Thursday, October 6, 2016

While We Were Sleeping

... the world changed, but not in a good way.


  1. The news, two weeks ago, that we have again underestimated the pace of warming and that we'll hit 1.5C by 2030 and 2C by 2050, spells bad news for the Caribbean and other spots where "climate departure" is expected to begin. Departure marks the point at which every year following will be hotter than the hottest year of the era preceding it. The coolest year after will be hotter than the hottest year before. The Smithsonian uses the curious term of "persistently abnormal" conditions. I'd have thought that once something becomes persistent it likewise becomes normal. Semantics.

    2012 we hit 0.85C of warming since the start of the Industrial Revolution. 2016 we reached 1.0C. There are so many factors at play including the loss of Arctic sea ice and resultant warming of the Arctic Ocean and the northern atmosphere; the deep warming of the Pacific and the decline of its ability to absorb both atmospheric CO2 and heat; atmospheric greenhouse gas loadings; on and on. It's like the "combination" of punches that decks a prize fighter.

    In Haiti we're presented with an example of an already impoverished, ruined and corrupted state being dealt yet another blow by Hurricane Matthew. How resilient can Haiti be? Where is its breaking point?

    At this point, it appears, we're just along for the ride. The litmus test of how poorly we're responding to this is clear from Brad Wall's refusal to entertain any carbon tax while remaining the most popular premier in Canada.

    1. It would seem, Mound, that those least responsible for climate change are paying the highest price for its impact. I think here in cossetted Canada, we like to talk a good game about the importance of fighting climate change, but that enthusiasm quickly wanes when we find it will have an impact on our wallets. Of the U.S. I will not even speak.