Embracing Abrupt Climate Change with a Humanitarian Spirit

When Jennifer Hynes published her video series, the Arctic Methane Monster’s Rapid Rise, she originally didn’t anticipate that her detailed overview of abrupt climate change feedback loops would go viral.

However, with her elegant, detailed, and precinct depiction of issues ranging from sea ice loss, to the weakening of the jet stream, to the catastrophic potential of methane release, it is no surprise that both of her videos have garnered great attention.

A self-described climate generalist, Ms. Hynes not only conveys extraordinary attention to detail in her products, but also a deeply human, and humanitarian touch. In a wide-ranging interview on the ReliefAnalysis Podcast, Episode 2, Ms. Hynes details how her left-brained analysis of abrupt climate change issues led her to deeply troubling conclusions that spilled over into her right-brained consciousness, where they meshed with imagery at a deep subconscious level, and even haunted her dreams.

Assembling the linkages between the cascading and intricate feedbacks of abrupt climate change led Ms. Hynes to inescapable conclusions. Abrupt climate change is a reality, is here, and–most dire–the possibility of Near-Term Human Extinction is a real one. Her analytical and emotional journey melds with a spiritual worldview–Ms. Hynes has a strong orientation to Buddhist values, and she embraces the Bodhisattva vow of supporting the liberation of all sentient beings from suffering before her own.

For humanitarian professionals and activists confronting increasing acceleration–i.e. the horrific complex emergency in Syria and Iraq, or the “unprecedented” humanitarian strain (per Oxfam) that El Nino will produce in Africa, Latin America, and the Asia Pacific–the story of Ms. Hynes’ unique journey is incredibly valuable. In the interview, she describes in vivid detail how it felt that her heart “cracked open” during the process of analyzing abrupt climate change, how she integrated the most dire realizations into her current worldview.

And for abrupt climate change issues since her most recent video was published in August 2015? Ms. Hynes expresses shock at how quickly events have become “unhinged.” Recent, accelerating events include:

  • An Atlantic storm system that ultimately produced a staggering and unprecedented January rain event on the North Pole.
  • The polar vortex continuing to split and send frigid pulses of air into the mid-latitudes (including the North American Rockies, where Ms. Hynes resides)
  • Very unusual tropical Hurricanes spawning in both the Atlantic and Central Pacific during January.
  • The continued deterioration of Arctic Sea Ice health
  • World-wide temperature anomalies, especially extremely strong polar amplification.

In conclusion, Ms. Hynes’ prolific work on the issue of abrupt climate change not only provides indispensable analysis for the humanitarian community, but her thoughtful and heart-felt integration of these implications is a vital message to hear, and take to heart.

See below for Jennifer Hynes’ most recent work on her website, as well as her Methane Monster series. Also, special thanks to Kevin Hester for his support in finding the images to support Jennifer’s work. Please find the following articles from Seemorerocks and The Daily Blog about Mr. Hester’s latest advocacy.


Website, Jennifer Hynes, As One

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