Going the way we’re going, it’s going to take about 150 years for global warming and associated climate changes to reach full impact. The first 60 years are bad enough. This period will change the distribution of farmland to alter ways of life all across the globe. And we’re not talking the paltry 2 degrees centigrade written up in the Paris Agreement.
Planet Earth is being pushed rapidly to a 5 degrees Fahrenheit warming which makes agriculture look like this within 60 years:
Russia is the winner. Perhaps that should be written “WINNER !!”
That green band that you see across southern Russia changes land use over from sometimes farmland, sometimes permafrost to Class A three-crop permanent farmland. Russia today is already the # 1 exporter of wheat in the world. At +5 F this green band adds a cornucopia roughly 750 kilometers wide by 3000 kilometers long.
The only thing in the way of this is that Paris Accord agreement. That negotiation has been signed by 196 countries to date. But get real, the design ensures failure:
Ratifying countries can independently decide on how to lower their emissions. … Allowing ratifying countries to determine the best way forward for them, individually, galvanized support for the agreement.
No controls, no penalties. No one should be surprised that very little has happened. The big countries such as the United States and China are reducing their rates of increase for atmospheric emissions. No one outside of Scandinavia or Germany is cutting back. The old coal plants almost everywhere keep on spewing atmospheric garbage. (In America fracking has made natural gas cheaper than coal. Big whoop.)
That continental band of new farmland is the main and priceless economic prize for what is now an on-going world war. The action, here, is slow moving to be sure. Slow moving indeed, but a world war in both senses of that phrase. You can look to United Russia speeches related to ice melting at the Arctic Ocean littoral to gauge their appreciation of the situation.
When you see Putin’s Russia using its spies to break into computers and do infiltrations to weaken democracies on four continents, keep in mind that green band on the map. That is where they will achieve their pay-offs. A budget of a couple billion dollars a year? No problem.
The Russians have the West’s carbon-based fuel companies lined up on their side. (You knew that.)
Interfering with elections by the dozens is one part of Putin’s strategy. Citizens everywhere outside of Russia are being led to distrust their political leaders. Same time, any cultural leader or political party that deemphasizes climate response gets a combination of clandestine cyber support, infiltrators for sabotage, and money.
This +5 F change to the Earth’s farmland distribution — plus further changes up to +10 F in the next contury — is set to be, arguably, the Greatest Of All Time for political legacies. Vladimir Putin is making it happen. He will stand above Charlemagne, Bolivar, Washington, Churchill, Stalin, and Mao. Maybe all of them combined. Consider both the +5 F changes and the +10 F changes and Putin is like no one else in human history.
The map for +10 degrees Fahrenheit ??? That might depict the limit for industrial destruction. Most of India is a desert. The Arab countries are gone. Same for southern Europe, Mexico, the Corn Belt in the United States. Australia loses its northern coast and the Great Barrier Reef. Human populations fall as everything from 40 degrees north to 40 degrees south from the equator sees environmental stress on scales that we are not able to comprehend in relation to our own personal experiences.
Is this a “world war”? What else should we call it? What is happening is not a Blitzkrieg. It is slow. Not fast. Not lightning. Almost too slow moving to be seen. But now and again you see runs of temperatures in the 60s and 70s Fahrenheit in New York City in February. A first. And you see outright sabotage by the Russians against the pro-climate response candidate in an American presidential election.
Bribery and blackmail come forward in close order. Hundreds of millions of Russian dollars go out for projects that no one in the West understands. Russian oligarchs and gangsters put in their resources. Since the West isn’t fighting this fight, it’s all going well for them.
Who would have thought we’d be losing a World War III and not a shot fired? Indeed, that putting more money to weapons is a critical blunder for us — a waste that fixes us to the losing path? Guns and more guns, where it might take $500-billion a year out of Western budgets to give us any kind of chance to avoid this +5 F Russian victory.
At the +10 F mark we see Moscow get a climate more like Vienna. Instead of staying below freezing for the winter, they see lots of snow but overall it’s quite pleasant.
(A note: Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland show green. Politically they value the planet more than they value farmland. Also they don’t have a Putin or Russia’s military history.)