Welcome to the Easter Planet Environment Page
"An excellent example of the collective insanity of humanity is the dissemination of plastics into a biosphere which requires that all matter be continuously recyclable in the closed-loop system of Life."
Photo credit: National Geographic
The present topic is climate change caused by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, CFCs, HFCs and others, as well as outright environmental destruction as a result of human "development".
Why is this page important? This is the Easter Planet environment page, naming this planet after what humans (and the rat population which followed the Polynesian colonizers, and the slave trading) did to Easter Island. Why wait until this information appears later in other places, read it here first, presented by Robert McCroskey, Keeper of the planet. Tired of censorship of environment news in USA and Canada? This is a non-censored Canadian environmental web page.
(Note that new blog items are added at the bottom of the page.)
There are many serious problems which are very likely not solvable - given that all people have each gone their own way, to arrive at the same demise. The time of climate "crisis" was the period up to the 1980's, the time of climate "calamity" was the 1990's to 2000's; now we have reached a time of climate catastrophe. But collectively, to date, we have done nothing about the problem of human-caused environmental degradation, during the years when adjustments were possible.
In 1985 I proposed a 40-year phase out of the automobile as the principal means of transportation, by licensing 5% fewer cars each year. As you know, we have made absolutely no progress on this issue, instead of getting people used to a gradual reduction in the number of cars on the road, we have every year put MORE vehicles on the roadways. This is disgusting and portrays the "collective insanity" of humans as suggested by Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
In 1974, I proposed two simple rules for the general population to follow to live in harmony with this planet-
Because of the urgency of the situation now, I have to add two items which are actually implied in the two above:
1) No cutting of trees and 2) no new roads (anywhere, for any reason). Such constraints imply the end of urbanisation, which is not a viable land use for this planet, as demonstrated in Dr. Bill McGuire's book Raging Planet. Urbanisation is a failed experiment! What you see in your cities and other human land uses is not what this planet looks like.
Now we are faced with a genuine catastrophe in climate change, since no progress has been made in either reducing car numbers or airplane flights. We still need to have cars completely phased out by 2025, so it is going to be hard on people and that hardship is increased manifold times every year that no start is made on the project. Meanwhile we go about gleefully building more car-dependent urban sprawl!
You may ask - "What can I do to stop climate change and global warming?"
"But even though these chemicals deplete less ozone, they are extremely potent greenhouse gases - 1,000 to 10,000 times worse than carbon dioxide, contributing to global climate change. As it stands, the global warming impact of world HCFC's and HFC's emissions will rival the total greenhouse gas emissions of the entire European Union within ten years.
An EIA report estimates that by 2015 the HCFC's and HFC's will add the equivalent of 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere - two to three times more than all the reductions of greenhouse gases under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change."
The above points sound very similar to the outlook for life after Peak Oil, since the outcome is the same - use less oil and coal, which reduces CO2 output. The silly contest by the Virgin Airlines owner, given apparent credibility by the presence of Al Gore, will amount to nothing; it is a safe bet that there will be no payout, since there is no solution except to stop producing CO2!
"Growth" in the economy is purported to be the driving engine in our society. However, what people actually need is peace, shelter, food and culture. Culture in real societies centers around the production, preparation and enjoyment of food. In such cases, a society works to produce their own food, wine, etc., instead of purchasing it from a commoditized economy. In the business-greed system which feeds on an ever expanding growth of the economy, the economy ITSELF creates the demand for more population. Thus we have ever expanding urban sprawl, with most of this increasing population simply serving lunch to each other and other such needless work. Just where exactly is the original production, which takes raw materials and energy from sunlight (as in growing a crop) and initiates the economic cycle? Besides, with most manufacturing moving to China and other low-wage centres, all we will have left here in North America is people selling pizzas, flowers and insurance to each other - oh, and servicing cars of course. People "get a job", take home a paycheque and become happy (the human fertility ritual) and then reproduce, even though there is no rationalisation of the actual need for the job that they are doing. The "system" deems that their job is of value to the "economy" so they are rewarded with a paycheque. We need another system that directs monetary value to people who are working to live within the constraints of a functioning ecosystem. We absolutely don't have that at present. The society's capital (total value) is finite and we are continually rewarding the wrong people who are directing the flow of money into projects which do not help us into a new future on this planet - the projects are all directed toward rewarding business greed. At present, everyone's idea of the future is a glorified version of the deep past.
