Archive for the ‘Climate Catastrophe’ Category

Nature Collapsing, Plutocracy Thriving

May 6, 2019

Both phenomena are related. The more nature collapses, the more plutocracy thrives (see the multi-centennial fall of Rome, for reference). Small people and other losers have no interest to see nature collapse. However, plutocracy does. Because Pluto-Kratia, Evil-Power, is best expressed and justified during war-like states, and civilizational collapse sure qualifies.

Plutocracy survived the collapse of the Roman and Carolingian empires with flying colors. In the Roman case, most noble families had a bishop in their midst. The collapse of the Renovated Empire of the Romans (Renovatio Imperii Romanorum) and its renewal by the Ottos and Capets brought the feudal order, another plutocratic success.

Now is no different: we have a terminal CO2 crisis bringing in extreme, sudden temperature, acidification and ocean rises: 1% of US CO2 is from state subsidized private jets. Nobody notices, because media have made sure to create entire generations just preoccupied by celebrities, not by what is going on, which is really most significant.

Nor has the media been keen to notice the likes of Biden annihilated the Banking Act of 1933, in the 1990s, bringing in in the age of the financial plutocracy… itself a heavy financier of fossil fuels. So all what some schools are thinking of is installing “Apps”, and plastic grass, instead of teaching sustainable global citizenship. We are cruising towards an apocalypse, at an increasing pace: the Sixth Mass Extinction. The United Nations just came up (May 6, 2019) with an analysis made by 132 countries and 455 scientists: one million species are disappearing. For example, nearly all amphibians.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/06/world/one-million-species-threatened-extinction-humans-scn-intl/index.html

One problem with burning forests in the tropics is that what is left are often extremely poor soils (differently from northern European soils, which are very forgiving, explaining in great part why north west Europe replaced the Greco-Roman world…) Cattle grazing on a tract of illegally cleared Amazon forest in Pará State, Brazil. In most major land habitats, the average abundance of native plant and animal life has fallen by 20 percent or more, mainly over the past century,,, [Credit
Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times]
In Africa, burned forest is often replaced by lateritis, a soil which is red, baked, hard… for the good reason that it is full of Aluminum.

It is the Sixth Mass Extinction, but this time the dinosaurs have thermonuclear weapons.

What to do? Get involved, get aware, protest. Protests can become unbearable to the powers that be.

This is the way the fascist government of Brunei on the island of Borneo was just dealt with. It drew powerful international condemnation when it rolled out its interpretation of sharia laws on April 3. Now, the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, reverted his decision: after all, the country won’t enforce Islamic laws that include stoning to death for rape, adultery and gay sex.

Killing all the people who got killed in World War Two was atrocious. However, what is now unfolding has the potential to be way way worse. Einstein said he didn’t know which weapons will be used to fight World War Three, but next it would be sticks and stones. That was naively optimistic. If we acidify further the ocean with acid from CO2, we may kill the Earth’s oxygen making mechanism. Not really news, as this was clear five years ago already:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/global-hypoxia/  

Many behave as if there will be no tomorrow, because they feel that way! It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, it has to be resisted.

What’s needed, beyond recording what’s going on, is interpreting it, going beyond, building ideas, and moods meant to last. Only deeper thinking can do this, and ensure a planet capable of lasting. Because we are not at the regional level anymore. When climate change, plus nefarious human impact, forced the Harappan civilization to abandon its homeland, the Indus valley, it was dealing with forces it had no idea existed. Maybe there are such forces out there. But there are also plenty of forces we can see, and which are plenty lethal enough, at civilizational scale, and the scale of the entire biosphere. Stop. And think. One million species are marching towards extinction, among the plants and animals we know.

Patrice Ayme

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From NYT:

WASHINGTON — Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded.

The 1,500-page report, compiled by hundreds of international experts and based on thousands of scientific studies, is the most exhaustive look yet at the decline in biodiversity across the globe and the dangers that creates for human civilization. A summary of its findings, which was approved by representatives from the United States and 131 other countries, was released Monday [May 6, 2019] in Paris. The full report is set to be published this year.

Its conclusions are stark. In most major land habitats, from the savannas of Africa to the rain forests of South America, the average abundance of native plant and animal life has fallen by 20 percent or more, mainly over the past century. With the human population passing 7 billion, activities like farming, logging, poaching, fishing and mining are altering the natural world at a rate “unprecedented in human history.”

At the same time, a new threat has emerged: Global warming has become a major driver of wildlife decline, the assessment found, by shifting or shrinking the local climates that many mammals, birds, insects, fish and plants evolved to survive in. When combined with the other ways humans are damaging the environment, climate change is now pushing a growing number of species, such as the Bengal tiger, closer to extinction.

As a result, biodiversity loss is projected to accelerate through 2050, particularly in the tropics, unless countries drastically step up their conservation efforts.

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Thermonuclear Fusion As A Moral Imperative To Avoid Ultimate Climate Catastrophe

March 26, 2019

90% of energy comes from burning fossil fuels. We have a climate crisis without precedent in 66 million years. True, Earth had bigger climate changes than what we have seen so far. So far, we have seen one degree Celsius, worldwide, but five degrees are around the corner.

True, at the warmest, something like 50 million years ago, overall planet temperature may have been 5 degrees Celsius higher. And true, when the climate oscillated furiously in the last 2.6 million years, sometimes it was 5 degrees Celsius colder than now, during the “Glacial Maxima”, or even one degree Celsius or so  higher, during the Eemian (115, 000 years ago, the last warm episode, caused by geometrical conjunction of Earth orbit details and the disposition of the continents towards the North Pole).

True some oscillations were fast and furious, like the famous “Dryas” episodes, the first one of which was 18K ago, or so (a mini glaciation suddenly affected Europe, caused by a brutal shut-down of the Gulf Stream beyond a place forward of Iceland, caused by a sudden lid of sweet, light, super cold water from the flow of an enormous cold lake).

However, most big changes were slow, species had time to evolve. Interestingly, the erratic climate of the last 50,000 years may have led to the extinction of the Neanderthals (in a theory mixing the exponential function with the concept of “quasi-extinctions”… from yours truly…) So climate violence is not without consequences.

But, as I said, the changes, especially the warming episodes, were rather slow. Not so now. Not only we are facing potentially the greatest warming since the Carboniferous, or maybe the greatest warming, ever, but we are facing it at a torrid pace: millions of years packed in a century or two.

Greta Thunberg The 15-Year Old Child spoke, and she spoke well!:

We are stuck because the worldwide production of energy is dominated by fossil fuels, and other burning of carbon made materials… the so-called “biofuels”, which sounds good until one realizes that it means burning forest and the like…

Not only the burning of enormous amounts of carbon generating humongous CO2 is disastrous, but it is getting ever worse. At some point, soon, the climate will break.

Yes, it  is not just a question of “climate changing”, and “global warming”. At some point soon, the climate will break. Actually ice shelves in Antarctica and glaciers in Greenland have been observed, disintegrating literally in minutes.

What to do? Miracles! Science made miracles. Science fabricated miracles already. Indeed one unexpected good surprise already happened: Photovoltaic cells (PV). PV is now the cheapest unsubsidized energy source, and even more so, when the dramatically adverse health consequences of fossil fuels are taken into account (probably much more than ten million dead each year, worldwide). However PV cannot work everywhere, and are not enough for 100% transportation, residential and industrial usage, except in relatively small zones in the middle of some deserts, like the Sahara. And that’s after digging for fossil water, and vast construction, CO2 intense, of buildings and exportation of industrial finished products.

Notice that the amount of waste varies enormously, per country and per capita. For example, look for France. France creates only one percent (1%) of the world CO2. That’s amazing, considering that France has the world’s fifth GDP. Yes, bigger than Great Britain, and only less than Germany, Japan, the PRC, and the US. In particular, Russia, with twice the population of France, and much smaller GDP, emits 5 times the CO2. US citizens, per capita, make three times more CO2 than the French….

The problem is: how do we make enormous quantities of energy in a way that doesn’t create enormous pollution? Not all countries have sun and wind, and water (although California does). A first approach is nuclear fission. That has bad reputation, because it was, for decades, mostly a military program. So safety shortcuts were taken. Also now California, which is full of sun, water, towering mountain ranges all over (thus hydro trivers), and oil, has decided to close its last nuclear reactor. California is where they fabricate most movies and thus most moods.

