Five potential emergencies- climate crisis

May 2nd, 2010

Share |

Today, we will talk about the last of the five potential emergencies- climate change. Now, we must stress that we are not scientists here and therefore, our opinions on climate change are one of an amateur.

With regards to climate change, our guess is that the minority do not believe that the earth is warming up. On the other hand, for those who believe that the earth is warming up, the debate is on whether global warming is caused by human activity or is due to a cyclical pattern of earth?s weather system. If the former is true, then the onus is on the world to adopt green technology and reduce fossil fuel usage (e.g. via ETS, carbon cap, etc). If the latter is true, the focus should be on adaptation by the human race.

For the rest of the article, let?s assume that the earth is warming up(regardless of whether it is caused by humans or nature). What will be the consequences then?

According to the April 6, 2007 UN climate panel study on global warming, damaged property and lost productivity caused by severe weather are expected to rise. Storms will be more severe, hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones will affect countries. For those who had been directly affected by floods and bush fires, it will be a mini-TEOTWAWKI scenario. Obviously, those with self-sufficiency and survival skills and stockpiles of supplies will do better than those without.

Droughts will also occur more often, which will worsen the depletion of underground aquifers, which supplies millions of people with water. It will also affect food production. As Sean Brodrick wrote in The Ultimate Suburban Survivalist Guide,

Looking ahead, global warming could lay waste to a wide arc of fertile, wheat-growing farmland stretching from Pakistan through Northern India and Npeal to Bangladesh.

As you can surmise by now, this arc of fertile land happens to be located at countries suffering from over-population. Elsewhere, he wrote,

Some scientists say that for each temperature rise of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) above the historical average during the growing season, there is about a 10% decline in grain yields.


The important thing you have to understand is that by looking at each of the five emergencies in isolation, they seem manageable. But as we alluded in Thinking tool: going beyond causes & effects with systems thinking, the reality is more complex than each one of them added together individually. Each of these five emergencies will feed of one another, into positive and negative feedback loops. That will compound, accentuate the effects and introduce unanticipated side-effects, which in turn will feed back into the existing problems.

Tags: , , , ,