The end is beginning.
Thousands of people are fleeing the Middle East for Europe. Sure they’re fleeing violence! Violence that ignited due to a once-in-900-year-drought. They threaten the very fabric of the debt quagmire that is the European Union. The Automatic Earth posts about it every single day.
There are probably half a dozen mega-cities that will soon be at heightened risks of near-term collapse. Dhaka, in Bangladesh, has 20 million with shanty towns right on the water. Just imagine Katrina hitting there. São Paulo is about as much at risk as one city can be due to extreme water shortages. Mexico is not exactly sitting pretty. There will be 20 mega-cities by 2050. I guess 10 of them will face certain destruction.
Here are the risks for merely the next 10 years for every city in the world. The risks for many of these seaside tropical cities will grow exponentially over 30 years, and exponential growth means that the rate of growth is growing.
Cars use 10% of total world energy demand. Electric grid power uses 20% of world energy demand. Buildings use 50% of total world energy demand. There will be 2 billion more urban dwellers by 2050 and 75% of the infrastructure they require is not built yet. Just housing and feeding those people will increase energy use 50-80%, which will increase our emissions from total world energy demand by 50%.
All this construction means that intermittent energy is unsustainable without massive energy and meat demand destruction. Demand Destruction is Dare Devil’s evil twin cousin. Climate scientists are not allowed to speak of it.
Most of these mega-cities will feel the climate heat first and fast. El Niño is kick-starting a planetary heat-state jump where the Arctic ice melts big time next summer, and even more methane is released, which will cause more local heating, and will send mega-pulses of erratic heat and cold so far out of whack that it’s hot in Alaska in the winter and cold around the north Atlantic in the summer. These slow motion mega-pulses interact with local normal conditions to create massive storm and flooding events. This will create massively dense downpours that further accelerate the erosion of soil so that the current soil-loss rate of 1% will increase exponentially. We will lose soil in tropical areas faster. Tropical soils are not necessarily rich because rainforest roots are so thick and dense that they don’t actually require much soil. This is important. When we clear-cut rainforests, the soil disappears very, very quickly.
Levels of methane increasing rapidly in the Arctic.
To learn more about what’s going to happen near the tropics, watch this video link of an old man from Bangladesh who stares over a mile out into the Indian Ocean where his farm used to be.
Animal Agriculture in the Amazon has clear-cut the rainforests to divert the sky rivers that normally provide São Paulo with water. NASA has gravity mapped water tables all over the world for some years already, and they are filling at not too much more than 6% of their drainage rates. This will be further aggravated by rainforest drought as clear-cutting heats the surrounding rainforests still left standing to dry them even more.
When you clear-cut a forest, you leave a tree-line and the more you cut, the longer the tree line gets until there are more treeless areas than forest cover. The treeline comes back around on itself to look from above like the remaining veins of a partially eaten leaf. So while some trees are left standing, there’s not enough cover for life to continue. The sky rivers then fall on the treeless areas in torrential downpours to wash away the exposed soil.
When the trees are cut, the sky rivers stop and the power dams run dry. This kind of feedback mechanism can easily tip into a runaway collapse event. A few more years of this and one more “anomalous” once-in-a-hundred-year drought may be all it takes. I’m certain we couldn’t go for 2 rounds of that kind of action. There have already been 2 once-in-a-hundred-year droughts since 2005.
The Amazon, the Congo and the Indonesian rainforests are all heading for near term collapse. In Indonesia, 98% of rainforests will be gone in less than 10 years. The Congo has lifted a moratorium on clear-cutting that was in place since 2002. Amazon satellite imagery show deforestation is accelerating, and not decreasing like we were told.
We are clearcutting rainforests to grow soy to ship to China to feed their pigs so that 50% of the soy grown in South America is shipped to China. Some is also shipped to Europe to feed livestock and burn in their diesel cars. Recent satellite data show the Amazon is in serious trouble and that on-the-ground reports are inaccurate. We have already cut down 50% of the rainforests and most of that amount in the last 50 years.
The whole area that surrounds the Mediterranean Sea will see a 30% reduction in rainfall as well as an increase of short but intense downpours that very quickly erode soil. It was only a 7% reduction in rainfall that caused the Great Dust Bowl. Syria is part of the affected area and is just the beginning. The whole eastern north-eastern area will go down.
You always hear about projected crop losses from over heating and you always hear about projected crop losses from drought and projected losses from flooding, but you never hear about losses combined from all three because they’re just too fucking horrible to contemplate. So, let’s run it down then.
I call this the It’s All In Your Head model, and yes, I did smoke some grass first.
We will increase population to 9 billion in 34 years.
We will need 80% more energy to house and feed them.
We will have 50% more carbon emissions because of it.
We have to grow 50% more food to feed them.
We will have 50% less soil to grow it.
We will have 50% less water to grow it.
We will have up to 50% crop losses.
50% of the world’s people survive on rice.
50% of rice paddies are threatened.
We will have 50% more demand for meat.
Ocean fishing will end by 2050.
