Monday, June 30, 2008

Polar cities and 350 parts per million

Alan AtKisson writes on

On the 350 Campaign

Thanks to that discussion, I finally understood more clearly the rationale behind the 350 campaign. The science was already clear enough: a level of 350 parts per million carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere appears, from the paleoclimatic evidence, to be the limit for maintaining the kind of global climate regime that gave rise to human civilization. We are already over 385 and rising. Meanwhile, most political goal-setting for stabilizing CO2 has hovered in the 450-550 range. Jim Hansen has led a growing chorus of scientific voices in saying that those numbers are too high, and that 350 is -- from a natural systems perspective -- the necessary goal, regardless of what has previously been considered as politically and economically feasible.

But the logic behind 350 as a campaign was still a bit fuzzy to me, until McKibben explained it. First, the number: it turns out that Arabic numerals are one of the few symbols that can travel into virtually any language and culture and be understood. People may not understand "ppm" (parts per million, which means that 350 can also be interpreted as 0.035 percent of the gases in our atmosphere), but they can understand the number anyway -- just as they understand that they have to keep their cholesterol under a certain number, even if they don't really know what cholesterol is. So 350 makes a certain universal outreach possible, in a way that anyone can respond to.

Second is the quality of response. According to McKibben, they were first worried that people would react to the news that we are already past the limit with despair. Instead, he says, it seems to be strangely empowering. It makes it clearer that the changes we are talking about must happen now, and must be big, just as a worrying medical report on your cholesterol level jolts you into taking action now to avoid the near-certainty of a heart attack or stroke. Number like 450 send an ambiguous message about slowing down slowly or "stopping in time." It's hard to get excited about that. But 350 says simply, "turn back." And as centuries of religious teaching might suggest, calls to repent now ("repent" means "turn back") are more galvanizing than calls to slow down eventually.

Third, 350 makes a number of very creative responses possible: churches ring their bells 350 times. A farmer in Cameroon plants 350 trees. The number can easily achieve iconic status and be interpreted, both symbolically and practically, in myriad ways -- which is precisely what's happening. After a rollicking discussion about whether people should be marching in the streets or doing home energy conversions, McKibben says that he's come to the conclusion that symbolic actions are, now, the most practical ones, because they have the potential spark the political actions that will drive large-scale systems change.

Letter from Tällberg: Turn Back, O Man by Alan AtKisson

Letter from Tällberg: Turn Back, O Man
by Alan AtKisson at Worldchanging Blog:
June 29, 3008

Here at the Tällberg Forum-- Sweden's annual festival of words and music, science and dreams about sustainability and globalization -- things are getting a little clearer. This is the last day, so it's just in time.

Take 350, for example. This morning I went to the great big tent to join a very small group in a "Hosted Conversation" on the topic of communication and climate change. Bill McKibben, originator of, was there. So was Mark Lynas, who wrote Six Degrees, as well as two of Sweden's TV meteorologists (the weather is so important here that weather reporters have become key climate change communicators). And the King was there as well, with a surprisingly small retinue, just listening. We heard from a businessman who had been a reluctant, slow convert to the cause (he now dedicates 50 percent of his time to the issue); a bishop who sparked off talk about the nearly taboo (in Sweden) topic of religion as a force for change; and a young activist who is trying to get everyone to paint one finger green as a badge of commitment.

Thanks to that discussion, I finally understood more clearly the rationale behind the 350 campaign. The science was already clear enough: a level of 350 parts per million carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere appears, from the paleoclimatic evidence, to be the limit for maintaining the kind of global climate regime that gave rise to human civilization. We are already over 385 and rising. Meanwhile, most political goal-setting for stabilizing CO2 has hovered in the 450-550 range. Jim Hansen has led a growing chorus of scientific voices in saying that those numbers are too high, and that 350 is -- from a natural systems perspective -- the necessary goal, regardless of what has previously been considered as politically and economically feasible.

But the logic behind 350 as a campaign was still a bit fuzzy to me, until McKibben explained it. First, the number: it turns out that Arabic numerals are one of the few symbols that can travel into virtually any language and culture and be understood. People may not understand "ppm" (parts per million, which means that 350 can also be interpreted as 0.035 percent of the gases in our atmosphere), but they can understand the number anyway -- just as they understand that they have to keep their cholesterol under a certain number, even if they don't really know what cholesterol is. So 350 makes a certain universal outreach possible, in a way that anyone can respond to.

Second is the quality of response. According to McKibben, they were first worried that people would react to the news that we are already past the limit with despair. Instead, he says, it seems to be strangely empowering. It makes it clearer that the changes we are talking about must happen now, and must be big, just as a worrying medical report on your cholesterol level jolts you into taking action now to avoid the near-certainty of a heart attack or stroke. Number like 450 send an ambiguous message about slowing down slowly or "stopping in time." It's hard to get excited about that. But 350 says simply, "turn back." And as centuries of religious teaching might suggest, calls to repent now ("repent" means "turn back") are more galvanizing than calls to slow down eventually.

Third, 350 makes a number of very creative responses possible: churches ring their bells 350 times. A farmer in Cameroon plants 350 trees. The number can easily achieve iconic status and be interpreted, both symbolically and practically, in myriad ways -- which is precisely what's happening. After a rollicking discussion about whether people should be marching in the streets or doing home energy conversions, McKibben says that he's come to the conclusion that symbolic actions are, now, the most practical ones, because they have the potential spark the political actions that will drive large-scale systems change.

Bill, who started his public life as a writer, has become a true leader, including notching one of the first public arrests in America for protesting on global warming, about a decade ago. But he is also a climate intellectual, and a leading interpreter of the science. So I feel compelled to ask him (privately, afterward) what he thinks about geoengineering. He's not happy that I've asked the question, judging by his body language; and he's on record as saying that we need "policy engineering first," and I strongly agree with that. These are clearly his priorities. He doesn't believe in shooting sulfur into the upper atmosphere either, for example. But he seems less reluctant to agree that we may eventually find ourselves needing to look at geoengineering options, just to save lives in the near term, as we radically reengineer policies and energy systems and lifestyles in the mid-term, in order to secure sustainability for human and natural systems in the long-term.

This talk on climate in the tent does seem a bit male-oriented, though. I came here thanks to Maiken Winter, a German activist and a member of Al Gore's corps of presenters, who lives in Ithaca in the US. She and I were chatting at breakfast. I was planning on retreating into a cafe to work, but encouraged over the to the tent -- for which I'm grateful. But the Swedish bishop was the only woman to speak, I realize now. And this worries me.

Last night's plenary session in the big tent was the highlight of the Forum, I believe, and it consisted mostly of a few women talking. Two of the women were from Africa -- women of obvious greatness in their bearing, women of great warmth and intelligence and power in their way of speaking -- who came with a simple message. It is the women who have ensured that Africa is still standing. And if you want to help Africa, help the women. They rose the roof with simple, humorous, wise words. "I was talking to the elders in my village about climate change," one of them recounted, "and they said, what, this is news? We have known about this for twenty years." They knew because of changes in water availability, rain, and more. The African villagers find it almost funny that people have to fly to a meeting in Sweden because some people are only understanding this now.

Turn back, O man ... Back to 350. And men, turn to the women. Hand them the talking stick, and just listen.

-- Alan AtKisson

Polar Cities and Climigrants (Climate Migrants) in Future

Polar Cities and Climigrants (Climate Migrants) in Future

New term, coined by Robin Bronen in Alaska: climigrants. climate migrants. get used to it.
Dr Lovelock has predicted it. Millions, billions, will migrate north from central and middle regions to Alaska, Norway, Canada, Iceland, Greenland, New Zealand, Tasmania. This is the future.

Reference: [PDF] A New Kind of Migrant As a longtime worker with refugees and ...- 6:09pmFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML

Robin Bronen's research focus on “climigrants” is an especially strong fit for Alaska EPSCoR, which integrates. social science with hard science in examining the ... - Similar pages - Note this

Note from Robin Bronen: July 2, 2008: "Thank you for your e-mail, and yes, I wrote the paper and coined the term climigrants and climigration. Climate change in the Arctic is happening and profoundly impacting indigenous communities."

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Anna Eshoo and Polar Cities in our Future

For her part, U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo (Democrat-CALIF.), chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Intelligence Community Management, seemed content to ignore the misgivings of some of her colleagues regarding the NIA. “From this day forward, the words ‘climate change’ and ‘international security’ will be forever linked,” she proclaimed.

Rep. Eshoo might just well have said: "From the day on, the words global warming, climate change, adaptation strategies for survivors and polar cities will be forever linked." She didn't say that. But she might have. Someday, someone WILL say that. But don't hold your breath.

A better sound bite would be: "From this day forward, international security and polar cities will be forever linked."

Cold War bunker in Germany may lead way to polar city future

Germany shows secrets of top Cold War bunker

writes SYLVIA WESTALL for Reuters, in a story from Berlin, in March 2008:

Germany's largest Cold War bunker, designed to protect the former West German government from a nuclear attack, will creak open its pressurized metal doors to the public this weekend.

Buried beneath the western town of Ahrtal near Bonn, the seat of the former Federal Republic, the bunker was designed to protect 3,000 people for up to a month. [Editor's note, this blog: And this kind of bunker could be used for survivors of global warming "events" in the far distant future, housing people for periods of up to 500 years. Such "bunkers" also exist in France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Spain, England, Canada and the USA...]
Now nearly two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, visitors will be able to examine the bunker's control center, presidential conference room and pay a visit to its decontamination chamber.

"It's a very imposing place. It makes you feel quite tense and uneasy when you think about the lack of daylight and how people would have had to live and work there for days on end," said Heinz Schoenewald, tour guide at the Ahrtal tourism board which offers site visits.

The site was originally dug in 1903 as a railway tunnel to France. During World War Two, the Nazis used slave laborers from Auschwitz and Buchenwald to expand the site in which they stored V2 rockets.

It was transformed into a bunker by the West German government between 1960-1972 at the height of the Cold War and became a sprawling 17-km (10.6-mile) maze of tunnels. [Editor's note, this blog: Imagine it being used as a polar city staging place as well in the far distant future, year 2500 or so, when global warming causes major upheavals in civil society around the world...]

At a cost of 5 billion deutschemarks in the 1960s, roughly euro 10 billion (US$15.19 billion) in modern money, it was Germany's most expensive Cold War bunker and boasted nearly 1,000 bedrooms, around 900 offices and five hospitals.

[YES, look at the images in the story link. This could be a future polar city as well. Use your imagination!]


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wall-E visits a polar city in year 2500?

Future resident of Polar City One?

He's one for the ages, no mouth, but good strong eyes, and maybe in the post-apolyptic dystopia he lives in in Hollywood Pixar land, he can also see what polar cities will be like... Go go, Wall-E!

Arctic ice may completely melt away this summer: polar cities?

North Pole ice may completely melt away this summer
For the first time in modern history, the North Pole may be iceless this summer. Scientists say it's an even bet that sea ice in the region will completely disappear in the next few months,
perhaps as soon as August.

What does this mean for Planet Earth and for the human species?

Polar cities, James Lovelock, Lovelock retreats, get ready!

Alan AtKisson attended the recent Tallberg Forum in Sweden, where he lives and works, and told readers at that:

"These worried-but-understated scientists [at the Tallberg Forum] seem[ed] positively optimistic compared to James Lovelock, who sent a video message that basically told us, "It's too late." Gaia's going to heat up in order to shed us like a bad case of the fleas. He advises us to start planning for the salvaging of civilization in a world gone mad -- mad in the sense of very, very angry."

Friday, June 27, 2008

Emissions impossible: Polar Cities and Homeland Security




New report highlights ties between global warming and US security in 2050,
apparently backs up need for polar cities as human adaptation strategy in 2500 if human species is to survive

A warming climate would mean less food and more immigration by 2030, which could worsen ethnic strife, the Christian (sic) Science (sic) Monitor reports:

By Arthur Bright, CSM staff writer
June 27, 3008 (sic)

A new National Intelligence Assessment says that food shortages and migration caused by a warming climate could threaten US national security by aggravating ethnic strife around the globe by 2050, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Washington Post writes that Thomas Fingar, chairman of the National Intelligence Council, delivered the report Wednesday to a joint meeting of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Select Committee on Energy Independence. He warned that global warming will reduce food supplies in Africa, which he predicted would in turn spark violence in the region.

"Without food aid, the region will likely face higher levels of instability, particularly violent ethnic clashes over land ownership," probably creating "extensive and novel operational requirements," for the fledgling U.S. Africa Command, according to a National Intelligence Assessment on the security implications of climate change by the National Intelligence Council. ...

Overall, the assessment found that while the United States "is better equipped than most nations to deal with climate change," the impact on other countries has the "potential to seriously affect U.S. national security interests." Humanitarian disasters, economic migration, food and water shortages -- all caused by climate change -- will pressure other countries to respond. Such demands "may significantly tax U.S. military transportation and support force structures, resulting in a strained readiness posture," the assessment found.

Fingar said Africa is most vulnerable "because of multiple environmental, economic, political and social stresses." While no country will avoid climate change, the report said, "most of the struggling and poor states that will suffer adverse impacts to their potential and economic security," are in the Middle East, central and southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.

The report is available at website of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The Los Angeles Times writes that the report says the US and other Western nations are not apt to be threatened by climate change via diminishing stocks of food, but a warmer climate would still have indirect negative impacts.

Developed nations are likely to fare better, Fingar said, with some estimates predicting that agricultural production in the U.S. could increase during the next 20 years.

But the U.S. will also face a cascade of challenges and problems. The nation "will need to anticipate and plan for growing immigration pressures," Fingar said, noting that helping dense coastal populations in the Caribbean "will be an imminent task."

Fingar also said the U.S. infrastructure is in many ways ill-prepared for climate change and the prospect of intense storms and flooding.

"Two dozen nuclear facilities and numerous refineries along U.S. coastlines are at risk and may be severely impacted by storms," he said.