What will the end of the world be like? I can tell you this - we have seen the end of the world already. Let's use this analogy, since you love driving so much - Suppose you are driving at night, and take a wrong turn, and get onto a wrong road that you don't know - you should recognize that it is wrong before you go too far. If you continue, you may pass a sign "End of Pavement" and if you continue you are on gravel. Then farther on you may pass another sign "End of Road" and if you keep going, you are driving across a corn field if you are lucky, or into a ditch, or whatever. But you have been advised, that you have taken a wrong turn, and that you have passed the end of the known road, and could be going off into destruction. All humans have taken a wrong turn and have watched as the known world has ended, the world that we were told was "normal" (finish school, get a job, have a family, etc.) and you drove right past all the signs. Now it really is too late to begin to revise the workings of the human world, we have painted ourselves into a corner. People talk about "decarbonizing" the economy - carbon IS the economy!! There isn't time for the technofixes that could have been developed, that time is past; these all take years to implement. That CO2 level in the atmosphere creeps up higher every day, unrelentingly. It is in the air that you are breathing right now, not far off in some other place. What you put into the atmosphere in yesterday's shopping trip or stupid commute, will be in the atmosphere FOR THE NEXT 100 YEARS! I hope that trip was worth it! You know how you can stand at the seashore, or on flat prairie, and see the horizon? Looking up, most of the atmosphere is gone within that same distance. The blue part is in the upper half of that distance, not very far away. The atmosphere can't keep absorbing our pollution, neither is it an infinite supply of oxygen! Update, January 2010: Remember, you saw it here first - the former level of oxygen in the atmosphere was essential to push the reaction which forms O3 (ozone) which protects life from the dangerous UV-B rays from the sun. Most of the oxygen that we enjoy came from the algae in the oceans. After there was enough O2 in the atmosphere for the ozone layer to develop, life could then move from the oceans onto the land. No ozone, no terrestrial life. Now, as we continue to bind atmospheric oxygen to carbon while we burn fuels, and continue to poison the oceans with CO2 acidification and warming, how will we get back to the previous level of atmospheric oxygen to adequately fund the ozone reaction? Can the ozone holes ever be repaired now?
If the global village concept is going to work, if we are "all in this together", then all of the old religions are now dead. These old religions got us through the Dark Ages and into these "modern" times. Was this a good thing? Obviously not. Religion is "that which binds" or restrains us, from doing harmful things. We need, immediately, a new system of behavioural restraints, that punishes the ruiners of the earth and rewards those who take care of the environment. This new system has to apply to all people in all countries; to every part of the global village. Without this change, we are all lost. Imagine a visitor to the International Space Station, bringing a cordless drill onboard, then deciding it is his right to begin drilling holes in the walls. The other astronauts would have to bring compelling force to bear immediately on this situation, and get the drilling stopped, and that person restrained. In the same way, it is everyone's responsibility to get those ruining the earth to stop, and restrain them, thereby enforcing new acceptable rules to live in harmony with this planet. Unfortunately, many of the world's religions, especially those with the greatest number of young people, are also those in which meaningful change is truly impossible. On one hand, you have people who think there should be no restrictions to their obtaining whatever they can imagine - however, self restriction, or self-regulation, is the true nature of religion and/or the rule of law. On the other hand, you have religious fundamentalist types, who are so bound to an obsolete set of behavioural codes, that it will be impossible to shift them into learning how to exist in harmony with this planet. It is up to every person to implement the limitations that are required to live on this planet, limitations of numbers and behaviour. Yes, you can dream of a life in a penthouse condo, and a fancy car and all that goes with that style, but if you act on those desires, YOU are taking the drill to this spaceship Earth and causing its ruin.
When (not if) the sea level rises, it will not rise evenly, it will rise most nearest the equator. This bulge of water will try to follow the tidal pull of the moon. This extra band of mass (along with the loss of mass at the poles) will slow the earth's rotation so that it might again have a 25 hour day. However, high rises of sea level presuppose that the earth's reaction to warming is a linear progression, when in fact, there are tipping points in climate processes that can be catastrophic over relatively short periods of time, followed by a duration in that new state numbered in thousands of years!
At this point in this article, up to October 2010, there was a section about the possibility of another ice age, but according to Dr. James Hansen's new book (see a review of the book below), such an event is no longer possible due to human interference with the natural cycles. Imagine, though, what would happen if there was another ice event - At present, we are using glacial tills and moraines from the last period of glaciation as rich soils for farming. What would the moraines from a future period of glaciation be good for - just huge ridges of piled up human trash - concrete, steel, plastic and broken glass. Such a mess to leave for future life on this planet. It's time for humanity to clean up its yard and put away its toys! October 2011 - I want to see all evidence of human occupation removed from the entire Great Lakes watershed, it is time to re-wild that area, as well as the inshore area of the east coast. Unemployed? Here's a job for you!
We passed the point-of-no-return for climate change sometime early in 2006, and did nothing to stop air travel and other wasteful uses of planetary resources. The early 1990's were a time of "crisis" (danger/opportunity according to Al Gore), the late 1990's a time of calamity, now we are in a state of catastrophe. Positive feedback systems are kicking in, accelerating global warming. The Greenland ice sheet will show serious signs of melting within the next five years. We could end up with continued heating with increasing water vapour, a hot and humid atmosphere which traps even more heat, ending with a desert planet like Mars with an atmosphere like Venus. This is the "tipping point", the pressure of our finger pushing on a climate "switch" - which way will it tip - towards Life (bringing back the arctic ice sheets) or towards Death for all living things - by heat and drought? By the way, water vapour which reaches the upper atmosphere is lost, it is on it's way out and can't be brought back. Think of Mars. See below on where water came from.
