More of the Same, Just Worse

November 27, 2012

(Illustration found here).

Overcast again this wee-early Tuesday morning, and this area along California’s northern coast has been forecast for some rain and wind for the next few days, reportedly starting tonight.
Part and parcel for the region this time of year, but so far not much moisture, but the season is still way-young.

One heart-breaking, tragic story up here over the weekend: A mom, dad and 16-year-son drowned on Saturday at a beach after trying to rescue their dog — the bodies of the parents were recovered, but the boy is still missing, presumed dead.
From our local paper of record, The Times-Standard:

Mary Elena Scott, 57, and her husband Howard Kuljian, 54, died after being swept into the ocean near Orick, according to the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office. Their bodies were recovered Saturday. The couple’s son, 16-year-old Gregory “Geddie” Kuljian, was still missing Monday.

Sean Ledwin, a senior fisheries biologist with the Hoopa Valley Tribe, said he was walking along the beach at Big Lagoon with his dog and girlfriend when the tragedy struck.
He said the family had thrown a stick into the water for their dog to chase, but the dog got swept up.
“The dog was kind of getting rolled in the waves,” Ledwin said.
He said Gregory Kuljian went into the water and grabbed the dog’s collar, but it fell off.
Then, the teenager got swept up in the waves.
“The father then went in after his son, and he got swept up,” Ledwin said.
Ledwin said his girlfriend called 911, as he, the mother, daughter and a female friend of Gregory Kuljian’s stood on the beach.
He said they were waiting to see if there was an opportunity to grab ahold of the father and son.
“They were getting rolled in the ocean, in a circular motion,” Ledwin said.
Scott went in to try to grab her husband, but also got caught in the waves.
Ledwin said those remaining on the beach tried to track where each of the three people were in the water.
He said he stopped the daughter before she attempted to reach her mother in the waves.

After a Facebook campaign, “Wear Green For Geddie,” the Arcata High School was “awash with green” on Monday with comments online coming even from people in Denmark, Italy and Germany.
A terrible episode.
I’ve been on that particular beach a bunch of times, but was never afraid of anything, but according to U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Bernie Garrigan such bravado is dumb-ass: “The way that beach is, with the way the swell breaks, is a recipe for disaster,” Garrigan said.

And so it goes — humanity in striving for more of everything in a 200-year industrial surge has also created ‘a recipe for disaster,’ but it’s bigger and badder than anyone can really comprehend, if they attempt to comprehend at all.
The few, handful of readers of this blog might think I’m a doom-n-gloom kind of guy without much of an optimistic bend, but I feel one must go with facts.
Up until 2007, I really hadn’t paid much attention to climate change, but from then til now the whole global warming scenario has gotten more media attention, the situation has gotten steadily, and quickly, way-worse, thus, building to a major, worldwide catastrophic horror.
In 2007 was the now famous/infamous IPCC report from the UN’s climate change group that confirmed that climate change is indeed taking place and mankind is to blame.
Of course, here too started the full-frontal assault by deniers, which hasn’t abated, even with incidents like the recent Hurricane Sandy.

And as I started paying way-more attention to what the researchers and scientists were saying, a pattern developed: When just about every new report on the climate came out there was a kind of disclaimer attached, saying in selected words to the same effect that climate-change shit was worse than previously thought, or some process was occurring faster than anticipated.
In 2010, the late William Freudenburg, an environmental sociologist and social theorist whose research dealt with the relationship between society and the environment, said this in a retort to climate change deniers:

“Reporters need to learn that, if they wish to discuss ‘both sides’ of the climate issue, the scientifically legitimate “other side” is that, if anything, global climate disruption is likely to be significantly worse than has been suggested in scientific consensus estimates to date.”

And so it goes as now New Scientist joins the New York Times and Bloomberg News in stating the already-near-obvious that climate change is real, real bad, but in reality it’s worse.
Via Climate Progress on the New Scientist research in which seven items are emphasized:

1. The thick sea ice in the Arctic Ocean was not expected to melt until the end of the century. If current trends continue, summer ice could be gone in a decade or two.
2. We knew global warming was going to make the weather more extreme. But it’s becoming even more extreme than anyone predicted.
3. Global warming was expected to boost food production. Instead, food prices are soaring as the effects of extreme weather kick in.
4. Greenland’s rapid loss of ice mean we’re in for a rise of at least 1 metre by 2100, and possibly much more.
5. The planet currently absorbs half our CO2emissions. All the signs are it won’t for much longer.
6. If we stopped emitting CO2 tomorrow, we might be able to avoid climate disaster. In fact we are still increasing emissions.
7. If the worst climate predictions are realised, vast swathes of the globe could become too hot for humans to survive.

Joe Romm adds comments and scientific analysis to the mix of that gnarled recipe already in the oven.

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