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23.~The Earth Becomes Less

Humanity’s Abuse

Climate change is different from any other phenomenon humanity has ever faced.

It is not one thing, but many things that keep changing. It is eposodic in space and time.

Its science is diffuse so one explanation does not go very far. Its ravages are often isolated and may destroy one place while others have perfect weather.

It is sometimes slow in its encroachment. Homes are moved a few hundred feet, and again a few hundred feet, and perhaps again, until finally the sea has its way.

Suffering, destruction and death may be colossal. Or new warmth may bring new pleasure.

The darkest danger, is that the end of one calamity is just a warning of worse calamities to come, until a town or city disappears or is burned to the ground. Or rain ceases and crops dry and crackle when picked. There is no water to quench thirst and heat is so intense it is deadly.

There is the explanation: ”greenhouse effect,” which by its name tells nothing. Then comes the critical decision time and the question of how to deal with an impossibility that absolutly must be met head on and very soon.

As suffering and destruction became worse the suppliers of the harmless poison that is the bubbles in soda water, knowing precisely what they are doing, lie while they sell and sell and search for more fossl fuel. Few countries take the situation seriously enough. They have neither plans nor resources, and wealthy nations such as the US are under the large thumb of irrational politics.

As time goes on children face worse troubles and suffering and their own children still worse until the unknown future comes to pass. For the needed reduction of emissions is likely to happen far too late and the atmosphere will be filled (and here we must guess) with 600, 700, 800 ppm carbon dioxide plus methane from the Artic. So far into the future, beyond the end of the century, the atmosphere continues to warm and the nuclear power and negative emissions capabilities were not developed soon enough. No one was able to convince the public that nuclear was superior, and besides power, fresh water from the ocean was scarce. Sometimes the difference between two large numbers, the rational for negative emissions, needs capability with long lead times.

Descendents are mystified: ”why did they do this; why did they not care.”

And in the present scientists are the bewildered ones, for the task of stopping climate change seems improble or perhaps impossible*-* while the dream of returning to an earlier climate is beyond imagination.

Those with power and money are comfortable, while the scientists struggle to explain a mixture of phenomena never experienced before. The plague left recovery possible. A melted glacier does not. Shakespeare, I believe, would not be up to the task of capturing the despair. Perhaps the Greeks or philosophers with black holes in their thoughts could communicate to far future generations, should there be any.

And the irony of ironies, the one person we would expect to take charge, as Franklin and Winston once did, is a menace of exponential proportions hiding behind a trail of confusion.

Is there light? Yes there is. But we must lay a bit more groundwork first.

24. What Must Be Done

1. Reduce emissions to nearly zero as soon as humanly possible.

2. Eliminate coal power.

3. Develop extremely safe nuclear power and produce various size prefab reactors on the scale needed (very large).

4. Evaluate negative emission (air scrubbing) systems to REMOVE carbon dioxide from the air. Make many thousands. This will cost trillions. It is necessary. A good reference is PROJECT DRAWDOWN. See also Negative emissions technologies and reliable sequestration.

5. Establish a World Climate Authority with the power to shut down a country that doesn’t cooperate.

6. Create a full, aggressive plan for each country and see that it is executed.

Nuclear power will be a devisive issue. Safety, cost and difficulty of construction are the major issues. However, we have now reached a point that supplying sufficient power that is always available and emission free makes it necessary. See NUCLEAR AS PART OF THE SOLUTION. Also an extensive MIT study proposes prefabricated plants in various sizes to reduce costs and make installation easier.

26. Civilizations: Development, Success, Struggle, Failure

No civilization has survived beyond the top of the great arc. We appear to be at the top of ours.

No other civilization has had science to give it prosperity, health and understanding of the world such as we have. No civilzation has so tragically ignored the lessons of the science that it did have.

Science helps us see what is there. We see what we want to see.

I am an engineer (MIT 63, 65, 67) accustomed to evaluating risk and fixing problems.What I have witnessed over the last 15 years is a horror show of greed, stupidity, callousness, and collosal neglect. We are at the end of this road.

We have caused horrendous damage to the earth with 1°C rise in the earth’s temperature, a colossal amount of energy because atmosphere, ground and oceans all increase in temperature. The slide shows are from 1°C.

We are on track for between 3.5°C and 4.5°. The only moral goal is the most aggressive green goal.

You can read the MIT program by clicking HERE. MIT: “Experts urge “full speed ahead” on climate action.” You can watch the videos of the at MIT SYMPOSIA. And you can download a copy of the plan at MIT CLIMATE ACTION PLAN. ”Ultimately, the plan states, massive changes are needed in the production, distribution, and consumption of energy to avert a potential climate catastrophe: ‘To solve this global problem, humanity must reorder the global energy status quo.’”

High safety nuclear power will be necessary in very large quantities. Such power plants are in development at MIT and elsewhere.

There is enough carbon dioxide in the air now to keep the earth warming for a thousand years even if we reduced all emissions to zero tomorrow. However, we are adding to the carbon dioxide at a very high rate and building more coal power plants every day. We could easily achieve twice the carbon level we have now. Whether to slow down or eliminate the surplus will require removing the excess carbon dioxide from the air. Yes. It means taking the entire atmosphere to the laundry.

The are many proposed systems including a new one from MIT. Tens of thousands of these will need to be built as rapidly as possible after testing to find the best. They will be powered by nuclear reactors. This will cost trillions of dollars and the cost must be born by the wealthy of the earth. There is no alternative. All the other efforts: windmills, solar, electric cars will help and the more the better. But the heavy work must be done by nuclear and recovering the carbon from the air.

There is no leadership. The is no agency with authority. There is no progress to speak of.

And here is no other earth to go to. In fact there may not even be another earth anywhere.

27. Failed Humanity

Whoever of whatever created humanity did a lousy job. We have treated the earth as if it were an abandoned Walmart.

Scientists are reputed to be intelligent. So while the earth bakes they measure how well-done it is rather than focusing all their energy on creating air scrubbers and zero emission power generation. Or they are measuring gravity waves or the gravity on mars rather than helping with the earth.

The media barely covered the greatest story of all time. But the booby prise goes to the oil and coal companies or rather to all the greedy of the earth. How could oil companies do research that proved they were screwing the earth and then go on screwing it and after Paris and Katovice go on screwing it more and more. I guess money in your pocket now is more important than grand children or great grandchildren.

And Bill Gates. That’s a good one. He is afraid his taxes will be raised. My god. A 1.5 acre house (I think 66 rooms). Does he realize that children die because he can’t toss a billion or so at health care (I know he does it overseas and is to be commended for it). But his kid’s kids won’t have an earth either.

I did a shitty job too, but I spent two years on this website often working almost round the clock, because it was all I could think of to do and there are another hundred pages I havenn’t linked.

And then there are my favorite meatheads, the editorial board of the New York Times, which I read every day. Oh! And the New Yorker too. Scared out of their minds to scare their readers. The Times doesn’t even have a science editor. And on and on.

Maybe my evangelical brother-in-law is right and it is the end-times. But if it is, where are the stewards of the earth. And how did god manage to create such a bunch of bean-heads.

I suppose I should mention D. Trump but the words are all used up.

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