Home » Environment

Category Archives: Environment

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Global Warming

GLOBAL WARNING

“Sic Transit Gloria Mundi” (Thus passes the glory of the world). This phrase was used at the papal coronations between the early 1400s and 1963. It was meant to indicate the transitory or ephemeral nature of life and cycles.

As we are now facing the end of a major economic, political and cultural cycle, the world is likely to experience a dramatic change which very few are prepared for. Interestingly, the peak of economic cycles often coincide with the peaks in climate cycles. At the height of the Roman Empire, which was when Christ was born, the climate in Rome was tropical. Then the earth got cooler until the Viking era which coincided with the dark ages.

THE PROBLEM IS “THE ECONOMY STUPID” AND NOT THE CLIMATE

Yes, of course global warming has taken place recently as the effect of climate cycles. But the cycle has just peaked again which means that all the global warming activists will gradually cool down with the falling temperatures in the next few decades. The sun and the planets determine climate cycles and temperatures, like they have for many millions of years, and not human beings.

The climate activists are spending their efforts on the wrong issue. The big disaster looming for the world is not climate change but “the economy stupid” (phrase coined by Clinton).

So let’s instead look at the real coming disaster that the world needs to focus on and a number of facts that are self-evident even though very few are aware of them.

Instead of worrying about global warming, which we humans cannot effect, we should instead issue a GLOBAL WARNING about the coming economic cataclysm so that the world can be prepared for the extremely serious problems that will hit us all in the next few years.

Below I outline a potential scenario for the next 5-10 years:

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Economists: Greta Thunberg’s Ideal World Would Result In A “Human Tragedy Of Disastrous Proportions”

Economists: Greta Thunberg’s Ideal World Would Result In A “Human Tragedy Of Disastrous Proportions”

Whether you were inspired by Greta Thunberg’s tearful UN speech…

…. or merely thought it was the year’s greatest meme, in which an indoctrinated, emotionally frail child is being preyed upon by adults with a far bigger and more lucrative agenda, you probably do not realize how much your everyday life could change if the world were to follow the advice of climate activists to attain Thunberg’s ecological utopia.

To provide some perspective on that question, several economists spoke to RT to share their thoughts out how the proposed changes could affect the global economy and the daily lives of people around the world.

Fossil fuels

The first thing that comes to mind to stop reported global warming is to impose a carbon tax and divest from the fossil fuel industry, as this sector is one of the major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. However, “a carbon tax and/or forced divestiture from fossil fuels would ultimately make the kind of cheap, varied and efficient transportation that people around the world are accustomed to extremely expensive and more limited,” warns Peter C. Earle, an economist at the American Institute for Economic Research.

Apart from public transport, cars could also become less accessible to most individuals. So if you drive to work without a second thought, the carbon tax could suddenly double or triple the cost of your daily trip, leaving tens of millions of people cut off from their livelihoods, according to the analyst.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions can have much more serious economic implications, Dr Pierre Noël, Senior Fellow in Economic and Energy Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), told RT.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Historic Midwest Blizzard Has Farmers “Expecting Massive Crop Losses – As Devastating As We’ve Ever Seen”

Historic Midwest Blizzard Has Farmers “Expecting Massive Crop Losses – As Devastating As We’ve Ever Seen”

An unprecedented October blizzard that hit just before harvest time has absolutely devastated farms all across the U.S. heartland.  As you will see below, one state lawmaker in North Dakota is saying that the crop losses will be “as devastating as we’ve ever seen”.  This is the exact scenario that I have been warning about for months, and now it has materialized.  Due to endless rain and horrific flooding early in the year, many farmers in the middle of the country faced very serious delays in getting their crops planted.  So we really needed good weather at the end of the season so that the crops could mature and be harvested in time, and that did not happen.  Instead, the historic blizzard that we just witnessed dumped up to 2 feet of snow from Colorado to Minnesota.  In fact, one city in North Dakota actually got 30 inches of snow.  In the end, this is going to go down as one of the worst crop disasters that the Midwest has ever seen, and ultimately this crisis is going to affect all of us.

