Climate Shake-Out w/ Dahr Jamail—The End of Ice & climate disruption—Radio Ecoshock 2019-05-29

Climate Shake-Out w/ Dahr Jamail—The End of Ice & climate disruption—Radio Ecoshock 2019-05-29

this is radio Eco shock with Alex Smith weather extremes an uncommon danger are erupting around this warming world we need a tough investigative climate journalist and her former war correspondent indie journalist and author Darja mail his latest book the end device is the talk of the planet from the Pacific Northwest Darja male welcome to radio eco shock thank you Alex great to be with you when George Bush or was a Dick Cheney ordered the invasion of Iraq the u.s. sent big-name journalists there to send back approved reports from carefully guarded compounds so why did you as an American make that dangerous journey to become an unabated reporter during the Iraq occupation like millions of other Americans I was outraged in flabbergasted at the showing of the war that the lies from the administration that are clear to everyone now that it was a complete setup and the war was essentially an invasion for an oil grab and after having engaged in the usual things that were told to do in the United States to express our discontent and tribes for the government things like writing letters to senators and going to demonstrations and things like this clearly that was not going to get the job done and then of course it didn't and once the war was launched I my outrage continued to grow as the body-count continued to escalate and I decided well one thing I could do was go over to Iraq and see what was happening and report on how the occupation was affecting the Iraqi people because I felt like that was the kind of yawning silence coming from the corporate media in the US so I decided to go try to fill that void and then sometime after your book about Iraq beyond the green zone which I read at the time how did the BP Deepwater Horizon spill around 2010 tip you towards environmental reporting instead well the seed of what was happening to the planet had been planted long before the Iraq war in fact I had moved up to Alaska and started spending a lot of time mountain climbing and so back in 96 when I moved up there I was immediately aware of receding glaciers and really dramatic weather patterns that were abnormal for the Arctic region and so I the seed had been planted and that was there all through my Iraq reporting and so I'd always known that I wanted to get back into covering the climate as a journalist and so when the BP oil disaster occurred that was my segue into environmental journalism which very shortly after that I dove into reporting on the climate a full title of your new book is the end of ice bearing witness and finding meaning in the path of climate disruption and you do all that in the book I love the book and you said the reporting in this book has turned out to be far more difficult to deal with than the years I spent reporting from war-torn Iraq that sounds very unusual why do you say that well not to discount the gravity of what I experienced in Iraq and what all the Iraqi people experienced under the brutal devastating US occupation of that country it was extremely trying but looking really expanding the parameters of what the climate crisis means to the planet to our species literally every single person on the planet is directly impacted by this now but also all of the other species on the planet you know we just recently got wind of the UN Intergovernmental report showing now in addition to being already in the sixth mass extinction event a million other species are now headed for extinction at the current trajectory we're on and for me really taking all of that in and experiencing emotionally what this means to be on this living planet to be a human being like all the rest of us completely dependent upon the biosphere and watching how rapidly it's changing and being degraded the emotional impact of that the psychological impact and then now living in this daily as a reporter it's like what other climate scientists are experiencing it's it's a really really challenging thing to kind of fold into my global perspective on you know how do we be on this planet now knowing all of this devastation that's occurring and even accelerating and you went into a period of depression while researching the book I did actually that had even started before I decided to work on this book just from my original reporting when I was working for Al Jazeera English doing climate stories I started really seeing how devastating the situation was and taking that in and trying to process it individually and I started then periodically struggling with depression around it and then certainly doing the research for the in device I was in a writer's retreat and out there compiling reports and pulling things together for the various chapters and would regularly run up against overwhelmed by what I was seeing happening across the planet and the trends that were happening and you know Lou then I needed to find a way to kind of work with and process this information and talk with friends about it and if I was going to keep being able to moving forward on the book that happens to me when I'm working on stories I have to suddenly walk out and dig a bunch of weeds out of the garden almost an anger or walk down by the river and try and listen to what the river is telling me and eventually I can come back to this desk and this microphone and and start all over again I very much relate to that Alex I have similar habits here I live on the Olympic Peninsula Washington State and fortunately live amongst a forest and so I would regularly when I would come back home for my field trips for my research trips for the book I'd be writing things up and kind of hit that wall and just go outside and look at the trees and take a deep breath or go for a walk and the other thing which I did during the book and continue to do after it's been published is regular trips up into the mountains that's kind of my key place to tap into the earth and hit the reset button and get perspective again find some solace and that actually is what I hope that by writing the book it would inspire the readers to do the other night my wife and I were watching ABC News which is a terrible news program it's really more of a youtube video feature thing but they showed scientists going down to Antarctica to study the whales there to see what the whales could tell us about climate change and that's the first time they mentioned climate change all through the show or maybe all week why can't the mainstream media report the whole truth about the developing climate disaster it's a very important point and we look at the denialism in this country it's it's astounding I mean the United States is ranked third in all of the larger countries on the planet for having the largest amount of denialism a significant percentage of Americans do not believe climate change is even happening actually it's 5% which is stunning when it's right before our eyes every day and then there's another 13% that believe that the climate is is disrupted but that humans are not the cause so add those up and you're looking at nearly one-fifth of the country following only Saudi Arabian into Indonesia as far as a leading country and denialism and this is precisely because of the failure of the corporate media right you just mentioned this one piece that you watch that did at least mention it