Friday, June 5, 2015

#156 / ACD

The Larsen C Ice Shelf
Dahr Jamail, an award-winning investigative journalist, posted an article on June 1st that predicts the "Imminent Collapse of the Antarctic Ice Shelf and a 'New Era' in the Arctic." The ice shelf in question, the Larsen C Ice Shelf, is pictured above. 

Jamail's article doesn't really tell you anything you haven't heard before. It just makes it sound worse. It just makes it more dramatic. I think it's an article worth reading

What I hadn't heard before was the acronym that Jamail uses to describe the global warming and attendant climate change that his article discusses. The acronym I am talking about is "ACD."

"ACD" stands for "Anthropogenic Climate Disruption." That means that human beings are doing the disrupting. 

Another acronym might also be pertinent, though it is one not used in Jamail's article. 

"ADD" stands for "Attention Deficit Disorder." That's a rather undesirable condition that makes it extremely difficult for a person to focus in, and to deal appropriately with real life situations and problems. 

We had better start paying attention to the human-caused disruption of the Natural World. Let's deal with a bad case of ADD where our World disrupting activities are concerned.

Then (and we'd better make it quick, folks) we really do need to do something about our ACD. Bad things are already happening, with more on the way!

Image Credit:

1 comment:

  1. Dahr Jamail may indeed be an award winning journalist, but he is not a climate scientist, as is immediately evident in this arm-waving article about “anthropogenic climate disruption (ADC).”

    First, the misleading ADC label. The culturally loaded concept of climate “disruption” assumes that climate processes are unchanging and human action has intervened to cause them to change. This, of course, is not the case. The world’s climates (there is no one-size fits-all global climate) are in a constant state of dynamic equilibrium, constantly changing and constantly trending toward homogeneity. Climates have changed for millennia and will continue to change, whether humans are around or not. While human actions may influence existing natural climate variation, they do not cause climate change (anthropo=human, genic=caused by). The descriptor, “anthropogenic climate disruption,” is inaccurate and unnecessarily alarmist.

    More importantly, Jamail’s article cites several “studies” of naturally occurring events, such as ice sheet break-up in Antarctica, which when accessed and read, make no claims of climate disruption or even any demonstrated connection with human related climate variation. Ice sheets have been breaking up in Antarctica for the past 10,000 years of the Holocene, since the end of the Pleistocene glacial period. This is just one more in a long period of perfectly normal glacial/interglacial dynamics. Jamail also cites changes in California forest dynamics and drought, which are normal characteristics of the climate of western coastal North America. There have been other droughts far more intense than the current drought and forest changes far more extensive than current forest changes, long before human agency influenced weather and climate patterns.

    Does this mean we shouldn’t be concerned about the effects of extensive burning of fossil fuels? Of course not. Beyond releasing CO2, a natural constituent of the Earth’s atmosphere, burning fossil fuels releases innumerable varieties of real air pollution that do not naturally occur in the atmosphere, destroys critical natural habitat, requires the transportation of toxic liquid fuels through sensitive natural habitats, and keeps humans dependent on centrally controlled, hierarchical and oppressive political and economic systems.

    If bad things are happening, let’s work to eliminate those bad things that we can change. We’ll have a better world to live in, we’ll create less damage to natural habitats and, we’ll foster societies more resilient in the face of our ever variable climates, whichever way they change.


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