For this episode of The Green Flame, Jennifer Murnan and Max Wilbert discuss extreme weather around the world. As the Arctic is experiencing catastrophic low ice formation, wildfires have swept western Turtle Island this summer and fall, and storms have pounded southeast Asia and the Caribbean. We include excerpts from a January podcast covering the megafires in Australia, discuss the rise of extreme weather under global warming, the basic science of why this occurs, and more.
From this episode:
Max Wilbert: It’s not too late. This can be a really heavy topic, but I want to emphasize for people that any change that we can make right now, any reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, is going to make the future less grim.
Any natural habitats that we can protect will be a reserve of biodiversity, will be a potential climate corridor, to help adaptation, to help the natural world, both non-humans and humans, to to to be more resilient in the face of what is coming.
I personally will not give up until every last living thing on this planet is dead, and that’s because I love this living world and it’s so important that we keep fighting no matter what.
Jennifer Murnan: Thank you, Max. I’d like to offer some insights too from from what I’ve observed. I can’t help but realize the immensity of what we are gifted by life. As you strip away the biological communities then you’re faced with the raw elements and one of the things that struck me is that the fires are creating their own weather.
That strikes me in a kind of poetic sense. Yes, you take away the mitigating forces of life and the balancing forces of life in this beautiful symphony of beings and what can be created, and you strip that away, and then you’re faced with the raw elements.
So what’s the reaction? I want to put all of my all of my belief all of my effort all of my energy all of my courage all of my fight into my fellow beings and into protecting and defending and loving the life that’s around me because i just got this massive lesson in what life is capable of. I’ve also read about mass extinctions that the planet has gone through before. I know that you can get through, and that life is part of getting through all of this. Much of the brilliance is in the smallest beings that are here. That’s where I find my courage and my strength right now, is from from life itself.
Max: I couldn’t agree more that life on this planet is so incredibly resilient and wants to live so badly. I’m always astounded at life’s capacity to hang on, whether it is plants growing out of the cracks in the sidewalk, or whether it’s in the Chernobyl irradiated zone where wildlife is flourishing despite some of the most toxic conditions on the planet, whether it is the salmon who are hanging on despite their streams having been dammed for 50, 60, 70 years, whether it is the trees who are ;osing their ability to reproduce in their home ranges but human beings are helping them migrate northwards to adapt to global warming. That’s already taking place. The natural world wants to live and is incredibly adaptive to varying natural conditions which are often pretty extreme throughout the Earth’s history. The world can survive a great deal. All we have to do is get industrial civilization out of the way, and help in that adaptation process.
Our music for this episode comes by the hand of DENNI.
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About The Green Flame
The Green Flame is a Deep Green Resistance podcast offering revolutionary analysis, skill sharing, and inspiration for the movement to save the planet by any means necessary. Our hosts are Max Wilbert and Jennifer Murnan.
1. On why global warming causes extreme weather: Climate deniers obviously have small minds, and need very simple, irrefutable arguments to shut them up.
Only 3 things could cause global warming. Either the sun is getting hotter (it isn’t), Earth’s magnetic shield is getting weaker (it isn’t), or it’s us.
Proving that it’s carbon is done by simple lab experiments, which prove that excess carbon in the atmosphere traps solar heat, slowing its radiation back into space.
And since deniers like to gamble, there’s this one: Ice cores in the Antarctic show the makeup of the atmosphere like tree rings. And for the last 100,000 years, the carbon content was between 230 and 280 ppm until around 1750, and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Since then, it’s been rising in tandem with fossil fuel use, to today’s level, which is around 414 ppm. Thus the odds are 370-to-one that fossil fuel use is responsible for climate change. And what industrial investor would bet against odds like that?
As for extreme weather, it originates in the upper atmosphere, with phenomena like the jet stream. Warming causes air to move faster, just as it causes coldblooded animals to move faster. And faster weather, like faster traffic, leads to more violent accidents.
That’s so simple, even dummies like Trump and Bolsonaro should be able to understand it.
2. On Derrick’s comment on the resilience of Nature, a recent PBS series on Earth’s manmade sacred places showed that the temples of Angkor Wat (Cambodia’s top tourist attraction) are being “attacked” by saplings, which sprout from its sides annually. This requires men on ropes to risk their lives scaling the walls to remove natural growth.
One of the men (a devout Buddhist) said, “Without the temples, life wouldn’t be worth living.”
I greatly respect the core tenets of Buddhism. But the Buddha taught nothing about building temples. That’s all a result of the misplaced understanding of his followers. True reverence admires and preserves Nature. And try as they may, the sapling removers of Angkor Wat are fighting a losing battle. As seen in the Mayan ruins and elsewhere, Nature eventually reclaims its own, and creates its own temples.
And there is no Buddhist teaching more fundamental than that impermanence is the natural order of things. All beings die. All monuments topple and fall. And our love for things and for each other should be driven partly by that fact. We and they won’t be here forever. That’s why we love the beauty of youth.
I totally agree about the perversion of Siddhartha’s ideas. Same with Christianity and Hinduism. If I had to choose a major religion it would clearly be Buddhism, but not the popular version (reincarnation, temples, etc.) The main tenets of real Buddhism are impermanence of all things, being present in the here & now, calming and quieting one’s inner voices, and shedding desires in order to advance spiritually. The other stuff is BS, and I would love to hear Siddhartha’s comments about this idiocy (I assume they’d be the same funny but acerbic comments that he made about mindless Hindu rituals).