Much of the USA’s wealth rests on the fact that, for nearly 160 years, the USA was the world’s primary oil producer. Actually the world petroleum industry, was born in Pennsylvania in 1859, when “Colonel” Drake found how to extract “rock oil”.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/thermonuclear-fusion-or-civilization-fission/

Recently the Trump administration reinstated in full the US funding for ITER, the International THERMONUCLEAR Experimental Reactor constructed in France.

Thermonuclear fusion is the only enormous energy source that can be envisioned at this point. It is not a question of its possible existence some day, but of its profitability (ITER targets producing ten times more energy than is poured in from the French energy grid). However, because of the bad mood of the powers that be, funding for ITER was slowed down to a trickle. that’s all the more abysmal as ITER is a world project so everybody, and not necessarily the most competent countries, pitch in with some equipment of their own making…

Thus some circles started to agitate for a US thermonuclear reactor (after good results of a brand new thermonuclear reactor in Germany). A US reactor will enable to get the best talent to concentrate best practices.

Why do the powers that be love fossil fuels so much? Because oil means lots of power in very few hands. That goes very well with the present day oligarchy: oiligarchy promotes oligarchy. Countries where oil production is concentrated, with the exception of Norway are all more or less corrupt (yes, Canada, we are looking at you, kid). Massive plutocratic corruption then trickle down: some major Obama administration officials, like Susan Rice, his “National Security Adviser”, son of her dad, a director of the US Federal Reserve, had million of dollars in the stock of oil pipeline….

As Greta said, we need to listen to science, knowledge. We need more knowledge to get out of this mess. The alternative is the old fashion way: reduce human population massively, by culling. A good nuclear winter and killing 95% of humanity would give the biosphere a respite.

Otherwise, the most recent research (2019) shows that the atmosphere could heat up so much that clouds won’t form as they do now, and a further jump of eight (8) degree Celsius would occur. That is astounding. But it’s not just a theory. Actually, it was the other way around: such jumps were found in the fossil record, and couldn’t be explained… until now. Now that we have found that a tripling of the CO2 would make clouds disappear.

That explains why crocodiles have, more than once in the past, enjoyed the Arctic ocean, and sunned them on  beaches in Greenland graced by palm trees.

After such a jump of eight degrees Celsius globally, from the disappearance of clouds, on top of a rise of five degrees, at least half of the presently inhabited lands would be too hot for biological life, aside from the sort of bacteria which live below volcanoes (thermophilic bacteria). Is that what we want?

If that’s not what we want, there is only one solution: more brainiacs, more science, enough of it to replace the 90% of present day energy production by thermonuclear fusion. At this point, it’s just a matter of building big reactors.

Patrice Ayme

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Note 1: Oh, by the way, once we become good at the simplest thermonuclear fusion, we could use the fusion of Helium 3 (there is quite a bit in space, including Saturn, Jupiter, and the Moon). The charm of Helium 3 is that it fuses in such a way that it does not fling neutrons at the reactors’ walls (because it produces no neutrons). Hence there would be no radioactivity whatsoever (thus the reactor could last centuries…)

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Note 2: I thank my daughter Athena, 9 years old, to draw my attention to Greta and ask me more information on the subject at hand (my verbal answer is distilled in the essay above… poor child…)

 

How To Remove CO2 From the Atmosphere: Water Volcanic, Calcium & Magnesium Desertic Tropical Ranges. Contemplate Indonesia!

January 13, 2019

DID INDONESIA CAUSE THE LAST THREE MILLION YEARS OF GLACIATION? SOLVING THE CO2 CATASTROPHE BY ACTIVE, FEASIBLE REMOVAL:

In the last 500 million years, three-quarters of the time or so, the planet enjoyed a hot, Jurassic style climate. It was not the case during the evolution of the genus Homo, one characteristic of which is the ability to endure cold and even subpolar climate. Enormous glaciations then rolled in, one after the other. What happened? Well, the mystery has now been unveiled.

This is not just a curiosity. Indeed, said discovery provides us with a solution to the CO2 catastrophe: just water dry tropical volcanic ranges and similar areas with plenty of calcium and magnesium, and the CO2 will be removed, stabilizing the atmosphere. Watering those particular mineral areas provides with a believable mechanism to decrease CO2 when enormous amounts of cheap clean energy is available… in a generation or two. (This is the first plausible mechanism ever suggested to do so!)

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Sacred mountain of Zoroastrianism, the major historical religion of civilization, Mount Damavand is the highest point in Iran higher than the Alps or even the Caucasus. It is an active volcano in full sight of gigantic Teheran. The gas and fumaroles on top was a problem when I circled the crater. This is the northern side, facing the Caspian sea, a lush area. Other sides are extremely dry, and I propose to water them. That of course would require gigantic, power-hungry engineering beyond the capability of present civilization.

Global climate change around 3–4 Million years ago influenced the evolution of hominids, via the aridification of Africa, and what happened next, the Pleistocene glaciation about 2.75 Myr ago… thereafter the Earth’s climate suffered rolling glaciations… while human species evolved ever faster.

Most explanations of these climatic events used to involve changes in circulation of the North Atlantic Ocean due to the closing of the Isthmus of Panama. The idea is that a strong current of warm water was going north from the Pacific, joining, and augmenting the Gulf Stream, thus preventing any ice to form in the Arctic. With no ice in the Arctic, the albedo of Earth was significantly lower, thus all these infrared, instead of being sent back to space by reflecting snows, were trapped in the Arctic. A warm Arctic brought temperatures up, overall.

However, the closure of the Indonesian seaway 3–4 Myr ago could also be responsible for these climate changes: it acts similarly to the contemporaneous Panama closing (but as we will see, Indonesia does more than Panama). Closing the Indonesian seaway brought the aridification of Eastern Africa. The simplest theory and results from ocean circulation modelling show that the displacement of mighty New Guinea, about 5 Myr ago, at 100 kilometers per million years, going north, and west, closed the seaway. (But not just that, as we will see.)

That would have switched the source of flow through Indonesia—from warm South Pacific to relatively cold North Pacific waters (all waters below 100 meters are now blocked by narrow, shallow straights inside the Indonesian archipelago). This blockage would have decreased sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean, leading to reduced rainfall over Eastern Africa. Changes in the equatorial Western Pacific, by making heat stagnate there, probably reduced atmospheric heat transport from the tropics to higher latitudes, stimulating global cooling around the poles, and the eventual growth of ice sheets., which, in turn, cooled the planet further!

All of a sudden, shallow waters all over! The right side, the gigantic island of New Guinea, moved north, but also west, at 100 kilometers per million years, strangling the Indonesian seaway, starting 5 millions years ago (coincident with the same in Mesoamerica) This blocked the Earth’s warmest waters to enter the Indian ocean.

But there is another way in which Indonesia enters the climatic picture: CO2 removal by chemical reaction with basaltic rocks. This happened because the tectonic collisions caused the rise of high mountains, hence intense weathering.

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Basalt Make CO2 Into Rock:

Basalt generally has a composition of 45–55 % SiO2, 2–6 wt% total alkalis, 0.5–2.0% TiO2, 5–14 wt% FeO and 14% or more Al2O3. Contents of CaO are commonly near 10%, those of MgO commonly in the range 5 to 12%.

Limestone is a sedimentary rock which is often composed of the skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral, foraminifera and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3).

Immediate conclusion: if one adds CO2 to basalt, one should be able to make limestone. Indeed:

When CO2 is in presence of water, it reacts and makes carbonic acid. Putting lots of CO2 into water makes a Seltzer water which is acidic enough to destroy basalt. The low pH water (3.2) worked to dissolve the calcium and magnesium ions in the basalts, which then reacted with the carbon dioxide to make calcium and magnesium carbonates (which are whitish). Cores drilled into experimental sites in basalt showed rock with the tell-tale white carbonates occupying the pore spaces. Roughly it seems that 100 kilograms of basalt turned 50 kilograms of CO2 into rock. So far so good… One could locate power plants on top of basalt flows? Probably not: the process costs of the order of $17 a ton… That would augment the cost of burning oil by 20% (back of envelope computation in my head)… One has to understand the cheapest energy is already photovoltaic energy… In 2018…

Researchers tagged the CO2 they injected in basalt, 600 meters down, with carbon-14, a radioactive form of carbon. None of the injected CO2 was leaking back to the surface or finding its way out through a distant watercourse, as no radioactivity came out: the capture of CO2 by basalt is highly efficient.

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Indonesia is sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere:

Many mountains in Indonesia and New Guinea consist of ancient volcanic rocks from belching volcanoes caused by subduction of various tectonic plates. When ocean floors were caught in a colossal tectonic collision between a chain of island volcanoes and a continent, those volcanic  rocks were thrust high. Lashed by warm tropical, acidic, corrosive, penetrating rains, these basaltic rocks react with CO2 sequestering the product inside the basalt. That is why, with only 2% of the world’s land area, Indonesia accounts for 10% of its long-term CO2 absorption. Its mountains could explain why massive ice sheets have persisted, waxing and waning, for several million years: evidence shows that the normal state of the planet in the last half a billion years, is a hothouse, with crocodiles all the way to the north of Greenland…

Researchers claim to have found that such tropical mountain-building collisions in wet areas coincide with nearly all of the half-dozen or so significant glacial periods in the past 500 million years. “These types of environments, through time, are what sets the global climate,” said Francis Macdonald, a geologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Washington, D.C. (December 2018). If Earth’s CO2 has a machine producing it, the rise of mountains like Indonesia’s could be it.

Long-term changes in the planet’s temperature are governed by shifts in CO2 atmospheric density. Plate tectonics refurbishes continually the planet’s surface. For decades, scientists have debated what turned the CO2 on, to the dramatic extent it did. Volcanoes were long prime suspects. Volcanoes erupt where plates dive beneath one another. By spewing carbon from Earth’s interior, they could turn up the thermostat. That was the idea. But it’s a bit stupid: CO2 was in atmosphere, gets captured by rocks, sediments, gets buried, and then belched out: it sounds like a rather quick (on a geological scale) zero sum game: what comes in comes right out…

Rock weathering of massive mountain ranges, seems a smarter approach: it depends on mountain building driven by plate tectonics. Indeed, sometimes there are giant mountain ranges, as big, or bigger than the present Himalayas. Sometimes, most often, not: as observed, the planet is a hot-house ¾ of the time, just as there are no massive wet tropical ranges, most of the time.

The Hercynian range, which spans the Appalachians, Scotland, and countless ranges in Europe, is still here for all to see (started 480 millions ago, it became Himalayan like when Africa collided with North America as part of the construction of Pangea).

When tropical mountains contain seafloor rocks rich in calcium and magnesium, they react with CO2 dissolved in rainwater to form limestone, which is eventually buried on the ocean floor. Both processes matter in removing CO2 from the atmosphere, This also explains why there were gigantic amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere in the Carboniferous era, and they mysteriously vanished: they are in all these rocks, such as all these limestone ranges….

Having the right rocks to drive the CO2-chewing reaction is not sufficient. Climate matters, as I said. For example, the Siberian Traps, a region that saw devastating volcanic eruptions 252 million years ago, are rich in such rocks but absorb little CO2: it’s too damn cold, the chemistry doesn’t happen much because of the cold (details aren’t clear yet).

More clearly, in Arabia, one finds plenty of heat and volcanic rocks, but the solvent, water, is absent: CO2 rains down as carbonic acid after reacting with water… But only then. So… If could make it rain in Arabia, we could eliminate massive amounts of CO2. @,lacks another ingredient. “It’s hotter than Hades but it doesn’t rain.” Indonesia’s location in the rainy tropics is just right. “That is probably what’s keeping us centered in an ice age,” Kent adds.

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The Preceding Suggests THE Viable, Sustainable and Definitive Remedy to the CO2 catastrophe:

Lots of cockmaniacal plans have been proposed to mitigate the CO2 catastrophe (Harvard, the Pluto university, is going to try to throw a veil on the atmosphere… although that won’t solve the CO2 problem, but trust the nasty to come up with nastier…)

Some of mitigation of CO2 will happen naturally: as, and if, the Siberian Traps become tropical, and if it rains there much, CO2 will be removed from the atmosphere. More generally, as the entire planet warms, it moistens up, and all volcanic zones of the planet become CO2 absorbing: this is a natural way to prevent CO2 from raising so much the planet boils.

Practically, if one finally masters thermonuclear power, and, or, photovoltaic energy becomes super cheap, one could make it rain artificially (or massively water) dry tropical volcanic rock areas (such as Arabia, Iran). Thus one would remove enormous quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere. That will have to be done by 2100, just to stabilize the climate in the standard hothouse, the Jurassic mode ( what Trump calls a “super climate”), with sea level ten meters higher and crocodiles in Newfoundland…

Over the past few years, academic Macdonald and his collaborators have searched for other times when tectonics and climate could have conspired to open an Indonesia-size CO2 sink. They found that glacial conditions 90 million and 50 million years ago lined up neatly with the collisions of a chain of island volcanoes in the now-vanished equatorial Neo-Tethys Ocean with the African and Asian continents. A similar collision some 460 million years ago started to form the Appalachians, but it was thought to have taken place in the subtropics, where a drier climate (from trade winds) does not favor weathering. By reanalyzing ancient magnetic fields in rocks formed in the collision, Macdonald’s team found the mountains actually rose deep in the tropics. And their uplift matched a 2-million-year-long glaciation. “They’re developing a pretty compelling story that this was a climate driver in Earth’s past,” says Lee Kump, a paleoclimatologist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

Those cases are not exceptions. Indeed, the team compiled a database of every tectonic “suture”—the linear features left by tectonic collisions—known to contain ophiolites, characteristic pieces of sea floor, and pillow lavas and the like, volcanic sea floor, over the past half-billion years. Based on magnetism in each suture’s rocks and a model of continental drift, they mapped their ancient latitudes to see which formed in the warm and rainy tropics, and when. “We were surprised that this is not as complicated as we thought,” Macdonald said.

The team compared the results to records of past glaciations and found a strong correlation. They also looked for declines in volcanism, which might have cooled the climate (from lessening of CO2 emissions). But their influence was much weaker, Macdonald said.

A recent study challenges the mountain CO2 weathering-thermostat notion with evidence for the importance of volcanoes (as I said, it has to be rather a zero sum, when considering volcanoes from subduction, because what goes in comes pretty fast out!) The study used ages from thousands of zircons, durable crystals that can indicate volcanic activity, to show that upticks in volcanic emissions were the dominant force driving the planet’s warm periods. But there are two types of volcanisms: what I call “core volcanism” (“Traps”, Large Igneous Provinces, LIPs) brings in massive amounts of fresh CO2 from way down inside the mantle… It’s likely both streams of ideas have at least one hand on the truth.

The beauty of absorption by volcanic rocks of CO2 is that it explains not just why glaciations start, but also why they stop.

A hothouse Earth appears to be the planet’s default state, prevailing for three-fourths of the past 500 million years. We will have it again by 2100: the dice are thrown, it’s in the air.

An Indonesia-style collision may push the global climate into a glacial period, but only for a while. Mountains erode and continents drift. And the planet warms again.

Science doesn’t just bring understanding, it brings also the means to act on the universe. Now we have the trick to reduce CO2… (And I am, by the way, the first to propose it: massive watering of the desiccated zones!) To give us the means, we have to keep on deploying photovoltaic energy and thermonuclear reactors (I say “deploying”, because there is plenty of evidence that a massive thermonuclear reactor could work: the bigger, the more efficient, it’s a matter of mass against surface).

The alternative to the solution to the CO2 catastrophe by weathering and geological chemistry is a CO2 driven holocaust. Developing science and technology is not just profitable, pleasant, and human. It is also the moral thing to do. And the only moral solution to CO2 there is.

Patrice Ayme

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P/S: By public request, a partial list of references supporting the research above:

References: Closing of the Indonesian seaway as a precursor to east African aridification around 3–4 million years ago
Mark A. Cane & Peter Molnar
Nature volume 411, pages 157–162 (10 May 2001)

Swanson-Hysell, N.L. and Macdonald, F.A., 2017. Tropical weathering of the Taconic orogeny as a driver for Ordovician cooling, Geology, G38985. 1.

