Lay climatology (and other unscientific predilections)

Why don’t I blog more? Because I feel that what I have to say, along with most of what is written in the blog-o-sphere, is not worth hearing. Blog to stay in touch? Feels too much like those mass e-mails I never really liked. Maybe the wee Luddite inside me is just crying to get out and knows I’m in no means breaking the machine when I blog away in what may as well be an extended ‘tweet’.

Anyways . . .
My favourite part of Nanaimo is the mountains. I’m not actually in them, but across the straight of Georgia. The views we get here are spectacular, the recent snow cover gives them an incredible depth. Right now it’s cleared up here (after about three days of heavy rain and precipitations), but the clouds across the water are slowly crawling up low slopes like wool on velcro. A haze lies on top of the calm ocean and I wish I was on the water.

Recently I’ve been doing some pop-climatology reading, to get me in the mindset for approaching these problems academically next semester. I feel almost ashamed to admit that I got both suggestions from recent editions of Adbusters, but reading is reading and thinking is thinking, right?

The first one I finished yesterday, ‘The Vanishing Face of Gaia’ (2009) by the now geriatric progenitor of the theory by the same name. James Lovelock writes well, I think because he’s written extensively. Though I don’t agree with everything he says I’ve come away convinced of one troubling fact; our generation will undoubtedly have to deal with real fallout from a changing climate.

Ice-pack loss in the polar regions is apparently progressing, and physics tells us that this ‘energy bank’ represented by this ice pack will be very hard to replace.

The second book (which I’ve just started,) is journalist Gwynne Dyer’s ‘Climate Wars’ a largely alarmist and speculative look at potential political conditions in a world wrought by climate crises.

So what do these two harbingers foretell? Mostly global instability brought on by food shortages. What is there justification for these predictions? Increased effective heat at the equator will increase the desiccating effect of the Hadley cells , pushing the horse latitudes north, causing them to infringe on the important grain producing regions in India, China, the American Midwest and around the Mediterranean. Couple this with a loss of alpine glaciers and snow pack (resulting in severely decreased river flows) and you’ve got one stinky socio-political soup. The details are of course questionable, the scenarios frighteningly plausible.

The Indus River Basin

The Indus River, shared by BFF's India and Pakistan, taking its source in the Himalayas.

The solution? Start farming on the taiga and play Slime Volleyball until everything looks sunny again.


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