Wawrzonek, Spring Morning After Storm, Ashland, Massachusetts, as it once was.
The vast increase in weather anomalies has coincided with the increase of CO2 in the air so there can be no question as to the cause of the weather extremes: Storms, heat, drought, floods, and so forth that are plaguing many parts of the world. And all the scientific evidence supports the connection.We are squabbling over what to do, and the IPCC is not getting the cooperation it needs. Somehow, the reports and pictures of record wildfires, storms, floods, heat, etc. are not registering. Going up 1/2 degree C will make things half again as bad. Going up two degrees will make things twice as bad.
WE ARE NOT APPRECIATING HOW BAD THAT WILL BE. AND IF WE LET IT GO HIGHER (I AM ANTICIPATING 3°C) IT WILL BE HELL FOR MANY MORE PARTS OF THE WORLD AND DOUBLE HELL FOR OTHERS. And we are saddled with a moron for a president and a population that on the whole that does not comprehend what is happening. It does take some scientific knowledge and reasoning ability to understand that climate change is not like a bad cold that can be cured, it is like a bad cancer that keeps getting worse and the treatment, if it can be made to work at all, will be enormously expenssive, but we have no other place to go. So like blittering idiots we shut down our science operations, and have a president do nothing but feed his ego. If you do believe the Bible, it could well be the end-times, and we have the devil himself as president to be sure all goes un-well. So the output of carbon dioxide has continued to increase despite promises, and the United States is the worst contributor, not even acknowlodging the existence of a problem. Thus the present situation: 1. Global warming is getting worse; i.e. the average temperature of the earth is rising; 2. The rate at which the temperature is increasing is increasing; 3. All the havoc to date is the result of a 1°C rise compared to the recent past; 4. Another 1/2 degree rise is certain, and another degree very likely. That is expected to double the effects of warming. With record storms and 180 mph winds, record fires, record droughts, temperatures so high that you either die in your home or find a river to cool off in. The nations of the world must recognize the problem and change their behavior immediately.However, as politicians sit in air-conditioned offices far from on-going trageties, one can get agreement but not action. Other problems and especially political survival take priority. The presumption is that the leaders understand the problems. They do not. Or they are being lobbied by oil companies or are fighting other nations over far less important issues. Deniers are in the same situation. They do not comprehend that there is a difference between metastasizing cancer and the flu. Then there are communication problems. Scientists speak a different language or speak the same language in a different way. They are so concerned with being precise, that urgency and conviction are lost. We are in a downhill spiral, and barring a miraculous coalition of leaders, the earth will become less and less livable until the lights just go out. The United Nations' IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) keeps holding meetings trying to find a way to get nations to cooperate, but without the power and suasion of the United States, I believe that is close to impossible. And the United States doesn't even admit officially that a problem exists and is encouraging the increased use of fosil fuels. A more dire situation is hard to imagine. A combination of a failure of a full understanding of what is happening combined wtth an inability to comunicate with each other or with the public adds up to a situation that is intractable. In addition the fosil fuel companies continue to push their products despite having known for decades their effect on the earth. In the absence of understanding there were many preconcieved notions of what was true. This applied especially to conservative politicions, conservative religions, a large portion of the congress and, of course, the president.The president pushed the issues even further by attacks on science and the beginnings of a systimatic dismantling of the science functions of goverment, an act of extraordinary ignorance and harm. What I have tried to do has begun to feel like an epic struggle against the forces of evil, a morality play with vilians, heros, an army of enemies and an army of supporters and every other necessary entity including, of course, the devil himself.What began as an attempt to draw attention to global warming has turned into an examination of many parts of the human experience, of science and scientists and of global warming itself. None of them are what they seem to be. However, it has revealed to me a collosal degree of destruction with far worse yet to come. It has also revealed, despite much activism, a nation and a world not able to comprehend and confront this ultimate danger. Global warming is a kind of perfect storm with the powers furthering the destrution and most able to do something about it, either ignorant or greedy. Finally there is time. If James Hansen's negative emissiosn are going to make or break the outcom (which I consider likely) then every minute wasted in not getting to work makes the problem more expensive and the outcome less likely to be good.
1. It is illusive and nearly impossible to communiate what it has done elsewhere and what it is going to do. 2. Much of what it does is to amplify what would have happened anyway but resulting in record fires, winds, rainfall, droughts, flooding and more. 3. The cause, too much carbon dioxide and methane, is invisible and has no odor 4. How it works is difficult to explain, usually with a diagram full of arrows and much text 5. The scientists who have done impeccable research are conditioned to speak carefully lest they have missed something, so the force of their arguments is lost except to other scientists.6. So the war-like mobilization that is necessary is not happening despite the efforts of scientific bodies. However, as has been evident before, is simply that what humans can do has outrun their ability to understand themselves.Perhaps the worst of all are two "phenomena." One is the total commitment of the fossil fuel companies to sell as much fuel as possible while knowing it was killing the planet. The second is the willingness of such a large number of people in the United States to not realize they are voting for a president who is, expect for bullying and lying, functionally illiterate and who is using them as fodder to further his own personal aims.
