80

Above Us the Waves

UPDATED: May 8, 12:38 BST

W Stephen Gilbert

The salient point about Cassandra the mythological princess, and Dr Stockmann in Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, and Chief Brody in Peter Benchley’s Jaws is not that they predicted calamity or that they were proved right after several individuals (thousands in Cassandra’s case) had unnecessarily died. It was that they were ignored and even reviled. So it is with the most significant issue of the age, indeed the most significant event in the history of the world: climate change.

Predictably enough, the coverage of the on-going worldwide action by the groups acting under the umbrella Extinction Rebellion and the school strikes inspired by the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg has concentrated on their conduct rather than their aims. Sitting down, skipping school, sleeping over and supergluing are of more interest to the mainstream media than the survival of the planet. Politicians and media commentators prate about irresponsibility, civil disobedience, disruption and cost, unmindful that these are but a drop in the rising ocean.

Peter Harper, the pioneering prophet of alternative technologies, was telling our local Labour party the other week that the expert consensus now is that we have, at best, fifteen years before the whole of eastern England including London, along with Toronto, New York, Florida and the eastern seaboard of the United States, and the low countries and much else of western Europe, disappears under permanent flood water.**

The window of opportunity for pre-emptive action that will limit, let alone prevent, this outcome is fast closing. Some time in the next decade, the tipping point will come, the damage will be irreparable, irrevocable, irreversible.

My partner and I have no issue. We fear for the children and even more the grandchildren of our friends, but for ourselves we need not wonder what fate we bestowed on anyone we have brought into a doomed world. We have always assumed that our deaths would precede Armageddon. And long ago, we moved to the west country. But if we were ever tempted to feel smug about our relative age and our choice of base, we can no longer comfort ourselves. While the end of the world appeared to be a far-off fantasy, we could enjoy its fictional representations in the scenarios of disaster literature and movies. But gradually, alongside the possibility of nuclear catastrophe returning to consideration, especially in the hands of death-cult groups, the spread of uncontrollable bacteria or global epidemic became credible.

And now climate change has overtaken all other threats, not as something far off and largely imaginary but as terrifyingly imminent. My partner and I, hitherto immune to the danger because of human life expectancy, may well still be around in fifteen years, by which time the vulnerability of old age will be rather more apparent to us.

The prospect of huge numbers of English refugees fleeing west – by then perhaps as many as 30 million of them – fills one with dread. Look how unsympathetically the European nations have handled the comparatively small numbers of refugees seeking help from them over the last few years. So the breakdown of order is a given. What proportion of desperate people, many exhibiting the Londoner’s characteristic sense of entitlement, would be content to wait patiently for the provisions that the authorities have made for them? Indeed, in the nightmare scenario that Theresa May is still the prime minister in 2035, scant provision will have been made because parliament will have been wholly engaged in dispute about the precise depth to which the floodwater is predicted to rise, with the grande dame determined to push through her policy based on a flooding projection merely to the depth of a couple of centimeters.

Politicians, particularly in Britain, like to sit back and congratulate themselves on the pitiful restrictions they have enacted and the puny long-term goals they have set, promising to reduce vehicular emissions just a tad when what they face is the impossibility of travel by any means save boat and raft. We are all fetishising small, targeted causes and ignoring the scale of the overarching disaster. What is the good of saving the tiger or the honey bee, the rain forest or the coral reef when, in a foreseeable future, flora and fauna will be globally decimated, surviving only in random pockets until they too are hunted to extinction for food? As half of England disappears under water, how many creatures, save those that can fly distances, will perish as we struggle to save ourselves?

It’s not as if these warnings are new. In her seminal book Silent Spring, Rachel Carson identified the extensive use of pesticides as having a profoundly deleterious effect on the environment. That was in 1962, 57 years ago. Who listened?

The UN’s recent report on climate change anticipates a million extinctions of plants and animals unless action is taken, and taken now. Who can doubt that the extinction of the human race will follow, and sooner rather than later? We are the authors of our own fate. In his recent BBC programme on the subject, Climate Change – The Facts (still available on iPlayer), David Attenborough limned “our greatest threat in thousands of years”. Among the experts consulted, the Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change, Chris Stark, drily noted: “The costs of action are dwarfed by the costs of inaction”. Stark enough for you?

For the mainstream media, the UN report was a big story but played second to the obviously much more significant news of a royal birth. One wonders whether the Sussexes have pondered where they will flee to once the London palaces are flooded. Of the 25 current royal residences, only four may be expected to be untouched by the imminent inundation: Highgrove, Gatcombe, Llwynywermod in Carmarthenshire and possibly Barnwell Manor in Northants. The rest, even those in Scotland, are vulnerable because of successive royals favouring eastern counties. Perhaps the Duke of Cambridge could be persuaded to speak up louder about what we face. As monarch, he may be presiding over an unimaginable crisis.

Labour has urged the government to declare a climate emergency, a gesture that will be no more than that if not followed up. As Jeremy Corbyn put it, in proposing a number of large but unspecified measures, “it’s a chance that won’t be available to succeeding generations”. But we have to ensure that the ‘could’ in his hope that “we could set off a wave of action from parliaments and governments around the world” is in practice a ‘will’. The world is swinging hard to the right and governments of the hard right are not exercised by the global emergency; indeed, they doubt its very existence. Trump calls it a hoax. Brazil now has a president whose policy is to clear the Amazon basin for short-term profit, with no thought for the global implications. Why has not the International Court of Justice already sought pre-emptive measures to prevent his carrying through this policy? Why is Trump being permitted to reactive the American fossil fuel companies, purely to obtain the workers’ votes in 2020?

Despite Trump, New York City is enacting a $20 billion programme to combat the local effects of climate change, addressing such issues as coastal protection and drainage capacity. The coastline around Lower Manhattan is being raised twenty feet above the current sea level. Millions of additional trees have been planted across the city to help to control rising summer temperatures. All new builds have to meet stringent green requirements. New protections have been created to prevent the flooding of the subway system. “Managed retreat” plans have been enacted as a result of Hurricane Sandy more than six years ago. Congestion pricing will be introduced in the next two years and vehicle emissions are intended to be halved by 2025. Will that be sufficient? And how much is London investing in something similar?

