Opinion

No System of Government Designed by Human Beings Can Survive What the Climate Crisis Will Bring

The window to prevent the worst of it is closing fast, while water scarcity in mainland Asia is the prelude to the next big war.
IMAGE ARUN SANKAR | Getty Images
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It is a long held belief here in the shebeen that, thanks to those clever Chinese climate hoaxsters, the next world wars are going to be fought not over oil, but over water. This is especially true in places like India, which is currently in the middle of a murderous heat wave in which temperatures regularly top out at 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and where hugely populated cities are running out of water. From the BBC: 

Residents have had to stand in line for hours to get water from government tanks, and restaurants have closed due to the lack of water. "Only rain can save Chennai from this situation," an official told BBC Tamil. The city, which, according to the 2011 census, is India's sixth largest, has been in the grip of a severe water shortage for weeks now. As the reservoirs started to run dry, many hotels and restaurants shut down temporarily. The Chennai metro has turned off air conditioning in the stations, while offices have asked staff to work from home in a bid to conserve water...

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The water crisis has also meant that most of the city has to depend solely on Chennai's water department, which has been distributing water through government trucks across neighborhoods. "The destruction has just begun," an official said. "If the rain fails us this year too, we are totally destroyed."

And, as the Times of London reports, the combination of heat and drought not only is killing people, but also is emptying villages in the northern part of India. (Gee, I wonder where everyone will go and how welcome they'll be when they get there?) And things among the people who have stayed so far are getting ugly.

In the worst-hit areas many villages starved of water have been abandoned until the arrival of the monsoon brings relief, after weeks of temperatures topping 50 degrees. In the northern states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan fighting has broken out over scarce water supplies, with police deployed to protect water trucks and wells.

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Water levels in the four main reservoirs in Chennai has fallen to one of its lowest levels in 70 years, according to Indian media reports, with the current levels amounting to only 1.3 percent of full capacity.

Photo by ARUN SANKAR | Getty Images.

This is a part of the new normal, and it's coming soon to a theater near you. But, not to worry. According to this guy, if we don't turn things around on those clever Chinese climate hoaxsters in the next half-decade, we're all screwed anyway. From those noted tree-hugging libs at Forbes:

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"We have exquisite information about what that state is, because we have a paleo record going back millions of years, when the earth had no ice at either pole. There was almost no temperature difference between the equator and the pole," said James Anderson, a Harvard University professor of atmospheric chemistry best known for establishing that chlorofluorocarbons were damaging the Ozone Layer. "The ocean was running almost 10ºC warmer all the way to the bottom than it is today," Anderson said of this once-and-future climate, "and the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere would have meant that storm systems would be violent in the extreme, because water vapor, which is an exponential function of water temperature, is the gasoline that fuels the frequency and intensity of storm systems."...

People have the misapprehension that we can recover from this state just by reducing carbon emissions, Anderson said in an appearance at the University of Chicago. Recovery is all but impossible, he argued, without a World War II-style transformation of industry—an acceleration of the effort to halt carbon pollution and remove it from the atmosphere, and a new effort to reflect sunlight away from the earth's poles. This has to be done, Anderson added, within the next five years. "The chance that there will be any permanent ice left in the Arctic after 2022 is essentially zero," Anderson said, with 75 to 80 percent of permanent ice having melted already in the last 35 years.

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This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by Esquiremag.ph editors. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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About The Author
Charles P. Pierce
Charles P. Pierce, lead for Esquire Politics US, has been a working journalist since 1976. He is the author of four books, most recently 'Idiot America.' He lives near Boston with his wife but no longer his three children.
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