Right now, our hot and thirsty atmosphere is reaching civilization take-down status.
Climate wars are not over yet
There is a big problem with "climate wars" being declared as over, as was echoed by Australia prime minister and climate wars apologist Mr. Anthony Albanese. We, the consumers of the biosphere, are still here. The climate wars only end when our industrial civilization downs its fossil fuel weapons and surrenders, or dies. Not a predicament we want to take too long thinking it over, but we are taking our own sweet time.
Our industrial civilization has been expanding by its exploitation war against nature and the global climate for at least 150 years. The climate war is a side effect of the general war against nature of industrial civilization powered by fossil fuels. Heat from accumulated greenhouse gases is now fighting back with a growing vengence. Blow back consequences and pay back reparations will continue long after our last era built concrete and steel structure crumbles and rusts. Global industrial civilization will soon be the biggest war loser. We have already pushed our luck far too much, with our massive ecological overshoot and interference with multiple other biosphere systems.
It seems quiet on the battle-front in Eastern Australia at the moment. Normal quiet activity of daily life is fossil fuel intensive. The latest Australia federal government quietly goes about its fossil fuel intensity support business.
The "Business as usual" global economic imperium - BAUGEI (pronounced
"bugger" with an Australia Accent ) continues, always seeking to give
its total currencies and staggering trillion dollar bank figures some
value by taking more of nature. We keep consuming fossil fuel energy to
keep our unsustainable systems running and our supermarket shelves
stocked. More fossil fuels burned, more mineral mining, more forests
logged, more soil volume and water depleted for crops, more animals
bred, pastured, milked and killed. More fossil fuels burned, more mineral mining, more forests logged, more soil volume and water depleted for crops, more animals bred, pastured, milked and killed.
It has been a wet La Nina year here in Eastern Australia. Previous local floods and its victims are already forgotten. The last round of droughts and massive bush fires seems already forgotten. The new environment minister has already reassured our governments major customers, the ruling aliens from planet BAUGEI, that they will not allow extremist greens to reduce exports of fossil fuels. BAUGEI continues despite global finitude and biosphere mortality, as corporations and money are its artificial flesh and blood. BAUGEI is a Frankenstein monster of non-living parts whose existence demands that all of biosphere life be fed to it. We can and will die soon enough as individuals, but BAUGEI only dies when the last modern global nation state collapses.You will know by the time the global internet is turned off.
BAUGEI is also known as the "neo-liberal world order", as it grew as a mutation of the western anglo-european industrial capitalist cancer that has installed its secondary tumors everywhere, turning less industrial ways of life into slaves of its systems. Although notionally centered in Washington D.C., in the USA in terms of former military and currency dominance, the technologies have enmeshed every nation into its flesh. China is now notionally the globally dominant economic power, and vies for more military hegemony.
The BAUGEI battle-front exists where our machines are burning fossil fuels, in the process of trying to dominate and consume nature. Australia ranks with the best burners on the planet, given our smaller population of about 26 million. We are an expensive part of the global mega-machine. We are connected to everything of our global systems. Global finitude now becomes manifest in local supply shortages, with general price rises. Australia relies on imports for a lot of stuff from China.
The geopolitical tensions between AU-UK-US and China get to be hyped up for political purposes. Do Australians care so much about which bunch of military troopers has the right to do patrols in the South China sea?
Internally the giant China nation is on its ecological knees with impacts of its northern hemisphere summer of drought, heat and floods. These are happening at the same time in different places, due to the large size of China. This is reported from the people experiencing it, in a recent you-tube video from China Insights - China's biggest drought in 60 years, sparking a chain of crises. Heat and drought in the south, flash floods in the north. Forest fires are burning in the middle. Half of all the major grain production provinces are blighted. Some pictures in BBC online news.
