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@Neven, thanks for an awesome blog. Thus far, I have a good track record of being called out as "off topic" following a lot of "off topic" comments by others. For the sake of clarity, this being text on the screen, I'm merely observing what I believe to be fact; I might be wrong, and either way I am not mad about it. Rather, I am intrigued at the sociological implications. When people go off on renewables, or nuclear, or any other topic obliquely related to the ice, it's also off topic. But when I talk about nonstop economic growth addiction being the true problem, I get directed to the forum. Again, I'm not mad, just observing that my comments seem to cross some sort of invisible threshold. Being good western thinkers, we like to compartmentalize things in dichotomous mental constructs. It would be interesting, in a constructive way in my opinion, to explore the subjective lines we each draw between "on topic" and "off". This too is probably a forum topic, and I'm going to go dark again after I finish writing this. I just want to emphasize that the sea ice melt is a SYSTEMIC problem, and in my view, it is impossible to truly discuss perceptions of the arctic system, which is part of the climate system, which makes up a vital aspect of our system of civilization.... without being open to systemic commentary. Perceptions of sea ice? *** My *** perception rises above dichotomous thinking where the ice is tucked neatly into a comfortable little corner of my earth-science nerdy world view. Quite the contrary, *my* perception of melting sea ice is all of that nerdy earth-science stuff, but also goes beyond to encompass a perception of sea ice as a poignant illustration of the true issue (nonstop growth). No one else need agree with my perception about the sea ice for my sharing of my perception to be directly on point. In fact, in my view connecting the dots between the melt and economic growth is even more on topic than debating nuclear energy as an effective mitigation technique. And so, if you're going to depart from a laser focus on ice (the physical stuff) and explore instead sociological topics related to the ice, please be prepared to welcome unexpected perspectives in the comments related to the people-centered blog posts. Thanks again for a great blog. >>> Resuming lurk mode.
Toggle Commented Aug 15, 2013 on Perception of the Arctic 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
@L. Hamilton Thanks for the correction. @All, Bearing in mind 99.9% of politicians campaign on "economic growth", which of the following is more likely to be true: A. Our way of life would be relatively safe if we magically and instantly converted to a carbon free economy and magically instantly restored atmospheric GHGs to 1850 levels, or B. The whole global warming thing is merely a symptom of a larger civilization-threatening problem? ANS: Melting of the arctic did not start with the burning of fossil fuels; it _started_ with the addiction to perpetual economic growth. To those commenters who appear to advocate renewables as the elixir that solves all our problems.... changing society to run on renewables is just practice for the societal transformation needed to keep growth from pushing us over the edge with some other crisis, even if we do change to all renewables.
Toggle Commented Aug 15, 2013 on Perception of the Arctic 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
I doubt the arctic is really changing anyone's mind, an that the "huge majority" that buys into the jetstream theory is just the same bunch that already thought AGW was a serious problem. What will change people's minds is not abstract knowledge of the arctic, but having weather disasters in their tangible local life.... especially when some aspect of the event is tied, by some "expert" - any expert - to the arctic with some theory - any theory - with non frivolous common sense plausibility. The jet stream theory is such, so it has taken hold.
Toggle Commented Aug 14, 2013 on Perception of the Arctic 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
Awesome Neven! I just logged in to ask you to do that very thing. Thanks for pinging them at the get go, instead of after the fact.
Toggle Commented Jul 22, 2013 on The Naming of Arctic Cyclones at Arctic Sea Ice
Names & Natives... If ya'll really want to respect native cultures, the thing to do is to invite their participation at the START of this conversation, instead of inviting their input after you've generated a lot of momentum for a particular result. That said the romanticist in me loves the idea of native names, but the practical realist in me thinks that the vast majority of the audience will find the unfamiliar pronunciation to be an obstacle, rendering native names less useful.
Thanks, I'll check that out in the next few days.
Sorry, I guess I took a couple sea ice philosophy comments as an invite for more. I know squat about sea ice science, but I've been avidly reading this blog to learn about it. Thanks for all ya'll do! I now return to lurk mode.
Industrialization per se isn't the problem. For that matter, global warming is not the heart of the problem either. AGW is collateral damage of the pursuit for nonstop economic growth. Even if those industrialists Neil speaks of solve global warming, some other civilization-busting limiting factor will take center dire stage. And this IS about the ice....whether to cheer the melt or not. My point is that the ice doesn't really have any psychological chutzpa, compared to what's needed to crack the unconscious mythos that growth-is-always-good.
First, let's dispense with the notion "Pearl Harbor Event" in the singular. I'm talking about the accumulated in-your-face impacts (((per individual))), which will be highly variable. It goes without saying that sooner or later, all the sleepers will have a moment of awakening. THE QUESTION IS, will 1. Enough of them awaken 2. Soon enough to demand action when we have a chance of keeping it to 3 or 4C, instead of 9 or 10? And so I root for many "climate pearl harbors", sooner instead of later, because I believe that as horrible as 3C will be, 9C is a hell of a lot worse.
Oops, sorry Martin.... my USA-centrism is showing.
Why wouldn't your Mom think that? How often does Obama talk about that issue compared to global warming?
On whether we cheer the melt, or not..... It is human nature to long for the public - especially USA public - to "wake up". I'd like to suggest, however, that all energy spent on this question in terms of sea ice is energy wasted. Why? Simple. The dozing public will only stir when they feel something in their gut. How many of them have even seen sea ice, except in pictures with cute seals, polar bears, or "Eskimos"? Carry on the work, ya'll! But even instantaneous sublimation of all sea ice is worth nothing more than a few days in the recreational evening news cycle, sad to say. It is the RESULTS of the disappearance of sea ice, after the fact, that will grab 'em by the guts. And at that point, the past loss of sea ice will only be of academic interest to a somewhat larger minority than now. The rest, even if they are in the streets about climate issues, STILL won't care about sea ice. Instead it will be about infrastructure and agricultural failures in their own home towns. And so I don't fret over the question whether to root for the melt, or not. I do pay attention, because as a kid I always wished I could have been around to watch the huge geologic catharsis the planet has gone through.... and gee, be careful what you wish for! It is fascinating to be in attendance. But even explosive loss of sea ice affords very little pressure to alter public policy. Instead, to wake the public up.... With love, I root for ever more dramatic ag losses to leave blank spots on US market shelves, followed by times of recovery in which we might actually start acting on the lessons learned through firsthand experience. With love, I also root for infrastructure failure - without any assistance from us - during ever greater weather extremes. How about a 3 week off the charts heat wave with no electricity? Yeah, a LOT of people will die. But if we take aggressive action as a result, several orders of magnitude more people will have quality lives in the longterm thereafter. Such events are absolutely essential to light the match of mitigation. It's wake up now, or wake up later, and we all hope it happens soon enough that we are still in control, i.e., before runaway feedbacks take matters out of hands. So my thought is to forget the question "Should we cheer the melt?", because sadly, to most people its an academic question that they really don't give a belch about. The better question is whether to root for climate horrors right in your hometown? See
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