Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Wait a Second. May Was the Hottest Month in Recorded History. What? Now July Gets the Record?

They warned us this was going to happen.  The specific warning was that beginning sometime in the early 2020s and continuing until around 2047, our world, region by region, will move into a new climate state in which every year after reaching that threshold will be hotter than the hottest year experienced over the previous 180-years since records were first kept.

It's supposed to begin in the Caribbean and a few other spots in the 20s and reach countries in the northern and far southern latitudes before mid-century.

Yet, as this mountain of research and statistical outcomes continues to grow we'll go about business as usual as though we're still in the 80s.  In that way we'll hasten the moment when we're overtaken by the impacts of these changes woefully unprepared to cope.

Ah, don't feel bad. The history books are full of civilizations that have collapsed from changes they knew were coming but chose to ignore.  The big difference this time is that the civilization affected is global and ours is the first civilization to have the benefit of understanding how those earlier civilizations collapsed by doing the same damned things we're doing today - looking the other way.

Baghdad recently endured 50-51 temperatures. One city, Bandar Mashsahr in Iran hit a "wet bulb" peak of 73C.  Western and Central Europe are baking at 40C. South Asia hasn't been spared. Here's a photo essay of the heatwave that struck India and Pakistan.  Even coastal China has been hit.  Texas, which thought it had been lifted out of drought by recent heavy rains is now experiencing "flash droughts."

I know we're caught up in an election campaign but if the leaders don't talk about this now they sure as hell won't talk about it after.  They won't because that might mean having to spend tax dollars on infrastructure and other things we'll need to cope with what's setting in. Harper, Trudeau and Mulcair being the irresponsible shits they are would far sooner kick this down the road which goes a long way to ensuring it will be a lot more destructive and a lot more costly to deal with just in time for our kids to inherit this mess.


David E said...

It's already too late. We are toast. Even if the entire world shuts down today we have gone too far and we have ushered in the 6th extinction. No backing out now.


The Mound of Sound said...

I'm familiar with mcpherson's fatalism, David. I certainly can't argue with it but that doesn't mean any of us have to lay down and die. There's something in us that demands we still fight the good fight. It's part of what makes us human. I wish more would see that.