The Chinese bugger production systems have been partially paused, with factory shutdowns from power shortages. Their financial systems for building apartment skyscrapers are having a seizure from fatal debts with construction delays and failures. The end results are going to include massive crop failures, and high food prices, and slips in goods production and exports. Hiding the growing ecological problems with too much economic growth, means that all accumulating issues act as stressors within the fragile BAUGEI systems, until they act together to cause a rapid collapse as one vital resource becomes scarce. This free foreign affairs magazine article details a growing litany of ecological and systems sins within the Chinese Nation - China's Growing Water Crisis. It must be said that the FA mag is a USA publication, and the USA has long been treating the environment in very similar ways of contempt that it criticizes China for.
People are protesting. Just the things that tend to cause nation states to clamp down on their citizens and turn anger outwards by starting futile destructive wars. This reduces the predicaments of civilization by killing its peoples and destroying its energy and water hungry infrastructure. Just to be sure, the USA tries every available means of provocation on its contest over South China Sea, and whose Taiwan is it anyway? Our global atmosphere cares not which BAUGEI faction or nation swings the biggest stick. I = P*A*T means we all make war on our atmosphere, land and oceans.
The Indian Ocean has warmed 1 degree C, faster than the global oceans average. Southern Pakistan had back-to-back heat waves in May and June. From July, floods from a massive excess of Monsoon Rains this year have affected millions of people across Pakistan. Human infrastructure, cattle and farmland have been swept away. The long term mortality is likely to exceed the few thousand of recorded immediate casualties so far. These events get their own wikipedia page. I hear on the radio today that one third of Pakistan is overwhelmed by floods. The cities of Pakistan are also big and energy - food - water expensive. This is how nature takes down civilization, by hitting our huge ecological dependency footprints.
Northern Hemisphere Wilts.
The USA and Europe again experience record temperatures and heat waves during their long summer. It is now a regular thing. Rivers are drying up, and headlines are made as the industrial apparatus of the BAUGEI suffers energy - water deficits. Every nation gets hit. Europe's heatwave gets its own wikipedia page. Excess deaths occur. Drought conditions imply hits to food production. Large parts of Siberia in Russia, continue to burn wildfires since May. Smoke reaches the western USA. The USA is not spared having its own heat wave conditions.
Vapor Pressure Deficit Grows
Despite the evidence of more extreme heavy rain events, with resulting flood disasters, the warmer atmosphere isn't taking up quite as much extra moisture as it theoretically could.
Earth's hydrosphere is going crazy, from its human caused insults. Trees are stressed from the "vapor-pressure deficit", a new term I hear more often. VPD is the difference between the water vapor pressure at saturation, and the actual water vapor pressure for a given temperature. It is the "hunger" or "water demand" of the warmed atmosphere. The VPD trend data is studied in a science.org article - Increased atmospheric vapor pressure deficit reduces global vegetation growth. The saturation vapor pressure rises about 7% for every single degree C of temperature rise, and VPD also rises if the water vapor content does not fully increase by exactly the same amount as the increase in saturated water vapor pressure.
Increasing VPD reduces the rate of photosynthesis in leaves. Plants close their tiny stomata openings, as a protection response to drying through increased water loss from the water pressure suction of too dry hot air. Plants whose soils receive the same amounts of water through rainfall or irrigation will reduce their productivity in response to increases in VPD. This decreases their growth, and lifetime uptake of carbon.
Weather stations datasets that contain measurements of relative humidity as well as mean, minimum and maximum temperature, can be used to calculate the VPD. Trends show a slight increase before the late 1990's, but with strong increases since than. Using four observation based global grid datasets, up to 64% of vegetated areas experience increase in VPD since the late 1990's. During the annual growing season, on average the mean VPD was 11.26% higher in recent years (2011-2015), compared to cooler earlier times (1982-1986). VPD obviously impacts most during the periods of highest heat. But that is all it takes to kill annual crops, or cause forest die-offs.
About 85% of the atmosphere water vapor is evaporated from oceans, the rest coming from evaporation and transpiration from plants over land. As there is bigger deficit in the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, given its warmed average global temperature, it must be that ocean evaporation is not keeping up with global heating of the atmosphere, and this appears to be the case.
