Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Oranges in Oregon

Been unusually warm this year - everywhere - for the last two decades? Want to lay odds that it is just a goofy, statistical blip, the kind that happens, you know, every hundred thousand years or so? And what's with the drought that is leeching reservoirs dry all throughout the Western United States as I write?

We'll not argue global warming. I assume you are not a rube.

Instead, let's run a thought experiment. What happens to all the people in LA should they run out of water? I don't mean the stars, like Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez, although I sometimes wonder what their houses look like, and I bet a crazed mob would too. I mean the thirsty blacks and Latinos, millions of them, boiling out of the desert: North, South, East and West. And white people. They can get powerful thirsty at times.Will the American Indians take them in? Sorry, the casino is closed. Will neighboring states let them in or will they be met with peasants wielding pitchforks and shotguns? I vote yes to the latter. And the stink will rise up for centuries.

Global warming presents us with an irony. Just when we might need a source of cheap, efficient energy to solve our big problems, the selfsame source of energy that caused our problems in the first place - oil - is running dry.

That's funny once.

Take this as a personal warning. Global warming and Peak Oil are running out of control at present. The death spiral as China and Japan and America and Russia and India and who else? all fight over the right to burn the caramelized pools of ancient slime has begun. When the shooting stops, will humanity have created a feedback loop that ends all carbon based life larger than cockroaches?

Not yet. We are not doomed. The world still has resources. It can still soak carbon and we can help it. But we are skating, and this isn't the little ice age.

(c) Jon S., 2004


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