64 squares and a grain of sand
The century of drought
Drought threatening the lives of millions will spread across half the land surface of the Earth in the coming century because of global warming, according to new predictions from Britain's leading climate scientists.
Extreme drought, in which agriculture is in effect impossible, will affect about a third of the planet, according to the study from the Met Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research.
"We're talking about 30 per cent of the world's land surface becoming essentially uninhabitable in terms of agricultural production in the space of a few decades," Mark Lynas, the author of High Tide, the first major account of the visible effects of global warming around the world, said.
30 percent decrease in global agricultural potential? Let’s see, where are we going to grow our ethanol perennial crops to prop up our stunted clown car civilization? If we scrape all the people off of India, or South America, we might have a shot to keep the “flex fuel” hummers of the future afloat. They’ll be equipped with off-board motors in the future, see, ‘cause the oceans are going to rise.
Sick jokes aside, one theme I plan on developing – with full comprehension of rapidly enveloping energy constraints, or “peak oil”, is the need to hitch our wagon to a concept that everybody gets. Peak oil is too wonky, too nerdy, and frankly too depressing for the majority of people to entertain honestly and openly, at least in the short term. I can debunk Daniel Yergin any day of the week, but gosh, he has a Pulitzer. It is an uphill battle – to get people to pay attention.
The concept to connect with is Global Warming, of course. It has brand name recognition, and it is well-nigh undeniable, except by sophists and a few crusty scientists who get carted out by Exxon-Mobil once year to shout “I’m not dead yet!”
The real changes we must make to “solve” climate change dovetail nicely with reasonable responses for Peak Oil. Increased use of renewables. Living arrangements which don’t intrinsically waste energy. I expect it won’t be long before the Chinese government orders the bicycles back in Beijing, by dictate.
Imagine how pleasant ones commute would be if one could bicycle on smooth pavement for 15 miles instead of driving in stop and go traffic for the same distance.
As it stands, the car is the penis of the American dream. You don’t chop off your penis at the drop of the hat. Just listen to Kunstler, talking about North America: “We are a profoundly unserious nation, for all our pretensions.” Certainly not serious enough to chop off a piece of our national psyche. Vinod, and perhaps some Swedish doctors, will rescue us.
More to come. It will take more than solving transportation to Solve global warming and prevent dire peak oil scenarios from coming to pass.