BY MIKE JOHNSON
In 2015 I began the Residence on Earth blog to share some of the research I’d been doing into man-made climate change and associated environmental issues with the feeling that, as a culture, we were not fully understanding and facing the consequences of uncontrolled emissions of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. I stopped adding to the blog in 2016 partly because I had no time due to work load, partly because the posts were getting larger and too ambitious, and partly because the information I was passing on was easily found by readers at a variety of reliable web sites such as Skeptical Science, Hot Topic (NZ based) Real Climate, and Climate Central, with excellent climate sections in progressive news outlets such as Think Progress, Common Dreams and The Guardian.
Since then we have seen the rise of Donald Trump, a calculated liar and science denier, to the US Presidency. The culture of denial, which I thought was on the wane, has become even more extreme, with attacks on climate scientists and a systematic choking off of data flows by closing down climate research stations. As soon as Trump took office, all reference to climate change disappeared from the official White House website. The war against reality is in full swing as the effects of climate change begin to bite in the form of droughts, floods, disrupted weather patterns and rising sea levels. It begins as a propaganda war, but can easily slip into outright persecution. Just as hundreds of scientists across the US, known as ‘baggers’, have attempted to archive and preserve as much information as they can before Trump can wipe it all from the data banks, I urge all readers to save and archive as much information as they can.
I have therefore decided to reopen the blog. However because I have the same time constraints I am simplifying my approach to posting one graph or chart per week with a minimum of comment. Like a good poem, a graph can speak for itself. Like an image it is worth a thousand words (see Archive, ‘for the love of graphs’). All the graphs accumulate; the total picture of what is happening will emerge.
Readers are welcome to follow the journey of these charts week by week, and look back over the archives.
Have a safe and well-informed year!
These gasses include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone. They have the capacity to trap heat, and they are produced by our industrial and industrial farming practices, and increasingly by thawing biomass in the north of the northern hemisphere.