As water disappears up into the sky, crops wither and fail. Fruits fail to grow. Desert plant adaptations like spiny leaves or no leaves become plant survival traits. Droughts come yearly with plant, animal and human deaths. Massive deluges of rain, wash away our infrastructure and productive soil. Global energy supply contracts as people and energy industries both require water supply. Finally the manufacture of renewable energy systems halts, because it requires fossil fuel inputs for minerals mining, high temperature processing and production systems. Global civilization limps on for a little while longer while its capital of machinery and energy supplies last.
Global climate shifts
As global temperature and moisture shifts, the general pattern follows earlier global climate model predictions. Inland continental areas suffer repeated heat waves and drying, as their vegetation covers dry out, fail to grow properly, and die, to become more like deserts. Death of forests leads to the loss of inland captured transpiration cycles, and the ability to pull in rain clouds from the coasts. Coastal regions have more chance of collecting the extra water in the atmosphere when it finally collects in larger condensation amounts, to fall as too much at once. For agriculture, and outside living, their are going to be regular seasonal periods of time when climate in tropical and mid-latitudes of hot-house earth is going to to be too hot and dry inland, and too hot and humid on the coast. The global north is going to lose the bulk of supply of cheap goods, services, food and energy from most of its currently colonized and economic domination zones of this planet.
Current Climate Wars Reality Deficit
At the end of each federal government term, battles start anew. Australia has elections every 3 years, and the wars were not over in late 2011 a Labor, Greens and cross bench coalition achieved passage of a world-leading package of measures to reduce carbon
pollution and shift the Australian economy to a clean energy future. This also included a carbon price. It was all scrapped after the conservative parties won the next election, by July 2014, with the usual horse trading deals done in the Senate to axe it all. The current liberal - national party opposition is still vehemently opposed to any climate change legislation. I shall call them the Big C party, for Big Conservatism, whose aim is to promote suicidal degrees C of global heating.
The term "Climate wars" is also the title of a book written by Labor MP Mark Butler, published in 2017. Extract shown in this Guardian article. It details Australia's decade of wins and reversals for climate change legislation from the politics of the Labor party. The book and article blames the Greens party for not passing the first legislation attempt at taxing carbon pollution by the Kevin Rudd Labor government of 2007, and hypothesizes had this first version passed, the Big C would not have later found it so easy to win an election by witch-hunting the second version with Tony Abbot's "Axe the Tax" slogan. The Greens have been getting dished out this tale of woe from Labor for a decade, and even have a web-page to explain their side of the story.
Big C members still refuse to consider climate change mitigation and keep trying very hard to promote fossil fuel mining, burning and exports from Australia. In their most recent term of government the Big C members had to be arm twisted to agree to a details-bare 2050 "net-zero emissions" target for the show-and-tell kinder-delusions of recent COP-26 in 2021.
"Climate wars" also comes up on the Queensland Mining and Energy Bulletin, 3 months ago, in a Richard Szabo article entitled "Industry boss supports transitioning coal to renewables". This rhetoric comes from the Minerals Council of Australia. The MCA fully welcomes Anthony Albonese as the next prime minister, and fully supported his push to transition away from coal and towards renewable alternatives.
From our point of view, the climate wars are finished [so] it is now about how we get there, and recognising that it is not a one-size-fits-all approach,” MCA CEO Tania Constable said according to News Limited.
The MCA , who are our local representative soldiers of BAUGEI, is very happy to receive the current labor government. The Murdoch media will hold back on ousting this government while it behaves. Murdoch Corp, now led by its trained heir Lachluck Murduck, is not above attacking media enemies of Big C. Big Global Murdoch is now suing the little local "Crikey" newsletter for defamation. This is a corporate justice systems strike on dissident media. The climate wars are not over because BAUGEI is never satisfied. The Labor party is very frightened of BAUGEI, is completely subservient, and has no plans to restore any of the world-leading climate legislation that was axed in 2014. No more carbon price. They dare not. Global supply issues mean BAUGEI has imperial wealth elites to take profits, and buy more yachts, planes, foreign mansions and private enforcement armies and assassins. For the coming collapse, they buy more bunkers, hideaways and stash their slush funds.