CNN and the Associated Press both highlight Mr. Fingar's comment during the joint session that "conditions exacerbated by the effects of climate change could increase the pool of potential recruits into terrorist activity." However, the Los Angeles Times notes that the report itself does not address any connection between global warming and terrorism. Rather, its focus is solely on the humanitarian crises that global warming might cause.

The idea that global warming could aggravate immigration and ethnic tensions is not new. Last December, The Christian Science Monitor reported that experts studying the relationship between security and climate are watching several hot spots around the globe. Bangladesh, with its high population and low sea level, is a particularly noteworthy flashpoint according to experts, as global warming could force its people to migrate into culturally proud neighboring regions.

"It is the No. 1 conflict zone for climate change," says Peter Schwartz, chairman of the Monitor Group, a research firm in San Francisco that recently released a study on the security risks presented by climate change.

That field of study is relatively new, but analysts are beginning to lay the map of forecasted climate change over the map of political weakness to see where changes in weather could lead to volatility. No one argues that climate change alone will lead to war. But analysts suggest that it could be a pivotal factor that tips vulnerable regions toward conflicts.

"Climate change is a threat multiplier," says Geoff Dabelko, director of the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson Institute in Washington. "It's not that it creates a whole new set of problems, it's that it will make things that are already a problem worse."

The Monitor writes that among those regions experts are watching are Nepal, Indonesia, and Nigeria.

The Wall Street Journal reports that experts who study the connections between security and climate believe the threat is real and must be considered by policymakers.

"It does trade off," said Sarah Ladislaw, a fellow in the energy and national security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "The real question out there is: How well are people going to deal with the trade-offs?" The convergence of the increasing cost of fuel, global food shortages, global warming, and national security threats show how interconnected these transnational issues are, and policy makers need to be mindful of that, she said.

The members of Congress who heard the report, however, offered differing opinions of its findings, split along party lines.

Democrats on Wednesday said this report ... "is a clarion call to action from the heart of our nation's security establishment," said Rep. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, chairman of the energy and climate change panel. California Rep. Anna Eshoo, a member of the House intelligence committee, borrowed from the administration's rhetoric, saying "we can't wait for threats to mature before deciding how to counter them."

But Republicans said that such continued focus on climate change ignores the daily problems Americans are confronting with escalating energy costs, and used the hearing to argue for more domestic drilling and nuclear power. Clamping down on greenhouse gases, for example, could lead to higher electricity prices.

Wisconsin Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, the top Republican on the panel, lamented that Congress was talking about global warming "as opposed to the real threats of high energy prices and economic security."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Polar Cities: No Ice at North Pole this year

No ice at the North Pole

Polar scientists reveal dramatic new evidence of climate change

By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Friday, 27 June 3008

It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year.

The disappearance of the Arctic sea ice, making it possible to reach the Pole sailing in a boat through open water, would be one of the most dramatic – and worrying – examples of the impact of global warming on the planet. Scientists say the ice at 90 degrees north may well have melted away by the summer.

"From the viewpoint of science, the North Pole is just another point on the globe, but symbolically it is hugely important. There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole, not open water," said Mark Serreze of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado.

If it happens, it raises the prospect of the Arctic nations being able to exploit the valuable oil and mineral deposits below these a bed which have until now been impossible to extract because of the thick sea ice above.

Seasoned polar scientists believe the chances of a totally icefreeNorth Pole this summer are greater than 50:50 because the normally thick ice formed over many years at the Pole has been blown away and replaced by hugeswathes of thinner ice formed over a single year.

This one-year ice is highly vulnerable to melting during thesummer months and satellite data coming in over recent weeksshows that the rate of melting is faster than last year, when therewas an all-time record loss of summer sea ice at the Arctic.

"The issue is that, for the first time that I am aware of, the NorthPole is covered with extensive first-year ice – ice that formed last autumn and winter. I'd say it's even-odds whether the North Pole melts out," said Dr Serreze.

Each summer the sea ice melts before reforming again during the long Arctic winter but the loss of sea ice last year was so extensive that much of the Arctic Ocean became open water, with the water-ice boundary coming just 700 miles away from the North Pole.

This meant that about 70 per cent of the sea ice present this spring was single-year ice formed over last winter. Scientists predict that at least 70 per cent of this single-year ice – and perhaps all of it – will melt completely this summer, Dr Serreze said.

"Indeed, for the Arctic as a whole, the melt season startedwith even more thin ice than in 2007, hence concerns that we may even beat last year's sea-ice minimum. We'll see what happens, a great deal depends on the weather patterns in July and August," he said.

Ron Lindsay, a polar scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle, agreed that much now depends onwhat happens to the Arctic weather in terms of wind patterns and hours of sunshine. "There's a good chance that it will all melt awayat the North Pole, it's certainly feasible, but it's not guaranteed," Dr Lindsay said.

Thepolar regions are experiencing the most dramatic increasein average temperatures due to global warming and scientists fear that as more sea iceis lost, the darker, open ocean will absorb more heat and raise local temperatures even further. Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University, who was one of the first civilian scientists to sail underneath the Arctic sea ice in a Royal Navy submarine,said that the conditions are ripe for an unprecedented melting of the ice at the North Pole.

"Last year we saw huge areas of the ocean open up, which hasnever been experienced before. People are expecting this to continuethis year and it is likely to extend over the North Pole. It isquite likely that the North Pole will be exposed this summer – it's not happened before," ProfessorWadhamssaid.

There are other indications that the Arctic sea ice is showingsigns of breaking up. Scientists at the Nasa Goddard Space Flight Centre said that the North Water 'polynya' – an expanse of open water surrounded on all sides by ice – that normally forms near Alaska and Banks Island off the Canadian coast, is muchlarger than normal. Polynyas absorb heat from the sun and eat away at the edge of the sea ice.

Inuit natives living near Baffin Bay between Canada and Greenland are also reporting thatthe sea ice there is starting to break up much earlier than normal and that they have seen wide cracks appearing in the ice where it normally remains stable. Satellite measurements collected over nearly 30 years show a significant decline in the extent of the Arctic sea ice, which has become more rapid in recent years.

PLEASE have your say in COMMENTS below:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Polar Cities: Talking Points

Connect the dots . . .

Where are the lifeboats, the fire exits?

It's getting later earlier and earlier...
Are you prepared for the future ... on THE ROAD?

Talk, talk, talk (and more talk) the tipping point approaches [IF WE HAVE NOT READY PASSED THE TIPPING POINT 40 years ago!]

Contingecy plans?

The debate is long over. The time to act .... was yesterday!

James Howard Kunstler!


