Okay, it really is time to start work on that ark. Pack up your belongings. Head for the hills. Forget buying gold or finding that elusive “safe” investment on Wall Street. Accumulate heirloom seeds. Tools. Simple technologies for moving water and generating power. The end is near.
Yes, folks, in the latest chapter of our chronicle of the end times, confirmation comes from two widely disparate observers. First, from the trenches, we have the wisdom of a veteran of the climate change wars in New Jersey after this week’s freak early snowstorm snapped power lines and plunged the Northeast into darkness. He says we must have made Mother Nature angry (or, ahem, words to that effect). How else to explain last year’s brutal winter, followed by spring floods and the devastating effects of Hurricane Irene?
But if the word of the man in the snowbank isn’t good enough for you, consider the results of a two-year study by physicist and noted global-warming skeptic Richard Muller. Guess what? Muller says. The Earth really is getting warmer, not just in the cities and not just because of unreliable data. As a result of his study, Muller has come over from the Dark Side and joined the vast majority of the scientific community in pointing out that the changes in the Earth’s climate are not only measurable, but comprehensive and accelerating.
As Jerry North, the Texas A&M University atmospheric sciences professor who headed up a National Academy of Sciences climate science review in 2006 puts it, “After lots of work he found exactly what was already known and accepted in the climate community.” Um, yeah.
Meanwhile, things are just getting hotter here on Planet Earth. New figures for 2010 show the largest jump ever in the world’s production of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. We can thank China and India, with their reliance on coal-burning, and ourselves, too, since the U.S. is also one of the top three producers of the heat-trapping gases. All in all, the factories and vehicles of the world pumped six percent more carbon into the atmosphere in 2010, a “monster” increase that’s unheard of, according to Gregg Marland, professor of geology at Appalachian State University.
And this in a year when the world was in a slowdown economically, when people were supposedly driving less, when factories were idle.
Would it be too much to ask to envision a recovery that does not require that we cannibalize ourselves to feed its growth? Have we truly forgotten how to dream of a future that creates without destroying?
Think fast, all you geologists and climatologists. Think outside the box, all you inventors of whatever branch of science. May you be inspired, whether you work in a lab or a garage or on a computer in your basement. We need ideas.
Time is short.
(Data and quotes taken from “Scientist changes tune, agrees world is warming,” and “Biggest jump ever in warming gases,” by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, THE FREE-LANCE STAR, Fredericksburg, VA, November 1, 2011, November 4, 2011.)
Okay, okay! The deadline for entering the 2012 RWA Golden Heart contest is November 15 and I have OFFICIALLY ENTERED! I went all out and put in both my finished manuscripts--who knows, maybe the third time will be the charm for Unchained Memory. If not, Trouble in Mind may catch someone's eye. Fingers crossed!
It has been tremendous fun thinking through all the questions posed by Sharon's recent postings on genre (The Writer's Journey) and the SF/R debate (Who R We Really?)and carrying on a great ongoing discussion with Sharon and others in the comments section. If you've somehow missed out on all that, scroll down and catch up. We'd love to know how you think about all this, too!