November 16, 2007

"What we see is a world transformed, made unearthly, like something from a J.G. Ballard novel."

The titillating illustration of global warming.

34 comments:

George said...

Will Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowell be in the movie?

joe said...

Artists are necessary to illustrate it, because there is no evidence for it. It is all based on computer models, speculation. What a hoax.

Ron said...

With a Laibach soundtrack sung by Diamanda Galas, narrated by William S. Burroughs...

I, for one, welcome our superheated overlords!

Icepick said...

Okay, so the waters will rise, and our coastal cities will drown. But the question I want answered is, "How good will the surf breaks be in this new world?"

Palladian said...

I remember, growing up, all the weird little Pentecostal churches in my county predicting that this day and that would be the end of the world, that trumpets shall sound and the wrath of the Almighty will rain down like fire on the wicked human race. At first it scared me. But after I heard it again and again and again, each time it was less scary. Eventually it started to become funny. Then hilarious. Then annoying. Then obnoxious. Then I moved away.

I've started to slip from the hilarious phase to the annoying phase. I'm worried. How can you move away from the Leftoid Gaiaist apocalyptos when they're everywhere now?

These pictures prove my point from yesterday that political art doesn't work because once you make it, it's no longer under your control. The visual is both ambiguous and enduring in a way that politics and language isn't. These concerned artists think that when we look at these pictures, we'll think "Oh No! We Must Stop This Catastrophe!" when in reality (as mentioned in the linked blog) many people will say "That looks cool! I can't wait!"

Hoosier Daddy said...

I simply have a hard time worrying about something that won't happen either in my life time, my kids, my grandkids or even my great-great grandkids lifetime.

The inevitability that someday coastal Spain or Manhatten for that matter will end up like Atlantis sometime around 2500 AD puts the same fear in me as the fact that our sun will one day supernova and obliterate this planet.

I'm still reminded that the 'scientific consensus' 30 years ago was that we were heading into an ice age.

Roger said...

can't beat that scientific consensus as a measure for accuracy: geocentrism, phlogiston, stress-caused ulcers, immutable, non-drifting continents--yes, indeed: lets hear it for "scientific consensus."

bill said...

Looks like there's good money to be made in teaching the Spaniards how to fill and stack sand bags.

MadisonMan said...

Excellent artwork: It provokes commentary.

The company where my nephew works is getting into nukes in Texas. Good for them! Nuclear and clean-burning coal is the way for America in the future, IMO. Why do we keep sending money to our enemies to buy oil?

Roger said...

Madison Man: as the price per bbl of oil continues to rise, all of that oil shale out west is going to be exploited--along with the surrounding environment as extraction leaves a lot of debris in its wake.

Bruce Hayden said...

What I find fascinating about this is that as the "consensus" on Global Warming in the scientific community breaks down, it continues to become more and more established truth in the remainder of the population.

Any number of obvious questions arise. If GW is actually going to cause all the glaciers to melt, causing the seas to rise that much, then why does the rest of the country dry out? Basic physics would seem to suggest that the carrying capacity of air for water increases, not decreases, with a rising temperature. So, logically, I would think that more water would be coming on-shore. Does it just disappear? I can see the argument for less snow throughout the country, but that would seem likely to be replaced by rain, which is better seasonally for growing anyway. Besides, the scare photos ignore all the farmland that would be opened up in Canada and Russia - maybe a billion acres for every 100 miles that the freeze line moves north.

In any case, there is still the problem that this will take far longer than it takes to move everything of real value. It is really irrelevant to me that after I am gone, man will have more of the planet on which to live, even if some of the more valuable parts during my lifetime would then be underwater.

paul a'barge said...

Catastrophic Global Warming is bunk.

MadisonMan said...

Bruce, the farmland that opens up in Canada and Russia is far removed from moisture sources. It may be warm enough; do not assume there is enough moisture to allow crops to migrate north.

I have seen little breakdown in the scientific consensus on global warming btw. The very few for whom support of global warming is markedly more guarded get lots of press attention.

Roost on the Moon said...

Great link! What a fantastic article.