I am quite sure climtatologists will find the following lacking, but I am making an attempt in order to further my own understand. 1. Climaate is determined by the distribution of thermal energy in the atmosphere of the planet. 2. The amount of energy in a given location is determined by input from the sun and movment of energy from place to place as determined by wind and air pressure (cold and warm fronts). 3. The gases that constitute the atmosphere respond in various ways to the input of thermaal energy or the exit of thermal energy. 4. Prior to the introduction of man-made fire, the atmosphere of the earth had achieved a state of dynamic equalibrium, that is, averaged over long periods of time the conditions in any given location were stable in that average temperature in a given season stayed within a given range and the average of averages from year to year was very stable, sufficiently so that over perhaps a thousand year period, although parts of the climate would vary or move from place to place, the net effect of all the variations was essentially zero. In other words the climate was in an equalibrium state and variations only happend if the energy input from the sun varied. This variation could happen do to changes in the earths tilt, volcano eruptions, variations in the suns output and these phenomina would leave eviendence that we can use to describe the climate over millions of years. 5. Short term variations were rare but did happen. The use of fire by man began as a minor input of carbon dixoide until the beginning of the industrial age. The issue then because how much total greenhouse gas would be added and whether they would destroy the equalibrium. To destroy the equalibrium would mean to change the composition of the atmosphere such that it would in turn change the earth so that it responded in an unpredictable way, perhaps by its average temperature increasing each year and having the rate of increase increase each year (i.e. the first derivative and second derivatives were positive); otherwise known as out of control.
6. This is potentiallly a catastrophic situation in that it can mean that the temperature exceeds those that man could acclimate to. If that became the case, then extinction of man was posssible. At some point, deaths could become so great that input of forcing gases gets low enough that the system comes to equalibrium again, but with a far smaller part of the planet inhabited.
A recent article in MIT News offers one explanation. The question is the ability to tell when someone is lying. The author described tests by psychologists that rated people on two scales: ability to detect a lie and reasoning ability. The conclusion was clear: if you could reason well, you had a much better change of telling if someone was lying. This is a most fundamental problem and has many dimensions. First, an ability to reason well implies a degree of self awareness, an appreciation of what you believe or tend to believe and why. This leaves you open to questioning any situation you confront. In its absence, whatever strikes a chord in you; whatever tapes into what makes you comfortable is what you will believe.One would hope that in today's society reasoning ability can be assumed. But it cannot be for a number of reasons. 1. It is usually not taught in schools; 2. Parents often don't have it and so do not teach it; 3. The meadia can be the opposite of rationality. Even illustratious gazettes such as the New York Times has failed completely, in my opinion to feature and explain global warming. From watching an interview with the editor he struck me like most intellectuals who have no science background, an inability to appreciate the nature of the issue. The result is a population who makes their decissions on what their tribe believes rather than on what reason tells them.
One of Trump's worst characteristics is to lie as necessary to get what he wants. His strategy is to either suggest or directly state what a particular group of people is certain to or at least inclined to want to hear. It does not matter that the next group is inclined toward the opposite, he will simply tell them the opposite. Sociologists know well that lies, even in the presence of their opposities, when repeated often enough will be believed or at least accepted as plausable.
We are learning to hate each other not knowing we all are the same. We are all Africans descended from the same tribes. We are all made of energy created in the big bang. We all started as brown and how white we became was determined by how far north our ancestors settled. Our bodies, searching for more vitamin D in a place with less sunlight, lightened the color of our skin.We have incredible minds of which we use only a small part, rarely thinking deeply for ourselves. In America you can predict a belief in global warming by knowing which party or which church a person belongs to. A perfect example of tribalism in place of thinking.Most of us do not know ourselves or the universe that gave birth to us. We have not learned science or humanism, nor are we taught them. We have become people of two kinds: those that learn and those that burn. We must evolve very rapidly or we will not be at all.Donald Trumps lemmings are following him as "believers" followed demigods through history. Evangelicals believe God will forgive Donald Trump so they and others of his base and all his followers can let themselves be fooled by a man who never tells the truth and wouldn't know if he did. I believe that the greatest loss of our rigid beliefs is joy. As I read of the "kicks" so many recieve from owning and firing guns (which I have done) and turn to look at the photographs I have made in the course of a lifetime or sit at a magnificant piano and play a Chopin Scherzo that I have played seven or eight thousand times, I am pleased with the work I have done. In my limited way, I can converse with Chopin or with nature and continue learning. But I can learn to fire a gun in 20 seconds. The creator of our brains must experience a deep sadness for how little of it we use. When I think of our president and his family and staff I feel anger, for he, above all others will be responsible for the death of this earth. He is the one person who could lead us and command the resources we need, but the most obvious of scientific events is to him a hoax. But most of all I feel sadness for I cannot comprehend how any human can derive joy from scheming, lying, building walls, and turning away desperate people. I know something of the joys and satisfactions that come from knowing other's needs and working to satisfy them in my own way. It is why this website has as one of its addresses inanothersshoes.com.I remember one meeting early in Donald Trump's presidency, that he had with members of his cabinet and staff in which he figuratively got on his knees and begged for praise.The real horror of this emptyness is the suffering it inflicts on others, for in the absence of praise comes the need for having the lives of others in the palm of his hand. And perhaps even more sad is the need to have his name stamped wherever possible including the earth and sky not knowing they mean no more than the last piece of paper stamped with the word "out."However, I believe the greatest danger is being taken in by our raging bull of a president destroying whatever he chooses.In "democratic" America there is infinite scheming over individuals by bastions of power and money. We have sold our government to the highest bidders. Citizens United was a "for-sale" sign for our government. Money is what buys anything including the right to destroy the earth. The vendors of fossil fuels have known for decades they were adding to the CO2 cancer covering the earth, yet they still know and still promote earth-destroying fuels and they have Donald Trump doing every to help.What makes us what we are? We inherited much from our hunter-gatherer forbears and for many overcame the worst of those inclinations. But the urge for control, money and power not only rules the world but brings us to the ultimate conondrum: why are we, by greed or failure to use the deeper part of our intelligence, willing to scrifice all later, for a little now. It is tearing me apart.Is Donald Trump the man who will do anything for nothing or the man who will do nothing for anything.Following are expansions on some of the topics I mention above.
