Sunday, August 12, 2012

Here There Be Dragons

The world is changing.  It is doing it at such an accelerated pace that a huge portion of the populace is actually willfully retreating into Dark Age levels of ignorance.  A recent poll showed that more Americans hold firm to the belief that the world is six thousand years old and that God created humanity out of a man who got tired of fucking the sheep and one of his ribs then did ten years ago.  Young western women are campaigning for ‘women’s rights’ like the Hijab and an end to fast legal access to abortions.  That is so fucked up I can’t even begin to wrap my head around it.

In the last two years the Peterman Glacier in Greenland has calved ice islands several times larger than Manhattan Island, more than a third of its floating ice.  When they calculate sea-level rise it is based on the waters rate of expansion due to the incremental rising of global average temperatures.  That’s why the number is always so small; it totally doesn’t factor in water being added due to glacial melt.   That’s because when something like the Peterman Glacier calving takes place it is the loss of ‘floating ice’, which doesn’t actually change the amount of water in the world’s oceans.  Ice is water you see and it matters not what state it is in, global ocean volume remains the same.  It is the miles and miles of inland glacial mass that can change the sea-level in more dramatic and catastrophic ways because it sits on the land and is not a factor on sea-level.  Unless it melts.

The scientific community hasn’t worried over much about the implications of the loss of land-bound glacial mass because they are far more resilient in the face of our planets climate mood-swings.  There is no warm liquid mass beneath them to weaken their resolve, there are no rising and falling tides to fracture and corrupt them.  They are titans, unshakeable.

Except, it turns out what happens to one end of a glacial mass (the floating end) has a pronounced impact on the other end.  The Arctic’s land-bound glacial masses are literally running into the sea, buoyed on hidden rivers of melt-water that have borrowed themselves through the glacier to the rock beneath.  Apparently, scientists totally didn’t see that one coming.  If glacial ice loss continues at its current rate than every drop of melt water by the end of this decade will contribute directly to sea-level rise. 

This deeply excites me, in an almost sexual way.  The apocalypse will not just be a thing of commerce and politics exclusively; it will remake the surface of the planet.  The Northwest Passage has been clear for two years running; the ice bridge between Canada and Greenland is officially no more.  Sea’s now exist where before there was only ice, the old maps now lie and must be re-charted, dragons now haunt their false outlines.  The planet is being renewed, we as a species have pushed it too far and it will compensate by fucking shit up, trying some new stuff out.  And the brave among us will get to be explorers again, not just in blossoming scientific fields like genetics or micro-processing or elaborate industrial fabrication techniques, in the old sense of standing on a boat and staring into black uncharted waters.  It is an age meant for someone like me and I intend to fucking ball.

The present climate-change denial is really just the most current iteration of the science-denial that has made the established monotheist religions look stupid since the Renaissance.  I am not even going to go there, really what’s the point?  If you subscribe to their dogma, you’re an idiot.  There will be no trotting out of archaic morality and the ‘it’s helpful to not be an ass’ arguments so common to these discussions (which cannot be dignified with the term ‘debate’ as that term suggests both sides have a valid point,) because that position is disingenuous at best and self-deceptive the rest (and most) of the time.  Christianity/Judaism/Islamic world views do not make the world better and they do not make you better.  They make you an idiot and a willful one at that. 

The old animists had it right, if there is a singular creative force in the universe it doesn’t give a rats ass how often you masturbate, how many abortions you have had or if you feel bad for hurting my feelings.  The world is possessed of a spirit of its own and when that spirit is not respected it beats your ass silly.  So I congratulate you on your abortion/gay-sex/stem-cell research, you are a child of the new world and you are right, deeply and pervasively correct.  Anyone that tells you otherwise is a demonstrable fool.  I am writing for you, to you because real debate is only possible when we have kicked the morons out of the room.

It had to be said.


  1. It did have to be said. Great perspective on animism. (Or do I just think it's great because I agree?)

  2. Science also agrees with them .. although it mostly always has. (Except that whole Dark Ages thing we as a species seem so enthralled by.)

  3. Congrats on the essay, mang.

    Also, yes. This. Hahahahaha.

  4. "The old animists had it right, if there is a singular creative force in the universe it doesn’t give a rats ass how often you masturbate, how many abortions you have had or if you feel bad for hurting my feelings."

    This one sentence is gold.

    Great essay!

  5. @Jack many thanks!

    @Jason glad you liked it.