As a follow up to the post regarding Time Magazine’s article on climate change I thought I’d post this little nugget drawn from a lengthy discussion of the article over at the PeakOil.com forums:
… It’s CO2 and other greenhouse gases, as well clearing forests and other human activities. And glaciers are almost uniformly in retreat.
Why is this a concern to peak oilers? It has a huge effect on sustainability. There are cities that rely on glacier meltwater for their water systems, and the glaciers may be gone in ten years. It’s not only New Orleans that is likely to be abandoned due to global warming. And what about farming? If your peak oil plan is a homestead in the country and growing your own food, you should be very concerned. Unpredictable weather is a farmer’s bane. How will you know what to plant, or when, if the weather changes drastically from year to year?
The killer drought in the west is, in all likelihood, caused by global warming. If it isn’t, it is exactly what we would expect if the earth keeps warming, based on historical data. And it’s causing a cascade of problems that should be of concern to peak oilers. Farming and fishing have been decimated. The lower water levels means coal barges can’t bring their cargo east, where it’s most needed. Towns are losing their water supplies. Hydroelectric plants have reduced output. Nuclear power plants find their intakes are being left high and dry as lakes and rivers retreat. And oil companies have been forced to stop production because no one can spare them any water.
If you want to read the thread from the beginning, click.
With each day that passes I’m further convinced that this truly is a crisis and we are in it right now. We may not fully realize it now but in the future those looking back will see that by 2006 we were in it. I realized today that I also believe that this is something that will be hitting us pretty damned hard within the five to ten years. Many of the articles and studies seem to by picking up on now as the point of no return and 100 years from now as the point that we will be seeing the catastrophe squarely in the face. In Hollywood it is a neatly packaged event with a clearly marked starting and ending point that comes upon humanity in days or weeks. In reality “it” is now and the intensification over the next decade will bring the people of the planet to a point of absolute realization and panic. By that I mean that those most comfortable, particularly those in America, those that continue to pretend it’s not happening, will be freaking out. It will become the focus of life and will be seen as a primary danger. Between here and there we’ll also be dealing with peak oil and various resource wars which will complicate the situation.
I’m glad I chose not to have children.