HOW FAR CAN DESTRUCTION GO - John Wawrzonek

HOW FAR CAN DESTRUCTION GO

IF EVER THERE WAS A CHALLENGE to understand, explain and express the attitudes, emotions and actions of a peoples this is it. I have come to feel as if there is no one to talk to. My wife has a "stop" single to use at breakfast.

I WILL TRY TO SUMMARIZE but I realize that when you get down to it, presuming my technical "smarts" are in reasonable shape, there is simply no way out. Now why would I say that?
1. We really have gone too far. Jim Hansen and Bill McGibbon long ago set 350 ppm as THE tipping point. We are now about 410 and increasing.

2. The nature of the discussion and the experiences most people have argue against any kind of calamity but only because they can't imagine it or face it.

3. Temperature is discussed in units of 1°C or even fractions. That does not hit home and no one drives it home by, for example, explaining that 1°C amounts to about 1022 Jules (or watt-seconds) of energy because you have to heat up the whole atmosphere, some depth of ocean and the land. It is one hell of a lot of energy and perhaps it should be written as 100000000000000000000000 Joules.

4. Events (weather anomalies) still happen only occasionally and only to a fraction of the people of the earth. But they are happening far more frequently, in some cases every other year rather than every ten years. And many of those to which they happen have no voice and wouldn't know what to say.

5. It reminds me of America before Pearl Harbor. It took years and finally an enemy attack before FDR could get America to declare war. Our "Pearl Harbor" should have happened at least 20 years ago.

6. When I was at Bose Corporation and we were introducing a reasonably complex (a tiny fraction of the complexity of global warming) product we were fortunate enough to have a genius multi-media (this was from the mid-70s to the mid-80s) producer who had essentially an unlimited budget to produce a 15 minute 9 projector infomercial with a "Pearl Harbor" surprise ending. This to groups of 15 people in an acoustically perfect room. Suffice to say no one has gotten the equivalent about global warming. I heard Al Gore give his "slide show" 20 years ago and had he been working for me (as our producer was) I would have fired him on the spot.

7. Put it another way: I cannot think of more than a handful of people (and I am not sure about those) who "get it." I was visiting an MIT professor at his home during a snow storm. As we stepped out the door he said "See. Snow. What's this about global warming?"

Is this pesamistic view a certainty? My engineering background would incline me to say something like "well, it's about as close as you can get to certainty in this world."

However, it is an exceedingly complex situation and no matter how hard you look, there may be surprises and surprises can go either way. The extraordinary temperatures in the Arctic in the summer of 2017 were such a surprise, and by far most surprises have found our predictions optimistic. And yesterday, August 6, the temperature north of the Arctic Circle in Norway exceded 90°F. Yes, I do mean ninety.

So break out the champaign and drink to the fabulous world there was and smash your goblets on the fireplace that this one is becoming.

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