Is Climate Change an Existential Crisis?
When I first wrote about Climate Change back in 1989-90, I did not think so. I just thought it was important and that it would cause significant human suffering. At that time, just convincing people that it was happening was difficult. In those days, the left agreed that there was climate change, but all of their alternatives revolved around so-called renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind or tidal electrical generation. If the climate was truly changing these alternatives did not make sense to me AND I felt that there was very little modeling being done on what it meant to farm industrial amounts of energy out of the atmosphere. Thirty years ago, I postulated that industrial amounts of power pulled from the natural world would almost definitely have an effect on weather patterns. I was called a crackpot by many at the time, especially since I had no academic standing. However, this hypothesis has now been supported by actual research.
Wide-scale US wind power could cause significant warming
Photos by Clark | Flickr Wind power is booming in the United States. It's expanded 35-fold since 2000 and now provides…
On the right, there was some support for my ideas about firing up the nuclear reactors, but they had to be convinced of the fact that climate change was happening. Every time I wrote about the fact that the only industrial strength electrical generation we had was fission, I had to also write a lot about the certainty I felt about the changing climate. In my mind, my close attachment to the environment in California pushed me forward despite the ridicule that was heaped upon me. After all, I had been a gardener in California my whole life and I actually kept rain logs and temperature logs for the places that I lived at and gardened. It was clear to me, but those on the right could not accept the fact the climate was changing through fossil fuel burning. It was a very frustrating time for me.
It was why I broke from the left/right axis. I began to reject both the Democrats and the Republicans as obstructionist. I actually hired an artist to create a caricature of Uncle Sam with an eye patch on each eye.
The idea being that poor old Uncle Sam was being blinded by conservatives and liberals. On Uncle Sam’s right eye was the patch “Liberalism” blocking ideas that came from the right. On Uncle Sam’s left eye was the patch “Conservatism” blocking ideas that came from the left. I felt that the left/right war was blocking any forward progress on climate change.
In the 21st century, despite climate change skeptics rebooting their disbelief of human caused climate change, it is happening. There can be little doubt that it is occurring. It is now very easy to come up with supporting facts from “weighty” authorities that climate change is real. I no longer feel that I need to write thousands of words in support of the idea that the climate is changing. It is clearly happening. There is rapid loss of ice in Greenland:
Satellites saw rapid Greenland ice loss
Greenland has gone through an "unprecedented" period of ice loss within the last two decades. The Grace satellites…
There is land being exposed that has not seen the sun for MANY millennia.
Retreating Ice Exposes Arctic Landscape Unseen for 120,000 Years
The retreat of Arctic glaciers is exposing landscapes that haven't seen the sun for nearly 120,000 years. These rocky…
I strongly believe that eventually the skeptics will have to pipe down. However, the environmental left continues to push renewable energy as the answer in spite of the fact that climate is changing so very fast now. How can we even decide where we should build wind turbines or install solar panels when climate change is accelerating? They have no cogent answer to this query.
Instead many become strident and proclaim the changing climate is an “existential” crisis to force the investment of billions in THEIR solutions. I have bristled at this assertion for quite awhile for a couple of reasons. One, if there is such an existential crisis, then IMMEDIATELY stopping the spewing of fossil fuel emissions into the atmosphere is paramount. Only fission offers an immediate solution. The reactors are already there, but they are being shut down foolishly. Two, if one engages in histrionics, one’s position is diminished in my opinion. I never saw climate change as a threat to humanity, but rather a threat to animals and plants that would be unable to adapt as well as poorer humans that could not easily pay for a local fix.
Calling climate change an existential crisis was to engage in the hysteria that reminded me of the environmentalist doomsayers of the seventies. Their hysteria in my estimation had a lot to do with climate change skeptics because at that time there were predictions of a new Ice Age. It is this hysteria that started the corrosion of public trust in science, which I wrote about extensively then and actually still does in essays like How Americans Came to Distrust Science.
