Poetry – Icecaps and Polar Bears


Icecaps and Polar Bears


Icecaps and polar bears,

Penguins and seals,

Whales and walruses;

They’re heading for the hills.


Seas are rising.

Land is getting hot.

Hurricanes and droughts.

The climate is shot.


Burning up the coal

The oil and the gas.

Breeding like rabbits.

Chasing the cash.


We haven’t woken up yet

To the time that’s running out.

We need to wake up

To what it’s all about.


Out there on Venus

It’s four hundred degrees.

If we don’t act soon

It’ll bring us to our knees.


Opher – 23.8.2020

10 thoughts on “Poetry – Icecaps and Polar Bears

    1. I’m not sure what it is going to take to wake people up – I think it’ll have to be a major catastrophe before they realise that something needs doing.
      I have just read Stephen Hawking’s last book – he was worried about climate change. If the most intelligent man on the planet saw it as a major threat the politicians must surely take note.

      1. ‘We haven’t woken up yet, To the time that’s running out.’ Indeed, food for thought Opher.

        The suggestion among scientists is that climate change is reversible (but over what length of time?) if carbon-based emissions, and discharge of other toxic gases in the atmosphere were reduced to levels predating the industrial revolution, circa 1760.

        However, what is perhaps not reversible is the significant destruction of ecosystems and wild-life already lost during the Anthropocene age. A disaster I know you feel strongly about.

        Far-fetched an idea as it might be, is it not theoretically possible to harness the rotational energy of the Earth? And what of tidal-energy, might that have viability on a global scale?

        Perhaps alongside rapid advances in AI will come possibilities for sustainable, clean, efficient alternative energy sources not yet considered by the human-mind.

        Climate change as a global threat is evidently already upon us. Time is of the essence.


      2. I agree with you wholeheartedly Dewin.
        It is reversible if we have the will – but do we?
        The damage being wrought on ecosystems is appalling. We should have far more compassion for our fellow creatures. It is not reversible. We are a scourge.
        AI may help – or it may be another big threat (greater inequality and greed – an intelligence that might dispense with us).

  1. Opher, woah! Where is the proof that any of the things you say in this poem are true?

    There’s a real issue here. On which side should the burden of proof be? Should governments take climate “mitigation” action, which might prove not to have been necessary, and may well destroy economy and society? Or should those of us, who merely want to live our own lives, be presumed innocent until proven guilty?

    1. Neil – the science is conclusive. I have just read the last Stephen Hawking book – probably the most intellig4ent man on the planet in the last hundred years and someone who knows his science – he rated climate change as the biggest threat to humanity.
      Don’t you read about the ice-cap melts, the sea-level rises, the rising temperatures of sea and land, the species migrations and creep, the extraordinary temperatures in the antarctic?
      The only scientists who disagree are employed by Trump.
      To go over to a green energy production does not need to damage the economy at all – quite the opposite – it could be an enormous boost. Alternative energy sources are extremely efficient and competitive.
      Your presumption that you should be exempt and do not contribute to the problem is unjustifiable. You eat, you breathe, you take up room, you burn energy and you use goods and materials. You’re no less guilty than the rest of us.

      1. Opher, I’ll start at the end of your missive. I, as an individual, have contributed far more well-being to human civilization than I have taken out of it. And not just through my work in software. Also, through my writing, my music and my liberty teaching – even if they aren’t “profitable” in the current myopic and oppressed economy. I have done more good for my fellow human beings than just about every bureaucrat, politician, jobsworth, political activist or religious nutter there has ever been. Not to mention most “celebrities,” many academics and pretty much all media manipulators. That isn’t mere bombast; it simply reflects that I have fairly earned a living in the (not very) free market for almost 50 years; and I give as good as I get (in my own way) in social matters.

        You won’t make me feel guilty simply by harping on about negatives. And in any case, you can’t reasonably say that my claim of innocence is “unjustifiable.” The burden of proof is on you to show that I have been a nett drain on humanity and on the planet. To seek to invert that burden of proof is to violate my human rights in a very cowardly and dishonest way.

        As to green energy, you say alternative energy is “efficient and competitive.” But is it? Can it compete with fossil fuels or nuclear without subsidies, or any other kind of support? Even if it could compete on price alone (and that’s very dubious), the answer is No. For wind and solar power are both intermittent. Do you know what that means? “When the wind don’t blow, the power don’t flow.” “When the sun don’t shine, there’s no power on the line.” Green energy must be backed up by conventional energy sources, if it is to provide base load for a Western industrial civilization. And that means you have to pay to maintain the conventional sources, as well as paying for the green sources. Not to mention the depletion of resources, such as rare earth mines, to manufacture the wind turbines and solar panels in the first place. Green energy is a no-no. Unless, of course, your objective is to destroy Western industrial civilization; as Maurice Strong wanted to, and many extremists still aspire to do.

        On ice-cap melts, didn’t I read that the Arctic was ice-free back in the 1920s or thereabouts? That sea levels have been rising for about 12,000 years, and the claims that the global rate of rise has been accelerating aren’t supported by tide gauge measurements? That temperatures in Europe, and probably across the globe, have been rising for around 350 years, and there’s no proof that anything exceptional has happened in the last 70 years or so? That species – including humans – migrate as they please; look up Larry Wall’s “Harvard Law.” That there are lots of active volcanoes underneath the Antarctic?

        And finally, Stephen Hawking. He was a fine astrophysicist; but why should you believe an expert in one discipline, in any other? (Unless, of course, you’re dealing with a true genius, such as Richard Feynman. But you still need to check his results against reality). Albert Einstein, for example, was a genius in physics; but his ideas on world government were crazy. By citing an expert in one area as if he was an expert in a wider one, you are committing the fallacy of arguing from authority. And, of course, it’s possible that an “expert” is wrong even within his area of expertise. As Steven Weinberg famously said, “An expert is one who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.”

      2. Hi Neil – I did not in any way mean to infer that you have not contributed greatly to the human experience – obviously you have – quite unlike that list of worthless humanity you listed. What I am saying is that just by existing you have put a negative strain on the environment. You take up room, use resources, burn fuel and consume. Nobody can avoid that even if we can make our impact less.
        No, the ice did not melt in the Arctic during the 1920s. I don’t know where you got that from. Satellites only started measuring it in 1979 so we do not have accurate measurements prior to that. Sea ice melting presents no problems to sea levels bur land ice melting does. Sea levels are rising already, we have record melts and the hottest polar temperatures on record. This year we had the hottest temperature ever recorded on land (in Death Valley). The science for climate change is very well understood and the greenhouse effect is not open to debate. Whether this is manmade or volcanic is of no real consequence, is it? If it is happening and we can stop it happening then we should. Personally, I see that it is obvious that we are contributing massively to the CO2 levels.
        Sea levels are rising and the world temperature is rising.
        There is a massive reduction in animal life on this planet.
        Neil – I said you need to check the data like I any many others have done. It needs addressing.
        I will repeat, hiding away and claiming not to be doing any of this is simply not true. The people, like Trump, are doing it in your name. They put the making of money before the health of the planet.
        If you look at the efficiency and cheapness of renewable energy it is now incredibly competitive. To change over would not cost us.
        Intermittency is not a problem.

        She makes Trump look like the twerp he is and puts pay to your assertion on intermittency.
        Stephen Hawking is a scientist who knows how to look at data. He looked into this and probably understands stats as good as anybody on the planet. The fact that he saw it as a major concern says all you need to know.

      3. Opher, my point was that my nett effect on the environment – including on human civilization – has been positive. To concentrate only on the negative side is unjust and unfair. You could equally well say that any animal puts a negative strain on the environment just by existing. A lion, for example, takes up room, and consumes resources such as zebra. Does that mean that lions are a nett negative on the environment?

        And more generally, why do you want to “make our impact less?” Myself, I want to see more effect of human beings on the planet. I want to see this planet made into a home fit for a civilized species – free from wars, arbitrary borders, bad laws, and all the other crap the political vermin throw at us. And there should, of course, be gardens to go with it. Where those, who favour particular species of wildlife, can each create conditions on their own property which favour the species they enjoy.

        As to ice melt, you’re right, I had conflated two things. During the 1920s there was, so I’m told, considerable warming in the Arctic. It wasn’t until the 1940s that voyages started to try to use this warming, and to find ways through the North-West Passage.

        You talk of “record melts,” “the hottest polar temperatures on record” and “the hottest temperature ever recorded on land.” Two responses: One, if it is warming over the long term (as it has been for 350 years), then you would expect to see records every so often. And two, how much of these “records” is down to mis-representation, fudging or even outright fraudulent use of the data? See the following for a very recent example with Antarctic ice cores: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/08/12/mcintyre-on-kaufman-et-al-2020/. I, and people like me, wonder: is the global warming narrative “evidence-based policy,” or is it merely an attempt to fabricate policy-based “evidence?” I’ve seen that kind of crap too many times to believe any of it any more. And by the way, that’s completely independent of what I, or anyone else, might think about Trump.

        On renewable energy, you say “intermittency is not a problem.” Well, it might not be to you; as long as you’re happy to get up at 3am on a winter morning to do two hours of writing, as that’s the only time you’ll have any lights. And as long as you’re happy to shiver at minus 10 degrees C in a foggy, calm February with Arctic air funnelling in from the east. You might be happy with that; although I must ask the question, would your pupils have been? Opher, where do you think you get a right to deny me, and others, the conveniences we have earned?

        And so, once more, to Stephen Hawking. First, you tell me to “check the data.” Then you say that Stephen Hawking’s concerns “are all you need to know.” I’ll leave you to work out the contradiction.

      4. How on earth can you say the nett effect on the environment has been positive Neil? We’ve just about decimated the planet. We wiped out all the megafauna yonks ago and have drastically reduced forests, fauna and flora. We’re used up resources and polluted every inch of land, sea and air. Which planet are you living on?
        In the last thirty years we have caused population crashes in animal communities all over the world. We are as big a disaster as an asteroid.
        Lions are not a negative effect when in balance with the rest of nature – we are. Our numbers and destructive ways creates disharmony and great damage to the ecology we are dependent on.
        We do not have any accurate records going back over 350 years. It is only since the 1970s that we have had accuracy for global and polar conditions. The trend is apparent and well-documented. The warnings come from scientists and not politicians. The lies and fakery comes from big business and politicians trying to pretend, for their own gain, that this is not the case.
        I’d like to see this planet home for a civilised species too – unfortunately one hasn’t evolved yet.
        If you had watched the Danish Minister talking about the Danish situation, where most energy is renewable, you would have seen – intermittency is not an issue. We have the means to produce the bulk of our energy from solar, wind and tidal. We can store energy for long enough and augment, when needed, from other sources. There was only 15 minutes during the last year when Denmark was sort (compared to 45 minutes outage in the States). I repeat – intermittency is no longer a problem – and when the technology develops further (efficiency of equipment and batteries) the tiny present problem will be completely eradicated. Check it out.
        I agree with you on ending wars and breaking down borders.
        I want a world order that does away with war, pollution, poverty, habitat destruction and overpopulation. I want a fairer distribution of wealth and for us to live in harmony with the rest of the wonderful life we share this planet with. We are part of nature not above it.

I'd like to hear from you...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.