Some alarming (or alarmist) thoughts on global warming |

Some alarming (or alarmist) thoughts on global warming

Bill Sepmeier and Matthew Charles
Vail, CO, Colorado

Everyone knows the term “global warming.” But few people know the term was coined mroe than 40 years ago by James Lovelock, an obscure British inventor who, primarily because of his work in climatology, is today widely regarded as one of the most eminent scientists of modern times.

Lovelock jump-started the environmental movement in the 1970s with an invention that enabled the first measurement of change in the ozone layer. He is also responsible for the modern concept of “Gaia,” which has become something of a new age spirituality ” and a source of embarrassment for the soft spoken inventor.

The Gaia theory suggests that the entire earth is a living organism in which everything is responsible for the existence and health of everything else and, if things get out of balance due to the overgrowth of one aspect of the whole, the system will self correct ” even if it has to eliminate the offending element.

These days, Lovelock is making waves with his vision of the next few years for humanity. The vision id a frightening mix of apocalypse and pragmatism in which 6 billion humans will most likely perish due to the results of climate change.

According to Lovelock, by 2020 droughts and other forms of extreme weather will be common. By 2040, the Sahara will have moved north into Europe and Berlin will be as hot as Bahrain in the summer. Much of the American southwest will have become uninhabitable due to heat and lack of water, as will south Florida, due to rising sea levels. Millions of people will move north, and political tensions will reach record highs.

War between Russia and China could result in the deaths of millions as large segments of the Chinese population try to escape the desertification of their country. Food and water shortages will be global in scale and disease rampant. By 2100 the world’s population of 6.6 billion today might be reduced to some 500 million ” not by 500 million, but to 500 million ” as a result of the combined natural and political consequences of global warming. The few survivors will gather mostly in the arctic basin, northern Canada and Scandinavia.

Lovelock is also convinced of something else: The planet has passed the “failsafe point” and that it is already too late to do much about the climate change situation. He thinks that societies should now work to make sure the concepts and organizations of civilization itself survive, since nothing much can be done to avert a new Dark Age. Mankind must therefore be sure it has the equivalent of walled monasteries where the arts, medicine, law, reading, writing, and basic science can be preserved in the face of chaos.

You can research James Lovelock and decide for yourself if he’s a madman or not ” his track record certainly doesn’t indicate it.

So, what can we do to avoid his predictions? If the man’s even half right, there’s a lot of work to do.

Everything we know and are surrounded by was probably inconceivable only a century ago. Our entire infrastructure and lifestyle is the result of our collective dependence on fossil fuel. We’ve had a good run burning things for energy but, at some point, that will come to an end.

There’s a lot we can do to ease the oil-era hangover that’s looming in our future. Solar power in all of its incarnations will have to play a huge role, along with a revival of localism of manufacturing and foodstuffs, recycling, conservation and everything else “green”.

Until we wake up, stretch our minds and face the new day, and it may be a day that won’t be as easy as the past few have been, the situation we have gotten ourselves into will only get worse.

Bill Sepmeier is the chief technical officer and Matthew Charles is the sales and marketing director for Grid Feeders of Eagle-Vail.

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