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Arctic Death Spiral, The Video

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"Arctic Death Spiral, The Video"

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Kenneth Dunton, Professor of Marine Sciences at the University of Texas, Austin, has a somber video on “The New Arctic”:

h/t Climate Crocks

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15 Responses to Arctic Death Spiral, The Video

  1. Sasparilla says:

    Excellent video, really hits home when its coming from someone who has been up there seeing things unfold.

  2. M Tucker says:

    The large nations do not care about relatively small native populations. They do not care about what is happening in the Pacific islands and they certainly will not care about the native peoples of the Arctic. The only adaptation we will see is the large economies taking advantage of the ice free summers in the Arctic: New shipping lanes, cheaper shipping fees, faster shipping times.

    What troubles me the most with these scientists is that when describing the actual changes and loss of life they are emphatic: The Arctic is a totally different place, 2007 ice completely disappeared, tremendous erosion of the Arctic coastline. Unprecedented loss of ice. BUT when it comes to expressing their feelings about this they say things like, “What makes us a little nervous a little apprehensive…”

    So is it just a little or is it unprecedented and alarming? If you want folks to sit up and take notice. If you want to influence action on this enormous world wide effort to end fossil fuel use, you had better speak more clearly about how you really feel.

    • B Waterhouse says:

      Absolutely correct. Terrific images, but the conclusion of simply hoping for the best is awful messaging. How about at least mentioning the way to at least try to reduce the worst of the harm – reducing carbon emissions – and perhaps gently advocating it? Does this Texas university not allow such messaging? Would it be too unscientific to suggest that conducting this uncontrolled experiment in the Artic should stop? Perhaps he is constrained by his grant funding conditions to speak from his heart.

      • Jack Burton says:

        He makes a great case for the unprecedented and unpredicted rapid melting of the Arctic. THEN, just as you would expect, he says it may seem depressing, but we are optimistic as people and there are good opportunities for examine how this is changing, and we hope the life will adapt, etc. etc. etc.
        Why present this alarming and undeniable run away feed back melting up there and then tell us how optimistic you are?
        I fail to understand WHY scientists have become captivated by the culture of denial!
        They KNOW what is happening, but temper it all with their natural optimism as scientists.
        I am sorry, but that is an idiotic statement, and intellectually dishonest.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

          The truth, Jack, I believe, is that we live in brutal totalitarian societies in the neo-liberal capitalist West, but you only notice it when, and if, you become a ‘troublemaker’. ‘Rocking the boat’ gets you unwanted attention, and career-limiting retribution. ‘Whistle-blowing’ gets you harassed, up to the point, as in Manning’s case, of facing death. Academics who make trouble for the vested economic interests that rule our societies totally, lose tenure, if they have it, or their short-term contracts are not renewed. Particularly hated groups, like Moslems, are relentlessly persecuted, monitored, and framed or led into trouble in classic provocateur machinations. And this sort of attention can be turned on anyone. Moreover, if you want the ‘oxygen of publicity’ from an entirely Rightwing MSM, don’t tell the truth-it might frighten the plebs. Pretend that a miracle of Daoist inaction will somehow save us (perhaps with a jolly reference to Ronny Reagan, the unacknowledged Godfather of Denialism)but never, ever, tell it like it is.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Large nations are run by moneyed elites who not only do not care what happens to the 99% of their own population, but are actively working, with growing determination, to drive that vast majority deeper and deeper into debt, relative and absolute impoverishment and misery. Their attitudes to the ‘little countries’ are even crueler. Unless and until we wake up to the root cause of the vast majority of the human race’s existential crises, that the planet has been taken over by the very worst specimens amongst us, we are heading for extinction. Hundreds of millions were extinguished last century by war, military and economic, inequality, unjust social orders and brutal neglect, and the rest of us will follow them, soon, if the maldistribution of power is not ended, once and for all.

  3. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    When I work I meet a wide range of people, mostly lower middle class. I often chat with them, mundane stuff, but I occasionally mention climate destabilisation, particularly if they have children with them. About half have no opinion one way or the other, being too obsessed with keeping up in the rat race. No more than one in twenty, approximately, has any idea that the Arctic sea ice is vanishing, let alone an opinion concerning it. The evening news and ‘current affairs’ programs on the commercial TV stations never, ever, mention climate change, being too busy demonising welfare recipients, teachers (the Right here, and in the Anglosphere as a whole, absolutely despise teachers)trade unions, Greens etc. In other words the usual suspects. Where the denialists have begun to disappear (this will change when the hardcore denialist Tony ‘Climate Change is Crap’ Abbott becomes PM)in the worst sewers of the MSM, it has been replaced by total disinterest. The latest ‘pop’ sensation, the latest ‘reality TV’ show deriding and exploiting the hyper-obese, the latest attack on the hapless Gillard regime, all are repeated, ad nauseam (and beyond!)but the ecological crisis? Surely you jest!

    • Superman1 says:

      There is no real constituency anywhere on the globe (including the advanced and developing nations) willing to sacrifice today’s energy-based gratification to save the climate and extend their time on Earth. Not one post here has convinced me otherwise.

      • Steve in Miami says:

        Superman, this is my LAST attempt to ask you this question. It’s hard to commumicate on a blog where you can’t PM anyone but instead have to simply hope they read your reply.

        Last try…

        Several weeks ago, you mentioned that you were privy to 3 papers that made you appear optimistic. Those of us who follow this stuff on a daily basis are not generally fans of cliffhangers.

        So would you care to elaborate?

        Thanks.

      • In New Zealand there are many like minded people who are working hard to mitigate the likely outcome of climate change.
        http://www.climateoutcome.kiwi.nz/index.html
        All we can do is keep trying.

    • Jamie says:

      “Panem et Circenses”…..that is all we ever were….except for those few men and women who inspired us to do more than just satiate our hedonistic desires. Several quotes from such inspiring souls as Charles Dickens repeatedly comes to mind in these times, “But you were always such a good businessman, Jacob!” to which Jacob Marley vehemently admonishes Ebenezer Scrooge, “Mankind WAS MY BUSINESS!”
      …and, J. Krishnamurthy’ s wise observance; “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
      A society that abuses the very thing it needs to sustain it’s life has obviously outlived it’s purpose. How tragic for our children and grandchildren. How utterly irresponsible on every level of human experience.

  4. There is no doubt that the real,big,action is going on in the oceans and at the Poles. I’ve just done a new blog on an interesting part of new research. http://www.climateoutcome.kiwi.nz/blog.html

  5. When the ice cap goes, the jet stream will wander from its age-old trajectory. It’s already given us Hurricane Sandy. Rain patterns will shift so that agriculture fails globally, followed quickly by world trade. As the economy spirals down to a level that will make the Great Depression look like the days of milk and honey, and the despair sets in, terrorism will explode.

    When that happens, the armed right will, in a paroxysm of perversity, blame the Usual Suspects, as Mulga says.

  6. Robert In New Orleans says:

    A good video, but it seems to me that at the end of the video, Mr. Dunton just cannot or will not verbalize the truth of the situation in the Arctic. If scientists are having this high level of cognitive dissonance, what hope do the rest of us have in dealing with what is going on?