that's it actually an anomaly we're up to now most major media because of their corporate funding so much of it coming from fossil fuel interest or weapons manufacturers like GE or Boeing etc they have a financial stake and denying that this crisis is upon us because it's going to be bad for their profits so certainly the media outlets that run their advertisements are are prone to that kind of pressure and you publish really detailed regular articles of truth out org you have a really great use of the online media because you put links to everything that we can follow up with what is truth out and how did that get going g-got was formed in the way of the September 11 2001 attacks in New York City as a response to the corporate media and it is evolved since then into one of the leading lefty news outlets online we were actually the first ever online only news organization to unionize and do a really fine job of reporting because we're 90% reader supported and the 10% of the current that the organization accepts are not accepted by anybody that tries to have any kind of editorial sway over our reportage so I've been very lucky to write for them because it's enabled me over the years to write the types of climate stories and do these climate dispatches that I file every month that are really a no-holds-barred revelation of here's the latest information and it is this dire and we're not going to pull any punches and we're going to call it exactly as the scientific studies are reporting it the climate story seems to express itself differently everywhere we go why does an author writing about the end of ice travel to the Amazon well I wanted to cover as many of the frontlines places where the impacts are happening the most dramatically so it is a quite a variety from going to the Amazon to report on biodiversity loss to South Florida for sea-level rise to Glacier National Park in Alaska to cover what's happening with glaciers and ice fields around the world to st. Paul Island and the Pribilofs in the middle of the Bering Sea I have a chapter based on that trip just to show how indigenous communities are taking the impacts the the first and often the hardest because they're the ones living closest to the planet in other places as well but the Amazon specifically I was lucky enough to get to go down to camp 41 the most famous of the study camps run by famous biodiversity expert dr. Thomas Lovejoy he's sometimes referred to as the Godfather of biodiversity and spend time there to really reveal what this recent report just showed that I mentioned earlier that so many species are now faced with the threat of extinction and the Amazon being the most biodiverse place on the planet is already showing and has been showing for decades very very troubling signs of that kind of loss did you meet with dr. love Julie I did I got to spend a few days with him and I included much of an interview that I did with him in the book and you know this is a man who since 1965 has been studying the Amazon and is his singular work is responsible for the conservation of a large percentage of the Amazon rainforest at least up until now with the terrible changes that's happened in the government with both the Naro being elected and now that's under threat but dr. Lovejoy that can't 41 that he established as part of his network of forest fragmentation camps that one camp alone is responsible for the production of over 700 peer-reviewed scientific studies what a gift to meet with Thomas Lovejoy in the Amazon I interviewed him in February 2013 and I learned a lot from him who are some of the other remarkable people in your book just give us a couple of examples star well another one was dr. Dan fagre II he's a United States Geological Survey ecologist he's been studying the glaciers in Glacier National Park for decades and I made it a point in the book and was privileged to get to spend time with people like dr. Lovejoy and dr. Phegley and numerous others most of them with decades of experience studying what they were studying and living where they were living so they have a long-term intimate relationship with these places and dr. Fager II for example in Glacier National Park had spent well over 25 years there he's also the lead scientist in the the benchmark glacier study program that USGS runs across the u.s. where they take a glacier in each region as a measurement device they can use to track how fast the glaciers of that entire region are melting away since glaciers are as a canary in the coalmine of climate disruption and he very very passionate about his work was extremely welcoming to me coming out there and went out into the field with me and was just very very excited about the opportunity to share his knowledge with the outside world as grim as that is he was very very open which was very refreshing as was dr. Lovejoy because so much of the scientific community now due to funding pressures and especially what's happening in the Trump administration with overt censorship of climate disruption studies these people are very very outspoken and passionate about what they're doing and they're not stopping check out the radial ECOSOC website we're at eco shock dot o-r-g this is Radio eco shock I'm Alec Smith with my guest journalist and author darjah mail we are working around his new book the end of ice last week dar another punishing round of strong tornadoes hit the southern United States it's just part of a long string of extreme storms that frightens people in Oklahoma flooded folks in Houston again and cut agricultural planning in some key Midwest states in half what is your takeaway from what is going on in the southern states well those storms specifically have just well specifically referencing the extreme flooding in the Midwest there was a study that came out in the wake of that that showed that was a direct result of abnormal warming and the eastern Pacific that's it's tied directly to even caused climate disruption so there are direct links to all of these extreme weather events to one degree or another that tie them to human caused climate disruption another recent study just in the last couple of weeks showed that these extreme weather events in the Houston region like what we've just seen over the last few weeks are also of course tied from a warmer atmosphere which can hold that much more water vapor it sets up the storms that then are releasing these record-breaking amounts of rainfall now on a regular basis so you have these 100 500 even thousand year so-called thousand year storms that are now happening sometimes annually one of those types of storms are now happening and I would say hurricane Harvey as the most dramatic recent example yes new science from the University of Oxford finds strange new weather is becoming the normal not just in America but in many places the paper was led by CAI corn Huber and it's published April 26th in Environmental Research Letters let me just read the brief abstract from that paper here we go the summer of 2018 witnessed a number of extreme weather events such as heat waves in North America Western Europe and the Caspian Sea region and rainfall extremes in Southeast Europe and Japan that occurred near simultaneously here we show that some of these extremes were connected by an amplified hemisphere wide wave number 7 circulation pattern we show that this pattern constitutes an important teleconnections in Northern Hemisphere summer associated with prolonged and