Crisis of Conscience
Hot Whopper has a Dilbert Whopper article (as in Scott Adams, the Dilbert cartoonist) worth reading through (including the comments). Hot Whopper also shared a very good rebuttal from Variable Varability – “Scott Adams: The Non-Expert Problem and Climate Change Science“.
I would not have been so polite. Adams “model” points he used are red herrings. Ultimately, “what the models say” is irrelevant. Actual, on the ground, real-life measurements, taken over hundreds of years are empirical measurements. They do not tell a “story” or a unlearned “opinion” or represent a corporate interest, they tell the real facts. This is where denialists fail so often and so badly, they don’t use facts and they don’t like empirical evidence either.
This useless and silly disagreement with reality will rage on to no good end for anyone or anything. Gravity may be invisible to the eye, but its effects are definitely noticeable.
Arctic Sea Ice Sees Strange Cold Season Retreat – The Arctic is missing a chunk of sea ice the size of Mexico. This will indeed have effect upon sea ice next year and solar absorption. Oh, let’s not forget the polar bears either. I do think their estimates are low because the effects are speeding up.
Climate Change Won’t Stop in 2016, Despite Misleading Reports is an article that takes aim at more of the misrepresentation and misleading claims being put out by the usual suspects.
I admit that asking people to read is a bit much, but what else can I do?
There is also false optimism (hopium) found on both sides. Denialists see no reason to worry (hooray for our side, let’s strip-mine the planet!) and have no concern for the future, while others such as myself certainly do. But hopium isn’t helpful because it is also denial of reality. We can limit global warming to 1.5°C if we do these things in the next ten years chooses to ignore the current reality, the lag-effect and the global stubbornness to get with the program, which is to say, more hopium disguised as future technology that hasn’t even been invented yet. How would you like your hopium? Shaken or stirred?
Somewhere between these two extremes of non-alignment to reality lies the truth, or does it? What if the truth was far, far better? Or far, far worse? What if things were accelerating so quickly that it was impossible to comprehend? Get your doom on here. There is a video presentation here.
The problem as I see it, is we do not have realistic interpretation of the facts as they stand today (keeping in mind they are constantly being updated – always for the worse). That trend towards worse and worse somehow is always missing from estimates and interpretations. And it should not be. It should be included because it has a huge impact on what the actual expected outcomes are going to be. I’ve been documenting these worse and worse estimates now for many years. Taken as a whole, it definitely means much more then the optimistic hopium claims we’re still being spoon-fed.
This is why, after digesting thousands of articles, reports, assessments and opinions (mostly from experts in their field), I continue to believe that we are well within unstoppable runaway climate change and that there is simply no possibility of reversing this as claimed. We are FAR, FAR removed from having the political will and support to do so. Government, industry, business and the people themselves have generally chosen to just go on pretending it’s not going to happen. Business as usual and more of it is the chosen path. Despite increasingly strident warnings and reports from scientists, they’re being broadly ignored. This is to our shame.
I also believe we are facing massive unrest, shortages and competition which will undoubtedly lead to war, famine and civil unrest. Frankly, I see no other alternatives to this. It’s what happens when we find essential habitat and food shortages in short supply.
Take the time to read the links. We’re facing a crisis of conscious right now. Denial on all sides to the accelerating reality. The whole of this reality needs comprehension, if not acceptance. The scale, scope, speed, severity and significance of what it means to elevate Earth’s temperature this quickly. Now toss in our other contributions of pollution, deforestation, desertification, depletion and destruction of habitat the world over. We tend to turn a blind eye to this and what it all means.
Blogging our collapse is hard. It’s a message that few comprehend. It’s even harder to share. There are hundreds, even thousands of articles on this blog that point to “the whole of this reality” for your reference.
5 thoughts on “Crisis of Conscience”
Is it a crisis of conscience … or a crisis of consciousness?
Except for that small percentage of homo sapiens who are psychopaths, we generally want to do the right thing. But our minds are such a putrid stew of fear, mixed motives and self-deception, it takes a real housecleaning before you can get yourself on the right path.
I’ve spent decades cleaning my mental and emotional house, with the scanty bankbook that’s usually found twin to that endeavor. The more of such housecleaning you do, the more of an outsider you become. Is that why so many shy away from the task?
It was Terence McKenna who said, “The cost of sanity in this society is a certain level of alienation.”
I suppose it depends on your perspective and how you approach this. The conscience do too little. The consciousness required is lacking (replaced as you say, by fear). The unconsciousness exhibited prevents internal growth and external actions. But – in ALL cases, it all still too little, still governed by fear, and the outcome remains the same (from all groups, throughout history).
If this were not so – then we would not be in the predicament we find ourselves in. The world would be a very different place. There have been plenty of warriors of conscience, and much done for consciousness, especially in these later years. But it has not been enough, nor will it ever be. That is the part that is most misunderstood.
Humans are not going to solve this. We will pretend we can, we will even act like we can, but this is a first-rate deception. It is more then hopium too, it is writ large in actions taken (and still yet taken).
Once we began this particular trajectory, there was no turning back, no sudden dawning of awareness and turning away. Nor will there be any late-hour confessions or forgiveness of execution. This is what eludes most writers today, they continue to appeal to self-deception. Our trajectory is absolutely certain, and so is our actions, all by virtue of themselves, contribute to the execution.
That is another critical point missed by the hopiate. They embrace the delusion that the answer to the predicament lies in more, not less. Unfortunately, we’re even past that attempt now.
Climate change/global warming/planetary meltdown is unstoppable within the framework of the current economic system, which requires the continuous conversion of massive quantities of fossil fuels into carbon dioxide. Every aspect of the present economic system is ultimately dependent on converting fossil fuels into carbon dioxide, and no semblance of current economic-social arrangements is possible without converting fossil fuels into carbon dioxide. There is absolutely no debate about that, though there is plenty of disinformation.
It naturally follows that the carbon dioxide concentration of the air and the oceans increases every year:
CO2 traps heat (known since 1859 and moderately well understood since 1895).
Prior to the 1970s orbital factors and industrial pollution in the atmosphere held the warming due to CO2 in check. But since the 1970s warming due to CO2 has increasingly overwhelmed other heat-balance factors.
Absent catastrophic events such as massive volcanic eruptions that cause temporary ‘global dimming’, the heat content of the Earth increases every year. Only the scientifically illiterate and liars dispute any of the above.
Since the economic system is predicated on continued burning of fossil fuels, and since the economic system will not be abandoned voluntarily, it naturally follows that the CO2 content of the air will continue to rise in the foreseeable future. The inexorable rise in CO2 will be exacerbated or slightly ameliorated by changes in vegetation cover but to any extent that is likely impact this graph’s spectacular upward trend::
So the only questions open to debate are the timing of:
1. the point at which overheating (in combination with energy depletion) impacts the economic system so severely it causes economic contraction and then collapse.
2. the point at which mass die-off due to collapse of the environment and collapse of industrial food system occurs.
3. the point at which the human population drops so low it no longer significantly affects geochemistry.
Guy McPherson chose to compile a narrative based on misrepresentation of several aspects of the geochemistry and geophysics that determine average temperature and presented (presents) it as ‘extinction of the human species within one decade’, despite being proven wrong on several counts.
I am still of the opinion that the thermal mass of the Earth and the total heat of phase change ice-to-water is too great for the average temperature to rise by the 8oC that McPherson claims will occur over the next decade..
That said, I do believe we will witness massive disruption to the economic system well within ten years, and very likely more-or-less complete collapse of present living arrangements within 20 years.
This is one of the most realistic commentaries I know of:
I see that Trump has nominated Scott Pruitt, climate change denier, to head the EPA.
I’m not sure whether that is worse than pretending we can escape the progress trap, save the planet and save the economy by using ‘green technology’ to create ‘green jobs’.
Political hacks cater to private interests, in this case, the Koch brothers and all their kind. They’re willfully uninformed about climate science and do all that they can to cast doubt. They’re dead wrong of course.
There is a lot of hand-wringing going on over Trump and his incoming Administration. I saw one post yesterday where a poster was complaining that Floridan’s didn’t vote Democrat, and the poster just couldn’t understand why as the sea level rise was already penetrating coastal buildings. Apparently, Democrats would have somehow magically slowed down sea-level rise.
This is another form of disconnect from reality – climate change / rising seas / ice melt / thermal expansion / et al. is not subject to our two-party system and will forever remain the exclusive domain of physics and natural forces.
One of the greatest, grandest, most pervasive illusions of all is that mankind continues to assume he has control. Contribution, yes – absolutely, control – no.
We can lower or even stop our contributions, but that is not the same thing as control. The planetary trajectory is now irrefutable and immovable, only a massive volcanic eruption could change this now.
By the way, jobs and income opportunities are what both parties would have touted anyway, so the victor / end-goal hasn’t changed one bit. America in particular was always going to do what America always does – duplicitous actions disguised as “leadership in the world” while the world burns, withers, melts and pollutes away.