Just because it has not bothered you, we must all share the load of carbon reduction. Arizona air conditioners certainly put a load on the system. My first copy of the Journal of Concerned Scientists just arrived and I skimmed it over dinner. The lead story is of a survey they just completed in conjunction with a group at the University of Iowa that specalizes in analyzing data from such surveys.The topic was the influence the Trump admistration was having on scientists in government. There were 63,000 of them. Those that retire or leave are not being replaced. Budgets are being cut and scientists are being told what it is ok to write and what is not. Global warming is not to be mentioned. This story will go on for some time. Whether that time is measured in decades or minnenia no one can say. The trend is strongly in the direction of a warmer earth and the government in power cannot comprehend this or its implications. It is removing every regulation possible that restricts business profit. As of this morning, November 9, 2018 a new wildfire in California has broken out so fast it has trapped numbers of people in a small town. If all emissions were stopped today, the earth would continue to warm only more slowly. As it warms it will eventually reach a place where it cannot supply water and food to the population, and the population will begin to decline and the earth will continue to warm.Should we reach this place there is the question of whether there is another higher temperature equalibrium state at which the temperature will no longer rise and a much smaller segment of humananity survives. The alternative is that sometime soon, emissions are reduced dramaticallly and substantial negative emissions are implemented that start reducing the CO2 level with a target of around 350 ppm. The fortunate part is that the Democratic party is based on a growing population and the Republician party on a shrinking one one The entire situation has turned into a kind of ultimate morality play, with a villian and his henchmen on one side who either don't care if the earth survives or simply are so uncomprehending, they don't realize they are killing the earth and with it their own means of sustenance.On the side of the "good guys" are multitudes working towards the right goals, multitudes aware that a war is taking place but don't know what to do, and multitudes not aware of anything.
It reminds me of a dream I once had that I was in a play in New York and was leaving a brightly lit but empty theater and stage. I had an ominous feeling, being alone and the lights, although bright seemed to have a smokie dark tinge to them, something you could only experience in a dream. As I exited the side door into the streets of the city, I had this uncomfortable feeling that I was leaving the only lights that were on and as I looked into the distance everything seemed to vanish into a an increasingly frightening dark void. I felt as if I were the only person left in the world but I was not sure if there still was a world.
NASA: Hubble Space Telescope, 2004, 20005
This image offers a peek inside a cavern of roiling dust and gas where thousands of stars are forming.... (and) represents the sharpest view ever taken of this region, called the Orion Nebula. More than 3,000 stars of various sizes appear in this image. The Orion Nebula is a picture book of star formation, from the massive, young stars that are shaping the nebula to the pillars of dense gas that may be the homes of budding stars. The bright central region is the home of the four heftiest stars.
The wildfires of California have repeated themselves in dozens of countries around the world.
A warmer Earth means a warmer ocean which creates far more powerful storms that drop many times as much rain as before. All the carnage to date has been from a 1°C rise in temperature. My own forecast is for a 3° rise unless we accomplish the impossible. 3°C could result in storms and flooding 6 times what we have had so far.
In a generation, it will be common for the world to be on fire, flooded or have no potable water.
Now imagine you are 18 years old, and sleep every night very comfortably under a moderately light blanket. Then each week the atmosphere adds a very thin layer to your blanket so that for 10 years you don't notice any difference. But after 20 years you begin to complain with how warm it is. After 30 years you insist on an airconditioner. After 40 years you are finding it intolerable and no longer get a good night's sleep. But the blanket keeps getting thicker although it looks the same. After 50 years you are hospitalized due to heat stroke. After 60 years you die in your sleep for the temperature in your room is 130°F and there is no power for air conditioning.
World temperature 50 years ago.
India: Often cannot survive the heat. Indoors is impossible witth out air conditioning. Rivers are full of people trying to survive the heat.
World temperature today.
The stupendous size, complexity and beauty of the universe that gave birth to the earth is one of the great phenomena of nature.