“Apocalypse Now,” by Abiezer Coppe

Climate change is killing 150,000 people a year NOW. That is the 2000 estimate of the World Health Organization, so it is ten years out of date. The once in a thousand year 2010 Moscow heatwave has caused an estimated 15,000 deaths.

For the “we have nothing to do with it” global warming deniers, here is a little primer on the current state of the science:

The science is already in.

One can find a metacommentary on Russia’s heatwave here:

and here:

Climate records are being broken all over the world this year:

This is actuality. It does matter. And it cannot be stopped, but it can (I hope) be moderated to a level where we can survive global warming, by cutting carbon emissions drastically.

“Business as usual” = civilizational collapse.

If you do not care, do not have children. They will not forgive you.

If you wish to be up to date on the subject global warming, read the scientists! I suggest here and the NOAA, plus the climate progress website mentioned above.

I read them, and I am not a scientist.

The human race currently emits 45 billion tons of carbon a year. And we do not do it by breathing or farting alone!

We have multiplied our biological carbon emissions as a species many fold through the development of technology, which required the burning of fossil fuels, the ancient sunlight of antiquity. Thus we become our own Nemesis.

It is difficult to point to any aspect of our current material lives that is not dependent on fossil fuels in some way, from plastic bags to cheap food.

We are changing the climate, and without global carbon emission reductions there is point of no return, where positive feedbacks kick in and carbon emissions from natural processes such as the melting of the subarctic tundra and the burning of the world’s forests, start to exceed annual human emissions, and kick global warming into high gear.

We have a little window of opportunity now. No-one knows how long it is. It seems, from my years of reading on the subject of global warming, that it will certainly be closed by 2030.

And that date is based on the most optimistic of all projections.

When the climate “tipping points” are passed (the scientific consensus – but NO-ONE REALLY KNOWS – is that this starts to happen at 1.5 to 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial global temperatures: we are currently 0.8 degrees Centigrade above), we are in for a very rough ride indeed.

That article is from yesterday’s UK newspaper, The Independent.

Given the current levels of urgency regarding this issue on the part of the global elites, runaway global warming is currently more likely than not.

Anthropogenic global warming has the potential to be the new global genocide. A genocide of the poor by the richest countries, with the highest per capita output of carbon emissions. Ask a Pakistani farmer in Sindh province how he is doing at the moment, and what his prospects are for 2011.

With runaway climate change, civilization will collapse, and there will – at some point after 2050 – be a catastrophic collapse in global human population in the “business as usual” scenario (I do not like James Lovelock’s politics at all, but in that sense he is hard to contradict). For more on this, see Anatoly Karlin’s review of Six Degrees, by Mark Lynas

It is a very graphic and a very detailed description, degree by degree of global warming above pre-industrial levels, of how human induced global warming is changing the world we live in. And the précis saves you reading the book.

It’s fun to read! Apocalypse Now!

Please read Anatoly Karlin’s review of Lynas if you read nothing else I reference. It is a glimpse into the uncertain future toward which we are headed, with no stars to steer by.

Global capitalism requires 3% compound growth to continue in existence, as David Harvey explains here in 3 parts. Capitalism must expand, or die. Both natural and institutional limits to the self-reproduction of Capital are a mortal threat to its very being. 3% compound growth, and our additional numbers, explain why the human species has moved from using 62% of planetary biocapacity in 1961 to 144% of planetary biocapacity in 2006. Is your country living within the mercy of its ecological means? Check the ecological footprint network atlas.

Not sustainable, not a good outlook for the species. “No future, no future, no future for me,” as the Sex Pistols once sang.

I suspect, therefore, that the answer to human survival in this century and the next, and a civilizational level higher than that described in the visionary dystopian novel of global warming, Far North by Marcel Theroux, lies in a revisioning and implementation of communism.

Read it and see what you think; then comment.

Despite the 20th century deviation of Communism from its original envisioning by Marx and Engels, and the ecological disasters of the Eastern Bloc, Mao’s China and the Soviet Union, Marx’s vision of post scarcity communism was profoundly ecological.

Cuba is the only country in the world today that lives within its ecological limits (page 14).

I find it very heartening that there remains one country in the world that has, largely by default, found a sustainable way to live, and that it is, with all its human rights and politico-economic flaws, a non-capitalist country.

Cuba is a glimmer of hope in a world ruled by the mantras of greed and growth. But not the only one by any means.

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9 thoughts on ““Apocalypse Now,” by Abiezer Coppe”

  1. You need to tie the Joos or Messicans into this to get your page views up, Abiezer.

    I think it’s all so horrifying to consider it’s not much fun to talk about, unlike race wank.

