Climate Change

We didn’t just change the climate, we broke the planet: Earth’s axis shifts due to climate change

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I’d like you to pause for a moment – just a moment – and consider the following.

The magnitude of humanity’s impact goes beyond just changing the climate.

Climate change has resulted in shifting the Earth’s axis (via Dr. Karl’s Great Moment’s in Science)

Even though we are only a little way into the 21st century, the signs of global warming are obvious and many. There are droughts in East Africa, stranded polar bears in the Arctic, bleached coral reefs in the tropics, and retreating glaciers on land.

But the latest sign was a real surprise to me. By burning huge quantities of fossil fuels, we humans have actually tipped the Earth off its axis — by a tiny amount.

When I say “tiny”, let me emphasise how tiny. It’s centimetres per year, not hundreds or thousands of kilometres each year….

….rapid melting of ice on land has driven Earth’s North Pole to the east. This solid ice used to be on land, but is now liquid water spread everywhere across the planet.

The burning of fossil fuels by us these past few centuries has been sufficient to shift the Earth’s axis.

We didn’t just change the climate, we broke the planet.

Welcome to the Anthropocene.

 

Eve of Disruption: Politics, Society & Culture on a warming planet

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Where to start?

It’s always the question any writer has to face.

What do I want to say? Who will listen?

Firstly, a little about myself…

I’m Mike, a Melbourne based writer, sometime activist and full time Geek.

I used to run a moderately successful blog called Watching the Deniers (WtD) for a while, but I’m back after a long and very necessary break. I wanted to start anew and say something very different.

I was exhausted by the fight against the deniers. I did my time, and I needed some much needed R&R.

The debate between scientists, environmentalists and the deniers is not a debate over facts: it’s a culture war and bloody one at that. Sometimes there are causalities. I think I was one of them.

Luckily for you there is a thread running through everything you’ll find on Eve of Disruption: how the issue of climate change and the risk of environmental collapse changes everything.

Can we prevent it? How can we adapt to a changing planet? What are our ethical obligations when it comes to environmental issues? Have we done enough? And if not, why not?

Some of what I’ll have to say won’t make me popular. And not just with the climate change deniers with whom I used to have fun criticising on WtD.

No. What I have to say will challenge you. In a way it’s meant too. Not in an aggressive way. But I think we need to challenge our assumptions about many things.

We need to think more.

If humanity is to survive the next couple of centuries we’ll need to reset some of our fundamental values and rebuild our advanced technological civilisation from the ground up.

The challenge is not just keeping global average temperatures below 1.5c as the recent Paris agreement asks humanity to do.

We’re going to have to completely change our energy systems while our political and economic systems will need to adapt to new realities. We will need to overturn much conventional wisdom and start afresh.

Eve of Disruption is a place where I hope to explore those questions with you.

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