Skip to main content

All Over But the Crying

February 2, 2011 – Cyclone Yasi is raking the northeastern coast of Australia with wind gusts of 183 miles per hour. Rainfall accompanying this storm is predicted to amount to 28 inches. A blizzard stretching from New Mexico to New England is wending its way toward the Northeast, after dumping in excess of two feet of snow in some locations, an inch of ice in others. Meteorologists are warily eyeing a gathering storm in the southwestern United States which may well deliver a second body blow to the middle of the country next week.
Elsewhere, Europe has endured blizzards of its own this winter. Twenty-eight thousand people in England have died so far because of hypothermia – my guess is they were members of the underclass who couldn’t afford heat. Temperatures in the Arctic have been on the plus side of average by 40 degrees Fahrenheit, thereby pushing cold temperatures further south for a second time, last year having been the first. Flooding is rampant in Australia, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil.
Climate disruption has us by the throat. What once was an impending disaster is no longer impending: it’s here. If you haven’t heard it yet, you will soon: “Well, geez, I didn’t know it would be THIS bad!” Denialists who lurch toward realization will be feeling the sting of a right smart slap across the face. Really? You didn’t know that what goes around, comes around? You forgot about GIGO – garbage in, garbage out? It surprises you that this is a matter of life and death? YOURS, in fact?
Which brings me to my main point, and that would be the very decent folks whose main concern seems to be peak oil. Yes, I realize that peak oil will cause our greedy way of life to come to a screeching halt. Do P.O. people honestly not understand that climate disruption is going to kill millions and millions of people, once it REALLY gets underway? That temperatures of 128 degrees in Pakistan were only the overture, not the symphony? Warm water spilling out of the North Atlantic is warming the Arctic even faster than expected (just found that out today). Melting ice, some of which remains in the oceans, is being absorbed by the warming atmosphere, coming down on us in floods, cyclones, and blizzards (first time I’ve seen this in print was today; I knew it already). These things can kill, readers! They will kill, and they will kill, and they will kill. By direct and indirect means. THIS is what collapse looks like, not wondering what to do with your 401K!! Yes, by all means, prepare the best you can. Yes, having cash on hand would be a good idea. Yes, rain barrels, vegetable gardens, and solar ovens are all good ideas. Just, for heaven’s sake, know what you’re up against.
Stop imagining we’re in charge. Stop. Right now. Once you figure out who IS in charge, you might want to begin having conversations with the Almighty. You can believe me now, or you can believe me later, but those conversations will happen, and sooner than you think. How do I know? Because I’m just like you.
First, I had to hit the wall.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

New World Environmental Leader?

March 5, 2017 - China's coal consumption dropped for the third year in a row in 2016.  This, coupled with the country's shift away from heavy industry, could well portend cleaner air and water. As you know, cleaner air in China means cleaner air everywhere. With a population of 1.35 billion people, China currently produces twice as much carbon dioxide in the form of emissions as the United States.

Given that the US has a population less than 1/4 the size of China's, their emissions would quadruple our own, if their standard of living matched ours. Thank goodness it doesn't. Be aware, however, that the government of China is transitioning to an economy based on consumer spending. That could spell trouble.

In the meantime, China's National Bureau of Statistics indicates that China's coal consumption fell by 4.7 percent in 2016. Coal's share of total energy consumed fell to 62% in 2016, from 64% in 2015. In the United States, by contrast, the government pledge…