We have turned ourselves into test subjects for the single most terrifying “crash” the world will ever know — the crash of a livable climate.
Since we have done so wittingly, and continue blissfully subjecting ourselves to the impending climate crash without making any serious effort to stop it in spite of the gravest warnings from the most credible sources, that makes us little better than crash test dummies:
Crash test dummies are full-scale anthropomorphic test devices (ATD) that simulate the dimensions, weight proportions and articulation of the human body, and are usually instrumented to record data about … velocity of impact, crushing force, bending, folding, or torque of the body, and deceleration rates during a collision for use in crash tests…. Crash test dummies remain indispensable in the development of … all types of vehicles….
I offer this definition of the other CTDs and ATDs:
“Climate test dummies are full-scale anthropocene test dummies (ATDs) that simulate exactly the dimensions, weight proportions and articulation of the human body, and usually record or complain about the impact of off-the-charts heat, rainfall, floods, snow, fire, dust or drought during a collision with extreme weather for use in climate tests. Or, rather, climate test, because we only get one and unlike cars we don’t get to go back and redesign the planet or the energy system to avoid the otherwise easily preventable suffering.”
If you want to know how humans respond to 115° temperature, you don’t have to wait a few decades — just drop by Hill City, Kansas:
“Hell, it’s the hottest place on earth,” Allen Trexler, an 81-year-old farmer who introduced himself as Old Man Trexler….
On Saturday, Mr. Trexler loaded three heifers into a maroon trailer and trundled them 70 miles to Oakley to sell them.
“We’re just going to have to sell,” said his son Brad, 58. “There’s no way out. Every time they take a bite of that grass, it’s gone. It doesn’t come back. There’s nothing to farm right now. Nothing will grow.”
… “We’ve still got two more months of this crap,” [another farmer] said.
I know you’re thinking that we really didn’t have to subject ourselves to all this misery in order to figure out how unpleasant and self-destructive it is. But you’re “thinking” like some sort of homo sapiens sapiens. Whereas CTDs must at least drop one of those “wise” appellations and make the other one provisional, as in homo “sapiens.”
If you want to know how humans respond to a super-charged derecho that knocks out power to millions during the worst June heat wave on record — “the largest non-hurricane-related power outages in Virginia’s history and more damage in the Midwest than Hurricane Ike in 2008″ – come to DC! Or wait a few years, I’m sure something similar will happen in your area.
Radar sequence of derecho thunderstorm complex. Storm traveled about 600 miles in 10 hours at an average speed of 60 mph. (Storm Prediction Center)
Capital Weather Gang meteorologist Jason Samenow has a good article (source of above image), “Derecho: Behind Washington, D.C.’s destructive thunderstorm outbreak, June 29, 2012.” He explains how the record smashing heatwave fueled the superstorm, which leads him to ponder the climate connection: