Tuesday, 18 September 2012

On not being a sheep.

Having read this article in the Guardian, I was struck by the potential radical change that this is likely to bring.  As I have said previously, I feel we have passed the tipping point and that our present system and society is likely to face severe challenges and I doubt that we have the resilience. 
Given the prediction by Professor Wadhams of the possibility of a summer ice free Arctic by 2016, and the possibilty of Methane release, I do not think we have any time to waste. 
In relation to this urgency of adaptation, I have noticed something locally which I think applies more widely

We are sheep!

In some ways this is to be expected, we are told as children to listen to the teacher, we listen to the priest and the politician and so many other people.  We have ceased to be actively involved citizens and become merely "constituents" or "consumers".  If we are to adapt and make the radical changes necessary, it is essential that we stop being sheep.  We must cease resigning responsibility and take back some of the power over our own lives.
While, after the repeated failures at Bali, Cancun, Copenhagen and Rio+20, I have little or no faith in our politicians, We live with this system of "representation", so I think that we must remind them who they are accountable to and pressure them to take this as seriously as it warrants.   We must also make the changes in our own lives, looking to the future and adapting as best we can, building networks and working with others to build community sufficiency.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

More Arctic Blues

It appears that the extent of Arctic Summer Sea Ice has reached its lowest recorded extent, falling below 4 million square kilometres.  There is a striking visual representation of the change between 1979 and 2012 by the Guardian here
It is also reported that this loss of arctic ice, may well bring a harsh winter across Europe.  It appears that the jet stream is slowing down (as well as moving North) and that this is likely to mean prolonged periods of weather as they are not "pushed on", so perhaps longer periods of flooding and drought. 

It seems to me that this highlights our urgent need for adaptation.  If we are likely to face more extreme weather, like the 2003 heatwave and the 2005 floods then our current infrastructure is going to come under severe strain.  Our systems must be examined and critical points strenghtened, we must build resilience into local and national systems as well as our individual lives. 

Monday, 10 September 2012

Over the edge

If anyone has been reading this blog recently, you will have noticed that I have been feeling bleak and rageful.  The reason for this, which it has taken me a while to face up to is that I think we have passed the tipping point. 
There has been no fanfare from the heavens, the sky has not turned pink, but I am pretty sure that we are there.  When scientists like Professor Wadhams, who has been involved in Arctic research for over 30 years, warn that atmospheric CO2 levels are accelerating at a faster than exponential rate, you know we are in trouble.
I am of the opinion that we will see an acceleration of change in the arctic, loss of sea-ice leading to a change in albedo and consequent acceleration of loss.  As the arctic warms up, I think we will see a release of methane from the dissapearing permafrost and unless something miraculous happens, I think we will see the relase of methane from the methane clathrate, a la "clathrate gun hypothesis".  I think as a consequence of this process of change we will see species extinction and a change in weather systems and ,very possibly, oceanic circulation. 

I think that we have set this inexorable process in motion and that our choice is now limited to adaptation.  I think any resources invested to "keep the lights on" are wasted.  Our future is likely to be radically different from our present and it is better to spend our limited time and resources adapting to that future as best we can.
 It might perhaps be said that as the current system is so ecologicaly destructive, it would be better if it collapsed sooner, so that there might be more left afterwards.  But in that process many, many are likely to die and so it is difficult to wish for. 

The repeated failure of our political and business leaders to initiate the necessary change coupled with our lack of of action in our own lives has led us here.
  We must act now.  It is possible that Transiton groups, permaculture groups and other like minded organisations and gatherings will begin the change, but it is a monumental task to change our paradigm and adapt to what is coming.  

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Where is the rage?

As the arctic melts, as anti-fracking protestors are on trial in the UK, as the ecocide and "slow genocide" of the Alberta tar sands continues.  As the very planetary systems are under threat.  Where is the rage?

There is an interesting quote attributed to Mussolini
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

When you consider the present political class and their links and service to the corporations, this makes you think.
 With all the repeated failures at Copenhagen, Cancun and Rio, do you have any faith that we will "be saved"?   How long do you think we (the planet) have? 

This film pretty much says it

We must resist!