Technofixes were a possibility back in the "crisis" days of the early 1990's; at this point in time, we are way beyond that option. Reducing greenhouse gases to below 1990 levels was an option during the calamity period, but no progress was made. Over the time period of the point of no return (2006), air travel could have been halted to keep winter 2007 CO2 levels below summer 2006 levels. But again, nothing was done. Now, you are provided with this direct order from Easter Planet Environment Office - stop all burning by July 1st, 2007. No more burning of coal, no more burning of oil (except with the following temporary allowances), no more burning of wood or corn kernels or any other material or gas, no more mining, no more cutting of trees, no more removing any life forms (plants or fish) from the oceans. And, especially, not one more square inch of natural soil may be degraded by any human activity - no road building, no land "clearing", no human development. The preservation of ocean and land life forms is actually far more important than what is going on with human destruction of the atmosphere - it is these living environments which give the planet its resiliency and we go about destroying that capacity day by day. There was no capacity in previously existing biosystems to act as "carbon sinks"; that fact is borne out by the direct corelation between global temperatures and historic CO2 level records - the forests were ALREADY being used to capacity as carbon storage BEFORE mankind began burning coal and oil AND at the same time destroying the forests and the seas, the lungs of the planet.
Actually, mankind went bad a long time before the Industrial Age; it has been a long downhill slide ever since the evolution in humans of the "business gene". The business gene is a defective part of the Y-chromosome and many manifestations of it are visibly demonstrated by the "suits" who got us into this mess; at all costs, and with no exceptions, the "suits" must be prevented from any further meddling in environmental matters such as token technofixes; they should all be in jail.
As directed above, all burning must stop by July 1st 2007, but for this summer (2007), trains are allowed to run on Mondays, trucks on Wednesdays, automobiles on Thursdays and public transit on Fridays. Ships will proceed to their next port and tie up there, permanently. If people will do these things now, then we can see if the CO2 levels can stabilize, and maybe, just maybe, you will be allowed to heat your homes this winter. Otherwise forget that also, your world has come to a complete end. Complete biosystems are failing, the ocean has absorbed all the CO2 that it can, the ocean is becoming too acidic, a species goes extinct every 20 minutes - do you really think that humans are going to be the last species to go extinct?? Do you say "Oh well, another life form has been destroyed, but I will still get my paycheque from my office, there will be food at the store, and the lights will be on in my condo, right?" - WRONG!
Recent reports from the USA National Human Genome Research Institute indicate that every part of the genome is busy at work, there are not inactive parts as they previously thought. So, they don't really know how it works, but are foolish enough to try to meddle with it, doing "bioengineering". Well, what they will figure out next, is that there is a lot more genome interaction between species than previously thought. These interactions are what allows the biosphere to function in balance. So when humans interfere by causing species extinction, by unnatural manipulation of genetic codes, and by ruining the environment with our chemical waste, we are damaging far more than we can understand.
The human population could reach 10.5 billion by 2050. Four billion more than now, when in fact at present we need four billion LESS. The present population, if laid end-to-end and side-by-side, would form a band around the globe over 300 metres wide, very visible from space. And they all wish to become affluent so that they can defecate into fresh water and drive cars. If we can't get the population below two billion, then the entire population needs to BEHAVE as if there are only two billion, in terms of reproduction, desires and behaviour (i.e., consumption).
Please boycott bad investors, unless you wish to spend eternal damnation along with the likes of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Canada's largest institutional investor and a major pension fund manager, and Ivanhoe Cambridge, Canada's largest shopping mall company, 94% owned by the Caisse, and Anear Empreendimentos Comerciais, the land developer who they are funding to build shopping malls in the Amazon! Your pension fund in Québec will be earning you income by tearing strips off the back of the environment. In fact, every dollar spent in Canada on so-called "Carbon Offset" projects in other countries is cancelled by each of these dollars invested in pushing human trash into the tropical rain forest.
As mentioned in several places in the above text, habitat destruction by human encroachment (so-called "development") and death of species, is the major problem facing life on this planet; greenhouse gases are just one aspect of the problem which has received a lot of attention. This destruction must be completely stopped and immediately reversed - the boundary of the human camp drawn and then the area greatly reduced in size. The Pope is correct in getting on board on environment issues; it is a moral issue, the Bible makes it clear what will happen to the ruiners of the earth. Further loss of life forms cannot be tolerated, see the recent article on the Greatest Dying.
There is no hope for life on Earth until all people come to reject the corporatist agenda, and accept a belief system which re-integrates humans into the natural world. With the present greed-based social construct, all life is doomed, and under that construct no group, region, country or international body will be able to recognize the necessary course of action, which has been laid out in detail, above. What is written above is not a matter of my opinion, but rather exactly what this planet needs for life to regain a foothold and repair the human damage. As such, these needs of the planet supersede all human law, whether local, regional, state, country, international or religious law. Therefore the above directives will be deemed to qualify as jus cogens after December 31, 2007, unless formal objection or amendment from communities, regions, nations and the international community is received before that time. All such submissions are posted here:
(none received as of 23 November 2007)
The humans have blown it - The Bali Conference on the environment came and went without even considering the most important agenda for this planet: 1)Immediate cessation of air travel world wide; 2)World-wide criminalisation of road building and human encroachment on living soils and 3)Cessation of mining of coal, oil and methane. That would have been an important first step, and show people around the world that the environmental catastrophe is a serious matter. However, no action was taken, just business as usual.
