Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Emergent matters

Even as the Boston Globe yesterday published the worst article about global warming ever (and congratulations, Globe editors, for nearly completing the utter destruction of a once-great newspaper), the truth, as I always say, has it's day.

NASA -- you know, that far left conspiracy against technological progress -- reports that:

Overall, the combined global land and ocean surface temperature anomaly for April 2010 was the warmest April on record since records began in 1880. The previous record was set in 1998. The combined global land and ocean temperature anomaly was 0.76°C (1.37°F) above the 20th century average. . . .

The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for January–April period was the warmest January-April period on record. This value is 0.69°C (1.24°F) above the 20th century average.

Meanwhile, Quest for oil leaves trail of damage across the globe:

No one's tallied the damage worldwide, but it includes at least 200 square miles of ruined wildlife habitat in Alberta, more than 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater spilled into the rainforests of Ecuador and a parade of purple-black oil slicks that skim across Africa's Niger Delta, where more than 2,000 polluted sites are estimated to need cleaning up.

"The Gulf spill can be seen as a picture of what happens in the oil fields of Nigeria and other parts of Africa," Nnimmo Bassey, a human rights activist and the head of Environmental Rights Action, the Nigeria chapter of Friends of the Earth, said in an e-mail.

"We see frantic efforts being made to stop the spill in the USA," Bassey added. "In Nigeria, oil companies largely ignore their spills, cover them up and destroy people's livelihood and environments."

But it's absolutely futile.

There is convincing evidence that conventional oil production has already peaked, since we have been stuck at around 74 mbpd for over half a decade (despite the incentive of record high prices). There also seems to be growing consensus that global liquids production (currently around 86 mbpd) is likely to peak within the next decade and almost certainly at less than 95 mbpd.

The world we all grew up in, the one we've come to take for granted, is indeed coming to an end, although events will bear no resemblance to the Revelation of John. Jesus isn't coming back to save us. We're on our own, and this can either be very, very ugly or basically okay after all. But three decades of denial, capped by 8 years of rule by the oil companies, has left us with no time to waste at all. Our folly is catching up with us, now. Right now. Nothing else matters very much.

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