Into the Global Heating/Global Change Abyss

Sun PlaneAs of 2007 the Earth System has already undergone profound Global Change [search] of which Global Heating is the most immediately evident impact. It is getting hot, and it is happening fast. Humanity is deeply within the Anthropocene era [search] whereby our presence is the greatest force shaping the biosphere. And the results are already being shown to be calamitous – floods and droughts, crop failures, vegetation die-back, rising seas and a general breakdown of climatic patterns. Don't believe me? Walk outside right now – see or feel anything different? Are the trees blooming like in Washington D.C.? Is there a lack of snow as in Minnesota and Europe? Are the rains failing as with Australia's “Big Dry” [search]? This is no time for moderation. So much of the global ecological system's processes and patterns which provide the life-giving context for human civilization have been lost and changed, and it continues to intensify. Essentially no natural processes are assured as a very different Planet emerges – climate patterns, water supplies, ocean fisheries, soil fertility, terrestrial ecosystem energy and nutrient cycling. Only massive public and political pressure – now – can save the Earth and all her species.

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26 Responses

  1. Jonathan Carroll says:

    Thank you Glen, you are communicating with the unscientific, but humanely passionate delivery of a sleep-walker who awakes stood atop a precipitous drop, and I hear your cry for the public to change the political direction, but how? Those who would listen already have. The task now is to find a way to force those who choose not to listen to recieve the message; “It's not just your world”, the most complicated part of which is the principle that the behaviour of others WILL effect them whether they want it to or not. Will they see the connection between no snow this year and a 'silent spring' the next?
    We could (and did) stop DDT before mass extinctions ensued, because we didn't pass a tipping point, just an awareness thresh-hold. However, with climate change now in break-away mode, and public opinion so unrepresented in the media, we need new ideas to affect policy change. Can anyone help? What more can we do?

  2. Anthony says:

    “Walk outside right now-see or feel anything different?”
    Yes here in Wellington,New Zealand,we do,we're having the coldest summer for 50 years,we should be in the height of summer but it feels like a mild Winter/Spring day with wind and rain.When its cold here a bottle of olive oil grows cloudy and dense,normal in Winter,but right now my olive oil is cloudy and dense due to the chill in the air.We like to do outside maintainance during these months but its too wet and fresh.Here are some comments from another Wellington resident!
    “Reflecting on 2006, I recall only that it rained. And blew.And froze.And then it rained some more.Although I am constantly on at my kids about the paucity of their vocabulary, the truth is that Wellington's weather was crap. Yes,there are other words for it, but crap is the best one. The bad weather seemed to dominate all else.Wellingtonions take pride in the fortitude with which they withstand the weather. The constant refrain in the Capital is that “You can't beat Wellington on a good day”, Which simply means that on the other 364 days almost anywhere else in the World would be better.
    This year,though,I have been ready to throw in the towel.If my husband's job did not tie us to the Capital, I would be ready to pack up and go at the slightest hint of a job opportunity in the pleasant climes of Anchorage or Tierra del Fuego. A friend has likened tolerating Wellington's climate to sticking in a relationship with a man who really isn't good enough.And so you put up with the bad behaviour and the staying out late or,in the case of the weather,THE RELENTLESS SOUTHERLIES,Happiness is sapped away and you instinctively walk hunched over, trying to preserve your core body temperature despite the elements. You are slowly ground down, carrying a polar fleece at all times, accustomed to only seeing umbrellas broken and up-ended in rubbish tins. Each morning you turn on the radio news to find out in which Wellington suburbs homes have slid down the hillsides overnight.
    Then, just when it seems to bleak and unrewarding to endure any longer, the most beautiful,warm, still and cloudless jewel of a day appears and all is forgiven. On that day the harbour is spectacular,the houses clinging to the hillsides are endearingly quirky and people walk with their heads high, greeting complete strangers. On that single day,you think those months of southerlies were an abberation and that this is how it will go on. OF COURSE,IT DOES NOT,Like the errant behaviour, the weather quickly reverts to its true nature. It is said that second marriages are the triumph of hope over experience, but in reality,living in Wellington in 2006 best suited that epithet.”
    The normal prevailing wind in Wellington is the Nor Wester,however the incidence of Southerlies from the Antarctic South have increased hugely,bringing in cold air and rain.
    Another resident has speculated that Global Heating is transferring energy to the cold circumpolar winds of the South greatly strengthening cold weather systems,hence the increase in Southerlies here in Wellington.
    The author who is ready “To throw in the towel” does not make a connection to climate change, not realising that Wellington's weather has worsened compared to previous decades.

  3. Thanks, Glen. By continuing to remind us, you are making a difference. Together let us all make 2007 the year that our eco message ignites and becomes as pervasive as climate change.
    Peggy Farabaugh
    Fine Furniture from Sustainable Sources

  4. Bryan says:

    Unfortunately, we are all really waiting for others to provide the solution to global warming, while going on our own merry (and profligate) way. Here are some suggestions for your new planet-saving lifestyle, while you wait for government action on the matter:
    a)refuse to travel by plane, whether for business or pleasure. Holiday at home, and use teleconferencing
    b)commit to having only one child if you haven't got more yet; this will save enormously on the production of greenhouse gases in the future
    c)become a vegetarian so that we can preserve the Amazon (no more trees felled to produce soy for cattle feed), and lessen the production of methane by cattle
    d)get rid of that air-conditioner and make use of more natural cooling methods if you live in a hot climate. Similarly, if you live in a cold climate, use better insulation and warm clothing rather than central heating.
    Are you going to do any of these things? Of course not! So, stop whinging and don't complain if others do nothing either. People won't believe in global warming until they see the West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse with their own eyes.

  5. Gilles Fecteau says:

    To Peggy,
    Sorry to disappoint you but our family has taken serious action.
    On your points, I can say:
    a) We used to take 2 plane trips a year. Now we stay home and take at most one every 2 years (and purchase GHG credits for the plane trip),
    b) We decided long ago not to have childrens.
    c) We are vegetarian (almost vegan) and encourage other to do likewise. My vife even created a website to promote it. See
    d) We invested significantly to improve the insulation in our house.
    The net of it all, we reduced our GHG emission to 1/2 of our 1990 level, without reducing our standard of living.

  6. elk says:

    If humans can affect the Earth’s climate in 100 years accidentally then it should be NO problem to terrafom Mars (a smaller planet) if we would really try! Right? NOT. People, there are so many factors that contribute to our climate that no one has the answers yet. Some new factors being investgated which need to be taken into account are cosmic radiation, sun cycles, Earth’s 21 year orbit fluctuations, natural thermal events, etc… By the way Mars’ polar caps are shrinking too…I am sure it is Bush’s fault. Oh yeah, back around 900 when it was very wam on Greenland and in Wurope I am sure an antcedent of Bush did that too…. WACKOS!!!

  7. ewoc says:

    Gotta love elk's post. Been reading some science fiction, eh? Great reference to “terrafom”! Use that spell check, dude.
    This represents an all-too-typical example of the unfortunate connection in the US between climate change issues and partisan politics. In Western Europe and the rest of the developed world, which lack the petro-funded fog machine that has influenced the media in the US for decades, people understand that our species has a serious problem on our hands. The Conservative opposition in the UK is falling all over itself to support greenhouse emissions control measures, because the people demand that they respond with serious policy proposals. In the US, dittoheads like elk delude themselves into thinking that melting polar ice caps are a “natural” cycle, because that's what they are being fed by their feckless leaders.
    Word to the wise, elk. Pretty soon Bush will be irrelevant, and you will have to accept the fact that even Republicans will be forced to craft policy responses to climate change if they are to remain viable as a political party in the US.

  8. If we are REALLY going to “fix” the global warming planet we are going to have to have abolish the automobile as we know it.
    We need the U.N., Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to step up and demand that we move to road blockades to limit traffic until it can be FULLY haulted, we are going to have to do something about the cow flatulance poisoning our atmosphere and eventually….we are going to have to bring in the blue helmets to take over China, India and Japan to decimate their industrial infrastructure.
    We are slaves to the international corporations who aren't just trying to produce products and make a living but are actively working to destroy the ozone with their cars, cows and hair spray. Why doesn't anyone care? I am crying so hard while I write this…..When will the world unite to bring down those destroying out planet.
    As AlGore said, we only have 9.1 years left before the earth is destroyed.

  9. Scott Blundon says:

    Read an article from Stephen Hawking the other day. He thinks we're past the point of no return in an interview July 06. Essentially, with no snow and ice left to reflect the sun's rays the earth will eventually get hotter and hotter in an unstoppable cycle. He's a pretty smart guy and it scares me. I've got 2 kids. How much time we talking here? Can they plan any kind of future?
    I take the bus, train to work. House has energy saving this and that. I sort my garbage. I do whatever I can but it seems like a hopeless situation when one looks around and it seems like I'm the exception.
    At this rate, what do got? 50, 100 year?

  10. sammy says:

    What Hawkings said is half true. The Earth is warming up and melting the polar ice caps. However, this will lead us into the next ice age. Becuase we have saline oceans which drives the ocean conveyer belt, (this circulates the planet and keeps us warm the UK wouldnt have the gulfsteam otherwise) and the polar ice caps are fresh water. As the sun heats up the Earth its melting the polar ice caps which is slowing the ocean conveyer down due to the fact that saline water is more dence than fresh water when the conveyer belt stops we are in the next ice age. However i personally think we will run out of oil before this happens which will leave most of the world in a real crisis.

  11. Manuela says:

    I am young of age but i hope to do the best i can to help gain our earth back!! we need to do dramatic political and public speeches we need help and we need projects gather your friends and teammates and MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHILE WE STILL CAN!!

  12. Dawn says:

    ah well, no government has the guts to save the planet. look what government initiatives did in WW2. The Dig for Victory gardens in Britain and Victory gardens in USA and Canada ..80% of food was home grown and wow if we could do that now, not only would our health improve, it would do away with giant food corporations cutting down forests for food and pumping chemicals etc into it as well….so my campaign will be titled The War to save the earth or would The Race to save the planet/earth be better? In desperation…or maybe we should just let the earth be destroyed, we deserve it for not taking care of it..

  13. Dawn says:

    Mike, clarify -why?

  14. sarah says:

    i have more to say…if we keep living the way we are now we are not going to survive im only 17 years old and by the time i am 40 somthing most of the earth will be flooded…more hurricains and tornadoes will be coming in places they have never seen before…i dont have any kids i am one my self and i already see the world comin to an end because of the way we live and treat our earth…so many animals are dieing and no ones being able to see them as often…expecially polar bears they are finding them dead because the ice caps are melting and the bears can swim that far to climb on the next ice cap that is also melting and cant hold the bears weight, and they need the ice caps to survive in our world…i suggest to watch the movie “an inconvienient truth” its a very good movie it explains alot about the globel and what will happen if we dont stop the globel warming(very good movie) also “day after tomorrow” things that happend in that movie will also happen to us but worse because its not reality but its pretty close to what is going to happen and we are going to have another ice age…they say 100 years but the way we keep living it i think will be so much sooner…thanks for letting me type and as for bush…i dont know why people voted for him he dont care about the environment!!!! MAYBE YOU SHOULD ALL START THINKING ABOUT IT ALL YOU POLITICS PEOPLE WILL VOTE FOR YOU IF YOU ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE GLOBEL WARMING!!!!

  15. Jonathan Carroll says:

    Well, even just six months ago, I felt like a lone voice in the wilderness. Tonight, I feel somewhat verified in my actions in what has been a lonely and unpopular campaign, provoking reactions ranging from incredulous hostility and worse, and resulting often in anger, social eviction and once actual violence. Yes, it is this urgent. Yes, it is potentialy worse than any worst-case scenario you ever heard. And yes, it's going to happen sooner than anyone thinks. To all who think for themselves, the time is coming for your preperations for survival. You'll need; water, food, power and security. The best way to achieve this goal is through joining forces with other like-minded people. In the UK, I have a 500 Watt PV with 20,000Amp/hrs storage and 3KW of output. Does any hill-farmer/hill community have room for me and my son?

  16. The “talking points” of the “no way could our excessive release of gaseous CO2 could possibly effect the atmosphere” people (aka greenhouse theory is some lefty take over the world ploy) are numerous and unrelenting. I recently wrote an article for a local paper and couldn't believe some of the more vehement “anti” responses. Anyway, I don't want to get into pissing matches with the ney-sayers but recognize that occaisionally a dignified response is needed. Here is a link to help you all out in arguing with that pesky uncle who thinks global warming is a bunch of tree-hugging nonsense

  17. John/Togs tognolini says:

    I really enjoyed this article and have posted it on my blog/website Togs Place.Com and made a link to Climate Ark below is an article I wrote on the Australian Bush Fires, I'm a fire fighter.
    Fighting Fires on the Cheap and Ignoring Climate Change by John/Togs Tognolini
    Looking at the haze of smoke, covering the Blue Mountains from the bushfires, 700 kilometres away to the south in Gippsland Victoria. I thought of the Country Fire Authority fire fighter I met in the Victorian Alps, when he said, ”This fire isn’t going to stop until it hits the ocean.(The coast was over 120 kilometres from where we were talking.)” I was at those fires in late November, before that the Blue Mountains were on fire for 15 days. The 8,000 hectares that was burnt here, pales in comparison to the 800,000 hectares that has so far been burnt in Victoria. Both fires were started by lightning strikes. Both fires are burning over bush dried out by one of the longest droughts in Australian history. Both the drought and the dry storms that bought the lighting strikes are a result of Climate Change.
    While 2006 was recorded as one of the hottest years ever, 2007 has already been predicted to be even hotter. Australia along with United States has not signed the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, reflecting the federal government’s inaction. Prime minister John Howard does say Climate Change exist but puts forward the fantasy of clean coal technology and the nightmare of nuclear power and its waste. He is more concerned about Australia’s markets from coal and uranium mining, than using clean renewable energy sources such wave, wind and solar technology. He along with all the state ALP governments has refused to build key infrastructure such as public transport, railways, tram/light rail and extended ferry services, placing car and trucks with their greenhouse emissions as the major form of transport.
    One feature that stood out was the near absence of the Australian Defence Force in helping out both career and volunteer fire fighters control the fires. Howard has them deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Solomon Islands fighting for the cause of oil and empire. Seven and a half million dollars were spent on helicopters alone in the Blue Mountains fire, including the forty year old “Elvis”/sky crane helicopters from the US. Not one ADF helicopter was used in the Blue Mountains. Nor were NSW fire teams and their equipment flown to Victoria by the Air Force, they had to drive their fire tankers and crews were bussed there, some went straight of the bus onto the fire ground.
    Also evident in both fires was the reluctance of many experienced volunteer bush fire fighters not to step up and fight the fires. They were and are fearful they won't have a job to come back to when they return from a fire fighting shift. Reflecting how anti-community Howard's Work Choice legislation is. It's reprehensible for Volunteers to be sacked after they have put their life on the line, protecting communities and vital public assets such as our National Parks.
    The fires reflect not only Climate Change but also the need for regime change in Canberra. If we take Katrina and its affect on New Orleans and the lack of emergency relief and disaster mismanagement, Australia isn’t that bad, but with these fires and cyclone Larry in North Queensland, there’s vast room for improvement and tackling the root cause of these environmental disasters Climate Change.

  18. Gorm Vogelius says:

    This night we had the 2nd storm during the week and tomorrow Sunday 13th the weather forecasters say another hurricane will hit us. This winter in scandinavia has been extremely mild and stormy – I have stopped counting the storms; it's never been like this before. I am afraid for the future.

  19. Jeff Barbour says:

    Let's look at all this in the clear cold light.

    Our world is rapidly changing. We must all adapt our lifestyles radically. The recent US elections were hopeful. But that hope can only be fulfilled by some very serious steps forward on the part of the new congress.

    Meanwhile, climate change simply must become the dominant issue in the 2008 presidential election.
    If not, it will be time for thinking men and women to prepare whatever ark they can put afloat.

    How congress handles the Iraq situation is the preliminary test. Why? Because Congress must grow a spine before it can possibly stand up for the kind of massive socio-political-environmental sacrifice needed to forestall a looming world-wide ecological disaster.

  20. erica< fo sho says:

    hello 🙂
    ummm are we gunna die?

  21. kerry martin says:

    please god I am weeping with relief to find this site. To know that sentient humane human life does exist on planet Earth after all…
    All of the posts upon this site are intelligent and careful and caring (apart from poor old Mike and Elk obviously) I am brand new to the Internet having kept my eco-footprint as micro as possible by doing without computers and indeed electricity altogether for years. I live in Ireland. In the face of our Celtic Tiger economic gallop into gross unsustainable conspicuous consumption I WAS falling victim (in isolation) to a local despair!
    Here in Eire we are not having a winter… Developers are going crazy felling native woodlands to throw up utterly unsustainable mansions at sea level for gods sake and everyone is queing up to buy huge 4wds and joking about being the new costa del sol. Nobody around me seems to care about the future in any sane sense. They are drunk on money. There is no serious coverage of the crisis in the media. The population is oblivious. I am spooked… We are not having a winter. The rain has changed. It is heavy. I haven't seen good old soft irish rain for ages… Kerry is a little micro-climate never too hot and never too cold. Last summer we fried alive. The native flora and fauna that is! The tourists of course loved it! I am spooked.
    We need, as a species! to take some big mass actions. Firstly to convince The Global Media that intelligence is at work here, and then to convince a ballsy green radical Presidential Candidate and then a ballsy radical Green Prime Ministerial Candidate etc… that WE WILL VOTE FOR CANDIDATES WHO WILL TAKE SENSIBLE INTELLIGENT RADICAL ACTIONS…
    Personally, “Silent Spring” in the seventies was enough of a message to make me change… The cynics are wrong. If I can change and downshift, so can anyone. It's simply a matter of growing up! Realising that we cannot all always have every single little thing we want all the time… not without considering its realistic impact upon others/the future.
    Many of us have been changing our ways, yes even actually DOING WITHOUT THINGS WE DID HAVE OR DO ONCE UPON AS RECENT TIME, because it IS actually a matter of life and death, and when people really realise that, we DO change. Some folks need a louder wake up call than others, that's all. People WILL drop their more selfish habits when they see enough rational reasonable sane people getting WITH the programme. I believe most people will want to do their best to help, once it becomes truly socially acceptable to admit that unwittingly we have really made a mess of it – in one unthinking generation more or less…
    We are all in the same boat now. One small very damaged and uncared for living planet. We are all equally responsible for doing our individual bits to care for her and heal her – six and a half billion people can make six and a half billion bits of difference. If we don't we are doomed. Hi-tech Arctic refuges and Moon bases might save a few for a while until the technology fails. But they will do nothing at all for the average six and a half billion humans and the millions of other species who live on Earth. We can't sit around not talking about it anymore, pretending that life will go on as it is forever.
    I want to suggest to the justifiably worried youth of our countries, and to Sir Bob Geldof & everyone who remembers the power of Live Aid twenty years ago… that it's time we got organised again and stage EARTH AID DAY please… maybe sometime next year, or year after and meantime and do loads of research into ALL the ways we can all sensibly help – soil building, tree planting, water harvesting, getting celebrities to make vows like Elton vowing to dress in monks robes for the rest of his life and give the money he saves to Sub-saharan desert halting permaculture projects etc.etc. Most of the humans who will suffer first from global heating don't even know why it is happening. The Third World will be devestated. Emergency Food Aid isn't enough. ECO-SYSTEM RESTORATION is what is needed and rechannelling military monies and personnel into this would/could/might pull us back from the brink.
    We must MUST demand it and kick up every bit of fuss that we possibly can to make it happen…
    EARTH AID might just galvanise us. Get us started and focussed. If our governments will not realease the military to do it… we will have to make a start ourselves…
    A huge multi-media celebrity music party more or less like Band Aid and Comic Relief but bigger and better still… With everyone doing their bit all over the globe…
    And all monies raised entirely devoted to helping everyone who lives on Earth to help the Earth heal and to demonstrate very clearly to all governments in all countries the depth of our feelings, and our willingness to take remedial action and to go out and get our hands dirty and sacrifice a bit of our unrealistic luxury and comfort for the sake of all life and the future.
    We the awakened, (the guilty generations of forty-fifty somethings) and our kids (the teens & twenty somethings)
    must MUST MUST get going vocally radically among ourselves to become bolder and INSPIRE ourselves to take actions to inspire our GOVERNMENTS to over-ride the gormless the greedy and the cynical…
    So I suggest EARTH AID DAY!
    To get us all going.
    Vis Al Gore! I can recommend him to anyone. As much as anything for that wonderfully typically american emotional uplift at the end… Not just “we MUST do something” but better still “We CAN do something and furthermore -IT WILL BE UPLIFTING, NOBLE AND FUN if we do DO SOMETHING.
    We didn't see the movie. We asked our local library to order in the book Inconvenient truth. It galvanised my family from suicidal despair – (mum) and complacent indifference – (son!)into excited activity and hatching the Earth Aid Day vision…
    Anyone know Bob Geldofs E-Mail?
    Anyone know how to ask Al to run for President again!
    Dear Site Owner – I am REALLY to the Internet. Please feel free to edit away at what I have written if it is too wordy. thankyou for doing what you do. truly finding this is changed my life in a short moment. Thankyou. LOve Kerry.

  22. kerry martin says:

    Biographical Paragraph.
    I am 46 single freelance female now living in Co.Kerry, Eire. I was born in Australia and reared in the South-East of England. My dad is a research biologist & naturalist now living back in Australia. I dropped out of the official study of Environmental Science in 1979 in order to live up a mountain and radically reduce my ecological footprint to as near zero as possible. This is actually great fun to do, and nowhere near as difficult or miserable as mollycoddled westerners think it is! I am back in the middle of a small town now

  23. Susan Heckel says:

    It is not just fossil fuels causing global warming; microwaves cause heat by jiggling water molecules.  Microwaves emitted by cell towers are measurable by a microwave tester.  Cell towers supposedly have a legal range of between 580 and 1000 microwatts per square centimeter (mW/cm2), the highest in the world, and the radiation from a cell tower is picked up by cell phones.  While they are on, the radiation is in the hundreds of mW/cm2.  Multiply this by the hundreds of cell towers in your locality and by the thousands in the country, and millions worldwide, and I believe it is enough radiation to contribute to global warming.
    I wish there were more research in this area. I can't find any information on this.

  24. Rich Bono says:

    Humanity is going to need to act quickly to have an appreciable impact on the Anthropocene. Is there enough time when 350 ppm co2 is already being surpassed?…When we're 20 to 30 years away from the arctic ice sheet melting…and exposing dark ocean that will absorb 80% heat rather then reflect 80%?…When 97% of the world's glaciers are receding?…When multi-point temperature readings in Antarctica are showing increases…and when ice movement beneath its surface is accelerating?…When co2 emissions are increasing at 2% per year? I don't know…but it's looks like we are heading to quite a “different planet”.

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