Effective immediately, all existing world religions are meaningless, including secular rules which attempt to modify behaviour, which includes all local, national and international laws, which do not adjust themselves firstly to put the highest priority on the protection of the natural environment of the planet (as outlined on this page) and secondly to promote rules which enable a peaceful human civilisation (for example, the "Ten Commandments" is a document which provides the basis of a civil society, rather than as some think, to point out each person's failures).
There is not much more to say on this topic until the collectively insane humans bring about the changes presented on this page. Otherwise they will go the way of the dinosaurs.
All peoples, nations, governments and the United Nations continue to be in criminal contempt of these basic rules for humans to coexist with other life on this planet. These rules constitute jus cogens, they are not a topic for discussion or a premise to be considered for consensus, they are the basics of what this planet needs from humans in order to continue supporting life as you knew it. Must I spell it out more precisely? What you have read here is the New Quran (New Koran), the new law that is above all human laws and religions and replaces them and delegates all of them which do not adapt to these new measures to the dustbin of history.
A great catastrophe awaits those who delay in making these changes. Obviously, human greed far surpasses respect for other forms of life. Day by day, humans continue to destroy native vegetation and soils at an increasing rate and use the oceans and atmosphere as their trash cans. All other greedy people, such as the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan which sells potash to Brazil, are accessories to the fact, by trading with those doing the damage, you are all linked together in this monstrous crime.
My letter, (submitted to The Guardian (UK) September 3rd, 2008):
In his column "Identity Politics in Climate Change Hell", posted August 22, 2008, George Monbiot makes some errors in his shredding of Ewa Jasiewicz's "Comment-is-free" (August 21st) posting. Mr. Monbiot insists that "We have to use all the resources we can lay hands on, and these must include both governments and corporations." To suggest such a solution is a grievous error; a complete lack of understanding of what exactly is the problem.
Governments and corporations have developed an intricate working partnership, because these two are the entities which endure, unlike the mugs, the populace, who are mere transients on this mortal plain. Governments and corporations plan out their future; for the mugs, the future is revealed one day at a time. If it ever became in the best interests of government and corporations to eliminate the mugs, they would do so in a heart beat. But the government needs the mugs to pay for its schemes, and the corporations need the mugs to continue with runaway consumption (and resulting waste production). The difference between government and corporations is that corporations exist to generate shareholder value - they are not in the business of enhancing the public good (sorry, George); they are directly responsible to their shareholders. Governments, for the time being, have to come back to the mugs periodically to connive that little vote out of them, by PR manipulation and outright lying, to get that one vote which supports the entire bloat of the governmental bureaucracy. In the not-too-distant future, governments and corporations might just finalize their partnership and do away with elections altogether, since the mugs have never been included in the schemes of power, thus they have no part in the arrangement.
In effect, Government and Corporations and the partnership between them are the very root of the problem, and perpetuate it with their penchant for ongoing "growth". And as regards Mr. Monbiot's notion of governments and corporations controlling both money and power, take a look at the realities. If corporations started to blow huge amounts of their capital on goodwill measures with no immediate return on investment, their capital base would evaporate in as little as a day, witness the demise of Bear-Stearns in New York; international finance is fickle and rapidly fluid and will vacate any jurisdiction it feels does not provide a suitable return on its money. Also, international finance will isolate any jurisdiction which doesn't abide by the principles of corporatist domination according to the Washington Consensus. And remember that this pool of "capital" which flies around the world via international financial markets has been extracted from the planet's finite resources and carved off the backs of the real workers and is so highly leveraged that in a pinch, you may find that most of it no longer actually exists. Government's power has over recent years devolved into the enforcement branch of the multinationals; it is government's job to keep the mugs in line and in their place.
Yes, stopping runaway climate change must be the highest priority, and the assumption that we have very little time left is blatantly false. In reality, "We" have negative time remaining; Dr. Tim Flannery has seen data that suggest that we passed 455 ppm of CO2 in 2005. My advice is that air travel should have been stopped completely by July 31, 2006 and made a world-wide criminal offence, and the same for road building and every other form of destruction of the biosphere for economic gain. But, nothing has been done, thanks to governments thinking that such topics are their prerogative while failing to take any of the hard decisions at every "international" conference. In that regard, perhaps a "revolution" (a turning over) of the system of governance (rule-making and enforcement) is necessary, since most of the people in government would be in prison and most of the present prisoners would be found to have done little actual harm.
Mr. Monbiot states: " ... a perpetual increase in the supply of goods and services will eventually destroy the biosphere. So how do we stall this process?"
