I’m pleased to welcome Kevin Hester as a new contributor to BoomerWarrior.Org. Kevin lives near Auckland, New Zealand. He believes that “abrupt climate change will lead to the end of most if not all complex life on this planet.” The crisis of our global civilization is real. “As a species we are doomed to near term human extinction due to the crack-like addiction we have to carbon,” says Hester.
Global Civilization in Crisis
Climate scientists have been warning us of the tipping point issue that we can’t see coming. But we will see them in the rear view mirror. There is a 10 to 20 year lag in the cause and effect between when we emit carbon and when we see the effects. We have now crossed sufficient tipping points to know we’re in the early stages of runaway global warming.
Chart credit: Climate Emergency Institute
All science papers and most analyses are very conservative but research is not my role. I follow the “Precautionary Principle” and can patently see runaway abrupt climate change gaining pace literally every day.
It seems incredible to think that the human movie could be coming to an abrupt halt, but if you were able to ask the 150 to 200 species that go extinct every day, I’m sure that they would say it was rather sudden!
The Crisis of Civilization video highlights the overwhelming scientific information pointing to human extinction by 2030. Governments and Universities they control are in denial.
Published January 19, 2016
Standard YouTube Licence
The following excerpts from the biological sciences journal published by The Royal Society reinforce the vulnerability of the human species and go a long way to expose the crisis of our global civilization.
Virtually every past civilization has eventually undergone collapse, a loss of socio-political-economic complexity usually accompanied by a dramatic decline in population size . Some, such as those of Egypt and China, have recovered from collapses at various stages; others, such as that of Easter Island or the Classic Maya, were apparently permanent [1,2]. All those previous collapses were local or regional; elsewhere, other societies and civilizations persisted unaffected. Sometimes, as in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, new civilizations rose in succession. In many, if not most, cases, overexploitation of the environment was one proximate or an ultimate cause .
But today, for the first time, humanity’s global civilization—the worldwide, increasingly interconnected, highly technological society in which we all are to one degree or another, embedded—is threatened with collapse by an array of environmental problems. Humankind finds itself engaged in what Prince Charles described as ‘an act of suicide on a grand scale’ , facing what the UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor John Beddington called a ‘perfect storm’ of environmental problems . The most serious of these problems show signs of rapidly escalating severity, especially climate disruption.
1 – Diamond J. 2005 Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed. New York, NY: Viking.
2 – Morris I. 2011 Why the west rules for now: the patterns of history, and what they reveal about the future. New York, NY: Picador.
3 – Montgomery DR. 2012 Dirt: the erosion of civilizations. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
4 – Brown J. 2012 Mankind must go green or die, says Prince Charles. The Independent (London).
5 – Sample I. 2009 World faces ‘perfect storm’ of problems by 2030, chief scientist to warn. The Guardian.
This post was previously published in Hacking at the Tree of Life. It has been editorialize for re-posting in BoomerWarrior.
Many Canadians feel we are a small part of the global population and thus our impact on climate change is minimal. However, we are the greatest of them all when it comes to energy use per capita.
Thank you Alan and welcome to BoomerWarrior.
Even though we are indeed a small country in terms of population we occupy a large land mass which is going to be attractive to climate refugees displaced by climate change. There is much we can do to reduce our use of energy – more transit and public transportation, conservation measures, improve our building codes, start buying electric vehicles and many more.
Re “montpelier”: It may be true that “There is much we can do to reduce our use of energy,” but so what? Dr. David Wasdell has argued that what we humans have done UP TO THIS POINT is enough to result in an increase in the global mean temperature (above the pre-industrial level) of over 6 degrees C! If he’s right–and given that we humans will CONTINUE to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and the “feeding on itself” phenomenon–the amount of increase will be STILL GREATER. How, then, will humans be able to survive? (A rhetorical question!)
I have been following these issues for 50 years now. I have worn out a few ears along the way too. I have done the original research, got my own data and my own conclusions, independent of what I am told by others. My conclusions are that the pessimists are right, and there is not the public will to do anything significant themselves. The public wants industry and government to save us, without them making any sacrifices at all. A decade ago the world used 83 million barrels of oil a day, now it is 93 million a day. That is the public speaking with their wallets. I do not need to take public surveys, that says it all.
A soft landing would be the best we can hope for, but with population climbing to 11 billion from the present 7 billion. Now take 50 % more people, each using more of everything when what we need is substantially less consumption in total. there cannot be a soft landing. Not a chance. We are watching it slowly unfold now, this is not a prediction, just an observation.
So, there is going to be a crash landing before long because negligible effort is being made by the masses to make it a soft landing.
A major problem is corporate control of our politics and media. Corporate individuals have been able to convince themselves that global warming is a hoax, and have “bought” politicians who will vote their way. And because the media depend on advertising for their existence, and those who advertise want people to remain ignorant of what’s happening, they prevent the media from informing the public about the global warming that’s occurring.
My observations tell me that very few in our society are aware that global warming is occurring, and many of those who have heard about it, have been convinced by the “denier industry” that it isn’t occurring anyway.
I’m convinced that our species will be joining the 150 – 200 species going extinct EACH DAY in a matter of decades–perhaps within a few years, even.
Steven – thanks for the comments.
I’ve just been looking at this article in theguardian. It’s intended for those of us who are pessimistic in our expectations about the future of civilization as we know it. It makes the case that we will get off carbon more quickly than we think. Although I believe that will occur, I also believe that simply replacing our energy platform by renewables is only half the battle for survival.
The deployment of clean energy over the next decades does not address the over-exploitation of earth’s resources nor the massive problems coming due to overpopulation. So I think you’re right Stephen – it will not be a soft landing.
There are an awful lot of people (regardless of country), who believe that everything we do in our fossil fuel industry is safe and well tested, simply because they are naive and trusting.
I have just had a very long interaction on my local newspaper over the issue of ‘Fracking.’
The pro-Fracking viewpoint of my adversary was that the existence of 1.1 million Fracking Wells, proves it to be safe, profitable and reliable for energy needs.
I argued many points, that Fracking is old technology and inefficient on many levels, especially safety… Quoting the environmental contamination with carcinogenic substances, the release of greenhouse gases including methane, which must be flared off to avoid explosions, the diseases that affect Fracking workers (including Silicosis and mercury poisoning), the huge use of water, the problems associated with waste slurry, and the fact that Fracking will speed up the occurrence of earthquakes along weakened fault lines. And I topped that with the fact that there are actually 2.5 million Wells but most have a very short life of two to three years and produce little gas and going out of production leaving scarred wasteland devoid of wildlife.
My adversary shrugged my argument off, accusing me of anti-capitalism and not looking at empirical evidence that Fracking is our safest bet for Energy. I couldn’t get through to him at all that we have been poisoning ourselves for years under the illusion that chemical companies and governments have done all the necessary safety assessments when it is quite clear that they haven’t.
I don’t give up arguing the causes and effects of climate change hastening our own demise, but I often feel like I’m shouting into an empty canyon, with only the echo of my own voice coming back.
“I often feel like I’m shouting into an empty canyon, with only the echo of my own voice coming back.” – a very appropriate reflection on climate action movements. Are we getting anywhere?
One could argue about the “real” progress in pricing carbon around the globe. The Paris Agreement is significant. The clean energy progress is remarkable. And there is a growing awareness of the impacts of climate change and the need to address it. Hillary Clinton will continue the work already started by Obama.
But as you point out, the fossil fuel industry is ramping up its efforts to squeeze every drop of oil out of the ground before it all comes crashing down around it.
We might be only 10% of the way to solving global warming and climate change. By the way, there is no science behind that number – just pulled it out of the air, our polluted air that is.
See Steven Manders comments and response. Thanks for your inputs.
Yes, positives in the growth of renewable technology is really helping. I just wish it would come more quickly.
The recent decision to briefly delay Fracking exploration in my home county of Nottinghamshire, is only due to last minute intervention by ‘Friends of the Earth’ who have (with their funding), found some legal land rights restrictions that our council need to look at further. Lancashire have not been so lucky…. Their council decision to ban Fracking was overturned by the British Government.
I am not anti Capitalist, nor am I a gloom and doom merchant, but we are on runaway CO2 ppm figures and it appears that Britain hasn’t tackled a real plan of action to go into renewables. Steve is right, it is going to be a very hard landing for us!
Hard Landing to be sure. It will continue to be gradual with increasing frequency and increasing severity. But still there will be breaks in between all of these extreme weather events. And people will forget again until the next time. However when we pass tipping points, all hell will break loose. I think it was Guy McPherson who identified dozens of possible tipping points. And actually, one tipping point once reached will get us closer to the next tipping point and then closer to the next and so on.
I wish the news about climate change could be so much better.
I just love the work that Nafeez does, he has been such an inspiration to me. I saw this video quite awhile back before the publish date here, a great film done superbly and packed with vital information about who we are and where we’re going. Thanks for showing it Rolly.
Good write up Kevin, great conclusions with back up, good stuff.