Catastrophe Chronicle

Catastrophe Chronicle
9 min read

“We are on the deathbed. Humanity cannot survive – the way it has been behaving with nature – for more than fifty years, sixty years, or, at the most, one hundred years, which is nothing. If the Third World War does not happen, then we will be committing a slow suicide. Within a hundred years, we will be gone. Not even a trace will be left.”1 Osho

See also: Osho, “Religion: The Crimes Against Nature and the Environment”

And: Priests & Politicians: The Mafia of the Soul

It is becoming increasingly clear that humanity just doesn’t have the consciousness to prevent the inexorable destruction of the only home it has.

Perhaps more fundamentally, this humanity – which is trashing out the land, the oceans, the atmosphere, and the space beyond the atmosphere – is simply being really trashy. We endlessly look outwards for solutions and almost no one is making it clear that unless we fix our trashiness, nothing can fundamentally change. Without this fundamental change in our trashy approach to the world around us, every “solution” we come up with will be deeply compromised by our trashiness!

While waiting for this obvious point to sink in, followed by a clear understanding of how to undo our trashiness, the OSHOTimes can only chronicle the inevitable resultant degeneration of Planet Earth, “and all who sail in her!”

Carbon Dioxide Levels in the Atmosphere

“Man-made carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect” – was published by the journal Nature in 1972.

Levels of the greenhouse gas have not been as high as today for 3-5m years, when the global temperature was 2-3C warmer and the sea level was 10-20 metres higher: The Guardian

The C02 clock is ticking here: Bloomberg Green Carbon Clock

Human Population

The population clock is ticking here: Worldometre

The Emissions Gap Report 2020

“The world is still heading for a catastrophic temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century – far beyond the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C.” – UN Environment

The Unfolding Story – 2023 – Updated Regularly: 

Read 2022 Edition HERE

February 1, 2023
1.5-degree goal not plausible: Social change more important than physical tipping points
“What has been achieved to date is insufficient.” – ScienceDaily

February 1, 2023
Soil tainted by air pollution expels carbon
New research suggests nitrogen released by gas-powered machines causes dry soil to let go of carbon and release it back into the atmosphere, where it can contribute to climate change. ‘Air pollution generated by fossil fuel combustion has an impact on many things, including human health by causing asthma,’ Homyak said. ‘It can also impact the amount of carbon these dryland systems can store for us. For many reasons, we have to get a handle on air pollution.'” – ScienceDaily

February 1, 2023
Climate change may cut US forest inventory by a fifth this century
“A study found that under more severe climate warming scenarios, the inventory of trees used for timber in the continental United States could decline by as much as 23% by 2100. The largest inventory losses would occur in two of the leading timber regions in the U.S., which are both in the South.” – ScienceDaily

January 31, 2023
Over 4% of summer mortality in European cities is attributable to urban heat islands
“One third of these deaths could be prevented by reaching a tree cover of 30%, according to a modelling study. The study results, obtained with data from 93 European cities, highlight the substantial benefits of planting more trees in cities to attenuate the impact of climate change.” – ScienceDaily

January 31. 2023
Hydrogen fuel from the ocean? Scientists say they’ve found a way to do it
“Existing technologies need high-purity water to create hydrogen, so the researchers looked to ‘an almost infinite resource.’… Hydrogen is regarded as the ultimate, non-polluting fuel and energy-storage medium of the future…. But using vast amounts of fresh water to produce hydrogen could worsen water shortages so they looked to the ocean, which has nearly 97 per cent of the Earth’s water and is ‘an almost infinite resource.'” – SCMP

January 29, 2023
Death in the marshes: environmental calamity hits Iraq’s unique wetlands
‘The ruin of nearly 3,000 sq km (1,000 sq miles) of this unique ecosystem is a small example of the unprecedented environmental disaster unfolding in Iraq. Rivers and lakes that had spawned farming communities since the dawn of civilisation are drying up, the country’s water reserves reduced by half, while the Iraqi ministry of water resources estimates that one-quarter of Iraq’s fresh water will be lost in the next decade…. From the impact of global heating to Turkey’s reduction of the water volume flowing through the Tigris and Euphrates, Iran’s diversion of tributary rivers such as the Karun, and the discharge of raw sewage and oil industry chemicals into Shatt al-Arab. ‘Even the upstream provinces are taking Basra’s share of fresh water because of the expansion of their population.’ The high salinity in the water flowing naturally through the irrigation canals is now causing the palm trees to die.” – The Guardian

