FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Trillion-Ton Icebergs and Record Stock Prices

by

Photo by Christopher Michel | CC by 2.0

The strange happenstance of record-breaking stock markets and record-breaking icebergs is something to behold and wonder, what the hell is going on in the world? Is there a relationship between high stock prices and crashing, splintering icebergs? Probably, yes.

In point of fact, as capitalism’s grand experiment of neoliberal tendencies (privatization/commoditization of everything in sight, let free markets reign supreme) progresses and registers enormous stock market profits, Antarctica splitters apart ever faster in lockstep. In bizarre fashion, high stocks equate to faster loss of major ice icons, the Arctic-to-Patagonia-to-Antarctica, a worldwide phenomena. Is the linkage mere coincidence?

In short, does unfettered capitalism bring forth trillion-ton icebergs?

The answer is Yes! Indubitably without a doubt, unfettered capitalism, colloquially known as neoliberalism, impacts tremendous losses of classical bodies of ice. Indeed, the connection is stronger than mere coincidence. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 2,000 when Dr. James Hanson testified before the Senate in 1988: “Today Dr. James E. Hansen of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration told a Congressional committee that it was 99 percent certain that the warming trend was not a natural variation but was caused by a buildup of carbon dioxide and other artificial gases in the atmosphere.” (Source: Philip Shabecoff, Global Warming Has Begun, Expert Tells Senate, The New York Times, June 24, 1988).

Today, with the DJIA up 10-fold at 22,000 global warming/ice loss tracks along with its own records. According to Earth Observatory, NASA: “How is Today’s Warming Different from the Past? In the past century alone, the temperature has climbed… roughly ten (10) times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.” Thus, the strangest of coincidences as both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and global warming are up 10-fold, although it took the climate more time. Still, hands down, it’s an all-time paleoclimate record for climate change. What used to happen in 5,000 years now only takes decades.

After all, the planet is handicapped, a big lumbering spinning terrestrial sphere that travels 584,000,000 miles per year around the Sun. Whereas, by way of comparison, high frequency algorithmic automated traders plop down residence within blocks of the New York Stock Exchange to gain an edge over other high-frequency traders, accounting for roughly 50% of all stock trading (absurdity upon absurdity w/o economic benefit) like rigged slot machines.

Forget stupid, useless, empty economic high-frequency trading, trillion-ton icebergs make stock trading look like kids’ stuff. According to scientists, the trillion-ton iceberg breakoff of July 12, 2017 from Larsen C Ice Shelf fundamentally changes the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula. National Geographic will redraw its Atlas.

But, behind the scenes there’s a festering problem: Ice shelves which extend over the water serve as giant buffers, holding back the flow of glaciers on land. For example, when Larsen B Ice Shelf 10,000 years old, oh, really, only 10,000 years old, splintered in 2002, the flow of glaciers on land behind the ice shelf headed for the sea, accelerating sharply. Additionally, Larsen A collapsed in 1995. Ipso facto, glaciers flow to sea and sea levels rise.

Researchers remain puzzled and deeply concerned by the speedy pace of big-time humongous icebergs, out of the ordinary and kinda spooky. Remarkably, Larsen C represents only one of three big whoppers to crash in little over a decade. Curiously, icebergs and stocks simultaneously break records like there’s no tomorrow, leading to the conclusion that if unfettered neoliberal capitalism remains the main game in town, there may not be many tomorrows, other than of the dystopian variety.

All of which begs the question of how the stock market setting new record highs relates to record-setting climate change/global warming and much-bigger-than-usual icebergs, aside from identical timelines, which is insanely coincidental.

The answer is simple enough: Record stock prices around the world reflect record world gross domestic product growing from $19T in 1988 to $75T today (it’s the Great Acceleration, in spades) which equates to lots and lots and lots of fossil fuel energy powering a 4-fold increase in economic activity, emitting greenhouse gases blanketing the atmosphere, retaining heat and ominously inclusive of the potently dangerous latency effect, meaning today’s CO2 will register as higher temps over the next decade.

The earth’s atmosphere like a home heating oven turned to 450 degrees does not immediately heat up to 450 degrees. It takes a while to creep up to 450. Likewise, greenhouse gases in the atmosphere today take years upon years to achieve maximum temperature impact, resulting in unrecognized risks haunting society at large. For example, annual CO2 atmospheric ppm increased 50% over the past decade, locking in imbedded trouble over mucho years ahead.

According to Dr. James Hansen, America’s preeminent climate scientist: “One cannot recognize the imminent danger without understanding the science. It is not difficult science. The urgency of action arises from the slow response of the climate system to changes of atmospheric composition. This slow response means that there is more global warming “in the pipeline” without further increase of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Delayed warming is due mainly to the large thermal inertia of the ocean.” (Source: James Hansen, North Dakota Conviction Paper, October 11, 2017.)

“The delayed response is dangerous in one sense, because it allows greater climate change and consequences to build up before effects become large enough to awaken the public to danger,” Ibid.

Interestingly, when stocks swooned badly, crashed in 2007-08, greenhouse gas emissions slowed. Therefore, there is a distinct relationship between stocks and global warming, meaning bull markets reflect increased global warming whereas bear markets mean less growth of CO2, slower warming. But, on the other hand, nobody likes bear markets, recessions, especially depressions, narrowly missed only a few years ago if not for the Fed behaving like Pac-Man, scooping up debt securities nobody else would touch, by the trillions.

