A Warming Argument (long read)

Forward:

The original idea for this 70 minutes of narrative had been floating around since November 2019. Reading about the shortcomings of the ‘Paris’ agreement on Greenhouse emissions and yet again witnessing much politics being played out by those Nations led by Conservative right wing Governments, really had my ‘Greenie’ blood boiling. Yet again, the World failed to act as one in working to resolve this most pressing issue of Climate moodiness having increasing impacts. Much frustration was felt from my lack of power in being able to do anything and above all frustration that my own generation could continue to procrastinate and argue over this. The ugly head of profit and selfishness proved to be alive and well. It was as if nothing had really changed and that the starting line had not been crossed.

It is my view that all of us have a responsibility to contribute to keeping the Planet as healthy as possible to secure our future. If it means that we have to be noisy to make people in power listen and do something, then so be it. This article is my noise. My argument is everyone’s argument, and an argument that must finally put to bed, no matter if you are a ‘Greenie, Leftie, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Communist, or of any Religious persuasion. Ideology will not save the Planet. Hard work towards the common good based on overwhelming scientific evidence will.

Now is the time to take stock and invest some time to explore the Scientist truths, to cast an independent third-party eye over the ‘evidence’ provided by Scientists and Deniers. What we are witnessing with Covid-19 planet-wide shutdown within a matter of weeks has realised non-polluted skies and nature a short breather. It provides a window to a what the future may be with pollution under control. Make up your mind as I have. There is no time left to sit on the fence or be an Ostrich and bury your head in the sand. Speaking the undeniable truth and us all cooperating to deal with the truth is the only way to our healthy and sustainable future.

Chris Round 29 April 2020

Chapters

  1. Somewhere in Space 1.1 Blue Dot, 1.2 Blue Marble, 1.3 Our House
  2. Bad Old Days
  3. Harbingers of Doom
  4. Good New Days
  5. Harbingers of Denial
  6. Zealots
  7. Time
  8. Adapt or …
  9. Rock ‘n’ Roll
  10. Blue Marble Revisited

Preamble

This is not a chat filled with many statistics. This is a dedication to the process of Science and the Scientists that alerted us of Global Warming and Climate Change armed with real and measured observation, evaluation, conclusions and outcomes that are proven real and/or predicted. This is to the many from the early 1970’s who hypothesised and published, ran tutorials, toured armed to the teeth with stats, conclusions and comfortable reasonable certainty of truth. I witnessed one of those tutorials in 1977 during my under-grad studies, from two visiting American lecturers to the TCAE in Hobart Tasmania. The message was alarming, simple and clear – Carbon Dioxide emissions were increasing exponentially and causing a rapid rise to planet temperatures with potentially catastrophic consequences the result. Most of their conclusions and truths informed 50 years ago have proven to be true now. The following discusses our place, our moment in time and our crazy, sometimes irrational, illogical and blind ride to where we are now. Read on.

1. SOMEWHERE in SPACE

1.1 BLUE DOT

A Tricky photo – “Blue Dot” Planet Earth as seen from faraway across our Solar System by cameras of Voyager 1 on Valentines Day 1990, some 13 years after launch on 5 Sept 1977. The crude yellow arrow added by me courtesy of ‘Paint’ function points to the extremely tiny pale blue dot on the Brownish coloured band

” Blue Dot” Planet Earth as a tiny round blue smudge within the enormous arena of our Solar System photographed from Voyager 1 in 1990, some SIX (6) Billion kilometres away on the other side of the Solar System. My version of a Fun and Smart guy – Carl Sagan, harassed NASA to turn the Camera around to shoot behind the Probe to take one last photo of Earth before it became invisible to the Probe Cameras which they eventually did. It was no small feat by NASA to reverse the Camera and take the photos. We are certainly a small speck in that large place called Space. “We love you far distant Earth, Our Valentine forever!“, is my interpretation of the essence of the photo.

Assuming Aliens exist, if they peered across this distance to the pale blue dot, would they see our teeming human Billions chewing up the planet’s resources? Probably not. They might pick up a few Politicians speeches and Climate denier diatribes across the ether from our radio emissions but would be quite confused as to the gobbledygook received. Greta Thunberg though? Loud, clear and simple that Planet Earth needs help.

Voyager 1 is still hurtling away across the Universe as I write. We are still getting pings from way out there, now a paltry 22 Billion kilometres away. WOW! Proper, tested and applied Science is awesome!

1.2 BLUE MARBLE

Earth in Space from near our Moon so much closer than Voyager 1. This pic taken on the December 1968 Apollo 8 Mission. Described by the astronauts as a Blue marble. Not a fuzzy Blue Dot anymore. Different shades of blue, brown, green and white present. Note how Earth appears to be not quite round, almost wobbly in fact. After all we are spinning around in Space at 1,600 Klms/hr (1000 mph). Earth is quite heavy and with all that blue bath water slopping about, we are sure to wobble a bit! (some pretty dodgy science in that last comment) I am unsure if that is photo effect or my poor eyesight, but Science already tells us that the Earth is not a perfect sphere. (credits Google image, NASA)

At 380,000 kilometres away, there is still no evidence of the Billions of everyone and everything that live on Earth. Land masses, Clouds and Oceans are visible. It appears to be pristine, yet  the on ground reality is something quite different.

1.3 OUR HOUSE

Planet Earth is an Ecosystem. It is a contained environment in which life exists in many varied relationships with each other and this environment. Our Earth ecosystem can only exist by being wrapped with life providing atmosphere that keeps the warmth and air in and the cold vacuum of Space out.

Little to no atmosphere? Humans not surfing Nazare Gigantic Bombs or any other humans to switch off the Light because we would be Dead. When will this death happen, this atmosphere and planet being consumed by our bloated Sun? This process will take close to four Billion years, give or take a few Million. Death is inevitable but acceptable now due its distance in the future. Before this predictable death comes a reduction in overall Planet Earth health that increases its severity with time.

Maybe we will adapt over the Centuries to the increasingly hostile climate. Maybe we would have already left the Planet far behind with our FTL space drives and Wormhole technologies enabling humans to scatter across Galaxies. (maybe I read too much sci-fi). Our adaptation, inventiveness and evolution can happen, given the thousands of years involved before time is up. One scenario to revise this long-term Death timeline is to get smashed up by a decent asteroid anytime. So be careful out there people, wear Hard hats at all times! (Difficult working in comedy angles to this dire tale)

A second scenario to shorten our life expectancy is to damage our Planet ecosystem to the extent that it becomes hostile to life as we know it. Human activity is now affecting the Planet’s climate and not in a positive way. We are helping the Planet warm at a speed never seen before in history- recorded and not. We are squeezing climate cycles into shorter spans of time. We are plainly damaging our House and it needs major running repairs for us to be safe.

This is about human’s future in the short term (tomorrow – 10-20 yrs), medium term (20 – 50 yrs), long term (50 -100 yrs) and beyond. No big deal really! Just tomorrow, the next day and so on towards our own personal ends. Not bleak at all! Is it time to pause and listen to “Always look on the Bright Side of Life“? (by Monty Python from that ‘Mothers Love’ Movie – “Life of Brian”)?

Yes, it really is time to chuck this optimistic ditty on and make sure you sing along, as the Science cannot be ignored. It is plain and simple truth for all to see. Our frequency of climate change is compressing to shorter periods of time and causing humans more grief than what we grew up with and are now growing into.

To Deny that humans are now visibly affecting climate at our peril just does not make any sense. Global warming is the number one driver as it has been for a very long time now. There is more than enough clear irrefutable evidence already researched, published, raised at Conferences, formally presented in learning institutions, Board rooms and on the Web. We view daily ongoing impacts. It is the Science Community that have measured climate for some time, predicted and confirmed our compressed warming cycle. Proper science has and still is being applied and refined. No matter how good they claim their science to be, Climate deniers are almost as harmful as Global Warming itself. Scrutiny of their cooked-up science indicates that the climate deniers are just plain wrong and that we are in big trouble.

2. BAD OLD DAYS

During and well before the Bad old Days, Humans including those of those of Industry and Government were quite dirty, disrespectful and downright careless with our House – Earth. It took many years before Climate Science and Environmental conscience (natural and built environment) started seeping into Society to change the status quo. Sometimes cold hard facts appeared too difficult to stomach for our masters in Industry and Government. What about the rest of the Population and their ‘servant’ needs?? Oh yes, those in charge were clear that they were looking after our needs. “No need to worry about that” was endlessly quoted to the rest of us by the Government and Industry of the day. Questioning was discouraged, Scientists were undeterred. Research and being noisy with their scientifically founded truths continued.

It does take Humans some time to wake up to issues that affect us. Traditionally we were trained to be compliant and not ask questions. Men go to Work and do what the Boss said, usually questions are best kept to oneself. Meanwhile, Wife and children are supposed to exist just like the working Husband did – to obey and not question. This was the way, in the Bad Old days before and during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Industry had a clear licence from all Governments to do as they pleased. Their ethics were based purely on profit motive including growth, growth, growth. Ethics of considering the health of humans were not part of the picture for those that paid and led us.

Causing adverse impacts to our Health and Environment? So what! It was considered a small matter to concern the public with. Big Business and compliant Governments were our generous giving Benefactors. We were supposed to be thankful for their provided bounty as it put food on the table and helped pay the bills. We had been indoctrinated over many Centuries to trust them to do the right thing.

At Wittenoom in Western Australia, we were employed to mine an in-demand mineral called blue asbestos with application in many heat and bonding applications. Some of the Mine surplus was used as soft fall in Playgrounds because it is light, fluffy and fall absorbent. Industry already had its own research that was clear as to the toxic nature of this deadly substance, but they were more than happy to send the unknowing workers mostly to eventual extremely painful death via Mesothelioma. The wives washed the husbands asbestos impregnated work clothes, and many suffered similar deathly fates. Children of miners having fun in the playground also inhaled the blue death and are now suffering the same fate as Mom and Dad some 40 years after.

Blue Asbestos is now a long-term health curse throughout many parts of the World.

This scenario of not much care for the employee was (and still is to some extent) prevalent across the Planet. Democracy and Dictatorships alike were guilty of this. Our living and natural Environment was not spared this “not much care” mentality. Mineral exploitation, the need for more resources, forest timbers, grazing lands, oil and gas, just kept on pumping up with little regard for the Planets health. Our ecosystem and the resources it contained (including humans} were solely to be plundered and abused for profit. Harsh but True.

