Everyone here in California was so happy in December. The rain was so intense that many parts of the state were flooding. We got enough rain that we were up to expectation for the end of January. But I was still worried: what if it stopped raining. Well, it stopped raining. We are now in the second half of January and we’ve gotten less than a tenth an inch of ran thus far this month. We are coming off an unprecedented drought. We need more than “normal” rainfall and we aren’t even getting that. And the weather for the rest of the month looks like the weather thus far this month: nothing.
To me, global warming has always been about rain. A warmer world means more rainfall. But sadly, all the models and historical data indicate that a hotter world leads to more useless rainfall — dropped over the oceans. So the California drought has been a constant reminder of global warming. I don’t see the drought as an unfortunate anomaly; I see it as the new normal, and that’s why I see California very likely being a ghost state in a century — or maybe less — maybe a lot less.
So it didn’t really add much to my understanding to read this morning, It’s Official: 2014 Was the Hottest Year in Recorded History. And from a scientific standpoint, it doesn’t mean anything. One year doesn’t really matter. And this, of course, is what the global warming denialists will say. Of course, they would take a cold year as confirmation that there is nothing to global warming. But what are the odds of them getting that? Instead, they use a cold winter as justifying their opinions. But really, what can you say about this:
That graph is terrifying! But it is also comical. How can it be that half the nation thinks that this is nothing? That this is just a delusion of Al Gore? That the billions of dollars made every year by the oil companies makes them honest brokers of the truth while the crappy middle class jobs of environmental activists make them biased? This is madness. And it has been clear for 25 years. But in response, we do what we always do: nothing. The truth is that we have waited too long. And our ignorance and hubris will be punished. This is all about the fall of the American empire. All I can say is that Americans should enjoy the illusion of power now while we can because soon the cold light of reality will hit us.
Over the next half century, we will see the world’s food basket move from the United States to Canada and Siberia. I’m sure that the United States will fight against it with our drones and our financial weapons. But we are a dying empire. We will not be able to keep up. And it will serve us right for dragging our feet these decades. If the United States had led, we might have been able slow and even prevent the coming change. But not now. All we can do now is mitigate the damage.
The sad thing is that half the nation denies global warming, not because they benefit from it, but because a tiny number of people who they trust benefit from it. And in the end, those who have benefited from it will be able to use their money to move where the weather is nice and they will be able to afford the cost of food — whatever that may be. But the average conservative will suffer, just like the average liberal. This is just as it has always been: the rich thrive and the poor suffer. But there never was a time when the poor were so inclined to follow and even worship the rich.
Now if you will forgive me, it’s almost time for Shark Tank.