above normal temperatures in North America Western Europe and the Caspian Sea region this pattern was also observed during the European heat waves of 2003 2006 and 2015 among others we show that the occurrence of this wave 7 pattern has increased over recent decades and that's just part Dhar of a bunch of reporting that's coming out now saying look these are patterns that may be setting in at least for the medium-term maybe for the next few decades that we should expect what are your thoughts about then I'm really grateful to hear that study and that report because it really underscores the deep interconnectivity of all of these systems and this is an important thing for people to understand as we talk about climate disruption and the impacts and as everything's accelerating and intensifying so this this also underscores the feedback loops you know the most famous of which being that as we lose the summer Arctic sea ice that of course reduces the albedo effect so that less solar radiation and warmth are being reflected back into space and instead absorbed into the ocean which warms which amplifies and accelerates the melting which reduces the albedo etc etc etc as dr. dan fagre II I think more some early expressed how feedback loops work he said simply the more something happens the more something happens and that interconnectivity is what makes this all possible so to think that for example we can warm up the Arctic at more than twice the pace of the rest of the planet and that all the permafrost that starts to thaw up there is not going to have an impact on us well just look at the Arctic vortex and what's already happening with the temperature destabilization across not just the Arctic but the rest of North America which is making the jet stream so much more pliable and waving causing these Arctic vortexes so again if you change something dramatically in one part of the planet it's going to have wide-ranging ripple effects across everywhere the Canadian scientists and YouTube climate teacher and radio a cushaw guest Paul Beckwith has been talking about waves in a stalled jet stream for years this new oxford paper teams further proof that Paul was right on the right track but it sounds like patterns of land and seas in the northern hemisphere at least are starting to form relatively predictable zones of extreme weather and I wonder if we're starting to see what the new normal will look like as I say for at least for the next few decades I don't know about centuries from now but maybe this is what people in the northwest should look for as fire and people in Houston should look for floods and people in England will see abnormal summer weathers and the Caspian is going to be really hot maybe we're starting to peer into the future I think we're already there Alex I think that what's happening now is only going to keep intensifying and you know it's it's obvious I mean anyone that really tracks the projection did the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been putting out and how every seven years each of their new assessments showed that there's this consistent trend of all of these projections having to raise upward to keep a pace with reality and in fact right now as we speak for example the worst case IPCC projections for loss of Arctic sea ice are less than what the observational reality is so their worst case projections often are not even keeping a pace with observational reality and and that's why when you know I live in the Pacific Northwest I've come to accept here that the recent summers the last three in a row where we've had sometimes weeks on end even west of the Cascade of just consistent day is filled with wildfire smoke from either fires in Washington or from British Columbia or Montana or sometimes even those as far south in Southern California that I've just come to accept that this is now okay it's smoke season at some point this summer we're going to have really dramatic smoke and and each of us is going to get to dance with various forms of respiratory problems and same with down in Houston you know you've mentioned the flooding that what they're seeing now what they're going to see through hurricane season and that's of course well into the fall these extreme flood events are going to become more and more common and there's ample scientific studies showing this whatever the extreme weather events and whichever region of the planet we're talking about they're all tied directly or indirectly to climate disruption and they're all sloping upwards as far as how severe they're going to be and how frequent they're going to occur and we all need to start thinking about that in whichever region we live in and adapt accordingly I suppose if we were to decide where to live now it means choosing your climate driven poison I mean would listeners prefer worrying about forest fires floods hurricanes droughts or the rising seas flooding the main street of town most places seem to have their new threat or are there safe zones left do you think like maybe New Zealand or Alaska or Canada's Yukon well they're certainly going to be impacts to deal with everywhere that you live on the planet even those regions that you just mentioned but those regions you mentioned are certainly going to have less extreme impact so that's why for example there's several billionaires from the US and other countries around the globe that have brought up land and in houses and constructed bunkers even and on the South Island of New Zealand in other places around the world like Tasmania where it's expected if you run the models out to the bitter end that some people even believe these could well be some of the last habitable areas on the planet if the current trajectories continue that said it is very very clear to look at the projections and say well the the southwestern United States is going to be an increasingly challenging place to live due to record heat waves wildfires droughts water availability it's going to be a major major issue as compared to for example where I live on the Olympic Peninsula or up into British Columbia if you're on the coast this is going to be one of the better places to live because temperature spikes are going to be somewhat tempered by being in a maritime climate and while there is ocean acidification and wildfires and other climate related issues that are going to intensify all of that is relatively tempered by proximity to the Pacific in in our latitude but regardless of that wherever we live even in some of these so-called better places like I just mentioned there are going to be refugee issues there are going to be water and food shortages so it's not going to be a cakewalk wherever we are yes dr. James Lovelock raised a bit of a furor a few years ago when he suggested that Britain might be a safe island in the climate storm due to being surrounded by oceans and its latitude and so the British government should spend a lot of money developing new schools and hospitals for the millions of people who would flee to those islands and that's the last thing that the brexit folks want to hear about so I don't know there's a lot of very difficult issues maybe even Trump's southern border wall has a little bit of a climate tinge to it I think it probably does despite the rampant denialism and that had been raishin the fact is if you look at the Pentagon's quadrennial defense review report this is what they release every year the where they discussed their assessment