Before the Panic

Are we going to get serious about climate change?

The following adds impetus to what I’ve been writing about, i.e. planning how to deal with millions of climate refugees who will be forced to leave coastal communities, and move inland. We need to design and build models for self sufficient communities that can be built rapidly with local resources.

There are very ominous, rapid changes occurring in the arctic now. In particular temperatures so hot that at first scientists thought the equipment was faulty.


Graphic by Zachary Labe, Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine

In response to my blog post yesterday, Alarming Arctic Heat, there were comments about how people would be left to die, as in Puerto Rico. I was challenged when I suggested that millions would die. The figure 6 billion was suggested, and I and others agreed that was a more likely figure.

So far this year, besides the arctic heat eruption, we have had record breaking high temperatures in many parts of the country. Right now many states are experiencing significant precipitation and widespread flooding.

Sam Carana, editor of Arctic News, summarized the ten dangers of global warming   (recommended reading). The following is from the conclusion.

So, instead of facing gradual changes that can be mitigated by planned action, we may suddenly face a future in which many if not most people will have little or no access to food, water, medicine, electricity and shelter, while diseases go rampant and gangs and warlords loot and devastate the few livable areas left. Human beings as a species will face the risk of total extinction, particularly if many species of animals and plants that humans depend on will disappear.

While each of the above points is sufficient reason for concern, many people are still in denial about the severity of the problem of global warming, the accumulation of dangers and their progression.

Once they do get the message, though, there’s a risk of over-reaction edging into panic. This may result in people buying up all the food they can get hold of, trying to get their hands on weapons, etc. Unscrupulous companies may exploit the situation by deliberately creating scarcity of medicines, etc.

This is another reason to be open about these concerns and to come up with planning that makes sense.

Join the Overground Railroad Facebook group if you are interested in discussing how to plan communities for climate refugees.


This entry was posted in climate change, climate refugees, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Before the Panic

  1. treegestalt says:

    In a sense, if you see the potential outcomes of this you ought to be panicked. That doesn’t mean we want to fall into a Survivalist fantasy. The gated bunker communities with armed mercenary security are for New Zealand, where people can imagine they’ve escaped far enough…

    There are uncertain weather patterns involved, wildly uncertain time lines. Nobody needs to estimate the casualties or make up a guest list… just get a fairly accurate idea of how many people a site can feed and house: 1) long term, 2) in a temporary emergency, or 3) if the site itself suffers any likely disaster.

    The scale of potential disaster is personally inconceivable; and there would be little advantage in keeping score. What this would mean for whoever came your way: They’d likely be in emotional shock. People would have to get along, & might not be in any shape for this to be easy…

    • jakisling says:

      The exchange about numbers was primarily intended to get the attention of the vast majority of the people who don’t grasp the magnitude of what we are facing. The dramatic warming of the arctic and disruption of the jet stream is having an alarming effect on diminishing the amount of sea ice, and all that cascades from that.

      • treegestalt says:

        Yes, nobody really wants to grasp how bad this could get how quickly. It’s hard not to panic ourselves — which would not help at all. The weather is carrying the message, more effectively than we ever could.

        This is all happening, though, in a context of Divine love. That doesn’t mean that people won’t suffer, or that Friends won’t get called into efforts to mitigate that. It does mean — though we ourselves can’t overcome the troubles on the way — that we’ll need to leave outcomes (and the success or failure of our efforts) in wiser hands than our own.

  2. treegestalt says:

    This isn’t itself going to raise sea level rapidly — but indirect effects on temperature elsewhere could speed that up ahead of anyone’s conservative estimates, & these in any case are likely to cause dangerous conditions in many places.

    The threat of rising seas is immediately intelligible, but likely to take significant time. So I don’t think we get to assume that coasts will be the worst-or-first hit by the effects of this.

    Places like deserts & tropical jungle are likely to suffer lethal heat waves. Crops are likely to fail from drought, fire, or flood in many places. Bottom line need is for people in less-effected areas to help those overwhelmed by unexpected challenges, either to migrate or to hold on where they are. Next year might be anybody’s turn to suffer or to help…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s