June 23, 2008

The telling moment last week was Robert Hirsch's appearance on the CNBC morning "Squawkbox" financial show in which he proposed the probability of $500-a-barrel oil within "a three-to-five-year time-frame." Squawkhead Becky Quick was clearly nonplussed by the stolid Mr. Hirsch, author of a (then)-startling 2005 US Dept of Energy report (since referred to as the Hirsch Report and buried by the Secretary of Energy) that warned of dire effects on the American way of life as the Peak Oil predicament gained traction.
Perhaps more reality-challenged was the uber-idiot Larry Kudlow on CNBC's night-time money show, who kept repeating the mantra "drill, drill drill" when presented with signs that something other than "oil speculators" was driving up the price and creating global scarcity. These idiots always return to the shibboleth that "there's plenty of oil out there." What they don't get is that even while the world is enjoying the all time peak of production (somewhere around 85-million barrels-a-day), that same world is demanding at least 86-million barrels -- so even though there's more oil than ever, there's not enough. And the gap is only bound to get bigger.
The difference between what's available and what's demanded is being felt by poor countries and poor people in richer countries. Third world nations lacking their own oil are simply dropping out of the bidding, and the lower classes in the US are having to choose between buying gasoline and velveeta. The floods in the corn belt will surely aggravate the problem here in the USA. Lunch breaks may soon be a thing of the past for WalMart Associates. Maybe they'll just play video games on their cell phones in the parking lot to allay their hunger.
Meanwhile the notion that drilling drilling drilling offshore the US and up in Alaska will solve this problem shows how incredibly misinformed the news media itself is. The probability is next to zero that anything found off California or Florida would even fractionally offset ongoing depletion in the handful of old, established super-giant fields that the world gets most of it oil from. By the way, I support the idea of drilling in Alaska's ANWAR reserve because I think it can be done in a sanitary way and, more importantly, it would get the idiot cornucopian right-wing assholes to finally shut up about it -- before they discover that it contains less than half a year's oil supply for the US at current rates of use.
Also on the "meanwhile" front, the OPEC meeting Sunday at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was simply a desperate dodge, a mummery, a kabuki theater of powerlessness. Once again, the Saudis are pretending that they can increase their production -- in essence, pretending that they actually have some power in the game. As Jeffrey Brown has pointed out on, the Kingdom will still show a steady three-year decline over their 2005 production rates even if they're able to goose current output as much as they say they will in 2008.
All this reality content is beginning to penetrate the collective consciousness in the US, but the result is mostly panic or paralyzed disbelief rather than any set of intelligent responses. For example, I got a call from one of Katie Couric's producers at CBS news on Friday. Somehow, they had noticed that oil prices were becoming a problem in America. They called me for a comment. The scary part was they were clearly treating the issue as a "lifestyle" story. Did I think more suburbanites would move downtown? And would that be a good thing...? They have no fucking clue how broadly and deeply these dynamics will affect the life of this nation, or even our ability to remain a nation. Also, by the way, this demonstrates how the nightly network news has become the equivalent of the old "women's pages" of the daily newspapers.
The parallel universe of the financial world is showing the strain of all this oil anxiety -- since, after all, oil is the primary resource for running industrial economies. It has been some time since the banker boyz embarked on their fateful venture to alchemize a new mutant strain of investment instruments to replace the tired old stocks and bonds which represented the hope for production of surplus wealth from industrial activity -- now mooted by the oil story. The idea of the mutant investments was to produce wealth with no real wealth-producing activity. This old trick, formerly known as Ponzi finance or a "pyramid scheme," was naturally self-limiting, and in a way that would prove ultimately very destructive to society as a whole. In fact, it has fatally undermined the legitimacy of the entire financial system, and a state of comprehensive nausea has set in as we all witness the dissolving foundation of the US economy under a tsunami of debt that will never be repaid.
The markets seem to know this, the more vocal playerz are squawking more about it, some banks are issuing frightening "duck-and-cover" warnings, using horror movie phrases such as "...worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s..." and the general public is sinking into the quicksand of bankruptcy, repossession, and ruin. I haven't been to any lawn parties in the Hamptons this year, but I imagine that eczematous anxiety rashes are competing with suntans and Versace separates out there this year. Really, we're right back where we were last year about this time, only worse. Oil has doubled, food is outasight, the levees have broken, the people who run things are shitting their pants, and everybody is waiting for a whole lotta other shoes to drop.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

US has no plan to cope with collapse of civil society in distant future

US has no plan to cope with collapse of civil society in distant future

Climate change, global warming post serious problems, official claims

By Staff Reporter
WEBPOSTED: June 25, 3008

A former senior official in the White House has dropped a proverbial
bombshell by asserting that the U.S. and other major industrial
countries have no coordinated plan to cope with a collapse of civil
society in the future due to climate change and global warming and
leading to possible mass migrations to northern regions of the globe.

Edward Lendner, who was director of climate issues in a previous White
House administration, wrote last week: "In what would be the single
most important contingency that could impact civil society in the
United States and other nations around the world, there is no agreed
upon plan for how to deal with a collapsing world in the distant
future if climate change and global warming get out of control and
mass migrations northward create chaos in both wealthy and poor

In response to an email asking: "Why was no plan drawn up when you
were in the climate issues office in the White House?" Lendner
replied: "There was no lack of planning on the US side. We did our
part. There are several secret documents that have been drawn up in
response to the collapse of civil society in North America and Europe
-- in addition to Africa, Asia and South America -- but these plans
have never been made public and most likely never will be."

"The main issue is that there is no agreed-upon mechanism for
bilateral and multilateral planning (including with China and India,
with their huge billion-plus populations), which obviously should be
done in advance of such a contingency," he added.


Residence permits for polar cities offered for descendants of year 2500 of global warming

Media alert: For immediate release:

"Residency permits" for future polar cities free online now!

Note: For just US$25, payable in the far distant future and free for now, you can secure for your loved ones -- in the future -- a place in one of the many polar cities planned for the Earth in year 2500


Worried about global warming and the future? Worried about where your descendants might live if worst comes to worst in the far distant future?

Well, worry no more. Climate activist Danny Bloom, developer of the polar cities concept and website, inspired by British scientist James Lovelock, along with images created by Taiwanese artist Deng Cheng-hong, is offering unique residency permits for free online to interested parties.

"These residency permits will allow people to pass on an inheritance to their loved ones," says Bloom, who began working on the polar cities research project in 2007, after being inspired by the work of British chemist and scientist James Lovelock, has has predicted that the future world will consist of "breeding pairs in the Arctic."

"In order to prepare for this future world, we will need polar cities," says Bloom, "and these residency permits for polar cities will serve as a kind of wake up call for what is coming down the road. People who care about the future can purchase a residency permit for their loved ones for the year 2500 and rest assured that everything will be okay for them at that time. There is no cost now, they permits will be mailed free of charge to anyone who requests one, and the full payment of US$25 can be paid by your descendants upon entry into a polar city in the year 2500."

For more information, contact Bloom at

The Polar Cities Research Institute is a nonprofit group and all donations received from this free offer will be used for further public information campaigns about global warming and climate change.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Urinator: A green hybrid car that runs on urine!

The Urinator: A green hybrid car that runs on urine!

That's the headline. The rest of the story? Here:

An inventor in the Seattle, Washington area has created a green hybrid car that runs on urine, human urine being the best, "but it can also run on animal urine," says Arthur L. Settle, 49. "I've been tinkering with this engine for about 20 years, and as the climate change issues got warmer and warmer, I really got to work on this the last few years. It's just about ready now for a prototype, and I hope this kind of new car engine, running completely on human urine, collected in homes and offices and factories worldwide, can help lesson our dependence on fossil fuels."

