Monday, July 18, 2011

Climate change? What climate change?

Heat Wave Hits Poorest Communities, at
This one is a good one, as it's centered around those most vulnerable to global warming and climate change, the poor. Easily ignored by media, this growing sector of the American population is especially at risk when heat waves and catastrophic weather events occur.

Massive heat wave scorches central U.S. and expands east, as drought continues in South, at the Washington Post
This one has some excellent data, and a bunch of scary looking statistical image renderings.

U.S. drought monitor updated July 12, 2011, showing the extent of drought conditions across the country.

I like this one a lot because it's titled "Severe Weather: 'Get Used to It' Say Climatologists".
It's got a tone that reads to me like
"Well what the hell did you expect when we told you to stop your carbon burning or you'd destroy the planet? Huh? Yeah, that's right morons." Which is so satisfying for someone like me, who's been obsessed with climate change for years and has gotten so used to people denying it, that I don't even bother trying to contradict them any longer, I just say
"We'll see." and bide my time until they realize they were were punching their bad data into the WRONG-O-MATIC 3000.
Here's my favorite part:
"When scientists talk about global warming causing more heat waves, people often ask if that means that the hottest temperatures will become 'the new normal,'" Diffenbaugh said. "That got us thinking: At what point can we expect the coolest seasonal temperatures to always be hotter than the historically highest temperatures for that season?" No need to wait long, the researchers said, because the heat is already here.
"We find that the most immediate increase in extreme seasonal heat occurs in the tropics, with up to 70 percent of seasons in the early 21st century (2010-2039) exceeding the late-20th century maximum," the authors wrote.
Wide swaths of North America, China and Mediterranean Europe are also likely to enter into a new heat regime by 2070, they said.
After a year filled with severe weather events, it would seem that even climate change skeptics may begin to change their tune.
In February, Chicago was hit with a blizzard that killed seven people and left cars stranded on Lake Shore Drive in nearly two feet of snow.
That heavy snow led to severe flooding from Illinois to New Orleans in the past couple months as the Mississippi River swelled in size. Thousands of people were driven from their homes as flood waters engulfed their neighborhoods.
Monster tornados wiped out huge parts of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Joplin, Mo.
In Texas, 168 homes have been destroyed in what is a record wildfire season that has already blackened nearly 5,500 square miles. That is more than the previous two years combined, and an area larger than the state of Connecticut."

That's right, bitches

Anyway, this is all no-duh stuff, but there's a pretty absurd percentage of people who deny climate change, and just thinking about them kind of makes me nauseous. In fact, according to Energy Boom, only 58% of Americans believe they've got anything to worry about from all their car farts and subsidised beef production.

If people really do think that there's no such thing as global climate change, that I assume that they'll be happy to give their air conditioners to the poor, because certainly they won't be needing them if there's not going to be any trouble from mama nature in the coming years.

I'm just so done trying to talk sense into anyone about this. These dweebs could move to Tuvalu, and when it sinks from rising sea levels, they'll just say that the ocean is rising because God is crying from all the homosexuals being able to marry in New York or something. Whatever. Let them ignore it, it's happening with or without them. You can deny that you just stepped on a rusty nail and still get tetanus, fine with me, but I'm going to the fucking hospital.

Actually, the fact that I'm especially aware, and relatively well versed in climatology for a nobody, doesn't do me any good at all. There is no hospital to go to. Again, it's a case of awareness being really great as far as foreseeing what's likely to happen next and base my lifestyle, place of residence, investments, and family choices on the information I have, but there's absolutely jack that I can do to prevent it or actually protect myself from the effects of it, outside of choosing to live in an area that is *less* susceptible to the immediate effects of global warming, water shortages, etc.

James Howard Kunstler suggests, in "The Long Emergency" that in a resource depleted world that's also facing climate change, the Pacific Northwest's only real downside is that it's likely to be swarmed with climate refugees, which is probably accurate. We may suffer from an extraordinary influx of people from other parts of the country (or world) whose homes were in places that are less prepared for the future.

For instance, the Midwest is basically desert with a mm of topsoil, and certainly not fit for the comparatively (to it's ideal population- ie, 5 people and a few vultures) gargantuan number of folks it currently supports.
 The American Southwest is probably in the worst possible position, and I think personally that Las Vegas is very likely to be the absolute #1 worst place to live in the USA right now as far as climate change, petroleum and energy dependence, and water availability (!!!!) go. There'll be a mass exodus from there for sure. When I think of Las Vegas now, all I see in my mind's eye is a giant black hole sucking resources into it, and spitting out casino tokens, meth, glitter, and alcaholism.  
The "Deep South" is arguably as bad or worse, since it's even more susceptible to importation of tropical diseases. Also, people on the coastlines are going to be subjected to intesely nasty storms, seawater encroachment into fresh water supplies, and habitat loss.
The East and the Northeast are in a much better climactic region, but face a huge probable with overpopulation already, which the Pacific Northwest does not, and I think this gives us a key advantage.
Boy, am I glad I bought a house here!


There's a lot to be freaked out and worried about, but I personally feel that of all the places to be in the world, this is likely among the most secure .
(I reserve the right to amend my opinion based on new information or gangs of Asian pirates plundering the coast for resources)

I'll leave you with this delightful little gem I came across a while ago:

Yep, you're all gonna die


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