Late last year, London mayor Sadiq Khan and civic leaders in other cities also declared “a climate emergency”. Khan’s plan is to make his city carbon neutral by 2050, but he does not explain how you achieve such a target in a metropolis that has by then been under water for fifteen years. The London Assembly wisely passed a motion to bring forward Khan’s target by twenty years. But is it realistic?

What seems clear is that politicians generally, ever mindful of this week’s measure of popularity, have no will to do more than nibble at the edges. They may have calculated that they’ll be dead by 2050 and so they won’t care. But if they are out by as many years as the scientists now fear, some at least of them will live to see their names reviled and perhaps find themselves hunted down by starving and vengeful refugees, many of those refugees being people who thought they were immune to tomorrow’s disaster. Then the politicians might learn too late something about irresponsibility, disruption and cost.

**UPDATE 12/05/19: Peter Harper points out that the timeframe sketched by him and mentioned in the article refers to the opportunity to put measures in place to prevent the seas rising by more than three feet by century’s end, rather than the time shortly after which a large landmass will be inundated. He says: “In my view the best avenue for the Labour Party would be a major infrastructural renewal programme that would bring millions of new jobs. They could forge rational alliances with appropriate businesses and redirect the universities to provide the necessary research and training. They should reorganise the tax system to be revenue-neutral but make carbon visible in prices”.

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John Doran
John Doran
May 12, 2019 12:56 PM

http://www.drtimball.ca/2019/it-is-time-to-expose-the-sanctimonious-ben-santer-to-the-new-generation-of-skeptics/

Dr. Tim exposes the 1995 fraud committed in the UN IPCC report to fabricate “a discernable human influence”

John Doran.

John Doran
John Doran
May 12, 2019 4:19 PM
Reply to  John Doran

If the link does not go directly to the article, scroll down a few articles on the right hand side
JD.

Jack Black
Jack Black
May 10, 2019 9:37 PM

Toronto flooded by the rising sea ? Surely you jest. And while Toronto, as one the largest cities in North America encompasses a large area, it is nowhere near the sea, and in fact has a lowest altitude of 76.5 m. You must be thinking of Toyota, the largest city in Japan, which is right on the ocean.

And no need to rush out and thank me. We all make mistakes. Heck even I’ve made one once in a while.

John Doran
John Doran
May 10, 2019 7:10 PM

A scientific look at sea level rise over the last 20,000 years, since the depths of the last glacial period.

Bullet Points:
Sea level rise: 1.3mm/yr to 1.8mm/yr.
Coral grows ~ 2mm/yr. No coral islands lost.
No major sea rise ~6,000 yrs.
Good, easy to understand graphs. Clear easy to understand text.

[single para edited for content-free ad hom]

http://www.notrickszone.com/2011/02/16/a-level-look-at-sea-levels/

JD.

John Doran
John Doran
May 10, 2019 10:02 AM

A sober scientific proof CO2 (plant food Carbon Dioxide) not Carbon pollution as lazy liars say, cannot control temperatures. An 11,000 year graph of our Holocene Warm Period.
For about the last 1,000,000 years our climate has run in cycles of about 100,000 years: about 10,000 years warm & about 90,000 years cold.
This present interglacial is no different:
http://www.wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/22/core-of-climate-science-is-in-the-real-world-data/

JD.

bevin
bevin
May 9, 2019 9:49 PM

They must be rubbing their hands in glee at CiF these days. This site set up by those who had been pre-moderated, for talking unpalatable sense to the ruling class, now runs a serious, perfectly sensible article on Climate Change and the great majority of comments are variations of the message being promoted by the capitalists: ‘it is all a hoax’; those protesting against it are corrupted agents of the corporations and idiots who cannot see that to protest against the status quo is to help sustain it. But then, Stephen Gilbert has ‘form’ : he confesses immediately that he attends Labour Party meetings. And we all know, from the comments, that the Labour Party, more than ever now with its dangerously deceptive shape shifting leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is a full partner in every cunning capitalist plan, such as this pretended opposition to so called ‘global warming’. Such a critical… Read more »

Sophie - Admin1
Admin
Sophie - Admin1
May 10, 2019 1:15 AM
Reply to  bevin

The Guardian is squarely behind the reality of manmade climate change, as is the BBC, and most liberal outlets. Unlike us, though, they would censor the ‘deniers.’

John Doran
John Doran
May 10, 2019 9:53 AM

Admin, that really should be “reality” of manmade climate change, or fantasy?
JD.
But, three cheers to you for allowing opposing perspectives.

BigB
BigB
May 10, 2019 10:10 AM
Reply to  bevin

The sequence of XR Extinction Rebellion; Greta Thunberg and her Climate Strikers; Attenborough’s BBC climate change propagandic piece to camera Greta’s meeting with JC; JC’s ‘climate emergency’; the CCC report the very next day (outlining the ‘net zero’ neoliberal psyop); the IPBES landmark 15 year report the next week; today, the setting up of a geo-engineering feasibility project (to cool the poles) …is anything but an authentic grassroots protest. I do not believe in cornucopias of coincidence. Not when you consider that Greta went off message in Katowice; and started blaming the 1% – which Avaaz censored. She has not gone off message since. You mention the Kochtopus: where are some of these ‘Unicorn’ startups get their capitalisation from? One of the main backers of Greta is ‘We Don’t Have Time’ – which is true, BTW. But they are set up to make money from carbon offsets – which aren’t… Read more »

