Visible Beyond Eye Sight

December 20, 2012

648909_9122271_lzWind is really howling this morning along California’s northern coast, but no rain yet as we’re forecast as 100 percent today.
Right now the air feels dry, the noise level high.

Meanwhile, the US Midwest is getting thrashed: People traveling early for Christmas in the center of the country will be dashing through the snow and the rain and the wind.
Yes, more wind, as forecasters say along with a foot of snow across several states, the gusts could wail up to 50 miles an hour or more — east-central Colorado reported a 67-mph wind gust with zero visibility.

In the wake of Sandy Hook and guns, guns, guns, one aspect of modern life also seems to have developed a visibility of zilch — climate change.
Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it ain’t still a-coming on strong.

(Illustration found here).

And along with the wind right where I’m at, we’re also getting some flickering lights — possible power outages is also part of our forecast, but what a pain!
Another unpleasant sensation is the blindness of shit being mixed with the sweltering approach of climate change (via Bloomberg):

The U.S. expanded its oil production this year by the most since the first commercial well was drilled in 1859, upending a belief that Americans were increasingly hooked on foreign crude.
Domestic output grew by a record 766,000 barrels a day to the highest level in 15 years, government data show, putting the nation on pace to surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer by 2020.
Net petroleum imports have fallen by more than 38 percent since the 2005 peak and now account for 41 percent of demand, down from 60 percent seven years ago, moving the U.S. closer to energy independence than it has been in decades.

Anyone with a cat’s whisker of knowledge about climate change knows the above to be a nightmare statement.
As an illustration, this quote from Bill McKibben’s Rolling Stone piece last July on the fossil fuel numbers game, reveals the reality: One senior scientist told me, “You know those new cigarette packs, where governments make them put a picture of someone with a hole in their throats? Gas pumps should have something like that.”

Americans, however, are getting the hint — seeing is believing.
A recent Associated Press-GfK poll found that US peoples not only think global warming is real, but believe something needs to be done about it.
However, scientists ain’t right, but the eyes are: “They don’t believe what the scientists say, they believe what the thermometers say,” said Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University social psychologist and pollster who consulted on the poll. “Events are helping these people see what scientists thought they had been seeing all along.”

However, seeing that which is not in sight yet is hard.
A way-big aspect in a surge of climate changing quickly is the horror of methane.
Late last month, the UN Environment Programme released a report, Policy Implications of Warming Permafrost (pdf), which indicated the vast stores of carbon just waiting to be thawed into the environment from a melting Arctic could trigger what’s called a ‘feedback loop known as the permafrost carbon feedback,’ and if that happens it’s shitsville as that process would be irreversible on human timescales.
None of that shit is covered in any UN climate change research.
From Skeptical Science:

“The release of carbon dioxide and methane from warming permafrost is irreversible: once the organic matter thaws and decays away, there is no way to put it back into the permafrost,” said lead author Kevin Schaefer, from the University of Colorado’s National Snow and Ice Data Center.
“Anthropogenic emissions’ targets in the climate change treaty need to account for these emissions or we risk overshooting the 2°C maximum warming target,” he added.
Most of the recent climate projections are biased on the low side relative to global temperature because the models do not at this time include the permafrost carbon feedback, the report says.
Consequently, targets for anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions based on these climate projections would be biased high.

President Obama needs to make some mark, should instigate a quick-hard commission like the one he announced yesterday for gun control — a panel headed by Joe Biden with results required before the end of next month — and gear it to climate change.
Political will is way-lacking, however, even if visibility is near-blind.

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