Filed under: climate change, deep time, Hot Earth Dreams, science fiction, Uncategorized, Worldbuilding | Tags: Hot Earth Dreams, Space Opera
I was going to post this on Charlie Stross’ Antipope, where there’s another interesting discussion developing on space opera. So as not to chunk 1,450-plus words onto that message board, I thought I’d post my thoughts over here, for those who are interested.
Filed under: 2016, climate change, Hot Earth Dreams, writing | Tags: climate change, Earth Day 2016, Hot Earth Dreams
Yay, it’s the day after Earth Day. They’ve started signing the Paris climate accord, John Kerry photo-opping by signing with his granddaughter on his lap. Obama will ratify it by executive action, the Senate Republicans will pass something nauseating telling him to stop chasing myths (unless maybe that doesn’t happen?), he’ll veto their attempt to quash him, and…
Well, what happens next? In the real world, I’m not so sure, but after I finish the swarm of stuff I’m working on (I won’t be blogging for the next few weeks), I’ll start figuring out how to revise Hot Earth Dreams. There’s still time to get your comments in, but the window is closing.
Now that it’s the day after Earth Day, what have I learned?
Filed under: Altithermal, climate change, Hot Earth Dreams | Tags: California High Altithermal, climate change, future, Hot Earth Dreams
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reading articles (such as this one) about how anomalously warm Alaska and other parts of the Arctic were this winter. Someone even said that if California had warmed half as much as the Arctic did, we’d be in trouble.
Well, we did warm about half as much. By my calculations, San Diego was 9°F/5°C warmer than average for the month of February. This turned what is normally our wettest month into a dry month, with tumbleweeds sprouting in February instead of June, and flowers blooming months early. The heat squelched our El Niño rains, with persistent high pressure forcing the rains north to flood northern California and Oregon. Since I’m not a climatologist, I can’t say authoritatively that this is the new normal, but given the fossil record of rain forests in Oregon and the models of a hot dry So Cal, I’ll go out on a little bitty limb and say it sure could be. But I’m not sure whether we know that we’re in trouble yet.
Still, some rain did get through, so my wife and I took a three day weekend to go up to Death Valley and see the tail end of the “superbloom,” and all I got was this lousy blog idea. Actually, I had fun and got a lot of cool pictures of individual flowers and landscapes as well, but the massive fields of flowers have faded away.
Filed under: Altithermal, climate change, Hot Earth Dreams, Permaculture | Tags: California High Altithermal, climate change, Hot Earth Dreams, Permaculture
This idea seems to be sprouting like a weed in some odd places, including (reportedly) with a group of professors at UC Davis. The general idea, as I’m hearing it second and third-hand, is a conglomeration of “this time it’s different,” “weeds are the new natives, you stupid nativists,” and “It’s now the Anthropocene, so the old rules are out the window.”
Filed under: book, Hot Earth Dreams, news, Uncategorized | Tags: Hot Earth Dreams, news, Peak Oil?
Just another quick entry with two bits of news, one about Hot Earth Dreams, one about carbon production peaking (???) in 2015.
Filed under: Altithermal, climate change, Hot Earth Dreams | Tags: California High Altithermal, climate change, Hot Earth Dreams
One of the things that’s hard about talking about California’s future is that, on the one hand, I’d love to predict winners and losers, and I suspect others would be happier if I did. For example, perhaps the Latinos take over. Or possibly the white ranchers will become the feudal lords of the 24th Century. Or the permaculturalists will agroforest the north, and the Rainbow Family will become a model for future communities. Or the resurgent Indian tribes will reassert their ancient hunting and gathering life-styles, aided and abetted by the native plant enthusiasts who help them rewild the hills. Or Guatemalan migrant farm laborers will teach the people of California how to make milpas to take advantage of the increasingly tropical climate, and we’ll all go Mayan or Aztec or Tarahumaran or some such, and grow coffee under the trees instead of pot. Or the tech tycoons will build their shining arcologies on the hills, beacons of sustainable civilization midst a howling wilderness populated by scattered bands of survivalists.
And I could make a story for each of these. But are any of them stories worth telling because it might be true? Or are they just my biases and preconceptions playing out?
Filed under: Altithermal, Hot Earth Dreams, Speculation | Tags: California High Altithermal, climate change, Hot Earth Dreams
One of the challenges with this scenario is that it starts 100 years from now, since it follows my (probably overly simplistic) model from Hot Earth Dreams. This is a problem, because it would be easier if I did the simple doomy-gloomy thing and predicted that we’re going to collapse in, oh, about 20 years or so, so the future has a lot of stuff we’d recognize. If we’re talking about a collapse 50-100 years out, then we’re basically talking the collapse of a civilization that tried for sustainability and ultimately failed over the course of decades. This means, in turn, that there’s a potentially large amount of sustainable, appropriate technology that could be (hopefully will be) invented between now and then, stuff which will make our descendants’ lives better even if things go permanently pear-shaped. Here I’m not going to speculate on possible technology (that’s what the comments are for, Alex), but hopefully you’ll see why some inventions still matter more than others.
Instead I’m assuming that, during the 21st Century, some combination of a titanic storm (the ARkStorm, for “Atmospheric River, 1000-year Storm”) and the Big One earthquake, possibly with a side order of pandemic, famine, and non-nuclear war, combine to trash California over the 21st Century, and that some large fraction of California’s population loss is due to emigration to Oregon or Mexico, not in-state excess mortality (aside to Oregon: it’s not too early to start building that border fence…)
Here I’m going to talk a little about human life during the early part of the High Altithermal.