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Spring breakup, Yukon 2017 Photo G. Sim
Everyone can see that the world's climate is changing. One of the problems, even with people who accept this and are concerned about global warming, is people seem to think that we can "fix" it. We cannot. The process is now well under way, and we cannot stop it. The ongoing "debate" about its cause or causes is thus meaningless, and putative solutions such as "going green" or starting to bicycle to work are equally meaningless.
The real problem is people, the seven billion over-sized termites who are busy consuming this world. These termites continue to breed and multiply in a completely uncontrolled way, and are about to reach their peak population. Then will come the crash. These large termites require a lot of resources to live. They will continue to consume what is left of the earth’s resources at increasing speed, even as they choke in more and more of their own excrement and pollution. That's the future, and it is just getting filthier.
We can’t control our governments, and countries all over the world are in the hands of nutters and total whackos like the Brazilian President (let the Amazon burn), the Russian President (let the arctic burn, we’re busy testing nuclear-powered hyper-speed missiles), the American President (there is no such thing as climate change, don't tax businesses, make america great again), the Canadian Prime Minister (let’s buy used pipelines and subsidize oil companies, obstruct justice, lie about illegal practices, and do you mind if I dress up like you?), the Alberta Premier (is having a witch-hunt to see if environmentalists are being funded by the commies), and so on. The UK government is consumed with "Brexit" when they should be moving folks to higher ground. All of these politicos are empty suits, a bunch of hand-puppets in the control of corporate powers, completely incapable of working for the good of the people once elected. One thing that I find appalling about all of this is that people actualy voted for them.
After a couple of centuries of "progress" since the industrial revolution, the question is now applicable to everyone: "What have we wrought?" Ice is melting all over the globe, glaciers are disappearing, huge ice shelves are breaking off the Antarctic. In the past few years four major chunks of ice have broken off, totalling almost 3,400 square miles of ice. Ice is now breaking off about six times faster than it did a few years ago. It is estimated that if the East Antarctic ice sheet melts it will raise sea levels around the world by 175 feet. Greenland is now ringed by shores of burning peatmoss, as its ice sheet retreats. The soot and smoke from those fires is accelerating the melting. I predict that the entire remaining Greenland ice sheet will slither off into the ocean any day now.
The last annual rise in sea level was measured at 1/4 inch, but it's just getting started, it is rising by an increasing amount every year. NASA estimates the oceans to rise 26 inches by the year 2100, but this shows a very small incremental growth in rise per year. That report also notes that this number is "almost certainly a conservative estimate."
Agreed. Let's do some arithmetic. At the current rise of 1/4 inch per year (with no annual increase) times 80 years to 2100, we'd have a sea level rise of 20 inches, using a straight line projection, which is only six inches less than NASA's (conservative) estimate. Even if the rate of rise increases by 1/16 inch per year (it is already increasing more than that), it would go from 1/4 inch annual rise to 5-1/4" inches annual rise in 2020. Average that over 80 years x 2.625 inches = minimum 200 inches by Sim prediction, call it seventeen feet global rise. Conservatively. Let's go wild and say that a number of other "conditions" help to accelerate the warming and the melting, and we go underwater a depth of 50 feet by 2100.
At this point, the ongoing attempt to install flood control gates to protect Venice is worthy of note. Apparently about $10 billion has already been spent, the project is years behind schedule, and so far there is no functional flood control. Only a couple of actual flood control panels have even been installed and tested. I personally wonder where the ten billion dollars went. Imagine how much healthcare or education that much money would provide. Anyway, it looked to me from the pictures that the panels were only designed to stop a rise of a few feet of seawater, something like an extra-high tide, certainly not 17 feet of higher ocean, let alone 50 feet or 200 feet. If folks really want to save Venice, any further money should be spent on moving whatever can be saved to higher ground.
Large corporations are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of building such "sea defences" for cities and lands all over the world, snorkeling in as much money as possible from the public trough along the way. When that work proves futile, as it will in Venice and elsewhere, there will be no "money back guarantee" of course, but the contractors will be happy to sign more contracts to build more sea defences further away from the shoreline. Burp.
Once you head inland, fleeing the ocean's rise, any land not already desertified will soon be so either from fire or drought, i.e. the Amazon, northern Russia, Greenland, California, BC, northern Alberta, Australia, etc. Heat and drought records are being set everywhere, accompanied by crop failures and reduction of arable land, and has anyone noticed that there is an increasing number of super-hurricanes? The oceans are warming, driving fish towards the poles, even as we harvest them in ever increasing numbers, wiping out one “fish stock” after another. Fresh water is being consumed or disappearing all over the world, as the deserts continue their march to the poles. Countries and corporations are racing to "lock up" access to water, it won't be free anywhere in the world for much longer.
It is too late to stop what the earth is now doing. Billions will die this century no matter what we do. Some from old age, but most will die from starvation, thirst, disease, fire, flooding, super-hurricane, and the inevitable wars, genocides, and political pograms.
There are few ways to proceed. One. Don’t believe any of this crap, and do nothing. You might as well, you can’t stop it. Two. Try to find a place to hide and stock up before everything falls apart. Three. Do everything possible in your own life to reduce consumption, knowing that it won’t make a bit of difference to global warming, but it will make you feel better about yourself. Four. Die. Encourage others to die. Encourage about 4,000,000,000 people to die, that would leave about as many of us alive as the earth can currently sustain. The party is over. Please try to behave nicely as you head for the exit.