Our time of the late 1960’s saw massive industrial pollution very well established. Plastic was really kicking in as a manufactured and Consumer item. Rivers all over the planet anywhere vaguely near human populations were becoming dead, black and foamy. Contamination of traditional clean water resources increased dramatically. Acid rain and Smog caused by the toxic soup coming out of the industrial smokestacks, increasing motor vehicles and now poisoned rivers were seriously stripping forests in Town and Country bare, causing significant respiratory illnesses and death.


1966 New York Smog at its worst. Just imagine being at ground level breathing in the toxic soup! The stress on the health system was savage. Credit: Neal Boenzi/NYT

Large scale clearing of all vegetation types for growing populations and rapidly expanding grazing and crop lands affected rainfall patterns and quantities. Essential Topsoil was either wind-blown or washed away to the extent that in many areas Communities were severely impacted causing famine related mass migration events. City folk were (and still are) affected by random dust storms from the now cleared areas. We kept on repeating these environmental catastrophes time and again without a view back to the past.

Did we learn the lessons from the American Dust Bowl catastrophe of the 1930’s? Maybe America and Canada did, but the rest of the World conveniently forgot and went on making the same simple mistakes. Just move forward with more profit and growth. Not pretty at all and carried out by Humans for Humans. History must not keep on repeating itself! (I keep on  singing “History Repeating” by Shirly Bassey and Propellerheads)

Downtown Melbourne, Australia 8 Feb 1983 about to be enveloped by a dust storm from the Mallee District of northern Victoria. estimated to be carrying 50,000 tonnes of precious topsoil and dumped 1,000 tonnes on Melbourne City itself. The Mallee, (Eucalyptus dryland species) had been progressively cleared across 150 years for large scale monoculture and animal grazing. Ongoing drought with nothing left to bind the soil and this is the result. Mallee Root was sourced as quality, clean burning firewood in Melbourne fireplaces and some stoves. Have been known to chuck a Root or two in the fireplace myself. Very toasty on a Coolish Winter’s night! It was mainly a By-product of land clearing. Credit: Google Images

In the Deep South of the Planet- my hometown of Hobart in Tasmania, we were not excluded – Paper Pulp Mill up-river near New Norfolk , the Zinc Works, Glass Factory and myriad of other smaller industrial plants including Cadburys factory in Claremont used the Derwent River and its inlet bays as their outflow drain and dump. Major sludge built up in the Bays and Inlets along the river stuffing up fish breeding reed beds and shellfish habitat. Unknown to us then was the serious amount of heavy metals being discharged by the Polluters. I am sure they knew what was in their outflows and smokestacks. Fish became less frequent, shellfish populations were wiped out, tidal areas started to stink at low tide. What were once light sand colour river beaches turned grey to black. For many years, the Zinc Works heavy metal rich stockpile was permanently uncovered with much of the fine dust blowing over adjoining suburbs especially Lutana, with heavy metals contaminating the backyard vegetable crop. Anecdotal evidence of Cancer clusters was and still are, more than just rumour.

This was not ignorance by the producers and Govt that drove this excessive pollution, it was the out of sight out of mind mentality for profit first. This was Governments growing local income and employment by offering generous tax subsidies and other incentives (like free Power) to set up Industry. It was the Industry players themselves looking for places with cheap power and flowing rivers (like Hobart) to set up. They already had research that knew the toxic nature of their industrial surplus and by-products that either went via the smokestack into the atmosphere or surplus via the drain into the water system. They knew! Profit drove them and us to look the other way without thought to short, medium or the long-term ecological consequences. After all – out of sight and out of mind, right? Wrong!!

Yes, there was the odd dissenting voice, but not enough cohesive voices to make any difference. In those days if formally challenged, massive Industry and to some extent Govt. resources with well-paid lawyers did the damage control and the random few that really cared and voiced out were pretty much smashed up and spat out. Most of them got right back up, did some running repairs and started questioning and dissenting again. Fantastic! But they really had little impact to the established thinking by those in charge in these bad old days and that includes the Science community. These fresh-faced Global Warming Scientists persisted with their new findings and knowledge that challenged traditional wisdom. The new generation activists backed them up and persisted as well. Would they be successful in challenging the overwhelming tide of ignorance, don’t care and arrogance of Industry and Governments?

3. HARBINGERS of DOOM

All this while up to the middle of the Twentieth Century, Climate was considered as a constant by the majority in the Science Community with only small blips and variations. There was no profession of Climatology.

For many years there had been some measuring and modelling of C02 emissions done by Scientists in varied disciplines including Geophysicists, Meteorologists, Geologists, Vulcanologists, Paleo-botanists, Ecologists and Geographers. The Scientists all had three common issues – being isolated in their measuring and research, scratchy funding and completed reports gathering dust on the Boss’s bottom shelf in the ‘NFA’ Section.

These isolated dust gathering reports had similar measured outcomes that Carbon emissions were gathering steam and starting to track alarmingly upwards. They described increasing heat being trapped due to more CO2 within the atmosphere and postulated as to what the Global heating consequences may be.

It is a worthwhile reminder that CO2 has been part of Atmospheric gases for as long as humans have been around. Without CO2 in the atmosphere the Planet would be seriously colder than now and almost uninhabitable.

Increasing atmospheric CO2 is like placing an additional thin blanket in the atmosphere which limits expired heat from the Planet surface penetrating through the atmosphere to Space. Atmospheric CO2 does not break down. The more we pump out CO2 at ground level, the greater it accumulates in the atmosphere and this thin blanket of CO2 gets thicker making life ‘warmer’ for those below. At ground and sea level our comfort of existence is very much dependent on what is happening in the’ Heavens’, Whether we liked the ‘news or not, we were then on an early path to our eventual Climate trauma.

As mentioned earlier it does take some time for humans to wake up to environmental degradation going on in our backyard. The Sciences associated with Environment and Climate finally started to be noticed. Caring for your Environment gained momentum among the general population from the humble Urban residents Action group objecting to a freeway through the middle of the of their only bit of urban forest left, to ‘Green’ Political Parties birthing in the early 1980’s, particularly in Europe and downtown Tasmania. Conservation and Environmental Protection were at their core.

Sometimes it took catastrophe to repeatedly happen before any action by Industry or Government. In some part, USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Clean Water Act were born out of the ongoing devastation in Ohio from the Cuyahoga River fires which had occurred no less than 13 times over 100 years all due to Industry seriously polluted outflows. The last fire in 1969 finally had the public in one clear voice shouting enough is enough. Government and Industry had to respond and start fixing our damaged Environment in a considered and Scientific way. About time!!

The 1952 Cuyahoga River Fire. The largest of the 13 Fires over 100 years. Just imagine the levels of Carbon dioxide, monoxide and much other nasty stuff within the cloud. Downwind was not a good place to live or work.

Common threads of issues of CO2 and increasing emissions started being pieced together within the broader Science community. In 1977, new Science journals such as “Climate Change”, provided the opportunity to finally publish and get noticed by the Science Community at large. Correspondence and Conference’s sprung up. Speaking tours commenced and Airplane flights were had. Out to Community, Activist groups and Universities they went spreading the good Science word.

Maybe the research was right that Climate was not as constant and almost flat-lined as we believed for many years. These Scientists entered the Boss’s Office with far more confidence than the Bad Old Days. After all – the Statistics were more comprehensive and consolidating. Scientists from different disciplines now agreed. Any change? Nope, they still were turned away. Bosses do not like Bad News!

It is not as if these Intrepid and unacknowledged Scientists wanted to be the Harbingers of Doom. Who wants to be the Holder of this message? Not many that I know. But the stats did not tell lies. Things and stuff that we accepted as right, were not so right after all. The CO2 message that seeped out in the 1970’s just kept on getting stronger and a tad more urgent – that we had started on the road to catastrophe for humans and the rest of life on the Planet.

For a while it looked as if their messages were doomed to still be unknown by the general population and ignored by those in Industry and Government. The Science with catastrophic outcomes finally started being taken up by general circulation news outlets who all appeared to love a good disaster. After all, how could anyone ignore the bleak short to medium term and hellish long-term future that this warming evidence suggested:

  • Polar Icecaps melting and increasing Sea Levels that impact on low lying areas. It was explained to me some years ago that yes, polar ice melting contributes to increased volume. Our greater issue of rising seas is due to the Oceans warming. It is a simple science fact – as water heats and moves towards a gaseous state, it expands its volume. The expansion of water volume through heating is and will be a main driver of Ocean levels on the up and up as temperatures continue to rise.
  • Increase in frequency and intensity of crazy and potentially catastrophic weather.
  • Upheaval to Climate systems where once an area was subject to good and sustainable seasonal rains, over time rainfall diminishes, water resource dries up, plant communities are fundamentally altered, fire risk increases, crops die putting human populations on the brink of collapse. Conversely, some areas of the Planet may see a shift towards better rainfall and being able to grow crops where previously the climate was too harsh. Unfortunately, these bonus locations are currently in places that has very little human population and will need massive human migration to take advantage. Maybe, maybe not.
  • Rapid Collapse of Ecosystems. Human, plant, animal and insect communities will not have time to adapt to the rapid climate changes or migrate to more equitable places and will surely die.

A rather serious but not exhaustive ‘Hit List’. “Shock and Awe” on a scale far grander than a certain terribly contrived War in Iraq. Destruction that strikes directly at the heart of our human existence. Nature gone mad as a reaction to our profit driven Human rape and pillage. No turning back the clock on this. The timeline for catastrophe if not right now will be on us within the next Generation or two. Harbingers of Doom the Scientists certainly were.

CORRECT!

What of the reaction? Would Governments finally start listening and prepare? What would Industry reaction be as the great majority of the doomsday scenario was caused by them. For our future to have some hope, Governments and Industry seriously had to step up. Would there be more report dust-gathering? Surely not as the evidence was becoming overwhelming. Even ‘Blind Freddie’ could tell that something was wrong. If only it was that simple – you know, accepting the Doomsday Science and get on with fixing STUFF up!

The Good New Days are on the way….

4. GOOD NEW DAYS

Happy, happy, happy New days of the pleasure of Wild Nature in the City. Everlasting Daisy Western Australia style in my front yard a few years ago. For the Botanically inclined: Various Pinks to White flowers are Rhodanthe chlorocephala ssp Rosea, Yellow is Schoenia filifolia ssp. Just take the seed, cast on top of the ground, roughen ground surface up a bit with some soil grains to cover to seed, add water, a touch of standard fertiliser and Voila! This Pink Daisy has gone around the World in Floristry displays forever! Is still relatively common in Nature. The Yellow Daisy is now Rare bordering on endangered, mainly from Seed collectors gone mad, Tourists and land clearing in no particular order.