According to the USDA, only 15 percent of all U.S. corn and only 14 percent of all U.S. soybeans had been harvested as of October 6th

Only 58% of U.S. corn was mature as of Oct. 6 and just 15% was harvested, according to the latest data from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). North Dakota’s crop was furthest behind, with just 22% of corn mature and none harvested as of Sunday, while South Dakota’s corn was 36% mature with 2% harvested.

U.S. soybeans were only 14% harvested as of Sunday, 20 percentage points behind the average pace, USDA data showed. North Dakota and Minnesota beans were just 8% gathered while Iowa’s and South Dakota’s crop was only 5% harvested.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Solar Storms Can Devastate Entire Civilizations

Solar Storms Can Devastate Entire Civilizations

Solar flare

Climate has inarguably become a hot topic of discussion in developed economies over the last decade, and it is getting hotter by the day as study after study warn we are close to doomed if we don’t change our ways urgently. Yet climate on Earth is not the only problem that humankind faces. There is another climate we need to pay attention to, and there is nothing we can do to change that.

Solar storms, whose more scientific name is coronal mass ejections, were until recently believed to be a rare occurrence—only happening once every couple of centuries or so. However, there is reason to believe they may be a lot more frequent than that. In a world increasingly dependent on electricity, this is, to put it mildly, a problem.

In 1859 the Sun spewed concentrated plasma that broke through its magnetic fields in the direction of the Earth. Commonly referred to as the Carrington Event, that coronal mass ejection hit the Earth’s magnetic field, which warped it and caused telegraphs around the world to fail. For a long time, the scientific consensus was that solar storms of this magnitude were a rarity.

That was in the 19th century where telegraphs were cutting-edge tech. Now, we have power grids, airplanes, satellites, and computers, and all of them are potentially susceptible to the effects of another solar storm. We also know that solar storms of the magnitude of the Carrington Event or even worse occur more frequently.

“The Carrington Event was considered to be the worst-case scenario for space weather events against the modern civilization… but if it comes several times a century, we have to reconsider how to prepare against and mitigate that kind of space weather hazard,” the lead research in a study that reached that conclusion, Hisashi Hayakawa, said after the release of the study earlier this month.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Historic Typhoon Devastates Japan; Millions Told To Evacuate Amid Flooding, Widespread Outages

Historic Typhoon Devastates Japan; Millions Told To Evacuate Amid Flooding, Widespread Outages

The largest typhoon in recorded history of Japan’s Shizuoka Prefecture caused widespread flooding, power outages and destruction on Saturday, as local authorities warned over 7 million people to evacuate, according to Bloomberg (with other sources quoting figures ranging from 1-4 million). 

Damaged houses in Ichihara, Chiba, on Oct. 12. Source: Jiji Press/AFP via Getty Images

Typhoon Hagibis makes landfall on Japan’s Izu Peninsula with heavy downpours and winds, leaving one person dead and 50 others injured http://xhne.ws/FHjB7 

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

The sky turned brilliant purple right before Hagibis hit.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Japan Braces For Typhoon Hagibis Could Be Strongest In Decades 

A powerful typhoon is headed for Japan this weekend, threatening to cripple Tokyo with the most torrential rains and winds in nearly six decades, reported Reuters.

In a statement Friday morning, meteorologist and owner of Empire Weather, Ed Vallee, said Typhoon Hagibis is expected to hit the Tokai/Kanto region on late Saturday. The likely Category 3 typhoon could then “grind” its way northward through the Tohoku region by late weekend. 

“Hagabis is a strong typhoon in the west Pacific, making its way closer to mainland Japan. As of 3 PM Friday, Tokyo time, Hagabis was located due south of Japan. This system will continue to approach through Friday night, Tokyo time, with increasing rain and wind.

