Tuesday, April 30, 2019

God Farted and You Made Him Do It

            God farted and you made him do it.

            What? Huh? God doesn’t fart. And what do I have to do with it? You’re an idiot.

            No, I am not. Your car and heating your house puts stuff into the air that 

            God doesn’t like. As a result, God is farting gas from the ocean floor and 
            the steppes of Russia and his farts are warming the entire planet.

            Well, actually, you are talking about methane clathrates, melting from the 
            continental shelf and the permafrost near the arctic circle.


            Shut up, scientist. You’re boring everybody. You talking stuff nobody cares 
            about. You persuade no one.

            Yeah! I agree.

            So, Joe, you like your big, powerful SUV and your warm house? Right?

            Of course I do. And your God farting stuff is crazy.

            What if I could promise you a bigger, more powerful SUV and cheaper 
            electricity for your house and not make God all farty and angry? What
            do you say?

            Okay, talk. I’ll listen. But you’re still crazy.

            Tesla sells fully electric SUVs that are faster and more powerful than 
            Lamborghinis. And they even sell 18-wheelers that go from zero to sixty
            faster than any other truck.

            You’re kidding.

            Not kidding. Acceleration in an electric SUV in “ludicrous mode” is 
            beyond belief, and God likes it. And you can get sustainable electricity
            that’s cheaper than what you’re paying now without making God fart. So 
            you can be warm, have a great SUV, and God will be happy with you 
            and not have tummy problems.

            So you want me to fix God’s tummy. How?

            Vote for politicians who want what is called a “revenue-neutral carbon 
            tax.” That’s actually a tax cut for you, if you don't use fossil fuels. The 
            Government taxes carbon as it comes out of the ground and gives the 
            money back to you. The end result is you get cheaper electricity that
            doesn’t upset God, and more powerful SUVs that agree with God’s tummy. 

            So tell me about this powerful SUV.

NOVELIST and JOE walk off stage right, talking about vehicles with great acceleration.

            You’re both crazy.

SCIENTIST walks off, stage left, shaking his head and muttering to himself.

Please help me in my personal war against global warming. Friend me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, and connect with me on LinkedIn. I am writing a powerful global warming novel. I need a great publishing company to market it and print a lot of copies. Publishers look at an author's social media numbers as a sign of potential buyers. So please Friend me, Follow me, and Connect with me. Consider it as doing a small part in saving humanity from the ravages of global warming. Thanks.

Shawn Oueinsteen      

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Global Warming: Two Elephants in the Room

Global Warming: Two Elephants in the Room 

These two questions are elephants in the room. They may be in the back of all of our minds, but rarely are they mentioned out loud

1. Question: What is the worst-case scenario for someone born today?
    Answer: Global warming may end civilization as we know it.

2. Question: What is the long-term worst-case scenario?
    Answer: Global warming may destroy all life on Earth.

1. Babies Born Today Will See the End of Civilization

There is much talk of sea-level rise. In the United States, alone, we see maps of what Miami, Norfolk, New Orleans, New York, Boston, and other cities will look with 2 degree or 4-degree Celsius warming. We hear daily about drought, how it affects California, Texas, or Arizona. The phrase “tipping point” is used often, but usually without much explanation. There is an unstated assumption that those of us in areas well above sea level and with plenty of water will be fine. That assumption is wrong. Use of the phrase “tipping point” to avoid talking about what happens once the last tip occurs is wrong. What happens is the end of civilization.

It is probably too late already to stop South Florida from going underwater. When that happens, there may be ten million or more refugees in America. When the aquifers under the American West and Midwest are depleted and snowpack melt is no longer replenishing river and aquifer water, major cities will run out of water. From these, there will be many more millions of refugees. The increasing frequency of devastating storms, floods, and wildfires will create more refugees. All of these refugees will flee to cities with water that are well above sea level. The refugees will need food, drinking water, electricity, medicines, and shelter, and they will be demanding housing and jobs.

