sábado, 21 de febrero de 2015

EVIDENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS UNECONOMICAL IMPACT





Due to the attention and reception this article has received, I have decided to publish it in English so as to reach a wider audience. Enjoy! Thanks to Gary P Kisner.


Debido al interés y comentarios recibidos por este artículo, he decidico publicarlo en inglés y alcanzar así una mayor audiencia. ¡Disfrútalo! Gracias a Gary P Kisner.





PUBLISHED IN VARIOUS MEDIA
DOES ECONOMIC GROWTH HAVE LIMITS? WILL GROWTH COLLIDE WITH ANYTHING?


Growth has limits that remain invisible to the economy and of little interest to politicians and citizens. News of expected growth, achieved growth or threatened growth is all that is reported today.

Growth is the watchword of policy proposals, here and around the world, and remains the accepted solution to avoid poverty, pollution or debt.

The question is whether there can really be unlimited growth, and geology imposes an answer on us: if we do not want another mass extinction, no. Only limited, uneconomic growth is allowed. But geology has not been asked for our opinion.


Keywords: uneconomic growth, unconventional hydrocarbon extraction, climate change, decline, collapse, extreme events.


Thousands of seals are killed on the Pacific coast of the US, sardines change their physiology and migrate north, scallop fishermen are out of work, and parasites annihilate sea life. Big diseases small names break out in a globalized world, about sixty million people now hold the title of the first peoples to be displaced by climate change... The list is very long, and the time is short time, both for the development of the environmental damage, and for humans to react.

'Climate change' is here, and has come not only to stay, but to make things worse. If 2014 left us record temperatures on land, sea and air, the highest in recorded history, 2015 starts with the same trend. Despite the cold of the last days in these latitudes of southern Europe, January 2015 is already the second warmest Januaryon record. Extreme events seem to unfold as if planned: they are more frequent and violent with disrupted weather patterns. Geology has changed.

While countries such as Poland, Russia, Canada and China have experienced a mild winter, the polar vortex attacked the east coast of the US for the second consecutive year, the Sahara registered unprecedented averagesbelow 4° C and the North Pole above 8º C melts at speeds never before seen. The Ebro River overflows twice in a single month...

GLOBAL TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES IN JANUARY 2015 (NASA GISS.)

Meanwhile the scientific community gives voices its alarm, but our governments and bureaucracies suffer from total deafness resulting in complete inactivity. Economic growth has been strengthening as the central goal of human effort on this strange planet. The driving force has been the easy supply of fossil fuels, the geological “blood” that has moved and still barely moves the world economy, but with a serious drawback: the cumulative emissions of greenhouse gases due to the combustion of massive amounts of fossil fuels.

We did it because we could, because the energy was so handy it was easy to extract, refine and transport three activities that also require energy, and which contributed to our technological development, agriculture, health, welfare, culture. The tecnologicus homo who still inhabits this strange planet was made possible by coal, oil or natural gas- accessible fossil solar energy accumulated millions of years ago and we have "ventilated" in a few decades.

But supplying the energy that moves our machinery is no longer so easy; the energy costs and especially those of the extraction, refining and transportation are so high and with so many harmful effects on the welfare, culture and health of society that there is rising resentment. This is how we have brought to our house this guest which we have called 'climate change', but it did not arrive alone; it brought the destruction of the biosphere,and in economic terms: the debt.

THE RAPID INCREASE IN CO2 REACHED PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN LIMITS IN OUR ATMOSPHERE

And this is how the current economic model is being challenged by science and not by the economy itself. No world can continue like this—neither in the physical nor in the supernatural sense; the latter approach is the one that seems to faithfully rely on economic science to be totally efficient, as if there is some economic activity capable of creating energy by itself. The big question is when will the bill have to be paid? And the bill for the industrial age is overdue.

Overall, the economy has yet to face the reality that economic activity is subject to the laws of thermodynamics. Energy is neither created nor destroyed, only transformed, and does so in one direction: from available to unavailable. It is especially noticeable when the physical limits to growth have already been exceeded.

Sometime between 2005 and 2008 the zenith of crude oil was reached, in 2010 with the rise of the expensive new techniques for extracting unconventional hydrocarbons began a new era of scarcity and uneconomic activity, energy demand fell, prices of raw materials became volatile. But it should be noted that for the first time in that year more than half of humanity began to live in cities, a new experience for life on the planet.

A REMARKABLE PLANETARY CHANGE OCCURRED IN THE YEAR 2010: MORE THAN HALF THE POPULATION BEGAN TO LIVE IN CITIES WHICH WAS A NEW EXPERIENCE FOR LIFE ON THE PLANET. IT IS THE YEAR OF THE BOOM IN OIL EXTRACTION BY UNCONVENTIONAL MEANS(FRACKING); A NEW ERA BEGINS WE COULD CALL THE ERA OF INEFFICIENCY OR UNECONOMIC GROWTH.

The city became in 2010 the structural unit of a new planetary wide inefficiency; cities, freedom and meeting spaces are more vulnerable, demanding more supplies and producing more waste, freedom and risk go hand in hand, growth has limits.

They are limits that remain invisible to the economy and of little interest to politicians and citizens. News of expected growth, achieved growth or threatened growth is all that is reported today. Growth is the watchword of policy proposals, here and around the world, and remains the accepted solution to avoid poverty, pollution or debt. The question is whether there can really be unlimited growth, and geology imposes an answer on us: if we do not want another mass extinction, no. Only limited, uneconomic growth is allowed. But geology has not been asked for our opinion.



THE IMAGES OF IMPACT:




URGE UNA NUEVA ACTITUD ANTE EL CAMBIO CLIMÁTICO