Only 4 storms have come within 100 miles of Tokyo as a Category 3 typhoon or higher. At this time, Hagabis will be weakening, and it may be weaker than this strength. Regardless, typhoon conditions are possible Saturday local time as this system passes. This will disrupt air travel, with all Nippon Airways flights expecting to be canceled. Railway systems will also likely be impacted, along with the Rugby World Cup, which has already been canceled. Damage to buildings and power outages are also expected. This storm will move away from the region to end the weekend,” the statement said.

Vallee also noted that the storm could be the strongest typhoon to hit Tokyo since the late 1950s. 

He said rainfall and winds in the capital could damage critical infrastructure and cause life-threatening situations for its residents on Saturday. 

The Japanese government said shopping districts, factories, and public transportation in the Greater Tokyo Area are being shut down in preparation for the storm.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said a disaster management meeting would be held on late Friday. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

National Geographic Admits Billions Of People Will “Face Shortages Of Food And Clean Water” Over The Next 30 Years

National Geographic Admits Billions Of People Will “Face Shortages Of Food And Clean Water” Over The Next 30 Years

A lot of people out there don’t like when I write these kinds of articles, because they directly contradict the false narrative that humanity has an extremely bright future ahead.  Sadly, the truth is that our planet and everything that lives on it is rapidly deteriorating.  And I am not talking about the false environmentalism being pushed by the mainstream media, Greta Thunberg and countless well-funded NGOs.  What I am talking about is the stuff that is happening right in our face.  We are systematically poisoning our planet, thousands upon thousands of species are going extinct, and we are literally running out of all of our most important natural resources.  There isn’t going to be enough of anything in the not too distant future.  In fact, even National Geographic is admitting that up to five billion people could soon be facing “shortages of food and clean water”…

As many as five billion people, particularly in Africa and South Asia, are likely to face shortages of food and clean water in the coming decades as nature declines. Hundreds of millions more could be vulnerable to increased risks of severe coastal storms, according to the first-ever model examining how nature and humans can survive together.

“I hope no one is shocked that billions of people could be impacted by 2050,” says Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer a landscape ecologist at Stanford University. “We know we are dependent on nature for many things,” says Chaplin-Kramer, lead author of the paper “Global Modeling Of Nature’s Contributions To People” published in Science.

The clock is literally ticking for humanity, but meanwhile we spend immense amounts of energy on relatively meaningless political squabbles.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Getting Real About Green Energy: An honest analysis of what it CAN’T promise

Getting Real About Green Energy: An honest analysis of what it CAN’T promise

I want to be optimistic about the future. I really do.

But there’s virtually no chance of the world transitioning gently to an alternative energy-powered future.

These Are The ‘Good Old Days’

I’m often asked where I stand on wind, solar and other alternative energy sources.

My answer is: I love them. But they’re incapable of enabling our society to smoothly slip over to powering itself by other means.

They’re not going to “save us”.

Some people are convinced otherwise. If we can just fight off the evil oil companies, get our act together, and install a national alternative energy system infrastructure, we’ll be just fine.  Meaning that we”ll be able to continue to live as we do today, but powered fully by clean renewable energy.

That’s just not going to happen. At least, not without a lot of painful disruption and sacrifice.

The top three reasons why are:

  1. Math
  2. Human behavior
  3. Time, scale, & cost

I walk through the detail below. I’m doing so to debunk the magical thinking behind the current “Green Revolution” because I fear it offers a false promise.

Look, I’m a huge fan of renewable energy. And I’m 1,000% in favor of weaning the world off of its toxic addiction to fossil fuels.

But we have to be eyes wide open about our future prospects. Deluding ourselves with “feel good” but unrealistic expectations about green energy will result in the same sort of poor decisions, malinvestment, and crushed dreams as fossil-based system has.

As we constantly repeat here at Peak Prosperity: Energy is everything.  

