Category Archives: Rainforest Collapse

What does climate change look like from orbit?

It can sometimes be difficult for an individual person on the ground to personally witness the effects of climate change right now. If you were in California or Australia during the wildfires, you might have been directly affected, but more people still are now seeing direct effects. However, satellite imagery allows a view of the whole planet, and what we can see from satellites paints a terrible picture:

Watching Earth Burn – For 10 days in September, satellites in orbit sent tragic evidence of climate change’s destructive power.

Last winter, for example, Australia experienced one of the worst brushfire seasons in its history. On the first Sunday of 2020 I decided to take a look. Himawari-8 revealed a vista as spectacular as it was unnerving. A giant furnace door had seemingly been pried open. A plume of smoke extended outward from the continent’s southeastern quarter, a region twice the size of Texas where flame vortexes had been spiraling 200 feet into the air. Carrying the color of the land it came from, that noxious exhalation bore the residue of a billion or more incinerated animals and innumerable plants, baked into tinder from decades of ever-hotter summers.

The author points out in the article how you can look through the eyes of these satellites yourself:

My earth-watching, made possible by NOAA and Colorado State University websites, originates in three geostationary weather satellites parked in exceedingly high orbits above the Equator.

The effects of climate change will only become worse and worse unless humanity takes direct and massive steps to correct things.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

It cannot get any worse – active destruction of the Amazon rainforest

This article is terrifying:

Amazon fires: Bolsonaro actively trying to devastate rainforest, leaked documents show

The Brazilian government intend to build bridges, motorway and hydroelectric plant in the jungle to “fight off international pressure” to protect the world’s largest rainforest. The plans, leaked to political website openDemocracy, emerged as devastating fires rage through the Amazon.

As described in the Doomsday book, the Amazon rainforest is too important to let a country like Brazil destroy it. The entire forest should be taken over through international stewardship, humans should be removed from the forest, and every effort should be taken to keep it alive. If the rainforest is allowed to die, there will be a huge pulse of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the loss of the rain cycle, and the destruction of a million or more species. It will be catastrophic. See:

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

The Dustbowl era in the United States was a doomsday scranario for agriculture and the food supply, and we are about to repeat it

A terrifying article about the next United States dustbowl:

National Soil Erosion Rates on Track to Repeat Dust Bowl-era Losses Eight Times Over – Scientists Say Farmland Degradation to Worsen with Climate Change

From the article:

The UCS study analyzed various scenarios for erosion rates and total soil loss using soil survey data from the National Resources Inventory, a research program conducted by the USDA and Iowa State University. Because of climate change, the possibility for even more accelerated erosion rates exists. The study found if more flooding and droughts lead erosion rates to worsen again, reverting back to the higher rates recorded almost forty years ago, farmers nationally are at risk of losing more than two inches of soil by 2035 and five inches by 2100.

In other words, we depend on the soil to grow the food we eat, but we are not good stewards of the soil. Therefore the topsoil is washing and blowing away, and with it our ability to grow grains like wheat, corn and soybeans. It could lead to a food catastrophe.

Climate Change will force human migration in 3 ways: Flooding, drought and heat

There are three big things that will force human beings out of one area and into another:

  • Flooding – Climate change can cause flooding either by raising sea levels or increasing rains (e.g. hurricanes)
  • Drought – Climate change causes areas that once received rain to dry up. Rainforest collapse is the most dramatic example, but simple rainfall pattern change is another.
  • Heat – As the planet warms, equatorial regions will eventually become so hot that humans can no longer tolerate or work in the heat.

All three of these effects will cause climate migration, by millions and millions of people. The people who are migrating will have no choice, because the alternative is death.

