Happy Birthday, Rorschach

rorschach-test-1024x967Above is a Rorschach inkblot, used for decades in psychological assessment exercises as a means of examining personality characteristics and emotional function.

Hermann Rorschach, the Swiss psychiatrist who was born on this day in 1884 and who invented the inkblot test, originally intended it as a tool for diagnosing schizophrenia.

Below are projected images of the Earth, should all ice caps melt in the long term. Reaction to them could be used, much like the inkblot test, to determine certain functions.

Do they make the viewer want to do something about rising global temperatures, do they inspire resignation, or are they dismissed as a pointless exercise?

Antarctica The light-blue outline represent the present day shorelines. Source: National Geographic

Antarctica
The light-blue outlines represent the present day shorelines.
Source: National Geographic

Asia Existing cities indicated. Source: National Geographic

Asia
Existing cities indicated.
Source: National Geographic

Buoyed Up

The Majuro Declaration, a plan of action put together by the fifteen-nation Pacific Island Forum (PIF) to aggressively combat climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and the rise of sea levels, gained major support this month with the agreement of the United States to support the Declaration and its goals.

Image: via news24.com

Image: via news24.com

The United States also announced a new climate change fund of $24 million over the next five years for projects in “vulnerable coastal communities” in the Pacific.

U.S. support of the Majuro Declaration is good news, and an acknowledgement on an international level that, as stated by US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, “climate change is the defining challenge of our time.”

However, I have a hard time reconciling this U.S. pledge and the $24 million amount with the support by the same government of increased development of greenhouse-gas emitting fuels, especially through fracking, as well as subsidies and investments ongoing fossil fuel extraction and distribution, which still greatly exceed subsidies and support for alternative fuels.

Estimated U.S. subsidies and support for fossil fuels 2002-2008. Post-2008 attempts to reduce subsidies have rarely been successful.  Credit: Environmental Law Institute

Estimated U.S. subsidies and support for fossil fuels 2002-2008. Post-2008 attempts to reduce subsidies have rarely been successful.
Credit: Environmental Law Institute

More:

Read more about the Majuro Declaration here.