The WWF is learning all about how non-linear systems work:
WWF's report, Climate Change: Faster, stronger, sooner, has updated all the scientific data and concluded that global warming is accelerating far beyond the IPCC's forecasts.
As an example it says the first 'tipping point' may have already been reached in the Arctic, where sea ice is disappearing up to 30 years ahead of IPCC predictions and may be gone completely within five years - something that hasn't occurred for a million years.
The findings include:
* Global sea level rise could more than double from the IPCC's estimate of 0.59m by the end of the century.
* Natural carbon sinks, such as forests and oceans, are losing their ability to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere faster than expected.
Nature, and complex non-linear systems, work like the mouse you use on your desktop: the farther you move it, the faster it accelerates.
This accomodates big changes in position without forcing you to move slooowly, constantly for too long, because that's less likely to happen.
The downside is that the environment hippies of the 1970s were right -- we were screwing it up then and if we didn't stop, the problem was going to get out of hand. We're inheriting a past mess and since we haven't turned around in time, we now have at least another decade of making it worse before we get our act together.
Of course, the environment hippies were wrong in that they thought "education" and some songs about peace strummed on acoustic guitars could convince people. That's not so. You need to force the average person to face reality, because they enjoy avoiding reality as much as possible.
When you look at humanity from that view, you can see how persecuting drug users is a result of our hypocrisy. Our entire society is stoned on illusion. Let's go beat up some junkies.
Sumgayit used to be the New Jersey of the Soviet Union—the town was the nation’s center of chemical and pesticide production. Today, it is still feeling the aftereffects of years of untreated, mercury-contaminated waste dumped directly into streams feeding the Caspian Sea. Cancer rates in the city of 275,000 are sky-high.
Just for fun and seeing the human consequences of our oblivion, here's a link to a slide show about polluted cities. Check out the diversity, breadth and sheer mass of our pollution. We really are #1 in this area. Take that, fish!