As I write this, a massive heat wave stretches across the western three-quarters of the United States, forest fires rage in central Canada, a major flooding event is striking the U.S. Northeast and southern and central Europe are enduring unprecedented heat waves. This comes after a vicious tornado season in the U.S. Southeast. The rest of the world, in varying degrees, is experiencing abnormal weather conditions as well.  Ocean water temperatures around the world are rising

This all comes after a series of years in which climate has been getting more and more distorted, and now an unusually powerful El Nino is developing in the Pacific, which will inevitably lead to more distortion and more extreme events.

At the same time, a huge engine of climate change denial keeps chugging along. The result of this is that a false debate has been created around this well-known and long studied phenomenon. For example, the greenhouse effect was first described by Eunice Newton Foote in the 1850s.

The fake debate has caused what will emerge over the next few years as the greatest catastrophe in human history, and may well lead to the radical decimation or even extinction of mankind, not to mention thousands of other species planet-wide. It will be, in other word, the latest of Earth’s many extinction events.

And yet, very little is still said about it. I still often see material claiming things like “all the planets in the solar system are warming,” and “it’s the sun doing it” or even that it’s being caused by a government inexplicably bent on destroying what it governs.

The truth is quite simple: it is being caused by the expression of more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than it can absorb. Of course the sun plays a role, and when a solar max is taking place, one of which seems to be starting now, there will be added heat energy.

I think that the process is quite far along, so far, indeed that the number of weather issues is likely to increase exponentially over the next few years. Some summer soon, it is almost certain that wide areas of the planet are going to become so hot that large animals like cattle and human beings will not be able to survive in them. I think that the US southwest and southeast are in particular danger, with Texas in the most danger because, unlike regions further west, it experiences high levels of summer humidity. Regions farther to the east, which are also very humid in the summer, will not heat up as fast. At the same time, desert heat from North Africa is crossing the Mediterranean into Southern Europe, placing Spain, Italy and Greece at special risk.

As I have predicted, profound and permanent changes will follow the collapse of ocean currents, and this is not far from happening in the Atlantic. In addition, if methane hydrates that exist along the continental shelves are exposed to water temperatures above 47 degrees Fahrenheit, they will melt and release overwhelming amounts of methane gas into the atmosphere. This has been the end game in previous interglacials and when it happens, it will also conclude this one. Methane deteriorates over about 30 years, and when that process is complete, there will be vastly less human activity to emit carbon dioxide. The result, as was pointed out in Superstorm, will be the eventual onset of another ice age.

I wish that I could say that this is all unlikely, or not likely to happen soon, but I cannot in truth say that. I think that it is going to happen. I think this because the false debate, which is centered in the US and the UK, continues to retard remediation. Tragically, because of this debate, we continue to dither. The weather, however, is telling us in the most uncertain terms, that the time for dithering is over.

So, what can we do?

A lot, and much of it is neither hard nor expensive. As Fareed Zakaria mentioned in his July 4, 2022 broadcast, just 1500 of the 29,000 coal-fired power plants in the world cause 73% of emissions. Convert these to natural gas, and a massive decline in CO2 takes place.

Another solution is to increase the reflectivity of the planet by mandating that rooftops and other large structural spaces open to the sky be painted with solar reflective paint. Such a paint has been developed that reflects 98% of sunlight. To absolutely end global warming, it would have to be used to cover 2% of the earth’s surface. That seems small, but it’s actually a tall order. Still, it is so extraordinarily efficient that even a smaller amount of coverage will help–the more the better. As a start, cities in the U.S. Southwest, which expose extensive concrete and rooftops to the sky, could mandate the use of this paint, which would immediately make them more livable.

Another process is carbon capture. It is a real possibility, which is why a company like Exxon-Mobil would be putting nearly 5 billion dollars into deployment of the process. They know that their record has been poor, and current management sees climate change as an existential challenge to the company–which it certainly is, and not only to companies, but to us all.  A new method can capture 95% of a fossil-fuel burning plant’s emissions.

It is going to become clear over the next 24 to 36  months that all of these things and more need to be done on an absolutely urgent basis. But they must NOT be used to put off reduction in fossil fuel use. Over the longer term, that is the only way we are going to continue to survive on our planet.

I only hope that we have the time.

Photo credit: Photo 85658736 | Forest Fire © Toa555 |

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  1. I just posted my thoughts on the message board regarding this issue. I will state it here, too: Nothing of significance will happen until we strengthen our democracy here in the U.S. Currently, our lawmakers are owned by highly powerful oligarchs who are the ones truly calling the shots. Their one and only concern is to protect their own interests, usually at the expense of us ordinary folks. We, the ordinary folks, must rise up and make these changes. We can’t rely on our politicians. Now matter how it is spun, they do not work for us.

    We must take action, but we first have to recognize the overlying problem. Properly informed citizens must reclaim their power and demand change at the federal government, putting in lawmakers who will do the work of the people, not their donors. As long as the electoral process is broken, allowing a small contingent of people with the money and influence to corrupt our public officials, then nothing will happen. We keep focusing our attention on the wrong things, mostly that orange-tinged clown who has made a mockery of our democratic institution, instead of pulling back and asking the question why he was ever allowed to take over the process in the first place.