His "supply of goods and services" is normally called the "economy". The "economy" is indeed the essence of the problem, and it is the economy itself which calls for more and more population, more housing, more power supply, more food, more goods and more unneeded services. The "economy" is the underpinning of urbanisation, which is demonstrably a failure. Look around you - is what you see what this planet looks like? No it is not. You see a human construct, and erroneously think that what you see is good. You have to realize that CO2 emissions and environmental destruction could completely end within about 70 years if people stopped reproducing. Zero emissions by 2078! Human life could come to a complete end as the last few remaining people died off. But that is the wrong approach; we cannot walk off this scene leaving it as it is - we must clean it all up, clean up "our room" (this planet) and put all our toys away, and return this planet to a fully functioning web of life. THAT is the huge task at hand, absolutely not Mr. Monbiot's vision of building more and more "techno-fixes" to keep the present corrupt civilisation running (and consuming and polluting) as if it was the perfect evolution of the Way Things Should Be. The choice is a clear distinction between Life and Business, since business corrupts life. I'm not saying that there should be no humans; there needs to be far less of them and those remaining must put the protection of living things above all other considerations. Mr. Monbiot contends that cutting emissions to avoid global warming should be the highest priority, above all political considerations, in a guise to appear as an environmentalist, but in reality he supports a wide range of technologies that demand even more resources and propose to cover wide swaths of the planet with solar panels, windmill farms, and the whimsy of static electricity (ultra-high DC voltage) transmitted over plastic "wires", in an effort to maintain the same or similar wasteful extractive economy but with reduced CO2 emissions. CO2 emissions are just one small part of the extensive ecological degradation being carried out daily by the human species.
Yes, maybe "society" has to be turned into a giant "climate camp". Because unless all people EVERYWHERE drop all their present rules on how to live (that includes all civil, religious and international law) and agree to a new behavioural code that gives highest priority to the biosphere, then we are truly all doomed. Mr. Monbiot states that "... I confessed that I don't know how to solve the problem of capitalism without resorting to totalitarianism." Totalitarianism, as we knew it under the dictators, was a like-mindedness forced on people by the ruling elite; what we need in order to proceed with Life is a like-mindedness which is developed within each person so that we all work toward the same goal, this goal being the exact opposite of opportunism (read "capitalism"). That type of like-mindedness is exactly what forms in the climate camps. But how exactly would so many people learn a suitable behavioural code for living in harmony with this planet? It shouldn't be that difficult of a problem, since what we have at present is a benevolent landlord/tenant relationship. The environment of this planet is my responsibility; I have delegated none of that to anyone else (sorry, George). You are now all my tenants here on this planet and the sooner you start to listen to what I have said about how to live in my home (this planet) the better things will be for everyone. I have made it very plain, on my web page at http://www.easterplanet.ca/environment.htm [this page] exactly what people need to do, regarding the guidelines of how to live on this planet, and these rules now supersede all other law.From: Robert McCroskey, on the Easter Planet.
2) Ewa Jasiewicz, 21st August 2008. Time for a Revolution. Kingsnorth Climate Camp
People still refuse to read this message and take it to heart. It is available world-wide on the Internet to anyone doing a simple search for what they can do to help the environment in a meaningful way, rather than silly "greenwash" activities. However, nobody has taken any action. Aeroplanes continue to make their usual journeys. Goose-stepping storm troopers parade in Iran and North Korea. Nuclear disarmament treaties are ignored. Militarism is on the rise. Everyone dashes about in their automobiles in every country. More coal is mined and new coal-fired generating plants are built every day. Humans carry on with "business-as-usual"; it seems that nothing short of divine intervention will alter their path of greedy rape and pillage of this planet.
The present so-called economic "crisis", engineered by the Corporatists, is being used by these very same Corporatists as a convenient cover for putting through the conclusion of their agenda to lock all governments into permanent partnership with Business and to prevent any dissent and to clear out of the way any regulations that promote the environment. Thus begins the final assault on all living things, as well as on human rights and culture as you knew them.
There are repeated attempts to "stimulate the economy"; when in fact, the economy is the biggest problem facing this planet. People should welcome and get used to about 50 years of deflation and recession in order to move forward in an orderly fashion to a time in the very near future when population and demand for "resources" are far less than they are today. It's for each of you to choose: Business or Life.
The multinational corporatist system has up to recently been using government as their enforcement branch. However, there are now enough private "security" corporations to do the enforcement work; the corporatists now are moving to bankrupt both governments and their last source of funds: the mugs: the tax-payers, by forcing governments to print money in order to "save" the economy. By the time people figure out that they have been totally screwed, it will be too late, they will be so saddled with debt to the fifth generation that they will never have the funds to make the necessary adaptations to environmental change. This will be the long lasting legacy of the last three months of 2008, the time when Humanity made a seriously wrong turn.
Since the previous post, I have read all these books on the human predicament, and highly recommend them for your enlightenment. It would appear to some that some of my comments on this page must have been lifted from these and other books, but that is false, all of the above was an original composition, which I can do because of having a direct connection to the wellbeing of this planet. Click here to view the Reading List and read some of these yourselves.
