Friday, September 12, 2014


I think it is now relatively safe to assume that we will hit an average of 2 degrees increase at a minimum within the next 20 years. See the Timeline post. One of the more balanced scientific views of this and other climate change issues can be found at Robert Scribbler. But he is certainly not the only oneIf you think that 20 years is a long time, then you are underestimating the scale of the problem. This will impact on every aspect of our lives, and there is no room for miscalculation.

The problem is that we currently not feeling the effect. Few hot days days here and there, and everyone can point back to 1998 as the really hot one. The problem is that since then the heat is being stored in the oceans (El Nina/El Nada) but during El Nino it gives the heat back, the last major El Nino? 1998. The current ocean temperatures are hotter than prior to 1998. So the next one is going to be bad. As twisted as it sounds, we need the temperature of the ocean to drop dramatically, regardless of what it does to the atmosphere (see oxygen and "The oceans are dying").

How bad is 2C change? Bad, but not as bad as the trajectory from there to 4C. At 4C...
…the implications of 4C of warming shows that the impacts are so significant that the only real adaptation strategy is to avoid that at all cost because of the pain and suffering that is going to cost… There is no science on how we are going to adapt to 4C warming. It is actually pretty alarming.
Professor Neil Adger (A Tyndall Centre climate change adaptation expert)

 For humanity it’s a matter of life or death, I think it’s extremely unlikely that we wouldn’t have mass death at 4C. If you have got a population of nine billion by 2050 and you hit 4C, 5C or 6C, you might have half a billion people surviving.
Professor Kevin Anderson (Director of the UK’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change)

 … [at 4°C of warming] carrying capacity estimates [for population are] below 1 billion people.
Professor John Schellnhuber
UK’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change
They are not fringe scientists.

So why wouldn't things change nice and smoothly? So that we will all have time to adapt. That is not how the climate works. In the graph below notice 2 things. 1. How quickly things can change. 2.Where we are today. Of course, these time scales are very very long. But if we are heading back up to 25C, then sooner or later mankind is in deep trouble.

Couldn't it stay cool? Well that is what all the fuss is about. We have covered ourselves in a cosy blanket of C02 and methane, and it is about to get a little too warm. Unfortunately, there is no way to take the blanket off. It's just going to keep getting hotter.

The IPCC are underestimating forecasts, their reports consistently under quote the effects. Actually the entire IPCC system is a political fiasco. The entire expose is outlined here including references to the wikileaks documents that prove it.

As bad as that is, there is an orchestrated media campaign to discredit the process. Whenever there is a mistake made in an IPCC report the whole fact gets made irrelevant by media. An example it said in 2007 that glaciers in the Himalayas could disappear by 2035, a claim it has since withdrawn. Deniers jump on that and say the claim was wrong and that scientists obviously don't know what they are talking about. However, what they don't say is that the Chinese studies have found that Himalayan glacier retreat is the highest in the world. Indian glacier studies over the past century show Himalayan glaciers in retreat. So the IPCC doesn't want to commit to a date, it does not change the fact that the glaciers are retreating and that directly or indirectly affects 600 million people.

The other issue is that Only 40 per cent of Americans and 39 per cent of Chinese view climate change as a major threat, according to a Pew Research Center survey of 39 nations in 2013. That, coupled with the bigger problem that the 1% of the world's population that really gain from continued economic growth don't want the current situation to change.

However, I do not subscribe to the view that this equates to the extinction of mankind. There are many people that are claiming there are feedbacks in the Arctic that once initiated cannot be stopped. Some of these claims are not based on scientific fact, I extensively deal with that here.

There are so many factors contained within climate change that I can't really do the situation justice in this introduction. Again, I would defer to Robert Scribbler. My intent here is to prepare for the consequences.
Despite scientists from all over the world trying to get the facts out, they are being drowned by money and politics. These things don't make headlines so in case you haven't heard;

Already (June 2014) this year the population of the world has increased by 32m, that is the size of Morocco. Population by 2025, 8 billion, 7.1 billion now.

In this blog I am going to cover as many issues as I feel are relevant to survival. But I believe the crisis is going to dramatically accelerate. 

People are arguing on the exact timing for when things will get bad. Here is my take on it. Regardless of when, it's pretty safe to assume that our present society is not geared to deal with it. There will be a number of impacts, environmental, physical, sociological, financial and whatever else you care to think of. If the current official estimates are wrong and we go into a dramatic spiral which results in 4 - 10 degrees increase, then it is reasonable to assume only 5-10% of the current world population would survive. If the worst does not eventuate, at the very least, we are going to see very serious threats to food supply and international stability.

Governments are not positioned to do anything about it. The role of government has, for the most part, become a regulator of business. Realistically preparing for climate change is a costly process. Climate change is a truth that a lot of businesses have a vested interest in denying. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that any pro-active measures will be undertaken.

Democracy, once the bastion of the west, will become a noose. The problem is that, desperate for a solution, people will vote for whoever can fix the resulting economic crisis. Most people are living in cities, no job, no food. Or, higher priced food requires economic growth, so that incomes can rise. So voting will be on the basis of economics not environment. 

Truth is that there is a way to economically prevent it, and physically fix it. Sadly, it will be implemented too late for a lot of people, and perhaps not at all.

I would like to have a meaningful discussion with others about various ways to prepare. This is not about getting some guns and tinned food and hiding in the woods. Climate change is permanent (well at least for the next few thousand years). The worst case scenario will not play out immediately. There will be major upsets that dent society, bit by bit it will fail. 2, 3 decades? by 2100? In a way it doesn't matter. When it goes if the infrastructure is not in place for a community to survive then it won't. Climate history is punctuated by sudden dramatic events and we are certainly at the tipping point of one.

Chances are some component of civilization will always survive. For the rest of us we will need a series of connected communities to survive. Going it alone is simply not an option.

Let's assume a survival in the woods scenario. It starts as a trickle of fringe people moving due to inflation, sea level rise or whatever. People are bankrupting because they can't afford the mortgage with increased interest rates, or interest rates are kept artificially low so food prices are going up. Or their house is lost to sea level rise. Now rents are sky rocketing, no education or work experience = no job. They decide to survive in the woods. How many people can the woods sustain? How many people have the skills to survive in this climate, let alone a tougher one?

Now move forward and the trickle becomes a migration. This is a stream of desperate people. Living in the forest becomes a very dangerous place. Assuming someone has all the skills for them and their children to survive. What sort of life will it be? A constant struggle for food and always wary of the neighboring tribe. We are back to being cavemen.

Why prepping for exile? Because we had Eden, and now we are getting kicked out. 

To survive we must learn to cooperate instead of compete. Currently our society is driven by corporations and the drive for profit, so nothing is going to change any time soon. So prepare for exile. Preparing is going to be an act of faith, but if we don't act prior to the collapse then we will be left behind. 

Let me be clear I have no vested interest apart from that of my kids being able to survive. If this, or some other similar community does not prosper then, collectively we perish. It is not a time for vanity.

I am attempting on this site to cover as many of the issues as possible, feel free to comment.

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