Most of the 1980’s into the 90’s were on the up and up for growing Environmental Awareness and action around the Planet. Enough of the General population were now talking loudly about Doomsday with long term frustration that the “Bad Old Days” of ‘not much care‘ for our health and environment really hadn’t left at all. Increasingly knowledgeable noise with certainty came from Scientists and Activists including Graduates, Students, Teachers/Lecturers, Planners, Landscape Architects, Architects, Lawyers, Doctors, Accountants and yes a few of those Engineering types!

Government and Industry were forced to notice these Scientists, Activists and trainee Politicians who were yelling – “THIS IS SERIOUS MUM!! We’ve been telling you for the past 15 YEARS and with Proper SCIENCE attached!!”. The quote is referenced from TISM (This Is Serious Mum), who were an awesome, eccentric and vigorous band that made Australia a much better place to be during the 80’s, 90’s and into the 00’s. Recommended listening – “Greg, the Stop Sign”. May substitute the word “Earth” for “Greg” in the song if one so desires.

Government had to step up and deal with now clear Scientific consequences of their assisted Environmental rape and pillage on behalf of a Community that they had never sought opinion from before. Out of this background political candidates started getting elected. In Australia, Green Candidates became Local Councillors and later Senators in Federal Parliament. During 1972 the first ever Green Party in the World formed – “The United Tasmania Group” that later morphed into the “Greens Party. Bob Brown and Jo Valentine are synonymous with this long- term rise into Australian Federal Politics. 1989-1993 saw the rise of the German ‘Greens’ being elected to various Parliaments that spurred on the rest of Europe and Britain. The German Greens visited Australia early on and played a pivotal role in the Australian Greens forming. Worldwide, Urban Environmental and Community action Groups were popping up and staying up.

More than a bit of ‘Green’ Zealotry was creeping into the established and Conservative corridors of Government. Environmental Legislation went’ Mad overnight’. (overnight translates as 3-5 years) Planners finally started getting listened to when the Bosses realised, they knew all about Flood Prone areas. Maps were viewed and scary discussions started. Maps were updated. Landscape Architects were finally asked some questions by the Boss like – “how many those trees we gonna get in this Year?” Me- “plenty Boss“, and we did! At Hobart City Council we were doing much native plant re-vegetation and restoration of long-term heavy-duty weeds infestations on Hills face zones (staff got seriously fit on those Jobs), installing Main Street Long Term Tree Canopies and generally Greening up Hobart. This early boss was always straight to the point, but not demanding. He knew the message which was very simple – Plant more Trees and Green stuff.

Funding was very good in those days. Hobart City Councillors had a Green tinge with long term Council Conservative reps coming on board to a simple message – plant more trees because they help our personal Climate. More trees were and still are part of Local Council Budgets. Budgets never had to be huge and the Science was simple – Put plant in Ground, add water as required to maintain healthy growth. Cost? So tiny. Never before seen terms and words appeared on monthly and annual Financial reports including 10 Year Tree Strategy, 5 Year Re-Vegetation and restoration Program, Biodiversity Action framework and River restoration. United Nations Association (Aus) combined with the Nursery Industry Association (Aus) and launched “Greening Australia”. Federal Government hopped on the bandwagon with ‘Green’ Grants. “Greening Australia” linked Communities, Government and Field Science together in networks that exist until today. Fantastic organisation!

Demand for related Natural Science disciplines skyrocketed! A Gazzillion (that is a real lot you know!) amount of attention was being paid to those now cobwebbed and Dusty NFA Reports. Funding streams started appearing and growing. Industry like Shell, BP and DuPont were employing. Much Disaster Mapping was done in earnest and continues today. The 1980’s maps were not far off the refined mapping of today. Big Corporates started doing numbers on Catastrophe outcomes with Actuary’s getting quite busy.

“Much Disaster mapping was done in earnest and continues today”, Bangkok and southern coastal towns with combined population of around 14 Million. The patchy Blue (inundated areas) with brown (existing rivers and lakes) represents almost half of the population being seriously affected by rising water by 2050. This catastrophe will be repeated many times over around the World.

If lucky as I was, you might just get to meet and chat with an Actuary. Actuaries are Fact based future gazers with some solid (but weird to me) Mathematics behind their calculations of Climate change impact scenarios. An Actuary with an Environmental considered mind is always a pleasure but a bit scary to talk to. Best place to view activities and movement of an Actuary? Look to Global Insurers and Strategic Think Tanks. You might just spot these valuable, rare but not endangered human species. No, they do not do autographs! I digress, now back to the topic at hand….

‘Green Parties’ were now having influence on Voting patterns in parliaments. Greenhouse Gases, general pollution and the environment were finally being discussed on the floors of Parliaments. Clean Air and Water Acts exploded through many Nations. Governments and Industry received solid and scary advice from their Insurers that Global Warming and Doom scenarios would not go away politically or in reality. Industry had to clean up their Polluting ways. They had no choice. Government now had proper rules and regulations in place with staff that were happy to see the Law imposed. Many Activists had been doing their own quiet research on many Industry players over some years and fed this crucial information back via Politicians, Communities and News outlets. The Gloves were off with this new and truthful Confidence.

Cleaner rivers, re-invigorated forests and much improved Community health were the result of this now formal concerted push by everyone to clean up our severely polluted Environment. Acid rain and the smog soup of 1960’s and 70’s all but disappeared. Aquatic life returned to previously polluted lakes and rivers. Drinking water contamination reduced. In 1993, Salmon were reported in the upper reaches of the Rhine River for the first time in over 70 years! The same reports were coming from most of the Developed Nations that aquatic river life returned. The Thames River in England was declared biologically Dead in 1957. With the formation of Environmental Protection Agencies in early 1990’s, pollution controls were introduced and policed resulting in the return of Dolphins and Seals. No one could remember the last time they were spotted and had to refer to History books. Wonderful. We had finally started doing proper care to our Human impacted and damaged Ecosystems.

Thames River – ” Pollution controls were introduced and policed resulting in the return of Dolphins and Seals” So cute and awesome to see the pleasures of Wild Nature back in the cities again.

Good New Days were disrupted for a while, when in 1985 someone usefully noticed that there was stuff all Atmospheric Ozone above Antarctica when there was supposed to be much more. Within two years the 1987 Montreal Protocol was signed by many Nations. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) were identified as the nasty culprit and quickly banned from use throughout the developed World. This was the Gas in refrigeration units. Industry found alternative less harmful Gases to refrigerate with. Only problem for Industry in these developed Countries was what to do with the now illegal surplus CFC refrigerators and similar white goods?

Great Idea! We will dump them for a real cheap price in Developing and Third world Nations. While Developed Nations literally stopped using CFC’s overnight, the Ozone depleting CFC curse ramped up in other places! Some people (Industry) never learn!

1994 had the lowest Atmospheric Ozone ever recorded. Sheep and other animals in highland areas of the Southern Hemisphere started going blind in great numbers. Local humans were suffering far more Cataracts and skin Cancers than in history. Running a landscape business in Tasmania for most of the 1990’s I can attest to the extra special ‘Sun Bite’ to the skin at Ground level. We slip, slopped, slapped and wore broad brimmed hats the entire time even when it was 10 degrees C. To this day Tasmanian sun fries just that little bit more than the rest of Australia, thanks to CFC’s and other Ozone destroying chemicals made by humans for humans.

In the meantime, Industry players were not happy with extra Regulation and public scrutiny. Much cost was associated with compliance to the new rules and regulations. Some went under, some reluctantly complied while others worked out ways to get around the new requirements.

This issue of Global Warming via the invisible Gas – CO2 caused much grief as it threatened the very existence of fossil fuel-based Industry. Industry and Government had been forced to react swiftly to Ozone depletion because of the visible Health impacts. Industry and Government were also finally forced to start fixing the visible deathly pollution of the Bad Old Days. Would they be as pro-active with the invisible CO2 issue or revert to type and come up with cunning ways to reduce their complicity in creating this scary Doomsday scenario in the first place?

5. HARBINGERS of DENIAL (and it ain’t some river in Africa!)

An Iconic photo from 1900 of ‘de’ Nile River Delta. Population then was around 25 Million. Now there are close to 200 Million people across 11 Countries depending on this as a water and food resource. Another 150 Million throughout the Hinterland are semi -dependent on the feast that comes from the Nile. Egypt and Sudan being main tenants on the River Delta. Lower Nile is drying and dying, has become disease ridden with the Nile being the main Poo and dumping repository, is full of heavy metal contaminants, main irrigation channels in the Delta are clogging up with alarming frequency from 20th and 21st Century rubbish like plastic.
Global warming initiated rising sea levels from the Mediterranean have resulted in agricultural soils up to 140 kilometres inland becoming saline and 100% un-productive. In the upper reaches, Ethiopia are building the largest Hydro Electric Dam in Africa which is Pompously named “Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam“. This means less water to the Delta where Egypt and Sudan are. The system will fail to flush properly or refresh the Delta with Mountain derived silts full of minerals to make Plants happy! Potential Catastrophic Outcome? Possible. Currently Sudan and Egypt are in formal dispute with Ethiopia. USA are brokering talks which broke down in February this year when Ethiopia withdrew. Humans are really good at stuffing up their own backyard!

The almost Planet wide Honeymoon of acceptance of these Good New Days during the 1980’s really did not last long enough. They just couldn’t make the marriage work. It lasted about eight to ten years at best and become aggressively argumentative. Some excellent stuff happened. Governments around the World with the UN were getting on board setting up World Councils with real meaning like IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) in 1988, signing Wholesome Climate based Accords and Treaties like the UN backed Kyoto Protocol in 1997. It set CO2 emissions reduction of 5.2%. It took almost 8 years to get running, but by 2012 the 141 Member Nations including China but excluding USA who left before it was finally started in 2005, managed to reduce CO2 emissions by a whopping 20%! This was well above the 5.2% target. Fantastic effort by all. The USA leaving the Kyoto Protocol before it really started was a sure sign that all was not rosy in the Global Warming debate.

A big Success in reducing Global emissions? No. Global CO2 emissions went up by almost 40% over the same period with more heating to atmosphere.

Emissions ramped up from developing nations with exploding population growth and conversion to modern Industrial methods. Their fresh modern Industry was being built from now “Carbon” ‘redundant’ Production line from Western Industry. These developing Countries with cheap power, water, labour and Parliaments that did not discuss environment, were a perfect opportunity for exploitation. Developed Nations Front Door of Industry looked quite Shiny and Bright with lovely PR. Meanwhile, out the Backdoor they went to other Worldly parts to reprise to some extent the “Bad Old Days“. (“out the backdoor they went” had me humming along to George Thorogood’s version of House Rent Boogie – “…and out the door I went”…. He does a fine job!)

Industry had crunched the numbers. They realised quickly that cost of compliance to new ‘Happy Planet’ Regulations was going to be bad for all sorts of stuff, especially profit. Many of these most powerful plainly did not appreciate those ‘Lefty’ Scientists and their ‘Motley’ supporters having impacts on Government and continuing to embarrass Industry. Many of the traditional Conservative overlords of Government did not appreciate these ‘Hippy’ upstarts either. Grumblings increased and Teak lined room discussions ensued.

Formalised in 1989, the “Global Climate Coalition”(GCC) got to work. Title reads all Climate Warm and Fuzzy! It was not. With the IPCC starting to gather steam, the “Bad Old Days” Crew in Industry had desperate need to diminish this hype of Global Warming. Names represented included DuPont, Ford, General Electric, General Motors, BP and Shell. Old lobbying connections were freshened up and the Denier debate thinly disguised as Skeptical Science commenced in earnest.

In the face of now overwhelming validation of much of the Climate Modelling of the past 20 years, GCC used Science to challenge back in an effort to make us believe that these rising Co2 atmospheric gases were just part of our normal Climate cycle and that if we were heating up, it was at a much slower rate than the Doomsday Scientists claimed. Some of the Science that came out was good. Some resulted in adjustments to established models and hypothesis, but seriously just not enough to make significant difference.

Some was not good Science. A tiny fragment of Climate Warming trend would be taken and interpreted differently than the now established Science. When looked at with other inputs in creating a heating outcome, these interpretations are just Mouse prints in Time with little to no impact on the overall heating curve of Truth! They were and still are experts at using information out of context with fragments of Climate Science to justify their claim that Human induced Global warming is Fake.

The “Bad Old Days” Mantra was scrubbed off and given a makeover. “Nothing to be alarmed about” they repeated time and time again. They also spread the story that those now apparently nasty ill-bred leftie and anarchist Environmentalists were bent on controlling the World through Environmental legislation, will then take your Properties and make everything a National Park! Maybe, maybe not.

GCC used any and all resource they had to rile up all the ‘Right’ thinking, morally upstanding Libertarians and other Right Conservative groups to join a fray which was rapidly approaching War. In the USA Conservative think tanks exploded. 1984 – Heartland Institute, 1988 George C Marshall Institute, 1993- The Advancement of Sound Science Centre (TASSC), 1993- National Environmental Policy Institute (NEPI). They ramped up their PR ‘Sceptic Science’ rhetoric backed by Big Bucks funding from Oil and Tobacco Industries. Heartland and NEPI initially operated on Tobacco Company funding to counter-attack anti-smoking Science. They moved onto bigger ‘greener’ pastures with Climate Science Skepticism bordering on Denial. They worked hard to de-bunk established Climate Science. Heartland Institute led the way in developing Denial activism.

Famous or Infamous (depending on which side you are on) Hockey Stick Graph (1998-99) by Mann, Bradley and Hughes) which shows 1000 Year average Global temperatures. Note the extremely rapid rise heading towards 2020. This graph and variations of it have been peer reviewed and recreated around the World so many times that it is not worth discussing further. Just about all Science review end up with similar conclusions of rapidly increasing temperatures for anyone living on the surface of the Planet. Given most of the graph is relatively consistent it is no surprise that established Science of the 1950’s viewed Climate as something constant. GCC and others spent much resource trying to pick holes in this graph. The Hockey Stick graph authors were formally investigated by the US to the extent that they were ordered to provide all their research, Computer codes and much personal data to the USA Oversight and Investigation Committee. They were treated as Criminals! Lobbying by Industry resourced organisations had pushed the issue this far. Established Conservatives in Government were happy to support the witch hunt.

GCC and others labelled the Sciences associated with Global Warming as Junk Science. With their money laden resources, they went on full frontal attacks not just against the established Science but also the Scientists themselves. World renowned Environmental Health expert David Platt Rall passed away in 1999. Steven J Milloy who coined the term Junk Science and is current head of TASSC, stated publicly at the time – “scratch one Junk Scientist”. Yes, it got personal! Most of these attacks commenced in the USA, continued to the floor of Congress, and did manage to influence certain Presidents to back down on upgraded Greenhouse gas emissions legislation.

There was no letting up by the Conservative Industry dominated right, associated Institutes and supporters’ clubs of ‘right thinking decent’ people. Global Warming denial thinly veiled as being just skeptical science really impacted the growth of Environmental protection measures with the consequence of polarising Community attitudes and beliefs. Black started becoming white and white became black. It did not matter that their counter ‘Science’ being pushed to discredit Global Warming had so many holes that you could drive a Bus through.

Quantity, not quality was the way – do the classic Advertising of concerted and saturated scatter gun promotion and the truth does not matter anymore. Throw in outlandish claims that these new generation Scientists and their supporters will reduce a person’s right to freedom, and you have a potent cocktail for a fake fact vengeful War.

Green supporters and associated Scientists were really blindsided by the ferocity of attacks. Not since the dark ages had truthful Science been so set upon with such vigour. In frustration, Green Party delegates to European Parliament in 1998 proposed that the World Meteorological Organisation name Hurricanes after GCC members! They failed, but their sentiment reflected the concerns of many that the now established Climate Science was being hijacked by the powerful for their own ends and to the detriment of dealing with rapidly changing and future damaging Climate. Would the 2000’s see a shift in the rhetoric and a change of mindset by Industry and Government Conservatives towards acceptance of Global Warming and start preparing for our crazy Climate future? Maybe, maybe not. Were both sides of the debate becoming Zealots?

6. ZEALOTS

Zealot: A person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other beliefs.

Fanatic: A person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause (Dictionary.com)

Denier: A person who denies something, especially someone who refuses to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence (Dictionary.com)

Skeptic: Not easily convinced, having doubts or reservations, that certain knowledge may be impossible to gain. (Dictionary.com) EG: Existence of God, Science style (Dictionary. Chris)

To view anything in a considered and sometimes cautious manner is a good part of being human. This is a handy trait to have. To consider first before we act lessens the amount of pain we need to go through with our time living on the Planet. This good trait gives us confidence to form conclusions with as much knowledge as possible at the time of doing so. We think naturally as Scientists do. To consider something is to use our Brain as intended. To follow logic paths of evidence in front of our eyes in a manner of a 3rd Party Witness is a truthful thing to do.

Skepticism is one aspect of truth finding. Unless there is solid clear evidence that something is true, then maintain caution and assume it may not be true until further information states otherwise.

Being a skeptic does not mean a closed mind, it just means give me more information. Science and skepticism go hand in hand as they should. Do not accept anything at Face value. “Give me the EVIDENCE“, we scream from the rooftops. “I know the truth is out there somewhere” is a rallying cry. Science must provide evidence that leads to truth, otherwise it is nothing more than a meaningless fabrication of Gobbledygook.

RINGS of TRUTH: Typical growth Rings of a reasonably old Tree. How old is reasonably? The rings can be accurately dated. Count the rings and find out! Start from the middle. Each ring represents a year of growth. Widely spaced rings indicate years of speedy growth from a good wholesome Climate. Closely spaced rings? Slow growth from harsher times. Splodges of darker and sometimes black colour indicate trauma like a physical wound. Could be physical as in branch junction or indicator of past fire events. Photo above lower right area shows a darker Ochre intensity. Most likely branch junction. but am not an expert!
It is one tool used by those in Climatology to develop (Proxy) records of past Climate patterns.
The Rings do not lie.

30 years of research on from the 1970’s confirmed Global warming, which in turn has the nasty side effect of upsetting established Climate cycles. To refuse to believe this truth in the face of overwhelming evidence demands a level of Denial, Zealotry and Fanaticism that used to be the sole domain of Religion, Despots, Dictators and the Dark Ages.

Yet as more Science gained Peer and public acceptance, we started to see Science and emotions being manipulated to cast doubt and derision on the Science (Junk) and the Scientists involved. By 2000, the great manipulators of truth – Industry, associated Institutes and Lobby groups had managed to crank up much outrage with a growing army of so-called Skeptical Scientists and Denial Zealots challenging the Truth of Global Warming.

Good Science is always based on the premise of validate, validate, validate, whether it be via Peer review or going back and re-creating and re-testing.

For every new bit of Global Warming prediction being validated, there was much more denial coming from the Industry sponsored other side including news and online media. ‘Skeptical Scientists in the employ of the far right came up with modelling that eventually failed just about every peer review and validation process. But it did not appear to matter, just publish anyway!

 Climate Scientists in the forefront received many abusive and offensive emails including death threats to them and families. These were coordinated and unremitting attacks that provoked an understandable War footing by the Climate Scientists and Activists. They knew they were right, almost righteously right. There is only so much provoking a reasonable and considered person can take…….

I attended two Climate Change conferences in Western Australia in 2004 and 2010, Both were held at reputable Universities with Australian and International experts in their respective Sciences fields. The 2004 Conference discussed issues of verification of Climate Cycles, their length, future impacts and adaption due to Global Warming. There were still gaps in determining duration of Climate cycles. There were many grey areas regarding speed of adaption. It is healthy to maintain a level of skepticism as I had at the time. I was trusting that this Conference might fill some long overdue Skeptic gaps. Previously, I managed to keep up on some reading, but that was about it. The ‘nitty gritty’ of both sides of the Climate change debate had been remote to me for some years.

After registering and receiving Conference Goodies Bag, an excitable buzz greeted me entering the room as if this were a quite a special affair. I had little prior knowledge of the eminent Boffins present. The room was almost full. A seat down the back was found and I checked the Conference Goodies bag, opened notes to a clean page, pen poised, was quiet, watched and started listening. A slightly bearded guy was 5-6 seats to the right. He vaguely looked my way, we nodded slightly and exchanged small smiles. 30 minutes in and questions/comments were called from the floor. Beardy Man in a pleasant and what appeared to be knowledgeable manner provided a brief opinion and finished with a short question, smiled and sat back down waiting for a reply from the Panel. I had no idea what the subject matter was apart from it having to do with 500 years ago (Medieval warming rates?). It seemed reasonable to receive an answer in professional manner. Rebut if needed but in a nice Scientific way. Response did not arrive like that. Within micro minutes they were all over him like a rash with the replies. Always strictly one-way traffic, quite aggressive, loud. Beardy Man kept up the conversation, but I could not really hear anything of sense due to the cacophony.

