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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

We cannot leave geo-engineering any longer

Email to Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP

Dear Geoffrey,

Climate change has now reached an unprecedented level of danger. Today, the temperature at the North Pole is 42 deg C higher than normal. This extreme heating is driving the deep Atlantic lows that are rendering many of our ancient cities uninhabitable.

More ominously, the heating of the Arctic is already triggering methane releases. It is estimated that 50 Gigatonnes of methane trapped in the Arctic region is at risk. Only a small percentage of this needs to be released to tip the planet into unrecoverable runaway climate change. The dynamics are such that small percentages will not be released, instead it will be all or nothing. It is on this premise that we must work.

Policy makers and computer models have assumed that the transition of our climate from its previous equilibrium that supported life and allowed our economic development to a new hostile equilibrium would be smooth and predictable. Instead it will be chaotic  and unpredictable with increasingly large variance around the mean as we progress through the transition. This is what we are experiencing today.

Each swing around the mean  during the transition will act like a jack hammer inflicting more damage and accelerating the speed of the transition. For example, the warming of the Pacific Ocean in the  1998 El Nino led to a significant increase in atmospheric CO2 which further intensified global heating. The El Nino of this year is far stronger. These non-linear pulses are accelerating us towards the point of economic and ecological no return.

Today's extreme heat at the North Pole is a thunderous crack of the climatic jack hammer as it nears its break through to the new equilibrium.

We have nothing to counter this. Despite the hype, the #COP21 talks were a failure. No legally binding agreements were made and the CO2 targets that were agreed will lead to a temperature increase far in excess of 2 deg C. So great is the cumulative damage already incurred, that even an emergency attempt to go immediately to a zero carbon economy would be futile on its own.

In light of our inability to tackle the climate change problem at its source by cutting CO2 emissions, we are forced to manage its consequences by mitigation measures. However, events around the world are already showing this to be a failure. Those of tomorrow will expose the extent of this failure even more brutally.

In the short period of time that we have left, we must embark on a geo-engineering program that will simultaneously sequestrate CO2 from the atmosphere and cool the Arctic. The extreme events in the Arctic today mean that this must start this coming summer. After this, climate change will most likely have built up such momentum as to be unstoppable and the economic chaos in its wake may well preclude organisation of actions.

I would commend my colleague Professor Paul Beckwith (email:  to you and strongly urge you to watch his interview at .  He has long been advocating the seeding of oceans with iron oxide to encourage plankton growth and  whitening of clouds and SO2 injection into the atmosphere during the summer months to cool the Arctic.  

I would therefore urge you to act on this with the greatest of urgency by the following: 
  • Explore  how you can lobby for geo-engineering 
  • Press for government support of necessary research programmes 
  • Circulate  this message around other MPs. 
  • Press for a parliamentary debate on geo-engineering 
  • Contact the respective ministers who can advocate these actions on the international stage 
Kevin Lister

Further Reference: 

Warm Arctic Storm To Hurl Hurricane Force Winds at UK and Iceland, Push Temps to 72+ Degrees (F) Above Normal at North Pole:

Sunday, December 13, 2015

After the Euphoria of the COP 21

The world has been told again that a successful outcome from the climate change agreements has saved it, even though it agreed targets to guarantee a 3 deg C temperature increase and won't admit to knowing what is needed to limit this to 1.5 deg C. This is a green light for the world to develop fruitless computer models over the coming years to enable prevarication to take the place of action. 
This annual charade has developed its own unique process. It agrees nothing when at the same time every thinking being, from humans to earthworms, knows the crisis is worsening. It glorifies failure as shining success and does little other than provide a platform for the leaders of the industrialised nations to hide their motivation to continue with destructive business as usual.  
 So now let's get real and do some crystal ball gazing of possible future scenarios:
1. Climate change destroys us by 2050. The Trident crews and other equivalents from China and Russia are the only remaining people on the planet. (This is the logical conclusion of the policies that the world's most powerful  governments are pursuing, which is to avoid action on climate change and update nuclear weapon systems that will outlast the societies they purport to protect, and why this is at the top of the list).
2. A right wing dictatorship takes over the UK and gains control of our nuclear deterrence. It then links with other similar dictatorships around the world and wipes out anyone considered to be undesirable. When George Osborne refuses to support a ban on Donald Trump, is prepared to dismantle our legal system and gets into bed with the Chinese over a massive nuclear deal, we are closer to this than many think.
3.  Our economy collapses, Greek style, under the weight of accumulated debt and climate change recovery costs. We are forced to sell our Trident system to the highest bidder or our largest creditor (most likely Russia, China or India). This is made more likely because the huge cost of building, operating and defending Trident is funded by debt.
4. Our economy collapses, Greek style, for the same reasons as above, but Britain cannot sell Trident. Trident then suffers a major nuclear failure because we cannot afford to maintain it or train its operators properly. If this happens near the coast, it leads to  mass evacuations at a time when this is least possible to manage due to the issues of mass migration and economic collapse from climate change. In the worse case, it means millions of people are instantly incinerated as its warheads simultaneously explode. 
5. At a time of rising international tensions, a  captain on a Trident thinks that he is being followed by a new modern Russian Akula class submarine. Being the only submarine on patrol and knowing that spending cuts have resulted in no anti-submarine warfare capability he fears instant destruction. Being so worried, he makes a premature launch decision. After destroying Moscow and with London and New York suffering a retaliatory nuclear strike, he discovers that the acoustic trace was a false reading. 
6. Alternatively, a captain on a Russian Akula class submarine following a Trident thinks that with climate change intensifying international tensions a premature launch is to be made and he destroys it, leading to a retaliatory strike from the US. 
7. Because Russia is frightened by our Tridents, they build even more equivalent submarines. Events 5 and 6 above happen, but with the flags swapped around. The effect is still largely the same. 
8. As a result of the international disorder brought about through climate change, nihilistic terrorists have managed to obtain several nuclear warheads and detonate their first with a suicide bomber in the middle of London. Just as with 9/11 when America attacked anyone they could think of, the UK fires its missiles at anyone it can think of.
9. As climate change intensifies and nations around the world realise they will be destroyed by runaway climate change, everyone goes mad. This affects all links in the nuclear command and control chain, from the presidents and prime ministers at the top to the battle field commanders with their fingers on the button at the bottom. Somewhere within this chain, a sane man is driven mad by the news and decides to end the pain by firing the warheads under his control.
10. We avoid all of the above, but as soon as the new Trident is completed, we have to start building another 4 replacement submarines to keep the submarine building companies in business. This time we do succeed in bankrupting the country and any one of the above happens.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Green Party Annual Subscription

It's that time of year again – no, not Christmas, but the time when I get a reminder to pay my subscription to the Green Party.

For what it is worth, the Green Party is going to have to mange without me. I am sure they will continue what they are doing just fine without my contribution.

I did once think that it was vitally important that there was a credible environmentally focused political party. Today, I am not so sure. It seems to me that having a green party gives undue credibility to an election process that we confuse for democracy.

Our forefathers in Ancient Greece would never have considered our model of governance to be a democracy. They would brand it as an elected oligarchy far removed from their ideal of everyone having a say in all critical decisions of state.

The oligarchs that we have elected into power today would immediately counter with the assertion that the complexity of events and the speed decisions must be made means the direct democracy the Ancient Greeks practised would not function. They may have a point, but I doubt it. The very technology that is causing so many problems today can also allow fast communication from individual citizens to the points where decisions must be made. The flip side of the objections from today's elected oligarchs is that the very complexities and speed of today's events allows an abundance of opportunities for exploitation, and this they take full advantage of. The result is the revolving doors between government and big business.

Our process of selecting oligarchs also plays well to a society that has become lazy and hedonistic. It is basically much easier to limit ones contribution to the democratic process to a single vote every five years than it is to having to contribute regularly on specific issues, many which may contain difficult and uncomfortable choices. By contrast, when one's vote is cast in the booth for an oligarch, it boils down to a distillation of large sets of conflicting policies from one party compared with another, mixed in with a personality analysis of someone that you will never have had any direct contact with. A toss of a coin is as good a tool for decision making as considered thought, this is ultimately what many people are reduced to.

This deliberate limitation of democratic involvement means that there is more opportunity available for the general population to party and play. It is something that many are grateful for as they select their oligarchs. It also supports the fundamental objective of the industrialised market states that we find ourselves in. That is the maximisation of opportunity for their citizens.

Unfortunately for any environmentally focused parties, the appointment of oligarchs is legitimised by the process they participate in, yet they have no chance of success. This would not be a problem if the elections could be fought on the basis of selecting parties that offer the best long term policies for human survival. But they never have and the never will. It is virtually impossible to find an example in any industrialised country were a government has been elected into power on the basis of it pursuing environmental policies designed to ensure long term human survival. By contrast, it is nearly impossible to find a government that has not been elected into power on the basis of its policies to extend industrialisation.

I fear that the Green Party today, with its talk of sustainable development, is merely offering another form of industrial development. It is so wedded to this that in the last election it was unable to speak the truth of the crisis facing the planet. Buried in the middle of its manifesto was its commitment to climate change. In a word for word copy from the Conservative Party's manifesto, it said that if elected it would work with the international community to keep global temperature rises below 2 deg C. This is now impossible. Little intellectual thought is needed to know that the worst nightmares of climate change can only be avoided with a zero carbon economy today, not in 10 years time. This emergency transition must be made when the impacts of climate change are biting increasingly deep into the fabric of our society. It will result in large scale social disruption and severe limitations on personal freedom. There is no way around this. Yet, the Green Party, like any other party that fancies a slice of power knows it cannot talk of these truths so it does what every other party does, it lies and presents policies that disingenuously offer false hope.

The only thing that differentiates one party from another is the quality of the lies they produce. The favourite lie of the Green Party and other environmental movements is “down with capitalism.” This is a good sound bite, until one considers that capitalism in one form or another has been around since the first days of human civilisation in Ancient Mesopotamia, so down with capitalism is unlikely to offer a solution in itself. By advocating this line of argument, The Green Party are simply making the mistake of many others; shouting down with something because it is easier to do than shouting up with its alternative. It is a lesson that the Iranians discovered in 1979, when they elected the Ayatollah Khomeini into power on a policy of down with the Shah, only to discover they had moved into an equally bad nightmare of no viable alternatives.

For the Green Party, the flip side of down with capitalism is “up with a rationing economy.” Ironically, a commitment to carbon rationing was once something they had in their manifesto, but now has been quietly dropped and in the last election none of the party's main speakers advocated this. The reason is simple, “up with a rationing economy,” means down with industrialisation and free choice. The Green Party is no different from any other in being afraid to advocate this philosophy.

If this is not good enough justification for allowing my membership to lapse, then I offer one final and controversial thought. That is ISIS, our new found enemy terrorising the world. By refusing to say what you stand for, and instead only what you stand against, you provide legitimacy for those who are prepared to destroy the thing you want actually destroyed but which you are afraid to acknowledge. When at the same time, you take the moral high ground and decide not to intervene in any way and under any circumstance, you give the green light to increasingly appalling attacks.

I am no fan of military intervention and every time it is used I understand it drives the world one step closer to disaster. But when those that are supposed to be standing against the system don't and refuse to be clear on the genuine alternatives, they contribute to making military intervention unavoidable.