So then therefore, the big question is what to do to prevent Earth turning into another Venus, scorching hot temps 864 F degrees on average. After all, Whew! Most of Earth’s carbon is still in the ground or very tenuously under ice whereas Venus’s carbon is all in its atmosphere at 96%. That’s global warming on extra-strength steroids. Even Mercury with an average temperature of 332 F, and much closer (36M miles) to the Sun, is cooler than Venus (67M miles away). Mercury does not have a carbon-based atmosphere.

Assuming the neoliberal brand of capitalism remains the world dictate economic order, which is a sure-fire lock, the only plausible way (maybe?) out of a very big jam is to stop emitting CO2 into the atmosphere by converting fossil fuel energy to renewables that do not emit greenhouse gases.

However, that only solves part of the problem, as Dr. James Hansen believes the only chance of avoiding some kind of catastrophic end game is geo-engineering removal of carbon from the atmosphere. But, within scientific circles geo-engineering is very controversial, big positives as well as possibly equally big, or even bigger, negatives. Who knows? Will it work at scale? What about unintended consequences?

But then again, reality today is the Trump administration re-emphasizing coal, crowning King Coal, ahem, which is the dirtiest and worst fossil fuel on the planet. “Clean coal” is the biggest oxymoronic exaggeration in the history of the English language, as Trump’s henchmen work towards dismantling Obama’s Clean Power Plan to goose up coal usage, proving beyond all doubt the hidden powers and dangers of pure idiocy at the control panels.

Trump’s agenda not only dismantles the establishment political order but along the way it speeds up humongous ice shelves crashing, thereby threatening his shoreline golf courses. And, he knows it!

Hark! Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland filed a sea wall permit to protect its golf course from “global warming and its effects.” Trump’s permit application specifically refers to global warming and its consequences, increased erosion due to rising sea levels as the chief justification for a permit to build a sea wall.

Hey World! When Trump’s golf courses are at stake, he’s suddenly hip to climate change/global warming. He morphs into an amateur atmospheric scientist that understands, in his own words, “global warming and its effects.” Assuming, of course, this article is not fake news.

More articles by:

Robert Hunziker lives in Los Angeles and can be reached at rlhunziker@gmail.com.

January 18, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Destabilizer: Trump’s Escalating Threats Against Iran
John W. Whitehead
Silence Is Betrayal: Get Up, Stand Up, Speak Up for Your Rights
Andrew Day
Of “Shitholes” and Liberals
Dave Lindorff
Rep. Gabbard Speaks Truth to Power About the Real Reason Korea Has Nukes
Barbara G. Ellis
The Workplace War: Hatpins Might Be in Style Again for Women
Binoy Kampmark
Corporate Sickness in May’s Britain
Ralph Nader
Twitter Rock Star Obama’s Silence Must Delight Trump
John G. Russell
#Loose Lips (Should) Sink … Presidencies … But Even If They Could, What Comes Next?
David Macaray
The “Mongrelization” of the White Race
Ramzy Baroud
In Words and Deeds: The Genesis of Israeli Violence
January 17, 2018
Seiji Yamada
Prevention is the Only Solution: a Hiroshima Native’s View of Nuclear Weapons
Chris Welzenbach
Force of Evil: Abraham Polonsky and Anti-Capitalist Noir
Thomas Klikauer
The Business of Bullshit
Howard Lisnoff
The Atomized and Siloed U.S. Left
Martha Rosenberg
How Big Pharma Infiltrated the Boston Museum of Science
George Wuerthner
The Collaboration Trap
David Swanson
Removing Trump Will Require New Activists
Michael McKinley
Australia and the Wars of the Alliance: United States Strategy
Binoy Kampmark
Macron in China
Cesar Chelala
The Distractor-in-Chief
Ted Rall
Why Trump is Right About Newspaper Libel Laws
Mary Serumaga
Corruption in Uganda: Minister Sam Kutesa and Company May Yet Survive Their Latest Scandal
January 16, 2018
Mark Schuller
What is a “Shithole Country” and Why is Trump So Obsessed With Haiti?
Paul Street
Notes From a “Shithole” Superpower
Louisa Willcox
Keeper of the Flame for Wilderness: Stewart “Brandy” Brandborg
Mike Whitney
Trump’s Sinister Plan to Kill the Iranian “Nukes” Deal
Franklin Lamb
Kafkaesque Impediments to Challenging Iran’s Theocracy
Norman Solomon
Why Senator Cardin is a Fitting Opponent for Chelsea Manning
Fred Gardner
GI Coffeehouses Recalled: a Compliment From General Westmoreland
Brian Terrell
Solidarity from Central Cellblock to Guantanamo
Don Fitz
Bondage Scandal: Looking Beneath the Surface
Rob Seimetz
#Resist Co-opting “Shithole”
Ted Rall
Trump Isn’t Unique
January 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Democrats and the End(s) of Politics
Paul Tritschler
Killing Floor: the Business of Animal Slaughter
Mike Garrity
In Targeting the Lynx, the Trump Administration Defies Facts, Law, and Science Once Again
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Hong Kong Politics: a Never-Ending Farce
Uri Avnery
Bibi’s Son (Or Three Men in a Car)
Dave Lindorff
Yesterday’s ‘Shithole Countries’ Can Become Classy Places Donald, and Vice Versa
Jeff Mackler
Lesser Evil Politics in Alabama
Jonah Raskin
Typewriters Still Smoking? An Interview with Underground Press Maven John McMillan
Jose-Antonio Orosco
Trump’s Comments Recall a Racist Past in Immigration Policy
David Macaray
Everything Seems to Be Going South
Kathy Kelly
41 Hearts Beating in Guantanamo
Weekend Edition
January 12, 2018
Friday - Sunday
George Burchett
Wormwood and a Shocking Secret of War: How Errol Morris Vindicated My Father, Wilfred Burchett
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail