Australia and Africa Climate Disasters Preview of Global Future

Global heating is causing both more flooding and droughtsClimate change is not some future abstraction that can be put off with a bit of piddling about now, it is here and killing now. Australia is undergoing one of its most severe droughts ever [search]; as agriculture is failing, whole towns are abandoned, and the government pays farmers to leave their land. Meanwhile in Africa, massive floods are washing away crops and entire villages [more], as the poor pay the price for over-development by others as basic needs go unmet.


Both are almost certainly exacerbated, if not caused, by climate change and a whole host of other environmental crises including deforestation and poor water management. In one case it is too much water, and the other not enough, precisely the type of extreme weather events [search] predicted for decades to occur as a result of global heating. In both cases agriculture and agricultural settlements are initially being most disrupted. Australia as an over-developed country may have more resources to put off the most egregious impacts of ecological collapse; but food and water scarcity eventually hits the rich as well. Continental scale environmental disasters portend continental ecological collapse to come.
Meanwhile President Bush plays make believe climate change leader [more] — how pathetically non-credible after seven years of climate policy obstruction [search] and action now seemingly limited to continued stalling of mandatory emission controls. Bush's climate policy is a sick, sad, tragic, maddening joke. The day the Toxic Texan slinks back under a rock in Crawford, Texas can not come soon enough.

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9 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    we have to stop and think about our plant before live as empty hand .

  2. It appears that my generation is mortgaging and threatening the future of our children and coming generations by remaining religiously focused upon the endless accumulation of material wealth, the unrestrained increase in per capita consumption of limited resources, and the continuous consolidation of our hegemonic political, economic and military power.
    Despite all the cascading rhetoric to the contrary, we need not look far to see that money, power and privilege for ourselves, for our bought-and-paid-for politicians, and for our newly-made rich minions are the primary object of life.
    Regardless of the human-driven calamities

  3. zephyr says:

    Steven Earl Salmony wrote:
    …..When my not-so-great generation of elders has completed its 'mission' on Earth, I fear young people will look back in anger and utter disbelief at the things we have done and failed to do…..
    The young people are looking NOW in (quiet) anger but not in “utter disbelief” at what their elders are failing to do. They, sadly, have no illusions regarding the short-sightedness of those who precede them.
    I know this because it's what they're telling me.
    It's what they feel.
    (I refer here to the age group between approximately 18 and 30 years old.)

  4. mas iip says:

    Can global community fight on global warming without US/Bush Administration?

  5. R. Gates says:

    The earth will find a balance. Reducing the nubmers of humans on the planet is a natural result of the human over population and over-use of the earths resources. All things swing between extremes…and will return to balance in time.

  6. PeterW says:

    Unfortunately R.Gates, homo sapiens have never lived in a time when CO2 and temperatures have been so high. It will be interesting to see if any of us will be able to adapt to this future.
    As for balance, maybe I'm misunderstanding your message, but are you suggesting the world will be a better place when billions of people die and millions of species become extinct?
    The earth may find balance but it will be a very empty place compared to today.

  7. zephyr says:

    PeterW wrote:
    …..Unfortunately R.Gates, homo sapiens have never lived in a time when CO2 and temperatures have been so high. It will be interesting to see if any of us will be able to adapt to this future.
    As for balance, maybe I'm misunderstanding your message, but are you suggesting the world will be a better place when billions of people die and millions of species become extinct?
    The earth may find balance but it will be a very empty place compared to today….. END quote.
    THANK YOU, Peter.
    While I do (I think) understand the gist of R. Gates' comment, i.e. that Nature Perturbed To Extremes will ultimately re-balance itself as necessary, I also understand that WE ARE A PART of that very Nature and NOT SEPARATE FROM IT.
    If we are contributing to the current IMBALANCE (we are) then we're most certainly capable of changing our behavior in the service of improving that situation.
    We are not helpless.

  8. R. Gates says:

    Peter,
    I would prefer to leave the value judgement of “better” out of the discussion in terms of your comment related to the world being a “better place” without humans.
    The environment (i.e. climate) of the future may or may not be conducive to human life, at least in any great numbers, but one thing that will be certain is that the change agent of the current climate change (i.e. the current form of human civilization) will not be present in a future balanced climate.
    What are the options?
    1. Human civilization could weather the change and adapt to changed climate with a very green technology model, at perhaps reduced numbers from what we have today.
    2. Human civilization collapses entirely and returns to a hunter/gather mode of existence.
    3. Humans become extinct.
    I would of course prefer option #1, but any three will eventually rid the planet of the current change-agent in the global climate, which is the current form of human civilization (i.e. one based on the burning of fossil fuels).
    To Zephyr: You are of course 100% correct in stating that we created this mess and so we can solve it. We have to understand how far past some tipping points we are and what we can do do mitigate those effects. The biggest issue become how to feed, cloth, house, etc. billions of humans without the use of fossil fuels, as this is the form of energy use we've built our civilization on. Fusion power holds great promise in this regard, but can we bring it on line fast enough before
    civilization starts to collpase from the disruptions caused by severe climate change?

  9. David B. Benson says:

    One small thing we can all do is to encourage our governments to aid in putting out all the coalfield fires in the world.
    Here, for comparison, are several of the sources of additional carbon being added to the active carbon cycle, as a percentage of the 8 billion tonnes being added each year:
    coalfield fires (est. 4%)
    concrete production (3%)
    world's ocean vessel fleet (2.7%)
    U.S. cars and light trucks (est. 2.5%)
    world's airlines (2.2%)
    AFAIK, China is the only country which is intensely active in extinguishing their coalfield fires. They have 20–40 of these (big ones) and put out about one per year. AKAIK, Indonesia has 1300 coalfield fires and appears to be doing almost nothing about it. (Maybe too poor?)

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