crank
crank
May 11, 2019 8:31 PM
Reply to  bevin

I find, and have consistently found, the general level of discussion of this topic on OffG depressing (both above and below the line). Take this recent article (below) by Clive Splash for example. An environmental economist who has studied what the elite financiers of the world plan to do about the fossil fuel problem(s), he also can see the XR, Greta phenomena for what they are : signal generators in a public relations drive to capitalise nature. Wholesale. Medialens don’t get this because they’re smoked out on hopium. Corbynistas don’t get this because they are planning their Green New Deal (read Grey Bad Deal). OffG could have published Splash’s article which is far more interesting. http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2019/05/09/the-climate-movement-what-next/ What is happening right now appears to be a classic case of a passive revolution. When hegemonic power is threatened it captures the movement leaders and neutralises them by bringing them into the power… Read more »

mark
mark
May 9, 2019 4:27 PM

So much of this Global Warming BS is counter productive and a complete waste of time and resources that could be devoted to real problems. In places like Norway, electric cars are heavily subsidised to the tune of about 850 million euros a year. No car tax, no import duty, no 25% VAT, no road tolls. Free parking and free electric charging, and you can use the bus lanes. Sounds great! But where does all this largesse come from? From the 6 billion euros in revenue from the oil/ gas industry. So a lot of Norwegians get an additional electric car. They still keep the gas guzzler 4x4s they need to take them and the skis to the mountain hut. You aren’t going to take the G Whiz which is liable to run out of volts and conk out without warning at any moment. But people can smugly preen themselves… Read more »

John Doran
John Doran
May 9, 2019 2:57 PM

I really enjoyed this exercise in emotional anti-scientific incontinence: not a single reference to back up the longest list of scare-porn drivel I’ve seen in a long time. I bust out laughing. Sea levels are rising globally at about 1.8mm per year. Satellite data show this. That’s about 40 years to overflow a single course of bricks, at 3 inches, 75mm. Dr. Nils Axel Morner is a world authority: any youtube, essay or paper by him is worth reading. In some areas, coastland is falling, in others, raising still after the retreat of the last Ice Sheets, 20,000 to 15,000 years ago. The fat fraudstar & profiteer Al Gore predicted 20 ft sea level rises then bought a seaside property. Is there a clue there, do you think? Gore has become a multi-millionaire on this fraud, scaring the wits out of kids, their ill-informed teachers & parents. Gore runs a… Read more »

BigB
BigB
May 9, 2019 9:06 PM
Reply to  John Doran

Talking of “emotional anti-scientific incontinence” – as linked to the other day – is that creationist Tim-nice-but-dim Ball who has less than zero credibility as a clown ‘climatologist’. The retired geographer who admitted in court that he invented his climatology credentials: and abandoned a libel case against because he did not have a credible career or reputation that could be libeled.

Similarly, the Weaver case he ‘won’ was on the basis that his attack on Weaver was such “emotional anti-scientific incontinence” that it could not be taken as anything other than satirical comedy.

The judge said it lacked “a sufficient air of credibility to make them believable and therefore potentially defamatory.”

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/02/judge-finds-written-attack-on-climate-scientist-too-ludicrous-to-be-libel/

Ball, Monckton …all you are missing is Corbyn and Lawson for a who’s who of idiots pretending to be idiots.

Sophie - Admin1
Admin
Sophie - Admin1
May 9, 2019 9:24 PM
Reply to  BigB

Can we suggest both sides here discuss the evidence and leave aside the alleged credibility of this or that person. It’s just not helpful, or interesting, and can easily seem like mere ad hom.

John Doran
John Doran
May 10, 2019 9:11 AM

Admin, I appreciate your desire to keep this “debate” above the ad hom level. I really do. However, the whole CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic (man-made) Global Warming ) fraud is built upon the destruction of persons because it does not stand forensic examination of facts in court cases or factual debates. For example, the fraud was rebranded from global warming after 1998 to climate change because Earth has seen no statistically significant warming since 1998. That’s 21 full years. All of a sudden man-made CO2 is causing climate change? PUHLEEEASE. The climate’s been changing “for about 4.5 billion years”, as Buzz Aldrin said, correctly. Back in the 1970s the big scare was “Ice Age Coming”, when I had just left school. Then, it was man-made industrial particulates in the air, blocking the Sun. Then it was man-made industrial CO2 causing global warming. Then it was man-made industrial CO2 causing climate change.… Read more »

Sophie - Admin1
Admin
Sophie - Admin1
May 10, 2019 9:59 AM
Reply to  John Doran

If what you say is true then you’re making my point for me. The best rebuttal of ad hom is to ignore it and insist the focus remains on the data, not to resort to ad hom in return.

Maybe BigB can explain what is faulty in Tim Ball’s science, and you can present the counter case. Point by point. That would be interesting and illuminating. This isn’t.

John Doran
John Doran
May 10, 2019 10:31 AM

I’m game.
Funny enough I just posted above 10.02 am a sober scientific article, proof
CO2 does not control temperatures or therefore climate.

Let’s see how the BigB does sticking to science.
I’m game.

BigB
BigB
May 10, 2019 7:46 PM

Congratulations, Admin, for getting the wrong end of the stick. And moderating the guy doing empirical, science based research. If you go to the “Send Labour a Message” forum: you will see I posted a lot of factual analysis. As I have been doing for what, two years? You will also see I explained my analysis to Maggie, who had previously ad homed me several times (not moderated though), as I have down at least three times before. Underneath my analysis you will see that it was dismissed/ad homed with “your oil addiction” is a fake boogeyman: fossil fuels are greening the planet.” Which was a total negation and deflection from the well argued case I had made – from science. Into a baseless anti-scientific, anti-realist provocation that has been debunked a thousand times before. Even though I couldn’t really be bothered, I did try and show that greening (CO2… Read more »

John Doran
John Doran
May 12, 2019 12:19 PM
Reply to  BigB

@BigB,
ok, what’s this entropy you keep banging on about, endlessly?

Is that when the Sun burns out in about 7 billion years?

John Doran.

