If you want to befriend low status white males, your best shot tends to be launching your own esoteric climate change theory. And I should know. Trust me, I’ve been looking at this problem for the past two decades of my life, spending almost half of those years convinced there is no problem. But all the theories I ran into were disappointing and easily debunked. I had to jump from one theory to another, until in a moment of lucidity, I realized that if none of these theories hold up for very long (remember “it hasn’t warmed since 1998”?) then maybe the dominant narrative is just genuinely correct.
I’m not overly fond of humans as I see how humans treat animals, but nature has a special place in my heart. And so in a sense, the refusal of low status white males to accept that Gaia is dying has a hidden sense of nobility to it. As satan-worshipping pedophiles fly in private jets to Davos, Joe Sixpack from West Virginia, a retired coalminer, spends his days visiting obscure blogs to find the final piece of evidence that global warming is a hoax.
Every low status white male has his own unique theory on why global warming is a hoax. When I met up with some local ecologists in Rotterdam to stop some trees from being cut down, a middle aged LSWM birdwatcher proclaimed that all the digging in the Earth may just be causing a pole shift and thereby resulting in the global warming we observe.
Can you be angry at these people? No. You can be angry at the elite WEF pedophiles of the satan-worshipping variety, who refuse to lead by example, demoralizing the proles. In medieval times, the king led his troops and died with his people. I want Bill Gates, Klaus Schwab and Al Gore, to die with their people. Move to Uganda and buy a plot of land. Become a self-subsistent farmer, who will die of hunger or in civil war once the droughts become permanent. Lead by example. Leave no room for Mr. Sixpack’s cynicism. He has every reason to be cynical.
I won’t defend LSWMs for mocking Greta Thunberg. I’ve even seen LSWM media bash the founder of Extinction Rebellion, for buying “exotic fruit” (oranges in the supermarket). But the LSWMs are correct in the disturbing nature of elites traveling by private jet to conferences where they discuss how to keep the Earth habitable. And if the LSWMs had some intellectual integrity, they’d notice Dutch climate activists succeeded through activism at stopping private jets from landing at Schiphol, the Amsterdam airport.
And so today I want to throw you all a bone. Like I said, every LSWM has his own unique theory. Some LSWMs still peddle the idea that it’s all just fake because the measuring stations are subject to the urban heating effect. But we notice heating on the ocean too and that whole theory is dead.
Other LSWMs think it’s caused by the sun, but the nights are warming up faster than the days, so that doesn’t work either. A handful of LSWMs like Ethical Skeptic think it’s due to the Earth’s core. Some even seem to think it’s caused by fluorocarbons that caused the hole in the ozone layer.
There are also LSWMs who think we’re about to enter an ice age because solar forcing will decline, but that will barely make a dent in the amount of heating that we can expect in the decades ahead. The climate models are generally correct. The outcome we observe rarely deviates strongly from what we anticipated.
The only thing that would make a difference, is some sort of massive black swam, something nobody anticipated. If Pakistan and India sink into nuclear war next year, the resulting nuclear winter will turn global warming into a side-issue. Another potential black swan would be extremely rapid ice melt, as Hansen has warned could happen. This wouldn’t be great for humanity, as it would require tens of meters of sea level rise before the end of the century.
And so today I want to consider the possibility, of a potential black swan that nobody seems to be talking about. I want you to take a look at this:
What you witness here, is a new phenomenon, displaying exponential growth. The size of Sargassum blooms has increased by a hundred fold in recent years. The ocean is doing something very new, at least on the timescale of industrial civilization.
The ocean, is changing. In response to warming of the surface layers, influx of nutrients and periods without wind, Sargassum, a floating macroalgae, is spreading. It also benefits with increased growth speed from ocean acidification, the ongoing increase in carbon dissolved in our ocean. And if it genetically adapts, that faster growth may be boosted even further.