of what are the biggest threats on the planet and now for over ten years I remember was back and if I remember correctly 2006 the quadrennial defense review report stated then that climate disruption and its impacts are going to be one of the biggest security threats but it's kind of gone to deal with moving forward and more recently they have flat-out said it is the single biggest security threat on the planet precisely because of what you just mentioned refugee crises people coming into the country because the United States from the coming up from the south because if you look at the climate projections we're already seeing this happening now Central America is going to be a very challenging place for farmers because of droughts because of floods because of other weather extremes and intensifying storms and so a lot of these people that are coming to our southern border are people literally that just can't find food they don't have work anymore because their farms the inability to grow food and lack of support from the government to continue and so this is a crisis and and it's well-known for example that the Arab Spring that started back in 2011 that one of the ignition factors for that was a chronic drought across the region escalating food prices lack of assistance from the government and then people started Gravelle because they literally couldn't afford food and I think one important question just to file in the back of your head moving forward is at what point does that start to happen more broadly across develop the Western countries like the United States or Canada because we're seeing this incredible flooding in Ontario and in the Midwestern United States where as you mentioned earlier key crops haven't been planted or are severely delayed so we're going to see these escalating food prices and that's certainly going to have a political impact as well I noticed the new paper from corn Hubert Oxford is all about the northern hemisphere and the jets in the southern hemisphere are different they are tightening closer to Antarctica and taking some reins with them away from Australia and and from South Africa it's sad to see how little science and weather reporting we get from South America from Africa and really anywhere so the equator I mean the town of Aparri in northern Philippines received an extreme danger heat warning two weeks ago the heat index hit fifty seven point six degrees Celsius or 135 degrees Fahrenheit with 95% humidity but the people in our countries with historic high fossil fuel emissions never hear about that darjah male why do you think we have a big blind spot on this single world I think it ties back in to what we discussed earlier with the corporate media particularly in the United States is what I'm talking about now where there is essentially a blanket policy unwritten or not that we are not going to report accurately on the gravity of this crisis and in these places the example you just gave is a perfect example these really extreme events that they're happening and if we don't report on them then we don't have to talk about the climate crisis and in the US for example we'll have this extreme flooding and we'll have these amazing tornadoes that we've been witnessing lately record-setting storms they are resulting in death and tens of billions of dollars in damages but even most of those stories they have to obviously report on them when they're happening right there on your front door but they're rarely tied to the climate crisis that we're in and so I think that's why when we look at what's happening in Bangladesh with storms there cyclones hitting and the ongoing and worsening refugee crisis or what happened in Mozambique with record-setting cyclones and hundreds of deaths and when two cyclones hit within weeks of one another that you're not going to hear about that very often in the corporate media and if you do hear about it again it's just not going to be tied directly to the climate crisis because of why we discuss you're listening to eco shocked radio for the world I'm Alec Smith get it all at our website eco shocked org this is radio equal shop with your host Alex Smith you are tuned to radio Eco shock I'm Alex with my guest Darja male climate reporter and author of the sensational book the end of ice a supporter at stopped fossil fuels org has been posting radio equal shock interviews as YouTube videos and I appreciate that help but one commenter accused me of lying and misleading people when I repeated science from a recent guest dr. David Keeling says an atmospheric scientist who told us climate change cannot cause a hurricane or a tropical cyclone the hotter seas and water laden atmosphere sure they can make those storms much much worse once they start but the climate he says isn't the original cause of the spin that becomes a cyclone and it seems now that climate change is affecting so much we can make the mistake of attributing absolutely everything bad to global warming door have you run into that – I have and it's caused me to be very specific in my reporting and saying that as I mentioned earlier when I talk about an extreme weather event and try to always remember to mention that climate disruption has either a direct or indirect impact on it but climate happens is poise has it always will it always changes and what we're seeing is that it's being disrupted amplified accelerated etcetera but it's it's never factually correct to say that any climate event is solely caused by climate disruption that's just simply scientifically inaccurate some people worry the economy will crash as whether violence rising seas and other stresses just break civilization down I worry this fossil economy will not break down until we wreck everything beyond any hope of repair darjah male where do you fall on that spectrum I share your worry Alex I think that the fossil fueled economy can't end fast enough every day that it happens and again we see 2018 being yet another record emissions year for the planet of co2 emission into the atmosphere and so the faster this ends the better but then how is that going to come to be I mean if we had same global governments we would already be seeing dramatic shifts away from fossil fuels not on 10 20 or 30 year time lines that so many governments are talking about but literally in a matter of single-digit years and taking the dramatic steps necessary for mitigation as well as ceasing the co2 emissions but using natural geoengineering if you will things like soil regeneration planting trees re-establishing massive acreages of wild lands across the planet so that natural sequestration can start being given a chance to take hold these kinds of things instead we're looking at the chronic perpetual growth at all costs global capitalist economy that's literally consuming the planet and so we're setting ourselves up for a collapse of civilizations instead of a softer transition that would have been possible or could have been possible so we have people like Jim Mandel and his paper deep adaptation which I'm sure you've read Alex where he you know he's kind of seen as being radical for stepping out and saying yes and collapse is inevitable and I would agree with him in that and and also add that he's not the first to say that that there even several years ago was a NASA study that was published that showed at current trajectories without dramatic changes in the economy and how things are being done we will see a collapse of civilization the only question is when yeah the atmospheric scientist from Utah Tim Garrett also said that on radio eco shock back around 2010 that this energy economy is really a heat machine and that it must break down there's just for reasons of physics it will break down drawing on what you saw in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan do you expect military confrontation and Wars to be part of the coming climate story well I I think it's inevitable and again I mentioned that Pentagon quadrennial defense review report where they're gearing up for it they're preparing for refugees crisis that will destabilize countries possibly even Western countries and then what would happen in the wake of that they're concerned about going out and projecting force into the Arctic as the sea ice goes away there's now a race between the US and Russia and several other countries for who can get up there and try to acquire drilling and those resources is insane and immoral as that is that is essentially what they're preparing for and as food shortages continue to become more rampant and lack of potable water as well the military is also preparing to deal with the crisis that are going to follow those those things unraveling it used to be every month or so I'd have some startling new understanding of something unexpected in climate breakdown and then it sort of became every week and now I have to filter through them every couple of days have there been stories that are jaw droppers for you recently Darja mail oh gosh I have that same experience Alex it it's almost every day now it feels like a another major study comes out that just feels like a gut punch to me and I have to walk out and do what I mentioned earlier and we're the trees and remember to take some deep breaths I think two of the big ones this year that have really had that kind of impact on me that I off the top of my head are one being a study that came out in January lead author was Eric Rigg know of University of california-irvine where it showed that melting across the Antarctic had increased six-fold since just the 1970s and then his quote where the New York Times interviewed him right when the study was published and he said quote Antarctica is melting away in quote and then the other study about the insect apocalypse showing that we were losing 2.4 percent of global insect biomass annually and at current trajectory is assuming that doesn't accelerate we're on track to lose functionally lose insect populations globally within a hundred years and that essentially means no more humans because we literally couldn't live on the planet for very long without insects when I read each of those it was a showstopper for me that's that's the kind of devastating information that really shows me and reminds me this is how far we are in this climate crisis and I literally am going to need a new ontology a new philosophy of life to keep existing here and finding a way to do the work that I do to try to help the planet and we're gonna get to that shortly now another story that I'm trying to drum up interest here on radio eco shock and I'm having difficulty finding scientists who can talk about this and get it across to the public in an interesting way in a way that makes it immediate and that is ocean warming and I think this is huge I think this is changing the planet but it's not really in the newspapers it's not really on TV much and I don't know can help me out is ocean warming that serious well I'm really glad you bring that up Alex I think it may well be the single most important and serious part of the climate crisis that we're in and when I've done stories on this and talked with scientists studying what's happening in the oceans they consistently say it's also while they feel it's the most important part of this equation that it's also the easiest to ignore because it's happening in the water and it's happening underwater and most people will never go out and look underneath the water or spend much time there it's only a very small percentage of the human population that does I mean it's it's also not an accident that we've actually mapped more of the moon than we have the deep oceans so that gives you an idea of how easy it is to ignore what's happening in reality is the last five years each succeeding year has been a record warm year for the oceans and that trend is continuing and it's happening right now this year as well so this is extremely disconcerting it's causing mass migration of marine species it's as the oceans warm they're now of course releasing more water vapor into the atmosphere which is yet another feedback roomis fear further and that coupled with the acidification that happens in the oceans from they're absorbing increasing amounts of co2 this kind of one-two punch in the oceans is is devastating and that coupled with overfishing and pollution and the plastic crisis there we're literally the oxygenating polluting and warming and acidifying the oceans from which we came and if you really think about that and think about what that entails for a little bit and then think about what that means for our future that also should give all of us great pause well before we go into how you might cope with all this knowledge I just want to cover one last awful story and I've said many times on the show that thawing permafrost is the awakening giant of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and lately we've heard that it is happening you guessed it faster than anyone expected how serious do you think permafrost thaw is and is there a way to communicate that to the public that's still driving around a gas-guzzling SUVs and flying off to weddings in Fiji I dedicated an entire chapter of the book just to the thawing permafrost and the methane crisis in the subsea Arctic because I feel that it's extremely critical that people understand what this means so the permafrost contains vast amounts of organic matter that as it thaws it releases huge amounts of co2 and smaller amounts of methane into the atmosphere methane of course being a far more potent greenhouse gas than a co2 roughly 85 times as potent on a 10-year time scale and still 20 times as potent on a your time scale so as the terrestrial permafrost thaws and then as the Arctic Ocean warms and the subsea permafrost that contains the methane within it also thaws and starts to release that which it is already doing and that too is starting to accelerate we are looking at a really one could argue the mother of all feedback loops that there's enough carbon in the terrestrial permafrost and enough carbon equivalent in the methane in the subsea Arctic to easily more than double the amount of total co2 we've ever emitted into the atmosphere and this is starting to happen and it's accelerating and of course all of that warming is accelerating that comes from that which of course accelerates the process further so this is a huge crisis and I've even seen it become severe enough that one of the scientists I interviewed for the book who used to be dramatically opposed to geoengineering was even starting to consider geoengineering as of what he said look we have to find a way to keep the summer Arctic sea ice there no matter what because once that goes it's completely over and there's nothing we're going to be able to do to stop this planet going into complete utter runaway and while I'm not advocating geoengineering at all I think that really underscores