Maybe Beardy Man would have been satisfied with this answer – “Good question, we simply don’t know at this time, the modelling show this…..”. The learned conversation goes on from there. Yes? No. Beardy Man was ejected from the Conference not long after. A few, including myself were sitting there flabbergasted at this aggressive attacking mob of Scientists. A little later I offered comment regarding adaption rates. More than one seriously looked offended that I even dare to discuss my still skeptical adaption knowledge gap. They acted like they were appointed keepers of all necessary knowledge. It was almost blasphemous to question. A few others and I gave up having a reasoned conversation by Morning Tea and left. We found Beardy man outside. “That’s okay, I am getting used to being tossed out now.” He had a wry smile on his face and casually wandered off. He was American.

In hindsight of the now, he may have been one of the band of Boffins via the Heartland Institute or related organisations that were paid to go to Climate conferences around the World and ask tricky questions. I reflected as I left that this had felt like some hardcore Christian Revivalist Mob. This was my first Proper Climate Session since Undergrad days 30 years ago. I was so disappointed to witness what had happened. That conference was so full of self-righteous testosterone. War had been declared against the ‘OTHER’ Side – the Far right and their not so merry Band of Deniers. The 2010 Conference was an improvement as the Zealotry didn’t show quite as much. It was certainly still there with some glares and cut off responses to questions. There was a Met Guy discussing the Moon influence on Climate Cycles – truly fascinating and worth the follow up.

I was already spending life contending with the concept of weird Conservative people who think it is their birthright to be the holders of all knowledge and lead. I now had to contend with another bunch of weird ‘who used to be nice smart people’, that were not nice anymore but maintained they were the true holders of the now Sacred Scrolls of Climate Change. The Zealots and Fanatics from the right had brought out the Zealots and Fanatics from the Climate Science community. For many years I had only been partially aware of the increasing politics of this The Climate ‘War’. After the first Conference I made sure I found out more.

Iconic West Australian plant Banksia menziesii happily living near Perth now. Fossil records indicate that 5000 years ago it was restricted to a small area on the South Coast, some 1000 kilometres away as the Climate there provided suitable growing conditions. As climate modified over 5000 years, the Banksia adapted to warmer and wetter climate and moved north to where it is now. Rainfall has decreased significantly over the past 60 years. This Banksia is a key indicator species of when the ecosystem is failing. The drying has led to mass deaths of B Menziesii in the Perth region. Modelling indicates that drying will continue. What used to take 5,000 years to ‘move house’ is now being compressed into 100-200 years at best, B Menziesii cannot move that quick! Extinction of this iconic species may be just around the corner. Photo credit: Chris Round)

To look back on the simple Science described to me 30 years previously by earnest and even mannered Scientists and compare to Climate Conference in 2004, was like chalk and cheese. There was no War back in the day, maybe a level of frustration that they were not being listened to by the right people, but Zealots and Deniers did not exist. Even establishment Science came on board then and supported these Climate Science upstarts. All the while the Climate modelling was refined reinforcing the truth of Global Warming being true. Governments and the UN started work to reverse our diminished Environment. At the most conservative estimate, at least 80% of the Worlds established Science community and Global Insurers recognised this Truth being way more than just a mere probability.

Part 5 of this story- “Harbingers of Denial” put paid to that. The now established Climate truths were not diminished by good Science, instead they were diminished by Ideology. Conservative Industry had successfully stage-managed outrage and disdain for the Scientist’s clear message. They were successful in creating a War, when there need not have been a War in the first place. Naive Climate based Scientists believed that all they had to do was tell the truth, but it had become much more than that. The Denier zealots do not care that the truth of Climate Change was getting buried, they only care about stomping on those that disagree with their Ideologically driven rhetoric.

Can overwhelmingly validated Climate Scientists, Anti Climate Zealots and their hangers on somehow declare a truce, fix the truth without emotion and lies attached and agree that Humans have some work to do to fix the problem created by us? Will this War last so long that there won’t be anyone left to fight as we would all be dead from catastrophic collapse of our Global ecosystem? Is it because the Planet is spinning at 1600 klms/hr that Humans have become so dizzy that we can no longer function in a rationale manner? Maybe, maybe not.

7. TIME

“Time and Tide Wait for no Man”, Geoffrey Chaucer. A most famous quote and most appropriate.

Time, he’s waiting in the wings, he speaks of senseless things……”, “TIME” by David Bowie. I included this because I reckon the Song, especially the piano work is awesome!

Time is of the essence here People! Humans are stuffing up Climate as we know it. It is just plain Dangerous to Deny the now well-established Truth of our Climate patterns going haywire due to Human activity. It is even more Dangerous to delay action.

Year 2050 has been the focus of validated Doomsday forecasts for some time. That is the year when our Oceans and Seas runneth over and drown way more than a Billion Humans. Cities, Towns and Villages will not be the same as we know within our lifetime. This time used to span two, not just one of our Lifetimes. “Times a tickin away Maria!”, as they say in the Classics. Tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic TOC tic tic tic tic t.. …………………..This is still Serious Mum!!. I am not joking.

In reality it will be a sneaky and increasing Disaster of rising Sea levels and darkening Climate moods over 30 years to 2050. There may be much less drowning than described above, but mass enforced migrations of Humans away from rising seas will occur and place additional Climate related stress on neighbours. Major local Disasters will happen through greater frequency of Extreme weather events.

Human life will be much tougher for the almost 8 Billion living on the surface. My children will be roughly 60 years old and Grandchild Millie currently 3 months old, will be 30 Years old. I will most likely be Dead or quite a cranky 92-Year-old who is still wondering why only very few ever read A Warming Argument.

Millie. Eyes and mind of innocence and ignorant of what future World may be. Yes, I am shamelessly using Millie to Emotionally appeal to Industry, their Conservative supporters in Government, Climate Skeptics and Deniers out there. Don’t be so selfish and cavalier with now and the future. Millie represents your children and grandchildren. It is Millie’s future you are arguing over, not mine or yours! So, what is it going to be? You going to stop this senseless War or not? My sincere apologies to Millie for including her in this. Pop will explain why in coming years. I did get permission from Mum before posting pic. So Cute!!!!

Humans still have the capability to reduce the effects of Global warming in making a difference for Millie’s existence over the near future. All it takes is a measure of Cooperation in adapting to our increasingly hostile World. Adapt or Die. Simple. No choice. This senseless Warming argument needs to stop and stop right now, not 5 years, 10 or 20, NOW. We are squeezing the need to rectify our damaging behaviour into a tighter time frame. It makes great Pressure for all to deal with. Humans will have a far tougher time adapting to the future by the time 2050 arrives. Science or no Science!

Scientists, Planners and Landscape professionals such as I work with time in our deliberations. We understand that 50 – 100 years is not a long way away. 50 years after all is just two generations. Davey Street in downtown Hobart Tasmania was planted with Street Trees in 1985 that will reach their designed Maturity in about the Year 2100. The designer (L. Arch – me) will be long dead. We design for a future we will never see, with comfort and pleasure of future generations first and foremost in our minds.

Similarly, Scientists back in the 1960’s and 70’s Climate modeled to 2050 and beyond, knowing that they may not be around to witness proof of their modelling. But they were clear on the potential implications for all Humans if the modelling was ignored. Actuary’s working for Global Insurers, Government and Industry did their own version of the Time modelling to map the future liabilities and other outcomes from Climate impacts. They fed that truth back to Industry and Government through application of the Sciences, not through half-baked theory or crystal ball gazing. So why did Industry and Government take the Actuary truth and incorporate into future plans, yet then choose to ignore or reverse down the track? Any fresh Actuary advice years later would reinforce the same outcomes. Is it just about making profit before the inevitable happens? I would like to think not.

Talk near future with the average human and it will be next week, a few years or at the longest the span of their lifetime. We have to some extent become conditioned to not consider that near future is a bit further away than next week or next year. Beyond our lifetime? Who cares? Culturally, we have been manipulated to exist with instant gratification, instant news, instant stock market fluctuations, advertising that promises everything now. Not all of us, but many have lost the concept of time.

Society has regressed in dealing with Climate based problems that arise. 50 years ago, a severe storm may cause power blackouts. People patiently appreciated the issues and were already stocked up on necessities for a potential emergency and accepted that there may be inconvenience. A Power blackout of similar stature now? Social media is awash within hours of vitriol and rebukes of Authorities for allowing Mother Nature to have her way and shouting why is everything not working properly yet.

Nature has become arms-length removed from our existence, until it reminds us harshly that nature exists. 50 years ago, most of us still connected with Nature. Now, our understanding of Nature has severely diminished. Our connection is almost gone. Yet again, Industry and Conservative Governments have the rest of where they want us to be. Be dependent on their largess, be compliant to believe anything and everything that is so thoughtfully handed down to the rest of us. To remind us time and time again – “Don’t you worry about that!”. Plainly they cannot be trusted to look after our welfare by being reckless in dealing with truth of Climate change. Increasing Observation (Science style) indicates the “Bad Old Days” never really left us much at all. This is a 100% verifiable statistic. As far as Time is concerned, they really do not care. A great pity to the rest of us Humans and especially to them.

When I first received the Bad News of Global Warming in 1977, I could not imagine that this Observational Science debate could lead to a War. Time meant 43 years of increasing observation towards the Proof in global warming and impact on Climate. “Plenty of TIME“, I said to myself in 1977 to sort Global Warming out. “Sooner we start fixing stuff, the cheaper it will be in 2020 to deal with this when Climate Moods start getting interesting. Oh well, in the meantime I’ll just keep jamming Plants in the Ground then”. And off I went, became married, had children, started business, kept planting, and doing other good stuff like maintaining a skeptics perspective.

By 2004, Skeptic Chris finally had a well-earned rest due to acceptance of the Proof of crazy climate variations mainly due to Global Warming. Yay! Unfortunately, not so Yay! When I started delving into recent History of the previous years of the War, Skeptic mode had to be switched back on and quickly, no choice! So called Climate skeptics and deniers saw to that. Progress towards limiting Greenhouse gas emissions was fractured and limited. Really nasty things were being said about Climate Scientists. Kyoto Protocol happened but failed to turn the corner of our Carbon-based tide to Disaster. Change was increasingly running into a brick wall.