The Copenhagen COP-15 conference in December 2009 was a failure because sitting around the tables were the people who caused the problem. Humans are a small-group animal (see Ehrlich & Ehrlich 2008 The Dominant Animal, in the Reading List) and cannot convey their small-group power to a planetary system of governance. I think many people realize that with this failure, we are now sailing along in a driverless car and now the steering wheel has been thrown out the window. What SHOULD have happened in September of 2009, was that ALL burning should have ceased worldwide, so that by the COP-15, the leaders could have seen whether or not the winter CO2 level was not going to rise above summer 2009 level, and if that rise could have been prevented, then people in the coldest climates would be allowed to heat their homes this winter.
Some people are suggesting 350 ppm CO2 equivalent as a target and they are dead wrong. The target should not be above be 280 ppm, because at that level for 650,000 years, the CO2-to-climate relationship was more or less in balance, and remember, that was with the forest, ocean and other ecosystems intact. Now that we have destroyed much of those habitats and forests, even 280 ppm may be way too high, until the lost ecosystems have been regenerated.
Again a climate conference has failed by not halting air travel and not taking the consumer's hand off the petrol pumps. Why should there be a direct supply from the planet's petroleum reserves directly to the hand of the consumer at the pumps? Is this truly a less dangerous substance to be mass-distributing than sulphuric acid? Yet there are no sulphuric acid pumps on every corner.
Now we have gone too far, all burning has to stop, whether it be agrofuels or biomass or petroleum or coal. You are all my tenants on this planet and will have to start playing by my rules, since all those actions which you attempt on your own are failures. The time for partial measures is over. All governments must cede power over environmental matters to a central authority immediately. As my tenants, you are living in a furnished dwelling (this planet). Unless you have a charter signed by either me or God Herself, what is left of your sovereignty does not include your moving of any of the furniture in your occupied territory - you are not allowed to alter the soil, the flow of water, dig more than six inches below the original surface of the soil, dispose of any substance into the air or water or land, mine for any reason, burn any fuel for energy beyond the actual cooking of your food, interfere with the freedom of the wind or alter the albedo of any planetary surface. Everything that you took for granted as powers of a sovereign nation is a thing of the past - all environmental matters are now in the hands of the entire global village as commons property. Every day that you delay taking these actions is another day lost as humanity hurtles toward a collision with nature. I am suggesting that all control over environmental matters for the entire planet must be handed over to a global (not "international" body by the end of 2011.
Generally, people are somewhat aware of the flow of news in the "news cycle" - how a story can start out as "breaking news" then fade away as a new round of top stories floods over it. Some news stories have more endurance, such as the Gulf oil blowout which keeps hanging around on the inner pages of the newspaper. Imagine a story so important, that it was on the front pages for a very long time. Can you imagine a news item with such staying power? Perhaps only an alien invasion could attain such endurance in the media. But the story being told in Dr. James Hansen's book is as critical to human survival as would be an alien invasion. Yet this book was published in the last months of 2009 and there has not been a peep about it in the corporatist-controlled media. The suppression of this story goes back to the reasons for the recent so-called recession. This "recession" was created by the financial elite simply by moving all available funds from mortgage-backed securities to private equity firms to invest in overseas agriculture, since food is the next big "play", and the two equally weighted reasons for bringing the "economy" onto the front pages were: to get people's minds focused on their jobs rather than the environment which was getting far too much media play in 2007-2008, and to finish the work of making the North American countries into Business Colonies. In this way, Big Business has kept people's minds focused on economic matters so that there would be no backlash for the Copenhagen climate summit failure, and no concern that the G8 and G20 meetings did not even mention environmental matters. However, the situation being described in Dr. Hansen's book should be at the top of the newscast every day, and it or closely related topics should command 80% of the newscast, FOR THE NEXT 200 YEARS. Yes, that much time, to get the concepts into people's thick heads, to get some REAL action to take place, and over that long duration, to be certain that nobody ever again tries to burn all the "fossil" fuels anywhere on this planet. Not one word about the news cycle is mentioned in Dr. Hansen's book, except that he begs people to get involved - I have included these remarks to impress on you the importance of what he has written.
The seriousness of the situation is laid out in his first paragraph of the Preface:
"Planet Earth, creation, the world in which civilization developed, the world with climate patterns that we know and stable shorelines, is in imminent peril. The urgency of the situation crystallized only in the past few years. We now have clear evidence of the crisis, provided by increasingly detailed information about how Earth responded to perturbing forces during its history (very sensitively, with some lag caused by the inertia of massive oceans) and by observations of changes that are beginning to occur around the globe in response to ongoing climate change. The startling conclusion is that continued exploitation of all fossil fuels on Earth threatens not only the other millions of species on the planet but also the survival of humanity itself - and the timetable is shorter than we thought."