And Sargassum is a special weed. It floats at the very top of the ocean surface, reflecting light that would normally penetrate the water and cause our planet to accumulate heat. On the dark ocean, the amount of light reflected can be just 3% in the absence of clouds. And ocean covers 70% of our planet’s surface.
It seems that despite growing rapidly, Sargassum probably won’t be very good at sequestering carbon dioxide. However, it may prove to be very good at covering the ocean’s surface. We spend a lot of time worrying about the positive climate change feedback loops, like the death of the Amazon, the release of methane in the Arctic andsoforth.
But here we have a rare example of a potential NEGATIVE feedback loop, KICKING IN AS WE SPEAK, but very few people are paying attention to it. The Earth is using the dark ocean near the equator, to reflect large amounts of sunlight back into space. The Earth is in the process of terraforming itself, with an organism capable of exponential growth. And this organism is capable of very rapid exponential growth, because photosynthesis on the ocean’s surface is just much more efficient than on land.
It has been calculated that you’d need to cover 10% of the ocean’s surface with a highly reflective material, to fully compensate a doubling of atmospheric CO2. That’s 36 million km2. The biggest global Sargassum bloom seen so far, was 8,800 km2. So if we say Sargassum is reflective enough for what we want to achieve (coping with a doubling of atmospheric CO2), we’re at 0.2% of where we need to be.
But keep in mind, we had a 200-fold increase in 2011 compared to the preceding period. If we were to get another 200-fold increase, we’d be at 40% of what we need to cope with a doubling. And then we’re not yet counting any carbon dioxide sequestered by the Sargassum itself. Nor any carbon dioxide sequestered by the various animals that would expand their population in response to the spread of oceanic Sargassum forests. Large parts of the ocean are currently almost devoid of life.
If the world’s oceans were to become covered with Sargassum that would be a climate change black swan akin to nuclear war, something the models could not possibly account for. Are there physical limits you run into prohibiting this? Maybe, but I haven’t seen them yet. The Sahara alternates between periods of forest coverage and lifeless desert, so why can’t the ocean?
You won’t hear me argue that a Sargassum covered ocean wouldn’t cause trouble, but what has me disturbed is the idea that mankind could turn this planet into a lifeless desert, that we could kill the Amazon.
And keep in mind, we’re not just dependent on Sargassum. We have these guys too:
Phytoplankton affect planetary albedo too. Increase phytoplankton blooms and you reduce temperatures too.
The important thing to understand is that biological life has the general tendency to cause state shifts: An organism that rapidly multiplies often ends up changing its environment, in a way that facilitates its continued replication. Forests for example are capable of generating their own rain. And African elephants like to destroy small trees, preventing the savannah on which they live from turning into forest.
Well, what about Sargassum? It will attract fish, it will spread nutrients by fertilizing the top layer of the ocean when it dies and in sufficiently dense pads it can reduce the waviness of the ocean, thereby facilitating its own growth.
I think Sargassum generates the sort of conditions that favor Sargassum.
Keep in mind what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about a forest the size of Cyprus, that now just spontaneously emerges in the ocean, that was basically non-existent ten years ago. Is this how the Earth regulates itself? Forests on the bright soil to warm up our planet, forests on the dark ocean to cool it down?
Ask yourself, how much do we really know about how the ocean looked during previous geological periods? Not much, at least not compared to how everything looked on land. We know that everything goes to shit whenever large amounts of carbon dioxide suddenly enter the atmosphere, but you always have to keep one thing in mind: In the absence of humans, it’s very hard to get large amounts of carbon dioxide to enter the atmosphere without a bunch of stuff going to shit all at once. Of course a lot of stuff dies when you get megatsunamis from decomposing methane clathrates.
And ironically perhaps, microplastics in the ocean create opportunities for life as well. There are just two places we know of with high concentrations of neustons, that is, life at the surface layer of the ocean: The Sargassum sea and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The big challenge most life in the ocean faces is to find attachment points: To start growing, you need something to attach to. Floating plastic can do that job for some organisms.
Maybe, just maybe, life finds a way.