I call it hysteria because sea level rise is not going to kill ALL of humanity. It just causes great disruptions and localized death and suffering along coastlines. Greater and more frequent extreme weather events kill people for sure, but again, I never felt that these events were going to kill ALL of us. Again it just seemed like it was going to be disruptive and deadly, but again that human suffering would not be risk to the entire planet of humans. Unfortunately, VERY, UNFORTUNATELY, I must now admit that in the same way, I began to “intuit” that climate change was happening, I also have to admit that this may actually represent an existential crisis for humanity. Indeed much of life on Earth may be at risk due to some of the things I am now reading.
Because of the government shutdown, navigation charts and tables used for compass corrections related to the divergence of magnetic north and true north were not published this month. I started reading more about why this was important and I have uncovered a VERY SERIOUS concern about how climate change could be an existential crisis for humanity. From what I have seen and read no one has made the connection that I am about to do here. It makes me feel a bit of deja vu for when I first started writing about climate change and the solutions. When I postulated things like farming industrial amounts of wind could affect weather patterns or that blanketing very large areas of a desert with solar panels could not help but also change weather patterns in unexpected ways, I was ridiculed.
Who was I to make such connections given that I had no formal academic training in any of this stuff? However, smart people learn to believe in themselves, because they often see things quite differently from others and they learn to trust their own ideas and intuitions. The fact that I was, and still am, a long-time gardener in California, which is a very sensitive ecosystem, helped me get my brain around the change. Additionally, as a tournament chess player in my youth, I got within 30 points of an Expert rating without actually practicing too much. I did this through a superior knack at pattern recognition and a belief in my own “inductive” reasoning powers.
My point here is that what I am about to postulate should be coming from the scientific community, but it is not. Ergo, I must write about it. That is the beauty of being a writer, is it not? One can write about anything and thus bring gravitas to one’s opinions through the IDEAS and not through academic titles. Nonetheless, I understand that to many I don’t have the academic standing or scientific training to even propose what I am about to propose. However, smart people have to depend on themselves in this crazy world.
SOOO… here goes. Climate change is now becoming an EXISTENTIAL CRISIS! Why? Magnetic North is moving FAST and we don’t know why.
Earth's Magnetic Field Is Up To Some Seriously Weird Stuff And No One Knows Why
Earth's magnetic poles several kilometers every year, however, the north pole's movement has become increasingly…
What does my inductive reasoning tell me? Well, the magnetic field of the Earth is at least partially related to the Earth’s rotation and hence the spinning of a large amount of molten material in the core. As we see the poles melting, we are talking about removing a MEGA-TONNAGE amount of ice on both ends of the planet. However, the melting is far from uniform.
Could it be that magnetic North is moving, because of this removal of large large volumes of solid ice at the poles? Could this melting be causing a redistribution of weight on the spinning top we call the planet Earth? Is climate change causing a new wobble? I submit that this is possible and we ignore the melting poles at our own existential risk. Will the magnetic field of the Earth weaken? Could the poles even flip? Scientists are unsure how this would affect our protective magnetic field. There are some that postulate that it may weaken the field and expose the ENTIRE planet to dangerous levels of cosmic radiation.
Holy Shit! This would be an EXISTENTIAL CRISIS! In my opinion, we have already passed the tipping point on climate change. All we can do now is mitigate the climate change that will happen. The only way to do that is to fire up the nuclear reactors NOW! It is the only way to start limiting carbon emissions significantly and immediately without changing everything about the way humans go about their economic activity on the planet.
Anyone, who is saying that renewable sources can do this is foolish, because at this point, weather patterns are changing rapidly. By the time we built this or that energy generation plant of wind turbines or solar panels, they may no longer be in the correct place. Tidal generation, which is one of the most consistent generators among renewable sources is at risk due to significant sea level rise, so again, it’s Fission or Frickin’ Fracking people!
I understand that many will point to this idea as being crackpot, especially since the link above is mostly about a magnetic pole flip. Which we know has occurred as perhaps a part of natural processes. What I am saying is that all this melting ice is having some effect on the spin of the Earth and therefore an effect on the magnetic field of the planet. Will it cause the poles to flip? I don’t know. Nobody does. However, if the poles shift around even a bit and there is an effect on the magnetic field even without a flip what does that mean for our cosmic ray shielding? Perhaps I am not so alone in speculating on the pole drift being related to ice load either.
NASA: Earth's poles are tipping thanks to climate change
The north pole is on the run. Although it can drift as much as 10 meters across a century, sometimes returning to near…