Without as much available, the future is going to be exceptionally difficult compared to the present. Which is why I call the time we’re living in now The Good Old Days.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

An “All-Out Blizzard” That Is “Unheard Of For October” Is About To Hit Farms In The Midwest With Up To 2 Feet Of Snow

An “All-Out Blizzard” That Is “Unheard Of For October” Is About To Hit Farms In The Midwest With Up To 2 Feet Of Snow

Farmers in the middle of the country are about to get hit by what could potentially be the worst October blizzard in U.S. history.  According to USA Today“the massive size and intensity of this snowstorm is unheard of for October”.  In other words, we have never seen anything like this in the month of October ever before.  Such a storm would have been disastrous enough in a normal year, but this has definitely not been a normal year for Midwest farmers.  As I detailed extensively in previous articles, endless rain and horrific flooding made planting season a complete and utter nightmare for many Midwest farmers this year.  Millions of acres did not get planted at all, and planting was seriously delayed on tens of millions of other acres.  As a result, corn, soybeans and other crops are simply not ready to be harvested in many parts of the Midwest, and now an unprecedented winter storm is barreling directly toward our heartland.

This is a very, very serious situation.  Normally, most corn in the Dakotas and Minnesota is considered to be “mature” by now, but this year we are facing a completely different scenario.

According to the latest USDA Crop Progress Report, only 22 percent of the corn in North Dakota is considered to be “mature” at this point…

Many farmers continue to wait on the sidelines to get into the fields. With freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall, and high winds set to hit the northern Plains this week, the corn in North Dakota is only 22% mature vs. a 75% five-year average, according to Monday’s USDA Crop Progress Report.

Also, South Dakota corn is rated 36% mature vs. an 80% five-year average. Minnesota farmers have a corn crop that is just 39% mature vs. an 83% five-year average.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘Planet of the Humans,’ Possibly Most Bracing Environmental Documentary Ever Made, Premieres at Traverse City Film Festival

‘Planet of the Humans,’ Possibly Most Bracing Environmental Documentary Ever Made, Premieres at Traverse City Film Festival

Director Jeff Gibbs argues we’re heading toward ‘total human apocalypse’ and green energy is ‘not going to save us, it’s actually going to kill us faster’

Picture
An image from “Planet of the Humans,” directed by Jeff Gibbs. Photo courtesy Traverse City Film Festival

Films about environmental issues have long been a staple of the documentary form, a genre that in recent years alone has brought us Before the FloodChasing IceChasing Coral and, of course, An Inconvenient Truth. But those documentaries arguably pale in importance to Planet of the Humans, which just held its world premiere at the Traverse City Film Festival. 

The film directed by Jeff Gibbs, produced by Gibbs and Ozzie Zehner and executive produced by Michael Moore, makes the deeply disturbing case that unless we reverse course, the human species faces ruin.

“The ultimate problem is that there are too many people consuming too much and we don’t even have a word or a name for what this total human apocalypse is called,” Gibbs told me during an interview in Traverse City. “What is the word for a single species that’s overrun an entire planet and is causing mayhem in every direction?”

There is nothing you will ever have in your life that’s not an extraction from the planet earth. And so we’ve all lost touch with that.
​–Planet of the Humans director Jeff Gibbs to Nonfictionfilm.com

Gibbs, an environmentalist, film producer and composer who has worked on several of Moore’s documentaries, describes himself as “worried sick” about climate change. But unlike others who focus solely on the danger presented by global warming, Gibbs sees climate change as symptomatic of a larger problem – overpopulation and consumption of Earth’s resources.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Green New Deal and Accursed Wealth

The Green New Deal and Accursed Wealth

Pulp mills, Longview, Washington. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

Accursed Wealth! O’er bounding human laws,
Of every evil thou remains’t the cause:
Victims of want, those wretches such as me,
Too truly lay their wretchedness to thee:
Thou art the bar that keeps from being fed,
And thine our loss of labour and of bread.