Industry and compliant Governments have been partly successful in almost stopping time, even reverse it a bit. Smog is on the increase in US Cities for first time in many years. The USA EPA has undergone some transformation under the current President. Enforcement is not like it used to be. Staff have been replaced with those of long-term Industry allegiance. Legislation reviews and changes are ongoing.

Surely, we cannot head back in time towards smog laden New York circa 1966, when the ‘free market’ did whatever it felt like? USA under Conservative Governments of G Bush and now D Trump, pulled out of Paris Agreement early on just like they did with Kyoto protocol. Why? Cannot interfere with the so called ‘Free Market’? “We have to stop the Commies at the Borders”?

Whatever the reason may be, none of them make logical sense to the rest of us. If the Climate Change war hatchet is not buried now, there will be no World for you to ‘Free market’ on. This Warming Argument would NOT be written if you had just stayed in the Agreements and chose to work as part of the World, to not be tunnel visioned and protectionist as you have.

Climate activism has had to resort back to age old tactics of disruption to re-gain some publicity as to our plight. 350.org, Energy Action Coalition, Global Call for Climate Action have headed back to the streets, Government institutions and Universities, culminating in 2019 with Global Climate Strike. An incredibly aware and mindful person in Greta Thunberg realised that time is up for us argumentative and arrogant older generation.

We must move over and let her generation highlight the way forward in this decreasing timeframe towards disaster. Greta and her supporters have had enough of the old’s and are screaming “OK Boomer” at us over our increasing refusal to utilise Brains in the way they were designed (see ZEALOTS). I 100% agree with them. We of the older generation are behaving terribly!

ME: Typical example of an argumentative older Generation that sincerely is trying his best for Millie’s and Greta’s future

I am a natural Skeptic in observation. Repeated validation and firming up proofs are standard honest, ethical, and moral process of learning. A person cannot claim to be a Skeptic or Deny by just opposing for the sake of opposing. A person needs facts to justify the story, otherwise they are just a cheap and nasty zero credibility skeptic. To Deny and ignore overwhelming evidence deserves a frustrated and abusive response.

Greta Thunberg and her generation know the truth of our Generation’s created mess. I will make sure Millie’s generation knows while I hang my head in shame at our non-cooperative ways. Can my generation finally slip off our mortal coil, comfortable in the knowledge that we did all we could to prepare the next generation for what is surely to come? We have so far failed them.

Are our combined Egos getting in the way of Adapting our future, to mitigate these Global warming effects?

8. ADAPT or …

“The only constant is change”, attributed to Greek Philosopher Heraclitus.

Climate/ Weather is always on the move, sometimes subtle, sometimes not so. This state of movement creating change used to be relatively consistent with some upticks and downticks, but the average was quite smooth. This change has become more extreme and will continue to do so into the future. We don’t really know the new extremes of Climate yet or what the new benchmarks will be. We can accurately guess though, and it does not look pretty.

Adaptation (or Adaption): The act of changing to suit new conditions. A simple description it is! Say no more!

What used to take a thousand years or more adapting to new conditions, may now be squeezed into 100-200 years at best. Maybe I am being alarmist, as there is still much research to do, but the signs are there. We have wasted much time not working out adaptation strategies because we have been arguing too much as to who is right or wrong.

ADAPTION at its BEST: Turtle Frog of South West Australia. Can spend 90% of its life Underground at around 1.2 metres (4ft) deep. They only venture above ground after good season changing rainfalls which may only be two or three times in their life of up to 20 years. These frogs have adapted so well to life underground that Tadpole stage is no more, and they are born as ‘Mini-Me’s’, and up to 50 at a time. Unfortunately, every time I look at the pic, I see a Malaysian dish -“Chicken Chop”, before the pepper and mushroom sauce has been applied! (Courtesy of WA Museum)

Organism: An organism is any individual that embodies the property of life. It is a synonym for “life form“. Humans, squids, mushrooms and plants are life forms that are multi-cellular organisms. (Dictionary.com) Yes, Humans are next to squid and mushroom on the list. Is that some 3-5 steps removed stuff? Humans related to squid? Maybe. Yes, can understand Squid, but Mushrooms? No way!

Ego: A person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. (Dictionary.com) If it were not for Ego Humans would not have progressed as we have. Ego can be used to drive many things. Adaptation needs Ego. No ego = no drive. When all other traits are found lacking, Ego steps up. As they say in the ‘Classics’ – “Ego is a not a dirty word”, so well described by “Skyhooks, legendary Australian Band. Excellent Ditty and big hit! (available for listen in digital world)

Egotistical: excessively conceited or absorbed in oneself: self-centred. (Dictionary.com) Too much Ego and what happens? We become someone who can only think of themselves and their own power. The person is almost always right as far as they are concerned. Can be quite difficult to have a considered two-way conversation with. Most people know at least one Egotistical person in their life, and we tend to read about egotistical people a lot.

I had egotistical moments in younger Professional days thinking I knew everything about a major project I was running, only to realise I knew almost nothing after a chat with a local resident about the project. He made sure that I knew that he knew, how naive I was. My self-inflated Ego got smashed that day, never to be forgotten and a lesson well learned. Yes, adaption has space and time for Ego. If Egotistical? It may well be the death of us all.

According to Science (including Darwin’s Origin of the Species), part of our reason for evolving as Humans has been our ability to adapt over time to changing conditions. Adaptation is burnt into our Genes. No ability or desire to adapt and we would have been consigned to the Evolution Dust Bin for some time.

There is a bit of a roadblock regarding Darwin. It appears that dissenting, and denier Climate views can be coloured by Creationist theory that Earth was created less than 10,000 years ago by God. From this, Man (Humans) was put here to run the show as per Genesis 1.28 of the Bible -“....be fruitful and multiply, fill the Earth and subdue it, and have Dominion over … everything that moves on the earth” (short version). We all need to remember that this was written in times when lightning and thunder were seen by almost all as a supernatural/God event. Humans now understand far more of Nature than we did then. I am not going to argue theology, but it is difficult to believe that we were put here to abuse the rest of Nature for our own ends.

It is this ideology that drives the rhetoric of “don’t change a thing” of our Industrial outputs and environmental stewardship – business as usual! Regardless of whether it was 10,000 or 100,000 years ago, the last 200 years, especially the last 50 years we have really started to mess up the Planet. Not a bad effort at all! If God did create Earth such a short time ago, would God like to see this work going down the drain? I will not answer on behalf of God, but my answer is No! Ideology is getting in the way of us focussing on our human created problems and adaptation.

The modern version of Homosapien started appearing about 300,000 years ago. We stood out from the rest of the Animal kingdom because we started using our brains to carry out advanced abstract reasoning, problem solving and inventing tools for complex tasks. Handy attributes to have for the process of adaptation.

Our past shows that given time, humans and other organisms can adapt. These adaptation processes can take many thousands of years in line with then relatively consistent Climate variations. Of course, there have been exceptions such as Earthquakes and big Volcanoes blowing their top like Krakatoa (1883 and well documented). It caused temporary Global cooling for up to five years with the bonus of spectacular Sunsets everywhere by blasting 20 Million tons of Sulphur into the stratosphere. Major asteroid impact may have been responsible for the death of Dinosaurs. These are sudden events which cannot be planned for or adapted to due to the unexpected nature of the occurrence. That is the nature of our precarious life existence. Nothing is guaranteed to 100%, but at least we can reduce our risk of disappearing too quickly.

Adaption is in our blood, to survive, Remember!! Many of us now believe that someone else will fix things up for them and quickly. Someone else cannot all the time. The Couch Sitter needs to adapt, and in a hurry, otherwise no more Couch!

We have had some time to plan our adaptation to increasingly hostile climate. We see physical manifestations of Ecosystems increasingly going ‘topsy-turvy’, yet we argue or ignore rather than being proactive, practical and adaptive. We are not doing what is built into our Genes, to respond and be adaptive in our survival. Why? Is it our bloated Human ego driving this? Too many ‘Alpha Conservative males’ on the block running Climate debate? The rest of the organisms within our planetary ecosystem don’t have this trait, just us unfortunate humans. Our egotism is getting in the way of seeing the Facts right in front of our face.

Ouch! Must not pull Head back out too quickly. There may not be much of a skin layer left either way. It would feel like a dry Shave with a blunt razor against the hard-baked clay! He might have to stay there until the first decent rain to smooth his exit. Then, he will have to be quick to leave – Clay expands as it gets wetter and will suffocate him. The end result? Well overdue blood and bone fertiliser to the floodplain. Mother Nature can be like that.

Is this person adapting to the now well parched and baked floodplain clay? He looks like a City Slicker to me, or maybe he got best dressed for the pic? For any of us know, the hills and tower in the background may be concealing a City of millions. This area may have been intensively cultivated crop fields before and food bowl for as long as Humans have been around until the last 50-100 years.

The photo represents our current predicament. Those with the power in Industry, Conservative Government, and their rat pack of associated NGO’s, are doing a fair bit of Head burying and with FULL knowledge of our Human induced climate issues. There are many long-term Adaptation strategies prepared for Government and Industry over the years that appear to have become dust gatherers on the Boss’s NFA lower shelf just like the early Climate Science reports of the 1960’s.

Industry and Conservative Government choice is to do nothing?? As suggested earlier – is it just about Profit before ‘Too Late to Adapt Day’ catches up with us all? Seriously, my mind refuses to accept that you could be that self-serving. My skeptic doubt exists but is becoming less. You cannot, can you? Be like this, like you were back in the “Bad Old Days“? You have the plans to our future but choose to keep them tight to your collective Chest.

Help the rest of us to adapt, rather than this selfish approach. I am not asking for you to hold my hand and tell me not to worry, I am asking you to participate with the rest of us. Stop with this Seriously Old School Boss Stuff lording over the rest of us as if we are your serfs. We are educated and we will be coming up with plenty of Private adaption strategies ourselves, with or without your assistance. Adaptive strategies and actions would be far more effective if you chucked your Hat in the Ring and went with the flow. Just to think that 30 years ago you were poised to follow adaption strategies, being aware there was a short-term loss for long term gain.

