(2021 data added on Sept 16) Arctic sea ice is down ~80% since I was born, which in a nutshell is why all of the rest of the world except the USA has accepted 2060 as a target for net-zero atmospheric carbon neutrality. There’s a very real reason for it. At the rate of decline since NASA started satellite data collection 40 years ago, there will be no arctic ice left in 2060. Some have said the arctic sea ice could be gone as early as 2035 (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/arctic-summer-sea-ice-could-be-gone-by-2035). 2021 data, shown lower in this article, has corroborated the earlier date.
- Besides destroying the Northern hemisphere’s homeostatic system moderating the seasons as we know them, it’s only been understood since 2004 how much arctic ice affects the ocean conveyor belt (http://oceanmotion.org/html/impact/conveyor.htm). At first, the Atlantic ocean currents causing tropical storms in the Caribbean was the research focus (technically called ‘AMOC,’ or ‘Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation). And in earlier days, climate-chjange naysayers stated that increased antarctic ice meant there was nothing to worry about. Now, we have a thorough database of the ‘conveyor belts’ moving temperature across all the oceans, from the NOAA’s Argo system of meteorological buoys, which is still being expanded internationally (https://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/argo/). Thankfully ARGOS was not defunded by the Trump administration, due its concurrent use by supertrawlers to find the largest fish shoals. From deep-water data gathering, we now know that the vanishing arctic ice is already causing worldwide weather changes. And when the arctic ice is gone, there will be catastrophic climate shifts, the likes of which civilization has never known.
- While the September minimum is the most watched matrix, it is only one of many ways to measure the extent of ice loss, including the amount over the rest of the year. In 2021, the arctic ice tracked the worst year on record, until smoke from some of the largest wildfires on record repressed Summer temperatures. Some may doubt that possible, unless you had seen the sun turn orange in New York City from a California wildfire. From http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/:
The Political Quandary
We’ve got about 10 years left, more or less, before parents start to face what their children will suffer due to the worst environmental abusers. Anger will be followed by followed by violent panic, hatred, and support for war against those who ruined their childrens’ lives.
Unfortunately, there’s some real problems with the USA’s two-party system in responding to the problem. 12 points:
- In the USA, calls of ‘bogeyman’ continue unabated. The USA withdrew from the Paris Accord during the Trump administration, placing its future reliability to do anything at the same level as the other five nations that have placed their own esteem of independence over the well being of the world: Yemen, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, and Libya. Meanwhile, every other nation on the planet agreed to use force if necessary to reach net zero (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Agreement#Signing_and_entry_into_force). The Biden administration reversed Trump’s policy, so now we are back in the accord. With 30 years before the polar icecap is gone, how much more are such flip flops in policy to ANYONE’S benefit?
- I tested the waters on social media writing on the limits of the concept of ‘liberty.’ I will summarize some 200,00 words on it. China has held that the greatest freedom is known by acting for the greater good, because it frees the mind from earthly desires. First proposed by Confucius in 2500 BC (https://www.jstor.org/stable/1400320). it had its ups and downs, but China has unilaterally converged on the notion as guidance for political action, pretty well ever since Zhou Dunyi merged Confucianism with Taoism and founded neo-Confucianism in the 11th century. Better known is that Buddhism stated the same thing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_ethics), as did Christianity, and surprisingly little known, the USA too.
- In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson named ‘pursuit of happiness’ as a natural right ‘under the laws of nature and nature’s God,’ because the free choice to act for the greater good enables society to progress, better than by any other method (drawn from Locke’s ‘Essay on Human Understanding,’ Volume 1, Book 2, Chapter 21, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/10615/10615-h/10615-h.htm).
- However, under current notions of ‘self-evident’ wisdom in the USA, pursuit of happiness is now regarded as a purely selfish activity, with a degree of determined hatred for any opposing view that far too frequently approaches that of Nazism. Regarding the USA’s attitude to its rights as totally self-serving egocentricisms, and nothing else, China generally considers Americans to be puerile beyond redemption. But China has been trying to be polite about it. Similarly in the UK, the freemasons who gave birth to Benjamin Franklin’s conceptions call Americans ‘the wild people’–but only privately.
- The consequences of the USA’s attitude to liberty are rather manifest in the last 12 months. China has already wiped out COVID, whereas the USA is still bickering about wearing masks. As such, the political system in the USA seems woefully inadequate to respond to slow-moving crises like global warming. While it may appear that’s superfluous, one may note that Biden justified 2 trillion in spending this year on covid because it had killed more people than World War One. At the same time, firearm fatalities since the Heller amendment approved rights to bear arms under the 2nd amendment are already more than World War One, but the government has spent virtually nothing on gun control since, except on fighting NRA lawsuits against it.
- It’s impossible to avoid the observation that the amount of partisan hatred can only make it impossible for this democratic republic to do anything consistently effective about climate change, with regime changes every two years. And the Supreme Court doesn’t want to touch climate change with a barge pole. So unless there is actually something I haven’t thought of, it does seem like civil war sadly might be the best solution, compared to world war.
- There is one remote hope. We all know the USA modeled its democratic republic on Rome, complete with slaves. And we are still arguing about reparation for slavery. We’ve had riots about racial prejudice. The capitol was stormed over apparently unsubstantiated charges of rigged elections. That’s where we are. And now we are sadly approaching the point in our social evolution where we actually need, like Rome, an emperor, or we are going to implode. The wise choice would be to step ahead of the curve and pre-empt the precursor to the Roman empire, Sulla’s conscriptions to put to death all corrupt dissidents.
- To whom falls the sorry choice to lead the charge, one cannot know, but one can only hope it happens. We could at least note Sulla didn’t really want to kill off so many people as Rome ended up doing, and retired as soon as he could. Perhaps we could actually elect a temporary emperor without any killing. Perhaps it would not need to be a military dictator after generals slug it out on battlefields between the republic’s wealthiest provinces, as it was for Rome. But with the deepness of the political divide we find ourselves, it can’t really be anyone from the existing two parties. The end result would be riots over social injustices as everyone objecting to their necessary sacrifice makes their passion known, inevitably ending in a military dictatorship.
- The alternative would be world war, with China and Russia taking over, because as already observed, single-party systems have been able to solve such problems better than the USA in the past. but in this highly divided nation, in which everyone will have to suffer sacrifices to stop the planet destroying itself, it’s difficult to imagine that elected officials on each side of the party divide will even be able to decide who pays for it.
- China’s eradication of covid was not a freak event. China wiped out malaria in one year by giving everyone a flyswatter and telling them to swat. So it could easily do much the same about global warming while we are still bickering about what to do with old cars. Unfortunately, the USA’s attitudes on its own ‘infinitely superior’ democracy have forbad any contemplation of there actually being anything to learn from history or other nations, for a vast swathe of the nation, extending well beyond the Nationalist egomaniacs.
- It appears fusion won’t make it in time so we will have to replace all our fossil fuel power plants. Listening to Bill Gates trying to be tactful about his failed attempt to create commercial fusion, and what that means for the world, is horribly depressing. And currently there aren’t even cost estimates for that while quarrels about borrowing for infrastructure improvement continue.
- This post has been banned from all democratic, republican, and political discussion forums as contrary to Nationalist interests, amidst cries of ‘bogeyman,’ and ‘people have been forecasting the end of the world forever.’ This is not forecasting the end of the world. It is merely stating the limits of what is possible in a two-party political system driven by greed. The pervasive opinion in the USA is that the existence of two diametrically opposed views in its government is superior to the unified view of a single-state system, and therefore single-state systems are always wrong. It is extremely sad, because it does appear that pervasive greed will make it impossible for the USA to dissolve itself, as the USSR did in 1991, without a huge war of some sort, even with the catastrophes such stubborn clinging to power will cause.
The Current State of Affairs
Currently, Kerry is arguing that other countries should do more so that the USA can do less. China’s reply is that it provided a plan to reach net zero by 2060, whereas the USA reneged on its commitments already, and the USA should do something to demonstrate a ‘permanent commitment.’ This presents a problem for Kerry, as the GOP already reneged on his 15-country multinational nuclear agreement with Iran. The Supreme Court doesn’t want to touch the subject with a barge pole, and the democrats do not have enough power in the senate to reach a two-thirds majority for amending the Constitution. Nor is it likely it ever will again, with the nation gerrymandered to the gills across an irresolvable partisan divide. Kerry is left to duke it out with China as to whether the USA will change its mind again in three years. https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/chinas-hard-climate-stance-with-us-imperils-glasgow-talks-2021-09-15/
Appendix: WHY DOES A TINY MINORITY SO OFTEN CONTROL A DEMOCRATIC ASSEMBLY?
Although the answer has been known for 23 centuries, less than one in a thousand politicians read Aristotle, so even the politicians themselves don’t understand why it’s happening. So I wrote this to explain it.
Aristotle wrote that a rich minority would superficially appear to have less voting power in a democratic assembly created by a popular vote, because there are less rich people. But what Aristotle observed is an arithmetic progression that results in the rich having disproportionate power, even though they have less votes themselves, due to the evolution of ‘timocracy,’ a system where people are elected to govern based upon their ambitions.
Start by imagining you have 2 rich and 4 poor. One of the poor quickly realizes he can be more powerful by voting with the rich, creating a stalemate. Now, extrapolate! If there 2 rich and 6 poor, the poor realize they can split in two (3:3), and each poor group can partner with the rich group to win (5:3). Then that almost immediately collapses when one realizes, again, he can switch groups, to make a 4:4 split. Thus no matter how hard one argues about it, democracies naturally evolve to create two equally sized parties with a tiny swing vote.
Democracy thus naturally evolves where the rich have disproportionally more power There are more poor, but being a larger group, they split into smaller groups each vying for more power. However, the rich always vote in their own interests. So the rich have disproportionately more control, and there naturally evolves a tiny swing group, or even a single person, deciding most issues.
People who play to the middle are often known as centrists. and they become more powerful individually, while diminishing the power of the party. While those who are good at centrism become far more powerful than their constituents would warrant, it is a dangerous game, because they lose support from the party base. Very few people have been really successful at it. Centrists have to know when to flip sides and play their cards very artfully, and as such really don’t represent either party.
That is why Aristotle said the eventual outcome of all simple timocracies, such as democracy, is a plutocracy. Most people think that is Marxism. but it’s not. It’s what Aristotle said about democracy in 400BC, when humankind was still crawling out of the bronze age, and it’s still happening.
submitted by /u/emeyer4444