Living with Coronavirus
Sunday June 20, 2021
I did the numbers this morning as usual, but did not write at all. My mood was foul. After thirty-five years of bitching about CO2 and climate shift almost many people still do not accept the reality as before I began. We are breaking record after record in the current heat wave. This is happening as we get early tropical systems in the gulf and severe thunderstorms on the eastern plains.
Australia was destroyed by wildfires last year, the great barrier reef is more dead than alive, and the Amazon is beginning the process of “savannization”, that is turning from rainforest into savannah. A new documentary with David Attenborough is what set me off. In that he points out the various tipping points of our global ecosystem, and shows we are in the red in 4 out of 9, two are unknowns, and the other two are still safe, but heading into the yellow.
In the end he says that if we all work together, we can get it done. I see zero chance of that happening. Look how we all failed with the pandemic, some much worse than others and the USA being the first-place loser with most deaths per capita. Do you think the people of the world will accept less for themselves, any kind of hiccup in their chosen lifestyles?
We are at 415 PPM CO2 right now, and on the way to 450 ppm. Ecological stability of the Helicocone era, the era in which Human society developed, which includes all of human History including prehistory, happened during this warm interglacial era. During that entire era the PPM of Carbon ranged between 250 and 350, with 350 marking the current modern era.
The planet achieved a sort of ecological balance unseen in previous epochs, a balance we destroyed by altering the face of the planet everywhere we went. By changing what grew there, and what animals we allow to live there, and by adding carbon and pollution of all sorts everywhere we live. We unbalanced that cart throughout all of human history, and now the cart is wobbling and threatening to crash.
Mind you I have no fear for the planet, it would be happy to be Venus or Jupiter. Drastic changes to the ecosystem won’t bother the planet, but might well make human survival as a species impossible. It is certain to crash existing social structures and the societies they are part and parcel of. Yet none of these threats feel real yet to humans interested in feeding themselves today.
By the time the new weather feels real to all people, we might be past the point of no return. We need to act together for the chance of survival for all. I do not believe that will happen. I expect people will default to self-concerns and desire for wealth until it is so obvious no one can deny, and by then it will be far too late.
We could save ourselves by cooperation, but I do not expect it. People would rather lie and retain power and wealth than admit the crisis and have to curtail their personal desires for an altruistic end, saving everyone. Some people prefer denialism.
Now here is Delta. The variant from India is threatening to force the UK into another unwanted shutdown. The UK strain (Alpha) was 60% more infectious than the original, and the Delta is 60% more infectious than that. Making it more than doubly infectious, and with more consistent hospitalizations and after effects. It has also affected people who are fully vaccinated.
The numbers are down globally, but the curve down has been bending into a plateau the last three weeks. If that continues, we may plateau at 2000 cases a week or so, with blooms here and there amongst under vaccinated an unvaccinated people. Every infection is another chance for the bug to mutate further, Delta is affecting kids as well.
Global Infected 175,727,365 178,230,119
7-day average 357,536 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN
Global Dead 3,796,642 3,860,720
7-day average 9,154 deaths daily –DOWN
USA Infected 33,457,794 33,538,037
7-day average 11,463 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN
USA C-19 deaths 599,672 601,741
7-day average 295 deaths daily –DOWN
Maine Infected 68,540 68,794
7-day average 36 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN
Maine deaths 845 854
7-day average 1.2857 deaths daily –UP
While I sat frustrated by climate change denialism 64,078 of my fellow humans died of Covid, of those 2,069 were my fellow Americans, and of those 9 were my fellow Mainers.