January 27, 2023
UK substantially underestimates its methane emissions from oil and gas production — and many other countries probably do too
“Researchers conclude that as much as five times more methane is being leaked from oil and gas production than reported. Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide, contributing about 1 degree Fahrenheit of present-day global warming relative to pre-industrial times.”– ScienceDaily

January 27, 2023
Burning Trees in the Amazon Melts Snow in the Himalayas
“Scientists have found that the Earth’s largest rainforest and its so-called third pole are connected by atmospheric currents that carry heat and rain across the planet.” – Bloomberg

January 24, 2023
Bird flu outbreak in mink sparks concern about spread in people
“A variant of H5N1 influenza that can spread between mammals could pose an increased risk to people and wild animals.” – Nature

January 24, 2023
Doomsday Clock hits 90 seconds to midnight, its most dire prediction ever
“The world is 90 seconds away from ‘midnight,’ according to the Doomsday Clock, the closest it has ever been to the symbolic hour of apocalypse. The people who run the clock say that’s largely a reflection of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — including of the potential use of nuclear weapons and because the conflict is encouraging continued dependence on fossil fuels in Europe. For the first time, the announcement of the clock’s movement toward catastrophe was released in Russian and Ukrainian as well as English, something Rachel Bronson, CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said the organization hopes brings the dire forecast ‘the attention it deserves.’” – The Washington Post

January 23, 2023
Can elephants save the planet?
“Researchers report that elephants play a key role in creating forests which store more atmospheric carbon and maintaining the biodiversity of forests in Africa. If the already critically endangered elephants become extinct, rainforest of central and west Africa, the second largest rainforest on earth, would lose between six and nine percent of their ability to capture atmospheric carbon, amplifying planetary warming.” – ScienceDaily

January 20, 2023
When scientists tagged a curious seal, he led them to signs of a potential climate disaster
“That would have the potential to unleash over 15 feet of sea level rise, remaking every coastline in the world.” – The Washington Post

January 18, 2023
Global warming reaches central Greenland
“At high elevations of the Greenland Ice Sheet, the years 2001 to 2011 were 1.5 °C warmer than in the 20th century and represent the warmest decade in the last thousand years.” – ScienceDaily

January 17, 2023
Climate change likely to uproot more Amazon trees
“Tropical forests are crucial for sucking up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But they’re also subject to intense storms that can cause ‘windthrow’ — the uprooting or breaking of trees. A new study finds that more extreme thunderstorms from climate change will likely cause a greater number of large windthrow events in the Amazon, which could impact the rainforest’s ability to serve as a carbon sink.” – ScienceDaily

January 17, 2023
How dark money groups led Ohio to redefine gas as ‘green energy’
“But Ohio’s new law is anything but homegrown, according to documents reviewed by The Washington Post. The Empowerment Alliance, a dark money group with ties to the gas industry, helped Ohio lawmakers push the narrative that the fuel is clean, the documents show…. ‘
What the emails reveal is just how closely Ohio lawmakers coordinated with a natural gas industry group on the new law that misleadingly defines methane gas as green energy, as the first step of a plan to introduce similar legislation in multiple states,’ said Dave Anderson, policy and communications manager for the Energy and Policy Institute.” – The Washington Post

January 17, 2023
Banks still investing heavily in fossil fuels despite net zero pledges – study
“Financial institutions signed up to GFANZ initiative accused of acting as ‘climate arsonists.’” – The Guardian

January 16, 2023
Climate conundrum: Study finds ants aren’t altering behavior in rising temperatures
“A new study finds that ants are not adjusting their behavior in response to warming temperatures, persisting in sub-optimal microhabitats even when optimal ones were present. The finding suggests ants may not be able to adjust their behavior in response to warming ecosystems.” – ScienceDaily

January 14, 2023
A Deal to Help South Africa Is a Breakthrough for the World
“South Africa generates 80 percent of its electricity by burning coal, more than any other industrialized nation. Some 200,000 people are directly employed by the coal mines, coal transports and coal-fired power plants that dot the flatlands east of Johannesburg, but the prosperity of the rest of the nation also rests on a foundation of black rock. Now, the South African government, with the help of the United States and European nations, is embarking on an audacious plan to quit coal without undermining economic growth. If it works, the proposed transition to solar and wind power could fuel faster growth and create a template for coal-dependent nations to confront climate change. This is a significant opportunity, and it deserves support and attention.” – The New York Times

January 12, 2023
How climate change will make atmospheric rivers even worse
“Atmospheric rivers are projected to become wetter, larger and more damaging as temperatures rise.” – The Washington Post

January 12, 2023
Exxon Mobil’s Climate Predictions ‘Astonishingly’ Accurate Since 1970s: Study
“Exxon Mobil’s scientists were remarkably accurate in their predictions about global warming, even as the company made public statements that contradicted its own scientists’ conclusions, a new study says.” – HuffPost

January 11, 2023
Oceans surged to another record-high temperature in 2022
“The amount of excess heat buried in the planet’s oceans, a strong marker of climate change, reached a record high in 2022, reflecting more stored heat energy than in any year since reliable measurements were available in the late 1950s, a group of scientists reported Wednesday.” – The Washington Post

January 10, 2023
The Last 8 Years Were the Hottest on Record
NASA’s analysis ranked 2022 as tied with 2015 for fifth warmest, while NOAA had last year as the sixth warmest. ‘But ranks only tell you part of the story,’ said Russell Vose, a NOAA scientist. What’s more important, he said, is that the past eight years are the warmest ever. ‘They really do stand apart,’ he said. Each of the past four decades has been warmer than one that preceded it, Dr. Vose added. Overall, the world is now 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.1 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter than it was in the second half of the 19th century, when emissions of planet-warming carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels became widespread.” – The New York Times

January 10 2023
Videos, Photos and Maps of the Damage From the California Storms

“Scenes of the destruction played out across the state.” – The New York Times

January 9, 2023
One billion days lost: How COVID-19 is hurting the US workforce
“COVID-19 may no longer be a pandemic, but the disease likely reduced the availability of the US workforce by as much as 2.6 percent in 2022—a burden on productivity that could last for years.” – MvKinsey

January 6, 2023
The world’s torrid future is etched in the crippled kidneys of Nepali workers
“One-third of transplant patients at a center near Kathmandu have been young men who worked abroad in extreme heat.” – The Washington Post

January 5, 2023
Half of Earth’s glaciers could melt even if key warming goal is met, study says
“New research suggests that even at 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming above preindustrial levels, the Earth will lose nearly half of its glaciers.” – The Washington Post

January 4, 2023
Has the Amazon Reached Its ‘Tipping Point’?
“The lungs of the earth are exhaling greenhouse gases. But her discovery was actually much more alarming than that. Because burning trees release a high proportion of carbon monoxide, she could separate these emissions from the total. And in the southeastern Amazon, air samples still showed net emissions, suggesting that the ecosystem itself could be releasing more carbon than it absorbed, thanks in part to decomposing plant matter — or in Gatti’s words, “effectively dying more than growing.” The first time I spoke to Gatti, she repurposed a lyric by the Brazilian crooner Jorge Ben Jor. How could this be happening, she asked, in a ‘tropical country, blessed by God/and beautiful by nature’”? – The New York Times

January 4, 2023
Climate change could cause ‘disaster’ in the world’s oceans
“Researchers have concluded that the Southern Meridional Overturning Circulation could completely shut down by 2300, causing disaster to the marine ecosystem on a large portion of the planet.” – ScienceDaily

January 4, 2023
How climate change impacts the Indian Ocean dipole, leading to severe droughts and floods
“A phenomenon that can lead to sometimes deadly weather-related events like megadroughts in East Africa and severe flooding in Indonesia.” – ScienceDaily

January 4, 2023
Cyclone researchers: Warming climate means more and stronger Atlantic tropical storms
“Tropical cyclone researchers report a warming climate could increase the number of tropical cyclones and their intensity in the North Atlantic, potentially creating more and stronger hurricanes.” – ScienceDaily

January 3, 2023
These are trends shaping the future of food
“Our ability to feed a growing global population is under threat, according to a new report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The future of food and agriculture: Drivers and triggers for transformation, released in December 2022, warns that without broader changes on a socioeconomic and environmental level, we will not be able to build and maintain sustainable agrifood systems. ‘Many of the SDGs (UN Sustainable Development Goals) are not on track and will only be achieved if agrifood systems are transformed properly to withstand ongoing global adversity that undermines food security and nutrition due to growing structural inequalities and also regional inequalities,’ FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said at a launch event.”

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