BigB
BigB
May 10, 2019 9:12 AM

Tim Ball’s lack of credibility is legend, and extremely pertinent …especially when someone is trying to pass him off as an ‘authority’. The fact that he has been laughed out of court more than once, citing that his amateurish ‘evidence’ was childish drivel, not worthy of being credibly defamatory, which no one could take as a serious libel …again, becomes extremely pertinent when someone claims he ‘won’ the case. Which, technically he did – but that is being misrepresented here to make it look as the retired geographer has any credibility whatsoever. Which he does not. So there is no evidence to discuss, not from Ball. He deliberately misrepresents the evidence. A fact that has not stood up in court. As I said in my main comment: you cannot frame the Human Impact crisis on the climate. Not least, because that is a) the vector neoliberalism is setting; b) it… Read more »

Sophie - Admin1
Admin
Sophie - Admin1
May 10, 2019 9:54 AM
Reply to  BigB

I’m sure you’re well aware that generalised personal attacks such as “he’s an idiot”, “he was laughed out of court”, “he has no credibility” are routinely used as a means of diverting the argument away from the data and toward the person presenting it. For this reason they should never be used by those who have real valid fact-based arguments to deploy.

No, they are NOT pertinent, because they are subjective and impossible to verify. “No credibility”, with whom? According to what source? How much “credibility” does the person claiming “no credibility” have? It’s the kind of foggy, fact-free nonsense dismissal employed by the mainstream media, designed to play to a person’s preconceptions and prejudices. We don’t want to see it here.

John Doran
John Doran
May 10, 2019 9:41 AM
Reply to  BigB

http://www.principia-scientific.org/breaking-climatologist-dr-tim-ball-wins-epic-libel-court-battle/ Weaver sat in court for three weeks, silent. He offered not a word of evidence. His & his attack dog lawyer’s sole intent was to bankrupt Dr. Ball. They failed. They failed. Friends & crowdfunding ensured that free speech & truth had their day in court. Dr. Tim’s next court case is 75% won. The outrageous fraud Michael Mann tried to wipe out 900 years of history: The Medieval Warm Period & The Little Ice Age, in order to make the 20th century warming look exceptional. He failed. He failed. He failed to provide agreed documents to the court & can now be openly called a fraud without fear of legal reprisal. I hope his fraud bankrupts him. His Hockey Stick Graph fraud has made him, very briefly, the darling of the fraud factory UN IPCC, but everlastingly a “Disgrace To The Profession”, as the book by journalist Mark… Read more »

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
May 9, 2019 11:29 AM

But gradually, alongside the possibility of nuclear catastrophe returning to consideration, especially in the hands of death-cult groups, the spread of uncontrollable bacteria or global epidemic became credible.

And now climate change has overtaken all other threat…

Stick around. Plenty more left in Pandora’s box yet.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
May 9, 2019 12:29 AM

Ten years ago, this is precisely what I believed too. But I have to admit that, more and more, I consider myself a global-warming skeptic. Why did I refuse to question the media consensus (not scientific consensus!) on this issue for so long? Well, for openers, I have no real background in climatology, so how was I supposed to make any sense out of a bunch of footnoted white-papers on the subject? But more to the point: I have always considered myself an environmentalist, so I thought it was my duty to ‘stick up for the planet,’ as it were. But one thing that made me suspicious of the climate-change hoopla was the fact that, as time went on, it seemed to crowd out more and more of the other important environmental topics, such as pollution and resource conservation. Moreover, after thirty years or so of proclaiming imminent catastrophe, I… Read more »

Savorywill
Savorywill
May 9, 2019 12:45 AM
Reply to  Seamus Padraig

I feel the same. I also took it for granted that the global warming narrative was right, having dutifully watched Al Gore’s movie on that when it came out. What gave me pause in my acceptance of this idea actually came from an unlikely source: Alexander Cockburn from my my favorite news site, at the time (no longer!!!), Counterpunch. He got in a lot of trouble with his co-editor, St. Claire, for his heresy, actually. He had a fascinating run-in with George Monbiot over this issue which was hilarious to read. You may be able to find his posts on the archives, even though they were basically shunned by St. Claire, but he can’t delete posts of the co-founder of that site, much as I am sure he would like to. Subsequently, the solar influence explanation frankly makes more sense. For one thing, using sunspots as a way of detecting… Read more »

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
May 9, 2019 11:53 AM
Reply to  Seamus Padraig

“In fact–as far as I’m aware–we still haven’t lost so much as one single Pacific atoll!”

Colour you ‘thick’?

Five Pacific islands lost to rising seas as climate change hits
Six more islands have large swaths of land, and villages, washed into sea as coastline of Solomon Islands eroded and overwhelmed
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/10/five-pacific-islands-lost-rising-seas-climate-change

I have a friend who’d like to meet you. His monocle is so powerful that whenevet he strains on the khazi his other eye is looking right up his passed-due date.

Sophie - Admin1
Admin
Sophie - Admin1
May 9, 2019 9:52 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

The scare headline is, as per usual with the Graun, not fully borne out by the text. There’s ambiguity – to say the least – whether the loss of land is due to rising sea levels or land erosion. Is there anything to clarify this?

John Doran
John Doran
May 9, 2019 6:28 PM
Reply to  Seamus Padraig

I think you’re spot on right here Seamus Padraig.

Valentina Zharkova is doing fascinating work with the heartbeat of the Sun.
Her prediction of a mini ice age 2020 to 2050 ish with 97% claims of accuracy is phenomenal.
And will very soon be proven or disproven. That’s science.

I got an invite to this GWPF presentation, but couldn’t attend.
Her work, plus Svensmark’s work on clouds are probably the best advances in climate science in the last 40 years.

John Doran.