Take a country like Bangladesh. Much of Bangladesh is highly susceptible to sea level rise, and much of Bangladesh is hot and humid, so rising temperatures will eventually make it virtually uninhabitable. 160 million people live in Bangladesh, and most are in poverty already. Given this, the headline is probably understating things:

Climate change could create 63 million migrants in South Asia by 2050

The growing impacts of climate change have already pushed more than 18 million people to migrate within South Asian countries, but that could more than triple in three decades if global warming continues on its current path, researchers warned on Friday. Nearly 63 million people could be forced from their homes by 2050 in the region as rising seas and rivers swallow villages, and drought-hit land no longer supports crops, said ActionAid International and Climate Action Network South Asia in a report. The projection does not include those who will be forced to flee sudden disasters such as floods and cyclones and so is likely an under-estimate, noted Harjeet Singh, global climate lead at ActionAid. He said the situation could become “catastrophic”.

The obvious solution is to try to limit the damage that climate change causes by:

  1. Stopping the combustion of all fossil fuels
  2. Pulling carbon dioxide back out of the atmosphere

Unfortunately, there are many economic forces and powers that want to move in the opposite direction:

‘Grossly Insufficient’: ExxonMobil Lambasted Over Emissions Reduction Plan That Pledges No Reduction in Absolute Emissions

ExxonMobil’s Monday announcement of new targets for addressing greenhouse gas emissions was met with derision by climate advocates who called the plan “too little, too late.”

There is something Exxon could do to help migitgate the problems it has created. Exxon could develop and sell a carbon neutral gasoline substitute. In this way, all of the existing pipelines and gas stations and vehicles could still operate, while not adding any more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Using solar, wind or nuclear power, there is definitely a pathway toward achieving this. For example, the U.S. Navy has demonstrated how to make jet fuel out of seawater.

What If We Powered the Planet With Seawater?
How Big Can Wind Turbines Get?

There are several other approaches that can make synthetic gasoline as well. Exxon (and other oil companies need to scale them up and sell synthetic gasoline instead of fossil fuel gasoline.

Then humanity needs to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere at a massive scale:

Carbon Engineering | Direct Air Capture Technology

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

Humans continue burning fossil fuels despite the obvious stupidity of doing so

Such a depressing headline:

World is ‘doubling down’ on fossil fuels despite climate crisis – Production must fall by 6% a year to avoid ‘severe climate disruption’ but Covid-19 funding is supporting increases

The world’s governments are “doubling down” on fossil fuels despite the urgent need for cuts in carbon emissions to tackle the climate crisis, a report by the UN and partners has found. The researchers say production of coal, oil and gas must fall by 6% a year until 2030 to keep global heating under the 1.5C target agreed in the Paris accord and avoid “severe climate disruption”. But nations are planning production increases of 2% a year and G20 countries are giving 50% more coronavirus recovery funding to fossil fuels than to clean energy.

The headline, however, is not nearly strong enough. The reality is that fossil fuel burning should be reduced to zero immediately, and humanity must start sucking excess CO2 back out of the atmosphere. Otherwise the planet faces an unstoppable cascade of catastrophic effects including:

As discussed in the book, humanity somehow needs to transform its thinking to a wartime posture against climate in order to prevent all of these cataclysms from occurring. If we do not take immediate action, the prospects are dire.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

Some people are so negative about the future that they stop having babies

This article contains a shocking statistic:

Climate ‘apocalypse’ fears stopping people having children – Survey of 600 people finds some parents regret having offspring for same reason

The statistic:

The study indicated that climate-related fears for their children’s lives were rooted in a deeply pessimistic view of the future. Of the 400 respondents who offered a vision of the future, 92.3% were negative, 5.6% were mixed or neutral, and just 0.6% were positive.

92% of people surveyed have a negative view of the future. Less than 1% are positive! Unbelievable. But it makes sense when you start adding up the imminent doomsday scenarios that humanity is facing: The many facets of climate change, the economic effects of robots, the destructive power of inequality, terrorism, etc.

Meanwhile, the babies that are born grow up to become terrified young people as described here.

The doomsday book describes all of these problems, and also offers solutions for many of them, if humanity can get organized and unified enough to implement the solutions.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

We are past “the Point of No Return” on climate change according to some scientists

If humanity could turn on a dime and completely stop burning fossil fuels tomorrow, we would definitely be better off. But are we past “the point of no return” already?

‘Past a point of no return,’ according to British Journal Scientific Study on climate change; Reducing greenhouse gas emission to zero still will not stop global warming; Scientists see ‘an acceleration of Pandemics’

The findings of the scientific study are alarming. It shows that irrespective of the reduction of greenhouse gasses, emissions are brought down to zero. It is not sufficient to stall the melting of permafrost.

This would be an example of a positive feedback loop, where melting permafrost releases enough methane to raise temperatures, which releases more methane, and so on. This video describes the problem in stark detail:

Arctic Methane. Has 2020 triggered a tipping point?

If this is the case, then the only hope is to combine the halt of fossil fuels with different forms of geoengineering.

Geoengineering: A Horrible Idea We Might Have to Do

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

With Wildfires increasing, We can see climate change happening before our very eyes

20 signs that the climate crisis has come home to roost – From Alaska to Wyoming, evidence shows the climate is off-kilter in the West.

The massive wildfires this summer left an unprecedented trail of destruction, burning millions of acres.

it’s impossible to deny the role a warming planet plays in today’s blazes. “Something’s happening to the plumbing of the world,” Newsom said.  “And we come from a perspective, humbly, where we submit the science is in and observed evidence is self-evident that climate change is real, and that is exacerbating this.”

The Science of Wildfires: Why They’re Getting Worse | WSJ
Historic heat fuels California wildfires

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

The Last Rainforests in Asia are Doomed

The burning scar: Inside the destruction of Asia’s last rainforests

From the article:

A Korean palm oil giant has been buying up swathes of Asia’s largest remaining rainforests. A visual investigation published today suggests fires have been deliberately set on the land.

As discussed in the chapter on Rainforest Collapse, a rainforest is a symbiotic loop where the trees contribute to the rain and the rain waters the trees. Kill off enough trees and this beneficial cycle ends, turning a rainforest into savannah or desert. In the process, more gigatons of carbon dioxide enter the atmosphere (from trees that die or burn), causing the planet to heat up even more in a deadly positive feedback loop. The only solution is to stop destroying the raiforests and start rebuilding them.

In other doomsday rainforest news:

Report: Neste responsible for rainforest destruction ‘the size of Paris’ since 2019

From the article:

A new report claims that Finland’s majority state-owned fuel company Neste is responsible for the destruction of at least 10,000 hectares of rainforest since 2019 – an area the size of Paris. Friends of the Earth Netherlands Milieudefensie says Neste also continues to buy palm oil from suppliers in Liberia with links to armed militias who extorted land from villagers to grow the lucrative crops. According to Milieudefensie, the Finnish company buys 1.3 million tons of palm oil and a substance called PFAD – palm fatty acid distillate – every year to turn into biofuel.

Also:

Scientists say that combatting rising deforestation rates in the Amazon rainforest – a major store of planet-warming carbon that stretches across nine South American countries – is crucial in the fight against climate change.

Also:

The world’s largest wetlands are on fire. That’s a disaster for all of us

Wetlands like the Pantanal are Earth’s most effective carbon sinks — ecosystems that absorb and store more carbon than they release, keeping it away from the atmosphere. At roughly 200,000 square kilometers, the Pantanal comprises about 3% of the globe’s wetlands and plays a key role in the carbon cycle.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

Our young are terrified by climate change

The headline is “Our young are terrified by climate change” and they have every reason to be. “Climate change” is not just one thing. As the climate changes due to the combustion of fossil fuels, many different things happen including:

Our young are terrified by climate change

From the article:

“I often ask people to describe how they feel about their future given the specter of climate change, using just one word. The words I hear are painful — “fearful,” “concerned,” “terrified,” “frightened,” “hopeless” and — the most painful — “black”from a 20-something. The words I hear are not unusual — over half of U.S. teens feel afraid or angry. And I have also heard apathy — no one cares. Most of those I ask are college students with their life aheadAsk someone younger for their one word. Start with your children or grandchildren. Their word may frighten you.”

They have every reason to feel terrified and hopeless. This is an incredible doomsday scenario barreling down the tracks toward us, and humanity appears to be doing nothing concrete to stop it.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.