OUR ENVIRONMENTAL FUTURE

The sequel to The Flame is called The Tempest and is set 130years in the future on an Earth radically different to what we now know.

When I was researching the possibilities for the above scenario I eventually came up with the following speculation:

i)               The polar ice caps substantially melt due to global warming putting a large volume of fresh water into the (salt water) deep ocean current.

ii)             The diluted deep ocean current slows down reducing the volumetric pressure on the tectonic plates under the ocean causing a cataclysmic cycle of volcanic activity which devastates coastal populations with tsunamis and eruptions.

iii)            Simultaneously the Earth’s rate of rotation slows incrementally and the oceans expand accentuated by their reduced salinity. Average high water marks rise by 20-30metres world-wide. In some instances especially in the Southern Hemisphere the increase is near 50metres. Ultimately the Earth’s axis tilts an additional 5 degrees in order to increase the rate of spin and restore some sort of inertial balance.

iv)             This radical global geometry creates a new weather paradigm. Deserts become arable, bread basket farmlands desiccate and the tropics become a continuous belt of hurricanes, cyclones and perfect storms. The coastal strips of most continents are wiped out, California falls into the ocean, and Japan and the Philippines cease to exist. The tropical belt is depopulated. During the initial decade of onset of this new world order nearly a billion people die.

I thought this profile had some merit even if it seemed a bit extreme but had developed several plot devices to make it plausible within the fictional world I was trying to create. My fictional timeframe was a single century-100years.

So with this in hand I sort out a PhD candidate at the Queensland University of Technology to vet my profile and help me knock a bit more ‘reality’ into it.

I was surprised to learn that the profile was substantially accurate within the current meteorological speculations. The principle difference was the timeframe; 5-800 years is more likely.

I was both pleased and a little spooked but nonetheless set about integrating this information into the story- a task which continues; The Tempest is almost fully outlined and approximately 30,000 words of first draft are done so far.

However, with the current persistent climate of scepticism and denial regarding global warming I wondered what might be done long-term to:

a)     Counter this trend and

b)    Prepare for the inevitable.

One of the recurring themes in this debate is the veracity of the geological and meteorological data. This argument usually goes down one of two roads ;

1)    Record keeping is a relatively recent endeavour and the statistics gathered so far are limited therefore conclusions drawn from them are suspect.

2)    The data is across a limited number of sites and parameters and therefore informationally shallow and therefore as above.

This is semantics but the surface logic is persuasive and creates the sort of distraction that the climate sceptics desire. So, how to counter this self-destructive delusion? What can a concerned Joe Average do?

In a word – GEOPEDIA- Wikipedia for greenies.

There are a lot of fishermen in the world and if only a few of them took air, soil and water samples every time they went out there would be a lot of regular information coming back to a central repository across a wide range of locations. Similarly for bird watchers, hikers (bush walkers), scouts and four-wheel drive enthusiasts.

The trick to this is the provision of testing kits and the above mentioned central repository. Over several decades of this type of activity the statistical depth could be phenomenal. We do not currently have anything remotely like this. A well organised grass roots campaign could do it. The knock-on effect is that 30-40 years from now we would know our Earth a whole lot better and be better off for it.

I’d be very interested in feedback on this and will write more on it as the ideas develop. The test kit is my first task-air, soil, and water-what to test for and how to make the kit cheaply?????

 

iDM

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