Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Climate Sunday: The End of the World As We Know It

You want to know what has a massive deficit situation?

Besides our national budget, that is?

The whole planet.  Basically, we're over-drawing the old ecological account:


new report on China’s ecological footprint opens with some grim news for the planet as a whole: The demand humans place on the planet — in terms of land use, resource consumption, pollution, and so on — overshot the Earth’s threshold for sustaining that demand back in the early 1970s. Since then the gap has only grown wider. 
The report measures that demand by “ecological footprint,” which takes into account the area people use to produce the renewable resources they consume, the area that’s taken up by infrastructure, and the area of forest needed to absorb CO2 emissions not absorbed by the ocean. The report then compared that to the Earth’s biocapacity, which measures the amount of area available to serve all those purposes.

You know, when people whinge about the national debt being paid by their kids and grandkids, I like to snarl something like "So why don't we pay it down now?" Since we don't exactly have a way of paying back the whole planet for the crap we're doing to it, I'm thinking that's where the austerity should kick in.

When I say "don't have a way of paying back the whole planet", I mean that easy fixes, like trying to seed the ocean with iron filings to create an algal-bloom carbon-sink, don't really seem effective and could be actually dangerous. (This thing kind of looks like the climate change denialist/optimist version of a Star Wars missile defense plan--just because it would be very expensive and probably wouldn't work, isn't reason enough to not bring it up at intervals.)  And in the meanwhile, we pay for the increases in global temperature in various ways--including extreme weather events. (About 1 in 3 Americans sees these events, however, as a sign of a looming Biblical Apocalypse.  As opposed to, you know--the kind of apocalypse we can make all by ourselves, thankyouverynot.)

In other words--yeah. Grim news on the environment front as usual.

No comments: