|The Fire of Mounting Doom.|
In his post today, CK Michaelson of "Some Assembly Required" posted a pun that was, methinks, unintentional, albeit, sobering: "Methy, very, very, methy". Now, I thought he was referring to meth heads, but the link associated with his pun pointed instead to an article on the "Arctic News" webpage that was reflecting on the ramifications of the high methane releases from the Arctic seas surrounding Norway.
Aside from the fact that there is a very real analogy between meth addicts burning themselves out and the entire globe doing the exact same thing in the exact same way, what interested me the most was the complete disconnect between both the blogs' theses and reality.
Because in Michaelson's posting from just the day before, he was castigating the UK's David Cameron, for "having destroyed the British economy and Government budgets with his love of austerity". Although never shaping his arguments in a formal basis, as that is not what his blog's about, his point of view can be gleaned from his caustic remarks, such as the one noted, and they make it clear on what side of the stimulus debate he stands. However, you either support economic stimulus, or you support taking steps to curtail global warming. You can't do both.
US stimulus, although not nearly in amounts large enough to satisfy the likes of Krugman or Michaelson, has already started a Renaissance in the production of energy in the US so monumental that the investment news letter, "Energy and Capital" refers to the phenomenon as "America's Ring of Fire". This would not be happening, this Ring of Fire would not now be burning out of control, (and it is) if it were not for the stupendous amounts of Fed-created liquidity sloshing around in the world's markets; and although I hate to state the obvious, it seems to need to be stated: the more economic stimulus you add, the faster global warming and climate change accelerates. It is the methamphetamine of the global economy. Is this not just accepted fact? Can K&M (Krug & Michaelson) really not see this? Or are they just of the same ilk and on the same plane as the very hucksters they pretend to wish to expose as the hooligans they are?
Rhetorical questions, all, of course. Because of course they can see it. They just hope you can't, so that they can keep wearing their "Conscience of a Liberal" drag. But, as the fates would have it, English is a dangerous language, in that you can never make an unambiguous statement, and, as I will shortly demonstrate why, Krugman's self-proclaimed title has within it the real truth of his "Stimulate, baby, Stimulate" stance, namely that it is Con Science. And, as you may have noticed, even 'con' has two meanings, both of which apply: con as in against, like ConAgra; or con, as in a scam, an attempt to get you to do something, using deception, that is against your better interests. In both these meanings, Krugman does indeed promulgate the Con Science of a 'liberal' every bit as much as Glen Beck does it for 'conservatives'.
Now, though I next wish to address the thesis, in Arctic News, that scientists should abandon their customary cautionary approach to scientific research, and, as in the Aids crisis, expedite the process and, casting aside the fear of sounding alarmist, give full voice to the rapidity with which their most dire prognostications are coming to fruition, I would first like to dwell for a minute on the "Ring of Fire". Because, whereas the coiners, well, if purloin and coin are synonymous, of that phrase were referring to the Marcellus shale and the natural gas bonanza that it's brought to the Pennsylvania area, I can't help but notice that around the Arctic, during the last generation, all through which the concept of anthropogenic Climate Change was accepted as fact by most of the world's thinking population, we have literally built a Ring of Fire, from Norway's North Sea, to Russian Siberia from Alaska's North Slope to Canada's Athabasca region, and all through North Dakota's Bakken, whose flaring of gas is so egregious you can see it from space, and is in such prodigious amounts you could fuel an entire State with it.
Yet, even as the rate and extent of melting and concomitant release of methane hydrates from shallow seabeds reaches an alarming acceleration, no climatologist anywhere on the web or in scientific journals has mentioned this Ring of Fire that has been constructed around the epicenter of global melting: The Arctic Circle.
And the faster the Arctic melts, the closer in we move the Ring of Fire, with Shell Oil all ready to start again in the next month or two to build another drill site. Yet the article in the Arctic News ends with the statement, "Sea ice is declining at exponential pace. The big danger is that a huge rise of temperatures in the Arctic will destabilize huge amounts of methane currently held in the seabed. Comprehensive and effective action is needed now to avoid catastrophe".
Yeah, like drilling another oil well, the ultimate prize apparently being to tap a gusher right in the center of the Arctic and spew an unctuous, tarry black liquid over everything. Which brings up the thesis from the Arctic News which I was referring to which is completely erroneous: that warning mankind in a more alarming way will change anything. It may. But not in the way they hope: it will only increase the pace at which the littoral states of the Arctic will rush in to exploit 'their' oil resources. I don't know on what world the author of these articles dwell, But on this one, on this planet, there are only humans.
The scientists arguing thus need to read Mark Buchanan's interview, in which he posits that, "The brain seems to be more of a rationalization device than it is a rational device", and stop making such absurd assertions. Like K&M, they want to believe what they wish were true rather than what they know to be true. Who doesn't? But this doesn't make them any less wrong. Humankind will rationalize their warnings away. Like Condoleeza Rice sitting in front of a memo warning of the scenario of hijackers slamming airliners into buildings, and saying, "We never discussed that" we say, "We never Discussed that pouring increasingly large volumes of CO2 into the atmosphere closer and closer to the Arctic circle could have any deleterious effects", and like her, we'll really believe we didn't.
Increasingly, despite Shell Oil's initial failure last summer, someone will eventually come forth who is capable of such an undertaking. And it will be another of the oil majors that is funding Climate Change Denial pundits, even as they line up to take full advantage of exactly that: if there were No Global Warming, no drilling in the Arctic would be possible. If we had a Congress that was really concerned about Climate Change instead of simply paying lip-service to it, they would ban any company funding Climate Change denial politicians from taking advantage of drilling opportunities that are only feasible because of Climate Change. They won't of course, as they get dollars from both sides of the debate this way, with nobody having a clue of their nefarious undertakings.