California Megadrought

“Climate change” is here now. Worldwide. How do we reconcile this with Obama’s boast “Yes We Can!” Yes we can adversely affect the planet?

Actually, poorly advised and mentally ill-equipped, Obama’s mighty efforts went in the wrong direction (he should have financed basic research, not commercial development of his friends’ industries). In the end, most of what Obama could do, was to raise money from his semi-criminal accomplices in the Silicon Valley (how else to call monopolists who escaped tens of billions of taxation, just in the last few years, thanks to their accomplices in Washington and Brussels? And also spy on everybody as a European Commissioner (EC) just admitted, recommending Europeans get off Facebook.)

It is true that the USA has reduced CO2 emissions. But Obama had little to do with it (economic crisis, expensive gasoline, switching to massive fracked methane gas, increased efficiency have more to do with it than Obama singing “Yes We Can!”, 100 times a day). Meanwhile, here is a chart from 2007, showing droughts in the Western USA:

West USA Megadrought During Warm Middle Ages. (Only To 2006.)

West USA Megadrought During Warm Middle Ages. (Only To 2006.)

[The graph stops in 2006, and we are now in a drought peak far surpassing anything depicted above; 2014 was the driest year in California for 1,500 years, and the four year period ending then was the driest in 2,000 years. We can now say that the 2014-2015 wet period is the driest EVER: the snow pack is eight percent of normal (8%)]

The megadrought of the Middle Ages correspond to the period when the Vikings decided that Greenland was green. The megadrought stopped just when the Little Ice Age started; after 1300 CE, the population of Europe collapsed into an ecological crisis, followed by extensive war (“100 year” war) and the Black Plague; severe cooling did not help. The last Vikings abandoned Greenland around 1500 CE.

The situation in California’ drought is a case of human induced global warming in action. So it makes sense to build an electric train (it is much more efficient, by an order of magnitude at least).

The California drought is caused by a high pressure ridge ashore, due to greater upwelling off the coast, itself caused by greater trade winds, in turn a worldwide phenomenon caused by the augmented greenhouse.

The present drought is already the greatest in several millennia. And it may be just the beginning: the oceanic waters are churning. Wait until sea level rise accelerates noticeably…



The preceding paragraph brought various sheep to bleat in The Economist. My reply:

California is drenched with sun, and Solar Photo Voltaic is getting ever cheaper and more efficient. Cheap PV cells with efficiency as high as the expensive ones on satellites have been made in labs this year.

So California should not have an energy problem, long term.

The present accelerating upwelling off the coast is a momentary phase in global warming. When warming is considerable greater, El Nino ought to come every years, and California will become akin to Costa Rica. Costa Rica used no fuel this year (2015) so far, as the hydroelectric plants have been producing like crazy (El Nino like conditions; actually El Nino has just been declared)

Of course, when California will switch to a tropical climate, the snow will disappear from the Sierra Nevada, and the sea will be 40 meters higher.

But that should be OK: the Golden Gate will be closed by a dam and thermonuclear plants will lift the water above the dam. This way the Central Valley will not flood too bad. (Sierra water from Yosemite has long been brought directly to San Francisco; the drought has already stopped a further scheme to steal water from Northern Cal to Los Angeles.)

Twenty-one (21) desalination plants are been built. Including several in the greater Bay Area. It is not enough, yet, a beginning.

To parody Obama: Yes we can, make money! To parody Hollande (the president of the other mighty republic which is really a representative democracy): “Le changement, c’est maintenant!” (Change is now; it rhymes in French).

Climate change is upon us. California is one the places in the world best situated to resist it. Others (Bangladesh, countless islands) will drown.



Pope Francis decries the persecution of Christians. “We still see today our persecuted brothers, decapitated and crucified for their faith in you [Jesus], before our eyes and often with our complicit silence,” Pope Francis said, presiding over the traditional ceremony at the Colosseum.

The Pope also condemned the attack in Kenya, where non-Muslims were singled out and shot, as an act of “senseless brutality“. And the assassination of 22 Coptic Egyptians by Fundamentalists in Libya. Both seems to me to make a lot of sense, though. Islam built the greatest empire, by the sword, in a few years. And the Qur’an is full of that. When brutality brings dinner and territory, it makes sense, to a predatory primate:”Yes, We Can!”

The Vatican’s official preacher Raniero Cantalamessa denounced the “disturbing indifference of world institutions in the face of all this killing of Christians”.

Indifference and silence are meta-sins: they enable the enactment of brutality. Whether it makes sense, or not. Thus, should one want a better world, the word should get out, and the emotion allowed to run. High.

Word, sound, consideration and fury would certainly have prevented the rise of Nazism in Germany.

The first action to take about “climate change” is to talk about it. And to talk about the wars it brings: the Pope, correctly talked about the “Third World War” having started. Good people have to talk about these things, otherwise bad people will talk about them in their own perverse way: see Putin stirring trouble in the Carpathians.

Civilization has to be defended, and goodness too. Playing nice with evil is no good.

So slap heavy taxes on all fossil fuels (in developed countries), and a worldwide carbon tax. That may hurt a few people, but, overall, will help save the biosphere as we know it.

Freeman Dyson (an infinitely old permanent member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton and a co-discoverer of Quantum Electro Dynamics), long a climate change denier, has now changed tactics. (Who said an old horse could not learn new tricks?) His employers from the fossil fuel industry (just guessing) will promptly follow. The new argument is that CO2 is good for us.

I have long entertained that fancy myself. Albeit secretly. The argument is that the plants would grow more, the poles become hospitable, etc. However, that ignores the fact that present day life is adapted to 280 ppm of CO2, not 500 ppm. Besides the inconvenience of the sea being 80 meters higher, the latest news are that plants, after a growth spurt, are reacting poorly to excess CO2.

Patrice Ayme’

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