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Cataclysm

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, June 9th, 2009 - 10 comments
Categories: climate change - Tags:

Six Degrees Could Change the World
This is a documentary detailing the possible effects as temperatures rise throughout the world degree by degree. We are shown deserts spreading out across West/Central America (Stretching from Texas up into Canada) as rains fail to reach there. New York becoming inundated as seas rise and storm surges increase due to the increasing strength of
storms across the Atlantic.

3 degrees of temperature rise leaves the Amazon and its jungle little more than a dust bowl. Coastal cities around the world are flooded and glaciers disappear as seas rise.

4 degrees and above is cataclysmic on a global scale.

Homeproject
This shows the beauty of the world, how we once managed to fit within its limits and how, over the last two centuries, we have gone beyond what the ecology is capable of assimilating. Fantastic photography shows the shocking beauty of huge lakes on the central glacier of the Greenland ice sheet. Millions of tonnes of what was once fresh water (one of the rarest and most precious of substances) flowing into hectares of toxic waste from the mining and refining of the Alberta Tar Sands into useful products.

Over all it’s a message of hope but it gives a time frame for that hope. 10 measly years to try and stop two hundred years of industrialization massively altering the ecology of the world to the point where life will exist in a couple of temperate bands at each end of the planet.

Climate change odds much worse than thought

The new projections, published this month in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate, indicate a median probability of surface warming of 5.2 degrees Celsius by 2100, with a 90% probability range of 3.5 to 7.4 degrees. 4 degrees is no longer an outside chance but a near certainty.

We have ten years to not only stop business as usual but to actively start decreasing the global economy. The promise of eternal exponential economic growth that brings about universal prosperity has shown itself
to be a mirage. We can no longer delude ourselves that continued economic growth is good. It isn’t, it’s the path to destruction.

Draco T Bastard

10 comments on “Cataclysm”

  1. Bill 1

    And then there is the already observable effects of Capitalism on the oceans.

    “Mitsubishi freezing fish to sell later as stock numbers plummet toward extinction.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/revealed-the-bid-to-corner-worlds-bluefin-tuna-market-1695479.html

    And the fact that 90% of fish stocks are already gone with the prospect of the other 10% going in the very near. Good article linked below. I think the article hits the nail on the head when it points out the inadequacy of calling for consumer action on fish stocks, climate change and so on.

    “When you respond as a consumer, you are weak; when you respond as a citizen, you are strong.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-could-we-be-the-generation-that-runs-out-of-fish-1697247.html

    Oh, and then there is acidification of the oceans resulting from rising temperatures.

    How to shift from a market driven economy? Today.

    The economic crisis could be offering an opportunity for real alternatives to be implemented and developed. And we’re missing it.

  2. Just watching the start of the Home Project one now. The photography in it is unbelievable!

  3. tsmithfield 3

    I am a self-confessed climate change agnostic, as mentioned previously. However, I do like to avoid the extremist arguments on both sides.

    On the link below there is an article by Roy Spencer, who is a confessed climate skeptic. Yet he is also highly respected and an expert in the field of the effects of clouds on climate. As some here probably know, it is the secondary effect of clouds that is thought to be a major contributor to climate change. Spencer has peer reviewed research in this field, and some of his research is informing modelling process for upcoming models in the IPCC reports.

    Spencers article is quite informative because it gives a couple of alternative explanations for how clouds affect climate (note: the article appears halfway down the blog, and is entitled “a laymans explanation of why global warming predictions made by modellers are wrong”).

    Spencer argues that most of the climate models get mix cause and effect, and that therefore considerably overstate the future rise in temperature.

    Just several points about peer reviewed articles.

    There is often made of the fact that there is a lot more peer reviewed literature in favour of than against climate change theory. However, the peer review process is prone to a number of biases (can’t point to articles now, but was something I studied when in Uni):

    1. Confirmation bias: All things being equal, articles that confirm the currently accepted position on a particular field of research, are likely to be accepted for publication more readilly than contradictory research. Yet, according to Occams Razor, the contradictory research is in fact the most important.

