“North Korea is not seriously threatening anyone… on the other hand, war is Trump’s best, if not his only option for survival. Her weakness in Government, too, could encourage Mrs May to have a Tony Blair moment.”
Do we really want a nuclear war with all this going on?
As we look down the barrel of yet another global crisis and the threatened exchange of nuclear weapons by dumbass willy-bragging politicians with no knowledge or experience of the consequences and costs even of a conventional war on a worldwide scale, some dimwits can be heard cheerfully pointing out that it might be beneficial to reverse the warming trend, the droughts and the increases in precipitation we are otherwise experiencing, with devastating consequences for life on an earth potentially hotter by 2030 than it has been for the past 50 million years.
Well, try not to get your hopes up, dears. Assuming you’re not instantly vaporized, blast-damaged or part-cooked, with no hospital burns units functioning, and you don’t just rot to bits over a couple of agonizing weeks, puking violently as your hair falls out and your vital organs shut down, it gets worse.
This from the Weather Underground, an independent climatology research center:
“The nuclear explosions would send massive clouds of dust high into the stratosphere, blocking so much sunlight that a nuclear winter would result. Global temperatures would plunge 20°C to 40°C for several months, and remain 2 – 6°C lower for 1-3 years. Up to 70% of the Earth’s protective stratospheric ozone layer would be destroyed, allowing huge doses of ultraviolet light to reach the surface. This UV light would kill much of the marine life that forms the basis of the food chain, resulting in the collapse of many fisheries and the starvation of the people and animals that depend (on them). The UV light would also blind huge numbers of animals, who would then wander sightlessly and starve. The cold and dust would create widespread crop failures and global famine, killing billions of people who did not die in the nuclear explosions.”
Sounds bad? Well, the article by Director of Meteorology, Dr Jeffrey Masters, goes on to cite new joint research from the University of Colorado, UCLA and Rutgers that suggests such an outcome might arise not from a full-blown exchange of 2,000 warheads between America and Russia, but from just a limited war between, say, India and Pakistan, involving 100 thermonuclear blasts and the burning of the mega-cities in both countries:
“As a result, the smoke stayed at significant levels for over a decade (by contrast, highly reflective volcanic aerosol particles do not absorb solar radiation and create such circulations, and only stay in the stratosphere 1-2 years). The black soot blocked sunlight, resulting in global cooling of over 1.2°C (2.2°F) at the surface for two years, and 0.5°C (0.9°F) for more than a decade (Figures 1 and 2). Precipitation fell up to 9% globally, and was reduced by 40% in the Asian monsoon regions. This magnitude of this cooling would bring about the coldest temperatures observed on the globe in over 1000 years (Figure 1). The growing season would shorten by 10-30 days over much of the globe, resulting in widespread crop failures.”
It’s a relatively quick process, as was learned when domestic flights were banned over the USA in the wake of the 9/11 attack and within a few hours of there being no contrails in the sky, it was noticed that the sunlight got brighter by a substantial factor.
It has long been a theory if not quite a contention of the BogPo that the cold winters experienced in the aftermath of World Wars One and Two were as a result of the huge quantities of dust and soot particles borne aloft from incessant artillery barrages and the carpet-bombing of cities. 1947, for instance, was one of the coldest winters in Europe of the 20th century. The volcanic eruption in the Philippines of Mount Tambora in 1815 was the most cataclysmic explosion recorded in modern times and led to a ‘Year without summer’ that caused widespread famine in Europe and the Americas – yet, as the researchers point out, the grey-out did indeed last for only one year.
A nuclear exchange would be considerably worse.
So, guys, let’s not try it?
North Korea is not seriously threatening anyone, just look at its geographical position. It has nowhere to go: it is hardly likely to embark on a conquest of China. It knows that a cheeky attack on Guam or San Francisco would result in immediate obliteration. If it had a genuine military advantage, its only strategic goal would be to invade and capture the south; to finish the 1954 war. But Kim knows that wouldn’t be practicable: even if it could be accomplished in the face of massive US intervention, he could never impose his brand of personality cult dictatorship on the Western-style democracy the South enjoys for its 50 million people; let alone manage a modern economy of that size.
His ruthless pursuit of a nuclear arsenal is because North Korea feels threatened by its US-backed neighbours; he has numbers on his side, but doesn’t have the strength of conventional force to rebut an invasion, which he sees US and Korean forces practising for on his borders every few months; and, because it’s about the only field of technology and engineering in which he can deploy any kind of modern expertise to rescue his ruined economy, it’s a matter of kudos for the regime in a country that’s otherwise unable to modernize further without threatening its internal political stability.
