Climate Change: The Long Emergency


Climate change in inevitable, and invincible.  We can do nothing to stop it or even slow down its progress.  In some cases entire species of animals, fish, and birds will be wiped out as a result.  For them it will be an extinction level event.

In July 2010 the British Government’s Meteorological Office and the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued findings that they said showed unequivocally the world was warming. Using 10 indicators, seven temperature measures and three ice or snow cover measures, they said that each of the last three decades has been warmer than the last and successively broken temperature records.

The oceans will rise and will get warmer, much warmer.  Where once there were islands there will be only sea.  Entire cultures will be forced from their ancestral homes as a result of seal level rise, and those who are not will face devastating storms the likes of which have not been seen in thousands, if not millions of years.

The fact that the Earth’s climate has changed over its history – sometimes with cataclysmic consequences, called mass extinctions, for many of the planet’s inhabitants – is not disputed. However, what has been the cause of fierce debate is whether or not human activity is currently causing a warming of the world.

The trigger event is global warming despite the protestations of the less than intellectual on the right.  It is a matter of science, pure science, not Jesus, his Daddy, or the Bible.  There were no apocalyptic predictions, only the gradual warming of the world brought about by runaway technology without attention being paid to the deadly consequences of pouring millions and millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

What climate change, man-made or not, is not – is short term weather. These trends are much bigger and much longer term than a hot summer or a cold winter, we’re thinking more of ice ages than cold snaps when we talk about climate change.

The culture of climate change deniers is an unfortunate dynamic of living in a country that preaches creationism and eschews evolution.  It is part and parcel of a nation that is leaning more and more toward theocracy, away from science and toward the nonsense of the Jesus myth.

(Newser) – Peru may finally have an answer for the 5,000 birds and nearly 900 dolphins that have died on its northern coast: climate change. As waters warm, food supply is disrupted, says the country’s deputy environment minister. A weather expert also confirms warmer waters due to El Niño could be a factor. The minister also reiterated that so far, it appears neither contamination nor bacterial infections are to blame for the death of the dolphins.

The reason why climate change has become so controversial is because people are being asked to make significant lifestyle changes to help mitigate the effects of man made global warming. If action on climate change amounted to legislation to outlaw, say, wooden pencils then, while scientists may debate the rights and wrongs of the issue, you can almost be sure that our media would not be filled with the dispute.

The world needs to prepare for what is coming, as it is coming and no power can stop it.  There was time when something could have been done; measures could have been taken to curb greenhouse gases and to stop ravaging our environment, but our greed for oil and energy wouldn’t admit there was a problem, so  now there’s a problem.  In 20 years the changes will be dramatic, and in 50 they will be stark.  What our young people enjoy today they will not enjoy tomorrow.  It is the cycle of the life of man, evolution’s greatest mistake.

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Posted by on May 12, 2012. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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4 Responses to Climate Change: The Long Emergency

  1. Patti Dengler

    May 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I don’t see anyone else commenting. Is that because no want wants to digest this scary, apocalyptic horribly sad stuff with their morning coffee? I often wonder if part of the problem with the issue of global warming is that there are not many people courageous enough to think about what it really could mean. We process it indirectly through post apocalyptic fantasy, but really consciously believing the idea that we probably didn’t address this stuff in time is too much to face.

    What if we destroyed the earth and my 13 year old is going to suffer horribly? Other animals and whole species are dying ugly deaths. Will my child be among them? Other beautiful, precious people? That is what I don’t want to face. That is why I myself didn’t feel like reading this crap this morning. Why I was hoping Mike really is just mad.

    And yet, my guess is that science is proving this out and Mike is one of the global warming Chicken Little’s out there. Not that science is my only paradigm. But it is the main one by which I measure the possibility and the effects of global warming.

    If I take the longest view, the view where stars and universes are created and destroyed, this is small news. But I can’t really live in that ineffably sad but softer place for very long before I go back to picturing my daughter in a global warming induced post apocalyptic America trying to cope.

    I believe that we most likely caused this problem but even if I’m wrong and it’s just part of whatever larger seasons the earth goes through, my fervent hope is that enough people will be courageous enough to face these issues in time. That our species might be smart enough and creative enough and have enough willpower to be able to do something to prevent some of the horrible suffering that has already begun for so many species and is more and more certainly to come for us.

  2. Jason

    May 12, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    I feel like the only one who thinks even green energy is a short term solution to this mess. Eventually, I think we as humans will have to leave eart and colonize a new planet if we are to survive. We would need to build 3-5 starships (think startrek size or bigger), and basically ark them out, find a new home. It really is our only chance, otherwise I believe evolution will push the reset button on us with in 100 years and we will have life start over from bacteria. If that is the case, I just hope the beings who develop in a few million years get right what we got wrong.

  3. Junction City

    May 12, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    I have studied the science, and studied it carefully. I also have a lot of good friends who are serious scientists and I warrant they believe that what has been written here and before is mild compared to what is to come. Sadly, I suspect some of the “chicken littles” out there may be pulling their punches. Good read Mr. Scott….

  4. Guy McPherson

    May 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I doubt it’s possible avoid human extinction within a single human generation. As I wrote at Transition Voice more than a year ago, five positive feedbacks are now in play: “These extremely dangerous feedbacks, which forecasters did not expect until the planet becomes a couple of degrees warmer than the baseline, could trigger runaway greenhouse. In other words, any of these events — never mind all of them at once — could lead directly and quickly to the extinction of you, me and everyone in between.”

    Since that time, the International Energy Agency concluded business as usual leads to a planet 6 C warmer by 2035 (press release is here). The last time it was 6 C warmer than baseline on Earth there were snakes the size of yellow school buses hanging out in the Amazon and the largest mammal on the planet was the size of a shrew. And 6 C acidifies the oceans to such an extent it probably kills nearly all marine life.

    The only potential solution — and it might be too late — is total economic collapse, as pointed out in November 2009 in the journal Climatic Change. Press release for that paper is here.