    2. Effect bias: Research that shows a statistical effect is more likely to get published than research that shows no effect. Yet, research that shows no effect can be just as important as research that shows an effect.

    There are other biases as well, but these would be the main ones.

    The effect of these biases on any field of research is that the confirming research often overstates the effect and disconfirming research is ignored, until it becomes so overwhelming that it can no longer be ignored. It is important to realise that these biases undoubtably affect the field of climate research as well.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      http://climateprediction.net/

      Uses distributed computing to run a climate model. What surprised me, at first, was that it always started at 1920 but then I thought about it a bit and decided that it made sense. If a computer model can, within a reasonable margin of error, predict the known climate shifts over the last 80+ years then it can probably predict climate shifts over the next 80+ years just as accurately.

      Sure, they won’t be exactly right but, as we learn more and have better data, they will become more accurate. This is what’s already happening and what’s coming out from the latest models shows that the IPCC was massively conservative in its predictions.

  4. Bill 4

    Visually stunning!

    However, my suspicions were raised at the beginning where we see a pile of corporate logos coalescing to form the word HOME.

    And the solution is yet again an appeal to ethical consumerism and personal change. Depressing in it’s limitations, it’s inadequacy.

    So I ask again. How do we move away from market driven production and consumption right now?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Yeah, I was concerned about the advertising at the beginning and end as well but the overall message of the damage the we are doing to the worlds ecology is what people need to hear. Appealing to market driven solutions won’t work – it’s the market and peoples greed that got us here – but the physical solutions offered at the end of HOME would work if we reduced consumerism so that more resources could be utilized to implement those solutions.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        But consumerism is exists precisely and only because there is a market economy.

        So I don’t understand how you can say on the one hand that market driven solutions won’t work; that the market got us in to this mess and then contend that reduced consumerism is a solution of sorts.

        Reduced consumerism leaves the market in place which will tend to pull everything back towards the same conditions that are prevalent right now.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          A hybrid solution perhaps – the market is placed second to collective decisions. There are, IMO, some things that are supplied by the market better than through central planning of any type and vice versa. One way you could do it is collectively decide how much resources are going to be extracted (hard capped) and then how much of that is left to the market to utilize. As it stands the consumerist market is grown at all costs which pushes the extraction of resources beyond sustainable limits as well as minimizing the use of those resources for far more important things that society needs.

  5. GC Martin 5

    the physical solutions offered at the end of HOME would work if we reduced consumerism so that more resources could be utilized to implement those solutions.

    Immediately to middle term (say 5-10 years) reduced consumerism led by its so-called services component – banking, monetarism in particular – could offer up a better solution..

    by which we might all agree how Recession is rational… And work a preference for L-shaped recovery. Alongside which, of course, redeployment of physical and human resources to alternative and more efficient uses. Old theme I know, though no less relevant. Methinks, however, that folks would resist the blind-growth barons, paying heed instead to the needs of future generations and so on..

    An interesting aspect to solutions is the double agenda. For instance we know how actual Chinese industry is slowing and y-o-y its latest coal-fired energy consumption. Yes, some southern regions show a seasonal spike — industry suppliers in the main – but overall the big trend is down. And significantly so. Though don’t ask the country’s political leaders to confirm this because they won’t. Their goal, after all, is best foot and face to the world.

    Australiasia OTOH would appear to have back-pedalled in such matters.. its industrial barons shoving it to the Rudd government, which recently banged on about not being in a recession..

    A former scientist myself I confess to having been saddened at scientists (IPCC) having to pander to ignoramuses like Bush et all. ie scaling back likely predictions based on some excellent differential modelling.. so as not to… get this.. alarm the public that politicians must ‘explain’ things to..

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    http://www.monthlyreview.org/090501-york-clark-foster.php

    Well worth the read in regards to present economic assumptions and the ecology.

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