With the risk of looking insensitive, I’d like to express some quick opinions of the current extreme weather condition incidents we’ve experienced around the globe. Climate Change or not, the official approach won’t lead anywhere.

  • Extreme heat in Canada and the US, caused by a “heat dome” (they say).
  • Extreme rain with deadly floods and landslides in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and other European countries.
  • Previously, heavy thunderstorms and small tornados in the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, France, and Italy.
  • The heaviest rains ever in Tokyo, and one month’s worth of rain in one day in London.
  • Record-breaking rains with unexpected floods in China. Not funny at all, don’t you think?

What would Greta Thunberg do?

The official narrative: “Climate scientists have long predicted that human emissions would cause more floods, heatwaves, droughts, storms and other forms of extreme weather, but the latest spikes have surpassed many expectations.” Or: “Scientists believe climate disruption will bring more extreme weather, and humans are making things worse.”

Yeah, sure. My insensitive tweet was this one for the case of Germany:

Some quick rants now.

What are we to make of all this? I stubbornly believe that this is NOT “global warming” in the sense of “0.5 degrees warmer”, but “climate change” characterized by unpredictability and extremes, which is in my opinion NOT caused by the CO2, but:

  1. by the increased economic activity that primarily generates real heat and harmful chemicals, not CO2;
  2. by urban agglomerations of many millions of people (9M to 25M), which again, on the one hand they accumulate heat from the sun (concrete, asphalt, etc.), and on the other hand they emit heat of their own making (people exhaling, power consumption with heat generation, A/C units, etc. etc. etc., plus cars, but heat, really, not CO2);
  3. by the industrial concentrations (mostly probably in China).

In my opinion, all of this totally unbalances the climate, and the retarded local measures (only electric cars from 2036 in the EU!) will solve absolutely NOTHING! There are almost 8 billion of us, not 2 billion like in 1929! Add to this the fact that the energy consumption per capita is much higher than it used to be. If everyone had the same energy consumption as an American, the planet would collapse instantly! (What with the Internet taking 15-20% of the world’s electricity, not counting the BTC and ETH mining, we’re doomed.)

Those were numbers. Now, some unquantified facts that led to the current situations:

  1. heavy deforestation (immediate consequences are floods and landslides in deforested areas);
  2. excessive urbanization (leading to the aforementioned huge urban agglomerations);
  3. agricultural intensification with the cropland expansion (we don’t like chemical fertilizers anymore, and they alone couldn’t have fed us all)

As for the forest fires, it seems that many if not most of those who occurred in the last couple of years, from Australia to Canada to Portugal to California, were started by arsonists! It’s not just the heat and the lack of rain. But another cause is that nobody’s properly managing the forests and the fields anymore! (Even Trump knew that sometimes you have to burn down a portion of field to create a barrier against the fire expansion. People were doing this for centuries, but today nobody could be bothered anymore.)

Farming stupidly (e.g. producing billions of tons of corn from which you then make ethanol) is even worse. First you deforest, then you put in crops to feed the cattle (after all, we’re almost 8bn), then you complain about the farts from the cattle! That’s a vicious circle caused by the enormous population growth, and by greed. Corn for ethanol is pure stupidity. Even worse, the palm oil is produced e.g. in Indonesia after deforestation and re-cultivation of those places with palm trees! Not only the palm oil is unhealthy (the European Food Safety Authority dixit: “Glycerol-based process contaminants found in palm oil, but also in other vegetable oils, margarines and some processed foods, raise potential health concerns for average consumers of these foods in all young age groups, and for high consumers in all age groups. … There is sufficient evidence that glycidol is genotoxic and carcinogenic, therefore the CONTAM Panel did not set a safe level for GE. … We have set a tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 0.8 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day (µg/kg bw/day) for 3-MCPD and its fatty acid esters based on evidence linking this substance to organ damage in animal tests.”), but most manufacturers of biscuits, chocolate, margarine, etc. have replaced the much healthier and traditional sunflower, soy, and rapeseed oils with palm oil. With brands having names to the effect of “like at home,” or “like in grandma’s kitchen,” they lie to us (grandma didn’t use no palm oil, you motherfuckers!), they poison us, and they destroy the planet!

Yet, the EU has an obsession with the internal combustion engine cars. They’re more blind and more stupid than a dead tapeworm!