the severity of the crisis in the Arctic radio eco shock okay it's time to move to how we survive knowing what we know and I think some of your coping mechanisms could help our listeners as well on March 16 2018 your talk update on the state of the planet how then shall we live was recorded by California State University you talked about Steven Jenkinson who helps people with palliative dying talking about climate change Jenkinson said if you awaken in our time you awaken with a sob tell us about that Dora how does palliative dying have anything to do with the end of ice well Jenkinson is a I find him to be a very compelling and brilliant author and thinker and storyteller he is Canadian and he worked in the palliative care industry for decades and he gave a really deep talk at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver several years ago talking in large part about the climate crisis and talking about accepting the fact that we were born onto this planet he was sort of expressing a lot of indigenous philosophy that we were born onto this planet to be good stewards and we have utterly failed in this task we being industrialized global capitalist culture and that is causing this crisis and that we have to accept that and everything that comes with it the only way that we can start that is by grieving and really taking in deeply the gravity of the situation and being utterly honest with ourselves about the fact that we are in this crisis and it's it's already to a point that not even the survival of the human species is a given anymore that that too is up for grabs given the trajectory of things and that means we are going to have to grieve and we're going to have to through the grieving process really come to terms with this and then start letting that inform the decisions that we make in our lives so if we understand that we may well be in a hostage situation on the planet which is another way that I referred to it in the book possibly even with our own species certainly with other species we know this as a fact there are over a hundred species a day going extinct on the planet and that number two is starting to accelerate according to that recent report I've cited earlier then how are we going to live does it make sense to go just see how much money we can make does it make sense to keep abusing the planet in the ways that you mentioned earlier the gas-guzzling ways or does it make sense to rededicate our lives – how can I try to save what's still here what are my moral obligations to these young kids that are walking out of their schools and protest maybe I need to find ways to support them and find ways to be an elder and dedicate more my time and energy to helping them prepare to live in this extremely harsh world that they're being left to grow up in and as soldiers returned from the endless Middle East Wars they were damaged and hurt inside we all learned about post-traumatic stress disorder for a while there I thought we were developing preclinical IMET trauma is here suffered directly by millions of people all over the world I wonder if the recent turns towards far-right climate denialism most recently in the surprising Australia in elections is that a symptom of a larger disease I think it is Alex I think that's a really fascinating point and so when one of the things that's helped me when I see the denialism and the Trump administration or run into someone on the street who is a denialist and very vocal about it I used to get extremely angry and in fact it would elicit a special kind of rage and me given this blatant disregard what I pursued there's a blatant disregard for literally life on earth and instead I started to kind of reframe it and look at it through the five stages of grief the Elisabeth kubler-ross five stages of grief where denial being really essentially the first stage that when okay you're faced with this possible loss of life of a loved one or your own the average person's normal response is denial oh this isn't really happening and it's a coping mechanism because to accept the gravity of it is so immediately overwhelming and then after denialism of course become you know there's a often a bargaining stage and then a depression and a couple of other stages and it ultimately leads to acceptance ideally but when I look at these people that denialism for example of what just happened with the Australia elections and the denialism across the United States and then the media aside from the political and the financial causes of it that we discussed earlier on an individual level these people are simply unequipped or unable or unwilling to really deal with the emotional grab of the situation that we're in where were literally in a situation where there may not be much life left on earth as things keep going the way that they are and on this topic I recommend to listeners my program climate denial is human with dr. Varkey check that out because he's got a really impressive theory about this now it surprised me dar when you said don't try to fix the big picture what do you mean well I think for a long time I was hoping that my reporting would contribute to that and I realized in retrospect that I was consistently setting myself up for failure and I would do a worry of what I felt to be extremely important groundbreaking stories and then consistently see things only continue to change for the worse in the bigger picture as far as lack of adequate government response or lack of more people really waking up the way I felt they should be waking up in it only fueled depression and struggles with my own anxiety around what's happening on the planet and I have found solace instead waking up and just focusing on okay what can I do and one of the people I talked about at the concluding chapter of my book is a indigenous elder named Stan Rushworth of Cherokee descent who reminded me of moral obligations that the indigenous philosophy is that we are born onto the planet with moral obligations to take care of and serve the planet and to carry out all of our actions mindful of how those impacts will they affect future generations and so if I wake up each day thinking what are my moral obligations today what do I need to do to live my life towards those how can I best serve the planet today then I have unlimited things in my imagination that I can do to help and it's that's going to inform every decision that I make as far as how much I travel am i reducing my carbon footprint on a regular basis how many young folks in like trying to figure out how I can help how can I grow my more of my own food how can I write better or speak better to this topic to help more people all of these things and just doing that simply because it's the right thing to do and trying to remind myself along the way to not be attached to the results that was a great list and I'm right with you on that and I noticed that you talked about either living right or living angry and I wonder do you meditate I do I do i meditate on a regular basis when on and by better rhythm of things it's a daily habit because I found Alex and I imagine we've had a very similar experience given your show and and how long you've been covering these topics that if I don't if I'm not very diligent on a regular basis with self-care on the meditation front time outside eating right taking time away from giving myself news breaks staying offline on the weekends etc then it's very very easy for me and very quickly do i