distraction from reality and what we really need to be doing right now.
It isn’t my goal to destroy anyone’s “hope” or belief in a livable future. Not at all. My goal is to see more people stop embracing self-deception. The failure to fully acknowledge what is happening leads to many erroneous conclusions, and how we might respond to how the future unfolds.
Hope is essential, but hopium, ie., false hope, illusionary hope, is not. Real hope means action – it doesn’t mean sitting on our arses waiting for a magical rescue.
The only actions we can take that address root causes is to power down civilization. Enabling civilization to consume more energy would be a mistake (and why I don’t agree with mining hydrates) — but one which we will probably make.
I don’t suppose I need to go into why this will happen again. Disbelief, denial, greed, indifference and arrogance all play a part. Our collective inability to critically examine our civilization and how it’s leading to our demise is one of the biggest mistakes we are still making — and one which will probably be ignored indefinitely — even after our collapse. Mankind will do everything he can to perpetuate what he already has. He’s not willing to make a major course adjustment — but this is exactly what is needed.
Most hope / Hopium is based upon more of the status-quo with slightly different versions. Generally, they all believe the same things — minor corrections are all that is required. If broad enough and widely deployed, we can fix our problems. This is factually false.
I spent a long private conversation with a friend, that discussed the issues of money, capital, resources, future and civilization. They are all inextricably intertwined with one another, and as we have come to embrace these things, they all will lead us to exactly the same place, our “collapse” — from which we will then try and rebuild as we have oft done before. Except for something that hasn’t happened in human history — climate collapse. No modern civilization has ever experienced climate collapse. Resource-based civilizations of the past barely survived. Yet they stood a better chance at survival then a modern civilization does — which means that will then be the civilization of the future if it exists at all — a resource based civilization that emphasizes its resources over its “progress”. Or at least until we try to repeat the same mistakes we’re making now — if we are that stupid (and we probably are).
Energy of course, plays a huge part in this, and we’re not about to give up our energy addiction, even if it means turbo-charged electric vehicles. Current population levels however, can’t survive it and will depopulate (die-off) to whatever resource levels remain.
It’s pointless to speculate much further into the future then this. My generation — your generation, and those older then you and younger then you — are well and truly f*cked. We’re going to have to ‘transition our way’ through this unfolding climate / resource / food disaster growing ever-larger each day. There isn’t any simple fixes available on the scale needed. Nobody is even seriously discussing what needs to be done or willing to embrace the seriousness of the situation. This leave little hope, except the kind that relies upon illusion, deception, misinformation and fantasy.
On the other hand, it will force reality upon everyone worldwide, but I should qualify that. Only the “modern world” (desperately) needs this reality check — the rest of the world already well knows how serious things are. We’re the one’s living cushioned air-conditioned lives, exploiting and consuming resources faster then anyone else. This is creating a false sense of security and comfort and the illusion of hope. It doesn’t necessarily take much to twist that hope into a pile of bent metal when nature strikes back.
If that happens to you — then now is definitely the time you should be asking yourself — Where are you going to live when all the ice is gone?