    We can do so much to create a sustainable, just, and thriving planet that benefits all. The human species is capable of achieving great things. It is a terrible tragedy that we are allowing a small cohort of greedy, small-minded individuals to prevent us from reaching our potential. Will we wake up and rise up to the challenge before it is too late? Will the meek truly inherit the earth?

  2. Thanks Whitley. Actual Hope in a sea of doom and gloom is refreshing. Why we have waited so long is truly depressing. A carbon tax would’ve brought about these ideas quicker, but greed has prevailed.

    1. Talk of a carbon tax was before Citizens United. Now that the floodgates have been opened, the Republican Party has fallen in line and not one climate-related bill has been endorsed by them since then. They know which side their bread is buttered.

  3. Pathetic! You yanks really believe you are the center of the universe, don’t you? This isn’t a political party issue, this is a world issue. How do you plan on getting the countries with their growing economies to sign up? China, India, Mexico, South America with their burning of the rain forests. Your US of A will really soon come to terms with its Marxist/Leftist arrogance, won’t you?

    1. Author

      When it became clear that global warming was a very serious threat, which happened in the mid-1980s, the United States was the worlds largest polluter. It is now about tied for that dubious honor with China. And as to “Marxist/Leftist arrogance,” that’s another senseless, time wasting fantasy. One way you can be certain that nothing will be done, is to spit out divisive rubbish like that. These are difficult times, and they are going to get harder. If we all work together as a community of nations and a human community, we can certainly build for ourselves and our children a worthwhile future. You don’t do that by spitting poison.

  4. Once again this blog /journal nails it. As a climate reality leader I can add nothing more to what has been said. The distractions and false debate continue as a stall for time. The time to transition from fossil fuels is taking to long. We are killing ourselves with a Victorian era internal combustion machine and in our hearts we all know it. Surely we are smarter than 1890 technology? Add the catch -22 of the albedo effect: ( pollution particulate reflects sun rays, and we are protected as we pollute and if we stop the particulate protection will stop and temps will soar) Its a hellish scenario. This planet is a death trap as foretold. extreme heat + freshening of the Atlantic +stall AMOC current = ice age. We still have a rapidly closing window but we must ACT as global humanity and not kid ourselves. Concrete production is another massive CO2 admitter. I will be at the GCC summit tomorrow at 9am via Zoom. We must act , we are like turtles marching in peanut butter and blathering on with minuscule culture war debates.

  5. Neighborhoods/Communities need to prepare. Consider empty churches and schools with cafeterias. A place where people can gather, try to help each other as best they can. Perhaps for some, to survive? THE TIME IS COMING. No one wants to be alone.

    Long-Term Forecast , Predicts Winter Blast , Coming For the United States. ‘Newsweek’ reports that the Farmers’ Almanac.

  6. That is so true Carolee! I realized during all the lock-downs and ‘shelter-in -place’ advisements when Covid started that community is more than just family. And it began to make sense that the ancient way of living in groups, together, like the tribes of the North American Plains (and other places too, of course).

  7. But, that ‘shelter’, Carolee will be not much more that a so-called tent if there is no running water or flushable toilets or a power grid to cook food… will there be fires built on gymnasium floors?

  8. I really feel your frustration and downheartedness, James Day! I have been listening to a program on CBC radio here in Canada. It’s called ‘Ideas’ and they have a retrospective on David Suzuki called ‘David Suzuki’s Survival Guide’. It has given me hope that I didn’t have before about how I would like to live and some ideas about how to implement /change things in my own life to contribute… we all have so far to go! And so little time to get there!

    1. Hello STARDUST. I have thought of those problems as well. On the upside, I am thinking if enough people with their own special talents could gather, perhaps new innovative ideas would emerge. I live in a neighborhood with lots of buried springs/creeks. One such spring actually stopped builders from putting up a new building when they hit the water. They needed to find a way to remedy the situation before finishing the project. Then, (you are probably waaay to young) to remember out-houses. Not very appealing in our modern world but nevertheless worked for people. JUST A FEW THOUGHTS HERE AND MAYBE I AM NOT BEING REALISTIC BUT IF WE DO NOT AT LEAST TRY HOW CAN WE KNOW?

  9. I’m reading this on August 11 2023. As I write the capital of the old indigenous kingdom of Hawaii, Lahaina, has burned to the ground. 56 dead and 1000 missing. Temperatures in parts of the middle east have reached wet bulb levels. Saguaro cactus in the south west are falling over dead. If this doesn’t cause us to act what will?

  10. Hi Carollee, yes, you are absolutely right and what I wrote was the cynic in me speaking. I Do remember outhouses! We had an old one on our the farm I grew up on, though the house had a flush toilet. My Grandmother used to call it the ‘biffy’, and I have never heard of anyone else calling it that. We should probably all be using some form of composting toilets instead of wasting water that only creates pollution down the line. I want to know how those builders remedied the situation when they hit water!

    1. STARDUST: My source of information comes from Roger, the owner of a hair salon in the neighborhood. Roger knows quite a bit about what is happening in our community. When I noticed a new building was not progressing, I knew he would know why, and this is how I found out that the builders had hit water. I really don’t know how the situation was solved??? Also, we live in a neighborhood that had several CLAY MINES/BRICK FACTORIES (BETWEEN the 1800s and 1956) and, yes, springs.

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