Monday, June 20, 2016

Build that freaking wall!

I don't care whether or not Einstein really said or wrote somewhere that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  It makes a lot of sense.  Yet, humans often tend to do the same bloody things over again, believing things will work out differently.

I wonder if Einstein ever considered in his thought experiments the possibility that humans do the same thing again not because they expect different results, but because they completely deny the results.  Such denial would never occurred to his logical mind, perhaps.  Einstein versus the climate change deniers would have been one interesting discussion.

Yet, that is what is unfolding in plain sight.  People are gladly doing the same things.  Like this, in in South Florida:
Its very existence depends on the continued allure of the beaches, waterways and natural environment. Yet, by 2050, an estimated $15 billion to $36 billion of Florida’s coastal property will be threatened by sea-level rise, according to a report last year from the Risky Business Project, a Bloomberg Philanthropies effort that quantifies economic risks from climate change.
In South Florida, sea-level rise and climate change are already having an effect on available drinking water, roads and sewer lines in low-lying areas, and storm and flood insurance rates.
If problems are showing up in every day life even now, then Einstein's logic will tell us that people won't develop the land and sell multi-million dollar homes, right?  Welcome to the insanity:
there’s an emerging industry eager to find a way to help people stay in that paradise, a place born of real estate speculation and rebirthed cyclically out of natural disasters like hurricanes and man-made disasters like real estate bubbles.
Developers have started marketing storm-resistant homes and resilient buildings, like a high-rise in downtown Miami designed to withstand 300-mph winds. In Miami Beach, the city is beginning to implement building codes that require new construction and city infrastructure to be elevated. Fort Lauderdale is considering raising the height limits on sea walls.
Rising sea-levels will be matched by rising sea walls!  Ah, the insanity that is more than my criticism of American solutions to American problems!
“Sea level is rising, and we have to plan for the next 50 to 100 years. You have to, for the purposes of marketing, build for the future. You have to build for the future, even if the code may not allow it.”

Meanwhile, whatever the deniers might want to believe, the data trend is worsening.
The last station on Earth without a 400 parts per million (ppm) reading has reached it.
Where was that, you ask?  In Antarctica.  Far, far, away from South Florida and China and India and humanity.
In the remote reaches of Antarctica, the South Pole Observatory carbon dioxide observing station cleared 400 ppm on May 23, according to an announcement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday. That’s the first time it’s passed that level in 4 million years (no, that’s not a typo).
So, those of us who are not into insanity, nor into denial, will worry about trends like this:
“The increase of carbon dioxide is everywhere, even as far away as you can get from civilization,” Pieter Tans, a carbon-monitoring scientist at the Environmental Science Research Laboratory, said. “If you emit carbon dioxide in New York, some fraction of it will be in the South Pole next year.”
It’s possible the South Pole Observatory could see readings dip below 400 ppm, but new research published earlier this week shows that the planet as a whole has likely crossed the 400 ppm threshold permanently (at least in our lifetimes).
Passing the 400 ppm milestone in is a symbolic but nonetheless important reminder that human activities continue to reshape our planet in profound ways
And, one of the results will be, yes, rising sea levels in South Florida too.

Guess who is in favor of building higher sea walls even when denying the very climate change?  Yes, it is the fascist, who is worried about his wealth!



Ramesh said...

We've covered this many times, but here's an interesting angle. The Chinese government aims to reduce meat consumption amongst its population as a means of climate control !!

Only in China would they think of this and the interesting thing is that they can probably even achieve it.

Sriram Khé said...

How fascinating!
I read that, and then ... tweeted it ;)
It is a good thing that the old country has quite a few hardcore vegetarians ;)

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