Arby
Arby
May 8, 2019 8:59 PM

“Predictably enough, the coverage of the on-going worldwide action by the groups acting under the umbrella Extinction Rebellion and the school strikes inspired by the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg has concentrated on their conduct rather than their aims. Sitting down, skipping school, sleeping over and supergluing are of more interest to the mainstream media than the survival of the planet. Politicians and media commentators prate about irresponsibility, civil disobedience, disruption and cost, unmindful that these are but a drop in the rising ocean.” Intentionally or otherwise, our friend is making a “Look! Over there!” move. Greta Thunberg, it really does appear, is being used. Hopefully she won’t be ruined, the way they (her parents included!) proceeded to ruin Bana Alabed (the possible consequence of using her for propaganda purposes). Protecting the natural world ‘is’ more than ever needed. Unfortunately, the despoilers who don’t have principles also know that and don’t… Read more »

Some Random Passer-b
Some Random Passer-b
May 9, 2019 12:08 PM
Reply to  Arby

There’s this little nugget waiting to resurface when the coast is clear too…

https://xrbusiness.org/

Arby
Arby
May 10, 2019 6:02 AM

“This website is unavailable at present” And on and on…

Arby
Arby
May 8, 2019 8:47 PM

Stephen Glibert: May I introduce you to Ralph Nader?: “An Open Letter to the Environmental Community” – https://nader.org/2019/05/03/an-open-letter-to-the-environmental-community/

An excerpt from Nader’s very welcome article follows:

“Today, in the midst of increasingly alarming scientific studies and giant storms, the necessary response has been diminished by this widely-accepted softening of the words we use to describe the dangerous reality that stands before us. Language matters!

“I recently reached out to two leading and widely respected ecologists, Paul Hawken and Bill McKibben, to get their input on the mainstream usage of the benign phrase “climate change.” McKibben now uses the far more potent phrase “climate chaos.” Hawken believes the proper term is “climate volatility.”

“One thing is abundantly clear―it’s time to change the words to meet the peril!”

mark
mark
May 8, 2019 8:44 PM

I don’t know if this utter garbage is intended as a spoof, but I’m assuming it’s not. We have all the usual bald assertions unsupported by a shred of evidence, “In 15/12/11/4 years (pick whatever figure suits you) we’ll all be under water…..London and New York submerged……30 million refugees………” etc.etc.etc. Just make something up. “We have exactly 8 months, 11 days, 14 hours and 12 minutes left to save the planet.” I’m old enough to remember “all the scientists” telling us all in similar hushed, apocalyptic tones that we were facing an imminent new Ice Age, and you’d have to fight off marauding polar bears every time you went out to post a letter. And ten years ago, “the scientists” warning us that children would never see snow again. As Corporal Jones would say, “Don’t panic!” There is NO global warming. At most there is a fluctuation of about a… Read more »

Mucho
Mucho
May 8, 2019 10:33 PM
Reply to  mark

Quite right. “Planet poisoning” is more accurate than “climate change”. We are poisoning Earth and oursleves with synthetic, toxic, man-made shite and the whole system is based around greed and exploitation regardless of any human or environmental consequences.

For example……”The production of our electronic technologies has fueled war, murder, rape, and child labor in the Congo. Here’s how”……..

https://whatis5g.info/conflict-minerals/

John Doran
John Doran
May 9, 2019 6:50 PM
Reply to  mark

Utter garbage is about right, Mark.
John Doran.

Willem
Willem
May 8, 2019 6:40 PM

If memory serves me correctly, in Gulliver’s travels the issue of climate change is ridiculed by Swift. And if not, it is a great topic for satire.

As regards to the existence of climate change, I am agnostic. It is a topic, to paraphrase Protagoras, that I cannot know either if it does exist or if it does not exist, for there is much to prevent one’s knowing: the obscurity of the subject and the shortness of man’s life.

That does not mean that I am pro-fossil fuel industry: one day we may run out of it making winter extremely cold (no gas) and summer very hot (no air conditioning). I am also much in favour for alternative energy that is assesible for everybody, as that will end a lot of endless wars in oil rich countries.

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
May 8, 2019 5:05 PM

Dear W. Stephen Gilbert, (” As half of England disappears under water”) When, I was a kid 55 years ago, although we were skint, we did spend a couple of weeks on the Norfolk Broads, and managed to get through Potter Heigham Bridge. We have achieved this numerous times since, including quite recently, years since the time of “hide the decline” Coincidentally, though I have never lived in Norfolk, though I love the place, I have known a few people, for an exceedingly long time, who work, professionally at The University of East Anglia in Norwich “Can you still get your boat through Potter Heigham Bridge mate?” “No problem most of the time” “Have you actually recorded any significant change, with regards to clearances, I know it has always been very tight? It is tidal.” “So where is the actual evidence of an significant sea level rise or decline, in… Read more »

mark
mark
May 8, 2019 8:51 PM
Reply to  tonyopmoc

I always left Potter Heigham bridge to the pilot. Well worth a couple of quid beer money for him.

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
May 8, 2019 9:25 PM
Reply to  mark

mark, Us too, but Wroxham Bridge is still dead easy, despite the bend, and you can’t see what’s coming, from the other side.

mark
mark
May 9, 2019 12:14 AM
Reply to  tonyopmoc

I was around there just a while back. Looked just the same as before to me, maybe a bit more built up. Some of the locals say it has gone down a lot over the years in terms of wildlife, but it’s not obvious or noticeable.

mark
mark
May 9, 2019 12:17 AM
Reply to  mark

The Roys are still ruling the roost round there, though I think one of them died recently.

BigB
BigB
May 8, 2019 4:34 PM

The problem with framing the Human Impact crisis on the climate: is that all the climate contrarians come out to play. As if it makes any difference to the overall synopsis. The climate is only part of the overall Earth System: which is not isolatable from the overall human interaction with the environment. The lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere all interact – probably in ways we do not yet understand – and we are having a major impact – from source to sink – on all of them. Such is the case, you really have to stick your head in a dark place not to notice. On top of the environmental desecration: there is the economic desecration of 6.2% of humanity (mostly the 2,208 billionaires) hoovering up 85% of the wealth.[Credit Suisse annual report]. And these are the super-emitters of GHGs. If the top 10% of overconsumers curtailed their profligate… Read more »

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
May 8, 2019 5:46 PM
Reply to  BigB

BigB, My wife particularly is an enthusiastic participant, of our local ecolgical community, mainly through active participation, including doing a lot of digging and planting, and distributing the food, and love, entirely for free. I sometimes turn up at larger meetings. Even the pubs are free to get in, but you have to pay for the beer.