(That was 440 million years ago, and the continents looked nothing like now; only Siberia is recognizable… It was a free floating continent…)

Tropical uplift may set Earth’s thermostat
Paul Voosen
Science 04 Jan 2019:

For scary, or when Antarctica partially melted under similar conditions to what we are going to get within a decade:

Antarctic ice melt 125,000 years ago offers warning
Paul Voosen
Science 21 Dec 2018:

 

Don’t Underestimate Earth’s Violence: Permian Mass Extinction Boosted By Ozone Destroying Gases

November 29, 2018

This is a violent universe. We are a violent species making peace in a violent universe, and it’s not easy. Even those who loudly advocate non-violence often end up feeding even more violence than if they had stayed silent. An example is the US peaceniks in the 1930s, who, anxious to appease the fascists and the gods of war, they claimed, refused entry to millions of refugees… including Anne Frank… Who all died (excuses anybody?) 

As violence is omnipresent and can’t be avoided, the next best thing is to understand it, so one can mitigate it. With floods of mind to spill like lava all over the universe… The first thing to understand is that violence is complicated, finely tuned (as demonstrated by the fact Earth itself goes at 30 kilometers per second along her orbit…)

I have argued that one of the secrets of the success of Earth’s biosphere is its powerful nuclear reactor, churning a giant iron ocean below our feet. It brings up a magnetic shield, and a CO2 burying mechanism, let alone nutrient providing volcanism. biological niches instigator…

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/life-giving-nuclear-earth-reactor/

Heat transfer from the interior of the intelligence giving planet is not smooth: it happens as catastrophic LIPs, Large Igneous Provinces, enormous eruptions which can last several million years, and create continent sized lava flows, miles thick.

It has long been obvious Siberian hyper volcanism caused the worst mass extinction:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/…/21/trapped-by-super-tr…/

The new research finding: a massive release of halogens by the eruption plume, made things worse from disappearance of ozone, thus an extreme UV mutagenicity & sterilization. Same for dinosaurs (I say)!

Even nowadays, 250 million years later the Siberian Traps are immensely impressive: everything in the picture above erupted in a cataclysm.

See: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-018-0215-4

“End-Permian extinction amplified by plume-induced release of recycled lithospheric volatiles

Magmatic volatile release to the atmosphere can lead to climatic changes and substantial environmental degradation including the production of acid rain, ocean acidification and ozone depletion, potentially resulting in the collapse of the biosphere. The largest recorded mass extinction in Earth’s history occurred at the end of the Permian, coinciding with the emplacement of the Siberian large igneous province, suggesting that large-scale magmatism is a key driver of global environmental change. However, the source and nature of volatiles in the Siberian large igneous province remain contentious. Here we present halo-gen compositions of sub-continental lithospheric mantle xenoliths emplaced before and after the eruption of the Siberian flood basalts. We show that the Siberian lithosphere is massively enriched in halogens from the infiltration of subducted seawater-derived volatiles and that a considerable amount (up to 70%) of lithospheric halogens are assimilated into the plume and released to the atmosphere during emplacement. Plume–lithosphere interaction is therefore a key process control-ling the volatile content of large igneous provinces and thus the extent of environmental crises, leading to mass extinctions during their emplacement.”

Siberian Traps today. Putorana-Taymir peninsula. Imagine all this as it was 250 million years ago: red-hot lava… Kilometers thick

The demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention. However an even more disastrous event called “the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all species of life on the planet. (Yes, it seems those extinction tend to happen every 200 million years, because blobs come up cyclically, as in a well-named “lava lamp”.)

The cause of the extinction was a massive volcanic eruption in what is contemporary Siberia in Russia, known as the “Siberian flood basalts.” What’s remarkable, the eruptions lasted for about one million years. (The eruption which caused the demise of dinosaurs lasted much longer, but peaked around the demise of these type of beasts, and many other types, such as ammonites… See my link above)

The recent study’s lead author Michael Broadley, a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Petrographic and Geochemical Research in Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France, observed: “The scale of this extinction was so incredible that scientists have often wondered what made the Siberian Flood Basalts so much more deadly than other similar eruptions”. I had the same objection brought up to me by a top paleontologist. This friend of mine favored the (energetically nonsensical) asteroid collision explanation of the demise of the dinosaurs. It is usually claimed that the LIP of the Cretaceous was not the largest… When, actually, the two places on Earth with giant LIP in full evidence are the Siberian Traps and the Deccan Traps…

Siberian Traps mapped. In violet: lava, In red: tuff (ashes, more or less crystallized together). 2 million square kilometers, roughly Western Europe, in area, and up to 4 million cubic kilometers… That is 4,000 times more voluminous than the largest asteroid imaginable crossing Earth’s orbit. 4,000 times the volume is the problem with asteroid theories of extinctions… Moreover, those 4,000,000 cubic kilometers of lava of the Traps were accompanied of much larger volumes of hot gases…. Same reasoning holds for the “dinosaur” extinction, the KT boundary… 

The Permian extinction affected not only larger animals, decimating about 70 percent of their species, but also killed off 96 percent of the world’s marine life, as well as countless insects. It inflicted such a loss of biodiversity that it took another 10 million years for the ecosystem to bounce back. Interestingly, large species which could burrow survived… and soon their descendants became “mammalian reptiles”… appearing dozens of millions of years before dinosaurs…

The explanation in plain language? The geologists aver that the instigated volcanic eruption was not just massive, but the plume carried massive quantities of halogen gases which destroyed the Earth’s ozone layer at the time. They found this by analyzing the composition of the lithosphere — the hard outer part of the planet, which includes the crust and the upper mantle. Before the Siberian Flood Basalts happened, the Siberian lithosphere featured much chlorine, bromine, and iodine, all chemical elements from the halogen group. Notably, breathing gas containing these elements is highly toxic and will usually result in death. But after the volcanic eruption, these elements seemingly vanished.

“We concluded that the large reservoir of halogens that was stored in the Siberian lithosphere was sent into the earth’s atmosphere during the volcanic explosion, effectively destroying the ozone layer at the time and contributing to the mass extinction,” Broadley elaborated.

Something similar happened with the Cretaceous extinction. As the time before last, animals which could burrow tended to survive… So did those with high metabolism, and the capacity to keep warm, as mammals and birds, or to lay supine and hibernate (crocs, turtles, snakes, etc.) Indeed at the end of the Cretaceous, temperatures collapsed (how the polar dinosaurs, who could survive cold winters, disappeared is probably a tale of its own… not yet told…)

***

It’s fashionable to whine we humans are violent beasts. Sure. Yes, indeed. So what? We can leave our dent on this hyper violent universe, precisely because we, too, can be violent. Yes, covering the planet with agriculture is violent (many hate the new Brazilian president, just because he dares to want to do what North Americans and Europeans long did to their own continents; devastate the biosphere to cultivate their gardens).

Yes we kill and eat animals (and may not need to do this much longer). This is how we rose. So here we are, our growing minds having been well fed by enormous quantities of animal vitamins, fat and proteins. And we are starting to understand what more and more all means. To do better than Traps and their LIPs, we need to be more deliberate. That’s called wisdom. We can only brandish our own plumes if we are smart… And the aim of all this human activity, this human violence onto the universe? Not to flood continents with lava, but the universe, with mind.

Patrice Ayme

 

Is The United Nations The Greatest Enemy Of The Climate?

October 9, 2018

In its latest report on climate change, October 2018, UN now claims that climate warming caused by human activities is reversible. That absurd claim is much more damaging than Trump clownish positions on climate change and coal. And yet, contrarily to what UN scientists claim, overshooting the target, and then cooling off will probably not work, because of nonlinear effects. Once ice is gone, ice doesn’t come back easily.

Climate change, so far, has been linear: every year a bit warmer, a bit more CO2. That’s not the main problem. The main problem is that the planet could switch to a Jurassic regime.

The UN scientific report on climate change claims that, in the likelihood that governments fail to avert 1.5 degree Centigrade (2.7 degrees F for US primitives) of warming, another scenario is possible: The world could overshoot that target, heat up by more than 2 C (3.6 F) degrees, and then through a combination of lowering emissions and deploying carbon capture technology, bring the temperature back down below the 1.5C (2.7F) degree threshold.

