The Gotterdammerung of Climate Change
by John Lawrence, August 6, 2018
It's clear that the effects of climate change are happening now and not far off in some distant future. When the whole month of July sees temperatures over 100 degrees F in Fresno and unquenchable forest fires, something's happening now that's different from what's been happening in the past. Yet where is the concerted action to ameliorate the situation? It doesn't exist. In fact the world is pumping more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere than ever before despite paltry efforts at renewable energy and solarization. Then there are those who would just as soon bring human civilization crashing down around our heads if they can't have their gas guzzlers and NASCAR. They are similar to the attitude of Adolf Hitler when he realized that all was lost: Gotterdammerung which is defined as a collapse (as of a society or regime) marked by catastrophic violence and disorder.
Human civilization is indeed collapsing not just in one country, not just in one hemisphere, but all over the world. We are seeing 1000 year event after 1000 year event until it is clear that these are not 1000 year events but yearly ones. Torrential rain, catastrophic flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, tornadoes of fire in which the wind speed of the flames exceeds 140 mph. Yet some people including the President of the US do everything in their power not to stop this cascade of events but to exacerbate them. People go on living as if this situation was not a call to action but just another thing to adjust to. Many seek a cooler clime near the ocean when the summer gets really hot inland. They used to call Canadians snowbirds when they went south in the winter. What should we call Arizonans who come to San Diego to escape the 100 degree heat in Phoenix: sunbirds?
What's clear is that this brutal summer is not the end of it. Summers from now on will only get worse. Once temperatures climb above 120 or 130 on a sustained basis, parts of the world will become unbearable. Electric grids will fail as they've already been doing from excessive demand for air conditioning. Tires will melt on the road. The only livable parts of planet earth will be narrow strips along the oceans and regions near the North and South poles or in the mountains. Get ready people. Climate change is already here, and it will only get worse in terms of extreme weather.