“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Monday, August 21, 2006

my buds and companeros, the hummers

LI hopes readers haven’t found our last two posts intolerably dull. The thing is, the graphix novel we are working on does some projecting into the future. We have been dreaming of a period of great thirst, as the extent of glacial melting starts truly drying up drinking water sources, some time after 2040. Our little dystopian vision is of a Rwanda like situation in which the generation that drove cars (called "the Hummers") is systematically slaughtered by their offspring. How that fits into the plot remains to be seen. So, in any case, we are playing around with a vocabulary and vision. Sorry for the longeurs.



Ah, the symbols of the great glacier melt. Last week, the British papers had an interesting story about the reappearance of the body of a climber lost on Mount Blanc in 1989:

From the Daily Telegraph:

“THE mummified remains of a British mountaineer who vanished 17 years ago have been found in a melting glacier in the Italian Alps.
Michael Seavers, 31, was one of three British climbers who disappeared in a snowstorm with a German companion.

The bodies of William Ogburn, 32, and Leslie Lawrence, 29, were found within six months of the tragedy.

But Mr Seavers's body and that of his German companion Dirk Ziolkowske, 24, have not been found until now.

A guide said yesterday that he had seen their remains last Friday and mountain rescue teams recovered them from an altitude of 10,500ft, close to the Toula glacier on the Italian side of Mt Blanc.”

The alps are the scene of some geologically interesting stuff at the moment. They are actually growing again. As the weight of the alpine glaciers diminishes, the mountains grow inches taller. And how much is that weight going to diminish?

This is from Biotech week:

“Scientists consider glaciers to be among the best natural indicators of climate change and, therefore, monitor them closely. Rapidly shrinking glacier areas, spectacular tongue retreats, and increasing mass losses are clear signs of the atmospheric warming observed in the Alps during the last 150 years.

Michael Zemp and colleagues in the Department of Geography of the University of Zurich note that in the 1970s, about 5,150 Alpine glaciers covered a total area of 2,909 square kilometers [1,123 square miles]. This represented a loss of about 35% of glacial area from 1850 to that time. Accelerated loss of ice cover since then has resulted in a total loss of 50% of the 1850 area, culminating in a volume loss of 5 to 10% of the remaining ice during the extraordinary warm year of 2003.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an increase in summer air temperature of one to five degrees Celsius [two to nine degrees Fahrenheit] and a precipitation change between minus-20% and plus-30% by the end of the 21st century is a plausible scenario. The University of Zurich researchers say that for each one degree Celsius [two degrees Fahrenheit] increase in mean summer temperature, precipitation would have to increase by 25% to offset the glacial loss.”

There is a lake in the center of Austin. It wasn’t there one hundred years ago. It might well not be there a hundred years from now. But nobody is going to experience that span. Rather, our experiences are in the permanent. The way you make it home from work is permanent. The work you do is permanent. Sun rises permanently. Sun sets permanently. What is now is, of course, permanent. What is now always was and always will be.

Only fanatics – the kind of people who never say amen - could think otherwise.

2 comments:

new york pervert said...

No--not bored at all by your informative posts. Just don't know enough to comment on them.

roger said...

Thank you kindly, Mr. NYP -- but I can't look upon that long unsightly post in exactly the same charitable light. I looks to me like a garden snake that tried to swallow a brick.

This blog has three obsessions. Number one is the war culture, no. two is the economic treadmill that is leading us into disaster, and no. 3, of course, is L'il Kim. I keep myself seatbelted in with regard to no. 3 -- I don't want Kimberly or her body guards to think I'm blogstalking her. But I do want to be, well, a bit coherent about no. 1.