In that utopical UN climate round trip scenario, some damage would be irreversible, the report claims. (yes, sure, *some*). All coral reefs would die. However, the sea ice that would disappear in the hotter scenario would return once temperatures had cooled off, bleats the UN… The ice will return? This is unproven and most certainly FALSE: once the albedo of the Arctic is changed, it won’t come back, and the Arctic ocean will heat up. The Arctic ocean already contains enough heat 50 meters below its surface, to melt said frozen surface completely.

See: https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2018/09/12/prediction-the-arctic-will-melt-suddenly/

The global temperature graph up to 2018. One seems to see an overall acceleration, a nonlinearity, an exponential drawing itself… Exponentiation is the typical nonlinearity.

For governments, the idea of overshooting the target but then coming back to it is attractive because then they don’t have to make such rapid changes,” Dr. Shindell, a climate scientist at Duke University and an author of the report, said. “But it has a lot of disadvantages.” Yeah: like it won’t happen. Cheap enough CO2 capture, for example, doesn’t exist.  

Says NYT:

A landmark report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought and says that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.”

The report, issued on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, describes a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 — a period well within the lifetime of much of the global population.

The report “is quite a shock, and quite concerning,” said Bill Hare, an author of previous I.P.C.C. reports and a physicist with Climate Analytics, a nonprofit organization. “We were not aware of this just a few years ago.” The report was the first to be commissioned by world leaders under the Paris agreement, the 2015 pact by nations to fight global warming.

The report was written and edited by 91 scientists from 40 countries who analyzed more than 6,000 scientific studies. The Paris agreement set out to make a big wishful thinking about preventing warming of more than two degrees centigrade (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit as US primitives have it) above preindustrial levels — long considered a threshold for the most severe social and economic damage from climate change. Heads of small island nations, hounded by rising sea levels, also asked scientists to examine the effects of 1.5 C (2.7 F) degrees of warming.

Absent aggressive action, many effects once expected only several decades in the future will arrive by 2040, and at the lower temperature, the report shows. “It’s telling us we need to reverse emissions trends and turn the world economy on a dime,” said Myles Allen, an Oxford University climate scientist and an author of the report.

To prevent 1.5 C (2.7 F) degrees of warming, the report said, greenhouse pollution must be reduced by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050. It also found that, by 2050, use of coal as an electricity source would have to drop from nearly 40 percent today to between 1 and 7 percent. Renewable energy such as wind and solar, which make up about 20 percent of the electricity mix today, would have to increase to as much as 67 percent.

These requirements are not planned by most of the industrialized world. The report concluded that the greenhouse gas reduction pledges put forth under the Paris agreement will not be enough to avoid 2C (3.6 F) degrees of warming.

Despite the policy implications, which go against Trump’s climate skepticism stance, the United States delegation joined more than 180 countries on Saturday in accepting the report’s summary for policymakers. A State Department statement said that “acceptance of this report by the panel does not imply endorsement by the United States of the specific findings or underlying contents of the report… We reiterate that the United States intends to withdraw from the Paris agreement at the earliest opportunity absent the identification of terms that are better for the American people,” the statement said. The Trump position has been that a number of provisions of the Paris Accord, such as a 100 billion fund to help the Third World, are unacceptable.  However the fact remains that, after Obama’s giant fracking effort, major US states have the most ambitious sustainable energy programs (especially mighty California).

The UN scientific report emphasizes the necessity of a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. “A price on carbon is central to prompt mitigation,” the report concludes. It estimates that to be effective, such a price would have to range from $135 to $5,500 per ton of carbon dioxide pollution in 2030, and from $690 to $27,000 per ton by 2100. 

The cost of fossil-fuel emissions rose to its highest level in more than a decade in Europe, in August 2018, surpassing 20 euros a ton ($23) and adding to the cost of electricity across the continent.

Carbon emission permits have more than quadrupled from less than 5 euros since the middle of 2017 after European Union governments agreed to cut away a surplus that had depressed prices of the CO2 permit market since the financial crisis that started in 2008. Utilities and industrial polluters need the certificates to cover greenhouse gas emissions they produce.

By comparison, in fossil fuel happy USA, under the Obama administration, government economists estimated that an appropriate price on carbon would be in the range of $50 per ton (but they did nothing, as usual in Obama’s administration). Under the Trump administration, that figure was lowered to a ridiculous $7 per ton. Those with Trump Derangement Syndrome will say: we told you so. However, in the area of climate change, Trump is mostly wind: he used to be a climate alarmist (not as bad as yours truly). Now Trump has skeptic, because it brings him votes (but in truth he does nothing, same as Obama).

Whereas what the UN is doing by claiming climate change can be reversed, (with sci-fi technology) is diabolical… and will hogtie leaders such as… Trump: how can one justify thorough changes in all of society, while being told, by the UN it’s all for nothing, it’s not necessary? 

What is going on? A form of ubiquitous corruption: scientists who authored the UN report are all, directly or indirectly, government employees. They want to please their employers, so that they can be paid, be influential, and honored. Those employers themselves are trying to please their plutocratic masters (and future employers). So they engineered a completely unrealistic wishful loophole, resting on non-existing technology (efficient, cheap, mass, planetary sized CO2 capture).

9 years ago, I pointed out the UN ignored the potential for a nonlinear climate change catastrophe:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/2-c-is-too-much/

Now the UN has done even worse: it claims that climate disasters are coming, but won’t cost that much (1% GDP for 1C of warming), & they are reversible. BS!

Patrice Ayme

Prediction: The Arctic Will Melt Suddenly

September 12, 2018

So far, the Arctic sea ice has melted at a pace which is best fitted with lines. 10.4% per decade, more exactly. It sounds reasonable, in first approximation, to suppose that will keep on that way. However, most changes start, in first approximation, linearly, before fitting higher power curves.

In the case of Arctic sea ice, a number of mechanisms seem possible to go from linear to nonlinear.  For example, the more sea ice melts, the warmer the sea gets, the harder it is to form sea ice. Such a self-feeding mechanism is an exponential.

However, we, humanity just found a huge new mechanism to potentially melt all ice, and it is operative. It is even of our own making! As with the Fall of Rome, one cause leads to others, which then can feed back on the first.

The discovery?

A blob of warm water, 50 meters below the surface of the Arctic ocean. Why does not come to the surface, if it is warmer than the water above it? Because it is abnormally salty, thus denser.

How was it created? The Chukchi Sea has become ice-free much too much of the year. It is just north of the Bering Strait, and lies on top of the flooded Beringia land bridge between Eurasia and North America. So it is shallow: average depth, 71 meters only, and warms up well. The Chukchi Sea warms up so much it becomes salty, and that salty water sneaks north below cold upper waters (it is blocked from going south by the Strait.

The redder, the more heat content in the Chukchi sea… When the Arctic Ocean starts to churn, the sea ice will all melt…Study lead author Professor Mary-Louise Timmermans, of Yale University (yes, a woman) said: We document a striking ocean warming in one of the main basins of the interior Arctic Ocean, the Canadian Basin… the upper ocean in the Canadian Basin has seen a two-fold increase in heat content over the past 30 years.

The researchers traced the source to waters hundreds of miles to the south, where reduced sea ice has left the surface ocean more exposed to summer solar warming.

Professor Timmermans added: This means the effects of sea-ice loss are not limited to the ice-free regions themselves, but also lead to increased heat accumulation in the interior of the Arctic Ocean that can have climate effects well beyond the summer season.

 

What next? A strong storm, an Arctic hurricane (they happen!)  could push cold waters out, and that would force the warm water up. I would venture to say that this is exactly what happened in August 2012 (generating thereafter the smallest Arctic sea ice ever recorded, by a long shot).

The same will happen again in the future, on a grander scale.

And all the Arctic sea ice could melt, thus warming the Arctic ocean enough to melt all ice, and that in turn, could warm up the ocean enough that summer to prevent the return of the ice thereafter…

It goes without saying that, after the Arctic ocean is ice-free, trillions of tons of methane hydrates laying inside the shallow sea floor will fiercely erupt, freeing trillions of tons of methane. It has happened in the past, and can be violent enough for tsunamis. It is actually already started, albeit on a small-scale, relative to what it could become. Methane is a greenhouse gas with more than 25 times the warming power of CO2 (the “forcing” effectiveness to be a bit more technical). Thus our effort to engineer a man-made Jurassic climate will make great strides. Maybe we will see class 5 hurricane strike Canada?

Fun springs eternal!

Let’s re-engineer a few dinosaurs and pterosaurs, once Canada’s Arctic archipelago is covered with forests, as we are at it…

Patrice Ayme

    

 

European Biofuel Criminals: Elected Democracy Doesn’t Work

May 15, 2018

Every day, the European propaganda machine tells us how good Europeans are, because they hate Trump so much. In the latest development, Trump kills Gaza baby by forcing his parents to expose their child to Israeli tear gas, so great was their indignation that Israel persists to have the same capital for 3,300 years, in spite of Muhammad having flown there on a winged horse, as all islamizing Muslims know.

However, by crucifying Trump all day long, the European legislators and their friends and employers, the lobbyists, are throwing gold dust in our eyes, it’s highly profitable, if not for orangutans, at least, to them:

***

THE CRIMINALS IN OUR MIDST; THOSE IN “POWER”, POWERING THEMSELVES EVER MORE: THE CASE OF EUROPE AND PALM OIL FUEL

We are led by the corrupt. You could cut down the entire Amazon forest, ship all the trees to Europe and burn them, claiming you replace fossil fuel burning, and corrupt EU law and its corrupt judges and legislators would count that as a 100 percent greenhouse gas reduction

Many years ago, I campaigned on my sites against “biofuels”. The idea of turning food into fuel is a monstrosity: it’s putting locomotion above survival, it tells  us it’s OK to kill people, as long as we can move: a parody of the worst mass criminal imperialism. Yet, biofuels became Politically Correct. And now are a mass, biomass PC phenomenon.

Cuddle with the Orangutans not: Palm Oil Mass Criminal Eradication of the Biosphere: The 100% PC European Union Law is turning Indonesia (above!) Into Hell. Or, at least, fuel.

PALM oil is found in food and cosmetics, and the mass cultivation of palm is destroying the biosphere, rainforests, ecologies and orangutans. Besides, it’s bad for the cardiovascular system (epidemiology in places using palm oil has shown). In pathetic efforts some grocers and companies are halting the use of palm oil in some products.

Yet, the real problem with palm oil isn’t in your kitchen or bathroom. In Europe, it is in your car. Or, more precisely, its tank.

Half of all the palm oil imported by the European Union is turned into “biodiesel” and blended into conventional fuel to power cars and trucks. Mixing palm oil to “green” fuels crazily triples carbon emissions… instead of doing what it was advertised to be doing, reducing said emissions. And the palm oil addiction is subsidised by the European Union: taxpayers are legally forced to destroy rainforests, & accelerate the climate catastrophe!

People don’t know that they have palm oil in their fuel tanks,” says Laura Buffet of Transport & Environment in Brussels, Belgium, which campaigns for cleaner transport in Europe.

How did we get there?

It’s always the same: a few self-important monkeys get to power, or were born that way, and they are promised lots more bananas, a better cages, business class travel, a nice retirement… if only they take whom the mightiest and wealthiest view as the right decisions.

Just like the Nazis, these leaders of ours shooting palm oil will be OK, if the misdeeds they commit are hidden from the general population. Thus they keep the general population in a carefully organized darkness. They will be even more OK, if, like the German population supporting the Nazis in 1930s, said population learn not to dig too deep to find out what is really going on.

Global palm oil production hit 65 million tonnes in 2017, with 20 percent used for biofuel, says data firm Palm Oil Analytics.

Under European rules, 10 percent of transport energy should come from “renewable” sources by 2020 (is rainforest “renewable”? No! It takes centuries to grow, especially on poor soils, as in Borneo). Thus countries are blending biofuels like palm-oil biodiesel with conventional fuels.

Transport & Environment calculates that using palm-oil biodiesel triples emissions versus burning fossil fuels, based on figures compiled for the EU.

This tripling in CO2, is not just from burning the fuel, but also from burning rainforests to grow oil palm, which releases lots of carbon. What’s more, there are vast stores of peat under many rainforests, which when drained decompose (methane!) and can release carbon for decades… They can catch fire, burn for months…

In January, the European parliament voted to end subsidies for palm-oil biodiesel from 2020. The vote has no force, though, as the European Parliament has no force: the dirty little secret of the EU is that governments decide, especially the big ones (Germany, France). Moreover, if the EU ends subsidies for palm-oil biodiesel, while keeping its overall biofuel targets, cars will be fuelled with soybean or rapeseed oil instead… and that’s much more destructive for the environment (palm is several times more efficient by surface unit). However, then the price of other vegetable oils will shoot up, increasing palm oil relative advantage… as happened in the USA.

Under its perverse self-declared “Democratic” leadership, the USA came to mandate that conventional fuels must be blended with biofuel… But the US hasn’t approved the use of palm oil because its carbon emissions are the highest of any vegetable oil. Hence, as more corn, and soybean were turned into biodiesel, bringing up the price of other vegetable oils, the US started importing large quantities of palm oil for use in food… as it is the cheapest.

There is a much better way to green transport: electric locomotion. Electric cars are already cheaper to run than cars powered by fossil fuels, produce hardly any air pollution and can be powered by solar or wind energy…. Solar and wind are now the cheapest UNSUBSIDIZED energy sources…

Bioenergy is an inefficient form of solar energy. Plants capture only a fraction of one percent of solar energy compared with 16 per cent for current solar panels. Solar panels as used on satellites have nearly 50% efficiency (OK, they are expensive)… and a combination of (the new) Perovskites and Silicon let us hope to get soon such efficiency on the ground, in cheap solar cells.

The challenge now is to persuade our corrupt government officials that they have run out of excuses to prop up the fossil and biofuel industry, which pays them under the table.

Ending subsidies for all food-based fuels and other “biofuels” would be a win for forests, climate action, taxpayers – and orangutans. And also for the air. Recently I flew (for family reasons) over the French Alps, Piedmont, Switzerland, Germany. The air above the Alps was clear, be they French or Swiss, one could see hundreds of kilometers in full detail. Piedmont was polluted significantly (all Italian industry is there, and there are high mountains, north, west and south). The pollution over Germany was astounding. A brown cloud obscured all beyond ten miles. Thank Angela Merkel lignite burning policy for that.

Ah the Germans… Do they ever learn? Friedrich Nietzsche: …”we are too open-minded, too malicious, too spoiled, also too well-informed, too “traveled”: we far prefer to live on mountains, apart, “untimely,” in past or future centuries, merely in order to keep ourselves from experiencing the silent rage to which we know we should be condemned as eyewitnesses of politics that are desolating the German spirit by making it vain and that is, moreover, petty politics.”

PM Angela Merkler wanted to prove she was ecologically correct by wasting nuclear power: nevermind that coal has killed thousands of Germans, a year, for generations, although nuclear power has not killed even one German. That’s PC for you. Just as she wanted to prove she was no racist by accepting a million Muslim refugees, all of a sudden (voters have sobered her up)…. (Just ask the French, who accepted 30,000 Chechen Muslim refugees, supposedly pursued for their religion by Putin, and now some of the youth so accepted kill French citizens in the name of Allah, because Allah, a friend of theirs, said so, or so say the famous epileptic analphabet caravan raider, and serial rapist… )

The Germans wasted much of Europe in the 1914-1945 period. They just didn’t think too well about they were doing, the human and cosmic angles were lagging… What of the Japs? Same idea, in the same period: follow orders, don’t think too much. So of this mood, all to present in Germany and Japan, the old Axis mood, still lingers all too much… All this CO2 emitted kills, and will kill much more, especially indirectly…

So the Tokyo Power company locates a nuclear power plant along the shore, at sea level, in an area notorious for super giant tsunamis, with warning signs 12 centuries old… And the reactors survive a nine Richter quake, but then get hit with a 34 meters wave. Oops, forgot backup power, some of the reactors melt down, explode, people nearly die, region evacuated. What to do? Make a bad situation worse: Japan has decided to replace nuclear power (bad, if badly done), by coal power (worse). Actually Japanese accountants have already computed that the few coal plants added already will kill the equivalent of 60,000 full human lives, from their pollution…

As I said, above, except in very high latitudes, the energy problem is solved: just use PhotoVoltaics…

Morality means sustainability, and it’s all very practical… but we will have to change our political system to direct democracy, if we want to remove the corruption element found in our present politics. The case of biofuels, burning food for greed, is a case in point.

