Age of Carbon? Fall of empires, the rise of Hitler, the collapse of Communism and rising temperatures: stunning NASA maps chart the emergence of the “new normal”

Temperature anomalies from NASA on a decade-by-decade basis since 1880.

The world as it was.


… the decade of the First World War, the collapse of Austrian-Hungarian, Russian, Chinese and German empires, Einstein publishes his theories, Picasso paints “Mademoiselles d’Avignon, the Battle of the Somme:

A short time later, the British Empire reaches its greatest territorial extent, the Japanese wage war in China, Ghandi is active in India, Hitler begins his rise to power, the first television broadcast, the Great Depression, and in 1939 Hitler invades Poland:


The Battle of Britain, the invasion of Russia by Hitler, the Holocaust, atomic weapons developed and dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, D-Day, the Bikini is invented:


The 1950s, a golden age? DNA is discovered, Castro comes to power, colour television, the Suez crisis, and NASA is founded:


The 1970’s… the fall of South Vietnam, Watergate, the “Oil Price” shock, Pink Floyd, Raging Bull and the God Father. Margaret Thatcher comes to power, ushering in the “neo-liberal” revolution:


A few decades later… 9/11, the Iraq War, the Global Financial Crisis, Facebook, the iPod and the rise of China:


Historians of the future will write of the “Age of Carbon”, when our empires and dreams were fuelled by fossil fuels.

8 thoughts on “Age of Carbon? Fall of empires, the rise of Hitler, the collapse of Communism and rising temperatures: stunning NASA maps chart the emergence of the “new normal”

  1. john byatt says:

    The emergence of the “Anthropocene”

  2. Sundance says:

    James Hansen is blaming liberal Democrats for the increase in CO2. Hansen states:

    ‘No where is the lame middle-of-the-road go-slow compromise approach clearer than in the case of nuclear power. The Administration has been reluctant to admit that the Carter and Clinton/Gore administrations made a huge mistake in pulling the U.S. back from development of advanced nuclear technology.

    That is the way to make nuclear power safer (nuclear power already has the best safety record of any major industry in the United States) and resistant to weapons proliferation. The approach to nuclear power is to take a few baby steps with current technology. People such as Bill Gates are despairing at the lack of leadership in Washington — investing his own money in development of advanced reactor designs.

    But even Bill Gates does not have enough money to make up for the lack of dynamic leadership in Washington. If we took advantage of our brainpower (which is rapidly aging!), we could still be the leader in developing safer clean energy for the future and producing a better future for our children, rather than going after the last drop of oil in pristine environments, off-shore, in the tar sands. It is such a purblind foolish approach. We need someone with the courage to stand up to the special interests who have hamstrung U.S. policy, including the minority of anti-nukes who have controlled the energy policy of the Democratic party.

    We are still waiting for an Abraham Lincoln, a leader who will stand tall. It is a moral matter. Lincoln would not have released half of the slaves….

    The other thing not mentioned above is that the most fundamental problem, which I keep repeating, is this: as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy, somebody will keep burning them — implication, we must put a rising price on carbon. (Not cap-and-trade! A simple, honest approach — collect a fee from fossil fuel companies at first sale, distribute that money, 100 percent, to the public.)

    Nevertheless, the easiest thing that he could do, and perhaps the best that we can hope for, is for him to give a strong boost to nuclear power.

    Unfortunately, he seems to fall prey to Democratic politics on this, rather than being a responsible leader.’

    There is no denying that Hansen is right about the liberal Democrats being at fault. Lets hope BHO has the courage to be honest with Americans in his address tonight.

    • john byatt says:

      Solutions sundance, well posted

      We achieve nothing by just continuing a debate on renewables versus nuclear
      considering the amount of carbon-based generation that is to be replaced, as well as the time within which this transition must occur; renewables AND nuclear must both expand considerably.

      A price on carbon is the prerequisite mechanism to achieve any credible target.

  3. Ross Brisbane says:

    The deniers are certainly cranking it up. These crackpots would look at these graphs as only mocked up make believe. What they do not understand is subtle shift in climate happening as we advance another 12 months. This subtle change is slow but at points provides oft times of rapid evidence.

    Like the Northern polar caps – the utter audacity of deniers to imply fraud even here. Exaggerating the issues is not the domain of AGW supporters – this is denier territory. These are creepy somewhat flaky right wing bigots. The sad part is that some of these are very religious in the most sounded off self-righteous prattle I have ever read. Even Christ’s Apostles would turn in their graves over the stupid religious rot emanating from the USA from some of those conservative churches.

    I am sick of their denial. I am fed up with yet another debate with such fools.

    And the crackpots crawl over anything that is contrary like ants to sugar.

    Utter fools.

    The Age of Carbon – an age in few hundred years people will want to forget as we enter times of upheaval.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      … I’m also fed up with the “debate”.

      That we’ve seen half Australia devastated and the Southern Hemisphere drown and still debate the science is a) incredible and b) incredibly stupid.

  4. klem says:

    Nuclear is good. Coal is bad. You alarmist enviromarxists are out to lunch. here are a couple of great reasons why nuclear is good;

    Each plant costs $10 billion to build, it costs over $300 million just to turn a nuclear plant off, nuclear plants are terrorist targets, the fuel is destructive to make, the fuel is dangerous to handle and transport, the fuel is a terrorist target, the spent rods must be buried in old abandoned mines for thousands of years due to it’s toxicity, the spent rods are also a terrorist target. In addition, there has never been a nuclear plant anywhere in the world which has made money without huge permanent subsidies, primarily because the industry is so heavily regulated they are unprofitable. Before they get a chance to pay for themselves they need to be retrofitted and refurbished, driving the costs up again after only a couple of decades of use. Of course we have the wondreful Three Mile Island and Chernobyl to thank, the two main reasons why they are so heavily regulated. Just hearing the statement “nuclear is a lot safer today’, fills everyone with confidence, that’s the ultimate reason I can think up. That really makes me want to support nuclear.

    Coal on the other hand is none of these things. It is old technology, plants are cheap to build, cheap to maintain, they are not welfare cases and they are not terrorist targets. The only problem is they emit smoke. Why can’t we solve this simple, old technology issue? I guess nuclear is sexy and coal is not. My suggestion is that instead of spending $10 Billion on a just soooo sexy nuclear plant, we spend $1 Billion on R&D to make coal a smoke free energy source, and spend the remaining $9 billion to buy malaria mosquito nets for just about every vulnerable person on earth. And the whole coal/nuclear issue would go away. Perhaps even malaria too.

  5. adelady says:

    “Why can’t we solve this simple, old technology issue?” Why? Because the problem is pretty well unsolvable with the best modern knowledge and technology. If we could do it, we would do it. This is one energy technology issue that we will be leaving for our heirs and successors to solve. The technology and operation issues for hot rocks geothermal are much, much closer to success.

    In the meantime, we have simple, available, affordable substitue technology that needs no mining for a constant supply of materials or transport to get them where they’re needed for operation. We just instal solar, wind, tidal, river systems and maintain them.

    In a country like Australia, the abundance of solar, wind and geothermal makes the arguments favouring coal and/or nuclear look just plain silly.

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