I was out in Colorado skiing a few years ago, and there was an interesting story in the news that still influences my thinking on this issue. The owners of the big resorts (Vail, Aspen, Keystone, etc... there are about 30) had commissioned all kinds of independent studies on whether there was anything to this global warming stuff.

This would be instructive, I thought. Here you had the elite businessmen of a very red state, paying the best scientists money can buy to tell them the straight dope, free of both alarmism and knee-jerk denial.

These are men that Hate HATE HATE environmentalists. Vail lost a brand-new multi-million dollar lodge in the late nineties to eco-terrorist arson. They fight tooth and nail any time they want to expand. They hate each other. So, the owners have a strong politcal interest in "green" rhetoric not catching on.

But they have an even stronger financial interest in the straight dope. They've concluded that there will be no snow in the rockies in 50 years. They are now marketing the hell out of summertime mountain activities, and scrambling to establish their reputations a mountain biking resorts. Look. They believe it, despite it being strongly in their (non-financial) interests not to. To me, their investment in converting to summertime resorts speaks much louder than armchair pundits on either side with nothing tangible at stake.

There are plenty of respectable positions out there that are opposed to climate-change alarmists, but flat out denial that anything is happening really isn't one of them.

Roost on the Moon said...

I've strongly felt the emotional phenomenon described in the article. I think it's probably pretty common, though I doubt it is much of a political motivator.

But it's great when art (I mean the article, here, not the pictures) can point out a feeling you have often had but never considered. And then make you realize that it's not just you. Bravo!

Hoosier Daddy said...

There are plenty of respectable positions out there that are opposed to climate-change alarmists, but flat out denial that anything is happening really isn't one of them.

I don't deny its ocurring. I just don't subscribe to the chicken little hysteria that seems to accompany any discussion of the topic not to mention our ability to change it.

If the climate didn't change, my house would be a few thousand feet under a glacier right. Conventional wisdon dictates that the climate changed drastically prior to SUVs and coal fired plants.

Seems to me that there is almost a pathological desire to have some 'crisis'. In my short span on Planet Earth I recall the following doomsday predictions. First it was the looming ice age, then swine flu was going to get us, then AIDs, Ray-Gun was going to incinerate the planet, nuclear winter, we were going to run out of oil by 1990, SARS, Y2K, the Bird Flu pandemic seems to be 3-4 years behind schedule.

Sorry if I can't get my knickers in a twist over a one or two degree rise in temperature in the next 100 years.

John Stodder said...

The best way to argue for environmental change, I've concluded, is to talk about the damage that's occurring right now due to our energy mix. There is a lot of that to point to. Oil and coal are filthy and damaging from the moment they are extracted from the ground until their waste products are spewed into the air or water.

Palladian's got a point. The more this supposed GW apocalypse becomes part of pop culture and political dogma, the less impact it has. We have a lot of faith in our resourcefulness. So, the seas rise. We'll move. We'll have time. This won't happen all at once.

I guess I'm an environmental traditionalists. I don't like dirty air, dirty water, ruined landscapes, ruined habitats and I think we let the energy industries get away with too much of that. Would it be such a betrayal of Gaia if we just went back to enforcing good environmental laws?

Roost on the Moon said...

Nobody is acting you to act irrationally. I am emphatically not asking to twist your knickers.

"Conventional wisdom dictates that the climate changed drastically prior to SUVs and coal fired plants."

Never this drastically. But I don't want to dispute facts, and who cares what we think anyway? We've got nothing but stupid pride at stake, and that drives us away from the truth rather than gives us an incentive to really investigate.

In short, I'd put a lot more stock in your opinion if you were a billionaire with all your assets in a ski resort.

Much of this stuff is now unavoidable. I don't think gloom and doom works as a tactic, or at any rate, it's now done what it can. This isn't going to be reversed by convincing everyone to do their part and conserve; it's going to happen until the interests of the powerful become threatened enough to force real change.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Never this drastically.

Huh? How drastic does it have to be to melt a glacier that once stretched across the state of Indiana (among others)?

Why was Greenland named as such?