Patrice Ayme

Climate Catastrophe, February 2018

February 14, 2018

A climate catastrophe is enfolding out there. Potentially the biggest in 65 million years, or more. This being civilization, chances are that, as the catastrophe unfolds, our rotten leaders, or one of them at least, and it could be just the plump Kim or his Swiss educated, stern, haughty, smirking, black dressed, even younger sister, decides to distract us all, with a nice thermonuclear showdown.

(For rotten contemplate, Israeli PM Netanyahu, which Israeli police wants arrested, or South Africa’s Jacob Zuma: both are the rule, among the world’s great leaders. What makes them exceptional is that institutions, in Israel or South Africa, are after them. In most places, institutions are already too rotten themselves, to do this… Every two weeks, Obama went to visit his multibillionaire masters in the Silicon Valley tech monopolies; I know Californians who were in love with the sounds of his helicopter armada, every two weeks, as he came to receive the latest payments. And they still are in love. Never mind that this killed democracy and innovation…)

To document these titanic climate happenings while they occur, I will regularly post a “Climate Catastrophe” series, from brand new “moulins” in the supposedly indestructible East Antarctic ice shield (now melting, to the specialists’ unfathomable surprise) to Black Beetle devouring high altitude and high latitude trees…

Capetown is supposed to run out of water in April: an exceptional drought festers. It will the first large (4 million) urban area to run out of water. And NOT the last: one expects the dry belts to move up towards the poles. North of southern South Africa, there is Namibia, and it’s very dry…

The climate is getting disorganized, worldwide, as expected. In California, the drought is not just back, it never left (last year it flooded in California, right. However, flooding in some desert areas is chronic). Snow levels are now the lowest. Ever. The Sierra forest, 10,000 years old, is dying. The situation in California is hyper catastrophic, but nobody is talking. Officially the drought is over… but has never been worse!

Mount Cook, New Zealand. It is hard to believe, but we are on track to have all this ice disappear. That aesthetic blow will accompany an unconceived biological disaster, planet wide, which will disrupt all of civilization, in all ways. Mt Cook lost 50 meters in altitude, in a recent quake…

And our politicians, our self-declared leaders, are doing… nothing. Nothing much, besides moving their mouth parts. It’s not just Trump. Trump is a red herring, a scarecrow people brandish to excuse themselves from thinking, and absolve themselves, by calling him the cause of everything. In reality, the US Federal tax on gasoline is unchanged since 1993, and that has nothing to do with Trump. Obama could have brought the tax up, when he had a supermajority. But he was too busy getting guidance from big money. (Most plutocrats are gas-guzzlers, watch their private jets, or then think, like Trump, that, the more energy, the better…)

The indifference to massive taxes on fossil fuels in the USA has everything to do with the US population feeling little need to do something serious about the climate catastrophe, because it sees no catastrophe looming. Among young people (the ones with the rage to protest) the mental cancer of the so-called “social networks”, with their “likes”, “bots”, millions of “friends”, “trendings”, and veracity from (engineered) popularity or “links” have become the reference for thinking. That thought is organized by plutocrats, for plutocrats.

In England a so-called “judge” (an excellent phrase and concept of Trump, by the way) decided to keep Wikileaks’ Julian Assange under embassy arrest. He has been there for more than 5 years. The corrupt so-called “judge”, in a grandiloquent opinion, declared that Assange seemed to view himself above the law (Assange had good reason to fear deportation to the USA). Originally, Assange had been charged for raping a CIA agent (!) Sounds unbelievable, but I didn’t make it up. To celebrate that, she organized a party for him, two days later, complete with glowing tweets. But then the masters in Washington called, and everybody knew that Obama and his goons would do anything to arrest Assange (Clinton just called him a traitor and a Russian agent; Assange is not US, and Main Stream Media have authenticated many of his stories; Washington was furious, because Wikileaks revealed war crimes by the USA which were left unprosecuted… although those denounced the cover-up, were prosecuted with great ferocity).

Even worse, not content with uncovering US war crimes, Assange endangered cash cows of the so-called “democratic” party, and its pretend-opponents, such as Google.

The “rape” charges against Ms CIA agent were dropped by Sweden in May 2017. But the charge that Assange brutalized Washington and its agents (Google, etc.) is alive and well. Average US citizen don’t give a hoot: all too many are aware that one is best unaware that the USA has been doing so well from plundering, not just the nature of the biosphere, and nature itself, but also human nature.

All signals are red: global sea ice (both poles combined) is at the lowest ever, by a significant margin, sea level rise is accelerating, forests are dying, so are parts of the ocean. Plutocrats have been buying property in New Zealand, just in case. However, to give a slightly different perspective, from Ian Miller blog (Ian is a senior physical chemist):

Summer Storms, February 7, 2018:

New Zealand has just had some more bad weather. Not an outstanding statement, but it does add a little more to the sort of effects that climate change is bringing to us. We have had quite a warm summer. Certainly not as hot as Australia, but where I live we have had many days hotter than what before were outstandingly hot days. On many days, we had temperatures about ten degrees Centigrade above the January average. Apart from one day of rain shortly after Christmas, we had almost no rain from October and the country was in a severe drought. You may say, well, a lot of countries have months without rain – so what? The so what is that October and November are usually the rather wet months here.

Then a week ago we got a storm. It was supposed to be “a depression that was the remains of a tropical cyclone” but with wind speeds of 86 knots reported, by my count that is still a tropical cyclone, except it is no longer in the tropics. (It just limps in to a category 2 hurricane.) Why did it not die down? Probably because the surface waters of the Tasman are at record high temperatures, and seven degrees Centigrade above average in places, and warm sea waters feed these systems with extra energy and water.

Where I am, we were lucky because the system more or less passed us by. The highest wind speed here was 76 knots, but that is still more than a breeze. We also missed most of the rain. Yes, we did get rain, but nowhere near as much as South Westland, where 0.4 meters of rain falling in a day was not uncommon.

The rain did some good. A couple of scrub fires broke out in Otago, and it looked like they would be extremely difficult to contain, thanks to the drought. The best the fire service could do would be like spitting at it compared with what the cyclone brought to bear.

However, the main effect was to be a great inconvenience, especially to Westland. Westland is largely a very thin strip of flat land, or no flat land, running through very tortuous mountain country. If you have nothing better to do, go to Google Earth and zoom in on the town of Granity (41o37’47″S; 171o51’13″E). What you will see is the hill, which goes up very steeply to over 300 meters before rising more “gently to the town of Millerton at about 700 meters. Between the road and the sea is one layer of houses, and the storm was washing up into their back doors.

The hills and mountains are very young, which means they have very little erosion, whole a lot of the rock is relatively soft sedimentary rock. There are some granitic extrusions, and these merely provide another reason for the rest to be even more tortuous. The whole area is also torn apart, and constructed, from continuing earthquakes. Finally, there is fairly heavy subtropical rain forest, parts getting over ten meters of rain a year. The area is quite spectacular, and popular with tourists, and it is very well worthwhile driving through it. Once you could see glaciers flowing through rain forest; now, unfortunately, the glaciers have retreated thanks to global warming and they only flow down mountainsides but they are still worth seeing.

The net result of all this is that when this cyclone struck, the only road going north-south and was west of the mountains got closed thanks to slips (one was a hundred meters wide of fallen rock from a hill) and trees knocked over by the wind. Being stuck there would be an experience, especially since the place is basically unpopulated. If you want to see the wild, you tend to be short of facilities. Some were quite upset about this, but my question to them was, this cyclone was predicted for about three days in advance. If you really could not put up with it, why go there? One grump was recorded as saying, “This sort of thing would not happen in . . . ” (I left out the country – this person did not define them.) Well, no, it would not. They don’t get tropical cyclones, hurricanes typhoons, or whatever you want to call them, and they don’t have this difficult terrain. One way or another, we have to put up with weather.