    It is looking to me like Lovelock is right and TPTB are going to do nothing until it is too late, if they do anything at all. In fact it looks like the only force that is going to stand up to the libertardian capitalists is the planet itself. Unfortunately the punishment will be collective. I do like that Karlin website, though.

    How do people who aren’t rich make plans for this stuff?

    The government won’t get behind solutions unless they can make obscene amounts of money for the ruling class. Educating people about things like permaculture, community farming, and earth-sheltered, sustainable housing would help the plebes but no one would get rich. The banksters and McMansion builders would shit if the government got behind these things in a big way.

    Instead they subsidize bullshit like biofuels from corn, which is not sustainable and is nothing but more corporate welfare.

    This is a website that focuses on the shortcomings of industrial wind as an alternative energy source:

    http://www.wind-watch.org/

    I haven’t studied wind power much, but apparently there was an article in Forbes that gave investing in industrial wind a thumbs up, due
    to the fact that tax shelters made it profitable. Whether or not any actual power was made was irrelevant.

    Here’s a great article by a West Virginia blogger about a huge windfarm there, which is to supply the DC area with power rather than WV. 70% of the power generated in West Virginia leaves the state:

    http://cubic-dog.blogspot.com/2010/06/wind-farms-some-considerations.html

    None of this power is used locally. This windfarm supplies ‘the mid atlantic grid’. Well, what that means isn’t exactly clear. For our purposes here, I won’t call it outright disingenuous. For one thing, it’s not yet actually connected to the ‘mid-atlantic grid’ as such. A shiny brand spanking new leg of the ‘Smart Grid’ is being built in it’s honor.

    Birds and bats, yes, it’s a real issue, it’s not not a real issue. Migratory song birds are one thing, migratory raptors are another thing. Bats, still a different thing. But the big thing, The forests and ridges of WV are home to the greatest biodiversity outside of amazon basin, and according to some, even broader. Folks who opposed this project were called NIMBYs. But who are the real NIMBYs? West Virginia isn’t using this power, the turbines weren’t manufactured here. The folks who installed them aren’t from here, and aside from a few landowners, who benefits? Well, folks who live far far far away. Sure, for a while, the local restaurants and room rentals were doing pretty well. The additional loads to the roadways was born by the WV taxpayer, the destruction of habitat will be born by all the life of the region. The invasive plants that are taking over the forests floors all along the ridge, and along the right of ways benefit, but the natives don’t. Who is the NIMBY indeed.

    I highly recommend reading the post. As he concludes:

    But I do know that ALL of the studies done, since Carter starting talking this game all those many decades ago, show that dollar for dollar, energy efficiency trumps energy use every single time. And that’s where the future is.

  2. Thanks, babe, I’ve added your comment to that of the libertardian plumber from Pacific Grove, Ca. on my blog – click on my name Abiezer and you’ll see it. He’s a “sophisticated” global warming denier.

    Can you give me an angle on the Jews and global warming? Hey Lafayette, c’mon over, we’re cookin’ Jews on the barbie…

    Meanwhile, maybe I got it all wrong…I hope so!

    http://climaterealists.com/attachments/database/World%20cooling%20has%20set-in%20warns%20astrophysicist.pdf

    http://aftermathnews.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/scientist-worries-20-years-of-global-cooling-could-make-people-skeptical-about-global-warming/

  3. The reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are balanced and comprehensive documents summarizing the impact of global warming on the planet. But they are not without imperfections, and one of the most notable was the analysis of future sea level rise contained in the latest report, issued in 2007.

    Given the complexities of forecasting how much the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets will contribute to increases in global sea level, the IPCC chose not to include these giant ice masses in their calculations, thus ignoring what is likely to be the most important source of sea level rise in the 21st century. Arguing that too little was understood about ice sheet collapse to construct a mathematical model upon which even a rough estimate could be based, the IPCC came up with sea level predictions using thermal expansion of the oceans and melting of mountain glaciers outside the poles. Its results were predictably conservative — a maximum of a two-foot rise this century — and were even a foot lower than an earlier IPCC report that factored in some melting of Greenland’s ice sheet.

    The IPCC’s 2007 sea level calculations — widely recognized by the academic community as a critical flaw in the report — have caused confusion among many in the general public and the media and have created fodder for global warming skeptics. But there should be no confusion about the serious threat posed by rising sea levels, especially as evidence has mounted in the past two years of the accelerated pace of melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets.

    The message for the world’s leaders and decision makers is that sea level rise is real and is only going to get worse.

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