Phooey! We spit on your steenking horsepeople of the apocalypse, for now we have the 12 “elements of climate chaos”. You will get raining toads, pustules, erectile dysfunction, gasping fatigue, procrastination, no second coming and retraction of the first, false profits (capitalism), moral and tooth decay, a scourge upon the NRL, a great fib and earthquakes all over the places where the earth quakes.

As you will too. Quake, that is. I was just cheering up my sad little Sunday by reading Roger Pielke’s shadenfreudistic review of The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells in which young Davy lists “enough horror to induce a panic attack in even the most optimistic.”

Wallace-Wells is not a denialist. Climate change is upon us, he says, (well, derrr…) and it won’t be pretty. Or, if it is pretty, it will be pretty shitful.

The Uninhabitable Earth was a New York Magazine article David Wallace-Wells published on July 9, 2017. According to David Wallace-Wells (who else?) the story was the most read article in the history of the New York Magazine. The book came out in February 2019 issued by Penguin RandomHouse. ISBN 9780525576709. https://goo.gl/qY4SzN

When the article appeared some people said David Wallace-Wells was trying to scare people, instead of lulling them into a false sense of security. I’m shocked.

You know it’s an urban myth that frogs get boiled by slowly increasing temperatures in a pot on the stove, if you happen to be attempting to boil frogs. They actually jump out of hot water when it is uncomfortable and since they are extremely sensitive to temperature they jump out long before the water even goes past the inner fore-arm skin temperature test for baby’s milk. Of course, you could leave the lid on, but then the frog dies of multiple concussions. Humans, on the other hand, seem able to maintain the blasé somnolence of a dead toad when it comes to being boiled. Reactions range from “I have always wanted to grow black howler monkeys and green anacondas in my garden at Mawson Base Antarctica” to “my skin is blistering, I think I’ll go change into something more comfortable.”

 

“It all sounds rather gloomy.”

 

Well, it all sounds rather gloomy, really. Apparently we can look forward to permafrost thaw, loss of methane hydrates from the ocean floor, weakening land and ocean carbon sinks, increasing bacterial respiration in the oceans, Amazon rainforest dieback, boreal forest dieback, reduction of northern hemisphere snow cover, loss of Arctic summer sea ice and last but not least reduction of Antarctic sea ice and polar ice sheets. I would be concerned if I knew what any of that meant.

One thing I will be missing is my annual dog-sledding tournament in the Bering Sea, between Alaska and Russia. An area of ice the size of the UK and Ireland disappeared when sea ice cover dropped by two-thirds during February 2019. The Iditarod dogsled race across 1,000 miles of Alaska is looking dicey. Walrus hunting, ice fishing and winter crabbing aren’t looking good either. Wouldn’t you know it? Temperatures in the polar regions are rising at a faster rate than the rest of the planet.

I don’t know about you but I’m not loving the sound of breaking glass as all those records get smashed. Are they really so alarming? After all 2018 was a record low for ice in the Bering Sea. What are we going to say. Lowest ice in the Bering sea since last year!?

Those California wildfires, for instance. When is there ever a year without wildfires in California? Same old, same old! Apparently the recent fires followed the worst drought in 1,200 years. So what? Those fires in the year 818, they were doozeys!