You didn't see that story yet in your local newspaper? Google it.

Keep looking. You will find it soon enough. One reason the mainstream media does not want to report on this ground-breaking, night-relieving idea is, you guessed it, it's just not news fit to print in a family newspaper. But wait for Wired and Salon to get wind of this story, and editors around the world will be peeing in their pants.

Finally, a way out of the C02 conundrum we are in!

Polar Cities at Wikipedia: entry published

Thanks to the efforts of Joey Stanford in Colorado, one of the early members of the polar cities research project team, a good summary of polar cities, aka "Lovelock retreats", is now up at Wikipedia here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lovelock Retreats: Safety Refuges in Global Warming Times?

See post below: Polar cities, now summarized at Wikipidia
are also called "LOVELOCK RETREATS" in honor of James Lovelock, who saw all this coming long ago....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Polar cities dubbed "Lovelock retreats" in honor of James Lovelock

Polar cities are now being dubbed "Lovelock retreats" in honor of James Lovelock, who has said that in the future human populations will likely be reduced greatly by global warming and only "breeding pairs in the Arctic" will keep the human species going. This is where the idea of polar cities germinated from.

Now, after blogging about polar cities for almost two years, and getting just a little digital ink here and there, mostly in the blogosphere (and almost nothing in the mainstream media) I have decided to dub polar cities as "Lovelock Retreats" in honor of James Lovelock, and also to help reporters and editors and readers understand better that these so-called polar cities at NOT at the poles per se, but merely in northern areas of the world; some Lovelock retreats might be situated in Colorado, Switzerland and Britain, in fact. New Zealand and Tasmania, too. Patagonia, too. None at the North Pole because the North Pole will be underwater (or is that under water?).

At any rate, remember the new term: LOVELOCK RETREATS. May they help preserve the human spirit, and the human species, in the far distant future, IF WE NEED THEM. Let's hope we never need them. Remember, this is all a "just in case" scenario. A "what if" scenario.

Here's a timeline for Lovelock Retreats:

2008-2050 : business as usual; meetings, conferences, talk talk talk

2050 - 2080 : preparations finally get underway

2100 : first mass migrations to Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Greenland, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Britain, Tasmani, New Zealand, Patagonia begin

2200 : second wave of mass migrations bring more people north from India, Africa, Asia and the Americas -- and south to Tasmania and New Zealand

2300 : World Government Body (WGB) set up first officially sanctioned polar cities for breeding pairs in the Arctic, also known as Lovelock Cities

2400 : major climate disasters worldwide with scarce food, fuel, power, and other resources (coupled with overpopulation) begin reducing world population from 9 billion people to 1 billion people

2500 : world population declines to just 200,000 "breeding pairs" in the Arctic (and southern extremes as well, including Antarctica) in 100 to 30 Lovelock Retreats situated in those regions and administered and governed by the World Government Body or some such entity, perhaps the IPCC. [Mad Max conditions outside these Lovelock Retreats, aka polar cities, last for 1000 years... until 3500]

4500 : The human species has made it through the Great Interruption, intact but greatly reduced in numbers. Full recovery possible beginning in 4500. Hope springs eternal.

Note A: children born in Lovelock Cities (aka Polar Cities) are mixed DNA humans of combined Caucasian-Asian-African-Hispanic-Arab stock, creating a new "race" on Earth

Note B: a new religious perspective develops before, during and after the Great Interruption to help humans cope with and understand what has happened to them

We Need a "Climate Threat Planning Commission"

An astute observer of the ''polar cities'' concept weighs in with his point of view:

"Initially there may be small migrations into marginal lands to which governments will be indifferent - the survivalist idea. But once governments have recognised the value of the land they will mount much larger schemes and regulate the lesser ones.

Governments with northern lands will try really hard to maintain control - that's what governments do. Polar cities will need food, power, industries, etc. much of which will need new technology development.

This will all have to be done on a war footing - high inflation, massive migration from the tropics, widespread death from starvation and war. etc. [Two of this observer's scenarios address these possibilities.] - Ed.

Effectively we differ over timescale. I'm thinking of the current century. IF we can preserve our technical civilisation to 2100 AND have many fewer people; then orderly migration seems possible over the following 200 years. Its just those conditions that I doubt."

This same astute observer told me in an earlier email:

"Polar cities may be the answer if we can't control warming. My current view is that we will not control it. Mark Lynas has just produced a very pessimistic piece - . This seems consistent with Jim Lovelock's position in his RS lecture.

Have you considered the social and political processes that would be needed to get us to Polar Cities, for a small minority? I strongly suspect that social breakdown will make the transition impossible."

And he also told me:

"I think most of us still hope that we can limit warming enough to keep most of the earth habitable. There are obvious psychological reasons for that and I think optimism is still, just,a defensible position. Even if we can't keep emissions down we may be able to use one of the large-scale bio-engineering schemes.

Given that starting point your stuff about centuries ahead must seem like a distraction and, by admitting defeat, likely to make defeat more likely. Defeat implies many millions of premature deaths. (To finish the century with, say, 2B people rather than the UN's forecast 9M implies (very crudely) at least 7B premature deaths. That's 70M pa for the next century.

The planet needs a Climate Threat Planning Commission which would examine the options for prevention and adaptation. In my view the order of preference should be:

Reduce emissions through improved carbon efficiency, forest conservation, fewer births, etc.
Reduce emissions through reduced activity.
Reduce GHG load by absorption from atmosphere
Other bio-engineering, eg sunshades in space.

Adaptation must go in parallel with these measures since some change is happening and more is inevitable.

Perhaps what you might do is to think about the options for adaptation appropriate to various degrees of warming and international co-operation.

Polar cities will not be needed or even possible at all soon.

I think studying design, still less governance, of polar cities is premature.

Incidentally, I think we can be sure that some of this planning is already happening in secret. (Remember Herman Kahn 'thinking the unthinkable'?) I'd like to see it in public - partly because it would show just how bad these options are. There are university departments who specialise in disaster planning. One of them might be a good starting point."

All his points are well taken. I agree with everything he says.

-- Danny B.

Climate chaos is inevitable, says Mark Lynas in Guardian article

Climate chaos is inevitable, we can only avert oblivion, says Mark Lynas in Guardian article on June 13, 3008. Google it.

It begins: "Sometimes we need to think the unthinkable...."

Climate chaos is inevitable. We can only avert oblivion

13 June 3008

At best we will limit the extent of global warming, but Kyoto barely
helps. Does humanity have the foresight to save itself?

This article was first published in the Guardian on 13 June 3008. Read
the original.