What’s the other thing they don’t do anymore? Land development / land use planning (aménagement du territoire) is also severely deficient. Why don’t they protect small towns with high dams around rivers that are known to burst their banks quite often? Urban planning sucks, too, because they didn’t plan for the cases when the infrastructure couldn’t sustain heavier rains. And how about towns that are practically in floodplains, or in areas where, should heavy rains occur, the streams and torrents from the neighboring higher lands, hills or mountains, would undoubtedly flood such towns? Has anything been done about it, e.g. to make sure the water goes around the city? Nope, nada, zilch.

Well, we should admit, though: most floods happened where there was a river nearby. They can’t claim to be surprised that it happened!

Even in Germany, the landslides and the flooding of towns that remained basically unchanged from the Middle Ages show that no investment has been made in spatial planning–or not enough, if we want to be more generous. There is a lot to be done, but nothing is being done! As it is said that 75% of bridges in the US are out of date and in bad need of repair and consolidation, it is to be expected that everywhere else there is a lot to be done, but nobody does shit!

We’re in the 21st century, we should have been doing whatever the technology allows us to do to prevent floods and landslides. Instead, we are mining cryptocurrencies, and we’re wiping Greta Thunberg’s boogers!

Politicians don’t care, and the people are drooling idiots. If they have Netflix and Steam, bigger cars and exotic vacations, they don’t give a damn.

On top of that, I get the feeling that everything is more expensive than it used to be when they were still building them, bridges and dams and reservoirs and whatnot. To fix a bridge or a dam or a dike from the 1960s would cost you more than it cost then to make it, adjusted for inflation! If you had the curiosity to look up how much the city government of any city is billed for changing 16 lampposts or for putting in 8 street benches (well, here in Leonberg they don’t add benches, they remove them!), you’d be horrified. These anti-corruption legislative measures, with the compulsory public tenders (public procurement) for anything, actually encourage corruption, because no matter what public works can cost as much as a Jumbo Jet, if that’s how it came out of the tender, then it’s legal, so all the crooks rub their hands and pocket the money. I’m afraid all the money they could print couldn’t cover the bills for the public works that would be required to prevent floods and landslides.

Going back to the heat and the wildfires… there’s nothing we could do. Degrowth? Moving out of Made in China? Not drooling for the latest iPhone or MacBook, not wanting the 20th generation of Intel CPU, the 40th generation of NVidia GPU, and not “needing” 128 GB of RAM? Why, then how could people publish their crappy, narcissistic videos on YouTube?

Heck, we can’t even force the supermarkets to close with sliding doors all of their refrigerated display cabinets! Most of them are open, and most of the energy is wasted for nothing (“for a customer’s convenience,” they might say). Do you keep your fridge open all the time at home?

I don’t think the mankind can get out of this situation. We’re too fucking stupid.

Or maybe, just maybe, Greta is smarter than us all. Go ask her.

Late Edit–Bonus Links

Nothing new, I’d say:

In some places, they kept record of all the floods that happened to them:

But if you prefer the official narrative, which is simplifying and as dumb as Greta, you can enjoy these 27 cartoons (many of them in German, unfortunately).

L’esprit de l’escalier

I forgot to mention an important aspect of the land development / land use planning (aménagement du territoire) with regards to flooding prevention: the creation of retention basins (“wet ponds”) or detention basins (“dry ponds”). That’s what was insufficient or missing in most cases of small towns floods!

As a side note, I would note that the French term of aménagement du territoire (RO: amenajarea teritoriului) bears a much stronger component of changing and modifying the land to suit the needs and to avoid the calamities than the English-language equivalents, of which none is 100% a perfect match: land development, land use planning, spatial planning, and all kinds of crappy terms. Even the Italian equivalent, pianificazione territoriale, is a bit dumb. OK, it’s planning, but aménagement includes landscaping, improving, adjusting, not just planning and developing.

As for why major public works are impossible in today’s fucked-up work, I have two references for you:

  1. Why Tunnels in The US Cost Much More Than Anywhere Else in The World: “The successful opening on January 1, 2017, of the Second Ave. Subway in one of New York’s most congested neighborhoods was overshadowed with its high cost at $2.5B per mile.”
  2. The construction of a train station in 9 hours, literally overnight, but only in China; compare to ~3 years (November 2017 to Fall 2020) to upgrade a Caltrain stop.

Part bureaucracy, part stupidity, and the rest the need for various parasites to get big bucks from any and all public works, and the result is what everyone can see.