The healthy cities will, at the start, do everything they can do to help the incoming refugees. They will set up refugee camps with food, water, and doctors. But even the healthiest cities will become inundated quickly. Their refugee camps will become very crowded, and sanitary conditions will become substandard. Food, water, and medical care may continue but will deteriorate to the point they are barely adequate. Many of the refugees will be armed. Overcrowding, poor sanitation, and minimal medical care will cause disease to spread. This is what caused the flu epidemic of World War One. Healthy American soldiers were crowded into camps with poor sanitation and they became ill and spread disease globally. Climate refugees will do the same.

Climate refugees will become increasingly desperate, especially as disease causes children and old people to die. The refugees will become violent. Well-armed refugees will fight police and military. Under such circumstances, disease will spread everywhere, and food, water, electricity, sewer, and other services will fail for entire cities that previously had been healthy. The Federal Government, especially military, will become involved but will fail due to the level of violence, disease, fragile electricity grids, and the inability to provide enough food and water for the number of refugees. When Governments fail, and city services fail, a large percentage of people living in cities will die.

People in remote areas with fertile land, personal renewable energy supplies, and water (from nearby lakes and still flowing rivers), will be able to survive if they live far from desperate refugees who bring disease and violence. Global warming will not, by itself, make it impossible for people to live on Earth at the time civilization falls. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide will survive. But most people live in cities. Cities require food, water, and electricity to be brought in, and sewage taken out. This will end and people will die. The numbers of dead will be in the billions, as this will occur all across the globe. Civilization requires cities. Civilization will die.

2. Destruction of All Life on Earth 

It is easy to assume that when civilization dies, man will no longer be putting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and the Earth will recover. However, one has to consider the global warming that occurred during the Permian–Triassic (P–Tr) extinction event of 252 million years ago (and, to a lesser extent, most of the other extinction events). During the P-Tr, up to 96% of all marine species and 90% of terrestrial vertebrate species became extinct. Many scientists believe that carbon-dioxide from vulcanism was one contributing factor and another was warming of methane clathrates that caused methane to bubble off the ocean floor and emerge from permafrost. It took thousands of years for carbon to enter the atmosphere then. This time it is happening so quickly that perhaps there will be greater destruction on a much shorter timeframe.

The carbon that entered the atmosphere then (as both methane and CO2) is still on the planet, in polar-region permafrost and at the ocean sea-beds or in coal or oil underground that we are mining and burning. The warming started by CO2 emissions will cause the methane clathrates to emerge, and that will create more warming which causes more methane, and so on. There are many other feedback situations like this. The methane and the CO2 not only make the planet warmer but also make the oceans acidic. Ocean acidification is why the P-Tr extinction event killed such a high percentage of marine species. When our current global warming might make conditions on Earth to be as bad as they were during the P-Tr extinction event is unknown. Much of it depends on the actions of man and these are hard to predict.

During the P-Tr event, man did not exist to add greenhouse gases to the vulcanization CO2 and the methane greenhouse gas from the warmed clathrates. The combination of the Earth’s methane and man’s CO2 might be worse than the P-Tr extinction event and cause the Earth to get so hot that the ocean’s water will start to boil at the equator, becoming water vaper entering the atmosphere. Water vapor is a very strong greenhouse gas and will increase the warming. If the oceans begin to boil, the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere will reach many hundreds of degrees, as they are today on the planet Venus. Life as we know it cannot survive with such heat. This heating-up process is known as the Venus Effect. The Earth may become very much like our sister planet Venus, and all life, as we know it, on Earth will be gone.


Obviously, no one wants either of these two scenarios to happen. But it must be stated that these events can occur. They need to be considered when considering how best and how quickly we fight against global warming.

Please help me in my personal war against global warming. Friend me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, and connect with me on LinkedIn. I am writing a powerful global warming novel. I need a great publishing company to market it and print a lot of copies. Publishers look at an author's social media numbers as a sign of potential buyers. So please Friend me, Follow me, and Connect with me. Consider it as doing a small part in saving humanity from the ravages of global warming. Thanks.

Shawn Oueinsteen