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The assorted meanderings, rantings, and pontifications of... us!

Topics may include, but will not be limited to: feminism, hockey, atheism, shoes, politics, fat acceptance, fitness, skepticism, dancing, introversion/HSP issues, and anything else that happens to be on my mind.

Monday, January 02, 2006

How Nonlinearity is going to kick our ass

I am a huge fan of global warming. The current winter in Alberta this year is comparable to the weather experienced out on the West Coast. The mild temperatures and almost zero snow have combined to make me one happy camper. This is all fine and dandy on my small happy scale. The bad news is that our weather is a dynamic, chaotic, intensely nonlinear system. The notorious butterfly effect discovered by Mr. Lorenz is at work here, but I am more interested in what nonlinear goodies our weather has in store for us.

The funny thing about nonlinearity is that we can continue down the same route we have been since the industrial revolution. The small incremental changes that we have brought about and continue to do so seem to have a relatively marginal effect on our weather systems (at least in relation to a ‘dynamic nonlinear episode’ which I am getting to). We scuttle about and thing seem to behave the way they should be. At some point though this can all change. A very drastic change, in the span of 50 years-ish we can see a 10 degree differential in current temperatures across the globe. As one can imagine, a fair amount of higgledy-piggledy would result. The Atlantic Conveyor shutting down, Europe freezing over etc.

Nonlinearity gives no warning, no subtle cues, no anything at all… it just happens. Patterns of weather and ocean currents exhibit extremely turbulent behaviour until a new equilibrium is formed. I’m guessing that this new equilibrium will not be particularly favourable to our current standard of living. The best and most exciting part of the whole situation is that things right now are fine. What we are doing right now is fine. The nonlinearity of our weather plays right into the hands of the capitalist ideal. Short term gain and prosperity trump all. We can safely ignore the science that foolishly preaches the interconnectivity of the systems on our planet. It is good today and it will be good tomorrow…

We’ve already grabbed our ankles, heads firmly in the sand, ass-wiggling gently to and fro. Nonlinearity has just pulled the laces extra-tight on her shiny new jackboots…the wind up and…


Anonymous Boris said...

I'm starting to like this blog. Cheers!

10:15 a.m.

Blogger Sardeth said...

*grins* Woo..:) It is nice to see we have a few regular readers. T and I will do our best to keep the content going and hopefully foster some discussion.

6:35 p.m.


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