There have been "life without us" scenarios written in recent years, and these were plausible as late as the 1970's, but we have now gone too far with an exponentially increasing level of ecosystem destruction since those days. The climate trigger has been pulled and even if all people disappeared tomorrow, the earth's systems of inertia would continue on their present trajectory toward the huge warming that will come. It will be very difficult for the other species to survive. Earth has a built-in time bomb in the form of seabed methane hydrates. Anyone who tries to warm this planet WILL SURELY DIE. Paleoclimate studies, which have added a lot of detailed information in just the past several years, show that warming has always preceded a CO2 increase in the atmosphere by a couple hundred years or so. But to you this doesn't make sense, since you have been told that our CO2 emissions are causing global warming, and they are causing global warming. But our CO2 emission is only the small one, not the BIG one which will follow the warming that we have initiated. Our CO2 emission is just the trigger, and it will cause some level of warming and most of that is going into the oceans. The cold winter in the east was just the normal fluctuation of the arctic oscillation, not an indication that global warming is nonsense. Here is a condensed version of the scenario described in Dr. Hansen's book: There is very little multi-year ice remaining in the arctic, and the ongoing warming will cause a lot of ice loss in Greenland and the Antarctic ice shelves. This iceberg activity will cause some localized cooling from the effect of all that ice in the water, but the overall warming continues in the lower latitudes. The difference in temperatures between these regions of the planet will drive the "Storms" part of the book's title. As well, the melting ice reduces the salinity of the sea water, which will diminish the sinking of water in the North Atlantic. The last observation that I had was that there is only one feeble downward whirlpool remaining there. Same is happening in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. When these sources of cold salty water slow down, then the problem begins, because the next heaviest water is in the central Pacific, it gets salty (thus heavier) from evaporation, and the result is WARM water sinking to the ocean floor, with devastating effects on the huge masses of methane hydrates on the ocean floor which have been building up over the last 50 million years. The hydrates time bomb is now fully loaded and capable of the same level of destruction as happened in the end-Permian extinction in which 90% of life was wiped out. This is the toy we are playing with here, a vast and incredibly stupid uncontrolled experiment with no possible good outcome. And yet, the busivernment (I have to try to make a new word here, which shows the fusion between business and government, the two entities which endure unlike us mortals, with business calling the shots and government doing their enforcement work) fully plans to burn every last "fossil" fuel they can get their hands on, and extract every last mineral deposit, and catch every last fish, and dam every last river, ruin every last river delta, pull every last drop of water out of every well, etc., until they actually hit some physical barrier that they can't push out of their way with big machines. That simply is how Capitalism works.
So what are the remedies - is there a way out of this predicament? Professor Frank Fenner of Australia states:
"Homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years. A lot of other animals will, too. It's an irreversible situation. I think it's too late. I try not to express that because people are trying to do something, but they keep putting it off."
Think about that last sentence - "they keep putting it off" - while you go about your daily routine enhanced with the cheap energy provided by liquid fuels and you might realize why the World doesn't want to hear this message. But something has to be done to avoid the complete collapse of civilization and all other life. Dr. Hansen gives some options. He is adamant that all remaining coal be left in the ground - not just for now - but forever. To that end, all industrialized countries must be completely off the use of coal by 2020, and all other countries by 2030. As well, all the unconventional oil sources such as the Alberta and Orinoco tar sands and the oil shales and gas shales (as in northeast B.C.) must be left in the ground. Forever. But what to do about energy?
Hold on and steady yourself, because this is going to hurt - he sees one big source as being nuclear. But not the normal nuclear that you are used to at Chernobyl or Three Mile Island. He is talking about fast-neutron reactors also called 4th generation reactors or "breeder" reactors. They are very different from the present 2nd and proposed 3rd (not much better) generation reactors, but research into the fast-neutron technology was killed by the Clinton-Gore administration. These 4th generation reactors are cooled by liquid sodium, which has a huge liquid range and does not corrode the tubing like hot water and steam do, and they use fuel differently so that they can clean up the present stockpiles of nuclear waste. To make fuel for the present thermal reactors (which just produce heat) and weapons, a huge quantity of uranium hexafluoride has been produced and stored away - six hundred thousand tons in the US - there is enough of this waste plus spent fuel rods from thermal reactors to produce power in the 4th generation reactors for 1000 years. The thermal water-cooled reactors use only about 1% of the uranium fuel, and leave a huge mass of waste which must be stored for over 10,000 years. A fast-neutron reactor's waste cannot be used to make weapons, it is not loaded with transuranic actinides, therefore it becomes inconsequential in a couple hundred years. Therefore this system has to be seriously considered as an option. But I would only accept that option as long as the electricity produced was used for basic needs such as refrigeration and essential home lighting and not for wastes such as street lighting, air conditioning in hot climates and mining, and if and only if a major attempt is undertaken to reduce the human population by about 85%, especially in the "rich" countries with their excessive consumption habits. As well, the second greatest mistake in human history, the alternating current electrical distribution system, should be changed back to DC (direct current) so that local storage can be used to offset peak loads.
Why are "we" not acting on these things? Why is this book just taking up space on library shelves? Where is the political leadership to secure an actual future for humanity and the rest of Life on this planet? As Dr. Hansen shows, one of the main hangups is moneyed interests pulling the strings behind the scenes in politics. Somehow this connection between big money (Business, in other words) and government must be broken if civilization and the planet are going to survive the inevitable. If that money connection can be broken, then there remains the monumental job for our leadership to bring the problems of population/consumption down to the level of each person's understanding of the errors of their lifestyle that the older generations have pounded into their heads over the years and realize that virtually everything you have been taught was a mistake. As well, there is people's fondness for history - they go all mushy when they see historical buildings such as Parliament Hill, when instead, I think they should be taking on the big job of removing all human artefacts from the Great Lakes watershed.
