Here we are in October 2013, early October, and within the last 2 weeks John Davis, writing for the Arctic and Methane Emergency Group, reports that we will loose habitat for most humans on Earth, by 2040. Also within the last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's fifth assessment came out in which the IPCC recommends geoengineering, because otherwise we've triggered runaway green-house. So, it appears that we have in fact triggered runaway green-house event. Neither of those assessments take into account the 25 self-reinforcing feedback loops we've triggered on the climate front. 23 of those appear to be irreversible at temporal spans relevant to humanity. We triggered one of those in 2010, when it was reported in 'Science', in March, that methane was leaking out of the Arctic Ocean. We triggered 4 more, as reported in the referred journal literature in 2011. We triggered 6 more in 2012, and a full dozen so far in 2013.
Tack on one each in 2012 and 2013, reversible feedback loops, the first of those in august 2012, when the Obama administration approved drilling for gas and oil in the Arctic. And then, earlier this year, when we have supertankers pushing through the slushy Arctic, to save a few dollars in shipping routes through the Northwest Passage. At this point it seems that civilization, the industrial civilization, is a trap. Other civilizations have been able to collapse, and we've been able to walk away from that, and in a few cases, at least, the survivors have returned, and have returned, to a hunter-gatherer existence. However we can't do that now because, we have these many many nuclear power plants throughout the world. If civilization collapses now, in the less than 20 years or so that takes to decommission a those power plants, we would've triggered runaway ionizing radiation. If we don't stop civilization we've triggered runaway green-house.
In fact we've already triggered runaway green-house. Either way, we're headed for a near-term human extinction. How to live with this information, how to process this information, how to proceed in light of this information? Well, as Mike Tyson pointed out, the boxer, not the philosopher, everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. We've been punched in the face now. We have a limited time on this planet, and, in fact, we've always had a limited time on this planet. Let's act like that. Let's act as if we're in hospice, as if everybody is in hospice; as the entire living planet is in hospice. And when I see how people act when they're in hospice, when they've been given weeks or months to end, I never see people acting as if they need the last dime, as if they need to make a little bit more money as the world burns.
What I see instead is people pursuing a life of excelence. pursuing what they love, acting with compassion and courage and creativity, and giving things away, acting as if we live in a gift economy. Let's do that. Let's do all of that. Pursuing a life of excelence, pursuing what we love, acting as if we are in hospice, acting as if we're decent human beings that are capable of acting ???. Lets pursue what we love, lets act as if our insignificant lives mater to those around us. An I'm not suggesting we abandon action, that we just roll over and die. What I'm suggesting in addition to all that is that action is the antidote to despair, as Edward Abbey pointed out many years ago. So lets act. For Climate updates go to http://guymcpherson.com.