More “freak weather” is ahead — lots of it.
The flooding and storm damage brought on by Tropical Storm Hilary is just the latest weather catastrophe brought on by rapid global warming, said Eliot Jacobson, a retired professor of computer science and mathematics.
“We have floods in Slovenia and fires in Canada, everything is happening everywhere right now,” Jacobson said on the latest episode of Santa Barbara Talks. “This particular hurricane is just one thing that is local to us. We are just going to see a lot more of all of this and there’s really no way around that.”
Jacobson, a Santa Barbara resident, is a self-described “doomer,” who has appeared on CNN and the popular YouTube podcast “Soft White Underbelly,” and recently exchanged Twitter messages with Greta Thunberg.
He’s an environmentalist who believes that global warming is real and destroying the planet, but strays from the views of mainstream environmentalists in that he believes it is too late to save the planet for humans. He believes that humans are experiencing the sixth extinction, where 75% of the species on the planet will be lost, and that fires, rising ocean temperatures, land temperatures and hurricanes and floods will only increase.
He said many environmentalists have lost their way. Click on the YouTube video below to watch the full conversation from Santa Barbara Talks.
“The environmentalists are viewing the planet as having to make a transition to using a different type of energy, rather than saying, no, what we need to do is not create new energy,” Jacobson said. “We need to find ways to reduce energy, because all energy destroys the environment.”
He said all energy leads to growth, which leads to “the destruction of the environment.”
During the podcast, Jacobson explains how decades of increasing ocean temperatures contributed to the creation of the hurricane.
“Our oceans have been absorbing energy, they have been taking in heat for years and years and years, and sooner or later that heat is going to come to the surface,” Jacobson said. “We just happen to have this combination of conditions right now.”
He said Hurricane Hilary (which was downgraded to a tropical storm) and the type of storm that led to the fires in Maui will happen more frequently because of the rapid escalation of climate change. Ocean temperatures off the coast of Florida were measured at 101 degrees this summer, he said. In Phoenix, temperatures also escalated.
“Phoenix had 31 consecutive days of above 110 degrees this summer,” said Jacobson, who has a website with the catch-phrase, “Watching the World Go Bye.”
Jacobson, who prefers to walk around rather than drive because it contributes to less of an environmental footprint, said he wants to save the planet, but he rejects the idea that humans should be the sole focus of conservation.
Environmentalists talk about reducing dependency on fossil fuels, but Jacobson said humans should reduce all energy consumption, including electric, solar and wind, to save the planet.
“I don’t think we should view humans as exceptional,” Jacobson said. “That is sort of a speciesism, to think that humans are somehow more of an important species than any other species on this planet.”
The goal, he said, should be to save the habitat and environment for all species, including humans.
“If we focus first and foremost on the environment, rather than first and foremost on what humans need to survive, in the long-run, that will be better for the planet.”
Joshua Molina is journalist who currently writes for Noozhawk and teaches journalism at Santa Barbara City College. He formerly covered politics and land use for the San Jose Mercury News. Santa Barbara Talks is an independently owned podcast where Molina looks to bring together voices from all perspectives to discuss and provide solutions to the challenges related to housing, education, transportation and other community issues. Subscribe to his podcast here and consider a contribution here.