Dr. Hansen concludes his discussion by talking about the Venus Syndrome, in which runaway heating of the planet ends with Earth in the same condition as Venus. He states categorically that if we burn all the coal, tar sands and oil and gas shales, the Venus effect is a certainty.
You all really need to read this book, or better, buy a copy and read it many times, there is so much in it to absorb. Then, while you go about your daily routines which are abstracted from and artificially elevated above the drudgery of actual subsistence labour by the luxury of liquid fuels, at least give a thought to the ecological destruction you cause with every turn of the ignition key and every instance of idling at a traffic light, and give a thought to how you might change your life after giving up your addiction to cheap energy. Slavery still exists, in the form of energy slaves - machines running on liquid fuels, doing the work for you, at an equivalent human labour rate of about 30 cents per hour. Also, remember that every other news story that you hear is simply a diversion, to distract you from the real problem laid out before us in this book and remember that everything that you see in your glorious cities is a chimera at best or at the worst an open-air prison and is NOT what this planet looks like.
In the above text I have mentioned that I feel a connection to nature and living things. that is because I work with living things all day and as well, I have actually seen God Herself, and you can as well, by clicking on this link to NASA images archive , the blue object is God Herself - God is Life and Life is God, this is a living being that you are seeing. Think about this a while! Look at the blue colour of the oceans. A recent report shows that Earth's water came from the Kuiper belt. Water cannot exist for long in the inner solar system, it is too warm here. Above -100° Celsius water evaporates even from ice. So why does water stay on Earth? Because of Life - water and life developed here together and it is the living cycles of nature that keep the water in place through the complexities of the cycles of water. Destroy Life and the water will go off into space. Think about that while you waste precious water and destroy every living thing for profit. Here are the links for the comet-water story: On CBC Quirks & Quarks program; CBC News story on comet water; or press release from Max Plank Institute
Here it is, ignorant humans, here is how your world is going to end. In the new book, The Ocean of Life: The Fate of Man and the Sea by Callum Roberts ©2012, Viking Penguin, the author mentions areas of ocean upwelling and the occurrence of hydrogen sulfide eruptions from the oceans in those areas. But obviously he hasn't read the book Under a Green Sky or he would know the danger of these things - hydrogen sulfide DESTROYS the ozone layer. The H2S is coming up off the coast of Peru, and Namibia, and other places of upwelling, and probably soon off the northern California coast. "They" know about the dangers of this H2S, but don't want to alarm you; "they" know because they are promoting sunscreen, which you don't really need yet, BUT SOON WILL, so they are getting people used to using it, ramping up sales and production, because in a few years, you WILL really, really need it. That will give the 1% a few more years to extract their profits, while you slather on the sunscreen (for their profit), but just for a few years, which will allow them to get by, until the time comes when the UV is so high that all plants and animals die. THAT IS how your stinking world is going to end. All these things promote H2S release from the oceans: acidification, warming, over fishing and pollution - each and separately, and "we" are doing them all at once! Folly of follies! Humans will get what they deserve.
We are past the time for dinking around with "gradually rising" carbon pricing - to solve the burning issue at hand, we need carbon rationing and oxygen pricing, and oxygen pricing solves the issue of the promised funding of climate problems and energy solutions for the poor countries of the world - eco-justice, in other words.
You can read my entire article on Oxygen pricing on the Truthout.org web site, but come back here again! Please make a donation to Truth-out.org at Truthout-Donate! to support their excellent work. Or, another version of the oxygen pricing article is available here on this web site Oxygen Pricing vs Carbon Pricing.
As a follow-up to the above article, I should name some names regarding the "wanna-be" environmentalists and their relationship to the concept of "privileged consumption". In particular, certain ones such as Joe Romm, are smiling anticipators of a gleaming future built on "renewables", while committing the unforgivable sin of not recognizing their privileged consumption. They want to put up wind turbines and solar panels everywhere - but where does that material come from? Is the steel coming from iron mines in Mongolia? Should not those people have first right to their resources, instead of continuing to track all wealth and material to America? That notion of solving the CO2 problem with an ever-greater demand for materials from all over the planet is the core issue of privileged consumption, not to mention the privileged consumption aspect of not even considering trying to live within a much smaller energy diet. So in effect they demand that their privileged population continue on at the same level of energy consumption, while changing over to carbon-free energy at massive material expense to the rest of the world. You can probably smell how bad that notion is, right through your computer screen. Then there are the ones who will take the output from one of the worst soil-mining crops (corn kernels) and burn those for heat. Then there are two of the big ones, George Monbiot and Jim Hansen, who still promote nuclear as an energy option. And ALL of them still fly in air planes, even though the absolute final date for all air travel was July 31, 2006. What's wrong with these people - just more of the usual "collective insanity"?
Here's some good news and commentary links: TomDispatch.com