Scenes From Flooding In Porto Alegre, Brazil - TPM – Talking Points Memo

Since the end of April, the state of Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil has been hit with heavy rainfall, causing the Guaiba River to overflow and flooding Porto Alegre. Dozens of people have died as a result and search and rescue efforts continue to look for the missing.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

It is interesting to read about how disaster is experienced at the local level, but how we destroy the atmosphere is almost imperceptible at the macro-level. Carbon dioxide isn’t even visible. But we are already in a couple-century-long event will little international cooperation. China, for example, still burns 55% of the world’s coal, even with its race to electrification and renewables far exceeding the pace of the US. William Gibson’s Jackpot trilogy, deals among other things, with the confluence of man-made events such as excessive extraction, species loss and depopulation. I lean more to Kim Stanley Robinson’s Ministry of the Future, which posits that we will begin to understand these events for what they are very soon. Indeed, it was a heat event in India in that book that triggers global response, and we just had temperatures above 45C in 8 Indian states yesterday. In any case, at the national level, most countries have yet to include a climate minister at the cabinet level, and those that do either combine with energy or take an on-again off again approach. Which is kind of odd, as we whiz by tipping points on our way to full venusification, a condition mostly comfortable for thermophilic bacteria.