When you stand in a corn field, you are standing in a green desert where nothing can live. All the GM roots, pesticides and herbicides are killing soil nutrients for all life on earth. Not even bees live there. Just 3 neonicotinoid seeds will kill a bird and neonicotinoids are water soluble which means they can poison streams easily. The way we grow food is killing life on earth.
We are literally air-lifting and parachuting crates of arms to thirsty desperate people in Arica and the Middle East. We literally burn men women and children alive with hellfire missiles. The U.S. has killed 20 million civilians since WW2.
China’s major free economic zones are right next to major river deltas and coastal oceans. Major river delta rice exporters like the Mekong Delta are sinking into the sea. All this violence and the destruction of the tropics are not mutually exclusive events. Everything always comes together in unforeseen ways.
We are told that solar panels and wind turbines will give us green jobs when nothing could be further from the truth. In 2013, the world’s top ten solar panel corporations made 75 million panels, 7 million from the U.S. and 68 million from Asia.
We will run out of food and water before the world can transition to 100% renewable energy unless we make profound changes to our lives before those changes are made for us. This will not happen in time, and you don’t need to be a genius to see this.
Most of this mega-city growth will occur in the tropics of Africa, Asia and South America. This massive construction binge is happening right at ground zero for climate destruction. Do you really think solar panels will stop Miami from sinking into the ocean? Just imagine how effective solar panels and wind turbines will be when Miami gets hit with The Big One. Fossil fuel stations are better protected and will come back online much faster than will flimsy solar panels and wind turbines. But it’s not just tropical cities either, Boston, New York, Miami, Tampa Bay and New Orleans are at heightened risk of severe destruction.
James Hansen’s new study says that even if you’re sitting naked in the shade on a beach next to a fan with a cold drink, you would not survive in the tropics in the coming years. All the tropical mega-cities will empty out and millions of Asians, Africans and South/Central Americans will head north into Russia, Europe and Canada. You won’t be able to kill them fast enough to stop them. But, make no mistake, the killing will start in earnest soon.
This post is what critics would call a rambling incoherent diatribe and they would be right, but that’s mostly because there is so much synergistically going on and so much overabundance of evidence to back me up that it’s hard to keep it together. Especially links, which is why I started this blog.
You may have noticed I do not have a “donate” button, or that I do not have a book for sale and I’m pretty god damned careless with my language. I’m not rich, I cut grass in a trailer park for fuck sakes. I’m no scientist, so I don’t have to hold back out of funding fears. I’m not affiliated with an NGO (Non Governmental Organization) so I don’t have to worry about offending potential donors. I’m no layman either, and although I am a lay-about (as my wife would wholeheartedly attest), I am a knowledgeable well-read lay-about. So there’s nothing to stop me from telling you the truth as I see it. The rude, crude unpolished truth.
Cheers. Enjoy the reads.
Refugee Crisis Could Explode Violently in Europe http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/europe-refugee-crisis-could-explode-into-violence/3216485.html
Michael T. Klare’s anatomy of African grazer uprisings.
Amazon fire started by lumber mafia to hit back at native protesters.
Timothy Snyder details “The Coming Age of Slaughter”.
The U.S. has killed 20 million civilians since WWII.
Dr. James Hansen: “We Have a Global Emergency” Dangerous Heat to Render Parts of the World Practically Uninhabitable by 2100 http://robertscribbler.com/2016/03/04/dr-james-hansen-we-have-a-global-emergency-parts-of-the-world-will-be-practically-uninhabitable-by-2100/
NASA-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for ‘irreversible collapse’ http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/society-will-collapse-by-2040-due-to-catastrophic-food-shortages-says-study-10336406.html
M.I.T. predicts world economic collapse in 15 years.
Lloyd’s of London predicts the end of civilization in 25 years.
Mega City Madness
Rapid Urbanization And Mega-Cities
The U.S. only has about 10% of the forest they started with 400 years ago. Humans now destroy 20 million acres of forest every year. We already slashed and burned 50% of the rainforests on earth. Most of the destruction has been in the last 50 years.
Rainforest soil is of poor quality and quantity so farming it only degrades it even faster. Rainforest roots are so dense, they don’t require robust and plentiful soils. So, planting mono-cultures, such as soy or palm oil, in these thin, weak soils only erodes them quicker. Trees are living batteries of energy essential for the propagation of the bio-diversity of life on earth. We are draining the battery for all life on earth for foods like palm oil. Indonesia will destroy 98% of its rainforests by 2025.
Satellite data suggests forest loss is accelerating
Syria’s Drought Has Likely Been Its Worst in 900 Years
Ground water depletion has gone critical in major agricultural centers worldwide.
Less than 6% of groundwater is replenished within 50 years. http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/groundwater-study-1.3318137
The world’s rivers and lakes are drying up.
Too Much Meat, Too Little Water
Search terms: VICE S04E05
This powerful little video is 28 minutes long and starts with a kick in the gut followed by what feels like 2 hours of emotional water-boarding. Time drags when you’re not having fun.