It’s bad. Very bad. I’m sharing this article because there is a link to the report, and you need to read it. You need to read it now. Grab a cup of coffee and take a break. In PDF, it is a mere 11 pages, but it packs a knockout punch in a solitary swing. Two scientists from Australia working with serious creds have drawn a scenario of hell on Earth.
Just take a look at Antarctic ice lost since the 1990s and the increased rate of glacial melt since:
None of this can be expressed accurately in linear mathematic equations. All future predictions as expressed in the hell on Earth scenario of the report linked to in the Aljazeera article are noted by the authors as being impossible to express in linear math. This may mean worse news about climate change is just around the corner. Chaos theory is in full play here. You can observe changes in glacial ice. You can calculate what’s been lost and the temperature rise that caused it; ocean as well as air temperature. You can not predict where this change goes next without being conservative, which seems to be what’s been done so far. These two brave souls buck that tendency and predict a rise of at least 1 °C by 2030, very close to the cap set by the Paris Agreement. Others say the temperature will increase but there’s no way of knowing how far and how fast. Too often this has led climatologists to issue reports which failed to raise enough alarm for really serious changes in our behavior. Not only that, but a big factor in the reporting is that governments often censor key words in reports, and recently Donald Trump did exactly that. The report was in general not changed, but the tone was softened with the removal of words that described “imminent” and “calamitous” threats.
Along with conservative politicians, we have to contend with conservative religious leaders who are positively demented. Last evening I read an article by a pastor who was so unglued that it shocked me, and that’s hard to do. The lies were extraordinarily stupid. He accused the left of advocating genocide to reduce world population. He actually said “thank God for Donald Trump” and his refusal to honor the Paris Climate Agreement. He also said that to stay competitive we need our mighty diesel powered machines and our clean coal. Oh my God!
What the right-wing religious author failed to mention is that it is not the left but the right which has pursued genocide. No democrats have been okay with removing all “entitlement” programs. It’s the opposite with the right. Because with healthcare and social security revoked, millions will, absolutely, die.
And it’s no laughing matter; such crank religious leaders are followed by millions. They reject science despite evidence. They oppose and distort the words of all those they find to be in disagreement with their right-wing dogma.
This is a big reason why I believe that the hell on Earth scenario set forth in the report will arrive before the year 2040. It’s why I believe that we have much less than a decade to take extreme, drastic action.
At the Potsdam Institute, Professor Emeritus Hans Joachim Schellnhuber has said that if action is not immediately taken, we are close to the point where we will have to live with the consequences, thus entering an endgame.
The Paris Agreement is unacceptable. By its guidelines, we will go well beyond the 1.5 °C goal and quickly arrive at 4 to 5 °C by 2040. I say it will much sooner.
Next to China, the United States puts out the most carbon emissions to the atmosphere. That is inexcusable. Again, Schellnhuber says that if we continue down the path we are on, “we will end our civilisation.”
But what does that mean?
Because the authors assert that climate computer models are projecting temperatures lower than are likely with unknown variables, or unquantifiable factors, outside of the system which no one can program into the models.
As I’ve said for years, even with the most drastic changes to our use of the resources which cause green house conditions, the average global temperature will continue to rise. This could give us a 2 °C rise within a few years if not less. At that point there wouldn’t be anything else we could do. It would just continue. The rise becomes self-sustaining and no attempt at interdiction will stop it.
What happens is, crops fail. Grazing animals die and droughts in Africa and the American Southwest give way to desertification. The deserts of the world get bigger and take fertile land by the square mile, not the acre. Imagine the Sahara getting even bigger, particularly in the Kalahari portion. It’s staggering to even try to picture.
Then, crops in the Midwest fail. Increased severe storms with flooding rains, hail and tornadoes become almost constant and tornadic activity is extended to almost year-round. On the Mid-Atlantic coast, storms make it over the Appalachian range intact will their full force. Hurricanes could make it occasionally into the supercane category, meaning landfall is utter devastation. They will also land further north than usual, so from New York to North Carolina is the death zone while nowhere north or south is really safe.
Fungal outbreaks including super fungi are rising health risks as well as deadly diseases from mosquitoes. Regions once hostile to mosquitoes vanish.
Pandemics will become more common and more deadly.
In the summer, degree days with killing temperatures will stretch into heatwaves that literally cook people’s brains by heatstroke. Temperatures above 105 °F can be sustained for weeks with higher spikes probable. How high is anyone’s guess but in the space of a decade daytime highs in the South and up to the middle states could easily reach 115 °F or more. We’re talking death by the numbers here; all things mentioned above will combine to teach America what true suffering is.
One problem in our path is that scientists are reluctant to think, or at least write, in worst case scenario terms. Worst case being “existential threats to civilisation”. Their reports and comments are conservative to a damnable degree. We know what the Trump administration is doing with reports: ordering wording changes or censoring them completely. That is not a million miles from condemning this country. Reports are conservative wherever the political leadership wants them to be. Scientists therefore hold back. Truth be told, the civil wars in Syria and Libya were caused by climate change. People could not get potable water or food and they revolted. That’s what can happen in the United States. Once the food shortages and lack of drinking water get severe, factions will form along political, economic and racial lines. At this point society breaks down and chaos transforms from a mathematic concept to a status. Anarchy reigns.
But the government will not go silently; no political ideology will matter. Martial law is established, but few prisoners taken.
Population control and genocide are taken from conspiracy theorists and are realized. In every top civilized country, society breaks down. Countries are willing to take resources from other countries by open warfare. At first this is done by invasion forces but at some point desperation and failure to reason will make a limited nuclear exchange highly probable. I say limited because the resources sought are unusable if radioactive; but by then we’re all doomed anyway. All that remains is the countdown to Zero Hour.
This, of course, is an oversimplified assessment. Many things happen between now and then. All lead to the end game. For instance, Donald Trump has been a puppet and a rogue at the same time. The reason his demented actions and words have been defended by the Republican party is, because to them, he’s useful. The party lies to and hamstrings the people while demonizing everyone else. ALEC, the Koch brothers…it’s greed for money and power. So many are intoxicated to the point where they believe their own lies and that is pure madness. The Council on Foreign Relations doesn’t serve any master but the rich; as Trump erodes our relationship with other countries he is putting everyone in danger, and what few people see is that everyone includes the rich.
There’s a lot of suffering that will happen. Betrayals within parties. People seeing the truth too late. Like when they can’t even afford to feed their children when they’re unfamiliar with the pangs of hunger. And watching them die. The rich will use the police and the military to protect themselves. Politicians will pass laws that deem themselves indispensable. They’ll have the access to protection, shelter, food and water, healthcare. In the end they will suffer a karmic reckoning. But who would care? They’ve led us to this threshold and we have followed. The threshold is under our feet. We can do the necessary things, things that will be inconvenient, and suffer later but survive.
Or we can argue and end civilization in twenty years’ time at the most.
What’s going to happen?
That’s too easy to answer. I don’t even need nonlinear maths. I don’t need anything except what I’ve already learned: that while good and decent people are all around us, the human race in whole is best described as weak, greedy, and easily swayed in large numbers to stupidity and homicide…and suicide.