I have always wanted an electric car, mainly for performance reasons, though I accept, the technology, currently, is grossly inefficient, if you consider the real total cost of ownership.

I accept that to continue to burn oil, coal, wood, peat and animal shit, so that all the fumes go into the atmosphere, is exceedingly unhealthy and undesirable.

Have you noticed any rise or fall in the level of oil, or gas for that matter?

Did you do physics?

http://www.gasresources.net/thrmccnstrnts.htm

Tony

BigB
BigB
May 8, 2019 6:55 PM
Reply to  tonyopmoc

No, but I did logic and systems theory. Everything is interactive with everything else. If we have a repleting hydrocarbons source (which we don’t) we deplete other resources even faster and precipitate either a resources collapse or a metabolic collapse. And precipitate the further loss of biodiversity in a rapidly changing world. Probably not too much we can do, given the advanced state of our depletion and pollution. Let’s be honest: no one really wants the change – especially the real change it would require to actually mitigate our impact on life. Let’s just say my eyes have been opened to how self-absorbed people really are. I personally had assumed that no personal or social sacrifice was too great to ameliorate global poverty, end climate colonialism, lift the resource curse on the global poor, regenerate the soil, agriculture, fisheries, afforestation, avoid hybrid-proxy wars …and perhaps the real thing, and end… Read more »

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
May 8, 2019 8:35 PM
Reply to  BigB

BigB, I am not denying that the climate is changing. It always as has, and it always will. I lived through the winter of 1963, in Oldham. I was 10 years old, and built an igloo in my back garden with my older brother Patrick. We got an oblong box, and used pure ice for windows. The coalman, used to turn up on a horse and cart, and deliver these enormous bags of coal that went into our coalshed. When I got home from school, I was too cold to pee. So I used to get the coal fire going, before my Mum and Dad, and all my brothers and sisters turned up, with their boyfriends and girlfriends. Now, my next door neighbour is growing hops, and our other next door neighbour is growing grapes. Yes, It has got warmer, but us mere humans are not in control of anything… Read more »

BigB
BigB
May 9, 2019 12:06 AM
Reply to  tonyopmoc

my reply came out above.

BigB
BigB
May 8, 2019 11:56 PM
Reply to  BigB

Yes, Tony, we probably will. Some of us. I do not know what the outcome will be, no one does. What I lament is we could all survive, comfortably, with a lot less. And a lot more fulfilled, spiritually. Capitalism alienates humanity from humanity. Therein lies the whole problem. A self-alienated humanity cannot envisage what it has lost, once it has become accustomed to its alienation. It is always fashionable to blame someone, and the elite possessing classes do have asymmetrically more vested interest. But those interests are mirrored by the majority, in the OECD developed countries at least. Everyone wants their technocratic share. That the cobalt and coltan is mined by children is well known, poisoning the Congo river and paying for a war that has killed maybe 10 million unpeople. Or the child miners inside Cerro Rico, scraping for tin, lead, and zinc. These are just two examples… Read more »

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
May 8, 2019 4:03 PM

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2019/05/america-you-are-fired.html Extract “Dmitry Orlov said… Bridgeofsighs – Three Mile Island was sabotaged (and boy did it take some work!) in order to justify a massive federal power grab over the nuclear industry. Nobody was hurt. It was, in a sense, necessary, because in the US tight government control of anything is hard to justify, but in the case of nuclear it is absolutely necessary. Chernobyl was blown up on purpose (hurting thousands of people) in order to bankrupt the USSR. The cost of the damage and the clean-up was on the scale of the GDP of the entire country. The institutional/reputation damage was just as bad. It was sabotage, from the highest levels (traitors were within the Politburo) and Gorbachev admitted as much, though not in public. Fukushima was caused by a small nuclear charge dropped from a US Navy ship on top of a geological fault some 100km offshore,… Read more »

Kathy
Kathy
May 8, 2019 2:04 PM

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
May 8, 2019 3:37 PM
Reply to  Kathy

Kathy, Thanks for posting this. It is Brilliant. Within the last few weeks, I have become well aware of the dangers of 5G, almost nothing of which is published in the mainstream media. I have been retired for 15 years, and am not up to speed with the latest technology. However, I did use to work in the industry, at such a level, that I insisted, we got positive acknowledgements, at the lowest machine code level, and the higher level, before we considered, the message had been received. The last thing I want is 5G to be deployed, except maybe in New York, Wall Street and Washington DC. On an associated level, woth regards to the nuclear industry, I would suggest anyone interested to read Dmitry Orlov’s latest post, especially his comments. Even I was shocked. This is one of the cleverest guys I have ever come across, and whilst… Read more »

Kathy
Kathy
May 8, 2019 7:57 PM
Reply to  tonyopmoc

tonyopmoc.
Thanks for the feed back.
I think this is quite an interesting film about 5g

Mucho
Mucho
May 8, 2019 11:54 PM
Reply to  Kathy

Here is another must watch 5G vid, only short at 10 mins but he lays it out brilliantly and looks at the exact effects of this type of radiation on our bodies.

mark
mark
May 8, 2019 9:50 PM
Reply to  Kathy

Thanks for that. This is the very antithesis of a grass roots movement, supported by all the usual suspects, Soros, Monsanto, Silicon Valley, Big Telecoms, Big Finance, Government, the bogus NGOs. It is reminiscent of the Colour Revolutions, the White Helmets, and much else in a similar vein. Astro Turfing writ large. Manufacturing Consent a la Bernays.

The tragedy of it is that most of the kids and foot soldiers genuinely believe in what they’re doing and don’t realise they’re being used and manipulated to serve the corporate interests who are pulling their strings.

MLS
MLS
May 8, 2019 1:20 PM

The science behind AGW remains ambiguous. The claims of ‘scientific consensus’, ‘97%’, etc are simply propaganda.

More important is the failure of large sections of the Left, an even the alt media to recognize this propaganda and to question why it’s being imposed.

