The illustrated McKibben

If you watch nothing else today, watch this: Bill McKibben’s recent opinion piece on recent US and world weather extremes illustrated with pictures of the events Bill describes. Excellent work by Plomomedia.

[Update: Amy Goodman at The Guardian provides more context: “The troubled sky reveals the grief it feels…“]

19 thoughts on “The illustrated McKibben”

    1. True, but this has only just been posted, so those numbers will rise…

      I agree about the need for a good voice. Anthony Hopkins perhaps? I might try reading McKibben a la Richard Burton and posting that… 😉

  1. Completely agree!

    Come on all you alleged ‘conservatives’; when did you all become so maladapted – and I use the word advisedly – that you can no longer perform the most elementary risk calculation?

    No, it’s apparently a ‘safer’ course to nitpick about attribution, or play silly-buggers imposing trendlines on small sections of the temperature record, and/or to choose to listen exclusively to that well-funded, disproportionately noisy minority who are either outrightly mendacious or glaringly incompetent!

    Seriously; how does it feel to be a part of the movement that will almost certainly be remembered as The Most Stupid People in History?

    1. Most Stupid People in History?
      Like the folk who, when it was pointed out to Ms Palin, that Paul Revere didn’t gallop across the land ringing bells and hollering “The British are coming!!!” (he was effectively in enemy territory, so needed to be very discrete) charged off the Wikipedia to alter the historical record at agree with Ms Palin. Prof Wiki had to lock Paul Revere’s entry.

      1. At least the Romans collapsed in style. The Americans have a knack at ruining their descent with distasteful figurines like Palin and her fellowship of nutters….. It would be comical if it wasn’t all so foreboding with the smell of horrors to come….

        1. At least the Romans collapsed in style

          First as tragedy, then as farce, eh?

          Your nifty phrasing reminded me of this classic tom the dancing bug cartoon – originally from Salon – from the height of the GFC.

          “O brave new world, That has such people in’t” : I’ve long thought that one of the signs of growing up is realising that Huxley’s foreboding was more correct than Orwell’s! At least in the ‘first’ world…

  2. For want of a better place to mention is one (as a reflection on The Most Stupid People…, a civilization behaving in obvious ignorance to the basic laws of thermodynamics and systems theory….)

    Its a presentation by Prof. Ugo Bardi from the university of Firenze Italy. He is a Chemist but here lectures on resources, oil, GW and economics. I found it a fascinating but also frightening read. It links back to the time of 1972 when it all began for me when I got hand of TLG (The Limits to Growth) as a high school student…. Ugo closes the loop for me in his presentation.
    It reads best with a warm cognac for comfort or perhaps a Truffle Vodka for the adventurous:

      1. ‘url is not valid and cannot be loaded’ for link no. 2 there, Gareth [Fixed: thanks, Bill]

        It’s not like one has to look too hard for extreme weather events around the world at the moment!

    1. Flatfish, Cyclone Wilma, earlier this year, caused the most extreme flooding in the Bay of Islands, that I have ever witnessed. We measured 263mm in about 14 hours, and just 30 kms down the road they got 350mm+ in the same time frame. Yet it never even rated a mention in the national media. There was also the massive downpour on the East Coast, which likewise barely rated a mention.

  3. I was interested in a point of calibration, what is a “flood” vs a “weather bomb” vs a ‘regular’ large rainfall event.

    I can remember many large rainfalls for example 1998 when our new house lacking a roof got totally soaked, and the time in the 1980s when many new cars got swamped by high water in Southland (and were therefore likely to rust faster than those built in Thames). So I was interested in when we started having “floods” of international consequence, like say Queensland or the Mississippi appears to have experienced.

    Thanks for the link.


  4. Those terms are just journalist jargon. Extreme weather events have happened in the past, the difference now is that we seem to set new records with monotonous regularity and in multiple localities around the planet. The 2nd US tornado outbreak in April set a new record for the number of tornados, the 3rd one only a fortnight later broke the record again. The Amazon has a 100-year drought, with a 2nd one within 5 years. BUT as McKibben emphasised, we must not think there is any link between these random, unrelated events.
    It is possible that better surveillance is increasing the reported events but it would have been hard to miss flooding of the scale of Pakistan, Queensland and Mississippi during the last century or so. This decade is a doozy.

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