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Posts Tagged ‘climate disruption

Lower head, insert into sand…

 

Exhibit at the Creation Museum:  humans and dinosaurs existing together peacefully…

From Talking Points Memo:

[In a vote in Congress last week] thirty-one Republicans on the House Energy And Commerce Committee — the entire Republican contingent on the panel — declined on Tuesday to vote in support of the very idea that climate change exists.

Democrats on the panel had suggested three amendments that said climate change is a real thing, is caused by humans and has potentially dire consequences for the future. The amendments came on a Republican bill to block the EPA from offering regulations to mitigate the results of global climate shifts. The global scientific community is in near unanimous agreement that climate change is real, and that humans contribute to it…

One appreciates that the dialectic machinery of partisan politics was at work here; still…

Read the full report, including the “offending” language in the proposed amendments, here.

As we prepare for an(other) epic flood, we might recall that it was on this date in 1827 that Charles Darwin made his earliest scientific discovery, at age 18. He dissected some specimens of a barnacle-like marine organism, the polyzoan Flustra… Thus beginning what became a lifelong commitment to natural history.

Young Darwin (source)

Beware the Pink Armadillo!…

Blizzards across the U.S. (record snowfalls)… droughts in Russia (worst in a century) and China (likely the worst in 200 years)…  a one-two punch in the Antipodes: a century-worst decade of drought in Australia followed immediately by devastating floods

There’s no question that climate disruption (or “global warming” or whatever one wants to call it) is having real impact: disrupted transit and hammered retail sales in the U.S. (and the U.K.) seem mere inconveniences in the face of drought-driven pressure on global food prices– pressure that’s aggravated the already painful problem of poverty around the world, and that’s surely contributed to the tensions roiling repressive/regressive regimes in the Middle East and elsewhere…  all, scientists suggest, just a taste of the broader and deeper impacts to come if humankind doesn’t heal its relationship with Nature.

And, of course, it is up to us humans.  Nature doesn’t care.  Nature is perfectly prepared to get on with a future sans people.  Memento Mori, Memento Natura…

Thankfully, there are artists to remind us– artists who were, as is so often the case, attuned to the threat even before the scientific establishment.  Consider, for example, Jinzo Ningen Kikaida (a 70s Japanese TV series in the tradition of the great Ishiro Honda), which fielded this crystalline allegory:

Mother Nature’s go-go boots are made for walking– walking all over you.

As we ask not what Copenhagen can do for us, but what we can do for Copenhagen, we might recall that it was on this date in 1611 that Johannes Fabricius discovered sunspots (now reputed to have some impact on global climate); he published his observation on June 13 of that year in  Narratio de Maculis in Sole Observatis et Apparente Earum cum Sole Conversione (“Narration on Spots Observed on the Sun and their Apparent Rotation with the Sun“).

source

Bye bye…

From Annalee Newitz at io9, “A History of Mass Extinctions on Earth.”

click on the image above, or here, for an enlarged version

As Annalee suggests,

It’s hard to decide whether this is a pessimistic chart or an optimistic one. Life always manages to find a way, even when there is a serious destruction of the planet.

To that point, note that the line graph in the middle charts “body counts”– how many species survived, which in some cases is nearly zero.

As we get in touch with our inner cockroach, we might wish Alles Gute zum Geburtstag to Austrian/German climate research pioneer Eduard Brückner; he was born on this date in 1862.  By analyzing direct and indirect observations of climatic fluctuations, he discovered (1887) the 35-year Brückner climatic cycle of swings between damp-cold and warm-dry conditions.  He considered the impact of climate change on the balance of power between nations and its economic significance in agricultural productivity, emigration, river transportation and the spreading of diseases. And perhaps most relevantly to the issues we face today, he initiated scientific debate on whether climate change should be interpreted as a natural function of the Earth system, or whether it was influenced by man’s activities (e.g., in his time, deforestation).

Brückner (source)

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