Thursday, December 13, 2012

The sky is not falling, the Ocean is rising.

The earth is plummeting away from normal patterns to a chaotic vortex of ever increasing 100 year events and catastrophic chemistry. The climate is changing and while we have been warned since 1990 and before, the global powers that be haven't done much to answer to Climate Change. We should have been preparing, on a global scale, for adaptation and, as part of that adaptation, moving away from our practices that are causing caustic changes on our climate. While we are working on our practice and awareness, as a global people on this blue marble we need to up our game.

I am not trying to be a downer here. Just trying to get your attention.

The latest installment of the United Nations Climate talks, COP18 happend last week. It ended 5 days ago actually. While all of the news was ablaze with Gangnam Style's rapper Psy saying something bad about America once or the White House and decriminalization of Pot or if two people have the right to express their love in the way they choose, the climate talk got little press.

Once again very little was accomplished that needed to be and a lot of groups, needless to say, are unhappy with the results.  While many of the top polluters were absent and some delegates spent the time arguing if prayer was important or not in climate change, an impassioned speech from the ambassador representing the Philippines rang dark tones in our memories of Mohamed Nasheed at Copenhagen.

For those who aren't familiar Mohamed Nasheed. you need to make yourself.

He was the President of the Maldives' and island nation with a culture centuries old and dealing with the fore-front of Climate Change and possibly doomed to be submerged soon. President Nasheed once highlighted this point in a very clever way, by holding a meeting underwater. Here is a clip of him on the Daily Show. After a long fight against the world on Climate Change, the president was ousted by a coup earlier this year and continuously arrested and harassed by police.

There is an amazing movie I had the pleasure of seeing at the BLUE Ocean film festival. When you have the chance you should watch it.

Nasheed was warning the world about ocean levels 3 years ago. and the need for us all to change our practices. While there were some efforts, many of the changes have yet to be made and the future of costal communities seems a little damp.

An easy way to get yourself a little freaked out here is to check out the sea rise map. It was put out by and housed on the Google Maps API. It is fairly straight forward and shows what the coastline will look like if the water level rises by a certain amount. Zoom in on San Francisco, or New York or any costal community and crank that baby up to 9.

Back in 2009 - the same year that Nasheed was trying to get attention on the issue, scientists were saying this is what the earth could look like in 100 years. Today, the rates seem to be quicker than that.

The issue of our rapidly rising ocean levels is only one of may frightening things out there. The facts are that arctic ice is at 50% below average and shrinking, ice loss is directly related to sea rise and that the loss of this "white ice" makes the process hotter and possibly faster is staggering.  Bill Mckibbin explains in a (previously mentioned I know, but it was SO GOOD) appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher

Now is the time to come together as a human species and try to deal with these issues and the root causes of Climate Change. Yet the powers that be aren't getting what needs to be done, done.

Why aren't we more upset about this? Why aren't we writing our UN representatives for action, or our Present or our State Representatives?  We, as a whole have bee acting like the frog being slowly boiled, ignoring that the water is getting hotter for a long time now.

Once again we need to remember that each of us out there has a responsibility to learn what we can aout how to curb climate change and inform others of the issues. We need to add to the dialogue and contact our representatives and let people know this needs to be addressed.

And while we can make preparations for adapting New York to be Venice 2.0 we also need to make the changes necessary . We need to be working with our non-profit agencies fighting the good fight but even more, we need apply pressure to our governments,  This needs to be done all the way from our local water districts to the President.

Van Jones, a man whose dedication to climate change and green tech is an inspiration to me, said it truthfully when he said that the Climate is the issue President Obama will be judged on but I would take it further, it is what this generation will be judged on.

Here is where we need to make the difference.


  1. Yes, it is what this generation will be judged on - and I wish I could be more optimistic about the outcome. Excellent points that are well presented - but I think that if it comes to reading and being motivated by this information or the information on the spreadsheet of a major climate change contributing corporation - or the "donations" spreadsheets of the politicians - we both know which one they'll care about the most. The short term needs of quarterly profits and stock prices - or winning the next election - trump all other considerations for the people who really matter.

    Sadly, by the time the average people care enough to put enough pressure on the people who matter - it's going to be too late, in my opinion. Aside from the general ignorance and actual stupidity of the average person, the profit makers are engaged in a very effective propaganda campaign to keep enough people from realizing the real scope of the problem until it will no longer be possible to do much about it. I do really hope I'm wrong - but so far, my cynical analysis of human behavior has not been proved wrong on many occasions. If anything, I've been overly generous and the actual results compared to my pessimistic projections have left me shocked and even more disappointed than I expected to be.

  2. Hey Jim,

    I totally agree with you and I do have to say it is easy to get frustrated and disappointed in our peers and friends and their general lack of awareness of concern. But what we can really do to help things go forward is teach each other, and keep fighting the good fight.

    I mean, surrender cannot be an option.

  3. Maybe it is time to invest instead of just being concerned. If you do the math, hydrocarbon is one of the major sources of climate change. However, renewable is not the base load solution for energy. Thorium Molten Salt Reactors are the safest, most efficient source of zero-CO2 energy for electricity, heat and fuel. That is where I have put my money. Coal and oil are the enemies of climate change: