ARCTIC SEA ICE IS PLUNGING BELOW 2007 RECORD LOW
Sea Ice is now the lowest in maybe fifteen thousand years (and possibly 100,000 years). Just the beginning of the nuclearized Jurassic.
Notice that Greenland is sticking out like a sore, frozen thumb. Ready to melt, obviously. When the remaining huge white, reflecting expanses will be replaced by dark, light absorbing surfaces (that’s why they will be dark), the heating of the Arctic will accelerate, and become irreversible.
(I am using the adjective “heating” on purpose; it’s exactly how the average rise of maybe twenty degrees Celsius which is coming for the poles, should be qualified.)
With two to three more weeks left in the melt season, Arctic sea ice is certain to fall well below 4 million square kilometers. The previous minimum was the September 18, 2007 extent of 4.17 million square kilometers. The six lowest ice extents in the satellite record have occurred in the last six years (from 2007 to 2012).
And it’s not just the Arctic. In Antarctica, the temperature of the giant peninsula down there has augmented by at least three degrees Celsius, and plants have started to grow around scientific stations (feeling culprit, the naïve scientists are trying to remove the grasses by hand). In Greenland, forests have been planted, and harvested, for the first time ever.
Arctic Sea Ice in 2012 is less than half of the minimum extent of 1980. Everything indicates that, within a few years, ice will be at the lowest extent in three million years.
Another drastic fact: in mid July 2012 all of Greenland’s surface was melting, including at Summit Station (up at 3,216 meters altitude, 10,551 feet). Records from ice cores shows that this happens in the average ONCE every 150 years. Should it happen again next year, many of Greenland’s glaciers would become unhinged.
Why? Because the water flows down “moulins“, all the way down the ice cap, 3,000 meters down, two miles down (to speak in units the Romans used to have before the planet went metric, except for a few savages in the woods). There the water flows below the ice, in channels (in Antarctica, there are hundreds of lakes, 4,000 meters down, some huge, up to 160 kilometers long, and below the icecap water flows from one lake to the next… rather ominously).
Should there be way too much water, it will have to break out of the channels, and force itself more below the icecap, and lubricate it from below.
Entire glaciers have suddenly slipped in Greenland, as if they were rumbling snakes come alive, generating up to Richter 6 quakes. Ice quakes.
Now what’s next? Well, as there is less sea ice than ever, solar radiation will penetrate the sea, even during Fall 2012, and warm it deep down inside. Even ultra violet light can penetrate sea for dozens of meters. So all this solar radiation, usually bouncing on the sea ice back to space, will dissipate itself deep down in the ocean, warming it up. In depth. The huge caloric capacity of the ocean will guarantee a milder winter, and even thinner ice, comes next Winter, and thus an even faster melt, starting next March.
All the more since solar activity is on the upswing (part of the sun’s eleven years solar cycle, which reached its nadir last year). So we can be sure that, come next July, all of Greenland’s surface will be melting again, including at Summit Station. And the glaciers will come unhinged.
What to do? Beyond getting properly informed about the unfolding disaster?
FIRST MOVE TO SAVE THE WORLD. A HEAVY CARBON TAX:
First one has to understand that the exponentially rising greenhouse gas curve is completely amoral. In the deepest sense of what “moral” means. See “Immoral CO2 Curve“. (See note.)
To curtail the CO2 rise is very simple: just put up a hefty carbon tax. If fossil fuel energy is expensive inside the free market, the free market will adapt, and replace it by sustainable energy. Right now fossil fuels and their users are heavily subsidized. Strike those subsidies.
Sweden introduced a carbon tax in 1990. Not only it did not adversely affect economic growth, but now bio mass is massively used in Sweden, thanks to the tax. Most European countries have inchoating, or partial carbon taxes (even Britain). Even in the USA, the San Francisco Bay Area air quality management passed a (local) carbon tax in 2008. A question of intellect reaching a critical mass around UC Berkeley, UCSF, Stanford, the Silicon Valley.
The USA has done its best to block any worldwide carbon tax. The idea of such a carbon tax would be to tax any product according to how much CO2 was created to produce, transport and distribute it. Such a tax would lower the mercury in fish and the Arctic (which is condensed mercury vapor in colder regions from coal burning, mostly in China).
A worldwide carbon tax would not just lower the CO2 and give a chance to sustainable energies, but also a carbon tax would lower unemployment considerably in developed countries (good are transported using what is, by far, the dirtiest oil, bunk oil, being the cheapest and only giant ship engines can devour it).
So why is a carbon tax not implemented? Mostly through opposition of the USA. Because those who truly rule the USA make USA politicians understand they should not disrupt the entangled miracles that feed them so well.
CO2 PERPETRATORS ARE MOSTLY ANGLO-SAXON COLONISTS & THEIR SERFS:
One has next to understand that it is mostly the Anglo-Saxon colonies, which have created a mood of CO2 criminality. Here is the CO2 pollution of the USA: 18 tons per person per year. Here is Australia: 20 tons. And Canada: 16 tons. Canada celebrated its choice of the Dark Side by quitting the Kyoto protocol, the only country to have done such a thing. Why? Because not only Canada is not reducing its CO2 emissions, it’s planning to augment them as much as it can. Federal Canada is hell bent to exploit its tar sands. That means burning twice its tar sands, to extract all the money it can from hell itself (tar is so viscous one needs to heat those sands really hard; oil companies are hush about how exactly they heat up and extract the oil from the sands).
Provinces such as Quebec and British Columbia, with splendid unspoiled nature, and no fossil fuels, have implemented local carbon taxes.
By contrast to the federal behavior of the USA, Canada and Australia: Britain pollutes with 9 tons of CO2 per year, per person. Hint: there are hefty fuel taxes in Europe, including in Britain. The Europeans have been trying much harder, for much longer. Big industrial Germany is at 9.3 tons, Italy at 7 tons, France at 6.3. Switzerland, about twice richer than the USA per head, is at 6 tons of CO2. Japan, another industrial heavy weight is at 8.6 tons of CO2 per year.
So why does the USA block a carbon tax? One has to understand the USA is an imperial plutocracy made of entangled components: the banks, their banksters, and shady financial plotters, the Military Industrial Complex (MIC), the fossil fuel lobby, the plutocratic universities. The various components have a vested interest in the CO2 exponential, and even the CO2 catastrophe, and they reign in Washington.
For example some have evaluated the price of gasoline at 14 dollars a gallon, when hidden subsidies are incorporated, such as the cost of the various military programs that allow to control the Middle East (and, indirectly Venezuela, etc.) Of course the MIC has interest that this spending keeps on going. And even countries such as Israel, a sort of land locked USA carrier, receiving, with its Egyptian buddy, billions from the USA, are all entangled in the USA MIC and fuel lobby.
The plutocrats have lined up all the colonist Anglo-Saxon sheep, and taught them to bleat non sense. One can read deep consideration on why it is human nature that the Anglo-Saxons ought to use so much more oil than anybody else. Soon the bleating ones will be singing that the ice is not melting, it’s just going to heavens. Fossil fuel lobbyists even sing in unison that the more CO2, the better, CO2 is life sustaining. They congratulate each other for such strokes of genius, bleating even louder.
THE USA HAS GOT WORSE:
A fascinating experience in the USA is to visit a truck parking area where dozens of giant gas guzzling trucks can be parked, all running their engines. For hours, with no one inside (the truckers are partying somewhere else). A curious religion of waste erected as a basic expression of pride and freedom. What I deduce from that sort of scene, when I have recovered from the breathing difficulties that cause my brain to nearly shut down, is that the price of oil is ridiculously too low in the USA.
In a country such as Switzerland, running a vehicle on idle is against the law. In countries with highly taxed fuel, it’s not an economic proposition. European car makers have even invented “stop-start” engines, which cut off, as soon as the car does not require traction. That saves up to 10% fuel (engines have to be redesigned so that secondary systems such as cooling can run on electric engines, as they traditionally run directly on the combustion engine). One may wonder why it is that the USA poisons the atmosphere twice more, per person, than Britain. Why is Britain so much more reasonable?
The fate of the gasoline tax is indicative of how regressive the USA has become. In constant dollars, that tax used to be much higher in the past, although then, people were driving gas-guzzlers. What seems to have changed is that people used to believe much more in sacrificing much more for the common good. Too long frequenting R. Reagan and G.W. Bush?
And the gasoline tax used to be high, just to pay for roads. Now we have a good reason to bring up the tax: Arctic sea ice is now at its lowest ever. And yet CO2 production in the USA peaked in 2005 (just before the Greater Depression took hold).
WHY ARE THE BRITS SO CO2 MORAL, & THE USA SO CULPRIT?
Britain has learned to fear hubris.
It has to do with Britain suffering terribly in WWI and WWII. The British elite knows that hubris is the source of most flaws that affect civilization, because that is what the Greeks believed. Hitler’s hubris that he could free himself from his American masters’ oil, and invade all places with fossil fuels such as Poland, Romania, the USSR, Iraq, was what set him on a collision course with France, igniting World War Two…
Britain knows hubris well, and knows it can work for quite a while. Britain’s murderous expansion in Ireland and then in North America was driven by the “West Country Men” the plutocrats who ruled England in the Elizabethan age. That spirit of relentless exploitation was leveraged further when tobacco growing in America made them rich and the Dutch took control of England, leveraging the bank of England and the Royal Navy to the hilt, in the hope of subduing their creator (at the time autocratic) France… And that in turn also worked.