Why are outlets such as Media Lens content to go along with known liars such as the BBC and the Guardian on this one issue?

(I don’t include OffG here, since they very commendably present both sides of this debate and resist the demands for censorship of opinion)

Loverat
Loverat
May 8, 2019 12:13 PM

I have observed many online climate change debates and you can tell a sizeable number
on both sides are not approaching the subject objectively and a lot of vested interested tied up in this. Those who are trying to understand the arguments by asking either side to back up their claims or even explain their viewpoint are attacked. I have experienced this many times and the conclusion I reach is, those for can’t properly explain the science and the complex data they use to justify their claims. And those on the other side, seem to simply say, the onus is not on them to disprove climate change. It’s a bit like the religion/atheists debates you see.

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
May 8, 2019 11:51 AM

Initially, I thought this article may have been written in the style of CJ Hopkins, and it was merely satire. I am now reasonably convinced, that it is the direct result, of intense, serial propaganda, and find it very sad, that both the author, and vast numbers of young people, actually believe its contents. This is Malthusian religion. It is not science. Unfortunately, politicians, and the powers that be, believe this nonsense too, and will make completely the wrong decisions, attempting to fix non-problems, whilst oblivious to the real problems out children and grand children will face.

Tony

mark
mark
May 8, 2019 9:02 PM
Reply to  tonyopmoc

Global Warming is like some weird cult, like Scientology or the Moonies, that is being used to brainwash children and the simple minded, such as politicians. So we now have the hysteria from children to politicians, “I’ve got no future left now because of you”, “You have ruined my life.” And Jezza obligingly jumps up in the House of Commons like a Jack In The Box to declare a Global Warming Energency. Cue the synthetic, sanctimonious moral outrage and the declaration that we’ve only got 15/12/11/10/4 years/ 10 minutes left to “save the planet.” There are a lot of things to lie awake at night worrrying about, but this is not one of them.

Yarkob
Yarkob
May 8, 2019 10:15 AM

some perspective:comment image

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
May 8, 2019 10:53 AM
Reply to  Yarkob

Proven already,
More fires, more floods, more droughts, more dust storms, more temperate records broken, more coral bleaching (and more spin from the fossil fuel oligarchs).
And that’s just in Australia.
All recorded by that bastion of left wing troublemakers, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

DiggerUK
DiggerUK
May 8, 2019 11:32 AM
Reply to  Fair dinkum

Correlation of these extreme weather patterns is less than obvious, the causality is at best dubious…_

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
May 8, 2019 1:52 PM
Reply to  DiggerUK

Methane.
Coming to a sky near you.

MLS
MLS
May 8, 2019 1:26 PM
Reply to  Fair dinkum

‘More’ than – when?

Caused by – what?

We all recognize the Holocene has been an unusually quiet and calm period for the climate, and this may well change. But if it does that would arguably be simply a return to a prevailingly extreme and sometimes violent climate pattern that has been the norm – so far as we can tell – for much of pre-history and beyond.

And we have yet to establish there is anything unusual even for the quiet Holocene!

Mucho
Mucho
May 8, 2019 11:06 PM
Reply to  Fair dinkum

It is also very hard to quantify the impact of geo-engineering and no doubt countless covert weather influencing projects we do not know about, being undertaken by the usual suspects.

CHEMTRAILS / GEOENGINEERING DOCUMENTARY FRANKENSKIES

DiggerUK
DiggerUK
May 8, 2019 9:29 AM

This piece has no references to any research which prove the authors assertions. That is not unusual for such propaganda pieces that pass for proof of an upcoming disaster for life on the planet.
As frustrating as these drama queen pieces are, I fully realise that they will be disregarded only when the facts are examined and the truth dawns that the conclusions are just wrong. That will involve looking at the facts and subjecting them to the scientific method of analysis.
Some readers here will have done their own research of the facts presented by those who predict climactic armageddon, but most of you should at least be honest with yourselves and admit you just go with the mob.
The science associated with studies of anthropogenic climate change is an industry full of those who dispute a consensus…_

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
May 8, 2019 8:35 AM

My comments appear to be posted until I refresh the page. So this comment is both a test and a polite request to ask if something’s up with my re-re-posted comment from around 07:30 (once) and 08:30 (twice) this morning. The comment had a couple of links and block quotes. Perhaps that’s why?

Sophie - Admin1
Admin
Sophie - Admin1
May 8, 2019 9:29 AM
Reply to  Toby Russell

It was being dropped in the spam folder by our software. I rescued it.

johny conspiranoid
johny conspiranoid
May 8, 2019 8:29 AM

All those things may be true but Extinction Rebellion may be a scam to monetise environmental issues along the lines of carbon trading.

Yarkob
Yarkob
May 8, 2019 10:25 AM

much like the “other side” there seems to be some discussion going on as to the veracity of ER’s genesis and aims with regard to big bizness. This is good. The science is not “settled” and there are far too many “experts” on both sides in the sway of 3rd parties.

https://winteroak.org.uk/2019/04/23/rebellion-extinction-a-capitalist-scam-to-hijack-our-resistance/

Here’s another DuckDuckGo search on climate scientists who dissent from the “settled” science (i.e they are real scientists who understand how science works with respect to peer review and EVIDENCE):

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=climate+scientists+against+global+warming&t=ffsb&atb=v133-1&ia=web

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
May 8, 2019 8:23 AM

For the expert consensus now is that we have, at best, fifteen years before the whole of eastern England including London, along with New York, Florida and the eastern seaboard of the United States and much of western Europe, disappears under permanent flood water. I am not an expert, so am not at all qualified to judge the data and main controversies around climate change. I listen to both sides to the extent I am able and have concluded that I cannot know what the truth is. That doubt, however, is only part of the story. There is also ecosystem degradation, the emptiness of consumerism, the rank stupidity of perpetual-growth economics, the shallowness of our childish and narcissistic ‘western’ culture, and probably a few other things. All those things considered means I have changed and continue to change my life dramatically in case anthropocentric global warming is a real and… Read more »

Yarkob
Yarkob
May 8, 2019 1:46 PM
Reply to  Toby Russell

the IPCC is a political body. It has no scientists on it. Scientists report to it, and it collates and filters their findings and pronounces to governments what they should be doing. It is compromised, and has been for years. See its response to the UEA climategate email scandal: we need to keep this data away from people.