However, the real point of this is to note there is still glacial progress being made to do anything sensible to hold global warming. There is a lot of talk, but most of it is of the sort, “We have to do . . . by the next fifty years.” No, we have to start a more determined effort now.

***

Another force 4 hurricane just struck Tonga and is now heading towards New Zealand. Yes, extra-tropical tropical cyclones were predicted, as a consequence of global warming, and have become facts (one hit Portugal last Fall; its enormous winds fed hundreds of fire storms before the rains hit). See the following essay, from 2008, to understand why the rise of temperature is just part of the problem:

Applying Equipartition Of Energy To Climate Change PREDICTS WILD WEATHER

“We” have to start a more determined effort? I agree. We are running out of time. As I said, raising fossil fuel taxes should be done immediately. And it’s not enough. And who is “we”? There is no “we” here! Our masters like it as it is, complete with a feeling of doom and gloom, alleviated by industrial escapism… The French president just declared that “counter-power” should not rise to the power of putting our great leadership, that great power, in difficulty, worldwide (or words to that effect). All our present leadership, worldwide, have not realized they are a new feudalism.

To get out of the hellish spiral we are in, a massive, total war effort in research and development should be engaged. Especially with thermonuclear fusion. However, the exact opposite has happened: the effort on ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, has been slowed down by ten (10) years… to save money (or, more exactly, how much it cost per year). Yet, at this point, it’s highly likely to work (especially in reactors larger than ITER)… modulo specific progress on an arsenal of attainable technologies. Thermonuclear fusion would replace ALL fossil fuels…

And the alternative is world war and one more return to the traditional fare of cannibalism (forget vegetarianism, when land is at a premium!)

You have been warned. It may be time to reconsider how people in general, and in particular the intellectuals, or experts, advising the great leaders, think! Hint: they are more biased than they think, and the more official the thinker, the more biased!

Patrice Aymé

The Plutocratic Chain Reaction, Civilization Killer, Biosphere Terminator, Neurobiological Disaster

January 19, 2018

Plutocracy is the most important disease of economics, sociology, civilization. Even worse: it interferes with neurobiology as a pathogene! It’s not intrinsic to humanity, but intrinsic to the combination of humanity’s intrinsic Dark Side, with civilization itself.

Our world is dying from plutocracy (although the patient is still talking and walking around, it is devoured from inside, its mind has become cancerous; look at the forests, not just the oceans, which are dying). Even without considering the potential of nuclear war…

Around 26 centuries ago, Pluto became the new name for Hades, God of the underworld, the world where the dead roamed. It was a Public Relation operation: the reputation of Hades was so terrible, nobody wanted to utter his name anymore. So a new name surfaced for Hades: Pluto. Pluto was then the god of hell, riches (precious minerals and stones are underground). Pluto could make itself invisible (thus the notion of lying, dissemblances and conspiracy are intrinsic to Pluto). After Hades promotion to the more general notion of Pluto, the latter meaning merged further with “daemon”, diablo, devil (from the Greek diaballein, to throw across), and, of course, Satan (from the Hebrew root “stn“, an adversary, often sent by God to bother humans, a meaning rather conserved in the Qur’an, intriguingly, yet coherently enough). PLUTOCRACY ARISES FROM SIMPLE MATHEMATICS:

Plutocracy is fundamentally just the fruit of a mathematical theorem: the quotient of two exponentials is itself an exponential. That’s how I explained (most of) the attenuation of Neanderthal genetic alleles, and also mass extinctions such as the disappearance of dinosaurs and their ilk. Indeed, the fastest growing wealth, or power (in the Pluto case) will overwhelm any other. So the apparition of monopolies of power is simple math.

Yes, the mathematics, and the root causes are the same as for the disappearance of Neanderthals, dinosaurs, etc:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/why-did-neanderthals-disappear/

But this time, the disappearance at hand is that of humanity and the entire biosphere!

Plutocracy didn’t invent the Dark Side of humanity. Right. However, it leverages it, using civilization itself. (This argument is used in Star Wars, implicitly: the immense power of the Jedis furthers leverages the Dark Side; this is what Luke Skywalker discovered to his dismay, in his older years! That’s the main theme of the 2017 movies, “The Last Jedi“). That doesn’t mean we have to throw civilization through the window (as various fascist systems proposed in the Twentieth Century; and many political and religious movements, including Chrsitianism, had effected prior: consider Saint Augustine’s tale of “Two Cities”, where the one on Earth, Rome, the Roman empire, had to cease to be, so the one is Heavens could rise…)

Modern sophisticates with a perverse, underhanded and conspiratorial agenda reduced the meaning of “Pluto” to “riches”. Thus, according to these hypocrites, according to those under-criticizing critters, “plutocracy” is just, solamente, the rule of wealth. However, this is in contradiction with multi-millennial wisdom. Old wisdom equated wealth and the commission of the worst sins. Time for civilization to re-read the classics!

The reduced interpretation of “plutocracy”, as just the rule of wealth is so primitive, unsophisticated and reductive that it misses a wisdom which is at the root of Bible. The Old Testament condemns those who gave themselves to the cult of the “Golden Calf”. The New Testament makes things even clearer by saying the rich man has as much chance to finish in heavens as a camel has to go through the eye of a needle. The Qur’an, while not as extreme on that point (how could it, with those wealthy Arabs owning all these slave girls?), mandates to give to charity (otherwise one is no Muslim).

Thus the rule of wealth is NOT the rule of what “Pluto” is, in full. It is just a small portion of it, the most visible, less significant part. It’s like the magnificent coat of a super venomous snake; what counts is the venom, not the shiny iridescent scales. In full Pluto is not just about riches, but also about hell, death, invisibility (thus fake news, lies and dissemblance). Plutocracy itself, Pluto + Kratos, is power (kratos), the power of Hell (Pluto).

Plutocracy is the rule of the few: few are wealthy enough, or evil enough to exert the rule of hell.

The exponential function tends to make civilizations unstable: the more power, or, what boils down to the same, wealth, a few individuals have, the more they tend to have.

Civilization is all about power: it provides enormous power to the collective, redistributes some to the individuals composing it.

Civilization provides the power to exponentiate small differences of status and riches into enormous differences. The end result is that some individuals have all the power, and others, the rest of humanity, nothing.

Now this is fundamentally inhuman. It is even worse than that. It is neurobiologically impossible. Human beings evolved to have (shared) power with other humans around them. A full human environment is an environment which empowers us.

Human brains can’t develop in full, let alone function in full otherwise. Thus the problem of having all the power only for a few is not just a moral problem, but a neurobiological one.

Indeed by making the environment serves them best, & them alone, satanically depriving others, to satisfy that glee on which they greedily suck, the hyper wealthy, the plutocrats, remove much of the environment that the rest of humanity needs to fully develop their brains, thus damaging the overall brainpower humanity can bring to bear. 

In the end, humanity’s decision making involves then only a few brains. The result is here for all to contemplate: even the Trump administration said that the rise of global temperature by 2100 could be as much as 4.8 degree Celsius. For comparison the coldest it got in the last three million years, the global temperature was only 3 degree Celsius lower than now (that was 20,000 years ago). The warmest it got was no more than more than roughly a degree Celsius higher than now (and sea level was nine meters higher; during the Eemian, 125,000 years ago).

In other words, Trump himself says we are on track for an unimaginable disaster, in the matter of climate (so why is he screaming about the Paris Accord? Trump really doesn’t want the USA to pay for the $120 billion fund to finance developing countries). It’s not Trump’s original sin, but the fault of the FASCIST principle which says only a few individuals or organizations, can, and are, habilitated to decide for all of humanity: that’s what really ruins us. The climate catastrophe was fully in evidence in 1990. But then plutocrats mobilized all the political activities so that they would serve themselves (examples: The capture of world governments by Murdoch, Goldman Sachs and its ilk, the abrogation under Clinton of the FDR laws against financial plutocracy, namely the Banking Act of 1933, Brexit, Obamacare, tax havens all over, etc.). Plutocrats are obsessed by themselves, that’s how they got where they are, and will use whatever to stay there. In their metaphysics heavens is hell, and hell, heavens.

And yet, fundamentally, plutocracy is all just mathematics gone metastatic, in civilizations which can’t compute.  

Patrice Aymé