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John Feffer: The Invisible Monster of Climate Change
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If you’re looking for fairy tales that are on the grim (not Grimm) side, things that once might only have been in dystopian fiction, look no further than our present planet at our present moment. What about, for instance, that trillion-metric-ton iceberg — yes, “trillion” is not a misprint — that broke loose last week from the Antarctic Peninsula and just floated away. It was larger than the state of Delaware, capable of filling an estimated 462 million Olympic-sized swimming pools, its volume twice that of Lake Erie. If you want to think in movie terms, then consider this eerie event a trailer for the main feature on its way to screens globally. If significant parts of Antarctica destabilize in the future, you can expect movie titles (given rising sea levels) like So Long, Miami; Zai Jian Shanghai; Ta-ta London; Dag Amsterdam.

Honestly, we’re now in a fairy tale world, if by modern fairy tale you happen to mean Game of Thrones after not “winter” but “summer” comes to Westeros. So in the week after Antarctica changed its shape perceptibly, it seems appropriate to turn to TomDispatch regular John Feffer, our expert in global dystopian futures and author of the novel Splinterlands, which we recently published in our new book line. Today, in a rare TD plunge into fiction, he offers a fairy tale from 2050 (the year in which Splinterlands is set). His “Grimm” sister is Rachel Leopold, the wife of famed “geo-paleontologist” Julian West. (They have both appeared at TomDispatch before.) In 2020, he was the one who so presciently predicted the way a rising tide of nationalism led by right-wing populists like our own president, when combined with climate change and other factors, would splinter the international order and create a new, ever more desperate world. With that in mind, let me just mutter, “Once upon a time, in 2017…” Now, close your eyes and imagine the unimaginable, because soon enough that will be our world.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Global Warming, TomDispatch Archives 
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  1. Aren’t these folks or some just like them the same ones who “predicted” some two decades ago that right now most of Manhattan’s subway system would be submerged due to rising sea levels? A couple of decades before that one of their current promoters/allies, Paul Ehrlich, was “predicting” that about two decades from his prediction, i.e., about the year 2000, give a decade or so one way or the other, worldwide food shortages would cause worldwide famines and hundreds of millions of deaths, the Earth would have no oil or natural gas reserves, the prices of all commodities would make a middle class life style , like that enjoyed by the majority of Americans an impossibility. He lost $10,000 making a very public bet on this with a sane person. But embarrassment and withdrawal from absurd claims is not in the genetic makeup of such people. ‘Nough said.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    You forgot to mention the late '70s predictions of the coming ice age. The only constant in climate science is the demand for the first world peoples to surrender their wealth and freedom.
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  2. This global warming stuff may be real, but its advocates made a big boo boo by renaming it ‘climate change’. If they are so sure of climate going up, why not stick with ‘global warming’?

    Also, it’s not unusual for big chunks of ice to break off. Besides, the ice in Antarctica has been growing bigger and bigger. So, naturally, there’s more to break off.

    Anyway, if we want less CO2 in the atmosphere, how about no more immigration to modern nations where Third World people use more energy?

    And let nature take its course in Africa.

    And tell China and India to go for cleaner energy and less pollution.

    Read More
    • Replies: @nemo
    I'm not a warmist but AGW advocates did not change the term Global Warming to Climate Change. A Canadian spin doctor working for the Bush II administration did that and I remember watching W stumbling over the term when he used it in front of the media the first time, first saying warming and quickly correcting himself and saying Climate Change.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2003/mar/04/usnews.climatechange
  3. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “And let nature take its course in Africa.”

    The liberals, who fancy themselves as rationalists first,last and always, love Darwin but draw the line at the implications of natural selection.

    Read More
  4. Iceberg shmiceberg. Tom Engleberg passes more gaseous agitprop. The Antarctic ice sheet is robust and growing. Why does he insinuate otherwise? And temps there are down. The ice sheet in Antarctica remains huge. It’s actually expanding. Could this be why we seldom here about Antarctica? The frigid South Pole is an inconvenient truth to climate apocalyptics.

    And large icebergs breaking off ice sheets is commonplace, too. It’s normal. So please, Tom, stop massaging this natural phenomena into an ominous development. Why deceive and manipulate your readers? It’s not nice. And it damages your credibility.

    And come to think of it, the seas and oceans have not risen as predicted, either. How come? We’re still way behind schedule when it comes to catastrophic, anthropogenic ‘climate change’. It just ain’t there. Even tiny islands in the South Pacific have not been swamped by ‘rising seas’. Catastrophic global warming just keeps on NOT happening. How come? After all, CO2 keeps rising. Shouldn’t temperatures follow? That’s the theory.

    Fact: the actual environmental impact of rising CO2 has been zilch. Human-caused deforestation has been far more devastating to our natural environment and the shrinking animal populations that survive there.

    Could it be that modest fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 do not and will not affect climate? It’s possible.

    And the polar bear population is not declining, either. Haven’t you heard the news?

    Could it be that anthropogenic climate change / ‘global warming’ is just another headline theory (with huge income potential via taxation) cooked up by government employees? It’s possible.

    Let’s dig deeper, Tom. Why don’t you report about climatological history? Really. How come? Paleoclimatology reveals to us that our planet’s climate changes radically and continuously. And we’re due for another deadly ‘glacial period’ any century now. Brrrr. That will spell doom for countless plant and animal species.

    Climate is driven by countless forces: large, removed, remote and unseen. Climate is vast, complex and chaotic. Why did the last Ice Age commence–and then suddenly end? No one knows for sure.

    There are countless huge variables to track–from the solar wind, to the Jet stream, to the Earth’s planetary wobble, to undersea volcanos, to sunspots, to vast ocean currents, to asteroids, to atmospheric changes in the biggest greenhouse gas of all: water vapor. Yes, don’t forget water vapor! As a greenhouse gas, it’s impact on Earth’s climate dwarfs that of CO2. (Why do you warmists always ignore water vapor? That, too, is a mystery.)

    Huge, unpredictable macro-forces still shape our planet’s climate, Tom. Haven’t you figured this out? It’s not just about burning fossil fuels.

    Indeed, there have been many times in Earth’s history when the concentration of atmospheric CO2 was far higher than it is now. And temps were cooler. Oh my! Get a clue, Tom. Do some real science.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Tom Engleberg passes more gaseous agitprop
     
    Couldn't agree more. Tom's speciality seems to be pedestrian (dull, really) repetition of mainstream propaganda.
  5. Sometimes things are invisible because they do not exist.

    BTW do you guys remember the Peak Oil scare from around 2008-2012? I sure learned that lesson.

    Read More
  6. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Mark Green
    Iceberg shmiceberg. Tom Engleberg passes more gaseous agitprop. The Antarctic ice sheet is robust and growing. Why does he insinuate otherwise? And temps there are down. The ice sheet in Antarctica remains huge. It's actually expanding. Could this be why we seldom here about Antarctica? The frigid South Pole is an inconvenient truth to climate apocalyptics.

    And large icebergs breaking off ice sheets is commonplace, too. It's normal. So please, Tom, stop massaging this natural phenomena into an ominous development. Why deceive and manipulate your readers? It's not nice. And it damages your credibility.

    And come to think of it, the seas and oceans have not risen as predicted, either. How come? We're still way behind schedule when it comes to catastrophic, anthropogenic 'climate change'. It just ain't there. Even tiny islands in the South Pacific have not been swamped by 'rising seas'. Catastrophic global warming just keeps on NOT happening. How come? After all, CO2 keeps rising. Shouldn't temperatures follow? That's the theory.

    Fact: the actual environmental impact of rising CO2 has been zilch. Human-caused deforestation has been far more devastating to our natural environment and the shrinking animal populations that survive there.

