It’s indisputable: fossil fuels, animal agriculture and an amoral industrialism have created the current ecocide.
To the shame of American media, Europe seems to be covering the climate change crisis with far more seriousness.
Climate change has long been predicted to increase extreme weather incidents, and scientists are now confident these predictions are coming true. Scientists say the global warming has contributed to the scorching temperatures that have baked the UK and northern Europe for weeks.
The hot spell was made more than twice as likely by climate change, a new analysis found, demonstrating an “unambiguous” link.
Extreme weather has struck across Europe, from the Arctic Circle to Greece, and across the world, from North America to Japan. “This is the face of climate change,” said Prof Michael Mann, at Penn State University, and one the world’s most eminent climate scientists. “We literally would not have seen these extremes in the absence of climate change.”
“The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle,” he told the Guardian. “We are seeing them play out in real time and what is happening this summer is a perfect example of that.”
“We are seeing our predictions come true,” he said. “As a scientist that is reassuring, but as a citizen of planet Earth, it is very distressing to see that as it means we have not taken the necessary action.”
The rapid scientific assessment of the northern European heatwave was done by Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and also colleagues in the World Weather Attribution (WWA) consortium. “We can see the fingerprints of climate change on local extremes,” he said.
The current heatwave has been caused by an extraordinary stalling of the jet stream wind, which usually funnels cool Atlantic weather over the continent. This has left hot, dry air in place for two months – far longer than usual. The stalling of the northern hemisphere jet stream is being increasingly firmly linked to global warming, in particular to the rapid heating of the Arctic and resulting loss of sea ice.
Prof Mann said that asking if climate change “causes” specific events is the wrong question: “The relevant question is: ‘Is climate change impacting these events and making them more extreme?’, and we can say with great confidence that it is.”
Mann points out that the link between smoking tobacco and lung cancer is a statistical one, which does not prove every cancer was caused by smoking, but epidemiologists know that smoking greatly increases the risk. “That is enough to say that, for all practical purposes, there is a causal connection between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer and it is the same with climate change,” Mann said.
Other senior scientists agree the link is clear. Serious climate change is “unfolding before our eyes”, said Prof Rowan Sutton, at the University of Reading. “No one should be in the slightest surprised that we are seeing very serious heatwaves and associated impacts in many parts of the world.”
It is not too late to make the significant cuts needed in greenhouse gas emissions, said Mann, because the impacts progressively worsen as global warming increases.
“It is not going off a cliff, it is like walking out into a minefield,” he said. “So the argument it is too late to do something would be like saying: ‘I’m just going to keep walking’. That would be absurd – you reverse course and get off that minefield as quick as you can. It is really a question of how bad it is going to get.”
Note that we start to see the same images year after year—devastation and death caused by wildfiires, droughts, superfloods and even more frequent quakes. What 20 years ago was a rare event is now commonplace. And the origin of all this, persistently denied and ignored by the world’s leaders, remains the same: runaway industrialism and obstinate use of hydrocarbons and modes of food production (clearcutting, animal factories) which also contribute enormously to greenhouse accumulation. In other words, the current ecoanimal crisis is man-made, and anthropogenic, actually, capitalogenic. The massive species dieoffs we witness have been triggered by our activities on this planet. We’re puncturing the biosphere terminally, by defying the obvious truth that while the earth is finite the capitalist drive for expansion and endless growth and profits is virtually limitless. The cure to this is clearly a shift in the global paradigm toward a non-capitalist mode of social and economic organization, and the introduction, at last, of universal ethics into every form of industrialism. This will not happen until most of humanity realise the true cost of capitalism. Getting rid of this long obsolete and sociopathic system is the great challenge of our time.
Video No. 1: This happened in 2015, not 2018.
Thousands of embattled firefighters are rushing to control fires in communities across Lake County, California. Below, same network, reporting on the same kind of event, but in 2018. The wildfires are now worse, more extensive, and even harder to control.
The Story Behind the Yellowstone Fires of 1988 | Retro Report | NBC/ The New York Times
Summer of Fire: The lessons learned from the summer of 1988 when fires burned nearly one third of Yellowstone National Park continue to shape the way we fight wildfires raging across the West today.
And now, the terrible Greece fires
Published on Jul 25, 2018
Greece Wildfires:: ’60 dead’ and counting in holiday area – BBC News
Published on Jul 24, 2018
Some basic—and surprising—facts about wildfires
Excerpts from Wikipedia
Fossilcharcoal indicates that wildfires began soon after the appearance of terrestrial plants 420 million years ago. Wildfire’s occurrence throughout the history of terrestrial life invites conjecture that fire must have had pronounced evolutionary effects on most ecosystems’ flora and fauna. Earth is an intrinsically flammable planet owing to its cover of carbon-rich vegetation, seasonally dry climates, atmospheric oxygen, and widespread lightning and volcanic ignitions.
Wildfires can be characterized in terms of the cause of ignition, their physical properties, the combustible material present, and the effect of weather on the fire. Wildfires can cause damage to property and human life, but they have many beneficial effects on native vegetation, animals, and ecosystems that have evolved with fire. High-severity wildfire creates complex early seral forest habitat (also called “snag forest habitat”), which often has higher species richness and diversity than unburned old forest. Many plant species depend on the effects of fire for growth and reproduction. However, wildfire in ecosystems where wildfire is uncommon or where non-native vegetation has encroached may have negative ecological effects. Wildfire behaviour and severity result from the combination of factors such as available fuels, physical setting, and weather. Analyses of historical meteorological data and national fire records in western North America show the primacy of climate in driving large regional fires via wet periods that create substantial fuels or drought and warming that extend conducive fire weather.
The most common direct human causes of wildfire ignition include arson, discarded cigarettes, power-line arcs (as detected by arc mapping), and sparks from equipment. Ignition of wildland fires via contact with hot rifle-bullet fragments is also possible under the right conditions. Wildfires can also be started in communities experiencing shifting cultivation, where land is cleared quickly and farmed until the soil loses fertility, and slash and burn clearing. Forested areas cleared by logging encourage the dominance of flammable grasses, and abandoned logging roads overgrown by vegetation may act as fire corridors. Annual grassland fires in southern Vietnam stem in part from the destruction of forested areas by US military herbicides, explosives, and mechanical land-clearing and -burning operations during the Vietnam War.
The most common cause of wildfires varies throughout the world. In Canada and northwest China, lightning operates as the major source of ignition. In other parts of the world, human involvement is a major contributor. In Africa, Central America, Fiji, Mexico, New Zealand, South America, and Southeast Asia, wildfires can be attributed to human activities such as agriculture, animal husbandry, and land-conversion burning. In China and in the Mediterranean Basin, human carelessness is a major cause of wildfires. In the United States and Australia, the source of wildfires can be traced both to lightning strikes and to human activities (such as machinery sparks, cast-away cigarette butts, or arson).Coal seam fires burn in the thousands around the world, such as those in Burning Mountain, New South Wales; Centralia, Pennsylvania; and several coal-sustained fires in China. They can also flare up unexpectedly and ignite nearby flammable material.
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