Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Nature Bats Last Show, October 6, 2020

Talk between Sam Carana (SC), Guy McPherson (GM), Kevin Hester (KH) and Pauline Schneider (PS) for Nature Bats Last Show, October 6, 2020. 

GM: We are delighted to have the inimitable Sam Carana on today’s show. We submitted written questions to Carana and went back-and-forth a couple times to pursue follow-up questions. Our frequent guest, Pauline Schneider, will be supplying the voice of Dr. Carana. You can find Carana’s blog at Arctic hyphen news dot blogspot dot com. Dr. Carana posts anonymously about abrupt, irreversible climate change. To preserve her anonymity, we will refer to her as female, Sam, and Dr. Carana. A caveat is in order: In doing so, we are acknowledging our respect for Carana’s work, and we are not indicating Carana’s credentials or gender. Dr. Carana, welcome to Nature Bats Last on the Progressive Radio Network.

1. GM: How long have you been disseminating information about abrupt climate change to the public under the Sam Carana moniker? 

1. SC: I've been worried about abrupt global warming for a long time and as time went by, I only became more worried about it. I was stunned to see that, when Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. in 2005, little action followed on climate change. 

If I had to pick a year when I became particularly active on abrupt climate change, it would be 2007. I wrote a post in early 2007 with the title ‘ten dangers of global warming’. I mentioned tipping points and the possibility that global warming could drive humans into extinction, in particular as more animals and plants that humans depend on would disappear.

In 2007, I also wrote ‘Ten recommendations to deal with global warming’. I started more blogs and groups that year, partly as an inventory and partly as a way to encourage discussion. In 2007, I also started to recommend local feebates as the best way to make a difference. 

In September 2007, I was shocked to see Arctic sea ice fall to a record low. At that time, I was also looking at how much methane there is in the Arctic Ocean. In those days, few people were worried about loss of Arctic sea ice, let alone that they were worried about eruptions of methane from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean or that they were making links between the two. 

GM: And I should point out that that 2007 datepoint, at the time the lowest ice cover recorded, was the last datapoint Maslowski and colleagues used in their 2012 paper in Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and they used a linear projection, based on that information of relatively few datapoints, so that that 2007 point dragged the rest down and lead to an incorrect, too-soon projection of 2016 (± 3 years) for an ice-free Arctic. But I don't think they missed it by too much, btw. 

From early presentation by Dr. Maslowski (Red and blue dashed lines show linear trends for 1996–2007)

2. GM: Why do you do provide this information anyway?

2. SC: How could I not want to share this? It's the most important issue we're all facing and it’s getting very little attention, which makes it self-obvious for me to present the information in the way I do, quickly, concisely, and with links that point at sources, and without diversions and without distractions. 

That’s also why I share information on a free blog, without asking fees and without advertising. If you care about the message, then you want people to hear about it, so you don’t need to get paid to share the message, and you want to reach people without hurdles or diversions. 

This is something that affects everyone, so the reasons to share it are contained in the message. I feel compelled to share what worries me, after all, it’s the most important message ever posted and there is so much urgency to act on the unfolding catastrophe which could soon leave us no time or room to act at all.

from earlier post

3. GM: OK, fair enough, but why do you provide this information anonymously?

3. SC: If anonymous means that no author name is added, then I am doing the opposite. I actually do like to add the name Sam Carana when I create content, and I also like to add links to sources. That makes it easy to find things back, to see in what context they were used, etc. 

But I understand what you mean, I don’t like to add further details, because I want people to focus on the message, rather than on the person who happens to be carrying the message. Adding personal details can result in diversions that can in turn delay the necessary action.

Also, I do welcome discussion. When I post on facebook, people can easily comment and make suggestions, and this can lead to changes in the content that can be made quickly, often instantly. Communication can be quick and direct, I mean it’s easy to take part in discussions on facebook, there’s no need to go through bureaucratic processes or to be wealthy or to be part of an elite or a privileged group, so that makes it more democratic. 

4. GM: Before we recorded this interview, a coupe or three weeks ago, we put out a request to the Nature Bats Last group on facebook, and Joey Casey submtted this question from that group:

4. Joey Casey (from the Nature Bats Last group at facebook): Will oceans evaporate? What sort of state do you see Earth becoming in the long term?

4. SC: That's the threat if things keep going as they are now, Earth will become similar to Venus. See the image below, from an earlier post

GM: Well,that's kind of a bummer. 

5. GM: You rarely submit to interviews. Why did you agree to join us in this on-air conversation?

5. PS: Just a note, these questions were sent to Sam previously, this is Pauline speaking now, now I'm reverting back to Sam. 

5. SC: Just like you, I like to look at the bigger picture. Our conclusions are based on scientific findings and we clearly reference those findings and add links to original sources. And we both have to conclude that there are huge threats; threats of such a magnitude, severity and imminence that they make me think: "This should be frontpage news every day!"

Yet, what happens is this: Events are downplayed in the media or they get little or no attention at all. This has now been going on for well over a decade, even as the problems are escalating before our very own eyes. We're all demanding honesty on issues of this importance. 

So, it feels good to be among people who do see the importance of such issues and events, and who are familiar enough with them, as well as with my posts, to seriously discuss things and comment on my work, so I have been looking forward to this conversation.

6. KH: Now we'll start with some of my questions I had to Sam. 

6. KH: Have you noticed any evidence of climate-change research data being tampered with?

6. SC: Not so much tampering with data, but what I see a lot is misrepresentation of the data, downplaying of the implications or simply ignoring things altogether. Most people will never look into the data, many only read headlines of news reports, or not even that. 

Politicians have also blocked a lot of research that could have provided precious data that we now lack. This has contributed to the dire situation we’re in now, and there still are few data on, say, methane releases in the Arctic. What is also lacking is research into possible action to improve the situation. I have long suggested that politicians who inadequately act on the unfolding climate catastrophe should be brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands. 

from earlier post

7. KH: As we watch the collapse of the Arctic Sea Ice and the meandering jet streams how concerned are you about further disruption to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)? 

from earlier post
7. SC: One of the biggest dangers I see is that a cool freshwater lid is growing on top of the surface of the North atlantic, near the Arctic Ocean, and that this is sealing off hot water underneath the sea surface from the atmosphere. 

Slowing down of AMOC will result in an increasing amount of hot water accumulating underneath the surface. 

As storms grow stronger, chances increase that a sudden inflow of hot salty water will enter the Arctic Ocean and reach sediments at the seafloor that contain huge amounts of methane. 

8. KH: Recently there has been a concerted attack on the seminal work of Professor Peter Wadhams, especially on the subject of the ‘Methane Bomb Hypothesis’, do you have any doubt that it is a real threat?

8. SC: Politicians and news media are often ignoring the temperature rise, or downplaying the dangers. Instead, the precautionary principle should be applied, and this should be applied on three dimensions to issues such as methane eruptions from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean.

The first dimension is a matter of magnitude and severity. A vast amount of methane is held in sediments. If just a tiny part of this methane will erupt, this could wipe out humanity, if not make all life on Earth go extinct, due to the huge immediate global warming potential of methane, and due to the numerous feedbacks. 

The second dimension is probability. Methane hydrates destabilize as temperature rises. So, as temperatures continue to rise, the likelihood grows that such eruptions of methane will occur. 

The third dimension is imminence. The longer we wait, the more urgent the threat becomes, as the temperature rise doesn't wait for us.

from earlier post

9. GM: I want to back up just a little bit and have the three of us discuss, and I'm sorry that Sam isn't here to contribute further to the conversation, but that's the nature of the beast when we have a recorded show and he's submitting written responses. Sam indicated there's "not so much tampering of data, but misrepresentation of the data, downplaying of the implications or simply ignoring things altogether." Kevin, I think you had something specific and important in mind when you asked that question. Can you follow up? 

KH: We're at the mercy of the same corporations and institutions that are collecting the data as to what they're going to give us. As the situation becomes more dire and more tenuous, I think we need to question all of that information more and more. I'll give you one example. In 2012, Nick Breeze interviewed Dr. Natalia Shakhova and she and her partner Dr. Igor Semilitov, two of the most experienced Arctic researchers that I know of, including Peter Wadhams and Jason Box. In that interview, she teared up as she was telling us about the existential danger that the methane hydrates threat poses, this extraordinarily experienced scientist teared up and that reflected how dangerous she thought the situation was then, 8 years ago, and since then, it went public, it went viral to a degree as well, Dr. Shakhova has really sit back, she doesn't do any interviews, her research papers, when they do come out, it's under Dr. Semilitov's name, I just think she backed out completely because of that. We saw a similar thing happen with Jason Box, who put out a tweet one time, saying "if the methane was released from the Arctic, we're f*cked". And since then, he has completely backed up. 

GM: In fact, Jason Box said"If even a small fraction of the Arctic sea floor carbon is released to the atmosphere, we're f'd." So, it's even more dire than you just indicated, and you're absolutely right, since then he's been backpedaling as if he was looking over a cliff. 

KH: I think in a lot of ways, you come into, what's happened to you personally, comes into the equation for all the other scientists, you put your head above the parakeets and see, you're in major trouble, and all you got is shit and abuse and attacks, which is exactly how this patriarchy works, if the patriarchy doesn't agree with what you're saying, it smashes you, because it's trying to keep itself alive as long as it can, like a leech living off a dependent organism, so what I think is that what happened to you is making a lot of scientists more circumspect about delivering their message. 

GM: Right, and we mentioned Dr. Natalia Shakhova earlier, and she mentioned the possibility of a 50 Gt burst of methane being highly likely for abrupt release at any time. And a year or two later, when I asked her about it, she said she'd never said it. Well, you can find the abstract still, for the European Geosciences Union Assembly 2008, when she said that. The abstract is still there. She clearly indicated that such an event was highly likely for abrupt release at any time. 

PS: This is Pauline speaking, I think she did that deliberately. I think she would have said 'we were mistaken', if she wanted people to stop looking, but I think she was basically saying 'I'm being told to lie, you can find the information on your own, it's there'. Russians have learned, for many decades, to read between the lines, Americans still don't know how to do that. I don't know about the rest of the European countries, but Russians know how to read between the lines and she was trying to teach us how to do that. 

KH: Yeah, I think that's a very important observation. I'll just make one point that I heard Peter Wadhams say, in an interview at Environmental Coffeehouse. When the subject of the 50 Gt methane release came up, he said 'Hundreds of gigatonnes, he thinks it's a lot more'. 

GM: And he points that out on a youtube channel that gets very little attention, and as a consequence, he doesn't get a lot of negative attention for making statements such as that. Not that in my mind he should be particularly concerned, what has he got to lose? 

KH: He doesn't get a lot of negative attention, that changed recently, by a cowboy outlet called Scientists Warning who had some adolescents who weren't scientists, who were just researchers like me, but adolescent ones, and they completely attacked the methane hypothesis. There's huge amounts of peer-reviewed data that tell us that it exists. So, I think there is a concerted campaign and it will get worse. Every single anomaly is getting worse, so the attacks will get worse as well. 

GM: Right, I think we're taking time away from the original topic, but I can't let this go. If Scientists Warning is not a deep-state operation, then I can't imagine what it is, because every time I receive an email from Mark Austin, who claims to be, and almost certainly is, a NSA-contracted spy, every time I receive an email message from him, the first person who received the email message is Stuart Scott, always, every single time, it doesn't matter what the subject matter is. And Stuart Scott is part of the group that is doing hit pieces on me. He asked me to submit to an interview with him, so I did an audio interview that lasted several hours, and he cut it down to two short pieces, extracting only pieces that made it look as if I was in agreement with him or that I didn't look particularly intelligent. I asked him about it later and he ran screaming from the room,which was no particular surprise. Anyway, I think that's very disappointing on the part of Scientists Warning. 

KH: The situation is incredibly dire. It can only be that they will try and manipulate every situation that they can. The last two world wars were started with false flags. So, of course, psy-ops will be used to try and control the scenario-narrative. I think the control of Extinction Rebellion, that emanated from the U.K., is really quite possibly a division of that, and I'm not attacking the people who are out on the streets trying to do anything, but what I want to attack is the modus operandi, and that is that they're trying to say to people if we're just going to protest in a slightly different way, it will make it different. Excuse me, these people are in the car driven by Thelma and Louise, after it went off the cliff. 

GM: And not only that,the first demand they make, Extinction Rebellion, is complete honesty by the government. Oh yeah, that's going to happen! When has any government been honest, about almost anything? I can't imagine that your first demand, and they're counting on that, it's insane! 

PS: Pauline here again. I think that what the deepstate does, or the governments of the world do, is they find these small grassroots groups that seem to have some promise and that are going in the direction that they want them to go into, and then they support them, or steer them, in the direction that they want them to go into. And if they start veering off, then they cut them off. For instance, if you start looking at all the little groups, the ones that ended up successful are the ones that are ridiculous. The ones that failed are the ones that were on the right track. I'm talking about Occupy Wall Street, it was making a difference, it was actually teaching people how to work laterally, rather than this normal hierarchical pyramid that we're used to, as if we have to have a daddy at the top, telling us what to do, we need daddy to protect us, to take care of us. That's garbage! Every anarchist, every agricultural anarchist for millenia knows that's garbage. We know it's garbage, we don't need a daddy to tell us the right from wrong. As a group of people who care about each other, we know how to take care of each other. The corporations don't want us to do that, because they want to monetize all of that. 

10. GM: OK, I'm going to ask the final question to our guest, Sam Carana, and Pauline, you can give a lengthy response, and I think that will open up some more doors for the three of us to discuss. 

10. FINAL QUESTION, GM: How would you like to see humanity respond to the predicament of abrupt, irreversible climate change? 

10. SC: I like everyone to take a good look at how dire the situation is, and to act with integrity and compassion. The Climate Plan that I recommend focuses on government action and prefers implementation through local feebates. Here are the Ten Principles behind the Climate Plan: 

  1. The precautionary principle, which should be applied broadly and on three dimensions, as I pointed out before. So, regarding severity, probability and imminence. This should lead to action, not inaction, and such action should aim to reduce the dangers.
  2. Relevance. The media often ignore climate change and seek to divert attention to trivial matters. In my posts, I deliberately point at issues that are often overlooked or downplayed, yet that can be extremely relevant in regard to climate change, especially from the perspective of the precautionary principle. In posts, I typically conclude that the situation is dire and calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action. 
  3. Science. Where there is doubt, science-based analysis should be undertaken, and this should include more scientific research where needed. Research should be relevant and to the point, it should continue on an ongoing basis, and it should incorporate the importance of the precautionary principle. Where more scientific research is needed, this should not be interpreted as a reason to delay action, as that would violate the precautionary principle. 
  4. Healthcare workers typically pledge to “do no harm”. Politicians at the Paris Agreement also pledged to avoid harm. Again, this principle should not be interpreted as a reason to remain passive and to delay action. The precautionary principle makes it imperative for action to be taken, so I like to go one step further and interpret this principle as ‘Health is good!’ 
  5. Global agreement, local implementation. It’s great to have global agreement, but implementation can best take place locally. Each community should reach each of their targets independently and genuinely (i.e. without buying or fabricating offsets or credits domestically or abroad). If not, action from government in the respective area and beyond should follow. 
  6. Democracy. Each individual should take responsibility, and be given that responsibility. This means people need to be well-informed and made conscious of their responsibility. Where people still don’t bother to act responsibly, local feebates can help everyone becoming effective in combating climate change. 
  7. Open information. Share information to enable people to make decisions. I like to make people think. I welcome discussion. Unlike politicians who take decisions out of the hands of people, I like people to decide for themselves and I like that to be a well-informed and thought-through decision. 
  8. Money should not overrule our lives. We should not trade away our principles. Feebates do not necessarily have to be financial. For example, if a local council adds extra fees to rates for land where soil carbon falls, while using all the revenues for rebates on rates for land where soil carbon rises, then biochar effectively becomes the currency that can help improve the soil's fertility, its ability to retain water and to support more vegetation. That way, real assets are built.
  9. The pre-eminence of principle. While it would be nice if there will be a good outcome, we should base our actions on principle. We should act because it is the right thing to do. 
  10. Open mind. Be prepared for the unexpected. Be prepared to change your mind, if needed. Keep discussing and reconsidering these principles. I’ve learned that there still is a lot to be learned and discovered.
The Precautionary Principle illustrated by the image below. 

from earlier post

KH: What the Climate Plan shows is how compassionate, emphatic and considerate Sam Carana is, and how sane. The Climate Plan is the sort of thing you would use or impose in a sane society. But this society isn't sane, this culture isn't sane. I like to quote Jiddu Krishnamurti. "It is no sign of good health to be well-adjusted to a sick society." This sums up how we got into the situation we're in. It is the profoundly sick culture that is imposed on most of the people in the world and all of the other organisms, fauna and flora. So, it should be no surprise to us that we ended up where we are, when you consider the pathology that runs the economic system of the planet. 

GM: Right, now that you said it, I think the correct quote goes like this: "It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society." In any event, that's exactly where we are. This is a profoundly sick society. The links between governments and corporations have been clearly illustrated for more than a hundred years. The existence of a shadowy group of characters in the United States and probably beyond and their influence on governmental decisions has been described for more than fifty years by reliable sources and all of this indicates that we do not have an emphatic, compassionate group of people who are making significant decisions. So, that's my biggest issue with the Climate Plan. On the surface, these ten steps make perfect sense. But we don't have a society that would allow for implementation of such a plan. I don't know how long Sam has been proposing the Climate Plan, but it's been a while, it's been long enough that the occasional billionaire knows about it, in fact, they probably all know about it, because this is how they make a whole lot of their billions, it's through knowledge. So, surely a bunch of people like Bezos and Buffet and Gates know about the Climate Plan, and they choose to put their money elsewhere, probably because they know that the Climate Plan cannot possibly be implemented and also allow them to retain their enormous privilege. 

KH: I think the responses from the billionaires on the planet to the crisis is indicative of how bad it is. We're talking about going to another uninhabitable planet. It's insane. These people collectively have trillions of dollars. If money could fix this predicament, there actually is enough money, they could all tip in, whatever it took, if money could do it, but that ship sailed many, many years ago. 

GM: And not only that, these are the folks who will have the ear of the government. If it just meant creating money, which is what we do every day, out of thin air, then we would create the money for it, wouldn't we? So, I don't think this is a monetary issue at all, I think this is an ethical issue, a profoundly ethical issue that - as a consequence - this society will not address, because this society is overwhelmingly controlled by sociopaths and psychopaths

KH: Yes, it's a mental health issue. These people are very ill, they're very unwell, they are pathologically unwell, and they have their hands on the steering wheel, the accelerator and the digimeter button. Another thing about the Climate Plan is looking after each other. This is what we've been advocating the whole time that we've been along this journey, these are the good old days, they are going away rapidly. 

GM: Absolutely. Sam makes a statement about health care workers typically pledging to do no harm and politicians at the Paris Agreement also pledged to avoid harm. I was sent a paper today, and I immediately threw it in the garbage, the email garbage, never to be seen again, because the paper in the peer-reviewed literature was indicating that, if the global temperature rises from 1C to 1.5C above the 1750 baseline, then we are goingto be in trouble, as if that hasn't already happened, many years ago. Here again is the complete disconnect between the compassion shown by the Climate Plan of Sam Carana and the reality of what's happening out there in the world. 

PS: . . sponsored by the world governments!

KH: Another thing that the discussion we just had brings up is that the peer-reviewed literature is ignoring the inertia in the climate system. There is a massive lag between the emissions that are in the atmosphere and where we are today. Talking about 1.5C is complete bullshit, because if you go back to 1750 we're already there. Also, there's been a lot of anthropogenic warming before that. Just look at agriculture and civilization, and burning of things, there's a lot of things that are ignored. This just goes to show how institutionalized the peer-reviewed system is. 

GM: Right, absolutely! Ok, I want to take just another quick look or two at a the Climate Plan. Item 6, democracy. "Each individual should take responsibility, and be given that responsibility. This means people need to be well-informed and made conscious of their responsibility." Pauline, would you care to comment on the notion of democracy and when it was birthed, how long it lasted and how important it was at its time. 

PS: So, we all know that Greece is famous for being the cradle of democracy, but I think few people realize that it didn't last very long there. It lasted maybe ten years. The idea of democracy is different . . 

GM: In theory, there is no difference between a theory and practice, but in practice there is. 

PS: So, in theory democracy was a wonderful idea, and I think it worked for a little bit, but you know humans are like cats and it's like herding cats, and I do appreciate this, because actually what she [Sam] meant to write is anarchy. In anarchy, each person, each individual does accept responsibility, not only for themselves, but also for the people around them, that's what anarchy is. Democracy is everyone gets a voice and we just throw it all in the kitty, you can do the maths, we see it in this country every day. We have a mess of voices and nobody cares about other people, it's all about me, me, me. But she's actually talking about true anarchy, which is people being together responsibly, educated in the fact. 

GM: Edward Abbey wrote frequently about the correspondence between anarchism and democracy, he basically said they are the same thing. Do we need more democracy? You bet your sweet betsy. Through anarchism. 

KH: The word democracy is very old, but the version that we have now, this contemporary version, has been bastardized by the monetary system and the corporations. When I hear the word democracy now, it makes me puke, because look at the democracy that you have in the United States, that's the very best democracy that money can buy, and if you've got the money, you own it. 

GM: Or, as Paul and Anne Ehrlich wrote in their book One with Nineveh, many years ago, what we have in this country is socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor, because under capitalism, the poor don't make out very well, never have. So, we socialize any corporation that might come close to failing, that's owned by a 1%er, and that's a point of the videos we've been putting out most mornings lately, is that the links between governments and wealthy people and the corporations they own are solid. The links between the government and small business, owned by mum and pap on the corner, they aren't nearly so strong. It's a tragedy. 

KH: I'll give you an indication of how corrupt it has become in New Zealand. James Shaw is the co-leader of the Green Party in New Zealand. Their policy on their website is that they're opposed to private schooling. Just recently, he signed off on a gift of $12 million to one private school in New Zealand. The leader of the Green Party of New Zealand is an economist. Most people know about a guy called William Nordhaus, who is an economist, who set the 2C Rubicon that we shouldn't cross. It had no basis in science. Zero. It was all based on what he thought that capitalism could get away with. He got a Nobel Prize for that. These are the pathological psychopaths who are making these decisions.

GM: And he made that statement in 1977. We've learned a little bit about climate change since 1977, and he was given the Nobel Prize last year, right. And in those ensuing years, we have actually learned quite a bit about climate change. 

KH: This is how Orwellian it has become, he got a Nobel Prize for guaranteeing the extinction of most, if not all complex life on this planet. And you have a President in your country that got a Nobel Peace Prize for dropping more bombs than anyone else before him. 

GM: To be fair, he got the Peace Prize before he dropped all these bombs.

KH: Yeah, that was the deal.

GM: Exactly. OK, I want to make a comment on item 7 of the Climate Plan. "Open information. Share information to enable people to make decisions. I like to make people think. I welcome discussion. Unlike politicians who take decisions out of the hands of people, I like people to decide for themselves and I like that to be a well-informed and well-thought-through decision." Well, he says it right there in item 7, I like to make people think. Unlike politicians who take decisions out of the hands of people. Governments don't like people to think, it's really bad for the government when people think, look at the American cultural revolution in the 1960s and 1970s. What was a serious threat to the continuation of 'life-as-normal' for the sociopaths, the millionaires - at the time, that was a lot of money - who are pulling the strings of empire in the United States. We can't have people thinking, that's the worst thing ever to happen to any oligarchy of a country. So, that's just not going to happen, Sam, I'm sorry, I appreciate these great ideas, but the implementation, I just do see it ever happening in this country or any country in the world, because governments throughout the world have pretty much revealed themselves to be all headed in the same direction, which is the direction that the really wealthy people want the country to go. 

KH: I like the expression that you used when we first met that we're all born into captivity. Just like most liing organisms on this planet are born into captivity. I read a report the other day that said that we've lost 68% of the wildlife on the planet in the last fifty years, and of course most of that would have been in the last ten of that fifty. 

GM: Right, and it's accelerating. As we've discussed many times, the exponential function is something difficult for us to wrap our minds around, for any of us, because we're not hard-wired that way, evolution by natural selection did not in any way set us up to deal with the exponential function, to understand it by any stretch of the imagination. 

PS: And it is ironic that, because of our innate nature to be altruistic, that we have allowed sociopaths to survive and to take over, because our altruistic nature always gives people the benefit of the doubt, and believes in the better angels, and unfortunately we have in the last six millenia changed everything, that doesn't work anymore for us. Once we industrialized, once we went into cities and created leaders, kings, priests,  gods, county commisioners . .

KH: I believe that capitalism is a vortex of sociopathy and psychpathy to the top. So, the longer it went on, of course, the more unwell and sick the leadership would be, and that's where we're at, you know, in New Zealand, the Green Party members in New Zealand voted an economist to be their co-leader, you know, it's like voting for thieves. 

GM: I guess the vote there for all of us is quick or painful. For death. Since we're voting for death. 

PS: I understand that, a lot of our conversations look at these ideas and suggestions about what we could do to save our but, and we're able to really critically think our way through them with actual analysis that shows that this is not going to happen, it hasn't happened in the last forty years that we have been asking for these things to happen, they haven't happened yet, Einstein reminded us that, if you keep repeatng the same thing and expect a different result, that is the definition of insanity. What could we do then? There are things we could do. Maybe not to save our buts, but to have a gentler landing, or crach, or fall, whartever you want to call it, off the edge. You know, every day we are dealing with people who are homeless or houseless, every day we are dealing with people who are suffering from terrible diseases that they didn't ask for, every day people are losing their families, they are losing their jobs, their homes, I feel like what we could ask our goverments to do is to address that, that would be a real thing they could do. Instead, in this country, people still have this idea that you can lift yourself up by your bootstraps, and we've known from history, anyone with any sociological background, knows that's not a real thing. Not even the billionaires, they didn't get there by their bootstraps, they got there on the back of people.  

GM: They make money the old-fashioned way, they inherit it. That's the way it works. And I like to spend a few minutes . . first of all, I want to make sure that we're done wrapping up the conversation for today, and then I like to talk a little bit about Ken Avidor, next month's guest, and put out a call to our listeners for a call for questions for an artist

See also: 
NBL Radio Pre-Recorded for 6 October 2020

Q & A between Nature Bats Last and Sam Carana author at the Arctic News Blog - by Kevin Hester 

Nature Bats Last:Guest Sam Carana, October 6, 2020

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Temperatures threaten to become unbearable

Many people could face unbearable temperatures soon. 

Temperature anomalies on land in the Northern Hemisphere (red) are spread out much wider and they are more than 0.5°C higher than global land+ocean anomalies (blue).

The pale green and grey trends are both long-term trends based on January 1880-August 2020 NOAA data. The short-term red and blue trends, based on January 2013-August 2020 NOAA data, are added to show the potential for a rapid rise. How could temperatures possibly rise this fast? 

A rapid temperature rise could eventuate by 2026 due to a number of contributing factors:
• crossing of the latent heat and methane tipping points
• moving toward an El Niño 
• entering solar cycle 25
• changes in aerosols
• feedbacks kicking in more strongly as further tipping points get crossed.

Crossing the Latent Heat and Methane Hydrate Tipping Points

The image below, updated from an earlier post, shows two such tipping points.

The August 2020 ocean temperature anomaly on the Northern Hemisphere was 1.13°C above the 20th century average. The image shows a trend based on January 1880-August 2020 NOAA data. The latent heat tipping point is estimated to be 1°C above the 20th century average. Crossing the latent heat tipping point threatens to cause the methane hydrates tipping point to be crossed, estimated to be 1.35°C above the 20th century average.

Keep in mind that above images show temperature anomalies from the 20th century average, which is NOAA's default baseline. As an earlier analysis points out, when using a 1750 baseline and when using ocean air temperatures and higher Arctic anomalies, we may have already crossed both the 1.5°C and the 2°C thresholds that politicians at the Paris Agreement pledged would not get crossed.

Natural Variability - El Niño and Solar Cycle

Currently, we are currently in a La Niña period, which suppresses air temperatures.

Only a thin layer of sea ice remained left in the Arctic, with extent almost as low as it was in 2012 around this time of year, as discussed in the previous post. As air temperatures dropped in September 2020, Arctic sea ice extent started to increase again about September 15, 2020. This made that a patch of sea ice remained present at the surface of the Arctic Ocean, despite the dramatic thinning of the sea ice. 

When an El Niño event returns, conditions will get worse. 

How long will it take before we'll reach the peak of the upcoming El Niño? NOAA says
El Niño and La Niña episodes typically last nine to 12 months, but some prolonged events may last for years. While their frequency can be quite irregular, El Niño and La Niña events occur on average every two to seven years. Typically, El Niño occurs more frequently than La Niña.
The temperature rise is strongest in the Arctic, as illustrated by the zonal mean temperature anomaly map below. The map has latitude on the vertical axis and shows anomalies as high as 4.83°C or 8.69°F in the Arctic. The North Pole is at the top of the map, at 90° North, the Equator is in the middle, at 0°, and the South Pole is at the bottom, at -90° South. And yes, NASA's default baseline is 1951-1980, so anomalies are even higher when using a 1750 baseline. 

So, what could make the difference next year is an upcoming El Niño. Solar irradiance is also on the rise, in line with the 11-year Solar Cycle.

Above image shows a NOAA graph depicting the current Solar Cycle (24) and the upcoming Solar Cycle (25). 

In 2019, Tiar Dani et al. analyzed a number of studies and forecasts pointing at the maximum in the upcoming Solar Cycle occurring in the year 2023 or 2024.

The analysis found some variation in intensity between forecasts, adding images including the one on the right, which is based on linear regression and suggests that the Solar Cycle 25 may be higher than the previous Solar Cycle 24. 

In 2012, Patrick (Pádraig) Malone analyzed factors critical in forecasting when an ice-free day in the Arctic sea first might occur. 

Patrick concluded that once solar activity moved out of the solar minimum, Arctic sea ice extent would start to crash. Accordingly, a Blue Ocean Event could occur as early as 2021, as illustrated by the image below.  

Further Tipping Points and Feedbacks

Further tipping points and feedbacks can start kicking in more strongly as one tipping point gets crossed. At least ten tipping points apply to the Arctic, as discussed in an earlier post and it looks like the latent heat tipping point has already been crossed. 

Ocean heat is very high in the North Atlantic and the North Pacific, and heat continues to enter the Arctic Ocean. 

Arctic sea surface temperatures and air temperature are now high since ocean heat, previously consumed by sea ice, is now coming to the surface where the sea ice has disappeared.

As above image shows, sea surface temperature anomalies in the Arctic Ocean on September 14, 2020, were as high as 9.3°C or 16.8°F (at the location marked by green circle), compared to the daily average during the years 1981-2011. 

These high sea surface temperature anomalies occur at locations where the daily average during the years 1981-2011 was around freezing point at this time of year.

Part of this ocean heat is rising into the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean, resulting in high air temperatures that in turn prevent formation of sea ice thick enough to survive until the next melting season. The image on the right shows a forecast of Arctic air temperatures (2 m) that are 5°C higher than 1979-2000 (forecast for October 5, 2020, 18Z run Sep 26, 2020 06Z). 

Methane Danger is High

Ominously, peak methane levels of 2762 parts per billion (ppb) were recorded by the MetOp-1 satellite on the morning of September 20, 2020, at 586 milibar (mb), as above image shows.

Mean methane levels of 1925 ppb were recorded by the MetOp-1 satellite on the morning of September 20, 2020, at 293 mb, as above image shows.

Peak methane levels of 2813 ppb were recorded by the MetOp-1 satellite on the afternoon of September 30, 2020, at 469 mb, as above image shows. 

Methane has been rising most at higher altitudes over the past few years. On September 26, 2020 pm, the MetOp-1 satellite recorded a mean global methane level of 1929 ppb at 293 mb, which is equivalent to a height of 9.32 km or 30,57 ft, i.e. in the lower stratosphere over the North Pole (the top of the troposphere over the Equator is higher, at about 17 km).

Why methane is so important

As illustrated by the image on the right, from an earlier post, high methane levels could be reached within decades, and such a scenario could unfold even without sudden big bursts, but merely due to a continuation of a trend based on data up to 2014. This would obviously result in a huge rise in global temperature. 

A huge rise in global temperature would eventuate even earlier in case of a big burst of methane erupting from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. 

Methane's initial global warming potential (GWP) is very high. For the first few years after its release, methane is more than 150 times as strong as a greenhouse gas compared to carbon dioxide, as discussed in an earlier post.

How high are current methane levels? NOAA's May 2020 level for methane was 1874.7 ppb

Using a GWP of 150, this translates into 1.8747 x 150 = 281.205 ppm CO₂e. 

NOAA's figures are conservative, given that NOAA measures methane at marine surface level. 

Anyway, when using this conservative NOAA methane figure of 1874.7 ppb which at a GWP of 150 results in 281.205 ppm CO₂e, and when using an additional 413.6 ppm for recent carbon dioxide levels (NOAA's global May 2020 CO₂ level), these two add up to 694.805 ppm CO₂e, which is 505.195 CO₂e away from the cloud feedback tipping point (1200 CO₂e) that can, on its own, raise global temperatures instantly by 8°C. 

This is illustrated by the image on the right, an update from an earlier post

An additional eruption of methane from the Arctic Ocean into the atmosphere of 505.195 CO₂e translates into 505.195 / 150 = 3.368 ppm or 3368 ppb of methane. 

If the current amount of methane in the atmosphere is about 5 Gt, then 3368 ppb of methane corresponds with an amount of methane just under 9 Gt.

Coincidently, a peak level of 3369 ppb was recorded on August 31, 2018, pm. Granted, there is a large difference between a local peak level and a global mean level, but then again, a much smaller burst of methane can trigger the clouds feedback.

Even a relatively small burst of methane could trigger the clouds feedback, given that it will cause huge heating of the Arctic both directly and indirectly, in turn triggering further eruptions of methane from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean.

Huge direct heating of the Arctic could occur due to methane's high immediate GWP and its even higher Local Warming Potential (LWP) given that the release takes place in the Arctic, while huge indirect heating of Arctic would occur due to the resulting decline of sea ice and of much of the permafrost on land.

Even a relatively small burst of methane could cause not only albedo losses but also releases of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide and further fast feedbacks such as a rise in clouds and water vapor, especially over the Arctic Ocean, as illustrated by the image on the right, from the extinction page and an earlier post.

Importantly, the initial trigger to a huge temperature rise by 2026 could be an event that is typically categorized under natural variability, such as an El Niño, increased solar irradiance or a storm causing a sudden large influx of hot, salty water into the Arctic Ocean and causing an eruption of seafloor methane. Indeed, a seemingly small forcing can result in total collapse that takes place so rapidly that any political action will be too little, too late.

The video below illustrates the importance of the Precautionary Principle. The video shows how a seemingly small bump by a forklift causes all shelves in a warehouse to collapse. 

The situation is dire and calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action, as described in the Climate Plan.


• NOAA Global Climate Report - August 2020

• Multivariate El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Index Version 2 (MEI.v2)

• What are El Niño and La Niña?

• NOAA ISIS Solar Cycle Sunspot Number Progression

• Multiple regression analysis predicts Arctic sea ice - by Patrick Malone (Pádraig) Malone 

• Prediction of maximum amplitude of solar cycle 25 using machine learning - by Tiar Dani et al. 

• NOAA - Trends in Artmospheric Methane 

• Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide - global

• When will we die?

• A rise of 18°C or 32.4°F by 2026?

• Most Important Message Ever

• Blue Ocean Event

• Record Arctic Warming

• Warning of mass extinction of species, including humans, within one decade

Friday, September 11, 2020

Forest fires cause high emissions in Oregon

The image below shows a forecast of very high carbon monoxide levels in Oregon, as high as 86,299 ppb on September 11, 2020, 21:00 UTC.

The map below shows the location of these peak levels at the red marker.

On September 12, 2020, a horrifying peak level of 126,728 ppb is forecast to occur at that same spot at 21:00 UTC.

As the image below shows, sulfur dioxide levels are forecast to be as high as 5056.4 µg/m³ on September 12, 2020, at 23:00 UTC.

On September 13, 2020, very high carbon dioxide levels are forecast to cover a huge area, with peak levels as high as 82,715 ppb at 07:00 UTC, as the image below shows.

The situation is dire and calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action, as described in the Climate Plan.


• Climate Plan

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The unthinkable consequences of global warming

The unthinkable consequences of global warming
by Andrew Glikson

“We’re simply talking about the very life support system of this planet”. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber 2009.

“Burning all fossil fuels would create a different planet than the one that humanity knows. The paleoclimate record and ongoing climate change make it clear that the climate system would be pushed beyond tipping points, setting in motion irreversible changes, including ice sheet disintegration with a continually adjusting shoreline, extermination of a substantial fraction of species on the planet, and increasingly devastating regional climate extremes” and “this equates to 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs per day 365 days per yearJames Hansen et al. 2012.

Humanity is fast reaching our moment of truth. What Hansen, Schellnhuber and others have warned us is based on evidence consistent with the basic laws of science, the discipline which, contrary to medieval superstition, is founded on direct observations, calculations and on reason.

Figure 1. The change in state of the planetary climate since the onset of the industrial age in the 17ᵗʰ century.
To elaborate on the nature of the threat humanity and nature are now facing:
A. The rise in greenhouse gas levels (Figure 1) and temperatures at the Earth surface, rising by more than 1°Celsius since 1880, has been underestimated. This is because the temperature values take little account of the masking effects of sulphur dioxide and other aerosols, which transiently mitigates global temperatures by at least ~ -0.5°C. The actual rise could already be as much as 1.5 degrees Celsius, the upper level recommended by the Madrid climate conference. On present trends temperatures will rise to above 2 degrees relative to pre-industrial levels Celsius by 2030. Further temperature rises are likely to be irregular and affected by the flow of ice melt water from melting ice sheets into the oceans by mid-century.

B. The rise in temperature of large ocean regions, with much of the warming occurring to ~800 meter deep levels, reduces the ocean’s ability to absorb CO₂. This means that more CO₂ is trapped in the atmosphere, causing further warming. Also, as ocean temperatures rise, the oceans are depleted in oxygen, which leads to increased production of methane and hydrogen sulphide, which are poisonous to marine life.