spiral back in to anxiety and depression that comes so easily during these five in your book you found an amazing tree in the Olympic Mountains of Washington state that clings on to life in the most hostile high peak I know it's almost popular to say humans will go extinct soon but I think we are tough like that tree some people will hang on door what are your thoughts on humanity's ability to survive well you know I'm really glad that you bring that up because I have run into a lot of people that do seem kind of fixated and attached on humans going extinct almost some of them had come off as though they want it to happen and while I can understand the anger and frustration that the species the industrialized version of the species for causing so much death and destruction across the planet to all species I still do believe that we are obliged to stay here and do what we can to try to make amends and rectify this crisis not that we're going to stop it or probably even mitigate it much but again I keep coming back to that moral to stick around and try to clean up as much of the mess as we can and I bring in the story of this tree high up in the Olympic Mountains tree line here is roughly 50 150 200 feet and I was up on a mountain a little over 7,000 feet and there's actually a fair sized tree that's gnarly tree growing out of this very thin crevasse in a rock high up there you know in an area that six months of the year it's covered in snow and ice hurricane-force winds are regular thing this trees not even supposed to be there and yet there it is and so I bring that into kind of underscore how life given the most miniscule chance is going to persist and humans are extremely resilient and we are extremely adaptive and I think given half the chance we will find a way to be here but I think that's only going to happen if we try to find that way in deepest relation to the earth as possible although your book research took you to the hot tropical forests and balmy Pacific Islands you chose the end of ice as your grand titled narrative is ice the key well I do see it as a key that's that's half the story the other half of the story is personal bias because my favorite places to go on the planet are always high up in mountainous regions where there's lots of ice and glaciers but but certainly if we look at the fact that what happens when we lose glaciers in ice sheets and the impact that has on climate systems as well as our own drinking and irrigation water and that of so many other species I do see that as a critical critical factor and why when I see these ongoing reports of how much faster the melting is accelerating across Antarctica or the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet or the Ross Ice Shelf or Greenland or land-based glaciers it's extremely worrisome for me because it seems hard to imagine that humans are going to be capable as resilient as we may be of living on a planet that does not have ice you begin your book with a near-death experience on the glaciers of Mount Denali the highest peak in North America and listeners you can hear dar read that introduction at the Guardian website I'll put links to that in my blog why begin was that personal story but that actually happened just to be specific on a in a smaller mountain range up in Alaska and I wanted to really include that story though because the experience I had of literally punching through a snow bridge while roped up with a partner and then falling down into this crevasse and dragging him to the edge of it unwittingly which we've miraculously stopped falling at the last minute and then hanging there and you brought up meditation there and it was really an acute version of me having to meditate on the ice that was right in front of me to kind of maintain my cool and give my climbing partners time to set up a pulley system with which to extract me from the the dangerous position that I'd fallen into and while I was there and then as I was pulled up out of the crevasse and then certainly as I reflected on the accident later that I had this huge emotional response when I came up obviously I was very very relieved and a lot of the trauma from the fall I was releasing through a lot of crying and then kind of roaring and gratitude for being alive and hugging my partners for getting me out of the fix that I was in and then also I realized that it was it was also a grief that was coming out because even then I knew before doing the deep research for this book that I was acutely aware of how much loss of ice was already occurring across Alaska and glaciers around the world and it was really I think one of my first experiences of the grieving process that has started and does continue for what's happening to the planet as we wrap up your door is there anything else that you would like to talk to our listeners about I think the thought that I'd like to leave people with is just that which was my one hope from when I wrote this book which is that when people read it it's it has a lot of very intense difficult information to take in it's all the scientific facts of what's happening but then simply to remember to go back out to whatever your favorite places on the planet and reconnect to the planet in a deeper way as possible because I do believe that the fundamental root cause of the climate crisis is of Western civilization disconnection from the planet so before we can really make heartfelt informed decisions on how to use this precious time that we have I think we'd be best served to go connect deeply into the planet and let that inspiration come from that place we have been speaking with one of the most in-depth independent climate reporters in the world Darja male posts at Truthout org often appears on Democracy Now TV and just released the new book the end of ice bearing witness and finding meaning in the path of climate disruption it is a good read and important and of course star includes 18 pages of notes to his sources you can check them out all the way you can connect with Darja mail at Darja male dotnet or find links in my own show blog at eco shack org dar have been reading your work for years sometimes getting story ideas for Radio Eco shock it's been a pleasure finally meeting you here thank you for this conversation it was my great pleasure Alex thank you I'm Alex Smith reporting next week we explore the awful potential coming out of thawing permafrost plus another new development in our climate shift back-to-back heat waves springing up all over the world don't miss it my thanks to everyone who shares this show on social media to those who tell their friends about this science while we toss and turn in politics our world is shaking loose in two big changes that are off the public radar thank you for listening and caring about our world Four Winds 7s relativity manatees everywhere I look I see someone looking back at me Haitian states and border lines divided states of mind politics comes to blows and everybody wants to know whose world is this whose world is this whose world is this first world riding high second world standby third world under fire funny how we all conspire we don't know cuz we can't see how such a way could come to me riding on a spinning window soon enough we'll be with you whose world is this whose world is this world is this what kind of world would I children me see after all is said and done what kind of greed have we got to believe but they may never really see one you

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25 thoughts on “Climate Shake-Out w/ Dahr Jamail—The End of Ice & climate disruption—Radio Ecoshock 2019-05-29

  1. You better check your data sheets because the greenhouse gases needed to wipe us all out is already in the atmosphere.

    Stop fossil fuels?

    Are you nuts?

    Have you so casually just brushed the whole notion of Global Dimming to the side?

    Mankind has essentially backed itself off the edge of a cliff onto a ledge made from Global Dimming. Stop fossil fuels now and that ledge disappears and mankind falls.

    What did you think is causing climate mayhem in the first place?

    What did you think was melting the Arctic and Antarctic?
    Did you think that was happening on it's own?

    There already is enough greenhouse gases to warm up the planet by 18°F. Stopping the burning of fossil fuels will not remove those greenhouse gases.
    Global Warming is unstoppable unless we can develop a way to remove the carbon in massive amounts from the atmosphere.

    And that is the problem.

    Carbon Capture technology is still in it's infancy stages. It doesn't even scratch the surface of the emissions let alone do anything about what is already in the atmosphere.
    Annually it removes less than 0.01% of what is added to the atmosphere. That means 99.99% of the carbon is still being added to an already extinction level of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.

    You really need to start getting real and accept the scientific facts.

    All this hope that you are spreading is not really helping anyone.

    People need to know how dire the situation really is.

    There is no one person alive today that will reach their parent's current age.
    No one will even come close.

  2. You cannot save those who do not want to be saved. Focus on those who do. Join us…..


  4. I´m realizing that Denying is probably not the worst point. It comes worse when people start realizing it´s real and they say "ok, but… WHAT CAN I DO? IT HAS TO DO WITH GOBERNMENTS, NOT ME". So their attitude is to clean their hands expecting another will solve their (our) problem.

  5. VERY BIG PROBLEM METHANE IS A BIG BOMB , every day coming 200.000 new polluters to this planet. Nobody will stop this and oil is used more and more. So take your health insurance cards, possessions, money, credit cards, language skills, diplomas and fancy titles. In 10 till 12 years you can burn it with the rest of this planet

  6. Funny…Guy McPherson has been talking about environmental collapse and human extinction for a long time…and also about the global dimming effect from fossil fuel use and pollution that is shielding the planet from warming at an even faster rate than if we stopped using fossil fuels. He has a YouTube page, "Nature Bats Last'. Guess people thought he was crazy…but now it seems that a lot more scientists and conservation authors are beginning to follow his lead.

  7. People who think god is real don’t believe humanity causes climate change. God does nothing to help because god isn’t a real thing.

  8. The problems at the mid latitudes where the majority of the wealthy developed economies are located are not going to be reported for economic reasons. The wall being built and the tightening of borders is more to keep people in, than to keep people out. People on the middle of the U.S. who are being bombarded with extreme weather events have the means to leave the U.S. That cannot be allowed to happen. I saw the writing on the wall, and I moved out already.

  9. Save the amazon, and other rainforest, s from further destruction. Find cleaner less puluting energy. Help protect nature in your local area by planting trees, and leaving space for grass, and wild flowers to grow. Also western economic commercial society, which is virtually world wide now, has a massive waste problem that has to be dealt with. CO2 causing global warming, melting polar ice, glacier, s World wide, raising sea levels, displacing millions, causing storm, s, droughts, flooding. But at least with the heat their is plant growth. Humanity will survive it. So its still better than facing an lce age where civilisation would go extinct. So better the devil you know global warming, than a ice age.

  10. HUMans sticking around to clean up the mess is a fantasy.  The longer humans hang on, the more damage to the planet that we will do.   Humans are a corrupt, insane,  omnicidal, anti-natural, toxic and unsustainable species.  Everything we do is bad for the planet.  Human extinction is unavoidable, it is near, and it is for the best.  Dahr is also less than honest.  He ignores global dimming and pretends humans can fix global warming through reducing emissions and through green energy.  That is total BS.  We are doomed and we have less than 5 years before agriculture and civilization collapse.   The situation is in runaway and irreversible.  That is the truth.

  11. sounds like dahr is having a good time travelling around confirming what we've already known for decades. he's "doing something" though. burn baby burn.

  12. If you are 15 years old, emissions rose 30% in your lifetime.

    If you are 30 years old, emissions rose 60% in your lifetime.

    In the next 10 years, emissions will rise 10% at least.

    After 30 years of trying, solar and wind are just 2% of total world energy use.

    To avoid 2 C, emissions must drop 50% in 10 years, and 100% in 20 years.

    5 of 13 major tipping points are triggered like dominos below 2 C.

    When these 5 tipping points begin, they reinforce each other and trigger the other 8.

    Runaway hothouse earth cannot be stopped or reversed once started.

    The earth will take many, many thousands of years to recover.

    Runaway mass extinction cannot be stopped or reversed once started.

    The earth will take many millions of years to recover. If indeed, it does.

    Runaway mass extinction is preceding runaway hothouse climate change.

    Usually, hothouse happens before mass extinction, not this time.

    Nobody wants to admit it.

    There are 25 billion chickens on earth.

    Humans and livestock are 98% of all land vertebrate biomass.

    10,000 years ago, humans and livestock were 0.03% of all land vertebrate biomass.

    Livestock production caused 80% of mass extinction die offs.

    Virtual extinction precedes total extinction, when populations become too small to be sustained. We ignore virtual extinction.

    All male vertebrates are being biologically emasculated, feminized, sterilized, stupified and crazyfied.

    If you want tons of data on how and why, go to Loki’s Revenge Blog and read: The Withering Bones of Humanity


  13. We hope you don't get killed letting us know what's going on. Welcome to my world. Sucks. Sending you protective energy.

  14. Nice to see Paul Beckwith mentioned…he works very hard to get the message across of the climate dilemma we're in. He doesn't like the term "new normal" though. There is no stability in the present unstable situation. Predictability…even the current extreme weather…may not resemble the patterns of the future. The only thing we can count on is that things will get more critical.

  15. Alex is great as always and Dahr Jamail discusses his observations & interpretation of the science in a rational way whilst expressing his frustrated concerns that our leaders are ignoring reality and failing humanity.

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