Mark's environmentsal panic attack

Mark Jones jones118 at SPAMlineone.net
Tue Jun 6 07:57:57 MDT 2000


Yes, the world is thoretically approaching the end of the present Interglacial.
And yes, anthropogenic climate change might prevent the next Ice Age from
happening, or it might actually hasten it by the process known as 'climate
flipping'. This is trivially true, and changes nothing about the profound
dangers posed by global warming.  

Mark Jones
http://www.egroups.com/group/CrashList
 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-marxism at lists.panix.com [mailto:owner-marxism at lists.panix.com]On
Behalf Of Paul Flewers
Sent: 06 June 2000 11:55
To: marxism at lists.panix.com
Subject: Re: Mark's environmentsal panic attack
José G Perez said: < Mark, try this happy thought: In the 1970s, the big
"climate change" scare was that we were entering another ice age. Perhaps
"global warming" will be enough to counteract what would otherwise have been a
real bummer of a deep freeze. >   I remember this well. Back in the mid-1970s,
some prominent British authorities (I forget precisely whom)  were saying that
we were on the brink of a new ice age. We then had some very un-British  sunny
and warm summers for a few years.   Paul F
     

----- Original Message ----- From: Jose G. Perez To: marxism at lists.panix.com
Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2000 2:18 AM Subject: Mark's environmentsal panic attack
>>I've just been reading, f'rinstance, about some of the reasons why it's so
hard for scientists to be sure about anything when they try to construct
powerful computerised models of the effects of anthropogenic global warming
(I just posted some stuff about it on the CrashList). Why is it so hard to
understand the multiplicity of ways in which capitalism is fucking the
planet? Because the effects are too indiscernible to be sure about?
Unfortunately not, on the contrary. It's because the effects of
anthropogenic climate change are just so huge, so profound and so very basic
to life itself that they are for all practical purposes, almost
unquantifiable. <<
This is the kind of statement that makes me quite skeptical about climate
change theories and environmentalists in general.
Contrary to Mark's assertion, the changes aren't "unquantifiable." The truth
is that the scientists just plain don't know, that's all. WHEN they build a
climate model that accounts for at least the KNOWN facts, like glaciation,
THEN we'll have something a little more SOLID to work with than this
neo-luddite "if people did it, it must be bad" attitude.
The claimed anthropogenic climate changes are but small variations within
the rage of average temperatures and other climactic conditions the earth
has been known to have had, even in recent millenia.
More interesting are the following three things: first, climate is likely to
prove to be a mathematically "chaotic" system (one in which the size of the
cause is often much smaller or larger than the effect, and in which two
identical inputs at different times don't necessarily have the same effect);
the mean average global temperature is not stable even on such a small time
frame as a few decades; and, most importantly, the earth's climactic system
as a whole appears to have some sort of unfailing and highly effective
negative feedback mechanism we do not understand.
This last point is most important. Glacial periods lead to a reduction in
heat-trapping greenhouse gases, and the covering of a significant part of
the planet with a highly reflective layer of material -- ice. So why don't
we get runaway glaciation? At the other end of the spectrum we have the
Venus effect -- why haven't increased amounts of the main greenhouse gas
(water vapor) caused a runaway hot house effect? Instead we have what
appears to be a "drifty" mean global temperature that meanders up and down a
few degrees, but always preserving on much of the planet extensive habitats
compatible with the type of life that's evolved here. This has been going on
now for billions of years and makes one wonder just how good our
understanding of the climate is if we can't account for this simple yet
remarkable fact -- and we can't.
Moreover, it is far from clear that much of the data being relied on to
claim an increase in the mean global temperature is accurate or extensive
enough for such purposes. We have extremely spotty coverage from oceans,
arctic and desert regions. The bulk of the data being used is from human
settlements, in the usual hospitable places. It is not clear that the
warming trend in these data is in fact a global macro-climactic warming
trend, rather than a summation of micro-climactic changes due to the (now)
well documented urban heat island effect. This effect needs to be factored
out, but it is a daunting task. as its magnitude varies from one area to
another. Some of the studies on the urban heat island effect suggest it can
be several times LARGER than the projected global warming effect, which
means, in effect, the signal we are trying to detect is buried underneath a
much larger variation. Ideally, we should try to exclude records from urban
areas in making up temperature histories, but that is largely what we have.
We also should note that within the historical record, the last 2-3,000
years, there are a lot of indications that the earth has been both colder
and warmer than it is today.
>>Just try to get your head around it: To change soil chemistry is not an
abstraction, it means that global warming has actually already changed the
thin veil of fertile soil everywhere on the planet, the veil on which all
terrestrial life depends and which is the teeming milieu for the whole of
microbial and microscopic flora and fauna (plant and animal) evolution.<<
This is the kind of statement that strains credulity. We KNOW Greenland was
called Greenland for a reason. A lot of the earth has been warmer,
significantly warmer, in historical times than it is today. It has also been
a lot colder than it is now. Moreover, if such a slight temperature
variation were sufficient to destroy this "thin veil" as you suggest, it
should have, logically, happened some cold winter's day one or two billion
years ago or some hot summer's day around 1,000,000 B.C. or 1000 A.D.
Quite simply, there is nothing EXTREME about macro-climactic conditions on
today's earth. There have been times with lots more CO2, times with much
hotter temperatures, times with much lower temps. It is far from clear than
the 1900s should be considered the ideal baseline and norm in judging these
things. It just happens to be when people developed sufficient technical and
scientific proficiency to begin investigating these matters, but that is
all.
In other words, become a citizen of time. The ideal, unchanging state of
planet earth is NOT what it happened to be when you were growing up. It has
been constantly changing, and changing in a much larger magnitude than the
projected anthropogenic climate change.
>>This
alteration of Nature is far more insidious, and far worse, than what are
really quite small deals like fucking half the Amazon basin with DDT or
fucking the mangrove swamps and coral reefs with pesticide and fertiliser
runoff or fucking the ozone layer; it's worse even than genetic engineering
(imagine that! something we do is actually worse than genetic pollution!):
worse  EVEN than turning the World Ocean into dilute carbonic acid that will
cover it with algae slime,and dissolve the reefs anyway, and terminate most
aquatic life (yes, that is happening); it's worse EVEN than thermohaline
conversion, ie, turning the Gulf Stream around and precipitating a new Ice
Age; the only thing it's NOT worse than, is the runaway warming which might
be caused by the precipitation/release of trapped methane hydrates + which
would quickly turn the Earth into Venus with a surface temp hot enough to
boil lead.<<
And here we have "environmentalism" and "climate changeism" in one
paragraph.
We have the eternal verity "Nature," unchanging, a distilled platonic
essence of the purest water. People are then counterposed to this unchanging
"Nature." The have "defiled" her and "raped" her and so on.
Whatever it is people are doing to the biosphere it has GOT to stop NOW!
Otherwise the earth's surface will ... will what?
Well according to Mark, we'll EITHER have another ice age OR surface
temperatures hot enough to melt lead. This suggests to me that the writer is
making essentially a doom-and-gloom religious statement that God, I mean
Nature, will punish us for our sins. Or perhaps the fault is my limited
imagination, unable to conceive of an ice age where prevailing temperatures
will be hot enough to melt lead.
The truth is of course that the LIKELIEST outcome is that things will
continue pretty much as they have been for the past few hundred million
years, sometimes a little colder, sometimes a little warmer. That is has
been this way despite occasional lurches to extremes, huge meteor and comet
impacts, periods of tremendous volcanic activity, the reconfiguration over
the eons of land masses and oceans, all of this gives me the idea there is
an extremely strong self-regulatory mechanism at work here.
I suggest that the evidence is OVERWHELMING that ice ages are perfectly
NATURAL given the current configuration of our plant. They're not good for
business, but, hey, shit happens. As for the Venus effect, carbonic acid
killing off the fish, etc., if this were gonna happen it already would have.
After all, the carbon we're liberating into the atmosphere right now started
there to begin with. Everything suggests that the earth of the dinosaurs was
quite a bit more tropical than our own, and if it didn't go into a runaway
greenhouse effect then, it's not likely to do it now.
José
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Jones" <jones118 at lineone.net>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2000 2:08 PM
Subject: RE: [PEN-L:19869] Re: The Nader campaign, part 1
Well, I don't wanna hog debate, but yes, I think it's fine to fight for the
right to own SUV's so big that they dominate the road, or whatever safety
features seem important today. But if you really want "consumer safety" then
it might make sense to alert people to more fundamental problems. Nader
doesn't do that because he is a witting liar, a political fraud and a creep
who capitalises (to coin a phrase) on the (entirely justified) angst of
normal folks when faced with the lunatic things capitalism gives them in its
anomic, death-dealing way.
You wanna what is a safety issue? Wrecking the soil is a REAL safety issue.
I've just been reading, f'rinstance, about some of the reasons why it's so
hard for scientists to be sure about anything when they try to construct
powerful computerised models of the effects of anthropogenic global warming
(I just posted some stuff about it on the CrashList). Why is it so hard to
understand the multiplicity of ways in which capitalism is fucking the
planet? Because the effects are too indiscernible to be sure about?
Unfortunately not, on the contrary. It's because the effects of
anthropogenic climate change are just so huge, so profound and so very basic
to life itself that they are for all practical purposes, almost
unquantifiable. This horrible fact should make oil corp CEO's and thier
political spokespersons (people like Al Bore, the Beltway frontman for
Colombia-fucking, Russia-fucking Oxy Oil) hang themselevs from their own
braces, but no, what it does do is it gives them one more degree of licence
to argue that, global warming, what global warming? It's all just
scaremongering, and we're into "wise-use" etc, which is Pharaonic
phrasemongering and deserves an Old Testmaent wrathful answer. Y'see, one of
the (possible, not known for certain) effects of global warming is to alter
soil chemistry in profound ways. You have to think hard about this.
Just try to get your head around it: To change soil chemistry is not an
abstraction, it means that global warming has actually already changed the
thin veil of fertile soil everywhere on the planet, the veil on which all
terrestrial life depends and which is the teeming milieu for the whole of
microbial and microscopic flora and fauna (plant and animal) evolution. This
alteration of Nature is far more insidious, and far worse, than what are
really quite small deals like fucking half the Amazon basin with DDT or
fucking the mangrove swamps and coral reefs with pesticide and fertiliser
runoff or fucking the ozone layer; it's worse even than genetic engineering
(imagine that! something we do is actually worse than genetic pollution!):
worse  EVEN than turning the World Ocean into dilute carbonic acid that will
cover it with algae slime,and dissolve the reefs anyway, and terminate most
aquatic life (yes, that is happening); it's worse EVEN than thermohaline
conversion, ie, turning the Gulf Stream around and precipitating a new Ice
Age; the only thing it's NOT worse than, is the runaway warming which might
be caused by the precipitation/release of trapped methane hydrates + which
would quickly turn the Earth into Venus with a surface temp hot enough to
boil lead. You won't be around to cavil about consumer rights if that
happens. Now tell me, when is Ralph gonna make an issue about something so
fundamental as buggering up the chemistry of the soil? When he does that,
I'll be the first to join him at the barricades.
Mark Jones
http://www.egroups.com/group/CrashList
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-marxism at lists.panix.com
> [mailto:owner-marxism at lists.panix.com]On Behalf Of Debordagoria
> Sent: 05 June 2000 17:53
> To: marxism at lists.panix.com
> Subject: Re: [PEN-L:19869] Re: The Nader campaign, part 1
>
>
>
>
> > (Posted to pen-l by Mark Jones)
> > I thought then and I
> > think now that it is all an
> > utter distraction from what really matters; it is
> > based on the crassest kind
> > of self-seeking, privatising solipsism which boils
> > great social/historical
> > issues down to what's in it for me qua passive
> > selfish consumer.
>
> Organizing consumers (that is, everyone) to demand
> from Capital safe products and accurate info is based
> on selfishness, solipsism, and passivity?
>
> > What really
> > mattered then and now for is not car safety but
> > less cars and more public
> > transport. What Nader did is help legitimise the
> > care and ensures its social
> > apotheosis to its current iconic status.
>
> Demanding that auto manufacturers be forced to produce
> cars that don't blow up was really so retrograde???
>
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