Friday, August 13, 2010

It's Too Late

The fires in Russia and the flooding in Pakistan seem to be provoking some recognition by the media that, duh, climate change is real - and in turn seems to be encouraging some brave scientists to take the gloves off, finally. This HuffPo Story: "Global Weirding, Extreme Climate Events Dominate the Summer" includes the following pithy quotes from Dr. David Orr, a professor of environmental studies and politics at Oberlin College:

"'We really don't have a name to describe behavior of this sort," Orr said of the resistance to dealing with climate change.

'It is criminality beyond any language, concepts or laws that we presently have. It's criminality that places the entire human enterprise at risk. And we simply have not been able to confront inaction that allows the entire human enterprise to slip into catastrophic failure. It really does beggar the imagination to understand why, given the consensus of the scientific community on this issue, why inaction was the order of the day," said Orr, conspicuously referring to the failure to address the issue in the past tense.

'A lot of effort is spent to try to figure out how to cleverly frame issues so as to appeal to people's self-interest. And I don't know that that's always the smart way to do it. I think the smartest way to do it is to tell the truth as best you understand it. And the truth of the matter is, for me personally, all of the events that you've mentioned are yet further evidence that climate is rapidly destabilizing. Would any one of those specific events have been likely to happen in the absence of the human influence of climate? I think the answer would have to be no to almost a vanishing point.'"

I left this comment on a ClimateProgress post which catalogues the response from the slumbering/duplicitous/mendacious media - which is, by the most charitable interpretation, either slowly waking up to the reality of climate change or, more likely, simply unable to continue to squirm out their fossil-fuel-funded excuses to obscure the glaringly obvious impacts:


'Summers like the current one, or even worse, will become the norm by 2050 if global warming pollution continues to increase unabated.'

should read as follows:

'Summers like the current one, or even worse, will become the norm by 2050 EVEN IF GLOBAL WARMING POLLUTION CEASES.'

It is already in the pipeline and barring some miraculous method of CO2 removal from the air and sea, we will continue heating as the amplifying feedbacks have already begun, and according to Susan Solomon it takes 1,000 years for the effects of CO2 to dissipate naturally once emissions have stopped.

We are in an emergency. Governments should ration use of fuel on a per person basis, and further restrict it for the most important uses only while we transition to clean energy. Wasteful consumption of fuel and all fuel-derivitives should be banned, from mowing lawns to heating pools to plastic bags. Instead of fighting wars, nations should be fighting the effects of global boiling by subsidizing education in sustainable agriculture techniques as well as efforts to survive the coming catastrophes through cooperation and compassion.

Anything less is mutual assured destruction via Global Boiling."
If you like you can listen to this lilting, mournful melody and bittersweet lyrics while checking out the latest - and mercifully the last! - pictures from the Jersey Shore...
Okay, every now and then you can find a pretty house with a meticulously groomed garden.
You are more likely to see dead grass and trees.
Unless, of course, they've already been removed. Poof!
This listing gate could open to the Adam's Family house - the hedge that encloses it is turning brown and losing leaves, and inside, the tree trunk has a gaping gash.
Just like this maple and so many others. This is about as normal as your arm falling off - they are called limbs, after all!
Leaves losing chlorophyll are analogous to having your skin turn blue.
This is a fairly young tree.
Here is a representative branch.
Streets everywhere in Spring Lake have small drifts of withered leaves along the curb.
This is the leaf of a sassafras tree. Like several other varieties of tree and shrub, it is turning fall color already, a known symptom of exposure to ozone. The interesting thing about sassafras (aside from being the source for root beer and ecstacy!) is that it is very unusual, in producing leaves that are different shapes. Sometimes they have the silhouette of a mitten, and other times the same specimen can have three or even 5 lobes. The fact that this is a rare trait means that finding so many leaves this summer on other tree species that have different shapes is highly unusual.
Genetic disruption?


  1. Mr. Cody knew about ozone almost 40 years ago.


  2. Haha, the song but I think he's referring to stratospheric ozone, as in, being out there...not tropospheric ozone, which is toxic.

    Having said that, I'm working on the next post, which is about stratospheric ozone being catapulted into the troposphere - because of heating from climate change...

    and that is really new, and scary stuff...


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