The new normal is that there is no longer any “normal.” The new normal regarding climate disruption is that, for the planet, today is better than tomorrow.
However, like goggling tsunami onlookers, the world’s governments and most of its citizens seem oblivious to the magnitude of the risk. People sometimes even complain they “don’t want to hear any more bad news”, as if not hearing it somehow prevents it from happening.
As has been mentioned in these dispatches previously, the planet is now in the early stages of its sixth mass extinction event, and humans are indeed responsible, according to yet another published study, this one in Science. According to the study, large vertebrate animals (megafauna), which include elephants and polar bears, face the steepest decline since they require large habitats and are targeted by human hunters. The loss of megafauna places ecosystems off balance and leads to consequences like massive rodent infestations that proceed to impact the well-being and stability of a large segment of species, including humans. The study highlights how the particularly steep decline of megafauna we are seeing now is characteristic of all the previous mass extinction events.
The United States and Canada must cut their global emissions of carbon dioxide by 80% to 90% in the next 10 to 15 years, otherwise they will be become an instrument of mass destruction of the Earth and its entire human population
We are literally making the planet into a wasteland like this is some post-apocalyptic science fiction story. It is just shocking. And the most horrifying aspect of it all is that we’ve waited to reduce emissions so long that we’re exiting the win-win field of possible climate responses. We’re now headed into a world of lose-lose. That’s the news nobody wants to convey – or hear. But there it is.
Some individuals have contested articles I’ve published on this site from Dr. Guy McPherson. Here is part of the irrefutable evidence on which he is basing his assertions of near-term human extinction.
If, as Guy McPherson has said in the recent past, the only way for humanity to avoid Near-Term Extinction (NTE) is the immediate shutdown of industrial civilization, while to make matters worse – yes, matters could get worse – recently adding that if industrial civilization’s electrical grid were to suddenly go down, some 400+ nuclear plants around the world would begin to melt down. Without power, the normal shutdown procedures could not take place. Apparently, we may have broken our future, as well.
“Promised Land” is the story of one man’s journey from what he believes is the epitome of decency to an inward struggle with ethical issues he had never anticipated having to confront. In an era of societal unraveling and economic decline, like Steve Butler, we must all return to those two troubling questions: Why am I doing what I’m doing? What really matters?
In the past week the Arctic sea ice cover reached an all-time low, several weeks before previous records, several weeks before the end of the melting season. The long-term decline of Arctic sea ice has been incredibly fast, and at this point a sudden reversal of events doesn’t seem likely. The question no longer seems to be “will we see an ice-free Arctic?” but “how soon will we see it?”. By running the Arctic Sea Ice blog for the past three years I’ve learned much about the importance of Arctic sea ice. With the help of Kevin McKinney I’ve written the piece below, which is a summary of all the potential consequences of disappearing Arctic sea ice.