He is only 33, and if he can avoid possible assassination and a coup by the Westernizing faction in his own extensive family, he has time on his side. The nuclear program is designed to buy him time: slow progressive policies are his best option for modernization without political disruption.
To repeat: North Korea is not seriously threatening anyone… on the other hand, war is Trump’s best, if not his only option for survival, knowing that however rotten and incompetent and unpopular his Presidency has become, Americans will always rally to the flag. Her weakness in Government, too, could encourage Mrs May to have a Tony Blair moment, offering support and comfort to Trump’s gung-ho ignorance of world affairs.
With a vague intention of countering the rising hegemony of the Chinese empire, the US has been building up to war in the SE Asian theatre for years and is primed – ‘locked and loaded’ – to go at any time.
No wonder Kim feels his only option is to nuclearize at breakneck speed. He has no other deterrent, no other defense against American aggression. Only the demolition of the Republican-party right, the arrest and detention of the warmongering neocons still lurking in the bilges of the administration, are going to stop this relentless march to global cataclysm and inevitable self-destruction.
Even having in their pocket the keys to the bunker is not going to save them either, emerging as they will into a world no longer fit for survival.
Granny W. 01 to 09 September: no letup in 2017 tally of fires, storms and heatwaves.
USA: Hurricane Irma is steadily warming up tonight (Tuesday 05 Sept.) as a ‘catastrophic’ Category 5, with winds at the eyewall approaching 186 mph. It’s over the Lesser Antilles and heading for the Virgin Islands, with Costa Rica and Hispaniola (Dominica and poverty-stricken Haiti) also in its sights – and after causing major damage to the smaller islands is currently forecast to pass between Cuba and Florida on Sunday, across the Keys before turning sharp right and heading up the midline of Florida towards Georgia. The storm is said to be ‘bigger than the State’.
Irma is already one of the five (perhaps the) most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in history. Forecast possible sustained windspeed by the time it’s over Florida is 215 mph! Not far in its wake, Tropical Storm Jose is gaining strength but its track is probably taking it northwards into the Atlantic. Another storm system is shown emerging from African coast in the wake of Jose, while Tropical Storm Katia has strengthened from a depression in the warm waters of the Gulf and is heading SE for the Yucatan peninsula. NWS national center advises it has potential to become a hurricane. (Sorry this text keeps changing, I’m getting contradictory info online.)
USA: Remnants of Hurricane Harvey still causing flooding. 8-inches of rain falls near Bowling Green, Kentucky. Properties evacuated in Nashville. Tornado wreaks havoc in Alabama. More tornadoes reported in Mississippi and Tennesee. Flood warnings out across South Carolina.
California: sudden violent storm strikes Santa Barbara. Trees, cars and buildings damaged. Waterspout comes ashore, creates chaos in tourist area. Streets flooded.
California: La Tuna, Burbank LA fire consumes 5,800 acres inside the city limits. 700 evacuated. Cal. and western states – Nevada, Montana, Idaho join the million-acre club: Chetko Bar fire in Oregon is burning over 125 thousand acres and not expected contained before mid-October. Eagle Creek fire burning in Washington state. Huge fires in Montana can be seen burning from space. Most of the northern US wreathed in smoke, causing breathing problems. More than 6.8 million acres of the USA have burned so far this season, plus 2.5 million acres of….
Canada: where new fires are reported in British Columbia as weekend temperatures remain in the 30s C. Smoke from Canada’s 2.8 million acres of wildfires burning since June has been detected across the North Pole as far away as Britain.
Mexico: Tropical Storm Lidia has hit the Baja peninsula, around Cabo San Luc. Windspeed only 45 mph but rainfall torrential. Tidal surge, flash floods, rivers burst banks. Idiots keep driving, seven dead. Coahuila province, central Mexico, town of Saltillo flooded on the 4th after torrential rainstorm.
Venezuela: downtown Caracas flooded after heavy rains.
Guatemala: Heavy rain flash-floods town of Almalonga.
Portugal: huge fire engulfs village near Castelo Branco, central Portugal. 200 homes destroyed.
Italy: Six people die in flash flood (09 Sept) after unexpectedly heavy rain hits Livorno, on the Adriatic coast – including a family of four drowned in their basement flat. San Giovanni Lupatoto, NE Italy, hit by powerful hailstorm: streets turn to rivers of ice.
Croatia: powerful hailstorms. Town of Pula flooded.
