Friday, April 1, 2022

World War IV

We Kurmans have a dark, bleak, pitch-black sense of humor. Our observational humor could arise from either side of a death camp fence. But even our humor will not save us from doomsday. Ragnarok. Armageddon. The Apocalypse.

Right now everyone is focused on a slap, but we will armchair general our way back to Ukraine, and what went wrong? Is it going wrong? Is Putin playing nine-dimensional chess? Is Xi thinking 200 years ahead? Is the US going to do what it always does? 

Will there be World War III? Nope. We already had that, and the Boomers won. 

Over the period of the Cold War, about half a gigaton of nuclear tests were done, poisoning air, water and soil. The fact that millennials and zoomers don't have two heads or flipper limbs is a testament to the robust supply chains of DNA.

(Life started out as RNA world, when Earth and Sol were still part of a globular cluster chock full of ionizing radiation and blazing sister stars. I suspect DNA world didn't get started until Sol was flung free of the birth cluster, but I digress).

Meanwhile we've pumped out Hiroshimas per second of CO2 and methane, heated up the oceans and air, to set up something that dwarfs the might of all the world's nuclear weapons. World War IV is upon us.

And of course, we are losing. Oh sure, temporary victories, like fusion. But pulling tech out of our ass only works in movies that end with a big musical number: musicals, comedies, and musical comedies. 

Fusion will not decarbonize the atmosphere. Fusion will not stop the sixth extinction, even if we all cluster into monkey hives and let Mama Earth do Her thing. That ain't gonna happen. So Apocalypse it is!

As I've said before most people don't have a strong enough imagination of post-apocalyptic life because they will be dead. 

Who is gonna die? Well, if we go with the Kurman Maxim, those least deserving of it.

India was supposed to be a superpower by now. Instead, they have staggering poverty rates, 1 in 5 people. (The USA is 1 in 10 poor). Glacier loss is important, loss of ice as water storage. Less water down river for everyone. Tibet, the Himalayas, the Third Pole, is warming up and that is bad for Earth Island. Not just India but southeast Asia. Australia is getting clobbered, and will continue to get clobbered. Africa is already familiar with drought and deluge, but the loss of wildlife is astonishing. The Western hemisphere, traditionally arid, is nostalgic again. Europe? Is for Mister Toad's Wild Ride

In all we are entering a period of prolonged instability between Icehouse and Hothouse.

Let me explain. In college I got interested in nonlinear equations.Not being very bright I modelled stuff on the university computers. Nowadays it is called chaos theory or complexity theory. Running my FORTRAN programs, most stuff flips from one state to another and then stays the same. But sometimes there is turbulence, switching between states, and this can become a permanent thing. 

RE: wild wild weather from here on out. Strap in. Build your infrastructure accordingly. People get acceleration and shock, but they don't get 4th derivative and up stuff. Just this energizing of the atmosphere and the oceans gets you standing waves of static. Or..

Per Kurman's Ironic Global Warming, the tropics and subtropics ain't that bad. The poles still get cold by being in seasonal shadow, so there's still a heat sink. There is still tropic to pole circulation, but not the good kind that mixes up waters and oxygenates oceans. This is the problem. Suddenly relying on fossil oxygen while the generators are shut down. Nothing so dramtic as the Great Dying of the Permian. But nothing nearly as nice as the Miocene-Eocene warmup.

Quite simpy, most people are fucked. Fuck Mars. Time to think about terraforming Iceland. Or Northern Siberia.

There's the rub.

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