All fair and good… Until the “West Country Men” exploitative logic backfired, when Twentieth Century USA plutocrats learned to use it against Europe. England, that, ever since Guillaume Le Conquerant had created it, had been obsessed to prevent the rise of a super power in Europe, found itself the pawn of the one, on the other side of the pond. The one that Britain and France had given birth to.
The British started to feel progressively, same as a lot in Europe, as the new Indians. A change of paradigm was in order, and the French ultraconservative approach, to husband one’s resources, won over. Same in Germany (this also explains why the German birth rate has collapsed). And all over Europe.
Where does the ultraconservative French approach comes from? From the fact that, from government policy through the Middle Ages, by 1600 CE, French peasants were small owners of what they cultivated (the opposite of the situation in England, ruled by enormous land owners). The French peasant-owners were no non sense, they were very close to their sous ( a word denoting money that evolved from the Roman “solidus”). The first thing they did was to curb their birthrate, to protect their resources (as they owned them). When Louis XVI, in an astounding access of hubris, idealism and naivety, spent money, trillions, that he did not have, to make a revolution in America, he lost the support of French peasants..
So doing nothing about CO2 is, first of all, an Anglo-Saxon “West Country Men” led phenomenon. It’s a mental world of ravenous exploitation united by hunting Mr. Assange, Mr. Manning and denying that the ice is melting, while having an open season on Iraqis, Afghans, and singing the praises of global, delirious finance.
Unfortunately the USA-Canada-Australia block has 370 million gas guzzling souls, and their collaborator is called China. All together this axis of fossils produces about two-thirds of the world CO2.
PLOTTING AGAINST THE MOTHER OF THE GODS:
For the Greeks, Gaia, Earth, was the mother of all gods (including Zeus-Deus). Great powers have always conspired to further their rule. As the power of human technology has exploded, those conspiracies have reached new heights (the arch example being Auschwitz). Now they involve conspiring against the entire biosphere.
Some will say I am going too far by supposing that letting the CO2 catastrophe run its course is part of a conspiracy. But the facts support this. For years great billionaires of the USA, such as the (fossil fuel) Koch brothers have paid professors in what are supposedly the world’s best universities to come up with obviously false science (like CO2 does not cause warming, and there is no warming, etc.)
Here is an anecdote showing that the plutocrats who leads the USA really view hell as a friend. For years USA taxpayers have given, through their government, hundreds of millions of dollars to the Pakistani theocrats to make nuclear bombs. Very strange but true (and reminiscent of the USA support for Hitler!). An excellent proof, though, that the Washington leaders (whoever they truly are) see great opportunities in future crises, such as a nuclear war in Asia. Let alone some terrorists getting their hands on a nuke (of which Pakistan has more than 100). So that they see great opportunity in the mess the CO2 catastrophe will entail, is a small logical step to make.
In this general mood, a melting Arctic crisis spells an even greater opportunity. And it’s coming, much faster than people expect. When there is no more Arctic sea ice in summer, it’s just a matter of a very short time before there will be no more in winter. Because the ocean will warm up irreversibly (while cold sweet light water on top will shut down the Gulf Stream beyond Iceland).
In the Jurassic not only were there polar dinosaurs in Alaska, but crocodiles in Greenland. Some will scoff, and say it’s an opportunity: Washington will be among the places to drown. Actually fossil fuel and mining companies are scrambling to exploit the parts of the Arctic freed of ice. However the whole planet’s climate will lurch into the Jurassic. In a few decades.
Most of the Earth’s greenhouse is from water vapor (about two third). As the oceans get warmer, steam content is going up. Some scientists say it’s already 5% up. Steam increasing fast is one of the NON linear effects that is going to make planetary heating exponentiate.
The planet, as it is, function as a giant Carnot engine. The moving parts of the engine are the sea currents and the wind. The expansion and contraction come from heating and cooling sea and air. All this will come to a halt as the cold sinks the poles, disappear. Thus a lot of sustainable energy will disappear.
Excepting man, any exponential phenomenon is an immoral phenomenon.
Note: Why is the rising greenhouse gas curve exponentiating? Because the CO2 equivalent gases brings up the temperature, which then brings up the water vapor, at a rate proportional to the temp rise! (Thanks to Paul Handover for chastising me for a careless version of this statement)