Al Gore missed this memo, written at some time between 1809 and 1813, by the poet John Clare in Norhamptonshire, England. However, in his latest op-ed, It’s Not too Late – The climate crisis is the battle of our time and we can win, in the New York Times, September 22, 2019, the former Vice President helpfully notes that the fastest-growing occupation in the United States is solar installer and the second fastest- growing is wind turbine service technician. The loss of Clare’s world is un-remediated. The loss of our world, apparently, is salved by the growth of mostly low-wage ‘green-tech’ jobs. Clare, at least, identifies the cause of his loss – Accursed Wealth, or, as we might call it today, capitalism.

Gore, in his best, ever youthful, Gee-Wiz journalese proclaims that, “…we are in the early stages of a sustainable revolution that will achieve the magnitude of the Industrial Revolution and the speed of the digital revolution, made possible by new digital tools”. John Clare’s erstwhile bucolic freedom had been proscribed by the British parliament’s Enclosure Acts early in the nineteenth century, under which he lost his rights to the common lands that were seized for the benefit of proto-capitalist land-owners newly cognizant of the wealth generated by grazing sheep. Wool, like cotton, was a fiber fundamental to the modern capitalist ethos whereby the acquisition of wealth transcended the interests of both humanity and the natural world.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘Factfulness’ may calm you down, but won’t change our ecocidal trajectory

‘Factfulness’ may calm you down, but won’t change our ecocidal trajectory

Here and there people have been referring to author Hans Rosling’s idea of “factfulness” as an antidote to gloomy thinking about the trajectory of the human enterprise. Rosling writes:

[T]he vast majority of the world’s population live somewhere in the middle of the income scale. Perhaps they are not what we think of as middle class, but they are not living in extreme poverty. Their girls go to school, their children get vaccinated. Perhaps not on every single measure, or every single year, but step by step, year by year, the world is improving. In the past two centuries, life expectancy has more than doubled. Although the world faces huge challenges, we have made tremendous progress.

“Factfulness,” it seems, relies on nothing more than drawing attention to a narrow set of facts. Yes, we have made tremendous progress for humans taken alone. The problem with such assessments is that they leave out how that progress was purchased. While Rosling does not deny climate change, profligate resource consumption or toxic pollution, he does not see that they are the pillars upon which the so-called “progress” we’ve achieved rests and not mere side-effects.

I agree with Rosling that the daily flow of news does not provide an accurate picture of our true trajectory. While the media may overplay the negative news about human well-being or at least give the wrong impression, it vastly underplays the damage that human dominance has inflicted on the biosphere. And, it reliably ignores the relationship between continual growth in consumption and population and that damage.

As I have written previously, the definition of “world” is crucial in the phrase “the world is getting better.” Most of the cheerleaders for our current system focus on humans alone who make up only a fraction of “the world.” Those cheerleaders fail to understand that the shortcomings of the current system will not be remedied by doing more of the same. The health of the biosphere will not get better with greater and greater emissions of  greenhouse gases or more deforestation or more soil erosion, all integral to the “progress” of humans under the current system if we’re going to keep adding population and raising living standards.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Public Interest in Climate Change Reaches and All-Time High. It is the Effect of Greta Thunberg

The Public Interest in Climate Change Reaches and All-Time High. It is the Effect of Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg is having a phenomenal success as a climate messenger. Good targeting, flawless performance, the right person at the right moment. 

A little more than one year ago, I wrote a post titled “Why, in a Few Years, Nobody Will be Talking About Climate Change Anymore.” It turned out that I was completely wrong: Greta Thunberg changed everything. My mistake was the typical one we all make when we try to predict the future. As I tend to say, “the surest way to make wrong predictions is to extrapolate past trends.” And I fell into the trap myself!

Look at what happened: The interest of the public in climate change had been fading for years and then, suddenly, it started rising. Now it is the highest level ever reached in the Google Trend record.

Isn’t that fantastic? The Greta Thunberg meme, alone, changed the worldwide trend. There is no other explanation for the restarting interest in climate.