    Could it be that modest fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 do not and will not affect climate? It's possible.

    And the polar bear population is not declining, either. Haven't you heard the news?

    Could it be that anthropogenic climate change / 'global warming' is just another headline theory (with huge income potential via taxation) cooked up by government employees? It's possible.

    Let's dig deeper, Tom. Why don't you report about climatological history? Really. How come? Paleoclimatology reveals to us that our planet's climate changes radically and continuously. And we're due for another deadly 'glacial period' any century now. Brrrr. That will spell doom for countless plant and animal species.

    Climate is driven by countless forces: large, removed, remote and unseen. Climate is vast, complex and chaotic. Why did the last Ice Age commence--and then suddenly end? No one knows for sure.

    There are countless huge variables to track--from the solar wind, to the Jet stream, to the Earth's planetary wobble, to undersea volcanos, to sunspots, to vast ocean currents, to asteroids, to atmospheric changes in the biggest greenhouse gas of all: water vapor. Yes, don't forget water vapor! As a greenhouse gas, it's impact on Earth's climate dwarfs that of CO2. (Why do you warmists always ignore water vapor? That, too, is a mystery.)

    Huge, unpredictable macro-forces still shape our planet's climate, Tom. Haven't you figured this out? It's not just about burning fossil fuels.

    Indeed, there have been many times in Earth's history when the concentration of atmospheric CO2 was far higher than it is now. And temps were cooler. Oh my! Get a clue, Tom. Do some real science.

    Tom Engleberg passes more gaseous agitprop

    Couldn’t agree more. Tom’s speciality seems to be pedestrian (dull, really) repetition of mainstream propaganda.

    Read More
  7. nemo says:
    @Priss Factor
    This global warming stuff may be real, but its advocates made a big boo boo by renaming it 'climate change'. If they are so sure of climate going up, why not stick with 'global warming'?

    Also, it's not unusual for big chunks of ice to break off. Besides, the ice in Antarctica has been growing bigger and bigger. So, naturally, there's more to break off.

    Anyway, if we want less CO2 in the atmosphere, how about no more immigration to modern nations where Third World people use more energy?

    And let nature take its course in Africa.

    And tell China and India to go for cleaner energy and less pollution.

    I’m not a warmist but AGW advocates did not change the term Global Warming to Climate Change. A Canadian spin doctor working for the Bush II administration did that and I remember watching W stumbling over the term when he used it in front of the media the first time, first saying warming and quickly correcting himself and saying Climate Change.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2003/mar/04/usnews.climatechange

    Read More
  8. @Jus' Sayin'...
    Aren't these folks or some just like them the same ones who "predicted" some two decades ago that right now most of Manhattan's subway system would be submerged due to rising sea levels? A couple of decades before that one of their current promoters/allies, Paul Ehrlich, was "predicting" that about two decades from his prediction, i.e., about the year 2000, give a decade or so one way or the other, worldwide food shortages would cause worldwide famines and hundreds of millions of deaths, the Earth would have no oil or natural gas reserves, the prices of all commodities would make a middle class life style , like that enjoyed by the majority of Americans an impossibility. He lost $10,000 making a very public bet on this with a sane person. But embarrassment and withdrawal from absurd claims is not in the genetic makeup of such people. 'Nough said.

    You forgot to mention the late ’70s predictions of the coming ice age. The only constant in climate science is the demand for the first world peoples to surrender their wealth and freedom.

    Read More
  9. peterike says:

    So in the week after Antarctica changed its shape perceptibly,

    Did it, really? Welllll, no. It didn’t. It was a small piece of a small piece of the Antarctic. Representing 0.04% of the total ice volume.

    If you’re going to lie, at least make your lies reasonably plausible, and not laughably wrong.

    You can find out a lot more about this scare story here.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/07/13/media-gets-high-on-antarctic-crack/

    Read More
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