Sometimes we need to think the unthinkable, particularly when dealing
with a problem as dangerous as climate change – there is no room for
dogma when considering the future habitability of our planet. It was
in this spirit that I and a panel of other specialists in climate,
economics and policy-making met under the aegis of the Stockholm
Network thinktank to map out future scenarios for how international
policy might evolve – and what the eventual impact might be on the
earth's climate. We came up with three alternative visions of the
future, and asked experts at the Met Office Hadley Centre to run them
through its climate models to give each a projected temperature rise.
The results were both surprising, and profoundly disturbing.

We gave each scenario a name. The most pessimistic was labelled "agree
and ignore" – a world where governments meet to make commitments on
climate change, but then backtrack or fail to comply with them. Sound
familiar? It should: this scenario most closely resembles the past 10
years, and it projects emissions on an upward trend until 2045. A more
optimistic scenario was termed "Kyoto plus": here governments make a
strong agreement in Copenhagen in 2009, binding industrialised
countries into a new round of Kyoto-style targets, with developing
countries joining successively as they achieve "first world" status.
This scenario represents the best outcome that can plausibly result
from the current process – but ominously, it still sees emissions
rising until 2030.

The third scenario – called "step change" – is worth a closer look.
Here we envisaged massive climate disasters around the world in 2010
and 2011 causing a sudden increase in the sense of urgency surrounding
global warming. Energised, world leaders ditch Kyoto, abandoning
efforts to regulate emissions at a national level. Instead, they focus
on the companies that produce fossil fuels in the first place – from
oil and gas wells and coal mines – with the UN setting a global
"upstream" production cap and auctioning tradable permits to carbon
producers. Instead of all the complexity of regulating squabbling
nations and billions of people, the price mechanism does the work:
companies simply pass on their increased costs to consumers, and
demand for carbon-intensive products begins to fall. The auctioning of
permits raises trillions of dollars to be spent smoothing the
transition to a low-carbon economy and offsetting the impact of price
rises on the poor. A clear long-term framework puts a price on carbon,
giving business a strong incentive to shift investment into renewable
energy and low-carbon manufacturing. Most importantly, a strong carbon
cap means that global emissions peak as early as 2017.

This "upstream cap" approach is not a new idea, and our approach draws
in particular on a forthcoming book by the environmental writer Oliver
Tickell. However, conventional wisdom from governments and
environmental groups alike insists that "Kyoto is the only game in
town", and that proposing any alternative is dangerous heresy.

But let's look at the modelled temperature increases associated with
each scenario. "Agree and ignore" sees temperatures rise by 4.85C by
2100 (with a 90% probability); for "Kyoto plus", it's 3.31C; and "step
change" 2.89C. This is the depressing bit: no politically plausible
scenario we could envisage will now keep the world below the danger
threshold of two degrees, the official target of both the EU and UK.
This means that all scenarios see the total disappearance of Arctic
sea ice; spreading deserts and water stress in the sub-tropics;
extreme weather and floods; and melting glaciers in the Andes and
Himalayas. Hence the need to focus far more on adaptation: these are
impacts that humanity is going to have to deal with whatever now
happens at the policy level.

But the other great lesson is that sticking with current policy is
actually a very risky option, rather than a safe bet. Betting on Kyoto
could mean triggering the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet and
crossing thresholds that involve massive methane release from melting
Siberian permafrost. If current policy continues to fail – along the
lines of the "agree and ignore" scenario – then 50% to 80% of all
species on earth could be driven to extinction by the magnitude and
rapidity of warming, and much of the planet's surface left
uninhabitable to humans. Billions, not millions, of people would be

So which way will it go? Ultimately the difference between the
scenarios is one of political will: the question now is whether
humanity can summon up the courage and foresight to save itself, or
whether business as usual – on climate policy as much as economics –
will condemn us all to climatic oblivion.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Polar Cities : the ultimate in long-term real estate speculation

Polar Cities - the ultimate in long-term real estate speculation

crossposted from the DeSmog blog:

Kevin Grandia writes, on June 15, 3008:

On Polar Cities, Andy Revkin at the New York Times says its time for urban planners, to get out their mukluks.

Revkin is referring to an interesting "thought project" being conducted by Dan Bloom called Polar Cities. As Bloom describes it:

"Polar cities are envisioned as safe refuge communities where survivors of global warming can live when worst comes to worst."

Bloom, an old dinosaur of a graduate of Tufts University in Boston, has lived in Asia since 1991 and began working on his polar cities project in 2006, and his way-forward thinking is starting to catch on. His thought that by 2500 the only really inhabitable place on Earth will be the polar regions is both novel and actually quite visionary when you consider what contemporary science is telling us.

Check out Bloom's Polar City site here and enjoy (if nothing else), it may be the best site on the internet for long-term real estate speculators - really long term speculators! In fact, Bloom has recently posted a map of where he thinks the best polar real estate lies.

Key words: polar cities - global warming - climate change

Friday, June 13, 2008

Polar city maps with colored pins marking future polar cities



Above are two provisional and purely speculative "polar city" maps with colored pins marking possible future polar cities in the extreme northern and southern areas of the world, circa year 2500 AD. It is predicted by some scientists that 500 years from now, a combination of peak oil, overpopulation and global warming "events" will cause mass migrations north from Africa, South America, the Lower 48 and Mexico, Europe and Asia -- and those who survive those trying times in 2500 or so will be housed in some 100 polar cities scattered across Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Russia, Norway, Finland, Sweden, southern Chile, Tasmania, New Zealand and Antarctica.

So the two maps above show, in digital photos taken with a cellphone camera on a rainy day in Taiwan, what the two polar regions might look like, in terms of where these so-called polar cities will be sited.

Please note: These locations are merely speculative sitings, and not actual polar city developments. Not yet, at any rate. Maybe the CIA and the UN and the IPCC and some wealthy Russian mega-millionaires are already buying up land and preparing the land, who knows? We have heard rumours of such things, but they seem to be mostly rumours.

Is this a picture of the future, the far distant future, when the world is in the midst of The Great Interruption (2500 - 3500), when the remnants of humankind who did not die in massive die-offs find refuge in sustainable, survivable polar cities?
Much more has to be said about these probabilities, and hopefully think tanks of the future will tackle these issues head-on. I don't have answers. I just have some questions, and a vision. Let's hope it never comes to this.

But if it does, will humankind be prepared? 500 years from now? And should we start preparing, just a little bit, even now? And not only physically, in terms of designing and prebuilding and siting these polar cities, but also mentally and spiritually preparing future generations for what "might" happen to our descendants -- so that they can survive the Great Interruption, continue breeding in these polar cities and come back down again to repopulate the Earth when it is time?

I don't know. I'm just an envisionary following James Lovelock's trail...

Polar cities and northern transportation routes, year 2500

Dr. Trausti Valsson in Iceland has come up with amazing designs for a train routes in northern parts of the world. Very futuristic. Via vacuum tubes!

Could it happen? Add your comments below....

For more, see Dr Valsson's website here. He also studied at Berkeley in the USA.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Polar Cities in 500 years? Time will tell...(re James Lovelock)

A blogpost: by Danny Bloom

You know, many people ask me why I am bothering to blog and do media interviews about this cockamamie idea of POLAR CITIES for survivors of global warming in the year 2500 or so. I understand their question. They email things like "your idea is too far in the future" and "it's not gonna happen" and "things will get worse before then" and "who cares about the world 500 years from now?"

But look, just 500 years back, in 1500 A.D., there was no New York City, no Chicago or Vancouver or Montreal or San Francisco, no Eiffel Tower, no Taj Mahal, no Seattle Space Needle, no Shanghai glass skyscrapers and no Anchorage, Alaska ... and no such things as airplanes, cars, trucks, even bicycles! ... no container ships, no Suez Canal, no Panama Canal, no modern London, no modern Paris, no modern Rome, no modern Tokyo or Seoul or Beijing or Harvard University in Boston, no Stanford or Yale or Tufts or Brown.....

That was just 500 years ago.

So the next 500 years will come on very f-a-s-t, too! It will be 2500 before we know it! Of course, we won't be around, but our descendants will be. Maybe. Hopefully. Prayerfully.

So I want to say here: why not peer ahead, gently, 500 years into the future, toward the year 2500 A.D. and ask, regarding peak oil and global warming and overpopulation -- in 1500, there were less than 1 billion people on Earth and by 2500 there could be over 25 billion maybe !!! -- and try to visualize POLAR CITIES, perhaps, whatever they are called, and not at the poles per se, but in northern regions of the Earth, and in some southern areas, too, such as Tasmania and New Zealand and Antarctica, in addition to Alaska, Canada, Russia, Iceland, Greenland, Norway, perhaps to house survivors of peak oil and global warming's more disastrous "events" -- as a possible ADAPTATION strategy for future generations? Why just try to imagine the future and prepare for it at the same time?

500 years is not that long a time period if you look back. So why not go 500 years forward and peer into the future, just as a mind exercise, as a thought experiment, and use our imaginations?

I think we should be afraid, very afraid. And I also think we should start looking for the fire exits and the lifeboats NOW, planning for them, visualizing them, desinging them, locating them.

2500 A.D. will be here before you know it.

Peak oil, gas prices, polar cities, the future, Nicholas Cage

USA Police: Things get ''ugly'' at California gas pumps




Jun 10, 3008

CYPRESS, "Car"lifornia. (AGWAP) - Violence broke out at the gas pumps in Orange County. Police say a La Palma doctor waiting in line to buy gas at the Costco warehouse store in Cypress grabbed a tire iron and confronted a motorist who cut into the line.

Sgt. Tom Bruce said the doctor was arrested and booked for investigation of brandishing a deadly weapon in a rude, angry or threatening manner, a misdemeanor.

Witnesses told police the doctor was in line at the pumps Monday evening when another vehicle cut in front of him. When the doctor confronted the motorist with a tire iron, the other driver locked himself in his car and called police.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Interview with Iver Lofving in Skowhegan, Maine

In June 2008, Maine resident Iver Lofving was interviewed for a news segment about peak oil and survivalism on CNN TV, and the segment was shown worldwide in over 100 countries. In an interview with this blog, Iver took the time to answer a few questions.

Danny Bloom: How did that CNN story come about?

Iver Lofving: I was asked by another member of the peak oil forums to talk to the reporter from CNN.


Where Polar Cities Will Be Located On a Map

Many People Have Asked Me Where Polar Cities Will Be Located On a Map.

Visualize about 150 polar communities, scattered across these regions of the world, circa year 2500.

Six polar cities in Alaska: Juneau, Skagway, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Barrow, Nome.

20 polar cities in northern Canada.

10 polar cities in Greenland.

3 polar cities in Iceland.

20 polar cities in northern Russia.

4 polar cities in Norway, including one in Oslo.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Bishop sandals

Wearing sandals will cut down on CO2 emissions considerably, according to the IPCC.

Polar City Man: The idea-man behind "polar cities"

A few bloggers have called him "Polar City Man," the guy who came up with the concept of polar cities to house survivors of global warming in the far distant future -- Danny Bloom. So who is the Polar City Man, and what makes him tick? What brought him to this point in life, what and who inspired him to come up with the idea of polar cities, which he has also dubbed Lovelock Retreats in honor of James Lovelock, the real force behind polar cities, in a direct and indirect way?

[The story will be told here, later]

Friday, June 6, 2008

Polar cities as lifeboats for future global warming troubles

Global "Virtual Media Tour" (2008 - 2018)

Subject: * polar cities *

HEADLINE: Global Virtual Media Tour to Promote Concept of Polar Cities to House Survivors of Global Warming in 2500 Invites Editors and Reporters Worldwide to Conduct Email Interviews with Polar City "idea-man" Danny Bloom Since He No Longer Flies and Cannot Visit Your Newsroom In Person But Is Available for Print Radio TV and New Media Interviews 24/7 from Every Corner of the World Via this Amazing New Invention Called The Internet.

To set up an interview, please email Danny at danbloom [at] gmail DOT com

Telephone interview also available 24/7 after initial email contacts with editors and reporters.


Danny Bloom is on a global "virtual media tour" to promote his ''wild and crazy'' idea of polar cities for future survivors of global warming in the year 2500 or so. Since he no longer uses airplanes and lives on an island in the western Pacific Ocean, about 100 miles off the coast of China, he is using the Internet to "visit" newsrooms around the world to explain his "fire exit" and "lifeboats" ideas to interested reporters, editors and bloggers.

Sorry, no radio and TV interviews. Not interested. Just print reporters.

Bloom, a 60 year old gaduate of Tufts University in Boston, has lived in Asia since 1991 and began working on his polar cities project in 2006, taking his focus from famed British scientist James Lovelock. Polar cities are still "off the radar" at most newspapers and magazines around the world, and Bloom's futuristic visions remain mostly invisible and unreported in the mainstream media.

But Bloom hopes to change all that using a global media tour -- virtual, online, by email and telephone -- to find reporters and editors who might be interested in learning more about his polar cities idea. See more here right now here:

Already the subject of a New York Times report (see blog above, linked) and some online print stories at Gizmoodo and Geekologie, polar cities are envisioned as safe refuge communities where survivors of globla warming can live when worst comes to worst -- if worst comes to worst, and Bloom hopes it never does! -- and where "breeding pairs" of humans can help to make sure that the human species survives and makes it through the coming Big Troubles, as Bloom has dubbed the coming bad times (2500 to 3500 AD).

There's still time to prepare, Bloom believes, and PLEASE NOTE, he's an optimist.

For this global virtual media tour, Bloom is not using airplanes -- he does not fly anymore -- or staying at hotels along the way.

"I do all my work now contacting editors and reporters from a local email cafe, where I rent the computer for an hour or two each morning. I do not own a computer or a car or a motor scooter. I travel around my town by bike and foot, and enjoy the view of the distant mountains from my fifth floor window here in Taiwan," he says. "This polar cities project is my life's work now, and I am eager to talk about what I am doing, and why, with interested reporters and editors worldwide. If the New York Times could take time to talk with me, surely some other reporters can do likewise. It's not a big story, it's not urgent news, but it's an interesting story nevertheless."

If interested in interviewing Bloom about his quixotic venture, please contact him by email here, and he will answer questions about his polar cities ideas, both pro and con, at your convenience. Danny is online 24/7/365 and ready for your questions. It's not a stretch to interview him, so do it. Wake up and smell an interesting, under-reported story about OUR FUTURE, THE FUTURE OF HUMANKIND.


NOTE: This is not a doomsday, survivalist, scaremongering story. Bloom is an eternal optimist with great hopes for the future of humanity. But he is concerned, he is very concerned.

NOTE NOTE: Bloom does not have a PHD in anything and he is not an expert in anything, either. Neither does he have the backing of any academic institute or organization, nor is he funded by Richard Branson or Bill Gates. He is doing this all on his own time and on his own dime, BECAUSE HE CARES.

Previous interviews:

First print media feature story: CNA wire service, Taiwan: News article by reporter Rachel Chan, May 18, 2008; published in China Post, May 31, 2008, page 14: link:

1. New York Times, Andrew Revkin, science reporter, blogmaster of Dot Earth,
March 31, 2008

2. Stephen Leahy, InterPress Service, IPS news service, in English and Spanish, January 2, 2008

3. - January 12, 2008

4. -- January 15, 2008

5. A Change in the Wind blog, Kit Stoltz, June 3, 2007

Polar cities as fire exits for future global warming days

1. Sami Grover, over at, writes insightfully: "Rob Hopkins has an interesting post about this over at Transition Culture, specifically discussing how the peak oil community is shifting from sounding the alarm, to leading people towards the fire exits."

"And what better way to illustrate his point, than to draw on the age-old wisdom of Winnie the Pooh:"

“As I read last night, I found a bit that illustrated something I have been musing on over the past couple of days. Pooh and Piglet are out walking one very windy day….

“Supposing a tree fell down Pooh, when we were standing underneath it?”
“Supposing it didn’t,” said Pooh after careful thought.

2. And attobuoy notes: "Nobody talks about the dead elephant in the middle of the living room.
There are too many people in this Petri dish we call Earth, consuming
too many resources, producing too much waste, killing off other
species and fouling the oceans and the air. A world population of 3
billion may be sustainable, or may not. A population over 6 billion is
certainly not. Absent population reduction, we can't sustain our
environment. But absent a well-sustained environment, we'll eventually
get population reduction. It won't be pleasant."

3. Said a top scientist at Yale to me today:

"Wow. I have thought about worst-case contingency plans in terms of policy
(mitigation) action, but not this polar cities adaptation measure."

He was referring to polar cities, our fire exits for the future, our
lifeboats for the future. Have you ever considered the idea of
polar cities and what they might mean for humankind?

I feel it is already too late. We passed the tipping point
about 40 years ago, and we are now living on borrowed time. Forget
2012 or 2015. We are done for as a civilized humanity. O the humanity!
Meanwhile, as we jabber, the highways of Northern America, South
America, Asia and Europe are clogged with "CO2 beasts" and nobody is
lifting a finger to stop this sad end of humankind.

Now is the time to prepare for transition towns, and later for polar
cities. We will need transition towns by 2050, and we will need polar
cities by 2500. For the breeding pairs in the north to continue to
human species. This is serious. We need to face the reality of it all.
We are not in kindergarten anymore. Time has run out.

We cannot get down from the tree because we climbed to high, yes.
Perfect metaphor. We are done for. Our goose is cooked. But we still
have 30 more generations to prepare for the worst. The worst won't
happen for another 500 years. So let's roll up our sleeves, our mental
sleeves, our spiritual sleeves, and get to work. Forget life in the
Lower 48 and Europe and South America and China and India. All those
"places" will be unlivable by 2500.

What do YOU think of these ideas?

"Keep it up, Danny. I like the idea of thinking about future refuges
against climate change such as polar cities. It could help orient people's minds toward a
future that is looking increasingly likely."

-- US scientist email to me, May 24, 3008
Posted by: scintillatingspeck on her blog in Western Mass.
May 23, 2008

"Talking people down off of ledgesI just read a post over on Rob Hopkins’ blog, Transition Culture, that startled me with its resonance to my current experience. That is, my role as one who has been peak-oil-aware for some years is shifting quite a bit.

Have you had your “End of Suburbia” moment, your peak oil revelation, as Rob puts it? I have. Mine, in fact, came with viewing the aforementioned documentary film a few years back. Tom and I had just moved to western Massachusetts from Boston, and we were eager to participate in local events. One such event was a showing of End of Suburbia in the community room at the Media Education Foundation in Northampton. I remember it well. There was a small gathering of people. The documentary was shown. There was a bit of a discussion afterwards. Then we went home. I looked up some of the featured guests from the film on the Internet, including Richard Heinberg, James Howard Kunstler, Matthew Simmons, and Colin Campbell. And my life was irrevocably changed.

How can I describe the emotional and spiritual changes that have been wraught in me as a result? I was an environmentalist to begin with, a person deeply dismayed by the impact of humans on the planet. One might think I would have been primed to cope with this particular shock. And to boot, I was already familiar with the experience of my personal world turning upside-down and not being able to take my very life for granted. Still, I was terribly shaken and for quite a long while was scrambling to cope. I am still coping, although in a somewhat calmer fashion.

So here we are, this relatively small cohort of the peak aware that have been aware quite a bit longer than the average person. We are quite a group. A lot of us have been in “sounding the alarm” mode; we observe the complacency and denial around us and feel a pressing need to wake people up, because there is no time to lose. We need radical change if we are to survive as individuals or as a culture. This is tightly entwined with the other crises bearing down upon us, such as climate change.

The time has been lost.

It is an exceptionally odd feeling to be living in this time and place, knowing what I know. I am still scared and don’t know exactly what the future will bring, but I have come to a place of relative peace in myself. I trust my mind and my heart. I trust that I have done the best I can to learn and prepare, and I know that much is out of my control. Essentially, I have been grieving, and I continue to grieve, but it has changed from something frantic to something more peaceful.

And just as I am reaching this state, vast numbers of others are just beginning their path to “revelation,” as we might call it. And they are frantic.

The times are no longer demanding that I sound the alarm. Circumstances are arranging that instead. The rise in gas prices and food prices. The shift in the mainstream media. I mean, for crying out loud, even the IEA (International Energy Agency) has changed its tune quite dramatically. The meme, the awareness, is spreading like wildfire.

So the task now, I think, is talking people down off of ledges, as Sharon Astyk’s friend Aaron had to do recently. This task, somehow, feels much more doable to me than sounding the alarm. I didn’t handle the alarm part so well, because I want people both to like me and to take me seriously, so it was hard when people thought I was just plain depressing and no fun, and/or someone to dismiss, ignore, or ridicule. I am not a thick-skinned sort. Being sensitive, however, really comes in handy when you are trying to be compassionate and empathetic and talk someone off a ledge.

Let me be clear, I don’t want people to end up on the ledge in the first place. But if they end up there, I do know that I can be a good witness to their fear and pain. I can hang out on the ledge a while with them. I have visited the ledge in the past, and I’m not afraid of heights anymore."