Factories
Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergey

The upcoming climate conference in Glasgow is going to be a big event. Everybody talks about emissions control or greenhouse gases reductions, pointing out that this is the key factor of climate change. 

According to current multiple scientific studies, around 97% or more of climate experts agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are ‘extremely likely’ due to human activities. 

This is explained mostly by the fact that human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels, have dramatically increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere, thus warming the planet. Most of the climate experts also believe that natural drivers, without human intervention, would have pushed the Earth toward a cooling period.

There’s a non-mainstream group of scientists, however, who believe that the human factor is not 100% proved as the decisive driver of global warming. 

They point out that there are other powerful and less studied factors such as geological events, the change of the ocean’s currents circulation, the Earth’s / Solar system’s movement in space through the clouds of interstellar gas, etc. The Little Ice Age from the 14th to the 19th centuries has ended up by the global warming of that epoch but… this was before modern industry had been born.

Most of the scientists believe the Little Ice Age was caused either by decreased summer solar radiation or erupting volcanoes. Those eruptions cooled the planet by ejecting shiny aerosol particles that reflected sunlight back into space, or a combination of both. 

snowflake

The astonishing fact is that there was no human-caused greenhouse effect, but still the temperatures had risen significantly enough for the Dutch to forget about skating on the Amsterdam channels in winter. Just check out the 15th or 16th centuries Dutch paintings and you’d find out that such global warming did take place with no smoking chimneys behind it. 

Based on this striking reality, a global event of the not-so-distant past, I’m personally a sceptic of the overwhelming human influence today. For instance, most of the glaciers are decreasing now but some, in the very same region, such as Alaska, are increasing. 

The other gigantic cosmic or planetary natural factors are, in my opinion, not studied fully or even dismissed due to current trends. This is also not just a scientific but a financial issue, a very sensitive one; you could easily get funding for human-inflicted climate change research but your grant application could be easily turned away if you try to get funding for some alternative evidence. Guess what path the climate research would go? 

Well, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of 1,300 independent scientific experts from countries all over the world under the auspices of the UN, points out that the industrial activities upon which our modern civilization depends, have raised atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from 280 parts per million to about 417 parts per million in the last 151 years. Based on this, the panel concluded there’s a ‘more than 95 percent’ probability that human-produced greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have caused much of the observed increase in Earth’s temperatures over the past 50-plus years.

Clip-Art Fire

I don’t doubt these figures: they’re surely a big factor in the climate change. 

I only doubt that all those things alone are not enough to fully explain what is currently happening. Is it a complete picture?   

I think the time is probably right to look for some X-factor. If it did play such a dramatic role in the 19th century global warming, wouldn’t it be a very scientific approach to have a second look for as yet unknown reasons behind the current climate change?  

Maybe we’re missing something; something that might dramatically change the global warming agenda… 

Countries are being asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century.

To deliver on these stretching targets, countries will need to:

accelerate the phase-out of coal

curtail deforestation

speed up the switch to electric vehicles

encourage investment in renewables



Blah, Blah, Blah

Photograph of Dean Lewis

First, let me quote what’s-her-face: “Blah, Blah, Blah”. The truth is the United States is in the midst of a political cold war. The conservative party has been seized by the Dear Leader and the US Government cannot do anything at all. Nothing. Here’s an example: every year the government has to raise the debt ceiling. Normally this is just a formality and both sides go along with it. But not this time.

In the last go-around, the liberal party in the US voted with the conservative party to raise the debt ceiling so the Government could print more money and pay its bills. But that was when a Republican was in office. To quote CNN: “Democrats are trying something that almost never works: Shaming Mitch McConnell into doing the right thing by citing the national interest, historical precedent and governing norms. I’m sorry, but I didn’t see lining the pockets of the One Percent on that list. The media fools think Mitch gives a shit about America. (Update: McConnell said he would support the above, but only once. He has been attacked by Republicans and Democrats alike)

Smoking Earth

So, if my country can’t do even simple housekeeping, why do you think they can take bold initiatives to stop the whole planet from burning down? Of course, if America was just neutral on the topic it wouldn’t be so bad.

While the conservative Republican Party is not pro-pollution per se, they are not tree huggers either. They are agnostic on the subject; they have no answers and shall not be bothered by outcomes. One advantage of being an angry old white person is that you will not live to see the results of your handiwork.

Anything – anything that interferes in receiving higher quarterly dividends is not going to get support from Republicans. This is what the libtards seem not to get; Mitch cannot be shamed because he really doesn’t care – period. Yeah, I’m repeating myself but it seems ya-all ain’t listening.

The idiot Democrats will go to the thing, eat those little finger-food bacon sausages, and will talk about how they want to help. They will make promises and blah, blah, blah. They do not understand where they are: they want to pass big bills and rebuild bridges and help old people and puppies. 

They have buried their heads in the sand and don’t understand the threats facing the country. Until they destroy the Facebook Empire, reintroduce the Fairness Doctrine (repelled law from 1980s), and deal with Gerrymandering, the Republicans will continue to work to destroy the Republic.


Climate – last chance?

Roger Bara

It’s exactly two years since us guys at Rusuk wrote about climate change, and I am well aware that my idea of culling the human race to save the planet was considered a tad drastic by some of you. My negative feelings at that time have sadly not materialised into anything more constructive. 

The COP26 climate change meeting in Glasgow at the end of this month is mankind’s final chance of rescuing the planet from utter disaster later this century.

There’s hardly a human being alive at this time that hasn’t, in recent years, experienced the effects of global warming. Rising temperatures around the planet are fuelling devastating extreme weather, with soaring impacts on economies and societies. Billions of work hours have been lost through heat alone, and yet this is something we’ve known about for some four decades now. How is it we’ve done so very little to stop the rot? 

Even COVID-19, at its worst, only temporarily lowered carbon-dioxide emissions due to the world-wide economic slowdown. There’s no sign today that we are growing back greener; we are nowhere close to reduction targets. According to a new multi-agency United in Science 2021 report, greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere continue at record levels, committing the planet to dangerous future warming. Yes, my dear friends, we are so off course, we are done for. Unless Glasgow 2021 comes up trumps.

Industrial Revolution Factories

Even then, nothing can stop global warming from intensifying over the next 20 years, whatever the outcome of Glasgow. There will be life-threatening heatwaves, severe droughts, inland and coastal floods, melting glaciers, decreased mountain snowfalls, the extinction of many plant and animal species, and our precious coral reef system, that sustain fisheries, will suffer further bouts of potential annihilation. 

This is why 2021 is such a  critical year for climate action. 

So, what do we need to happen? You and I are well aware that there needs to be a very rapid shift away from fossil fuels, and massive investment in solar, wind, geothermal and other benign techniques for generating energy. But whilst you and I have known this for so long, so many countries are still happy to prefer old-fashioned and deadly dangerous stuff like coal and gas. Totally ridiculous. 

Will Glasgow change their opinions? What do you think? Can you honestly believe all the major economies of this world are going to provide sufficient investment for what’s necessary, including helping out the poorest nations of which there are so many? I suggest, while we are still able to breath, we don’t hold it. The attitude of our masters is that if it won’t make us money, there’s no point bothering.

What’s the point of surviving the worst pandemic our planet has ever known, only for us to continue to destroy our habitat? Unless Glasgow succeeds, we are all eventually doomed. I do so hope to be proved wrong; of course, I’ll never know the outcome as, in all probability, I will be dead within the next 10-15 years. But before my demise, I would like to know that my family, and their families, may have a chance of survival and a decent way of living. OK, I will hold my breath until the conference is over.

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