Thursday, October 25, 2007

Climate Change For Dummies (SHORT FILM)

In the past 2 years an ice mass larger than the entire land area of South Africa (that's 1.22 million km²), which is also an area 5 times greater than Great Britain (241,590km²) has melted. This staggering statistic coincides with an incredible accelaration in CO2 levels over the past 2 decades, and we naturally see a concomitant warming that has also accelarated (doubled) in the Arctic in particular since 2000.

This is a single statistic. What's happening is warming at the much higher latitudes is much greater, but these areas are sparsely populated, or populated by people who do not conventionally have laptops, emails or cellphones. The exception is Norway. And it's out of Norway that we learn that the 'skiing season' has halved. Perversely, Norway is embracing climate change, as warming there allows for a more amenable climate.

But the overall result is that alarm bells aren't ringing. And so it may seem for someone in an office in New York, or Amsterdam, or Hong Kong, at the lower latitudes, that things - if (the idiots still say) they - are changing, are doing so incrementally, 'if' at all. Not true. The AVERAGE temperature change in high latitudes like Norway are already in the double digits.

Jorgen Randers (author of LIMITS TO GROWTH, 1972): Norway is a country where the elite is concerned about climate change, and people are not at all concerned about climate change.

Let's be clear: when we say temperature change we're really saying temperature INCREASE.

So Norway for one is experiencing 12 degree Celcius higher AVERAGE temperatures. Since the warming is on a slight lag to CO2, and CO2 emissions are staggeringly high, we can anticipate a long sustained period of warming. The crucial question to ask is this one: since warming has started, year on year, when will we see the first year when warming may level off?

The last decade and a little more have shown the warmest years on record. The next decade will top that, and the decade after that. But there are still plenty of stupid human beings, perhaps still a majority, who can't do the math.

For an excellent short movie giving backdround to this topic, go here. For an excellent article/interview on Jorgen Randers speaking about Norway and Climate Change, go here.

NVDL: I've also written a fictional account [HOLIDAY], a hardcore version of climate change beyond tipping point. I wrote it with the intention to overemphasise the threat. Now I am beginning to wonder whether it can be overemphasised. To read Holiday, click on the HOLIDAY tag below.

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