We've got nothing but stupid pride at stake,

Actually I have nothing at stake at all considering I'll been long dead by the time Manhatten is swimming with Luca brasi.

Much of this stuff is now unavoidable.

Much of this stuff is beyond our ability to affect to begin with. Myself, I tend to think that big fireball that rises in the east and sets in the west has a lot more impact on the temperature than my SUV does.

Just for the record, aren't we now 2 years behind schedule for the killer hurricane season due to GW?

chuckR said...

At the intersection of Politics and Science there stands a statue. It is of Trofim Lysenko.

JohnAnnArbor said...

I guess I'm an environmental traditionalists. I don't like dirty air, dirty water, ruined landscapes, ruined habitats and I think we let the energy industries get away with too much of that. Would it be such a betrayal of Gaia if we just went back to enforcing good environmental laws?

It's worse than that, though. GW hysteria is sucking the wind out of rational efforts to save species and other environmental solutions.

Richard Dolan said...

The blog-post (Climate Change Escapism) is more interesting than most of the climate change stuff. It uses the images and asks what message will people of different persuasions take from them. The Guardian wants to use the images to shock people into action, of the usual dirigiste sort, on the approved enviro-climate action list. The author thinks that the images may have a quite different impact, and explores it a bit. The author doesn't take his own question very far, but still it's a nice change from the usual set-pieces on this topic.

Roost on the Moon said...

Actually I have nothing at stake at all...

But you still want to argue that this is a hoax. Ok. For the record, it's my own stupid pride that wants to look closely at your arguments.

Myself, I tend to think that big fireball that rises in the east and sets in the west has a lot more impact on the temperature than my SUV does.

You intuit that, given the existence of the sun, and that it is really big, nothing we're doing can affect the climate.

Not convincing.

Just for the record, aren't we now 2 years behind schedule for the killer hurricane season due to GW?

The fact that there are alarmists, political opportunists, and hucksters in this world crowds out any possibility that this is really happening?

Also not convincing.

SteveR said...

A couple thoughts:

1. Since I have a lot of geologic education, the things that havehappened over the 4.5 billion years or so of Earth's history, and some quite recently, make it hard for me to get too worked up. To the extent I am concerned its more about an asteroid.

2. Along that same line and to quote a prominent blogger: I'll start believing its a crisis when the people who tell me its a crisis start acting like its a crisis.

And yes John Stodder, we can do better.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Everybody says that due to Global Warming New York and LA ar egoing to flood.

Based on that assessment, I am still looking for a downside.

After Ann goes back to Wisconson, of course.

Blake said...

Scientific consensus killed Ignaz Semmelweiss.

Amsterdam is, what, 12-15 feet below sea level? Has been for some time. Remarkably, they haven't just let the ocean wash over them.

Henry said...

Anyone remember Superman I?

There's a fortune to be made!

Revenant said...

It may be ecological disaster to YOU, but I view it as my best shot at affordable beachfront property!

Icepick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Icepick said...

Just for the record, aren't we now 2 years behind schedule for the killer hurricane season due to GW?

Well, down here in Florida our 'killer season' happened in 2004. (Four major hurricanes hit the state in six weeks: Charlie, Francis, Ivan and Jean.) The Gulf Coast had their 'killer season' in 2005. (I believe it was Katrina, Ophelia, Rita & Wilma.) I don't know that global warming had anything to do with them, but they sure as hell happened.

Roost on the Moon said...

An Edjamikated Redneck said...
Everybody says that due to Global Warming New York and LA ar egoing to flood.

Based on that assessment, I am still looking for a downside.

After Ann goes back to Wisconson, of course.

perfecthair said...

Bruce said:

What I find fascinating about this is that as the "consensus" on Global Warming in the scientific community breaks down,

even if we were to stop burning fossil fuels tomorrow there is enough anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere to keep the climate warming for decades.

even if there were potlitical will to do anything about this, whatever tack we choose would be too little, too late.

Bruce's strategy, abject denial of evidence and scientific theory, really is the best way to deal with global warming.

tc said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Icepick said...

tc, you need to fix your bot. Not only is it badly failing the Turing Test, it is spouting badly formatted gibberish.