Some Thoughts On Climate Change
A new IPCC report written and edited by 91 scientists from 40 countries who analyzed more than 6,000 scientific studies says we’re looking at climate catastrophe as early as 2040 unless changes are made worldwide on a scale and speed which has no historic precedent. $54 trillion worth of damage is predicted to result from the 1.5 degree Celsius rise in global average temperatures we’re expected to be facing at that time if drastic changes are not made.
To be clear, when climate scientists talk about a 1.5 degree hike in global average temperatures, they are not saying that days will tend to be around 1.5 degrees warmer, which doesn’t sound bad at all. What they are saying is that there will be drastic heat spikes which elevate the overall average by 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) around the globe. This means moving into a world which sees sea levels rising and destroying coastal and island civilizations, it means mass famine due to destruction of crops from heat spikes in summer months, freezes in the winter and other extreme weather events, it means potential worldwide violence and predation as livable regions and resources become scarce on a rapidly changing planet.
This is coming off the back of the Trump administration’s seamless shift from claiming climate change is a Chinese hoax to saying it’s very real and very bad but there’s nothing that can be done about it. In a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Trump’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that a temporary freeze in fuel efficiency requirements for cars won’t be that big of a deal in terms of environmental impact because we’re headed toward a four degree Celsius increase in global average temperatures by the end of the century and avoiding that “would require substantial increases in technology innovation and adoption compared to today’s levels and would require the economy and the vehicle fleet to move away from the use of fossil fuels, which is not currently technologically feasible or economically feasible.”
This also follows a recent report about the frightening phenomenon of positive feedback loops, warming effects which make themselves worse, which climate science has been reluctant to examine closely and as a group until recently. An example of a positive feedback loop would be the release of methane trapped in thawing Siberian permafrost, which exacerbates warming because methane is a potent and fast-acting greenhouse gas, which then causes more thawing and the release of more methane. After examining just a few of these feedback loops (there are dozens), the paper concluded that it may be possible for the earth to hit a “hothouse” point of accelerated warming from which there can be no coming back, regardless of changes made in human industry or behavior.
Alarming new reports like these are pouring out constantly, and, contrary to the narrative promulgated by climate change deniers, they don’t generally get that much attention in the mainstream media. The British analysis website Media Lens just reported that the IPCC study was on the front of the BBC website for just a few hours before getting buried, despite its cataclysmic implications for our species. It’s much easier to get a reader interested in high-profile boogie men like Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump than it is to get them to look at data suggesting that they are staring down the barrel of an actual armageddon event in their lifetime, and the establishment powers which the corporate media serve have a vested interest in preserving the status quo. You are far more likely to see a news story about a celebrity or a politician when you switch on CNN than you are to see a report about the most important and pressing subject of our time.
This essay is guaranteed to get a lot of pushback from many of the conspiracy buffs who follow me, because they, unlike the Trump administration, still subscribe to the right-wing belief that anthropogenic global warming is a hoax being used by globalist elites to seize control of the world. And you know what? I get it. I will say that it is perfectly reasonable to believe that powerful plutocrats would be interested in using the concept of climate change to lock down control of human behavior and the world economy, and I will take it a step further and say it is a virtual certainty that there are plutocrats and their lackeys currently doing exactly that. When you’re talking about a shift in industry and energy worth tens of trillions of dollars and the potential to degrade national sovereignty with global regulations, you may be absolutely certain that there are extremely powerful people scheming to exploit it. Of course they are.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. The science showing the warming effect of man’s carbon-releasing industrial activities was discovered in 1896 by a man named Svante Arrhenius. Nobody accused him of being a pawn in a globalist conspiracy; the scientific world simply noted his discovery with an “Oh cool yeah, that makes sense.” One of his colleagues even suggested setting fire to unused coal seams in order to increase global temperature, because back then milder winters sounded like a nice idea. It wasn’t until this line of scientific inquiry became threatening to the fossil fuel industry that it turned into a radically politicized debate propelled by Koch-funded research teams and Fox News.
I’ve been watching climate deniers for a long time. They used to deny climate change altogether, then sometime around the turn of the century they started admitting that yes, we are seeing a warming trend, but that doesn’t mean it’s caused by human behavior. Now I’m starting to see them admitting that yes, the earth is warming, and yes, it probably is anthropogenic, but that doesn’t mean it will necessarily be a bad thing. That’s the dumbest one yet, in my opinion. In response to the latest IPCC report I’ve seen a flood of comments saying “Yeah, yeah, you guys have been predicting an approaching climate disaster for decades,” despite the fact that the new report concludes that climate catastrophe appears to be approaching far faster than most had predicted.
I used to involve myself in the climate change debate very extensively, and I’ve yet to encounter an argument against it that couldn’t be thoroughly debunked with a little research. It’s one of those things like Russiagate or QAnon which has a lot of emotional appeal but doesn’t hold up well to critical thinking. It seems clear to me from all the goalpost-shifting and strawman arguments that the primary impulse behind climate denial is distrust of authority (which is always a good idea) and a basic desire to avoid the psychological discomfort of grappling with the reality that in a few short decades humanity could be extinct (which is just garden variety cowardice).
It’s always seemed so weird to me that conspiracy enthusiasts can understand nuance in so many other fields, but not this one. They generally understand that a false flag isn’t necessarily a completely manufactured event from top to bottom and can in fact be as simple as allowing someone to make an attack they’d been planning. They can grasp complex financial arrangements and understand that alliances and power structures don’t always move in the way your view of the world would predict, but the idea that anthropogenic climate change can be real at the same time as the existence of oligarchic plans to exploit it is something that rarely seems to occur to people.
Billions of large mammals digging up fuel sources from the earth and pouring their exhaust into the air for decades will necessarily change the environment. Of course it will. This should be obvious to everyone. Powerful manipulators who work constantly to control as much of the world as possible will necessarily try to make sure they grab up as much power as possible in a historically unprecedented global shift in energy and industry. Of course they will. This too should be obvious to everyone. Both are true. Both need to be dealt with. The fact that we are ruled by depraved oligarchs doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight climate change, it means we should overthrow the oligarchs so that they don’t find a way to herd us into a globalist Orwellian dystopia as they shore up power in the fight against climate change.
In fact, if seen in the right light, if you take both into account, you will see this is also a huge opportunity to spot the machinations of the plutocracy as it shuffles everything into place, and in the chaos, for the people to seize back control. The smooth running machine of the oligarchy will necessarily have to change shape to take advantage of the new industries and to keep in control. That’s a tricky dance and one they haven’t been planning for that long, so there will be many openings where the people can seep in like water and gum up the gears.
In order to do this, we must have as complete a roadmap as possible, and that means letting go of loyalties to partisan theories and taking a step back and engaging with all the data as it is. It can be done. It must be done. Our lives depend on it.
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