So, what’s happening? Let’s see if we can learn something from my wrong prediction. First of all, I based my prediction on the data from Google Trends that showed a constant and robust decline of the public’s interest in climate change. It had been ongoing for more than a decade. I noted also how the Trump government was practicing the propaganda technique known as “deception by omission.” It seemed to be successful in generating a self-reinforcing feedback that led the public to forget about climate change, distracted by other issues.

Then, bang! Complex systems always take you by surprise and Greta Thunberg surely surprised everybody. What made her so successful in a task where the best scientists in the world had failed?

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Food Is Freedom: How Washington’s Food Subsidies Have Helped Make Americans Fat and Sick

Food Is Freedom: How Washington’s Food Subsidies Have Helped Make Americans Fat and Sick

Food is Freedom: How Washington’s Food Subsidies Have Helped Make Americans Fat and Sick

Farm subsidies are perhaps the ultimate, but secret, third rail of American politics. While entitlements are discussed out in the open, farm subsidies are rarely talked about – even though they are the most expensive subsidy Washington doles out. 

All told, the U.S. government spends $20 billion annually on farm subsidies, with approximately 39 percent of all farms receiving some sort of subsidy. For comparison, the oil industry gets about $4.6 billion annually and annual housing subsidies total another $15 billion. A significant portion of this $20 billion goes not to your local family farm, but to Big Aggie. 

(Note that this $20 billion annual farm subsidy figure doesn’t take into account the 30+ years of ethanol subsidies to the corn industry nor export subsidies to U.S. farmers issued by the USDA.) 

The government never properly explains why this is. Certainly small farmers are growing their crops at enormous risk. However, it’s not clear that agriculture is any different than other high-risk industries – especially because the United States is blessed with some of the most fertile farmland in the world, and a highly skilled labor force. 

Subsidies don’t just cost taxpayers, an expense that might properly be justified by showing a return on investment. Subsidies also provide powerful disincentives against innovation, as well as cost effectiveness and diversification of land use. 

There is also a strong case to be made that farm subsidies are a major driver of the obesity and cancer epidemic in the United States. Every time Washington interferes in the private sector, they are picking winners and losers. The winners chosen are companies producing food that’s high in calories and low in nutritional density – and that helps make Americans sick and fat, because it distorts what food is available at what price.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

he New Age of Protest

The New Age of Protest

Photograph Source: Marcus Coblyn – CC BY 2.0

Led by young people, climate strikers blocked traffic on two mornings at the end of last month in Washington, DC. On the first day, protestors chained themselves to a boat three blocks from the White House, and 32 activists were arrested. On the second day, activists targeted the EPA and Trump International Hotel. It was a not-so-subtle suggestion to commuters stuck in their cars on those mornings to think more favorably about public transportation or telecommuting. It was also a potent reminder, as Congress remains polarized on so many issues, that some paralysis is healthy in the nation’s capital.

The DC protests were part of a global climate strike that involved an estimated 6.6 million people. In New Zealand, 3.5 percent of the population participated. Melbourne, Berlin, and London each had rallies of 100,000 people. In Seattle, over a thousand workers walked out of Amazon headquarters, demanding that the company reduce its carbon emissions to zero.

It wasn’t just the children of the privileged in the industrialized world who were out on the streets. Protests took place in 125 countries and 1,600 cities, including 15 cities in the Philippines, throughout India, and all over Africa.

The global climate strike is just the latest mass protest this year. Demonstrations have roiled Hong Kong since the beginning of the summer. Tens of thousands of people poured into the streets in Moscow through the fall to protest restrictions on local elections. Thousands of Brazilians thronged major cities to condemn their president’s handling of the Amazon fires, and the same outrage prompted people to gather with placards in front of Brazilian embassies all over the world. Protests against Venezuela’s leadership that broke out on January 1 have recently dwindled even as demonstrations to remove Haiti’s president have heated up and security forces have cracked down on Iraqis protesting the corruption and inefficiency of their government.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase