Capitalism, Climate Change, Collapse of Industrial Civilization, David Attenborough, Derrick Jensen, Ecological Overshoot, Economic Growth, Environmental Collapse, Enzo Tiezzi, Extinction of Man, Lynn Margulis, Mass Die Off, Munich Re, Overpopulation, Peak Oil
Much more and devastating disasters is what will need to happen, so says David Attenborough, before any meaningful action is taken:
…Asked what was needed to wake people up, the veteran broadcaster famous for series such as Life and Planet Earth said: “Disaster. It’s a terrible thing to say, isn’t it? Even disaster doesn’t do it. There have been disasters in North America, with hurricanes and floods, yet still people deny and say ‘oh, it has nothing to do with climate change.’ It visibly has got [something] to do with climate change.”
But some US politicians found it easier to deny the science on climate change than take action, he said, because the consequence of recognising the science on man-made climate change “means a huge section from the national budget will be spent in order to deal with it, plenty of politicians will be happy to say ‘don’t worry about that, we’re not going to increase your taxes…’
The related article to the above video is here. In other words, we won’t act in time to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. He also says there is no need for scaremongering because the facts are frightening enough. Death by a thousand cuts will be how this ship goes down. The insurance industry predicts a future of increasingly destructive natural disasters due to climate change:
Take for example Munich Re cited in a wonderful article from the New Yorker: Watching Sandy, Ignoring Climate Change…
A couple of weeks ago, Munich Re, one of the world’s largest reinsurance firms, issued a study titled “Severe Weather in North America.” According to the press release that accompanied the report, “Nowhere in the world is the rising number of natural catastrophes more evident than in North America.” The number of what Munich Re refers to as “weather-related loss events,” and what the rest of us would probably call weather-related disasters, has quintupled over the last three decades. While many factors have contributed to this trend, including an increase in the number of people living in flood-prone areas, the report identified global warming as one of the major culprits: “Climate change particularly affects formation of heat-waves, droughts, intense precipitation events, and in the long run most probably also tropical cyclone intensity.”
Munich Re’s report was aimed at the firm’s clients—other insurance companies—and does not make compelling reading for a general audience. But its appearance just two weeks ahead of Hurricane Sandy seems to lend it a peculiarly grisly relevance. Sandy has been called a “superstorm,” a “Frankenstorm,” a “freakish and unprecedented monster,” and possibly “unique in the annals of American weather history.” It has already killed sixty-five people in the Caribbean, and, although it’s too early to tell what its full impact will be as it churns up the East Coast, loss estimates are topping six billion dollars.”
That’s right folks. The world’s largest and well established insurance companies are not only not in denial, they are pricing and operating with Climate Change firmly in mind. And their expertise seems to be yielding an accurate analysis. Which is important to them because their fortunes are at stake.
As Attenborough points out, all the different countries, races, and cultures of the world would have to agree to one plan of action in order to avoid certain disaster from the burning of fossil fuels. This has never happened in the history of the world. And the likelihood of it happening now is nil. No wonder Guy McPherson is so pissed off. The futility of our predicament has most certainly sunk in. What are the chances of anyone giving up fossil fuels when industrial civilization cannot continue without them? What was that famous saying of Derrick Jensen?…
If your experience is that your water comes from the tap and that your food comes from the grocery store, then you are going to defend to the death the system that brings those to you because your life depends on them…
And so industrial civilization will defend its growth-oriented, resource-depleting, environment-degrading way of life until a ravaged Earth pulls it from our cold, dead hands. The worldview of scientists like Lynn Margulis and Enzo Tiezzi would seem to be correct. We were one billion in 1802; 2 billion in 1927; 3 billion in 1961; 4 billion in 1974; 5 billion in 1987; 6 billion in 1999, and finally, in 2011, 7 billion. In 2025, if climate chaos does not exponentially accelerate, we will be 8 billion, and in 2050, 9 billion, and in 2070, 10 billion. Is this population acceleration a sign of the end of the human species, just like bacteria which multiply exponentially to consume the last bit of nourishment in their closed Petri dish, and then, suddenly, all die.
John Christian said:
Sometimes it does feel like Blade Runner here. Our town (Bergen, Norway) has steadily grown the number of rainy days, and had 248 days of rain in 2011. So far this year we have had 223 days of rain so it looks like this year will be much like the last, perhaps even more. I wonder if people will wonder if something is going on the year we get 365 days of rain? Probably not…
Fire and Floods in New York…
The problem with nukes…
Blackouts, vulnerabilities of grid exposed…
Paul f. Getty said:
I saw an article in the NYTimes that I thought finally was going to make clear the case that global warming was likely to have contributed to our latest Frankenstorm: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/30/did-global-warming-contribute-to-hurricane-sandys-devastation/?hp
Unfortunately, while it covered some of the issues connecting the two, it left the reader more confused and skeptical of the link between massive weather catastrophes and climate change. I can’t help think, having seen the avoidance by most of the press of the issue, that this was exactly the purpose of the article. The newspaper of record didn’t want to be seen ignoring handling a topic on everyone’s mind, but didn’t want to add fuel to the argument that scientists have been telling us about for thirty years.
In fact, it may have been an effort to halt any real upsurge in the public’s understanding of the issue.
I see our media and politicians increasingly under pressure from the fossil fuel industry and international corporations in general, almost all of which are dependent on a steady flow of oil, gas, and coal, and benefit from unhindered access to those resources. To get a better feel for the truth in thse issues, we must go to alternative media venues, mostly on the Internet, and even there we need to read all of it skeptically. Most people won’t make the effort and stay hopelessly misinformed.
Not to nitpick, but we’ve known about AGW for over 60 years:
“In the 1950s, after oceanographers Roger Revelle and Hans Suess published research findings concluding that “human beings are now carrying out a large-scale geophysical experiment” by discharging greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, Revelle, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, recruited geochemist Charles David Keeling to begin the process of taking long-term measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere.
When Keeling started taking CO2 measurements at the weather observatory at the top of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii and on the continent of Antarctica, he established the baseline for collecting the data that would begin the modern era of global warming forecasting.
Since Revelle’s and Keeling’s landmark work in the 1950s, global warming forecast research has expanded to develop projections based on concentrations of other greenhouse gases such as methane (the principal component of natural gas), carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide as well as temperature data, precipitation, weather patterns and specific ecosystems.” – link
The most straightforward interview I have seen on this subject was with Dr. Jeff Masters yesterday:
Paul f. Getty said:
You aren’t nitpicking. That is good information, and gives more validity to the scientific consensus we have now.
But I think a reasonable society that understands science could have rationally waited until about 30 years ago before major action to halt the use of fossil fuels would commence.
Waiting until now is insanity, and sort of suicidal.