C. Models projecting global warming as a linear trajectory, as outlined by the International panel of Climate Change (IPCC), take only limited account of the weakening of climate zone boundaries, as temperatures rise in the polar regions, notably the circum-Arctic jet stream. The weakening of the boundaries allows penetration of warm air masses from the south, as expressed by fires in the Tundra and the Arctic. Conversely, the injection of freezing air masses from the Arctic into North America and Europe (The so-called Beast from the East) provides further evidence for the weakening of the Arctic boundary. These are likely to produce more violent winter storms and heavier snowfalls, forming direct results of global warming. Cooling of large surface areas of the ocean by ice melt water flowing from Greenland and the Antarctica, and accumulation of warmer water in depth, lead to irregular warming trends, with a consequent three-fold rise in extreme weather events (Figure 2), especially where high temperature and cold air masses collide.
Figure 2. The number (bars, left axis), type (colors), and annual cost (right vertical axis) of U.S. billion-dollar disasters from 1980-2018. Running annual cost (grey line), along with the 95% confidence interval, and 5-year average costs (black line).The number and costs of disasters are increasing. Inland flooding (blue bars) and severe storms (green bars) are making in increasingly large contribution to the number of U.S. billion-dollar disasters.  
D. An estimated 1,400 billion tons (400 GTC) of carbon is embedded in the world’s permafrost, mostly in the Arctic and sub-Arctic, from where large amounts of carbon are released under the fast warming conditions. By comparison, the atmosphere presently contains 750 billion tons of carbon. Should a large part of the existing permafrost thaw, Earth could experience dramatic, fast and very dangerous warming. Huge amounts of methane (CH₄), the gas considered responsible for mass extinctions in the history of Earth about 251 million years ago (Permian -Triassic boundary) and 56 million years ago (Paleocene-Eocene boundary), are being released from melting permafrost and Arctic sediments, raising the atmospheric concentration of the gas by more than three-fold (from <600 to 1800 parts per billion) (Figure 3). Temperature rises during the PETM event are estimated as 5 to 8 degrees Celsius. When emitted the warming induced by methane is more than 84 times that of CO₂, declining to 25 times over some 20 years. The release to the atmosphere of a significant part of the stored carbon (permafrost ~900 billion ton carbon [GtC]), peatland 500 GtC and vegetation prone to fires (650 GtC), is sufficient to shift most of the Earth’s climate into a tropical to hyper-tropical state.
Figure 3. Global reserves and growth in the release of methane 1988-2019
E. The 2019-2010 wildfires in Australia have unleashed about 900 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to nearly double the country's total yearly fossil fuel emissions. As the planet warms, wildfires become more frequent and accelerate the warming process.

F. Sea level rise will flood the very regions where civilization has emerged, low river valleys, delta and coastal planes, which are also vital to food production. This is estimated to displace 100 million people initially, and more over time as major coastal cities are flooded.

G. The rising energy levels in warming regions of the Earth, notably tropical island chains such as the Caribbean and the Philippines, generate devastating tropical storms known as cyclones and typhoons. These wreak havoc on coastal regions of southeast North America, India, southern Africa, the Pacific and Australia.

H. Rising heat levels in tropical, subtropical and intermediate Mediterranean climate zones may render large areas unsuitable for agriculture and are physiologically difficult for humans to live in as “heat bulb” conditions set in.
An outline of the migration of climate zones in Australia and the southwestern Pacific is given in Figure 4. Further to NASA’s reported mean land-ocean temperature rise to +1.18°C for March 2020 relative to 1951-1980, large parts of the continents, including Siberia, central Asia, Canada, parts of west Africa, eastern South America and Australia, are warming toward mean temperatures of +2°C and higher. The rate exceeds that of the Last Glacial Termination (LGT) during 21–8 thousand years ago and earlier warming events. These includes the Paleocene-Eocene hyperthermal event (PETM) (about 55.9 million years ago [Ma]) and the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (K-T) (64.98 Ma) impact event. The relationships between the global warming rate and the migration of climate zones toward the poles are portrayed in detail on global climate maps (Figure 4).
Figure 4. The migration of the northward into southern Europe. Note the drying up of Spain,
Italy, Greece and Turkey and the increased in precipitation in Northern Europe.
In the 20th century the Earth climate has reached a tipping point, namely a point of no return. Global CO₂ and other greenhouse gases rise have reached a large factor to an order of magnitude higher than those of the past geological and mass extinction events, as have the rate of warming, the shift of climate zones and the rate of extreme weather events (Figure 2). Given the abrupt change in state of the atmosphere-ocean-cryosphere-land system, accelerating since the mid-20ᵗʰ century, the terms “climate change” and “global warming” no longer reflect the extreme scale and rate of these shifts.

Time is running out.

Andrew Glikson
Dr Andrew Glikson
Earth and Paleo-climate scientist
ANU Climate Science Institute
ANU Planetary Science Institute
Canberra, Australia

The Asteroid Impact Connection of Planetary Evolution
The Archaean: Geological and Geochemical Windows into the Early Earth
Climate, Fire and Human Evolution: The Deep Time Dimensions of the Anthropocene
The Plutocene: Blueprints for a Post-Anthropocene Greenhouse Earth
Evolution of the Atmosphere, Fire and the Anthropocene Climate Event Horizon
From Stars to Brains: Milestones in the Planetary Evolution of Life and Intelligence
Asteroids Impacts, Crustal Evolution and Related Mineral Systems with Special Reference to Australia