I have been following the IPCC reports since they first came out in 1990 and what has concerned me most over those 30 years is that the worst case scenarios increasingly have become the only scenario.
What Scientists have increasingly become aware of is the tipping points that once crossed can not be stopped and only exacerbate far more destruction…
Several active ‘tipping points’ of irreversible change in the world’s climate system threaten to unleash a global cascade of events that amounts to a planetary emergency, scientists warn.
The concept of tipping points was introduced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) just over 20 years ago, but researchers now warn that already nine of these vulnerable environmental thresholds are in very real danger of being breached – and much sooner than was ever anticipated.
“A decade ago we identified a suite of potential tipping points in the Earth system, now we see evidence that over half of them have been activated,” says climate system researcher Tim Lenton from the University of Exeter in the UK.
“The growing threat of rapid, irreversible changes means it is no longer responsible to wait and see. The situation is urgent and we need an emergency response.”
In a new research comment, Lenton and an international team of climate scientists warn that these tipping points – which many assumed were low-probability risks that might only be dangerous if global temperatures rose 5°C above pre-industrial levels – are in fact becoming exceeded at increases of 1–2°C.
“We think that several cryosphere tipping points are dangerously close, but mitigating greenhouse-gas emissions could still slow down the inevitable accumulation of impacts and help us to adapt,” the authors write in their paper.
…let me break it down for you.
Increasing methane (which is more than 20 times more heat holding than C02 but only stays in the atmosphere for a decade) released from the thawing permafrost and warming oceans creates an enormous heat spike and trips a run away heat event that melts all of Greenland and Antarctica. This sudden release of huge amounts of fresh water into the ultra sensitive ocean pumps in the Labrador Sea shuts down the entire Ocean conveyor current that takes heat from the tropics and makes most of Western Europe habitable, this in turn plunges the planet into freezing temperatures as the heat never transfers north and we inadvertently generate an ice age once the methane passes…
The palaeo-record shows global tipping, such as the entry into ice-age cycles 2.6 million years ago and their switch in amplitude and frequency around one million years ago, which models are only just capable of simulating. Regional tipping occurred repeatedly within and at the end of the last ice age, between 80,000 and 10,000 years ago (the Dansgaard–Oeschger and Heinrich events). Although this is not directly applicable to the present interglacial period, it highlights that the Earth system has been unstable across multiple timescales before, under relatively weak forcing caused by changes in Earth’s orbit. Now we are strongly forcing the system, with atmospheric CO2 concentration and global temperature increasing at rates that are an order of magnitude higher than those during the most recent deglaciation.
So within the space of decades we go from 10 degrees+ heat waves to freezing cold, the inability of species to be able to adapt within the space of 30 years to such extremes causes vast extinctions and leaves most of the planet uninhabitable for complex civilisations.
Among the surprises that have emerged from analyses of oxygen isotopes in ice cores (long cylinders of ice collected by drilling through glaciers and ice sheets) has been the recognition of very sudden, short-lived climate changes. Ice core records in samples extracted from Greenland, Antarctica, Canada’s Arctic Archipelago, and high mountain glaciers in South America show that these climate changes have been large, very rapid, and globally synchronous. Over a period of a few years to a few decades, average temperatures have shifted by up to half of the temperature differences seen between the Pleistocene ice ages and their interglacial periods—that is, as much as 5–15 °C (9–27 °F).
When Aucklanders looked up at the Orange skies caused by the megafires of Australia, we had a glimpse of the future we are leaving our children.
This is not getting better, the temperatures are only going up and once the heat becomes a run away event radical solutions for adaptation will become the only solutions.
I know I keep writing this, and I will not stop writing it.
The current political spectrum does not have the capacity to force through the radical adaptation we will require to survive the next phase of the climate crisis.
Fortress Aotearoa is the only way forward. We can pretend the world will unite and join hands to combat what is rapidly unfolding or we can accept the doomed nature of the worst of human nature and rather than plan for a pretend world of co-operation that will never exist, prepare for one where the worst angels of our nature are unleashed.
The current political spectrum in New Zealand can not radically adapt fast enough to adopt the changes we must make if we are to survive the climate crisis. It will require a radical Political Movement that elects a Party to implement Fortress Aotearoa…
- Move away from intensive farming and look to become domestically self sustainable in terms of food.
- Immediately ban all water exports.
- Empower local communities to make local decisions and set up resilience programs.
- 5 year Parliamentary term so Governments can actually plan for change.
- Upper and Lower House (Upper House 50-50 split between Māori & Pakeha that can hold up legislation if unhappy about Treaty issues)
- Massive investment into R&D from Government with the understanding research is to benefit NZ first before sold offshore.
- Large scale increase in Navy, Army & Airforce.
- Mass limiting of tourism numbers with huge increased tourist taxes.
- Only citizens can vote.
- Sustainable immigration and an end to exploitative migrant workers.
- Resettlement Programms for all pacific island neighbours.
- Increase refugee in take to 10 000 per year
- Fully funded public services focused on real welfare of people.
- Mass Green housing rebuild.
- 100% renewable energy for entire country.
- Massive tree planting across previous farming land.
- Wholesale re-write of state services act to end commercial values.
- Investment into basic pharmaceutical production.
- Financial transaction tax
- Wealth tax
- Multinational tax
- Inheritance tax
On a rapidly warming planet, NZ will increasingly be the life boat for Earth and the tyranny of our distance will become our blessing.
As the climate crisis unfolds more and more people in fury will turn against the current political system too wedded to the economic profits margins of the polluters. It is just a matter of time before the NZ electorate rejects the limitations of the current political spectrum.
The only thing that makes the Carbon Zero Act ‘historic’ is the future generations who will look back in spite & anger that we thought this sophistry was a legitimate response to the climate crisis – if you think maybe acting in 30 years is a solution, you are the problem.
In 2023, for the first time in NZ history, Gen x + Gen Y + Millennials will be a larger voting block than the boomers.
2023 is our date for revolution comrades.