Switzerland: three days of continuous heavy rain causes flooding and landslides in the east of the country. More rain forecast.
UK: heavy rain causes flash-flooding Sunday in seaside town of Polperro, Cornwall. Motorists trapped in cars. Two dead as big waves wash fishermen off rocks.
Russia: Powerful cyclonic storms strike Ufa in central Russia, and the Kuril islands in the east. Big hail, flash flooding. But hundreds just will not abandon their damned cars! Watch as people overtake stalled lines to drive into 3-ft-deep, fast-flowing water and get washed away. Cars are a mental illness.
Sudan: flooding continues as rivers rise around Singa and El Dindir. Evacuations notified.
Australia: has reported its warmest winter on record: 2 deg. C above long-term average, with greatly reduced rainfall. Wildfire season anticipated to start early.
Oh, boo… August 2017 came in 0.1 deg. C behind August 2016 for the hottest on record. See, no such thing as global warming….
Mexico City: torrential rainstorm sends raging floodwaters through parts of the capital, causing major damage as the west coast of the country is hit by a huge M8.2 earthquake, the biggest in many years, with 60 dead as of 8 September. Many aftershocks at M5 felt, buildings damaged across the country.
Meanwhile hovering just offshore in the Gulf, Tropical Storm Katia strengthens overnight to Cat 3 hurricane, prepares to make landfall 09 Sept. in Veracruz, with warnings of heavy rain causing landslides. Three dead in floods in Oaxaca.
Venezuela: city of Colonia Tovar floods after heavy storm. Unknown number of deaths reported.
USA: Eighty large fires now covering 2,200 sq miles across nine western states as the heatwave continues.
Climate and Extreme Weather News #62, 63, 64/ Wunderground/ Floodlist/ BBC News/ The Guardian
“Is it an excuse to say we didn’t know?”
Amusingly, or perhaps not, it seems we are being forced to eat our own waste.
Reports that drinking water around the world, fish and other foods we eat, even sea salt flakes are becoming heavily contaminated with microparticles and microfibres of plastics, include the fascinating observation that 94 per cent of drinking water samples taken in Trump Tower, New York were heavily contaminated, as were the samples from the US Environment Protection Agency building – among the most polluted in the world.
“We are increasingly smothering ecosystems in plastic and I am very worried that there may be all kinds of unintended, adverse consequences that we will only find out about once it is too late,” said Prof Roland Geyer, from the University of California and Santa Barbara, who led the study.” – The Guardian, o6 September.
Researchers in Paris found that microplastics particles are involved in atmospheric pollution in cities: it’s literally raining plastics. The worry is that the smaller the particles, the more easily they’re ingested in the lungs and may penetrate other organs of the body at a cellular level.
So as we ingest more and more of the useful by-products of our obsession with oil, we (and other species) are basically becoming a plastics-based lifeform.
One look at, say, Jared Kushner or any of the Kardashians will convince you of this.
Plastics have always been thought to be chemically fairly inert. The bigger worry, however, is that microparticles can carry disease pathogens and toxic chemicals, smuggling them into our bodies. They could even affect our brains.
Researchers are trying to understand how the 5p-taxed bags I carry my shopping home in, the food trays and coverings I casually chuck in the recycling bag (it occurs to the BogPo that recycling operations breaking down plastics waste may play a part in introducing particles to the environment) get into the water and fall from the sky with the rain.
It appears that our other obsession with hygiene may be largely to blame. Plastics microfibres are detached in huge quantities from our clothing and enter the waste-water supply to treatment plants that can’t filter them out during operation of our washing-machines; and are introduced in huge quantities to the atmosphere from the external vents of our tumble-dryers.
Only twenty per cent of the 300 million tonnes of plastics waste we produce every years is efficiently disposed of, and a stray carry-out bag takes hundreds of years to biodegrade. The residue of our casual, throwaway lifestyle and infinite demand for cheap, light and easily manufactured materials remains free to circulate in the famous Great Pacific Gyre and to end up littering the pure coral sand beaches of tropical island paradises and remote African shorelines.
The postmortem evisceration of cetaceans and sharks increasingly reveals stomachs full of plastic bags, presumably mistaken for jellyfish and swallowed whole. Investigation of phytoplankton increasingly reveals the presence of tiny fibres ingested as plastics break down in the oceans, that in turn will enter the food chain.
It’s a problem at any scale. A plastics chicken, coming home to roost.
Is there nothing we haven’t done to totally fuck-up the planet for our grandchildren?
Is it an excuse to say we didn’t know?