Not to Alarm Anyone, But We Should Be Alarmed

RSS icon
Reddit icon
e-mail icon

I’ve been patiently sitting by my AM radio listening for information regarding what I should do about the emergency. The voices between the crackles and pops are saying things about the national emergency of Trump and Clinton, but politicians come in, politicians go out. The truth is politicians are always changing. I can say with the utmost confidence this is the innate ecology of democracy letting the submerged asphyxiated gurgles of freedom bubble to the surface as to achieve maximum greatness.

However, the emergency I’m most worried about is the state of our natural ecological systems where things like climate change, species extinction, and generally our ability to function on this planet are in jeopardy, and it’s happening primarily because of us. But I’ve always been a bit of a drama queen, as I’ve been known to mindlessly run in circles flapping my arms wildly mumbling how the sky is falling and often referencing my prophetic moon crystals which foretell the end is nigh…Ok maybe a few scientists are worried too. After all the oceans are dyingglacial melt is acceleratingantibiotics are becoming less effective, and our economic system is an amoral planet destroying machine which operates like a ponzi scheme. There is little that is sustainable about how we live now, and most of it is unnecessary destruction only to keep the wheels of capitalism spinning.

So we should probably be alarmed, right? Well, hold off on that mild flavor of alarmism, and let’s whip up the caterwauling because it’s almost certainly worse than I’m making it out to be. In a 2014 lecture marine ecologist Jeremy Jackson said what is common knowledge among those that follow climate data:

The IPCC, which is an international group makes projections every few years… and there is one thing you can say about them, they are consistently conservative. These people have been screamed at for being radicals, they’re conservative, always too conservative.

But it’s not just the IPCC that’s underplaying the seriousness of our predicament. There’s a muzzle on many scientists, and they are collectively frightened of being called alarmists and losing jobs. What happens when you are called an alarmist? Look at biologist Guy McPherson. This man is often hated for his predictions and ostracized for his ostensibly wild ideas. And what’s so controversial about his predictions? Not all that much.  He’s looking at the data and adding feedback loops together, something rarely done in climate models, and he comes to a rather scary “oh shit!” realization that near term extinction for most life on this planet isn’t so unthinkable. According to his writing and lectures he seems to think the game is already over. If so, we may vent and reach a state of brambly denial over our fate, but he argues near term extinction is a done deal. While other more widely accepted scientists like James Hansen take a far softer stance, yet even his predictions would mean a great culling before the end of the century.

Read more

Article category: 
Subject Tags: 
Rate this article: 
No votes yet