Now? How much Money has been spent Arguing? Most recent estimates put spending by Industry to challenge and fight established Climate Science at US$200 Million/Year. Staggering abuse of finances for selfish ideologically driven reasons. Just to think what that amount of money that could have done in developing adaptation strategies or limiting their greenhouse gas emissions. The only adapting that has happened is Global Insurers pumping up Risk Premiums due to extra moody climate impacts.

Those increased premiums have filtered down to higher Rates now being charged by the local Councils who are already bearing the brunt of this. Western Australian coastal councils are needing to allocate increased budgets to combat rapidly increasing coastal erosion. Climate moodiness is affecting us now in the hip pocket and what do our traditional masters have to say? Do I hear the words – do nothing as Industry will save us all? Yes, the Ideologists are having their way.

We have a brain right! There are almost 8 Billion of us. Someone must have a decent idea or two? Let us use our collective brain to develop adaption strategies. This whole story from “Good New Days” onward is starting to feel like the fading glow of a once mighty Rock ‘n’ Roll Band that reached the heights of mass acceptance (like IPCC and Kyoto protocol), but was ruined by a self-serving Manager (Industry aided by Conservative Govt) leaving the Band (Climate Scientists and general population) with stuff all.

Maybe that is what we need – a bit of Rock ‘n’ Roll in developing Adaptation techniques and limiting greenhouse emissions. But this time, the Band will manage its own affairs to ensure everyone benefits. Maybe we need Acca Dacca (ACDC) ringing out a bit of Hells Bells over the Denier Organisations and Conservative Governments to shake up their egotistical mindset. Anything is possible in searching out adaption solutions. Planet Earth is the original Rock ‘n’ Roller, something we are being reminded of right now.

9. ROCK ‘n’ ROLL

Rock ‘n’ Roll ain’t Noise pollution, Rock ‘n’ Roll ain’t gonna die, Rock ‘n’ Roll ain’t noise pollution, Rock ‘n’ Roll it will survive…” (Courtesy ACDC – Rock ‘n’ Roll ain’t noise pollution)

Rock ‘n’ Roll does not require formal training or reading of sheet music. You just have a feel for something. Letting imagination run its course is really the only way of Rock ‘n’ Roll. After all the Gloom, Doom and frustration of what has been written here, we seriously need to fire the imagination up and have some Fun! It doesn’t matter what the idea is, just throw it out there. Let us have a bit of Mind exercise for current Covid 19 times. What may be ludicrous and outrageously expensive today may not be so tomorrow.

SOLUTIONS

If we could stop every polluting smokestack on the Planet right now, we would mitigate much heating impact from greenhouse gas emissions. My solution? Rock ‘n’ Roll. We fly 1000’s and 1000’s of wireless networked Drone mounted with compact and Solid Heavy Duty (orig. definition of “HD”) speakers to the lower atmosphere around the Globe and set volume to maximum. I suggest we gain everyone’s attention with “Hells Bells” by ACDC, followed by “Attack” from Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, with “Re-make-Re-model” by Roxy Music hot on its heels. After Roxy? “One step Beyond” by Madness. Then? The playlist is all yours (the reader) to have fun with. After all, “Groove is in the Heart”, courtesy of Dee-Lite.

Maybe every Polluting smokestack across the Planet will disintegrate at this Sonic Bells, Drums, Guitar, Piano and Ska driven onslaught. Maybe the inflated Egos of Global Warming deniers and some Scientists will damp down to Ego safe operating levels? (see “Adapt or …”) Maybe? Maybe not……

Say no More!

Maybe we can lay down smooth and soothing underwater grooves like “The Sea” by Morcheeba, to renew bleached and almost dead Corals that have been cooked by increasing Ocean water temperatures. Maybe, Maybe not. But almost anything is worth having a go at if it means keeping our House – the Planet habitable for many years to come. True or Not? True.

There has been much imaginative research from Individuals, Universities and Research organisations over recent years, with focus on reducing sunlight radiation and absorbing Greenhouse gases.

  • Wherever practical paint any and all surfaces Gloss white or close enough. This will reflect the Sun’s UV radiation straight back out to Space at a gazillion miles per hour. We would all need to be issued with the best Sunglasses that “Ray-Ban” can provide! Only issue is how to paint the Oceans as they cover 70.8% of the Planet. This approach of reflecting the Sun away and staying cool has been around for a long time. On and around the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas, buildings have been whitewashed forever! They have adapted their surroundings to have a more comfortable existence. A very simple thing to do. Still amazes me why humans embrace Black Cars and Black roofing!
  • Fill the Oceans and Seas with Iron salts to create massive algae blooms that will absorb massive amounts of CO2. Still some issues as to the potential impact but is promising. Jury is still out on impacts to Ocean acidity levels. Maybe ok in shallow waters while increased acidity may happen to deeper waters. Potential effects on marine life must be first and foremost in these considerations.
  • Inject Sulphur into the atmosphere, that acts to deflect UV radiation from the Sun. Is already proven to effectively cool as with the Krakatoa volcano explosion in 1883. Only small problem that this would also result in much Acid rain! Some cooling yes, but at the expense of our health.
  • Using Nano based technology, create artificial CO2 munching trees that are many times more efficient in absorbing CO2 than Natures trees. The CO2 is then stored underground. Where to store underground is the issue, but it certainly has promise especially to those areas of the Planet that are currently hostile to plant life. More to come.
Materials being trialed for the CO2 absorbing trees.
  • Like sunglasses, seed the atmosphere with reflecting particles that bounce the sunlight back before it reaches through the atmosphere. Not sure about that one, but in the future they might. Someone needs to do the research now, Oh yes, the Scientist!
  • Strictly limit future Green House Gas emissions to stabilise the flow of these to the atmosphere. Enough said as this was first raised 50 years ago with much proven Science since then to know that it works. Politics and Ideology are the two big stoppers of making this truly effective.
  • Just keep on planting more Greenery as we have been doing for many years. Trees disperse sunlight and keep life cool. Trees absorb CO2 and pump out Oxygen. It is not quite as simple as planting trees. Many other aspects need inclusion such as protection of remnant vegetation, landholder education of green practices especially soil moisture management and more efficient water usage for greening places. Areas like “The Sahal” in Niger have benefited from this holistic approach with massive support from organisations such as “Both Ends and CRESA Niger. They are leading the way.

Out of the above, the last two are the only ones that provides the ‘easy wins’. With emission reductions we have the proven ability and technology now. Remember the Kyoto Protocol of 1997? The participating Countries dropped emissions by a whopping 20%. If every one of the Industrialised and developing Nations had taken this commitment on then, where would be now some 20 years later? We would have a measure of control of these nasty invisible gases. Left leaning Governments really put their hands up and said yes, appreciating that there were short term costs to the profit bottom line. But what happened? Left leaning Government turned into Right leaning Conservative Government who dumped the commitment to enable more profit for their in-bed Industry buddies.

We must accept most climate changes are irreversible and move on, preferably in an adaptive forward way. We must plan for the inevitable of more weather extremes and more often. This is where the gap between the ‘haves and have nots’ of the Planet is so stark. Perth, Western Australia may be subject to Cyclones tracking further south more often. Building Regulations currently are not cyclone rated as they are further North in the Cyclone corridor. Imagine the structural damage and Coastal erosion from just Category 2 or 3 cyclones. But the building Regulations can evolve to Cyclone rated as they have the Governing capacity and authority to do so. There is also massive Insurer push to plan for this inevitable future. Unfortunately, there will be higher cost to doing work to a higher standard. Better the cost being absorbed now rather than in ten years’ time.

Adapting to a future of less rainfall? Perth has built two de-salinisation plants to assist with this future proofing. They have been adapting their water usage for some time now. Water supply should be okay for the roughly 3 Million humans that depend on it.

Increased flooding to lowest lying areas of Asian Cities like Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok, Chittagong and other delta areas of the Bay of Bengal? Tricky. We know how to erect sea walls and dykes, create artificial islands, but much of these areas also house the poorest living in difficult conditions already. Their access to benefits of Adaptation Planning for increasingly moody climate is extremely limited. It is a depressing tale indeed. Will the ‘Free market’ so avidly spruiked by the far right to cure all our future issues come to our rescue? The $200 Million they spent last year arguing about Climate Change would certainly help! But no, the Free Marketeer’s and their followers will selfishly guard their loot. To suggest otherwise brands us as Leftie Liberals and Communists! Cannot have those caring human traits of social responsibility!

Climate Change can bring benefits as the far right keep on telling us. More rain may happen where there has been little to no rain for a long time. We will be able to grow crops, plant trees and grow pasture in these areas. They will not be particularly productive though as all the nutrient rich Topsoil would have blown away years ago. But these areas will provide a measure of relief to long term drought suffering locals. Enough though? We really cannot forecast and cannot leave the future to what ifs and maybes. We need Adaptive Planning now for those areas identified that will reap the benefits of milder climates of the future. Get in there and plant as much Greenery as we can over the next 10, 20-30 years. Areas that are currently not supportive for human population, will be once vegetation has established. Quite simple.

A small part of China’s Great Green Wall. There has been much success in reducing dust storm activity from long term arid areas.

China has led the World in this regard, undertaking astonishing amounts of tree plantings to areas that were semi-arid to arid and land that had been stripped bare by population growth. 66 Billion trees have been planted over 40 years with planting continuing through to 2050. Weather is changing in those areas as green cover takes hold. But it is not without its problems. Many trees planted are not native to these areas and utilise far more water to keep them alive than native species. Typically, they tend to be one or two species that in reality do not contribute to ecological diversity. They are also susceptible to disease that have wiped out millions of trees. In some areas locals have been cutting down local vegetation to be able to get grants to plant trees! Trees are being planted in areas that have not seen trees for thousands of years. It would have been better to revegetate with local plants that have already adapted to live in these arid conditions. The successes far outweigh the disadvantages and mistakes of the past. A whopping 115 Million hectares now have Tree cover! Wow! That is a massive Carbon sink as well.

The little things approach works as in parts of Africa. The big State sponsored approach works as in China. They both work as the people are mobilised and incentivised once partial success is seen. Yes, it takes combined community, NGO’s and State sponsorship, but isn’t this what we need? Cooperation of all? It works. Yet, to those of the far right we would all be better off if left to our own individual devices. This plainly will not work in adapting to our future no more than 30 years away.

We know the issues of increasingly moody climate. We know the issues of polluting our own backyards. It all comes down to whether we can cooperate in resolving these now common environmental hurdles facing humanity. We have solutions that can at least ease our future pain. Do we have enough resolve? I really don’t know. Given that this senseless egotistical argument has been going for many years, my hope is slim indeed. Will we see the end of civilisation as we know it by 2050?

10. BLUE MARBLE Revisited

Our Blue Marble as described by Astronauts on Apollo 8, 52 years ago in December 1968.

Did Ideology or the application of well researched, tested and practical Science enable this photograph to be taken? No need to answer.

At the start of this Warming Argument series (Somewhere in Space), it was highlighted that from this distance there is no indication of the Planet damaging activity being carried out by Humans. In 1968 we had a population of less than 4 Billion. In 2020 we are just under 8 Billion. A staggering increase to say the least. Of course, we have placed our Planet wide ecosystem under severe threat. We cannot double our population in 50 years and not expect to place enormous stress on our Planet operating system.

The quality of our biosphere (where we live) has plummeted. Species extinctions have gone through the roof. We have 50 years of plastic use now indelibly stamped throughout our food chains with micro plastics being consumed by Humans. We have increasing frequency of catastrophic weather events – drought, fire, flood and collapsing ecosystems. The Oceans are yielding far less catch they did. Local wars are being fought over precious clean water resources and fertile soil.

Untold misery now grips us with Covid 19 virus, which has jumped from other parts of the Animal kingdom to humans. There may be many more nasty viruses out there just waiting for the opportunity to jump and attack. Much research of melting permafrost in northern parts of the planet confirms Stone Age bacteria still alive after being frozen for thousands of years. We keep on squeezing nature into tighter spaces with our population crowding into areas where we never were in the past. We have raped and pillaged nature and all its wonder for what? To survive? To some extent, but when talking survival, we utilise what we need to live, not to straight out consume or build obscene material wealth at the expense of the Planet and all that inhabit it.

It is no coincidence that the biggest Greenhouse Gas emitters and general polluters are primarily in western industrialised Nations. It is no coincidence that the main drivers of dodgy Climate change skeptisism and denial are of the same Nations, especially the USA. It is no coincidence that the obscenely wealthy are within the same Nations. It is no coincidence that much of that wealth has been made from stripping ecosystems, depleting our resources and polluting the atmosphere.

China does rate a mention here as it’s past record of unfettered pollution was staggering. The same Industries that caused massive pollution in the West turned a blind eye to China’s environmental transgressions. Much of their manufacturing base moved to cheap China from the 1990’s onward. China did eventually start doing the right things and signed up to Greenhouse gas emissions targets while others including the USA abandoned the same treaties. China still is madly planting Billions of trees. At least they are doing something substantial to reverse their terrible sins of their past.

What have we been doing in the West? Dismantling Environmental legislation of the 1980’s because it is ‘too tough’ on Industry! One USA Republican Senator (James Inhofe) likened the Environmental Protection Authority to the Gestapo! Why did we toughen up the legislative framework in the first place? Because Industry was harming Community and Environmental Health! This dismantling coincided with stepping up aggressive and coordinated campaigns against Climate scientists and activists.

The more I delved into the dark underbelly of this “Warming Argument”, the more I came to question the Ideology of the ‘Free Market’ with less Government regulation, to allow market forces and technological change to drive the World. Where has this ideology led us? Disproportionate and massive wealth for the very few at the expense of our health, well-being and potentially a bleak future for the have nots. To challenge the free marketeers with all their resources is like David taking on Goliath. David did win, but only after Goliath had already smashed all and sundry opposition. Last resort times of now realised an unconventional hero to stand up. Greta Thunberg is today’s David.

Look to D. Trump and his personal attacks at Greta Thunberg. It is probably a waste of time to inform them that Greta Thunberg put herself into the Global spotlight literally by herself. She wasn’t wooed by Green groups or lobbyists, she stepped up and said enough is enough. Fantastic that a 16 year old could frighten these self-appointed leaders of the ‘Free World’ to the extent that they have trained their collective guns on her. Well, the rest of us are with Greta and we are firm in our resolve. We are backed by proper tested Science in case you have forgotten.

Trump’s allies have trotted out a 19 year old Naomi Seibt whose inspiration is in white nationalism, as an alternative Greta Thunberg. They have manufactured a Poster Girl for those of the far right. She has no conviction or substance, grabbing her 15 minutes of fame while being feted at ‘Free market ‘ conferences to promote conspiracies of hate. She stated, “Goal of Climate Scientists is to shame Humanity”! On any level of rational thought, how does that statement make sense? It does not. Yet the Heartland Institute pays her to state this garbage.

Pathetic they have become in their pursuit of shutting down the harsh truth that affects their personal wealth. There are no morals, honesty or ethics in what they do. Meanwhile Climate Activist Groups such as 350.org state – “If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage”. Which statement has substance and validity? One statement is totally emotive intended to create hate of Scientists and Activist supporters, and the other while emotive does have a serious point that needs addressing.

There is an old saying in Australian Rules Football – ” Play the ball, not the man”. This is what the Climate Change debate has degenerated into and all driven by the Free Marketeers and those that scream individual rights above all else. “Playing the Man” is their game. They have lost sight of why Scientists were so concerned in the first place. These are the very same people who take serious offence at being called “Deniers” and call themselves good and Decent people. They make it sound as if the rest of us are a bunch of low life deviants, when plainly we are not. Individual rights will not do us much good when our Climate goes haywire and we are being devastated by catastrophic events like Covid 19.

In the USA, the same people that deny climate issues are also the ones screaming that Covid 19 is a conspiracy plot by those Lefty Democrats to take over the USA! I keep on having flashbacks to the Movie “Idiocracy“. Was it indeed prophetic? Is it something in the water or the Gatorade (watch the movie) that makes their brains act and talk that way? To present an argument in a considered Scientific manner is something that they avoid. But who am to criticize? I am criticizing because I have studied the facts of this sorry matter over 43 years. It took my skeptic mind about 25 of those 43 years to 100% accept the fact that Humans have induced rapid global warming and messed up the Climate. It was not some ‘Johnny come lately” decision or Ideology that drove this, but established Science backed by an overwhelming majority of Scientists.

There is no sustainability in the Ideologue argument as Proper tested science sees to that. There is no sustainability in the way these Ideologues attack others not of the same opinion. That just leads to more hate and still nothing is done to reverse the appalling damage being done at a human and environmental level. There is no sustainability in our current Free Market model that these ideologues promote to allow the exclusive few to selfishly make decisions and profits which seriously affect the future health of Humankind.

Political ideology and conservative philosophies drive our Capitalist societies. But to what end? Capitalism is based on the concept of growth. To grow, we must make more babies which fuels the need for housing and consumer goods. More infrastructure is needed to support this. It is a never-ending cycle. More of the Planets raw materials are needed to feed the monster. More damage is the only outcome. The Free marketers want us to believe that this is the way. All we are and have ever been are pawns to their quest of profit.

It is unimaginable to think how bad our Planets ecosystem would be now if it weren’t for the Activist Scientists and supporters 50 years ago shouting loudly about the environmental consequences of the “Bad Old Days” continuing unabated. I am certain our Oceans, rivers and lakes would be toxic soups. The air we breathe would be revolting. Ecosystem collapses would be out of control, lands stripped bare, mass starvation events would be commonplace and more civil wars as a result. For the very few at the top of the tree – the parasitic predators of Industry and Conservative Governments, their life expectancy would probably match what we have today. However, the rest of us would be facing much illness and lower life expectancy. We do still have a small breathing window thanks to the Environmental activism that commenced 50 years ago. Is it just a stay of execution though?

Throughout the last 50 years of this most tragic tale, the Scientists who were the “Harbingers of Doom” have not sat on their butts comfortable with the early forecast outcomes. They have re-modeled, re-tested and re-affirmed our unfortunate truth. Scientists are also testing theories of counteracting our increasing greenhouse gases, to find solutions to help our future human existence. The other side of Industry and far right conservatives? What are they doing to smooth out the path to a habitable future? Really not much at all. Some like BP, Shell and BHP are committing to a more environmentally friendly future. We now have ethical and green investment options. But, and a big but, they do not represent the majority who appear to still want to make as much profit as possible before doomsday.

I am sad. I am angry and above all extremely frustrated. How to discuss the way forward for Humanity in our Blue marble Ecosystem when it is us Humans that want to deny, deny and then keep on denying the truth at any cost just to win an argument! In many ways we do not deserve the life-giving opportunity of our Blue Marble. In many ways we deserve to get swallowed up in the coming Doomsday. To the other side of this senseless and now Boiling Argument – Just STOP! For all of Humanity’s sake make Love, not War!

I am just one insignificant person with a plain love of Nature and my family for all to see. I am an Urban dweller who craves for clear un-polluted nights to wonder at the marvels of the milky way and be in awe of our existence on a rotating Blue Marble in a tiny part of space. I crave for us all to live as best we can, to be in harmony with and to nurture our natural environment that has sustained us all from the beginnings of our human time. I crave for peace, goodwill and cooperation in dealing with our human impacted Climate issues.

Science has got us to where we are now with Human development. Industry has taken advantage of the science for their selfish and greedy ends at a massive cost to our Planet’s health. Conservative Industry and Government, deniers and fake skeptical Scientists are Parasites of Nature sucking it dry until there is nothing left. There is no value, just hurt in what they do.

Climate related Scientists are real heroes of the Planet. The Activists that support them are also real heroes that ensure we remember to care for the Planet. They are the ones that remind us that in order to ensure our future, it takes a little bit from every one of the Billions to contribute. Thank you to the Scientist and Activist Heroes from the 1970’s until now. Thank you to the new generation of Heroes like Greta Thunberg that provide hope to deliver us a future of caring and nurturing for the only Planet we have. I love you all. You are on my Christmas Card list forever!

Chris Round in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 19/4/20, Day 32 of Covid-19 Isolate 2020. The City air is clean, the stars are out at night and our Rivers now a wonderful tropical emerald green. Just breathe because that is all we have and need. May Nature pour rain over us all and wash our Sins away. (The subtle beats of “Raingurl” by Yaeji play in the background)

References throughout: Wikipedia, My aging Brain, Desmogblog.com, Skepticalscience.com, Scientists Warning.org, UN various agencies, The Conversation.com, Brittanica, Dictionary.com, Various news portals, Various Climate denier sites that I choose not to mention. Playlist below. Enjoy!

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4zUtL7tjaU0pmIaYJCb0jv?si=C_2hqb8LQUq12EBUyjhkkg

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