BigB
BigB
May 8, 2019 8:37 PM
Reply to  Toby Russell

Toby The 15 years is a psyop. The transmitted idea that we can carry on for another 15 minutes is a falsified sense of security. But if we raise the alarm to ‘Defcon 1’ – fear-first responses kick in and heels get entrenched. The human asymmetry of hope and fear is our Achilles Heal. We cannot turn back time (though we like to believe in the illusion we can – and maintain growth and falsely afforded levels of prosperity) …but it is worth noting – from E F Schumacher and Herman Daly – we should perhaps of been forty years into a sensible managed transition to a post-carbon society. During which time our loose, immoral economic policies have made a plutonomy of the millionaire and billionaire class – who are obviously resistant to real change. But sense a last $100tn in the simulacra of change. Peak-oil came and went: we… Read more »

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
May 9, 2019 6:17 AM
Reply to  BigB

You gotta fight submit
For your right To your need
To paaaaaaaartaaaaay!

Yeah. I think – like you do – that the techno-corporatists believe ardently in human inventiveness, but as filtered and framed by their even more ardent belief in the greenness of money, profit, ‘free-market’ ‘capitalism’, and all that mantra-dogma that does so soothe the aching and infinite emptiness of narcissism.

Good to see a smidgen of hope back in your oh-so-complex mix! And also nice to hear that your business, a noble one, is booming. More to you and yours.

BigB
BigB
May 9, 2019 9:02 AM
Reply to  Toby Russell

Inventiveness is entropic too – limited by thermodynamics. As pointed out by Tainter, Diamond et al. Inventing the wheel is relatively easy; early production is inefficient and so relatively easy to improve on. When a certain efficiency is reached: any further improvements become resource and energy hungry (computerised monitoring and on-board adjustment of ICEs, for instance) – subject to the law of diminishing return. Maximum performance is an entropic energy sink. Ergo; innovation is not endless, it is quite finite. And diminishing resources is a limitation too. I already mentioned lithium: no giant Tesla super-batteries. Resources are not limited by overall abundance: but by the law of the minimum. There are dozens of rare earth minerals in a computer chip: all with specific qualities. If one runs out, it cannot be substituted – no more computer chips; no more advanced cancer or orthopaedic treatments. No more advanced electronics for EVs… Read more »

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
May 9, 2019 11:49 AM
Reply to  BigB

I know, there’s so much to unravel and unlearn, so much that is The Way Things Work and thus very rarely subjected to critical thought and skepticism. Sadly, it’s only new material that is critically, suspiciously viewed, not orthodoxy and dogma. You mention the money system and debt. Compound interest is the very mathematics of exponential growth, but people get nervous/defensive when the money system is discussed as a man-made, amendable thing. On the whole, The Powers That Be have done an excellent job at deeply addicting us to creature comforts and dumb acceptance. But there we are. This is the unvarnished nature of the task. I’m homeschooling my younger daughter at the moment for various reasons, but what is blindingly apparent is how much of the material is dogma around business, growth, listening to authority unquestioningly, and humanty’s ‘ascent’ to ever brighter technological futures. Get ’em while they’re young!… Read more »

BigB
BigB
May 9, 2019 10:14 PM
Reply to  Toby Russell

There is a whole bunch of stuff that could be developed if we gave up on materialism. Designing neo-negentropic circular economies, with carbon cascades; regenerative agroecology with biochar; developing appropriate technology; etc …but none of it can be capitalised. It could be neo-MMT sovereign credit issuance like we discussed before. We are not short on solutions, inventiveness or innovation – we are short on will. All of these innovations are mature technologies, some centuries old …but we have never developed them because there is no profit in designed resilience …only designed obsolescence. They are all cheaper than the neoliberal energy-sink alternatives – that will actually produce energy (exergy) – and natural capital prosperity – for humanity …only not enough for industrialised civilisation. A civilisation that contains fatal contradictions that will lead to crisis after crisis and engenders potential collapse. There is no inventiveness that can save industrial civilisation, due to… Read more »

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
May 10, 2019 6:27 AM
Reply to  BigB

That’s a lovely response, quite moving. Thank you.

One last thing: to learn to want the vector you sketch out and the sensible technologies you mention, the key concepts that need redefining at the deep cultural level are “profit” and “value”. The more we can have nuance, subjectivity and quality inform how we understand and respond to these pivotal terms, the more likely we are to want what we now so sorely need.

Yarkob
Yarkob
May 8, 2019 8:19 AM

“For the expert consensus now is that we have, at best, fifteen years before the whole of eastern England including London, along with New York, Florida and the eastern seaboard of the United States and much of western Europe, disappears under permanent flood water. ”

and 15 years ago Al Gore was telling us we had 15 years to save the planet. and 15 years before that someone else said it. and 5 years ago we had 300 days until climate catastrophe or somesuch nonsense. this kind of apocalyptic reporting just turns people with memories off. when i was at school we were going back to a new ice age. some, basing their observations on real solar science, still agree.

https://realclimatescience.com/ or https://principia-scientific.org/ and if you tell me “the science is settled” you’re a believer in witchcraft

Yarkob
Yarkob
May 8, 2019 8:24 AM
Reply to  Yarkob

oh, and about that 98% balls:

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=98%25+of+climate+scientists+agree&t=h_&ia=videos

pollution, pollution, pollution…why we hear so little about that? it isn’t just plastic. the great poison (NOT CO2!) air and sea pollution cover-up is a far more pressing and easier fixed issue. corporations don’t want the blame. far easier to blame us for our “carbon footprint” and tax us to the hilt

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
May 8, 2019 5:05 AM

With the worldwide chaos may come a shift in consciousness Stephen.
The only glimmer of hope in dark, dark future.