BAUGEI greenwash apparatus
The Australian government web page for its gas industry is polished greenwash PR, promising guilt free easy profits for corporate investors.
In practice there is maximum take. low royalty payments if any, low corporate tax if any. Most of that $30 billions of product sale value (2020-21) goes overseas.
We are responsible -- we have effective environmental regulations and industry-led voluntary codes of practice.
In practice Australian environmental regulations are doing nothing to halt its documented record of environment destruction, deforestation and species extinctions.
In practice Industry led voluntary codes of practice do contradict any "effective environmental regulation", as it means real regulation promises to be hands off, with lax punishment for expected breaches. It has been the practice of recent environment ministers to point to hundreds of regulation conditions which have been set for the public reassurance with a broad wink to the corporation. We now fine and imprison the hell out of environment activists. Nothing must stop the flow of their operations. That must be the international rules based order. Penalties for activists are now prohibitive by regulations created to make the corporations even happier. The number of new mining projects that actually miss out on approval has been very low.
"Offsets" is the new greenwash dirty word
Environmental offsets are used by mining industries to disguise how they destroy unique ecosystems in their production systems. Carbon offsets are what energy companies use to disguise the damage done by their accumulated greenhouse gas and other pollutants.
Supply depletion is here now
Taking the best resources first is a trivial logic of going for maximum profits. The best quality, easiest to access resources are mined first, because of course they make the most profit for the least costs. Australian terms for its non-renewable resources are very generous. Royalty payments for Australia are a low fraction of the global market price. Foreign corporations get to pay little or no tax, as declared income can be offset by any large number of tricks and generous government subsidy reduce the principle costs of mining which is the input energy, or diesel fuel rebate. Maintaining fossil fuel supply at current net energy supply rates requires burning more fossil fuels just to keep up supply, and paying the extra money costs for the producers profits. Australia is dedicated to maintaining and paying the growing environment and money costs of its miners.
It is all just about all gone now
There are not enough mineral resources left in all the worlds mineral reserves, and not enough energy resources left to mine the harder to extract resources, and not enough carbon budget left to provide fossil fuel energy to even keep up with replacing the depreciating and declining infrastructure of civilization.
Now is about propping up declining systems, even with renewable energy
From this corporate reassuring website it appears that role of government in Australia is to make foreign mining investors ecstatically happy in every possible way, to sustain their money making. That is what environmental sustainability actually means in corporate speak. Keep feeding the megamachine. Keep every mine alive until all useful profits have been extracted. Leave mine tailings, holes and pollution around for future rulers of earth such as the bacteria.
You and your family, and tribal group are on their own
The globalized world of BAUGEI is collapsing, as climate extremes kill our crops, and the hot thirsty atmosphere steals our water. Renewable energy sources will never satisfy our current global and nation economies enormous energy addictions. There is not enough spare time left for climate mitigation and enough mining resources supply to build substitute renewable energy systems. Catabolic collapse of our energy systems, transport and IT infrastructure and agriculture is the yawning path downwards that is also moving quickly to our self-created climate hot house hell.
Choice of demise
Our time of having better choices is running out. Already the worst case scenarios are becoming most likely - as in Climate Endgame: Exploring catastrophic climate change scenarios Fossil fuel dependent nation states have the worst kind of leadership incapable of navigating away from such outcomes. Only right now, our hot and thirsty atmosphere is getting up to the civilization take down stage. It is breaking down our systems that supply civilization living dependences of food, water and energy. A shame that we continue to rely on incompetent political management that fights to continue fossil fuel burning while the basic nature supports of life for billions of humans are getting heat cooked, burned and flooded away.
World One model got it right.