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Friday, December 11, 2015

THE VENUS SYNDROME: Backdrop

Humanity and life in general have evolved because of our survival instincts.  Abraham Maslow showed a pyramid of human needs.  Clearly, we all need to breath, and that is one of the required physiological requirements to keep us alive.  However, air-water-food he also placed in this category.


Thus, you would think that global warming, which not only includes the atmosphere, but threatens our existence through a whole range of safety needs, should be one of those universalities of importance to everyone and all governments.  Not so, however. Why?

First, you can still breathe the air, even in Beijing.  The carbon dioxide content is so low and with no noxious smell that you are not threatened.  Sure, those projections look alarming, but if you look closely, the ppmv stands for parts per MILLION by volume, or only 0.04%.

Well, then, what about sea level rise?  Since 1993 the oceans have been rising by 0.01 inch/year.    How many of you can detect a sea level rise of one-hundredth of an inch?  And in any case, how really important are those unfortunate Pacific Islanders from the Maldives or Kiribati?  For one, they can be subsidized to move.

But, aha, temperature rise has got to be a concern.  Since 1882 the average temperature has been annually increasing by 0.01F/year  If that continues to the year 2100, our atmosphere would increase by one degree Fahrenheit.  However, scientists project the following:


Under bad case scenarios, the increase could be up to 4 F.  For the longest time, it had been my contention that one hot summer hundreds of millions would perish, and the World would finally realize how serious climate change can be, and all sorts of taxes and efforts would be invoked.

However, a few years ago I was watching CNN, and they reported on a day in Baghdad when the temperature was 120 F and there was an electricity blackout.   A significant number of homes in that city actually does have air-conditioning.  Then I saw a lady in black, then two, just walking around.  As far as I know, there was no dramatic increase in deaths that day.

But the people there are acclimated to those conditions.  What about pampered Americans?  That same summer I was staying with my brother in Las Vegas when there was a sudden blackout.  The outside temperature was 110 F.  We drove to the closest casino, for they all have emergency generators.  Surely, not everyone took that option, but the next morning in the Review-Journal there was no report of any kind of crisis.  People survived.

Which, then, leads me to Paris and climate negotiators will work overnight, for the effective deadline in tomorrow.  To quote from my posting of November 29:

Let me tell you what will happen.  An agreement of sorts will be reached, but it will be so watered down that the effect, at this stage, will be meaningless.

Anything more than the above would stun me.  Yet, the positive-thinkers would say, this is a refreshing first step in the world finally reaching agreement.  And they're right, of course, for how much more can you expect when the world at large is just not suffering enough, yet, and those dependent on fossil fuel revenues are effectively neutralizing any potential fears.

Thus, in my chapter on global warming from my 2007 SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Planet Earth, I created THE VENUS SYNDROME.  Return tomorrow for a little doomsday.














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